Aug 212015
 

It’s hard to overstate how disruptive the AshleyMadison.com data dump could ultimately be. It’s an event without precedent. The sociology could be fascinating for years.

Despite my longstanding strong feelings about cheating, I have significant concerns about this. Doubtless there are people caught in this who registered, then repaired their marriages and forgot about their AshleyMadison.com accounts. There are others who really were just curious (though not nearly as many as are probably playing that card). Here’s hoping the victims in these sorts of situations find them navigable.

The data dump will certainly hasten the destruction of some marriages that had little hope anyway. But it will also create new rifts that may never have appeared any other way. I hurt for these people and their children.

I’ve encountered a lot of yammering—some of it downright shrill—about how these people didn’t deserve this, privacy should be sacrosanct no matter the circumstances, and so forth. Fine, but at best that’s a secondary point, isn’t it? I wish I saw a similar number of people taking this opportunity to vigorously defend fidelity.

 Posted by at 10:43 am
Aug 202015
 
  • I used to especially love episodes of Batman with Batgirl. Her motorcycle snarling across the screen on the opening credits made me happy. Batgirl was tough, but she was also hot. Yvonne Craig has died at 78. RIP.
  • Ever heard of a restaurant scoring a 53 on its health inspection? Now you have. Who’s up for Chinese? Really, except for salad bars, buffets haven’t appealed to me in decades.
  • I haven’t smoked in more than four years, but sometimes when it’s warm and humid the Technical Writing Express will still give me a little whiff of it when I first get in.
  • I had already smoked a total of probably 20 cigarettes when I was the same age Nathan is now, and I was well on my way to developing a serious habit. (Living in two homes in which 100% of the adult population smoked wasn’t very helpful.) I think there’s little danger of Nathan smoking, though I’m thankful for how much more difficult it will be for him should he have such a silly idea. When I was 16 years old, nobody carded and you could smoke in the mall—even in most of the stores in the mall.
  • Not sure what to make of the 2015 Crimson Tide ahead of the season. I think there’s a definite vibe that the defense will deliver a game or two or three. I’m a bit anxious about the thin backfield and green receivers. I think the quarterback situation will settle itself fairly quickly.
  • The IndyCar championship is a squeaker. Juan Pablo Montoya leads Graham Rahal by nine points. Sunday’s race at Pocono is more JPM’s wheelhouse, while the season finale next weekend at Sonoma (a road course) is the sort of venue where Rahal has done serious damage this year. (That one’s double points, too.) I’d love to see Graham Rahal bring it home. Alternately, even though he’s got a lot of hardware already, Scott Dixon jumping up and grabbing it would be all right. (And some petty part of me is pleased that Will Power isn’t really in the mix.) This has been an amazing season.
  • For some bizarre reason, a spicy Chick-fil-A sandwich has 50 more calories than a regular Chick-fil-A sandwich (490 vs. 440). Get a regular and heat it up yourself. I recommend a half-teaspoon of mayonnaise and a half-teaspoon of sriracha, thoroughly mixed.
 Posted by at 7:00 am
Aug 182015
 

At some point—I’m going to guess 2003, mostly because I’m not sure that any research I’d undertake would get me any closer—Charles and I saw Sammy Hagar and the Waboritas in Nashville.

(At Starwood, which doesn’t exist anymore, and that’s also where I saw Steely Dan with Tonya, which was at least top three for me for live music experiences. But that’s another post.)

And the Waborita was seriously a thing. It was a margarita, but made with Sammy’s truly exceptional Cabo Wabo tequila, and with all sorts of options available. Most of the costliest ones had to do with extra shots of Cabo hanging off the side. Charles decided he’d get me one for my birthday with whatever boxes I wanted checked, and I saw him peel off three $20s and a $10 and say keep the change, so I must have checked off a hell of a lot of boxes.

Most expensive drink I’ve ever had, dwarfing my sample of my dad’s Johnnie Walker Blue, which I enjoyed but honestly, much less. (I’m not a Scotch guy.)

So, the practical, on-the-ground result of this drink was that when I felt like the crowd was insufficiently involved in the current song, I’d run up and down the aisles, raising my hands like a madman and imploring, at the top of my lungs, people to get up and scream. I did this often enough, and competently enough, to draw more than one crowdmate coming down to high-five me in person.

I was effective.

So how do I be that effective for the 2016 presidential race?

 Posted by at 10:23 pm
Aug 172015
 

Windows 10: Installed on my 7″ and 10″ tablets, and my affection for it is growing. My desktop is still at 8.1 because I have daily need for a program that doesn’t work on Windows 10 yet. On my phone, I gave up on trying to be a cutting-edger with Windows 10 Mobile preview builds and went back to Windows Phone 8.1. The preview builds are just too rough for my taste.

Musical instruments in the house: I just ordered another trumpet for another son.

Cable television: Bo: “True or false: I am the only user of cable television in the house.”
Lea (without hesitation): “True.”
Sigh. I suspected as much. It’s just sports anymore, really. The IndyCar season is over August 30. I can solve most of the football problem with over-the-air and ESPN/ESPN2 for $20/month. But what do I do when IndyCar starts back in March?

Waistline: Think I could sell myself “100 pounds in 500 days” as a mantra and stay with it? Guess how many days to 2017? Guess how much I’d like to lose? That kind of synchronicity can’t be an accident, can it?

 Posted by at 9:52 pm
Aug 152015
 

I figured out how to get my Lumia 830 back to Windows Phone 8.1, where it will stay until Windows 10 Mobile is officially released. I’ve now moved back into it.

With that I say farewell to Amazon.com’s Fire Phone as a daily driver. I’ve carried it for just short of four weeks.

firefarewell

I put most of my thoughts on the phone here, but I have a few more to add:

  • I thought Dynamic Perspective (the 3D) was really cool when I first started using the Fire, and upon setting it down my affection for it hasn’t waned at all. It’s the phone’s signature feature for both good and bad reasons, but call me a fan.
  • I never got used to the position of the camera lens (upper right corner on the Fire; upper middle, but away from the edge, on the 830) or the micro-USB port (middle bottom on the Fire; left top on the 830). I messed one or both of these up every day and never seemed to get any better at it.
  • Battery life is marginal. I use my phone heavily and I never turned Dynamic Perspective off, so take those potential grains of salt with my verdict. There’s no way I could get through an entire day with the Fire without charging. I could squeak by with the 830 if I had to.
  • The free app every day in the store is awesome, and it really could be anything day to day. I got some cool stuff.
  • There are a lot of cool functional things you can do tilting and swiveling the phone, and I enjoyed this feature mostly without incident. However, one day at work I was putting a lot of stuff in the car and moving the phone around a lot, and it was somehow in that gesture-sensitive mode and I didn’t realize it. I accidentally called three different people. It was the strangest butt-dial ever.

At the end of the day, I like the Fire Phone. It’s not a perfect product, but I think it has suffered from a bit of piling on. I found it a perfectly capable soldier, and I enjoyed using it. My view that it’s a fine deal at $100 ($199 with a year of Amazon Prime included) unlocked remains.

I’ll also be watching for the Fire Phone 2 with considerable interest.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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