231 Erwin Road

My experiences as a Northern transplant down in Chapel Hill, NC, 2005. And now my experiences back up in NYC.

Monday, July 18, 2005

four strategies for generating creative output

Found this on Mark C's blog (from NYC Techies Meetup).

Four Stategies for Generating Creativity

I don't think you can necessarily make a person 'generate' creativity. But I do think these behaviors exist in creative people.

The Ring Thing Bottle Opener

I've heard of people using their wedding rings to do this, but this just seems so much easier. Buy me one, please.

Roller Derby

Andy M. took me to see the Gotham Girls roller derby on Friday night. It was AWESOME. I don't understand why they don't televise this. Who doesn't want to watch girls in skirts beat each other up? It's in the bronx, it's pretty cheap, and it's a wicked good time.

After that, we got to do one of things I've been itching to do in nyc, drink beer in times square. We poured some Colt 45's into Arizona bottles and walked around the crowed tourist attraction. It was a lot of fun, and fulfilled one of my dreams.

Customs & a Bachelor Party

So this post is old, but it was half written on my treo.

Last weekend I headed up to our big brother in the north, Canada. Josh J is getting married pretty soon. I think he's getting married in the Hersey Canal, I'm serious, Hersey Park, PA. I'm sure they must have a canal somewhere around there.

The party was up in Montreal, where strip clubs out number starbucks, (impressive feat). I had to miss Friday night's activities because it was my niece's bday on Saturday. Friday night, a bunch of ppl from the blogosphere got together.

Saturday was the niece's 3rd bday, I got her a rockin' pink gee-tar. She had a castle bounce, it looked like a lot of fun, but i knew i would take out too many kids if i went in.

So Montreal -
I missed Friday night and Saturday day, which I'm a little bummed about cause it sounds like everybody had a lot of fun. I really bummed about missing Peel's Pub. If you've every been to Montreal, you know how much of a staple Peel's pub is. I have many non-memories of that place - just stories people tell me the next morning - mostly due to the fact that you can buy Long Island Ice-teas (LITs) by the pitcher at Peel's.

I was delayed at the airport due to weather in nyc, then customs in montreal, but more on that later. I made it in kinda late (~10pm?) cause I tried walking from the bus station which was a bad idea. So our first stop was Club Super Sex, another staple of Montreal. From there we went on to have a fun night, I'll leave it at that since it's a bachelor party. But two things I do recall - 1, jumping up and down on a hotel bed only to smash my head into the ceiling. I saw a bright flash and fell hard down to the bed, it didn't feel quite so good. 2, eating sausage poutine. I love poutine for two reasons, one because it's fun to say (try saying it outloud) and two because it tastes so damn good. We also ordered 'cold tea' which is chinese for beer. They serve it to you in the chinese hot tea kettle with the porcelin cups. Very ghetto, but fun afterhours.

Sunday morning we ate at a resturant called eggspectaitons. I was thinking it would be like smut-and-eggs, but it was an upstanding resturant (my disapointment) but it had really great breakfast plates (my happiness.)

Customs - (my ordeal though Canadian customs, typed in a breif on my Treo)


For some reason telling customs that you're in Canada to 'party down' in Montreal for only 1 night gets u flagged for 'special inspection.'

Ohh canada, what kind of big brother are you that u feel the need to throulghy search ur brother from the south. Do u not trust me?

I'm just hear for ur cheap boooze and professional women. There's nothing 'sketchy' about that!

I think the female security guard was just itching to rub my boxers down with that bomb residue cloth. I can't argue that, I did enjoy watching it.

Which gets me going on this whole customs thing. Do we really need it for trusted countries? Imagine we had an asinine process like this for intrastate travel? It would be so inefficient. We're a global world, the world is flat, let's drop this bouncer policy. I hated having to where nice shoes in bostón to get into bars and I don't like the idea of lying to customs to make my entry easier. If anything, this search has taught me to lie. Don't say ur leaving tommorow, say u r staying for a week, although my lack of luggage would be questionable.

Fuck you Candian customs! Thanks for steeling an hour of my drinking and boobie time! That's like 20% of my boozing time!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

My grandpa can kick your grandpa's ass

Ever see two grandpa's fight? Neither have I but there's some smackdown thrown in the video. I promise you will find it so funny that you'll watch it 2-3 times.

Friday, July 15, 2005

A peak into the future

Fujitus has debutable the worlds first bendable color electronic paper.

So what does this mean? Lot's of things. It means that soon, you're magazine will have live video and pop-up ads. It means you can read an entire book on just one page. It means we are gonna see some crazy clothing coming out with live video spread across our backs and our bums. It means our credit cards will be able to display our current outstanding balance on the face of the card by just holding it in our fingers (recognizing our fingerprints of course.)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Best Page In the Universe takes on the blogosphere

If you haven't heard of "The Best Page In the Universe, then you've been missing the funniest corner of the web.

