Rapid Fire

FCPX-icon

I’m really excited over a couple things. First I know Apple just released version 10.0.8 for Final Cut. Most of the changes don’t seem to affect me or help to speed my workflow. Having support for Sony’s 4k codec is not something that concerns me at the moment, nor is support for Alexa’s log. The positive thing is Apple is finally admitting that they lost professional users and are publicly making a bid to get them back.

Finally, the Wolverine trailer is out! The franchise took a big hit when Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, the Wrestler, Pi) stepped out of production. His presence made Wolverine look promising especially after the first origins movie. However, they did get Walk the Line and 3:10 to Yuma director James Mangold to helm after Darren’s departure. That’s more than a healthy alternative.

The Oscar Effect

oscar_1776

I normally disregard awards. (well, unless I win them). I like Seth McFarlane. He led me to the show and kept me watching, I thought he did great. I knew Ang Lee from his varied work from Crouching Tiger to the underrated Incredible Hulk. So he wins Best Director for Life of Pi.  So I watch Life of Pi. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. I’m hypnotized by the world he created and I sit in silence five minutes after the movie ends, reliving what I just saw. Reliving how I felt when I watched it just moments earlier. That doesn’t happen often with me.

It just so happens that the other most recent time a film had that effect was another Oscar winner. It’s a short film called Curfew. Everything was great down to the use of anamorphic lenses.

Two highly recommended movies.

FCPX 10.0.7 Quick Review

FCPX-icon

I came from Premiere Pro ages ago when Final Cut was the industry standard. When Apple decided to overhaul everything in FCPX, i jumped on board. It seems as though everyone went to CS6. The monthly membership to Adobe’s Cloud sounded supremely enticing but Final Cut Pro X worked well enough for me. I’m glad I stuck with it because whoa did 10.0.7 (apparently this happened with 10.0.6 but I was late to update) supercharge everything. Now I still have some issues with exporting FCPXML into DaVinci Resolve and it’s still NOT easy to go between Motion and Final Cut, but this truly feels like a pro editing piece of software now. Toss those “glorified iMovie” references out the window.

I’m somewhat distinguished for my speedy delivery. A huge reason is FCPX. Clip and audio syncing (no more Plural Eyes), magnetic timeline, and robust Color Board with Paste Attributes all help me deliver projects quickly. The Retina support also means I don’t have to rely on my Thunderbolt Display. Full HD in a small window with video scopes on. Wow!

I also use Western Digital’s 2 tb passport. With USB 3.0 on FCPX 10.0.4 things were choppy and sluggish. I would import everything onto the limited SSD in my Macbook and duplicate everything when the project was done. Rendering and transfering time is now cut in half because somehow after the upgrade, I can edit directly from the external harddrive. Of course when I stack 4-5 adjustment layers, I’ll see hiccups and the occasional spinning beach ball from color hell but it’s worth it and I remain extremely mobile.

Give it FCPX a shot!

Shameless

way to get more views. Inside joke with a buddy of mine as we were talking about this just hours earlier. I once wrote something about Adam Levine that to this day gets me hits on this blog. Well guess what?!!

Adam Levine. Adam Levine. He’s hosting Saturday Night Live and here’s the promo. Adam. Levine.

Fun Fact: Did you know that before Maroon 5 Levine’s band was known as Kara’s Flowers? I didn’t. I swear.

 

Adam Levine on Inked Magazine 1

Amazon in California

As a Californian, I take for granted the many amenities associated with the state. I complain when there’s a drizzle and scold the sun when it reaches 80 degrees. I’m irritated that the cyclists take too much road space and discontent when immersed in traffic. When September 15th arrives, I’ll be saddened that I now have to pay sales tax when ordering from Amazon.

As a Californian, I pay anywhere from 7.25 to 9.75% tax on items purchased. For many years Amazon was the loop hole that allowed me to save hundreds of dollars. My recent Macbook Pro purchase netted me a savings of $214.oo alone. It’s a substantial amount considering the number of purchases I’ve made through the online giant.

