Don’t want to download the Facebook Messaging App?

How to avoid the Facebook Messaging App

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This isn’t part of my usual nuthin.

Facebook has been annoying me because of it’s insistence that I download the messaging app. So I got rid of both apps on my phone.

The downside of doing it this way is that you no longer get notices when people write you on Facebook; the upside is that you’ll have zero data/battery sucking apps from Facebook.

Note that you can have the best of both worlds by keeping the original Facebook app on your phone just so you’ll get notices but you’ll be interacting with Facebook via your browser.

How to do it in 5 easy steps

This works for Android/Chrome but I’m sure there’s a way to do this via iPhone and other browsers.

  1. Pull up Facebook on the Chrome web browser on your phone.
  2. Press the three vertical dots on the upper left hand side.

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3. Select “Add to homescreen.”

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4. Give it a title.

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5. Enjoy your Facebook Messaging free phone.

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Off to be a lawyer.

Back to the usual nonsense tomorrow.

Location: Desk, looking a CoSs
Mood: annoyed with FB
Music: you just want the attention – I’m not your toy
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Chinatowns and the Space Shuttle

Why does every major American city have a Chinatown?

When I was traveling around Europe once, had the idea of stopping at every Chinatown I could find and having the beef with broccoli there – yes, I know it’s not traditionally Chinese but, then again, neither am I.

In any case, went to the one in Paris, London, and (kinda) Berlin and Hamburg. None in Malaga.

This writer for Freakanomics wrote that every large American city he likes has a Chinatown. The reason, it turns out, is because in history, it marked a stage in development where a city was large enough to require a railroad. And back in the day, when you wanted a railroad built, you called the Chinese.

Instant Chinatown.

It’s all of these unexpected consequences that I find so interesting in life. Like when the British became a superpower by using copper-plating on their ships instead of plain wood.

It used to mark a point in development of nations when they headed to space.

In 2004, the Cassini spacecraft went to Saturn and the Today show had Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson on. Matt Lauer asked him how America could justify a $3.3 billion dollar mission such as that.

Dr. Tyson replied, “First of all, it’s $3.3 billion divided by 12 – it’s a 12 year mission. Now we have the real number: less than $300 million per year. Hmmm…$300 million. American spend more than that per year on lip balm.”

Right now, we spend less than 0.5 of a penny out of every dollar on space.

Think it it’s a direct consequence that we stopped trying to go to space that America’s fallen behind in science and math. People like Matt Lauer see the dollar figure and fixate on that, not seeing the jobs created, the side technologies (like microwaves and the Dustbuster), and all of the inspiration for nerdy kids like myself.

By now you’ve seen a million pics of the space shuttle making like LL Cool J and going back to Cali. As a kid growing up in the era of the space shuttle, it’s remarkably sad to me.

At this rate, we’ll have to head to China and build Americantowns.

Suppose I’ll have to go there to get a traditional American Beef with Broccoli.

Location: about to go to the post office
Mood: nostalgic
Music: I’ll soon be back again, that’s what I said in China
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Why is that even a choice?

How I spent my Labour Day 2012

Got a number of interesting emails and comments on my last post. I’ll write the follow up at some point soon. Let me know if you ended up using any of my tips.

BTW, if you Google other posts on how to write dating profiles, the “tips” are mostly sophomorically inane – be nice, smile, etc. Everyone thinks that because they’ve gone out on ten or 15 dates, they can give advice on it. I wonder how many of them they’ve actually done the disappointing and been the disappointed time-and-time again.

It’s not as easy as one might think; constantly being the dumper and the dumpee.

———-

Spent mosta the weekend trying to fix one of my computers.

There’s this scene – either from Family Guy or SNL or something like that – where a man is playing with a dial. On that dial is a series of gradients such as “warm,” “hot,” “hotter ‘n hell,” “hotter than the sun,” etc.

So one guy flips it to the top selection and then screams in pain, Why is that even a choice?! Why does it go so high!?

In Windows, there’s a selection to turn a disk into something called a “dynamic disk.” It’s literally a 1/2 second choice. In any case, if you do it to your main drive, it becomes a doorstop. Later I read that it can be done to any drive but the main drive.

That’s how I spent 95% of my holiday weekend, trying to fix it.

Was not able to fix it.

The other 5% of my weekend was spent seeing friends. One was a friend of the wife’s who stopped by.

The other was that old law school buddy of mine that I ran into downtown a few years back. She invited me to a party recently and – while I turn down invitations now – said yes cause she was one of the people in law school I actually liked.

Went to their home out in Hoboken, which was amazingly nice. Brought her a bottle of rum (of course) as a housewarming gift and met a buncha people I didn’t know. Spoke to one woman about her dating life.

