Yet another reason why I shouldn't live by myself

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.

I'm available for weddings

weddingscotty.jpgIt is always a nice feeling when you know that someone you care about is very happy. You know the feeling, don't you? A sort of warm, squiggly feeling deep inside of you that let's you know the world isn't half bad. It is not unusual for someone to feel this way at a wedding of a dear friend, and I am happy to report that is just how I felt this past Friday. However, this feeling was amplified because two good friends were getting married... to each other and I can take at some of the credit for it. Thad and Angie (if those are their REAL names) got hitched this past weekend after a 2 year courtship (or there abouts) and I introduced them to one another! Such is the mighty power of the Blankbaby, I tells you! Remember, ladies, I'm still single and I am very fashionable as evidenced by the above picture. Anyone who has encountered Thad and Angie (or Thadgelica as some have called them) over the past year or so could tell that these two wacky kids were meant to be together. I'm just happy they let me participate in their happy day (I was an usher, and I must say that I ush with the best of 'em). The ceremony itself was very nice, though the priest's homily was a little creepy. He managed to bring up pedophilia and having a threesome with Christ in the same homily. It was most impressive. I also nearly managed to make Marisa laugh out loud during the ceremony, which would have been hilarious (to me at least). Other highlights of the evening include:
  • Thad's dad telling me to stop calling his son a jackass
  • Thad's mom saying to me, as she walked out of the church, 'What's going on good looking?' to which I said, 'I'll see YOU later.' and winked at her.
  • Dancing like a fool with Roz, Bart, and Marisa. Roz managed to snap a few shots of Marisa and I making like Fred and Ginger, and me getting up off the floor after doing the worm (I'm a wild man on the dance floor!).
  • Marisa falling in love with, and then absconding with, a pumpkin.
  • Escorting Owen down the aisle.
  • Having Roz tell me that I am handsome with my glases but VERY handsome without (I told her that she should see me without pants... she wasn't interested).
A good time was had by all, and here are my pictures, Roz's pictures, and Marisa's pictures to prove it.

BlogPhiladelphia rocked, and rocked HARD


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.

Yes, that's a picture of me leading a session. Thanks to Tony for taking it! Check out the BlogPhiladelphia Flickr pool for even more pictures from the event.

Blankbaby Reader survey: To beard or not to beard?


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).

Wanna see me get yelled at on TV?

meoncnbc-2.jpgI 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.

The Ferik wedding

Ain't they cute?
Originally uploaded by blankbaby.
This weekend was the wedding of my dear friend Owen to his lovely bride Jess. Check out all the pictures I took here.

I've known Owen for about 12 years now (has it really been that long?) and while I am pretty sucky about keeping in touch with people Owen has made the effort to say in touch with me (why, we might never know). Now that Thad is in Philly I make it out to Allentown more often for some quality Owen time, which is a good thing indeed.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed the wedding.

Jess and Owen, here's to many years of bliss.

Let me show you my photo face


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, a.k.a Larry 'Bud' Melman, is no more

caldeforest.jpgCalvert 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.

Words of wisdom from Jon Stewart

rickles.jpgTalking about the hordes of 'comedy groupies' on Sit Down Comedy with David Steinberg Jon says:

They [i.e. women] always say, 'Sense of humor it's so important to me... that's why I'm in love with Don Rickles.' Yes, sense of humor is very important to you in theory.

So very true. Lots of folks seems to find me entertaining (whether or not I am actually funny I leave up to you. I don't really consider myself to be that funny, but I do enjoy it when people laugh and so it follows that I often attempt to make it happen. It is selfish, really) and yet the ladies are not pounding down my door.

That being said, I have it on good authority that Jon Stewart is hot. Perhaps I just need to get a show on Comedy Central.

Out of my comfort zone

I'm a big fan of my comfort zone. I love schedules, routines, and clear objectives. They make things so much easier for me. I mean, if you have a hard and fast deadline you know when you need to have something done. When you have a routine you know what should happen and when it should happen (and I think my love of routines is one of the reasons I have, in fact, been getting fit. I had my doubts about whether or not I would actually go to the gym as often as I should. Luckily, I have been).

Sadly, for me, the universe doesn't play by my rules (what up with that, universe? I totally play by your rules. I've never violated the laws of causality, nor have I gone faster than the speed of light. Help a brother out!). Sometimes, it would seem, the only way to get somewhere is to step far, far outside your comfort zone and just do it.

I do not like this one bit.

Leaving my comfort zone frightens me.

I am a weak, weak man.

There should be some sort of company that you can call, and they'll take care of whatever you need to get done. Since I don't think such a company exists (and if they did, I bet they would charge a lot for their services... I would think of them as 'life movers.') I must leave my comfort zone from time to time to accomplish things that I know have to be done.

I know what you're thinking, 'Scott, it is good to leave your comfort zone! That's when the best things in life happen!' Sure, I know that intellectually, but the comfort zone is not a place of reason. The comfort zone is a place where no one judges you, no one says you're wrong, and you know the rules of the realm. Everything outside the comfort zone is the Wild Wild West. You never know when some varmint is going to shoot you and gallop off with your horse.

Yesterday was my birthday, and it was your birthday too

I turned 30 yesterday. How did I celebrate this momentous occasion? Thusly (presented to you in convenient list form):

  • Went to work (I was very nearly on time)

  • Went to lunch at Pod (thanks, everyone!)

  • Went to the gym and did 2.7 miles on the elliptical in the secret equipment room (Thanks, Becky!)

  • Had a bacon cheese burger from Five Guys for dinner (I know, so not on the diet but it is my frickin’ birthday)

  • Cleaned out my closet (I’m sorry mama.)

  • Did some laundry

  • Patched some servers

Five things you don't know about me

C.K. tagged me, and so now I must participate in the latest meme sweeping the internet.  Here we go, five things most of you don’t know about me:

  1. I was a boy scout, a very bad boy scout but a boy scout nonetheless.  My father was an eagle scout and I always had the sneaking suspicion that he wished I was more outdoorsy.
  2. I enjoy hugs.  I have this reputation that I hate being hugged, and it simply isn’t true.  I like appropriate hugs, which pretty much covers being hugged by anyone who reads this (if you are so inclined to hug me.  If you would rather not hug me that’s cool too).  I will seldom initiate a hug, because I can never tell if a hug is welcome, which might add to my hug hating reputation.
  3. I live in constant fear of being fired.  No matter how many times the people I work with tell me that I’m doing a good job, in the back of my mind I think that at any moment I will be told to take my belongings and leave the building.  This isn’t a new thing either.  When I was in school I was always afraid that I was on the edge of failing all my classes and being kicked out of school.
  4. I fear that I will die alone (just like Capt. Kirk!  I’m such a big geek.)
  5. When I was a child I carried around a purse.  The purse contained blank pieces of paper.  When my mother and I would go into stores I would pay for whatever it is we bought by writing a ‘check’ on one of the pieces of paper.  This is true, and I have no idea what it means about me.

Now I must tag five other people to do this, and so I will tag Terry, Marisa, Karl, Joe, and Frank.

Update: Frank, Joe, and Terry have posted their answers and there are some pretty gross answers in the lineup of 5 (think dangling eyes and peanut butter with cheese).

Why must the internet ladies hate me?

nolovefortheblankbaby.jpgThe other day I was talking to Julie and the topic of online dating was brought up. I told Julie that a while ago I logged into to see how my profile was doing and I was greeted with the sad state of affairs you see to the right. My profile has been viewed a whopping zero times in the last few months.

I’m being virtually rejected by women who don’t even know that I exist! I bemoaned this fact to Julie and then I said, ‘I’m going to get an ad somewhere where I’ll be appreciated.’

Julie looked at me, waited a moment, and said, ‘And that would be where?’

‘I have no idea. But it must exist, right?’

Sadly, I don’t think it does exist. I have a feeling that the wild world of online dating isn’t for me. I’m just not that attractive on paper (virtual or real paper, I might add). Ladies need to be exposed to me for awhile before my charms become apparent, which means that online dating, speed dating, and most normal social settings don’t work in my favor.

What’s a rapidly thinning geek to do?

Though, it isn’t all sadness and garment rending in the world of Scott. I went to Thad’s holiday party a few weeks ago and I have it on good authority that some of the women in attendance thought I was nice and funny. That’s something I suppose, though I have the feeling that most ladies look at me as the nice and funny friend. I need to be a bad boy, or something. I must add a leather jacket and profanity to my daily gear.

I want long hair again!!!!

Here is the full text of the strangest email I have received in a long while:

Okay, I just cut my hair because I wanted something different. But people keeps telling me that they liked me better with long hair..I have brown hair and I am about 5`9. I am also 14 years old. How can I get my long hair back before Christmas with out all of the treatments and by keeping it healthy...

Sadly, I have no words of wisdom for this girl, other than short hair rocks. I mean, it is much less upkeep, though I do like longish hair on women (though I like short hair on women too. I like women, basically).

Oddly enough, I think I look better with short hair. And so does this creep guy who commented on this picture of me (which I think is an awful picture of me). Why do I get so many compliments from creep dudes and so few from lovely ladies?

