need for simulated speed

B00006JJID.03.LZZZZZZZFour or so years ago my brother Kevin bought me a Logitech WingMan Formula Force GP (for the PC) as a gift.

At the time I didn’t really have a computer with the gaming horsepower to take advantage of it, but as time went on and I upgraded, I settled into a regular pattern: about every six months a new racing/driving game comes out. I’ll buy/try/download it, play for approximately 20 hours, more or less straight, finish it or get to a point where I don’t know what to do next and won’t bother going to find an online gaming guide, and put the wheel in the drawer until it is time for a new title.

This week’s game is Need For Speed Most Wanted. It is a substantial improvement from the previous Underground version in the series. I won’t go into great detail on a game review, since I don’t think most of my readers are into that kind of thing. I will say they have done a great job with this one making it really addictive. The classic “win races, get money, upgrade vehicle” mode works on me every time. I started out with a plain Volkswagen Golf and now I’m driving a Porsche Cayman S with a whale tail and flames on the side.

The other notable thing about Most Wanted is part of the game is trying to avoid the police. They will try to box you in, set up roadblocks and try to arrest you. It is very stressful — you can sometimes outrun them, but then you have to hide out waiting for the cooldown period to end so you can move on to the next race. Whew.


cargo magazine is the new wishbook


whos connected

Freeware program Who’s Connected analyzes and displays your active Internet connections. It’s a quick and simple tool for finding out what programs are using your bandwidth.

Who’s Connected may come in handy when you suspect a bandwidth hog on your computer, but can’t seem to find the culprit. While the software currently lacks a bandwidth monitor for each connection, the feature is currently in development.


aspen not aspeny enough

Aspen (right), which last week got a ton of just-opened buzz actually opens tonight.

That’s funny. Emily and I went last night.

There was brown paper up in the windows and no visible address, but we did the old “this must be it” and just walked in. Bars are funny like that; trying to be hard to find to make you feel special. There weren’t all that many people there and everyone seemed to already know each other, but whatever, we were determined.

The place was split between the front bar part you see in the picture here and a restaurant in back. This was clearly a bar before they moved in, and I don’t think they went quite far enough with the decor. I didn’t at all feel like I was in Aspen. The glass deer heads and wood paneling were cool enough and I guess they can fool the average customer who hasn’t been out west ever. The restaurant in back was while elm themed and I quite liked the vibe back there. 

We sat down and ordered our drinks, but the bartender didn’t ask for money. We had stumbled into a (semi) private opening type party without knowing it. After we finished up the cocktails, being the moral people we are, waved the bartender and asked what the charge was. He leaned over and said “aren’t these guys with you?” to the manager/owner, I guess she said no because we got the bill, paid it and left.  


jinx and max


I was just reading about Joaquin Phoenix playing Johnny Cash in the new biopic, stumbled into IMDB per usual and, whoa, did anyone else realize that he was Max from Spacecamp (ha, released in 1986).

“Max and Jinx… Friends… For-e-ver.”


foxy fire

There is one main reason why I don’t use Firefox.

98% of my “surfing” or “browsing” time happens in Outlook 2003, where Newsgator delivers my RSS feeds. The reading pane in Outlook is built on Internet Explorer. So I’m already hitting IE’s cache, security settings, admuncher settings, page behavior. Now if I were to click on the link to open a particular post in the full browser (which I do all the time) all that stuff is already there and I know what to expect. If I had Firefox set as my default it would have to go and re-download all that content and load up a second cache which is wasteful and slow. Plus, if the page doesn’t load like I expect it to, I won’t know if the problem is firefox specific or not.

Really though I’m glad that they are pushing Microsoft to build IE 7, but the whole business of getting so passionate about it is ridiculous. In the long run a lot of good will have come from doing all that work, but really the actual product is a bit of a distraction for Windows users.


from a weston high school graduate

What timing! Just two posts ago I was from California and today I’m totally from Weston, Connecticut.

Johnny Depp: Suburbanite?

Although Johnny Depp has been living mostly in France since 1998, the word on the quiet, tree-lined streets of tony, rural Weston, Connecticut, is that he’s discovered that some things function better back home. In 2003, Depp was quoted saying he didn’t want to raise his kids in the U.S.: “America is dumb, it’s like a dumb puppy . . . I’d like them [his children] to see America as a toy, a broken toy. Investigate it a little, check it out, get this feeling and then get out.” According to the town rumor mill, Weston’s top-ranked schools attracted Depp, his girlfriend, Vanessa Paradis, and their two kids into returning from their exile. He’s said to have paid close to $10 million for a big white traditional house on nine acres that he’s partly gutted and is doubling in size. Depp apparently fell in love with the town when he was visiting his friend Keith Richards, the inspiration for his campy, Oscar-nominated performance in Pirates of the Caribbean (Paul Newman and Christopher Walken also live in the area). Depp’s rep, Robin Baum, denied that he was becoming a suburbanite.

