Monday, January 25, 2010


Folks, tonight I'm paying homage to Pink Floyd's "Astronomy Domine" ( If you can't grok the beauty then I think you're not human. This was probably my favorite Pink Floyd song from 1981-82. I just loved the reckless abandon of the tune. The longer version on Umma Gumma was on a constant loop on my "record player" during my high school years. I sold the LP at my last garage sale and some lucky stiff walked away with a bit of my past for a few dollars. There is a lot of music being turned out these days. My kids listen to it on the radio every day. I'm trying to stay quiet when they prefer to listen to that stuff they churn out. I just wish that they would open their ears. I wish they could give up on what they are listening to and take a few minutes to let this music wash over them. Just for one minute.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I Love My iPhone

I love my iPhone. It's perfect. It knows all my music and important data. It gives me access to apps that make me happy. It connects me to the Internet. It keeps me connected to the world. It feels perfect in my hand. I never leave home without it. My iPhone is like Monica Bellucci. I feel great using it. I love it. I will always love my iPhone and Apple.
I hate the AT&T network. It sucks. I don't care what Luke Wilson says. I get dropped calls. When I call people sometimes they can't understand what I'm saying. Sometimes I can't call anyone at all. Sometimes I can't get to the Internet and my apps that make me happy. In the heart of Silicon Valley, in New York City, and sometimes just here in New Jersey the network fails me. I hate the AT&T network.
This week I signed up for a Verizon plan and bought a shiny new Android phone. I'm carrying it with me all the time. It tucked into my left pocket (my iPhone is in the right). I don't love my Android/Verizon phone yet. It's clunky. It feels like high school science project. It's like Janean Garofalo. It's not as sensual or sexy as my iPhone but it doesn't drop calls! (Not yet anyway.) People can understand me when I talk to them on my Android phone. It's been connecting me to the Internet even in places where my iPhone, or rather the AT&T network fails me. Some of the apps that make me happy are starting to show up on my Android phone. They aren't as good as the versions on my iPhone but they're getting there.
I don't like carrying two phones but I need to be able to make calls and not have them drop. I need people to be able to understand me when I'm talking to them on the phone. That is the point of the phone to begin with, right? So now I'm learning to love the Verizon network. It's not perfect either because I can't be on the phone and use the data network. Hopefully they'll fix that and I can surf the web when I'm on the phone. That would make me really love them.
As for this whole iPhone/Android thing right now there is no contest. The iPhone hardware and software are far superior to anything that Android has to offer, today. Yeah, there's an approval process to get into the Apple App Store, Yeah, Apple controls the platform. All true. That may be draconian, but it does keep quality very high. On the other hand Android is very open and they are making progress. I think they will catch up eventually and you know...I've always had a thing...for Janean Garofalo.

Kicking Caffeine

So for the second time in probably two years I'm caffeine free. More accurately, I'm stopped taking any extra caffeine in the form of coffee, soda, or other such stimulating drinks. The last time I did this I think it lasted close to six months. I'm not sure how long this current behavior modification will last but I want to make it a life-long change. I have health issues that could probably use reducing my stimulant intake and my life is not what I would call stress free. It was probably a good idea to permanently eliminate all this extra jitter.

The week before the Christmas break I kept track of my coffee intake and it looked something like:

  • 7 double espressos, my morning pick me up
  • 25 cups of regular "american" coffee (a 5 cup a day habit)
  • 10 Diet Cokes

That totaled about 3050mg of caffeine a week or about 436mg per day. According to some sources you shouldn't have more that 300mg per day. I didn't measure other small amounts of caffeine I may be ingesting in chocolate and other sources. I figured they were noise in terms of the other more concentrated sources. So after Christmas week I went cold turkey. After a week or so of bad headaches, irritability, an just plain feeling lousy, I'm off coffee and other caffeinated drinks. I'm feeling pretty good now and I'm sleeping better. I'm still not sleeping much but what sleep I do get feels more sound and less interrupted.

I'm not sure if this will be a complete and total break with coffee. I mean real coffee. Dark rich creamy espresso. I may still enjoy one after a particularly good meal, but I don't think I'm going to be downing coffee at work to stay alert and active or worse just out of habit. I don't like the feeling of needing to have coffee in the morning just to be able to function. That can not be good. I think that automatic, default, consumption behavior is something I need to weed out of other areas of my life as well. For now I'll start with caffeine.