When I turned 25 it suddenly dawned on me that if I wanted to be successful and actually do something with my life I was solely responsible for making that happen. The next 3 years of my life saw me sitting down and building up a network of websites. It started as something I enjoyed doing in my free time, and over time it started to eat up more and more of my free time. It opened new doors and also provided some supplemental income. It allowed me to move to San Francisco. It let me buy new gadgets and toys. I longed for the day that I would be able to actually make a living off of all this work. I wanted to answer to nobody but myself. I wanted the excitement of actually creating something. That day has finally come.
Today is my last day at [large software company]. I’m walking away from a great team of people, a nice paycheck, a good working environment, and the security of health benefits, 401(k), vacation time, etc. I’m walking into the unknown of working for myself 100%. Life is good, life is exciting, and it is sure to be an adventure.
I just noticed that I hadn’t posted on here since November and figured maybe it was time for a little update. I’ve been busy, like everyone else in our circle of friends it seems. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s been going on:
After 65 comments on a single post and cleaning out 3600 comments from the database, I finally decided to implement something for the spam in the comments on here. I found a WordPress plugin namedSpam Karma 2, which was recently released. I installed it (aka, upload and activate the plugin) and took a quick look. Tons of settings and looks like it should do the trick.
When activating this plugin I ran into an old WordPress issue I hit time and time again with my plugins. WordPress sometimes won’t listen when I try to activate or deactivate plugins. I will receive a success message about the plugin being activated or deactivated, but it won’t actually perform the action. Usually I resolve this by deleting some plugins from the plugins directory, then activating and reuploading and activating the other plugins. Quite an odd workaround, but it seems to work. Anyone have any ideas on what’s going on?
Life has been too busy to post regular updates of the caliber that I would like, so here’s a summary post of things over the past week or so.
The laptop is in. It’s nice. It’s small. It has everything I need (except maybe bluetooth but I don’t need that yet). It needs stickers. I’ve stopped hitting “q” instead of tab. Vista is actually kind of nice, although I’m not in love yet. I still don’t know why I get “Access Denied” when I try to open “My Pictures” but the Photo organizer is pretty cool.
Dinner With The Orb
Tuesday night was dinner with The Orb and Heather at The Supper Club here in San Francisco. We literally ate dinner with Alex and Thomas. Their bed at the supper club was next to ours. The food was absolutely wonderful. They accommodated my dairy issues quite well even! The courses? a sushi salad, pepper soup, scallops, unbelievably good organic beef cooked to perfection, some sort of strawberry/yogurt dessert thing, and then a little bit of gelato. The drinks at the Supper Club are also quite good. I highly recommend the Black Cherry Drop. The atmosphere of the Supper Club was surreal. I don’t even know how to describe it sufficiently. We ate dinner on a comfortable bed in an all white room, being served by a man in a tight silver vest and a silver painted mask. The man in an all tie-dye outfit danced with his matching cape, while The Orb (technically Le Petit Orb) played in the center of the room. People were getting massages from the two masseuses wandering around, while others piled pillows in front of The Orb and enjoyed the show lounging a few feet away. People dressed in elaborate costumes slowly moved around the room, in a half-dance, half-walk, providing nothing other than eye-candy. A woman in a gold bikini and gold body paint came out and did some of the best hooping we’ve ever seen. We were in awe and couldn’t take our eyes off her. While we were inside we totally forgot about the rest of the world. The Orb did a set for everyone that was there for the dinner, and then later in the evening the doors were opened to the rest of the world for them to put on another show. By then it was late, we could feel ourselves starting to sink into the bed, so we decided that we should call it a night, as it had already peaked with good music, good food, good company, and good conversation. We gathered our shoes and headed out with smiles on our faces.
Wednesday night was the Pillow Fight at Justin Herman Plaza. Another one of those events where it seems like everyone shows up even though it was technically Valentine’s Day. Ian brought with him pillow rope darts which were entertaining. Thanks to the kindness of the rotating group of friends who watched over our stuff, I was able to leave my bag behind and spend some time in the mêlée, both as a participant and as an embedded journalist. The feathers eventually got to me though and I found myself coughing and rubbing my red eyes on the sidelines after two trips into the fray.
Needless to say there are tons of photos and videos of this event as somewhere 1000 people turned out. Although, can anyone back that number up? hehe Here are my photos as well as a video I took walking through the heart of the battle. More photos and videos can be found over at Laughing Squid.
After the pillow fight, it was off to a sushi dinner with Reed before he heads off to the other side of the world for a few months. After who knows how long it’s been since I got food poisoning, I was finally able to eat sushi again, or at least I tried some. Some random postcards, a delicious dinner, and we wished Reed well. For posterity sake, here is a picture of Reed before he left:
Tonight is a “rabbit night” where I get to lock myself in my apartment and get things done that get put off while I’m out having fun. However the weekend brings all sorts of new fun to look forward to.
My laptop was just delivered. Un-friggin-believable. I got the super saver shipping (5-7 days) for free through Amazon. Ordered on Feb 11th around 4pm. It left Sparks, NV on Feb 12th, 19:31. It arrived at my place on Feb 13th, 11:19. Under 16hours in-transit shipping time! Amazon rocks. UPS also gains a few points in my book for this shipment too, although they still have a long way to go before I fully trust them.
The downside. I have to go see The Orb at the Supper Club while my new laptop hangs out with the cats. Darn, doesn’t life suck?
I’ve been hunting for a new laptop basically since I moved in November. My current laptop is more than acceptable in what it can do, however at 8lbs with a 15.4″ widescreen it’s hardly portable. It’s a desktop replacement and that’s why I originally bought it. But now with the amount of running around I seem to be doing in the Bay, I needed something portable. I couldn’t find an Averatec 1150 (smaller than a piece of paper and <3lbs!), and wasn't able to find a laptop that had everything I needed. There always was a catch, either missing an important feature, or way too expensive with things I didn't need. Saturday I was checking my emails and Fry's "spammish" email about the current specials caught my eye with a Toshiba Satellite U205-S5057 for $1199.99, limit 1 per household. I know, their advertising totally worked... at first.
This laptop had just about everything I wanted and then a bit more.
1.6ghz core2 duo? Check 120GB drive? Check, plus 40gb extra DVD burner? Check Media Card reader? Check Under 5lbs? Check, just over 4lbs Acceptable battery life? Check, 4.5hrs they say Under $1200? Meh, almost before tax Extras? fingerprint scanner, extra durable case and spill-resistant keyboard, plus a license for Vista Home Premium (fwiw)
The website said check for availability, so I called the Fry’s down in Palo Alto.
“Do you guys have the Satellite U205 in stock?”
“We sure do.”
“For the $1200 price?”
“Thanks, I’ll be down in a bit”
So Heather and I hopped in the car to race down to Fry’s to grab my new laptop. We were rushed, because we had to be back up by the Ferry Building in time for the Sweet Cheat Gone. We got down there, got lost in the terribly unorganized building, and finally found the laptops (on the other side of the building from the rest of the computer stuff?).
The price posted on the laptop there was $1299. I asked a woman to check on the price, she confirmed this. I asked about the website and was told that I would have to order it online. I asked if they price match their website, she said no. I turned around and walked out, frustrated that I had been misled and had wasted an hour and a half of my time. Apparently Frys.com is separate from the Fry’s stores. Maybe this is common knowledge to long term Bay Area residents, but news to me and doesn’t make much sense. We won’t start on the guy that “confirmed” they had it for $1200.
I grudgingly started to accept the fact that even though this company had rubbed me the wrong way, their price was still better than anyone else. Heather suggested I check around though, just to be sure before I hit the Submit order button. I jumped on Amazon.com and found the same model, free shipping, no tax, for $1299.99, instead of the $1301 that Frys.com wanted. Score! I saved a buck and my peace of mind.
So, anyways, my new “ultra-portable” laptop should be here before March 1st. This will be the 4th Toshiba I’ve owned in a row. The old ones that are still kicking around: Toshiba Portege 3015CT – busted LCD, missing keys Toshiba Portege 7010CT – won’t charge batteries past 14% Toshiba Satellite A75-S2762 – still kicking, but too heavy and too hot to carry around
The Porteges are by far my favorites as they are incredibly small, light, and useful. But they’re from back in the day when processors were measured in mHz.
Anyways, the summary of this post?
– Frys/Outpost sucks
– I should have a new laptop by March 1st. 🙂
UPDATE: Minutes after posting this, I received an email from Amazon saying my laptop had shipped. Eta, 4 days! 🙂
I had a webcam fetish back in the day. I set one up again. It’s only uploading a static image every minute so far. Not sure if I want to tackle live streaming or not. But for now, here’s the view at the rabbit hole:
Keep an eye out for cats in the reflection as they like to sit on the couch directly behind the camera. Oh, and if all you see is floor, then one of them knocked it over… probably Bunki.
Yes, more free stuff from Google. Google has announced that Google Gadgets are available! What once was only available on your Google homepage can now be embedded in your website. Once they fix some annoying resize issues I’m sure you’ll see the sidebar of this site fill up with useful (and not-so-useful) gadgets.