Didn't want to leave

January 08, 2004

I've never wanted to stay in Lake County, Florida more in my life. I had absolutely no desire to come back to California. I had to because of school, but I'm not sure I want to be here. This break has been the best I've ever had. My friends and I had sooooo much fun and did sooooo many great things that it was incredibly hard to leave it all behind and possibly not see them again for a full year. I'm going to miss huge meals prepared by friends' parents (and grandparents), the really fun stuff I can't talk about on this webpage, the drunken nights (and days) at Kristie's place, the New Year's celebration with old friends, the simple lunches with someone different each day to reminisce and catch-up, the laughter, and the unconditional love. I'm going to miss it all, and now more than ever. I can't explain the feeling I had when the plane touched down in San Jose — just apathy really. Yay, more school.

Though I was rarely at my house, I did manage to get through the first two seasons of 24 on DVD. That show is absolutely fucking incredible. I'm not sure I've ever been so engaged in a TV show in my entire life. I'd watch three or four episodes at a clip, never wanting to stop. It's really an excellent show and one that you should treat yourself to if you haven't already.

I'm getting dangerously close to buying the available-only-in-Japan-at-the-moment Sony DSC-T1 digital camera. Ugh.

While I'm on a roll of talking about completely unrelated things, this promotion looks way too good to be true. If anyone has any info on this outfit, or better yet, has signed up for this promo or used them in the past, please let me know, as it looks, umm, free!

Top ten of 2003

January 06, 2004

Musically, the year started out rather slow, but things eventually picked up and I really feel that I came away with a lot of great records. If I had to pick a favorite album of 2003 it would probably be The Strokes' Room on Fire.

  • The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever To Tell
  • The Postal Service - Give up
  • Zwan - Mary Star of the Sea
  • The Strokes - Room on Fire
  • Radiohead - Hail to the Thief
  • The White Stripes - Elephant
  • Ryan Adams - Rock N Roll
  • Our Lady Peace - Live
  • The Jayhawks - Rainy Day Music

Unfortunately, I was not able to see as many movies this year as I would have liked. A few that probably would have ousted others in this list had I seen them are: Angels in America, Spellbound, Thirteen, 21 Grams, Capturing the Friedmans, 28 Days Later, and Bus 174.

  • Lost in Translation
  • American Splendor
  • Mystic River
  • Pirates of the Carribean
  • Seabiscuit
  • Finding Nemo
  • Bad Santa
  • Old School
  • Return of the King
  • Master and Commander

How do you like them apples?

January 05, 2004

I must admit that I'm a little relieved after getting off the phone with the Apple people. After re-sending my PowerBook back to them, I was expecting to have the computer back no earlier than the 12th given previous experience and the the New Year's holiday. Much to my delight, it was actually scheduled to be delivered today — unbelievable! Listen to this: I shipped it back to them on the 31st, the next day was New Years, they received it on the 2nd, fixed it, and shipped it back out the same day! If there hadn't been a holiday and a weekend in the middle of all of this, I would have had it sent off, repaired, and back in my hands in less than 44 hours!

I won't even be back in California until Wednesday and so I called Airborne Express and had them delay the delivery until Thursday. Let's hope that this time around it arrives unharmed.

This isn't happening

December 29, 2003

As fate would have it, my returned PowerBook's screen, while relieved of its white spots, has a yellow pixel line spanning from top to bottom on the right-hand side, and another "clear" line spanning from left to right near the top. You heard right, they sent me a broken replacement screen! It's just my luck. This means that I have to go through the entire repair process again: call Apple, complain, wait for the box to get here, send the PowerBook away, wait 7-10 business days to get it back. To summarize, I will be without my PowerBook for the entire break and probably won't have it back before school starts! Fuck!

Now, I understand that this could have happened anywhere along the shipping path, and surely they didn't send it off with the very apparent lines running through the screen, but none of that helps to quiet my anger. Bleh.

Expanded archives

December 28, 2003

I've received a few requests from people wanting me to create a way for them to be able to read the archived entries more easily. I decided to keep the single list of entries, but added the option of reading through the entries by month (something that MT makes rather simple). If you check the archives section, you will now see the individual and monthly links — and yes, everything is future-proofed.

She's a flight risk

December 27, 2003

As usual, when I'm back at my Dad's house, I spend a lot of time reading through the magazines he has saved for me since the last time I was home. Yesterday I was reading the October Esquire (one of the best issues ever actually) and came upon an article that I absolutely could not put down. The author opens with:

The story you are about to read is true. It involves a fugitive heiress, guns, money, and layers of Internet intimacy and deception. It is a mystery that takes place at the edge of technology. And it is unlike anything you've ever read before.

