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Entries in the dalles (4)

Tuesday
Sep072010

10 Random Facts About Wa...

1.  Wa is the initials of my first name “William” and my middle name “Angus”. In order to avoid confusion with my father I was nicknamed W.A., which by junior high had evolved into just plain “Wa”.  When I began performing and producing concerts the unusual name seemed to help others remember me.

2. I was born in Connecticut while my father was stationed there,  but I’ve lived nearly my entire life in The Dalles, Oregon.

3. I have been told that I had refused to speak for the first two years of my life. When my grandmother became impatient waiting for me to speak she offered me $5 if I would say the word “banana”. As the story goes, I blurted out the word, grabbed the money, and ran.

4. My mother brought me to the grand opening of our new Fred Meyer in 1979 to meet Spider-Man. I was too shy and began crying at the prospect of meeting the webbed hero.

5. My favorite Read - a - Along 33 rpm vinyl record was E.T.

6. Lawrence Welk once proclaimed that I would be not merely a good, but a GREAT, trumpet player someday. Other than a brief stint with the instrument as a pre-game on-field fill-in in college, I’ve never played the instrument.

7. I won a trip to Disneyland by selling newspaper subscriptions door-to-door when I was 10. I traveled alone by bus round-trip to Anaheim from Oregon.

8. Once while throwing horseshoes in a pit behind our house I accidentally hit a close friend in the head. No major damage was done. He walked away from it with just a bump on his head. Horshoes has never been as enticing.

9. I experienced a crash while cycling on a Boy Scout trip that stripped skin from much of the left side of my body as I slid across the road wearing only shorts and a pair of tennis shoes.

10. When I was five, I was struck by a drunk driver in the crosswalk in front of my school. The force of the skidding car knocked me through the air to the crosswalk on the opposite side of the intersection.




Friday
Apr102009

The Penalty Phase

During the summer of 1986 one of most interesting things in my childhood had been put into motion.Penalty Phase [VHS] , a TV movie, began filming in my small hometown.

The film starred Peter Strauss (Judge Kenneth Hoffman) and Melissa Gilbert (Leah Furman, Court Clerk). The film dealt with the struggle of a Judge who must follow the letter of law even if the consequences may set a serial killer free.

One of the reasons this was such a monumentous occasion was because so many of my family and friends appeared in the film in one way or another. In the title sequence we see a still frame of our Wasco County Courthouse. Outside the building seated on a newspaper on a bench is my cousin and renowned landscape painter Anthony Kiser reading a newspaper.

My mother and many of my cousins appear in the audience that listens with rapt attention to the political debate that takes place in the film. The location for that scene was The Dalles High School auditorium.

I bring up this film because recently because I found this essay that Gale Patrick Hickman the writer of The Penalty Phase (former attorney and Orange County, California presiding Judge) posted, The Writing and Filming of The Penalty Phase, that recounts his experiences that led to the creation of the screenplay and the process of casting and filming it in The Dalles on the banks of the Columbia River.

 

Friday
Aug242007

iPhone review

Well, now that I have an iPhone I’ve been receiving a ton of questions about what I think of the phone. After playing with it for four days, I feel pretty confident I can answer most of the inquiries that have been posed to me.

For those who don’t want the novel length explanations, I’m really digging it. The EDGE network  issue isn’t one for me because my service area doesn’t have 3G access anyway. Plus the wireless more than makes up for it. I’m in a Google town, so there are wireless access points all over the place to cater to their employees.

I’ve received questions concerning Safari and why there have been so many sites optimized for the iPhone in particular. The question goes, “Does this mean that the Safari browser included doesn’t follow current Web Standards?” The iPhone optimized sites are sites where they are taking advantage of your ability to touch the screen, so they are generally optimized for the 320 x 356 screen. This often means larger buttons and links, because you can actually click them, as opposed to tabbing over to one on a non-touch screen phone. They also tend to include all of the bells and whistles of todays modern internet, like pretty AJAX goodness, and because some the sites don’t meet normal web standards themselves the iPhone became one more incentive for them to get off their asses and bring their site up to current standards.

In my experience I have not experienced any website incompatibility issues. There is the Flash issue, but I understand why they are going with H.264 Quicktime over the currently more prevalent Flash. It is a superior compression technology that takes up less space with less loss of quality, which of course will mean a better media experience and faster download for us EDGEsters.  Also, now that Adobe has announced that they will include H.264 compatibility with their Flash it should render the whole situation moot in a short while.

The keyboard has worked nicely for me. I can even see myself doing some two thumb typing in the near future. I don’t GPS because I am quite capable of knowing where I am on a map, so Google Maps works fine.

The iPod rocks. I am a tad annoyed with having to get the headphone adapter. I expect that eventually third parties will start making plenty of quality headphones with adapters for iPhone included as part their package. I’ve never been a big fan of earbuds going back to the Walkman day. I must confess though, that phone operation button on the earbuds, is pretty darn cool.

The SMS is great. I love how they included the iChat comic word bubble and colors that they chose for monitoring conversations. I like that you can quickly scroll up the screen through an ongoing conversation. My Gmail works nicely with the phone. I look forward to using their Calendar app in the future with Google Calendar. I also suspect they ran out of time for Notes. It works fine, but I can see where they might want to polish it with added features.  I also like that email deletions on my iPhone are not destructive to the same messages in my Gmail server account. So if there is a problem, I can always go back to my Gmail server archive.

It has also been a great conversation piece. I received a text message while at the bank and I got quite a few inquiries and more than a couple “may I see it for a second” types of communication once they saw that it was an iPhone.

I can also freely agree that it will not be THE phone for everyone. Then again, no phone on the market is. It really comes down to how the phone vibes with your lifestyle.  I find that it suits mine perfectly. I love that with your two year commitment, they’ve pledged that you will be receiving constant improvements in features and bug fixes, which is not something they always do so frequently at the other mobile OS companies like Microsoft and Palm.

Thursday
Nov302006

All Good Things Must Pass...