Ya know, as a kid I remember Christmas quite fondly. Lots of playing with my two cousins, watching movies (Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story never get old), and sleeping. What the hell happened to that? Well, after a vacation that took my fiance and me all across Texas, and eventually to the west coast, I’m ready for some relaxing classes.
A couple of cool books that I either a) got for Christmas or b) found the time to read during said break: Alton Brown’s I’m Just Here for the Food and I’m Just Here for More Food. I’ve always considered cooking to be something of an artistic endeavor, hence one that I am genetically stunted from achieving. Alton dispels that notion by illustrating in extremely entertaining prose and pictures how cooking is definitely a quantitative enterprise. Of course, The Joy of Cooking does as well, but it doesn’t make Spinal Tap references while instructing the reader.
One of the highlights of my Christmas break was meeting Penn Jillette and Teller after their Las Vegas show at the Rio (I say meet…we said hi, got our pics taken, and a few things signed and moved on…they’re busy people). For anyone who hasn’t read Penn’s novel SOCK would do well to pick it up and give it a try. Also, if you’ve never seen their show Bullshit!, run, don’t walk, to the nearest Best Buy and buy a copy. Yes, Teller talks in person. Quite a lot in fact. And Penn is as gracious in person as he is boisterous on TV.
One more quick thing. Anyone that’s actively followed this board will know that patent rights and intellectual property are subjects I find interesting (please don’t judge me…I don’t judge you), so for those of you who also find such nerdy things to your liking here is an interesting interview with Bill Gates.
FYI: DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. For the intents of the article it refers to the systemic protocol that Windows Media Player and other Windows programs utilize that prevents users from utilizing certain media (songs, video, certain files) in ways other than their immediate form. Eg. using a song in a slide show. Movie maker will not let you if the song has DRM that prevents it, even though you own the CD of the song, and have no intention of publicly screening said slide show.