Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Off to Austin (Texas, that is)

For everyone who has been asking over the last several months, I found out that I'm getting transferred to Austin, Texas for my imminent job promotion. I'll be doing technical field sales for my company and be responsible for supporting and increasing sales in Texas. When am I gone? Mid-October. It'll be a big change, but God is good.
To all those in Illinois - high school friends, church friends, work friends, camp friends, college friends, and others - I have enjoyed calling each and every one of you my friends and getting to know you (some more than others). I hope that I get a chance to see all of you in the next 4/5 weeks before I leave. If not, call me if you're ever in Texas. I'll be happy to share my place or meet up.
As for this blog and my other one, I plan on continuing to use both of them.  This one will be for random thoughts and stories, whereas the Fourth Photography blog will be mainly for my photographic interests.  Also, I plan on actually utilizing my domain name and creating a website for, but that won't be for a little while.  I have to let my portfolio continue to expand and then learn some kind of web programming.  We'll see.
Anyways, it's off to Austin.  But there will probably be more blog posts before then.  Stay tuned!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Music Adventures

Three things for this post:

Internet/Mobile Music - if you haven't checked out Grooveshark yet, you're a complete loser.  Checking out Grooveshark may not help you with your "loser-ness," but it will make you much more informed about internet music.  My guess is that you and your friends all still "YouTube" songs that you want to hear.  That's dumb.  YouTube is for videos; Grooveshark is for music.  Not only does it have a great selection of music, you can create playlists, store songs in your Grooveshark library, and download a mobile app for these phones (psych! not the iPhone).  To get full functionality on the site and the mobile app, you will need to sign up for a "VIP" account - a reasonable $3/month.  Even without the VIP account, it's much better than any other online music streaming site.

old logo - CD + cool blue circle = iTunes 10 logo
Social Music - iTunes 10.  But more specifically "Ping."  I'm not too sure how Ping works yet, but I did sign up last night.  I guess you can follow your friends, favorite artists, and people you don't even know!  So it's like Twitter + iTunes = Ping.  Since there are millions of people with iTunes accounts, it's a good concept, but we'll see how it works out in practice.  I'm not sure why you'd want to know about the musical tendencies of people you don't know.  Final thought - which sounds less masculine? "I just pinged!" or "I just tweeted!"

Good Music - If you're a fan of Iron & Wine, Brand New, Kevin Devine, Manchester Orchestra, Colour Revolt, Dear and the Headlights, or Winston Audio, you need to listen to Right Away, Great Captain!  Check out the first song on their album "The Eventually Home" on Grooveshark.  The band is a side project of Andy Hull, the lead singer of Manchester Orchestra, and has produced two of a planned three total albums.  All three are written from the viewpoint of a 17th century sea captain who caught his wife cheating on him with his own brother.  The third album is planned for release later in 2010 and supposedly begins at the point in the story where the captain is standing over the dead body of his brother who he has just killed.  Sounds strange, but the music is well written, well performed, and definitely worth a listen.  I mean, how many bands do you know are completely formed around the character of a 17th century sea captain?

P.S. - Another song worth your time is (Fork and Knife) by Brand New.  Listen here and check out the amazing lyrics here.

That's all for now.  Check out my new photography blog while you're surfing around the internet.

Monday, August 9, 2010

fourth photography


I have lost the initiative to define this blog and have instead turned my attention to my photography blog.  I still plan on writing in here on occasion, but I recommend all followers to direct their inquisitive eye to fourth photography.  Hopefully, it will be worth your time.  Please let me know if you have any photography related questions.  I'd love to answer them or find out the answer for you.

See you there.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Next Bride to Be? Probably Not.

Beautiful bridal bouquet that won't bring any good luck to anyone

Fairbury, IL - A recent study has shown that the lucky "single lady" who catches the bridal bouquet during the traditional "catch the bridal bouquet" activity at every single American wedding is not necessarily the next girl among the group to get engaged.  Actually, she's usually not the next one to get engaged.  This news, after many years of believing the contrary, has some women confused, disappointed, and even angry.

