Monday, March 31, 2008

Saint Augustine to Daytona

Saturday was shots of the resort in which I was staying. Shooting rooms, pools, shorefront and then all around the area for building fronts, golf course, club and some town things. It was a day where the shots were annoying me with the head of the tripod not offering the balance I wanted and rooms were overexposed shore-side and under in the back. This is one reason to get much more pans and takes then needed. There’s got to be some gold in there. Roll with it.

The island had been a home to pirates and adventurers but now had a little shopping district and plenty of resorts down a curvy road with a live oak canopy. I did the little ‘taste test’ of the area by swinging in the little shops, sitting on the a bench and observing and chatting with those that may be in the know. I swung into the wine shop and spoke to them about their opinion on screw tops and if they thought the entire industry would be heading that way. “Most definitely,” responded the woman behind the counter, “or at least they better!” The man behind the counter added that the French bourdeaux makers might have an issue with it. I got a cheap Shiraz and then head to the smoke shop. Within there was looseleaf tobacco which made me pine for my pipes at home. I thought of bringing it, I just feel it might provide a hassle with bag checks, even thought completely legit! I saw that the corncob pipes were only $10 and they were real corncob pipes. I relented and grabbed a small bag of Cavendish and a pipe. The owner of the store mentioned that lining the bowl with honey would help the burn. If you’ve no honey, coffee can work as well. After more tips about the area I thanked her for her help and was on my way.

For lunch I ate on the rooftop of Carolyn’s and had myself a pork and apple sandwich. Imagine an apple pie with healthy greens placed inbetween two grilled, crusty pieces of French bread. I didn’t fall in love with the sandwich but kept in mind that it was healthy and something new.

I then drove to the old Spanish quarter of Fernandina. Other than some semi-old houses, roads kept in a gravel state to meet some historic preservation code and an open grass square with an interpretive sign along the coast, there was not much else. The most alluring thing to me was the adjacent cemetery with aged tombstones and an environment one would imagine in a place like Mirkwood. However, I doubted if video of this would bring the tourists.

Next it was a search for Fort Clinch. At the end of the island stood this Civil War-era fort. Even to a history junkie like myself it looked like just about every other fort I had seen. I took advantage of the location and went for a walk along its outer beach walls to look for sharks teeth. At times I’d crouch and scrape back and forth the layers of infinite shells. It made me think about their incredible diversity but also put into perspective why you find so many fossils like this in sandstone and limestone, once the bottom of immense oceans. I did not find any shark’s teeth but did find a dead Great Blue Heron. They are white when they are immature. That reminds me, turkey vultures are very, very common here. You’ll see them soaring above the highways in their great browness and light underwings or feasting upon a dead carcass along the side of the road.

For dinner it was to Sliders. The shrimp primavera was some pasta, in a watery, raw garlic sauce. The shrimp tasted great though -nice, firm and fresh. I also thought the raw garlic must be healthy. I was seated in the remnant seating area. More oft than not it is where solo mio ends up. There was a big sandbox with a bunch of kids escaping dinner boredom. It was cute but also kicked a lot of sand up into the air. If I hadn’t mentioned, the wind here has been tremendous as of late. This make the ocean more aroused but also helps sand find the inner recesses of your eye sockets and scrape away at them or burrow beneath the contacts. I had to laugh at the fact that I had come to dinner nursing an eye that now preferred to be closed and sand from a kid’s plastic shovel flew ever so gracefully into my other!

Back to the place.

The morning I packed my things to go. For some reason I had a brief two-minute episode where I flew into a purposeful panic, as I was under the impression that I had a shoot that I had overlooked. After a flurry of packing I looked again and realized that I was mistaken.

This morning was now the first gray and overcast I had seen and even more windy. I threw my gear in my dust-coated car and went to town to take a few shots for myself. I had neglected to bring my own camera the day before.

