Sunday, February 27, 2005


Watching I Heart Huckabees right now. The title is unfortunate. The movie seems to be seeking the answer to the question of what happens when philosophy majors try to get real, paying jobs in the gumshoe industry. How about Plato, P.I.?


  1. Finished EST, profound conceptualization of the not-to-distant future. Could end stronger (IMHO,) though. Also caught the author's tribute to Pinkwater in the text. Specifically, Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars, one of my favorite books growing up. Corey confirmed my suspicions via email, what a guy!
  2. Found Stewie Griffin's rendition of Shatner's Rocket Man. The single greatest Stewie sketch. Watch the original by the Shat here.
  3. Found Peter trying to nurse Stewie, another great  sketch.
  4. The new Wise Chipotle Smoked Jalalpeño chip is a new instant classic from the company that makes my benchmark chip, the Wise BBQ. I have to disagree with the lukewarm review gave it.

Thursday, February 24, 2005


Andrew Sullivan is the latest person to highlight the emerging "iPod Nation." Andrew wonders if the apparent increase of people choosing to live in the isolation of their own hyper-personalized space {iPod playlists; cable television; satellite radio, the blogosphere} is a bad thing. Will it result in the destruction of the commons and our ability to exist in a social context? Valid questions, these, and I admit to extrapolating a little on whether this is Andrew's intent. (Andrew's regular blog can be found here.) Regardless, the meme is definitely out there. I wonder, though, if the "threat" is overblown. Firstly, the blossoming of white headphones only informs us of the brand of personal experience the observed masses are participating in. (In this case, Apple's iPod experience.) Who's to say the number or demographic is any different than those who may have been using any other type of device prior to their iPod purchase? These are people who will behave in a similarly detached manner regardless of the type of audio they choose to channel into their headsets. The white headphones is a hollow indicator, then. Furthermore, is the trend accelerating? What evidence exists that the urge to personalize our space is accelerating beyond what was probably decried at the advent of the original Walkman? The portable CD player? (Hell, transistor radios for that matter?)

[SIDEBAR: For as long as there's been music there's been people customizing their personal music experience. Who (amongst my generational peers) can forget their first mix tape? Perhaps all the iPod is accomplishing is the commensurate steepening of the personalization curve that comes with lowering the barriers of entry to personalization?]

We live in a society that treasures individual choice. Why is the trend towards the increased exercise of that right so menacing? Won't our heightened ability to customize more and more of our heretofore communal experience result in new and exciting ways of fostering community? Are we not seeing the first fruits of such communities in such game changing services as flickr,, Amazon and NetFlix -not to mention Apple's own iTunes- with their abilities to share or recommend? Vive la difference! Change is coming, but its not the cataclysm (says I) pundits may be scaring us with.

Corey Doctorow's latest book, Eastern Standard Tribe, consciously fueled this essay. Go get a copy for yourself. It's free!

Saturday, February 19, 2005


There's not much point to watching America's Sweethearts. Unless you really were wondering what Agador would have been like if he were straight.

M. Night Shyamalan's shtick is wearing thin. His signature device is to distract you from his real point until the climax of the film. The distraction has to be at least engaging, though. He's still on my short list of promising directors though. For starters, he relies on the competence of his actors, prefers stage training, and at least lets the story take center stage, not any special effects. Mr. Lucas, are you listening? You used to exhibit such qualities.

For vintage Viggo, I recommend G.I. Jane.

NetFlix IS worth it. Try if for free for two weeks.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Wednesday, February 09, 2005


Today while walking on 14th street towards the 2/3 train I passed Bobby Flay. I bumped into Bobby when I still lived on the UWS last year. So Bobby becomes one of those celebs that are on my multiple sighting list, along with Sam Waterson and Steven Hill. (Pretty much the entire cast of Law & Order, come to think of it.)

I'm also reading Corey Doctorow's latest: Eastern Standard Tribe. If you want proof that book and author are targeting the technorati bear witness:

I enjoyed 'Kingdom and anticipate same for EST. Go get 'em and see fer yourself!


So it turns out that there's a demarcation line after which some PC drive controllers won't recognize larger size hard drives. That demarcation line consists of multiples of 18. So a hard drive controller that works for a hard drive between 18 and 36 gigs may not work for a 40 gig drive. The good folks at World Line fiddled around with my old laptop to confirm that this was indeed the problem with the machine and we settled on a 30 gig drive -which is still a 50% improvement over the old 20 gig piece. I'm happy to report that the old Presario is now humming smoothly. So smoothly, in fact, that I wonder if the occasional freezes I was experiencing were also due to the old drive dying on me. No matter, now my wife has a machine to use at home while I'm in the office.


I remember this post, on Ash Wednesday two years ago. My how things have changed in two years. On my way to the office this morning, there's a bomb scare at the Israeli Consulate one block over. My how things have remained the same in these last two years.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Paris Hilton hosted SNL last weekend. She was quite capable and I was duly impressed. The episode wasn't a particularly strong one, but was notable for NOT starting off with political (read: Bush is a fool) satire. I'm glad SNL may finally be getting off their soapbox this season. I've always maintained -with the caveat that this is based purely on conjecture- that Paris is a sweet girl. I mean, she's clearly a party animal with some troublemaking friends, but I've never seen her act rude or improper to someone in a public forum. What she does in private is another matter entirely, but that's food for another posting.

Bob Congdon is a good blog read with a handful of interesting posts that satisfied a bunch of interests of mine. There's the iPod shuffle RAID array story (for the geek in me,) the Google maps story (for the directionally obsessed in me) and a link to the facts behind the famous McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit story (for the "let's get to the real heart of the story" investigative reporter in me.)

Geocaching is an interesting pursuit that I may want to have at when the weather warms up a bit. Now that we're bone fide suburbanites, we should try our hands at rustic pursuits, such as hiking and such. Besides, I've been looking for a reason to dust off my old Visor Platinum and GPS module. My old colleague and buddy Chris is into geocaching and even designed the Vermont Area Geocachers' website.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


<rant>So I was driving home two nights ago after helping my sister with some moving and started to think about Jon's post "Shifting time and folding space." In it, Jon describes the setup he uses to listen to podcasts. Jon also coined the term screencast to describe his video podcasting philosophy. My point is, how does he find time to think? I mean, I love technology and think and dream about it sometimes. I like to suppose I'm on a similar wavelength, but I draw the line at consuming information aurally and visually. Frankly, I love cars as well, but never thought good information on the topic ever translated to the screen or audio well. I mean, have you ever tried to watch speedvision (cars) or techTV (or whatever that channel is called these days?) I prefer my information (professional as well as leisure related) presented to me on paper or computer monitor with a lingual flavor, thank you. More importantly than the flavor or information Jon chooses to digest (all of them, it would seem) is his seemingly unending capacity to absorb it all. I don't know how he does it. I mean, I once had a client who expressed comfort paying me whatever I charged because he knew Jake (that's me) dreamed about doing his job when he slept! So I know a thing or two about being infatuated with a topic. I guess I'm mellowing with age. I've even decided to officially stop lusting after a Treo 650 on the premise that I just don't want or need to have 24/7 access to my work email. E-mail is a queue. I pop messages off the queue when I choose, otherwise I'd never get anything done! </rant>