Friday, November 3, 2006

2006 NYC Marathon Prep

Once again we're doing tissue/kleenex duty at the mile 14 water station on the ING New York City Marathon. We missed out last year for reasons I don't remember, otherwise I've done it every year since 2001 and I think Lisa did it earlier.

I've been doing some prep work: this year the NYRR has posted a nice arrival times chart and though I looked all over, I could not find the official start times which Lisa found quite easily under About the Start.

I usually pick up four - five cases of tissues at Costco. How many we use depends on how many people we have and what the weather is like. Cold and damp more tissues, warm and dry much less.

We will be somewhere in the stretch just past the mile 14 water station on Vernon Boulevard.

e.p.c. posted this at 17:09 GMT on 3-Nov-2006 from Brooklyn, NY.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

ING NYC Marathon 2006

We arrived at our usual spot just after ten. We missed the Achilles/Wheelchair front runners but managed to catch pretty much everyone else. Parking was much easier this year, we only had to drag everything one block from 11th to Vernon.

This year we had seven people (Lisa, Lisa, Cori, Josh, Ben, Jodi and me). Trixie and Bailey joined us as well but are not quite tall enough to hand out Kleenex yet.

Coincidentally, the brand police don't need to come after me this year: we truly used Kleenex as Costco was out of their house brand tissues.

We managed to run through six cases of Kleenex (each had six boxes, so 36 boxes of Kleenex). The lunch napkins we had proved to be a complete dud...not surprising as who wants to rub sandpaper on their face after 14 miles.

These are a sampling of photos from my ING NYC Marathon 2006 set on Flickr.

Photo from Flickr of NYC Marathon Mile Point 14
Photo from NYC Marathon 2006
Photo from NYC Marathon 2006
Frisket asks: where are all of the people?
DSC07749
Looking south on Vernon Boulevard
DSC07762
Elite men Group
DSC07865
DSC07815
The Crowd
DSC07868
DSC07887
The Aftermath, Looking North
The Aftermath, Looking North
The Bitter End
Almost the End

There are more photos here: ING NYC Marathon 2006 set on Flickr.

§

These are additional photos taken by Jodi Shapiro, from her flickr page.

Lisa in action
Lisa in action

Photo: Jodi Shapiro

ed with detritus (and frisket too)

ed with detritus (and frisket too)

Photo: Jodi Shapiro

beets on flickr

beets (look, it's epc's hand!)

Photo: Jodi Shapiro

e.p.c. posted this at 23:14 GMT on 5-Nov-2006 from Long Island City, NY.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Election 2006

Please vote. My personal preference would be that you vote for Democracts, but vote for whomever you believe best represents you.

Locally I am voting a near straight Democratic ticket. Neither the Republicans nor Greens put up any viable candidates, and I don't believe in voting for someone just to send a message. The one non-Democratic vote I'll pull is for our local state Senate where the runner-up in the Democratic primary is running on the WFP line.

Nationally, I've given support to Bernie Sanders, Tammy Duckworth, Ned Lamont, Gary Trauner, Darcy Burner, Jon Tester, Hillary Clinton, Christine Cegelis, Nick Lampson, John Murtha, Steve Young, Tim Mahoney, Louise Slaughter, and Claire McCaskill of VT, IL, CT, WY, WA, MT, NY, IL, TX, PA, CA, FL, NY, and MO.

They won't all win (well, at least one in that list lost a primary), but some might.

You know, it wasn't until the 2004 election cycle that I actually registered as a Democrat. It took three years of Bush and the Lott/Frist-Hastert show to convince me to get involved, to actually sign up within a party, to vote in primaries. I do not think the country is doing well, I do not think that we are safer, and I do not think these clowns currently in control are going to do well for us.

e.p.c. posted this at 15:00 GMT on 7-Nov-2006 from Brooklyn, NY.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Election 2006: Tote board

So, I was happy Tuesday night, and even happier Wednesday morning. People voted, they took an interest in the outcome of their local elections. Some of the candidates I supported won (8 out of 13), some lost (3) and two are still undecided (Burner in WA, Trauner in WY).

While some hope that the GOP will somehow learn a "lesson" from the election, personally I doubt it. This is a party which demonized the 49.9998% of the country who voted for the "other guy" for the past six years, who gloated about disregarding rules in Congress when it suited them, who treated the Constitution as a nuisance rather than a binding law, who passed a law which makes it legal for the President to strip any citizen of all civil rights and liberties without recourse to judicial review.

I wonder what the position of Republicans in the Senate will be on the filibuster now?

Here's my tote-board from my ActBlue page. I've reset the page for the next cycle. I would like to place an early bet on a Richardson/Obama ticket but neither is raising money yet.

