Thursday, April 30, 2009

When you don't have shit to say....

Just post a picture of yourself....and come up some with some content later...

Edit: There's a nasty web filter at my job that's stopping me from posting the media that I want to talk about most. I got some stuff to talk about and some great new music to feature but it will have to wait until the cuffs are off my broadband...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Yankees Lower Ticket Prices.....

According to this article on the Huffington Post, the NY Yankees have finally lowered the prices of their best seats. The empty seats were a real eye-sore during their opening homestand in the new Yankee Stadium. My Dad and Step Mom were not happy with a previous post I made dissing the Yanks for their embarrassing inability to sell out the new yard, but I just have to pour it on. The Yankees are the gold standard baseball club in America, and the previous Yankee Stadium, outside of the history inherrant in that edefice, was a hole. There, I said it. I would rather see a game in China Basin any day then go to the old Yankee Stadium. I have tons of respect for the history, and I was stoked to see a game in "The House That Ruth Built" but I have developed a taste for more contemporary ballparks and couldn't believe how ugly that place was. The new stadium looks great but the Yankees got a little greedy. $1200 for a single seat? OMFG STFU! Great news Yanks fans, those seats are now only $800 or so......LOL!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Timbuk2 Netbook Bag

Timbuk2 makes a great netbook messenger bag, so I went ahead and bought one ($60) and I'm extremely happy with mine. It's not specifically made for netbooks but the size is perfect and it has little pockets inside for all my peripherals. They charge more ($90) for custom colors and fabrics but I just went with the generic black nylon, hell it goes with everything....
Inside I have my Mini 9 in sleeve, power supply, flash drives and USB hard drive, Canon SD 790, Flip Video Recorder, mini tripod, cables, mini mouse, and iPhone Charger. Not much room left after all that but it's really compact and I could still probably squeeze in another netbook if necessary...

Neoprene Mini 9 Sleeve...


The new neoprene sleeve for my Mini 9 arrived today from DealExtreme.com. It was a real value at only $5 and I only have a couple of complaints. First, it took almost three weeks to arrive, from Asia I think (Hong Kong actually now that I check). And second, it has a strong odor of chemicals, kinda like super glue or solvent or something but that's no big deal really, as long as it wears off eventually. Looks great, works fine for my needs, and again, it was so cheap....

Brian Wilson Deletes Twitter Account....

As reported by Barry Zito on Twitter, Brian Wilson has deleted his Twitter.com account as what I believe must be his response to criticism after his first blown save of the year April 26th in Arizona.

Zito wrote last night after the Giants' home win vs. the Dodgers with Wilson striking out the side for the save...

"
Hey guys great win for the team.. WIlson [sic] deleted his account as that was the way for him to prove all the media wrong in their assumptions"

This is unfortunate as Wilson was probably the most interesting Twitterer that I have followed. I suppose that this is one of the side effects of Pro Athletes putting themselves out there the way that Wilson did. One blown save and there goes all the levity. I know that I was disappointed about the loss, but it's unfair for fans or the media to use twitter against the guy. He definitely had some questionable things to say but I really enjoyed his tweets and took everything with a grain of salt. I guess that not everyone thought the same way that I did and were attacking him for his content and his single poor performance on the mound. Way to go guys! Just can't let a good thing last can you?
=[

Update:

SF Chronicle Sports Writer Gwen Knapp wrote in her Sporting Green column "Is Zito ready to be Zito?" today:

"When I first saw athletes' Twitter accounts, I wondered how quickly they would feel the need to censor themselves. On Monday evening, Brian Wilson answered the question by shutting down his account. On Saturday night, going into Sunday morning, he had posted something that made it sound as if he had been partying close to 1 a.m., even though the Giants had a day game.

When the closer blew a save opportunity for the first time this season, a reader alerted Chronicle beat writer Henry Schulman to the Twitter item, and he posted a few, carefully non-judgemental paragraphs on his blog. When Schulman got a chance to talk to Wilson, the closer said he had been in his hotel room, ordering room service and tweeting fictionally. Shortly after that he killed the account.

Let's hope he brings it back to life. Wilson's Twitter comments often had an edge to them, especially when he discussed his workout compulsion..."

Yes Brian, please bring the account back to life. My days were a little brighter because of it, and I promise not to snitch to sports writers when you're being compulsive...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Random Thoughts...

