Personal Archives

September 9, 2002

Eyewitness Account of 9/11

Many of you know that I watched the second plane hit the South Tower. I wrote this piece for the following day's Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which ran it with minor changes. There's a word or two I'd change, but I'm letting it stand as an example of deadline writing.



April 23, 2003

Back. Been Busy.

April is always tough, between taxes, Passover, Holy Week, and the hangover and cleanup from the same. We now resume our regular posting.



February 5, 2006

New Home Page

If you come into this page directly, please let me suggest that you click on the "Dan Rosenbaum Home" link. The Web site that contains this Weblog has undergone significant renovations. You may find them interesting.


February 12, 2006

Where's the Rest of Me?

I'm migrating away from the increasingly abandoned Radio Userland toward the better-supported Movable Type. Getting content from the old blog to the new one is going to be a little bit of a process, I'm afraid.

Until I get everything straightened out here, you can still see my historical content at the old Over the Edge site. Update: Move completed. Everything over there is now over here, and clicks to the old site will be redirected here. The root URL -- -- remains active and links to this blog.

Sorry for the extra clicks. I'll get it cleared up (and make this place look a little more lived-in) as soon as I climb the learning curve here.

February 13, 2006

Well, That Wasn't So Bad

All the posts from my old Radio blog at have, by some miracle, made it here intact. Thanks go to Bill Kearney's script. But, dude, would it have killed you to include some end-user instructions like "Step 1: Face the computer and put your hands on the keyboard"?

Next step is to pretty up the environment -- hang some pictures on the wall, put up the curtains, hook up the stereo, move the furniture around. Things like that.

If you're looking for something to read in the meantime, take a look at that Newspapers and the Net link over there by the "Recent Posts" link down on the right. It got kind of buried in the transition.

June 6, 2006

I Just Can't See Cronkite Saying "Sneezles"

Leaving aside the fact that the idea of "one-day potty training" is, well, so much ca-ca, this clip from Good Morning America illustrates just how sexist people are being about Katie Couric taking over the CBS Evening News.

If Charles Gibson, who himself just ascended to the anchor chair at ABC, gets off scot-free for this piece, no one can reasonbly complain about Couric's gravitas.

Cute kid, though. And you've gotta love the crew's reaction at the end.

July 2, 2007

Google buys GrandCentral. Is this a good thing?

When I was writing the FierceVoIP newsletter, I met the founders of GrandCentral. I'd been looking for a service like this for decades: a single phone number that could find me anywhere. That founders Vincent Paquet and Craig Walker are genuinely nice guys with a social conscience was icing on the cake.

Rumors had been flying for about a week, but the companies announced today that Google bought GrandCentral. Congrats to Craig and Vincent; it's nice to see good work pay off.

But why did Google want GrandCentral, anyway?

Google's stated goal is to organize the world's information. Its ability to do that with textual information worries me not at all, and its ability to do that with mapping and video doesn't really bother me, either. I'm a little bugged that I've given Google permission to follow me around the Web, but I can rationalize that by telling myself that it will help Google help me search.

But GrandCentral, used to its fullest, can associate me with phone numbers I call, phone numbers (and -- when they're in the GC phone book -- people and addresses) who call me. GrandCentral stores voicemails; doesn't Google do voice-to-text transcription, too? And when I pick up an incoming GrandCentral call, Google can then tell where I am at that very moment.

Total Information Awareness, indeed.

Consider that when a company or governmental entity (or, for that matter, a matrimonial lawyer) wants dirt on someone, the first thing they try to do is pull phone records. Phone records are incredibly revealing.

GrandCentral is a great service that can revolutionize the way you use your phone. But Google's owning it just kind of creeps me out. Maybe some things are better left unorganized.

