Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Fun new products? Yeah... I guess.
Posted by Sam at 3:07 PM | tags:

Apple's Fun New Products announcement has left me... well, uninspired.

I mean, we all know that Intel chips are destined to be in every Mac. And don't get me wrong, the Mac mini with Intel processors is a very good thing... just not very exciting. iPod Hi-Fi? Sure. Why not? But hasn't that been done a few times before? Where's the Steve Jobs patented Apple iNnovation that existed in the product announcements of yesteryear? And where the hell is my iPad/iTablet, dammit!?

I think that these Fun New Products are the type that should have simply appeared on the Apple Store website. There was hardly any need for all of this hullabaloo. I don't know. Maybe I'll feel inspired to write more later... after the disappointment fades a little.

Although, the iPod Hi-Fi might work well in my living room... now that I've taken the time to really look it over. Of course I'd need to get a new iPod to go with it. And the Mac mini... hmm, might be just what I was looking for in an auxiliary Mac. Umm. I gotta go... to the Apple Store. Right now. Bye.

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Monday, February 27, 2006

Save Your Strength
Posted by Sam at 9:28 PM | tags:

Whoa... It's the first one that I've seen in the wild. Mighty impressive...

Here at my home away from home, the Quinnipiac University library, I talked with a student who was recently blessed with a brand-spank-me-new MacBook Pro. Hot! It was everything that I hoped it would be. Built-in iSight, magnetic power plug thingy, and full to the brim with Intely goodness. Yep, she was a speedy li'l Mac too.

But that's not as exciting as what's to come.

Tonight is the eve of Apple's Fun New Products announcement. Admittedly, I'm a bit disappointed to learn that the photo of the alleged new iPod Video is, in fact, a hoax. Darn. I really wanted one of those. And so did you. But fear not dear reader, Apple has something up their iSleeve... and chances are, it's gonna be slick.

'Til then, get some rest... if you can. You're going to need all of your strength for tomorrow's announcement.

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

A Sad, Sad Day
Posted by Sam at 7:38 PM | tags: ,

It will be a sad, sad day for the Macintosh community when camera phone technology advances to the point where phones can actually produce a decent quality image. It'll single-handedly bring about the end of the Mac rumor mill. I mean, how will we perpetuate dubious rumors of new Apple gear if the photos are as clear as day? How can we speculate as to the purpose of some ambiguous gray cube with an apple logo on it if we can clearly tell that some moron spray-painted a cardboard box and slapped an Apple sticker on top? Yes, it will truly be a sad, sad day.

In other Apple rumor news... ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod! Have you seen the photo of the alleged new iPod video (or is it the Mac Tablet? The Apple PDA?)!? Now that's a smooth photo. It looks almost real too. Of course these photos (and a handful of other various rumors and claims) showed up after Apple announced its February 28th event. Apparently the invite reads, "Come see some fun new products from Apple." Fun new products? That's not very Apple-typical verbiage. Fun new products makes me think Apple is about to release a line of backyard toys... like an iTrampoline or something. Well, regardless of what is actually released, I'm sure I'll be drooling uncontrollably over it.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Four Ways to Tell Tale of My Soiled Pants
Posted by Sam at 11:18 AM | tags:

The difficulty of having only one pair of pants is that when said pants get soiled beyond all washability, which they inevitably will, the pantal occupant is forced to go without pant until a replacement can be procured. For you see, when the former occupant of the mussed garment in question, has only the one solitary set of trousers because of a finicky taste in lower bodily coverings, the likelihood of her or him having a temporary/backup pair on hand is not only improbable, but simply out of the question... as is the case in this particular dilemma.

or simply

A pen exploded in the pocket of my only pair of pants (what!? You can't tell from that awesome camera phone photo that there's an ink stain on my cords!?). What to do... what to do...

or perhaps, the answer to a timeless question

Yes, the pen is truly mightier than the pants.

or finally, a direct quote from a concerned co-worker

"Hey Sam, did a pen explode in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"

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Monday, February 20, 2006

On the way home from the funeral...
Posted by Sam at 7:29 PM | tags: ,

Let's lighten the mood a bit, shall we? But first, I'd like to send a heartfelt "thank you" out into the blogosphere... in the form of an eHug, of course: ((((((hug)))))). The comments and emails that I received concerning the loss of my zaideh, were absolutely wonderful. They warmed my soul and truly made me feel loved. Thank you, peeps. Thank you so much.

