Godfather Pics!

Ugh, lack of sleep over the last few days has caught up with me. It’s not even midnight and I’m already tired – what’s the deal!

A lot going on in being busy, but not enough energy to write about it. But a picture will say a 1,000 words – just like this picture of my God-daughter Sophia says more than I can ever say about how beautiful and precious she is! This was taken earlier this evening when I got to visit Sophie and her mom, my good friend Sam! I’m a lucky God-parent!

Great President’s Day Weekend

This turned out to be a wonderful three-day weekend, filled with a lot of fun activities, a little bit of pain and some change of plans.

First off the change of plans: Originally I was going to learn how to snowboard, rescheduled from our attempt last weekend. However, with our arctic cold temperatures on Friday (-9 in the evening!), we made the call that it would be better to just fall on my butt and not freeze it off, so we’re going to go for strike three next weekend! Saturday turned out to be pretty nice. Sleeping in until noon is never horrible, and I got to go play drums at church and had a nice night!

Sunday brought about a ton of fun – Coldplay Concert! This really snuck up on me. Bethany and I bought tickets with my friend Matt and his girlfriend Amanda back in December and with everything being so busy with the new semester this concert came out of nowhere. It turned out to be exactly what I needed, especially with such a hectic previous week.

I’d like to write more about the show, but time + fatigue is simply allowing me to post some pictures (I’ll do so at the bottom).

Monday was also a blast with a Sledding Experience with my sister, her friend and Bethany. Originally I was really excited about getting up to Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, but it doesn’t look like they’re allowing sledding up there this year (we were disappointed to see these big "NO SLEDDING" signs right out there. With the mild winter, maybe the lake isn’t as frozen over as it should be.. So we went over to Hidden Valley, which was definitely over-rated from everything I heard. There were a few small hills, but it was mainly families that were sledding with their little kids. We did manage to find a slope with a jump and had some fun. We all got some air, but I ended up really doing some damage to my tailbone. Maybe it’s a preview of what’s to come next weekend Hopefully not

So without further ado, pictures!

The Pepsi Center before Coldplay took the stage… This shows you how far back we were… My sister was in the 4th row!! Arggh

During "Yellow" all of these giant yellow balloons fell out of the ceiling. They were filled with confetti. This was a pretty cool shot.

I forget which song this was, but this is when I finally figured out how to take decent pictures in the dark Pepsi Center.

During one of the songs (I think it was "In My Place") Chris Martin came across the arena and stood about 20 feet from us! It was funny because I didn’t realize it was happening until he was right there. Bethany tapped my arm and I thought she was pointing to someone that security was going after, then I realize, "Whoa, that’s Chris Martin!"

This is my favorite shot. You can see the band on the big screen, right above where they’re really at. This was at the end of the encore when they bowed.

Bethany and I sledding Monday

Bethany got some air off that last jump!

This is me after taking a spill…

RIAA & ESPN

Another end to a very busy week! Between a bunch of deadlines and "fire-fighting" at work, trying to get fully caught up with school and laying out the NCSC newsletter – The Collegian, I’m glad that the weekend is finally here and that all of these projects are calming down…

I’m in a technological mood, so I thought a technology reflection would be fitting…

Reason #932 to hate the RIAA. Earlier this week, a story was released about how the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), through a legal filing with the government, is contesting CD-Ripping for the purpose of creating album back-ups as existing outside of "fair use" and is therefore illegal.

