Friday, March 31, 2006

Still Don't Use Firefox?

"But I'm used to using Internet Explorer". These are the things you face when using Internet Explorer:

"Cybercrooks are spamming e-mail messages to trick people into visiting malicious Web sites that exploit a recent Internet Explorer flaw, experts warned Thursday.

The Web sites take advantage of the vulnerability in the omnipresent Microsoft Web browser to install a keystroke logger on vulnerable computers, according to San Diego-based Websense Security Labs."

FYI, a "keystroke logger" is a small application that records everything you type and sends it to the hacker who wrote it, including usernames and passwords at bank sites and any other sensitive site.

J. Riley, you might consider upgrading to Firefox, since Microsoft hasn't even released the patch for this vulnerability and won't release it for another week and a half....

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Corridor X

New York is a wonderful place for so many reasons. Not only does it offer culinary delights from around the world and a round-the-clock nightlife on any given night of the week, but also for it's many cultural aspects. In addition to the museums, plays, Broadway, it has a very unique alternative scene. Tuesday, on my way to work, I noticed that the free daily newspapers had an article on Brazilian Jui-Jitsu martial arts, so I grabbed it before I headed into the depths of the subway. I'm interested in all things Brazilian and I've heard of this martial art so I thought maybe I'd learn a little something about it and possibly add it to my list of things to try out once I move downtown.

In any case, there was a small blurb at the bottom of the paper advertising the Anthology Film Archives theater downtown that was showing a movie tonight only called "Corridor X", a movie about a highway that stretches from Germany through the former Yugoslavia,Greece, Turkey, and into Iraq. My interest was piqued about such a unique topic so Sean and I decided to check it out. A highway - I guess I've never really considered the fact that there are single highways that could potentially go from England to....China. After the second world war, this highway through Eastern Europe was built partially to make it easier for temporary workers to travel to Germany and work (among other Nationalistic ambitions in places like Yugoslavia). So every year millions would travel back along this road to return home for the holidays. It was destroyed during the Yugoslav wars after the Wall came down and still to this day bears evidence to wars between nations, people and capitalism, wealth and poverty, etc. It was very well done and was very powerful. I walked out of the theater amazed to be living in a industrialized country when so many people had lost things like their childhood and village they had grown up in because a mining company wanted to flood their town so they could dig up coal. It wasn't a typical leftist-propaganda piece, it showed many aspects of the issues along this highway, including the concentration camps and youth drafts to help build the original, the opinions of locals, the different stories of people who've travelled along this road (such as illegal Kurdish migrants from Iraq, children of guest workers, residence of the former Yugoslavia who now can't travel between countries, etc.) and the reason for the EU's investment into infrastructural components in Eastern Europe. There's some still shots and dialogue on the movie here, if you're interested:

Justinho, Thursday I found out I might have mono. That sucks. I should get the test results tomorrow....

Monday, March 27, 2006


Apparently I'm getting a relapse of the overnight flu that I had a few weeks ago. I thought that you're only supposed to get that every once in a while, so I'm not sure why I got it again. Maybe the solid diet of wheat carbs and tomato sauce isn't the best for my immune system or something. It's back to the pot I go - the soup pot, not the one down my hall! Hopefully this one does the trick:

J. Riley, I almost passed out in the steam room at the gym. Probably wasn't the best idea....

Saturday, March 25, 2006

J. Riley Knows How To Hold'm

Last weekend I once again established my dominance in the art of Texas Hold'm poker. Or, as Stefan would say, I once again established that there is a horse-shoe up my arse. You know, people keep saying that I get lucky all the time, but when it comes to poker, as Roland can attest, luck runs out and the odds end up winning most of the time. Maybe it's my genes from Nana?

In any case, I took the liberty to invite myself to attend a poker event at one of Alan's former coworkers house. Well, I was sort of invited by Alan and I was all about playing a "Jewish Stakes" game ($20 buy-in) down in Brooklyn. There were six people playing - 5 of whom were cream-of-the-crop investment banking guys from Goldman Sachs. And then there was little, quiet Justin from the west coast. Rather than playing by the poker "rules", I play by gut and don't analyze each play too much. In any case, I showed them what's up and took the pot with first place on that game ($80, not too shabby). And, yes, I won on the River Card, as usual :o). The guy who I beat on the last hand was incensed because I wasn't supposed to play the hand with the cards I had, but I wasn't going to fold with two 3's in-hand!

