Here’s the Genius Bar of the new Apple Store. It’s neat.
Archive for June, 2003
The weirdos on the left here are bicycle activists, and the weirdos on the right are Apple aficionados. I came down to Chicago to see the opening of the Apple Store on Michigan Avenue. This was one of the first stores that Apple announced, and I’d been planning to apply for a job there _to make money for my year in Japan_. To give you some perspective, I got back from my year in Japan seven months ago. So it’s been a while. Anyway, I called up Brad and asked him to accompany me. I thought that after having conquered the Tokyo train system, getting on the CTA Orange Line to go downtown would be a piece of cake. Well, it’s hard to find places when there are no informational postings whatsoever. We eventually got there and found a line going around the whole building twice. Brad held our spot while I went to Walgreens, where the rudest clerk I have ever been “served” by sold me some pretzels and pop. While we were waiting in line, this huge bicycle herd came through. We were yelled at, “WHAT ARE YOU WAITING IN LINE FOR!!” dozens of times as the cyclists went by. Apparently on the last Friday of every month they ride through Chicago weaving in and out of traffic and yelling about how awesome bikes are. It was a pretty weird clash of subcultures.
They were giving away [iSights] at the opening. They had these boxes full of folded slips of paper, on very few of which were printed some winning message. Some of the Apple employees were handing them out like nothing, and some others would scowl at you just for coming near the box. We didn’t win one. : http://www.apple.com/isight
Here’s Tony, rhythm guitarist for [Shattered Angel], diagnosing my crappy joystick. I bought it at GameStop in Appleton; the guy was raving about how they only have one SKU for returned joysticks and so I could get this great expensive stick for only $15. I bought it and was really excited until I realized that down and left were really dull and you had to slam the joystick to get them to register. Tony, a gaming expert, took the stick apart to find the problem. We tried to fix it with some tape, but there was no hope left for this stick. I ended up buying _another_ one from a _different_ GameStop for the same $15, but it too had down/left problems. How will I ever get good at Guilty Gear XX? Jon destroys me in that game daily. : http://www.shatteredangel.com/
This photo comes to you courtesy of my sister Katy. She encountered these resplendent creatures while on vacation with her family in Michigan. Remembering my photos on this very site of similarly-wacked-out specimens in Tokyo, she stopped them for a picture. Apparently they were very enthused that someone had taken notice of them. I’ve spent the last two weekends at home. That is, I’ve spent them in the Chicagoland area, and have split that time between my home and the home of my friends Brad and Jeff. Much video gaming has transpired. I’ve gotten my nephews pretty into Capcom Vs. SNK 2 and Moero! Justice Gakuen. It was when they asked to play some games with me that I realized how much of my games require lots of patience and/or reading. They kept asking me to beat up the old ladies in Shenmue, or to skip past the “talking parts” in Sakura Taisen. I hope that someday at least one of them will be able to appreciate these games. I really like the idea of being something of a video-game mentor to one of them. According to my sister Clare, her son Aaron is a near replica of me at the same age, and is probably my best bet for a protege. Anyway, until then, the more action-oriented games are plenty of fun.
Many, many people came out to see Pearl Jam. It’s fascinating to me that they remain as popular as they are after all these years, without being in the media very much if at all. My surprise at their popularity is not due to any lack in the quality of their music, though; they really rock.
After a 12-hour night shift, I immediately got in my car and drove down to Chicago to catch the flight to Detroit for MacHack. Then after 3 straight days of that, I flew back to Chicago and was picked up by my cousin Stephen at the airport to go up to Alpine Valley and see Pearl Jam. They really put that place in an out-of-the-way area. This is pretty much what it looks like for miles all around.
Many geeks with many Macs. This is a small fraction of the number of geeks with Macs in attendance.
Peter, Mike, and I, three Mac geeks, made the trip to Detroit for [MacHack] this year. It was pretty cool, though all of our hack ideas, including rearranging the coins in the fountain into a Mac OS logo, failed. This is our room. : http://www.machack.com
Roomie Jon, buddy Peter, and girlfriend Hiroko are all in Japan. I’ve spent my summer more or less by myself, which is kind of cool but mostly crappy. Andy has gone beyond the call of whatever to provide me with fun stuff do do, but I’ll get to that in a later photo. The day I took Jon and Hiroko to the airport, we found this collection of Magic cards just sitting outside one of the doors of our apartment building. When I got back, it was still there. I grabbed the cards and left a note saying that I had them, and to come get them. When I came home from work the kid living downstairs came for them. He was mildly grateful, and apathetically accepted my invitation for a few games. His apartment was the kind of nerd-nest I thought only existed in my imagination: D&D books, Magic cards, and fantasy novels scattered everywhere. The kid himself wore a faded Darth Maul shirt, a sight that almost hurts my eyes just to see it. I tried to engage him in conversation while he tore me apart with his perfectly formulated decks, but he deflected all social contact in favor of talk about the game itself. I left, defeated in both the contest and in my attempts at friendliness, offering halfheartedly another game someday. I didn’t even get a reward, either. I could’ve kept ’em all.