--Thanks for all the Birthday Wishes -- (Facebook especially seems to be an easy source for people to pass on a casual bit of good b-day karma)
Amber and I went to the Top of the Hub restaurant. Between that and the helicopter lesson she got for me, there's really a theme of catering to my love of high-up views. I realize that taking in the view from the restaurant was a bit of a unique experience in my life... I don't remember ever seeing such a high view of an area that I know so well -- realizing now I've been in Boston about half my life, and then working in the whole greater Copley area for a few years, and planning to do so again.
http://www.slate.com/id/2249415/ -nudity in "mumblecore" films. It's terrible that NC-17 is boxoffice death; sex can't be part of the art.
Tic-Tac-Toe is subtler than you may think. If X plays center, O MUST play corner; if X takes corner, O must play center AND play offensively! This means if you get to go first, you can often win - something many adults don't realize. (As we found out to general amusement at my birthday party.)
"On a long enough time frame, water beats paper, scissors and rock." --http://twitter.com/unclesamkentOh and RIP Henry Edward Roberts, inventor of the Altair, THE first home computer.
WTF - with youtube's redesign, sometimes the smallest embed code is for 560 across, bigger than the 500 that's pretty common for blogs...grr
iPad comes with a fully charged battery but will not let you do ANYTHING until you synch with iTunes. Sucks if you're on the road! Kind of a fail... (though I have my main laptop and can likely synch tonight.)
"It's like 'after-zombie-attacks' deserted around here- it's creepy." --Amber on the American side of Niagara Falls
Businesses in upstate NY I wasn't quite expecting to see: "Quaker Steak and Lube"
I wonder if Canada Dry is called American Dry up in Canada. I should've checked.
Ah Cleveland- land of my adolescence! Which is a distinct period from my eternal manchildhood. But not by much.
"Whoa, thought I was just super dizzy after my nap...it was an earthquake!!" --http://twitter.com/lisaloeb4realLittle Caesar's pizza! Man how I've missed it, the old after church standby. Still frickin' cheap, $5 for a pretty big pie (but no longer square :-( )
Of all the criticisms of the iPad, "no multitasking" is probably the least real to me. Except for, like, IM-notification, you're only doing one thing at once anyway, and a fast context switch is good enough.
The iPad feels like the future. Despite the unfortunate name, it IS "more intimate" somehow-Still this generation feels a bit gimmicky, and the lack of Flash is a bummer.
Watching Butler lose at the final second, along side 2 folks who worked there, was heartbreaking. Screw Duke and their recruited freaks.
Yours 'Til Niagara Falls of the Moment
After we took in the falls we headed over to Clifton Hill, which is a crazy mashup of glitzy and lowbrow rides and attractions. Amber consented to go on the big old ferris wheel the Sky...
View of the falls from the thing... we were losing the light a bit...
To be honest Amber doesn't like big rides like I do. (Actually, she's not even crazy about driving over big bidges...) So this is her gradually getting a bit more freaked out (but putting a brave face on it...)
Me on the other hand...
View of Clifton Hill...
Catching the last of the sunset...
I think this final shot came out really well, so stark, but with the hit of blue...
"It’s humbling, actually. When you devote your entire life to the endless, selfless quest to improve the lives of others; when you live a monk-like existence, and focus all of your power and genius on the singular goal of creating objects that nourish souls and transform people’s lives with magic and wonder; and when people tell you that this is, indeed, what you’ve done — well, it’s gratifying. Namaste, entire population of Spaceship Earth. I honor the place where your desire to consume becomes one with my desire to create." --Fake Steve Jobs, http://www.fakesteve.net/2010/04/an-open-letter-to-the-people-of-the-world.htmlhttp://www.metafilter.com/90762/LADYGAGA-for-14-points#3028153 - alternate rules for board games (in honor of the "dumbing down" of Scrabble) - I wonder if Candyland could be fun with those rules?
"You know what I think will really revolutionize comics? People making better f*cking comics." --,http://twitter.com/Michael_Cho
"The truth is always a compound of two half-truths, and you never reach it, because there is always something more to say." --Tom StoppardMan, I can't find an iPad sketch app with really good webpublishing options... Some of that critique of it not being a creating tool is true
My kingdom for a pixel-centric iPad sketch app... I want flood fill, cropping, and resizing/anti-aliasing as the last step, damn it.
At Michael "Iron Chef" Symon's restaurant "Lolita" (corner of "Professor" and "Literary"). I'm like the Humbert Humbert of Cleveland dining!
Man- between being a bit more southerly than Boston and more westerly in the time zone, Cleveland is much lighter later. 8pm was still light!
In Cleveland I took a side trip down to Coshocton to see my dad's grave. "He Made Us Laugh". Dunno if it's morbid or goth or something to have so much of your own reflection in a grave photo...
