Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Good bye 2008

I'm not going to lie: 2008 was a rough one for me and the country. I'm not sorry to see it go. But enough on the negative. There was a lot of good in 2008 as well, new iPhone software and the cool apps that came with it, the Sox won the Central Division in a play in game, got Guitar hero World tour and a new LCD monitor. I also started posting maps of my runs from my Garmin 205, and I posted more blog entries this year then any other. Here's to a great 2009, and may everyone have a safe and happy new year!!!

Wii Fit Resolution

Well, Roxanne got us Wii Fit with some of our Christmas gifts, and I hooked it up just in time for New Year's resolutions. Turns out that I am just barely in the normal range for BMI. The ideal BMI is 22, which means I need to drop 16.3 pounds to get there. I gave myself 6 months to get there, so I have to drop around a pound a week. Should be manageable. I'm really good at the running, which doesn't even use the balance board (just keep the WiiMote in your pocket and run in place), but the balance games are atrocious for me. The push up exercise revealed how weak I am. The step exercices revealed further uncoordination. I haven't tried the yoga yet, since I can't pass the hula hoop test. So, I'll keep updating my progress as I aim for 22 BMI!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Blago Defiant

Wow. You have to hand to our corrupt governor in the Audacity department: He's not going quietly. Staring a principled U.S. Attorney, the state legislature, and the 11 million citizens of Illinois straight in the face, he says he's fighting to his last breath. Why not throw in the towel? An event that happenned 10 years ago gives us a clue.

Ten years ago today, President Bill Clinton was impeached. Not only did he have recorded telephone conversations working against him, there was the matter of a certain stained blue dress and an video him debating what the word 'is' is. Yet as we all remember, Slick Willie beat the rap. Granted, Der Slickmeister had the full support of his party behind him and was the beneficary of a tech bubble economy that hadn't popped yet. Blago has neither. What he does have is a good lawyer, an ongoing investigation saddled with leaks, and an impeachment process that isn't defined. He already won his case in the State Supreme Court on the incompetence to govern charge, so why not keep fighting? In a state this corrupt, anything can happen. He only needs to hold out for two years. I say he has a 50/50 chance of making it.

Illinois should really be ashamed of itself. We've now had two consecutive governors in a row that have sold out their office. One was a Republican, the other a Democrat. I'll say it before and I'll say it again: There is no difference between the two political parties. None. They love to drum up cultural issues like gay marriage and abortion to make you think there is, but it's political theater. The Republicrats are only interested in more power. There is only one party that will return power to you, the citizen: The Libertarian Party. Remember George Ryan and Blago the next time you go vote.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

When will the 32GB iPhone be announced?

I really need a 32GB iPhone. My old school 8 GB is completely filled up and I just had to take off my beloved Aqua Teen Hunger Force episodes to make room for The Dark Knight, which came with a digital copy when you get the DVD. All this talk of a 4GB iPhone is laughable, I mean I wouldn't even be able to fit my music on something that small (and by no means do I have a large collection), never mind all my pictures and games. Video? Fuhgedabahtit. There's a reason the Apple discontinued the 4GB iPhone oh, about 60 days after it came out: No one wanted it.

What people do want, even in these recessionary times, is a 32GB model. I know that many people who have yet to take the iPhone plunge are waiting for this to come out. It's hard to blame them. The 32 GB iPod Touch is already a reality, and it has a smaller form factor the iPhone (of course the iPod Touch doesn't have any of the phone stuff). Let's face it: Steve Jobs needs something besides Snow Leopard to introduce in his much anticipated Stevenote at the Mac love in next month. What would be better then a 32GB iPhone? I can see the ads now: iPhone, now available in small, medium, and large. The 32GB will be $100 more then the 16GB model, so it would go for $399.00. Even further down the line, when Apple wants the iPhone to completely dominate, every iPhone will come down $100.00, making the 8GB $99.00, 16GB $200.00, and the 32GB $300.00. I figure this will happen sometime in later in 2009, once iPhone sales slow as the recession hits full steam. Apple won't take a it as they'll just have AT&T foot the bill.

FotoTimer App perfect for iPhone Photographers

Just downloaded Foto Timer for the iPhone. A simple app, it allows you to set a timer, then the app takes the picture. No more mad attempts to find the camera button while taking a self portrait! I just tested it on myself and it worked pretty good. This app would have allowed me to take so much better shots of me and my wife on my honeymoon. I was just looking through them yesterday and almost all the pictures of us had me with a look of struggle on my face as I blindly felt for the camera button. I was actually going to write an app similar to this, but like my idea for labyrinth, someone beat me too it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

South Street run

View Larger Map

Saw that the South Street development made the Southtown today so I had a quick run-by to see all the "blight". It's progress is demonstrably better then the North Street Side, which still has all of its buildings up and probably will for the forseeable future. The South Street development has wiped out everything but a boarded up six-flat. Indeed, the old Bremen Cash Station has been reduced to a literal hole in the ground. It looks like Lavy's and a refurbished Citibank will bookend the development.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

View Larger Map Ran over to the west side today in a big wind chill. Also saw a house trying to best the Griswald's Family Christmas (see below). Distance:2.35 miles

Monday, December 01, 2008

Perfect 3 mile run

View Larger Map Just staying in my neighborhood I managed to run 3 miles without running any street twice. Cold, with a little wind out of the south. Ice was perilous at points. Thanks to everyone who shoveled their sidewalk

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mom's Christmas tree

First Snow run of season

View Larger Map So cold. I would have been fine if I would have brought my spandex, but it had not started snowing when I began. Also my glasses became a total distraction by mile 4 so I tried running without them. It actually wasn't too bad but I wouldn't try it at night or in the city. I went to a new trail system that I had never been on before, south of Tinley Park High School. Google shows it as a lake but it's actually just a prairie. I stuck to the main trail which was used by trucks if the tire tracks are any indication, but there are also a lot of smaller trails that feed off of it. One of them I am almost positive connects to the old Tinley Park Cross Country Course. Something to explore another day when it isn't so wet and cold.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Lone Star Lessons: What Texas and Florida can teach big spending states - Reason Magazine

Texas shows the other states how to balance a budget.

Sent from my iPhone

Passed emissions!

Log I used to cross the creek

Just the Saturday Run

View Larger Map

Still having issues with uploading maps. Upon further review, it turns out the previous map was a composite of ALL my runs so far. Which is cool, don't get me wrong, but I'd like to plot each run individually. This requires deleting the previous runs in the Garmin Training Center software, exporting to .tcx, and then using Motion Based (it worked this time). This isn't the greatest solution in the world but it works for now. I'll try tweaking it again after tomorrows run

"Long" run, .tcx to .kml converter

View Larger Map Well, it wasn't that long, but when you're out of shape like I am 5+ is plenty. Plus I was going cross-country for a chunk of this run, on some very narrow paths. I really wanted to see how the Garmin 205 did in heavy forested conditions and it came through like a champ. It never gave me the "Acquiring satellites" I would get when I went into forests with the Garmin 101. I was feeling very good when I got home, looking forward to seeing my run on Google maps. And that's when everything fell apart, temporarily.

