Remember back in high school? It seemed like everyone went to the Senior Prom. But as the party started winding down, the cool kids pulled away in rented limos and headed off to hotel rooms around town to continue partying the night away.
Certain things will automatically mark you as uncool. Walking down the street wearing a Michael Jackson "Beat It" jacket, for instance. Or admitting you voted for Sanjaya. And I certainly don't expect to wow the ladies with the fact that I belonged to my high-school chess club - all 4 years.
Finishing touches are the little differences that elevate the merely good into the great - things like the blue-cheese-stuffed olives at the bottom of your Grey Goose martini, or rolling in that curling birdie putt on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach.
For all of the benefits the digital revolution has brought to music - like streaming, unprecedented portability, and the ease of sorting and managing large collections - some people see it as not only a travesty but also a threat. Granted, these are usually the same people who lament the supposed lack of any advancement in audio quality since the birth of vinyl. But do they have a point?
My first experience with front projection was nine years ago in a swanky A/V boutique in San Francisco - the kind of place where "I'm just looking" really means, "I can't afford anything in here." This store carried brands I'd never heard of at stratospheric prices I'd never thought possible.
One highlight of the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association's annual Expo is the Garden of High Definition Delights. Flagship HDTVs from nearly every manufacturer are lined up in this large, darkened space, all displaying pristine high-def images. You can call up programming on any set to compare performance with identical source material.
My grandmother, Thelma Perkins, passed away at the end of December. I was her eldest grandchild, and we were very close. I believe that the time I spent with her helped make me the person I am today. My Gram spoiled me, keeping her house stocked with my favorite junk food, taking me on trips, and staying up all hours playing cards with me.
My spirits were hovering somewhere between disdain and contempt when Press Day started at this year's Consumer Electronics Show back in January - but man, did that change in a hurry! It seemed like every manufacturer had something big, new, and important to say, and I felt a strange emotion welling up. Dare I say it? I was actually excited!
My friend Jon is a wiz with pretty much anything mechanical, and he has a Rain Man-like gift for motors. Whether it's a pool pump, a lawn tractor, or a car, Jon is the man to call. What amazes me is that he can often diagnose my motor problems over the phone with only the most basic description.
The simplest things in life often yield the most pleasure. A cold beer after a hard day working in the yard. A parking space with time left on the meter. A funny fortune cookie at the end of a Chinese dinner.