Wrigley’s Here!

Our New Dog
Originally uploaded by Tim Probst.

Just in time for Opening Day, Wrigley has joined the family. He’s a 3 1/2 year old beagle with the best attitude and personality we could have ever hoped for. He’s quickly made himself at home and seems to be comfortable here, and best of all, he’s a Cubs fan. Check out my Flickr page for more pictures.

Complete My Album from iTunes

Apple launched a great new feature in iTunes on Thursday called Complete My Album. The basic concept is that you now get credit for the singles you’ve bought when you buy an album. This works really great when you’re checking out a song or two from a new band and you decide that you want the entire album. I tried the feature yesterday and got the remainder of a Wynton Marsalis album (five songs) for a couple bucks. Although the feature will benefit all of the artists selling music on iTunes, I think this will be a huge benefit for new bands. Listeners can buy a song or two to check things out and go back for the album for a reduced price. Complete My Album will be a great opportunity for artists to sell more albums and for consumers to expand their musical horizons.

American Idol’s American Idiots

Okay, I admit it. I watch American Idol, and I can’t wait to see what happens every week. One thing has been really bothering me this season. It’s the continued presence of Sanjaya on the show. This guy is clearly the worst singer and performer on the show, and he’s wasting space. Last night, Chris Sligh got booted off the show. He really blew it the night before, but he has actual talent. Sanjaya, on the other hand, has a lot of learning and growing to do as a singer. He’s just not ready to perform at this level.

Now, to all of you American idiots out there voting for this guy, stop and think next week before you vote for Sanjaya. So far, three insanely talented singers have been voted off the show. Let’s prove to the rest of the world that Americans can judge talent by voting Sanjaya off the show.

Bush Steals Oscar from Gore

I saw this hilarious bit of humor on the Internet tonight. I wonder how W and his posse will pull this off. It’s only a matter of time.

On a serious note, who out there thought Gore was about to announce that he was running for President? I’m supporting Obama this time around, but if Gore decided to run, I might have to switch teams.

Apple Drops Like A Rock (Again)

It seems that the market has yet again overreacted to a bit of bad news out of Cupertino. Apple is delaying the release of the Apple TV by a couple weeks, and of course, this is a sign that the end of the world is near, and Apple’s share price should automatically be pummeled.

Since becoming an Apple shareholder many years ago, I have had to endure many trading days like today. Apple lives and dies by hype, and unfortunately, when they don’t deliver, Wall Street decides that the company is worth five percent less than it was the day before. I have no doubt that the stock will rebound in a day or two as it always does when things like this happen. I just wish the market would be a little more rational when it comes to Apple. I like roller coasters, but enough is enough.

Who Needs A New Vista?

My buddy, Scott, and I went to the same Microsoft launch event for Windows Vista and Office 2007 in San Deigo and Saint Louis respectively. Even though we were separated by 2,000 miles and different speakers, we both came away with similar opinions of Windows Vista. It just isn’t all that impressive when you get right down to it. My wife and I have a new laptop running Vista, and it looks nice, but it has nothing that Mac OS X hasn’t had for years. Plus the laptop had to be souped up big time to even run the system. On the other hand, I have an almost eight year old Power Mac G4 running Mac OS X Tiger like a champ, and I plan to upgrade to Leopard soon after it is released. It seems to me that Microsoft tried too hard to make Vista look similar enough to XP that it wouldn’t freak people out. Vista has some really nice new features, and they could have been much cooler if the general layout of the desktop wasn’t the same as it’s been since Windows 95. There do seem to be some underlying technologies that could produce some cool new applications in the future. Now all we have to do is wait for developers to redesign their applications.

The Biggest Lego Set Ever Made Does Point Five Past Lightspeed

Okay, I was a Lego super freak when I was a kid. I’d fill my entire room with buildings, cars, and trucks. My brother, Jeff, and I had a pretty cool deal where I would do the building, and he would do the playing. It worked out pretty well because he didn’t want to build, and I didn’t want to play.

Anyway, I saw the coolest thing ever on Digg tonight. Lego is making and selling a 5,000 piece Millennium Falcon set. How sweet would it be to walk into a room and see a three foot Millennium Falcon hanging from the ceiling? All I have to do now is figure out how in the world I’m going to get my hands on one of these things.

read more | digg story

Obama ’08

Unless you’ve been buried under a rock since the 2004 Democratic National Convention, you have known that this day was inevitable. Today, from Springfield, Illinois, Barack Obama will announce his campaign to become the President of the United States. I have not been this excited about a candidate since Bill Clinton in 1992. Obama evokes a feeling of hope and optimism for which I have been desparately searching.

Obama for America launched BarackObama.com earlier this morning, and I am very impressed by the website. There is an excellent section of the site called My.BarackObama.com that allows individuals and groups to meet and discuss the campaign. The 2004 campaign utilized the Internet more than ever before, and the 2008 campaign will be the first to be lost or won on the Internet. Today is the beginning, and I can’t wait to see how it all ends.

School District Dropping Macs for More “Appropriate Technology”

I stumbled upon a story on Digg about an IT director for a suburban Chicago school district wanting to get rid of Macs because they’re not used in the “real world.” He wants to replace them with more “appropriate technology” from Microsoft. This guy clearly has not been keeping up with what is going on in the world. Surely he must know that those new Macs that his district just purchased this year can most likely run Windows if they need to. The article is not clear about what kind of computers were purchased, however. Being a daily user of both systems, I prefer my Mac. I also have enough sense to know that I need to know Windows to function in the corporate world. Using a Mac in school provides “appropriate” training to use either Mac OS or Windows. The systems are similar in so many ways that it really doesn’t matter what computer a student uses. Besides, corporate users don’t know Windows. They know Office, and Office is available for both Windows and Mac OS. In fact, the Mac version of Office is easier to use and better designed than the Windows version. The Mac Business Unit over at Microsoft is doing a great job making Office more Mac-like.

Anyway, my point here is that Macs are just fine for school or business or any other activity, and anyone who thinks otherwise has not done enough research or testing to know better. Judging by the number of Diggs this story has already, this guy is going to hear what people think of his grand plan.

read more | digg story

What In The World Happened To Me?

Hello everyone! Well, it’s been over a month since my last post, and boy, has it ever been a crazy month. Some time ago, my wife and I decided that it was best for our family to move back to the Midwest so we could afford to buy a house and settle down so our kids could remember where they grew up. So, over the last couple months, we have been insanely busy with the planning of a cross country move. The first major hurdle was making sure I had a good job in our new location. My company really came through for me and allowed me to work from home in the Midwest. I really can’t tell you how excited I am to have this opportunity.

With everything settled with my job, it was time to find a house. My wife is really incredible. She contacted a mortgage broker who had worked with some friends of ours and had us pre-approved for a mortgage in no time. We then decided it would be best if she went on the house hunting trip, and I would stay at home with the kids. She really was the best person for the job. She’s very organized and focused and did a great job over a long weekend to find the perfect house. She came back with a camera full of pictures, and by the end of the next week, we had an accepted offer on the house we wanted.

Now, you would think all of these things going on at once would be enough to drive a person mad, but the story’s not over yet. We were in a long term lease in the house we were renting and had to find a new tenant so we could get our of the lease. One night, we were just about to cook dinner, and we got a phone call from a family that was parked outside the house wanting to come in for a tour. We almost said no, but luckily we let them come into the house. They were a very nice family and really a perfect fit for the house. The next day, they spoke with the owner of the house and decided to rent it. The craziest thing was their time frame was the same as ours. The situation could not have been better.

With my job, a mortgage, a house, and our lease worked out, it was time to figure out how in the world we would get all of our things back to the Midwest. We had moved locally at the beginning of the year, and we knew how difficult it would be to pack, load, and transport all of our belongings, cars, and kids almost 2000 miles. We decided to hire a moving company, and it turned out to be a good decision. It was hard enough just getting the four of us to our new house. I can’t imagine what would have happened if we had to drive a huge truck as well. We all made it to our new home safe and sound, and most of household goods made it here in one piece. My buddy, Scott, was kind enough to let us keep our other car at his place until my parents got there last week for vacation. They’re going to drive back in a couple weeks, and then we’ll really have all of our things here.

So, that’s what my family and I have been up to since my last post. As usual, my wife is doing a wonderful job making our house a home once again. My daughter is meeting new friends and getting used to her new school, and my son’s getting used to wearing pants, socks, and shoes. It’s weird to think that he wore shorts and sandals most of his life until last month.

There have been many things going on in the world that I want to write about so check back soon for new posts. It’s good to be back!