July 3, 2007

Five Guys Comes to New York

People in and around mid-Atlantic states and Southeast. apparently know all about the Five Guys hamburger chain. But unlike the storied west coast In-n-Out restaurants that its fans fetishize, I've never picked up much buzz about Five Guys, though lord knows I've gone out of my way for an In-n-Out double-double. The chain just opened its second New York store, at 138 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights (there's apparently another in College Point, Queens -- who knew?); it won't stay a secret up here for long. It wouldn't be much of an exaggeration to call Five Guys the East Coast In-n-Out.

It tough to judge a restaurant's operation in its first week. When I checked it out earlier today, there about five times as many workers as were strictly necessary to serve customers. Because of all the training -- and some of the trainees looked like they'd never seen a kitchen before -- food was a little slow coming out. (At least, it had better have been slower than usual; tomorrow's July 4 and there'll be about a quarter million people walking past the place's front door.) But when the food arrived, it proved to be well worth the wait.

First, the fries. Freshly cut, skinny, skin-on, fried in peanut oil. There was about 1000 pound of fresh potatoes, packed in 50 pound bags, stacked in the dining room. The burger patties are thin, about four inches in diameter; the standard burger is a double stack. Also fresh; they claim to not use frozen meat, and it tastes it. There's no "secret sauce," the way there is at In-n-Out, but there's a full range of condiments as well as A-1 and hot sauce. No condiment bar; they prepare the burgers to spec.

There will probably be some traffic flow problems at this particular store. You order at the front (two registers) and pick up at the back, where the place narrows. That's where the drinks fountain is, too, so there will almost certainly be a lot of pushing as people wait for their food and then fill their soda cups, then have to push their way back to the front of the place. There are 16 seats at tables and about the same number at counters along the front window and east wall.

Five Guys is up nine steps from the street. It's worth the climb. The place is across the street from Grand Canyon, a neighborhood hamburger-based diner that's been there since 1983. I love Grand Canyon and all things being equal, I'd rather support neighborhood businesses. But Five Guys is awfully good stuff, and my days at Grand Canyon may be numbered.

If you're not in Brooklyn or Queens, take heart: the web site says they're coming to Levittown on Long Island soon, and are already in the Albany area in Niskayuna and Glenmont, with Rensselaer coming.

October 31, 2007

Maybe they can use one of the leftover crocodiles from the NYC sewers...

Over in the swamps of Jersey, they renamed what was once the Brendan Byrne Arena and was then the Continental Airlines Arena after Izod, the popular leisureware of the 70s and 80s. (The news angle is that someone's suggesting that the building will be more valuable, not less, when there are no pesky tenants left.

But look at the photo. All the place needs now is one of those little crocodiles that adorned the Izod shirts, and the look will be perfect. (I'd even forgo the pink or green color. So not Jersey.)

And yes, I know that the croc was because of the long-standing and now-ended licensing deal with Henri Lacoste, the tennis player. Gimme a break.

January 28, 2009

There goes Plan B...

So now comes word that Starbucks will close 200 more U.S. stores (in addition to the 600 already slated), putting another 6,700 people out of work. I guess all my friends in publishing will now need a new "last-resort" job option.

One wonders if the severance benefits include a high-value Starbucks card and free Wi-Fi. And it this is related to yesterday's counter-intuitive decision to stop brewing decaf in the afternoons....

January 29, 2009

Chasing Deuces

Did you know the Federal Reserve issues a $2 bill? Of course you did. (Steve Wozniak sure does.) That puts you one up on the guy I just talked to at local WaMu branch.

I need to buy a bunch of dueces; never mind why. First stop was a Citibank branch, where I was told they didn't have any. But if I wanted to order some, I'd need to get a "brick" of them, costing $2000. Umm, no.

So I went across the street to WaMu. I told the guy that I wanted to buy some $2 bills. He told me they only sold them in rolls of 25. No no no. Two. Dollar. Bills. Not a roll of dollar coins (although that would be interesting on another day). Bills. Currency. Two Dollars.

