Sunday, March 30, 2008

big rims, small brakes

There's a place here in Victoria called Rent A Tire. Much like it's name implies, you can rent tires for your car from there. You can also rent rims. The very fact that this store can exist signals everything that is wrong with America. It represents both how people are terrible with money and what awful automotive tastes we collectively have.

More importantly, it teaches us that big rims with small spokes look laughingly ludicrous on any car that someone with such poor taste is likely to be driving. Becasue while the car now has big flashy rims, you can see it's small cheap brakes pads and rotors. Hilarious.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

so i see i haven't posted in a while

So I see I haven't posted anything here for a couple weeks. In my defense, I was really busy, out of town and then really busy again. I was mostly really busy the first time trying to makie sure I had everything set up to go out of town. And I'll discuss all that eventually. The thing currently on my mind is that since I've been back, I've been dealing with an utter shitstorm, for lack of a better word.

We had a job go south on us. Way south. It's hard to be specific and yet suitably vague and still get across just what this might mean. Essentially, it took us a couple tries to get a job right. And it was very frustrating for a lot of people, especially those in the field who ended up on location for 48 hours.

In the end, while our internal problems created a delay for the client, it was much better then trying to perform a job that was destined to fail halfway through. That would have been an unmitigated disaster. This was merely a crisis of faith in comparison. With a lot of lessons learned.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

all my movies are not four years old (or more)

Unlike my music, my movies are not all four years old or older. However, I do possess a strange and even more eclectic collection of movies that are four years old and older. Once again, hearkening back once again to my college days, I collected through potentially questionable methods a vast number of movies in digital form. I haven't even watched most of them. I simply collected them out of some weird obsession to have as many as possible. And then it stopped almost as quickly as it had begun. I moved out of the dorms, collected a few more, realized how absurd it all was and simply stopped. These days, I still have all the movies, but almost never look at any of them.

I do have many movies that are less than four years old. And some older than that. But these were all collected through non-questionable methods. When I first purchased DVDs, I bought movies I knew I liked and that I thought I would like watching over and over. By and large, that's been true for most of those early DVD purchases. These days, now that I rarely go to movie theaters, I find myself purchasing DVDs of movies that I have never seen before. I assume I'll like them based on reviews, genre, actors, general story and whatever else goes into tickling my fancy. And while they're almost impulse purchases of sorts, it's only because they're on sale. By and large, I have liked most of these purchases. They have also allowed me to stay in touch with popular movie culture in the last four years. (And long flights. I watch movies on those too.)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

all my music is four years old (or more)

I have never been a big collector of music. In fact, even in the heyday of unfettered peer-to-peer networking which seemed to peak while I was in college, I didn't download that many songs. I'll readily concede that p2p networks have grown considerably in the last four years, but they have certainly attracted the attention of parties with vested interests in the nature of the content being so freely swapped. Regardless, my music collecting days began a sharply downward descent after I moved out of the dorms. The result is that I have a music collection that is curiously dated. There's nothing less than four years old and very little in the year or two before then.

This line of thought was prompted when I decided to dump all the MP3s I had into one big Winamp playlist and let it shuffle through songs. I have some really strange stuff. For instance, I think it speaks to the power of the 'Boy Band' phenomenon that even I have a handful of songs from those compelling luminaries. And why oh why do I have any techno and house music? And how can System of a Down and Disturbed coexist with Lifehouse and Jars of Clay? They simply do.

I also went through many jags where I collected songs from a particular artist or group or even everything from the soundtrack of a movie. But hey, I like the music on the soundtracks of both O Brother, Where Art Thou? and The Matrix. And who doesn't like The Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back.

All this speaks the vague and eclectic music tastes I seem to have. More than anything, I see it as a compelling argument that there is little loyalty to be had in the business, at least from folks like me. I listen to music in the radio. I haven't bought an actual CD in over two years. In those same two years, I've probably purchased a handful of songs on iTunes, but generally disliked the user experience since I hadn't drunk the Apple Kool-Aid at the time. (And while I find their laptops compelling, I still don't care enough about music to buy into a user experience that is highly proprietary.)

Oh, there's no point to this post. Just rambling.

Friday, March 07, 2008

bye bye laredo

So that was Laredo. We never really had to leave the hotel since the we were using their conference room for the class I was attending. And, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays they offer complimentary snacks starting at 1700. And these snacks re really more food than I eat for a typical dinner so I took full advantage of that on Tuesday night and didn't bother going out since I was tired and had bajillions of e-mails to respond to. And the only reason I left the hotel on Wednesday night was because we had a class dinner at a disturbingly empty restaurant. It filled in a little eventually, but I was concerned when the first few appetizers were rather lackluster. They salvaged the evening when the meat finally arrived. Go beef!

Anyway, I never bothered seeking the US-Mexico border out. Especially since I was advised not to head that way given the security situation across the river in Nuevo Laredo. Fun times had by all.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Laredo here I come

I'll be shipping out to Laredo for work for three days, coming back on Thursday night. Fun times await at this three-day safety course.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

slightly older

Officially slightly older.