Monday, April 4, 2011

Literary Gold Mine

I'll freely admit it: I'm an IMDB junkie.  I watch a movie and immediately head over to the website to discuss it, read trivia, the works.  It's the site to go to for info regarding movies/television/actors/actresses.  And I love my movies/television.

But lately I've been thinking: what about books?  I'm also a big fan of reading (I'm just going to go ahead and classify myself as a nerd at this point)--I've got a Kindle with over 60 books on it.  But I never could find the perfect website for books, with publication info, reviews, and the like.  Until now.  The site's called Goodreads. It offers reviews, customer ratings, publication info.--basically everything I was looking for (although the lack of a forum kind of sucks).

So what's the point of this post, you may ask? Well, the site has one cool feature: it allows users to "friend" each other and share book reviews/ratings and to recommend recently read books to each other. And, seeing as how there are a couple of people who enjoy reading as much as I do (...basically the only two people who actually read this blog), I thought it'd be sweet to be able to use this feature.

Seriously, check it out.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Caffeine Withdrawals

It's been a week since I last had caffeine.  A whole week.  That means no Diet Coke and no coffee.  And for those of you who know me, those two things are the bane of my existence.

So, on top of being ill all week (which produced the disturbing bouts of coughing), I couldn't have caffeine due to  said illness.  Which resulted in terrible, terrible headaches and terrible morning classes.  Which I think I attributed to the illness.  So I have been taking ibuprofen daily.

But now I've almost made a full recovery.  So I've decided to pop open a can of Diet Coke.  And you know what?  It tastes delicious.  And tomorrow I plan on waking up to the smell of Hazelnut Dunkin Donuts coffee brewing in my coffee maker.  It's going to be a great morning.

Oh caffeine, how I've missed you.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Accounting + Complaining = Success

So it's been a month since my last update.  I'm pretty sure you're supposed to update a blog much more frequently than that.  My bad.

An update on the computer:  after waiting five weeks, my replacement hard drive never came.  Was I surprised?  Not really.  So I called back two weeks ago and was promptly told by the female representative that they didn't know they were supposed to send one out. ... Seriously?  No comment.  Anyway, she told me she had one in stock, and that it would be overnight shipped to me and I would receive it the next day (which, of course, was the day before I left to go home for Spring Break).  Yeah, it never came.  Was I surprised?  Nope.  I guess people just become impervious to feeling betrayed and let down.  Anyway, I was gone up north for a week.  When I came back, there was still no hard drive in my mailbox.  So I gave Fujitsu a ring.  I was told that not only was the hard drive NOT in stock and that it was backordered until March 23, but also that due to the recent crisis in Japan, it was on a further backorder until April 19th.  To which I sarcastically replied, "So you're telling me that I was lied to last week and that I have no computer to use until April 19th?"  And the male representative gave a curt, "Yep."  I sarcastically said, "Thanks for your help." (There probably was some eye-rolling going on at this point, too) and immediately hung up the phone on the rep.

Now, for those who know me, I complain.  A lot.  But in situations like this, I tend to keep my mouth shut and just accept that I had been wronged.  I don't like to make a scene.  But I was so irritated that I looked up Fujitsu's customer service's email address, and sent them a nice e-mail.  In which I harshly accused the company of employing liars.  And that I wouldn't be recommending Fujitsu to ANYONE I know.  And that I will never support them again.  You know, the warm and fuzzy stuff.  They sent back a reply email within, literally, ten minutes, saying they were sorry for how I was treated and that they were working to rectify the situation.  Yeah, right.

So imagine my surprise when I was awoken by the FedEx delivery guy Friday morning with a package from Fujitsu.  They had finally shipped me my hard drive, almost two months later.  (Backordered until April 19th my butt)  So what's the moral of this story?  Complaining gets you everything...faster.  I recommend it.

On a lighter note, I only spent 7 hours today on an Intermediate Accounting Research paper.  And it was only 17 pages long.  I'm pretty sure that's the longest paper I've written in college, and it was for accounting.  Is that pathetic?

Oh, and I spent the weekend sick with a nasty cold.  Thank the Lord for DayQuil/NyQuil, orange juice, and sleep.  Oh, and I saw Sucker Punch this weekend with Eric.  It was awesome, but it made absolutely no sense.  I recommend it; just don't expect any of the plot to be cohesive or understandable.

Oh, and by the way--no, I still won't be recommending Fujitsu to anyone.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sugar-Coated Bliss

As my Facebook status suggests, this weekend has been one heck of a weekend, at least for my body/brain.  A trip to Target last night resulted in two cases of Diet Coke, three packages of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, two packages of Twix bars (5 for $4; who couldn't resist?), a box of Oreo's, a frozen Target brand pizza, and a 12 oz. bag of Dunkin' Donuts Hazelnut coffee grounds.  All for the low, low price of $22.

So here it is, a day later.  A current inventory count (using, of course, the FIFO method when valuating my ending inventory balance--can you tell I've been studying accounting?) shows: two packages of Reese's, half a container of Oreo's (which I shared with Carolyn, thank you), 19 cans of Diet Coke, one and a half packages of Twix bars, 3/4 of the pizza, and roughly the same amount of coffee grounds.  For those of you who dislike math, here's what's missing: one package of Reese's is gone.   Along with five cans of Diet Coke.  And four "generous" tablespoons of coffee grounds (roughly around two cups of coffee).  Plus half of a package of Twix bars.  And a 1/4 of the pizza.

So how do I feel?  Energetic.  Awake.  Slightly nauseas.  And how much studying has been done?  In the past two days, over 23 hours.  No joke.

I know what many of you are asking yourselves: What college kid studies for that amount of time for a test?  Well, for starters, I do.  Then there's the fact that this week will be the "week from hell".  I'll break it down for you:

Monday - more studying.
Tuesday - Intermediate Accounting 2 midterm (which is often referenced as the hardest class in Carlson.  The average grade on a test is around 52/100.  Yes, you read that right).
Wednesday - Auditing midterm (not so bad--just a lot of memorization of tiny details/procedures/modules, etc.).  A final group project is also due that night on the last night of my A-Term class (over ten pages of writing for just my portion of the project).  A paper is also due for my biology lecture at noon, which is right in the middle of said midterm and final project.
Thursday - "relaxful day", which means working on homework that's due the next day.
Friday - Biology Lab set of word problems is due.  And a lab quiz.  This wouldn't be as stressful had I actually paid attention in classes/lab.

And then it's the weekend.  Am I blowing things out of proportion?  Probably.  But it's still stress nonetheless.  If I have one thing to be thankful for, it's that the week before Spring Break appears to be empty.  Okay, I lied; I have two things to be thankful for--the other being that Diet Coke has zero calories.  Because the Lord knows that I need to save as many as I can, especially considering the junk food that's already, and shall be, consumed.

My body's going to kill me once I get back on my regular diet.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Tale of Two Computers

This weekend was a bust.  Literally.  Here's why:

To start things off wonderfully, my somewhat new laptop decided to crash on me.  My 3 month old laptop.  Seriously.  It unexpectedly came up with a wonderful message stating that the hard drive crashed.

The screen of death.  So naturally, I turn to the good ol' Wide Web to tell me what to do.  How do I do this, you ask?  Why, I marched my butt twenty minutes to use a computer at the Carlson computer lab.  It basically came down to two options: i) use the Windows 7 Ultimate CD to try and run a repair, or ii) use the Startup Repair Utility disc that you can download and burn on to a cd.  Of course the laptop didn't come with a Windows 7 Ultimate CD, so that option was out.  So, I came home, got the the Utility disc, and tried to burn it with my old, ancient laptop that's partially broken.  So why didn't I use said old laptop to research all of this, you ask?  Because the charger for that laptop is shotty, and the back port for a charger on the laptop is somewhat loose/broken.  Basically, you have to hold the charger in a certain position in order for the computer to charge.  Janky?  You bet.  

Back to the story--short version, it didn't work.  Long version, it still didn't work.  It came up with a "cannot repair", and a "either the CD-ROM or the HDD is faulty."  Great.  And it had all of my music, school work, etc. on it.  So I immediately called Fujitsu support to help fix it.  The rep told me to send it in.  He sent me a form for FedEx to fill out, so I could ship the laptop to a facility to be repaired (he also informed me that all my data would be lost.  Great.).  Okay, this I could deal with.  But are things ever that easy?  Nope.  I immediately got a call back from Fujitsu who told me I would be elevated to Level 2, whatever that means.  They'd call me back when they had some higher-up rep on duty.  They didn't call.  So I couldn't send the laptop back throughout the weekend.

Which was fine, I guess, because I had my backup laptop.  Sort of.  Anyway, everything was going decent--the cord wasn't acting up, the laptop was running somewhat smoothly, when out of the blue, it, too, broke.  On Saturday.  Apparently the cord on the charger broke, so no charge was getting through to the laptop.  So, I had no computer the entire weekend.  And I had a group project to take care of.  So what did I end up doing?  Why, playing Mass Effect 2, Dead Space 2, and watching insane amounts of The Office, of course!

Luckily, however, I know how to pick my friends.  Or, better put, I know how to pick friends who are dating computer geniuses.  Carolyn's boyfriend, Eric, luckily came through with a universal battery charger, so now my computer (old one...) is actually running.  I'm counting my blessings he came through--on Sunday night at 9 p.m.  He also tried to save the contents of my HDD on the new computer, but to no avail.  Thank God Microsoft allows you to rip songs off your Zune back onto a computer.  Microsoft = 1, Apple = 0.  

So what of my new computer, you ask?  Well, I ended up calling Fujitsu today in a not-so-great mood.  And they put me on hold for 15 minutes.  No joke.  Some dude in Tennessee ended up telling me that he'd be sending out a new HDD for me to replace.  Seriously?  They place a faulty HDD in the stupid thing, tell me to ship it in for repairs, and now I'm notified half a week later that I'm supposed to replace the HDD?  Are you kidding me, Fujitsu?  Looks like Eric's getting another phone call soon....

So that was my eventful weekend.  No homework, plenty of video games/television/movies, and two broken computers.  

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

He's Gone Country

I just thought I'd comment on what is the best, in my opinion, genre of music--country.  Yeah, yeah, I know many are thrown off, and disgusted, by the twang of guitars (and a few singers, as well), but if you look past the twang, you'll see a genre that's relatable to real life.  Many country songs are about situations that hit close to home, and many people can relate to the lyrics of country songs.  Plus, the genre is home to Carrie Underwood. That alone cements the awesomeness that is country music.  These past few months, I've had more Garth Brooks, Alabama, Brooks & Dunn, Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride, Montgomery Gentry, and Rodney Atkins on my Zune's playlist than any other genre.  Maybe it's because I find a banjo appealing.  Or I find a fiddle oddly soothing.

You'll notice how Taylor Swift is missing from the above playlist of country artists.  Anyone who has to remix their music to gain more airplay outside of the country genre should not be considered a country artist.  Plus she can't sing.  And she looks like a wet rat.

The only thing I can say is that everyone should give country music a listen.  I will agree that country music is not everyone's cup of tea, but for me, it's the epitome of great music.

And also, I'm pretty sure there's a high correlation between growing up in small towns and liking country music.

Monday, February 7, 2011


I'm back to the blogging world.  The reasons for this are threefold: i) I need to start practicing my writing skills for my numerous writing-intensive courses (somehow writing in Swedish/not writing at all slowly decays all writing skills), ii) I'm currently procrastinating studying for a midterm in two days, and iii) there could be SOMEBODY out there who actually wants to read this stuff.  I'm thinking the third reason may be pushing it a bit, but hey, a man can dream, right?

Hopefully the blog will be updated much more frequently than its sister blog from my time in Sweden--something tells me there'll be more downtime here to actually update the thing.  We'll have to see.

...and now it's back to studying.  School, you suck.  But don't worry, I'm almost over you.