the photography, music and ramblings of Matt Lipstein

Things that make you go hmmmm...

So here's an update on the ongoing analysis/transition of my online identity. I've been finding a lot of power in these resources:
Last night I started the process of migrating elements of this here Stupidfresh blog over to the Blogger servers (that's how all this craziness started in the first place). One tactic I'm considering is just leaving the current iteration of this site as an archive (Stupidfresh Classic if you will), and moving on.

Tumblr has been really intriguing to me as a very efficient, light-weight, on-the-go method of continuing to post online. Hmmmmmm.

One key to this mess would be to find the tools that will cross-post well. That will allow these different modalities to play nicely together, and wil build in redundency. Hmmmmmmm.

As before, I'm struggling with "what's it all for"? Nathan makes the point that blogs used to be the place to "just spill", but now there are plenty of places to do that. So maybe my goal is to Rube Goldberg all of of my spills into one pitcher. Hmmmm.

Domain names, hosting, history, ownership, ease of use and more booshy you coudl imagine come into the mix here, but I digress. I am getting closer.

Post Script: Please pardon the public multi-post monologue here. In addition to working this through, I'm also hoping to gain your perspective (yes, you!) . So hit me off with a comment or an email.


The Mystery Continues: Part Two - QR Code & Anonymous Tips

Hello friends and snooping sleuths!

Thanks for the outpouring of suggestions and support with the mystery. This morning I had a breakthrough on the QR Matrix that was printed on the letter. I mentioned in yesterday's post that there is an embedded image at the top of the letter. This is what it looks like:

When I showed it to Brandon at work, he explained that it is a QR matrix - basically an image that can be scanned to reveal data - like a bar code or UPC symbol. After giving me some explanatory leads, I found my way to a download of a QR matrix decoder. I scanned in the Matrix, and opened it in the decoder.

Lo and behold the QR-Code yields the following message:

"If you have gone far enough to read this message then haven't you already made up your mind? Is the choice really even yours? This is a prisoner's dilemma after all."
AMAZING! I am thrilled that the decode actually worked! Here's a screen shot of the moment of truth.

So what does this tell us? Not much in terms of moving forward, but it does reinforce that this mystery is based on finding the other people the clue connects me to. See this explanation of Prisoner's Dilemma.

One more piece of the puzzle: In the comments of yesterday's post, there was a lot of focus on the meaning of SQUALLOOPI. Many people tried anagrams, and translations of anagrams. This morning I received an ANONYMOUS comment on the post which reads:
"you dont want to know what it means"
Is this for real? Is this someone throwing me a red herring? I'm going to take it as real for now. But if I don't need to know what SQUALLOOPI means, what purpose do the letters serve?

Please leave me some comments with suggestions.


Help me solve a mystery

Yesterday in the mail I received a package addressed to my home with no return address. In it was the key pictured here and a printed letter, addressed to me. The letter begins:
"You have probably already noticed that this is not an ordinary piece of correspondence. You have been selected to participate in a real-world mystery game."
It continues to explain that the item I have, in my case the key, is a clue that leads to the name of the person with the following clue, and that I need to start snooping to find out who'`s the next person, and what it all means!

The typeface on the key is slightly smudged, but as far as I can make out is spells squalloopi.
The letter also has a bizarre graphic at the upper left-hand corner, that turns out to be a matrix called QR code that can be decoded.

I'm conducting my own research, but so far I have come up with nothing. This is intriguing as hell, and I can use your help!
  • Did you also receive a clue in the mail? Let's join forces to figure this out.
  • Do you know how to read QR code?
  • Any suggestions of avenues to search down for clues are welcomed!
Leave me any info in the comments section. I'll continue to post if I make any headway. Signing out - secret agent lippy

p.s. This is NOT an April Fool's related joke, like yesterday's!

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We're moving to L.A.

While we were on the left coast, we simply fell in love with the laid-back pace, the sun filled days, and the great friends we have out there. So when we happened upon a 2-bedroom house in Silver Lake, we went for it!

Come visit us in la-la-land soon. When you get there you'll be welcomed by a fresh squeezed glass of lemonade from the lemon tree in our back yard, and a cheer of "April Fool's!"

