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07/30/06 11:01 - 76ºF - ID#36730

Meetro

Excerpted from The Chronicle

This most recent revival of live-work startups is powered by young do-it-yourselfers who are taking advantage of better, faster and cheaper technology to bootstrap their young companies rather than take on investors and give up a greater stake in their vision.

Living and working together around the clock certainly accelerates the breakneck pace of innovation, the Meetro entrepreneurs say. They want Meetro to become like MySpace for neighbors, where you can meet and make friends with people on the Internet who live near you.

"The Internet is a cold place. There is no feeling of physical place. This gives a face to the neighborhood. You can see photos of people near you, chat with people," said Vincent "Vinnie" Lauria, 26, who left a job at IBM in New York to take the startup for a spin.

The Meetros are their own most avid users. After they first moved to Palo Alto, the guys used their new service to find their nearest user, who lived four houses away, to borrow a vacuum cleaner after theirs broke.

And they believe their dedication is paying off. Founder Paul Bragiel, 28, says Meetro now has nearly 100,000 users around the world, all of whom have signed up through word of mouth. Their goal: to be able to use their own product anywhere they travel in the world.

"We think we have a big idea," said Bragiel, who bankrolls the startup, including $2,000 a month in rent and frequently stratospheric electricity bills. "Why else would we slave like this? We are here to make this happen. We think in six months that we will increase our value by a great amount."

Meetro.com

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Category: dogs

07/29/06 05:05 - 80ºF - ID#36729

Fun with Rusty

So I am dogsitting again, this time for Rusty - the 7-year-old Golden Retriever my friend Cindy adopted last month. She doesn't want him to feel abandoned after just starting to settle in, so she's really appreciative I could stay with him. We're having a lot of fun, and it's nice to be living in a furnished house with a TV and working kitchen for a while.

Only problem is, Cindy is a morning person, so Rusty thinks 6 a.m. is more than late enough to let me "sleep in." When I stayed with Cindy before I could move into my place, she would take an hour-long run before catching the 6:20 a.m. express bus into work. (At least that's what she told me - I slept through the whole thing.) I tried to convince Rusty it was the weekend, but then I remembered on the weekends, Cindy would get up before 6 a.m. to take a 50-mile bike ride. Yes, some of my friends are even more insane than I am, just in different ways.

This has been an ongoing battle all week, mostly with me losing. The only battleline I've held is I won't get up if it's still dark outside. Even the youngest child can understand that concept. Once it's light out, if he's really persistent, I'll let him outside to pee, then go back to bed, which leaves him completely flabbergasted. At that point he'll start to amuse himself, which of course means inappopriate licking. Ok, maybe it's not inappropriate to a dog, but I sure as hell don't want to have to hear that when I'm trying to get back to sleep.

That's why I found myself taking a walk at the ungodly hour of 7a.m. It was a fairly short walk, followed by a 2-hour power nap. Then I felt so refreshed, I decided to take him for a real walk, since it is the weekend after all. Seemed like a good chance to revisit my old biking haunts, and get the pooch pooped and scooped. So I folded down the back seat of the car and we headed for the Bay Farm Island portion of the Bay Trail.

The minute Rusty launched his 70 lb frame into my car, I started to wonder if this might be too much fun for him for me to handle. I've already got shinsplints from straining against being dragged at the end of his leash the past 3 days. We get there and sure enough, I think he's going to have a coronary he's so excited. The rocky shoreline is riddled with brazen ground squirrels, with the Bay glistening beyond. That was almost too much for him to take. I thought we were both going to end up in a the drink a few times.

An hour and a half later, we're both pretty pooped. Time for me to hit the shower and rustle up something to BBQ at Brenda & Kathy's. Have a great weekend everybody.




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Category: tenants

07/29/06 01:58 - 80ºF - ID#36728

My turn

I finally came to my senses and told my bosses I have to end this freakin' contract. It was supposed to end May 31st, and now they're talking about October. I know that might seem like a good thing for a contractor, but I have to get my freakin' house done so I can finally move in for real. When my upstairs tenant moves out that's going to be a full-time job in itself. Anyway, I told them I could come back if they still need me after mid-September. So that's the plan, along with some time scheduled for "knowledge transfer" between now and August 18. I really cannot wait to not have to work every day. Although after a month of living in a soon-to-be construction zone, I'll probably be begging to go back, haha.

