Due to a completely random turn of luck and strange turns, I just got a single 2nd row ticket to Metallica’s show tomorrow – and at face value of $65. I had been on and off watching craigslist for a deal, but narry were they to be found. Scalpers were trying to get $100’s for even not-so-great tickets. Fortunately, I didn’t have to mess with the risks of fake tickets or flaky craigslist sellers at all. This marks two concerts now that I’ve gotten amazing tickets for less or at face value (first was 10th row Police tickets).
Appears, now that I look at craigslist, that the economy is taking its bite there too. A lot of the scalpers are now selling at quite a bit below what they were asking a few weeks ago…
Never-the-less – off to the show!
I returned home late last night and had a mysterious FedEx box on my door. I hadn’t remembered ordering anything so when I opened it up – I was pleasantly surprised by my free 8gb iPod Touch had arrived!
I had signed up for Key Bank’s free iPod with the opening of a new account about 3 months ago. Deal was, if you opened a business account by making the initial required opening deposit and keep the account in good standing for 3 months (meaning: 2 automated payroll deposits and 1 ATM card use), you got a free iPod Touch. Well, my 3rd month wasn’t supposed to end until Oct 30th, but it looks like they went by opening date instead.
- The thing instantly gets finger-printy and the back scratches just by looking at it. You find yourself cleaning it a lot. Looks like a protector of some sort will be required.
- I don’t really like iTunes.
- Friggen slow – why is the iTunes interface so slow. I can only take 15 minute doses then go do something else. Browsing is a pain due to speed.
- No no no! Why do I have to enter a credit card number just to use my iTouch??? I couldn’t use my iTouch without the iTunes software. I can’t install iTunes without an account on the store. I can’t create an account on the store without a credit card number. So, I can’t use my iTouch device without giving Apple my credit card number. I don’t like that. There is no reason for them to need that. I can’t even just browse around for free or just use my device. That’s not cool with me. I’m looking for alternatives software now.
- Getting existing music on the iTouch is a pain. All I wanted to do was drop my existing mp3 collection onto the device, and it took me a long time to figure out how (you have to add your music to the ‘library’ then you can click and drag). I have my music ripped to mp3’s – and arranged in folders by artist/album. When you drop it into iTunes – it looses all that sorting. Some of my mp3’s didn’t get artist/album/album art info on it. So now I have to either enter that myself for all my songs, or just live with lost of ‘unknown artist’. My iRiver is just a usb stick that I plug in and drag and drop files. Thats what I want.
- App store works good. I like the app store – some really great free stuff in there. I already have an idea for 2 apps I want to write. I’m downloading the SDK right now…
- Pandora is worth the price of admission alone. If you can find free wireless, you have free streaming internet radio.
- A good number of the apps are pretty mediocre/low quality right now. There is a lot of untapped potential.
- None of calculators are very good – overly nerdy or not feature rich. Shesh – this should be easy to fix…
- Conversion tools,
- Sync works pretty well – just plug in and sync. Not so sure about the ‘register my computer’ bits though. At least you can unregister easily.
- Free is the right price: I wouldn’t have paid $225 for this device. There are simply too many other good mp3 players out there for 1/4 the price. That and I usually use my mp3 player for exercising – and the touch is too big (and too nice) for that.
- Podcast subscription features are nicely integrated.
- Internet anywhere ROCKS. Yes – this thing does great with picking up and using wireless networks. I think I’m going to be bringing this with me a lot of different places…
Well well. Have you ever sold a car, then saw it again? I just did.
I was driving back home on Saturday, and saw a familiar car. It only took a second to realize it was my old 93 Nissan Altima that I had sold a fellow a few months ago. In Oregon, the plates go with the car – so I knew for 100% sure it was my old car. Outside of looking like it needed a good bath – it looked exactly the same and running great. I had to turn off for my stop – but for about 3-4 miles – I got to follow the car that served me so well for 10 years. Appears to be serving the next guy just as well.
How about you? Ever see your old car or other item that you sold in someone elses hands – even years later?
My mom is a big bunny person – owning lots herself. Last Christmas I got her a Bunnie Suicides book as a prank gift. It was good for a chuckle or two – nothing too stupendous or earth-shattering really. Or so I thought. Apparently, however, this Oregon mom doesn’t see the humor:
After a bad week of destroyed bathrooms, cars getting hit and just general crunch time at work – things are beginning to sort themselves out.
1. Shower is fixed – and I got a entire apartment cleaning free out of it due to the dust, destruction, and whatnot. That was nice and I can shower at home again.
2. The broken bathroom really lit my workout schedule – Since I had to shower at work, I decided to go running 5k on the treadmill every day before getting the requisite hosing down. I went running every night for 2 solid weeks now – and it feels great!
