Well Thank You!

Tomorrow in the US, we celebrate Thanksgiving. A time punctuated by NFL football, family and tons of food. You are also supposed to reflect on what you are thankful for. I’m feeling particularly thankful this year, so I wanted to jot down a couple of reasons why.

  • The health of my family – I’m so glad that myself and my family are healthy. I’ve seen too much bad shit in recent years happen to friends of mine. So not having to deal with sickness is a true blessing.
  • Having a job I love – It sounds cliche, but I really love what I do for a living. Even though the stress levels can get high sometimes, I still really enjoy everything about my job. It doesn’t hurt that I have the best staff on the planet working for me either. I am so thankful that those folks make me look good on a daily basis.
  • Having a job, period – Right now the economy sucks for so many people, so to actually be employed and not looking for work is something I do not take for granted.
  • Having a great family – I have an awesome wife and two incredibly outgoing, sweet, fun children. My wife and I both love our in-laws and don’t dread getting together at times like Thanksgiving. Not everyone has that luxury.
  • Having great friends – I have some truly great friends, both in real life and virtually. Being able to stay in touch, hang out, and be there for each other is a gift.

You know, that’s really what it’s all about. I have my health, my family and friends, and a good job. I don’t really have any right to bitch, and I need to remember that more often.

So Happy Thanksgiving to you, no matter whether you are celebrating this holiday or not. It’s always good to take stock on how good life really is. And remember, just “Let Go” of all the inconsequential bullshit that drags you down, and focus on what lifts you up. You’ll be much happier that way, I know I am.

LOST is like a lap dance

For the last six years, I’ve watched the show LOST on ABC. It was always one of my favorite shows, mainly because it was so out there content-wise, and partially because the actors in the roles were really top notch. It entertained me, which is what TV shows are supposed to do. So I’m thankful for that, but for me, the ending didn’t do enough, and the season as a whole seemed really rushed to me.

I liken it to getting a lap dance from a stripper. It’s entertaining while it lasts, but ultimately it’s unfullfilling. I’ll explain why I didn’t like the ending in a bit, and it contains spoilers, so if you don’t want to know yet, then stop reading now.

Okay, so here’s the deal. From what I understand the gist of the finale is this. The losties sideways universe was a holding place for them to reside until they all were dead. A limbo for them to live in until they all died and were able to move on together. They collectively created this place by finding each other to be the most important things in each others lives, so thus, they wanted an afterlife where they could be together. There was no time in this sideways universe, they all resided there until they were awakened to the fact that they were living in a limbo world. Some people died before Jack, and some many years later, but they all had to be dead to collectively move on like they wanted to.

So they make it seem like the island was real, and they really lived and died on the island, and many of them got off the island while others did not. But now, here they are, they all finally ‘let go’ and realized that they were in the sideways universe and it was time to move on.

For the most part, I’m really okay with this aspect. Now as an atheist, I don’t believe in the afterlife, but for the show I think it makes sense and wraps some things up nicely. Still, I think the wound in Jack’s side was a little too Jesus-esque, but whatever, I get it. If they want to wrap up a happy-go-lucky ending for such a good cast, that’s okay by me. That’s only one part however, the island and all of it’s mysteries were never really explained at all, or in-depth enough to satisfy me.

I’m not saying that every polar bear has to be accounted for and each oddity needs to be wrapped up in a little bow, but I’m thoroughly convinced that the writers had no fucking clue how they wanted to do things, and then when they HAD to wrap up, they did so too quickly and concentrated solely on the characters to deflect the obvious continuity flaws in the island. So in no particular order, here are some issues I have with the show, if you have answers, I’d like to see them.

