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Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-06 12:24

When I wrote about Utopia Bagels yesterday, I forgot to mention that Whitestone is part of Queens. It's a weird thing, of the five boroughs of NYC, the oddball is Queens, where each neighborhood was once a town, and they kept it that way even when they all became part of Queens. So my parents' address was in Flushing, NY -- not Queens, NY as it would have been if we were in Brooklyn, The Bronx or Staten Island (actually not sure about Staten Island, it's the forgotten borough, more part of the Lost Cause of the Confederacy than the greatest city in the world). Manhattan is the other weird case for a different reason. You send your mail to Manhattanites to New York, NY -- in other words fuck the other boroughs, Manhattan is the real New York. In a city that's known for its self-centered arrogance, Manhattanites take it to the next level. Not only don't they acknowledge that the rest of the country exists, they don't even credit their fellow NYers. Gotta love it. πŸ˜„


Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-06 12:22

Wow I miss Summer Streets. On three Saturdays in August, in NYC, they close Park Avenue and 4th Avenue below it, all the way down to the Brooklyn Bridge -- and it's just for bikes and pedestrians. It's what NYC would be like if there were no cars.


Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-06 11:57

A reader thanked me for the tip about Olbermann. "With Maddow only one day a week, it's nice to know there is still a good, daily source of my kind of Snark and News available." My response: You're very welcome. But I think when you listen to Olbermann you'll realize as I did that Maddow wasn't cutting it. She stepped back because she lost her edge, she must've known it. I also think the MSNBC management must have been forcing her to not say the whole truth. Olbermann for now at least is unchained. But his show is owned by a big corporation so he'll probably eventually go stale too. But for now -- he's got it.


Another thing about New Yorkers

Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-06 14:19

You don't have to be Jewish.


Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-05 14:12

Everyone who reads my blog must listen to Keith Olbermann's new podcast. Start with the first episode. There's more to the history of the Civil War as he tells it. What the Confederacy did by seceding from the Union was quite similar to the January 6 attempted coup, but after the Civil War, we (ie the United States) made the same mistake the Bidens are making. They wanted to bring the Confederates themselves back into the country. So really it was no surprise that slavery continued, it was just a bit more complicated. When we prevail this time, when Trump is dead and gone, and his successors are a bit easier to shame, we must have a purging. With force. No more trying to love the rebels back into the country. Deport them any place that will have them. Offer them to Russia or Hungary. You want em? We don't. If not, build huge prison camps in remote parts of America. Life sentences with no parole. These people should not feel after all is said and done that they are part of America. They didn't love it, they left it, tried to destroy it, they do not get to come back and enjoy the benefits of living in a free society. It's their turn to really feel the pain.


Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-05 14:20

What made me think of this was a random experience while waiting for my order this morning at Utopia Bagels in Whitestone, NY. It's in the neighborhood I grew up in. The people behind the counter looked nothing like the people I grew up with, coming from the current working population of Queens, one of the most diverse places in the world. The night before I had gone to see the Mets beat the Atlanta Braves. This year's Mets are unusually competent. Anyway there was a man there, in the crowded bagel store, probably in his early 80s, wearing a rent-a-cop uniform. I thought he was one of the few people remaining from my time there. He looked like a drinker and smoker. He could have been one of my childhood friends' fathers. He picked me out and asked if I knew what he thought. I said nothing. He said "America matters, that's all." I mumbled quietly well we can agree to disagree. After that I avoided him, looked around, he and I were among the oldest people there. This, I thought, is the new Queens, we are part of the old (and I am long-gone, just back for the Mets game and the bagels). On the way out, on an impulse, I tapped his shoulder and said in a voice that I was sure he could hear, but not too loudly -- Black lives matter. I don't know why I said it, it probably only meant pain for this man. He is a human vestige. So old and obviously tired, but he still had to do a job probably no one else wanted. I think what he was really saying to me was hey brother, you look a bit like me, maybe we agree us white people matter. But he couldn't say it that plainly.


Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-06 02:43

I snapped this picture of the scene at Utopia Bagels at 6:30AM this morning.


Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-05 14:34

I got a Lox and cream cheese on an everything bagel at Utopia Bagels and ate it on the drive home. It was heaven. I will remember that bagel as long as I live. Also the store gets its name from the street it's on, Utopia Parkway. It's just an avenue, not a major thoroughfare, not what in NY you'd call a parkway. It winds north-south through this part of Queens. I always felt privileged to live near Utopia. Wikipedia says where the name came from, an attempt to create a utopian community in Queens. There's no mention of Utopia Bagels in the Wikipedia article, but there should be. πŸ˜„


Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-05 14:44

I think Twitter, with Musk largely history, can become a stronger company than they've ever been. The way forward imho is to focus on the platform, so lots of apps can be made to run on it, not just one way to use its capabilities. Lots of user experiences. That's something none of the other social media platforms have let happen. Amazingly in 2022, while there are standards for images, movies -- everything but simple documents, with titles, unlimited length, simple styling, links and enclosures. That's where I'd like to see Twitter be the leader. Be the world-scale distribution system for simple text documents. Lead by filling the void. No standards bodies. PS: I bought a small amount of TWTR stock a few years back and continue to hold it. PPS: I basically wrote this business plan for the Apple of 1996.


Supercharger visit

Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-06 02:30

Today was the first time I went to a Tesla supercharger.

I thought I could make it home with 6% to spare, but my Tesla insisted that I should play it safe and get a charge at the charger in New Paltz, NY. Turns out it was at a place I knew well, the Plaza Diner. When I was 17 I hitchhiked up to New Paltz every Friday that summer and often would end up there on my way.

The Plaza Diner, New Paltz, NY.

I was amazed at how fast their charger runs. It almost felt like filling up a gas-powered car. I was also impressed that there was nowhere to piss. How can you have a place like this with no way for a human to evacuate while the car fills up. I was tempted to just do it, but I held on and waited till I got home.


Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-04 15:18

A new term: "alitoist." He's a politician now. A neophyte. His name should be as infamous as McCarthy as in McCarthyism.


Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-04 15:25

BTW, here's a screen shot of what Google Trends returns for alitoist today. Let's see if anything happens here. πŸ˜„


Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-04 14:56

I am generally critical of the substance and format of cable news, but β€” the opening segment on Joy Reid’s show last night about women and abortion after Kansas was outstanding, deep, emotionally evocative, inspiring. The Dobbs decision, however awful, enslaving and life-endangering of American citizens, has a silver lining. It can stir us to act in care of each other, across all supposed divisions, find the American within each of us. We are still unitable if you push us hard enough.


Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-04 14:58

Today I coined a new term -- News Product. A product made out of news. I keep looking for something better, but in this case needed a descriptive term.


Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-04 15:23

This is funny. I've been programming almost 50 years if you can believe that. I do all my programming in an outliner so I can put as much text as I want into the code and it's still as simple as it was at the beginning.


Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-03 21:19

If the Democrats enjoyed politics even a little, we would be experiencing a huge wave of euphoria right now. We'd all be standing up in praise of Kansas, making the next state want to be next for FOMO. We'd be talking about what we can do next to make the US come together.


Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-03 15:02

The other day I read that Scoble thinks Tesla's way of playing music from an iPhone is as good as CarPlay or Android Auto. At first I couldn't think why that was wrong, but I just went down to the car (a Model Y) to set it up to work with the new Pixel 6 Pro I got yesterday, and remembered. When you're playing music on a phone in a Tesla, you have to use the UI of the phone to control the music. With CarPlay it's integrated with the display of the car, and it's simplified to be like a car control. And it's easy to switch apps, again using the UI of the CarPlay software, integrated into the car. It's so dangerous to do the same with the Tesla system that I never do it unless the car is stopped. The difference is integration. I wrote about this when I was first transitioning from CarPlay to Telsa, and it's a serious problem for Tesla that they don't have an app ecosystem, and unless they do a deal with Apple and Google, they probably aren't going to have one. It's no small thing to build one of those, they might have done it when they had the electric car business to themselves, but that's already past.


Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-03 13:44

The news people report decidedly that American is totally fucked, and we think they have some way of measuring fucked-ness, but yesterday the people of Kansas proved that we're not quite as fucked as they say. Another observation. If the Supreme Court is now made up of unelected politicians (it is), they are really shitty politicians. If they were smart they would have done the Dobbs thing after the midterms.


Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-03 12:38

I have a new Android phone this morning. One of the first things I did was transfer some music to the phone. I have to say it worked much better than transferring to my iPhone. From a Mac, which didn't work at all. I even bought a new Mac just for that purpose. Still couldn't get it to work. What's wrong with this picture? On the other hand, how do you play music on this Android wonder? All the apps begin with Google followed by three dots. Hmm. Which one plays music? I can't tell. Didn't they user-test this stuff at all?? I found an app that opens data files and when I opened one of the MP3's it figured it out and launched something that would play it. Now I wonder how that's going to work on my Tesla? We'll find out!


Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-02 21:41

Jon Stewart: "Only monsters would insist that doctors wait until women are so sick that they might die before they can receive appropriate medical treatment, which includes abortions.”


Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-02 12:41

I've been working outside an office for over 30 years, except for a brief period when I had an office at Berkman. Because I had the office, I was able to get an experienced radio team (Lydon and McGrath) to work with me on this idea I had for audio blogging (which became podcasting) and one of my colleagues suggested that blogging would work well with politics, which got the bootstrap of political blogging going just in time for the 2004 presidential election. So -- having an office and using it is good. In my experience, things get created that way that otherwise wouldn't.


Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-02 12:11

I mostly watch, read and listen to news to keep track of how they're screwing us.


Olbermann's new podcast

Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-02 16:38

I listened to Keith Olbermann's podcast today.

Wow. It's a reboot of his old MSNBC show. I missed this so much.

MSNBC is so much lamer without him.

I rate it must-listen.


Feature request for Amazon Music

Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-02 16:05

I live in an area with no cell service.

It takes about ten minutes to drive to where there is service.

I'd like to have my queue not run out for ten minutes.

Could it learn?

PS: My phone has lots of memory.


Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-01 13:30

By far the best thing on Facebook are the "On this day" memories. I guess that means Facebook is winding down?


Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-01 13:29

Trump is old news, really tired and troubled. The enthusiasm is gone, they would vote for him if he was nominated, but they'd rather have a fresh Trump -- Desantis. Not good news for Trump-the-person, but nothing's changed for MAGA.


Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-01 13:28

The monthly ritual. Here are July's posts in OPML.


Software is like a building

Permalink - Posted on 2022-08-01 21:21

I spent ten years living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and in that time, five huge skyscrapers went up within a few blocks of where I lived. All of them residential, all of them of record-breaking height for residential buildings in North America.

They started as huge holes in the ground, then pilings were driven deep into the earth, and concrete poured to form a foundation. Then the steel frame was attached to the pilings and it started to rise, and floor after floor of steel were built on top of the previous floors. As the building rose, crews came in to put up the inner walls of the building, water pipes, electric lines, sewer, the elevators, phone lines, internet, the inner walls, and then they put up an exterior, and glass in the windows, and while they were adding new steel beams on the (say) 50th floor, you could actually see people in the lobby of the building. It was a holy mess, with construction crews everywhere, just a complete mess, even so you could see clearly the outlines of something familiar coming together.

But they kept building until the building was topped off, and all the various crews kept doing their jobs. There were no elevators above the 10th floor, everything still had to get to the top with a huge crane that was itself an engineering marvel. While all this was going on there were some demo units on the 5th floor and a rental office, all furnished, and one working elevator that was beautifully clean and functional, giving the impression that the building was ready to be occupied, but the truth was that it was still a long way from being done. But it could be used, in a way, for its intended purpose, people could imagine using it to sleep, eat, work, play -- all the things an apartment building could be used for, but it's not yet an apartment building, it's a construction site.

Building a big piece of software is a lot like this, The construction company wants to know if you were killed by a random piece of metal being hauled up in a crane, but if you say that the buttons on one of the floors in the elevator actually closed the door when they were meant to open the door, they thank you for the report, but they weren't listening. They have a big job still ahead of them.