Another Day, Another Disabled Escalator

Another day, another disabled escalator at Copley Place.

Aside from several MBTA stations, I can think of no other place on my travels around the city of Boston that has broken down escalators more often than those in the Copley Mall. Considering this is supposed to be the ‘trendy’ mall for the city, you’d think it would be quite the opposite. There are three main sets of escalators that are the usual suspects for needing to find a detour around. The set by Louis Vuitton (pictured above with blurry cam!), the short set by the Gap, and the long set at the entrance to the Westin hotel area. Admittedly, I’m not even sure the Westin set falls under the Copley Mall, but the Mall is connected and this set is by far the biggest hassle when not working. There is no alternative stairwell nearby. One actually needs to walk into the hotel to use their escalator (which is always working) to get to the second floor that connects directly to the Mall.

That being said, escalators that are not workiong are such a common site everywhere that noone gives it a second look. These things have been around since the very late 1800‘s. You’d think that the technology would have progressed over a 100 years to a point where they were at least somewhat reliable.

Styrofoam Cup

Styrofoam Cups

The soda vending machine at work has been broken since Monday.

Most know that I do not drink anything carbonated (except beer, as infrequent as that is). This still holds true, but occasionally I will buy a bottle of water from the machine.

This is where you chime in and say ‘Water? From a vending machine? Use the tap, you arrogant jerk!’

We actually have a filtered water tap in the kitchen. The problem lies in the container. Normally I would buy a bottle of water from the vending machine and then use that to refill with the filtered water. Unfortunately, I was sick all last week. For that reason, I threw out my water bottle with the intention of buying a new fresh one. Naturally, I put my dollar in only to discover the machine said ‘Not in Service’ in its frustratingly mute block letters as it proceeded to eat my dollar. Talk about being a day late and a dollar short.

The only other containers I could use to fill with water were paper bowls and styrofoam cups. I’m normally not open to open containers of any liquid. I’m clumsy only at the worst possible times. I make myself so neurotically stressed out over stupid things like that, I get over precautious and end up making myself clumsy at, once again, the worst possible times. Styrofoam cups in a work environment are a symbol of neurotic stress to me because I’m petrified I’m going to spill whatever liquid it contains all over my computer, mp3 player, phone, monitor, network switch, paperwork, crotchular area of my pants and anything else in the immediate area that may cause me to lose work or draw otherwise undue attention.

With little other choice in site, I filled a styrofoam cup with filtered water and brought it back to my desk. I did not put it down. Instead I cleared an area of my desk. Not an area near my computer or anywhere close to anything, but literally a spot on my desk that is behind me when i face my computer. I blockaded one side of the space with an empty cardboard keyboard box and the other side has over a foot of clear space before a large dam of old specifications has been placed so no spilt water may damage my working livelihood. I placed the styrofoam cup in the center of this quaratined area of my desk.

Despite my neurotic precautions, I continue to look back throughout the day to make certain I have not somehow mentally forced the water to spill all over that area of my desk, all the while thinking to myself, ‘Is the vending machine fixed yet?’

Fighting the clutter

I’ve been making a determined effort as of late to clean my room. Some may think that just a matter of fact and not of much relevance. Its important to note, however, that I film all my Powet.TV videos from the confines of this space and presentation is very important in the filming process. Not only that, but I have a lot of things. These things are becoming harder and harder to keep track of. Lately, I’ve actually considered starting yet another blog to help me document the cataloging process of many of my possessions (toys!). Whether I do this or not is still to be determined, but I find it extremely comforting to know people of all levels of success suffer the same problem.

Tina Fey for example:

Al Gore certainly fits this category as well, but man does he have a sweet monitor setup.

Also, note how Tina uses post-it notes to organize!

From an American Express ad via


I have just watched what has to be one of the most inspiring lectures I will ever listen to in my life.

Randy Pausch is a professor at Carnegie-Mellon University. He has done a lot in his life. He was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He has somewhere between 11 to 15 tumors in his liver. He was told he has about three months to live and this lecture is one month into that timespan.

To view the entire lecture go here. If that link doesn’t work, here’s the actual address you need to open in your media player. (mms://

The lecture covered his dream goals in life and how he attained them, or not and how each achievement and rejection affected his life.

He marked out several specific well defined goals to achieve that for some are a far reach. Some of the goals included:

  • being in zero gravity
  • being Captain Kirk
  • playing in the NFL
  • becoming a Disney Imagineer
  • get published in the World Book Encyclopedia

Along the way, he hit many brick walls. From being rejected to Carnegie-Mellon to being denied by a Dean to become an Imagineer. He talked about each obstacle he faced and what he took away from it, successful or not.

“Brick walls are there for a reason: They let us prove how badly we want things” while keeping everyone else away. This was a key idea that he continued to bring back up throughout the lecture.

When he spoke about the Dean blockading his acceptance to be an Imagineer at Disney, he jokingly said that some brick walls are made of flesh. Joking aside, that is something that is true far more often, in my experience, than I’d care to admit. Another nugget he shared from this event was that “its important to know when you’re in a pissing match and to back out of it as soon as possible”.

Some other advice he shared included:

  • Decide if you are a Tigger or an Eeyore
  • Never lose that child-like wonder
  • Help others
  • Get a feedback loop and listen to it
  • Show gratitude
  • Don’t complain; just work harder
  • Be good at something; it makes you valuable
  • Work hard
  • Find the best in everybody

He also suggested what to do to get people to help you:

  • Apologize when you screw up
  • Focus on other people, not yourself
  • Be earnest
  • Tell the truth

The lecture was on the long side, but entirely worth every minute. I recommend everyone taking some time and sitting down to watch it.

“The brick walls let us show our dedication.”

Found on Digg.

Whale of a Dream

The other night I had this dream that I was on a ranch or something out in the mid-west maybe. I had this sprawling house, like in Casino, seemingly in the middle of all this land. For whatever reason, I was preparing for some sort of show. When I went outside in back, there was a corral, but the corral surrounded this enormous pool. Thats when I realized I was wearing a wetsuit and I was carrying a bucket of fish. All of a sudden, I’m at the side of the pool and the head of a humpback whale pokes out of the pool and I stuff a fish in its mouth. I tell some woman that I know they eat krill or something like that but its just easier to feed them fish. (I don’t know off the top of my head what they really eat, that was just in the dream.) This humpback whale was not the size of a normal humpback whale. It was big, but not that big. Maybe the size of an orca like Shamu. Then I notice there is a crowd surrounding us and now its more like a small stadium surrounding the corral. So I then jump in the pool and have the whale start doing tricks as though he were a dolphin. At another point I get on the whale’s back and the whale jumps out of the water through the air practically soaring through the air, then makes reentry into the water. I come to the surface and the people cheer. I gave the whale one last fish and then back into my sprawling house.

Apparently, I’m meant to be a midget whale trainer.

Nerd Talk

This is what toy nerds talk about online.

The figures in question are Hercules, Ultimate Iron Man and Planet Hulk. All from the Marvel Legends line from Hasbro.

Session Start: Sun Jan 28 17:33:01 2007
[17:33] Me: annihilus’ wing is kinda neat
[17:33] Brendan: you opened herc!
[17:33] Me: and iron man and hulk
[17:34] Brendan: hulk is one of the best legends ever
[17:34] Me: i don’t know about that, but I am pleasantly surprised with him
[17:35] Me: or suprisingly pleased
[17:35] Me: he is much bigger than i was expecting
[17:35] Me: thankfully
[17:36] Brendan: the accesories have a very nice texturing
[17:36] Me: as in lots
[17:36] Brendan: which is a very good thing
[17:37] Me: i like iron man except for his helmet
[17:39] Brendan: one of the arms on herc was nearly unmoveable
[17:40] Me: mines fine
[17:40] Me: that stupid grin on his face creeps me out
[17:42] Brendan: i find it funny because i have him peaking out from all my thors guys, like hey guys can i play too
[17:42] Me: he looks like the burger king
[17:43] Brendan: haha, he really does
[17:44] Brendan: thats probably why he’s called the prince of power, daddys the king
[17:44] Me: that makes it sound like she-ra is his sister
[17:45] Me: he-ra cles
[17:45] Me: prince of power
[17:45] Brendan: an unmade planned 2nd spin off…

Marvel Legends Hercules

Name Droppin

This weekend, Brendan, Thanh and I all went to a antique and collectible toy show in Dedham. It took us about 30 minutes to determine that no dealer at the show was selling anything we were interested. If I paid more than four dollars to get in, I might have been upset.

We decided to get lunch at a nearby McDonalds’, which of course meant that we had to stop by the Toys R Us on the way there. I picked up a Naruto GBA game. After I ate copious amounts of chicken and fries and the others got done with their MarioKart DS game, we headed out. We decided to try and salvage the day and go the Emerald Square Mall and go to Toy Vault, a vintage toy store that has a wide selection of toys from the 70’s and later. They have a very large section for Transformers.

