We’ve just left Plano proper, and driving north on I-35 to Oklahoma City for lunch. We stopped by Starbucks this morning for our morning fuel: Rachelle was feeling like something different but reverted to the usual tall almond latte, Jeremiah with a vanilla milk, and DJ with his current drink du jour: iced grande Americano in a venti cup [more room for half & half, less cost, less caffeine, less spillability.]
This morning’s Starbucks run is courtesy of a gift card from Rachelle’s previous workplace. Rachelle is driving this morning so that DJ can be blogging. Yes folks, Rachelle is still the effervescent morning person!
Tonight’s destination: Big Texan in Amarillo. This is the notoriously famous restaurant that serves a 72 oz. steak that they’ll give it to you free if you can eat it all with sides in 1 hour or less. I’m not attempting that (thought I have finished a 50 oz. bone-in steak at Trail Dust in Dallas once). But we will eat there tonight and hopefully snag a photo of the main stage — a platform with a table and clock for those who attempt the 72 oz. steak in an hour challenge.
One last family excursion in Dallas before we head out in the morning for Amarillo: after the opening weekend viewing of the Ratatouille movie (great story!) and French dinner at La Madeline (to match the movie and mood) — we trekked over to the nearest AT&T/Cingular store!
Our attempt to be part of history in the making was met with a “closed” sign. Apparently this store in Allen, Texas, only stayed open to 7:00pm, and our arrival after 8:00pm didn’t qualify. So I will have to wait longer to behold a demo iPhone in my hand, and a bit longer to have one in my pocket.
And why wait in line and deal with poor customer service, anyways, when I could have free shipping and convenient home delivery? Yes, you can buy the iPhone online.
And news like this, below, makes you kinda want to work for Apple:
Cabin fever drove us out of the Plano house we’ve been staying at (I worked from the home office Wednesday); and we ventured into the rain for something to eat for dinner that night. We were on a quest for the legendary world-renowned Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse barbeque, and we weren’t able to find it at the Frisco mega-intersection of Preston and 121. It was listed on our GPS, which I forgot to bring with us in our borrowed sedan, but I knew the intersection at which it was listed. We drove around and couldn’t find it. I even stopped twice to ask for directions. Nobody knew where it was (although one guy from Georgia was very excited to learn that Sonny Bryan was founded here in Dallas and will make his way there very soon). I called up Google 411, and the number they connected me at was disconnected.
We quit that quest and went to a local non-franchise Tex-Mex place called Senor Conrad’s. The place seemed not descript, but soon as we walk in, the ambiance impressed us. It wasn’t a mega-restaurant with 500 seats; capacity was probably right around 100. Cozy setting, $5 margaritas, and nice abstract art on the walls. Because of the smaller size, everything was amazingly personable: the food was great, the service was excellent! (we had fajitas and bbq tacos, plus 3 desserts — sopapillas, flan, and churros.) Sorry, no camera to take pictures, so you’ll have to take our word for it. Reasonable prices too — our highest recommendations. Here’s the info:
Thursday I wander around looking for companions for lunch. I dropped in unannounced at my old home church where I was married 12 years ago. I took 3 people there to a nearby Sonny Bryan’s in Richardson, and I experienced it for the first time. Beef brisket sandwich combo, famous onion rings.. warmed bbq sauce (bottles aligned on a hot plate), fixin’s bar .. wait staff came by 3 times to offer hot rolls .. again, no photos. Well, I was slightly underwhelmed, great Texas-style BBQ, but my expectations were over-hyped. Not to stir up Texas bbq wars, my preference leaned more towards Rudy’s in Austin, where they have 3 kinds of beef brisket — regular, moist, and extra moist.
John Wu tipped us off to a free smoothie (buy one get one free) at Jamba Juice! Offer expires on July 4th, 2007; at participating stores. They have them in Dallas, so we’ll definitely get one, and maybe a couple extra visits en route to California too!
Like millions of others, I’ve been seeing the escalating buzz about the iPhone that goes on sale at 6:00pm this Friday June 29th. At the moment, iPhone is the #3 most popular search on Technorati, #15 on Yahoo, #51 on Google trends (cf. iPhone reviews). I’m of the persuasion that there’s no such thing as bad press, just no press. More conversations and more buzz, especially online and Google-searchable, is (usually) a good thing in our free information age. Lack of information is not so good. The iPhone buzz is not only escalating online, it’s all over the mainstream media too. Looks like a big win for Apple!
2 things tipped it for me towards getting an iPhone as soon as possible: an upgradeable phone software and the longer battery life. I checked with my Apple insiders, hoping to get that 15% friend/family discount and the word on the street is NO discounts on iPhone. And being the webby kind of guy, some of you may well think that an iPhone is the kind of phone I should have as an early adopter and talking it up. With the built-in camera on the iPhone and upgradeable software, the iPhone could potentially capture and stream live video during the rest of my cross country move. But alas, the lines are already mounting everywhere.
