The new iPhone.

Okay, so I’ve already stayed that I was less than awed by the new iPhones. They look nice and thin, and the screens are bigger. But other than that… Meh.

So I started intensely shopping around.

So far I’ve looked at the Galaxy S5, researched the Note 4 which is coming, looked at the LG G3, and the HTC metal-looking one. Oh, and researched the Sony Xperia one.

And I’m not wowed by them either.

I think my biggest issue is the “feel” of the other phones. Not to out too fine a point on it, they all feel cheap. Well, not the Sony, but the other ones. And I don’t like that.

That’s one of the things that Apple does really well: premium build quality. Overall, Apple products feel solid and well-built, while maintaining an elegance of design. Sure they may have fallen behind in some of the bells and whistles, but in overall quality I think they still outpace the field.

So if I were to switch phones, not only would I be incurring an integration headache with my decidedly Apple-centric life, but I would also sacrifice a sense of quality. And now that the 6 and 6 plus are “Samsung-sized”, the incentive to jump ship just isn’t there to the same degree.

(Caveat: I do like the Sony phones, but ATT doesn’t carry them!)

The long and short of it? I’ll be getting an iPhone. Which model will have to wait until I can get my hands on them in person. I’m leaning toward 6 plus though. I mean, why not explore the far side of size, since my beef with the 5 is the teeny tiny screen.

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Erick Update 2.0

Yeah, not much to report other than we’re pretty much in the death throes. Which pretty much sucks.

The non-stop daily texting and frequent face-timing has significantly tapered off– to almost non-existent. He used to text me daily when he woke up (to which I quite looked forward). Sometimes he would include an oh-so-cute sleepy pic.

Now sometimes days pass with no text at all.

Erick keeps pulling back “to process everything” during which time he basically goes radio silent. He’s done this a few times now, which leaves me wondering “should I text him just to salve my heart and ego or should I respect his need for solitude?”

I know he has a lot on his plate. He is contemplating finding a different job, rents are skyrocketing so money is an issue, he is trying to go back to school, he’s helping multiple friends in various states of drama, and he is looking for love and stability. So not a lot of time left over for a long-distance poor bet such as myself.

He has a full life there and loves living in San Francisco. I have an equally full life here in Minneapolis and have put down roots. And neither of our situations are going to change anytime soon.

But then we do talk or text and I really enjoy it and I think how nice it would be to curl up on my couch and watch a movie together (there are SO many he needs to see so that he gets my random references).

It’s all very confusing and it makes my heart hurt a bit.

And I know it’s just a matter of time now, before the texting and face-timing stops altogether. I suppose it was a nice idea while it lasted.

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IPhone 6. Um… squeeee??

So earlier this week there was evidently some big announcement about a new iPhone. Oh, and an iWatch. Unfortunately I was busy with customers all day and missed most of the announcement. So far, after do stilling all the hype, my big take-away is:

It’s bigger.

Oh, and a bit thinner.

So now, after a couple years of Samsung and other suppliers offering phone displays larger than 4 inches, Apple finally managed to catch up.

The camera is basically the same. The screen resolution appears to be the same. The glass and aluminum design is basically the same. There’s a new processing chip– but why wouldn’t there be after a year plus of development. Who knows about battery life.

Nothing really life altering or even really creating much of a “wow” factor.

I guess there is this “iWallet” or “iPay” feature which will allow phone swipe to pay. Which android phones already had and which sounds like yet one more excellent opportunity for identity theft. It also sounds like it might have a slow start with retailers. Target has already come out saying they aren’t prepared to start accepting this apple payment method.

And where do I shop a lot of the time here in Minneapolis?? Yup– Target.

Yes I’m sure the phone will feel solid and substantial, with excellent build quality. And it will work with the elegant OS and user interface that Apple is known for. But where’s the wow?? Where’s the new??

I guess that’s my problem.

When Apple first introduced the iPhone– it was mind-blowing. Like when they introduced the first Mac or the iPod. Just… Boom. Life-altering. Of course it’s hard to keep inventing tech that is completely earth-shattering, but unfortunately we’ve come to expect it from Apple.

And this latest phone just had sort of a “we’re playing catch-up” vibe to it. I don’t want an Apple version of a Samsung product, I want an Apple product that one or two-ups everyone else.

What’s my incentive to remain with Ape and upgrade to the new tech? Other than the fact that I’m sure my iPhone 5 will start getting all glitchy in the next month or two.

And also because Apple has sucked me into all their other products (iMac, MacBook Air, iPad, iPod, time capsule, airports, etc.) so I need to maintain compatibility.

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Wish I had something….

Not much here as far as an update. Let’s see:

Work has gone off the rails a bit this week which has kept me very busy and has been rather exhausting.

The next month and a half are going to be nuts, schedule-wise. I have a big audit coming up in mid October, various trips planned to our other work facilities, and a Cedar Point trip to wedge in.

The weather has turned shitty much earlier than it should. Low temps in the low 40’s and highs in the 50’s should still be a month away. This does not bode well for the approaching winter.

Gay Chorus started up again this week. Looks like the Christmas concert will be pretty decent– a traditional first half, and a fun/irreverent second half. And we are doing a male arrangement of the complete John Rutter’s Gloria with brass choir.

Other than that– not much else to report. Just sort of dog paddling as fast as I can here.

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Steampunk’d!

