Friday, August 12, 2005

Review and Preview

A look at some things that have been on my mind in the last eight days, and some things which are yet to no particular order, of course.

  • First, and probably most importantly, I'm very nearly at my wit's end with my car. I had it in the shop a couple of weeks ago to get the stalling problem ironed out, and it was running fine when I got it back. That lasted until Tuesday of this week. Then it started stalling again. Then it stopped. Then it started again. Then the "Check Engine" light came on. Then it went off. Then it came back on. Sometimes it runs fine, sometimes it has issues. It's making me insane, because I need to have a dependable car. Driving season is coming up. I can't afford a new one right now, but neither can I afford to sink a bunch of money into keeping this one running. Something is going to have to happen soon.

  • Also on Tuesday, the day my car resumed its stalling problems, I came home to find the Internet down again. Whatever I carried in with me was thrown against the wall in frustration at that point. Fortunately, the Internet came back up of its own accords after a scant few hours of downtime. I'm prepared to be highly irritated and hard to deal with if it should go down again for an extended period of time.

  • I have to get something off my chest. I have a certain amount of confusion about the insistence (and I'm not excluding myself) upon calling portable computers "laptops," when in fact they quickly grow far too hot to actually be used upon the lap. That is, at least, if you insist on using said "laptop" while wearing nothing but a pair of boxers, as I seem to do.

  • In other computer frustration news, I'm still irritated by iTunes. It's working fine with my iPod again, so that's good. Still, I use iTunes to listen to music on the computer while I do other things, and even for that I think it's a terrible piece of software. It will often take an inordinate amount of time to perform the simple task of skipping a song. Other times, it will decide to skip a song on its own, right in the middle of playing it. Sometimes it loses songs from my library for no apparent reason. I do like that it keeps a play count for each song and lets you rate them all, but it's almost not worth it.

    I think I just have a problem with Apple products in general. Admittedly, I'm a PC person, so I have a certain amount of bias built in, but I try to keep an open mind. I use a Mac for the graphics portion of my job, and it drives me crazy. I will say that it runs Photoshop nearly flawlessly, which is a significant feat given the memory-intensive nature of the program and the files we use. That's the only nice thing I have to say about it, though. Doing anything across the network takes absolutely forever, and forget about asking it to multitask. It's not going to happen. I ended up staying nearly ten minutes past quitting time today because I was trying to rename a file on our server, a task which I started about five minutes before quitting time.

  • I watched part of a preseason football game last night featuring the Green Bay Packers and the San Diego Chargers. Anytime I watch the Packers, I do so with trepidation, knowing the announcers will be slurping all over Brett Favre (the most overrated human being on Earth). I just wish they could limit it to when he's actually on the field. Come on, guys...when the other team's offense is on the field, or when (since it's the preseason) Favre gets replaced, could you please talk about something else?

  • During halftime of last night's game, Chris Berman chatted with Terrell Owens and his agent. I have a ton of respect and admiration for T.O. as a football player. He's an incredible athlete and a great receiver, and I know he works his ass off to be as good as he is. Given that, I even like some of the antics he pulls on the field, generally after scoring--it brings some fun to the game. Still, all this crap with his contract dispute has caused me to lose a ton of respect for him. Hey, I of all people understand the idea of wanting to be better compensated for going above and beyond the call of duty. I can't understand anyone begrudging him the right to ask for a contract renegotiation. It's the way the system works. The way he has gone about it, though, just isn't right. He's being completely unprofessional about it. Personally, I'm planning to ask my own workplace for a raise next week. If they say no, you know what I'll do? I'll go back to work and keep doing exactly what I do now. Sure, I'll be disappointed, and sure, I'll keep looking for work elsewhere, but that's not going to stop me from carrying on exactly as I have been. It's counter-productive to do otherwise. If I stop cooperating and start badmouthing my co-workers, I'm going to get fired. I'll be really surprised at this point if T.O. actually plays for the Eagles this season. I just don't see how this rift can be healed. Hopefully they can trade him for another decent receiver, but it's unlikely another team will be willing to take on such a pain in the ass.

  • Earlier this evening I had to go get my hair cut. I hate this. The only redeeming thing about getting a haircut is that my salon of choice is at the BG mall, which affords me the opportunity to visit Waldenbooks. I love book stores. I wish more of them carried at least a few various literary journals, but whatever. Tonight, the gracious cashier allowed me to use two savings certificates along with my Preferred Reader card, meaning that I got a book with a cover price of $18.95 for less than $5. Score! The book in question is the Ultimate Edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams. I've not read it before, and I'm excited to do so. I've heard good things about it, plus the movie that recently came out (and will shortly be available on DVD). I read the introduction to the book, and I already like Adams's writing style and humor very much.

  • Of course, the reason I was at the mall getting a haircut in the first place is because tomorrow I will be attending a ten-year reunion for my high school class ('95 Rules!). I'm really looking forward to it, both for the chance to see some old friends and as an opportunity for sociological observation. I'm sure I'll have plenty to say about it next week, and hopefully I'll be taking plenty of pictures as well.

    Catch you all on the flip side.
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