Though the state is due to see roughly an $83 million dollar boon from Amazon by itself, I am one tight Californian. This could potentially be an enormous positive for the debt ridden Golden State but right now all I see is an Arnold look-a-like in a ridiculously huge Unimog.

I’ll be stock piling on supplies before the 15th, will you?

More info here.

Congratulations Chris, Jenna, and Jayden!

 

You came to the first day of work just a kid and now look, you’re a kid with a baby. I really appreciate all your help at work and am confident in your abilities as new father. And never forget to remember to teach him:

“Mercy is for the weak. Here, in the streets, in competition: A man confronts you, he is the enemy. An enemy deserves no mercy.” – John Kreese

Why Tony Scott?

As to the whys that may be explained in the letter left in his home, I can’t help but feel abnormally saddened by Tony’s suicide. Being a hollywood figure with any level of prominence is a dream that many wish to attain, so why? I may never understand nor do I need to. However, I must try to reason why it’s affecting me.

Directors are often overlooked when friends gather round. If the discussion goes beyond acting or plot, they are usually brought up in a snotty way “David Mamet is so much better than Nolan.” Only the great ones are known (Spielberg, Nolan, Scorsese…) or the very bad ones (Michael Bay). The average are hardly talked about at the casual level. Tony Scott was far from average reaching consistent box office success since Top Gun and recently with Unstoppable. Hey if Denzel insisted on working with Tony then Tony must be pretty good.

Ridley got most of the critical attention with the epic worlds he created in Gladiator, Alien and Blade Runner. Tony stayed here on Earth, present day, for the most part with a frenetic and kinetic style of editing that is copied too often with too little credit. I admire Tony’s conistency, I never doubted that I’d like an upcoming movie of his. I couldn’t say the same for his brother as a few were complete messes. The theatrical version of Kingdom of Heaven was so bad I couldn’t help but feel trepidation for Prometheus.

This wasn’t meant to be a debate or a comparison. Just a reminder that Tony was a great director and I will be missing his work.

2010 Unstoppable

2009 The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

2007 Numb3rs (TV series)

Trust Metric (2007)

2006 Deja Vu

2005 Domino

2004 Agent Orange (short)

2004 Man on Fire

2002 Beat the Devil (short)

2001 Spy Game

1997-1999 The Hunger (TV series)

Sanctuary (1999)

The Swords (1997)

1999 Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael (video documentary) (video “One More Try”)

1998 Enemy of the State

1996 The Fan

1995 Crimson Tide

1993 True Romance

1991 The Last Boy Scout

1990 Days of Thunder

1990 Revenge

1987 Beverly Hills Cop II

1986 Top Gun

1983 The Hunger

1976 Nouvelles de Henry James (TV series)

L’auteur de Beltraffio (1976)

1971 Loving Memory (as Anthony Scott)

1969 One of the Missing (short)

Blogging is hard work.

TO YOU:

I know I’m a cry baby. Before I got into the food business, I held a competition once a week at my condo in Downtown San Jose. I would look at the tv guide and find out what the night’s secret ingredient was on Iron Chef (the fantastically dubbed Japanese version, not the American one with the dude from Only the Strong). I’d pick up the secret ingredient as well as complimentary ones and compete alongside the show. I wheeled the 60″ tv into the kitchen and bit into the bell pepper, ready to kick ass. I won 95% of the time. Now, it helps when I also act as the judge. Also, I don’t remember competing sober. I bet that helped too.

My amazing winning percentage and encouragement from friends who sampled my cuisine yielded an ego with supreme confidence when I took over a little deli in Sunnyvale. I mean I knew the five mother sauces, was versed with spices and techniques from France to Korea, and I was fast. I had the trademark calluses from all the blade work I did on my 8 inch Henckel and 7 inch forged shantouku. I quickly learned that serving 120 customers in a lunch and making sure every meal is as equally good (or bad) from first to last customer served, is a painful process. My feet and my back were constantly achy. My hair turned grey. I found out doing something amazing once is easier than doing something great repeatedly.