Check out his bash on blogs.

Is Wired Magazine run by idiots?

I was checking the preferences of my Wired Magazine subscription, when I noticed, that in order to make changes they ONLY require an email address, NO PASSWORD.

This is insane. For one, it would allow you to view somebody's postal address just by entering in their email address. Second, you could CHANGE somebody's subscription to have it mailed to another location (maybe your house!)

Crazy, see for yourself here.

Categories: privacy

Funny Linux Cartoon

Check out this funny Linux cartoon.

Mark had it posted on his blog, and I think I have to give out props to Brandon (of EB) for showing it to me a while back.

Check it out, whether you are a geek or not.

Categories: funny, linux

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Does the president stand by his pledge to fire anyone involved in a leak of the name of a CIA operative?

MCCLELLAN: Yes, but this question is coming up in the context of this ongoing investigation, and that’s why I said that our policy continues to be that we’re not going to get into commenting on an ongoing criminal investigation from this podium.

Q: Scott, if I could point out: Contradictory to that statement, on September 29th of 2003, while the investigation was ongoing, you clearly commented on it. You were the first one to have said that if anybody from the White House was involved, they would be fired. And then, on June 10th of 2004, at Sea Island Plantation, in the midst of this investigation, when the president made his comments that, yes, he would fire anybody from the White House who was involved. So why have you commented on this during the process of the investigation in the past, but now you’ve suddenly drawn a curtain around it under the statement of, 'We’re not going to comment on an ongoing investigation'?

Full transcription.

Categories: politics

Just cause I'm on the internet, you can't read me

Many of you probably have not heard of the internet archive created by Brewster Kahle. Kahle made a lot of money back in the dot-com and decided to make a library of all librarys and store the entire content of the web in an archive. The library tries to take a snapshot of the web each day and record changes, edits, and deletes.

This in itself is amazing, especially for historians in the future looking back to our time.

However, some dumbass group has decided to sue the Internet Archive on the basis that they have violated copyright and DRM (Digital Rights Management).

This is a LIBRARY built off of VOLUNTEER money and time. Are you kidding me? The sole purpose is for the betterment of society, like any library. The Internet Archive is not funded by a state, and I'm very glad of that fact (we wouldn't want them filtering data now would we? Or changing history?)

DIY Projector

DIY = Do It Yourself

Somebody has concocted a way to build a LCD projector for your wall using those old HS overhead projectors and a small LCD scrren for around $200. It is quite simple to build any anybody can do it.

Josh J, this is right up your alley.

Categories: DIY, cool

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Make me a better speeller

I (like most) frequently misspell the same words. I try to take note each time Gmail or MS Word dings me, but I'm still slow to learn.

Wouldn't it be great if Gmail or MS Word ran background analytics on my spelling errors? It could produce a monthly report of the top 5 misspelled words, so that I could work on fixing them in the next few weeks. Maybe even chart my improvement on some words and highlight where I'm just not cutting it.

Categories: ideas

The London Bombings

Some discussion happening in my other band, please join in:

The Sanford Project - The London Bombings

Categories: politics, thesanfordproject

Friday, July 08, 2005

I'm podcasting... to YOU!

Wondering what those Talkr icons are to the right?

If you love to listen to podcasts and need more, or if you're looking to start podcasting without ever recording your voice, check out Talkr. If you subscribe to podcasts, copy and paste the link from +Talkr icon into your podcast app or the new iTunes.

First, it allows you to convert your text blog into an audio podcast using a lovely female computer voice. Don't knock it until you hear it. It's amazing how well the inflections can come across.

Second, it allows you to subscribe to *any* RSS feed as a podcast. It converts text feeds into audio and lets you listen on the run. Think about all the additional content you can absorb on your drive/walk/hike/scooter-ride to work!

Another 231erwinroad podcast.

Register on Talkr and subscribe to my feed.

Categories: blogging, podcasts

My niece, a future rockstar?


So I went shopping in Toys R' Us Times Square today to grab my niece a bday present. Man, that places is fun, even as an adult. You just feel good walking around, I highly recommend it when you are feeling all *stuffed* in your office and office attire.




So I got Danielle, my niece, a kick ass pink guitar. I'm gonna have to throw some band's sticker over that barbie label though. At least it's acoustic. She's gonna rock out like Sleater-Kinney.

On the radio: Graham Coxon "Don't Be A Stranger"

Categories: journal, photos

Thursday, July 07, 2005

You can't come in !!!

Photo taken at 9:32pm at the office.

