Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I try, as a rule, not to get attached to material things. Especially things that aren't shipping until June. But I have just fallen head over heels in worldly-attachment love with Apple's insanely great new iPhone.

Yes it's an iPod. Yes it's a mobile phone. Yes it's a 2 megapixel camera. Yes it has a huge touch-sensitive screen. Yes it sends and receives SMS messages at the same time it does e-mail and takes calls and, yes, surfs the whole web (not WAP versions, but the real thing) with wifi and Bluetooth. Yes it runs Mac OSX. And yes it's thinner than the Blackjack, Treo, or Blackberry Pearl. But what makes it so absurdly deliciously lust-worthy is what always makes Mac stuff that way: the sublime touches. It has a proximity sensor so when you have it near your ear the display turns off and the touchscreen shuts down. It has an accelerometer so the display rotates to however you're holding it at the moment. It has an ambient light sensor so the screen never wastes more battery power than it needs to, nor becomes unreadable in bright sunlight. If you're listening to music and a call comes in, the song fades out, then back in when the call is done. To shrink or zoom an image or a webpage, you just use two fingers to pinch or extend it. If you have multiple voicemails waiting, you get to pick which ones you want to listen to -- no more pressing # to skip messages. Because the buttons are almost all on the touch screen, they can be customized and evolve with new uses we haven't dreamt up yet. And to turn the thing on, just slide a finger along the bottom edge. Nothing in your pocket or bag will accidentally do that.

It does all this and somehow still has 5 hours battery life. Or 16 hours if you're just using it like a beautiful touch-sensitive video iPod.

And yes, I will be paying $499 for it. Unless I decided to pay $599 because I need 8GB of iPhone-goodness instead of 4GB.

Maybe I'll make an exception that it's OK to be attached to worldly things as long as they have at least 200 new patents associated with them.

Monday, January 01, 2007

My parents served petit fours at their wedding on December 26th, 1966. Sunday afternoon they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary by serving these delicious little numbers (along with sandwiches and snacks and wine and coffee) to the 100+ guests who braved a snow and ice storm for the Open House at their loft.

My other duties prevented much in the way of decent photography, but these few give you a sense of the festivities. The priest signing the special porcelain platter is Fr Reiser, who officiated at their wedding those four decades ago.

We also marked the occasion with a book my sister orchestrated -- the best pictures and stories from their years together. It was a big hit at the party and will be treasured for decades to come.