Thursday, January 27, 2005

So Far, So Goth
Posted by Sam at 9:57 AM

BoingBoing, the giver of everything worthwhile on the internet, has pointed us to an amazing manufacturer of sculptures/action figures of characters from classic (some surrealist) paintings. BoingBoing talks primarily about Hieronymus Bosch... one of my favs (too bad we only talked about him for about 6 seconds in Art Survey I). Bosch's depiction of evil and demons, is like no other. The traditional demon appearance; red, horns, tail, etc..., is replaced by demons exhibiting a cleverly crafted blend of human, insect, and animal features. The torturers and the tortured souls in Bosch's Garden of Delights (the right panel of the triptych) are grotesque and beautiful. So good! So goth!

Back to the point: Some of Hieronymus Bosch's most recognized characters are now action figures! You know you've always wanted to act out ghoulish scenes of morbid and surreal torture in your own living room! Now you can! Well, you could probably be morbid and surreal in your living room without the help of Hieronymus Bosch action figures... but that's not the point. The point is that now you can bring to life the horrors of Bosch's own personal hell.

Isn't that exciting? Yes, it is.

Also worth noting are the Dali, Pieter Breughel, and Escher sections. But where's the Francisco de Goya? An obvious oversight. I would love a Saturn Devouring His Son action figure playset. I would devour my own children to get one. Currently, I don't have any children... and there's probably a good reason for that.

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Monday, January 24, 2005

It took them a while to find her thumb
Posted by Sam at 4:37 PM

The press operator just lost her thumb in the printing press.
There is blood everywhere.
It took them a while to find it.
I called 911.
My boss picked up the thumb and put it in a bag on ice.
The press operator went into shock.
The paramedics gave her morphine and took her away in an ambulance.
My boss drew an X where he found the thumb.
I took photos.

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Saturday, January 22, 2005

Just a Heads Up
Posted by Sam at 1:21 PM

Hey peeps... Just a heads up: might look funky over the next few days. Version 2.0 is right around the corner. So, I'll be doing some live beta testing. Blog on!

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Friday, January 21, 2005

Discarded Flesh Sack
Posted by Sam at 1:06 PM

I survived my first teaching experience. The students didn't skin me alive and hang my discarded flesh sack on the doorknob of Mac Lab 1... as I thought they might. You know... just to send a message to the other n00b instructors. They've got to make an example out of one of us... or so I've read.

Anyway, I think it went well. We just went over the syllabus and did some boring stuff like that. It was still really fun... and I think/hope that once my students/minions really get into it, they will have some fun too. Oh... and learn stuff. Right. Learning. That's important... or so I have read.

I did however, tell them that I'm an avid listener and huge fan of Swedish Black Metal. I wonder if that was a good idea?

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Hot For Teacher
Posted by Sam at 8:30 AM

I am about to leave to teach for the first time. Holy crap. I'm a ball of nerves. It's guaranteed to go well though... I'm wearing my lucky glow-in-the-dark skull boxers. What could possibly go wrong?

I'll post later with the gory details... but in the mean time, you can check out Syllabus Version 1.0.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Call me Professor Sam
Posted by Sam at 1:59 PM

I got the gig. I will be teaching the fine art of Graphic Design to budding graphic designers! Yee-haw! I'm stoked. Wicked stoked. Hella stoked.

You can now call me Professor Sam... or The Professor... or Supreme Overlord... but if anyone calls me Mr. "S" I'm going to react violently.

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Has it really been that long?
Posted by Sam at 10:35 AM

It has been over a week since my last post. Yep, I'm a slacker. Keep in mind, I could make excuses... I could try to tell you that I have been doing exceptional things with my time... in short, I could lie. But I will not do that to you, O' beloved reader. Instead, I will tell you about this:

There is a possibility that yours truly will be corrupting... sorry, enhancing the minds of today's college elite. I was asked to teach Graphic Design to college students. I was a college student just over a year ago. Craziness! Utter insanity... It is not definite. The dude that I would be replacing seems to be a real flake. Classes started yesterday and he has yet to tell the college whether he will or will not be able to teach (it is a long and boring story). Anyway, I should find out today.

