Saturday, January 30, 2010

What is this, Russia?

From Sports Illustrated:

The Obama administration is considering several steps that would review the legality of the controversial Bowl Championship Series...

Several lawmakers and many critics want the BCS to switch to a playoff system, rather than the ratings system it uses to determine the teams that play in the championship game.

"The administration shares your belief that the current lack of a college football national championship playoff with respect to the highest division of college football ... raises important questions affecting millions of fans, colleges and universities, players and other interested parties," Weich wrote.

Weich made note of the fact that President Barack Obama, before he was sworn in, had stated his preference for a playoff system. In 2008, Obama said he was going to "to throw my weight around a little bit" to nudge college football toward a playoff system, a point that Hatch stressed when he urged Obama last fall to ask the department to investigate the BCS.

Now this is ridiculous. The government wants to dictate how college football championships are determined????

I have no words. Part of me would love to see them try to do it. What better way to piss off millions of people, literally across America than to screw around with football. But I stand on principle: Congress and Obama - get your damn hands out of our lives and quit prying into things that are none of your damn business.

Livid. Eyes red. Blood streaming from my ears... Can't. see. straight...

Sam Houston State, your posters suck.

Sam Houston State University is my alma mater. I loved my time there and got a good education. And I still talk it up every chance I get. Today I'm judging a student art scholarship event at Brenham high school and saw this poster as I was walking down the hall.

My problem is with the very first word, "see." There seems to be an implied "we'll" in front of the word "see" when used at the beginning of the sentence. Any promotional poster that seems to say "we'll see (if) success unfold(s)" is a poor poster. That's how I read the poster before I even saw who the poster was for.

I know you seem to be trying to own the word "success" lately, but even that seems like a mistake to me. Your billboards with a grad cap and the word "success" aren't inspiring and don't evoke any emotion or make people want to learn more about the school. Success is relative. Is graduation success? No, it's not. But that's what your billboards seem to be saying. Never mind the fact that it's not even clear if you mean high school graduation or college graduation. And if graduation is success, then most high school seniors are already this close to success.

Besides, it just seems so generic. Any college can throw a graduation cap on a billboard with the word success. What makes SHSU special? Where's the differentiation? That's why you spend money on a billboard - to tell people why you're different.

You need a real advertising campaign. You need someone who understands the Sam Houston brand and how to make it stand out from the hundreds of other colleges in Texas. You need energy. You need to expect better. You need to cultivate your image better. Cheap crap like this only hurts the image of the school in the long run.

Tell us why you're different. Don't promise success because success means different things to different people, and there a lot of levels of success. Promise excellence. Inspire. That's what kids want from the college they choose.

As it is, you might as well come out and promise mediocrity. Because that's what your advertising implies.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Video of the Day: Trunk Monkey Chaperone

There are lots of trunk monkey spots, but this one makes me laugh every time.

J.D. Salinger Dead at 91

From the NYTimes:

J. D. Salinger, who was thought at one time to be the most
important American writer to emerge since World War II but
who then turned his back on success and adulation, has died
in Cornish, N.H., where he lived in seclusion for more than
50 years, his son told The Associated Press. He was 91.

Mr. Salinger's literary reputation rests on a slender but
enormously influential body of published work: the novel "The
Catcher in the Rye," the collection "Nine Stories" and two
compilations, each with two long stories about the fictional
Glass family: "Franny and Zooey" and "Raise High the Roof
Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction."

I just watched Finding Forrester, based loosely on Salinger, last weekend. I read Catcher in the Rye, finally, last year and I'm glad I did.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thoughts on the iPad

I must admit that I'm a little underwhelmed by the iPad. I was expecting something truly ground-breaking and while it appears pretty cool, I'm not going to be a first-day adopted like I was with the iPhone.

Here's why:

1. A4 - Apple's first home-rolled processor. Sounds cool, looks cool. But my experience has taught me to wait. Apple's first-ever technology is usually limited or buggy. I'll wait for the A5 for them to get some of the kinks out.

2. No multi-tasking - running apps in the background is a must for a large-scale version of the iPhone. I put up with it on my phone because I'm simply amazed that something so small can do so much. But the iPad is approaching the size of a laptop. Until the iPad can do more than one thing at a time, I'm not in.

