Molt Be Blog

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Nyt indlæg

That's Danish for "New Post". Blogger has automatically switched the administration interface of Ye Olde Blog over to Danish because that's where I'm logged in from. Ridiculous. We landed here in Copenhagen at something like 6am East Coast time after a 2 hour stop in Reykjavik. Our friend AP and her boyfriend AT met us at the airport and the four of us went back to their apartment to unload stuff before driving into downtown Copenhagen to take in some sites. On the way to the apartment we got a chance to stop in a local grocery store to pick up food for dinner. It's always best to visit a country where you know someone who actually lives there, because you'll get to experience things like visiting a grocery store, taking the bus and otherwise seeing the place from a bit closer to the perspective of a resident.

Once downtown, we grabbed a hot dog from a vendor and walked along the main shopping strip of Copenhagen to see what there was to see and to pick up some candy that would remind R of her childhood growing up in Sweden (I suppose that, as well as the memories, another reason was the consumption of the candy itself).

Copenhagen seems generally walkable (not to mention ridiculously bikable), but one site, the Little Mermaid statue (Den Lille Havfrue) was far enough out of the way that we had to find alternate means. We had looked into taking a tour boat that would go along the canals and stop off the water from the statue, but AT recommended that we take the bus as it was beginning to rain, a little cold and the bus was heated. I thought the bus sounded a bit lame compared to a boat, but the price was right and it was definitely rainy and cold. The "bus" turned out to be a "water bus", which is basically the public transportation version of the tourist boat, except that it makes stops on either side of the Inderhavnen and lets you get on and off as you please with only 20 minutes between rides. Even better, it costs $2 where the tourist boat costs $12. Hell yes, "water bus"!

After getting off the water bus, we meandered back to the car by an alternate route and came back to the apartment for dinner. Now it's 6:06PM EST and I'm ready for bed!


Friday, April 27, 2007

Back in a Bit

R and I are off to a wedding in Florence via Copenhagen and Amsterdam leaving in, oh, about 10 minutes. I'm bringing the lappy, so updates are possible. If not, I'll have pictures up when we get back on May 6th. Adios!


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Seriously just a boring description of what I did this weekend to accompany the picture

Backyard Laptop
What a gorgeous weekend! I maximized on the weather and managed to spend 80% of the daylight outdoors on both Saturday and Sunday (ok, well, more like 50% on Saturday).
Saturday R had to work at 8am and left with me still sleeping in bed making empty offers to walk her to work, but I got up by 9 to start puttering around the house. I came up with a great idea for a new project last weekend or the week before and decided to spend most of the afternoon seeing what I could find as far as prior art. The morning was spent re-spackling a crack in the bathroom ceiling that I'd been meaning to take care of for, oh, a year or so. I also did a couple of loads of laundry in the new machine. It's quiet as a mouse, which is pretty huge given that the old one sounded like a jet engine and could be heard on the street. After I put a second load in the washer, my friend CG called to see about lunch. We grabbed something at the store and ate on the back deck so that I could hear when the dryer finished. Once CG left, I buckled down and started working on researching how to write this new program/web business idea. By the time R got home, I'd figured out that it was pretty simple to do if I knew Python, so I set about learning how to program in Python (it's supposed to be "simple", I find it insane. But that's because I don't understand a thing about Object Oriented Programming).
I got far enough into figuring out how to make the program do what I wanted to do that I haven't been separated from the macbook here since Saturday evening. On Saturday night I took it with us over to CG's so that R and he could shoot the shit and watch TV and I could sit around playing on the lappy. My nerdiness abated after Gin and Tonic #3 at which point I started to realize the finer points of "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift". False.
Sunday morning I met DS for coffee for an hour or so in the sun before heading up to Bethesda to visit R's parents. Along the way to the metro after coffee we got to meet up with DK and his blanket in Dupont to say hello. Once in Bethesda and after a trip to Ikea to replace my bedside table-lamp and buy some decor for the wedding, I set up camp in the backyard with an extension cord and a few glasses of iced tea to continue the nerding. Now, here I am back at home and continuing the same before bed. I'm also excited to start a new project at work on Monday as the site I've been working on is about to wrap up. R and I leave for a wedding in Florence on Friday evening with us making stops to visit friends in Copenhagen and Amsterdam along the way. I imagine that posts will be sparse after we leave, but pictures plentiful when we get back. That's all I've got!


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Black Cat Makeover

I was surprised Friday morning to see a coat of white paint being applied to the black cat. "Holy Crap!" I thought, "that doesn't make any sense."
Black Cat Makeover (morning)
I was totally right that it didn't make sense, but wrong to think that this was the only coat of paint. On my way back in the afternoon, I found that it was just the primer. "Whew."
Black Cat Makeover (afternoon)
R and I took it easy last night as she had to work all day today and I was still feeling a little spent from having seen Le Loup on Monday night at dc9, Ratatat on Tuesday night at the 930 club and TV on the Radio on Wednesday night after kickball (8-0, bitches!). We went over to R's old work for a for a few drinks and then finished watching Running with Scissors, which I highly recommend.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Your Local DC 14th Street Crime Watch

At least twice a week on my way to or from work I seem to witness police arresting someone or trying to. First it was outside the FCH in a snow storm, then a week ago it was watching a bus get pulled over at 14th and S and a woman taken off in handcuffs. Yesterday, I watched as 5 police cars came flying out of Riggs and S streets to pull up in Front of Sparky's espresso cafe and start fanning out down 14th to search for something. I still haven't been able to figure out what the actual story is with their presences. All I've pieced together so far is that there was a bike that had been folded in half in the middle of the street and a lot of attention paid to this new clothing store called Redeem. Another boutique clothing store a block away called Pop was robbed about three months ago, as well. There appears to be a lot of shady activity in the two blocks around Riggs and R streets where they intersect with 14th.


Monday, April 16, 2007

The Washer Saga Comes to a Close

If you remember the whole washer saga from this post you can skip the little summary of the situation here:

The only other thing happening around here besides work is some standard condo association turmoil. I'll see if I can summarize it all in ninety-nine words or less:
On October 17th 2006, washer of current stackable starts making horrible noise. Repair man says that bearing are shot, $700 to fix. Condo has meeting and, after much communication on the message board and answering of questions about fitting new stackable, connecting, cost, delivery, removal, etc. fifth unit finally votes and puts us above 66% for the 6 units in the building on November 23rd. One unit, #5, votes to repair instead of replace. Unfortunately, the last unit caveats her vote with the fact that she only wants to replace the washer when it is "really" broken. This seems to make sense and the vote passes.
Fast forward to March 12th when another unit finally complains that the noise has gotten too loud. Three other units (including me) agree that the washer is finally "broken" and I start to move towards replacing. Sudden emails regarding questions about the same matters "will it fit?", "who will install it?", "what if it doesn't fit?" start flooding in from the remaining two units that were hesitant. The unit that originally voted to repair and raised such a stink starts insisting that any replacement stackable washer "must separate into two pieces, otherwise it won't fit through the doorway." I measure doorways, call to confirm that we can return it the same day if it doesn't fit, etc. It doesn't help. The last unit still keeps insisting that if it can't separate into two pieces, it won't fit. I call. It can't separate. We have the 66% to go ahead and get it anyway and we already voted on the model... so I think I'm just going to order this week. This will cause a HUGE problem with the asshole unit.

We went ahead and ordered the new washer and had it delivered on Saturday, but before I tell you how it went, I thought I'd let you read some of the emails (names changed to protect the innocent/non-innocent) that were going around before its delivery.
It all started when Unit 4 sent this email saying that the old machine had become too loud and that it needed to be replaced.

Date: March 10, 2007
From: [Unit 4]
To: [Condo Assoc]
Subject: Screeech!!!

