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email me: chris@chris-karath.com

June 2012

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Sat 06-30-12 03:03:04 PM #

My mother and brother were over today
Ptw mother and brother over

I want to hear your




Sat 06-30-12 12:17:19 PM #

Jenn grilling, my Mom and brother will be over soon.
Ptw Jenn grilling, my Mom and brother will be over soon.

I want to hear your




Fri 06-29-12 12:06:31 PM #

Hooray for lunch at Brick Road Pizza!
Hooray for lunch at Brick Road Pizza!
Picture Jenn took.

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Thu 06-28-12 08:10:00 PM #

Repost from Jennifer's Blog
1198/365 - Nightly Visitors


We have two dog dishes that we put outside and fill with bread, corn, or other various treats for wildlife. At our old apartment we'd get quite a few squirrels and the occasional bird. The place I lived before that I'd get all sorts of wildlife, including geese.

So I didn't think anything of setting out the dog dishes and filling them once more. I love providing entertainment for the cat.
And what entertainment we attracted! I haven't seen a raccoon in years and certainly not since I've moved to the Grand Rapids area. Imagine my surprise when I heard the cat furious clawing at the slider one night and came down to see one chowing down on the deck.
They aren't exactly what I was trying to lure toward the slider for the cat, but they are adorable and they are entertaining him.

We've cut back drastically on putting anything outside now but the cat still camps out every night waiting for them. And they come by almost every night - even no food has been left out. Just in case.

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Mon 06-25-12 05:41:17 PM #

Indigo Lantern
Ptw Indigo Lantern
Another ebay get.

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Sun 6/24/12 10:21am #

Work

Companies used to have apprenticeships and train workers they needed for specific jobs.

Then came trade schools and colleges… and companies switched to expecting the workers would train themselves before taking the jobs.

Then came contract work instead of giving person a job. Because not only could you verify that the person had trained themselves, you could verify that they knew what they could do before committing to them full time.

Then came contracting entire aspects of the business. Why develop internal resources when you could maintain flexibility and outsource entire departments.

Now we have a venture capital system in many areas, whereby people develop their own companies "on spec*" checking in their progress periodically with richer people/companies with whom they have little to no contract, to show that their company can solve a problem or prove a new business process, and if this new company can solve that problem, they can be aquired or it's people aquihired and the people of this proven system can be placed under contract by the larger corp, which will also assume their "ip".

We call the people who sit at the top of this system: "Job Creators". We call these new little companies operating on spec: "start-ups", and we call the people who can get people to work in this "start-up" system: "founders".

*spec n: In the hope of success but without any specific commission or instructions.

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Sat 6/23/12 10:06pm #

Let's Go Surfing

Dynamic Physical Buttons on Touch Screens : Tactus Technology
source: Likecool

Kindof a creepy video actually.


The Suntracking Shelter will guard you from UV rays all day long
source: The Red Ferret Journal - gadgets, cool sites, freeware and tech trivia



Photo
source: p2wy What I\'ve seen while holding my cell phone

I was afraid to blink.

Madefire launches app with new Dave Gibbons interactive comics
source: Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources - Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment

Interesting app.

Gif: 3D
source: Likecool

Cool.



Terrarium Floor Lamp
source: Likecool

Neat.


The Hippest Hamster Band In All The Land
source: Neatorama

Adorable.


Eight-year-old Geoff Johns He-Man character debuts today on comiXology
source: Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources - Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment

Interesting that they are going to be releasing this on Saturday's instead of Wednesdays.

I want to hear your




Sat 06-23-12 08:14:03 PM #

From Pinterest#

Good question.

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Sat 06-23-12 05:37:45 PM #

Superfriends at Target
Ptw Superfriends at Target
Odd little plush figures, $8 seemed abit much so I passed but they were odd little oddities.

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Sat 06-23-12 05:36:31 PM #

Bizarre Bazaar in Easttown earlier today
Ptw Bizarre Bazaar in Easttown earlier today

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Sat 06-23-12 05:24:38 PM #

Jenn at Pita House

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Sat 06-23-12 05:12:54 PM #

Jenn at a used bookstore in easttown earlier today
Ptw Jenn at a used bookstore in easttown earlier today

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Sat 06-23-12 04:58:43 PM #

Man-spider
Ptw Man-spider
Another awesome eBay pickup.