Sarcasmo no more

sarcasmo.jpgI am often at a loss for words, mostly because I am socially backwards, however, the news that Star Foster (you may know her as Sarcasmo) has died is shocking. Shocking.

Blogging has brought my good things into my life, and Star was one of them.. I count her amongst my friends, and possibly one of the few people I had ever met who was geekier than I am.

It pains me to write about her in the past tense.

I don't really have any words of wisdom to share with you all about this. It just sucks.

Star, I have been and always shall be your friend.

Things I need to be before my mother arrives

Once again I am hosting the McNulty family Thanksgiving (which consists of my Mom, my brother Sean, and me). You know what that means! The next 2 days are going to be a whirlwind of cleaning up my apartment, even though my mother always says the same thing no matter how much I clean, ‘Don’t you ever dust?!’

Here’s what needs to be done before noon on Wednesday:

  • Laundry
  • Buy a coffee pot (suggestions anyone?)
  • Mop and sweep:
    • kitchen
    • bathroom
    • livingroom
    • bedroom
    • hallway
  • put away all my dishes
  • clean the stove
  • take out trash
  • dispose of Ikea boxes
  • clean bathtub
  • get a new toothbrush (not related, but I need to do it so I might as well put it on here)
  • put my entertainment system back in order (I ripped it apart doing something 2 weeks ago, and apart it has stayed)
  • find batteries for inflatable bed (or else Sean sleeps on the floor)
  • find inflatable mattress to put previous item into (the batteries, not Sean)
  • organize crap on coffee-table
  • clean up crap on my dresser (I make piles)
  • pick up all the change on the floor (my floor is like a change magnet)
  • Make reservations for Wed. at Jones (per Dan’s suggestion)

Dad's obituary

It is no secret that my father is dead. It is also no secret that my blog is the 'paper of record' for my life. I just found my father's obituarity hanging out in my documents folder, and I thought I would post it so I would know where it is.

I hadn't spoke to my father after he and my mother got divorced. I only found out he had died because an insurance company sent a letter to my mom to her old Yonkers address (where I was living). I called her up, opened the letter and found out that dear old dad was dead. I then did a search for his obit with my mad internet skillz, at my mom's request, and found this:

Cornelius V. McNulty, 56, of Poughkeepsie, died at home on Friday, Aug. 23, 2002. Mr. McNulty was a counselor for the Friars of Atonement, managing a residence in Poughkeepsie. Born in New York City on Nov. 10, 1945, he was the son of Gerard and Catherine McManus McNulty. He is survived by a sister, Catherine Paoli of Woodbury, Conn.; several nieces and nephews, and a dear friend, Louise Fitzpatrick of Poughkeepsie. Calling hours are Sunday, Aug. 25, from 2-6 p.m. at the William G. Miller - Son Funeral Home, Inc., 371 Hooker Ave., Poughkeepsie. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, Aug. 26, at 10 a.m. at St Marys Church, 231 Church St., Poughkeepsie. Burial will be in the family plot in Poughkeepsie. Memorial donations may be made to St. Christophers Inn, Attn: Jan, Box 150, Graymoor, Garrison, NY 10524. If you need directions or wish to sign our guestbook, visit our website at

Published: 8/25/02

I hadn't seen or spoken to my father in about 11 years (or so) when I found out about this, so I wasn't that upset about it. I did think it odd that neither my brother or I was mentioned in the obit, but what can you do.

Anywho, I posted this so I wouldn't miss place it (and it would get backed up with my blog). If you forget where you came from you'll never know where you're going (or something).

Oh yeah, dear dad had a touch o' the alcoholism, which is why I am not much of a drinker. Hurrah!

I like funny women

I came across this article about how men aren't attracted to funny women, and before I even read it I thought, “Pish-posh! I find funny women very attractive.' Then I read the article, and came across this line:

While women want to settle down with a guy who can crack a good joke, men, to a large degree, want a partner who laughs at their antics.

I then knew that it wasn't very far off base. I will admit that I find women who find me funny to be more attractive. Hey, it is all about me, isn't it? However, I also find a woman who can give as good as she gets, so there.

Of course I don't know what women want (other than not me, even though I have it on good authority that I am, on occasion, funny), they are a mystery to me.

Gray makes you look distinguished, right?

I've been going gray for awhile, and it doesn't bother me anymore (when it first strarted coming in I freaked out a little, embraced it and the I found my first gray chest hair and then I freaked out again. Don't worry, I won't be posting pictures of my chest hair. They are available for private showings thought).

I wager that I'll be entirely gray in less than 10 years.