What does this mean? When I buy a CD, the first thing I do (when I’m finally able to surgically remove it from the wrapping) is pop it right into my computer and rip it right to my computer. Under no circumstances will the CD go into my car’s CD player, home CD player, discman (when I had one) or anything until it’s been inside of my computer’s CD drive. Anyone who knows me knows that I take horrible care of my CD’s, and that it’s only a matter of weeks before the CD is likely smudged, scratched or ultimately destroyed. I would be making weekly trips to Best Buy just to restock the CD’s I’ve damaged, but because I made a back-up of the CD it’s just a matter of burning a new one and I’m back in business. The way I see it is that if I’m not going to rely on my $10-13 investment to be secured in material that cost less than $.90 to produce. To not make back-ups is foolish in my mind…

However the RIAA sees it differently. According to their argument, CD’s shouldn’t be damaged by "ordinary use", and when "replacements are readily available at affordable prices" you shouldn’t have the need to back-up your CD’s. This becomes a bigger issue when you take this into the context of ripping the music onto your iPod or MP3 player. It’s not clear whether this argument is going to translate into a lobbying for legal policy, but nevertheless it just shows you how ridiculous and obsolete the RIAA has become.

First off: "ordinary use" – does anyone from the RIAA have a CD player in their car? Just having your CD’s when driving around is enough to damage them. I think about how many times I take them in and out of those cases, the amount of jostling my CD holders experience, and then when you think about all of the dust and dirt that fly around in your car, that alone is enough to cause some significant damage to your CD’s. How many of us have never damaged a CD before? I’d venture to say that no one can raise their hand in response to that question.

Secondly, for the RIAA allow this argument to lend itself in the "CD to iPod" discussion further shows you that the MP3 issue is not so much about money as it is the RIAA’s inability to control the music industry and continue to be the sole source in the music business. For what Apple has done with the iPod (along with the other companies that make Mp3 players) – RIAA should be sending Apple (and iTunes) and all of the other on-line music retailers flowers and fruit baskets every week for the next decade. They’ve pretty much saved the music industry and found a very viable way in making MP3’s profitable. I’m willing to bet that the RIAA throws darts at the Apple logo in their office because Apple came up with the idea instead of the RIAA – something they’re not willing to tolerate.

This whole issue is crap and continues to affirm that the RIAA is still looking to do more damage before they realize their obsolescence. I’ve said this before, but if the RIAA spent even a small fraction of the energy they use fighting technological advancements, and used that energy in the support and promotion of these advancements – they’d be more successful than in their wildest dreams.

I’m now an Insider! After months of contemplating, I’ve decided to finally take the plunge and pay the $40-per-year to be an ESPN Insider. What this means is that I have access to all of the ESPN articles that have the little "yellow" "IN" labels next to them. For a while it seemed like the dumbest idea to pay money so I could look at a web site, but as time passed, it made more and more sense:

In order to subscribe to the Sunday Denver Post (receiving the paper once a week), would cost me $39. For $1 more I am able to access all of the sports information that I want – 24×7, all of the latest sports news that I want. Once upon a time I once got the newspaper, but the only thing I ever read from it was the sports section. I’d like to consider myself a well-versed person who keeps up on current events, but I have no interest in getting news from a newspaper – I look to other mediums to get me that information. I’ve demonstrated a history in using ESPN.com. I read it almost daily during my lunches and get updated on all of the major sporting news. At least once each day I thought to my self "That looks like a cool story, too bad it’s an Insider." No longer will I have to say that…

I find this noteworthy because I think that this represents a shifting in Internet usage, as well as a generational shift in how we receive our information. If I was to tell my mom that I’m spending money to access a web site she’d think it was a waste. Even my sports-loving uncle would probably have scratched his head wondering if I had that much money to spend, or if I was just a sucker… I don’t think our parents are particularly fond of reading that much on a computer screen, and ultimately will still look to paper sources of information – newspapers and magazines – as their primary reference.

On the shifting Internet usage, this is ultimately how ESPN.com and other new/information sites will make money – not by selling advertisements. If they are able to provide content that’s accessible, well-organized, current and insightful, then they have a product that they can sell – and a generation of consumers that are likely to take advantage of that. Newspapers – by offering all of their content on-line, eliminate the printed paper and just charge people a smaller fee (relative to subscribing to the paper edition) to access all of the content – will ultimately be able to save themselves (well that and stop trying to blatantly push their political agendas, allowing their editorial views to spill onto their news pages, but that’s another topic for another day). We are witnessing a transformation in how news services will distribute their information on the internet.

