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Archive for March, 2004

Those fcuking spammers [sic]

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I hate them.

Hey, if you guys spot any comment spam on my site, can you let me know? Today was a bad day, and I had tons of it splattered all over the place.

I put in a little hack to foil spambots. It should work; I haven’t received guestbook spam since I modified the script there, either.

UPDATE Looks like these guys are spamming manually. Many of them are coming in from Russia. Who has time to manually spam web sites? That can’t be very cost effective.

New York, NY | link | trackb | 11 comments » | Mar 31, 2004 21:26:14

Jerry @ Salt Bar

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sock puppets

I haven’t been taking many photos because the Canon SD10 I’ve been using came with a defective battery charger. A quick e-mail to Canon support solved that problem (it took two weeks), and I’m now back in business. For some reason I don’t feel like lugging the big camera around these days.

I finally saw Jerry last night; I met him and his co-workers Anne and Andrew in the East Village for dinner at Salt Bar, where we consumed many bacon-wrapped dates. All three of them work for Queer Eye. Jerry and Anne had just spent the entire day on set in Chelsea, and it was neat to hear anecdotes about working for the show. They joked around and laughed about work during the entire meal, and in between guffaws, I kept thinking about what I’m doing (right now) compared to what they do. At one point in the evening, Jerry acted out a hypothetical scouting scene involving a Hummer, a cigar, brandy, and the word, “Fabulous!” It was pretty damn funny.

I sometimes forget that life is about compromise.

I fantasize about having a work-related environment filled with strange and diverse people, where 1) the work is fulfilling, and 2) the work itself doesn’t involve intimate bonding with an office chair. The software thing doesn’t quite fulfill those criteria. :) We have lots of strange people in the industry, but the “solitude with a computer” thing is no good, and let’s face it: if you’re in an enviroment with really good software engineers, they aren’t going to be as … well-rounded as they could be. :) [see some photos]

New York, NY | link | trackb | 5 comments » | Mar 31, 2004 10:42:44

FuseMail, Chinese Journals

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If you have multiple e-mail addresses and check mail both with a client and on the web from multiple locations, go sign up for Fusemail service right now. You can try it for 60 days for free. It’s amazing — exactly what I was looking for. Fantastic IMAP speed, good IMAP web-client, and automatic synchronization with Outlook’s calendar, contacts, journal, notes, and tasks. I don’t know if my Palm will sync to it yet — but that’s ok. The service is amazing. Thank you, Peter, for discovering it. :)

UPDATE Do not try to use thousands of folders with IMAP. You will pay dearly, as I am doing now. Also, Fusemail doesn’t support Outlook categories, and you may have some problems copying all of your data over, if you have a lot. For example, I tried copying all of my calendar appointments over, and some of them made it over, but not all of them. Looks like it’s a relatively new service with some quirks that have to be ironed out.

UPDATE 2 Their Outlook plug-in is only useful if you want to add large amounts of frustration to your life. I think they need another few months of QA.

Hey — can someone out there give me a quick summary of what needs to be done to get a web journal to support traditional Chinese character sets (not in the interface — content only)? And can I use MT or WordPress? Thank you. :)

UPDATE Alex tells me: If they are going to use Traditional Chinese [with WordPress], it will work, but you have make sure the charset is set to utf-8. Further testing shows that it publishes fine, but will not edit properly, so all entry editing will have to be done by cut & paste to and from something like Microsoft Word.

New York, NY | link | trackb | 4 comments » | Mar 29, 2004 22:58:00

After 6.5 years

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An e-mail from my ex-girlfriend from college just popped into my inbox. My response? My heart nearly stopped. Holy shit. Holy shit. Holy shit. — then back to normal. Remember: I tested zero in “F” in Myers-Briggs, and can sometimes turn all of “F” off, if I have to.

Her name came up last week when I was having dinner with Heidi Hau, so I decided to shoot off a quick e-mail to see if she was on the other side. Only three of my friends have seen her since things ended (with my heart lying on the ground, trampled into oblivion), so I had nearly no information about what she had been up to for the last five years. (read more »)

New York, NY | link | trackb | 4 comments » | Mar 29, 2004 14:48:49


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How can Dvorak’s Piano Quartet in E-flat, Op. 87, open with such horribly inanity and at the same time encompass such a beautiful Lento? It evokes both love and hate when I think about it.