The funeral limousine was a slick black Cadillac, perhaps two or three years old. It had three rows of seating and could accommodate eight people. That configuration being three in the back, three in the middle, and two up front. One of the front seats was obviously reserved for the driver. The other, under less cramped conditions, is usually left vacant. However, there were seven of us that needed to fit into the limo: my mom and dad, bubbie (yiddish for "grandmother"), my aunt and cousin, my little sister, and of course, me.

Seven of us, plus one driver, equals all seats occupied (I make math fun!). So, who amongst the seven passengers do you think had the distinct privilege of sitting up front with the limo driver? Well, clearly it wasn't going to be my bubbie. She had just lost her husband, and I'm sure the last thing that she wanted to do was to sit next to a stranger and be forced to make small talk. It surely wasn't going to be my dad. He had just lost his father... and besides, he needed to console his mother. My mom? Well, she needed to console my dad. My aunt, she's in the same boat as my dad... just lost father, needs to console mother... and my cousin needed to console his mom (my aunt). This left my little sister and me... and it's a proven fact that she whines better than I do. So evidently, that front seat was booked in my name: Sam (the lowest member on the family totem pole). It must have been fate intervening then, for Frank the limo driver and I were destined to be best of buds... front seat comrades... fine funeral friends.

Our friendship wasn't instantaneous though. No, I fought his charming advances tooth and nail. Despite my rank in the family hierarchy, I too had suffered a great loss, and I too deserved a ride of solitude. In fact, on the way to the cemetery, Frank the limo driver tried to lure me in with casual chatter, but I just wasn't having it. He mumbled something about gas prices as we passed a gas station. To which I replied, "Yep, gas prices are going down." He turned to me and said, "No, I said that gas prices are going up." I think at that point he realized that I wasn't really into the whole conversation thing. It wasn't until the after-the-cemetery ride home that we hit it off.

When the funeral concluded, I reluctantly took my place riding shotgun in the limo. The rest of the family got in too, followed shortly after by Frank the limo driver. "We all ready to go?" he inquired. No one really answered, so I took it upon myself to be the spokesman for the group. "Yeah... I think so," I replied. He put the Caddy in gear and off we went.

I can't exactly remember how we started talking, but eventually, I found myself being told by Frank the limo driver, that he is "only a limo driver by day." By night, Frank works as sort of a freelance mortician... and he's totally into it! He talks as if it's a hobby for him. Anyway, during the nighttime hours, Frank is the one responsible for preparing the bodies for burial. But Frank doesn't just work at this funeral home. Nope. Apparently Frank is quite good at his craft. So good, that he is one of the area's most sought after freelance morticians. In fact, in one single evening, Frank can be found to be working at up to three different funeral homes. I guess that in the mortician business, working the night shift is not really an issue. I mean, it's not as if the dead are going anywhere. They don't have anything better to do. It's not like they need to go home and sleep. And apparently, neither does Frank.

So, in grueling detail, I learned about the embalming process, and how to prepare a body for cremation... essentially I received a crash course in what it takes, under various conditions, to manipulate a dead body and prepare it for its next step. I mean, did you know that in certain situations, it's actually necessary to cut muscles or tendons that have rigor mortised the body into an unnatural or unwanted position!? Weird. Oh... and you gotta hear about this process called "cavity embalming..." actually, nevermind. I'll spare you of that grisly account.

After a long, enthusiastic, and thoroughly interesting conversation with my new best friend, I felt compelled to stop him, mid-sentence, and ask, "Frank, how did you get so into this line of work?" He paused, thought for a moment, glanced out of the window, and answered introspectively, "I guess I've just always had a thing for corpses."

And there you have it. Frank the limo driver has always had a thing for corpses. Yep, corpses. But not only does Frank have a thing for corpses, he feels entirely comfortable telling someone he has just met about his thing for corpses. It was as if having a thing for corpses was like having a thing for... I don't know, hamburgers, or something.

When we arrived back at the house, I wished Frank luck in all his future endeavors. He gave me a genuine smile, shook my hand, and was on his way. I watched the limo roll down the street and followed my family inside. And then, promptly washed my hands.

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

My Zaideh
Posted by Sam at 1:56 PM | tags:

My grandfather was an amazing, talented, and generous man who could build anything with little more than his two hands (his friends/co-workers/family always said he had "hands of gold"). After years of fighting numerous maladies and struggling through various surgeries, my grandfather passed away on Friday night. The funeral was yesterday.

The rabbi gave an inspiring eulogy that connected the intricate construction of the ark built for the ten commandments to my grandfather's skilled craftsmanship. My cousin wrote a beautiful poem. I helped to lower the casket into the grave. It was an emotionally trying day for the entire family, and my grandfather will be missed tremendously.

Out of the many wonderful stories and characteristics, there are two that I'd like to mention here; Two things that I'd like to be remembered about my grandfather... actually, to my family, he was called "zaideh" (pronounced zay-dee), which is yiddish for grandpa. Anyway, two things about my zaideh:

1) My zaideh could whistle better than anyone I have ever known. It was a beautiful and magical sound... the kind of sound that makes you pause whatever you're doing and just listen. It was truly incredible.

2) I don't know if any of my readers are old enough to remember the frightening, storytelling, animatronic bear, Teddy Ruxpin... Oh, sure you do. You fed him special audio cassettes and he told you a story while he moved his mouth and blinked occasionally. See? Horrifying for a small child... Anyway, Teddy Ruxpin was like the Tickle Me Elmo of 1986. And for Hanukah that year, my little sister wanted one... badly. But, like the Tickle Me Elmo drought of xmas two-thousand-and-whatever, Teddy Ruxpins were scarce. No, not just scarce. They were non-existant. But my zaideh had priorities. Priority one: making sure his grandchildren had everything they had ever wanted. So, he spent hours on the phone, then hours in line waiting as a truck was unpacked at a department store. He fought through the throngs of other xmas shoppers, battled his way to the front of the line, paid twice the retail price of Teddy Ruxpin, and finally, managed to obtain the talking, animatronic, bear. On Hanukkah, he gave the wrapped Teddy Ruxpin to my little sister, whose eyes grew bigger with every tear of the paper. She was overjoyed, but my zaideh was even more so. By giving to his granddaughter, he in turn, received the only Hanukkah gift he had ever truly wanted: the happiness of his grandchildren. My zaideh was amazing like that.

Sigh... Honestly, I wasn't planning on blogging about this. After all, we tend to keep it light and jovial around here. And, as goth as I am pretend to be, a funeral is an intense melancholic event. But I created sam bot dot com as a personal experiment... to chronicle the thoughts and occurances that are relevant and important to me. And surely, the death of my grandfather qualifies. Furthermore, talking about and sharing memories of a passed loved one is a big step in the healing process. And it feels good too. So, umm, thanks for reading...

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Posted by Sam at 6:34 PM | tags:

My parents don't believe in caffeine. They keep a "dry" household. What is this decaf crap!? I don't know how much longer I can be here sans caffeine. I'm starting to get a withdrawal headache and my hands are beginning to stop shaking. I don't like this. Not one bit. If I don't get a cup of regular coffee soon, I might be forced to eat the dried coffee crustules scraped from the bottom of my car cup holders. Mmm... crustules...

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Ugh... Again!?
Posted by Sam at 9:20 PM | tags: ,

While you chumps are spending the day celebrating your love and touching one another, I'll be here, alone, researching the true meaning of Valentine's Day: ritual suicide. Ha! Just kidding...

Despite the fact that Valentine's Day (or some likeness thereof) has been around for hundreds of years, only my exhaustive research (a.k.a. Wikipedia) has lead to the discovery of its true meaning: murder most foul. To be precise, seven murders most foul. On February 14th, 1929, five members of Al Capone's gang shot and killed six members of a rival gang and an optician (yeah, the optician part is throwing me off too. Well, you know what they say, "it's not truly a massacre unless an optician dies in the slaughter."). The February 14th butchery had henceforth been dubbed: The St. Valentine's Day Massacre. How romantic...

One of the victims of the 1929 massacre was actually named Frank Tight Lips Gusenberg (I had always thought the moniker "Tight Lips" was reserved for villains in Dick Tracy cartoons... actually, didn't Fat Tony from The Simpsons have a henchman named Tight Lips? Well what do you know... he did.). Interestingly, when the dying Tight Lips was asked who had shot him, he responded, true to his character, "Nobody shot me."

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Friday, February 10, 2006

Favorite Pastime: Drunken Blogging
Posted by Sam at 1:01 AM | tags: , ,

So... I've been doing this no drinking thing for just about a week and a half. And well, it's been going splendidly... up until now. Certain events have lead me back to the bottle. And wow man, that's one shiny bottle. One drink and whoa!

Anyway... let's talk Mac for a bit (I talk Mac when I'm drunk). The rumor mills would have us believe that a new iPod Video is on the brink of release. This one like, totally wants to be a PDA. It's all touch-screen and stuff. If it's produced - which it won't be - how long will it take for the old school Newtonites to port the Newton OS to that mofo? Not long at all, my friends. Not long at all.

And... I just read that a new Manhattan Apple Store is gonna be 24/7. I'd like to meet the 3 a.m. Apple Store crowd. And then, I'd like to join them. Harassing the Genius Bar at 3 a.m. is a brand new life goal of mine.

Now... it's time to mix some liquids that shant be mixed, and of course, consume them. Shant. That's not a word... or is it? Seems like it should be a word... but apparently it's not. Well then, I shant ever use it again.

The Morning After Update: "Shant..." or more accurately "shan't" is, in fact, a perfectly acceptable word. And consequently, I've learned two things from this experience:

1) Never trust spell check.

2) I'm wicked smart when I'm drunk.

So henceforth, all blogging, homeworking, conversing, and whatever else that requires substantial brain power, shall be approached from an intoxicated condition (a.k.a. when I'm wicked smart)... and shan't be tackled sober. (thanks Bry...)

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A Metaphor for Life
Posted by Sam at 10:11 AM | tags: ,

Inspired by this morning's annoyance, the following adage reads as though it was pulled straight out of a fortune cookie. I assure you, however, it was not...

A leaky cup ruins the whole experience.

(should be prefaced by "Confucius says...")

Truly, these words constitute a metaphor for life... or a bladder disfunction. Either way, that's some impressive fortune telling action!

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Five Reasons Why Today is Just Weird
Posted by Sam at 2:02 PM | tags: , ,

1) The pants that I wear everyday just feel wrong today.

2) The coffee isn't working. Did someone mislabel the coffee dispensers? If I'm drinking decaf, I'm gonna be mightily peeved.

3) I just came from a meeting concerning a new project that I am purportedly "perfect for." I don't really know all of the details yet, but the project is essentially a memorial film/slideshow showcasing the life and times of a recently deceased horse. It's moments like these where I find myself severely questioning the direction of my career.

4) I forgot my watch.

5) I guess that I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed today... which is hard because there's a wall there.

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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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