Mynagirl’s Fashion Report Emmys 2010

Posted on August 29th, 2010 in Commentary by mynagirl

Welcome back to the Mynagirl Fashion report, resurrected after many years on hiatus!!  Baby Bootsie has been sleeping peacefully this evening, so I’ve been able to have a nip and quip at the fashion for the 2010 Emmys.  Thanks much to technical crew Engineerboy for giving us these gorgeous images armed with only a remote, a capture card, and some great timing.

Ladies in Nude

Pale neutrals and golds were a definite trend. We also saw plenty of attendees wearing these beautiful alpaca scarf that really stuck out. They seem to be becoming a trend as of late, and it was apparent when looking at the stars as they arrived at the venue! Once inside they took it off as it is an outside sort of garment, as can be appreciated in the photos.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw Emmys 2010

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Mariska Hargitay 2010 Emmys

Mariska Hargitay

Jewel in Zuhair Murad Emmys 2010

Jewel in Zuhair Murad

Claire Danes Emmys 2010 Armani Privé

Claire Danes in Armani Privé

Claire Danes in Armani Privé at the 2010 Emmys

Claire Danes wears the serious sequins

Sofia Vergara from Modern Family brightens the trend a little with a golden yellow Carolina Herrera.  Engineerboy liked that the beadwork looked like the human genome project.

Sofia Vergara Emmys 2010 Carolina Herrera

Sofia Vergara in Carolina Herrera

Sofia Vergara Emmys 2010

Golden girl

Glenn Close and her daughter wore matching pale patchwork-y dresses that looked like but presumably weren’t vinyl

Glenn Close and daughter Annie in Rubin Singer at 2010 Emmys

Glenn Close and her daughter Annie in matching Rubin Singer

Heavy Hardware

There were a couple Greco-Roman looks, some more successful than not.   I have to say, while I like the cut of Kim Kardashian’s Marchesa column, it’s not very flattering on her. Update – I have become a convert of this dress after seeing some better camera angles on it.  I think Kim looks very statuesque and classic.

Kim Kardashian Grecian Column Dress Emmys 2010

Kim Kardashian in a white grecian column

Kim Kardashian Full Length Emmys 2010

Kim Kardashian in Marchesa

Cool of newlywed Anna

How I went from loving to loathing TiVo…

Posted on August 28th, 2010 in Commentary,Engineerboy,Product Reviews,Technology,Television by EngineerBoy

I still *want* to love you, but you're losing me

Dear TiVo,

I read two articles recently that spurred me to write you this letter.  The first article described how at the end of July 2009 you had 3.05 million subscribers, but at the end of July 2010 you were down to 2.38 million.  Five years ago this would have surprised me, but not any more.

The second article was from your site, describing the spiffy new QWERTY TiVo remote with a sliding face and a full keyboard.  I was overjoyed by the news, as I’ve been waiting for a remote like this since I bought and activated my first TiVo back in 2002.  I read the article in great anticipation, wondering how pricey the remote would be.  Hm, $90.  Not unreachable, but seemingly a little steep, which would make it in keeping with everything else you sell.

But then I got to the last paragraph, where the last sentence read:

“The new remote will work with TiVo Premiere, Premiere XL, TiVo Series3, TiVo HD, and TiVo HD XL boxes.”

No Series 1?  No Series 2 or Dual-Tuner?  Leaving us faithful early adopters behind again, are we?

Typical.  This is typical of everything I have come to expect from you over the years.  I still love TiVo-the-technical-solution, but with TiVo-the-company I have gone from love to like to not caring to being annoyed and, finally, to loathing, where I am today.

I now own and use 5 (count ’em) TiVos, but they are all Series 2.  My disillusionment began in earnest when you released the Series3 boxes, and included things like YouTube browsing that were not made available to Series2 owners.  Now, you had a story for why this was so, which was something about Flash, I think, but I didn’t (and still don’t) buy it.  If you had wanted to make it work, you could have.   But, you chose to have those features and functions be differentiators to try and get Series2 owners to upgrade.

So close, and yet so far away

And it’s continued to be that way over the years, up through the latest insult of not letting us have the new remote (pictured at left).  You continue to add new and improved features and functions, very few of which are made available to your existing base of owners, unless they have the latest and greatest.  Now, I understand this from a business perspective, as I work in technology, so I know that it’s hard to keep the installed base happy.  It’s very easy to add new features and functions to totally new and redesigned devices, and your bean-counters are happy to see the R&D and other expenses that go into anything that will grab new customers and dollars.

