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February 27, 2003

The first cross-country weblog?

Mike pointed me to this Newsweek article about Dave Winer's appointment as a new fellow at the Berkman Center for Law   Society. In the interview, Dave said that he has sold his house and is driving across the country for his new gig to evangelize weblogging at Harvard. "Iím going to do the first cross-country blog." Oh, really? That's curious. I did a search at Google for "cross-country blog" and the first result that came up is TwOn on the Road, a weblog for a roadtrip that took the writer all over the country including stops in Massachusetts, New York, Tennessee, Colorado and California.

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Sometimes there is no subject

"Can you squeeze me
Into an empty page of your diary
And psychologically save me
I've got faith in you
I sense the power
Within the fingers
Within an hour the power
Could totally destroy me
(Or, it could save my life) - Hairdresser on Fire : Morrissey

I finally recovered from whatever illness zapped me for two weeks. No more coughing, sneezing or wheezing. I've been conspiring with John, Brad and Nicholas for the in-the-works-finally-launching Exploit Boston! website. It's been a lot of fun and I'm really looking forward to seeing everything come together.

Last night I called Radio Shack in Harvard Square to inquire about the Sanyo 4900 data cable that was listed on their website for $20. It connects to my cell phone and the usb slot on my notebook computer. They had three on hand so I braved the cold elements, walked to the bus stop, took the 77 bus to Harvard Square and purchased the cable. They tried to convince me to buy the software which costs $40 and includes the cable "for free." Since the PCS software is available online for free, I decided to pass on their offer. I can now get online with my notebook computer anywhere. For whatever reason, I am immensely giddy about this. It will be nice to be able to go to Diesel, Carberry's or wherever and do work. I haven't checked the official speediness of the connection but it's reported to be between 56kbps and 144kbps. Overall, it works quite well. Spring's "Vision" service is free for the first three months and $10/month after that. The best part is the unlimited usage -- there are no per-mb charges. Nice, indeed! Obligatory thanks to Terry for letting me know about the cable.

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February 23, 2003

Boston Organics = Yum

Boston Organics, home delivery of organic and natural foods

Boston Organics delivers fresh produce to your door in the Boston area on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. I first tried it out a few months ago and it looks like they have expanded their delivery area since then. Each delivery includes a few recipes using that week's produce.

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February 22, 2003

A New Song By Rose Polenzani

rose polenzani

"I'm a big disappointment to you I know, What made you want to get to know me so well boy, What's done is done, I thought I could take someone into the same sun."

Rose Polenzani added a home recording to her website's listening room. It's a new song from my favorite Boston singer/songwriter titled "No Clouds" and it's super deluxe great. You can download the tune ala MP3 and Real Audio formats. Rose has shows later this month and in March at several cities in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Massachusetts and New York. She puts on a excellent live show and is worth seeing.

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February 20, 2003

New Phone = New Toy

As noted in my latest photolog entry, I recently purchased a new cell phone and service from Sprint PCS. It's a cute little Sanyo 4900 and includes Sprint's new "Vision" service that provides unlimited web and Internet access on the phone. I'm very impressed with the service so far. Granted the speed is nowhere close to my cable modem. Presumably it zips along about as fast as a dialup connection. It comes with a USB interface -- too bad you can't plug a keyboard into it! For an extra $350 you can buy Sierra Wireless' AirCard 550 which lets you wirelessly connect your notebook computer or handheld device to the phone's web and Internet connection. That would come in handy for road trips Michael and I want to take later this year.

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February 12, 2003

Upcoming Event: Free Agent Lunch, Thurs., Febr. 20th

For the past few years I've hosted a lunch for people working solo called Free Agent Lunch. If you're working on your own or thinking about it, consider joining us for lunch on February 20th at Bertucci's Restaurant at the Alewife T Station at 11:30am. Informal networking takes place 11:30am-12noon and then lunch and conversations follows at 12noon. We usually wrap up around 1:00pm. The lunch costs $15 if paid in advance through MollyGuard/Paypal and it's $20 cash if you prefer to pay at the door. People from diverse backgrounds attend each lunch and chances are you'll make several really good contacts. Visit the registration page to reserve your seat. If you have questions or comments, get in touch.

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February 11, 2003

Please Pass the Kleenex

Irony or instant karma? I'm not sure. Either way, I've got a cold. I had commented to Michael the other day how fabulous it was that I had not been zapped with an illness in 2003. I guess I should have kept my mouth shut. I bought a box of Gypsy Cold Care tea at Trader Joe's. But since I generally dislike hot beverages, I'm conducting an experiment and steeping the tea an extra five minutes then adding ice cubes. I think the only exception to my dislike of hot beverages would have to be hot chocolate.

I'm slowly tinkering on the photolog but haven't had a chance to take any photos lately since I've been hibernating indoors. If you're in the Boston area, the Bostonia network's gathering/mixer is happening at 7pm at Caveau inside the Marche Movenpick restaurant at The Prudential Center. It's the perfect time of the year to hang out at Caveau: a glass of wine and a big fireplace = good times. So, why not join us?

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February 08, 2003

New monthly event series: Brunch!

It seems like there are already enough evening events to choose from so I thought I'd try something different ... a monthly brunch in the Boston area. The first brunch will be held at Tea Tray in the Sky in Arlington on Sunday, March 2nd. Individuals pay for their own food and beverages. Each brunch will take place on a Saturday or Sunday. Take a look at Tea Tray in the Sky's brunch menu. It changes regularly but that will at least give you a good idea of the type of food they serve and the prices. If you'd like to join us, subscribe to my email newsletter to receive more information. If you have a restaurant recommendation, let me know!

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February 07, 2003

Rent this apartment in Watertown

A simple plan:

Rent this apartment in Watertown. And then invite me over to cook in your kitchen.

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Knitting Adventures

Shannon knitting a hat

Shannon came over last weekend to help me out with an introductory knitting lesson. It didn't go all that well; but I have hope for next time. I'm overdue for new contacts/glasses so that probably didn't help. Being able to see the little loops and yarn is a convenient bonus! Shannon, on the other hand, is a knitting whiz. Mostly I just want to learn how to knit socks. And a little cozy for my notebook computer. Click the image to see a larger photograph and a better view of Shannon and the hat-in-progress.

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Upcoming Event: Bostonia Gathering

Wednesday, February 12th @ 7pm, Caveau, Prudential Center, Boston

Mark James is hosting the third Bostonia gathering at Caveau, a wine bistro that is part of the Marche Movenpick compex at the Prudential Center in Boston. The event takes place Wednesday, February 12th at 7pm. I met a lot of interesting people at the previous two events. There is no cost to attend the event. Everyone pays for their own food and drink.

Bostonia is a network at Ryze, a business networking website founded by Adrian Scott. You don't need to be a Ryze member to attend Bostonia events; but it's free to join. The Bostonia Network has over 100 members. If you plan to be at the event but aren't a Ryze member, let me know you'll be there. Otherwise, RSVP on the event info page. You can view my page at Ryze but you'll need to be logged in as a member to see most of the tidbits including guestbook entries.

(Note: This event is an individual Bostonia Network event, and is not officially sponsored by Ryze)

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February 05, 2003

Bruce Springsteen at the Somerville Theater III

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that Bruce Springsteen and Patty Scialfa were expected to perform at a benefit concert for Doubletake Magazine at the Somerville Theater. DoubleTake is a magazine about the documentary film world and had stopped its operations due to financial problems. The Boston Herald reported tickets would cost $1,000 and $5,000. A few days later, Bruce was reported to have been cranky that news about the show being was leaked to the press by DoubleTake before anything was official. He was apparently also irritated about the high ticket price.