J. Riley, it's a lovely 40 degree day outside, so I better get my chores for the day done!

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Epic Weekend (A Vacation Story)

Because my iPod has decided to play U2's Miss Sarajevo, which is a song that
always reminds me of sitting at Backstage Pizza in Cal Poly's Student Union
(the song was on the jukebox and one of the only U2 songs I hadn't heard of
before, so my roommate and I played it nearly every time we ate there), I guess
it's appropriate for me to blog about my homecoming trip last weekend to San
Luis Obispo (SLO) with some old college friends.

Months back, my friends and I arbitrarily chose last weekend to get together
again and hang out in SLO, which I really missed after I saw the movie
Sideways, which was filmed in the area. I haven't been back there for about
three years, so I figured I was due for a trip. I booked my flight in on a
Thursday night so I could spend all three days there.

I got mixed signals on the trip from the get-go. Thinking that I was closer to
the airport via subway than I actually was, I left the office about 45 minutes
before boarding started. What was I thinking? I hate downtime at the airport,
so I usually try to arrive at the gate just as my plane begins boarding. I've
got that system down to a science, but this time I was cutting it a bit too
close. I heard "last call" for my flight before I was even in the security
line! I got past a lot of people, tied my shoes, and with heavy wool coat in
hand, backpack on, and wheeled luggage in tow, sprinted the distance to my
gate. The new AA terminal at the airport is massive, though, and when I was
about halfway there I heard them announcing my name and that they were going to
leave without me if I didn't show up quick. I arrived, heaving and coughing, at
the gate just in time. I was drenched in sweat and was so out of it that I
actually agreed to change seats with a guy who wanted to sit next to his
friend. It dawned on me an hour later that I had traded my high-valued
emergency exit seat for a "normal" seat. Not a good thing for a six-hour flight
with my gangly limbs!

After settling in, I was blessed with a couple items (the airplane food not
being one of them) - the film they were showing was called "Goal" and was about
a kid from LA going to play for Newcastle United Football Club in England,
featuring cameos from David Beckham, Zidane, Raul, Sven Goran-Ericksson, and
some others. I remember hearing about this movie last year sometime. Hopefully
we'll see Becks in some more movies in the future! In addition, the airline
magazine had an article about none other than Paul Oakenfold, one of my
favorite DJs in the world. What are the chances!!

I called Hess and Bux from the airport in LA, where I was transferring to a
puddle-jumper right into SLO. Naturally, they had stopped at multiple wineries
on their way to SLO from LA and then had beef and beer at farmer's market in
downtown and were now drinking whiskey and lord-knows at the British pub in
town. someone going to pick me up from the airport? "Of coursh,
we'll pick you up, I promish". Not exactly confidence inspiring, given their
track record with Bud Light ;o) .

Another surprise greeted me at SLO International Airport (with non-stop flights
daily to Shanghai and Tokyo ;o) - the airline had lost my luggage. I always
pack only carry-on luggage for this reason, but since I arrived late at the
airport in NYC, they had no more carry-on room for my bag and I had to check it
at the gate. So naturally I had nothing to wear except the monkey-suit I was
still wearing from work. After filling out the paperwork, my ride was still
nowhere to be seen, so after trying to call the guys multiple times, I finally
got a groggy "helloooo" from Hess, who had passed out back at the hotel room.
Yea, I'll opt for the cab I think :).

After arriving in a foul mood (thanks to the luggage incident), I indulged in
college delight by breaking my fast-food boycott and munching on some Taco
Bell, which was across the street from my hotel, grub and watched some
Speedvision with Bux and Hess at the hotel before hitting the hay for the
evening. Our hotel room was interesting because it had three beds in it (two
twins and a queen) and was seperated from an identical room next door by a
rolling wall, which had been open when we arrived. We kept our eyes open in
case nobody checked in there so we'd have a little two-for-the-price-of-one
discount on the rooms :).

Friday morning, despite the cold weather, we were determined to go roam around
the Central Coast before two other guys arrived later that day. We went to
Avila Beach and ate at Fat Cat Cafe, a great mom and pop restaurant serving
American proportions of food at the harbor overlooking the bay. Avila was also
the site of a lady who got eaten by a Great White Shark recently. Did I mention
that's where I learned how to scuba dive in a full, head-to-toe black wetsuit,
with visibility so bad that we had to hold on to each other? Anyway, it was
overcast and raining on the way there but the sun was fighting to shine over
the harbor, much to our delight. After breakfast, we cruised around the little
beach town to check out the latest developments and enquire about how much a
condo would cost there. Yea, we were priced out of the whole region pretty much
:( .

