Michael J. Radwin

Tales of a software engineer who keeps kosher and hates the web.

Monthly Archives October 2003

SWA drops online double-credit bonus

southwest-airlines.jpg My brother forwarded me this unfortunate news about Southwest Airlines’ frequent flier program:

“After seven years of double credit for online flight bookings, Southwest is calling the promotion quits. Southwest loyalists have until December 31 to book tickets online and earn four credits per round-trip flight.” [Smarter Living]

This means that I’ll be earning only 6 free Southwest tickets per year. And unless they lower the present 100 credit threshold, I’m going to lose my Companion Pass next year. Oh well. All good things must come to an end.

On the plus side, Southwest has recently started to follow the example set by American Airlines in allowing the use of cell phones during taxi-in.

Trip to Amoeba Music

B0000BYM3J.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg Avital is visiting from Boston this weekend. We went to Amoeba Music in Hollywood and got a handful of used CDs.

Here’s what I got:

  • Loveboat – Erasure
  • Other People’s Songs – Erasure
  • Acoustic – Everything But The Girl
  • Sleepyhead – The Brothers Creegan
  • Stop All The World Now – Howie Day

I looked for a used copy of the new BNL album but they only had it new and I didn’t want to for over $18.

Avital recommended the Howie Day album and Ariella and I both really liked it. Cheezy acoustic pop.

Ariella got some classical CDs. Avital got Homogenic by Bj

Attending PHPCon West 2003

I’m at PHPCon West 2003 this week.

I didn’t make it to the Code Sprint today, but Andrei was leading one of the sections, so I’ll get the skinny from him. I really dig the idea — get programmers to pay for the opportunity to contribute their brainpower to an Open Source project.

LA Restaurant Watch

sushi.jpg I got email from the owner of RestaurantWatch.com asking me to link to his website. I took a look, and it definitely got some good content.

I was surprised to discover that 98% of restaurants get a rating of A or B from the Health Department. Either Los Angeles retaurants are really very healthy or grade inflation extends beyond high school and college.

It turns out that you can get much of the same information directly from the LA DHS, but RestaurantWatch.com provides a better UI.

My new Web Hosting ISP

I love DreamHost, my new ISP. I now have most of my domain names (hebcal.com, shtibl.com, and the rather stale utf-8.com) hosted there now.

JR convinced me to switch last month. Even though I’ve been absurdly busy with Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Sukkot, I’m happy I initiated the switch.

For about the same price, DreamHost gives me more of what I want: more disk space, ability to manage fowarding email addresses without having to bother a sysadmin or trust myself to procmail, mod_php compiled directly into Apache, phpMyAdmin already pre-installed, etc.

Due to the complexity of the software that runs my High School Alumni Internet Directory, I haven’t had the time to migrate radwin.org yet.

Updated reading list

The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson Looking back at the 17 books I planned to read this year, it looks like I haven’t made much progress. I’ve finished four of them (Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!; Crossing the Chasm; The Cathedral and the Bazaar; and most recently The Diamond Age).

The Diamond Age was good, but not as enjoyable as Snow Crash or Cryptonomicon. It looks like Stephenson just came out with a new tome. Maybe I’ll find time to read that in 2004.

I’ve been reading bits and pieces of The Art of Deception by Kevin Mitnick and Effective C++ by Scott Meyers, but neither of those books is compelling enough to sit down and read straight through.

Ariella just bought me a used copy of Meyer Levin’s Classic Hassidic Tales. I was reading a bit of it over Yom Kippur and it’s great. I like short stories.

This week at LAX I picked an audio CD of Steve Martin reading his new book The Pleasure of My Company. I read Shopgirl right when it came out almost 3 years ago and found it surprisingly good, so I’m hoping for another winner. I ripped all of the tracks to my iPod today so I’ll be able to listen to it on the plane. If I listen every week on the plane, I’ll finish it by mid-November.

Bubba Ho-tep

bubba-ho-tep.jpg Ariella and I saw Bubba Ho-tep at the Nuart last night. Bruce Campbell is incredible. Don Coscarelli is a genius.

Basically, the plot involves Elvis Presley, JFK, and an undead Egyptian mummy. Brilliant.

Campbell appeared in person to introduce the Friday night show. Too bad he didn’t make it last night. I would’ve liked to shake his hand and asked him to autograph my collection of Jack of all Trades episodes on VHS tapes.