November 2005

Cell Borg.

My cubicle at work is situated right next to the window that looks out into our main lobby. One of the advantages of this is I can satisfy my nosy nature by seeing everyone that is in and out of our office all day long, be it people off the street paying their bill or whatever, delivery men (DHL guy is my favorite) or businessmen in their three piece suits waiting to meet with the vice-president of the company. To me, it’s all eye candy.

One disturbing thing I saw today was an older gentleman who resembled Fred Flintstone. Unfortunately I couldn’t see if he was barefooted or not, but he had the facial features, haircut and build of Fred Flintstone. You could tell he wasn’t from Bedrock, however, because he had one of those annoying bluetooth cell phone earpieces in his right ear. He looked like he belonged on the enemy ship on Star Trek.

First of all, I have to ask, “Why?” Are people so self centered now that they feel they need to run around with this piece of gadgetry in their ear? “Look at me, I’m so important, I could be called at any moment and then I’ll totally disregard you and start talking to the thin air but I’m really talking into this wireless piece of a hardware in my ear.” How gauche. I mean really. I don’t care who you are, that attitude is just rude.

And why are the manufacturers of these things making them blink? Blink, blink. I’m busy. Blink, blink. Perhaps it’s to make them more festive for the holidays. “Oh look, Penny from Rochester has green and red LEDs in her ear and they’re blinking. She must be very smart and very important. At least she dressed up for the company Christmas party and wore her green and red earpiece.”

It’s bad enough that wireless technology has invaded public space to the point where everyone feels they can carry on a conversation with that oh so important person on the other end of the line and be totally oblivious to everyone around them. Why it was just last week that I overheard a conversation in JC Penney where this fairly unattractive woman was shrieking at her gynocologist because she needed an appointment for her yeast infection NOW! Now, do I really need to hear that while I’m browsing through the men’s department of a clothing store? During the supper hour? Please.

I kept my eye on this Fred Flintstone character in our lobby during his visit. He never got a call. His little blue LED never stopped blinking. He didn’t beam up to the mothership.

But he did look like an asshat.

Join In The Fun With Firefox.

The latest version of Mozilla Firefox was released yesterday. The version number is 1.5. An alternative to Internet Explorer for Windows users, Firefox is the perfect web browser for Windows, OS X or Linux. This latest version seems much snappier on my work computer running Windows XP SP2, I’m eager to test it on my PowerBook running OS X (Tiget) tonight.

I highly recommend it.

Holiday Spirit, Part 2.

Here’s a link to the USB Christmas Tree. There’s a lot of fun gadgets to be found there. I think my desk at work is going to be very crowded!

Holiday Spirit.

Holiday Spirit.

Originally uploaded by macwarriorny.

Earl and I had our friend Eric over for dinner tonight. We enjoyed some great food, good wine and engaging conversation.

He also brought us two of these cute little Christmas trees. They are powered by the USB port on your computer. They change colors and are quite festive. Eric is a bit of “light geek” and this is right up his alley. Now I’m looking at all the toys you can get for your USB port.

Click and shop. Yep, that works for me.

Happy Spring!

It’s Tuesday, November 29, 2005. As I look at my weather station on my desk, I notice that it is currently 67.8 degrees fahrenheit with a strong wind out of the west. 67.8 degrees. 67.8 DEGREES! It feels like spring here in Upstate N.Y.! Too bad it’s just a diversion from the winter weather that undoubtedly lies ahead.

I don’t care. I’m going to celebrate by driving back to work with all the windows down, the sunroof open and “La Vie Boheme” from the Rent soundtrack cranked. If the song ends before I’m at work, Madonna’s “Jump” from Confessions On A Dance Floor is next.

525,600 Minutes. Or, The Tango J.P.

Earl and I celebrated my first night of freedom (no on-call until the week of Christmas save for a couple of few hours nights as a favor) by going to see “Rent” at the local cinema.


We saw the show on Broadway a number of years ago. In fact, it was a birthday present for Earl. I thought I had purchased tickets to a Saturday night show. Wrong. I had purchased tickets to a Saturday matinee show. And we realized this at 8:30 a.m. that morning. 2:00 curtain. Not showered, not packed, not ready, four hour drive, just to get to New York, barring any traffic whatsoever. We jumped into the car, and literally flew down to New York with enough time to get checked into the hotel, shower and walk to the theatre. The show was absolutely magnificant, with many of the cast members that are in the movie. We both found the Broadway absolutely amazing.

