30 September 2012

This Week in Awesome (9/29/12)

Oops, I forgot something... this:

There's a bit of a music theme this week, starting with this film from the 1950s showing how vinyl records are produced. (Turn the Record Over via BuzzFeed)

Two people are using a rudimentary field-recording technique to document contemporary folk music. (The 78 Project via The Awl)

Did you ever think about what early designs for the space shuttle may have looked like? (io9)

This week's bit of infrastructure obsession: maps. (Transit Maps)

And finally this week (and circling back to music), Aimee Mann has a new album, Charmer, and she's made a couple of fun and interesting videos for songs from it. The first, for the title track, features a robot version of Aimee played by someone you'll probably recognize. The second, for the song "Labrador," has Jon Hamm playing a fictitious version of the video's actual director, but is more notable because it's a shot-for-shot recreation of the video for Til Tuesday's "Voices Carry," which will be familiar to anyone who watched MTV during the 1980s. (Stereogum)

29 September 2012


After last night's musings on aging and the passage of time, I guess it's only appropriate that it's time to make note of another anniversary: it was six years ago today that I started this... thing.

I started doing this without any firm conception of what I wanted it to be: I mainly wanted to encourage myself to write more regularly and frequently, so by those parameters I have far exceeded any expectations of my own. It's been fun to have it grow and evolve right in front of me, so to speak, and there is also a distinct sort of pleasure that comes from having ideas arrive in my brain, or at least a vague feeling of encouragement from these indications that my brain does in fact still work as it's supposed to, sometimes.

Blogging has also led to some new acquaintances, and I appreciate everyone that visits to read and comment.

Regularly scheduled programming (TWiA) will return later tonight...

28 September 2012

I Don't Wanna Rock As Much Anymore, and Preferably While Sitting Down When I Do

Last week I went to the Paradise club to see the band Stars, and it got me thinking about a number of things.

I've been to dozens of shows at the Paradise over the years, possibly more than a hundred, but as I walked in I realized that it had been at least three years since I'd last been there. The Mrs. is not much of a live music fan, and her tastes remain about where they were when she was in high school and college; even the bands that she loved then aren't enough of an enticement to her. She also tends to go to sleep fairly early, which doesn't work well for seeing bands at clubs.

So when a band I want to see comes around, I either find a friend to go along or go alone. And even though music is a highly personal experience, I don't enjoy going alone, which makes me less likely to want to go in the future.

As I watched one of the opening bands last Friday I thought about how much I used to enjoy going to see bands play live, and how it isn't really as meaningful to me anymore. I'm approaching 50, and having to stand on a concrete floor for two or three hours surrounded by people who weren't even born when I saw the Pixies play in the same club (as the opening act for Throwing Muses) definitely takes some of the fun out of the equation.

At this point I definitely prefer shows with seating, but the possibility of that depends on the band and the venue. Between bands I went up to the balcony and found a spot to sit down for a while, but when Stars came on I had to get up again, or else I would have been able to hear the band but not see them, and then I might as well have stayed home, which is sort of what I was thinking by that point anyway.

I also don't get all the kids who are either filming the show or texting their friends. If you're doing that stuff, you can't be enjoying the performance in the moment. Sure, I could film a show and watch the video later, but I would rather use my memory to recall the experience, and I worry that this type of specific experiential memory is something that young people aren't going to have, or know how to have.

Also, you may recall that I don't drive, and Boston's early-to-bed transit system means getting home from a show probably involves a cab ride; last week the cab home cost me $25, after having paid $25 for the show ticket. Imagine if I lived further away from the city.

As it is now I only go to see a handful of shows a year, but going forward it's probably going to be fewer. Age is relative, or just a number, but it's still a reality that must be faced. Fun ain't what it used to be.

27 September 2012


Last Saturday was the wedding after-party I mentioned earlier this month, for which I bought the linen jacket. It worked out quite well; the evening was on the warmer side, but not uncomfortably so; inside the bar I was able to keep the jacket on for two hours and not feel overheated at all.

