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Muxtape 2

"When New York Was New York"

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A random selection from my archive:



Roberto Bolaño, The Savage Detectives


My Wishlist

Moment of Zen


Moment of Zen (inspired by Tim's Koans)

Courtesy of Timmay

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    Wednesday, March 31, 2004

    Attention Boston parkers!

    In keeping with the auto-related posts this week, for those of you living in and around Boston, check out Boston Sweeper. You may already be using it (the service is three years old). But if not, you can make your life a little easier by using this handy service to alert you about upcoming street cleaning days and times. So Chris, this means you don't have to print out a big ol' Outlook calendar to make your own reminders!

    Tuesday, March 30, 2004

    A more pleasant Tofu FoYou

    It's not quite a recipe, per se, but if you enjoy the many guises of tofu, then this tip may be of some interest to you. I stirfry with firm/extra firm tofu at least twice weekly, and I recently discovered a better way to prepare the tofu before cooking. 30 minutes before you cook, slice the tofu block into 4 slabs, each one inch thick. Lay down the slabs side-by-side on a sturdy paper towel ensuring that the pieces don't touch each other. Wrap with additional paper towels and put on a plate so you don't get water everywhere. Place another plate (or cutting board) on top of the wrapped tofu and apply pressure by resting a jar of pasta sauce or can of beans or a spool of 50 blank CDs on the top plate.

    30 minutes later you'll have a very wet pile of paper towels, but a much lighter tofu with less moisture. As a result, the cooked tofu will be less dense and will usually brown much better.

    So enjoy some delicious tofu tonight. Or do like me and eat leftover chinese food and a handful of Cadbury Mini-Eggs.

    Monday, March 29, 2004

    Traffic for the sake of traffic

    Aside from the pervasive speed traps, Route 91 in Connecticut is typically a quick, uneventful ride running north and south through the state. It can be a refreshing change from the permanent construction zones along MA's Route 93 and the monkey snipers along the superhighway of death known as I-95.

    Today, however, I encountered a phenomenon along 91 that's always an interesting experience: Gridlock for no apparent reason. No accident to be found, no roadwork, and no slow car in the passing lane. Simply a 65 mph ride one moment, a 10-minute bumper-to-bumper yawnfest the next, and then suddenly everyone's going 65+ mph again.

    I suppose an unexpected, unexplained traffic jam is always more welcome than monkey snipers.

    Sunday, March 28, 2004

    No Haven Ravens

    Hoping to catch some minor league ballgames this summer, I checked to see if New Haven Raven tickets had gone on sale. The Ravens are the AA affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays -- 2003 being the first year with the Toronto ballclub. Before last year, they were the farm team for the Mariners, Cardinals and a couple other teams.

    Uh oh. It seems that the New Haven Ravens website no longer exists. The Major League Baseball Index of Minor League Teams doesn't list them.

    It's official, the Ravens flew the coop to Manchester, NH. Despite winning the North Division crown, they averaged a miserable 2,273 crowd during the regular season. My Ravens cap will still be worn proudly this summer even though I never got to see them take the field.

    Saturday, March 27, 2004

    Bang on a post-classical revolution

    This week's New Haven Advocate has an interesting story about an emerging genre of music tagged "post-classical." The musicians have been around for a while, but lately southern CT has taken notice of a few big players, especially Bang on a Can (who are Yale grads?!).

    Their rendition of Brian Eno's Music for Airports gets the most acclaim. However, I love their version of Terry Riley's In C which is easily the most accessible rendition I've heard. And I just bought tickets to see them with Mr. Reilly himself at Wesleyan on May 7!

    Friday, March 26, 2004

    State police say, "Avoid Connecticut completely."

    The fireball on I-95 in Bridgeport was all over last night's news. I hope no one reading this needs to travel through CT in the next week or two. Apparently the fire melted a bridge and it'll take up to two weeks to rebuild. Bridgeport is about 20 mi south of us. So if anyone visits from the north, you should be OK.

    Now if you were interested in visiting to see me swallow part of an eggshell, well, I'm sorry to say you've already missed out. I did that this morning after carelessly making an egg sandwich.

    Thursday, March 25, 2004

    The power of the glowcat

    Inspired to spring clean today, I decided to move some unneeded things to basement storage -- winter items, a snow shovel, and some empty boxes. One of those empty boxes was once Simone's favorite spot. Notice I say "once" because, as you know, lately she's downsized to the Amazon box. In any case, I was gravely mistaken thinking she wouldn't miss it. Here's a photo of her from last Fall enjoying a glow-in-the-dark moment:

    Glow, Cat! Glow!

    When I returned from the basement today she was crouched in the space where the box once stood, whimpering quietly. *sigh* You don't think I'm a monster, do you? So off I went to retrieve the box, where she now sits, expressionless, staring at me. Maybe I ought to sleep with one eye open tonight.

    Wednesday, March 24, 2004

    And the runners-up are...

    Stylus Magazine makes an interesting case against the predictability of compiling a list of the greatest albums of all time. Rather than create a Top 100 list, they've opted for a Top 101-200 list. A little gimmicky, yes, but an enjoyable read. Think of their choices as not the "best of the best" but rather great releases by underappreciated artists, or 2nd-best albums that are arguably just as solid as the top releases that hog the spotlight (whether in popular music or otherwise).

    I'm not sure, however, if I should be impressed or concerned that I own 35 of the 100 albums listed.

    Cardboard Box Update: Week 3

    Basil requested to see more cat photos. So here's an update on the legendary box that was first posted here in early March. It's still a fixture in our home, although a little more lived-in now.

    Cat redecorating

    Also the question came up recently about Simone's nose. Those are in fact two freckles, not massive nostrils.

    Tuesday, March 23, 2004

    All out of whack-tkins

    Today was not a good "food" day for me. It's not like I ate five Big Macs, inhaled a bucket of fries and chugged a carton of chili. Instead, I unintentionally broke all the rules of the new low-carb craze. I'm not on a low-carb diet, but it's pretty clear I did a bad thing when I ate a bagel for breakfast, leftover mac 'n cheese and cous-cous for lunch, and chips 'n salsa for a late afternoon snack.

    As I sit here eating a bowl of pasta and vegetable focaccia bread, I realize that the rest of the carbs in the house should be scared. Tomorrow I think I'll just reach for the chicken and chili peppers.

    Network Solutions, the only provider of domain names until a few years ago, is offering a new deal: For $9.99/year you can register a domain name for 100 years. This begs the question, what will the web be like in 100 years? Talk about getting a long-term hold of your customer! If you have a great domain name idea that won't go stale, here's your chance to lock it in for a century.

    Monday, March 22, 2004

    I guess you can't pay at the pump

    Here's one more photo from our return road trip from Tucson to Phoenix. Luckily this wasn't the only pump at the station. Unnnlucky!


    Sunday, March 21, 2004

    We're on the road to nowhere

    Route 10 East could get you from California to Texas, but we took it only from Phoenix to Tucson. A consistent blast of A/C and a highway-driving CD mixed by Tim were all we needed to make the two-hour journey cool and fun.

    I wonder if people living out here will take advantage of the new e-mail/snail mail approach that seems to be working well in remote locations in India?

    Saturday, March 20, 2004

    Fun, fun, fun in the AZ sun

    We saw Anaheim beat Colorado in Phoenix. And we saw Arizona beat San Francisco in Tucson. Viva la beisbol!

    Next up: Our drive to Tucson on the road to nowhere.

    Hot, Hot, Hot!

    Arizona was wonderful -- near mid-90s every day. A few photos will be posted here soon. Oh by the way, this wasn't me. I flew out of Hartford.

    Tuesday, March 16, 2004


    Spring Training beckons, so new posts won't appear for a while. A one-week hiatus and then maybe some photos from Arizona will make their way here. Until then... Viva la beisbol!

    Uno Beisbolo!

    Monday, March 15, 2004


    Last night I finally saw what has been heralded as the greatest movie of all time: Citizen Kane. I won't give away any key points of the film for those who haven't seen it. But I do have one question, which seems to pick at a very significant detail. If Charles Foster Kane died alone in his massive Xanadu palace, then how did anyone know his dying word was "Rosebud"?

    Sunday, March 14, 2004

    Take me to the bridge

    An hour was lost this morning as I tried to reconfigure my wireless network. I suspect the problem surfaced as a result of last week's high-speed internet hiccup. After playing with the laptop and router, the issue was finally resolved by disabling the laptop's "network bridge" -- a feature of Windows XP. The laptop had no trouble receiving a solid wireless connection from the router. However, it couldn't make a connection to the internet and apparently the enabled bridge setting was to blame.

    Thus far, I've been operating blindly when working on my wireless network and its alphabet soup of DHCP, WEP, MAC, and other ubiquitous acronyms. If anyone reading this post could recommend a good book on wireless networking, I'd be grateful. I've had some luck finding information at Practically Networked. However a website doesn't help much when the problem is a broken internet connection. O'Reilly's 802.11 Wireless Networks looks comprehensive. Does anyone have any recommendations?

    Saturday, March 13, 2004

    Once you Pop, you can't stop

    After a delicious striatta and homemade oatmeal at Cafe Atticus this morning, we walked less than a block to the Yale Center for British Art to see the new exhibit on Richard Hamilton, an influential British Pop artist. The rest of the 4-floor gallery was quite cool with permanent pieces by Francis Bacon, David Hockney, and many others. I was particularly struck by the "gouache on paper" techniques of Bridget Riley.

    Friday, March 12, 2004

    What on earth?

    Wow. This is a fantastic photograph. Check out the full-size image.

    Earth People! New York and California! Earth People! I was born on Jupiter!

    And you get to wear a nametag!

    You'd expect that learning about the fundamental principles of project management would be as dry as day-old burnt toast. Surprisingly this isn't necessarily true.

    I just returned from a 3-hour seminar called the Project Management Test Drive hosted by BU's Corporate Education Center (facilitated by CESC in Bloomfield, CT). The seminar was very good. I've taken courses in business modeling, and workflow design, and user testing and all that fun, colorful stuff that fits under a project's umbrella. But I've never had a formal introduction to the 30,000-foot view of project management. If you're currently responsible for a project (or working as a team member), I highly recommend searching out this event and spending the afternoon or evening getting a comprehensive introduction to the standards set forth by the PMI.

    I was waiting for a lengthy sales pitch about registering for the advanced BU courses, but it never came. Best of all, the price tag for the seminar is $0.00.

    Who has two thumbs and likes pie? This guy!

    The weekend is upon us which typically means there's more time to cook at home. Here's a recipe I don't think I've shared yet -- and I use the term "recipe" loosely: The Cool Kid's Key Lime Pie.

    This dessert is a piece of cake. (buh-dum-bump!) You need three ingredients: 1) Cool Whip Lite, 2) Yoplait key lime custard-style yogurt, and 3) a reduced fat graham cracker pie crust. Mix about two Yoplait yogurts with some of the Cool Whip in a small bowl. Spread the mixture on the pie crust so it basically fills it. Top things off with a thin layer of Cool Whip. Finish by garnishing the pie with a slice of lime, if you're feeling fancy.

    Cover the pie with the plastic lid you get with the pie crust, and chill in the fridge for an hour or two. The pie will keep for several days. Now you have a fun treat that took you 3 minutes to create. If you enjoy the fruits of your hard labor, next time substitute the key lime yogurt with another Yoplait custard-style flavor, like cherry, lemon, or -- oooh! -- cappuccino!

    Wednesday, March 10, 2004

    You put your right modem in, and you shake it all about

    I awoke this morning to find I had lost my internet connection. After some fiddling with the two computers, the router, the modem, and the cables, I made no progress. A call into Comcast Customer Service proved to be a pleasant experience. I was connected to a live person almost immediately, and she was really helpful. It took about 45 minutes to troubleshoot the problem, which apparently stemmed from some network upgrades they're doing to boost the prevention of hacker attacks.

    We solved the issue with a symphony of reboots, unpluggings, resettings, repairings, and a healthy dose of spinning from one computer to the other trying to complete each step in the nick of time. Well, it finally paid off and I'm back online. It seems the best solution to internet troubles is just to keep moving and to try every permutation of disconnecting and reconnecting. It'll ultimately work. Maybe.

    Tuesday, March 09, 2004

    Go Hubble Go! (Hubble B. Good)

    11.3 days was the total amount of exposure time for this photo. That must have taken a lot of Polaroid shakin'.

    I can see my house from here!

    Monday, March 08, 2004

    A cardboard box haiku

    What's up with this box?
    Why does she like it so much?
    *Sigh* three days have passed.

    Wouldn't the couch be better?

    Wiki wiki strong

    Coffee is a health drink? Well that's good news because I had one of the strongest cups ever today. It was just Starbucks French Roast, but it was a super-concentrated brew that kept me going while I used my first Wiki.

    Sunday, March 07, 2004

    Go! Just kidding

    I've added my Amazon Wishlist link to the sidebar so people can buy me stuff now (just kidding). While updating my wishlist I found a rather annoying bug on multiple Amazon pages. If you look at the wishlist page, for example, and attempt a new search using the top navigation bar, you won't be able to click on the "Go" button to execute the search.

    I encountered the same bug on various other pages too. Maybe my browser is just acting quirky, but I suspect it's a problem for all. I suppose I'll be a good samaritan and contact Amazon Help.

    Wanna search? Nooo guv'nah!

    Saturday, March 06, 2004

    Need to kill time?

    Badgerbadgerbadger made the rounds last week; I got it from three different friends. If you're looking for nonsense and a waste of time, then I highly recommend it. When you've lost interest, however, you can check out the Happyman for an even dumber experience.

    Friday, March 05, 2004

    A new (fe)line of products

    I wonder if Amazon accepts returns on opened items?

    First class all the way

    Shallots! Shallots! Shallots!

    Shallots are just the coolest things. They're the exact midpoint between an onion and a garlic. I know because I measured. Shallots work great in stirfry, burgers, and lots of other dishes including tonight's dinner. They can even work their way into sandwiches like the Yumma-Yumma, one of over 1500 sandwiches listed at The Sandwich Project.

    Thursday, March 04, 2004

    I'm ready for my RSS feed, Mr. DeMille

    A few people have asked me to explain the purpose of the "syndicate this site" link at the bottom of the page. There's a growing trend of syndication on websites that frequently produce new content. The intentions are quite good amidst an era of annoying pop-up/pop-under/interstitial advertising. The concept is simple: Identify your favorite news-y sites, find the links to their feeds, and add them to your favorite newsreader.

    Why would you want to do this? Well, it's like having a great steak dinner without filling up on dinner rolls. You can use a newsreader to get to the meat of the content while avoiding the time and effort it takes to navigate to each site. All of the information you want is right in front of you in the form of headlines. So you can quickly scan what's new on your favorite sites over your day's first cup of coffee.

    How does it work? Well, it involves plenty of acronyms like RSS and XML. You can get a quick definition in the first few paragraphs of this article.

    Newsreaders like FeedDemon (Windows) and NetNewsWire (Mac) allow you to customize a list of your weekly haunts -- an efficient alternative to bookmarking.

    So that's the purpose of the syndication link. Maybe someday I'll actually try using a newsreader.

    Wednesday, March 03, 2004

    abcdefghijklmn...oh, forget it

    When submitting forms online, it's good practice to use a particular e-mail address reserved for collecting spam, especially if you're making a purchase or requesting information from a company that's known to share addresses. If you don't have a junk address, why not get a free account that's twice the size of Hotmail's? While you're at it, you can get the world's largest alphabetical e-mail address.

    Tuesday, March 02, 2004

    Lush Life

    Interested in saving a jazz legend's home? A Long Island community is fighting to preserve John Coltrane's house in Dix Hills where he spent the last years of his life and recorded A Love Supreme.

    Monday, March 01, 2004

    Feels like shaahhrt term

    Who knew March 1 would feel like this? Granted, it's only about 58 degrees, but that's warm enough to roll down the car windows and enjoy a stroll down Chapel Street in New Haven. A nice enough day, in fact, to walk off a $5 Thai lunch buffet.