Sunday, September 28, 2003

What I've learned about visiting the Vineyard

Visited the Vineyard Saturday, at Calvin's urging. Awesome! Highly recommended, at least in the off season.

1. If you work for IBM, rent at Enterprise. They waive the (usurious) underage fee. We got a sweet little Volvo. And they're right on Comm Ave.

2. Take 90 (east) to 93 to 24 to 495 to 28 (after the bridge) until you're directed to parking lots near Woods Hole.

3. Try not to barely miss the ferry, although there is a nice bakery near the ferry dock.

4. Ending up at Oak Bluff is good, since that's where the action is. Vineyard Haven is lame, and it's weird that ferries there are more frequent. Oak Bluff has a cool army surplus store and a nice bike rental guy and a hat store and an old ferris wheel and an octagonal church and pretty houses and a little beach.

5. The bike ride to Edgartown is gorgeous, though doing the full loop would be better.

6. Edgartown (or Agerton, as the bike man called it) is supposed to be the center of action, but isn't that exciting, except for the harbor.

7. Black Dog is inexplicable.

8. Try to leave time to visit the cliffs and the nudists. Maybe next time.

9. Taking the ferry back at night is good, because you can see all the stars. And there are tons of them.

Oo, my beliefs on God are logically consistent!

Thanks to Ping, I played Battleground God (which is an excellent example of what I was trying to with my own belief challenging system (results)). I made it through, only biting bullets on questions 6 and 13. How'd you do?

Friday, September 26, 2003


I'm in love. While waiting for a present to be wrapped at the bookstore, I picked up Schott's Original Miscellany. What an awesome book! It's become my booting reading (think bathroom reading, but Windows is the person taking care of business). I've never seen a book so captivating and funny and educational. I think maybe it's because I always think in terms of charts and lists, but the random collections (ranging from Ivy League fight songs to nouns of assemblage (a malapertness of peddlers) to measures of alcohol to notable Canadians to presidential facts (Calvin Coolidge was the last president born on the 4th of July)) are just plain awesome.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

VON the road again

Dropped in on VON the other day, which is going pretty well. It was crazy to see everybody again, and the party was fun as always. RevUp Records is in full swing, and East of Autumn played. If VoIPers are anything like the WWW people, I imagine there will be pictures of the conference posted on their web sites soon enough.

Sarah's Clipping Service Strikes Again

from the Christian Science Monitor:

Formal, school-based messages about the dangers of illegal drugs have long rung hollow to him. He certainly knows that drugs are dangerous, but he also sees a difference between casual experimentation - such as his relatives drinking wine - and addictive behavior, and he knows the lessons about drugs aren't necessarily as black and white as the rhetoric used in class.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Badi for Governor

Ghazalle's dad is running for governor. Pretty cool. He has a Ph.D. in Political Science and claims to be the first Iranian-American to run for governor. Certainly more appealing than Arnold.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Kushal @ 14

Okay, this is truly creepy. The Internet Archive has this new Recall search engine (there's a link from Metabuzz). It's quite slick - I'm impressed how quickly it does its thing. In any case, searching for myself turned up this review of my web page from 7 years ago.

Danger in Familiarities

I love propaganda posters.

From the one about dancing:

Conventions are the fences society has built to protect you and the race.

Familiarities arouse dangerous desires. They waste you power for the finest human companionship and love.

Physical attraction alone will never wholly satisfy.

Complete and lasting love is of the mind as well as of the body.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

More on artificial markets and other things in the world

I just heard from Dave Pennock (as depicted in this nifty ascii picture), which prompted me to check out his web page, and, lo and behold, he had an excellent refutation of the attacks on the terrorist futures market.

Of course, scientists can't be trusted either.

In the good news department, Robin finished his wireless network project in Nepal. And thanks to him, you can help support the schools in Nepal.

Tuesday, September 9, 2003


A gorgeous weekend on the Cape at Hayden's in Dennis (thanks Hayden!). Rode in his Jeep to Sundae School, played Kings and Scattergories, ran on the beach, swam in the pool. Paradise. And then I came back to the absolutely unbelievable Springsteen concert at Fenway.

I think weekends like this definitely meet afterglow expectations, though I'm compelled to read more about affective forecasting. (This article about American unhappiness, which is quite Putnamesque, also came out around the same time.)

Monday, September 1, 2003


Speaking of conservatives making things bad for the rest of us, The Atlanta Journal Constitution took flack for a picture of Britney Spears kissing Madonna. Give me a break.

Also interesting are this story of Microsoft malfeasance and an essay about height-increasing drugs. "Short men, in particular, are paid less than tall men." To say nothing of the Maxim survey that said almost no women prefer short men. ;-) (I wish I could find it! Though all sorts of other interesting surveys turn up when you search the maxim site for "survey".)

A fun weekend (but a little blue)

(trying to ditch caps again...) thanks to mike and rox, an excellent weekend at tanglewood. saw cassandra wilson (incredible percussion!) and kenny baron's canta brasil, and drank wine and ate cheese and crackers and grapes from nejaime's and sandwiches from loeb's. watched the sunset, saw the stars and mars, played scrabble. saw the norman rockwell museum (with a special exhibit on the berenstain bears!). lunched at betty's pizza shack, brunched at carol's. lenox was a bit confusing...navigation was easier after we found a map. a bit on the chilly side.

sunday, folks came over and i finally watched zoolander, which was everything i was told it would be.

though, were it not for suz's handy contribution of amstel lights, i would have only had mgd to ply people with.... this led to the usual conversation about blue laws, and i did some googling. i hadn't realized connecticut and new york and flordia and delaware were relaxing their blue laws as a way of increasing revenues. weirdly, liqour store owners are not eager to keep their stores open longer. in 1961, the supreme court said such laws were not a violation of church/state separation.

it's hard to understand how any self-respecting government could preserve some of these asinine and idiosyncratic rules with a straight face. case in point: "The Wal-Mart in York, S.C., can sell groceries on Sunday morning but can't sell clothing and hundreds of other items until 1:30 p.m. That means barricading part of the store for more than 13 hours every Sunday."