An event like this is a perfect opportunity to get a little creative with an outfit, and the jacket was a blank canvas asking to be surrounded by color. A pocket square was just what I needed for that extra little touch.
I cheated a little; I purchased this cloth with a square in mind, but I have not yet gotten around to finishing the edges, so they stayed hidden inside the pocket.

(As usual with my camera, the color is a bit off; the actual fabric ground is a bit more red than it appears here.)

26 September 2012


I updated my iPhone to the latest operating system last week. I don't really have any opinion one way or the other about the Maps app, except that when using the traffic overlay it only shows problem areas, whereas Google's map showed traffic flow as green, yellow, or red, which is easier to take in at a glance. On the other hand, the new map app does seem to scroll and zoom in and out much faster, which is frequently more important when trying to obtain information in a moving vehicle.

But Apple has made other changes that you might not notice immediately. I don't make a lot of phone calls these days, so it wasn't until a few days later that I went into the phone function and found that Apple had made a significant change to the appearance of the dial pad. The number pad has been reversed from white digits on black keys to black digits on white keys. Not only is this ugly, it's also harder for me to read. There just isn't as much contrast.

Obviously this isn't anything crucial, but I haven't seen it mentioned in any reviews of iOS 6. This might be one of those things that you can change if you are willing to "jailbreak" your phone, but I don't feel confident enough to undertake such an endeavor.

25 September 2012

Too Soon?

There's a house around the corner from us that's already fully decorated for Halloween. I know the mornings have been getting brisk around here, but it seems like it might be more reasonable to at least wait until it's officially October. Then again, I've seen reports of Christmas decorations starting to show up in stores...

24 September 2012

Emmy Fatigue

I spent last night flipping back and forth between the Patriots game and the Emmy awards ceremony. I'm kind of glad I didn't end up devoting my full attention to either event, because both were letdowns (for different reasons).

As usual, most of the Emmy winners were people who had already won, making for a predictable and disappointing program. I haven't seen Homeland, but I've heard many good things about it, and I'm sure I will get around to seeing it soon. I'm happy the academy recognized the show and its actors and creators, but it came at Mad Men's expense. I'm less disappointed about the show not winning a fifth Best Drama award than I am that Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Christina Hendricks, and Jared Harris were shut out of the acting awards. At this point it seems no one from MM is ever going to win an acting Emmy, which is a real shame.

It was nice to see Louis CK get recognized for his work on his great, great show. Maybe Amy Poehler's turn will come next year. On the other hand, I'm not sure at the exact point Ricky Gervais became such an utter asshole that I can no longer stand the sight of his face nor the sound of his voice, but when he appeared last night I had to switch back to the game. And Jimmy Kimmel was a big disappointment as host; pretty much everything he did and said fell flat.

I sincerely hope Lena Dunham uses some of what she's earned/earning from HBO for Girls to invest in the services of a stylist. Look, I get it, you're a 26-year-old hipster chick chronicling the lives of twentysomething hipster chicks: you're supposed to be edgy and look like you don't care about stuff like fashion or beauty. But that dress looks like something that your grandmother would have rejected as too frumpy, and I don't think you understand how eye makeup is supposed to be used.

P.S. I love Elisabeth Moss as a blonde, but the dress she chose to wear was iffy, too. Nice cut, awful fabric.

23 September 2012

This Week in Awesome (9/22/12)

A busy weekend for us, but in a good way: happy events to attend. I'm taking care of this tonight because I don't think I'll have time tomorrow...

