Home Archive for category "All Posts" (Page 2)
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Ride This!

Published on March 25, 2008 by in All Posts

Anyone who knows me knows I hate the subway during rush hour (I know, drama-bomb!). Riding the train puts the ugly stupidity of crowds on display. My favorites are the people who crowd to the door to be the first one on… and then stop and stand right inside the door. Or the people who are so anxious to get on the train they start pushing past the people trying to get off. People just don’t get it. But they do get a solid passive-aggressive shoulder thump from me.

So now I am doing something about it. I bought a bike Saturday and timed my ride to work on Sunday. It took me 49 minutes to go the 7.5 miles to work. That is about what the train averages. Once I am in better shape I can likely do it in 35 minutes. So yesterday and today I rode to work. Yesterday was 40+ minutes. Today was closer to 50-55 minutes due to ridiculously sore quadriceps.

However, the ride is quite pleasant (except for the exhaust from the west side heliport). I get to ride across the Brooklyn Bridge and up the west side highway bike path, avoiding most traffic lights. I was always worried about sweating like Pavorati on a treadmill, but it is not too bad. After 10 minutes at work I am good to go. I really have no goals with this, I just want to save the $80 per month on a metrocard, lose the 20 extra pounds my desk job has bestowed upon me, and get sexier than Fabio and Clooney combined. My happy-fun route is below, courtesy of MapMyRide.com.

 
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Testing sms updating.

Published on February 28, 2008 by in All Posts

I am testing updating my blog via text message using utterz.com. I took a picture of me at work for your enjoyment. So enjoy it!

Mobile post sent by ammbo using Utterz Replies.

 
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I am a dirty, dirty cheater.

Published on February 22, 2008 by in All Posts

So I started playing the scramble game on facebook recently. I am a big scrabble player so it appeals to me. I got to thinking that this would make an interesting computer science problem. So I put my puny little mind to it and came up with a script that not only uses the Scramble dictionary to find every possible word, but can also type hundreds of words into the text box in under thirty seconds. I have been testing it and it is close to 100% accurate. I am such a complete and utter nerd I just cannot believe myself. There was no real reason to do this, it just seemed like a fun challenge, which it was. I have still not decided whether to post a link to the script publicly, as that may kill a fun game. Sort of the way bots are threatening online poker. If I do post it then I will go into detail about some of the novel and elegant (I think) ways I solved a few programming problems.

The most fun is when I cheat and get scores in excess of 1500 points (average is less than 100), I get all kinds of mixed reactions from people in the chat box. Some get pissed off, some get very amused, some try to rather loudly ignore me, and some beg and plead for me to divulge my secret. The best by far are the people who see my score and say, “Wow, you are a fast typist!” or “Hey… is that guy cheating?” The funny thing is, I am too embarrassed to admit that I did this on a complete lark just for gits and shiggles. I tell people it is for a computer science class. So I am a cheater and a liar to boot! This little computer science experiment has turned into an interesting psychology experiment, as well. For me and my “victims”.

 
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Nuts for Jericho

Published on February 11, 2008 by in All Posts

So I was browsing through channels the other day and came across a marathon of the show Jericho on Universal HD. I dig this channel because it shows unedited movies in full aspect ratio as well as a pretty darn good selection of rerun shows in HD. I decided to record the entire first season of the show (gotta love DVR!) and watched 8-9 episodes over the weekend. I must say, it is an enjoyable show even if Skeet Ulrich has always seemed a bit sallow in a heroin-junkie kind of way. Of course, I have always had an affinity for post-apocalyptic dramas ever since reading Stephen King’s The Stand and watching the Mad Max trilogy as a kid. I got to reading about the show and found that it had been canceled and then re-born after fans sent over 20 tons of nuts (according to Wikipedia) to CBS, a reference made in the show to General Anthony McAuliffe’s message to the Germans at the battle of Bastogne. I guess when a TV network receives 20 tons of nuts (a lot of it from Nuts Online) it lights a fire under them.

However, CBS has said that they will air a few more episodes starting Feb. 12, 2008, but will likely re-cancel the show if it does not garner good viewership numbers. So go to the show’s site, catch up on episodes online, and start watching! It is pretty good stuff, even if it feels a bit contrived from time to time.

This whole campaign got me thinking about the power of the internet, too. Does the internet provide a much more interactive link between viewers and content providers, allowing the viewers to be heard in a more meaningful way than through raw viewership statistics? Or does the internet allow a vocal minority to skew the perception of the content providers, making them appear to have a much larger audience than they actually do? Is the internet an instrument of raw democracy or is it a squeaky wheel special interest group purporting to speak for the masses? Discuss.

 
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Ammon Brown: Homeowner!

Published on August 1, 2007 by in All Posts


Yes, it is true. We closed on our apartment yesterday, so we now own a home! Well, the bank owns the majority of it. Yesterday was a bit of a nutty day, we had errands to run in the morning and I got a call from our current landlord. He was upset that we were moving out so late in the month (a month we paid for) and yelled at me for wanting to leave food in the fridge and and our cat in the apartment until after the closing, which was at 2. It turns out that he had promised the new tenants that they could move in early. When we said our closing was at 2, he assumed that we would be out by then. As a result, we threw away all of our food and took the cat to our closing. It was pretty amusing, as we were both dressed like crap and had a cat in tow while everyone else was wearing suits. We were also a half hour late due to traffic, but we figured they would wait for the people who came bearing the big check.

As it was, we moved in last night, after having been homeless for about two hours. The apartment is awesome, as you can see from the pictures. It is in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn and is 1/2 a block from the F train, a huge plus in NYC. As it is, we are living amidst a sea of boxes and we’re expecting our furniture to come trickling in throughout the next month. It is nice to no longer be paying rent, but it sucks that I may wind up suing yet another landlord who has decided to disregard the law and withhold my security deposit. I’ll keep you posted on that front.

 
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Ammon Brown’s Site, Dammit!

Published on July 26, 2007 by in All Posts

I am peeved. I am peeved that when you do a search for “Ammon Brown” you get the dot net version of my name. That just ain’t right! The problem is that Jared linked to my other site using Ammon Brown as the anchor text and Google picked up on that. Curses! So this post is nothing more than Google spam. I am just spiking this post with my name, Ammon Brown, in order to try to reclaim my rightful place atop the Google results. You can help by linking to me like so: Ammon Brown. I guess I did too good a job optimizing my dot net site for search engines. Perhaps I should try to get this one out of my blogger template and tweak it even better!

 
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Obama Mia!

Published on June 5, 2007 by in All Posts


OK, I tried. I tried not listening to the hype over the next presidential election. But you just can’t help it, and it is only going to get worse. The election is a long ways off and things are already going like it is next week. In fact, I think the campaigning for 2012 kicks off next month. Might as well get started.

So with that said, I guess I do already have a preliminary favorite. Barack Obama. I know, you say that is a fashionable choice. It is just that the more I read about him the more I think he is a breath of fresh air, even though he is a smoker. 🙂 The guy just seems like a reasonable person. He still has the idealism of a young politician but has the wisdom of a true leader. I caught bits of the Democratic debate last night and he was the only person who answered the “How to respond to an attack” question well. He said first, make sure that the people affected are taken care of, that we respond quickly to victims. Then we gather as much intelligence as possible to levy an appropriate response. His opponents basically said, “Bomb the shit out of them!”

Another article I saw mentioned how he actually wants to understand issues. In an interview with farmers in Illinois he actually knew all the things they were talking about in terms of regulations, pesticides, etc. Of course he cares about polls, but he also seems to care about issues and solutions. Yes, it is early, but I like this guy. Beats all the other smarmy dunderheads in the field so far.

 
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An Interesting Year to Say the Least

Published on May 8, 2007 by in All Posts

It has been nearly a year since my last post. A few times over the past year I meant to make a post but I felt it would be disrespectful to bump my brother off of the top spot. However, if there is one thing I have learned in the past year it is that life does indeed go on. Let me catch you up as best I can…

On the family front: This past year we had two weddings, one birth, and a funeral, a net gain of two new family members. You gotta take the good with the bad, I guess. My youngest sister is off to Cameroon with the Peace Corps in a few months. Makes you wonder just what you are doing with your life that is so worthwhile.

On the work front: After doing my own thing for a while, I have gotten hooked up with a startup that handles search engine marketing for small businesses. It is an interesting opportunity and I had to take it.

On the poker front: I have played almost zero poker in the past year. Immediately after my last post I made a few grand online but was not into it so I devoted myself to other pursuits. A few weeks ago I played a tournament in Atlantic City, my first tournament in about 8 months. I won the thing for $3K, so I guess I still have some mojo.

On the personal front: I have emerged from a bit of a fog over the past few months and feel good about life. My parents are coming to visit and we are off to my sister’s graduation from college. Should be a great week!

On the canine front: New Doggy! Bogey is the joy of our lives. We got him in December, he is a mutt mix of golden lab and who knows what else. We were going to name him Golden but I did not really want to immediately think of Kelsey every time I saw my dog. So we named him Bogey after Bogus Basin, a ski area where Kelsey skiied a lot. Not a direct, in-your-face reminder, but a nice tribute, I think. Bogey is a tennis ball obsessed playful one year old now, and I miss him now that I am doing the 9 to 5 thing.

 
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Kelsey Golden Brown 1978-2006

Published on May 16, 2006 by in All Posts

I love this picture of my brother. He would not shave throughout the ski season for warmth, and the end of the ski season was always a big day as he shaved the huge beard in stages. This picture was taken about a month before he landed hard on the snow on May 10th, 2006. He died of his injuries two days later in Reno, Nevada.

My brother was one of the funniest, most honest, blunt, and life loving people I have ever known. He was two years younger than me and the brother who I was closest to growing up (no offense, Dan). Kelsey loved to ski and although I am angry that he is no longer with us, I am happy that he was doing what he loved when he died. The doctors assured me that the last thing he remembers was flying through the air with the wind rushing through his hair. I have no doubt that he would not want to go any other way.

Regardless, I feel angry, frustrated, and incredibly sad that he is gone. For those of you who knew my brother, please take a moment to think of the last time he made you laugh so hard your kidney nearly burst. Smile, because he would have wanted you to.

 
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Dark Clouds Over Ireland

Published on May 12, 2006 by in All Posts

We got back from Ireland a few days early. The trip was great but was cut short when I called home in response to an email to learn that my brother had been in a bad skiing accident. It looks unlikely that he will pull through. We are flying to Reno in the early morning to see the family.

 
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