February 29, 2004

Sadie Hawkin's Day

Today, women can ask men to marry them... or there's a race somewhere and any boy that gets caught by a girl must marry her... or something like that.

My brother Scott points out that today is the fifth Sunday in February. And that it's like 30 years until the next time there are five Sundays in Feb.

Posted by jghiii at 01:29 PM | Comments (9)

February 28, 2004

You don't want to see that...

So it seems that in a Wal-Mart, near Aspen, there was a guy wandering around wearing a full-face ski-mask. As you might imagine this made some of the store employees nervous, so they called the cops. The police cruised over and asked this guy to reveal his face. It was Michael Jackson.

So many jokes, so little time...

Posted by jghiii at 07:02 AM | Comments (1)

A good kind of SPAM

As this blog matures, and the readership grows, I'm getting SPAM in the comments area more and more often. I don't currently use any automated system to defend against this stuff. When I see it I go in and manually ban the sender, then delete the SPAM.

But comment SPAMers have recently started trying to camoflage themselves by including surprisingly relevant-seeming content in their comments. They do this in the hope that it will keep them from being noticed, and the URL to the commercial site, which was the real purpose of the comment, will survive.

Like I said, I usually nuke the entire comment, but a couple of times recently the "random" content has been either an interesting quote, or a strangely entertaining observation. In these cases I've been banning the sender, removing the URL to the commercial site, and LEAVING the rest of the SPAM.

It's just part of the service here at GE, as we try to entertain and inform.

Posted by jghiii at 06:39 AM | Comments (2)

February 27, 2004

Survivor All-Stars Notes - Ep#5

Posted after Ep #5, Feb 26, 2004. This post, and its comments, may contain spoilers....

Is it me or does Big Tom drink alot?

Saboga loses the do-or-die, paddle your raft, reward challenge. Another Rupert design fails.

Did you notice that Boston Rob waited for Amber before crossing the finish line.

Picking Jerri over Jenna was a mistake.

The schoolyard pick order was: Ethan, Rupert, Jerri, Jenna. Jenna looked so bummed to be picked last.

Chapera doesn't know that Rupert was screwing up. About the hut and the boat design. They all just seem to like him from seeing him in Pearl Islands. Will Jenna tell the new tribe about Rupert's recent failures?

In any event, Rupert and Boston Rob will be at each other's throats fast.

Boston Rob establishes himself as a strong player in Immunity challenge.

What was up with Richard and the two women on the balance beam? Jeff seemed genuinely annoyed.

Ethan is now the only remaining #1. Africa still unbloodied. Australia still 3 of 5.

# Remaining from the Meta-Tribes
Pula Tiga 2 of 4
Australia 4 of 5
Africa 3 of 3
Marqesas 2 of 2
Thailand 1 of 1
Amazon 0 of 2
Pearl Isl. 1 of 1

Latest tribe lists

# Chapera (7 members)
Alicia 2-Australia 9th
Amber 2-Australia 6th
*Boston Rob 4-Marqesas 10th
*Susan 1-Pulau Tiga 4th
*Tom 3-Africa 4th
*Rupert 7-Pearl Isl. 8th
Jenna L. 1-Pulau Tiga 8th

# Moga (6 members)
Colby 2-Australia 2nd
Kathy 4-Marqesas 3rd
Lex 3-Africa 3rd
Shii Ann 5-Thailand 10th
*Ethan 3-Africa 1st
Jerri 2-Australia 8th

Posted by jghiii at 09:44 PM | Comments (13)

Weekend getaway

Headed for the lake this weekend.

I've got a play date Saturday afternoon with two (TWO!) married ladies. And the weather is supposed to be really nice for the next few days.

I should be posting my Survivor notes and Berkman notes later tonight.

Posted by jghiii at 04:38 PM | Comments (6)

February 26, 2004

Who's on first?

An eBay auction to buy NOTHING:

You are bidding on an auction who's sole purpose is to offer nothing. Bidders will recieve absolutely nothing upon winning this auction, save the usual emails alerting them that they have won and instructions for payment. Despite this auction being for nothing, winning bidders are still expected to pay.

[Thanks Dan Gillmor]

Posted by jghiii at 02:26 PM | Comments (4)

Grown up now

Michael Holley:

...[the redsox ownership] are going to make [Manny Ramirez] a little more accountable than he's ever had to be.

They are not going to acquire a Carlos Baerga or Rey Sanchez to be official players and unofficial chaperones. They are not going to be imprisoned by his talent (if something drastic happens, they'll DH Ellis Burks and put someone such as Gabe Kapler in left). They are not going to look away if there are any residuals from last season in Philadelphia.

Posted by jghiii at 12:21 PM | Comments (1)

February 25, 2004

Trivia Question

My brother Scott was born on Mar 3, and my friend CindyW was born on Mar 2. They were both born on the 62nd day of the year. What's up with that?

Posted by jghiii at 12:04 PM | Comments (6)

February 24, 2004

Hlp mee outt

JD writes: "Will Weblogs make copy editors obsolete? ...all bloggers would benefit from an additional set of eyes (ie, an editor or two)."

I agree. One of the basics concepts of blogging is that it is "the unedited voice of a person". And I firmly believe that a blog should not be edited for content by a second party. But most blogs that I read would benefit from "copy editing". Spelling, punctuation, things like that.

What I've been thinking is this: We should all get ourselves a blog buddy. Someone who also blogs, and has about the same writing skills, and prolific-ness (see what I mean about needing copy-editing? loquacity?). Agree with this person that you will read each other's blog daily, and exchange corrections for things like spelling, punctuation, and writing clarity.

It would hel[.

Posted by jghiii at 06:54 PM | Comments (12)

Very Cool Pic

Michael Dowbrigade Feldman: "Spotted leaving work this afternoon, crossing the BU Bridge on Memorial Drive along the Charles River in Cambridge, an extended family of geese."

[Click the pic to see larger version.]

Posted by jghiii at 06:30 PM | Comments (4)

Payroll Correction

David Pinto of Baseball Musings has some very interesting observations about the economics of baseball.

The free agent system worked for the players for so long because owners wanted to get rid of it and go back to the old days of the reserve clause. They spent so much time trying to figure out how to destroy it they never bothered to figure out how to work it to their advantage. Now they are seeing the light.

Then this followup:

Higher salaries don't drive ticket prices higher. Higher ticket prices drive salaries higher. And what drives ticket prices up? Higher demand. As long as the Yankees are drawing over 3 million fans a year, their ticket prices seem about right to me. If the Yankees were to cut the payroll to $100,000,000 and still have a winning team, they would not cut their ticket prices one bit.

Posted by jghiii at 12:37 PM | Comments (7)

February 23, 2004


"It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious." --Oscar Wilde

Posted by jghiii at 12:55 PM | Comments (23)

MMmmmmmm, donuts...

Breakfast has always been my favorite meal of the day. MrBreakfast.com:

Mr Breakfast is committed to: 1) assisting breakfast lovers find the best possible breakfast, and 2) making breakfast lovers out of those who are not.

The site features an interactive database of recipes and restaurant reviews . A section called " The Breakfast Times " offers interesting articles, product reviews and the latest news concerning breakfast

Posted by jghiii at 11:46 AM | Comments (1)

February 21, 2004

The First "Gone East Weblog Grant" Winner

I've started a program which I'm calling the "Gone East Weblog Grant". In this program I encourage non-technical people to try weblogging by giving them a ready-made, ready-to-use blog, and providing them with online training & personal tech support.

The first winner of a GEW Grant is one of Gone East's regular comment contributors, Jo Ann M.

I've created a blog for her. It's tentatively called, "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" (although she may decide to change that name) and it can be read at this web address


As of this writing, she has not made her first entry, but she's told me that she likes the idea, and intends to give it a try.

Winning a GEW Grant is a no-obligation thing. It costs recipients nothing, and they can ignore the whole thing if they like.

I'll probably be announcing the next GEW Grant winner in a few weeks.

