Saturday, December 30, 2006

I'm in the Times Fashion section!

Well, not exactly, but this is as close as I'll get, I'm sure. There's an article about our office, and in the last picture, there's some loser wearing a red shirt over (Seth Cohen/Craig-at-work -ishly) a long-sleeve green shirt hanging out with all the hip UI designers. Well, that loser is me! (And Chaz, that shirt is the one you made!)

Less frivolous updates soon. Still undoing jetlag.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

My other Google baby

After a very long time, my other project finally has something out the door. To see it, try searches for a restaurant or bar or whatnot that has a homepage. e.g. babbo, and look at the little plusbox under the first result.

(Also, while I'm discussing work, I'm excited that Mondrian is public. It's just one of the snazzy new tools at work that make me wonder how people get anything done anywhere else.)

Monday, December 4, 2006

Bugs fixed in partychat

We have this chat room tool Akshay wrote that just shows up as a buddy in Google Talk called Partychat. But it's had some bugs for a while. In a fit of boredom Sunday, I fixed them. It was kind of fun to work on an open source project again, even if it was a little-used one powered by Googlers. The hardest part turned out to be getting the Sourceforge CVS to cooperate with Eclipse. For some reason, the initial checkin mapped src/ to C:\users\... and weirdness ensued from there. By deleting the src symlink, creating an actual src directory, and then running a CVS update, I made the weirdness go away, but boy was that obscure. I also had to manually download the library files. For some reason the CVS ones showed up as empty inside of Eclipse. If anyone has seen this before and knows why, we're all ears.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

The Official Drink-all-week Week FAQ

End of drink all week week

Q. What is drink-all-week week?
A: When Kushal went out on Tuesday (who can resist Klong mojitos and good company?), after going out on Monday (who can resist band name pictionary at Flight 151?), and he knew he would be drinking on Thursday (beer tasting at work!) and Friday (holiday party!), he figured he might as well go out on Wednesday, too.

Q: What's all the fuss about?
A: Kushal was surprised to be informed that he would also have to drink on Saturday and Sunday to complete the week, and that he had to buy the drinks for them to count, voiding his Thursday and Friday plans.

Q: Isn't this stupid, or even borderline alcoholic?
A: It did become clear at point that this was sort of a foolish undertaking, but, as with so many things in life, it seemed like Kushal might as well follow through. At least all of the drinking was social, although the person who was supposed to be present at all the events (we'll call him Lame Brian) did end up flaking on Wednesday.

Q: What happened on the other nights?
A: On Thursday, mosh dragged Kushal to a Vienna Teng concert at Union Hall that ended up being pretty good. (The other acts were also good, but all the updated calendar pages mean there's no easy way to figure out their names now.) Vienna is sort of a calmer/funnier version of Tori Amos or Regina Spektor. Kushal had a wheat beer called Grandpa's Wheat. On Friday, Kushal didn't actually pay for extra drinks, but he tipped a bartender in exchange for water at some random bar, and he was drunk enough on free booze that we're going to cut him some slack. On Saturday, Kushal had mimosas at Essex (and some shockingly good peach beer later). And, on Sunday, he had Monkey Puzzle Pinot Noir with dinner at Temple and some port at a nearby creperie.

Q: When will the next one be? I want to participate!
A: Hopefully not for a long time. Drinking all week is exhausting!

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Paradox of Choice

I randomly picked The Paradox of Choice out of Catherine's bookshelf (during an awesome Thanksgiving weekend that also featured a hike in the Blue Hills, a hike up Mount Liberty, the very awesome Stranger than Fiction, the surprisingly dark The Prestige, the tasty BV Rutherford and Roederer, and pumpkin curry soup). I had read some articles about the book, but unlike so many of these sorts of books (e.g. The Wisdom of Crowds), it actually had many more ideas to convey than I had seen in the reviews and excerpts. It was really a whirlwind tour of a bunch of interesting psychology results: things like how people remember the peak and end of experiences, how quickly people adapt to changes to their lives, how the enjoyment of something is reduced by the sum of the opportunity costs of other options considered, how the nature and number of options can increase or decrease the tendency to make a decision at all, how marginal enjoyment diminishes and is less than marginal displeasure, how framing matters, how we're averse to losses and risk, how we refuse to part with whatever we already have. Some of these were ideas I'd encountered before, but it was interesting to see them all in one place. It's hard to say how easy it is to change myself in response to the book, though. There are some decisions I just get unreasonably compulsive about.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Can someone PLEASE explain the ambiguously gay British concert hooligans?

