My personal hero is Steve Jobs.
He died 10 years ago today. I still remember when I found out he had passed. I had been out snorkeling at a reef in the glorious waters of Fiji...
Dolphins were all around the boat as we headed back to shore...
It was a wonderful moment in my life. Then, as we came back into cellular range, I heard my iPhone beep that I had a text message. I ignored it because I didn't want to have an interruption of this perfect day. I loaded up my gear and trudged back to shore. For the entire walk back through warm waters as my feet gooshed into the mud below, my mind was distracted by the message notification. At the time I didn't get texts very often. Usually when I got a text it was bad news...
So when I got to shore I was torn. Do I look at it or do I keep ignoring it? I pulled my iPhone from a waterproof pouch and saw that the text was from my brother. So now I had to read it. My brother never texted me, and the thought that something had happened to my parents or grandparents made avoiding it impossible. The text was four words: Steve Jobs has died...
I was absolutely crushed. I worshipped the guy, and the irony that I found out about his death on a device he had a hand in creating was not lost on me. But instead of being sad, I decided to appreciate the beauty in the world around me, just as Steve Jobs did. Since I was in Fiji, this was not difficult, even though it started raining like it had the day before...
When I flew back to Sydney, there were flowers piled in front of the Apple Store. THAT'S when I broke down...
It was a gut-wrenching moment knowing that I'd never see him on stage delighting everybody with his "One More Thing" or hear new stories of his antics at Apple and out in the world. My life had been made more interesting with Steve Jobs in it. Now that he was gone, I knew there would be a hole there. And it's still there a decade later. I miss you, Steve...
An interesting aside here... Steve Jobs died on October 5, 2011. But I was in Fiji, which was in the future because of the time zone change. Which means I always remember the date as October 6th, 2011... so for me, Steve Jobs had one more day on this earth.
If you go to Apple's website right now, there's a nice tribute movie to Steve Jobs and a statement from the Jobs family that's worth a read.
UPDATE: The video has been posted to YouTube...
One year ago today I was in Fiji. I had been out snorkeling with sharks, sea snakes, and fish. I had been on a boat following a pod of dolphins. I was heading to shore when my mobile phone beeped with a message. I didn't look at it because I rarely get texts when I'm traveling, and usually when I do get a text it's bad news.
Eventually I looked. It was a text from my brother. Despite the fact that I had prepared myself for something less than good, I was completely unprepared for what I saw...
Steve Jobs was gone.
And because of the time difference, I was hearing the news while in the future and half a world away.
It would have been nice if this cheat in time and space would have lessened the blow, but here I am a year later and it still hurts. One of the people I most admire on this earth and whose work has had a huge impact on my life isn't around anymore.
There's never going to be "just one more thing" ever again... and some days it's more than I can take.
Flowers left at the Sydney Apple Store.
Maybe next year will be easier. But today I can't imagine that there's any amount of time and space that will make me feel better about waking up and remembering that Steve Jobs is no longer here.
Hello from the land of rum and pirates.
As a Hard Rock fan, Grand Cayman has been on my list of places to visit for a long time. I almost visited years ago, but a hurricane in the area changed my travel plans.
But here I am at last.
I wasn't going to do the whole "excursion thing" so I could just bum around George Town and hit the beach, but my face is still burnt to a cinder, so I thought "What the hell?"
Which is ironic, because the first stop was... literally... Hell. Hell, Grand Cayman...
I wouldn't have expected it, but there are chickens in hell. Chickens who like eating coconuts...
And here's a shot of Seven Mile Beach taken from the bus window. Sigh. If not for faulty sun-screen and a massive burn on my face...
Then it was time for a turtle farm. The idea is to preserve and protect the species, but the poor turtles looked incredibly bored swimming around in circles within their small, crowded tanks. I felt pretty sorry for them, as it didn't look like much of a life...
There were also other critters wandering around the place...
