It's Not Gonna Be Pretty... 9.30.2002
- 2:12 PM | permalink
I should be in bed right now... instead I am typing at 1:11am. I'm going to be a wreck tomorrow but I will sleep good tonight. I'd head to bed but my stomach is upset and I was hoping my Prevacid would kick in and knock down the acid about 10 notches. Reflux sucks.
Things to clear off the plate this week:
- Blackberry Story
- Universal Remote
- Basement Update
- Remind FrontPage Gonna is a word
- Explain how I spent $150 in Halloween decorations
You Don't Have To Love Me... But You Will Respect Me. 9.22.2002
- 2:15 PM | permalink
It's a line from the Sopranos. Tony is chewing Christopher out and Chris says something like I love you like a father to which Tony says... "you don't have to love me but you will respect me.
Got me thinking. Which is more important and if you had to choose one of the two, which would you pick. Would you want to be loved or respected? Would you sacrifice respect in the name of love? Interesting stuff. Who knew the Sopranos would run so deep eh?
Lots of stuff going on here but not much I can really share publicly. There's unrest and turmoil and I fear it stems from me doing a lousy job of leading the troops. Damn, is my life mirroring that of Tony Soprano? I guess, every once and a while you need a wakeup call. Problem is lately, I have been hitting the snooze button. After a while, that's not a good thing.
On another note, I got my Blackberry device in the mail today. Fucking thing has zero coverage at or around my house. I'm actually not even sure it's working but tomorrow I will know for sure as I drive up into Fred-neck. If it works up there and not here, it's going to have to go back. I can't have a wireless device that doesn't work around my hometown. I have the goddamn worst luck with stuff like this. It's too bad, cause I have been playing with the little bugger and I have to say, I really like the design and layout.
To actually learn to do something again. I've got to play with code more often. It's small but it's cool. We now have a small line in the top bar that tells you how many users are online with you at the current time. Nothing earth shaking but... it's nice. Oh, I also added some code for a poll on the site.
How much does life suck that I only go golfing when a former president of the company I work for comes in from Seattle and wants to shoot a round at my suggestion. I can't get anyone in my neighborhood or that I currently work with to go. I don't get invited by people in my neighborhood or at work to go. Hell, I don't even get invited to just come over and have a beer and watch a game or something. Freaking pathetic. I guess there are "work friends" and real friends. I am more and more convinced that I don't have any local "real friends". Maybe Gary's assertion that deep down, he and I just don't like people is true. Either that, or most people who are married end up like this. I just don't know.
I'm High From Paint Fumes 9.16.2002
- 2:26 PM | permalink
Ah, the painting continues. In case I didn't share, my basement is on it's way towards becoming what I like to call "future world blue". I picked out three shades on the color card and am using all three in the basement. It's not quite as radical as it sounds and so far, I am quite pleased with the results... but jeeze-o-pete it's taking a while to do. Last night, I completed the stairway to the basement. Next on the plate is doing the final wall behind my big screen TV which is a Cobalt Blue to contrast with the other lighter blue walls. Pray it turns out well. Then, when I complete that, it's back around for a second coat. Honestly, I hate painting but like the results. I have also found that most paint jobs don't look right till you slap a second coat on and that I can't paint a straight line to save my life.
I almost forgot to mention... I ditched the idea of getting a smart phone. After looking at all the models offered, I decided only T-Mobile had one I was interested in (it was based on Pocket PC phone edition) and their network sucks. Plus, it wasn't worth paying $175 to terminate my current contract. So, I bought a Blackberry RIMM device. In the process, I think I am going to sell my PDA. The Blackberry can sync calendar and contacts and get email from a normal pop server. It's always on and also has a paging function. I think it's all I need for now and does what I wanted a PDA/Phone to do... pull my email when I am out of the office. Go America had a pretty good deal. You get the Blackberry free and the monthly unlimited service was $59. This contrasts with other providers who charge $39 a month, limit your data transfer (which is a big deal) and charge you $300-400 for the device itself. I figure, in a years time that cell phones will have advanced and the PDA/Phone combo may be a better reality. I'm just not going to compromise by switching to the Palm OS when I prefer the Pocket PC.
By the way, Gary is bumming me out. Why? Read this... "If I had any “buddies” that had time or lived near by, we’d go get beer periodically. But my old beer buddies are working on getting their lives set up...". I don't think I have any local close friends? The two pals I speak most with, I never see. Gary & Mike both live too far for a day trip which sucks. What the hell is wrong with me? How do you make a new best friend at age 36? Someone ponder that and get back to me will you?
