All posts by Randy

Train Etiquette – A Case Study

I’m currently on a semi-express to Stamford which makes about seven stops. I got on an earlier train because I figured it couldn’t hurt to get to work a little early – mistake one I guess, but there’s a really attractive woman that takes this train now-a-days… wears Movado and Coach – two of my favourite brands – and flip flops with a gold toe ring. It’s hard to find normal people on the train lately, much less a kindred spirit, so I figure it’s well worth the extra seven minutes of my morning, and who knows how long she’ll be on this train, so yay me – I caught the earlier train. Anyway, after the first stop, the bulk of the PTA got on board.
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Welcome to Yankee Stadium

This is a Rant that has been about three years in the making. It’s not so much a Rant, either, as it is an answer to “who designed this stadium and where are the bloody ushers?!” while sitting in the box sections of Yankee Stadium. See, this weekend was my first home game in a while (as per normal, they lost) so I was “re-introduced” to some things after about a month of not seeing the boys play live. The trip to the Bronx was per normal – I take the Merritt to the Hutch to the Cross County to the Major Deagan and *zoop* right into the Stadium parking lot. This beats the piss outta sitting in the normal five mile back up of the George Washington Bridge if you take i-95. In fact, were it not for this traffic pattern, there’s no way I would have agreed to the Saturday season ticket package that I signed on for; 12 games a season is good times but if it consistently takes three hours to get to the stadium, then it’s bollocks.
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iPod version 1.2 + Calendar

Got iPod 1.2? If you don’t you can upgrade either with a Mac or a PC. The first release from Apple was the 1.2 OS X based Upgrader. This is in a new format exclusively for Mac’s OS version 10, or higher. Shortly there after, they posted a release of the Firmware Upgrader for version 9.x of the OS. This is the version that most PC users are using to get the 1.2 version of the Firmware onto their iPod. Of course the new iPods already come with 1.2, so if you’re just buying an iPod now, you’re already all set. If not, I recommend the new version of the Firmware – they’ve added a bit of stuff to the iPod with this release.
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“The Garden State” DOT can suck my left testicle

Jersey has always seemed to be the topic of many “state” related jokes. I once thought it was because those of us in the Northeast needed a state to pick on – that maybe it wasn’t as bad as everyone seemed to make it out to be. The pot shots at toxic waste, oil refineries, and other such industrial scars couldn’t all be true. The Sopranos are “from” there, after all – who doesn’t like Tony, besides the FBI? Granted the women are known some how maintaining the big Texas style, Aquanet enhanced hairstyles, but not all the jokes can be true. Having spend about ten hours in the Garden State, I’m inclined to believe anything bad, that someone says about NJ. After all, and I’ve said this before, a cliche becomes a cliche for a reason.
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Boink Boinkity Boink Boink Boink

It seems to me that one of the on going themes of this site are the Rants against stupidity. What exactly is stupidity? To me, it’s something that runs contrary to common sense. It’s one thing to break with traditional views or to “go against the grain” but I’m talking about obvious (sometimes even painfully so) stuff. For example, if you were to go into your boss’ office, declare that your job sucks ass and throw a monitor to the floor, while dancing in glee at the shower of sparks that you’ve created, this make you unique (and my hero!). However, when you later find yourself fired and possibly arrested, but you don’t know why, well that’s stupidity.
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got airport security?

Today I heard on a local radio station that there was a new policy going into effect at CT’s own Bradley International Airport; BDL was to be tested along with a few other airports as part of a new airport security process. For those of you that aren’t from the northeast, BDL is a small but international airport – nothing that’s even 1/4 as big as JFK or LGA in New York nor Logan in Boston, but it does get some traffic. For example, when a jet as large and as fast as the Concorde is diverted from the NYC or Boston airports for whatever reason, BDL will get it. Since it’s got all of the international procedures in place and the fact that jets of these speeds require longer runways, BDL is perfect – the place is surround by tobacco farms and a Honda factory building, it’s so rural. It does get all of the normal airport traffic of the major carriers and some independent, but for the most part it’s a nice small quiet airport.
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I’ve been trying out this particular product for a while now, waiting for it to screw up – it’s rare that I get pleasantly surprised by an application. First, what is StyleXP? Simply put, it allows you to apply a “skin” to Windows XP. What’s a skin? I know you won’t ask that, so lets move along. Now some background. For years, there’s been applications that would allow you to change the way your Windows desktop looked and worked – applications would take over the Window itself, or offer a shell replacement, and that would allow you to put a custom look and feel on your desktop. The most commercial and memorable one, to me anyway, was Norton Navigator for Windows 95 – and it nominally sucked.
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I hate this! I had a perfectly good Rant all in my head this morning, probably from watching Good Day NY – they tend to have a story or two a week that sets me off – and I completely for got what it was! It just popped into my head and then got washed out by a venti iced chai tea latte at Starbucks. I’m at a total loss! If I ever remember it, I’ll get it in here, but it’s probably gone forever. Anyway on non-Rant unrelated note, the last of the porn shops, Peep-o-rama on 42nd Street and Times Square is being closed. It has been there for as long as I can remember – call it a testimony to former mayor Rudy Guliani. I can’t say I’m overly thrilled with the last “landmark” going, but I also love the “new” Times Square so it’s all good, I ‘spose – besides, porn is probably cheaper online these days.

