Rotten Apple?

My thoughts on the Apple iPad

It’s a horrible name. Just horrible. Makes me cringe just thinking about it. Can’t imagine what they were thinking, but my first guess is that there was some sort of legal reason they couldn’t use something like iTablet, iSlate or even iScreen.

Hell, even iWhattheheck is better.

My initial reaction to the ebook ability of it was “Cool!” But then I started thinking about eyestrain and how the non-e-ink screen would make reading for long periods at a time a chore. I sit in front of a computer for 12 to 16 hours a day and reading long-form content like books or magazines on a computer screen is very straining to my eyes. I just don’t know how many ebooks I could read on this before my eyes just stopped focusing. Also, since it doesn’t have a keyboard, writing anything more than a quick email would become tedious really fast. Its lack of a cover for the screen makes it hard to simply shove into a bag and it’s too big to easily fit in a pocket. It has a painting program, but as a graphic artist I’ve found that small screens are no good for comfortable editing of artwork or photos, especially at high resolutions.

Now, I know that there’s a keyboard dock and a cover being sold separately, but if you’re going to get those, why not just get a netbook and be done with it?

They’ve released the iWork suite for the iPad, but other than viewing the files and doing quick, simple edits, I fail to see the point. For example, can anyone imagine writing a long report in pages using an on-screen keyboard? Or how about creating and editing a big spreadsheet? And Keynote? Really? How is that useful? You can’t hook the iPad to a projector which means you need to prop up the iPad to show the presentation to others and since it’s a touchscreen you’d have to hold it or stay close enough to touch it to advance the slides which basically means YOU become the tripod. And a 10″ screen means your audience would need to be almost in your lap to see anything on the slide that you’re talking about.

I’m lost as to why someone would spend the money on iWork for the iPad.

I’m just not sure what need this thing fills for the average user other than being a bigger screen to play your cool iTouch/iPhone apps on. I mean, the iPad might be great for watching videos or playing app games, but so is an iTouch/iPhone. Heck, the iTouch and iPhone seem to be a better choice since they run the same apps as the iPad (for now) and are more portable and cheaper. And, just like the iTouch/iPhone, the iPad doesn’t have the ability to multitask, so you can’t even surf the web while listening to music. It seems to me that for everything the iPad does, from playing games to surfing the internet, an iPhone or iTouch would be cheaper, more portable and better. An iTouch/iPhone does almost the same things as the iPad and is more portable and in the case of the iPhone, also makes phone calls. And if you wanted something more “powerful” then Netbooks have larger hard drives, built-in keyboards, can play Flash, usually have a built-in camera for Skyping and can play videos and music just as well as the iPad. Hell, if you just want to watch movies on a bigger screen, Archos has been making media players for years.

So, I’m left wondering why anyone would buy the iPad other than it’s “New” and “Cool”.

Overall, it just seems like a big, less portable iTouch and I don’t understand what need it fills for the average user that isn’t already met by another device. I’m not saying it won’t be cool and great and awesome, I’m just not sure YET why someone would buy it OTHER than it’s a cool new toy. Maybe I’m missing the Great AHA moment, but I just don’t get it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a damn cool looking device and I almost instinctively want one just because it looks sleek and sexy and sweet. But if I can’t figure out a reason for it to exist, or a way to use it in my everyday life, I just can’t see myself spending money on it. And ultimately, because I don’t know myself, I can only wonder what the early adapters out there who buy it will actually wind up using it for. Movie viewing device? Internet surfing tablet? Fancy universal remote control? Flat surface to snort coke off of? I don’t know and right now I can’t even begin to guess.

What would you use it for?

Filthy Hobbitses!

Small… but fierce!

I’ve been following this developing scientific story for a while and it’s making my Geek brain spasm with joy thinking that there might have once been a group of living creatures on the planet that were really and truly elves/hobbits/pixies/etc. So, when will we find the fossilized remains of giants?

Oh man, I’ve got to dig our my 20-sided die!

Old and Busted Gives Way to New Hotness

It’s official.

After eight years of the leadership and policies of an administration that I believe will be remembered as the worst in American history, we the people have sweeping new leadership in Washington… for a little while, at least. I don’t know if this new administration will actually deliver on the messages of hope and change that they have been continually bombarding us with over the last two years, but what I do know is that if this change in leadership had not taken place, then the America that the world has known for the last 200 years would have died. The outgoing administration has so vilified America in the eyes of the rest of the world that I dare to say that this new administration cannot possibly cause more harm without resorting to filming Americans soldiers cooking and devouring foreign toddlers as the President looks on and smiles.

And even then I’d hedge my bets.

To say that I’m optimistic about the next four years of President Obama’s administration would be a little misleading. But only because optimistic is too weak a word. Now, while it’s true that I would have been happy with nearly ANYONE who promised to alter, change or reverse as much of President Bush’s policies as possible, I must say that I was behind Barack Obama from the moment he gave his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. It was obvious then that he would be a great political force to contend with, and I dearly hoped he would run in 2008.

