Friday, March 31, 2006

Did you ever just want to...

Now I consider myself a patient guy. I try to be nice. I try to do the right thing. I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. But there are times when certain people just really annoy me. It takes a lot too! But lately I've been running into many of these people for some odd reason. The universe must be out of balance or something. You know who I'm talking about. The people who cannot buy a clue. And when I talk about clueless I mean individuals that cannot see why 1+1=2 or cannot figure out what to do next because that would require independent thought or cannot see how their actions may negatively impact others. People who are not accountable fall into this category and I'm sure you all have your fair share of them at work, in school, at the mall or maybe even in......(gasp)....your family!!!!!

My friends, I think I have a solution to this problem. I've watched American Inventor on ABC for a couple of weeks (man is that chubby judge soooo annoying..) and I think I have an invention I'd like to present to them. My invention is called the Phone Slap-O-Matic. With this handy, dandy device, if the person you were talking to on the other end of the phone were really clueless, all you would have to do is push a button on your end of the phone. After depressing said button, a great big hand would extend from the other person's phone and just give them a good whack across the face (SEE DIAGRAM BELOW):

Think of the practical applications! Thousands of frustrated individuals would get instant satisfaction. Millions of meaningless conversations could be ended. There would be no more telemarketing. It could very well save civilized society as we know it.

Friday, March 24, 2006


Anyone that really knows me will tell you that I have a lot of one liners. I take things from movies, TV shows and insert them into conversations as appropriate. Some of my favorite one liners come from various movies like The Princess Bride, Back to the Future, The 40 Year Old Virgin and TV shows like The Sopranos, The Simpsons, and The Office. They are true "JP Jargon." Some of them come off with attitude, like my saying, "Retail is for suckers!!" But there are some lines which make fun of me directly, and I'm OK with that because let's face it, if you cannot make fun of yourself, you are just livin' a way too freakin' serious life!!! Which brings me to this JP Jargon line,

I'm a sucker for marketing

Yes it is true. JP falls for every bit of marketing out there. I believe all of it like a wide eyed child. I graduated Summa Cum Laude in Applied Mathematics. I am able to rip apart servers and solve myriads of data and software issues. Yet for all of my intelligence, I'm taken in like a hypnotized, babbling idiot by marketing. I get an MP3 player, the manufacturer later introduces a new one in blue with the exact same features as the one I have 6 months later, and hey I gotta get one of those new blue ones!!!! OK, I'm not that bad, but I'm bad enough to drive Sharkey up the wall at times.

But there is one bit of marketing that I've fallen for lately that I'm totally not ashamed of, and that's my Q-Link necklace. As you know I'm a golfer. If you know any golfers they'll tell you that it's a 90% mental game and 10% physical game. I knocked 5 strokes off my handicap last year by just improving my mental game and by doing better course management (and another 5 by improving my swing). Yeah, yeah I know, to everyone who doesn't golf, this all is sounding like the Charlie Brown teacher, (bwaaaa, bwaaaa, bwaaaaa, bwaaaaaa). Well anyway, one of the guys I golf with told me about this necklace he read about that is supposed to help relieve stress, give you better focus, and help "tune" your body. PGA golfers wear it and aren not paid to endorse it. The necklace was called a Q-Link. The Q-Link is this small 1" pendant. It has a copper coil that is wound around an SRT (sympathetic resonance technology). Supposedly, it tunes the biofield your body generates to optimum. The concept is that since we are bombarded daily by EMF from TV, computers, cell phones, etc. our bodies become unbalanced and the Q-Link helps to restore the balance.

Now I have to admit, I was very skeptical. This whole thing sounded like snake oil at the local carnival. So I did some research, and then some more research, and then tried to find unbiased reviews. The typical things that JP does on a "Hunt." Surprisingly I couldn't really find anything bad about it. The manufacturer of Q-Link, Clarus, offers a 90 day money back guarantee on it and this is the 2nd generation Q-Link. On review boards, I was reading how people thought their sleep was deeper and more restful. Other golfers said they weren't sure what it did, but whatever it was was making a difference in their games. People dealing with cancer said it helped with the stress they were dealing with. The thing even won best of show at the PGA's 2005 trade show. And then my friend who originally told me about it bought one. He wore it for 2 weeks and I saw a real change in his personality. It was freaky. A lot of the stuff that would just set him off before just rolled off. And I know what you're all thinking, placebo effect. Right? If you believe it works, then it works. Well from what I've seen and read I had to try it. So of course I went and bought one. But again, "Retail is for suckers!!!" so I found a deal on one. So I've been wearing it for about a month now and you know what? It works. It totally works. I'm like the others in that I have no idea what it does, but it does something. My sleep is different than before. It is a lot more restful and when I wake up I feel like I can rocket out of bed ready for the day. Totally not like the comatose JP of before. And I cannot seem to leave it off for very long. I even forget I'm wearing it. I'm more focused and it seems to help with the stress quite a bit. The only time I don't wear it is when I shower. It's sort of like homeopathic crack maybe? Sure it could be all in my head, but I'm not returning it for my money back and I would recommend it to anyone to give it a go.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Easter, is it all in the egg?

