Not that I have ANY idea what Apple's going to come up with next week (neither does anyone else, for that matter..), but I thought it might be a potential replacement for ageing Mrs jb's ageing iBook, given that its prime use is for scouring the interweb for clothes and receiving confirmations of purchase via email.
It would, of course, be exceptionally cool if the frame would fold back as a support, if you could use a Bluetooth keyboard and if it had a real OS instead of the silly iPhone one, but we'll see.
(It would be exceptionally coolerer if I could set a filter for wimmin's apparel, but anyway..)
So I suggested that it might be Just The Thing.
Conversation went thus:
'What's it like then?" she asks.
"How on EARTH do I know - it's only being announced next week. You'll probably type on the screen - like the iPhone - and.."
"Type on the screen? Wouldn't like that. Does it have a lid?"
"What do you mean - "Does it have a lid?". No-one knows what it looks like, but, no, it probably won't have a lid"
"In that case, I don't want one. I want one with a lid"
So - if Steve Jobs is reading - this is the reason why Apple will only sell 9,999,999 units in the first 12 months.
I bet you they won't play this song on the radio,
I bet you they won't play this new $%^& song.
It's not that it's %$(* or #$*&^&* controversial
It's just that the @*%$ing words are awfully strong.
You can't say ^&*@ on the radio,
Or $@#! or ^&*% or 4*%*
You can't even say I'd like to ?:"* you someday
Unless you're a doctor with a really large ~!*%
So I bet you they won't play this song on the radio
I bet you they don't *&%$ing well program it.
I bet you those &*(#ing old program directors
Will think it's a load of horse $&!#
He's a DJ on Zündfunk, a "youth/scene" focused program on ever excellent Bayern 2 radio. I'm wildly outside their demographic target market, but I listen anyway....
He takes his dulcimer along to interviews. I have NO idea what musicians think when this dude fronts up with an instrument that dates back to the Babylonian Empire, but it does seem to break the ice....
He also keeps promises.
Mrs jb heard something on the radio a while back.
Tobi mailed back with a link to the program.
Mrs jb said she'd like to hear some more.
Tobi said he'd love to burn a CD.
"If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less." General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army as quoted by Tom Peters in Reimagine
I only flew JAL once and that was on 5 August 1972 London to Rome with That Man Strodel.
We flew First Class (probably only cost about £10 in those days @ 90%), got comprehensively ripped and spent the next three days looking for the Senso Unico.
We thought it must have been something like the Vatican or the Coliseum.
"Pretty important place" we though "what with all those signs"
(They broke it to us very gently)
I visited their corporate HQ sometime in the 1980s on a benchmarking exercise for a cargo IT project.
We thought they'd be red-hot, given that Japan made the best cars/radios/TVs/consumer electronics.....
It was like the Dark Ages.
They had a whole MINEFIELD of incompatible systems that didn't talk to each other, MILLIONS of people filling out forms that substituted (sort of..) for efficient data interchange and a blissfull unawareness that there were perhaps other ways of doing things.
In a past life, I ran the Cargo Reservations department for Lufthansa at Heathrow.
It was frantic.
British Airways moved to a new terminal. Nothing worked. They closed down.
We worked 20 hour days.
British Airways went on strike. Frequently.
We worked 20 hour days. Sometimes 36 hour days.
There was no time for niceties when you answered the phone.
It was "LufthansacanIhelpyou?" or just "Lufthansa".
But mostly "Lufthansacanyouholdthanks?"
This didn't go down well with Dick Haynes, the Cargo Manager, who was so impressed with the service that he got from his garage that he wrote a memo INSISTING that we answer the phone just like his garage did under penalty of death.
"Good morning, this is Victory Motors, Bruce Bayliss speaking, how can I help you"
Some people (stupid bloody Poms and not realising that they didn't work for Victory Motors and their name wasn't Bruce Bayliss) actually did answer the phone like that.
We did for about 2 minutes, before it became apparent that we'd be working 48 hour days at that rate and went back to "Lufthansacanyouholdthanks?"
I just called up Mrs jb at work and my mate Christoph the Janitor answered the phone with the classic Victory Motors greeting.
Turns out that the boss is back after his Christmas break and has nothing better to do than make up new rules.
Can't see Mrs jb buckling under on this one.
Just as much chance, in fact, as he had getting her to sign a paper declaring that she would comply with the various anti-discrimination (i.e. be nice to foreigners) laws.
"Sod that" she probably thought "If I sign that, I won't be able to discriminate against my own husband. Can't have that...."
Christoph asked if he should announce himself formally with all three Christian names.
Didn't go down well. Not at all well, in fact.
Well" he said "We certainly shouldn't employ the current Minister of Defence (Karl-Theodor Maria Nikolaus Johann Jacob Philipp Franz Joseph Sylvester Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg) then. By the time he's finished the Victory Motors into, the caller will have rung up a phone bill of €5
...take a painting lesson from the stunningly talented Catherine Moullé. She's quite phenomenal. Her New Year card as an example.