I've been to, like, five concerts this year, and at two of them (Starsailor last month, and the kickass Radiohead-esquely dissonant Modest Mouse concert last night) there were a pair of intoxicated and muscular young British men with several orders of magnitude too much enthusiasm. In both cases, they threw their arms around, groped each other, and pushed each other into the crowd every five seconds. The problem, as you can imagine, is that in a crowded concert venue, bulky Brits blindly falling in every direction are incredibly distracting and scary. Where's security when you need them? This time, they nearly picked a fight with some people before wandering to another part of the venue. Thank goodness.

But the question is - what's up with this weird trend? (Sarah said the same thing happened to her at another concert, and everybody knows three examples make a trend.) Is this standard concert behavior in England? Are gay men in England so repressed they take it out on American concertgoers? Is this some sort of death-by-a-thousand-cuts terrorist plot? Someone please clue me in.

Update: Dolapo says the same thing happened at the Goldfrapp concert, but he's too lazy to post. Also, I forgot to clarify that the thugs at the first concert were not the same as the thugs at the second.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Bill Clinton rocks

Have you ever read one of those books that sort of seems to contain all of life in it? Bill Clinton's speech to the Slate 60 philanthropy conference is sort of like that. Deep thinking, interesting facts and figures, eloquence, gravity, emotion—everything our current president lacks. One of my favorite parts is where he compares the Kyoto Protocol to jobs or marriages, pointing out that if the requirement for uniting with others were perfection, we wouldn't join anything. I can't find a transcript online - but this is absolutely worth dropping onto your iPod and going for a long walk.

In general, the Slate podcasts are great.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

I don't know why population density keeps coming up

but first there was this fun map of population density from Time (which is much more information dense than the poorly-presented religion graphs, which in turn sent me wondering about how this could be better presented (probably a bar chart would be fine, although sieve diagrams also look interesting?)), and then we were talking about the number of users Notebook has from Japan, which led to the discovery that Japan had 1/3rd the population of the US in what is clearly much less the area. Everyone looked at me like I was a moron at work, I guess I was the last to know. Anyway, I made this little table (Wikipedia has bigger lists.)

population  area (km^2)density (per km^2)
japan127 million374,000340
us300 million9 million31
tokyo12 million2,0005,796 (13,000 in the "special wards")
new york 8 million78510,000

All of which is to say that I really want to go to Tokyo sometime and see all this density in action (although Wikipedia claims New York's densest area (Manhattan, duh) has 25,000 people per km^2, exceeding Nakano's 20,000). I'm pretty content with my small patch of land in New York (less to clean!), but I'm not sure I'd be happy with something too much smaller.

Speaking of cities, I'm enjoying paging through The Works in random moments. Thanks, peopleatworkwhorecommendedit!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Nice companies

After my encounter with Orbitz, it's been refreshing to have companies care at least a bit more when something bad happens. Jetblue and Netflix both recently sent me small credits after some amazingly crappy service when I missed a flight and screwing up the order of my Battlestar Galactica DVD's multiple times, respectively. Yay, nice companies!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Luxury buildings

I have kind of a love-hate relationship with luxury buildings. On the one hand, they're soulless and overpriced, and stand for everything that's wrong with the new face of New York. On the other hand, they're incredibly convenient: doormen to take packages, elevator for bringing things up to your apartment, gym when it's too cold or late to leave the building, no broker wasting your time and then emptying your wallet, no unruly supers taking forever to do repairs, modern appliances.

The one frustrating thing about these buildings is that they're hard to find. A lot of them only list their prices in the paper New York Times. A lot of them want you to call or email for prices, a waste of time for all involved. Nearly identical buildings can vary greatly in price. As part of my apartment hunting, I collected my notes in a Google Notebook. But what I really wanted was a good list of luxury buildings and their prices. Nybits was okay, but slow to go through. Apartment ratings was promising, but had almost no data.

So, I broke down and made something myself, borrowing liberally from my friend and coworker Mihai's overplot mashup. The result is luxurny. It's a little clunky and could use some more coverage, so please send me additions. For now, I'm limiting it to Manhattan luxury buildings.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Wikipedia really does have everything

I always feel dumb when I don't post for a while and lots of exciting things happen in my life, and my next post is decidedly inconsequential. But, oh well. I was reading Glen's blog (and I finally got to meet Glen on my most recent trip to Mountain View!) and I decided to see if my high school was on Wikipedia. And Voila! It even mentions that our school was featured in "Bring It On," which is probably the most exciting thing about it, other than the fact that it had 3,000ish students the year I graduated, which freaks the hell out of East Coasters.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

So Ronrey!