Jana Williams of Morton, Illinois recently caught the bouquet shown above during a wedding in central Illinois.  She said that she jockeyed for position and "boxed out" several eager bridesmaids for her chance at imminent engagement.
"I really thought that if I caught it, that meant for sure that I'd be the next one to get a ring.  I was all pumped up too!  With that Beyonce song in the background, it was amazing when the bouquet landed in my arms.  Hopefully, I didn't hurt anyone in that mosh pit.  I just wanted the bouquet!"
Ms. Williams isn't alone.  The unfortunate news has caught many women secretly hoping to be engaged by surprise across the country.  Ladies, take heart in the fact that if he likes it, he'll most likely put a ring on it.  But it won't have anything to do with some other girl's flowers you caught at some other wedding.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The CEO Said "No!"

As you all may have noticed, I haven't posted any pictures or updated at all regarding my promised trip to Eindhoven, Holland.  That is partially due to the fact that my trip got canceled, and partially due to...  Actually, it's 100% due to the fact that my trip got canceled.  After reviewing the list of people who the company had planned to send to The Netherlands (which is the same country as "Holland" in case any of you were confused - kind of like Canada and "America's Hat"), the CEO decided that they didn't need as many people as was initially thought.

My co-worker, Eric Lisle, got the nod and is currently overseas.  Why did they cancel my trip and not his trip, you ask?  Mainly because my plane ticket was $600 more expensive, but keep in mind that they already decided that they didn't need as many people as they had planned to send.  I've gotten over it, despite the decision to outline some positives and negatives of not going to Holland (seen below).

I had already begun studying Dutch quite intently.  I know how to say "September," "rainy," and "black pepper" thanks to the Dutch app that I have since deleted from my iPhone.  Dutch pronunciation is really strange - I think I'll stick to Spanish and Japanese.
- I had already contacted everyone I know who had lived in the Netherlands, been to the Netherlands, thought about going to the Netherlands, has a Dutch sounding name, or who had seen a Van Gogh painting at some point.  They were a big help in preparing me for my non-existent trip.
- With regards to money, I added (and have since removed) a $5.99 feature to my iPhone plan that allowed me to make calls while overseas for only $0.99/minute.  And I canceled a wedding photography gig this weekend that would have paid me $300.  My company now owes me a trip to Holland and $305.99.
- I spent a couple hours (on and off) packing on Thursday night, as well as a couple hours (on and off) unpacking last night.  If time is money, then my company continues to rack up the debt.
- Finally, I didn't get to go to Holland and rub elbows with the CEO, the COO, and lots of Dutch people.


- I get to watch the Blackhawks-Sharks Western Conference Final playoff series.  You might think this isn't a big deal.  You might say, "Why are you even thinking about hockey if you've got the opportunity to go to The Netherlands?"  On the first point, you're wrong.  It is a big deal.  On the second point, it's not like I would turn down the trip to watch hockey, but now that I'm not going, I DO get to watch it.
- My fantasy baseball teams won't be neglected.
- I get to spend two weekends with my girlfriend, who unknown to me has her own blog.  We wouldn't have seen each other for 6 weeks if I would have left!
- I'll get to attend the 4 golf lessons I would have missed while i was in Einhoven.  So far my 6-iron has really improved, but my woods still need lots of work.

In summary, the difference between going to The Netherlands and not going can be summed up in the below pictures.  Instead of taking pictures of Amsterdam like the one on the left, I end up taking pictures of my ingenious idea to heat up my poptart on my beverage warmer.  Oh well - I guess I'll have to wait till the next "opportunity of a lifetime" rolls around...

 warming up my afternoon snack! mmmm, poptarts... on Twitpic

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum - Eindhoven, The Netherlands

I just found out that I'll be leaving for Eindhoven, The Netherlands this Saturday to assist with some shipping/distribution issues that my company is having at the facility there.  A co-worker and I will be there for two weeks, returning May 29.  Eindhoven is home to the main European distribution center for my company.  They are experiencing a "huge" backlog due to the recent volcano situation among other things.  I don't have many more details at this time.

I do know that I'll be bringing along my new Nikon D300 and a couple lenses to take some (hopefully) amazing pictures.  My coworker and I are planning to take the train to Amsterdam sometime during our stay in the Netherlands - most likely during the one full weekend that we are there.  I will have a computer and my iPhone with me (which I will switch to "Airplane Mode" and use only when I'm connected to free Wi-Fi), so I'll be able to blog and keep everyone updated.  I'll probably post some pictures on my blog, but they will all link to my Flickr account here - Fourth_Photography.  Keep an eye on my Twitter account for timely and concise updates too if you're interested.

P.S. - Sorry I've been lacking in the blog posts.  Many other things have been grabbing my attention, and I have not been dedicated to sitting down and writing anything.  Sometimes I feel like I need to write something revolutionary or hilarious every time I post.  Not true.  Keep checking back, as upcoming posts should be more frequent (and interesting while I'm in Holland).

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Please, Federal Government, Don't Get Involved

I know that I promised a blog entry according to the outcome of the recent poll (thanks for voting), but I heard a story on the news today (read about it here) that really caught my attention as an American.  I need to voice my opinion.

In summary, a small Florida airline, Spirit Airlines, will start charging its passengers $45 to check a carry-on bag starting on Aug. 1!  ONE carry-on bag costs you $45!  This might sound crazy - a ridiculous price to pay for wanting your laptop, bookbag, or iPad on the plane as entertainment.  And, in fact, I believe it is completely absurd.  But that news isn't even the appalling part of the story...

 "No no no.  That's not even the appalling part," says Charles Schumer.

The FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, specifically Six Democratic Senators headed by Charles Schumer (pictured here) of New York, wants to hit the airline with a TAX to prevent this from happening.  The first thing that went through my mind was the follwing: "Why doesn't Spirit have the right to charge whatever the heck they want without the GOVERNMENT getting involved?!"  As a business entity, they have the Constitutional right to run their company however they please.  "But that's completely unfair to the customers who have to pay $45!" some would say.  "If the government taxes them, they will lower their prices and everything with return to normal."  How about we just give the government all the control?  Let them set prices, wages, health care benefits, etc.  With the powerful Federal Government protecting us, we won't have to worry about the "unfair" world around us.  I hope you sense the sarcasm, and if you're interested, keep reading.

Using a model simple enough for a 6th grade economics class (do those exist?), suppose there are two coffee shops - both with equally satisfying product and atmosphere, both equally convenient for the customer.  One charges $1.75 for a cup of coffee, and the other charges $5 per cup.  Both have the equal right to set whatever price they want (and should be able to hire whomever they want, and set wages at whatever level they want - but that's another discussion for another time).  The smart consumer will choose the cheaper coffee, right?  This will lead to decreasing sales for Coffee Shop B and will force their hand.  They can either go out of business because their prices are too high, or they can lower their prices DUE TO THE COMPETITIVE NATURE OF THE FREE MARKET SYSTEM.  I think you see where I'm going with this.

You would think it's absurd if the coffee drinker went to their senator looking for a tax on "overpriced coffee"  when they can simply choose the other coffee shop.  I think it's absurd that these six (Democratic) senators feel the need to barge into the free-market system and impose a government tax on this airline company.  Let the market decide.  Let the customer choose not to fly Spirit.  Let the American economic system do its part to decide what an acceptable fee is for carry-on bags, or cable television, or scented candles, or coffee.  But please, Federal Government, don't get yourself involved.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Twelve Years Later, Shirt Finally Fits

By Bill Wilson, Senior Writer, World Wide Wilson

CHICAGO - If you're from Chicago, you remember the day.  You remember where you were, who you were with.  Whatever the scenario, you were listening to Bob Costas:

"Seventeen seconds... from Game 7 or from championship number 6.  Jordan... (crosses over Bryon Russell) Open...  (MJ hits 'The Shot')  Chicago with the lead!"

Lifelong Chicagoan and Bulls fan Rob Borski was at a local watering hole that night, wearing the Bulls "3-Peat" championship shirt he had bought 5 years earlier.  He says that he'll never forget that night.  "I remember it vividly," Borski says with his thick southside Chicago accent.  "I remember it so well because when MJ made dat shot, I jumped out of my chair and spilled thick & chunky salsa all over my favorite Bulls shirt!  Now dat sucked."

Although this sounds like an unfortunate outcome from an otherwise amazing night, Borski wasn't too upset.  "Well, after they won, I thought - 'Hey! I'll just get a "Repeat 3-Peat" shirt!  Ya know?  I mean, it was da perfect solution.  I woulda just got on the internets and bought one the next day, but my cousin messed up the installation of the new AOL 4.0 disk we got in da mail.  I thought he knew what he was doing.  Guess not..."

After a long night of partying with "some of da guys," Borski says that he slept in the next day and didn't get around to looking for a shirt until a couple days later.  But by that time, they were all sold out... except for one.  A slimmer, 25 year old at the time, Borski was just looking for a medium, white t-shirt.  The only one he could find - an XXL.

"I didn't really have any choice.  The championship parade was da next day, and I couldn't be seen wearing dat salsa-stained shirt from '93.  So I went ahead and bought it.  I mean, I had to."  The shirt served him well at the parade and the Championship party in Grant Park.  But due to its XXL size and the ensuing collapse of the Bulls dynasty, it was soon relegated to the back of his drawer as a "pajama shirt."  An inauspicious end for a shirt that "meant so much."

Almost 12 years have passed, and Rob Borski is not quite the same guy that he was back then.  Married for ten years and now with 3 kids,  Borski not only has a different lifestyle, but he has put on a few pounds.  Some might even call him "fat."  His excuse is quite simple, though.

"My wife is a good cook.  What can I say?  She makes da best pierogies south of Comiskey."  Thoughfully, he adds, "Yeah, there are negatives to da extra pounds - my back hurts sometimes, I don't have da agility I once did.  But dat shirt.  I love dat shirt."

Yes, after 12 long years of exile, that "Repeat 3-peat" shirt - now a collectors' item - finally fits Rob Borski.  It's a good thing he didn't buy a Medium.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gate 21

As I write this, I’m finishing off an East Coast business trip for the first time.  It’s been a while since I’ve been to New England – since I visited New York in the summer of 2004 with my family.  Although, I’m not sure I consider New York part of New England.  As everyone who has been on a business trip (or any kind of trip) knows, they usually start and end at an airport – a place of business and busyness.  But the hustle and bustle of the security checkpoints is offset by the atmosphere of the gates - waiting.

Gate 21 – The dude sitting across from me in Timberlands bobbing his head to the music emanating from his oversized headphones.  The glasses-clad student next to him reading an unknown book on his Kindle.  The three men, likely ticketed for first class, exchanging handshakes and a casual laugh in their oxfords and ties.  The old woman, whose wrinkles decorate her face like rings on a tree, wistfully looking out the window.  The redheaded girl with the oversized watch.  The young professional finishing off a business trip typing notes on his iPhone for a future blog entry.

Although we will probably never interact, minus the occasional eye contact or friendly smile to break the eye contact, at this moment we all have something in common. All are waiting for the same thing – Flight 483.  Whether the destination is home, or as far away from home as possible, we are all in the same place, at the same time, for the only time ever.  Waiting.  Each with different circles of friends - people I'll most likely never meet.  Different pasts, different thoughts, and different dreams of the future.  Completely different, but our separate worlds collide in this place. For an hour or so, we are neighbors.  The reflection of the setting sun from the recently polished walkway floors is illuminating all our activities.  The sounds of rolling luggage, overhead jet engines, and women's heels on the aforementioned floor fill our ears.  We are all waiting.  Calmly waiting in stark contrast to the business and busyness of the airport around us.  Calmly waiting at Gate 21.

“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.  At this time we will begin the boarding process for United Airlines flight 483 to Chicago.”

Restart the busyness.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Twitter vs. Facebook, Chapter 1

The age old (or three year old) debate rages on... Facebook or Twitter?  I'm going to lay out the case for both in the blog tonight.

I want to make it clear from the start of this entry - not only do I use both Twitter and Facebook, but I like both social media sites and use them for different purposes.  This blog post is not going to be me making a case for one site or the other.  Instead, I plan on educating those still in the dark about the pros and cons of both in several categories.

Twitter - the first thing you have to understand about Twitter is that you cannot use it like Facebook.  Unlike your initial impression, it's not just a website overloaded with status updates and nothing else.  Think of it more as a constant stream of 140 character information/news/gossip/knowledge/links/etc. - the SMS of the internet.  If you use it correctly, it's a highly personalized "waterfall" of all the stuff that interests you (see my previous post for some stuff that interests me).  Due to this reason, Twitter has become one of the main outlets for self-promotion, PR, news, and even customer service for online companies.

Facebook (originally "[thefacebook]" if you were cool back in 2004) - if I really have to describe how to use Facebook, you should probably just quit this whole "world wide web" thing.  Go over and turn on your black and white TV, use that rotary phone of yours, and continue on with your life never having cyber-poked anyone.  All kidding aside, Facebook is much more catered to those of us who want to keep our friends/acquaintances/ex-girlfriends/lab partners from freshman year all in one convenient location so that we can keep them constantly updated with pictures, videos, Farmville neighbor requests, and "what's on our mind."  This is Facebook's main purpose.

Facebook used to call these "status updates," but now I'm not sure if they are called "news," "posts," or "stories."  Facebook just wants to know what's on our minds.  Just recently FB implemented a more complete search function that allows you to search the web and on the site for "stories," groups, and pages - a feature that was very lacking before.  Facebook also included the "mention" feature to directly mirror Twitter's @username function.  All facebook updates are limited to 420 text characters but can be photos, videos, links to other websites, events, or just plain text.  A few things Facebook has that Twitter for sure doesn't have... comments, likes, and Doppelganger Week!!

Twitter obviously calls these "tweets."  My guess is that the whole idea of Twitter came from the phrase "a little birdy told me," which makes the whole idea a little more feminine just due to that concept.  How many guys can say "I just tweeted about that on Twitter" without sounding a slight bit homosexual?  Probably just this guy, not that he would have ever used Twitter.  Since Twitter is limited to 140 characters, URL shortening websites such as,, and have all become very popular.  Every character is valuable in your tweet.  The "comment" and "like" functions of Facebook are replaced with the "retweet" function in Twitter (read an explanation below).  A few things that Twitter has that Facebook doesn't have are hashtags (words or phrases preceded by # that tag or characterize the tweet), trends, and customizable profiles.

Facebook actually invented the word "friends" (yes, this means that Rachel, Phoebe, Monica, Ross, Chandler, and Joey were all on Facebook before anyone else).  Being able to let everyone that you know (keep that phrase in mind) aware of what you are doing or thinking about is why Facebook was invented in the first place.  Your friends can join you for events, buy things in Marketplace (who uses that, though), and be part of the same groups as you are, among lots of other things.  This has its pros and cons, though, as I'm sure all of you have experienced.  One of the main cons is that your parents, relatives, and high school teachers are all probably your "friends" now and have seen all your drunk frat party pictures.  I miss the good old days when it was just college students... oh wait, I graduated.

Twitter doesn't have "friends."  Twitter has "followers."  If your tweets are unprotected, these followers can be people you know or complete strangers (there is the option to block people).  Even scarier, your tweets can even show up on Google search!  If you follow lots of people, the chances are that more people will start following you.  Having a large number of followers is good for your exposure.  As people start reading your tweets and "retweeting" (RT) your tweets, all of their followers see what you wrote too, which hopefully starts a chain reaction (based on the quality of your tweet).  This is why news and gossip spread so quickly on Twitter compared to Facebook.  Example: Wyclef Jean tweets something about Haiti.  His 1.38 million followers all see that tweet on their homepage.  If 250,000 of them RT that info, then all of their followers see it too, most of whom aren't following Wyclef Jean.  THE COOLEST THING about Twitter, though, is that you can follow any collection of blogs, celebrities, news, websites, and friends that you want, thereby creating your "waterfall" of personalized information catered specifically to YOU.

