rain, rain, go away…


riding in the rain
(what I’m anticipating for tomorrow, yet again…)

My allergies are happy that it’s finally raining and washing away some of the pollen that’s invaded the city over the last week (when I left my apartment last saturday morning, the trees were still bare. By yesterday, they were in full bloom thanks to the heat wave earlier this week). The rest of me, however? not so much…

I’m doing the 5 boro bike tour tomorrow, and it’s looking like it’s going to be a rehash of the MS ride from last fall, without the possibility that the sun will come out at some point during the day. Could get ugly.

I was going to try to find some biking rain gear for tomorrow, but if I can’t find anything good, I remembered that I bought a waterproof windbreaker that’s not particularly aerodynamic when I was down in Roatan in January, because it rained every day while I was there. So that’s a backup plan (a backup plan that could result in disaster if it’s windy, but still…a plan). Unlike the MS ride, where I not only didn’t wear rain gear, but I wore cotton leggings under my bike shorts because it was cold out, and they didn’t get dry the entire day. That’s a mistake I won’t be making again!

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backlash at the speed of…well…twitter


Ok, so I’m late to the twitter game – I started an account not too long ago, and…yeah, in a lot of ways a lot of it is kind of pointlessly entertaining, but I have to take real issue with crap like this. Not because it isn’t true in all circumstances, but because it reduces a service like twitter to its most useless part, and then assumes that everyone pointlessly uses it the same way. Sure, I follow some celebrities because I find them entertaining and whatnot, but I also follow several real friends and, quite frankly, I’ve made new real world friends thanks to twitter, in the very short amount of time i’ve been on the service. Here’s how that worked…

A few weeks back, I twittered something about cycling in NY. Someone who was looking for other NY cyclists found me and started following me. So I followed her back (hey, she posted good bike tips). So then…she organized a bike ride to coney island. Which I, at the very last minute, decided to participate in. I had a blast, met some great people, and made some new friends. who then proceeded to follow me (and vice versa) on twitter so that we could keep in touch easily. Today, we met up for another (yes, real life) bike ride out to red hook, and it was another blast (and heck, when a few people got stuck with a flat tire, we actually used twitter to try to find each other). So rather than the alienation that people seem to think is inevitable from each new social networking site, I spent the beautiful day today out of doors, on my bike, with 20 other like-minded people who I would have never in a million years met in any other way.

Each of these things is a tool. How one chooses to use them is really dependent on the individual. People who trend towards loneliness and alienation may continue down that path, but it’s because they already had that propensity. twitter didn’t make them that way.

I’m a loner by nature. When I was a kid, I was often much happier in my room with my nose buried in a book. And many of my closest friends (who I do see as often as we are able to make plans) have kids and stuff going on which makes it a bit harder to drop everything and go get a drink (and they’re certainly not bike fanatics like me). A lot of the “burying in a book” mentality has perhaps transferred to electronic media, but at the same time, if that media didn’t exist, I would have most likely spent my day today by myself. Maybe I would have gone for a bike ride, by myself, but knowing myself better than that, I would have spent half the day vegging out on my couch before I thought to go outside and enjoy the sunny 77-degree day.

I’m sorry, but the catastrophic “[insert latest technology] is destroying all of our social skills and making us all [narcissists/nihilists/sociopaths]” has just got to stop.

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And this is why i have nothing to read on the flight home


Ok, fine. Sky Mall catalog it is.

Nothing quite like the George Bush airport in Houston. Seriously. Nothing.

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I hate this time of year…


…not because of the holidays, or the touristy chaos of working in midtown, or the fact that work always seems to get crazy, but because I ALWAYS get sick at this time of year.  People in my office are studiously avoiding me as I attempt to actually cough up a lung.

At least it’s Friday, and I can look forward to not leaving my apartment the entire weekend while catching up on the past 5 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy that are TiVO’d on my bedroom TV.

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This is when i realized that the iphone was worth it


As I wrote about a month ago, my Internet connection died for about a week, and then miraculously started working again the day before my tech appointment. I figured at that point that the issue was done.

Until last night, when I got home, eager to go out for a bike ride before it got too late out, only to discover that I was having the same problem, where my (new) cable modem indicated that there was no signal coming into my apartment. So instead of a pleasant sunset ride along the Hudson river, I got 40 minutes on the phone with the cable company.

But this time there was a marked difference in my tone – I was practically zen about the whole thing. Completely understanding when the earliest weekend appointment wasn’t for a week and a half.

And I chalk it up, in its entirety, to the fact that this little device (on which I’m writing this blog entry) has the best Internet capabilities of anything that’s not an “actual” computer that I’ve ever used. It makes my work-provided blackberry look like a commodore 64.

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why are people always trying to steal my cabs?


This sort of crap happens to me all the time, but tonight I actually stood up for myself.  Usually, in an attempt to avoid confrontation, I end up ceding my rightfully hailed taxi to some aggressive asshole and end up standing on a streetcorner for an extra 20 minutes in the middle of the night trying to flag down another one.

Went to the Aimee Mann concert with some folks from work, which was awesome (although my secret wish that she’d start playing stuff from her ’til tuesday days didn’t come to fruition).  On our way out, there was obviously a big crowd.  a few of the guys decided to walk, but my boss and I needed cabs.  So he goes out into the street and hails two – he’s going to grand central and I’m going to the upper west side, and, being on the corner of 10th avenue and 16th street, sharing really isn’t a sensible option.  I’m designated with the first cab, but a crowd of morons decides to run and try to steal the cab from me.  Upon my “excuse me, that’s my cab”, they’re all “oh, we thought you two were together”.  Nope.  nice assumption though, even though the person I’m with very clearly hailed two cabs.  not my problem, right?  So I go to open the cab door, except that one of the morons refuses to get out of the way.  So when I open the cab door it bangs into him.  Again, any sensible person would, you know, see me attempting to get into the cab and move.  He, of course, doesn’t move, and starts yelling at me, at which point even the cab driver is all “just get into the cab so I can get away from this crazy jerk”.  Of course, said moron/asshole proceeds to grab onto the door, after I’m already sitting in the cab, so I can’t close it. Working out with a trainer is very handy when needing to wrest taxi doors from pseudo-hipster assholes who clearly lift nothing more than cigarettes, so I very easily yank the door out of his hand and close it, at which point the cab driver immediately auto-locks the doors, because he’s also worried about this guy.

