Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Unusual Suspect

Shout out to Jolly Old London. I come here more often now and when I’m here the blogs just fly off my net book. Now, I try to stick to my regimen, no matter where I am in the world. If I’m in Paris, Georgia or Brooklyn, Michigan or London, Ohio it’s Coffee Shop, workout, solitaire and Law and Order if available (Seinfeld goes with me everywhere.)

Back to THE London…So I did my Coffee Shop hours and was trying to get a workout in before channel surfing for Law and Order: UK (yes, it exists.) I planned on doing push-ups and pull-ups and with the pound to dollar ratio at 1.7; I wasn’t in the mood to pay a gym 25 dollars to not use any of their equipment.

So I decided to keep it old school and workout in the park. In NYC we do chin-ups using the walk sign on the corners. That’s how you get ghetto diesel…and really dirty hands (see pic.) I put on my track jacket and shorts and headed out looking for some reachable apparatus that could support my body weight. I passed some sturdy looking scaffolding but there were men at work so I didn’t break my stride. I made my way to Hyde Park. A lovely park with ponds, wide open space, trees, running and bike paths and yet I didn’t spy a vertical pole I could use to bring by biceps and back to fatigue using my own body weight against gravity.

I finally saw a playground. At the playground, ya know, that’s where I’ll do my pull-ups… It was fenced in and lined with trees but I could see a monkey bar thingy thru a space in the trees. I made my way to the entrance where an official park person stood guard. She told me that you need to be with a child to enter the playground. What? Do a google image search on “chin-ups” and I guarantee pictures of adults doing chin-ups in a park somewhere will be returned. That’s what playgrounds are, workout centers. Just I wasn’t planning on giving my workout a back story of cops and robbers or making gun sounds while pointing with my finger. Now I have to walk away looking like a suspect? Well, put an adult chin up bar right next to the playground and then if I journey into the playground, fine, paint me suspicious.

QSN: Do that search on Chin-ups not pull-ups. Pull-ups might also return babies in pampers pics and land you on some list. Which would be ironic.

Aren’t young kids in a playground with their parents? Two women tried to go in after me and were also denied. (I think because I was still close enough to witness the potential double standard.) At some point our protective measures will lead to children being put in incubators until their teenagers. We’ll call it 2nd birth.

So, I did my push-ups in the grass and my pull-ups on a tree branch I could barely wrap my hands around. Which, given the close proximity to a functional playground should’ve scared people more.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Thai a Yellow Ribbon

I’m sitting in my Bed and Breakfast in Johannesburg, South Africa and dreaming of faster internet service, and Thai food. Decent Thai food, faster internet are both a long but doable walk away. In Los Angeles is Thai food is always a notion away. In LA, the Thai food twinkle in your eye and the delivery of a bouncing bowl of Tum Yum at your table are never more than 15 minutes apart.

Los Angeles’ Thai town sports almost as many Thai restaurants as people. Before I left LA I stopped by my favorite late night Thai spot. It’s in a plaza with 3 other Thai restaurants. Think of a 7-Eleven parking lot with 3 adjacent 7-Elevens, now replace those 7-Elevens with Thai eateries. Throw in a Thai dessert place, A Thai spa and a donut shop and the picture is complete.

Breaking news: The donut shop has been replaced by….(drum roll please)…another Thai restaurant. That is so “thinking inside the box” that it’s actually “thinking outside the box.” That’s 5 restaurants if you’re keeping score. Now that’s a market place! How people choose which one to go to is beyond me. I think I simply favor the one I walked into first. Two of them are definitely more crowded. One seems to be hip and the other busy one seems to cater to Asian people. The one I go to caters to me. Never too busy and yet it seems even more “authentic” than all the others (mostly Thai patrons).

I suspect the question is moot. I haven’t done any investigative work but I wouldn’t be surprised if all 5 were owned by the same person...okay maybe 2 different owners. Either way the semblance of choice combined with great food has them laughing all the way to the spa, which they probably own too but might be turned into another restaurant if its numbers slip.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Shutter To Think

I’m always tickled by the shutter noise my digital camera and cell phone makes when I take a picture. It’s hilarious to me that the designers thought it necessary to add the analog sound. It would be like adding an engine revving sound to an electric car to give drivers the sense that there’s massive horse power cranking under the engine; As if that could completely hide the fact that they can only do 80mph and have to charge it up along with their cell phone every night.

I’m pro electric car and I’m also pro digital photography. I’m not pro adding superfluous features to make these products conform to some notion of the technology they replaced. If you’re going to go that way then why not add a “rewind” switch and a “forward” wheel. We could go all the way with the silliness and make SD memory cards in the shape of film and have people drop off their “film” to one hour photo shops. Or maybe your photo printer should come with a cardboard “one hour photo” mobile kiosk.

Facetiousness aside, pretty soon most young people won’t remember that shutter sound. To them it will be the sound that digital cameras make…for some reason. I’ll either have to explain the sound to them or pretend that I don’t know what that sound means either. While I’m at it I can pretend I don’t get the Lady Gaga-Madonna comparisons and can’t remember when rappers used to say “rahhhh!”

I wrote the preceding text and then hoped on a subway where God provided the button to this blog. I saw a guy playing Pong on his Iphone.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Virtual Insanity

I was practicing typing while listening to the Economist magazine on line. I type blogs, scripts and jokes but I’m far from a typist. I read the Economist magazine but I’m far from an economist. I actually think the entire study of economics is a bit flawed. Technological advances along with good old fashioned human nature seem to necessitate changes in economic theory and wealth distribution that haven’t taken place yet. My support of the previous statements goes beyond the scope of my light hearted feel good blog. But I offer you this video I watched on the Economist online as snack for thought. Dr. Michio Kaku is predicting where technology will go in the next one hundred years. He describes a world much like that in the movie Terminator but thinks it will be groovy. If you have 4 minutes please watch and see if you were scared silly like I was.

Some Questions/comments for Dr. Kaku:
1) If computers can read your mind and robots can build cars then why can’t they pick up trash?! (Mr. Kaku seems to think the robots will eliminate many jobs but not trash removal. Huh?!)

2) Robots will be able to do construction. If they’re that advanced wouldn’t they be able to do anything we do?*

3) When we no longer have to work, when there’s no labor, how will resources be distributed? People either have to be paid based on a new set of criteria (funny blogs perhaps) or we slip into some weird high-tech welfare state.

4) When people can live forever and don’t have to work, will it make sense to let useless people live forever? After we eliminate all reality TV stars how will we determine who else is useless? If you think this video is scary the one before this was about the production of human-like robot eyes that can zoom. *I recently blogged about a supercomputer on Jeopardy. IBM’s Watson dominated two former Jeopardy champs. If fcomputers can dominate on Jeopardy, they can be taught to pick up trash!

Economist Interview: