Thursday, January 28, 2010

Angry Youth

I was leaving my neighborhood today and something bizarre and quite rude happened to me.

I grew up, for lack of a better description, in the country. I measured distance from friends houses in miles instead of blocks. Out in the country, when you are driving or riding around and you see someone its just common to wave or raise a few fingers off the steering wheel in a small form of greeting. Its a reflex and something that took me a long time to get out of doing once I moved into a more "city" environment. I don't do it anymore when I'm driving around but do find myself do it on occasion when I'm back on the home turf where I grew up.
When we moved into a neighborhood, my waving habit returned. Most of the people I see walking on the sidewalks or streets of my neighborhood are either people I know or just neighbors I've yet to meet. Most of the time it's their children or teenagers. I drive past them making sure to keep an eye out for the random smaller child or family pet in case one darts my way and as I pass I smile and wave. They are my neighbors so I see no harm in this. I've done this for over 9 years and haven't had any issues. Sure some people just give me that blank stare of "Do I know you?" with a look of trying to remember where they know me from then they just go back to what they were doing. Most of the teenagers and kids just smile and some wave back. The ones that are too cool to wave and smile just give me the up-nod of recognition and go about their business.

Until today that is.... Today I'm driving out and make my turn on to the main street and see a teenager up ahead. Its time for the High Schoolers to be getting home and I'm on my way to pick up Logan so there is nothing odd about a solo teenager walking the street. I get closer and give a small wave and a smile and keep going. As I pass the lil punk/thug wannabe I hear "Wha chu wavin at Cracker?"

HUH? Cracker? Seriously? What is that little shits problem?

I glance in the rear view mirror and see him still walking away from me not looking back. Then I notice the 'angry' walk he was doing. His body language was screaming "I think I'm a bad ass and I'm mad at the world!". I refrained from slamming on the brakes and having a discussion with him about manners and keeping your mouth shut when you're the one walking in the street without a bumper or airbag between you and oncoming cars. Part of me wanted to go back and stomp some manners into his lil punk ass. That part was overruled by the more rational part of me, you know the part that reminds you that getting blood out of hiking boots is a REAL pain and they're new boots so lets not muck them up with the blood of some thug wannabe. I kept on driving but was rather confused at what this kids problem was that he needed to speak out when he could have just kept walking in angry silence.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

iPad (Don't blame me, I didn't name it)

I sat with eager anticipation today waiting for the Apple Event to start. In between working on various request and emails for my day job I refreshed and watched the tech sites as they prepped for the event. Speculation ran rampant on what was to come. Leo Laporte was live streaming/blogging from the event on Twit TV with Alex Lindsay manning the fort back at the Twit Cottage. His live audio feed made the event quite enjoyable because while the audio was working I didn't have to wait for Engadget or Gizmodo to refresh. Steve Jobs came out and announced the successes of Apple over the past year and then let us in on Apple's newest invention. The iPad. Yeah, I know. Twitter is already flooded with #ipadpuns and I'm sure they'll just get worse and more frequent over the next few weeks.

My impression of the iPad, in a nutshell, is that its a 9.7in diagonal screen version of the Touch. I can see this device establishing itself in the market as a great e-reader and a Kindle killer over time. The base model is not much more than a Kindle and you get 10times the power and capabilities as the Kindle. With the Kindle iPhone/iPad App available in the App Store, purchasing a Kindle now would simply be stupid. Don't shoot me if you have a Kindle. You most likely purchased it before today so you're not stupid. Just unlucky.

The CEO of McGraw-Hill has already spilled the beans that they are working closely with Apple on getting more and more books onto the iPad. Apple today launched iBooks and is working with publishers to get the prices to be reasonable and affordable. Imagine carrying your entire library of favorites or all your textbooks in one device for instant and immediate reference anywhere you are.

As disappointed as I am in the iPad's lack of a front facing webcam and video conferencing features. I am thrilled to see Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek PADD (Personal Access Display Device) take form in the iPad. The future of data access is devices like the iPad. The Kindle tried but in my opinion, failed.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Weather DefCon 3: High French Toast Alert

What is it about Georgia that the mere mention of Snow sends everyone into a panic?

Its absolutely insane. All the weatherman has to do is mention "chance of flurries" and everyone immediately rushes out and depletes all local grocery stores of Bread, Milk, and Eggs. I guess, while isolated and pinned behind a massive inch or two of snow, everyone goes into survival mode and makes French Toast. What else are you going to do with those ingredients? I would think that the point of "stocking up" for a "blizzard" would mean gathering items that could be used/consumed without the use of electricity. What exactly can you do with Bread, Milk, and Eggs without electricity? Sure you can have Cereal. IF it was on your list when you went to raid the grocery store. You could drink the Milk but that wouldn't really satisfy a hunger for long. You could make a sandwich providing, once again, that other sandwich materials were on your list. Eggs are pretty much useless without electricity or a heat source for cooking. Unless you're Rocky that is. I just don't get it. The entire OMG WTF PANIC!!!!! attitude is just stupid. I swear the local weathermen own stock or have some other vested interest in the Grocery Industry and cry SNOW!!!! whenever they need a boost to their portfolio. ;-)

No worries though. I've got firewood and plenty of food other than milk, bread, and eggs so bring it on Mother Nature.