RE: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Review: Tommorrow’s Display in Yesterday’s Laptop

Recently, Tom Warren, senior editor of The Verge, wrote a review of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga. In my opinion, this was more of an opinion/smear piece rather than a review. He spent the majority of the article bashing ThinkPad design and the TrackPoint, calling them “old” and “outdated”. He called ThinkPad design “boring” (which is typical of people ignorant about ThinkPad design – and design in general), and thinks the TrackPoint should be taken out.

Being a longtime ThinkPad loyalist/fan/lover/user, I of course, took issue with this, as did many others (just check out the comments section of the article. If the article made you feel sick to your stomach, perhaps the comments on the article will make you feel better). I really don’t like it when people talk about ThinkPads like that. People like these come across to me as childish and I just can’t take them seriously. These people clearly don’t understand ThinkPad design – or design as a whole – and instead of taking the time to understand it, they’d rather just bash & smear it. This is perhaps one of my biggest pet peeves. I decided to make a response to Tom, in the form of an open letter, and that’s what I bring you today.

Here is my open letter to Tom Warren:

@tomwarren Instead of bashing & smearing something you don’t understand, take some time to actually understand it.

Your comments on ThinkPad design and the TrackPoint were abominable and ignorant. Just because ThinkPad design and the TrackPoint aren’t your thing, doesn’t mean that you have the right to bash them like that. Maybe if you’d actually taken the time to understand why ThinkPad design is the way it is and why people like it so much, I would’ve taken you much more seriously. If you said something like “ThinkPad design and the TrackPoint aren’t my thing, but I see why people like them so much, why they’re so useful, why Lenovo has decided to constantly redefine the design as opposed to drastically changing it, and the philosophy behind ThinkPad design”, I would’ve also taken you much more seriously. But you didn’t, and so that’s why I’m writing this open letter to you.

I’ve been using ThinkPads for 12 years (since I was only 14, in fact). I am proud to call myself a ThinkPad lover/loyalist/fan/user and I really can’t see myself using anything other than ThinkPads. The quality and reliability just can’t compare to other brands and the brand played a huge role in my growth and development in my youth. Your comments on ThinkPad design philosophy (i.e. the TrackPoint, the black box design) was downright disrespectful and ignorant to a highly respected and beloved brand that has been around for almost 25 years. How many computer brands do you know of that have been around for and have lasted as long as ThinkPad? I take big offense to anyone who bashes ThinkPads like that, because they clearly don’t understand the philosophy behind ThinkPad design – they’d rather bash something they don’t like or understand. This is, admittedly, a big pet peeve of mine.

I find it ironic that you bash ThinkPad design, while at the same time praising Apple for “changing” and “modernizing” their design. Apparently, you seem to be ignorant to the fact that Apple doesn’t drastically change its design either (at least nowadays – in the last 10 years or so). Just like ThinkPad, Apple has a minimalist design that is unique and iconic. You can instantly recognize a ThinkPad or a MacBook – even with their logos covered up. Same thing with products like the Porsche 911 or a military tank. As someone who has studied design (and that includes ThinkPad design philosophy), I can very much tell you that drastically changing the design of something isn’t very smart or practical. It is so much better to constantly redefine something over time, rather than drastically change it. Industrial design is a mixture of design and engineering. You have to take both aesthetics and functionality into account and create something that flows seamlessly together.

Notice how Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and the military don’t drastically change the design of their vehicles? This is because they know that you can’t just change the design of a product just because you feel like it, or just to make it look “prettier” – just like you can’t just change the design of your logo for that exact same purpose. You need to develop your product in accordance to usability and efficiency. Not to mention, that different products are targeted towards different audiences, and so you have to develop your product in accordance to that. MacBooks are targeted towards consumers, ThinkPads are targeted more towards business users – and professionals in general. Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Ferrari, and Lamborghini are targeted towards higher-end, affluent customers. While military vehicles were made for use in combat. All of these brands have mastered the art of industrial design and that’s why their products are so great and have withstood the test of time.

The TrackPoint is an excellent pointing device. It is quick, accurate, efficient, and functional. I am a music producer and sound designer, a digital artist and designer (I do photo manipulation, graphic design, illustration, and now, 3D art/modeling), and video producer, and the TrackPoint helps me out tremendously in doing my work – its much more precise and allows me to keep my hands on the keyboard. Have you ever tried working on a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) or a virtual synthesizer (VST)? If you have, then you’d know that without hardware (i.e. MIDI controllers), you need a pointing device that is precise and efficient, since in music production & sound design, you’re turning a lot of knobs and sliders in your VST or DAW – and there are even times where you need to type in numerical values. Sure, a MIDI controller and a Wacom tablet/pen (for art & design) are even more efficient but I don’t always have access to that stuff, it isn’t always practical, and I don’t want to plug in a mouse (unless its a desktop or non-ThinkPad laptop). The TrackPoint is the best thing there is when there’s no other options available. A trackpad is very impractical for these purposes. Trackpads are clunky, inefficient, and rigid. I hate them with a passion.

ThinkPad design is anything but outdated. It is classic, timeless, elegant, rugged, functional, and visually pleasant (easy on the eye), while the TrackPoint is an extremely useful pointing device. ThinkPads have withstood the test of time and that’s only because of its design philosophy – not to mention that Lenovo takes customer feedback into account, which further adds to its resiliency. This has nothing to do with ‘nostalgia’ and ‘playing it safe’ and everything to do with ease of use and functionality. If you’re going to bash ThinkPads, you might as well do the same thing to the MacBook, Porsche 911, and military tank (or any other military vehicle, for that matter). Please do some more thorough research next time before you make ignorant statements like these.

Sincerely yours,

Ryan Turner

(a.k.a. PROJEKT61)

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My Thoughts on the #RollCallVote

Hey everyone, I’m back after not posting here for a quite a while. The reason I haven’t been posting as of late is because I’ve been incredibly busy. I’m currently making the transition to a full-time professional music producer and sound designer and I’m doing a lot of preparation work (including arranging my new schedule), but I’ll discuss that more in another post.

Right now, there’s a lot of stuff in my mind that I need to let out. As you all probably know by now, the Democratic National Convention is happening this week and today, there was a roll call vote – in which the Democratic nominee would be crowned. I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary and are registered as a “No Party Preference” (NPP) voter here in California (which means I’m an Independent voter), but voted with a crossover democratic ballot on election day.  Bernie was the best candidate for president, but was up against a rigged and corrupt system, so I knew this would be a tough election for him to win…and tough it was. He unfortunately ended up losing the nomination earlier today, and an unelectable, untrustworthy, corrupt candidate (Hillary Clinton) ended up winning instead because of this corrupt system.

I have so much to say right now so everyone, buckle up and listen up.

First of all, everyone calling Bernie a “sellout” please shut the fuck up. He is NOT a sellout, and his record speaks for itself. He didn’t sell out. He just did what HE felt was right (voting for the lesser of two evils). He knew he was against a rigged system, and that it was going to be extremely hard for him to win, so go easy on him. He knows how much we despise $hillary and that we’re independent-minded, so he doesn’t expect us to “fall in line” and he doesn’t have a problem with that – in fact, that’s exactly what he wants, its all part of the political revolution (which doesn’t happen overnight). Just like the rest of us, he’s not very thrilled about Hillary either (he’s not going to fundraise for her or anything like that, plus, he’s going back to the senate as an independent)…and he shouldn’t after everything she’s done to him. Bernie knew about stuff that was going on behind the scenes that we didn’t know about. He knew about all the rigging and corruption and did everything he could to fight back against it. He knew he had a steep hill to climb, and he knew the establishment would try to bring him down (and unfortunately, they did). Everyone bashing on him for this is just being a stupid, ignorant fuck – this is the result of outrage culture, were reason & logic are thrown out the window. I will continue to support Bernie in the senate, where he will continue to fight for us, and I highly suggest everyone else do the same.

Second thing: everyone saying the revolution is “over” also shut the fuck up…this is just getting started, its not over. One person cannot change the system. It takes A LOT of people for change to actually happen. So everyone, keep putting the pressure on these cucks, encourage people who truly care about the people and democracy to run for office, and most of all, elect people who will actually represent the people! The fight is never over, we have to actually FIGHT and KEEP FIGHTING! Like Public Enemy once said in one of their most iconic (and perhaps their most iconic) songs ever, Fight The Power!

Overall, my message to these people is: STOP BEING SUCH A SORE LOSER!!! We’re not going to get ANYTHING done with that attitude! I know you’re angry – I’m angry myself – but you cannot act in this manner. You let your opponents win by acting that way.

Now with that out of the way…All I have to say to the Democratic Party is: congrats for electing the most corrupt, hated, untrustworthy, and unelectable candidate your party has ever seen! Congrats for handing over the presidency over to Donald Trump and that monster of a VP Mike Pence (the guy you should all be actually afraid of – he’s the one who’s actually going to be running the country). Congrats for stooping as low as the Republican Party by rigging the elections, alienating a large voter base, silencing democracy, and being total and complete corporate sellouts! Hope you’re proud of yourselves! All of this is why I’m feeling very happy right now to be an independent voter & not a democrat (I’m registered as an NPP here in California). I’m an Independent because I don’t want to be beholden to a party, I don’t fully identify with one party, and I want flexibility. Many Democrats (including lifelong Democrats) are leaving the party because of your fucking antics. You betrayed them and you deserve everything that’s coming at you. You have nobody else to blame but yourselves.

To Hillary Clinton: Congrats for showing girls and women that they too can be president by being as corrupt as you! Congrats for showing the world that girls and women can also win by lying, cheating, bribing people, and degrading their opponents and their supporters – and not mention, being shady! I, for one, am not going to vote for you. You are corrupt as fuck. I want to vote for someone who’s honest, integral, and actually works for the people. You are not trustworthy. Just because you supposedly implemented some liberal/progressive policies, doesn’t mean that I automatically trust you – you’re just too beholden to your corporate donors and your history says everything I need to know about you. Actions speak louder than words and its clear that you’ve never acted on or cared about this shit. And just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean that I’m obligated to vote for you. You don’t deserve to be president, Bernie Sanders does. And you don’t deserve to be the first female president, Jill Stein does. The smart thing that you’ve could’ve done was to drop out, since you’re divisive, untrustworthy, and not doing so well with Independents & millennials (not to mention a cheater). But of course, you didn’t because you’re too arrogant and beholden to your corporate donors, and not to mention, you’ve had the whole establishment behind you. So if you lose this election (which you most certainly will), don’t blame me for Donald Trump becoming president. Blame yourself. Don’t you dare try to scapegoat other Bernie supporters such as myself, we’re not falling for it and we know you’re full of shit.

There’s people saying that Hillary is showing that women can be anything they want. If you’re talking about cheating, corruption, & bribery, then you’re absolutely right. Hillary showed everyone that anyone can be all of this. Hillary & the dems rigged the system in favor of her. Hillary cheated and Bernie was cheated out of this election. Bernie is the real winner here. He did this shit fair & square. He actually EARNED peoples votes. Hillary didn’t. Hillary had to resort to cheating to win. She’s the real loser here. When you have to resort to cheating to win, what does that tell you? It tells you you’re weak as fuck. It tells you that you suck.

People aren’t voting for Clinton & Trump because they like them. These people are two of the most disliked presidential candidates in the history of the U.S. People are voting for these two crooks because they want to stop the other. People don’t truly like them, they just feel like they have to vote for the other just to stop the other. They think these are the only two candidates. The reason being because our shitty media is keeping them in the dark about third party options.

My recommendations on voting for president this November are: If you lean more to the left, vote for Jill Stein (Green party candidate). If you lean more to the right, vote for Gary Johnson (Libertarian party candidate). Both are solid candidates & way better than Hillary & Trump. You don’t have to vote for the lesser of two evils. There are alternatives out there. The mainstream media just isn’t telling you about it – and they wont tell you about it because they want to keep the status quo alive. Don’t vote for any of these two crooks (I’m of course talking about Trump and Clinton).

I endorsed Bernie for president in the primary elections. Since he unfortunately lost, I thereby endorse Jill Stein for president for the general election! Everyone go donate to her and spread the word. If we wanna see real change in this country, its up to us to vote for candidates that actually represent us the people and not the special interests (the 1% and the corporations). If there’s one thing that Bernie taught us is that honesty and integrity CAN win and that you DON’T NEED the help of giant donors to win. The internet and social media have helped even the field so that grassroots activism can actually be successful. Lets do the same thing that we did for Bernie to Jill. There’s too much at stake not to, so get to work!

The final thing I have to say is aimed at Bernie Sanders: Thank you for everything you’ve done for us! Thanks for motivating a new generation of voters and politicians to be more politically active – by voting and running for office. Even though you didn’t win, you still made history – and you’re still a winner in my eyes, regardless of the outcome of this election. Not only did you motivate me to vote for the very first time in my life but you also motivated and inspired me in my both my personal life and my budding career…I learned a lot of valuable things from you that I can implement in both my career and life! I’ll keep supporting you, even though you didn’t win the nomination! Keep fighting the good fight in the senate and elsewhere!

That is all I have to say. Keep the revolution going everyone!

Same-sex marriage is finally legal in the U.S.!

Happy belated 4th of July to my fellow Americans! Legalizing same-sex marriage was a great way to celebrate our nation’s birth. Here’s a video were I express my thoughts on it.

I was originally supposed upload this late in the week, either at or just before the 4th but couldn’t because I still was editing it and because of time constraints.

[Vlog] My package got lost in the mail! (Thanks USPS!)

Here’s a vlog were I discuss my recent bad experience with USPS. If you’ve been following my Tumblr closely as of late, then you’ll know that its about the lost package that contained my FreeToM prosthetic.

P.S. There was actually no pun intended when I came up with the title, even though it seems like it…it just happened to come out that way :D. Feel free to laugh if you want!

P.P.S. I recently decided to do YouTube full-time (so it will be my full-time job along with music from now on), so expect to see content more frequently! (I’ll do my best with the space constraints I have right now.)

Malta Bans Intersex Genital Mutilation!

In early April, Malta became the first nation to ban Intersex Genital Mutilation (IGM)! This is a huge, historic victory for the intersex community and is a first step towards banning IGM worldwide. In addition to banning IGM, the law also makes transitioning easier. In this video, I give my thoughts about the new law.

Congrats to Intersex and Trans people in Malta! Hopefully other countries will follow Malta’s lead in the near future.

The TRT Diaries – 1.5 months on T

TRT method:
AndroGel 1.62% – 2 pump actuations daily (40.5 mg)

Blood test results, taken on September 26, 2014:
Testosterone (T), Total: 1043 ng/dL
Estradiol (E2), Ultrasensitive LC/MS/MS: 20 pg/mL
ALT: 33 U/L
AST: 24 U/L

This is my 1.5 (1 1/2) months (and 6.4 weeks) on T update. Quite a bit has happened over the last 6 weeks and I’ll go over that in a bit. But first, I’m going to discuss the results from my latest blood test.

As you can see above, my T levels have gone up dramatically, while my E2 levels have dramatically gone down. I’m still shocked at the results from the test. For the first time in my life, I have normal hormone levels! I never thought I would get T levels this high, and E2 levels this low, this soon! Before, my T levels were an abysmal 29, now they’re a stunning 1043! My E2 levels before where an astronomical 251, now they’re a youthful 20! These levels are actually normal for a guy my age, and supposedly, compared to my peers, I’m in the 95th percentile in T levels. The average T levels for my peers are around 600 to around 700 (50th percentile), so this means that I beat most of my peers in T levels! (And to think that before I was basically below the 5th percentile!)

