Michael Phelps is Not The Role Model Everyone Thinks He Is

If your watching TV, you’ve probably seen that the Olympics are going on right now. I have been watching more than my fair share of Olympics. One constant frustration for me is the continual mention of Michael Phelps. He has done some great things, like win 8 Gold medals in a week. He is truly a phenomenal swimmer, but I don’t like him as a role model.

In 2004, after the Olympics were over, Phelps was arrested for a DUI. He was sentenced to 18 months probation and instructed to give several speeches to locals schools about the negatives of driving under the influence. That was the end of it. There has been relatively no mention about Phelps’ DUI in this Olympics. Why? I would think it is because they don’t want to tarnish Michael Phelps during the games. He is supposed to be a role model, someone everyone aspires to be. How would parents feel if they knew that the person their kids were looking up to had committed a DUI? Is that the same role model?

Now, there is something for giving everyone a second chance. Phelps made a mistake and moved on. We should all be so wise. However, I don’t think the plan of ignoring it is the correct path to take. I lost respect for him because of that. I would have him come out and use his success, use this event, to prevent other kids from getting into the same problem. So, he made it out of his DUI with just 18 months probation, a fine and some speeches; maybe the next kid will get in an accident hurt themselves or someone else. I feel like he dropped the ball here. He had an opportunity to do an amazing good, far beyond simply winning gold medals.

Instead, he just takes the fame and leaves the rest. That’s not something I admire, that is not something I look up to. I’m very happy for you Michael, you are truly great athlete, but I wish you were a stronger person.

Mint.com it’s awesome, check it out

Mint.com is a financial site that allows you to log into one system to see all of your finances. Basically, it is as if you were able to take all your separate accounts and move them to one bank view. It’s really quite interesting, and I”m excited about getting on top of all my finances on a daily basis.

Also of note, it has a really good feature to tell you if you are saving money or losing money over the past 6 months. Even though I’m still in debt, I was very excited to see that I was still going in the right direction!

The real bat-man

At roughly 3 AM last night I started to hear the shutters above my head rattle. It would happen in waves. First it would shutter, then it would stop, then it would shutter and then stop. Very scary at first, then I realized that something was flying into them, and apparently making shutters rattle. I left the room rapidly, as I was in a state of excitement, and turned on the light from the outside, and peaked in through the door. I definitely saw something flying around. It appeared to be a Bat. I spent he rest of the night sleeping on the couch. Woke up this morning, the bat had apparently flown back out the window.

Things are conspiring to prevent me from getting work done.

Dog had a seizure Last night

One of my two dogs, Oliver had a seizure last night at roughly 1 AM. I was getting ready to pass out, having just got off the phone with my roommate to remind her that I was coming home in a week, when I heard a bark-squeak from the dog’s room. It was followed by a ton of claw scratching.

I flipped out, called for one of my brothers to wake up and went down to investigate, only to find dog seizing in the middle of the room. I had to stay up with the dog until 3 am so that he felt comfortable and would sleep (only after I drugged him with a dog sedative my mother had in the cabinet).

Needless to say, less than five hours later, I was up and getting ready for work. It is not is barely 9 am and I’m already drinking mountain dew in an effort to stay awake. I have a full day of training, so today should be a fun day! I always have issues programming or trying to see the picture while I’m tired.

Cultured Code Releases Things for iPhone

Cultured Code Released Things for iphone. I have just download it and will start working it out tomorrow. I will say that I have been trying to start using things on my Mac, but it has been very hard to get up and running as I am not around my Mac all day. This App promises to change that, the problem. It doesn’t yet sync with the desktop client. They promise to fix this shortly, but until they do, I don’t think this app is really worth it’s value. However, with no purchasable version of Things for Mac available, I will take any opportunity I can to support the company, and buy this App.

I’ll let you know how it works out.

WWDC After Parties, One Step Closer to Attending

Last Night I went to a few WWDC after parties. This being my first year in the SF bay area, I wanted to make an effort to meet more Apple people, and while I couldn’t quite afford attending WWDC, I wanted to make it down there to meet some of the people.

Mike was planning on attending the Webkit Party yesterday, but as the day wore on, he was less and less definite about his attendance, as he was already tired from a wild Monday night. So that left me with no one to go with. Now, I’m not overly shy, but I always like having a starting point in a crowd. Without Mike, I felt it would have been difficult to find that point (He works for Apple and therefore knows a bunch of people at webkit).

