Wednesday, December 30, 2009

5 punk rock ways to pack light!

With increasing requirements by airlines, most people are forced to find ways to pack light in order to avoid extra baggage or weight fees. In my travels both on tour and for vacations, I've developed very punk rock methods that anyone can use to travel with the utmost efficiency.

5. Layer! Most punks will wear multiple layers of clothing. Not only is this a fashion statement, but it's practical! The more clothes you're wearing, the less you have to pack!

4. Don't own a lot. Hey, if you don't got much, you wont pack much. Or at least you wont feel bad about bringing everything you own.

3. The hoodie/pillow! When you lay down, take of your sweatshirt, roll it up, stick it under your head. When you wake up, unroll your sweatshirt, put it on.

2. Do your own laundry! Instead of packing a week's worth of socks, pack two pairs of socks and wash the pair you aren't wearing in any available sink. Wear one pair while the other pair dries, switch and repeat.

1. If you can't carry it, don't take it. This is definitely the most important point... I often see people at airports struggling to move their 4 bags from one area to the next. PROBLEM! If it's too much for you to carry, than it's too much for you to bring. There's a reason punks wear backpacks!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Why can't Dell ship to Japan?

So, last night the power supply on my laptop burnt up.
Normally this wouldn't be a huge deal, I'd just order and new one and then be up and running again in a few days. But this situation is not quite so simple for two reasons.

1. The laptop is about 2 years old and the battery is on it's last legs. I've decided not to buy a new battery because of the price, and just invest in a new laptop in a month or two.

2. I am leaving for Japan on the 31st of December and will be gone for more than two weeks.

So I made the decision to just buy a refurbished laptop from Dell Outlet instead of buying a new power supply for my old laptop. I spent extra money on express shipping, and then when I got my confirmation email the expected shipping date was January 4th. I really don't want to spend two weeks in Japan with no computer. I call up Dell, they say there's no possible way I can get the laptop before then because of the holiday. I get the address of the place I will be staying in Tokyo and call Dell again asking if I could just have the computer shipped to Tokyo. Apparently not.

Is it just me, or does Dell seem like too big of a company to not ship to Tokyo? Now I'm sure the company will do international shipping on new items (their website is translatable in like 100 languages after all), but for some reason they wont ship a refurbished laptop internationally.

So Dell, I am extremely frustrated. This will be my third refurbished laptop I have bought from you, and I can't even get it within the next 7 days... even though I paid for 2 day shipping.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

When your professional contacts outlive their use

In this age of communities, new-web contact lists, and instant messaging replacing the Rolodex, how does one not only "trim" their contacts... but also deal with the reactions.

In a recent posting, Chris Brogan discusses trimming down his facebook friends list, and his need to do a little cleanup on his extensive followers. Something I'm sure everyone does from time to time.
Now, I'd like to go one step further...

I wholeheartedly agree with Chris' point that these "friendships" and "followers" are simply data (don't get me wrong, Chris is not de-humanizing), but when you're working on a smaller scale like myself or many others, there may be some actual repercussions.
In the old days (haha yes I said old days) one could simply just remove a name from the Rolodex or toss out a business card and that was that. Currently though, when you remove a person from your "X" list, they know about it. So, how do you deal?

I've personally been put in a situation that makes it obvious that one of my useful contacts is no longer useful, both professionally and personally. Now I am faced with the issue of how to deal with this situation without making myself the bad guy and without affecting other relations.

Chris often talks about "building an army," but how does a dishonorable discharge affect the end goal?

Friday, December 11, 2009

My day with tech support

Today was not the best day recently. Not only did I get an email informing me that I did not get a job I was hoping to get, but I spent a large portion of my day fighting with my mother's home network.

When I could not return modem connectivity after reinstalling my mom's operating system I was forced to called Verizon Online tech support to see if I could get the issue sorted out.

Now, say what you will about tech support, outsourcing, and the like... I have had nothing but steller experiences with Verizon OL's tech support (their wireless is another story). Today I spent over three continuous hours on a single call with a tech rep who troubleshooted my connection, my modem, my router, my operating system settings, then doing it all over and over again. More interesting though, is the fact that I get this friendly and very capable service every time I deal with this company's tech people.

So, hats off to you Verizon tech support, and recruiters out there should probably be checking out Verizon's hiring practices. It works.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

So, life begins again

It's been awhile since I've blogged. My days of spilling my heart on livejournal are probably long gone. Even the occasional myspace blog has nearly dwindled to nothing over the last few years.

As of right now though, I've been out of college for about 8 months; the feeling is both liberating and maddening. With the freedom of not being in school full time since 6 years old, I think I should begin to develop my thoughts and observations in the new web... and hopefully make some friends along the way.