So, you'd have to go back a few blogs ago to read up on all my cell phone stuff. Recently I purchased the new Blackberry Pearl 8130, and I love it. It's basically everything I wanted and needed and it's my favorite new toy.
There has been some sort of "rumor" that I heard a week or so ago and I kinda shrugged it off as if it was just some hack-job that I didn't need to mess with. That was the notion that Apple would be releasing an iPhone that would be compatible with Verizon Wireless (my carrier).
I have heard of people that hacked their phones and been able to do whatever to get it to work with their carriers. I don't mess with that. I'm not taking a chance of voiding a warranty or there being a chance of damaging the inner workings of such an expensive piece of equipment.
So, that "rumor" has come back almost every other day now. And though I can't find anything on the web confirming this, all signs are pointing towards the next Apple keynote address (which is slotted to be in the early weeks of June), and apparently one of their "big reveals" is to have the iPhone available to Verizon customers. !!!!!!
If in fact this "rumor" is true and Apple does release an iPhone that would be formatted for the Verizon customers, I'll be shocked! This wouldn't necessarily be devastating for me... but I can tell you now that the road ahead would be one that I would have to drive down very fast but with a defensive demeanor.
I currently own a 16GB iPod Touch and now a Blackberry Pearl 8130. The Touch is just now 8 months old... and I can never put it down... I'm always playing with it. The Pearl is awesome and I love it as a phone and as a texting monster. But now... if the iPhone does come out for Verizon... there's no question - I will be getting one.
What does that mean? Well, I'm thinking I'll pretty much be stuck between a rock and a hard place. Obviously I will wanna sell my Pearl. And when I said "drive down the road, fast..." it basically means I better try to find someone to buy it soon before the value goes down further than it already is, but at the same time, not sell it off for peanuts. They just recently came out with the Curve and I know there are Blackberry users that prefer one over the other. The chances I can sell it within the next month or so will be good... but only if those BB users decide to stick with their phones or if they do what I'm doing and jump on the iPhone.
Does Apple even know how brilliant they are at making money? I mean, hell... IF they do in fact release the iPhone for Verizon users (as this rumor states) I'll just take a wild guess and predict at least 30%-40% of the Verizon customers will buy an iPhone within the next year. I don't know squat about stats like this, and 30 to 40 percent might be too much... but with their prices likely to drop as well (as most phones do) and them coming out with a larger variety of iPhones to choose from (again, another rumor) then we're seriously talking about one thing and one thing only:
Apple will eventually take over the world!
I'm definitely not biased towards that company, as the iPod Touch is the one and only item that is of the Apple name I have ever owned. But looking at the direction they have gone with their computers, their digital media, cutting edge... well... everything!! It's just going to leave everyone else in their dust.
I know I started this by just talking phones... but this is way more than that, folks. This recent stretch of time is seriously a revolution of some of the best technology I think we'll ever see in our lifetime. (At least in my lifetime). And though other companies are developing these cool and hip new softwares, most, if not all, are nothing more than just 10 minutes of fun and then it's over. I mean, take a look at Photosynth, for example. (If you haven't seen it yet, check out the YouTube video on it HERE). I mean, that's really friggin' cool and all that... but really, how much time would most of us wanna play with it. Absolutely incredible technology (or maybe not) but totally not something I'd wanna get unless I really have nothing better to do with my time than sit at the computer and try to constantly be "wowed" by this stuff.
Then there's the Microsoft Surface table thingie. Yeah, I was excited when I first saw this... but like the Photosynth, as cool as it is, in the long run it would not be any more than just a fun toy to play with every once in a long while. I can't seem to find anything really that interesting about having one of these for myself. And the price tag? Forget about it! $10,000+ for one... and what the hell good would it do me? I'd still need an actual "sit up" computer to write drill... and e-mail... and anything else that would involve sitting up straight and not screwing up my back from hunching over it all day. (can you just picture that... an office full of people working on their "desk computers" and hunched over it, guaranteeing them a trip to the chiropractor at least three times per week).
In most demos of this table, they are pretty much gearing it towards the restaurant biz, which I think is actually really neat. Check out a 9-minute demo on it HERE. But then you get Billy Gates talking about it being more like a home/personal computer.
Nu-uh! Sorry dude... just not that cool. I do think paying $500 for a cell phone is a lot... somewhat ridiculous in a way, but if I use it as often as I use my Touch, you can bet I'll get every penny worth out of it. But gimme a break on this 'touch-table' junk. They've had touch screens for years at the airports, movie theaters... heck, when I was a server at Applebee's 12 years ago, we used a touch screen when placing orders and such. Maybe not as high in graphics and quality, and no dragging pics around or ordering concert tickets my touching a card to the table and dragging over an image of the event to your card "space"... just nothing I ever saw as being that interesting about it.
Still though, between all that has gone on the past 5 years or so, Apple has made pretty much every right decision for the best for the community and have definitely convinced some hard core PC-ers, like myself, to move in the direction that is obviously better for the future of this computer and digital technology. Apple came out with the iPod... 5 years later, Microsoft came out with their Zune. (nice work, guys).
Anyway, I don't have the time to ramble much more... but although part of me hopes this iPhone/Verizon rumor is not true, if it is true there's a chance that I will be going crazy trying to pawn off my Touch and Pearl and get myself a new iPhone. Oh, wouldn't that be fun!!
We all gotta start somewhere.
My very first drill design... Livonia Franklin HS - 2002.
I'm here writing... and at 3:45 am because I basically have no choice. I'm a little angry... upset... aggravated... annoyed... pretty much all those things at once.
The past 5 hours have been a culmination of several incredibly stupid things on my part... and all revolving around drill design, of course. I'm tired now and pretty much over it... yet don't really feel like writing about the detail that surrounds my miserable night. But I'll at least vent for 2 minutes about this... BAKA!!
I'm in a position right now where I only have a few bands that have numbers for me. And when I get the bands numbers I write them down on a post it and stick it on the edge of my monitor. It's fairly simple and is only really needed when I start the drill. After I get it started, I take the post it off and chuck it... ironically so I don't get it confused with another band's numbers in the event I happen to look at the wrong one when entering the drill, which has never happened before... ...until tonight.
So... I have 3 bands I've started on... two are already about mid-way through the openers and one I just started today. I went to town composing a good 14 sets of some really good drill and all-in-all probably not the best writing I've ever done, but everything came together very smoothly and I worked through some troubles early on, jumped a few hurdles... ugh, it's not even worth explaining. You know where I'm going with this already.
So, it's not like it was even close. I used Stony Points numbers of 121 winds and numbered them as such to match that of the drill I was writing today, which is only 96 winds. It got confusing because SP's opener has 15 dancers, and this band has 15 guard... lined up the same that way, but how I confused the numbers?? I don't know. I even used SP's drumline numbers, which also aren't the same.
For 5 hours tonight... last night... who cares. I wrote great drill that all has to be redone now and I'm so tired and pissed that I can't even function. I know I just have to take note of what I did and try to modify it for the other numbers... but there were 3 moves in particular that I spent over an hour on to get a sequential scatter to happen just right and it took a lot out of me. It's like... I don't know if I wanna go through the trouble again and it might be best for me to start from scratch.
I don't know if that makes sense or anything... but right now I'm just hating this. I had a headache most of the day... pretty much blew off the morning/afternoon and slept because I was up all night working on sketches for this show and working on SP and Memorial.... and now it's almost 4am, I worked all day/night and didn't go outside to enjoy the weather once as I stayed here on my computer and f***ed up everything. How friggin' lame.
I need a day off... tomorrow... Wednesday... I just don't wanna work and I'm not gonna. I don't care.... and I don't think I'll get behind. I'll be fine. I just need this time off and away from writing so I can relax a bit and not let it get to me. There's no real harm or damage in all that happened, but it was that heart-wrenching moment when I realized my mistake and it pretty much deflated me mentally. I was pretty much in shock... staring at the computer for about 15 minutes without moving and just looked at the post-it... looked at the other one... shook my head a bunch of times... put my head down on my desk and just tried my best to figure out what to do next. So... that next thing was to come on here and write something.
The other few things I didn't mention were equally as retarded on my part which contributed to the cluster f*** that was this evening... like when I was in the middle of writing (on page 7, I think, but had written from 2 through 7 without saving...) Then I randomly needed a mental break, killed about 15 min on Facebook, went to a few other sites, checked out some sports stats, etc. Then my f***ing Windows Update thing popped up saying that updates were installed and I needed to reboot... I clicked on the "Restart Later" thing because I was working and didn't feel like rebooting yet.
It came and went so fast, and I'm used to it that I didn't think of it. I just continued searching online, looking up some hockey jerseys (because I wanna buy a new Red Wings one) and playing some more on Facebook. I don't know exactly how much time went by, but I got really thirsty and went downstairs to grab a snack.
I was gone maybe 5 minutes... and when I came back my computer was in the boot screen! It restarted ON ITS OWN... and I know why. I just... I just forgot. F@#$% Microsoft.... Seriously. Yeah, it's partially my fault because I knew that when you hit the "Restart Later" button that in like 10 minutes it'll go on it's own unless you abort. And I happen to be gone... and rather than Pyware backing up my file (which I have it set to do but didn't) it all closed... everything closed... and I lost the 4 or 5 pages I just wrote.
I sat there saying "There no way... no way the computer should have restarted. It should have held up waiting for me to confirm "save" for my work... I know it shouldn't have restarted without waiting for me".