The future of America may very well rest in my hands. Isn't that a comforting thought?

At this juncture, I cannot help but think of the poignant words of Professor Glen Danzig: "Am I demon? I need to know." Glen, so do I. If I'm demon, I should probably rework my syllabus... before I pollute the minds of those innocent, defenseless, trusting college youths...

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Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Finally, I Can Breathe
Posted by Sam at 3:06 PM

It's over. The MacWorld '05 Keynote is done. Many happy new toys to pine over... like the Mac Mini, the iPod Shuffle, iWork, iLife, Final Cut Express. Well done everyone. Pats on the back for all!

So, let's do the final scoring:

From the rumors, I predicted:
- Flash-memory based iPod: Probably
- Hardware Audio Interface (a.k.a. Asteroid?): Not Likely
- iWork Office Productivity Suite: Probably
- $499 Headless iMac (a.k.a. the iHome): Probably
- iPhone: Not a chance in hell

Not too bad. I was sort of right on all of them... missed a few updates though.

Now, let's discuss the new goodies:

I'm mostly excited about the Mac Mini. $499 and $599. Cute and Tiny. This is the kind of machine that would make an ideal mp3 jukebox/media center type thingy. My only hesitation is the fact that you'll need to buy a ton of stuff to get this machine up to speed. Keyboard, mouse, Bluetooth, Airport... and all of this needs to be purchased separately. Not to mention that 40gb is a bit weak for the $499 model (assuming you'll use it as a media center... which is only an idea. I guess 40gb is ok for general use. I'd kill that 40 in a heartbeat... and I ain't talkin' 'bout no forty ounces of the O.E.). Still though... this is what Apple needs. If only I wasn't on such a tight budget these days...

Next up is iWork. I'm all for an Apple branded Productivity suite. Will it do everything that Office can? I doubt it. Will it take the place of Office in the workplace? Probably not. Will it suffice for the student or someone who doesn't need all of the extraneous stuff that exists in Office? Probably. It's a much needed and well timed successor to the dated Appleworks. (Cool packaging too!)

Ok... The iPod Shuffle. Why am I not really excited about this? The price is right. The capacity is right. Oh... that's it, no display of any kind. That alone makes it a "no go" for me. What saves it though, is the ability to double as a usb flash drive. That's pretty cool. It's the size of many flash drives too. So, if you look at it as a usb flash drive that also plays mp3s... i guess that makes it ok. Well, at least better. But no display? Come on now...

I think that's enough for now. The other stuff isn't too thrilling (for me anyway). I think I'll let things sink in for a little while. I'm sure this isn't the last MacWorld '05 related post. That's a promise. Or, a threat. I guess it all depends on where you stand on the matter.

Oh... a favor: If anyone is at the expo this week, check out the Crumpler Bags (booth #2339) booth for me. I'll be very interested to see what they have in store for their product line. Photo's too (if you can)! Thanks! That would rock... Enjoy the expo!

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You Know What That Means...
Posted by Sam at 12:40 PM

As of 12:40, the online Apple Store is down. You know what that means... New toys are on their way!!!

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Day of Judgement
Posted by Sam at 12:00 PM

It begins...

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The Suspense!
Posted by Sam at 8:58 AM

Three hours left to go.
It feels like an eternity.

Join me after (and possibly during) the keynote for frantic updates and heated discussions. (Or, for what is more likely: a stream of unintelligible rants and raves about new hardware and software.)

P.S. There will be no live webcast (from Apple). However many sites will be posting live from the keynote audience. I will be getting my news feed from MacMerc. They've been good in the past.

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Monday, January 10, 2005

I'm In Love With My Drug Dealer
Posted by Sam at 11:31 PM

Why is it that I often find myself attracted to women who serve me coffee? What is it about the barista that I find so alluring? I'm sure it has nothing to do with my caffeine predilection. It can't be that these heroines of coffee feed my addiction... my drug. It's not that they play with my dependancy. I just need one fix... from you. My beautiful savior... Giver of the lifeblood.

Whoa... I definitely think it's time to switch to decaf.

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MacWorld Predictions, Rumors, and Alliteration
Posted by Sam at 9:47 AM

The following follow-up is a list of all the MacWorld (this is the exact point in my blog entry where Sarah stops reading) rumors that I've been hearing about, and my personal evaluation of their accuracy. I realize, oh faithful reader(s), that you don't care about this at all. Well damnit... I do. And, it will be fun to see how open my third eye is. My previous precognitive prediction proved to be profoundly pretentious (yea for alliteration!). Er... I was totally wrong. Second time's a charm.

Flash-memory based iPod
Prediction: Probably
Reasoning: Apple needs this to keep their iPod line competitive across the board

Hardware Audio Interface (a.k.a. Asteroid?)
Prediction: Not likely
Reasoning: I just don't see a big enough market for it. It's more of a third-party, niche type of product. This device strays way too far from Apple's product line... Although, so did the iPod at the time of it's introduction...

iWork Office Productivity Suite
Prediction: Probably
Reasoning: In order to completely sever ties with Microsoft, Apple needs an app that will kick Office to the curb. There has been speculation in the past however, that Apple and Microsoft have some kind of unwritten, no competition contract concerning the Office product line. I don't know if Apple can pull it off though. I hate to admit it, but Office is robust and usable... for a Microsoft product anyway.

$499 Headless iMac (a.k.a. the iHome)
Prediction: Probably
Reasoning: This would put the Mac in the entry level, first computer buyer category. It might make consumers think twice about that crappy-ass Dell and take another look at that slick Apple machine.

Prediction: Not a chance in hell
Reasoning: Despite the adamant claims/rumors of people in the field and technical reports, I just don't think that Apple would ever want to take the plunge into the cell phone market. It's too unpredictable and unstable for Apple. What is likely however, is an iTunes integrated cell fone of some sort (we've seen pics already... but we'll only know for sure after tomorrow's keynote). That seems reasonable. But I doubt that we'll ever see an Apple branded cell phone.

Did I miss anything? Well, aside from the inevitable software updates and processor upgrades, I think that's it.

So what makes me such an authority. Well nothing really. I'm just a fan of the company and the product. I've watched the market and I've seen the consumer response. You can almost pick out patterns and predict the future if you watch closely enough. With Apple however, you never really know what's going to happen. Sometimes they pull something out of their ass (like the iPod) that no one expects and no one has done [successfully] yet.

On a side note, I would love to see the rebirth of the Newton. Or rather, some kind of iPod sized pda device. Hard drive based, Firewire, Bluetooth, maybe wifi, highly integrated into the OS X experience... that would rock my digital world.

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Friday, January 07, 2005

Yes, I should. But no, I won't
Posted by Sam at 9:28 AM

This Joy of Tech comic pretty much sums up what I was talking about a few days ago. Give it a read. Bookmark 'em too. That's an order, soldier!

Anyway, so much new and exciting and interesting stuff is happening in my life right now. I'm finding it difficult to decide what to post about. So for now, you get the above link. Maybe after the coffee starts working I'll be able to write something a tad more substantial. "But Sam," you protest, "aren't you at work? Shouldn't you be doing what you're being paid to do (whatever that is)?" The short answer is, "Yes, I should. But no, I won't." Now that I've got something good to look forward to, it's becoming increasingly tough to concentrate on the here and now.

And now, a somewhat related piece of dialog from one of my favorite movies; Spaceballs:

Dark Helmet: What the hell am I looking at? When does this happen in the movie?
Colonel Sandurz: You're looking at now, sir. Everything that happens now is happening now.
Dark Helmet: What happened to then?
Colonel Sandurz: We passed then.
Dark Helmet: When?
Colonel Sandurz: Just now. We're at now now.
Dark Helmet: Go back to then.
Colonel Sandurz: When?
Dark Helmet: Now!
Colonel Sandurz: Now?
Dark Helmet: Now!
Colonel Sandurz: I can't.
Dark Helmet: Why?
Colonel Sandurz: We missed it.
Dark Helmet: When?
Colonel Sandurz: Just now.
Dark Helmet: When will then be now?
Colonel Sandurz: Soon.

