Things of the Year - 2010

It might be a little late, but here are a few of my favorite (and not so favorite) things from 2010

Best Gadget

This was nearly a tie, but since I don’t actually carry the MacBook Air, I have to give it to the iPad. I recently re-read the piece that I wrote shortly after the announcement and it holds up pretty well. One of the things that makes the iPad so nice is the lack of maintenance. Zero hassle computing is what’s hot right now, whether you’re a nerd like myself or my mother, who loves her iPad.

Favorite New Website

American Drink can’t be beat. From the sharp design (other than downtime, you wouldn’t be able to tell it’s hosted at Tumblr) to some tremendous writing it’s great to read through while enjoying a nice Old Fashioned or another cocktail of your choice.

Best Piece of A/V Equipment

It’s about time that the AppleTV got an update. At a hundred bucks, it’s tough not to pick it up just because of photo streaming and Netflix. I can’t wait for some development opportunities to open up, either through official or unofficial channels. I may not jailbreak my iPad, but I’ll jailbreak the hell out of the AppleTV if it means that I never have to transcode another video ever again.

Best Pro-Tip (Non-Computing)

Lets say that you find yourself needing to keep a keg of beer cold for a few days, but the hotel charges for ice and the hassle of dumping out water really crimp your style. The answer? Start out with a mix of dry ice and “wet” ice. You’ll be set for the whole weekend.

Bonus: Dropping dry ice into a pitcher looks cool, but soon you’ll have a monster on your hands.

Most Disappointing Meal

I hate to call out a restaurant for being a real disappointment, but as it’s a place that people in and around wine country might consider I feel obligated. We did the River Road drive, which was awesome, and ended up at Lucas Wharf for dinner. I had the calimari, which ended up just being a brief sauté in about a cup and a half of butter. I know that this seems like a combination that couldn’t lose, it ended up being a total mess.

Best New (to me) Wine

When I was in Sonoma County, we went to the Korbel winery because it was on the River Road. I had pretty low expectations, but was quite surprised. My favorite was the Korbel Sec, which has proved hard to find here in KC but is available for shipment.. It doesn’t take an expensive sparkling wine to taste great.

Favorite Software

If you dig on RSS feeds and have an iPad, you really need to. Shell out a few bucks for Reeder. This app gets more use than probably all others combined on my iPad.

On the OS X front, if you don’t use 1Password, now is the time to start. When you combine this with Dropbox, you have a seriously winning combination. While this makes it hard to log into websites when you’re on a public terminal, it’s a nice reminder that you probably shouldn’t be doing that anyway.

Best New Album

This one is pretty tough. 2010 ended up being a pretty disappointing year, no matter what genre you’re talking about. I entered the year really looking forward to Plastic Beach, but without Danger Mouse it ended up being pretty average. My Dark Twisted Fantasy certainly stood out from the rest of the crowd, but I really hate to agree with Pitchfork on just about anything.