Apple Keynote

I think of all the points made in today’s Apple keynote, the most overlooked will be the message from Apple executive Lisa Jackson. She was on the dais today to address Apple’s commitment to the environment.

She touted, for example, that 93 percent of Apple’s operations worldwide currently run on renewable energy, with 100 percent compliance to this goal in the United States, China, and Singapore.

She also announced that the newest iPhones are using recycled tin in their logic boards and cover glass that’s 32 percent bio-based plastic.

Jackson said, and I think this is the vital part to me, that helpful in working toward this goal is that Apple needs to make devices last as long as possible.

I think this is where the company delivers. I mean you can still upgrade a supportable OS all the way back to iPhone 5S, a device that was introduced in 2013.

From my own perspective, I own an iPhone 5, which is no longer supported. That is concern number one; I hate to carry around a device that can no longer update OS. And, second, this phone will not pair with an Apple Watch (good news on that front, the Series 3 will have a nice price drop since they released Series 4 today).

Oh, and the volume rockers are stuck.

So I might upgrade shortly. I won’t be buying an iPhone X(whatever) nor a Series 4 watch. But I may not upgrade. Aside from the concern of a current OS, the phone works fine and was vastly improved once I treated myself to a set of Airpods.

Ya know, Android bois like to piss all over Apple products, especially when they’re releasing thousand-dollar phones and such. But yinz are largely missing the point.

iPhones last.

Enjoy your Android Pie.

You Will Have Swamp-Ass

So today is going to be a Swamp-Ass Labor Day. Glad I am sitting in a nice air-conditioned room with a desk and a computer.

Since I’ve been working 10-hour days, it’s been nice but difficult. Three-day weekends are nice. But by the end of day three, you feel like a lump. So last night I said FERGET IT. I did not make a breakfast shake. I did not pack additional breakfast nums. I took some screen time. I listened to the Lovesexy album. I ate an Aaron Burrito from the freezer.

Then I woke up this morning and realized the cafe here would not be open today. Oh, well. Nothing like a quick rip through the McDucky’s drive-through. Had to run a stupid red light not to be late.

Oh, well.

Hey. Here’s a nicely written piece of media criticism. Seriously, you should read it:

We are all Kim Wexler: “Better Call Saul” and the painful realities of mid-career crisis

YouTube Poops Dujour

She’s Like a Rainbow

I saw a rainbow today. I saw a fucking rainbow. That’s about where I was when I saw the rainbow. LOOK. I said. IT’S A FUCKING RAINBOW. FUCK YOU RAINBOW.

*

So first you have to know that a few months ago, I donated my Howard Stern library.

Private Parts, Miss America, and Artie Lange’s Too Fat to Fish, along with Gary Dell’abate’s They Call Me Baba Booey, all went. I wasn’t going to read them again, I figured. Let’s make some room.

Off they went. And I have been sore about it ever since.

I don’t even think the first two titles are any longer in print. I have sort of hated myself for doing this ever since. Really. How could you part with those?

*

I had plans to be in my own personal Star’s Hollow today, tomorrow, and Thursday. It’s three hours west. Yesterday, my car told me the engine was overheating. Which was ridiculous because the car had been sitting all night long. I ignored it. I ignored it and hit the road at about 8:45 a.m. today.

Just before the Clarence rest stop, I noticed the warning again. I looked at the temp guage on my dash and realized it was ALL THE WAY UP TO “H.” Mind you I am now one hour away from my apartment. I stopped at the rest stop. I went into the building to perform my ablutions. I then opened the hood and didn’t see anything weird. But then you have to remember that I dropped out of auto mechanic school.

So I closed the hood and started down the highway with the heater blasting to blow some of the heat off of the engine. This kept the needle pretty much at the middle. And I stopped at the first exit I could. And I found a Monroe Muffler.

The dude told me you might want to try going across the street first to get you some coolant and topping it off yourself because we charge a diagnosis fee. I did this and shortly thereafter tried to get back on the highway, whereas the needle immediately went back to WAY HOT DUDE. I made a patently illegal U-Turn and went back to Monroe Muffler.

The verdict eventually came down: Water pump. This, I now know, is a common issue in GM cars after 40,000 miles. It’s so common they make a “kit” for it. The dude had to go to another location to get the kit. So it was going to take a few hours. They offered to drop me somewhere. I said, I see a Tully’s over there.

So I’m eating a mediocre burger at a Tully’s and as it often happens I’m already naming the kids I’m going to have with the beautiful bartender, and I realize this is the same Tully’s my buddy and I visited last fall to kill time before the Pixies show, where we watched like four NFL games at once and had what was really the highlight of the trip (sorry Black Francis) and so that was a lovely coincidence. Allison, the bartender, noticed my reminiscing, and she stopped short at my barstool and said “hey. what’s up, hon. you okay?” And I told her the whole story of the last time I had been there, and she twirled her hair and said “awwww, that’s so nice,” and then she brushed my cheek with her hand and smiled.

Just kidding. The Wayfair wife would have been more attentive.

Anyway, so I had walked up and down the plaza, I stopped at a Barnes & Noble (this store did NOT sell CDs, which was weird), then at Bed Bath & Beyond (this store did NOT sell CDs, which is normal), and Best Buy (again, NO CDs. WTF is up, Buffalo?) Then I went back to Tully’s and Allison was extremely concerned and listened to me describe my plight and then she played with her necklace in that way she does and

oh fuck it you know that part is bullshit. I ordered another iced tea and drank it.

Now the Monroe shuttle had driven me to Tully’s. But I walked back. And across the street was this Goodwill store. I gazed across the other street to see if my car was still on the rack. It was. So I had more time to kill.

Let’s do thrifting, I figured.

For the record, this Goodwill store sells CDs, unlike the B&N in this neighborhood and the Best Buy in this neighborhood. And I happened to find one I’d been thinking about, the soundtrack to A Chorus Line. Yoink.

Then, I moved to the books. Three titles jumped out at me.

Private Parts. Miss America. Too Fat to Fish. All in hardcover. Yoink. Yoink. Yoink.

I spent four bucks. I recovered the bulk of my Howard Stern library. And I get to listen to DANCE TEN LOOKS THREE any friggin time I want.

The rest of my day was equally frustrating. The new water pump did not solve the problem. I ended up at a Chevy dealer doing initial troubleshooting and will be back there tomorrow hoping they can find the problem. I am staying at an EconoLodge and found the local Wegman’s incredibly confusing and they for some reason have no cider cold, and that was nearly a breaking point for this fella man I can’t tell you how the day was wearing on me at that moment

But I have nearly restored my Stern Show library, and if I didn’t know otherwise, I’d think that happened via some sort of providence. What a fucked up Rube Goldberg machine to reunite me with those precious tomes.

And a bababooey to ya’ll.

Sunday Morning

When I first arrived in Rochester and got my first job here, that job gave me what I thought then was a wonderful schedule. I worked Sunday through Thursday, with Friday and Saturday as my weekends.

I mean, what good are Sundays, right? Kind of useless days. I’m not a big church-goer. And Sunday always feels kind of sluggish anyways. One might as well get one’s first work shift over with while everyone else is at home watching 60 Minutes.

But the previous job offered Saturdays and Sundays off, and once I moved out of the shoebox downtown, Sundays became more pleasant. I watch Sunday Morning on CBS because I’m older than 45 and that’s the law. Then I watch Meet the Press, Face the Nation, and This Week. I genuflect for the loss of The McLaughlin Group. I cook eggs and bacon.

Sadly, the new gig put me back on Sunday – Thursday for a while. I could take my morning news shows with me via YouTubeTV, I found, but it just wasn’t the same. I grew to miss my Sundays.

So I was utterly crestfallen when the boss asked me last week if I would mind going back to Monday – Friday.

It was weird being home today as I had actually gotten accustomed to Sundays in that little room. But man, it is nice to have that rather selfish comfy time cursing at my television monging on my eggs.

Happy Oscar night.

Nicotine

I think what I’d like is an addiction that doesn’t affect your state of mind at all but that is instead an addiction that immediately becomes about maintenance. Also, I’d like it to interrupt my workday several times each day, to allow me to believe that it contributes somehow to my own social prowess, and to allow me to justify littering.

Also, can it be lethal and smelly?

That would be great.

IT’S IN THE FRRRRACKIN’ SHIP

I work with nerds. Lots and lots of nerds.

Most of them are superhero nerds. Big-time. I mean from the youngest puppy nerd to the oldest oldie old alta kahker nerd. To a tee, they are always watching The Flash or debating the merits of this superhero movie or that. This is not my cup of meat. I am not a superhero nerd, which is surprising because I spent years being Superman when I was younger. You know. 32.

There are Doctor Who nerds. I think I might one day become a Doctor Who nerd. I think I’ll have to watch more than two episodes in order for that to happen.

There are Star Wars nerds. I can identify an AT-AT on sight and have watched Plinkett’s work obsessively. I am most certainly a Star Wars nerd.

There are Star Trek nerds, who, it seems cannot for some reason also be Star Wars nerds. I do not know why this is so. It’s like Elvis/Beatles.

I have to say, though, and with some dismay, that I have never met a fellow nerd of the Battlestar Galactica (reboot) varietal.

I do not understand why this fine program, which I have probably screened several dozen times, does not inspire more passion in nerds as it ought to. I cannot imagine not bowing in sheer reverence to one of the finest television programs ever to have existed.

===

Anyways. I’m now recently working on a particular driving skill I’ve lost.

When I owned a Chevy Lumina, I could back up on a dime. On a mime. On a very good time. I’d sling my arm over the passenger seat, perk my head back, lift my butt up a little in the seat, and I could seriously back that sedan into Anna Nicole Smith’s back pocket.

The current vehicle, however, is a 2013 Malibu. And it has a really big ass.