Check back tomorrow night for a couple more comparison topics.  In the mean time, post your opinions!

PS. - two cool new Google things out today, Google Buzz and Google Image Swirl.  I swear, Google has some of the smartest, most innovative people on their staff.  My bold prediction?  Soon, the internet will be gone, and Google will be self-sufficient.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

All Good Things Are Worth Waiting For

I apologize to my faithful followers out there for my lack of recent posts.  I mentioned that I have been having computer problems, which are ongoing.  In the mean time, what I can do is link you to some cool websites, blogs, and twitter accounts so that you don't go completely insane waiting for the next (completely original) World Wide Wilson blog post.  Please see below...

Mashable - a social media guide that reports mostly news about the internet.  check it out at or

Contemporist - a cool blog with modern architecture and design concepts.  if that kind of thing interests you please see the following link - CONTEMPORIST

No Pattern - awesome design work done for a multitude of platforms/companies by one of my childhood friends, Chuck Anderson - NOPATTERN
(also for you iPhone users, this is a recently unveiled site that he helped design - iMakeMyCase)

Windy Citizen - relevant Chicago news compiled into one website and/or twitter feed

Schmap - a cool online map for planning trips with interactive guides:  they also might feature this picture of mine in an upcoming version of the Chicago Schmap!

Read it Later - possibly one of the coolest new "bookmarking" sites out there with an add-on for Firefox, apps for mobile devices, and compatibility across all these platforms.  it is one of the best ways to make sure that you don't miss anything you wanted to Read Later. - an essential website for people who want to track how many others click on the links that they submit to cyberspace (through facebook, twitter, their blog, etc.).  create an account here and start tracking! 

Gizmodo's Review of CES 2010 - in case you haven't heard, the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show was in Vegas this past week.  Gizmodo did a review of their favorite things at the show, which can be found at this link -  I might post a summary of the things from CES2010 that I think will make the biggest impact on the consumer electronics world in a future post.

Stumble Upon - ever wanted to "channel surf" on the web, but you didn't know where to start.  Stumble Upon provides that experience.  check it out here -

Finally, a couple more interesting twitter accounts:
- IVwilsonIV along with my flickr account
- Trazzler Midwest for cool places around the Midwest
- Deals Plus for some of the best internet sales/coupons
- Molex Connectors for exciting (or not-so-exciting, depending on who you are) news about connectorrrrs!  I work at Molex, if you didn't know.
- Miley Cyrus... oh wait, she deleted her Twitter.  So much for my awesome last suggestion.

Till next time, bloggers!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Do geese see God?

I know I'm a little late in Central Standard Time, but I just wanted to make sure that I got a post in on a date that is a palindrome.

palindrome; /ˈpælɪnˌdroʊm/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [pal-in-drohm]
- noun
1. a word, line, verse, number, sentence, etc., reading the same backward as forward, as "Madam, I'm Adam" or "Poor Dan is in a droop."

There is no guarantee that I will be still be posting in this blog come 11.02.2011, 02.02.2020, or 12.02.2021.  Since the Mayans were convinced that the world will end in 2012, I guess there's only one more shot anyways, so I had to get this one in.

The first real blog post of 2010 (pronounced twenty-ten) will be sometime this week, depending on the status of my computer, which will be sent in to service a faulty sound card.  Keep your eyes PEELED like bananas, onions, or grapes (if you peel your grapes, stop that.  stop it now).  In the meantime, follow me on Twitter @ivwilsoniv - it's like the dollar menu version of World Wide Wilson.

ps. - I bought three albums on iTunes tonight: Simple Times by Joshua Radin, Nothing Left to Lose by Mat Kearney, and Can You Hear Us? by David Crowder.  So far, I'm enjoying all three.