Jottings of Recent Events

• Thanks for those who listened to and watched Monday’s episode of the Shed Party Show with me and guest host Jeff LaPlant. Walsh was on vacation but will be back for the show as usual next week. Sorry for anyone who tried to download this week’s show, I seem to have once again posted a broken link, but it is fixed now. It is my hope to get a B-list celebrity or some other important public figure on the show soon to give outsiders reason to listen.

• I am trying to make the old back into something usable again, especially as a portfolio or at the very least a personal landing page, but the site can’t shake its “Adult/Explicit Material” watch guard warning in most offices. The other day I posted a shiny new homepage with five links that go to external personal pages.

• Lauren and I recently ate at a couple local restaurants during Minneapolis’s restaurant week where they have special flat rates on lunches or dinners. We had a really bad experience at Joe’s Garage, which we reviewed on our Eating in Minneapolis blog, but an e-mail to the manager seems to have rectified the situation. We also ate at Fogo de Chao downtown last Friday night, which was amazing. For those unfamiliar, it’s a Brazilian steakhouse of sorts where you sit and the gauchos walk around with 17 different cuts of prime meat, slicing pieces off for you whenever your coaster is turned over to green. I proudly tried all 17 kinds. The massive intake caused some slight hallucinations. Once I completely recover from that meat coma, we’ll post the review.

• I have a new job! As of yesterday I am the official freelance graphic designer for the popular Twin Cities attraction, the Waterpark of America. I’ll be paid to make some print and digital advertisements and brochures. Thanks to Mr. Sandbulte for getting me an “in” at the park. I was told I was the “last man standing” for the job—not sure if that means I beat out the others in the interview process or I was the only one still interested. While there, I was told they’re also looking for an amateur photographer to do some freelance work. Enter Lauren and her shiny new Canon Rebel T1i camera! Lauren is yet to accept or respond to the offer, but we could be working side by side developing the waterpark’s marketing collateral.

• Taxes are done for the year. Lauren and I filed jointly again and, thanks to my various freelance jobs and DJing throughout the year, we must pay in hundreds to the government. The extra income during the year is nice, but I’m always paid as an independent contractor with no taxes taken out of the checks. This year I was at least smart about it and started a special tax savings account so the blow won’t be so tough to swallow… Okay yes that sounded kind of sexually inappropriate. Sorry.

• This week I decided to pass my free time by studying a programming language I know nothing about but probably should considering my field, JavaScript. I bought a brand new textbook and am working through the chapters and finding it a tad confusing. You’d think that having this expensive Bachelor’s of Science degree in Web Development, DSU would have required a course in JavaScript, but we literally touched on it for 15 minutes in one class period. We were told essentially that anything you could possibly want to do with JavaScript already exists; it’s just a matter of knowing what you want to do and finding the code somewhere online and shaping it to fit your own needs. That’s true, and I have done that many times, but it would help to have some working knowledge.

• Lauren and I are currently obsessed with our latest TV undertaking, The Sopranos. We have now watched around 25 one-hour episodes in the past week or so. I never once saw the show when it was current, but I’m glad we’re giving it a shot now. I don’t know why we even bother watching current TV shows; it’s so much nicer to just zip through a series that’s already finished, on DVD or Netflix or other means, rather than waiting one or more week for new episodes of our favorite shows to air.

• We booked our hotel for the Boston trip in May, now less than two months away. We’re staying at the hotel closest to Fenway Park, the Buckminster. It is not a nice, modern hotel at all; in fact it’s very old and rundown. But the reviews online were generally positive and you can’t beat the location. Apparently it was the site of the original plot of the Black Sox Scandal involving the 1919 Chicago White Sox agreeing to throw the World Series.

• It sounds like they’re now calling off the massive snowfall next weekend. In fact, snow might be completely over after a few inches this weekend the way they were talking on the news this morning. Of course that probably means we’ll get another 25 inches.

• Finally, I think I should finally invest in a desktop computer. I have never owned one. I bought a brand new iBook for over $1,200 in 2001 with my high school graduation money, and later bought the DSU Tablet PC for $900 after college graduation. Since then I have bought two more used laptops from work for a total of $75. If I’m going to be doing more freelance projects like this I’m going to have to save up and get something for home. Everything I plan on doing will have to be from my computer at work. If anyone has one for sale and will give me a great deal, I’d be interested. But it has to have a fast processor; I’m going to be running the full Adobe CS5 Suite and I know how these giant art files can drag down the speed.

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