Versace Man Eau Fraiche

I have a confession to make. I like women’s perfume. Well, just one. Dolce & Gabanna Light Blue Pour Femme. Of course, they also make a Pour Homme version, but it’s a bunch of crap. The women’s version is definitely unisex, damn whatever their marketing department says.

I was considering buying it. That is, buy a women’s perfume for myself. Thanks to Versace Man Eau Fraiche I won’t have to because it’s the same stuff in a different bottle.

Why am I finding myself commenting on blatant rips as of late? That aside, the stuff really is good as a fresh scent, which I’m normally bored to tears over. It’s clean, slightly fruity with melon, citrus, and berry notes throughout, set on a base of amber and musk. I’d almost say there’s some light woods in there, but if there are it’s not a main part of the composition. That said, those top notes are present throughout, even when you’d rather they go away.

Sillage is good, longevity is fair to good, I get about the standard 6 hours and then it’s faded to something pretty much unrecognizable. Still, if fresh scents are your thing and you want one that’s…*cough* unique, check this one out.

Usher He: *vomit*

Let me say before I go any further that I remain steadfastly neutral with regards to celebrity perfumes. I think equating a complex fragrance with many ingredients to one particular person is pretty much dumb. I own Sean John Unforgivable on the merits of it being an excellent fragrance, and honestly don’t give a damn if it was made for Sean Combs or Sean Connery.

Gratuitously lifting the notes from K over at Now Smell This, Usher He features pineapple, verbena, melon, white pepper, lavender, violet leaf, vetiver, amber wood, black suede, sandalwood, guaiac wood and musk. Upon applying, all I could smell was slightly overripe melon a la Paris Hilton for Men. The drydown was a chemical mess, but I got a little glimmer of where they were trying to take this, and that was to copy Creed Himalaya. Of course, I’m not against this; Unforgivable is virtually identical to Creed Millesime Imperial and I have no problem wearing it (and saving mad bank, to boot). The problem is that they didn’t put the effort into the copy that Sean John did. I get the pepper, and the vetiver/musk duo, but that’s really all that I can pick out, everything else is just a blob of scent.

Color me unimpressed.

Pat Riley steps down. :(

Can’t really blame Riley for the team going 15-67. That’s really a group effort, to attain those lofty levels of mediocrity. As a Miami boy I’m going to miss seeing him on the floor, but maybe Spoelstra can turn the team around.

It’s a bad time to be a fan of Miami sports in general. :(

Mugler Cologne: The Muse

I just got stuff straight with the University of Louisville. That doesn’t sound like much but it’s taken about a month of steady correspondence with UofL to assure that I could go back; indeed today I was on the phone with 5 different departments for about 2 hours, trying to figure out why I could register for the Fall but not the Summer semester.

But now everything’s straight. And it was entirely my own doing; my father’s been in Florida for weeks so I’ve been getting everything in order myself, and if it was for anything else I’d have probably just given up at the complexity of it all; for a university that averages $23000 in total costs a year, they make it really, really hard to transfer back.

So I get off the phone, finally able to relax for a day or two and reach for a new scent. The scent was Mugler Cologne.

I don’t really know what I was expecting out of it, aside from it had to be generally inoffensive for all the pleasant reviews it had on here. What I found was a bone dry vetiver and the fresh scent of dryer sheets, with some pleasant spices lying very close to the skin and a sour, bitter sort of note when heated up that I can’t quite place. It’s a little ozonic to my nose, and overall I think it’s okay but it doesn’t really fit with my personality (I’m pretty much over fresh scents and vetiver is just a bit too heavy on my skin, especially with the coming weather.)

However, I came to a realization tonight at work. Mugler Cologne was going to be my muse from now on; the scent is an olfactory representation of all the work I put into getting back in school. It means dedication, determination, and perseverance in the face of petty, bureaucratic bullshit. If I find my spirits low a few weeks from now when I’m in class at UofL and feel like it’s all too much work, I’m going to want to wear Mugler Cologne to remind myself what I went through to get there at all, and to shut up and put up.

Such a shame, that I had to wear something that I don’t love, but I think if I can find a 1 oz mini or something like that I’ll be content, though that may be difficult considering I regularly see it in enormous freaking 10.2 oz bottles!

Ah well, sorry about that, stream of conciousness.

