Archive for February 1st, 2010

The Next Gadget…

As I may have mentioned before, I am a Mac convert.

But I am not a complete rabid fanboy… just because they put a new device out does not mean I’m going to camp out the day it first hits the market to pick up something new and shiny. I didn’t get a “real” iPod until 2007, and that was only after getting an iPod shuffle in late 2006. I didn’t get an iPod touch until the new models hit last year, and the 32Gb model dropped from high-end to mid-range. But I may reconsider part of that strategy with the iPad. [A brief aside… I mentioned this on Facebook and had a couple of people commented about the poor planning/naming of the product. I have to agree, concept naming scheme aside, it does sound like there was a lack of a woman’s opinion on the naming of the device… but I digress.]

There are still some technical issues that have me concerned (specifically, the “Camera Connection Kit”: if I dump a memory card’s worth of pictures onto the device on the fly, how easy is it to transfer them back to the computer once I return home? The same can be asked of attachments/documents… unless I port over to something like OpenOffice or Google docs for the duration of a trip.), and both an iPad case and some kind of dock (I’m leaning towards the Keyboard dock, instead of the plain dock with a possible wireless keyboard) would be required purchases as well.

I can definitely see making the trip to a local Apple store once the device offically hits market availability, if for no other reason than getting the above issues addressed. But I’m torn between getting it when it comes out, and waiting for storage capacity levels to change. I can see advantages both ways, and I still have a couple of months to be swayed… we shall see…

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Wii + Netflix = ?

I mentioned this in my “2010 resolutions” post, but I think it’s something that can be discussed on it’s own… Netflix recently [sometime in January] announced that it was partnering with Wii to allow video to stream through the gaming console. Similar to the PS3 setup, it will require a special “Netflix” disk to operate [which will be interesting to see how that works out… and if it needs to be inserted EACH time we want to stream a movie, or if it installs a patch into the console].

Personally, I think this will be awesome, from a service user standpoint. I know I can stream to a PC (and, thankfully, they finally got the setup worked out sometime a year ago, maybe a little more, allowing streaming through a Mac), but to watch a movie, at home, streaming through a laptop moniter just gets old, and doesn’tmake much sense to me. I’ve watched some television episodes, and we’ve done some Hulu during the holidays (a great way to catch up on some interesting specials that we probably would not have seen, otherwise).

And I have a fulll queue. At least, an almost full queue, measuring in at well over 450 items. With several of them being available through the “On Demand” queue. If nothing else, I can work my way through the “On Demand” items [and continuing series, if available] and just get the “Disc Only” items, which will clear up my queue a bit. And it will also blast the question, “What movie would you like to watch?” wide open, given a little bit of pre-planning. (It will help to know what’s in the queue, so checking it regularly will be a good idea.)

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The 2010 Resolutions

[started 12 Jan 2010…. finished much later]

So the new year is now a month gone, and I am finally getting the 2010 resolutions completed… They’ve been here, mostly, for a couple of weeks (in draft form, so you couldn’t see them… nener-nener) but still needed some finishing touches. Here they are, finally mostly-polished, and readt to take their feeble first steps into the world.

1) Get weight down… The ultimate goal will be to get to between 175-185 (target), but for 2010, I want to make sure I can get to and stay somewhere around the 190s. Along with this… spend time actually using Wii Fit, and improve my “Fit Age.”

2) Read 26-30 “new” books. [I have already gone through and pulled about twenty books, so far, to work on…] *I made it in 2009. Assuming I can do it again for the next two years as well, I’ll consider increasing the target, but for now, it’s still a good target.

3) (a) Write. The daily routine (500-1000 words per day), with the year’s target being at least: 2 books (50k+ words) [finishing the two “Novels-in-Progress”], 6 short stories/novellas [three a given for class, and probably more that will be specifically going towards thesis plans], 1 script (long form) [draft]. Somewhere in all of this, I hope to also have most (if not all) of the thesis done. At the very least, I hope to have it ready to go so it can be submitted relatively early in the Spring 2011 semester, so I can call it a degree…

3) (b) Marketing and sending submissions out.

4) Train for the local Biathlon (to be held 18 April 10 – 3 mile run, and 15 mile ride).

5) Get “A”s in my classes.

6) Finish cleaning out at the old house. At this point, 99% of what I have left is stuff to be thrown away, which is something that I figure should be my work to do, not somebody elses.

7) Travel – like last year, 1-2 “good” trips, just me and MC, with a few weekend jaunts free of any familial obligations. [The “good” trips are already planned… A trip out to Denver in May so we can check out the area and a school out there that I’m considering for a PhD program, as well as a weekend trip to Boston in July for a conference.]

8) Christmas shopping done by early November. [All of it, hopefully, but unlikely. At least enough to make the traditional “Thanksgiving to Christmas” madness easier to bear.]

9) [Continue to] Send out birthday and anniversary cards, etc. in a timely manner.

10) [Continue to] Work on the photography skills… [Which means, actually, taking a lot of pictures, and carrying a camera around on some of the expeditions… or plan “photo trips”…]… I’m already thinking of some phot trips, as well as possibly taking a couple of clinic-style classes later in the year.

11) Process the Netflix queue – watch 50 movies from the queue. *Having failed to hit the 100 movie mark in either of the last two years, I’m scaling back the ceiling. With the advent later this year (spring ?) of Netflix being able to stream through a Wii, maybe I’ll be able to get close or clear it.

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On "Hills Like White Elephants"

[started on 6 Jan 2010, finished much later…]

There’s a story I’ve been kicking around for a while, and I attempted to wrestle it from an idea to a written page. When I originally came up with the idea for this post, it was still early in the conceptualizing period, before I started actually drafting.

Without telling too much, the stylistic kernal of the story that I’m aiming for is a scene between two people, but keeping their identities vague, allowing it to be read from different perspectives. The model story that I’m trying to play off of is “Hills Like White Elephants.” I was not a huge fan of the story when I was first introduced to it (in High School, I think), and I’m still not a huge fan of the content [focal issue] of the story, but I can appreciate the style/way it’s written…

My efforts, sadly, kept floundering… some of the dialogue lines didn’t feel right, so I have currently reshelved the idea. I’m not abandoning it, I’m just letting it brew a little longer…

In the mean time, after shelving this story, I hopped onto another one that’s been brewing (for at least a year, I think), and knocked it out for my first story of the semester. It went over well, settinga high bar for me to continue with on the next stories… And by the feedback/grading, I think it’s pretty close to being able to be sent out for submisisons…

We shall see…

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