Saturday, January 24, 2009

Inconsistency RULES!

Yeah, more hit-or-miss on the blogging lately. I've been "busy," but doing what exactly I'd be hard-pressed to come up with. I guess I could just blame it on my attention span, which has rapidly gotten oooh, shiny!

(sorry, dunno the source on this "poster," but really enjoyed it from a recent email.)

This blog has been pretty politically-heavy lately, but I meant for it to be a little more well-rounded and fun. Recently realized that I need to add pictures and lighten it up a bit. Have several things partly-blogged in "draft" form, will try to release them slowly to decrease the boredom level for my (two) readers. :-)

So today, here are the things I am NOT blogging on:
  • Blago - I won't waste my time waxing on about how sociopathic he is coming across, with his media blitz in this eleventh hour before his impeachment trial in the senate. His lead council resigns about the same time he starts whoring himself out to any media outlet that will broadcast him (apparently he'll be on "The View" Monday). He calls the trial a travesty of justice and complains how the rules are against him, yet it was himself and his own legal team that failed to file appropriate paperwork for witnesses, etc. And he blames the whole attack on him as some sort of conspiracy to raise taxes. Nope, not worth my time.

  • Obama - there's too much coverage already, in MINUTE DETAIL, about the beginning of his first "100 days," or "100 hours" as I've heard it described today. He's trying to bring Washington together and get some real stuff done. But it is story after story about the Malia and Sasha dolls, and their cafeteria food menus, and fashion, and pre-recorded performances at the inauguration, and people that still believe Obama is not our real president because of a "questionable birth certificate" or because of a stumble on the oath - GIVE IT A REST. Give the man the time and cooperation he's earned, and let's check back in a while and see where things stand.

  • The press in general - shows like "Access Hollywood" and "TMZ" that give forum to the paparazzi that stake out the funeral for Travolta's son and stuff like that. Now the mainstream media is turning more and more into that, with hounding of the pilot from the Hudson Bay crash, and endless coverage of "the Beast" (Obama's limo) and all other minutia inauguration-related. Ugh.

I know my blogging tends to be rant-related, but I'll also try to mention a good thing every now and then. Most interesting stories start with a bit of a struggle though ....

The other day my iPod shuffle (mp3 player) crapped out on me. It's a first generation, have had it since 2005 or 2006 when it cost about $100 for 500 MB of storage. It worked like a charm, with a terrific battery life, and no real problems despite the fact that I abused it regularly while working out, and made it do double duty as a jump drive for data on occasion. I would not exactly call myself a "Mac Whore," but I appreciate the elegance, creativity, and general ease-of-use of Apple products.

When it got nudged while in the USB slot and generated an "error, may have lost information" message, I experienced some mild panic and then went through the paces to try to check the drive. Wouldn't register at all in my iBook (except under "System Profiler") - so it didn't appear on the desktop nor in iTunes. My wife's PC recognized it as an Apple USB drive, but could not access any of the material. OK ... so whatever the hell I had on it from a data point of view was scrapped - not a big loss (I think!), since it was probably untouched from 1-2 years back.

Apple has a pretty good support site, with technical advice from Apple along with forums from users of every experience level. I cruised around there and found out that the behavior of my ancient iPod was very well documented (if you are really curious read more here), and might actually be fixable by reformatting ("restoring") the device. Unfortunately, even with special downloaded software to restore the device on my Mac, the drive still couldn't get recognized. On my wife's PC running Vista, that software (rated for Win2000 or XP) would not launch. I tried the set-up disc that came with the iPod as well as loading up iTunes on her PC, but neither could "fix" the drive.

After about 4 hours of banging my head against both our computers trying to get all this to work, I gave up and decided we may have to invest in a replacement. Of course, technology has moved on, and the "equivalent" product now is the 2nd generation iPod shuffle, the dinky little item in front at the right. At only $50 for 1 GB of storage, along with the smaller size and clip-on design, it would kick the ass of my older device. But that's $50 I could be spending on chocolate or toward other worthwhile things, like heat and rent. Besides the fact that my 2004 iBook G4 is still running OS 10.3.9 (whereas today's Mac is running 10.5.something), which may not be compatible with the newer product. (I've already fallen out of the loop for Firefox and other application updates.) :-(

So I dragged my wife with me as we trudged into downtown Chicago (the hour+ walk was our "exercise" for the day) to the Apple store on Michigan Avenue. I brought the iPod with, hoping that maybe one of the "geniuses" would be able to do something with it. And holy shit, not only did I manage to get squeezed in for a free consultation without an "appointment" - but they managed to reset the device. So far so good - we've got some fresh tunes on it, and we'll see if the fix holds out. So, in the words of a fellow blogger (and admitted "Mac Whore"), this was an "epic win" for Apple and the Apple Store concept. It's a great place to go and drool over new toys. Maybe I'll even consider an appointment next time... although that sort of prep would be "inconsistent" for me. Could I use "quotes" more in this article?

(Pictures of the iPods and Apple Store borrowed lifted from


Anonymous said...

What do you mean you don't know the source of the poster on your blog? People deserve credit for things they send to other people, especially if they are going to put them on a blog!!

kapgar said...

That postcard does rock.

I'm happy you had your own Apple-based Epic Win. That's very cool. And it always makes you feel good when something like that works out... and saves money! Now you don't have to become a Bonzocicle. ;-)

bonzo said...

Anon - the email containing the poster was from my father, but there was no indication of the creative source of the image(s) included. I find that to be more important to credit than the "sender" - after all, all it takes is a monkey to forward an email.

Kapgar - thanks for your kind wishes on my staving off a bit of winter's dangers. I don't even want to imagine which / how many parts would be frozen to get me declared a Bonzocicle. ;-P

Ron B. said...

Glad you got the iPod working again, Bonzo. The apple store rocks! I've got a macbook pro I bought in 2007 and love it, it's such a nice device, and the OS is rock solid. I ran a mac based law office when I was practicing law. I like to stop by the apple store in Albuquerque whenever I am up there to drool over the 30" monitors.

Anonymous said...

How many monkeys does it take to send an e-mail?
How many monkeys have computers?