Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Feeling stressed lately? When you sit back and assess whether or not your current career track, lifestyle and commitments are in proper harmony with your sense of self, do you find the answer lacking?

Rachel* at SoHoTampa does, and finds she has plenty of company.

As for myself, I’ve felt out of kilter for so long that I’m not sure I’d recognize a balanced existence anymore. The trick may be to achieve a re-formed balance out of the chaos you create. If anyone figures out how to do that before reaching, say, age 40, drop me a line.

Talk of being out of sorts in life brings to mind the excellent visuals from Koyaanisqatsi. Naturally enough, since the title of the movie is meant to evoke this feeling:

koy.aa.nis.qat.si (Hopi) [n]
1. Crazy life.
2. Life out of balance.
3. Life disintegrating.
4. Life in turmoil.
5. A way of life that calls for another way of living.

That last definition is most intriguing: “A way of life that calls for another way of living”. If things get that out of whack, to the point where achieving the end result becomes improbable, the situation demands switching gears. That might be the biggest trick of all.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 08/25/2004 11:37 PM
Category: Florida Livin', Movies
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ring around
Apple’s strategy with the iPod from the beginning was to use it as an introductory device. It’s purpose was to introduce consumers to an Apple product, let them experience the quality of it, and then sell additional items. The prime complementary merchandise for the iPod is the iTunes Music Store — a natural, since you’ve got to have something to play on your music player, and the IMS is specifically designed to work with the iPod.

A secondary aim was to use the iPod to help spur sales of the Mac. There are now signs of that strategy working in at least one critical market segment: College students. Students enamoured of the iPod are choosing Mac Powerbooks instead of Wintel notebooks for the back-to-school season.

This validates Apple’s decision to expand the iPod market by offering them preformatted in Windows. The early criticism of that move was that it would hurt Mac sales by removing an incentive from the typical computer buyer to switch. This development suggests that it’s irrelevant. What’s more, it points out to consumers placing greater importance on the hardware and look-and-feel in deciding on their computer hardware.

Naturally, this wouldn’t be happening if the pricing and software options weren’t right:

Now that Microsoft Office is available for Macs, [salesman Jeff] Guba says, students can work with many Windows programs, such as Outlook for e-mail and Word for documents. “That made a big difference,” he says. [Note: This is not really accurate; MS Office has been available on the Mac OS for several years; it's always been compatible with Windows documents and systems, even though some programs (notably Access) aren't available for the Mac.]…

Besides the afterglow of iPod, other factors are giving Apple laptops a boost:

-Viruses. Internet viruses that affect Windows machines “have gotten out of hand,” says Charles Hendee at New York University’s computer store. “Every week, we have three or four people switch for just that reason.”

-Price. Unlike Mac desktops, which tend to cost more than comparable Windows machines, entry-level iBook laptops are competitively priced, at about $949 with Apple’s education discount.

This isn’t going to vault Apple to the top of the computing heap. But it’s a nice little gain.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 08/25/2004 11:04 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Tech, iPod
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Sometimes having a goatee (technically a Vandyke) kinda sucks. Like when you’re trimming it, and your hand slips, and you end up with a nice big patch of bald upper lip.

So, like I do every time I commit this faux pas — and I manage to do it about once a year — I dispense with the guard on the clippers, and have at the rest of the beard. I feel there’s no point in having any facial hair if I don’t have at least the moustache, so I always opt for just shearing the whole thing off and starting over. But because I’m so rarely without facial hair, I tend to cut away the whiskers in sections, stop, take a good long look at what’s left, and ponder:

Would I look good with a Shenandoah? (No, I wouldn’t.) What about a soulpatch? (Ain’t gonna happen.)

Each of these considerations last maybe a minute. Then it’s snip-snip-snip, and before I know it, all the chin hair is gone. I’m left staring into the mirror at a face I’m not overly familiar with, since I’ve had some measure of facial hair almost continuously since junior high school (in fact, my upper lip is so unaccustomed to being scraped with a razor that I pretty much have to keep a moustache, or else live with a rash).

While the novelty of a clean-shaven mug is nice, I pretty much start growing the goatee back the next day. I manage to get it back within two weeks, and then it’s business as usual. That’s the plan for this go-round.

The reaction from those around me is always interesting. Today at work, most people needed to do a doubletake to confirm what they were seeing: Costa without the beard! Then the question of why, and the explanation, and then how different I look, and which famous person I look like (our Treasurer said I looked like a very young Neil Sedaka; I don’t know about that, but I took the compliment).

Anyway, I’ve spent a good part of today reaching up to stroke my chin, and being surprised at the feel of skin instead of hair. I ran my finger over the newly-(re)discovered cleft in said chin. The bottom part of my face actually felt a little cold this morning from the office AC (the rest of me, as usual, was fine). And I kept thinking, bring on the stubble.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 08/25/2004 09:42 PM
Category: General
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icelandic cat
HELLO! The above picture is of Bjork, doing her best Catwoman impersonation. A damn good one, too. (Actually, the outfit is part of the imagery from her upcoming Medulla album.)

I haven’t been paying enough attention to her, I think.

As far as I’m concerned, this trumps her swan dress by a long shot. And her Oceania Olympics frock, too.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 08/25/2004 01:44 AM
Category: Celebrity, Movies, Pop Culture
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Back in January, I did sports fans a service by framing the Presidential race as a hockey (Kerry) vs. baseball (Bush) decision.

I think I’ve made an impact! Tonight on “The Late Show with David Letterman”, Dennis Leary declared that he’s casting his vote strictly based on his accord with Kerry on the hockey issue — namely, that they both play it.

On the other hand, it could be that Leary was just stealing my material. He’s been known to do that sort of thing.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 08/25/2004 01:28 AM
Category: Celebrity, Politics, Sports
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in the garden
Caught Garden State today. Not bad. It was far less jokey than I had anticipated; I think the previews formed that impression on me. It’s actually got a very morose tone through most of it, which is counterbalanced by a quirky “New Jersey as a state of mind” vibe (similar to Happiness, which I think did a better job of recreating the Jersey atmosphere).

It hit me toward the end of the film: Star Zach Braff reminded me a lot — too much — of a younger Ray Romano.

I don’t like Romano. But I guess I like Braff.

Since it’s 2004, and it is an independent film (the bigtime credentials of Braff and Queen Amidala Natalie Portman notwithstanding), you know there’s gotta be a blog, by Braff, all about his promotional tours and inside information. The latest post discusses some late-stage changes in the script, particularly regarding the ending.

Braff plugged the blog itself during an appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman” a few weeks back, and I’m sure that’s helped bring in readers.

The blog has racked up a hellacious amount of comments, averaging several hundred per post. But curiously, there’s a dramatically smaller amount of trackbacks: No more than 10 or so per post, and often none at all. This is understandable: Comments are easier to dash off and more accessible to the average Web surfer. Still, it’s an odd juxtaposition. It suggests some sort of Golden Ratio for blogs: A huge number of comments for every single trackback. Which is typical in the blogosphere, really.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 08/25/2004 12:03 AM
Category: Bloggin', Movies
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