My flickr pictures

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Computer of Tomorrow, er, Today

In case you haven't heard...just today, Microsoft came out with Surface (check out the link for cool demos), a touch-screen computer that looks more like a modern coffee table than your typical box plugged full of wires.

Will it revolutionize computers as we know it? Change our lives for the better? If you ask me, it looks pretty promising, and I'm excited to see one in action. However, if Surface's user experience is anything like its marketing campaign, then it's just going to be one expensive foot rest.

Compared to Apple's iPhone, whose campaign had everybody talking and immediately plotting how to get out of their non-Cingular contract, Surface has stayed underneath the radar. In fact, I was shocked when I visited Microsoft's homepage. I thought for sure it would be some full-page flash advertisement for Surface. Instead, they had a pathetically small link 3/4ths of the way down the page (click the image below for a larger view):

6 years of secret development, and this is the big hurah? If I were Bill Gates, I'd get me a new marketing manager.

p.s. Bill, if you read this (as I'm sure you will), I'm willing to talk.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Living Art?

I'm not much of a gardener, but I feel that slowly changing. As of late, I've spent quite a bit of time buying and planting various flowers, vegetables, and herbs. I realized there is definitely an art to creating an attractive garden and landscape. In fact, it's much like painting -- picking out colors, planning the layout, going for big or little shapes -- but what's exciting about gardening is that your "painting" changes daily. And not only that, but it can reward you with tasty fresh food as a bonus.

My parents have been gardening for most of their lives and I wish I would have paid more attention growing up. Hopefully I'll develop that green-thumb gene after all.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Happy Syttende Mai

Happy Syttende Mai everyone. Go Norwegian Independence! Lefse and kringla for everybody!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Prairie Home Companion Weekend

My parents visited this past weekend for what turned out to be a very productive (notice the recent theme?), tasty, and fun weekend.

Productive: major yard work. It's never looked so good. I think my parents should open up a landscaping / garden consulting / sweet corn operation when they retire.

Tasty: good food. We ate at my favorite restaurant in the Cities, 128 Cafe. We also checked out Cafe Lurcat. Lurcat was just ok in my opinion. I got the feeling that they were trying too hard to be a high class establishment. And they seriously need to fix their acoustic issues. We weren't in the bar. And it's not a club -- it's a restaurant. Why am I shouting? You hear me Lurcat? No? That's right -- fix your acoustics. We finished the high-calorie weekend at Edina Creamery and Yum! (appropriately named if you ask me).

Fun: Everything was fun, but the topper was seeing Prairie Home Companion (click the link for audio clips and pictures from the show), with special guest Wilco. The show overall was great. Wilco was awesome.

For those of you unfamiliar with the show, about halfway through it Garrison will read off various "greetings". They range from "Happy 90th birthday Francis", to "Congratulations Franky on getting your drivers license. Don't crash my car." Upon entering the theater, they provide you with scrap paper and pencil, and you have a minute to come up with a sentence that will hopefully be creative enough or sentimental enough to reach Garrison's hands.

In my haste, I believe I wrote, "Hello to [my parents], who after 30 years of marriage still sleep next to each other." We rushed to our seats, and upon sitting down I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. I realized I had written down the wrong anniversary number. I considered running back downstairs to change it, but figured it would be nearly impossible to find my slip of paper amongst the hundreds of others. And besides, what are the chances that Garrison would read my note?

Funny how things work out.

About halfway through the greetings he read my message. My jaw dropped, and my parents looked at me in startled confusion, asking was that their name he just read over live radio to his millions of faithful listeners. Yep. Funny how things work out.

Mr. Productivity

Do you ever go through a period at work where you get absolutely nowhere? You might as well have been golfing, sleeping, knitting, or catching up on Lifehacker? And then all of a sudden you have what might possibly be the most productive day in history? That was my day today. I've been working on a project for a few weeks now without getting anywhere. As if a light bulb went off today, I switched gears and accomplished in 9 hours what I would have estimated to take two more weeks given my current pace. I love days like today. Anyone else ever experience this?

Monday, May 07, 2007

G&H Heating & Air Conditioning

In case you live in the Minneapolis area and are in need of any HVAC / electrical / plumbing work, I highly recommend G&H Heating & Air Conditioning. We replaced our air conditioning unit this past weekend by G&H and were very satisfied.

G&H's quote was very reasonable, and Michael, the owner, was incredibly friendly, straightforward, and knowledgeable. We'll definitely use him again for future fixes and upgrades, and if you're smart, you will too.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Butter. Pure Butter.

I've played with the same set of golf clubs for the past 14 years. They've treated me pretty well, but I've lost faith in them these past few years.

A coworker told me about 2nd Swing, a golf store that only sells used clubs, as the name implies. After demoing a few different models of Callaways and Nikes, I ended up bringing home a set of Callaway Big Bertha Fusions.

More than I wanted to spend? Yes. A nicer club than I deserve? Yes. But let me tell you, all questions and doubts floated away as I swung those irons.

If a golf club could feel like butter, then this is it. Pure butter.