231 Erwin Road

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

Sunday, August 28, 2005

I need your help

Since everybody has been ohh so helpful in wholehearted comments on my photo, I thought I get people to vote on a new different picture. Pick a number and place it in the comments below:

1. Photo_061805_006 Racecar Smile
2. Photo_061805_005 Racecar Driving
3. IMG_2755 Catching food in my mouth
4. IMG_2726 Drinking a brew
5. Photo_052805_007 My reflection looking out on Sin City (vegas)
6. Photo_080405_003 Eating some shabu (hot soup)
7. Photo_081305_006 Gearing up for Josh's wedding
8. Photo_073005_008 Living da thug life
9. Photo_080505_001 Backpacking though nyc on my way up to Maine

Friday, August 26, 2005

My damn Treo phone is doing one of those infinite reloops again where it just keeps rebooting itself and I can use it as a phone, bummer.

Searching Google for some help, I came across this article and I can not belive the insanly complicated instructions they give:

While continuing to hold Power, UP and HotSync, press and release the RESET button on the back panel of your device (where's the reset hole?). This is very difficult to do with only one person; you may wish to hold the stylus in your mouth and use your hands to press Power, UP and HotSync.

Put the stylus in your mouth??? HAHAHAHA, why can't they show a pic of this?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

picture me this

I added a new photo, it's the one I'm using inside of IBM now. It shows me older, with a beard, and looking smart in front of a whiteboard.

Let me know if it's 'too gay' for my blog, (which I know many of you will).

I hate fees

I just noticed that ez-pass started charging me $1/month without any explanation. After an email and a phone-call, I now find out the MTA is implementing monthly $1 fees on EZ-pass card holders?

Why? I'm trying to use a technology that actually saves the MTA money. I pay the same price for a toll (it used to be discounted, but not anymore) and yet I'm charged a dollar extra. If anything, I'm a cheaper customer because they don't have to pay a tollbooth worker an hourly wage to accept my toll.

I hate these random fees that companies/organization tack on to your bill. Yeah, I dollar isn't much for me, but multiple that by 500,000 ez-pass users (guess) and you just started raking in 1/2 million more each month.

I hate you MTA! I never agreed to your damn fees, you just started charging me as if it was manifest density or something.

Categories: Rants

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Big Brother - A helpful friend or an Evil Brat

The M.T.A. awarded Lockheed Martin $212 million dollars to build hardcore surveillance around nyc subways.

This is nothing new as London and Chicago have the same sort of surveillance capabilities. Personally, I don't think I mind, but maybe this will come back to bite me in the ass 4 years from now when I'm drunk and pissing on a subway platform.

Lockheed Martin Is Hired to Bolster Transit Security in N.Y. - New York Times

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Give me a Jab

Here's a little pre-release info (courtesy of /.). Google is starting a new IM service. They're using the Jabber protocol. You can use the open source GAIM client to get on-board.

Check out this page for info how to set it up. I'm vincent.lauria @@@ gmail dot com

UPDATE 10pm:
But why only connect to their servers when you can use your very own Google IM client.

Yes, Google has released an IM client, Google Talk. So far it looks neat. It has VoIP support and it will group your IM's into one 'convo' if the other person hasn't replied yet (vaguely similar to gmail convo's).

Google Talk

Categories: Google, IM, geek

Friday, August 19, 2005

Essential protection for your home

I'm not talking latex folks, I'm talking Flood Insurance.

Don't we live in an age where marketing companies are supposed to know all the juicy details about me so that they can send me THE CORRECT JUNK MAIL!!!!!

A Picture Share!

Today I received an flyer informing of the benefits of flood insurance. Freakin' FLOOD INSURANCE. Excuse me Mr. Marketing Company, I just happen to live 108 feet above sea level.

Maybe Travelers Insurance knows something I don't. Maybe judgment day truly is coming within 30 days "because there is a 30-day waiting period prior to receiving coverage."

