Hello again! I haven't done a teendrama recap in what seems like forever, and this one will, without a doubt, be the longest one yet (300 photos?) so I think I'm going to have to break into into a bunch of smaller entries (otherwise it'll never get done).
So anyway, around October my buddy Rob from high school started kicking around the idea to visit his sister (Pam) who's been living in Kuala Lumpur (er, the capital of Malaysia - I had to look it up too). I was in - especially considering the last time we made a trip to visit Pam (2001) we ended up flying into Madrid and making our way to Pamplona for the Running of the Bulls (much fun, very dangerous). So we started drafing up some travel plans - initially really ambitious (Tokyo! Hong Kong! Bangkok! KL! Dubai!) and eventually scaled down to Thailand -> Malaysia -> Singapore. After a good month of procrastinating, we got some last minute tickets (expensive!), packed our backpacks and on Christmas day (seen here in my new Christmas jacket - thx Pam!) drove from Medway, MA -> NYC in order to catch our 8am flight.
I'll save most of the details of the trek from NYC -> Bangkok... some 25 hours of travel time (NYC -> Chicago -> Shanghai -> Bangkok). In hopes of being able to sleep on the longer leg of the flight, we got pretty liquored up back in NYC - we hit pretty much every bar we could find open late night on Christmas Day (Motor City, the place next to Local 138, 7B). For anyone that's ever tried this before, you've probably figured out it's a dumb idea to get nice and drunk before a long flight as you're pretty likely to wake up somewhere over the Atlantic / North Pole / wherever pretty hung over about 6 hours into it. (er, which is exactly what happened to us). So anyway...
I set the stopwatch on my Future Watch. 12 hour trip from CHI -> Shanghai. When all the bars fill up on the watch, we're there! Delicious little ramen snack pack almost makes you forget how shitty spending 12 hours on plane without seatback TVs can be (Hint: don't fly international on a domestic airline. F U United!). "Oh, what's that in the background?" you ask...
... Zelda for Nintendo DS! I heart you boomerang!
Out the window. Somewhere over the North Pole? (flight goes up and over the globe rather than all the way around it - huh!)
Annnnddd 12 hours later (well, 15 if you count Chicago airport transfer) and we're in Shanghai.. and looking at a 7 hour layover before our flight to Bangkok. Rob and I both figured we'd pass the time with a workday's-worth of Super Mario Kart battles, but much to our surprise we were able to get a special visa that let us leave the airport in between flights. So, where to??
Downtown! We asked the guy who was selling tickets to the MagLev train (Magnetic Levitation) where he'd go if he had 7 hours to kill in Shangahi. He had no idea what we were saying, but he pointed to this one spot on the subway map ("People's Square") so we hopped on the train and headed in. BTW, MagLev = awesome. Magnets! 300 km/h (that's about 186 mph! Rumor has it it maxes out around 270 mph). The train tilts to its side when making turns - kind of like Mike Yap racing a superbike I suppose. Amtrak, would it kill you to build this between NYC and Boston? (@ 185 mph = 1h 20 mins!)
ps: this image? Ha! One of my favorite SNL skits of all time is from like 1994 when Seinfeld was hosting and was part of a skit called "Stand Up and Win". It was like Jeopardy for stand up comics and f'ing hilarious. Of course, NBC has it's head up their ass with digital distribution of SNL assets so you can't find the clip online anywhere, but I found this YouTube video of high school kids re-creating the skit as part of some talent show. Rad! Watch (and try to image it with Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, Dana Carvey and Rob Schneider).
hey, so the Red Sox won the World Series again? How about that!
So, how about them Red Sox?? Wooo! I have pics from the ALCS (Game 2 in Boston! And Game 7 at Prof Thoms in NYC) and some pics from the bender I like to call Game 2 of the World Series!!!! (I was back at Fenway with MF - my head still kind of hurts)... buuuuuttt, as always, I'm 800 miles behind from catching up on the teendrama.
For now though, check out this video from 2004 (which I had to dig out of my external drive) - a little flashback to Dad + Gam + Jonathan being interviewed on MSNBC just after the Sox won the World Series. (J was working at NBC at the time, they were looking for a Red Sox family - I guess The Crowley's fit the bill?)