I found out it is 000 [update: removed the number] Kellogg Hill Road, I know that one (by the location on the google map). I also have a good story about Keith Richards having dinner at Aspetuck, the country club very near Johnny’s new house.


rocky top tube socks – cape cod has allowed an idea that was hatched on a road trip to Cape Cod into a product you can buy.

It says “Without the C it’s just od” or if you prefer “Without the sea it’s just odd”

Get yours today.

Emily gets the 100% of the credit for coming up with this one and executing the idea.

Rocky Top Tube Socks Custom t-shirt shop.

There are seven different T’s to choose from including women’s and baby sizes.


tacos and cellos

As one who is frequently teased for being selective about where I am “from”, e.g. California vs Connecticut, suiting the answer to the situation, I can say definitively my taste in Mexican food is CA based. That is to say I have high standards — for guacamole and carnitas especially. So far living in New York has netted some enjoyable Mexican meals, and there are a few good dishes at otherwise less than spectacular spots. I’m thinking about the salsa and steak tacos al carbon at Rancho on the upper west side for example.

But last night, I had a really remarkable meal at a place in the East Village called Mercadito. From meal start to finish:

  • Although I ordered a Negra Modeldo and only sipped it from my date’s glass, the margarita was really nice. Good quality tequila with fresh fruit (mango in this case) bits.
  • Guacamole comes in three flavors: traditional, mango or pineapple. I don’t like sweet in my guac, so I ordered the traditional and it was the best I’ve had in NYC. The provided chips were double thick and not the best ever, but were an adequate vehicle for big loads of fresh avocado.
  • Cerviche seems to be one of the specialties, probably due to its profitability ($13.50 for less than a cup-full). Despite the small portion, the tuna variety (there were probably ten to choose from) we tried was quite good. The tuna was impeccably fresh. This time too, the flatbread cracker type thing they gave us wasn’t great, but it was hardly the point.
  • Tacos are the size of those mini-cds you almost never see — say 4” diameter or so. Four came on the plate, placed in the middle of the table, meant for sharing. We had the Shrimp cama-something which was shrimp and a chipotle sauce. The shrimp were tender like a scallop and the chipotle flavor had this popping sensation in the mouth that is hard to describe and a delight to experience. And of course I seek our restaurants that serve carnitas, so I had to order it. Carnitas (shredded pork) can be made a number of ways, and this wasn’t the same style my family uses, but it was tender and flavorful with a mild green salsa and a sliver of mango. I didn’t like the idea of the mango at first, but the execution was flawless and the whole thing worked incredibly well together.
  • Sorry, didn’t order dessert, but they sounded good.

</restaurant portion of review>

<music portion>

Went to see Erin and her Cello at the Telephone Bar. Erin is a new friend from the neighborhood and it just so happens, she is really talented and put on a fantastically entertaining show. She sang and played the cello (mostly picking/plucking whatever it’s called), while a xylophone player, percussionist (bongo + shakers and clackers n’stuff) and beat-boxer/mouth hornist backed her up. Bonus moment, the beat-boxer had to leave half way through, but gave us a rendition of Lionel Richey’s “Easy” doing the whole song, beats and lyrics simultaneously Rahzel style. She’s playing again at Telephone Bar on December 5th, “All Shows Will Begin at 9pm, and All shows are FREE.”


22 hours is a long time in coach – Boeing jet breaks nonstop record – Nov 10, 2005

LONDON, England (AP) — A Boeing Co. jet arrived in London from Hong Kong on Thursday after 22 hours and 43 minutes in the air, breaking the record for the longest nonstop flight by a commercial jet.

I had to read this a bunch of times scratching my head before I understood why I was confused.

See, I have flown Hong Kong to London on Virgin (wow, that was a nice flight) and that was not a 22 hour flight, more like 14 if I remember correctly. I read this thinking, “Jees, did the pilots just do a few laps or Europe just so they could break the record? Seems like a waste of fuel.”

The answer? They flew the other way around (East)…