More whining

The Palisades conference center is probably a nice place most of the year. The same is true of the nearby Hilton. Unfortunately, it was February, and cold. Even in the building, it was somewhat cold–when we walked past a fireplace in the conference center on our way back from lunch, the Austin folks all immediately walked over to it and stood there trying to warm up. The rest of the team, from places like New York and Indiana, looked at us with mild amusement.

9/11 warnings: mistakes were made

So, that memo which mentioned that Al Qaeda was in America, planning a terrorist action, probably involving hijacking a plane, probably like the attack on the World Trade Center… Remember how we were told there was no reason to take it seriously? Well, in early 2000 a Muslim spent a ton of money in Atlantic City, then turned himself in to the FBI. He told them that he had been in training, learning to fly a passenger jet.

News of the Weird reports…

“An ABC News investigation found that people with terrorist ties, including two defendants in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, have funded their work with $100 million a year from illegally redeeming grocery store coupons (January).” OK, two questions immediately spring to mind: How the hell do you make $100 million a year by fraudulently redeeming grocery store coupons? Why the hell am I building databases and web sites when I could apparently make enough to retire on by redeeming fake coupons for a month?


I first visited the USA in 1990, travelling with a Japanese friend. We wanted to visit New York and Boston. Most people would have stayed in New York, and travelled to Boston; but I remember having a hunch that things would be better the other way around. So we spent more time in Boston, and reduced the New York visit to a long weekend. Perhaps my problems with New York stem from the fact that we were politely relieved of our excess cash by a gentleman who had taken it upon himself to introduce visiting tourists to the city.


It’s almost December. Incredible. It seems like only last month it was October. Civ’s machine is down, hence my web site is down and I can’t read my e-mail. Oh well, you get what you pay for. At the weekend I played Driver and unlocked the New York map. I drove downtown and found myself parking on the plaza of the World Trade Center. I stopped playing Driver. I have to make a business trip to Florida in January.

An insane day

I got in to work, and my boss passed me in the hallway and said something about terrorist activity and a plane hitting the World Trade Center. I thought he was talking about a little Cessna or something, so I got in and sat and started on my coffee, glanced over my e-mail, and then hit the BBC News web site to see what was going on. I soon had the live BBC News video stream going, and sat watching it in disbelief.