3. Data storage- one reason I'd want an iPad is to take with me on the road instead of lugging my laptop with me. I generally either go on the road for photo trips or for conferences, and I tend to take photos at each. I want to be able to work with those photos in the field and view them on a high resolution monitor. Lack of data storage or the ability to hook up my camera to the iPad (which I'm assuming, since no mention was made of it and because you can't do it on an iPhone) is a deal breaker.

4. The name. iPad? Really? Even one of my non-tech friends at work said, "what a stupid name. They obviously didn't have any women in the focus group that named that thing." Exactly. It' too easy to make fun of, and in fact, already has been. Besides, with a name like iPad, you'd expect to be able to draw on it like you would a yellow legal pad. I was expecting some handwriting recognition at the least.

5. iPhone OS - I love the iPhone OS on my phone. But on a quasi-laptop I expect something a little more robust and versatile. I want to be able to store files and move them around. I want the iPad to be an extension of my desktop, not an extension of my phone. I was really hoping that the iPad would be based on Mac OSX instead of iPhone OS.

6. No tactile response - One thing I'm NOT looking forward to doing is typing o the iPad's screen. Typing on the iPhone is tough enough, but it's manageable because of the small space involved and the fact that I usually only use one finger. With what looks like an almost full-size keyboard, I think it's going to be tough to type on flat glass without some sort of feedback. I have lazy fingers, and I tend to rest one or more of them on the keyboard as I type. That seems like a recipe for error on the iPad. If there was some sort of tactile response, surely, Steve would have mentioned it, right?

7. Sound quality - This is one o those buggy things I mentioned before in first draft products from Apple. I still have a first-gen iPhone that you can barely hear when it's on speakerphone or when it rings. They fixed the problem in the iPhone3G, but I'm concerned. The speakers appear to only be on one side of the bottom of the iPad. What about stereo output? It seems like a poor way to watch video or listen to music if I don't want to use headphones.

8. No camera - I was really, really shocked that there's no camera. I mean, if the iPhone 3G S and the iPod Nano can have one and shoot video, why can't the iPad? Seems like a no-brainer. But alas, it' s missing. That kills A LOT of iPhone apps. I know, I know... the iPod Touch doesn't have a camera, but this is the Jesus Tablet, right? It deserves a camera. And as a side note, does it even have a microphone? [Update: Sorry. I somehow missed the mic on the specs page.]

So there it is. My quick list of why I'm not really excited about buying the first generation iPad. I'll be heading to the Apple store as soon as they come out because I want to hold one, in the same way that I wanted to hold the MacBook Air. But just like the Air, its limitations outweigh its coolness factor for me to want one now.

How to attract a man

Ladies, come over here and sit with me for a moment. I have some wisdom to impart. Please don't sit on my lap, ma'am - it's not that kind of blog.

Today I want to tell you how to attract a man. Yes, any man.* Being a man, I happen to know a little bit about the subject. It's really quite simple, and it all has to do with smell.

First, throw all that flowery perfume crap away. No man worth attracting is going to go for you because you smell like roses. Only florists and gay men find that kind of thing attractive. No, the key is to wear a scent that men enjoy, and it comes down to three basic scents that can't go wrong. Simply pick one and wear it and you'll have men falling all over themselves for you.

The three scents that will attract any man* are:
1. grilled meat
2. grass clippings
3. campfire

It's just that simple. Smell like any one of those three things and you're golden. Just don't get creative and mix and match. No one likes grilled grass clippings.

You're welcome.

* Tom Cruise, broadway dancers and Barney Frank excluded, if you get my drift. ;)

What I really want Apple to unveil today

Tablet, schmablet. (Can I say that on a blog? Just did. Suck it.)

I really want Apple to release a new MacPro today with like 20 cores or something. I'm supposed to be getting a new Mac at work, and I want some new hotness sitting on my desk.

When I got my current work computer, a PowerMac G5 dual 2.3GHz, in 2005 I had, for over a year, not only the fastest computer in the company but also more storage space sitting on my desktop than were in all the company servers combined downstairs.

That has since changed, but it was awesome while it lasted, and I want that power again.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Open letter to AT&T

Dear AT&T,

You give me rollover minutes each month. I currently have somewhere near a kabillion.

Why, then, don't you give me rollover texts at the end of every month? It really, really would have come in handy last week when I was working a conference and used all my allotted texts communicating with my coworkers in other parts of the hotel.

