When I was in high school in Michigan, we had a black Jeep CJ7. I loved it – I thought it was fun, rambunctious, and laid-back. I remember driving Melinda Scott around in the snow, thinking I was king of the world.
A few years ago, when I moved to Texas, I briefly owned a dark green Jeep Wrangler Sahara – much cushier than the old CJ7, but just as much fun. Equipped with cruise control, a nice carpeted interior, and a stick, it made for even more fun.
Yesterday, I gave in to temptation and bought a new one, a black 2005 Wrangler Unlimited. This one’s longer than the others, a new model that adds a couple of inches of rear legroom and a whole lot more cargo space. The long rear side windows look way too big, and I wish they’d have added some style back there, but I’ll rarely have the top up anyway.
Except today, of course, because it’s raining. That’s the way life works. Into every life a little rain must fall.
Because I was buying it new (ouch), I didn’t get it loaded all the way. I just wanted an automatic so Erika could drive it, and I wanted cruise control for the trips up to Dallas. What a contrast from my Volvo: no power windows, no power locks, no power mirrors, no power seats, horrendous stereo,
The thing I miss the most from the Volvo, though, is the stereo. Volvo C70′s have killer 10-speaker setups from Dynaudio, a high-end European company. Man, I forgot how bad stock stereo speakers sound. On the way home from the dealer, I kept cranking up the new live Better Than Ezra CD, only to turn it back down because the distortion was so bad. Argh. Well, you don’t want to sink a lot of money into a Jeep’s stereo because somebody can just unzip the top and make off with your goodies. Still, there’s gotta be a better medium than this.
Listen to me complain! Jeez. Time to go take the Jeep out and play in the puddles!
I couldn’t figure out why my wireless network performance was sucking so bad lately.
When I’m on conference calls, I tend to clean my desk, because I have to sit in front of the computer in case something comes up that I need to look into. While I was tidying up just now, I realized the last time I tidied up, I put my wireless network antenna behind a metal mesh picture frame. I moved it out in the line of sight again, and presto, full signal strength. Whoops.
Back to tidying up.
“He’s Canadian, but he looks Amish.”
“You remind me of Mrs. Brady.”
“Don’t get sexual with me.”
“You don’t even know me.”
“How come you never appreciate me as a customer?”
“Because every morning you buy a $1.57 cup of coffee, you use three packets of Sweet & Low, you use half a cup of cream, you get refill after refill and use more Sweet & Low and cream, and you don’t tip.”
“With that kind of attitude, you’re never going to make big money off me.”
“With that kind of spending, I’m never even going to make change off you.”
Telecommuting from a coffee shop, you overhear the funniest things. Next to me, there’s a guy interviewing for a voiceover job. That alone would be funny enough as it is, but they just did a quick mockery of the monster truck show ads on TV.
The applicant will never get the job – he doesn’t have a shred of self-confidence – but listening to them, I’m ready to step over and talk to the employer after this applicant leaves. I can monster-truck like nobody’s business. A lot of people tell me I have a radio voice, and I love making goofy voices and characters.
For my birthday, Erika got us a sunset cruise last night on the Capt Kidd, an old schooner in Galveston. The weather left a bit to be desired, hovering around 60 degrees, but we’d both rather be cold than be hot. We bundled up in multiple shirts and jackets, then piled on the blankets and enjoyed the ride.
This was Erika’s first time on a sailboat, and she enjoyed it since other people were doing all the work. We were left to sit back, take in the view, and drink. Only water, though, because it was just too cold to go boozing it up.
We’ll definitely do it again soon, but we’ll watch for a weekend with warmer weather. The Saturday night sunset cruises fill up 2-3 weeks in advance, so you end up gambling.
I’m not ready to go back to work tomorrow. (Well, I first typed “today” there, and that’s what it’ll end up being, just doing some stuff to get caught up.)
The last few entries in the blog are from our whirlwind trip through Las Vegas. Erika and I flew in yesterday, then flew back out this morning on the redeye. Tons of fun.
My first vacation wielding a Motorola V600 camera phone proved somewhat rewarding and somewhat frustrating. On the plus side, the photos aren’t bad, and they provide a fun way to keep my blog up to date with where I’m at and what I’m up to. The colors are washed-out, but that could be fixed with some Photoshop work if I was ambitious. I’m not, because we still carry our Sony DSC-T1 digital camera for good photos. We took a slew of great pictures, but no sense posting them here – just typical tourist stuff.
Two things showed up on the minus side. First, AT&T’s GSM coverage in Vegas left a lot to be desired. We typically got 1-2 bars of coverage as displayed by the phone, and most attempts at emailing a picture were met with 60-90 seconds of inactivity on the phone with nothing more than a “Connecting to server” message. When the attempts failed, the phone would simply dump out a generic error message. I had no clue whether the picture had been saved, whether the email had been saved, whether the phone would try to send the email again later, or what. Completely un-user-friendly, and left me thinking that Apple should be in the cell phone business.
After enough failed attempts, I figured out that the phone was saving the messages in an outbox, and if you monkeyed around with enough configuration menus, you could resend the messages manually. This resulted in me posting several email messages at once to the blog, and they were out of time order. So I just spent a few minutes reorganizing these pictures into chronological order to give a little better picture of how the day went.
I’m not soured on photoblogging as a whole, but I’m disappointed by how difficult it is to capture a vacation’s quick memories as they happen, in order, in realtime, on the blog. I don’t think of myself as a bleeding-edge, early-adopter kind of guy – I’m by no means the first of my friends to get a camera phone – but I seem to be an early-integrator. I’m the first one in my crowd who tries to make these fairly-new pieces of technology work together, such as posting pictures from my camera phone directly to my blog. It’s tough enough getting these pieces work standalone, but getting them to work together is another beast entirely.
Everybody needs to see Vegas at least once. We had a great time, we lost about $100, and we got to see the basics of what makes Vegas an intoxicating city. Erika’s already excited about taking her mom.
I saw the outdoor show at Treasure Island a couple of years ago when it was men versus men. Now, it’s degenerated into some kind of sex-crazed sirens thing, and I’m not impressed. I found myself laughing out loud during some of the song-and-dance routines.
The lobby of the Venetian.
Gondola at the Venetian
The multi-story wine display at Aureole.