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I've been reading some of the arglebargle about the upcoming Macworld and possible Mac upgrades, especially the Mac Mini, Mac Pro and iMac. Tons of folks are arguing about whether Mac Pro will get the new 6-core Dunsfield (IIRC) Xeons or whether they'll get the quad-core, but much faster Nehalem EP Xeons. These arguments, though, get cut short by folks clamoring for Apple to just use regular desktop Core i7 CPUs. Some of these don't understand that you can't just slap two Core i7s on a motherboard, and some say that the Mac Pro should go single-socket. From this, and other observations, it seems to me Apple really has space for two more machines in its lineup: a mid-range desktop that's not an all-in-one, and perhaps a netbook.

The Desktop Mac

I'm not sure I have a good name for this one, other than maybe Mac Classic - which doesn't make that much sense, since the idea really isn't all that 'classic' in their current lineup. (Though most of the older Power Mac G4 systems had a low-spec model that fit the bill.) This would be a desktop or small tower form factor, with some expandability. It'd be a single-socket system, initially using either a Core 2 Quad or Core i7, and standard DDR3 RAM, and probably PCIe graphics - low-rent notebook graphics simply do not cut the mustard for this kind of thing. I suppose they could use the Mac Pro/Power Mac G5 case, but I think it's too big and bulky for this kind of thing.

To work, it would have to offer at least as much power as an iMac for a bit less, or a fair bit more power for a little bit more. They could price it so that a Mac Classic plus a 24" Cinema Display would be more expensive than a similarly specced iMac, and so that a fully kitted Classic would be a bit pricier than a stripped-down Mac Pro. The idea would not be to displace the iMac, but rather to offer an option for the user who needs some expandability, or who simply doesn't want an all-in-one, but who doesn't need (or can't afford) all the power of the Mac Pro.

The Mac Netbook

Some would argue that the Macbook Air is their netbook, but I disagree. It's big. Light, but big. A Mac netbook - call it the Macbook Mini - would feature either an Atom or low-power Core 2 Duo CPU, a 9" or so panel at 1024x600 or 1280x800, 1GB of RAM and a 2.5" SATA disk. Like the Macbook Air, it would lack an optical drive, and might well lack wired Ethernet. 802.11n would be mandatory, as would Bluetooth. In order to actually have a point, it would have to be smaller, lighter and cheaper than a Macbook - and probably weaker too, if it's going to be priced competitively with the Asus EeePC, which is probably the most expensive netbook out there right now. Its big draw would be to have Mac OS X in your purse, basically. If it can't do that, it's pointless. Every other netbook can offer Windows XP or Linux, and a few can offer Windows Vista. Apple's big selling points would be style and Mac-ness. I'm not sure if it fits their vision or not, but I'd certainly buy one.

Pondering, What is the Measure of a Man? while at the Mick Donald's Playland

I know that it has been a while since I have corresponded with you, World. But I've been doing a lot of thinking about you and the people inside you. Well mostly the men. But not that I have The Gay or anything, you know, but since I have been thinking about the "measure of a man," per say, I guess that excludes women. Not that there's anything wrong with women or their measurements, but let's just focus on the men for clarity's sake. Not their privates, mind you, again, no gay here, but more the whole package. Well maybe "package" is a poor word choice, too. But you understand what I'm saying, hopefully.

Before I get into that deep subject, I must pause to pre-face my pending diatribe to say that Mick Donald is a culinary genius. His foodular concoctions are unrivaled by other edible goodies in the same price bracket. No wonder they've served "millions and millions." I got me a few of those double burgers with cheese, which are really cheap right now by the way, and an order of french fried potatoes, and washed it all off with a gigantic (also cheap right now!) Doctor Pepper and I must say it was one of the finest meals I've dined on in a while. Kudos to Mr. Donald! I AM loving it!

So anyway. As I was sitting in the play area, watching the little tykes run all around, screaming, laughing, crying, flying down slides, pinching and hitting each other, I began to ponder, as I am wont to do as I watch small children hurt each other, when the boys grow up what will make them men? What is the measure of a man anyway??

I remember there was an episode of that Star Wars: Generations show in the late 80's exploring that very subject as they put their robot on trial for not being a person but he was trying to prove that he was. It was very fascinating. It makes you think, what makes a human man a human man? Was it the brain? The robot had a brain (a Technotronic one, though - I guess he had that "Pump Up your Jammies" song in there somewhere). Is it the heart? Well like the Tin Man in that Blizzard of Oz movie, he did not. I think that was the sticking point in that episode. So they blew him up and his pieces turned up many years later in that last movie they did.

As I bit into the beefy cheese and beef of my sandwich, pondering that question, in came none other than my friend Shitface. I hadn't seen him in a while so it was a welcome happenstance. He looked a little woozy; the taped cotton balls on his arms indicated that he had given blood recently. He does that to feed his fast food fund. Either that or he was just poking himself again for fun. Anyway, as frightened children ran away from him, he proceeded to grab the two nearest cheeseburgers to his person.

He must have been pondering the same thing I was that day (we were N'Sync you might say), because the next thing he did was squish each of them into each of his eyes, sending ketchup into the far corners of the playroom as he did so. After all, with cheeseburgers in your eyes, it would be difficult, visually, indeed to measure a man. The grease of the meat and the colors of the condiments would change your perception, of course.