Who then proceeds to start banging on the car door with his umbrella.  Because damaging the taxi is certainly the appropriate way to teach me whatever lesson about aggressive male posturing that he seemed to think I needed to learn.  Needless to say, the cab driver threatened to run over his foot unless he backed the fuck away from the taxi.  We then proceeded to have a very pleasant conversation while he drove me home.  

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ahh, internet…sweet, sweet internet…


No, my internet at home hasn’t been fixed.  It just happens to be Monday, meaning that I’m back at work.

This is not to say that I didn’t try to get my internet working this weekend, even going so far as to trek down to the cable company office on 23rd street to swap out my cable modem.  But when I plugged the new one in, I had the exact same problem I was having before.  Apparently, somewhere along the line, there’s something preventing my modem from communicating with the server.  So unless it somehow fixes itself (which is obviously doubtful), I have to wait for my scheduled “appointment” of 2-6pm on Saturday.  I really, really, really, really hope this works.

I know I’m a particularly heavy internet user, but even I didn’t realize how much I had come to rely on it.  E-mail actually wasn’t the problem.  My blackberry still worked for basic communication.  But everything from ordering food delivery to checking the weather is now done, at least in part, through the web.  I had to hold off returning some films to netflix because I didn’t know what was next in my queue.  When I decided to go see WALL*E last night, I had to hope it wasn’t sold out because I couldn’t check fandango.  And let’s not even get into the fact that Google Reader has stopped counting how many unread articles I’ve got, because when you hit 1000, all it says is “1000+”.  Oh, and updating my blog.  Or checking facebook.  Or paying bills(!).

I haven’t faced withdrawal this bad since I gave up diet coke.

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yet again, the cable company makes me lose my marbles


I’m posting this from my blackberry because my internet has completely gone kaput at home. Which I was very happy to discover when I got home from work after 10 tonight.

Then, of course, I called the cable company, where, after wading through 18 menus of phone tree, I finally got through…or so I thought. No. Now they have what is known as an “automated troubleshooter”, so I have to answer about 1800 questions (reconfirming each time) that are on the technical “support” level of “did you unplug and replug in the modem?”

Finally, I just started shouting “operator” into the phone. At which point I spent another 10 minutes on hold before getting connected to some person who claimed to be technical support. Who refused to help me until I figured out how to connect my computer (in my office) with my modem (in my living room), because they won’t even speak to you if you use a wireless router that you don’t pay them for. Nevermind that the issue has nothing to do with the computer end of the phone and is entirely due to the fact that the “cable” light is no longer going on.

So then, after she does the ridiculously minimal “live” troubleshooting that just repeats what the automated voice made me do, she defaults to having to set up a service appointment. Which of course sets up another argument about the fact that the “emergency” service group that could maybe come this weekend is closed, and it’s looking like I’m going to have to wait until july 5th to get someone here.

Of course, normally I’d consider bagging on a weekday next week, but given that it’s the last week I’m in before I go on vacation, AND some work kind of blew up today meaning that next week might be kind of busy anyway, I thought actually going to work would be a good idea. Particularly since I CAN’T WORK FROM HOME WITHOUT INTERNET!

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So, yesterday was…fun


Yesterday, I had to go visit a client at their offices in pennsylvania. That part was fine (in fact, it was nice to see a bunch of folks I hadn’t seen in a while). The “fun” part was the drive there and back.

After getting to the rental car place at the very reasonable hour of 6:45 in the morning (!) and getting my car, I discover that it doesn’t have the GPS I requested. So then I had to wait for them to find me another car that did have GPS and swap them out for me. Then it took me over 45 minutes to get to the other side of the Lincoln Tunnel (according to my GPS, I had traveled a total of 5 miles). This was only really annoying because it meant that the poor associate who had flown in from california would be sitting waiting for me in the hotel lobby in allentown. But other than that, the drive was generally OK.

The way back however…about an hour into my trip back, the skies opened up and the most horrendous torrential downpour, complete with giant lightning strikes that looked like they were going to hit my car, started. Needless to say, it took me 3 hours to do the 90 mile drive.

And then, after I finally returned the rental car and got myself home and dried off?

I realized that I had left my cellphone sitting in the car.

Going back out in the rain might have been the most fun part of the day. Luckily, the Hertz manager had found it and put it in the safe until I came back. He was very funny – pointed out that he was going to try to call me to let me know, but then realized that he had my phone, so he just had to hope I’d realize it and come back.

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A minute and a half that encapsulates everything that’s wrong with our media today


I just wandered downstairs to get some coffee (something I rarely do in the afternoon, but falling asleep at my desk is never a good idea), and MSNBC was on the TV. while the tiny little scrawl at the bottom let me know that 7,000 people were presumed dead in China and something vague was happening in Myanmar/Burma (no details of course, it was the substance-free scrawl), the talking heads were talking, in-depth, about the following two subjects. With video. and interviews.

  • some person who taught her parrot to mimic Obama
  • a cat who sneaks into concert halls to listen to Mozart

Just about then, some folks came in and got them to switch the TV over to soccer. That made much more sense.

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