I was using the Motion Based website to upload my runs, but after an eternal upload time and two errors, I gave up on it. There had to be someone who had written a .tcx (Garmin's format) to .kml (Google's format, so I hit Google. The first one said my .tcx had no data so I moved on. Then I found this AWESOME one here on some German website. Got to love those Germans and their efficiency. It plotted a more detailed map then Motion Based! Mile markers and everything! Needless to say, I'll be sticking with them from now on.

Couple of interesting things on my run today:

One: I saw people actually off-roading an SUV! I would have taken a picture of them but they were pretty crazy doing donuts and what not I didn't want to become a hit and run victim so I stayed clear.

Two: I saw some deer as is almost always the case when running at dusk. I managed to get a picture of them but they are merely specks.

All in all, a fun run and I look forward to going at it again tomorrow.

Cuddles watching the tube

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Run

View Larger Map My Thanksgiving 2008 run. Wish I had more time it was an absolutely beautiful day today.

Give thanks for cheap gas

Iraq parliament OKs pact on U.S. troops' future -

Leaving Iraq? Three years from now, yes.

Sent from my iPhone

Giving Thanks for freedom

Today is thanksgiving, the most uniquely American of holidays. The greatest thing to be thankful for is our freedom, and that means giving thanks to all the troops who have sacrificed abroad so we can enjoy our turkey dinners at home. For their tenacious sense of duty, we should all say a prayer of graditude. Come home safe guys!

Thanks to the founders

I couldn't say thanks better then this immigrant.

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Republicans Seek Bailout: A rescue plan for the GOP - Reason Magazine

Fantastic satire. ROTFL.

Sent from my iPhone

The Libertarian Moment: Despite all leading indicators to the contrary, America is poised to enter a new age of freedom. - Reason Magazine

Sent from my iPhone

First impressions of garmin forerunner 205

As you can see in the post below I took my brand new Garmin Forerunner 205 for a spin last night and after a little bit of work, figured out how to embed the map on my page here. The Forerunner 205 itself is a rather large watch, but it fits nice. The strap is a little small but they have a larger one in the box. GPS satellite acquisition was so fast I didn't even see the "Acquiring satellites" message that kept me waiting (and waiting) on my old Forerunner 101. The backlight was bright enough to see my progress in the dark. I ran 2.2 miles according to the forerunner which seems reasonable, but the next run I'll do will be a know distance to test accuracy. So far I really like the Forerunner 205 but I love the map ability the most. Using the MotionBased website, I was able to upload my run and then I was able to add it to My Maps in Google Maps and embed it on my page. That's really what I was looking for when I got this and I couldn't be more pleased. I can't wait to do all the runs I've done in the past and see what they look like from a bird's eye view!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

First Mapped Run

View Larger Map

First run with the Garmin Forerunner 205.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bears whooping up on Rams

Bears actually have five sacks today! Forte 2 TDs, over 100 yards. Talk radio will be much more pleasent this week.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Safari finally crashed

All good things must come to an end. Safari made it about half a day without crashing. A good run to be sure, but I really thought it might make it a day after iPhone 2.2 update.

Don’t Bail Out the Big Three — The American, A Magazine of Ideas

Cato Institute nails it when it comes to bailing out Detroit.

Sent from my iPhone

Blog Lite

Cell Spin freezes every time I go to post, so I've abandoned it as a blogging tool. I'm trying out Blog Lite right now, and it works pretty good. It automatically saves posts so you can come back to them later. Works with Blogger. No landscape mode and no picture posting that I can see, but this is a decent no frills blogging tool. Of course of goes without saying I wish Google would make their own Blogger app, but with the stock plunging I know they have to work on Android.

iPhone 2.2 software

I downloaded the iPhone 2.2 software this morning and I have to say I'm impressed. Favorite new feature: Podcast downloading in iTunes. I already downloaded 5 of them and it was so easy. Safari is reportedly more stable and I have to say, it hasn't crashed (yet). I haven't tried street view in Google maps, but I never really used it on the desktop version so it wasn't a priority item. I also read that there is away to turn the auto correction off, but I haven't seen it yet. So far so, so good on 2.2 Apple. Keep up the good work!

new google app voice recognition rocks

Just downloaded the iPhone google app (again), but this time I think I'm gonna keep it. The voice recognition is excellent, responding to my queries for movie times and the nearest McDonald's. Keep up the good work Google! Now, if you only would give us an iPhone Blogger app.

iPhone 2.2 firmware update available now, Google Street View and plenty more - Engadget

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday, November 06, 2008

iPhone is Business Traveller's best friend

I don't know what I'd do without my iPhone. Stuck by myself in Podunk, USA, would probably have been boring, but thanks to the iPhone, I am kept highly entertained. Books, web, TV shows, games, all at my fingertips. The iPhone is the business traveller's best friend.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Iphone Speed Test » Speed Test

Just speed tested my iPhone here in Collinsville, IL and wound up with
a pitiful 45 kbs. How does AT&T sleep at night knowing they provide
such pitiful service? How?

Sent from my iPhone

Mighty Mississippi

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I voted!

Long voting lines

Don't blame me, I voted Libertarian!

Electronic Voting machines don't boot up in Precinct 73

One of the reasons the lines were so long is that the three electronic voting machines in my precinct failed to boot up. The Democratic judge of elections made several frantic phone calls while I was in line trying to get it resolved. Meanwhile, precinct 9, which also votes at Zion Lutheran Church, electronic voting machines were functioning normally.

Due to these glitches you should go to vote as early as possible today if you are in precinct 73.

Waiting in line to vote

I've voted in a lot of elections, but I've never seen anything like this. The line is over 30 people long at 6:11 in the morning. I've seen more people vote in this election then all the other elections combined. I hope to get out of here in an hour.

Election day!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

I'm voting for Barr

Well, it's almost election day, so I'll throw out my endorsement: I'm voting for Libertarian candidate Bob Barr. I'm not a huge fan of Barr, but he's not McCain and he's certainly not Obama. Bob Barr wouldn't vote for a 700 billion dollar bailout for Wall Street like McCain and Obama did. I've said it a hundred times, but I'll say it again: There isn't a dimes worth of difference between the Democrats and Republicans. It's Coke vs. Pepsi. I want a root beer.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Opinion: Mark Steyn: Obama makes a better symbol than president | obama, dimensional, hope, barack, government -

Mark Steyn nails it again in regard to Obama's Hope and Change BS.

Sent from my iPhone

It's national blog posting month!

