Saturday, September 14, 2013

You're so myType!

Ohboy! What's arrived in the mail? Could it be...?

It's my myType bluetooth keyboard! Made of silicone, it's light and squeezes into my jeans pocket easily. I'm actually typing this entry on my mobile device and it works very nicely. What has surprised me is that it arrived before I really expected it to. I'm used to seriously long delays ordering stuff through Kickstarter, but this one showed up as promised. Fantastic!

As you can see, the keys are small and misaligned between the left and right sides of the keyboard. It's not difficult to adapt to this oddity, but this is to allow it to fold flat in half, making it compact and pocket-friendly, It's soft and flexible too. But if you want to carry it in a purse or a bag, you can put it in its carrier just to be neat. The carrier also holds the charging cable. One charge lasts for weeks, apparently. Let's find out.

Typing on a 4.8" screen  Is hard òn the eyes, though. Maybe it's time to consider acquiring a full-sized tablet...? One defect I just noticed: the @ and " symbols are switched! Something else to get used to.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Riddick (son) Crusoe

Did anyone read "Robinson Crusoe" by Defoe? If not the movie just came out, starring Vin Diesel as the titular hero, Riddick. Oops, did I just give away the plot?

Privileged individual becomes a castaway on an island far from human civilization. He learns to survive inhospitable terrain, avoiding predators using his wits and uber mad-skillz. He saves the life of a native who would have, in reversed circumstances, eaten him. Said native becomes a loyal friend and hunting partner. Castaway's distress signal gets picked up by renegades who also want to kill him, but they inadvertently provide him a ticket outtahere.

While the plot was predictable, following its precedent quite closely, the narrative in Riddick was arresting enough to make me forget the Crusoe tale. I only saw the parallels hours after. In Defoe's version, Crusoe had technological superiority on his side: guns against the cannibals' primitive melee weapons. Riddick has no weapons and has to improvise with materials scrounged from the landscape to survive the native predators and is vastly outclassed by the bounty hunters' weapons and gear.

That's it. Change one rule and the game becomes almost unrecognizable. Skillz, resourcefulness, terrain knowledge and psychology are Riddick's best assets. This is one movie in which you sympathize with and fear for the bad guys who have no idea what they are hunting. Riddick's mind games torment, frustrate and drive his hunters to breaking point, and watching the combined force crumble from its position of strength is what's fun about this movie.

This doesn't mean Riddick is invulnerable. If he was, it wouldn't be half as exciting to watch. He is mindful of an impending deadline, but rushes nothing. However, although he very carefully orchestrates every attack, not everything goes according to plan. Some nice 'oh, shit' moments keep us grounded with the presence of real danger for Riddick and friend.

I went in with no expectations, wasn't disappointed. The old classic stories were in themselves quite well written. A few cosmetic changes and an old story becomes new again.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

It's not science

Word. Because the way it's currently being done, it's not science, it's indoctrination. The same can be said for GP... although from the prelim exam essays I've been grading, a change may be in the air. Hope it sticks around for a while!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Walkies and foodsies!

It's not like we haven't been taking her out, but the weather's been dreadful these last few days and so long walks have been out of the question. But she's still looking out the window so wistfully. Since the sun made a appearance in the late afternoon... walkies!

Our walk took us back to Flamingg Mangos. It's not billed as a dog-friendly establishment, but there is a back area where people with dogs can sit and eat without disturbing the other customers. The food and service are good. The spaghetti and meatballs (above) is made fresh and probably according to an authentic traditional recipe -- no processed ingredients that I could taste.

Had dessert on the hoof from the Gelato place that just opened at SSC. No pix. Hands too busy holding dessert cup, spoon and dog.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Bumper cars, CTE style

I've always thought S'porean drivers were pretty ok. I've not had much trouble with them. They signal when they change lane; they give space when I indicate I want to change lane; they don't go too fast -- sometimes they go too slow, even, on the wrong lane. The occasional idiot does try to beat the traffic lights, but on the whole my driving experience has been fairly tolerable.

But perhaps my perception has been coloured somewhat by the fact that most times I'm on the road, it's off-peak either before morning rush hour or the going home evening crowd. This morning, I experienced rush hour like never before.

Accident One closed off lanes 1 and 2 on the CTE and I sat in the jam for about a half hour crawling from my egress point to the next exit. En route, two fresh fender-benders caused even further lane obstructions; one a straight rear-ender and the other a miscommunication over a lane change. Both low velocity, thank goodness.

By this time, I'd had it with being on the road, so I abandoned my excursion plans and took the next exit home. Accident Four occurred as I gave way to this huge-ass construction truck signalling to switch to my lane. He had all the space he wanted, but he had to go sideswipe the white Mitsubishi sedan right in front of me. I could see the truck push the sedan towards the left lane where cars were still oncoming. Fortunately, the truck course-corrected before anything more serous could happen.

When the two drivers managed to stop for their mandatory arm-waving conference, I snuck a peek at the damage: sedan's driver-side door severely dented and scraped back towards the passenger door. With that kind of damage, the driver was lucky to even be able to wave his arms. He looked pretty pissed, anyway.

Spent the rest of the morning in bed with the covers pulled over my head. If Jack wants to hit the road, he can go on his own. I'm not coming out again for a while...