When we got there, we hit up the Marvel Legends section. Brendan picked out the Scarlet Witch, which I had been searching for only to realize that the figure totally sucked. A voice behind us said something to the effect of “They’ve really dropped the ball with the female figures.” As I turned around I automatically asked if she had seen Hasbro’s Emma Frost which will be coming out next year. Half way through the question I looked and realized I was talking to an attractive female behind the counter. I stumbled through the rest of the short conversation, taken off guard and I’m sure made myself look like an idiot. A girl in a toy store is rare enough, nevermind one that can talk about toys with firsthand knowledge. I could see the shit-eating grin on Brendan’s face behind me without having to turn around as we moved on to the Transformers.

After milling about in the area for a while, a guy came over who also worked there and asked if I wanted to see anything. I nodded and asked to see one item in particular and as he handed to me, he asked me if I had seen it out of package before and proceeded to totally talk me out of buying it. Not that I had a problem with that, I was just taken off guard again.

After a while longer the girl came by again and asked if we wanted to see anything and I said I did again. This time I took a couple figures out and decided to get them. Brendan got a figure too. Thanh got some issues of Hobby Japan. The only person I’ve ever met that bought books in a toy store. I digress. I brought my figures to the front and they guy rang me up. While he rang me up, I mentioned that I run a site he might be interested in. He told me to write the url on the back of one of their business cards and he’d check it out. I wrote on the back of the card and handed it to him and took my toys. He looked at it funny and then looked at me. He then asked me if I knew Zac Shipley, to which I responded, “Yeah, I run that site with him.” He said he had seen the site advertised in Zac’s signature on the 2005 boards.

I asked him what his name was on the board and he told me a name he used to use when he was still active on an older board and I recognized it. I told him that I was crazyjaco and he said,”Wow, you’ve been around a long time too.” I nodded. Then I started plugging the site again and he said he’d check it out.

Then we left and I immediately called Zac and left a voicemail telling him his name got dropped.

Word is slowly spreading.

We’re taking this shit over.

The problem with fandoms

This is a bit of a rant, but I needed to get it out of my system.

There are two types of people in fandoms based around franchises.

The first type is the fan. The fan is a member of the fandom who really enjoys the franchise. By that, I mean they are actively engaged by the backstory and characters. They buy the merchandise because its fun or neat or interesting, in addition to being related to the main story. They enjoy it all, for better or worse.

The other type is the collector. All that matters is the merchandise. They have a language unto their own consisting of acronyms you need a pocket manual to understand. NRFB, MISB, NMOC, VHTF, to name a few. These people do not understand ‘playability’. They are driven to attain ‘completion’, or owning each figure in a certain line no matter its scarcity. Most of them do not even open their merchandise, in the hopes that some day a natural disaster will wipe out the collections of all the other collectors, driving the value of their collection through the roof.

Almost noone fits into any one category. Everyone has some of both types in them, but at the same time, everyone leans one way or the other. I like to think I lean toward the fan. I have had some moments in my past, where I have without a doubt leaned the other way, but mostly I am a fan. I concentrate my interest in the Marvel Comics franchise and the Transformers franchise. I make no secret about this, nor am I ashamed in any way. I enjoy my interests and seek out others who feel similar.

Lately, I have had the utmost pleasure in sharing my interests with others via I made a video showing a very cool toy and what I thought was so cool about it. At the same time, I also tried to share a little knowledge some people may not have known. I plan to continue doing this and have already filmed the second episode. It is currently being edited.

There is a site called It is a weekly Transformers podcast. I want to preface this by saying that I have only listened to a couple episodes, but I couldn’t really sit through them. The guy who runs it seems like a good guy. A fan, if you will. He did a review here. Very informative and concise. I look forward to the second part of the review. Another guy on that site though, has done about 11 reviews. You can see them here. My next video happens to be on one of the same figures the second guy did. Mine isn’t up yet, so I’ll stay away from that one, but he did do a 2 part review on Cybertron Primus, the same figure I did for the last video.

Compare them to understand why I felt the need to rant.

His Primus video: Part 1, Part 2
My Cybertron Primus Video

I had trouble watching that as an adult, nevermind any child that may come across it. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard someone so angry during a review, nevermind so off-base. I’m not sure what he was expecting the planet to do, but I don’t think he would have given it a good review no matter what it did short of fellating him. I know everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but come on guy. This is someone I would not consider a fan. I’m not just basing this off of one video. Watch the other videos. He could not be more inconsistent and miserable if he tried. Fan is one letter off from Fun, and that is not what this guy is about.

Whoop-dee-freaking do!

/end rant

[EDIT – CRAZY: Here’s my new video. Here’s his version.]