Friday, September 30, 2011

Smartphone Stupid

I admit it. I'm smartphone stupid.

I purposely avoid getting one, learning about its features and using one. I really don't see the need.

I think, like Twitter and Facebook, it's just a fad. Yep, that's right, I think they're all pretty useless fascinations that are extremely popular right now, but, in time, I see their usage dwindling.

Unless you're a celebrity or otherwise have a very interesting life, your Twitter and Facebook readers are either already good friends and loving family, or they're just hoping you "return the love" and read their equally mundane and worthless posts. And as for that so-called smartphone in your pocket...

It costs thousands of dollars, and provides mediocre to bad service for the applications it was designed to handle. Let's face it, as a telephony device it's prone to all sorts of problems: sound distortion, poor amplification, static or feedback, call dropping, you name it. And for any of the other uses, I have 3 words. Two inch screen. Better have tiny fingers and really good eyes.

But it seems everyone has one nowadays. And they rudely use them everywhere. At the supermarket, in restaurants, at the movie theater, walking down the street, even driving.

Last week I witnessed the most inappropriate usage of texting and emailing on cell phones yet...of all places, where would you think would be the worst place to be distracted, zoning out everything else around you while you squint at and tap on a tiny little LCD screen? Church, you say? Fuck that, I'm glad for their sane mind if they're more interested in sexting their screw pal than listening to some idiot spewing lies on a pulpit.

No, much worse. It's the one place you would think would be a sanctuary from the banality and drone-like behavior of mindlessly using a smartphone. I'm talking about Disney World.

That's right, with the kids spazzing out beside you with glee that they're actually in the most magical place on Earth, you're a heartless bastard checking your email. And it's probably work email at that, making it even more unforgivable.

How dare all of you who I saw zombified by the icy glow of your tiny viewscreens while all the splendors of the Magic Kingdom danced and sang there for your enjoyment!

And even worse still were the families where all members, parents and kids alike were all on their phones, tapping and squinting, ignoring everything and everyone else around them.

What level of Hades are you consigned to where you can't escape, if even for one day, to a fantastic world where your boring and dreary normal life is left temporarily forgotten?

So who's the real stupid one here?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

MINECRAFT MANIA: Did 1.8 Ruin Minecraft?

A few months ago when they did that 'Wolves" update I tried out the new feature by adopting a wolf as my pet, but, as I suspected, I immediately hated it. I like to do things alone in Minecraft and I hated the dog constantly following me and getting underfoot, barking for no reason and all. Kinda why I wouldn't get a pet in RL, too needy, sloppy and noisy.

Thankfully, though, you could avoid the whole mess by simply ignoring the wolves altogether. If you never feed them that bone, they don't become your dog. Easy enough solution to a new feature that otherwise would have turned me off big time.

Now with the recent 1.8 update, there are a slew of new features which can also be a hassle. Unfortunately, with these, they don't seem to be optional.

Take the Enderman mobs. They look awesome and creepy. But in fact they're just a nuisance. They die way too easily and I haven't yet experienced for a minute the fear that a gang of creepers will instill in you.

Or, I should say, used to. Ya, it seems that since 1.8 the other mobs are nerfed significantly. Nightime only mobs seem to be in short supply, comparatively, and they don't seem to be swarming to me as they did before. Is it my imagination?

Another thing is the new abandoned mines and villages. These are great in thought but in practice they seem to be providing too many advantages, dumbing down the whole experience.

Bringing back Creative Mode may seem like another great thing but after months of building grand structures the "hard" way (my mining and crafting everything) it seems too sandboxy, and gets boring fast. Maybe it's just me.

Not a fan of the new style of eating, and the difference in the health bar system either. Kinda reminds me of Fallout 3. It kinda irritates me in that game too, the way your health recovers gradually after you eat...give me an instant gratification stimpak any day.

A few other changes have me scratching my head as well, so indeed, the jury is still out on this update. It really has changed so much it feels like an expansion pack to me.

And let's not forget, this game is still in BETA for cryin' out loud.

We'll see how it all works out. Notch and his gang will no doubt be tweaking a few more things here and there.

I just know I have virtually abandoned playing it altogether now.

Maybe it was just its time anyway.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Is It So Wrong?

Earlier today I stumbled across this image of Cody Simpson, a Beiber-esque pop star and I thought...Why do I think he's so adorable? And huggable... And kissable.... And....


No, it's wrong! Got to get that out of your mind! HE'S ONLY 14!!!!

But.... No "buts" (especially not his), it's wrong! So says contemporary society anyway.