Last week kicked ass. Catherine and I went to Babbo, which was especially awesome after reading Heat. Calling didn't work to get a reservation, but we had a concierge at work that pulled some sort of magic. I had to-die-for goat cheese tortelloni and tasty parpadelle with chanterelles, plus salad with blood orange dressing, peach grappa, a delicious wine, a sparkling red dessert wine, and saffron panna cotta. Also, we sat next to Paul Giamatti! And he ogled the parpadelle!

The next night, we saw Paul Giamatti in The Illusionist, which was entertaining, although it turns out we had confused the movie with the trailers for the similar-sounding The Prestige. Paul Giammati is evil in it, though.

This week we had to move, since C's off to Harvard Law. My movers were so late the buildings were threatening to not let them use the elevators. Also, I waited in line for half an hour at Time Warner only to find out that the idiot on the phone who told me I could self-install a new account was wrong. Of course, WHY can't I self-install a new account? The building is a in-bed-with-Time-Warner-for-a-small-discount building, so I would hope the connectivity is well-tested, which was the only reason they gave for needing to send a technician. Note also that said technician is soonest available Sept 13 beween 10 and 2. Luckily, my new neighbor has kindly neglected to secure his or her Wifi. Phew!

Now I can shop for a new TV, and with slightly less urgency, a bed. ;-)

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Funny conversation about seeing Snakes on a Plane

--dork jokes alert--

(on Partychat)

[dan] Are we really going Thursday night to SoaP?
["ak"] you object?
[dan] No.
[dan] I'm making plans.
Kushal: i'd prefer to see XML-RPC on the big screen
partychat: ["skateboard_p"] we're definitely in
[dan] Oh Kushal.
[dan] Give it a REST.
Kushal: i wonder if one of the snakes is a CORBA

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Murphy's Postal Service

In the past year, the only things I know to have gotten lost in the mail are a) my tax return and b) a stock certificate, both of which led to annoying fines. Why is the postal service so selectively crappy?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

New toys

After some research, I ended up getting a D807 from Cingular (via letstalk, which unfortunately ported by number 2 days before it arrived but was otherwise great - I realized just before I ordered that Amazon can't port Cingular numbers. WTF). It's so nice to be able to install applications without paying a tax to profiteering control-freaks. I immediately (after some guidance from Dolapo) installed Google Maps and Opera Mini (which show up under "games" on my phone - sigh). And I can get to Reader Mobile and Gmail Mobile! The $10 data+messaging addon from Cingular is a real deal.

Also, Catherine and I dropped by our third-favorite Union Square wine store (after the Warehouse and Trader Joe's of course) in its new location. They have these automated tasting machines where you insert a smart card that lets you get samples of wines. As you buy wines, you get more credits. The staff was rather surly, but we were eventually able to taste a Montsant (next door to Priorat, which we enjoyed in Spain).

Monday, July 17, 2006


So Pearl Jam performed an awesome revision of Phil Ochs's song "Here's to the State of Mississippi" on Storytellers, and at the time I couldn't find any copies of it online. But then they performed it at a recent concert, which you can purchase at their handy-dandy bootleg site. The whole concert - 38 tracks, no DRM - is $10. Other bands could really learn a lesson.

Back from Maine

(Grr, BlogThis in Flickr is cool, but the template is crap!)

I'm back from Maine! We saw moose in Rangeley, went hiking in Amherst, the White Mountains and Acadia (mmm, new hiking boots), and lounged on the great beach in Ogunquit. Remnants of our planning in my notebook (natch). But I'm still dealing with my accumulated work email. :-(

Friday, July 7, 2006


Yay Carl. Now Gelf just needs to win an award. ;-)

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

This shot is on fire

It was quite an eventful birthday. ;-) Thanks to Harryh for recommending The Delancey, and Ak for Pangea (pictured here), and everybody who came out to celebrate.

As a present to myself (as decided after the fact), I bought Guitar Hero and a PS2 (from RedOctane and, both of which arrived in three days with the cheap shipping. Go figure. We've been playing a lot of both. I also bought myself some presents at Banana Republic and a new pair of hiking boots. Buying myself presents is very efficient!

Thursday, June 22, 2006


There's another kushal dave on facebook. Scary.

