New Thing #155: Magic Trackpad

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I’ve been using Mac OS X Lion for over a week now and I’m still getting used to it. And I’ll admit that it’s been growing on me. But one thing that’s become clear to me, this OS really wants to integrate touch input into the experience something fierce.

Luckily I got a taste of it wiht my Magic Mouse. Unfortunately, gestures on such a small and rounded surface just feel awkward and clunky. So I broke down and bought myself a Magic Trackpad today.

I’m happy to say that fullscreen apps, Launchpad and Mission Control make so much more sense now. I love swiping between full screen apps at a breakneck pace. I love pulling up Mission Control seamlessless. I love being able pinch outwards (if there is such a thing) to scatter all my windows off my desktop at once. Because when these gestures in Lion work, they work very well.

There’s only one problem, selecting text is a colosal pain in the ass. Sure, double tapping selects a word and triple tapping selects a paragraph, but what about when I just want to select a sentence in the middle? I have to awkwardly press the Magic Trackpad with one finger and then drag with another. 

So it’s a bit of a mixed bag. The trackpad makes interfacing with the OS simpler, smoother and genuinely makes you feel more connected to the hardware. But editing type with it is for shit.

PS. I don’t think there’s anyway I could use this for design work, so I won’t be throwing my mouse out the window just yet. 

PPS. I just accidentally found out that all you have to do is slide three fingers across the trackpad to select text. I take it all back. Steve Jobs can keep my money…again.

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New Thing #154: See Steve Castellano Play

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I’ve seen my friend Steve perform in the board room, at a party and, almost, at an open mike comedy night. But I’ve never seen him perform on the keyboards.

That’s a shame because it seems like the most natural place for him to express himself.

From the moment I found out that the exceptional copywriter I worked with played music I knew I should see him play live.

Unfortunately something always got in the way of attending his gigs until tonight. And this guy knows his stuff.

Rocking dual keyboards he blew through every set they played. It wasn’t the vocals or guitars I heard in the parking lot but the keyboards.

What more do I need to say…other than I am WAY out of my element in this strip mall Scarborough honky tonk bar.

New Thing #153: Read Kingdom Come

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Even though I’ve never followed the DC Comic universe very closely my friend Tom insisted that I read Kingdom Come. This seminal book follows a world where Superman’s retired and the new generation of superheros have run amok. When he comes back form his self imposed exile things, well, things don’t go so well.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that Superman isn’t my favourite comic book hearo. He’s not nearly as boring as The Flash, but he’s still pretty bland in my eyes. The only two DC characters I really enjoyed as a kid were Batman and Lobo of all people. 

But reading this book made me wish that I knew the history of every character in this universe because I’m pretty sure every one of them shows up in one panel or another. It’s an unabashedly beautiful looking book and the writing is unrelentengly. Every page is a meticulous painting; every word is filled with weight and meaning. I just wish I knew who more of the damn characters were that I was seeing. 

I’m really glad that I read this one.

New Thing #152: Grimsby Farmers’ Market

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I’m having a nice little vacation visit at my parents this week and today we went into town for the Grimsby Farmers’ Market.

I had no idea that my home town shuts the main street down on Thursdays and let’s a variety of fruit farmers, artisans. musicians and others set up shop downtown.

It was even busy at two in the afternoon. I swear that we stopped to talk to half the town, including a guy I used to go to high school with. But it was fun and I got to see a lot of folks I hadn’t seen in years. And my mother got to show off Audrey.

I’m glad to see the town embracing local food and giving a bit of the finger to car culture in general. That’s probably the pinko-commie in me talking though.

And I bought a lot of peaches. Of course.

New Thing #151: Use My Dad’s Meat Slicer

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Growing up I was scared shitless of my Dad’s meat slicer. He instilled the fear of god into me about the thing, and rightfully so; I never touched it until today.

I was convinced I’d lose not only a finger but and arm or a leg in some freak ham slicing incident.

So I was both excited and full of trepidation when he let me slice up a mound of peameal bacon for dinner tonight.

I started off ridiculously slow but by the third slice I was plowing through that hunk of meat. It didn’t stand a chance, really. I felt the slicing lust run through me and I wasn’t going to stop until I had a mountain of meat.

That was awesome, but I think I enjoyed it a little more than I should have.

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New Thing #150: Car Detailing

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I finally decided that I needed to get my car detailed. A year ago. Now, it’s finally happened.

We bought our Honda Fit in 2007, shortly before our daughter was born. Four years, three Christmas trees and seventy-two pounds of goldfish crackers later this sucker is finally clean.

I considered doing it myself, but that meant borrowing a shop vac, renting an apholstry cleaner and generally inhaling chemicals for an entire Saturday afternoon. Call me crazy, but I’d rather be playing video games.

It was pricey, even using a WagJag discount offer, but I think it’s worth it to not have to shake dead pine needles off my ass everytime I get out of my car. And although they weren’t able to completely remove the tree sap from the first tree off our dashboard, I’m willing to look past it. I think the only thing capable of besting that stain now is fire.

New Thing #149: Mercury Espresso Ice Cream

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Dam, this might just be the best ice cream I’ve ever had. 

I headed over to Ed’s Real Scoop tonight because I knew that they whip up a flavour using Mercury Espresso’s own bean mixture. And although Mercury has occasionally been dickish to me in the past, there’s no denying that they pull one of the finest shots in the city.

This ice cream is the perfect blend of that and high-end frozen treat. It’s silky smooth on all fronts and the espresso taste comes through beautifuly without overpowering the creaminess of the scoop.

There’s no way I’m making a trip down to the Beaches now without stopping for one of these. Fantastic!

New Thing #148: Yellow Raspberries

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Ok, this one turned out to be pretty lame.

See, I love raspberries and was intrigued by the yellow ones that Shauna brought back from the farmer’s market the other day. Turns out though that yellow raspberries are pretty much just like red ones. Maybe a tad bit more tart, which is nice, but nothing earth shattering.

I totally should have blogged abou the amazing homemade ice cream sandwiches that Shauna made for desert but it felt more like a new thing for her than me. 

New Thing #147: Tarot Reading

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I had the pleasure of having my Tarot cards read tonight. It was rather spur of the moment at a party for my friend Sasha.

My mother has always been into this stuff but I’ve always been somewhat skeptical. As much as that skepticism exists, I’ve always wanted to believe that this stuff is real.

So I’ll leave you with this: a complete stranger gave me a reading and was pretty much spot on. Thankfully no plane crashes seem to be in my future.

New Thing #146: L’espresso Bar Mercurio

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I only found out about L’espresso because I happened to walk past it on the way to the Bata Shoe Museum. It seemed pretty well established for the neighbourhood so I had high hopes. 

Unfortunately, it didn’t quite live up to expectations. It was fine, just fine. Which is pretty much the most damning thing I can say about the place. Too bad too, because the machine looked wonderful.

Also, someone really need to talk to their logo designer. I totally thought that was a Z instead of an L the first time I saw it.