Monthly Archives: July 2012

One of the odd things about this picture are all of the people who aren’t there. The class was cut by roughly a third in between the 7th and 8th grade. The end-result being that a lot of people I have a lot of memories with aren’t in the 8th grade picture.

Another of the odd things are people who bring up visceral reactions, but that’s all I remember. I singled out #3 below and thought about singling out more, but they are too numerous. Not all of them are negative. Some of them I can immediately remember their name and that’s it. I don’t even know how I remember their name. Often it’s just “LIKE!” or “DON’T LIKE!” without much recollection of why.

Below is a list of recollections of various people. It’s far from inclusive, but I had to draw the line somewhere and chose 25 (though there are two #9’s and I should have combined #1 and #2). Assuming I remember this time, I will be fuzzing this picture up in a week or so. The row descriptions are inexact, but include both the cheerleader and faculty rows. I will neither confirm nor deny guesses as to which person in the photograph I am.

#1 (Third down, center-right): Stabbed a bully in the eye with a pencil

#2 (Middle row, off to the right): Was stabbed in the eye with a pencil by the Bullyslayer (he survived).

#3 (Third down, center-left): I hate this girl with a passion. Seeing her face makes me think “HATE! HATE! HATE!”… I cannot remember why.

#4 (Top-right): The Weatherby Twins

#5 (Bottom-left): At least two guys I know had a crush on her. Pre-cheerleader.

#6: The principal. She was an unremarkable principle, except that she followed a completely inept principal. The district loved her, though. She was promoted to a high school, then sub-intendant, then super-intendant, and how has a friggin’ school named after her. It’s the weirdest thing.

#7: Gave me my first F, changed my life.

#8: Got me grounded for three-and-a-half weeks. She was just out of school and quite attractive.

#9: Pink had an FBI agent for an ex-husband. Aqua had a former NFL linebacker. These are great ways to win points with middle-school boys.

#10: The infamous counseller who informed my parents that their son was not college material. (She did this while the counseller of my elementary school).

#11: My remedial reading teacher. She called my parents in for a conference. Scared me half-to-death. It turned out the meeting was to ask why I had been put in remedial reading and if it would be okay if I just played at the computer lab across the way since I was obviously so bored.

#12: Ex-marine who fixed shop class.

#13 (Fourth row up, near-center): The inexplicable wallflower.

#14 (Top row, right): This kid was a good example of the upside of athletics. He was a brute until he had coaches to tell him not to be.

#15 (Top row, left): He was a friend I don’t talk about much. His parents were deaf, but he wasn’t. He also appeared to have different ethnic routes than they. That suggested adoption, though the story was otherwise. In any event, he was the only good friend I had who had trouble in school for reasons other than lack-of-effort.

#16 (Fourth row up, far right): Clementine!

#17 (Third row up, mid-left): Nice girl, smart girl, cute girl. My friend dated her (a few years after this picture was taken) on this basis. It was a nightmare within weeks. A future post, I think.

#18 (Middle row, mid-left): I still feel guilty for how I treated this guy, theoretically a friend. He’s one of only a couple I’d like to go back and apologize to. The other guy I treated rotten deserved it.

#19 (Fourth down, center-right): The only kid my parents ever forbade me from hanging out with.

#20 (Third or fourth row up, near-left): A nerd’s nerd who somehow “made it” in high school. It was like his father needed to die for him to be comfortable with himself and therefore make friends.

#21 (Fourth row from bottom, mid-left): Moved to Deseret and joined an atypical religious sect.

#22 (Center): A friend with this sister… she was not remarkably attractive (indeed, I wasn’t positive when I first met her that she was a she instead of a non-masculine he, though to be fair she was 12), but man did I fall for her and hard when our families took a trip together.

#23 (Middle row, far-left): Did okay for himself.

#24 (Third row up, far right): Pregnant the following year.

