Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ben & Jack's Steakhouse for a surreal dinner

I ate at Ben & Jack's Steakhouse tonight in what was the most surreal dinner I have attended in my life. It was a medical seminar attended by Manhattan physicians and scientists. They seemed like they were in a scripted TV situation comedy, only this was a seminar with a distinguished speaker. ... The side dishes were served family style. A Korean physician to my left, Dr. Lee, wouldn't give up her used salad plate when the waiter came, despite him trying to take it twice. She wore bright blue eye shadow, the way women wore makeup in the 1970s. I soon found out why she needed it, she piled all the food onto her plates from the dishes of potato and spinach that were circulating. Since she was on my left, no food was coming from that direction, and her plate was now overflowing with the delicious pan fried potatoes with sautéed onions. And in the middle of the seminar during the discussion of extrapyramidal symptoms caused by neuroleptics, she screamed at an attendee across from her for asking a question of the speaker: "You do this all the time with the questions, why can't you just be quiet. You are so impatient, always with the questions." The speaker said that she welcomed questions, and the reason she was there was to answer any questions we had. Lee again said in a bellowing voice that brought an instant hush to the room: "Why does she have to ask questions, why can't she wait till the end." This time the speaker took a long sip from her wine glass, looked around the room, let out an audible sigh.

Since no side dishes were coming from my left, I concentrated on my right. The situation wasn't much better, a mother-daughter pair of Russian physicians were there. The older one took her steak and put in a plastic bag she brought and stuffed it into her pocket book. My steak came and was served a special way. They tilt the plate so the fat and juices run to the edge and then move the meat to your plate. The Russian woman to my right shouted out: "Why does he get such service, who is he ... Tsar?" Again this is mid seminar on a serious topic for continuing education credits.The speaker was about half a meter away, we were at the end of the table and the projection screen was less than a meter away. Then she stuck her fork into my meat on my plate and said: "Let me try Tsar's food" and she absconded with a chunk of my sirloin. About 5 minutes later she shouted as loud as she could to no one in particular, but hoping a waiter would hear her: "We need potatoes, no more potatoes here. Everyone else have potatoes but we have none." The speaker stopped and looked for her wine glass but it was already empty. She stared straight ahead at the wall, and was biting her lip. She started to talk again but was silenced by the apparatchik on my right: "I need potato, everyone else have potato. I want potato." This time it was directed at the waiter in charge of drinks, he gave her the finger to the lips, the universal sign to be quiet, and she stopped shouting.

I looked to my left and that woman, Dr. Lee, as the man to her left called her, was taking the bottle of steak sauce and putting it into her pocketbook. She was also moving all the food she had hoarded into a takeout container they had given her.

At least there was dessert to look forward to since I wasn't getting any creamed spinach or potatoes. Only dessert was a worse nightmare. Like a nightmare inside a nightmare, only there was no Leonardo DiCaprio to shock me out of it like in the movie Inception. Dr. Lee was taking the entire plate of family style desserts and loading them into a second takeout container, two pieces of chocolate cheesecake and a piece of apple strudel and a piece of regular cheesecake and a wad of whipped cream designed for eight people to share. To my right my only hope was that the Russians would feel pity for me. They took the chocolate cheesecakes and all the whipped cream. All of it. That left the strudel for me, but no whipped cream. They also had a strategy for seconds, they said they didn't get any dessert to the waiter, who looked down at their used dessert plates and just said "uh-huh". As I was leaving he was bringing them one more helping to share.

As I was leaving I went up to the speaker and apologized. She had gotten her glass of wine refilled. I said: "That was the rudest audience I have every seen, you were amazingly patient." All she could say was "No shit!"

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Jimbo Wales and Lucy Nolan and Wikipedia

It looks like I made Jimbo Wales, the creator of Wikipedia, mad today. I have always respected him, and I am a top contributor to Wikipedia. But I noticed the Jimbo Wales was nominating the article on Lucy Nolan, the TV reporter, in Wikipedia for deletion. In 2008 he was involved in edits in the article of a woman he was dating, Rachel Marsden, of Fox TV. He announced the end of their relationship on his Wikipedia page. In retaliation, she put his t-shirt and sweater he had left at her place up for sale on eBay. I wrote on the discussion page for the Lucy Nolan article: "Does this presage more underwear on Ebay? Just wondering." Giving it some thought, I deleted it. Wales noticed anyway and he emailed me: "That's disgusting. For the record, I do not know Lucy Nolan and have had no contact or communication with her about this issue. You should be ashamed of yourself, really."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Marion Lattin Dilthey and Jarvis Andrew Lattin (1853-1941) and Aaron Stern in the St. Petersburg Times on April 15, 1977

Julia Marion Poole Dilthey (1910-2005) and Jarvis Andrew Lattin (1853-1941) and Aaron Stern (1876-?) in the St. Petersburg Times on April 15, 1977

Last Sunday’s story about Stern’s pickle works in Farmingdale, NY, is of particular interest to Mrs. Marion Dilthey of Pinellas Park. She was born in Farmingdale, and lived there many years, and her grandfather,Jarvis Lattin was a partner of Aaron Stern, who built the pickle works in the late 1800s. The plant in-fact, is on land which was owned by Jarvis Lattin.

Jarvis Andrew Lattin (1853-1941) in the Daytona Beach Morning Journal on December 4, 1936

Jarvis Andrew Lattin (1853-1941) in the Daytona Beach Morning Journal on December 4, 1936

Lattin Trial Later. Jarvis Lattin who was arrested yesterday on a charge of assault against his wife in their Lake Helen home Monday afternoon will not tried until his health has improved considerably, ... Lattin was removed from the county jail this afternoon to the DeLand Memorial hospital on recommendation of his physician, Dr. Hugh West. The 84-year-old retired banker is reported to be suffering from acute alcoholism.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11, 2001 remembrances on 9th anniversary

September 11, 2001 remembrances on 9th anniversary.

For September 11, 2001 I was in Baltimore, Maryland at the Society for Bimolecular Screening (SBS) trade show. I was working for ASDI at the time. I heard from the woman in the booth next to mine that her mother had called her to tell her that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center ...

I drove a group of people back to New Jersey, Sophia Liang from Aurora Biomed in Vancouver and her father. They had a booth at the trade show and their next appointment was with Bristol Meyers Squibb in Princeton.

A short time later I went to Ground Zero with a woman I knew from the Internet, Judy Lanza (1959- ) and I took photos and collected some ash that I now keep in an amber jar.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Contacts quota limit in Gmail limits the use for enterprise

It looks like Google's Gmail has a quota limit for the number of contacts you can add, which seriously limits it as an enterprise tool. It looks like the limit is 8,000 contacts. Once you reach it its stops you from adding new information and adding new people. I guess you have to start axing people from your contact list. I hope you delete the right people. Anyway, I can see why businesses avoid Gmail and stick to the old school software where you can save till you run out of hard drive space. I think I add about 2K contacts a year. A good trade show will give me over 1,000 contacts, and as many as 2K contacts per show.