  • How is it that Jacob could get on and off the island at will, but the man in black couldn’t?
  • How is it that Ben could get on and off the island and had money stashed everywhere, but people like Whidmore couldn’t find the island
  • How is it that Dharma found the island and could get back and forth with no issues, yet when Whidmore was banished, he couldn’t find his way back?
  • When the six found their way back with Ben and Locke’s corpse, they went through Eloise Hawking, who had a device to locate the island. How come Whidmore, with all of his resources, couldn’t find that?
  • Walt was so important as being “special” in season one, yet nothing ever came of him.
  • The island had the cork that kept the bad stuff out. So I guess that cork was like a stopper preventing Hell from invading the world. When the cork was removed, why didn’t worse things happen?
  • In sideways world, the island was underwater, so the cork was gone. Wouldn’t sideways world have gone to hell?
  • If the electromagnetism was so bad that only Desmond could survive it, How did Jack survive it? You could say that once the cork was removed, the electromagnetism went away, but then he put the cork back. At that point wouldn’t it have killed him? Or at least made him a smoke monster like it did the man in black? Instead he was just back in the river later?
  • Why would Sayid choose Shannon, a girl he knew briefly, over Nadia, the love of his life?
  • Faraday helped Desmond discover the sideways world and the awakening, so why didn’t he end up with the group at the end?
  • Why was Sayid allowed to die and then come back in the pool, and how were he and Claire considered “infected?”
  • If they were both infected, how did they overcome such a thing? Why weren’t more people infected by Locke?
  • With Sayid being a ruthless killer, torturer and everything, how did he find redemption? Was it simply taking the bomb on the sub that took care of it all? Does that really erase all the evil crap he had done?
  • Why was Aaron still a baby before moving on from sideways land? If he had lived, and died and was wanting to move on, wouldn’t he have been in a more adult form? In fact, he wouldn’t remember most of them FROM the island, so why would he choose to move on WITH them? What about Sun and Jin’s kid?
  • The original others were destroyed by the Mom of Jacob and the MIB’s, so where did the new others come from?
  • Where in the hell did Mom even come from? And why if you were the protector of the universe and good and light, would you be such a merciless killer? Killing the real birth mother, destroying the original others, trying to kill MIB.
  • If Richard was on the island for hundreds of years, what was waiting for him once he got off the island on the plane? He was no longer immortal supposedly, so he would just be thrust into modern life and then NOT move on with everyone in the sideways world?
  • The time travel. Why did some travel and some not? Even when returning to the island?
  • Why didn’t the nuclear bomb kill them all? Were they immortal as candidates? Certain folks were not candidates that still were on the island, they would have at least had radiation poisoning.
  • Why did they time jump to present time after the nuclear bomb blast?
  • What was with the ashes and towers set up to protect from Smokey? Why did that work?
  • In that same vein, when Ben went with Locke to talk to Jacob at the cabin in the woods, the cabin was surrounded by ashes, but they briefly showed Christian IN the cabin. Well the MIB was masquerading as Christian at some point, so was the guy in the cabin really MIB and not Jacob? And wouldn’t he be trapped by the ashes?
  • Why couldn’t women have babies on the island? And why was there the Egyptian statue of the goddess of fertility and Motherhood?
  • What WAS the tie in to Egypt mythology? Hieroglyphics were everywhere, and there were temples, the statue, etc. No real relevance?
  • Flashing back a bit (so to speak,) if you had the technology to prevent a massive amount of energy from being released, and you built a hatch to take care of that, wouldn’t you come up with a better mechanism than simply typing in numbers every 108 minutes? I’m SURE they could automate that somehow. Declan could whip up some LotusScript in 5 minutes.
  • What was with the numerology? We know the numbers were of the candidates, so WHY then were they integrated so much in Dharma?

Now all of the above were things that I contemplated off the top of my head without working up a sweat. I’m sure I could come up with more. In addition Television Without Pity had these burning questions. Can any of them be answered?

I guess that’s my major problem here. None of that stuff was ever resolved, so it seems like the writers just threw whatever crap they felt like into the series whenever they felt like it. I enjoyed the series thinking that somehow, some of this stuff would tie together in the end, but it didn’t. There was no resolution on many of the things that made LOST so talked about.

Now it just seems that the writers threw down whatever they thought of after hits from the bong, without ever really contemplating how any of it could ever be explained. It annoys me and disappoints me a little. I think the ending had potential to be so much more, and by leaving SO many questions, it just diluted it and made a majority of it seem completely pointless.

So I enjoyed the lap dance, but I’m still looking for the happy ending that’s never going to come.

Losing a bet

Losing a Bet

Well, last year Declan and I had a bet on the Steeler/Dolphins season opener, and I lost. To pay up, I needed to put on a Steelers jersey and wear it proudly on my blog. Well, the day has come to pay up, and that’s what you see above. Myself at Declan and Terri’s house wearing the Black and Gold. Yes, I feel unclean.

