Since it's been so long since we've spoken, I've amassed a number of things I wanted to share with you. Sadly, I've forgotten most of them. Here's the first one I remember.
1) I can no longer live under the protective mantra of "Oh, I'd never BUY an iPhone, I just use this one because I won it in a contest." That's right. I bought an iPhone 3G. Go ahead, mock -- I'll wait. So the purchasal of the 3G is noteworthy for another reason: it marked my first venture into an Apple Store.
Know how when, walking into a skyscraper or something, there's often an air pressure differential? Where, you can feel the conditioned air ruffling your clothes and hair as you open the door? That's what the Apple Store is like, except that the pressure differential is not with the air, it's with SMUG. You can sort of smell the smug leaking out around the doorframe as you approach, but when you open that door... it's almost overpowering. If my hair weren't firmly glazed up in a mohawk prior to entering, the blast of smug would surely have formed a fauxhawk of some sort. Those hipster glasses? They're not so much for fashion as they are EYE PROTECTION from the smug.
The first thing you notice about the Apple Store is just how many employees there are. The second thing you notice is that none of them can actually HELP you. I asked if they had any 3Gs in stock and was told:
"Yep! We sure do!"
I let a full beat pass before adding:
"Well, can I BUY one?"
This required her flagging down some other hipster employee, who passed me off at least 3 more times. Then I was left standing for 5 minutes while the latest hipster went to go try to find a 3G for me to purchase. While Hipster #5 was in search of my iPhone, I got to witness a conversation that nearly made my head explode. It was between a Typical Mac Owner and an Apple Store Hipster, and it went like this:
TMO: "Hi, I bought this iPhone and I can't get it to work."
ASH: "Oh? What happened?"
TMO: "Well, I plugged it into my Mac and iTunes said it needed to upgrade itself to version 7.7"
TMO: "So I tried to do that, but it said it couldn't."
ASH: "Right. You must be running Kitten."
TMO: "Yeah. I am."
ASH: "WELL, iTunes 7.7 requires that you be running Sabretooth, not Kitten."
TMO: "Oh. So I need to upgrade in order to use this $200 phone I just bought?"
TMO: "So I just run Mac Update --"
ASH: "Oh, no, you have to BUY Sabretooth. That'll be $299."
TMO: "Wait... so, in order to use this $200 phone I just bought, I have to spend like another $300 to upgrade my operating system first?"
TMO: "... ... OK! Let's do that! HERE ARE MY CREDIT CARDS!"
That conversation ACTUALLY HAPPENED. Geez. Apple customers...
Anyway, all said and done, I got out of there with an iPhone 3G. Most of the smug did eventually come off -- not all of it, mind you; Apple smug can never really be completely removed. I still catch my internal monologue mocking people without iPhones sometimes.
After getting home, I proceeded to get all the contacts from my old iPhone to show up on the new one. This took 45 minutes of frustrated fighting with iTunes on D's machine. In the end, after only ending up with the contents of D's Outlook contacts on my phone, I decided to try letting iTunes sync my contacts to Google Contacts. That did the trick. Except that now every email address that has ever sent mail to my gmail account is now a contact on my iPhone. Good thing the phone app filters contacts to show only the ones that have phone numbers associated -- wait? It DOESN'T filter them? Whose stupid frakking idea was THAT? So now, in addition to thousands of contacts on my phone, all the people who have both a phone number AND were in my Google Contacts have duplicate entries in my address book. Well, not DUPLICATE, per se; one has phone number, another has email address. Thanks, Apple.
So the iPhone 3G has GPS capability that is quite awesome. Many apps support it, allowing you to, for instance, look up movie listings without having to put in a location. Find which of the five Starbuckses that you can currently see is the closest. Stuff like that. It's really great -- or WOULD be, if it didn't always think I was in Houston, Texas whenever 3G is turned on. (Which is pretty much always... why would you turn it OFF?)
Despite this annoying crap, a jailbroken iPhone is by far the most "open" internet device/phone I've ever used, so I'm unapologetic about my love for it. It does make me feel a little funny, though, being seen with one. The anti-hipster in me cringes and can only be quieted by showing it all the awesome stuff MY iPhone can do that Apple doesn't approve of.
