Friday, April 18, 2008

The Million Blog List

I was doing some poking around last night and came across a brilliant new Wiki site called the Million Blog List. It's an experiment to see how quickly they can get 1,000,000 blogs listed on their site.

I registered my blogs last night, and jtj3 is #575 on the list. The interesting thing--as I write this, it's up to 58 more blogs added in a 10 hour period. Interesting. They have a contest to see who can predict when they'll hit the 1,000,000th blog. I won't enter--I always stink at guessing games like that.

One other thing that is fun to do is look through the list and find blogs that you might like--then, visit them, trade blogroll links, whatever. That's my plan...

Today is Friday, which would normally imply a Flash Fiction post. Maybe today...not so much. But we'll see.

More later...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Things that e-rritate me...

Since we (me, and all y'all that read this) are pretty internet savvy, connected, smart-device, text messaging, POP3 email on my mobile device, chic-geek (copyright on that term!!!) kinda people, more or less, I'm just curious--do any of you know those kind of people who don't exactly "get it" when it comes to the connected world, and especially email? I was thinking about this on the way in--stuff that e-rritates me (like the "e" in email, and 'irritates'--again, copyright on the word!). So, I'm coming up with a set of rules for the 5 or so technologically challenged friends I have...

  • Chain emails don't work. Ever.
  • Forwarding chain emails should be considered a venial sin. Or possibly mortal.
  • Forwarding chain emails with a note saying "I never forward these things, but..." does not absolve you.
  • Each funny picture you include in an email increases the size of the message. Sometimes a lot. To the extent that sending (or receiving!) some messages is like trying to stuff a 10 inch turd through a 5 inch pipe...
  • Speaking of pictures--if you send an email that's supposed to have a picture, and the picture isn't there when I get it, you should assume it's something *you* did wrong in sending it.
  • When you send me something, assume I got it. Especially when you send 10 emails to me, and I respond to one saying "Funny!" or some other lame-ass comment. It's not like the US Post Office--if your email doesn't get to me, chances are you'll get a notification telling you why, then you can resend it (or better yet, NOT...).
  • If your email has been forwarded multiple times, how about you do everyone a favor and clean up the headers...I don't need to see that 'a' forwarded this message to a hundred people, and 'b' who was on 'a's list forwarded it to a hundred people, and 'c' also forwarded get the idea. Hopefully.
  • Before you forward a message about how Microsoft is going to give you $20 for every email you forward, or how we can stick it to The Man (side note--I find it fascinating that Wikipedia actually has an entry for "the man"...) by not buying gas on a specific day, or something that sounds too good to be true--please, please, please, check (or a similar site) to see if it's an urban legend. Cuz first, it's a waste of time for me to have to check your facts and second, you're gonna be pretty embarassed when I do a "Reply All" and say "Hey sorry dude, urban legend..."

I could go on and on, but I think that's a good enough list for now. There...I feel better.

So, what e-rritates you?

UPDATE: Oh yeah, thought of one more. Why, oh why, people, do you send me jokes, videos, pictures, whatever that insult my nationality, my religious affiliation, my choice of sports teams, or (ESPECIALLY) my political beliefs? The political jokes--HUGE e-rritant for me. I'm a registered member of the Democratic Party (and proud of it), so humor that denegrates either the party, its membership, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton doesn't strike me as funny. Thanks for playin'.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sorta recycling, again--Boston Marathon

This is kinda sorta swiped from my running blog--just slightly modified for a different audience. Not only because it's a cool topic, have nothing interesting to say today (like that's ever stopped me!)

Anyway-- it's 6 days until the 112th running of the Boston Marathon. Not that I'm running it, mind you. Still, it's a banner day for the sport of running.

I'm willing to bet that most people, even those who don't know what a marathon is all about, have some familiarity with Boston. It's a true classic, and has a long and storied history (read more about it here). Not too long ago I finished reading one of those stories--John Brant's excellent story of the 1982 Boston Marathon entitled Duel In The Sun. If you haven't read it, I recommend it highly. Even if you're a non-runner, you'll still appreciate the back-and-forth battle that stretched for the entire race.