So, I’ve been told I right good. Seriously, AP classes in language and composition. I’ve been told I’m funny. In the dry sarcastic way, not the your-mother-lied-to-you-about-your-face-looking-normal way. To translate that into meaningful topics that offer a solution to a problem, or at the very least, is stress-relievingly funny is super hard for me to do 3 times a week. That was my goal. 400 to 500 words 3 times a week.

Life happens, I don’t get paid to do this, I have two jobs and I’m focused on staying sober. I knew I was too busy to take blogging seriously but I want to. The more I blog, the more I understand who I am. For the millions reading this blog, I apologize for the minimal content thus far. Blogging is hard work. Even now I’m sixteen words short of 400.

Apple Apple Apple Apple Apple Apple Apple Apple Apple Apple Apple Apple Apple Apple

Mission accomplished.

Michael
Founder/CEO/Dishwasher
michaelmerto.com

You will HATE Apple?

Everyone around me knows how I’ve gone off the deep end with my Apple fandom. I’ve gone as far as buying a mini-macbook air pocket mirror and photoshopped Call of Duty on the screen. Why? Because it makes me happy. Because the neurons in my brain don’t always fire correctly. So when an article comes across my lap with any message other than “Apple creates world peace and happy babies,” it gets my attention.

To summarize the opinion in question it’s – “you will hate Apple one day.” Now this person acknowledges that Apple can choose to sell pies and the masses will fall in line for a slice but one day this beloved company will make you angry. I respect the thought and to a degree we are witnessing small cases already. Tim Cook has had to deal with fallout from the overseas labor practice review and then there was the recent Greenpeace stunt. Scrutiny over the speed in which security updates to recent flash/java disguised trojans surfaced over the web. “So this is the ship they say is unsinkable.”

It’s easy to dole out an opinion that contains the words “one day.” This form of statement can be tossed into infiniteness where 250 years down the road one would still be able to say “just you watch, one day it’s going to happen.” Let’s shrink that view and say “you will hate Apple within the next 25 years.” Great that sounds more like a respectable opinion. And I disagree.

Apple is still in second place. This is a good thing. Target fed off Walmart’s shadow and continued to grow while the smiley face was hit with negative media reporting. The same goes for Lowe’s second fiddle to Home Depot and AMD’s silver to Intel’s gold standard. Being in second place allows the type of legroom to be original. AMD had to strengthen its server CPU business and continues to set the standard in GPU’s through its ATI division. Without the weight of maintaining a lead, Lowe’s continually impresses consumer polls with it’s attention to organization and customer service. With an accented pronunciation, Tarzhay’s innovation in design and use of celebrity often gets hyped when it’s competition is scrutinized over labor standards. That’s effort, energy and resources that Walmart could have used in preparation for a more important battle with online retailers. Taking into account the post-PC market the figures back-up Apple’s placing. Windows accounts for 40% of market share, Android 35%, iOS 22%, and Mac OS X 2%. Apple comes behind in both mobile and standard operating systems. Let’s face it, leaders in the market Apple competes in have plenty of problems that Apple doesn’t. This frees up the resources necessary for Apple to remain innovation and design leaders.

The once loved list of IBM, Walmart, Nokia, and more recently Facebook, Best Buy, and Netflix never had a guy named Steve Jobs. Do not underestimate his leadership within Apple posthumous. He was a legitimate rockstar. A model for Iron Man’s Tony Stark. He was a legend that died well before his time. Let’s look at that list. Kurt Cobain, Jerry Garcia, John Lennon and Bruce Lee all passed away at too young of an age and, in part, that’s the reason their enterprises are still strong. They remain above long lasting scrutiny. Game of Death was a shitty movie but the Dragon was in it and it’s an inspiration for movies today. Hollywood will make Steve the subject of several biopics which helps to further entrench his mystifying aura. I’m not saying Apple gets a free pass but they get a certain leeway and cult status that won’t evaporate anytime soon. Don’t underestimate Steve Jobs.