I actually made a more modest prediction on where my T and E2 levels where going to be at this point. I predicted that my T levels were going to be around 600-800, and my E2 levels around 40-100. This surpassed my expectations big time and I’m completely ecstatic about it. I really think that my healthy lifestyle habits helped me get to this point, and if that’s the case then it just shows you how much of a difference lifestyle habits can make. A lot of my peers have unhealthy lifestyle habits and I think that explains why the average T levels for them are around 600-700. Because I’m on a low dose of T and my levels are on the high end of normal, this probably shows us all that I’m a hypoexcreter of T as opposed to a hyperexcreter (this means that I metabolize T slowly).

I think that these T and E2 levels are my sweet spot, since I’m not feeling any side-effects. In fact, I feel great! I didn’t realize that I would respond to AndroGel this well – this has also taken me by surprise.

I also got my liver enzymes checked (which you can see above) and they have gone up a bit from the last time. My ALT is actually on the high-normal side now, while my AST is now in the middle. I’m not sure what this all means but I’ll do some more research on it.

Now, on to the other stuff:

Sexual Function
My sex drive seems to have improved over my last TRT Diaries entry. I feel like its at its highest/best yet. It has definitely gotten more consistent. I have gotten morning wood every single day since the morning after I started T. I now wake up every morning fantasizing about sex and itching to have it. Not only that but I also fantasize about sex – as well as great-looking women and their body parts – throughout the day. Before T, I’ve constantly struggled to so (it was inconsistent) and only thought about that stuff occasionally, but now its girls and sex all the time. The mild ED (Erectile Dysfunction) I had while Low T is completely gone now.

Voice
My voice seems to be getting deeper about every two weeks or so. I have noticed a different sound and feel to it from the last time. Not only that but, it also seems to have started cracking (again). I’m recording my voice to keep track of the changes and I have noticed a difference from the past two weeks and a pretty big difference since I first started T. Since my voice is finally starting to deepen, I’m actually feeling more comfortable with it and less self-conscious about it – I’m starting to hate it less, which means I’m actually starting to like it!

Facial/body hair
My facial and body hair seem to be getting more numerous and slightly darker from the last time. I’m wondering when I’ll start seeing darker, thicker hairs. Really excited to get more visible facial hair and grow a beard (so I’ll look a little bit older and because I always wanted to grow one)!

Physical Profile
Slowly, maturely, my body keeps increasing in body and lean mass. When I weighted myself at the end of September, I was back to 91 pounds When I went to visit my Endocrinologist on Friday, I found out that I now weigh 97 pounds! I’m really happy about this. This is the first time in my life that I’ve weighted that much. I’m guessing that by the time I go visit my PCP (which will be in November or December), I’m probably going to be 108, 109, or 110 (I’ll no longer be underweight). My guess is that after one year on T, I’ll be anywhere from 135-150 (with most of it being muscle, of course). I’ll finally be able to fill my clothes out! I have recently gotten back to my regular fitness routine, although I’m still easing into it. I’m now “lifting heavy things” (right now, its mostly bodyweight exercises) 3 times a week again.

Energy/mood
My mood is still good and my energy is still high. Its definitely gotten more consistent. I definitely feel more motivated to do stuff now and its only going get better over time. I also seem to be more of a morning person now, whereas before I wasn’t.

Cognition
My cognition just keeps improving – and I just know that its only going to get better over time. I can definitely retain information much better now and I can also focus much easily now. Brain fog also seems to be completely gone now. I’m actually now back to making and learning more about music (as well as design and other stuff) and its going along great! I feel like my confidence in all sorts of stuff is slowly, maturely going up.

Appetite
Appetite is still up! Still not really experiencing any bloating (major bloating, at least).

Other
My acne seems to have modestly increased. The good news is that its not a huge issue (at least yet).

I’m very pleased by how all of this is going. This is definitely one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m very excited to see what’s up ahead.

I guess that’s all for now. I’ll see you all next time!

P.S. Before I left my endo’s office, I got new prescription for AndroGel (same dosage and delivery method) for the months of November and December. However, hours after I left my endo’s office, I realized that I will need a new prescription for T in December for the months of January and February (I will be filling it out somewhere at the end of December – before New Year’s). I’m not going to see my endo again until January 9, and I’m hoping that I can get a new prescription without going to his office (by doing it electronically or by fax, or by my PCP prescribing it under my endo’s direction). This is something that’s going to have me anxious come December because I will be out of T by the time I go see my endo, and I really don’t want to go back to being Low T. Hopefully, everything will work out just fine – we’ll see what happens. Also, my next blood draw will be in December, and this is where I’m going to get my blood cells checked.

Lastly, I will be uploading my first video blog on YouTube hopefully by the end of the month. I’m currently busy shooting it. I will share that video (along with future videos) here when I upload it.

To Vlog Or Not To Vlog

This was originally posted on my personal Tumblr.

I started a YouTube channel about two years ago. It can be found here. The only problem is that I haven’t posted any videos yet. I’ve only made playlist.

The reason why I haven’t posted any videos yet are because: 1) I didn’t really have the proper equipment, 2) I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do, I just knew that I wanted to post videos plus I didn’t have a plan, 3) I didn’t really know how to go about it, and 4) I had certain inhibitions about this.

My inhibitions about this have largely to do with my how I sound, as well as the fact that I’ve never really recorded videos of me or been on a camera. Since I didn’t really have a puberty, my voice still sounds like that of either a prepubescent boy or a very early pubescent boy. I’m pretty self-conscious about it. The good thing is that I’m going to be starting Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) very soon, so my voice will finish developing soon. But still, its pretty embarrassing to be a 24 year old man but yet still sound like a 12-15 year old boy. The reason I’m so embarrassed is because it just doesn’t feel like me – I have a strong male gender identity and a strong masculine identity, and so this just doesn’t feel like me.

I grew up with Selective Mutism. Its when a person who is normally capable of speech does not speak in specific situations or to specific people. While I have come a very long way and have almost gotten over it (largely thanks to my transition, as well as finally meeting and being around like-minded people), I still feel like there’s more room for improvement (I guess you can say that I’m still feeling its aftermath – I also think my Low T is contributing to this as well). By posting video blogs, I would be increasing my social confidence.

I have been watching others vlogs for a long time now. I feel like I’ve learned all the necessary things I needed to learn. I feel like I’ve finally gotten a sense of direction on this, as well as structure – I’ve even made a plan. I plan on doing video production and making music videos, among other kinds of videos, a bit later on in the future. I can see how this will help me get started on that.

I can see all the benefits of doing vlogs. It will help me build my audience, which will translate over to the other things I’m either already doing or are planning to do. It will help increase my social confidence even more. I will get to meet new people and make new friends. It will help me get started on video production. I will help out other people, create more visibility for intersex and trans people, as well as be a source of inspiration for current SM sufferers as well as anyone else who is or has ever had social difficulties. There are obviously other reasons, but I’ll just stop here.

I’m thinking of starting somewhere this summer, if I decide to do this. I think that documenting my legal transition to male as well as my TRT treatments – as a way to compliment my written blogs – will be a great way to start. I think documenting them by video would be very beneficial to not just me but to others as well. The topics that would be discussed are going to range from my transition, intersex status, and TRT, to Lenovo, to my general wereabouts, my past, and really, anything else I’m interested in discussing. It would basically be a video blog version of my personal blog, Elipalooza.

I have quite a lot of thinking to do, and a lot of fears to overcome. All I know is that if I decide to do this, I’m going to feel very proud of myself for finally having the guts to do this.