Monday, August 31, 2009

Text Substitution

I just noticed a feature that I don't recall seeing in the 10.6 feature list; text substitution, in System Prefs->Language & Text->Text. If you can't remember that option–; produces an ellipsis or option–2 produces a trademark symbol, then you can turn on text substitution (if the app supports it) and then just type 3 periods or "tm" respectively. There've been apps that would do this for you ever since, jeez, System 7 maybe? TypeIt4Me is one. But they didn't always work. Hopefully this will, it being an actual OS feature now. I'll have to think of some things I'd like it to substitute for me, since I already know most of the option key chars.

Still waiting for iStat Menus to get updated for 10.6 so I can install it on the rest of the Macs.

Apple Sucks

OK, fuck it. I'm switching to these computers. Why? That'll be obvious once you see their slightly NSFW ads (no naughty bits are showing). Hubba fucking hubba.

Groovy JD Images

Here's a gallery of HDR images of John Deeres. Dirt and grime look really good in HDR. I just wish Jalopnik would use a better gallery. This new one sucks so fucking hard. You have to click more than needed, and you really have to junk through rings of fire if you want to snatch their fullsize images.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Of Cake and Cats

Here's Kim's weird cake.

The cats gets to play in the garage on Saturdays. I looked out and saw that Squiggy wanted to go for a ride.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Really? Fall Already?

Man, it's chilly today. First day of the season that the weather made me wear pants. Goddamnit.

We dropped off the receiver today, then headed to the Ridgedale Apple store. Had a nice old guy helping us. Musta been 75 or so. Nice to see somebody like that in there. I also picked up 10.6 while I was there—I almost forgot about it being out today. I've installed it on the MacBook Pro so far, but think I will hold off until some 3rd party shit gets updated, like iStat Menus. It doesn't load in 10.6. It's also goofy the way Apple made the System Preferences quit and relaunch if you try to use a 32–bit panel. Maybe it will prompt tons of users to bug the fuck out of developers that haven't released a 64–bit version of the pref pane.

I also got her Guitar Hero: Smash Hits. She wanted Barracuda. I like that it has a bunch of really good songs, like Caught in a Mosh, Them Bones, Godzilla, Mother, The Trooper, Cult of Personality, Cowboys from Hell (although I wish it was Walk instead), No One Knows, Psychobilly Freakout, Woman, and… wait for it… YYZ. I don't play it much, but the other night we were trading back and forth and I thought I'd try some song on the hardest level. Fuck! Lots of right hand slides and stuff on the special slidy area of the neck. But I didn't do too bad. I kept getting my left fingers out of position when I'd go up to the 5th "fret". Sorta fun. Looking forward to Forza Motorsport 3 this fall.

Baked her a birthday cake this afternoon. French vanilla with cherry frosting. I even decorated it. Drew a goofy little cartoon cat for the helluvit, and shook on some red sprinkles. I'm so Julia Child.

More Metal Cello

Here's one of the guys from Apocalyptica dueling with a guitarist from Cry for Silence. Cellos and distortion were made for each other.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Cooked Amps and Tiny WiFi Hotspots

Kim's in NY for a couple days. She called and bitched about the internet connectivity of the supposedly high class hotel she's in. There's nothing in the rooms. In the lobby is a certain chair that can get a wireless connection, but not reliably. There's also something where you pay like $10 for 5 minutes to use. What a bunch of shit. Even the AmericInn in podunk Peoria had free wireless throughout the hotel.

Our Marantz receiver has been acting up ever since the MartinLogans got hooked up. Not right away, but after a couple days of running the radio through them during the afternoon at a reasonable volume to help them get broken in. Now it shuts down when the volume knob gets past a certain level. I tried switching out the MLs for the old Definitives, but it still happens. Also tried unhooking the other channels one by one to see if one was shorted out or something. So I called Stereoland and he surmised that, since the MLs' high section goes down to around 2Ω that perhaps the Marantz is not handling that heavy of a load so well, and might've cooked something during the extended sessions. The manual lists 8Ω and 6Ω power ratings. At least it has a 3–year warranty and I've had it for exactly 1 year minus 3 days, so I'll take 'er in for fixin'. I'll drop it off tomorrow while we're on Kim's iPhone birthday present shopping trip. But, I have a hunch it will happen again after a short time. Fuck. My only option would be to get another 2–channel amp to use for the MLs. I'm guessing something that can deliver good, clean power to 2Ω ain't gonna be cheap. I know; I'll build a Heathkit amp! Then I'll build these speakers and sell the electrostats!

Rug U Want

Mark Mothersbaugh (ya know, the Devo guy) has some rugs. They're really cool. I love his weird sense of style. Loom it. Loom it good.

When in Doubt, Make Shit Up

Some of these movie posters from Ghana are weird beyond comprehension. Cujo looks more like he got into some meatloaf while napping on the porch than a killing beast.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Peoria—Still Sounds Like a Gum Disease

The road trip was pretty good. This is the first time I've had someone else with me. It didn't make the trip go any faster, but it was less boring. Those last couple hours once you get into Illinois always suck.

When I get back home, I need to debug the receiver. Damn thing is shutting off after a few seconds while watching Blu–ray. Listening to radio is fine. Watching satellite is fine, except some channels. It almost sounds like a problem with some audio or video throughput. Dunno, but it pisses me off. Perhaps I cooked some chip by having it in the cabinet. It does get pretty hot, but I assumed it was OK because the cabinet has all sorts of slots for cooling in the bottom and shelves. At first I thought it was the electrostats causing the problem and feared the receiver was too weak to handle them. But then I plugged in the old speakers instead and the problem persisted.

If you're reading this on Tuesday, think of me and how boring some of the meetings are. And if you think hard enough, maybe you can transport me back home. I'd appreciate it!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sister Visit

We had a nice time with my sister visiting over the weekend. Took her to Excelsior and Hopkins, ate at Smashburger and Maynard's. It's OK there. Valets, pretty good menu (I had a Cuban, which was pretty fucking good), huge patio if you want to eat out there and look at the lake. The people watching is really interesting. Lots and lots of snooty rich people; bitchy women and asshole men. When we were snaking our way through the people to go outside, I apparently missed some woman who was showing about 6" of underwear above the back of her pants. Deb and Kim saw it. Bright pink I think. Not a thong, but regular panties or even granny panties, judging by how high up they went.

Not for an absolutely sucky week as I head to Peoria for a complete waste of time, then Kim goes to NY after I get back.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

More Rain

OK, so we haven't had much rain this Summer. But one solid day of it is enough. More sun, please.

My sister's coming up to visit for the weekend. Should get here tonight, hopefully after rush hour. I doubt she's driven in heavy traffic since she left Tulsa many years ago, but I'm sure she and her little truck can handle it.

I was hoping this week would've been more busy at work, after a week–long vacation. I'm waiting for the guys in the home office to finish their part of the work, which has to be done before I can do the rest of it. But it's been taking them months. I'm not used to having to wait for others to finish projects like this. I'm usually the one that designs and codes new features and such, and I do it very quickly, so I'm going nuts waiting and wondering why this is taking so long. And I get waaay too few progress updates. Arg.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Gigantic Hair

The most recent exhibition at Square America is a collection of hairdos at one salon around the turn of the '60s/'70s decade. Not just any hairdos, but big, enormous hairdos with lots of plantlife and other props in them. They defy gravity. The cans of hairspray for just one of them probably did more to deplete the ozone layer than all the cars in the state. The woman with the large playing cards doesn't look too thrilled with what she must now be seen with.

I dig the chrome dryers, orange chairs, the floor, and the sunburst clock. They must've done a booming business with all those dryers. But then back in those days, tons of women of all ages would get a weekly shampoo and set, and those chairs were full and the gossip in the air was thick as pea soup.


The new microwave was delivered yesterday and, with the help of Geoff, lifted it into place that evening. The one on display in the store didn't have a timer button. I thought that was really odd. All microwaves since the beginning of time have a timer. But we figured we could get by using the one on the stove and a manual dingy one, although neither allows you to do seconds. Turns out, everybody bitched and LG ended up putting a timer button on this model at some point. They simply moved the Start button to the left and added the Timer button there. Easy as cake.

Man, it's only 200 watts more powerful than the old one (1100 vs. 900), but the old one must've been worn out or something. To test it today, I cooked a hot dog with the Hot Dog button. Man, was that fast. Now we'll have to get used to cooking things for less time or on a lower power.

