Friday, August 16, 2013

Writing code just because

Yesterday I wrote a little script in php that basically makes customizable Venn diagrams on the fly. I haven't finished it, but this will give you an idea here. I wrote it just because I wanted to see If i could do it. Apparently I can. It just reminded me of when I was a kid learning basic and writing programs that did silly things or fun things like figuring out what day of the week you were born on by putting in your birthday. 

The problem is now on and off all day I've been thinking of how to monetize it or combine it with other things and build something later to then be monetized. Yes, I'm creating a circle on a page and trying to sell it - y'know for the kids.

Some things don't need to be sold or profited from they can simply be. Maybe someone else can find a use for it. Or just improve it and then put back out into the universe for more people to use. I don't think there's a tremendous need anywhere to make Venn diagrams on the fly, but maybe it can help somebody explain something important or at least important to them. 

Friday, January 20, 2012


I left my house at 4:30am Monday morning to catch a 6am flight to San Francisco - it was 14 degrees. I was wearing a sweater and a blazer and I was fine. Granted I only went from the house to the car and from the car to the terminal, but it wasn't windy so it wasn't bad.

When I landed in SF it was somewhere around 50 degrees. To me this was terrific for middle of January, but my weather app said that there was a severe weather alert warning of low temperatures.

In the three days I was there I kept waiting for it to get cold. At night it did get as low as the upper 30's. San Franciscans were walking around in hats and scarves and probably the heaviest coats they owned.

It felt like fall to me - my blood having that New York consistency, which keeps me from having to wear a a coat until mid-December. The funny thing is though, that once I cross the line into coat wearing territory every day become this frozen nightmare, which lasts until sometime in march.

I hate the winter. I hate cold. I hate snow. I hate ice. I hate having to wear a coat. I hate having to wear socks.

This winter hasn't been as bad as some. Today we're getting the first snow all season. We did get like 5 inches or so in October, but that's fall. Although I did think that snowfall was sign of things to come - a potential repeat of last year when it seemed to snow a foot every third day. And because my wife was pregnant, I was out at like 4 am clearing the driveway. It's still cold. It's still dark. It's still winter, though.

The one thing this trip helped me to realize about winter is that I don't necessarily need the constant summer like Florida (having lived in Key West and experienced months of beautiful weather in a row, I know it gets old), but I like the idea of mild weather. I can do upper 30's at night to mid 50's during the day.

That's how January should be. The good news is that this coming Monday it's going to be in the mid-50s here in New York. Of course being NY there has to be some flaw - it's going to rain.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Slightly Nauseous and Strapped Down for Six Hours

I guess like most people I like traveling, but hate flying. I don't care that flying isn't a skill humans evolved, so it's completely unnatural. I usually don't think about crashing or anything like that (I find statistics comforting).

Part of it is the check in process: going through the lines taking off my shoes, jacket, hoping that I've put my wedding band somewhere safe (can't imagine having to explain losing that), and then the occasional TSA feel up.

But it's more than that. It's being strapped down for hours on end. It's flight attendants that read rules as if they were just brought down the mountain by Moses and you will literally go to Hell (or federal prison) if you have to pee while the captain has the seatbelt sign "illuminated." It's that slight bit of motion sickness. It's the anxiety of baggage claim (if your bag has ever not come out onto the carousel, you know what I mean).

There have definitely been improvements lately. Mobile boarding passes rock. Economy plus (for those of unwilling to pay for first or business class) or what ever they call the cheap seats with extra legroom on other airlines. The fact that I'm writing this from 35k feet is also an improvement.

Improvements are great, but there's no way to feel like you're not trapped. I'm not claustrophobic. When I was I a submariner, I never felt trapped (at least physically) on the boat and I was there for months at a time. Maybe airlines can take some lessons from submarines - paint the interior bright green, white lights, give everyone a job. Maybe that would just work for me.

The good news is now I have less than four hours left on this flight.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


As I'm riding the train into work with the licence plates of our former Acura in my bag, it it sort of feels like carrying remains around - it's all that's left of this thing that carried my family around for four years (except paperwork of course).

It didn't die on us, thankfully, but still we had to get rid of it. it no longer worked for us, as our family of four grew to five (plus a dog, two cats and a frog) we were just too tightly packed.

This was my wife's car, so I didn't have the same emotional attachment to it, but i do understand that attachment and the pain of that loss. It's not like the loss of a pet, but it is definitely greater than most inanimate objects because you've done things in them, gone places with them and they are part of a shared memory more than say a watch.

I was a late bloomer to driving and owning cars, so ending that relationship is a fairly new experience for me. In fact the first car that I really owned and used on a daily basis, died as a result of me flipping and rolling it on the Hutchinson River Parkway in Westchester County, NY. That was a fairly emotional departure, but the car after that really surprised me. I had owned it for a year and it had become the third (and unnecessary) car. I gave it to charity and was totally shocked when I misted up watching it get towed away off to become "parts."

That car became unnecessary because we bought the Acura that has now been replaced by a minivan, which will someday become unnecessary or will just no longer work for us or will just no longer work.

Monday, December 12, 2011

shameless self-promotion

Nothing feels more like shameless self-promotion than an page - here's mine -,except maybe a blog post about creating a new page.

This does, however, feel like a good topic to off a new blog.

I've had a couple of false starts with blogs. I think I have a good idea and then never have the time to follow through and do more than one post or part of a post that never gets published.

Also, and more importantly, what am I going to write about? Me? Who really wants to know? When I was putting up my page and it came to the part where you put in the "services" and I was putting up Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and FourSquare, I realized I already put a lot of the stuff I like online, so I might as well write about it.

So I'll post this and we'll see if I post some more. (If it will boost my Klout score I'm all over it).

Thanks for reading and I hope it won't be too boring.