I'm locked out of the office, last time I choose to goto the bathroom "after-hours." I stepped out to take a piss and couldn't get back in. (We have to leave the 'secure' office to get to the bathroom.)

I couldn't find a cleaning lady, everything was just left there, waiting for me to return, ohh well, tomorrow morning.

Categories: journal

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The future

I found this link off of Todd's blog while catching up on some old reading.

Basically, it's what I can't wait for. Social awareness though your cell phone.

Nokia - Nokia Sensor

Javanomics 101: Today's Coffee Is Tomorrow's Debt

I found this on Melanie's blog.

Kinda funny, it shows that if you made your own coffee and for 30 years refrained from buying a $3 latte, you could save $55,341 (with interest). (Brent would probably appreciate this.)

Javanomics 101: Today's Coffee Is Tomorrow's Debt

Wiki on a stick

For those of you that know what a wiki is, you know that you need a websever and etc. to run them.

Well, somebody has made TiddlyWiki, which is just an html file with all the wiki code embedded in the html. So you can save a page to your desktop (or usb key) and now you have a fully functional wiki on your computer. All the 'edit' and 'create' page links are there for you to build your wiki.

If this post doesn't make sense to you, that's fine, if this post does make sense to you, you're probably drooling right now.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Dear Fun,

A great blog entry that I had to point out, sums up my past few weeks. I found the link via Patrick's blog.

open and notorious: Dear Fun,

My other blog is a BMW

So Patrick (my last roommate) started a new band, I mean blog. It's a political blog aiming to have some different viewpoints. I happen to be one of those viewpoints. Check it out, specifically, check out my post "Social Security - the issue isn't dead yet"

4th of July 05

I made it up to Boston Sunday for some BBq'ing at Kev and Briana's place, they just got engaged.

Ryan R got a new dog, Milo, we got him humping a stuffed animal on video, but I'm having trouble converting it for the web. None the less, it provided me with hours of enjoyment.

It was good to see all the Boston folk (even know they are all engaged like many of my friends these days.) I haven't been back up to Boston since December, it's always a little nostalgic heading back.

I was only up in Boston for 24hrs as I was busy working on an article this weekend. At least we all got to eat at Bickfords (the website makes it look classy, trust me, it's anything butt) on Monday morning. It's no Waffle House, but a diner is a diner.

I drove back Monday day, luckily I didn't hit any traffic. I needed the Rockstars to not get bored and pass out. The gas station had a special going, 2 for $3. There's a bar I've seen that sells it with vodka (instead of red ass.)

Chris P from my Spring IBM EB program was in town for the weekend. He crashed here on his way out (6am flight) Some other friends joined us and we got to watch the Macy's fireworks on my roof. It was a pretty sick sight.

4th of July Weekend - The Drive Up

So I got hooked up with the premium car, except it was a Volvo. It was a nice Volvo though, it had a lot of power and a decent sound system. It ended up costing me around $50, not a bad deal. I felt a little guilty about wasting a whole car ride on just one person when I could have taken the bus, but I just don't fit in bus very well, especially ones packed full of chinese people.

I stopped at a reststop because it had those "Free Coffee" signs. Turns out it was a Boy Scout Troop. They were grillin free hot dogs, bonus.

Remember, how I was debating taking the Fungwah Bus, well here' s me approaching fast on the sucker.

Ohh snap, is he about to pass him on the outside???

Shit, there he goes, PUNCH IT, PUNCH IT baby

Ohh, what's that, is that the writing on the wall or the side of the bus??? I can't hear you, I'm blowing your ass by. All those people in your bus must be slowing you down. We can't all have Volvo's now can we.

Ohh, did I just leave you eating my dust? I'm sorry, try to keep up.

That's one happy driver as he blows past the competition. I be ghetto blastin' B-A-N-A-N-A-S,

Ohh, what's that. Is that a chinatown bus in my side mirror?


I ain't no hollaback girl!

Looking for a quick way to search for images, flickr images?

Then use this
plugin with Firefox. It will allow you to use your Firefox search toolbar to search flickr tags.

Thanks Christian Heindel

Don't use Google Images or Yahoo Images anymore, use Flickr.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

I'm off to Boston

So I'm at 2,194 words on 5 pages for the developerWorks article I'm writing. But it's still a little rough around the edges.

Time for me to head up to Boston. I was thinking of Fung Wah for the excellent prices, but I think I may have snagged a Hertz deal.