I was happy to be underway again and took I-95 in the direction of Daytona. My next destination was the oldest continually inhabited place in the United States, Saint Augustine! I knew I was in luck as I pulled into town and saw the streets named after significant Spanish explorers and then, the coolest fort I’ve seen in America! This was the great Catillo de San Marcos, the oldest fort in the U.S. You could notice the Spanish characteristics immediately in the rounded towers and had that arrow-head form at each of the corners for better artillery coverage.

The town little historic district had the feel of European streets. Two-story storefronts were pushed up to the street. Many people were walking, exploring and shopping. You could hear a lot of Spanish being spoken and could get lost in the feel of the place. There were minarets and towers sticking up all around the town. This place was settled originally by Minorcans along with Greeks and Italians. I stopped in the National Shrine of St. Photios, ate a wrap, some fudge and head south to Daytona.

The main drag of Daytona Beach has been very similar to Panama City Beach – Spring Break haven. The place I’m staying in is just a hotel, really, though it is called a resort. It does not have internet access so I’m stuck paying for it at Starbucks, believe it or not!

This day has been a special visit to the Daytona International Speedway. I’ve been able to get great footage of the 500 Experience and the track itself. The IMAX video was pretty good as well. This location of Florida is considered the furthermost extent of true Deep South. Naturally, paying one’s respects to Daytona Speedway is no different than visiting the St. Peter’s Basillica in Rome or the Coliseum in Greece. This is one of the greatest loved symbols of the south. We in the North have such a great misunderstanding of NASCAR (though we’ve some fans). But if you see how happy it makes people, it’s no different than being in a gay club or Cinquo de Mayo on West 7th, we may not get it, but it legitimizes who these people are and is representative of greater human dignity. Boogity, boogity, boogity! (Darrel Waltrip)

Now it’s a matter of finding fitting some puzzle pieces of shot dates and lodging into the greater equation…

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Alys Beach to Amelia Island

I’ve just returned from a night visit to the dark shores of Amelia Island! But before I speak of that, I should probably bring you up to speed. That is now, that I have an internet connect that may have a bit more than the previous one did.

Wednesday I checked out of my Southern Resorts suite, and traveled to a place called Alys Beach. Along the scenic drive that takes you to Grayton, Watercolor and Seaside, lies this new development. It was designed by a Greek architect and mimics forms, colors and traits similar to those found in Greece. I was looking for the sand castle building lessons. At the entrance to the beach was a manicured patch of green lawn, giant spherical vases and a white boardwalk. I met the sandcastele building gentlemen who had a small class of 2 kids. I got some really fun footage and spend some time on the mostly empty beach. The water was emerald and sky was blue. I then did some on-camera intros for the footage. Frustrations. The setting was perfect. A deserted sandcastle by which to crouch and do the typical intro. The frustration was that the wind and cell phone chatter ruined the sound recording and the sun was directly overhead casting my face in shadow. All part of the fun!

Check-in to my next lodging brought me back into the more hustle-bustle of Destin. This is where there are typical strip malls but also resorts and hotels that rise up into the sky, blocking out the sun. I'm in a smaller complex of rentals but the buildings I checked-in to were the kind that were practically skyscrapers.

I did not feel like bringing the camera to dinner so it sat in the car and I had myself some hot buffalo wings. Almost always, after having the super-vineagary, hot chicken wings and drums, I remind myself to get the teriyaki or bourbon next time. I'll have to heed that reminder, next time.

Thursday I spent some time waiting in the resort office. Apparently there was some descrepancies over an idemnity clause and it had yet to be resolved. (These are the kind of things that should be taken care of before they send me out!) After the people who make these decisions chatted back and forth on the phone the problem was resolved and I shot in buildings that were over 23 stories high. I also shot both of their golf courses.

When that was completed I went to McGuire's Pub. (Hi Tim!) They had a good stout and an excellent Yankee Pot Roat. It's potatoes, onions and meat were very flavorful and it was almost a challenge to eat it all up. Lots of protein!

Next was to the bridge area for some shots of the emerlad water and people at play in it. I also visited the dock area to get some shots of the tour and fishing boats.

Finally, I went to Watercolor (it was in the movie The Truman Show). Here I left the camera behind and got myself a shake. As is common with these higher buck areas, even the lesser-products are of higher quality. The plastic cup I was of so high a grade plastic that I decided to keep it and the napkin was of a heavy weight as well. I decided to spend my last bit of free time on the beach. The sand here is truely white. When you walk upon it, it feels as though you are walking on flour. When you lay down and press your head to the ground and look out at the Gulf the effect is splendid. Beautiful, sugar-white sand all around you and the emerald waters flowing above.

Today I woke early and departed Destin about six in the morning. Fog added a mysterious element as I found my way to I-10. My first stop would be in Tallahassee. Only 14 miles from the Georgian border, I thought it would be a nice sample of a southern city. It was fine, just fine. My main focus became the little historic quarter downtown and then a stop at the Metro Deli for a BBQ pulled chicken sandwich, with coleslaw placed right in the mix and served with a carrot. I had some Cheetos and orange pop. You must have orange pop if you plan on doing it right!

The historic quarter was a square with live oaks dripping in Spanish moss. Along the streets were houses, many of which predated the Civil War. One house in particular was from where the Emancipation Proclamation was read after we, like so many southern things, had commandeered it. I also stopped an old church that was being renovated. The busier atmosphere as of late had provided the sun with a nice, big halo. The church was thus transformed into a holy miracle. So transformed was I upon seeing this that developed a halo of my own.

The remainder of the trip along I-10 was pretty uneventful. It’s like driving along the corridor up to Duluth. Just imagine the vegetation a little softer. There are still mostly pine trees, but they are mixed with deciduous and gentler grasses as well.

After losing my way on Amelia Island a few times, I eventually found the office and was assisted by several helpful woman. I was given the keys of rooms I will shoot tomorrow and suggestions on where to eat. I am currently staying in one of three newly built 10 story resort buildings. My balcony hangs over the beach and the crash of the waves can be heard as I write this.

After a run on the more typical, tan sand, shell crushed Atlantic, I went to ‘The Surf’ which unfortunately fries all of its seafood. Why do that to beautiful seafood?! Give it to me raw and wriiigggling! ;) But I ate it and returned to visit the beach for a short bit.

Walking down the low-lit boardwalk I began in my giddiness as it pointed straight out to the black, white topped ocean and the speckled stars above. I walked through the sand and went to the edge of the surf. I brought my audio recorder, placed it down near the tide line, stood and watched. The waves are big enough to roll and crash, presenting a foam line that changes its travel up the coast depending on many variables. It was exciting. With a fun shiver and my hood around my head I listened to the roar and made certain the water did not bathe the recorder.

Tomorrow I start with shooting rooms in this complex and then get key cards to get access of the different resort complexes, golf course and other ammentities. I will also try and tour the island which looks as though it has an old Confederate fort and some Spanish antiquities as well.

The day is near done and it was cool to see a west and east coast all in one day.

Hope your weather back home continues to be at least as good as it was today!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Two Shot Day

It went well. The properties I got to shoot today were pretty amazing. They ran from suites like the one I am staying in to stylish rental houses on palm lined lanes, painted in pastel colors that were especially highlighted by the sun. Although the wind has recently picked up and the temperature has been in the fleece range the sun and blue sky is simply amazing. There was a lilt in most of my steps, when I wasn't driving, that is. Even the drive 30 miles to shoot one room wasn't that troubling.

Since I'm near two Air Force bases I've seen F-15's quite regulary. Today there was an F-16 and an A-10 Warthog soaring through the sky together. That was something I have never seen before!

