Getting by with a little help from myself

For the second time in the last few weeks, I went to a theater to see a movie. This isn't something that I do very often. Generally speaking, I prefer to wait for a DVD release, or even to be carried on one of the premium movie channels as I get them all for free as part of my employment with my cable provider.

I can't really say why I've been spending money on theatergoing as of late, but I learned something... or more remembered something that I think I lost sight of some time ago. Just because people don't seem to want to spend time with me doesn't mean I'm not worth spending time with.

Sure, I have a few people locally that on some level or another I think of as a friend, and I see them occasionally, but all in all, I spend most of my time in the company of me.

I saw Terminator Salvation tonight, I made a brief mostly non-spoiler-ish comment about it on Facebook in response to an old friend from high school that said I would be disappointed. I might reiterate and expand on it here later, but that's for another time. Leaving the theater I went to the Cold Stone Creamery which is in the same complex, then sat outside in front of the fountain to enjoy the spoils of the war with the line there. As I made quick work of my waxed paper cup of plain sweet cream I realized that everyone else sitting around me on the other benches was with someone else. Usually, that would have made me feel lonely, but this time something was different, something clicked. I wasn't any less happy than they were, I wasn't any less likable, or any less attractive. I wasn't in any way less at all.

It's been well over a year since I was part of a couple. In all that time I thought of myself as alone when the truth of it is I'm still half of what made the nearly 10-year relationship that she and I had together worth having. Sure I miss her, as she was and still is my friend, but I'm still me more or less, and while I may not have 'the other half' of who 'we' were I still have all of who I am.

If that's not good enough for someone to want to spend time with me, then I'm not the one missing out.

A day like any other

So a few months ago I got a two year season pass for Busch Gardens Williamsburg. I've gone a few times since, and I've come to realize that spending three years as a cable tech and climbing ladders has somewhat desensitized me to heights. Sure my ladder was only 28', but still, I think being strapped to a steel cable over a busy street has made me not so impressed by roller coasters. Still fun... though I'm fast realizing that being at the back of the train is much more fun than being at the front.

Anyway, I got there about 4pm, as it seems I just can't get out of the house before noon on Fridays. Good thing I don't work Friday, eh? Decided to hit Alpengeist first, as the park wasn't very busy and I've never ridden the first car on that ride (refer to the first paragraph) and all I can say is WEAK! I'll be sticking to the last car on that one from now on.

Made my way around the park a bit, and to The Big Bad Wolf, which is 25 years old this year. I rode it the first year it was open, and it's still my favorite coaster at the park. Sure it's one of the slower ones, and by today's standards it's pretty tame, but it's still fun.

Sat first car, because the trip through the village is just more fun that way. Usually, I sit alone, as it is a two per row car. Would have this time too, except just as they were about the release the train, the girl that was standing behind me asked them to open the gate so she could get on. Kinda weird, but whatever. Funny, very pretty, seemed to be in her mid 20's, and despite riding on a roller coaster, had a nice little conversation.

Had fun, it's really a nice park.

Wish I'd gotten her phone number.

Hell, wish I'd gotten her name.

Probably wouldn't have made any difference, but even if she'd given me the phone number to a pizza place, it would be nice to at least once be able to say I did that.

It's like a pinch on the neck, bitches!

So I saw the new Star Trek movie Sunday night. It wasn't bad, really. It wasn't what I was hoping for, but at the same time, it had a little of the feel of the first two movies from way back in the day (I was there, I can say that, yo).

There seems to be some rumbling about a scene at the beginning where little Jimmy Kirk plays the song Sabotage by the Beastie Boys. The issue is about another song of theirs called Intergalactic. For those not intimately familiar with the song, and don't have the lyrics handy, there's a line at the end which says "Like a pinch on the neck of Mr. Spock".

The argument follows that as the song Sabotage is played in scene, that the Beastie Boys existed in the Star Trek universe; it further states that assuming all else is equal that the rest of their catalog would have been the same... which would then include Intergalactic. How could the Beastie Boys know about Spock, Vulcans, or that snazzy little number that's defused so many situations on the bridge of the Enterprise and across the galaxy?

Sure it's possible that in the Star Trek universe they just didn't write that song, or that one line didn't appear in it, but assuming it did it would leave one trying to explain how they knew about our Vulcan friend.

Spock, along with most of the Enterprise's bridge crew was in California in 1986, and our pointy-eared friend dropped a guy on a city bus with a pinch. People talk and getting the people that overheard his name, and the people that saw the bus situation to talk to each other wouldn't have been hard. So it's a very small stretch to think that the story would have made it to these fine young rappers, and eventually into a song about things from out of this world.

That is all I have to say on the issue.

It's all about time travel bitches... and remember that's old school warp factor 10 with a slingshot around a star, anything else is slack.

I didn't want Apple flashing me anyway!

For those that don't know, let me set the stage:

The new uni-body MacBooks do not have DVI-I ports on them as MacBooks of past. Instead, they come with a Mini DisplayPort. The upshot of this is two-fold; one is a much smaller port allowing for a thinner body and more ports along a side, the other is a lower cost with a higher potential resolution. The downside is you now need even more adapters to use external displays on a new MacBook.

When I got my 13" MacBook in October of 2008 I picked up a Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapter for $30. I thought it was a little costly, but I honestly don't know what's inside the little box so who am I to know? I got it mostly so I can use my 32" Sony Bravia XBR4 as a second display. I used it for that during the Presidential election to have a real-time polling map. Of course, because of an issue that Apple didn't seem to want to publicly acknowledge, every five to fifteen minutes the picture would go black for a few seconds.

I was not the only one... a little searching will show a large number of people who were having the same problem. A lot of speculation was afoot about the cause, but it was my feeling that the issue was with the video driver (turns out I wasn't too far off); Apple, in normal Apple fashion, wasn't talking. At home, it wasn't too much of an issue. I could deal with the brief blank screen as it always came back very quickly, at least at home. I did, though, have one occasion where it was a problem. In the episode of Hak5 in which I covered using PHP to batch change the IP settings of a Windows computer, you can see a very brief moment of black just as Paul switched to my MacBook's display because it chose that moment to blank out. Sure it was a minor problem, but still, for something I had to pay extra for to do something I can do with even some of the cheapest of netbooks, even a minor problem is too big.

So just over six months after the adapter came out, there is a firmware update to the adapter which fixes this issue. No idea why it was released with this flaw, no idea why Apple didn't just come out and say "Yes, we know it's broke, but we're working on it.", no idea why it took over six months after release to fix, but the update is out, and I've been running it for over an hour now with no problems at all.

Thanks, Apple, for finally fixing something that there was no excuse for ever having been broken to start with.