Some thoughts from the month of March:
- Am I the only person who consistently burns the hell out of the roof of my mouth whenever I eat French Bread Pizza? I am done with that stuff. I eat regular pizza multiple times per week with no mouth-scorching issues, but for some reason — perhaps the fact that French Bread Pizza seems much hotter on the inside than the outside — I just can’t eat the stuff without inflicting personal injury. I’ve tried Stouffer’s and Red Baron… both with the same result. The worst part is that often you don’t even know you’re burned until hours later.
- Greg Storey taught me a new drink in Austin: The Rusty Nail. It’s two parts Scotch and one part “Drambuie” (a Scotch-based honey liquour, or something like that). I never drink Scotch or any other straight alcohol, but damn! Not bad! So I get back to Seattle and try to order it in three places and apparently barely anyone has Drambuie up here. I was so psyched to have one though that I ended up ordering a regular Scotch on the rocks for the first time in my life. I fear it’s only a matter of time before I become “one of those Scotch people”. Thanks Airbag. :(
- Normally when I don’t have something nice to say, I try to shut up about it, but regarding SXSW this year: I’m sorry but 80% of the panels I attended were awful at worst and unenlightening at best. I did go to some good ones, so if you spoke on a panel and you got a good amount of laughter, engagement, and positive feedback, then you were probably on one of those. Just like last year, I made it a point to attend mostly sessions which were outside my normal line of work (i.e. no web standards, no CSS, etc), but even so, I learned very little. The most outstanding session to me by far was Harvard Psychologist Daniel Gilbert’s session about his book “Stumbling on Happiness”. I also found that in general, solo sessions were much more engaging than panels. When you have a panel full of people jumping from subject to subject and no experienced moderator to pull them together, the result is a mess. All future SXSW trips will be limited to solo sessions, daytime golf, and of course, the parties. I won’t even go into the parties because everyone else already has, but this year, they were great, great, great. To all of you who I met and consumed spirits with, thank you!
- I was extremely happy to see so many Treos and Casio EX-Z750s down in Austin. I have written extensively about my love for both on this blog and it’s great to know so many people feel the same way. The Casio didn’t surprise me so much as it’s been the best ultracompact camera on the market since it came out a year or so ago, but I figured the SXSW crowd would be more into camera-centric flip-phones than business-centric Treos. I think that with both the Casio and the Treo, it comes down to one thing above all others: user interface. Neither can be beat in that department, as far as I’m concerned, and the SXSW crowd does seem like the type to care deeply about such things.
- I could have been a big success story for Sprint and their Ambassador Program. I wouldn’t mind upgrading my two year old Treo 600 to at least a Treo 650 and I don’t mind switching carriers to do it. So what does Sprint do? They send me a free phone with six months of free unlimited voice, data, TV, and music service. So far, so good. Unfortunately, the phone is a flip phone with no qwerty keyboard or IMAP email support and it comes hardcoded with a Missouri phone number that cannot be changed. What am I supposed to do with that? The only thing I can think to do with it is just use it as a portable TV, but the screen is so small that it’s hardly worth it. On the bright side, it confirmed my long-standing opinion that I have very little interest and/or need for mobile video. It’s probably against the terms and conditions of the program, but I may give this phone (and service) away on Mike Industries. It’s a several hundred dollar value if you’re into it. By the way, I don’t mean to give the impression that the phone and the service suck… I think this is a great program for people who live in Missouri and like flip phones.
- I don’t mean this in a rude manner, but does anyone know what causes “old person smell”? I think I remember seeing a Seinfeld episode about this awhile back, but can’t remember what the conclusion was. What I’m talking about is that distinctive scent that you can sometimes detect around elderly people. I smelled it again the other day in a coffee shop, and for the life of me I could not equate it to any known scent. I’ve had conversations with friends about this so I know it’s not my imagination, but the best we could come up with was that it’s either: a) an old perfume or shampoo that was perhaps popular around 50 years ago, b) medication related, c) denture related, or d) clothing related. I have a great respect for my elders and I’m interested in this subject only for its olfactory implications, but does anyone know what’s going on here?
- If you’re into alcohol-free mouthwash and you think Biotene tastes gross, you should try Crest’s Pro-Health Alcohol-Free Mouthwash. It’s quite palatable.