On The Catwalk

Posted: September 15, 2010 in Uncategorized

Six months of ownership has led me to this analogy; owning an iPhone is like dating a supermodel.
Like a supermodel, the iPhone is very attractive in a simplistic, elegant sort of way. And before everyone had one, you were cool as the other side of the pillow when seen with one in your hand, again much like a supermodel. But dating above your station always has it’s pitfalls….
This is a very delicate and finicky device. Treat it with care and it will reward you (apps you can’t live without, built in iPod, versatility)….or not (poor 3G reception, crashing, slow OS). There are far more functional and equally attractive phones out there that are more stable and practical with less flash and fluff (think “girl next door”) yet millions continue to buy them despite all of their faults.
How did I come to this conclusion? Well I am glad you asked. I recently downloaded and installed an update to the iPhone OS (part of the update was to fix some 3G issues) and ironically enough I have had troubles with several of my apps (iTunes and the App store to name a few) not being able to access 3G (wi-fi worked fine). Also it has crashed 3 times in the 6 months that I have owned it.. The most recent time it was out of commission for 6 hours (seemed like 6 weeks). I thought I had lost all of my apps, contacts and the 5500 songs that I have stored inside. Then, out of nowhere, with no warning…it started working…all by itself. I don’t know what went wrong or what went right. It works and that’s good enough.
Yes, I know…I should probably be with the “girl next door”. Yet, despite all of it’s faults, I still love my supermodel.

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Then the Devil is 6

Posted: September 11, 2010 in Uncategorized

Not many things literally defy description. My friends, the concert I witnessed Thursday night was one of those rare occurrences that do. The iconic Pixies were in town. I came prepared to be impressed but left in awe. I am still in awe 24 hours later. I cannot imagine seeing any other band for the rest of my existence that would possibly top last night. I can only conclude that I have just seen the Pixies in their prime.

Ladies and gentlemen…..the Pixies.

Standard of the World…..

Posted: August 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

This was Cadillac Motor Company’s slogan in the pre-war era. By the late 20th century, the marque had become a bit “tarnished” if you will. I came upon this relic a few weeks ago in a Big Lots parking lot in Mooresville. It is what passed for a Cadillac in 1986 (looks more like a chromed up Cavalier to me). The Eldorado fell victim to the downsizing of car models in the early to mid 80’s. Oh yeah, it had a digital dash and front wheel drive (high-tech) but it also came such classic Cadillac styling cues such as a landau roof, opera lights and wire wheels (if that doesn’t say luxury I don’t know what does.)

1986 Cadillac Eldorado

This particular example seems to be lacking of some of the luxury amenities such as all 4 wire wheel covers  (and a working trunk latch). Obviously the clear coat did not protect the opulent light blue metallic paint nor was the sun kind to the color coordinated padded carriage roof. Astonishingly enough, the shield and crest hood ornament is still intact (must have escaped the Beastie Boys imitators 24 years ago). I’m sure the interior got the royal treatment as well with a light blue crushed velor bench seat up front (so you can hold 3 real cozy like) and a rear seat designed for children or vertically challenged adults. The number of miles on this car is still a mystery as is how it has avoided the crusher for so long. I’m not going to say that this car isn’t a classic (it is almost 25 years old) but I won’t hold my breath waiting to see one at Barrett-Jackson!

Burnside

Posted: August 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

One of my goals on our vacation was to skateboard at the legendary Burnside Skatepark in Portland, Oregon. If you don’t know the significance of Burnside (so famous it has been featured in video games and movies), let me give you a brief history.

No, that’s not me.
 In 1990, 2 guys decided to clean up the grime and crime that was under the east side of the Burnside Bridge in Portland, Oregon by building, bit by bit, a concrete skatepark on city property but without city approval. Eventually the city “recognized” the skatepark but stopped short of officially sanctioning it. The rule is “Burnside Skatepark is subject to periodic review by the city. Burnside is not permanent.  The city can, at any time,  with excuse of public nuisance, condemn and destroy it. Please respect yourself and others.” (the complete story as told by one of the “founders” if you will can be found here: The Real Story :::: At Least My Story).

So yeah, on my last day in Oregon, I borrowed a board from one of the locals and fulfilled a quest I have had for close to 20 years. Just a few turns on the fast, slick and less than smooth surface was enough for this pad-less 40 year old.
It wasn’t much, but you know what?
I skated Burnside.

What a drag it is getting old.

Posted: August 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

From the prophetic (if not abnormally large) mouth of Mick Jagger.
Actually, It’s not really a drag especially when you can start every story with either “I remember when…” or “Back in my day, we didn’t…..”! (I’m sure Jess can attest to that). Here’s a list of some of some things I remember:

  • Rotary phones. Touch tone was a “premium” service and cost a bit extra I believe. 
  • Manual cash registers and price tags on food items (before scanners and inventory controls).
  • Tube testers in supermarkets.
  • One flavor of Nyquil.
  • The milkman.
  • No video games. Outside was my video game.
  • When doctors made house calls (who wants to drive to the docs when you are sick anyway?)
  • No ATM’s. My god…we had to write checks at the cashier!
  • Those tall skinny bottles of Coke/Pepsi that you took back for deposit.
  • Sleeping with the doors unlocked (or with just the screen door locked).
  • 3 channels of TV (5 if you had a good antenna or a bunch of aluminum foil)
  • Good Humor trucks (does the ice cream man even come around anymore?)
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates were a respectable baseball team.
  • Big ugly 70’s cars that spewed black smoke…even when brand new!
  • Vans. Not mini-vans. Real vans, with a bubble window, airbrush mural, mag wheels…the works. Before creepy guys started using them…or maybe that’s when they started.
  • No calculators. Good ole pencil and paper was good enough for us.
  • Disco: Dead. Gone. Buried. Forgotten.

I’m sure there’s more but that’s off the top of my head.
That’s the last 40 years. Here’s some prediction of obsolescence for the next 40:

  • Landline phone service (this will be gone within 10 to 15 years).
  • Cellphones. We will have mastered telepathy or at least will have communication chips implanted.
  • Cable TV (thank goodness). Satellite TV will be gone too. Probably replaced by entertainment beamed directly to your implanted communication chip. Might as well include radio as well.
  • Paper/coin money. You will get paid in and spend “credits”….of which the balance will be available on your implanted chip (sense a theme here?)
  • Airplanes. This sounds like a stretch but we might master molecular dis-assembly/re-assembly by then (think Star Trek transporter). This would also precipitate the demise of the automobile as well. At the very least all long flights will be low-orbit spaceplanes meaning a 2 hour New York to London flight!
  • Professional sports where someone doesn’t die (yes, Running Man will become a reality). Just look at the UFC/MMA.

Alright, maybe my predictions are a little “out there” but the way technology evolves, anything is possible.

Happy 40th to myself…I think I have at least another 40 if not more left in me!
Peace.

Vacation, all I ever wanted….

Posted: August 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

Well, my first blog. I’ve been contemplating creating one for some time so no time like the present! I figured that my Oregon vacation exploits would make for good reading but I quickly decided that the “this is what I did today” format was too predictable.

Scenic Salem OR
The omnipresent Mt. Hood

I initially imagined that this trip would be one of discovery of a part of the country that I had yet to visit (which it was) but it also had an unintended result. Over the 12 days spent in the Willamette Valley, I had met virtually every member of my Jessica’s family (and friends too) that I hadn’t met before and got to know the ones that I had met before even better.

Mom Holly, Jess, daughter Ivy, sister Ashely, nephew Sam and Daddy Jack.
Jess’ BFFF Melissa.
Grandma Gloria, mother Deb, Jess and daughter Ivy.
Auntie Dee Dee and Uncle Jim.

Uncle Robert, cousin Erica and Auntie Jodi.

I finally got to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together by seeing how her family, friends, culture and geography had shaped her into the woman she is today. It was like rediscovering her all over again. I think that Jessica left with a better appreciation of where she grew up as a result of showing me all of her old haunts, schools and such. I guess we both had unexpected results of our epic vaca to the Pacific NW! I personally will always have very special memories of Oregon thanks to the friendship and hospitality of all that I have met there. Thank you everyone for the good times and I hope to see you all again soon!