New Emotions

Is there a one-word emotion that describes the feeling one gets when one has gotten all geared up to do battle with some business, and then they just do the right thing without being battled? It’s mostly satisfaction, but with a little tinge of disappointment and all this stored up energy that one (OK, I) didn’t get to unleash.

To make matters even better (worse), this was Staples, and when the person at the counter tried to staple my new excellent negative-amount “return” receipt to my original receipt, there were no STAPLES in her stapler. So I said something like “Oh, the grand irony…” and instead of the expected drone response (“Uh…yah…”) she said something like “My god, the times in which we live…” or something equally wry. I guess this recession is propelling clever people into sales jobs at Staples. Which brings us full circle, with me needing another modern emotion to encompass both my pleasure at finding this unexpected clever person, and my hope that she’ll soon be doing something else.

Posted in Business, Language | 2 Comments

The New Coolness

Not that anyone cares, but here’s what will be going into my new PC build:

CPU Intel i5-2500K (Sandy Bridge)
Room a zoom zoom.
Mobo Intel H67
Yeah, I know it doesn’t overclock, but I want to use the integrated graphics. Very energy efficient.
CPU Cooler Gelid Tranquillo
Looks good…we’ll see.
Case Fans Scythe PWM x 2
Push a lot of air, very quietly.
RAM Corsair 2x4gb
Case Antec P183
So much space for my activities!
Power Supply Kingwin LZP550
Among the quietest, most efficient PSUs available
HD1 Crucial M4 64GB (Solid State Drive)
For the OS and main apps.
HD2 Western Digital Green 2TB
What will I do with two terabytes? I’ll find something.
DVD Drive Asus
OS Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium
The Stockholm Syndrome continues…

Case: Antec P183

Posted in PCs, Technology | 2 Comments

15 Sappy Songs I Like

  1. U2 – Bad.
  2. Roxy Music – Oh Yeah.
  3. Talking Heads – Naive Melody (This Must Be the Place).
  4. Peter Gabriel – Family Snapshot.
  5. The Clash – The Card Cheat.
  6. Bruce Springsteen – Thunder Road.
  7. Hooters – Where Do the Children Go?
  8. James Taylor – Shower the People.
  9. Jane Siberry – The Taxi Ride.
  10. Joan Armatrading – Love and Affection.
  11. Kate Bush – The Man With the Child in His Eyes.
  12. Lenny Kravitz – Let Love Rule.
  13. Pete Towhshend – Let My Love Open the Door.
  14. Ultravox – Vienna.
  15. Elvis Costello & the Attractions – Alison.
Posted in Music | 1 Comment

Heatseekers, please help me out

I’ve come to the conclusion that my Bah Humbug attitude toward (and attendant resistance to adopting) smart phones has gone on too long. Not that I think I have a compelling need for a smart phone for my own personal use, but rather because as someone who develops websites professionally, I’m convinced that my skill set is careening toward obsolescence (if it hasn’t already arrived there and set up a lawn chair). Obviously this shouldn’t come as a surprise. We’ve been moving to a mobile world for a while now. The fact that no cell carrier offers decent service in my neighborhood isn’t a sufficient excuse anymore. Duh.

If I’m going to develop for one or more mobile platforms, I need to be a user. So I need to get a smart phone. Proposed Step One in this process is to acquire a Verizon Network Extender, so that a smart phone might actually be smart while it’s in my Epicenter.

Question #1: Do you have experience with the Verizon Network Extender? Good/bad/other? Got a clever way to get one? I was thinking eBay, but if there’s some way to compel Verizon to just give me a new one, that would be groovy.

The next issue is which phone to get. It’s either iPhone or an Android handset. Right? Is there some version of one or the other that is particularly worthwhile?

Question #2: If you have experience with or expert knowledge of both platforms, which way should I go? Is there a particular version to get or wait for? Please note that I’m not asking whether you like your phone. Everyone likes their phone. I’m asking how to choose what to buy.

Finally, and perhaps more complicatedly (not to mention grammatically awkwardly), I’m concerned that my current setup for email, contacts, and calendaring is oh so 20th century. I run everything from Outlook on my PC, syncing to the web and my dumb phone with Airset. Is that awful? Should the phone be the master device? Is SMTP email an irrelevant saurian artifact?

Question #3: What’s the best way to manage email, contacts, and calendar? Gmail? Something else?

Any guidance you can offer on any of these questions will be much appreciated.

Posted in Technology | 2 Comments


In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit that when I first heard the news, on the way out of the 30 Seconds to Mars show with the girlies, the first words out of my mouth were Hell Yeah. It’s been interesting to see all my friends, real and virtual, reacting to news of the death of Osama Bin Laden, and also to see coverage of the celebrations that have followed in the US. It’s not quite right to say that I’m personally ambivalent. I feel strongly about this in at least two ways. On one hand, I grew up Quaker and now I’m UU, so I’ve got the whole “that-of-God-in /slash/ worth-and-dignity-of every person” thing reminding me that killing isn’t good. On the other hand, Fuck Yeah, Motherfucker. You fucked with the wrong superpower, and you got what you had coming to you. So I’m elated, and feel a little karmically guilty for being elated. Typical.

Thinking about this, one thing that keeps coming back to me is an experience from a few years ago. We went to a rodeo in Cody, Wyoming. Prior to starting the show, they did the typical sporting event patriotism stuff. A local girl rode into the arena carrying a big US flag. We sang the national anthem. And then we had a moment of silence for US service people deployed in the Middle East. I was initially all coastally jaded, yeah yeah OK…and then I noticed two things. First of all, that moment of silence lasted about three full minutes, not the 20 seconds you’d get at Fenway. And then I noticed that there were people crying, all over the little stadium. Not just kids and spouses of servicepeople. All kinds. Elderly people, grownups, teenagers, kids, the whole gamut. Dozens and dozens of people. Not just in the crowd. There were cowboys down on the field, a couple of minutes away from riding some pissed-off, mortally-dangerous 2,000 pound animal…hat in hand, weeping. Lots of them. This wasn’t the Superbowl, or even the Superbowl of Rodeo (no idea if such a thing exists.) This was just the little nightly rodeo the folks in Cody put on for themselves and whoever’s in town. Which means they’re probably having this amazing moment EVERY NIGHT.

So to all the folks posting MLK quotes in their Facebook statuses, threatening to take a break from the internet until this OBL thing blows over, first of all, you’re right. Well, half right. A human being died by another human’s hand, and that’s problematic. But I’ll also ask you to consider what it means to lots of other people, including the folks who’ve been crying at the rodeo every night for the last ten years.

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Patriots Press Conference Template

Coach Bill Belichick: “We won. I’m proud of our players. Our opponents are a real good football team. OK, I’m done being proud of our players.

[Brief silence as reporters get ready to ask questions.]

Belichick: Are we done?

Q: Was it gratifying to see New Player X play well?

Belichick, frowning: New Player X made some plays for us. Everyone played well. There’s still a lot to work on.

Q: Can you talk about what New Player X brings to the team?

Belichick: Not really. No. I’m not really willing to talk about anything. New player X works hard. We think he can make a contribution to the team. That’s why we picked him up. So he could help our team. That’s why we do everything. Stop asking me questions like that.

Q: What was the key to this win?

Belichick: The key to every game is to play well in all three phases of the game. I need to refer to those three phases in every press conference. I just did that, so let’s move on.

Q: The other team’s coach said something before the game. Did that have an impact on how you felt or coached or did anything?

Belichick: The other coach can say whatever he wants. I don’t pay attention. What’s his name again? I don’t actually have a short term memory for anything but actual plays. Did we win?

Q: Yes, you won. How does that feel?

Belichick: It feels like we have to go play Upcoming Team next week. That’s all that matters. Preparing for Upcoming Team.

