Pure online photo ecstasy.

I am a Mac user, and I rely on iPhoto heavily on my systems to keep all my photos in order. However, I also have a sizable Flickr account with a bunch of photosets, some of which duplicate things stored locally, and some which don’t. But what I didn’t have was a good way to interact with Flickr on my laptop. Until today.

Enter flickery, an application by Eternal Storms software, makers of the excellent GimmeSomeTune, for use with iTunes. Flickery is a native Mac app for wrangling the hell out of the content you store on Flickr, and I am absolutely floored by it. I will be spending so much more time using the site now, simply because the interface it provides is far and away an improvement to the web interface. Which is not to say Flickr’s site isn’t useful, because it’s come a long way over the years. But for all that can be done within the confines of http://, it doesn’t even come close to the experience you get with flickery.

What makes it so great is that it looks a lot like iPhoto, but with its hooks straight into your online account, you get to see both your local content and online content in similar fashions, which is fantastic for mentally arranging your photos how you like them. Clean, easy to understand, and powerful – everything a great app should be. God, I love good software. I could go on and on about it, but I really want to play with it more. If you’re a Mac-head and have a Flickr account, you’ve got a 15-day free trial to see if you like it. I’ll definitely be plunking down a few bucks for it. It’s essential as far as I’m concerned.

flickery

Movie nerd boner.

While listening to the always geeky, always hilarious Geek Show Podcast this afternoon, in the episode titled “Brokeback Podcast”, there was a discussion about connections between a lot of Tarantino’s characters in his films. I knew of this phenomenon, but what I didn’t know was that Sgt. Donny Donowitz (played by Eli Roth) from Inglorious Basterds was supposed to be the father of film producer Lee Donowitz (played by Saul Rubinek) in True Romance, which was penned by Tarantino, and also happens to be one of my favorite movies. That little nugget blew my mind clear out of my skull. I love stuff like that, when characters sort of cross over between stories. Awesome.

Epiphanies.

After a delicious Korean dinner with my sister and brother-in-law tonight, I had two thoughts occur to me on the way home, courtesy of my ~18-mo nephew playing with the iPod in the car.

  1. Listening to Kelly Clarkson’s music, and most pop songs in the same vein, is roughly equivalent to the act of an adult eating Pixy Stix. You know it’s a terrible idea, but something is compelling you to do it anyway. Upon starting to eat the overly-sugary treat, you start regetting the decision, and ultimately end up killing the idea 2/3 of the way through, having become comepletely disgusted with yourself. Later, you become angry with yourself for even considering it and do something diametrically opposed to the earlier mistake (either eating healthy food or listening to Nine Inch Nails).

  2. The music of Jason Mraz is the result of the unholy union of Steely Dan and Jamiroquai having sex in the backseat of a Chevy Nova. Mraz has some chops, and some similar studio tricks to Steely Dan, such as the liberal use of overdubs on his vocal tracks, but a peppiness and slightly annoying tinge, as Jamiroquai is pretty ok, but can also get on your nerves after a while. The Chevy Nova comes into play because I feel like it’s the kind of car in which those two entities might fornicate. Also, it seemed funny at the time.

Happy birthday, Dreamcast.

Ten years ago this week (9.9.99), the arrival of the Sega Dreamcast in the US marked the last attempt Sega was to make at owning the home console market. While it had its day in the sun, it was ultimately destroyed by the juggernaut that was the PS2, and its massive install base. Aside from the NES, which has extreme sentimental value to most people in my immediate age group, the Dreamcast was my favorite system of all time.

It came out at a great time in my life, when I was a year out of college, still young enough to make excuses for myself, but not too old to realize that this practice wasn’t a good idea. I hadn’t yet found my path in life, so I had a lot of free time to spend playing video games, and my God, what games these were. Graphics that would make your eyes melt right out of your skull, but so beautiful that as it was happening, you didn’t even care and were prepared to spend the rest of your life as a blind fool. Some really incredible gameplay innovations were made during this time, too, with Soul Calibur dominating (at least in some people’s minds) the fighting space, and games like Jet Grind Radio (Jet Set, if you were outside the US) changing both aesthetic expectations and introducing new gameplay coupled with fantastic music.

Sure, there were stinkers, and a lot of them, but the smart kids figured out how to either mod their systems or use boot discs to play other games. I started buying all kinds of games and related DC paraphernalia from around the world. Mostly from Japanese eBay sellers, these items became so exciting to find and bid on, I spent almost as much time online looking for them as I did using them when they finally arrived. I think I actually have more import titles than domestic ones at this point.

I could go on for days, but I won’t bore the non-gamers out there with more nostalgic nerdery. This year, 9.9.09 is already marked for an annual Apple iPod event, and people are expecting a lot of things to happen there. But I’ll be thinking of another special day, one when the gaming landscape really did shift to the next level. Dreamcast, I love you.

You can purchase Dreamcasts, new in box, as well as other Dreamcast-related accessories at ThinkGeek. And to hear from the man himself, follow @segadreamcast on Twitter. He’s started a campaign called #therealsept9, to remind people that he was the “OG” of 9.9, back in the day.