It’s Chrimmistime!

This week has been a devastating one for AAPL stock, but undaunted by financial realities I am now awaiting the arrival of a new Mac Pro workstation. Seems like forever ago I began my wait for this hardware refresh so I could replace my aging PowerBook 17. Minorly awesome were upgrade prices for Photoshop and Logic that were less than devastating. Unfortunately playtime is postponed until next month, delays resulting from inclusion of the sweet Nvidia 8800GT graphics. The new apartment heater will be installed as late as the end of February.

Happy birthdays with Wilco at Ovens

Julie and her friend Maggie came down to Charlotte to celebrate Maggie’s birthday with a killer Wilco show, which I didn’t even know about until she asked if I wanted to go (I live in world of frantic self-isolation). We tried to go to always-rockin Lupies (rockin) for dinner, but it was packed-as-usual and we ended up at some suck ass jackalope place (I give it two middle fingers up) down the road. They reluctantly gave us food, but at least the girls got some pre-game beers. Some guy’s show ticket (unbeknownst to him) blew across the sidewalk in front of Maggie as we walked up to the place, but we weren’t quick-witted enough to try to sell it back to him.

The sound was pretty good for a big room. I had a beer after the show. I think it was my first this year. Living on the edge, you know it. I think my contacts absorbed all particulate matter in the arena air, especially the pound of weed the guy in front of me constantly smoked throughout the show. He must have been afraid of being frisked on the way out.

I enjoyed having visitors, particularly ones who are cooler than I am and take me along with them to concerts. Bonus cool was that she even brought me my electric guitars and amps (I am a shitty friend and left my gear at their house for over two years), so now I can practice hard and be cool when I grow up.

John and Jemaine are worth the sub

Based on the first episode, John From Cincinnati will be worth keeping my HBO. Magic, surfers, and Al Bundy. Sign me up.

Funny in a way I didn’t expect, Flight of the Conchords had me wondering for the first few notes of the first song if they were lip-syncing Prince vocals. These guys are really good, and funny, and I already feel bad for Bret McKenzie because there is no way he’ll be as big a star as Jemaine Clement will become.

You can watch the first episodes online.

They’re going to Boston!

Go to the Boston Marathon website, select “Entrants”, search on Charlotte, NC, and you’ll see that both my distance running partners have qualified for Boston 2007! Jeri delivered an amazing kick for the last six miles of Phoenix to get her qualifying time, and Susi qualified at San Diego last year. These ladies are tough!

IMG_4818_450.jpgJeri informs an equine friend that he is no match for Charlotte runners

Most people have heard of the Boston Marathon, but they have little idea how special this race is to the sport, and how particularly difficult it is to qualify for entry. Other large, famous marathons have lotteries (ING NYC, for example), but Boston requires that entrants beat a qualifying time at a certified race. And, in case you were wondering, the times are very fast.

Qualifying for Boston is a huge accomplishment, requiring years of dedication to attain. Congratuations Jeri and Susi!

My take on HDTV

For the past two months I’ve started a few different exposés on my new experiences with HDTV, and all have ended up centering around my (admittedly) weird TV watching preferences and habits. To summarize:

  1. LCD television technology has progressed enormously in the past two years. There is no compelling reason to get a plasma television unless you’re getting something huge.
  2. Do not expect to enjoy watching non-HD television broadcasts on an LCD television. You will see every flaw in the massively compressed digital cable signal, and it will bother you to the point of distraction.
  3. HDTV programming on a nice display is gorgeous enough for me to justify paying the cable bill. Yes, it really is that good, and the HD-only channels seem to be programmed almost perfectly to my demographic.
  4. As you may already know, I refuse to bother with cable TV without the benefit of a DVR. I love TiVo, but the new Time Warner DVR (Scientific Atlanta 8300) is tolerable. $800 for the HD TiVo is a complete disaster situation for the company, and (for now) lost me as a customer.
  5. HD programming looks much better than DVD, even with a good upsampling DVD player. I will not purchase many regular DVDs again.