Archive for the ‘xmas’ Category

More about the Wall Street Christmas Tree

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

I just received some pictures from Robert Fassler. He writes:

I found your Blog about our tree and you mentioned you knew my half sister Debbie (lives in stony point now) and your brother knew my grandfather. I thought you might be interested in what the tree was in 1965 when it was transplanted from Birchardville PA where I live now to West Nyack, Where we used to live.

I just got off the phone with Jim O’Sullivan from O’Sullivans tree service that did the work and transported the tree to Wall St. The tree was taken down and brought back to his yard on western highway. I’m going down sometime this week (a 3 hour drive from here) to pick up the logs from the tree. I plan on hiring a wood carver to make different shapes and artistic items from the logs to give to family members as a souvenir of this interesting story.

Tree in 1965. It is the one next to the driveway. (Click to see larger image).


This was the tree in 2008.

The Closet of Lost Technology

Friday, December 26th, 2008

Every once in a while Justine cleans out her closet, and I get a shot at some neat pieces of old hardware that she doesn’t want anymore.

Justine, Erica and I went down to New York City to do the Christmas Dinner thing at the NY Athletic Club on Central park South. It was, as usual, very classy, although this time, it seemed a little raucous. This may be because we had a 12:30 seating, and there were lots of kids running around the ballroom.

We started with champagne and I had the Salmon. (I was turkeyed out, and I don’t eat beef, now). Everything was good.

On the way home Justine handed over a computer bag from her Closet of Lost Technology. When I got home I discovered a MacBook Air, an older Apple iPhone, and a fancy Blackberry phone (no charger).

I am not normally an Apple guy, although I got used to the Mac OS when I was teaching. These are very, neat toys, however, and I’ve already thought of ways to put them to use.

First, iPhone apps are extremely hot and if you can program using the iPhone’s arcane SDK you can name your own price. iPhone programmer is the top paying job in my field right now, so I downloaded the SDK and I am going through the tutorials. I should be able to write an real app before New Years Day, and after that I can see if I can pick up a few gigs.

One good thing about having the MacBook Air is that the SDK requires a Mac to run it (my only Apple at the moment is a ten year old Blueberry Mac). I will have to puzzle out the Mac OS and connect to the internet so I can install the SDK on the Air. I will be able to design my apps on other computers, compile them on the MacBook and then test them on the iPhone.

Another interesting use of the iPhone is that you can convert stories to the the eReader format and upload them to the iTunes store, where they sell well. I read somewhere that readers are downloading 10,000 stories a month in eReader format for the iPhone. At 99 cents a story, I might be able to make some money. The conversion utilities are all free so I am going to give it try.

The iPhone has a little time left on it, and I have been getting Justine’s phone calls. It runs out some time in January, so I have a window to do some testing. After that I will probably hook it up with a goPhone plan at $5 a month, just for testing. I don’t make many calls, and I can’t see myself using the iphone to check email that often. I have another cell phone that I want to convert over to pay-as-you-go, but I think that I might just retire that phone and go with the iPhone.

Christmas Tree Cutting

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

Erica caught the last 10 seconds of me cutting down our tree up in Rock City, NY.

We chose a Balsam this year because of the wonderful smell. This one had pine cones all over it so it is very different from the tree you’d buy at the local gas station. If you have the chance you should cut down a tree for Christmas. It is a very cool experience. There was no snow this year. I always like watching the kids running around like crazy trying to find the best tree. Tree cutting is a real kid’s thing. (Good for me because I am just a big kid).

That’s not just my hat. That is the real shape of my head.