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March 11, 2012

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Something’s Unraveling, Alright

Big leap to declare one launch an unraveling. But valid differences between the new and the old Apple are made in this VentureBeat post. There was one element to the new iPad launch I truly did appreciate: the ascendance of the GPU in Apple’s processing hierarchy. It is the bigger determinant of the end-user experience today. Thus, AMD’s bet on APUs.

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A viral, and solid, 3D commercial effort February 4, 2009

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I found this from a link back to my Fox News 3D post. But it’s viral-worthy.

Yeah, we still look THIS good in our 3D glasses 60 years later.

Yeah, we still look THIS good in our 3D glasses 60 years later.

For the handful of you with Intel 3D glasses, it’s a truly clever way another company would like you to use them. Better than Chuck, in my book.

Spoiler alert: it’s not just about kissing in 3D.

Super Bowl Certainties February 1, 2009

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Today I’m going to gear up for the Super Bowl the way I gear up for Thanksgiving. I think of it as giving yourself a knowing hall pass to eat anything you want the rest of the day. Before many a Thanksgiving, I run the Austin 5 mile Turkey Trot early in the morning. Then I abuse myself with rolls, asparagus in cheese sauce, pickles, olives, apple pie and the like the rest of the day.

 

Today, the day of Super Bowl XLIII, I will go for a run then help my wife’s friend move for about 5 hours, right up to game time. (or pre-game time. Does anyone ever really know when the Super Bowl will kick-off?). Then, with what I will consider hard-earned self-satisfaction, I’ll unleash the hounds of hell on my stomach in the form of Super Bowl snacking. Third bowl of chili? Why yes, yes I will. More seven layer Tex-Mex dip? Yes, I think there’s room on my plate next to the little smoked sausages.

 

On my run and while lifting (from a bent-leg position) someone else’s armoire and dining set, I’ll have plenty of opportunity to ponder these two Super Bowl certainties:

 

  1. I will remark to no one in particular at least five times during the game: “I can make a better commercial than that. I can’t believe they paid some agency to make that commercial then paid NBC a million dollars to air it.” I will mostly say this about beer commercials. Remember the flatulent horse? The clown drinking through its crotch? Less thirsty after those two images? Intriguing Super Bowl XLIII subtext: Will we see a different Budweiser this year now that they are owned by Belgium conglomerate InBev? Will base-humor Budweiser show a more sophisticated and worldly Eurostyle? If you call Clydesdales & Conan sophisticated, the answer is yes.
  2. Despite much encouragement and prodding from me, no one in tomorrow’s Monday 10 a.m. staff meeting will remark on the striking similarities between Kurt Warner’s success story, and my own. I too bagged groceries, only at age 16 for Winn Dixie in Brandon, Florida. Like Kurt, I too went on to something much better than grocery bagging. Kurt is QB for a surprisingly competitive NFL team. I’m PR for a surprisingly competitive member of the SIA. I too have a four letter monosyllabic first name. Come on, isn’t this eerie? Like that Kennedy/Lincoln thing? No?

If only I worked for Fox News (and was assigned a 3D story) January 27, 2009

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Jon Stewart has often mockingly celebrated the Fox News invention of making outrageous, charged statements in the form of leading questions. I don’t have to look back any further than President Obama’s inauguration, with Chris Wallace one hour later still asking “Is Obama even president?

 

In Fox News style, here are a few questions I’d ask the powers behind the push to bring “active” stereoscopic 3D to TV and movies:

  1. Apparently, during this year’s “Not Exactly Patriots vs. Giants” Super Bowl, we will be treated to a Sobe beverage commercial in 3D. It seems the awkwardly-shy-about-putting-its-logo-on-anything and painfully-self-conscious-about-not-overshadowing-its-customers Intel decided this is the right moment in history to print up 125 million paper stereoscopic 3D glasses (That is not at all wasteful. Suck on THAT Mother Earth!) with an Intel logo right between the eyes. And give them away free so we can watch a beverage commercial in 3D? Oh, and an episode of “Chuck” in 3D too? My Fox news question: Were Intel marketers inspired by the movie “Idiocracy” in convincing themselves that America wants to sit around looking at one another at Super Bowl parties with an Intel logo blazed between our eyes, watching ads?
  2. DreamWorks, you are going to considerable expense to make your future animated projects stereoscopic 3D. You in fact said this is why you selected Intel as your processor supplier (After all, Intel is famous infamous for its 3D and graphics capabilities). But with theater adoption of digital 3D not only off the pace but likely to even decelerate in 2009 due to economic considerations, is this the 80/20 rule in reverse? According to the Dallas Morning News: “Only about 1,300 of North America’s 40,000 or so movie screens support digital 3-D. (IMAX adds 250, which combined is still less than 1/20th). Overseas, where films now generate up to 70 percent of their theatrical revenue, only a few hundred theaters can support the technology.” So Fox News asks: We love your movies, DreamWorks, but do you think it is a good idea to exert 80% extra effort and expense even though much less than 20% of your audience can even experience it?
  3. I’ll just jump to the Fox News question here. Do any of us really want to have to look like these guys to watch something in 3D?

I rest my case for a passive (no 3D glasses) 3D viewing experience.

More bow practice: here’s hoping my words hit the mark near as much January 25, 2009

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My first job: Groundskeeper, Horse Grave Digger January 24, 2009

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On Friday we were all atwitter about our first jobs. The demands at my current job were such that I couldn’t chip in until now (Get it? Current job? “Chip” in?).