Once upon a time, there was the philosophy of pederasty and it was an accepted way of mentoring budding young men to be pillars of their communities:

Pederasty in ancient Greece was a socially acknowledged relationship between an adult and a younger male usually in his teens.[1] It was characteristic of the Archaic and Classical periods.[2] Some scholars locate its origin in initiation ritual, particularly rites of passage on Crete, where it was associated with entrance into military life and the religion of Zeus.[3]
The social custom called paiderastia by the Greeks was both idealized and criticized in ancient literature and philosophy;[4] it has no formal existence in the Homeric epics, and seems to have developed in the late 7th century BC as an aspect of Greekhomosocial culture,[5] which was characterized also by athletic and artistic nudity, delayed marriage for aristocrats, symposia, and the social seclusion of women.[6] The influence of pederasty was so pervasive that it has been called "the principal cultural model for free relationships between citizens."[7]
Scholars have debated the role or extent of sexual activity, which is likely to have varied according to local custom and individual inclination.[8] The English word "pederasty" in present-day usage implies the abuse of minors, but Athenian law, for instance, does not recognize consent and age as factors in regulating sexual behavior.[9] As classical historian Robin Osborne has pointed out, historical discussion of paiderastia is complicated by 21st-century moral standards:
It is the historian's job to draw attention to the personal, social, political and indeed moral issues behind the literary and artistic representations of the Greek world. The historian's job is to present pederasty and all, to make sure that … we come face to face with the way the glory that was Greece was part of a world in which many of our own core values find themselves challenged rather than reinforced.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

MINECRAFT MANIA: I Just Adore A Penthouse View

Using the new POV slider pushed to the fish-eyed limit, here's a daytime shot (for a change) of the city skyline from my new penthouse. Here we're right about in the center of town looking south toward the docks.

Monday, September 12, 2011

On My Mini Staycation

Four days off in a row. Woo hoo!

I was going to head off to Disney today but I decided that I'd wait for the email from Best Buy saying my TV was ready for pick up. It hasn't come yet. Gee, I was sure it'd be ready by today. I ordered it online last Tuesday and they said it'd be delivered to the store on Colonial in 3 to 7 days. I guess they're gonna wait to the last minute.

It's been big-purchase-o-rama lately...the Disney pass ($190), the TV ($279) and now Mildred (11, the desktop one) is struggling with yet another virus infection! This is yet another Trojan horse and it seems to be sapping memory continuously until rebooting. Probably gonna be forced to upgrade, or replace, my precious soon. (Chanting) "I will not rack up my new credit card! I will not rack up my new credit card!"

Blogger is going to be changing it's interface soon. Tried it out, it sucks! Not happy. Google also messed with my iGoogle I use as my homepage. Now the banner is off-center and looks like hell. Half the gadgets fail to work right most of the time as it is and they slow down loading of the page big time. Added together with the virus symptoms and I feel like I'm on a dial-up connection for cryin' out loud.

I haven't heard from Ric in a while. He's called and I've called back but we keep missing each other. Yet another sign our friendship is in it's "withering on the vine" stage.

I like living near the airport. I find the sound of the planes landing comforting. Jumbo jet after jumbo jet filled with smiling, laughing people. All coming to Orlando with their friends and family to have fun-filled vacations. Happy, happy people.

I think I'll take a nap.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Jonathan Winters, Rest In Peace

First off, I have to admit...Jonathan Winters is not dead. He's still alive!

But in the spirit of the Dead Pool, I think this year will be the last for this great comedian.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not wishing him dead, I love him! It's just that at 85, with his wife dying just a couple years ago...mind you, they were married in their early 20's so he never knew how to live alone, and his stocky (aka somewhat fat) figure, I gotta assume it's near the end for him.

Here's a little sampling of his comic genius...Enjoy!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Jumped The Shark?

Well, I'm not entirely sure ('cause that's how these things are) but my job may have "jumped the shark".

Will it be yet another case of "here we go again"?

How many names have I used to describe these paradigm shifts in how I view my work? Remember Monkey Shines, Almond Joy, Defarge Crisis, Embarqing, and ultimately The Koyaanisqatsi?

Jumping the shark may not be so fatal to the job's future though. I jumped it back in '93 at RIARC, not when I was demoted by surprise, but a few months later when I was told to self-edit my newsletter. A little thing like that, which was warranted given the circumstances, but still, I lost my innocence. I stayed on another 4 years but I wasn't in my own little comfort zone anymore. I felt like an employee, not a cherished family member.

I think I'm just coming to the realization that I'm constantly and repeatedly disappointed to find out that my workplace is not my second home. I subconsciously yearn for a work setting that, like the sitcoms of my youth, nurture a surrogate family atmosphere.

On "The Mary Tyler Moore Show", you know that deep down, Mr. Grant was like everyone's dad. Especially Mary's. On "Alice", Flo and the others in the diner, even gruff but lovable Mel, would have done anything for Alice. And of course, the gang on "Taxi" all looked out for one another, especially the very vulnerable Latka.

I thought that maybe going back into "human" services would help me to connect with humanity, including (and, actually, especially) co-workers. I met many of my past friends in the workplace (Michael P. and Michelle - Hojo's; Jeff D'Alio - Wrentham; Jeff Cooper - RIARC; Ric and Jay - DM; Alicison - Grants; Laurie - Chase) and maybe I was hoping to find at least one here. Sadly though, the same simmering "terrible despite" I recently observed bubbling over at places like Chase and Hewitt sits on the back burner here as well. It's just better hidden.

But eventually, like forgotten stew smoldering away, you get a whiff of it. And it smells bad indeed. I guess I'll just keep to myself, give up hopes of connecting with anyone here in this pastoral cesspool of spite and carry a big can of Glade.