Archive for February 2005

Returning to the Big Apple

I'm coming back to New York City today! Yay! People instead of snow! Tall buildings instead of tall trees! Polluted air instead of clean! Yay yay yay! On Friday I'll be speaking at NYU at the 13th Annual Stern Women in Business Conference. I'll be on the panel, Harness Your Entrepreneurial Spirit. And on Sunday I'm going to run a 5K and get ready to cheer on the Pats in the Super Bowl. And in between, I'm just going to savor the city in all its big bustling citiness!

A photo of the jeans police in action

Shortly after the time I wrote about the New York City Jeans Police, GQ contacted me about doing a short article and photo shoot about the idea. On a nice October day in 2003, we set out into the streets of Tribeca to photograph and Gina brought her camera along. Now she's posted a photo from the shoot to Flickr, a great one of me throwing Choire's jeans into the trash while he stands on the street in his boxers and handcuffs.

The big spam unit

I have complicated multi-tiered spam filtering technique I use, the result of which is that I have a folder called "suspect" that I manually check to make sure there's nothing in there for me. These days, with pitchers and catchers reporting in less than two weeks and football shortly disappearing until fall, baseball has been on my mind. Too much on my mind in fact, because I've been clicking on emails about "the Big Unit" in my suspect spam folder. Needless to say, they are not about Randy Johnson.

The end times are upon us

Sadly I must admit that last night in conversation, I used President Bush's wretched malapropism misunderestimate. And I wasn't kidding around.

Yay Patriots!

Last night's Super Bowl was pretty good, especially once the Pats started playing better in the second half. To show our support for the team, we made 'Teddy Bruschettas' -- one set topped with chopped mushrooms sauteed in butter with garlic and dried sage and the other with warmed tomatoes, basil, and garlic cooked in olive oil. Both types were delicious, and I'm sure supported not just Teddy Bruschi but all the Patriots! Aside from burning the first batch of toasts so badly that flames were shooting out the oven, it was pretty successful. I recommend Teddy Bruschettas for all your Patriots game dining needs.

Mmm mmm maple

Living again in New England, I've rediscovered my love for maple syrup (specifically of course, Vermont maple syrup!) and have been using maple products on everything possible in nearly every meal. The other day I picked up The Official Vermont Maple Cookbook (second edition) to help feed (literally!) my maple passion. It contains such yummy items as "Maple Pudding Cake", "Vermont Maple Chicken" (which sounds like something my mom used to make when I was little, a maple syrup chicken that was second only to mac and cheese in the list of favorite dinners), and something called "Maple Dream." Mmmm...maple dream! When the sap starts to run in the next month or so, I may even put in some time as a sugaring apprentice! Having a sugarbush on my own land someday is my maple dream.

Running in Munich

I'll be heading to Munich at the end of the week for a conference, and while I'm there, I need to continue my training for the Paris Marathon. I found this article from Runner's World, Travel: On the Road: Munich, Germany that suggests many areas to run in the city. Of course, it assumes it's not winter, and extoles the lushness of the parks and warns of nude sunbathers. The routes sound good though and I'm looking forward to exploring the city on my training jogs.

All you really need to know

Perhaps the most succinct -- and best -- advice about software development that I've ever come across. Jamie Zawinski, in this post about groupware, boils it down to:

If you want to do something that's going to change the world, build software that people want to use instead of software that managers want to buy.

So simple, and yet nearly impossible to accomplish.

It's amazing what you find in a mess

Some of the things I had no idea were on my computer's desktop, discovered while cleaning it up:

  1. A recipe for Pickled Oysters with English Cucumber "Capellini" and Dill
  2. A map of the Madaket (Nantucket) bus route
  3. Various torrents of things I never listened to, like Jon Stewart's Crossfire appearance
  4. More strange .pdf files that I must have inadvertantly downloaded than I care to admit
  5. An Excel spreadsheet from 4/2003 comparing the costs of purcasing an espresso machine to going to the local coffee shop to making due with my French Press pot at home
  6. My brother's "updated" résumé from early 2004

From here on out, I resolve to be neater! Next job: cleaning up the 6,935 emails in my inbox (all either read or skimmed), oldest dating back to 9/13/01!

So many interesting facts to know and use

The amazing interstingness of miscellany, specifically Schott's Food and Drink Miscellany has provided me with several hours of pre-sleep delight as I've perused its pages in bed. Last night I discovered that both the loganberry and the boysenberry are not in fact wild berries, but derivatives of raspberries! Beneath the heading, "Epicurean Eponyms," Mr. Schott explains:

LOGANBERRY · the sweet purple berry of the raspberry plant Rubus loganobaccus · created by the American judge and experimental horticulturalist James Harvey Logan, who developed the plant (c.1881). Some forty years later the botanist Rudolph Boysen created the hybrid BOYSENBERRY from the loganberry, the raspberry, and the blackberry.

No wonder I've never seen a loganberry bush in the wild! I'm loving this little book and all its wonders. Highly recommended for any foodie or food-curious person.

Travel recommendations for Munich

Drat, here I am about to leave for Munich in a few hours, and I just now remembered I hadn't posted asking for recommendations of what to see while there. I'm sure I'll find some Internet connection when I arrive, so go ahead and let me know what I can't afford to miss during my brief sojourn to the Bavarian capital. Neat architecture, pretty scenes, and cool cultural suggestions are appreciated. And of course, if there's something I just shouldn't miss (a museum? a food? a beer?), let me know. Thanks.

Digital Lifestyle Day

Digital Lifestyle Day 05 is underway here in Munich and happily my panel was not only the very first one, but I was the first speaker. So now my work is done and I can enjoy the conference and the mingling and the snacks and coffee! It's been very interesting so far and fun to share the stage with people like Caterina (from and Michael (from My brain's bubbling with lots of thoughts, most of which would be clearer if I weren't quite so tired. Still, the conference is fun so far. Check out the website for more information, I believe they're putting up streams of the presentations so you can see what's going on.

Jason takes a big leap

I'm a micropatron!As someone who's started two companies, I know the horror and thrill that comes with giving up a steady paycheck to follow a dream, and I'm so happy to see that Jason has decided to join the ranks of entrepreneurs and devote himself to full-time blogging at

Jason is not going to support himself through advertising, rather he is asking for readers to act as micropatrons of his site and contribute to its upkeep. Please consider supporting him, not only because he writes a great site and because supporting dreams is important. This is the chance to support something new: an "amateur" deciding to edit a blog full-time without corporate support and without advertising. It's a long time blogger chosing to go pro, and Jason is the perfect person to do it.

Old New York is right here around us

What a perfect article to welcome me back on my visit to NYC: Here Is New York, Right Where We Left It. Phew! Except of course the author is talking about old New York: hat shops, places to get a mug of beer for fifty cents, and pigs-knuckles lunches. It's a neat look at the small New York shops, bars, and restaurants hidden amongst the ever-increasing sprawl of national chains springing up around the City. At the very end of the article is perhaps the most important bit:

One thing the streets surely stand to lose when these frayed patches of New York's vast tapestry are finally replaced is a measure of their human scale. These remnants of a less mobile and more local New York speak of a more modest urban life in which goods and money traveled in smaller amounts between slightly less hurried parties moving in slightly smaller orbits.

No one goes to these old places to be seen or find the perfect pair of shoes or have a life-changing culinary experience or stock up on Turkish pistachios or toilet paper. If for nothing else, people go to these unfancy places because they embody a hidden truth about New York: that it is possible in almost any part of this monstrously huge, indifferent city to feel strangely at home.

How perfectly true.