Thoughts I wrote down

Goodbye, Edusoft

Hello… whatever comes up next
2005
Oct
31

It’s 6:15 and I am finally leaving the office. For the last time. After four years and three months of working for Edusoft, I am making my final departure. What with it being Halloween and all, our crazy UI designer made 75 cut-out masks of my face and people put them on in the middle of the day. It was totally disturbing, and yet touching at the same time. My boss said to me some of the nicest things I’ve heard come out of his mouth. And even cynical Derrick showed a hint of emotion when he said, “It’s like I’m losing a second little sister” (alluding to me as the second coming of Ginger, who he previously deemed the kid sis’ he never had). Oh, how endearing.

Clinton’s Face

A psychologist predicts Clinton’s demise by looking at his face.
2005
Oct
31

It’s that hand-in-the-cookie-jar, love-me-Mommy-because-I’m-a-rascal look. It’s A.U. twelve, fifteen, seventeen, and twenty-four, with an eye roll.

Paul Ekman describing Bill Clinton’s favorite expression, as noted during the 1992 Democratic primaries. Years before Clinton was on trial, Ekman was able to detect this personality flaw of his just by watching him on TV. That skill is amazing, but really, the best part of this quote is the “with an eye roll.” Hilarious.

In Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell

Bagel Price Gouging

How come a good bagel costs less than a bad one?
2005
Oct
27

In New York City, I can get a good bagel with cream cheese and lox for $1.95. In San Francisco, I pay $1.99 for a Noah’s bagel with “shmear,” and if I want smoked salmon spread (not lox, mind you), I pay $2.49. Bah!

Just like Larry Ellison

Larry and I share a sense of entitlement.
2005
Oct
26

I am just like Larry Ellison. Well, to be more precise, I’m just as bad as Larry Ellison. Last Friday I stopped at Farley’s to get a cup of coffee before coming into work. Even though there were parking spots open on the opposite side of the street, I decided just to double park in the direction I was headed. I had done this many times before and thought that I would be fine for the few minutes it takes to get coffee: my hazard lights were on after all. Low and behold, as I walked out with my delicious cup of coffee, a police officer was writing a ticket. I verified that he was ticketing my car and accepted the ticket graciously when he handed it over, despite his pompous attitude.

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(In)Secure Purchases: Part II

A follow up to my post about insecure purchases.
2005
Oct
25

This is a follow-up to a prior post.

the site is secure we promise. i don’t know why the little padlock doesn’t come up (i’m assuming thats what you are referring to) you are more than welcome to call and place an order if you would like. 212-414-4533. ask for Joe or Steve. you can just give them your credit card info and then email your order to this email with mailing addy, etc.
thanks for your support of frenchkiss.

That was the response I received from French Kiss Records when I sent them a somewhat angry email about trying to sell records on the Internet without a secure server (read about Insecure Purchases).

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Creating Conviction

Is it possible to achieve a life of conviction?
2005
Oct
20

I explored the concept of conviction and concluded that while I do have morals, I lack conviction, because I lack the undying passion necessary for it. For instance, I believe that biking to work, thus cutting back on driving and gas usage, would be better for the world (as well as my health and proverbial pocketbook). But I am lazy enough that I have only been able to bring myself to do so a few times since actually making the decision to bike more often. If I had conviction, I would bike to work every day. Since I don’t, is there a way to create conviction in myself?

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Insecure Purchases

In the 21st century, all internet shopping will be secure.
2005
Oct
19

It sounds like a great promise, to have all Internet shopping occur over secure channels. I was fairly certain that it all was (not because of any grand experiment that checked out every point of purchase on the web, but through a vast assumption). I was all primed and ready to buy both of The Hold Steady’s albums direct from their record company when I noticed that I was about to submit my credit card number over an insecure form. In all likelihood, no one would happen to be capturing packets as I placed my order, thus stealing my credit card number, but I am sufficiently paranoid in this regard that I decided to instead send them a somewhat angry email, after finding no way to contact them by phone. Too bad. I really would like to support them directly.

Read the follow up to this post: (In)Secure Purchases: Part II

Bum Marketing Blunder

“Give a man a fish…”
2005
Oct
19

On the walk back home through the Tenderloin I was approached by a woman who was in dire need of some spare change. As I walked toward her, she made a quick change in direction to bring us face-to-face, at which point she delivered her marketing message: “White boy, do you have any spare change? I need to get some…”. With her misguided plea of “white boy,” I was totally thrown off. Maybe a quick lesson in addressing your audience would do her some good.

Negativity Breeds Eloquence

Damn negativity, bringing out the best in me.
2005
Oct
19

Is it a bad sign that I can write more verbosely and potentially more eloquently about things I dislike versus things I like? Maybe there is a job out there for a critic who always writes negative reviews.

“The Hold Steady” Kick It!

Great lyrics + great style = great fun.
2005
Oct
19

In stark contract to The Constantines who preceded The Hold Steady at tonight’s show, these guys know how to rock. The lead singer is a frantic manic talk-singer with a nervous twitch, singing crazy lyrics and backed up by a hard rocking band. The lead guitarist knows how to have fun on stage without looking like a tool. The bassist did his own thing in good style, which is what makes a bassist cool, while the drummer kept a solid beat with nice breaks. The keyboardist, who I will refer to as “The Frenchman,” was totally out of place with the rest of the band (he should have been playing with The Arcade Fire), but he kicked some ass in his own way, lifting a bottle of red wine to his lips as the guitarist and bassist sipped from a bottle of Beam. This band has a unique musical style and tons of energy; they know how to get the crowd pumped. When the lead singer ended the evening with the words, “This was the best night of my life,” you really believed that’s what he thought and not just a line he gives every audience, though I’m sure tomorrow night might bring the best night of his life again.