Apparently, while I’m off this week on vacation, the rest of my office has become either super motivated or insane. I’m going to put my money on insane. We had discussed last week our “goals” for 2009, and since our company is also big on continuing education and learning new skills, we also talked about things we might like to learn or get training on in 2009. I had mentioned my desire to learn more advanced CSS and PHP as well as a little more javascript and things of that nature. Apparently, I don’t get to choose, which to me defeats the purpose, because I just got an email from a co-worker, who’s acting like they’re in charge of our learning, declaring that we’ll all be learning Flash in January and he even gave out our first ASSIGNMENT.

I’m trying to work out a way of talking to him about it without sounding like an asshole, but I really have zero desire to learn Flash. It’s a non-standard, plugin requiring nuisance that, in my opinion, is actually fading away and won’t be very useful down the line. I would much much rather learn some heavy CSS, or something that’s a web standard than something that, in my previous experience, is always a pain in the ass.

It’s not that I can wrap my head around it. I’ve actually used Flash before. I’m familiar with the concepts, the timeline, all that good stuff. It’s just that I don’t WANT to learn it. I’ve got projects galore next year, all of them on the web and not a single one of them can or will support Flash. It’s simply not something I design for, develop, enjoy, use or would recommend using. I think it’s nearly a dead technology. The Flash bubble burst a long time ago and now the only people that use it, use it for things like navigation, or things that could be easily accomplished with more compatible technologies like Scriptaculous.

I’ll buck up and pretend to learn a little, but really, it kind of rubs me the wrong way that it’s A) been decided for me what we’re going to learn and B) it’s something so not worth my time that I’m hardly motivated to do it at all. But, I guess that’s what being “part of a team” is all about. Now all those Office jokes make sense.

Stupid Teeth

I don’t really know what I expected, I haven’t been to the dentist in about 15 years. On Saturday, one of my fillings broke and I had a big hole in one of my back teeth. Obviously I had to go get that fixed. I went this morning and now I have a temporary cap in there for the moment, and I’m waiting for the feeling to return to my face. I get to have a full root canal and a crown at some point next week. I can’t wait. The upside is that since I went today (2008) and I’ll go back next week (2009) I’ll be on different calendar years and the insurance has to pay out more. They pay 80% towards it and a max of $2k a year. I still have to cover 20% but what I did today doesn’t come out of my max for next year, so that’s good.

Anyway, my head is (obviously) splitting and I’m going to go lay down.

Matt out.

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to drop a quick “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year” to you guys. My whole family is down here visiting so it’s a little crazy but it’s good to have everyone together for the holidays.

Hope yours are going equally well and I hope you all made out like bandits under the tree. Lauren got me Gears 2 and Price of Persia, so I’ll be cracking into those shortly. I also got a skateboard for my birthday which I’ll start riding once the weather clears up a little down here.

Anyone else get anything cool? Everyone’s families doing ok?

I also just wanted to thank you guys for being the awesome friends that you are. Even though we’re not anywhere near each other, it’s great that we can still keep in touch, even if it is via a stupid comment box on my stupid website. You guys rule, and I mean that.

I hope everyone has a fantastic holiday and an even better 2009!

Glossy Exterior

The MacBook Pro arrived just after we finished our “end of the year” performance reviews. It was like getting candy after going to the doctor’s for a shot.

I’ll talk more about it later as I unwrap its delicious layers of goodness, but for now, here are my first impressions.

For starters, it’s glossy. REALLY glossy. Probably too glossy. This is not a laptop I’d want to watch a movie on, or have to do any serious color correcting of photos. It does however, like a plasma TV, have very rich colors and a deep black, which I’m sure was their intention in doing this. For me, I’m indifferent, I’ll have to have it longer than 5 minutes to give you an impression.

Second, there is a distinctive lack of accessories. As you may know, they’ve gotten rid of the DVI port and replaced it with some crazy new mini-multi-monitor jack that looks like a mini-USB port to be quite honest. That’s wonderful for the aesthetic look of the laptop, but NOTHING uses this port except the brand-new cinema displays. Given that 99% of their users don’t have one of those when they buy a new laptop, you’d figure that Apple would include a short converter cable, or at least a connector, or something. Nope. If you want to hook this laptop up to a $4000 display that you already have, you need to shell out another $30 for an adapter at the Apple store. Seriously? You’re launching new technology and not giving anyone a simple $2 cable? That’s lame. Also missing from the box is the extension portion of the power cable as well as the small Apple Remote that until now, came with nearly everything.

The laptop, the power brick and a cloth to clean the screen were LITERALLY the only things in the box.

I know I’ve never owned a Mac before, but to be quite honest, I was expecting something a little more, I dunno, complete feeling. Maybe it’s the PC in me, but where are the cables, the manuals, the warranty card, the piles of crap I don’t need? While useless, having a pile of crap was reassuring. Getting basically an empty box makes me FEEL like I’m missing something. I know I’m not. I know it’s all here, and the presentation is nice, but it’s like getting a giant heart shaped box of chocolates only to find out that there is only one single piece of candy in the box and the rest is simply packing material.

That said, it is a laptop. It’s not supposed to come with a whole library and a free Big Gulp. It’s fast, it’s silent, it’s got everything on there, ready to go. So, I’m happy. Hopefully this will be a good experience.

Now, pardon me, I have to go to the mall to buy an effing video cable.

Matt out.


Photos are fixed, back in their nice little galleries. Archives are fixed, now with nice little javascript drop down sliders. The only thing I can’t remember was what was on my sidebar. Anyone remember?