Thanks for the consideration. And for the shitty customer service.

Yours truly,


Past meets present.

Really, really cool idea.

via Inspire Me Now

The Trilogy Meter

Remember the time Star Wars got really stupid and uncool?


Uh oh. Somewhere, Steve is pissed.

The CEO of McGraw-Hill spills the beans on tomorrow's announcement, confirming not only that the announcement is, in fact, a tablet but that the tablet is based on the iPhone OS.

I would hate to be this guy when the black helicopters arrive at his house tonight.

Video of the Day: Red House Furniture

If you thought yesterday's local furniture advertisement was awesome, you're going to LOVE this one...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Video of the Day: Gary's Mattress

Classic. Who says local advertising is supposed to suck?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Gruber thinks so, too.

John Gruber at Daring Fireball agrees with me in my post from last week regarding the potential name for the new Apple tablet device: iBook.

And I agree with him in that even if it's not iBook, I doubt it will be iPad.

New Genius Mix

I haven't looked at my Genius Mixes in awhile in iTunes, but this morning when I did I saw a new one: Honky Tonk & Outlaw Mix.

Hell, yeah.

Waiter! There's a Democrat in My Soup!

Some quotes from the debt story I linked to earlier. Ridiculous. And these clowns wonder why the American people are in damn near revolt. Morons.

Congress has never failed to increase the borrowing limit.

"We have gone to the restaurant. We have eaten the meal. Now the only question is whether we will pay the check," said Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont. "We simply must do so."

A White House policy statement said the increase "is critically important to make sure that financing of federal government operations can continue without interruption and that the creditworthiness of the United States is not called into question."

Less than a decade ago, $1.9 trillion would have been enough to finance the operations and programs of the federal government for an entire year. Now, it's only enough to make sure Democrats can avoid another vote before Election Day.

Would You Look at the Size of That Lens?

This is the lens I mentioned
a few days ago.

And don't be worried - it's only dangerous when it's pointed at you.

Democrats propose $1.9T increase in debt limit

From Yahoo News:

WASHINGTON – Senate Democrats on Wednesday proposed allowing the federal government to borrow an additional $1.9 trillion to pay its bills, a record increase that would permit the national debt to reach $14.3 trillion.

You shouldn't pay bills with credit. If you do, it's a sign of a much bigger problem.

Besides, didn't they just raise the debt limit over Christmas while no one was looking? Amazing that Congress has the power to both give themselves pay raises and increase the limits of their credit. You try that at home, folks...

Monday, January 18, 2010


I'm at a work conference for a few days where my primary role is as
photographer, along with my buddy Matt. A friend of ours let us borrow
a couple of L-series lenses - a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L
and a 24-70 - which have made
all the difference.

In years past I've slogged through my photography duties with our
really crappy plastic kit lenses. It was really a chore sometimes. But
yesterday I found myself really enjoying my work.

One thing that has changed is that instead of trying to shoot like a
photojournalist or a party pic photographer, I've been trying to get
more beautiful and artistic shots like you might see a wedding
photographer take. That has been challenging, but fun. And the fast
lenses make a lot more of a difference than I thought they would.

I've also cemented something that has been kinda creeping up on me as
of late that I just wasn't ready to deal with- I'm a natural light
guy. By that I mean that I prefer to use avIlable light to shoot
rather than any sort of flash.

Matt is a flash guy, and I've dubbed him a "flashist." He loves to use
lights and umbrellas and remote slave flashes. And he gets some great
results that I wish I could get when I try to use lights. But I just
prefer natural highlights and shadows and the great texture that comes
with them. It just looks more real to me.

Using a really fast lens has allowed me to do that to a degree that I
haven't been able to before. And I'm hooked. I can't afford any L
lenses, but I'm going to but a 50mm prime 1.4 as soon as I can.

When I get back home and get some shots downloaded I'll post some of
my favorite shots here.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cocaine Found in Space Shuttle Hangar

From the UK Sun:

A BAG of cocaine has been found in a Space Shuttle hangar - sparking a Nasa investigation.

US space chiefs fear an employee was seeking a different kind of out-of-this-world experience in the restricted area at Kennedy Space Centre, Florida.

About 200 staff and contractors have access to the hangar, which houses the shuttle Discovery.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Superman: The Man of Tomorrow

Did you know that Superman's original origin, as pitched to Flash Gordon artist Russell Keaton in 1935, was that of a time-traveling baby sent back from the future just as Earth exploded?

