Battle Tomato

I am pleased to announce that "Battle Tomato" has concluded after a ten year struggle. You see, I never liked tomatoes. In fact, I found them gross — mealy and slimy and infused with that slightly tart/tangy irritating (and did I mention slimy?) taste. To my constant irritation, everyone else in the entire world seemed to love tomatoes, and I would find this noxious vegetable (fruit, whatever,) in sandwiches, salads, sauces. You name it, it was there, often hidden, waiting to spring its slimy trap on my tongue. "Hold the tomatoes" I'd say, in vain. It continued like this, for years.

Realizing the futility of my situation, in the early 1990's I undertook Battle Tomato — I decided I would learn to like tomatoes. I would retrain my palate until the idea of eating a raw tomato would trigger the mouth-watering juices beneath my tongue. I will spare you the details of the various skirmishes, of the flanking counter-attacks waged by nefarious cherry tomatoes and over-sized heirlooms, of the gagging and horror of this most difficult of battles. There is only one story to tell now:

Last Saturday I spent the afternoon cooking and drinking wine with friends. To prepare our bruschetta, we picked fresh tomatoes from the garden in the hostess' backyard. As I carried the little yellow cherry tomatoes back into the house, without a thought, I popped one in my mouth. I smiled as I tasted its sweet juice. Victory was mine.

Doing What the Web Does Best

These past few days, I've become re-enamoured with the Web through the simple act of doing research. I'd forgotten how amazing it is to have so much information at one's fingertips, and how powerful that can be. And it's got me all jazzed again about why the Web is so great. From custom orthotics to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy to VIPERs, the Web has thoroughly provided the knowledge I've needed these past few days, and for that I'm thankful.

Dogtown and Z-Boys

I watched Dogtown and Z-Boys on DVD last night and really enjoyed it. It's the story of the early days of skateboarding and the style and attitude that came out of the "Dogtown" area of coastal LA in the 70's. Great moves, great music, and great stories. One thing I did wonder about though was the "truth" of the tale — written and directed by Stacy Peralta, it was the history of the revolution as told by one of its own members. Still, it was rad and reminded me of all the Bones Brigade videos I used to watch in high school.

Danger Facts

My source at Danger responds to Monday's post about the sound quality in the T-Mobile Sidekick:

A headset is NOT required, and the phone quality is fine. I use it as my everyday phone, forward calls from my Nokia 8290 to the hiptop, call my mom with it, and haven't had any problems (nor have the people I'm calling commented on it). It may be that I'm not very particular.

I may be required to test out this device in the name of investigative journalism so that I can get you folks the straight story on this one. The things I do for my readers…

Goodbye Happy Mac

NOOOOOO!!!! Ever since I got my iBook last spring, I've been meaning to write a post about my fondness for Happy Mac, an icon of a smiling Macintosh that appears when your computer is booting up. The first time I turned on my iBook, I saw that smiling face and I felt like I'd come home. Happy Mac used to greet me back in the early 90s on my Mac Classic (except for the time the "?" and a disk icon appeared, indicating the hard drive had gone missing, which is another story entirely). Seeing it on my new machine instantly brought a smile to my face and created a kinship between me and my machine. But it appears that Happy Mac is gone with the Jaguar upgrade (which I haven't done yet). Wired News is reporting that Happy Mac is dead and Apple has no comment. I hold out hope that the outrage of Mac users everywhere will bring about its return, just as it did the last time they tried to remove Happy Mac, with the original launch of OS X.

T-Mobile Sidekick

The Danger Hiptop device, star of PC Forum last March is "coming soon" as the T-Mobile Sidekick. PDA, Web browsing, cell phone, AIM client all wrapped up in one slick little device — I can't wait. In the past I haven't been crazy about the integrated devices but this one actually looks usable and cool. If I left the house more often, it could be practical as well.

T-Mobile Sidekick Warning

A lucky megnut reader writes in to share his experience, and warning, about the T-Mobile Sidekick,

Beyond the novelty of the "flip top" mechanism, it's a device with some useful (and fun) functionality…That said, I wanted to give you a heads up about the device's downside: the clarity of the voice option. The phone quality is bad, actually it's really bad. You are required to use a headset, which makes it sound like the other party is speaking to you from a tin can lined with thickly-applied insulation.

Apparently improvements are underway but whether they will make it into the first release remains to be seen. Drat!

Hit or Miss Classic Rock

I'm listening to Internet radio today instead of my personal music collection because I thought it would offer a nice change of pace as I crank out some code for a project due next week. Alas, the "classic rock" station I've chosen has been hit or miss, as in "Wow! I totally love this song and had forgotten about it. It's really great!" or, "Oh God, this is just awful. What the hell is this?" and five or ten seconds later groaning, "Is this song still going? WTF?" Examples of the former include: Tom Petty's "American Girl" and The Rolling Stones, "19th Nervous Breakdown." Examples of the latter include Starship's, "We Built This City" and ZZ Top's, "Can't Stop Rockin'." (To which I say, "Yes, yes you can. Please stop now.")