Monthly Archives: April 2007

Out of exile tomorrow!

Please pardon my lack of posting over the last few days — just finishing up a few final exams. I’m finished up tomorrow, so I’ll be catching up with the pile of e-mail I’ve amassed during finals week then. I’ve also got to post a few videos, including this one of this hawk being divebombed by a group of blue jays today in the Stern Center Gardens on the College of Charleston campus. Great stuff.

See you all then.

When emergencies strike

I had to give away my Obama ticket today. We had an emergency come up at work, and I had to stop in and see what was up…and thus, I missed Obama. No fun. :( Did anyone in the Charleston blogosphere go? I’m so interested to see how this went.

Karaoke + Radar Guns + Baseball = Hide Your Children

I had my first exam yesterday — it was my “writing for the mass media” exam. It went alright, I think. No complaints. I came home and fixed the air conditioning — the switch on the thermostat had gone pookie the night before, so I popped it back into place, and it works great now. I guess it just got jammed a bit. Nothing a pair of pliers can’t fix. So it came down from a balmy 82 inside to a more comfortable 75.

After some laundry, I ran some errands in Goose Creek and in the course of running these errands, I decided to head to a ballgame to decompress a bit before the rush begins again this weekend. After wussing out at the radar gun AGAIN (56 MPH this time) I sang a rousing rendition of “I Disappear” for about four individuals that looked halfway interested. See, it was Karaoke Night at the ballpark, and there was free karaoke, and I swear, I never saw anyone singing. What’s up with that? C’mon, it’s FREE! Sure, the song selection was somewhat lacking — a lot of Top 40 stuff from three years ago, to be honest. But since no one was singing, I sang “Drive” by Incubus later on in the night (had to get a song in which screaming may not be involved — something about disrupting the game, but to be honest, I don’t buy that — I seriously think the guy thought I was insane) and I came out sounding like someone who had been screaming at an umpire for six innings (yep). Ahhh well. At least one person liked it (thank you, Kelly). After a few more misguided attempts at throwing at the gun (thank you, Jeremiah — master of the radar gun that evening — for your patience with my antics!), I figured that was it, and left as the RiverDogs lost 5-2. The Dogs were no-hit for six innings, and then for some reason, the Columbus Catfish replaced their pitcher (WTF!) and surrendered a couple runs as a result.

It was, as always, a good time. I even got a new RiverDogs hat — one of the 3930 models, much like the major league BP hats.

Today I’m seeing Barack Obama at 2:30. If you didn’t get a ticket — too bad, it’s at capacity. This should be very, very interesting.

Rosie’s leaving The View

CNN:

Rosie O’Donnell’s stormy tenure on “The View” will be a short one. The opinionated host was unable to agree on a contract with ABC, and she’ll leave the show in June.

“My needs for the future just didn’t dovetail with what ABC was able to offer me,” O’Donnell said in a statement Wednesday.

“This has been an amazing experience,” she said, “and one I wouldn’t have traded for the world.”

I get the feeling that, somehow, Bill O’Reilly will take credit for “forcing” her departure…

BlackBerry for WM6 and an iPhone thought

BlackBerry for Windows Mobile 6

Soon, Windows Mobile 6 users will be able to get their CrackBerry fix with a new package to be introduced later this year by Research in Motion. I think it’s cool that RIM is going to bring BlackBerry push e-mail — unparalleled in the market — to Windows Mobile devices. Exchange Direct Push, what I use, is good, but still nowhere near the reliability or speed of RIM’s software. (Perhaps Exchange 2007 and Windows Mobile 6 may improve this even further, but right now I have neither at my disposal.) This is a nifty, shrewd way for RIM to give Windows Mobile users a taste of the BlackBerry experience and, ideally, convert a few more people over to its hardware, which is, in my mind, the centerpiece of the whole experience.

Target iPhone to Corporations? Are they MAD?

Neowin reports that Cingular The New AT&T wants to target the Apple iPhone to business users, presumably because of the cost of the device (i.e. Joe Schmuck will have no way of affording its expected $579 price tag). I don’t understand how the iPhone was ever meant to have a business application, though. Mac OS X, for all its strides within the last decade, is still an inferior business client OS when compared to Windows. In some ways, it’s gone backwards — for example, Entourage is no Outlook replacement, that’s for sure. Why would the iPhone be any different? Take into account the fact that Apple will not permit third-party applications, the lack of broadband support via AT&T’s 3G BroadbandConnect, and the largely unproven nature of the touchscreen (which I would expect to be a bear with e-mail), I can’t see how any sane enterprise would touch this phone. Again, Apple’s penchant for closedness and exclusivity is going to hurt it. For enterprise, BlackBerry or Windows Mobile really are the only ways to go at this point. If AT&T wants to see iPhone get into the mix, it needs to pressure Apple to open iPhone to the world; otherwise, it’ll just be a status symbol for the likes of Paris Hilton, while everyone else talks away on their RAZRs.

Randomness from the dark of night…

Exam season is once again upon us. I’m fortunate that my exam schedule this time around isn’t too bad, aside from having all my exams at 8am. I have exams Thursday, Monday, and Tuesday, and then my summer begins in earnest. Fun times. I’m not sure what summer’s going to bring. It’s a certainty that I’ll be working a whole heckuva lot, but that’s to be expected. I’m hoping to actually read some more. I’m just excited that my first year back, a resounding success, is just about over. Three more semesters to go…

Musical notes

Gary Cherone is back with his new band hurtsmile. Gary, brother Markus, Joe Pessia, and Dana Spellman have collaborated on a few tracks and released them for free in high-quality MP3 format. The songs are great straight-ahead rock — my favorite is “Just War Theory.” In other music news, I see Travis Meeks is bringing Days of the New to Hilton Head on the 2nd. That’s a tempting show. He’s had some issues in the past, and it’s nice to see him overcoming them and getting back out there. Rumor has it there’s going to be a Days of the New “Purple” album in a year or two, really depending on when DOTN is signed to a label again. Let’s hope that’s sooner rather than later, because Meeks really is a musical genius.

