goal inflation

Does this happen to anyone else?

“I will workout/run six times this week” : Actual result = twice
“As long as I get two workouts in this week I’ll be good” : Actual result = zero

“I will complete eight items on my todo list” : Actual result = two
“I should do two things on my list” : Actual result = maybe one

Seems there’s a pattern here. What’s the better strategy – Revise faux goals upwards to get more results or go with the “do what you say at all costs” revise down plan?


i want to be!

On a whim, I applied to be a contestant on Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

This is to confirm that you are scheduled to audition for Who Wants to
be a Millionaire on Tuesday, June 29th  at 5:00 PM.  Please arrive
at 4:30 PM outside of 30 West 67th street between Central Park West and
Columbus Ave.

The email comes with a questionnaire I’m supposed to fill out beforehand.

Please answer the following questions:

1. What would Meredith Vieira find most interesting about you?

2. What is the first thing you would do with one million dollars?

3. Complete this sentence – You’d never believe it but I…..

4. Any unique titles, awards or distinctions?

5. Anything else we should know about you?

Ok, so whoever comes up with the best answers to these questions gets to be my life-line when I get on the show.


sym links in windows

I’d heard about this before, but finally had a need for it. Behold Winbolic.

From the docs:

Windows has the ability to create folder links, which allows you to create “alias” folders whose contents are really from another folder. Links essentially allow access of one copy of data from several locations on your computer. For those familiar with Unix symbolic (symlink) and hard links, Windows has a somewhat equivalent link type for each. Unfortunately, Windows does not include any tool to create these types of links; that’s what Winbolic Link was created to be.

Links may be created to allow multiple organizations of files, to reduce clutter, or to allow programs to be moved or installed on another drive without the operating system noticing.

Note this is more powerful than a shortcut. When you create the link it actually behaves like the item (file or folder) you are linking to.

Like many companies, we are provided a private network drive where we are meant to store our files (G:\ in our case) and I wanted to keep my photos there, but wanted the convenience of having pictures in “My Documents\My Pictures”. So now “My Pictures” points to “G:\z.Personal\Pictures” (the z. is for sort order purposes). I’m sure I’ll go overboard with this now that I know how powerful it can be.

I see why Microsoft didn’t choose to support this directly – its pretty difficult to explain.



Cheap art idea.

The Rasterbator lets you take any image or photo, rasterize it up to a 5 meter long/wide poster size.

Raise your hand if you used to make banners in PrintShop as a kid. Can you believe they still make PrintShop — version 20! Bonus fact: It is actually one of the first, few .NET based shrink wrapped software packages.

[via Chris Pirillo











tinkle for kerry

A night of comedy to benefit the presidential campaign of John Kerry.
Friday, July 9th
125 Fifth Ave
Park Slope, Brooklyn
Hosted by:
other guests TBA
check our website (tinkle.info) for updated show information
Tickets: 25$
(go to concertsforkerry.org to purchase tickets)

Comments: I’ve been to these Tinkle events before and they are always very funny. This one promises to be special and will probably feature some very well known comics. Plus it’s for a good cause. Vote Kerry.


the aristocrats

Directly from MetaFilter:

South Park does the “Aristocrats” joke. (WARNING! Windows Media file, very very not safe for work.) “The Aristocrats” is a long-lived comedians’ in-joke–or, rather, an extraordinarily filthy joke that’s not really a joke. (Gilbert Gottfried knocked ’em dead with it shortly after 9/11.) Now it’s going public (sort of): Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza are making a movie featuring over 100 comedians telling their own versions. The South Park version linked above is “not even in the top 5 for dirtiest.” Yikes!

Comments: The first link video is safe for work, its just the south park gang, the audio is definitely headphone only material.

I guess the whole thing is just a comedian’s competition on who can come up with the filthiest/funniest version of the bit between the setup and the punchline. The punchline not being funny at all.

I find that I use a humor compatibility test using certain things from movies and TV shows. For example, I think the funniest part of the clip is Cartman doing the “hold on Kyle’s” in the middle of the story.



Here’s how to play a fantastic team quarters game


  1. Buy a large quantity of domestic beer
  2. Get a large table, clear out all the chairs
  3. Pick two teams of around four people each on opposite sides of the table(tournament style play is ok for more than two teams, but single-elimination is recommended)
  4. Place eight cups in line parallel to the teams in the middle of the table.
  5. Fill the cups with approx 1/3 of a beer can
  6. Put a large pitcher in the middle of the line of cups
  7. Fill the pitcher with approx 1.5 cans of beer
  8. Procure two clean quarters (pre-fancy state quarters bounce better)


  1. Each team gets one quarter. At a starter’s signal players begin bouncing the quarter into any one of the small cups (not the pitcher yet)
  2. If the quarter goes in, the other team must select one person to drink the cup with the quarter at the bottom. Simultaneously, they must pass their quarter to the other team and they get to continue playing for other cups.
  3. Once a team has sunk four cups, they move on to the big pitcher. The team to get the quarter into the pitcher wins. The losing team must drink the pitcher.

Hints and rules:

  1. Every player gets two attempts, then they must pass the quarter
  2. The final pitcher drinking should be one person at a time and no repeat drinkers, which should leave an anchor member who must finish whatever his teammates leave for him
  3. If a quarter leaves the table, game-off until it is back in the hands of the players
  4. Between game toweling off of the table is recommended (beer zamboni)
  5. Speed is essential, lots of yelling will ensue



fiddling with the radio at 200 mph

The New York Times has an article about modern F1 technology. It just skims the surface of the massive amount of technology that goes into the sport.

also noted on slashdot

[via my brother Kevin]


joel as dinosaur

Joel Spolsky, noted software development guru has finally gone off the deep end.

His latest rant is a classic example of a certain syndrome we’ve encountered many times in computing history. Certain people have this thing happen to them where they become so comfortable with a specific technology, so in tune with the ins and outs, best practices, invented cool workarounds, that they hit some brick wall when it comes to accepting that they have to move on. Joel is finding himself in this situation now. He’s very proud of his many years of VB, COM, ASP experience and probably finally feels like he’s got everything under control. Life is peachy. Then MS decides (nearly 6 years ago) that the time to make a quantum leap is now and that leap started with .NET and continues on through Longhorn and beyond. Managed code. Joel is thinking “why oh Lord must they change things when I’m a guru over here?” I’ll have to learn how to guru all over again. So maybe I’ll try to convince the world that it is a bad idea to introduce this new stuff and I’ll stick to my guns until it’s time to retire.

How many times have we heard this? “Nobody wants Windows, DOS will be it for me”, “Who needs to run more than one application at a time”, “I will never use a mouse”, “Win 3.1 (or 98 SE) is all I’ll ever need, I’ll never upgrade” and on and on.

Was Joel at the PDC? Somebody should show him the demo of Longhorn running VisiCalc. I saw it with my own eyes.

I could go on and on about all this, but I think I’ll leave it here: Raymond Chen is a fascinating read and his lessons shouldn’t be forgotten, but he’s not the future. Managed code (in many shifting forms) is the future. Look at Don Box for inspiration. The guy knows more about COM internals than anyone and one might have expected him to grow old crowing on about how COM rules for all times, but instead he used his guru credibility and skills in building absolutely key, cutting edge stuff in Indigo.