Joel, yet I can't turn away."
Thursday, September 18th 2003
It's actually early Friday morning, 5:44am. Yeah, I stayed up. I had a lot of NYIIA site work to get done (adding event info, filling in missing info, etc.) I also had to add some info asking whether you wanted to advertise with us or not. I made a quick-and-dirty text box yesterday, but I wasn't happy with it (too plain Jane.) I kinda wanted to make it animated so that it stood out. It took me about 2 hours, but I made one in Flash. Check out the main page, and you'll see it on the bottom left. I kept it simple (with a white background and minimal graphics), but I wonder if it's TOO simple (i.e. plain Jane.) It'll have to do right now.
If you want to see it in all its glory, make sure you're scrolled all the way down. Right-click the ad, and hit "Play." That's assuming you have the Flash plugin for your browser. If you don't, what's wrong with you?
Tuesday, September 16th 2003
And the countdown continues. Less than 2 weeks.
Tomorrow looks to be a supremely busy day.
Yeah, busy day tomorrow. I just need to get to work early. 7am would be nice, and good change of pace too. I walked in 10am today again.
The oh-so-cuddly Teena sent me an article about a new study that analyzes a person's sleep position and how it relates to their personality. Here's the BBC article, which includes a diagram of the various sleep positions.
I totally forgot to mention that I recently saw Resident Evil on HBO a few weeks back. What a dumb movie. So dumb that I forgot to mention that I even saw it. Then again, not as dumb as Once Upon a Time in Mexico. Oh Antonio Banderas, why?
I'm still digging my Real.com Rhapsody music-on-demand service. I'm currently listening to Trance station. It's nice to just listen to a station, and get introduced to new artists.
I was sad to hear about the passing of Johnny Cash and John Ritter. They just had the funeral for Johnny Cash, and he'll be buried next to his wife June. ABC has decided to go ahead with Ritter's sitcom "8 Simple Rules....", and show how the family copes with the death of the father figure.
That's it out of me tonight. Watched Newlyweds on MTV tonight. Wasn't a big deal. I'm pretty tired. Tonight, I started selecting my family pictures for the wedding slideshow. I still have 6 more family albums to go through. I won't even get any more work done tomorrow. Argh.
At least my handheld is coming tomorrow. Well, I hope the UPS guy gets here earlier than usual, because I need to get to Fort Lee for the picture-taking.
Monday, September 15th 2003
Another entry? Two days in a row? Egad. What's going on?
So I finally succumbed to peer pressure, and joined this Friendster thing. I haven't filled out my profile yet, nor uploaded a proper picture, but I'll get there eventually. We'll see if Friendster is at all worth the effort.
I think I'm in love....with a phone. Since my new HP handheld has Bluetooth, I was wondering what else could I buy that would utilize Bluetooth. Not sure what Bluetooth is? It's a wireless technology that creates a PAN (Personal Area Network.) The idea is that you could have a bunch of Bluetooth-enabled devices all communicated together. A handheld pda would automatically use a cellphone as a modem without cables to connect them. Or, you could do wireless printing with a Bluetooth-enabled printer. Or, you can use a Bluetooth-enabled headset with your phone (no wires either.)
Interesting possibilities, yet I don't have any of it. Which prompted this bit of research. Anyhow, the phone is the Motorola MPX200, and it runs the new Microsoft Windows Mobile operating system. It looks pretty nice, has a big colorful screen, and you can sync your phone numbers, contacts, calendar, etc, with your Microsoft Outlook while charging your phone. How neat is that? My friend Saji brought up a few good points.....
1) Are they any security flaws?
This is Microsoft technology, right? We'll see. AT&T Wireless will begin to sell the phone 4th quarter 2003. Motorola also has a few new products slated to arrive. Check out the rest of the product previews. Business 2.0 magazine has an article about the Motorola-Microsoft joint-effort.
Let's talk technology. I still can't wait until my new PDA gets here on Wed. It probably won't last me past Saturday, but Wed-Fri will be bliss. CNN has an interesting article about possible next-generation computer displays...without the actual displays. Kinda like Princess Leia's transmission to Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars Episode 4. You know, like a hologram? Well, this is pretty early in the technological development, but read on...."Making a Video Screen Out of Thin Air."
I just have to ask: Has anyone caught the Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica show? Seriously, how stupid is this girl? I'm sure they're making her look stupider through "creative editing", but still, she's saying these ridiculous statements.
Speaking of celebrities, two statements.
1) Charlie Sheen and his wife Denise Richards are going to have a kid. I'm not really interested in them having a kid, but really that Charlie Sheen knocked up Denise Richards. Ah yeah.
2) I have to comment on the whole Britney-Madonna-Christina-kissing thing at the MTV VMA show. They're all stupid publicity stunts. Celebrities talk about wanting their privacy, but if they really had no one paying attention to them, they would be mighty upset. So, I've stopped paying attention to the celebrity publicity media whores.
This is my official position on the matter. I still haven't seen the VMAs, but Chris Rock is alright in my book. I'd watch just for him.
Sunday, September 14th 2003
I'm sorry, but I have to say it again. I'm getting married in less than two weeks. Whoa. That "big day" of yours that your Indian mom spends her life waiting for is finally here. Almost here. 13 days, but who's counting?
Speaking of weddings, did I mention that it's the season for weddings this year? Among other events, my old coworker Jason (everyone called him Thor for some strange reason down South) just got married. My friend Jenny drove to the wedding. Looks like it was very nice. I hope he has a good life, since I don't know if I'll catch up with him.
In other wedding news, my friends Evans and Dana are now married, as of Saturday. I still have to get them something nice off their registries, but a lot of the good stuff is taken. Children, learn a lesson here: "Don't procrastinate." I guess I'll just get a bunch of odds-and-ends. I wish I could have gone to their wedding.
Final wedding news, People magazine is reporting that Ben and Jen have split up. Still don't care.
Enough wedding garbage. Yes, I've been an absentee webbie. As we get closer to the big day, the evenings get shorter, and I have less personal time. Guess who's website gets the short end of the stick? That's right, folks. Joelipe.com. Ah well, what can you do.
It's 1:47am, and I don't even know if I'll sleep tonight. Guess this would be a good time to get some work done. Let's start with this site.
Last Monday and and Tuesday
I've been on a buying binge these past two weeks. I recently bought two lawn folding chairs, which you saw when I went to Plexy and Lesh's for their annual big BBQ. Here, Priya has taken my chair, but you can at least see what it looks like. Next, my beard trimmer upped and died on me, for no apparent reason. As my goatee got bushier and bushier, I spent Sunday and Monday looking for a beard trimmer. Deciding on the Norelco T-860, I searched high-and-low looking for this stupid thing. Every place that the Norelco website said would have it, didn't have it, like every CVS store and Best Buy near me.
The highlight of my wild-goose chase was driving to the 24-hour CVS in Cedar Grove at 12 midnight (how typical of me) to see if they had it. No, but the next 24-hour store in Pompton Plains (25 minute drive westward) probably had it. Getting directions from the pharmacist, I drove 45 minutes on Route 23, never finding "Jackson Avenue." Here's the route.
I ended up past Plexy's house (way far out), 3 towns into Sussex county, and then turned around. On the way back, I saw Jackson Ave, and found the Pompton Plains CVS.
They didn't have it either.
I got home, really angry, and went to sleep. I spent an inordinate amount of time at work on Tuesday calling up various CVS stores, and asking about the trimmer. Fed up, I ordered the trimmer from Amazon.com on two-day delivery. 60 miles roundtrip for a stupid beard trimmer, not to mention the phone calls. Meanwhile, I'm getting bushier.
For the past few days, my car has been acting up -- the engine light has been on, and the car was slightly sluggish. I needed to drop off the car at Planet Honda in Union on Wednesday, so I picked up my rental car at Enterprise in Montclair. For two days, I drove one bad car. Here's the Ford Escort in a beautiful green hue. Power windows? Nope. Power doors? Nope. Car rattles when idling? Yep.
After dropping off the car, Num and I met up with the gang for dinner @ Cheesecake Factory down at the Menlo Park mall in Edison NJ. I was late, and on the way there, I heard that the restaurant wouldn't seat anyone until the entire party was there. I got so irritated. What is this, a snobby French restaurant in NYC, or a stupid chain restaurant? I pushed the Ford Escort to 90mph (shake, rattle, & roll), and raced down the Garden State Parkway. Got there eventually, and we had dinner. They had BS'd the waitstaff somehow and got seated already, but I was still annoyed. Dinner was decent, albeit expensive. Still, that's the price we pay to eat out with friends, right?
The biggest news of all: Joel has furniture. It arrived Thursday morning, and I took the morning off from work to wait for the Seaman's Furniture delivery guys. While I waited during my 8am-12pm delivery window, I cleaned up the living room. I moved the old futon, tossed out my crap, rearranged most stuff. After it arrived, I started unpacking some of it, but then had to run to work. Here are the packed (and unpacked pictures.) Thursday night was spent basically unwrapping everything, and putting together the tables. I'm just so happy to have someplace to sit, and tables to put my stuff on.
I met up with Doug, and we went out on some errands. We visited Adrian (see the funny Brit and his antics on the Vegas Bachelor Party Trip) at his new apartment in Weehauken, went for a quick bite @ Pizzeria Uno in Secaucus, and then saw Once Upon a Time in Mexico, starring Antonio Banderas, and then Home Depot to get stuff for Doug's new aparment (he's moving back to Jersey City.) Let me say this about the movie: It's been over 24 hours, and I still don't know what I saw. That movie was a steaming pile of crap.
On Sunday, I got fed up with my Toshiba e740 Pocket PC. Since I've abused it all this past year, it's become very unreliable now. At any particular moment, the battery can become loose, and WHAMMO! my PDA gets reset, and I lose all my data. I still have it on my computer, but I need that info (contacts, numbers, appointments, etc.) when I'm running around during the day. So, Num gave me the go-ahead, and I ordered the HP h2215 Pocket PC from Amazon (I'm doing another 2-day rush delivery, should be here Wednesday.) As she correctly reckoned, we could wait to get it, but these next two weeks will be crucial, and I need to know where to be.
You know, this has to be my 3rd PDA in two years, 4th overall since 1999. The only reason this happens to me is that I've been using a planner-type object/device since high school. I use my PDAs all day, every day. I guess I just wear it out. All of them. I could spend money on the top-of-the-line PDA from HP (which retails for $649), but I'd eventually break it in a few months anyway. That's what happened to my old iPAQ last year.
Two weeks to the wedding, and I have no money left! Hurrah!
Tuesday, September 9th 2003
Is Joel alive? Yes.
Is Joel really busy? Yes. [It's 2:25am, Wednesday morning, I'm updating various websites, and doing my laundry.]
Did Joel get to work on time? Yes, I got to work at 7:45am today. Numerous coworkers came by to ask me why I got in so early.
Does Joel want to go to bed right now? Definitely.
Friday, September 5th 2003
Late again today. I couldn't sleep, so I stayed up until about 4:30am, then fell asleep waiting for when I should get showered and stuff. Walked in at 11am. Oh relax. I'll just spend an extra hour each day next week to make it up. Grow up.
Did I mention that I have an inkling to redesign my website? Well, I do, but I don't want to redo all those flash animations. What a pain those were to set up. I'll think of something. Besides, I'm not in a rush, because I've got wedding on the brain.
Oooh, big purchase. Num and I went furniture shopping, and we (me) bought a new living room set. Couch, loveseat, coffee and end tables, and even table lamps. Yes, REAL FURNITURE TO SIT ON. Unbelievable. I'd be happier, but while away this past weekend, my cat acted up and urinated on my current couch. I mean, I bought that couch from Doug for 50 bucks, and it's REALLY old. I bought this Nature's Miracle cleaner that supposed to be for pet stains and odor removal, and it worked on the cushions, but I can't deep into the couch underneath the cushions. You know what? I'm peeved, but I wasn't going to keep that old couch. However, what happens if she does something to the new furniture? It gets delivered next Thursday, so I have until then to figure out what to do.
I swear to you that she's a good cat. I swear.
Anyone hate popup ads while you're surfing the Internet? Ah, so do I. Good news, I've been trying out the new Google Toolbar version 2, and it's pretty fabu. First of all, it has a built-in popup blocker, and it works 99% of the time. Yes, 99% of the time. Since I've had it, I've blocked....401 ads, and it tells you this! I think I've seen one ad sneak by. Also, it has an Autofill button. Irritated by having to fill out name and address online forms each and every time? If you fill out your info once in the toolbar, it'll remember it. So, when you encounter a mailing form, just click the "Autofill" button, and it'll populate all the relevant fields. It's sweet, and there are more neat features included. Honestly, the popup blocker is worth it all by itself. And, it's all free for download. Do yourself a favor, and install it.
Any fans of the show Family Guy? Heartbroken that it was cancelled? Well, good news, it's coming back! [in a manner of speaking.] Since it was cancelled, the 1st season DVD set sales have been off the charts, and they're rushing out the 2nd season DVDs next week. Also, they'll be releasing all new episodes on DVD starting next year. Yes, all new episodes. I'm psyched, because I love Family Guy. If you like edgy comedy, you MUST check out Family Guy on Cartoon Network at night or TBS Superstation in the afternoons.
Time for bed. I've made new Trips graphics, and officially added the Las Vegas Trip page. No, you snots, I didn't add all the pictures yet, but I'll get there. Living room furniture was more important. Tomorrow, Num and I are checking out wedding cakes, and picking up our wedding favors from Long Island.