And then Hillary threw her hat in the ring.

Not in my wildest dreams did I think a young, political neophyte African-American could come even close to winning once Hillary joined the race. She is a Clinton after all and voting for her would net TWO presidents for the price of one, but still I held out hope that Barack Obama might be her pick for VP when she got the nomination. Then the momentum started to build behind Obama and it became a two person race between the old and busted leadership and the new hotness that America could become. And then, against all odds it wasn’t Obama who was fighting to be Hillary’s VP, but Hillary who was trying to garner a spot in Barack’s administration. Talk about surprise endings! All of which brings us to today. For the first time in eight years there is a president in office who I believe can do what we the people need him to do. And what do I believe we the people need most right now?


I hope that President Obama will lead us through these dark times the same way he led his presidential campaign, doing what was necessary in an open and inclusive way without anger, without fear, without hatred. Leading us with humility, strength, intelligence and understanding while forgoing the divisiveness and heavy-handed fear mongering of the previous administration. I pray that President Obama will continue to lead all of us through his example; taking the high road of intelligent discourse without blindly attacking when provoked. Use his humility where those before him used smug righteousness.

Show the world our compassion instead of our judgment.

I also hope he makes use of thorough, comprehensive study so that he fully understands the problems we face before he makes the hard, long-term policy decisions that may take years to come to fruition but will certainly be better than a quick and hasty fix that is meant to show involvement but solve nothing. Will he solve every ill that has arisen in the past 8 years? Can he fix Wall Street, the housing crisis, health care, the banks, our economy, our reputation and all the other things that are failing or threatening to fail?

I don’t know. But for the first time in 8 years, I have hope.

I’ve got a lot of my faith in the democratic process and the American way of life riding on President Obama’s shoulders, and so do a whole lot of other people in America. That’s a whole lot for anyone to bear, let alone a young and newly appointed President who is also the first African-American man to ever lead this country. But I believe Barack Obama can, and will, prove to the world that America can survive. That we did not all join the dark side and drink the cool-aid of hate, fear and isolationism. We the people, with the right leadership, can repair the damage that has been done by those who came before. If the incoming administration truly believes its own message and follows through with its promise of hope and change, then America will once again become the world’s brightest beacon of freedom, equality and opportunity. I’m not saying our new president will be the answer to every one of our problems because it will take all of us working together for many years to right this ship and make a better future for this country. One person, no matter how charismatic or talented he, or she, might be, will never be enough by themselves to bring about the changes we now know we need. But one person can lead us out from our yesterdays of dark despair and into the light of the bright future we have nearly lost hope of reaching. We need a leader with vision, fortitude, solid morals and intelligence and it is my firm belief that President Obama is such a man.

And now tomorrow doesn’t seem so scary to me anymore.

Router Wood?

I never imagined this day would ever arrive.

Who would have ever thought the humble network router would actually become “sexy”? I can’t remember ever sitting around dreaming up ways to improve my router to make it better, sleeker or sexier. While it’s true that on occasion I’ve railed against slow routers, or routers with connection problems, I don’t think I’ve ever waxed poetic over their aesthetics or bells and whistles. Mostly because in the past routers have been nothing more than little boxes with lights that you plug your computers and modems into so you can get online.

But that’s all changed now.

Because now I have seen the D-Link Xtreme N DIR-685 and my nipples have exploded with pleasure. It has everything I ever wanted (and never knew I wanted) in a router including a built in harddrive option and an LCD screen! I could BitTorrent without leaving my computer on all night! I could use the LCD to see the weather, or a news ticker or even to display a photo slideshow like a digital photo frame right on the router itself! And the best part is I wouldn’t have to hide it in the closet because it actually looks “cool”. If I weren’t so cautious due to my past hatred of D-Link routers I’d be all over this.

Oh D-Link, please redeem yourself to me and make this puppy awesome!

Step By Step

Slowly I turn…

So, I’m getting closer to actually writing here again but the thing that’s really causing me to stall is the stupid design of this site. I’ve got another one of my “neat” and “cool” designs all done up but every time I try to port it over to WordPress I get stuck. I just can’t wrap my head around WordPress’ use of templates and I’m beginning to believe I never will.

It just baffles me.

Of course, if my design was something simple I think I could handle it, but unfortunately for me my designs aren’t so easy as your standard: header, left column, center column, right column and footer. Oh, no. I have to be fricking unique and design something with overlapping columns, multiple image swaps on mouseovers and icons for links instead of standard text links.

Yeah, yeah, I’m a moron.