So we are fast approaching Easter. I do like Easter. It seems like a great time for new beginnings. Everything is warm, green, alive, colorful, and blooming! It is the time of year that all those people you never see at church on the weekends come to service. You know the people I'm talking about. They are the people who only show up for the majors: Christmas Eve and Easter. And as everyone knows, the food on those holidays far surpass the piddly meals you have in between.

And that brings me to my main point. This is the only time of year you can get The Cadbury Creme Egg.

I cannot think of a more appropriate piece of candy to mark a holiday. It's way better than the colored Easter Eggs. It's funny, Sharkey and I each get at least one of these every year. Let's face it, Easter just would not be the same without this candy. Now I know some of you probably think it is one of the most disgusting things out there, but come on people, where can you get an egg shell of chocolate that encompasses a white and yellow center? It's like one of the most artistic candies there is. Way better than a freakin' Zagnut? What is a Zagnut anyway? Anyone ever eat them? If so what the heck is in a Zagnut?

So all I have to say is, "Thanks Easter Bunny!! CLUCK!!! CLUCK!!!"

JP Sidebar Thought: Remember coloring Easter Eggs when you were a kid? Well what the heck do you do with the 2 dozen colored eggs after Easter has passed? No living human being could consume that much egg salad without serious digestive issues to follow. I think for the trashman it's probably one of the worst holidays because he carts about 12 tons of nasty eggs to the local dump, and that has to be oh so pleasant. He's probably wanting to kill the person whoever thought up the idea of coloring eggs was a wonderful, festive thing to do.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Smoking Monkey

I was talking with my good friend ChicagoCherie today. We were doing some reminiscing of the past. Specifically, we were talking about things we used to do when we were very little. I can remember my first family vacation. I was about 3. Yes it's true, I do remember. We were leaving home and all I could say was, "I want to go home, I want to go home." I have two older brothers, and when I started carrying on in the back seat, they both looked at me like I was nuts. They were both very afraid that I would convince Mom and Dad to turn around. So they employed the bribery tactic. At the first rest stop, they pulled their money together and bought something to get my attention and distract me from my "I want to go home" antics. My friends I give you the ultimate distraction for a three year old.....

The Smoking Monkey!!!!

Taaaaaaaaa Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!

This baby is guaranteed to amaze the mind of a child. I'm not sure why, but it seems there's just something hypnotic about a small monkey burning one, lighting up, taking a deep drag. Not sure why but it totally worked on me. It could have also been the cheap, aromatic cigarettes it came with that smelled of bad Buddhist incense overpowered my 3 year old underdeveloped lungs and made me loopy. Maybe they were early attempts at aroma therapy for kids?

Sure the PETA people would find this offensive and would most likely pie me in protest; the American Lung Association would not allow kids to play with such a carcinogen based toy today, but I really think for its time, circa 1972, it was a good, wholesome kids diversion. Think about it, everyone who was someone lit up back then. Why not timid jungle creatures? They have stressful lives too ya know.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Hunt

It's all about the "Hunt." Do you know what I'm talking about? The "Hunt" is where you decide for some reason unknown to man that you want something. It could be a piece of clothing,

a pair of shoes,

a hat with a certain logo on it,

a new/sweet electronic device,

a new set of golf irons,

Pssssst..... The "Hunt" is currently on for these.... =)

a new car,

or a golf gizmo that's guaranteed to take 10 strokes off your game,

Now once you've acquired the target, the "Hunt" begins. You research the heck out of the item. You view it from every possible angle. You see what it does well, what color it comes in, if the size fits you, if it does everything you think it can do. You read countless reviews on the internet. You stalk the item and check it out at the local merchants. You think of all the possibilities, you see if the size fits you, you swing it around a few times, you think about how it will change your life or make things easier for you for what you have planned for it. You look at internet retailers for prices, search for special sales and discounts, because as my wife, Sharkey, will tell you, one of my favorite lines is, "Retail is for suckers!!" And then once you have cornered your prey, then you have the moral dilemma, "Do I or do I not pull the trigger??"