Time-lapse time: Boston gets its due. A lot of work went into this, it's beautiful, and the music goes with it really well. And as a bonus, if you enjoy this sort of thing you can visit this site for lots more. (Vimeo via boston.com)

Have you ever wondered how many times Bruce Springsteen has played [city name here] over the course of his four-decade career? Here you go. (OpenCulture via Metafilter)

Remember Misery Bear? He's back for another misadventure, this time on the singles scene. (BBC Three via The Daily What)

This is a popular time of year for weddings (our anniversary is this coming week). But be careful: you don't always know what sort of celebration you're in for. (Refinery29 via Kempt)

And finally this week, you know how sometimes a person can resemble an animal? This is sort of like that, only with NFL quarterbacks, and not with animals. (BuzzFeed)

22 September 2012

(Not So) Retro Video Unit (9/21/12)

For this installment I'm moving out of my usual range of 1970s and '80s favorites and obscurities, because I went to see this band last night. I first saw Stars live back in 2007, and this song, "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" (from their 2004 album Set Yourself on Fire) is still one of their best.

It seems they've gotten better known over the ensuing five years, because when they played this last night the entire house sang along. It's also just a really cool video and, given its icy setting, a distinctively Canadian one as well (the band is from Montreal).

21 September 2012

Next Issue Please

After finishing the computer switch, my next tech task was to sync my iPod with the computer. The computer already had the bulk of my music on it, roughly duplicating what was on my computer at home. But since iTunes doesn't let an iPod sync to more than one computer, I had cheated, sort of. I used a freeware utility called Senuti (get it?) that works in reverse: it pulls music off an iPod and loads it into iTunes.

I could have just left it alone and continued using the iPod with the songs and playlists from my old home computer. But being stubborn, I wanted to have everything matching and up to date. Unfortunately the computer didn't want to cooperate. Each time I tried to sync the iPod to the iMac, it would choke on a random song during the sync process and I would get an "unknown error." Each time it was a different song at a different point in the process, so I did not believe I had any corrupted files. I gave up for a couple of days, tried again, and got the same result.

I had already been thinking about upgrading to the newest Apple operating system, which came out a couple of months ago (something my old computer didn't have the specs to handle), so I thought that doing that might eliminate the sync problem. Turns out it did, though I don't have the slightest idea why. Now the only issue is that my iPod is full, but I have a lot more music in iTunes that won't fit.

I think the solution to that might be to spend $25 a year to sign up for iTunes Match, which mirrors your entire music library in the cloud. That would let me play my music through my iPhone without having to have the files physically stored on it, which would be great because the iPhone's capacity is half of the iPod's.

20 September 2012

Watch Wednesday Thursday (9/20/12)

I have been endeavoring to behave myself with regard to buying stuff, and in fact I bought this watch six or seven weeks ago. I was browsing the website of RumbaTime, the company that sells this watch, and found some women's watches in their sale section for as little as $5 or $10. After deciding to get something for the Mrs., I added this one to the order for myself. It wasn't on sale, but it was only $35 for this version (or $5 less for one with a "slap" style strap instead of nylon).
This is a perfect summer watch; it weighs next to nothing (the case is plastic) and it doesn't matter if it gets bumped or dinged up. It came with a black nylon strap, but I switched it to the blue one I picked up at Target a while back, and I think it looks better than all-black, especially in warm-weather months. Just about any bright color would work with the black case.

19 September 2012

Grooming Garage: Brush Your Hair

I have used a brush on my hair instead of a comb for as long as I can remember. At one time I had very thick hair, but now most of it is gone, at least from the top of my head (thanks, heredity!). But regardless of how much hair I do or don't have, I find a brush easier to use and more effective.

For years I bought whatever junky, low-cost brushes I found at the drug store, not realizing that some types of bristles were better for my hair than others. Then, about 15 years ago we went to New York to visit a friend of the Mrs. who had recently moved to Brooklyn after finishing grad school in the midwest.

On our way to visit the Whitney Museum, we passed a fancy-looking cosmetics and beauty store a block up Madison Avenue. The Mrs. and her friend wanted to check it out, so after we left the museum we went back. It was called Zitomer, and it's still there. It was a long, narrow store, and I was bored at first, until I discovered the men's section back in a corner. They carried products I had never seen before, mainly shaving creams and other grooming products from England. They also had hair brushes from England that happened to be 40% off, so naturally I bought one.

The brushes are from a company called Denman, and are also made in England. I've been using that same brush for the past 15 years. The bristles are boar, which help bring out the natural oils in hair, and they are set in a cushioned base, which makes using the brush more comfortable. Recently though, I noticed that my brush was looking rather worn, and I realized that even though I use it every day, I rarely think about my hair brush.

I decided to replace it with another just like it. Zitomer did not have the same brush available on its website, so I searched around online and found what I was looking for available through Amazon and several different online beauty supply retailers. I was glad to see that Denman's brushes are still made in the UK. I paid a bit more this time, but if I get 15 years of use out of this one, it will be worth it.

17 September 2012

Words Not Minced

Last week was Fashion Week in New York, where designers show their collections for the forthcoming season (in this case, next spring) and everyone loses their collective mind over some trend or other. Even though I spend an inordinate amount of time shopping for and thinking about clothes, I don't pay any attention to what goes on at Fashion Week, because it has absolutely no relevance to how I dress or what I might consider buying.

Designers often structure their collections around a theme, which is an entirely justifiable creative impulse. However, sometimes the chosen theme is so obtuse, recycled, or just plain wrong that it merits special (negative) attention.

I consider Michael Bastian a talented designer whose work is best seen in his own namesake collection. Those clothes are classically styled but with a more modern cut, made exceptionally well of beautiful fabrics, and are obscenely expensive.

His line for Gant, however, is another thing entirely, and a young thrifter and blogger from Portland, ME who goes by A Fistful of Style has done a deservedly venomous takedown of the spring 2013 collection from Gant by Michael Bastian. Read it first, then see for yourself. It is honestly insulting to think that he and Gant expect people to pay good money for this horrible-looking retread crap, but obviously I am not the target market for the line.

16 September 2012

This Week in Awesome (9/15/12)

The hardest thing about weekends lately? Two whole days without any T.J. Hooker reruns. I know I said I was going to try not to make a habit of watching it, but I am obviously weak, and not working does things to you...

Photos were being manipulated long before there was Photoshop. (BuzzFeed FWD)

Here's a bunch of useful cooking info in one graphic. (The Roosevelts via Daily What)

Penny Marshall has a book coming out. Here's "Penny Marshall" doing a promo for it. (Deadline Hollywood via Videogum)

And finally this week, it may seem like Jimmy Kimmel is taking aim at an easy target, but I see it as more the fault of the people responsible for the source material being on TV in the first place. (Vulture)

13 September 2012

Night Music

Our dog has been on a pretty regular walk schedule for a long time. I used to walk her in the morning before leaving for work, and the Mrs. would walk her when she got home. When she started school last fall, I would come home early on the day the Mrs. had classes to take the dog out. Given her age, she gets a couple more trips out to the yard each evening, one around 7:30 and the other around midnight.

For the past few months the dog has been waking us up between 6 and 6:30 most days; 7 is late for her. That means she wants to go out again around mid-afternoon. For a week or two, she has been needing to go out again an hour or so after her mid-evening yard visit, and during the past week she has woken us needing to go out around 4 am. These temporary changes in her schedule are not totally unprecedented, but they are somewhat unusual.

For the past several nights I have been taking the dog on another walk around 11 pm, hoping to prevent more 4 am wake-ups from deep sleep. At that hour the neighborhood is pretty quiet, with the exception of motorcycles and the occasional tow truck or flatbed from the garage nearby. We walk on a side street because there are fewer distractions (these things make a difference when you're hoping a dog will focus long enough to do what it needs to), and I have discovered that we have a neighbor who is an accomplished pianist.

This person has been playing or practicing at this late hour each night this week when I've walked the dog down this particular side street. Their windows are open, and the sounds are flowing out freely into the night. I don't recognize any of the music being played, but I would characterize it as neither pop nor classical; it reminds me of Scott Joplin more than anything else.

