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Today is the first day of panels here in Austin, and I thought I’d try running two different experiments with my personal habits here at SXSW:

Experiment #1:

Purchase a replacement MacBook Pro battery, and by virtue of hotswapping batteries, not have to plug in at all during the day at ACC.
Result: Success. It’s going to be close, but I’m in the middle of the last panel session of the day, and I’ve got about 1 hour left on battery #2. I’ll have to work out an overnight charging regimen, but all in all, it’s a good thing.

Experiment #2:

Get through an entire day of panels without any coffee or caffeinated beverages.
Result: EPIC FAIL. I found myself drifting off and typing nonsense in my notes from the 37signals panel. Thankfully, Dinah was there to rescue me with some Jolt Caffeine Gum. Tomorrow, I’ll need to wake up early enough to get down to Starbucks and get my standard venti quad vanilla latte.

Monday: Play host for a late scholarship application read.
Tuesday & Wednesday: Try to finish processing the remaining scholarship renewals for my programs.
Thursday: Going-away party for my friend Margaret, who has a fantastic new job in LA.
Friday: Clerks 2 opens. I WILL see it on opening night.
Saturday: Fly to San Francisco.

At least I can’t complain about being bored.

The following conversation took place this evening, approximately 8:00pm, at the drive-thru window of the Wendy’s at Windsor Green Shopping Center. I swear on my life that I am not embellishing a thing.

I drive around to the window – the Wendy’s Drone is literally dangling my food out the window. As I drive up, she sticks her free hand out as if to say “Just give me the damn money already.”
Wendy’s Drone: Hi. $6.97.
I hand over the money and take the bag of food. The Drone then hands me my Cherry Coke, which is dripping down the side of the cup.
Me: The cup is dripping down the side. Could you wipe it off please?
The Drone takes back the drink and glares at me with a stunned look on her face – like a confused puppy.
Me: The drink? It’s dripping – can you wipe it off?
The stunned look remains for a minute – followed by a look of recognition. She starts to remove the lid on the drink.
Wendy’s Drone: Root beer?
I’m starting to lose patience, so my voice gets a bit more stern.
Me: No. The drink. It’s dripping. Wipe it off.
The Drone proceeds to take the cup, place it in a 4-cup drink carrier, and hand it to me, with the firm belief that she’s done what I asked.
Wendy’s Drone: OK.

Naturally, this isn’t the first time I’ve dealt with the English-impaired, but…wow.

A couple of quick links to things that have made me laugh today:

NYT: Life in the fast food lane – a food critic’s journey across America to find the best fast food. Needless to say, I was reminded of the Big Road Trip and the endless succession of fast food where local color once stood.

YouTube: William Shatner sings “Rocket Man” – sheer comedy GOLD. Doubly so for anyone who’s a fan of “Family Guy”.

Gizmodo: Tripp Trapp: High Chair or Torture Tool? – there are just no words for this.

There’s a whole lot of Jersey comin’ your way this weekend. On business, mind you, but still…I’ll be flying into SFO mid-day on Sunday, and flying out really really late on Monday night. Aside from a 5 hour block on Monday where I have to do actual work at my employer’s Western Field Office, my schedule is frighteningly open.

I’m begging you. Entertain me.

So, I finally have an answer to the “how does it feel to be 30?” question. And the answer is “my f**king knee hurts”.

The long and short is that I’ve turned 30, and my body has started to fail, as though its warranty has expired. I went to the doctor for the first time in a good long time this past week, and while he didn’t see anything that screams “broken knee”, he thinks that I might have somehow tweaked my knee (most likely last month, bowling with Darren and Stacey) which aggregated something already in the works (since, let’s face it, I’m not the lightest on my feet – and, therefore, my knees). The end result is that…well, let’s just say I’m not getting around as quickly as I normally do.

The important thing, in the end, is that nothing is irreparably damaged. I’ve been staying off my feet, taking lots of Advil, and generally being lazy this weekend. (Truthfully, except for the Advil, it’s not too different from a normal weekend.) As bored as I’ve been, being cooped up in my apartment, I have to err on the side of caution and make sure that my knee heals up, since the next month or so at work gets into a truly busy period, and I know that I’m going to have to take at least one business trip. (That, and “Serenity” comes out on Friday, and you’d better believe I’m not missing that…)

A quick aside, if I may, regarding Hurricanes Katrina and Rita – I haven’t posted much about the hurricanes because I’d really just be “me too”ing other blogs, the internet in general, television, radio…well, you get the idea. I personally know a number of people, socially and professionally, who have been affected by the storms, and all I can do, short of donating to the various charities, is hope for their safety, security, and sanity. I could write a whole diatribe about the government response to Katrina, but again, I wouldn’t be saying anything that hasn’t already been said more elequently in other medium.

Are you like me? Do you like free stuff? More precisely, are you a whore for free iTunes songs? (I won’t describe how I stood in the supermarket like a schmuck, tilting Pepsi bottles to find winning codes back in February…) Well, guess what – free codes are back…and this time, they’re on something that actually taste good. It’s simple – buy a Slurpee, get a song. And with none of that nasty cola aftertaste. =)

Brought to you as a public service by…well, by me. Enjoy!

Posting this so I don’t forget about it – and so that everyone else knows about it…

20th Anniversary Penn’s Landing Concert Weekend

Sure, They Might Be Giants are playing, but it’s likely a kid’s show, since it’s in the afternoon. (And if I really wanted to see them, I could always try to get tickets for the Stone Pony this weekend.) But this is what I’m excited about:

The third night of the Sounds of R&B concert series will kick off the 20th Anniversary Celebration Concert Weekend on Friday July 22, 2005. This free concert will celebrate Rhythm and Blues. The Sound of Philadelphia, will open the concert with a tribute to Philadelphia soul, followed by blues legend, Buddy Guy. Guy is considered the greatest contributor to classic Chicago Blues and a recent inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Over the course of his 45-year career, Guy has sold over 2 million albums and won 4 Grammy Awards and 19 W.C Handy Blues Awards. For more information about this artist, please visit

I’d just like to take a moment to highlight three important points from that paragraph.

  • Free.
  • Philadelphia soul.

For those of you who don’t know who Buddy Guy is…well, the link is right up there. But suffice to say, he’s a blues guitar legend, and someone I would gladly give my left arm to hear play live.

So, that’s Friday, July 22. Who’s in?

So, after hearing over and over again at SXSW that the tags are the future and all that, I’ve finally given in and created a Flickr account. I’ve uploaded the photos from Austin that actually managed to come out ok – you can find them here. Tags & all.

So, I don’t know how many of you out there are actually reading my blog via RSS, but I thought I’d let you know that there are new feeds to be grabbed – in addition to the ‘classic’ RSS 1.0 feed which I’ve apparently been sending since the beginning of time, I’ve added feeds in RSS 2.0 and Atom. Should it suit your tastes, please adjust your subscriptions accordingly.

(The links to the feeds mentioned above can also be found in the sidebar.)