Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Does anyone else find the adjectives Microsoft Outlook uses to sort your emails by size amusing?

Tiny - This can't even contain your long email signature, only an integer or two at most

Small - This is primarily used only for haiku or other short forms of poetry

Medium - Most boring emails fall into this category

Large - It is acceptable to have maybe 1 or 2 large emails a year

Very Large - A simple picture or animated frog gif will wind up here

Huge - You should be ashamed for having any emails in this category

Enormous - Terabytes of death will smite your inbox and crush all email servers within a 100 mile radius Godzilla-style

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Best gift ever

Andrea and I have exchanged our gifts early this year so we could celebrate Christmas on our own before we travel to visit our families. Last night she gave me one of the best gifts ever:

This is one of the most efficient ways to make espresso/coffee I have ever seen. It is insane how good it is. I have had far worse espresso out of a machine. This basically renders them obsolete for only $30. I apologize for sounding like a salesman, but if you can't tell I have become fairly obsessed :) I am not the only one however as there is an annual world aeropress competition:

Anyway, thanks again to Andrea for an amazing gift!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Villancico De Navidad

I thought it would be nice to record something for the Holiday season, so here you go. "Villancico de Navidad" by Barrios. It is a Christmas Carol. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Amusing acronym of the day

There is a lot of technical troubleshooting involved in my job. So I have to ask "DYPII" types of questions:

DYPII = "Did you plug it in?"

for those fans of the IT Crowd DYTTIOAOA = "Did you try turning it on and off again?"

I think DYTTIOAOA is a bit long to take hold though :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Finn MacCool's Reel

Here is a new recording of a Celtic song I have been playing for awhile now. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Debt ceiling...

Andrea and I watched MSNBC last night for the election coverage mostly and I wanted to share a few funny observations we had:

First, Lawrence O'Donnell pummeled every single guest on the show about the debt ceiling and would they vote to raise it. If not, he assured them that society would cease to function and Armageddon would ensue. At first it was annoying. Then eventuallyI would have personally voted to raise the ceiling just to shut him up. I started to wish that the debt ceiling was a glass debt ceiling and could easily be cracked if necessary to pacify Lawrence. Admittedly, I know nothing about this issue. But it seemed kind of lame he was basically going pro life/choice with everyone on it. I will have to do more research to understand this issue.

Secondly, a moment of irony was pointed out by Olbermann when they interviewed Michele Bachmann and Eric Cantor. Each republican was very happy about the results of the election and was delivering their standard message of "The American people are tired of not being listening to.... etc" In fact so much so, that wouldn't answer any of the anchor's questions. THEY were not listening. It was pretty funny actually.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fun times

Biweekly means every two weeks OR twice a week.

Bimonthly means every two months OR twice a month.

Therefore biweekly and bimonthly COULD mean the exact same thing. OR not. Why in the world would you define an adjective for frequency so loosely in terms of frequency??? Its not very helpful, because now that I know this I will always second guess how its being used. I guess you may second guess this now too. Sorry! Just say twice a week or twice a month instead. Then everybody is clear.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Weekend guitar recordings

I felt inclined to record a few short classical pieces this morning. Hope you enjoy! More to come...

Friday, October 22, 2010


It's official now. I do not have a soul. That doesn't mean I can't pick up a used soul with low miles at some point though :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Congratulations to Andrea!

Today, Andrea's promotion was announced to her team. She has been promoted to Sr. eLearning Designer. I just wanted to take a moment and say how proud I am of her. I am extraordinarily lucky to be married to someone who is not only intelligent, beautiful and talented, but very successful in her career as well.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"The Science of Fear"

I have been listening to "The Science of Fear" by Daniel Gardner (on Craig's recommendation, thanks again!). It has been really good so far and has enlightened me on the various industries who have a vested interest in fear. We basically live in the safest, healthiest society so far, yet people are more fearful than ever. Why is this?

