Awesome Things

Things that are awesome (some of which may have been previously mentioned here) in no particular order:

  • Sushi + beer + sake + friends = AWESOME
  • Live burlesque. Also, The Wife potentially taking burlesque classes. :D
  • Absinthe. I'm digging on Kübler, which is locally available now. Admittedly, I talk more people into not trying absinthe than I talk into trying it. It's not for everyone.
  • Rock Band. I'm pretty useless on anything except the singing, but it's more fun than Karaoke Revolution because the other people are playing along with you. Drumming is unpossible for me.
  • Tiki bars. Especially the Tiki Torch in Edgewater. I know one of the owners, so I'm psyched to give it a shot. I'll be toting The Wife and her mother down this Saturday, I believe. Daddy needs a Mai Tai with a quickness!
  • Anita O'Day. Holy crap! How have I never heard of her until now? Best thing to ever happen to me thanks to Plurk. (If you're not already a Twitter user, you might try Plurk instead.) Also loving Sarah Vaughn these days.
  • The Silent Years. The Globe comes out soon.
  • Going to the doctor to get my first physical in who knows how many years. It seems I'm doing well. (I still have to do blood work, though.)
  • Michael Phelps. Yeah... WOW.
  • The iPhone 3G. Lots of people gripe about various things, but in general I say it's damned amazing.
  • Dark Knight. Saw it on IMAX. It was pretty good.
  • Rumbi fish tacos. I'm stunned, but these are currently my favorite fish tacos.
  • Knowing one of the guys on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter.
  • Fuelly. All the cool kids are doing it.
  • Bumping into an acquaintance and having their first comment be "You look good."

And other stuff, too. That's a pretty good list for now, though.

Much Nothing About... Ado?

Took last week off to get a little break after our big launch at work. It turned into a fairly busy period in between all the loafing on the couch. Highlights:

  • Had a meeting with Ma and her giant dog rescue crew and got them introduced to my boss in case we can do some pro-bono work for them. We have a meeting scheduled for this Tuesday, so we'll see if anything comes of it.
  • Took Mingus in for shoulder x-rays to see if anything joint-related was making him gimpy. Turns out the joints look pretty darned good. Hooray no surgery for the dog.
  • I had a medical visit myself, but that warrants its own post... Coming soon... ;)
  • Painted the kitchen a pretty little shade of blue with the help of The Wife.
  • Spent the 4th at Brozo's, which is fast becoming tradition. Drank some beers, threw a couple bottle rockets, managed not to start any fires. Y'know, standard stuff.
  • The next day we made it out to see the Burlesque As It Was troupe put on a righteous USO-style show. That Charlie Champale is something else, I tell ya. The girls were pretty fun, too. We liked it so much, in fact, we're going to see them again on the 26th at the Bluebird theater in Denver.
  • Today's highlight was Rafa "Gun Show" Nadal finally finishing off Roger Federer in a marathon Wimbledon final. That and being able to buy a bunch of beer on a Sunday. Nice!

Other than that, I got to watch some Red Sox baseball, but really that hardly matters to me -- I don't really pay attention until September. ;)

So, the iPhone 3G comes out this Friday, eh? Hmmmmm...


So, the big push was a fairly resounding success (as much as these things usually are), and I'm happy and relieved. Enough about me, though, really. How have you been?

Some topics for discussion:

  1. Have you seen the Big Picture blog at It's hot -- both in the "that's sexy" way and that all the cool kids are talking about it.
  2. Speaking of cool kids, my buddy and former coworker, Rod, got all internet famous last week with his fake script for Indy 4.
  3. This is totally ghey, but skip to the 3 minute mark and it's a least a little amusing.
  4. Speaking of ... erm... Yeah. Did you guys see the Turkish wrestling spread in ESPN the Magazine? Yeah, neither did I. I hear it's totally macho, though.
  5. More macho is Sasuke -- or as it's called on the G4 network, Ninja Warrior. Holy crap that show is awesome! Makoto Nagano is my hero.
  6. I like plurk a lot. The Interface is light years ahead of Twitter. And if you're into either of those jammies, check out -- right this second "letmeping" should work as a beta code.