The house where he grew up (and where I was conceived or so I've been told)
The house is, sadly, abandoned, or at least empty. But, someone who lived there after my Grandma put in this pretty kickin' treehouse...
On the way back, we made a stop in Salamanca, NY, where I lived from about preschool 'til third grade. I'm glad I was warned that the combination church building / apartment where we lived is now a grassy lot...
I went down the street to my old school St. Pats. Here's a shot into the gym where I got my extra dimple added to my left cheek during a roller skating event there...
I was kind of happy to see the nearby small mall had been converted into an multi-deal Antiques Mall that seemed to be doing ok.
Anyway. Going back earlier in the trip... Cleveland has its troubles, but it also has some really cool and funky neighborhoods in a way I'm not sure that Boston does. One of them is Coventry in Cleveland Heights-- even there benches are cool.
(there were some other ones with smiley faces and other kinda nifty hippy designs.)
They have a super cool store called "Big Fun", full of funky old toys and retro stuff...
We ate at a restaurant called Pacific East - I liked the dragon-y way they handled this peel.
(Later in the week we say "How To Train Your Dragon" in 3D -- it's arc is a little predictable but overall it is awfully good, just very well done in every way.)
OK, more tomorrow -- including the return of proper bowling!
So, being one of those dorky "first day adopters" (though not like, waiting in line or anything) I decided I would try to put my thoughts about the iPad here.
It's... cool, but overrated.
As a laptop replacement, it's not quite there, except for very casual users. The trouble isn't the general browsing; that's a fairly superb experience. Once you get the feel of scrolling and zooming, it's awesome, suddenly you have a screen where the content on the screen can exactly reflect the focus of your mind and eyes.
But then I try to do some semi-advanced things, and run into problems. The iPhone has always annoyed me with its lack of a "ctrl-F" "find matches in page" feature. I can live with that on a handheld browser, but with something with the aspirations that the iPad has, it hurts.
There are more problems for people who are used to multi-tab browsing. I kind of like the thumbnail-based way of dealing with multiple "screens" (even though the iPad is pretty bad with frequently flushing other pages out of memory, so the pages have to have their content reloaded when you come back to them) but while there's a "Open in New Page" feature, there's no "Open in New Background Page" option. That means if you prefer to open interesting links in the background, and then come back to them when you're done with the current page, you have to have your finger ready to jump to the page manager and then hit your current page- hopefully quick enough to not have it lose your page. (Actually, even if you prefer to follow new content and then come back to what you started with, you're at risk for losing your place.)
Also, the lack of Flash hurts more than I expected. I don't really miss it on the iPhone, but on something trying to provide a total browsing experience I miss it.
(The Flash thing is even more interesting with the recent decision of Apple to not allow apps that are made in, say Flash or some other environment, and then have iPhone versions generated. I was full of outrage for a while, and it still seems kind of disgusting. I've read this explanation of it that makes the decision seem slightly less evil, that don't want half-assed multiplatform ports, they want to be the focus of developer's efforts, or nothing. (On the other hand, given how flooded the app store already is...)
The keyboard is so-so. You have to type with the fleshy part of your fingers for starters, and overall I find the layout of the iPhone keyboard more consistent - in particular, having the apostrophe be in a different "mode" is a bit frustrating.
Copy-and-Pasting isn't always consistently supported across apps, and like on the iPhone, sometimes the would-be-helpful "jump to paragraph boundaries" selection feature gets it wrong and it's tough to correct.
A few apps are buggy (Twitterific often loses its scrolling when messing with links embedded in a tweet, and I think I once saw something similar in Safari.)
I guess some of my biggest iPad disappointments kind of fit the model described in The iPad: Where Creativity Goes to Die -- the idea that this is a machine geared for passively consuming content, not creating it. (Actually, maybe that idea came up not as an accusation, but as a defense of the machine's limitations.) My main justification for this expensive toy was an old one: I'm still looking for the perfect doodling device, the one that lets me sketch a cartoon and then upload it to my website. But this machine is only halfway there. I've tried 4 or 5 different sketch apps, but none of them are really pixel centric.
(Maybe I'm just a weirdo in thinking that it's nice to draw in pixels and THEN shrink the image as the last anti-aliasing step; all I know is that when I try to flood fill or otherwise color in these apps, I tend to get kinda blurry messes. There is a chance that I'm thinking about this wrong, in a weird, Mid-90s "Microsoft Paint" kind of way and I should try to get fluent in some kind of vector drawing app instead.)
But even when I have an image I want to post, my options feel limited. Ideally I'd like to just use an Upload form - but with iPad Safari that's disabled -- I'm not really making files. Each app has its own database of my images, and then most will let me transfer it to the photogallery or email it, and one will let me tweet it and another will let me post to Flikr. Bummer! I have to jump through more hoops to get to what I want, but at least half the issue is trying to have more fun with a machine geared at consuming rather than making content. (I have some similar issues when I try to manually copy tweets into my personal blog thing.)
So that's it. In my final analysis, I'd say a netbook plus iPod touch is a better way of spending what an iPad costs. On the other hand, the iPad really does feel like the way of the future, and as more tablet options emerge, my issues with this kind of system might fade away.
(It's also kind of funny how it's not independent of having a real laptop or PC - when you fire it up out of the box refuses to have anything to do with you until you synch it up with iTunes, and woe be upon you if you hadn't previously upgraded iTunes...)
There are some other issues I didn't get into - it's nice that it can use the same conector cable, and its speakers are decent for music, but it would be nice if somehow you could use the same iPhone cradle some times of external speakers depend on.
"Do not fear mistakes, there are none." --Miles DavisFirst day, new job- Pearson Education. After a year of consulting-style gigs, so ready to really latch in.
"Another thought to disturb slumber: For an octopus to imprison a human, all it would need is a gate with 3 doorknobs." --http://twitter.com/neiltyson"Punk rock was a conspiracy engineered by Gibson and Fender to convince people they didn't have to learn or practice music to buy gear." --http://twitter.com/drewtoothpaste
http://www.macworld.com/article/150474/2010/04/ipad_not_for_everyone.html - good negative review of the iPad. For me, it's just a doodle pad
"Little programs are delightful to write in isolation, but the process of maintaining large-scale software is always miserable." --Jaron LanierJaron Lanier in "You Are Not a Gadget" presents the idea of the "circle of empathy" (similar to Peter Singer's.) Basically, things inside the circle are similar enough to you that you want to see them protected, outside you don't care so much. He then states
The liberal impulse is to expand the circle, while conservatives tend to want to restrain or even contract the circle.
Man! That's a good summary of why I always identify with liberals, even when some aspects of policy seem a bit misguided.
http://www.slate.com/id/2249306/ - Agatha Christie's beautifully "deranged", non-linear notebooks
http://weitz.de/regex-coach/ - a Windows tool for checking out your perl-ish regular expressions... intriguing...
"One cannot change the size or quantity of anything without changing its quality. " --Paul ValeryDavid Foster Wallace's word listThanks to a recalcitrant laptop I spilled a big cup of bitter Au Bon Pain iced coffee on the rug at work-I know what I'll be smelling today!
http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2010/4/7/ - Jeez, Jell-O isn't "powdered bone slime"... it's *wiggly* powdered bone slime!
Weird- the concept of synecdoche has shown up in three different, unrelated areas for me today, hadn't thought about it for years...
I had an epiphany once that I wish I could stimulate in everyone else. The plausibility of our human world, the fact that the buildings don't all fall down and you can eat unpoisoned food that someone grew, is immediate palpable evidence of an ocean of goodwill and good behavior from almost everyone, living or dead. We are bathed in what can be called love. --Jaron Lanier, from "You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto" -- excellent choice of birthday gift from Amber!
--Marilyn Monroe - Amber's friend Sam let us have a print of this she didn't want when we were with her in Cleveland... thinking about using it as kind of an inspirational thing in the basement exercise-y area. Funny how much it looks like one of Madonna's main looks... maybe that's where Madonna got that bicep fetish of hers.
[Cleaning out apartment stuff] "Yeah, I think this heavy duty candle was part of a pack of 'Y2K surviving' stuff Mo's dad gave us..." "Well, it worked.." --Me and AmberWhen the girl with the hummus met the boy with the pita... that's romance!
3 flavors of geekness:
C=64 retro game geeks! What makes it kind of cool is if you think of it as "The Matrix" of the C=64 -- being able to peek at all the numbers behind the world of the game, in real time...
Even Zynga’s designers seem well aware that their game is repetitive and shallow. As you advance through Farmville, you begin earning rewards that allow you to play Farmville less. Harvesting machines let you click four squares at once, and barns and coops let you manage groups of animals simultaneously, saving you hundreds of tedious mouse-clicks. In other words, the more you play Farmville the less you have to play Farmville. For such a popular game, this seems suspicious.
Heh. Wish I understood the draw of this kind of game better, maybe I could make money.
You know, Dunkin Donuts iced tea is really good and fresh-tasting. Trying to get away from gunky sweeteners, this might be the stuff.
"I solved all the girls," he whispered at me, wide-eyed, nostrils flaring, "by induction." --http://twitter.com/benthorizon
"There's no business like show business, but there are several businesses like accounting." --David Lettermanhttp://www.familyradio.com/ - end of the world is May 21, 2011. I marked my calendar. No time given, guess it's an "All Day Event".
"The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice..." --MLK Jrhttp://lifehacker.com/5520657/do-you-snooze So "snooze button" sleep is inferior sleep (but you enjoy it more...maybe it's a wash)
I feel ever short of spare time, yet confident I could add in, say, a weekly class. How could time be so squishy? I think it's all the time thinking of what todo next...
The lost iPhone 4 story, with the phone disguised in a 3G case, reminds of how weird it seems that cases are so popular for such a durable and tactiley nice thing.
After dabbling with backpacks, back to courier bags. A child of the 80s, I always feel like a tool using both straps, and worried I might have left a flap open, or vulnerable to pickpockets. Kind of sad I can't remember what I used in college... maybe gym/duffle style bags? Or one that came with my laptop. (In high school it ws gym bags, including this one god awful huge Nike bag, I think ment for sports equipment or something.)
"Truman's in the White House eating bread and jelly. Dewey's in the pig pen rolling on his belly."
Three chains I saw in Cleveland that need to be franchised in New England: Jimmy John's (great fast subs), Steak and Shake, Sport Clips (haircuts)
"Even if a goose has an iron neck, it must have a spot where you can plunge a knife in." --Ha Jin, Waiting. It reminds me of this odd bit of dialog from the Japanese game EDF 2017, something like "Even a seemingly strong defense must have a weak point - find that weakpoint!"
UPDATE The Meryman: Gin, Diet Tonic, Lime, a Splenda. Named after its inventor Amber.
"In the fight between you and the world, back the world." --Frank ZappaA coworker says there's an ocean-based sequel to Avatar coming. My title idea: "Avatar 2: learn THIS language, nerds- 'blurgbuablublubgblurble'"
"Good advice given yrs ago by @atomiota, an old boss: "It may not work, but we're designers, so we try it anyway." I rmmbr that all the time." --http://twitter.com/khoi
"Would you have liked any help?" --Man to disgruntled looking woman finishing up folding laundry in basement, New Yorker cartoon (April 26 2010 issue) Brilliantly concise!Guys with wood chipper working in back lot all day, still not done. Plus it makes me think of Fargo...
Some Sony employee designed these folding studio-ish headphones so the hinge in the back grabs your neck hair when they're around your neck- boo.
Latest anti-pedant gripe: nowadays Decimate means, roughly, leave 10% standing, not destroy 1-in-10. Language evolves, and we're not the Roman military. (OED backs this, a bit)
I need a better word for my anti-pedantic gripes. (e.g. "ATM machine" and "PIN number" actually make sense-redundancy can strengthen language)
I tend to identify people by their hair. Also, when I doodle, I start with the hair (covers and frames head) Related?
Youtube has started irking me lately -- as they add more HD-ish videos, when they offer an array of size choices for people to embded one on their site, they've made it so that the smallest option is about 560 pixels across. Many blogs (including this one) find 500 to be a more pleasant default column size, so the stupid things won't fit.
However, it's generally pretty easy to change the size of a Youtube video, but there's a little bit of annoying math and some fiddly search and replace you have to do to get it right. So I made a new simple gadget off of my tools page, a Youtube Resizer
You just copy and paste in the Youtube embed code, set it to what width you want, and then copy and paste the result. Extremely non-rocket-sciency but it makes my blogging life a bit better.
"i think of my nipples as an umlaut that makes my beer gut more sophisticated" --http://twitter.com/zefrank"One of the things I like best about Al Jazeera English? No fucking comments section." --http://twitter.com/Iron_SpikeI know my head isn't totally into CSS when I try to type foo="bar" type stuff as CSS attributes, not foo:bar;
http://www.slate.com/id/2252140/ - folks at Constantin are pretty much idiotic for taking down the Hitler clips, than running ads-"Mein Gott in Himmel!"
"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." --Dorothea Lange"To describe existing federal policies and regulatory approaches on obesity as a patchwork is an insult to quilts everywhere." --Marc Ambinder, "Beating Obesity" in the latest Atlantichttp://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/faith/heaven-a-fools-paradise-1949399.html - it is pretty amazing that our concept of heaven is so new and so widely held by Americans.
I find it tough not to get paranoid at work whenever someone shuts their office door, even if it's clearly a noise thing.
"Every asshole who ever chanted 'Drill baby drill' should have to report to the Gulf coast today for cleanup duty" --http://twitter.com/billmaherThe MBTA distribution of plastic tap and go Charlie Cards, vs disposable tickets, is so weirdly half-assed. They just leave them lying around, or you gotta find someone to ask....
It reminds me of high-end photography equipment. (Incidentally, in the slashdot story I think I got this from, they were talking about how rare really high end 80s-90s film stuff is going to be-- too expensive to build replacements for as everything shifts to digital...)