Hanae Mori HM

Wore this stuff out of a sample atomizer today at work, and I couldn’t quite place what I was smelling right at first, though it was hitting me right in the face. It occured to me later that it is in fact a gourmand along the lines of A*Men, or possibly Armani Code. Where it differs from those two is the addition of citrus overtones, and some woods in the base make this an amazingly complex fragrance, especially for a gourmand. Think a toned down Gucci 1 or M7 without the bite, and the lush chocolate-vanilla notes of Angel*Men, and add the tiniest splash of Clinique Happy’s sweet orange notes, and you’re getting close to Hanae Mori HM. Very sophisticated, very classy for what it is.

Still, while I’ve got both A*Men and Code in my wardrobe, I really can’t be bothered to buy another gourmand, even one as nice as this. When I run out, though, it’s a whole different story. If you don’t have a gourmand in your lineup I recommend this sincerely.

Sony Reader vs. Amazon Kindle = Form vs. Functionality

I’ve been considering my options on ebook readers for about a week now, and I’ve been going both ways on the topic of which one to pick. However, I think I’ve finally made up my mind.

Sony Reader

Pros:

  • Slimmer, sleeker, and all around a nicer looking machine.
  • Requires less time between charges (charging my iPhone once every other day is enough).
  • Simple, straightforward button layout which makes reading easier.
  • Slightly cheaper (though I will address this below).
  • More firmware hacks and the like are available, though I don’t mess with that stuff usually.
  • 8 shades of gray available, as opposed to 4 on the Kindle.
  • Comes with a very nice case.

Cons:

  • Lack of any text-search capabilities on the reader itself (you can do it on the software).
  • Less books to choose from.
  • Books are generally a few dollars more than through the Kindle store.
  • The Reader software is honestly not so good, having messed with it myself.
  • No easy way to subscribe to blogs, newspapers etc.
  • Doesn’t include an AC adapter.
  • No way to take notes, limited bookmarking functionality.
  • PDF support is bad at the moment.

Amazon Kindle

Pros:

  • Full text search capability through everything stored on the machine, including PDFs, Office Documents, and all types of eBooks.
  • Annotation and bookmarking is also available, thanks to the QWERTY keyboard.
  • Books can be beamed to your Kindle over the air through Sprint’s EVDO network.
  • This wireless capability also lets you subscribe to newspapers like the NYT and Washington Post, subscriptions running anywhere from $5.99 to $13.99 monthly.
  • You can also import blogs like this one (hint, hint) through an RSS feed, and Whispernet (the aforementioned EVDO network) will poll your blogs regularly for new content.
  • More books to choose from than the Sony store (though that may of course change).
  • Books generally run 2 or 3 bucks cheaper than through Sony.
  • Able to take more formats out of the box, and documents can be converted to the proprietary AZW format at no charge, or beamed straight to your phone for a mere 10 cents.

Cons:

  • This thing is ugly as sin. Seriously, it’s like some 80’s prototype looking thing.
  • The battery has to be recharged more frequently due to the wireless capability, though the EVDO transceiver can be turned off when not in use.
  • Whispernet still doesn’t have the cellular penetration of AT&T or Verizon’s networks, and I may not get service at all at my current home, though EVDO coverage is good throughout Louisville. (You can still get your newspapers imported through a USB cable).
  • It’s quite a bit larger and bulkier than the Sony Reader, and is also marginally heavier.
  • The Kindle itself is a hard plastic device, where the Sony Reader is brushed aluminum or some such metal.
  • The case it comes with apparently isn’t very good.

Where They’re Identical

  • Screen size is the same 6″ diagonal.
  • Resolution is VGA.
  • Contrast is the same.
  • e-ink refresh rate is the same.
  • Quality of the type is the same.
  • Both offer DRMed books, which sucks but is really the only way to do something like this.
  • Both offer multiple file format support.

Now, the deciding point for me between two competing, similar products is going to be price 90 percent of the time, with the other 10 being the aesthetics. Both of these, of course, point to the Sony Reader. However, the Kindle does offer more for what you’re paying. That is, it includes an AC adapter in that $400 price tag, while the Sony Reader wants another $30 on top of your $300 to charge your Reader anywhere you’ve got an AC outlet (as opposed to anywhere you’ve got a USB port; if I have my laptop on me I stand a fair chance of just reading on it anyway). Combined with the overall higher price of books on the Sony store, I would make up the $70 difference in a matter of months, and to me this is a long-term investment. So price becomes a non-issue to me.