CandidateWon / Lost / UndecidedOffice
Bernie SandersWSenator, VT
Tammy DuckworthL
Ned LamontL
Gary TraunerU-LRepresentative, WY
Darcy BurnerU-LRepresentative, WA
Jon TesterWSenator, MT
Hillary ClintonWSenator, NY
Nick LampsonWRepresenative, TX
John MurthaWRepresentative, PA
Steve YoungL
Tim MahoneyWRepresentative, FL
Louise SlaughterWRepresentative, NY
Claire McCaskillWSenator, MO

My one request to all the candidates and PACs and what-not: stop sending me mail and email. Please. We need a break.

e.p.c. posted this at 04:18 GMT on 10-Nov-2006 from Brooklyn, NY.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

What's Wrong With This Picture

Screenshot from last.fm missing Brooklyn, NY

e.p.c. posted this at 23:58 GMT on 11-Nov-2006 from Brooklyn, NY.

Friday, November 17, 2006

A possible reason for Lenovo's troubles

I was spurred tonight to take a slow wander through Lenovo's web site (nee www.pc.ibm.com). I have been holding out for a Core 2 Duo X series Stinkpad and learned that they're available as of today.

So, I wander through and configure a system. I wasn't actually expecting to buy tonight, I tend to configure and then stew about it for some time before hitting "buy". Usually at cdw.com. I see no reason to change my behavior after my wander through the Lenovo site.

For starters, it still represents the best web based configuration tool IBM's PC division could come up with in 1999. Sadly, I believe the current year is 2006.

Click.
Update.
Submit form.
Wait.
Wait how?
Wait, patiently.
Add another option
Repeat meditation on patience
Recall a funny story, probably still considered IBM confidential, about the rush to launch a PC online store the day before Thanksgiving 1998. Lucky for me, then, I had GSAL on speed-dial.
Read page.
Click "add to shopping cart" and receive the following tabular data:

 Quantity Part No.  Description Availability Item price Line total
 ThinkPad X60
 Remove this item1709H3UThinkPad X60
Customize
Ships within 1-5 bus. days $2,294.00
1GB PC2-5300 CL5 NP DDR2 SDRAM SODIMMShips within 3-4 weeks
100GB 7200rpm SATA Hard DriveShips within 8-10 bus. days
ThinkPad X60 Series 4 Cell Enhanced Capacity BatteryShips within 1-5 bus. days
Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Mini-PCI Express AdapterShips within 3-4 weeks
ThinkPad X6 UltraBaseShips within 1-5 bus. days
Genuine Windows XP ProfessionalShips within 1-5 bus. days
Warranty service upgrade; 3 year onsite repair 9x5/next business dayShips within 1-5 bus. days
Asset TagShips within 1-5 bus. days
 Save 10% on the ThinkPad 90W AC Adapter with PC purchaseShips within 8-10 bus. days  
40Y7003ThinkPad X60 Series 8 Cell High Capacity BatteryShips within 8-10 bus. days$179.00$179.00
  Your savings $282.00  
 Subtotal  (update)$2,473.00*

3-4 weeks to add a standard 1Gb stick of RAM, and 3-4 weeks to add what should be a relatively standard, in stock, WiFi adapter? And I know from my past ordering experience, 3-4 weeks is an optimal estimate and in no way a commitment to actually ship the system to you in 3-4 weeks.

So, I'll likely wait awhile, again, and end up buying from CDW.com, again.

PS: I through in a bit of invalid markup to get the style right for the table. I discovered, in doing so, that a comment immediately after the <style type="text/css"> tag consisting of <!-- Klaus...a sekrit message to Klaus --> causes the styling to be ignored in Firefox 2.0. If you strip the comment down to <!-- --> then the styling works. If you move the comment, including the secret message, after the CSS then the styling takes hold. I am certain there is meaning hidden deep in there somewhere.

In other news…

I sent out an evite for my 0x28th birthday next year. I'm not sure if that link works if you are not logged into evite. I started with 40 people (a totally coincidental number), I didn't intend to slight anyone by not inviting as the choice of location for the party may well cause many people to decline to attend (there's many other reasons to decline to attend, but this one is acceptable to me).

I was challenged over the summer to come up with an interesting place for my birthday. Being the egocentric, egotistical jerk that I am, I chose a place which is elegant, tasteful, stunning in its surroundings, and a bit remote from Brooklyn.

The party is scheduled to take place at 41, at Chifley Tower in Sydney, Australia. A bit eccentric, perhaps insane even, but it should be fun. The plan around the party in brief is that we (Lisa & I) will coordinate various festive activities (to the best of our normally anti-social abilities) for the days leading up to the party.

I am not throwing open the invite list to everyone in the world, not even everyone in the ibm.com world, but if you'd like to be on the invite list, even as a lark, send me a note at myStupidBirthday@epcostello.net (if you don't like that address, try edsStupidBirthday@epcostello.net. And yes, I fully expect to do a thing here in New York and probably Chicago as well some time around the August-September 2007 timeframe.

Alas, there will likely be a blog, or wiki, or some other web 2.0 endorsed messaging framework when I get around to it.

I certainly hope the day and location of this party turns out better than the date and location of my 30th 0x1eth party.

