Vacation scheduled

It has been awhile since I took a vacation (not counting a long weekend for Christmas or some holiday). By my estimates, I haven’t had more then two consecutive weekdays off from work (or college) since Christmas Break 2002. Between college, my internship, and now my full-time job, I haven’t had vacation since.

Well that is changing. I am taking from May 23rd to May 30th off from work in my first official vacation of the rest of my life (man that just sounds sad).

I’m thinking the first part of the week I will get some long delayed appointments at the doctors office and dentist all squared away. Then on Thursday the 26th I will be flying out to Nashville, TN with my family to help my brother Justin move into an apartment for two months while he does a Graphic Design internship. I will get back on the 30th.

Sounds like fun, even though I hate country music. Katie can’t come because she has no vacation time yet at her job, so I get to rub it in her face like she did to me when she went to Florida without me 🙂

LG VX6100

Imagine my surprise a month ago when I went to upgrade my Verizon Wireless plan that at the end of February I would be eligible to upgrade my cell phone to a new model. I was pretty psyched about this, as my LG VX4400 (here is a CNET Review of the VX4400) had begun to have problems dropping calls as well as the battery not holding the charge well.

Well, it is the end of February and earlier today I went out to the Verizon Wireless store at the Mall to upgrade my phone. After talking with a salesman for about twenty minutes and trying out several phones, I decided to get a LG VX6100 (see a CNET review I found for the VX6100).

Why the LG VX6100?

The salesman said that it was Verizon’s most popular phone. I wanted a flip-phone, tri-mode support (for coverage even in most remote areas), and a speaker for hands-free operation. The VX6100 offered all of that. It was actually lighter and smaller then my old phone, which is always better, and it felt very sturdy. I asked how the RF was on the phone and he said that with his (he showed me his, battle scars and all, to prove he had one) he has had excellent coverage and very few dropped calls. As he put it, “if it drops the call, probably no other phone would have held it either.”

It came with a camera, but I didn’t buy the ability to send pictures to friends. If I use the camera, it is to take pictures for my phone’s wallpaper or something.

Anyways, the best part? Since I was eligible for a phone upgrade, I was given $100 off any phone right away. Then there was a $50 rebate for the VX6100. So the cost of a new phone? $149 – $100 – $50 = $50.

Amazingly, that is probably the cost (both money and time wise) of getting a replacement battery for my old phone and figuring out why it would randomly lose calls. Might as well upgrade to a new phone right?

Money well spent in my opinion. I also had my phone plan again upgraded, this time to include the new No Roaming plan offered by Verizon.

Walker returns to Boston

Antoine Walker is a Celtic again. CelticsBlog.com has the scoop along with a great writeup from The NBA Source.

This deal is so interesting on so many levels, from the Pierce/Walker reunion to Walker/Ainge’s general dislike for each other, to Payton being traded (with rumors of him being waived and resigning with the Celtics) and so more…

Protentially, assuming Payton is waived by the Hawks and resigned by the Celtics, this could go from one of the youngest teams in the NBA to one with a stable veteran core and some great young players coming up. It also puts the Celtics in a position to make the playoffs and do some damage there.

I love this deal. The Celtics have shown flashes of what they are capable of all season long, but this deal has everyone talking again about the Celtics. WEEI’s airwaves were lit up all afternoon on my way home from work with excited callers and Celtics talk…that is a rare thing on WEEI. TV ratings will definitely rise for at least the first week after this trade which protentially could get a bump in ticket sales too.

Go Celtics…I may actually enjoy this ride!

Day off

Today is a day off from work thanks to Presidents Day…so of course, a big snow storm is hitting us right now. News says 4-8 inches are expected to fall all day. So I brought Katie to work today and nearly got myself in a couple of accidents. The roads were absolutely awful. Saw a couple of cars going extremely slow yet somehow did 360s. Go figure.

Somehow, working at a daycare doesn’t give you a day off during snow storms like every school in the state does. Hell, even my university, which had a grand total of maybe two off days in my four years there, had one today.

I did make it back home in one piece, so I’m waiting for my brother Danny to wake up and we are going to hang out all day watching movies and playing games. Pretty cool that Danny is visiting, else it would have been a pretty boring day being stuck inside.

WordPress 1.5

This site is now running the latest and greatest of all blogging software, WordPress 1.5. I have been using the nightlies, so none of the features were a real surprise to me, but I am very excited that 1.5 has been released. Now I am going to work extremely hard on making this a kick ass site and blog now I have stable code to build upon.

Download WordPress 1.5 now!

IE 7

At long last, Microsoft has decided that it will actually release Internet Explorer 7.

I will be watching this really closely. It is clear that Microsoft finally has taken the Firefox threat seriously, as it contradicts statements made by them even weeks ago. What will be interesting is how much effort will Microsoft put into IE 7. Is it just going to be a security release like IE 6 SP2 was (for those lucky to have XP)? Or is it going to add new features to the UI like tabbed browsing? How about changes to (or please say replacement of) the rendering engine?

Microsoft finds itself right now at a crossroads when it comes to web browsers. Can it actually innovate and catch up to the competition, or will it just throw some security features and maybe tabbed browsing into a “major” upgrade?

Then there is the crazy timeline for its release. A beta by summer and then release I assume sometime in the fall/winter range (which means in Microspeak, spring 2006 is probably the earliest we will see this in completed form if we are lucky). As Asa points out, that puts this dangerously close to Longhorn’s release anyway…which makes this smell like a “don’t worry, we haven’t abandoned you” statement from Microsoft to its customers and nothing more.

Mark this right now. Microsoft may only have one chance to get this right. Firefox by my estimates has easily three quarters of a year at least to continue to make gains in the browser market before IE 7 is released. If Firefox can get its numbers up to 20-25%, Microsoft will find itself in a pretty tight spot by its release schedule…at that point, I don’t think Firefox’s numbers will go down much if at all by IE 7 and Microsoft will be forced to port IE 7 to earlier Windows versions to have a shot and will be forced to do future upgrades on a much quicker time table. The web could become a very interesting place in the next year.

Firefox right now has the upper hand, Microsoft is now reacting to us, the Firefox community, instead of the other way around. We now control the future of the web, with standards ruling the way. Our best shot at buring IE 7 is by out innovating IE 7 before it comes out…give users not a single reason to switch back to IE if they even get that crazy thought in their mind for a split second. Let’s make IE play catchup for real.

It could be fun watching the mighty fall.

As Ben says, “Game on”.

A few weeks to go

Looks like I will be taking my CCNA exam on March 3rd. While I have been reading the books and checking out an online interactive course for awhile, I still feel I have a ways to go before I am really confident and ready for this exam. I think I know the stuff, but I want to KNOW the stuff.

The drop-dead date gives me something work against. Just like in college when you have that test magically show up on the calender two days after it was announced. Drop everything, and start working hard.

This actually may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. I know the odds are against me to actually pass the test the first time around (everyone has told me this at work…hey, I believe them). However, I want to at least hold my own and who knows, maybe I will surprise everyone including myself and actually pass on the first try.

I am setting aside two hours every night from now until March 3rd for studying. Some days, I maybe able to put in more time…but never less. I am determined to do a good job on this one. I may not in the end or I may, but I am determined to give it my best shot.