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October 2008
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December 2008

November 2008

Parc: ok food, horribly awful service

parc.jpgI'm not one to complain about restaurants. It is true that I've never worked in the service industry (or retail for that matter), but I understand those jobs aren't easy. Dealing with hungry people like me can't possibly be pleasant for anyone. I get it.

That being said, when I'm spending pretty good money for a lunch I expect a certain level of service. Especially when I'm taking my mom out to lunch (as you know, she was in town for Thanksgiving) on one of her few visits to Philly.

I thought it would be a great idea to take my Mom to Parc, Stephen Star's new French restaurant on Rittenhouse Square. I had been there before for lunch, and enjoyed it.

The afternoon started out well as the very friendly hostess showed us to a table with a great view of the Square. The table was set, and it had two empty water glasses. My mother and I say down, chatted, looked over the menus.

Five minutes pass. Our water glasses are still empty but we have decided what we are going to order.

10 minutes pass. Our water glasses remain empty. I fail to make eye contact with the 2 waiters who walk past our table a few times (though they serve the ladies seated next to us).

15 minutes pass. Still no water in our glasses. Still no eye contact with any waiters. Still no service.

20 minutes pass. Our glasses are decidedly empty, but our coats are back on as we decide to leave.

On the way out I tell the hostess, 'You might not want to seat anyone else at that table.'

'Oh, was there a draft?'

I shake my head and say, 'Nope, but we sat there for 20 minutes while 3 different waiters ignored us.'

The manager of Parc was there, and he did apologize to us. He seemed genuinely upset and wanted us to sit back down, but at that point we just wanted to eat, we weren't interested in drama.

We ended up going to Rouge where our water glasses were filled within 2 minutes of us sitting down, and we had ordered within 5 minutes (we both got the famous Rouge burger, because that's just what you get at Rouge!).

Thanksgiving a success

Up at the tree

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.

Check out some pictures I took (of the day after Thanksgiving) here. Marisa also wrote about Thanksgiving, so why not read her post? Hmm?

My book has landed

The spine

As you might recall, I wrote a book (holy crap, I wrote a book!). I now have physical evidence to support that claim, and lots of it.

If you haven't written a book, you might not know that publishers sent authors a certain number of 'author copies' of their book so that the author can do with them what he sees fit.

Yesterday I came home to find a padded envelope waiting for me. I hadn't ordered anything, so I had no idea what it was. I ripped it open and what did I see before me? This. Awesome, right?

Fast forward to today. I come home and find a box waiting for me. A heavy box. I didn't recall ordering any lead via the Internet, so I was pretty sure what would be waiting for me in the box. That's right, 24 copies of my book.

This whole writing a book thing is pretty cool. I recommend you do it sometime!

Out of consumer debt

citplatinum.jpgI've had several milestones in my life:

  • Graduating from college
  • Taking my first job in IT (which really has had a very significant impact on my life)
  • Moving to Philadelphia
  • Blogging professionally for the first time

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.

Comments now powered by TypePad Connect


I'm a big fan of TypePad, despite writing a book about WordPress (if anyone wants me to write a book about TypePad, contact me and we'll work something out!), which is why I have been a happy TypePad user since August 2003 (here's my first post). I find the TypePad line of products to be very good, and that's why I just switched Blankbaby's commenting system over to TypePad Connect (Oh, a beta commenting system. Yeah, I'm badass. I like to live on the edge.).

What does this mean for you? Not too much. You'll notice a few new things when commenting:

  • A picture is displayed next to your comments (which you can set if you have a TypePad Profile).
  • Comments are now threaded.
  • You can reply to comments now.
  • Comments are now paginated (though most of my entries don't get enough comments for that to kick in).

The benefits to me include:

  • The ability to reply to comments via email (sweet!).
  • A nicer interface for managing comments (though I have some thoughts on how that could be improved).
  • Get to use something new.

Let me know what you think of all this in... the comments (see what I did there?). Oh, and here is my TypePad profile.

Holy crap, I wrote a book

mybook.jpgScott 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?

Star Trek trailer is online


Marisa and I went to see Quantum of Solace Friday night (opening night) for one reason only: I wanted to see the new trailer for J.J. Abram's forthcoming Star Trek movie called, simply, 'Star Trek.'

