Friday, December 26, 2008

Find me a Jordon, ANY Jordon please

The number one pet peeve of mine nowadays is when people send me emails and address me as Jordon.  This bothers me on a number of different levels.
  1. My signature on all my emails from my work email address reads as Jordan Rose
  2. I have never met anyone who spells their name J-o-r-d-O-n (I would understand Jordin for the American Idol winner)
  3. The country and river Jordan are spelled as such.
  4. The letter A on a QWERTY keyboard is only two keys away from the D.  The O is all the way on the other end.
Now what is REALLY amazing is that this happens with about 50% of the new clients/employees that contact me.  It seems to be getting worse over the last few years too.  If anyone has any explanation why this seems to occur so frequently, I would love to hear it.  Arguably the most famous athlete of all-time spells his name with an A, so I'm not quite sure where the confusion comes from.

NOTE:  I just used blogger spell check on this and Jordin was highlighted as incorrect while Jordon was left alone.  Maybe there are some Jordons out there.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to all

Merry Christmas to everyone and a Happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish friends. I'll leave you with this classic holiday quote from Clark W. Griswald:

"Hey. If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I'd like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, fore-fleshing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is. Hallelujah. Holy shit. Where's the Tylenol?"

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Fringemas

It's no secret that JJ Abrams is one of my favorite media visionaries. The guy has created one of the best TV shows of all-time in Lost and produced a pretty good monster movie last January in Cloverfield (his Star Trek reboot looks very good as well). The good folks at Fox didn't have to twist my arm to get me to watch Fringe, Abrams' latest effort.  Some of you may know that I was a huge fan of The X-Files which remains the only complete TV series I own on DVD (too bad X-Files: I Want to Believe was such a disaster).  Fringe has some noticable similarities which is part of what attracted me to the show.  Mulder and Scully are replaced by Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson from Dawson's Creek fame) and Olivia Dunham (Australian actress Anna Torv).  

The plot of Fringe is "fairly" simple.  Agent Dunham and Special Agent Phillip Broyles (played by Lance Reddick who is a guest player on Lost) began investigating cases that make up "The Pattern", a set of unexplained instances of fringe science.  Fringe science includes off-beat scientific studies like telepathy, levitation, invisibility, reanimation, genetic mutation, etc.  In order to fully investigate these cases Agent Dunham tapped into the resource of Walter and Peter Bishop.  Walter Bishop spent over 20 years in a mental institution but was the leading fringe scientist in his days of being a professor at Harvard University.  The character of Walter Bishop is played by Lord of the Rings veteran John Noble as an absent minded hilariously brilliant scientist.  I'm thinking an Emmy nomination may be in the future for Noble if this series extends through a few more seasons.

The roster of episodes so far plays out like stand-alone mysteries (a la The X-Files) but also contains a conspiracy theory throughout which is highlighted by Massive Dynamic, a fictional global corporation that may or may not be involved with all events related to the pattern.  The M.D. website is another viral site produced in the same way the Dharma Initiative sites were for Lost.  Another orginal and very cool aspect of Fringe is the inclusion of a bald spooky character named "The Observer" who has appeared in each episode so far.  In the 4th episode of the season we find out that The Observer is taking notes on events related to the pattern and seems to be an alien being of unknown origin.  In all other episodes, The Observer can be spotted through a Where's Waldo disection of the show.  He often appears for a second or two in the background of a scene.  This link catalogs all his appearances for those who do watch the show and want to review.

If you missed the Fringe train when it debuted in September, it's time to hop aboard now.  The series was renewed for a full season and made Entertainment Weekly's list of best shows of the season (at #7).  Fringe returns for more new episodes on January 20th, until then, enjoy a recap video of the first series of episodes below.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Economy 1, PPC Winter Gala 0

Earlier this year I was asked by my company's CEO to lead the planning effort for the 2008 Holiday Party.  After holding planning meetings with my committee throughout the year and moving the date of the event from 2008 to January 2009 just a few months ago, a recent decision was made to cancel the event.  I had already reserved the hotel (the site of my brother's 2007 wedding), set the menu, planned the theme (Red Carpet Awards style), hired the band (The Dickens), booked a photographer and even set up an after-party complete with an outdoor cigar bar beneath a heated tent.  Unfortunately, my company cancelled the PPC Winter Gala to conserve spending and allocate the funds for other needs.  Today, my CEO sent out the message via an all-staff email.

I have mixed feelings about this decision.  While I completely understand that this may not be the time for celebration given the economic climate of the world right now, part of me wanted the party to serve as a break from the norm and a chance to get out for the night for our employees.  I was eager to see all of my team's efforts come to fruition in a kick-ass event.  I do trust the judgment of my CEO though and believe that we (PPC) can ride out the economic storm in the long run.  The one good bit of news that results from all of this is that January 2009 will be FAR less hectic and stressful now that we have abandoned planning efforts.  I don't have to worry about coming up with a centerpiece design scheme!  SWEET!   I can also focus on planning my company's second season of employee poker nights (we're getting a plaque made for the winner of last year's series). 

Lori told me that this effort would be almost similar to planning a wedding.  Unfortunately with this wedding, the economy forced PPC to have cold feet.  What would have made this easier on my team is if the decision to cancel was made earlier in the year so we didn't get this far along in our planning efforts.  In his messaging efforts, our CEO informed us that he would try to make up the cancellation over the course of 2009 through more small celebrations.  Hopefully my vision for the 2009 Winter Gala can be put into action a few years down the road in more prosperous times.

Monday, December 22, 2008

New Drink: Dark N' Stormy

Lori and I were out at an Xmas party Friday night and I sampled one of the best cocktails I've tasted in quite some time.  The party host had several bottles of Jamaican ginger beer.  The ginger beer itself has no alcohol (allowing Lori to drink a beer while pregnant).  To help give the drink a kick, a few shots of Cruzan Blackstrap Rum was used.  The delicious mixture was smooth and refreshing.  Not the traditional holiday-time elixir but it did the job.  

After searching Google for the ingredients I found that Wikipedia calls the drink a Dark N' Stormy.  I will probably head out to New Jersey's finest liquor stores tomorrow to try to accumulate the necessary ingredients. Apparently they do not sell ginger beer in stores in Northern Virginia though (Dagger!!!).  If you like ginger (ginger ale especially), give it a try:

60mL of dark rum
Ginger Beer
1 slice of Lime

Preparation: Pour the rum into a glass over ice. Pour the Ginger Beer over it. Squeeze in the lime wedge and drop it in.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Overrated Christmas Melodies

As I'm about to call it a night and mentally prepare for the 3.5 hour trip up North tomorrow (hoping Alex keeps his crying to a minimum), I thought I would throw out a topic for conversation.  What Christmas song(s) do you just find too annoying and overrated when the holidays come along each year?  I would like to nominate my least favorite Xmas song, "Jingle Bell Rock".  I hear this monstrosity all the time when December rolls around.  I hate the melody, I hate how it tries to be hip and upbeat and I really hate the lyrics.  What in bloody hell is a Jingle Horse?  I think my wife's family tries to play it on purpose when we visit just to bug me.  

Does anyone else have that one holiday song that they think is overplayed and annoying?

Snow up North!

According to some weather reports I've come across, central NJ is currently receiving significant amounts of snow. This is of intererst to Josh and I because A: we're heading up to Jersey tomorrow morning and B: we love snow and C: we haven't had snow accumulation in the DC area in far too long. We may have to go scout out a good sledding hill on Tuesday.

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