After the tour dumped everybody off in George Town, there was only one place I really wanted to go...
The cafe is a small, old-school property that's located at the end of the main shopping district downtown. It would probably do a lot better business if it were more centrally located near the cruise ship dock, but there you have it.
I would have eaten lunch at the Hard Rock, but I don't really care for their veggie burgers and fries. Since that's what I was craving, I decided to wander down to Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville.
What a huge fucking mistake that turned out to be.
First of all, they didn't have Boca Burgers like every other Margaritaville I had ever been to. Oh well, I decided to have nachos and a Coke instead. Not a big deal.
EXCEPT THEY WERE THE WORST NACHOS I HAVE EVER EATEN IN MY LIFE! And I am including the time I had Australian nachos where the crazy bastards mix the salsa into the chips for a soggy mess. Because, hey, at least their nachos use actual cheese and are... you know... WARM! Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville nachos are inedible shit. And COLD! They take roasted chips... pour in some FUCKING DISGUSTING COLD IMITATION CHEEZ-WHIZ-LIKE CONGEALED SUBSTANCE... put a small puddle of melted real cheese on top... then add some shriveled olives, jalapeños, and crap. What you end up with is a bunch of soggy tortilla chips coated in this grotesque oily mess. And did I mention that they were COLD? They weren't "not hot" or "merely warm"... but FUCKING COLD!
Yes. COLD! I couldn't even bring myself to eat them they were so bad...
If that wasn't bad enough, the Coke was watered down and flat. I only drank it because it was something cool. I would have complained to my waiter... but I rarely saw him. The poor guy was given way too many tables that were too far apart. I did tell him when I hunted him down to pay, but his response was to give me a "souvenir glass" I apparently paid for but never wanted, and tell me he would tell his manager.
I'd chalk this up to a bad experience, but the table next to me didn't get hot food either, and the buns on one of their burgers was stale. So... lesson learned... when you're hungry in George Town, Grand Cayman... avoid Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville like the fucking plague. Which is such a shame, because all the other Margaritavilles I've eaten at have had excellent food and service.
Jimmy should be ashamed to have his name on this place.
And, thanks to my pricey souvenir glass I never wanted, I have something to remember one of the worst meals I've ever had for the rest of my life! Or until I throw the shit in the garbage.
Couldn't have asked for a nicer day. Lovely sunshine and a nice breeze to keep things pleasant. And then there's that amazing Caribbean Blue water here that looks like some kind of Photoshop hack, but really isn't...
Sweet! As I was writing this, I heard somebody telling bad jokes over a loudspeaker ("WHY DIDN'T THE SKELETON CROSS THE ROAD? HE DIDN'T HAVE THE GUTS!"). I thought it was coming from the ship, but it was instead a small touristy pirate ship thing floating by my balcony...
Yo! Ho! A pirates life for me!
And, just like that, my last excursion was over. We set sail for Florida in a couple hours.
30 DAYS DRAWING CHALLENGE: Draw Your Inspiration...
This should come as no shock to anybody who has read Blogography for any amount of time. Steve Jobs takes inspiration to an entirely new level. But he did that with most things. I know it probably rings hollow for somebody to gush over a person they've never met... but I miss Steve Jobs terribly and think of him often. What I wouldn't give for just one more keynote speech... just one more thing.
Hey, look! Bullet Sunday is actually on a Sunday this time!
• New 52. I was on vacation when my copies of DC Comics' 52 new books arrived, so I am only now having time to read them. So far I'm a bit underwhelmed. Sure some books have a decent start and are offering good bang for your buck, but most of them just more of the same. Not that they're all "bad" per se, it's just that they don't seem worthy of a company-wide relaunch like this. Sadly, I'm not surprised. What is surprising to me are the books which have surprised me. #1 on that list was All-Star Western featuring Jonah Hex...
