Archive for February, 2008
CBS News finally broadcast last Sunday evening their report on the relentless prosecution and eventual conviction of former Democratic Governor of Alabama Don Siegelman. It appears that Karl Rove personally led the attack with the help of a willing US Attorney and the Attorney General’s office. Siegelman was convicted and is now serving 8 years, supposedly for bribery, but probably more likely for being a popular Democrat and a Jew.
Amazingly, some stations in Alabama went black during the report. For those in Alabama who didn’t get to see it, here is the entire report. Watch it and weep.
The secret is out. Cat owners would not be surprised to find out that owning a cat is extremely healthy for your heart as reported on WebMD.
This is as good an excuse as any for me to display picures of my new kittens. Aren’t they cute?
Of course the best thing is that these little guys (Teddy and Petie) will keep me alive for a few extra decades.
A funny thing has been happening to me lately when I meet new people and tell them I live in Ballard (a neighborhood in Seattle for you non-Seattlites). They tell me how cool it is to live in Ballard and how much they love my neighborhood. It’s occurred to me that many people in GenX and later don’t even remember how uncool Ballard used to be; all the jokes about Snoose Junction and cars driving along with the seat belt dangling out the door. Instead they know Ballard as the place with all the nightclubs and bars and galleries, etc.
I was as shocked as anybody when The Stranger chose Ballard as the hippest neighborhood in Seattle. More than Capital Hill…and Fremont….and even Queen Anne where I met some new friends last night. To me that’s amazing.
So then why are people trying to ruin my cool neighborhood with all these new condos and townhouses going up, replacing many of the bungalows that so defined Ballard? Not to even mention the old Denny’s and the Sunset Bowl, and the Yankee Diner, and even my neighborhood QFC, all to replaced with condos and more condos.
I agree that maybe this attempt to save the old Denny’s by calling it a landmark building sounds crazy to people in other neighborhoods, but I see it as an attempt by our neighborhood to save itself. Enough is enough. If people like Ballard so much why are they trying to change it?
Now Will over at HorsesAss.Org likes to claim that this is NIMBYism run amok. He claims to be a poor schlub who couldn’t afford to buy a house in the city if it wasn’t for all these new developments going up.
I have to admit he gave me pause here, but Will, honestly have you priced these new condos lately? They are not much cheaper than houses, frankly, and they certainly don’t qualify as low-income housing.
Frankly, I don’t know who is buying all these new condos, and I suspect that they really aren’t selling that well. It appears to be speculators upon speculators, and the situation is getting worse all the time. I predict a crash in the condo market in Seattle. You read it here. Why would people buy a condo in Ballard, a residential neighborhood? They would be much better off buying one downtown, where there are amenities and you don’t need to have a car to get around.
One of Apple’s less famous products in the last couple of years has been the Apple TV. I bought one myself when it first came out about a year ago and have enjoyed it mostly because I can watch movies from my computer and iPod on my large screen TV.
Most people, however, were kind of disappointed that it didn’t allow viewing High Definition movies, even though it is only usable on an HDTV and comes with an HDMI connection.
Now that has all changed.
Apple has updated the software for the Apple TV to 2.0. This is a rare example wherein a product purchased can be upgraded for free (no cost at all) so that it is almost like having an entirely new AppleTV in my home.
You can now rent HDTV movies from iTunes directly from the Apple TV. You have a month to view the movie, although once you start watching it you have to finish within 24 hours. During that 24 hour period you can watch the movie as much as you want, but once the time passes it is automatically deleted.
I tried it out last night. First I updated the software, which took perhaps an hour to download and install. Then I went to iTunes and downloaded a copy of Ratatoille. The price was $3.99 for standard definition and $4.99 for HDTV. By comparison, you can rent it from Comcast’s On Demand for $4.99 in standard definition (I believe).
The downloaded movie is about 1.5 gigabytes in size and takes about an hour and a half to completely download. You can actually start watching it in about 45 minutes if you want, although after about an hour I had to stop for a few minutes to let the download catch up. That was no big deal. I took a break and then returned to finish watching the movie.
Being as how I downloaded an animation, I can’t really tell how good the High-Def was. It was a wide-screened letter-boxed picture and the picture seemed to be High-Def and the audio was really awesome. Comparable to surround sound on a DVD.
My first thought was that I probably would never need to buy a High-Def DVD player if I could download all the movies I wanted in High-Def. Of course, if you prefer to collect DVD’s than this would not be a good option for you. Plus you don’t get all the extras that you get with a DVD, especially a High-DEf DVD. Myself, I very rarely watch a DVD more than once or twice, and losing the extras isn’t that big a deal.
I feel like I have seen the future and I love it!
I may never leave my house again.