/etc/weekend

I went to Relay for Life in Summerville on Friday night into Saturday morning. It’s a 12-hour relay designed to raise money for the American Cancer Society. It was a lot of fun, though I found one of the Proud Sponsors incredibly amusing:

Relay For Life — Sponsored By Beer and Tobacco

You just can’t make some of this stuff up. Interestingly enough, a few laps later when I decided I needed a better picture of the sign, it had been taken down. I’m not sure who nabbed it or what, but it was gone. Too hilarious.

Saturday brought an immense recovery period (I didn’t get home until about 7:30, and I slept until 3:30 PM) and then some Guitar Hero and ribs at Ale’s. Predictably, I was destroyed at Guitar Hero (no time to play games in the last, oh, six months) despite my best efforts to focus and not get too crazy with the music. I do think there is something different in the Xbox 360 version’s gameplay…I can’t put my finger on it. Perhaps I’m reaching for excuses for my latest round of GH suckitude. Oh well.

Sunday was the blogger meetup — we had a lot of new faces this time, including Patrick, Kit, and Kevin, to name a few. It was a great time. I didn’t realize 10-17 — located in The Quadrangle in West Ashley where Piggly Wiggly and CiCis is, within a few hundred feet of the 526 on-ramp — was even there. It’s a neat venue, though, and the owner was gracious enough to come in and introduce himself (and even cook for us!). They’ll be seeing more of me, I think. I ended the evening with a pretty hilarious sendoff for Tim, CofC’s uber-server genius, who is probably still on a plane headed for Scotland as I write this. Good, good times.

And finally…

Anyone want to see Barack Obama this week? He’ll be holding a town hall forum at Burke High School at 2:30 on Friday. I’ll be there. Click here to reserve your spot — it’s free and open to the public, but a ticket is required. This should be quite, quite interesting.

Off to bed now…I’m still messed up from the Relay a few days ago. This does not bode well for my 8am exams. Haha.

Girl sends text message, wins $25,000. Life isn’t fair.

Damn. I wish I could text ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ to someone and win $25,000. Apparently this 13-year-old girl sends over 8,000 texts a month — sounds like the prize money will probably be going to her ridiculously expensive phone bill. For her parents’ sake, I hope they have Verizon and free Verizon-to-Verizon text messaging.

(The other question is: 13 and with a cell phone? Yikes!)

An idea for RIM

So it seems Research in Motion, the company that brings you CrackBlackBerry, is working to prevent another outage like was experienced last week.

I argue that these outages are good for the populace. Check out this NYTimes article — particularly this little snippet:

Barry Frey, a senior vice president at Cablevision, stepped off an airplane on Tuesday night to find that his in-flight e-mail exile had been extended.

His reaction was BlackBerry blasphemy. “I took a deep breath and finally enjoyed the feeling,” he said.

The less frenetic world he describes may not only be saner, but safer. Peter Crist, an executive recruiter in Chicago, admits to occasionally steering his car with his knees while he thumbs his BlackBerry. Tuesday night, he put both hands on the wheel and said he had a quiet, uninterrupted dinner with his wife and son — for a change.

You know — and this comes from a technophile with the same always-tethered e-mail setup — it’s a sad commentary on the state of the 24-hour workforce that this guy would steer a car with his knees and constantly check his phone at dinner with his family in the name of work.

Therefore, I propose that RIM implement BlackBerry holidays — a day where they decide to bring the system down and help the always-connected disconnect, if only for a few hours. It sounds like it was an unexpected, welcome break for more than a few folks…

Some work on the ol’ phone…

I’ve finally put some work into the BlackJack this weekend, and posted the results in a Facebook photo album.

The most relieving thing about these changes is that the terrible “Cingular 3G” whooshes and swooshes that play when the phone starts up and shuts down no longer run. It was hella loud and annoying hearing those sounds, so it’s a relief they’re gone. (Anyone with a BlackJack can attest to this.) Without the fancy animation, it seems like there’s a bit of a perceptible performance increase, too.

I decided to take the newly acquired space to create the sweet “Jared W. Smith Central Communications” logos, as seen in the Facebook album. You’ll also find that I’ve modified Samsung’s popup homescreen and color scheme, mainly to fix the colors (and eliminate the TERRIBLE red menu text). It’s actually coming together quite well…

Tragedy in Beaufort

CNN TV is reporting that a Navy Blue Angels plane, in the midst of precision maneuvers, went down in a Beaufort neighborhood, with several house fires started as a result. No sign of what happened with the pilot yet. Weather couldn’t have been a factor — it’s really calm out with very clear skies. Frightening…details to follow.

Update

The word is that the plane clipped a tree and a cataclysmic set of events followed. FOX News says that the plane just lost power and went down. The Beaufort County Coroner says one person is dead, but they won’t say who — FOX also has reason to believe that the pilot indeed was killed. There’s been no sign of an ejection or anything.

WCSC has picked up the story and has been running a crawl below the PGA event. MSNBC is…well, silent, running their documentary in lieu of coverage.