Sorry - I just couldn't resist.

Here's a great "fool" song for your troubles.

Curtis Mayfield - Fool For You


Inspaworld: Welcome to the future

I had this past week off from work. It's been really nice, sleeping in a little bit later, seeing lots of real estate, drinking a ton of coffee and just generally mackin'. Amanda had Tuesday off too, so we decided to take our first trip over to Inspaworld. This is a Korean five-floor spa mecca, which reminded Amanda of similar establishments in merry ol' Japan.

They have very strict rules there, including no photography so you'll have to use these promotional shots from their website and add in some of your own imagination.

First thing you should know, when you get there they give you an electronic bracelet that controls everything, including paying for food & drink through the day (it looks like a swatch watch with no clock on it). You go into the locker room, and use your watch to unlock your shoe bin and then your locker. Then you put on your Man uniform which is blue shorts and a beige shirt - different than the Woman uniform of orange shorts and a red shirt. Once you've suited up you're ready to hit the spa.

This isn't a spa in the traditional new-age, mud bath, eucalyptus smellin', feel goodery sense. THIS IS THE FUTURE! On the first floor you have an option of seven themed sauna huts where you join other guests, mostly Korean, and either lie on the floor or crouch in a ball. I enjoyed the Salt Sauna and LED Light Sauna's most, while the Mrs. liked the Jade and Gold Saunas. Again, everyone is wearing the same uniform so there's this feeling that you're on The Island or something. It's crazy.

As we walked upstairs we noticed that there are leather recliners everywhere where people are enjoying a lil' nap for themselves. This place is relaxation central.

Next floor up are the indoor and heated-outdoor pools. It was just warm enough for us to run outside to the pools, and I'm sure glad we did. If you associate laps, horse-play and Marco Polo with being a pool, you're in for a shock at Inspaworld. There are no fewer than 10 electronically controlled gadget areas all over the pool, most of them relying on some sort of super-sonic jet power. You can lie down in a Dream Chair, in the water mind you, where with a touch of your hands jets blast you in just the right places. They've installed currents in the pool to carry you from section to section (we called this the Lazy River). It's awesome!

After enjoying all that the pools had to offer, we split up and took in the rest of the sights. I did a short workout in their fitness center, while Amanda enjoyed the female only saunas and bathing areas in the women's locker room. We regrouped later, had some delicious Korean food and sushi and called it a day.

Here's the kicker - for access to all of these wonderful delights it costs $30 per person! That's for the use of all the facilities - you only get charged extra for anything you eat or drink, or any massages you want. Amazing and cheap!

If you have the means I highly recommend you get over there - it's a quick drive out of Manhattan, just before the Whitestone Bridge in Queens. In the next few weeks we'll be looking to get a big crew to go - this is one of these special New York City experiences, where you can't quite believe where you are, what's happening, and mostly that you are still in New York City!

Treat yourself to Inspaworld - you'll be glad you did.

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Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2008, or as we've been calling it - "The Ocho" Last night was a good time, hit up a few parties and got loose to ring in the new year.

What a year 2007 was: got engaged, moved in with Amanda, got married, went to Belize, got a new niece (Cory Jordan) and cheered on my friends as people got married, had babies, made job switches in their lives or otherwise made all-around positive moves.

Here's to wishing you all a happy new year, and all good things in The Ocho.


The Best of the Best of 2007

Hey there Internet reader. Long time no see.

Here we are at year end and many a website you know and trust is offering it's Best Of 2007 lists. I do love me a list, and I have a few go-tos for the music. It reminds me of some of the great tunes from the past year, and more often than not it exposes me to tracks completely off my radar. You may like to peruse:

Said The Gramophone Best Music Songs of 2007 - 50 downloadable (for now) songs with an indie slant but some rap and miscellany in there as well

Pitchfork's Top 100 Tracks of 2007 - This is a lot more all over the map, but their indie selections are fairly snobby (hey it is Pitchfork after all). A mix of downloadable MP3s, streams and videos. Worth a look, overwhelming at times.

And for the visual learners out there, check out the 12 Best Music Videos of the Year. Something for everyone.

