Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Tweet Shirt

October 24, 2008

Its been a while, On Wednesday I orderd The Tweet Shirt by Made from Dolly.

It’s a customized twitter shirt with my twitter username on the front, and, “Follow Me” on the back.


I found it via Please Dress Me The new venture from the Vaynerchuk boys that aggregates cool t-shirts from around the web.

First “iPost”

September 13, 2008

Just testing out the WordPress app for the iPhone before I fall asleep.

Diploma Unboxing

September 6, 2008

Well, it doesn’t get more official than this, my diploma arrived today.  Click the pic for the Flickr set…

 

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Weekend

July 27, 2008

While I haven’t been out selling ice cream this weekend,I have been able to make somewhat productive use of my time.  I’m still cracking away at my stack of library books, and slowly but surely becoming more accustomed to writing code.

On Friday afternoon, I got a call from my good friend Maria, whom I haven’t seen in six months.  She moved to Montrose, CO. About a year ago, so it’s been nice hanging out with her.  I worked saturday evening driving a group home from the Saugatuck Venetian Festival to this mansion they were staying at on the lake.

I’m going to get to work on homework now, as I’d like to see Caitlin before I go to work again tonight.

Ice Cream/Social

July 24, 2008

It’s been far too long since I’ve posted an update, so I’m going to get back on that horse.
I recently managed to start my own Ice Cream vending business.  It was a long time coming, and a lot of work to get rolling, but I enjoyed the whole process of starting a business enough to want to do it again sometime.

I should be getting ready to go sell ice cream as I type this, but one a line of several mechanical problems is has kept me off the street for about a week.  I had a bearing burst in the back wheel of my trike, which tankfully Worksman Cycles covered under their limited warranty, even though it says wheels are excluded.

I hope to be back on the road in the next few days, or whenever the new wheel gets here.  My plate has been pretty full lately, what with school (I graduate in August), my day job, my girlfriend, and social life (or lack there of).

Speaking of, “social life”, my PR class had a guest speaker last night, Brian Burch of Lambert Edwards & Associates who talked all about new media in PR.  I enjoyed the presentation, and thought he made some good points about what is, “new” about using new media for PR, and what stays the same, as well as some very practical tips for operating as a PR person in the social web.  It is encouraging to see that local agencies are at least begining to take new media seriously, and have people who are passionate about it.

I found myself thinking after the presentation that if I am going to end up in PR, I’d like to focus on new media, exclusivly if possible.  I asked my prof if she thoguht there would be anyone willing to hire a full-time new media PR person; and she said, “probably not”.  That was kind of disappointing, but it also made me wonder, “why?”

I’m sure no matter who you talk to with any knowledge of social media and networking, and Public Relations/Advertising, they will tell you that this is the direction things are headed.  My prof said the new media is, “too new…”  and that struck me as BS.  I think that a lot of the tools and sites out there have yet to ripen, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t bearing fruit.  Plus, this game is about being ahead of the curve, not on top of it.

I’ve thinking about how to integrate my passion for all things Web 2.0 with my career for a while, and last night got the wheels turning again.  I’m thinking about starting a marketing firm that specializes in constructing and maintaining a social-web presence, and integrating that with a client’s current web presence, and marketing-mix.  I’m still a ways from starting anything (like I need another thing on my plate) but its fun to talk about with potential partners…

In an attempt to get back on the ball, I signed up for about a dozen web 2.0 sites last night, all of which I was lead to by FriendFeed which is a cool site that keeps track of your updates from all across the social web (over 40 sites).  It’s nice to have all the information in one place, which I have tried to do before using Google Reader, iGoogle, and Yahoo! Pipes to varying degrees of success.  I like friendfeed’s simple layout, and how easy it is to add you info/friends from other sites.  I see this getting even easier once Open ID gets wider mainstream acceptance.  You can also create “virtual friends” by adding the public profile links of anyone you want to your feed regardless of weather they have friended you, or even if they have a firendfeed profile.  This is a very cool, if slightly creepy feature; but it would make stalking Kevin Rose much easier if he diddn’t already have a FriendFeed.