In another way, Job’s manic work ethic and control issues ensure that Apple’s pipeline is fully stocked. He notably delegated the iPhone 4S to another team so he’d be able to focus on the next iteration. In 2010 he locked up the rights to use Liquid Metal which will slowly be appearing in upcoming devices like the MacBook Pro refresh. Don’t forget about the vaunted Apple Television that will help the company completely take over the living room. Even on accident Job’s opened a pathway into becoming THE dominant player in the the gaming market. Do you think Microsoft and Sony are worried about each other? They’re captive to the plans outlined by Job’s before his death. This is the pipeline that piqued China’s interest, we all know how important they are and Apple is one of just a handful of American companies they like.

AAPL’s one of the few companies that zombifies it’s buyers. It’s a huge brand like Coca-Cola and Disney. People buy AAPL shares just to have it. Their happy when the stock goes up and they don’t worry when it does go down. Apple no longer needs a person like Guy Kawasaki to be an evangelist, the buyers do that. Write an anti-mac comment on a forum to see the flame war blaze. I’ll be one of them that come out of the woodworks with digital fatigues ready to defend the thing I type on. I think that’s why I’m compelled to write this. That and my brain not working right thing.

Now I’ll be realistic here and admit that labor practice standards are a significant issue. So is the Greenpeace stunt in protest of Apple’s coal use. Tim Cook, if history is correct, will be well suited to transform some of these issues into net positives. Nike had a similar situation when the sweatshops were exposed and they remain a top ten global brand today. Even if Cook chooses to do the bare minimum in responding to media concerns, Apple has positioned itself for longevity.

The hippy haircuts may be gone but so long as Apple maintains some core mantras the future looks bright. I’ll leave you with number 12 of Guy Kawasaki’s list of things he learned while working for Steve Jobs. “Some things need to be believed to be seen.” I believe I’m right, you’ll see…..one day.

The Next Three Days – Episode 3

Day Last

Hopefully, this is the last of it. We’ll see if the repair shop is the bearer of good news. Studies have shown that it takes 19 days for a new routine to take hold and I’m well short of that mark nor do i wish to cross that threshold. Caltrain is pretty bare today though. I like that.

Maybe I’m anti-social. I get looks from the train as if their eyes are asking me to start a conversation. NO. I don’t want to do that. As I was typing this some random young guy takes a seat next to me and peers over onto my screen. He takes consistent glances and I find myself opening up CS6 Photoshop to do some unnecessary editing. I don’t know why but I decided to play the role of hippie Greenpeace web developer. I’m pulling out all the photoshop tricks I know, using all the short cut keys I know, and using as much CS6 specific filters I know. Man, this is unhealthy. For all I know he’s just glancing over to keep tabs on what time it is.

There is one thing I didn’t take into consideration. I finally received a call from the repair shop from Charlie and Don (who look more like Chinh and Duong) telling me the Ranger is ready for duty. When I arrived they immediately told me of other things that need attention. If I had to estimate, Id say I spent about $1500 on auto repairs in the past year and considering I drive a F.O.R.D. (Fix Or Repair Daily) that’s the best I could have hoped for. (NOTE: SKIP AHEAD IF YOU DON’T LIKE NUMBERS) So that turns out to be another $4.10 a day across the calendar year. Maintenance on my bicycle turns out to be about $150 a year or $0.41 a day. Add that to the cost of Caltrain ($4.75 one way across two zones) and in essence were looking at $9.91 per trip. Effective cost of driving for me is roughly $14.10. The difference between the two is looking like $1,529.35 a year with the health benefits of biking being a huge variable on future medical costs. If I had a gym membership I’d consider biking as a viable replacement because my body is feeling ACHING-ly good. Isn’t it also fitting that as soon as I get my truck back I’m greeted on 101 with traffic! What’s the cost-analysis on traffic/stress/anti-psychotic meds?

Are you back? Good, your reward is this opinion. If your willing to put forth a little extra effort, the rewards of alternative commuting are well worth the convenience of an automobile. Health, fiscal savings, and the environmental good are undeniable benefits. Much like life, you’ll get what you put into it. Though I need a truck for work, I figure on adding biking and Caltrain to my new routine whenever I can. For the next 19 days huh?

