Category Archives: Personal

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy low-sodium, low-sugar, low-cholesterol, low alcohol, measured Vitamin K Thanksgiving!

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Somewhat Amazing Kitchen Trick

VIDEO: How to Peel a Head of Garlic in Less Than 10 Seconds.

I have to try this. As my first cookbook said, “If your friends don’t like garlic, get new friends.”

(Spotted via Lifehacker.)

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I Am Not Going to New York Tomorrow

We were planning to go to New York tomorrow, but the event we were going for is cancelled due to the city being closed this weekend for hurricane. It’s a little ironic for a Miami person to not be able to go to New York because they are having the hurricane, but there it is.

I can’t help but be reminded of a previous trip that I scrubbed due to bad weather. I had planned to go to DC in mid-February, 2010. That got scrubbed due to an enormous snowstorm. During the time I’d planned to be away, my aorta burst. Had I been in DC, I likely would not have been as near a hospital, nor as likely to go to one, as I was at home — with deeply bad results. Had I flown out late, delayed due to weather, I could have been on the plane when it happened. Had I been on the plane, I’d be dead.

Instead, I’m pretty well — and very lucky. I hope New York is lucky too.

We’re going next weekend instead, assuming New York is still there. By Miami standards the predicted winds by the time Irene gets to New York seem strong, but not incredibly fierce — sort of on the border between a very bad tropical storm and and a lesser hurricane. But I suppose they’re not as well set up for it as we are.

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My Lovely DMV Experience (Bonus Election Snapshot)

I had to go to the DMV to renew my 18-years-old pre-Real-ID drivers license. In theory if you have an appointment you should breeze right through, while droves of people without appointments — I counted well over 200 — wait and wait. But when I got there they inexplicably gave me a ticket for the non-appointment line. After 45 minutes, I asked why, given that I had an appointment, it was taking so long, and someone explained that I had the wrong ticket, and directed me to someone else who then gave me an “A” ticket instead of a “B” ticket. Some 15 minutes later, I was at the head of the line.

And that is the point at which the entire DMV computer system decided to take a vacation. Apparently this happens with some regularity. Somehow, however, I doubt that Governor Voldermort is going to invest in better computers for the DMV.

All in all, it took me three hours door-to-door, and it felt like eight.

On the way out, I passed two different storefronts in the (ugly and depressing) Mall of the Americas that were being used as voting locations for today’s Miami-Dade Mayor election. I sent my first ever phone Tweet, complete with a photo of all the exciting lunch-time voting action! The scene was pretty much identical in both storefronts, by the way.

Posted in Miami, Personal | 4 Comments

How to Manage Spam-Like Twitter Followers?

I need advice. I don’t actually Twitter much (except from conferences) although I’ve set up discourse.net to feed a notice to twitter whenever I write something (and also to tweet when something appears on Jotwell). And to be honest I don’t even read the aggregate of other people’s Twitter feeds that often (although I do once in a while), as there’s just too much, and I can’t cope with the firehose.

But I do get emails whenever someone follows me — now running an average of almost two a day it seems. Many are real folks. That’s nice. A few others may be real folks but they seem to be pornographers or the like. I block them. My question is what to do about the followers who while not pornographers seem to be firms with no connection to what I write about, but seem instead to be firms using Twitter to promote themselves (e.g. auto repair, office supplies). Sometimes when I check their feeds they seem to be genuinely interested in, say, privacy issues, most most often every post just promotes their firm.

Should I block them? Report them as spam? Ignore them? I don’t much care about my 580-something Twitter followers; it takes different things to feed or deflate my ego. But there is a different reason why I might care: On the one hand, I don’t like spammers, and if they are getting some benefit from this behavior I’m going to be on board to make the effort, up to some point, to deny them that benefit in service to the commons. On the other hand, it’s one more darn thing to worry about and choosing which people to block is not costless — the process of trying to figure out if they are for real or not does take some amount of effort I’d just as soon not expend if the exercise is pointless.

So, Twitter users, what are the relevant norms? Should I care about this?

Posted in Internet, Personal | 8 Comments

A Shocking Piece of News (Updated)

It is raining and cool today in San Fransisco.

Update OK, here’s something even more shocking: it got sunny and almost warm later on.

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Keith Aoki

Keith Aoki, innovative copyright scholar and great guy, has died at the untimely age of 55.

He was a professor at UC Davis and previously at U. Oregon, where I first met him many years ago.

Some web tributes are here, here, here, and here.

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