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Fri 06-22-12 05:35:10 PM #

Owlman
Ptw Owlman
Got this off ebay this past week.

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Thu 6/21/12 1:02am #

Reality Bites

I watched Reality Bites tonight. Somehow I never managed to see it. Apparently it's two main stars are my age. and they played their exact age in the movie too.

It was an good movie. For the time period, I think I like Swingers and Singles better though.

On a related note, time, has me in a very weird place this past week.

Did you know there are Gen Xers between 40 and 50 now? Trippy.

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Tue 06-19-12 06:53:14 PM #

So hot out that these squirrels wont even chase each other
So hot out that these squirrels wont even chase each other
Love this picture of a couple of overheated squirrels that Jenn took on our deck

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Mon 06-18-12 08:25:07 PM #

Hanging w/ Wolverine
Hanging w/ Wolverine
Jenn took this picture of the cat in front of a Wolverine standee I have. I won this at a comic shop when I was 13. It had been in the back of my closet in the apt for about 15 years. It's hanging out in the office for abit, before it probably goes into the back of another closet for 15 more years :)

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Sun 06-17-12 03:01:18 PM #

My brother, me and my Dad

Picture Jenn took of me, my brother and dad. Father's day walk thru Palmer Park and of the three of us eating great stuff she grilled.

And a couple more pics that I managed to take.
Dad and Scot

My brother

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Tue 6/12/12 2:20pm #

Red Lanterns

I read/skimmed thru Red Lanterns #4-10. I was curious about the new Human Red Lantern character.

What a terribly pointless series. There are a handful of pages that tell 80s style Tales of the Green Lantern Corps type stories featuring various Red Lanterns, and those are almost ok if you take them as space/space-horror. But the Atrocious and Bleez stuff that goes on and on is just unreadable and the Human Red Lantern stuff is terrible.

It’s just awful, awful stuff.

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Mon 6/11/12 10:37pm #

How many Earth Green Lanterns are out there right now?



Click to enlarge. I'm sure I'm missing somebody too.

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Mon 6/11/12 4:13pm #

Apple WWDC thoughts

New Macbook Pro looks very very cool. At $2K+ all I'm going to do is look at it, but still, very very nice.

Apple ditches Google Maps. The Apple Maps product looks good enough, and the turn by turn navigation looks cool. Tom Tom and Garmin's stock should completely crash now I would imagine.

iOS Facetime over cellular and iMessage integration with your desktop. Both pretty cool. Very nice flexible use of the cloud. Remind me again, what is it we use Facebook for? Oh yeah, communicating with people. If Apple announces iHistory or iTimeline, I'd hate to be Facebook. Oh, and the cellphone companies just became even dumber pipes.

Low end Macbook Air. Looks like a very nice value for what you're getting, at $999, the integration is probably worth it for someone with the dollars to spend.

Siri integration with BMW, Mercedes, GM, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler, and Honda. Sure Ford has that Microsoft partnership at the moment. I wonder how Ford stock will do after this announcement? Siri vs. FordSync? um, yeah, I'm sure they'll be fine.

iOS 6 in the fall, available to developers now. Works on the iPad 2. Cool for me.

  • Siri on the iPad
  • Passbook - a sortof Google Wallet type play that looks very very interesting.
  • Siri knows everything about Sports now, not interesting to me personally, but it will probably be a killer Siri app for many. (Good luck pronouncing some of those sports stars names in Hockey and Baseball right though)
  • Facebook integration. Lots of people will use this. It should be a big shot in the arm for Facebookers. I'm not one of those people, but it's hard not to see the signifigance. Are Twitter and Facebook platforms? or are they just Apple services now?
  • Phone enhancements. Apparently Apple took the time to make iPhone a better phone too. The "Do not disturb" feature whereby calls go straight to voicemail the first time yet ring if the person calls back a second time is genius.
  • Shared Photostreams. Yet another feature that takes a little Facebook territory away. I'm really interested in using this on AppleTV.
  • Mail. Holy crap, you can now insert a photo after you've started composing an email, that took long enough. As to VIP. Well it looks like Apple now knows who your "close friends" are, and unlike Facebook who can't even get people to tell them that, Apple has your close friends credit card numbers too. That would seem to be useful somehow.

I was a little bummed that we didn't get any big Apple TV announcements, but then I thought about it, the begining of summer is not the time to announce TV. TV is a fall thing. Piggyback onto all those network TV show announcements and build up to the big TV selling event: Black Friday.

Overall, lot's of great incremental improvements. Sprint-upgrade or decent price willing (since technically a new phone won't be subsidized for me until next Spring), I'll probably look into getting an iPhone in the fall whenever they announce the next one. And if I have to wait past next fall into spring for a decent upgrade price, it probably won't be too bad since the iPad 2 will get the iOS 6 upgrade and I mostly use that at home and work anyway.

One last thing, Apple had a neat slide at the begening of the iOS presentation showing how many Android users were still stuck on 2.3 even though 3.0 and 4.0 versions have been out for sometime. That's Android's real problem is seems. Apple is upgrading once a year, and keeping 3 years of phones within the upgrade walls. Android's device makers don't seem to have the same commitment to upgrading their phones OSes. Maybe 5 years from now, mobile OSes will be so mature it won't matter whether you have iOS or Android, but right now, short-term, Apple is killing it with updates and revision rollouts compared to Android.

I want to hear your




Sun 6/10/12 9:54pm #

Let's Go Surfing



See the first image from Dreamworks' CG Mr. Peabody and Sherman [Mr. Peabody And Sherman]
source: io9

Looks like they are bringing the wayback machine back.

The Science-Fiction Edition NECA Alien
source: thefwoosh.com

Nice. I don't think I have an Alien figure. This might be a good one to keep an eye out for.

SimCity E3 Gameplay Trailer
source: Boing Boing

The tilt-shift effect is neat.


Scalzi's Redshirts: existentialist comedy space opera
source: Boing Boing

The ensigns begin to suspect that something's amiss when they discover that all the ship's old hands run and hide every time the members of the first-shift bridge crew come by, and after a few grisly deaths from their number, they begin to work it out, with the aid of a reclusive bearded prophet who hides in the ship's maintenance corridors, and who believes that they have been trapped in something called "The Narrative" and has even worked out its rules.
Looks like it might be a fun book.

I want to hear your




Sun 6/10/12 4:47pm #

Let's Go Surfing

These Nazi Propaganda Leaflets Dropped on American Soldiers Are Nauseating [Wtf]
source: Gizmodo

Fascinating. Especially the Wall Street War Contract angle, something you don't normally associate with this time period.

Pest control
source: Seth\'s Blog

A big part of doing your work is defending your time and your attention so you can do your work.

President Barack Obama Sings Call Me Maybe
source: Mashable!

Great.


And here's the Jimmy Fallon version which is actaully fairly sweet in a Pomplamoose-sort-of-way.


Quirky Milk Jug
source: Gizmodo

I really want one of these. GSM enabled Milk Jug, knows how much milk you have and can test the ph for freshness, you can use an iPhone app to check your milk. Nice.

Twitter Logo Looks Like Batman
source: Mashable!

This is brilliant.


Licensing Ads For Man Of Steel, After Earth, Peabody And Sherman, Fast And The Furious 6 And More
source: Bleeding Cool

The Superman logo, now with more swirlies and textures.

Google Nexus Tablet Rumored to Launch at the End of June
source: Tablet News

Interested in Google's plans for this. If it's as cheap as they rumor it to be, I'll probably get one.

Intel set top box checks out who's watching, then targets the ads
source: DVICE

This is the downside of our computers watching and listening to us. Very shortly if you have "modern" technological appliances, you will be under active and full surveillance in your own home. Interesting trade off to naturally "interact" with our machines.

Sketching A New Mobile Web
source: Smashing Magazine Feed


Bicycle Can Cage
source: Likecool



Microsoft Launches on{x} Automation App For Android [Updates]
source: MakeUseOf.com

This a very neat app. I've been using it to automatically text Jennifer when I leave work.



What Would a Siri API Look Like?
source: Marco.org

It'd be pretty cool if they rolled out something like this tomorrow.

QuickShot with Dropbox
source: Marco.org

I downloaded Quickshot for my iPad. It takes pictures directly to dropbox well.

The Uniques: Overview
source: Law and the Multiverse

Nice Uniques overview from Law and the Multiverse which does alot of legal analysis of various comics and genre films.

The Uniques I: Registration
source: Law and the Multiverse

More from Law and Multiverse, this time focussing on The Uniques registration laws.

There's a New Foursquare, and You Should Care [Apps]
source: Gizmodo

Nice upgrade, makes their explore stuff around you features useful.

