The Day The Music Died

And the slow death of radio continues. Yesterday, Scott Muni passed away. For those unfamiliar, Muni was a radio legend who had worked as a DJ in New York for almost 50 years. He was responsible for the success of many bands, and a major player in Rock ‘n’ Roll history. His tribute show to John Lennon is regularly replayed on the anniversary of the late Beatle’s death.

Q104.3 (his last home) is one of the few stations I actually listen to. I can’t help but feel like this is the final nail in the coffin for the radio format. He was one of the last of his kind and, let’s face it, that medium will never produce the likes of him again.

We have lost our common culture. We no longer weep at deaths because those people touched us, so much as we merely recognize their names. In an effort to appease everybody and give them all their own little niche, we continue to isolate ourselves from the ties that bind.

I found a good article on the death of AM radio over at Musicradio.

A Tell-tale Dream

I don’t remember many of my dreams. There was a time when I always woke up with dreams fresh in my mind. Then there was a time where I would have sworn that I had stopped dreaming completely. These days, it’s a fairly uneven turn. This morning would be one of those rare occasions when one stuck with me. Even more unique, I think this dream had a lot to say – and not just your typical “Stop eating spicey foods at 1 AM” messages. I do believe I had an inspiring message about my life delivered in my slumber.

It was my wedding. To be more specific, Lisa’s and my wedding. Of course she was happy to hear about that part. But in reality, I don’t remember her actually being in the dream – the entire sequence took place before the event, which means that she was presumably behind the scenes the whole time. Instead the dream focused on my own pacing around like a buffoon trying to figure out what I should be doing at the time. I pulled out my camera and was trying to setup for pictures, but people assured me that that shouldn’t be the groom’s responsibility. Then I started worrying about whether I was supposed to hire a photographer and forgot, or if someone else was taking care of that. Suddenly the entire event felt rushed – not the marriage, but the wedding itself. I guess that’s reasonable since I hadn’t done any planning before the dream, but it was still one of those “Oh no, my science project is due today” kind of moments.

At first I thought this was probably just a by-product of recent relationship-centric discussions Lisa and I have had. Maybe a little subconscious, “You’re not 23 anymore” proddings. But really, that’s just the setting – a big part of my life that is under siege by my own mental hangups. You see, I am a chronic procrastinator. Coupled with my rather anal-retentive, OCD-like perfectionism, that means I barely get anything done. I have serious difficulty in just diving into a task and taking care of it, because I always want things to be perfect so I’m afraid to start up anything that I’m not ready to complete yet. That leaves a lot of tasks lying around, not even started.

On top of all of this, I now have an intense desire to document everything. My photography. My blogging. They are attempts to capture a life suspended. But until I let them flow naturally in the background, they hold my life in suspension indefinitely – afraid to move forward until I finish the last part. And thus I am left with over 10,000 photos hidden from those who want to see them and dozens of unwritten ideas and unposted entries – each bit keeping me from starting the next one.

So now I am left with an obvious response – GET MOVING! Wake up in the morning and don’t think about what you want to accomplish before work. Just start the day. When I get home tonight I need to start posting pictures and entries that have been all but forgotten. I need to stop worrying about the perfect way to put away things in the apartment, and just clean up the office so I can get back to my life. My boss has already helped me with this at work by getting me to implement a work order system. Now I can actually keep track of what I accomplish and feel like I’m doing my job on a daily basis. I need to open my eyes and realize that my life isn’t going to go anywhere unless I take it there.

I can’t believe that my dream has given me such a metaphorical slap in the face, but so be it. And as for the setting… well, for now we’ll just leave that as “No comment.” 😉

Getting Things Done

With apologies to bsag’s dive into self-help, I just felt like bragging that I feel like I’m catching up with my life. Today I managed to get 5 bills for Lisa and myself out in the mail, along with finally filling out and mailing 3 rebates worth $90 total. I also got the information for a couple other rebates that I will get together tonight (worth at least $60, although possibly heading towards another $90). Along with these tasks, I put together folders containing bills and such that I’ve been toting back and forth between work and home, yet accomplishing nothing with. Now I’ll shoot over to the DMV website to renew my registration and update my address at the same time. That will help me with switching my car insurance – I’m eligible for Manufacturer’s Auto Insurance and I got their number today. That doesn’t even touch upon the work I’m actually doing,,, well… for work. Time to get those IT forms finished!

Goodbye and thanks for nothing

So I move two months ago… well almost two months ago. As is typical with moves, things got misplaced, especially bills. A couple bill payments were missed, and I corrected them as soon as possible. One of them was my Fleet/Bank of America card. I forgot to schedule the payment for July and wasn’t notified until almost September about the mistake. As soone as I realized that, I hoped on the schedule and paid for both months so they would see that I wasn’t skipping out or anything. I mean they did get an address change request a month before and all that. You’d think they would be able to put one and one together, right?


Last night I came home to find a letter forwarded from my old address. It was dated 3 weeks ago and almost a month after I had submitted the address change with them. In it, Fleet/Bank of America told me that my account had be canceled due to delinquency and suggested that I try not to hide from this matter as it will only get worse. It was basically a threat. A threat written after I made a payment and sent to the wrong address. And according to the date on the letter, it was written a week before they sent me my new card. And they expect me to want them in charge of my money?

Quick visit to the Citi website. Instead of canceling that card as I had intended, I transfered the remaining balance of the Fleet/Bank of America card over to them. I then called up Fleet/Bank of America card services and yelled at the guy (who sounded like he was another outsourced rep as I could barely understand him through his accent) about how outrageous this was. I then explained that I wanted to make sure the account was definitely closed, and because of how they handled the situation I would also be closing my checking and savings accounts at my earliest possible convenience. Thanks a lot, Fleet/Bank of America, you further empasized the point that my money is better off in a shoebox under my bed.

He’s not stupid, he’s evil

I can’t believe I was actually listening to Howard Stern this morning. But there was some decent political commentary tossed about on the show today. This was largely thanks to the guest, Patton Oswalt. Howard was asking Pat about an incident a couple years ago in which he had to be escorted off a stage when the crowd didn’t take well to some of his Anti-Bush material (they were actually chanting “Bush Rocks!”). Curious about the material involved, Stern pushed on about the story. It turns out that Oswalt was making comments that Bush wasn’t as stupid as everyone claimed, rather he was evil. This was during the height of Bush support, so the crowd did not take too kindly to his jokes.

Now I dislike Bush a great deal, and will even venture to call him evil on occasion, but I never made the rather brilliant (and Star Wars-related) observations that Patton did. Basically, he said, Bush has no problem talking when it’s about war and killing and all those wonderful topics he seems to enjoy. It’s when he has to act caring and concerned that he makes such flubs as, “We need to put food on these families” (I’m not sure if that’s a reall quote, but it’s the example that was given – and not too unbelievable I might add). In other words, it’s not stupidity, but the unnaturalness of his “compassion” that shows through. And here’s where it turns to brilliance (I’m paraphrasing here, of course):

Give Darth Vader a basket of puppies and he’ll look like an idiot. Just kind of stand there, and reporters could ask him, “How are the puppies?” and he’ll just studder and not know what to say. Then ask him about Aldebran and suddenly he’s eloquent, “We will obliterate your planet!”

If I get ahold of the transcript, I’ll fix it up for accuracy, but you get the gist. I had heard a lot of people talk about Bush’s supposed stupidity was a calculated part of his image – a way to make me people feel that he could not be responsible for the horrible actions many liberals tried to attach to him. But this idea seems even more likely, although I think his entire personality was definitely taken into account by the Republican Party when they looked for a face to put in front of their ideology (he’s certainly more friendly and acceptable than Cheney).

Also of interest was Howard’s comments on one of my own concerns: why isn’t Kerry going on more of an offensive right now? But as people have pointed out, Kerry is one of the smartest politicians out there – he knows how to handle the public. To be more specific, he knows that the public has a short attention span. The race has beenkept close to make it manageable, but chances are he’ll turn on the campaigning heavily during the last month. Remember how nobody was really even paying much attention during the primaries, and then suddenly he pulled away in a landslide? Yeah, he knows what he’s doing… I hope.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

In case you didn’t notice, the NFL season started last week. I promised myself I would write about each week and keep everybody abreast of what was going on with the Eagles. Well, what’s another failure in life? Regardless of its reflection on this website, pro football has once again taken over my life. Even though my sister’s wedding was last week (geez, did I even mention that yet?), I still managed to watch or listen to the majority of 4 games. And now, thanks to the wonder of NFL Network On Demand, I’ve been watching highlights for as many games as possible.

The NFL Network is one of the greatest ideas ever. Seriously, at any given time, I can just flip to channel 180 and BOOM! I’ve got nonstop football TV. I can die happy… well, not before the end of the season. Now I’m trying to capture as much of the replays as possible, since they probably only keep a week at a time. Oh well, you can only have so much footbal… or can you?

The other night Lisa watched the Eagles History DVD with me. So now I’m even more gung-ho than before… if that’s even possible. But it also had a far more positive effect on me. When I first started watching the Eagles, I never really expected them to make it to the Super Bowl. I just loved watching the game. And after 3 straight NFC Championship Game losses, I suddenly don’t care anymore. I mean, I want them to go to the SB and win, but if they don’t, I’ll still enjoy the journey. I’m going to have fun with the Eagles this year one way or another.

Of course, it helps that they look amazing thus far. Lisa and I are heading to Hoboken for the Arts and Music Festival today, so I don’t really have much time to talk about everything I wanted to. Probably tomorrow I’ll discuss the start of the season as I prep for the big meeting with Minnesota tomorrow night. In closing, all I can say is DALLAS SUCKS!

Good luck taking care of the luck that you might have

Here’s some upcoming good news (at least for my fellow New Jerseianonites…). Poking my head around the ‘net for some Brian Regan quotes, I found a fan site. This guy has some partial transcripts from the CD, which is great when you want to get a line just right. Then I notice the whole “schedule” thingy, which led me to Brian’s official site. Much to my delight, I took note of November 12-14 when he’ll be at Banana’s in Hasbrouk Heights, NJ. Yeah, we’ll be there.

For those of you unfamiliar with Brian, he is one of the funniest comedians I’ve ever heard. His jokes are very childlike and he just loves to laugh at the simple stupidty of himself and those around him. And amazingly, he does it all without cursing his head off, or substituting crassness and shock value for humor. Check out some samples over at the fan site, you won’t be disappointed.

I may hate his movies but…

I still love the design! I finally got sick of blorange, and have to admit that it’ll be awhile before I get around to my own design. So with the announcement of a new, simplified version of Kubrick from Michael Heilemann.

The site has also moved… sort of. As mentioned previously, I moved the WordPress install into a subdirectory with the intent of eventually moving the whole blog there in case I ever want to do something different at besides just hosting this silly thing. Well, it was causing even more headaches than before as I kept forgetting to update certain files and moving things to different areas, etc. So after upgrading to the latest nightly and installing Kubrick, I also switched this blog over to Have no fear, the root of the site will automagically redirect to the blog until something more useful appears there, and I’ll be working on rewrite rules to make all the old permalinks work, too. At this point, at least the feeds should be redirecting for those with aggregators (although you might still want to try re-subscribing, just in case).

Now that I’ve probably completely screwed up my pagerank (yay!), I can get on with cleaning this place up. Gallery will most likely be removed completely, and I’m thinking of switching to Coppermine in its place. If nothing else, I really need to scrap the current botched install.

As the dust settles and I glance around, I certainly like the direction this is heading. Thanks, Michael, for making such a great design for us all!

NOTE: Crap, the latest WP nightly happens to have a bug were the somewhat important “Publish” button is no longer available. If you can see this post, it means I finally fixed it.

Get yer fact check! Get em while their hot!

Here’s a much needed political site (and one I’m sure Mark could make use of) Pretty straight forward, these guys are checking the claims of both candidates and – as they say – “holding politicians accountable.” It’s always a good idea to keep aprised of the opposition’s gaffs as well as your own side’s claims.

(Thanks to pesky’apostrophe)