What was done was done though. I re-did the pages... was already a little pissed, but those pages actually flew back on the screen a lot quicker and easier than originally... only set me back about 20 minutes, so my aggravation towards Windows Update was short lived. But alas... the drama was far from over.
Man... If I had my PS2 with me, I'd be taking it out on some Guitar Hero or some GTA. I actually lent it to my friends to enjoy while I keep myself busy with work. Outta sight, outta mind, right? Well... it has been working and has been nice to have it out of my way for the time being... but days like today (which rarely happen... or ever in this exact case) are days I really could use it.
I've got so much more I'd like to ramble about but I just can't... I don't feel like being "fun" right now or anything other than drill because I just can't get it out of my head. I need to get away from the computer for a day or so. Probably gonna just shut 'er off and not come around tomorrow... unless I get the bug to get going again. That happens sometimes. I get restless and literally have to work or I get uncomfortable.
Anyway... I guess that's enough. Sorry for being so down and boring.
But on a lighter note, being that it's still Tuesday in my mind, I just wanna give a shout out to Cathy and wish her a happy birthday!
Goodnight everyone... time to take a well needed break.
Eh... I just upgraded (again) to 2.5... well, this time, 2.5.1. I waited until at least the first updated version before I redid it and alas it works great.
Right now, all I need to do is fix the theme and I'm all set. This one is... okay, I suppose. But for now it'll do. I changed the color up a tad from the originals and it's a bit 'clashy' now. I'll figure it out when I get more sleep and have time. Seems like I'm so busy that I can't even do the simple things like choose a good color scheme for my damn blog. haha!
Well, today was productive... wrote 16 pages of Pasadena Memorial's 29 page opener... almost done and I think all I need is one more day at it. I got stuck with a few spots, worked out several different versions of the ending and I think I have one now that I like. In a lot of ways, I'm being a little too picky with what I use for a particular sequence. Right now it's like "do I want what's behind door #1, #2 or #3?? ...hmmmm...." But later on in July I'm gonna have to be like "Eff it... door #1". It's easy now to mess around, but I have to get out of that habit soon and start figuring it out a bit faster in my head.
Stony Point's opener is coming along... still hangin' on page 11 and need to get back at it this week. I had to wrap up Spartan's opener and that took up a little more time than expected, but it's done and now to mvt. 2 later this week. That tune should take about a day to write... maybe only about 10 pages or so. *shrug*
No-one else goin' yet... but I know I'll have a few bands that'll get me numbers and the green light to get started within the next couple weeks. Besides actually being stoked about these shows this year, I'm also a bit nervous. I don't know why I feel pressure this early, but my hopes are to wrap up all my shows a lot sooner than last year. Does this mean I wanna bolt through and sacrifice the quality? Hell no. But last year I had a few bands that were slow to get me music... several choices on my part that slowed me down as well... and the fact that I had to move to a new place in September. (talk about bad timing).
Last year I wrapped it all up around October 7th... maybe? That was the best I had done since 2005, when I finished by October 5. In 2006 it took me a couple extra weeks, but that was because I had been teaching full-time at Travis HS and lost lots of my writing time because of that.
I know that wrapping up drill in October sounds late, but I can't help it if the arranger hasn't finished the closer yet, and it's mid-September. I'm all for those pre-written shows, man. Get me the whole package in May and let me have at it. That's what I love about at least half of my clients. Although, I do love how arrangers can customize more to the ensemble they're writing for and for the design of the show overall (eg John Fannin at Calloway Co.).
But the way I've been most comfortable is having time to digest and study. With some drills I've written, I literally got the score on a Monday and was asked to have drill to them (even 4 or 5 pages) by the next day or the day after. I understand their situation, having to wait for the music to get done thus making me wait. No, I don't have anything else going on, but still it's not like I have the music there and know exactly what instrument plays what line and where, or soloist sections, drum break counts, etc.
All that takes a lot of planning and prep... especially for me. Maybe this year will be better and I won't struggle so much to figure it out on the fly. I just remember thinking I could a couple instances last year (i.e. Stony Point closer) but it ended up taking a couple days still. And in the end, I wasn't particularly happy with what I wrote, but I got them what they needed and it worked out in the end.
Those shows I've done in the past [looking back] where I had everything together before I started were all my best shows. Pasadena Memorial '06 & '07, Cathedral City '06, Hanks '05 (but was a little shaky at both the start and end - at the start because of going to school for the first time since writing drill and at the end because of having to evacuate due to Hurricane Rita). Klein Forest '05 (though my guard staging sucked balls). And finally, Northeast Technology '04. Though, the show they did was a carbon copy of my all-time favorite Cavaliers show - Niagara Falls - I hardly had to plan it out much. No I didn't copy Gaines' drill, nor did a do a whole lot of it even similar... but it was great to write a drill to that music and the band placed 3rd overall at the all-Thailand championships!