The only complaint I have about FriendFeed so far is the sub-par facebook integration.  You can access the FriendFeed site from your facebook page, but you can’t put a box in your profile with the last 10 updates or anything.
As I start to use the various sites that I signed up for just to add them to my friendfeed, I’ll post my impressions.  Look forward to my thoughts on: Mixx, Mister-Wong, StumbleUpon, Ma.gnolia, Furl, Diigo, Identi.ca, GoodReads, Library Thing, Yelp, Vimeo, Seesmic, Plurk, and more!

Anyway, time to eat breakfast and learn html/css…

So high, so low…

September 25, 2006

I’ve been anxious to find the time to post since about the first of the month. Now, nearly an entire month later, it seems I have a moment. Here we go.

September. For the past few days, it’s seemed like Summer is definitely over. I’m OK with fall being here, but it’s til kinda sad to see the summer pass. As the title of this post implies, it has been a bit of a rollercoaster month for me. Amidst continued animosity with my roommate, I’ve managed to have some of the best, and worst, experiences all summer.

Let’s start with the good. On the first, I, along with my friends Ben, Jared, Ryan, Abbey, Chris, Jared’s sister, and Chris’ mom went to see Ben Harper and Damien Marley. The show was at Meadowbrook Music Festival where, it is worth noting, I saw Ben Harper a couple years ago, and got backstage. The first time I saw him there I returned from the after-party to find my car being towed. This time was the antithesis of the last time. I still managed to get backstage, and the show was as enjoyable as ever but, I diddn’t end up spending the night on the side of the road outside of Meadowbrook waiting for my Dad to come pick me up.

I bought two lawn tickets on eBay, for about half of the face value. It was a good deal, that got even better when I decided I wanted to get backstage. Without having any prior arrangements made to get into the after-party, I knew I’d have my work cut out for me. I had some things going for me, I’m friends with the bassist’s daughter, and have met the band a couple of times. At least Juan, the bassist, knows me (or remembered once I reminded him). Also, I’ve got a knack for what some might call pretexting, or social engineering, or just plain old being smooth.

During the opening act (Damien “Jr. Gong” Marley) I hopped the barrier to from the lawn area, to the pavilion. I sat down in the back row, and started jamming to the music. After a few moments, a security guy came up, and asked to see my ticket. I showed him the “receipt” portion of the ticket, but not the one that said, “lawn” it was a good move, but he diddn’t bite, he told me to head back to the grass. I decided to play it smooth, and as the row I was in (very back) was nearly empty I figured I had an alright shot. I guess it was my polite, respectful demeanor, and personal introduction (complete with firm handshake, and eye-contact) that got him to agree to let me stay in that seat for the rest of the opening act, promising not to move up further. I sat there for a few songs, feeling good about making it that far, before I decided to push a little more. I went up to the security guy with whom I had already been introduced, and informed him that I was supposed to have backstage passes waiting for me, and imploring him to escort me to the backstage area to check. I was very calm, and assumed that he would comply. When met with resistance (“I’m way to busy to do that, there’s nothing I can do”) I had a choice, I could get indignant (getting me nowhere) or I could collect my three “no’s” politely, and humbly. I realized that this fellow was of no more use to me, and I moved on.

I went next to another subordanate of the security person with whom I’d been speaking. I gave him the same line about passes waiting for me, and he seemed more responsive to the idea (he had most likely seen me talking to his boss). He, however, was more busy than the first person, but he did instruct me to head down to the bottom of the pavilion (toward the stage) and consult the security guys down there. I did so, and the third time was the charm. I talked one good natured century into escorting me to the entrance to the backstage area to see if I had my passes waiting for me.