#25 (Fourth row up, center-left): Lived a couple houses down. We were never friends, but I did get along with his older brother and had a special relationship with his younger sister. He had some behavioral issues, though I hear he turned himself around.

Category: School

While Ethan tackles the weightier questions of the trilogy, I’ll look at the geekier ones.

All in all, this comic geek can’t complain all that much. This trilogy turned out to be a departure from the Batman tradition in many respects. I’ll start with the third movie and then move backwards.

The most frustrating thing to me, was John Blake. Namely, that he wasn’t named Tim Drake (the third Robin). Given the similarity of name, I actually wonder if it might have been their intent. If their intent was to make the Robin connection a surprise, they gave their game away with more than the resemblence I saw. As the movie wore on, I kept thinking “Just call him Tim!”

I was smacking myself over the head for not picking up on Talia. The signs were all there. How did I miss it? The timeline of Bane didn’t make sense (namely, Bane having simultaneously been crippled in the pit and having escaped uncrippled) as I tried to piece it together. The obvious answer just didn’t occur to me. Watching it the second time was even more painful in this regard. Could they have been more obvious? Tate talks about balance!

This was probably the best depiction of Catwoman that I have seen to date. Unlike previous depictions, rather true to the character. I was a little worried about Catwoman with no overhead mask and the cat ears, but they made it work.

Bane was also well-done, though much more of a departure. The trick of combining the concepts of the Lazerus Pit and Pena Duro was kind of neat. Bane just isn’t the same without Venom. And, of course, it turned out that we were dealing with Bane The Henchman rather than Bane The Mastermind. At least he was an intelligent Henchman and not a drooling idiot.

It’s a bit irritating that Nolan took two of comparatively few minority Batman villains (Arabian Ra’s al Ghul and Latin American Bane) and replaced them with two white people. I’m really quite tired of villains with British accents.

As with Catwoman, they did a good job with the Batman costume throughout the trilogy. One of the more ridiculous things about the previous Batman franchise were the stiff necks. To see anything that wasn’t right in front of him, he had to turn his entire body around. Here they produced a costume that not only looked good, but had much more passable functionality.

Notably, a porn production also did a pretty good job with both Batman and Catwoman’s costumes.

Out of curiosity, will Harvey Bullock or Rene Montoya ever appear movie form? They made Flass a Bullockesque character in appearance, not unlike the corrupt Lt. Eckhardt from the 1989 movie. They had a Montoya-like character in the second. I had actually guessed that she was a mole because they hadn’t named her Montoya. The inclusion of Hugh Foley was an interesting touch.

The lack of an actual Batmobile in this series was an interesting and unexpected decision. Mostly because it’s the kind of thing that directors/producers seem to like to have fun with.

One of the things that struck me is that, starting at the second movie, was that Gotham really had too many good and loyal servants. Commissioner Loeb, a corrupt piece of work in the comics, was actually a good commish. Mayor Garcia. By the time Harvey Dent came along, the city already seemed like it was in good hands.

Whenever a series of movies conclude, I always feel a bit of loss for the villains who weren’t used. I liked that this one introduced some less common ones, like Ra’s, Scarecrow and (a non-drooly version of) Bane. I’m sorry that Riddler and Penguin didn’t get a showing. One of these days I want to see a master franchise. Five movies or more. Let it build, let it continue, and so on.

Category: Theater

In this post, liberal does not mean “of the contemporary American left” and conservative does not mean “of the contemporary American right” though there is at least some overlap (in other cases, they are in opposition).

I was born, I think, something of a liberal soul. I was unusually creative even as a little sprite. I was the kid who looked at all the rules and asked “why?” even more than most other kids. This continued into adolescence. There’s nothing remarkably unusual about this. Young people questioning authority is hardly an unusual concept. I was ahead of some of my peers, and behind others.

The “behind others” may, as much of anything, have had little to do with my soul, however. Rather, I was raised in a rather conservative environment. Not religious-fundamentalist. Not even Republican – though I assumed my parents were Republicans for the longest time. Rather, a household of anti-entitlement, a little skepticism towards charity, and where rules we couldn’t understand were still rules (not just parental authority rules). My parents weren’t actually all that strict, compared to a lot of people I knew, but there was an atmosphere. They used soft influence more than threats when it came to my hair getting too long, for instance, or friends of which they disapproved.

In high school, I started making friends with a fair number of counter-culture types. They were people I bonded with, even though they had pink hair and nose-rings while I had a traditional haircut and wore button shirts. They did things it would never have occurred to me to do. I had parents that would push back when my hair started coming over my ears. They never lectured me against drugs, but rather raised me in an atmosphere where they were unthinkable.

What turned me away from liberalism, to at least some degree, is the realization that their system was right far more than it was wrong. I couldn’t live within the parameters of their world. It was never in my liberal soul to do so. But their system pulled me back from so many mistakes it was ridiculous. When my soul’s ideology ran up against theirs, they usually won. Sometimes in the form of preventing from doing something that was a mistake. Often in the form of having made a mistake by not letting their voice in my head prevent me from doing them.

Myself at seventeen and myself at nearly twice that age would not recognize one another. They would not get along remarkably well.

“What do you mean I should cut my hair? You sound just like my parents.”

“Listen, kid. You’re a freak. Don’t try to deny it. We both know you are. There are some ways that you will never be able to conform to society. But your hair? That’s one way where you can. Cut your damn hair.”

The conservatism was an anchor. Since I could never walk the straight line, it always prevented me from straying too far from it. It prevented me from being too much a victim of what I have come to see as my own poor internal judgment. My own tendency to want to knock down boundaries simply because I do not immediately see why they are there. To accept the wisdom of my surroundings, even if the actual wisdom of it all eluded me. Not forcing me to follow all rules without question, but nonetheless forcing me to come up with a strong affirmative argument any time I wanted to break them.

My parents, as it turned out, were never as conservative as I thought. My father was a district delegate for Barack Obama. My mother, another liberal soul who was mugged by reality, would tell me not to do what she would have wanted to do and, in some cases, what she did. She told me I had to go to college, though half-expected me to flunk out and was fully prepared to love and embrace me anyway. She had some strong ideas on who I would marry, and it wasn’t who she thought I would marry (Clancy is somewhere in between – she’s thrilled) and she was fully prepared to love and embrace me anyway. The ways in which they made clear they would never support me, they would have supported me in the end (within reason).

They presented me with an illusory world of conformity that, the older I have gotten, the more I realized never fully existed in the Truman household. They bucked the system in more ways than I ever realized. Like me, they had their own tendencies that were at odds with their environment. Like me, they conformed where they could, but did not where it wasn’t in them to do so (though, with them, it was more a matter of socioeconomic class than internal ideology).

Sometimes I think it is the conflict between my nature and my nurture that leaves me so… conflicted… about so many things. In politics it gets more complicated still (my conservative nurture leading me to Democratic sympathies, and vice-versa), but the squishiness you see before you stretches to many things beyond who I should vote for and which political positions I support. They go to which job I should take, who I dated, and my feelings about where I went to school and what I majored in. The natural inclination that the system should never stand in the way of who you are and the life you want to lead, and the nurtural inclination that the system exists for a reason.

Category: Coffeehouse

As advertised, the NCAA is coming down hard on Penn State:

The NCAA has hit Penn State with a $60 million sanction, a four-year football postseason ban and a vacation of all wins dating to 1998, the organization said Monday morning. The career record of Joe Paterno will reflect these vacated records, the NCAA said.

Penn State must also reduce 10 initial and 20 total scholarships each year for a four-year period.

The NCAA revealed the sanctions as NCAA president Mark Emmert and Ed Ray, the chairman of the NCAA’s executive committee and Oregon State’s president, spoke at a news conference in Indianapolis at the organization’s headquarters.

“In the Penn State case, the results were perverse and unconscionable. No price the NCAA can levy will repair the damage inflicted by Jerry Sandusky on his victims,” Emmert said, referring to the former Penn State defensive coordinator convicted of 45 counts of child sex abuse last month.

The NCAA said the $60 million was equivalent to the average annual revenue of the football program. The NCAA ordered Penn State to pay the penalty funds into an endowment for “external programs preventing child sexual abuse or assisting victims and may not be used to fund such programs at the university.”

As far as NCAA punishments go, and the severity of Penn State’s actions (and the consequences of those actions against others), I can’t really say that the NCAA is being too hard on Penn State here. I can reiterate my previously held view, however, that vacating wins is dumb. Previous players who had nothing to do with the events back in yesteryear should not have their wins taken away. Because, you know, they won. And unlike in other cases, nobody cheated. We can’t even say “but they might not have won without that ineligible player, so we must vacate” as we can in other instances. I think it’s a bad idea regardless because wins are wins and losses are losses, but I think it’s particularly bad in this case.

The rationale in this case almost certainly has to do with a strong desire to deny Joe Paterno his perch as the winningest coach in college football. I can very, very much appreciate the sentiment. But you know what Joe Paterno is? The college football coach who has won more games than anyone else..

The big concern, though, isn’t the vacated wins. It’s the apparent lack of due process. (more…)

Category: Theater

A long while back, I used to take calls for CignalTV, a cable and/or satellite provider. It was a short-lived, but surprisingly interesting experience. A fifteen minute call from a mentally handicapped guy who wanted to describe what he was seeing on the NASA channel. The angry customer who came to like me so much that he demanded to be given my “personal office number” and then started screaming at me again when I told him that there was no way to contact me directly. The redneck who was outraged that chocolate erotica had been ordered on his account (the other porn he was fine with, that one he wanted removed). And, sadly, a whole lot of cases of people who were paying for television they quite simply could not afford.

One case involved a guy who was calling because his satellite didn’t work. We’re always instructed to ask the last time it worked. He responded never. His account was six months old. It never worked? Never worked. You’ve been paying $90 a month (he had the everything package), it’s never worked, and you’re just now calling (phrased differently)? Yup. Well, we drill down and discover that he was never eligible for service in the first place. He was upset because we could only give him three months of his payments back. I was largely unsympathetic because I thought he was an idiot who was paying almost $100 for something that he never cared whether it was working or not.

All of this to bring me back to my chore today. Our satellite TV has been out of commission. And, per the script, they asked me how long it had been out. I didn’t really know the answer. A month? Six weeks? I don’t watch a whole lot of TV in the summer. If it wasn’t for the return of Burn Notice and Suits, I probably wouldn’t have called until football season was around. Like me with the idiot, they were flabbergasted that I could go so long without calling. One of them was skeptical. Per the script, they kept telling me “We know how frustrating this is, and we’re doing our best to get your service up and running as quickly as possible.” I told one of them “Ma’am, I’m as cool as a cucumber. Don’t worry about me being irate.” It was in the script, though, so she kept saying it anyway.

They’re going to be sending someone around on Monday. The reception is deader than dead.

When I initially called, they said I owed them $160, which is almost four months worth of satellite. That made me fear that the autopayments hadn’t been going through and that I was cut off for lack of payment. It turned out that, for the second year straight, I was caught off-guard by being automatically re-enrolled in the college football gamepack.

Anyhow, back to the subject at hand, if I’d realized six weeks ago how little TV I would be watching in the summer, I might have cancelled satellite altogether, or put it on hold. Early this year I downgraded to the lowest half-decent plan available. I’ll be upgrading back in time for the sports season.

Category: Theater

So, according to a study, 88% of Americans stalk exes on Facebook:

Lukacs tells me that the survey respondents were 18-35 and the interview respondents were 21 to 39. They were all people whose hearts had been torn asunder in the previous 12 months. It is always best to research on those whose feelings are near the surface.

But did this stalking add to their pain or were they in pain and therefore stalked the ones they’d lost?