Fear is profit and with the most advanced marketing research available, you can bank on being scared (and so can they). For example, if crime rates are going down, then we don't need as big of a police budget for next year. If people diet and exercise regularly, then they wouldn't need to buy as many drugs from the pharmaceutical companies to protect them from evil diseases. I hope this also brings various political campaigns to mind as well. There are a lot of people who stand to profit from the public being afraid of whatever suits their interests. It is our responsibility to investigate and see if these risks are really as scary as the news and advertisers would have us believe.

Ironically, boring things like driving in a car, heart disease, or swimming in a pool are much more of a threat than most things portrayed on the news from a statistical standpoint (e.g., restless leg syndrome, shark attacks, or road rage). Imagine the following headline, "Crime is decreasing and people are living longer than ever. Sleep tight America....." Boring! If I had cable I would change the channel.

This got me thinking on a broader scale. It would seem to me that being happy and content with who you are and what you have in life would make you less likely to be manipulated by various types of salesmen. Life is pretty good, at least for me. If I am "OK" and not upset about anything in particular, I have no need to search for an appropriate resolution. However if I am afraid of some new illness, political issue, or just plain death, I will be more likely to talk to my doctor about the pills on TV, support some politician's cause, or go to church. Concern should ideally be proportional to the actual statistical risk associated with a claim, not the perceived risk.

You are the only person who can benefit from the following motto, "Don't worry, be happy." Well, you and Bobby Mcferrin :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New job

Big news for me....I have recently accepted a job with Wyndham Worldwide in Parsippany NJ. It has been a bit crazy the last two weeks, but also very exciting. My last day at KPMG is 10/1, which is my birthday btw. I am excited about my new role as an instructional designer and working with the new team. Also, this job is only 5 miles away (substantially closer than KPMG which is 42). So there is a decent amount of time I will get back in the day. However, I have to mention that I will sincerely miss my friends at KPMG. They are some of the best people I have ever known and I hope that we still keep in touch. Brief shout out: I love you everyone!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Being Wrong

I just finished this book and wanted to say that it was quite good. It is not a lame self help book, but rather a systematic look at everyone's troubled relationship to wrongness. I would highly recommend it.

For an exercise in wrongness, please try the following the next time you are mistaken about something. Don't worry it should be soon :) Admit to yourself and others that you were wrong, period. Do not say you were wrong but or explain how you were almost right. Just, I was wrong. It is surprisingly empowering.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How I lost at scrabble...

I was on the hugest winning streak, but then this occurred:

Needless to say I was decimated...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Big Picture

I recently subscribed to this RSS feed and just wanted to recommend it to everyone. Photography just has a way of depicting events that transcends basic news stories.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

New Term (for me)

Prepone - To schedule to a time before the original's.

I just learned about this yesterday from one of my colleagues who works with our India team. It does make sense though. If I can postpone something, I should definitely be able to prepone it as well. Here are some other possibilities:

Repone - to reschedule a meeting

Unpone - to cancel a meeting

Nonpone - to fail to schedule a meeting

Corn pone - a delicious piece of cornbread

Pre-pwn - The act of planting a trap in a video game for an oncoming enemy that will most certainly ensure their complete annihilation :)

Friday, May 21, 2010


Andrea and I just saw the finale of Rachmaninoff's 2nd Piano Concerto last night. It was amazing! We also learned a very interesting little tidbit of information for all you NJ haters out there:

Rachmaninoff relaxing in his summer house in Locust Point, New Jersey

Oh yeah. That's right. Enjoy the Russian/New Jersian music :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010


There is a new frog in my life...

From Random

I was helping my Dad open the pool and we found Hoppy! Jill then scared Hoppy back into the pool. Oh well.

Arizona vacation pics

Guess who didn't get picked for jury duty...

THIS juror. #303 was 5 past the cutoff of #298. Close call though...

