Another road trip

Kyle and I headed out on our quasi-monthly road trip last Saturday. We were heading to Plainfield to Metropolis, and then off to points unknown. How very unknown they would turn out.

We started out Saturday afternoon towards Indy and then to Plainfield. There’s a mall there called Metropolis. It’s huge, tons of stores and even more pedestrians that we had to dodge to drive around the place. It’s one of those open air malls that are becoming so popular around here, though I’m not quite sure why given that it’s winter here for 4 months of the year.

One of the first things we noticed about Plainfield was that everyone seemed to be in a bad mood. There were no smiling faces of consumerism, just blank stares as they made their way about the stores. Plainfield was officially sad. We drove around the mall, decided there was nothing that we really wanted to see and headed off to Starbucks for a tea/bathroom stop. After that we headed to Long John Silvers for a quick bite to eat before we headed out again to the great unknown.

raccoon.jpgWe had seen a place called Raccoon, Indiana on the map and thought maybe we should go check it out. We did, there was nothing there. As you can see from the sign, it’s a small place, in fact some maps don’t even show it, Google Maps had no idea what we were talking about. We drove down a road for a bit, “town” was a few houses on one road followed by an amazingly bumpy gravel road that we soon turned back on.

Since we were sort of close we headed up towards Crawfordsville and a town called Lapland, it was on the map but turns out it didn’t exist at all, not even a sign to take a picture of. Crawfordsville as we found out is home to Wabash College. WC is not in Wabash, it was named for the river, not the town. Who knew?wabashcollege.jpg

Crawfordsville brought a McDonald’s Sweet Tea run and the journey back towards Indy on I-74. Once back in Indy we headed to Trader Joe’s, my new favorite hippie grocery store. I’ll be stopping in there soon enough to pick up some things that I just didn’t want to get since they had to be kept cold and we didn’t know where the rest of the day would take us.

Turns out that the rest of the day was spent at Castleton Mall, followed by a trip to an out of business restaurant and another restaurant that had too long of a wait. We journeyed home and ended our epic road trip to no where. We saw parts of Indiana that few have dared to venture too and I’m sure we’ll never venture too again.

Next time? Richmond, the highest point in Indiana and who knows where after that. Good trip man, I look forward to the next one!

Seaman Duck

I was having a conversation with my good friend tonight at the local coffeehouse, Kyle and I were at Starbucks talking about nothing in particular. The subject of Donald Duck came up for some reason, I have no idea why really.

Did you know that Donald Duck was a sailor? Of course by looking at his clothes: a sailor shirt and hat you might assume as much but others didn’t know this. Wikipedia: Donald Duck

In the Duck Tales cartoon he leaves Huey, Dewey and Louie with Scrooge McDuck to join the Navy. His commanding officer always refers to him as Seaman Duck. He’s a sailor.

Mickey was a Steamboat captain and Donald is a navy man. Now you know.

The tube is off!

After the game tonight I left my grandparents’ house and headed home as usual. I needed to stop off to get some bleach and laundry soap at Meijer, because it was on sale and I hate going to Walmart on any evening. Nothing unusual yet.

I put my headphones on and turned up the iPhone and headed into the store. A little podcast listening while I walked the store was amazing! I didn’t hear the annoying overhead loud speaker asking so-and-so to call such-and-such. Just my podcasts and a little music. I headed up to check out and took out the earbuds long enough to pay. No one said anything and I didn’t notice any weird looks really.  After I paid, I drove home to the sounds of the new Starbucks Free iTunes songs. Not bad really.

Once I got home and had everything put away, I cleaned the bathtub quickly with my newly purchased Comet. A little bleach in the toilet and a quick scrub finished off the chores for the evening.

Now it was “my time.” I could do what I normally do and turn on the TV and just sit here numb and watch whatever the Tivo caught over the last few hours or I could do what I’ve been really meaning to do and start reading again. Books. Not blogs, not weird websites, not Wikipedia. Books. With pages. I went through my bookshelf the other day and moved all the books I own but haven’t read to one side of one shelf. There are about 12 that need to be taken care of. Some fiction, mostly non-fiction. I also realized that I ordered 3 books last week that were going to have to be read. I find that I keep buying books and never read them. Gotta change that, I’m going to start reading again. Books. Tonight I read about 50 pages in a book I’ve been working on for months about the origins of Freemasonry. Its dry admittedly, but I started it, made it 100 pages in and now I am going to finish it. I’ll probably try to alternate between fiction and non-fiction, much like I do with Netflix, a documentary, an Office disc, then some random movie, and back around again.

Changing my choices like that keeps it fresh for me. Sometimes I can be analytical considering the consequences of the actual decisions of others, and other times I can let my imagination run wild, thinking of what the characters and scenes actually look like and hearing them saying their lines.

As usual I’m changing things in life for the sake of change mostly. But honestly I haven’t even wanted to turn the TV on tonight and it’s been kind of nice just sitting here in the quiet calm of the late fall evening, just me and my thoughts. Peace, of the mind and of the world, is greatly under appreciated.

