Satellite Eyes = awesome

Coronado, San Diego, CA via Satellite Eyes

The app Satellite Eyes is a great little addition to any traveler's mac laptop. It automatically figures out your location then fetches map tiles of where you are located at that moment, and makes them your desktop background. It offers several options of mapping, either full satellite photos, terrain maps, simplified black and white line maps, and finally watercolor.

Watercolor is the killer part of the app here. It was already a beautiful option that could be used in interesting ways when added to Open Street Maps a few months ago, but it's truly amazing when you are traveling and you get an unexpected gorgeous desktop out of it like the one pictured above. Last week, I opened my laptop up at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, California and took a screenshot. I love it when software offers unexpected delights such as this one and I can't recommend this app enough for those on the go (on a desktop it will never change which is a bit blah).

Oh, and I'm using the app WeatherMin (also download worthy) to display the outside temp on the desktop in the screenshot above.

My cousin’s wedding hack

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Putting rings on, originally uploaded by mathowie.

My cousin Tony and his girlfriend got married this past weekend and as a young couple in Southern California, they’ve been saving for years for their first house. On the occasion of their marriage, they didn’t want to fill a non-existent house with blenders and trinkets but didn’t want to flatly refuse gifts since weddings tend to be a place where people like to help out new couples by giving them gifts, but I think they felt weird asking for money towards a new home purchase.

So they came up with a pretty cool idea. He’s an artist and she’s a writer, and together they collected a bunch of paintings, ceramics, photos, and drawings and put them up for silent auction for several hours before and after the ceremony. Everything I liked had bids into the hundreds of dollars and all told, I bet they raised a couple grand in the process of letting family buy some pretty cool works of art.

I hope my other artist friends and family do this in the future, because I thought it was a pretty cool idea.