Friday, April 16, 2010

New term alert

I just discussed a new term with Galen and Brandon at work, and I think there is huge potential:

"NPR Lunch"

When no one is free to go to lunch at work, I dine with Terry Gross or Ira Glass. They are always available :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Jillian and RFP

Today my sister Jillian gave her group presentation for RFP in her grad program. I think most people who read my blog probably know about RFP, but just in case you do not, it is a very big deal. So I just wanted to make a post about how proud I am of her. Despite the huge amounts of preparation and stress that go along with this presentation, she did an awesome job. So congratulations to her and the rest of her group! No disrespect to the other groups, but I am clearly biased here :)

And to celebrate tonight, I hope she has a few of the items below with her classmates and fellow CAC members:

Friday, April 9, 2010

This weekend

There will be some Victory and Rasputina involved this weekend. In that order too. Andrea and I are going to visit Jess in Philly. I am so excited!



Beer-y Cello-y goodness

Monday, March 22, 2010

Listen of the Day

If you have 5 minutes today, please listen to the above piece. I heard this on my drive this morning and it was so wonderful. Drop in, tune out, put on your headphones, and most importantly enjoy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


This is an awesome Radiolab podcast that Andrea recommended to me. It is about randomness and improbability. Humans are generally terrible at estimating probability and have a tendency to seek patterns. That is just a recipe for trouble :)

Monday, February 22, 2010


Programming effort should be measured in Mountain Dews. For example, your project will take approximately 4 cases of Mountain Dew to complete. Please consider scaling back for the sake of my health :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Antennas rock!

Recently, I purchased a $10 TV antenna for my set. With the antenna, I am able to get NBC in HD, NJ's PBS station, CBS, and a local Fox station. It is really cool! Granted there are some limitations. I can't get all the networks with the same antenna settings. For example, I have to change the settings to jump from CBS to NBC (not just the channel). This is frustrating, but it depends on where you are located. You might be able to get a decent amount of channels with less trouble.

The obvious advantage is monetary. I spend $10 one time on the antenna and get to watch the 2010 Winter Olympics in HD. The downsides are the signal is really unreliable, at least in my location. It will go out quite easily and for no apparent reason. When it works, it does look really good though. When you consider how much you would have to pay for cable TV in a given year (and how much you watch it), it seems like a pretty good option. Netflix, the internet, and this antenna pretty much meet or exceed all of my watching needs. If you are into watching certain TV shows in real time as opposed to waiting for DVD, or are a big sports fan, this is definitely not for you. I am not the hugest fan of network TV. So keep that in mind :)

It is well worth a shot for $10 to see what channels you get. If it doesn't work, you can return it. If it does, you could be saving a considerable amount on your cable bill.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Midlake - The Courage of Others

This album recently just came out and I highly recommend it. It sounds like King Crimson and Jethro Tull had a child and named it Midlake. Thanks to Andrea (and NPR) for the find!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Beer is a rich source of silicon and may help prevent osteoporosis

I found this in my Google reader and it HAS to be true. Therefore, you should make sure to have an adequate amount of silicon in your diet by having an Imperial IPA, preferably by Stone or Lagunitas :)

Beer is a rich source of silicon and may help prevent osteoporosis: "A new study suggests that beer is a significant source of dietary silicon, a key ingredient for increasing bone mineral density. Beers containing high levels of malted barley and hops are richest in silicon."

Monday, February 8, 2010


I found this in my Google reader and thought it was pretty funny:


If you don’t know who David Thorne is, I’ll remind you – he is the genius that gave you the “spider drawing” email mayhem. Then there was the “Party in Apartment 3” escapade and the “design me a logo” piece of genius.

But he didn’t stop there – our boy decided to give the people at BlockBuster Video a nervous breakdown as well.

Sit back and enjoy this..

It all started when they (BlockBuster) sent him a “your video is overdue” letter:


Enter, David Thorne:

From: David Thorne

Date: Sunday 8 November 2009 2.16pm

To: Megan Roberts

Subject: DVDs

Dear Megan,

Thank you for your letter regarding overdue fees. As all four movies were outstanding examples of modern cinematic masterpieces, your assumption that I would wish to retain them in my possession is understandable, but incorrect. Please check your records as these movies were returned, on time, over three weeks ago. I remember specifically driving there and having my offspring run them in due to the fact that I was wearing shorts and did not want the girl behind the counter to see my white hairy legs.

Regards, David.

From: Megan Roberts

Date: Monday 9 November 2009 11.09am

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: DVDs

Hi David

Our computer system indicates otherwise. Please recheck and get back to me.

Kind regards,


From: David Thorne

Date: Monday 9 November 2009 11.36am

To: Megan Roberts

Subject: Re: Re: DVDs

Dear Megan,

Yes, they are definitely white and hairy. Viewed from the knees down, the similarity to two large albino caterpillars in parallel formation is frightening. People who knew what the word meant might describe them as ‘piliferous’, although there is something quite sexy about that word so perhaps they wouldn’t.

Regards, David.

From: Megan Roberts

Date: Monday 9 November 2009 1.44pm

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Re: Re: DVDs

Hi David

No I mean our records indicate that the DVDs have not been returned. Please check and return as soon as possible.

Kind regards,


From: David Thorne

Date: Monday 9 November 2009 4.19pm

To: Megan Roberts

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: DVDs

Dear Megan,

With the possible exception of Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, the movies were not worth watching let alone stealing. In Logan’s Run, for example, the computer crashed at the end when presented with conflicting facts and blew up destroying the entire city. When my computer crashes I carry on a little bit and have a cigarette while it is rebooting. I don’t have to search through rubble for my loved ones. The same programmers probably designed the Blockbuster ‘returned or not’ database. Also, while one would assume the title Journey to the Centre of the Earth to be a metaphor, the movie was actually set in the centre of the earth which, being a solid core of iron with temperatures exceeding 4300˚ Celcius and pressures of 3900 tons per square centimetre, does not seem very likely. Waterworld was actually pretty good though. My favourite bit was when they were on the water but the scene when Kevin Costner negotiated for peace, ending the war between fish and mankind moments before the whale army attacked was also very good.

Regards, David.

From: Megan Roberts

Date: Tuesday 10 November 2009 3.57pm

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: DVDs


The DVDs are listed as not returned. If you cant locate the DVDs, you will be charged for the replacement cost.


From: David Thorne

Date: Tuesday 10 November 2009 5.12pm

To: Megan Roberts

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: DVDs

Dear Megan,

I have checked pricing at the DVD Warehouse and the cost of replacing your lost movies with new ones is as follows:

Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay $7.95

Waterworld $4.95

Journey to the Centre of the Earth $9.95

Logan’s Run $12.95

I have no idea why Logan’s Run is the most expensive of the four movies as it was definitely the worst. Have you seen it? I wouldn’t pay $12.95 for that. I would use the money to buy a good movie instead. Probably something with Steven Seagal in it. The entire premise comprised of living a utopian and carefree lifestyle with only three drawbacks – wearing seventies jumpsuits, living in what looks like a giant shopping centre and not being allowed to live past thirty. This would seem logical though as I would not want a bunch of old people hanging around complaining about their arthritis while I am trying to relax at the shopping centre in my jumpsuit trying not to think about the computer crashing.

I was recently forced to do volunteer work at an aged care hospital. Footage of these people during Tuesday night line dancing could be used as an advertisement for the Logan’s Run solution. The only good aspect of working there was that I halved their medication, pocketing and selling the remainder, explaining the computer listed that as their dose and they were welcome to check knowing their abject fear of anything produced after the eighteenth century would prevent them from doing so. I also swapped my Sanyo fourteen inch portable television for their Panasonic wide screen plasma while they were sleeping, explaining that it had always been that way and their senility was simply playing up due to the reduced dosage of drugs.

Regards, David.

From: Megan Roberts

Date: Wednesday 11 November 2009 1.21pm

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: DVDs

Hi David

I have not seen those movies so I dont know what you are talking about. I prefer romantic comedies. If you have the movies we can’t rent them so we lose money and the fees are based on what we we would have made from renting them and we also have to purchase movies through our suppliers not from DVD Warehouse.


