Devil’s Night a.k.a. “I Remember Halloween”

Filed under:Detroit, Girlie Pics, Halloween, Holiday, Horror, Images, Life Thoughts — posted by Jasper on 2010/11/02 @ 10:15 AM

The Misfits — Halloween.mp3
Ok. Halloween is over. This year was a good one, because it was the first Halloween that I spent in Austin. Compared to Detroit, there were several things that I did not experience and kinda miss.
The biggest difference…
There’s no such thing as “Devil’s Night” in Austin.
My reaction was…
Now, I’m curious as to what areas outside of Detroit celebrate and experience Devil’s Night.
For anyone who is unaware, Devil’s Night is the night before Halloween, where you and your friends go out and vandalize your neighbors’ property.
I have participated in Devil’s Night once or twice when I was much younger.
I stuck to the harmless pranks like, throwing rolls of toilet paper over the neighbors’ trees, writing on windows with bars of soap and maybe some egg throwing.
However, Devil’s Night has now become a 3 day event that is perpetuated by sociopaths who have no respect for their own community.
However, in some of the worst areas, cars, homes and commercial buildings were set on fire and other things were spray painted to celebrate “Devil’s Night”.
There was a time, when folks in neighboring areas would stand on their roofs to watch parts of the city burn.
This years arson count is up 169, compared to last year’s 119 fires
Most communities have implemented neighborhood watch initiatives and the media has been semi-successful in changing the name from “Devil’s Night” to “Angel’s Night”.
However, I will always refer to October 30th as “Devil’s Night”.
I hope everyone had safe Devil’s Night and Happy Halloween.
Thanks for Reading.

Moving Disaster.

Filed under:Life Thoughts — posted by Jasper on 2010/10/08 @ 1:31 AM

Hey Friends. I generally like to keep all of the things I share here pretty friendly and positive.

However, I feel like I would be doing my readers, their friends and their relatives a huge disservice if I dont at least share my recent experience hiring 2 organizations to move my belongings from Detroit to Austin.

I will try to keep this brief, while getting my message across loud and clear.

I had the worst week of my life just over a week ago.

This was partially my fault because I didnt do my internet research before choosing a company to move my things.

The nationwide moving business is quite a crooked one that is controlled by people that are not required to be held accountable by any legislation.

I was given an excellent price to move my things from Detroit to Austin.

I chose to hire a moving broker. That was my first mistake.

Moving brokers are sales organizations for the most part.

The broker that I chose was Budget Van Lines, based out of New York, not to be confused with a more reputable company, Budget Truck Rental.

My sales representative was Brad Joiner.
He can be easily reached at 800.611.6001 ext 771.
Feel free to get creative and tie up his phone line for a laugh.

After selling the job, an organization, AllState Relocation, located outside Los Angeles was brought in to move the items from my storage location in Detroit to my home in Austin.

After collecting $1200 and all of my possessions, the balance upon arrival was to be $600.

After picking up my things, I was informed that due to a difference in weight from the original estimate, the new balance on arrival would be $3300.. and the load was scheduled to arrive in less than 10 days.

I then decided to do research on both companies and found that this was a common practice cleverly designed to extort money from people like me.

No new contract or invoice was prepared to document the increase in price.
..and Trust me, I requested one over and over.

My options were…
1. Pay Allstate Relocation the $3300 they requested
2. Let Allstate Relocation keep my things and pay storage and additional costs, while I raised the balance.
3. Let Allstate Relocation keep my items while a formal complaint was processed and a civil trial was arranged.
4. Give Allstate Relocation my things to auction off and let them keep the $1200 that I had already paid them.

I decided to go with option 1.

I will spare you the bloody details and just say…
The good news is, I have all of my things–some damaged.
The bad news is, I now owe a lot of people money.

I learned that I have amazing friends and family who are very understanding and giving when a person in my situation really has no other options.

Many of the people who helped me out were folks who I’ve met through doing my podcasts and never met face to face.
This humbles me and makes me strive to deliver content that I deem great, regularly, and be the best that I can be in all of my internet endeavors.

I have made a lot of statements in today’s post.
Here is the one thing that I would like to be relayed to everyone…

Before making a high priced purchase for an item or service, Google it and do the necessary research.

After reading reviews of Allstate Relocation and Budget Van Lines on citysearch, yahoo and The Better Business Bureau websites, I found out that I really made a poor and impulsive decision.

Thanks for reading.