For dinner I went to High Tide for some local color. I try and make a point of getting most of my info and tips from locals. A property manager who has lived in the area for over a decade suggested a few different restaurants but suggested High Tide if I liked places a little 'seedier.' (That is true, I do, but you won't see me at either of the two men's clubs near by!) I sat at the Oyster bar where two fellows were shucking Apalachicola oysters. I ordered up some blackened flounder and chatted a bit. One of the fry cooks came from the back and gazed at the camera. He shot video himself. Skateboard, band videos and the like. He was really excited to talk about cameras and even showed me several he had pictures of on his cell phone. I encouraged him to keep shooting and gave him my card. I encouraged him to get his stuff out there. The important thing is that you keep shooting!

Another guy at the counter, originally from Virginia but who has lived in Destin for some time, offered many suggestions of what might be interesting in the area. He also talked about taking his boat out into the Gulf and fishing for flounder. The two shuckers/bar tenders mentioned other things worth seeing at well - A.J.'s, Floyd's, Bay Point, which is modled after New Orleans (minus for the smell).

(Have you seen Andrew Zimmerman do his strange foods episode in Minnesota? The travel channel has ran it twice in a row tonight! Watch it if you can!)

Earlier this night I was able to run on the coast towards the setting sun, then run back.

Tomorrow is more area footage and some on camera time. We'll see what adventures develop. There is Sand Castle building lessons at Alys Beach at 11am! Click HERE to see more about the beach.

The pictures attached are one of the little scoooters that people rent and zoom around in around here. I'll learn more about them and tell you! The others are the view from my balcony and some shots of the place that I'm staying in for one last night. An 'Italian' theme. My spirits allowed me to jump around on the bed. I also laughed pretty heartily staring out the six-story balcony at Orion and rising southern constellations. A giddy appreciation. Wishing I could share these places with my family and friends a little more directly. Know you are with me!

Sleep soundly.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hibiscus to Fort Walton Beach

Today started with a hug from a southern lady. The house I had lodged in was built in the early 1900's. It was moved up from the beach, renovated and turned into the rental property it is today. It was comfortable, quaint and had a famous cafe. My first shoot of this voyage was very relaxed. I shot the rooms that were available, the architecture, trees and garden. The cafe was featured as well. As I had no p.m. appointment and the motto of the Hibiscus was 'relax,' it was a pretty soft transition.

The oatmeal they served me for breakfast was every bit as wonderful as the waffles of the previous morning. Oats, strawberries, blueberries, apples with a sweet fresh cream.

I spent some time searching for, and finding, my room key, said my goodbyes to my host and took off for Panama City. This destination was not at the top of my list but I am committed to getting footage for my area segments. This segment will cover the Panhandle and the Emerald Coast. To be thorough I've got to sample the areas the best that I can. Estimating the logistics of when, where, how long, etc., I shot all the way down the 98 corridor, past Panama City Beach, to Panama City. Not the most flamboyant of Florida towns, it still had neat little things to capture. The marina, the churches, and the hot dog joint where I had there special dog and a pink lemonade for $3.50!

Well, I had to get all the way back to Fort Walton Beach for my next stay, so best I hit the road. In the forefront of my mind was the knowledge that I just had to get some shots of Panama City Beach. Much more famous than Panama City, Panama City Beach is a city most reknown as the "Spring Break Capital." I pulled down the main drag, full of college kids and beach front hotels. I parked the car and made my way with the camera down a passage inbetween hotels and towards the beach. I took a quaint shot of mother, father and little son all staring out towards the coast. As I got nearer and heard the hollers of the crowd, I saw what they staring at. It was the epitome of Spring Break. A gaggle of college-aged kids around a stage, cheering on chicks in a booty dance off. Pretty gross. I got some shots that provide a good characiture of the experience of Spring Break and was happy to get out of there. As I passed families and the more aged I could not comprehend why they would come here at this time of year!

The drive back was busy with rush-hour and a few accidents. I passed the turn-offs of my previous destinations, drove through Destin and over the bridge into Fort Walton Beach.

My current lodging is a gigantic suite. Azure #605, can sleep 9 and overlooks the beautiful coast from many stories up. Click here to see more. Yes, its awesome and unbelievable that I get to stay here for 2 nights. I'm trying to live it up, I am. But self-indulgence can sometimes be uncomfortable. Heck, I've given up first class seats on a plane, just so I could sit in coach. I felt much more comfortable there. I also dwell on the fact that I've at least seven days that I have no idea where it is I am staying, properties that haven't scheduled, anxieties of the new gig, equipment idiosyncracies and general mayem in the head. But hell, live the damn moment. I promise to try and do just that. What a fortunate experience!

I had duck in pomegranate sauce for dinner at an Italian joint called Pranzo.

Tomorrow is the first day with two consecutive appointments. I'm telling myself just to chill after that. I'm hoping it goes well. I could skip including the above, but it is all part of the experience. Have a good day!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter (Lord Have Mercy on a Sharecropper's Son)

I began this day by walking from my door, down the steps and over to an adjacent house whose first floor had been converted to a small restaurant. I introduced myself as the videographer and after some chatting with the three behind the counter. I was then asked by the male of the trio "how hungry are you?" Not being much of a breakfast eater but also knowing that if someone asks you that they intend to show their stuff, I ordered what he had suggested. Here is what I feasted upon: two waffles, smothered in peanutbutter and topped with fresh apples, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, walnuts, coconut and a light syrup. When it was placed before me she added "he made you a double-order." I obliged this great hospitality with cleaning the entire plate. (I was sure to video the dish before I ate it up!)

Upon finishing my coffee, I took notes on what secret, local sites they thought I should visit. Then, I was off! I drove down 30A past towns like Watercolor and Seagrove. I then took 395 up to Eden State Gardens. I passed a newly renovated school that had existed since the late 1800's. It had a sign out front reminiscent of an earlier era of child guidance. I snapped a picture of it on the way back from my journey and will post it later in this story.

I pulled into Eden State Gardens. Volunteers were directing cars, parking them inbetween trees and bushes. I stepped out, grabbed my gear and saw that there were many families with little children swinging little Easter baskets. Ah, an easter egg hunt! I walked across the green, St. Augustine grass and gazed around. All about the property were giant live oaks with Spanish moss draping from their bows. Red and white Azalias and Camillas were in bloom. I walked around the the two-floor planation-style house to a long view of more live oaks, reflective pool, more gardens, gazeebo and dock extending out into Tucker Bayou. I took my time, southern-style, and enjoyed every step. Drifting down, from the end of the green near the bayou, came the sound of bluegrass. Oh, I hoped for a real band! the closer I got, the sweeter the sound, and there they were. Waco Wanderers. "Lord Have Mercy on a Sharecropper's Son." Banjo, mandolin, fiddle and the rest. Families had laid out blankets and their fried chicken, brought their dogs and children awaited the coming of the Easter Bunny. Soon, a woman, every bit the old southern belle, announced that the bunny had arrived. Up he was chaufered in a golf cart and the children swarmed in. That's actually when my aunt T called!

After pictures with the bunny, the children were led to the greater gardens and the egg hunt. As I walked over a guy ran over to me and struck up a conversation. He mentioned that he just started to do video in his line of work. A friendly guy. I presented me card and we chatted a bit more. Then it was time to film some of the hunt and more of the grounds. When I was near the Wesley house an elderly chap that appeared to be a volunteer asked me about the camera. He was suprised that I heard of where he was from. Rainy River Ontario! It was a rare to run into him for several reasons. This first of which is that the panhandle is predominantly visited by southerners. The rest of America flies down to where the major airports are. This leaves the north of Florida preserved both culturally and environmentally. Another reason is that Eden Gardens are a great secret! I was told that at least 3 times in one day.

So, I made my way, very slowly, back to the car. I had to take some time looking out from the porch. If there would be a heaven, this was it, for me. An old historic house, thousand year-old live oaks branching up into the sky with Spanish moss garland, blooming flowers, little yellow butterflies, sounds of laughing kids running through woods, water dogs jumping in pools with koi, a bluegrass band playing to happy people eating food on blankets, sincere smiles, a dock extending out into the bayou, a giant heron splashing into the water, wind playing with the trees and a rich southern sun, making it's way on down through the canopy, warming everything and everyone. But I don't think the Easter Bunny would be there.