Me: There’s no such thing as a line.
Her: Of course there is, like “Are you a runner? Because you were just running through my mind.”
Me: There’s no such thing as a line because if you want to talk to him, you just end up talking to him, regardless of what he says. And if you don’t nuthin he says will make a difference. A bunch of people have said, “Oh that’s just a line.”
Her: And what do you say?
Me: (shrugging) I just say, You’re talking to me, aren’t you?

———-

Went home to see the wife, who surprised me earlier with a bottle of Ron Zacapa XO Rum.

Her: You were having a rough week, so I thought you’d like a nice bottle of rum.
Me: (beaming) You’re the best wife ever!

Location: my humid room
Mood: busy
Music: I’d never make it through without you around
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Straight-up meritocracy

The little things to make it / you better

Rainy night on the UWS in New York City

There’s a place in Brooklyn called the E-Waste Warehouse where anyone can drop off old electronics.

So, recently rented a car, cleaned out my cellar again, and hauled out boxes and boxes of old computers and junk to them.

There’s something satisfying about bringing items that you know will be put to good use – or at least not arbitrarily thrown out to the landfill.

Wrote once where this author said that It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little.

This’s good cause I can’t do much, but the little things, that I can do.

Speakinga the little things, was given a slight (really slight) promotion in my wrasslin class.

Per most martial arts classes, the more experienced guys often show the newbies the basics, which frees the coach to teach more advanced moves to the others.

Done it a few times and teaching’s the best way to learn things so I credit that to my (slight) advancement.

One newbie I helped teach is this Austrian dude who’s been killing it on the mat and he’s only been there for maybe six months. I actually showed him a few of the beginner moves way back when.

He’s been there 1/5 the time I’ve been there, but goes almost daily and seems to have a natural knack for it. He’s already better than me.

Anywho, we line up by order of skill. He often lines up lower than me and others that have been there longer than he has, partly outta respect to me, and partly cause he’s just a nice fella.

While I like that’s he’s so humble, the reason why I like my wrasslin class so much’s cause it’s an absolutely pure meritocracy. No bureaucracy, no egos, no teacher’s pet, no crap, etc.

Just straight-up meritocracy.

Honestly, how often does that happen?

So I politely tell him to line up ahead of me and he demurs for a moment before he does.

Don’t want or need to be better than him. Or anyone, for that matter.

Just wanna be better than I was the day before.

———-

It’s been a year since the Japan disaster. They still need help.

Like I said, the little things, yeah? I wish them to be better than the day before:

  • Text JAPAN to 80888 to donate $10 to Salvation Army Aid Efforts
  • Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to Red Cross Earthquake Relief
  • Text TSUNAMI to 50555 to give $10 to Convoy for Hope
  • Text JAPAN to 50555 to donate $10 to Global Giving
  • Text JAPAN or 20222 to donate to Save the Children’s Japan Fund
  • Text MED or 80888 to donate $10 to International Medical Corps

Thanks to Call-to-Action for the list.

Location: 3AM, wide awake in my bed
Mood: ever awake – I’m always #@$@# awake.
Music: those people keep a-movin’ – And that’s what tortures me
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The person with the answers’ worth the wait

UWS church in NYC

Was asked to be one of the photographers for my new church opening on the UWS. It’s flattering to be asked but maybe it’s more my Syd than me.

A photographer once told me that at least half of the difficultly of taking pictures of people’s the walking up to strangers and shoving a machine into their faces.

You “take” pictures – no one “gives” them to you. It’s aggressive by its very nature.

The thing’s that I’m not an aggressive guy. Most people’s responses to my taking pictures is a why-not kinda shrug.

Dunno if this’s a good thing or bad thing but I’m leaning toward the former.

Whiskey Tavern in NYC

Went out to see the family over the weekend and the wife came with. Spent most of it building a PVR for my pop.

Time Warner has two numbers for building these things and I called the local number (718.358.0900) versus the toll-free number (866.606.5889) as it seems to be a shorter wait.

The lady on the first one – after 15 minute wait – said, “Hold on, I’m going to send a signal to your box.” I told her I had a series of numbers that I was supposed to read to her and she told me she didn’t need it.

30 minutes later, I’m back at the Time Warner repair center returning a fried box.

This time, called the second number and – after a 90 minute wait – got a guy who chuckled and said, “She fried your box, huh? Dunno why they keep putting the local numbers there. Those guys don’t know what they’re doing.”

No. No they do not.

Moral of the story? The person with the answers’ worth the wait.

Whiskey Tavern in NYC

Afterward, met up with Gio. He was having a party at Whiskey Tavern downtown to celebrate his 40th birthday as well his recent engagement. He and I had many the random meetings in the big city together.

As usual with him, the poison was on his tab and all of our people were there. My liver wasn’t speaking to me afterward. Ran into a number of old faces and it was good catching up – even ran into three people that read me here (hola!).

Anywho, there’s this saying that every pot has it’s cover. Maybe that’s true.