Other stuff of note:

  • My darling Ma has teamed up with some cohorts to start a giant dog rescue. We're talking Danes, Newfies, Mastiffs, Wolfies, and so on. Wow.
  • Think I'm gonna ride the motorcycle into work a least a couple days this week. Turn the stress dial back a couple clicks.
  • Oh, I am so getting an iPhone 3G in July. OMG!

G'night, kids.

Look at all that def!

You may recall that my dearest mommy got me a big ol' television set for Christmas this past holiday. Well, I've finally got it running at full capacity now that I have a TiVo-HD (got a deal on a refurb from Woot!) and boy is it something.

Of course, the CableCARD install wasn't perfectly smooth, but at least it turned out to just be a bit of an annoyance while the cable guy fiddled with it for an hour or two. It was definitely not the sort of tragedy I had read about on various TiVo forums, etc.

It's funny what HD does to you, though. Two words to illustrate my point: Sunrise Earth. My friends (who were all way ahead of me on the HD curve) all told me about this hypnotic show, and I always pointed at them and laughed. Turns out they were right on the money. It's just mesmerizing. Even beyond that, though, I'll watch a nature show or rock concert in HD before just about any other option now. Good times.

The Wife's favorite bit - aside from when I blew her mind by showing her how we can watch shows from our old TiVo unit on the new one - is the dual tuner action we get from the TiVo-HD. Now "Boy shows" don't automatically trump "Girl shows". Peace reigns supreme at the Lazy 'S' Ranch, though it does give the TiVo twice the opportunity to record one of it's off the wall suggestions...

The Weekly-ish Update

Random tidbits once again:

  • I'm really pleased with the results of my latest slate tile project. Now I'm itching to switch into woodworking mode. I'm super excited about the new episodes of the New Yankee Workshop: Norm is building kitchen cabinets. I plan to eventually build cabinets for the mudroom and perhaps the garage (as practice for the potential "big job" of the actual kitchen). I think I'll go ahead and buy the DVDs.
  • I'm gradually building up my home entertainment system to match the new TV. I've gotten a fancy HDMI-switching receiver and a fairly cool iPod dock thingy. Next on my list is a TiVo HD. Then some surround speakers of some sort (I'm still living in stereo, folks...). And then maybe an Xbox 360, finally. (Still holding out for GTA4 on that one.)
  • On the fitness front, my weight dipped below 200 pounds for the first time in a while yesterday. It's back above today, but we'll assume that's temporary. I'm going to join a climbing gym soon, I think. A great new motivator I have is the Garmin Forerunner 205 I got for Xmas. It's not as sexy as the new 405 everyone is drooling over, but it's pretty darned cool. Of course, now I'm obsessed with tracking the slightest walk / jog / jaunt to the mail box. When The Wife teased me about it I quipped, "Are you kidding? I'm gonna track my trips to the bathroom from now on!"
  • Lots of interesting gossip about former coworkers and new coworkers. That's about all I'll say about that, I suppose.
  • I'm still an Obama cheerleader, though I don't generally like to air my politics on this site. I like the look of things right now.
  • Trent Reznor isn't exactly excited by the results of the Niggy Tardust experiment.
  • TV sucks almighty ass right now. I know there's a writer's strike going, but why aren't networks taking better advantage by replaying some of the good stuff we might have missed previously? Example: AMC's Mad Men? (Ooh! There's an encore starting Jan 21. Nice.) At least I always have books to read.

So yeah... What's new with you?

Momma's (gonna be) a Mac User

My dear mother has made the leap to Apple computing hardware, which I welcome wholeheartedly. Of course, she had to do it whole-hog by getting an iMac and a MacBook, but I can't begrudge her having her toys. Plus she got a discount through her employer, so she was able to get everything nicely upgraded. Now I just need to get down there this weekend and install the wireless router I got her for Xmas...

Then we can figure out that crazy screen sharing action in iChat. That'll be awesome for remote troubleshooting, should it ever be needed.

Hey, how are ya?

Some random crap: My mommy got me a 40" Sony LCD HDTV for Xmas. I was planning to get something in the 46" range later in 2008, but 40" turns out to be plenty big (plus, it's free, yo!). That mother of mine is pretty cool. Even if she does have a thundering herd of Great Danes at her house (including this one and this one, who will make you cry).


