The Internet is an odd thing. Case in point, the above picture.
My Internet pal, and yours, Grant Robertson tweeted to me:
I was not! It seems Reddit user KodyRite came across my picture somewhere on the Internet (it happens), and decided my face could launch a meme called "Downer Dave." The idea being: I congratulate someone on some good news, and then add some sad little sentence at the end.
I was amused (still am, really) and so I tweeted about it and went to bed.
The logical next step happened: Redditors in the comments section assumed this was a sad cry for attention from the person pictured (i.e. me) who must have submitted his own photo to create a meme featuring himself.
There are a couple of problems with this line of thinking:
Today I went out to meet a friend and came home to find this in my Inbox:
It seems the first post spawned another post on Reddit in the cringpics titled, "Guy on r/adviceanimals tries to turn himself into a meme called Downer Dave" featuring this picture:
The comments, as one might expect, aren't too kind to the chubby bearded fellow claiming to have had sex with some fictional lady. That being said most people seem to be more upset by the text alignment issues in the picture, which is pretty awful. Had I created this picture I can assure you that the text would have been properly aligned, and the joke would have been funnier.
My reaction to all this? Amused befuddlement. I did create a Reddit account so I could comment and say, "Nope, I didn't post this," knowing full well that it doesn't really matter if the story is true. To channel Steven Colbert: it feels true, and that's good enough.
Also, I look pretty good in that picture, don't ya think?
That's a picture of me 6 years ago (and many pounds heavier… sheesh. I think I'm fat now but I forget how much progress I have made!) at the Suburban Square Apple Store grand opening. How times have changed.
Not only have I lost some weight, and look much more handsome, I also don't like going to the Apple Store any more. The fine folks over at Macworld asked me to explain why, and the result was this: Why I dread going to the Apple Store.
Somehow I don't think this is going to be popular over at Macworld.
It is Father's Day here in the US, and I wish a happy day to all the dads out there that I know (A side note: the number of fathers in my social circle is increasing at an alarming rate. Clearly, I am old).
I logged into my Gmail account to see Google helpfully remind me that I should call my dad today. I would, the only trouble is that my father is dead.
I know someone at Google thought it would be a good idea to promote the phone call feature of GTalk on Father's Day but I have an inkling I'm not the only Gmail user out there with a dead dad.
I don't know what it is, perhaps because I am getting older, or because I feel more settled... but I've been on a bit of a home furnishings kick.
I haven't ordered these framed posters yet (because Marisa rightly pointed out that I already have lots of art that needs framing) but I'm blogging it to remember them.
Something about this particular style appeals to me. Given my love of Mission and Arts and Crafts stuff, it is clear I was born about 70 or 80 years too late (though, what did people DO at work without computers and the Internet? Seriously, what did they do? Did they mimeograph funny pictures of cats and send them to one another via inter-office mail?).
Marisa and I got married a couple of months ago and I haven't put up any pictures! We took a bunch both at the wedding itself and during our honeymoon. I've collected some of the pics I like best in this post, but if you want to see them all they are on Flickr:
Here are the ones that I thought I would highlight on the blog:
First, we'll start with the wedding pictures. Most of these were taken by our good friend, and great photographer, Albert Yee (I'll point out which ones weren't!).
This first picture was taken by yours truly. Marisa thought that perhaps she would have enough time to take her own wedding pictures.
While Marisa and I were exchanging vows I thought I saw a random dog walk past. But I knew that no one had brought a dog with them. Turns out the neighbor's dogs stopped by to wish us well (this pic was snapped by David Kirpan).
Ah, the pro pictures begin!
Marisa has a very large family.
I don't. Behind me are my brother and mother. Behind Marisa are her parents and her sister.
Raina played a song before we said our vows.
About to take the plunge.
Different people. Different shoes.
Kissing! In public! Shocking.
My good friend David Kirpan manned my camera during the ceremony and managed to get this picture. Good job, Dave!
Marisa, being Marisa, made all of our wedding cakes herself. Here you see a destroyed flourless chocolate cake (which we made on Fork You once, video and recipe here).
My relatives made the trek out to Philadelphia to attend (ain't they nice!).
My mom, her brother, and her sister.
The whole honeymoon plan was founded on visiting Bennington Potters (for Marisa), and so that was our first stop.
Marisa also loves thrift stores, so we had to go here.