It's laundry night, which sucks for me with no machines in the building. I'm making the best of it trying out the Mini 9 at Cup-a-Joe's down the way while my clothes wash in the laundromat. I got a pint of Anchor Steam and a HUGE paninni, and the cafe is all indie rock and art students inside and on the street....sigh...
Randoms: I'm pretty pissed about this article called "Why the Hackbook is a Fail" on TUAW, or The Unofficial Apple Weblog. I really like that blog so the article feels like a stab in the back.
My roommate Ed and I are starting to get back into Grand Theft Auto IV, playing basketball with coworkers on Wednesday, need to get the bike in the shop for oil and new brakes, riding to LA in two weeks to see my cousin Colin and go to a Giants game at Dodger Stadium, ok gotta down this beer, wrap up the paninni, and go put my clothes in the dryer......
=]

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A&A Minis Tourny

We played a progressive, by year, attacker/defender tournament at Kurt's yesterday and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I took 3rd out of 5 so meh on my performance but some games were definitely better than others. I played Axis and I have to admit that the damn British have too many bricks, they're worse than the Russians if you count early war units. Not a single Matilda or Churchill Variant (bottom picture) died in the entire tourny. Those things are near impossible to crack even with 88s and Pak 40s.
Thanks again to Kurt Gish for the hospitality! It was an awesome Saturday and it went by too fast with great gaming all day, fine wine, and gourmet fare. Porkloin and salmon dinner with garlic fries and artichoke hearts, Cheese, snacks and crabcakes, with beef and chicken fajitas for lunch and delicious coffee all day long! It was heavenly. =]

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Flames of War • Firestorm

I'm over in Piedmont in Oakland at my friend Kurt's house for an all day game fest. We're currently playing Flames of War™ Firestorm, which is an eastern front WWII themed board game that is pretty fun. Especially if you're as crazy about 2nd World War themed games as we all are. Later we're going to play an A&A Minis campaign tournament, and I'm really looking forward to that. More updates later...

Friday, April 24, 2009

iPirate 2.0


Got my Second UniqueSkins cover today as you can see. I was in such a hurry to put it on it's got a couple little bubbles and that sucks. Yes I know I'm OCD about the damn thing but well yeah I'm OCD about the damn thing. It'll do, for now...

T.G.I.F. Bitches!!!!!

It's Friday and it's payday, so I bought bottle of Petron and a twelver of Pacifico. Salud!
Tomorrow is all day gaming at the home of the one Kurt Gish, and Sunday I might do brunch and the Sunset Boat Party! WOOT!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Verny

This is Vern buy everybody calls him Verny. He's a brown belt instructor that teaches Tuesday and Thursday night beginner's classes at Rocha BJJ. I really don't like this picture and it doesn't do Vern much justice. I was forced to take it in a hurry after class with my iPhone because I forgot my netbook bag this morning and my camera is in that. I'll get a better one for posterity, I just wish I could take some candids during class while he's teaching but that would probably be annoying for everybody.
Anyway, I've been going twice a week to Jiu Jitsu and I have to say that I really enjoy Vern's class. He's a real upbeat guy and he's friendly, knowledgeable, and Vern is always quick with a joke or a smile. It's a very different feel from Eduardo's classes but I like the variety of great instructors available each week. Jeremy, a purple belt, which is just below brown, often teaches the beginner's class on Friday nights too. All of the instructors have a different style and vibe when teaching but they are all equally passionate about Jiu Jitsu and you can tell they love teaching it to others.
I would like to wish Vern success in his new home that he recently bought in Oakland. I'm looking forward to the housewarming party and assuming in advance that I'm invited. I also assume that he's gonna put down mats in the largest of the four bedrooms, right Verny? I mean, what are you going to use all those bedrooms for anyway? =D

Apple Flavored Kool-Aid...


