This Does Not Compute

Technology, gaming, music and things that just don't compute

Yes, I’m still here – November 2011 edition

It’s been another month or so, so that means I need to blog again. It’s a good thing I don’t get paid to do this, because if I got paid by the post, I’d be very, very poor right now.

I took the Demio in to the Mazda dealer a few weeks ago for some warranty work (one of the rear shocks would creak when cold), and while I was waiting I took a test drive in one of the new 2012 SkyActiv Mazda 3’s. I have to say I’m pretty impressed with the car; it’s a little slow off the line but will definitely get moving when pushed to do so. Other than the engine and transmission, the rest of the car is very similar/the same as the 2010-2011 models.

I definitely believe it when Mazda claims that the new 3’s will get 40mpg; take a look at the tach and speedo needles in the photo above. The gearing in the transmission is certainly a factor in fuel economy, and being able to do 70mph at only 2k rpm is a welcome sight. The only bummer for me with the 3 is that the seats are still too firm — my bony butt gets sore after an hour or so, whereas I can go all day in the excellent Demio seats.

I can’t wait for Mazda to drop SkyActiv in the 2/Demio. Probably will get one of those for sure.



As I was due for an upgrade, I ended up waiting in line for an iPhone 4S on launch day. Apple Stores opened at 8am, but I knew there’d be a big line so I initially intended to show up at about 5am. Couldn’t sleep that night, though, so I eventually said F it and got in the car. Note that the time above is AM, not PM. Ugh.


I knew I wouldn’t be the first one there, but I didn’t think there would be a good 25 people in line ahead of me. Still, at this position in the queue I’d have a very, very good shot at getting the exact phone I wanted. Didn’t want to have to compromise on color/capacity.


At about 7am (an hour before the store opened) the Apple Store folks walked down the line and handed out reservation cards. I’m pretty sure I was the first in line to buy this particular capacity/color/network combination. And yes, I watched K-On on my iPad while waiting.


The back of the reservation card. Note that the date and store fields got stamped backwards, an odd mistake considering Apple’s normal level of attention to detail. I had to give the card back when I got the phone.


T-minus 5 minutes, and all the employees start amping up the crowd. Letting people in the store was very orderly; each employee was paired up with a customer, and they’d walk in together. When all the employees were with customers, they’d make everyone else in line wait until another became available. I was the last person in line to go in with the first group of people — the folks behind me had to wait a good half an hour more before they could go in. It probably took 30-45 minutes to pick up the phone, check out and go through the activation process.


The new baby. This photo was taken with the 4S itself; all the previous photos in this post were taken with my 3GS. Pretty big difference in picture quality.



Went to Noodles for dinner a couple weeks ago. Hadn’t been there in probably 2 years. My chopstick skills have gradually improved (especially since I had to relearn how to use them after realizing I had, um, always been holding them wrong).



The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is currently showing a special exhibit called Edo Pop. The MIA apparently has a large number of woodblock prints, and this was an opportunity to show off more of them. I didn’t realize they had a print of The Great Wave; of the original 5,000, not that many remain.


I generally don’t take photos in an art gallery, as to me it seems a bit rude. I really liked this print though, but sadly I failed to note its title or which one of Hokusai’s contemporaries produced it. If you recognize this (or plan to go to Edo Pop and check it out for yourself), Tweet me or drop me a line, would you?


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