November, 2005 Archives

So I’m sitting at gate A15 of the Pittsburgh airport, enjoying the uncommonly free wireless internet access during my three hour layover, and I want to hug whoever’s idea it was to not rape their customers by partnering with a life- and wallet-sucking evil cell phone company to provide wifi. Damn you T-Mobile, for charging me $7 an hour to check my email and post to aC4H.

Hm, I don’t have much more than that to say. Oh wait, here’s a fun fact: “WiFi” isn’t actually short for anything (many believe it’s an abbreviation of “wireless fidelity”, but it’s not). It’s just a catchy phrase made up by some brand management folks so the tech-savvy among us could add another piece of jargon to the alphabet soup world of USB and PCMCIA we inhabit. End fun fact, RI here I come.

Steel City WiFi

So we were at Barnes & Noble this weekend and among all the interesting book covers, this new edition of Voltaire’s Candide stood right out. One look and illustrator/storywriter/”graphic novelist” Chris Ware’s amazing cover treatment grabbed me (and if you’ve ever had the pleasure of sitting down with Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth, you’d be grabbed too) so I had to buy it. It helps that Candide was by far one of my favorites from 11th grade English class. So if you’re looking for some 18th century hilarity for the plane ride to Turkeyville, I highly recommend dropping the $11 on this beautfifully packeged gem.

Buying a Book For Its Cover

From even before I got to work today, there was more activity than usual a little ways down the street. We watched from the window as police taped off the cute little house with a water view that had been for sale for a few months. Neighbors milled about, cars were turned away, and someone arrived in a Jeep and strapped a video camera to his shoulder. Calls were made, and information trickled in: garbage trucks were stopped and searched, the homeowner was in Florida, something serious had happened. By three o’clock someone from the office went out to get the story. It was something serious. “It’s a homicide,” he said, and everyones’ stomachs tightened. We looked out the window some more as some details answered some, but not all, questions. Trying to discern the action down the street, I wondered if this would lower the asking price on the house. Then I felt bad and went back to work.


An Unsettling Day