Category Archives: Anecdotes

A Friend’s Schadenfreude

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A few days ago, a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to enjoy a bit of schadenfreude with him. He knows me well enough to realize this is the equivalent of asking Oprah if she wants to go check out the new doughnut shop in Chicago that’s having a buy-10-get-20 sale. Of course, I said yes.

He told me the woman who had cheated on him many years ago was starting to have her what-goes-around-comes-around moment in life. See, way back when, my friend sat me down and told me in great detail about how his girlfriend had been cheating on him and how he put together the pieces and confronted her. He was pretty shaken by the whole thing, although I can assure you now his life is just dandy, thank you very much. Still, at the time, this woman – Elizabeth Collet – kinda broke his heart.

So it was with no small amount of glee that he started to bring me up-to-date on her life. For starters, some years ago, she got nailed by the IRS as follows:



Quixey Makes Sense Now

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The main drag here in Palo Alto is University Avenue, which is lined with pricey restaurants and retail. One city to the south of us, Mountain View, has their own main drag, and it’s called Castro Street (not to be confused with the gay mecca in San Francisco, half an hour’s drive north).

I’ve walked Castro many times (again, let’s not confuse the two), and I would often pass a very nice building which was neither a restaurant nor a retail store; on the front was a large sign, QUIXEY, and inside the building were dozens of young engineers, all of whom I’m certain were earning great six-figure salaries, working away at their keyboards. Beneath the “Quixey” name was the tag line: “The Search Engine for Apps”


Taking The Good with the Bad

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I suppose it’s a symptom of being the youngest-born child in my family, but I’ve always had a special fondness for Christmas. Now don’t get me wrong – – I can’t stand the consumerism, and I’d gladly forego the entire getting-and-giving-of-gifts for the rest of my life. And yet there are some sustained pleasures of the season which I wanted to consider as we approach December.

Sturgeon’s Law still holds sway, however, as i does everything in this life, so there is no shortage of awfulness to deal with at the same time. I have, over the many years of this blog’s tenure, written many times about various cultural artifacts of the holiday season, but I thought there would be no harm in sharing a few more off-the-cuff thoughts. This time, in the interest of balance, I wanted to propose five favorite things about the holidays and an equal number of baddies. We’ll start with the good stuff. (more…)