Most of you know, but this isn’t the only place on the web I’m writing. In 2009 I started a freelance gig with Macworld (my 12-year-old self would be blown away to know I’m writing for them), thus fulfilling a long-time dream of getting paid to listen to music and play with audio equipment.
I’ve reviewed 24 (!) models so far, with at least five more to come.
In my first article, I reviewed 12 in-ear models (Macworld calls them “canalbuds” as they’re sort of hybrids between earbuds and in-ear-models, or “canalphones”, although I’d probably just classify them all as IEMs).
In my second article for them, I reviewed 11 more IEMs. This time they were headsets, meaning they had a built-in microphone for taking phone calls. Evaluating microphones was new to me, but I think I did it well.
That article was published this spring. Since then they (or, more accurately, my editorial contact) have been sending me a steady trickle of IEM headsets and headphones. They’ve decided to publish them as individual reviews (which makes my life easier, for the most part), and the first review—of the Skullcandy 50/50—was published last week. Another should be out in the next few days, and then maybe one a week for next month or so.
It’s a great hobby, and I’d certainly like to continue to do it, and maybe even expand to other products outside of the under $120 IEM market. Here’s hoping.
I guess they’re following me around. I can’t speak with any authority (or really, any first-hand knowledge at all) about many of their picks, but I like Pappy’s Smokehouse (full review to come), Forest Park is indeed impressive, and the Royale seems pretty cool from my brief time their (although their cocktails just don’t compare to Anvil’s). More takes on St. Louis bars and restaurants to come, assuming I get around to them.
And I agree with him. The iPad’s lovely, and there’s certainly a lot to recommend it over a Kindle if you want a reading device that’s also a multi-purpose portable computer. But if you want to read a lot of text with as little friction as possible, the Kindle’s the way to go. It has a great lack of fatigue and it keeps you focused. I certainly don’t regret buying mine (well, requesting it as a gift) a month or so before the iPad was announced.
But I still have an iPad. And I wish this new model had been around when my Kindle 2 was purchased—the grey bezel is nice, I like the button layout better, and I would have gladly saved my gift-giver some money by requesting the WiFi version, as 3G is totally overkill for the way I use the device.
Also, if you’re like me and you read a lot of stuff online, do yourself a favor and start using Instapaper—on the web, on an iPhone or iPad, or, for peak efficiency, a Kindle.
One of my favorite things. Thanks to Thom and Bryan for introducing me to the wonders of gueuze, Cindy for picking out our first Flemish sour, and some random girl in a bar who didn’t like her bottle of Lindemann’s Framboise and thus introduced me to lambics, way back in the day.
A possible explanation for vodka preferences despite the ideal that a perfect vodka would taste like water, posted as a potential rebuttal to the column I posted earlier. I’ll stick with Bobby on this one, though.
“If you are the type of person who orders a vodka martini dry or without vermouth, you are basically asking for the most flavorless cocktail possible.”—Bobby Heugel, The Kangaroo Cocktail
I hate vodka. It’s pointless on its own, and Bobby does a good job of explaining why. I keep it around because it’s occasionally useful in cooking, and it’s a great way to make your own flavored liqors, but I’m pretty sure that anybody who claims to be a vodka connoisseur is full of shit. There’s a vodka bar here in St. Louis, and I really have to wonder, what’s the fucking point?
I have long had a name for Jobs’ clever move. I call it the “High Ground Maneuver.” I first noticed an executive using it years ago, and I’ve since used it a number of times when the situation called for it. The move involves taking an argument up to a level where you can say something that is absolutely true while changing the context at the same time. Once the move has been executed, the other participants will fear appearing small-minded if they drag the argument back to the detail level. It’s an instant game changer.
For example, if a military drone accidentally kills civilians, and there is a public outcry, it would be a mistake for the military to spend too much time talking about what went wrong with that particular mission. The High Ground Maneuver would go something like this: “War is messy. No one wants civilians to die. We will study this situation to see how we can better avoid it in the future.”
Notice that the response is succinct, indisputably true, and that the context has been taken to a higher level, about war in general. That’s what Jobs did. It’s a powerful technique, and you can use it at home.
Immediately upon reading this, I recognized it as a tactic that a former boss (guess which one?) frequently used. Change the topic of the debate from one that you can’t win to one you can. Eliminate the pesky details that are being used against you by making the argument about something more general.
This was always very frustrating to me, and as Adams indicates, it’s very hard to counter. Once you’re aware of it you’ll recognize it time and time again. It’s certainly helpful to know it’s being used… but the important question (and one that I don’t have an answer for) remains, how do you counter it?