Unfrozen Caveman Restauranteur

Greetings from that sprawling, amorphous place known as “The Road.” My talk at the Southern New Jersey Mac User Group went well and even I learned something new. Specifically: when you’re running a presentation from your iPad and you pick it up to make a point and you dislodge the dock connector in just the right way, you can freeze up the iPad so badly that it takes several minutes to reboot.

(In the middle of the presentation)

(Duriing which you’ve been talking about how good the iPad as a notebook replacement.)

(Good thing I got my travel expenses in cash, in advance.)

This is a bit of a historic trip: it’s the first one in which I’m using the iPad as my sole computer. It’s working out swimmingly, just as I thought it would. I even had a new iPad doubleplus love moment.

I wrote a column on my iPad using the Elements app. Then I needed to do a little research on the Web, just to double-check on some specs and product names. So I closed down Elements and launched Safari. I had to; the multitasking edition of iOS is coming to the iPad in November. Until then, there’s no quick and easy way to switch between this column and the browser.

Aha! But I didn’t need to! Because Elements is one of those text editors that stores your files on Dropbox, and I had a copy of the app on my iPhone as well!

So I was free to look things up on the iPad while I made the edits on my iPhone. When I was done, I re-launched Elements on the iPad and bingo-presto, all of my changes had been applied. Naturally. There was no syncing and no cutting and pasting: the iPhone had literally been editing the same file I had created on the iPad.

It was even better than an iPad doubleplus love moment. It was also a “Good God, I love living in the 21st century!” moment.

This is a weird, tri-state trip. The talk was in New Jersey but my hotel was in Philadephia. Now I’m in Baltimore, visiting my good pal Barbara.

Last night she picked me up from the train station and we cruised around looking for a good place to eat. We discovered a restaurant that had apparently been entrapped by a glacier in 1949 and had only recently been freed by global warming.

I want to stress that the food was good (I had an excellent beer-battered fish and chips) and the staff was friendly, attentive, and capable. But the decor made it very easy to imagine the room as it might have been in 1952. Full of women, dressed in expensive Chanel gowns, a plate of untouched salad in front of them, chain-smoking elegantly, the way that their comportment teacher instructed them at boarding school. Full of men in grey wool suits, working out the best time to loudly ask a waiter “Could you go out and make sure I didn’t leave my lights on? It’s the brand-new Cadillac Marquis Supreme, with the optional full-calfskin leather interior and limited-edition gold accent package.”

The capper: our check arrived and the waitress handed it — deliberately and specifically — to me.

!

I can’t remember ever dining alone with a woman and being handed the check. Waiters always place the folio on the table at the precise midppoint between the two patrons, with maximum permissible error of about three millimeters in the sexist direction. Four millimeters, and there’s a severe risk of a 5% tip. Six, and a district enforcer from the League of Modern Waitstaffs comes up and shoots the server.

I was amused and cheered by this throwback move. Also, it allowed me to play the “No, I insist, this is on me” card from a position of considerable strength.

21 thoughts on “Unfrozen Caveman Restauranteur”

  1. In Texas, at least, there’s probably only an 80% hit rate on the check landing +-3mm from the centerline. The LMW doesn’t have a lot of luck in the Right To Work states.

    Businesswomen in Texas know that they can call ahead and arrange for the check to be held for them at the hostess’ station. They’ll be ‘paged for a phone call’ when the check is ready. This is to prevent check-grabbing by businessmen who are not under the auspices of the LMW.

  2. Sounds about right to me. I always pay….AND hold the door for girls. I don’t think we live in a time where being nice is viewed sexist. And if it is… then call me a sexist. :)

  3. About ten years ago we went to a Very Old-Style restaurant. The menus given to the ladies had no prices listed! That was strictly left to the gentleman.

  4. Pleeeeeeeze give the name of the restaurant. We’re in Baltimore all the time (live in DC) and would appreciate knowing there are still places where gentlemen can be gentlemen and not pansy up to the unisex crowd. And yes, I was born before Dwight Eisenhower became president. So sue me, punk.

  5. Great story. Had iPad Elements. Now have iPhone Elements too. Now fearful of the Keynote disconnection hiccup. I’ve used it for presentations before but mow I’m thinking a pics of transparent tape wrapped around the dongle should I wave my iPad. Need the name of the restaurant. Did I miss it?

  6. Beautiful writing Andy, and just when I’m planning on using my iPad for presentation for the first time.

  7. For extra points mount your iDisk on your Mac place the dropbox folder in your mounted iDisk

    If elements is to expensive you can use plaintext as well

  8. Indeed. I think people should avoid being overly sensitive and just understand that a man behaving like a gentleman and holding a door or paying for a meal isn’t sexist. Folks are just too sensitive. I was raised to have manners and behave like a gentleman (most of the time :)). Raising my children to be like me so there. :) Nice writing Andy. Sharing it with the wife.

  9. Yep – the iPhone works excellently as a second screen in this sense. I’ve heard/read several commentators over the past few weeks express distress about moving back and forth between items on the iPad – e.g. Looking something up to respond to an email. I’m surprised this solution hasn’t occurred to more of them.

  10. I like the idea of using the iPad for presentations, that, is a very good Use Case.
    I don’t like the idea of preparing presentations on the iPad (sounds tedious).
    Hopefully, iPad 2.0 will have multi-tasking.
    LOL! I only pay for the chicks meal if I think she might appreciate it…if you know what I mean (wink, wink).

  11. ah yes, the good ol’ days, when men were allowed to open the door for their female dates (men with male dates didn’t exist back then right?), pay for their dinner, oh and, if they were married, give them a frontal lobotomy if they were getting a bit “uppity” without looking sexist…

  12. If you’d let us know you were going to be in Baltimore we’d have gathered some Mac lovers together and passed the hat for ya – and taken you out to a nice meal in Highlandtown, hon!

    THAT’s what your blog should do. Tour schedule! “I’ll be at the Hackensack Hilton at noon on Saturday Oct. 2, the Philadelphia Grand Hyatt (parking garage (great wi-fi)) at 5, and the Motel 6 in Glen Burnie, MD just before brunch on Sunday.”

    There’s a Denny’s a block away. they have great bacon!

  13. Hi, I was at the presentation and it is always refreshing to see the “pros” have trouble. I don’t have an iPad but was seriously interested in one after your talk. what was the name of the word processing app you like?

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