Disney's Wreck-It Ralph: If Tron and Toy Story Had an Adorable Baby [Movies]
source: Gizmodo

Very much Toy Story but with video game characters. INteresting.

I guess /Film didn't like Prometheus
source: Super Punch

Way too harsh a review, this guy misses the point on a dozen points, but it is an interesting read just to see how badly this film must have ruined the guy's day. Review contains spoilers, don't read it unless you've seen it.

I want to hear your




Sun 06-10-12 11:11:25 AM #

Fulton Street Art Market
Ptw Fulton Street Art Market
We checked out the Summer opening of the Fulton Street Artisan Market today. This year is the first year of their new roof. It's a neat venue.

I want to hear your




Sun 6/10/12 10:10am #

Let's Go Surfing

Simple.TV launches Kickstarter campaign for support from viewers like you
source: Engadget

Interesting. I would certainly buy one of these, but the whole preorder your hardware on Kickstarter a year in advance really doesn't work for me for anything over a couple 10 spots. It's just too hard to predict where technology is going a year out in my opinion to prepurchase these sorts of items in this way.

Copywriter vs Art Director
source: swissmiss

Illustrations.

Cucumber Killer Whale
source: Likecool

Neat.

Croak.it!: Record Voice Messages In 3 Simple Steps [Web/Android/iPhone]
source: MakeUseOf.com

Works well, posts audio quickly to web. No edit or redo though, it's a 30sec, one take experience.

AnyTouch Turns Any Surface Into a Touchscreen Final Frame
source: Unplggd

Cool video, cool tech.

The Machine That Changed the World: The Paperback Computer
source: garry\'s posterous

Interesting video from early 80s.

I want to hear your




Sat 6/09/12 7:54pm #

Let's Go Surfing

PBS autotunes Mr. Rogers, the results are tender and trippy [Video]
source: io9


This is what the internet was created for. If you are of a certain age, this should very much entertain you.


Rest and Concentration in the Workplace
source: Cool Hunting

Cool chair.

Chalkboard Tablets
source: swissmiss

Very elegant design, I think I'll have to make some of these at some point.


Google Drops Revamped Chrome OS on Newer, Faster Chromebooks [Video]
source: Gizmodo

I just have a hard time picturing a world where these are going to be a good idea. Maybe if they can get them really really cheap, which in theory they should be able to do, when you think about it, you could make a basic computer really really cheap, but the base level of people's expectations keeps moving up to the point where noone really wants that super cheap experience.

Douglas Adams Describes the Invention of the Ebook [Video]
source: the How-To Geek

1993. Ebooks have been around a bit.


May his fire burn everlasting: The resurgence of the cocaine-fueled Snowflame
source: Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources - Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment

I kindof now want an action figure of this guy.

I want to hear your




Sat 6/09/12 3:55pm #

Prometheus

I saw Prometheus last night. I very much enjoyed it. It was a different kind of movie than Alien, but it is a prequel.

There are some good philosophical bits in the movie. The above picture is from one of my favorite scenes from the movie.

The android David definetly has the most memorable role. Charlise Theron as Vickers is an entertaining character as well (Two good performances from Theron in two weeks now.)

Prometheus is not a movie for someone looking for a tight thriller or actioner. It actually has some pacing and touchstones that remind me of Moon. It's not as deep or as subtle as Moon, but if you don't like Moon, you may not be very thrilled with Prometheus either.

Prometheus was definitely overhyped and overmarketed. And there are way too many scenes in the trailers. I stopped watching trailers after the first one as is my practice for movies I want to see. I find the increasingly spoilerific trailers for movies these day do not add to my enjoyment of a movie, so if it's a movie I know I'm going to see, I stop with the trailers after the first.

Prometheus was a good sci-fi film for sci-fi fans, the sort of thought out sci-fi film you don't get too much these days. I reccomend for fans of the genre, go see, but keep in mind, this ain't exactly Alien.

I want to hear your




Sat 6/09/12 12:19pm #

Comics or Culture

For alot of people, I wonder, is it really the comics from the big two that they like, or is it the membership to a sub-culture?

And is mainstream success what those fans really want? Or do they just want their sub-culture recognized?

Just wondering out loud abit.