I'll be posting my own Best of 2007 list, with possible d'loads for you, but these should whet your whistle for now. In the meantime, let's round it out with my pick for the best video of the year:

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Tomorrow Night: DJ Lippy presents Stupidfresh

Please know I have procured vinyl copies of:
  • "No Diggity" by Blackstreet
  • "Islands in the Stream" by Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton
  • and Aretha Franklin doing a soul rendition of "Bridge Over Troubled Water"

It's all incredibly correct. Hope to see you and yours tomorrow night!

The Final Countdown:
What: DJ Lippy presents Stupidfresh
When: Friday November 16th, 10pm until really late
Where: Last Exit - 136 Atlantic (Clinton/Henry)
Why: Because you need this
$: FREE!

Check below for all the graphical details. Invite any and all, the more the sweatier. Keep Bangin'...

DJ Lippy

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Taking a Closer Look

I really enjoyed this cover of The New Yorker from a few weeks ago (go ahead, click the image for a close-up. You know you want it).

Apparently, I'm not the only one. The author dissects the image on a few levels of varying depth. An interesting take, and interesting reactions in the comments section.

Link originally from

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Podcasts: Why do they suck?

When you're a techie in a visible role (read: a guy like me doing technology for a school), people expect you to be into all of the up and coming technologies and trends. From knowing the pros and cons of Windows Vista, to being on top of every high-tech companies stock price, people assume you're the go-to guy. "Hey - you like technology! What's Second Life all about?"

Which brings me to Podcasts. We all know what they are by now, but does anybody really listen to these things? Is it just me or do they all suck? First off - there are so many of them, and most are done very poorly. The hosts rarely know what they are talking about, and they seem to love the sound of their own voices (an affliction that I can *ahem* identify with).

I've tried to ask people I trust for recommendations, but even these "cream-o'-the-crop" shows are not that engaging. The sound is always tinny, and the volume is all over the place. The whole thing just seems like a medium that will seem laughable in about two years.

All geek stereotypes aside, I did think I was going to enjoy listening to podcasts. I mean hey - I went to school for radio broadcasting, and even aspired to get into talk-radio at a certain point. But no. This podcast thing is just not taking.

I'm listening to one now. My hopes were high. The host is Mark Frauenfelder the creator of one of my favorite blogs, Boing Boing. It's called "Get Illuminated" - an obvious nod to Robert Anton Wilson*, one of my most cherished authors of my mid-twenties. And the first episode was an interview with cultural critic and author Douglas Rushkoff. A veritable slam-dunk of a podcast!

But here I am - bored, not paying attention. Blah blah blah. Who has the attention for this? Do people just sit and stare at their computers while they listen? I know folks have these on their iPods and listen on the commute, but for some reason that doesn't appeal to me.

Tell me - what am I missing? Am I the only one who is missing the boat?

*Fair warning if you click this link: Robert Anton Wilson maintains one of the worst looking websites on the Internet.

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The Harry Potter/Luke Skywalker Connection

When it's time to change it's time to rearrange

As I've mentioned before, I'm a big fan of Bloglines. But lots o' people have been praising the Google Reader to help make sense of all the blogs floating around out there in cyberspace.

I'm coming to find that google owns all of the online applications I like to use. And while it's great having one login for everything, it's a little bit scary too. I suppose I'm holding on to Bloglines as one way to resist becoming all Google all the time.

I'm going to give the Reader a chance. If history proves anything, in the short term I'll be using Google Reader. In the long term, the company will become too big for its britches and will then fall like Rome.

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A Fistful of Posts

I am super relaxed right now. Sunday night, chilling out, working on the computrix, drinking water. Believe it or not I worked for a while without any music or TV on in the background. Now I have a podcast running (more on that later), but the apartment is still very light on input. Nice....

Working off of a suggestion from Tim to an earlier post (where I was perplexed on how to keep posting fresh material here, as opposed to lagging for a week or two) I will now stockpile posts and sprinkle them through the week.

What does this mean to you? Keep checking back for (hopefully) more posts comin' at ya'!

Now go to bed.


no leg to stand on

For those of us who blog, don't we all wish we were posting more than we do? For instance, on my other site A Picture's Worth we update the week's word every Sunday. Each week I intend to put a post up here to let you know, but rarely does it come to fruit.

You can find quite a few posts on my site that begin with "Haven't posted in a while" or something to that effect. So my fine feathered friends, how do you overcome procrastination?

Head on over to A Picture's Worth where this week's word is: random

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What's behind door number three?

I am always bookmarking websites and blog posts that I intend to share here on the Fresh, but either I spaz and never get to it, or the information is stale by the time I'm ready to post it. Or these are excuses for being periodically lazy and busy.

In an effort to get these pages to you, and to have a spot of fun , I offer you a list of blind links. No descriptions, no indication what you might be getting. Just a sampling of what's been looking good to me recently.

Door # 1
Door # 2
Door # 3
Door # 4
Door # 5
Door # 6
Door # 7
Door # 8

Have fun with it! Put a shell in it!


Linky McLink Link

If you look closely in the right-column of this page you'll see I've added two new links . Been meaning to do it for a while but you know - sometimes you get all caught up checking out Living Tables and before you know it it's time for bed.

In any event, here's more details on these websites:

Infinite Regress is a site run by my man Tim. It's a melange of posts about everything but has running themes of technology, baseball and many pictures of meat he's eaten recently. Always interesting stuff here, including Tim's 10 best burgers of 2006. See if your favorite made the list!.

I've posted before about Rebecca's Drawing Game Challenge. Each month she chooses a topic and forces herself to complete an illustration of that topic on the daily. We've seen Birds, Robots, and now we're up to Bugs. Check in everyday to see what she's up to, and maybe even challenge yourself!

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A Diamond in the Rough

As you could guess, Amanda & I have been pretty occupied with wedding planning. We're now under the 3 month mark, so things are really going into high gear.

Doing all this research, I've found myself all over these Internets on sites I never thought I would see before. A lot of it is boring, no need to share examples here. It's actually surprising how many vendors have poorly designed sites that look like their coming straight out of 1998.

However - I have found a diamond in the rough. One night I was lucky enough to find what could be the greatest website and wedding concept going.

Living Tables!
Apparently people are outfitted with tables attached to them so they can go around and serve drinks or appetizers to guests. But wait - there's more! They will also dress up in a theme or as a celebrity as well.

As if that weren't enough, they also have a full range of Heads Only coming though tables. My goodness - the options are limitless!

Too bad their not based in Texas or you may have seen the Carmen Miranda table walking around. I may have to use them for an NYC party soon!

Don't postpone joy:


Fly bird, fly!

Saw this great piece of art on 12th street today while walking around the neighborhood.

Lot's of posts about to go up. Drink them in - they always go down smooth!

For starters, photos from our last Texas trip are up including shots of chicken fried steak, animals and the venue where we're getting married!

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Rebecca (you may remember her from her Drawing Game touted many times here on Stupidfresh) hipped me to PocketMod. It's a very simple ingenious paper PDA you can create and carry with you. From their site:

The PocketMod is a new way to keep yourself organized. Lets face it, PDAs are too expensive and cumbersome, and organizers are bulky and hard to carry around. Nothing beats a folded up piece of paper. That is until now. With the PocketMod, you can carry around the days notes, keep them organized in any way you wish, then easily transfer the notes to your PDA, spreadsheet, or planner.

Head on over, get organized and save $300.

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20 days since last post = weak

It would appear I haven't been doing a marvelous job at staying up to date with posting these days. 20 days since my last post about the DWR champagne chair design contest.

I'm going to do my best to stay with it, but I'm finding that the cliche is true about planning a wedding - it takes up all your time!

The good news is that Amanda & I are very close to deciding on a place and a date - stay tuned!

I'm hoping to get a lot of stuff posted tonight including a rundown of last week's trip to Texas, including a recap of all the delicious vittles consumed, and links and videos aplenty from around the net.

I'm about to go make muscles over at the gym and then back to work here to try to repair a server.

Much love... much lip


Ga Ga

When I was eleven years old, I watched Live Aid in awe. I really have many memories from the concerts, but perhaps the most vivid is of Queen performing Radio Ga Ga at Wembly Arena.

I have this image burned in my head of Freddie Mercury controlling the crowd as hundreds of thousand fans clapped their hands in unison. It was very powerful and even at that young age it thrilled me to see the power of music in action.

Thank goodness for You Tube:

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I'm in and it's on...

Successfully completed the move into Amanda's today. BAM!

Had a pretty good experience with the movers I got through Chelsea Mini-Storage. The facility leaves something to be desired, but it's safe and gets the job done.

Now that the hard part is done, it's time to exhale a little bit and return to some usual routines, maybe cook some food at home for a change (so many burgers and delivery tips for the past week), and of course post a backlog of info to the site.

And oh yeah - have to also plan a wedding!

Stay tuned for lots more on the site. And remember : If you lived here you'd be home by now.


Fuel For the Fire...

So tomorrow is the big move and I'm feeling like I'm in good shape. That's not to say there's not tons to do tonight, but I don't think I'll be up to all hours.

I've been meaning to post this track from the new record for a few weeks now. It's been keeping me going through this move - such a good track! Falsetto lyrics, ridiculous 60s style backbeat, and that rap - that RAP!

Have a listen.
Damn Girl.mp3

Oh and for all those JT haters - shut it. He may be pop but he's damn good.

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Long Time no Talk...

I've been knee-deep in boxes and dust-bunnies as I gear up to leave Brooklyn and move into Amanda's East Village apartment. The blog is atking a break at least for a few more days at which point I will expode with posts and photos galore.


Texas Holiday Photos Up

Check this page for a full set of shots from my latest trip to Ft. Worth and Austin Texas.

Check out them fancy cowboy boots!

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Last Thursday I asked the most wonderful woman in the world to marry me, and she said yes! I couldn't be happier.

Stay tuned for upcoming details!


And we're back...

It has been quite a few days since my last post, and I have a hunch I wont be back into the swing of it until next week. A brief recap of what's been cooking (mostly meat):

  • Been on vacation from work since 12/22. SWEET!
  • Went to NJ to do Xmas with some family friends. Had some delicious home-brewed beer and short ribs.
  • Left the day after for a week down in Texas. Did Fort Worth (that's Fort Fun to you and me), then went down for a few days to Austin (which was totally awesome). Most of my time in Texas was spent looking at the wide open sky, feeling warm and consuming a ton of beef, including some of the tastiest ribs I ever did done tasted.
  • Came back to the city and did New Year's with friends at La Lunetta. Tasty and good times.
  • I'll be trying to catch up with Oscar contenders, and for a start went to check out The Departed. Very well shot and incredible acting and writing (Alec Baldwin has done it again!)
  • Currently watching the new Miami Vice movie. So far - just eh.

Will be signing off for a few more days, check you later skaters.


What's Happening Hot Stuff?

Phew! It's been a few days since I've added any new info. Life has been crazy, as I'm sure its been for you. Here's a quick and random list of stuff Ive been up to:

  • As I write this I'm finishing up watching An Inconvenient Truth. Heavy. I don't know if I would run out and buy a Prius, but "the solutions are in our hands". Check out the website for actions you can take.
  • Bella-dog is whimpering in her sleep. That freaks me out.
  • Finished up work at school, and am now on vacation. Tight!
  • Celebrated the holidays with 'manda yesterday. Dinner at Schillers, gift exchange, and a midnight showing of The Dark Crystal!
  • Ian was in town last week - had some eats at Lil' Frankies and hit up 2A with a good crew.
  • Celebrating Xmas tomorrow with my family-friends the Guarinos.
  • Taking off on Tuesday for a week in Texas. Lemme know if you have any tips on where to go in Austin!
I won't be adding too many posts while I'm gone. In the meantime check on how the birds are coming along at my friend Rebecca's 30 Birds in 30 Days project and look for an onslaught of updates after the new year!

Happy holidays all...


A Moment in Time : 11 Spring

*To see the full set of photos from the 11 Spring event, head over to the photo page*

As mentioned a few days ago right here on this very site, and elsewhere, this last weekend hosted possibly the largest and most diverse showing of Street Art to date.

The abandoned building at 11 Spring Street (on the corner of Elizabeth Street) in Soho has been a touchstone for Street Artists for years. This mega-canvas has hosted work from international street art stars and local graffiti artists alike, with its walls covered in the good, the bad and the ugly .

