Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dog meet Horse

Templeton doesn't like horses. Well, he's never gotten to know one before so we thought we would introduce him to some. You can see he got agressive at first but then started to like them. Oh, and he started rolling in poop too. Yuck!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Do the Math

Actually, I don't want to do the math! Matt, from the hit blog "Matt and Randi", and myself took a roadtrip to pay homage to an old tradition. Ok, enough sugar coating; we drove over 1100 miles one way to ride mountain bikes.

It was something like Matts 16th or 17th and my 7th. We went for the beautiful singletrack and for the memories of camping with the guys. It's all fun. There's freezing cold "baths" and if you are lucky, a steak or two fall into the fire and no one tells you they just hosed it off (not me).

I took a ton of pics which I'll just eventually post to Facebook and link but here are some notes I jotted down.

Womble Notes

Got to camp early Friday morning. Setup just before sun rose. I couldn't fall back asleep.
- setup tent @ 630
- woke up @ 930
- 1000 - 63 F

630 - 46 F
800 - 57 F
Got to north lake and it was pretty warm.
Rough ride. Cramping. Some falls. A brake mechanical. Sore neck. Arms sore. Hands sore. Back of the pack. Hungry. Wore out. Almost out of water. Not like me. Still fun.

Saturday Night
Ate a ton. Went to town for more food and water. Pooped at grocery store. Had "3 taco special." Sopapillas.

Middle of the night. Rain starts. Doesn't stop till we hit Virginia.

That's it for now, just a quick update on life.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, September 05, 2009

House Hunting

Well we just got done looking at a bunch of of houses and found some decent ones. Out of 7 we like 4 but they still aren't perfect. Here's our thoughts on the whole deal...

Uncle Obama wants to give us $8,000 to get into a house. Well that's great except if we don't find one we really love for a price we really like then we aren't going to get into a house. We just don't want to get into something that's either over our head or in a bad location that we won't want to stay in for at least 3-5 years.

So that's where we are now. If we don't find a place to buy, we'll just continue to rent, but we'll probably move into DC. It's kinda been a dream of ours to live in the city for a while.

I'll try to keep you posted but it looks like if we don't find something by the end of September then we will keep renting. We know it looks like a waste of money but being somewhere you don't enjoy or paying all of our income on mortgage and condo fees so we have no money for a real life isn't an option. At least with renting you don't have to pay for the washing machine when it breaks!

What do you think? Should we buy a condo somewhere in Virginia or rent in DC and float around for a few years?

Also, about the places we found... It comes down to really two things. Location and cost. The one we found right near Old Town are in a great location but obviously the cost is higher than what we want to pay. Then the other one which is quite a ways outside of Alexandria but it's $50,000 less!

See, we would be happy with living in the cheaper one because there is room for improvement but we aren't sure if it would be easily sellable later. But the one near Old Town wouldn't be too hard to sell (we think...) but getting into it might be tight.

I'm rambling now (mostly because I'm typing this while I'm watching a movie and I'm getting distracted) but what I'm trying to say is that if we don't get a deal on a place we love in a location we feel safe with then we aren't buying. Even though there is an $8,000 bonus on the line, that shouldn't be the only reason to buy a place. That's like joining the military just for an $8,000 bonus. It's something you will spend years attached to and you need be sure you will enjoy it and feel safe.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Blog Redesign

I'm thinking about redesigning this blog (as well as others). I only have the time and skills to use templates for now. Oh, and I made a new blog/site over at http://mikepetrucci.com (it's not much right now) if you want to check it out.

So, check out these templates and tell me which one you like the best. If at all. Leave a comment or vote on the right hand side (poll).





Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bit Gravity Test

Testing out Bit Gravity Player 6 with some video from a friend of mine.

Get Adobe Flash player

Monday, June 29, 2009

Apple Store Experience

I recently had to take my iPhone in for servicing or replacement and had one heck of a time! I wanted to tell my story and see if anyone has had similar problems. Sorry if it's poorly written, thats just my lack of writing skills! Oh, and I took out the name of the Mac Genius to protect his identity (see, I'm a nice guy).

*Update* - This was at the Pentagon City Apple Store


Dear Apple,

I usually never have a problem with Apple. I'm a big Mac user that has proudly helped convert two very stubborn parents and whenever I get a chance to talk Mac, I dive right in. I also think that they have usually superb customer service but this most recent trip was a real shocker.

I am currently on my third iPhone 3G. The first one got replaced after the vibrate switch stopped working. The second one (the one that this story is about) had an issue where the backlight would go all the way off instead of just super low.

Thinking that it was maybe a bug that 3.0 would fix, I just waited it out. But when I updated I still had the problem and decided to go into the Apple Store and have a Genius look at it.

******, the same Genius that just months before replaced my first phone was now going to be dealing with my second phone. He didn't seem like he recognized me and he probably sees tons of people everyday so I wasn't hurt.

I explain my problem to him.

"The backlight goes to off when just 1/4 from the lowest setting. Every other iPhone goes to a super dim mode but mine goes to completely off."

To my friends and myself this is a legit problem that we knew with 100% certainty that Apple would fix or replace.

Well, ****** didn't seem to see the problem. He says that it's his job to see a problem and he doesn't see one here. After explaining further he decides to go to the back and ask some other people about it.

Waiting just about 5-10 minutes he returns with two iPhones and says they don't see a problem either. He sets the two iPhones down on the counter and says, "Look, yours is actually brighter, and it has better range."

I told him that it was only brighter because the one he was comparing it to had a plastic film on it. Anything, no matter how clear it really is will diffuse the light at least somewhat. And I explained the "range" he talked about... yeah, it obviously has better "range" if the light goes off and the rest don't! That's getting technical.

Oh, and I'm not an idiot. I've worked in customer service and I realize that he was only trying to get me excited about it and walk off thinking my phone was now better than the rest. No dice.

I forgot to mention that this entire time he has not been giving me any eye contact whatsoever. I kept leaning on the counter trying to meet our eyeline and at the same time making sure that my stance and body language wasn't defensive or aggressive. I'm very aware of these things.

With the two phones still on the counter I asked him to take them in the back again and just slide the backlight all the way off while in the dark and compare the phones. He said "that's not necessary." I then asked him to just cup his hands around my iPhone to see the backlight go out and he once again said "that's not necessary." But isn't that what customer service is all about? Going above the necessary! It would have only taken a few seconds and would have made me, the customer, feel like he was at least trying to help.

I told him that I was in the store the other day and showed a fellow Apple employee who said that it was indeed a problem and asked if I could bring him over to "testify" but of course his response was "that's not necessary." He once again made me feel as if I was losing my mind! It's like I saw a ghost and no one would believe me!

He then had me give scenarios as to when I might need this functionality. I shouldn't have to explain things that the designer of the device came up with! But I did give him examples.

He also asked if the phone made calls, alluding to the fact that if it doesn't hurt the functionality then it's 100% fine. I told him that I didn't buy the iPhone to just make calls, the little kids "Firefly" phone that has a button for Mommy, Daddy, and Police just makes calls, but I bought the iPhone to play games, watch videos, surf the Internet, control my computers remotely, and everything else it can do!

Overall I felt as if he was just patronizing me and saying that he didn't see a problem and if this happened to him he wouldn't have brought the phone in. That makes me feel like an idiot.

In the end I got a new phone, but to be honest, I don't feel like I won. I'm not trying to pull ****** down because maybe he was just having a bad day but in the world of customer service you can't let that affect you.

My biggest problem is that there is an Apple employee that is "specially trained" in customer service and technical know how though he won't look me in the eye or even try to acknowledge my problem.

Oh, and it looks like some other people have had this problem. I searched the forums after (yeah I should have done that first though) and dug up some info. Also, I wish I videotaped it something just to have proof but I have the word of some co-workers I showed if you are interested in asking them.

Apple Forum Thread: http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=8587979

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

F.A.S.T. Bait & Switch?

This might just be a glitch but this could be a pretty slick way to get an extra buck out of you!

I've emailed SGN to see what they thought of it and I'm waiting on a reply.

Check out their site: sgn.com/fast/index.php

The game looks pretty good though, and I hear you can play blue tooth peer to peer.

** UPDATE **

No foul play here. Executive Producer Dan Brazelton just commented on my blog and said the following:

"No - no bait and switch. The price and description propagated on Apple's servers separately and imperfectly.

There was actually a time when it was $5 under WHAT'S HOT but $4 under TOP 25.

That's why we try to make price changes at night.

It should be settled now.

Thanks for your interest in our game, and sorry for the confusion.

Dan Brazelton
Executive Producer, SGN"

Thanks Dan!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Music Video Monday

Xbox 360 on 11,200 sq. ft. screen. Wowzers.

Green Twitter Avatars

When I first saw green overlayed Twitter profile pics I thought it was for people promoting "going green" or something but it turns out it was promoting the color of the movement for freedom in Iran.

I usually don't think that these type of things actually produce results. But I do see a chance that peoples green overlays will work.

It will put more eyes on the problem in Iran and more eyes equal more press which should get more pressure on those that can make decisions to do something.

In the same sense (business wise) that eyes = revenue, eyes = change. Though it's not guaranteed. But if enough people change their Twitter profile pics it will get press which will get press about the Iran situation (though there already is a ton of press but more can't hurt).

Does that make sense? Sorry if I'm rambling but my thoughts are kinda clouded but I thought I'd share my input. What do you think about this whole thing?

Oh and find out more about the green overlays here: #IranElection

Ring ring. It's for you.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Video taken on iPhone 3GS

My friend Ian shot some video on his new iPhone 3GS and I thought I would share it. It's pretty dang good! Oh, you record it then upload directly to YouTube. That's killer.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Into the Abyss

I recently got the OTB Abyss. If I were to tell you what they were up front, you probably would think I lost my mind.

This should sum it up:

The OTB Abyss Boot is ideal for use in any rocky or muddy situation, the sole unit also works well in dry conditions. With its superior fit and drainage features, this boot works well in any environment.

These boots were "designed & engineered at the request of the U.S. Navy SEALs."

And no, I didn't pay full price for them. I got them for a killer deal and these things seem totally worth it.

I got them to replace my aging Merrell Chameleons. Well not really replace but just to add to them. I'm not sure how the Abyss would handle cold and my Merrell's have that area covered.


So I had them for just a few weeks now but around one week after I have been using them I decided to give a review of what I noticed. I'll be posting an updated one and with video but this should be good for now.

1 Week Review

- Water from puddles get in. But isn't that the point? So maybe on really rainy days I wear goretex merrells (which don't breathe like these at all). ALTHOUGH, on rainy days I've noticed that they repel water like a mother and it's only when I get into real puddles do I notice some wetness.
- When water does "infiltrate" the boot, it tends to leave fairly quick and when I thought my sock would be soaked I was surprised to find it was nearly dry.
- Very comfortable even compared to sneakers.
- Stylish with jeans and other pants.
- Jogging in them is not out of the question, great flex and movement.
- Sometimes they squeak on stone floors at work.
-Feel bulky only when sitting down and crossing legs but only because it's a boot.
- Very lightweight feeling but still feel as if I can kick a few doors down.

Side Note Observations:
- When worn with dress pants I feel like a PMC (private military contractor), not really the look I was going for.
- When the metro rail goes by (Washington, DC), I feel the air rush through the boots and around my feet. That goes to show the breathability.
- I have worn these everyday and have not noticed any discomfort.

- They may not work with everyday outfits.
- Water gets in if you step in big puddles.

- This review was based on my own findings and observations and is not affiliated with OTB.
- I have not done a full submerge to see how well they drain but since I'm so close to the Potomac maybe I'll try it there.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Thoughts on AT&T

In reference to the iPhone annoncement, ATT is like this:
It's like your in school and the teacher assigned a group and you have a project due in 6 months. Everyone wants to work together but one kid thinks you all should work solo. No one wants to be mean so all decide to work solo and put the pieces together later. When you reconvene, you realize he's the only one who didn't do his part. Thanks ATT, your that kid. Luckily everyone else did well enough that the overall score is a B.

I would start shopping for a new group member.

This is pretty darn accurate.

Friday, June 12, 2009


**I do not endorse this guy in any way. He might be good he might be bad. I didn't research him at all but had to go to his site for something at work and noticed his videos.**

This is only a sample of the different media on his site. His team is doing something well because they are really making sure to use a ton of different types of media as well as different "brands" of the same media, like different video players.

In this case, it's Google Video (thought that's kinda like using VHS these days), Blip.tv, and YouTube. He could/should have also used Seesmic, Flickr, Qik.... That would be awesome.

Doing something like this gets your name and face in tons of places with chances for more exposure. I love it. Once again, I know nothing about this guy and do not endorse him at all.

(don't click, it's just a still)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Tunes Tuesday

This Tunes Tuesday is brought to you by TJ over at Scurds.com. I've said it before, I'm not very musically inclined (just check my iPod and you will see all kinds, and I mean all kinds of music) so I turn to him to give me all my music news.

This post he did isn't very recent but that's my fault and it's still interesting so check it out HERE.
Here is an excerpt on the post "And My Love for 60s music Re-Ignites":

"I’ve always loved music from the 60s. As a kid, my mom introduced me to pop music and would play me records from her youth– the Beatles, Neil Young, The Kinks, Sly Stone, Otis Redding, etc. Some I liked better than others, but a lot of it stuck with me.

Blame it on local Oklahoma radio stations, but I eventually got tired of the era as stations played and over played from the 60s cannon. Recently, I’ve spent my time and money following current music, but as the flow of new music tends to slow during the first of the year I decided to hit shuffle on the ol’ iPod classic and see what comes up.

The old stuff, after some time away, sounded so good. I was listening to it with fresh ears and I could even hear direct influences on today’s music in places I didn’t expect. It was great– quite refreshing really. I played these songs around my family. The kids loved them. Kym even loved them. (She was just pleased I wasn’t trying to stuff Animal Collective or TV on the Radio down her throat again).

Here are 10 songs which re-ignited my love for the decade and pretty much started an obsession. I’ve already created a 200 track playlist on my iPod and have created another list of songs I still need. Anyway, take a listen to these ten.

Here’s a bit on each track:
The Zombies – This Will Be Our Year

First off, a great song for the new year. Secondly, the Zombies are one of those amazing bands that actually don’t get played enough on the radio. You can’t go wrong with many of their songs, really, but this one just puts a big ass spring to my step."

Be sure to take the jump to read the rest of his picks. Oh, and follow him on Twitter: @TJClark

Monday, June 08, 2009


Hat tip to Pops.