July 26, 2012

Elementary - Coming This Fall to CBS

This past week I heard CBS is coming out with a new show this fall based on the Sherlock Holmes franchise. I think this is awesome. The Conan Doyle literary classic hasn't been bastardized enough in the recent past. I definitely can't wait to see what new fresh take they are going to have on the characterizations. The best part is that it won't be set in London like every other Sherlock Holmes story we have ever seen. No, this one is going to be in New York. And check this out. Instead of John Watson it is going to be Joan Watson. Yep. A girl. Lucy Liu specifically. So original!

July 22, 2012

The 2012 Tour de France

Today is the last day of this year's tour. I feel like we have known who was going to win for the last 2 weeks. The tour this year was a letdown.

As soon as I started cycling myself I became a fan of watching the sport on television. The pinnacle of the cycling year is always le Tour. It is a month long event that occupies up to 5 hours of coverage every day. That is a large investment of one's time. I have not watched all of it this year... not even close. Most of the time I dvr the race, watch the beginning, then fast-forward to the end. The mountain stages are a little more interesting and I tend to watch more of those. Today it is all over, and I feel like I have pretty much wasted a month.

July 21, 2012

A Sad and Unsure World

Yesterday morning my alarm clock went off blaring the voices of a couple local dj's on the radio. I usually reflexively hit the snooze button and roll over. But something caught my attention right away and I was wide awake. They were recounting the events of the Aurora, CO shooting the night before. Horrible. Disgusting. Unthinkable. Pure evil. My heart goes out to all the people effected. I pray for them to find strength at this extremely painful time.

Jessica Ghawi's story is one of the most touching and tragic. In what would be her final blog post she recounts her experience at the Eaton Center shooting that occurred in Toronto in early June. She was there! She was in the same building building as the shooter last month, and she was in that theater in Colorado Thursday night.

The insane improbability of her being involved in both random acts of violence is mind blowing. Two separate cities in two separate countries, and both times she was at the exact location where some crazy person pulled out a gun and started shooting. I can't even fathom it.

I feel like I need to print out these couple paragraphs from her June blog post and read them every morning as soon as I wake up.
I was shown how fragile life was on Saturday. I saw the terror on bystanders’ faces. I saw the victims of a senseless crime. I saw lives change. I was reminded that we don’t know when or where our time on Earth will end. When or where we will breathe our last breath. For one man, it was in the middle of a busy food court on a Saturday evening.

I say all the time that every moment we have to live our life is a blessing. So often I have found myself taking it for granted. Every hug from a family member. Every laugh we share with friends. Even the times of solitude are all blessings. Every second of every day is a gift. After Saturday evening, I know I truly understand how blessed I am for each second I am given.

➡ Jessica Redfield's blog

July 15, 2012

Breaking Bad is Back

A new episode of Breaking Bad is on tonight. For the first time I will be watching it when everybody else does. I didn't start watching the series until a little over a year ago. It was shortly after it was added to the Netflix streaming library. I wasn't even close to being caught up when last season premiered on AMC, but I had the foresight to go ahead and dvr the entire season. It has been several months since we finished season 5 and we have been eagerly awaiting this day ever since.

I'm excited to be able to join the conversation each week but is going to be difficult waiting a whole 7 days between episodes when I've been used to watching 3 or 4 in a sitting. Regarless, I can't wait to see what the gang is up to and how their story plays out in the end. 
➞ AMC: Breaking Bad

July 12, 2012

That teddy bear movie

Ted is one of those movies that looked ridiculous when I first saw the preview, then I was shocked when it got so many positive reviews. I was in the mood for a comedy, and the buzz intrigued me enough to get me out to a matinee. I was a little surprised when a group of kids ranging in age from 6-11 walked into the theater with their mom and sat in front of me. From what I'd heard, Ted was not for the kiddos.

I figured the mom was clueless and thought it was a talking teddy bear movie. When the f-bombs started to fly they would surely leave. Well, they stuck it out the entire way. The smallest boy slept through most of it. The next oldest one, maybe 8, looked confused and sad as we walked out of the theater. The presence of the kids in front of me was on my mind the entire way. It significantly lessened my enjoyment of the film. I knew childhood innocence was being destroyed just a few feet from me, and that depressed me.