Met the future Mrs. Gio that night and told her I wished the two of them all of the best.

Life’s hard enough without your person.

Location: bedroom, writing
Mood: disappointed
Music: you give me no reason why you’re making me work so hard
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Stupid on different subjects

Street lamp in Byrant Park, in NYC

Me: Niggardly is a Scottish word meaning “cheap.”
Him: Nope, it’s Scandinavian. (gets dictionary)
Me: Dammit! I hate being wrong…

The weather’s been great in the city since Irene. Calm, cool, dry – it actually feels a lot more like early fall than anything else. Suppose I should enjoy it.

No time to do that today, though. Gotta be in court – although this time it’s not for me but a client. When it comes to court cases and clients, I usually play a supporting role behind the scenes. This time, though, sitting front and center. For a guy that doesn’t litigate, this’s always interesting.

Dunno how people get anything done in hot climates; always feel lethargic and slow in the summertime. But the second it feels like fall, it’s like the year’s begun.

Like to teach myself something every year. Twain said that we are all stupid, just on different subjects. That’s true – I hate not knowing something.

Dunno if I told you but this year, I decided to learn calculus. No real reason except I never did. But then I thought I should do something a bit more practical so I turned back doing  my Mission real estate courses.

Funny isn’t it? The whole time I was in school, dreamed of being outta it. Now that I’m outta it, dream of being in it (especially in the fall). It’s the human condition to blunt the sharp points of our memories.

Enough armchair philosophy, got an important date with an adult in a robe.

Ed note: Niggardly is completely unrelated to the racial slur – which it merely sounds like – the pejorative comes from Spanish/Portuguese noun negro.

Location: heading downtown
Mood: busy
Music: hell ya blew trial and tha judge gave you 25 with an L
YASYCTAI: What are you learning this year? (two semesters/1.5 pts)
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Why I bought the HP Touchpad; Doing the Opposite Thing

HP Touchpad review pictures

Spent the last couple of days trying to land the HP Touchpad. In fact, immediately upon returning from my trip, started the process – that’s how we dorks roll. For those of you that don’t know/have a real life, HP spent $1.8 billion to buy the operating system for the Touchpad, started selling it like three months ago, and then abruptly dropped the whole thing.

Ended up ordering like 18 of them knowing that most would get cancelled, which they did; right now, I’m scheduled to get about three of them and this may change.

The question, of course, is Why would I buy the HP Touchpad when I already have an iPad?

The answer is that, as a $599 iPad competitor, there’s no question that it’s simply not as good and not worth the money. As a $150 colour eBook reader, that’s a completely different story. Since I use my iPad 99.9999% of the time as a PDF and ebook reader, most of it’s functionality is wasted.

So I’m thinking of just selling the iPad and using the HP Touchpad as a stopgap device until the iPad 3, or even the iPad 4, comes out.

The other reason to get it, however, is to hack it to run the Android operating system in a year or so. From everything I’ve read the OS on the tablet (webOS) is excellent. The problem is that there just aren’t enough apps for it. For the next year, the built in Kindle App and Facebook app – the only tablet Facebook app from what I’ve read – coupled with the built in ebook reader and 50GB of cloud storage for life, should make it a worthwhile stopgap device for me for the next 18 and by then, a stable Android os hack should be floating around.

It’s coming in a week or so, so I’ll post details as it comes about.

End unabashed dweeb.

Red plastic down near Canal Street, NYC

Me: OK, I’m ready.
Her: Do you have your swim trunks?
Me: No.
Her: Do you have your hat?
Me: No.
Her: Do you have your sunglasses?
Me: No.
Her: (Shakes head)
Me: I’ll go pack those right now.

Now that the vacation’s over, it’s back to work.

Met up with my old business buddy for some good Irish stout. He owns Cruisedirect.com, which just got listed in the Inc 5000 as one of the fastest growing companies in America. That puts his biz in the top 1% of all businesses in the country.

Did y’know that the Empire State Building was built in the middle of the great depression? There’s this saying that Any company can be good in good times, only great companies can be good in bad times. Sometimes, doing the opposite thing of the rest of the world’s the way to go.

Getting itch to start something up again and I’ve got a few ideas percolating.

We’ll see how it goes.

———-

Just for laughs, Google the words “Intellectual Property NYC” and then click “videos” on the left-hand side.

What do you see where you are?

Location: prepping for some business
Mood: ambitious
Music: don’t you worry, it could be so sweet
YASYCTAI: Be brave when others are wary; wary when others are brave. (lifetime/3 pts)
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Europe 2011: Day 2 / And this is where I got coffee and free wifi next

Underground Entrance at Heathrow Airport.

2011.06.08

It’s 6AM there when I wake up. Grab my stuff and put it all back together again.