Me neither, at least until reading this letter from Superman creator Jerome Seigel.

Imagine how different the Superman mythos (and our culture today) would be if Superman's origin hadn't been as an alien from Krypton?


AppleInsider Rips Me Off

Prior to my post the other day pontificating that a new tablet device from Apple might be, in part, an ebook reader I had never read anywhere anyone speculate that the name might be iBook.

And then today there's this post, over at AppleInsider.

I demand ... well, I don't know what I demand. But I demand it! And Now! And I want three of them!!!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I Have a New Favorite Blog.

My pal, Mark, began a blog of very own with a very similar intention to Destructoville - to link to things that he finds interesting and to let off a little steam.

Mark is an incredible designer and, as with most things, his design puts anything I'm doing to shame. So it's no surprise that his blog is just beautiful, as well as well written.

So when you get a chance, be sure to check out Subata, Today.

And be sure to tell him Destructo sent you.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Help Text 1.0

Thanks to Matt.

Apple's Book Reader?

There have been many report lately regarding Apple's still-mythical tablet. I've weighed in with my fantasy device, as well.

And there have been reports that Apple is working with publishers on an e-book reader of their own, similar to a Kindle.

So what would an Apple tablet/e-book reader be named? It's so obvious, I almost fell out of my chair when it hit me.

How about iBook?

I can hear Steve making recycling jokes on stage already...

Removable Battery in iPhone 4?

Via AppleInsider:

The Korea Times claimed Tuesday that sources at KT said the new phone would have an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen, would feature video chat functionality, and a removable battery is "highly likely." The report also said the new iPhone would include dual-core processors, more powerful graphics capabilities, and a superior camera.

I find this all "highly likely," except the part about the removable battery. First, it's not the Apple way. And second, aside from the outcry around the time the original iPhone came out in 2007, when people just couldn't fathom not being able to change out their battery because they had never used a device that didn't have a removable battery, I haven't hard a peep of complaint about wanting a removable/exchangeable battery. People moan about battery life, but mainly from people who use it all day on the web or watching video. There's no phone that's going to be able to be able to last all day every day like that in constant high processor usage.

El Dorado Found (Thanks, Google Earth)

From the Times Online:

Since the time of the conquistadors, the legend of an ancient, lost civilisation deep in the Amazon forest has beguiled hundreds of explorers and led many to their deaths.

Three scientists have now come close to doing just that. The journal Antiquity has published a report showing more than 200 massive earthworks in the upper Amazon basin near Brazil’s border with Bolivia. From the sky it looks as if a series of geometric figures has been carved into the earth, but the archeologists and historians who published the report believe these shapes are the remains of roads, bridges, moats, avenues and squares that formed the basis for a sophisticated civilisation spanning 155 miles, which could have supported a population of 60,000. The remains date from AD200 to 1283.


Earn it.

Don't just assume that you have someone's loyalty. Just because I pay
a premium or dues or a subscription fee - or if you pay me - doesn't
mean I won't go somewhere else if I feel as if I'm not wanted or if
I'm not getting my money's worth.

Earn my business. If I'm a member of your organization, stay in
meaningful contact with me, other than just at dues time. If I'm a
customer of your business, don't make me feel as if my business
doesn't really matter. If I'm a subscriber to your magazine, give me
something not only worth reading, bit worth saving or sharing with my
friends. If I pay a fee for a service, dont penalize me when i need
to use thag service And if I do work for you - on a salary or
freelance basis - let me know that I've done a good job and that your
(hopefully more than) satisfied with my work - at times other than
just my yearly performance evaluation or when it's time for your next

Don't take me for granted, on any level.

( this wasn't written toward anyone or any group in particular, just a
random thought about good customer service. )

A Very Cold Winter

It was Early October and the Indians on a distant reservation in Montana asked their new chief if the coming winter was going to be cold or mild.

Since he was a chief in a modern time, he had never been taught the old secrets. When he looked at the sky, he couldn't tell what the winter was going to be like.

Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he told his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect firewood to be prepared.

But, being a practical leader, after several days, he got an idea. He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked, 'Is the coming winter going to be cold?'

“It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold,' the meteorologist at the weather service responded.

So the chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more firewood in order to be prepared.