The point he was making, though, must have been lost on the startled fast food eaters. Especially lost on it were the owners of the culinary delights.

I briefly revisited my long-pondered thought of, can one really own a cheeseburger, since its existence is so hungrily finite? But I decided that I did not want to lose my focus on the subject at hand and to ponder that another day.

Shitface proceeded to pull the cheese slices out, melty as they were, and dangle them about. "CHEEEEEEEEEEESE!" Shitface said as the rest of the burgers sploshed to the floor below. It was quite a sight, Shitface, standing there, that deep concentration look in his eyes, the beautiful red, yellow, orange, and grease hues dangling from his eyelashes. Well, grease is more of a shine than a color. But anyway, I'd never realized before how many colors in the rainbow are in a standard Mick Donald's cheeseburger. Fascinating.

But before going down too far on that ponderiffic road, I turned my attention back toward the question of the day, which again is "What is the measure of a man?" I gave it great attention as Shitface took off his winter coat, revealing his legal prowess in his ability to find a loophole in the "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service" policy, clearly displayed at the front doors. His lack of pants, not mentioned in that policy, showed that perhaps he had missed his calling as a lawyer of sorts.

Maybe, I thought, it is the ability to find one's calling, recognize your true purpose on this planet, Earth, the fourth one from the sun, after Mercury, Eros, and Uranus. I think that's the order at least. I never paid much attention in Geography in school, oh well.

Maybe even more important than knowing what you're here to do, I further thought as people starting screaming, maybe it is knowing what to do with that knowledge. "With great power comes great response ability," the Spiderman's father told him in the comic books, a great piece of advice from the pulp side of entertainment. It means, to the laid person, that you should use your talents wisely, not shoot people or something. Unless that's your job, like a police officer. Then, by all means, shoot to the best of your ability. But the point is, once you discover what you're here for, do good with it.

As 2008 comes to a close, I think that finding your purpose is becoming more important than ever. With things as bad as they are, things like banks and Pontiac going out of business, you have to figure out how you can help, how you can use those powers for good. Shitface, I do not think anybody will argue, has found his: showing people that, yes, pants can be optional, and at the same time exposing not only his manhood, but the need to be meticulous with your signs. I saw that he was also quite good at tossing off a few 250-pound Mick Donald's employees, scampering up the playplace, sliding down the slide, tossing aside the same overweight teenagers, and then blasting out the fire door.

"The devil's food is in the details," as they say, and that should apply to signs as well as how high-pitched to make the fire alarms. In my personal opinion, Mick Donald made his too piercing. It was very difficult to finish my meal that night.

But finish that delicious meal I did. Hats off to you, Mr. Donald.

Or should I say "pants off?" Ha!

What the hell do women want?
I swear this girl is driving me nuts.

I remember her kisses as I fly in the night.

Today, we watched a movie on her computer. Me, her, my brother and my friend who is also her ex-boyfriend and current best guy friend.

We watched the movie. We moved around, ending with her head resting in my lap, sitting between the other two. We shared a kiss, the first with other people around.

At some point, she puts her legs over my brothers. They have a little tickle fight.

This was how today ended.

This is how it began. This year, on Valentines day, my friend asked her out. That is how I met her. Some time over the summer, they break up. I didn’t know. Couldn’t tell.

Some day in September- Field trip for the high school seniors to Knott’s berry farm. She holds hands all day with another friend of mine.

Two weeks later in October- She comes up in the morning, complains of being cold, sits down next to me, grabs my arm and puts it over her.

Then on- holding hands to and from the only class we share. Stealing hugs in between.
People start asking if I’m dating her, I have no idea what to say.

November- Asks my brother to be in her debut. Her, 18th birthday. Comparable to a bar mitzvah except for Filipinos, a really big deal. He accepts and now goes to dance practice every week. He is her partner.

3 weeks later- Due to dance practice, partner choice and one trip to the mall after dance practice, my parents fall under the assumption they are going out. I go with it, it’s pretty funny. And it lets me know how they would react to me dating. At some point, I tell her this. Too me it’s a joke, to her… I don‘t know. She laughs

December 12. Gift giving, she gets me a shirt. More important, she writes a letter to me. That letter, I read it twice immediately.

That night- I ask her out for the first time. Next Friday.. She says maybe. A little while before I learned the kids at dance practice thought they were dating. That day was spent with me following her around in the mall as she held my brother’s hand. I hide behind badly put together indifference

Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday night- Phone calls from nine pm to one, two and three am. Somewhere in this time, Saturday I think, I like her, she likes me. Now we know for sure I guess.

Tuesday- First, this. Then I watch a dance practice for the first time.

That night- I ask for my flaws, she tells them. How I dress is among them. Others are things I can’t change. Like height… Decide to play dress up someday. Sure, why not? A hair cut too? Bring it on.

December 28- She introduces me as her boyfriend.


I have questions with no answers.

Tell me answers, anyone. Anything other then what I hear in me.

I hold on tight to the kisses.
Breathing them in as promises.
Knowing these feelings will go away the next time I hold her.
And knowing it will all start again.

Thanks for listening.
Hope I feel better in the morning
Usually I feel good.
Just in a bad mood at the moment.
It's always temporary.

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