Friday the 13th

The skies are rarely boring above Duke City. Looks like we're getting a visit from an alien spacecraft that overshot Roswell.

The skies are rarely boring above Duke City. Looks like we’re getting a visit from an alien spacecraft that overshot Roswell.

Eek eek eek eek eek, etc.

I’d hide under the bed with Turkish if I didn’t have so much to do. Plus it looks like a nice day to ride the old bikey bike, if you’re not allergic to cedar, juniper and/or elm. Snurk. Honk. Ptui.

Herself and I popped round to Scalo last night to celebrate her (mumble-mumble)th birthday and it was a pleasure as always. Tasty food, excellent service, reasonable prices, and someone else does the cooking and cleaning up afterward; if you’re ever passing through town, feel free to take us out to dinner there. I had the penne con salciccia, and she had grilled sea bass over polenta. We split a plate of insalata di cavolo.

In other news, the MacWizards are still waving their iWands over my sickly computer down to the Apple Store, and this being a Friday the 13th I’m anticipating evil tidings and contemplating strategies.

I have the MacBook Pro, but I can’t say I’m a big fan of extended work on laptops. It’s hard on the neck, and the screen real estate is extremely limited for a guy who’s used to running side-by-side 22-inch monitors. There are workarounds, obviously— add an external monitor and a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse combo — but it’s kind of a clunky setup, and my office already looks like the den of a crackhead who’s great at stealing technology but poor at selling it. Plus one must leave room atop the desk for passing cats. That’s Scripture.

Then, this morning, I happened across a news item I’d overlooked while sneering at Apple’s new MacBook and Watch. Seems Cupertino also dropped the price of its Apple TV to just 69 smackers, which is less than we spent on a birthday dinner last night. We’ve been using a 2010 Mac Mini to stream our TV, but it’s total overkill, about like driving a tack with a barrel bomb. What if I were to buy an Apple TV for streaming video and repurpose the Mini as my main work computer? Other Pat is using one and early reports are encouraging. Eureka!

It’ll take me down to one 22-inch monitor, but that means more room on the desk for cats. Another First World Problem solved. Winning!


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19 Responses to “Friday the 13th”

  1. AnaLuciaSilva Says:


  2. sharon Says:

    Glad the computer issues seem to be on road to resolution. Also the Scalo birthday dinner sounds like it was wonderful. I’ve got a couple of friends that are coming out to Alb this week and asked me if I knew of any good restaurants there. I’ll share your recommendation with them. The only place I could remember was a fantastic french bakery and cafe a bit off the beaten path in Santa Fe.

  3. Libby Says:

    Eureka is right. The wallet and The Turk and Miss M benefit. Genius.

  4. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Nice Picture.

    We are very satisfied with the Apple TV. For $69, it would be hard to go wrong. We really like the iTunes Radio for background music while cooking and such.

    If we come up, dinner is on us.

    Tree are blooming all over here. And the damn mulberry trees are now adding to the misery. But, the jeans will soon be put away and shorts will be the uniform of the day. Trek and our LBS are having a factory demo day and BBQ Sunday morning up at the Brown Canyon trailhead parking lot. Plus the other LBS is having a ladies only ride and treasure hunt on bike paths and lanes around town tomorrow. So, Sandy and I will be riding all weekend.

    And here is something for the “you can’t make up shit this good” category.

    • Steve O Says:

      Got a mini for our teevee watching, which consists of 98% PBS Kids and 1% America’s Test Kitchen. But at $69, seems like the ATV is inevitable. If only because its microscopic. It’s way overdue for a hardware update, but when that happens, you just move one to a guest room. Anything to keep another dollar out of Comcast’s pocket.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        They are tiny for sure. Please be aware that the only way to get video out is using an HDMI cable. Audio goes via HDMI or optical cable only. I’m saving $38 a month after canceling basic cable TV. Check out the Smithsonian channel. They have some neat stuff on there.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yep, samey-same with the Mini. HDMI to the TV and to the home theater’s tuner. Our setup, a blend of Apple, Samsung, Toshiba and Sony, does over-the-air TV (what little there is of it up against the Sandias), NPR, Blu-Ray, and streaming video via the Mini. Sumbitch uses more cables than a San Francisco bondage dungeon.

  5. Steve O Says:

    Tim Cook on Monday: “We want to make our devices as available as possible to as many people as we can … so today we’re announcing a $69 Apple TV and a $17,000 gold Apple Watch.”

  6. Weaksides Says:

    Other Barry here can vouch with Other Patrick on the Apple TV. Finally upgraded the old tube tv to a modern one in December and got the atv that same weekend- so of course they drop the price now. Anywho, it was worth it at the higher price. Another neat thing from the presentation Monday was the deal w/ HBO. Now you can get it through atv without a cable scrip for 15 bucks a month.

  7. Larry T. Says:

    Whattaya get with AppleTV? When I get back to the US of A I’ll set up an old laptop with a VPN, connect it to our HD TV with a cable and (I hope) watch whatever I want…which means European bike races for the most part.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Aw, it’s just another of the ubiquitous cable-dodgers that have become so popular in recent years: Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire, and so on. You can team it with iTunes and a bunch of other services to stream this and that.

      I used an idle laptop to run our TV for a spell, then went to the Mini because it had a smaller footprint and a bit more oomph. But the ATV is about the size of a tape measure, so it (a) takes even less space and (2) frees up the Mini for paying work.

      Shoot, our cheapo Sony Blu-Ray player has a wireless component that lets you plug directly into the Sony Entertainment Empire. All you need is a USB thumb drive and you’re off to the races. I haven’t enabled that yet, figuring I was herding enough twitchy technology around the Duke City Digital Ranch.

  8. Larry T. Says:

    Thanks for the update. SONY? There’s an outfit I dislike about as much as Apple. Back-in-the-day their stuff was good but the TV and DVD player we have with that brand-name on ’em are crap. It will be interesting to see if I can get what I want to watch via an internet connection and VPN once back in the US of A this fall.
    Tomorrow we’re off to see guys race bicycles with no pixels involved…just first-hand viewing live, in-person from Monte Terminillo and Tirreno-Adriatico’s stage 5.
    As the Italians say “Buona Domenica” tutti!
    PS Buon Compleanno to “Herself”!

  9. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Oops, thanks for the reminder Larry.

    Happy Birthday to “Herself!”

  10. Debby, south of Longtucky Says:

    Happy Birthday from one March Baby to another! My B-Day is next week.

    I always dock my laptop with a monitor, usb keyboard and wireless mouse. For me, the deteriorating discs in my neck are the issue. Hunching over in front of the monitor, any monitor, quickly becomes excruciatingly painful. I strive for good posture (or I pay the price).

    Seems like many of us are prone to bad posture (leaning forward, hunched over, neck extended, face right in front of the monitor), especially when stressed over a difficult bug or looming deadline. Pretty sure that’s what did my neck in.

  11. Steve O Says:

    Half an hour until:

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