Thursday, January 31, 2008

What, we don't spend enough?

Ok, I'm all for the government sending me a big check in the mail so I can buy more toys, but I'm confused as to why. Apparently our economy sucks because we aren't spending enough? Isn't it a fact that Americans spend more than we make? Then is it really possible for us to be spending even more money? Should we be maxing out 5 or 6 credit cards instead of just 2 or 3?

-JJ

Video Chat

Yesterday I chatted with my old college roommate Travis Tidmore on Instant Messenger. He was in class at Pepperdine, and I was at my crash pad in chicago.

Now Travis and his wife Jeri just had a child. His name is Owen, and I thought it would be fun to utilize the cameras on our Macbooks so I could see a live picture of Owen. We temporarily agreed, and made vague plans to contact each other later that night to see if we could make it happen.

So later on, I found him online and we started a video chat. I honestly had no idea what to expect. In my mind I thought there would be a choppy, low quality video on the screen where we stared at each other while typed in messages.

So all of a sudden, after I accepted a video chat invitation from Travis, when there was a crystal clear image of travis, Jeri, and Owen sitting on their couch in Malibu, and them audibly saying hi to me, I was slightly shocked. I didn't even know my computer had a microphone on it. All of a sudden we were having a mini teleconference from across the country. It was outstanding. Owen was beautiful, and after a few awkward moments of staring at each other and having nothing to say, we started utilizing the fun backgrounds (note the roller coaster background from above, probably the best one...not a perfected technology, but still fun) The video would sometimes go a little blurry, but not too bad. All in all it was a blast.

At one one point they even had to move the computer so Jeri could feed little owen. A little wierd, but I've been used to that since high school. ;)

So after about 45 minutes or so, some spilled water and a walk around the house to Bev and Bren, two girls in my crash pad, could say hi to Owen, we signed off. I felt that our conversation was a lot more fulfilling that just a phone call. Fun times.



-JJ

Saturday, January 26, 2008

3 Years in the Making


So after waiting 3 years, my parents actually took advantage of their flight benefits and flew up to Denver to see me. Now for a year and a this argument was actually a fair one. But since my nephew has been around, its not really fair for me to complain when he was obviously their main priority.

But on the 20th of January, the impossible happened, and I actually drove to the airport to pick them up. They would be staying until the 24th, and my plan for the trip was to make my dad want a massage, since he claims to not like them. In other words, I was going to make him work.

Sunday was actually relaxing. (Had to get him prepped!) We went to church, where I believe they now know more people than I do. Then came the standard visit to REI, where we picked up some gear and my dad an early birthday present for himself. (a Marmot jacket). As is normal for an REI trip, he spent a while justifying it to himself. I've done it a million times, and always I go home with something I know is a wise investment. ;) No really.

Monday we woke up at the crack of dawn and headed to Breckenridge. It has the easiest, most gentle slopes around, so I thought it a wise choice for people who have not been skiing in a while. And in the single digits (easily negative with the wind chill) they both did spectacular.

Pooped, we headed down the mountain, got some pizza at the famous Beau Jo's, and headed home. Mom was in bed by 830, Dad by 930. We had a big day ahead of us.

Now was the fun part. One of my mother's life long goals is to see a moose. Shes been to many places where moose exist, they just keep eluding her. So I thought it perfect to head up to State Forest State Park, Colorado. One of our Rampers (guys at the airport who throw their backs out trying to load your ridiculously overstuffed overweight luggage) had clued me on to it, telling me that it was "infested" with moose.

So I naturally rented a small yurt that we had to backpack a mile up to. I could have made it harder and rented one that we had to go up to 4 miles to, but I thought I would go easy. So monday morning we picked up my friend Kelsie (the official planner of the trip, and who should be the official planner of every trip) and made the three hour drive into the mountains. On the way up, with Drake tearing through icy roads like it was summer, we had lunch of beef jerky and tuna (we waited too long into the mountains, where there was no food!) and witnessed a few Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep alongside the road.

This was the scene just off the highway. I believe this to be some mountains actually in Rocky Mountain National Park.

After stopping at the Moose Visitor's center and being encouraged by the big "moose sightings" board that was littered with sitings within the last week, we headed up and found our parking place for the yurt. I loaded up my parents with as much stuff as they could carry (as long as they could stand!) we headed off on the 1 mile snowshoe hike.

Kelsie and I lugging our stuff

My mother..shes down there on the bottom left






Once across the frozen lake and up a small hill, there it was in all its gloriousness.

The Yurt at sunset

That night we FEASTED on steaks, leftover gumbo, and mashed potatoes. As for the weather? While only 4 degrees outside, the wood burning stove kept the little place at a comfy 65-70 degrees. In fact, I slept for the majority of the night in just my shorts, on top of my sleeping bag. Unfortunately for my father, all he had lugged up the hill was extra blankets..which all now proved useless.