The Next Three Days – Episode 2

Day 2

Oh what a struggle. I woke up 30 minutes late. The way the train is scheduled, it works out that Ill be 45 minutes late to work. That’s the convenience part of owning a car. 30 minutes late means 30 minutes late when driving. Departure time is when the key is inserted and the ignition turned. As a bike fan though, its great to match the bike with the person. Chucks, skinny jeans, and an emo haircut….well hell be riding a fixie converted from a vintage frame. Older gentleman with slacks or khakis equates to a commuter hybrid. Folding bikes belong to East Asians. If you see spandex or gloves this dude is pretty serious about biking. We’re talking a couple grand for his road bike. I see women and Stanford students on cruisers or surprisingly mountain bikes.

Oh, you want to know about me. Well my bike’s a high end road, probably $1500 on the used market. Its 15 pounds (pretty light), carbon fiber parts (mucho expensive), high-end Ultegra 6700 drivetrain, and built piece by piece from Craigslist. After constructing and selling 10 or so fixies (not on purpose), I’d say I put this bike together for a couple hundred bucks. I’m very proud of that. Especially since its probably worth more than my truck. I’m not proud of that. I also don’t want to get rid of the no-longer-scented chili pepper air freshener I hang from the rear of my seat. I’m not entirely sure what this bike says about me.

An added bonus to taking the train is it forces you to get your schedule straight. I know I was late today but when this was my mode of transportation this was never the case. 30 minutes early was the norm and I certainly was more productive when I knew I had to be at the station at a certain time.

This has certainly been an adventure. I hope by day three I can make some “Springer Final Thought” sense of this mini series. Stay tuned

The Next Three Days – Episode 1

Day 1

Seeing as how the Ranger’s in the shop, I’m doing a combination of biking and Caltrain to get to and from work. I remember loving this method of transportation and I’m wondering how I’ll respond now after a year of driving. I know mentally I thought this was going to be tough and as of right now, typing from the top cabin, my thighs are KILLING me. That’s a good thing.

What’s not so great is the cost of this all. $4.75 for a one way trip across two zones. That’s $9.50 to and from work. Now, my truck is a gas guzzler. In fact, it didn’t pass smog because the evap system was causing fumes of gas to surround it. So I know that it was running far from efficient. Even so, I spend about $10 a day. I feel that a savings in transportation costs would be a huge incentive for me to do this more often. As it stands, the convenience and flexibility of traveling by a car makes me not realistically consider Caltrain for situations other than the one I’m going through now.

It ain’t all about the money though. I remember biking creating a larger reserve of energy for me throughout the day. I was also able to handle stressful situations more aptly. I’m sure this was a direct byproduct of the forced exercise. Also, once I’m on Caltrain I have approximately 40 minutes that I’m not driving. That means I have 40 minutes of theoretical productivity time or some extra sleep at the very least.

Today I’ll use that time to stare out the window.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles that need a Smog Certificate

Before rehab this is what I drove, an illusion.

It’s all in perspective.

I’m going to rewind back 4 days. Needing to obtain smog certification for my truck I do a quick search online, find a coupon, and blaze out the door. The test only station greets me with non-english speaking workers who point me out to a barely-english-speaking inspector. My coupon doesn’t work, I won’t fight it.

I hate small talk. A lady walks in needing a smog certificate as well. I’m polite but completely uninterested in talking to her about her kids. I had nothing against this lady, I’m just selfish, insecure and jealous that they’re graduating college and that I never went. I give her my coupon and tell her to try it out. It works for her, since she had a regular car.

Mr. Inspector comes in and I know something’s up. He does his best to explain why it won’t pass smog and is struggling. I’m at annoyed level 8 when he asks me if I speak spanish. He’s armenian. I’m asian. So I’m going to rewind back a few sentences. I’m at annoyed level 8 when he asks me if I speak spanish. He’s called Sol and basically there’s alot of work to be done in order for it to pass. Damnit.