That preposition at the end of that sentence means it's time for me to once again bid you adieu.
Free Pornography From a Dead Guy? (Vancouver, WA)
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: 2008-04-07, 2:53PM PDT
My dad died at the end of last September. I loved my dad a lot. We didn't really see that much of each other, but when we did it was always pleasant. I was positively crushed by stress and anxiety while dealing with the whole ordeal. I'm sure you understand.
Anyway, while going through his effects, I came across a surprising stash of porn DVDs, which, judging by his checking account ledger, he got from Adam and Eve through mail-order. At first I was like, "Hey! Free porn!" but then I got kind of creeped out about learning of the preferences my dad may or may not have had in the bedroom. What if they're weird? What If I like them? Could I live with learning about exciting new fetishes from my dead father?
I decided that -- free porn or no -- I really don't want to go there.
So, my devastating loss is your gain! If you'd like a small plastic bag full of 8-10 pornographic DVD films (and to have a description of your appearance appear on my blog when I write about this transaction) drop me a line at email@example.com to arrange a time to come pick them up.
I will not be listing titles or anything, as I've spent the last 6 months forgetting what it was that I saw when I briefly went through them. You will be required to take the whole bag; no picking and choosing. You also will be required to say "I'm sorry for your loss, but thank you for the porn." I hope this isn't a problem.
You must also provide a proof of age that is at least believable enough to fool the guy who runs the 7-11 where you purchase your Smirnoff Ice. I don't want to get busted for contributing to the delinquency of minors, you know. Now that I think of it, if you wanted to bring me some Smirnoff Ice in exchange for the porn, I sure wouldn't pass it up.
In any case, if you're in the market for a free bag-o-dead-guy-porn (and understand that it is porn that once belonged to a guy who is now dead, not FEATURING a dead guy. Heck, if it was, I might keep them myself) drop me a line and come get them.
firstname.lastname@example.org in Vancouver
Well crap. Apparently pornography is not permitted to be sold on craigslist.
mmy doctor hasw forbade me moving it for a fortnight.
typing with one handf is hard.
so if you're wondering what;s becime of me, thisd ought to splain it.
no accidents, just genetics.., and what a nice nurse referred to as "magician hands."
The truly sad thing is thast extracuriicular hand activities such as juggling, card manipulation, sculpting, typing, opening shampoo bottles, fingernail clipping, etc are now right out. hopefully these things will one day be part of my life again, but i'm not holdfing my breath. frowny face.
A few months back D decided to make every possible effort to cut high-fructose corn syrup out of her diet (for a variety of reasons). One of the biggest problems she encountered was ketchup; it all seemed to contain copious amounts of that evil substance.
Then she found Heinz™'s "Low Carb" variety, which containd no high-fructose corn syrup. I haven't tasted it, so I can't vouch for whether it's any good or not, I'm just throwin' it out there in case you desire it and didn't know it existed.
Because so many of the blogs I read have been "monetizing," or raking in loads of essentially-free money, I've decided to take steps to do the same myself. People seem to enjoy reading about other peoples' money-making ventures, so I figure this in and of itself will ensure that I attract new readers, which will then bring me more money, which I will write about, which will bring me more readers, which will...
Whoa. Stuck in a loop there...
Anyway, the problem I'm facing is that I think advertising is inherently evil. I use AdBlock in conjunction with a community-maintained list of blocking rules such that I never ever see any ads. To me, simply putting ads on my site would be evil; putting them there while I myself block them would be hypocritically evil. Or evilly hypocritical.
So, with that in mind, I did some emailing around and ended up hooking up with an underwriter that I'm pretty happy with. They provide me with money, I never talk about what they get in return. Talk about a perfect relationship...
Lest you worry that things will change as a result of this new financial focus, I'll make this pledge to you right now: You the reader won't notice any difference as a result of my newfound financial support; I'll just be able to afford more Heinz™ Yellow Mustard -- which, if you ask me, is the finest yellow mustard money can buy. If your local grocer doesn't carry Heinz™ Yellow Mustard, then you owe it to yourself to ask them to stock it.
I've been a long-time flickr user, having signed up and paid for a pro account way back in the day, staying relatively happy most of this time. Now, though, I seem to be unable to access my account due to some malicious behavior on the part of one or more of your users.
It seems as if some jerk has hacked your site, and is currently engaging in some sort of "phishing" activity, because the site now requires me to give my personal information to them before I can access my account -- or any other flickr page, for that matter. Even pictures submitted by my friends and contacts cannot be viewed until I submit my personal information to them. They're going by the vaguely-insulting moniker "Yahoo!," which I can only assume means "Yahoo! All these people are giving me their personal information... muhaha. Now I'll pet my overly-furry white cat."
I figured that this is surely something you'd want to know about so you can take steps to ensure that this "Yahoo!" guy doesn't keep persisting with this identity-theft ruse. I'm not giving my information to "Yahoo!," so anything you can do would be appreciated.
Also: I was bothered enough by your seemingly lacking security (if someone can hack it so that everything a user does would require submitting information to a dubiously sketchy individual, it's sure not making me feel confident that my information is secure) that I was tempted to delete my account. Oddly, I discovered that in order to do so, I'd have to give my info to "Yahoo!" first.
Let me repeat that. I'm upset that I don't want to give this "Yahoo!" guy my info, so I decided to delete my account, but to do that, I have to give my info to "Yahoo!" first??!
This is just too much.
Oh, also: I could no longer find any kind of contact info on your site, so I just sorta guessed at an email address that seemed plausible. Just to be safe, I've posted this letter on my fairly popular blog so that you might find it in your referral logs in the event that it gets lost on its way to you.
Throughout history, many of mankind's greatest leaders in political and military strategy, rational thought, and respectableness have worn beards. There's Abe Lincoln, General Custer, Col. Sanders, Ulysses S. Grant, and many, many more. The list simply boggles the mind.
It was with this idea in mind that I've decided to take an unconventional look at the candidates for 2008's US Presidential election as they stand now. I've taken the most-viable two (as the radio host and callers I listened to the other day decided) candidates from both the Republican-Americans and the Democrat party and examined them for beard-worthyness. In theory, the one with the best beard will win.
Mitt has his work cut out for him if he wants to overcome the negative stigma that most Americans give to being a Mormon. From the looks of his beard, however, Mitt is in very good standing. Nice coloration gives him a statesmanly appearance, with only the slightest hint of crazy. (In these uncertain times, I believe that we could really use a bit of crazy in a leader.)
I think he's ahead of Barack at this point, despite his Latter-Day Saint background.
Being a woman would typically count a contender out of both a beard contest and a Presidential election, but Ms. Clinton has made some incredible inroads this election cycle. Americans are slowly coming around to accepting her vision of the future, and are rather impressed with the amount of growth she can achieve -- both in her poll numbers and her facial hair. Sure, her beard isn't quite up on par with that of a man's, but I think that in light of her not being one, the beard is the least of her troubles.
She's done better than I would have expected, but she's currently trailing behind both Obama and Romney at this point.
As you can very clearly see, despite his reliance on headwear, Senator McClane comes out head and shoulders above the rest of his competition. His beard is incredibly distinguished, very becoming, and has more than enough crazy in there to get the job done.
I'm currently calling the 2008 Presidential election in favor of Senator John McClane. Sure, he's a Republican, but if a member of the Democrat party comes forward with a better beard, I'll gladly throw my vote their way. Nearly every day someone new suggests that they might be throwing in their hat (and/or towel), so we'll have to see how it goes.
1: I was as surprised as you to hear he was a Senator, but in all the talk on the radio I heard the other day, everyone kept referring to him as "Senator John McClane." Who am I to argue with people who clearly know more than me?
I try to avoid politics as much as humanly possible, but today heard some speculation about possible Republican candidates. One in particular jumped right out at me as a particularly great choice, and I immediately decided to back him.
Unable to find any campaign materials online, I decided to make my own.
I haven't mentioned my struggles with substance abuse for some time, because really, who wants to hear a bunch of whining about how "I have a DISEASE"? (I'm guessing not you.)
To sum up things up, I haven't consumed a Vault soda since Christmas. I haven't even thought about it, really. I'd say I'm well on my way to recovery, and it's really no big deal.
However, on my way home from the gym this morning, I stopped off at Carl's Jr. to feed my newest addiction: The Carl's Jr. Breakfast Burger. If you haven't seen this monstrosity, it's a 1/4lb burger with eggs, bacon, hashbrowns and cheese on it. In short; it's the most calorie-laden breakfast sandwich on the market, topping out McDonald's once-champion McGriddle by a considerable margin. It is also the most delicious thing in the world.
Anywho, I rolled into the drive-thru as I've been doing every Friday morning for the last month or so, and found that they've added a new addition to the array of enticing-looking advertisements: a large glossy sign proclaiming that any breakfast combo would (for a limited time, natch) come with a free 12oz. can of Vault, complete with glistening beads of condensation lovingly tracing its curves.
I know what you're thinking: I fell off the wagon.
You're right, but hey, cut me some slack. I have a disease after all....
Mina needs her teeth trimmed, and she had a 2pm appointment to do so. I sat at my computer at about noon and worked on stuff, finally noticing that it was 2:51 and I had completely spaced through her appointment.
I called them to apologize and try to beg for another appointment, but I got put on hold and then told I'd be called back when they weren't as busy.
So now I'm waiting for a callback, one I totally don't deserve.
I hate it when people miss appointments, and now I'm that guy :(
Despite what my little Harry Potter map shows, we are spending the weekend at the coast, in Lincoln City, OR.
The hotel at which we've chosen to stay is pretty crappy, but that's part of the reason we've always opted to stay there. It's cheap, right on the beach, and tucked away off of "the main drag" that makes up Lincoln City.
This time, however, we've found it too be just a bit too cheap for a variety of reasons.
Last night we could tell that the people on the left were watching "CSI: Miami," not because we could hear the TV (well, we could hear the TV, but having never seen "CSI: Miami," we wouldn't know it from "CSI" or "CSI: Lancaster, PA1"), but because we could clearly hear them say "Ooh! Let's watch 'CSI: Miami!'" in an only slightly louder-than-normal voice.
There is no fan in the bathrom, meaning you either have to suffocate in shower steam, or open the window -- the window that is at eye level for anyone who needs to walk by. Everyone needs to walk by. The lack of fan in the bathroom gives those of us with constantly-ringing ears an extra bit of poop-shy that we really don't need. Also, tiiiiny round bowl. Also, 3/4 grit toilet paper (not that I'll be needing that...)
Highlight of the trip so far: while the neighbors were watching "CSI: Miami," they kind of argued a little over something I couldn't make out, and then the guy said "Would you pleaaase get your finger out of my ass?
1: Watching Jebediah, Ezekiel, and Sarah use turn-of-the-century forensic techniques (such as "dusting for dust") to determine who tainted the funnel cake batter, which buggy-racing teens were responsible for the hit-and-run homicide, and whether or not that collapsed rocking chair was foul play might just get me to tune in. (Call me, Jerry!)
Today I remembered an amusing story from my childhood, so I figured I'd share it here.
When I was 7 or 8 I recall visiting my grandmother, where I would watch The Edison Twins on the Disney Channel whenever possible. (We had recently canceled our subscription to the Disney Channel, and I missed The Edison Twins severely.)
One time mid-episode, my mother and grandmother came in, switched off the tv, and sat me down for an important talk. This was a bit unnerving, but I wasn't too perturbed because I knew how this particular episode ended, but I sure was wierded out.
It turns out my grandmother had convinced my mom that it was time to tell me about the dangers of The Pot. I learned that people would be offering The Pot to me, and that I should say no when they did, no matter how cool they made it sound.
I recall being pretty spechless, other than asking just what it was that people expected me to do with The Pot when it was offered, and was it anything like the teapot grandma used.
"Oh. Well, no... It's green and you'd smoke it," was the answer I eventually got after much meaning-conveying glancing between my mother and her mother.
I recall wondering just why in the heck I'd want to do that, already having learned that Smoking Is Bad. I don't know why smoking a different substance would suddenly be OK, but I guess that hadn't occurred to them. Maybe they just weren't as tight with Smokey the Bear and Hootsie the Owl as I was, and didn't know what I had already been convinced of through simple logic; smoking causes forest fires and pollution, two things I'd never want to do. I can't imagine how anti-smoking I'd have been if McGruff the Crime Dog had gotten in on the action as well.
In case you're wondering, I was eventually offered The Pot, but not until I was in my early twenties.