Archive: November, 2002

Five liberating days without the Internet

posted by Jeff | Monday, November 25, 2002, 12:30 PM | comments: 0

I deal with the Internet for a living. Some days it's fun, others it isn't. Running in particular has been somewhat of a drain on me in particular. Between the kids (and adults) who have no social skills online or off, and the constant "what's in it for me" attitude of some people, it grows tiresome.

Stephanie and I made our way to Orlando for five days. The original intent was to spend some time at the IAAPA trade show, but that turned out to be a dud. I left pretty much empty handed as far as material to use on CoasterBuzz, but I didn't care, especially when my ancient laptop started giving me shit. Not even the "journalist bug" was enough to get me into covering the show.

So I said "fuck it." After being unemployed last year and generally being without quality free time, we decided to live it up as best we could. We did theme parks, drank heavily and partied in the hot tub. Best of all, I left the Internet behind.

For five days, I didn't touch a keyboard or a mouse. No e-mail, no Web sites, no forums... nothing. It was liberating. It gave me much needed perspective about where the Net fits into life. It not only made me see how much I enjoy human contact in the real world, but frightened me in that there are so many people who spend an unhealthy amount of time with the Net. I mean, where does it end? E-mail, instant messages, forums, these narcissistic journals (OK, you got me there)... it's no wonder that half the people I meet in real life are social retards.

I'm trying to ease my way back into the electronic world, but it just doesn't have the same appeal that the real world has. Sigh.

Ups and downs of another JO volleyball season

posted by Jeff | Sunday, November 17, 2002, 10:29 PM | comments: 0

We had our tryouts for our junior olympic volleyball club this weekend. I was excited about it because two of the kids I had two seasons ago would be on my team again, only all grown up!

Saturday was tough. We didn't get a lot of kids trying out, and several of them were there just as a warmup for another club tryout. What a waste of time. Fortunately today, several more girls showed up, including a couple of keepers over six-foot. I'm hoping they accept our offer.

I thought long and hard about whether or not I wanted to do it this year. I remember being really stressed out about it last year, but that's because I was unemployed. Really I need to do it because it creates balance. Too often I'm worried that one single thing I'm interested in may define too much of me, and in my estimation that would make me one uninteresting person.

Heading to Orlando this week...

Praise the Lords, fuck the rest? Not these days

posted by Jeff | Monday, November 11, 2002, 12:22 AM | comments: 0

Stephanie and I saw Lords of Acid again tonight. I'm guessing this was my sixth time, but honestly I lost count. I hate to admit it, but it just wasn't what previous shows were.

If you aren't familiar with Lords of Acid, it's a techno-ish band where all of the lyrics revolve around sex, drugs, having sex on drugs and doing drugs during sex. While I don't condone the use of drugs, the music itself is entertaining, especially the older stuff.

The show tonight had one or both of these problems: The sex thing is more cheeseball than sexy or they just didn't perform well. It's probably a combination of the two. The newer stuff just isn't as good, the driving beats have been replaced by lame non-sexy lyrics and the dance factor just isn't what it used to be.

That's where they did manage to save the show, in the old songs. I haven't heard some of them in a very long time, so many brought a smile to my face. If nothing else they made me realize I need to do a mix CD for the car, because if you took the two or three best songs from every album, you'd have a damn good disc.

I suppose one of the things that could cause you to really lose interest in a group is their inability to evolve. I mean, the reason I lost interest in Def Leppard in the early 90's was because I wasn't that interested in hearing Hysteria II, III and IV (that and Nirvana changed everything at the time, thank God). I stick with bands like Garbage because they're always bringing their shit to the next level, even if it takes a couple of years.

As usual, one of the redeeming qualities was the freaky chicks at the show, but even that wasn't what it used to be. The last KMFDM show we went to had more interesting women. Not many, what I call, "classy freaks" there. These are the girls with well-groomed but crazy hair, good piercings and expensive and unique tattoos. There were some, but not a ton.

So the next time LoA comes to town, I think they're going to need a damn good album to get us in the balcony.

Internet: Great equalizer or cover up for the pathetic?

posted by Jeff | Thursday, November 7, 2002, 9:17 AM | comments: 0

We had this hilarious thread going on over at CoasterBuzz with this dude who said he was an amusement industry consultant. Finally, I decided to call him on it because my bullshit detector started going off. When I did, I got flooded with e-mail from people telling me about all the bullshit they told him. My instincts were right, so I went after him some more.

Is there anything wrong with him saying he's a consultant? In itself, no, of course not. I tell people the same thing. I also tell them that I have a normal day job and that my business only pulls in a couple of grand a year, and even that money ends up going toward my stupid Web sites (where ironically I have to put up with people's shit). What I don't do is pretend that I know Bill Gates or have the next version of Windows or whatever, not to mention go on and on about it in various forums.

That's the problem with the Internet... it's hard to figure out what's legit and what's not, because the novelty of just being online in the first place is still, well, novel. You can put something online and say whatever you want, true or not, and some people will believe it. The Internet has paved the way for all new kinds of fraud.

While some megalomaniac makes for good forum fodder, "retailers" are outright dangerous. I watched in one forum complaints roll in about a guy who was selling a specialty electronic part, only see in the long run that he never shipped anything, and more or less just took people's money. Makes you wonder if it's safe to buy anything outside of Amazon or when you see stuff like that.

I suppose it isn't any different than real-life, it's just creepy that it happens more often now.

DDR, fog machine and a Web cam

posted by Jeff | Monday, November 4, 2002, 2:06 PM | comments: 0

Saturday night we had a Dance Dance Revolution party. Really it was just an excuse to drink, but a good time was had by all.

We had a fog machine and a Web cam, so some fun stuff happened. Here are some samples.

One of the highlights of the night came from making fun of some of the Cedar Point geeks that sit in front of their computers all damn day everyday speculating about what the new ride will or will not be. Just to illustrate how sad the whole thing is, more than 8,000 hits were made to that camera that night alone. Pretty fucking sad, eh?

Anyway, it was a good time and nice to get some of the posse together for a little fun. Next party: The Rave, coming in January...