Did you hear the Lakota have decided to secede from the US? I figure this is roughly equivalent to them going on strike. They're grabbing some attention and might get some sort fo concession from the US government, but in the end it will amount to nothing. Though, Brozo and I think it'd be fun if they started tolling traffic on I-90 and formed an army. How long do you think it would take for them to be labeled "terrorists" if they did that?


Did you hear that monkeys are as good at mental mathematics as college kids?

"We had them do math on the fly," Cantlon said.

The task was to mentally add two sets of dots that were briefly flashed on a computer screen. The teams were asked to pick the correct answer from two choices on a different screen.

The humans were not allowed to count or verbalize as they worked, and they were told to answer as quickly as possible. Both monkeys and humans typically answered within 1 second.

And both groups fared about the same.

Great. Just great.


Maybe they can help economists decide whether there's going to be a recession or not.

"A lot of the underlying resilience of the U.S. economy seems a bit unappreciated," says Citigroup economist Steven Wieting. "It's not clear that this is so large a burden that we can't muddle through this."

That's the best this guy could come up with? Muddle through?

Bah! I'll show you "clubby".

I hate the Apple Store. I have from the beginning. I guess some people like it (or did like it), but I'm not one of them. I like to be able to actually buy things in stores without having to enlist a fulltime escort. Nothing frustrated me more than needing a new iPod, walking into the store, seeing a table loaded with iPods packaged for Christmas joy... BEHIND a friggin' rope. I stood there frozen, staring at my just out of my reach goal, thinking "How... Do... I... Buy... One...?" until I got frustrated enough to walk out and buy the iPod online from home.

Conversely, I was fine with the expectation of having to talk to someone when I wanted to buy my iMac. That's a big purchase with options involved. I'm fine talking to someone about that. I shouldn't need to talk to someone to buy an iPod, though. At least not until my credit card is out.

Back on the Mac

So after successfully waiting for the release of Leopard (the latest version of OS X), I ran out the other day and plopped down my rewards-earning MasterCard to purchase a 24" glass and brushed aluminum sculpture known as the iMac. It's the 2.8GHz CPU with 2GB of RAM, and the 500GB hard drive, and it's the tits. I even dig on Apple's new waffer thin keyboard, somewhat to my surprise.

As I type this, I'm in the middle of the 2+ day operation of shifting my ~145GB iTunes library around on my decrepit PC in preparation for the big copy to the iMac. This is what I get for not opting for the default storage location. (I'm actually not sure all this is even necessary, but I'm doing it anyway.)

Once I do that and decide whether or not I can live without Quicken (I only use it for bill scheduling and the forward-looking calendar/bar chart widget -- There's nothing online that offers that feature. For anything else, Mint and the online banking offered by my bank does the job.), I'll be able to format the drives on my PC and burn the thing. Or research whether there's a convenient drop-off for computer/computer component recycling, I guess...

This is a homecoming for me, as I was a Mac user back in my college days. Having been convinced that computers were evil by my Pascal programming classes, I opted for a PowerBook Duo - one of the coolest units to come out of the House of Jobs in the 90s. After that, I switched to a Gateway PC almost completely based on price. Then I was always using PCs for work (as I, ironically, moved into my career as a web "programmer"), so I always stuck with PCs at home, too. The advent of OS X was a big deal to me, and I'm been lusting for a new generation Mac since then.

I've always kept The Wife running on Apple hardware, though. She finished her Masters degree with a G3 iBook and got upgraded to a Mac Mini not too long ago. (Her brother is rocking a Mini these days, too.) The iBook is still limping along as our living room computer.

Since the beginning of this year, I've been lucky enough to work on a Mac Pro five days a week, so the transition back to a dying PC at home was hurting me more and more. All this adds up to me spending a chunk of change for a big white box that was heavy enough to wind me by the time I lugged from the Apple store to my car outside the mall.

I'm almost free!

