Party Pictures

I’ve attended the Joel‘s demo party for Fog Creek Copilot, an amazing grey hair and premature baldness prevention product. Here is my photo report.

The Joel is famous for creating humane working conditions. Natural light, dual flatscreen monitors, Aeron chairs. Actually, this is very similar to the setup that I have at home, except I have a view of Brooklyn instead of Manhattan. My chair at work is a butt-hurting monster, but if I stand up in my cube and really crane my neck, I can see the same skyscrapers, but from the other side.

Joel was literally mobbed by fans.

I dragged him away and had a couple of minutes to take a picture of him.

A funky light fixture was casting a glare on the famous office partition window, but I used it for a cheesy “idea” effect.

Michael Pryor had way too much fun with a Zero Fog Blaster.


Despite a wide array of snacks, he chewed on the poor defenseless office plant.


Ad:
Zero Fog Blaster shoots far traveling rings of non-toxic smoke. Provides hours of fun.

Joel’s books mix Yiddish and other types of humor with software design and project management. Even more fun than Zero Fog Blaster.

You should also own:
User Interface Design for Programmers
Painless Project Management with FogBugz

How I Went Fishing With Michael Pryor

Ok, since I started ranting about fishing, here’s a good story.

I went fishing once with Michael Pryor, whom you might know as the president of Fog Creek Software. We went on the Dorothy B VIII for a half day of fluke fishing.

The trip wasn’t going well. The boat was a bit crowded, there was an obnoxious redneck with a loud kid right next to us. And neither of us were catching anything. Well, actually I caught two really big skates. But skates are not fun to catch. It was still nice to be able to get some fresh air, fish and talk, but I was afraid Michael was regretting taking the train all the way from Manhattan to Sheepshead Bay for that.

Exactly the second the captain announced “lines up, let’s go home” Michael got a bite. And caught the biggest damn fluke on the entire boat, effectively winning the pool for the biggest fish. Fishing on that boat for years, I never caught a fluke that big.

The secret, is of course luck, but in addition, we were both fishing with a special kind of a bucktail called the Atomic Bullet. A bucktail is a sinker with a hook attached to it. I never liked those, but I’ve been hearing that the biggest flukes were caught on that. And it looks like that’s true. I’ll be using those this season.

P.S. If you know of any good fishing blogs, please let me know.

Are You Proud of Your Workplace?

I like decorated workplaces. And I don’t mean a cube with a swimsuit calendar and “motivational” posters from http://www.motivational-posters-animal-posters-sunset-beach-photos.com/ (that’s a real address too). I don’t like Despair, Inc Demotivators TM, although I wish I came up with that idea myself. It’s a big business, as illustrated by this spooky picture of their warehouse:

What I do like, is when an office has some artifact or artifacts that everybody is extremely proud of. For instance in Boston office of defunct company iXL they had an Aibo dog (the expensive first version), which they’ve got for creating http://www.aibo.com. I worked in New York office of iXl.

A company that I worship, iDEO, has an office which has the ultimate office decoration. Some engineers went to the airplane scrap yard and brought back a huge WWII bomber wing, which they polished and hung above a meeting room.

Art. Lebedev Studio, a company, which I think will become Russia’s iDEO, and which I also worship, has the coolest collection of old technology

Fog Creek Software (yeah, I worship a lot of companies) strives to provide the best working enviroment possible. From their website: ” … That means the nicest work environment we can get. For now, that means an historic brownstone in an exciting Manhattan neighborhood full of caf├ęs, bookstores, ethnic restaurants, movie theatres, and a rather disproportionate number of Persian rug shops. We have a real garden out back, a full kitchen, a pinball machine, and natural light… ” And that is even more amazing than an airplane wing.

Me? Well, I have a small collection of old vacuum tubes (or valves as Brits call them) in my cube. But I think a nice jet fighter’s helmet and a nice jet instrument panel from eBay’s fine selection would be much cooler.

Ok, I am off to install a 120 gig drive (a bargain at $130) in my Tivo. Wish me luck.