I had to cut my walk short because, contrary to popular belief, we do actually have weather here in Southern California.

It’s raining today and I’m diggin’ it. We don’t get enough of the stuff. That doesn’t mean I’m ready to move to Seattle but hey, a little liquid sunshine never hurt anybody.

Or did it?

While on my walk, I noticed that I was pretty much the only one out there. As with riding the train to work, I’ve gotten used to seeing the same faces while out for a walk. But today…nobody in sight. Okay, there was maybe one person but I had never seen him before.

Look, you already know I’m not exactly Jack Lalanne. I’ll be the first one to admit I need to lose more weight. Maybe it’s that knowledge that drove me to go for a walk today. But what happened to all those hearty health-nuts? If anything, I expected to at least see the joggers out there since they are the most arrogant of the bunch. They must all be made of sugar if they couldn’t handle today’s horrific conditions.

Speaking of quitters, take a gander at this:

I saw this the other night and just about crashed the truck. Think of the irony here: a Papa John’s pizza being built in the space one occupied by Contours. What’s better? There is a Togo’s just to the right of what will be Papa John’s. And what’s to the right of Togo’s? Weight Watchers. I am not kidding.

But on the plus side: I now have a Papa John’s in my neighborhood!

Quality Control

Over the weekend, we decided to take Anthony to see Santa Claus at the local mall. Not just so he could give the jolly old fat man his this year’s list of demands, but to also get his picture taken with him.

Everything went smooth and Santa was an alright guy. Anthony requested some big trucks. (I better go through his list again–I don’t remember buyi…I mean, seeing those on it.)

At any rate, the seasonal photographer took a few shots that looked good (on the monitor, at least). But it was when I got the print handed to me that I had to speak up.

This print–they wanted $14.95 for a single 5×7–was about as crappy as I’ve ever seen. Seriously, I’ve seen clearer prints produced from 110 negatives. Not only was it blurry, the faces were washed out. About the only recognizable feature on either face was a pair of eyeballs. The rest of the face was a white blob.

Now I hate to tell anybody how to do their job, especially some kid just trying to make some extra holiday money, but this was just horrible. And being that I’ve worked in photo labs and know a bit about photography, I asked the lady at the counter if there was anything that could be done with it.

“Um…I don’t know,” she said. She then told the photographer to change the setting on the flash unit since they weren’t “coming out right.” I then told her I wasn’t going to pay for it since it was so lousy. Ann intervened since our chances of getting Anthony in a mood good enough to take his picture with Santa are pretty rare.

“Can’t you do something with it (in Photoshop),” Ann said. I replied that I can only work with what I’m given, and this was total crap. It was so bad that the people in line behind me became concerned and, if I heard them properly, also refused their print.

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This Beats Driving?

I know it’s been a few *ahem* days since my last post, so I’m making this one count.

It’s about an incident that happened to me during my evening train commute. And oh, it’s a good one.

But before I begin, I should like to give you a few disclaimers. First, this post will be laden with obscenities. So if you’re the type whose virgin ears might be offended by four-letter words, head elsewhere now. If not, then stick around.

Second, this will be a long post as it more or less will be a story. Well, more of a rant. I’d advise going for a drink or a bite to eat whilst you read today’s entry. Hell, make a Starbucks run if you dare. Go ahead–I’ll be here when you get back.

Click here when you have your drink and/or munchie!

Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight

When Ann asked what I wanted for Christmas this year, I insisted on nothing.


But then I saw the Rock Band Special Edition set for XBOX 360. I hinted that it was coming out today and that most retailers would be carrying it. So rather than fight the geeks and dorks at Best Buy or Circuit City, or wait in line with said geeks and dorks, she went to Target and picked one up for me.

So how is it? I’ve banged on the drums once and haven’t even scratched the surface as to what this game can do. But I know one thing: it’s fun. A lot of fun.

Here’s a set of pictures taken during the assembly process. (Note that we’re getting new furniture tomorrow, which explains why the den is in a state of total chaos.) Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a show in a few minutes.

They Never Saw It Coming

I had to help out the in-laws tonight with the installation of their new DVD/VCR. While it was installed properly by the time we arrived, I had to go over which buttons to press and why. They took notes and all was well.

But while removing their old DVD player from the TV cabinet, they found an old stack of VHS tapes from the early 90s. They wanted us to go through them and see if any were worth keeping. Most of them were unmarked except for the one that had “NKOTB Concert ’89” crawled on the label. (Ann was later disappointed to see that a Reba McEntire concert, originally aired on NBC, had taken its place.) Many also had first-run episodes of The Simpsons which I now own on DVD.

It was also a blast to commercials for defunct things like the Geo Prizm and Hughes Markets, as well as the VHS release of Babe:

(Images taken with phone-cam; hence the crappy quality. But look at that price! I could buy two DVD copies for the same price!)

While scanning through the stack of VHS tapes, which turned out to be a much more tedious chore than I had imagined, I came across a story shown on the local news. The segment was called “Computer Music” and it highlighted a new trend: listening to and purchasing music on the computer rather than traditional methods.

The reporters spoke to two then-representatives from Geffen Records. They explained, while surfing the Web using Netscape Navigator 2.0, that the growing popularity and interest in this thing called “the Internet” could make it possible for music fans from around the world to view videos and listen to their favorite artists online and download the content “onto CD.”

Quite simply, an unlikely notion and wishful thinking for most of us back in 1993.

“That could would never happen. CDs just hit the shelves 11 years ago! This story is full of it! Music on my what? I don’t even own one! Long live WebTV!”

And then one of the Geffen reps uttered a sentence that actually left me speechless–and also gave me the chills.

With this technology, it’s likely that it could drive places like Tower Records out of business.

Holy shit. Holy, holy shit. This guy probably got fired for making such a ridiculous statement as well as receiving death threats from the execs at Tower Records. I mean, can you imagine going out on a limb like that back in 1993? With a dial-up connection?

But in a mere eight years, that’s exactly what happened. When the first iPods hit the stores in 2001, it was the beginning of the end for Tower Records. And last year they closed up all of their bricks-and-mortar locations and now only exist online. Sure, they still sell CDs and vinyl but with the trend of music going digital and the ease of purchasing music online, the stores were pretty much helpless.

So the next time somebody makes a really ridiculous statement about anything related to technology, don’t shrug it off so quickly.

Unless, of course, it’s about a flying car.