Today was to be the day I would buy my Leica. I found the per­fect one: chrome fin­ish, Leitz logo, great con­di­tion, good price. I called today.

“Sor­ry, we sold that one yes­ter­day.”

Every­one I’ve talked to so far says that get­ting one will be a mat­ter of luck. Evi­dent­ly they are usu­al­ly bought with­in a day or two of being list­ed. For some­one accus­tomed to a con­sumer cul­ture, this is extreme­ly frus­trat­ing.

December 13, 2005 December 13, 2005 archives by Scott No Comments

Thun­der­snow!

December 9, 2005 December 9, 2005 archives by Scott No Comments

Where the heck is the 3-5 inch­es of snow we were promised last night? The NWS nev­er acknowl­edges errors in their fore­cast prod­ucts, but for­tu­nate­ly you can also read the tech­ni­cal dis­cus­sion:

    BASED UPON RADAR TRENDS AND LATEST MODEL GUIDANCE WE ARE BACKING OFF
    ON ACCUMULATIONS FROM PREVIOUS FORECAST...AND WILL DROP ADVISORIES 
    FOR I-95 CORRIDOR AND LOWER WARNINGS TO ADVISORIES FOR S COASTAL 
    ZONES.

    IF WE WERE ALL AT 10KFT THIS WOULD BE A GOOD SNOWSTORM...BUT LOW 
    LEVEL DRY AIR HAS BEEN WINNING THE BATTLE ALL NIGHT AND WILL LIMIT 
    NORTHWARD EXTENT OF SNOW SHIELD THIS MORNING. SURFACE MESOANALYSIS 
    SHOWS RIDGING WORKING DOWN INTO NORTHERN CT...NW RI AND MUCH OF SE MA
    WHICH CAN ALSO BE SEEN BY A LACK OF ECHOES ON KBOX 88D.
    

December 6, 2005 December 6, 2005 archives by Scott No Comments

on music

As a mat­ter of des­per­a­tion, I ate lunch at Au Bon Pain today. They were play­ing painful­ly slow Sina­tra-esque ren­di­tions of AM radio favorites like “Sil­ver Bells.” Who knew tor­ture could take the name of “hol­i­day cheer.” In my mind I was moments away from gun­ning down every­one in the room when the music made an abrupt change to that of the Ray­mond Scott Quin­tette. For real!

on guns

Some­where near the Illi­nois-Indi­ana bor­der, where end­less fal­low corn­fields meet the life­less high­way, I spot­ted a new line of road­side bill­boards in the style of Bur­ma-Shave. I think they speak vol­umes about Amer­i­ca. Here is one exam­ple of a five-sign sequence:

TERRORISTS
LIKE GUN CONTROL
DISARMED VICTIMS
ARE THEIR GOAL
GUNS SAVE LIFE.com

on trees

The sub­ject of this week’s polit­i­cal con­tro­ver­sy here in Boston is a tree. The offi­cial Christ­mas tree has been new­ly re-mint­ed as a “Hol­i­day Tree.” Every­one has some­thing to say about it. Regret­tably, nobody seems to have noticed that we can set­tle this prob­lem with­out delv­ing into the issue of reli­gious sen­si­tiv­i­ty. The prop­er ques­tion to ask is, “What hol­i­day, besides Christ­mas, is sym­bol­ized by a giant conifer?”

Keep think­ing.

December 1, 2005 December 1, 2005 archives by Scott No Comments

SBC, which (incred­i­bly!) now owns AT&T, decid­ed to rename itself AT&T. The change evi­dent­ly war­rant­ed a new­er, more ridicu­lous logo. I will not attempt to defend 1984’s “Death Star” ver­sion, but I’m not fond of the new “sliced rib­bons” look either.

For starters, where I went to first grade, we were taught that acronyms, ini­tials, and the first let­ters of prop­er nouns should be set in upper­case. They might have missed that les­son.

Most annoy­ing­ly, the new type­face is dis­tinc­tive­ly Euro­pean. That, to me, seems pret­ty dumb for a com­pa­ny whose first name is “Amer­i­can.”

It’s curi­ous to note also how print­ing tech­nol­o­gy has changed the rules for what is an “accept­able” logo: for the new spher­i­cal shape to appear on paper, the print­ing press must be capa­ble of accu­rate­ly repro­duc­ing a very tight band of grayscale around the periph­ery. That would not have been quite so triv­ial a task 20 years ago. I’m curi­ous to see how it will appear on vehi­cles, since it can be nei­ther paint­ed (eas­i­ly) nor cut from vinyl.

Logo Logo Logo Logo
1939 1969 1984 2005

November 21, 2005 November 21, 2005 archives by Scott No Comments

No one is avail­able to take your call. Please leave a mes­sage.

November 17, 2005 November 17, 2005 archives by Scott No Comments

The com­plete absence of edi­to­r­i­al dis­cre­tion in Wikipedia can bring a ridicu­lous breadth of infor­ma­tion to a sin­gle, seem­ing­ly sim­ple top­ic.

Take, for exam­ple, the biog­ra­phy of King Abdul­lah II of Jor­dan. How else would you find out that he appears as an extra in a 1995 episode of Star Trek: Voy­ager?

November 10, 2005 November 10, 2005 archives by Scott No Comments

“Before Face­book, the only way to ade­quate­ly stalk a woman was to stand out­side her win­dow and leave weird presents around, Boo Radley style.”From “Fo’ the Short­ies: The Oblig­a­tory Face­book Arti­cle,” The Tech, Nov. 8, 2005

November 9, 2005 November 9, 2005 archives by Scott No Comments