It is pointless for me to try to describe the story here; you should read it. What really bugged me out about the whole thing is that I hadn't heard of it before — it seems rather odd that I wouldn't have come across it through my incessant internet-news-reading habits. Perhaps I did and blew it off. Either way, the story has its tentacles around me now and I plan to read this girl's entire weblog from start to present. If your interest has been piqued, you should first read the article to get a feel for what's going on, and then dive into the actual weblog (I just realized that her last entry was in October, the same month that the Esquire article broke). As the author of the Esquire story points out, this could all be an elaborate hoax, and probably is, but the more I read, the more I believe — I'm hooked regardless. [I found a May article from Wired which discusses the Isabella v. phenomenon, but keep in mind that that this article is about eight months old and came out well before the Esquire guy got the interview with Isabella]

Rolling Stone for life

December 22, 2003

In what I hope will become the trend throughout the magazine industry, Rolling Stone is offering a lifetime subscription for $99! I'm assuming that this also includes a lifetime membership to their online site, though this isn't discussed anywhere on the sign-up sheet. Either way, it's an absolute steal — a one-year subscription alone is over $100. Given my affinity for all things music, Rolling Stone is one of my favorite magazines and one that I have been reading for as long as I can remember. If you are considering taking them up on this offer, you might be interested to know that the magazine is published every two weeks, not once a month.

Note to American Airlines

December 22, 2003

When you announce that the flight time from Dallas to Orlando will be 2 hours and 5 minutes, don't then tell us that the in-flight movie will be Seabiscuit, which I swore to the kid sitting next to me was more than 2 hours and 5 minutes. I was right, and the movie got cut off with at least 20 minutes remaining. While I had already seen it, most of the people around me hadn't and were obviously perturbed.

And one more thing, you would do well not to call a granola bar, a cup of blueberry yogurt, and a package of raisins, a "gourmet" breakfast (unless of course you laugh slightly or say it with undeniable sarcasm).

An eventful day

December 19, 2003

Yesterday was quite eventful. A friend of mine from California, who knows the area well, invited me to checkout some of the sights in Monterey, Carmel, and Big Sur — rumored to be the greatest stretch of coastline in the world. I can't disagree. It was b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l. I got tons of pictures and plan to put some up as soon as I get my PowerBook back. Before hitting up the coastline, we headed to the Monterey Bay Aquarium — one of the top aquariums in the world. It was obviously my first time and I absolutely loved it. I managed to get some decent pics from the aquarium (most of it was way too dark to take pictures) and I'll put them up along with the coastline shots.

We had a great lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., but I'm afraid that I got some sort of food poisoning from the place as I ended up getting extremely sick on the way home last night. I was violently ill; I threw up a few times and my stomach felt like it was being ripped open. This lasted well into the night. Thankfully, after approximately 13 hours of sleep, which I've never done on my own (read: without alcohol), I feel much better.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I must get back to replying to the large e-mail queue. "Your e-mail will be answered in the order it was received."  :)

A difficult parting

December 17, 2003

My new PowerBook was sent off earlier today to have its screen, which has fallen victim to the notorious white spots, replaced. Though I'd like to talk about how it feels to have to part with my 'baby,' I know I could not compare to Tom Coate's heartfelt description, and so I'll let his pain speak for mine:

And so with a deep sigh I have consigned my beautiful Powerbook (which has been with me such a very little time) back to the welcoming arms of Mother Apple. My child needs to be fixed. The strange mottling blotchiness of his screen had become worse and worse as the days passed by until they resembled nothing so much as a pair of staring blank eyes - evil eyes - that hovered in front of every piece of work I did, every movie I watched, every e-mail I sent. It's so difficult with beautiful computers - you love them (like a child), training and working with them until you operate as one (like a family) until eventually they betray you (like a child all over again). But when they turn sour that good feeling stays with you for longer - it's so difficult to do what must be done but do it you must. They must be sent off to faraway scientists who'll open them up with strange devices, rooting around in everything that makes them what they are and forcing their silicon biology back to standards that their parents can live with. They must be brought back to civilised behaviour whatever the cost.

Data may be lost - I accept that. The Powerbook that I gave to the rather nice-looking man from UPS may not feel or be quite the same when it returns. It will have been changed, fixed, broken and reformed. But when it returns it will work - and work it must - for I have typing to do.

Comes and goes

December 14, 2003

I'm comin' 'round to open the blinds
You can't hide here any longer
My God you need to rinse those puffy eyes
You can't last here any longer

And yes they'll ask you where you've been
And you'll have to tell them again and again

And you probably don't want to hear tomorrow's another day
Well I promise you you'll see the sun again
And you're asking me why pain's the only way to happiness
And I promise you you'll see the sun again

Come on take my hand
We're going for a walk, I know you can
You can wear anything as long as it's not black
Please don't mourn forever
She's not coming back

From Dido's See the Sun.

Corporate survivor

December 13, 2003

I'm suddenly reminded of the feeling I had three days into my internship at Nortel where they let go of 80% of the division I had just begun working for.

Blogging hiatus

November 30, 2003

Due to upcoming law school midterms, I'm probably not going to post for a while. The exams run from December 2nd to the 16th.

Google is broken

November 23, 2003

It's no secret that weblogs have really taken a toll on PageRank, but just to bring the point home, I offer a few examples gathered from my referrer logs.

At the time of this posting I'm the #1 Google result for tourist apparel, halloween photos 2003 san francisco, waiting with bated breath, and t68i daylight savings. I wish I had all day to sit around and find out every possible word sequence for which I'm the #1 hit.  :)

I'm the #2 result for t616 review isync, examsoft linux, and they found nemo.

I'm coming in at #2 for blanton.

PowerBook white spots

November 19, 2003

I've started to see the infamous "white spots" on my new PowerBook. I'm not amused. There has been a lot of buzz about this on the Net, but I figured I was immune as I hadn't noticed any spots. A couple of days ago I was using Exposé to clear the screen and the 'glowing' spots just kind of jumped out at me. I tried to strike it up to fingerprints or something and attempted to 'wipe' them off — joke's on me. The spots on my screen are incredibly faint (nothing like Joseph's), but they are there nonetheless and will only get worse over time. If you know me personally, you know that I'm a tad bit anal-retentive when it comes to my "gadgets," and, umm, this is my favorite gadget. I've signed the online petition and Apple has officially acknowleged the problem:

The new 15-inch PowerBook has been a big hit with customers since its introduction last month. However, some customers are reporting the appearance of faint white spots on their displays after using the system for a short period of time, and Apple is investigating these reports right now. Any customers experiencing this problem should contact AppleCare.

The problem is apparently from "spacers" that are placed between the screen and the aluminum casing. The spacers are to prevent the casing from bending; they're putting pressure on the screen and causing the white spots, which seem to be in the same general area on all the screens. MacFixIt has put up a picture that outlines where the spots are appearing. I have spots at positions two and three.

From what I can gather, Apple is fixing the screens without much hassle (100% free while under warranty — anything else would obviously be unacceptable). The screens are permanently scarred and so Apple is replacing the entire top portion of the notebook. I bring this up because I currently have no dead pixels — who knows if I'll have any when they replace the LCD. I'm also apprehensive about the fact that some people have reported that their "fixed" screens have spots as well.

I'm going to wait until after my law midterms to get it replaced (perhaps some of the inconsistencies with the repairs will have been worked out by then). I'm headed back to Florida around Christmas and so I thought I would do it then. I called a few Apple stores around here to try and get a consensus as to whether or not Apple could send a repaired computer to an address other than the one the computer is "registered to." I got conflicting answers from the retail stores and so I called AppleCare, who claim that it will be no problem. We'll see.

I understand that no product is impervious to design flaws (yes, even Apple products are susceptible!), but it still infuriates me that something I paid so much for has such a glowing (pardon the pun) defect. At lease Apple is doing the right thing and replacing the screens free-of-charge and without too much fuss. Be that as it may, I'll be singing an entirely different tune if my returned, and presumably 'fixed' screen, starts to show Orion's belt again.

Nothing but TiVo

November 11, 2003

Alan Taylor posted an interesting read about his three-year old daughter having never known life without TiVo. The part that I especially liked:

She has no idea when her favorite shows are on, never has. She gets quite confused when we are watching a non-TiVo TV, and she asks to watch ''a kids show'', and we have to explain that this TV won't do what ours at home does. We've sometimes shortened this explanation to ''This TV is broken'', which she seems to accept, and will wait until we get home to watch our ''fixed'' TV.

Speaking of TiVo, WeaKnees has just added Interactive TiVo Upgrade Instructions.

Buyers beware

November 11, 2003

I'm incredibly disappointed with the battery life of my Bluetooth mouse. It took less than three weeks for the batteries to die. I can't find any literature as to the purported lifespan, so I'm here to say that it's less than a month! To be fair, I'm always on my computer, but even so, I shouldn't be worried about having to replace the mouse batteries every three weeks. What is more is that the tracking is very, very poor; it just seems to "skip" a lot and doesn't feel very fluid. Looks like I might have to put this bad boy up on eBay or Craigslist and find a Bluetooth mouse with a charging cradle.

On a completely unrelated note, Microsoft has started to move IE into the 21st century by offering the option to block pop-ups. Way to go MS, you finally got a clue — alternative (and better) browsers have been doing this for years — I haven't seen a pop-up since 2000. I always catch myself laughing on the inside when I'm sitting in class and notice people clicking away at pop-ups as if that is just a part of the web experience. I guess some people are into it (last paragraph).