What ended up being the clincher for me, and I know it won’t be for everyone (not at first anyway, give it time and it’ll be a necessity) is the text-search capability of the Kindle. If I remember reading a great article in one of my newspapers, or want to show someone a passage from a certain book, no need messing with bookmarks, I just type in the phrase I’m thinking of and I’ll get a list of results that match. I can also make notes about a book as I go, which will be even more advantageous as college textbooks start to make their way to the ebook marketplace. The folks at Sony R&D thought about including this feature and scrapped it. What? You guys didn’t think that would be helpful? I can absolutely see myself using this feature, and using it enough to justify the other arguments against the Kindle. It’s ugly, but given a choice between form and functionality it is in your best interest to take functionality and do the best you can with the looks. A nice case, or a paint job might help it tremendously.

The Verdict: Amazon Kindle

I may just have my very own Kindle in a week or so, and I’ll report more on it then.

Western Kentucky Parkway blows.

So up at 7 in the morning, work from 8:30 to 5:30, and then I get to get in my car and drive to Louisville. That’s a four hour drive and change of time zone for those that don’t know the location. So I’m sort of tired, go figure. Hopefully this trip will clear up just about all the remaining obstacles to moving back.

Albums I listened to on the way up:

Live – Songs From Black Mountain
Live – The Distance To Here
Infected Mushroom – Converting Vegetarians CD2
Joe Satriani – Crystal Planet

“Shakawkaw” by Infected Mushroom is now tied in my memory to this drive. I do that for some reason, I’ll listen to a song and every once in a long while something will just connect. California Sunshine by Abakus, for example, brings back memories of the drive to Oklahoma we took about three years ago. I don’t know, something about the combination of the darkening sky, and the road opening up and revealing the city of Leitchfield, and the techno-guitar-thing that is the breakdown of Shakawkaw.

Got my one year evaluation at work today. Shafted. Will be talking to corporate about giving people raises that at least covers inflation.

UofL-bound once more.

Apparently I’m not quite smart enough for Business school, but I am smart enough to be a student in the department of Arts and Sciences. And that’s okay. Honestly I don’t care what they label me at the moment, but the thought that I really wasn’t going to be able to go back to Louisville bothered me more than I’d care to admit.

Three more weeks of class, a month to get ready, and then back in Louisville and this time I’m going with a focus that I didn’t have the first time. I was just so damn ready to get away from everything at home, that I forgot what I was going for.

The great stereotypical response to why I was even going to college would be “to make my parents proud”. It was during a visit to my mom’s grave a year ago that I came to a rather deep personal truth; they were already proud of me. However I ended on this trip, they’d be proud. I had to make me proud of me. That’s it. A simple thought, but it reveals all kinds of things about one’s true nature.

So I try again, again a little scared, little nervous. Lots of little details to cover between now and then, such as how I’m actually going to pay for all of this. But it’s all one step at a time, and I can’t do much about things like that at midnight, nor do I really care to.

The dream’s alive again, and I fear it’ll keep me from sleep for a night or two.

Free custom ringtones on your iPhone: Still a reality.

There’s always been a few ways of weaseling your way through iTunes and turning a 30-second clip on your computer into a usable ringtone. iTunes 7.4 locked most of them down. For some reason, 7.5 opened some of them back up.

1. Convert the clip in question to a .m4a or .3gp file.
2. Rename the extension to .m4r.
3. Drag into your iTunes Library and sync up.
4. You’re done. Really.

This is tested working on 7.5 and iPhone version 1.1.4. I’ve now got most of my original music on my iPhone, ready to ring and ring. Joy.

“New Folder” vanishes on Windows 98/ME

Bling writes that for some reason, he can no longer create new folders on his Windows 98 installation. The shortcut simply isn’t there anymore. I don’t know what would cause such a thing, but I do know how to fix it.

This time instead of going step-by-step, we’ll use a software-based solution. I found this program over at Annoyances.org years ago, and it does nothing more or less than create new folders. It is accessible here. You should have a New Folder button on the Large View of Explorer, and the F12 key is now also bound to the New Folder command.