With Mike heading back, I saw yet another WWDC slipping away from me. I remember when I was really young and my grandfather took me to a MacWorld in Boston. That was the last Apple event I had attended, and I remember thinking how wonderful it was, but wanting to find more developers. WWDC was my next mission. I was about to miss the whole boat once again.

I had given up all hope, and committed to myself that I would try harder next year, when Kyle arrived. Kyle is a relocated employee at my company, who had just finished the drive across country. While my trip took about 7 days, his had taken only 4. He decided to make it into work early (why?). Well, turns out he is a Mac User, and with a little prodding was easily convinced to come attend the aforementioned Webkit party.

So we went, and it was amazing. I ran into a bunch of web guys who worked for the NY Times. They were really cool, and one of them even went to college with a high school buddy of mine, re-affirming my belief that we really do live in a very small world.

I also got to run into some cool Apple people, including Mike Matas. All in all, it was a rather fantastic experience.

One last important note, while getting Subway on the way home we ran into this other gentleman, wearing what had to be the best shirt I saw there, “WYSIWTF” with an Internet Explorer logo. I have never seen a more true shirt :-D.

Hopefully next year I will be able to attend WWDC, not just an after party.

Why I don’t write more posts

I often have ideas for good blog posts, but never get around to actually writing them. There are several reasons for this, but one stands above the rest. I hate large bodies of text. I hate reading them, and therefore I hate writing them for other people to read them. 

There is nothing more annoying than trying to read a long block of text. Even in some of the blogs that I have followed in past, if they don’t break up their posts with diagrams or pictures or lists, I often have a hard time following.

So, here are the elements I try to include in my posts:

  • Pictures – worth a thousand words
  • Diagrams – used to explain what I mean visually
  • Lists – outline content and pull readers to the important points
  • Small Paragraphs – I like smaller, more direct paragraphs, though a bunch of these in a row can also be annoying.

I feel I need these elements to make a successful post. (Don’t ask me how I define successful, because I’m not entirely sure).

With that in mind I just purchased a Canon 870 IS pocket-sized digital camera. Hopefully this will allow me to take more pictures and thus make more posts.

Why not to take Connecticut Limousine

I recently returned for a visit to CT for the wedding of two of my good friends. And while the wedding was amazing, the ride from and to the airport was not. I decided to try the Connecticut Limousine at the suggestion of my mother. Bottom line I would not recommend them again. Here are some reasons:

  • The are relatively slow
  • They Pack more people into the van than is actually comfortable
  • The shocks in the van’s they use are absolutely dead, and that makes for a very uncomfortable ride on the bad roads to and from the airport
  • The air conditioning doesn’t always work

Add all these factors together and you end up with a rather uncomfortable ride. There are some good things. Their timing was pretty good, and the drivers were nice, but that is not enough to redeem themselves from the rest of the negative qualities.

ConEd Does Not Accept Visa, Are You Kidding Me?

While I have still yet to write the long overdue post, I have moved from my NYC apartment to the west coast, California, specifically. With this, I terminated my ConEd account. Now, in the process of setting up my account I had hooked direct pay up to a bank account I almost never put money in and it just turned out that balance in that account was not enough to clear my last ConEd Payment.

This translate to me having to pay with a check card or mail in a check. While mailing in a check would have been cheaper, it requires more of my time and a little more effort than I wanted to exert, so I decided to pay the $4.95 fee to pay by phone.

I call in over the weekend, and after entering my card number twice, I hear that the payment system does not believe my card to be a valid number.

So I call in again this morning, same thing.

Finally get myself to a representative after 30 MINUTES of holding only to find out that they DO NOT ACCEPT VISA!!! No wonder my card wasn’t working, it was a Visa card.  Mind you, there was no warning of this over the phone.

Bottom line, I finally ended up paying my bill with a Mastercard and everything worked out, but I have two comments:

One, why would a company like ConEd not accept Visa, but accept Mastercard and Discover? This is stupid, if you are provider of any product, whether it be software or a serivce, you should make it as easy as possible to for people to pay you. Visa is a very popular card, you should accept it.

Two, if for some RIDICULOUSLY STUPID reason, you find yourself in a position to not accept a standard card (/protocol/whatever) you should explain to your user that you that it is not accepted, instead of making them wait. I could have payed with a Mastercard over the automated system, if they had just let me know. Communicate with your users, it is the best way to make them happy.