Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Trips Get Expensive

I've found the each of the trips I take for work over the last 12 months or so cost me some money, about $10 to $20 each. I've been traveling for work for over three years now but it has only been the last year that I spend this $10 to $20. It was last May that I got my iPod. I got Pretty Bird her's the previous November for her birthday and we both loved it. The trips cost me this before I leave, usually the night before. I spend this money at iTunes picking up some new songs or albums (yes Mark you can call them albums). I usually start out just wanting to shake things up and create some new playlists and I end up picking up some new music. It is so easy and allows me to get a nice variety to listen to on the next day's flight. Neither of us purchased much music past high school or college, hell I was just a radio guy from 1997 until last year. We probably bought maybe 20 albums between '97 and last year. So the 200 album/2500 song collection we had was mainly from our high school/college years. Since she got her iPod we've probably added another 20 albums or so. It was fun to 'rediscover' buying music again.

If you don't have an iPod yet, well what are you waiting for?

Monday, May 22, 2006

Summer Sucks

Actually I really like summer, I guess it goes back to being a kid and getting summers off. As a comic book collector and TCG player/fan it means summer convention season which I love. Hell my job pays for me to go to mulitple conventions which is even better. Nothing beats free San Diego Comic-Con, well except maybe a free SDCC where I could actually see some of the show. What sucks about the summer is my companies absurd summer hours. Our normal week is 8:00am to 5:00pm (used to be 8:30am to 5:30pm), five 9 hour days. That is a typical office type job, covers your hour lunch and gets the company 40 hours out of you.

For summer hours we have four 10 hour days and one four hour day. We work Monday through Thursday, 7:00am to 5:00pm and Friday 7:00am to 11:00am. Summers hours are the week before Memorial Day (now) until the week before Labor Day. As nice as it is to get off at 11:00am on Friday's that isn't going to happen very often. Of the Friday's I worked last year during summer hours I probably left on time less than 25% of them. We are 'encouraged' to stay later on Fridays, some people like to work as late as 2:00pm or 3:00pm on a regular basis. That brings me to my next problem, I travel a lot. Last year of the 15 potential half Fridays I was on the road for 9 of them. This year is slightly better in terms of being able to enjoy a half Friday, I'm only traveling for 7 of them.

I think even if I enjoyed all of the potential benefits of this policy it still wouldn't be my favorite idea. I think 7:00am is just too early to be at work is all. Today I was here before Yahoo updated the previous days Fantasy scores, before the building was open (I got to use my electric pass card for the first time), and was at Chik-Fil-A before they were open. How did I manage high school at the 7:20 start time, oh yeah I slept a lot during class. Well off to my daily nap :)

Monday, May 15, 2006


I'm constantly amazed by things, all sorts of things. I think the world is full of wonders and oddities that make it interesting. I love to find these and they usually amaze me. They aren't always great things, sometimes annoying things, but anyways. The current thing that amazes me is how simliar my issues with IT departments are, no matter the scope of the job or the size of the company. The IT solutions at all seven companies (General Cinema, Taco Bell, Toys R Us, NetMarket, Stacey's Greenhouses, Decipher, and RC2) I've been employeed by have all been crap in one way or another. IT should provide, within cost and reason, tools to help the employees to their jobs. Not create things which force employees to spend time doing instead of their jobs.

Currently I want to be able to easily update from the road pictures and event write ups. I also would like a website design to allow such things to easily be displayed. I have neither. RC2 actually has a decent web team but since I'm in Charlotte and they are in Chicago I'm sure there is a little out of sight out of mind. Our website is actually one of the better ones in the TCG industry, it just doesn't do exactly what I want it to do.

But hey, I'm a smart guy (at least my mom told me that once), I can figure it out. So guess what, I'm just going to use Blogger! A free service that does exactly what I want and I can avoid stressing out about it and arguing why it is a good idea. So in case you want to visit and see the coolness that is Fullmetal Alchemist TCG events (really, it isn't that cool but I have a good time) check out my other blog.

That brings me to another thing that amazes me in the not good way. Why can I find a free solution for an IT problem that is better than the one that my company is no doubt paying a lot for. We have email issues, big graphic attachments, a redundant server set up to avoid losing emails, not enough space. When our local email server gets full the redundant system just stops sending us email and keeps it in Chicago. This problem happens about once every six weeks so now we're supposed to keep our inbox down to 20 megs. I get 6 gigs of email space from google for free and I have an expensive thing at work that I have to keep under 20 megs. Amazing.

Monday, May 8, 2006


I don't really have a single topic to post about yet I want to keep in the habit of making a post on a regular basis. I guess I could talk about baseball again but what fun is that.

- I calculated that since I've moved to Charlotte, the last week of February 2005, I've staying in a hotel room over 80 nights. That just seems awful high. In addition there are four or five weekends staying at the guest room at my parents house. That is a whole lot of me not sleeping in my bed and I really like my bed.

- I recently had a trip to California and Arizona. I had to fly from San Francisco to Los Angeles at 6am and the rental car place in SF is a good 10 minutes from the airport. I do get to skip most of the lines but I still wanted to give myself a good 70-90 minutes to get everything worked out so I left the hotel at around 4:15 or so. Since I left so early I didn't bother to check my bill before I left and bam, a mistake. I was charged for a movie. I call the hotel and they inform me that the movie was on for less than 90 seconds at like 3am. Normally they ignore movie charges of under 5 minutes but since it was an 'adult' movie or so I was informed they always charge. Now I'm not against adult movies, I just typically don't want to spend $12.95 for them at 3am on an expense account. For me to be up at 3am west coast after flying from the east coast at 7am would have meant that I was up for 23 hours. After flying 5 hours, driving around crazy San Francisco, and only eating one real meal all day I don't even want to have sex with my lovely wife much less watch random porn movie. The Hilton Garden Inn eventually saw it my way.

- As much as I don't like Barry Bonds I dislike Joe Morgan talking about him even more. See I gotcha, you thought I wasn't going to talk about baseball. I watched about 20 minutes of last night's Phillies/Giants game and Morgan wouldn't shut up about Bonds. Bonds this, Bonds that, how great he is, how he is probably #2 on the list of great players behind Willie Mays, on and on. Joe Morgan is an idiot. This is the guy who said he respects Alfonso Soriano for finally moving from second to left field. Um, hello, for 10 million a year if Frank wants Soriano to wash his car the first words out of his mouth should be "How many coats of wax". There now I ripped three baseball (ex)players I can't stand all at once. Suck it Joe Morgan.

- How does 'greatest baseball player ever' not begin and end with Babe Ruth? He won 20 games in a year as a pitcher and was the greatest power hitter of all time. Again, suck it Joe Morgan.

- Free Comic Book Day was a great time. The local store here puts on a great show. There is my next blog topic and I was looking for one. See this steam of consciousness thing really works.

- Back to Bonds. Just sign the guys baseball, I mean come on. I know if I was this guy I would tell Bonds and his ESPN show to suck it.

I'm sure I have more random thoughts and I will probably share them as time goes on.

Sunday, May 7, 2006

Its Lima Time!

Now if only we can convince the Mets to start Jose Lima every time we play them we might have a chance to win the division. There is still hope but I really believe the Braves aren't very good and the Mets are a top 10 team in the Majors.

Friday, May 5, 2006


The Braves are just awful this year. I know I shouldn't be suprised or shocked, they didn't upgrade a team that started a ton of rookies last year. I know I shouldn't complain, they have won 14 years in a row. None of that makes it any easier. They just stink. I will still watch, I will still root for them, and hope, I just think it might be a long summer. I do know in Atlanta they are probably wondering when the Dawgs and the Michael Vick Experience start.

Thursday, May 4, 2006

Another Easter picture

This is another picture from our trip to Grammy's house for Easter. We spent the week previous in Florida visiting other family and of course Disney World! This is Grammy and the Little One spending time right after the outside Easter Egg hunt is finished. The Little One had never done an outside Easter Egg hunt and boy did she love it. She does love visiting Grammy and Papa though. They don't know the word no and the house is full of puppies! Good times were had by all.

Well I'm not going to buy this one, I swear

I don't mind admitting I really like Star Wars. I don't even mind admitting I like parts of the horrible movies that have been released over the last 7 years that pretended to be Star Wars movies. Hell I don't even mind buying newly redone versions of Star Wars stuff I already own, at least from time to time. I do what I do both directly and indirectly because of Star Wars. I'm a geek into science fiction, gaming, comics, etc, and Star Wars started me on that path. I also broke into the gaming industry with a company that produced a Star Wars game. I didn't start there during the Star Wars run but I did buy into their products and gaming ways because of Star Wars. Right now one of my favorite ways to waste time is Star Wars Empire At War, that game is great.

I'm not going to buy this however, I'm just not. Two years ago was the first time the original Star Wars movies came to DVD. This newer set will mark the third time the movies have been released on DVD. I'm a marketing manager for a pretty large company, I also worked at Decipher for two years, I'm well aware of shaking a money tree as hard as you can while it still giving money. With either HD-DVD or Blue Ray, whichever one survives, this gives LucasFilm at least four or five upcoming releases with little to know work on their part. I'm okay with a company doing that, in fact I would probably buy two or so of those four or five redone versions. They will have features I want for a new format, whatever. I just think three DVD versions in less than 36 months is too much, even if these are the versions I want to own the most. In the life of VHS I'm pretty sure Star Wars was released five different times, six if you count the THX pan and scan and widescreen as seperate releases (they were about four months apart). That is in what, 15 years of VHS. Obviously DVDs won't last as the dominate format for 15+ years, sorry Evan and Kevin, but 3 in less than 36 months that is just too much.

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

I don't even like little dogs

I do miss the AJC sports section though.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006