Thursday, June 30, 2005

The boring name

I just Googled myself. "John Fisher" brings up over 10 million entries in Google, the first several having to do with the Catholic Saint (yes, there is a Saint John Fisher). Supposedly, this St. John Fisher has a lot of schools named after him. We were born 500 years apart. There's a John Fisher, born 169 years before me who was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. There's a Sir John Fisher, born 108 years before me, in the Royal Navy. He produced the HMS Dreadnought. There's a John Fisher who's an award-winning sound designer in a theatre in Massachussetts. There's a John Fisher who's an artist, one who's an animal behaviorist, one who's a lecturer at DePaul, one who was a producer for some BBC comedies in the '80s and '90s. There's even a John W. Fisher who's a doctor at MIT.

This is not some gripe at how little I've accomplished (although it does get me thinking along those lines), but couldn't my parents have named me something a little better? For cryin' out loud! That's a lot of John Fishers!

Now, this has it's merits. I can go to various places and see statues of myself, a stained glass window of myself, shoot, there's even a street named after me in London (Russ's Shagadelic Diner is near there, as is "The Model Shop," which is among the best model shops in Europe).

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

An open letter to Coca-Cola

Will anybody in the Coca-Cola company actually read this? Not so likely, but I figured it's better than just complaining about it to my friends, which is what I've done for the past SEVERAL YEARS.

Re: Coca-Cola's promotions. I very rarely win anything from them, and there's very rarely much worth winning anyway. I have no problem with that. I don't drink Coke because I want to win something, I drink it because I like the taste, and I'm slightly addicted. Pepsi has more valuable promotions, but that's OK. It takes more to make me drink a Pepsi. When they were doing their Billion-dollar giveaway, I actually was a Pepsi drinker for a while. I didn't win anything, but it got me to drink the product, and that was their devious little goal. But I digress.

When I oh-so-frequently don't win anything, would it kill you to say "Thank you" or maybe even "Sorry you didn't win?" I don't mind the "Play again." I expect that. "Drink Coke" is even a valid message to be printing on your bottles, but perhaps it might be a little redundant if someone is looking inside an OPEN BOTTLECAP. When I look inside a bottlecap, I want to see something more inviting than "Drink Coke. Play Again." Thank you Big Brother, may I have another mind control experiment, please. Note that Thank You has fewer letters than Drink Coke, and therefore is probably slightly less expensive to print (All the letters in Thank You are bigger than the I in Drink, so it might even out). But really, seeing Drink Coke Play Again does nothing but piss me off. Seeing Thank You wouldn't take the non-existant sting out of losing, as there's nothing but irritation at the message, but it would give me the illusion that Coke actually cares for my well-being in some small way. Sobe does that, and I want to drink more of their violently expensive product, and I don't even know or care what they're trying to give away. I just want to read the cleverly-written consolation messages, and drink some overpriced tea/sugarwater.

I think that's my beef right there. Sobe has consolation messages. They console you and even make you smile when you "lose" whatever the promotion is. Coke makes me avoid playing at all, because I don't particularly care what they're giving away, and their messages state, in no uncertain terms, "We want your money. Fuck off."

Am I overreacting? Yep. But this has pissed me off mildly for years, and I mention it occasionally, and this is really the first time I'm going through the effort to write anything. So, if anybody from the Coca-Cola company is reading this, why don't you forward the link to the highest levels of management, hmmm?

Saturday, June 25, 2005

I'm Stealing Internet

Yep. You heard me. I'm stealing Internet. Because Comcast is too incompetent to maintain a connection in this building (we've had technicians out here freakin' three times, and we're still having problems!), I'm stealing a bad connection from some anonymous neighbor's functional unsecured wireless internet (quite probably DSL). I move in July. It won't be soon enough.

Now off to see how poorly World of Warcraft works with this connection.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Naughty spelling

You know what's embarrassing? Having a stupid typo spelling error on the front end of your blog for and not catching it for two full weeks. Yikes.


Heidi and I saw Batman Begins on Wednesday. Freakin' outstanding. Everything I had hoped a Batman movie should be. Best one yet. But here's my dilemma. They ended it on a note that makes for a perfect segway into the first Batman movie: they introduced the Joker, or at least his calling card. Yeah, but in the first Batman movie, Bruce Wayne's parents were killed by the Joker as a young man, not just some desperate schmoe. Also, y'know, this was just a hell of a lot better. I want to see the sequel done, but this way. I want to see Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, I want to see Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon, I want to see Michael Caine as Alfred, I want to see whoever produced and directed this continue to do so. Crap, I want to continue to see this Batmobile! So what I want to know is what's going to be done with this Batman? There has to be a sequel, but how are they going to do it?

Grrr, I hate it when this happens. I know it'll be years until I find this out. Owell, I'm sure I'll forget it when Fantastic Four comes out.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

MIT blog survey

Yes, I'm even more of a geek. Check out the link below (click on the picture telling you I made some science), if you have a blog of your own. Do it. Do it now.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Our happy little CTA

So yesterday, I was going home from work, and got on the Red Line. Unusually, I walked into the station, and the train was pulling right up. However, the train pulled up and stopped, and just when you expected the doors to open, it moved forward about another 50 feet. This threw off not only me, but several people around me. The driver continued to show his incompetence/inebriation over the course of the 45 minute ride home, which effectively amounted to random acceleration and braking. By the end of it all, I was getting seasick. I even was staggering when I got off the train onto the Morse platform, as if I had sea legs.

This morning's commute was like butta, however. The person driving was smooth with acceleration, smooth with braking, it was like we weren't even moving, except that we were getting exactly where we were going quicker than usual.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Back again?

Ah, I love the puns I can throw in these titles having to do with my back. Ah well.

Anyway, I was lying on a lump on the ground at Ravinia on Saturday. I thought it would do a little good. Boy, was I mistaken there. Now, I have mild pain down my right calf again, and if I lie on my back or on my right side, my right heel is numb. My legs felt a little weak walking to the El today, too, but that might be because I was sitting around moping yesterday so much. Anyway, I'll call my doctor today, and maybe she'll even return the call this time. Oooo, imagine that!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Father's Day

Well, crap. I've been tired and crappy all day, well really all weekend, because it's my first father's day without my dad. I miss him a lot right now. I've been going through a lot of poop at work, and I really wish I could have had his perspective on things. The best way to engage him in conversation was to get him to teach you something, and this would have been a great way for him to impart knowledge. But I also miss his laugh, and his weird and kind of twisted sense of humor.

One good thing about all this: with the crappy mood I've been in, Heidi's been freakin' incredible during this whole time. I feel like I've been a bad boyfriend, which kind of adds to my crap feelings. I doubt she'd agree, because she's too cool to count this sort of thing as a mark against me. Still, I need to lose the grumpiness... that's been coming up a lot lately, and it's getting on my nerves.

Friday, June 17, 2005

My home internet frustrations

Y'know, I really hate my internet connection at home. Let me 'splain. First off, I right now rent from my roommate, so he owns the place, and all the decisions about the home are his, and all the bills are in his name. Therefore, everything hinges on whether or not he pays them. With most people, this would not be much of an issue, but twice in the year I've lived here the internet has gone dead on a weekend he's been away simply because he didn't pay the bill on time. God only knows how many times it's happened when he has been around, and I just haven't been the one to catch it. Then there's the fact that it's Comcast. They're moderately sporadic in their own right, so there's another point of failure. Then there's the cable modem we have: crap. I'm sure our latest problems have been a direct result of the fact that the modem is a steaming hunk of poo encased in blue plastic. Then there's our wireless internet. I have a wireless mouse, which tends to interact negatively with the wireless internet, and ends up with a crappy signal, but I also have a USB receiver, which has a hard time recognizing that it's even there moderately often. So, approximately half the time, I have no connection to the internet when I turn on my computer, and I have to run through each of these points of failure to try to trace what the problem might be this time. I almost have Comcast on speed dial lately. And yes, I do intend to use Comcast as my internet provider when I move (unless RCN is available), but I will pay them on time, and I will avoid the wireless internet for the time being, thereby eliminating many of my frustrations.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Significant Improvement

So my back is doing remarkably well. I find myself babying my back in ways that would just cause less pain a week ago, but it doesn't hurt at all now. I even find myself occasionally slipping into some old bad habits, just because I don't have to worry about some sudden twinge practically killing me. This is quite nice. I still want to be careful, and I'll still be doing physical therapy, but I think I can go ahead and go to a real gym and get crazy in the near future. Yay rah!

Monday, June 13, 2005


So I think when I move, I'm going to get into home-brewing my own beer. It'll save a little bit o' cash, and be kind of fun, and add some additional fun to the festivities when I have people over. I'm still thinking of a creative name for the apartment, though. This is doubly important now, because the beer will have to be named creatively as well. And Heidi will probably be making the label for the bottles, being her creative self that she is. Anyway, I just got some books off Amazon, so we'll see what-all comes of it.

Sick and Tired

I'm sick and tired of the Friendster blog. Finished with it. Observe my new blog goodness here. Yeah, it'll be a while before it gets really up and running, but at least I can post to it while I'm at work.