The mysterious building has been bought recently and the developers will be turning the location into condos - no surprise there. However, the new owners are aware of the buildings artistic significance and wished to celebrate it.

After collaborating with Street Art aficionado group the Wooster Collective, a one weekend only show was conceived, setting up works by artists inside the empty building.

With camera in hand, I went to experience this moment in time.

When I arrived at 11:30 am (the doors opened at 11) the line had already snaked down Elizabeth, clear across Spring, and was about a quarter of the way down the Bowery. I lined up behind a large group of students with a few chaperones. In all, it took about two hours of shuffling along before entering the threshold to the building.

It was nice having that time to appreciate the building and its architecture from the outside - 11 Spring is huge taking up about half of that entire city block. From my starting point there were only traces of Street Art to be seen - a few tags here, some stickers there. But as I worked my way around the building the art started to creep closer. This was due, in part, to the continuing stream of artists who were installing works on the building as we waited.

The air was filled with excitement. I began chatting it up with some of my neighbors and exchanging predictions of what we would see once inside. Crowds were forming in, around and across the street. Before long, I was at the entrance. TV crews and reporters started to show. Free water was being given out. A real sense of community had developed in that short time.

Right before I passed through the entrance, a blind man and his assistant asked if they could come in and see the show. The guard let them through - and I got to catch glimpses of him as he felt his way through the show.

The first floor was overwhelming. The space was raw - wooden boards on the floor, no heat, jacked up lighting to allow some vision. Large panels covered the interior walls with imagery , painting and graffiti. I spied a larger than life version of the Street Art campaigns that cover the Walk/Don't Walk signs with miniature people that light up from the mechanics of the sign (see inset photo). I found long colored rubber bands, strung together sneaking between the floorboards above me (I would find later these extended up the fifth floor where you could still pull on the and feel their elasticity through the building. ) There were also gigantic letters that covered most of the ceiling which read: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL

There were still a ton of people inside on the ground level, but many were on yet another line to go up to the above floors. The guard only let the same number of people come up that would go down, which maintained a low number of attendees on the higher floors, which was great after being shoulder to shoulder for the past few hours!

As opposed to talking through each floor and the works they contained I'll leave that to the photos. I'd rather concentrate on a feeling.

As I ascended from one floor to the next, taking my time to absorb the works that were covered everywhere (literally everywhere - stuck in the rafters, underneath the staircases, painted on the windows), I was overwhelmed with that feeling. That feeling one gets living in New York City, being a part of something that will only happen once, in this town at that time.

This is an age where there is corporate sponsorship of just about everything you can be a label on, and a city hellbent on squashing creativity in the interest of raw profits. This special "it can only happen in New York" feeling is becoming more and more rare.

On a grander scale, this was a moment for street art - a celebration for a medium that has existed outside of the law, outside of galleries and traditional methods of distribution. This is art for the people.

This is art for you.

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Peter Boyle, RIP

Peter Boyle passed away yesterday at the age of 71. While most will remember him for his recent work in Everybody Loves Raymond, I will always maintain his finest work was in Young Frankenstein.

Although his roll as the tough cop in Turk182 was pretty awesome too. That was a great flick, it just made me think of The Last Starfighter. Damn...they don't make them like they used to. Am I becoming my parents?

Wow - this really strayed from Peter Boyle. Rest In Peace Abby Normal. Watch the tap-dancing Frankenstein right here.

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Sing your heart out, and help yourself to a sip of courage...

This Saturday, 12/16 I'll be participating in the annual Hinkle Christmas Carroling fest in Brooklyn Heights. I've done it for years, and it really is a wild time. Think holiday spirits mixed with partying. There will be wassail served- so good.

You should come along - Yes, YOU!

Email me for more info.

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Have you ever felt hyper-connected? Too much screen time and too much happening while you're on the computer? I'm on machines for an average of 8-10 hours a day. Yowser. I've made some changes in how I use these machines recently. Changes that are supposed to make me more productive, but they are simply leaving me frazzled.