Whoever installed the previous microwave was a complete Gomer. I'm guessing it was the previous owner. He seemed like he'd have a hard time figuring out how to work a hammer. There were 2 holes drilled through the bottom of the upper cabinet where 2 large bolts go through to secure the oven in place. It looks like he held a beaver up there and had it chomp through the cabinet. The holes are about 5 times too big and are nowhere near circular. So I had to add some big ass washers to make sure the bolt head never pulls through.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gold–plated Pig Guts

In the "Electrostatic History" section of the MartinLogan owner's manual:
Bell Laboratory's electrostat was something to behold. This enormous bipolar speaker was as big as a door. The diaphragm, which was beginning to rot, was made of a pig intestine that was covered with fine gold leaf to conduct the audio signal.
This was around 1923. I didn't know electrostatic speakers had been around for so long.

Monday, August 17, 2009

RC Rocket Launcher

Here's a really fun video. Not only does the guy have a seriously cool camera and head–mounted monitor and controller (yup, he pans the camera by turning his head), but he also mounted some rockets to the little plane and recorded the flight. Great fucking song too. Rammstein are so good.

Françoise Hardy

My speakers are here! Got them hooked up and will be blasting music through them during the day to get them broken in. (Also need to get the atoms all lined up in the cables, ya know. Now where'd I put my $1200 power cable burn–in–er?)

Saw a different video by this beautiful, sexy French chick. I've heard the name, but this is the first time I've seen or heard her sing. I'm not sure what she's singing about, but I don't really care. She's gorgeous. This was probably late '60s or early '70s. Hot even by today's standards.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Logos and Microwaves

Here's an interesting look at how logos have been overhauled for better and for worse. I hate the new crooked Pepsi logo; the old wave was Pepsi, and new one looks like some stupid Pokémon logo. I don't really mind the new BP look, but the old staid and simple shield was always a favorite of mine. The Kraft makeover is horrendous. Lower case letters and a binky little splat at the end still doesn't make Walmart a brand I'll trust or go to for any reason other than to puke on them.

Yesterday we went to the big park by the lake in Excelsior and just laid in the sun. The place was almost deserted, which seemed weird, but then it was the middle of the week. After that we got delicious ice cream; a peppermint shake for me and something called Superman sherbet in a sugar cone for Kim. Cooked pork chops for supper and played with the mini. I found some more apps for the iPod to use as a controller. Air Mouse Pro is by far the coolest and offers the most features, and it's on sale for $2 instead of $6. Whee. Also got the free Mocha VNC Lite to do screen sharing. It takes a lot of zooming and scrolling to navigate around a 1920x1080 screen via the iPod touch screen. We've been using Boxee, which sort of gathers many video sites (Hulu, Joost, MTV, etc…) into an easy–to–navigate FrontRow type UI. It also has a free iPod app for getting around in it. Boxee is still in alpha, so many of the sites don't work. But nicely, many of the commercials also don't work at this point. Score!

We walked around downtown Hopkins today, looking at all the little stores on Main St. Really not much that interested Kim, but I dig junky old antique stores. We went into a couple. I got a genuine Dog 'n' Suds heavy glass mug at one. I know I've been to a Dog 'n' Suds when I was a kid, but I can't remember where it was? Was the drive–in in Washington always an A&W? Hmm.

After that we went back to the place where I got my glasses and had my regular lenses put back in. I just wasn't digging the Progressive lenses that I wanted to try recently. The number of times that they pissed me off far outnumbered the times that they helped: Watching TV sucked, forcing me to sit upright (not gonna happen) or perch my glasses down on my nose. Could no longer glance at driver side rear view mirror without turning head. Couldn't look at something straight down on the floor without having to bend my neck way down so I looked like Charlie Brown when he was depressed.

Since we were over there, we went to Warner's Stellian and picked out a new microwave to replace the underpowered cheap black one that was in the house. We decided on an LG—this'll be my first experience with one of their products. The one we liked has a great looking front face that mimics our oven door, 2 lights near the front for much more useful stovetop lighting, and a 5–speed fan whose slower speeds are actually not annoying like so many vent fans are (not that we use it much because of the downdraft exhaust in the stove, but it is useful once in a while). It also has a unique turntable that also rolls from side to side as it turns, helping to eliminate any cold or hot spots that the magnetron misses or focuses on.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Plants and Ice Cream

Today's outing was to the Arboretum out west on 5. I didn't know it was a U of M thing. It's a pretty neat place, and big. Lots to see, if you're into looking at plants. Take a compass though. We got a bit lost trying to get from one area to another because the paths don't really look like they do on the map, and they wind around like crazy. But I'm happy to report that we never circled around and went over the same path twice. We spent maybe 2.5 hours looking around, then headed to the main building for a Nestlé Crunch ice cream bar from the cafeteria upstairs.

Man, my Grandpa on my Mom's side would've loved that place. He was such a plant guy, and took care of a good size garden at the jr. high school in Washington, IA, featuring banana trees and huge philodendrons with delicious fruit. In 6th grade we had to make a leaf book. You know, go around and collect a bunch of leaves from different trees and write about them. I had pretty much the same leaves as everyone else, but I was the only kid with a 3' banana leaf and a giant leaf and fruit from a South American philodendron. Everybody got a bite. I got an A.

His large yard was also full of all kinds of plants. I'd help him water things when I was a kid, or carry the snippers and things if he needed to prune something. We'd always finish the job with a nice cool drink of water from their well, pumped into an aluminum cup he kept hanging on it. That was good water.

Mac mini

First off, I wish Apple would capitalize all the product names. It's confusing when you're reading an article which isn't clear if "mini" is a Mac or an adjective for the next word in the sentence, and if "touch" is an iPod of a verb. Second, stop reusing product names when major leaps in technology have been taken, e.g. the AirPort Extreme that did 802.11g and the AirPort Extreme that does 802.11n, and the two AirPort Expresses, one old, one "extreme". How many Mac Pros and iMacs and PowerBooks and so on have their been over the years? Go back to using numbers like PowerMac 8500 or IIfx. Those are names that mean something and (usually) describe only one product.

In the course of the same week, I started thinking about adding a mini (the Mac) to the stereo cabinet for viewing videos and other shit when there's nothing decent on the DVR or live TV. Many times I'd wanted to show Kim some YouTube video I'd seen, or watch Emergency!, without having to go into the office and try to fit both of us behind the desk (it was built and arranged for one person at a time). So we figured what the hell. Then I read a Macworld article about the different possibility for controlling it remotely (a few different iPod apps) and for putting up a friendly UI (such as Front Row), and other things. So we went up to the nearest Apple store and got one, along with the appropriate mini–DVI to HDMI adapter so I could get the video to the receiver. I also had one of those goofy 1/8" minijack optical cables lying around, so I could get the digital audio feed into the receiver.

Works pretty nicely. Man, it's weird looking at a 50" screen across the room. We're just controlling it by screen sharing it with the MacBook Pro for now. I'll go look at the iPod apps now and try them out.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Holiday Sinn

There are so many large companies that just don't get it. Like Radio Shack changing its name to The Shack, and now Holiday Inn changing its sign, logo, and lettering. That's just sick and wrong. Would you want to pull your family into a parking lot with that new cold, corporately stale sign out front? Not me. I'd look for the comforting old metal sign lit by lots of external light bulbs, neon, and a big gaudy star on top. That says "holiday"; the new sign says "my boss made me go on a business trip to discuss the budget and sales figures with Harris from Cincinnati." Dumb fucking bastards. Even the version they started using in the '80s sucked and was all business.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

$2M speakers

Jeez. Talk about excessive speakers. More power to 'em, but hell! Click through Gizmodo to the source article to see the specs, "including 143dB".

Friday, August 7, 2009


I love this treehouse. Be sure to take the 7–minute tour. My favorite line (and remember he's like 10): "…but I was young back then."

New York CITY?!??

Kim just told me that a large chunk of the WalMart corporate staff has moved to offices in New York, at least in the garment and jewelry divisions. Raise an ear to the east, listen closely, and you can hear them speaking:

"They got trains that run down in caves!"

"Why do alla them fellers we meet with from th' joory business wear long curly sideburns and beanies? They sissies er sumthin? And whatta they mean when they call me a shluh–meel all the time?"

"Them cab drivers is about the funniest talkin' Mexicans I ever heard."

Just wait until somebody tells them about the Naked Cowboy. Thars a–gonna be some guns to be a–gettin'.

