The Corrections

Thanks to the new iTunes 4.9, you’re now able to find and download Podcasts with the ease of the rest of the iTunes software. For those unfamiliar with Podcasts, it’s a very simple concept that has been made overly complicated for some reason. I remember a few months back trying to find out what they were, the definition that I had found was extremely verbose and I didn’t understand it at all. Take the WikiPedia’s Entry for Podcast:

Podcasting, is a method of publishing files to the internet, often allowing users to subscribe to a feed and receive new files automatically by subscription, usually at no cost. It first became popular in late 2004, used largely for audio files. While it is derived from the word for Apple Computer’s iPod audio player, it has no connection or requirement that an iPod is ever used. At the end of June 2005 Apple began including automatic podcasting subscriptions and downloads in its iTunes application and iPod players??something that had previously required third-party software.

In a nutshell, Podcasting is the ability to download an MP3 version of a pre-recorded audio show. Some of these shows can be popular broadcasts (ABCNews, NPR’s On the Media or All Things Considered, ESPN, etc..) others are just shows that someone records in their basement or living room and are [more or less] audio blogs. The new version of iTunes allows you to easily find and easily subscribe to these broadcasts to put them on your computer (or iPod) and listen to them at your convenience. When a new show arrives, it’s automatically downloaded to your iTunes and you’re alerted to it being updated. Great feature.

This morning I was poking around trying to find something to listen to on my way into work. I came across a broadcast called “LeShow” by Harry Shearer. The very same Harry Shearer that is the voice of Principal Skinner, Ned Flanders and other Simpsons characters. It’s a 40 minute “news” show where Harry discusses each news story and comments. Similar to a comedian’s opening monologue, but it’s about 40 minutes long. One of the weekly features on the show is a listing of corrections that publications have issued over the past week. They’re mostly random corrections like: “In yesterday’s Health section, all classes published as being held this week (with the exception of Yoga 101), are actually taking place next week.” or “Tonight’s Knitting class will not be held at 7:30 in Burlington, instead it will be at 6:15 in Oaksville.” Either way, they’re funny when heard on their own.

It makes me think that everyone should have their own corrections page. A place to publish corrections to things that you’ve said or done and were mistakes. For instance:

Correction: In a recent conversation with someone, I had mentioned that Santa Barabara was the “Homless Capital of the US” – having a higher homeless population than any other American City. In fact, the city is Santa Monica, not Santa Barbara.

So, I ask of you.. if you have something that you need corrected, please do not hesitate to add it to a comment in this post. Those of whom you’ve misled with this information would definitely appreciate an update with any corrections you may have.

Bookmark Conundrum

My Web 2.0 vs. Del.icio.us

I have been using del.icio.us for quite some time now and it has made my life so much easier for quickly adding bookmarks that I can easily find without having to worry about a lot of bookmark management. It has some nice bookmarklets you can add to your toolbar so that any Web page you are on, you can quickly add. My adoption of del.icio.us was pretty fast. I tried it out and became an avid user right away.

Yahoo’s beta release of My Web 2.0 directly competes with del.icio.us as well as having added features, like searching the pages you’ve bookmarked — which is definitely an added bonus. Also, you can specify the level of access to a bookmark, a step above del.icio.us’s current offerings. For job-related bookmarks, this is key as it allows you to keep some bookmarks private. To me, some of the features are still in question, like My Community. Where would I build my supposed community from? Also, based on the direction of the feature set, My Web 2.0 will only be as good as the number of people who adopt it.

I want to try it out and see if it is more compelling than del.icio.us, but I am left in a conundrum. Now when I want to bookmark a page, do I bookmark it to del.icio.us, My Web or both? Any suggestions?

One thing that rubs me the wrong way is that Yahoo tries to get you to install the Yahoo bar to be able to add bookmarks to My Web. This is a tricky ploy in my opinion as I don’t want to have that huge honking bar taking up valuable screen real estate. You can add a bookmarklet to your toolbar, but they’ve certainly hidden this in their FAQ, of course.

