Friday Night. Live…on the INTERNET(S).

So it’s Friday night — and I’m on the Internet(s). See, I could probably have gone out if I wanted to. I’ve been a smidgen under the weather the last few days, but today marked a significant improvement on that front. As my trusty friend Chris would say, I could be out looking at “Broken Wings” (a term that we [we being my work friends and I] generally use to refer to amazing-looking women) rather than listening to it (i.e. the Mr. Mister song, from which this signal is derived). However, in the name of saving my pocketbook and my liver, I’ve decided to remain indoors tonight and play here.

It’s been a night of Release Candidate Twos. Earlier this evening I updated to Firefox 2.0 RC2. So far, so good — no real changes are notable in this build, which is probably a good sign. I’ve been very pleased with the candidate builds’ improved extension compatibility — for the first time since I upgraded to Firefox 2, I’ve gotten my Web Developer Toolbar back, which is one of those extensions I find pretty much indispensable. Good times! Windows Vista Build 5744, also dubbed Release Candidate 2, just finished downloading and I plan to install it fairly soon. I will probably install it in yet another clean installation, so that will mean — again — I’ll have to reconfigure all my software in Vista. No big deal though — it’s a test area for a reason. The accounts I’ve read at Neowin and other places point to more performance improvements and a few other things, but nothing earth shattering — and really, at this stage in development, there shouldn’t be too many changes. I will probably initiate that installation after this post.

Last night, by the way, was nucking futs. The crisis communication seminar was different than I had expected, and it actually turned out to be incredible fun. In short, the College of Charleston has something called the Communication Advisory Council, an all-star cast of communication experts from around the country. Some of the folks in that list have worked with past Presidents in their press offices (including former Clinton press secretary Mike McCurry). The focus of the evening: Designing a strategy for a company to follow in the event of a crisis that could affect reputation, future profitability, and sometimes even the company’s future existence. This was modeled after the 2000 Ford/Firestone drama, in which Firestone tires were responsible for over 120 rollover deaths in Ford Explorers. We broke off into groups which, led by an Advisory Council member, would tackle one part of the strategy in executing the crisis plan. Our group handled the part that took on the initial calls from the media concerning the issue. My group was led by Bill Hughes, Senior VP for Corporate Communication at Computer Associates (CA). He was very dynamic, very nice, and a great person to bounce ideas off of. He asked for a spokesperson; me after my iced white mocha espresso drink jumped up and was like “I’m your man.” We went through the steps that I would announce, and 20 minutes later, there I was, standing in line and waiting my turn. As I was standing there, I realized that I was about to speak to about 250 people or so, some of which had worked in the Clinton White House, armed with little more than my wit, a stuffy nose, and a very rough outline of what we were going to do. Needless to say I got a bit nervous, with my heart rate skyrocketing and stuff. I’m a pretty decent public speaker, but it had been a while since I played to a crowd this big, so it was a tad nerve-wracking. However, I didn’t faint, said my brief piece, made the audience laugh, and left to applause and a high-five. Worked for me. :) I found the experience very eye-opening, entertaining, and incredibly useful. I learned a lot. With my Media Studies track, it was nice to get some “inside-the-company” perspective, as I could end up being that guy placing those first phone calls.

Here’s a number I hate right now: .162. That’s the Padres’ team batting average in this year’s Division Series. Pathetic. You can have the best pitching in the world but if you can’t hit it really doesn’t matter all too much. There are no defensive points in baseball. The Pads must step it up in The New Busch Stadium tomorrow against the Cardinals, otherwise they are done and I’ll have to root for the Tigers or something. San Diego is sending the giant Chris Young against Jeff Suppan tomorrow, so we’ll see how that goes.

Alright folks — you all take it easy tonight. Have a good weekend, and stay warm — the low is dropping to 57 tonight, it appears. It will probably be warmer for folks like me near the water, but a front came through and is really going to chill us out tomorrow with a lot of cloudiness. There is a pretty decent shot at rain on Sunday, too, so we’ll see what happens. I think the plan tomorrow is to cuddle up with the meteorology textbook for a bit (midterm Wednesday!), and then head on over to Tom’s to brew some beer and eat some steaks. We’ll see how that goes.

Published by Jared Smith

Jared Smith, 32, is a web developer and weather enthusiast living in Charleston, SC.

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