Critical Section

Archive: November 8, 2009

<<< November 7, 2009


November 9, 2009 >>>

remembering Julia

Sunday,  11/08/09  09:25 PM

A little while ago Shirley saw Julie and Julia with some friends (the new movie about Julia Child), and they were inspired to form a dinner group, and the first dinner theme was chosen to be "Remembering Julia", and it was at our house last night.  And man it was fantastic.  Smoked salmon and caviar canapes (with a dry Pinot Grigio), a wonderful selection of pate (with a French Burgundy [aka Pinot Noir]), outrageously good beef Bourguignon (with a Saint Emilion, yay), a fantastic selection of cheeses (with a Saint Julian, double yay), and wrapping it up the queen of deserts, chocolate mousse.  Wow. 

the table is ready...

...the wine too, breathing steadily...

...and the cheese was amazing!

(Not to mention a great group of friends and wonderful conversations...)

Act II is going to be Indian Food, that should be most excellent...


Sunday,  11/08/09  10:01 PM

Megan's awesome football cakeA day of football, as I watched the end of the college games from yesterday and three pro games from today.  Whew.  Good thing I have two Tivos and two Slingboxes, so I didn't have to leave my computer :)  How great is it to be able to work while "watching"?  Don't answer that.

Megan got into the spirit by baking an awesome football cake.  It tasted as good as it looked (click to enbiggen).

Damian Williams dives for the pylonPlay of the weekend, week, month, or year: USC's Damian Williams takes a short pass from Matt Barkley and bursts through the Arizona State secondary for 75 yards and a touchdown, but the last 5 yards were a dive along the sideline, ending with a midair touch of the football to the pylon as he was going out of bounds.  Incredibly athletic move.  'SC barely survived and is barely alive for the Pac-10 title, as Oregon and Cal both lost.

I must tell you, I OD'ed fully on commercials.  Yes I was Tivoing so No I didn't watch them, but I had to keep skipping through them, how annoying.  I think the networks have responded to lower CPM prices by increasing the number of commercials per millisecond.  If you didn't have a Tivo, you'd kill yourself.

price war!James Surowiecki on price wars: Priced to Go.  Interesting analysis, sometimes a seemingly negative sum game is worth playing, especially if you're a big company playing several games in parallel.

Quote of the day from Villainous Company, a great blog I discovered via Instapundit: "Everyone likes the Marines because they unapologetically like to kill bad people."

The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs: Why the mainstream media is dying.  "Every once in a while you get to see a mainstream outlet cover a story right alongside a blog, so you can put them up against each other and see why one was so much better than the other."  This is so true.

Motorola Droid: awesome or awful?Scoble says the new Droid fails as a product compared to the Palm Pre and iPhone.  And Adam Curry is more succinct: Droid sucks.  These are both guys I would have expected to be squarely in the middle of Droid's target demographic.  Huh.

Interesting: Slashdot reports HTML5 viewer for YouTube, no flash required.  Huh, wonder if this is the future?  Video seems to be single-handedly keeping Flash relevant.

Trizilla's new wing mainWeird and wonderful news from the Trizilla (BOR90) camp, as they unveil a new hard wing mainsail!  No wonder they weren't that concerned about losing their $10M mast the other day...  Can't wait to see this one on the water.


Kindle anniversary: still rocks

Sunday,  11/08/09  10:42 PM

Today is the one-year anniversary of Shirley giving me a Kindle as an early birthday present, as I was planning for a business trip to Brazil.  I loved it then, and I love it even more now.

A lot of my initial reactions have held up; the screen is wonderful, the buttons and keyboard are fine (although the buttons on the side are too large), the cover is nice.  I still like the user interface.

my Kindle!
(click to enbiggen)

my Kindle's cover

But I've learned a few things over time which make me like it even more.  First there's the "instant gratification" factor, you can buy any book you've heard about *now*.  The iPod has this (for music), and AppleTV (for video), and the iPhone (for apps); it seems to be an important component of a good user experience.  Second there's the capability to change the font size; this is huge for me, it means I don't have to carry reading glasses into dark restaurants :)  And third I love the ability to lookup the definition of any word at any time, and to search for anything in any book.  Overall the device just works; it is an eminently suitable replacement for books.

I find it amazing that in one year it has become so accepted that it isn't even a novelty; when I first had it all sorts of people would comment on it, now, nobody does, everyone has seen one.  Airplane flight attendants know what it is and don't ask you to turn it off.  Etc.  In a conversation over dinner last night, three out of four friends had one.  We literally had a conversation that while we have houses filled with books, our kids are not even going to have bookcases.  It is like our parents had racks of records, but we don't, at least not anymore :)  Remember having tons of VHS tapes?  And tons of cassettes?  And tons of CDs?  And tons of DVDs?  All unnecessary, all old technology.  Digital information does not need to be stored on physical media anymore, and at some level, books are just digital information.

Anyway I'm delighted with my Kindle, it was an inspired present, and I can't wait to see what the future of eBooks will look like...  (oh yeah, I do still an original iPod...)


Return to the archive.

About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji The Nest Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
the big day
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?