" . . . a stunning 50 percent strongly disapprove."
And if you've lost James Carville . . .
I'm sure the military is salivating over this thing. "Strap a bomb to it!"
Amazing that is taught itself to walk, navigate obstacles, etc., using machine learning algorithms. We're going to see some crazy, crazy stuff during our lifetimes. (And hopefully maybe some stuff that can extend our lifetimes – thereby enabling us to see even more crazy stuff.)
Yesterday the 26th was Thao's and my 5-month anniversary, and we are also nearing the 3-month point in Thao's pregnancy. According to our new doctor at FV Hospital, her technical 3-month point is June 12th – which makes sense because according to Babycenter.com's due date calculator she was 10 weeks pregnant on May 25th. And here's what they say our baby should be looking like about now:
Thao's been feeling great – not sick at all, no throwing up, etc. She's been sleeping more than usual, which makes sense I guess, and her appetite is a little weird. She's actually eating less than usual and some foods she usually likes don't appeal to her. But overall she's doing great. And I'm doing fine – thanks for asking.
I just realized last night that our child is definitely going to be born in the Year of the Tiger according to the Vietnamese/Chinese lunar calendar. As our due date is late December, I was thinking that it might be late and not be born until 2011 – which would make it the Year of the Cat in Vietnam (Year of the Rabbit in China). But just yesterday I realized that the Chinese year doesn't change until around February – and you go by that and not the western new year. So yep, we are going to have a tiger either way. Here's a generic horoscope for tigers. Not that I really believe in any of that shit but still.
We're moving into our new apartment this weekend. We met the landlord last weekend and signed the lease. We're not moving far – one floor down in our same building. We've lived on the 15th floor for the last year and we're moving to a two-story apartment on the 14th and 13th floors. The apartment we've been living in is a 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom apartment, 118 square meters (1,270 square feet). We've been paying $550/mo. The apartment we're moving into is a 5-bathroom, 4-bathroom, 188-square-meter (2,023 square foot) apartment on two floors. And the rent is cheaper than what we've been paying: $527/mo. What happened was about a year ago this Vietnamese-American woman signed a two-year lease that currently has one year remaining on it, but she's having to move back to California for family reasons. Somehow she got a great deal on the apartment, and we're getting the same deal she got for the last year of the lease.
Even better, when she moved in, the apartment was unfurnished and she furnished it herself. She has receipts for almost all of the stuff she bought, and she spent close to $9,000 on all of it. She's selling it to us for $2,800. It's a lot of stuff – bedroom suite, couches, four air conditioners, three TVs, refrigerator, stove, clothes dryer (we already had a washing machine so she sold the washing machine to someone else), etc. It's a great deal for us – especially as a young married couple who up until now have had basically nothing. We'll still need to buy a crib and stuff for the baby, but most of the stuff we need we're buying all in one fell swoop.
Anyway, we'll be moving in this Saturday and Sunday. I'll take some photos of the place and post them – but it actually looks basically the same as our current place. Same wood and granite throughout, etc. Just bigger and on two levels. Poor Thao can't figure out why we would possibly need 5 bedrooms – and we really don't – but to me it's bigger and cheaper and we're getting such a good deal on all of the furnishings – it's a no-brainer. Plus after we have the kid her mom is likely to come stay with us for a month or however long, and in this new place she can basically have her own, separate floor.
As much as I love to read, and as hard as good books are to come by in Vietnam, I've held off buying a Kindle, or even an iPad. When it became clear that the Kindle was going to be a success, tons of companies started announcing that they were going to come out with ereaders of their own, and a lot of people predicted that there would soon be such a glut of ereaders that you'd be able to buy a decent one for $99. I think that's probably right, and that by this holiday season, you'll be able to pick and choose from a number of much cheaper ereaders.
I just saw this article about the above ereader, from Pandigital, this morning. Full color screen, runs on Google's Android operating system, coupled with Barnes & Nobles' ebook store, for $199. Now that's only $60 cheaper than the entry-level Kindle at $259, but this one does have the color screen, can run Android apps, of which there are already more than 50,000 in the Android store, etc. This does have the LCD screen vs. the non-backlit eInk screen of the Kindle, which a lot of people prefer.
I'm not saying that this is the ereader to buy, but I think it's a good sign that the market is still trending toward cheaper ereaders – and if you've held off buying a Kindle or iPad this long (assuming ereading would be your main purpose for an iPad, as it would be for me), you should probably wait until this holiday season before you buy anything.