Dunno if I told you what I bring with me when I travel. Carry everything I can in my laptop bag and a tri-fold garment bag. The usual stuff most people bring when they travel for work: suit, nice paira shoes, extra socks, etc. Like I said, the usual.

Except for the 12″ high-gain 9db 2400~2500 MHz antenna, 2.0 USB extension cable, and external USB 802.11n wireless adapter I carry.

On an unrelated point, still don’t understand why I never got invited to any parties as a child. Suppose some mysteries are never meant to be solved.

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Anywho, after I check out of the hotel, grab the local bus that loops around the airport. There’re few people on it.

Did I mention that it was hella cold?

Slipped into the Underground, picked up an unlimited day pass, and took it to Leicester Square. It wasn’t even 8AM so there weren’t a lotta places open, let alone with wifi. Ended up at the Patisserie Valerie, which purported to have wifi. Ordered an Eggs Benedict and was gonna take a picture of it but the waitress nixed that idea.

The problem with their wifi was that it was beyond weak. Ergo…

Her: May I ask what that is?
Me: Oh that? Nuthin, just a 12″ high-gain 9db 2400~2500 MHz antenna, 2.0 USB extension cable, and external USB 802.11n wireless adapter.
Her Is it dangerous?
Me: Not unless I drop it and you trip on it. Can I get another coffee?

Did manage to snap one shot of the place.

Patisserie Valerie at Piccadilly Circus

While there, hop onto Skype and contact another hotel to see if could drop off my stuff and head to my meeting. They tell me to come on by so I do.

 

St. Pancras / King's Cross

Check into my hotel off of St. Pancras and get settled in. Have my meeting, which runs over time, of course.

Afterward, have lunch in this local establishment run by, what I can only assume is a good Scottsman, Mr. McDonald, for the free wifi. The wifi, much like the fare, kinda sucks, but this is what one does to be connected..

After lunch, grab the Victoria line to Victoria where I pop on my iphone and listen to this Lonely Planet Audio tour. It’s pretty good. Afterward, end up caught in the rain – which seems to happen all of time in London – and duck into the Waterstone/Costa bookstore for an hour or two where I have more coffee and more free wifi.

Should really entitle all of my travels as, “And this is where I got coffee and free wifi next…”

Big Ben London.

Beat, head back to the hotel and call it a night. Tomorrow, gotta wake up at the cracka dawn to grab the train to Paris.

See y’tomorrow?

The London Eye.

Man on horseback in London.

Dark clouds threatening London.

Location: another cafe, another cuppa joe, London
Mood: fascinated
Music: clouds and dogs and trees, stones and sunlit streets
YASYCTAI: Be bold – and mighty forces will come to your aid. (time/2 pts.)
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Getting rid of clear stars in iTunes

How to remove hollow / transparent stars in iTunes

Actually have a slight bit of downtime this week so I’m spending it doing a buncha tasks I’ve been putting off, like clean up my amazingly chaotic music library.

One thing that was driving me crazy was removing all the transparent / hollow stars from my iTunes library. After some googling and tweaking, finally figured it out:

  • Select “Grid View” by pressing this button.

  • Press “Apple key ⌘ + A” to select all – CTRL+A if you’re using a PC
  • Right click and select “Album Rating > None”

You’re done. 5 seconds.

There’s never a time when you’re just done with stuff – everything is a constant maintenance issue. Just the way it is, I guess. Sometimes, feel like it’s like playing Whack-a-Mole where, once you solve one small issue, a new one pops up.

Off to wrestle…

———-

If this entry helped you at all, leave a comment and take a look at the rest of this blog about life in NYC or consider picking up my eBook thriller about organized crime in NYC, The Men Made of Stone; sold everywhere for just $2.99!

The Men Made of Stone - Logan Lo
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Location: my apartment, putting on kneepads
Mood: relaxed
Music: another chance and a someday soon Shining like the Alabama moon
YASYCTAI: Clean up your music files, they must be a mess. (hours/1 pt)
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Can I borrow a quarter?

The Pickup Line Generator

I’ve been busier than I’ve been in ages. I can’t explain it.

If I knew I’d be working so much, I would have just gotten a job.

GEEK ALERT: On a different matter entirely, and related to my last post, I was thinking of getting a PDA phone and was looking up software options when I came across the Pickup Line Generator 1. Just imagine:

Me: Hi…um, hold on a sec (fumbles with phone).
Her: Um…
Me: Hold on, hold on…um…no that’s no good…not a redhead…haha, funny but…no. Oh wait. This is good. “Can I borrow…?”
Her: (interrupting) Um…I’m gay. And a pescatarian.
Me: Of course you are.

Somewhere, someone is paying $37 to embarrass him/herself completely.

Sucker.

I do it all the time without paying a cent.

Location: Broadway, putting another pretty lady into a cab
Mood: pensive
Music: You’re the best listener that I’ve ever met
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