From: David Thorne

Date: Wednesday 11 November 2009 3.28pm

To: Megan Roberts

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: DVDs

Dear Megan,

I myself am also a huge fan of romantic comedies. Perhaps we could watch one together. I have a new Panasonic wide screen plasma. My favourite romantic comedy is Fatal Instinct although it did not contain enough robots or explosions in my opinion and I was therefore unable to truly identify with the main characters on a personal and emotional level. Recently, I was tricked into watching The Notebook which was about geese. Lots of geese. It also had something to do with an old lady who conveniently lost her memory so she could not remember being a whore throughout the entire film. I don’t recall a lot of it as I was too busy being cross about watching it. In a utopian future society she would have been hunted down and killed at thirty.

In regards to the late fees, I understand the amount is based on what you lose by not being able to rent the movies out. You probably had people lined up around the block waiting to rent Logan’s Run. For eighty two dollars though, I could have purchased six copies of it from DVD Warehouse or, as I have heard he is a bit strapped for cash, had Kevin Costner visit my house in person and re-enact key scenes from Waterworld in my bathroom.

Regards, David.

From: Megan Roberts

Date: Thursday 12 November 2009 3.16pm

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: DVDs

Hi David.

Restocking fees are:

002190382 Journey to the Centre of the Earth $9.30

003103119 Logans Run $7.90

008629103 Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay $6.30

000721082 Waterworld $5.70

Total: $29.20 – I have deleted your late fees and noted on the computer that the amount owed is for the replacement movies not fees.

Kind regards,


From: David Thorne

Date: Thursday 12 November 2009 7.42pm

To: Megan Roberts

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: DVDs

Dear Megan,

Those prices seem reasonable. I do not want Logan’s Run but will pick up the other three when I come in next.

Regards, David.

From: Megan Roberts

Date: Friday 13 November 2009 12.51pm

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: DVDs

What? The $29.20 is the cost of the replacement DVDs for the store.


From: David Thorne

Date: Friday 13 November 2009 1.15pm

To: Megan Roberts

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: DVDs

Dear Megan,

That makes more sense, I was wondering what I was going to do with two copies of each movie.

Regards, David.

From: Megan Roberts

Date: Friday 13 November 2009 2.33pm

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: DVDs

What do you mean by two copies? Are you saying you found the four movies?


From: David Thorne

Date: Friday 13 November 2009 2.57pm

To: Megan Roberts

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: DVDs

Dear Megan,

Yes, they were on top of my fridge the whole time. Unfortunately I have a blind spot that prevents me from seeing this area of the kitchen as it is also where I keep my pile of unpaid bills. Last night I slept on the kitchen floor with the fridge door open due to my air conditioner being broken and the temperature outside exceeding that of the centre of the earth. As my fridge emits a high pitched ‘beep’ every thirty seconds when left open, the vibrations from this caused the DVDs to wriggle forward over the space of many hours before toppling from the edge and I awoke to find them beside me on the pillow. As you have already waived the late fees, I will drop them off tonight and we will call it even.

Regards, David.

From: Megan Roberts

Date: Friday 13 November 2009 3.43pm

To: David Thorne

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: DVDs


[thanks misha]


Saturday, February 6, 2010


This is my guitar version of Crucify by Tori Amos. Enjoy!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday night update

1. Snow storm hype is a racket to boost the economy (stock up etc...)

2. Zombieland is the best movie ever.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Soundgarden is getting back together!

No more of this Audioslave business. Commence breaking your rusty cages:

Step 1: Break
Step 2: Break your
Step 3: Break your Rusty Cage
Step 4: Run

Friday, January 22, 2010

DDriver = DevilDriver

I am not the hugest DevilDriver fan, but I have to give them some props. Last night on my local radio station WSOU, the DJ which will rename nameless referred to them as DDriver. Perhaps it was for religious reasons or maybe just for brevity. DDriver is one less syllable. Keep in mind in 2007 I believe they attempted the Guinness World record for the largest circle pit. Also, I have seen them live and will vouch that they have the tendency to rock ones face off. So if you ever have to refer to the band, please give them the full devil they deserve :)

Monday, January 4, 2010