Friday, June 1, 2007

Insert Clever Title Here

One might think nothing of consequence happened in May from my complete lack of posting here. It was a crappy month, a very hectic month, one which I don't see much value in reviewing here. Let us simply wish May 2007 adieu and move on to June.

We think we're moving later this month, or potentially some time in July. Basically we don't know yet, it depends on a number of timing factors working out the "right" way. And also on my getting an envelope into the mail before dinner tonight.

Because of the move uncertainty, I don't think I'll be doing the June road-trip to Chicago. If I don't, I'll likely hold off until September or October (two dogs, a car for 18 hours, and 90°+ days make for such unpleasantness I cannot begin to creatively write around in words). We're still heading to Boston next week for Rita's retirement non-party.

Frisket and Sailor are doing well, both have found spots directly in front of air conditioners for the summer. They know not what's in store for them in the new apartment (with it's built-in HVAC in every room, every room can be 72°!). Sailor continues to eviscerate toys at the pace of about one toy every two days. The tribbles from the Star Trek Experience store are the only toys to withstand her jaws of terror.

Some random links

  • Google launched Street View. Kind of cool, though something to remember is that it's a street view from a driver's perspective. For example, navigating from our current house down Hicks to the new house on Main Street is impossible (well not intuitively possible) because while you'd make a left on Fulton from Hicks while walking, you can't do that if you're driving.
  • Some years ago I toyed with starting a site about people fired for blogging. I didn't see any value in doing it, dumb, dumb, dumb. I could have created a spin-off site for people who blog their own malpractice trials (hint: if you're a defendant in a court case? Don't blog it. No, don't question me, don't whine about free speech, just don't blog it. Really.)
  • I was surprised to find an Orson Scott Card essay I mostly agree with. His essay Oil -- Past the Peak can be summarized as: Move to Brooklyn, whaddya waiting for? but is still worth reading. Seriously, he calls for living in places where you can walk to your grocery and fulfill most of your daily routine without hopping in the car. That's Brooklyn, Manhattan, parts of New Jersey (rumoured, NJ to me is all exits and cheap gas). While we still own a gas-guzzling SUV (well, in our defense, it's an Acura MDX with IMHO decent mileage), it gets driven ~100 miles a month, ignoring May for the moment. We wouldn't need it at all if we had a way of renting vehicles to take the dogs in occasionally (Hertz, Avis, Zipcar all prohibit pets).
  • Let's Watch A Girl Get Beaten To Death is an essay by Joss Whedon of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Firefly fame. The essay is about the disturbing video of an Iraqi woman being stoned to death for marrying the "wrong" man and Whedon's response.
  • Lou Rosenfeld told me about his UX Zeitgeist project back in December when I gave him a walking tour of Cobble Hill and Park Slope. I promptly forgot about it until he mentioned it in his blog last month. It's an interesting take on building and maintaining a zeitgeist within a specific field. I wonder if it or something similar could be built to generate zeitgeist for other specific fields?

Blogs, sites I've been reading

I stopped promoting a blogroll years ago, more for the technical issues of keeping it up to date than the OMG, we're in high school complaints that people seem to have over whether or not they're "on" your blogroll. The downside is that I lost a way to call out sites that I read regularly or otherwise find valuable. Here's a one time, unlikely to recur on a regular basis, attempt to remedy that.

  • …My heart's in Accra, a blog by Ethan Zuckerman, one of the founders of Tripod. A specific post to read is Six Apart casts “evanesco”. Fanfic authors cast “expelliarmus”., about the recent purge/"Ooops" by SixApart/LiveJournal. Ethan writes about Africa, the projects he's worked on there, as well as his involvement with Global Voices Online and Worldchanging: But by so badly treating some of their core users, LJ may have spooked the goose that lays the golden eggs - the users who create content and provide a reason to visit journals. Under-react and you spook advertisers, over-react, you spook your content creators - it’s a balancing act in the user-created content business….
  • From Little Things, Big Things Grow from Servant of Chaos was a nice post on the 1967 Australian over native rights. I'm not sure how I came across Servant of Chaos, I think it was initially for search engine marketing or other non-Aussiephile reasons.
  • One of my house mates in Poughkeepsie spent a month hiking through Zimbabwe in the 1990s and I've been fascinated by the country ever since. Not quite enough to go there, especially as the country has slid into anarchy due to the continuing Mugabe regime, but enough to stay interested. One site I've been reading is This Is Zimbabwe by the Sokwanele group dedicated to ending the Mugabe regime through non-violent action.
  • When I worked at IBM and actively worked with people in a given region or country I tried to find one or two web sites (this was pre-RSS/Atom days) I could check in on just to have some sort of context beyond asking How's the weather. Global Voices Online is a massive global social and political news aggregator. So much so that I have had to cut back on what feeds I follow from it simply because I found I was just skipping everything. You can follow by country, region, topic, and probably a number of other slices I'm missing.
  • After my political consulting flame-out, I cut back my political sites to just these: The Daily Kos, Eschaton, Pandagon, Majikthise, and Towleroad. A content summary of those sites: liberal, left, feminist & LGBT.
  • Two technology sites: Techdirt and Techcrunch, both of which are pretty well known, still I find the writing on both to be valuable and insightful. Less well known is Vecosys, a blog about European startups (by an ex-editor at the UK Techcrunch), and The Technology Liberation Front which is more about the intersection of politics and technology from a libertarian perspective.
  • And I'll end this list with a recommendation to read Streetsblog, about transportation issues in New York City focusing on non-auto alternatives.

I picked out most of the links for this post from either my del.icio.us account or Google Reader. Reader allows one to share specific items or your starred items. I'm winging it and making both of those public and hoping that there's nothing too embarrassing there.

e.p.c. posted this at 22:00 GMT on 1-Jun-2007 . , Comments [1]

Monday, June 4, 2007

Frisket Wondering Why


Frisket Wondering Why, originally uploaded by epc.

flickr posted this at 21:21 GMT on 4-Jun-2007 .

Friday, June 8, 2007

Cambridge, MA Friday the 8th June

Gah. It took nearly seven hours to drive from Brooklyn to Cambridge yesterday. Spent nearly an hour crossing Brooklyn and Queens to get to the Whitestone, then mostly cruised up I-95 into Connecticut. At around the exit for the old Greenwich Harbour Inn traffic slowed to a crawl and was like that all the way up to New Haven. I ditched 95 early and scooted over to the Wilbur Cross (who was Wilbur Cross anyway?), but by then I'd been driving for three hours already. The rest of the drive went quickly but still I didn't get to the hotel until 9:45, after Lisa had arrived on the 6:10 p.m. AMTRAK train.

e.p.c. posted this at 14:51 GMT on 8-Jun-2007 from Cambridge, MA. , Comments [1]

Monday, June 11, 2007

Sitting happy


Sitting happy, originally uploaded by epc.

flickr posted this at 00:49 GMT on 11-Jun-2007 from Brooklyn, NY.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

HIMYM: HD 2.0

I had a dreadful realization the other day.

There's few shows on TV that I actually enjoy watching: the original CSI, the BBC's Life On Mars (limited to only two seasons), Battlestar Galactica (in bursts), Bones, and How I Met Your Mother.

I've talked to a few of our friends, and those that actually watch TV also like How I Met Your Mother.

And this was the realization: it's Happy Days for our generation.

When I was a kid, Happy Days was the show to watch every week. My parents sat us down, and it was generally ok, though they would laugh at times which we didn't quite get. They certainly seemed to enjoy it much as I like HIMYM.

e.p.c. posted this at 23:47 GMT on 16-Jun-2007 from Brooklyn, NY.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Last Friday of June 2007 Random Notes

  • Moving from Brooklyn Heights to DUMBO next week. Last night was my last night at the house, am heading to Amagansett today (if I ever finish packing) then we'll spend a couple nights in a hotel while the move occurs. First night in the new place is expected to be Thursday the 5th. We hope.
  • I should be better at packing up stuff by now, having moved something like ten times in twelve years, but it's a see-saw between taking everything you might just need, and accepting that you really don't need the Avis rent-a-car crap over the next week or more.
  • I did a walk through video of the house which I'll post somewhere when I get a moment. I know most of my family never made it to the house so it's mostly for them. My brother, I'm certain, won't miss the 111 Hicks garbage guys.
  • We will send out new address cards in July, they'll be our belated 2006 Holiday Cards.
  • Planning for Sydney/Melbourne 2007 continues. We arrive around the 16th August, spend a couple of days de-lagging in Sydney, then spend a week in and around Melbourne before returning to Sydney for my party at Level 41. Looking for ideas of things to do in Melbourne. Fair warning to Victoria: I'll be driving.
  • Apropos of nothing in particular, though the congestion pricing debate in NYC and complaints about parking in the Heights fed into this analysis: A walk down Cranberry, Orange, Pineapple, and Clark revealed that 25% of parking spaces are taken up by out of state cars (13/38 on Cranberry, 8/38 on Orange, 10/35 on Pineapple, 4/31 on Clark). Virginia and Massachusetts drivers seem to like parking on Cranberry and Orange, while New Jersey and Pennsylvania Drivers enjoy Pineapple and Clark. Those were the top states, I think I saw one Vermont plate and one Alaska plate. I'm sure they're just here for the weekend.
  • I've elided a joke I made this morning involving the attempted car bombing in London, the IRA, and parking. It sounded funnier at 7:00 a.m. than it does now in the retelling.
  • I have a blog post which I started on last week and then let grow stale about the Soprano's finale. In a frame-by-frame analysis of Tony's paging through the jukebox I believe that Tony Bennet was gypped out of publicity. It's pretty clear that Tony Soprano punches either K3 or K4, either of which was a Tony Bennet track. Of course, if it's a Tony Bennet track instead of that Journey track then the meaning of the ending is completely different. I'll write the detailed explanation here in the margins.
  • Congratulations to Alister on leaving IBM. Now to work on Sean, Dave, Chet, Todd and Kapil. It's not that I dislike IBM, I just think there's better, far more enjoyable, less stressful, things one can do with talent and time than donate it to the company.
  • There's a new form of comment spam going around. I have my filters set pretty high (I just block on all the top Google Adwords), so it's not getting published here. The twist is that the spammer(s) is including what appears to be an MD5 hash as the first line of the spam. I'm guessing that the md5 is used to verify that the spam was posted (either identifying the person who was to post the spam, or serving as a hash to verify that the comment published includes the URLs intended by the spammer).
  • I have a lot of packing to do, plus a lot of coding otherwise Carol will flog me with a box of postcards, so signing off.

e.p.c. posted this at 17:29 GMT on 29-Jun-2007 from Hicks St, Brooklyn, 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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