Warning: Road Rage Ahead

Let me dispel a myth straightaway: I don’t have road rage. In fact, I’m usually anti-rage when I’m behind the wheel. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I can get just as frustrated as the next driver, but I don’t suffer from this white fire of rage that burns through all reason, that causes people to hit other people with their cars, or shooting people indiscriminately, or stalking people that once tailgated me. If anything, if given the choice between “normal” living and driving, I’m more prone to have rage in the day to day issues… this is usually a good thing because if I did suffer from the typical issue of road rage, there would have been a statewide Maxima hunt already.
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Hey, can I bum a patch off ya?

I’m a logical mammal. Too much so, probably. Like right now, I’m on the train with my earphones cranked so loud it hurts, and yet I can still hear the annoyingly loud people that are sitting across the aisle from me. Logically, it would be easier to smack the offending party upside the head with a fiberglass fishbilly, resulting in a resounding and self-satisfying *thud*. Ethically, morally, and legally this is impractical. OK, well maybe just legally as the other two -ly words there are subjective; I know “legally” has some staying power with me because holding cells are no fun at all.
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iPod Saga, Part 3: The Happy Dance of Joy!

Well, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t get service from online companies. There might be a great deal of slackers out there, but PCConnection is not one of them! I gave them a call about the new news from Apple on the iPod line and the new price differences that are going on out there. I first called Apple retail, just to check to see if they had any avenues to go through. They were very polite and very sympathetic but there wasn’t anything they could do – this was expected.
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Sending Contacts to iPod

PC-based iPod owners, here’s a tip for you. As I’m sure you know, 1.1 of the iPod software can store contacts as part of it’s storage. They show up in the menu as a storage item; depending on your software, you may or may not even have automatic synchronization for the contacts. I didn’t want anything automatic, of course being an untrusting Geek, so I wanted to figure out to get my contacts on the device on my own. It’s simple actually: the iPod wants vCards (.vcf’s) and Outlook can export them, if you ask it nicely.
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iPod Part 2: The Jolly Rogering

If Moore’s Law is something that can be proved to be correct every six months by new CPU designs and speeds, then Randy’s Law of Technology can also be proved to be correct randomly throughout the years. What’s Randy’s Law of Technology? Steve, of fame, first identified it: If there is a new or relatively successfully technological product on the market, and Randy should opt to buy it, Randy will be fucked by said purchase, within two months. No lie. It’s on going. The iPod is just the most recent, and some how more painful, proof of the Law.
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#1[T1:Starfire) Chat Room Drama

I know, two entries in two days – either I must be bored on the train or this week’s book is boring and I’m tired of sleeping through stations. Fact is that I wasn’t planning on another Rant so soon, but as usually, life throws a curve ball when you aren’t looking forward. Better a curve than a sinker or a slider, but still, it’s the randomus-interruptus that makes the world go round. Last night it was a chat room.
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Say Hello to iPod — Say Thank You to XPlay

The iPod is the coolest gizmo that I’ve seen in at least four years. I mean it’s incredible. Pricey? Sure. Snobby? Well yeah, since the iPod requires FireWire (rare on most PC’s) and iTunes2 which requires Mac OS 9 or higher only – the $399-$499 price tag doesn’t help any either. Elegant? You better believe it. So what make it so good? Design. No other way to describe it. IBM had a spurt of great design some time in the 90’s. Remember the butterfly keyboard? Great idea, but who could have foreseen notebook screens growing to 14″ and 15″, allowing a near full size keyboard? And the TouchPoint (or whatever they called it) – that mini-joystick in the center of a keyboard that buried the trackball but got itself buried by the touch pad common on most notebooks today.
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