Quadruple Bass Pedal

Kids these days. Some shorter takes and quicker cuts would've made this funnier. This could've easily been me and the guys back in '78, except their hair is longer than ours was. I had all sorts of weird ideas for drum inventions. I even made one that played a cymbal by tapping it with a stick attached to a hi–hat pedal.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Schecter Guitars

Schecter is making some really cool shit, as always. Although they could use a better site design instead of the 100% Flash crap that makes it impossible to link to anything. They're making some 8–string guitars now, with 2 extra low strings, F# and B. That would sound fuckin' great. I've always like baritone guitars in Dwight Yoakam type country. Mix that with some extra crunchy power chords and you've got a really nice sound. Check the V8 Hellraiser Limited in the 2009 Limiteds section. The rusted metal look on 4 of those models is also sorta neat, although I wouldn't buy one. In the Custom section, the Green Flame is interesting. Again, not something I'd buy, but it's neat to look at. I would, however, play the Sunset–7 Martian Girl. Everyone would want to play with her knobs.

There was an 8–string bass of some make at My Music Store. Not 8 individual strings, but doubled up like what Tom Petersson sometimes plays when 12 strings are just too much. I didn't have a chance to ask to play it, but I'd love to.

Three Button Hand Me Down

Andy had me listen to this Faces song I'd never heard before. He wanted Kim to hear the bass line. I like how he overdrives it here and there, betting some natural fuzz out of the amp. Rod is so Rod right at the end.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Radio Shackizzle

I'm sorry I said "Shackizzle". Radio Shack is trying to become hip. Ya know, "with it". 23 skidoo! How will they perform such a feat? They'll change their name to The Shack. As in, "dude, let's motor to The Shack and score some awesome MOSFETs!" "Like dude, I'm so there!" "Dude, sweet, like dude!" I'm not sure that hipifying your own image actually works. Do all the kids now hang at Wendy's because their new commercials have a sweet young thing voicing Wendy so she sounds totally brain–dead; "it's wayyyyy better than fast food." I don't know if it worked for McDonald's when they started using the annoying "Mickey D's" in their advertising because the place was already popular with the urban crowd.

No matter. Changing the name is not going to sell more electronics parts, RC tanks, or goddamn cell phones (which seems to be their main meal ticket these days). I'd say to respect your history and forefathers and don't fuck with the name. It's an American mainstay, and I'll refuse to call it The Shack. Just fix the logo so the R is in the center of the circle. It looks like an alignment problem the way it is. Or come up with something that won't be confused with the ® symbol. And if you change anything, try hiring actual geeks and electronics nerds instead of the really weird guys in their late 20s who think they're should be having a power lunch because they wear a button–down shirt and a tie, could be easily mistaken for terrorists, and vow to seek vengeance on any customer who doesn't buy a service plan or who returns something. Seriously, I haven't seen a Radio Shack employee for the past 10 years who doesn't freak me out.

Hands at 10 & 2, Not on Whore

Oh, why must white trash be allowed to roam free? Here's a real winner of a pair, busted for being drunk and screwin' while drivin'. Her first name is Nikie. Seriously. Like Nike the shoe?

My Room Circa 1976

For years I envisioned building a mammoth headboard stereo cabinet for my waterbed, full of gear and even some built–in speakers. I spent hours scanning through Stereo Review magazines and drawing up plans of what components I'd get and how they'd fit into the cabinet. Here's another great shot from Aloha Friday that shows what it might've looked like. There're at least a couple Marantz components in there, and even an 8–track. I'm sure I also would've had the "Danger: High Voltage" sign. Nice touch.

Still waiting for the Martin Logans to get here.

Rush Slut

Whoa. If an '80s guy can't get laid around these 4 chicks, he's got problems. There's one for every type. This photo came from Aloha Friday, which is a fascinating collection of odd photos and stuff. Obviously, I'll try to make it with the chick in the Rush hat. I'll probably have to score a bottle of Tickle Pink for her first.

Miami Robot Vice Dork

Hopefully you aren't about to or haven't just eaten, because there's a good chance you'll hurl or laugh until you hurl. Really, it can go either way with this music video by the black guy on Miami Vice. How much did the video director get to make this piece of crap and not laugh right in PMT's face at how utterly stupid the entire thing is? Musta been a heap.

Speaking of crappy (this one was a "related video", but I'm not sure how it's related), you know it's bad when even Gilligan's Island goes down the drain. But it can happen, as the opening for the cartoon Gilligan's Planet shows.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I was looking for a photo of people sitting on a Superbird/Daytona wing when I saw this pro–mod Superbird. Damn, that's one mean looking hippy crusher.

And look at this thing; Cudabird? I like it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Anybody Else Sick of Twitter?

