say my name

they got it right!

i like my coffee. i don’t necessarily like that i mindlessly fork over my money to coffee-mega-corp every morning, but i do, mostly because there’s no one else on my way to work who can jolt me awake as fast. and the thing i like most about it is that sometimes they ask you for your name to mess up call out later. and when you have a name like mine, you get some interesting “variations”:

  • bazz-el (ok…)
  • dazzel (my favorite, hands down)
  • shabazz (what?)
  • larry (no, i’m not kidding)

but today they got it right. said it and spelled it. it’s going to be a good day.

i hope.

couch to (couch to) 5k

around the new year’s, i made a resolution to get in better shape by taking up a running program. inspired by the couch to 5k program, i was all set. i’d be running 3 miles in two months. i even got a nike+ kit for my old ipod nano to use gadget-motivation.

here we are in april and so far it’s been a non-starter. i could make a whole load of excuses about how it’s hard to get up and out with the rush to work, with henry waking up early and needing attention, but it’s all a load of whiny procrastination. so this saturday morning, i’m off to get started with things. armed with the “official” couch to 5k podcast, i’m ready to get started.

as much as i want to get in better shape for me, it’s really more about alison and henry and the unborn one. i see sites like no more fat dad and put them together with pictures that i can’t stand to look at because of how awful i look and it’s time to get serious about it. at this rate, i could say “i’m about to start running” until it’s time to make a new set of new year’s resolutions.

i’m blogging about it to basically shame myself into doing hitting the streets. unless something happens like getting hit by lightning or a street cleaner, i’d better have something to write about on saturday.

the flip

The Flip

before henry was born, i was adamant that we get a good video camera to record the hours upon hours of important events that we would want to capture on film. we got a pretty good and not outrageously expensive (by 2005 standards) video camera and we were all set. two and a half years later, we’ve only used it a handful of times and, while we got some cute stuff on film, the whole process is just too cumbersome. i still have about three or four DV tapes that i need to capture and who knows when i’m going to get around to it.

i keep reading about the flip, which looks like a really neat camera. small enough to tote around anywhere, it can hold up to an hour of footage and makes it easy to upload movies to youtube (and hopefully flickr, now that that’s an option) or email around.

i’ll try to hold on for a couple more months before the second baby arrives, but this looks like a winner.

save scrabulous!

Scrabble Tries to Fight a Popular Impostor at Its Own Game

well, this is just too much. don’t you understand that the only main reason that i joined facebook was to play scrabulous? intellectual property, blah, blah, blah. was mattel really threatened by an online version of scrabble that wasn’t branded by them? now what, will i have to check in on both scrabble and scrabulous games? it’s all too much.


i wanted to play scrabulous.

after years of holding out, ignoring, and chastising people for opening accounts on whatever social network was the “right” one to join at the time, i opened up a facebook account last week. and i don’t think i’ve ever played as much scrabble. (i still suck.)

at various educational technology conferences that i’ve been do in the last couple years, there was a clear push to all things online. i’m not a stranger to doing things online, but i’m definitely a bit of a xenophobe when it comes to being online. last november, though, one of the preferred modes of communication was twitter. i can’t say that i really used it much, but it was something to experiment with. i’ve been using this blog to communicate with no one in particular for a long time now, but for some reason, that was it for me. i didn’t want to do any more. “keep yer social networks,” i would say. even better, “don’t join them.” and so i didn’t.

last year, though, i had to do a presentation to my school’s parent body on facebook and, with a panel of students, demonstrated that it’s not all so bad. granted, there was a lot of time that could be wasted on things like facebook and some definitely take it to a ridiculous extreme (at the time, i think i said something like, “why your kid needs to tell all their friends that they’re taking a shower or eating cereal is beyond me”), but there was also a lot of good and productive stuff that the student panel showed off. and a lot of scary stuff, too.

still, i was content to ignore it, hoping it would pass.

and here i am, now often thinking about updating my status and *always* checking in on my scrabulous games. and i’m finding friends, old and older, online and connecting in some small way. and i find myself contantly thinking about how i can use this to build a group for my school for our students to be connected — since they’re definitely using facebook and ignoring some of our in-house tools — and wondering why my own high school doesn’t have a way to connect on facebook. maybe it’s time to create some of my own groups.

