Here’s a Ticket…You’ve Earned It!!

On Saturday morning I was unknowingly driving rather quickly down the highway when I recognized a police car quickly approaching. I thought “oh, let me pull aside to let him pass,” but somehow this police car didn’t want to stop following me. Eventually I pulled onto the shoulder lane and stopped the car. Did this officer stop me to say that he really liked my car? Does he remember me from somewhere? Did he want driving tips?!

He approached my passenger side window and requested my drivers license, registration and proof of insurance. I calmly got my license from my wallet and then opened the car’s glove compartment to get my insurance and registration cards, but neither could be found. A few minutes passed by before I found my wrinkled insurance card, but the registration was still missing. A search through every nook and cranny revealed nothing and the cop began to grow impatient.

Now would be a good time to panic.

I wanted to assure the police officer that the missing registration card was not a sign that I’m driving a stolen car, but I realized that saying the words “stolen car” to a policeman is like saying “shoe bomb” on a plane–even if you have the purest intentions, you’re going DOWN! Instead, I stayed silent and continued my search everywhere in the car. The policeman realized that he had three options: 1) prematurely end my search, 2) continue to stand on the side of the highway and wait for me, or 3) arrest me for a code 19 violation. Thankfully the officer chose option 1 and he asked me if I knew what I’d done to get pulled over. I considered saying “I knew that you were waiting for me, so I got here as fast as I could” but somehow I didn’t think he’d find humor in that statement. Instead, our conversation went as follows:

Me: I know… I was driving a little fast back there when I was passing those cars.
Him: I clocked you gong 85 in a 50mph construction zone.

My brain did the mental math: Construction zone = double fines. 35mph over the speed limit = approx. 6 points and $300 fine. Total = $600 ticket, 6 points on my license and doubled rates on my insurance

Me: (with my bewildered face) Officer, I had no idea that I was driving that fast!
Him: I’ll be right back.

The longest 10 minutes of my life passed before the officer returned to me with a piece of paper that I hadn’t received in my life–it was a ticket. He said “I’m going to give you a break and instead I’ll give you a fine for ‘creating the risk of an accident.'” My inner negotiator made me want to try to negotiate a better punishment, but instead I said “thank you” and drove away as quickly as I [legally] could before he could remember that my registration card was a champion at hide-and-go-seek. Later in the day I checked the fine amount….$50!!!

Lesson Learned!

I’ve Never Felt This Way About Dessert Before!

I had the pleasure of going with a friend to a place called “Chikalicious,” a little dessert spot in New York where the simplest ingredients are arranged to be delicious pieces of culinary mastery*. We waited briefly and then we were ushered into the quaint space that was the size of my kitchen, but resembled something out of Stanley Kubric’s A Clockwork Orange. I was LOVING this!! Minutes later, Mr. Chikalicious came up to our table with the most stylish bowtie that I’ve seen in my lifetime. I immediately felt a strange unction to wear a bowtie and to eat lots of desserts. I was under their spell!

After reviewing their menu, I was amazed by their great talent to make boring desserts sound like palatial creations. Their menu had items like, “Fromage Blanc Island with poached pear puree and a spiced fig pudding cake,” which basically means “a slice of cheesecake with pear juice and banana pudding.” The descriptions alone made my mouth water and I wasn’t even hungry!

Fancy Dessert from Chikalicious

I asked the waiter dude, “what do you recommend,” which opened the door to an even more impressive description. The passion that came over Mr. Chikalicious’ face as he described the preparation process for bananas and pears made me believe that he planted the fruit and raised them like they were his children. By the end of his description I was convinced that the bananas and pears that were used as ingredients were sent to the best private schools, participated in extracurricular activities and graduated with a 4.1 GPA. I was confident that whatever I ordered was going to be amazing.

Fancy Dessert from Chikalicious

Fancy Dessert from Chikalicious

After the nice, light dessert appetizer we were presented with our main courses that lived up to the hype. There were three simple things on my ornamental plate, but I knew that these things were created with love. The bananas that were described to me earlier were so carefully chopped into miniature triangles and carefully packed into a neat pile. The pudding puree was streaked across my plate, appearing like a miniature liquid spoon. I had to use tremendous force to stop myself from licking this directly off the plate. The ice cream was so small and unassuming, but tasted great, like there were tiny chunks of my hopes and dreams in it. I was a bit impressed, to say the least.

When I left Chikalicious I was so happy with my experience that I wanted to make Bowtie dude and Ms. Chikalicious the Godparents of my kids and the beneficiaries to my life insurance plan because their dessert was that good!

* that was the most triumphant description that I have ever given anything in my life!

There are killers next door! Man down!!