They have some very persuasive marketing, let's look at it point for point:
  • FLYER: Approximately 25% of flood insurance claims come from low risk areas.
    • ME: How many claims come from apartments an entire football field above sea level? Shouldn't somebody be building an arc somewhere?
  • FLYER: Six out of 10 declared disaster involve flooding?
    • ME: Hrmm, 6/10 = 3/5. I live in nyc, let me try to name 5 disasters and you tell me if one (or three) of them involved flooding.
      • August 2002 Blackout
      • 9/11
      • 1993 World Trade Center terrorist attacks
      • American Idol hosting auditions at the Jacob Javit's center
      • General Slocum fire of 1891
    • I don't see flooding in there for the past 200 years, do you?
  • FLYER: Flooding occurs in every state and can occur at any time of the year?
    • ME: Yes, you are right sir. I'm sure that with an area of 122,409 km² there is sure to be some flooding in this state.
      • Hrmm, how much water would it require to flood the entire state of NY so that my feet got wet in my apartment? 122,409 km² * 33m = 4,039,497 cubic meters. That's roughly equal to 8.537 million pints of beer. I have an idea, maybe if we sing how many bottles of beer on the wall, when we get to 1 a flood will happen.
      • Eight million five hundred thirtyseven thousand nine hundred and seventy seven bottles of beer on the wall. You knock one down, you pass it around Eight million five hundred thirtyseven thousand nine hundred and seventy six bottles of beer on the wall ......
  • FLYER: 90% of all disasters in the United States are flood-related
    • ME: I was about to say I've never been affected by a flood in my life. But at my parents house they had a flood (from the AC in the basement and it warped all my elementary and highschool pantings. But do they even cover floods from the central air AC unit in a basement?
  • FLYER: You are four times more likely to experience a flood the a fire?
    • ME: They obviously don't know me. I've been starting fires since I was 8. I never start floods (well, there was that one time when the toilet was clogged.) I'm sure I've must have come close to burning my house (or somebody else's) a million times. I was even suspended from high school for lighting a school desk on fire and having the building evacuated. No floods though!!!
So I say to Travelers Flood Insurance, go flood yourself!
A Picture Share!

Google Earth meets weather forecast

Tired of seeing your weather forecast on flat 2D pictures? Want to fly around the globe and zoom into your city and see your weather?

Well that's not too far away, the National Weather Service of Tulsa, OK have created a plugin of forecasts for Google Earth. I can't wait until my city is online.

Categories: googleearth weather forecast cool links

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Go Green !!!

If you live in the 5 boroughs (and maybe some other places across the country) I'm gonna tell you some neat information.

You can request that your electricity come from Green Power and you can SAVE $ doing this.

I guess a year or so ago, some deregulation rules allowed you to separate your electric utility provider (ConEd) from your electric source (many companies.) Because of that, the cost per KWH of electricity is cheaper due to the competition. Most people don't even know they have a choice.

But what's great, is that a few companies offer GREEN ENERGY for only fractions of a penny more then conventional coal energy. But Vinnie, why would I spend fractions of a penny more for GREEN ENERGY?
  • Green Energy typically comes from wind powered turbines or hyrdro-damns. These are reusable energy sources that are okay for the environment.
  • You are lowering our dependency on Oil. dot dot dot, you are also decreasing our need on foreign oil (think middle east.) I don't care what you have to say, when you boil right down to it, many of our political issues over the past 20 years in the Middle East are due to Oil.
  • You are helping the environment by releasing less oil burning fumes, you are also making a statement that Green Power is possible, affordable, and worthwhile.
So how do you go about doing this? For the nyc area, follow these directions (do it, and tell all your friends.)
The Econnery and Pepco websites sucked and I was having problems with them. So I signed up for the ConEdison Solutions service, they are 25% wind power, 75% hyrdro; you can read about it in there FAQ.

So please, go out and make the switch, then make all of your friends switch. If you have any questions, I'd be more then happy to answer. Just post a comment below or email me at vincent -dot- lauria & gmail.

Interesting research idea around HIV

Seems some scientists have found that crocodile blood yields some powerful antibotics, some that even kill the HIV virus better then the human immuane system. Research is still early, but it's an interesting/creative thought.

And no, it wasn't our favorite Croc Hunter, Steve Irwin

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Josh's Wedding


So another man went down this weekend, this time it was our favorite anonymous poster, Josh J.

The wedding was actually a lot of fun, more so then I tend to think you could have at weddings. It certainly had to do with the 48 hours of partying wrapping around the wedding. Hey, you can't be a groomsman without having a few shots, right?

On the ride over:

The groom crew:

Let's see what I can remember. I met josh and friends at the LB at 3:30am in the morning. We met a chinese person who was locked out of his hostile and josh wasn't willing to offer a place to crash. The next morning we drove out to the King of Prussia (what kind of town name is that?) And we rented our Tuxes. I wanted shoes with white racing stripes, but Josh wasn't going for it.

We swung by the liquor store and picked up among other things, a handle of MD 20/20. Hey, it's not a wedding unless bum wine is involved.

The wedding was at Hersey, PA. The stream of Hersey Canal jokes never ended (not even in this post.) The rehearsal dinner involved Josh doing more shots then there were people in the room. However, he woke up in tip-top shape on Saturday morning. I even spoke to his concerned mom to put her worries to rest.

The wedding kicked off mid-day, so we used the morning to take a dip in the pool and down some bourbon, in that order. It was the 2nd time I was a groomsmen, I was the bestman at my bro's wedding. It's kinda cool being the groomsman, however, everybody *knows* (recognizes) you and comes up and says hi and you have no idea who they are. They are just old and look slightly like Josh or his new wife.

