Saturday, June 5, 2010

Happy (Almost) Birthday to Me and Kat!

Most people who know us are already aware of this, but I'll state it again for our newer friends: Kat and I have the same birthday. Yes, in real life, both of us were born on June 6, though her birthdate is one year after mine. In any case, every year we get to celebrate together, which makes it way more fun than just having a birthday of your own.

Since our actual birthday falls on a Sunday this year, we decided to use the entire weekend for our b-day celebrations, which gave us a perfectly good excuse to open our presents to each other a wee bit early. I'd say we both did very well in the gift-giving department. Take a look for yourself.

From Kat to Zak: Orion SkyQuest XT4.5 Classic Dobsonian Telescope

Whoo-hooo! I am beyond happy. Some of you know that I have a pretty serious lifelong interest in astronomy and physics, but I've never actually owned a telescope that wasn't a toy. This sucker is a serious telescope for a non-professional astronomer like me. Kat did her research well, and the Orion SkyQuest has nothing but excellent reviews out there. Its 114mm aperture is about twice as big as typical amateur scopes, and I'll be able to see some amazing space shit through there. I can't wait to get it set up, though in the locally cloudy month of June, it may be awhile before I'm marveling at the rings of Saturn from my back patio. Still, this is awesome, and totally unexpected. Thank you, my love!

From Zak to Kat: Apple iPod Touch 32GB

Back in 2006, when Kat was still living in Seattle, I got her an iPod for her birthday. Since then, she's used it constantly as her main music player. About a month ago, we were chatting and she mentioned somewhat sadly that her iPod was finally getting to a point of not holding a charge for very long. Well, I'm not the smartest guy on the planet, but some things do register in my brain from time to time, and I realized this was a good reason to give my darling Kat a little upgrade to her music player.

The iPod Touch is simply an iPhone minus the phone. She already has a phone that she's happy with. She also has a high-end laptop and does enough creative production on it that an iPad wouldn't have made sense for her. So the right choice was the iPod Touch. In addition to being a music player, it's also a video player, and connects to the Internet so she can browse web sites, check email, run videos off YouTube, get maps, and all kinds of fun stuff. Plus, its compatible with all the application in Apple's app store, so she can expand its capabilities as needed. I got her the 32GB model, which should be plenty of space for all the stuff she wants to keep on there. She was quite happy, and making her happy makes me happy. Happiness all around.

As mentioned above, our actual birthday is tomorrow, but we're using the whole weekend to celebrate. Tonight, we're heading out to a great Italian restaurant right on the beach, but for the time being, I have a telescope to set up while Kat plays with her new mobile device. Bye for now!

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