In other news, Notebook was in the Times.

And C. and I went to a wedding in Chattanooga, but the pictures are of Rock City and Georgia's higest point (Brasstown Bald).


Stadium Arcadium is $11.88 at Amazon, which has to ship a CD from a warehouse to me, and $19.90 at Itunes, which has to send me a few bits over a wire. If I buy from Itunes, nobody on the work network can listen to my cool new album. Why don't people buy music legally? Because the music industry is run by greedy idiots. Fuck 'em both, I'm buying it from the Russians for $3.45. Sigh. (I've also found the Russians are a guilt-free place to retrieve albums I've had stolen, and they have a snazzy new Windows client.)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Radiohead rocks

The Radiohead concert at MSG was incredible. It was actually a much smaller venue than I expected, and we had a great view despite the swaying tall guy, two Blackberry-entranced businessmen, and aggresive pot smokers in front of us. Even the Radiohead songs I like less were great in concert. Much more of an edge. I feel like the same was true when I saw REM in concert. Why aren't there more live albums? Sigh.

In other news, I made a little notebook of my favorite New York restaurants, since so many people keep asking. I'll fill it out with some second tier places when I get more energy.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


They're filming Spiderman 3 a block from our house. Later, there were people with pointy helmets! Lots of cabs parked on that street, lots of trailers on the surrounding streets. This is way more impressive than when Conviction was filming around here.

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Concert ticket dilemma

I bought Radiohead tickets for June 13th as part of making up my long absence to Catherine (at 2x face value!) and then I found out that the Eels are playing for free that night. :-( But it looks like Craiglist has a semi-vibrant ticket forum, so maybe I'll be able to pull off a trade. One cool thing, though, in Google Calendar, you can search for the New York Free Concerts feed, which includes all the River to River shows.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Google Notebook finally out!

After a few incredibly-hard, girlfriend-frustrating weeks at work, Google Notebook is out. It has a few more warts than we might like, but it'll be nice to see people using it. Even the early broken versions of it were super-useful to me. Anyway, I'm going to catch up on sleep, but I'm looking forward to having my life back. ;-)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Why is it

that when you do interesting things, you're too busy to blog about them?

I spent the past few weekends out of town, and, in anticipation of that, did a bunch of fun stuff last month right before I left. We finally had dinner at Po (tasty, especially for the price), got cheese at Murray's (tasty), and went to the Bodies exhibit (much cooler than I thought it would be - diseased organs, vascular systems - although be sure to ask for the free MetroCard discount before you pay). I also had the 3-is-sort-of-like-unlimited-mimosas brunch at Essex (hip) and a *cough* few drinks afterward, and brunch at Cookshop (divine).

Inspired by Po, I found a recipe for wild rice with lemony escarole that was tasty. And tonight I made pasta with brocoli rabe and gorgonzola sauce (inspired by a cookbook my mom got as part of a rampage when she saw one on my Amazon wish list).

As for all the weekend trips, I went to Charles's wedding (beautiful) and talked Richard into buying Guitar Hero. The weekend after, I was in Barcelona (pictures at left), where we went to the market, a cava factory, the Sagrada Familia, a random military museum, and a restaurant with moderinsme on the walls and a great wine pick by Catherine's friend's husband. This past weekend, I went to DC to meet up with my family, where our planned baseball game was rained out, but we still went to Mt. Vernon, the American History Museum, where we spent most of the time on the science stuff, and the Holocaust Museum, which has an intense temporary exhibition about eugenics.

Obviously, it's nice to be back home, but now work's hectic and we have lots of Tribeca Film Festival tickets (resident discount - score!). Maybe June will be calm.

Sunday, March 5, 2006

Bit o stuff

Went gallery-hopping with Jordan Saturday. Saw some interesting stuff, like paintings with nails in them, several paintings of people underwater, sculptures of heads, blurry paintings based on photo collages, digitially-altered photos of taxidermy in nature, foggy New York scenes, comics about going vegan as performance art, rooms with words painted on the walls, photorealistic paintings of cloth wrapping unknown objects.

But the definite star of the show was Fields of Fire, video pieces depicting highly abstracted oil drilling and a 10 minute movie of flowing oil and blood that was amazingly intense. One weird thing is that I couldn't find out much about how the artist (who actually was hanging out at the gallery!) did what she did. The best clue was on this Corcoran page, which explains, "She achieves unusual effects of motion and color by re-photographing her images repeatedly, by transferring them from video to film and back again, and by using digital manipulation." (Also in the how'd-they-do-that category, a good article in Wired about rotoscoping for Scanner Darkly.)

