Driving and Texting

Recently the city of Syracuse passed a law that states that if you are caught texting and driving you will get a $150 fine. While I think it is about time for this law, I am kinda scared because I know that I have been guilty of this. It took me awhile to really think about the importance of texting. Do I get messages that are so critical that I need to text while I am at the wheel? Probably not.

During this age of social networking and technology, we are connected to the world in ways we weren’t just 10 years ago. The new phones that come out now allow us to do so much more than we could have ever imagined. With all the tweeting and status updates on Facebook, is there no wonder how we all got along without it.

However that bring us closer to the danger we face when on the roads. You think talking on the cell and driving was bad? Last week I was walking to my doctor’s office and I noticed one of the students driving and he was texting. He was approaching a stop sign and was not even looking at the road. Grant he was not going that fast, but does that really matter? I was taken back by this because I asked myself is that what I look like?

I do not text and drive much, but I have done it. At this point, if I do text, I will do it at a stop light or stop sign. I have also pulled over to do that. I know this sounds crazy, but I have reduced my texting due to the fact that I do have an iPhone. I just plug it into the car radio and listen to music. This way I just enjoy music and not worry about texts. If people are texting they can wait right? Otherwise they would call.

Of course that brings up the issue about driving and talking on the phone. I don’t own a blue tooth because I lost the last one. However, if I put my phone on speaker I am fine. Just don’t have an argument with me and we are fine!

Well let me tell you what I really think about when the thought of texting and driving comes to mind: 7 Pounds. If you have seen the movie then you know what I am talking about. Once you see that movie you will second guess everything in your life. More importantly, it will make you think twice about the importance of texting or emailing while driving. It really is not that deep.

I am not sure that the younger generation really takes this all that seriously. I am not even sure that $150 fine is enough. The law takes effect July 1st.

Movie Rips…

I love Movies. I think that movies are one of the best forms of entertainment that we have. What I like better are movies that last forever. I usually buy the films on DVD that I would love to see more than once.

The one thing that I have trouble with is the changing formats. I remember having a lot VHS tapes when I was in High School and in College. I didn’t like this format too much because the tapes can get warped and the picture quality is not that great. So when DVDs came out I had to re buy many of the movies I already had.

Now I have a pretty nice collection of DVDs. These are movies that I love to watch. I make sure that the windscreen version and at times, the director’s cut. Lately, I have not even cared about the extra stuff, because I don’t watch it. I just want the movie.

The issue now is HDTV and Blue Ray. Which means to me that DVDs are becoming the things of the past. I know that Blue Ray plays DVDs and that is cool but I am not trying to recreate my collection. I know people who stopped buying DVDs all together…and they do not have a Blue Ray! But, of course when they get one…then it is on.

Recently I have invested in a DVD ripping software that allows me to view movies on my iPhone. See…this I love. I can watch whatever I want anytime and anywhere. The reason why I bought the software is because I am not trying to buy movies off of iTunes. I already have a deep collection, so ripping movies I already own seems to be the way to go for me.

I have been holding out on getting an HDTV and Blue Ray. I am sure it is only a matter of time.

Is there an App for that?

In response to my blog about how much I need music, one of my good friends told me about an iPhone app that can record and identify music. For those who my have an iPhone or iTouch it is called Shazam! (which is a name I already like because of the superhero, Captain Marvel). While, I have not tested it out yet, it makes me wonder if the iPhone really does have an app for everything? Coincidentally, I spent most of my Saturday night downloading free apps to my iPhone and a lot of these really work well.

I have needs. We all do. I can look up apps on iTunes and see what is out there. I am mostly interested in free ones. But let me ask….Is there an app for….

  • Porn! I mean you could be home alone one night and your computer’s either too slow or maybe you don’t have one! Is there an app where Porn can be watched the way it should be? and can you fast forward?
  • Rolling a blunt! Anyone of us could have a bad day at work and you just need to relieve the stress…or perhaps have cataracts (…and own an iPhone?). In either case, rolling a fatty might be an issue. Not enough weed…the paper is not rolling right, whatever the issue. Is there an app for first time blunt rollers?
  • Strip Clubs Finder! In a new town? Visiting parents or friends? At a conference? You are just bored out of your fucking mind and you need some sort of adult entertainment and have no clue where the nearest (or hottest) strip club is. Is there an app to help you find one?

  • Blog Topics! Stuck on a topic? Don’t know what to write so you resort to Facebook lists and other silly questionnaires? Perhaps writers block has set in. Is there an app for random topics to write about?

  • Dominican Detector! Are you Latino? Are you African American? Having a bad hair day sucks when you cannot find someone to do your hair or getting a tight hair cut? Is there an app that lets you pinpoint a Dominican that can do a fade, or a relaxer?

Well Apple boasts there is an app for just about anything….

Posessions

One of my favorite movies of all time is Fight Club. This is a very slick movie that has one main underline theme. This is also the movie that made me like Brad Pitt. Before then, I wasn’t trying to watch any of his films because I felt he was too much of a clean white boy. Well this particular movie definitely changed my mind about him in very much the same way that Blood Diamond made me change my mind about Leonardo Dicaprio.

So, I will get into this movie without spoiling it. First and foremost, this movie is really not about fighting at all. While there are a lot of fight scenes, which are awesome, the underlining theme is consumerism. We, as Americans, feel we need to buy stuff all the time. This economy is entirely based on consumer spending. So if don’t buy anything then companies fall, as we are seeing now. Which leads to a point in movie in which the antagonist, Tyler Durden, talks about how “people buy shit they don’t need”.

I believe this is true. Lets be honest, do I need my iPhone? Probably not. I could have gone with a started flip phone that would not have cost nearly enough, but after all I am a Gadget Freak. So with the cost of these goods comes the fact that we want to upgrade them and carry it with us where ever we go. Lets not even think about losing it. I wont even tell you all the things we have in the Lost & Found at the student center. I will say you can add the value of all of the things you find at it would cost more than the safe they are stored in, but I digress…

I for one cannot stand when I lose or even misplace anything. It drives me insane. I am neurotic with certain things as it is, but if I cannot find something, then I really lose it. Let me paint the picture for you. Last Monday, (B.C. iPhone) I went nuts looking for my phone. I was actually going to be at work on time but I because I could not find this thing, I made myself late. I looked everywhere. Normally when I blog at nights, I am sitting in a very comfortable chair just typing away at my laptop. My phone is always by me. So, I know I had with me Sunday night. I do remember that night hearing a thud. So naturally I thought my phone was under the couch.
Anyways, my Monday morning was spent cursing and tearing this place up. I kept looking under couch expecting to mysteriously appear. It never did out of the 15 times I looked under it. My wife is just sitting on the couch looking at me just waiting for me to return to normal. Finally i said, f**k it and went to work. But, of course, I felt naked without my phone. I thought to myself that this could not be normal. It is just a phone. In my defense, it has all my work email and contacts and stuff like that…but is that the point?

There is one point in Fight Club where Tyler looks over at Jack (the other main character) and says to him, “The things you own, end up owing you.” Needless less to say my phone was in the chair i was sitting in (yes…in the chair…i scratch up my hands getting it through a small gap in the fabric).

I leave you with this quote from Fight Club:

“We’re consumers. We’re by-products of a lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty — these things don’t concern me. What concerns me is celebrity magazines, television with five hundred channels, some guy’s name on my underwear. Rogaine, Viagra, Olestra.”

Gadget Freak

I have mentioned that my father was a gadget freak. He is the type of person that just needs to have new things all the time. So for example, he has a desktop computer with a printer/scanner/fax. Not sure who he is faxing though. Then he has this machine that can convert vinyl records into MP3s. I wont mention the fact that he does not have an i-pod…yet.

His love for gadgets is something has been transferred to me. I look around my house and I can see the laptop I am writing this blog, the wireless printer that it is connected to, the Wii that my wife plays so much, the iPhone that I just today purchased…

I never thought that I would get an iPhone much less another ipod. The love for electronics and gadgets is clearly deep rooted! I mean it is not just for luxury purposes. I think about the type of stove I have or the washer and dryer. So the need for just new shit can be consuming. Clearly I am making fun of myself here, but i wonder what it is about shiny new gadgets that we have to get.