Archive for February, 2007

For those wondering where Ed Helms went

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

We were a little confused when Ed Helms’ character disappeared without a trace from The Office. It actually got to the point where we were wondering if we’d missed an episode. So, where’s Andy?

That’s the question fans of NBC’s “The Office” have been asking ever since the Jan. 18 episode, titled “The Return,” when new Dunder-Mifflin Scranton employee Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) punched a hole in a wall in a fit of rage. He excused himself and hasn’t appeared since.

Turns out the answer to that mystery lies within “The Return” itself — or, rather, in an extended producer’s cut that was made available on NBC’s Web site and through Apple’s iTunes store. An added scene at the end explained that Andy was ordered to attend anger management classes.

We had a little bit of this with Lost, too, over the past few months. If I’m watching a TV show, I don’t want to have to discover critical pieces of information by hunting around on the web. I’m way too lazy for that.

(via our Viewer Discretion TV blog)

[tags]The Office, Ed Helms, Television[/tags]

Yet another stomach bug victim

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

The last 36 hours have been Hell. I was on my back all day yesterday with all sorts of Pepto symptoms. Today I made it through a half-day of work before having to head home. Ugh.

At least it’s not just me. We’re reporting that hundreds of people are visiting emergency rooms with gastric distress.

About 800 people showed up in ERs complaining of gastrointestinal woes the week of Feb. 3 as well as the week of Feb. 10, according to the system, run by the Boston Public Health Commission. A similar wave of suffering appears to be sweeping the city this week. That’s more than double the number of patients seen, for example, the week of Dec. 9.

Sadie is 15 months old

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

Yes, it’s been a while. I’ve been in the middle of launching my search product (beta releases in November, December and January; full release real-soon-now) and it’s been harder to keep notes for writing coherent posts.

Luckily, Sadie waits for no man, not even her Daddy, and she’s been out adventuring. She finds it easier to adventure when she has her hat on, so it stays on all around the house.

Sadie’s been mourning the passing of football season. Football is pretty much the only thing we watch on TV when she’s around, so she’s taken a shine to it. She enjoyed playing with her Duplos while the Bears were playing in the playoffs.

She gets to participate more when the Patriots are playing, though. She get all excited when the Patriots score a touchdown. (She’s also excited that her hair is long enough to be Pebbles’d up.)

A couple of weeks ago, Sadie moved from the Infant room to the Toddler room at daycare. Such a big girl!

It’s a little more pressure now, because she can’t just crush all the other little babies any more — they’re all bigger than she is now. They also won’t heat up her food anymore, so she’s getting used to eating her lunches cold.

The biggest transition has been around nap time, though. They changed Sadie’s nap schedule from “whenever she feels like it” to “1-3pm.” Sometimes this leaves Sadie a little sleepy during the rest of the day.

Sadie still likes to “play with” the cats. The cats still like to “run screaming.”

Sadie is still a good eater, though she’s starting to get pickier and pickier. This morning, we got her to eat pieces of an omelet — a big step forward. She’s good with her vegetables and her fruit, but she’s not taking as much meat as she should be.

She’s popped out a couple of more teeth in the past week, and several more are quite obviously poised to appear. More teeth should help with the meat.

Sadie is quite adamant about walking herself. She gets all upset when you carry her on the sidewalk at the gym. She still falls down sometimes, but she is definitely a complete walker now.

Sadie is also now obsessed with her books. Some kids like trucks, some like dolls, but Sadie likes her books. She’ll demand you read them with her over and over again. Current favorites (i.e., books I’ve memorized) include The End, Fairy Colors, Moo, Baa, La La La, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish and Good Boy, Fergus. I highly recommend them all.

Sadie just started learning how to color. We set her up on her little red table with her magic markers (washable!). Then, we let her go at it.

She likes the blue marker the best.

When she’s done, she has created a masterpiece worthy of the refrigerator.

Another month (well, two) has passed and Sadie keeps changing. Every day is different. Every day is special. See you again next month!

Linky Goodness – 2/20/2007

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

What it’s like to work at Netflix
Interesting account of the factory floors of the new economy. Reminds me of December 1998 when I got an all-expense-paid trip to Delaware to pack books for the holiday rush.

Blogging your debt-reduction
Interesting article from the Sunday Times about how people are getting a handle on their debt by blogging about it.

Balancing protecting art and displaying it
Ugly crowds at the famous museums are destroying the art. Blame the Da Vinci Code.

Burnout rescue for non-profit workers
The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network is starting a Boston chapter to help people in the non-profit fields avoid burnout.

Natick Mall soon to be Natick Collection
With all sorts of new fancypants stores: Nordstroms, Nieman Marcus, Burberry, Betsey Johnson, Anthropologie, Hanna Andersson. Does this mean I need to shop somewhere other than Brooks Brothers?

Harry Potter pre-ordered!

Saturday, February 17th, 2007

July 21st. Bring it! We’re going on vacation a week later, but I’m certain we’ll have finished it long before we hit the beach.

Go get your own copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Strat-o-Matic remembered

Friday, February 16th, 2007

Chad Finn, of the always readable Touching All the Bases, writes an article about Strat-o-Matic baseball, a game that dominated most of the ’80s for me.

The guys at Goodwill Park taught me Strat-o-Matic [SOM] back in the summer of 1980 or 1981, playing with cards from the mid-seventies. I started Catfish Hunter, and he cost me the game when he gave up a dinger in the ninth. “He does that a lot,” they consoled me.

I got my first copy of SOM with the 1982 card set. I was the only one in the family interested in sports, so I created elaborate leagues and draft scenarios to keep myself amused. I would kill off two teams (Toronto and Seattle were generally the victims back then), allow each team to keep five pitchers, a catcher, three infielders and two outfielders. I’d then distribute the rest of the players. The Red Sox occasionally had a thumb on the scale during this distribution — hello Bruce Bochte!

I played SOM for 10 years or so, carrying the cards around the house and down the cape. I still have fond memories of it. Thanks, Chad, for bringing them back.

[tags]strat-o-matic, baseball[/tags]

How to get the child to take Amoxicillin

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

Last week, Sadie had an ugly ear infection, and as I drove into CVS, I was dreading the future. I knew we’d have to give her Amoxicillin three times a day for the next ten days. The pink stuff is not Sadie’s friend. It doesn’t taste good, it doesn’t smell good, and she doesn’t understand that she needs to take it in order to get better.

Ten days. Ugh. That’s thirty doses. Which meant we were condemned to thirty separate fits, totaling 600 minutes of wrestling, false starts, and misery.

Until I figured out how to do it better.

For a baby/toddler, you drop the pink stuff in the mouth with a little syringe-style dropper. The key to success is to draw a little air into the syringe before bringing in the pink stuff, eliminating the vacuum seal. What this means is that she can gently suck the pink stuff in instead of me having to squirt it down her throat. It’s much more pleasant for everyone, and after a time or two the whole process took less than a minute from beginning to end.

Then, we get to celebrate what a good girl she is, often with a rousing Donna Summer “I want the pink stuff, baby, this evening. I want the pink stuff, baby, tonight” chorus! Everybody wins.

Your mileage may vary. Any other tips? Leave a comment.

More about Amoxicillin.

[tags]Parenting, Amoxicillin[/tags]

Linky Goodness – 2/14/2007

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

Up-to-date Iraq casualties
One of the awesome things about working at the Globe is that I have access to people who *really* know how to find information. One of the researchers turned me on to this site, which has up-to-date data and analysis about Iraq casualties.

Fan’s Guide to Spring Training
We put up this interactive guide to Fort Myers a couple of days ago. It’s starting to get some really good contributions from readers, improving it far beyond what we could do ourselves.

Staying Hungry
James Hong, of “Hot or Not,” writes about what he needs to do to keep himself hungry. Will he coast, riding his existing cash cow, or will he blow it up for the chance at something bigger?

In praise of the forgotten broiler
If I’d told you I had an appliance that could brown like a grill, was as convenient as your oven, and cooked most food in less than 10 minutes, you’d buy it. But you don’t need to.

Praise is overrated
Now that Sadie is starting to understand me, I need to be more careful in how I construct my sentences. Takeaway: always praise effort, not ability.

Because proposing on Valentine’s Day would be gauche

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

Three years ago, she said yes.

Woo Hoo!

Sign your panel discussion is losing the audience

Friday, February 9th, 2007

You know the panel discussion on the stage is annoying when *every single person* (including me) in my row has whipped out their Blackberry or Treo.

Memo: FAST: Don’t have your guys on the stage talk with infomercial patter.

Linky Goodness – 2/4/07

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

Why it is so hard to find backup daycare
We’ve been pretty lucky so far with Sadie. We’ve only had to leave work in the middle of the day a few times in the months she’s been in daycare. I hope that will be even more rare when she goes into the toddler room next month.

The joy of programming
Really nice article on why we program (or write, or paint, or play the violin).

Options on Super Bowl tickets
Interesting article from the Globe about how people bought and sold options on Super Bowl tickets based on the likelihood their team would make it.

Rewrite Windows for $3000
Back when I was consulting more often, I ran into a few clients with unrealistic expectations. This RFP is definitely the best one I’ve seen, though.

Red Sox on TV this year
It’s much harder for us to get to games now, so I’m excited that Fox has released their schedule ahead of time, so that we know which Saturday games are in the afternoon (managable) vs. at night (harder).

Dan Savage on Mary Cheney
Gay parent Dan Savage’s take on the Mary Cheney controversy

Off to the Man Cave
I gotta get me one of these.

Turner’s environmental spam

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

One thing I haven’t heard in all the buzz from Wednesday is the backlash against large multi-nationals who feel they can spew their trash all over our city in the first place.

“Guerrilla marketing?” No, “environmental spam.”

Turner nitwits

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

I don’t often agree with the Herald’s editorials, but I think they’re right this time: Turner must pay for nitwit stunt.

OK, so when will the people of Boston see Ted Turner and his nitwit marketing gurus marched into federal court in handcuffs and leg irons?

Because that’s exactly what should happen. Oh sure, he’ll offer to write the check – and he damned well ought to be made to write a whopping big one for the resources wasted yesterday over his little guerrilla marketing campaign. But frankly that’s not nearly enough to make amends for the chaos caused here.

I understand that it’s “viral marketing,” but someone involved should have realized that blinking lights and loose wires attached to bridges will get noticed.