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Merry Christmas 2K11

I know, the K really doesn't do anything post-2009, but whatever. 🙂

This year, another low-key Christmas. Still at our house, but once again, snacks instead of a "meal." Meatballs, crackers, cheese, veggies, some ice cream later at night.

Nat got a Kinect, because despite her saying "no, I don't want one" I told Carey to get one anyway because I figured she'd change her mind. She did - a week later - and we didn't give the Kinect to her until she sweated it a little and said she was disappointed in what she got. Next year, we feed the hungry or something, because it's starting to get a bit silly.

I got some running stuff we'd bought the week before at the Adidas outlet. And entirely too many chocolate covered cherries. 🙂 I've dubbed it Project Fatty, but that's okay. I plan to see how long they can sit on my desk before I eat them.

Western States 100

Yeah, some people run 100 miles in a row. And there are some people out there who run farther than that.

Not really something I'm ever looking to do, and I think I look at people who run more than 26.2 miles with equal parts admiration, curiosity, and wondering just how insane they have to be. 🙂

This is a free 75-minute video that I'll watch in three- to five-minute chunks.

Kickstarter Article on The Verge

The Verge, which many feel is the best tech site going these days, publishes an awesome article on Kickstarter.

I've heard of every project mentioned except the two biking ones. If the iPod Nano had a way of always showing the clock (not requiring a touch), I'd have bought an iPod Nano and a TikTok or LunaTik.

Recently, I've looked at (but haven't helped to fund) the Elevation Dock (it's simply not that difficult for me to plug my phone in to my Mac Pro or the power outlet by my nightstand) and the Underfuse (I have an armband, or a pocket, and soon I won't be running with my iPhone).

Those Who Matter

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

- Dr. Seuss

Garmin Forerunner 610

I've managed to pick up a Garmin Forerunner 610 with Heart Rate Monitor and a Foot Pod. Oh, and I grabbed the cloth strap as well for $19 because I've heard a few horror stories about the pins in the normal plastic watch band falling out. I may just pick up some LocTite or something if the band is fine.

The foot pod can measure your pace when you're on a treadmill (apparently treadmills are often quite inaccurate) and it can be calibrated by either running around a track once or twice or right off the GPS signal. But I'm looking at it more for the purpose of tracking cadence.

Next week I'll be on week six of the now eight-week Run5K (née Couch to 5K) app. Day three is "run for 20:00." Somewhat oddly, week seven reverts to running and walking ((The walks at the end are followed by only brief runs of a minute or two.)) before returning to runs of 25:00, 28:00, and 30:00 in week eight.

I'm somewhat anal about getting the times right (I don't want to mess up and short myself some time), so I plan to keep my iPhone running the app for the next few weeks, but I think in week eight I'll finally ditch it and just use the watch for my runs, and from there on out.

Forerunner 610 and Stuff

Penn Jillette on Religion

There is no god and that's the simple truth. If every trace of any single religion died out and nothing were passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There might be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again.

Via Daring Fireball via Jason Kottke.

At first I wasn't too sure about that. But religion came about as a way of explaining all kinds of things which are now explained through science. So perhaps if both science and religion were wiped out, we'd be where we are now eventually again. That'd just be history repeating itself - literally.

Humans the Only Intelligent Life?

This video is meant to show something else. What it says to me is that there's quite likely tens, hundreds, or thousands of other forms of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, and that it's incredibly obnoxious of us to consider ourselves alone in the world.

It also says to me that there's no possible way the "God" many people believe in can be right, because if there are other forms of life elsewhere, then they likely have their own "god" as well, and so ours isn't really possible (nor theirs).

olloclip for iPhone 4/4S

A few weeks ago, I picked up an olloclip. It's a three-in-one camera lens attachment for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. I've been impressed with the quality of the iPhone 4S cameras, so I jumped at the chance to try out the olloclip.

olloclip 4

The olloclip is a small attachment made of lightweight aluminum, reasonable quality glass, and a sturdy plastic. The three lenses are contained on the two sides - fisheye on one, a wide angle lens on the other, and a macro mode lens beneath the wide angle lens (you physically unscrew the wide angle lens to expose the macro lens beneath).

I was impressed with the fit and finish of the olloclip - it was snug but fit nicely on all the iPhone 4 and 4S models I tried, including those with some thin screen protectors. It's a bit annoying to have to take the case off, but there's really nothing that could be done about that. The lens aligned perfectly with every iPhone camera I tried. It's simple to put on, remove, and to flip around or use. There's no software, either.

R.E.M. Fanclub Closed

My subscription to R.E.M.'s fan club has always been up for renewal around Thanksgiving, which is a dangerous time if you want to get the "Christmas single" package that makes the fan club worth the $10 all alone (or more).

This year I got the package and noticed my renewal date had passed, so I visited the site to renew again. I knew that R.E.M. had essentially disbanded, but thought that they might still send newsletters or something.


Sad day.

R.E.M. Fanclub

iTunes Match Finally Worked

I persevered and finally got iTunes Match to work.

After it uploaded a ton of songs, I created a playlist as suggested here and, over the next day or so, deleted and downloaded higher quality versions of my iTunes songs.

I'll eventually go through and weed out the duplicates. I've seen a few.

Will I renew in a year? I don't think so. Then again, having all of my songs available on my iPhone might just do it. This year it was a no-brainer. Next year, less so.

Couch to 5K App Changed

Recently I noticed that the Couch to 5K app I've been using was updated. The name was changed to "Run 5K" and the week I was in - week 5 - changed.

Thanks for your email. Sorry for any confusion. You're correct that the Couch to 5k name is trademarked by The Active Network, and they decided that other companies could no longer use the name or the training program (yes, the Cool Running program), so we've changed the name of our program and created an improved training program. Please let us know if you have any questions about the program. It's a shorter program - 8 weeks, instead of 9, so if you want to continue on your 9-week plan you can start one week earlier. In your case, start in Week 4 to continue your training.

The URL I mentioned and included in the email?

Knowledge in Inverse Proportion

"I have discovered, in twenty years of moving around the ball park, that the knowledge of the game is usually in inverse proportion to the price of the seats."

- Bill Veeck, Chicago White Sox owner

Netflix Streaming Embedded

Riddle me this: why doesn't Netflix allow me to embed one of their streaming movies on a web page? For example, suppose I like the movie Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead ((I do, by the way, very very much.)). Why can't I embed the movie on a page, recommend it to people, and let people watch it right here if they have a Netflix account?

It would seem to be a good thing for Netflix. People could promote videos they like and Netflix may get some word-of-mouth advertising. Is it because they're worried about the advertisements I could put around the movie, or something? Or maybe the studios care about that kind of stuff?

WordPress 3.3


iTunes Match NRFPT

I signed up for iTunes Match earlier today.

Since then, I've downloaded (replaced) exactly one song, and I've spent an hour or so searching the Web for "iTunes Match error 4001" and "iTunes Match error 4010" and so on. I've tried some of the tricks, I've set up a smart playlist, and I'm still just sitting here at Step 1 in the iTunes Match section of iTunes.

iTunes Match is, as they used to say, NRFPT ((Not Ready For Prime Time)). That's disappointing. It's the first thing from Apple in a long while that didn't "just work."

iTunes Error

If this doesn't start working by the end of the day on Monday, I'm going to seek a refund.