I need help

Ever have a terrific idea that you think could really go places but you have no clue where or how to start making it happen? That’s where I’m at right now.

Some of you know of my idea for a new website. Obviously, I’ve played it close to the vest, not blabbing it all over town. I think, if done correctly, this site could be big. Really big. You know, build-up-a-user-base-for-a-few-years-then-sell-to-Google-for-a-few-mil sort of big. I read these news reports of facebook.com selling for a billion dollars… or youtube.com thinking they’re worth $2 billion. Granted, I don’t think my idea would be that big, but hell… you never know. I read how some sites generate outrageous revenue from Google AdSense. Will mine be that big… probably not, but again, who knows?

I’m facing a number of challenges. First, I have no clue how to get the ball rolling. What should I do to start? A Lawyer? Investors? Plug away in anonymity? I just don’t have any experience with such a thing. How do I protect myself and the idea? I don’t even know what I don’t know. I’m doubly screwed. Second, I’m a developer, but I don’t have anywhere near the amount of skill such an undertaking would require. I would obviously need a developer or two to work with… but how to find them? How to pay them? What do I need to know? Mistakes to avoid? Aaaiiiiggh!

I’m so stymied that I’m paralyzed into inaction. I really think I need to get moving on this. Who knows, maybe this is my key out of the corporate grind and into grinding for myself for a change. Why not me, right?

If anyone out there has created a business site… or even their own business… or perhaps acted as an investor in a fledgling idea has any words of advice, I would GLADLY take them. I’m begging for them. Hell, point me to some books. Some websites. Information of any sort and in any form!

Maybe I can be the next internet millionaire. (keep your fingers crossed)

Cell Hell Averted

Silver RazrGot the new phone on Monday! Have pretty much been playing with it ever since. God, I am such a nerd. Of course, I haven’t read the manual yet. If I can’t figure it out, then maybe I will, but more than likely I won’t.

Even worse, is I can connect this bad boy to the PC and have all kinds of fun. New pictures and wallpapers… emails and IM’s… ringtones… you name it. My new ring is the ‘slowing down’ ring of the main character in the movie Crank. None of you probably have any clue what I’m talking about, but trust me, its very cool. Is it sad that stuff like this makes me excited? Is there any better smell than that of new electronics? God I’m sick.

In other news, Boise State just got a verbal commitment from a high school quarterback who threw 66 touchdowns as a junior. WOW. In 4 games as a senior this year, he already has 20 touchdowns. I don’t know about you, this is almost as exciting as the new cell phone. Eat that Cody Hawkins, with your measly 42 touchdowns as a senior…

Cell Hell

I finally did it. After a year and a half of frustration, I finally bought a new cell phone. I’m still trapped in my contract and unable to upgrade my equipment until March of next year, but I couldn’t wait any longer. I’ve been browsing EBay and finally found the deal I could get with.

Now, I’ve got some real problems with my existing phone and you’re gonna hear about them.

Here is the deal, 18 months ago I bought a new phone in order to replace my REAL old Nokia. I did my research. I read reviews. My main goal was to find a well reviewed phone that was very small. See, I carry my phone in my pocket. I’m not one of these tools who feels the need to show how important they are by displaying their phone on their belt. I hate those people. (No offense dad…) I tried the belt clips way back with my very first phone. After destroying two of them by simply sitting in my car, that turned me off. I keep it in my pocket. I keep it on vibrate. I really don’t need everyone to know how cool I am that I have a cell phone, because you know what? You’re not cool because you have a cell phone, you idiot. EVERYONE has a cell phone in case you haven’t noticed. You’re not cool that you are so important that everyone has to get a hold of you at all times. So, shut up and pay the damn cashier so I can get the hell out of here… Is there anything worse than someone in front of you in line on the phone an paying no friggin attention at all?! Sorry… I digress.

Here is my review of everything that makes me crazy about this phone, my Samsung SGH-E317. Wait, let me say what I do like about this phone… Um… It can make phone calls. That’s it, that’s the list.

The first thing that makes me absolutely apoplectic is the camera feature. This thing takes pretty craptacular pictures. But, I don’t care about that because I don’t want it to take pictures at all. The engineers, in their infinite wisdom, put a quick access camera button on the side of the phone, so you can take pictures without opening the phone up. Well, gee, that’s terrific. Lord knows how often you need quick grainy shot of something right now! However, they also did not include any way to disable said button. Thus, I have taken probably a thousand pictures of the inside of my pockets over the past 18 months. The straw that broke the back was last week, I picked up my phone from the pocket of my pants and saw that during the night, the button again was depressed, and I had 109 pictures of the inside of my pocket. Even better, the only way to delete these pictures is you have to view the picture, select ‘options’, select ‘delete’, select ‘ok’ and then about 5 seconds later, its deleted. So, I was staring at like 400 button pushes and 10 minutes of pure wait time to delete all of these pictures.