Anywaste, like I said, I’m getting really close to having the time to once again update on a regular basis. However, after once again being thwarted in my attempts to get this site design updated by my lack of Mad WordPress Coding Skilz, I came to the conclusion that I just didn’t care to continue banging my stubborn noggin on the concrete wall that is WordPress and that maybe, just maybe, I should give up my cool design.

Then I came to my senses and decided to ask for help.

So here I am, begging for help from anyone who might be able to take my design and images and creating the proper WordPress templates for me. Most likely no one will take me up on this without a bribe of some sort, so I came up with a silly idea of a nice exchange. In return for your help in turning my design into a set of standards compliant WordPress templates I will do one of the following (your choice):

  • Design or redesign a website for you
  • Write a funny post about you and link to your site in said post
  • Be your best friend (for one day only and I chose the day)
  • A happy dance

Please, won’t someone help this poor Geek?

Getting Ready to Get Ready


Note to self; oil front door.

Wow! This website has really fallen apart. I remember when this place used to be beautiful and busy and… what’s that word? Oh yeah, funny. Just look at this place now. All these broken links, dead pictures and other crap that’s fallen apart from disuse. And holy cow, look at all these cobwebs and dust and…

Is that a tumbleweed?! Seriously?

I have REALLY been gone too long, haven’t I? I wonder if anyone’s even around here anymore… [skitter] Hey! Hey, who’s there? Is someone there? Hello? Hello?! If someone’s there you better say something! I have a flashlight and it’s, uhhhh… heavy. And bright! I could blind you if I shine it in your eyes! Or, I could swing it real hard at you. And I’ve been working out so I bet it would really hurt. Like, lots. You’d bruise! I mean it!

Hello? Someone? Hello?




Ohmystarsandgarters! Don’t do that! Holy Odin’s beard, you scared the poop out of me! What in Nikola Tesla’s name are you doing here, rooting around in the dark like that? Are you crazy? This site’s been shut down for months! No one should be here now, it’s not ready… yet… Hey, you haven’t been here this whole time, have you? Really? Why? And… wait. Why do you look so sad?



So… Ahem. Uh… it’s been a while, hasn’t it?

I know, I know. I’ve been a baaaaad boy. I disappeared, no phone call, no email, no note, not even a handshake and a “See ya when I see ya.” I understand how that would make you feel hurt or confused. Angry even. But, in my defense it was a VERY crazy few months for me, what with the no-longer-so-new baby, crazy work schedule and everything else that’s happened over the last few months. But I completely sympathize and agree with you that my complete and utter lack of updates was unwarranted, hurtful and malicious. We both know that I acted selfishly, letting this poor site rot like this. I mean, look at it! It’s deserted! Broken! Dead!

And it’s all my fault.

But hey! It’s not all bad! I mean, I’m kind of back now, right? I’m not totally back yet, but at least I’m writing something, right? Doesn’t that make you happy? Huh? Doesn’t it? Well, how about if I tell you I’m also working on a layout, too? A nice one. With colors and everything. And I’m planning on writing a whole lot more, too! And not only stuff about me this time. Nope, I’m also going to write about other things, like tutorial stuff and current events and gadgets and being a father and… well, things like that.

You know, life. But with humor.

I know you like that kind of stuff. Everybody likes that kind of stuff. And soon, I’ll be writing about all that stuff on a regular basis! With humor, even! And who doesn’t like humorous articles about all that stuff? No one, that’s who! So show me some love and give me a smile! Awwww…. is that…? Uh-huh. I think I see the start of a smile. Is that a smile? A widdle-bitty smile for GeekMan? It is! You’re smiling again! It’s a miracle!

Yeah, that’s right baby. The GeekMan is back.


I just received a gift from the gaming gods.

That’s right, I have in my possession Halo 3 Legendary Edition with Halo Spartan Mjolnir Mark VI Helmet! And you know, that helmet is about the same size as my little girl’s head… Anywaste, if anyone, ANYONE, believes that I will be doing anything productive this weekend they are so mistaken, it’s not even funny. I plan on sitting down in front of my 106″ HD projection home theater screen, firing up the 7.1 speakers, strapping on several diapers and simply playing Halo until my eyes literally fall out of my skull. And if you think that’s obsessive, or just stupid, may I point out to you the MASSIVE amount of willpower I am showing by waiting until this weekend to even open the game?! OMG, I hope a week-long woody doesn’t leave me with permanent nerve damage, or anything.

Halo 3 iz da shizzam!

Excuses Suck

This is not goodbye.

I’m not leaving so save your teary-eyed farewells for another time. I really want to write about everything that’s going on in my life right now, but because of time constraints and my inability to get more than 4 hours of sleep a night for the last three weeks, I just can’t.

I just don’t have enough time.

So, instead of adding yet another impossible task to my ever-growing list of things to do each day, I’ve decided to put this site on hiatus for a few weeks until things slow down enough for me to devote more time and effort to my writing. If I can find some free time between now and when I think I’ll return full time, of course I’ll write something here. But for now I think it’s safe to say that I won’t be writing anything until the New Year.