3. Car is getting fixed – dropped off my car this morning for the requisite repair work. Got a mid-sized pickup as a rental (!?). I’m using a repair place out here by work (Hillsboro) because they were cheaper and got good recommendations. I guess you know you’re renting out in farm country when the only cars they had available were minivans and mid-size pickups. At least it wasn’t an SUV. I would have revolted on that one…
But, got the floor pulled out from under our project at work so there is a huge re-scrambling of priorities and WTF’s kind of blowing around. I was actually looking forward to this bit of coding, but now it appears it is not to be. Now to scramble around for another project to work on…
There is a funny (and not always SFW) site called bash.org that you can submit bits of quotes from instant message sessions and people vote for their funniness quotient. Well, one of my dreams was lived when my joke hit 1000 votes – which is considered quite high. Top 200 of all time is at about 5000 votes. It was part of a real conversation I was having. Enjoy it here (sfw)
or just read it here…
#715525 +(1044)- [X]
Matt-0375> hear about the people getting sore from playing the wii controllers?
thx-1192> Yeah, fatasses should get up and move more often
Matt-0375> I’m just waiting for the headlines: “why does it burn when you wii?”
As a perspective new home buyer – I’ve been sitting on the sidelines for about 2 years (well, saving up a good down payment anyway). The prices during the boom were ridiculous, and as things are crashing, I’m waiting to see if were at a bottom (most experts are saying not likely till end of next year – but they’ve said that for 2 years now). The latest national S&P Home price index keeps dropping but Portland has fared much better than most. Lately, however, it looks like we’re no longer immune. It reported that Portland average prices dropped a record 5% since last year.
Looking on forclosures.com and RLMS database the other night, I actually found several very nice condos and houses in my price range. It was actually amazing/frightening/sad how many pre-forclosures were in the works. And how many of those homes were in the 500k-1000k range (I thought rich people didn’t go bust?). I did the same search about 2 years ago and got nothing but run-down shacks in questionable neighborhoods on the edges of my desired region. Now I have 10 really good hits right where I was looking – one even had 2 garage spaces (kind of unheard of around here).
But when prices are dropping 5%/year -it definitely isn’t buying time. At -5% a year, you seriously jeopardize the value of investing in a home. The whole point of buying is to grow equity. But, for example, if you have a $200,000 loan who’s home is losing only 5% value in a year, that’s $10,000/year you’re losing in real value. If your mortgage payment is about $1200/mo, then you are just dumping about a years worth of money down a hole with nothing to show for it. And any conceivable tax benefit doesn’t really offset that kind of loss. Yes, if you really need a home, then you might jump on a good deal – but this is hardly a buyers market – even if the latest home stimulus package includes an incentive for first-time buyers (not very useful, it’s a $7500 tax credit that phases out based on income and you still have to pay back, just interest free).
So what to do? Look for good deals. Wait until we see some stability and/or growth. I get the feeling things will keep dropping for the foreseeable future. And so what if you miss the ‘bottom’? Well, it doesn’t matter if you catch prices at the same point on the way down or the way up. I’ll wait and keep saving a better down payment.
I was just reading a report in the Oregonian about the most important concerns to new college graduates. Talk about a difference from the dot-com attitudes I graduated with. Here’s their responses (according to the Oregonian)
51% of new college grads said they were going to jump right into the job market and not take time off
Order of importance when selecting a new job:
#3 = location
#2 = salary
and their #1 criteria when selecting a new job = the benefits package (quality of health care and 401k/retirement)
Another shocking statistic – around 30% of 18 year-olds in Oregon don’t even have a license and the trend of going later and later until getting one is growing (but that might be due to some newer/stricter licensing requirements). I guess when you’re a teen – $4/gallon gas isn’t affordable. Heck, at $0.99/gallon when I was a kid – it wasn’t cheap. No wonder kids now a days aren’t driving.
That’s about exactly the opposite of what it would have been when I graduated in the height of dot-com craziness a few years back. I would have put it at:
20% said they would start working – the rest were going to backpack Europe or travel to Tibet for enlightenment for a few years – or just smoke some hash.
Order of importance when selecting a job:
#1 – salary
#2 – salary/bonuses and stock options
#3 – living in the Bay Area/Silicon Valley/Somewhere cool (Pac. northwest)
#4 – salary – show me the money
Here is a nifty site. Ever listen to electronic music and hear those interesting little audio clips sampled by the DJ of voices/movies thrown in? As Strongbad would say: ‘the system is down‘? Ever want to know where they come from?
This site (http://s107.net/) is a compendium of all the strange audio clips, the actual text, and what movie/sources they came from. It helped me find a few strange references. Look them up by song or search by text string.
Now that’s the love:
Best Biscuits and Gravy in Portland
Looks like I have some resteraunts to go visit…