February 2006 Archives

Schrodinger's Cat is Rolling Over in his Grave


So quantum computers, while still somewhat experimental, aren’t exactly cutting edge news, right? Well, a bunch of gearheads have built a quantum computer that works when it’s turned off.

Yeah, I’m not sure I get it either.

Seriously, That Seems Like a Little Bit of Overkill


So Microsoft had decided to release six different versions of Windows Vista (there are actually eight versions but two are only on sale in the EU, see infra). There is, for the home user, Vista Home Basic, Vista Home Premium, and Vista Ultimate. For the business user there will be Vista Business and Vista Enterprise (one wonders if they’ll follow up with Vista Excelsior, Vista Voyager, and Vista DS9). There will also be a “stripped-down” version for “emerging markets” (one wonders why they’ll bother since all the non-stripped down versions will be available for purchase at special prices pirated within days of the official release), and two versions of the Home and Business products without the Windows Media Player for EU release.

This, of course, doesn’t include the various server versions (to be called Windows Server “Longhorn”).

I know that more consumer choice is supposed to be good, but this is just ridiculous.

Helpful Household Tips

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Or, Home Ec for the lazy, part one.

If you’re going to be wearing a shirt with a jacket or blazer, you only have to iron the front of the shirt.

Night of... Well, Something

I know that there’s someone out there who’s wondered what do you get when you combine a really trashy eurodance ditty, four barely legal (yeah, that’s gonna get me a lot of Googling) teenybopper pop singers, and a chubby Japanese man wearing a gold lame cape, red speedoes, and wrestling boots? Well, that person can sleep easy at night: for now I bring you Night of Fire!

(warning: loud annoying music and a chubby Japanese man wearing a gold lame cape, red speedoes, and wrestling boots)

Caught Up (I Think)

So, for the first time in recent memory, there are not only zero unread items in my RSS reader, but also no unread emails (and more importantly, no un-responded to emails) in my inbox.

This is, of course, a state of affairs that is unlikely to persist.

As a side note, I’ve recently been twice contacted about the first song featured in this post (once in the comments and once by email); apparently the title of the song, “Ik wil alleen maar zwemmen” means “I just want to go swimming”. Also a couple of minor corrections: the song is in Dutch, not Flemish, since, for one thing, the band is from the Netherlands, not Belgium (that doesn’t explain the existence of both http://spinvis.be and http://spinvis.nl); for another, there is no such language as Flemish. Who knew?

Seeing Blues

So when you’re listening to Miles Davis’ “All Blues”, you can also check out the visual representation of the solos and the different styles they’re played in in this really interesting PDF poster. Here’s the author’s site.

God Bless Betty

I'm Back


More notes later, when I’m more awake.

I’d like to thank my prolific guestbloggers Jim, Ken, Mike, and Eric for more than ablely filling in in my absence.

A few notes from the road:

  • United’s p.s. (premium service) flights are rather nice. They’re flying three-class 757s, configured with 3 rows in first, 8 rows in business, and 11 rows in economy, with much-needed extra legroom in economy. There are free headphones and the food is actually edible; it’s not going to give Daniel anything to worry about, but, on the other hand, it was better than some food that I’ve actually paid for before. What’s amusing, though, is that what is now “premium service” seems an awful lot like the regular service of 10 to 15 years ago.
  • Doc Searls, who apparently was on the Golden Gate Bridge at about the same time I was a few hours after I was, has some neat photographs of the famous bridge. Which reminds me that going over the bridge during the daytime, the guy driving the Audi in front of me stuck his camera up through his open sunroof to take a picture…
  • Over 660 miles logged on the rental car in 5 days. It was, of course, a Taurus. That makes me wonder: now that Ford is phasing out the Taurus, what will become the new mainstay of car rental fleets?
  • The cab fare to JFK is just ridiculous.
  • Having chapped lips on an airplane sucks.
  • The new Asian Art Museum looks awesome. And the cafeteria is pretty good, too.


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My understanding is that Paul may have taken Oceanic to Australia. I could be mistaken.

Hmmmm 2.


Paul should be back today.

But I assume he’ll still miss tomorrow’s Evidence class. That guy misses more evidence than the Belle Glade Police Dept.


Anybody know where the hell Frankenstein is?

Use this handy site to figure out which song was #1 on the day you were born.

Mine is “Reunited” by Peaches & Herb. Ugh.



Jim is a goddamned liar.


I hesitate to even mention this in a public place, but my happiness and excitement is getting the better of me…

Tonight, I ate at a really really good Mexican restruant in New York.

The guacamole was freshly and expertly prepared, the tortilla chips were made from actual tortillas, the chile pablano was stuffed and bursting with flavor, the mole sauce brought tears of joy to my eyes, the Sangria was made to order and tasty, and it was all capped off with a rich and inventive chocolate-jalapeno ice cream.

Now, I have been on quest for the past year-and-a-half to find some good Mexican food in New York. I’d even settle for decent Mexican food, but before tonight it wasn’t happening. I asked everyone I met, friends, classmates, actual Mexicans, foodies, and even professional food critics! No one could tell me the location of a single quality Mexican restaurant. That’s why being lead to this marvelous oasis of flavor has made me feel all warm inside, even while the windchill brings the temperatures below zero outside.

But here’s the deal: don’t ask me where it is. I will NOT tell you. I won’t tell you what neighborhood it’s in. I won’t even tell you which subway line you might take get there. NO! This place is one Time Out or New York Times review away from being impossible to visit again, and I will not stand for that. So if you want to go, butter me up real good some time, and if I’m feeling generous I will blindfold you, spin you around three times, and lead you there. Until then, tell no one of what I have written here.

I’m going back next week.


You know, I’d like to update the teeming masses on my life as a midtown gambler, but frankly, I can’t, unless you count the motrgage payments on my newly-purchased north Seattle home. I am, I must say, hoping for some Jersey-bred tips on dealing with bought refs.

Okay, Fine, I'll Be the One to Say It.

I’m always hearing about how the Chinese invented all sorts of great things like paper and fireworks and gunpowder and the compass and who the hell knows what else. But you know what? I’m not buying it. That’s right, I call bullshit on China. Apparently they invented all this stuff but never bothered to tell anybody about it for hundreds of years, until some other country announces that they invented it. Hell, give them a few months and they’ll probably claim that they came up with the iPod in, like, 1674.

Hmmm…I guess I’ve been doing some stuff.

New York Is Lonely

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It’s a lonely town, New York is. It’s a town of dreams strewn about in the gutters and bodegas, drunk on happy hour Stellas, hanging from the phone wires like tied-together sneakers the morning after high-school graduation. My name is Ken Goldstein, and this is my town. I live here on Thompson Street with a man and his cat and his dog, their trapped howls and mews overpowering the whimpered cries of my hopes and aspirations.


Holy crap, have you seen what’s in this fridge? Man, month-old takeout, half-closed oyster sauce bottles, what is that? Three kinds of fish sauce? Man!

Oh, look! Pickled asparagus!

No booze? Geeze.

coffee maker

Man, where does Paul keep all his supplies? I found the spoon and an old mug that looks like it hasn’t been washed for a week, but no coffee and no filters! How are we supposed to keep this place going without coffee for four days!

I’ll have to run down to the bodega and get this sorted out. Maybe they’ll have some Cafe Del Bueno there…. Tested on the best West Texas immigrants you can find, you betcha…. We’re gonna need a strong roast to keep this going.


tap… tap…


(shades eyes, looks up into booth)

Whoo! Can you turn down the monitors here in front?


Testing, testing, 1-2 1-2.

I’d like to thank the Adacamey, and my agent and…

Chubby Faces

Chocolate & Zucchini on traditional French cooking:

such is the chubby face of traditional French cooking: whatever you want to make, start with a pound of butter and you will be just fine.

And as you may have noticed, I’ve recruited a few guest bloggers to tide you over while I’m in California, taking some well-earned R&R. The only instruction they have is to not get me into trouble with the NSA, the Secret Service, or my mother. God help us all.

I guess that makes me “Calgon”.

Paul asked me to take over for a bit and keep your RSS full of goodness while he’s away visiting the second-best Bay Area university. My own blog kind of bit the dust for technical reasons a little while ago, so my blogging muscles are all rested up and ready to fire.

Almost Over

This has not, contrary to popular belief, been the worst week of my life.

Can’t say that it’s too far off, though.

California tomorrow, for some much needed R&R. Calgon, take me away!

Little Golden Boxes

Lotta folks buying dinner for one at Whole Foods tonight.

Not to mention the little gold boxes of chocolate many women had clutched in their hands.

And then there was the argument about planning dinner on the corner. Unsurprisingly, one party was doing most all of the talking and the other was (wisely?) keepnig his mouth shut.

Interior Designers Needed


I gotta say that hospital interior design is staggeringly

  1. boring
  2. depressing
  3. did I mention boring?

Catching Up For Lost Time

It seems that Old Man Winter is trying to make up for lost time. Can’t see a goddamn thing outside my window.

I don’t think that FreshDirect will get here on time today…

Not One To Put On The Resume

And The Winner Is Doing 5-7 for Drug Smuggling

Resembling nothing more than a scene out of a feverish, delirious mid-century novel by Kilgore Trout is this photo essay that celebrates an annual beauty pageant that takes place inside a massive women’s prison in Columbia. Yes, you may be doing 5-10 for trafficking, and that guy on the roof may be a sniper with an assault rifle, but some fishnets, a bit of glitter, some eyeliner and a evening gown, and you too can be queen for a day…

(thanks to Martin for pointing this out to me)

B000C65Z6Q.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg So it appears that the latest Saint Etienne long player, Tales from Turnpike House, has, at long last, finally been released in the US… but, in typical fashion, the track list for the UK and US versions are different (the US version, in addition to being out of sequence (and having a slightly different cover, too!), adds “Dream Lover” and “Oh My” while deleting “Relocate” and “The Birdman of EC1”—and some pressings of the US release include a bonus disc, too, that’s different than the bonus disc released with the UK/Europe release).

Curiously enough, the US version was relased by a jazz label, not a rock/pop label. It does make a certain amount of sense when you consider that there is no natural home for this kind of sophisticated pop on US radio… which, one supposes, says more about the state of American radio than anything else.

UK CoverFor Saint fans in the US, they’re about to start a mini-tour: New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. The New York opener is the Brooklyn-based indie bossa nova band Mosquitos, another one of my favorite totally obscure bands.

And in other music news, it seems that a lot of pop bands have started making childrens’ records (including the Saint), if only because the kiddie market has been traditionally served by absolute aural pablum…

Previously on pf.org: Janet Leigh, Please Pick Up A White Courtesy Phone

You know, if

  1. I’m about 15 feet behind you on a busy Manhattan street
  2. You’re wearing in-ear iPod headphones
  3. and I can still hear the music from your iPod

…you’ve probably got the volume set TOO HIGH. What? You can’t hear me?

Happy Trails To You (Until We Meet Again)

The great Darfur blog Sleepless in Sudan is shutting down, largely because the author is being transferred out of Sudan…

The Other Reason The iPod Is So Successful

The Times reports on the burgeoning secondary market for iPod accessories. What Apple has done with the iPod is very clever and similar to what camera companies used to do with their pro-level SLRs—they’ve turned the product from a product into a system…


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Clearly, my lack of popularity in Jr. High had everything to do with my inability to do the watusi… and the chicken, the hitch-hike, and the shake…

My Blog Is Shrinking


Some stuff that was happening on the web while I was either sick, recovering, or trying to catch up on work from being sick: