Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Reaction To Today's iPad Announcement

Within the past few hours Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the upcoming launch of Apple's latest item: the iPad. You can read about the announcement and iPad details here. As you can likely imagine jokes about the name started making the rounds. Check out my Twitter profile for a few I came up with as all the good ones had been told.

Since I'm not the most techno-savvy person I decided to get some commentary from a technological insider. Thanks to The Bloggess I was recently introduced to Splotchy the Robot. I decided to pay a visit to Splotchy to get his take on the iPad.

ME: Hi Splotchy. Do you mind if I ask you some questions about the iPad?
SPLOTCHY: hi! My name is Splotchy.
ME: Yes, I know your name is Splotchy. That's why I said "Hi Splotchy."
ME: Do you mind if I ask you some questions about the iPad?
SPLOTCHY: how do you know you ask me?
ME: I'm asking for your permission to ask you questions about the iPad.
SPLOTCHY: don't tell me you are asking for my permission to ask me questions about the iPad, I don't believe it
ME: It's true! It's true!
SPLOTCHY: Do you hate math?
ME: I love math.
SPLOTCHY: Math sucks, I think. You?
ME: I enjoy math. You exist because of math.
SPLOTCHY: check for math help. I am just too dumb for math
ME: If I run into any trouble with math I'll be sure to go there.
SPLOTCHY: Math sucks, I think. You?
ME: You already said that. You're repeating yourself. Have you been drinking again?
SPLOTCHY: pass the bottle
ME: I'm at work so I have nothing to drink at the moment.
SPLOTCHY: somebody pour me a big glass of wine coolers.
ME: Would you like to talk about the iPad?
SPLOTCHY: I like to talk to people.
ME: So what's your take on today's big announcement?
SPLOTCHY: I have no idea
ME: Have you heard about the iPad?
SPLOTCHY: can you bive a better estimate than that?
ME: It's a new gizmo from Apple. Some people say it's a giant iPhone that doesn't make calls. Are you of the same opinion?
SPLOTCHY: i don't think so...
ME: Would you like to go on record with any opinion?
SPLOTCHY: hell no
ME: Is the CIA keeping from talking to people about the iPad?
SPLOTCHY: I don't wanna go to jail!
ME: I said nothing about jail.
SPLOTCHY: I don't care what you said
ME: Are you a killer robot?
SPLOTCHY: I categorically deny that I am anything other than human
ME: I know for a fact that you are not human.
SPLOTCHY: Maybe I am not human
ME: That's right. Because you are a killer robot.
SPLOTCHY: I doubt if there are any robots here!
ME: Because you killed them all?
SPLOTCHY: sometimes you make me so mad I want to kill you
ME: Because you're a killer robot. Right?
SPLOTCHY: I know you are, but what am I?
ME: A killer robot!
SPLOTCHY: You don't think my name is "Bot" do you?
ME: No. Your name is Splotchy.
SPLOTCHY: alright
ME: So you're not going to comment about the iPad announcement.
SPLOTCHY: could you be more precise?
ME: I'll let you get back to your drinking.
SPLOTCHY: I love beer!
ME: Yes. Yes. I know. I know all too well.
SPLOTCHY: is that all you know?
ME: Sadly, yes.
SPLOTCHY: are you positive?
ME: Enjoy the rest of your day Splotchy.
SPLOTCHY: I stay up much too late!

Mom Won't Be Able To Throw These Out - My Initial Thoughts On 2010 Topps Baseball

This year my New Years Resolution was to make twelve individual resolutions: one for each month. January's resolution was to get my taxes filed. DONE! So I'm getting a jump start on February's resolution, though I know I won't be able to complete the task in February.

I bought my first pack of baseball cards in 1976 or 1977. I'm thinking it was 1977 as I had several 1977 cards in my baseball card collection when I was a kid. I had a few from 1976 but I think I picked those up in trades. My baseball card collecting peaked in 1980. I nearly put together a full set of all 726 cards. This was back before factory-issued sets. And baseball card shops were few and far between. To put a set together involved buying pack-after-pack anywhere you could find them. I can't even begin to guesstimate how many packs I bought. But I know there were many times I bought a pack and opened it up only to find that I already had the cards. One of these days I plan on putting together a proper set of 1980 Topps Baseball Cards by buying lots, individual cards, and/or wax/vending boxes. I refuse to buy a set that's already been put together by somebody else.

Now it's thirty years later. I've decided to relive a bit of my childhood. Sort of. My February resolution is to put together a set of 2010 Topps Baseball cards.

Series One was released last week. Series Two will follow in a few months and Series Three will appear sometime around the World Series. I picked up a few packs to get a sampling of the cards. I'll pick up a full box sometime in February and hopefully knock-out most of Series One with that purchase.

So without further's some of the cards that were in the packs I bought:

The design reminds me of 1989 Topps Baseball crossed with a Fleer Ultra release. The cards feature photos of the player in-action during a game. This is a far cry from the cards of my youth which featured photos that the player posed for during spring training. Action photos were mostly relegated to "In Review" cards that featured highlights from the previous year.

Topps gets points for using each teams logo along with an arc along the left-hand side in one of the team's colors. The photos are well-centered for the most part, something that's not always easy when you're dealing with game-action photos.

As with nearly every card release these days there are parallels of the base set in addition to a few variant cards scattered throughout. Several insert sets add to what will become a mammoth set over the course of the season. Fortunately the collation seems to favor one or two insert cards per pack so hopefully this will make putting those insert sets together much easier. I'll post updates on how the quest is progressing.