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Thursday, January 06, 2005

Soon, you will all have to call me Master
Posted by Sam at 2:21 PM

Grad School.

I'm in. I got the acceptance letter today.

Details to follow... as soon as I'm done smiling.

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Wednesday, January 05, 2005

My Most Favoritest Time of the Year
Posted by Sam at 11:35 AM

It's early January. Here in Western Massachusetts, snow is falling lightly from the gray, comfortable sky. The leaf-less trees outside my office window are dusted with a fluffy whiteness... a cocaine-like whiteness. A whiteness that instills memories of an addiction that's enough to make any ex coke-head writhe from the hammering pangs of withdrawal... or so I have read. Yep, here in Western Massachusetts, it's snowing. I'm inside, overdosing on the caffeine from my third cup o' the good stuff, bathing in the gorgeous radiation pouring forth from my oversized 21 inch displays, and trying to stifle my schoolgirl-like giddiness. You see, this is my most favoritest (shut up. that's a word) time of the year. And, let me tell you why...

In less than one week, Mr. Steve Jobs (or Apple Daddy as I like to call him) CEO, Apple Computer, will take the stage at The Moscone Center in San Francisco for the Annual MacWorld Expo. The event is scheduled for January 11, at 9 am (12 noon, for us less fortunate inhabitants of the East Coast). I'm sure there will be a live webcast. I'll post an update with the url when it's available.

When Steve (can I call him that?) gives his keynote presentation, exciting things happen... magical things. Well, mostly new Apple hardware and software gets introduced. But damnit... that's enough for me! That's enough to make me and the rest of the cult (oh my, yes... we have achieved cult status) stay glued to our Quicktime stream for the duration of the presentation... caffeinated beverage of choice on hand... gotta keep our reflexes quick and attentive... wouldn't wanna miss one word... what's it gonna be? An iPhone? Reviving the Newton? Video iPod? G6 processor? The adrenaline taking over... can't breathe... mustn't blink... stay on target... wait for "Just one more thing..."

Oh, the anticipation! It gnaws at my cold, dead soul.

Anyway, stay tuned for more MacWorld related stuff. There's a fistful of rumors on the internets. We'll discuss those later. 'Til then, let me leave you with my two fondest MacWorld memories:

When I lived in San Francisco, I just walked into the Expo... No entrance fee, no name badge, no problem. I honestly didn't know that I was required to pay. Which I guess goes to prove that if you look like you know what you're doing, you're all set. This technique does not work however, when you walk into an Apple store, pick up an iMac G5 and promptly walk out. They'll stop you every time... no matter how confident you look. Believe me, I've tried.


When the 5gb iPod came out, I lusted for one massively. I held out though, insisting that larger capacity iPods were right around the corner. My pal Todd, a fellow Mac enthusiast and all-around tech junkie, put a burrito dinner on the line claiming that there would be no such announcement. Towards the end of his presentation, Steve did his usual nonchalant "Just one more thing." And there it was... the 20gb iPod. I win! Who's your daddy now, TK? (Oh... Todd and I have a similar bet going this year too. This time it's about the iPhone rumors. Only time will tell)

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Saturday, January 01, 2005

A Truly Devastating Tragedy
Posted by Sam at 2:33 AM

The devastation caused by the Indian Ocean tsunamis is simply mind-boggling. I just gave a little bit to the American Red Cross, International Response Fund. If you can afford it, I encourage you to do the same.

Thousands of miles away, I feel almost powerless. I want to offer my assistance... This seems to be the best way.

It's a great foot to start the new year off on... giving what you can to help those who have suffered a truly devastating tragedy.

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Sam Who!?
Sam is an amazing and humble guy. Once, he rushed into a burning building, up six flights of stairs to save a kitten from certain death. He speaks eight languages, has mastered three varieties of martial arts, is a wine expert, and is a pulitzer prize winning author. Sam is an international heart-throb who prefers a quiet evening at home knitting afghans for the homeless, to the go-go, glitz and glamor of the party scene. I think the day he won the silver medal for ballroom dancing at the 98 olympics was the happiest of his life. Pretty impressive for a guy who never finished the 8th grade. - Carrie, 04
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