As I have no interest in Westerns or lead character Jonah Hex (and didn't appreciate the $3.99 price tag), I almost passed on All-Star Western. But I ended up buying it anyway so I'd have a complete "New 52" set. And thank heavens, because this is easily one of the best titles of the bunch. What the writing team of Gray & Palmiotti have created is more a brilliant murder-mystery story than a Western. But even better is that they have found a very clever way of giving the reader insight into Jonah Hex that makes him a fascinating and fully-realized character. The art is a bit more crude than I usually care for, but Moritat's style is perfect for this book and I loved it. If you were a fan of Baker Street, this is the book for you.
• Steve Jobs Day. After too many false starts, I've pretty much given up trying to write down my thoughts about Steve Jobs. I'm at a loss for words, and I'm never at a loss for words. Ordinarily, I'd be kind of worried, but somehow I'm okay with it...
Flowers left at the Sydney Apple Store in remembrance of Steve Jobs after his death.
The governor of California proclaimed today to be "Steve Jobs Day" which was kind of nice. But to anybody with an Apple product, every day is "Steve Jobs Day."
• Televised. Am I missing all the good new television shows? I set my DVR to record everything fresh, but pretty much hate every single new show I've seen. The lone exception would be 2 Broke Girls, but not hating something is a long ways from actually liking something. On one hand, I'm grateful for the time this will free up, but on the other hand... I'm a television whore, and this really sucks. Here are the only shows I'm interested in this season...
I'm also buzzing through Gossip Girl because Elizabeth Hurley is on it, Survivor when it doesn't suck, and a big chunk of the awesome USA Network shows when they bother to air new episodes (Psych, White Collar, Burn Notice, Suits, and Fairly Legal). Ditto for the excellent FX series Justified which starts back up in January. Still addicted to Dexter, The Big C, Boardwalk Empire, and Game of Thrones... but since I don't get HBO and Showtime, I've been buying them on iTunes (when available) or waiting for the DVD.
I know that sounds like a lot of television but, considering how much TV is out there, it's pretty pathetic.
And now, if you will excuse me, I'm going to stare at the television and wonder where my weekend went.
As I write this, I am sitting in the beautiful Air New Zealand lounge at Sydney International Airport. Very soon now, I will be hurling back across the Pacific Ocean to go home.
But I'm not thinking of my impending trip yet to come, my mind is set on October 6th. Which was still October 5th back in the USA. Time, like all things we experience and attempt to describe, is relative to the observer.
After a run with the dolphins the boat headed back to Fiji and dry land. As we approached the shallows, my mobile phone came into cellular range and I heard a muffled "beep" telling me that a text message had arrived. I ignored it while I loaded up my gear and went trudging to the shore. I had intended to check my new text as I waded back, but the sandy floor was squishy and slick with plant growth. This made the risk of slipping and dropping my iPhone into the ocean a bigger risk than I was willing to take.
So inside a waterproof pouch which sat inside a waterproof bag, my iPhone waited.
As did I.
And it was a torturous wait because I rarely get texts. Especially when people know I'm out of the country. On those rare occasions when I do get such a text, it's almost always bad news.
My mind was not in a very happy place when I finally got back to the Scuba Bula shop. A part of me wanted to continue ignoring the text for fear of what it might say but, as you can imagine, this is really impossible.
Of the hundreds of nasty scenarios that went through my head, a text from my brother telling me that Steve Jobs had died never entered my mind...
As I said, texts always seem to bring bad news.
One of my heroes for the past 27 years was gone.
As anybody who has read this blog for any length of time can probably guess, I was devastated.
I tried to avoid the crush of chatter online, but you couldn't be online without reading about it. And so much of it was beautiful and touching and everything one would expect. But not all of it. A common thread emerged mocking those who were grieving by saying "How can you be so sad and pathetic? You didn't even know him!"
Which is wrong, of course. So very wrong.