Posted by jghiii at 03:46 PM | Comments (6)

Just happy enough

Ed Cone writes about how he and his wife were among a large group of couples who "re-affirmed" their marriage vows.

I turned to the couple next to us and noted that they, too, were celebrating 15 years of marriage. Said the bride, "We like to call it the happiest twelve years of our lives."

Posted by jghiii at 02:11 PM | Comments (0)

This could be the problem

Pedro Martinez is the big dog in the Red Sox clubhouse. He's earned that, and he expects it. But there's a new big dog in town.

Curt Schilling is right up there with Pedro in terms of reputation and credentials. But Curt realizes he's the new guy, and he's said he wants to defer to Pedro.

I think that could work out, except...

Pedro doesn't really like to talk to the press, and by extension, to the fans. But Schilling not only likes it, he's not only is good at it, he loves it. He's already reached near-legend status with Boston fans just for his prescence and frankness on the Sons of Sam chat website. And he's already given more interviews to the press than Pedro did all last season. (OK, well I don't know if that's really true, but it sure seems that way.) And there lies the problem.

Schilling may genuinely try to defer to Pedro, but his approachability, and frankness, and quotability, are going to make him a media and fan favorite. And that could well make Pedro jealous, even if Schilling really is trying to pay respect.

It could be a problem.

Oh, by the way, this morning's Globe had a pretty wide ranging piece from a press conference yesterday with Schilling, and my favorite quote.

"[Nomar's] the only player I've ever played with whose wife is in better shape than he is."

Posted by jghiii at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

It's boy!

WEEI Radio is reporting a story that even they are a little suspicious of. The story is that the reason Pedro Martinez was permitted to be late reporting to Spring Training is that he has a son who is having a serious operation. This son, if he exists, was not previously publicly known about.

UPDATE: 12:15 PM ET -- WEEI is now reporting with more confidence that this story is true. No details yet on the name or age of the boy.

Posted by jghiii at 10:33 AM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2004

Citizen Journalist

This is a terrific example of the growing power of blogging. This guy seems to support President Bush, but that doesn't matter. Regular people, using the technology to spread the word. In the long run it will improve the world.

Rex Hammock:

My Warholian 15 45 minutes: I’m writing this in a cab on my way to BWI for a flight back home to Nashville. I just walked out of the Old Executive Office Building where four other “real people” and I sat down for a 25-minute chat with the President of the United States. Then the five of us stood behind him while he told a room full of people why the tax cuts he has championed should be made permanent. (That's me on the right in the picture.)

Posted by jghiii at 10:40 PM | Comments (0)

What an adventure!

John Perry Barlow's "blog" is not so much a blog as it is a series of essays on the state of the world, as he sees it. But since "BarlowFriendz" began a few months ago, it has been without exception, excellent.

Now he has agreed to be the subject of "a TV special that would be a cross between a medical documentary, a reality show, and a remake of Incredible Voyage using an actual body. The body they selected was mine."

He's written about the first two weeks of this "adventure". Here's hoping he keeps us up to date. It sounds fascinating, and inspiring, and I don't want to have to wait for the show to air.

So, just before Christmas, Tsiaras called me with his wild challenge. He would use all the latest techniques in penetrative scanning and software image assembly to produce a Visible Barlow, first as a wreck and then as a restoration. Between the capture of these two images would be an intervening three or four months, during which, followed by a film crew, I would submit myself to a week per month at one Canyon Ranch location or another while while maintaining strict adherence to regimen of exercise, yoga, massage, meditation, and a diet so virtuous they'd be naming bitter vegetables after me before it was over.

Posted by jghiii at 09:59 PM | Comments (0)

Survivor All-Stars Notes - Ep#4

Posted after Ep #4, Feb 19, 2004. This post, and its comments, may contain spoilers....

During the Big Storm, Big Tom said "mayday, mayday, mayday". It made me wonder if they give the players a code word, and tell them, "we will ignore all cries for help, unless they include this code". (I'm guessing my friend Sherm knows all about this sort of safe-word.)

The powers-that-be described this as the worst storm in the history of Survivor. I'm sure it was bad, but I don't think we saw all that much "damage". I don't think we saw Moga at all during the storm. Chapera was more-or-less high and dry. And Saboga's goofy dugout hut was gonna be a disaster even if it only sprinkled.

"Mother nature can be one forceful bitch."

Susan: "You have no bone to give me Richard!"
Hatch: "That is ab-so-looootly true!"

When they revealed the mouthwash: Ahhhhhhhhhhh!

Didn't one of the treemail invites for the Reward Challenge refer to eating bugs?

Psychic Go Fish... Clairvoyent Concentration. Jeff seemed pretty weirded out by how well they all did at guessing the other people's stuff.

Chapera wins reward again. Feeling pretty good about themselves...

...but then they go to Tribal Council for the first time.

Immunity Challenge: Mogo comes from behind. Richard steps up to be the "caller" in the blindfold challenge. Risky. But thinking back, who ran into Big Tom? Is it possible Richard was aiming his people at others to cause unrest?

Saboga wins much needed immunity. Rupert has a little more time to repair his rep after the dugout hut.

Amber: "I'm 25. Young. I'm having fun."
Big Tom: "I'm 48. Old. Watchin'. Havin' fun."

At Tribal Council, was Jeff trying to get Amber annoyed at Boston Rob?

RobC voted out. Probably unanimous since they didn't reveal all the ballots. Another Top Seeded tribe member voted out. Survivor: Amazon is eliminated.

Remaining from the Meta-Tribes
Pula Tiga 3 of 4
Australia 4 of 5
Africa 3 of 3
Marqesas 2 of 2
Thailand 1 of 1
Amazon 0 of 2
Pearl Isl. 1 of 1

Posted by jghiii at 08:20 PM | Comments (10)

Sleeper agent for the Media Mafia

Dowbrigade tells this very entertaining story about his mispent youth:

As we were driving down the highway this afternoon, composing our next vituperative attack on the mono-culture of the Five Major Media Conglomerates, the Dowbrigade suddenly realized that he was actually an ex-employee of one of them!


In those days editors actually sat at their desks and yelled out "Copy!" periodically, when they wanted or needed something.  Usually what they wanted was "Art!" from the "Morgue", which was the pre-digital equivalent of Google Image Search. If for example, Alf Langdon died, they would send a copy boy down to the morgue to dig our all the file photos of old Alf, to illustrate his obit.

Posted by jghiii at 05:02 PM | Comments (1)

Having a baby doesn't count?

Lisa Williams:

I think this year I'd like to do something incredible. Something that I'll always remember. Maybe something that I think I can't do and never considered doing before.

Posted by jghiii at 12:26 PM | Comments (0)

Geeky Gatherings

[Oops. I'm still getting used to maintaining two blogs. I wrote this item for the technology site, then posted it here through force of habit. I've now copied it over there. But I'll leave it here too.]

Sam Ruby tells about a spontaneous gathering in a restaurant at last week's ETech conference. Seated around a big table with laptops, food and conversation. He says this kind of thing will become the norm in the future. I agree.

Posted by jghiii at 12:00 PM | Comments (13)

February 19, 2004

High Definition TVs Under $1500: Quick Look

Over on the TECHPopuli site:

I spent a couple hours last evening in the local Best Buy trying to get my head around the dizzying selection of High Definition TV sets they had on display.

Posted by jghiii at 04:06 PM | Comments (1)

Red Sox first TV games

The Red Sox will kick off their 2004 spring training schedule on Thursday Mar 4.

Here are the televised games for that first weekend. I'm trying to comfirm that ALL games will be on WEEI Radio.

Mar 4 7:05pm Minnesota NESN
Mar 5 7:05pm Northeastern University NESN
Mar 7 1:05pm NY Yankees NESN

source: boston.redsox.mlb.com

Posted by jghiii at 03:41 PM | Comments (0)

It's a trap!

This is a total fantasy. But wouldn't it be cool?