It's kind of creepy here in Washington, DC this morning. Eerie bright blue skies and a crispness in the air that tells you fall isn't far in the distance with it's nights of high school football and marshmallow filled hot chocolate. So, we made it through the 11th. Now what? Why is it that I still don't feel all that safe here in Washington. Everyone smiles but there is an underlying tension that we don't care to share with our neighbors or co-workers. We are living with fear. Much like our parents before us who lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Legacy of the Soviet Empire, will we ever get to a point where we truly feel safe? Maybe it's a good thing we don't. That lingering doubt may be what keeps us safe in the first place. It keeps us on our toes, ever vigil, peering across dark parking lots before we walk to our car, scanning the block ahead of us and behind us as we start down a city street. Maybe fear is good. Now if I could just get rid of the sick feeling in my stomach, waiting for the next shoe to drop... I would be fine.
The Switch To The Palm OS May Be On... - 2:28 PM | permalink
Kyocera 7135 is a SmartPhone, a combination phone, PDA, e-mail terminal, MP3 player and media viewer. Verizon Wireless will reportedly be offering this phone soon... and I am due for a switch. Hope the price isn't ridiculous. I have completely had it waiting for the perfect convergence device that brings PDA, Email Access and Cell Phone in one. Maybe this will do the trick. My guess at retail price? $499. We'll see.
A military Hummer patrols the Pentagon grounds Tuesday. What isn't mentioned is that as I type right now, live mobile missiles are being deployed at undisclosed locations around Washington, DC. The Heat-seeking Stinger missiles are designed to shoot down low-flying airplanes and helicopters as well as cruise missiles. All I can say is that I am glad that I am working from home on September 11 rather than at my normal DC office. To be quite frank, had I not been working from home, I would have taken the day off. I just have this feeling that some sick-o will use the 11th as a day to pull a copycat maneuver.
Another week and another stinking Monday. Here I sit the most depressed I have been in a long long time. Can't compare it to anything other than when my college girlfriend dumped me. I feel tired, angry, upset, indifferent and sick to my stomach all at the same time. I also feel quite introspective. Looking at my life and trying to make sense of it all. How the pieces all fit. It may take me a while to figure it out...
Television Nirvana 9.06.2002
- 2:32 PM | permalink
I have been looking for Television Nirvana, and it's not the 16x9 Widescreen Sony 57" set in my basement either. It's a remote. Most men have the same problem. One TV with 5 different remotes. There is your TV remote, Satellite remote, VCR remote, DVD remote, AV Receiver remote and possibly a few more lying around here and there. Of course, some men may not see this as a problem, more of a power thing. With 5 remotes, we feel like king but at the same time, we are the only members of our household capable of knowing which remote controls which device and what needs to be turned on at any given time in order to produce the magic picture on the screen in glorious 5.1 surround sound.
At some point though, this "power" became frustrating to even me. I also have this thing about clutter and 5 remotes on the coffee table just looks plain ugly. My search for the perfect universal remote began. In the past, I had tried to get the remote monster under control to no avail. I happen to have a "goofball" DVD player which is not a huge name brand. What that means is that it's not programmed into any universal remotes I could find and as a result, while I could combine most of my devices, I always had to use the original DVD remote (which by the way, was the worst engineered piece of crap known to man). Hell, even when I had a name brand player by Philips, for some reason, it never worked with a universal remote either. This was very frustrating.
I then heard of "Learning" Universal Remotes which could learn codes directly from one remote to another. You point them at each other, press a few buttons and the codes transfer. Cool idea, but poor execution as most of the learning remotes were badly designed and still, confusing to use. My guide is that if my wife (a very smart woman) doesn't get it after I explain it to her once, it's not user friendly. These less sophisticated remotes ran in the $50-60 range. Specifically, I got the RCA RCU810. I tried to use it... I really did. But it just wasn't what I was looking for. That was a year ago.
About the same time, I saw a review of a Sony all in one Universal Remote. It looked promising but after reading a few reviews, I decided that the cost of $200 and the lack of certain features wouldn't make it my dream remote. I settled and bought the RCA.
Now, flash forward a year later and with my new TV, I was again growing weary of the remote clutter, so I went in search of the Sony Remote again hoping they had updated it. Well, they indeed had, and a full review is on Remote Central. It mentioned how much it had improved but it was still at a list of around $199. Wowzers. That's a lot of samolian. A quick search of the net found that retail was quite a bit less than list... more along the lines of $110-120. So... I ordered.
