Monday, January 30, 2006

It turns out, size does matter.

Those that know me are aware of just how much I like gadgets and gizmos. Yes, I prefer gizmos to gadgets, but it’s so close you can almost call it a draw. But in the all too likely event that someone will have a gun to my head and my preference of one over the other will determine the continuance or ceasing of my life, AKA the stake, I will chose gizmos. But it’s kind of like choosing a favorite child, but not like when you have one kid that’s a giant pain in the ass and it’s easy to say you prefer one over the other. No, it’s like when they’re both good kids and they always do their chores. But this analogy has gotten out of hand, so lets awkwardly move on to what we’re really here to talk about.

When it comes to technology, I like it. But when you can make the same equipment do the same thing, only then you make it smaller, well, I love it. I was already an admirer of the ipod. It does so many wonderful things and it does them all with an extremely easy user interface. (Except for this one lady’s daughter. I work with this woman, and her daughter is continually baffled by it. She has to have it, but she doesn’t know what to do with it. She has all of 6 albums loaded onto the thing. It makes me sad. She called me one day because it wasn’t working and apparently I’m in ipod IT. She said one of her “friends” spilled coke all over it and she wanted to know if that had something to do with it not working. I told her it was a possibility and then threw up in my mouth. Unable to continue the conversation due to the vomit in my mouth, I hung up and spent the rest of the day typing a letter to Apple letting them know that they should really have people take a test before they’re allowed to buy an ipod. Wow, this is a rather lengthy, and might I add unnecessary, parenthetical statement.) Then within the past year, Apple decided to up the anti so to speak. They introduced the ipod video and the ipod nano. This made my life 10 times more difficult than it needed to be.

A picture of Steve holding up the ipod nano, showing us a picture of Steve holding up the ipod nano.

My problem is this: I love video. I love the ipod. I love tiny things. I think it’s pretty obvious where this is going. Having to choose between the nano and the video nearly cost me my sanity. In the end, I went with the nano because it was too damn cute to pass up. It’s so tiny and it does so much! I’m not stupid enough to bother with the 2 gig model, so don’t even ask. I have a beautiful black, 4 gig ipod nano and I couldn’t be happier. Well, I guess I could be happier if the nano came with video capabilities, but I guess that’s just asking too much. Or perhaps Apple is just saving themselves a little something so people have a reason to buy one next Christmas.

Eventually, when I become laughably rich, I will own an ipod video and continue to do ridiculously unnecessary things with it. I look forward to that day. For now though, I can live with my 783 tracks +photos with about 600 MB of free space for growth purposes. I’m just now getting into the world of podcasting and am quite impressed with what there is to offer out there. Allow me to plug a friend of mine for a minute and give a listen to the Glitchcast if you feel so inclined.

And now, because I can… some tenacious D… or illegal D. I’m not really sure. I’m not an official in the NBA, I have too much integrity for that… You have to ask yourself, didn’t Dave see Steve when he tried to dunk?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A few highlights from my email…

Not unlike so many others, I have a spam filter for my email. I enjoy this feature because it keeps me from receiving a plethora of offers on reduced price software and medication. I’m also aware that a certain Christian group desperately wants to lend me money, but I just can’t bring myself to reply to their tempting email offers. Every once in awhile I go through the spam trap just to make sure nothing important gets held up in there. It happens from time to time. Upon viewing the contents of the trap though, a few subject lines stuck out to me. The following is the subject line followed by what I believe I might gain from actually reading the email, however, it should be noted that I did not, in fact, read any of those emails. I feel like it would have been an unnecessary waste of time given my superior “hunch” skills. I’m pretty confident you’ll agree that my assumptions were most likely correct, thus rendering an actual reading of the content obsolete.

Attention grabbing email subject line number 1.

“Jon, Oprah switches to green tea for the new year!”

