Apple’s Annual October Event 2013

Watched the live streaming of Apple’s annual October software and hardware announcements.

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The event began, as always, with CEO Tim Cook talking about the company’s impressive numbers for the past year.

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He then handed the clicker off to Craig Federighi, Senior VP of Software Engineering, to go over OS X Mavericks, Apple’s latest operating software. The two main new features I’ve been waiting for are tabbed finder windows and being able to tag files for easier search.

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Craig surprised everybody when he announced that Mavericks will be a free upgrade to anyone owning a Mac going back as far as Snow Leopard.

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This made everyone in attendance pretty happy. (Apple never really made it’s money from software anyway. Hardware is where it gets most of it’s revenue. So, as cool as a gesture as it was, it won’t affect Apple’s bottom line.)

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Next up was Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing, to talk about the new, more powerful but less expensive, retina display 13 and 15 inch MacBooks.

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This also made the audience clap. (Does nothing make these people smile?)

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Phil then went on to describe the amazing new Mac Pro that was teased about a few months ago. A beautiful machine that’s definitely geared toward the serious industry professionals.

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Phil was followed by Eddie Cue, Senior VP of Internet Software and Services. He began talking about the new updates to Apple’s iLife suite of apps: iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand, free to anyone buying a new Apple device.

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He then talked about the updates to Apple’s iWork apps: Pages, Numbers and Keynote, also free to those buying new devices.

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He also demonstrated the real-time collaboration of the iCloud version of Pages.

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All the software announcements finished, Tim Cook came back up on stage to talk about the iPad’s impressive dominance in the tablet market.

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This was getting everybody’s expectation juices flowing since everyone knew there would be a new iPad announcement. He brought back Phil Schiller to introduce the new iPad Air, a name that no one, not even the tech rumor sites, saw coming.

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He went through all the usual improved specs and thinner, lighter design. It truly is an astounding piece of engineering.

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He ended showing the entire family of iPads now available.

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Tim Cook came back on stage to close the event and to thank everyone for attending.

I decided to wait for a few days before upgrading my OS to Mavericks, just to make sure all the initial upgrade kinks were ironed out. All in all, it was a robust event.

When Cute Dogs Sleep

I got a chance to dog-sit Lilo and Stitch again for a few hours during of the day. In between tummy rubs, Pup-peronis and fetchings, they spent most of their time just looking really cute.

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Mt. Soledad Memorial For VP-48

Drove up to Mt. Soledad for a quick lunch-time visit to try and re-shoot some images I took last week. Even though it was a cloudless, blue sky kind of day, everything at sea level was just too darn hazy to get any decent shots. That was disappointing and just meant a return trip on another day.

On the positive side I happen to come across a ceremony that was taking place which was obviously some kind of military memorial ceremony. When I got out of my car I heard them reading names of soldiers who had died. After the list of names were read aloud, one gentleman played taps on his bugle and then the ceremony was over. It was an emotional moment for me shared with a group of people I had never met before, and most likely will never meet again.

I ended up taking some pictures of the gathering instead of what I originally went up there for and at the end of the ceremony I chatted with one of the elderly participants. He told me it was a biennial event for the Navy’s disestablished VP-48 Patrol Squadron stationed out of NAS North Island from 1953 to 1991 that remaining service members hold to honor their fellow crew who have since passed away. I thanked him for his service and then I left.

It was a cool, little moment in time to be a part of.

 

Bill’s Birthday Bash

Had all the local family members come over to the house for a belated birthday dinner for my sister’s husband, Bill, who turned muffled mumble.

The meal consisted of a Hungarian stew/sauce (usually we make it with beef but this time my mom made it with chicken per Beata’s request for Bill) that gets poured over some home-made dumplings. Always a family favorite.

We also had some side veggie dishes as well as a cucumber salad prepared in a typical Hungarian fashion with a touch of salt and sour cream. Dessert was a fantastic Julian apple pie supplied by Beata.

Presents included a buttload of identical mechanical pencils, which I wish I would have gotten a photo of.

My younger brother, Bigboote, even called from New Mexico to wish a happy birthday to the birthday boy.

We also sat for two family portraits. One was normal, the other…not so much.

You can decide which is which.

 

Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog Webinar

Attended my second, hour-long, GoToMeeting online webinar within in a week, this one by SAVE THE FROGS! founder and director, Dr. Kerry Kriger, who was joined by San Diego Zoo biologist and research technician, Frank Santana, to discuss his work raising and releasing the critically endangered Mountain Yellow-Legged Frogs into the San Jacinto mountains of Southern California.

It was a very informative and educational look into all the incredible work being done by the Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research to help save these amazing little, garlic-smelling amphibians, including their Janthinobacterium lividum, or J.liv, inoculations against the devastating chytrid fungus.

Yet another reason I’m a proud, card-carrying member of the San Diego Zoo.

 

Frank’s portion begins at 9:12 into the video.

Promotional Webinar For Sandra

I watched a live webinar by renowned color-pencil artist and fellow San Diego Zoo member/photographer and friend, Sandra Angelo, to promote her new online drawing course.

The presentation lasted about forty-five minutes and was followed by a fifteen minute Q&A session.

