Weekend of New Things

This weekend, I did quite a bit. I took Friday off (so that I could go to a college roommate’s wedding reception). Dave was married a couple of weeks ago, but in Switzerland. (He married a Swiss girl, obviously). So they had a reception a couple of weeks later in his hometown of Parowan. Since Dave was a roommate to myself & all of my brothers, we all went down to Parowan. (It’s about a 3-3.5 hour drive). Dave was sure surprised to see us. During the car-ride back & forth, Cory & I listened to the audiobook for World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. If you like zombies, than WWZ is a great book.

I also got Windows Vista for my Mac. I would have just used Windows XP, but Boot Camp requires a Windows XP SP2 install CD, which I don’t have. (I only have the ‘release’ disc, which is not good enough, according to Apple). And since only Vista Ultimate is licensed for VM usage, I got Ultimate. The reason is so that I could run RealFlight G3 on my MacBook Pro. (RealFlight G3 is an R/C Flight Simulator). Well, that and Half-Life 2 & its cadre of games. Yup, I got Vista to be a Wintendo.

And you know what? I’m really disappointed in Vista (And my expectations are low; I’m a Linux/Mac user, and have an already low opinion of Windows). It took me several minutes to even connect to my home’s wireless ethernet, and even then, it’s a pain. My home network doesn’t announce its SSID, so you have to feed it in, along with the network password. In spite of the fact that I fed all of this directly into Vista, and it knows which network, password, etc., it is unable to connect to my home network without first trying to connect to an ‘unnamed network’, failing, and then, finally, my home network shows up. And I have to go through that pain each & every time I boot Vista. I’m still working out firewall madness with Vista’s “zones”. Another beef: Each connection I make, I get a dialog asking me what ‘zone’ the network is in. I can see the point, and I’m fine with it. But why didn’t it do this for my first network connection (ie. my home wireless?)

In general, Vista has serious configuration issues. Just finding something in the control panel is a chore. Vista is a step backwards for configuration, in my opinion. It’s honestly easier to find & configure a lot of things in Linux than it is in Vista. Does anybody else find that frightening?

The “Aero” user interface is sorta nice, but nothing to write home about: Mac, Linux, and FreeBSD had gone there before, and does neater things anyway. And why, oh why would you want to have a movie for your desktop? That is one serious way to suck cycles and power.

Moving on, Saturday I went out to eat with my brothers & their significant others. It’s a bit odd being a fifth wheel, but such is the life of a bachelor. We went to Red Lobster, and I decided to have lobster. Having never eaten lobster before, it was a new experience. My first feeling was the profound realization that I was eating a big bug. I’ve had bugs before, of course -- I love shrimp, and have eaten crab legs & crayfish before. And it’s not like I haven’t had whole shrimp and crawfish served to me, and i have to tear the animal apart to get to the meat. But somehow, it felt different with lobster. I’m thinking it is a combination of the size and completeness of the animal. At any rate, I felt unusually aware that I was eating a large bug.

And you know what? I wasn’t impressed. I’m sure part of it is that I’m in Utah, thousands of miles from where the lobster are, and that the creatures are shipped live over that distance -- and that their muscles (and therefore meat) had atrophied some in that time. Part of it may just be the restaurant; Red Lobster isn’t a five-star place. At any rate, I was expecting an experience more like the first time I had a tenderloin steak or sashimi. I was pretty underwhelmed, all things told. I agree with Bryce: Snow Crab is better. The fact that lobster is pretty expensive doesn’t help the case either. One thing I was really suprised to learn was how ‘healthy’ lobster is. The lobster I had was about 1.25 pounds. If you don’t eat it with sauces or butter, it comes in at 145 calories -- that’s less than a lot of things. The calorie/dollar ratio of Lobster is therefore pretty low. But for me, it was worthwhile, as I had never had lobster before. It was fun cracking it open & tearing the thing apart to get to the meat. Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling of eating a large bug.