Here's what almost certainly didn't happen:

Back last fall, Red Sox GM Theo Epstein realized that Alex Rodriguez was an interesting possible acquisition for Boston. He started to look into the trade and discovered that it was possible, but that it would be very expensive.

He also discovered that A-Rod had some teamwork and ego issues that would make him a poor fit in Boston's clubhouse. So Theo decided to pass on A-Rod.

But then he had an idea.

Theo and the boys spent the better part of the next two months making it look like they desparately wanted A-Rod in Boston. They made offer after offer. But each one came up just a little bit short of acceptable. Intentionally.

In the end they "failed" to acquire Rodriguez, but they did accomplish a couple of things.

(1) They made the players' union look like they cared more about power than what a player wanted, and more important...

(2) They lured the Yankees into acquiring A-Rod.

This number (2) has a handful of interesting possible side-effects.

(a) It cost them A LOT of money.

(b) It jacks up the stakes for GM Cashman and Manager Torre who, even more than ever, HAVE TO WIN this year. No pressure.

(c) It sets up a likely clubhouse rivalry between A-Rod, and Jeter.

(d) It further weakens the Yankees by trading away Soriano.

(e) It provides a dramatic example of the mismatch between what the Yankees can spend and what everyone else can.

(f) It returns the Red Sox to the perceived position of underdog in the AL race. Which is a better place to work from.

OK, I know that Theo and the boys engineering this is nonsense. There are a couple of facts that make almost certain that it didn't happen this way. But remember that the Sox did put Manny up on open waivers last fall. So they're not opposed to a little gamesmanship.

It's a total fantasy. But wouldn't it be cool.

Posted by jghiii at 12:01 PM | Comments (2)

Not a big deal.

Bill Simmons over at ESPN.com has A LOT of reasons why Red Sox fans shouldn't be freaking out about the A-Rod thing. Here's one of them:

The Yanks have the weirdest clubhouse of all-time -- they're like a roto team sprung to life, aren't they? Sheffield, Brown, Giambi, Contreras, Matsui, A-Rod ... it's like one of those "Saturday Night Live" seasons where Lorne Michaels brought in too many cast members and all hell broke loose. Doesn't clubhouse chemistry count for anything? And will A-Rod's reputation as a prima donna precede him?

[Thanks Sheila]

Posted by jghiii at 11:27 AM | Comments (0)

Happy Anniversary

It's Sheila's parents' 37th wedding anniversary. That inspired Sheila to write a very nice piece. It's kind of a long, so you probably won't read all of it. Your loss.

Posted by jghiii at 11:01 AM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2004

Too bad this didn't work for Wonka Bars.

It didn't take long for people to discover how to figure out, with 100% accuracy, which Pepsi bottles had a free iTunes Apple Music Store song under the cap.

Posted by jghiii at 08:09 PM | Comments (1)


It's nice to see that some things don't change.

Yahoo! has rolled out their new search service, using their own in-house technology. A search for cingular triplets yields Gone East as the #3 result.

Posted by jghiii at 06:14 PM

Blog a Better Mousetrap and the world will click a path to your site.

We coulda used one of these up at the lake. Cool Tools:

I once had to get rid of a lot of mice. Standard mouse traps were too messy to reuse, but too expensive just throw out. Have-a-heart traps were too finicky, and sticky traps were too cruel. Finally, I found the proverbial better mouse trap: a wind-up repeating trap.

Posted by jghiii at 01:12 PM | Comments (2)

February 17, 2004

An interesting development


Sen. John Kerry will win the Wisconsin primary by a narrow margin over a stronger-than-expected Sen. John Edwards, CNN projects. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean will finish a distant third.

Posted by jghiii at 10:37 PM | Comments (4)

A street fight

Over in comments, Sean McCarthy weighs in with his 2004 Red Sox/Yankees analysis:

...it's going to be a street fight for first place this year. I foresee another ALCS between the Sox and Evil Empire.

I look forward to seeing Brown tear his Arm, pull his groin, strain his abdomin. Giambi and Williams blow out their knees and big baby Sheffield cry about something.

Posted by jghiii at 10:34 PM | Comments (0)

February 16, 2004

How do you deal with writer's block?

Chip Scanlan, Poynter:

Whenever I'm blocked, (like right now when I'm convinced this answer has gone on for too long, isn't responding to the question, is boring, unfocused, in short, that it sucks) I lower my standards.

Correction, I do my best to not have any standards at all. I abandon my standards. I urge myself to write badly and once I do that my fingers begin to fly, and the inner critic is powerless.

Call it freewriting, or stream of consciousness, or whatever name sounds best, but it's the act of creating.

Posted by jghiii at 09:51 PM | Comments (0)

Rudy extra footage: "Rudy the Day After"

The CBS Survivor website has extra footage from the show. This season, the footage is available no charge. They taped Rudy the day after he was voted off. Fun stuff.

In one quote he offered what I think is a very accurate analysis of early-game strategy:

The first couple people off, the reason that you're off is I think they're just looking for a reason, because nobody's mad at anybody yet. And if you can get by about a week, a week and a half, people start to get irritated with each other, and all you got to do is sit back while they start to eliminate each other.

Posted by jghiii at 12:18 PM | Comments (1)

Equifax has Mike Walsh's Credit File Screwed Up, What a Surprise

Mike Walsh has begun an adventure in attempting verify his credit report with Equifax.

They then flash me the dreaded message.  We cannot verify your identity, please call our verification department at 800-555-xxxx.

So I call and talk to the nice lady and she said "No problem, this happens all the time.  Just give me your previous mailing address."  I give her my previous address and there is a pregnant pause on her side of the line.  Obviously, I've given the "wrong" answer.

"Mr. Walsh, could you give me the name of the company that holds your car loan and your approximate monthly payment." I don't have a car loan. I pay cash for my cars and tell her so.  Clearly, another wrong answer.  "Well, Mr. Walsh, we seem to be having a little problem here.  We'll just need some additional information to verify your identity."

This sort of thing doesn't surpise me at all. But, as always, it leaves me dismayed. The despicable invasion of privacy that these companies profit from is only the tip of the iceberg. The bigger scandal should be the nearly criminally-negligent standards they have regarding the accuracy of their files.

Posted by jghiii at 12:13 PM | Comments (1)

February 15, 2004

Play Ball!

If you don't live in the Boston area, or if you do, but you spent the whole day huddled under the covers staying warm, you might not realize that Red Sox Nation was rocked this morning when it was announced that Alex Rodriguez, who the Sox tried heroically to bring to Boston last fall, has instead ended up with the Evil Empire, the New York Yankees.

Even though it's still about a week until spring training starts, I think this marks the opening gun of the 2004 season.

Now personally I'm not all that concerned about A-Rod putting on pinstripes. I mean, did we expect George and Co. to just rollover and die?

Until this morning many analysts have been describing the Yanks as a team kinda in disarray. And this trade certainly helps them. But just keep in minds that we have most all of the strong players from last year's world-class team, plus Schilling, and Foulkes, and others. The Yank are minus many of their great players from last season. They are still a team in disarray, just now with A-Rod added.

We're in good shape. Go Red Sox!

Posted by jghiii at 08:32 PM | Comments (2)

Look Familiar?

AP via Yahoo!:

Lifeguards at a beach north of Sydney were stunned when a man walked into their post looking for help with a small shark attached to his leg.

Posted by jghiii at 03:41 PM | Comments (0)


I'm up here in southern NH for the weekend. Yesterday was a beautiful day, high temp in the 40s. I woke up this morning to a temp of 8 degrees.

This is not whining about the weather, it's just astonishment!

Posted by jghiii at 11:01 AM | Comments (0)

February 14, 2004

Busy Saturday

Spent the day in southern New Hampshire.

First at the monthly meeting of the EAA Vintage Chapter 15 up in North Hampton. Lots of guys, and a few Gals, aching for flying weather to return.

