Category Archives: Musings

TouchPad Update

A couple of promising updates for the HP TouchPad. Though there are still no more on the market, progress is coming on several fronts.

CyanogenMod had now got an Alpha of Android 2.3 Gingerbread running on the TouchPad. It’s still very Alpha, but I think once they have some time to fix bugs and maybe start playing with the Ice Cream Sandwich SDK, there should be some very usable beta and release candidates over the coming months. I am happy to wait before pushing the install, but I think the itch will get the better of me in the coming weeks. Install guide here.  

For those who said the TouchPad is dead, well, it is, but I was pleasantly suprised this AM to see the HP team is still on the case, and in fact releasing an OTA update for WebOS – read more about it here.

I think this devise has a good (immediate) future, no regrets at all in buying it.

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ChesapeakeMan Ultra Triathlon Summary – Lengthy

Training for this race started on May 9, and about 250 hours went into it. Plus the forgiveness of the family to embark on such a foolish venture. Full metrics are pending. This was an intimate race, well organized, with great volunteers and participants. If Eagleman is as good, that must be a great race. It’s the people, not the landscape on this one…

I arrived in Cambridge, Maryland on Thursday afternoon, with the goal of scoping out the bike course and taking a swim before checking in and eating the pasta dinner. The course was less than two hours from DC, an easy drive. Continue reading

I Opted Out

Inevitably, the law of averages caught up with me today. As I waited in the Transportation Security Administration line at National Airport, I had a sneaking suspicion they were pushing everyone through the millimeter wave scanners. Sure enough, after I had stripped down to be sure I wouldn’t trip the mag, I was directed (as it seems, were the majority of passengers) to the wave machine.

Faced with the choice of the pat down or the scan, I took the option to “Opt Out” and have the pat down instead. I stated my intention in a friendly manner as the TSA agent directed me to enter the wave machine; he asked me to stand to the side and called out for a male screening. Continue reading

Black Watch

Shock and awe, ringing ears, and profuse swearing – key elements that made the National Theatre of Scotland’s production of Black Watch simply captivating.

I know what you’re thinking, nothing is that good, these statements are like the drivel on film posters “A Must See!!!” or “Two Thumbs Up.” In this instance, the production (it’s more than a play, and I certainly wouldn’t detract from it by calling it a musical) in parts rivals the impact one would get at a screening of an action film. It’s the real deal, and as one of the reviews said, “Beg, steal or borrow to get yourself a ticket,” The News of the World.

Black WatchFrom the moment of seating in the Sidney Harman Hall at the Shakespeare Theatre, one is in the midst of the action, loud bagpipes play and roboscans fill the stage; which I would characterise as abbreviated in the round, audience seating behind what would be the traditional proscenium, and also in the expected area in front of the stage. With the troops wagon on stage right and scaffolding on either side, one had a real sense of depth on an otherwise bare stage. Suspension of disbelief was not an issue here. Continue reading

More Snow On the Way

With more snow looming according the weather people on the tee vee, I was reminded this weekend about one of the most classic Simpson’s episodes – Mr. Plow, where everything is great till Barney gets in the game as the Plow King.

That’s my big thought for the day, Mr. Plow.

“Call Mr. Plow, that’s my name, that name again is Mr. Plow!”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Plow and, as if you needed it, the Weather forecast.

Mr. Plow aka Homer with the Plow King, Adam West and Linda Ronstadt

Homer Simpson is Mr. Plow

Thought of the Day – Snowpocalypse II

What is it about DC? I mean it’s bad enough that half the people who claim DC as home live in Virginia or Maryland – but I’ve been trying to ascertain from which constituency the panic about the impending snow emanates.

DC allegedly has a complex about big brother NYC. The current panic about the pending Snowpocalypse Part Deux does no one any favours. Our friends to the north in Charm City and Gotham can deal with the wet white stuff. Has the gentrification of DC turned everyone into softies who cannot deal with an inch of snow? For shame.

Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s the aforementioned suburb dwellers who hype the panic, no, I think it’s the residents of the 202 proper. For shame.

It’s snow. Fenty, even with crappy poll numbers deals with the snow. I promise you, there is no need to panic-even though the lines at the various (Insert Noun Here)Safeways are stoopid. Things will be nice and toasty in (what used to be) your $750k condo.

Stock up on Jameson (which, as you know, you should have on hand at all times) and I promise you’ll be fine in the event of and inch and a half of snow.

For reference: http://www.snowpocalypsedc.com (h/t Jen)

PANIC!

So Much to Ponder – the it’s been a while edition

Given that it’s been so long since I last posted; these are the things on my mind (no particular order):

  1. iPad
  2. Haiti/Red Cross activities
  3. Travelling with the netbook and MiFi
  4. What can Brown do for you
  5. Ava

1. It’s Alive! The iPad – it lives

The much ballyhooed and hyped Apple tablet was announced today as the iPad (http://www.apple.com/ipad), starting at $499 for one with a meager 16 gig memory. My immediate observations are that there is no way to add memory or to use removable flash memory – a major drawback. There is a $130 premium for 3G – basically that adds the unlocked GSM chipset allowing you to add data service from a GSM provider – T-Mobile or AT&T stateside. My money would say get a good mid-range WiFi only version and use it with a MiFi when on the road – getting you good network coverage too and the ability to have 4 others tie into the hotspot: http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/mobilebroadband/?page=products_mifi

Don’t get me wrong about this, I like most people enjoy the products, I use a tiny 1gig shuffle about daily, but always avoided the iPhone. iTunes pisses me off because much of it is proprietary, and the same goes for the 30-pin connector on the iPad, why oh why are there no industry standards for CE devices – where you are talking mini-USB chargers, memory cards, or video outs. I also enjoy playing with my friend’s iPhones, but the costs and coverage leave much to be desired. Why would it not have a webcam in it? Makes so much sense for Skypeing – and a big reason behind the success of netbooks. I assume most people have a camera phone already, so not having a traditional camera is likely a non-issue.

Finally, the e-ink on the Kindle et al is great looking, it will take looking at the iPad to see if they can do the e-book experience nearly as well, I suspect I’ll need to see one in real life to see. But I don’t think Amazon or the BN Nook is too worried at this time. I’ll likely try the Sony e-reader software on the netbook. Stay tuned for that.

Parting thought from Rob Pegoraro’s WaPo chat today on the iPad:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2010/01/25/DI2010012501334.html

Long Island, NY: So, this iPad is basically a 10″ iPhone that runs the same OS, but has iBooks, and scraps the phone and camera?

Rob Pegoraro: Not a bad summary of it. But… will software written for the iPad become a sort of middle ground of productivity and entertainment between the laptop and the phone? Apple is betting on that happening, but a lot of other things have to happen first. Let’s not forget here that it’s the same App Store as before, so you could have issues getting apps approved.

2. Issue 2 – Haiti (growled in my best McLaughlin Group tone):

Wow…where to start, Katrina was bad, the tsunami was bad, but this is a whole other bowl of bad. For a country in continuous strife – both man-made and weather-related, this was the icing on the cake to take them to the lowest they can go. Now they have to rebuild.

I was fortunate to be able to help the Red Cross National Capital Region with some of their press outreach, which led to a very cold morning the day of my Lasik surgery (the topic of an upcoming post). Long story short, some exceptionally well trained folks from the ARC deployed with all of their equipment to help with the disaster assessment and communications needs on the island. http://www.wusa9.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=95940&catid=187

This is going to be an incredibly long, expensive and time consuming rebuild, and just remember, as a result of Katrina, the Gulf Coast is still an active Red Cross disaster, beyond everyone else who is rebuilding down there.

I would be remiss if I forgot to mention that you can donate to both the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and International Response Fund at http://www.RedCross.org.

3. Travelling with the netbook and MiFi
A full post will follow on this, but starting earlier this month with a trip to Albany, I have ditched the 15″ Dell laptop for travel and am taking an Acer Aspire One and Verizon MiFi mobile hotspot on my travels. It’s working great so far, and saving several pounds of weight from my messenger bad is a huge bonus.

4. What Can Brown Do For You

In my gut, i knew this would happen, that Michael Brown would win by a few points over Martha Coakley. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t royally pissed off last Tuesday night. This was inexcusable. Less of a referendum on POTUS than it was a damning indictment of an atrociously run campaign. Seriously, having worked on a campaign over Christmas before, I can tell you the only day of downtime was Christmas Day itself. Where is the work regimen? And more to the point, why did more senior staffers not sound the alarm sooner to the candidate, kitchen cabinet and national committees?

Note to self, check any sense of inevitability and the fortune of incumbency at the door. This will be a fascinating election season, and hard work will be needed to see any successes on the Dem side, especially in light of the retirements. Hopefully a bold SOTU by Obama tonight will put the country on a more aggressive footing to tackle to many deep troubles at hand.

5. Ava

Well, I knew this day would come. She is now walking around and getting into everything more than ever. It’s been pretty quiet on the whole, no drama since she turned one except for a couple of trips to the ER, nothing serious, just to make sure she didn’t have a bad case of something called RSV.

It’s amazing how quick they grow up.

So that’s the update, I’ll try and write more, especially when I have time sitting on the 2100 or 2171.