Archive for the ‘YouTube’ Category

The Return of Steam

Ok, time for me to crawl out of my hole and post something.  I’ve been really busy doing some pretty major work on a new house, but this story caught my eye:

The future of rail could be this 75 year old steam locomotive

Ever since I was a small boy, I’ve loved steam engines.  While diesel engines sound like an off balance washing machine on spin cycle, steam engines huff, puff, chug, and drip with industrial sexiness.

Steam engines were historically powered by burning dirty coal, and lots of it, but The University of Minnesota and Sustainable Rail International plan on modernizing and converting old No. 3463 from the Sante Fe Railroad to burn biocoal.  Unlike regular coal, biocoal is clean-burning and carbon neutral.

I really hope these guys make a dent in bringing back steam.  When I was younger, growing up in the northeast, you could go 25 miles in any direction and find steam exhibition rides or even tourist railroads running steam, but nowadays finding a running steam engine is next to impossible.  The generation of folks that worked the railroads when these beasts ran freight and passenger service is almost gone, and younger generations just don’t care to get involved.  This could change that.

I rode the Reading 2102 when she ran exhibitions in the early 90’s in Pennsylvania.  If you’ve never seen a running steam engine, here’s video I shot with my dad’s camcorder wayyyy back in 1991:

Proof Siri hates my wife!

If that isn’t proof enough, watch the next one!

I sware, this is legit. I have no idea what got into Siri tonight. She must be repeating stuff from past searches. . . .I mean. . not that I ever searched for strip clubs :P

PS, that’s my wife snoring in the background :)

Boston rocks, iPhone 4: woes, wins & humor, & Why can’t pet AT-AT’s be real?

Back from Boston!  Ok, well, I got back late last Friday night, and I’m just posting now, but I’ve been B-U-S-Y.

Boston rocked.  Complete 180 from other big cities I’ve been to.   There’s open space, richer history, and the atmosphere is just calmer and more cohesive.  NYC, for example looks recycled, regurgitated, and temporary in comparison.

Trip Pics

Boston seamlessly blends “trendy new” with cobble stone, granite, brick and nature.  It’s got it’s skeletons and armpits too, but hands down, my favorite urban blend.  If I could change one thing it’d be the time chit closes. . .   On a FRIDAY night in the SUMMER, half the bloody city shuts down at 6pm, and the rest is closed by 9pm.  No, I don’t mean there’s a curfew, but good luck finding anything open.  I literally couldn’t find an open Startbucks at 9:45pm.  No joke.  If you’re a night owl, stick to NYC.  In comparison it literally is the city that never sleeps.

Got home late Friday night, and low and behold by iPhone 4 had arrived while I was gone.  In fact, it came Wednesday, a full day before the official release. Go AT&T.  You mind-fucked me with your nonexistent status and bullshit answers when I ordered, but a full day early . . . rock-on.

Saturday morning: Wake up, activate iPhone, call AT&T to swap #’s around (had to purchase on my wife’s number originally to get the upgrade pricing) and wow, kickass features in order of importance:

1) Amazing screen

2) Kickass screen

3) Jaw-dropping gorgeous screen

4) STFU and look at the screen

5) Everything else

The “retina” display is truly remarkable.  It’s mesmerizing to look at stuff on it.   It’s “realer” than “real”.  In fact, MOVE over real, the new real is whatever I’m looking at on my iPhone 4 screen. Real is yesterday.

Sunday morning: I wake up,  grab by phone to catch up on the news until my daughter wakes up, and 10 minutes in, the screen flickers like a campfire in the wind, splits into double vision, fades to white, fades to black, fades to sparkly silver, and finally: fades to black.

Power button = no response.

Home button = no response.

Hard reset = no response.

Hold down home button = voice dial prompt!, but screen still blank, so obviously the screen had gone off the deep end.

I call AT&T, who has me step through the usual hoops and perform the usual steps, and after 45 minutes they pronounced the screen dead.

What now?  Well, AT&T offered advanced replacement with  a ship date of 5-6 wks.  No thanks.  Other option was to show up at Apple, and give them the case #.  A quick call to Apple yielded a 3:15pm genius bar appt the very same day, and the expectation of  a “replacement phone”.  Surely this sounded a little nuts since I know damn well they’re sold out, but I figured worst case scenario I could at least get a 3GS loaner until more 4’s are on the shelves.

Arrived at Apple, and lo and behold, they maintain a seperate stock of replacement phones and they had 1 16GB 4 left!!!!  YAY, back in business.  I’ll spare you the part of the story where I went to 3 different places shopping for a case, but they turned out to be as scarce as the phones themselves.

This video, while bashing the iPhone 4 pretty much sums up why:

. . .and while you’re at it, check this one out too.  If you don’t want a pet AT-AT after watching this, you’re broken: