June 27, 2010

I’ve been thinking about one of those classic husband/wife conflict things and how my father’s cheapness is at least part of the root cause.

My father was cheap. Not that we had a lot of money anyway, but he was truly cheap. In college I actually wrote letters because he hated to pay for long distance calls. Growing up in Wisconsin my father’s classic line was:

What do I need a snow-blower for? I have three sons.

I’ve noticed the effect on me, because my wife is one of those people who keeps the refrigerator door open for a really long time. She’ll open the door, walk away to check something out and then come back, look some more, walk away again, etc.

Growing up, if I kept the fridge door open longer than 10 seconds my dad would yell about wasting electricity. So I notice that I am physically cringing as she leaves the door open that long.

I’ve closed it while she was doing one of her "walk away to check something" parts and she gets mad. "Hey, I’m looking in there". Since I am not stupid and I like being married, I have managed to refrain from the sarcastic, "from the other room?" response.

I genuinely am not worried about wasting money. It has to be merely pennies. But our fridge does display the temperature and it’s gone up ten degrees while she’s "looking in there". I may not care about the money, but I do like cold beer.

I’m not sure this blog has a point, other than we are what our parents made us…

Directions Man

June 25, 2010

It’s been established that people just seem to ask me for directions. Just this morning on the way to work, two more people asked me. As the default Directions Man, I’m discovering a woeful lack of clue as to how addresses actually work.

Weren’t we all taught this as kids? Address numbers go in one direction, evens on one side of the street, odds on the other. It’s a very simple system. I’m constantly amazed by how many people don’t understand it.

Today a woman was on Atlantic Avenue, my street. She had the address (which was on Atlantic) and the cross streets. And she wasn’t confused about where she was. She knew she was on Atlantic. So why did she need directions? Look at the numbers, figure out which way they are going and walk in that direction. Simple.

No, the fact that she couldn’t see the cross streets (because she was two blocks away) completely confused her.

The other woman who asked for directions was a different kind of clueless. She was apparently heading to a job interview. She had a million pieces of paper in her hands with all kinds of information from the web. It didn’t dawn on her to try Google Maps though…

Directions Man is getting jaded…

Office Space

June 22, 2010

Things have been picking up for Origami Risk. There has been a lot of sales activity so I’ve been helping on that front. And I suddenly find myself busy with client implementations. All good stuff.

Suddenly, taking a phone call from a client or prospect in the coffee shop doesn’t seem so great. I love the coffee shop and the walk across the street commute, but it’s getting problematic.

So I bit the bullet and found myself some cheap office space in Brooklyn. I’m trying out Green Desk office space in DUMBO Brooklyn. They have a variety of sizes of spaces, they rent month to month, it’s walking distance from my apartment and it’s cheap. And it’s quiet.

I spent my first day there today. It was very interesting. First, it’s just a big change not having the hustle and bustle in the coffee shop, both in a good and bad way. It’s also in a different neighborhood. DUMBO is close to me, but not my neighborhood. It’s a good 15-20 minute walk. So there’s some of that fun excitement about figuring out a new place.

The space overall is very interesting. It reminds me that there are lots of small companies with 1-5 people. I just walk around my floor and see a dozen companies. Some spaces are sparse (like mine) and seem to be one guy freelancing. Some have a few people collaborating on something. A few have real signage up.

Green Desk overall seems to be doing very well. I’m sitting in their second space which they are still finishing building. They are then going to build a third one in Downtown Brooklyn, which is even closer to my place. I’ll probably move once that is ready.

I don’t have to go there every day. I could still work outside from time to time. And I’m definitely still wearing shorts and t-shirts.

And amusingly, one of the entrances to my space is by walking right through this bar. We’re in the same building in the back (it’s a big old warehouse). I haven’t tested it yet, but I bet Green Desk’s WiFi reaches the bar just fine…


June 18, 2010

Well, I did a post using voice to text, so let’s try one with Swype. Swype is a keyboard replacement app that has you type by touching the first letter in the word and then dragging your fingers across all the other letters in the word without lifting your fingers. You swype, you don’t type.

So presumably the app takes the first and last letters and computes what words are possible given all the letters you touched. Sometimes it offers you choices when there are multiple possibilities.

It works amazingly well. And it’s kind of fun, especially on longer words.

Could it be?

June 11, 2010


Have we reached the point where we can have adult evenings with our kids present? Is it finally getting easy?

Tonight my wife and a three of her friends decided they needed drinks. Working for Marsh will do that to you. It was a beautiful day so they decided that our roof deck was a perfect destination.

I get the word around 5:45. They show up around 6:30. These are the kind of friends that you don’t need to clean up for and they know our kids. So that part is easy. So we get some wine, some glasses, some music and some snacks for the kids and we head to the roof.

And it was easy. Our kids just hung out. Sure, they wanted me to flip them upside down and other similar things, but they didn’t just hang on me. They hung out with everyone. Of course I let them play with my phone (Tori is still into that stupid Gummy Bear song on YouTube) but entertaining them wasn’t an effort. There was even limbo.

It was a gorgeous night. We drank wine, we ordered pizza, the kids played and everyone had fun.

Maybe it was a fluke, but I’m getting the idea that adult evenings may start happening again…

voice to text

June 10, 2010

i find myself taking advantage of the voice to text features of my phone quite frequently these days.

it works really well.

for a quick google search it’s ideal

as a test this entire post was dictated via my new phone.

no capitalization or punctuation but otherwise perfect.

Brooklyn Dark Matter

June 9, 2010

Been asking every bartender I know. No one knows if there will be more. Much sadness…