East River Music Project — fundraiser photo exhibit

ERMP Fundraiser 4 1 06_Invite

This Saturday April 1st from 4pm to 10pm, Emily will be exhibiting seven or eight photos at a benefit in Brooklyn. There will be bands and djs, after 7pm there is a $5 suggested donation. The event was also highlighted in this week’s TimeOut.

I’m definitely going to be there and everyone reading this is invited!



iraqi girls don’t get to wear pink tank tops

ReallybaghdadTalkingPointsMemo has a funny political theater gotcha I’d like to share.

This guy who is running for Duke Cunningham’s congressional spot in California put up this picture of “Bhagdad” from his recent trip there as a way of illustrating that the media is over-selling the negatives like, say, civil war and not talking about all the groovy good stuff that is going on over there. He offers this picture -> as evidence.

Except that isn’t Bhagdad. It is a suburb of Istanbul, Turkey called Bakirkoy. TPM’s got a picture of the same intersection from a different angle with arrows and everything.

My only experience in Turkey was spending a few hours in the Airport in Instanbul. Stuff I noticed a) the airport was one of the nicest airports I’ve ever been in, every high end luxury brand imaginable was represented, immaculately clean and well maintained b) the security was incredibly diligent and professional. As a transferring passenger they had you go down onto the tarmac where they opened up your checked baggage and asked you pointed questions Israeli style before they loaded the next plane. Very impressive stuff, handled discretely and seriously; made the TSA look like your local mini-mall security staff.


it’s all about the accessories

A few weeks ago I wrote a weak criticism of FireFox and basically wrote it off as a fad. I was kindof disappointed with the way I sounded. My self imposed techno credentials demand that I speak with authority on a topic like this and I don’t think the original post was up to that standard. So it was good timing that the 1.5 release came out and I decided that I ought to live in Firefox world for a while so I could be specific with my cheers and jeers.

Since I was starting fresh on my main workstation (previous Firefox installs were always in VM environments) I figured the slate was clean and it would prove to be a valid test of what a new user would go through. First of all, several of my day-to-day application sites did not work properly and I had to install one of those tools that lets you open a tab up using the IE rendering engine. But once you get started with those extensions you can’t stop and you wonder what you did before. It has crashed 5 6 7 many times on me, which had only happened once in my memory with IE 6.

On last count I had 18 extensions loaded and a handful of GreaseMonkey scripts as well. The good news is I’m a total FireFox power user now. I have tweaked and tuned, extended and embraced. The bad news is I’m going to specifically suggest that most folks probably don’t want to use it just yet. There are simply too many sites in my “use IE tab” rendering list to say that it is ready for average users. The problem there too is that of the sites that are in that list, they are some of the most important ones I use: my bank, my bill payment service, SharePoint, etc.

I feel almost the same way about FireFox that I do about my iPod. They frustrate me, and I don’t really want to support the companies behind it, but that’s where the accessories are. And accessories, an ecosystem of developers, products and new ideas, just can’t be denied.


goth dental hygienist

Visitors to the Archangel dental surgery in west London are confronted by a goth dentist, Didier Goalard, who says: “I’ve got goth friends who are doing quite well. There’s a dentist in Lyon, a couple of solicitors, a Church of England priest.” …

Goalard the dentist is now 39 but refuses to wear the white smock, preferring to top his boots with a black uniform. Faithful to the last, he plays Nine Inch Nails and Killing Joke songs as he drills.

Link [via Boing Boing]

I knew it! I’ve long suspected my dental hygienist was into S&M, but I guess goth isn’t that much of a leap right? My suspicions aren’t based on her willingness to inflict pain on me, although she certainly is more than willing, but just something about her that makes me picture her wearing all black and there’s just some quality to her that says she’s got some history.


on sequels and movies made from video games and old tv shows

TheislandmovieThis article in Slate goes into the economics of the current Hollywood obsession with movie sequels, remakes, rehashes and video game adaptations. The author singles out The Island as an example of a big budget movie that didn’t fit into the formula and subsequently failed at the box office. Since I’d like to see more original content at the box office, I made a direct effort to go to Blockbuster and rent it.

For those that don’t even remember it, The Island features Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson and was directed by Michael Bay. I didn’t really expect to like it all that much, but I have to say I’ve seen many many worse movies, in other words, it wasn’t that bad. I was rooting for the protagonist, actually said “Whoa” and recalled a fellow viewer into the room to see some of the car chase sequences, stuff that normally doesn’t do a whole lot for me.

I think the problem is just more about movie marketing in general. I cringe whenever I think about movies that cost more to market than make. How can that be a wise investment? There is a certain perception that if a backing company isn’t willing to spend $35 million on marketing they don’t think the movie is good enough to warrant it. Would you see a movie that didn’t have any billboards or bus ads at all?


früg life

Lipton_RegWhile this will probably shock folks that knew me between 1997–2002, I’ve come around on the frugal lifestyle.

Today’s frugal tips happen to all be about eating and drinking at work, cheap.

  • Poor man’s iced green tea blend: Step 1, buy some green tea tea-bags from your local health food store, I went for one package of regular and one decaf. Most companies provide regular black tea from Lipton on the kitchenette. Take one green tea and one black tea, add one equal and one regular sugar and fill with boiling water. Equal alone without some actual sugar was too bitter I found, splenda is a better choice but that isn’t offered here at my employer. Let it steep for a solid ten minutes and then pour the whole thing over a cup with as much ice as you can manage.
  • Poor man’s protein shake: Milk. I used to actually blend Met-Rx at work with my own blender that I brought in, but now I just chug the free milk that is meant to go in the coffee. I go for the whole milk because the fat helps makes you feel full. It has loads of protein and works well for an after-workout drink. If you have a (free) login at FitDay.com you might be able to see the nutrition facts here.
  • Poor man’s soda machine: Even though our soda machine is a reasonable 75¢ per can, the KSA consultant crew decided they could do better. They bought a mini-fridge for their communal room and use, offering “shares”, I have since bought in, and undercutting the MAN. DaveD brings in cases from New Jersey, home of the no deposit can and plentiful big box stores and resells them to us for 25¢.
  • Poor man’s leftover plan: This one is a little bit counter to the spirit of the list. While the lovely Emily is a budding chef extraordinaire, and we always have leftovers since there are only two of us at home, and I do want to take leftovers for lunch, I can’t really bring myself to have just leftovers and miss out on some of the great lunch options available to me in midtown Manhattan. So my compromise is to pack a ½ size lunch portion and eat it around 3:30.

I read the Frugalforlife blog now too — religiously.


mystery ping pong balls at food emporium

Beer pong

Originally uploaded by nuwanda.

I snapped this picture at my local Food Emporium, which is a very normal, smallish Manhattan grocery store.

In the foreground you can see packs of ping pong balls. Now, according to this valuation map (http://www.curbed.com/archives/2006/03/08/salmon_bites_valuation_map_of_manhattan.php) Ping pong tables are prohibatively wasteful uses of space. So it took me a few minutes to figure out why a store that virtually no other non-food products stocked them.

Aha, the answer: Beer Pong.


bahrain gran prix

BahrainWhere was I at six AM this morning? 

Watching the first practice session of Formula One’s Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix on Speed Channel.

Okay, it was more like seven thirty due to the wonders of time shifting. But I was still up-and-at-‘em like a kid on Christmas.

This was our first look at all the new cars, new livery, paint schemes, new drivers.

The race is on Sunday at 6am Eastern time. Speedtv.com

(the thing at the right is the track layout)