Rick's Ramblings

You have found Rick's Ramblings, a Web Log.

I have been writing in this space for a few years now. Visit the archives to get a feel for my style.

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More Rick Umali web sites at:

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Lycos Tripod
The World
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Email: rickumali@gmail.com

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Thursday, June 21, 2001
I subscribe to EditorsNet, an online magazine and a free daily e-mail newsletter on the world of film and television editors.

I bring it up because I read an article about Steve Prestemon, the editor for two thirty-second television commercials that have stuck themselves in my head.

The commercials are car commercials for Mitsubishi. The Eclipse commercial features a bunch of youthful people driving around, singing to a song which ends with a clip "Wind it up baby!" The Gallant commercial features a mellow tune, sung by passengers and drivers. It starts "I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger."

I was drawn to these commercials, and I've always wondered about the songs. Well, the article lists them as "Start the Commotion" (Eclipse), by The Wiseguys, and "Ooh La La" (Gallant), by The Faces. Yes, I downloaded the songs with Napster.

Like all good commercials, the song is catchy, and so is the mood. The combination of images and music puts you in 'a certain place' for less than one minute, and I'm fascinated by the process of how these are mixed together.

Wednesday, June 20, 2001
I read an article this morning about an abandoned boy who ended up living in a cave with wild dogs. Unbelieveable. Axel, the boy's name, lived with these dogs for two years, subsisting on a bitch's milk and scraps of scavenged food. I'm stunned that such a situation even exists.

Ellen Degeneres did a comedy riff on a woman being raised by wolves, who would end up having to call the 800 number printed on the shampoo bottle. Axel was five when he was abandoned by his parents, and he escaped from his foster care situation.

My new job features coffee served by the Keurig Premium Coffee System. Insert the K-Cup, and out comes fresh coffee. I so enjoy this device!

Tuesday, June 19, 2001
Work was good! There's so much to talk about: the new technology, the people, my return to working in a cube (I had an office in my last year at my previous job).

The biggest thing to comment on for now is my commute. Jenn and I were blessed with really short commutes. It only takes her ten minutes to get to her office. It used to take me fifteen minutes to get to my office.

Today, it takes about thirty minutes to the trip. I now spend time on Route 3, a stretch of road that eventually takes drivers into New Hampshire, cutting through Lowell. My trip total is about seventeen miles, according to Yahoo! Maps.

Route 3 is a set of two two-lane roads, running North/South. Thankfully, I travel against traffic: In the morning, when traffic is backed up going South towards Boston, I'm racing North, towards Chelmsford. In the evening, when traffic is backed up going North to the various bedroom communities along Route 3, I'm racing South, towards Burlington/Lexington (and eventually to Arlington).

The Route 3 Improvement Project proposes to 'widen' the lanes, so I'll get to witness the progress of adding two full lanes to a heavily trafficked road.

Sunday, June 17, 2001
Tomorrow, I start a new job. My wife got me a new bag for Father's Day, and I'm feeling like it's the first day of school. I can't wait to start, however. It's been two and a half months since I've been away from work, and I'm eager to get back into it.

I finished The Sum of All Fears today. This is a Tom Clancy book about terrorists trying to build a nuclear bomb. It was a long book (900+ pages) but a real page-turner. I was engrossed from the first few chapters, right up until the incredible finish. I couldn't read the book fast enough.

This was the kind of book that I took with me everywhere. I read bits of it waiting on line at the post office, sitting in traffic, or during television commercial breaks.

The book had a realism that kept me on my toes. When I read an article about the real director of central intelligence, George Tenet, I half expected to see plot lines from this novel. A review I read echoed the same sentiment.

This is a super fun book, and I highly recommend it.