I want to play with my ding-a-ling

Good times this weekend. The primary highlight was a video game tourney and home-cooked Korean barbecue at my friend Peter's house. Peter (a former co-worker) and his fiance, Ann, laid out quite a spread of delicious kalbi, rice cakes, kalbi, fried fish, kalbie, kimchi, and some totally yummy kalbi. We also played a bunch of video games, but most of that part of the night is kind of fuzzy. I know I played the wrong screen on 4-man Halo and therefore got pwned.

One part that is clear is that The Wife pronounced "I want one!" almost as soon as she touched the Nintendo Wii. The Wife gets what The Wife wants (especially when it's something I've been forcing myself *not* to buy up to now), so we now have a shiny new Wii and the sore shoulders to prove it. (Here's the tip for those of you searching for a Wii: WalMart. I never go in the place, generally, but our local Wally World had about 10 of the things.)

Now we just have to find something other than Wii Sports to play on the thing...

Oh, and yesterday I came into work for a half day. Boo. Big launch tomorrow, so it's crunch time...

Um... Yeah... Never mind, iPhone.

Depending on which phone and which plan the iPhone costs between $2000 and $3000 $6000 over two years. I just switched providers and the three phones I got for the Wife, the Mother-in-Law, and myself and the service for those phones should run me on the low side of the iPhone range in the same time period.

Besides that, I really don't need my phone to do much more than make calls, send texts, and take pictures. By those criteria, I am pretty happy with my Synch (and it's even more phone than I need).

So, yeah. Up to now, I've been saying "I'll wait until the third generation of the iPhone." Unless my needs drastically change between now and then, however, I doubt I'd get one then either.

Merry Ho Ho Ho!

Here's hoping everyone had a happy and fruitful holiday. I certainly did. Highlights:

  • My darling mother got me a solar powered atomic watch, so not only does it never need its battery changed, it never needs to be set either. This is timekeeping heaven for me. Now I just need to read the manual to figure out how to use its other functions. And of course, I need to get it sized waaay down for my girlish wrists.
  • The moms made out well: Mine got a cobalt blue Kitchen Aid mixer (she'd been eyeballing ours lately) and The Wife's got an iPod Nano (which is ridiculously small).
  • I got The Wife a Bella Umbrella. Without her realizing it, I noticed that she'd been talking about getting a parasol for the past year or so, so this was a home run for me. ;)
  • I also got my better half a Mac Mini, as her old iBook was having a hard time keeping up. That means I get to play with the iBook: So far I've reinstalled OS X 3 times and I plan to install Ubuntu as well (the third round with OS X was to get a partition for the linux).
  • As for me, I got some woodworking and home improvement accessories, some DVDs (namely two big time personal faves: Pete & Pete and The Greatest American Hero, and a CBC history of hockey that looks awesome) and lots of other stuff.

So yeah, materialistically, we all did pretty well. Better yet, though, we had some nice time off at home thanks to the blizzard, and yet we were mobile in time to make it down to my mom's house on Christmas Eve.

God bless us, every one, eh?

Quick Hits

TiVo Series 3: Coming Soon!

TiVo giving away Series 3 player - and launch date?

So, the fact that TiVo has just launched an eleven-week contest in conjunction with American Idol, in which the grand prize is a TiVo Series 3 DVR, has already resulted in a flood of speculation as to when the long-awaited box will finally materialize. The contest rules stipulate that TiVo has up to four months after the end of the contest to fulfill, meaning that the latest the Series 3 will be available will be October.

Commence saving pennies... NOW!

Oh crap, I need another home loan!

The one thing holding me back from dropping far too much money on an HDTV set (and perhaps an update to my stereo/home theater) has been my TiVo. I'm just plain sold on the thing and as long as my TiVo doesn't do HDTV, neither do I. Well, that's going to change perhaps as soon as this year.

Key bits:

  • Dual tuner -- Record two programs at once!
  • CableCARD compatible (2.0 or 1.0 -- if you have 2.0 you only need one card for the dual tuner action)
  • Up to "300 hours" storage (I assume that's non-HDTV content)
  • An SATA port for adding a hot little external drive with no warantee-voiding hacking needed.

Damn, that sounds like everything I've wanted.

I guess I'm doomed to continue to be the guy with the iPod, the TiVo and the stupid car with manual locks.