Hertz was charging $110/day for a weekend day (too much.) I was playing around with the reservation time, and it seems that at 3:15 (not 3:00pm) the price drops to their weekday price, at $47.80. Now here's the catch, they don't have any economy or compact cars in stock cause of the holiday, just SUV's. So I'm heading over now to 'try and work something out.' I'm a Hertz Gold member though IBM, which I believe entitles me to free upgrades to what's avilable if my choice is out of stock. So I may be getting one of those premium cars.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

What is so tastey that Vinnie keeps saying it's "del.icio.us?"

If you're not sure what del.icio.us is, here's a good post from one of the veture capatilist who invested in it.

Steve Jobs' speech to Stanford graduates - June 2005

I liked this speech, it applies to everybody, not just graduates. I should probably goto Boston tonight (rather then work.)

Steve Jobs Speech to Graduates

June 2005 is a historic month of internet growth

June 2005 has seen a gain of 2.76 million hostnames, the second-largest monthly increase in the history of Netcraft's surveys.

I'm sure all us bloggers have something to do with this:

Netcraft: July 2005 Web Server Survey

What do you want to do?

Why not blog about it on 43 Things?

I stumbled onto this site thinking it was a GTD reference, as in 43 folders.

But it's totally cooler, it's a website where you list the things you want to do, or have done and you rate your experience. You can see who else wants to do the same thing or what their experiences were. You can even encourage people to do something or get encouraged.

I really like this idea, hopefully I get some time to play around with it later.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Tag Literacy

A great (indepth) article on tagging (del.icio.us, flickr, etc.)

i d e a n t: Tag Literacy

It's long, at the very least, scroll down to "What makes a good tag?" half way down the page

Sitting at the console

I'm currently trying to write an article for IBM developerWorks and I'm procrastinating something fierce. Well sorta, my procrastinations are small little trips of knowledge.

Anyway, I'm currently reading the status of the world on the Google Zeitgeist and it occurred to me, why not having these ratings for the JOB MARKET!!!

Wouldn't it be great to see what jobs are hot, and what jobs are declining? I would like to see a list of the most popular skills searched by companies, as well as a list of the most popular job roles available. And of course, I would want to see the reverse of this, the fastest declining skills and job roles.

I think this would be of benefit to potential job seekers as well as employers trying to gauge directions of the industry.

Google, you're missing the next boat

I'm a long loving fan of Google, but something just occurred to me.

I talk very highly of Google, I use it 100's of times a day (sometimes an hour,) yet I pay $85 a year to Yahoo?

What am I paying Yahoo for you ask? Well, for Flickr Pro and Yahoo Music Unlimited. I find the pay/premium services of these two offerings indispensable, particularly, the social networking content recommendations.

So why is Google receiving any cold hard cash from me? I love their Gmail service, but I don't know if I would pay (I might.) I love their Desktop Search, but I don't know if I would pay. I choose Flickr over Picasa because of the social networking aspect. I choose Friendster over Orkut (invite only) because of the larger audience.

Ask Jeeve's has Bloglines, I think I would pay for that (they will be offering content recommendations soon.)

Many of these services are building behavioral and social networking analysis on my likes and dislikes. This will be HUGE in the future, especially for search and content delivery. Google has picked up on this somewhat with their personalized search, it is behavioral, but not social.

Yahoo is about to offer 'Social' Search next Tuesday. Where is Google on these premium services?

At the very least, when is Google going to support tagging? A la del.icio.us.

Gratis versus Libre

What does it mean to be 'free'?

For some, 'free' is only associated with cost 'gratis' for others, they also associate 'free' with 'libre,' as in 'having freedom.'

I don't know who decided to lump these two together as part of the english (or german?) language, but a few hundred years later, it's causing a lot of confusion.

A number of you either have heard or understand my rants on Free Software (free as in speech, not beer.)

The president of Sun Microsystems, Jonathan Schwartz may have purposely confused the issue today when he referred to the free software by saying "If you want to reach the broadest marketplace in the world there's one price that works for everyone, and that's free."

I think he may have purposely misused the Free Software meaning of 'free' to apply to 'gratis' here instead of 'libre.' Why do you ask? Well the point of the Free Software/Open Source Software movement is to allow software to be copied, modified, and redistributed, this is 'libre.' Sun owns the right to Java, and developers do NOT have the write to copy, modify, and redistribute Java code. However, the software is provided for 'free' as in 'gratis' by Sun Microsystems. To the general public, his statement seems to say that Java is part of the Free Software/Open Source movement, however, it is just the opposite because it does not obey the fundamental 'libre' quality.

- Wikipedia article on Free Software.
- Wikipedia article on Gratis versus Libre.

Where do my interest lie?

Vinnie's tags

Although, the words sex and porn are not on there, so something didn't add up right.

The link above was created with extisp.icio.us. A tool to generate a visual scattering of a user's del.icio.us's tags.

Martin, I know you'll love this tool.

And for the photo inclined.