Just as you can come to know an artist by their art... Steve Jobs was probably one of these easiest people on earth to get to know through the products Apple makes. And though a great many people contribute to the design, manufacture, and experience that makes these products intrinsically "Apple"... Steve Jobs' fingerprints are on everything. It's his beautiful, singular vision that drove the company to it's massive level of success and created legions of fans worldwide.
As I type this blog post on my MacBook Pro while uploading television episodes for the flight to my iPad and charging my iPhone, I know Steve Jobs. He surrounds me every day. I spend more time with him than I do anybody else.
And so I grieve as I would for any friend who has passed on.
And I remember, because it's impossible for a Certified Apple Whore to forget.
I'm sure this is not the last thing I'll have to say, but it is the only thing I can say right now.
I've got a plane to catch so I can travel back in time.
Hero worship is a strange thing.
Mostly because people who don't have the same hero as you will never understand it. And believe me, I get it. I have a friend who worships the singer Adele. Can't get enough of her. Listens to her music constantly. Would sell their should to attend an Adele concert. Of course, I don't understand it at all. Sure Adele seems to have some talent, but I can't stand her music. Every time Rolling in the Deep is playing, I just roll my eyes because listening to it makes me want to stick my head deep into a microwave.
So when I tell people that I worship Steve Jobs and they roll their eyes at me, that's okay.
I've been getting the same reaction for 27 years...
Of course I knew of him before then. He (along with Steve Wozniak) was already famous in 1979 when I got my hands on an Apple ][ plus. But it was his legendary introduction of the Macintosh on January 24th, 1984 that make me such a big fan. This was a man who believed in changing the world but, unlike so many, he actually did stuff to make it happen.
And my hero worship of Mr. Jobs never abated. No matter where he ended up. Even his time away from Apple while heading up NeXT was an amazing era to be a Steve Jobs fan. And, naturally, things only got better from there...
Now that he's stepped down as CEO of Apple, my feelings haven't changed.
His legacy there will touch every product that comes out of the company... and untold other companies... for decades to come.
Speculation is that Steve Jobs left his position because of his continuing health problems. I can't imagine him leaving otherwise, so all I can do is reiterate my best wishes for his recovery. And be grateful that he'll still have a voice at Apple as Chairman of the Board for the company.
Because I am now, as I have been for most my life, an "Apple Whore to my Core."
Well smack my ass and call me Sally... it's Bullet MONDAY?!? Given all the crazy crap that's gone on since yesterday, I guess it's going to have to be!
• STEEEEEEVE! I don't know what it is about a Steve Jobs keynote event that brings out my maternal instincts, but every time I see one I end up thinking about how much I'd like to have Steve Jobs' baby. Today's spiffy keynote from Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference was no exception. So much cool stuff in the pipeline for all my Apple Whore toys... including Mac OS X Lion... iOS 5... and the all-new iCloud service...
I could spend the next half-hour writing about the many new features which had me soiling myself with happiness, but that's a full-load in my pants that nobody wants to hear about. Might be better if everybody just watched the Stevenote for themselves and decide which features are worth freaking over.
• WEEEEEEINER! And so Representative Anthony Weiner now admits he's a freaky-ass pervert who likes to send shirtless photos and pictures of his schlong to young ladies. A few thoughts...
If I was in this good of shape, I'd send photos like this to everybody I know. Everybody.
So... to sum up... whatever. Color me disappointed, but not surprised. These asshole politicians don't seem to know how to act any other way. About the only positive thing I can say is that at least he wasn't a total hypocrite here. It's not like he railed against homosexuals and was then caught trying to hook up for gay sex in a bathroom somewhere. In any event... way to stay classy, Representative Weiner.
• LEEEEEE! In much sadder news... Lee J. Ames has died. You may not know who he was, but I assure you that you've undoubtedly seen the result of his efforts. In fact, since you are looking at this blog, I can guarantee it! Mr. Ames is famous for his art instruction books, of which I am a massively huge fan...