I drove back and stayed for awhile in Seagrove. When I was walking, a group of college age boys woke up to me and asked me and started a conversation, asking if I knew where a pool would be. They both began and ended the conversation with a happy tone and a handshake. No, they weren't Mormons. They were from Birmingham.

After some video and a foot long, I went back to Grayton, spent time out on the beach and then went for a run. For dinner I had shrimp and crawfish in a light tomato sauce over penne. Man it was good!

I've included a shot of where I reside as well.

Now am back for my last night at Hibiscus and must rest so I can have a good first shoot! Goodnight!

(Fun note: If you are heading east-west while driving any street this week you will see the sun rise and set directly in front of you. It's an awesome effect and I got to experience it yesterday. This is due to the spring equinox, by the way!)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Redneck Riviera

I have arrived in the Emerald Coast, also known as the Redneck Riviera. There is green foliage, white sand, ocean waves and even mosquitoes. I currenlty reside in Grayton Beach.

Thanks to the little snowstorm we had (though it was beautiful, wasn't it?) the de-icing of the plane to Atlanta took too long. We arrived at 2 and the connecting flight to Pensacola was scheduled for 2:20. Upon arriving, I did the fastest walk I've had to do in an airport. I had searched my phone and discovered that the gate assignment had changed. The fun was compounded by having to take a shuttle as well! I arrived at the gate just as the last person was boarding. As I entered the gate I contemplated the fact that my bags might not catch up with the plane. They didn't. When I got to the baggage claim a heard a voice over the intercom say something about having an "Antony..." please report to the baggage claim office. This meant that I got to spend extra hours in the Pensacola airport waiting for them. But it was no big deal.

For a rental car I got a pretty sweet Pontiac G6 instead of the Malibu I had reserved. My original pickings were so slim, I decided to go with the Malibu. When I got to the airport they told me they only had 3 cars and they were all G6's. I was pretty pleased when I actually saw it. I got set up in the car, confirmed the car's Neverlost, my iPhone and the maps and away I went.

The bummer about being delayed in the airport was that clouds had rolled in and the sun sunk even deeper in the sky. Rush-hour had begun as well. The things that caught my eye in the mostly flat, one-level store fronted drive, was the ocassional island on which were built brand new hotel complexes. Many of these had some of the most unique water towers. But it mostly made me feel like I was in somewhere like Qatar or Saudi Arabia, where oil monies had fabricated an oasis.

As my FM receiver would not play the music from my phone very well, I turned on the radio. Lots of good country. (This isn't sarcasm. I like good country). Although, the first thing I heard when I turned on the radio was Garisson Keillor.

I drove through Destin and to Grayton, checked into my lodging, walked some of the white sands after sunset and then had grilled flounder covered in a crawfish red sauce with some Italian Pinot Grigio. That was better than airport food.

As tomorrow is Easter I have somewhat of a laid-back day. I will try and do some area shoots. But I have to sleep now. My brain is half-working right now. Just wanted to check in.

I've attached a picture of the lampshade in my place of lodging! "Peaches in Miami Beach Florida."

Friday, March 21, 2008

Pascua Florida

On the eve of another departure, I'm drawing my things together. To Florida is where I shall be heading. From the panhandle to the northeast coast, down to Daytona and then zig-zagging down into the very tip of the Keys. Then, I have to head right on up back to where I began!

It shall be a longer journey, but this is one of the reasons I sought this gig. This time I will be a solo entity. Shooting video of resorts and management properties as well as creating area segments.

The scheduling is part of the great unknown. With so little time to have contacted and scheduled the shoots, I have to consider this part of the adventure. May everything fall in its proper place!

In touch I will be. May all be well with you until next we speak.