After breakfast and after picking up my lost luggage, we headed to Montana de
Oro, a water-side state park that had hiking trails and miles of beach for us
to enjoy. We took a nice little stroll down the beach, enjoying the views and
thinking about walking all the way down to Morro Bay, who's rock we could see
in the distance. At least I thought about it, until Hess mentioned that it
would be a bit of a swim to get there. And, in this weather and the fact that
I've recently developed a fear of sharks (stupid Discovery channel!), no

After the calorie burning (most of which can be attributed to our bodies trying
to keep us warm ;o), we did some more driving down to Morro Bay with no
particular destination in mind. The only place there with some affinity was the
Hofbrau restaurant that used to serve up some tasty pastrami sandwiches. And

With the last two arriving shortly, we headed back to the hotel to get the
weekend really started. Once they arrived, we decided to head over to Pismo
Beach to walk around there. Taking the backroads out of SLO, we passed a few
wineries and decided that a tasting was definitely in order. I didn't do much
wine tasting back in college (nor after, for that matter), so I'm not sure if
so many vineyards existed back then as there are now, because the whole valley
(Edna Valley, apparently) was now chock full of wineries. It was 4:00pm by this
point, so we had an hour to check out a couple wineries. At the first winery,
we met some folks from Mississippi with their deep draaawls who were visiting
their daughter (a southern belle, no less!) in Bakersfield. At the second
winery, we got to admire "Miles" (the name of the character from Sideways) in
all his glory. Except that I don't even think he was 21 yet! He was laying his
admiration for the wine on pretty thick, using words I don't even know. What
the heck is a tannon? Anyway, we certainly enjoyed the girl pouring the wine
and Miles provided comic relief for us all.

We were on a roll at this point, so there was no slowing down even if the
wineries were closed. We went downtown into SLO and did some wine tasting at a
store there where the employees indulged in the wine as much as we did.
Satisfied with wine, we knew that we needed to get some food at this point. So
we headed back to the hotel and decided that Woodstock's pizza was definitely
sounding pretty good. We emptied the mini-fridge in our room and then headed
out in the wintery night to go downtown for the evening.

Woodstocks has some amazing pizza, it's all in the sauce there. I found out a
few years back that you can actually order just the dough and make your own
pizza, but it's all about the sauce there. As we sipped on some tasty beverages
while waiting for our pies, everyone got to talk to Ryan's girl from Peru on the
telephone. I'm sure that by the time we were all done talking to her, she was
scared and worried about Ryan ;o) . She'll be moving up to the states
temporarily to see what it's all about up here, maybe I'll get to meet her

Sometime during the evening, Tom had the brilliant (said with sarcasm) idea of
taking a "Bull Sweat" shot at Bull's Tavern. This is usually reserved for 21
year-old-birthdays only, and for good reason. Tabasco, Worcestershire Sauce,
and 151 proof rum are in the mix, and this thing is disgusting. So of course we
had one, and that was about the end of my night! While we were hanging out at
Bull's talking, Tom made a rather loud comment about some snobby college girls
at the bar being fat (even if they weren't ;o) and they weren't too pleased
with that. I'm pretty sure they went anorexic after hearing that though...

After this, the night was pretty much a distant memory. Very distant. I know I
was in the bathroom at Black Sheep for a while and then Hess came in and we
decided our night was over, so we headed back to the hotel. Too bad cabs aren't
as prolific as they are in NYC, as I found out! But the walk home wasn't too
bad. At some point in the night, I was woken up with Jeff and Ryan wrestling in
the room for some reason, lord knows why.

The next day was interesting. We woke up and noticed that Jeff and Tom weren't
in our hotel room. Robert was pretty sure he walked home with Jeff (he turned
out to be using the restroom in the hotel room next door, which we had access
to ;o). But what about Tom? Nobody remembered the night before very well, but
Jeff and Robert rememberd chatting with some people at McCarthey's Irish Pub
over a Jameson's and walking home. A few minutes later, Tom called Ryan's
phone, asking someone to come pick him up - from the Big House! After falling
on the ground laughing, it turns out he was picked up for a DIP while walking
home with Jeff and Robert (I'm sure he was innocent and didn't shoot his mouth
off ;o).