Dear neighbors,

I request the washer be replaced. The high-pitched screeching noise
as the washer runs, has been entering my apartment for months and
getting louder, longer, and higher-pitched with time. We have the
capital to correct this condo problem, so I am not seeing other
barriers as to why we cannot replace the washer at this time. Please,
please, I urge that we just do it.

[Unit 4]

Despite multiple attempts and written walk-throughs that I've sent her, Unit 6 doesn't have the technical/mental prowess to sign up for the Yahoo! group that we use as our list serv. Thus, we have to remember to CC her on any message to the condo association because otherwise she can't see it. As you can see above, Unit 4 forgot to CC her. Units 2, 3 and my unit (1) agreed with unit 4 that it was replacement time in reply to the original email, thus leaving unit 6 off of the chain. Then I got this:

Date: March 12, 2007
From: [Unit 6]
To: [Greg]
Subject: Not Funny At All

Hi Guys,

I am highly surprised because I have never gotten any of these emails about coordinating for the new washer and already there is a plan to replace the old one. ( everyone knows that for some crazy reason I can not get any condo emails and I need to be cced at my personal email.)

First at all I do not appreciate the fact that no one REMEMBER or worse did not have the courtesy of being political correct ( style in this city..I am so surprised) to ask me about MY CONDITIONAL VOTE in regards of the washer.

We all acknowledge in our Condo meeting past January 2007 that my vote was contingent if the washer breaks. The washer is NOT broken just have a hideous noise.

If you guys want a NEW WASHER because it is hideous looking , smells , makes noise, does not wash properly you just have to ask- that simple.

I have some questions :

1.- Is it costing the same?

2.-It is the washer going to fit trough our main door/back door?

3.- Are the pipes from the new washer the right measure for the water heater pipe? if it doesn't fit then and the old one is already hauled then we won't have a washer to use!! and then we need a plumber to fix it! and NO WASHER..

I might come across as obnoxious rising these questions but I want to remind you that we live in a weird building with weird measures for doors, closets, corners, stairs, fixtures and room temperatures... and I do not even know how the builder put the washer and dryer in the laundry room in first place. We must be careful.

Thanks for your attention.

[Unit 6].

All of the questions that Unit 6 asked in this email were addressed back when we were choosing the right model for the room. Measurements were taken, arguments made, etc. Being the patient soul that I am, the next time I ran into her on the street, I apologized for her not having been CCed and repeated what she should have already known if she'd bothered showing up, reading meeting minutes or reading any of the 100 messages that are posted to the message board on this topic. The day after I explained things to Unit 6 in person, she wrote me to say that unit #5 also wanted to hear what the answers were to her questions. So I wrote this email:

Date: March 15th, 2007 6:49pm
From: Greg
To: [Condo Assoc]
Subject: Re: Message from [Unit 6]


I talked these concerns over with [unit 6], but she said that unit 5 also
wanted the answers to the questions so that we're all on the same

As far as the cost of the washer, it should still be the same price as
the model that we voted on a few months ago. I checked the website
last week and it was the same.

As far as being able to fit the washer into the room, it's the same
size as the old one within a quarter of an inch, so it should fit.
Obviously I can't promise anything, but trust me when I say that we'll
return the friggin thing if it doesn't fit in the basement. Given that
Sears is delivering and installing, we can just have them take it back

As far as connecting the pipes, Sears will do that as well (it's
really just two hoses and a plug, which I'll be disconnecting before
delivery and are easily reconnectable if the thing doesn't fit).

I haven't ordered the new one yet as I was waiting to see if there
were any objections to [unit 4]'s request. Given the level of noise
being created by this thing, I'd really like to get a new one ordered
this week.


It only took resident A of unit 5 an hour and and twenty minutes to respond to my answers:

Date: March 15th, 2007 8:07pm
From: [Unit 5 - resident A]
To: [Condo Assoc]
Subject: Re: Message from [Unit 6]

[Unit 6] raises some very valid concerns.

1. The big question is can the new washer be installed in two separate pieces (like the current one), or only in one piece ? The new washer is a half inch higher and about 3 inches deeper, and it won't fit through the door unless it can be separated in two pieces.