My second gripe is a minor quibble in comparison, but it still makes me crazy. Like I said, I keep my phone on silent/vibrate most of the time. However, occasionally I’m expecting a call and have the audio on. Thus, when I’m heading into a meeting, or a movie or something, I always make sure to change it to ‘silent’ mode again. Well, explain this to me. When you are switching something to silent mode, you are probably already somewhere quiet, right? Well, what does this phone do when you switch into silent mode? It beeps! How much friggin sense does that make!? The very thing you’re trying to avoid! When you bring it out of silent mode, when you’re back where there is some noise most likely… No beep. Who the hell thought that was a good idea?

Another minor annoyance is they have chosen to have the option to have an “animated” wall paper for the main screen. Cute. However, this phone doesn’t have enough power to do anything but about 1 frame a second of animation. Thus, the animation, such as it is, looks more like stop motion. Really conveys the feeling that, “this phone is a piece of crap that looks like its about to crash any second”. Doesn’t instill a lot of confidence.

Next, I’ve got a problem with the outside of this phone. This is a flip phone with an external screen and what they call a ‘service light’. This service light blinks once every 5 seconds for absolutely no reason I can discern other than to tell you the phone is ‘on’. More on that light in a minute. The external screen, is black, unless you have the phone open, or you are receiving a call/message/email/etc. But, its only lit for 7 seconds before it goes black again. Now, having the screen off, ok, I can see that. Save battery. I get it. But, there is no way to activate the screen short of opening up the phone. The external buttons do nothing (except activate that goddamn camera). But what really honks me off, is when you may have a missed call, or have a voice mail, text message or something waiting, once the external screen goes off, you’d never know! Nothing. Oh, if you open the phone, it will tell you what you missed, but if you just glance at it? Nothing. Which brings me back to this ‘service light’. This light flashes when the phone is ringing. Terrific! Not much help when the phone is in your pocket, but whatever. I guess my question is, why in the hell doesn’t this light flash to let you know that you missed something? Instead of the standard 5 second “hi, we’re still powered on” light, couldn’t we get a 2 second “woo… Someone tried to contact you… You should open me up and check!” light? I’m no software engineer, but I gotta think about 50 lines of code would make that happen. Instead, they just want to torture me. I have had a missed call and a message on my phone for well over a day because I never opened the damn thing to see that there was anything waiting. “Hey wait a sec? I missed a call last Tuesday!? Son of a….”

I’m sure there are other things for me to bitch about, but I’m done. My new phone, the super stylish Motorola RAZR should be here in a few days, and my long suffering shall come to an end. Or, more likely, I shall simply find something else to vent my hatred about.

Stay tuned!

Couple things

Just a couple random things I’ve come across here…

First, Segway has announced a recall of 23,000 scooters for a software malfunction. Now, I understand recalls… shit happens. But what astounded me was that they have sold TWENTY THREE THOUSAND of those damn things! How in the hell did that happen?! I mean, in the right applications, they make sense. Large warehouses, private security patrols, etc. But 23,000? Really? Wow. I’ve still never seen one live.

This past weekend there was a mini controversy in college football. Oklahoma was playing at Oregon (they of the hideous uniforms) and Oklahoma got jobbed at the end of the game by a shitty call. Not only did they get robbed by a shitty call, they got doubly robbed because the shitty call in question was reviewed by video replay, AND UPHELD! Not only did these refs blow it on the field, they blew it in video review as well. Now, these refs have been suspended by the league (they were Pac-10 refs) for a game and an official appology has been issued.

Now, I know Oklahoma’s pain. 3 years ago, Boise State was in the same situation at Oregon State. Boise State fans remember this. Minute and a half left. Boise down by 2. OSU ball at the Bronco 22. 4th and 1. Oregon State gets the first down, they can kill the clock. They don’t, we have a chance to get into field goal range to win. Well, they run a quarterback sneak and their quarterback extends the ball in front of him. A defender pushes the ball back into his helmet and he dropps it. OSU falls on it 5 yards behind the line of scrimage! Boise State ball with a chance to win! Ohhh… I’m sorry… the refs said the quarterback’s forward momentum was stopped and he had the first down… despite the fact that not a single defender had a hand on him. No replay at this point. Oregon State retains possesion. First down. Game over. What did we get for our trouble? An official appology. “Gee… sorry we screwed your chance to win. Our bad.” I wonder if it was the same crew that screwed Oklahoma over as well.