Patois brunch was tasty, although they ran out of french toast, and the mimosas were pleasantly free-flowing until they ran out of champagne (!).

Catherine and I got caught up in the Project Runway marathon. It was actually very entrancing. I'm rooting for Santino, even if he is an ass. This, plus an article about collectives in the Times, plus the gallery-hopping, left me thinking about the production of art. I wonder how much real-world fashion is actually the result of a single creative effort, as opposed to soliciting input from coworkers, bosses, focus groups and such, as with movies, software, and books. It's interesting that industries like fashion seem to do okay despite the absence of a filter/promotion engine like a publishing company. It's not like the winners of Runway have a hope of being something-equivalent-to-an-artist-being-signed-by-a-label. But maybe I just don't know enough about the fashion industry.

Meanwhile, the Times podcasts are a dangerously blood-pressure-raising way of passing the time on the way to work. So much stupidity from the Bush administration, but nothing ever comes of the columnists' whining. Maybe they should lock Bush in a room with a stack of them and not him leave till he recognize how incompetent he is. And then there's David Brooks, insisting that the only things worth knowing happened in Plato (yay infringing copy, columns want to be free!). Is he really this dumb? Also, he suggests that people take statistics. If only he had. Is there really nobody smarter than him to take up that space in the Times? Even Dowd is more interesting.

Conviction is taping around the corner at 10 (that's life living near the courts). Sounds like a fun outing to me.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


It turns out the manual activation of the backlight not working with the new Ipod firmware is a known issue. Thanks Apple! That was an upgrade well worth a half hour install and a restart. Uh, not.

In other silliness news, I noticed that Mark Pilgrim's Butler script blocks Google ads. I wonder how often the ad to buy his book on Google has made him money. Come on, Mark, don't you think your script would be sufficiently useful without that?

Monday, January 30, 2006

I fall down less

The Google ski trip rundown from Dens is better than I could ever manage, especially because I was too lazy to tote my camera around. The parties raged, and the Mike's Way green run at Stratton let me feel all grown up, coming down from the top of the mountain while only occasionally losing my skis.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Better Business Bureau came through!

While still admitting no fault, at least Orbitz responded when I complained via the BBB.

Dear Mr. Dave:

Better Business Bureau has forwarded your recent complaint to us for review and direct follow up with you. Thank you for your recent comments regarding your experience with Orbitz. On behalf of my colleagues at Orbitz, I sincerely apologize for the dissatisfaction you've expressed, and I appreciate the opportunity to respond.

We know that understanding the expectations of our premium customers is the key to maintaining their loyalty and support. We can understand when we don't that you may doubt our desire and ability to provide you with the quality of service you expect and deserve. Please be assured we are listening and that your comments have not gone unheard.

Although we fully sympathize with your situation, however, at the same time we do not want to come across as being insensitive to your concerns. After a thorough investigation about this matter, our record indicates that your hotel reservation was successfully transmitted to the hotel on January 12, 2006 at 17:29 GMT. Nevertheless, please understand that Hotels just like the airlines do overbook and on occasion will exceed overbooking ratios. This process is solely controlled by the individual hotels and or their representative companies. On occasion we find these hotels are unsuccessful in closing their inventory allowing customers the ability to still book rooms. Although we understand this does not excuse your experience, Orbitz fully holds the hotel responsible. By sharing your concerns we hope the property will take action in better managing their inventory in the future. We thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Furthermore, in the interest of goodwill, Orbitz has made a one time exception and would like to offer you a $200 rebate on your next booking. This compensation is not intended to place a value on your experience. It is meant to emphasize our commitment to you as a customer and to encourage you to continue using Orbitz for your travel needs....

Note that they have no record of acknowledgement by the hotel. Good thing Orbitz doesn't write networking protocols for a living. Anyway, the lessons here are: Orbitz may be cheap, but you have to double-check their work, and if somebody tries to dick you around, let the BBB know.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Favorite band of the moment

What Made Milwaukee Famous (via Panda's Hideout 24). Weirdly, not for sale on Amazon, but available on ITunes. If JHymn would get updated, my LAN friends could listen in. :-(

Monday, January 23, 2006

Orbitz, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways.