May I offer you some details of this research that might add to your pain?

Not merely did the vast majority stalk, but 70 percent admitted to using a mutual friend’s profile or even logging in as that mutual friend to do their stalking.

They creep around to see if their ex is having a sleep around.

Is that not painful enough for you? Well, 74 percent crept around the profile of their ex’s new partner or someone they feared might be their ex’s new partner.

Only 88%?

My friend Clint was having a lot of difficulty getting over his ex-girlfriend who he was sure was the love of his life (I don’t mean this as snarky as it sounds, there weren’t many girls he felt this strongly about or who matched his desires so closely). She unceremoniously dumped him and he had a hard time letting go. He was one of those people that did some funny business to get access to her MySpace stuff. I won’t recount how he did it, but it was pretty clever and she had no idea.

The end result was… sublime. He was reminded of the things that he didn’t like about her. Things that he had forgotten about in the intervening weeks. He got over her relatively quickly.

I am really, really glad that by the time that MySpace came around (and later Facebook, of course), I was out of the dating market. It’s the sort of thing that I have a really hard time resisting. I hated being completely cut off, of course, but it was always for the best. It was also easier then than it is now.

A slightly different subject…

A Facebook Friend who put up a picture of my fourth grade class recently put up our 8th grade class. It’s drawing in a lot of comments from people I knew way back in the day. I’d actually be interested in 1-day passes to find out what has happened to them without the mess of actually friending them. (This is a different subject because I never had a single girlfriend from my school system. The lady friends I had as a minor went to other schools.) Anyhow, from the pictures I’ve seen, I would have expected more of them to be fat. I think I’ve been conned by popular entertainment kharma. You know that bitchy hot girl who treated you like trash? Well, she’s 30-something now and is still hot. That’s not how it’s supposed to work.

Category: Server Room

Rush Limbaugh apparently thinks it is not a coincidence that the main villain of the new Batman movie will be Bane, homonymous with the name of Mitt Romney’s former company:

So, anyway, this evil villain in the new Batman movie is named Bane. And there’s now a discussion out there as to whether or not this is purposeful and whether or not it will influence voters. It’s gonna have a lot of people. This movie, the audience is gonna be huge. A lot of people are gonna see the movie, and it’s a lot of brain-dead people, entertainment, the pop culture crowd, and they’re gonna hear Bane in the movie and they’re gonna associate Bain. The thought is that when they start paying attention to the campaign later in the year, and Obama and the Democrats keep talking about Bain, Romney and Bain, that these people will think back to the Batman movie, “Oh, yeah, I know who that is.” (laughing) There are some people who think it’ll work. Others think you’re really underestimating the American people to think that will work.

As others have pointed out, the character predates this election by nearly twenty years. A little more interestingly, there are comparatively few conservative comic book writers out there, but it just so happens that Bane was created by one of them: Chuck Dixon.

Not to defend Limbaugh, because he clearly has no idea what he’s talking about and seems largely uninterested except in the phonetic angle, it’s theoretically possible that that Bane and Bain are connected. They might have, for instance, chosen to use Bane as the villain of the upcoming movie as a partisan potshot. Early on, the villain was actually slated to be a guy named Black Mask. Then it became Bane. Coincidence? To be perfectly honest, I don’t expect much different from Hollywood. The problem is that it falls apart after even a little inspection.

The truth is, if they were willing to sacrifice their art for the sake of partisanship, Black Mask would have been the way to go. Black Mask was born Roman Sionis, the scion of a wealthy Gotham family who could never live up to his family name. He has a fixation with masks. It would be remarkably easy to make a movie featuring Black Mask as a marquee villain and make him look a lot like Mitt Romney. It would require leading the movie to go somewhere other than where it appears to be going (Bane appears to be down with the 99%). But hey, what’s a plot when you can score political potshots? (At least, that’s what Limbaugh is implying.)

