Color me cautiously intrigued

I was pretty jazzed about the Kindle when it first came out.  Sitting here as a Metro commuter at the halfway point in my second graduate degree, just the idea of not having to lug a bunch of textbooks is enough to get me at least mildly excited about the prospects of e-readers.  However, then there was a bit of disillusionment with how the device’s accounts were handled. And then more with how content was handled, add that to the fact that there’s no native PDF support (a lot of my reading these days is pdf downloads of journal articles), a few other irritations, and… no thanks.

So I’m mildly intrigued by the prospects of Barnes and Noble’s “Nook:”

  • Multi-format support?  Check
  • Native PDF support?  Yep.
  • Ability to lend to other e-reader owners?  Uh-huh.
  • WiFi downloads?  Yessir.
  • Touch-sensitive navigation?  I do love my iPhone.
  • Ability to peruse entire volumes (inside a B&N store, but still)?  Interesting.

All in all, this has me thinking, “Well – sometimes people give me B&N gift certificates for Christmas…”  Because it looks like B&N is actually looking at the behavior of real readers and designing a product that has a lot more potential to accommodate the way they think and behave.

The most wonderful time of the year…

Sorry all, for the earworm.  And no, there are no jolly elves in red suits for this particular non-holiday.  It’s just the first full weekend in May, which means Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival.

The weather looks like it’s going to be …not so great.  Not like last year, anyway.  But that’s okay.  We’re not really going for yarn, just for shearling slippers (mine have given up the ghost after about three or four years of constant use and John, poor man doesn’t have any at all).  There may be a yarn purchase or two.  Maybe.  I’m not ruling it out, but I do have something of a yarn shop in my office/studio/cave of exploded projects, and I really don’t need any more.

Stop snickering, you in the back.  Do I have to turn this car around?

Anyway, time to go jump on John in a very annoying kid-on-Christmas-morning kind of way.

Why I went from being excited about the Kindle to… not.

First there was the text-to-speech debacle. I pretty much agree with John Scalzi on the silliness of it all, and yet Amazon both caved to the Author’s Guild on this one and also demonstrated that they maintain a pretty fine level of control over what you’ve already purchased on the device.  I am exactly crazy about this idea.

And now this.

Heck with it.

Okay, it’s official

Yeah, I want one of these.

I would want it even more if my textbooks were available on it, but since a lot of my school-reading is comprised of journal articles in pdf form, this would still make my life easier.

::SIGH::  I’m such an easy mark for good gadgets.

I admit it.

I don’t get it.

A bunch of my Ravelry friends have queued this sweater out of the latest Knitty.  My not getting it probably has a lot to do with me, not with the sweater: I am absolutely the wrong body type to wear it (strike 1), I am solidly in the anti-bobble camp (strike 2 – also see above re: “wrong body type”), and detatchable sleeves give me 80′s flashbacks of the worst kind (strike 3 – it’s the detatchable sleeves that really confuse me.  What can I say?  I’m way too preppy and square for detatchable sleeves).  I will be very interested to see iterations of this design in the wild, especially in the case of inevitable knitter modifications.

I would, however, like to shout a positively ENORMOUS “congratulations!” to my friend Robynn, whose “Twist and Shout” is lovely (and lovely on her in the photos).

Jangly power-pop

I was sitting home yesterday letting my laptop serve up what it wanted out of the 9.7 days’ worth of music it has in its innards, and Bleu’s "DDBDD" came on.

This, of course, brought me right back to the summer of 1993, the last summer I lived in Minneapolis.  I didn’t know it was to be my last summer – I managed the world’s fastest move back to the East coast on having been summarily accepted as a transfer to the University of Maine School of Law: two weeks from acceptance to classes starting.  I try to remember that summer when I get the idea that something isn’t doable in the time allotted.  If I found someone to take over my lease, packed my one-bedroom apartment, loaded the caboodle into a U-Haul and made the two-day trek from Minneapolis to Portland* in two weeks, I can bloody well do ANYTHING.

Sorry – digressions upon digressions.  Getting back to the point, "How on earth did an album released in 2002 bring you to 1993?" I hear you cry.

Two words: Andy Sturmer.  Andy Sturmer of the sadly short-lived band Jellyfish, which I saw live that summer, works with Bleu, and on some songs (as with "DDBDD," and "Could be Worse"), the result is so Jellyfish-like I get an absolute jones for more jangly, harmony-drenched, sunny-yet-slightly-bombastic power pop.

So I’m begging you: any recommendations?  The last.fm playlist in the sidebar to the right has some good examples of what I’m talking about.

*Hat tip to Dad, who did the driving, but only because he hates being driven.

Sidling towards 40

My mom called today to tell me that at around 8 a.m. 39 years ago, I gave her a new perspective on the phrase “bite me.”  Start as you mean to go on.

John fed my inner geek, encouraged my running proclivities, and celebrated the date by gifting me a Nike Amp+:

Birthday!

Yee ha!   Onward towards 40!

Oooh. Want.

Wantwantwantwant.

(Insane, acquisitive moment of the day brought to you by boingboing.)

Another cure for design woes

Ignore your own process (or lack thereof) and obsess over someone else’s perfect design.

Seriously – does Hanne Falkenberg know she designed the world’s most perfect sweater jacket for me? The woman’s got my number. It’s a lovely colorway, so deceptively simple, structured yet easy, and….

…And I really, really want one of those kits. Santa? I’ve been pretty good this year…