All around Bennington they had these painted Moose. This one is the covered bridge moose which features a picture of the bed & breakfast we stayed at painted on its flank (I thought that was pretty cool).
My iPhone (and Blackberry and wireless data card) got no service for most of the trip, which was actually quite nice.
A nice steeple. I just like the way this picture came out.
The first place we stayed at in Vermont was the Inn On Covered Bridge Green, which was just lovely. Norman Rockwell used to own this house... though we didn't actually stay in the house proper. There is a little honeymoon cottage in the back (which used to be called the 'corn crib') that we stayed in. I'm certain that Marisa and I will be back to this place again.
This is what was painted on that moose.
We left Vermont and went to Lake Placid, New York and stayed at the White Face Lodge, which was very nice indeed. They had brownies waiting for us in our room. You can't beat that!
I thought this was a picture of Lake Placid, but I'm pretty sure it is actually Lake Mirror... either way it is pretty.
Since I booked the Honeymoon package we also received some free champagne. It was pretty good.
Of course Marisa bought some jars.
And I demanded we visit some historical sites! This is Fort Ticonderoga.
Us being cute.
The Kings Garden which is right next to the Fort. We actually happened to visit when some sort of farmers' market was going on so we managed to buy some vegetables.
This was outside of some tourist trap that we ventured into (and where we bought some rare Cabot cheeses that aren't available in these parts).
The Egg in Albany, NY. Since we were driving through Albany I thought it would be fun to take the Capitol Building tour.
The Library in the New York State Capitol.
A string of lights on our Airstream trailer.
We stayed in an airstream (the one pictured above) at Kate's Lazy Meadow, which is surrounded by beauty. Marisa and I were both glad we only booked one night, however, since the trailer was tiny!
I thought this was a cool picture.
And there we are being cute again!
I don't think I mentioned this on the blog before, but two week ago I got married to Marisa (who knew?).
Marisa thoughtfully posted our vows, if you want to check them out.
I drank a Mexican Pepsi (Love it!)
I went to Macworld 2008 and saw MacBook Airs on a string.
I turned 31.
My TV (and me) moved into Marisa's apartment.
Becky and Eric got married (and not much happened in March or April).
We retreated to a lovely cabin in the woods, with neighbors across the river who really liked classic rock.
I visited my Mom and we went to Mount Vernon.
I got a Kodak Zi6 (which I like more than my Flip Mino HD, no matter what certain tech pundits will have you believe).
I had my first article published in a real, live magazine.
Off to Las Vegas for VMworld (and it'll probably be my last VMworld ever!).
Marisa and I went to Hoover Dam whilst in Las Vegas.
And then we got all fancy and spent the weekend at the Ritz Carlton at Lake Las Vegas (it was really quite nice, and it has turned Marisa into a hotel snob).
I got a Flip Mino HD and made a silly movie with it.
I saw my book in print for the first time (and it looked awesome).
My mom visited for Thanksgiving, met some of Marisa's family, and met with Marisa in her role as my girlfriend for the first time.
We went to City Hall and looked cute.
I got engaged to Marisa.
Spent Christmas with my mom and bro, as is McNulty tradition (and no one fought!).
Ah, Thanksgiving is winding down in the best way possible: sitting on the couch next to Marisa watching the latest episode of Dexter (who, I bet, can carve a mean turkey).
I took the week off, as I usually do, in order to entertain my mother in Philadelphia. Every year for the last few years Mom has spent Thanksgiving in Philly. For the last three years (here are some pics from 2006 and 2005, it seems like 2007 was the Thanksgiving Flickr forgot) I've ordered dinner from DiBruno's and it was fantastic. I was prepared to do the same thing this year, but Marisa would have none of it. She whipped up a fantastic Thanksgiving feast from scratch and it was very good.
All in all, 2008's Thanksgiving was one for the ages.
I've had several milestones in my life:
Today marks another milestone: I no longer have any credit card debt. Ok, so that's not REALLY true. I still have a balance on my Amazon credit card but that's by design. Everything I buy from Amazon goes on that Amazon card because I get double reward points for each Amazon purchase. Once I get enough points Amazon sends me a $25 gift certificate in the mail, so I would be a fool not to use the card. The key, though, is that I pay off the balance in its entirety at the end of each month.