Here are the new technologies that should be stepping it up but are just leaving me down:

Web Browser: Flock

I've been using Flock for a month now. It's a really good web browser that integrates my Flickr account so I can just drag and drop photos in that I'll want to post to this site. It's built on the FireFox platform, so it allows for tabbed browsing and the like, and is secure and stable. But now I'm finding myself with 128937 tabs open in 213 windows.

Home Page: Personalized Google
The personalized google page let's me see my gMail inbox and Google calendar, as well as additional info like the weather, word of the day, and extra crap (no - I do not have the Dilbert comic of the day there, but I do have the daily photo from NASA)

This is supposed to make me more efficient, not less! Every time I open my homepage I immediately feel stressed that there is so much more I need to be looking at, digesting and processing. It's a bad feeling.

Google crazy: When my new laptop came into the mix a few months ago, I decided I would use web-based applications to track my information. Using a work desktop, a home PC and a home laptop necessitates the ability to access the same information anywhere.

Enter Google and it's array of free services.

As mentioned, I'm using gMail which is incredibly robust. Instead of simply reading my emails I'm flagging, labeling and archiving conversations. I'm also using Google Calendar to track my events, and Google Docs to keep tabs on different lists of crap I'm updating. If you can't tell already, I can be a bit obsessive.

Blogging: Blogger Beta

I'm using the newer features in Blogger Beta which are great and make this very blog you are reading right now (no, NOW!). It's a great system that I've been able to tweak beyond the templates that they offer, but it's just another elaborate system that I've been using, leaving me overwhelmed.

Photo Storage and Sharing: Flickr
A good service, made easier when using the Flock browser. Just another large step in a multi-stepped process in having a digital identity. They do create those great slideshows you've seen on my Photos page.

I NEED TO UNPLUG! Or at the very least simplify this situation. So - what to do:
  • For the time being I'm switching back to the simplified, classic Google homepage.
  • I may (may, mind you) switch back to Safari as my browser. Although it doesn't have as nice an interface when I log into Blogger.

Any suggestions? Add a comment and let me know how else I can sloooooow down without turning off completely.

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Turkey Weekend Redux

It's been quite a busy past few days! I'll be posting photos in a day or two to illustrate the weekend, but until then, a quick recap:

Wednesday: Randomly had a few people over to have some drinks, wear sunglasses and hats indoors and watch a double feature: Eddie Murphy Raw and Blazing Saddles.

Thursday: Off to NJ for Thanksgiving. Our family has been going to the Hilton for the past few years, which isn't as bad as it sounds. Hey, no dishes!

Friday: Stopped into the Spotted Pig to eat up some Nudie (pictured) and hit up Rose's Turn, a West Village piano bar. Wild times.

Saturday: Thanksgiving part two at Amanda's sister's place. Letting my stomach reach maximum density.

Sunday: Finally bought a new winter coat.

More to come... Tonight I'm heading over to the (balmy) Lincoln Center Tree lighting. Check back soon for more updates, photos and fun!


Sign of the Times

Not like you couldn't see this one coming: The Blockbuster video on Court Street in my hood has gone and closed up! While this isn't as drastic as Tower Records closing all their stores' doors, I do think it's important to notice.

With the proliferation of DVR, Tivo and Netflix it is inevitable that traditional brick and mortar video stores are going to bite the dust.

On a personal note, now when I give directions to people on how to get to my pad I'll have to say " near where the Blockbuster used to be"

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Gobble Gobble

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you are cooking your own turkey this year, you should be thankful for the Butterball Turkey Talk -Line. If you are having a cooking emergency, call Butterball and they can help you.

And as they say in Trading Places: It ain't cool being a Jive Turkey so close to Thanksgiving.


Believe the Hype

I'm adding another link to my sidebar today. It's the greatest online tool for finding music you want to hear and learning about new stuff you might enjoy. It's a music blog aggregator - basically they pull from all the MP3 Blog sites and show what tracks they are posting. You can also search so if you want the new 45 minute LCD Soundsystem track "45:33" - you can find it there.

The Hype Machine

Remember: If you like something always support artists by legally purchasing their music and going to see their shows!

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Birthday nerdjoy

In looking online for a birthday eCard (happy b-day Rebecca!), I stumbled upon a Wikipedia page on the Birthday Paradox. Quite simply:
A graph showing the probability of at least two people sharing a birthday amongst a certain number of people.
In probability theory, the birthday paradox states that given a group of 23 (or more) randomly chosen people, the probability is more than 50% that at least two of them will have the same birthday. For 60 or more people, the probability is greater than 99%, although it cannot actually be 100% unless there are at least 366 people.

Sorry to nerd out, but that is so cool. I love the fact that it's 23 people (my favorite number). Get a group of 23 or more together and test this theory!


Keep your daughter OFF the pole

British company Tesco is gearing up for christmas in a horrible way. Their distributing a new product, the Peekaboo Pole Dancing Set and while it's marked for adult use, it's within plain site of the youngsters. From the Tesco Direct website:

The Tesco Direct site advertises the kit with the words, "Unleash the sex kitten inside...simply extend the Peekaboo pole inside the tube, slip on the sexy tunes and away you go!

"Soon you'll be flaunting it to the world and earning a fortune in Peekaboo Dance Dollars".

I mean come on. Really, come on now. No - Really. Let the outrage begin.

Thanks to Zach for the tip.


Get inspired about Technology

If you don't know, I am the Director of Technology for an independent school in Brooklyn, NY. The main part of my job is finding ways to use technology in classrooms to help enhance kids' education. It's challenging and rewarding work.

Last week I went to a conference in Mohonk to meet with my colleagues. It's always inspirational, and opens my eyes to the big picture. I can get very brought down into the minutia of day to day life: a particular laptop not working, or the internal politics of working in a school. Stepping back and seeing the big picture of how we are effecting children's education and ultimately their future is heavy business!

I was forwarded a link to the TEDBLOG. A description from their site:

The TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference is an annual event where leading thinkers and doers gather for inspiration. (More at The TEDBlog covers the same ground, on a rather more frequent basis.
It's higher-level thinking and incredibly inspirational for anyone interested in technology. They have videos of their speakers from the last few years.

And they have a video of Bono speaking (which could be good or bad)

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For the word nerds

I do love me some Scrabble. I haven't been playing as much as I'd like recently, but that doesn't mean I can't throw down a fat Bingo across a Triple Word Play to devestate you!

There's a new edition of the board game that just came out called the Scrabble Onyx Edition .

Here's the details from Barnes & Noble:

The centerpiece of the Onyx Edition Scrabble is the elegant black rotating game board, featuring a silver playing surface. In addition to its stunning appearance, the board enhances the playing experience by turning on a built-in stand to allow a clear look for all contestants. A raised grid holds the tiles - made of black wood with silver embossing - firmly in place as the board rotates. Other matching elements include a unique timer with black sand, a black velvet tile pouch, four black tile racks, and a silver-accented score book with official score sheets an pencil.
Looks pretty sweet, - not sure if I'm going to get, but I know a few scrabble-holics who already have this in their sights.


Back at it again...

So here I am changing the look of Stupidfresh yet again! I can't seem to make up my mind how I want to publish this thing. Let's give this version a go.

Way back in the day I started with a modified version of Blogger. I tweaked the hell out of it to get it just right. Then, a few weeks ago when I got my new Macbook I decided to try their iWeb software. It's actually really cool, but if you don't fork over the 100 clams to buy a .mac account, it's really difficult to publish with it.

After a brief foray into WordPress (which is what my other site, A Picture's Worth is published on), I have come back full circle to Blogger.

I'm hoping this will give me the flexibility to:
  • post from any computer I am working on
  • make posting super simple - so I can get my stuff up as soon as possible
  • allow me to make easy to posy/easy to use interfaces for photoblogging and musicbloggin (of my own material of course) - for starters, click on the picture of Kojak on the bottom of this post
  • give me the flexibility to post frequently on more topics, with more links to more timely information - and maybe get more personal too
So far (tonight anyway) I am pretty pleased with how it is going. I modified a Blogger template and added in some bells and whistles. Updates to come.

So it's pretty dry right now, but I'm hoping to keep things fresh - Stupidfresh that is.

Stay tuned and thanks for checking in!

Who loves ya' baby?

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