Big news not just for geeks

Today was the announcement of the new Apple iPod lineup for the 2007-8 holiday season.  The Shuffle was refreshed with new, pastel-ish colors. The Nano has been entirely changed, now it’s the “Fatty“, short, squat and now with video, this one intrigues me, I probably won’t get one, but I think it’s cool. The iPod that we all know and love is now called the iPod Classic, nothing too crazy honestly, a huge hard drive of 160GB is now available, but honestly, 160Gb of media is a little much for nearly anyone to consume.

The real treats of the day were the new iPod Touch and the updates to the iTunes Music Store adding WiFi and the Starbucks partnerships. The iPod Touch is basically the iPhone without the phone and 3G connection. All the normal iPod functionality with WiFi and Safari browser added.

So you say, “cool I can surf while I listen in my bedroom, don’t I have a laptop for that already?” Sure you do, and you can also surf anywhere there is WiFi, like Panera, school, a friend’s house or even while cruising the neighborhood and stumbling on an open hot spot.

I think we are living in a time where everyone wants to be connected all the time to all of their information. Not long ago I carried a RAZR phone, an iPod video, and a paper calendar/Moleskine. 3 things have now been combined into 1, the iPhone. I’ve had the iPhone since day 1 and it has changed the way I think about things. I can make a call, surf the web, and listen to podcasts without giving a second thought to how to do it, it just works.  I’m grateful for something like that, simplicity is key to success in this case I think. We are all connected with Facebook, MySpace, IM, SMS, blogs, podcasts, YouTube, Twitter, Pownce and Lord knows what else. We’re connected and demand to be connected all the time to everyone we know. We don’t write letters, we email; we don’t make a quick call for info, we text message. We’re connected and technology makes it possible to be even more so.

With the announcement of the Starbucks partnership and WiFi iTunes Music Store not only can I hear a song at the stor and then instantly purchase it, a true stroke of business genius if you ask me, the impulse buy possibilities are amazing. I can also be connected anytime I’m out.

Surely if you look in most of America today you can find a Starbucks close by.  It’s where we hang out, it’s the meeting place for executives and house wives, for students and senior citizens. It’s a nice place to have a cup of whatever-your-flavor-is-this-week and to chat with friends new and old.

Normally I would have to pay to connect to the WiFi at Starbucks, T-Mobile as far as I know, but now, I own and iPhone (or the new iPod Touch) and I can be connected for free. That’s amazing. The penetration of these things is huge, nearly a million iPhones have been sold and I’m sure the Touch won’t be far behind after the holiday season. Being connected at the neighborhood meeting spot is just another way that we can stay in touch with those around us who aren’t around us physically. I can Twitter while I talk to my best friend face to face and tell 100 people instead of 1.

I want to be connected. I want to have it all, but simply. I don’t want to carry 3 devices, subscribe to half a dozen WiFi carriers and worry about compatibility, an iPhone, an iced tea, and good friend, that’s all I need. I think today was about making connections, simple connections that make this complex world bearable.

Dang I’m good

WorkspaceOK so today I took the day off of work with every intention of going to school early and working my butt off on projects for the coming semester. Guess what, I did it! That’s right, right now I’m a week ahead in every class. It seriously feels so good not to be procrastinating this semester. I may start taking Mondays off regularly and locking myself in the library more. I got seriously 3 papers done today. I’m set until my Feb. 8th presentation. Also I’ve finally got my binder system setup for this semester, all my classes are in one binder and all my marketing stuff in setup so I can find all that crap easily, getting organized was the best thing I ever did in college. It seriously saves me so much time, looking through folders and keeping stacks of paper was never my thing, now I just punch some holes and I know where everything is. Woo hoo!

In other news: John, Orion and I headed out to Starbucks last night to hang out. I taught John how to do Sudoku. I think he’s hooked. We got Great Value Beef Jerky too, we saved a buck over Jack’s Links (our usual brand) and honestly it wasn’t that bad. Buying generic beef jerky at WalMart at 1130 on a Sunday, I really do live the life, don’t I? Also the last bit for the day is I think ball will be permanently moved to Wednesday for a variety of reasons including, school, girls, church, and life in general, Sundays just don’t work that well anymore.

Anyway I must get on to other things, in the words of John, “Later Shibbys”

Day 3

Another boring day. Went to work, took erin to the body shop to get her car worked on. Went to the “other job” worked for a few hours, crapped out a miracle and made them all happy. Went to school, sat around for a bit, went to class. Remember all that cryign I did about this paper I had to write for marketing, yeah totally didn’t have to talk about it today… CRAP!

After school, Ben and I got a free pizza from Domino’s, something about filling out an app for a credit card then you get a free pie. Ben did it, used all kinds of bogus info, we got pizza, it’s all good. We went to starbucks after that and played poker with the guys. good times… i’m tired