Saturday was the day of McClintock's, as we headed downtown to eat some
large-portioned, hearty beef breakfast. It's funny that I have restaurant's
from all over the world here in NYC, but some of my favorite restaurants ever
are in SLO. McClintock's, Firestone, Woodstocks, Cisco's, Gus's Grocery, Fat
Cat's, Tiki Hut, etc. are all epic places to eat and have great character.

We did lots of lounging around on Saturday, and Saturday night we went to Pismo
Beach to hit the original ranch-style McClintock's restaurant. I think everyone
went with steaks for dinner (I had a filet mignon with bleu cheese) and there
were so many fixins on the table, we hardly even ate half of it. Onion rings,
potatoes, garlic bread, beans, etc. I was more than happy to gorge myself full
with that meal...

Sunday morning everyone departed and my dad made the long trip down to hang out
with me. It was another rainy morning, but it was much warmer than it had been
earlier in the weekend. Dad and I had another quality meal at the local grease
kitchen called Louisa's Place, another good old-fashioned restaurant.

My dad didn't know about all the wineries in Edna Valley, so we took a joy-ride
around the area and checked out a couple of them. I further refined my
semi-covered palate on this trip. I've never drinken much wine, but I learned
something about the varieties on this trip. My theory (hunch?) is that first
you have to figure out what types of wine you like. For me, I like the Pinot
Noir (yea, who's "Miles" now?) red wines and don't like the harsh (I'm dropping
wine-tasting terms like a Robb Report writer) reds like Syrah as much. I'm also
a fan of Riesling wines (I think). Once I have the categories down (this will
require further research, maybe NY wineries?), I'll need to start trying
different labels to refine what I'm tasting and what I like. But that'll have
to happen after the arch-expander comes out!

To make sure the weekend ended on a crazy note, I was about two minutes away
from missing my flight out of SLO. There was no one at the desk when I checked
in and when the worker finally came (I was only there a minute) she told me I
better run out or I'd miss the plane. She had to call them and tell them to
wait for me. Whew, that was a close one....

Monday, March 20, 2006


Does anyone have an Orkut social-networking account? I need an invitation so
that I can join Nike's new soccer social-networking site, (joga =
play, in Portuguese)!

Justinho, I've got updates later today...or tomorrow....

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Getting to know your friends

> 1. What time do you get up? 6:30 AM (EST)
> 2. If you could eat lunch with one person, who would it be? My brother.
> 3. Gold or Silver? Silver.
> 4. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Chronic-les of (what?)
> 5. What is/are your favorite TV show(s): American Idol (I'm embarrased), The
Office, Liverpool FC games.
> 6. What did you have for breakfast? Bob's Red Mill 10 Grain Hot Cereal.
> 7. What inspires you? Photographs.
> 8. What is your middle name? Riley (same as my dad's middle name).
> 9. Beach, City or Country? All of the above, depending on my mood.
> 10. Favorite ice cream? Ben and Jerry's Half Baked.
> 11. Butter, plain or salted popcorn? Salted.
> 12. Favorite color? White.
> 13. What kind of car do you drive? N.Y.C. Subway, used to drive the VW GTI.
> 14. Favorite sandwich? Turkey with cheese from Cisco's in SLO.
> 15. What characteristics do you despise? Lying.
> 16. Favorite flowers? Tulips are pretty cool.
> 17. Where would you like to go on vacation? Vienna and Finland
> 18 What color is your bathroom? Whitish (depending on when I cleaned it last)
> 19. Favorite brand of clothing? Mexx, Springfield, Rifle
> 20. To where would you retire? A small village in Europe
> 21. Favorite day of the week? Friday - short workday, long after-party
> 22. What did you do for your last birthday? Ate at an Italian restaurant in
the East Village, drank Absinthe
> 23. Favorite sport to watch? Football, and not the one with helmets.
> 24 Who do you least expect to send this back to you? Vas.
> 25. Person you expect to send it back first? A female.
> 26. What fabric detergent do you use? Some biodegradeable Ecover stuff.
> 27. Coke or Pepsi? Indifferent
> 28. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Night owl
> 29. Do you have any pets? Not anymore
> 30. What is your favorite season? Spring
> 31. Name as it appears on birth certificate? (removed for edit)

> 32. Nicknames? Haines, Hainers, Hainer-Nainer, Justy-bobo :o>
> 33. Number of candles on your last birthday cake? Probably 1.
> 34. Kids? Yes please.
> 35. Hair color? What's left is blonde.
> 36. Piercing? Considering it, but nothing yet.
> 37. Eyes? Blue
> 38. How much do you love your job? 7 out of 10.
> 39. Residence? Apartment in Manhattan.
> 40. Favorite Food? Weird fusion food and anything ethnical
> 41. Been outside US and where? Here and there: Tahiti, Slovakia, Poland,
Germany, Italy, Finland, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Hungary, Czech Republic,
Austria, Switzerland
> 42. Been toilet papering? Of course!
> 43. Have you ever been in love? What is love? Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt
me, no more. I think not.
> 44. Been in a car accident? Yes, no major injuries though.
> 45. Croutons or bacon bits? Croutons would be painful, so probably bacon bits.
> 46. Favorite saying or phrase? Sweet.
> 47. Favorite restaurant? Kuma Inn.
> 48. Favorite nonalcoholic drink? Organic juice (citrus excluded) with
carbonated water.
> 49. How many times did you fail your driver's test? Never.
> 50. Before this one, from whom did you get your last email? Spam.
> 51. Do you sing in the shower? Nope.
> 52. Which store would you choose to Max out your credit card? That would be
fiscally irresponsible, but it would probably be if someone put a gun to
my head.
> 53. What do you do most when you are bored? Watch Tivo'd recordings or blog.
> 54. Bedtime? 11:00pm.
> 55. Glass half empty or half full? Half empty.
> 56. Favorite movie/television character: Val Kilmer from The Saint
> 57. Favorite vacation spot of your youth: San Diego, Oregon, gradparent's
> 56. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? New York City
> 9. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CHIP FLAVOR? Kettle Chips Cracked Black Pepper
> 10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CD AT THE MOMENT? Probably Erykah Badu or Citizen
> 14. FAVORITE ITEM OF CLOTHING? My Palmeiras shorts and jersey
> 24. WHEN IS YOUR BIRTHDAY? 9/25/1977
> 25. WHEN IS YOUR ANNIVERSARY? 10/6, when I moved to NYC
Mammoth Mountain for a week this summer.
> 31. WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE LITTLE? Ball-boy or a dolphin
> 32. HOW ARE YOU TODAY? Busy and excited to go back to SLO for the weekend
> 33. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CANDY? Kinder chocolate
I go to the World Cup
> 37. SMALL THING YOU REALLY ENJOY? Children speaking foreign languages.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Dirty Jerseys

First of all, an awesome quote from one of my Jersey-residing coworkers (P&C, this one's for you): "After we went to the movies on Saturday, we went to Olive Garden for dinner with some friends. I talked my wife into trying the sangria and she loved it! It was so good that we went to Costco and bought sangria mix." Am I being snobby for laughing at this story?

If that wasn't snobby enough, I actually ventured off the island this weekend and went to Hoboken, Jersey for most of Saturday. They have an annual St. Patrick's Day party two weeks before the rest of the world celebrates it (why? Not really sure, but whatever). So I met up with Melissa and we hoofed it over to the other side of the Hudson. I've been there a total of one times since I moved here because it's....different. It's the complete antithesis to New York City, but some people like that, so that's their perogative. In any case, we got over there at about noon and we couldn't get into any of Hoboken's many bars because they were already full (and we were late). We met up with some of Melissa's friends after they emerged from one place and headed down to check out a place that supposedly had no line. We got in there, and it brought back memories of my night in Hoboken - cute, early-20's blonde white girls, frat boys, loud & obnoxious guys with heavy Jersey accents cussing and swearing, cigarette smoke filling the place (and subsequently filling my virgin lungs and requiring my wool cardigan to be dry-cleaned)....etc. And cheap drinks - no complaints for that one! I felt like I was in college again, except that I think I've matured a bit in the five years since then and prefer intellectual conversations and sipping (ahem!) sangria over playing drunk bingo where the winner is dubbed the @$$hole of the moment by the loud & obnoxious MC and is paraded around the place to their giggling glee with a cardboard sign around their neck. Sigh. Actually, I had a pretty good time with Melissa and her friends, but I'm more than happy to make this is a once-a-year-MAX event...

Justinho, more to come tomorrow....