Now, to the land of Florida I go!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Keeping in Touch

Recent news of the explosions at the munitions dump in Albania brought some thoughts to mind. The most important ones were those that said "I know people there - people that treated me with great generosity and looked after my well-being during life-threatening times." It reminded me that I have not done a very good job of keeping in contact with them and don't know if I will be able to inquire into their own well-being.

I don't think the people I know were directly affected by the explosions. That is, I hope. Though it has killed a dozen or so, injured 240, leveled 300 buildings and could be heard in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. (That's quite far away.)

This kind of thing just reminds you that you want people to be safe. Not only the people that you love, but anyone, for that matter.

Part of my intentions of this blog, in addition to helping a sometimes absent-minded person remember what he ate for breakfast, is to communicate. There are many people I hold so dear to me, but will never be told that. In this way I carry those people I love with me. Forgive an impertinent romantic his sobs.

So, if I have not heard from you in awhile and you be reading this, please tell tale of how you fare. How are my friends in Tirana? Mallorca? If you have the opportunity send brief word my way. Now, I have to go find some old Albanian addresses...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Good Book

When I was visiting New Zealand, I was introduced to a cool book that would appeal to many. It is called the Dangerous Book for Boys. Stylized in a fun near-turn-of-the-century look, the book deals with such topics as building a fort, how to play stickball, how to tie important knots, famous historical battles and wonders of the world. There is much to more to say about it but I encourage you to discover it for yourself. It's fun to page threw. I purchased the girl's version as a gift for a family member and they returned the favor with the version for boys!

Monday, March 10, 2008

The iPhone

As I'm going to be on the road quite often, I needed a device which combines many features into one small, functional accessory. The iPhone does this pretty well. After I cleared the initial hurdle of having to dish out a few dollars and force myself into buying into the Apple world, I purchased the phone through my cell phone service AT&T, the only provider for the iPhone. It did not take long before I became and admirer of the device. It's ease of use, practical applications, artistic interface and fun feel pulls just about anyone in. Here are some of my brief takes on this popular device. This is not an exhaustive critique, this is summed up briefly. Search online for exhaustive details.

The iPhone is a phone, thinner than most cell phones but a bit longer and wider. Instead of buttons, the screen reacts to your touches, reacting to the capacitating effects of your fingers. (A french fry or wet swab would work too.) This allows you to touch the screen to select objects, but putting in into your pocket will not activate the buttons, but, unfortunately, it won't work if you press the buttons with gloves on.

Things I use and like:
  • the phone works fine, just like most phones
  • the Google map button opens up maps of streets and also satellite images. You can press a button and it will find approximately where you are by triangulating your positiong between cell towers. It's great for directions. You put in addresses and it tells you where you need to go. (This is the same as on the internet. The directions are not always the best. But, you can get them in the palm of your hand as you drive!)
  • iPod function holds the music you upload, offering a beautiful display of the album covers which shuffle like cards when you touch them from left to right; it also hold the movies you upload as well, podcasts, etc.
  • the Web browser I use all the time, searching up any question the pops into my head and getting the response relatively quickly; when you open up a web page of a business, all you have to do is touch their phone number with your finger and it dials it.
  • buttons give you immediate access to weather, YouTube, texting, etc.

What I don't like:
  • it's Apple, which means that any new application has to first go through the approval of the company. You don't find as much independent and diverse applications as you do the in PC world. However, they have released the Software Developers Kit (SDK for hipsters) which means anyone can make a program for the phone. But... those programs will have to first be approved by Apple. You can also "brake" into the phone and add apps but Apple has updates which try to rout this out
  • it's slippery to hold
  • needs video and sound recorder
  • i have become an Apple clone

I do recommend the phone for info junkies and people who need data at their fingertips. It's fun to move images with the touch of your hand and zoom into web pages and photos by touching the image and spreading your fingertips. Apple keeps things simple. It has a little docking base which plugs into computer. You put it on base, it talks to computer. All that you have to do is press buttons like "Sync" and it does everything else for you. The simple Apple world where everything is the same, all of the time.