The “guard” of the backstage door instructed my escort to go backstage and ask the tour manager if he had passes for me. I told him to tell the manager that Juan’s daughter, Naiesha, was supposed to call in passes for her friend Gabe. He completed his duties brilliantly, and soon the tour manager came out to see what the confusion was all about. I greeted him with a big smile, a firm handshake, good eye-contact, and a proper introduction. I relayed my story as I had several times. He, of course, had no prior information about me, or my supposed inside source for passes, but, as I was hoping, he diddn’t want to rock the boat in the event I was telling the truth. He asked how many people I had, and I knew I was in… “I have five with me, but if that’s too many, I’ll take what I can get” I replied. He headed back stage, and a few moments later he emerged and produced six backstage passes, success!

I headed back to the lawn to distribute the golden tickets. I gave one to Ben, Ryan, Abby, and Jared and his sister, who had given us a ride. We then used them to get up to the front of the pavilion, and watched the show from about the tenth row. Following the show, we headed backstage, and waited to be escorted back. There was some superficial chit-chat for about ten minutes with the groupies, and some girls we’d run into from our home town who were without backstage passes, but determined to get backstage nonetheless. Once we were escorted back, the party began. Everyone had a seat, and got a drink, and started chatting.

Juan was waiting for us when we got back, and it was nice to get reacquainted. Eventually all members of the band made it out, and partied with us. Were my first backstage experience with the band not so special, this would have topped it. I was much less star struck than on prior encounters. I actually managed to have semi-meaning-full conversations with each of the members individually. I implored them all to start playing Fight For Your Mind again live, as it’s been out of their rotation for a LONG time… It was an incredible night, and Ben and I ended up going to cony island with the girls we kind of knew from back home, and crashing at their place in Rochester. They took us home in the morning, and that concert experience is firmly seated as the highpoint, and perfect end to my summer.

Some time after the show, a week or two, I now forget I encountered a bit of a slump in my luck. It started with my bike. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here, but perhaps my most enjoyed possession this summer has been my bicycle. I got it for my birthday several years ago, but haven’t really started to use it on a daily basis until this summer. Due to my proximity to downtown Grand Rapids, and both work, and school being mere blocks away, I’ve managed to not need my car nearly as much as I have in the past. I bike to work, school, the bar, pretty much everywhere. All of my classes this semester are technically located on the “downtown” campus for GVSU. One, however, is located at the CHS building, about a mile away, and uphill from my house. I ride the bus to this class, but always end up waiting for about 20 minutes for the bus to come after class. I decided to bring my bike with me on the bus on the way there, and then just ride home (downhill) after class.

I got to class, and chained my bike up in front of the building to the flagpole. I went to class, and when it got out three hours later, my bike was gone. Vanished. I immediately went to the front desk of the building to report the loss. The receptionist informed me that my bike had been impounded because I’d failed to chain it to the bike-rack. I would have been much less indignant, had there been a bike-rack within sight of the front of the building, or even just a sign informing bikers as to the rack’s location. Where, you ask, might they put the rack? What would seem most logical, if not out front? The side of the building? The large open parking lot next door? No, of course not! The most logical place to put a bike rack would be… the second floor of the parking garage! Where absolutely no bikers are likely to find it! Of course, why diddn’t I think of that?

Anyway, my bike was impounded, my lock cut. Thanks GVSU, good to know my tuition is paying a competent public safety department. Pff. Anyway, the next morning I called the head of security, and got him to agree to replace my lock. Good news, if I had the time to do it. I managed to not ride my bike for a few days, and keep it in my neighbor’s back yard away from prying eyes until I was able to go get a new lock.

