Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Hezbollah Fauxtography

Terrorists get busted for Photoshopped propaganda.

Vista dawns, world yawns

Redmond continues to lag behind Cupertino and, even five years after its last major OS release, just can't seem to get it right: among other things, Windows XP users who upgrade to Vista will be locked out of Windows XP -- so, to use both, users will have to buy the more expensive full program, as opposed to an upgrade. Hmm.

As opposed to "The 'Wow' starts now", the "Wow" ends pretty much right after the install...

Read more about the product's release here.

(In the interest of full disclosure, the link is to a story on a website devoted to Apple products, but its links to other news sites tell the tale. Not that I'm biased...as I type this on a MacBook Pro running the best OS in the world: Mac OS X...).

Monday, January 29, 2007

BYU volleyball #1

BYU's men's volleyball team is ranked #1 in the national coaches' poll. Woohoo!

He's not just evil -- he's BORING!

For yet another glimpse into the daily sufferings of the Iranian people, watch this video clip.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Good guys use Macs

Hat tip to blogger Christopher Johnston who writes:

"I've started to watch 24 and I've noticed that the good guys use Macs and the bad guys use Windows. You can draw many conclusions from that but my real question here is, has anyone else noticed this?"


I discovered a web-based project management tool called Basecamp on a law tech blog and have been using it to set up client files for 24/7 password-protected access for my active cases.

My paralegal loves the To Do and Milestones features -- we can keep track of all our action items, due dates, and deadlines. And all messages related to a case are in one place and searchable, together with critical documents and working drafts. So far, I love it. User friendly and usable. Jury's still out on clients since only one has logged in so far.

I can see lots of other uses for it, too. It's free to try for a month. Take a look.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Emptying nest: tender times

Our oldest son was officially engaged last Saturday night and is to be married in May.

Our oldest daughter entered the Missionary Training Center last Wednesday to prepare for her 18-month LDS mission in Cleveland, Ohio.

And our youngest son is currently serving a 2-year LDS mission in the Canada Toronto West - Spanish-speaking Mission.

That leaves our youngest daughter at home with just her parents.

Very soon (4 months) no one will be living in our downstairs (approx. 2500 sq ft)...

I always expected that if I didn't die, I would get older. I just didn't prepare very well for it.

Cold in them there hills

A mountain lion (cougar) was seen in our foothill neighborhood late this morning. It attacked a neighbor's dog.

Mahler's 2nd Symphony - the Resurrection

I first heard Ormandy's Philadelphia Orchestra version (RCA Victor Red Seal LSC-7066) of The Resurrection on Thanksgiving Day with my dad in the 70's. The two-record set (LPs) had been a previously unappreciated Christmas gift from my cousin Tony Kimball. We had never listened to it until that day. A masterwork.

I rediscovered it on BYUTV this week - a 2004 performance by the BYU Philharmonic, BYU student chorus and BYU student soloists - that is as visually extraordinary as it is technically excellent. I highly recommend it. You can see the video feed and hear it in stereo sound on the BYUTV site (example: select 20 Jan 07, 6 pm performance).

Sunday, January 14, 2007

"I have a dream"

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. day, see and hear the historic speech here.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

BYU whips UCLA 3-0

BYU's men's volleyball team swept defending national champion UCLA 30-28, 30-22 and 30-26 at the Smith Fieldhouse last night.
I discovered two things: BYU has a great volleyball team, and BYUTV "MOVE Networks" streaming video is awesome. HD quality with stereo sound on your computer. Check it out here.

UPDATE: BYU swept UCLA in the next night's match, too,
30-21, 30-23 and 33-31.

"I'd buy a Mac if I wasn't working for Microsoft"

That's what (former) Microsoft executive Jim Allchin wrote in an email to colleagues in Redmond. Now that he no longer works for MS, I guess he's in the market.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Retro rediscovered: Whitney Houston sings the national anthem

Super Bowl XXV. Just after 911. Amazing.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Apple changes everything: iPhone


Read all about it here

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Christmas redux

We had a wonderful holiday.

My son Jed gave me the components of the perfect shaving kit: Nancy Boy shave cream

a Vulfix badger hair brush
and Trumper's Limes Skin Food
My chrome dome never had it so good.

The only issue I have is with the "Nancy Boy, Inc." shave cream. It has a lovely lavendar/peppermint/rosemary scent and provides for a clean, close shave. But the name, the San Francisco home base of the company, the pale blue flower logo, and the note on the tub ("Tested on boyfriends not animals") does give one fair pause.

As Shaveblog notes, "not exactely the kind of manly-man accoutrement the typical repressed shavegeek craves when he swings the medicine cabinet door wide." Indeed.

The fam also gave me a new 30GB jet-black video iPod:

With an ultra-thin TEAC CD-X10i stereo (CD player, AM/FM radio, iPod dock, digital clock):

My wife put on the card that she had planned to give me the iPod in spite of all of my recent whining and hinting...

The stereo was an unexpected bonus. (I said, after I opened the iPod, that sometime I'd like to get a boombox or stereo to go with it. I didn't notice my wife and kids rolling their eyes...)

My son set up the stereo at my office. Wonderful!

Rumblin' bass from the subwoofer, clean sound from the two ultra-thin speakers. And a remote.

I've also discovered Podcasts. I've subscribed to the Podrunner podcast for my daily exercise-bike ride. I've also enjoyed NPR's All Songs Considered. I thoroughly enjoyed Focus On the Family, especially instalment 2 of "Delighting In Your Spouse's Differences" ("Men are are waffles, women are spaghetti"), and This American Life (from WBEZ in Chicago).

Also videopodcasts like MacBreak.

It's a brave new world. Better shaving, thousands of songs and a dozen podcasts in my pocket, and a new toy at the office.

Life is good.

Monday, January 01, 2007

House afire: an amazing country

Saturday morning after we dropped off our son at his girlfriend's, we saw black smoke curling up two streets away. We drove closer to investigate.

Flames were roaring from two upstairs windows of a home. I called 911. They had already had a call, but wanted me to describe the flames.

Within minutes, the fire department had arrived. Within minutes of their arrival, they had pulled a hose up the stairs and, with two blasts, had put down the flames.

No bucket brigade. No total loss. 21st century emergency services.

And we take it for granted.

Intelligence failure: Iraqi-terrorist ties and prewar preparation for an insurgency

Stephen Hayes, senior writer for The Weekly Standard, spoke at Hillsdale College about "Saddam's Iraq and Islamic Terrorism: What We Now Know." The speech was adapted and published in Hillsdale's Imprimis. Hat tip to my dad for providing a copy.

Bottom line: our intelligence services let us down, the claims of opponents of the war about "no connection" are demonstrably false, and no one seems to want to listen now. Read the whole thing.