We use the Bank of America American Express card for all our expenses.
Which is great because we get 1.25% cashback on everything. I commented to Irena, "well that's better than a kick in the teeth." In Czech the equivalent idiom is "well that's better than a wire in the eye." I'm not sure which idiom is worse.
Sasha has mastered Cobol and is now adapting to her new Mac.
Today I filmed my first Online Personals Watch news summary in Prague. It was pretty poor, but probably does the job. It made me realise its not that easy being on camera. Also, its tough to tell a story in 5 minutes. However, some people have an incredible talent for story telling, like Ted Cheung. This story managed to move me almost to tears.
Here's another movie by Ted Cheung.
Chinese acrobatics schools are VERY tough. But Jackie Chan has pushed himself to ridiculous limits, beyond anything even they could inflict upon him.
Irena hates Hellboy. I think Hellboy rocks! We kid that I need a new
movie partner for these kinds of movies. I’m hoping Sasha will be my
movie buddy sometime soon. Turns out
Perlman (age 58, no less), who plays Hellboy, is quite the philosopher. Good guy. Very
dry. See vid. Also see him talking about his background and his schooling in hard knocks. He's made a career out of playing beasts and hunchbacks.
His dad inspired him to do this, to act.
My dad inspired me to be a gentleman and be unflappable, and in some ways, to be a good dad.
Last week we arrived in Prague and discovered that our Apple Airs didn't like the wifi connections around us. Strange. So we picked up two netbooks. One, the Asus 1000H. The other, an Acer Aspire One. The Acer Aspire One was a complete dog, and we returned it to the shop. Despite looking quite snazzy with its pearl color and miniscule size, it was way slower than the Asus and the fan had a high pitched whirr to it that was intolerable in a quiet environment.
Here's the Asus 1000H review. Overall we were most surprised by
the speed of the netbook. We were able to work on it for a full day quite comfortably provided we used USB mouse. The trackpad buttons are a joke
and are the big flaw on the device. They are too hard to press and
just terribly designed.
Screen: Is a 10" screen big enough? Yes. Barely, but yes. Surprisingly we found we were able to work on this tiny 1024x600 screen just fine. However, we'd swap it out for a unit with 1280x800 resolution in a heartbeat. The screen was superbright and crystal clear, but we'd just like to have a bit more resolution on it in the y axis.
Ergonomics: We got so used to the keyboard to the point we were able to touchtype. I think the chiclet keys on the new 1000HE would be a little better, and faster, if our Apple Air keyboards are anything to go by. Apple Airs, and the new Mac have the chiclet style keys.
Speed: Sufficient, especially using Google's
Chrome browser. Chrome is superfast, and minimal, making it the
perfect browser for the netbooks. I wouldn't attempt video
editing on a netbook, but for zippy gmail and browsing and MS Office
work (or OpenOffice), it does the job. The instant on, is awesome. That's the main thing we liked
about Apple laptops as well. Waiting is not something we do well. We don't have enough time in our days to spend 10 minutes each day waiting for a computer to get its act together and fire up.
Battery: The new 1000HE is supposed to get 9.5 hours, which is incredible. We're seeing North of 4 hours on our little 1000H, with an Apricorn hard drive plugged in and the screen on half brightness.
Overall, I wouldn't recommend getting this particular netbook, the 1000H. Get the 1000HE! That's the new landmark netbook. Don't bother with a 7" or 8" screen netbook either, the 10" screen is the smallest size that is truly usable. Don't bother trying the Sony Lifestyle, its very slow. The Intel Atom chipset running XP is the only combo to go with for this size and speed and class of PC. And all for $400?! Amazing. No wonder Asus is going well. I'm still tempted to get a Lenovo X301 as the thought of 12 hours of battery life and a 13" screen for a 3lb laptop is great. But that can wait for 2010 when Windows 7 is out. Windows 7 is going to be lot faster than the dog slow Windows Vista. Perhaps it will even give Mac OS X more worthy competition.
I've not sat on a road bike in 16 years. This morning I took a trek through Prague and through to the Czech countryside at dawn. I rode South from the Charles bridge, past the yacht club and down to the golf club. Great! Nothing hurts. Then I discovered my limits by hanging a left and going up an extended 1 in 7 climb that kicked my ass. I had to stop three times on the hill, no less. Pitiful. I've got a lot of work to do. Last time I was riding a road bike I was a teenager, 40 lbs lighter. That's like hauling an extra bike and a half around. ~19km with my detour. Map it.
Prague is a great walking city but it would be nice to bike around and through to the Czech countryside. I treated myself to a bike today. I wonder if I'll ever get the legs to be able to do the California Death Ride. 129 miles over 5 mountain passes. I put my cycling buddy, from my years cycling as a teen in England, up to training for the Death Ride and he surprised me by handing his car over to his girlfriend and committing to cycle 12 miles to work and 12 miles home each day. He'll be 'fit as a butchers dog' in no time. Gulp! I'd better get with the program.
On our way to Prague from Malta we passed through Munich and discovered this Camel sponsored smoking box. Its a smart marketing move from Camel. We could hear smokers coughing from outside the box however. I hope they ban smoking in Prague restaurants sometime soon. My eyes are tearing up from the smoke as I write this at Papas restaurant in Prague. Papas has great chicken skewers and Crianza but the smoke puts a crimper on the experience.
Bacchus is the best deal in Mdina. We passed by this restaurant when we took a guided tour of Malta which included Mdina, back in May 2008. It was built in 1650 but the outer walls date back 2000 years. The food was great and the house wine mediocre. The surroundings were very much in keeping with the entire feel of Mdina. Dark, old, quite and underground. We had two appetizers which were more than enough food for us, a bottle of wine and a tea and the bill came to less than 30 Euro all in.