Posts Tagged ‘failure’


I never thought I’d be interested in a device that sounds like a feminine hygiene product but gosh darn it, my BlackBerry™ is such an incredibly user-unfriendly hunk of shi… thing, that I am reduced to running out and buying shiny shiny things to make up for the lifetime of inadequacy I’m shouldering after foisting the things on both myself and Cruel Wife.

On the apple website though, I was reading up on accessories.

Use the Apple Wireless Keyboard on your desk, on your lap, or anywhere within 30 feet of your Mac or iPad.

How, exactly, is that supposed to instill confidence?  Great, now I can use it around the corner!  I can prop the iPad up in the bathroom and take a dump without leaving my comfy chair in the office.  I can’t even see them well at 5 feet away, how is 30′ of wireless input-device separation supposed to make me feel good about myself?

I am a bit troubled that the cost breakdown is similar to an iPod, where I can bend over in double-jointed fashion – extra-flexxxy-style – if I should decide I want 32GB of RAM instead of 16GB.  Here’s the progression for just the wireless version, no 3G capability:

16GB Wireless iPad – $499

32GB Wireless iPad – $599

64GB Wireless iPad – $699

See that?  Start at 16GB, then add $100 for another 16GB, and for another $100 you can get 48GB over the starting price.  Seriously?  As you buy more of something it should get cheaper (which it does) but with memory cheaper than it has ever been, this much of a break implies you’re rectally hemorrhaging because you’ve been violated, not because you’ve neglected to eat enough fiber.  I’m still sorting out the details on whether or not you can actually utilize memory via the SD card adapter when plugged into the docking port.  I’m not going to hold my breath.

If you’re like me, you’re addicted to the ability to surf while away from your wireless points – just because you never know – which in this case is as good as telling the aforementioned violator to please use the sandpaper-covered condoms you’re handing him (or her, if we stipulate the involvement of a sandy vibrator instead of an actual biological phallus sheathed in sandpaper).

According to Apple, admitting to self and the world that you have a 3G-orilla on your back will set you back $729 if you want to get the 32GB version.  There is one bright spot – the data package for the thing is available without a long-term contract so there isn’t the sense that you’ve bought into a strangers-only S&M get-together in the seedier part of a bad town without a safe-word.†

But the engraving on the back will be free.Yes, that is the engraving I’ll choose if Cruel Wife allows me to buy the thing.

Why would I choose this expensive shiny-shiny solution and be happy with the price?

BECAUSE I FEEL SO VIOLATED BY THE BLACKBERRY™ BRAND THAT I’D RATHER EAT TURPENTINE-SOAKED BROKEN GLASS MIXED WITH BUBONIC-PLAGUE RAT-TURDS THAN KEEP USING IT EVEN THOUGH I HAVE A YEAR TO GO ON MY CONTRACT.  And that is not because of the recent one-day loss of service last week.  It really sucks that bad.  It sucks worse than that, in reality.

All I really wanted was to be able to keep my contacts and my calendar so up to date that Steam would be envious.  Was that so terribly much to ask?  Not only could RIM not provide that without buying Outlook, I’d have had to use Google Calendar, and I could not even get downloaded third-party apps as a passive-aggressive workaround because every failed attempt at logging in (requiring typing in the user and password each time) told me that the apps center was behaving in error.  No kidding?

Look, RIM supposedly excels at this sort of utilitarian thing, and there I was having to jump through hoops in order to do what should have been transparent.  I don’t have time to dick around with the hardware/software issues.  I got the BlackBerry™ because presumably BB users don’t have time for that shit because they are busy getting things done.  Yes, it pings my e:mail accounts and religiously tells me when a new e:mail has come in – SOYLENT’S AGW mockery and snooch updates are always within reach but those aren’t needed when I have to quickly go to silent mode for a meeting only to find that my BB is beeping at me because I didn’t set it for silent mode for e:mails, too.   But responding to e:mails requires extra unweildy keystrokes and switching between apps is roughly as pleasurable as stabbing mosquitoes on your arm with a fork.

Getting to any place on the web with the BB is also about as snappy as a model T on a Formula 1 racetrack.

In short, I lived an unvalidated life of denial and shame, trying to fake the motions of a happy BB user and coming up short.  It certainly gave me a regular feeling of satisfaction of yet another piece of spam read in prompt fashion, but when one still relies mainly on coffee-stained post-it notes to keep track of everything, eventually it dawns on you that you’re huffing the silver paint of personal information manager despair and eating the soggy cold fries of technological failure.

Time to get something shiny-shiny.

That was shock imagery only – I haven’t watched or participated in any such S&M activity.  I was using artistic license.

Update:  BlackBerry™ is offering $100 worth of shovelware like the cliche husband buying flowers to atone for a major screwup with the wife.  I know it’s not the classical definition of shovelware but it is for all intents and purposes to me.

