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(2) : What The...: Associated Press, do not tell me there is a 2-minute YouTube video of random sitcoms using "frak" and then forget to provide the link! YouTube's search evidently thinks I'm misspelling "freak," possibly because I am seventies disco band Chic inventing "Le Freak".

(2) : And They Never Returned, No, They Never Returned: This weekend Leonard and I will be visiting Boston and seeing Moss, Julia, Mel, Mako, Mika, Aaron, Kirk, and the fair city. We are a little too timid to write Ned Batchelder to ask to say hi. I think that basically covers it for Boston-area friends; if you are such a person, and we have misremembered where you live and forgotten to email you, please let us know!

Despite the title of this entry we intend to return to New York on Sunday.

: Join Us [Me]: Anecdotally, it looks like a hot market for project managers, a.k.a. producers. Behavior, Alexei's firm PlayFirst, and Brendan's firm inDelible are looking.

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(5) : Cobbles Without Quibbles: I am still on cloud nine from our visit to Boston. Not only did I reconnect with Mel, Mika, Mako, Aaron, and general relaxation. Not only did Julia and Moss spend quality and quantity time with us, and introduce us to the classic hidden-gem Prose restaurant in Arlington, and drive us around. Moss and Julia also conspired with Leonard and two of their area friends to throw a surprise birthday picnic for me in the Boston Common Garden! Either I'm really gullible or they're good at kind deception. I'm definitely lucky to have such kind and sneaky friends.

They also got a few of Leonard's blog friends to come and picnic with us, including the Twittering Kirk Israel (interesting story about his last name) and the handsome and utterly charming Ned Batchelder. OMG squee! Photos to come soon in case you don't believe me. [Update: believe!]

We'd been meaning to visit Boston for years. This was perfect. Thank you all.

: Less Humor Content Than One Chainsawsuit: Upon the suggestion that Leonard's daily Skype status meeting would be mistaken for a radio call-in show:

"Hi, I have an '89 Miata and the XML just doesn't work right. I've tried flushing my carburetor and my cache and it still makes a sound like 'Eurrrrrrrrrghgagaga.'"

"That sounds like the sound my brother makes when you hit him with a sharp object!"

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: Border Patrol On The Shore: A colleague is having a bunch of trouble involving government documents - passport, social security card, driver's license, and recursive dependencies among them.

"You sound like Jason Bourne."

"I feel like Joseph K."

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: For Your Next Deadline: I'm happy to provide quotes to reporters and speak publicly about geeky things, so today I joined GeekSpeakr and If I Can Help A Reporter Out. Off the top of my head, I think Rachel, Mel, and Fureigh are great candidates for joining GeekSpeakr and getting asked to give talks at conferences. One of my long-term goals is to regularly send proposals for talks to conferences.

Speaking of being a source, I got quoted extensively in a college newspaper story about politics in Star Trek a while back and forgot to link to it till now. I believe the reporter paraphrased and quoted me accurately until the end, where she has me saying that cyberlibertarians choose the candidate with the most sensible platform. I said that they'd choose the candidate whose platform seemed most rational. I think those are different things.

(1) : Bleh: Today was the kind of day where I cumulatively spent 30-45 minutes mentally rehearsing come-backs and insults to my major irritant.

However, at least I didn't lose my job. 25K layoffs at HP?! I know several people at HP, including (according to am ambiguous LinkedIn entry) my ex. Hope you're fine, guys.

: Choices You Didn't Know You Were Making: There is some serious path dependence in nonconformism. First it's because you want to, then it's because you wouldn't know how not to.

: Boss Speech: One of my bosses, Chris Fahey, is giving a talk at the Web 2.0 Expo tomorrow on "The Seduction of the Interface: Merchandising in Interactive Product Design." If you're choosing among talks to see tomorrow, I suggest his.

: Buffet: While updating my list of books to read I came across some snatches I'd meant to blog:

The DVD for The Matrix should include a deleted scene where Morpheus, who has shipped a cell phone to Neo, keeps reloading the FedEx tracking page so he can call as soon as Neo signs for it.

If you travel the elevated trains in Queens, like the N, W, or 7, you can hit Refresh on your list of available WiFi networks over and over to see what people name them. Best so far: Bob Loblaw.

The Boston science museum apparently collects ships in a bottle by accident, because people think they collect them. Leonard's late grandmother Rosalie had the same problem with frogs.

I signed up for Tor.com, which now offers lots of free short fiction, and tasted a bunch of their ebooks during jury duty. I've learned that they publish a lot of stuff I don't like, and some that unexpectedly grabs me.

"The airlines, on the other hand, said they were simply following a list provided by TSA."

See? A list, not THE list. This guy's just on the "[expletive] you" list, not the "we actually think you're a terrorist" list.
And another quote I've been saving:

He feels isolated in the midst of friends. He feels what a convenience it would be, if there were any single person to whom he could speak simply and openly, without pulling the string upon himself of this shower-bath of silly hopes and encouragements...
-Nightingale, "Notes on Nursing"
And an extremely vague recipe for mango ice cream that I believe I got from my mother:

If you try it, let me know how it goes. Actually, let Leonard know, since he can do something with the info.

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: Haze Outside, Malaise Inside: Seeing old friends makes me feel homesick. Going to more free culture events here may help. Also, distractions! Like HOWTO/memoir books about other professions!

Zac Unger's Working Fire, about a guy who basically leaves academe to become a firefighter, is short, switching between journalist-clear and memoirist-thoughtful. My ex's dad was a firefighter in Stockton, probably still is. When I try to remember what he looked like, I think of my old boss Leonard Pollara of Upper Meadows Farm. I once had Thanksgiving dinner in a firehouse with his family and remember feeling very nervous and out of place. Unger had the same fears but got over them, partly through competence, partly by adapting his social self and making friends.

I'm nearly done with Jane Addams's Twenty Years at Hull House, which chronicle the doubt, missteps, victories, and idealism of the young and middle-aged Chicago community organizer from the turn of the century. I was reassured when Addams talked about her long, hazy post-college period before starting Hull House. I haven't come up with my Big Project yet -- I'm not just waiting to be struck by certainty, I'm searching for what my unique value even is -- and every day I feel like the clock is running out.

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: YoubenTuben: On the occasion of the end of his TV show, Roger Ebert links to semi-embarrassing YouTube clips and garners poignant appreciation from his fans. One crucial point comes up over and over again in the comments: Siskel & Ebert showed millions of kids how to intelligently think and disagree about movies, and, implicitly, how to approach all art and ideas with a critical eye.

Speaking of YouTube, a few months ago I made a few fake YouTube logos as clues of a puzzle competition. Feel free to reuse them, make new ones using my template, or solve the puzzle(s) in the comments.



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