Archive for April, 2006

Colbert at the Correspondent’s Dinner

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

As you know, we watch The Colbert Report each night. Last night, Colbert hosted the White House Correspondent’s dinner; today, the blogosphere is all atwitter.

Colbert ripped the President to shreds, playing one long extended game of the emperor’s new clothes, with some pretty funny lines.

[Talking to Jesse Jackson is] like boxing a glacier. Enjoy that metaphor, because your grandchildren will have no idea what a glacier is.

Some people are upset at Colbert’s disrespect. They aren’t challenging his premises, just his taste in making comments so near the President. Which may be reasonable, given comments like this:

I haven’t. I stand by [President Bush]. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, has he stood on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message, that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world.

Here’s the transcript. Here are video links, to part one, two, three. You should watch the whole thing, not because it’s brilliant comedy — some places are pretty flat, not helped by a hostile audience — but because sometimes the court jester is the only one who’ll speak bluntly.

Sadie and Big Mean Kitty

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

Sadie usually feels pretty safe in her exersaucer, but she needs to make sure she watches out for the big mean kitty…

Sadie and Big Mean Kitty

Sadie and her bear

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

Sadie had an exciting day yesterday. Not only did she get to wear a proper spring dress instead of the sleeper I usually put her in, but she also got to play with her favorite bear:

Sadie and her bear

By play with, of course, I mean eat.

Sadie and her bear, part 2

Sadie and Otto

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

It’s a little early for Sadie to be choosing colleges, but if mascot cuteness becomes a deciding factor, Syracuse may have the advantage.

Sadie and Otto

Hoist an outline in Emacs

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

I’ve been customizing my copy of Emacs (Aquamacs) over the past few weeks, and I’ve been happy with how it’s coming along. I’ve switched over to Emacs for most of my writing and all of my programming.

One annoyance has been Emacs’ lack of an obvious hoist function, like you’ll find in OmniOutliner or Tinderbox. (Note to Mark Bernstein: It would be great to give Hoist a keyboard command). I still use OmniOutliner for lists and agendas, and Tinderbox for thinking, managing all my projects and to do’s, and writing long documents. I miss their advanced functions when using Emacs.

Eventually, I found the narrow-to-region and widen commands. You need to enable the narrow-to-region command, because it’s disabled by default. Give them a useful keychord (I’ve selected Apple-H and Apple-Option-H to match OmniOutliner), and voila, instant hoist!

From my .emacs:

;;;; Enable Narrow to region
(put ‘narrow-to-region ‘disabled nil)

;;;; Hoist
(global-set-key [?\A-H] ‘narrow-to-region)

;;;; Un-Hoist
(global-set-key [?\A-\M-H] ‘widen)

My Tivo Season Pass list

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

I got a nice email response to my My Name is Earl unsubscribe post asking what shows I’ve added to my Tivo season pass. Here they are:

The Daily Show
Still the best, though it’s lost a little since Stephen Colbert left. We usually watch the Daily Show the next night, after dinner. We’re never up this late anymore.

The Colbert Report
Incredibly funny, if incredibly uneven. The Word is almost always worth watching, even though many of the jokes go *way* over the heads of the mostly-college-student studio audience. We also love the eagle in the credits and the bear footage from the Threatdown.

Lost
This season has been weaker than we’d like, but it’s still worth watching.

Survivor: Exile Island
I’ve watched pretty much every episode of Survivor since the middle of season one. This season falls somewhere in the middle in terms of quality.

The Office
This is, hands down, the best show on television right now. I’m thrilled that they don’t talk down the audience, and they don’t explain the jokes. We’re constantly pausing the Tivo to keep from laughing over the next lines.

It’s also one of the few shows on television where people who are supposed to be normal people actually look like normal people.

Ebert & Roeper
Fodder for the Netflix queue.

What not to Wear
A’s. Although I do sometimes find it interesting to see what the people they find think is attractive clothing.

NFL Primetime – currently off the air
NFL Primetime has been the highlight of my Sunday nights for almost 15 years now. I’m sad that, with the network shakeups, it is now permanently off the air.

Grey’s Anatomy
A.’s. I don’t like medical dramas.

Desperate Housewives
A.’s.

How I Met Your Mother
I watched this first out of loyalty to Alyson Hannigan, but it’s stayed on the list on its own merits. The shows around when Ted met Victoria were some of the best sitcom episodes I’ve seen in years.

Alias
A’s. I’ll watch the DVDs when they come out.

Supernanny
Surprisingly engrossing. We end up pausing to talk through some of the issues they discuss. I can’t imagine we’ll ever be that permissive with little Sadie.

Scrubs
A’s, though entertaining the couple of times I’ve watched it.

Rescue Me
Mildly entertaining. May not make the cut this summer.

National Geographic Explorer
Outstanding nature shows.

Nova
Sometimes they cover interesting topics.

20/20
I generally find one topic in three interesting, but that’s worth grabbing it each Friday night and flipping through.

Frontline
The best newsmagazine on television. They also always do outstanding web companion sites for their major pieces.

What am I missing? What else should we subscribe to?

Hulk Hogan Videos on YouTube

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

I suppose this qualifies as my embarrassing disclosure of the day. Here are a couple of videos I found this morning, videos that brought me back to the mid-eighties, when I knew everything about professional wrestling.

Hulk Hogan wins the WWF championship from The Iron Sheik
From January 1984.

Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant vs. Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy
From January 1985′s Saturday Night’s Main Event.

Also, the WWE store has a Hulk Hogan anthology that looks pretty impressive. Check it out.

For even more fun, check out the Wikipedia entries for these folks for these men. Sadly, many of them are dead.

Hulk Hogan
The Iron Sheik
Andre the Giant
King Kong Bundy
Big John Studd

If you’ve never tried it, you should check out YouTube and do a couple of searches. You will be able to find all sorts of interesting things.

Daycare transitions

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

A. goes to back to her office Monday, and Sadie begins full-time daycare. We’re all figuring out how we’ll adjust our schedules to our new realities. Sadie will get to make all sorts of new friends and I’ll spend my evening drive down route 16 calculating the likelihood of a speeding ticket vs. the amount of the daycare’s late fees.

We’ll see how it goes.

This transition, among other things, has been killing my writing time, mostly explaining why it’s been awful quiet in my little corner of the web. I’ll try to get back on a more regular writing schedule soon.

We have a wonderful life right now, and it’s very well structured. If we didn’t have our routines and patterns down, we’d spin off into chaos. Still, at this point, I can’t imagine what my life was like four years ago, when I would come home after work and just hang out with friends, play on the web, maybe watch a little TV. I’d kill for that kind of unstructured time now, when my list of attractive side projects is longer than it’s ever been. Alas, youth is always wasted on the young.

Pictures of Jason Varitek

Friday, April 21st, 2006

Jason Varitek, from April 2004:

Jason Varitek

Jason Varitek warming up

Pictures of Johnny Damon

Friday, April 21st, 2006

Here’s Johnny Damon warming up, from April 2004:

Johnny Damon warming up at Fenway Park

Johnny Damon, throwing the ball into the infield, from April 2004

Johnny Damon at Fenway Park

Pictures of Curt Schilling

Friday, April 21st, 2006

I don’t get to go to any Red Sox games until May, so I was flipping through some of my digital photos to see what I was missing. I realized I had a gallery from April 2004 that I never published. Oops. Anyway, here are some of the best ones.

Here’s Curt Schilling:

Curt Schilling

Here’s Curt Schilling pitching to Derek Jeter:

Curt Schilling pitching to Derek Jeter

Here’s Curt Schilling brushing back Derek Jeter:

Curt Schilling brushing back Derek Jeter

Red Sox uniform numbers

Sunday, April 16th, 2006

Here is a very handy reference to all the Red Sox uniform numbers since the 30′s.