More than 2 guys are already camping out for the iPhone at the Apple Store in New York City: Greg Parker is 1st and David Clayman is 3rd. The 1st guy is playing it as an average person who wants an iPhone; the 3rd guy is using his stint to raise awareness for his charity of choice. The 2nd guy apparently wants to stay anonymous(?). Watch this video interview to see them online.
I’m working here in Dallas, so no time to camp out for the iPhone. Plus it’s been raining like crazy this week. So the conclusion is: I won’t be getting an iPhone this Friday when it is first available. I might possibly get one when I land in California, or when the rumored version 2.0 comes in January 2008. [nb: for more details on iPhone frenzy + insider notes + rumors, see NYT’s Bits blog and the Apple Phone Show blog.]
Here’s my Saturday collage from Memphis and Sunday’s collage based on the Mosaic Church in Little Rock logo. These are pretty straightforward collages designed mostly in the car.
We’re taking a break until Saturday while we stay parked in Dallas.
[update] Last night, we had a sushi fest with our hosts — yes, homemade sushi rolled by DJ and Rachelle. One of those side benefits of hosting strangers/friends at your home, as long as those strangers know how to roll sushi. 🙂 Finger food and food art all rolled in one! Delicious! See all 4 sushi eating photos.
During my morning commute into the office, I’m channel-surfing the FM dial, and came across a distinctly sounding radio station at 104.9 FM — playing Bollywood style music and morning call-in trivia questions that related to American Indian subculture. It’s called Radio Salaam Namaste. They’ve been broadcasting since March 2006 and they’re streaming the radio station online via web too; so whether you’re in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex or on the Internet, listen in to this future sound of the global village!
We arrived into Dallas just before 9:00pm last night, and are staying with dear old friends (Dave and Lucy) in Plano/McKinney for the week. For a late night dinner, we picked up some food from the Wendy’s drive-thru, which included my first Frosty Float and a shot at winning a Wii. What a great drink concoction those floats are: ice cream and soda both at the same time!
So here’s the deal, we’ll be here in the Dallas area until Saturday morning — if anyone want to meetup, would love to see you! DJ will be working here, Rachelle and Jeremiah will be playing here. I’m having a Jalapano bagel with Onion cream cheese – that’s all my hosts had. What a way to wake up!
[update] after much persuasion and arm-twisting, our host Dave started blogging tonight! Welcome to the blog world, Dave!
Traffic delay on I-40 West kept us from getting to the church on time in Little Rock, Arkansas. So, we only caught the tail end of the worship service at Mosaic Church, enough to sense the energetic vibe of the shopping mall space that used to be a Wal-Mart. During the worship hour in our Xterra, we listened to Gospel music en route and got engrossed by an impassioned Pentecostal preacher talking about having the faith to believe God for moving mountains.
I spotted a worship attender with a video camera scoping the scene, a probable sign of someone doing church reconnaissance. So I struck up a conversation and turns out they (Jay & Mickey Robison) were visiting from Lexington, Kentucky, taking field trips all over to learn more about multiethnic churches. We did lunch together with the Mosaic pastor Mark DeYmaz and our respective families. We ate at a local Mexican place– Senor Tequila— great food and great prices. While the pastors talked shop with DJ, the women talked about more sociable things, and the children sat at a separate table and ate & played away. The Robisons had a son named Jeremy, and an instant bond combusted with our own Jeremiah, social gaming with their respective Nintendo DS. The girls got a spontaneous art class when Rachelle pulled our her collage kit to share.
Yesterday we were hanging out at Urban Grounds in Avondale Estates, GA and since I didn’t have a pair of scissors, I just made do. Part of the adventure of being a collage artist is keeping your eyes wide open and gathering what’s around. There’s nothing like a coffee shop to discover interesting finds and we had visited the Georgia Aquarium and Coke Museum gift shop earlier in the day. Having no scissors, I tore apart all my items, dug around our X-terra for a stray glue stick and used my fingernail clipper as art tool. I tore out the cardboard strip from the bottom of my Coke tote bag and threaded the handle through the collage. It was very satisfying to make something completely out of found objects. However, if I hadn’t found a glue stick in the car, any ideas of what to use as a binding agent? Any creative ideas of what to use from a coffee shop as glue? (the thought occurred to me that I could order a dozen sticky buns and scrape off the frosting and use it as glue, but that was going to be too much). Here’s the end result:
P.S. The Color of the Day (friday) was Coca-Cola Red