Then to the Lake House for the afternoon. Doing midwinter sailboat maintenance... then practicing my Ice-Golf... making stirfrychicken with my sister and brother... oh, and surfing the web. You see, it may be at the edge of a remote lake, but this Lake House has broadband. That's where I am now.

Headed back to the big city tomorrow after breakfast. I'll be making my worldfamous pancakes.

Posted by jghiii at 09:37 PM | Comments (5)

February 13, 2004

The Horror!!!

Reuters Science via Yahoo!:

Chocolate lovers beware: the seed of love, the cocoa bean, is threatened by disease.

It's only a matter of time before diseases like witches' broom and black pot rot endanger the global cocoa supply, said Raymond Schnell, a geneticist who presented his research on cocoa in two conferences in the United States in the week before Valentine's Day.

The witches' broom, a deadly white fungus that deforms the trees, was responsible for almost destroying Brazil's cocoa crop in the early 1990s. Brazil now imports more chocolate than it exports.

Posted by jghiii at 11:47 PM | Comments (1)

Survivor All-Stars Notes

Posted after Ep #3, Feb 12, 2004. This post, and its comments, may contain spoilers.

Here's another thing to add to the "things to learn before leaving home to be on Survivor" list: Some natural way to cope with insect bites.

"He may not be impressive downstairs... but he's impressive in other ways." -- Shii Ann about Hatch.

"He bit me. I ate him." -- Hatch about the Shark.

They were liking Richard for catching the shark. But it's definitely raised him up onto the radar. Which is contrary to what I think his strategy is.

The Bob Villa reward challenge.

Boston Rob really strengthened his position.

Oh, oh, rain. Saboga will be living in an indoor swimming pool.

When Jenna started to talk about quitting I thought: Is Jenna gonna pull a Osten? But...

Wow! I was watching this play out, getting ready to thrash Jenna for leaving, and then they reveal that her "connection" with her mom was correct. Very sad.

I'm sure that the Survivors will not be told on the island about Jenna's Mom. But it will be a bombshell to hear when they leave. And it will make the Reunion show a very different thing this time.

Posted by jghiii at 05:43 PM | Comments (4)

Berkman Notes

I've posted my Berkman Thursday notes over on the new Technology site.

Posted by jghiii at 02:52 PM | Comments (0)

The circle of life (insert Lion King music here)

My dear friends Cindy and Lew have proudly announced that their daughter Elizabeth (Libby!) and her husband Jae-Yong had a baby girl, Anna, at 5:07 this morning.


Posted by jghiii at 02:39 PM | Comments (0)

Where do you want to go today?

Amnesty International:

Amnesty International remains concerned that in their pursuit of new and lucrative markets, foreign corporations may be indirectly contributing to human rights violations or at the very least failing to give adequate consideration to the human rights implications of their investments. In its first report on State Control of the Internet in China , Amnesty International cited several foreign companies (Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Nortel Networks, Websense and Sun Microsystems), which had reportedly provided technology which has been used to censor and control the use of the Internet in China.

[Boldface added by Gone East]

[Thanks Rebecca McKinnon]

Posted by jghiii at 01:11 PM | Comments (0)

Quiet lately

I know I've been quieter than usual here lately. I can only blame that on the fact that I've been investing much time in my new site Tech Populi.

I've been doing administrative, promotional, and content creation for the new site. I've also been trying to evolve my work style so that I don't put all my energy into one of the sites at the expense of the other. I expect that very soon I'll find a balance, and the combined content of both sites will return to the old levels or greater.

Posted by jghiii at 11:56 AM | Comments (1)

February 12, 2004

Heard on a Boston Sports Radio Station

"I don't know about Florida, but Pitchers and Catchers are already reporting to the State House."

Posted by jghiii at 02:14 PM | Comments (4)

February 11, 2004

What's your Law?

KurzweilAI.net reports:

John Brockman asked key thinkers to ponder the question: "What's your law?"

"There is some bit of wisdom ," Mr. Brockman proposes, "some rule of nature , some lawlike pattern , either grand or small, that you've noticed in the universe that might as well be named after you." What, he asks, is your law, one that's ready to take a place near Kepler's and Faraday's and Murphy's.

More than 150 responses totaling more than 20,000 words have been posted so far.

Posted by jghiii at 01:02 PM | Comments (1)

It's a wave.

All this talk about what the Dean Campaign did right, or didn't do right. Here's what I think.

They did everything right.

The "bubble" didn't burst. The internet -- in the form of blogs, and meetup, and RSS, and email, and more -- was a breakthrough tool in communicating, organizing and motivating voters. And it's still working, maybe more effectively than ever. It was never a bubble, it was a wave.

Governor Dean was always a longshot. He was probably never gonna win. The internet managed to get like about 500% of what was reasonable to expect out of the candidate. But, you see, the Dean for America internet movement was never really about Dean. It was about a set of ideas -- about the war, and the budget, and civil liberties, and accountability. Ideas that, before DFA, really weren't getting widespread attention.

The DFA internet movement energized people around these issues. It got them involved. It elevated these ideas to be part of the national discussion. And that hasn't changed, no matter what the conventional mass media thinks, or wants you to believe. The internet continues to play a powerful role in the 2004 campaign's public debate.

As for Howard Dean, eventually his weaknesses as a national candidate took hold. Governor Dean is a good man, but he was never really gonna become president. But the DFA gang did a great thing. Dean and his team identified these internet tools that have energized the issues. It is unreasonable to think that these tools, especially in their still embryonic state, were ever gonna take Dean all the way to the White House. But that doesn't diminish what they DID accomplish.

Regular people now have a way to spread the word. They have a backchannel that is relatively unaffected by the conventional mass media. They created a groundswell of passion for a set of ideas that our leaders, and the mass media, were neglecting.

The Dean candidacy rode that wave for awhile, but inevitably the candidate slid off the backside of that wave... but the wave goes on.

The wave goes on.

It appears now that we have a Democratic candidate.

Senator John Kerry is not the person I would have picked. Frankly, he's not in the top 5. But unless something incredible happens now, he's gonna be the nominee. So it's time for we Democrats to mourn our losses, and start to get behind this candidate.

And make no mistake, the internet is still playing an important role in the election. Let's keep using it to do the job.

The bubble didn't burst. It was never a bubble, it was a wave, and it's still moving. Let's keep riding that wave.

Posted by jghiii at 10:44 AM | Comments (2)

Dowbrigade on blogging into the TiVo

Dowbrigade write about videoblogging

BTW I was one of the "younger cyber-rangers" and "whippersnappers" that he refers to. Cool. And he's got it just right. This is the way it could easily turn out.

But then, last week, some of the younger cyber-rangers of the Berkman crew strongly lobbied for a third path. We need, they said, to get INSIDE THE TUBE. We need access to America's television sets. The technology is already there. Smart video recorders connected to computers connected to the internet and to digital cable can mix and match streams andserve up any combination of programming at any time.

The technology exists now to allow you to get back from the bars at 1 am and then turn on your TiVo to watch 20 minutes of live CNN followed by a 20-minute condensation of the NBC evening news (no commercials) followed by a 20-minute compendium consisting of 5 minutes of Instapundit, 5 minutes of Scripting News, 5 minutes from Adam Curry and 5 minutes from Dowbrigade. Or perhaps more realistically (since 5 minutes of air time is a lot to fill up) 2 minutes each from our top 10 favorite video-blogs.

All we need is the content, and an aggregator to collect it and send it to the VR (video recorder). But here is where we saw a problem. It is one thing to put together a decent-looking blog posting (even a simpleton like the Dowbrigade can do it!), and quite another to master video production, cutaways, transitions, voiceovers and camera techniques. We couldn't see anything less than a team of 3 or 4 experienced specialists doing a decent job.

What an antiquarian mind set we have! We were promptly informed by the whippersnappers at the table, by using iMovie and a decent WebCam, ready-for-prime-time production quality is already within the reach of a solo video journalist, and as video streams become more available tools will be created to enable "regular folks" to cut and paste, juxtapose and comment on video as easily as we currently manipulate copy.