The Bond flick was pretty good (I have it on good authority that Daniel Craig is 'dreamy') but the Star Trek trailer was frickin' awesome. Sadly, it made me want to see the Trek movie immediately, and it isn't coming out until May 8th, 2009.

Until then I'll just watch the trailers in glorious QuickTime here on Apple's trailer site.

A point and shoot camera for a DSLR owner

The Problem

The other day Marisa mentioned that she wanted a smaller camera than her DSLR to throw in her bag. Just to have with her in case something cool happened, or to bring along in situations where a big honkin' camera wouldn't be looked upon kindly.

The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. Having been out of the market for a point and shoot since I got my Rebel XTi (which I still like oodles and oodles, though I haven't been taking as many pictures with it as I once did) I didn't really know what options were out there. Sure, I could research some cameras myself and come to an informed decision, or I would put my question into a magic box and get an answer fairly quickly.

Twitter: The magic box

twitter.jpg Twitter, for those of you out there that haven't heard of it, is a 'microblogging' service. It simply asks you one question: 'what are you doing,' and you have 140 characters in which to answer it. The great thing about Twitter, though, is that you can follow other people's tweets and, in turn, have your tweets followed by others. Your followers can be people that you know, people you find interesting, or just random people.

For some odd reason there are about 2000 people who think I am interesting enough to follow on Twitter (surely a chunk of that number are Twitter spam accounts). This gives me a large group of people that I can query. I tweeted that I was looking for a point and shoot camera to compliment my DSLR and the responses came rolling in, like magic.

The contenders

I thought it would be only fair to list the various cameras that I was recommended:

Isn't it great that all these folks bothered to answer my random question? Thanks to all of you!

The winner

I noticed a clear majority in support of Canon, which pleased me since I have lots of Canon gear (not that that really matters in the point and shoot world, but I have a good sense of their devices' UI and menu structure which is often very handy). That made me look into Canon's offerings a little more closely.

I spoke some more with Marisa to see what she had in mind. I thought she wanted something that would fit in a shirt pocket (which meant I was leaning towards an Exilim) but she was more interested in features. "It should be able to fit into a bag," is what she told me. That changes everything!

canong10.jpg My decision was made for me after I read this review of the Canon G10 and saw the accompanying images. They are amazing, and while I am sure I won't be able to shoot anything like that it won't be for lack of a good camera.

I just ordered the Canon G-10 from Amazon and I'll post my thoughts and some sample pictures from it as soon as I play around with it for awhile.

Ain't the Internet awesome?

Lunch and the Italian Market

Lunch and the Italian Market from Fork You on Vimeo.

Another video for your viewing pleasure. This time took the Flip MinoHD along to lunch at Ants Pants with Marisa and Shay. Then Marisa and I headed to the Italian Market for some wondering around (and to buy the cookies that were featured in my Flip vs. Zi6 video).

Watch. Laugh. Enjoy.

Oh, and if you're in Philly you should check out Ants Pants Cafe. It was very good.

The Flip Mino HD vs. the Kodak Zi6

Flip Mino HD vs Kodak Zi6 from Fork You on Vimeo.

Yesterday I posted by first video shot with the Flip Mino HD, which was cool and all but what people REALLY want to see some video from the Flip as compared to the Kodak Zi6. Being the cool guy that I am I whipped up this video shot around the apartment. I used a rubberband to attach the Flip to the Zi6 and went to town.

Marisa thought it was ridiculous, but I am just performing an important public service here.

You can see this in HD by checking out the video at Vimeo.

Yet another video camera: the Flip Mino HD

I have a weakness for gadgets, this is not something new. I seem to have a particular weakness for tiny, handheld HD cameras. That's why I have another one in my arsenal of today: the Flip Mino HD. Here is the first video I cobbled together with it (it is embedded above if you're actually visiting my blog).

My thoughts so far: * The small screen isn't really as annoying as I thought it would be. * The touch sensative buttons are far more annoying than I thought they would be. * The video looks great (about the same as the Zi6 I think) and the audio is good (slightly better than the Zi6 in my opinion).

I'll post more thoughts once I've fiddled with it a little longer.