Wednesday, October 25, 2006

My overrated iPod Mini - thoughts on the iPod's 5th birthday.

Reviews@CNet asked me if I was sure. I'd given the iPod Mini a 0/5 rating in March '05. This was different than the rave reviews given to it from other users on Cnet.

I thought then, and still think that my iPod Mini is a piece of garbage. I've had it for almost two years now, and it's an unreliable, non-intuitive to use, overrated gadget.

Nothing on it ever works the way it should. The playlists keep changing, and skipping. The volume control is plain unusable. The *&^%$#@#$+! thing freezes on and off. How can this contraption fetch a huge resale price on eBay?

It's now exactly five years since the iPod was introduced - to unprecedented popularity. Did I get a lemon iPod? Or is it cos we're overlooking the lousy flaws, as it's cool and in to use an iPod?

I'm ready to toss it in the water.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Mel blames the tequila

Here's how I'd wrap up Good Morning America if I were Diane Sawyer -

'Charles, I think what Monsieur Gibson's saying here is:

It takes that one drink to evoke deep rooted anti-Jewish sentiments within.
I'm an anti-Semite, and that drink made me express my inherent feelings.'

To quote the Eternal Mel:

"Years go by, you're fine," he says. "And then all of a sudden in a heartbeat, in an instant, on an impulse, somebody shoves a glass of Mescal in front of your nose and says, 'It's from Oaxaca.' And it's burning its way through your esophagus and you go, 'Oh man, what did I do that for? I can't put the toothpaste back in the tube."

'The interview with Sawyer is the first time Gibson has spoken to the media since sparking a scandal by unleashing what he later called "vitriolic and harmful words" during his arrest. Gibson told the arresting officer: "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world," and asked him, "Are you a Jew?" '

Read up here.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Recollections - The Amish

The recent Amish school shooting tragedy - the third U.S. school shooting incident this past week - brought back memories of this community. I'd encountered these gentle folks on a couple occasions back East.

It was the winter of 1997 when I first saw the Amish, on a trip from Syracuse University to Canajoharie, NY. My friend, a student of chemical engg had to collect water samples from a treatment plant, and I'd driven along with him. On the country road off the exit that icy cold day, I saw road signs with horse carriages painted on them. Soon enough we were slowed down by a horse drawn buggy in front of us. A bearded man in a black hat held the reins, a member of the Amish community in upstate NY.

The next time I got to meet this quaint ethnic group was during the summer of '99. Traveling through eastern Ohio, we came across an Amish farmer's market. In the blazing hot sun, there were Amish dressed in black, selling produce. By now, I'd read up some on their history and ways. I recall:

- Rollerblading being acceptable among them, as a non-motorized means of transport.
- Being surprised on seeing a bunch of them traveling in a van. Apparently acceptable.
- Smiling genial older folks.
- Curious Amish kids that likely saw their first non-Caucasian - me. =)
- Wondering how they managed to live the way they did, out of choice. Why choose to be so? What made them tick?
- Thoughts on scenes from The Witness and For Richer or Poorer, movies that featured them. Harrison Ford as a faux Amish man punching the lights out of some hecklers that bothered them.

Among the many school shooting incidents over the past decade, this one likely affected my thoughts the most. For a community so opposed to non-violence, and steeped in the values of 'turning the other cheek', and forgiveness - these killings are a god-awful calamity. Unpardonable.

But pardon they did, by forgiving the gunman that killed five of their own.