Where do I get off saying that I no longer have any credit card debt when I clearly have some? Because I finally paid off the last of the balance on my Citibank card. What's so important about that? For some reason Citibank gave me a ridiculous deal a few years ago: a very, very low interest rate on balance transfers and a very high credit limit. I took advantage of this to combine all my credit card debt (spread over 3 cards) onto one, so I only had one bill to pay since I'm a lazy man. The clear benefit being that over time I wouldn't be paying as much in interest on my debt but the greater benefit, which was entirely unexpected to me, was seeing that big old number in the balance column. That made me really want to get rid of the debt once and for all, and that I did today.
It feels great.
The only question is, what do I spend all my money on now? I hear Citigroup stock is a real bargain nowadays.
Scott McNulty watchers (and you know you're one of them) might have been wondering, 'What the heck has Scott been up to?' I haven't been blogging here, I haven't really been posting much to MacUser, I haven't been posting new episodes of Fork You... what have I been doing?
It turns out that I've been writing a book (I'm as shocked as you are). That's right, on December 12 (or there abouts) you'll be able to walk into any of a number of fine bookstores and pickup a copy of 'Building a WordPress Blog People Want to Read' by yours truly (I'm told that some Barnes and Noble stores will have a special display with my books. Cool, huh?).
This book is the perfect stocking stuffer for anyone, no matter whether they are interested in WordPress or not (they will surely be interested in my witty and sparkling prose) and if you buy a copy via this link I even get a little kickback from Amazon (double score!).
I'll post more about how I came to write this book in due course, but I just wanted to share the fact that I have written a book that will soon be published and in bookstores everywhere (by a real publisher, no less). Ain't that cool?
I'm generally of the opinion that you can almost always find things cheaper on the internet than you can in a brick and mortar store, and forget about finding good deals at small local places. This goes double for large appliances.
Airs Appliances in Philadelphia (1119 Chestnut Street for those of you in the area) has proven me wrong. Not only did we get a great deal, we got great service as well. If you're looking to buy an appliance in the Philly area you are doing yourself a disservice by not stopping by and chatting with the good folks at Air.
Marisa and I have been talking about getting a new refrigerator for a little bit. It would seem the success of the washer/dry combo unit has emboldened Marisa's zeal for gussying up the kitchen (which I approve of, mind you).
Our current refrigerator irks me to no end. I think it is pretty ugly, and since Marisa is a world class foodie it is often packed to the gills with all sorts of food. That's not a bad thing, but I can never find anything! And with all that hippy food in there there is hardly any room for 'Scott approved' foodstuffs (mostly Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper, and yes I am well aware of the dangers of diet soda). We were both in favor of getting a new fridge.
The world of refrigerators is a wild and varied place. There are awesome professional fridges, very cool retro fridges (which are super tiny), and many more in-between. The space that we have to work with is pretty narrow, in fridge terms. It would seem that manufacturers are making fridges that are about 35 inches wide, which works well for most people. We have a space that, at most, can take a fridge 33 inches wide. We thought we would be stuck with some bottom of the barrel fridge, but we were wrong.
Helen at Airs steered us towards the LG LFC20760, which has everything we wanted:
We were in fridge heaven!
We had no plans to actually buy a fridge while we were in Airs' lovely Center City showroom, mind you. We just wanted to get our hands on some fridges before we ordered one from the web. However, the price ($1139.95) was better than anything we saw on the internet for the same class of refrigerator and it even included delivery (which none of the places on the web did). Marisa looked at me and said, "Are we going to buy a refrigerator today?" I said, "It sure looks like it!" And so we did.
It'll be delivered on the 18th, and Marisa can't wait. My only question is: what do we buy next?
Marisa and I headed to Lancaster County in the beautiful Pennsylvania countryside to celebrate the marriage of our two friends Becky and Eric (they met via a combination of a blog post and a Google search. Blogging makes things better!).
The wedding itself was lots of fun, as one might expect from a wedding in a barn. I was worried about what the appropriate attire is for a barn wedding, so I just wore my fancy dress shirt and some nice khakis. It seemed to work.
The highlight of the evening, since the happy couple had actually married themselves with a self uniting marriage license earlier in the day, was the pig race. Seeing 4 cute little pigs run around a track is lots of fun, and I recommend it to everyone.