Boston is different from most marathons, in that runners have to qualify (with a few limited exceptions) by finishing another marathon within a specific time goal determined by age. I know what it takes to qualify, and I have an enormous amount of respect and admiration for those who do. I just don't see myself ever getting the hallowed qualifying time of 3:20, based on my current age. In fact, when I'm 80 the qualifying time will be 5:00--heck, I'd feel happy to run a 5:00 marathon now! Unless something changes radically, my participation is going to be limited to watching it on TV.

There's going to be tons of coverage through all kinds of media outlets. The Versus network is going to be showing live coverage. There will also be streaming coverage on the World Championship Sports Network at Steve Runner, runner and podcaster extraordinaire, is recording a podcast during the race, and you'll be able to monitor his progress via his website.

Even if you don't watch the whole thing, or can't catch it live, you should at least take a look. There's truly nothing like it--especially the finish.

Who knows--if it's super-exciting, I may even post a race wrap up. We'll see.

More later...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Music Monday - Madeleine Peyroux

I figured it was getting a little repetitive to have a bunch of posts entitled "Music Monday", so I thought that adding the artist name in the title would be a good idea...

Today's Music Monday CD is Careless Love, the 2nd release from jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux. 11 of the 12 tracks are remakes of jazz or pop standards, with the exception of the 2nd track, "Don't Wait Too Long."

I love Madeleine's voice, and the tracks all sound like the type of music you'd hear in a small jazz club somewhere in the middle of Paris. Small wonder, as she spent her formative years living and singing in Paris. It's somewhat minimalist--not a lot of over-production, and not a lot of instruments. Just a basic jazz quartet with vocals.

My favorite track on the whole CD is her cover of Josephine Baker's classic "J'ai Deux Amours" ('I Have Two Loves'), a song about her deep love for Paris. It's a great song about a great city, and it's a great rendition on this disc.

If you like jazz, even a little, give this CD a spin.

More later...

Friday, April 11, 2008

Recycling a 55FFF post...

I'm "green", kinda sorta, so I'm all about conservation and recycling and stuff. So, in that vein, I decided to recycle a post I wrote on the 55 Flash Fiction Friday blog back in February. If you follow my running blog (SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION!!!), you know that I had to stop for a few weeks because of pneumonia. I'm still not back to 100%, so I figure if I can't write about my running I'll write fiction about running...

Five miles into it, sweat pouring down, legs pumping, heart racing.

He did this every week, whether he wanted to or not.

He was past the pain, the cramps, and into his zone.

The miles clicked past effortlessly, and he could have run forever.

"I've unleashed my inner Kenyan," he smiled to himself in triumph.

More later...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hey, wanna see THE MOST irritating thing on the web?

It's RIGHT HERE!!! I'm a huge fan of the Confessions of a Runner podcast. Jodi put an audio clip of this song into one of her 'casts. Since listening to it Monday, I have been unable to get this damned thing out of my head. It's irritating, but it'll stick with you...

Warning you...

Last chance...

How much of it did you actually listen to? I figure the average is about 30 seconds, and then you're scarred for life...

More later...

From around the globe...

Not much going on in the fast-paced, fun filled world of jtj3 today (side note--is it me, or is it irritating when people refer to themselves in third person? Sorry 'bout that...), so I thought I'd share some news stories/links that caught my interest recently:

  • Katie Couric leaving CBS? ran a story today referring to a piece in the Wall Street Journal. The piece quotes unnamed sources saying that Katie Couric may be leaving CBS News well ahead of the expiration of her contract in 2011...possibly as soon as late January next year. Apart from a short-lived bump in the ratings at the start of her tenure, CBS Evening News has been consistently at the bottom of the ratings heap.
  • 8 glasses a day? PFFFFT! A recent editorial in the Journal of the American Society for Nephrology calls into question the idea that we need to drink eight full 8 oz. glasses of water each day for optimum health. Turns out this idea has been popular for over 200 years, but no research exists to show that this amount of water is needed or is beneficial.
  • Look, ma, no lungs! has a report on a species of frog found in Indonesia that has no lungs and breathes through its skin. Scientists say that this species is a good example of "extreme evolution"--rapid change based on extreme environmental conditions. Study of the species could offer more clues into the evolutionary process in general.
  • Slavery is alive and well. Maggie over at Okay, Fine, Dammit had an enlightening and disturbing post today about the human slave trade. Some estimates say there are as many as 27 million slaves in the world today. Quelle eye-opener.
  • I'm not leaving, on a jet plane... American Airlines cut 1,100 flights on Wednesday and another 900 on Thursday to re-inspect the majority of their MD-80 fleet, according to the San Jose Mercury News. It stinks to be stranded--but then again, if it's a flight-safety issue, I'd rather be stranded than up in the air wondering "what if?" for the whole flight...

There's more--LOTS more--but that's enough for now. Man, the Internet is amazing isn't it?

More later...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Music Monday

Today's Music Monday, boys and girls, is a dive into a more obscure genre...electronica/big beat music. The featured record today is Legion of Boom from The Crystal Method.

I became familiar with TCM through their work in films and TV, and also from some of PC games I play. I was shopping for other music about a year ago, saw this on the store shelf, and thought "Hm, let's give it a spin." It was one of those CDs that grabbed me instantly--from the opening measures of the first track, I knew I was hooked.

I've since gotten all TCMs works (except for their newest CD Drive, which I just found out about--YIPPEE, more TCM music!) and listen to them regularly. They make good music for driving, running, working out, etc. I like them all, but Legion of Boom is still my favorite.

Give them a listen--they're awesome.

More later...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

One. Word. Meme.

As Snow pointed out, I never met a meme I didn't like! I borrowed this from my friend Kathleen and, since I didn't have much to write about today, I thought this would be a fun thing to do...

one word meme.

remember — only one word answers.
1.Where is your mobile phone? charger
2.Your significant other? reading
3.Your hair? short
4.Your mother? depressed
5.Your father? heaven
6.Your favourite thing? running
7.Your dream last night? romantic
8.Your favorite drink? cola
9.Your dream/goal? marathon
10.The room you’re in? office
11.Your ex? nonexistent
12.Your fear? lonliness
13.Where do you want to be in 6 years? here
14.Where were you last night? home
15.What you’re not? satisfied
16.Muffins? warm
17.One of your wish list items? marathon
18.Where you grew up? boondocks
19.The last thing you did? emailed
20.What are you wearing? jeans
21.Your TV? Sony
22.Your pets? cats
23.Your computer? obsession
24.Your life? meaningful
25.Your mood? great
26.Missing someone? nope
27.Your car? fast
28.Something you’re not wearing? bra! (this was Kathleen's answer, too, so I decided to swipe it!!!)
29.Favorite Store? depends
30.Your summer? Alaska!
31.Like someone? tons
32.Your favorite color? blue
33.When is the last time you laughed? tonight
34.Last time you cried? funeral
35.Who will/would re-post this? dunno...

That's it...if you do it, let me know!

More later...

Friday, April 4, 2008

55FFF - Spring Is Here

My first non-story arc Flash Fiction in a reeeeeeeeally long time. Cool, I'm excited. (C:

She stormed into the house, her mood matching the tempest outside.

"I hate all this rain!" she said. "Traffic was HORRIBLE today."

"April showers bring May flowers, dear," he said charmingly.

"Don't try cheering me up."

He smiled shyly, handing her the tulips he'd bought just for that purpose.

A smile lit up her face.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Did you get April Fooled?