The box sat for a week in my basement due to the painting fiasco before I got around to checking it out first hand. The suspense was killing me. More on my experience later... make a comment | 0 comments left
Changing Rooms... If Only It Was That Easy... 9.03.2002
- 2:33 PM | permalink
One of my favorite shows on TV is called Changing Rooms on BBC America. Together with my other favorite guilty pleasure, Ground Force, I dream of someday having a home which looks like those shown on these two import series. By the way, Changing Rooms is the inspiration behind the wildly popular Trading Spaces on TLC. Inspired creatively, my other half and I decided this weekend past would be "painting weekend". As we are currently having our foyer painted by professionals (hopefully as I type this) and had also just had our ceilings in our main level patched and painted, we turned our focus to the living room, dining room and kitchen. We decided that we were going with Green as our primary color scheme and had picked out and bought paint in 3 shades of green. Dark Green as an accent color in our dining room below the chair rail, medium green as our formal living room color and light green as our hall/foyer color. Our family room had been painted previously a light tan/cream color. In our kitchen, we decided to paint the walls a shade up from the family room called "warm suede" I think. Then, to bring continuity to the dining room, we painted the walls from the chair rail up in the same color.
So, now that you are totally confused, I will mention, we started with the dining room first. The suede color and dark green looked brilliant together and we were very happy. Then we moved on to the living room. We cracked the can and looked at the medium green we selected and my wife got nervous. I said, lets put it on the walls, then look and see how it turns out and how it flows with the other room. After all, it was on the same color chart sheet... it should look great. It didn't. It was way too dark and an odd shade of green. To make sure we weren't just nuts, we picked out a piece of the foyer wall and proceeded to paint the lightest green out there to get a visual sense of how it would flow together. The light green looked good... the medium green looked horrid, the dark green and suede looked wonderful. We even brought our furniture back into the living room and sat in there for a while looking at the walls. It was mid day Saturday and we had a party to attend so Stacey and I decided to sleep on it.
Sunday comes and we stare again at the paint. We decide it is too dark but that the light green might work. Luckily, we left all the tape up so we didn't have to go through masking off the floor and crown molding again. Finally, we get the room painted light green and while it needs another coat to cover the medium green, it looks much better. Problem is now, that upon seeing it in the room as a whole, I can't imagine having our two story foyer covered in this light green in addition to that room. Maybe in Florida, but not in the Northeast where we live. So, we are considering moving to the lightest of light greens for the foyer when I and my wife now are focused on how the light green seems to be questionable with the dark green and suede in the next room. The suede just isn't going to cut it with the light green as both rooms are very open and connected by a large archway. So, we decide, maybe we should paint the suede the light green and draw the green in that way.
We begin to cover the suede color in light green and cut in on the trim and I am more and more disheartened by the way things look. My wife seems ok with it but all I am seeing is light limey green in my whole first floor and I am getting woozy. First of all, let me mention that Green is one of my least favorite colors... but yet we somehow ended up with 2 green cars and now my whole first floor is peppered with green accents.
It's at this point where I say to my wife 5 words that blow both of our tempers... "this isn't going to work". So, we talk about it further. I tell her that this just isn't what I expected and that it's just not coming together. We agree that the dark green and suede really in the dining room looked good and my wife really wanted the living room to be in the suede color too but had been concerned that I "didn't want the whole main level to be tan". I relent... tan was better than lime. All these problems seem to be centered around the fact that we are trying to blend natural wood floors with grey carpet in the foyer. Picking a color that works well with both has been difficult at best. Stacey and I never fight over picking out just about anything from clothes to furnishings to appliances... but color seems to be our impasse.
So, we come to the decision we should have made in the first place. The living room and kitchen will be soft suede colored. The dining room will be the dark green with soft suede accents and the foyer and family room will be the light tan/crème color... the one on the same color chart as the soft suede.
On Monday, we begin painting the living room for a 3rd time in the 3rd different color and set about fixing the mess in the dining room. We also painted the kitchen.
A perfectly good holiday weekend shot all to hell.
It actually turned out pretty well. We'll see how the foyer looks when I get home tonite.
Everything looks easier on TV. Next challenge... the basement. I've decided on blues there. 3 shades to be precise. What I am calling the Future World Blue theme.