 

Is that smile authentic or just "selling it"?

Is that smile authentic or just "selling it"?

My first job essentially was willed to me by my then-future brother in law who is about six years older. He was the groundskeeper for a well-off family we’ll call “The Barringtons.” And he was good at it. Plus he worked at Chilis (I thought that restaurant was SO cool in 1984. The tiled tabletop and quasi Mexican themes were exotic and exciting to me; the spicy food that my Kentucky-raised Mom never made.) AND he had some third job.

 

 

 

 

 

So, although I was perfectly contented to spend my 15 year old days on soccer tournaments and Doritos, the sheer work ethic chasm between three-job George vs. no-job me shamed me into accepting the rake-and-power tool scepter he offered.

 

The fun stuff:

          The food: Mrs. Barrington cooked a frozen pizza for you every day you worked and brought it to you with soda. It was so great of her I didn’t even complain when she brought supreme pizza.

          The truck: I got to drive around the grounds in their 1960s Ford pickup with a three speed manual on the steering column. I taught myself to drive this truck, and I’ve driven a manual for every truck and car I’ve owned since.

          The cars, U.K. style: Mrs. Barrington owned not one, but two 12-cyl Jaguar XJS convertibles. One in black, one in white. I don’t know why. But at 15, I was car crazy and this was a constant pleasant distraction.

          The daughters and the car, Detroit style: The Barrington daughters were all beautiful young women and at least as distracting when they would emerge from the house, but a few years and notches on the evolutionary scale out of my reach. One of them owned a baby blue 1969 Camaro SS with white racing stripes. So I spent my days working there surrounded by gleaming examples of precisely the kinds of Detroit and U.K. hardware that was the object of my desire.

 

 

The lows and the oddity:

          The intimidating power tools. I love a good power tool today (cue Tim Allen). But I only knew my way around a mower when I started at the Barrington’s. Honestly, like the truck, I learned how to use all these fancy, gas-powered tools on the job. And I wasn’t exactly a natural. On more than one occasion in the first month or so, Mr. Barrington emerged from the Tudor-accented home to re-acquaint me with such things as the choke, the throttle, and the proper angle for edging. At those moments of inadequacy, I’d picture George holding the edger with the confidence of Babe Ruth and his 34 inch Louisville Slugger.

          The amazing recuperative powers of watching some kid dig your grave. One day,  Mr. Barrington came to me out in the field and told me one of the horses was on its last leg. I looked across the grazing horses and cows and instantly spotted a forlorn looking, slow moving gelding. “I need you to dig a grave for him,” was his instruction. “Over here, under these oaks.” How big is a horse grave? Picture a Rubik’s cube. Now picture one 6 feet long, wide, and deep. Digging a grave like this would be impossible without a power shovel and rock breaker here in the limestone-rich Austin area. But in Florida, all I needed was a shovel and a couple of days and it was dug. It seemed to me that the old horse watched this process with more interest in me than he had ever displayed before. And you know what? That horse sure found a little extra zing in his step once that grave was complete, and he was still trotting about the farm several months later when I took a new job as Pool Boy and Chlorine Tank Operator.

If only I worked for Weekly World News January 23, 2009

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I could write real, reliable cutlines to photos. The brave truth. Such as:

 

Remorseless boy born with jawbone of TRex devours 3 year old as callous New Yorkers stand idly by. Photo courtesy of New York Museum of Natural History security guard Bernie Nubaum.

Remorseless boy born with jawbone of TRex devours 3 year old as callous New Yorkers stand idly by. Photo courtesy of New York Museum of Natural History security guard Bernie Nubaum.

My 40 one-worders, sort of January 21, 2009

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@legin tagged me to do ‘40 one-worders’. Harder than it looks. Bear in mind I like to create new compound words. Or compoundwords. The mystery around missing question #15 deepens:

1. Where is your cell phone? Jeanspocket

2. Your significant other? SteelAzalea

3. Your hair? nostyle

4. Your mother? communityorganizer

5. Your father? writing

6. Your favorite thing? GulfofMexico

7. Your dream last night? analog

8. Your favorite drink? Tito’sandtonic

9. Your dream/goal? oldandfit

10. What room you are in? cubewithview

11. Your hobby? nightrunning

12. Your fear? insignificance

13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Floribama

14. Where were you last night? Xbox360

16. Muffins? cranberry

17. Wish list item? compoundbow

18. Where you grew up? Tampa

19. Last thing you did? bosscall

20. What are you wearing? oxfordnjeans

21. Your TV? natureinHD

22. Your pets? GandalfandScully

23. Friends? awesomeandmany

24. Your life? funnerbytheday

25. Your mood? creativejuice

26. Missing someone? MattandMitch

27. Car? RSX

28. Something you’re not wearing? cargoshorts

29. Your favorite store? Newegg.com

30. Your summer? NY+SF

31. Like someone? strong

32. Your favorite color? oakleafgreen

33. When is the last time you laughed? Office

34. Last time you cried? Bucs’last4games

35. Who will resend this? @sclovelace,  @teresa_o, @mattmcginnis, @rkeosheyan, @SaraChap10, @seanmills

36. One place that I go to over and over? SF

37. One person who emails me regularly? Bonezilla

38. My favorite place to eat? Tokyosushi

39. Why you participated in this survey? @legin

40. What are you doing tonight? runninghard