Megnut

In sunny San Diego

Moblog_0.jpgI'm in San Diego at Etech. If you're here, come say hi! I look a little different. According to Xeni -- who didn't recognize me -- I look, "less stressed" that I used to. I think it's also the longer hair that's a big frizzy mess in the oceany yumminess that's San Diego's humidity. I've snapped a photo from my phone so you can get an idea of my new "look" and how tired I am from flying so very far in a horribly old cramped 737 that felt like taking a pick-up truck through the sky for six+ hours.

This could be fun

The conditions were a bit crazy these past few days for skiing, and I had my share of spectacular falls on Wednesday. But nothing like this photo of a man who's Tree-Ski-Jumping.

The jumpers will be aiming for the trees and the higher they land in the trees, the better their scores may be. The idea is to take flight from a mound of snow, fly through the air and land in a tree. To qualify as a completed jump, the skier has to hang onto the tree without falling to the ground.

I like getting air and all, but I'm not sure I'd try to land in a tree! That seems like something that would just happen by accident.

Because you may be crazy about skiing too

In case you're as coo-coo for skiing as I am these days, you might like this New York Times Travel Interest Guide to Skiing. It's a list of skiing-related columns and articles from the past few years.

Get yer free land!

Please note: this is only a link to an article about free land. I do not know anything about getting free land so please don't email me asking how to do so. Thanks.

The Mid-West is offering free land! To stem the exodus of its populations to cities, many small midwestern towns are offering incentives to folks who'd be willing to move there, according to this New York Times article, Empty House on the Prairie. As a fan of the Little House on the Prairie, I must admit I'm tempted. On my one visit to rural Nebraska, I was stuck by the beauty of the prairie landscape. And then there's this:

In some of these towns, a commute to work is four minutes; crime is all but nonexistent; at night you half-believe you can look toward the soundless sky and see the outskirts of heaven. And isolation, in our age of 500 channels, of easy Internet access and e-mail, does not mean the same thing it did to generations past.

Perhaps I'll load the covered wagon, hitch up the team, and hit the trail. When you next see me, I'll be running down a hill in my calico dress, my arms outstretched at my sides, my bonnet flapping in the wind.

Soon I'll be in San Diego

You may have noticed over on the sidebar (unless you're an RSS reader, in which case here's a special message for you (non-RSS readers, feel free to skip ahead): you're missing new content that I don't syndicate! I put little messages and pictures in the sidebar! Come back to the lovely old HTML megnut.com!) that I'll be attending the 4th Annual O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference later this month in San Diego. I've been to every Emerging Tech conference and am once again looking forward to the trip and the experience.

I'm especially looking forward to hearing New Yorker columnist James Surowiecki speak (Independent Individuals and Wise Crowds, or Is It Possible to Be Too Connected?), as he's one of my favs from the magazine. And there's a hardware hacks (Hardware Hacks from the Far Side) session that piques my interest as well. I always find I go to the sessions about hardware and then envision myself soldering things and building my own army of robots once I get home. Alas, I have yet to build one robot arm or leg, so there's nothing even close to a company or regiment of robots in my apartment. But maybe this is the year! Of course, my army of robots would be a peace-loving type of army, tasked with feeding the cat while I'm out of town and emptying his kitty litter. Maybe they'd do some dishes too.

In summary, in case you had trouble following that crazy post: I'm going to the Emerging Technology Conference. And: yay!

When next in Paris

From the New York Times travel section comes this nice article extolling the virtues of the ninth arrondissement: In Paris, the Rue des Martyrs Is a Slice of Village Life. I don't think I've explored that area before, so I'm going to put it on my list of sites to see when I'm in Paris in April.

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.

Jason takes a big leap

I'm a kottke.org 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 kottke.org.

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.

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 flickr.com) and Michael (from last.fm). 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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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