My Recent Computer Upgrade Project

Filed under:Apple/Mac, Computers, Life Thoughts — posted by Jasper on 2010/09/12 @ 3:46 AM

I recently upgraded and partitioned the hard drive in my 17″ Intel iMac recently.
Texas heat really makes me worry when I’m deep in a graphic or audio project and I feel that my computer is running too hot.
I did some research on upgrading the hard drive to allow me some additional storage and to put less stress on the processor.
Let me rewind…
I’ve owned two iMac G5s that have overheated and died before I purchased the machine I’m working on now.
The G5s are VERY easy for any novice to upgrade. The back comes off when 3 screws are loosened. After that, the components are easily accessible.
I’ve upgraded a hard drive and an optical drive on my old G5s.
Click here for a tutorial with some photos.
Now, back to upgrading my Intel iMac…
The Intel iMacs are more complex to work on. All of the components, like the hard drive, are BEHIND the display(screen) and covered with a heavy foil that is held on tightly with a very strong adhesive.
Click here for a tutorial to upgrade the hard drive on an iMac with an Intel processor.
I read through the tutorial months before I had the confidence to attempt the procedure.
So.. What’s the point of sharing this in my blog??
This is my way of encouraging you to do the thing that you think you might not be capable of doing.
I know I saved at least $100 or $200 by doing this myself instead of taking my computer to a professional.
..a couple more things..
I partitioned my hard drive, which I’ve never done.
In some ways, it was a more involved procedure that required more online research.
Click Here and Here for some helpful websites with info on partitioning your hard drive and creating disc images.
Lastly, I got a rad deal on my hard drive at Fry’s, but their tools are overpriced, compared to Home Depot.
Thanks for Reading.

Motivation. Inspiration. …and Lack Thereof.

Filed under:Graphic Design, Life Thoughts — posted by Jasper on 2010/08/14 @ 4:03 AM

I tend to be attracted to projects and activities that allow me to be creative and independent on some level.

Graphic design. Playing and writing music. Podcasting. Woodworking/Building. Decorating/Organizing. Cooking. Business/Marketing projects and now, blogging/writing.

I’ve learned that when some things in my life are not properly aligned and there are no tangible consequences, I lose my motivation and inspiration to continue producing consistent work.

I feel super motivated this week because I created a gig poster for a band that I love and support, The Dollyrots. The poster is for their new record’s release party in Los Angeles, the city where they are based.

As a person who used to be in a band with a record, I’ll say that a record release show in your hometown is one of the more important and sentimental shows that you will ever play. You might get more gigs playing in front of a larger crowd or opening for your favorite band, but at a record release party in your hometown, all of your friends/fans show up and to hang out and appreciate the music that you spent hours and days and weeks writing and recording, not to mention the time that goes into package design and other things.

The graphic for the gig poster was mainly created to commemorate the event and hang onto as a keepsake for the fans, but more importantly the bands that played. I’ll post the image later.

As the designer, if I dont complete the job on time or give the band something they would be happy to share and admire for years after the event, I feel like I would have struck out in a big way and that would be my consequence.

Working on this project this week has both inspired me and motivated me to continue to produce creative work more regularly on some level whether there are consequences or not.

Whether it be something like a graphic design project or something as simple as attempting a new recipe or reorganizing the garage, I need to stay motivated and inspired to continue doing these things. I also need to stay aware of what inspires me, what motivates me and if I do not produce… what are the consequences?

If you share some of my personality traits, you should also continue to ask yourself these things…

What motivates you? What inspires you? Will you have consequences if you do not produce?

Make a list if necessary.

Thanks for reading.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Filed under:Life Thoughts — posted by Jasper on 2010/04/29 @ 2:42 AM

I’m at a point in my life where I should have a better grasp on my priorities, but I dont and I’m fine with it. In fact, I make myself proud.
Right now, I’m unemployed, without a steady income, and would rather go out for dinner and drinks with friends or go to a rock show once in a while than pay all of my bills on time.
My thought is, bills will always be there and I’ll pay when I’m able to.
In some circles I might be considered an entrepreneur, a risk taker.
The term entrepreneur is used mostly in business when one invests money in something with hopes to grow his or her investment.
I feel that I am investing money in my personal happiness.
I know that this phrase is very cliche, but “Carpe Deim.”
Those really are words to remember when making decisions as to how you want to spend your free time and live your life.
Try to think of the big picture as much as possible.
(I have life goals. I’ll share them in upcoming entries)
Another cliche, but very relevant to this thought is… “You Could Die Tomorrow”.
Death is not something that I think about, but I do know that I’m not getting any younger. Therefore, I want to take advantage of every opportunity to do things that make me happy. Sometimes these things are not exciting things(like eating out), but they do cause me to spend money that I dont have.
I don’t want to encourage folks to spend money carelessly or make poor financial decisions, but just be aware of what makes you happy and choose your own adventure.
This entry was originally going to be a review of The Donnas show that I attended over the weekend. It was a charity event for breast cancer and the $24 ticket price was higher than a normal rock show. It was an amazing performance. I had fun with friends and I’m very glad I decided to go, rather than stay home.

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace