Mark Richards


Monday, March 31, 2003

I feel so cool

Apparently I have inspired my former roommate, fraternity brother, and best friend J.P. to begin a blog of his own: J.P.'s Soapbox. I had a chance to take a look at it earlier and he has some pretty good stuff on there. Check it out if you get a chance. the way, he's my former roommate only. The fraternity brother thing and best friend thing are both current. Just wanted to avoid any confusion.

Weekend Update

Nothing too much out of the ordinary happened this weekend, but here are some interesting tidbits:

  • I found out through my girlfriend's mother that the apartment complex that I will be moving to in July has the "largest resort style swimming pool and sun deck in Atlanta! " Now that's pretty cool.

  • I won $90 by winning my NCAA basketball tournament office pool. Please don't tell anyone because office pools like this are illegal.

  • My friends Cameron and Robert unveiled the new, a project they have been working on for the past few months. It looks incredible!

  • Alicia and her friends are a lot of fun.
  • Tuesday, March 25, 2003

    Al-Jazeera Website

    Al-Jazeera, a Qatar-based television station in the Middle East, has launched an English version of its site. The site contains articles from non-Western journalists and portrays an distinctly non-Western point of view. I thought it was very interesting to read the other side of the story, while keeping in mind that much of the non-Western media concerning Iraq is merely propaganda.

    Cubs in 2003!

    Good news for me....and the Cubs!

    Monday, March 24, 2003

    POW Photos

    Gruesome POW photos of U.S. soldiers in Iraqi custody from The Drudge Report. Obviously some of the POW's have been executed in a rather ritualistic manner. Disgusting!

    Friday, March 21, 2003

    The Home Theater Experience

    The home theater search is on! Over the past few weeks, I have begun looking into some of the toys that I may be purchasing in the near future. I've been saying for the past two years that I would like to buy a 50+ inch widescreen TV, which would be the focal point of a huge home entertainment center. I realized though that purchasing a TV of that magnitude would not completely satisfy me or do the TV justice. I must begin from ground zero and build up my ideal home theater.

    The first component that I must purchase is the receiver. The receiver connects all devices that I use in one location, so that they can be output to one location. Using a receiver prevents the need for running wires from device to device to device in a daisy chain manner. I've already been to Best Buy, Circuit City, and Hi-Fi Buys (now called Tweeter) to check out the different brands, models, and prices. My favorite is the Kenwood VR-6060. It has good power levels, an excellent number of connections/inputs/outputs, all the newest encoding schemes, and a sixth channel for a rear center speaker if I decide to add one in the future. I've found a good deal online at 6th Ave Electronics for almost $100 under the price I've found anywhere else.

    While I was at Hi-Fi Buys, I was coaxed into listening to different speaker models by the salesman. I wasn't upset though because I knew nothing about speaker systems prior to my trip. We listened to a whole bunch of different makes and models, all with advantages and disadvantages. Unfortunately for my bank account though, I fell in love with some relatively expensive front speakers: the Mirage OMNI 50. Relatively speaking they don't cost that much, but for my budget, they are near the top end, especially when you consider that I would still need to purchase a center channel speaker and subwoofer. Anyways, these speakers sound incredible. The salesman played "I Want My MTV", which has some awesome effects and drums and I was just blown away. So from what I have learned and heard, speakers can make or break a home theater system, and therefore I cannot afford to be cheap. I plan on purchasing these speakers in the upcoming months.

    That's about as much information as I have now. Have I mentioned that I've been doing this search with Brian, and that we both like the exactly same systems so far? Yeah well, it'll be very funny when someone walks into either one of our apartments and sees the exact same home theater setup. Kinda weird, but cool nevertheless.

    Wednesday, March 19, 2003

    War Survey

    With our country on the brink of war, voice your opinions on the United States' and its leaders' actions by taking this survey.

    The Scoop on Internet2

    Interesting article on Internet2.

    Tuesday, March 18, 2003

    Excuses, excuses

    I've been very busy as of late and haven't had much time to post updates. I could write for hours on everything I that's been going on, but then again, I don't want to do that...nor do you want to read that. I'll try and give summary though.

    Last Thursday night, I attended a concert for my favorite band, Dezeray's Hammer, at Smith's Olde Bar. As always, they put on a great show. About two years ago, these guys were signed by the "SONY/Edel" label, but unfortunate funding issues caused the record label to cease its operations shortly after. These guys are not your run of the mill local band, so if you get a chance to see these guys, you should because they are definitely worth it.

    The next evening, my girlfriend flew into town from New Jersey to attend a teaching job fair on Saturday. Hundreds of teachers and administrators showed up to interview with dozens of schools spanning all grades. I don't know much about the process, but she said that she was able to squeeze in about eight interviews, some of which went better than others, but overall things went well.

    The rest of Saturday was rather interesting to say the least. It was my birthday and thirty of my closest friends came out to join in the festivities of mine and my friend Brian's birthday. I know I had a great time and I really appreciate everybody coming out and having a good time. I would give more of a recap, but honestly, I don't remember much of the night after about 11:30PM....and we stayed out until 4AM! I'd also post the link to some of the pics from the night, but they are far to embarrassing and incriminating. Maybe I'll share some of the stories at a later time.

    Sunday started off slow. My girlfriend and I wanted to start looking at apartments, but I was feeling very rough after the previous night's drinking binge. By the time she was able to pry me out of bed, the day was already half over. I can summarize the job search in about three words: blah, blah, blah. Almost every place we visited was the same: swimming pool, workout facilities, decent apartments, etc. All of the apartments were the same, except for Windsor At Lenox Park. When Sarah and I left this place, we were like "Wow! How are the other places going to even compete with this one?" And guess what...none of them did. Windsor had everything we could possibly want and a whole lot more. It's kind of on the pricey side, but we felt that the bonuses far outweighed the extra money we would spend.

    So, the extended weekend was a blast. I don't think things could have gone better.

    Thursday, March 06, 2003

    Despite what I say about him, Adam, a.k.a. Adam Love Hewitt, a.k.a. Alan Love Hewitt, a.k.a. Mr. Cranky Pants, is a pretty good guy. He's setup a good website where he places all of the photos he takes. The name of his site is There are some pretty good pictures of myself and my friends doing goofy things. You can search by "Participant" and look for only pictures of me. You can also search by other criteria like "Location" or "Occasion". Check it out because it should be good for a laugh or two!

    Wednesday, March 05, 2003

    New look for has a new look. I'm going to have to spend some time playing around with their site to see if I like it. At first glance, the redesign appears to be more user friendly, defines the different sections of the site better, and a more pleasurable overall experience. is now an excellent example of the power of ColdFusion/Flash integration and the endless possibilities of Rich Internet Applications.

    Tuesday, March 04, 2003

    Nickname Corrections I've been called out by my girlfriend about the nickname stuff. I got a slightly agitated email from her saying that I did have nicknames prior to Chachi. She asked me if I remembered the names Sparky or Mork. I said that I did, but they did not count because not everybody called me by those names, and I didn't like them as much. She disagreed and said that they should count, so I just blew her off.

    I guess I should set the record straight by saying that I stand corrected. I did have nicknames prior to college, none quite as prominent as Chachi, but nicknames nonetheless. There I said it...she is right, and I am wrong! Happy now?!

    By the way, I think it's great when you have a girlfriend that will call you on your shiznit.

    Monday, March 03, 2003

    My car blew up

    My car almost blew up this past weekend, thus leading me to spend another $1,100 on repairs for the second time in three months. The two issues this time were a blown heater core and blown fuel pump, or something like that. I guess you should expect problems like this on a car with 85,000 miles, but not when it's only four years old.

    This wonderful Chevrolet motor vehicle experience has led me to expedite my car search. I have added two new cars to the mix: the Acura MDX and the Lexus RX300. I cannot afford to purchase either car brand new, so a one or two year old used vehicle will have to do.