Tonight, we found the movie equally amazing. The theatre had about 30 people in it, not bad for a Monday night in this neck of the woods, and everything was absolutely silent during the entire film. Except for the unmistakable sounds of tears from various audience members. Including Earl and I. I think I teared up at every musical number.

Seeing “Rent” on the big screen brought a whole new dimension to the show. Is it as good as the Broadway show? Absolutely. And thankfully, it’s just as good but in a whole, different way. The stage production has an intimate feel to it. The set is sparse, allowing you to focus on the characters. The movie feels expansive, as if it’s taken in a chunk of New York in 1989* in a big ‘ol bear hug, yet the intimacy with the characters is not lost.

We both highly recommend “Rent”.

* The geek in me noticed one of the smallest details hinting to the fact that this version of “Rent” was set in 1989. The vehicles on the street had the typical NYSDMV registration and inspection stickers on the driver’s side of the windshield. The registration stickers were true to 1989, using the old style color coded stickers with dot-matrix printed “large” numbers denoting the month of expiration. I’m probably the only one in the audience that noticed that!


This morning I awoke at 4:00 a.m. wide awake and ready to take on the day. Not being a morning person, I was completely baffled by my body’s decision to become an early bird, so I tried moving from the bed to the futon to fall asleep.

That didn’t work either.

On the rare instances I wake up in the middle of the night, I usually jump on the computer and read some obscure trivia, like how old Phyllis Diller was when she became a comedian or something like that. (By the way, she was 37). However, I always get a headache from the shock to my eyes from the monitor so I decided to just close my eyes and see what thoughts drifted in and out of my head.

First of all, I had “Never Ending Story” by Limahl stuck in my head, playing over and over. Just the chorus including the “whoa oh oh whoa oh oh whoa oh oh”.

I think I was all nerved up because my pager has not gone off in the middle of the night during this entire run of on-call. That’s unheard of. There’s always some sort of telephone crisis in the middle of the night, but not this time, the on-call gods were kind to me and kept it easy.

Now if the paranoia gods would show me the same kindness, I’d be all set.

Lying Low.

With this weekend being part of my on-call schedule, Earl and I have spent most of the day around the house. Well, actually the whole day, save for Earl going grocery shopping and a quick stop at Best Buy to buy a microphone for the PC in the basement. (Since my family has adopted MSN Messenger to chat with my sister in Russia and amongst themselves, I resurrected an old IBM computer in the basement so that I could be part of the fun.)

I wish I could say that we have been wildly productive today but in all honestly we haven’t done much except eat and fluff a load of clothes that had been sitting in the dryer for a couple of days. Actually I changed the thermostat in our bedroom in hopes of getting the heat to work in there but that didn’t do the trick. I guess we’re going to have to pay a furnace man. Here’s hoping he’s hot.

With the impending mad rush of the holidays, I really think Earl and I needed today to just sit around and do nothing. I’ve played around in the music studio a little bit, I’ve picked out a couple of cookie recipes to mess around with tomorrow and I’ve put the laundry in reasonable piles, destined for the washer and dryer tomorrow.

I thought about saddling up one of these dust bunnies and taking a spin around the dining room table, but that would have been too much work.

Step Back In Time.

I was going through old CDs this morning and found a little nugget from my radio days. It inspired me to play “radio DJ” in the home studio for a little while. Here’s your chance to hear what I sounded like on the radio. Sort of.

By the way, back in 1983 this clip inspired me to become interested in radio and music production in the first place. It’s kind of silly I know, but I’ve kept the album around all these years just to remind me.

*The first clip in the first MP3 file is not me, but our very talented station “Mr. Voice” of Mike Goral, followed by clips from the Wow FM jingle package. What you hear is called a “beat mix” using station elements mixed with popular songs, and this particular one was created by Chris Spiwak, a very, very talented musician and audio engineer. The DJ “Dana Dee” I refer to is my good friend Dana, who has her own blog.

Change Of Face.

Tonight I decided to try something a little different with my beard. I shaved it off. Not to worry, I didn’t lose my mind completely, I kept the mustache.

I’m not liking it. I’m starting my new beard tomorrow.

I would not be a good spokesperson for the Gillette company. While I find the Mach III perfectly suited for my bald head, it does not maneuver well around my mustache.

It’s much easier to have a beard, so that’s what I’ll do.