Every year for Mother's Day, I take my mom on a vacation (good boy that I am). This year was supposed to be a trip to Asia, but the last thing I wanted was to pick up a case of SARS, so it was decided to stay closer to home. Since neither of us had ever been to the Grand Canyon, it was off to Arizona for four days of fun in the sun. Now, as impressive as the Grand Canyon is (personally I prefer Waimea Canyon on Kauai) I'd have to say that the absolute highlight of the trip would have to be a stop-over in Sedona.
This amazing, amazing place was supposed to kill 2 hours on the way to the Big Event, but ended up sucking an entire day... and I would have dearly loved to stay longer. Probably one of the most beautiful places I have yet experienced, the best way to see it is with a great company called Pink Jeep Tours, which will take you on a 4-wheel excursion into the Sedona outback. It's a wild wide, a heck of a lot of fun, and an incredible experience that you will remember for the rest of your life. For anybody looking for a quick vacation (or even a long one), you could do a lot worse.
Holy crap! I bypassed Star Trek Nemesis in the theaters because it looked lame, and I still had visions of the awful Star Trek Insurrection trapped in my head. Well, somehow the idiots in charge of Star Trek have managed to sink to a new low... Nemesis sucks total ass. I don't even know what I can say about it except that it is a boring boring boring film with nothing interesting to say or nothing new to show us. I can only pray that the bad box office, horrid reviews by critics and fans alike, and diminished interest in Star Trek in general will kill off this "Next Generation" franchise for good.
1. How many times have you truly been in love? Once.
2. What was/is so great about the person you love(d) the most? She pushed boundaries I didn't know I had, was happy with me the way I was, and opened my mind to new ways of thinking about things. Too bad she ended up being a psychotic, sadistic asshole in the end.3. What qualities should a significant other have? They should love you for who you are rather than who they feel you should be.
4. Have you ever broken someone's heart? Probably.
5. If there was one thing you could teach people about love, what would it be? In order for love to work, you have to give it everything you have. Doing so, however, can be very dangerous, so make sure you love yourself enough to survive it if things don't work out.
1. What's one thing you've always wanted to do, but never have? Become fluent in Japanese. Just when I really get into it, I realize that I don't have anybody to actually talk to, so I abandon my studies until my next trip to Japan (and forget just about everything I have learned in the meanwhile).
2. When someone asks your opinion about a new haircut/outfit/etc, are you always honest? No.
3. Have you ever found out something about a friend and then wished you hadn't? Yes. What happened? I've kept it a secret, even from them. Some things really are better left unsaid.
4. If you could live in any fictional world (from a book/movie/game/etc.) which would it be and why? The movie Total Recall with Arnold Schwarzenegger had an interesting take on the near-future that has never left me since I first watched it. Maybe it's the girl-on-girl fight action (with Sharon Stone no less!) that made such an impression, but they sure made the future seem a nifty place to live.
5. What's one talent/skill you don't have but always wanted? I love languages, and wish I had more of a talent for learning them.
1. Is your hair naturally curly, wavy, or straight? Straight. Long or short? Very short (how can your hair be naturally short?).
2. How has your hair changed over your lifetime? There's not as much of it as there used to be.
3. How do your normally wear your hair? Chopped off and completely messed up. It's been that way pretty much since birth (if you excuse my hippie-length locks as a freshman in high school and a tragic hair experiment gone wrong earlier in life... see question #5).
4. If you could change your hair this minute, what would it look like? I don't really care enough to think about it.
5. Ever had a hair disaster? Once. What happened? When I was in Middle School, a girl I liked suggested I should get a perm (hey, they were cool at the time!). After looking like Shirley Temple for a month, I never gave a crap about my hair again, because it could never look that bad even if I did nothing to it (and so I don't).
1. How are you planning to spend the summer? Riding my new motorcycle.
2. What was your first summer job? Picking cherries (to this day I have not been able to eat cherries, after getting sick on them all those years ago!).
3. If you could go anywhere this summer, where would you go? Australia and New Zealand. I was planning to go this summer, but cancelled so that I could afford the down-payment on my new motorcycle. I still hope to go next year.
4. What was your worst vacation ever? I can't recall ever having a bad vacation!
5. What was your best vacation ever? I've been very fortunate to have gone so many wonderful places but, if forced to choose, I'd have to say the trip I took to Thailand with my brother was the best vacation I've ever had. It was a life-changing trip that still affects me even today.
Minutes after Apple announced its new iChat AV software and accompanying iSight camera, I was online placing my order. I had tried video conferencing before, but it never really lived up to its promise, with crummy video and sound quality, rediculous hoops to jump through with IP addresses, link negotiation, and other nonsense... it just wasn't worth it. Leave it to Apple to get it right! So far, only one of my friends has iSight, so I've only done limited testing with it, but I like what I see so far.
Set-up involves sticking the camera to the back of my Cinema Display and plugging it in. That's it. It took a total of two minutes, and iChat AV popped up the instant the camera was activated. I saw Meagan was online and had her iSight on (thanks to little icons next to your buddies that let you know if the person has audio or audio/video capability). One click and a window came up that allows you to see yourself, check camera position, comb your hair (well, not mine, but whatever!), and you're off.
Audio quality is excellent and video quality is likewise very impressive (especially considering you can blow the image up to ridiculous sizes and still have a pretty good picture, thanks to Apple's Quartz display rendering engine). The only problem seems to be with the camera white balance, which tends to run a little dark (or green under fluorescent light), but I'm sure Apple will fix this eventually (iChat AV is in beta and won't be finalized until later this year when MacOS X 1.3 Panther is released). p>
I've now ordered another couple of cameras for my home G4 Cube and my PowerBook, so I can be connected wherever I am with NO long distance charges! It's like something out of Star Trek! I highly recommend that anybody with a Mac and a broadband connection grab an iSight and see why e-mail is going to become obsolete for personal communications in the future. I just hope that spammers don't figure out a way to ruin iSight like they've done e-mail.
Well, Adriaan Tijsseling has done it again... His amazing Kung-Log blog posting app is now at version 1.5 and is ever so dreamy! We now get to preview entries using Apple's WebKit, which makes all the difference for me (as previews have never worked before for some reason). I can honestly say that this blog would not be possible if it weren't for this excellent app. Any MacOS X user who is even thinking about keeping a blog owes it to themself to take a look (and, for you poor Windows-using bastards, this is yet another good reason to make the switch to a Mac!). My donation is on the way... thanks Adriaan!
Hey now... people are actually reading this blog! Well, two of you at least. So, for Matt and Carol (and anybody else wanting to play around with iChat AV that doesn't mind looking at my face) my "buddy name" is firstname.lastname@example.org. The "mac.com" addresses for .Mac users can also work with AOL Instant Messenger, but you have to get the latest software, because earlier versions won't recognize iChat buddy names.
Helpful iChat AV Hint: Yes, it is a bit disorienting that you can't actually look each other in the eye when chatting (the camera would have to be in the middle of your display for that!), but you can make the shift slightly less annoying by putting the iChat window at the very top of your screen, as close to the camera as possible. I've kind of developed an "iChat-Head-Bob," whereas I look up directly into the camera on occasion so that the person I am iChatting with has more of an illusion that I am talking to them. After a while, I notice them doing it as well. It kind of becomes automatic when you have something particularly important or poignant to say, and makes the conversation all that more personable.
Boy do I love Apple for this new toy!