A week later, he called the National Weather Service again. 'Does it still look like it is going to be a very cold winter?'

'Yes,' the man at National Weather Service again replied, 'it's going to be a very cold winter.'

The chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of firewood they could find.

Two weeks later, the chief called the National Weather Service again. 'Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?'

'Absolutely,' the man replied. 'It's looking more and more like it is going to be one of the coldest winters we've ever seen.'

'How can you be so sure?' the chief asked.

The weatherman replied, "The Indians are collecting firewood like crazy!"

Thanks to Jim Gentil for sharing this story.

It's Not About the Media

I was very disappointed yesterday when I flipped on the radio and heard first the local guys in Houston, then Limbaugh and Hannity in a full fledged tizzy - not over the substance of what Harry Reid said, but instead about the double standard that exists for Democrats who say such things.

It's not about the media, guys. Make no mistake - there's hypocrisy going on here, but it's not on the part of the media. It's on the part of the "black community and black "leaders."

Ward Connerly in the Wall Street Journal agrees with me:

For my part, I am having a difficult time determining what it was that Mr. Reid said that was so offensive.

Was it because he suggested that lighter-skinned blacks fare better in American life than their darker brothers and sisters? If so, ask blacks whether they find this to be true. Even the lighter-skinned ones, if they are honest with themselves, will agree that there is a different level of acceptance.

Was it because he used the politically incorrect term "negro"? If so, it should be noted that there are many blacks of my generation who continue to embrace this term. In fact, "negro" is an option along with "black" and "African-American" on the 2010 Census.

Was it because he implied that Mr. Obama might be cut some political slack because of his oratorical skills or his looks? If so, that fact was not harmful to Joe Biden, who was elected vice president after praising Mr. Obama as "articulate" and "clean-looking."

Or, finally, could it be viewed as offensive that Mr. Reid suggested that blacks often have a distinctive way of speaking? If that is, indeed, the offense, then I will offend a lot of individuals when I assert that I can tell in probably 90% of the cases whether an individual is black merely by talking to him on the telephone.

In short, this incident does not rise to the level that it prompts me to join the parade of those who urge Mr. Reid to resign because of it. There are far more substantive matters over which the Senate majority leader's performance should be judged—and I find his performance seriously flawed on any number of them.

And he sums up my thoughts exactly:

We are too quick to take offense about race when none was intended. Some are too anxious to manufacture outrage over matters that do not justify the attention that we give them. And we are too quick to politicize race.

As far as I'm concerned, Messrs. Bond, Sharpton, Jackson and a host of other Americans formerly identified as "negroes" have forever forfeited the right to be outraged whenever a Republican or a talk show host makes an inappropriate or "insensitive" racial comment.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Obama Urges Quick Action on Health Overhaul

From the NYTimes:

WASHINGTON — President Obama said Saturday that Americans would see immediate benefits from a landmark overhaul of the nation’s health insurance system, and he urged Congress to reconcile swiftly differences on the legislation so it could be signed into law in the coming weeks.

“Once I sign health insurance reform into law, doctors and patients will have more control over their health care decisions, and insurance company bureaucrats will have less,” Mr. Obama said. “All told, these changes represent the most sweeping reforms and toughest restrictions on insurance companies that this country has ever known.”


Of course he wants quick action on health care. He wants to ram this through before we know what happened. Just like the stimulus and TARP and any number of things. There's an old saying: "If something is worth doing, it's worth doing well." And doing something quickly never, ever leads to doing something well.

A Cautionary Tale of a Socialism Experiment

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had once failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer. The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan". All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A...

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little. The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

I disagree, however. While Socialism will ultimately fail it will also pull down the country and any semblance of the United States we know. And according to Polybius' theory of the cycle of governments, what comes next won't be another democracy. It will always be a monarchy or a dictatorship. Best to hang on to what we have now.

Attack of the Clones Review Trailer

The review of The Phantom Menace was so awesome, I can't wait.

Republican Leadership is Stupid

From Reuters:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Republican Party chief called on Senator Harry Reid on Sunday to step down as Senate majority leader over racial comments about President Barack Obama, while Democrats tried to put the issue behind them.

Reid, a key figure in pushing Obama's agenda through Congress, apologized to the president on Saturday over remarks published in a new book calling Obama a "light-skinned" black man "with no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one."

