Post-trip garden update

Everything's grown like crazy while I was away, like an amazing amount! The basil is huge, tomatoes are growing rapidly, and the climbers are winding themselves around the fire escape railing already!

tomato plant on fire escape basil plant on fire escape

fire escape garden viewed from far window, with wide-angle lens

European photos

european photo galleryBy unabashedly copying Jason's photo template, I've been able to get my Europe photos online in record time! While normally I'd concern myself with creating an original presentation for my pictures (the result being that I never get any pictures posted), this time I've opted for easy copying instead. I think actually getting the pictures online is a better result. So here are the photos of Europe June 2003. Enjoy!

Reboot videos online

Videos of each speaker's presentation at Reboot are available online for your enjoyment. I haven't watched mine -- too painful -- so I'm not sure what you'll see if you do. I suspect lots of fast talking, excitement about weblogs, and flailing of arms. I do recommend checking out the other speakers though, there's some good stuff in there, especially if you haven't heard any of them present before.

A fun experiment

Following Matt's suggestion to find pictures of people with your surname, I searched Google images for 'hourihan' and came across some interesting photos. The weirdest is this photo of Chip Hourihan from the Exeter facebook of 1979. I don't know Chip, but the photo oddly looks a bit like me. Perhaps we're related? Also I found a reference to Hourihan of Ireland in this photo from a clothing catalog. Hourihan of Ireland makes, "[c]apes and wraps in luxury blends of precious fibers." This is one of those times I just love the web. I want a cape from my kinfolk.

The other Lafayette Project

There's my Lafayette Project -- bringing weblogs to a wider audience, improving the reading experience, etc. And then there's The Lafayette Project, a genealogy site dedicated to the French soldiers of the American Revolutionary War. Who knew?

Pictures from Copenhagen

Cory's posted some pictures from Copenhagen. Reboot is off to a great start and I'm having lots of fun.

How to increase traffic

There's a New York Times article, A Blogger's Big-Fish Fantasy, that looks at the issue of weblog audience and how to grow yours. It features some quotes from me, in which I use the ridiculous word, "complainy." I'm sure there's a better word to have come out of one's mouth when speaking to the New York Times, but I don't have that sort of luck. Or skill.

Sign up for MUG

Charlie Suisman, publisher of the inestimable Manhattan User's Guide (MUG) needs our help. Today he asks each reader to sign up one person, like a good old-fashioned PBS pledge drive.

You can help keep MUG's daily email coming by passing along our link or signing up one person today. Simply put, we need to have enough subscribers to MUG to attract a limited amount of advertising. (Don't worry, not the pop-up, You've Won! Click Here!-kind-of-advertising, but, you know, tasteful, restrained advertising). That way, we can continue to offer MUG at no charge and pay our way. And every subscriber on our rolls helps.

Won't you please sign-up today? All that's required to keep you in the know about great New York stuff and happenings is an email address, your ZIP code, and your country. Normally I don't push this type of stuff, but MUG is far and away my favorite daily email subscription and I really value the information he uncovers. If you're a fellow New Yorker, I suspect you might as well.

Off to Europe

I'm off to Copenhagen for Reboot tomorrow AM and after that I'll be in Paris for some much-needed vacation. Updates will be sporadic while I'm gone. I'll try to post some pictures from the road, if possible. Emails will be attended to upon my return June 30th.

Silent Majority

Silent Majority "campaigns against the worst aspect of New York City life: the car alarm." Their site is filled with lots of interesting information about the effectiveness of car alarms and the efforts afoot to ban car alarms in the City. There's also a link to a great old Tom Tomorrow cartoon about car alarms.

While I agree that car alarms are obnoxiously noisy and degrade one's quality of life, I'm not sure it's the "worst aspect of New York City life." In fact, I suffered much more from errant alarms in San Francisco because I lived less than a block from a parking garage, where cars would go off many times a day, and night. Still a city without car alarms would be a more pleasant city, and I'm all for that.

New IndyJunior

There's a new version of IndyJunior available from Bryan. IJ is the Flash app I use to create a map of my travels. The new version offers a regional level of zoom, so that if you go between two continents (as I will tomorrow), you can see just the areas where you'll be travelling. Way cool. I continue to [heart] IndyJunior.

Opera in the Park tonight

Tonight at 8:00 p.m. is the second (and last) free Met Opera in Central Park this season. Additional performances are still to come in the other boroughs and CT, with NJ performances upcoming in August. Tonight on the Great Lawn in Central Park (just south of the 86th Street transverse), the Met will perform Gaetano Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor with Edoardo Müller conducting; Elizabeth Futral (Lucia), Frank Lopardo (Edgardo), Bruno Caproni (Enrico), Dimitri Kavrakos (Raimondo), Diane Elias (Alisa), Charles Reid (Arturo), Eduardo Valdes (Normanno). And the weather looks like it'll be good, so pack a picnic and bring your blanket and enjoy.

A tale of two fish

There's a great article in today's Boston Globe about the grand striped bass and the lowly bluefish.

The striped bass had just woken up from a long, cold winter and Buddy was in a good mood. He told me he'd taken 35 stripers earlier in the week.

"What about bluefish?" I asked. "Are the bluefish in yet?"

Vanderhoop's face darkened. "Yes," he said. "Unfortunately."

After many summers of enduring the lowly bluefish for dinner (topped with butter, breadcrumbs, and lemon and baked in the oven by my grandmother), I've grown to love it in adulthood. When it's freshly-caught, it can't be beat. So moist and flavorful because it is rich in oil, it's assertive on the plate and doesn't take to fancifying with all sorts of sauces and whoop-dee-doo. Grilled, baked, or smoked, bluefish may be my favorite fish. I'm glad to see it getting some attention, but I, like the author, don't want to see it get too popular. Let them eat striper, I say.

Media That Matters Film Festival

The third annual Media That Matters Film Festival is now online and all the films are available for view. The Festival, "celebrates films, videos, and new media that inspire people to speak out and take action for social change." I had the honor of serving on the jury for this year's Festival and it was a pleasure to view all the films.

The ones that have been selected are really amazing and eye-opening works of art, and I highly recommend you take the time to not only view them, but to do something about the issues that move you. The Festival site makes it easy for you by highlighting actions you can take related to the films you're viewing (e.g. send a letter to congress, donate to organizations, etc.)

The Festival will be online for the next year and will also be traveling around the US to various cities, beginning this weekend with an installation at the Walter Reade Theatre at NYC's Lincoln Center from June 13 - 15. Enjoy the films and be sure to check out one called "Vision Test" which was awared the Jury Award.

Do you love Led Zeppelin?

How The West Was Won by Led ZeppelinIf so, stop everything you're doing right now and go get How The West Was Won. It's 3 CDs worth of live recordings from 1972 shows in Long Beach and Los Angeles, CA. Don't be turned off by past live horrors like the Song Remains the Same, this is outstanding. I've been listening non-stop and it's so good, filled with crazy improvisations and bluesy rocking. "Whole Lotta Love" goes for more than 20 minutes and at this writing it has 141 reviews at Amazon with an average of five (out of five) stars. We've got it on repeat here at the office and we're rocking out so much listening to it that we're contemplating exchanging the desks for bean bag chairs, covering the large warehouse windows with tapestries, hanging the beads, and packing the bong. From now on, we'll be coding by the light of the lava lamp. [muchas gracias a Jake]

An open letter to people with car alarms

Dear automotive owner,

If you happen to have a vehicle whose feature set includes a theft deterrent device, please ensure that said device turns off after, like, ten seconds of beeping. Because otherwise, on hot days such as today when I have my window open and your car is beeping and beeping for many minutes, it is possible that a large rock may tumble from its resting place on my windowsill (on the fourth floor) and (mind you, by no ill will of its own, but simply guided by the cruel force of gravity) smash your stupid beeping car to bits. That is, if you're inclined to park at the lot on the corner of White and Church.

Yours truly,


P.S. To those guests who frequent the Tribeca Grand Hotel, please consider closing your curtains when you are, as they say, "in the buff." To the gentleman staying on the seventh floor yesterday afternoon, thanks for the show. We suffered a 50% decrease in productivity as you pranced before us in all your manly glory. Please come back again soon. Tribeca welcomes you!

LES farmer's market

This summer, the Lower Eastside Girls Club will be hosting a farmer's market every Saturday (beginning June 28th) from 10 AM - 6 PM at Ave. D, between 7th and 8th Streets. There will also be a festival stage featuring, "workshops in arts and crafts, dance, yoga, spoken word, puppet making, cooking demonstrations, story telling and much more TBA." They're looking for volunteers to help out, if you're interested, contact information is here. The Lower Eastside Girls Club is a great organization and I highly encourage you to support it any way you can, through volunteering, donations, or simply shopping for veggies at the market this summer.

Garden update

tomato plant on fire escape


seedlings of cypress vine and morning glory

Little seedlings of cypress vine and morning glory. Boy do these fellas grow fast! They were planted less than a week ago, now look at them!

A car alarm ban?

Aaron writes to report that the City Council is considering a ban on car alarms. Woo hoo, I hope this passes. I mean when was the last time a car alarm stopped a theft? Like 1983?

Yay! Garden awards

I'm Urban Garden of the Day. I'm so proud! And I'll try to post some more photos soon, you should see those climbers, they've sprouted already and are growing like crazy! They really enjoyed the sunshine yesterday.

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