My upstairs tenant (the one who's actually living there) left me a note saying she lost the check for $500 I gave her with the 30-days notice back in April. She says she's on a student visa and has to stay in film school otherwise she'll be deported, and she doesn't want to borrow money to stay in school. True, she has not cashed the check yet. He cashed his on July 17. I'm supposed to give them each another $500 after they move out, plus the settlement money - which I'm not required by law to give them, but it's one way to make sure they really do move out, otherwise they get nothing more and we have to do it the hard way.

Anyway, it'll cost me $25 to stop payment on the first check, and the stop payment is "only good" for 6 months. What the hell is up with that? Obviously, I'm not going to tell her that part. But I did tell her I could write her another check (as soon as I get back from my LATEST dog-sitting gig, don't ask), but if she "happened" to find the first check, please use that for the second payment, otherwise I would have to deduct the $25 stop payment fee from the next check.

Mostly I'm doing that in case she's trying to pull a fast one. She'll think she won't be able to cash the first check after all, plus she'll be out $25. I think she probably really did lose the thing (you would have to see this apartment to believe it), BUT why the hell should I have to pay for it, and am I willing to bet $500 on it?

I hope the first check does show up. I should probably ask my lawyer whether I should give her a replacement check at this point, but I'm sure she would say "no" and I would end up paying my lawyer $300/hour for that bit of advice which I would probably ignore anyway.

Jesus, who died and made me the Bank of America? I'm no good at this.


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Category: music

07/28/06 10:36 - 74ºF - ID#36727

I want you...

Autonomy!

The Buzzcocks song, not the individual empowerment. Ok on second thought, make that both.

Damn! That show rocked!

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07/24/06 11:13 - 68ºF - ID#36725

Bitch on board!

Whoa, (e:Leetee,204) that was NOT a good introduction to sailing. It might be ok to "bark" orders to your regular crew when you're racing and everyone is there to compete. But it is NOT ok to bark at your guests or guest crew. If she can't handle the boat on her own or with the crew she's brought onboard, you don't want to be on that boat. It's not safe and it's not fun.

Tell her it was too stressful learning what to do and being expected to do it your first time out. You learn by doing, but not under pressure like that. If you would like to sail with her again but strictly as a guest, tell her you're comfortable helping to prep the boat, but not being responsible for anything while under sail. At least not until someone else is there to show you what to do and do it with you a few times until you feel comfortable.

Sounds like her bitchiness started even before you set sail, so it might best to stay away from her in that environment. Maybe she was on a power trip instead of a sailing trip.

In other news, looks like the Adored won't be opening for the Buzzcocks here. Oh well, it would have been fun to hear them since you found them [inlink]leetee,462[/inlink] most excellent. But obviously I am PSYCHED TO SEE THE BUZZCOCKS! I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!

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Also, I'm thinking of printing this out and putting it in my upstairs tenant's mailbox. Just in time for him to get rid of all his junk!

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07/22/06 10:56 - 67ºF - ID#36722

new shoes

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Wow. I need a tan.

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Category: food

07/22/06 04:05 - 68ºF - ID#36721

Unagi season

Who could say no to a free sample of unagi?

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It'll take me forever to try everything here.

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07/21/06 11:01 - 76ºF - ID#36720

eBay to the rescue!

I would love to comment/post in response to the happiness theme. But I'm way too emotionally drained for that right now.

My replacement battery charger arrived today! I should have bought the damn thing 8 months ago when I realized my digital camera battery charger somehow ended up in storage with most of my other stuff. I never thought I'd be a nomad this long, though.

Here's a "candid" shot of my estrip bumper sticker. The only thing that would make it more beautiful here would be two tickets to the Buzzcocks pinned under it! (e:Leetee) - I can't believe you saw them twice!!! My music buddy Larry has our tickets for July 27th at Mezzanine. I can't wait!