You know the "Hunt" has become more difficult since I've taken my marriage vows. I pulled the trigger lots of times before when I was a party of one, but now I just find it increasingly difficult to pull that trigger without thinking and talking to the Sharkster. Sharkey often asks me why I need certain things. My reply is the same every time, "It's totally not about need Honey, it's all about want." But as anyone who has participated in the "Hunt" will tell you, once you've pulled the trigger, things afterwards are never as exciting as when you were on the "Hunt." So the solution to that my friends is simple... on to the next "Hunt." Good hunting all!!!!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Back to School

Well, I finally overcame the inertia and resumed my Graduate studies to get a Master's of Information Science (MIS). Yeah!! Go Penn State!!

Education is never a bad idea. Especially when the company you are working for is footing the bill for it! I'm planning to learn all I can about proper project management and then guess what time it is? That's right people, it's time to implement project New Job!!! Right now I'm learning everything I never wanted to know about Financial Accounting. The wife says it's good for me. I don't know. It's numbers, it's somewhat interesting, so I suppose it's fine. Maybe it'll help me to gain perspective on investing. Or maybe it'll make me just dangerous enough to make awful financial decisions.

With the way things are going right now, it seems a lot of the technology jobs are being exported overseas. That's bad news for people like me. I have a Bachelor's degree in Applied Mathematics and Microsoft Certification, MCSE, MCSA. I can administrate servers, I can build databases, move data from here or there and manipulate almost any piece of hardware to do what it was and was not designed to do. However, with all these skills, companies seem bent to not pay to have a talented U.S. based IT department anymore and are outsourcing and worse yet shipping jobs overseas. It's really sad too, because there are good people I see getting nixed out week to week. And let me tell you something about the outsourcing, it SUCKS!!! Not just the concept, my experience with the outsourced IT companies hasn't been great:


JP: OK Mr. Customer I need a backup of your data to convert?
Customer IT: What Data?
JP: The data you contracted my company to convert for you?
Customer IT: We contracted which database?
JP: The database on your server. You're the admin right?
Customer IT: Yes I have full admin access to everything.
JP: OK, let me walk you through X, Y, and Z to get a backup.

(5 very painful hours later.........)

JP: OK, when I tell you to, depress the key
Customer IT: I'm not sure where that key is can you direct me?


JP: OK, Tbormajinbo can you tell me where you sent the file?
Tbormajinbo: Meaning to FTP server
JP: OK so you sent the file to an FTP server?
Tbormajinbo: Pleasing to help, sent there file one zour zince
JP: OK so you sent it in about an hour ago
Tbormajinbo: Else anything do to wiss yu?
JP: Nope that should do it....

Now maybe it's just me, but can companies see a problem with these situations? If I were not the patient guy I was, example1 could easily piss me off greatly. And as for example2, what the F!!!! Speak coherent English damn it!!!! How the hell did you ever manage to fill out the job application? And whoever hired you, what the heck were they thinking, and I totally never want to meet them?!!? Do sign language, draw me a stick figure, throw me a bone people!!!!

The End ...... For now...

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Disneyworld or Bust!

Disneyworld... Disneyworld...Disneyworld!!! Yeah I'm going to Disneyworld!!!! The countdown to Orlando has begun. I've always loved Disneyworld. I'm not exactly sure why. Could it be my Japanese genes kicking in? Could it be that I am a 6 year old in a 36 year old body? Could it be the flashing lights and the marketing? Hum.....

Wait. That's all not true. I know exactly why I love it. Being there helps remind you of the good that once existed everywhere in our society. It embodies the good and the innocent times gone by. It invokes memories of family vacations and trips with brothers and sisters who were high on soda pop and candy while watching parades go by wide eyed. It reminds you that with imagination, determination, and laughter anything is possible. It allows you to forget about your "normal" life and refresh your mind. It's the ultimate land of Fantasy and Make Believe. Yes I'm a big fan of the Mouse. It's one of the places in this world where I've found that I can totally relax and recharge the batteries. It makes sense being there, and it really is "Where Magic Lives."

My family went there often on vacation. I proposed to my wife there right before the fireworks went off at Cinderella castle. If we ever have kids, we'll take them there often. And if you've never been, give it try and tell me what you think.

Friday, March 03, 2006

HD Radio ... It really does exist

So I was looking through the Sunday Philadelphia Enquirer and found an article on HD Radio. I listen to BEN-FM locally, and I always hear the J. Peterman guy from Seinfeld talking about broadcasting in HD radio, but I always thought it was just a bit. As it turns out, there is HD Radio and the local stations are quickly picking it up to compete with satellite radio. The only catch I see is that you have to buy equipment, like the HD Boston Acoustics, to pick up HD Radio:

But once you purchase the HD radio equipment, unlike satellite radio, it's FREE!!! What a deal!!! I just may have to see about this new technology....