Anyways, the jury is still out. But My Web could be a major setback for del.icio.us, unless it moves faster to add new features. Too bad Google didn’t buy up del.icio.us. For me, that would be the perfect synergy since I use both constantly.

Lithuanian Homecooking, Decapitated Daisies, and Snake-Licking Dogs

You can thank the threatening weather for this entry.  If it weren’t for the thunderstorms on the way, I’d be home getting myself mentally ready for my first soccer game of the summer and first in about 6 weeks.  Instead, onto Lithuanian homecooking, decapitated daisies, and snake-licking dogs.

I made it to Swedish Girl’s house around 6:30 pm yesterday to celebrate our one-month anniversary.  I found the table on the backyard deck decorated with rose petals, candles, and the stemless (decapitated) daisies I had recently given Swedish Girl.  I hope this wasn’t an omen for the giver of the daisies.  Upon seeing this lovely display and then being served some tasty Lithuanian dishes, I declared that I didn’t deserve it all.  Swedish Girl deadpanned, "No, you don’t.  Not after a month.  Maybe after a year, yes, but not after a month."  Seeing as how that is something I would say, is there any wonder why we’re together?

We moved through 3 courses, with wine (Cool Jesus was not a fan of the 1992 port wine, so he stuck with his Yellow Tail merlot), took a breather, and then moved onto fruit (raspberries, strawberries, and cherries) with whipped cream.  While Swedish Girl was cleaning up, I went to my car to get my chapstick and gum (I can never be too far from these two items), but on the way, I heard some rustling on the ground.  I bent down to see what made the noise and saw a snake hiding out under some steps.  I called Swedish Girl out to take a look.  The snake was shy and she didn’t believe me at first, but it finally made an appearance, so we were all happy.   We thought that was all we’d be seeing of the serpent for the night, but we were wrong.

A little while later, we were headed to Blockbuster.  The family dog was going to join us and she eagerly ran into the driveway ahead of us.  It just so happened that the snake (it was about 2 feet long and brown, with a yellow stripe on each side) was hanging out right in front of the side door, on the driveway.  The dog thought it was a new friend and gave it a couple of licks.  Swedish Girl and I were horrified, thinking the worst would happen.  She simultaneously slammed the door and yelled at the dog to move away, but the dog didn’t budge.  She stood there looking at the frozen snake wondering why it wasn’t moving.  I opened the door and Swedish Girl grabbed the dog’s collar and redirected her away from the snake, which slithered back underneath the steps.

After the commotion, once the dog was in the car, I went to look for the snake, but only a toad popped out.  I wonder if the toad was about to be the snake’s food?  This was easily the best entertainment of the night, considering we rented Suspect Zero, with Ben Kingsley and Carrie Ann Moss.  I had never even heard of it before and now I know why.  It was a thriller that didn’t thrill.  Swedish Girl fell asleep while I stubbornly waited for the scary parts.  They didn’t come.  Ben Kingsley should be ashamed of himself.  He doesn’t even know how Americans pronounce missile.  It’s "missul," Ben.  Not "miss-syle."  I knew we should have watched In Good Company first. 

Up next – birthday karaoke!

Success, of a sorts

Annoucement: The Bonnaroo Photos have landed. Enjoy. Relive the glory of our trip to Tennessee.

Ok, I promise that unless I end up in Brooklyn, Coney Island or some other unlikely place this will be my last commuting gripe, I hope. But at least this is a positive one. Let me rephrase. At least everything that went awry today in my commute had nothing to do with me.

Yup that’s right, I beat the system today. But don’t get overly excited for me, alas in the end the system also beat me.

Today on the way in, I noticed a low balance (50 cents) on my Metro card. Rather than having a repeat embarassment of swiping the Metro card only to have it read insufficient funds (causing a traffic jam at the turnstile and having to back out of a crammed line), tonight I immediately went to the Metro card machine. This time I didn’t want to lose out on my 50 cents, so I decided to try the “recharge” your card feature. Everything appeared successful, but the machine screamed out at me that it had an error in writing to my card. Please call 201-555-5555. And ps. thanks for your $10.