Q: What about that super tricky play in the third quarter? Did you see something in the films that made you think that would work?

Belichick: Jesus Christ, I *just* covered this. We thought it would help our team. If we thought something else would have helped our team more, we would have done that instead, but we didn’t.

Q: What do you think is the key to next week’s game with Upcoming Team?

Belichick: You’ll be shocked to learn that we need to play well in all three phases of the game. Oh, I totally forgot. I also need to refer to playing 60 minutes of football every week. So we’ll want to do that, too.

Q: You’re ten-and-two now, and have the best record in the conference. Could you talk about where this team fits in the history of Patriots teams? What do you see as your prospects in the post season?

Belichick: Ten wins means nothing. There’s a lot of football left to play. You’re stupid.


Belichick: OK.

[Leaves podium.]

Posted in Patriots, Sports | Leave a comment

4 Hilarious Things That Probably Won’t Happen

So wide receiver Randy Moss started the season as a New England Patriot. Then he bitched and whined about his contract situation and the Pats waived him. He got picked up by the Minnesota Vikings for a third round draft pick and he bitched and whined about missing the Patriots. The Pats since Moss left are 3-0. The Vikes since Moss joined are 0-3. The Vikings announced yesterday that they are waiving Moss (Thanks for the draft pick, fellas!) Any team in the NFL could conceivably claim Moss off waivers. The team with the worst record (the Buffalo Bills) has the first opportunity to do so, the team with the best record (the Pats) has the last chance, if no one else claims him.

Here, presented in order of increasing hilarity, are the four most entertaining things that could happen next, but probably won’t:

  1. The Oakland Raiders could claim him. This would be hilarious because Moss whined and sandbagged in Oakland for two years, essentially forcing them to trade him. Oakland hates Randy Moss, arguably for good reasons.
  2. The Cincinnati Bengals could claim him. This would give the Bengals the crankiest and most literally nutty receiver corps in the league, with Randy Moss, Chad Ochocinco (the guy who changed his last name to his jersey number in Spanglish), and ol’ T.O., Terrell Owens. Just because these guys are cranky and nutty, doesn’t mean they can’t play. That’s some serious receiverage.
  3. He could fall the whole way through the claim list, and the Pats could take him back. Moss has made it clear that he’d love to be a Patriot again. This would be the equivalent of us getting a third round draft pick in return for Randy Moss taking four weeks off. I believe that in this situation, we wouldn’t actually claim him, but we’d sign him as a free agent. Minny would still have to pay the balance of his salary, and we’d pay him the league minimum for veterans. Oh most excellent foppery of the world.
  4. Moss could fall the whole way through the claim list, and the Pats might not take him. Presumably Belichick waived Moss for a reason, and that reason might well still be valid. This would be super hilarious because Minnesota would still have to pay Moss’s salary, we’d still be munching on their delicious third round pick, and we wouldn’t have to play against or with Moss.

All you sports monsters, tell me if I’ve got the mechanics of these possibilities wrong. I think the most likely thing that’s going to happen is he’ll get claimed by some OK boring team, and that won’t be as much fun.

Posted in Patriots, Sports, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Four Scenes With the School Nurse

I. Daughter Uno goes to School Nurse with a rash. School Nurse says “You have a rash,” and sends her back to classes for the rest of the day. After she gets home, I take her to the doctor. The doctor takes one look and asks “So, how long have you had scarlet fever?”

II. Daughter Uno reports that she was called in to talk to School Nurse, after another student overheard her retching in the lavatory. (Daughter Uno, not School Nurse. Pronoun reference is a bitch.) Daughter Uno explains to School Nurse that they were dissecting sheep eyeballs in Science class, and it made her ill. School Nurse lectures Daughter Uno about bulimia. Daughter Uno wonders if the whole world has gone insane.

