now with 100% more swankiness…


I had been getting a little bored with the design here – not the overall theme, but that microsoft lichtenstein-esque icon I had been using for years had been feeling a little, well, stale. But, not having any artistic ability myself, I was resigned to my clipart persona forever. Until I discovered this morning. I might have gone a little crazy, but I like to think that the icon I came up with is a (much) swankier version of myself. With a girdle, of course!

I might get bored with this look in a month, but for now, I’m loving it!

Of course, this probably wasn’t helped by the fact that I rewatched the entirety of both seasons 1 and 2 of Man Men on Blu-ray (with audio commentaries) in the last few days. While I’d probably want to shoot someone if I actually had to wear a girdle every day, and if I had to live through that time period I probably wouldn’t be ten years out of law school right now, I’m completely smitten with the entire show. So glad it’s coming back!!

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Coolest iphone app yet


This is really just a test. I’m writing this on my iPhone, using the just made available wordpress for iPhone app from the app store.

For good measure, here’s an attempt to post a photo directly as well.

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happy (belated) birthday!


In all of my distraction over my new iphone, I completely neglected to notice that this blog had a birthday on Sunday.  I’ve been keeping this thing going (at varying rates of posting) for five years.  Started on June 12, 2003, so that I could essentially have a place to vent, it’s been through elections, moving, renovations, living in foreign countries, and lot’s and lot’s of customer service issues.  It’s also been reinvented a few times (anyone remember when it was hosted on .mac and was bright orange?).  About a year ago, I finally moved into the blogging equivalent of the 21st century and moved to wordpress, which I have pretty consistently loved since then (I can post from my phone!).  So, here’s to another five years.

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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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things I like to read


One of the less typical blogs that I read with regularity is Arthur Frommer Online. Frommer, who has been writing about travel for 50 or so years, has some really good insights into the travel industry. While he does, of course, often post about travel deals and whatnot, much of the time his writing takes on a more…political…bent. He writes about how to travel cost effectively even in the era of the declining dollar. Whether you should or shouldn’t travel to various unstable parts of the world, and lately, he’s been on a tear about Amtrak.

The latest: The moment may have arrived: We may at last be on the brink of empowering Amtrak to offer a sensible method of alternative travel in the U.S.

I’ve never quite understood why we have such crappy rail service in the US, compared to Europe. Over there, I could bicycle across France secure in the knowledge that if I got tired, there was a nearby train to take me and my bike to the next town. And it was completely sensible and both time and cost effective to travel by high-speed rail from Brig, Switzerland to Paris, France. A distance that would have pretty much required flying in this country. As someone who regularly used amtrak to go between philly and nyc when I was in school, I’m very excited to see some real movement to encourage train use in this country. It’s too bad that it took getting completely screwed by the oil industry to get there.

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I kept reading the news this week and thinking “hmm, that might be something to blog about” and then proceeded to get distracted by other things, like work. and TV. and rearranging my closet. Yeah. This was a week of serious procrastination. So much so, that I have to go in to work at some point this weekend to catch up on something that I totally could have gotten done during the week except that I kept putting it off and then got hit with a bunch of stuff that needed to get done by Friday. So that was smart.

So, in an effort to put off going into the office just a bit more, here’s a list of the things that I thought about blogging about this week but never got around to…

  • Edwards endorses Obama (finally). Just in time for it to make a really big difference in the last three remaining primaries. Good job waiting until it’s both a foregone conclusion and utterly useless in having any effect.
  • California Supreme Court overturns gay marriage ban. I have to say I was genuinely happy about this, particularly given how much more influential California is than Massachusetts on an electoral level, but I also wondered why these things always seem to happen in a way that will drive the fundies out in droves during a Presidential election year. All in all though, good news.
  • Oscar Pistorius can compete in the Olympics (if he qualifies). A little less obvious, and I normally don’t talk about work, but I had to throw this one in here since my firm actually represented Pistorius pro bono. Very cool.
  • President Bush, apparently forgetting that his own grandfather did significant business with the Nazis, compared Democrats to Nazi appeasers. By quoting a conservative Republican in 1939 who wanted to negotiate with Hitler. Someone needs to explain history to Bush, because “talking” is not quite the same thing as “allowing Germany to annex half of the sudetenland without any substantial opposition”.

And on that note, maybe someone should put this guy in the same history class.

I’m not normally a big fan of misogynist-in-chief Matthews, but I nearly snorted my coffee through my nose from laughing so hard when I saw this the other morning.

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just about done…


…with the revamping.

I’ve now got all of my pages, including photo albums, moved under the blog/wordpress architecture. I’ve also set the old index pages to redirect to the appropriate place, and I’ll leave those up for some time so that people don’t get completely lost. The only thing left for me to do now is fix whatever broken links I’ve got left. There are quite a few, in part because I didn’t catch everything when I ported over from iblog a year or so ago. Because there are so many, I went looking for something that would help me pinpoint them, and the Broken Link Checker plugin appears to be up to the task. I’ve fixed about 30-40 so far, and I’ve only got about 100 more to go.

To be fair, they’re not all my fault – I really can’t be held responsible for the fact that other people move their content, but I can at least fix my internal references…

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In an effort to reduce duplication on this site, as well as bring everything “under” the wordpress architecture rather than having pages that sit “outside” the blog, I’m revamping things. The biggest changes will be the integration of photo albums into blog entries using a program called slimbox. One album/entry is done, from Toronto in 2003, and it can be viewed here.

I just got tired of having to manually edit each and every photo page every time I decided to change something about the site. While I had reduced that work a few years ago through implementation of style sheets, there always seemed to be “something” that was hard coded into the html that would need to get changed every time I decided to do a redesign. This new way will allow me to simply change wordpress themes and all of the pages will follow along.

If you encounter any problems with the new pages, or broken links, please let me know! And this is going to take a while.

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work in progress


I’m playing around with themes. Don’t freak out.

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bad blogger!


Two whole posts in March! I know, I’m a very bad person. Perhaps it was all the time that I spent actually getting those India photos up and running. Five years ago, it made perfect sense to have my own photo pages. It was certainly before Flickr became mainstream (or even existed). I’m afraid I missed the boat on that one.

Perhaps it’s because I keep thinking I should talk about the election, but I’ve already got election fatigue and we haven’t even finished the damn democratic primary season. It’s just getting really ugly between the dems, and I’m not sure that it’s helping. And I’m speaking as someone who doesn’t have an irrational dislike of either of them. Of course, I’d vote for my stapler before I voted for McCain (and seriously, nevermind that he such mysoginistic asshole that he actually called his wife a c***, what does it say about his judgement that he doesn’t have the presence of mind to not do it in front of a room full of reporters?!).

Or, perhaps it’s because I’ve been working like crazy. The late night car service people got to know me very well for the last few weeks. I don’t really mind, it’s part of the job, but I am a bit exhausted. But my 3rd deal in two weeks is closing today, so I should be a bit calmer. My biggest problem isn’t the work, it’s that, when I get stressed out, and particularly when I have to get to the office earlier than my usual start time, I get this really annoying “waking” insomnia. Let’s say that, normally I wake up between 6 and 7 to go to the gym and get to work by 9:30. But instead, I have to be in the office at 8. No problem, right? I’ll wake up at my normal time but just skip the gym, right? Except that, ignoring all sense of tiredness (and my alarm clock which hasn’t gone off), my body decides I should wake up at 4am. So I can lie there for 3 hours trying to go back to sleep until I realize that it’s pointless and just get up. Which is why I’m sitting here at 6:30 in the morning explaining why I haven’t written a post in so long.

But it should calm down after today, and I’m looking forward to sleeping away most of the weekend. When I get some more energy, I’ll actually do an entry explaining some of those 600+ photos that I posted.

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