I just read on Libertarian Republican that it's National Blog Posting Month. You're supposed to blog every day of the month. I don't think I've ever done that but I'm going to give it a try. Today, on this first day of November, I put my Christmas wish list out for all to see. What do I want Santa to bring me? Read on below! Ho, ho, ho! The Tinley Harrier's 2008 Christmas Wish List: 1. A new 32GB iPhone. Mr. Jobs, could Apple please release this just in time for the holidays, or are you going to hold out for your 2009 "Stevenote" address? My iPhone is really filling up (I'm down to a gig of free space), and with all these cool games coming out in the App Store I'm going to have to start taking off my beloved Aqua Teen Hunger Force episodes. Mr. Jobs, you can bring lots of Christmas cheer to your legions of fans if you would introduce this, say, sometime next week? Oh as a bonus, keep the price at $299, drop the 16GB to $199, and make the 8GB an eminently affordable $99 and dominate the 4th quarter beyond your wildest dreams. 2. Google Chrome for OS X. I can't believe I'm saying this but I'm getting sick of firefox. I can't even check my g-mail with it anymore. And of course Safari doesn't cut it. Google Chrome looked awesome on my windoze laptop, but I wanted it on the Mac Mini about two weeks ago. I know you're busy with the Android and the "G phone" (good luck with T-mobile as your carrier), but come on Larry and Sergi, throw us Mac users a frickin' bone here? 3. Blogger for iPhone. I've only been asking for this since the iPhone 3G came out, but I will restate my request clear. I'm sure this could be whipped up within a week if you weren't so busy Android. 4. iTunes gift cards. It's the gift that keeps on giving (until they run out). Well, there's my Christmas wish list. As you can see, I'm pretty easy to shop for. Have a wonderful Christmas shopping season!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008 Nealz Nuze TO THE UNDECIDED VOTER

This article is the best I've read this election.

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mac Mini memory upgrade

I finally upgraded my Mac Mini to 2 GB of RAM yesterday. In retrospect, it was amazing that Leopard even booted up in the tiny 512 MB of memory that came with the Mini when I originally bought it a year ago. The 512 MB is even smaller due to the fact that 64 MB is shared with the video card. So an upgrade was definitely in order. However, the Mac Mini is notoriously difficult to open, due to the fact that there are no screws on the case (the cover is held in place by 16 plastic tabs). Fortunately, there is an absolutely fantastic tutorial from the guys at that covers upgrading both Power PC and Intel Mac Minis. Having followed the tutorial, I can say it was very accurate and useful. The only thing I would add is that in lieu of a magnetic screwdriver I used some Scotch Adhesive Putty to keep the screws on my non-magnetic screwdrivers.
While the Mini takes about as long to boot up as before, once it's up and running the performance difference is amazing. Before the 2 GB upgrade, one launched application would take up all the free memory and it was off to Virtual Memory swapping hell. Now I've got iTunes, FireFox, Xcode, and OpenOffice in four separate Spaces with plenty of memory to spare:

If your computer is chugging, do yourself a favor and get some more memory. My PC5400 DDR2 667Mhz SODIMM (2x1024MB) ran me about 60 bucks at Tiger It's the best investment you'll make in your computer.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Missile Command for iPhone review

Atari has released Missile Command for the iPhone, and after a weak of playing it I can say it is easily the best game available in the App Store. The game play is exactly as one who had played the game would expect: Tap on the part of the screen where you want the missile to go and whoosh, off it goes. Incoming ICBMs, bombers, spaceships, and the difficult to kill pink diamond are what you're protecting your cities from. The game is a perfect port with the three missile launchers and the six cities. There are two modes: classic, for that totally '80s feel, and Ultra, a 21st century upgrade with tremendous graphics and futuristic cities and moonscapes. The graphics are amazing for a cell phone game, with realistic smoke and explosions. Sound effects are excellent, with a helpful warning when your silo is running low on missiles. The music is decent, but if you don't like it you get the option to listen to you iPod tracks. This is such a good idea it should be standard every app from now on. There are lots of options in regards to difficulty and sound as well.

All in all, this game is a blast. The price is fairly reasonable considering the high quality of the game. Do yourself a favor and download Missile Command for the iPhone, you won't regret it.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

O'Reilly Blasts Barney Frank On Fannie Mae Mess!!

Check out this video on YouTube:

Every once in a while Bill O'Reilly makes me laugh.

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Bailout defeat is victory for capitilism

The failure of the bailout to pass the House was a great victory for capitilism. Like many governmental power plays over history, it comes during a "crisis" (one the government created by encouraging lending to poor boorisers). The government claims that it alone can fix the issue by intervening, yet again, in the private sector. But instead of yielding to the inevitable tide of socialism, the previously gutless GOP discovered a spine and voted No. Sure the market tanked. It was artificially high from the government intervention, so a correction was needed. When prices get too high, demand subsides and balance is restored. This is a Good thing. Keep Washington out of the market and we'll fix it ourselves. It'll hurt in the short run, but it's better then the long road down to a socialist state.

Is Apple bluffing on shutting down iTunes

I posted earlier on the potential of Apple to shutdown iTunes over the proposed royalty increase. It may not be a joke. Before you snicker, consider the fact that Apple only gets one-third of the price of each song it sells. So when you hear the impressive figure of 5 billion songs sold, Apple probably brought in a little over 1.5 billion. It's not chump change, but that's all the money Apple's ever made over the life of the iTunes store. It's pretty weak considering Apple has close to 20 billion in revenue every year from all sources (iPhone, Macs, iPods, software). Apple could drop the iTunes store and the revenue it loses would be minimal.

The ensuing public relations disaster would be another story. Millions of customers would have legitimate concerns that their DRM protected songs would still work. You think the 2007 200 dollar iPhone price drop garnered bad publicity? That would be a drop in the bucket compared to a DRM uproar. Apple of course will blame the music industry for everything, but that's a mule that can only take so much beating. People eventually will feel bad for the mule and will take it out on Steve Jobs. The loyal Macheads will still by computers, but don't expect the 75 percent dominace Apple enjoys in the mp3 player market place to continue. Something for Mr. Jobs to think about before shutting iTunes down. My advice: do what every business does: pass the new royalty charge along to the customer. Don't cut off you nose to spite your face.

Apple drops NDA for iPhone developers | Apple - CNET News

iPhone developers released from NDA, expect more and better apps as
ideas can now be shared.

Sent from my iPhone

Apple Threatens iTunes Shutdown over Royalty Dispute | Listening Post from

iTunes in jeopardy of closing. Good thing I have all the music that's
worth having.

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Google Chrome Test Drive

Finally got around to trying out Google Chrome (it isn't available for Mac OS X yet so I had to put it on my old Dell laptop). So far, so good. I went and read the Chrome Comic Book to learn a little bit more about the innards, and it looks like this will be the most solid browser ever constructed. The fact that it was built from the ground up by Google to be stable and fast, even at the cost of a few features, sounds like manna from Heaven to me.