The choosing of Bane as a villain isn’t air-tight, though. First, they stripped him of his origin, more or less. One of the few minority villains out there (Bane is Latin American) and they remade him British. That’s a disappointment, not just for the sake of diversity, but because I’m sick of villains with British accents (even muffled ones). The only think that comic book Bane and movie Bane appear to have in common is their name and a propensity for strategic thinking. This is the opposite of Bane from the previous franchise, who had the origin and appearance (more or less), but was disappointingly a drooling idiot. Even with all of this in mind, though, if you need a mastermind with brute force, Bane is a pretty natural selection.

In any event, this turns out not to be the first time that Limbaugh has taken aim at fellow conservative Chuck Dixon. A long while back, Dixon had a character named Link Rambeau that was clearly patterned on Rush. Apparently Rush got wind of it and condemned it, without regard to the context of Rambeau’s appearance. The plotline involved a ridiculously liberal psychologist making the rounds on talk shows. The psychologist was clearly an idiot (he was trying to say that the Joker was merely misunderstood) and Rambeau opposed this train of logic. In other words, Rambeau was right and the characterization not really unflattering in any meaningful sense.

Category: Theater

Theoretically, science is science and political motivations should be set aside. In reality, it almost never works that way. Whether we accept scientific conclusions or not depends, in good part, on whether the results conform to how Americans should or should not live.

Global Warming wasn’t the imminent catastrophe when I was growing up than it is now. Yet, almost everything we’re talking about doing because of global warming, were things that we were taught to do before global warming was the primary ecological threat of our lifetime (or was framed as such). I do not consider this a coincidence.

A long while back, I was advancing my theory that increased gasoline costs might actually lead to a solidifying in the suburbs if employers end up relocating closer to employees rather than vice-versa. She exclaimed “That would defeat the purpose of global warming!”

The purpose of global warming, in her mind, being a rationale through which we should be rearranging society. I’m not arguing that’s what global warming is about for all or even most of those who are saying that we need to combat it. I do think, however, it is a lot easier to accept the science when the result is people living in a way that you think they ought to. I do not find it to be a coincidence that those who believe in the imminent disaster of global warming are also inclined to believe that Peak Oil is right around the corner. One way or another, we’re going to get them out of their SUVs dagnabbit, our of their suburbs, and living the way they ought.

Not a single word of the above has any effect on whether (a) AGW is occuring and will continue to do so or (b) whether we need to do something about it. It is or it isn’t, we should or we shouldn’t. It does, however, complicate the discussion. It prevents us from approaching global warming as a thing and outside of the political lens.

CAFE standards are not a particular effective way to combat global warming, in my view, because it focuses on one aspect at the expense of another. The mileage your car gets only matters if you hold the number of miles driven as a constant. The end result is that we punish people who have low-mileage cars who drive short distances while we let skate people who have high-mileage cars but actually burn more fuel. I went through far, far more fuel in my compact than I presently do in my crossover SUV. I say all this to say that when I say all this, it comes across as “I don’t care about the environment.” It’s a political issue that I am on the wrong side of. The goal – at least for some – is not just to get people to use less gas (though I agree that’s a big part of it) but also to drive the right kind of car.

I support carbon taxes. Or rather, I support the right carbon taxes. Ideally, comparatively revenue-neutral ones. Ones that take the money raised and disperse it back. Not put aside for grants, not going to education. Not going to health care. Not going to toxic waste clean-up. Winners and losers should be picked precisely on how much carbon they are responsible for. In one hand, out the other (more or less). From there, let people drive whatever car they want, live in whatever kind of neighborhood they want, and make choices on that basis.

This, to me, is far preferable than using global warming as a rationale to change our lives or push is in specific ways. Not only because the freedom of personal choice, but because it’s most conducive to finding a way to cut emissions while living the way we want to live, which in turn means it will more likely be successful. And in turn, I will have more confidence that it is about reducing emissions than it is about the appropriate cosmetics and living the “right way.”

