Saturday, May 20, 2006

British Television

British Television

About a year ago, we migrated from Comcast Cable to Dish Network. Frankly, we got really tired of the fact that our cable company was always increasing our rates and requiring us to buy equipment that we didn’t want. We’ve been very happy with our decision so far. A really nice unintended consequence of the move was that we got BBC America with our subscription.

I’ve just finished watching “Ed vs Spencer.” Right now, I’m watching “The Thick of It.” I became a big fan of “The Office” long before NBC made their version. About the only thing I dislike about BBC America is the reliance on Benny Hill, and Monty Python. I love Python, but those series went off the air over 30 years ago. Hasn’t British humor evolved some since then? I’m also not a huge fan of the British versions of the TLC shows, like What Not to Wear and Trading Spaces. Of course, the British versions came first. But whether I see a fashion disaster from a Tyneside village or from Knoxville, Tennessee, does it really matter?

Maybe I’ll catch up with some of the other series in future posts. Ed vs Spencer is a very fun show. Two roommates (and apparent friends) are given a challenge and compete each week. I’ve seen an episode where Ed and Spencer compete to see who can become more famous. Another episode has Ed and Spencer competing to see who can make the most money. Ed sells all of Spencer’s clothes and rents out his room. Spencer tried to be an illegal cabbie, but can’t find anything. It’s a great and original show. Be looking for an American knockoff any day now.

Monday, May 15, 2006



There’s a U2 song called, “40.” If I could figure out a way to attach a wav file, that song would be playing behind this post. So, if you could, please hum that song while reading this post.

So, I’ve been awake and conscious as a forty-year-old for a couple of hours now. Frankly, I can’t tell the difference between 39 and 40. I can only barely see the difference between 30 and 40. Now, there is a difference between 25 and 40. I mostly feel that in my knees and on my scalp where my hair used to be.

Forty is an interesting milestone. Given my nature, it becomes very clear that lots of things, including life itself, are half over. On the other hand, enough time has passed that I’ve had a lot of positive experiences and memories. So far, I’m happily married to the love of my life. I’ve swum with sharks and sting rays. I’ve walked along Roman walls and roads. I have a job that I love and feel that a truly make a difference every day. Truthfully, that just scratches the surface. There are so many good times, good memories, and good friends in my forty-year wake.

So, today is a day of reflection for me. There are lots of wonderful times, places and people to recall today. At the same time, it is fun to think about the next forty years. I can only hope that the next forty years are as fulfilling as these last forty.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

When newer isn't better

When newer isn’t better.

I recently decided to upgrade to the Dell Axim v51. This may have been a huge mistake. I’ve been an Axim 3 user for several years now. Generally, I’ve like the Axim 3. I decided to upgrade due to some sale pricing and discounts. The Axim 3 tends to eat up battery life when using wireless. The Axim v51 is much better on power. But that’s about all I can say right now.

It takes forever for the device to power up and to become accessible. For instance, once you power up, it can take 10 seconds or up to a minute for the screen to receive input commands. The video is supposed to be far superior to the Axim 3. However, the graphic rendering on software applications is horrible. Sometimes, it doesn’t paint classic games (like Conquest) correctly, and performs very poorly.

One thing that I really dislike is that some of the functions in the previous version of Windows Mobile don’t translate (as far as I can tell). For instance, one thing I always liked was the ability to dial or transfer data via Bluetooth to my telephone. It doesn’t seem to have this ability at all. Although discussed in the manual, it just isn’t there.

I thought that I had waited long enough for the bugs to be fixed on the new Windows Mobile. I was wrong. Hold off purchasing a Windows Mobile device for a while. At least hold off until Microsoft becomes more interested in providing support on the website. Right now, they are obsessed with support for Windows Mobile for cell phones. There isn’t a lot there for PDAs.

BTW, for some odd reason, my Axim 3 died just as I was putting together my new device. So I can’t go back!