In a perfect world, Chrome would be adapted to the iPhone. It's become perfectly clear that while mobile Safari is light years ahead of other cell phone browsers, it could use some work. Mobile Chrome would make the iPhone even more joyous to use. Just a suggestion.

Commentary: Bailouts will lead to rough economic ride -

Ron Paul on the financial crisis.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Crisis started with Clinton

I knew it was only a matter of time before the housing bubble burst. Against my better judgment, I bought a condo at the absolute peak of the bubble, May 2006. I now sit on a property that has probably lost 10% of it's value in two years. How did I know the bubble was going to burst? One only needed to listen to the plethora of mortgage company commercials blasting over the radio, TV, and Internet. Everybody was just giving money away. No money down. Interest only loans. Variable interest rates that were bound to go up. The kind of ridiculous deals that anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of personal finance should have stayed clear of. Finance professionals should and probably did know better, but when the government was there subsidizing this idiocy, who can blame them?

Therein lies the root of this crisis: Government. Again. Don't buy into all this capitalism-failed mumbo-jumbo emanating from the mainstream media. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, GOVERNMENT sponsored entities, provided the means and the money for loans to be written for people that had no business owning homes (the subject of everyone has to own a home is a topic for a later post). Bill Clinton started this charade back in the 1990s by demanding that banks offer loans to minority borrowers, whether they qualified for them or not. Think of it as affirmative action loaning. And if banks didn't comply, Clinton was going to send in Janet Reno of the FBI and Waco invasion fame after them. If I ran a bank with under that scenario, I'd probably have started throwing the money around too.

The banks, however, didn't have to hold onto these garbage loans for long though. Thanks to some very creative eggheads, loan-backed securities were born. Investors were hungry for something that actually returned more then a CD, and it wasn't going to be in stocks after that bubble burst. Why not bundle all of these mortgages together, with their higher interest rates, into bonds? The fact that these mortgages had a high chance of default never entered into the equation, because the banks wanted them off their hands and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were there to back the whole thing up. And since Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were backed up by the government and housing prices were going to go up forever, nothing could go wrong. Everyone knew Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were too big to fail. Right?

Well, we now know the answer to that question. Freddie and Fannie failed, epically as the kids say, and managed to take down all of Wall Street with them. Now only the most massive government bailout in the history of mankind will prevent another Great Depression from happening. But it was the government, specifically the policies of Clinton and the Democrats in Congress who benefited from Freddie and Fannie campaign contributions, that made this whole thing possible. Everyone's now looking to Big Government to fix this. But who's going to be around to bail out the U.S. Treasury when it fails?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Michigan shows little progress

Michigan's rebuilding project is going to be lengthy and painful, as today's game against Notre Dame graphically showed. Fumbles. Poor tackling. Dropped passes. Interceptions. One of the ugliest games the Wolverines have played in the last decade. Ominously, it does not look it's going to improve anytime soon. There's a QB controversy to resolve between Threet and Sheridan, although Threet looked much better today. Someone has to step up and be the go to receiver, something that should never happen at Receiver U. The defense, which was supposed to be strength of this team, has to tackle and cover better then they did today. Right now Michigan will probably be favored to win two more games this year, against Toledo and Minnesota. They will probably go 3-9 this year, missing a bowl game for the first time in over three decades. Wolverine fans may be forgiving for one year, but if this continues next year expect Rich Rodriguez to be on a very hot seat.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Time to upgrade to iPhone OS 2.1

iPhone 2.1 is here and I'm about to take the plunge. Here's hoping Safari crashes go down to one a day!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Crazy lady interrupts McCain speech

Some crazy lady broke into the RNC tonight, but McCain took it in stride. Nice recovery from what could have been a major distraction.

Palin performance impresses

Well, we now know why McCain picked Governor Palin for VP: She has fired up the GOP base like no else, save for perhaps Ronald Reagan himself. No foriegn policy experience? Half a term as governor? Pregnant unmarried 17 year old daughter? Who cares! This lady has conservatives salivating, opening their checkbooks, knocking on doors, making phone calls. Things I never thought would happen in a McCain campaign. Sarah Palin stepped up to the plate and slammed Obama, Rush Limbaugh style. Her stint as mayor likened to a community organizer with actual responsibilities? Priceless.

McCain now has the right fully behind him, and for the first time looks like he really has some kind of shot at winning this thing. He needs to capitalize with a good performance of his own Thursday night, lest he have people wondering why Palin isn't at the top of ticket.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Monday, September 01, 2008

RealClearPolitics - Articles - The Libertarian Case for Palin

Sarah Palin as a libertarian?

Sent from my iPhone

Sarah Palin's daughter pregnant

Well, it's been a busy week for Sarah Palin now, hasn't it? First, she gets tapped to be John McCain's VP, and now she announces to the world that her unmarried 17-year old daughter is five months pregnant! Hoo-yah! On days like these, I'm glad I'm not a Republican anymore. This way I don't have to justify McCain's unprecedented incompetence. He either didn't know about the pregnancy when he picked her (incompetent vetting process) or worse, as is being reported, McCain DID know about and picked Palin anyway (this type of incompetence defies description). Really, did he actually think this news would help his campaign? The fact that Palin's daughter is keeping the baby is great, gives her even more pro-life credentials, but considering she already had a Down Syndrome baby, she has proven she is as pro-life as one could possibly be. Much more likely, the MSM and late night talk show hosts will have a field day with this, and any positives Palin brought to the ticket just got wiped out. Seriously, I don't know if I want a guy who can't realize these obvious facts making decisions in the White House.

This whole thing blows my mind. Republicans have always shoved the family value issue in everyone's face, year after year, and yet most of the scandals you read about today usually involve members of the GOP! The best McCain can hope for is the media keeps their eyes glued to Hurricane Gustav and no one notices, although in a 24 hour all news all the time world, that's practically impossible. Let the countdown to the Obama presidency officially begin....

Hurricane Gustav downgraded

Well, "storm of the century" Gustav wound up being downgraded to a category 2 hurricane, although I'm sure that's little consolation for the state of Louisiana. Still, it could of been a lot worse, as anyone who went through Katrina could tell you.

Labor Day run

Just an absolutely beautiful day out there today. I ran for over an hour, not exactly sure on the distance as I didn't wear the Garmin Forerunner, but I'm sure I covered at least six miles. I'm adopting a new strategy of just running up and down streets in the various neighborhoods here in Tinley. I'll try and run about two miles per neighberhood, then move over to the adjoining neighborhood. I'll do different streets in different neighborhoods so I won't get bored. There's actually quite a lot of miles of streets to be covered on the streets of the neighborhoods within 3 miles of my house, so there's a lot of variety out there.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

Bold pick for McCain

Well, no one can accuse John McCain of making a boring VP pick. Sarah Palin, quite frankly, wasn't even on my radar, so I'm glad I didn't even try to guess his pick. I really thought he might go with Rudy as it would have been a "maverick" pick as well, but his pro-choice position probably wouldn't have gone over well at the convention.

