Really, I’m still alive, just buried with other things going on. I’ll be back, one of these days…
Riding: five minutes
Recovery: around fifteen minutes
Weight: estimated 156.8 kg (345 lbs)
Couldn’t put in as much time tonight thanks to a mentally very rough time when I got home.
The Washington, DC area is in its second major blizzard of the winter. Where I live we’re expected to receive at least 65 cm (about two feet) of snow—and as of posting time, I think we’ve already surpassed that amount.
[Thanks to my Uncle for passing this on to me!]
The IRS decides to audit Grandpa, and summons him to the IRS office. The IRS auditor was not surprised when Grandpa showed up with his attorney. The auditor said, “Well, sir, you have an extravagant lifestyle and no full-time employment, which you explain by saying that you win money gambling. I”m not sure the IRS finds that believable.”
I’m a great gambler, and I can prove it,” says Grandpa. “How about a demonstration?”
The auditor thinks for a moment and said, “Okay. Go ahead.”
Grandpa says, “I’ll bet you a thousand dollars that I can bite my own eye.”
The auditor thinks a moment and says, “It’s a bet.”
Grandpa removes his glass eye and bites it. The auditor’s jaw drops. Grandpa says, “Now, I’ll bet you two thousand dollars that I can bite my other eye.” Now the auditor can tell Grandpa isn’t blind, so he takes the bet. Grandpa removes his dentures and bites his good eye.
The stunned auditor now realizes he has wagered and lost three grand, with Grandpa’s attorney as a witness. He starts to get nervous.
“Want to go double or nothing?” Grandpa asks “I’ll bet you six thousand dollars that I can stand on one side of your desk, and pee into that wastebasket on the other side, and never get a drop anywhere in between.”
The auditor, twice burned, is cautious now, but he looks carefully and decides there’s no way this old guy could possibly manage that stunt, so he agrees again. Grandpa stands beside the desk and unzips his pants, but although he strains mightily, he can’t make the stream reach the wastebasket on the other side, so he pretty much urinates all over the auditor’s desk.
The auditor leaps with joy, realizing that he has just turned a major loss into a huge win. But Grandpa’s own attorney moans and puts his head in his hands.
“Are you okay?” the auditor asks.
“Not really,” says the attorney. “This morning, when Grandpa told me he’d been summoned for an audit, he bet me twenty-five thousand dollars that he could come in here and piss all over your desk and that you’d be happy about it!”
I keep telling you! Don’t Mess with Old People!
It’s Here! It’s Here! It’s … oh. It’s here.
In case you were deep within the earth yesterday (or, heaven forfend, don’t give a care about Apple), the iconic computer company released its newest hardware to the world yesterday: iPad.
You could say it is the most anticipated consumer electronics device of the year, and you’d be right. Despite attempts by Microsoft and its philosophical slaves to steal Apple’s thunder at CES, by and large what people wanted to see was what Apple delivered on 27 January 2010.
Reactions to the device have ranged from the rhapsodic to disappointment (Gawker had an excellent eight-point attack that apparently was withdrawn almost immediately; I’ll link to it when or if I can). Before we get to my take, check out Apple’s own tech specs page to get a sense of what people will be plunking down anywhere between US$ 499 and 830 (plus up to US$ 30/month) for.
My take: iYawn.
In essence, instead of something revolutionary and paradigm-breaking, the iPad seems to me to be little more than an iPod touch on performance enhancing drugs. Yes, it’s got a (relatively) huge screen; yes, the Apple A4 chip is apparently screaming-fast. And yes, it’ll run 140,000-plus iPhone/iPod touch applications. That’s all fine and dandy.
BUT: It doesn’t run even a single native Mac OS X application.
BUT: Its internal battery charge only lasts for ten hours of use (in reality, probably closer to six), so you’ll need to be fairly tethered to a charging station.
BUT: Its form factor will make it awkward for use for anyone except skinny people who like to hunker down in chairs and prop it up on their legs. The curved back will make it unstable when placed on a flat surface.
BUT: Its optional keyboard dock requires the iPad to be placed in portrait mode for typing and the keyboard is stuck right at the bottom of the iPad, so you’ll end up hunched over it to type (unless you’re short and skinny).
BUT: It comes with 16 GB of space in the base model, so you won’t be able to load much in the way of music, video, and apps. The 64 GB model is more realistic and also $200 more expensive.
BUT: Its basic networking is WiFi-only, so you’ll be tethered to hotspots unless you spend an additional $130 for 3G support plus the cost of a data plan, for which the $30/month plan makes the most logical sense.
BUT: Its larger screen, coupled with its reliance on iPhone OS (Mac OS X mobile? Apple, you need a better moniker for this Mac OS X derivative), means that there’s a good likelihood that the App market will get fractured into big-screen and little-screen apps. How many independent software developers have the resources to develop for both?
BUT: It is a device for consumers. Unless you shell out $9.99–29.97 for the special iPad edition of iWork applications (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote), you really can’t create usable content outside of the Web—and despite the fervent hopes of Web 2.0 disciples, not everything lives online today. If you’re a designer, why would you want to stick to the fairly small number of fonts iPhone OS comes with? If you sync documents with your Mac, what happens when you use an unsupported font in Pages and sync the document to iPad for later? My guess: iPad Pages will bork the fonts.
BUT: It lacks any support for Flash. Yes, Flash is evil suckage and must die, but there’s a long, long time left in its life yet. Have you tried browsing Web sites lately? Flash is pretty darn near ubiquitous, and if I can’t play FarmVille on the iPad, why do I want the big screen?
BUT: It’s a book reader, people will say! Um, sure. An awkward-sized, rigid book reader with an app interface that looks stolen, using DRM-based eBook formats (at least it’s not completely proprietary) and offering books at prices higher than both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I know I’m old-fashioned, but I prefer a book on paper. For one thing, if I accidentally tear a page, I’m not out US$ 500–830.
To quote a friend of mine, iPad is an iPod touch that’s inconvenient to carry and an iPhone that can’t place calls or take pictures. It’s the first time in many years that I’ve been disappointed in new hardware from Apple.
PFR for Breakstone’s Live Active 2% Milkfat Lowfat Cottage Cheese
- “Pre-biotic fiber” = mumbo-jumbo
- A bit bland
- Good source of protein
- Convenient packaging is mostly recyclable
- Serving size: 113 g (4 oz.)
- Likely true serving size: 113 g
- kCal: 90
- Fat (saturated): 2 g (1 g)
- Sodium: 380 mg
- Carbs (fiber): 8 g (3 g)
- Protein: 10 g
- Whole ingredients? Mostly (added inulin, guar gum, “natural flavor”)
- Hidden sugars? No
- HFCS? No
Cottage cheese is pretty good for you, but this super-low-fat variety sacrifices flavor and texture to America’s unreasonable phobia to fat. Breakstone’s also tries to capitalize on the fibre and “pro-biotic” crazes by adding stuff like inulin—about which there’s insufficient evidence that it’s a beneficial form of fibre—to what should be a pretty straightforward product.