Now I understand that this might be over the heads of some of my readers but it's important to me that I express my thoughts on the following issue:

My friend and fellow tech geek and Apple Fan-Boy, Jason O'Grady of O'Grady's Powerpage has written some interesting articles on his other blog The Apple Core about the netbook hackintosh phenomenon that I just have to comment on...
Links:
•The $200 "Mac"
•Apple Disses Netbooks Again

1. Business: As Jason has already said, Apple isn't interested in a race to the bottom with junky PC makers. I also don't see them licensing OS X to other manufacturers for a plethora of reasons. So basically there's no way for them to address the motivations for those, who like myself, find themselves desirous of a cheap little hackintosh. Apple charges more for their machines than the competition, they are the luxury car maker of the computer world. Yes, a Ford will get you to the same locations using the same roads as a Mercedes for a whole lot less but I don't need to tell you why the Mercedes is more expensive. It's the form factor and the overall user experience and quality that you are paying for. It's the same for Apple with netbooks as it is with BMW who has no interest in producing a sub-compact economy car. In my opinion what Apple needs to do is make a sweet netbook and forget about competing in terms of price. I for one would love a 10" MacBook Air with a few extra USB ports for less than a grand, depending on the specs, which leads me to my next point...

2. Technological Limitations: The Dell Mini 9 is a niche machine. It has serious limitations that I will try my best to describe here. The processor is a single core 1.6 Ghz Intel Atom, which is seriously underpowered by my standards as a Mac user. I upgraded the RAM to 2 GBs but as far as I can tell 1 GB of RAM seems to be plenty for use in this machine. It has never used more than half of the available RAM, but the processor has bogged more times than I care to tell. It's nice to be able to upgrade the RAM so cheaply but there really isn't much of a point with the limited processing power. There is no way to upgrade the processor, not in the uprade section of the Dell store, nor through after purchase hacks. There's actually two very good reasons for this. The first reason is heat. Dual core and higher Ghz processors run hotter and with a fanless netbook that would be a bad thing. The Mini 9 already gets pretty warm with the low power single core Atom. The second reason is battery power. Dual core and higher Ghz processors use more power and require a fan and those both draw a lot more juice from your battery. That would either severely lower your battery life or add more bulk in terms of the now necessary fan and larger battery, which of course defeats the purpose of a light, quiet, ultra portable machine. So therein lies the rub. If you want it small and quiet with a decent battery life then you have to sacrifice processing power, which with the Mini 9 is the single major limitation. I can deal with the lack of storage but the underpowered processor is the Achilles heel of the platform. So how do you think Apple will approach the problem? How will they solve the intrinsic technological limitations inherent in the netbook format? I'm very interested to find out. Which brings me to my final and most controversial point...

3. Politics: If you read any of the talkbacks from the linked articles above, you will pick up on a few consistent themes. First of all let's just say it how it is...Some people love Apple no matter what, and some people hate Apple no matter what. It really reminds me of knee jerk Democrats and Republicans. Instead of recognizing the value of positions in any particular issue, these sycophants instead blindly toe the brand(party) line ad nauseum. I'm really beginning to dislike those who are firmly, and often rudely, ensconced in their respective camps. That goes for Apple AND PC folks. I find it repugnant the way that PC people rabidly defend the Apple EULA when it comes to hackintoshes, completely out of spite. They accuse my friend, and anyone with a hackintosh, of being a criminal for breaking the EULA despite the fact that in our cases each company was payed in full for their products. The same goes for the Apple Kool-Aid drinkers who can't see the rationale behind hackintoshing and stick their noses up in the air and generally confirm the stereotypes that many Mac detractors just eat up. I personally believe that uncompromising loyalty to any brand or operating system is just stupid and dated. Soon enough it will just be a quaint story that we tell to our grandkids. "Yes Billy, there used to be two kinds of computers, and Mac/PCs were the best!" I think that when Apple switched to Intel architecture the writing was on the wall for everyone to see. Now folks are running multiple operating systems on Macs and shoehorning OS X onto non-Apple hardware. In my opinion it's the beginning of the end of the Apple/PC wars. Just go out there and use what you want and get over yourselves already...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

This is Eduardo Rocha, my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu professor. I have been attending classes at the Rocha Jiu Jitsu Academy in Oakland for almost 4 months now and I really enjoy it. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a highly effective martial art for self defense and is also a great competitive sport for all levels of ability. It stresses ground fighting techniques and "submissions" which can be described as chokes and joint locks as apposed to the striking and kicking featured in most fighting styles. I tried practicing BJJ before at another academy a few years back, but it was in SF and therefor was much more expensive. The instruction and facility were also not as good as what I'm experiencing at the Rocha (pronounced "Hocha") BJJ Academy so I feel very happy with the overall value I am receiving. There is an emphasis on fitness which is great for me as I hate gyms and find it hard to get motivated to work out. The beginner's classes are fun and challenging and have been very helpful to me in other ways, like keeping my ego in check, learning humility and patience and all the other beneficial side effects of practicing a martial art. I also get to use some of the skills I learned in high school wrestling which feels good. I pride myself on my takedowns/takedown defense and my ability to maintain control when on offense but I really need to work on my defense in the guard position. Wrestlers tend to have issues feeling comfortable on their back and I'm definitely guilty of that. At the moment I go twice a week, generally Tuesday and Friday nights and I usually leave exhausted and soaked with sweat, which is great.
Eduardo is a third degree Black Belt in BJJ and is an extremely inspirational instructor both in his ability and his conditioning. The guy is a statue. His physique is impressive and his attitude is serious but kind and definitely approachable. He takes his job very seriously and demands a level of intensity that I admire and respect. I find myself responding to the example he sets for us, and I aspire to represent his academy to the best of my ability.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Serato on the Mini 9 • Part 1


• Research so far suggests that with this system Serato prefers reading Solid State and flash drives but dislikes SD cards and bus-driven hard drives. I'm trying different sources and settings with varying degrees of success. More on this later, testing is ongoing.

• Also, this fanless Mini 9 gets pretty hot when the weather is warm, maybe not a good fit for those in hotter/more humid climes...

Giants of Twitter...


Both Barry Zito and Brian Wilson of the San Francisco Giants are addicted to Twitter and I'm loving it. They each tweet regularly and enthusiastically but I'm afraid that is where the similarity ends. Barry Zito's tweets tend to be simple and subdued with a philosophical or existential slant. He quotes Carl Jung, or expresses some zen or introspective ideas, whereas Brian Wilson is straight up zany. Wilson tweeted yesterday on the Giants day off that he was at pier 23 if anyone wanted to meet up with him (for drinks I assumed). I missed the tweet by two hours or I might have joined him for a brew myself!* The Giants' closer tweets from the top of the dome. From strange thoughts and non sequiturs to outright bluffs, taunts, and the oddest one liners. Like the one when he challenged all the other MLB teams' closers to a UFC style cage-match fight. He really keeps it interesting.
That's the magic of Twitter. I feel that I have some special insight into the lives of these two athletes, and it is especially novel because they both pitch for my beloved Giants. They answer responses, ask questions of their followers, and generally allow an interactive experience that is impossible to replicate, all in real time. I have also noticed that several Yankees (Nick Swisher & CC Sabathia) are pretty high on the list of Pro Athlete Twitter users on WeFollow.com, which is a great site for finding Twitter content. I don't personally care for the Yanks or their new overpriced empty seated stadium. The Giants sold out at least 2 straight seasons when they opened their new yard. How embarrassing for the Yankees, arguably the flagship club in all of baseball. But I digress.....
I wish more ballplayers used Twitter. It has the potential to change everything. Cutting the middleman (Sports Press) out of the equasion and bringing the players' thoughts and feelings directly to the fans throughout the season, or the whole year round. The net effects of these small social networking advancements are yet to be felt, but the ripples are spreading, and producing outcomes that few would have predicted....

Ps. We need to pay the Padres back for the sweep they dropped on us in SD. Well guess what? You're in out house now! Let's get em'! Go Giants!

*(Can't wait for Twitter Push Notifications on iPhone 3.0!)

iPirate


I have been looking at the UniqueSkins cover on my Mini 9 for all of one day and I have decided that it looks like crap. The apple is too big. It looks like I'm trying too hard or overcompensating or something and I'm not happy with it. It sucks but I went ahead and ordered a replacement today, there goes my initial investment of $15, but whatever. I'm totally obsessed with my netbook and when it's up to my standards I will feel much better. Above is the image that I decided to go with for the next applique', a cool apple "skull and crossbones" that I am calling "iPirate". It's the same image that I use for my Mini 9's desktop image. I posted my desktop on the Dell Mini 9 forum and I have gotten a lot of praise and responses from people wondering where I got it.

My friend and former co-resident and DJ collaborator Sean Sullivan is stopping by for lunch today on his way through town. We used to promote and play parties in San Francisco for years but he's relocated to Reno/Truckee and we hardly get a chance to hang anymore. Looking forward to catching up and seeing what's new with Sean, he's a very talented DJ, photographer, music producer, rock climber, and all around interesting person that I'm glad to have in the friends column. Everett & Jones? I hope so.

Ps. It's hot again today. It's nice but I'm not ready for summer yet. Can we get a little spring first? Actually it's supposed to rain this weekend so I guess I get my wish....

Monday, April 20, 2009

Got my custom sticker/cover from UniqueSkins.com today and just finished applying it to my Mini 9. The "Apple" image ended up being a little larger than I intended but it's cool, for now. I am just very happy to cover that Dell logo once and for all. Also got a mini mouse with retractable USB cord today to add to my cache of Mini 9 accessories. All I'm waiting for now is the neoprene sleeve I ordered to keep my baby safe...hope it comes soon!

Happy 420!

Happy 4/20! Or Happy 420. Or be happy at 4:20 on 4/20 with some 420.....
It's a very controversial issue in America and throughout the world, but I just have to express my advocacy of this particular intoxicant. It's certainly no worse than alcohol and tobacco, both of which are legal, taxable and arguably much worse for you, without the benefit of medical uses. I don't get home from work until 5:20 but I'll just set the clocks back and pretend......

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I heard on NPR this week that Procol Harum's 1967
Psychedelic melancholy classic "Whiter Shade of Pale"
is the most listened to song in public in England of all
time. That is to say, it has played more times, on more
jukeboxes, in more pubs than any other song in history.
In England. =} Hats off to them, it's a great song...

Dirty Bird Golden Gate Park Party

video
Today Dirty Bird had their first free outdoor party of the year at the pond meadow in Golden Gate Park. It was hot. Real hot for April. My white ass had to stay in the shade for the duration. I have to say that I enjoyed the opening set by Christian Martin the best. He started out with some Dub-Step and Broken Beats and it was melodic and pleasant with great reggae undertones. Just the thing to start it off on a sunny Sunday. Claude Von Stroke and Justin Martin also played well but the sun on the dance floor was way too strong for me to dance very much. None of my tight peeps showed up so it was kind of a solo mission but I found some heads to kick it with and had fun anyway.
Now I'm at my friend Mike's by the beach. We jammed out with his bass and drum set (update: big blisters on my fingers ouch!) and he scoped my mini 9 and decided to buy one. I think I might buy another. Probably an all black Vostro A90 because it's on sale...I know, I know. =]

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hackintoshing...


The main motivation for starting a blog is my new Dell Mini 9. It's a sweet little machine and I am especially enamored with it because it is running Apple's operating system OS X. It's my hackintosh and I take it everywhere. I'm a total mobile tech addict and this is the best bang for the buck that I have ever experienced. Consider that I spent $600 for an iPhone the week they originally released, and then consider that this apple clone netbook was half that. Runs Photoshop, Word, and Serato, as smooth as can be and its a joy to use. Now I just wish that there was universal free wifi, that would be heaven. Also looking forward to the option to tether the Mini 9 to my iPhone for 3G. Some folks have 3G netbooks already but I don't want to have to deal with getting a separate data plan.
Anywho...I guess what I'm getting at is that this is gonna be fun. =]
I highly recommend the platform, it really is a great value. Very flexible and capable, especially for what I'm using it for. Probably not as your main computer, but a very worthy sidekick to a good desktop (I have a 24" iMac).
It's Saturday afternoon in SF. The sun is shining but the breeze is getting cooler by the hour. I'm at the house w/ roommate and friends chillin. Played A&A Miniatures most of the day at Gamescape then went and got a haircut at Male Image in the castro. They have turned the corner of Divisidero and Oak near Gamescape into a great coffee shop with the very appropriate name On The Corner. It used to be a very forgettable liquor store so I'm stoked with the change. Went in for coffee and a bagel and it's very inviting with a simple but solid menu and the coffee was tasty.
Giants still can't catch a break. Timmy busted out of his mini slump today for 13 Ks and 8 innings of shutout ball but the Giants still ended up losing 2-0 to the DBacks. =[

ps. This shot is the view looking down Jones St. from where I live in Nob Hill...

Blog Time...


Uploading:
I'm starting a blog to get myself out there and give more access to my life and mind for anyone that might be interested. Friends, family and like minded individuals are welcome to share the ins and out of my life and experiences. I will try to keep it updated and current so folks can keep up with what's new with me. I love my Step-Mom's blog because it really helps to keep me connected with her and my Dad's life in upstate New York. I wish more people I know and love were blogging, it is such an awesome way to put yourself out there for anyone who is interested.
Here we go............

ps. I took this picture with my 2G iPhone...