Ok, first of all, this one grabbed my attention because it is clearly addressed to me. I mean, my name is Jon. There’s just no way you could fake that. I’m not even going to listen to any arguments that might suggest the possibility of a computer program randomly generating names that start with “J” and then getting so lucky as to pick my name correctly then send me a bogus email. Nor will I listen to any far more ridiculous claims that due to some form I filled out online with my name and email address that they have customized an email for me like they have for thousands of others. Those claims border no treasonous. I’m not sure why it’s treasonous, but it is, and those claims border on it.

As to the actual subject line, anyone that knows me is familiar with my “Be Like Oprah” plan. I initiated this plan back in 1997 when I became acutely aware of just how much money Oprah is worth. She gains weight, I gain weight. She loses weight, I lose weight. I subscribe to O magazine and read it religiously cover to cover. Any person that can find a way to make money off of their name both forwards and backwards (harpO Productions… freaking genius…) is worthy of my insanely creepy lifestyle duplication. This is why the subject line intrigued me so much. I see that Oprah has switched to green tea. This means only one thing to me: I must switch to green tea. I felt like just making that decision in my head made my bank account swell.

Probably another reason I didn’t feel it necessary to read on with this email is that the subject line pretty much covered it. I’m not entirely sure there could have been much further useful information in there for me. Perhaps there was a green tea offer of some sort, but really, I don’t think an email is the place where you want to be ordering your Oprah brand green tea. Plus, I don’t even know if I can trust the source of that email. For all I know, they could be offering low quality green tea and just be trying to cash in on the Oprah name. Wouldn’t be the first time. Sometimes I feel bad for all the problems Oprah must have being Oprah. Thank god she has a palatial mansion to get away from it all. I suspect I’ll need something of equal size and grandeur when my Oprah transformation is complete.

So yeah, that email caught my attention.

Attention grabbing email subject line number 2.

“Jon, brag about your Louis Vuitton bag”

Again, the use of my first name was key in this one. We’ve already discussed the ridiculously miniscule chances of that happening, so it was once again evident that this email was addressed to me and to me alone. This email however, did not feel like it was so much informative as it was instructive. I have a Louis Vuitton bag, and it’s now been made clear to me that I need to brag about it.

I’ve had the bag for several months now. I take it with me everywhere. Often times I wear whole outfits designed entirely to accentuate the bag in all it’s subtleties. I get a lot of comments on it, and I don’t mind telling you that I love every one of them. Sometimes I’ll get some backhanded compliment about how it looks like I have a really good knock off. I tell them straight to their face, “Honey, this ain’t no damn knock off! This here’s the real deal!” Then I bust out my portfolio of documents containing a vast array of authenticity certificates, one of which is signed by the president of Arkansas himself. (when I first received that particular certificate of authenticity, I was entirely unaware that Arkansas had a president, but they do, and he signed my certificate of authenticity. You can challenge both his existence and his jurisdiction in this matter, but you will lose on both accounts as he is a legitimate governing body of all handbags, international and domestic.)

From this day forward, I promise that I will indeed make more of an effort to show off and highlight the fact that I have a Louis Vuitton bag. Some people claim that I follow random orders from mysterious emails a little too easily. To those people, I say only this, “Have you seen my Louis Vuitton bag? Oh? You don’t have one? Sucks for you.” You know that you don’t really have a good handbag unless people are selling cheap knock offs on street corners everywhere. Luckily, that doesn’t apply to me. Wait until you see the outfit I have planned for tomorrow. It’s a sexy little strapless number I picked up last weekend at the swap meet.

Attention grabbing email subject line number 3.

“Jon, get access to thousands of TV channels and clips ON YOUR COMPUTER!”

