Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ely rhymes with freely

I was in Ely, Minnesota for a week on business. I was very busy, but I did manage to get out and take some photos. Ely is a small mining and fishing resort town, which makes for some interesting architecture. I'm a sucker for vintage and well worn signs, and here the bar signs seemed to be from the 50's. There are are also great rusted out and preserved historical mining implements to be gawked at. One day I came back to the hotel, and the parking lot was full of antique cars. Apparently there were a few steam cars driving around town, but I didn't catch any of those.

However I did spot a cool boarded up castle-style mansion of sorts. The signs said it was being renovated into condominiums.

My flickr set is here for your Ely viewing pleasure:

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The World is Just Awesome - Boom De Yada

I'm stuck in Minnesota until further notice, so things like this give me great joy.

I would really like to see/make a Dragoncon Version.

Direct Link

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ninja/Pirate flowchart

Ninja/Pirate flowchart
Originally uploaded by Drhaggis.

A new theory in ninja /pirate relations is under consideration. Inclusion of the oft ignored "cowboy" transitional phase may be the first breakthrough in years.

Friday, June 13, 2008

iPod Touch - The late adopter review

It's been almost seven years since the first iPod came out, and I think everyone and their mum is on their second or third unit by now. I don't think I can say anything about it that hasn't already been said. However I recently bought a Touch as my first iPod, so I thought I would do a personal and thoroughly unnecessary review.

iSee you

The Cons: iTunes is powerful though sluggish, and I'm in the market for a replacement.

I also notice a disconnect between the Apple advertising campaign and its technical prowess. The Safari browser was promoted as a gateway to the real internet, not the "watered down" version seen previously on WAP and cellphone browsers. And although it can view most standard, flash-free pages, it really does best with mobile optimized sites. And Apple knows it, due to their promotion of iPhone/Touch "web apps" which are essentially Ajax powered mobile optimized websites. These are the more colourful, shinier cousins of the old WAP sites I would load on my Palm Pilot.

I'm also an the hook for a twenty dollar software upgrade that was supposed to be included in the Touch since January, and I'm unsure how much the iPhone 2.0 upgrade announced this week will cost.

The Pros: Looks good, feels good, smells good, and is generally sexy as all get out. The Wifi is great, as is the Youtube client. Google maps are a must, cover flow is fun and the screen resolution is fantastic. As an iPod, It does exactly "what it says on the tin."

Ultimately this device means that I can put every album I own, and the internet in my pants, and I like it.

Friday, June 06, 2008

NY Times Book descriptions

Cory Doctorow's latest book, "Little Brother" is currently number nine on New York Times top ten best sellers of children's chapter books. Good on him! I liked what I had heard about it from and on Wil Wheaton's blog and I plan on reading it when I finish "Overclocked".

When I read the NY Times description of "Little Brother," it gave me a bit of a laugh: "A teenage hacker takes on the government after a terrorist attack turns America into a police state." That is a heavy topic for young adult fiction. Though reading the synopsis of some of the other top ten books surprised me further. "Tweak" is "a memoir of a teenager’s methamphetamine addiction." "Thirteen Reasons why" is summed as follows: "before committing suicide, a girl sends explanatory audiotapes to 13 people." This is much meatier stuff than I grew up reading. I was scared I'd get in shit if I brought books like this home. "Why can't you read nice books" my mother would wail.

Moving on, I see that "Indian Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" is full of" "Archaeological derring-do; a movie tie-in." Fair enough. but hold your ponies. "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" is a tale where "The Pevensies return to Narnia; a movie tie-in." This is listed as a paperback, which should remove the possibility of the list being on of those dumbed down picture books that are in fact move tie-ins.

C.S. Lewis did not pen "a movie tie-in." I haven't even read any of the Narnia series beyond "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and have several philosophical differences with the author, but I don't think his work should be summed up as mere movie tie-in, no matter how good the films are.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Twitter with me

I have started using Twitter recently, and I really like it. Those readers who visit directly have probably noticed this new addition to the blog sidebar, however those who read via an RSS or Livejournal feed have missed my tweets.

I can be followed here:

I also joined Twitter because I didn't want any other 'Dr. Haggises' from taking my username. Also, I really like the "what are you doing now" miniblog aspect of Facebook, but little else about it. I may even be deleting my Facebook account now that several high school friends have found me and its purpose has been served. I'm using a lot of different social networking sites, and I have to chose the right ones for how I actually want to network.

Now instead of having to create a full blog post simply to publish a quip, question, or bon mot, I can twitter it.

Also of note, the Mars Phoenix lander has a feed and he posts regular updates of his progress on Mars. It is done in a casual first-person style that makes it really fun to read.

Tweet you later.