Posted by jghiii at 12:43 AM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2004


Why the Mars Rover failed. Video.

[Thanks Joi Ito]

Posted by jghiii at 08:20 PM | Comments (0)

Is it talk radio?

A note by Jeff Jarvis from the ETech conference about maybe why liberals are more eager to embrace the internet.

Another member of the [conference] committee said that in talking to conservatives, they are "very happy with talk radio" and aren't as deseparate for new things as the liberals, thus liberals are using this stuff more.

Posted by jghiii at 06:52 PM | Comments (2)

Even more changes: Introducing Tech Populi

I've created a spinoff website from Gone East. It's called Tech Populi and it will feature news and features about new technology and the lifestyle it supports.

All the geeky stuff that I've been posting here in Gone East will now be posted over there. I may occasionally post pointers here for things over there, but if you're into the geek thing, you should make Tech Populi part of your regular list of websites to check out.

Gone East will continue more or less as before, except without the extreme geek stuff. Watch here for the Survivor news, Red Sox ramblings, pointers to other blogs, and the always popular Cingular Triplett discussions, stuff like that.

Posted by jghiii at 01:00 PM | Comments (3)

Still an interesting problem

In comments, RickF has pirated, err, I mean, pasted an article from the Wall Street Journal about how Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks are increasingly considering each other competitors, as opposed to targeting different strata of the marketplace.

The article talks about target market and the nature of their products (regular coffee vs esspresso drinks), but doesn't mention the other attribute that I think differentiates them: The in-store experience.


Now, both companies are seeking to stir things up. Starbucks increasingly is looking for growth by opening stores in blue-collar communities where Dunkin' Donuts would typically dominate. Last month, when the Seattle coffee chain reported fiscal first-quarter earnings, executives gave much of the credit to its 10% jump in sales at stores open more than a year to this broadening demographic. Its coffee, explains Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman and founder, is "an affordable luxury."

At the same time, Dunkin' Donuts, a unit of United Kingdom spirits group Allied Domecq PLC, wants to lure Starbucks's well-heeled customers with a new line of Italian brews that it claims it can deliver faster, cheaper and simpler.

Posted by jghiii at 11:43 AM | Comments (3)

February 09, 2004

It's a problem

I like the coffee at Dunkin Donuts, but the ambience (and the WiFi) at Starbucks.

Posted by jghiii at 12:37 PM | Comments (7)


As you can see, I'm experimenting with some changes to the look of this site. It may change more, it may go back to the way it was. We'll see.

One thing that I just discovered is that for some time now, this page has been too wide to fit on an 800 pixel wide screen. To those of you with these screens, and have needed to scroll sideways to see things, I apologise. That was just lazy design on my part.

One of the changes I made is to make the page narrower so it will (I hope) fit comfortably. If you have an 800 pixel wide screen and it still requires sideways scrolling, leave a note in comments and I'll try again.

Posted by jghiii at 11:56 AM | Comments (3)

February 08, 2004

Google Answers, vs, Librarians.

j writes about why we should not turn to the Google Answers service instead of using a Librarian.

First let me say that I think that there are many, many ways that a live Librarian can provide a better quality, more valuable, service than online programs like GA. And I think this will be true for a long time to come.

But some of j's arguments don't ring true to me.

She says, "Promoting Google Answers isn't a good start for librarians. Google Answers competes directly with librarians and libraries and the services they provide."

I think that's the wrong argument.

That's basically what Hollywood and the RIAA have been saying about new ways of distrubuting entertainment. But competition is good, and in the long run it will produce new things that are more valuable to everyone.

I'm really just a dilettante on this, I haven't thought as deeply about library matters as people like j, but I think she really puts her finger on the heart of the matter when she says that librarians must market themselves better. But not just in the area of "promotion" which is what most people think of as marketing.

Librarians will benefit from applying the whole universe of marketing tools. For example:

  • Always be learning what your customers want and need. Especially as it changes.
  • Understand what your product really is, and watch for unsuspected customers.
  • Figure out what attracts customers to your products, even if that "feature" is not really the most valuable one. They'll figure it out after they start using.
  • Don't get hooked on any particular way of packaging and delivering your product.
  • Always be aware of the ways that people get information about products like yours. You can only get the word out if you know where they are looking.
  • Don't be blinded as to who all your customers really are. Even if they aren't the people you feel it's your mission to serve. To oversimplify, anyone who gives you money, or something of value, is a customer.
  • Devise and collect metrics that accurately and persuasively illustrate the value of your product, to your customers.
  • Then go back and repeat all these steps, indefinitely.

One last thought on this.

Very possibly I'm not giving j and librarians enough credit here, but I suspect that they may mostly consider that the users of their services -- book borrowers, reference library users, etc, -- are their main customer base.

But librarians should also consider that the institutions that provide their funding -- schools, municipalites, grantmakers -- are also very important customers. Librarians should think about the product that they provide to these customers as well, and develop messages and positioning, that persuades them to continue "purchasing" the product that you provide to them.

Posted by jghiii at 12:29 PM | Comments (2)


Betsy Devine loves email:

Where was email in 1973? The day after our wedding, Frank left for a three-week summer school in Sicily--and the first paleblue air letter didn't arrive until he'd been gone a whole week.

Let me spell that out for you: a *WHOLE* WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!!!!!

Posted by jghiii at 11:39 AM | Comments (0)

The Times They Are A Changin'

Boston Globe:

In the coming year, [the old-school TV Networks] will step up experimentation with series premieres, launching shows outside of the traditional fall-midseason-summer schedule -- think FX's strong July introduction of "Nip/Tuck."

They will try more short-season runs such as ABC's 13-episode series "Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital," which premieres next month.

And they will consider dropping repeats altogether (except the invincible "Law & Order" shows), replacing them with a "multiplex" scheme in which reruns will air the same week as the original episode, cable-style, to give viewers more chances. NBC is already working this approach with "The Apprentice," whose new Thursday episodes reair the following Wednesdays on NBC and a few times on CNBC.

"Television is changing, and it's changing right now," said Jeff Zucker, president of NBC entertainment. "And if we play by the old rules . . . we're all going to get left behind.

Posted by jghiii at 11:13 AM | Comments (1)

February 07, 2004


As a result of the overwhelming preference of the regular participants of my comments area -- who are apparently resistent to change, and to the possibility that new ideas might be an improvement -- I decided to reverse myself. I've restored the comments area to its earlier 'forward chronological' display.

Posted by jghiii at 12:24 AM | Comments (7)

February 06, 2004

Road Trip

I'm headed up to the Lake for Ice-Golf. Next post from there.

Posted by jghiii at 07:30 PM | Comments (4)

Survivor All-Stars Notes

Written after Ep #2, Feb 5, 2004. This post and its comments may contain spoilers.

Naked Richard is kinda annoying me. But I still think it's part of his strategy to seem unthreatening.

Did you see the look on Richard's face when they revealed that Tina had been voted off?

Rudy drinking water now. You'd think that if any of them had gotten really, really sick, it would have gotten out to the public.

Saboga wins the reward challenge and gives everyone fire. Good move? or will it make other tribes resentful?

Even with the flint Moga couldn't make fire the first day. "Our boys couldn't give us fire."

Another Tribal Council for Saboga. The gods (Barnett, Probst) are gonna have to come up with a trick to even the balance soon. Maybe a merge to two tribes?

Rudy voted out #2. Very sad. Of the remaining Sabogas Rupert voted alone. The others are now in an implied alliance.

Rudy threatening them "from the grave." That's kind odd.

Posted by jghiii at 06:49 PM | Comments (7)

Berkman Thursday Notes

My notes from the Berkman Thursday blogging meeting

At the very least, someone should get a mic stand for the webcast microphone.

As usual, the discussion was a bit free-form. Here's my view of the flow.

Joe Costello, Dean For America speechwriter, quietly in attendance.

