On the new newness

After several years where I was reliably getting a new phone every single year and basically coming to terms with the fact that I’d become That Guy, I waited three full cellphone generations– from the iPhone 7+ I’ve been carrying around forever to today– to upgrade my phone, and finally caved and came home with an iPhone 11 Pro Max in the Midnight Green color. I told myself I was going to wait until I could walk into the store and walk out with a phone, and that happened today. What ended up getting me to jump was the massive improvement in the cameras– I’m super psyched about getting to play with the new triple-camera setup, and the damn phone is gorgeous, to the point where for the first time I’m getting a clear case. It’s currently in my bedroom transferring all of my settings and apps and photos from the original phone, a process that was originally projected to take two hours, then 24 minutes, so I figured I had time to come out into the living room and write a blog post before going back and checking on it.

This was a long and interesting week; I was out of my classroom for two days at that rarest of beasts, a really interesting professional development opportunity, and I had parent-teacher conferences Wednesday night, which was the busiest I’ve ever been at PTCs– I had a line out my door for two hours and fifteen minutes– and then I had a parent-teacher conference for my own son on Thursday. Today most the kids actually had a recess as a little reward for surviving the first quarter, and a dozen or so of them organized an honest-to-God, flag-waving-and-chanting impromptu gay pride parade (!!!) on the soccer field. This is the first year of my career where I’ve had more than one or two kids who were conspicuously and un-selfconsciously out of the closet– there are a lot of 8th graders in my building who are somewhere on the QUILTBAG spectrum and don’t seem to give a damn who knows it.

A genuine oddity: they exist alongside the rather large contingent of more typical 8th-grade straight boys who enjoy nothing more than ceaselessly calling each other gay, and yet I have never once— and I’m watching, God damn it– seen any anti-gay bullying of any of the actual gay kids, and there are at least two boys in the 8th grade who are gay at twenty feet, if you know what I mean. I’ve never seen anyone call either of them names, even the kids who are quickest to toss “gay” at any of their straight friends.

So there may be several posts this weekend, is what I’m getting at, depending on whether I decide I want to talk about these things more. The training, at least, will probably get a post tomorrow or Sunday.

In which I am a supervillain

This picture is either a testament to Apple’s utter dereliction in terms of innovative design over the last eight years or a sign that they believe they’ve achieved actual perfection in the iMac’s form factor. From where I’m sitting, the 2011-model iMac in the middle and the screaming beast I purchased today to finally replace it look exactly identical. From the side, you can tell that the newer one is much thinner, but if I’d simply replaced one with the other and not told my wife I’d bought a new computer I doubt she’d ever have noticed.

If you were reading this and thinking Luther, weren’t we just talking about your tendency towards poor financial decisions earlier this week? that’s not unfair, but: I submit that I got this computer for fifteen percent off because it is actually the flagship of last year’s model and not this year’s, that I have enough cash on hand to pay for half of it at a single go, and that with all the overtime I’ve been making at work lately paying it off by the end of the summer is a very reachable goal despite the nice chunk of change I dropped on it. Am I going to do that? Probably not, actually, because it’s not strictly necessary– but as I’ve also said this week my initial desktop has been making worrying noises at me and generally behaving in a somewhat untrustworthy manner and I’d rather replace the computer at a time of my choosing and not because it decided to go away.

The third monitor on the right is just a monitor and will be remaining on the desk; I mostly use it to display TweetDeck and iTunes while I work on the primary monitor. I may look into if I can just use the older computer as a secondary monitor– I don’t think I can, at least not in the same plug-it-in-and-don’t-worry-about-it fashion that I can the actual monitor does. I can’t convince it that it’s just a monitor and not a computer, in other words.

Next step: move my actual keyboard and the touchpad over to the new computer. I’m typing this on the bullshit tiny wireless keyboard they included with it, and while it’s a substantial improvement over any other wireless keyboard I’ve used, it’s also tiny and ridiculous and I demand size and a number pad and high degrees of clickiness from my keyboards, and the Das Keyboard that I have on my desk is perfect for me. The wireless mouse also has to go. I don’t use this as a gaming machine, so I don’t need a mouse at all, and the touchpad is wonderful.

Welcome to the new hotness, I guess.

Same as it ever was

UnknownMeeting today was surprisingly productive, honestly.  I don’t have a lot to say about it other than that, but it was nice to go to an all-day teacher meeting and, other than introductions in the morning running a trifle longer than they needed to be, not feel like my time was being wasted at any point.  I think I’m going to like this job.

Also, the whole day was a constant whipsaw between “holy shit, nothing ever changes around here” and the odd feeling that by being gone two years I had missed out on everything changing.  At the same time.  Which was deeply weird.

Also, my day started at eight, and I’m tired as hell.  Morning coffee is going to go back to being a high priority for me, I think, after a couple of years of it not being especially essential.  Also returning to my daily lifestyle: my laptop bag, which as of today contains not only the Macbook Pro and iPad Pro I already owned but also a Chromebook.  Because I need to be a nerd across multiple operating systems, dammit!  But Google certification for my Clark Kent identity is in my near future, and I’ll be spending a lot of time screwing around with Chromebooks this year, so I figured I ought to pick up a relatively inexpensive one.  So: new hotness.  I will be The Master of The Googlez by the end of the month.

And then I got home and no dog greeted me at the door and everything was sad again.  It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes before I stop noticing she’s gone.

On low standards

I wActivity-for-iOS-app-icon-medium-220x188.jpgant my Pebble back.  In fact, after a week (?) of Apple Watch ownership, I’m kind of tired of Apple as an entity, for the first time in quite a while.

(Before you say it: yes, I’m aware I can turn this shit off.  And I’m going to, as soon as I’m done complaining about it.  I shouldn’t have to turn annoying shit off.  This annoying shit should not happen.)

I am a smartwatch fan, as the three entries under this one that WordPress will select will no doubt demonstrate.  I have simple goals for my watch: I want it to alert me when I get an important notification (“important” being determined by me) and I want it to be a watch and an alarm clock, and to have a battery life compatible with being both.  I was worried about the Apple Watch’s battery; I plug it in while I’m reading at night and it’s fine, and it appears to be good to go to make it two days without a charge with no real trouble.  It’s at 80% right now and hasn’t been charged since last night.  That’s fine.

I just got a notification congratulating me for standing for one minute during each of the last twelve hours.

Read that sentence again, and drown in the banality of the universe.  And realize that I was on my feet for the entirety of at least seven of those hours.  I walked four and a half miles while I was at work, 9000 steps (less than usual; it’s Wednesday, my half day) and collapsed on the couch at home and fell asleep.  I didn’t hit either of my “fitness goals.”  I can’t set a step goal, which is kind of annoying.  I feel like that ought to be available.  But I can for damn sure be nagged to stop doing things and freaking meditate like some sort of techno-hippy once an hour and be congratulated at the end of the day because once per hour in the past 12 hours I, I dunno, got up to take a piss or something.  But the watch doesn’t notice seven straight hours on my feet.

Bah.

Also, whatever was in the iOS update that pushed out Tuesday bricked my phone, and I was nearly late to work trying to figure out what the hell had gone wrong and restoring my most recent (ie, months old) backup.  So I’m not super keen about technology right now in general.  But yeah:  Bah.

(WordPress probably ought to not choose this entry as another chance to constantly re-add Uncategorized as a category or delete half my tags while I’m adding them.  Just saying.)

On having owned an Apple Watch for around seventeen hours

xNope.jpg.pagespeed.ic.xecQlXJhisMy watch, just now, upon having determined via vile sorcery that I was awake but not yet out of bed, just vibrated on my wrist to suggest that I get out of bed and move around for one (1) minute.  This is related to my health somehow.  I note, looking at it now, that apparently getting up at 3:30 in the morning to take a piss apparently also counted as exercise.  It was certainly difficult, I’ll agree to that.

And here’s the real bullshit:  I did it.  I have left my warm, cozy bed, a bed that had an attractive woman in it, and now I’m up.  Because my watch decided to tell me to.

I don’t mind when my watch wakes me up with an alarm; that’s part of what it’s for and I set those on purpose.  I’m not sure how I feel about the idea that it basically just told me to get my lazy ass out of bed on a day when I’m not supposed to go to work and don’t have to take the boy to school.  Part of me thinks that’s neat and the rest of me feels like it’s probably the first five minutes of a Black Mirror episode about a dystopia.