Category Archives: Life

100,000 Miles

2008 Nissan Xterra White Sands National Monument New Mexiso

This afternoon, while driving up to Dayton to celebrate Easter with my family and girlfriend, I’ll be passing over the 100,000 mile mark on my Nissan Xterra. Having a job where I work primarily from home, I don’t put as many miles on the truck anymore. So, this 100,000 milestone has been slowly approaching for some time. And, maybe because of that, I’ve thought about it quite a bit. At first, the thought seemed kind of sad—maybe sort of a reminder of the number of miles I’ve accumulated on my own mind body and soul. But a brief comment from my cousin—something to the effect of “it’s really more of a badge of honor than anything”—quickly changed my mindset.

I bought the truck brand new in January 2008. So every mile, except for maybe the 5 or 10 from the factory and dealership, are my miles—and they’ve been some great miles. Nearly 8,000 of them were accumulated in a short span of 33 days driving around the country in 2013—a trip I so vividly imagined during my first test drive.

So, yesterday, in preparation of today’s odometer turning, I gave her a bath. While, drying her off with a shammy, I inspected every ding, dent and scratch and I was reminded of each and every story of how they came to be.

This may all seem silly to be writing about such a thing, but, for me, it has been fun to think back about my last 7 years and how this truck has been a part of them.

Here is to another 100,000 miles!

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Last night, through some slight of hand, my four-week old iPhone 5s was stolen right in front of my eyes.

My friend and I were sitting down for a late dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings in Clifton. We had just come from the Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo. We were sitting at a four-top table. After giving our order with our server we placed our menus off to my right. A few minutes later I placed my phone on top of the menus.

After eating a steak wrap and wings, I was pretty messy. I decided to go to the bathroom to wash up. As I headed off, I recall purposely leaving my phone on the table. I didn’t want to pick it up and give any impression that I was walking off to use my phone in private.

When I returned, my phone was right where I left it.

Several minutes later, from my six, a very polite asshole walked up to my right and asked if he could take our menus. I looked up, he smiled, and I said, “Yes, absolutely!” Before walking away with our menus, he lingered for a bit and explained, “I didn’t want to just walk up and take your menus without asking.” I laughed and mentioned that I understood and he walked away.

A short time later, I looked around for my phone. It only took a few seconds for me to realize what had happened.

My friend immediately called my phone. It instantly went to voicemail.

A brief walk through the dining area revealed that the perpetrator had already left the premises.

I was duped.

You see, unnoticed by me at the time, the asshole already wielded a menu upon approaching me. He quickly placed that menu on top of my phone and other menus to conceal what he was really after. He was overly polite which quickly negated any suspicion that he might be up to something sketchy.

In an effort to locate the whereabouts of my phone I installed the Find My iPhone app on my friend’s phone. It only showed that my phone was turned off and the last known location was at the very location where I lost it.

A very helpful manager noticed my issue and offered to help out. Thanks to the security footage, she was able to confirm all the activities mentioned above. She offered to call the police. I hesitated, but finally agreed. We waited over an hour before finally leaving. The police arrived nearly 2 hours after being called.

The manager mentioned that they had similar reports of customers’ phones being stolen on the premises. I wonder if they’d consider posting a sign to warn their customers of the trend.

It sucks to have anything taken from you. But, after a bit of reflection, I think what really pisses me off the most is that what the asshole took from me was worthless to him. The iPhone 5s, when locked and in “Lost Mode” cannot be accessed by anyone. It cannot be unlocked. It cannot be jail broken. It cannot be used with another SIM card. It’s useless.

If by stealing from me that asshole could feed himself, his family or do something positive, I would feel slightly less shitty. But the fact that $750 worth of technology was taken, immediately rendered useless, and likely just thrown away, is painful.

Late January Update

Generally, I’ve been pretty busy lately. I wanted to take a minute to document some of the things I’ve been doing and thinking about lately.

My main priority right now is tackling as much client work as I can. I’ve been working with a couple of really great companies; Real Art (Dayton) and Touchstone Group Associates (Cincinnati). I also have a few independent clients that I’m working with also. I have a great mix work including web and motion design.

I recently filed paperwork (again) to from an Ohio LLC for my company, Building 13. I’ve also sent in paperwork to register a few additional spellings – “Bldg13” and “Building Thirteen.”

One of my roommates took a job in Chicago and will be vacating his room. Instead of looking for another roommate, I’ll be taking over his portion of the rent and his room as an office. My office has been in a corner of the dining room. Having an entire room for an office will be a much needed upgrade.

To relax on most week nights I play Call of Duty with friends. Then, later on, I sit in bed with my laptop trying to learn Ruby on Rails. I have big plans.

Thursday evenings are rec. league basketball. We are currently 5-0.

My to-do list:
Update and consolidate my online portfolio
Building 13 business cards (and stationary)
Create an about Building 13 video
Start a podcast (maybe more than one)
Take and publish more pictures

Things I’ve been enjoying:
Bracketface (Taylor, my girlfriend)
5by5 (specifically, Back to Work and Hypercritical)
Greyscale Gorilla
Daring Fireball (as always)
Cold War Kids (new album)
Adele (new album)


Great Expectations

One of the great things about blogging (especially as an unestablished blogger) is that you can write without feeling like it needs to be the quintessential post about a topic. It’s not a book. It’s not written in stone. You can always add to or better define your thoughts about that topic in a future a post.

I need to do a better job at understanding this. Too often I think about something I want to write about but fail to follow through due to my own unreasonable expectations of establishing complete domination of a topic in one short essay.

PS. I hate the terms blog, blogging, blogger, podcast & podcaster. But they are all things I plan on doing more of.

Taylor Vaca, A Playlist

Just before Taylor went on family vacation I told her I’d make her a playlist to take with her. What she didn’t know was that I really created it for me. I needed something to keep me satisfied until she came home. And for some reason good music helps when she is away.

For every trip she’s taken, I associate a song, album, or in this case, a playlist, to the time spent apart.

I’m glad you’re back babe.

iTunes link (partial playlist) here