Monday, May 31, 2010

On Memorial Day

These days I'm reading No Ordinary Time, an amazing book by the way, and as I've read about the days leading up to World War II,  President Franklin Roosevelt's faith in the American people has been striking -- faith in their ability to meet challenges, to overcome want and to strive despite overwhelming circumstances to make the world safer, fairer and more open.

But he knew that none of that came without a price. That however much isolation from Europe's tyrants we were afforded by ocean borders, as long as we stood for something that flew in the face of subjugation and cruelty, eventually we would have to join the fight.

FDR had no illusions about war's horrors, price and reality. And to whom it would fall to bear their brunt. With the Great War still sharp in Americans' memories and Nazis sweeping through Europe, he committed the country's military materiel (such as it was at the time, given protectionist world views), factory production, and eventually its young men (my father among them) to the second world war in a generation.
I have seen war... . I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded... .  I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed... . I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Acoustic Killers

Lifted from say la vee. An acoustic version of The Killers' "All These Things That I Have Done." What a sweet voice Brandon Flowers has.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Eat mor chikin 4 free

Chick-fil-A will be offering free spicy chicken sandwiches from May 31-June 5.

I am compelled by this. Chick-fil-A chicken is pretty much perfect as it is now, but I love spicy things. I really, really, really hope it's not gross.

You have to make a "reservation," but who cares? Free is free, y'all. And my birthday's that week, so yay.

Go here:

And in other Chick-fil-A news, the last time I ate there I had the nuggets and highly recommend them. Really nice breading-to-chicken ratio thanks to the overall greater surface area.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

There are no words

An engineer's guide to cats.

I... yeah. You just have to watch, really.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Changing my tune on the iPad

I'm a self confessed Apple junkie. I just love how well their products work as well as their design -- so much so, that when my MacBook recently made a pretty serious suicide attempt, I nearly immediately replaced it with an iMac. The laptop has since mysteriously came back to life, more or less, so I still use it occasionally -- when I want to cuddle with Daisy on the couch, for example -- but most of my hardcore work and surfing is now done on the desktop, and I love it, too.

The night last month when I bought my iMac, the Apple Store was just a-swarm with people fiddling with the store's iPads. And, really, I just didn't get the furor at all. Its screen was too small, I thought, to be of real work use. And even if it were bigger, it's hard to produce multi-page documents if you're typing on a faux (touch screen) keyboard. I already have and love a Kindle, so its book reading ability didn't suck me in. And its ability to watch videos wasn't a selling point for me. Basically, I need a portable computer to be a portable computer, not an overly ambitious iPod touch. This was the first Apple product* that I wasn't drawn to at once.

But then, I read this today from Gizmodo. And as quickly as that, my mind has been changed:
I went nearly 24 hours without charging my iPad, watching four hours of video, reading books for a couple of hours, getting in a few rounds of Strategery, and still had a bit less than half of my battery life left when I hit the ground three planes later. That longevity changes the experience profoundly, more than making up for the iPad's deficiencies for me. Except for editing video, there's not a single thing in my workflow that I can't do on the iPad, and I haven't even begun to experiment using VNC or other screen sharing tools to connect back to my iMac to access its "real" computing power.
But I returned from this trip convinced that this form factor has legs. (And everything I came to appreciate about the iPad's merit as a travel computer should apply to Android and WebOS tablets, if and when those actually make it to market with a consumer-friendly level of UX refinement.) Since I have a power-guzzling traditional computer on my desktop to do all the heavy lifting when I'm home, I don't see a place for my laptop in my life right now. I had an inkling that might have been the case when I bought my iPad, but I had to take a leap of faith to be sure.
If the iPad can easily produce documents with the simple addition of a Bluetooth keyboard, weigh next to nothing and have a really long battery life, then it meets all the needs I could want out of my MacBook. Whenever my MacBook finally does die for real, I know what my next Apple purchase will be.

* Leaving aside iPhones because I have/had cell phone provider/Outlook compatibility issues that drove my decisions in this arena.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A vending machine made of win

Yep, that's bacon in there.

And various other forms of meat. But really, the bacon is the point.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010


To: Fellow neighbors on Wisteria Lane
From: Mild-Mannered Lady Who Does Her Best to Keep to Herself
Re: I have apparently found my breaking point

So, I don't say anything when your pot and/or cigarette smoke drifts over the fence and through my open windows. Or when you decide that the thing to do at 12:30 AM is to throw yourself, cannonball-style, into your pool, whooping when you hit the water. Or when your garage band practices and one of the guitarists (because you need more than one when all your "band" seems to play is the same section of Steely Dan over and over...) is flat, seriously flat -- to the point that I, a non-musician, cringe pretty regularly at the dissonance. It's all part of living in a community. Or something.

But I am not kidding when I say this -- turn down the freaking Nickelback. I can't make you turn it off completely, I don't guess, and I can't blame you for wanting to blast music while you're composting your plants or cleaning your pool or whatever, but if you continue to bombard your general vicinity that faux rock music after the sun goes down, I guess we'll see what our little suburb's noise ordinances specify about appropriate times of day and decibel levels. Because aside from being clear about the depravity of my sin and my complete reliance on Christ to pay the price for it, I am also pretty clear about music. And Nickelback? No. Just -- no.

To: Boo
From: The Human You Barely Tolerate Who Feeds and Houses You
Re: It's me or the vet -- you make the call

Cat litter? In your eyes? Both of them at the same time? How did you do this? And why won't you let me get it all out so you can see and/or not get some sort of really gross infection?

And while we're at it -- stop growling at me. Honestly.

From: Frequent viewer
Re: All sizzle, no steak

Your new fangled high def studio makes me dizzy. It's oddly open and the camera crews following the "talent" around are really distracting and the new graphics packages often contain misspelled words or are incorrectly punctuated.

You've got too many things going on, and too few of them are news.