Mmm… iMac

The new iMacThe new iMac G5 was announced today, and since some people have decided to remain tight lipped about all things Apple, I will take up the clarion call of irritability. How cool is this thing? It’s like a flat screen hiding a computer! My old PC had a giant monitor and a big burly CPU which was too wide for most desks designed to hold CPUs. Now Apple takes the leap forward with flat screen technology and puts it all in one thin package. Beautiful.

If I wasn’t so happy with my current setup I’d want one of these. What especially amazes me is Apple’s continuing ability to create products worth lusting over. Their laptops have been selling like crazy (see the series of mostly redundant articles by Business Week), and I can imagine this new iMac will do pretty well. Though as small as the iMac is getting, I do wonder if people will just opt for a laptop instead. But I do love the image of a college freshman hauling the tiny iMac around! I had to haul two huge boxes when traveling with my PC.

Gmail is Gelicious

As the wonders of a Gmail invitation were extended to me (thanks Nick!), so I extend them to you. Anyone interested in getting their own Gmail account, let me know. I’ve got six invitations to share.

And if you’re wondering what the big deal is, Gmail is basically Google’s free, web-based e-mail offering. Only instead of some paltry 3 or 6 MB of space, you get 1000 MB. Yep, that’s 1 GB. They also have a nifty new way of handling and sorting e-mail, as well as a kick-butt spam filter. Even if you use a web-based account simply to sign up for stuff and protect your real e-mail address (like I do), Gmail is the way to go. Plus, since it’s new you have a much better chance of getting an address you like. Much better than

Speaking of excessive e-mail accounts, how many do all of you have? (different interations of the same account only count once, and if you have your own domain that only counts as one). I only have four five right now, which I think is an all-time low (MonkeyOuttaNowhere, ReALMagazine, Bethel, Gmail, and my ISP). Once upon a time I had a Hotmail and a Yahoo, but they’ve become green and crusty with spam long ago. I also had and e-mail addresses once upon a time.

My own personal love affair with the automobile

2005 Mustang GTLast night we went to the Great Minnesota Get Together. Ate lots of food, got free stuff, blah, blah, blah.

We also wandered through the Ford display (last year that had really nice free caribeener key chains and pins; this year they had girly bandannas and mini frisbees), where I stumbled across the 2005 Mustang GT. I’ve seen pictures of the car before and heard talk about a return to the original styling. But I hadn’t seen the car in person. Wow. They wouldn’t let you sit in the car like all the other models, but I still got a good look at its powerful lines. They also had a 2005 Shelby Cobra, but who wants to drool over something you’ll never have.

I once drove a Mustang. Granted, it was a 1988 with a wussy engine, but who’s comparing. It’s not like I could drag race the thing. It was a maroon LX hatchback with a 2.3 liter, 4-cylinder engine. It had a manual transmission with a tape player and no radio. It was my first car.

Continue reading My own personal love affair with the automobile

Some days I don’t even love myself.

A hunter orange jacket. A rainbow colored yarmulke. A full beard. He bowed his head four times on the bus.

A black leather trench-coat. A black fedora. Bleached blond hair that stuck out below the hat in the back, but not at all on the sides. Black, Frankenstein boots with souls two inches thick. He asked where Shinders Bookstore was, and I didn’t know. I pass it every day on the way to work, but I didn’t know the comic book shop with the poster of Wolverine in the window was called Shinders.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.” Five times. Just like that. The cop whipped a u-turn, parked on the curb, and stepped out to utter those words. I was too busy making sure he wasn’t talking to me to notice who he was talking to. “What do you think you’re doing?” The questions continued for the man who crossed the street when the little red hand said don’t cross, but I was already crossing 8th street.

So many people, and I’m supposed to love them all? Some days I don’t even love myself.

Roper is Dumb

RoperWhile Five Iron Frenzy fans everywhere have skanked their last dance, there’s still plenty of musical mayhem to be had. Former Five Iron frontman Reese Roper is back with a pop-punk four-piece, creatively named Roper. The album comes out October 19, but you can hear some early snippets now.

You can’t help comparing Roper to Five Iron or Brave Saint Saturn, and at first listen Roper sounds like an interesting mix of the two. There’s not as much jumping energy as Five Iron, or the spacey atmospherics of BSS — but the humor is still there. Of the five sample tracks one is called “Hello Lamewads” and another is “You’re with Stupid.”

What the Heck is RSS?

OK, I understand what RSS is and the whole syndication deal. It sounds brilliant. Yet I don’t use it. I don’t know any of my friends who use it (at least they don’t talk about it much). But it still sounds brilliant. Every day, multiple times a day, I go through every blog in my list of bookmarks (30+ sites) looking for interesting tidbits. Every time at least 50% of those blogs haven’t been updated. Seems like I’m a prime candidate for a news reader.

So today I signed up with Bloglines, a web based news reader. For those of you who I’ve lost, basically it works like this. Most blogs publish a file that has their most recent updates in addition to the entries you read. A news reader takes this file and displays the newest updates to you. So you have the advantage of only having to see what’s new and updated. You don’t have to go the news, it comes to you.

So I signed up with that today and subscribed to most of the blogs I read. Yet it seems a bit weird. This blog, for example, only gave entries from last month, as if my blog had stopped publishing a news feed last month. I’m not sure if it’s just funky because it’s new and it needs to be whipped into shape or what. Several blogs were like that, not always giving me the newest posts. I know Bloglines only crawls sites at most once an hour, but I think it’d do better than once a month.

Anybody have any insights? Anybody use a news reader to keep on their favorite blogs? Anybody reading this blog in a news reader? Anybody know of a better newsreader than bloglines? Anybody know what I’m talking about? Anybody listening?

Blog Killed the Marketing Man

The incredible rise of blogs is flooding into the corporate world as businesses and organizations consider how company blogs might do the work of marketing departments (link via bloggedy blog). But even a veteran blogger like myself is quick to point out that blogs aren’t replacing anything yet — but a blog could be a huge supplement to what the marketing department already does.

If you’re considering a company blog, check out 20 corporate weblog tips from Microsoft’s technical evangelist Robert Scoble (and yes, that’s the title he lists on his own personal blog). It’s a free PDF download chockfull of good advice. And for more blog wisdom you can always talk to this veteran blogger.

Pigeons Rumble in the Bronx

It's a pigeon.One day when I was a little kid a construction crew showed up in our yard and started building something. I hadn’t heard my parents talking about it and had no idea what was going on. Several days later a building the size of long, skinny garage appeared on the northwest side of our house. It was a pigeon house.

My dad has raised pigeons on and off for most of his life, something I’ve never understood. The pigeon house was emptied of pigeons more than ten years ago to make way for a 1968 Fairlane, and the building was sold along with our house earlier this year. But my dad is eyeing the playhouse on their new property in Kansas as an ideal pigeon house. It’s only a matter of time before the dust flies again.

But as weird as my dad’s hobby is, he’s not alone. Apparently the skies above New York are a constant battleground for pigeon fanatics. The Brooklyn Pigeon Wars chronicles the story of pigeon owners in New York who release their pigeons and hope to score birds from other flocks. The birds innate homing sense grapples with their flock mentality. As the flocks mix birds return home with other flocks, racking up wins and loses for their owners.

It’s a bizarre and somehow cool take on a hobby that’s always been dust and genetics in my mind (take a look at the picture gallery for a glimpse of feathers, poop and dust — as well as some graceful flying). If my dad does succeed in converting the playhouse, I think he should start the Great Bend Pigeon Wars. Even if there aren’t any other pigeons in Great Bend, his flock could battle the wild birds at Cheyenne Bottoms.