New York, NY | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Mar 29, 2004 08:43:55

Beneath the Sea 2004

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I just posted a report of the Beneath the Sea 2004 Expo. ’twas a fun day, and I saw lots o’ people I know.

New York, NY | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Mar 27, 2004 21:25:26


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It’s pronounced ‘pik-ch&r — not ‘pi-ch&r. And no, I don’t care about your friend’s hair. Texas + Las Vegas + no respect + misuse of multi-syllabic words + general meat-headed-ness doesn’t make you charming. It’s 2:29pm already. Go home! You normally go home at 2pm. That’s 29 more minutes of Hell I’ve had to endure today. You’re like King of the Hill combined with Butthead, except that you’re definitely not making anyone laugh.

Update, Monday Mar 29 – He was quiet today until 11:15AM. I thought that maybe someone high on the totem pole had talked to him about office etiquette. Apparently not. I guess I (the damn ornamental [sic] sharing his cube space) will have to continue to be passive-aggressive.

Update, Thursday Apr 1 – On the phone, verbatim: “Hey dude. You know, I’ve been doin’ some stuff. You know, lots of stuff and stuff. Cool, man. I’ve been busy, with lots of projects and stuff. You know, some stuff. So, like, yeah, man. You know, it’s cool and stuff. I’m tellin you, it’s the only way I can be, man. No, man, like, I’ve had, like, freakin’, like just goin’ out an’ havin’ some fun and stuff. That some shit, man.”

Update, Monday Apr 5 – It occurs to me that as the I.T. guy in an organization, you are exempt from all the rules that govern the less privileged. For example, you can poke holes all over the firewall so you can use IM clients all day long. You can also FTP and SSH. Ahhhh, the access I so desperately crave! — so easily configured, but forever out of my reach.

Hell, with Las Vegas | link | trackb | 4 comments » | Mar 26, 2004 11:32:11

Contacting me…

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1) I may be logged into IM clients, but if it’s during East Coast working hours, it’s just my computer at home that’s logged in. Therefore, there is a high likelihood that I will not respond to IM during working hours.

2) My phone doesn’t ring reliably here in NY. I might not pick up, but I’ll probably call back eventually. :)

3) E-mail is piling up. Sorry. :(

New York, NY | link | trackb | no comments » | Mar 25, 2004 22:38:00

Fat Heads

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nyc anti-war rally

(Update: Photos posted. No good ones of me with no hair, yet. There is one in there, but I hate it.)

I’m impressed that there can be so much chatter over fat, skinny, and pea-sized heads! I “fixed” the problem, by the way. Instead of a fat head with hair, I now have a fat head with no hair. Meredith said that I look like Curious George, which I’ll take as a compliment. (It’s really among the highest of compliments when coming from someone with a sense of humor similar to my sister’s). (read more »)

New York, NY | link | trackb | 7 comments » | Mar 25, 2004 13:33:30

Heidi, Douglas, Shaved Beaver

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movie @ times square

I think I was at home, conscious, for all of two hours over the weekend. Heidi, Douglas, Tony‘s brother Scott, and my sister Wendy are all in town, so I spent much of the weekend wandering around with them (in various combinations) and eating. A bunch of us went out to see “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” which I thought was excellent. And for all you people who hate Jim Carey, you’re dumb you should give it a chance. But if you don’t like him, you clearly have never seen Dumb and Dumber, because it’s the best movie ever. (read more »)

New York, NY | link | trackb | 23 comments » | Mar 22, 2004 08:26:42

NYC Anti-War Rally

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nyc anti-war protest

On Saturday, Wendy and I joined Tony and Ai-jen and the people of color coalition to march in the anti-war rally in New York City. It wasn’t so much a march as it was a slow saunter down Madison Ave., but CAAAV and allied groups were very vocal and were even able to get active participation from some of the surrounding folk. We walked from the New York Public Library until around 30th St., where the masses around us just stopped and mingled — for hours. All along Madison Ave. there were PA systems set up so we could listen to the speakers, who were speaking from a place shrouded in mystery. No one seemed to know where the actual speaking was taking place.

I’ve read estimates that 30,000 to 100,000 people participated in New York — a far cry from the over one million protesters in Rome, but still a formidable number.

It was interesting: the whole event sort of felt like Halloween, instead of a protest. Many people took advantage of the occasion to dress up and run around. But at least things were civil. [see some photos]

New York, NY | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Mar 22, 2004 08:10:22


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I’m either still disoriented from that minty liquor I had last night, or the miso soup I just drank was drugged. I’m having balance problems!

New York, NY | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Mar 19, 2004 10:52:53

Babbo NYC

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after-dinner drink

Douglas David Seifert is in town for the Explorer’s Club annual dinner. In the last couple of years, I’ve been all over the place with Douglas: San Diego, San Francisco, Miami, Las Vegas, Kona, Antibes, and now, New York, and my strongest memories of Douglas involve guinea pigs and shark hunting (for photographs, of course) in clear Kona waters with Watt. Anyway, he managed to pull some strings to get us a reservation at Babbo, probably the most sought after booking in New York City — and for good reason, too. The food was AMAZING. That Mario Batali guy sure knows what he is doing. All of the flavers [sic] were strong and pure, each deserving of a dedicated sampling, alone. We ate a large appetizer sampler including fresh sardines, egg and asparagus, pork shoulder, salami, sausage, and lardo with fig sauce (yes, it is what it sounds like. i also liked the red wine mustard sauce and the pesto salsa), and beef cheek ravioli, sweetbreads, bucatini, lamb chops, and MORE. I haven’t been eating as much meat since the Vienna Teng-induced turkey cheeseburger fiasco, but I had to make an exception last night. And may God have mercy on the vegetarian who mistakenly orders sweetbread, which is actually the thalamus of some unknown animal (cow, it turns out. BSE horrors are going through my mind at this very moment…) [thanks for the correction, Kenny]. I know I should be avoiding cow in general — especially sesos — but I had to try it. They taste sort of like really good Chicken McNuggets.

I also had far too much to drink. First was a green apple juice mixed with some sort of sweet wine, followed by a glass of nice white wine, a bottle of rare, crazy-strong, port-like red wine (Douglas tells me that it was a bottle of Amarone-style Cabernet Franc: Quintarelli Alzero Cabernet ‘Ca Paletta’), and finally, Fernet Minta, a minty, syrupy after-dinner drink. Both of us stuffed ourselves so fat that we were unable to have dessert (probably for the best, as I was feeling pretty sick and drunk when I stumbled home at 12:45am, after over four hours at the dinner table). Thank you, Douglas. :)

Unrelated: there are a few photos here of the casting call for the Apprentice 2. I walked out of the subway yesterday and had to fight my way through a huge crowd of people and security lined up all the way down Wall St. [see some photos]

New York, NY | link | trackb | 10 comments » | Mar 19, 2004 09:16:10

Taiwanese Leaders Survive Assassination Attempt

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This is crazy! NYTimes article, today: “Taiwanese Leaders Survive Assassination Attempt“. My mother is over in Taiwan right now, campaigning for the elections. I hope everyone is ok.

New York, NY | link | trackb | 18 comments » | Mar 19, 2004 05:45:40


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I feel strange. I was speaking with Arnold Katz the other day, and he said, “I think multi-talented people have it harder than people with only one talent” (or something to that effect). I am not going to self-profess multi-talent, but I’m definitely feeling that sentiment these days. I can’t wait until I find something that is so overpowering that I willingly focus in on it and let go of everything else. (read more »)

New York, NY | link | trackb | 13 comments » | Mar 18, 2004 13:02:10

That fateful day (and more)

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I’ve been “on the road” in my current oxymoronic state of content instability for quite some time. My last real stable moment was around this time.

April 2, 2001: “… but while I’m young, with no roots, I’m going to explore and take risks that I won’t be able to take later on in life. I’m going to keep what I’m doing now a secret for now. :)”

And the secret I wasn’t going to share? It’s still a secret. You know why? Because I have no idea! I like to think of what I do as productive unemployment. I’m not really unemployed, but I often tell people I am, especially if I’m not feeling talkative.

In other breaking news, I spent 20 minutes this morning extracting a 1/2 centimeter-long splinter from my left heel. One shouldn’t be able to get splinters from the bedroom floor.

Before splinter extraction, I had wandered over to Arnold and David Katz’s studio to drop off a camera, and ended up spending an hour or so hanging out while they shot a bunch of models for an ad. What I learned: life must be strange for models. But it is nice to be around models sometimes. They’re like, pretty and stuff.

New York, NY | link | trackb | 4 comments » | Mar 17, 2004 13:09:43


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I’m wondering whether people who complain more have more problems in life. For example, the few people I know who really like to complain to customer service folk always seem to be on the phone, griping about whatever travesty is currently first on the list. I’m all for getting a better deal, but I will not complain for the sake of complaining. Chronic complainers have a shining aura of entitlement surrounding them. And sure — to shut them up, an extra perk or two may be granted by the supervising authority on the other end of the conversation (e.g. more minutes, a free month, a partial refund), but in return, a large part of their life is devoted to negativity and bitching.

And now, an exercise in hypocrisy: It’s annoying! Do it in private, please!

New York, NY | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Mar 17, 2004 08:55:07

Vienna Teng @ Joe’s Pub

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gig @ joe’s pub

As I mentioned previously, Vienna Teng was in town this evening for a show at Joe’s Pub, a fantastic venue on Lafayette, near Astor Place. The show started at 7pm even though it was listed at 7:30pm on her website; Stephen Clair opened for half an hour before Vienna’s set. I heard a venue employee say that all of the tickets had sold out long before the doors opened, and by 6:20pm, it was virtually impossible to find a place to sit down. A good-sized group of people I knew showed up to listen: Tony Lu, Pat Suh, Bobby, Peter and Karine Kim, David Katz, and Judy Fong.

Strangely, the venue didn’t feed the artists (who had just sold out every seat in the house), and after the show, they kept ushering the Alan-Lin-manned merch stand around the lobby and various other areas (complete with attached autographing fiend, Vienna Teng). Apparently, too many fans are a bad thing, and when you are done playing, everyone should just get out. But… yeah. It was a very nice venue despite that. I felt silly going up on stage for only two songs, but like last time, I had a lot of fun and was happy to be a part of it all. Marika and Alan are kicking ass these days! They sound great, and have really settled into their parts. Vienna seems to be recovering slowly from her laryngitis; she warmed up after playing My Media, and was able to continue with the rest of the songs — albeit without some of the nuance and tonal purity she normally attains during performance. I hope she manages to find some time to rest and heal. I still really enjoyed it, though. Full-band Vienna is a always a treat.

Post concert: wine at Von with Pat, Tony, Peter, and Karine, followed by a trek through the snow, and a late-night meal with Vienna and Alan. I completely submerged my shoes in a deceptively-deep street-corner puddle, and when they emerged from the nearly-frozen liquid, they still looked dry. Gortex is amazing.

OK. I’m tired, but I have no right to complain because I’m not headed to the airport in an hour, like Vienna is. Crazy musicians and their insane schedules. Good night! [see some photos]

More web coverage: [lele]

New York, NY | link | trackb | 6 comments » | Mar 16, 2004 22:58:15

Snow & Wind

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Snow is so novel! It flies down, sideways, upwards, in circles, with sheets and walls of it moving as units in layered direction out into the distance. At this very moment, it appears to be going diagonally upward.

However, observed novelty may wear off as I’m trudging uptown with my cello in couple of hours.

New York, NY | link | trackb | no comments » | Mar 16, 2004 10:37:25

You may feel sick

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Kenny posted a horrible photo of someone who somehow was impaled by a telephone pole.

Since he doesn’t have comments turned on, you can use this area for the comments. But I’m warning you. DO NOT look at the link if you can’t handle holes in peoples’ bodies. I’m serious. DO NOT LOOK if you can’t handle it! I have a strong stomach, and even I feel a little sick.

New York, NY | link | trackb | 9 comments » | Mar 15, 2004 22:34:39
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