An Apple Story: The Crowded Apple Store

July 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

Apple products are pretty great. Great in that they take nothing to have up and running, nothing to learn, and (for me) their hardware and program integrity last and remain predictably reliable.

I have had this same Macbook for 5 years, an eternity in my experience, and it has been nothing but the best for me. Sure, it was undersized in grad school. Of course its keyboard started falling apart at year 3. And yes, it was already the old model by the second year of ownership. However, this little computer had made me a lifelong believer in Apple computers.

Like all good fairytales they end. You can keep making Shrek movies people, but the magic is gone! My first Apple product, the Macbook that swayed me into the very uber cliched world of the glowing apple, had gone bad. The hard drive had followed the aging keyboard and battery. It had gone the way of the dodo, finished, kaput. Maybe it was leaving it in the car for a July afternoon in Texas. Maybe it felt unused after I brought in the IMac last September. It could have been jealous of these new ipads and MacAir things people sit at coffee shops with. Maybe it was cosmetic, the chips keyboard making it feel all fat and dodgy.

Or maybe it was the five year old laptop that had finally said enough was enough. Either way, I took my first trip to an Apple store to find a fix (because I’m loyal to the innanimate objects I purchase and have lasted more than two years with, I blame Disney and Tubby the Tuba).

First off, the Apple store is always stinking busy. Years ago, it was a trendy place with young professional Adobe hempsters and tattooed cargo short wearing twenty somethings rubbing shoulders with their mac counterparts. Now it’s full of suburban moms and dazed boring dads cooing along shifty neon wearing teens pushing on the ipad thinking “what can I do with this other than play farmville” yet still willing to dive in front of a city bus to have their parents buy it. Getting to the genius bar requires flashing a nipple or mooning the blue t-shirt wearing employee who is usually sliding their finger on some electronic pad and doing anything but making eye contact with anything but an apple screen. I think they took their cue from Abercrombie – have a good measure of disgust for your customer – or a drug dealer for that matter. The most prompt attention I’d ever seen was when I flipped off my friend while they took a picture with the new iphone, or ipad, or isomething. Don’t use the middle finger in the Apple store.

Truthfully, the genius bar went great – my lil macbook was plugged in and I sat there and hoped for life to spring back into her. Nothing happened, my hard drive was gone and the chipped keyboard was soon scheduled to be replaced along with the drive. I was sad, I left the store with my empty incase and counted the 3-4 days it would take to repair. Promises were made, the keyboard was going to be new as was the harddrive, and I was going to have a my mac before the next rain came (still waiting Austin!). It’s embarrasing to say, but I was sad as I left – like leaving Ramses at the dogcare for a week. Sad.

Sure enough, 100 dollars and a week, my Mac is back. Sure, the entire computer feels new – from the empty generic desktop to the brank new slightly rough keyboard. I have the old hard drive in a box in my backseat – sitting in the heat (that’ll show it), and I think we’re both ready for another five years of getting older and slower. But  I have quietly promised never to make it do another Rhino V-Ray rendering again and to have its hardest task being a Quicken budget or a too long blog post.

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A Few Natures of {Movie} Destruction

July 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

Destruction is quick, it’s sublime, and it’s final. Perfect for entertainment. Perfect for a symbolic overture of humanity’s beauty and frailty.

I dig architecture, which is usually a creative endeavor. Architecture, to me, is a collective effort of millions and millions of people over long periods of development and realization (just look at Gaudi’s  Familia Sagrado). I believe architecture is about the cultural development, rather than the end result work. Architecture is, watered down, the most visible expression of what the culture that made it believes and wants to expound on the future.  Destruction is the undoing of this. The architect may get credit, but the de-architect gets the glory. Because of the labor it takes to create, the destruction of architecture appears as the easiest point to the symbolic, and possible actual, ending of a civilization. Creation of such complex tangible forms is arduous, slow, and intentional, destruction is easy, fast, and very intentional.

I just finished watching a preview for the new Transformers movie that came out recently. I won’t see unless it pulls up on a television screen in the next four years.  It’s a trailer chuck full of fast articulated machines ravaging the familiar city of New York in the name of a war where humanity is doomed to be wiped away.  I’m pretty sure we’ll pull it out at the end… relying on our buddies and our intangible “human nature and unpredictability” to continue and exist. It’s not really a new idea, in fact it’s extremely boring. What seems to be going for as new is the amount and speed humanity can be wiped away with.  CGI is incredible, plain and simple. When I saw Independence Day, when they blew up not only the White House, but the Chrysler Building I thought I had seen the peak of what it means to create and build cities….. it meant for them to be blown up.  Reality of destruction, such as the Twin Towers or the CN building fire, lacks the flare only suped up camera angles and slow motion high pixel feeds can provide. The fact these alien aggressors know our most valued icons of built structure is beyond me, maybe they read the same books we do, but these aliens might try a new approach – like taking out the Corn Palace in Mitchell, or invading Des Moines.

Regardless as to where the destruction occurs, it’s a bread and butter visual for everything humanity fears. People fear the death of individuals, society fears the death of it’s architecture – I know this because it’s was in 2012, and Godzilla, and The War of the Worlds.

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