Screw that. I immediately marched over to the Info Booth. Let’s just say that the woman behind the booth looked put out by the fact that I wanted to chat. How dare I ask a question!?! I tried to explain my dilemma through the small microphone and 12-inch thick bullet-proof glass. And she’s like please swipe your card. Well, apparently the card has the amount its supposed to on it. So the machine lied to me. There was no error. Ugh. By this time, I have caused another traffic jam, further propelling the domino effect of exasperated commuters. Lucky me.

But no, it’s not over yet. Mind you, this is just Grand Central Station; I haven’t even gotten to Port Authority yet.

I’m sure most people have walked up an escalator when it’s not running. It always gives me the most peculiar feeling, like my center of balance is off with a yummy nagging, nauseous feeling and dizziness.

The entrance to the #126 is an escalator that goes right out to the bus. When I got there the escalator wasn’t moving and there was a line of people half way up it. So now, I’m standing on the not moving escalator and I’ve got that queasy, seasick sort of feeling, when they announce that there is major traffic inbound and outbound and all buses are delayed. Did I mention that this tiny escalator tunnel feels like 110 degrees — the muggy, gasping for air type of heat? Finally, the bus came and I made it home in one piece.

But I have to say, just when you think you’ve got the system licked — know the way to go, the fastest steps to take, including stairs and escalators and turns and all — it comes back and bites you in the arse.

And They Said It Wouldn’t Last…

Last night, despite my bed in my air-conditioned bedroom calling out to me, I sat down and typed out an entry.  It had to go up last night, because June 27 marked the one-month anniversary of Swedish Girl and Cool Jesus.  Happy Anniversary to us.  I wanted to mark the happy little milestone with a celebratory entry, as well as to fill y’all in on our interesting Sunday out together.  I’m blaming either my grogginess or the brutal Quincy mugginess, because somehow I managed to select all, then I clicked the mouse, and lost everything.  I was far too frustrated to start over.  I apologize. 

Since I’m at work right now, I can’t recreate this post, which wasn’t my best work anyway.  It was maybe C or C+ work, so you’re not missing much.  The crux of the entry was the gem Swedish Girl came up with on Sunday.  She mentioned that we are in the adjustment period.  I don’t know why this made me laugh, but it did.  This month has flown by and I’ve been happy and smiley (some of you out there may have seen a Cool Jesus smile once or twice).  Swedish Girl is probably close to slapping me because she thinks I’m always laughing at her, but it’s not like that at all.  I won’t get all sappy on y’all right here, but I will just say that her accent and her smile and the whole Swedish package is enough to keep me laughing and smiling. 

I think Swedish Girl surmised that the adjustment period would last another two months (or did she mean two months total?).  That sounds reasonable to me.  I think after three months we should know each other well enough to know when the other is joking, serious, teasing, testing (note to ladies:  testing is not fair!), playful, angry, upset, and any other of the myriad emotions there are to read and be read.  I think we’ve done pretty well in month #1.  The adjusting has been fun and educational.  I’m still waiting for Swedish Girl to fill you in on her thoughts of her first month with Cool Jesus (she’s a brave woman), as well as her permission to release the first photo of Swedish Girl and Cool Jesus. 

So, stay tuned for my second draft about Sunday (foreshadowing:  it involves a haggard old gypsy!) and join me in toasting the happy couple as we enter month #2.  Slainte!

Wrong side of the island

You try to figure this out!

So after my last post on commuting mishaps, you probably thought I would ship up. That I’d finally find my way around the labyrinth subway system of the NYC Metro area. I’d get some sense in my head and realize that when walking on an Avenue, say 6th, if the Street numbers are going up, like 34th, 35th, 36th, the East side of the city is on your Right and West Side, Left. When the Street numbers are going down, then the East side is on your Left and West Side, Right. Oh and did I leave out that the lower Avenues, like 2nd and 3rd, are on the East Side? Simple enough, right? Certainly not rocket science. I mean that’s all you need to know, for the most part, to navigate NYC. Well, when you come up out of the subway, disorientation sets in and all bets are off…

What if you find yourself needing to transfer from the V train to Penn Station for the PATH to New Jersey and you come out at 34th and 6th Ave, and the sign says one block west for Penn Station at 32nd and 7th?