July 7, 2012

Is there going to be a SmallPad?

There have been rumors of a smaller screen iPad for a couple years now. All of the sudden the rumors have blown up. It is being reported now like there is definitely going to be a 7(ish) inch iPad announced this fall. I'd be surprised if that were the case, but I could be wrong.

The Kindle fire is due for an update in a few months and Google just announced the Nexus 7. They are both in that 7 inch form factor, and both compelling devices. The Nexus 7 running the newest version of stock android for $200 is interesting for sure. Neither of them are going to compete with the current iPad. They are playing in the e-reader segment that Apple has been content to stay away from thus far. Apple has never been one to release a device as a reaction to a competitor, and I don't think they are going to start.

July 6, 2012

My iOS Text Editor

I've been on a streak of buying new apps. I got an iTunes gift card for father's day and I have put it to good use. One of the things I do most on my iPad is text editing. I already talked about how I use the Logitech Ultrathin keyboard for my writing. The other major ingredient (aside from the iPad itself) is the app you use to get the words down on the page.

I mentioned in that post I used Byword. I've now added Nebulous Notes to my toolbox of text editors. It has more features, but doesn't look quite a pretty as Byword does. Maybe I am just more used to the Byword interface, but I prefer it slightly. Either one is a great option. They both have dropbox syncing so I am switch between them at will and it is seamless. All my files are synced up with both. The main reason I needed another app is that Byword does not do offline file savings. It has to have a dropbox connection to work. Nebulous Notes allows you to save local drafts, which is huge for me. My iPad doesn't have 3g/4g.

July 4, 2012

My New Podcaster

Let me start out by re-iterating that I realize how lame the whole idea of podcast listening sounds. For an outsider it seems like the most boring activity one could engage in.

I just talked about how much I liked using Instacast as my iPhone podcast app of choice. Over the weekend I switched. Now I'm a Downcast guy. Ironically, I am much happier now.

My main requirement for podcasting app is that it has to sync subscriptions and play positions between devices. I use an iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and I want to be able to go from one to another without worrying about where I was at in a podcast. That was the killer feature of Instacast, but it only worked about half of the time for me. I spent more time screwing with it than I if I would just manually skip to the correct position.

July 2, 2012

Ted wins the weekend

I'm not a fan of the acting talents of Mark Wahlberg, and I really don't like teddy bears all that much. Still, I am interested enough in Ted to want to check it out. It opened Friday and won the box office weekend with $54M. Not bad. Most of the buzz I've heard about it has been positive. Still, I am perfectly willing and able to wait for the dvd to come out.
Scott Mendelson wrote on his blog about a positive trend this summer movie season.
This weekend represented a shining example of the two best trends in mainstream moviegoing this year. As I wrote, we've seen a real upswing in both mid-to-low-budget mainstream fare that aren’t especially ‘tentpole-ish’ as well as a huge upswing in the number of R-rated films being released by the major studios. As such, two of the four wide releases this weekend were both R-rated and all four were relatively small-scale and in 2D.
Another positive, they weren't sequels or reboots. Negative, one was a Tyler Perry movie. Somewhat hypocritcally for me, there is no way these movies were going to get me to the theater this weekend. However, I would like to see The Amazing Spiderman, and I hope to be there opening weekend for that little Batman movie that comes out later this month.
➞ Mendelson's Memos

July 1, 2012

The Camera You Have With You

A few months before my daughter was born I got an Olympus micro 4/3 camera and an amazing pancake lens for it. At the time I had an old Nokia phone. I used that camera a ton, and took hundreds of pictures with it every month. Then last October I got the iPhone 4S. My olympus picture count immediately fell off a cliff. Why carry it when I had in iPhone? Now I had crappy iPhone photos in my computer. Don't get me wrong, the iPhone camera is great... for a phone... but looking at the pictures on a full-sized screen next to my Olympus pictures, it wasn't even close. I'm going to follow Marcos lead and start using my "good" camera more. Marco.org