The picture was taken after this past Monday night’s rematch of the Dolphins/Steelers. Declan invited me to the game, and we braved a couple inches of rain and cold conditions to have a blast. The field conditions were so bad that punts sunk directly into the field and stopped when they hit rather than bouncing like they normally do. It was pretty amazing. It was the lowest scoring Monday Night Football game ever, and the lowest scoring game in the NFL since 1993. So we were at a game that will become a piece of NFL history. Too bad it ended up Steelers 3, Dolphins 0. I tell you, the Steeler crowd was pretty nervous playing our winless Dolphins. Oh well, it was fun to give them a scare.

Dec, thanks a ton for having me. Terri, equal thanks to you for letting me use your ticket. :-)

I had a killer time, and now I can’t stop having hunger cravings for a Primanti Brothers Pitts-Burger. A sandwich with cole-slaw and fries RIGHT ON THE BURGER… heavenly.

Hello, my name is John, and I'm a switcher…

Last January, one of my resolutions was to learn the Mac platform and use one as my main machine. Well, it’s happened and in a big way.

It started with finally talking my boss into a MacBook Pro for work. Once the Intel processors showed up, it was a no-brainer (for me, not so much for him.) I work in a two monitor setup and run Mac on the laptop screen and Windows in a VM on the secondary monitor for anything not available on Mac yet (*cough* Notes 8 *cough*) So that has been running splendidly for the last 7 months or so. So well in fact, that I started considering one for home.

Well, my daughters (six and four year olds) were wanting to use the computer more and more, and my self-built monster of an XP machine was starting to get long in the tooth. Once the new aluminum iMacs hit, I knew they would be perfect. So I snagged a 24 inch beast for our living room. It’s running Leopard and just screams. Time Machine is keeping everything backed up, and life is good.

But, I didn’t stop there. I decided to grab an iPhone. After my brief affair with the iPod Touch, I started missing the video and photo capabilities that were so strong on the Touch. So I figured, what the hell, snag an iPhone and hack to my heart’s content. I’m now running everything including third party apps and I’m loving it. It really is a wonderful little device. My wife now has my old Windows Mobile device, and I’ll probably never look back.

So basically, what I’m saying is, I’m a switcher. I’ve become those ads that I scoffed at a few short years ago. I have no regrets. In fact, it may be the best computing decision I’ve ever made. And if you look at our community, I’m not the only one making that decision. These are hard core technologists picking Apple. If you haven’t looked at Apple in awhile, now may be the time, we would love to have you in our little cult.


Ahhhhh… Vacation.

Today, I’m ending my first week back after being on vacation for a week. Let me tell you, it was one of the best vacations I’ve ever had. It wasn’t flashy, it wasn’t expensive, it was simply relaxing and recharging.

I had been getting burnt out, so I needed the time away from work. So, for the first time in memory, I didn’t check work email the entire time I was gone. I didn’t read RSS feeds until the last day of my vacation. I actually stayed off of the computer for the most part. I say for the most part because I DID set up a new iMac and iPhone during the week, but other than that, I didn’t spend a lot of time browsing or reading or anything.

I think that was the main thing that let the batteries re-charge a bit. Another was just spending time with my daughters and wife. We played games, and hung out, went to the movies (Bee Movie was cute) and actually watched Star Wars as a family for the first time. We also ate at new food places and old favorites. It was great. I actually got up fairly early each day and just went about at our own relaxed pace.

My wife and I got to re-connect as well. We had been running so much, that all we ever had energy for was watching a little TV before bed. But, since we went about things at a pretty leisurely pace, we got to enjoy each other’s company more.

So, in all, a completely enjoyable experience, and one I’ll have to remember. I haven’t felt this good in a long time…

Extend Quickr with Open Source Templates

Hey everyone. I was on vacation last week (and a glorious vacation is was — more on that later) so I forgot to post about my latest article on Intranet Journal. Extend Quickr with Open Source Templates is available now, and goes over all the templates released by Rob Novak and the folks over at SNAPPS.

If you use Quickr, you definitely will want to check out what these free templates can do for you.

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