The houses in our neighborhood are spaced only about ten feet apart, so the playing must be audible to the player's immediate neighbors, but from more than a couple of houses away it can't be heard, so I have been stopping in front of the house for a minute or so to listen. It's quite a pleasant change from the typical outside sounds we hear during warm weather.

12 September 2012

Domestic Stuff

The Mrs. started her second and final year of grad school last week. She has three three-hour classes one day each week (with some time between classes to eat and such), just like last fall, and an internship (different place than last year) that she's required to be at 20 hours a week, which she's choosing to do in two 10-hour days. That leaves her weekends free, along with Mondays and Fridays. Much of that time is spent reading, researching, writing, and otherwise studying.

This is a rather aggressive schedule, but it's of her choosing. The college is about 20 miles away, so it's preferable to her to have to go to campus only one day a week. Likewise the internship is also about 20 miles away, but in a different direction, so it wouldn't be convenient to be there for part of a day and then go to the school for a class.

it's also made possible by the fact that she is choosing to go to school full-time and not work, in order to complete the program in two academic years. That's right, neither of us is working. Kind of funny, really, because her decision was based partly on the belief that I had job security.

But things are fine, actually. She qualified for loans, and is eligible to collect unemployment under a training provision (basically it says you aren't working or looking for work because you are devoting your time to furthering your career). I was fortunate enough to get a rather generous severance package, and I'm also collecting unemployment while I look for another job. I am paying for health insurance through COBRA. I do have to force myself to cut back on my shopping, which isn't easy but is necessary.

Life is unpredictable, and things happen when you aren't expecting them. But we don't have children and, perhaps most crucially, we have no long-term debt (her loan will be repaid after she graduates), so as long as we can meet our living expenses we're good. and the dog is getting very spoiled by us being around so much.

Sunday TV Note

Do you watch football games on Sundays? Do you watch or record shows that come on CBS on Sunday nights after football games? Then you know the frustration that frequently arises from this situation. If a game goes into overtime, then all the shows that follow air late, sometimes up to 30 minutes late, occasionally longer than that.

Fox solved this problem several years back by basically giving up on showing any regular programming in the 7 o'clock hour. They created The OT, a postgame wrap-up show that can run for any length of time until 8 pm, when The Simpsons comes on.

The problem with this solution, at least from CBS's point of view, is that they air 60 Minutes at 7 pm, and have been doing so for decades. I'd been thinking for at least the past year that CBS ought to try something like what Fox does: during the fall football months, make the length of 60 Minutes variable, and give it another half-hour (or even an hour) somewhere else during the week—Saturday night, maybe? not much going on then besides reruns—to air additional segments that didn't fit in the Sunday show.

It's very unlikely that CBS would ever do that, though. Then, to make things just a little worse, the NFL announced that this year, the late games would start ten minutes later, to allow the early games time to finish without having to cut away in certain markets for contractual reasons. So on a good day, even without any overtime, 60 Minutes isn't going to start until 7:30, pushing back The Amazing Race, The Good Wife, and whatever now airs after that (I have no clue, at the moment).

CBS has decided to acknowledge the annoyance by formally pushing back the official start time of 60 Minutes to 7:30 on Sundays when they are airing two games (this article has the specific dates for this season). This way, if you watch The Good Wife (I came to the show late, but I'm a fan now) you can set your DVR accordingly, and it will know that the show won't be starting until at least 9:30. You will still need to add some padding at the end for the possibility of an overrun, depending on what happens with the late games that day, but you'll at least have a better chance of getting it right.

11 September 2012


I finally finished switching computers, although I would have been done a lot sooner if I had not drawn out the process so much.

The big time sucks were the iTunes library and browser bookmarks. I could have saved myself a lot of trouble if I had set up both computers with iCloud, but I didn't see the point of doing that with a computer I was about to stop using. There was also a reason why I didn't want to use Firefox Sync to match the bookmark sets, but I've already forgotten what it was. I copied the bookmarks file over to  the new Mac, but I still had to visit each site manually and re-bookmark it.