And shortly after I got her (her name is Eli. I have a transgender/fluid-gender car. F the binary.), I had an accident where I backed into a Safelite car.

Safelite repair, Safelite replace.

So, I’ve been a scaredy cat about backing up ever since. I can’t parallel park anymore, I’m ashamed to admit.

I was threatening to get a backing cam, and honestly, this vehicle needs one. But this car has had so many problems (this time last year she was sitting at the local dealer sans engine; I am not making this up) that I hate to put more munny into it.

I should also add for this story that I have always thought of people who back into parking spaces as morons.

I have. I couldn’t help it. It’s like, what are you trying to prove, doc? It’s always irked me in a way. That’s probably my own little illness. But it’s true. Or has been. Until I read a persuasive article on the Internet. It’s much safer to back into a parking space. Why don’t we do it?

This is absolutely sensible. When you back into a parking spot, you are backing into no traffic whatsoever, the only danger is that you might sideswipe a vehicle next to you. Then, when you go to pull out, your line of sight into active traffic is at like 90 percent.

Backing out of the spot into active traffic? Yeah, line of sight is a real problem. Even with a back-cam, you can’t beat the visibility of pulling out forward.

Turns out, all those jokers I laughed at and made little-dick jokes about all those years? Yeah. They were right.

Besides, if I make myself back into parking spots more often, that’s like, you know, how you get to Carnegie Hall, man.

So when you see that white Malibu struggling to back into a parking spot? Go ahead, laugh. But understand, that’s a honkey trying to better himself.


Meanwhile, I’m on #3 of Dr. Who on Amazon Prime. I may become one of those nerds after all.

Do It ’til You’re Satisifed

I sat in the back of the lunch room, gnawing on a par-baked, then microwaved turkey pot pie, and even par-baking the thing cannot improve its condition from a microwave. I was eating it anyway but vowing to never put another frozen pot pie on my grocery list again.

I saw my co-worker enter.

I am certain this man was born crusty, balding, and old, rather than growing into it like the rest of us.

I watched him stare at the television set that is suspended in the ceiling’s corner and that is always on for some reason.

That is one aspect of the culture that is not often observed, the television sets that are always on. At the bar where I lunch, at the restaurant where I dine, at the workplace, at my bank, at my car mechanic, where I pump my gas, there is the TV that is always on. I walked into a favorite restaurant last weekend and noticed somewhat brightly that they did not have a TV that is always on, and it made me appreciate their delicious hummus plate even more.

My co-worker stood underneath the TV that is always on in the lunch break room where I work, one of two TV sets that are always on in that large orange room, and he had one hand on one hip and stared at the TV that is always on, kind of quizzically. We were the only two people in the room, and I don’t think he had even noticed I was present from my little hideout.

I had finished with my pot pie by this time and was just killing time until I got to return to work to MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE

so I started cheering him on

go on

do it

change the channel

Well. I must be a magical being. Because my colleague took his fist off of his side and drew up a chair, and placed the chair underneath the television, then bravely stood up on the chair. He began to adjust the channels.

I decided to see if I could affect his choice even further with my newly discovered mind power suggestion voodoo.

FOX NEWS. I said. Put it on FOX NEWS.

I begin my Jedi training tomorrow.

Try The Reuben

The bar stool upon which I sat today at lunch was crooked, and it wobbled. Either that or I kept encountering a divot in the floor. I am not certain which was the case. Regardless, my seat had a wobble.

This is not the kind of thing one experiences at the newest latest pub. I did not have a wobbly bar stool when I had lunch at Bar Louie Saturday because I took my car in because the front tires were regularly losing up to 10PSI, and when the mechanics perched her up on the rack, they discovered my brakes were nearly gone and offered to replace them, so I ended up having a meal at Bar Louie next-door, and I can assure you that my bar stool did not wobble there.

No, that wobbly bar stool is a well-earned scar at a joint called J.B. Quimby’s Public House, which is an old-shitters’ joint and one of the finest pubs in western New York and certainly in all the land. Quimby’s has dings and pock marks, and it has earned them and wears them with swagger. And today I had the pleasure of lunch there with my Dad and my brother, and it was really good. I had the reuben melt, and it was delicious. Dad had the Cuban with these cheesy potatoes that must be experienced because they were delicious. My brother had a quesadilla.

During this excursion, we took in a football game on the television. We watched the Buffalo Bills play the New Orleans Saints right here in Buffalo.

The team from the Big Easy ended up besting the Bills 47-10. As quoted in the Democrat and Chronicle today, linebacker Preston Brown said “We weren’t good.”

Having discussed my really nice Sunday today, I share this. For reasons. From the book Illusions, by Richard Bach:

Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river.

The current of the river swept silently over them all—young and old, rich and poor, good and evil, the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self.

Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth.

But one creature said at last, “I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom.”

The other creatures laughed and said, “Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!”

But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.

Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.

And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, “See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come to save us all!”

And the one carried in the current said, “I am no more Messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.”

But they cried the more, “Savior!” all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left alone making legends of a Savior.