Julian, "just a [Harvard] student", attending for the first time. He's interested in blogs. This prompts some comments by Dave about the mission of this gathering. He says it used to be more nuts and bolts about making blogs, and may be returning to that soon.

Aslam posted some thoughts to the Yahoo! list that has prompted the project of brainstorming about what features should be in an aggregator.

[I think it was said, that Aslam was here at a meeting a few months ago, and now he's in China, but still participating, via email, webcast, and the IRC Channel.]

Rick Heller will set up a part of his wiki to collect ideas.

Rick also briefly showed his online project: opensourcenovel.net. He's posted his unpublished (until now!) novel and invited people to go in and make changes. To see what comes of it. At some point he will 'freeze' the changes and do something else with the result.

Dave suggested that we do the aggregator feature design as a part of Rick's open source novel. To paraphrase Dave, 'no really, I'm serious about this, I think that software design is best when it's not so serious.'

Betsy Devine commented that people don't seem to use the mailing list well. When they first sign up they don't go back to read any of the past discussion. As a result they repeat old questions. Dave and others, agreed that this is very common on mail lists, and likely it can't be fixed, easily anyway.

Albert (from BMac!) observed that it would be nice if the key, past ideas of a mail list, could "bubble up" to the top somehow.

Dave pointed to the New York Times article on librarians as search "engines" [quotes are mine, not dave's]

Dave called attention to the pic and link of Zoe on his blog. He says he first posted about her a year ago, and now looks forward to watching her grow annually.

[I didn't mention this at the meeting, but there's a great site by a family that has been taking annual pics for years. Check it out.]

Jim Moore, DFA internet guru, arrived and we got into another intrigueing discussion of the ramifications of the Dean For America internet "strategy". In particular tonight we talked about what is to happen to the website/blog after the DFA campaign ends (win or lose). Some felt that it could/should be the foundation for a "movement" to continue using the internet to influence U.S. politics.

Michal "Dowbrigade" Feldman finally got a chance to show us the process he goes through in finding, composing and posting the entries in his blog. Using a combination of Safari, Dreamweaver, Google Image Search, Photoshop, and Manilla, he combs a collection of websites for content and pics, which he combines with his own comments. [This is surprisingly like the process I use. Different tools, but a very similar set of steps.]

Good conversation at dinner tonight about how blogs are just the embryonic stage of the "citizen journalist" revolution. The whole thing will really become influential when we get our blog reporting, not onto people's computer browsers and aggregators, but into their TiVos. That's when we'll be able to elect a president.

There was lots more, but that's what I scribbled down on my pad.

Posted by jghiii at 03:25 PM | Comments (1)

WRGPT13 Elimination

Today I was eliminated from the online 13th World Rec.Gambling.Poker Tournament. It's an annual play-money tournament that been held via email since 1991. I've participated since about 1994. This year I finished about 300th 295th out of 1100 starters. Not bad. If only I'd gotten better cards.

Posted by jghiii at 02:21 PM | Comments (0)

How I Edit This BLOG

Over in the comments to my 2nd Anniversary posting, people are talking about after-the-fact editing, by me, of the content of this blog. I think that in that thread they are just joking around, but this might be a good time for me to say something about my personal rules for editing on the blog.

First of all, in the Comments area. As of this morning there have been over 1,000 comments posted on this blog. With the exception of comment-SPAMs, which I delete as soon as I see them, I have edited only four or five comments. In about half of these cases I made the change at the request of the comment author, always to correct an embarressing typo.

In a few other cases I unilaterally edited a comment because I felt it went too far.

It's not my intent to make the comments in this blog reflect my values, or my sensibilities. On a regular basis there are comments here that say things -- or express them in a way -- that I would never say. But I leave them untouched because, well, if I mess with the comments, then they are useless. Free speech is not just a high minded, moral value. It makes the world a better, and more interesting, place.

But this is my website, and I reserve the right to exercise control in extreme cases. Like comment spam, which adds little to the experience. And on a very few occasions I felt that some comments went too far, for no good reason. So I edited those, and informed the author.

For the record I have not edited any comments in the "2nd Anniversary" thread.

As for my main entries in this blog, I do also edit those after they've been posted.

I regularly make 'copy-edits' to the posts. To fix a typo, a misspelling, or some awkward punctuation. Less often, I will make a substantial change to a posting. Every time I do this I mark the edit so that the change is visible. For example, if I replace any of the original words, I'll leave in the originals, but put a strikethru over them. Or if I add paragraphs to a post, I'll mark them with the word UPDATE.

These are my rules for editing. I'm sure you'll let me know that you think.

Posted by jghiii at 12:54 PM | Comments (15)

Change to Comments display

I just made a change to the setup of this blog. The Comments are now displayed in "reverse chronological" order, just like the main blog entries. In other words, the most recent comment will be listed first and then you read down the page to the older comments.

Posted by jghiii at 12:04 AM | Comments (9)

February 05, 2004

Most beautiful place in the world

In the background I have the Pebble Beach Golf Tournament on the TV. If you've never visited the Monterey Peninsula then you're missing out. The Aquarium (Rick have you kept renewing?), Pigeon Point, 17 Mile Drive, the Lone Cypress, Carmel, and much, much more.

It's time for a visit.

UPDATE: By the way, the TV broadcast has been featuring Patriots' Quarterback Tom Brady who's playing in the tournament. Decent golfer.

Posted by jghiii at 04:21 PM | Comments (9)

Share Your OPML Top 20 changes

Changes from a week ago to the Share Your OPML list
#1 was 473 feeds #20 was 166

1 1 Scripting News (479)
2 2 Wired News (426)
3 3 Boing Boing Blog (400)
4 4 The Scobleizer Weblog (348)
5 5 Jon's Radio (257)
6 6 Slashdot (255)
7 7 Jeffrey Zeldman Presents- The Daily Report (250)
8 9 Google Weblog (238)
9 8 Joel on Software (237)
10 10 Joi Ito's Web (230)
11 11 kuro5hin.org (222)
12 12 Dilbert (222)
13 13 Gizmodo (212)
14 14 dive into mark (207)
15 15 The Doc Searls Weblog (203)
16 16 MetaFilter (183)
17 17 Aaron Swartz: The Weblog (182)
18 18 Six Log (175)
19 19 The Shifted Librarian (172)
20 21 Ranchero (171)

Posted by jghiii at 03:19 PM | Comments (0)

2nd Anniversary

Today is the second anniversary of a major change in my life. After spending almost 20 years of working at a keyboard as a self-taught, really fast, but only two-finger typist, I went cold turkey and taught myself the touch-type.

It was pretty painful at first, but now it's the only way I can type. And although my "first draft" typing is still not as fast as it used to be -- I was a VERY fast hunt and peck typist -- when you figure in the time spent correcting mistakes, I am much faster now.

New tricks.

Posted by jghiii at 02:37 PM | Comments (16)

February 04, 2004

Was Rupert unknown?

I was under the impression that the filming of All-Star Survivor had begin before the airing of Survivor 7, and thus the pre-S7 players hadn't had a chance to see Rupert in action. That produced some discussion in comments, including this from RickF.

"Actually, about half the season of Survivor 7 aired prior to the "All-Stars" departure for their adventure. I know this because Lex (who is at All-Star) was writing a column on the most recent Survivor for a newspaper in Santa Cruz. His columns mysteriously stopped mid-season, clearly because he left for the shows we're starting to see now."

So I did some research and I discovered this... Remember that most of this is unofficial info.

Survivor 7 Pearl Islands aired Sep 19 - Dec 14 2003.

According to a November 14 article at futurizmo.com.

"The filming and production of Survivor: All-Stars, featuring contestants from previous Survivor seasons, began several days ago in Panama, according to sources."

And this date is somewhat confirmed by this Reality World article:

"[S8] filming to wrap by early December"

So I guess Rick and the others are right. The earlier Survivors did have a chance to see Rupert.

Posted by jghiii at 06:09 PM | Comments (3)

This is almost kinda creepy

Making Light blog:

While sitting in your chair, lift your right foot slightly off the ground and move it in clockwise circles. Now draw the numeral “6” in the air with your right hand. Your foot will involuntarily reverse direction.

[Thanks Boing Boing]

Posted by jghiii at 02:03 PM | Comments (9)

Another graphical clock

I don't know why I'm so fascintated by these things, but I am. A Bar Code Clock.

[Thanks j-walk]

Posted by jghiii at 11:57 AM | Comments (5)

February 03, 2004

Patriots' Parade Report

Here are some notes that I scribbled in my pad as I wandered through the crowd, before, during, and after the Patriots' Parade.


At the subway station there was a line of about 30-40 people, mostly high school age, waiting to buy tokens. Good thing I found a couple of unused tokens on my dresser as I was leaving. I bypass the line and head through the turnstyles.

The train is mostly people wearing Patriots' logo wear. As I said, mostly school age, but some parents with their younger kids too.


As I arrive at Haymarket I see some very light snow flakes beginning to fall.

The Boston Mayor said in the paper this morning, "Don't skip school." Well I think every kid in Greater Boston has skipped, and they're all here on City Hall Plaza. Already a huge crowd at 11:40.

11:54 -- I hear two pop-bang noises. Probably firecrackers, but it's a wonder that no one worries about gunshots. I look around and the police are unconcerned.

Is it getting colder as I wait here? The forecast was for as high as 40 degrees. I think it's colder than that [Later: the temp at this time was 34F]

Lots of people watching from the office windows overlooking the street. One 7th floor office has opened their window and are throwing confetti down on the crowd. It looks like the output of a paper shredder machine.

There is lots of spontanous cheering from the crowd. Any little thing will set them off.

A football appears out of nowhere and bounces on the ground a few feet from me. It's being chased by the kid who missed the catch. Incomplete Pass.

A guy in a hard hat climbs one of the traffic light poles. The crowd goes wild. He blows one of those aeresol-can-horns, more cheering. Then he climbs down before someone arrives to make him.

Radio station 100.3 KKB is broadcasting from inside one of the Center Plaza restaurants. Doing occasional live inserts.

Lots of us are staring at the Jumbotron screen. They're now showing that the Parade has started somewhere back up the street, and we're trying to figure out where it is. How close to here is it? Can't tell.

When the Jumbotron shows Tom Brady in the Duck Truck, holding the Lombardi trophy in the air, it triggers the largest cheer yet from this City Hall Plaza crowd.

The people I'm seeing at the edge of the City Hall Plaza are very well-behaved. They are obviously very happy, excited, energetic, young, friendly, and from all I can see as I wander around, well-behaved.

Lots of cellphones. Many people checking in with friends and whoever.

12:44pm -- We see now on the Jumbotron that the Parade is still only at Copley Square.

More firecrackers, this time set off in one of the open-air hallways of Center Plaza. In this day and age, how does someone think it's fun -- or smart -- to set off firecrackers in a crowd!

The crowd cheers again. Is the trophy on the TV again? No, it's showing an aerial shot of City Hall Plaza. We're cheering ourselves!

Lots of signs in windows and on buildings. "Go Pats!" But isn't the "Go" part done with? Shouldn't they read, "Yay Pats!", or, "Congrats Pats", or, "Pats #1!" ???

This crowd is really near the boiling point. Just about anything will set off another round of cheering. Another guy climbing a lampost.

I just overheard a kid. "Man it's cold! But it's still better than school."

The parade will pass by the southeast corner of City Hall Plaza. We know it's close when the TV helicopters appear overhead.

1:16 PM -- We see the lead duck truck and the TROPHY for the first time. Crowd goes wild.

The ten duck truck vehicles pass by to the roaring cheers of the crowd. The players are so obviously happy. This is not a duty to them. They are having a blast. Many of the players, in the trucks, are pointing video cameras back at the crowd.

After the parade passes by, the Jumbo TV starts showing hightlights from the 4th Quarter of the Superbowl. The crowd jockeys for position to see the screen. They are very focussed on waiting to see, again, the final field goal. When it happens they cheer happily.

Music on the sound system: "For those about to Rock, we salute you."

Green jacket guy [he wasn't identified, even by the TV people later] has appeared on the stage to whip up the crowd. Cheerleading.

I've no chance of getting close enough to see the players on the stage, and I'm recording it to watch later, so I start a big circle around the perimeter of the crowd area.

Lots of people on the street behind City Hall. Over here we can hear the sound pretty good, but there are very few sightlines up to the Jumbotron.

On the street behind City Hall I count 50 police motorcycles. Boston, MBTA, State Police, from other area towns. Then I turn the corner and see what must be another 50 bikes. This is WAY MORE than the number of police that I saw here on New Years Eve.

Quick sidetrip to the Faneil Hall Men's Room. It is a HAPPY PLACE. One of the few public restroom for the hundreds of thousands of people. Relief.

Heading up the back steps of City Hall. A lot of Boston Globes have been abandoned here on the ground. They've been selling these papers with the special Patriots section, and with the inserted cardboard Pats hat that is included. It seems that many people are buying it for the hat, and trashing the rest of the paper.

The Jumbotron screens are really badly placed. They are only clearly visible from places where you can already see the actual stage. Too bad.

As I near the corner of City Hall I get to the edge of the crowd. A player in a yellow jacket (Willie McGinest?) is on the screen talking to the crowd. I can only see the left half of the screen from the spot I can get to. Oddly, you can't really understand what's being said. The sound quality was better back down at Fanl Hall.

The Plaza really is at 100% of "line of sight" capacity. The edge of the crowd is the edge of where you can see anything. Anywhere you can stand, you can't see.

Now Governor Romney is speaking. Still can't make out what is being said.

What I can see, is out over the heads of the main part of the crowd in front of the stage. There is confetti floating wonderfully in the air above this crowd. I've worked with confetti before, and if you try to get confetti to do this you will have a really hard time accomplishing it. It looks very cool. And looks even better on the TV screen as it is in the air between the cameras and the stage. Back in California, we'd say that all this confetti made it "a Kelly show".

Things seem to be wrapping up. They're playing on the PA the song, "We are the champions". The crowd is singing along.

Something of interest to event planners only: the sponsor banners on the front edge of the stage have fallen down at some point in the festivities. Too bad.

It's now about 2:15 and things are about to wrap-up. As the crowd starts to thin out I can move an additional ten steps beyond the corner of City Hall and I have an unobstructed view of the stage. That little distance made the difference between a great spot, and seeing nothing.

As I stood here I spoke with a guy who said he worked for security at Gillette Stadium. He said he was part of the group that Kraft flew down there to work on the event. He says he's one of the people you see on the sidelines wearing the yellow jackets with CSC EVENTS on the back.

2:25 -- Things are really starting to break up.

There's lots of trash on the ground. Events, large and small, all have to deal with the trash when it's over.

I head in the direction of Fanl Hall. So has most of the crowd. A lot of people have gathered around the buses behind City Hall. They want to see the player one last time as they board the buses for the ride home.

After the buses head out, I decided to try for a bite to eat at Fanl Hall. A half million other people had the same idea. The place is mobbed. No food for me just now.

The Boston Pretzel Bakery created the words SUPERBOWL CHAMPIONS in pretzel.

All in all, a great afternoon.



After the long wait, and the somewhat inane warmup speaker, the actual coach and player comments were really good. All the players spoke well and without going too long. The Ty Law dance party was better than last year. Kraft dancing with Law was classic. Beliceck's non-dance will become legend. Governor Romney and Mayor Menino had to force their way to the mic after the ceremonies had been officially ended. Cool.

Posted by jghiii at 09:29 PM | Comments (1)

It stays interesting

CNN has just predicted that Senator John Edwards will win the S. Carolina Primary.

