Archive for June 25, 2009

Georgian Room Dinner

June 25, 2009 Leave a comment


I mentioned two days ago that it was our 24th anniversary and that in three hours we would be having dinner in the Georgian Room of the Olympic Hotel. (The Fairmont Olympic, to be precise, but the Fairmonts and Four Seasons come and go, while the hotel is forever the Olympic.) We were married at the hotel, and though we had regularly eaten anniversary dinners there over the years, our last such dinner until this week was five years ago. I’m back with the restaurant report.

We arrived for our 6:45 reservation and were shown to a table just a little past the doorway. The room was nearly empty, so I figured we could have our choice of seats, and this wasn’t it. I asked if we could sit at one of the banquette tables, and I wanted in particular to sit at the same table where we had breakfast last February 15, after we had stayed overnight in the hotel. It’s in the far right corner, with the back to the window and the street, taking in a view of the full room with its high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling mirrors, floral arrangements, and giant breakfront on one wall. She showed us another one, but then offered the desired one, and that’s where we sat. Mind you, it’s a bit of a nuisance to sit side by side in a bench seat that makes it difficult to sit up straight. I would have been more comfortable in a chair. But this way we could both share the view of the room. Neither of us had to watch the traffic going up 5th Avenue. And of course we could be next to each other.

You can study the menu with us. We decided while we read it to start with some sparkling wine from California and ordered a glass each. Then we asked about whether the souffle should be ordered early. This prompted our waitress to offer us the dessert menu so we could compare the alternatives to the white and dark chocolate souffle and the souffle of the day, an orange and chocolate concoction. When the waitress returned, we were ready to order, starting with dessert.
Read more…

Categories: Food, Restaurants

Find My iPhone

June 25, 2009 Leave a comment


This one made the internet rounds a couple of days ago, but in case you missed the story, I’ll pass it on. (Hat tip: Sullivan.) Background first. Apple released the new iPhone operating system, version 3.0, last Wednesday. It had been announced months ago, with many long-overdue features, such as cut-and-paste editing, getting the screen to rotate 90 degrees in the email and text programs so the wider keyboard would show up on the screen, and a voice memo program.

I woke up last Wednesday and immediately tried to update the iPhone, but the new operating system wasn’t available yet. I kept checking for the update, until I wrote to Joel and he told me it wasn’t due up until 10AM PDT. At 10, it still wasn’t available, so I gave up for a while, but at 11 it was, and I eagerly downloaded it. I also read about some of the features and discovered one that is available for subscribers to Apple’s MobileMe, the cloud-computing system through which one can sync calendar and contact programs on multiple computers plus the iPhone as well as use those programs on any computer via a browser. It’s the Find My iPhone feature. You have to go to your MobileMe account to turn it on. But once it’s on, you can do some cool things.

First, from any computer anywhere, you can sign into your account and ask it to find your iPhone. It will use the built-in GPS and cell tower triangulating features to show you the location of the phone on a map, in the way it does when you’re using the phone itself. Of course, it doesn’t pinpoint the location. It just shows the location within a circle of varying radius. But if you arrive home without your phone, you could use this feature, see that it’s in the neighborhood where you just had dinner, and figure out that you must have left it in the restaurant as opposed to your office. Next, you can have the phone ring or send text messages to it. The ringing will work even if you have turned the sound off. The text message could say please return the phone to me, or contact me, or there’s a reward, or whatever. Finally, if you realize the phone will never be recovered, you can send a signal to have its data wiped, so no one will be able to see the data. Features one never wants to use, but it’s good to know they’re there, and it makes our MobileMe subscription all the more valuable.

Okay, so that’s that. Now the story. This guy Kevin was in Chicago attending a Lego convention last weekend. One night, after seeing Second City, he and some friends ate at a bar. Upon leaving, he realized his iPhone was missing. He tells the story of how he managed to track it down that night and the next day in his blog post. The story is short, and I don’t want to spoil it, so just go read it.

Our hero has a follow-up post in which he muses about his new-found fame. You’ll also find a link to some of his Lego work, including the USS Enterprise pictured above.

Categories: Computing, Travel