Twenty Seventeen is one hell of a nice new theme from the WordPress folks. You can see it running here now. I absolutely love the use of Libre Franklin — Franklin Gothic, or some variation of it, has a long lineage on my web presences dating back to the year 2000 and my original “Realm” personal website.
It’s been a long time since I tried to concoct any sort of custom theme for this site. I’m absolutely burnt out on design (and I’m not sure when that will recover), but it’s really nice to know that the WordPress folks continue to pump out high-quality defaults I can be happy with (no small feat considering my past history with default themes…phpBB, I’m looking at you).
I’d say the positioning of this van next to the Blingmobile was a pretty accurate omen for at least the first half of Monday. Seriously, who does this? And what does it say for my build that I was able to get in the car without the door touching the van? Common sense is extremely uncommon, that’s a fact. Other stuff just was really, really blah all day — not a fun one at all.
However, the weather’s been nice today, if almost hot — 86 at the airport! — so I refused to be defeated. It called for an outdoor lunch of quesadillas and water at Juanita Greenberg’s Nacho Royale on King Street, which was a pretty effective reboot of the day. Here’s the view from the back porch:
The warm weather combined with the Mondayness of it all had me craving a margarita. And while I decided not to make the trek down to Vendue Range for the rooftop experience that I alluded to in my tweet, I know Yo Burrito downtown would set me up right. And they delivered.
So Monday, here’s to you — because as crappy and oppressive as you can be, you are not infallible, and I once again claim victory.
I wonder how many consecutive days I’d have to go to tweetups before it became a Guinness world record. I’m on day two of a three-day tweetup tour (perhaps I should make T-shirts). Last night Lowcountry bloggers met up at The Glass Onion on Highway 17 in West Ashley. (Check out the Brightkite stream.) The food at this self-described “soulful restaurant” was fantastic and enjoyable. The staff were among the best we’ve had for a meetup and the beer selection was great, too. I’ll definitely be back. Eugene and Heather have photos and recaps.
Tonight, Lowcountry BBQ takes its tour of BBQ joints to JB’s Smokeshack on Johns Island. I really, really enjoy the BBQ “meatups” for obvious reasons. :) Tomorrow night, bloggers and tweeters will be at a Stingrays hockey game (in some incredible seats, if I do say so myself). The ice will be pink for that game to support cancer research — that’ll be a first for me. :)
I definitely enjoy these local events — it’s always fun to hang out with online friends offline, and if you’re local and haven’t been to any of our meetups yet, I really recommend it. We’ve got really cool people in the Charleston Twitter/blogosphere. :)
I’ve been really sluggish at blogging over my two week vacation, which is a marked change in behavior from years past; I’m usually jamming a whole lot on stuff during my two weeks away from work, but not this time. I gave myself a chance to spend time with friends and family for a change, and it’s been a good thing. I hope your holidays have been equally fun and memorable!
However, I do need to get out of this sluggishness. So, when I got a DM from the girl Riot over Twitter today letting me know of my taggedness in a meme, I decided to dust off the ol’ WordPress and get going again. Sure, it probably won’t be the most insightful post into social media or technology or Weather Channel music ever, but cut me some slack — I’m still on vacation. And besides, at least it’s not yet another Best of 2008 rehash. ;)
So, without further ado — seven things a majority of the Internets does not know about me. (I’m a pretty open book. If we’ve talked, even online, you likely know most of these things.)
Just the facts, ma’am…
I’ve hit 81 mph on a radar gun before throwing a baseball. (Once.) My friend Greg and I went to a Charleston RiverDogs game a couple years ago and went to the inflatable radar game where they let you test your speed. Greg and I kept shelling out money, escalating our “arms race” of sorts. We gradually rose into the 60s, when he uncorked one at 71 mph. I was down to my final three pitches. First one came out at 55…and then the second one came out at 81. Greg was incredulous. Next pitch? 57. Greg (and the radar operator) chalked it up to a radar malfunction; I chalked it up to awesome and an awfully forgiving ulnar collateral ligament.
I was one of the most pro-Internet Explorer people on the planet. Reason: I liked the “e” animation. I was a weird kid. In the fall of 1997, smack dab in the middle of 8th grade for me, Microsoft released a series of “T.G.I. Monday” commercials featuring “Heroes” by David Bowie. (Watch one of them.) I thought the commercials were awesome because they were Microsoft, but then they showed a sped-up rendering of the Internet Explorer “e” animation, and I was hooked. Hooked so much that when we got a computer — but before we got Internet — I would find the largest page in the HTML-based Sim City help, play a MIDI in the background to consume some CPU cycles, and obsessively hit refresh in IE 3.0 so I could see the “e” spin. I must reiterate — I was a weird kid. This translated to several years of unabashed IE usage, especially as I saw how CSS was taking hold. This ended in 2002 when Mozilla released the 1.0 version of their browser; at that point, IE 6 was a tired retread of IE 5, I was ready for a change (and a popup blocker!), and since upgrading to Windows 98, I hadn’t seen the spinning “e” in years. I’ve been using a Gecko-based browser ever since.
I’m a sucker for instrumentals. Roughly 35-40% of my music is instrumental. Why? I like how instrumentals let me take charge and create without someone dictating their own ideas to me. I can make my own associations and let the music take me places well beyond the artist’s intent. Sure, I associate lyrics to portions of my life, too, but instrumentals give ultimate freedom. I am particularly interested in movie scores, regardless of their commercial availability.
I was scared to talk in elementary school. Yes, I was a very quiet kid. (Nobody who follows me on Twitter would believe it.) Especially during the first few weeks of school, I was petrified to talk. See, I was a “goody-goody” and never wanted to run afoul of the rules (I did a couple times, and the resulting consequences straightened me right up). It took me a long time — we’re talking just within the last few years — for me to really find my voice and find it confidently. As a result, my view of public education has really changed.
Every time I sing, I seem to add some weird faux-Boston accent. I’m well-known for my karaoke adventures — and for some reason, I always alter my voice when I’m out there belting out the classics like “The Final Countdown” or “Get The Funk Out.” I credit a lot of singing along to Extreme over the years — Gary Cherone’s accent is very pronounced. Before that, I tried to be Sammy Hagar — that worked as well as Cuil. One thing I’ve always been good at, though: Air guitar.
I learned to drive on a 1988 Crown Victoria police car. I’ve always had an affinity for the Crown Victoria for some reason, and not in the install-37-inch-rims-and-large-stereo way. Perhaps it’s that feeling of everybody moving over for me, its ridiculously good handling (if you’ve driven a police Vic, you know what I’m talking about), or its power — but I’ve just always liked it. I think it’s just a good-looking car. It was fitting that I initially learned to drive on one (but I eventually took my test on a Ford Taurus).
And finally, in anticlimactic fashion: I’m a smidge obsessive about gas mileage. I rarely run air conditioning (or heat!) in the car unless I need to defog. I don’t quite employ some of the more extreme hypermiling techniques, but I do reduce weight in the vehicle and keep things as tuned as possible. More than once have I gotten 37 mpg on the freeway coming back from Atlanta; my car’s rated at 33.
The College of Charleston IT department had its annual Holiday Party at Wild Dunes today. The temperatures, while a bit chillier on the beach, reached well into the 70s across the area, and it was a beautiful day to wear flip-flops and take in the waves. (My sincerest apologies to my friends at higher latitudes. We’ll be getting ours again Monday, when the high will be lucky to touch 50 degrees.)
It’s that time of year — the final stretch into the exam period and the end of the semester (and, for me, the long-awaited end to my college career). So, expect relative silence on the blog and in my social media space for a while. I’ll try to come up for air on weekends. (I do need to post a review of my BlackBerry Bold, but I’ll do that after a couple more weeks with it on my belt…erm…under my belt.)
So while I frantically conclude my undergraduate years, here’s a funny video to watch (BlackBerry-themed, of course):
Editor’s note: I’m writing this from the BlackBerry. There may be related typographical errors; apologies in advance.
I’m on location at Mellow Mushroom downtown tonight, ringing in November after a reasonably successful Halloween. It’s amazing we’re so close to 2009. It’s amazing that next week, some sort of history will be made: We’ll have elected either the first black president or the first woman vice president. And, it’s amazing that I’m done with school in a month and a half.
October was a good, if not insanely busy, month. The highlight was absolutely ConvergeSouth and the Independent Bloggers’ Conference that followed. Head on over to Patrick’s blog for his epic roundup and awesome photos of me in front of a green screen.
My brother and I, Halloween 1991 or so. I'm a cumulonimbus cloud.
It’s Halloween again, which means it’s time to don a costume and run amok. It’s particularly helpful that it lands on a Friday night, and the weather is expected to be most excellent.
My plans for tonight? I’ll be headed back to Norm’s with Tom to commemorate the one-year anniversary of us being called nerds at one of the tables. We were both just not in the Halloween spirit last year, and so we spent that evening at Norm’s shooting breeze and downing pitcher after pitcher of cheap beer when the incident happened. I’ll be wearing something that deviates slightly from day-to-day wear; it’s not elaborate enough by any stretch to be considered a costume, though. (Photos will be forthcoming.) It screams “me,” though. See, I’m a big fan of costumes that really pull my personality out. The above photo is of my brother and I back in, oh, 1991 or so. I’m on the left. It’s my favorite costume ever; my mother turned me into a cumulonimbus cloud on my request. I’m not sure that there are too many other people who can say they were a towering supercell for Halloween AND won a prize in a costume contest. :)
I’m sitting here with a terrible case of selective writers’ block. I can write stream of consciousness in the blog all day long — which is what this is — but I’m struggling to write a movie review for my editing class. It’s due Wednesday but this is the only time I really have anything resembling energy for homework, which is surprising considering the emotional rollercoaster the NFL has been for the first two weeks. (I don’t want to say much about Week 2 beyond “the Cardiac Cats are BACK!” and “isn’t robbery illegal in Colorado?”) Continue reading →