First met her in Menerbes in the Provence in 2003 at an open air art fair, was utterly taken by this and other work, got talking to her - actually, she suggested that I BUY the picture instead of just photographing it (which I did) - and we've been friends ever since.
Just the thing to shake off the winter blues.
And I can recommend "Charlotte", an excellently funky restaurant, too.
Which is where we go for lunch.
And if the locals (especially someone with Catherine's exquisite taste) eat there, just how bad can it be?
J A Bartlett "does weekends and fill-ins on the air at Magic 98, an adult-contemporary station in Madison, Wisconsin"
He's also the author of the excellent "The Hits Just Keep On Comin'" blog and organiser of the Vinyl Record Day blogswarm, honouring me with an invitation for both years, 2007 and 2008
His blog's much more than music, though.
Just found this gem
A choir and congregation cranking up the classic seasonal hits in a decorated church on Christmas Eve can be enjoyed for purely aesthetic reasons having nothing to do with religion.
But there’s another kind of music that’s largely absent from church services anymore—the music of language. That music began growing fainter 40 years ago, when I was a kid, as the Revised Standard Version and other translations of the Bible began to replace the old-school King James Version
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
It’s probably not true that Shakespeare was one of the translators who worked on the KJV, but that only means his way with language must have been in England’s air during the early 1600s. And not just devices like rhythm and meter—the word choices are poetic, too. The reference (in an earlier verse not quoted here) to Mary being “great with child” was a word-picture I could understand even before I knew where babies came from, because I could remember how my own mother looked before my youngest brother was born. I also remember being fascinated by the term “swaddling clothes,” and my kid’s mind translated it into a picture of a loving mother wrapping a baby in a big white blanket, as the translators surely intended us to do.
Cousin Ruth sent me this. (And she should know...)
George Hewitson, an elderly man, from Norwich UK, was going up to bed, when his wife told him that he'd left the light on in the garden shed, which she could see from the bedroom window. George opened the back door to turn off the light, but saw that there were people in the shed stealing things.
He phoned the police, who asked "Is someone in your house?"
George: "No," but some people are breaking into my garden shed and stealing from me.
Police dispatcher: "All patrols are busy. You should lock your doors and an officer will be along when one is available."
He hung up the phone and counted to 30.
George: "Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people stealing things from my shed. Well you don't have to worry about them now because I just shot them."
Within five minutes, six police cars, a SWAT Team, a helicopter, two fire trucks, a paramedic, and an ambulance showed up at the Hewitson's residence, and caught the burglars red-handed.
Policeman said to George: "I thought you said that you'd shot them!"
George: "I thought you said there was nobody available!"
The world gets all in a tizz as 1999 draws to a close with Doomsday predictions of nucular (sic) power station meltdown and civilisation grinding to a catastrophic halt at midnight when the world's computers say ""00". WTF? That's not a date, that's a toilet cleaner" and decide to stop working.
But nothing happens.
Ten years later to the day
The Y2.01K bug strikes.
Debit and credit cards issued in Germany stop working.
"Not all of them, not everywhere, just some of them" say the banks
Which is certainly helpful.
Certainly more helpful that my bank.
My bank appears to be blithely unaware of a problem.
Nothing on their website (after almost a week)
Nothing sensible to be learned from the Call Center flossie (and these are qualified banking staff, not your usual CCMs)
Not a lot from my bank consultant (who is tops, btw) who had a tad more information in the form of an internal paper from Head Office (dated yesterday and telling him less than he could read in this morning's paper...)
In fact, all I learned from the Call Centre was that
Other banks' customers are worse off (Does this really interest me? Hint: No)
No, they have no idea if my debit and credit cards are affected.
No, there is no way of finding out.
No, they have no idea if I can use the cards in Thailand and the USA.
Yes, they probably will work, but they might not.
I get incredibly annoyed when I'm constantly interrupted when asking questions (Actually, I knew that already)
Yes, it might actually be a good idea to put something on the website.
I should take €2k in cash and traveller cheques on an upcoming trip
No, they have no idea who's going to compensate me for my increased costs
It's mostly a waste of time talking to Call Centres.
They know when the duff batch of chips was manufactured.
They can thus exclude any cards issued before that date.
Having already identified the duff batch of chips, they know which cards got the chips that don't know it's 2010.
So - each card having a number - they can thus identify which customer got a
chronologically-challenged card and issue a new one
And - they can set up a card reader to validate the functionality of the chip.
Distribute it to branches, let customers check their own cards
Waitress: Would you like to order, Prime Minister?
Margaret Thatcher: Steak, please.
Waitress: How would you like it?
Margaret Thatcher: Raw
Waitress: And what about the vegetables?
Margaret Thatcher: They'll have the same as me...