I want to hear your




Sat 06-09-12 08:47:09 AM #

Custom Red Lantern Razor
Custom Red Lantern Razor
I found a DCUC Red Lantern figure clearanced for $6. I'm thinking if I could find a Loki figure head, I might have a good basis for a Custom Green Lantern Animated Red Lantern Razor figure.

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Fri 06-08-12 07:10:04 PM #

Mitt & Chris #wecouldhavesomuchfunwiththis #theObamaonetoo
Mitt & Chris #wecouldhavesomuchfunwiththis #theObamaonetoo
Jennifer took the above picture at FYE in the mall.

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Wed 06-06-12 06:45:24 PM #

Michael Cain figure (with kung fu grip)
Michael Cain figure (with kung fu grip)

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Sun 6/03/12 7:02pm #

Time to invent something new?

We've been fully moved into the house for a couple weeks now. Two whole weekend's of not moving too. Albehit there's still some unboxing going on and it's going to take a while to fully reclaim the garage and basement which have many boxes labeled miscelaneous still.

There are a few projects planned, a kitchen rack for Jennifer, a closet in the office to be converted into a glass display case for my action figures, and then various future yard and garage type projects.

I also have a web project or two that I'm going to do for Adam and Comfort as well.

Last week and this though, it's been nice to have the break from the past few months of house looking/buying and moving.

Basically, there's plenty to do to keep busy.

It would be nice if something new got invented though.

I've had my iPad 2 for about a year, and smaller Android tablets since May/June of 2010. So, I'm about 2 years into the tablet paradigm. If you want to consider smartphones to be the forerunners to those, I'm 3 years into into that shift, as 6/6/09 almost 3 years ago marks the purchase of and 1st release of the Palm Pre. I'm about a year into my second smartphone, the Android, HTC Evo 4G. (and just for a full post-pc record it's been about a year and half since I got the iPod Touch.)

Typing that out like that, it seems to feel like a much shorter period of time than I thought.

Three years post pc, (Do we want to count when I got a Linux Eee PC in November 2007? That might make it 4 1/2 years, I suppose.) where a mobile or a tablet are the computing devices I used most outside of work.

Wow, adding in the Eee PC to the timeline still doesn't make it stretch back that far does it?

Hmm… this little trip down memory lane is making me rethink where I was going with this whole invent something theme. In four and a half years I've been from PC to Netbook, to Smartphones, to iPod Touch to Tablets, that's actually a fair ammount of technology shifts. (oh yeah, now that I think about it, eInk readers are in there too.)

Anyway, over the next couple weeks we'll have E3 and Apple's WWDC. Possibly new stuff invented? Buzz is that there will be something new from Apple in the TV realm, and something tv'ish with the xBox from Microsoft as well.

I like TV, but I'm not sure anything with a tv will be as profound a paradigm shift as the netbook/smartphone/tablet trek has been the last few years. the only thing I see on the horizon that might be that sort of shift would be: Google Glass.

I'll take that back, a constant interactive, pervasive Siri headset would probably be pretty world altering. Not the push a button to talk/search sort of experience that they have now, but the real Star Trek always listening carry on a conversation, send info to your phone, or your tv screen, etc. that will be something that will really change things.

Who knows, maybe that's what Apple has planned for next week. We'll see, and I suppose, given the pace of the last several years, it probably won't be that long, before they invent something new after all.

I want to hear your




Sun 6/03/12 4:20pm #

Snow White and the Huntsman

Jenn and I went and saw Snow White and the Huntsman today. Ok movie. Charlize Theron is very good as the evil queen. The scenes with the dwarves and some of the walking bring a little bit of Lord of the Rings-lite to mind. Honestly except for the decision toward the end to put Snow White in the armor, it would have been a pretty good movie. I won't go into why that really caused the movie to fall apart for me here, so that I don't spoil aspects of the film, but the film is worth a weekend matinee viewing despite that story flaw, do see.

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Sat 06-02-12 02:15:18 PM #

You get a precious & YOU get a precious. Everyone gets a Precious! Except poor Shelob.... #lotr
You get a precious & YOU get a precious. Everyone gets a Precious! Except poor Shelob.... #lotr
I watched Jenn put together another Lord of Rings Lego set.

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Sat 6/02/12 11:35am #

A blog post posts in the forest

Granted, I haven't been posting much during the week, but I think my blog reached a milestone this week as views on my current blog page completely flatlined. 0 visitors.

Social media killed the blog post star it would seem.

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