I was feeling pretty tired around 5pm on Saturday, but a few L.I.T.'s (long island ice teas) woke me right up and I was ready for a second night of partying, even dancing. A bunch of us continued to party back in our hotel rooms after the reception. Even Josh and his girl, god knows why (prolonging the honeymoon night), but as I said then, it's both a good thing and a bad thing.

The next morning, Sunday, we opted out of Hersey Park and drove home to nyc where I sat down on my bed and crashed from 7pm until 7am.

All in all, the wedding was done right, way to go Josh.

Saco River 2005

Where have I been?

It's been a busy 2 weeks. So this post is about a week old, but I'll throw up some photos and links to my Saco River Canoeing Trip. We signed up with River Run Canone's once again.

What's so great about the Saco River?
  • It's 20 miles and you could paddle your way down our run in one day, we however, take 3 days.
  • It's always beautiful weather and a jolly good time
  • We camp out on the beach
  • We grill lots of tastey food
  • We drink lots of tastey drinks, sometimes we use a funnel to help get them down
  • Everybody out on the Saco is out for a good time
  • It's for all ages and genders, it's even gender preference friendly
Here's a story of how the Saco went down in 2005:

We started out 'somewhat early' on Saturday morning.

We tied off canoes.

We did a few funnels.

We anchored our canoes on the beach.

We set up camp.

And had a grand 'ol time.

Repeat for 2 more days.

Here's the slideshow.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Furniture Causes FedEx Fits

Wired has an article about a kid who created furniture from FedEx boxes. FedEx doesn't like and is suing. I say, Fsck FedEx.

I used to order those free boxes from FedEx all the time when I was moving apartments in college. They were great for a few reasons:
* Cheap, FREE
* Sturdy
* Many sizes
* Sealable

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Tthe World Is Flat

In a May issue of Wired, they interviewThomas Friedman on his book, "The World Is Flat" a look at globalization, something I want to read.

I really like the following quote:
WIRED: The book is almost dizzily optimistic about India and China, about what flattening will bring to these parts of the world.
FRIEDMAN: I firmly believe that the next great breakthrough in bioscience could come from a 15-year-old who downloads the human genome in Egypt. Bill Gates has a nice line: He says, 20 years ago, would you rather have been a B-student in Poughkeepsie or a genius in Shanghai? Twenty years ago you'd rather be a B-student in Poughkeepsie. Today?

Categories: globalization, wired

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Meetro: It Breaks The Ice

If traditional Instant Messaging isn't cutting it for you these days, you need to sign up forMeetro. It's proximity based instant messaging by showing you individuals within X miles of you. Thanks Deepan for showing it to me.

You can add me as a buddy via my email address: vincent.lauria @@ gmail.com.

Categories: social networking, cool

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

South Korean scientist create world's first

Today, South Korean scientists merged the arm of a man and a dog to create a man-dogarm.

Wait, I mean they cloned a dog.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Monkey's are for zoo's not for radio shows.

  • I found a piece of a Corona bottle glass in my eye, more on that later.
  • I'm working on vinnie.net and lauria.info, vinnie.net will be a cool hybrid blog/wiki. I'll be sure to post a before/post grafitti snapshot of what vinnie.net looked like
  • I'm looking to move jobs internally within IBM, but I'm also opening up the possibilities to jobs outside of IBM. I began working on my resume this weekend, thanks if you helped edit it. This job at Google looks pretty cool.
So I found a piece of a Corona bottle glass in my eye, and I was happy about it. I was happy about it because since Saturday, I've felt a sharp pain in my eye. I kept trying to clean it out thinking there was an eyelash in there, but there was nothing in there (cause it was CLEAR glass.)

How does a piece of Corona bottle end-up in somebody's eye, well let's take a visual tour of my prior week.

Brent came to visit from Chicago for the week:

We went to go see the Upright Citizen's Brigade at a free Central Park Summer State show. It was like Woodstock, but for improv comedy.

We picked up a few cars from my rooftop.

Kristine had a roof party in Brooklyn, it was a boatload of fun.

Alex had a bday party at the Port Authority Bowling Alley (& Cocktail Lounge.).

We headed to Punk Rock karokee, Alex ripped a new whole in Green Day.

More karaoke happened in there at some point, on a different day, in a different part of town.

The morning of the roof party, we (or just I) was pre-drinking at my apartment. At some point I dropped a corona bottle while laying on my bed, don't worry, it was empty.

I thought I cleaned up the floor around my bed pretty well, but I guess I missed some. From here, it's all speculation. I'm guessing I dropped my pillow on the floor and the pillow must have picked up a sliver of glass off the floor. Then I slept on said pillow and the sliver of glass entered my eye, OF ALL PLACES. Then for 3 days, that glass was burning my eye. This morning, while I was brushing my teeth, I had my eye looking at a weird angle and I felt a sharp burning pain. My eye started crying and out came a sliver of glass.

So yes I cried, but I cried glass, it felt so good.