As for iTunes, I copied a bunch of music that was on the older computer onto a flash drive and dropped it in the newer one, so that only took a few minutes. I was trying to find a way to transfer my playlists instead of having to rebuild them, but when I took a good look at my music library I realized that I had only three playlists that I used with any regularity, and that I had put any effort into compiling. So I just went ahead and recreated them manually with the two computers sitting side by side.

Hopefully this type of thing won't be an issue in the future, because either my stuff will be living in the cloud (or at least backed up to a cloud somewhere) or I'll just be moving to a new computer (one without anything on it that I want to keep) and can use the Migration Assistant to automate the process.

09 September 2012

This Week in Awesome (9/8/12)

It seems weird to be getting ready to watch the first Patriots game of the season while the air conditioning is still on. Just sayin'...

An intrepid photographer has blended pictures from the 1906 earthquake with pictures of the same locations taken in the present day. The results (part 1; part 2) are fairly mind-bending. (BuzzFeed)

Have you seen the trailer for Skyfall? They showed it before Raiders at the IMAX theater, and it looks like it's going to play in IMAX at some theaters, which is pretty cool. Anyway, how about a supercut of Bond movie chases? (Jalopnik)

Did you watch the season finale of Breaking Bad? If not, this ins't in any way spoilery, but you might want to skip over it just the same. If you did see it, or decided to read on anyway, this person takes a swing at answering one of the more interesting bits of trivia that came up during the episode. (Quora via Videogum)

Have you ever wondered about where the @ symbol came from, or how it came to be used in email addresses? (Smithsonian magazine)

And finally this week, a bit of Mad Men fluff to help us fans bide our time until next season. As you're watching it, think about how much work went into making it. (Richard Sandling via Basket of Kisses)

07 September 2012

Retro Video Unit (9/7/12)

Yep, remembered to do it on the correct day this time...

Of all the music and videos I have posted here from the late 1970s and MTV eras (those tags are perhaps overly broad, but they'll do), New Order is probably one of the most personally significant bands to me. During my freshman year in college I was walking down a hall in the dorm and heard a song coming out of someone's room that was so unlike anything I had heard before that I literally came to a stop so I could listen to it.

It turned out it was being played on a college station, and I was eventually able to learn that the song was "Temptation" by New Order. If the only version of it you know is the one that was included on the greatest-hits album Substance, you haven't really heard the song, because that isn't the version of the song as it was originally released. (The version on Substance is lighter and poppier, and the vocals are sung at a higher pitch.)

But there's no video for "Temptation," so I'm going with "Blue Monday," another particularly fine rendering of New Order's distinctive style. I don't recall ever seeing this on MTV, which isn't all that surprising, and makes it that much more interesting (to me, at least).

Wedding Casual

We have a wedding to attend in a few weeks, so of course I have been thinking about what I might wear. But it isn't going to be a typical wedding, so it's unlikely I'll wear what I would typically choose wear to a wedding.

The bride is a friend and former coworker of the Mrs., and as we did, she and her fiancé are paying for the wedding themselves. To save money, the actual wedding and reception are to be family-only; what we are attending is the "after-party" at a local tavern, on a Saturday evening.

The first thing I decided is that there will be no point in wearing a suit or a tie. No one else will be as dressed up as that, which I find unfortunate, but I also don't to be the one guy who shows up in a suit and tie and ends up looking foolish.

Also, it will probably still be fairly warm; our wedding was in the last week of September and I believe the high that day was around 72. By 7 pm it will be starting to cool off, but it's likely to still be in the mid-to-upper 60s that evening. I want to look sharp but casual, and be comfortable.

I never had much interest in linen, but I'm realizing its value in warm-weather dressing situations. A linen jacket with only a partial lining is about the most comfortable thing a guy can wear on a warm day when the situation calls for any amount of dressing up. A couple of weeks ago I happened to see a blog post somewhere that mentioned a cream-colored linen jacket, and it made me realize that such a jacket would be a great piece to build an outfit around for this event.

I scanned the sale sections of some websites; the best option I found was at Nordstrom Rack, but the marked-down price was $120 and they were sold out of my size anyway. I was hoping to find something for less, if possible, so I turned to eBay. I immediately got really, really lucky: I found an auction for a cream Brooks Brothers linen jacket, made in Italy, in my size.

It has patch pockets, which are more casual than the set-in style pockets you typically see in suits and sportcoats. This is a nod to the more relaxed nature of dressing up in warm weather. The measurements indicated that this jacket would very likely fit me quite nicely. Amazingly, no one else bid on it, so I walked away with it for $50. It arrived yesterday, and it fits me perfectly; I don't even need to have the sleeves altered. It may have been worn, but it appears new.
There are some creases from being folded for shipping, but those can be steamed out easily. It's a three-button jacket, and from the position of the buttons it looks like it might be a decade or so old. I'd prefer that the lapels roll to the center button, which is more traditional, so I'll have a go at it with the iron, but I'm not especially worried about how successful I'll be.

Now to figure out what I'm going to wear with it...

05 September 2012

The Picture Just Got Bigger

When's the last time you saw Raiders of the Lost Ark? Oh, excuse me, Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Lost Ark? It was probably a DVD that you own, or maybe a Blu-Ray. Well, starting this Friday you'll have one week to see the 1981 classic on an IMAX screen, which is, you know, super-big and has awesome sound.

Go to the IMAX website for details and to find a theater near you.

04 September 2012

Mac to Mac

All right, my imaginary vacation is over. Now it's back to my ongoing sorta permanent vacation, otherwise known as unemployment.

Not working has some advantages, though. The weather was really nice last week. The Mrs. and I had lunch with the Proper Bostonian outside at Piattini on Newbury Street, and we even had a brief visit from the male contingent of our West Coast relatives (our two nephews and their stepdad), who were on their way back from visiting one of the stepdad's relatives in Vermont. We had a nice dinner at Watch City Brewing in Waltham, and a tasty brunch at the Warren Tavern in Charlestown.

TWiA took the weekend off, in case you were wondering. I had intended to post something yesterday, but I got wrapped up in a home tech project: when I left my job I was able to take my computer with me. It has a lot of useful software on it that I didn't already have on my home computer, so I had planned to switch over eventually. My current monitor is six years old and is starting to show its age (it's too dim when first turned on, and takes a couple of minutes to stop flickering and reach proper brightness), so it seemed like the right time to make the switch. The work computer is an iMac, so the external display won't be needed.

When you buy a new Mac to replace an older one, you can use a utility called Migration Assistant to copy all the relevant stuff from old computer to new. But with a machine that's been in use for a while and has software you want to keep, I'm not sure the assistant would work. I suppose I could have gone into an Apple store and asked someone, but I remembered that you can also connect two Macs with a Firewire cable and make one appear on the desktop of the other, just like an external drive, and then just drag files from one to the other.

Now that that's been accomplished, I need to go through the browsers and make sure I have all the bookmarks I want, and go through iTunes and make sure I have all the music I want. Then the old computer can be officially decommissioned.

01 September 2012

Reduced Reductions

Every year at this time, outdoor store Hilton's Tent City has a big sale, and offers 25% off outerwear from brands like Barbour and Filson that bloggers like me tend to like. Two years ago I bought an American-made Filson waxed-cotton jacket there.

The other day I went to the Hilton's website to confirm the sale and was dismayed, but not really surprised, to find that the discount has been decreased to 10%. I guess maybe the sale got too popular, or it's just tough to make a living running an independent store these days.

Even with the decreased discount, if you're thinking of buying something outdoorish, Hilton's is a great place to shop. If you live in the Boston area, it's an old-fashioned shopping experience the likes of which is becoming increasingly rare; if you're out there in webland, you can still support an independent business.