Friday, January 01, 2010

It's been awhile

I know I know, I've ignored this blog, therefore relegating it to the blog graveyard. My apologies, but between LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and my dissertation - there is not much time. Got to work smarter, not harder.

More to come.

Monday, June 09, 2008

I Knew It!

Just saw that Apple is releasing a new version of the iPhone next month. A new version of the iPhone at half the price of the current iPhone. A new verson of the iPhone at half the price of the current iPhone and it has 3G capability.

Were I an Apple user, I'd have to admit to being pretty happy at hearing this. Were I one of the drones who stood in line to pay top dollar to be the first to get one of these beauties only to hear that a year later the phone was being updated to something faster, sleeker, and dare I say - cheaper, I'd have to be pretty ticked.

I know that technology marches on and that faster, better, cheaper is an inevitability (nee Moore's Law), but I'm wondering how long Apple can keep doing this and keep the love affair going. Apple suffered a near mutiny last Summer when they had to issue rebates to existing iPhone users who found themselves behind the adoption curve in an abnormally short period of time.

From my perspective, I was probably one of the last people to get an iPod. I have to give Apple props for design and utility, but I can't give them much more than that. Their business model is intriguing as it's built partly on user devotion; something that Microsoft, Dell, or any of the other OS and hardware developers cannot claim (Linux being the big exception here). I can't give them props for longevity. I realize the very nature of the computer industry is built upon needing the latest and greatest thing but is that always the case? A few years back, Microsoft introduced Windows XP. Not as groundbreaking as the introduction of Windows 95, but to date it's been their best selling (and best designed in my opinion) operating system. Vista was introduced but Microsoft soon discovered that it's biggest competitor was not the Macintosh or Linux, but venerable Windows XP. It still worked and didn't require a hardware upgrade to take advantage of all that the OS had to offer. Makers of the Blu Ray DVD format are realizing that their biggest competitor was not HD-DVD, but the huge installed base of traditional low cost standard definition DVD players that can be had for well under $100 and look surprisingly good on even a high definition television (with the appropriate connections - props to Ensign Eddie for that observation). All this to say that maybe it's time that high technology look at the next quarter century, and not the next quarter.

I've got no problem paying a fair price for something that will be useful in the long term. I also think that I am not alone in that thought.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Summer is here.

Those who know me know that I work in academia and have been here for a long time. Not dead sure why I stayed this long other than I really couldn't find any other place that would have me. In my line of work things are seasonal. There is a definite ebb and flow to things that I have to admit lends some comfort to life. May is insane with papers coming due, grading to get done, and events that need to happen. We get through graduation, handle a few other incidental events, then it's all over. I taught a class the last two weeks in May that helped me to "walk off" the term and now even that is over. Summer is here. Yes I am working all of it, but now is a time to rest, relax, and reflect about the future. Fall will be a killer with me taking nine hours, but I'm looking forward to it. I've discovered that I like research, and my writing can always improve.

This Summer I need to:
  1. get more active. I spend way too much time sitting down in front of a computer.
  2. work on personal relationships that are near to me. I had to put a lot of stuff on a back burner last Spring because of my schedule.
  3. watch less television. It interferes with the above.
  4. work around my house. I've got a great place. Time I put some effort into it.
  5. learn to cook a few more dishes. I've got my standards, but there's a lot of stuff out there that I don't know about.
  6. learn to really relax. Life is short and I feel like sometimes I've wasted too much of it worrying about things over which I have no control. God will hold me accountable for these days so I might as well make better use of them.
  7. prepare for Fall. I need to work smarter and that takes preparation.

Here's hoping!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

It's done . . .

Just finished my last final for the Spring Term. Not sure how well I did, but I've got massive amounts of catch up to do, including getting on a regular blogging schedule.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

I'm Still Here

It's been two months (and a little change) since my last post and to the throngs of fans out there I humbly apologize. I've started my residency at UNT in addition to teaching and working full time, so my downtime is pretty much nil. I am writing, and will try to post some of this stuff over at my other blog, but in the meantime posts here will be a tad infrequent.

I do want to brag about one thing I have been able to do recently that I'm rather proud of. I tried to declutter and simplify some things this year, (and a near hard drive crash can assist with that task, trust me) and I have been able to take control over my myriad of email accounts and render them all to a backup as well. I keep two basic email addys: one for personal and one for academic use. My gmail account is my academic email but the address is a little nonprofessional for my resume/vita. I do have a nice address at school which is short and easy to remember. I was able to have that address forwarded to my account and since gmail now uses IMAP, all my email stays on the server. This means my email is available through Thunderbird wherever I am. I also was able to do the same thing to my ISP email and forward it to my non-academic email account which also boasts IMAP access. Four addresses and only two accounts to check.

Cool, eh!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Okay, enough with the cold and rain

I vowed I would never complain about the abundance of rain we've been getting, but combined with the cold and the lack of sunlight, I'm about to say Uncle! It's dark when I come to work, it's dark when I go home. I work underground so I have to confess that I'm looking much paler than usual.

I need sunshine, I need temps in the 90's , I need to be able to put on a swimsuit no matter how bad I look in it.

Spring won't come soon enough!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving at the Geek House

Fall is a time of year that has always held a certain, almost intangible, fascination for me. I'm not sure if its the changing of the seasons, the rapid fire sequence of holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years), or the general vibe of those around me, but I love the Fall more than any other time of year.

Last Spring I was able to buy my first turkey frying rig for about half what one would normally pay and have been waiting to properly break it in. I fried a whole chicken a month ago as a test run with decent results. At the beginning of November I stocked up on peanut oil and was duly surprised as to how ubiquitous it's become lately. The two weeks prior to Thanksgiving had me reading everything I could get my hands on to make sure I was prepared for the task that lay ahead, and Tuesday night I found myself sequencing the entire meal in my head to make sure that I'd not left out anything important. Wednesday night I got all the hardware in one place, and Thursday morning I did a final check and lit the fire. I did happen to learn a few things along the way.

1) Make sure you have EVERYTHING you need, and it's best to either have someone out there with you to run for the occasional need that arises, or in lieu of that, a very patient wife will also do the trick. I lit the fire and put in the peanut oil. I did do a displacement test with the bird in water beforehand and got a good idea as to how much oil I would need (which is VERY important step). In went the oil and my thermometer. I watched as the temp crept up and learned lesson number 2:

2) Be cognizant of the weather. It was a cold day and there was a breeze blowing. In retrospect I should have setup near the garage (but not IN the garage) for more protection from the wind. The previous time I used this rig I had to turn down the flame to almost nothing to make sure I didn't smoke my oil. This time I ran it full out the entire time, and thankfully it stayed at 350 due to the wind.

Once the oil hit 350 the bird went in. Five minutes later I realized that I had not started the timer, so I did that and kept a close eye on the thermometer. It's amazing how the temperature dropped when I inserted the turkey, and I was also pretty stunned at how full the pot suddenly became. When the oil started to splash over I realized that I was in for some serious stains on my concrete so my patient wife brought me some cat litter (something I left off the checklist). The bubbling subsided and I was left to my own devices as the bird continued to cook.

My in-laws showed up soon there after and my wife was able to get these which include the finished product (and which I have captioned Two Turkeys).

Overall it was fun with the only burned flesh being on the bird itself, thankfully.