July 19, 2003

Our new addition, Reboot
Posted by Jess in Announcements

World, meet Reboot.

Reboot, meet World.

Hello World.



Reboot is our new 10 week old shepherd/elkhound mix. She was the runt of the litter, and is the sweetest, cuddliest dog. Fortunately, she gets along wonderfully with the ferrets, and we had a fun little WWF match going on for awhile.

July 17, 2003

Brighten someone's day.
Posted by Jess in Day to Day

I leave a client site the same time weekly. The first time I left, there was someone sitting by the door, so I waved, said goodnight, and left. Every week since then, he’s been there, and I always still wave and say goodnight. The look on his face when I wave to him makes me think that he looks forward to his smile and wave every week.

It reminded me of a lady who used to live in our old apartment building. Whenever Matt, Werb (our old roommate) and I would drive up the apartment driveway, there was a lady sitting on a rocking chair outside, she had to be no younger than 90.

Matt and Werb used to wave at her, and she’d never wave back. So one day Werb said, “I’m going to make that lady wave at me if it’s the last thing I do!”

So he waved, and waved, and waved. (I think all she did all day long was sit out there on that rocker!) Finally, one day she waved back. And then she kept waving. And then she started smiling when she waved.

When Werb moved out, Matt took over the waving. If you could have seen the way her face lit up every time we went by! You could tell that it was probably the highlight of her day. She’d stretch her arm out and sit up straight and wave.

I think she was still there when we finally moved into our house.

I’d like to think she misses us.

July 14, 2003

A night of surprises
Posted by Jess in Day to Day

Last Wednesday’s Fates Warning/Queensryche/Dream Theater concert was nothing short of incredible.

For those that have never heard of Dream Theater, it’s incredibly cinematic hard rock, with genius coming out of every note. Songs are epic in nature, and can be on average about 7-11 minutes long. They usually take you through every possible emotion, leaving you in a total state of catharsis at the end of each song, capable of one thought: “phleh.”

As for Queensryche, I only know songs from their Empire album, but it does hold special meaning for me. Right after I graduated college, me, Matt and our roommate Jay would put this CD on and play the whole thing while sitting around playing cribbage and High-low-Jack. I remember the feeling like it was yesterday… and now, every time I hear any song from that CD, all I think about is knowing that it was 6PM, and I had absolutely NOTHING I had to do. No papers to write. No exams to study for. Freedom.

I’ve come up with some superlatives from the show…

Best quote:
The lead singer of Queensryche said it best: “this will be a night of very complicated people playing very complicated music.”

Best concert souvenier:
I woke up the next morning feeling like I had a hangover, though I hadn’t been drinking. Turns out this alleged “hangover” ended up being a nasty virus lasting a few days. Which is why it's Monday and I'm writing about a concert I went to last Wednesday! I’m not surprised, considering how many people I probably bumped elbows with that night. I would have rather had a T-shirt, though.

Fastest rendition of a song that was tough to play in the first place
Any Dream Theater fan knows the song Metropolis. I guess the band decided it needed a little "pick me up", to which they played the entire song at two or three times (I have no idea which one) it's original speed.

Best surprise ending:
Seeing both sets of drums uncovered and a fantastic rendition of The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by both bands sharing the stage.

Well worth seeing them if they are in your area!

July 08, 2003

Going to a metropolis to hear Metropolis.
Posted by Jess in Day to Day

Ed may have his list of things to do before he dies, but I have my list of bands to see play live before I die. I get to cross one off the list tomorrow!

Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Jethro Tull
Crystal Method

Dream Theater (woo hoo!) and Queensryche at the FleetBoston Pavillion Wednesday, July 9.

What more could I ask for? A beautiful city at night on the water, and 3 hours of pure, raw musical genius.

July 06, 2003

Checking in...
Posted by Jess in Tech Talk

So it’s been a month now that I’ve been on my own, Solace Consulting Services. I can’t remember when I’ve been as stress-free, and yet I have enough work to keep most of my days busy. These are good things. And we haven’t had to forclose on our house, which is also a good thing. :-)

So, after that first month here’s a few things I’ve learned:

Sometimes being a good consultant is not giving the customer what they want. Sometimes, what they want is not what’s best for them, and it’s my job to tell them WHY, and what IS best for them.

It’s OK to speak up when I don’t agree with the customer. After all, they brought me in because supposedly I know a little something, and they expect me to speak up when I don’t agree.

Just because there is no documented procedure to do a task does not mean I’m necessarily doing it wrong; in fact, whose to say I haven’t found a new, amazing way to accomplish it?

I never knew how much it irked me when servers weren’t organized, clean and tidy.

It’s incredibly scary when 15 eyes are on you in a meeting expecting you to expound brilliance once your mouth is opened…

…but there’s also no greater thrill than watching 15 heads nod their heads in agreement when you are done…

…but if no brilliance is scheduled to make an appearance that day, it’s ok to say, “I’m not sure of the answer to that. I’ll check up on it and have an answer to you tomorrow.”

It’s a wonderful support system to have technical friends that can help you in a pinch. And it’s an even better feeling when it’s reciprocated and you can help them out in a pinch.

Quickbooks is your best friend. If you don’t see it now, you WILL see it on tax day.

You should always try to get out of the house at least once per day.

Finally, have confidence, even if you are afraid. It will reflect in your eyes, and it will reflect in your performance, and it will make the client remember why they chose you in the first place.

July 02, 2003

Respect your elders!
Posted by Jess in Day to Day

I'm almost through with the most recent Harry Potter book. I've thoroughly enjoyed all of them, and I do agree that JK Rowling is absolutely fantastic.

But (there's *always* a but!).... I wish people would realize that she is not the first person to ever have created a world like this.

Call it "respecting your elders", but how about some homage to the pioneers of the genre? (I'm not talking about Tolkien. We're talking children's book's here). I'm 27 years old. I was spoon-fed Roald Dahl, lunch-boxed Shel Silverstein and midnight snacked on Enid Blyton.

I was NOT lacking imagination when I was a child. Why? I had these authors to thank. For hours, I would immerse myself in magical forests with enchanted trees, would be scared to go to sleep for fear of the Witching Hour and BFGs, and pretended that I, too had a chair with wings on it that would take me to all sorts of lands.

That's all. I'm done. I won't bring it up anymore. I got it out of my system.

Oh, news flash - I didn't grow up to be a satanist, either. Isn't that what's suposed to happen by reading books like that?* ;-)
She said sadly.

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