The Next morning after a HUGE breakfast, we cleaned up the cabin and headed down. We had decided to snowshoe a trail down by the visitor's center for 2 reasons. It was relatively easy, and moose had been spotted. And sure enough, on the trail, only 10 minutes into it, two moose climbed onto the trail, one plopping down right next to it.

The Moose...or Meese?

Mom was excited

After all the excitement died down, which took a few minutes, we had a small issue. Moose are known as agressive and very dangerous animals, especially a mom and a calf, and here we had a mom and calf sitting right in the middle of the trail. We ultimately decided to blaze a trail around the moose and give them their space. (harder than it seems, since your displacing a foot of snow with every step.)

Our trip couldn't have gone any better. We saw our moose (not to early as to climax our trip too soon), stayed warm during the night, and enjoyed each other's company.

3 1/2 hours later we were back in Denver enjoying a nice Thai dinner together. The next day I sent my parents packing back to New Orleans.

-JJ

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Birds

While I await some photos, check out this video. hilarious.



http://view.break.com/439964 - Watch more free videos

Friday, January 18, 2008

Computer Drama

So I'm not sure if I ever posted about this, but I've had some computer issues.

Not too long ago, as I was travelling around with my computer nestled in the laptop sleeve of my backpack, there was an accident. I forgot that I had left a bottle of french vanilla creamer down at the bottom of the bag. (It was in there because I had brought breakfast stuff to my friend's house and it was at the bottom and never made it out).

Anyway, I arrived at my hotel one evening to find my computer soaked in creamer. Luckily, the computer was fine, it worked as it had before, except for one thing....which I didn't find out until a week later. Apparently some of the creamer had seeped into the cd drive, completely hardening the felt that blocked the way to the entrance. Oops. And worse a DVD that I HAD TO HAVE was stuck in there. So I was forced to use an exacto knife to cut it out.

I didn't get to bring it into the shop until about a week ago, and...ughh.

I thought it would be a simple $50 job, but unfortunately the quote was $280. Dag. Apparently there is a flat rate for repairs such as these. I really had no choice, as there was a gaping hole on the side of my laptop, and if I didn't get it fixed I'd be buying a new superdrive.

Fast forward a week later, my computer has arrived at the shop and I run in to pick it up. I sign the paperwork, and I make the 30 min drive back home. I open up my laptop, start it up and...what?

It starts as if I've never used it before. Read: intro to Mac OSX. And its the older version of OSX than what I had on my computer. Wierd. Plus the track pad feel is different, and the clicker isn't working like its supposed to....THIS IS NOT MY COMPUTER.

So, I make that drive all the way back to the shop, where I tell them the problem. He checks the serial numbers, and it actually IS my computer, they had just gone ahead and replaced the top and bottom covers, the hard drive, the track pad, and the superdrive. ALL NEW. cool! And since the clicker wasn't working right, he replaced that at the store, and reinstalled the new version of OSX....great since I had left my copy in Chicago. ( I won't be back for a week).

So here I sit, reinstalling all my programs and re-configuring everything on my computer. Luckily, all my irreplacables (pictures, movies, and music) are all backed up on my external hard drive. And also, there is currently a CD stuck in my computer because for some reason its failing to spit it out. SOOO, i'm going to have to make that 30 min drive BACK to the shop to see if they can fix it.

Update: Minor technical difficulty, 2 minutes at the shop and it was fixed. I love those people, but I'd rather not see them for a while.

-JJ

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I LUV Making People's Day!

Last night I received an email from my friend Erin Sims, who is a Customer Service Agent here in Denver. (I should go ahead and say she is the GREATEST csa in the system).

Basically it read: For those of you who are attending the event tomorrow, we are meeting for breakfast...

See I didn't know there was an event, and since I've been wanting to get more involved with the station here, I was feeling a little left out.

Well I emailed her back and got the scoop. Apparently Gary Kelly, who is our CEO, was coming to town to make a big announcement, and we were volunteering. We were going to go to the press conference, then "hit the streets." I'll be honest, this last part scared me, because I didn't want to spend the afternoon handing out flyers. And Erin didn't know what this meant either, so we were all clueless.

The next morning at breakfast rumors abounded. We KNEW that we were announcing more flights, but we thought there was something else involved that would make Gary fly all the way out here for a new conference....purchasing Frontier, maybe?

So we arrive at the conference and we are greeted by a SEA of red. Apparently 300...yes, 300!! marketing folks from around the system had flown in. We go to the conference room, I run into 2 of my friends, Brooke and Katie, and we get briefed on what is going to happen.

The plan on the streets is to give away free stuff...and some good stuff I might add. SWA ice scrapers, beanies, (tooks??) coupons good for $52 dollars off a flight (we had tons of these) and 200 free roundtrips. FREE!!