Now, I don’t know about you, but I immediately think someone’s math is off, because how can 32nd and 7th be one block away? And never mind, which direction is West. To make matters worse, Broadway crosses 6th Ave right at this point, so there isn’t a 7th to be seen and I still haven’t unravelled the mysteries of what Broadway crossing an Avenue means. Basically, Broadway just throws me off completely.

I walk toward the numbers going down to 32nd and enter a station that claims to have the PATH, but get down there and see no signs for the PATH, but see signs pointing toward an exit for Penn Station at 32nd and 7th (I’m getting that point, at least). So up I go and golly gee, I’m back at 32nd and 6th. So I walk to the left, toward what I hope (pray) is 7th Ave… (this is where, if i hadn’t already been thrown off, I would have realized my mistake, as #s down, Left is East) but alas, I get down the block, and mind you going crosstown (ie. between avenues) is not short, only to find that what I am approaching is 5th ave! Finally, back at 32nd and 6th, I go underground again (through a different entrance this time) and suddenly wahla! the signs are in my favor and point to the PATH. Coming from my original direction, you can’t see the signs. Ugh.

Now, you’re probably thinking this has to be the worst of it right? But no. I’m so wicked super smart that on Friday evening I pulled off an even greater feat. After drinking with co-workers for a few hours, I wait for the 7 train at Grand Central station and somehow end up in Queens. Is Queens where I wanted to be? No. Is it where I ended up? Yes.

Yup, that’s right. I got on the wrong train. Fortunately, I realized it almost immediately. So I got off at the first stop in Queens and then had to go above ground (let me just say I’m glad I live in Hoboken and not that part of Queens) to switch to the other side to pay ANOTHER $2.00 to take the train my usual 2 stops to Times Square to then walk underground to Port Authority to then take the #126 bus back to Hoboken. And all in a day’s work…

Let’s just say that on the Queens front, I think I’ve learned my lesson. But who knows what else tomorrow will bring… I’m just hoping it isn’t a trip to Brooklyn.

Saturday in the park, a week before the Fourth of July

In my mind, I’ve always differentiated a visitor to NYC from someone who actually lives there by using Central Park. In all my prior trips to New York City (and the surrounding areas), I’ve come into the city to go to a club, show, restaurant, party, bar, museum, visit friends, shop, etc. I’ve never had the luxury of just going into the city just to lounge. To spend a day in the park, for instance.

So, when I first thought about moving to New York, I thought “Wow, I can do all of those things that I never get to do when I go down there for a weekend visit! I’ll get to go to Central Park!” For most New Yorkers, this is probably no big deal. “Ehh, it’s just a big park in the city, what’s the big deal? It’s a great place, just like the rest of our fine city!” For me, it became a turning point.

Just this past weekend, I was able to make my first afternoon adventure into the park. Just around the corner from the Big Oak Tree, we found an open clearing (granted, it was a little dirty, but still), where we engaged in an all-out wiffle ball brawl. The attendees included Myself, Miss Possible, The Captain, Angela (who still needs a nickname), Morgan, Jen, Matt, Jamie and a little bear.

The weather could not have been more lovely, despite the high temperatures (mid 90’s), our little nook in the park worked well as it offered plenty of shade and cover from the hot sun. It also provided just enough room for our wiffle ball games and other miscellaneous park-like activities.

So, as silly as this may sound — I definitely feel a little more “at home in the city,” now that I’ve been to the park. New Yorkers are the ones who use this area on a daily basis for jogging, exercising, dog-walking, etc.. and now I am one of them. Next time I watch a Law and Order episode that takes place in Central Park I can say to myself “I’ve been there!” — It’s the little things in life that make me happy.

