Flash Fiction & Hemingway’s Legendary Bet

The story goes like this:

Ernest Hemingway was given a challenge to write a complete story with six words.

This style of writing is known as “flash fiction.”

I am a huge fan of short form poetry (check out my poem, “A Good Poem” as a starting point on my approach to short form poetry).

Hemingway nailed it. He told the story with the words he didn’t write:

“For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.”

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Apple Enthusiasts & Your Mama Jokes

I have been on a MacBook Pro since December. I am still waiting for my moment of epiphany when I really perceive Mac as being superior to Windows.

To be fair, most of the problems that I have on my Mac are related to Windows software and networking. I primarily wanted a Mac for music and film editing. But if you are working in a Windows Office / Exchange environment, you’re going to encounter more issues than a PC user.

But not all of the issues on my Mac are Windows related. I see both computers as having their own set of problems. I find usability incredibly inconsistent on Macs. Macs feel like they are designed for a child: with cute icons that are often not labeled and a user-friendly Finder that compromises speed for usability. Usability Steve Krug, in his book, “Don’t Make Me Think”, even cites a few major Apple usability problems to demonstrate how prevalent usability issues are.

When I mention my issues to Mac enthusiasts, they often react as if I made a “your mama is so fat” joke. For these fans, there is no middle ground. Think of it this way: the brand reputations couldn’t be more different. Microsoft represents “the dark side” (commonly used among Mac fans), and Apple is the hip, smart, young guy we see in the PC Guy commercials. The brand messaging does a lot to make Apple users dig their heels in the ground. I see Mac enthusiasts as a population largely comprised of people who derive much of their identity externally – often by way of the brands with which they associate themselves. These fans see the urban chic iPod videos and see themselves.

An article in Salon (Why Apple Fans Hate Tech Reporters) states:

But for people who feel strongly about an issue — for Apple fanatics, for abortion partisans, for folks who think they know the truth about global warming or what’s going on in the Middle East — personal views feel distinct and luminous. Journalistic “objectivity” inevitably produces a muddier picture.

The article adds:

But many fans of Apple often seem to want more. They care little for honest opinion. They want to pick up the paper and see in it a reflection of their own nearly religious zeal for the thing they love. They don’t want a review. They want a hagiography.

How to Find Cheap Yoga in New York City / Manhattan

I come to NYC about one week every month or so. I share an apartment with a few people I work with in midtown (west).

Last wkend I decided to drop in to a yoga studio in my neighborhood. Then I looked at the pricing: $18 for a drop in? Wow.

The 10 class passes (which expire in 3 months) and other discount buys (unlimited monthly) would be difficult to extract value from, given the time I spend in NYC.

Then I found a great solution: the new student special.

yoga studios new york city manhattan
Many studios in NYC, in an effort to lure new customers, have specials like $20 for a week of yoga (perfect!). I looked at Google Local for all the studios in NYC. It’s quite possible to spend a few years hopping from studio to studio, enjoying new student discounts.

Another option is the “community” classes several of them have. These are classes taught by new instructors. The classes are discounted (one I am heading to now is $8).

Yoga has become so expensive – and I can see why. Any class is going to be expensive due to the cost of the instructor and space in NYC. But at $18 a drop-in, you think twice about doing yoga.

What Eliot Spitzer’s Apology Should Have Said

< Note: This is filed under “satire” – I’ve realized I need to come right out and say this >

If I were Eliot, I would have told my wife, “listen honey, I really love you and I’m sorry I screwed the hooker. We’ll have some counseling, rent some porn, buy expensive lube, and get the kink happening again. In the meantime, I REALLY need you to come stand beside me as I apologize and try to explain myself to the public.”

Knowing people would want an explanation, I’d would have walked out to the podium holding her hand.

Then I would have stepped up to the mic, turned to my wife and said, “Exhibit A. Look at her…I mean, can you blame me for wanting a hot, 22 year old? Need I say more?”

eliot spitzer’s apology speech

Technology: Your Work Becomes a Document

In 1996, having recently completed a fermentation program in Davis (CA), I moved to San Francisco to brew beer.

Everyday, I put on rubber boots, gloves, and a protective, industrial version of a farmer’s overalls.   The work I did with my colleagues ended up in either kegs or bottles.  Packaging beer is an explosive, messy process.  Bottles would break, sending glass and beer around the room.  Kegs became geysers.

But at the end of the day, our work had physical presence.  We would move the cases and kegs into a truck, knowing that within days and weeks, our work would be in the bellies of people all over California.

But in the digital world, I feel like everything I do ends up in a document.

Additionally, my work sometimes seems shaped by the constraints of the document.

Powerpoint? Ok, I’ll create slides to create an emotional impact (making sure not to just put up bullet points with no images).

Excel?  Ok, I’ll show the relationship between everything.

Word? Not a problem – we’ll create a table of content and you’ll see what a great writer I am.

I wonder what my work would become if I didn’t have to design its embodiment by reverse engineering from the document options.