I get a call half an hour later from the lady at the smog place. I left my Macbook Air there and she’s holding onto it until i get there. It’s a good thing i gave her that coupon i suppose. When I arrive, I see Sol on break and convince him to suggest a place for repair. His relative owns a shop in a gas station near my mom’s house. I’m going there.

The asian with the cigarette hanging from his mouth is very knowledgeable. So much so, he questions Sol’s inspection skills. Don’t tell me that, it makes me feel worse. I mean, I’ve never paid anyone $50 to tell me I failed. My mom does that for free. Chow Yun Fat tells me it’s a big job but his buddy Jackie Chan promises he’ll get it to pass for $250. Fine. Deal.

Or no deal, since he called back with news. Apparently, Hidden Dragon was right. Lot’s of work, big job, three days, and $550. Hmmm. How am I going to work? I’m not going to rent a car, I can’t bear the thought of adding another $200 to this ordeal. All in all that would add up to like a Macbook Air. The new ones with the i7. 128 SSD. Nerd. Bully.

So I made the decision to ride a bike and take the train to work for the next three days. It  has finally sunk in. And I am dreading it. The 20 minute bike ride that early plus the 20 minutes back in the heat? Say it ain’t so Bobby Brown. Which is weird because straight out of rehab I did nothing but walk. An hour and a half starting at 6 am. Everyday. Then I got a bike and couldn’t imagine how i walked everywhere.

It’s not just that. When I walked everywhere I felt better and loved it, but I still thought I needed to lose a few more pounds. Then when I started biking I gained another five but thought I was still in pretty good shape. Since driving I think I’ve gained 20 pounds. From my condo in Downtown San Jose to a bed in rehab. From walking to driving. When the perspective shifts, certain appreciations get skewed out of focus. Even forgotten. Walking and biking was great at the time because I was just happy to be alive. I gotta remember that.

Sony’s So-So Future at play

4th generation PlayStation dubbed "Orbis" is underway

Don’t let my disarming dimple and broad shoulders fool you. I am a trekkie. Wow that felt odd to type. Odder than my first AA meeting having to utter “I’m an alcoholic.” Even so, I am one and a huge fan of the holodeck. I NEED THAT THING! I remember watching episodes of the Next Generation with my dad imagining the gaming potential of such a device, donning a gi and lobbing hadoukens. I’m day dreaming right now, putting on a nanosuit, kicking an abandoned car off a cliff in full cloak mode. Now obviously we’re not there yet, but we can measure the estimated jump from current to next gen and determine if they will be viable platforms.

My first machine was the Commodore 64 and that was quickly replaced with the Master System, Sega’s own 8-bit rival to the NES. My video game life at the time was this, arcades for the latest cutting edge game and hope the home version is half as capable. The Master System turned into the Genesis turned into the 32x/Sega CD (don’t you dare laugh, don’t you dare) which turned into the Saturn and the Dreamcast. I finally, bit the bullet and went with the Playstation 2 and the PS3. By the time I reached Sony’s current system, consoles became the premiere destination for games, not the arcades. What this box was capable of doing graphically was unheard of and unseen before. It also became much more that a gaming system.

Over the previous generation of consoles, the current ones became a media box. Go on  Amazon right now and see their front page offering of Instant Prime Videos on the PS3. Netflix, Blu-Ray, YouTube, and Facebook are all available on your living room screen. Unless the same innovative leap can be made for the next generation then its too soon to release one and it will be too late for Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft in the gaming world.

From what i’ve heard the proposed next consoles have one positive and two negative bullet points. The good part, the graphics will blow your effing mind. Full 4K 3D support. The cost, it will not support your old library of games (i blame the success of HD remixes like the God of War Collection) and games will be locked into a single user account effectively killing the used game market. I rarely bought a game new and part of my justification for spending $40 to $60 on a game was that I’d be able to recoup at least half later. I’d then use that on a newer game. It was the circle of life. Hakuna Matata. No worries.