Beware home refs in the Pac-10. If there is any doubt, you won’t get the call. Ever.

Of course, now, Oklahoma is whining and crying saying that the game shouldn’t count in the standings, blah blah blah. Listen OU. Everyone gets screwed by bad calls. There is nothing you can do. Crying about it just makes it worse. You lost. It sucks, but move on. There is no other option.

CableOne Comes Through

Well, they pulled it off. The impossible. Boise State v. Wyoming is now going to be on digital cable. What an amazing turn of events. I was resigned to not seeing the game at all and living with the radio call.
The good thing is that CableOne is not going to increase rates just for adding this one channel. If I had to pay more per month to watch one game, when the other 364 days of the year this channel will be showing the Colorado State diving team or something, I might be less enthusiastic.

So, the party is at my apartment. Get there early, cause there sure ain’t much seating. There ain’t much food either… ok… NO food… so if you want something, bring it with, plus a little something for the host, huh?

In other news, someone is walking around the office today whistling ‘Jingle Bells’. If I find them, I will strangle them to death with my bare hands. There is no other option.

Speaking of my office, it is actually quiet in here today. See, that large open staging area I’ve mentioned in past posts (where they’ve alternately stored crap and had product faires) has been holding all of the printers being moved in and moved out of the entire site. They have been doing this big printer roll out program latetly, taking all of the personal printers off peoples’ desks and replacing them with the big multi-function laserjets a couple for each team. Well, guess where they were storing all of said printers… 20 feet from my cube.

Well, this week, they had piles and piles of personal printers. Then, for some reason, they removed the walls surrounding their operation which knocked down a little of the noise. From my cube door, I could see clear across the expanse of printers, as well as hear every conversation, every crash, every scrape, everything. My personal favorite was the guy who was pulling the toner cartridges from the printers and literally tossing them into a big container. Just a lovely amout of noise, to which this guy was oblivious that less than 5 yards away were people actually trying to do office business. It was so bad, I had to eject at 10am and spend the day working from home.

Fortunately, today, all is gone. No printers. No workers. No distractions. It’s nice. Of course, a guy came by my cube asking if we had wireless network connection in the building because his team is moving in. I ask him what team that was, and he said it was the PET team (whatever the hell that means) but then threw in this little gem, “Hope you’re prepared, its going to be noisy.”

Oh goody… I can’t wait.

Hold the Phone!

Now here is a twist for the ages. According to the Idaho Statesman website, CableOne is in negotiations with ‘billy-bob’s homebrew cable football network’ in order to actually carry the Boise State at Wyoming game on Saturday. I’m sorry, but this has got to be the first time in recorded history that a cable company has actually done ANYTHING worth rooting for. I mean, suppose they pull this off, how could I ever bad mouth them again? Honestly, I don’t think I could. They might have earned a customer for life. And, of course, by “life” I mean, “until they piss me off far enough in the future that I forgot the gave me the BSU game.” Obviously.

Here is the article

Of course, this is by no means a done deal. More than likely, this will just get my hopes up just enough so that they can really crush me come Saturday. Of course, when that happens, the natrual order will be restored, and we can resume or regularly scheduled cable company bitching already in progress.

I guess I had better whip my place into shape just in case. I’m the only one in the family (at least as far as I know) that has the full on CableOne package that would be required to view this, provided they come through. I suppose I could expect to see everyone over for a few good hours of football on Saturday. The place is small, but there is lots of floor. You’re more than welcome to come by.

If the game is indeed on CableOne, my place will be the place to be. I’ll figure out refreshments when the time comes.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Best Summer Movie

I’ve seen many movies this summer. Many good movies. However, I just saw the best one of the summer.

Little Miss Sunshine

This small indie flick was absolutely terrific. It is difficult to describe. But it is a tale of rich characters, dark humor, disfunctional familes, road trips, death, pornography, childhood, dreams, loss, suicide and more. Like I said, it is very difficult to pigeon hole into an easy category. All I know is this… it is ABSOLUTELY worth seeing.

This movie earned a Rottentomatoes.com rating of 93%.  One of the top reviewed movies of the year.

The cast is amazing. The story is at turns outrageously funny and quietly poignant. A very brief outline of the plot is this family traveling 800 miles so 8 year old Olive can participate in a beauty pagent. But I could spend 20 minutes describing them all. Far easier for you to just see it. The family feels very authentic. You believe that this really is a family. They fight and squabble, yet there are multiple demonstrations that the really do love each other despite it all. Even though the movie only takes place over a few days, you really feel like each character has grown and changed by their experiences.

Of course, the anchor is the Mom, played by Toni Collette. She does her best to hold this circus together despite some very interesting circumstances. She plays these events in such a way that she just rolls with it and makes the best of it. Doing whatever is necessary to keep it together, even though she knows she’s not perfect. The look she gives her husband, Greg Kinnear, at the gas station is priceless.

Steve Carrell, one of the funniest people on the planet manages to be funny despite not having a funny line in the movie. Alan Arkin as grandpa is hillarious. Greg Kinnear is one of the most versatile actors out there. Even Paul Dano as the affected teenager does a lot with a rather limited character.

The little girl, Abigail Breslin, was unbelieveable. She’s an amazing actress, that more than held her own with all these very good adult actors. The ending of the movie is priceless.

I cannot recommend this movie highly enough.

Do yourself a favor and go see it.

Urge to kill… rising

So, right now is probaby not exactly the time for me to be complaining about not getting MORE football on TV, but dammit, I’m going to do it anyway.

Here is the background. Boise State is playing this weekend at the University of Wyoming. Being a member of the Mountain West Conference, they have the brodcast rights. Well, in their infinite brilliance, that conference has signed their TV rights over to ‘cooter’s fancy backyard college football television channel’ that is available in about 7 homes nationwide.

So, needless to say, nary a customer in the entire state of Idaho, apart from a few cow towns that are so pathetic that regular cable & satellite companies ignore them, are going to receive the game.

First off, let me say, that nobody in their right mind is taking a road trip to Laramie Wyoming. Not exactly the excitement capital of the world.

Now, I’m no marketing genius. I realize that ESPN is the 800 lb. gorilla who can dictate terms to the conferences and perahps you don’t want to play by their rules. But you’re really going to hitch your wagon to the TV equivalent of 3 legged horse with spina bifida? Is that really how you want your league portrayed? When millions upon millions are tuning into ESPN GameDay every Saturday, you really want your product shown on some channel which when not playing your games is showing the local farm report? You’re the Mountain West for christ sake. We’re not talking SEC here. The Big 10 can start their own cable channel. Mountain West, you are a road apple in college football, just like the WAC, MAC, and C-USA (although, at least we’re not the Sun Belt).

Even worse, the local NBC affiliate who has the Boise State broadcast rights has offered to rebroadcast the game locally. Free of charge. WITH their commercials intact. Asked 3 separate times, in fact. Their answer has always been ‘No’. Ok, now I can even see their logic with this move, to a point. They are thinking, that if we refuse, then enough people will call their cable/satellite providers and demand our product! It’s perfect! Well, not really. Boise is not exactly New York City. The actual number of people calling to request this new channel of their provider will mean exactly squat to these companies. Especially when compared to the amount of effort it takes for them to add a new channel.

Face it. You people suck. Your channel sucks. Your TV deal sucks. Your league sucks. Your suck sucks. You rotten pig-headed bastards are keeping me from seeing an away football game for the first time in 10 years. Last time I checked, this was 2006. How the game can’t be on here is beyond me. I totally feel a Clark Griswold level of blow up coming (“hallelujah, where’s the tylenol“). Nearing ‘homicidal rampage’ areas of disturbance.

I’m so pissed, I can’t even think straight. We can go from one week being in High Definition on ESPN with over 1,000,000 people watching to some channel where 6 guys on a tractor could watch, but won’t because, like everyone else, they will be watching ESPN.

AAAARRRRRGGGHHHHH!

Overdose

I didn’t think it was possible, but I pulled it off. I think I have actually overdosed on football. Many times I have tried, yet could never reach that saturation point where you just couldn’t take in any more information but this weekend was the clincher. Here’s how it happened.

It all began Thursday evening. As I left work at 3:30 to head down to the Boise State v. Oregon State game on the blue. Granted, I wasn’t technically watching football the entire time, but it is part of the process, so I’m including it. So, from my arrival on campus about 4pm (for a 5:30 kick off) until the game ended at 9:30, it was 5.5 hours of some of the most fun I’ve had in a while. Boise State looked terrific. Ian Johnson was unbelievable. So great was the game, I made the mistake of starting to watch my recording of the game once I got home. I had planned on watching just the first quarter before going to bed, but that didn’t last. So, 3 and a half hours later, I watched the entire game again. That puts me at 9 hours of football, and it wasn’t even Friday yet.