The show is now back on and is listed on DoubleTake's website. Bruce and Patty will perform at two "intimate concerts" for approximately 900 people on February 19th and 20th. Ticket prices dropped considerably, too. "Tickets will cost $100 and $500. There will be a limited number of tickets available directly from DoubleTake. The price of these seats will start at $1,000 and include a pre-show reception attended by Dr. Robert Coles, Springsteen and other prominent DoubleTake supporters." Tickets go on sale today, February 5th at 11am.

I wonder how fast tickets will sell out. Thirty seconds? A minute?

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February 04, 2003

The South by Southwest Interactive Festival is Around the Corner!


During the days and nights of March 7-11, hundreds of web professionals and hobbyists converge in Austin, TX for the South by Southwest Interactive Festival. The festival includes panels, a trade show and evening parties. This will be my third year attending. It's always a mix of fun, learning and inspiration.

Independents Day (a project I help organize) will be co-hosting three panels with Derek Powazek, John (Halcyon) Styn and Jeffrey Zeldman during the festival. ID has been quiet lately but interesting things are stirring and we should have some new things in the works later this year.

Why you need to be there

The South by Southwest Interactive Festival's website lists several good tidbits regarding who should attend and why. Their list focuses on people who work in technology or Internet related careers; but the festival is also great for people with personal websites and labor of love web projects. People who attend the South by Southwest Interactive festival are passionate about the work they do professionally and personally on the Internet and the web. If you're a freelancer, free agent or consultant, SXSW is presenting the second Freelancer Forum on Monday, March 10th, hosted by Pableaux Johnson.

The costs, getting there, etc.

If you think that this conference is too expensive to get to from Boston, think again! The entire conference, which includes a diverse collection of panels and parties, costs $250 for the entire four days plus hotel and airfare. I've been looking into airfares out of Boston, Providence and Manchester. It looks like Hotwire(.com) has the best deals. If you're OK with not knowing what time you're departing until after the ticket is purchased Hotwire is an excellent option. Last time I checked they had fares for $240 roundtrip from Boston to Austin. You can also save on hotel costs when you book through the festival. If you're a bargain fare shopper and you don't stay at The Ritz, you can probably keep the trip under $850. If your job involves technology, the web or Internet, your boss should absolutely pay for this trip! If you need ideas to help inspire them to make that decision, let me know. If you are a freelancer, free agent or consultant and you attend the festival, be sure to save all your receipts so you can write off the trip as a business expense at the end of the year.

See you there?

If you'll be there or just thinking about it, let me know. It would be nice to see more people from New England there. Local Boston guy Ravi Jain is up for a SXSW award for his Three Abreast web sitcom!

Never been to Austin and/or SXSW?

Check out SXSW Blog, a community for South by Southwest Interactive participants. If you've never been to Austin before, visit Denise Czaja's "Guide to Austin."

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February 01, 2003

What Boston Blogs Had To Say About Today

BostonOnline.com posted a collection of excerpts from Boston area weblogs talking about Columbia falling from the sky.

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Photographs and Comic Relief at The Boston Celtics Game

click to see a larger image click to see a larger image click to see a larger image click to see a larger image
Photo #1: Vin, his Netezza coworker Sonia and her husband Mike.
Photo #2: It looks like the Celtics have a new mascot. What's his name?
Photo #3: The beverage menu for the Premium Club. Would you like a bottle of Dom with that burger?
Photo #4: The Celtics were losing by fifty points with five minutes left in the game.

Last night Michael and I attended the equally hilarious and sad Boston Celtics basketball game versus the Detroit Pistons at the Fleetcenter. I'm mostly a sports fan by osmosis (via Michael); but attending Celtics game are usually a lot of fun. Michael's dad has season tickets and I sometimes go when there's an extra ticket available. Last night we had really great seats in the "premium" area (thanks to Vin, Michael's dad!) which meant a comfier seat, cup holder, waitress and access to the premium club restaurant. It's too bad that the one game of the year that we had great seats was also the game that would go down in Celtics history as their worst loss. It was comical seeing the fans turn on the Celtics and start to loudly cheer whenever the Pistons scored in the fourth quarter. And despite the Celtics' mega loss, we had a lot of fun.

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