fierynotes: Picture of Destruction, from the Sandman series, reading a book and slinging a guitar. (Default)
This is my front page. If you want me to add you, drop me a line here. Or, add me. Either way, I'll check you out. You can also drop me a line here if, for instance, you don't have my email address. All comments here are screened.

This post also includes every tag I have -- this is because my current LJ style doesn't include a tag index. (At least half of my participation on LJ is on my phone. I chose this style because, as bare-bones as it is, it loads quickly and it's still readable on a small screen.)

I'd tell you more about myself, but that's what my profile -- and the rest of my LJ -- is for.
fierynotes: Picture of Destruction, from the Sandman series, reading a book and slinging a guitar. (Default)
Smartphones. Those of us who have them, love them... when we don't hate them. I think of mine as my secondary brain, remembering all the little things that I type in so that I don't have to remember them all myself. It's my camera, it's the internet in my pocket, my way to find places both online and in the real world, and it's more things that I don't know it can be, and it's only waiting for me to realize it. Just lately, I downloaded a metronome app, a stopwatch app, and a Latin-English dictionary app. I also tried an app to track my progress at the gym, but I stopped using it because it was too cumbersome. Perhaps someone who actually goes to a gym should develop an app for that...

Still, as wonderful as smartphones are, they aren't perfect. Everyone who has a smartphone has gotten irritated at it at least once. Apple and Google have been working on the various perceived shortcomings of smartphones for years now... and along comes Microsoft. "The smartphone beta test is over," they promised us (Warning: advert). Every smartphone before now has been imperfect, and we're here to lead you out of the woods with Windows 7. Here: check out the Nokia Lumia! Isn't it amazing?

And less than a month after one of my colleagues at work is crowing about his brand-new Lumia, Microsoft is already talking about the Windows 8 release. And the Lumia won't be able to run it. And any new app that's made for Windows 8 probably won't work on it.

The smartphone beta testing continues... much to my amusement. Hype and marketing continue to be bullshit... much to my complete lack of surprise. But my poor coworker. He's going to be screaming "I just fucking bought this!" the moment he reads the news, if he hasn't already started.
fierynotes: Picture of Destruction, from the Sandman series, reading a book and slinging a guitar. (Default)
A while back, I bitched for a little about some stuff on TV that irritated the hell out of me. In a bid to prove that I don't hate all TV, just the stupid TV (which is only 98% of it), I'm going to talk about some of the good stuff I'm watching.


Coupling: A British sit-com. If you can, imagine the American sit-com Friends, but give it some balls and some brains. Like Friends, it's about six friends and their antics, both sexual and otherwise... but this show actually has writing in it. It also has the kind of humor that would never fly here in the States. (And I don't just say this because no American TV show would make a joke about sofas protecting you from daleks, though that's also part of the show's fun. The writer would go on to write a couple of really terrific Doctor Who episodes, and later take the reins entirely, but at the time, it was just a joke, really!)

Leverage: We all have revenge fantasies about the rich and powerful getting their comeuppance for screwing the rest of us, especially lately, so this show's clearly based on an obvious winning formula. That said, it's a clever show based on an obvious winning formula. It also has really good acting. My new crush, Gina Bellman (who played the most self-centered woman alive in Coupling), has so far played a Southern horse broker, an Indian exec, a German Luge-runner, a Yank TV producer, a really good actress... and a really bad actress, all brilliantly. (I also have a bit of a man-crush on Eliot Spencer. Must be the hair... or his ability to pick up women even while in-character as an IT guy.)

Top Gear: Three middle-aged men who are, mentally, twelve-year-olds. Absurd challenges. (One of the episodes required them to pretend they were teenagers who'd just gotten cars. My favorite challenge was "park in your driveway at three in the morning as quietly as you can," because most teenagers have had to sneak in at some point.) Pianos dropping on cars as a running joke. This show is like a cartoon. It's supposed to be about cars, and despite not really caring about cars, I love it.

Spartacus: Blood and Sand: I've stuck with this show, so far, and I'm really trying to like it. Don't get me wrong, it's really good. The thing is, it's trying to be everything to everyone. For those of us who like the ladies, it's got Lucy Lawless, occasionally undressed. (She's in her forties, by the way. And she looks even better than she did as Xena: Warrior Princess.) For those of us who like men, it's got lots of well-proportioned (and ahem, well-proportioned) men, occasionally undressed. For those of us who like violence, it's got more blood than 300, and no shortage of bullet time. For those of us who like drama, it's got no end of double-crossing, back-biting, and various other kinds of politicking. Aside from the bullet time, which I find really fucking annoying, all of these individual elements are terrific. The show as a whole ought to be absolutely fantastic... but it's got a serious identity crisis. At best, the whole is a bit less than the sum of its parts.

Future Food: I really wanted to like this show, too. The theme is molecular gastronomy, and the food is daring as hell. The problem is, the green message is poured on really thick, and it kills the show. You can't really claim to be working on "new ways to feed the world" if you're charging big money for small portions in a fancy-schmancy restaurant, your kitchen looks like a chem lab, and most cooks on the planet will never have access to the tools and resources at your disposal. It's terrific that you can do cool things with liquid nitrogen, miracle berries, and enzymes that renature protein (basically uncooking it) -- I'm not arguing against that. You can preach about decentralizing food production, too. It's a worthy goal -- we tend to make all our food in a few central locations, and then burn a lot of fossil fuels moving it where it needs to be. You can't really do both, though. Collecting inedible weeds from your garden and from between your sidewalk cracks may count as "eating local," but making them edible by chewing a berry that you have to import (at considerable cost) from West Africa does not.

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fierynotes: Picture of Destruction, from the Sandman series, reading a book and slinging a guitar. (Default)
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