2. Does the 75 and a half inch height measurement of the proposed new washer/dryer include the little rubber feet it stands on?
If yes, the top of the unit will just barely brush up against...(.or if we are lucky just barely fit under)..... the copper pipe running to the water heater. But if the height measurement does not include the little feet it stands on, then installation will be obstructed by that pipe. The water heater pipe would have to be moved by a plumber using a saw torch and joint. This is not the job of the washer installation guy, and would be an extra expense and delay to us. The current washer is one half inch shorter and the copper pipe only clears it by one half an inch. We need to account for the uneveness of the floor, the feet the proposed new washer stands on, and its extra half inch in height.

These two questions need to be answered before proceeding with a new purchase and installation..

As you recall, #5 and 6 supported repairing the existing washer last fall while it was still under warranty. This would have cost half as much, there would be no noise now, and we wouldn't be facing these installation problems.

Thank you, and I hope the answers are favorable.

[Unit 5 - resident A]

So Unit #5 is already saying "I told you so" before there ever really is an "installation problem". Ridiculous. I read this email as a stalling tactic or just bitterness on their part at having not won the initial vote. My argument was that we'd already voted on the exact model of washer after a long discussion about sizes. In fact, unit #5 and I went to the basement and measured the current washer/dryertogether to make sure a 75 1/2" unit would fit in the space!

Lucky for me, before I could reply to this riduculousness, Unit #6 wrote to agree that it was time to replace and we had 5 of 6 units in agreement. I forwarded her email along to the group on March 16th, but unit #5 still wasn't satisfied:

Date: March 16, 2007
From: [Unit 5 - resident A]
To: [Condo Assoc]
Subject: Re: a message from [unit 6]

I have not yet seen the answers to my questions about whether the washer and dryer can be separated for installation and how the height of the new washer will affect the copper water heater pipe above . I am confident Greg is checking on it with Sears, so Greg, please let us know when you have the answers. We don't want to run into any of these extra expenses [unit 6] is talking about, and a new washer won't do us any good if it doesn't fit, so let's be sure beforehand.
[Unit 5 - resident A]

I took a couple of days to scream and bitch about how these questions were just being posed because of sour grapes. I firmly believed that, having measured all the spaces and doorways, the washer would fit even if it couldn't be separated into two parts. Answering the question posed by unit #5 regarding separation would give the question itself too much merit, which I refused to do. So I called Sears, but just confirmed with them that if the washer didn't fit through the door, we could return it immediately and have all charges refunded. I also went and disconnected and reconnected the existing washer completely to confirm that it was something I could do again if the new one didn't fit. Then I sent this email:

Date: March 19, 2007 12:41pm
From: Greg
To: [Condo Assoc]
Subject: Re: A message from [unit 6]

Hi everyone,

I called Sears yesterday and confirmed that delivery includes putting the new washer into the laundry room. As we discussed during the washer vote, they will also remove the old unit for ten dollars extra. In addition, I confirmed that, if the washer does not fit into the laundry room, we can "refuse delivery", have them take it back on the truck that day and be credited back the entire amount. While I admit it might seem a waste of time to have something delivered and taken back, I do not believe we can be sure of whether or not a new washer will fit until we try getting it down there (when I suggested they send someone out to take measurements, the guy laughed and asked why I didn't just have them come try and the refuse delivery).

As far as the splitting the washer into two pieces, I did not inquire with Sears once I had learned that we could refuse it if it doesn't fit. Since we've already voted on the machine itself, whether or not it splits into two parts is now moot.

Given the fact that we can return the washer if it does not fit, and given that all but one unit have agreed they are OK to go ahead with replacement, I plan to order the unit this week. I will come back to the board with any problems that pop up (like, if, say, they no longer carry the model we voted on half a year ago).

In other news: I met with [redacted] from [the trash company] this morning and gave him the new key to the back, so that problem should be resolved.

Also, I inquired with [redacted] regarding the back wall and getting a second quote. He responded regarding the necessity of all the items mentioned in the first quote, but failed to address my request for a second quote from a different contractor. I will ping him again this week.