So.... yeah, I don't know what else to say. I do need to go to sleep though... and soon. It's about 5:45am, and after pulling an all-nighter a few days ago to wrap up Spartans opener, I haven't quite balanced myself back to normal yet. Oh well... it's easier for me to work at night when it's quiet like this and I can avoid distractions - number 1 of which is to go lay out by the pool. ....Which I do sometimes and might do tomorrow, but only if I wrap up PM's opener... Many people find it easy to just say "whatever, I'm going..." but not me. I get restless when I know I have work to do, and I kinda wish I didn't have that trait. It's so bad sometimes I get stuck in this office chair for up to 4 or 5 straight hours at a time, and not only is it bad health for my body, but also I forget to eat sometimes and get dehydrated. I guess being dedicated to my work is one thing, but I need some sort of class bell or person to come kick my ass out of my room every couple hours so I can get away from it all!
Oh... just realized I forgot to get to a point I was trying to make earlier. The main reason I feel pressured so early to get the drill done this year (and hoping for no big complications) is because I have officially made up my mind that I will be accepting the open invitation I received to march with Aimachi again. Going to Japan was an experience that I don't think I will ever forget and something that meant so much to defining who I am today and who I have been since returning home in December. I'm still the same person, but a lot of the little things have changed. The friends I made there are friends I will have forever. And even if something happens to me that will not allow me to march, I am hoping to get an opportunity to at least teach.
Okay, that's all I got. I thought this would be about 5 sentences and instead you get my typical 'life story'. psh! I need to learn how to simplify things. Or not? Who cares... I just need to write whatever I want, no matter who reads these or stumbles upon it.
Sorry, no pics in this blog... maybe next time.
I've been way too busy to write an actual blog lately... and to be honest, that's an okay thing. I would really rather take the time to write something in here on a regular basis or even daily, but lately I have just wanted to get as far away from the computer when I'm not working because it's just not good for me to sit here 24/7. (or what has literally been about 20/7)
So, this isn't much of a gripe but I thought I would make an announcement to those who might read this and haven't heard about it yet.
I travel a little more these days and luckily I have several friends in the airline business that I talk to just to check in regarding changes in policies and whatnot. One of my concerns (as most people's these days) is wondering how much oil prices will affect air-fare ticket prices. Well, a good friend of mine that works with Continental informed me about the new rule regarding checked luggage.
For so many years now (and as far back as I can remember) you were always allowed to check two bags/items and have one carry on and one personal bag. I took full advantage of that when I went to Japan last fall, pretty much hitting the max on each of my two checked suitcases, stretching my backpack carry-on to the limit where the zipper was about to bust... and having a separate bag for my laptop. Well... unfortunately I wouldn't be able to get away with that again, unless I wanted to pay something extra.
According to my friend, as of this week all passengers are allowed the normal one carry-on and one personal bag, but now just ONE checked item/suitcase. And... no matter what the size or weight, if you want to check an addition item to the ONE you are allotted, then it'll be a flat rate (as of right now) of $25. Even if it's just a 2-lb sleeping bag or just a simple baby cart, it'll be an extra $25.
Story here! (And be sure to read the part about checking a third bag...)
My friend also mentioned that ticket prices will eventually go up in addition, but for the time being they'll stay close to what they are now and the extra $25 per person who wants to check an extra bag will make up for most of those costs with the higher oil prices. Of course, first class passengers and "Elite" level frequent flyers will be exempt from this policy.
The reason I felt this was worth mentioning here is to help spread the word that this happened due to something my mom just went through. She's currently in Oklahoma to see my brother's graduation from OU and mentioned how the Detroit metro airport was close to rioting over this "new" rule that nobody knew about. I literally just heard about it two days ago, yet had I not talked to my friend, I woulda never thought to ask about it or look it up and probably wouldn't have known about this rule change unless it was told to me from another person.
This really doesn't affect me that much, but if/when I go to Japan this year I have no choice but to pay the extra cash for the extra luggage. But what I haven't looked up yet is what the difference might be if I am traveling overseas. If it's the same $25... cool. But if it costs a lot more... ugh! oh well. I can take the hit, I guess.
Well, pass the word onto everyone you know that doesn't travel a lot or has plans to hop a plane and go on vacation with the family sometime soon. I remember going with my family places and each of us checking two items. Can you imagine getting to the airport with the whole fam and expecting to be able to check your 8 suitcases for the 4 of you and next thing you know they are asking you to pay an extra $100?? I can definitely imagine the inevitable chaos that has been going on in airports around the country. Probably not so bad, but I'm sure it has recently left a few people in a bitter mood either on their way home from someplace or on their way out to vacation.
What if you went someplace before this policy went in effect... stayed there for a few weeks... came back with the same bags you had and found out you had to pay extra for the second checked bag??
Blah! I'm just glad it didn't happen to me.