III. Daughter Dos calls from School Nurse’s office.

Daughter Dos: Hi, Daddy. I don’t feel good.
Me: I’m sorry to hear that. Please put the nurse on.
School Nurse: Daughter Dos left class because she didn’t feel well.
Me: Does she need to come home?
School Nurse: That’s between you and her.
Me: Given that I can’t see her, what do you think?
School Nurse: It’s really up to the two of you.
Me: Well, is she running a fever?
School Nurse: I haven’t taken her temperature. Would you like me to?

IV. School nurse calls to report that Daughter Dos’s ear hurts.

School nurse: Ibuprofen might make her feel better.
Me: Sounds good. Please go ahead and give her some.
School nurse: You’ll need to bring it in.
Me: You can’t give her ibuprofen?
School nurse: I don’t have any. We don’t stock any non-prescription medicines.

What is it you do again?

Posted in Family, Healthcare | Tagged , , | 2 Comments


  1. It’s going to get worse before it gets better. You have to make stuff to have a bitchin’ economy. We don’t make enough stuff.
  2. My “personal banker” (according to him) called me yesterday to see if I wanted to “save some money” by switching to an adjustable rate mortgage. I asked if he would sell me a credit default swap based on the weakest tranche of the other people he was calling. Not even a chuckle. Clearly, these fuckers learn slowly.
  3. Learning new software is one of my favorite things. Not up there with fishing or dinner parties or wrasslin’ with my kids, but certainly in an adjacent neighborhood.
  4. It’s frickin ridiculous how much you can get done with free software. I just built a Joomla site and I’m a little staggered by how much you get for so little. I guess I still have this 90s paradigm in my head where you need to spend lots of money every time you want some new ability. The fact that Joomla is free and MS Word (for example) costs hundreds of dollars is kind of hilarious.
  5. I got push polled by one of our candidates for state Treasurer. I’d never heard of him or his opponent. The poll consisted of them telling me all sorts of glowing and unrealistic things about the poll sponsor, and then informing me that his opponent was a child molester or terrorist or recidivist chronic jaywalker or something, and then asking who I was likely to vote for. “The guy who didn’t call me at dinnertime with all this complete bullshit.” I hope they wrote that down.
  6. With the kids at camp and Restaurant Week in full swing, She and I have been eating out a lot. Last night we found a little gem in a strip mall in Westwood, of all places. Ya never know.
  7. The Restaurant Week menu prices are so reasonable that I feel I need to augment my order with high-margin extras. Hence the martini.
  8. Green Day was great. Better than last year at the Garden. Jennifer even laughed at the drunken bunny. Wonders unceasing.
  9. Talked to Super Sky Pie via a special birthday phone call from camp last night. She seemed pretty blasé about it, but I’m definitely jonesing.
  10. I can feel September bearing down on me. School, sports, work, church. It all starts up again.
  11. Calgon, take me away.
  12. “Away” is in Utah, by the way.
Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

I Want a Do-Over

I don’t have all that many opportunities to be truly ashamed of myself these days, so I guess I should savor this one. Yeah, we were all on vacation, and yeah, you’re an older guy, and yeah, your wife is a lovely person, but I still should have said something suitably withering after your racist joke. Especially since it’s the second year in a row that we’ve happened to be vacationing at the same place at the same time, and you told a similarly racist joke last year. And I’m not sure, because I don’t really appreciate racist jokes, but I don’t think your joke was even a little bit funny, and I’m pretty sure you told it just to make the Easterners feel uncomfortable. Shit, even my daughters know enough to light somebody up if they’re as miserable and racist and assholish as you are. I realize that it would have been super uncomfortable for everyone, and it would have made dinner really tense, and then I’d be the Bad Guy, but goddamit, too many people have put up with too much from douchebags like you. Now I have to spend all year thinking about what I should have done, and trying to come up with the absolutely perfect thing to say next year in the event that we end up in the same place at the same time again. In the meantime, I hope you drive your truck into a ditch and get trampled by bison and your totally nice wife marries a black guy.

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments