Updates from July, 2010 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Ted Mann 4:05 pm on July 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Audio Post 

    • ge slow cookers 9:26 pm on June 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Others such as tomato paste, modified food starch, salt, yeast extract,
      caramel color, hydrolized soy protein, hydrolized yeast
      protein, beef fat, flavoring, hydrolyzed wheat gluten, dextrose are ingredients containing hidden MSG.
      Treat your family to delicious, easy-to-prepare Italian beef sandwiches.
      cup of organic beef juice (grease-extracted), preferably left-over from cooking a roast or prime rib.

    • bonnerweeks34840 1:59 pm on April 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      My father was Arthur Cappelen he was in vaudiville in the theatre and I know was a member of the Bainbridge Players in the Twin cities area of Minneso Click https://twitter.com/moooker1

  • Ted Mann 3:43 pm on April 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Meet Caroline 

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  • Ted Mann 3:17 am on November 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Testing new geolocation feature 

    Where’s my map?

  • Ted Mann 9:49 pm on May 11, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Mark Cuban, Buzz Bissinger, and blog backlash whiplash 

    It’s no great secret that there’s a blog backlash going on right now. Case in point: Buzz Bissinger ranting and raving about sports blogs. If you haven’t seen the clip of him lashing out at Deadspin’s Will Leitch, check it out — if only to glean just how rabid the anti-blog sentiment has become.

    Now, I’m a huge Bissinger fan. From “A Prayer for the City” to “Friday Night Lights,” he’s one of the nonfiction authors I most look up to. But his take on blogs — “blogs are dedicated to cruelty, blogs are dedicated to journalistic dishonesty, they’re dedicated to speed” — was one of the most poorly informed thought that has come out of his otherwise brilliant noggin.


    It’s not really worth delving into all the distortions Bissinger made on “Costas Now” — besides, he apologized and all but retracted his comments in a subsequent interview with Philly Mag (“Blog Battler Buzz Bissinger”) — but the incident only served to remind me of another blog crank, Mark Cuban, who sounded off about sports blogs back in March.

    The difference between the two, though, is that Cuban took on not just NBA bloggers, but also attacked larger phenomenon of newspaper blogs. Unlike the profanity-lace Bissinger belch, he had a well thought out argument, which he set forth, ironically enough, in his own blog, Blog Maverick.

    First, I should explain: I came upon Cuban’s rant while attending the “2008 Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism.” Like just about every other writer there, I wanted to mill about and network. In reality, though, this meant reading through brochures and reading blog feeds on my iPhone. Right before a seminar with the NYTimes.com gurus about their innovations in “new media,” I stumbled upon Cuban’s post. The title: “Blogging and Newspapers, a Lesson in How Not to Brand and Market.” It was effectively a rant against blogs in general — and the NY Times ones in particular.


    Same as with Bissinger, I have a huge degree of admiration for Cuban, who, cliched as it sounds, is a kind of Internet era renaissance man. 225px-mark_cuban_web_20_conference.jpgMicroSolutions, HDNet, Broadcast.com, Dallas Mavs — all that. I had the good fortune to hear him give the keynote address at BlogWorld Expo last November — as well as the less gratifying experience of watching him on “Dancing with the Stars” — and I think his blog is one of the best executive-authored ones out there. Plus, his own attempt to bankroll investigative business blogging, in the form of ShareSleuth, is truly innovative. (Read the Wired story about the venture if you haven’t already.) Obviously, the profit model for that site — i.e. Cuban trading on whatever dirt reporter Chris Carey digs up, before his investigations are officially made public — poses ethical dilemmas about as sketchy as the 1919 World Series, but it’s still an interesting experiment.

    OK, so all that said, Cuban’s assault on newspaper blogging was one of the most wrongheaded things I’ve read in the entire anti-blog backlash. Yes, it’s so idiotic that I’m still miffed about it months later. Needless to say, given that I’m posting about it to TurkeyMonkey — on a Sunday, no less — I can’t quite let the topic go.

    Now, you may wonder, hey, Ted, don’t you write a newspaper blog yourself? Yes. And aren’t you partly responsible for a network of 60+ blogs at The Journal News? Yes, on that count, too. And while being a kind of blog czar for a mid-sized newspaper in suburban New York obviously gives me a completely biased position, it’s also given me more than enough time to ruminate on the subject.


    My problem with Cuban — who briefly tried to ban all sports bloggers from the Dallas Mavs locker rooms, until the NBA overruled him — is that he misunderstands a few fundamental functions of newspaper blogs. Namely:

    1. Blogs are a secondary content management system, which is, almost inevitably, superior to the newspaper’s main CMS.

    2. Blogs come in all shapes and sizes — including reporter notebooks, analysis, commentary, link fests, and, yes, snarky cespools

    3. Thanks to truly robust mechanisms for comments, categories, tags, podcasts and RSS feeds, blogs represent one of the last, best ways for newspapers to elevate the overall funtionality of their sites.

    Which brings me to my other beef: It’s not just Mark Cuban (or Buzz Bissinger) who doesn’t get these things; indeed, most newspapers (present company included) fail to see them, too. Remarkably, the NY Times may be one of the only papers that appreciates (a) that blogs can be seen as a CMS, (b) that they can house all kinds of different content, and (c) that they should be integrating them into their website more, not less.

    After the break, I’ll explain more about how Cuban’s assertion that “a blog is a blog is a blog is a blog” is dead wrong, and that, likewise, publishers (newspaper, magazine or otherwise) who see them this way risk ignoring what may be the single greatest publishing innovation of the past 20 years.

    (More …)

  • Ted Mann 7:55 pm on November 25, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    One thing I’m thankful for: KT Tunstall 

    Ana, Gabe, and I swung by Roseland in NYC last Wednesday, the night before turkey day, to see the Scottish sweetheart in concert. Though I own both of her CDs and know most of the songs by heart, I’d only seen her perform once before, on the Today show. On that occasion, she’d done everything herself, laying down a dizzying number of guitar, beatbox, and woo-hoo samples to construct the background for “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree.” It was a virtuoso performance (I think you can still see it iTunes), but I was wondering if now, after all her success (i.e. “Suddenly I See” going from cool to ubiquitous to annoyingly overplayed — all in the span of about two months) she’d decided to finally hire a backup band. Amazingly, she hasn’t! Or at least, if she has, only the bongo drum player managed to make the trip across the Atlantic.

    There were also a couple background vocalists, but they really weren’t all that necessary. For half the songs, KT lay down her own voice for background vocals herself anyway. Watching her work her sampler magic was every bit as enthralling as the today show bit — only she sustained it for a good 90 minutes, all the while cracking jokes and cussing it up.

    If you every have a chance to see KT live, do it! Thank me later.

    In case I did a bad job of summarizing her one-man-band style, here’s a video of it in action:

  • Ted Mann 8:56 pm on May 31, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    I need to teach my nieces to swear 

    If only so we can have an exchange like this:

    The Landlord

    Although I’m sure that at least initially it would go something like this:

    The Landlord Out Takes

  • Ted Mann 1:23 am on May 27, 2006 Permalink | Reply  

    Hello world! 

    Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

    • Mr WordPress 1:23 am on May 27, 2006 Permalink | Reply

      Hi, this is a comment.
      To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

  • Ted Mann 9:09 am on October 5, 2005 Permalink | Reply  

    Hey Blog, Where You Been All These Months? 

    Neglecting your blog is like forgetting to write you thank-you cards after Christmas. You really want to be a responsible, thankful, attentive nephew, but if stuff comes up, eh, it can probably wait. And if you get a new job, move to a new city, buy a maddening money pit of a co-op apartment, and need to spend months scrambling to meet your hellacious deadlines and repair water damage — well, thank you’s and blog posts are permanently in the back seat. Maybe even the trunk, come to think of it.

    Which isn’t to say I’ve given up on my blogging instincts. No, sir-e. Just like those holiday cards, I’ve been meaning to post for months now, but with each passing day, the self-imposed pressure to make a really, really kick-ass, lightening-bolt-to-the-head, wham-bam-thank-you-mam post has been building. And, of course, I’m far too distracted by my now clinically depressed cats and still-under-construction apartment to focus long enough to meet my own unrealistic posting expectations.

    So it is that, somewhat unceremoniously, I’m returnign to WordPress with this little note. In all likelihood, all you TurkeyMonkey devotees out there have long since stopped reading this. But for the record, I’m back. Sort of. Posting sporadically, but hopefully more than once every five months.

    OK, time to go give it up to Plugs …

    • Ted 7:42 pm on October 7, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      Doh! Andy posted a comment here, but I accidentally deleted it on a spam-comment-deleting binge. Sorry, Andy.

  • Ted Mann 9:48 pm on June 8, 2005 Permalink | Reply  

    Potty Training for Kitties 

    The apartment that Ana and I are trying to buy in Hartsdale, New York, is beautiful, perfectly situated, and close to our jobs and family. But there is one drawback, and it’s a biggy: No place to put litter boxes.

    In our Philly apartment we had an unused back hallway that was the perfect place to stash kitty litter. It was almost too well suited — we ended up having upwards of three bins going at a time, just to cut down on our litter-scooping duties.

    Thankfully, my brother-in-law Dan is on the case. He just sent me a link to a blog called OhGizmo! (good name), which was plugging a new product called CitiKitty — a training seat that fits snugly on your toilet. You fill it with litter, give Mr. Jinx some stern instructions, and watch the magic.

    Here’s how CitiKitty’s website describes the product:

    Your cat naturally uses the CitiKitty training seat as its new litter box. Once your cat has adapted to the training seat you slowly begin removing the rings from the training seat reducing the amount of litter. As the rings are removed your cat will stand on the toilet seat for support and use the water below. After all rings are removed from the training seat your cat is toilet trained.

    At $30 (plus free shipping), how could I pass this up? My kitty toilet seat is already on the way. Thanks, Dan!

  • Ted Mann 9:22 pm on June 2, 2005 Permalink | Reply  

    The Five-Minute Fiasco 

    If you needed any more proof that this treasure hunt has gotten out of control, witness the last week.

    As you may already know from the posts below, we were in a mad scramble last week to get the second of the Treasure Trove tokens that had come into play (by we, by the way, I mean myself, Andy, and my brother Doug). We had deciphered the location of the snail token to be a park in Iowa, only an hour’s drive from my college buddy Craig. Alas, Craig didn’t make the drive, the token was found that night, and Andy’s brother arrived at the park around 2am to find the tree already looted.

    So, you’d think that with two tokens found, maybe things would calm down. I was certainly hoping so, given that I was planning a Memorial-day weekend trip to Vermont, starting a new job the next week, and moving to Westchester. Well, when the treasure hunt rains it pours.

    Almost the minute snail was discovered, the Internet boards starting chattering about the next tokens. On my last day of work at Penn Press, the caterpillar code was cracked. Then later that Friday, on the drive to Vermont, my cell phone was ringing off the hook with news that bee and butterfly were all but confirmed, too. Suddenly this hunt, which seemed interminable, had been cracked wide open.

    Dinner in DorsetWe spent the first day in Vermont relaxing with friends. Andy and I felt the constant urge to check the treasure-hunter websites and work on the book, but we resisted, knowing that our wives were already on a short fuse. If a nearby location was discovered, we’d need our women to be as sympathetic as possible.

    Then, on Sunday morning, I got up an hour early, headed straight to the computer, and there it was: The grasshopper location. JBAIRDSP. James Baird State Park, New York. Some nudnik from the west coast had basically posted the solution because, as I think he put it, “I can’t get a plane flight, so good luck. Go and get it! Last one to the token is a rotten egg.” This for the fourth most valuable jewel, valued at about $50k!

    Whatever his reasons, I quickly deciphered the solution method, called Doug (who lives only an hour from that park), and mobilized the troops. The wives were predictably annoyed, but when my friend Matt decided to come along (not because he thought we’d find anything, I believe, but just because he was amused at how worked up Andy and I were), they agreed to let us go for it. The girls would get to spend the day shopping in Manchester, sans naysaying husbands; the guys would get to search for a gold token, sans whining wives. The only odd person out was my mom, but she decided to come along for the ride — to ratchet up my level of anxiety and frustration, I suppose. The one thing I distinctly remember, before departing, was that I doubled back for some coffee. As I walked in to fill my travel mug, Ana said, “Ted, you know that if you’re five minutes too late, it’ll be because of your coffee addiction.”

    Doug got to the park around noon and immediately got to work. He found a map, matched the vine fragment to one of its trails, and began searching for a tree in that general area. The map was a perfect match, but the trees in that area didn’t seem to match any of the ones pictured in the book. Doug got really antsy when he ran into not one, not two, but about four other groups of people searching for the token. One family was from Louisiana; another guy had flown in the day before from Seattle, and he’d been searching ever since. Knotholes were being shredded, every inch of the nearby forest was inspected, people began to give up their searches.

    All of this was relayed to me through about 20 cut-off cell phone calls. Doug’s reception at the park was weak, and our service driving from Vermont and down the Taconic was even worse. Even Andy’s trusty GPS companion, who goes by the name Lauren, kept getting thrown off course. We stopped for a map of the park, but couldn’t find one; we took a wrong turn down a dirt road, foolishly ignoring Lauren; and we kept hitting traffic. Everything took longer than it should have, and by the time we exited for the park, Doug said he’d meet us at the parking lot and turn over the search (he had an annoyed wife of his own waiting at home, along with two screaming babies).

    True to his word, Doug was waiting for us next to the parking lot. I’d expected him to be disappointed, but his appearance was downright crestfallen. As we walked towards the park’s rest area, he said, “You’re five minutes too late.” I shook my head in confusion. “They just found it,” he said.

    Then I looked beyond him, towards the women’s bathroom where a young couple was jumping and cheering in a delirious dance. As we soon learned, jurzeyfresh (as I know him from tweleve.org) and his girlfriend Kristin had arrived at the park just like Doug. They’d gotten a tip from another Twelever named Packimocity (coincidentally, the first person to decipher the dragonfly token location, but not the person to find the token), who had also checked the message board that morning. They’d all driven to the park ASAP and just as they were about to pack it in, like Doug, Kristen noticed a tree right outside the women’s rest area. It didn’t look obviously like one from the book, but she saw a knothole about seven feet up. Worth a look, right? Sure enough, the grasshopper token was there for the taking.

    Grasshopper TokenWe stumbled around the park for a few minutes, consoling ourselves with the thought that at least we hadn’t flown across the country or driven all this distance with our disgruntled wives in tow. Doug drove back to White Plains dejected, bracing himself for the tongue lashing Tara was sure to give him. We stopped for lunch, and while dining, my mom ran out to a jewelry store so that, even if we didn’t have a emerald-encrusted grasshopper, at least we could give our wives a cheap substitute. Ana got a turtle pin, Gwynne got a pill box with rabbits on top, and Katie got a ceramic butterfly (which at least had the advantage of being an actual Treasure Trove creature).

    The girls were in a relatively good mood when we got back, and aside from a few angry outbursts the next day, Ana forgave me the trip. I’m not sure I’ll be able to forgive her that comment, though. Unless the spider or beetle solutions miraculously come to me in the next day or so, this will have been my only decent shot at claiming a token (and jewel). And even if they do, plane flights will be necessary. That line will forever ring in my treasure-tormented head: “If you’re five minutes too late … five minutes too late … five minutes.”

    A not so flattering picture of me and the lucky girl who found the token.

    Andy’s rendering of the crime scene. Click for an enlarged version. (That dude to the right of me is the one that flew from Seattle.)

    • Korey 12:08 am on June 3, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      That sucks…sorry, Turkeymonkey

    • Anderw Diller 1:39 am on June 3, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      I will never forget that trip:

      – racing down the Taconic parkway, weaving in and out of traffic, with:
      – your mom and you arguing over minor puzzle esoterica
      – Lori the mecahnical disembodied voice of the GPS scolding me for jumping off the Taconic
      – Doug calling every 10min and killing the GPS (both on my Treo650 Phone)
      – Matt chilling and reading HHGTTG
      – Me praying that the NY cops were taking a break that Memorial Day for speed traps
      – Ted telling everyone in the car to memorize all the pictures of the trees

      Even though we didn’t get thr token, we got a small piece of the hunt. It was way better than sitting at home pondering the puzzle….

    • Gwynne 7:53 am on June 3, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      …..but was it better than snagging some designer bargains?

    • Andrew Diller 9:33 am on June 3, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      Yeah, maybe not, there were some killer sales going on at Coach and the Maidenform outlets!

    • Andrew Diller 9:36 am on June 3, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      I was going to cast that extended weekend as a “Plugs Retreat” but then realized that didn’t quite encompass Ana or Katie, but then I thought, ah, so what, Rome wasn’t built in a day. They will post eventually. I really want to hear some gross doctor stories from them.

    • BRENTLER 3:22 pm on June 18, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Ted,
      I left you a message on the Tweleve forum last week and I see it hasn’t been picked up. I’m Princess_Grasshopper (Kristin’s) mom. I thoroghly enjoyed reading the story you wrote and hearing another perspective of the hunt on May 29th, plus viewing your pictures. Hope next time you’ll be more successful!
      P.S. My husband loves his coffee too!

    • fred (packimocity) 11:54 am on June 20, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      super story, ted
      I remember (vaguely) meeting you amidst all of the confusion and excitement

      Is it normal to feel now (and at the park) pangs of “guilt” for all those who missed a token by minutes, hours, or days even?
      I assume it is merely human nature, the cheer for the underdog, etc.

      I sincerely wish everyone could get some small “token” of participation in this Unique venture.

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