Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Good times, good times indeed

Word to your moms, and since it was mom's day last week, I gave a bunch'a people a call and kind of caught them up with what's been happening in my life, sans you, the loyal blog reader.

So first, with the boring news, my blog is going to migrate over to the most advanced blogging platform in the near future, so it'll look all crazed in the very near future.

I haven't written in this blog in about a month, which seems to be the standard. Gone are the days of daily, neigh weekly, posts. Now, you've got to be able to stick with me through my crazy times, and what crazy times they've been.

I've been to LA three times in three months. You know how many times I flew before I moved to New York? Once. (Twice if you count the year later round trip from Tampa, FL.) Now that I've moved to New York, my life has changed in a lot of key areas. I think when one makes such a bold statement, it needs to be followed with bullet points. Here goes:


I've always had to pinch pennies in the past, and while that's definetely paid off with how I plan financially, now I can be kind of a New Yorker in the way I spend. When I left KSL, my pay more than doubled, but so did my cost of living. I've got a pretty posh standard of living, even though my rent is $1015 a month. Yes, that's how much my rent costs... and it's a deal.


While i've always considered myself quite the little social butterfly, in New York, I find it easier to talk to women. Maybe its the new job, maybe its the money (see reason 1) or maybe its the new found freedom i've aquired with a fresh start. In any case, it's definetely positive. I've gone on more dates since I moved here four months ago, than I did in my last two years in Northern Utah. (maybe like three, but hey, it's a start!)


So this little Project X thing is getting down to the wire, and soon we'll take the wraps off what is going to be a huge deal. Right now, I can say my bosses are pretty awesome. Jason Calacanis is a pretty visionary man, and while he kind of skips over the logistics sometimes (visionaries can't be constrained!) I've already learned a lot from him, and am looking forward to learning more. When we're just hanging out, sometimes I think to myself, "This crazy dude is my boss?!" but then when we have big meetings, he gets up and can answer every question and leave the room completely excited and satisfied all at once, that's when I realize how good business people stick to making profits, and great business people stick to making killer products for consumers. Sounds very dot-com bubbly to say "get the idea first, and we'll make money second," which isn't Jason's philosophy at all. He says, "get your users happy, make sure you're on the same team, make sure you're making money from day one, and you'll be fine."

Enough about Calacanis, since you could just google his name and find any number of blogs and rumor sites talking junk about the man. Let's get to the two people behind the scenes that shock and awe me: Brian Alvey and C.K. Sample.

Brian is the sort of guy that a lot of people don't necessarily get at first glance. The guy is wicked smart, wicked witty, and wicked.... awesome[?] (sorry, reaching for another adjective, came up blank.) He's thinking so fast, figuring out problems so fast and anticiptaing user reactions so fast that he can't help but make something awesome come out of his skull. He created Blogsmith, the platform that weblogs, inc. publishes on, and it's a really amazing peice of software. He also oversees project X, and makes sure that it's on track, and doing what it should be doing. Read his blog for his full history, but basically the guy is a genious, and I wish we got to hang out on a more regular basis.

Now, for the guy I hang out with on too regular of a basis (joking!) C.K. Sample. While his name oozes prestiege, Clinton Kennedy Sample, III, M.A., he's quick to point out he's a regular mortal just like the rest of us. The fool with the degreez hits me on AIM daily, and we figure out problems with Project X, he's my travel buddy (we've gone to every event together) and basically someone I really look up to. He's done pretty well for himself, as the author of PSP Hacks [By O'reilly... so buy it!] and as the lead for TUAW. His sarcasm and ability to help me with my weaknesses is much appreciated, and his ability to deal with people (and parrots) is on the scale we need for a manager.

As for my day to day job, I still haven't found out what it's going to be like. I've been helping with Weblogs, Inc. as a preperation for the real stuff I'll be doing on the road, but for now i've got to wrap that crap up and get some sales presentations ready.

While I don't know what my daily job will be like yet, I do know I've got an AOL assigned 17" monitor, 24" monitor, and there's a MacBook Pro with my name on it headed toward the Upper East Side. Yay!


As an extension to point number one, my gear library has grown extensively. Yes, I'm wasting money on consumer electronics, but you know what? I'm 21, and I get the privelage of wasting my salary on consumer electronics. I'm working on my stock portfolio strategy, and i figure within the next year, i'll start saving for retirement. Till then, i'm going to keep blowing cash the old fashioned way.

Gear I've picked up since NY:
  1. Shure E2C headphones [lost]
  2. Shure E3C headphones
  3. Treo 650 [lost with the headphones in JFK airport last week...]
  4. HTC Wizard (Cingular 8125)
  5. 60 GB iPod
  6. Xbox 360
  7. Sweet bed frame / desk thingy
  8. Linksys Router
  9. Company Assigned gear
So i'll go through the list fairly rapidly. I had some E2C headphones, which i strongly recommend if you want to spend some money, but the E3C replacement ones aren't really worth the extra cash. Word of warning.

Treo 650 was pretty cool, but with the loss of it, I knew it was time to ditch Palm. You see, I haven't had the best luck with Palm. First, I broke something in the screen of my Zire 71 (digitzer or the LCD or something....) and replaced it successfully. Then, the Zire winds up missing. Fast forward to the Treo, lost in an airport. It's not Palm's fault, but I don't like the streak of luck i've had. The HTC Wizard is a really sweet phone (if I can figure out how to transfer my Verichat Lisence, that is)

I've had a 3g iPod, and I've always said that was my favorite iPod design. The 5g iPod, however, was a work related necessity. I was really holding out for the Toshiba GigaBeat S series, but some crafty fast talk from the higher ups, and I was forced reminded that it is the most popular player, and I should test my podcasts etc on it. Why the 60 GB? Because i'm a consumer whore.

As for the Xbox 360, realistically, it serves no useful purpose. In fact, to the contrary. I gaurentee i'll waste more time playing Project Gotham Racing or Geometry Wars than I should. Gaurentee. (Side note, I bought that yesterday, the same day as the 8125, and basically spent way too much money all in one day.)

The other stuff isn't important for their own paragraph, so I'll sum it up: my router rocks, my loft bed is basically where I live, and AOL is giving me some awesome equipment to do video with (FX1, Quadcore G5, MacBook Pro, 2x24" monitors at the office, 1x24" monitor at home, etc.)

Half an hour later, I'm only to the end of gear? BLAST! I know if I stop now, I won't post for another month. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to stop. I'll post more.... probably after the site launches and i get some down time. In the mean time, to bed I go.



Coming up on the next post:
Nintendo World
The Nintendo Wii
Why I bought an Xbox 360 (and initial impressions!)
Why I won't buy a PS3 (basically the same as why I bought a 360)
Shout outs to Ryan Block and Peter Rojas (seriously, I shoulda included it on this post, but outta time!)
Anything else you fools comment on.


testmonkey said...

imagine my surprise when my RSS reader lit up your feed this morning. "Egads!" I declared. "Randall is not swimmin' with da fishes in NYC!"

Thanks for the update. Try to remember us little people, m'kay?

c.k. said...

Way to butt-kiss, Randall. ;-)

Haha. Just kidding. You rule, kid. Happy to have you on board kicking ass daily.