Sunday, December 11, 2005


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Theo Epstein

Theo Epstein's 1st Press Conference

Sports  talk these days in Boston center around Red Sox General Manager Theo
Epstein's Press Conference. The resignation comes as a surprise and still is
baffling Red Sox fans and critics, but with a little investigative work, you'll
find that Theo has done this kind of thing before. Here's the abbreviated Transcript of his
earlier Press conference from 1990.

Nov 1, 1990 Brookline, Massachusetts


“First, I want to thank Ray Kroc and Ronald McDonald for the opportunity to serve as Lead Fry Cook for the last three semesters. Their support and friendship mean a lot to me, and I wish them all well. I also owe a debt of gratitude to the Servers, the dishwashers,the pickup window staff, the prep chef, and the Big Mac, shake and fries lovers for making my McDonalds experience so meaningful.

“Growing up in the shadow of  the Golden Arches, I never dreamed of having the chance to work for a local fast food franchise during such an historic period.

“My decision not to return as Fry Cook of the Brookline McDonalds is an extremely difficult one. I will always cherish the relationships I developed here and am proud to have worked side-by-side with so many great people, in and out of uniform, as together we brought great burgers to Boston.

“In my time as Fry Cook, I gave my entire heart and soul to the organization. During the process leading up to today’s decision, I came to the conclusion that I can no longer do so. In the end, my choice is the right one not only for me but for my complexion as well.

“My affection for the hamburgers did not begin three semesters ago when I started working here, and it does not end today. I will remain on the job changing saturated oils for several days as we finalize preparation for next week’s kitchen staff meetings. Thereafter, I will make myself available to the new fry cook to ensure a smooth and stable transition.

“My passion for and dedication to Fries, Vanilla Shakes and Big Macs with Cheese remain strong. Although I have no immediate plans, I will embrace this change in my life and look forward with excitement to the future.”


Press Conference

Q: Theo when you came here three semesters ago, obviously with a clean complexion, …basically I think everybody would like to know from your standpoint what happened here and why are you no longer the Lead Fry Cook of the Brookline McDonalds Franchise?

Well what happened, to answer your question broadly, is I think we had a lot of success as a burger joint together over the last three semesters and we cooked a lot of great meals  together....that doesn’t disappear at all with me leaving.

McDonalds remain a very, very strong franchise, with very sound leadership, and we’ll be serving billions more  going forward. As I said in the statement, in the end, this is a job you have to give your whole meat and potatoes to, you have to devote yourself to fries completely. You have to believe in every aspect of fried food . And in the end, after a long period of reflection about myself and my complexion, and the time, I decided I could no longer put my whole heart and soul into it.

Q: Was there anything that could have been done at all to you to stay?

In the end, no. We had many talks about schedules and tasks, who would man the fry stations, who flips the burgers and pours the shakes.

Q: When you met with us after the season, it seemed like your heart and soul was in it. What happened (since then)?

There was a pimple, and when I turned the microscope on the pimple  and on my complexion,, we all felt that to do this, you had to pop the pimple. You had to really pop it. And that process was very difficult. I think a lot of good came from that process. There were a lot more of blackheads that probably should have been Oxycleaned a long time ago, but in the end, you asked what changed, the pimple revealed that I could not put my whole heart and soul into the fryolator at this time.

Q: Do you have a good relationship with Ronald (McDonald)?

Yeah. My relationship with Ronald is one that spanned about 14 years. I started eating burgers at age 2. We’ve had a very successful Happy Meal relationship. I think Ronald and I like each other. As with any long relationship, there are complexities, there are zits and abscesses, there are occasionally times where you have yearnings for Burritos and Chinese Food. But in the end, I want what’s best for Ronald. I wish him well in the future. When I look back, he’s done a lot for me. In the end, 30 years from now when I look back on my relationship with Ronald McDonald, I’m gonna see it as a positive influence in my life.

Q: Theo it almost sounds like you have a little burn out, does this mean you’ll step away from fast food…?

No, I am not burned out. As I said in the statement, I have tremendous passion for the burgers. I have a tremendous dedication to fries and shakes.  I work hard, but I enjoy it and I’m not at all burned out.

Q: Do you see yourself returning in five to 10 years in (a similar) position?

With Mcdonald's? Well again, the decision right now is that it’s the right thing  and obviously it’s not a decision I take lightly. Hopefully I will  graduate from High School and I wouldn’t rule anything out, but for right now the difficult decision is to walk away.

Q: Theo (you said) there were no chain of command issues… was there some component of your relationship with Ronald McDonald that caused you to decide that continuing was untenable…?

It’s not fair to attribute my decision to any one french fry or burger or any one person. There were many all beef patties that went into this decision and it’s not something I ate lightly. It was not a snap reaction, it was not… indeed it was not a single order of fries. 

I’m not concerned with my legacy at all. I’m concerned with frying  the right potato when I work as a fryer, in the capacity of Lead Fry Cook, I’m in charge of building a a french fry, maintaining that crispiness and handing out as many  ketchup packets as possible every year, as many double orders as possible.

