Archive for August, 2008

Pre Con-ceived Notions

August 28, 2008

This Labor Day weekend I’ll be heading down to Atlanta, Georgia with 3 friends for 3 nights and 4 days of chaos known as Dragon*Con.  It’s the largest Science Fiction convention in the world (actually, I can’t prove that – but it’s apparently really popular) and it’s a free for all of all things sci-fi, comic book, video game and stereotypically nerd related.

But J, you’re not a nerd!  Why, you’re one of the coolest guys I’ve ever known!!

I know, I know.  But I love Star Wars and Lord of the Rings as much as the next fellow, plus I have never been to anything like this and I love people watching.  And what better forms of people watching can one ask for than a Miss Klingon Pageant, a Storm Trooper parade and cosplayers as far as the eye can see?  Aside from daily panels and other activities there’s a round the clock short film theater open, concerts and parties galore.  And let’s not forget the Robot Battles.  I’m going with as open a mind as possible, anxious to do and see what this event has to offer.

Having three knowledgeable guides with me for this, my first D-Con, I will rely on their experience to humiliate me help me get the most out of my weekend.  I’ll try and give a fun recap of what transpires once I get back and catch up on all the sleep I won’t be getting while I’m there.

Make it so.

– J

Update: Lawyers, Mentos and Molars

August 27, 2008

It’s been a while.  Sorry, I’ve been fighting a full schedule and writer’s block.

This past Friday I was assigned to 7 more attorneys.  In the sarcastically exciting world of legal billing, that means I’m responsible for the editing and preparation of invoices to be sent to various clients based on the work done by the lawyers on each case.  This is a pretty hefty workload and I’m glad to have it, though the timing could have been better.  Our busiest two months of the year start next week and I feel like I’m about to go from a controled work environment straight to ludicrous speed.  Not a good time to start learning an attorney’s subtle billing preferences.

Outside of the office, I’m signed up to co-lead a church life group beginning next month.  Currently, I’m a regular on the set up team and I’m also toying with helping Kidstuf™, Forefront’s children’s ministry.  This past weekend, I helped take the youngun’s over to Madison Square Park for a fun little science experiment involving a certain breath mint and Diet Coke.  For those unaware, the reaction is very energetic.  Ours wasn’t that elaborate, of course, but the kids loved it.  Sadly, it’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to being a Mythbuster.  

Let’s see, what else can I ramble on about?  I’m staring down the barrel of some dental work in the near future with a price tag that could pass for a phone number.  They should really give you Nitrous before those kind of estimates. 

I think that’ll do for now.  Y’all be good!

– J

PS – this is my 100th post.  Thanks for reading!!!

Warning Signs

August 15, 2008

Among my waking thoughts this morning was the following:

“Oh boy!  I get to wear a polo shirt to work today because it’s Friday!”

This says a lot about the mental state of people who work in cubicles.  A complete nervous breakdown can’t be far behind when this is enough to generate excitement in your life.

– J


August 12, 2008

uPod, We allPod for iPod

After going through my second pair of headphones for my iPod in just over 6 months, I decided it wasn’t worth the money to keep buying the cheap ones.  Just over a week ago I went and picked up a pair of black Skullcandy earbuds.  I paid about $25 for them.  Considering there are $350.00 headphones out there, these certainly aren’t high-end or anything, but they’re the most expensive that I’ve ever owned.  So far, I’m very pleased.  They provide amazing outside sound reduction and they’re very comfortable.  I literally cannot hear anything but my music when I’m using them.  That came in very handy Saturday when that &$#@*! mariachi band got on the train.

Ah, the iPod.  How it’s changed things.  I went almost 27 years without one and now I can’t leave home without it.  It’s a pros and cons list a mile long, if you ask me (and for the sake of discussion, let’s assume you do).  Keep in mind, probably 90% of my iPod use is on the train, or traveling in general.

  • Pro: I can’t hear anything but my music with these new earbuds 
  • Con: I occasionally need to hear the world around me when crossing streets, train announcements, etc.
  • Pro: People leave you alone when you have your iPod, and you can ignore the rest of the world (specifically beggars and teenagers)
  • Con: Sometimes social interaction on the train is a good thing, such as helping the occasional confused tourist
  • Pro: I have easily accessible digital quality music and video!!
  • Con: I used to read a lot more.
  • Pro: I have unlimited access to music via iTunes
  • Con: iTunes

And many others.  The changes in social interaction particularly interest me.  In the NYC context, an iPod sends a sort of understood body language to everyone that says, “Leave me alone.  I’m in my own little world and you are not now, nor will you ever be, part of it.”  Or if you’re the person with their volume up so loud everyone around you can hear it, you send a different message.  One that says to the world at large, “I’m an inconsiderate ass that will be deaf in a few years.”

But I don’t like giving off that kind of isolated impression because I certainly don’t mean to.   If you see me with my headphones on, tap me on the shoulder or something.  I’m happy to take them off and say hi.  I wonder if everyone feels that way but they choose not to interact because that’s not allowed.  What if we all did that?  Who knows, you might make a friend or at least someones day.

Y’all be good.

– J