Archive for July, 2007

I Say!

Monday, July 30th, 2007

From my friend Everitt:

For you lovers and good users of the English language:

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.” Londoners have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but ran out. Terrorists themselves have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was during the great fire of 1666.

Forget the Wall Street Journal

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Need the latest news, gossip and business updates? Forget the WSJ, forget the NY Times. Take the 5pm Amtrak Acela from Penn Station NYC, going south toward DC. At no cost you will be treated to an update of all the latest happenings, the new deals signed that day, who’s hiring and firing who, who’s is, who’s out. It’s all there, provided to you – whether you want it or not – from a variety of fellow-passengers anxious to make their bragging calls to their office-bound colleagues, crowing about their signings and accomplishments of the day. They do this over cellphones, which are hardly needed due to the volume of their reports, the velocity of which increases with every south-bound mile. Apart from being objectionably loud and annoying to anyone within four rows these ‘professionals’ and road-warriors impart information, data, dates, names and other otherwise company-confidential stuff it would make their CEO cringe. Arrgh.

Me? I’ve heard it all before. I’m now immune, under the spell of Nils Lofgren and his incredible guitar via my iPhone and iTunes.

Neil – Ghost Hunting

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

The young’n has been out-and-about in Nevada, seeking ghosts in towns like Rhyolite, Beatty and Eldorado Canyon. Check it out here. He writes so well too, dont’yathink?

Ghost Gas Pump


Sunday, July 15th, 2007

After three weeks of the iPhone I can report not only satisfaction with the device but that I’m impressed every time I use the thing – and that’s rare. It’s gaining accolades elsewhere too:

The Most Successful Product Intro of the 21st Century : “Apple’s iPhone could emerge as the most successful product introduction of the 21st century, new research suggests.” Conducted by Lightspeed Research, “the research findings are staggering,” reports Jonny Evans (Macworld). “Nearly 90 percent” of the respondents had heard about iPhone, and 32% of those who didn’t already own one intend to purchase one. In a separate survey, Lightspeed Research also learned that “nearly half of those who would like to own an iPhone stated that the benefits of having music, movie, internet and wireless all in one was the top reason.”


I have trouble associating myself with anyone called ‘Jonny’, nonetheless the iPhone is a clearly big success for all concerned. It got a little tedious hearing news reporters challenging people on the street with “Would you pay $600 for a phone?”. It’s like describing a Porsche as a car, when it’s a lot more. Duh.

Anyroadup, not only am I chuffed with the incredible iPhone but, having bought the stock after being really impressed with the iPhone video Apple sent me just four weeks before the launch, and having seen the stock gain 9% (on paper at least, with which I could bought another iPhone) I pretty good all-round. Ha!

iPhone – not quite what Mr Jobs envisaged

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

Lynne says it was the first time I’ve joined a line for anything. But there I was, stood on the pavement outside the ATT store at 5pm, a full hour before distribution would start. The line was 40 strong, 10 of whom had sat there since 6am that morning. By 6pm there were 10 more enthusiasts behind me. I met some people I know, and the weather was warm and mild so the time passed pretty quickly, until that is the store doors opened at 6pm. Expectation was that we’d stream in, put down our monies and walk away clasping what we all come for the iPhone. After all, activation would take place at home, via iTunes – another of the revolutionary features of this revolutionary product – right? Wrong. There was no ’streaming-in’, it was a slow, unmoving shuffle that took another 100 minutes, as people opened-up ATT accounts, dealt with back-bills etc etc. We folks with existing ATT accounts, good credit and green-backs in-hand got no pref treatment. Very silly, and a waste of everyone’s time-especially mine. Meanwhile we were shepherded and ‘entertained’ by an Apple rep, who walked the line and who took great glee in withholding answers to reasonable questions and generally teasing we liner-uppers, queuing for his product.
To “How many iPhones do you have in the store?” the answer was “I can’t say”. Same to “Well, do you have enough?”. We only got anything like a reassuring answer when the question “Well, if you didn’t have enough for everyone in-line would you tell us??” was formulated and positively responded to. Annoying and arrogant on his and Apples part.
Not what Mr Jobs envisaged.
In the store it took me just 120 seconds to effect the purchase.

I got the 8GB iPhone home only to find the SIM card was defective. It said so on the screen. If only I’d opened it up in the store, which was now closed. The Apple Store , which I’d avoided thus far anticipating throngs of ‘dudes’ with goatees and ponytails, was open until midnight. I dashed over there. The place was open, and empty, with a stack of iPhones still for sale. A black-Tshirted ‘genius’ swapped mine for a iPhone with a working SIM (I checked!). And so to home, now midnight.
Firing up iTunes, the iPhone connected – and failed to activate. My ATT settings weren’t as it wanted them. Bah! To bed. Enough.
Not what Mr Jobs envisaged.
I was at the ATT store at 8.50am the next morning. They opened at 9, and watched me pound the pavement outside the store, staring at each other through the store windows until the stroke of 9 (nice job guys!).
They adjusted my account settings, complicated in-that Lynne and I share the account – duh! Then home, and had it working within minutes.
Not what Mr Jobs envisaged.
In the face of all of this torture I really like the device and its features and will test-drive some more before recording my experiences here.

Old Rhinebeck

Sunday, July 1st, 2007

Seven of the EAA Chapter 240 flew three aircraft to Old Rhinebeck Saturday. A magnificent day with blue skies and scattered billowing clouds, but I filed IFR – just for the practice. And practice I got, as ATC changed my routing three times during the flight. My N57-MXE-20N Direct just didn’t work! I soon got N57-MXE-Allentown-v149 -LHY-v408-v483-FILPS-direct 20N, 3000, expect 6000 after 10, squawk 4224, 124.35. And this changes twice more on the way up, in what was a 60 minute flight in the Cirrus SR22 GTS. Anyway….


Old Rhinebeck puts on a ‘barn-storming’ – type airshow each weekend, using actual or replica WW1 aircraft. They have a collection of airplanes, engines, cars and the enthusiastic showstaff are in period costume. Lotsa fun, good bbq food and pleasant company as we EAA-types wandered about the place, shared a van-ride to/from the show. Uneventful VFR return flight and overall a memorable days aviating.

Lunch   Rhinebeck  Waiting for the airport ride