After the briefing we head to the conference room and pack in behind the podium. We pass the time with chants and cheers. As nbc news put it, "The Southwest Airlines marketing team was out in full force on Wednesday, with all the rowdiness of a rock concert."

So the conference begins, Gary makes the expected announcement that we were adding flights...AAAANDD??? nothing. The "other" news was that we were hitting the streets to give away free stuff. bummer.

But the good news was that I ended up with a free ticket to give away. But to whom??

So the sea of red stormed the streets. We had no problem giving stuff away (at one point the driver of the free 16th street mall shuttle drove by, opened the window and yelled 'thanks for the hat!!'). People were pretty receptive. All the street performers had on our hats. But still I couldn't find someone to give my pass to. I didn't want some stuck up business man to get it, and I wanted someone to actually deserve it.

At this point we were out of EVERYTHING. Except me. I still had my pass. As we headed back to the hotel, I spotted a girl, about my age (not really attractive so that was not my intention;) ) and she was working hard unloading boxes. She just looked like she needed a vacation.

So I walked up, and asked if they were making her work too hard.

"yeah." (with a smile)

"well you wanna go somewhere? take a break?"

"what do you mean?"

"If you could go anywhere, anywhere in the country, where would you go?"

"Ummm..I dunno, California?"

"Well here ya go, have fun!"

And I handed her the free ticket. Her face was priceless.

"are you kidding??"

"no I'm not. It's all legit. All the instructions are in there. Have a good time."

At this point Erin had run over to confirm that it was all true. She couldn't have been happier!

Here are a slideshow done by nbc news9 here in denver. (You'll see Erin on slide 15)

-JJ

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

New Theme?

Ok so I think this has gone on long enough. I'm in need of some change, and I think all of you are wanting some change. I need a new theme for my blog, and seeing that I am A) not a creative person (no matter how much you think I am like my father) and B) I'm not a creative person.

So what I'm asking is whether anyone would like to help???

Monday, January 07, 2008

Can or Cannot?

I really do think people are afraid of cans. And I'm here to figure out why. It's baffling. See, our water on the plane, which is completely purified (through reverse osmosis, mind you) comes in a can. It makes complete sense for stocking purposes, plus we already recycle cans so why would we have bottles??

So just yesterday I'm coming through to take my drink order's and I get the same old question that I get all the time. (At least twice a day)

"Do you have bottled water?"

See this is a tough question because technically we do not have bottled water. We have canned water. But the real question they are asking is whether we have purified water. Well the answer to that question is obviously yes. I'm not gonna go into the lav and fill your cup up in the sink! (Though if we continue with this conversation I'll definitely be tempted)

So do I just answer her question? Or do I just say yes and bring her a cup of water? She'll never know the difference. But since she wants an entire "bottle" of it I guess I'm stuck.

So I tell her it comes in a can. And she wrinkles up her nose in a kind of confused disgust. And honestly this sort of annoys me, because I've had a really long day and I don't have the time or patience to put up with people who are scared of cans.

"It comes in a can??"

"Yes ma'am. Please don't look at me like I'm crazy. It's really not that strange."

"Oh. Ok. Well I'll just have a ginger ale then."

"That comes in a can, too." (And my sarcasm definitely comes out on this comment. You have to be careful who you are sarcastic too b/c one guy threatened to write me up because I was being sarcastic)

"Does everything come in a can?"

Ok so this baffles me because soda's have come in cans for...well...at least 27 years because ever since I was born. I really don't understand her confusion.

So she ends up getting a ginger ale, but I tell her I'm bringing her water also because I'm going to try to break her of her fear of cans, or her fear of canned water.

Can anyone explain this? Is anyone else scared of cans?

-JJ

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Years...and WHATS WRONG WITH ME?






I've been staying home a lot. I think that is why I have nothing to say. I go home, I go hiking, I go snowboarding..I don't think any of you really want to see more pictures of snowcapped mountains. It all gets redundant. But New Years was fun.


I was off new years eve, but the scheduling department decided it would be a good idea to make me work 1 day on the 1st. Just one day, its not a big deal. Unfortunately it was on the 1st, which mean my plans to go to Indianapolis was in certain peril.

But FORTUNATELY, $100 bucks said it wasn't. And thats how much it cost me to get rid of that day. It allowed me to spend new years with friends, a Lite Brite, and a Log Cabin.


Thats right. Kent's parent's house in Indy is complete with our childhood toys. Lite Brite, Airguns, Air hockey, wierd old-school records, and..LINCOLN LOGS! So Dearing, kent, Laurann and I spent a while goofing off in the toy room, then headed upstairs, built a log cabin out of lincoln logs and roasting marshmallows on the fire. Basically we spent the last moments of 2007 acting like it was 1987.



The next thing we knew we were ringing in the new year watching Carson Daly oddly flirting with Alex Rodriguez on national television. Then I fell asleep watching the end of fiddler on the roof.

good times.

-JJ