Now that I told you that I won't be around tomorrow, don't even think of robbing my apartment. I have an "Attack Cat." She has a bladder, and she knows how to use it. Just ask my poor ugly blue (and now stinky) couch.
Thursday, September 4th 2003
Hey hey, guess who made it to work today. That's right, me. Well, I mean, I was still 2 hours late to work (showed up around 11am), but I'll make that up tomorrow.
I think this whole "Bridezilla" story out of Connecticutt is so hilarious. I've been enjoying the video interviews with this classy young woman. Oye.
Speaking of video, it's so much easier to watch streaming video, like movie trailers and news reports, with a broadband connection. As a trial, I'm looking for more uses of the high-speed connection. I used to download songs through peer-to-peer networking (P2P) software like Morpheus and Kazaa, but I don't like the pop-up software they install along with it. Yesterday, I signed up with two of Real.com's streaming services. It's a 14-day trial for each. SuperPass allows you access to lots of streaming video on ABCNews, CNN, NBA.com, E!, FOXSports, and more. So far, I've been hitting the news reports, but you can bet I'll be watching NBA games once the season starts. [For some reason, I can't get the screenshot to show the videofeed (you just see a black square), but Britney Spears is doing an interview at the moment.]
Rhapsody is another service of theirs, but it focuses on music. You get access to over 320,000 albums of various artists, from country to rock to R&B. You can create playlists, burn songs onto CDs for $0.79 each, and generally find the songs you want. So far, it's pretty cool. I've sampled Christian artists, I think I like Coldplay, and I'm listening to "Electrical Storm" from U2.
What I like about both services is that they're "on demand," where you request something, and it's presented. For example, you don't have to wait to see a clip from a football game, but can call it up when you need to see it right now. I think it saves time, personally. I know that cable companies and video rental companies are developing and selling "on demand" services for movies too. Why make the drive to Blockbuster when you can just download the movie and play it nearly instantaneously?
I've got the "Check Engine" light on in my car, which means I'm having some sort of problem with my engine emission technology (as per the Honda Accord manual.) Considering that I need to look at furniture tomorrow night, and run around like crazy this weekend, I have no idea when I'm going to get it to the mechanic for a look-see.
In the spirit of spending MORE time on my computer, did I mention that I'm writing all my payments/checks via Quicken BillPay, instead of my checkbook? Well, I am. It's pretty neat that I can save on stamps now, but my checks are going to waste. Considering that Num and I will have to get new checks in a few weeks, I guess it doesn't matter now, since I'd have to throw out the old ones anyway.
I can't post the official Vegas gallery, but I'll post some pictures, and you can see how the page is shaping up. I still need to make a title page and all that, but at least you can start to see what I was up to for 5 nights. I'll try to get around to making the graphic, and adding the Saturday through Monday pictures in the next few days.
My friend Jenny Cu got laid off at PwC last week. I feel bad, because she lost her job for the same reason I lost mine last year (not enough client work due to the shitty economy.) Ah well, she's a smart gal, and will be back on her feet in no time.
Wednesday, September 3rd 2003
Missed me? Wondered what happened? It was Labor Day weekend, don't you remember? Well, last week was very busy, because it was my official one-and-only (I hope) Bachelor Party. I flew out on Thursday, and I just got back Tues afternoon. I was so exhausted that I didn't even make it to work today as planned. Just so tired. I slept some more, worked on cleaning up a little around the apt, did some calling and researching for wedding plans. Believe it or not, we're at about 3 weeks to the wedding.
3 weeks? That's it? The more I think about it, the more my jaw tightens up. That's when I know I'm at the cusp of having an anxiety attack, which I get on occasion. Bet you didn't know that. I used to get them before playing a musical concert. Sometimes when I'm rushing to pack my suitcase before a trip. I'm not really nervous, but to some degree, I am. Hoping that everything goes okay, blah blah.
Back to fun things. How was the bachelor party? To sum it up, 5 nights and 4 days of decadence. Basically, we slept most of the day and partied all night. Vegas is a pretty fun town, there's a lot to see and do. Also, I have to give a lot of credit to these awesome guys who planned the trip, the places to go, for taking care of me out there, and generally willing to do just about everything. Uh, in a non-sexual way.
I took over 150 pictures out there, so it's going to be posted in spurts. And especially not tonight, since I need to get to work at least once this week. In the meantime, here are the most dangerous men in Vegas. I'll alert you as more pictures start coming into the Vegas trip gallery. Yeah, I'll give you the breakdown on where everything was, as it happened, in the gallery too. I don't have the time or energy right now.
Yeah, time for sleep I think. Just be happy for me, because I have some really great friends.