Again, I cannot stress enough how eye catching it is to see my very own, incredibly unique name in the subject line. Couple that with the two letters T and V right next to each other, and it’s guaranteed a second look. I’m not obsessed so much with the programming side of television as I am with the technological side. I like TV’s that have no less than 3 different forms of input and preferably no less than 6 available inputs. S-Video and Composite are a must, but then Component, DVI, VGA, HDMI and Fire Wire are the ones that really get my blood flowing. I really feel like I’ve gone off topic here, so I’ll show some restraint and move back to the email subject line. My name and TV are what grabbed my attention, but upon further reading and comprehension of the rest of the sentence, I realized that they were attempting to sell me the internet. I already have the internet available to me on my computer and what with the new google videos, I’m a pretty happy man. I’m pretty sure it’s just a matter of time before google becomes a religion. Check it out. They make religion fun and easy, just like everything else they touch.

Having now evaluated it properly, I think this email would have stayed in the deleted items box.

I hope now everyone can see the amount of time that it takes me to think about things after glancing at just 3 subject lines in my spam filtered email box. I don’t even know when I find time to do the simple things like eat, sleep and breath.

How about we see some changes?

Every so often I reach a point where life becomes so routine and mundane that every day just seems to blend into the others forming one giant mushball of crap days. This kind of thing becomes evident to my friends and family when I say things like, “So what’s president Regan up to these days?” or, “What’s new in the Soviet Union? Is that cold war thing working out for anyone?” Generally I get smacked in the mouth and remember that it’s 2006 and we still don’t have flying cars or condos on the moon yet. (However, I do feel it necessary to point out that property on the moon is dirt cheap right now and what with the rising cost of land in California, I felt like I would be a fool not to purchase several thousand acres of land in the Sea of Tranquility which is sure to be a hot spot when they start developing. We’ll see who gets the last laugh…) This always disappoints me.

Then there’s the flip side to that coin. I’ll get into a mood where the futures so bright, I have to wear shades. (Stupid old song reference: Check.) There seems like there are an infinite number of possibilities, my job doesn’t suck and all is right with the world. Then I’ll go through a drive-thru at Wendy’s and when the window lady hands me my food, she’ll say, “Thanks for coming, see you tomorrow!” and I’ll think to myself, she knows something I don’t… (by the way, this is a true story. I’m 98.36548% sure that English was not her first language and she was just trying to be polite by wishing me well with one of our crazy American clich├ęs, but there’s that nagging (seriously, biggest f’ing nag I’ve ever met) 1.63452% that says something else is going on, and great lengths have been taken to keep me out of the loop) Then I’ll remember that it’s 2006 and we still don’t have flying cars or condos on the moon.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Ma’am? Excuse me? Ma’am?

Hey there, sorry about the delay in the post, but I was out of town for new years. Hope everyone had a good time, I know I did. Plus, my internet was not officially turned on until yesterday. I’d like to thank Cadiz in particular for being so patient with me.

With regards to my recent trip, it went quite well. Spectacular even. And while I could write in upwards of 32,489,654,816,168 pages on just how well it went, I will instead choose to focus on just the tail end of the trip. The flight home to be more specific.

As my trip ended, (always a regrettable moment, however this time even more so as I enjoyed the company I was with immensely) the usual request was made of me to have a safe flight. I said that I would and I am a man of my word. This is not a new request to me by any means, so I knew exactly how to act. In my 28 years of life, I’ve flown several dozen times and each time my safety is requested, I comply. Never once have I scurried under the plane to cut some cables or rip out some wires prior to takeoff. I’ve never attacked the pilot in mid flight by throwing steaming hot coffee in his eyes. I’ve also never set off an EMP (Electro- Magnetic Pulse) while in the air, consequently knocking out all the navigational and electrical equipment on the plane, thus rendering it dead in the air with no time to recover. And I’ve never eaten the food on the plane, because any or all of those activities would then make it an unsafe flight. Like I said, I am a man of my word.

