Archive for the 'jordan' Category

04
Feb
08

Weekend Re-Cap

Superbowl Weekend! Not gonna lie, I was really getting sick and tired of all the “perfect” talk accompanying the Patriots. I am a hardcore Patriots (and Jets) hater! And that can only mean one thing: I am a Dolphin’s fan. Flame me for their horrible season last year, but the Tuna’s in charge and has revamped practically the entire coaching staff. Anyway, something else the superbowl brings is usually awesome and memorable advertisements. While I have always enjoyed watching the commercials, I found myself not only viewing them, but really looking for the next big idea in any one of them. But more on that later! I’ve got to tell you about the events that led up to Sunday first.

Thursday night, we were predicted to get a TON of snow. I really don’t like snow that much. Sure it’s pretty, but it makes such a mess of things. Classes got canceled for the evening in preparation for the worst. Come 5:30 a.m. friday morning, word came down that the campus was closed! Woohoo, three day weekend! I look outside and this is what I saw.

Snow

That’s right…A TON of SNOW! 10 inches to be exact…19+ from drifting…

And here’s my poor car…Look at the snow on the mirror. I had to dig out the bottom of my door so that I could get it open.

my car

My buddy T and I spent some time digging our own cars out as well as a couple of our friends, and even some people we didn’t even know. We even pushed one girl out of a snow pile she drove into, later admitting that she’d never seen snow like this before…crazy.

The next day, I came down with something awful…I mean, I have been out of commission for the last three days…I don’t usually get sick, but when I do, it’s bad news…I’m feeling better today, but I wouldn’t have minded another day off to relax.

On Superbowl Sunday, my friend Chad held a get together at his place so we could watch the game on his 52″ plasma (thanks to me and SD). Let me just revisit what I said earlier about me really not liking the Patriots. I just wanted to make sure that was fresh in your mind. The game was full of a bunch of great plays on both sides, but one play stands out above all…This scramble by Manning and ensuing catch by Tyree…INCREDIBLE!

I am sorry for jumping around so much, my mind is still recovering from the medicine…back to business. So of the commercials that were played, there were a couple that stuck out in my mind. Some in a good way, and others in a bad way. First: Winner for the night…The Tide talking stain commercial. Congrats to their marketing team for that video. They did it all right…entertaining, made me remember their product, and drew me back in with an interactive website at the end mytalkingstain.com

Other winners for the night included Budwiser/Bud Light, Bridgestone (maybe a surprise?), Coca-Cola, Diet Pepsi Max, and Sobe. You can view them all on MySpace’s Superbowl ad site.  Line of the year:  “Suck One.”  Wait for the T-Shirts!

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31
Jan
08

I am getting the bug back!

So as I sit here, bitterly enjoying my Subway sub and looking at lenses for my camera, I am thinking to myself: “I really miss taking photos.” Over the course of the past week or so, I have been able to take a lot of photos of a variety of different things. I’ve been able to hang out with some friends and shoot photos with them, and more importantly, some of my girlfriend! As I thought about it over lunch, I realized the reason I quit enjoying photography was because I was shooting too many things that I wasn’t passionate about. Not only that, but it was usually on a last minute notice thing and more often than not, after hours. And while I enjoy attending events, I wish I had something to show for it. I talked with our creative director the other day, and ever since I started here I’ve been trying to get some new camera equipment. I’ve been begging for a good telephoto to replace the 28-200 G lens that I have now. Performance wise, the lens takes nice photos outdoors. Inside shots with low light, and autofocusing though are awful. I don’t think I’ve ever used a lens that focuses as slow as this one does, and is also not that accurate. Also, the zoom is not very tight (and is backwards from every other Nikon lens I’ve ever used…) and slides out while moving around. Aside from all that, it does take nice photos when the lighting is right. Unfortunately for me, I take a lot of photos in very poorly lit places and in places you’re not supposed to use a flash. In these situations I resort to my trusty 50mm f1.8. Like these photos here, the left one being pretty much my trademark shot:

Eddie Smith Dunk at UIS Eddie Smith Dunk at UIS

Now, my friend Joe, of FJ Gaylor told me yesterday that he had a lens he might be able to sell me which would be amazing! Hook me up! Another reason I have been excited about photography is because the FJ Gaylor was updated to include all their fall 07 shots. Let me just say that they have their act together! If you need photographs of your college, I would highly recommend them! And I’m not the only one.

 

Moving on, last night at the library (I briefly mentioned this earlier) I was helping Jordan find some things. I came across a book titled “Memoirs of Mary and Martha Washington.”

Memoirs of Mary and Martha Washingon

 

Then I looked at the copyright date in the center on the bottom of the page….1852.

Mary and Martha Washington
Martha Washington

Isn’t that amazing?!?  It’s crazy to think that book is actually in my universities library.

Martha Washington

It’s hard to read, but this book was given as a gift on Christmas in 1853.  These photos were taken with my iPhone.  It does a decent job for a camera phone in low lighting.  But so anyway, I was really amazed and I think the artistic aspect of that book really made me enjoy photographing them (even just with my phone).

 

Alright…last thing…I mentioned bitterly enjoying my sandwich.  Last time I got a tuna sub from Subway I got a six inch.  They put three scoops of tuna on my six inches.  Today I was starving and decided to get a foot long.  I watch as he applies the tuna and see him put only four scoops on my sandwich.  Now…it’s been a while since I’ve taken a math course, but if there are three scoops on a six inch, shouldn’t there be six scoops on a twelve inch sub?  The tuna was spread so thin on my sandwich, I would have gotten all bread and veggies.  So I asked him to put another scoop on my sandwich and he said it would be .50 a scoop.  Then I started thinking, I’m paying more for a 12 inch sub with an extra scoop of tuna than I would for two individual six inch subs.  $7.10 later, I leave with my sub and drink (drink was free for being a student!) and return to my office.  I usually spend $3.27 for lunch on a six inch sub.  It probably wouldn’t bother me so much except for the fact that 4 out of the last 5 times and 7 out of 10 times I have gotten “fast food” whether it be from Subway, Taco Bell, or Wendy’s, they have gotten my order incorrect.  I guess they think that when I ask for a hamburger I really want a cheeseburger instead.  Customer service has really gone down hill…

31
Jan
08

What would we do?

While starting my day by reading my blog feeds and news feeds, I came across this article from the Middle East. And then I started thinking…If something as simple as a “cut phone line” essentially could destroy our internet connection, this is a very real deal. That is certainly one way to stop the economy in a major way. I know I use the internet A TON throughout the day. In fact, I helped my girlfriend work on a project where she had to find stuff in the library (more on that later) last night. It was 10 questions and we had to find answers to them using the library for at least 7 of them. It took us two hours to answer 5 or 6 (she completed a couple earlier). And what’s crazy is that I am a pretty good “searcher” most of the time. We definitely take the internet for granted a lot of the time. Try working without it for a little bit and you’ll begin to see how helpful it really is.

04
Jan
08

Wonderful two weeks; Back at work

Well it wasn’t without adventure, but I’m back in Springfield. My vacation was great, and I had a lot of fun and relaxation time. I didn’t do too much work, but I must admit that I did work a little on my iPhone. I didn’t want to get too far behind in emails, etc. being gone for two weeks.

So what’d I do all that time? I left the 19th of December, a couple days before I originally wanted to leave, but oh well. I’ve got vacation days already. I had a lot of problems getting tickets for some reason (I guess a lot of people bought early; I purchased in mid-October), so I couldn’t fly out of Springfield, but rather out of Peoria. Peoria is a nice small airport, less than an hour and a half away, but most importantly, FREE parking! You fly out of St. Louis and its $7 dollars a day. and $7 * 16 days = $112 of extra expenses, not to mention traffic and tons of people. SPI and BMI (Springfield and Bloomington also have unlimited free parking). Anyway, I got down to Florida problem free. I left freezing weather here to 75 degree evening weather down south in sunny Boca Raton. Man do I miss Florida…

The first couple days my dad and I spent shopping for Christmas. Trying to get things done before I left and finals took up a lot of my time so I hadn’t really done shopping. I’m not too big into spending a lot of money for holiday’s, but you get gifts for some people (ie close family, etc), without going overboard. Department stores were disappointed with only a 4% increase in sales over last year…still crazy ridiculous… Once we got all that done by the 23rd, it was relaxing time. I spent all of Christmas Eve on the couch, and almost ventured into the pool, but an early morning rain dropped the water temperature to below what I was willing to swim with. Normally the pool is heated, but it got damaged during the last hurricane down there…

Christmas day was crazy hectic…Four Christmases in one day…One at my dad’s house, then at my dad’s girlfriends brothers house, then one at my uncles, and finally one more at my dad’s house again. Then we did one more the next night at my dad’s house as well. I’ll tell you right now, I am a difficult person to buy things for. Everything I want, I usually just get myself. I don’t like receiving gifts usually, so I just ask for small things. Not to say that I don’t accept things, wink wink, there’s just not as much to choose from on my list.

I did get some nice things though; a seat warmer/massager for my car (which will probably go in the passenger seat for Jordan), some apartment decorations (frames, etc), and some much needed items like luggage and an overnight bag. All in all, it was good for me.

On the 27th, Jordan and her family (mom, dad, and brother) flew down to vacation in the Key’s and spend time with their family. They invited me along to go down to Key Largo with them for a couple days. It’s been quite some time since I’ve been down to the Key’s and a lot has changed. It’s grown up vastly with a lot of new businesses, etc, but the soul of the Key’s still remains largely. Lots of small, non-commercial businesses and that laid back personality that is prevalent in the natives. We rented a boat for a day and cruised out to some reefs to go snorkeling and saw tons of beautiful fish. John, Jordan’s brother tried to catch us some Yellow-Tail Snapper which is EXCELLENT eatin’, but to no avail. The seas were a little rough, so we decided to try the Gulf side, but the water wasn’t anywhere near as clear.

We traveled down to Key West and visited the Southernmost point in the US, and let me tell you, the line for taking your photo next to the landmark was an hour long…I skipped that though and had us stand off to the side and snap some shots in between people getting their photos taken. You’d never know that we didn’t wait in line…haha! We walked around and toured the historic streets for a couple hours and then decided to head back north.

I had a lot of fun, and it was nice being back in the Keys. I spent the last two days of my vacation relaxing around the house and swimming in the pool. But like I said in the beginning, my trip wasn’t without adventure. My flight back to Peoria was good, a little delay leaving Fort Lauderdale because of snow up north, but overall pretty good. I got to Peoria a few minutes after 4 p.m. and went downstairs to get my bags…which never showed up. About seven people didn’t get their bags, and on a plane that holds 80-ish people…that’s not a great number… The problem with a small airport is that they don’t have a lot of people working really, so a lot of times, the counter workers are also the baggage people, etc. While we were waiting, I decided to go pull my car up closer. I went to start my car, and what I feared came true and I had a dead battery. It was 5 degrees in Peoria at this time, so I kinda expected that would happen. My Eclipse doesn’t like cold weather much… I forgot to mention…my carry-on luggage was full, so I didn’t have room for my coat, so I figured I could store it in my luggage and pull it out once I landed. So of course, no luggage + no coat + 5 degree weather = me being really cold. The nice thing about Peoria is that they have an emergency service just for situations like this. So I called their number, and wouldn’t you know it, the one day they don’t have anyone on staff is Wednesday’s after 4:30 p.m. and by this time, it was about 5 p.m. So I called the police officer’s at the airport, and the guy I talked to was very rude to me, and suggested I call a tow truck. I asked him why he couldn’t come help me and again, he insisted I call a tow. I figure he prolly didn’t want to leave his nice comfy office and venture out in the 5 degree weather, but that’s kinda part of his job…”to protect and SERVE.” So I spent the next hour searching for someone to give me a jump. Let me tell you, the best day to travel is Wednesdays because there’s no one at the airport. Finally on a tip from a cab driver, he told me to talk to the rental car people. I went to Hertz, the first one I saw and asked the woman working the counter if she could help. She called up one of her co-workers and he met me at my car to give me a jump. She was extremely helpful and very courteous which was nice to see. I finally left the airport about 20 after 6 p.m.

My adventures don’t end there though. All the way home, my car is acting awfully. Every time I signal to lane change or hit the brakes, my lights would dim. I made it all the way to the stoplight before my house and as I slowed to a stop, all the lights in my car turned off and my car started sputtering like it was going to die. I reved it up to keep it going, but it kept wanting to die. So I said screw it, and made sure no one was coming and just ran the red light. I figured I’d rather make it home since I was so close rather than drag my bags through the cold, without a coat, the last half-mile or so to my house. As I pull into my parking spot, my car died completely. I didn’t even get all the way it when the lights turned off and the car rolled to a stop. God was certainly looking out for me that night. He carried me all the way home, and into my spot before removing his hand when my car promptly died. I had to take an extra day off work to arrange for some transportation to get my car fixed. I took my battery into Autozone and they told me it was fine, so I took it to Advance Auto parts and they checked it for free (they offer lots of great, free services like battery testing, alternator/starter testing, windshield wiper and battery replacement, and more) and told me that it couldn’t hold a charge anymore. Which was my thought. So $100 later, with a new battery, I took it home, hooked it up, and started my car up. I was so glad that it wasn’t my alternator ($300-$400) or another more expensive problem. Soon thereafter, my luggage showed up at my door, courtesy of the airlines. End of drama.

All in all, I had a great trip. It was a lot of fun and I really miss my family and Florida. Someday I’ll move back, but that won’t be for a while. As stated earlier, I’ll post some photos after lunch since I left my camera at home. Long post I know, but I wanted to give you guys an update. Comment on how your Christmas and New Years went! I want to hear about them!




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