Check out all my pictures from the happy event here. You might notice that Becky and Eric are in very few of the photos. My only explanation is that whenever I hang out with Becky she tells me not to take her picture, so she has conditioned me not to snap her pic (though this one of Marisa and Becky is very nice indeed. Becky looked great in her blue dress, and Marisa is always pretty).
As you know, I've picked up some new shirts as of late. Sadly, the problem with button down shirts is that they need to be ironed before you wear them (just the thought of wearing a wrinkled shirt to work makes my mother's voice ring in my head, 'You're not going out looking like that, are you?' Make it stop!), so that's how I found myself almost out of a house and home this evening.
I woke up this morning, almost on time, and hopped in the shower. I then went to my closet to try and decide what to wear. All my shirts were horribly wrinkled, so I picked a blue striped one and fetched the iron. Now, I'm an 'adult' but I don't own an ironing board so I drape a towel over my coffee table and iron things on that. This means that I often rest the iron on top of my TV, which is within easy reach of my ironing board/coffee table. After my shirt was ironed to my satisfaction (i.e. I couldn't see any more wrinkles on it, but invariably that means the shirt is about 75% wrinkle free) I put the iron on top of my TV, got dressed, and hurried off to work.
After many hours at work, slaving over a hot computer, I wearily made my way home. As I stumbled into my apartment, and dropped in my favorite chair to get a moment's rest I hear an odd noise. It was ticking, but not the ticking of a clock. Have you ever been next to a car that has recently been turned off after driving for a long while? You know that tick you hear, the metal throwing off heat and expanding (or contracting... whichever one it is)? That was the noise I was hearing, but I was pretty sure no one had parked a car in my living room. I scanned the room quickly and that's when I saw it, sitting on my TV so innocently. An iron on the 'cotton setting,' happily heating itself, and using up all the water I put into it this morning to iron the very shirt that I was wearing.
I leapt from my chair, quickly unplugged the iron, and sighed a mighty sigh. The TV, luckily, wasn't even warm after 10 hours of having an iron sitting upright on it.
The lesson here is clear: I should live in a home of some sort, and I should purchase wrinkle free shirts from now on.
The first time I heard about BlogPhiladelphia I was doubtful. This had nothing to do with the people behind it, rather I am just naturally a stick in the mud (which might explain why I am not an entrepreneur. I would have been the one friend of Henry Ford’s who would have said, ‘Eh. Who wants a mass assembled car?! The people want something hand man, sir!’). Luckily, despite my reservations and thanks to the charms of Alex and Annie I signed on to not only attend but to lead two sessions (give me a roomful of people and a microphone and I’m a happy man. I’m the most extroverted introvert you have ever met, I tells ya!).
As with most things in my life, it turned out to be a very good decision (I should always do the exact opposite of what I think I should do, but that’s another post entirely, and a Seinfeld episode to boot!).
Simply put: BlogPhiladelphia was a kick ass time, and I hope to do it again soon.
Annie, Alex, and the whole Uwishunu and the Philly Tourism Board did a fantastic job putting on this great unconference. The unconference format really highlights the best part of conferences: the conversations you have in the hallways. Instead of making people whisper during panels, the people in the audience are the real experts and they get fools (like me) to facilitate the conversation and try and keep it on point.
The thing that really surprised me was that people wanted to meet me. Me?! Why are these people interested in meeting me? Strikes me as a little odd, but hey I’m an egomaniac so I’ll take what I can get.
Rob Sandie, President of Viddler, has a great post up recapping all the reasons that BlogPhilly rocked (and I am not just saying that because he starts off with me and calls me the funniest person imaginable… though that doesn’t hurt. Thanks, Rob!). Check it out, and I’ll be posting another thing or two about BlogPhiladelphia in the coming days.
I've asked this question before (twice, in fact) and each time the beard wins out, however, I haven't shaved off the beard since I lost 95 pounds (and counting). So, dear readers, should I grow back my beard, or let my skinny face be naked?
You're all smarter than I am (except for you, and you know who you are), so tell me what to do with my face (and keep it clean, people!).
Photos by stellargirl (I think she took both of them.. I know she took the one on the left, but Thad might be responsible for the one on the right).
I have been a busy, busy panda here at WWDC (that's Apple's World Wide Developer's Conference to you, bub). Oh, that's right, I was so busy leading up to it that I didn't mention on Ye Olde Blankbaby that I would be in San Francisco this week. I'm here until Friday, so if you are a Blankbaby reader and you live in the Bay Area now is your chance to meet me!
