My Radiohead In Rainbows “discbox” set arrived today, and it’s quite a sight.
There’s a heavy cardboard slipcover over the box/book package. Inside, an inner pocket holds a 12-inch square glossy booklet of abstract artwork. The right side consists of an attached 12×6 booklet containing more art and the lyrics along with the two CDs (the album proper on the first, 8 bonus tracks plus a couple of folders full of more digital artwork and photography from the recording sessions on the second). And lastly, slits on each side (in traditional LP gatefold sleeve fashion) contain the two heavyweight 12-inch 45 RPM vinyl records with the album’s 10 tracks.
I haven’t had a chance to listen to any of the new material yet (although I’ve already enjoyed the main album via download for the past couple of months), but already I am incredibly impressed with the quality of the presentation. The product itself is a work of art.
Further knocking Apple down from its pedestal (not that I’m not still a rabid fanboy as mentioned in the previous post), we have this further proof of my theory that although Steve Jobs usually has impeccable instincts, once he gets something stuck in his craw, no matter how outlandish it is, Apple simply must go through with it.
I’ve been thinking this a lot in regards to the grand trilogy of Leopard GUI design decisions that have been widely criticized by the world of Mac users (including myself): the translucent menu bar, the 3-D Dock, and the Stacks icons. But now here’s some proof that this really does go on (if you accept it as proof, which I do in this case), from the hardware side. The left side, to be specific, of the current MacBook line. I happen to be sitting in front of one right now, and I can vouch for this. The left side is “squishy,” right where those two screws are. They’re clearly not attached to anything! Therefore, they must be purely cosmetic.
Which is pretty ridiculous, when you think about it.
Most of the spam aimed at my inbox gets stopped long before it reaches my computer, thanks to my ISP’s spam filter. And what does get to me generally is shunted straight into a “Junk Mail” folder. But today a new spam message managed to confound all of the road blocks in its way, and arrived within my field of vision. Just out of curiosity, I clicked on it.
Of course, it’s trying to sell pills… Viagra, Cialis, Ambien, Valium, Xanax, etc. As is the trend these days, the actual spam portion of the message is contained within a wavy, tilted image. But what I found interesting was the lengthy, nonsensical prose that followed. Clearly this was the key to escaping detection and elimination en route to my computer, but it’s so bizarre as to be amusing, much like the “spam sender pseudonyms” that used to work back in 2004. And since I know you’re dying to read it yourself, here it is…
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Unfortunately the story just abruptly ends there. I need closure!!!
I was driving the kids to Como Zoo. We had just pulled into the right-turn lane from Snelling onto Midway, when some (pardon) asshole in a car next to us threw a lit cigarette butt through my window. It hit me right in the head!
I had to pull over quickly and locate the butt, since it was still smoldering. It had fallen down into the plastic well on the floor between my door and seat. There were unburned shreds of tobacco on my shirt and shorts, and the car still smelled of cigarette smoke when we returned from the zoo two hours later!
The fury I was feeling at that moment was quickly offset by my overwhelming sense of pride over the astounding parallel parking job I did when we got to the park. As usual on summer weekends, especially when the weather is nearly ideal, as it was today, parking spaces were scarce in Como Park. I managed to locate a very tight space, most certainly available simply because no one was brave enough to attempt to sqeeze in.
Now I am no great parallel parker. In fact, when I took my driving test at age 16 I got perfect scores on everything except the parallel park and hill park, both of which I failed completely (that is, zero points). Luckily it all came out in the wash and I still got my license without having to retake the test. Here we are 16 years later, and even now I get nervous when the need arises to parallel park. Fortunately, several years of living and driving in large cities have forced me to improve my skills… somewhat.
I went for it. And I made it. Sure I bumped the truck behind me a few times, but that’s what bumpers are for! In the end I was nestled tightly with about 4 inches of space on either side. I had to climb across my hood to get over to the passenger side of the car, before I realized that next time it would be easier to just go around the truck parked behind me.
I was so impressed with myself, I had to take a picture.
Fortunately, by the time we left, both vehicles surrounding us were already gone, and their replacements gave us plenty of maneuvering room.
Addendum (July 10, 2006) — I’ve been thinking about this more, and I believe I have my Big Lebowski reference wrong in a number of key ways. First off, I knew from the beginning that a few points were different: I wasn’t holding a roach clip in one hand and a beer in the other, and I didn’t crash my car while trying to retrieve the flaming butt from my crotch. (Boy, that sounds worse than it is.) But now that I think about it, I don’t recall whether the aforementioned “flaming butt” was thrown in his window by a passing vehicle, or whether it was his own, and he was just a poor shot. I’ll have to watch the DVD again to refresh my memory.
I was riding in the car with some coworkers, returning from lunch. We were stopped in gridlock traffic (which seems to be the case more often than not on Roswell Rd.), and as my eyes (as usual) flitted from side to side, taking in the colors, shapes, fonts, states of decay, and other assorted minutiae of the storefronts and signs in the supersaturated commercial district, I happened to notice a sign on a nearby Chinese restaurant. It said:
GIANT CHINESE B.BQ.
Now your average person, even your average detail-oriented person, may have glanced at that sign and not given it a second thought. But I was immediately consumed with perplexity over the liberties taken by the sign maker with respect to the use of periods. Why, I wondered, did the first “B” warrant a period while the second did not?
Or take another example: Tonight when I got home from work, I found a new MacMall catalog had arrived, and I perused it with passive interest while SLP was on the phone. I was mildly irritated to see yet another use of the annoying stock photos of perfect people in black mock turtlenecks with their arms folded atop some invisible barrier, which have become staples for use in stupid photo illustrations in these catalogs, where the perfect people are made to look as if they are leaning against a steroid-enhanced 5-foot-tall software package.
You’re probably thinking that my awareness of these stock photos of perfect people in stupid poses is the focus of my detail-obsessed attention in this story, but you’re wrong.
In fact, I noticed something even more stimulating to my detail obsession: On one page I saw a photo of a young woman with long blonde hair, and on the next, a distinctly different young woman with short, curly red hair. And that was when it hit me. I noticed that the hands of the two women were in exactly the same position. In fact, the arms in the picture belonged to the same person and were from one single photograph, but the heads were different. What’s more, the skin of the hands in the photo was color-corrected to match the facial complexion of the woman in each photo.
Clearly, if I notice something like this on passing glance, I have a problem.