As many of you know, I have a fascination with Steampunk. It doesn’t extend to me wearing pseudo-Victorian garb with goggles while pretending to captain a zeppelin. But it does involve me loving the overwrought, anachronistic esthetic of machinery.

Because it’s autumn and because I just got back from London and because I needed a change… I decided to Steampunk my bed.

As you may recall, this is the bed I had painted an aquamarine blue at one point. Well, now it’s an aged copper metallic. And I’ve added some copper piping and brass fittings. And one pressure gauge.

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This is just phase one. I will be adding some hoses and I’m also thinking of adding a brass screen detail to the headboard– something like this:

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I’ll also add some sort of brass vents (possibly round) to the bottom platform area and hopefully some barometer/temperature/humidity gauges at some point.

At the very least, the color of this bed goes better with my room and overall decor and it gives me a bit of change. Plus the bed becomes more even more unique.

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?

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New Ahrt

On Sundays in London, local artists line the fence surrounding Kensington Gardens along Bayswater Road and sell their work. It’s like one, long, outdoor gallery show.

And as with any art, you get varying degrees of quality. Some pieces I was all “meh” about and other pieces I was “damn, I wish I had the money, and wall space, and a way to get it home.”

But I did manage to find one artist who’s whimsical and clever art made me chuckle (and who was also reasonably priced).

He did a whole series of oil paintings of people viewing famous nude works of art, with their heads totally obscuring the genitalia. It also has a sexual act connotation.

This is the piece I got:

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The painting is a John Singer Sargent piece called Nude Study of Thomas McKeller. I love his pose and look, and I especially love the frumpy, old woman with the Tesco (think British Walmart) shopping bags.

Plus– I think Thomas is *whispers* Black.

The guy who did my piece had a whole series of these– featuring this frumpy woman, or an equally frumpy male counterpart– with all sorts of famous nude works. They were all good, but I especially liked this one.

He also does a series of anthropomorphic bears (think the Charmin Bears) but in various classic settings and reproducing art (like The Singing Butler). My favorite of these was the bears reproducing the Kate and Leo “king of the world” bow of the titanic moment.

Very cheeky.

I plan on framing my piece in a chunky, gold, museum style frame. It will be a lovely addition to my gallery wall.

Oh– and here’s the original Sargent so you can see it without having to google:

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Guy does a nice job, eh?

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London (hashtag Selfie)

So I did take quite a few pictures while in London– with two cameras. This weekend I’ll upload all my pics and cull them.

In the meantime, imma subject you to a barrage of selfies from all about town:

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Paddington Station selfie.

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Poppy exhibit at the Tower selfie.

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Kate Bush queue selfie.

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Stonehenge selfie.

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Harry’s home in Godric’s Hollow selfie.

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Bath selfie.

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Big Ben as Hat selfie.

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British Museum selfie.

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Double decker bus selfie.

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Windsor selfie.

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Nuff said selfie.

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Thames selfie.

Yeah– I took a lot of selfies during my travel. But it works well to document where you’ve been. Plus, the iPhone makes it so convenient to be douchey.

Cheers!

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Street Art

London is just covered in street art– also known as graffiti. But it’s like really good graffiti, not that crap, gang-tagging shit that happens in America.

Kyle is really big on the London graffiti scene and he was snapping pics left and right since we got there. Evidently the area of East London where we stayed (Shoreditch) has just scads of painted walls.

At the beginning I was casually noticing it, and I would take pics of stuff I liked (I mean, I DO like Banksy), but by the end I was really digging it all and actively seeking out photo opportunities.

Below are some of the pics I took of my favorite pieces:

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Some pretty cool shit, eh? Even though we didn’t see a Banksy (that I know of) we did see some other fairly prominent artists like Stick and Clolus.

My next visit to London I’ll be sure to seek out more of this stuff.

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Briefs– The Second Coming

Kyle and I had a fantastic day in London yesterday. Relaxing, cool, and fun.

It ended with an all male burlesque show called “Briefs”:

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We saw this ad while waiting for the Black Cat Cabaret on Friday. And from the poster it looked fun, but was difficult to tell exactly what type of show it was going to be.

While Kyle was on the London Eye, I wandered over, saw they had a show, and on a bit of a whim bought tickets for that evening.

Best. Pounds. Spent.

This is a taste of what it was like. Acrobatics. Artful near-nudity. Drag. Comedy. All artfully produced and almost seamless.

I Loved every inch of it, and we had phenomenal seats. 3rd row, off to the side of the thrust stage.

If you are in London in the next month, I highly recommend it.

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Quick London Update

Cheerio All-

Things go smashingly in London so far. We arrived safely (with only some flight cancellation shit at the outset), have done some shopping (no purchases) at Harrods and around Piccadilly and my birthday was… Well, it was mostly staying up to fight jet lag.

On Wednesday we saw the Tate Modern and we bummed around until the Kate Bush show:

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I’ll blog more about the show individually when I get back. It was very “Kate”– artsy and esoteric. I will say I quite enjoyed the theater piece of “The Ninth Wave”. It was brilliant.

Yesterday was getting up after about 2 hours sleep and going to Stonehenge, Bath, and Lacock. Stonehenge was my “goal” for the trip:

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Yes, we got inside the monument. No I didn’t touch any of the stones. Yes it was amazing.

Today is an easy day around London and then a Cabaret show tonight.

Cheers!

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