Archive for September, 2011

Could it be…?

Yes, I think I may know what my next phone might be, if it does in fact come to pass. Not as soon as it’s released, mind you, but when I would be upgrade eligible. And here’s why.

1. As useful as my Droid 2 has been, it was a forced settlement. I had been hoping for the iPhones to come to Verizon but given either upgrading in September 2010 or continuing to wait for an ever elusive appearance date (which came around 6 months later),  I opted for the known factor and the Droid. And it’s been good to me for the most part, but there have been power issues (random turn-off & restarts), and loads of pre-installed apps that I would rather not have cluttering my device  and be able to uninstall (Blockbuster, Need for Speed I’m looking at you).

2. I’m also cheap in the contract category: if I don’t have to pay an insane fee to change devices, then I plan to avoid the expense as long and as often as possible.

3. Then there’s the future plans (something I mentioned here) that would need to be considered before doing any phone upgrades. Since I am considering schools in the UK, doing a Verizon upgrade wouldn’t make the best sense (CDMA<>GSM). Unless the iPhone 5 is a dual-mode, like some rumors have speculated, there’s the potential for increased expense should we go overseas. See # 2 above.

4. Then there’s the consistency of applications. For most of my personal use I have transitioned over to Macs. To my knowledge, Apple sotware doesn’t integrate well with Google (read: calendar syncs). [I will admit, I haven’t tried very hard to sync iCal with Google, but I imagine there is some way out there.] And with iCloud due to come out with iOS 5, that should make cross-syncing that much easier. There will also be the reduced chance of double buying  the same apps for different platforms.

So until the applications get answered and I know what my future academic plans are going to be, I’m on hold before switching to one – but I’m looking forward to seeing the reveal and how the final build version of iOS 5 works.

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Getting Blinded… with Science! on MVM

Nothing profound to go with this one…

Just a fun song (and one that comes to mind anytime I see this shirt design)

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An update on the “Search for More Knowledge”

Okay, so I riffed off of a line from Spaceballs for the title ( “… Maybe we’ll meet again in Spaceballs II: The Search for More Money…”) to give you a quick update on how things are going in my neck of the woods… specifically the pursuit of an MFA or PhD…

First, I’m scheduled to take the English Literature (specific) GRE next month… in about three weeks, actually… which is something required for a PhD program here in the states.

Second, I have narrowed down the hundreds of programs, between the US (MFA & PhD), and the UK (PhD only), to my top 10 or so…

Which leads to the current situation… preparing for the final applications – specifically the Statements of Purpose (aka: Who I am and why you should pick me for your program), and finalizing the submission plans.

The goal I am looking at now is, besides prepping for the GRE, finalizing the SoPs and completing the applications by mid-October (so those providing Letters of Reference have several weeks to complete them).

That’s all for now. Once I complete the applications I’ll post the list of programs, then I will update THAT list periodically as I hear back from them.

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Getting a Little REM… on MVM

Jut feeling a little, well… like 80’s alternative… and since I couldn’t embed “Losing My Religion,” you get “Everybody Hurts” today… Enjoy!

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Like a… What? – MVM

As promised earlier this summer, here’s another Weird Al flashback, but since this one’s just on the short side of thirty (about 27 or so, if I am remembering right), I’m doing this one double-header style to show Al’s version compared to the original (by Madonna).

But if you want a real throwback performance from Madonna, check out this version of the song (from the 1984 MTV Video Awards)

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9/11… Ten Years On…


I spent most of the day disconnected and tried to avoid watching anything news related on television. Not out of a willful decision to ignore or forget the events from ten years ago, but much like Charles Stross mentioned… I can remember the events just fine and don’t need the media to shove the reminder down my throat. Of all the homes in my neighborhood, ours was the only one that had a flag up for most of the day. I remembered (and did my part to honor the victims), and still send thoughts and prayers to those that were affected.

I am also “reprinting” something I wrote a few years ago [below, slightly edited], reflecting on the day.

#  #  #

I didn’t make much of a fuss over yesterday, and honestly I had to think about it (albeit, for only a split second) when I first saw flags at half-mast [in 2008]. I was pissed off when everything happened in 2001. While I was not happy with the events (to put it very mildly), I was more frustrated and bent out of shape over the emotional outcry and the outpouring of wagging flags.

I was pissed that it took something of that magnitude for people to actually understand where they lived, and how much we have available to us that we merely take it all for granted.

Cynically, I mentioned then that there would be all of the hoopla made, then gradually (the general) “we” would drift back to complacency. Generally, I think that has proven to be true. I don’t live in New York, so I don’t have the immediate exposure to “Ground Zero”. I try to avoid DC, so I don’t see the Pentagon. I was not immediately affected by the events (no friends or family lost that day).

In checking through “my routine” when I came in today, I found something posted at Neil Gaiman’s blog (via the Web Goblin) [again, in 2008]. I am reposting the video below, as much for me to remember as it is for other to possibly stumble upon in the future.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
September 11, 2001
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

[clicking the above should open a new window.]

There are many things that we “should never forget”, and I firmly believe that they are generational. For my parents, it was the day Kennedy was shot. When I was younger, it was the Challenger. Then there was this… For those still significanlty impacted by the events, a portion of my thoughts and prayers do still go out to you…

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Something I Don’t Quite Get…

I was at my mother’s over the recent holiday weekend and overheard her reading this article from the Sunday paper. I think she’s okay but I’m not about to attempt to rush out to the event. But here’s the part that really got me:

Deen will not be signing any of her other books.
She will not personalize her signing of the book, sign any memorabilia or pose for photos. (There will be a designated photo area to pause briefly to take a photo.)

Really? I sincerely hope some of this is driven more by how tight her schedule has been planned (and thusly, by implication, her PR people or the bookstore) than exclusively by her.  

Let me address the first item: The article states she will only be signing the new book, and it must be purchased at hte store hosting the event. They want to sell & push the new book (which is why she is doing the tour). I get that. When I went to an event for William Gibson last year, there was a stipulation that you had to at least get the latest book (aka: the reason for the tour) signed, before he would sign from the backlist. That makes sense. But denying a signing of the other books?

And not personalizing? Then (from a fan perspective) what’s the point of having a signing; just send a rubber stamp and an ink pad and pay someone to whack a signature on the title page. Now, to be fair, some people may have different/interesting spellings, and there’s nothing more potentially embarrasing than screwing up a personalization. That’s why we have Post-its.

But here’s what I really found irritating. The article says, “Per usual with these big-name food celebrities, there is a list of rules” which makes everything that follows sound even worse.

As someone with a desire to someday do my own book tours, I am more interested in this as a lesson in “event management.” I hope that by the time I get to that point I will still be aware of those that make it possible to have an event (aka: the fans – the ones buying the books), and do as much as I can to give an enjoyable experience for them, even if it means a longer signing line or a few extra momentsto give each fan a little personal attention.

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The Guild – on MVM

In honor of the holiday here in the States, here’s a second video entry (double header) for getting your gaming geek on this week. The Guild is fun… and if you are a gamer with any mileage under your belt (specifically online, but if you’re coming from D&D or similar table RPGs [like me] there should still be plenty to connect to).

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And Now, Something Completely Different… (NSFW)

As a registered attendant for Worldcon, one of the perks is getting to both nominate and voter for the Hugos. Since I didn’t register until later in the year, I was only eligible to vote for this years and could not take part in the nominating process. One of the items that got nominated in the “Related Materials” category this year was an over the top homage to Ray Bradbury (released in April 2010). It wasn’t until sitting in the Hugo ceremony that I realized it was a music video. You can follow the link to read the backstory, but I will warn you up front if you just want to watch – it’s lyrical content is not really safe for work.  Consider yourself warned…

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