Archive for the 'North Carolina' Category

Jul 17 2007

Would North Carolina be inhabited if wasn’t for A/C?

Published by under North Carolina

How hot is it?

It’s so hot that I walked as slowly as possible across the parking lot so I didn’t turn into a human fountain and soak through my shirt. It’s so hot that exercise this evening would be suicidal.

4 responses so far

Mar 01 2007

Durham foodie

One of the worst things about the road warrior life (I hate that term) is eating crap on the road. Trying to stay on the straight and healthy while living out of a suitcase in a Suite Hotel is pretty tough when you’re a workaholic and think working from 6 am to 9 pm is cool just because you don’t have a family to go home to.

I fell into some terrible habits the past year in North Carolina, habits brought on by the fact that there is more fast food in the Raleigh-Durham area, particularly around the Research Triangle Park, than anywhere else I have ever seen. We’re talking fast food you have never heard of before — or at least a northerner has never heard of. Bojangles? Fried chicken and iced tea. I am not proud to say I have tried them all, and not because I like a 2000 calorie cholesterol bomb, but because I am too tired to seek out a better alternative. Some colleagues who live the “suite life” have the smarts to go to a local grocery store and at the very least buy something half-way edible to run through the microwave in their hotel room’s kitchenette. I’ve tried that, too lazy.

So, as part of my pledge to myself to clean up my act in 2007, and in large part because I carry the auspicious title of executive sponsor to the corporate “wellness” initiative, I am on a crusade to identify healthy ways to eat around the office.

To the rescue comes my colleague, Kelly. She’s running a blog — Durham Foodie — which answers the question: Is there edible food around the Triangle.

The answer is yes, you just need to get smart and figure it out. Like the greek place on Miami and 54. Or the salad bar at the Harris-Teeter on Davis (home of the only Starbucks in the general vicinity). This week the company opens up a new cafeteria and cafe in the new headquarters buildings in Morrisville, hopefully ending my habit of chowing down two bags of Cheez-its for lunch.

8 responses so far

Oct 12 2006

Mapping Truck

I’d never seen one of these before this morning, but parked at the Extended Stay Deluxe (don’t I wish) Suites on Highway 54 in the Research Triangle Park was this menancing black SUV bedecked with really cool cameras on the roof. The other night I spied on the operator sitting in the driver’s seat peering into a laptop.

Given the “Windows Live Local Beta” stickers on the rear window, I expect this is a local contractor driving around doing street level 360 degree capture as part of an overall integration with Microsoft’s local search capabilities. Amazon A9 used to have something similar, a street level view of the world so one can see house and store fronts, but alas, the function is no longer available. This notion of online mapping merged with photography takes the 3D tilt and pan effect of Google Earth down on the Z axis to a real-life view of what one would see standing at a specific cartesian coordinate.

Being a major cartography geek (I minored in cartography in college as part of my Scholar of the House program), I am all over this sort of stuff.

The truck belongs to a company called Facet Tech 


Here’s the straight poop from the Facet Tech website:

“Digital map data can never be better than the collection method used to attain it. With that in mind, Facet Technology Corporation developed a collection and processing technique that is unparalleled in its precision, information-depth and efficiency. At every step, we’ve refused to settle for the status quo of the digital mapping industry. Whether it’s our determination to maintain a fully georeferenced, 360-degree video record of our entire coverage area, our rigorous multi-tiered processing methodology, or the way we collect street-based imagery for every accessible street, road and alley in our coverage area—we’ve gone to great lengths to ensure that our geographic information is as complete and useful a reflection of the real world as possible.”

8 responses so far

Aug 30 2006

Durham Bull-s&%t

Figures. I go to my one and only baseball game tonight — Durham Bulls versus the Columbus Clippers — and a whopper of a thunderstorm rains it out. It wasn’t that I was looking for Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins (I met them once in a bar in the Bahamas on a bonefishing expedition and played pool and drank too much tequila with Tim in the lounge of the Pink Sands Hotel ((that’s my one and only Hollywood name drop)). It isn’t that I care much for baseball. I just wanted to sit in the southern evening and take in a frigging ballgame.

This was a company outing — after a full day meeting — and it was going to be fun … until the rain came. But whatever, I gave up on baseball on October 25, 1986 in the sixth game of the World Series, Red Sox vs. the Mets, when Bill Buckner committed his infamous error. The champagne was iced on the coffee table in front of me, ready to toast the Red Sox’s first series since cavemen roamed the earth, the big payoff of being a Red Sox fan since the age of 9 when they lost the Series to St. Louis in 1967 — The Impossible Dream Team with Jim Lonborg on the mound, Yaz, Tony Conigliaro …. I had stuck with them for twenty years, getting deranged and disappointed every season, my fanaticism rewarded only by the glory years of the Boston Bruins in the early 70s and the glorious dynasty of the Celtics in the 80s.

When Buckner blew it I threw the bottle of champagne at the TV and vowed never to watch another game, never read another newspaper article, to avert my eyes whenever they mentioned, shown, or otherwise invoked.

That worked until 2004 when they finally won a Series, but by then I was tainted, a fairweather fan. So … with cycling trashed by the Affair D’Floyd, I need a new sport. Maybe cricket.

6 responses so far

Mar 07 2006

Thomas Wolfe – what I’m reading

Thomas Wolfe – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia\

My reading levels are at all time highs thanks to lonely-man evenings in the Triangle de Research, and having burnt out on CSS for Head Wound Victims, and being thoroughly disgusted by my genetic inability to learn Chinese in a week, I have been reverting to literature, specifically, being in Rome, southern literature.

Thomas Wolfe
At the Raleigh airport last week, on my way back to the land of ice and snow, I visited the little-book-store-that-could by the US Air gates, where the lady is extra-nice and complimentary about my book taste, and bought, against my better judgment, a fat volume of Thomas Wolfe’s You Can’t Go Home Again. This is a re-read. I loved the book in college when I was tuning my mental piano before writing my first execrable novel: Parallel Roundings. Wolfe is the Jack Kerouac of the Southern Depression, a UNC grad and Asheville native. I’m loving the book — great breathless purple prose and the kind of social nastiness that Sinclair Lewis was so great at.

Best Southern author in my mind (and shut up Faulkner fans) is Barry Hannah. Geronimo Rex remains the funniest book I have ever read.

4 responses so far