I can visualize the meetings where you discussed the strategy of

Dear prissy couple from my flight (and a desperate plea to airlines for offset seating)

Posted on August 28th, 2010 in Commentary,Engineerboy by EngineerBoy

Typical US Airline Flight

I loathe and despise coach business air travel.  When I travel personally, it’s usually with Marie, and we usually plan to make sure we can travel in comfort, and more often than not, prefer a private jet from Jettly. You see, I’m 6’5″ and not svelte, and coach seating is not designed for me to fit in comfortably, and when we travel for pleasure we either wait until we can splurge on first class, buy a third seat so we have room, or make the best of sitting side-by-side.

However, when one’s company is footing the bill and you don’t have the flexibility that you do with personal travel, you get the seat you get and you have to make the best of it.  You can try for exit row or bulkhead, but those seats are in demand and sometimes hard to get.

Lucky for me, on my most recent business flight I was able to get the exit row aisle seat both outbound and inbound.  The flight out progressed without incident (thankfully), but as I boarded my flight home and approached my row, I noticed that the two inside seats were occupied by a couple, with the man by the window and the woman in the middle seat, meaning that my aisle seat would place me next to the wife.

Now, although I am a big guy, I can sit in such a way that I stay completely in my own air/leg/shoulder/butt space, particularly in an exit row where I can fully extend my legs.  So, I resolved myself to spend 3.5 hours in my polite, curled up, as-motionless-as-possible seating pose, so that the lady next to me would not feel infringed upon.

As I sat down I could sense the woman was not happy about the situation…I mean, who would be?  Even three normal-sized humans sitting side-by-side-by-side in a coach cabin is oppressively claustrophobic, and when one of the three is a big guy like me it just makes it worse.  So, I understood her pained look at her husband as I sat down, and also understood his reassuring patting of her leg as if to say, “It’s okay, honey, I won’t let the traveling ogre squash you!”

So, I sat down, belted up, stuck my legs up under the seat in front of me, crossed at the ankles to keep my knees clearly in my own airspace and not in any way crossing over into her leg space.  I folded my arms tightly, with the arm closest to the woman specifically tucked up as far as possible, so that I was clearly not infringing on her shoulder room, either.

I had also brought a couple of magazines to read, and when I pulled them out I held them with my arms almost fully extended in my lap, and when I turned the pages I did it with my arms fully extended so that my elbows didn’t bend and

Un-American Opposition to the Ground Zero Mosque

Posted on August 20th, 2010 in Commentary by mynagirl

The proposed site of the so-called 'Ground Zero Mosque'

I blog this morning feeling quite thoroughly American.  I have taken paid time off from my stressful but cushy job where I work from home for a corporation halfway across the country.  Engineerboy is manning the homestead while some electricians work their electron magic on our old 1940’s-wired cottage.  I’ve taken refuge at a local coffee shop, chilling in the air conditioning with an espresso drink, a blueberry muffin, and Wi-Fi.  I’m humming along to the Garbage song that’s softly playing in the background.  Baby Bootsie is snugly snoozing and strapped to me in the that marvel of upper middle class parenthood engineering, the Baby Bjorn Synergy.  The only other patron of the coffee shop is a retired grandfather who chats with the coffee shop owner about how he comes here every day for coffee and Internet access because he doesn’t want to pay AT&T $50 for broadband at his apartment, then he proceeds to head out in his brand new Mercedes. 

The whole scene embodies a lot of what is unique, slightly ostentatious, but ultimately lovable about America – the coffee shop owner happily offering free Wi-Fi to entice the locals to spend time with coffee and muffins, my husband and I fixing up our crappy old war cottage one paycheck at a time, me getting my choice of whole, 2%, skim, rice, or soy in my latte.  Even among the cushy capitalist trappings, it’s down home and small town and very friendly and sweet.  The paintings on the wall are from our favorite local artist (the same who did the Donkey family tattoo marathon session when the G-I-R-L turned 18, paid for in trade for us doing his website).  The New York pizza shop that connects to the coffee shop (Who has a combo pizza shop / coffee shop?  This place, that’s who) recognizes me when I call, just by the pizzas we always order (“Hey, were they cooked well done enough for you last time?”). 

As I sit here sipping coffee and periodically stopping to smooch the snoozing Baby Bootsie, I ponder the outline of the New-York-skyline-with-Twin-Towers painted on the wall of the pizza place with a “Never Forget” plaque.  9/11 was a shattering day even for those of us not in New York City, especially for those of us young enough not to remember other where-were-you-when-it-happened events of pivotal violence – the unreal kind that we had always grew up dispassionately watching happen elsewhere on the global news.  On 9/11 it took me all day to get hold of one of my college friends in New York City, and he’d spent his whole day frantic until he’d finally located his sister who’d been scheduled to take an employment drug test in one of the Trade Center buildings that day.  I watched the towers fall on live TV from the snack room at work.  I was working for ExxonMobil at the time, and I was afraid for any workers at the downtown Houston office;