Anyway, right after the Steve Jobs Keynote I get an email from a producer at CNBC. It would seem Steve Rubel (thanks, Steve!) gave him my name (and the names of a few of my fellow TUAW bloggers) because he was looking for someone to appear on Fast Money's Face2Face segment. They wanted someone to talk about the Keynote, though the catch was that they wanted someone at the conference. Since I'm currently in SF covering it, they went with little old me. They had me log into a WebEx session, dial up a conference number (using speakerphone) and talk into my iSight. They also made me take off my glasses, which made me sad but anything for TV (there was some glare from the glasses).
You can check it out here on iTunes and see me try to talk some sense into these fast talking traders (or you can look at it on Viddler. Thanks, Alex!). I don't know if I succeeded, but at least I didn't sound like too much of an idiot.
It is useful to keep in mind that I really didn't have any idea what they were going to ask me about. I knew they wanted to hear the 'Man on the Street' view of the Keynote but they didn't give me any specific areas they wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk about Safari 3 being on Windows but they were more interested in the iPhone (shocking, I know).
Oh, and thanks to Frank for the kind words. It was quite an intro that Dylan gave me... and one I try to live up to though I fail miserably more often than not. What's that saying, 'being there is 90%.' I might have just made that up.
I like to think of myself as shy and retiring, an opinion that isn't always upheld by reality. Sure, I'm fairly shy around people I don't know, but around friends I'm far from shy (and if I'm in front of a crowd... forget about it). Concurrently, I like to think of myself as someone who is happier behind the scenes, not the center of attention. Once again, reality disagrees.
There are many pictures of myself on Flickr (234 at the moment), which I suppose isn't the mark of some shy, reticent individual.
Here's a story that goes with the above picture:
I was amongst those lucky enough to be invited to a certain someone's birthday party, so I got gussied up (you never know who you'll meet at these parties. Yes, ladies, I am single.) and headed on over. Stellargirl was also in attendance with her camera in hand, and for some reason, and with no prodding from yours truly, she decided to start snapping pictures of me. Once it became clear that our height differences were making the ideal shot difficult to get she had me sit in a chair, which I did because I am ever the willing photographic subject (see here, here, here, and here). As the camera clicked away Becky walked in, and rolled her eyes saying, 'Of course, Scott is getting his picture taken.' Really, what party is complete without me getting my picture taken at it?
Anywho, the real reason I am writing this post is to call your attention to the face that I am making in the above picture (taken by stellargirl herself). This face is my default picture face (Lord knows why) and as such deserves a name (ala Zoolander's Blue Steel). Sound off in the comments with some suggestions! You know you want to.
Calvert DeForest died today. You might remember him from David Letterman's show where he played the character Larry 'Bud' Melman. He always got a laugh from me, what with his odd delivery of pretty random stuff (my favorite kind of humor).
Death has been in my thoughts a lot as of late. Well, perhaps not a lot, but more than usual. A friend of mine recently died due to complications from surgery and I don't think he was much older than I am. Not to mention the sudden, and entirely unexpected, death of Star. It really makes you think about what you're doing with your life.
Death is also a great motivator, at least for me. It is the main reason I have managed to shed 75 pounds in recent months. Death is a constant thought in the back of my mind as I go about my day. I really don't want to be another person who dies because they didn't take care of themselves (though heart disease does run in my family. Hurrah!). I'm not afraid of dying, really, so much as not willing to miss out on everything that will happen after I'm gone. I don't believe in an afterlife, or reincarnation, or anything along those lines. This life is the only one I get, and I damn well better enjoy it.
Heavy stuff, huh? I promise I'm not depressed! I'm a pragmatist when it comes to my own death (cremation, I think, is what'll happen to my body since I doubt any of my organs are harvestable... but the doctors should check. If they can use it, they can have it!) but I am against it happening to other people.
Blankbaby is known to his friends as Scott McNulty (though he is @blankbaby on Twitter). He writes this blog, used to co-host (with Marisa) Fork You, infrequently contributes to Macworld, and authors tech books.
Everything on this blog is Scott's opinion, and his opinion alone. It in no way reflects the opinions of his employers, friends, concerned passers-by, or anyone else for that matter. But you're smart, you knew that already.