***Side Note***

A lot of people will try and tell you some nonsense about how you need to be at the airport at least 2 hours before your plane takes off. I’m not sure who started this rumor, but I’m pretty sure they have strong ties to Hitler and the Teletubbies. Ladies and Gentleman, I am here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. Heck, you don’t even need to be AWAKE 2 hours before your flight takes off. If you think you need to be there more than 10 minutes before your flight is scheduled to leave, I’m here to tell you that you’re dead wrong. Of course, the 10 minute rule only applies to big airports. If you’re heading to a smaller airport, plan on getting there only one or two minutes ahead of your departure time. You shouldn’t need more than that, trust me.

***End Side Note***

When I boarded the plane, something didn’t feel right. The only seats available were at the back of the plane.

***Side Note***

Anyone that thinks open seating on Southwest Airlines is a great idea obviously doesn’t know what it’s like to be indecisive. Talk about a nightmare. Having half the passengers wandering around trying to decide if they want a window or isle, front or back, near the bathroom or far away, is not a good thing. When you book your ticket, they should have a little box for you to check if you are indecisive or not. That way, those people can waste their time on the website deciding if they are indecisive or not, not on the plane. If they check that box, then they get an assigned seat, if not, they can chose their own. Also if they check that box, when they check in at the counter, they can also be given a yellow paper crown that says, “I am not capable of making simple decisions quickly or easily,” to wear on their heads to help the rest of us out. I think on the whole, it would improve plane morale.

***End Side Note***

As I walked to the back of the plane, I started to notice that approximately 95% of the passengers currently seated on the aircraft were all children under 2 years of age. The remaining passengers all suffered from ACD (Adult Crying Disorder). I thought to myself, “this isn’t going to be a pleasant flight.”

I was not mistaken in my prediction. For nearly 4 straight hours one passenger in particular was whaling away relentlessly. He was 37 years old and apparently he missed his dog Scooter. Scooter was two rows up trying desperately to look like he didn’t know who the guy was. It was not the most pleasant flight I’ve ever had, but it didn’t crash, so I can’t call it the worst either.

But that’s still not as bad as that one time… begin flashback…

Getting a ride to and from the airport is never an easy thing. So I opted out of that this time around and instead chose to park in long term parking just a few miles away. They run a free (or so I thought) shuttle to and from the parking lot, so I happily waited for the next one to make its trip through the airport loop. I happened to be in the first Terminal, so when the shuttle arrived, it was almost completely empty. What luck I thought. (often in these situations you can look back and see where the exactly things went wrong. For me, it was shortly after I thought I was going to have the shuttle to myself.) Then the shuttle stopped at the other 6 terminals. It did not fill up slowly, no, it became jam packed almost instantly. It seems as though I was traveling on a less reputable airline, thus there were not many passengers to pick up at first. I don’t know if it was fate, or karma, or just random happenstance, but a fairly large woman who was clearly twice my age wound up next to me. This woman seemed to have a need for her cell phone every 30 seconds. She would go into her purse to get it… wait, let me back up. First she would reach down and miss her purse, then she would correct herself, go into her purse and then grab the phone for a second, only to put it right back. Each time she did this, I would look straight at her, but she kept her eyes down and refused to look at me. Around the 4th or 5th time, I had to say something. I never imagined myself in this situation, and no matter how unnatural the words felt coming out of my mouth, they were never the less, entirely necessary. I said to her, “Ma’am? Excuse me? Ma’am? Ma’am, that’s my penis.” She still refused to look me in the eye or even acknowledge me at all. I have one rule about touching my penis! If you’re going to do it, you better damn well have the decency to look me in the eye when you do. Under the right circumstances, it can be a fun and enjoyable activity for all, but if it’s done improperly, it leaves both parties feeling cheap and used.

I was only on the bus for 20 minutes, but it felt more like 27 minutes with the molestation factor. But hey, who doesn’t want to end a nice vacation like that?

So to recap, I’m back from vacation, I have the internet again, I flew with some crying babies and I was reminded of the time I was molested by an old lady. Wow… this post really could have been a lot shorter…