Naked People

January 13, 2011

If you are reading this post because of the title, prepare to be disappointed.

I am fascinated by the Supreme Court. Everyone can have their opinions about various justices, but ultimately this is nine really smart people debating important, but highly abstract legal concepts.

If I had to pick a job in journalism, I would probably go with a job covering the Supreme Court (second choice, of course, being Yankees beat reporter).

If you’ve never read the actual debates that they have, you really need to. It’s fascinating and occasionally hilarious.

A very common subject for the Supreme Court is cases involving the fourth amendment. How do you balance the constitutions prohibition against unlawful search with valid police activities? Non-trivial.

So articles like this fascinate me, and not solely because it contains the sentence

"Scalia can’t imagine naked people, I suppose"

But a funny quote nonetheless…


Cologne Guy

January 13, 2011

Last spring towards the end of the period where I was doing a lot of work my favorite coffee shop, this guy started coming in a lot. Older guy, seemed nice enough, but with one defining characteristic

Waaaay too much cologne.

There were times I had to move to another spot because it was just overpowering. I would later learn that he was a recovering alcoholic who was basically transitioning from spending all day at a bar to spending all day at a coffee shop, and he really was quite friendly, so you have to cut him some slack.

But at the time my reaction was, "oh crap, here comes Cologne Guy".

Well today I got another new neighbor in my office. I’ve mentioned the interesting types of businesses going on. A lot of non profits (helping people in Nepal and yes, the small business in Afghanistan/Rwanda thing), many web start-ups, some freelancers, even a plumbing company.

So today a guy comes into our section to take one of the open spots. Seems friendly, though he’s wearing a suit and sneakers (and not practical walking to work sneakers, there’s a foot of snow on the ground). We introduce ourselves and I ask him what he does.

He has his own business creating infomercials.

Now I made fun of the Afghanistan/Rwanda non-profit (c’mon, how could I not?). But my reaction to it wasn’t "ick", it was, "wow, good luck with that". This guy screams "ick".

And he too, wears waaaay too much cologne.

I’m liking original Cologne Guy more and more…


New Neighbor

January 12, 2011

My office has an interesting mix of companies. There are a bunch of small web companies, several non-profits, a plumbing company and a bunch of freelancers. And that’s just on my floor.

I got a new neighbor yesterday for the vacant desk space behind me. A very nice (and very quiet) young woman. So I asked her what she does.

She works for a non-profit that helps start small businesses.

In Afghanistan and Rwanda.

Seriously, I’m not making this up.

How does this happen? I’m thinking a couple of philanthropic types are drinking and/or smoking heavily. The conversation goes:

We should start a non-profit.

Yeah, but not something wimpy. Let’s solve something hard.

Cure for cancer?

Too easy.

Alzheimer’s?

C’mon, I said hard.

Peace in the Middle East?

Seriously, that’s cake.

What are you thinking?

We help people start small businesses.

What? That’s not hard.

In Afghanistan.

(laughs) Oh, dude. Totally. And how about Rwanda?

(more laughter) Perfect.

(maniacal stoned laughter)

Seriously, I can’t come up with any other logical reason you would start that non-profit that doesn’t involve booze or drugs…


Hacked!

January 11, 2011

Oh the embarrassment. Under the assumption that regular readers of this blog are also people I know, there’s a good chance that you received an email from my personal email account with no subject and a link.

First of all, if you ever get an email from me with no subject, do not trust it. Unlike iPhone users who seem to do it all the time (don’t you get a warning?) I do not send emails without subject lines.

So how did it happen? I’ve been wracking my brain on that one.

Given the timing, I suspect it happened from my phone. I came home from work and stopped off for a quick beer. I was surfing the web via Google Reader. There was one moment where it jumped strangely to an ad. At the time I was either reading the Washington Post or Wired, so it didn’t really concern me. It wasn’t a porn ad or anything (honestly, the strangest web site I subscribe to via Google Reader is Dan Song’s blog, and I’m pretty sure it didn’t come from there). I read a wide variety of tech blogs and political blogs, but nothing strange enough that I’d expect malware.

But something clearly got my Google contact list and sent out spam. Actually, this makes you realize how many ancient email addresses are in your contact list.

Anyway, if you got it, I apologize. And if I ever figure out how you’ll be the first to know.


Will I Get an iPhone?

January 11, 2011

With the Verizon announcement, someone asked me if I would get one. First of all, I’m under contract with my Incredible, so it’s a moot point right now.

But let’s imagine I wasn’t.

In this scenario would I get the iPhone? Definitely not now. There are several things that I’ve grown used to being able to on the Incredible that you can’t do on the iPhone and almost nothing that you can do on the iPhone and not on the Incredible is that tempting.

I know that’s sacrilege to iPhone users but it’s true.

So in that case I would wait and see. For me, my phone is as good or better than the iPhone. So I would wait and see what comes next from Apple and the various Android vendors.

Which is what I will do in my current scenario as well…


Old Dude on Scooter

January 4, 2011

For kids, a scooter is the perfect vehicle for Brooklyn. Compact, highly portable, no issues with locking it up and frankly they are fun. To really move in Brooklyn you want a scooter with larger wheels like the Razor A5 (Danielle’s). The big wheels eat up the bumpy sidewalks. Of course for little kids the Mini kick three wheel scooter is by far the best (Tori’s).

So both my girls ride their scooters and I find myself jogging along side them. Danielle has said numerous times, "Papi, you should get a scooter". My wife, however, cringes at the thought of me riding a scooter. Something about middle aged guys looking ridiculous…

This Christmas she apparently relented, and my present from the girls was a scooter (the A5, just like Danielle). My wife, of course, refuses to be seen with me while I’m riding it, but the girls were happy.

So today, Danielle and I went to school together on our matching scooters. Very fun. And after I dropped her off I continued to work and arrived 10 minutes earlier than usual (there’s a great hill going down into DUMBO – may not be so great going home).

And I arrived in a slightly better mood. Scootering is fun.

Even if I do look goofy…


Alcowebizer

January 1, 2011

If you haven’t seen this site, it bills itself as the "simulator of drunken web design". You get to pick an existing web site and select a blood alcohol level and it "alcoholizes" the site. With much amusement.

I tried it on this blog and was amused that it at 1.5% alcohol level content the font changed to comic sans. For the record, I’d need way more beer than that.

There are several other amusing touches (including this random video of four guys that gets inserted at 2.5%).

But my favorite is what happens if you set the alcohol content to 7%. The page reads:

HTTP Error 2011

A browser for this kind of content hasn’t been invented yet.