sigh… if you can’t beat them… play scrabulous!

get your hands off my baby!

hey, guy on the subway. yes, you helped me grab the stroller as it started rolling backwards when the train lurched forward. but really, you didn’t have to hold on to it for a little longer than you should have, putting your foot up on the wheel. really, we had it. it was fine that you asked what his name was, i guess, but you really, really didn’t have to rub his head. in fact, you probably shouldn’t have. if you wouldn’t rub your hands on an adult’s head, you shouldn’t do it to a little boy. and you should have figured it out when i pulled the stroller a little nearer to me and looked at you like you were some kind of weirdo.

but ok, so you kind of like kids, i guess. so i can maybe see why you tapped him on the shoulder as you were leaving to wave good-bye, but i really don’t think you should have. you really, really, really shouldn’t have rubbed his head again. i think you got the point when i said something and glowered at you, but we still couldn’t tell.

fucking pervert…

i’m just getting started…

so here’s the thing i can’t get over as i sink deeper and deeper into this dhl quagmire: i’ve talked to about six different people there and no one is telling me the same thing. they’ll have the local office call me when they get an update. they’ll have the local office call me no matter what. by tomorrow afternoon. in an hour. well, why would they call me if they had nothing new to report? the courier went home. of *course* they would call me no matter what.

when i think of a german company, i expect timeliness, precision, and some sense of order (though alison just said that it’s not like they’re swiss). am i wrong there? apparently so, because DHL now strikes me as a bunch of clowns that can’t get a damn thing straight.

maybe he’s dyslexic

a secret about myself that i’ll gladly disclose is that i’m incredibly anal about getting packages delivered. incredibly. when i get an order shipment notification, i’ll easily check the status of that order every day, multiple times on the delivery date, and even more once i get notification that the shipment is out with the delivery courier. and whenever i get the chance to sign myself up for real-time email reports on a delivery, you’d better believe that i sign up for them.

last night, i got a notice about a DHL delivery that we weren’t here to receive. i wasn’t even sure what it was, but after checking realized that it was a software upgrade i’d been waiting on from microsoft since november. i was very eager to finally receive it, but i didn’t bother calling or acting on it in any way, figuring that either they’d leave the package at my front door if they could get in the building or leave me another notice. when we got home tonight there was nothing, no notice and, more importantly, no package.

tracking the package online i saw that the package was delivered, left at my doorstep in fact. hooey! it was nowhere to be found, not in front of my door, not on the floor below, and not anywhere at the building’s entrance. when i called DHL, i got a rather snotty rep who told me that the package was delivered. clearly it wasn’t, but she said that she could call the local office and have the rep report where he left the package.

this was where i started to lose it. if the guy delivered it to the wrong address but all the supporting information shows that he brought it to the right place, he’s just going to *remember* that he brought it to the wrong place? how does that work? when i pressed her on it, she said, in total seriousness, “maybe he’s dyslexic and he got the numbers of the address mixed up.” this did *not* increase my confidence that i would ever see this package again. because i was getting a bit pushy about it — and this had more to do with her answers than being a bitchy customer — she put me on hold while she tried to call the local office with me on the line.

and then the phone call got disconnected.

so i called microsoft and they’re shipping me another order, which is great. and i chose DHL to deliver it because i think they still have to win over the post office. and apparently they have drivers who remember every address they deliver to, even the mistakes.

i also called back DHL because i wasn’t sure that a follow-up had been created for my package, and sure enough there wasn’t. this time, i got another customer service rep who gave me essentially the same information — drivers normally remember their deliveries for about a week (do they get some kind of test to prove this?) and that he would have someone from the local office call me. i was glad that he set things up and i even feel a little more confident in their magic package-regeneration abilities.

to top it off, someone called me from DHL later in the night to tell me that she was sorry about the delivery and about how it was handled earlier in the evening. so maybe it will show up after all. it had better, because i’ve got three other packages on their way to me and i can’t possibly go through this with each one.

science headlines

nothing really meaningful to report, which is why it’s been months since i’ve posted anything. two headlines from today’s new york times science section caught my eye — one i thought was very cool and the other, well, the other just has disaster written all over it. i’ll let you decide which is which.

nytimes: smaller version of the solar system is discovered

nytimes: u.s. to attempt to shoot down faulty satellite