Continue reading "Chasing Deuces" »

February 10, 2009

New words for 2009

Susan Bray, the former Philadelphia talk show host now running a B&B in Australia, sent along a list of new words for the new year. Dunno where they came from but most of them are quite good, though a few don't translate perfectly from the Aussie. My favorites:

Continue reading "New words for 2009" »

February 19, 2009

Public propriety

This may be one for the etiquette mavens among us. Or maybe it's just a matter of common courtesy. Or cluefulness.

The other day, I was flying with my family -- myself, my wife, and two 7-year-old boys -- from JFK to SFO. I was sitting with one kid, my wife a few rows back with the other. The plane was a 767, in a 2-3-2 configuration. I was on the aisle, a kid in the middle, a stranger on the other side of him.

About an hour into the flight, said stranger pulls out a laptop and fires up a movie: "Slumdog Millionaire." My immediate thoughts, in rough order:

  1. That's not on DVD yet; the SOB is watching an illegal download.
  2. He's watching an R-rated movie -- one that features graphic scenes of little kids getting maimed -- in full view of a 7-year-old.

Continue reading "Public propriety" »

February 27, 2009

Computer Shopper Goes Online-Only

You could have seen this one coming a mile away. Computer Shopper, once the biggest and one of the most profitable magazines in the United States, announced today that it's going online-only.

The days of 1000-page tabloid-sized issues are long past; Shopper went to a slick paper and normal trim years ago. Back in The Day, I was a senior editor there, responsible for about 100 of those pages a month. That's a lot. And while Shopper may not have been the best thing I'd ever done professionally or the most fun or the most formative, it was undoubtedly in the Top 3 for all of them. It's surely where I learned the magazine business and where I started to learn how to be a manager. It's where I met my best man. It's why I moved into New York City.

And it's where I forged personal and professional relationships that have lasted decades. I'm sad to see it go. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, a friend and once one of my writers, wrote a tribute in Computerworld. Read to the bottom.

There are too many Shopper stories than can be told here; you'll have to buy me a beer or two -- and I know that my short time at Shopper is only a thin slice of a very long story.

There's an old poster that shows a genealogy of British blues bands. Every band that's worth a damn could trace its way back to the Yardbirds, for one member or another at one point or another. In the tech press, Shopper was the Yardbirds. Glad I got to play

March 3, 2009

Why musicians do what we do

I'd never heard of the guy, but Karl Paulnack is apparently director of the music division at the Boston Conservatory. This talk is his welcome address to parents of new students. Bulls-eye.

Frankly, ladies and gentlemen, I expect you not only to master music; I expect you to save the planet. If there is a future wave of wellness on this planet, of harmony, of peace, of an end to war, of mutual understanding, of equality, of fairness, I don’t expect it will come from a government, a military force or a corporation. I no longer even expect it to come from the religions of the world, which together seem to have brought us as much war as they have peace. If there is a future of peace for humankind... I expect it will come from the artists, because that’s what we do..."

September 16, 2009

Mary Travers, RIP

As part of the New York Choral Society, I was fortunate to have performed with Mary Travers (and Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey) a couple of dozen times in the late '80s and early '90s. I did a week on Broadway, a PBS special that ran forever during Pledge Weeks, a Donahue show, and more than a couple of performances in Carnegie Hall. They are some of my fondest memories.

Mary Travers was by then well past her ingenue years and well into motherhood and later, grandmotherhood. She relished it. It was easy to see the dynamic of the group; the things that made Peter Paul & Mary work so well, the things about each of them that made the others crazy, and the ways that they adapted to each other as life progressed.

But what was also plain about them was the depth of their commitment to each other and their causes.

Continue reading "Mary Travers, RIP" »

March 22, 2010


Film crews are not uncommon in my neighborhood. "Gossip Girl," in particular, has been coming around a few times a year. But this week, the nabe's parking will be disrupted for two productions: the CBS drama "The Good Wife" (which is set in, ummm, Chicago) and the FX show "Damages."

About Personal

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Over the Edge in the Personal category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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