I spent the afternoon at the Palisades Center Mall after lunch with Pete Fiorese. The damage tally: a Sirius "executive" desktop dock (on clearance), a 16 port 1Gbit switch, 2 10/100 USB adaptors for the Tivoim, a bunch of cleaning supplies for the house, a baseboard heater for the front room (when you hit 0x27 you lose that natural Hey, I like it being 50° in here attitude), a kit to make a keyboard tray for my desk (it won't be used as a keyboard tray, but as a USB switch / hard drive tray), and a bunch of other stuff too trivial for me to remember at the moment. I wanted to buy a CPU cooler but could not find one that fits my office PC (Socket "A" apparently is rare or something).

We are spending Thanksgiving next week somewhere in Westchester, followed by a weekend in Amagansett. The following weekend we are flying to Paris for our friend Lisa's 0x28th birthday (see, it's a trend, there's a business idea in there somewhere). Then, the following weekend I'm returning to Austin, TX for some more work on my super-secret project. I think that, for now, the weekend after that we'll just be in New York. Then to Florida for Christmas. Then back to New York. Some time in the next six weeks I'd like to get to Chicago to see my family but I haven't figured out when to squeeze that in.

Other than that nothing is up. Other than my being sick all weekend last weekend (as in: I forced Lisa to walk Frisket multiple times) and I'm under the weather again tonight.

e.p.c. posted this at 04:09 GMT on 17-Nov-2006 .

Sunday, November 19, 2006

My Desktop

My Desk @ 11/19/2006

I have a million other things I should be focussing on, so naturally I procrastinated and annotrated a photo I took of my desktop this morning, on Flickr

e.p.c. posted this at 23:46 GMT on 19-Nov-2006 from Brooklyn, NY.

Friday, November 24, 2006

And a joyous black friday to you too...

I have absolutely nothing interesting to write today.

We had Thanksgiving dinner at a country club up in Purchase, NY with Lisa's extended family.  Other than the nightmarish drive in the hard rain with the other 15 million New Yorkers going to or from Thanksgiving gatherings, the dinner was fine. We are spending the weekend in Amagansett, Frisket needs some beach time.

Upcoming travels

We're going to Paris next weekend for a friend's birthday (see, I'm not the only one doing "destination birthday" for the 40th).  The following weekend I'm going to Austin to work on a project over the course of the weekend.  The following week I'm going to Chicago for a day to check in on the family and rack up air miles.  So far, the weekend after that (the 16th) is free of travel.  So far. Then for Christmas we're flying to Miami for a long weekend.

Frisket is not amused by all of this travel.  Bribing her with treats seems to win her over temporarily.

I'm playing with a redesign for my business site. As I'm prohibited by law in a number of jurisdictions from practicing design, I'm trying to keep it low key. Previews can be seen by going to http://artific.com/202/v4.html and clicking around on any links that have "v4.html" in the URL (I haven't converted everything over, and some pages still are in the default MovableType design).

I was going to write up a whole tale about the fabled v6 redesign of www.ibm.com which occurred ten years ago this week. But I think I'll leave that to another time. The only interesting lesson from that redesign was: don't launch a redesign the day before everyone leaves for the holidays. Alternately: if you do launch a redesign the day before everyone leaves for the holidays, make sure that you're the first person out the door.

I am in the market for a new wireless keyboard. I have a Logitech Cordless Keyboard which is about two years old. About two months ago the space bar sort of got stuck (perhaps as a result of soda being poured onto the keyboard by a certain canine). It cleaned up mostly well, but the space bar kept sticking, so I took apart the keyboard last weekend. The space bar worked again, briefly, now it is sticking again. And all of the function keys have ceased working.

What I really want is a decent, lightweight cordless keyboard with a TrackPoint so I don't have to keep reaching for a mouse. But between IBM's PC Division ineptitude, the resulting spinoff to Lenovo, and the question of who actually owns the licenses for the Trackpoint, I doubt I'll see a wireless keyboard with Trackpoint mouse soon.

I'm not even sure I've seen wireless keyboards with track pads or thumb pads or whatever they're called.

So, great Interweb, here's your assignment: produce for me a wireless keyboard with TrackPoint mouse.

Thank you.

I'm writing this in Performancing, a plugin for Firefox. Why is it so difficult to come up with a simple authoring tool (my nit for Performancing: I had to switch to tag mode to enter a <h3> tag earlier)?

powered by performancing firefox

e.p.c. posted this at 16:02 GMT on 24-Nov-2006 from Brooklyn,NY.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Error: Error is currently unavailable

error message from easthamptonstar.com
This week's East Hampton Star has a number of ads running with a graphic of a labrador retriever and the text Enter Here to Win the Star's Holiday "Lab". Curious, we went to the Star's website and tried searching on that text and got this message back.

e.p.c. posted this at 15:29 GMT on 26-Nov-2006 from Amagansett, NY.

Slightly acerbic and eccentric dog walker who masquerades as a web developer and occasional CTO.

Spent five years running the technology side of the circus known as www.ibm.com.

More about me here.

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