I know, I know. It makes me sad, too.

Just so I don’t leave you all in the lurch without any clues as to why I’ve disappeared (again), I think I’ll give you a quick rundown of some, just some, of what I need to do over the next two months. HoBiscuit and I are moving to a new apartment while selling our current apartment ourselves (no broker) and, at the same time, renovating the new apartment. I am working every, single day (except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day) from now until March 21st. I’m also traveling to places like Texas, Paris, Arizona, Barcelona, Miami, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and California among others. Don’t get any ideas though, all this traveling is for work so I won’t be seeing any of the places I’m going to, or doing any sightseeing or anything. I’ll just be there, working, and then heading to the airport to catch a flight to the next place I’m supposed to be.

Yeah, yeah, sucks to be me. I know.

The good news is that once I do start writing again I’ll have a whole new site design for you to see. I’ll also be launching a new PhotoBlog where I’ll be sharing some of the gazillions of pictures I seem to take everywhere I go. And, if you’re all real good while I’m away, I might even have a Mighty Blog spin-off or two for you to read!

Wow! Talk about rewards!

Anywaste, being this busy with work and other stuff is all good for me since it means I’m making money, but it’s also bad since it keeps me from doing all the things I really enjoy doing, like updating this Blog. However, once I come back everything will be even better than before, so have a great Chrismahannakwanzica and a Happy New Year and I’ll see you all back here on New Years’ Day, 2007.

Word to your mother.

Much Too Much Of Too Little

I’m back from Barcelona and boy, am I hungry.

I’d love to tell you that I had a wonderful time, or that I managed to find some time to sightsee or even leave the hotel for any great length of time. But the truth of the matter is that I basically arrived in Spain, went directly to the hotel, worked for 16 hours each day and dragged myself to my room to sleep a few hours before getting up and working another 16 hours. The only time I had free was on Saturday afternoon, from 2pm to 6pm, when I frantically ran around Barcelona trying to take in the sights and take a few pictures before running back to the hotel to finish working.

And don’t get me started on the food.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Spanish food. Tapas, in particular make for a wonderful meal every once in a while. But the problem with going to a foreign country for business reasons instead of for a vacation is that unlike during a vacation where you can explore new and exciting places to eat, I was stuck eating whatever the hotel could provide. And after a week of eating nothing but tapas I have made a life-altering discovery.

You really can have too much of a good thing.

Case in point; tapas. Now, I like tapas as much as the next guy, ordering many different small portions of delicious finger food makes for a very enjoyable meal every once in a while. But when you are eating the same delicious finger foods every meal for four days straight they begin to lose their appeal. And when the tapas are always room temperature you might find yourself desiring something edible with a temperature hotter than your own skin. And should you be a meat eater, like I am, you might become discouraged on the third or fourth day of eating nothing but fried cheese balls, fried potato balls, olives (stuffed with, of all things, anchovies! blech), skewers of shrimp still in their shells and some pieces of fruit.

By dinner on day three I was ready to eat my own fist.

To give you an example of my Barcelona meal menus, I took the liberty of writing Thursday’s menu down for posterity’s sake. So, here is what I ate on Thursday, which is exactly the same thing I was served on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

  • Breakfast
    • Little pieces of fruit
    • Cookies
    • Cheese wedges
    • Dinner rolls with sugar on top
    • Coffee, tea or juice
  • Lunch
    • Cold potato omelets (plain or spinach)
    • Cold shrimp (still in shell)
    • Cold fried cheese balls
    • Cold fried potato balls
    • Stuffed olives
    • Sliced deli ham
    • Rolls
    • Cookies
    • Small pastries
    • Coffee, tea or juice
  • Dinner
    • Salad (lettuce, tomato and cucumber)
    • Tiny medallions of cold pork in peppercorn sauce (skewered on a toothpick)
    • Cold potato omelets (plain or spinach)
    • Cold fried cheese balls
    • Cold fried potato balls
    • Stuffed olives
    • Rolls
    • Cookies
    • Small pastries
    • Coffee, tea or juice

Mealtime became the most discouraging time of day for me.

The worst thing about mealtime was that, even if it was cold, all the food was tasty and delicious. It wasn’t as if the food was bad, inedible, or of a type that I personally wouldn’t eat, like fish or snails. Everything tasted great; it just wasn’t what I considered food. At one point during a meal I turned to another member of the crew and remarked that I felt as if what we were eating amounted to food-flavored air, because no matter how much we ate we were doomed to be forever hungry. He agreed with me and postulated that perhaps that’s why most Americans are fat while most Spaniards aren’t. I told him he was crazy.

But when I got home I realized I lost 6 pounds in 5 days. Go figure.