Let’s discuss that one positive. Sony’s rumored 4th Playstation the “Orbis” has claims of a Radeon 7700 equivalent GPU that will work in tandem with an integrated GPU/CPU hybrid. That’s great but living space is finite, which means screen size is limited in most homes to a 60 inch widescreen on the high end. I interpret that as a viewing distance pretty much set at 7.5 to 15 feet. Current 1080p sets at viewing distances 3 feet and further mean that the human eye cannot discern individual pixels and with the average living room approximately 250 square feet, I don’t see the future of 4K resolutions taking off the way Retina had become a household term. The display prior to them needed the added pixel density because viewing distances tended to be inches away from the eye. Speaking of Retina, the prevalence of iOS has changed the gaming landscape.

More than ever we’re convenience based consumers with short attention-spans. Hey you, focus! How else to explain the popularity of Netbooks, the iPad, Macbook Air, iPhone and Ultrabooks. These are not the pinnacle of the technical, graphical hardware heap. These are the perfect platforms for trendy, ten minutes at a time gameplay when and where you want to play. With the way we play games changing and devices like the Roku, Apple TV, and television adapters for smartphones and tablets, the media capabilities of become even less of a selling point. For some perspective, I sold my XBox 360 and Playstation 3 once I had a Macbook Pro with Windows 7 installed on BootCamp. Now when I want to game I use my iPad as a controller while the game streams through Apple TV. I personally feel confident I won’t ever buy a traditional gaming system ever again. That’s a little worrisome for an avid gamer to admit.

Really, the current generation of consoles remain surprisingly strong as is. The Wii was proof that the interface becomes more important than hardware capabilities (see: Apple). Now, Nintendo’s motion control was limited and eventually lost support from developers but lesson learned. We’ll see what the Wii U has in store for us at the next E3. Regardless, Nintendo’s Wii was risky, innovative and this new crop of systems must make a similar leap. Tweaking the graphics won’t cut it.

Finally, the Orbis sounds like a gum. A breath freshener. I know that paired with Sony’s new handled, the Playstation Vita, we get the latin phrase “orbis vitae.” Or the circle of life. Lest we forget that part of that circle includes death. Death of a video game empire, perhaps. Hakuna Mata.

What age were you the happiest?

Adam's 33 and seems to be hitting his stride. The Voice is hot right now. Side note vote Lindsay Pavao!

A new survey from Friends United suggests that, on average, we are the happiest at age 33. Yes! I have something to look forward to now. At first it was age 16, “Let’s go for a drive dad!’ Then it was 18, “Pack of Malboro Lights sir.” We all know 21 years brings us to the nearest bar. For me it was “Jack on the rocks.” I thought it was going to end at 25 when my automobile insurance was suppose to go down. A DUI and an accident will seriously prevent that milestone from being significant. I guess I missed out on that one.

The big THREE-THREE totally gives me a sense of hope as recently I’ve been at an alarming, though refreshingly straight-line of emotions. I’ve been used to this roller coaster of emotional peaks and valleys. So as I now look to 33 and the promises I will hold this survey accountable for, I reflect back and ask what was my happiest time.

There was the first time I held a girl’s hand. It was in a car. I was in the passenger seat and she was sitting behind. I reached back with blind faith and felt fate’s reassurance. There was the first kiss. It was in the movie, don’t remember which one but I do remember Alex drove us in his boxy BMW. And he sat through the entire make-out affair without complaint. He was a good friend. First job, first interview. Stop. I now realize this list could easily turn into one of firsts. Let’s not do that because I too now realize that following each listing would be a listing of disasters and mistakes.

72-10. Championship. G.O.A.T. status. " Nuff said.

I get that 33 number now. Everything of joy was followed by a hard lesson learned which flowed into a new first. At 33 there is enough experience and yet enough youth to conduct a symphony of smoothness. All the parts are tested and balanced. Ready to absorb bumps in the road yet broken in and comfortable to ride. In essence, Michael Jordan’s prime wasn’t when he was 25 and dunking over everyone. It was when he was 33. By that time he couldn’t leap as high as he once did. He quit and went through his baseball phase. He came back to basketball and failed to take his Bulls to the trophy. He looked suddenly human. It was at age 33 he took his his experience and combined it with his physical talents and set a team record that still stands. A record 72 wins. A championship. And he looked happy doing it.