Music & V-Day

Okay, I wanted to randomly do this, since it’s been a while and not that I’m bored or anything (although I should be asleep right now). Credit to my good friend Andie for the idea long ago:

1. Open up the music player on your computer.
2. Set it to play your entire music collection.
3. Hit the shuffle command.
4. Tell us the title of the next ten songs that show up (with their musicians), no matter how embarrassing. That’s right, no skipping that Carpenters tune that will totally destroy your hip credibility. It’s time for total musical honesty.

Jeromey’s List – 2-06:

1. Dave Matthews Band – #40 (Listener Supported)
2. Aerosmith – What It Takes
3. Outkast – Pink Blue
4. Spearhead – Bomb the World (Armageddon Version)
5. Metallica – Unforgiven II
6. Dave Matthews Band – Rhyme & Reason (Live at Red Rocks ’95)
7. Police – Once Upon a Daydream
8. Collective Soul – Counting the Days
9. Dave Matthews Band – #40 (Live in Chicago – I kid you not!!!)
10. Kenny Chesney – Young

Happy Valentine’s Day to all! Today turned out to be a great day, Bethany and I had a really nice evening. One story I thought would be funny to share:

Originally I had hoped to make Bethany’s valentine. I had the construction paper, the glitter pens, the sweetheart candy – the works, but these last few days have been so busy that I wasn’t able to find the time to do it. I finally accepted that I needed to go buy the card, so during lunch today I braved my way into the local Hallmark store. It was a total zoo in there! I walk in, go to the right where the Valentine’s Day card racks are, and it’s completely surrounded by 15 guys and like 2 girls! There was a line to even get to look at the cards! Talk about crazy! Then while we’re there one guy said loudly, "Well I’m glad to know I’m not the only one that waited until the last minute!"

True, true…

Different set of plans, same great weekend

Another weekend comes to an end – one that was definitely all over the place and work a recap…

With all of the build-up from my last post, it turns out that we didn’t go snowboarding on Saturday. As it turns out, the traffic on I-70 was horrible, a semi stalled on the west bound lanes, reducing traffic on that side to one lane! Combined with everyone setting out for weekend skiing, the roads were a nightmare. It took us 2 hours to go 20 miles, and we still had 20 more to go when we decided to turn around. Snowboarding is postponed until next weekend, which is probably a blessing in disguise. I’ve deferred my embarrassment for one more week, and now I have some more time to build up muscles in my butt for all the bruising it’s going to get.

Bethany and I came back to Fort Collins a littler earlier than planned and I managed to make it to church in time to play with the choir. This is the first time I’ve drummed since the day of the funeral, and while I had to knock some rust off, it was a good release.

Sunday was definitely a different change of pace. Earlier in the week I was hoping I could go visit my good friend and my God-daughter Sunday, but as the week progressed and work piled up I knew Sunday was going to be a work-day. The NCSC’s newsletter is due this week and I needed to begin laying it out, along with the pile of school work that I’ve put off for the whole week. I managed to make a sizable dent in both of them and was feeling pretty proud of myself leading into the evening. Then I logged onto my on-line class to see if I can look ahead to next week, when I saw a critical announcement I missed:

"Your first exam will be this weekend, and can be taken any time between Friday 6am and Sunday 11pm"

Considering it was 9:55pm Sunday night I panicked a little, then proceeded to take my test. Two hours later (and it looks like the "11pm date" was a start date rather than a due date), I came to the realization that I need to take school a little more seriously. With these on-line classes it’s easy to just push things off to the weekends, but it doesn’t mean I can completely forget about school between Monday and Friday. Hindsight being 20-20, I should have just Christmas-treed the test and get kicked in the groin – it would have hurt less and my score actually may have been better!

So now feeling a little humbled, but also inspired I am ready for my long and busy week!