I Read Stuff!!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Cultural Icons

We weren't planning on visiting Ground Zero, but we suddenly found ourselves short on local landmarks to visit. You may be shocked that we weren't excited to visit ground zero, but I want you to know we were right to try and avoid it.

The entire place has been fenced off for construction. We walked around about half of it before asking a couple of construction workers where we could view the scene. Turns out the entire thing is walled off. No special view ports have been created. Fencing is what you get to see, though you can peer through the tiny holes.

Nearby we found the Ghostbusters' firehouse, which was much more satisfying. It's a quaint active firehouse that quietly assumes it's mantel of awesomeness. The doors were open so we got a nice peak inside where the firemen have hung a bunch of Ghostbusters memorabilia over their shiny ladder truck.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pizza! Part Deux

Our other top 5 pizza joint is Lombardi's. Purported to be the first pizzeria in America, it's a charming joint with a well worn feel. It's also one of two charcoal oven pizzerias in New York. Charcoal ovens have been outlawed because of the pollution they produce, but the birthplace of American pizza gets a pass.

This was beyond excellent pizza. I would have proclaimed it to be the best pizza I'd ever had, but for a twist of fate. Diners, Drive-ins and Dives had done a special on a place in KC, and my sister's family took us there a couple of weeks earlier.

A truly divine experience, I have to maintain that Grinders is the best pizza I've had, but Lombardi's comes close.

Friday, June 20, 2008

That's Hot

Our big plan today is to play Paris Hilton. We're headed to SoHo to do some shopping! We jump aboard the subway and head south... and further south... and further south... Hey, what a great shot of the Brooklyn Bridge!

Turns out our easy subway route magically turns into an Express during certain times of the day. The upshot is we got to see the Brooklyn Bridge up close and visit the New York mainland. The downside was the ridiculous amount of subway hopping required for us to finally make it to SoHo.

This is why Paris doesn't ride the subway.

The Prada store was the most interesting place we stopped. All wood floors with a half-pipe built into the middle of the store. The half-pipe had what appeared to be a fold out runway for impromptu fashion shows.

It was all I could do not to use it as a slide...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

So We Meet Again

Breakfast is an important meal for me, and I want it to be a special experience. Up till now my breakfast experiences in New York have been a bit depressing. Luckily we ran across this nice little place called Sarabeth's. It's still crazy expensive, but the food is definitely worth it.

We met up with our New York companion who was walking to work. Nothing like a 4 mile commute by foot to get you going in the morning. I promptly declared her crazy, and went back to eating my porridge.

Have you ever had porridge? I'd obviously heard about it from Goldilocks, but I'd never actually seen the stuff. My tasting came in an odd tiered manner. First the porridge arrived. It was not good. Like 'moist sawdust' not good.

Then a cup of raisins arrived. Normally I stand against raisins and nuts being added to anything, but I made an exception. The porridge is now actually tastes alright. I no long regret my breakfast decision.

Finally, as an after thought, a tiny pitcher of honey was placed on the table. This new addition rocketed the dish into exquisite, and I would recommend it to anyone. I'm getting pretty hungry thinking about it. Mmmmmmmm, porridge......

Monday, June 16, 2008

You Live Where?

When you go on vacation everything is a little fake. As a tourist visiting tourists' attractions the whole place has a feeling of a carnival ride. It's not real.

This time out, we met up with one of our friends from college. We met outside the museum, and it was a little jarring. She actually lives in this crazy place. I suppose that makes her a carnie.

We all went to Josie's for some good food, and even better $6 beer. We spent some time catching up, though our conversation mainly revolved around our friends activities for the day.

She had just come from interviewing a phone sex operator for a desk position at a tour agency. Take a moment to think about all the generic interview questions like, "Can you think of a time where you had to deal with an angry customer? How did resolve the situation?" Now imagine how a phone sex operator would answer. Yeah, good times. I'll let her expound on the story, since I'm sure her memory is much more vivid.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Day at the Museum

The National History Museum is a massive building. When I say that, I know that you're just glazing over it, but it's important. You should realize that after 5 hours in the building we've made it to 3 of the 5 floors. We've seen about half the exhibits in the place, but we've only read about a fifth of them.

The Museum is the most visually interesting way to approach history I've ever experienced. Some of that has to do with my age and interests, but I can't help but wish I'd taken social studies somewhere near by.

Our young companion slept through the first couple of floors, and digested the rest of the museum at a dead sprint. Apparently dinosaur bones require a certain level of imagination and a sense of self preservation.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Chain Letters Reach the Blogosphere

Taking a break from our continuing coverage of all things New York, I bring you the latest internet meme circa 2004. I've never heard of this event before, but I've been tagged. As in, I'm it.

Dave has apparently been hanging out with a dangerous blog gang, and I've been roped into his initiation. In order to spare his life, I present to you, an excerpt from Effective Java Programming Language Guide by Joshua Bloch.

While this may seem unnatural, it is necessary. It protects the class against changes to the parameters from another thread during the "window of vulnerability" between the time the parameters are checked and the time they are copied.

This is a discussion of shared mutable class variables being changed by multiple threads because the class constructor failed to make its own copy of the reference object. The book was actually loaned to me today by a co-worker who objected to my use of arbitrary boolean arguments.

Don't I sound smart.

As my final act, I shall implicate others in the communist conspiracy:

Dena - because pink is close enough to red.
Mike - because not everyone reads press releases.
Allison - because she's been missing since the tap broke.
Erin - because she's the queen of internet memes
Paul - because I don't have enough blog writing friends that I'm forced to double tag. (I think the double tag requires a book report instead of just a blurb. Get to work Paul.)

The rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open it to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post in your blog the following three sentences.
5. Tag five or more people, and acknowledge the person who tagged you.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Central Park

It's spring time in the Park, which apparently means 'STAY OFF THE GRASS!' The entire place was fenced off by heavy plastic fencing. Certain areas had operating hours posted. During about 2 hours a day you could walk on certain parts of the Park's grass. I'm told this is not how the park is year round.

We hit the Carousel, which must normally be in high demand. There wasn't much of a line when we arrived. However the Carousel spins at such a ridiculous rate, I must conclude that the operators have to pump those kids through. Seriously, you need a helmet.

The playground at the south end of the Park is awesome. It's a massive complex of swings, sand, and slides. In the back corner is a concrete castle that backs up to some natural rock formations. After being chased over the walls we ran directly up the rocks. It's lots of fun, but one needs to be of an advanced age to avoid cranium crackage.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Tom Hanks got a great job by playing with the toys in FAO Schwarz, so we figured we could too. On a sunny Tuesday morning we roll over to the iconic three story toy store for some 'shopping'.

Unfortunately the giant piano was roped off and monitored. While adults could play, I didn't feel like pushing 4 year olds off of the ivory keys. Our young companion played Mozart while I did the adult thing and played with the life size LEGO Star Wars characters.

We weren't offered any jobs, so we wondered out into some neighboring park in the middle of Manhattan.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Eat In

Returning to the mainland we had spent basically the entire day in the bay. We needed dinner, so we resorted to the NFT for assistance. Grotto's was nearby and reputedly some great Italian.

We arrived at a dark ally filled with garbage. Wondering into the ally we find a narrow door labeled Grotto's. We enter the hole in the wall and discover a counter and little else. The man behind the counter stares at us in disbelief. It's possible we have made a mistake.

It takes the guy a bit, but he figures out we actually want to eat at his restaurant. Apparently everyone else in the world orders delivery, and we're bucking the trend.

He gets us settled into a dinning area, which is really just an over sized place for the employees to eat. The service isn't great, but it seems to be handled by a cook, who probably had never done it before.

Luckily, the food was excellent, but next time we'll order take out.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Family Tree

From the statue you can jump onto any old boat. They all go to the same place, Elis Island. The landmark has a strange mixture of Disneyland and a Memorial. They've got big graph like exhibits, a café, and touch screen interfaces which make things very jovial.

They even have a picture booth where one sits and smiles for the camera. Once your face is digitized the computer places you into the incredibly depressing immigration line. There you are all smiles and cleanliness among the poor, tired, and huddled masses.

Finally, they have taken the names of the immigrants and placed them out on the lawn in a growing copy of the Vietnam Memorial. We all gleefully parted ways as we sought out our distant relatives. My family appeared like this:

The Muller Family
The Muller Family
The Muller Family

I claimed the second family as my own.

GameInterestRelease Date
Civilization IV1
C&C 31
Company of Heroes1
Half Life 21
Half Life 2: Episode One1
Supreme Commander1
Call of Duty 22
Dungeon Runners2
Dungeon Siege II2
Far Cry2
Galactic Civilization II2
Hitman: Blood Money2
Jade Empire2
Neverwinter Nights 22
Sam & Max: Episode 12
Titan Quest2
Dark Messiah Might and Magic3
Heroes of Might and Magic V3
Indigo Prophecy3
LEGO Star Wars3
Marvel Ultimate Alliance3
Space Rangers 2: The Rise of the Dominators3
STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl3
Stubbs the Zombie3
War Front3
Warhammer: Mark of Chaos3
Pirates of the Burning SeaM6/1/2007
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars?6/5/2007
Two Worlds?6/26/07
Sins of A Solar Empire?8/1/2007
Mass Effect19/7/07
Age of ConanM10/30/07
Crysis1Fall 2007
Elveon?Fall 2007
Half-Life 2: Episode Two1Fall 2007
Portals1Fall 2007
Spore1Fall 2007
Stranglehold?Fall 2007
Tabula RasaMFall 2007
Team Fortress 22Fall 2007
Dragon Age?Winter 2007
Fable 2?Winter 2007
Field Ops?Winter 2007
Halo Wars?Winter 2007
Gods & Heroes: Rome RisingMWinter 2007
Haze?Winter 2007
Hellgate: London1Winter 2007
HuxleyMWinter 2007
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men?Winter 2007
Left 4 Dead?Winter 2007
The AgencyMSpring 2008
Empire Earth III?Spring 2008
Guild Wars 2 MSpring 2008
Jericho?Spring 2008
Sacred 2?Spring 2008
Savage 2?Spring 2008
Time Shift2Spring 2008
Universe at War: Earth Assault3Spring 2008
The Witcher?Spring 2008
Darkest of Days?2008
On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkeness: Episode 122008
Warhammer OnlineM2008
Alliance: The Silent War??
Alone in the Dark??
Assassin's Creed??
BioWare MMO??
The Crossing??
Dungeon Hero??
Fallout 3??
Lego Batman??
Space Seige??
Culdcept SagaPC??
Gears of WarPC??
God of WarPC??
Beautiful KatamariPC??
Resistance: Fall of ManPC??
Odin's SpherePC??
Castle CrashersPC??

1 - I will buy it
2 - I'll buy it at discount
3 - Other people think it's good, but I wasn't interested when I first heard about it
M - Mainly Multiplayer. See if friends get interested.
? - Find out more about this game
PC? - Will it be released on the PC?