Wednesday, March 20, 2013

So Much to Say...!

A wedding engagement, a new MacBook Pro and UP band, a Comic Con...  I haven't put up a new 'blog post since December, so yeah, I'm way overdue.  This one'll more than make up for it, I'm sure.  Let's start with the biggest news...

I'm engaged!  :-)  I asked Laura to marry me on St. Patrick's Day, after a delicious sushi lunch at Sushi Momoya in Bloomfield, and she said yes.  I got down on one knee, Elvis' "I Can't Help Falling in Love" was playing ("It's now or never," I thought.  "My love won't wait.")... it was just right.  The date was doubly fitting, in my opinion, because my love is half-Irish and because March 17th marked one and a half years since we began dating.  We haven't gotten too far with planning yet, but we're shooting for a low-key fall wedding before the year is out.

The combination of diamond, owls, and white gold seems to have gone over incredibly well with my fiancée and everyone who's seen the ring.  I'm generally better at buying tech than buying jewelry, but it seems that I done good.  And I'm glad.  I love her so much, and she makes me feel like the greatest American hero (no, not the permed guy from the '80s TV show; well, OK, maybe a little).

I do love tech gadgets.  Maybe too much.  I recently ran into technical problems with two of mine, and these blossomed into long-running customer service problems which were fortunately resolved to my satisfaction, considering I'd been previously effusive in my praise for both companies.

I've written in several prior 'blog posts about my trials and tribulations with the UP by Jawbone band that Laura bought me for Christmas 2011.  While the product was certainly faulty, the company stood by it and sent me several replacements as each band died, sooner rather than later, until one I received in the summer lasted for several months.  That band, too, eventually came to an untimely end, but when I contacted Jawbone to see about having it replaced this January, I received an initial response telling me that I was eligible for one more replacement and that I'd soon be sent an address to which to send my existing band... and then nothing, for weeks.  This was in marked contrast to the excellent customer service I'd received all last year from them, and as E-mail after E-mail got nothing but an automated reply, I began to worry that the technological singularity had come, and had started at Jawbone.

In the meantime, the LCD screen of my MacBook Pro had begun to come loose from the hinge, and the display was giving me the same problems I'd experienced in 2011.  I wasn't eager to spend a few hundred dollars to have it replaced again, but it still seemed more sensible than shelling out a few thousand for a new laptop, so Laura and I headed to the Apple Store to drop it off for repair work.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn that this was now a known defect, and as a result, the screen would be replaced for me at no charge!  However, after waiting several days beyond the three to five I was told it would take for me to hear back from someone, I called the store and was told that they'd found that the battery and the AirPort card would need to be replaced as well, at my expense.

I was more upset about not being contacted than I was about the additional delays and costs, but I gave the go-ahead.  A few more days went by, and I still didn't hear anything from the Apple Store.  I called them again, and eventually got word that it would be ready for pickup that night; I pressed for 6 PM and was told that the tech working on it would try.  Laura and I went back to the store around 6:15 PM... and now heard that the logic board was going to need to be replaced, too.  I wouldn't have to pay for that, at least, but they couldn't tell me how much longer I'd be without a laptop.  Unhappy but with no real options, I left the store with my love, grumbling about the customer service at both Apple and Jawbone that I'd loved so much before.

Well, I finally got good news from Apple on February 9th, and from Jawbone on the 12th.  The MacBook Pro and the UP band were both replaced with newer models, and all I needed to spend was a few bucks to ship my old UP back to Jawbone.  I've got a shiny new laptop with Mountain Lion, a faster processor, and double the hard drive capacity of my old one, and a new wristband to monitor my sleep and movement, and while I was irritated with both companies initially for the seemingly interminable delays in communications, in the end both came through.  Both the MacBook Pro and the UP by Jawbone wristband are holding up well so far.  Whew!  I've finally gotten around to revamping the and Web sites, too.  Some of the content still needs to be reformatted and put back up, but both sites are functional and laid out better than they had been.

CISPA?  Again?!?  Perhaps Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI) thinks we've forgotten what CISPA is, but along with the ACLU, the EFF, Mozilla, Reddit, former Representative and presidential candidate Ron Paul, the White House (for now, at least), and others, I'm still putting my foot down.  I've got some issues with piracy, and we need to be vigilant against true cyberterrorism, but the law is just too broad in its scope and in its immunity for businesses; the potential for abuse on both a corporate and a government level is alarming.  I'm against it whether you call it CISPA, SOPA, PIPA, DUPA, or anything else.

Slime is going to the Boston Comic Con!  Laura and I talked last year about the possibility of attending a comic book/science fiction convention at some point; neither of us has ever been to one, and now that we've got our own comic (a Webcomic, but still a comic), we've got even more reason to go.  We're not "exhibiting" or renting a table, but we'll be walking around the Comic Con at the Hynes Convention Center on Saturday, April 19th in our Slime T-shirts.  Let us know if you're going, too, and perhaps we can say hi!  There'll be buttons...  We'll actually head up to Massachusetts the day before, so my honey can visit WEBS, a serious yarn store, and we can spend a little time in and around Beantown, one of my favorite cities.

Another thing my fiancée and I are going to do together is tackle a 5K, in June.  She ran one the day before St. Paddy's, in Clinton, and is going to run another at the Bronx Zoo next month, but the Run 2 Glow 5K at Belmont Park is an untimed event, which makes it ideal for a non-runner like me.  It takes place at night, and there's glow gear and music and a party afterwards, and it just seemed like a fun time for us both.

The glow run is just over a week after Make Music New York, which is on a Friday this year.  Registration just opened up, so there aren't many venues listed yet, but hopefully I can pick one soon.  I may also find myself in a band later this year; my old friend (and occasional Not An Exit collaborator) Jon asked me last week if I'd be interested in joining a group of guys that have gotten together to do the music thing, and I think that perhaps I am, as long as the logistics sort themselves out.  Of course, I need to get back to my own music, too... but working on tunes with them will probably spur me to crank out more of my own.

So this is the kind of thing I mean when I say "Better that your life be a blur than a blurb."  This newly-sprung spring, while not especially warm just yet, will be busy, but it's a good busy.  Most importantly, I'm healthy and I'm happy and I'm in love.  How's things your way?

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