(via Steve Buckley)

Linky Goodness – 4/15/06

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

I’m getting back into the habit of stashing linky-goodness links into a working file I have open all day. I hope that will let me post these links a little more regularly.

The truth about interviewing
What it means to really get a job at a major software company. Hint: My 1337 php skillz would not make the grade.

The art of sucking down
Another Guy Kawasaki blog posting, this time about how sometimes the best way to get something down is to actually be nice to the person who can help you.

How to present to geeks
Hint: lighten up on the fluff

Street closings for the marathon
Mac Daniel has started a blog about traffic and commuting around Boston. Here is his notes on road closings for the marathon.

Zillow now has birds-eye views
… and gets just a little bit more addictive.

WorldMapper

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

I’m waiting anxiously for the new Tufte book to come out. If you don’t already have them, you should go get the Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Envisioning Information and Visual Explanations. They will change how you think about and present data.

In the meantime, here’s a Tuftian map visualization project called WorldMapper, where they allocate space by all sorts of different factors, including things like:

Land mass – This is the normal map of the world, though it may look odd if you’re used to the Euro-centric Mercator projection.

Population in 1 AD – “The territories that now encompass the Ganges, Tigris, Yangtze, Nile and Po rivers were the most populous.”

Population in 2050 – “62% of the people will live in Africa, Southern Asia and Eastern Asia – numerically this is the same as if all the world’s current population lived just in these regions.”

Net out-tourism – Fun fact: Germans leave Germany five times as often as non-Germans visit Germany.

Aircraft flights – America dominates.

(via O’Reilly Radar)

Sadie is five months old

Friday, April 14th, 2006

Little Sadie is five-months old today, and very different than a month ago.

For the past couple of weeks, Sadie has been eating only out of the bottle, having gotten over her previous reluctance and allowing us to actually open the blinds in our living room. Of course, it’s not only the bottle, but she seems to like putting anything she can find straight into her mouth.

Things like her teether.

Sadie eating his teether

Or her arm.

Sadie eating her arm

Or my thumb.

Sadie and my thumb

These feeding cues led us to think that Sadie may be ready to start eating some food from a spoon. So, today we decided to break out the cereal. She wasn’t quite sure about it in the beginning…

Sadie and her first solid food

She did very much enjoy the inherent messiness of the process.

Sadie, a little messy

And after the first few spoonfuls, she got into it. We were expecting a huge battle, but she actually seemed to enjoy her gruel.

Sadie happy with the spoon

So, our sweetie is eating food. All her dark hair from the womb is gone, leaving only the blonde and the red. She’s learned new noises, mastering the raspberry and the annoying whine. (From what I hear, that never goes away). She’s left behind her swing, her 6pm witching hour and her clothes meant to cover a 9-month-old. Did I mention that she’s a good eater?

And sometimes she gives me little hints that she’s ready for me to be done taking pictures.

Sadie has had enough

Ok, sweetie, I’ll stop. I hope you’ll someday enjoy your Sadie archives. Happy 5-month birthday!

Tivo unsubscribe: My Name is Earl

Sunday, April 9th, 2006

My Name is Earl has really gone downhill over the past couple of months. It was good for several laughs per episode at the beginning, but they seem to have lost a lot of steam recently. Maybe it’s only a concept with a half-a-season worth of material. This makes me sad, because I love Jason Lee as an actor.

At least The Office is still brilliant.

Search is now my life

Sunday, April 9th, 2006

Change is good.

After several years working in classifieds, I’ve switched domains. I’m now Director of Search and Search Products for Boston.com, working on our local-search products. This is where the world is moving, and I’m glad to be able to be a part of it. Now, instead of battling Google Base, Yahoo Hotjobs and Monster, I’ll be battling Google, Yahoo and MSN Search.

The next couple of years should be all sorts of interesting.

Cat in the window

Sunday, April 2nd, 2006

Someone is definitely enjoying the return of spring.

Cat in the window