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Indiana State Fair 2017 Photos, Part 1: The Farmers’ Surprise Press Conference

Sonny Perdue!

“For the last time, I am NOT Ed Asner and I have no idea who should star in a Lou Grant reboot. Next question.”

It’s that time again! The Indiana State Fair is an annual celebration of Hoosier pride, farming, food, and 4-H, with amusement park rides, cooking demos, concerts by musicians that other people love, and farm animals competing for cash prizes and herd bragging rights. My wife Anne and I attend each year as a date-day to seek new forms of creativity and imagination within a local context. Usually we’re all about the food.

This year we ran into something we hadn’t expected: a very special appearance by a member of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet. Not exactly a common fairground attraction.

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Apple’s 9/9/14 Superinfomercial and the New U2 Album, Track by Track

Songs of Innocence!

Ready and waiting for its future home on a Starbucks spinner rack.

I’m not a regular Apple customer. The last time I used one of their products was in college in 1991 when I took a “Statistical Psychology” class that was equipped with three rows of Macintosh units. In a time when DOS and BASIC had been the sole domains in my little computing world, the Macintosh was my introduction to the concept of the Graphic User Interface, which wasn’t a commonplace thing until the advent of Windows. Yes, I’m that old.

But I’ve never owned an Apple product, bearing in mind that digital downloads barely count as “ownership” in my mind, and my iTunes “library” so far is more like a Hot Wheels bookmobile. Apple’s ostentatious new-product announcements are usually outside my fields of interest. I’m not an early adopter in any tech-related areas. At all.

New iPhone? Pass. My phone is a Samsung S2 that accomplishes my simple daily needs as long as I remember to reboot once a week. (Longtime MCC readers may recall I was once staunchly anti-smartphone in general, until life gave me reasons not to be.) My phone isn’t broken, and once survived a ten-foot drop onto a metal catwalk with zero damage. I’m good for now.

New smartwatch with triple-digit price tag? Pass. I can’t function away from home without wearing a watch (see: “old”), but I rarely need to shop for a new one because any given fifteen-dollar waterproof department-store digital watch with a lithium battery will last me years. They’re arguably one of Walmart’s most durable products, and it’s faster for me to glance at my wrist than it is to pocket and unpocket any other time-telling gizmo, including my phone. And that lithium battery drains ten thousand times more slowly than any phone battery will.

But then Apple went in an unexpected direction with their third platform plank: a new U2 album. For free. Finally, a product in my price range and tangential to my personal interests. Sold!

Right this way for the listening results…

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