Both Obama and Reid are Democrats.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said Reid should step aside as Senate majority leader, saying if a Republican made the same remarks Democrats would be "screaming for his head."

"Oh yeah, there's a big double standard here," Steele, who is black, said on the NBC program "Meet the Press."

"There is this standard where the Democrats feel that they can say these things and they can apologize when it ... comes from the mouths of their own. But if it comes from anyone else, it's racism," Steele added on "Fox News Sunday."

Michale Steele is either kidding or he's really, really stupid. Harry Reid is about as unpopular as he can get in his home state of Nevada, and he's about to go down in flames in his reelection bid there. Besides, he's the poster child for Obamacare. You couldn't ask for more than that.

Why on earth would you want to take him out of the Senate now and miss the opportunity to watch him crash and burn in his congressional race? Republicans need him there to be a whipping boy in the next election.

Michael Steele, I suggest you should step down. You're a moron who doesn't know a damn thing about tactics. And this kind of stupidity is what just might see conservatives give up the momentum that we've gained since Obama took office and screw up in the next election.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I Want to Be That Guy.

Everyone either knows someone or knows someone who knows someone who followed their dream and made it really big (I'm not talking money here) and makes a living doing exactly what they love to do on their own terms.

I don't know anyone like that, but I want to be that guy.

And I have a couple of friends who want to be that guy, too. I hope that for them, as well. I would love to know that guy, too.

The Time I Defended Harry Reid

From Yahoo News:

WASHINGTON – The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate apologized on Saturday for comments he made about Barack Obama's race during the 2008 presidential bid and are quoted in a yet-to-be-released book about the campaign.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada described in private then-Sen. Barack Obama as "light skinned" and "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one." Obama is the nation's first African-American president.

"I deeply regret using such a poor choice of words. I sincerely apologize for offending any and all Americans, especially African-Americans for my improper comments," Reid said in a statement released after the excerpts were first reported on the Web site of The Atlantic.

I don't see what the big deal is here. What he said is both true and unoffensive. Obama is a light-skinned black man and slips in and out of a more black (which is what Negro means, y'all) speech cadence easily depending on which group he's pandering to - er... - speaking to.

"But no one calls people Negros anymore! That's an archaic, outdated and offensive way of referring to blacks!"

Really? As long as there's still an organization called The United Negro College Fund (even if they have acronymized it), there should be no one offended. Until blacks get rid of the so-called "offensive" language in their own culture they have no right to complain.

Ditto the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and using the word "nigger" to refer to other blacks.

White people (as a group) are no longer the racists who further the blacks-as-inferior mentality. Most times they shackle themselves.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Expectations vs. Reality - or - Why Should We Listen to These "Experts" on Anything Anymore?

From the NYTimes:

U.S. Economy Lost 85,000 Jobs in December; Unemployment Steady at 10%

The unemployment rate held steady at 10 percent, tempering
hopes for a swift and sustained recovery from the Great

The monthly figures from the Labor Department included a
revision for November that showed a gain of 4,000 jobs, the
first increase in almost two years.

First of all, that's horribly written and misleading. How can you have a gain of 4,000 jobs when you also lost 85,000 jobs? That's bureaucratic math there, folks. In reality, it looks like there were 81,000 jobs lost last month.

And I heard on the radio this morning that the "experts" expected only a job loss of 8,000 jobs. And according to the Wall Street Journal, the number of expected job losses was 10,000.

So in November 11,000 people lost their jobs and unemployment "fell to 10%." Then in December 81,000 people lost their jobs and unemployment remained at 10%? Something doesn't quite sound right there. does it?

But let's go back a step. The experts were expecting only a 10,000 job loss and there were actually 81,000? That's an 800% overshoot! Holy crap!

No doubt these are the same "experts" who said we absolutely had to pass TARP and a massive stimulus bill in a matter of hours, without even giving anyone a chance to read it and to realize its potential for corruption.

Seriously. Why is anyone listening to these ass-clowns anymore, anyway?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

E.P.A. Announces Strict New Health Standards for Smog

From the NYTimes:

The Environmental Protection Agency's new limits -- which are presented as a range -- will likely put hundreds more counties nationwide in violation, a designation that will require them to find additional ways to clamp down on
pollution or face government sanctions, most likely the loss of federal highway dollars.

I am so sick of the Federal Government using highway dollars as extortion money.

You, too, can make your text look straight out of 1995!

Holy crap! Typestyler still exists!!! And to make matters worse, they've just released an update for it.

At my job in college, the "graphic artists" and secretaries that worked in our office would use Typestyler religiously to create all sorts of craptastic type effects for things such as fliers, posters, letterhead, logos, web sites and, once, even a business card.

I never liked it because even back then I thought that using cheap parlor effects in design looked cheesy. It's also why I never got into Kai's Power Tools.

The fact that it exists into the 21st Century means that there is something really, really wrong with the space/time continuum.

Damn that Marty McFly.

I own a camera therefore I can take photos like the pros

From an actual Craigslist listing:

Hi there! My name is Lindsay and I've just got a brand new camera for Christmas but haven't even taken it out of the box. I really want to get into the wedding photography business because I see so many people in Utah are getting married and it looks like easy money.

My style is classy, elegant and artistic. I would be honored to be part of your special occasion or photography needs considering I have no professional experience. I would love to capture those beautiful moments for you and your family.

I have so much passion for being a pro wedding photographer! All my friends and family tell me I take great pictures at all our outings and picnics. I'm putting together a web site of all the flower pictures and sunsets I've taken so you can see how good I am. I even have a few pics of my pet dog which turned out really great!

But I don't have a business license, liability insurance, flashes, extra batteries, or even more than a kit lens that came in the box. If something goes wrong, you're out of luck. To keep things cheap for you, I won't even back up any of your images. Less cost for me means less cost for you. Just passing the savings on. I expect to be paid in cash or personal check because I don't plan on claiming this income on my taxes.

Pros have:
-a business license
- multiple cameras
-thousands of dollars in lenses and flashes
-hard drives to back up the images
-people skills
-color calibrated monitors
-professional print labs
-professional albums

I have none of this stuff so we'll keep it cheap, just for you!

Why wouldn't you do it, honestly?

Then again, there's a reason why you pay people a lot of money for wedding photography. A camera doesn't just make awesome wedding photography happen. Even a $700 one.

Thanks to Matt for sending this.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What Will the MacSlate Be?

A friend asked me today what the iSlate will be. Will it be a computer? Will it be an accessory? Will it be a glorified iPod Touch? If so, what would the purpose be? In that very instant I had a revelation. I happened to look down at the Wacom tablet that sits on my desk and that's what sparked the idea. It's going to be all those things. I think it will be much more accessory than either Mac or iPhone. And I think it's going to be called MacSlate. MacPad is too easy to make jokes about. About the only other name I've seen that sounds like it would be an Apple product is MacBook Touch. But that name doesn't quite fit with the product I'm imagining.

Imagine sitting at your computer, but not being forced to sit at attention in front of the keyboard, as you would be if you had a traditional keyboard. Imagine sitting back in your chair and typing on a keyboard in your lap, as if you had a bluetooth keyboard. Now imagine using the same device to mouse around your screen using multi-touch, like a huge trackpad or iPhone surface. And imagine not having to switch gears to do either of those things. They just happen. You type a letter on the full-size virtual keyboard, save it and then pinch it to pick it up and drop in into an e-mail. Then you get up and leave the office, taking your MacSlate with you. But as soon as you leave the confines of your wi-fi network or bluetooth range (you'll get to choose), your MacSlate becomes it own (limited) computer, much like a MacBook without the clamshell. But it's not meant as a replacement for your MacBook. No- it's meant to interact with your Mac and iPhone or iPod Touch, not replace them.

It will also be a media device that will play movies and music, just like an iPod Touch. It will also play games. I expect that it won't come with a wireless connection from a particular carrier, but I envision the MacSlate being 3G capable and able to join any carrier's network (for a fee, of course.) It would run mobile apps, but not necessarily full Mac apps.

Many of the gripes I've heard about people who use touch-screen phones, such as the iPhone, are that the screen is just too small and their fingers are too big, especially when using apps. The MacSlate will be able to sync to your iPhone or iPod Touch the same way it does your Mac and display the apps and games you already own on its 10.1-inch screen. It's a much more manageable size to play games on. Imagine Star Wars: Trench Run or a driving game played holding a device that more closely approximates the size of a real steering wheel. You would steer just as you would with your iPhone, but it would take interactivity to a whole new level.

