General Venting. I’m getting old.

This is a really interesting interview with the guy who wrote this book

There’s another view of Web 2.0 evangelists which I call ‘Why not?’ For example, ‘Why not turn up at Grand Central Station wearing underpants in a big Flash Mob?’

But I don’t think ‘Why Not?’ is good enough. Things need to have a purpose. If you have a project or a purpose, you can use the medium to achieve that. With no ideas, no project, you have nothing. The evangelists simply believe can use this metaphysical glow of this medium to woo people.

People forget the world’s first Flash Mob in 2003, organised by Bill Wasik, was a joke. It was a joke on the gullibility of New York hipsters who would react to any kind of electronic information, and do anything you told them. [From ‘Like pedos in a playground’ – the media and Web 2.0 • The Register]

I’m not really down on Web 2.0; moreso I’m down on technology for technology’s sake. There’s a difference between doing something that’s cool, and doing something that everyone ought to do.

In some cases, experience and limiting access to channels isn’t a bad thing. The most difficult part of any kind of freedom is self-control

Google Sync

Hmm – google book search works with the iPod Touch, but not Google Sync. I’m kind of bummed about it.

Google Sync allows you to get your Gmail Contacts and Google Calendar events to your phone. Once you set up Sync on your phone, it will automatically begin synchronizing your address book and calendar in the background, over-the-air, so you can attend to other tasks. Sync uses push technology so any changes or additions to your calendar or contacts are reflected on your device in minutes.

Official Google Mac Blog: What’s New for iPhone

Train in Vain.

Why on earth can’t I print out Amtrak tickets from my computer? This is just absolutely and completely unacceptable.

I’m trying to take a day trip from Mystic, CT to Boston, MA on short notice. It’d be exceptionally convenient for me to take the 6:05AM train from Mystic.


Why? Because I can’t print a ticket from the online reservation system.

And I can’t buy one at the station, because there isn’t a ticket counter, and the ticketing machine is inside the station, which is only open from 10AM to 4 PM.

And, apparently, I can’t pick up the ticket on the train, because they apparently don’t do that anymore.


I’m trying to keep a car off the road, but Amtrak is trying to stifle me at every opportunity.


I broke down and called the Amtrak customer service line (1-800-USA-RAIL). After wading through the phone voice menu, I finally asked to speak to an agent, who was able to give me a Reservation Number and a Boarding Number with which I can purchase my ticket on the train. So, I am taking the train.

But, were it not for a real will not to drive, I wouldn’t be.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that if We (as a nation) really want to encourage alternate modes of transportation, We really need to design out the obstacles. ESPECIALLY when trying to change thought among users.

Postscript 2 (Thanks, Deene, for spurring another rant):

I’ve got one better –
There’s a toll bridge going from the mainland into Newport. Since it opened in 1960something, it was tokens. For the last 20 years or so, it’s been $2 cash toll, or you can buy tokens at 11/$10 at the toolbooth (~91 cents/crossing) or for 60/$50 (~83 cents/crossing) if you go into the office. No proof of Rhode Island residency required.
They converted to EZPass this winter. For RI residents, it’s a bargain – 81 cents per crossing. For EZ Pass holders, it’s $1.75/crossing. But, they’ve got a commuter program, whereby if you do 30 crossings in 30 days (working say 3 out of 4 weeks), the toll is only 91 cents/crossing. Here’s the problem, though (I live in Connecticut)- I take a commuter van about 3 days per week, and travel a fair amount. Which means that I get screwed on days that I drive to the office now – paying $3.50 instead of $1.80 each roundtrip. Driving 2 days/week (8 days/month), it’d be cheaper for me to cross the bridge twice (2 roundtrips) every day I drive and hit the 30 crossings wicket.
For carpoolers, it’d be even worse – two folks sharing a ride would have to use the same car every day instead of splitting up wear and tear, as Rhode Island has cameras to bust people using illegal transponders (compare transponder to license plate). It’d be impossible to share the rides, unless you did it on a monthly basis.
Grrr. Why stick it to part-time car-poolers, van-poolers, and public transit riders?


So, I’m all kinds of freaked out. Next post is 1000 posts to the blog. Granted, some of them were from my experiment with, but I’m willing to bet that most of them are real posts, the kind that I actually put some thought into. And MAN – they go back almost 5 years. Crazy. Wonder what I could have done with all that lost productivity? Probably something worthwhile. 5 years time and tens of thousands of words – isn’t that what they call a PhD?

Anyway, the navel gazing will be the next post. Today, I’d like to talk about 10. Specifically yesterday’s 10.

I’d had a rough week running. The cold finally got to me, so I managed exactly no (zero, zip, zilch, nada) runs the last week of January. It was cold, there was ice, I was busy, and generally just a big fat hairy wimp. (I swam and rode the darn trainer), but didn’t run.

Yesterday, though, was just too good to pass up. Temps were well up into the 40’s, the sun was shining, and there were no excuses. So, after a little bowling with the littlest Jank while the bigger baby Jank was at a birthday party, I strapped ’em on, grabbed the camera, and headed out to do Missy’s 10 mile loop.

I generally do my longer runs focused on a lap of River Road and Rt 27 in Stonington – nice and flat, plenty scenic. Missy, however, isn’t content with the flat, easy route – she’s all about running the little hill we’ve got near the house.

So, I decided that since I’d been a pansy (man, I cannot wait for spring) all week, I went out with every intention of doing the tough route. And I did. Pictures follow:

The cemetery on River Road fascinates me.


The river’s all iced up. Folks were playing hockey. I’d never seen anyone out on the river during the winter before this cold snap.


These next three are down in Noank at the geographic low point in the run. If someone wants to stitch these together into a banner for my website, I think it’d be pretty darn sweet.


Now that I post them, I realize I left out the railroad tracks between the middle and last picture. Rats, guess I ought to go run it again

The high point of the run was about mile 9. Up until I stopped for these pictures, I felt fine. Then, the last mile really, really blew.


But, I gutted it out. If I can survive this week, I ought to be fine. My pastor almost ran me over between the low and high points; called me and chewed me out for not wearing bright enough clothes.

Now, what to write about for another 1,000 posts?