In addition, in the future, please do not assume that I will personally answer any question that is posed about the various issues in front of the board. I devote a significant amount of my time to these issues and to worrying about them, but it should not be assumed that I have all the time in the world to satisfy every request. If you have an urgent question that you feel you could answer yourself, please feel free to do so and then report back to the group.


This time it took unit #5 over five hours to respond, but it was just as infuriating as ever:

Date: March 19, 2007 5:54pm
From: [Unit 5 - resident B]
To: [Condo Assoc]
Subject: Re: A message from Unit 6

Again, Greg, your message did not answer the simple key question posed by [unit 5 - resident A]: is the washer separable from the dryer.
Please read the following attentively:

The proposed washer/dryer's measurements do not fit the parameters of the building. It's a simple fact and I do not need to try to fit the washer or ask a salesman (!) about it. No matter how you tweak it -- it does not work if the washer is unseparable! Before we enbark on another slopily executed project please get these facts straight.

I'm concerned that we may wind up with an uninstalled old washer and no new washer at all. Can you imagine this mess? So it's not really the question of refused delivery, but common sense and practicality.

I feel a lot of resentment in your message, but [unit 5 - resident A] raised very valid points and nothing personal. As President, please keep your mind open to his points as well.

Best regards,

[Unit 5 - resident B]

At this point, I was completely livid and had to write one of those emails that I'll never send and would later delete. Let's just say that it explained in mostly four letter words why I had so much "resentment". I'm 100% positive that Unit 5 had already called Sears and confirmed what I had also found out: that the washer does not split into two separate pieces for delivery. They were just trying to make me say it to the condo board so that they could then say "I told you so" a few more times and try to have a re-vote to get it repaired instead of replaced (like they'd wanted to since the year before). All this stress for a stackable laundry unit? Seriously? I finally came around, thanks in large part to R, and realized that I couldn't let these people get to me any more than they already had. I laughed off the "parameters" email as being the insane ramblings of a disgruntled and sexually frustrated freak and told the treasurer to just go ahead and order the washer. Once we'd found out the delivery date, I waited a few days to let unit 5 squirm (bad karma for me) and then sent around this email:

Date: April 2, 2007
To: [Condo Assoc]
Subject: New Washer

Sorry for not updating everyone earlier. Yes the washer/dryer has been ordered. It's scheduled to be delivered on Saturday, April 14th. I plan on being home to disconnect our unit, determine if the delivered unit will fit and reconnect the old one if need be. Sears "requires" that the old one be disconnected by us for removal, but I'll wait until the delivery guy gets there to see if he'll let us wait to disconnect until we know that the new one fits in the room. If it doesn't, we'll get to have lots more fun discussions on what to do next!

On the morning of Saturday, April 14th, the Sears delivery guys pulled up in front of the house and loaded the unit off the back of the truck. I asked the delivery guy if he could take a look at the laundry room situation and tell me if he thought it would fit.
As soon as we got down to the laundry room, his eyes widened a little, but not a lot. Then he said, "Oh, your old one is gas."
"Yeah, I know," I said. "Isn't the one we ordered gas as well?"
"Well, yes. But we're not allowed to install gas."
"Because of regulations, you have to have a plumber install the gas line. Didn't they tell you that?"
"Well, no." I said, "but isn't that the kind of thing I can really do myself with two wrenches? Could you walk me through it?"
He agreed to walk me through, then busted out a tape measure and started measuring all the angles. My plan was to have them try to get the new unit in the room first and, if it didn't fit, just hook the old one back up. I thought I explained this pretty well, but the delivery guy and his partner started removing the old unit anyway, explaining that they would have too much trouble trying to get it out with another washer in the room. I figured this would still work as long as they could just bring the old one back in if the new one didn't fit. This would all have been fine and good, until partner guy decided that instead of unplugging the old washer from the wall, he would just cut the cord. I saw this and gasped.
"I thought you said the washer was broken?" the delivery guy said.
"Well, it still kind of worked. I guess the new one reallyspan> has to fit now."
"It will fit. Don't worry."
With a little pushing and shoving and some attention to angles, delivery guy was right. The old unit was taken out (in two pieces, ironically) and the new one was placed in. I was left to hook up all the venting and tubes and such, but I had a pretty good handle on it thanks to my dad being Captain DIY and having forced me to hook up no less than three washers when it was raining too hard to be roofing.
So that's it. The new washer is in. The old one is out. The new one never separated into two pieces to be installed, despite claims that "no matter how you tweak it -- it does not work if the washer is unseparable". I'm not going to say "I told you so" in a personal email to Unit 5 or in an email to the condo association because I think karma would catch up to me if I did. I might not even say it here. I'll just imply it by talking about how much I want to say it. Instead, I sent a passive aggressive email announcing the installation:

Date: April 14, 2007
From: Greg
To:[ Condo Assoc]
Subject: New Washer

The new washer is installed and ready for use. R and I are running a load of towels just to make sure that both the washer and dryer are working correctly (i.e. that the hot and cold aren't mixed up and that the gas is working). I'll put a note on it if we notice anything funny, but otherwise please use the machine as you normally would.

Like the old machine, the new one is a High Efficiency washer and it is recommended that you use High Efficiency (HE) detergent in the machine to extend its life. If you use regular detergent, it is recommended that you only use 1/4 of the regular amount as high efficiency washers use less water and therefore require less detergent (oversudsing from too much is also what kills the bearings).

Thanks for making this happen, everyone!


Well, that's it. The whole story. Unless the new one breaks.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Internet Famous

My DC Taxi Zones Google Map made the DCist today. Sweet!


Thursday, April 12, 2007

OK. So maybe I do have some time on my hands.

Google released this new My Maps feature on Google Maps sometime last week that let's you add your own lines, shapes, pointers and notes to maps. I'm working on two different ones and thought I'd share what I have so far. The first is a Ward Map for DC. I never know what's in what ward, so this is a great way to do a map search and then have my map appear over it so that I know what's where. I created this map by eyeballing the fantastic pdf located here. There's plenty more that could be added within the wards to separate out the various ANC/SMD boundaries, but enough is enough... for now.

DC Wards Google Map
DC Wards Google Map

The second and, I believe, more useful of the two is an overlay of all the different DC taxi cab zones. Now I'll now when my ride is 1 zone or two without having to google "Taxi Cab Zones DC" and downloading a stupid PDF that only lists 1 street name for each border. That PDF was impossible to read, but it's also what I used to try to create this, which is why it still says "in progress". Enjoy!

DC Taxi Zones Google Map
DC Taxi Zone Google Map

While it probably seems really tedious to sit there flipping back and forth between a pdf and google maps and drawing shapes one click at a time, I think I actually find it kind of soothing. Who knows, maybe I will finish off those ANC/SMD boundaries.



I said that I was surprised back in the day when Bush appointed Wolfowitz as head of the World Bank. Today there's a story in the Washington Post about Wolfowitz coming under fire:

For Wolfowitz, Slings and Arrows
Growing hostility within the World Bank toward its president, Paul D. Wolfowitz, is raising questions about his ability to lead the big lending institution and raise money for a fund that assists the developing world.

Wolfowitz's tenure, contentious from the start because of his earlier role as an architect of U.S. policy in Iraq, has been marred in recent months by a series of controversies. World Bank staffers disclosed that a woman with whom Wolfowitz is romantically involved received big pay raises from the bank. Sensitive board minutes regarding China have been leaked to the press, and blistering criticism has been leveled at Wolfowitz on an internal electronic bulletin board.

This reminded me of another article I read in the New Yorker a week or two ago that looked more into the personality of Wolfowitz.

The Next Crusade
On a wall of the mosque was some ornate writing in Arabic. “Is that the Fatiha?” Wolfowitz asked, referring to a passage in the Koran. No, the imam replied, explaining that the writing was from another passage. Wolfowitz taught himself Arabic in the nineteen-eighties, when he was working at the State Department. (He also speaks French, German, Hebrew, and Indonesian.) Last year, during a visit to a mosque in eastern China, he recited a prayer from the Koran in Arabic. This time, as he was leaving the mosque, he encountered a dozen or so news photographers who had gathered to document his visit. Bending down to change back into his shoes, Wolfowitz removed a slipper, revealing a large hole in the toe of one gray wool sock. Then he removed the other slipper, exposing another hole. Shigeo Katsu, the World Bank’s vice-president for Europe and Central Asia, tried to step between Wolfowitz and the photographers, but it was too late. The camera shutters clicked.

Given the poll results from yesterday's post, it looks like the blog will likely just keep rolling along. Please vote if you haven't already!


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

So long blog... sort of. Take the poll.

I'm starting to play with the idea of retiring ye 'olde blog(e). I'd love to say that it's for no other reason than that the posts have gotten further apart, but the real reason is that there are people reading this who shouldn't be reading it. These people would be my former coworkers who haven't bothered to contact me since I quit two months ago, but still appear to be checking in on my blog from time to time. At first, I thought that because no one had sent an email or anything, they didn't care and weren't checking the blog anyway (this is after they'd found the blog through a scorpion link and failed to tell me they'd done so. In fact, they've never told me, I had to find out through the logs.). But tonight I went through the site logs for the first time in two months and found that I've had visitors from good old LECG as recently as April 9th:

Hi there, whichever one of you that is! Scorpion? Wonder Boy? Big Fearless? All of you? Glad to see that you're still so interested in what I'm up to! Thanks for keeping in touch! False.

I'd love to say that I don't care who reads this blog, but of course I care: that's why I don't hand out the address to just anyone that I meet. If strangers read it, fine. But isn't it creepy to think that people you saw every day would read it and not tell you that they know it exists?

So now I need to decide what to do next. I can easily set up my own blog using joomla!, or drupal, but how will I know that they won't just spend their bored hours between pointless tasks scouring the web to find it again? They're nerds. It wouldn't be that difficult for them to do. The only solution would be to password protect the new one, but that would make it impossible for anyone to get an RSS feed of posts. Although, if I were to move to a passworded site, it would be really nice to be able to talk smack about the condo association and my old job (hell even the new one) as much as I wanted...

The other option, of course, would be to just come to terms with their lurking on the site and continue to write whatever I'm going to write, knowing full well that they'll belittle and snicker at things they deem "gay" (their term, not mine).

"Hey, did you see this picture of a building? Who takes pictures of buildings? That's so gay. Let's go eat some fast food, buy some $400 puffy dress shirts with monogrammed cuffs and then work until 2am while our hair falls out."

It would also be a shame to shut the thing down now when I just discovered some of the sweet features of the sitemeter logs... like being able to tell that PG spent 17 minutes on here some day in April or that somebody from DOT is visiting all the time (hrm, I wonder who that could be...).

Maybe I'll take a vote. Thanks, polldaddy!

I'm leaning towards #4... or #3. Your thoughts? (If you can't see the poll, it might be blocked by your AdBlock Firefox extension. Haven't heard of Adblock? What the hell is the matter with you?)


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Time? What time?

Speaking of time, all of my clocks that had chips were screwed up on Sunday. Nice work, government, with your decision to do DST early this year. Jerks.

I've been really busy with work. I was put on a project with a tight deadline (May 1st) within my first week and have been working independently and trying to manage myself while coding, which isn't so easy. It doesn't make it any easier that the site is supposed to be ready for testing on April 15th I'm supposed to attend the NTEN Technology Conference for the next three days (as well as Penguin Day all day Saturday). Oh well, I'm sure I'll find time to work in between "geek-out" sessions. I really can't complain about getting to be nerdy all day, anyway.

Speaking of nerdery, I took a look at the system monitor for the MB Pro this evening when Firefox was taking a while to boot up and noticed that one application was taking up triple the memory of all others. Usually, Firefox is the culprit for hogging memory on a mac (a problem that has been an open bug for quite some time), but, given that FF wasn't even booting, I wondered what else it might be. Lo and Behold, it was Microsoft's AutoUpdater for Microsoft O sitting around hogging up 414.99 MB of virtual memory. Leave it to Microsoft to create shitty software for a Macintosh. I put a stop to that piece of crap "toot sweet" by setting it to make me check for updates manually instead of letting it run all the time (don't worry, Meg, I set yours to do the same).

There's not much else to report. R and I are in full wedding-prep mode, but only have to spend an hour or so on specifics each week. Most of the stuff for the actual night of the reception is taken care of. Now it's just a matte of organizing events for the day after and making sure everyone is happy (easier said than done).

I'm loving the new job, but I can't wait to establish myself a bit more there so that I don't feel too self-conscious reading the news at work. The first month or two is always tough as far as being on best behavior is concerned. This isn't to say I've been working late or anything. Instead, I've been spending my time going to shows (le loup was AWESOME, btw. Some pics from the show on flickr here), running at the gym (I have an awesome blister!) and making a website and the invitation designs for the wedding. OK. Time for bed. I'll be taking the lappy with me to the conference the rest of the week, so who knows, I may have time to write.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

A Nerdy Suggestion

Hopefully, you've already discovered the niftiness that is Really Simple Syndication, or RSS. RSS consists of feeds from websites that are meant to summarize recent news, blog posts, etc. If you're using firefox, it's that little orange thing in the top right corner of the address box. I've been searching for the perfect RSS Reader for quite some time. At first, I was using this FireFox plugin called Sage, but the problem with it is that it's local to your computer, so you can't have the same feeds at work without a lot of importing and exporting of feed lists and synching.
Next, I tried using, which, when integrated with FireFox will show the feeds in the bookmark bar on the left. The problem with this one was that it didn't list out the feeds from blogs in date order or remove one that had already been read. No dice.
Next, I tried out BlogLines, which keeps all of your feeds online so that they're accessible from anywhere, but I never found myself actually going to the bloglines website to check feeds and I wasn't about to go changing my home page.
Finally, last week, I ran into Google Reader and the Google Reader Greasemonkey Extension for Gmail in FireFox. Google Reader is a lot like BlogLines. But there's a Greasemonkey script that turns gmail into a split screen with gmail on top and your rss feeds on the bottom. (You can turn off the split screen any time, too.) Of course, none of this works unless you use FireFox and have a Gmail account. Here's what you'll need:

Looking at it now, that's a lot of steps, but once it's all up and running it's great to have gmail and your news and blog feeds all in the same place. Once it's all installed, there's a little "Reader" link that pops up in gmail, which, when clicked will drop in a whole Google Reader pane in the gmail style.Ta!


April Fool's Day

Or is that April Fools' Day. Whatever. Google's joke is here: gmail paper, wherein Google claims to be starting a program where they will add a new Print Archive button to gmail that allows you to print any message and have it mailed to you. At first, I thought, "umm.. ok. but I have a printer." Then I clicked for more information and realized it was a joke. I'm a little embarassed at having had to click. Oh well.

Is it free?
Yes. The cost of postage is offset with the help of relevant, targeted, unobtrusive advertisements, which will appear on the back of your Gmail Paper prints in red, bold, 36 pt Helvetica. No pop-ups, no flashy animations—these are physically impossible in the paper medium.

How about attachments?
All part of the deal. Photo attachments are printed on high-quality, glossy photo paper, and secured to your Gmail Paper with a paper clip. MP3 and WAV files will not be printed. We recommend maintaining copies of your non-paper Gmail in these cases.

Is there a limit?
You can make us print one, one thousand, or one hundred thousand of your emails. It’s whatever seems reasonable to you.

But what about the environment?
Not a problem. Gmail Paper is made out of 96% post-consumer organic soybean sputum, and thus, actually helps the environment. For every Gmail Paper we produce, the environment gets incrementally healthier.