He has an uncanny knack of being able to effortlessly break down objects to base elements, and his "Draw 50" series of books taught me to see things this same way. Lil' Dave... Bad Monkey... and most everything I've ever drawn here... it's all using techniques I first learned from studying Lee J. Ames. As with all things which are done well, his books still hold up even today. If you know a kid who is interested in learning how to draw, you could do a lot worse than to track down these wonderful publications at your local library or art store. Rest in peace, Lee... and thank you.
• BULL SHEEEEEET! So much for the separation of Church and State. Such fucking bullshit.
• SLAAAAAAAAYER! It's the International Day of Slayer today!
♫ The root of all evil is the heart of a black soul... a force that has lived all eternity! ♫ A never ending search for a truth never told... the loss of all hope and your dignity! ♫
Annnnd... now I have to spend a couple of hours preparing for another long, hard day of work in the morning.
I'd add a long, hard photo here to drive that point home, but I think we've all seen enough wieners for a while.
I fully admit to being a total Apple Whore. I love Apple. I (heart) Macintosh. I worship Steve Jobs. If Jonathan Ive were to ask me to have his baby, I'd look into the necessary surgery. My MacBook Pro is more important to me than tacos. If I had to choose between losing a testicle or losing my iPhone, I'd give it some serious thought... and then say goodbye to one of my testicles. I don't just drink the Apple Kool-Aid, I have a constant supply being fed intravenously. I stop short of masturbating during a Steve Jobs keynote, but just watching him on-stage as he changes the world is enough for me to want to touch myself inappropriately.
This is not news. I've proclaimed my slutty predisposition so many times in this blog that if you were to Google Image Search "Apple Whore" I come up at #5. Literally...
Well, okay, it's me as a Lil' Dave cartoon, but you get the picture.
And yet... my being an Apple Whore is not a totally unhealthy relationship because there are things I don't like about Apple and their products, and have never been afraid to say so (how else will they learn?). In this respect I have no problem being proud of my whore status.
Which brings us to Apple's latest miracle on earth... the iPad...
Glorious, isn't it?
Well, kind of.
If your need of a "computer" extends to casual email and web surfing, renting an occasional video, looking at an occasional photo album, and perhaps playing a few games from time to time... well, it's great. And there's even bonus stuff like a calendar, address book, e-reader, and various cool apps you can add. This puts your "digital life" in the palm of your hand in a way that most people would absolutely love.
Except this device isn't really made for me... both because of what I need out of a "computer" and what Apple left out. Sure I want an iPad (I'm an Apple Whore, after all), but I certainly don't need an iPad. In all honesty, it's just an unnecessary extra piece of equipment that my MacBook Pro and iPhone already have covered (and covered much better).
That being said... this is just fantastic for its target audience.
But not flawless by any means.
I'm not going to nitpick the thing apart here with my personal wish-list for a tablet machine. That would be kind of pointless given that I need an actual "computer" and this is more of a "device with some computer functionality." I'm not who Apple built the iPad for, so complaining that it doesn't have a 500 gig hard drive and run Photoshop is just plain stupid. What I will do is list the two things that most bother me... keeping the intended user in mind.
• No iChat Camera.
This is simply unfathomable. Apple will stuff a camera in a freakin' iPod NANO... but doesn't put a camera on the iPad for video conferencing ability? And I don't want to hear about how this would adversely affect AT&T's already overburdened network... they could have easily limited it to just WiFi connections. It's insanity. I keep thinking how cool it would be to get an iPad for my grandmother and video-chat with her when I'm traveling. This device could make it so easy for her. Such a huge missed opportunity, and impossible for me to understand...