Upon getting home, your MacSlate would automatically sync with your Mac at home and would become the monitor. Essentially you'll be screen-sharing to the MacSlate, so your Mac will actually be doing all the processing work.

You would be able to actually draw on the MacSlate itself with your fingers (or perhaps with a stylus for more precise detail work). But imagine working on a Photoshop project by actually pushing pixels around. Imagine burning or dodging a photo with your fingers or applying the Heal tool in Photoshop to someone's face by making several lightly-touched passes. Imagine painting - creating the underpainting and layering the paint based on the force of your touch - right on the MacSlate. Pretty cool. We've gotten pretty good at it using trackpads in recent years, so why not?

So that's my prediction for what Apple's tablet will be. At least, that's the only device that I could think of that would make me want something in between my Mac, my MacBook and my iPhone.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Democrat Surge

I realized this evening that the United States is currently under attack from an assault of military-like precision. Not by terrorists or by a foreign invading army, but by Democrats in Congress.

But most of the citizenry of our nation hasn't even realized it yet, and may not until the battle is over. Those that do realize it are busy trying to use diplomacy against liberty's enemy and to play fair, within the rules by conducting town halls meetings and tea parties and civilized discourse.

But make no mistake about it, what the Democrats are in the midst of is a calculated attack that they've been planning and waiting for for a long time. What we're seeing in our nation is the Democrats' surge of overwhelming force, the same way that our military surged against the insurgents in Iraq to turn the tide there. They waited until they had sufficient numbers and are in the process of mowing down the opposition.

The Democrats have been waiting for this precise moment when they have control of both houses of Congress and an unbeatable majority, the presidency and control of the federal courts. This is what they've secretly been working for for decades. And now, what appears to be a brazen attack on our very Republic and our Constitution is the result of patience and conniving.

But now that they can, they're ignoring the will of the American public and spending our tax dollars like play money, forcing federal regulation down our throats in the form of bailouts, stimulus packages, government health care, global warming initiatives such as Cap and Trade, and soon, amnesty for illegal aliens.

They are pissing on the very rules and precedents that they, themselves created in the form of House and Senate rules. And they are creating mandates, taxes, laws and regulations by the simple fiat of an unaccountable team of czars.

Their hope is that during this brief window that they can change enough of the fabric of the laws and entitlements and create enough of a sense of despair and hopelessness that we won't know where to begin to put the pieces back together and that our country will forever be thrown into the pit of Statism or Socialism or a new aristocracy or whatever you want to call it.

I feel it in the very bottom of my soul that if we become complacent and just keep on worrying about our daily lives and trusting that our nation will return to the right course that it will all be lost. We, the People, must stand up and make our voices heard in deafening ways that we will not tolerate our will and our country being remade into a bastardization of what it once was. The time for tough choices is here. It's going to be painful in the short term, but we need leaders who will stand up and say"no. this isn't right, and we're not only going to draw this line in the sand, but we're also going to eradicate all the stupidity and insidiousness that has been systematically institutionalized over the past 50 years." We must push back, and we must take back what we gave up due to complacency and apathy. We must not be ashamed to say tat we want truth, justice and the American Way back. Somewhere along the way, "the American Way" became a slur.

Friends, the American Way is liberty. It's freedom. It's individual rights. It's States Rights. It's a government By the people, FOR the people.

It's time to reclaim it and not to settle for "the lesser of two evils" any more. It's time to expect - to demand excellence and progress and innovation and character and integrity.

It's time to be Americans again.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Apple's Tablet

It exists. Trust me.

But one of the most brilliantly thought-out and written pieces I've read lately (and I've been reading a lot) about the iSlate or the Tablet or MacSlate - or whatever they're going to call it - is by John Gruber at Daring Fireball.

Read it here.

U.S. Intensifies Screening for Travelers From 14 Nations

From the NYTimes:

Citizens of 14 nations including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and
Nigeria who are flying to the United States will be subjected
indefinitely to the intense screening at airports worldwide
that was imposed in the aftermath of the Christmas Day
bombing plot, Obama administration officials announced

But American citizens, and most others who are not flying
through those nations on their way to the United States, will
no longer automatically face the full-range of intensified
security that had been imposed after the attempted bombing of
a Northwest Airlines flight, officials said.

About damn time, although I can already hear the wailing of "profiling" and "racism" from the bleeding hearts on the left.

Thanks, Obama. We finally agree on something.