Archive: September 19, 2009

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blogging shoes (New Yorker, 9/14/09)

Saturday,  09/19/09  09:45 AM

I put mine on this morning, before sitting down in my blogitorium :)


Saturday,  09/19/09  09:54 AM

Back in the blogitorium on a Saturday, enjoying the day.  I have a major coding project planned for this weekend, it will be Outlook down, Sharpreader down, Citydesk down, and Photoshop down, as I happily launch Visual Studio.  But first, this:

Can you even believe these ACORN videos?  Wow.  I really don't see how ACORN is going to survive this.  And of course President Obama worked closely with ACORN, but he is distancing himself as fast and as thoroughly as possible.  In him, we may have the new teflon President.  Although some of this crap is bound to stick... 

Richard Feynman and Murray Gell-man: bananas and antibananas.  I love this: 

Richard Feynman, Murray Gell-Mann's chief competitor for the title of the World's Smartest Man but a stranger to pretension, once encountered Gell-Mann in the hall outside their offices at Caltech and asked him where he had been on a recent trip; "Moon-TRAY-ALGH!"  Gell-Mann responded in a French accent so thick that he sounded as if he were strangling.  Feynman - who, like Gell-Mann, was born in New York City - had no idea what he was talking about.  "Don't you think," he asked Gell-Mann, when at length he had ascertained that Gell-Mann was saying "Montreal," "that the purpose of language is communication?"

I can remember that both had their offices at the same end of the same hall at Caltech, a sort of living hall of fame.  And that the hall ended in a cul de sac, with a conference room as an island in the middle.  And that the rumor was, it was so they could chase each other in the hallway, endlessly...

Once again, Facebook owns "talk like a pirate day" on the web.  Avast! 

This is unbelievable: new lawsuit brings clarity to Skype's problems.  I have to agree with the conclusion: Prognosis: Screwed.  How could you possibly buy a business without also licensing the IP on which it is based?  Due diligence, anyone? 

Mike Arrington answers my question: Mint is Yodlee's YouTube.  "Yodlee never thought to ask for equity in Mint in the early days of the company, so they didn’t make anything from the acquisition."  Bummer. 

Robert Farago is leaving TTAC, prompting a retrospective.  My personal favorite was his review of the Subaru Tribeca, one of the ugliest cars ever built.  ("Once again, form murders function".)  He was definitely irreverent an entertaining, and he will be missed...



Midway, revisited

Saturday,  09/19/09  10:29 AM

You might remember a year ago, while attending Pathology Visions, we had a banquet on the Midway aircraft carrier.  And that in addition to being a great experience for me, it was also quite moving; I reconnected with the memory of my father, and I felt in some senses I was "midway" in my life, grappling with turning 50 in a couple of months.

As I noted at the time: "Midway is a great name, and a great concept, full of ambivalence and implied meaning.  Almost anything can be halfway between two other things."


Last Tuesday night, after this years' Pathology Visions, I took a little bike ride around the back bay of San Diego.  And it took me right by the Midway.  And I was able to re-experience all those emotions from a year ago, with the new perspective of a year. 


Has it been a good year?  No.  It has been a tough year; the first year of my second half (if so it will become) did not go as planned.  My family are great, Aperio is doing great, all the "big important things" are great, but my head is not.

It does not feel, in retrospect, like the Midway was in any sense an inflection point.  I didn't do anything differently, and nothing happened differently as a result.  I am still midway to figuring it all out.  It is ironic that the Midway has a banner saying "Welcome Home"; of course it is intended to seaman returning from war in the middle east, but for me it has another meaning; do I really live "midway"?  Perhaps I do.

Revisiting the Midway gives me an opportunity to rededicate myself to changing.  I strongly hope that when I ride by it again next year, I'll feel that this year was really a turning point.

We'll see.


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