I got a new tablet a few weeks ago (it’s an Acer Switch Alpha 12), and I’ve really enjoyed it. I never thought I’d be a “touch screen guy”, but it’s so much more comfortable to lay on the couch with tablet in hand than it was to balance my big old Dell laptop on my knees. At the risk of sounding cliché, it’s actually changing my life. I’m reading more and spending less time tied to the computer in my office.

Windows 10 works great on a tablet. Everything is well-designed and the transition from mouse and keyboard to touch and back is pretty seamless. Even that giant full-screen Start menu everyone made fun of in Windows 8 starts to make sense when you’re using your PC as a tablet. The Universal apps (formerly “Metro”) are comfortable to use in tablet mode, too; I’m particularly fond of the Fitbit and Facebook apps.

Read More →

I love the holiday season! I love Christmas music, the food, and most of all, the all-pervading feeling that it’s finally time to relax and be of good cheer.

Last December we spent a long weekend in Las Vegas. We wanted to see Sin City all done up for the holidays and get away from the Strip to see how everyday Vegas lives. We drove downtown to Fremont Street on a Saturday to see something special: The Great Santa Run.

Read More →

My first time at the DIA, I stumbled across Kehinde Wiley’s Officer of the Hussars, and I was instantly hooked.

There’s a baroque richness to Wiley’s (huge!) paintings that puts him on par with the old masters, but his subjects are very modern. His Officer is a black man, circa right now, dressed in Timberland boots, baggy jeans and a wife-beater, brandishing a cavalry saber and looking back from the saddle of a rearing horse. It was completely unexpected, and so awesome that I couldn’t stop grinning.

Every time we go back, I revisit Officer of the Hussars, and it always makes me smile. When I heard that Wiley’s art was coming to TMA, I knew we had to go, and I’m really glad we did.

Read More →

Torrone

Meijer was clearing out their Italian foods, so I picked up some crunchy hazelnut nougat (torrone). Not bad with a cup of coffee!

Following up on my post about the Royal Menagerie at the Tower of London, I wanted to write about its descendant, the Zoological Society of London (or Z-as-in-Zed-S-L) in Regent’s Park.

London Zoo is a bit out of the way by public transportation. The Underground skirts the edge of Regent’s Park, making a single stop at the southern gate before veering off north for Camden. From there you board a crawling bus headed up some charmless back street, or take a pleasant (but very long) walk to the northern edge of the park. Michelle and I did both one May afternoon and got to the zoo about an hour before closing time.

ZSL isn’t a big zoo, but it manages an impressive collection. The exhibits are all very modern and as natural as they can be given the limited space. We spoke to a few of the keepers and they seemed enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

As is often the case in London, ZSL has some unique history. It was the first zoo opened specifically for scientific research; for its first twenty years it wasn’t even open to the public. Charles Darwin became a fellow of the zoo in 1839 and one resident, an orangutan named Jenny, inspired him with her near-humanity.

With limited time to look around, there was one animal I knew I must see: the okapi. It’s not much to look at, but this awkward, donkey-like ungulate, native to the Ituri Rainforest of central Africa, is famous for managing to elude science until 1901.

Read More →

I will never buy an HP product again. Two defective computers in one month is enough for me!

A snack

Got some new flashes with tax return money, so I’m having another crack at food photography.

Just a quick post to congratulate our client, Hyla Mobile, on the launch of the brand new HylaMobile.com! Hyla Mobile is a leader in mobile device recycling; they partner with major carriers like AT&T and Verizon to offer mobile phone and tablet trade-in programs, as well as sophisticated price forecasting and analytics. They collect more than 7 million devices every year and recycle or refurbish them for resale or donation around the world, including to American troops overseas.

Read More →