Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
I don’t know if anyone noticed that the latest Mad Men episode (413 – Tomorrowland) ends with Sony and Cher’s “I Got You Babe” – a clear reference to Groundhog Day. What an awesome television show.
I present: an on-line internet-based album of digital photographs of our trip to India last month.
This set is a mix of photos from Greg’s Nikon D90 and my (hand-me-down from Greg) Nikon D60. Photographers varied.
Combining my love of info-graphics (especially hand-drawn) and Star Wars, xkcd has produced what it calls “movie narrative charts,” partially represented below. From the chart, “The horizontal axis is time. The vertical grouping of the lines indicates which characters are together at a given time.” Click for the full version, which also includes The Lord of the Rings, Primer, and Twelve Angry Men.
I was hoping to have pictures and video of the Halloween dress rehearsal from last night, but there seems to be some delay. In the meantime, here’s a hint:
Click the picture to the left to see a new gallery of photos that Nancy (Christie’s mom) took this week during her visit. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but never got around to it. Thanks, N!
Today was the planting: just a jalepeno plant from the farmer’s market. I’m going to make the spiciest pickles you’ve ever tasted.
Tomorrow is the brewing. I felt nostalgic for my days in college, when brewing beer was at once a bonding activity and end-run around the Law. Neither of those things is really the point these days, but in order to recapture that youthful feeling I “invested” in the Deluxe Beer Making Kit from the local homebrew supply shop. Really, you can consider it an investment – a full batch of beer yields about five gallons, or about 50-odd 12-ounce bottles. A pre-constructed set of ingredients costs between $30 and $35. At worst, that’s about $4 per six-pack, give or take. Add in the sense of pride, and the fact that people are utterly amazed at its homemade origin and generally want to see what all the fuss is about, and the Price Per Util is substantially smaller than with store-bought brews.
The start-up cost (equipment, books) is approximately $130. If we say that I pay an average of $8 for a util-equivalent six-pack bought at the store, and that I pay an average of $32 for each batch of ingredients, and that a batch contains 8 six-packs (a conservative estimate), then I’ll break even after about four batches ($130 + $32 * x = $64 * x –> x = 4.06). Supposing I consume 3 six-packs per month, that’s about a year’s worth of beer.
Anyway, if I’m successful, it’s another reason to visit.
I am returned from London, a city which I find impossible to navigate, as everybody seems to have a different opinion on the most efficient path from any point to any other. It’s no wonder that Becker’s tube map design is so highly regarded and has lasted so long – it provides an ounce of clarity to a twisted system.
Waiting to board my flight home, I listened to the local news anchor note that the BEA had revised their US GDP growth figure or the fourth quarter of 2008 from negative 6.1% to negative 6.2% (or thereabouts). What they failed to mention was that the US GDP did not decline by 6.2% in the fourth quarter, but rather it declined by the seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 6.2%.
The difference is material: an annualized rate means the amount of decline if the economy kept the same trajectory for an entire year. Since we’re talking about a quarter of a year, we’re talking about a 1.55% decline, not a full 6.2%. 1.55% of the US GDP is nothing to scoff at, but certainly less alarming, numerically.
Furthermore, seasonal adjustment mean they subtract the average amount of growth due to seasonal fluctuation. In the case of the fourth quarter, this means they spread out the Christmas shopping spree across the rest of the year. So the nominal fall in GDP is likely less than 1.55%.
This is still a remarkable decline in such a short period of time, and something to be taken seriously. But we should understand exactly what these numbers are that talking heads throw at us.
I’m off to London tomorrow for a big three-day (and night) pow-wow next week on how to prioritize the next two years of product development and the tens of thousands of developer-hours up for grabs. Then back home for a few days of recovery before jetting off in the other direction to meet Greg in Bangkok for a 10-day adventure.
I’ll do my best to get things posted on this here blog, especially pictures. I can’t promise it will be timely, though – you might see a flurry of posts after I get back from each trip.
My renewed passport made it to me with time to spare, but the photograph is so horrifying that I can’t believe any customs officer would really believe it belongs to me.
I’ve been a miserable blogger… it’s a difficult thing to integrate into a busy day.
I was excited to get my beta invitation to daytum last week – see my first attempts here: daytum.com/nate_c.
Life is now a series of meetings interrupted by weekends and vacations.
I’m back today from a relatively long (5-day) trip to New York. I think I’m jet-lagged in two directions, as well as still getting over the problems of airplane germs, long days of meetings, long nights of drinking (and bowling!), and short nights of sleep. On the bright side, these meetings felt genuinely productive (as opposed to many others) and I’m starting to feel like we’ll actually achieve something close to our goals.
I missed the inauguration, but made up for that with some quality time with Philippe and Dylan (some old college buddies). Philippe and I went to see Waltz with Bashir – an utterly amazing film, an animated pseudo-documentary about a man trying to remember his experiences (specifically, a genocidal attack against Muslims in a refugee camp in Lebanon) as an Israeli soldier during their war with Lebanon in the 1980s. Totally unexplainable – be ready for some rather brutal emotions.
My favorite take on the flubbed inaugural oath is Steven Pinker’s Oaf of Office.
Also, I saw Janeane Garofalo at my gate in JFK, but she disappeared before I could get a picture with her.