Posted by jghiii at 07:48 PM | Comments (0)

Patriots' Parade

I think I'm gonna head into Boston later this morning to the Patriots' celebration. I have no hope of getting close to the players. But I think the crowd will be interesting to watch. I may have pictures later.

Posted by jghiii at 10:12 AM | Comments (1)


Tomorrow (err, well, TODAY actually) is the next episode of America's quadrennial reality show, the Presidential Election. So far this latest season has been unusually compelling, with the lead seesawing from one player, err, candidate to another. Longshots threatening to come from nowhere and grab the lead. And disappointed contestants screaming in frustration after a poor performance in an immunity challenge, umm, caucus.

Here's what I'm looking for in tomorrow's Tuesday's gaggle of primary states:

  • Will Edwards win S. Carolina? He's pretty much gotta.
  • Will Clark show enough strength anywhere to retain any credibility. I'm betting no.
  • Will Dean convince anyone that he's not dead? It was probably a longshot from the very beginning.
  • Will the Kerry juggernaut continue? Some say he blew his wad in Iowa and NH.
  • Will Lieberman come in "third" again? Give or take 10%-age points.
  • Other surprises?

Posted by jghiii at 12:11 AM | Comments (0)

February 02, 2004

Returning the favor.

The Boston Common website has linked to me a couple times in the past few days, and a couple more in the past few weeks. My occasional appearences are the tip of the iceberg in Adam's great digest of Boston weblogs. If you live in the Boston area, and you don't check out Boston Common regularly, you're missing out.

Posted by jghiii at 07:53 PM | Comments (0)

Reviewing the situation

Just so readers don't think I'm totally naive.

I wrote last night that I thought that the Justin/Janet breast thing might have been truly an onstage accident.

I am becoming persuaded that it was not an accident, but that it was intentional. It'll be interesting to see how this story plays out.

Posted by jghiii at 03:40 PM | Comments (10)

Survivor player overview.

[No spoilers here]

I always struggle in the first few weeks of a new Survivor season, to keep track of who's who, and in which tribe. Even though we met all these people before, I put together this chart to help me see the tribes, and the players' pasts.

(The number after the location is the season number, and the final column is the Survivor website's way of describing their finish just to make sure I translated the finish position correctly. The asterisks mark the players that I think are the heavyweights)

AliciaAustralia (2)9th8th out
AmberAustralia (2)6th11th
Rob C.Amazon (6)3rdfinal 3
*Boston RobMarqesas (4)10th7th out
*SusanPulau Tiga (1)4thfinal 4
*TomAfrica (3)4thfinal 4
*EthanAfrica (3)1stWinner
Jenna L.Pulau Tiga (1)8th9th out
JerriAustralia (2)8th9th out
*RudyPulau Tiga (1)3rdfinal 3
*RupertPearl Isl. (7)8th9th out
TinaAustralia (2) 1stwinner
ColbyAustralia (2)2ndfinal 2
Jenna M.Amazon (6)1stwinner
KathyMarqesas (4)3rdfinal 3
LexAfrica (3)3rdFinal 3
*RichardPulau Tiga (1)1stWinner
Shii AnnThailand (5)10th7th out

First impressions

  • Lots of "Australians".
  • Saboga has two pair of "old friends", Chapera has one pair, Moga none.
  • Saboga and Moga each have two past winners, Chapera only one.
  • Average previous finish of tribe members: Chapera 6, Saboga 4.8, Moga 3.3

    Posted by jghiii at 01:17 PM | Comments (18)
  • Survivor All-Stars notes

    There ARE spoilers in this report.

    In no particular order:

    The Rudy-Rupert Alliance is interesting. They are definately two players who showed us that they value honor highly.

    Ethan's attempt to ally with Rupert didn't flesh out. Rupert and company voted for Tina, Ethan was alone. Although his voting booth comments suggest that he may have changed his mind at the last moment.

    Richard's stated easy-going attitude is interesting. Maybe he really doesn't care, or, he's trying to stick around long enough to make some friends/alliances by flying under the radar. He's saying, "hey I know I'll be one of the first out, but I don't really care about winning, and I'm just this naked goofball, so don't worry about me."

    Have Alicia and Boston Rob learned nothing about being nice in the early days of playing this game?

    The military escort opening was kinda cool, and kinda weird. And Jeff hanging out of the helicopter was pretty awesome.

    Sue drank the water. That may change the game. If she gets sick she may leave early, if she doesn't get sick then will others drink too?

    Was Boston Rob that buff looking in his original Survivor?

    According to the Survivor website, "Rupert caused his tribe to fall behind when he mistakenly dove to release the raft that was already free." I didn't see that.

    I've always said, that in his original Survivor, Lex was edited to look worse that he really was. He came off last night looking like an OK guy I thought.

    The "footage never show" videos on the website are free this time.

    Posted by jghiii at 12:57 PM | Comments (0)

    Not a big deal

    I think that this Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake thing is being blown out of proportion. It was a very fleeting thing, and from what I've heard and seen, it was just a mistake. Hey! It's LIVE TV. Things go wrong.

    And I bet most people didn't even see it. I missed when it was live, and I went back to look at my TiVo, and (recorded at MEDIUM quality) you really couldn't see anything, plus they cut away really fast. I suppose that the folks who had invested in HD TV sets for the game got a return on part of their investment, but on regular TV, no big deal.

    CBS probably had to apologize just as good form, but I hope they don't take it any further.

    Posted by jghiii at 12:33 AM | Comments (13)

    February 01, 2004

    SuperBowl Commercials Post-game Report

    Adding to my list of first-half commercials.

    The spots that stood out to me in the second half:

    NFL people singing "Tomorrow" (NFL)
    Talking Monkey (Bud Lite)
    Office Supply Godfather (Staples)
    Shards of Glass Freeze Pops (Truth)

    I've haven't seen replays of any of them yet. But based of the first viewing, my faves from the whole game are: Talking Monkey and Snow Beach Volleyball.

    I also liked the American Chopper AOL spots, but you have to know that show and the characters to really get it. I also liked the Mohammed Ali "Shake Things Up" spot. He's just a great american hero in my mind.

    Posted by jghiii at 10:44 PM | Comments (6)

    Wiping the sweat from my brow

    Yay Pats!

    But that was a little closer than I was hoping for. Phew!

    2nd half commercials in a minute.

    Posted by jghiii at 10:37 PM | Comments (2)

    SuperBowl Commercials Half-time Report

    The spots that stood out to me in the first half:

    Willie Nelson Advice Doll (HR Block)
    Yelling at the Ref (Bud Lite)
    Clydesdale Donkey (Budweiser)
    See What Happens (Mitsubishi)
    Rocket Sled/Horse Farting (Bud Lite)
    Shake Things Up/Mohummed Ali (IBM)
    Snow Beach Volley Ball (???)
    American Chopper Hi Performance (AOL)

    Posted by jghiii at 08:26 PM | Comments (5)

    Car Talk dumps Real Audio

    Car Talk Website:

    Car Talk will now be available via the Windows Media Player, rather than RealMedia. That's right, we're unceremoniously dumping RealMedia.

    Why? Because, for a long time, we've had tons of complaints about RealNetworks. And the one that ticks us off the most is the perceived trickery they use to sell their premium products. This is just our opinion, mind you, but it's shared by enough of our listeners, that we finally decided to take action.

    Here's the problem. In order to hear our audio, you have to go to Real.com and download their "free" RealPlayer. But when you get to the web site, the free player is harder to find than Osama Bin Laden at night. And the site seems to do everything it possibly can to get you to "buy" a player instead. You have to work very hard to get the free player. And we think that stinks. And get this. It stinks so much that it even makes Microsoft look good by comparison. That's something, huh?

    Hey guys. Try Quicktime/MP3.

    Posted by jghiii at 08:11 AM | Comments (0)

    Good news Bad news

    Boston Herald:

    The Red Sox are on the verge of selling out every game at Fenway Park this season.

    Posted by jghiii at 12:32 AM | Comments (8)