It can go away now. It's the latest craze for people with the attention span of fly on speed. And naturally, it's being used in all the wrong ways. Yes, retail and manufacturing companies are using it for who the fuck knows what reason. Like Zildjian. What do they have to tweet about? "Just got back from the lathing shop and man is there a lot of brass on the floor." "Some molten brass splashed onto the floor and it looked like jesus." Those are just my guesses, cuz I'm not going to even go to a Twitter site unless it's absolutely necessary.

One of our close neighbors said that another neighbor woman in the other cul de sac we'll call "Connie" tweets all day long. This is a woman who's always the loudest at any get together, talks constantly, acts like she's a real big deal, and now has one of those horrible, harsh hairdos like that bitch on that stupid show about the idiots with 8 kids. Maybe when she's home alone all day, there's nobody to listen to her, so she has to spew it out for the rest of the world to read because she won't shut up for 3 seconds. Twit[ter] is right.

Whew. Looks like I dodged the going–to–Peoria bullet this week, and I'm on vacation next week. We're trying to talk them into getting into the 21st Century and getting a video conference going rather than waste all that time, money, and fuel to get the 2 of us down there for a 1–day meeting. It's just so lame that, in this day and age, people feel we need to be in the same room in order to brainstorm and whatnot. The 2 travel days is a huge waste of our time and gas. Save money—save the company. Simple.

The Pompawhat of Love?

Here's a great story about the origin of "the pompitous of love".

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Trans Am Javelin

Poke me with a fork, I think my brain has been cooked. This is so hot. Peter Revson's AMC Javelin that he drove in a bunch of Trans Am races has been restored and is for sale. Quick, loan me $200k.

Another Drive–in

There's been a drive–in on Highway 7 called Wagner's for many years, I hear. It just reopened as The Galaxy Drive–in. We were going to try it Friday night, but it was packed. We went today at about 1:30. It was still packed, but actually had one drive–up space open. The cute girl on roller skates led us in and helped me park (we were in the truck). Good burgers! I had a chocolate shake, but did not like it very much. The problem is that they made it from chocolate ice cream, soft–serve I assume. It had that chocolate ice cream flavor instead of a chocolate syrup in a shake flavor. As a shake connoisseur, that just ain't right.

Kim had the grilled cheese, but said it was too dry—not greasy enough, like they didn't put any butter on the outside of the bread to help brown it as it was grilled. So, kind of weird ideas for some of the items. But at least they have real window trays like a drive–in should.

The improvements in the new FX35 are pretty cool. 4 cameras show you a simulated overhead view when you're backing up or pulling into a parking space. Pretty cool. The voice command stuff for making calls and controlling the audio and nav system is really handy for keeping your eyes on the road. A bunch of safety stuff, like braking if you're about to ram into the car ahead of you. And there's a system you can turn on that helps keep you in the lane by applying brakes per side. If you know your driving is going to suck, wouldn't you pay more attention or get some caffeine instead of relying on something like that? I dunno. And the nav screen is now a touchscreen. Duh! It has flappy paddles (solid magnesium, no less!), as Jeremy Clarkson would say, although they're more of a toy than being a real double clutch shifting system—they do the same thing as the +/- positions that you can jab the shifter at when you knock it into the tiptronic position. Although it does do rev matching when you downshift. Nice!

The color is kinda weird. I thought it was going to be a rich, deep brown, because it's called Midnight Mocha. Sure looks brown on the web site. It's actually more of a brownish dark graphite that turns purplish in the sun. The interior is gorgeous; Java leather and real maple wood with some gorgeous flame. The 2 big gauges have a cool purplish blue ring, and the whole instrument panel is sunken deeply into the dash, emphasizing the blackness of it all. They still annoyingly use Bose, and the sound is still pretty Bose–like.

Oh, and an iPod connection, although it stupidly doesn't support the iPod touch. WTF? So Kim has to use her old one. Hopefully they'll release some sort of software update to remedy that. There's also a hard drive that you can rip CDs onto, including Gracenote support. I grabbed The Pretender's latest and tried it. It didn't have that album in the db or however it gets the track info, so I had to enter it manually. It's really annoying entering text with an onscreen keyboard that's in alphabetical order. Thankfully, there's an option to change it to QWERTY. I wish the Xbox had that.

The seats are now cooled as well as heated. What? No climate controlled steering wheel and shift knob? No foot massaging whirlpool? What crap!!