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November 2008
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January 2009

December 2008

santa starts world tour early


now that I think about it, if you're a foreigner during christmas, who theoretically brings the goodies?  in russia, they have Дед Могоз. he rides in a horse drawn troika and is accompanied by his attractive granddaughter "the snowmaiden".  he also comes through the front door, doesn't travel on Xmas eve, and never associates with elves. and the kicker is, he comes around new years.  i'm all for traditions but i can't mess with old St. Nic, Rudolf, and all those stop motion animation christmas specials i grew up with. so, here's to the jolly old elf going out of his way to bring presents to all those american families living abroad.

the macbook pro arrived in record time, and i was relieved to see it made it safely.  it was everything i expected it would be as i gave it a test drive.  by the time the night was over i felt like i had cheated myself out of several years of wasted time having to rebuild my microsoft machines.  i knew there were better O/S's out there but my work drove me to use MS even at home.  i'll still use my desktop windows machine until i can migrate as much as i can over to the new mac.  

one of the many features that did not disappoint is the mac's touchpad. i never looked for a mouse the whole time i was on it. and the O/S was laid out the way i like, clean and crisp. no more digging through garbage to get to an app. one thing i always hated about windows is the million ways you can click to get to the same function.  i suppose it helps the novice stumble upon the right option but after you get use to a hotkey or shortcut, it's just clutter on the screen. i could go on but i'll end with the impressive appearance of the macbook itself.  the unibody construction is a piece of art. it's lightweight and solid.  from the ports to the dvd/cd drive, everything is well placed and out of sight. i love the maglock power cord connector also.  no more tripping over the power cord and diving to catch a falling laptop.  instead the cord will disconnect, leaving the mac to laugh at your oafishness while it rests peacefully on the desk.

so thanks fat man for making sure my present got here with plenty of time to spare. guess i have to be good the rest of the year now..

vladivostok - local scientists discover sun is actually a 100w bulb


Vladivostok - "Local physicist Oleg Ivanovich made the discover when the gigantic incandescent bulb burned out recently during the city's lunch hour.  Many local citizens believed it was just another typical winter day with multiple occurrences of black.  The city was kept in the dark until technicians could be sent up to replace it, three weeks later.  Efforts were thwarted though as the team brought the wrong bulb and tried to substitute it anyway.  Sources say a 24 hour guard will be placed on the light source once fixed, to discourage probable attacks from vandals and eventual theft by entrepreneurs."

big screen wall


when faced with a dilema, try to make dileman-aid.  since my movie projection screen was damaged during shipping, i used a blank wall instead.  my new harman kardon stereo receiver paired with a panasonic projector breathes new life into my dvd collection. klipsch speakers are mounted left, right and center with a subwoofer in the bottom right corner.  a pair of rear speakers rounds out the surround sound system for a nice cinematic experience without having to leave the house.  nothing like having a theater all to yourself. no more cell phones, strangers shouting drunken expletives, or somebody stealing your armrest.  and the best part is, no more missing the movie with a run to the concession stand, er kitchen. next up- movie night for friends, but they'll have to bring their own junior mints and reeses pieces.

construction, construction, what's your function?


it's not often you start a tour and have something physical that helps you measure the time you've spent in your new home.  for me it's the behemoth of a building outside my window and my dog lucia.  while the changes in my puppy's size are measured in what household items she can reach when standing, the building is measured in how much of the sky is now blocked from my previously stunning view of the harbor.  at first the building looked like it would never get pass the 3rd floor after 5 months of work, but a change in laborers jumpstarted the rate of ascent to over 20 floors in one year. now we get to worry which way the crane next to it will fall if it ever becomes unstable.

in other news, i bought a macbook pro this week online.  now i get to play the waiting game and worry about it becoming damaged in shipping.  (see previous posts on stereo system)

I've been making some changes to my townhouse to help give it a lived in feel.  It took me a year to hang 5 pictures up so it's long overdue.  now that I'm getting use to driving and finding places I'm able to hit the stores more frequently to buy what I need.  prices are still high but sometimes you run across things that are to good to pass up.  unfortunately, one of those isn't dog food.  the last time i bought some it was over $120 for a 33kg bag. looks like i might have to resort to cooking for two.