Wrote "Nature" at 33.

I think the undulating hills of my past are signs that a tangible maturity has graced me. I’m calmer and smile more. My heart doesn’t flutter at sticky situations. Sure I’ve learned to stay away from the drama but life creeps up. It comes prepared with pencils, questions and even Rorschach cards. It’s up to me to decide what I see. I like this maturity thing. I don’t miss smoking. I don’t crave alcohol. I think I’ll call GEICO tomorrow and see if they believe me now.

“One more thing, is all Apple needs.”

Could this be the next must have design?

If my hunch is right, Apple HQ has that thing in the pipeline and it was supplied none other than by Steve Jobs in a Tupac-like role. When Jobs was forced out of Apple 27 years ago, nothing innovative was created by the company. John Scully had an opportunity to prove it was capable of producing something revolutionary while structuring an environment capable of competing with big brother and Microsoft. Time revealed that 1 Infinite Loop could not create without; however, Steve proved he could compete demolish the competition when he was asked back.

Father knows best and Steve’s first move was to strike a $150 million dollar deal with Microsoft. Add the iMac, iPod, iTunes, AppStore, iPad, Macbook Air, Pixar and the iPhone to the list that started with the Apple I, II and Macintosh. The man redefined our common conceptions and turned Apple into one of the wealthiest companies in the world.

Apple is now orphaned, however it can ride its fiscal success for the next few years without any significant technological innovation but it doesn’t last long (see Microsoft). Chief Apple Designer Sir Jonathon Ive said “if we can’t make something that is better, we won’t.” Without it’s creative father, just how is Apple going to do this? Like any good son taking over the family business, Cook will get a shot before confidence wanes. He’s going to need to do well immediately if one expects reasonable growth above the upper edges of the long term trading channel valued at $460. Plus, I think good ol pops had a gift to give.

Now we’re not at that point yet, though it’s clear creativity has stalled. The iPad got thicker and heavier. What’s next for us? Siri on the Nuevo New iPad? WooHoo! Retina on the Newer Nano? Oh, I know! Thunderbolt AND USB 3.0 on the Nearly Now Macbook Pro. No. No. And no. These moderate updates will not do regardless of inferior competition. Dig through the rumors and ask yourself if Jobs could’ve done better. Pushed harder. Got more.

Famous for creating the “I’m working 90 hours/wk and loving it” T-shirts to get the Macintosh team motivated, I think Steve Jobs worked his magic one last time. Rumor has it he did not work on the 4S. Rumor has it that he worked on a secret project yet to be released. Rumor has it that it’s the iPhone 5.

Masayoshi Son said, “I visited Apple for the announcement of the iPhone 4S [at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California]. When I was having a meeting with Tim Cook, he said, ‘Oh Masa, sorry I have to quit our meeting.’ I said, ‘Where are you going?’ He said, ‘My boss is calling me.’ That was the day of the announcement of the iPhone 4S. He said that Steve is calling me because he wants to talk about their next product. And the next day, he died.”

I know. Wow. It’s mind blowing how passionate Steve Jobs was and I’m sure his creative juices were given huge electric jolts considering his time constraints due to failing health. The iPhone 4S was a logical progression and Steve knew the team he assembled for it would be self sufficient. So he worked on the followup in the days leading to his untimely death. Covert style. Whatever they choose to call the next iPhone is sure to be a cult classic based upon the idea it was his last project. An egomaniac like Jobs wouldn’t want to go out working on a moderately improved product, would he?

Summation time. Steve Jobs worked on the next iPhone. This will give Cook plenty of time to find the next creative genius and develop him without sacrificing reasonable growth to the shareholder. And I NEED this new device. I am a Machead, I realized. I have the Apple Cinema Display, an i7 Macbook Pro, an iPad 2, an Apple TV. They all work beautifully together. I now more than ever, understand I just need…one more thing.