Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Opposites Attract

I've been spending a lot of time on Twitter lately. I find the stream-of-consciousness-ness fascinating. Like a direct line to someone's brain. Some of it is drivel, but much is fun or thought provoking. (It could happen.)

I read somewhere that some know-it-all was declaring Twitter is an indication of our inability to concentrate and our need for instant gratification. I beg to differ. Tweeting can force one to be brief, more haiku than leftover brain waste. I also disagree on the grounds that I started to use Twitter while reading the most densely packed novels around; Wallace's Infinite Jest. I've referred to it here.

I finished IJ yesterday and feel a mild sense of loss at no longer having it to keep me company. The storylines are dark and the conclusions initially unsatisfying. But I'm convinced there is deeper meaning there for me if I take the time to ponder. I couldn't sleep at 3:00 this moring and thought that thinking about IJ would put me back to sleep. It did not. Quite the contrary -- it kept me up until it was time to go to work.

The book was written some 13 years ago and it predicts our day with unsettling accuracy. I suppose it wasn't too hard to see our present coming. I can by no means do a real review of this book, but I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I suspect that most people who read this (assuming that most of my readers are members of my family) will not be able to tolerate some of the darker themes of this book. So I'm not recommending it, but if you do read it, treat the footnotes like part of the plot. Don't skip them. Don't skip anything in fact. Some passages start out with abundant tedium, but the journey is well described and often nicely concluded. Don't expect the final conclusion to tie off loose ends. Be persistent and enjoy DFW's mastery of the craft of writing.

If you have read it, please let me know. I'd love to get your thoughts on Don Gately, the P.G.O.A.T., the cause of Hal's condition, and more.

Oh, and lastly, two thoughts from IJ that I hope will stick with me for a long time: 1) Building a wall around the day, and 2) You're not competing with the other guy. You're competing within the constraints of the game and your own ability to master yourself in the face of those constraints. The other guy is your partner in that pursuit.

That is all.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

New Toy: Flip Video Mino HD

Bought this at B&L, err, I mean Costco yesterday. I'm impressed so far. Great picture for such a small device and the sound is good too. I'm out of inputs on my TV though, so I can't plug it in directly and watch without some effort. Have to load video onto my iMac (also inconvenient given that I'm out of USB ports and am keeping the hub under the desk.) After downloading clips to the iMac, I can send them to the TV via AppleTV. Kind of round about/lame. But I'm bullish on the Flip Video Mino HD.

Here's a clip I took last night:


video

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Beautiful Day!


Here I am standing on U2 Way in New York City earlier today. The show was awesome! We were somehow directed to front row seats, probably due to my wife being a visage of beauty. The emotional intensity during the two songs U2 played was off the charts. They played Beautiful Day for the show and then Vertigo after the taping concluded. It was great. We were standing right in front of The Edge. I wish we could have taken pictures in the theater because it was truly amazing how close we were.

The rest of the show was really fun as well. Jon Stewart was great fun, and that Letterman kid is no slouch. Paul Schaffer and the CBS Orchestra kept things going during the break and they're really tight, especially during the transition where they were bringing U2's gear onstage. Paul and his band played an extended version of Angel of Harlem that just rocked. Unrelenting energy.

The whole day was just great. Magnificent!

Oh, and we had lunch at the Hello Deli. Rupert even smiled for us, though not for the camera.

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Bono signing autographs

U2 (& David Letterman) Tonight!!!