It would have been OK, if my bike haddn’t been “borrowed” by Ben and his Girlfriend, Marie. They took it for a bike-ride, and neglected to lock it when they stopped at a friend’s house to say, “hi”. It was stolen, right from the driveway. I think it’s ironic, if not suspicious, that Ben’s brand new bike was passed over, in favor of mine. Mine was a good bike, perhaps even better than Ben’s, but it sure diddn’t look the part. So, long story short, I am now using a loner from my Dad, in place of my $400 bike that got swiped. Marie has agreed to reimburse me, but it’s probably going to be a long term deal, given her finances. I’m not holding my breath…

So, there you have it. Ups, downs, etc.
Enjoy the pics from the show, alas, I have none of the bike…

You don’t really know someone, till you live with them.

August 31, 2006

I’ve known my roomate, Chris, since about the 5th or 6th grade. We’ve been friends for a long time. Like all good friends, we’ve had our ups and downs. A couple months ago, for the frist time, we became roomates. Bad idea.

Over these few months I’ve learned things about Chris that I either diddn’t know before, or had ignored before. Now, faced with a situation where I can no longer ignore these things, and am forced to recognize them, I’m begining to wish we haddn’t decided to live together. I’m singned up for a year here, however, and I’m determined to make the situation surviveable, if not enjoyable.

What is so awful about him that I’d question our 10+ years friendship? I’m begining to see his true charachter. Not only is he completely unaware of other people’s feelings and thoughts, when they are explained to him, he doesn’t care. I can define Chris’s charachter (or lack there of) as both entirely un-empathetic, completely selfish, and wholely apathetic. I’ve met people before who diddn’t care about other peoples feelings, but at least they could recognize what those feelings were. I’ve even met people who were totally ignorant of how other people might feel about something, but even they, when explained another’s point of view could recognize it. Untill now, however, I’ve never met someone that embodies both of these flaws in charachter.

I’ve got three examples of this, in how Chris has chosen to relate to me. First, some background. Being so close to shcool and work, I decided to take the insurance off of my car (let it lapse). Chris and I live 2.5 hours from our home town of Chelsea, MI.

EXAMPLE 1:

It’s weeks before my birthday, and Chris suggests we go up north to his grandparent’s cabin, and go tubeing with their boat over my birthday weekend. We litteraly have been planning on this for at least a month, plans developing more and more as the weeks went on. TWO DAYS before we are supposed to leave, Chris mentions, “I hope they’ll let me use the boat.” At this point, we’ve invited other people, and there are several people looking forward to my birthday, at a cabin, with a boat. Upon hearing this, I am understandably supprised that he would suggest something without verifying that it was even possible. I urge him to see if it is possible. The next day (my birthday-eve) I call him from work to see if he’d called about the boat yet (he haddn’t). He informed me on the phone that he has decided not to do the trip at all, and that he was leaving for home without me. Part of our plan had been to go home after my late class that night, so I could have a birthday dinner with my family (reservations were already made). So, I freak out, trying to figure out why he’s decided to not only “ditch” me on my birthday, but to completely screw me out of seeing my family on my birthday (remember, I can’t drive myself home, no insurance, he knows this). He offeres me no explination, and leaves.

Even after that weekend, he refused to admit that he was at fault at all, or did anything wrong. Frustrating, but in the interest of living together in peace, I decided to let it be. His value as a friend to me did, however, take a big hit at that point.

EXAMPLE 2:

Earlier this week, I came home from work, and saw Chris getting into his car to leave for class. He said he had slept in and was missing his class, and that he was going to try to rush to the Allendale campus (25min away) to catch the end of it. As I was locking my bike up, I said, “Cool, let me ride with you, I’m ready to go.” I knew he was in a hurry, so I ran over to his car. As he saw me run towards his car, he quickly turned it on, and literaly screeched his tires and took off as I was trying to get in the door. What a prick.

EXAMPLE 3:

A couple weeks ago, I had asked Chris if I could ride home with him for labor day weekend, he told me no, because he was going to be staying back home till Tuesday, and I had to work on tuesday. I said, fine, and that I would make other arrangements. I talked to my dad two days ago, and he said that he could give me a ride home on Saturday or Sunday, if I could catch a ride home with Chris. I proceded right away to ask Chris if I could ride bakc home with him, but not ride back. He said, “Sure, thats fine.” Plans were made accordingly. I asked him this morning what time he wanted to leave tonite, and he replies, “you’re not coming with me” I’m shocked, that he would a. diecided to screw me AGAIN, and that he wouldn’t have even told me had I not brought it up!!! An argument ensued.

At this point I’m completely done with him. Chris will recieve from me absolutely no emotional investment. Our friendship, now, if you can call it that, will be one of mere circumstance. I’ve realized that all he cares about is himself, and I have a sinking suspicion that he derives pleasure from screwing me over. I quit.

WTF?! MTH-122

August 29, 2006

WOW… What the fuck was I thinking taking a math class??? I’m awful at math, I always have been. The only way I managed to get through the remedial math classes in high-school was a strategic combination of using my graphing calculator and looking for answers in the back of the book.

I just got back from my Math 122 class. This is 100 level math here people, there is only 1 class “easier” than this and I think “stupid” is in the course description. Apparently I’ve “tested out” of that class by taking Algebra 3 in high-school (while everyone else was taking AP Calc). I bet if I took the test to test out of remedial math again, I would fail with flying colors.

This was the first class, the one where we introduce ourselves, go over the syllabus, and pretend like we did something before going home early. And for 90% of the class, that’s exactly how it went. I, being in that 10% minority got hung up on the “pretend like we’re doing something” part. The teacher wrote a bunch of into type math stuff on the board, and went over some very basic algebra. I nodded along, vaguely recalling the things she was putting on the board from 8 years ago when I had my last math class. I went through most of the class confident in my assumption that it would “all come back to me” until, she had us do some problems out of the book.

I managed to get stuck on the second one. It diddn’t help much that I haven’t bought the book, or a graphing calculator yet. So the two people I’m sharing the book with are breezing through the problems, and I’m sitting there with a dumb look on my face wondering why the fuck there is an “f” in an equation that is supposed to be following the form y=mx+b.

As the teacher made her way arround asking everyone if they needed help and obviously not expecting anyone to say, “yes” I got the feeling that this is going to be a long semester. She came to me, and seemed shocked when I revealed that I could not deduce in my head that -1/.5=-2

I’m sorry, either public school has failed me, or the math sector of my brain has been completely eroded by any number of substances, most likely gummy bears.

If I drop any class, I can already tell it will be this one. I’m going to find out if there is any way I can get a degree without taking anymore math classes, but I doubt it’s possible, so I’ll probably end up keeping it. Oh well, if worse comes to worse, the answers are still in the back of the book, and I’m sure the graphing calculator can still solve for y. I’ll get through it, and who knows? Maybe it will all come back to me…

Once, twice, three times a weblog…

August 27, 2006

I have honestly lost track of how many times I’ve attempted a blog of my very own. Perhaps it’s due to my belief that I’ll be the only one reading it; or the fact that I can’t even do rudimentary HTML, let alone all the cool stuff I’d really like this blog to have, like CSS, or AJAX. My dubious track record with blogging be damned, hello world! Here I am.

My goals for this blog (aside from actually posting to it regularly) are pretty simple. I’d mostly like it to be a personal blog, but I’m sure I’ll try and post some stuff that will be interesting to people other than my mom. Expect a fair amount of stuff pertaining to my life, peppered with stories I’ve dugg, and editorials [bitching] about just about anything I care to editorialize [bitch] about. While I’m not expecting it to happen anytime soon, it would be cool if one of my posts made digg’s front page.
I’ve yet to decide who I’m going to share this blog with, because I’m sure there’s plenty I don’t want my immediate family reading. I guess I’ll just wait to pass the link along to those I know, and see if I’m motivated to put anything up that might be incriminating.

With that, I Here-by break a bottle of Tosti Asti Spumante over her bow and christen this blog “GroundOnDown” in name of one of my favorite Ben Harper songs. Adios!