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p.s. - now that I have my battery charger, I'll have to take my estrip bumper sticker out for another photo shoot. You might think that's extreme, but extreme would be washing my car first. Yeah, I'm not up to that.

p.p.s. - some day I'll keep the bumper sticker on my car. But right now, I'm afraid with my luck - and in my neighborhood - it would get stolen/vandalized. If I ever get to that happiness post, I'll try to explain my relationship with irony. Although I'm already pretty sure you're not going to want to read it.


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Location: San Francisco, CA


Category: sailing

07/20/06 11:13 - 82ºF - ID#36719

Sailboat transport

(The rest of the sailboat story...)

The transport service only let my brother know two days in advance of when they planned to haul the boat. So my brother had to high-tail it down to NC to get it prep'd and give the underside as good of a cleaning as possible. My brother-in-law (who lives in Monroe NC) met him there to help. They did a 45 minute dive to clean the hull and keel the eve before hauling.

My brother's drive home after that was the most harrowing part. Here's the story (in his own words).


They will put her on stands and unstep the mast and get it ready for transporting to Connecticut. They'll come back a week from tomorrow and move it to Connecticut.

My drive from Washington to Newark NJ was definitely an exhilarating one. I have never been in so many electrical storms with so much intensity. It seemed like I caught a western moving front that ran from MD to CT. The lightning was blinding at times. I was at the apex of the Delaware Memorial Bridge and wind and rain was blowing upward over the bridge and an enormous flash and instant crack of thunder seemed like it was directly above me.

I was holding off on getting gas until NJ since they pump it for you (state law), it's considerably cheaper and it had been raining sideways since I was south of Baltimore. I pulled into the first service area off the NJ turnpike, but they had no power. The car computer read 40 miles until an empty tank and the next service area was 36 miles. One traffic jam and I would've been on the side of the road in monsoon rains so I took the first exit off the turnpike and headed for a town 2 miles west, but only to find the same result. No power. Off to the next town, lights out, trees and limbs down. Asked a cop who who was warning people of deep water on the road where to go and he sent me south on I 295 for 5 miles. Finally found a station that had power restored but the pumps would not reset. The guy said to give him 5 minutes. I did and he got them working though had to pay cash as the credit card machine was not working (keep that in mind Dad the next time you drive home from CT with $5 cash in your wallet).

I was finally headed back in the right direction with a full tank of gas. I arrived home at 12:30 this morning -- 10 hours after leaving NC.

Now to the good part -- see pictures below. It was really interesting to see how they have to haul boats at this lake. The trailer they pulled mine out on can handle up to 50' sailboats. They hauled it and put it on stands, then removed (unstepped) the mast with a boom crane. They then hauled a 35' power boat and took it to Myrtle Beach. They'll come back Wednesday and load mine to transport to CT.

Anyway, all went extremely well -- in fact, it could not have gone better. Looking forward to taking everyone out for a sail.

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p.s. - wow, I can't believe I never posted any pix from the family sailing trip last year. Guess that was back when I was still trying to make a go of it at alamedalink.com. God, I was so naive back then!



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Category: sailing

07/19/06 11:12 - 75ºF - ID#36718

Boaters Unite

I know you're [inlink]kara,91[/inlink] probably looking for a local boating buddy, and it's not even my boat per se, but my brother just bought a sailboat! He drove 450 miles in one weekend to preview two of the four contenders, then made three round-trips from Connecticut to Lake Kerr, NC for the final winner. A 28' 1990 Beneteau First 285

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Now renamed "Carolina Pearl" (after our [inlink]twisted,56[/inlink] grandmother) and safely moored in Norwalk Harbor.

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This has been a long time coming for my brother. I remember when my parents announced we'd be getting a new brother or sister. My brother's response: "we could have bought a sailboat instead!" I think in the end he was happier to have our little brother. And now he has both!

We've certainly come a long way since the days Dad rowed us [inlink]twisted,229[/inlink] around Long Island sound, haha.
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Permalink: Boaters_Unite.html
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