The, uh, nice people at Orbitz wrote back:

When booking with any online service you are acting as your own travel agent. It always a good idea, as well as your responsibility to verify all travel information before going. ... In this situation the hotel states the reservation did not go through even though Orbitz shows the electronic transfer of the reservation as successful. The hotels are responsible for managing their inventories and unfortunately this hotel did not.

Since Orbitz is not prepared to recover the cost of the screw-up from the hotel, what am I paying Orbitz for? A few guesses.

  1. For a terrible web site. One that forgets who am I even though I check "remember me." One that times out sessions after a few minutes. One that is slow. One that doesn't understand simultaneous sessions. One that can't learn when my default airport has changed. One where the price changes every time I try to buy something. In a fraction of the time, Yahoo has already made them look lime amateurs.
  2. For obnoxious customer service. Customer service that tells regular customers that they have to pay $50 change fees. Customer service that tells me I should double-check everything they do because they might screw up and leave me without a hotel at my destination. Customer service that tells me I should double-check everything even though the confirmation tells me not to contact the hotel directly. Customer service that thinks it's okay when they land me in Miami with no hotel and can only find me a dreary room at the same price but minus the excellent location, 4 stars, and ktichen of the original (possibly explaining why it was free at the last minute). Customer service that discourages me from speaking to a manager and tells me I should not expect compensation. Customer service that says I must continue my discussion by email and then cuts off the email thread and says I must continue by phone.
  3. For incurring additional risk. When I book a hotel directly, I can usually cancel without penalty. When I book airfare directly, I usually have 24 hours to cancel. When I book with Orbitz, I'm screwed. With an Orbitz travel package, I pay $50 to cancel the hotel and the airfare is nonrefundable.

At the end of the day, I am forced to use Orbitz because they have their special deal with the airlines that lets me search all of their cheapest airfares. Luckily, you can usually save $5 by booking straight with the airline and even get a few miles in the process. Next time, I'm going to start with Travelocity's supposedly pleasant customer service and work my way down.

Any tips on getting some finanically-meaningful apology out of Orbitz? Anybody have any luck with the Better Business Bureau or something?

Sunday, January 22, 2006


Catherine and I are back from South Beach, which was really fun, except for the part where Orbitz somehow didn't book our hotel and then tried to buy us off with a $50 travel voucher (we'll see how that all shakes out) and my bum foot, which made running a bit tough. We sat on the beach and read and played in the waves and ate Cuban food.

The art deco hotels are awesome. What is it about art deco that is so captivating?

NetFlix brought Harold and Kumar to our mailbox. Very entertaining.

more pics »

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


When I visited Mountain View last week, I decided to stay in San Francisco so I could go out and explore the city. It turns out SF is a dump. Who knew? Especially on the way to my only-thing-left-during-MacWorld hotel, the smell of human feces was overwhelming. The only people on the street were scary, aggressive drug addicts. Also, the last BART leaves SFO before midnight. Silliness! There were good coffee shops in the Mission, at least.

But the worst part about it was that I woke up at 8:11 for a 9 am meeting in Mountain View. The shuttle takes an hour, and the next one was at 8:40. Running to make sure I didn't miss it with a heavy backpack on, I appear to have mangled my foot, which has put a real damper on my running.

Damn you, San Francisco! Whoever says New York is dangerous should try walking anywhere in our sister to the West.

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Delta whore, and other stories...

Is it wrong that I'm really excited about my new "medallion" status on Delta? On my trip home, I was upgraded to First Class for free on my trip home. Being a pliant consumer is rewarding.

Speaking of consuming, C and I signed up for Netflix. If you're a user, add me as your friend. I've also started adding friends on Amazon. That all started when I wanted to send Lisa a link to a book and there was a checkbox to make her my friend. I wonder if having ugly URLs was part of their strategy all along?

Although I worship at the altar of capitalism, I of course remain skeptical about religion. This ceremony I went to at home left me wondering about how Hinduism led to all this caste nonsense. Of course, Wikipedia had the answer. Now the question is, is there any religion that hasn't been used to cause harm to others? Maybe Buddhism? Unitarianism? In any case, I read about these interesting anti-religious children's books in the New Yorker - I think I might check 'em out.

Recent choice podcats:

KEXP 5 - who knew that sound engineers even have ouveres to sample?

AGDFA 21 - if you have to listen to Christmas music, it might as well be alternative and rock

If there's any doubt that podcasts help sell music (wait! didn't we already have this argument with radio?), I bought The Magic Numbers album after hearing them on KEXP Live Performances.