Thursday, September 27, 2012

I Stand Corrected

The other day I wrote about the latest electronic gadgets.  In my usual snarky way I inferred Barnes and Noble responded with a "whimper" when being faced with Amazon's new Kindle offerings. 

Then yesterday I learn B&N rolled out new models of Nooks.  Turns out they were not asleep at the switch after all. 

Looking at the specs it seems the latest Nooks are definitely comparable to Amazon's products.  However they still won't dislodge the iPad from the numero uno position.  But if I was in the market I would give the Nook HD or HD+ a shot.  Being ad-free (as the Nook products are) would seal the deal for me. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

That sound you heard

...was NOT the earth stopping its rotation. 

Or hell freezing over. 

Yesterday I decided to sit down and do a math story problem just for fun.   You heard that right. 

(For the non-family member readers of this blog, please know I've been locked in mortal combat with arithmetic since elementary school.   A scholar of algebra, I ain't.) 

But at Geoana's orientation a few weeks ago the teacher had a problem on the board that intrigued me.  This weekend the child brought it home as a handout labeled "R-U-Up 4 The Challenge?" 

"Farmer Jensen has some geese and some goats.  Between them they have 86 legs and 60 eyes.  How many geese and how many goats does Farmer Jensen have?" 

Took me only a few minutes and some pencilwork to figure it out.  Mainly utilizing some Mr. Spock logic.  (Actually, the real Mr. Spock would have quickly figured out an algebraic equation for the solution.) 

However Geoana said she cannot get any outside help for this question and took a stab at figuring it out herself.  I figure we can compare answers tomorrow evening. 

And shoot, it wasn't that hard of a problem.  Nothing at all like this:

The Simpsons _ Aptitude Test Cheater by hulu

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Weekend report

All's quiet here.  I am doing nothing of excitement this weekend, which is likely a harbinger of the next many weekends to come.  No major projects in the works but a whole lot of responsibilities stemming from my recent promotion at work and simultaneously heading up the local BB Gun team. 

And for today it amounts to laundry, some light cleaning, and scraping the outdoor window frames before I give them a touch-up coat of white paint.

No hunting in the near future.  I haven't yet read the state's forecast but I wouldn't be surprised if the pheasant population is down this year given the drought and high temps.   Hmmm, maybe Geoana and I can just get out to the gun range and blast away some clays. 

Upgraded the iMac to Mountain Lion.  Like it, but some of the features will not see any use from me.  Such as the share button in the Safari browser that can immediately link what I am currently viewing into a Twitter or Facebook post.  I don't have accounts on either of these services and never will.  That's a subject for a whole different blog entry.  However I am enjoying some of the other tools built into the OS, such as Dictation (did just about a whole blog post a few entries back via the Mac's built-in microphone with only light editing needed from the keyboard).  I also find iMessage useful, I can text with Geogal right from the Mac.  The notifications panel is much improved and overall the entire interface is very smooth.

Next order of business is to upgrade my iPhone and Geoana's iPad to iOS 6.  Geogal already has done so with her iPhone and immediately noticed not only is the native YouTube application gone, but she couldn't install the one offered by Google currently (her system said "you already have this app," or something to that effect).  Probably just a bug the nerds in Cupertino can fix before too long.

Now that fall's here the tech news is heating up.  Not only did iPhone 5 just hit the market but Microsoft is planning an event for late October, likely to roll out Windows 8.  Is this also when the Surface will be released?  Or even give a release date?  With pricing?  With demo units that won't freeze up while onstage?

You already know about Amazon's new line of Kindles.  (With the tech press so eager to declare something, anything, "the iPad killer!")  I'd say Walt Mossberg at All Things D is more accurate when he deemed it topnotch for watching or reading Amazon's content, but not great as an overall tablet.

My guess about reactions to the new Kindles?  Apple:  "You don't even know what we have up our sleeve!"  Google:  "We have deep pockets."   Barnes and Noble:  "whimper"

And if Apple will indeed roll out a product that will fall between the iPod touch and iPad, (the iPad mini, perhaps?  Or iPad nano?)  you can bet it will not be long before said creation hits the market, what with the holiday season approaching and all.

Interesting times. 

Monday, September 03, 2012

R.I.P. Hal David

Going through several of my regular sites yesterday I learned of the passing of Hal David.  Not unexpected, given he was not well enough to accept the Gershwin Prize along with Burt Bacharach in May of this year.

I suppose now is as good a time as any to confess I've been a closet Bacharach/David fan for a lot of years.  I liked their songs before Mike Myers (in the guise of Austin Powers) and "My Best Friend's Wedding" made the songwriting duo retro-hip.  I distinctly remember mom and dad's record collection containing some of Burt and Hal's hits.

Whether it was a Top-40 song such as Naked Eyes "There's Always Something There To Remind Me" or a mega-country hit "To All The Girls I've Loved Before," I had the surprise, years later, of learning David created the lyrics.

And, one of my last days in high school I took my rather large final wood shop project home in the family Suburban.  As I took it out of the back of the truck I had the radio going (naturally) and KRST played a song I had never heard before, a country oldie.  "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence" by Gene Pitney.  Years later I learned it was written by you-know-who.

And now in my DVD wish list is "Lost Horizon."  Not the 1937 flick with Jane Wyman but the 1973 musical from Columbia Pictures.  I want to see it if only to watch what amounted to the last nail in the coffin for the Bacharach/David duo.  The fact that the movie was a total bust sure couldn't be blamed on the tunesmiths.  And some of the user reviews on indicate that the picture really isn't all that bad. (Maybe it was just a victim of bad timing.)

Farewell, Mr. David.  Rest assured I have an iPod full of your compositions that will keep my mood upbeat all day.