Gam = awesome. "You'll have it!" (btw, for more of Gam's TV internet career see Ask Gam)
ps: that's Kevin + Liz + the crew of the ConQwest 2004 crew up in the background. Good times!
Okay back to work... and Halloween costume planning - no Slutty R2D2 this year, but we'll be at the Flavorpill + Penthouse Bar afterparty.
Down in Soho (Kenmare @ Lafayette, just NE of La Esquina) there's a tiny gallery called the Storefront for Art and Architecture that's currently showcasing conceptual urban housing designs . One of the designs is this Lego skyscraper and it's amazing.
The whole thing is like a Where's Waldo book where there's 1000 things to look at. Me and Dianne spent a good 20 mins walking circles around the thing checking out every inch - there's Lego people in coffee shops, at the gym, fighting, spraypainting, making out, making love, etc, etc. It's amazing.
See, you can kind of look into the windows on each of the towers and spy into what's going on. (which is weirdly voyeuristically satisfying).
Outside the little Lego pizza place there's a mini Banksy! So awesome.
ps: the original, er, real life, version of this here.
And mini iPod ads, which right next to the mini STOP BUSH flyer, which is right below the tower with the office workers and peeping tom and people having their coffee. Ha!
I actually took a whole bunch of photos of life inside the Lego skyscraper. Go take a look. And if you're in NYC, so down to Soho and check it out!
50 minutes till game 7 of the ALCS! (and me + J's 3 secs of fame on FOX Sports from a week ago - ha!)
Hey hey hey - Game 7 of the ALCS kicks off in less than an hour! I'm heading out to meet KK + Lock at Prof Thom's (12nd + 2nd - that place is going to be *packed*). J's racing back from VT to meet us for first pitch. Hoo doggy!
Rewind a week ago to game 2 of the ALCS (er, the game where the Sox got smoked in the 11th). Me and J were at Fenway - around the 5th inning, K2 and McD txt'ed us asking "how's the chowder" - ha!
Special thanks to K2 for digivideo'ing our 3 seconds of fame. :)
At this point, I think I know more about the unlocking scene than anyone else I know. So, want a quick tutorial?
"jailbreak" = open your iPhone so you can install apps on it
"unlock" = open the iPhone's GSM radio so it works on other carriers (e.g T-Mobile, Vodafone)
"revirginize" = (this is the new stuff!) downgrade the baseband so the iPhone will recognize it's true IMEI (and not the 'this phone was hacked" IMEI that plagues all the bricked iPhones - 0049990106400004, btw)
The glimmer of hope that I have is that people are just starting to talk about these revirginizer apps and I just realized that when I jailbreak my phone and remove the SIM, I can see the real IMEI in the iPhone's "About" section (this is also engraved on the back of yer iPhone, btw)
Sooooo... it looks like someone found a "revirginizer" process that works for PCs (details here) though there's nothing for the Mac yet.
Anyway, for anyone who still cares about this story - I bought an iPhone, never activated it on A&T, unlocked it so I could use it in Amsterdam (didn't work, btw - UTMS vs. GPRS issue) , brought it back to the US and tried to activate it (like a good customer!) and then it bricked. So I never had a chance to use it in the US.
Really, all I want to do is get this iPhone working on AT&T -- to become a real AT&T customer!! -- but Apple won't help since I "hacked the phone" and the AT&T guys couldn't care less (read: dicks!)
So, if anyone knows of a way to roll a bricked iPhone back to "out to the box, I want to activate w/ AT&T" state please let me know. I'm looking into software hacks, but I'm open to any social engineering hacks I can use at the Apple Store (er, douse the thing in water? short it out w/ a paperclip? microwave the SIM card? anything that will trick the Apple people into giving me a replacement) . Any suggestions?
ps: I'm not really into doing the whole register-your-IMEI-with-a-third-party thing (e.g. iPhoneSimFree). That solution just feels like your iPhone will be f'ed forever... I'm still holding out for a fix that will let me pretend like I never unlocked at all and I'll be able to do a legit activation on AT&T and not have to worry about future firmware upgrades, etc.
ps2: Why do I want the iPhone so bad? I don't really... I needed a GSM phone for Amsterdam and figured that, after trying it for week, if i liked it, I'd keep it. If not, I'd put it on eBay. For now, I just hate the idea of a $299 brick (though I really would like a better networked-connected camera. I mean, look at how shitty this Verizon camera phone is!)