I'm usually quite the jokester but, for some reason this year, just didn't feel up to April Fooling anyone. I briefly thought about talking to a couple people at work who are active in the gossip mill and saying "Hey, did you hear we got bought???" I could really see that one backfiring, so I decided to leave it alone.

So, did you prank anyone or get pranked? The local NBC affiliate ran a story on the morning news about some of the best tricks on the web:

  • Virgle: The Adventure of Many Lifetimes - an alleged joint venture between Virgin Atlantic and Google, Project Virgle was a plan to establish the first manned colony on Mars. Google did a brilliant job with this--their co-founders (Larry Page and Sergey Brin) recorded a YouTube video for the project, as did Sir Richard Branson (videos are here).
  • Rickrolling - The joke here is you give someone a link to an innocuous website, but the link ends up taking them to a YouTube video of Rick Astley performing his 1987 hit "Never Gonna Give You Up." YouTube got in on the act--all their featured videos yesterday ended up being rickrolls.
  • Tribune Company changes names - Sam Zell, owner of the Tribune Company (The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, WGN-TV, and the Chicago Cubs are a few of the company's properties) issued a press release stating that the company's name was changing to ZellCoMediaEnterprises, Inc or ZCMEINC. He was quoted as saying: "I put $315 million into this thing...the least I ought to get is my name on the company's stationery..."
  • More room in coach! - Canada's Westjet Airlines offered their customers the opportunity to get more room and really stretch out in coach. Passengers were told that, for an additional $12, they could stretch out and sleep in the overhead bins. Westjet touted the fact that their overhead space was the "most generous" in the industry.
  • April Fools' roundup from ZDNet Australia - this was such a great catch-all story I had to highlight it. Among the pranks it recounted were Google's new feature offering tomorrow's headlines and sports scores today, Virgin Blue airlines offering "standing room only" spots on flights over 2 hours for only $12, and a story run by an Australian radio outlet stating that the Pope would hold a special mass for gays and lesbians.

So...regardless of whether you tricked, or got tricked yourself, it looks like you had lots of good company.

Just curious, did any of you do anything memorable?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Where I've been...

You probably know by now I'm a sucker for a good meme, and this one that I found on my good pal Snowelf's blog today is no exception. So, without 'tis!

5 years ago - 2003
I went through a reorg at work and ended up with a better position.
Mrs jtj3 had major surgery.
My dad and both paternal grandparents passed away at the end of the year.
I got to see the 2003 MLB All-Star Game at Comiskey Park.
I grew a lot--personally and professionally.
I made my health a top priority because of family health issues (diabetes + heart disease). I started running, lost weight, and started eating better.

10 years ago - 1998
I had a great job with a great company that was approaching $800M in revenue, and I planned on retiring from this company (it got sold a year later...).
We had 3 cats, but one had to go to "kitty heaven".
We decided to take the plunge, sell our townhouse, and buy a single family home.
I started hearing about this wicked cool "Internet" thing.

15 years ago - 1993
We spent a great week on vacation in Jamaica--great, that is, until I had an accident and tore my ACL.
We celebrated our 2nd year of marriage. And we thought we'd never get past the first year...
I had my first (and so far only) major surgery.
I got to see the White Sox win the American League Central chamionship by beating the Seattle Mariners in a late September game.
I started deciding what I wanted to do with my life--stay in a high-tech company, but eventually move into management.

20 years ago - 1988
I was one year out of college and, in retrospect, dumber than a box of rocks.
I left my first post-college job to start my second.
I took a 2-week trip to Germany, Switzerland, and Austria with my folks for vacation.
My college pal "L" started working at the same company I did. "L" and I worked the late shift together, the evenings were pretty quiet, and so we started talking and learning more about each other. I also started thinking she was kinda hawt...3 years later, she ended up becoming Mrs. jtj3. (C:

So, that's a little about where I was. I won't tag anyone, but if you want to swipe this and do it, be my guest--just let me know, because I love reading stuff like this about my blog friends...