On Saturday I was shot by a friend, multiple times. Now, I can’t say that I didn’t deserve it, but up until this point I believed that I was invincible. I was staring down the barrel of his gun and never believed that he would pull the trigger because I’m a pretty nice guy, but I was wrong. There was a *POP!* and seconds later I had a stinging/burning sensation in my hand. I looked at my situation and noticed that I was wounded and I was dripping…with paint!

The HUGE Paintballing Problem

I went paintballing with nine friends in a private field to release any pent up aggression out on each other. Upon arrival at the paintball field, we made a stunning and alarming discovery–we were directly next door to a correctional facility where the inmates were all-too familiar with shooting guns, except theirs didn’t shoot paint. This created an additional lever fear in some people and each time they got shot, they immediately had to check to see if it was with a paintball or a bullet. Personally, I was a man about it and was ready to attack like a soldier at war…that was until I got shot by a mystery man.

Our game wasn’t yet in-progress and I heard a flurry of gunshots, followed by two stings in my arm. I quickly checked around me to identify the recipient of my next lashing but I didn’t find anyone. Then I heard another shot followed by another sting. Who’s shooting me?! Was it one of our new inmate neighbors?! Another search revealed my attacker, a random 6 or 7 year old boy standing about 500 feet away with a gun that strongly resembled a sniper rifle. I considered shooting the kid back in areas that would hurt him for days, but after I realized that my aim wasn’t nearly as impeccable as his appeared to be, I ceded in our one-sided battle.

After playing about 8 games, I grew tired of people using my bald head as a target and I wanted everyone to stand unarmed in the open so I could get my revenge. By the end of the day we hopped our aching bodies into our cars, with our outfits looking like we all got into a fight with a bucket of semigloss latex paint.

Back in my day, Notepads didn’t have LCD displays!

iPadding in the Park

I purchased an iPad on its opening day.

If you’re like the 20 people or so who have seen me using the iPad in the last week, your reaction to the statement above probably started with “early adopters are stupid” and ended with “the iPad is just a giant iPod touch!” Truth is, I shared the same opinions as you last week, but then I saw the light…the beautiful, shiny, brilliant light that revealed itself in the form of an iPad!

When the world went nuts by offering to trade their birthright for an iPad, I sat as an observer and concluded that the device was foolish. “What would a guy like me need with something like that…I’ve already got an iPhone!” But when I used it for a few minutes on the launch day I saw lots of possibilities, including:

  • Generate rent receipts on-the-fly to appease detail-oriented tenants
  • Mount as a digital picture frame above my fireplace mantle
  • Digital portfolio for my video and graphic projects
  • Digital drawing pad for drawing graphics like melted G’s and stars
  • View financial spreadsheets on the large screen
  • Quickly type journal entries, like this one, using the quick iphone-like keyboard
  • Review digital camera photos without needing a computer
  • Read a book without actually reading a book
  • Jot down quick thoughts on a large virtual notepad (which is a lot more inspiring and motivating)
  • Access essential Phone applications on a larger screen
  • A nice, shiny $500 coaster for up to six soda cans
  • A very short game of truly ultimate frisbee
  • …and that’s not even the half of it!

For those of you who are not convinced of its usefulness, let me give you an example of how the iPad worked well for me last Sunday:

Morning: In church, following along with my bible app and taking notes on my note taking app. While taking notes, I used the built-in microphone to record the audio just in case I needed to play it back to remember something or for potential comedy relief. Immediately as the service ended, I synchronized my notes to a “cloud” that keeps all of my documents synchronized with my computer, iPhone and iPad.
Noon: Reviewed the final product of a graphic to send over to a client. The large touchscreen worked great because I could zoom in on details that might’ve otherwise been missed on my computer. Also, I was able to lift the iPad inches away from my face so I could see every single pixel. The last time I tried that was with a 200lb Apple Cinema Display and I slightly strained my obturator foramen.
Afternoon: Went to hangout with my friends and snapped a lot of pictures. My camera uploads all pictures to the internet as soon as they are taken, so I was able to use my iPad and my instant portable wifi connection to view the pictures on the large screen.
Early Evening: Picked up rent from tenants and used a receipt app to generate a receipt immediately as rent is received. The receipt is automatically synchronized with an online server where all of the receipts are compiled, tagged by location, and exported to an excel spreadsheet for analysis. Later in the day, I merged the excel spreadsheet with a larger spreadsheet and used a data visualizing app to analyze financial information for my rental property. Nerdy– I know.
Night: As I head to bed, I used the books app to find a book worth reading before falling asleep.
Later in the night: Can’t sleep. No iPad app to fix this. Geremy is sad.

With the amount of time that an iPad saves by organizing data, making information more accessible and putting important business and personal tools at my fingertips, it was well worth the $500 and should be thought of as a “life improver” for people like me rather than a novelty item. I was once an unbeliever but now I’m a missionary, preaching the iPad gospel!