Tag Archives: Restaurants

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.