Archive: October, 2003

I have my iPod, and it is good

posted by Jeff | Thursday, October 30, 2003, 9:40 AM | comments: 4

I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that the iPod is the single greatest consumer electronics device ever made, period. I ripped most of my CD collection, around 3,600 songs, and I'm listening to stuff I haven't heard in ages because it's just so damn convenient.

Draeger told me that the packaging was almost as cool as the device itself. Clearly the people at Apple are the greatest designers in the world in everything they touch. They take a lot of pride in their product, that's for sure. They're the kings of user interface and human factors in the computer world. They set the standard with everything, hardware and software (with the one exception being those nasty mice sold with the original iMacs).

Listening to the Breeders right now...


My first legal music downloads

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, October 29, 2003, 10:19 AM | comments: 0
Last night, Stephanie and I purchased our first legal downloaded music at .99 each from Apple's iTunes.

I snagged the fun summer tunes "Work It" by Missy Elliott and "Crazy in Love" from Beyonce. Steph got JT's "Rock Your Body" and Kelly Clarkson's "Miss Independent." Yeah, I know, this stuff is a far cry from KMFDM and Lords of Acid, but we're not music snob jerks incapable of liking something just because it's popular. That would be lame.

The process is very cool, though it's kind of weird getting music piecemeal like that. Not having the rest of the albums is a real departure for me. That's not to say that I won't get entire CD's. I can forsee picking up perhaps Ultimate Run-DMC and The Donnas' latest album.

What's annoying though is that some stuff is incomplete. For example, I wanted to Christina's "Dirty" and a couple of tracks from Public Enemy's "Nation of Millions..." but there were missing tracks. That's kind of lame.

The iPod finally arrives from China today (hopefully).

"People need people, Steve"

posted by Jeff | Sunday, October 26, 2003, 7:27 PM | comments: 2
Got back from a very wet closing weekend at Cedar Point. Had a good time overall (trip report forthcoming), though the weather really beat the crap out of me.

So Stephanie had to leave this evening to go to a biology conference in downtown Cinci. That sucks for a couple of reasons. The first is that tomorrow is our anniversary, and we won't see each other. The second is that we just had such a great weekend together, and now I'm without her for 36 hours. It fucking sucks.

A part of me is disturbed at being so intensely depressed about the situation. I've been a loner most of my life, and OK with that. Trust me, it's a burden being intensely emotional with just yourself, as I was much of the time I was growing up.

But I'm reminded of the movie Singles, which if you can get past the Seattle grunge fashion of the early 90's, is one of the best movies of my generation. The movie centers around a bunch of people who pursue really fucked up (read: normal) relationships and struggle to figure out how they figure in the big picture of their lives. Toward the end, Bridget Fonda's character tells Steve (Campbell Scott), "People need people, Steve. It has nothing to do with sex."

That seemed incredibly profound to me at the time. I think the reason is that at that point in my life I was searching for the person I wanted to be, and I was really starting to be happy with who I was. I've always felt that you need to love yourself and really be comfortable with yourself before you can love someone else. So when I started to like myself, it was helpful to hear that, yes, it's OK to need and want other people.

This evening, as I listen to some of the 2000 songs I've ripped for my iPod, that holds true. It's OK to be all into someone and need them, because I have the capacity to love myself when I'm alone (I can just hear the masturbation jokes forming in your head).

Enjoy some great quotes from the movie... I think I need to go watch it now.

Arrogant people irritate the piss out of me

posted by Jeff | Friday, October 24, 2003, 11:21 AM | comments: 1
I was looking around SuicideGirls today and it just makes my skin crawl. Apparently they've had a problem with member and girl defections to other sites, and understandably so, they let those people go for spamming their site to competitors. I don't blame them one bit for that. However, the staff and their clique of LA girls are such assholes to people... the people who enable them to not have normal day jobs.

It's not the first time I bitched about it, but this time we're out for good. What a shame, because I really found the whole thing fascinating as an online community, and I loved to see beautiful women that were more "real" than anything you'd find in the mainstream.