• Shitty E-Reading File Format
Newspapers and magazines are dying because they can't survive in a digital world where people expect everything to be free. Apple had a golden opportunity to address this with their iTunes book store for iPad, but then dropped the ball because they went with the shitty "ePub" file format. Sure it's great if all you want to do is shove book text to the reader like a Kindel. But forget about having any decent formatting tools. This pretty much kills any magazine, comic, or book which requires any kind of layout for proper visual presentation. It's most certainly a decision based squarely on helping book publishers create content with a format they already know, but I can only hope that Apple eventually adds an "iMagazine" reader and backs it with PDF-like control over elements for everybody else. I was hoping... praying... that Apple would come up with something that would allow indie publishers the same kind of ability for magazine sales that indie musicians have with iTunes for music sales. Alas... not. Not yet anyway. Sure there are third party apps that can do something similar, but they don't have the power and ease of iTunes distribution behind them. Heck, I'd be happy if Apple just allowed some kind of PDF conversion to run through the iTunes Store for document sales, that would be fine. But we get nothing? Sad.
If just those two things were addressed, I'd feel a lot better about pronouncing iPad a triumph. Yes it would be nice to have some other stuff... an external memory slot... removable battery... 100% DRM-free media... a GPS... multi-tasking OS... color e-ink non-glare screen... free network access for purchases... and on and on... but those can all be explained away logically for one reason or another (whether I agree with the reasoning or not). I just don't see how leaving out an iChat camera and lacking a decent publication format can be put in that same boat. I honestly feel they belong there, or else the iPad is incomplete.
In the final analysis, I just don't know. The "iMagazine" stuff could be easily added... but a camera (if it ever comes) is a second generation hardware feature that early-adopters will miss.
Still, if you're just looking for a way to handle email, surf the web, and play with apps, I admit the iPad is an attractive alternative to a netbook. The fact that Apple put so much into polish and ease of use is just icing on the cake.
But that's always the case for Apple, and why I continue to be an Apple Whore.
ZOMFG! APPLE IS HOLDING A SPECIAL MEDIA EVENT ON JANUARY 27th!
For a Certified Apple Whore such as myself, this is the equivalent of getting a free 3-month supply of hookers with a case of Snack-Pack Chocolate Pudding on top. The question is... will His Holiness, Steve Jobs, be the one to run the event? Because that's the difference between your free hookers having all their teeth or not (admittedly, some guys find the idea of a toothless strumpet to be Prostitute Nirvana, but I assure you that I am not one of them).
Obviously, my preference would be for Mr. Jobs to descend from the heavens on a sun-beam, alight on that high pedestal upon which I place him, and unleash the new hotness that Apple has up their collective sleeves...
But, when push comes to shove, I'll reluctantly accept a Jobs substitution by Jonathan Ivy, Phil Schiller, or whatever other dentally-challenged whores they've got hanging around at Apple. In this case, it's not the messenger, it's the message that's important. Hell, Apple's new toy could be stuck in a pile of flaming dog shit and dropped on-stage by Dick Cheney riding a three-legged goat while masturbating to donkey porn... it just doesn't matter. If the "device" Apple is announcing is up to their usual awesome standards, nobody would notice.
The rumor mill is saying that the "device" is a tablet computer of some sort. Kind of like a giant iPhone... but with magical properties that have yet to be defined.
I'm putting my bets on no-smudge anti-gravity screen, nuclear battery with a 100-year charge, and a psychic brain-link interface. Pudding rack optional.
Either that, or the iToast is making its debut at last.
The new iPhone 3GS dropped today and my inner Mac-whore is mortified that I'm not getting a new Apple product on release day. The good news is that I'll be getting one next week instead of two months from now thanks to AT&T's generous eligibility revision for early iPhone 3G adopters.
At first I was seriously considering skipping the latest version, but the better camera (with video!) and speed improvements ultimately won me over. A part of me wants to be thrilled at the new digital compass feature (which will show you which way you're facing in Google Maps), but since the GPS unit in iPhone sucks ass, I'm trying not to get my hopes up.
Given how often I use my iPhone and how much I rely on it when traveling, buying the latest model seemed a wise investment.
As if this wasn't enough, it appears that Steve Jobs is returning to Apple as scheduled.
Apple whores rejoice!
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