So does Palin help or hurt McCain? Well, for starters, she solidifies and maybe even fires up the GOP base. This is important, because turnout more then anything else decides elections. Getting Bush's Evangelicals to the voting booths is the only way to blunt the Obama voter drive onslaught. Two, and there's no other way to put this: Palin's not a crusty old rich out of touch white guy. This is huge, because choosing Mitt Romney on the ticket would put two stereotypical Republicans on the ballot in a year when the GOP brand name is mud. Sarah Palin, a young woman, mother of five, blue collar, ex union member, is the diametric opposite of McCain and really balances the ticket. Palin should help attract white independent suburban moms, who are critical in this election for McCain's chances. Third, Palin is an honest to God outsider. You can't get any further from Washington then Alaska, Palin's home state. She shares McCain's independence and will be a real asset in attacking the broken Washington establishment.

What are Palin's weaknesses? Even though she has more executive experience then Obama, Biden, and even McCain combined, it's still less then two years of governing the 48th smallest state in terms of population. Her total lack of foriegn policy experience is already being hammered by Obama's campaign and will likely be echoed by the MSM. It doesn't help that McCain is 72 years old with 2 melanoma treatments, raising the above average possibility that Palin might have to step in. In my opinion, the Democrat's shouldn't be throwing stones considering Obama's experience amounts to 130 "present" votes in the Illinois State Senate and heading one inconsequential subcomittee once he got to Washington. Palin must counter the attacks forcefully before the Democrat/MSM attack machine paints her. Another point of contention is her ability to debate Joe Biden. Biden will probably hammer her at their one debate, so she better come out swinging. One last point: If McCain thinks putting Palin on the ticket will get him all the disaffected Hillary voters he is sadly mistaken. Hillary's feminists aren't going to vote for a woman as strongly pro-life as McCain is. In a worst case scenario it will look like pandering and turn off the very voters he was trying to recruit and send them back to Obama.

Sarah Palin was about as good a pick as McCain could come up with under the circumstances. I give him credit for avoiding the safe pick, but if Palin isn't as tough as advertised he'll be regretting it come November 4th.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Barack goes with safe, boring pick

Confirming the conventional wisdom, Barack Obama has selected Joe Biden as his VP, ending months of endless speculation. This is a fairly safe, uninspired pick for Mr. Obama. Biden brings foriegn policy expertise and 35 years of experience in the Senate. That 35 years in the Senate will cut both ways, however, as there will be thousands of votes to be scrutinized by the GOP. Another curious element of Obama's decision is how Biden is an agent of "change", seeing as his been in Washington for over three decades. Selecting Biden seems to drastically undercut the central theme of his campaign.

However, Biden is an effective campaigner who can throw mud with the best of them, and will be busy countering the many attacks the GOP will throw at Obama. He's also a good debater and should be able to match up well against Mitt Romney. Biden is well vetted, having run for President in 1988 and earlier this year, so it is unlikely there are any John Edwards-like skeletons in his closet.

Barack Obama could have picked worst candidates then Joe Biden. I just don't he picked the best, and that would have been Bill Richardson.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Barack Obama VP choice coming anytime now

Well it looks like Barack Obama is mere hours a way from his VP choice. I don't know who he's going to pick, but I know who he should pick: Bill Richardson, governor of New Mexico. For starters, Richardson, an ex-Clinton cabinet member, threw his support to Obama at a crucial point in the primaries. He brings some executive experience which Obama is sorely lacking, solidifies Hispanic support which will be crucial in places like Colorado, and as a bonus he locks 5 electoral votes in a swing state. Bill Richardson best balances Barack Obama. While the conventional wisdom is leaning towards Joe Biden, he just doesn't feel right in my opinion for the Obama campaign. He's too old, another Senator, and while he brings tremendous foreign policy experience, Biden has a mouth that can't stop and has an archive of past comments that will haunt Obama's campaign. Better in my opinion to go with the safe pick in Bill Richardson. The first rule of the VP pick is to do no harm, and Richardson certainly does that.

Tie in the Electoral College

Have a look over at today's Election Projection and you'll notice that it's 269-269, a perfect tie. What would happen if that happened on Election Night? Then the race would get thrown to the House of Representatives, where each state's delegation would get one vote. Since the House delegations are dominated by the Democrats, an Electoral College tie is a victory for Barack Obama. Thus, McCain needs 270 electoral votes for victory, while Barack needs only 269. There are a few realistic scenarios where this could occur, for instance: say McCain gets Nevada and New Hampshire back, but then loses Colorado: It's still 269-269. Needless to say, McCain is working with a very slim electoral margin. The only way I see him winning is winning all of the states that Bush won in 2004 with the exception of Iowa and New Mexico, which look to be out of McCain's grasp. That would give McCain a 274-264 win.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Add Safari fixes to the next iPhone patch please

I would like to propose the following item for bug fixing for the sorely overworked iPhone development team: Make Safari stable enough so it only crashes once a day, for starters. The iPhone may be the most sophisticated mobile browsing device on the planet, but Safari's crashes are preventing the device from being a laptop replacement. I know the iPhone guys are busy fixing the 3G issues (feeling better everyday I didn't upgrade), but if they could just give Safari a liitle beefing up that would be fantastic. I know I'm asking a lot, but I'm confident this can fixed. Failing that, Apple could just let Firefox on the iPhone. A guy can dream, right?

Apple Sued Over iPhone 3G Problems - News and Analysis by PC Magazine,2817,2328519,00.asp

This 3G thing is starting to get real ugly for Apple.

Sent from my iPhone

RealClearPolitics - Electoral Map

Sent from my iPhone

McCain ahead in Indiana

McCain is officially ahead in Indiana, thanks to a much belated poll from Survey USA. Check out the latest map at to see the new projected total: 264-261 Obama. Virginia remains a toss up in case you're wondering why it doesn't add up to 538.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Screenshots of iPhone Nike+ running app emerge, we're out of breath already - Engadget

Sent from my iPhone

iPhone 2.0.2 review

iPhone 2.0.2 has been working quite well so far for me, but iPhoneAtlas and other websites are reporting major problems, especially with the 3G phones. Fortunately I can say I haven't seen any of these issues on my phone, indeed both Super Monkey Ball and CannonChallenge worked without a hitch. Safari hasn't crashed, although I have not gone to Engadget yet. I hope this good behaivior continues!

iPhone 2.0.2 downloaded

I just downloaded iPhone 2.0.2 and after a lengthy backup, the iPhone is back up and running. I'll be doing tests over the next couple of hours to see what, if any, bugs got fixed.