We so need to start our own porn site. We could do so much better!

Meanwhile, Apple fucked up my iPod shipping and shipped it ground instead of 2-day, and since it's Airborne "Express," with their lack of real-time tracking, God only knows when it'll get here. As you might be able to tell from my last entry, I was really looking forward to it. Now I've gotta call them and be a dick and get my 2-day shipping money back.

Digital music will change my life

posted by Jeff | Monday, October 20, 2003, 9:27 PM | comments: 4

So if you were paying attention last week you saw that Apple Computer released a Windows version of iTunes, the music jukebox/rip and burn tool that Mac folks have been horny about since its inception years ago, before most of had even heard of the term "MP3."

Well, I downloaded it, and truth be told, I think it will change my life. It's such an elegant tool that I can't help but rip the hundreds of CD's I have and dump it all on my hard drive. You put in the CD and click a button. That's all there is to it. You can drag and drop songs onto a playlist, click another button and burn that list to a CD. Still simple.

Now here's the life-changing part. All of this fabulous music can be transferred to an iPod and I can carry it anywhere. Why is that life-changing? Let me explain...

Music for me has always been something I associate with a time, an emotion or a person (sometimes all three). It started early for me around fifth grade or so, when I was fascinated with top 40 radio. There was something absolutely magical about WGCL in Cleveland and "Dancin'" Danny Wright in the afternoons. Most of the time I forget that I actually had that job after college!

Through high school music served all kinds of purposes for me. It reminded me of girls, it made me think up light shows in my head and it made me want to play air guitar.

In college music helped me through late night radio shifts, get over girls (again) and motivate me to kick the world's ass before it kicked mine.

After college, it served many purposes, from everything to more motivation, loving my wife, getting ready to coach volleyball, write code, serve as mental soundtracks to roller coasters, make movies more than they would've been otherwise, remind me of road trips and vacations... there are so many things.

The music could mean a thousand different things to other people, but in my world it's a part of me. By having it with me and easily accessible, the music helps me remember who I am, where I've been, where I want to go and who I want to be. All of those things define how fun it is to be me. Sometimes I need a reminder.


Halloween nonsense and real estate mysteries

posted by Jeff | Sunday, October 19, 2003, 11:44 AM | comments: 0
I posted a couple of photos from a Halloween party we went to last night.

I have to say that the coolest thing about the party was actually Holly's house, which they moved into just a couple of months ago. It's really a great house, and well decorated, much in the same way that Steph would decorate. The weird thing though is that the house was $450k. That's weird because the same house in our part of town on the other side of Cleveland would likely be around $300k. I just don't get the crazy differences in real estate values around Cleveland.

Addicted to food... must eat!

posted by Jeff | Thursday, October 16, 2003, 10:30 AM | comments: 1
I could really go for junk food or Chipotle right now.

The Lion King and life since 1994

posted by Jeff | Friday, October 10, 2003, 11:22 AM | comments: 1
The Lion King was released on DVD this week. Sounds stupid, I know, but I used to be a real Disney animation fan. I blame my ex, Denise, for starting me on that. In the long run though, I started to like the movies because they managed to integrate a lot of really adult themes. I mean, Mulan was as blatantly a femenist movie as possible.

Lion King was originally released in 1994, and I went to see it by myself that summer before heading to work on a weekend radio shift, just before my senior year of college. The story is pretty much a classic, but what really grabbed me about it was the two issues it dealt with.

First off was death. I'll never forget being in the theater right after the stampede scene when Simba silently pushes himself under the paw of his dead father. A little kid behind me says, "What's wrong with him mommy?" I very nearly cried at that moment from a combination of the movie and the innocence of the kid behind me.

The other thing that got me about the movie was the very common sense exchange between Simba and Rafiki (the monkey) about how bad stuff happens, and you just need to let it go and master your own destiny. That was particularly relevant for me at the time for a number of reasons. I spent a good couple of years with my head up my ass regarding girls at the time, and I just left a paid position at my college radio station in part because the advisor was a jackass, and partly because I got a real gig at a commercial station. So in some ways, this movie got me to thinking that the future could be what I made it, if I let go of the past.

(Indeed that's what happened. I met Stephanie a few weeks later, and years after that I'd marry her.)

The other thing that really drew me in that winter, after the movie had left theaters, was the second soundtrack that they released, "Rhythm of the Pridelands." The entire thing was based on the African themes of the movie, and you've heard the guy in countless TV commercials since then. It was really the standout music, and it got me into more of the tribal/world-beat stuff.

I suppose in the grand scope of things, the movie isn't that important, but it's certainly from a very pivotal point in my life, where I finally started to realize who I was, if not what I planned to do with my life. The movie reminds me of a certain idealism I had at the time, and a strong sense of self. Those are good feelings, so in a strange, ironic way, it's this very past that again inspires me to take command of my future.

Writing software is fun, finishing it sucks

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, October 7, 2003, 10:50 AM | comments: 0
I really like to write code. I keep getting better at it too, which keeps me motivated and moving right along. The underlying code for this site, for example, is elegant, and I'm not afraid to say it.

Back in 2000, I realized that the forum software I wrote for one of my Web sites would make a nice little side-project to sell, that surely someone would buy it. Buy it they did, and it was fascinating to me that you could essentially do some work once, and then sit back and collect credit card payments.

Unfortunately, my little niche that was bringing in spare cash started to really die off in early 2002, in part because there were some mediocre free alternatives that were good enough. So this year I've been working for several months on a new replacement that takes a better approach, seperating logic from presentation entirely, and essentially providing a toolset that will let developers do pretty much anything.

So right now I'm finishing the documentation and making the UI pretty. That's a struggle, but I guess I have to do it if I want to sell it. It's just not as interesting when I'm already using it for my own purposes in an acceptable manner. It's hard to be motivated too when it's cold and all you want to do is sit around, eat and think about getting naked. Damn the hibernation instinct!

Looking for 70's by the end of the week...

Can't wait for sunny Orlando

posted by Jeff | Friday, October 3, 2003, 1:00 PM | comments: 1
I booked our trip to Orlando for next month. Half of the reason for going is to keep in touch with the amusement industry people I know at the big trade show there, and maybe cover it for CoasterBuzz (if there's actually anything newsworthy this year), but naturally in Orlando it's also a big chance to play.

We're going to stay at Universal's Royal Pacific hotel again, which isn't really that cheap, but the perks of staying there are kick ass in the parks. It's also a business expense since I'm there for the show, so that makes it a little easier to deal with.

We're planning to go to Medieval Times the night we get there. Steph has been looking forward to it I think since the last time we were there last year! It's a neat show, and the food ain't half-bad. It helps to have a cute serving wench who keeps filling you up on beer.

Above all, it's a chance to get into warmer temperatures and enjoy one of the greatest theme parks, Islands of Adventure, while checking out a place I haven't been since the month it opened, Universal Studios. It'll be interesting to see how much it has changed in the last 13 years.

I hate all food

posted by Jeff | Thursday, October 2, 2003, 4:11 PM | comments: 3
Do you ever get the feeling that food is just a big pain in the ass that isn't worth it?

Here's the thing, everything I like isn't good for me. To make matters worse, I hate having to decide what to eat. I hate having to prepare it. I hate knowing that I have to exercise to avoid being a fat slob. I hate that I don't get enough of certain food groups and too much of others.

It's all very annoying and if it weren't for the fact that I'd probably die, I'd stop eating entirely.

Cabin fever already?

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, October 1, 2003, 11:20 AM | comments: 1
You know, I think I already have some cabin fever issues, and fall has barely started.

First off, I've got sex on the brain constantly, which for me at least is a fall phenomenon. It's annoying and hard to get things done when I'm thinking with my dumbstick.

Second, I just wanna sit around and eat (when I'm not thinking about sex), kind of as if I need to hibernate like a forest critter or something.

Third, I get really anxious sitting around at work, but don't have anything in mind other than going home to do nothing.

It's too early in the year for this!