The Canadian company said that from October 19 to the end of the year, customers would be able to download from a selection of premium apps on the BlackBerry App World Store, including games such as Sims 3, Bejewelled and Texas Hold’em Poker, the music discovery service Shazam Encore and a selection of hands-free voice to text programmes. BlackBerry will add to the current list of 12 titles over the next month.

Yeah, just what I, the fella who just wants a damned calendar needs – poker, Sims 3, Bejewelled, and a “music discovery service”.  Plus their voice-recognition stuff is awful.  My cats are better at understanding what I’m saying.


h/t to Cruel Wife who understands that lately I’m having a hard time giving one… no idea where she found it, and it’s not like I care enough to ask, either, hence the presence of the graphic in this post.  That cat is classic.

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Update:  More night photography.  Obviously I need a filter (an expensive one with lots of features, maybe two or three really nice top-notch jobbies just to be safe) for that lens flare but I liked the clouds.

To crop or not to crop...

Update 2:  Cropped, per Nicole’s suggestion.



I have been hunting high and low for some alternative to the hated CFL’s.

Hey!  I know… there’s this thing called an incandescent ****ing bulb you congress-cretin misanthropes.  Oh, we’re not allowed to use those by fiat, huh?   So much for fiat lux.

So I’ve been hunting high and low and reading so many specs that are outright lies.   Outright lies.  My background is optics.  I know a thing or two about photons.  And I can say without a trace of arrogance (here, anyway) that if I am having a hell of a time deciphering whether the manufacturer means lumens, luminous efficacy, watts (for real), or apparent wattage replacement – and – whether they just made a boo-boo when their numbers don’t work out or if they told an outright lie, then… how the hell can the average person, without a great deal of hassle, tell what the frig they are looking at?

Prices are all over the map, too.  If you want a dimmable LED light you can pay $45 or you can pay $13.  You get what you pay for on the low end, I’m sure, but do you really get $45 worth of light bulb on the higher end?  I dunno.  Doubt it.

But I do know my cat’s butt is hanging 75% or better off the edge of his perch and I’m convinced that he can defy gravity;  At least my cat’s ass end appears to be lighter than air.


Picture my upcoming Halloween project:  To make a pumpkin glow like the noonday sun.  While stuck on a pole.  While splashed with fake blood.  With lightly carved lines of agony on it’s face.

Last year I stuck a halogen worklight up a pumpkin’s butt and had a blast with the neighborhood oooh’ing and ahhhh’ing over it.  Problem was that the holes for the eyes and mouth were awfully bright and kids looking the pumpkin in the face were temporarily blinded.  But the yard glowed orange.

This year?  I want it to brilliantly flame orange.

I figure, and while a certain distinguished gentleman might have observed that my 2KW internal lighting scheme for the pumpkin might be a bit much, I have to forge ahead with the idea because if we screw this up, kittens could die.   It may scar some tender young psyches to see such a sight but if we save just one kitten, it’s a price I’m willing to pay.  I notice he didn’t argue very hard and kind of said “no” when he meant “yes, yes, yes, for the love of dog, yes” regarding the excessive-force approach.

As he noted, there might be… heat issues.  Cruel Wife thought so, too.

So I have pondered on the notion that forced air might mitigate heat-driven agricultural product failure (the squash FMEA chart is all angry-red looking and no green squares in sight).  I refuse to water cool or heat-pipe the sucker, though.

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Don't know the source but I like what it says.

Subtitled:  The Font of Youth

All right then… you know the cards I’ve posted a few nights now?

When I installed Windows 7 from my XP OS, somehow a few fonts got shredded.  I won’t name the guilty party but it was Microsoft.

To finish the cards with the same font, I would need to find it.  But there’s the rub – I could not remember the font name!  I had a bitmap example of what I was looking for, however:

So what did I do?  I searched and searched and searched some more.  Did you know that out of a million fonts online you will find that fully 999,993 of them are complete utter pieces of crap?  Sure the makers were well-intentioned but they were also completely lacking any talent whatsoever when it comes to making a font that has flow and balance.

I searched high and low:

dafont.com – betterfonts.com – simplythebest.com – 1001freefonts.com – eknp.com – topnotchporn.com – (just checking to see if you were reading this)

I have visually inspected literally tens of thousands of fonts.

No joy.  No luck.  Fail.  Epic Fail.  Painful bone-grinding failure.  Soul-wrenching spirit-mulching consciousness-rending failure.  Mind-numbing repetitive drone-work.

So we try a different tack when desperation kicks in, right?  This option was for me much like stopping to ask for directions.  But at some point you give up.

I went to WhatTheFont.  You upload a scan or bitmap of the text you do have letters for.  You verify that their OCR of the image resulted in the proper letters.  Then it comes back with a list of possible fonts.  It guessed the very first time the proper font – Calligraphic 421.    How about that?

Thing is, I know that font.  Know it well.  I’ve danced with that font, bought it dinner, had my way with that font, and used it mercilessly countless times in my graphics.  Could I recognize it on sight or name it?

Damn, I’m getting old.

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