Return of the Mac

Wow there has been so much that I've been meaning to blog about but was too frustrated with the iPhone to post. I've really not posted any politics in a while, and there has been some massive developments in the presidential race. I was so frustrated with Rudy's joke of a campaign and the subsequent selecting of 72 year old John McCain, I figured the race was over. But, lo and behold, the cagey veteran has crawled his way back in the race. This really was more of hubris on Barack Obama's part, stil,l I must begrudgingly give McCain credit for airing some good attack ads, coming around on offshore drilling, and slamming Obama at the Saddleback Ranch. Don't look now, but not only has McCain closed the gap in the useless national polls, but in individual state polls as well. In fact, if you throw out the outlier Indiana poll that shows Obama winning the Hoosier State that dates back to June, McCain is actually leading the electoral college!

Now I'm not saying McCain is going to win come November. Far from it. McCain still needs turnout, and while his performance at Saddleback was impressive, there's no guarantee Evangelicals will show up. Remember, Evangeicals stayed home the last time the GOP put up a crusty old moderate Senator, handing Bill Clinton his second term. McCain doesn't need a VP pick to fire up the Evangelicals, but he does need one that won't make them stay home on election day. Translation: If McCain picks Joe Lieberman or Tom Ridge, he's done. McCain has the advantage of seeing who Obama picks for his VP first, and can adjust his pick accordingly.

There's no doubt McCain has a shot at this thing. While it's mostly due to Barack imploding, the old man has made the adjustments to make this race interesting. Thank you, Senator McCain, for not rolling over and playing dead. You've proven that an old dog can learn new tricks.

CannonGame Review

Ok, now that I got all my Cellspin adulation out of my system, I'd like to review another good free app out of the App Store: CannonGame.

This game is an update of the classic Gorillas BASIC program that shipped with DOS back in the day (I realize I just dated myself there) But instead of a gorilla you get a howitzer, and instead of bananas you fire artillery shells. You pick the angle of the gun and velocity of the shell and FIRE! The graphics are excellent, the sound is superb, and the iPhone even vibrates when your target. It comes with 15 levels, which I all beat, but hey, the game's free and it's a great time killer.

One last thing: On my iPhone CannonGame crashed every time I start it, requiring me to restart the iPhone if I want to play it,, but I don't blame the game. I think it's the fault of iPhone's suspect 2.0 OS. If it wasn't a free upgrade I'd be ticked. However, it must be stated that the iPhone is still way more stable then the Treo ever was so I'm going to complain too much.

Links worked!

Links worked! I'm going to test all of the HTML, because breaks and hyperlinks are probably 90 percent of what I need (embedding images and YouTube would be the other 10 percent for the most part)

Now if Apple would just get copy and paste on the iPhone then everything would be set! This cellspin app has really made my day. I'm going to go on the Apple Store to put up review.

Link test

Trying out links:


Paragraph breaks work!

Paragraph breaks do in fact work using the break tags. Makes me wonder what other HTML works...

Paragragraph Breaks test

OK, just checked Tinley Harrier an d noticed there are no paragraph breaks. I'll try putting I'm some HTML

Let's see if that works!

Cellspin is blogging goodness

I still can't believe I can blog from the iPhone now. This truly was the number one thing I wanted to do once the iPhone 2.0 upgrade came out. I still think Google should have mad their own iPhone Blogger app, but I guess they are really behind on getting their mobile operating system, Android, out of beta. My hat (if I wore a hat) is off to the folks at cellspin for making this happen. I had downloaded Shozou to try and post picture but that was an epic failure. Holy cow I think I have typed more on the iPhone in the las ten minutes then I have in the last ten days. I am adapting my thumbs as before my messages were so short I just used my pointer finger. Now my pointer is fatigued so I'm actually using the thumbs. I guess I only have one complaint, the Cellspin work in landscape mode, as it is far easier to type with the wider screen. Still, beggars can't be choosers and I for one am most grateful for Cellspin's awesome program!

Cellspin Rocks!

Thank the Maker! This Cellspin blogging app actually works (so far)! As a bonus, it allows you to upload text and photos. It even allows audio blogging, but unfortunately Blogger dropped that sometime ago. This is really, really cool and I sincerely hope this keeps working!

Brad's Baby

Uploaded by

Test Picture

Uploaded by


Testing Cellspin Well I asked for a iPhone Blogging App and this is what I got: A service called CellSpin. This will be my first attempt blogging from this program.


ESPN NFL Orton named Bears' starting quarterback

Kyle Orton is the Bears starter. I have to give the Bears credit: The
QB competition was open and fair, and I think the better man won. Is
Kyle Orton the next Brett Farve? No. However, Orton has shown
improvement, and he did go 10-5 as a rookie. Granted, these Bears are
a long way from the '05 version, most notably at the deteriorating
offensive line. Also, Matt Forte, while showing promise, is no Thomas
Jones. Expect a lot of three and outs this season Bears fans,, but at
least the Bears will be punting instead of turning the ball over via

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Blogger App

Blogger for iPhone

Dear Google,

When are you going to make Blogger for the iPhone? I'll even pay for it since I have 50 dollars in iPhone credits. You can't even create posts visiting Blogger in Safari anymore, so I'm stuck posting by e- mails. Then, this post will be mangled by all the random break tags you insert. Seriously, what is up with that? Blogger for iPhone could bring mobile blogging to it's ultimate form, but you guys are slackin! Are you really that busy trying to get Android to work?

Sincerely yours,

The Tinley Harrier

Sent from my iPhone


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fatburger plans Sept. opening in Orland Park :: The SouthtownStar :: Business,081308fatburger.article

Orland Park is getting a Fatburger! If you've ever ate there you know why I'm excited. Too bad downtown Tinley isn't getting one too.

Sent from my iPhone

Analyst: Infineon chipset possible cause of iPhone 3G issues | One More Thing - CNET

Yet another reason I'm stating away from iPhone 3G (besides being

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

iPhone 2.0.1 woes

After updating the firmware to 2.0.1, I thought the incessant crashes would be a thing of the past. Unfortunately, after weeks of actual usage, I can report that they are still there.

Safari has and assuming at this point always will crash at completely unexpected intervals. Some websites are more crash prone then others, for instance the popular gadget blog Engadget will almost always crash once I've scrolled half way down it. More ominously, I've been noticing that instead of gracefully returning to the homescreen, Safari just freezes on whatever webpage it is on, requiring holding down the home button, the off button, or if all else fails, the home and off button simultaneously.

Super Monkey Ball will only run after the iPhone has been turned off and back on, or has been reset. It's gotten so annoying I've pretty much quit playing it, but if I have to time to kill, I automatically restart the iPhone so I won't be disappointed.

On the plus side, Contacts isn't as insanely slow as it was after the initial 2.0 update. The ability for embedded YouTube videos to play is a big plus as well, as this was something I was asking for before the update. Hopefully when Apple gets around to 2.0.2, or better yet 2.1, these annoying crashes will become of thing of the past. I certainly wouldn't want the iPhone to get a reputation as the new Windows 98.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Power is out

For the first time I can remember we have lost power here in Tinley. Thankfully I have the iPhone so I still have Internet, although it's only at EDGE speeds. It of course makes one appreciate the simple joy of the light bulb and AC electricity. As this is the first time I can remember losing power over the last three years, I really can't complain. I wish everything in life was as reliable as Com Ed.

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, July 25, 2008

iPhone Atlas

This is what I need for my runs! I really need to get the 3G iPhone
now. If I only had some money...

Sent from my iPhone

Geomapping for iPhone

This is what the iPhone really needs: A way of inputting a list of addresses and then displaying them in Google Maps. This would be invaluable for salesman making their rounds on a given day.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Where is iPhone Blogger app?

I have to say, I am seriously underwhelmed by the iPhone Google App. I was expecting much, much more, like a whole suite of Google applications that would work seamlessly together: gmail, Blogger, Picassa, etc. Come on Google, you don't want TypePad showing you up now, do you? I thought Apple and Google were tight, so a comprehensive Google App would have been a no-brainer. I guess Google Maps for the iPhone took up all their effort. I'll settle for a stand alone Blogger App, but please Google, throw me a frickin' bone here!

iPhone Super Monkey Ball crashing

Anyone out there having this problem: You go to launch Super Monkey Ball, the title screen comes up, and then poof, you're right back at the iPhone home screen. The only way to fix is to reset the iPhone by holding both the home and off buttons. Really annoying, I don't know who to blame Apple or Sega on this one.

iPhone My Lists review

One of the great oversights of the iPhone 1.x software was the lack of a "To Do" program, something that was standard on the Palm OS. I never realized how useful this kind of tool is because, frankly, "To Do" on the Treo sucked. For a mere 1.99 you can have a very decent list tool for all the things you need to get done. It's call My Lists.

I have tons of things to do in my life (don't we all), but getting a handle on it was more then the craptacular "Notes" program was capable. I just went on having an extremely disorganized life, using iPhone's calendar for important things, but my little projects went neglected because the calendar program demands you put in a set time. That's why I like My Lists. You make up list categories like "Everyday", "Work", "Groceries", and then add items accordingly. Once they are done, simply tap the item and a satisfying check mark appears. You can delete the item if it's a one time thing, or just uncheck it is a recurring list, like "Everyday". I used it for the first time today and I was much more productive. The only complaint I have is that it would be nice if there was a master "uncheck" option for the recurring lists. As it is, at the end of every day I have to uncheck each of my "Everyday" items. All in all, not that bad. I highly recommend this program due to it's versatility and ease of use.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

iPhone eReader review, continued

Yesterday, I installed the eReader on the iPhone and began plowing through "The Last of the Mohicans", which came with the program. I was about to try downloading some books when the iPhone decided to go haywire. Three hours later everything was fixed, but I was too tired to mess with eReader's website. However, today is a new day, and I'm pleased to report that I have had great success so far in putting two new books on the iPhone: Herman Melville's classic "Moby Dick", a free book, and a book I had previously purchased: Getting Things Done.

While eReader's website seemed extremely slow to me, I finally managed to log in on my existing account and saw that I already had two existing books on my "Bookshelf" from my Treo days. It turns out that you add books over wi-fi (no iTunes middle man) from this online "Bookshelf". The only bad thing is that you have to go to eReader's website and buy the book (no store from within the app), and then you can download it to the iPhone. I've gotten rather used to being able to put things directly on the iPhone from the onboard iTunes and App Store, but I can't complain too much. Once you've logged into eReader's website from the iPhone eReader app, you log in with your eReader account and can begin downloading books from your online "Bookshelf". I started with "Moby Dick", and some three minutes later (I guess the book is pretty big), I was able to begin reading. After stumbling through a couple of pages (you really need a dictionary handy when reading "Moby Dick"), I tried to download "Getting Things Done". Opening paid for content is a little tricky since you have to enter your name and credit card number, but I punched it in and the book opened up. It's still easier then the Treo method which required downloading a zip file, opening it up, and then transfering it over. Theoretically, I suppose you can buy all the books on the eReader site from Safari on the iPhone, thus bypassing your local computer entirely, however, I think a wi-fi connection is still required. I'll try that later and see how it turns out.

I noticed that that there were some useful tools on eReader like Search, Chapters, and Font by tapping once on the screen. I hadn't seen them yesterday and thought that eReader had forgot them in the rush to get the program in the App Store. There are a lot of half-cooked apps out there, and I'm glad to report the eReader is not one of them. I still have a few gripes about landscape mode as the menus don't switch orientation, but other then that the app is solid. Having the ability to read books in Airplane mode is vital, and Lord knows this app would have made my 17 hour train ride to Washington much more bearable. I look forward to building up my library and drastically increasing the number of books I read in a year.

iPhone unbricked, again

After all the restores and syncs, Super Monkey Ball still didn't work. I nearly tossed the iPhone at this point. I then calmly deleted all of the apps of the iPhone. I just synced Super Monkey Ball and eReader, and then I got a message saying the computer wasn't authorized for those apps. Completely flummoxed I went back to the iPhone App Store and downloaded the first free app I could find, some arcade program, and mercifully it worked.

Long story short I had to go into the iTunes library and double click on Super Monkey Ball, authorize it, and then resync it back to the iPhone. It finally worked, but I had to start from scratch in the game (I had unlocked a couple things). Small price to pay considering it's now 2:20 in the morning. I wasn't going to sleep without this being resolved. As a final test I went from Super Monkey ball to play tunes on Shuffle to watching Aqua Teen Hunger Force to checking my e-mail, weather and stocks, and to cap it off I checked my photos and took a picture. Everything seems to be in order, but I've been fooled before. Tomorrow I'm going to get some new books from the eReader and see how that goes.

Accessing iTunes Store...

This has been on for the last two hours. I'm going to assume that all of the iTunes servers are indeed offline and will be for the near future. I think DRM has a little bit to do with this. The Treo, bad as it was, never had issues like this after resets. While upgrading the firmware was more involved, there was no iTunes verification stage to be completed.

I'm just feeling really dejected right now. It just seems that the perfect convergence device is something beyond our capability. A portable medida player, phone, web browser, e-book reader, and gaming system is just too much to ask from one device. The Treo came up short, and now Apple has as well. I hope I'm wrong, but this is really frustrating.

Still an iBrick

Well, if you have to completely reset your phone, better give yourself a good hour. Apple is taking this data wiping crap seriously. My phone is back to being a paperweight after getting the music and movies to work, but all the apps would crash. I figured wiping everything out might work but who knows....

Friday, July 11, 2008

iPhone Music and Movies now have issues after upgrade to 2.0 firmware

I can't believe this. Just when I thought everything was fine, I went to go play some tunes only to find all of my songs and movies were gone! What the ****? I've seen this before, so I synced up again. It went kind of fast, too fast. Sure enough, while the songs looked like they were all there, some played and some didn't. I got a message saying that the iPhone couldn't play the movie. So I synced again, and now all the movies and music are playing fine, but... Now Super Monkey Ball doesn't work! WTF! I'm going to try resetting the whole thing and see what happens. This is such BS the iPhone is starting to act like the Treo.....

iPhone eReader review

OK. The big thing for me today besides Super Monkey Ball was eReader. Anyone who knows me has heard me say "I like reading, but I don't like books." And why? Books take up tons of space (half of our room is taken up my wife's trashy novels), are heavy (which really sucks considering how much I moved over the last half decade), they don't keep your place, and it's hard to read them without proper light. Throw in the fact Tinley Park doesn't have any decent bookstores and they moved the library to the other side of town, and you know why I haven't tackled anything more then the Harry Potter novels recently.

When I had the Treo I loved using eReader to read books, many of them classics that were available for free, but also some new stuff like "Freakonomics" and "Getting Things Done". Indeed, the hardest thing about trading up to the iPhone was losing the wonderful eReader program.

Today, with the advent of the App Store and the iPhone 2.0 software, the eReader is now back in my possession. I eagerly downloaded it once I got my fill of Super Monkey Ball, and started sifting through "The Last of the Mohicans". A small swipe from the right to left turned the page, almost like reading a real book. A flip to landscape and the screen became wider, but unfortunately the menu still stayed in portrait mode. So far that's my only gripe. The text was easily readable on the iPhone's glorious screen, indeed one has to wonder why Apple didn't include this functionality themselves and sell their own iBooks on iTunes. Whatever, I guess Steve Jobs doesn't like reading.

You have to go to your eReader or Fictionwise account to get more books. I haven't actually tried that yet since I got pretty far along in "Last of the Mohicans". For now, I am content in the fact that my iPhone now truly exceeds my old Treo in every respect (except cut and paste, but that's a battle for another day).

Apple servers still down?

According to Engadget, iTunes is still having issues and people are being sent home without working iPhones. Ouch. I feel doubly blessed for having been able to get back on, because there are a lot of pissed off people out there. I've gotten more comments today on my blog then I've got all year. If Apple doesn't get it's act together soon they are going to have a public relations disaster worse then the 200 dollar price cut last year.

Super Monkey Ball reviewed

Well now that the iPhone has been restored to normal, it's time to check out the new stuff, which means strolling through the iPhone store. I visited on the phone because it seems stupid to download to the Mac and then sync. Cutting out the middle man is great.

The store is pretty well organized with the top 25 paid and unpaid apps shown first. You can also look by category, or if you really know what you want, you can search for it by name. To no one's surprise, Super Monkey Ball was the top paid app, and I immediately downloaded it. About three minutes later it was fully installed and off I went. The graphics are pretty nice, with the beginning of each stage going through a 360 degree preview. The play control, however, takes a while to get used to. You almost have to have the iPhone horizontal to the ground, because if it's perpendicular (like I normally hold it) the monkey flies straight off towards you. The movements required are very, very subtle, indeed people in cars will probably have a very difficult time if the road is bumpy in the slightest. Although I never played the original, the game seems to me to be a console level game. It is easily the best game I have ever played on a phone. There's no doubt that the game is challenging and fun, and after playing it for a half hour I definitely feel I got my money's worth. I highly recommend downloading it, at the very least it is a time killer of the first order.

iPhone unbricked!

So far so good. I just called my wife to make sure I can still make calls. I checked mail and that was OK. On to the App Store and Super Monkey Ball!

We could not complete your iTunes Store request

I imagine this is going up on screens all over the planet and I know just one thing: I'm glad I'm not within 1000 miles of Steve Jobs at the moment....

iTunes is dead. iPhone still bricked.

Well, according to TUAW, iTunes has gone offline. This would be merely annoying if you're just trying to buy the latest Coldplay album, but it is fatal to all of us trying to upgrade to the 2.0 software or those poor souls lined up to buy the new 3G version. Clearly, the iTunes servers weren't beefed up enough ahead of time and now we're all paying the price. Will we ever get to play Super Monkey Ball? Only time will tell

iPhone 2.0 has bricked my iPhone

This post from Engadget says it all:

Update 5: Looks like the activation servers are on the fritz, so if you updated your iPhone you can't activate it with 2.0 just yet, leaving you with a locked iPhone. Even more fun!

Yeah fun isn't exactly the operative word I'd be using at the moment. I started this process at 8:07 and it's now 8:57 with no end in sight....

I'm assuming all 6 million of the old iPhone users are going through this at the same time, so this may turn out to be an all day affair. I'm going to go out and pound the pavement, and check back around lunch time. Hopefully I'm not missing a zillion calls...

New iPhone 2.0 software downloaded!

The new iPhone 2.0 firmware finally came online at 8:00 today and I have already downloaded it. It is verifying the backup as we speak... I'll have screencaps and picutres in a minute...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Posts tagged App store at The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)

Above is the app store blog run by The Unofficial Apple Weblog. I'm
glad there are sites like these to keep track of the upcoming goodies.

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Boots under the blankets

eReader for iPhone and iPod Touch in the works » Unwired View

Yes! It looks like the folks at are hard at work on building an e-reader app for the iPhone. However, the app still needs to be approved by Apple. Seeing as Apple has totally dropped the ball on e-books, I would hope they will allow eReader their proper place in the App Store.

Sent from my iPhone

Dark Knight poster

Second Amendment Survives!

There is still sanity on the Supreme Court. By a narrow 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court upheld a gun owner's individual right to own a firearm. This ruling overturned Washington D.C.'s strictest in the nation gun control law, where guns could only be owned if stored disassembled without ammunition, essentially making them useless.

This decision is of tremendous significance for several reasons. First and foremost, the Constitution, which usually is treated like toilet paper by SCOTUS most of the time, was actually read with the original intent of the founding fathers. Clearly, the founding fathers appreciated the need for individuals to arm themselves against all enemies, foreign or domestic. Indeed, the seizing of arms and Lexington and Concord by the British triggered the Revolutionary War. The only way to guarantee liberty was to have an armed citizenry ready to fight if the government became too intrusive. So important was this concept that Thomas Jefferson wrote it early into the Bill of Rights.

Another incredibly important facet of this decision is now every single gun control law will face serious scrutiny. No longer can cities blatantly stomp on the individual's right to own a handgun. Expect hundreds of draconian gun control laws to be contested in court over the next few years. Also, overzealous liberal city councilman and state legislators must know that any future gun control legislation will be contested by using this decision as precedent.

Last, but certainly not least, this decision shows that Presidential elections truly matter. Had John Kerry been elected in 2004, there would have been two flaming liberal justices instead of the incredible Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito. Say what you want about George W. Bush, but know this: without him winning in 2004 the Constitution as we know would have been shredded today.


Super sticky today. Did about 5 miles. Need to bring fuel belt next time to avoid dehyration issues.