In the presentation she used a photograph by our mutual friend and fellow Zoo member, Deric, as a sample of a new piece she’s working on.

Together with the recent San Diego Comic Fest, this sort of re-kindled a long-buried passion for the kind of art that I used to do by hand a lifetime ago.

 

Front Page Of Comic Fest

One of my photos from this year’s Comic Fest made it to the front page of its website.

Not the most exciting shot, showing the post-Fest take-down of Draco Tavern, but I guess it’s kind of apropos since it was thanking everyone for another successful event.

For me, this was even better than last year’s. Chatted with so many cool people.

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Antares Takes Cygnus To The ISS

Thanks again to this amazing thing that is the Internet I was able to watch a real-time launch, from different angles including a couple of onboard cameras, of another NASA rocket from across the continent.

This one was an Antares rocket, launched from their facility at Wallops Island, Virginia, delivering the Cygnus spacecraft on a demonstration resupply mission to the International Space Station.

I remember a time when the only way I could have seen any of this was as special effects in a movie. Now all I need is any device with an Internet connection.

 

Mami’s Shiny Choppers

Took my mom for a long-overdue teeth cleaning at Dr. Taylor’s office, her dentist from years back. Since they wouldn’t let me go back into the exam room with her, I stayed in the waiting room reading my “Mister Zoo” book.

Afterwards we celebrated by going to have some spinach, corn, caramel and poppy seeds.

That last part may or may not be true.

 

An Apple, A Mouse And Some Coffee

The Magic Mouse I used with my iMac went absolutely ape-poop this morning. It’s very difficult and frustrating trying to post-process a photo or even just click on a link when all your mouse wants to do is jump with the jitters along either the very top of the monitor or along the left side. So bizarre. A plug-in USB mouse worked just fine. But then I couldn’t scroll and switch desktops with gestures like I’m used to. I absolutely love using Apple’s Magic Mouse.

I wasn’t sure if it was actually the mouse that went bad or if I was having troubles with my bluetooth connection. There was also no way I could find out other than picking up a new mouse since I don’t have anything else bluetooth to connect to my Mac.

Visiting the Apple Store at UTC was, as always, a complete breeze. Went in, found my new mouse, an employee came over and rang up the purchase on his iPhone app, then showed me a support link on Apple’s website to check to see if my old one might still be under warranty.

I took my mom so she could get out of the house for a bit, so after the Apple Store we walked over to a nearby Starbucks right there in the mall. We got our coffees and then sat outside next to a cool fountain. It was strangely foggy and sunny at the same time. And just like she always does these days, my mom spent most of her time watching all the little kids running around. Seems like nothing makes her happier than seeing little kids.

Came home and synced up my new mouse, which worked perfectly. Even clicked much crisper than my older one.

And no, my old one was no longer under warranty. But now I know an easy way to find out for next time.

Time to get back to clicking, swiping and scrolling. Stuff needs to get done!

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The Taking Of My Mom’s Life Juice

Took my mom for a blood draw in preparation for her scheduled doctor appointment on Thursday. Went quick and easy. Got in right away and she was done within five minutes. The perfect kind of clinic appointment…except for that needle in the arm part.

The grocery shopping that happened afterwards was unfortunately neither quick nor easy. But it didn’t have any needles. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

 

1957 Jimmy

While walking down the street with my mom we came across this beautiful, 1957 baby-blue GMC Jimmy with white front details and hub caps instead of chrome, which made it look more like a big, cool toy.

It looked like it was on steroids.

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Meeting On Adams

Attended the third to the last Comic Fest meeting, this time at ArtLab Studios in the Normal Heights suburb of San Diego, before the Fest begins on October 4th.

The meeting was at times instructive and informative, but dragging and snippy at others. It was also a very hot day and there was no air conditioning in the gallery which probably added to any perceived tensions.

I don’t have any shots of the group inside because I really didn’t feel like taking pictures of any of them.

 

Emerald Geometer Moth

This gorgeous Emerald Geometer Moth flattened itself on the wall right next to my neighbors’ front door. I noticed it while I was cat-sitting for them again. Luckily it stayed there long enough for me to come back later with my camera and macro lens.

It was only about the size of two side-by-side dimes. Gotta love those stripes and great green color. I’m sure it would be pretty well hidden on a plant or tree’s leaf.

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Infiniti…Not So Much

The very last photos of our ironically-named 1994 Infiniti G20.

I was able to drive it as far as our mechanic before it overheated following a Comic Fest meeting in Tierrasanta, a drive of about ten miles.

The car, while looking ok, had become so dangerous to drive with all its structural, mechanical, electrical and menstrual issues that Shawn, our trusted mechanic, told us to never drive it again. Especially my mom.

It gave us some good years in the beginning, but eventually ended up being quite a lemon, with thousands of dollars in needed repairs spent over the last few years and thousands more still needed to make it safe enough to drive.

The problems were so bad that we were only able to get $300 for it from a recycling yard that buys cars to use for parts. Should have known from the start that it was a doomed vehicle because it didn’t have a single cup holder.

Wish we could have siphoned that last tank of gas out of it first.

 

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