The Job

So, I’ve been in my new role for a little over a week now, and I can say, in all honesty, that I’m glad I made the move. I definitely feel as though I can learn a lot from this company and my peers, but also, it’s so great to have a change of scenery. Boston’s great and all, but.. I’ve been meaning to get out of that place for a few years now.. Ever since I graduted college, for the most part, I’ve been thinking about going “elsewhere.” I never really knew where elsewhere was.. but I’m glad that I finally found out that Elsewhere = Hoboken, NJ.. Who knew?!

Back to the job thing, though. It’s amazing that in about 3 days I was able to jump right in and start working with the sales reps and scheduling ads, debugging issues, and pick up as if I’d been here all along. Granted, I’ve made a few snafus since I’ve started.. The “I wouldn’t have put it that way to so-and-so.. they’re try and run with it.. you’re better off just keeping it simple” — ehh.. no big deal.

But, it truly is surprisng how un-intimidated I am.. usually it takes 2-3 weeks to get up to speed — I definitely feel as though I’m nearly there, in this short time. I mean, I’ve already learned that it’s standard to leave at 5:00pm.. So, with that.. I’m out.

Please Note:
With a little help of the speedy Apple Customer Support, the Bonnaroo Photos should be posted this weekend.. So please stay tuned!

Weekly Booty: June 24, 2005

All apologies for the lack of booty lately.. I have no excuse other than, I’ve been lazy. As you can tell, I’ve not posted in quite a while, but thankfully my fellow comrads have been able to keep the spirit of the Diatribe alive with their wonderful posts. So, after a 3 week hiatus, here’s some booty…

THE CROWN JEWEL:
Google is many different things to many different people, but it’s still the best search engine on the Web. Mort’s Picture Archive has written a song about google, and I thought I’d share it with you.

OTHER PRECIOUS GEMS:
Switch! – Forget about switching to a mac, switch to the Dark side.



Harry who? – The J.K. Rowling books have made one name very famous.

Super Doppler – TV Stations gone wild.

Tom takes on Oprah – Tom Cruise is all the rage.. and raging.

Man on the Moon – Some people have too much time on their hands. Moon-like gravity on Planet Earth.

Do you have something that???s worthy of the booty? Send it to booty at thediatribe.net, and we???ll be sure to source you and your site.

Giving You A Status Check, Volume II

Some of you out there have asked me why my updates about Swedish Girl have disappeared.  Even Swedish Girl has asked me this.  For those of you afraid to ask  – no, she hasn’t gotten sick of me yet.  We are still, happily, a couple.  Perhaps, subconsciously, my moratorium was a way to try to coax a guest post out of Swedish Girl herself so she could give y’all a status check.  Our respective lawyers are still working on this.   I think my team of representatives is making progress.

There is a blogworthy development or two in the works that involve Swedish Girl and Cool Jesus.  I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but mostly I don’t want to mention anything in case I chicken out.  Hopefully, within the next month, I’ll have an interesting post for you…if I live through it, that is.   Sorry to leave you all in suspense. 

I never would have thought that this blog could lend my personal life a hand, but one of my posts did just that.  My question about when does dating turn into going out and coupledom precipitated an in-car conversation with Swedish Girl.  Where I happen to be a major talker, she is more of a trust & actions girl.  Still, things were discussed and feelings were confessed and if it ended up with us being as close to official as we could be without signing a contract. 

I remember June of 2001 when Captain Lars was still a Bostonian and had just met Miss A.  He emailed me about how great she was and how he was really falling for her (interestingly enough, I very much remembered her from living in our dorm 6 years earlier; she remains the only person to ever compare me to Jeremy Sisto, which will forever be 77 times better than Josh Groban comparisons).  I was immensely happy for the new couple and I remember using a Beach Boys song title as the subject line for my return email.  It was "Summer Means New Love."  Now it’s four years later and that summery instrumental is running through my head.  Makes you think…