Friday was strangely football free. I had other plans so I didn’t see any of Pittsburgh v. Cincinnatti. If Thrusday was the appetizer, then Friday was the palate-cleansing sorbet before the hearty meal of Saturday and Sunday. A football free day in the middle here might just have saved my sanity.

I awoke early Saturday morning and flipped on ESPN College GameDay before I even put my feet onto the floor. The first games started at 10am local. After an hour of GameDay I was set. I parked on the couch and flipped around between Rutgers killing Illinois, and Va Tech v. NC in high def. As an aside, I can’t wait until that point in the future where EVERY sporting event is in Hi Def. There is nothing worse than wanting to watch a game that is being broadcast in hi def, but you don’t receieve the channel (CableOne & ESPN2HD, I’m looking at you). I simply want every single sporting event, specifically football, in hi def. I will take nothing less. Is that too much to ask?

Anyway, the early games were simply a warmup for the real games to follow. Notre Dame v. Penn State was a huge matchp that I had been looking forward to. Plus, at the same time we had the battle of the Palouse in Idaho v. Wazzu. After last weekend, I thought Idaho might keep this one interesting. Well, they didn’t. In fact, they looked WAY worse than they did last week. Perhaps their heads got a little big after almost beating MSU. Plus, Notre Dame blew out Penn State. I rode through those 2 games going with the ‘picture in picture’ feature on the tube to watch both at the same time. Neither game was close, but I enjoyed each one immensely since I love ND and… uh… Idaho… um… not so much.

Another thing I love doing is watching the ‘crawl’ at the bottom of the screen of scores from around the country. There are always some surprising nuggets in there. Such as San Jose State beating Stanford (I always root for WAC teams vs. other conferences) or even funnier is Colorado losing to Colorado State. Oooo… Coach Hawk. You have some SERIOUS work to do there. Oh for two. Colorado has scored a total of 20 points this season. Worse than that, they have a TOTAL of 363 total yards in 2 games. Mind you, this was at home against a 1-AA team and at a neutral site against a middle of the road Mountain West arch rival. When he was here, we would regularaly roll up 20 points in less than a quarter. It might take an entire half to get to 363 yards. For the record, Ian Johnson alone had 261 total yards and 30 points vs. Oregon State. Any second thoughts there, Hawk?

Following the Notre Dame and Idaho thrashings, it was another flip fest until the big game came around, Ohio State at Texas. Although, a quick dinner trip to Red Robin was thrown in there, there were still multiple TVs showing OSU/TX and LSU/Arizona, so other than the 10 minute drive, I was still mainlining football.

The day didn’t end until Fresno ran out of chances vs. Oregon at about 11:30pm local. If you’re counting, that is 13.5 straight hours of football. Running total of 22.5 hours of football with Opening Sunday of NFL still to come.

The Sunday plan was for George and I to hit somewhere to watch multiple games. We chose Busters, a local sports bar. We arrived just after the first games kickoffs at 11am. We proceded to eat finger steaks and watch 8 games at once. Our heads were on a swivel, always catching events on all the separate games. It’s a skill. Finger steaks, 2 pitchers of beer, countless cokes, a plate of ulitmate nachos, twelve games and 6 hours later, we retired back to my apartment. What did we do? You guessed it, turned on Sunday Night Football and spent the next 3.5 hours watching Giants v. Colts. For the day, thats another 9.5 hours and a grand total of 32 total hours of football. I think I’ve developed a football shaped brain tumor.

However, I’M NOT FINISHED! What is the perfect dessert to such a weekend football meal? That’s right… TWO Monday Night Football games. Might as well finish it off with another 7 or so hours of football. If anyone out there knows of a good doctor to surgically remove the couch from my ass, send them my way. For those of you needing help with the math, that would be damn near 40 hours of football in 5 days, or a full 1 of every 3 hours was spent watching football. even worse, if you remove time spent sleeping, I spent 45% of my last 5 days watching football. And, 3 of those are work days, so if you were to remove those 24 hours from the mix, I actually spent THREE FULL DAYS doing nothing but watching games. I think I might need to seek professional help. I can totally feel my brain turning to a tapioca like consistency and dripping from my ears.
Not to mention, I won my fantasy game as well (unless Lamont Jordan goes off for 30+ points tonight… ain’t gonna happen).

Some of you might be wondering (like one in my office asked), yes, I am single, with no kids, living in an apartment. aka. zero prior commitments of any type. I suppose there are some advantages. I wonder how many of you guys out there would give their right arms to live that weekend. However, I might be willing to concede that that might have been a little too much, even for me. I think the only way I could have ingested more football was if I could have some how jacked a satellite signal directly into my cerebral cortex.

If it came in High Def, I might just concider it.