Given the stakes, we simply shouldn’t care if it’s nuclear power or renewable. We shouldn’t care if people reduce emissions by getting a more fuel-efficient car or by driving less. We shouldn’t care all that much whether they drive less because they moved to the city or because their employer relocated to the suburbs. The degree to which all of these things continue to matter… it becomes apparent as a political rather than purely scientific issue.

Australia recently passed a carbon tax to go into effect. I will be interested to see how it works out. Hopefully that, rather than CAFE, Cash-for-Clunkers, and light bulb bans, will provide the most useful blueprint.

Category: Statehouse

As I was graduating from college, one thing became apparent: Desktops were going the way of the dinosaur. Laptops were going to replace them. Why shouldn’t they? I mean, you can actually take a laptop places. It can do everything a desktop can do, but in a portable way, right?

Well, laptops have displaced desktops as the most common form of personal computing (at least, I believe so). Yet… desktops are still around. In large numbers. And they aren’t going away. It’s likely that they never will. Why not? Because they serve a valuable purpose as work machines. The work station I have up stairs? Laptops can’t do that. Multi-monitors, large monitors, a more workish environment that requires no set-up. Even if a laptop is more flexible, there are a number of things that are easier to do on a desktop than a laptop. And given how cheap both are, it’s easy to have both. And so while the laptop has thrived, the desktop has remained and appears as though it will remain indefinitely. Why wouldn’t they?

With this in mind, my head boggles any time anyone talks about the post-PC world. A few years ago it was smartphones that were going to replace PCs. Now, tablets. Okay, tablets with keyboards, maybe. So sort of laptops. There’ll be a merger. Something will surely happen to kill off the PC, right?

No. Not at all.

Just as was the case with the smartphone, the notion that we will settle on any single device is very short-sighted. Why should we? Different tasks beg for different tools. Sometimes you need to sit and work. Sometimes you want to sprawl on the sofa and write a blog post. Sometimes you need extra monitors, sometimes you want to be comfortable. Sometimes you want something you can take with you, sometimes you want something that fits in your pocket, and sometimes those things don’t matter and you want performance (and the desktop will always rule over laptops, tablets, and smartphones over performance). This notion that we will end up settling on a single device implies a degree of scarcity that does not actually exist. Now, more than ever, we can afford a desktop and a laptop and a smartphone and a tablet. We can cut out this one or that one, and few will have all four, but there’s not much reason to believe we will all cut out the same ones.

Ironically, the thing that is going to make this easier is actually the thing that leads some to say that the future is going to not be a PC one: cloud computing. I am actually skeptical of the extent to which we will ever move completely to cloud computing, but it does make switching between devices easier. Which not only means that we can do more on our tertiary devices, but also means that we can use these devices in complement with one another.

I was first told about “cloud computing” when I was in college. It wasn’t called that yet, but went by the less marketable name of “Dumb Terminal.” Which was the belief that in the future, computers wouldn’t actually be anything but terminals into larger and more powerful machines. It took fifteen years, and it’s still not happening quite like it was supposed. Why should it happen? Our individual computers now are just as powerful as the mainframe they would have been connected to 15 years ago. Given the constant state of advancement, there’s no reason to outsource what our computer does. At least, not completely. Enough, though, to make owning lots of devices easier. As Americans, we like to own stuff.

Category: Server Room

I overheard at the supply store today someone telling a story. He was relating a conversation with a third party. Somewhere in the words or thoughts were “Hey man, fuck that, this watch cost $8.”

I was not sufficiently curious to inquire further about the conversation, nor did I see his watch, but as a fan of $8 watches, I’m pretty sure I take his side in the conversation.

I accidentally ordered one too many of my US Polo watches. The extra one has been sitting in the basement unused. I fished it out yesterday and can’t for the life of me figure out why I sidelined this one in particular. It’s cosmetically superior to the one I was using in every way. It was a $22 watch and not an $8. I feel inferior to the guy who makes do with an $8 watch.

Category: Downtown