★ Engineers vs. Management

I found this on the Internet. I got a laugh out of it.

A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost.

He reduced altitude and spotted a woman below. He descended a bit more and shouted, “Hello, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

The woman on the ground called up, “You’re in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You’re between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude.”

“You must be an Engineer,” said the balloonist.

“I am,” replied the woman. “How did you know?”

“Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is, probably, technically correct, but I have no idea what to do with your information, and the fact, is I’m still lost. Frankly, you haven’t been much help to me at all. If anything, you’ve delayed my trip”.

The woman below responded, “You must be in Management.”

“I am,” replied the balloonist, “but how did you know?”

“Well,” said the woman, “you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise that you have no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is, you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my fault.”

★ Constants

New Found Glory released their fourth full length album last week. This time around, I’m very familiar with their formula. That’s not to say that the album is bad. In fact, I really like it. It has plenty of what makes NFG who they are; catchy melodies and creative (sometimes), meaningful lyrics. I mean, that’s why I liked them in the first place. In “Catalyst”, they rely on their formula, but explore more of their hardcore roots. The first track makes this very clear. But even on the hardcore influenced tracks, there is plenty of the New Found Glory catchiness that gets them radio airplay. After their self titled release, I’d have to say this is my next favorite album.

When I first started this site, I used it as an outlet for what was going on in my life. As the site grew (figuratively speaking), more and more people started reading it or stumbled upon it, so I stopped spilling out my guts, more or less, to the entire world. By doing that, I lost one of my only outlets to vent or speak my mind. At the risk of exposing my personal life, I’m going to go back to that original formula for this post. I figure I can always delete posts.

I can safely say I’m more scared now about my future than I ever have been. More so than when I graduated last year, more than when I left for college, and just slightly more scared than when I started high school. I guess the main reason why I’m more scared now is because I don’t have a constant in my life anymore. I have a job. Not a full time position, but a part time one that holds me over until I find a full time job. It’s actually a decent part time job, but since I do have a potential ticket to a higher paying job (read: engineering degree), I treat it as something I can readily leave. If you look at my room and the other rooms in my house, you would think that either that I’m about to move out, or just moved in. I don’t really consider being at my parent’s house as being constant because I don’t see myself living here permanently. I haven’t “fully” settled in and I refuse to sign up for broadband cable, locking my parents into a contract. I don’t call it “home”, I call it my parent’s house, and home for me would be the apartment I move into when I find my first full time job.

There used to be another constant in my life. It kind of went along with school. I met this person while I was at school. Once I left school, I left her also, but we very much kept in constant contact. Senior year was draining for me last year, and that’s the case this year for her. So much so that we’ve agreed to separate and give ourselves time, time that we would’ve allotted to each other, to do things that were more important. And with that, the only constant I had in my life wasn’t so constant anymore. I’m not disappointed with what happened. I was in that boat before and I understand and support the decision. It was our decision, not just hers. It just left me with nothing stable, something that I can always fall back on when things got tough. I guess I’m on a mission to find that next constant.

Something that I love about NFG is that they constantly produce songs with lyrics that everyone can relate to on some level. For me, “Sincerely” on the self-titled, “Sonny” on Sticks and Stones and “Truth of my Youth” on Catalyst are all favorites not only because they are catchy, but because they perfectly represented certain moments in my life.

: Truth Of My Youth by New Found Glory from the album Catalyst

★ Class of 2004. And Blogger Rocks. Google too.

Last year, we had Richard Bein give our commencement address. I don’t remember a word he said. He was boring, and it was 90 degrees out. The College of William and Mary had Jon Stewart give the commencement address. My favorite part was when he realized that we were going to get through the events of 9/11.

And one day I was coming out of my building, and on my stoop, was a man who was crouched over, and he appeared to be in deep thought. And as I got closer to him I realized, he was playing with himself. And that’s when I thought, “You know what, we’re gonna be OK.”

If you guys haven’t noticed, Blogger underwent a redesign. The homepage has a whole new look. They also upgraded the way Blogger works. First they gave us syndication, now they changed the way it archives posts. If anyone is familiar with Movable Type, you would agree with me in saying that this is awesome. No more #links to specific parts of a page. Each entry gets its own link. If you don’t understand what I’m talking about, click on a permalink and see what happens. Cool huh? They also gave us the ability to comment on posts. Something I had always wanted.

And the last thing I would like to say is that Google rocks. First of all, all of the Blogger improvements are a result of Google buying out Pyra Labs, which owned Blogger. I’m sure all of these improvements were a result of the resources and assets associated with Google. And the best part of all this. As a long time and active Blogger (not a create an account and post once because it was cool at the time Blogger), I was invited to test out Gmail, Google’s new email service. This is the first time I have ever been invited to test out a beta product. I’m such a geek.

★ The Perfect Song

Watching the days burning out like a cigarette, just a few drags to go.Built me up and broke me down somehow.
Everything just seemed so clear to me, nothing left to know
I’ll love you right and I’ll love you pure, right now

How can you say, that it’s too late
To save us now

And I would wait for you, if you would wait for me
And I will wait for you, if you would wait for me

Intoxicated the edge is serrated, so easily torn from the core
I blushed the first time, but you blushed the last time my eyes in your mind
regenerated these feelings of hatred, I long for your love evermore
You built me up and you broke me down this time.

★ iPod Love

Everyone has an iPod. Well, almost everyone. Tons of people come through the store and become new iPod owners or come in to fix up their current iPods. When selling certain accessories, I have to ask which generation iPod they have. This often elicits a look of disbelief or confusion. Then I have to explain that there have been 3 generations of iPods. People usually answer, “Oh, I have the new one”, as if it’s superior, and then just go on and buy what they came in to buy.

Ever since I got my employee iPod, I’ve retired my original 5GB to being an external hard drive, mainly using it for backups. As of late, I’ve been getting fed up with customers not knowing where their iPods came from. On top of that, a coworker commented on the durability of the original iPod. I have now brought my iPod out of retirement and am listening to it now. For some reason, the songs that come from this iPod sound a lot better.

And yes, my battery still keeps its charge.

And personally, I like the original design better than the current one.