--end transcript---

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Re: Intel?-MacTel

So folks, by now you know that Apple and Intel are all lovey dovey and will likely bring us dual 3-4 ghz machines by this time next year. then Leopards will be pouncing on 'em- I predict in Dec. 2006 we'll be seeing spots. The WWDC Keynote is up on Apple's site and though there's a treacly hesitation about this transition but if you're using a G5 (like me) and Tiger (like me) you'll know that it probably won't make a lick of difference to the person at the keyboard. Tiger is wonderful on a fast machine and pretty excellent on the G4's as well. It's slick and elegant. So who cares about the chip except folks who hate Intel (there's always a curmudgeon for every announcement) , I have no doubt that this transition will help build new machines faster and lighter...And just remember code for Intel will run on AMD chips if Intel starts to suck. Freescale and IBM currently compete for Apple innards and though they haven't delivered cooler faster processors as predicted-they are great ( A G5 chip is almost a parallel processor in itself). With new Technology the next best thing is just around the corner. (esp. with Apple- with MS it's down the street -around the block-make a left-stop at the light-go right -down the alley-there it is!) The big surprise is that you can order a developer Intel box (oop I almost wrote G5) today and get one in two weeks (with caveats- you are kinda borrowing the machine).

So the transition, despite what you may read on eWeek or Cnet etc. will be what it is -for the record the best thing ever to come out of Apple (Hardware/Software and IDE) was the Newton. And that chip (the ARM) came from Intel .....


On Jun 6, 2005, at 10:44 AM, benjamin lowengard wrote:

> big buzz all weekend, i speculated somewhere that Apple was building > an Intel based 2 button mouse thus combining 2 rumors in 1...we'll > know in a couple hours... > here's my hirsute (as opposed to astute) speculation: > > 1) intel starts ppc fabrication? > 2) apple has new intel based i/o box- for HDvideo?? for Audio > 3) Apple switching to Intel x86 could be intense (transition wise) but > I'm not sure how that would sit with developers. > 4) Apple Announces 8 cpu 64 bit AMD processor add on card for g5. > (just kidding) > > Just remember- BeOS vs NeXT purchase (surprise) at macworld '96 - > > verrrry interesting..... > > On Jun 6, 2005, at 10:12 AM, Alex Lowengard wrote: > > >> Ben, >> >> What have you heard about Jobs thinking of going to Intel? >> >> Sasha >> >> > >

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Fwd: "Regarding Case Number SRX050520601098-1"

Hi A******,
Satisfied is not quite the word I'd use. Close the case but read the stuff below.
For the record I'm an Apple/Linux/Windows consultant...and this machine
(a client's laptop) was riddled with problems despite a previous Tech(from Microcenter)
working on it for a month. Only took me three days...btw Microsoft's DSO exploit
fix, fixed nothing..I fixed everything after booting it on a linux disk and deleting a LOT of strange 
files in the IE folders. Problems with WIndows updaters seemed to 
exasperate the issue....

details pre-blog post below...

I've been battling a a virus ridden/exploit compromised laptop
running windows 2000 for a couple days. Seriously, I wanted to( and should have )
 backed it up and wiped it out, but i had cleaned out the viruses with a bunch of PC tools
(spy-bot with dso exploit update and MS spy beta and a linux boot disk with antivirus tools),
then as a precaution I ran win2000 upgrade over the machine, to insure a nice
orderly OS which got everything back to normal....almost.

Seems that the one thing I had problems with was I.E.6  which would work fine until I updated it
with MS security updates. After the restart from MS's update site I  found IE wouldn't connect
-infact it would peg  the CPU  to 100%. Killing iexplore.exe would stop the burgeoning process
and let me get back to work on it.  I checked for exploits again, but the machine
was clean. Everything else seemed to behave normally. I downloaded Firefox to see if some Internet/Web/OS problem was going on. Firefox worked immediately..but of course MS updates only work from IE. 

Hmmm, I found an I.E. removal tool, and then (from the MS forums) a pointer to download 
the "complete" I.E. 6.1 update into a folder eliminating the need to update it from System Updates. (all of this fits on a 128 mb USB harddrive- amazing!)

So I deleted IE and reinstalled it. Success! I went to finish the updates at Microsoft.
Same problem.

, there's a phone number to call MS if you have problems with system updates...
I thought I would give them a call. So I did, and after two forwarding customer service departments
I finally got a a guy on the phone. I explained the situation and said i didn't want to wipe
it out and reinstall since I had spent so much time on this- and that the failures came after
the security updates were applied. I had fervently checking the insidious DSO exploit which is
a nasty nasty hole in IE. Satisfied that this was gone, I just wanted to fix what seemed like some minor
bug in IE. I figured Microsoft did have a scripted technique which addressed this problem.
I did tell the guy that if I had to reinstall everything, alright, but 
I was implicitly NOT trying to do that.
He reassured me I would NOT have to do this.
After about an hour and a half of troubleshooting (I had to hold the guy off some of the routine stuff
I had already done to expedite the repair) he had me boot from the 2000 cd, and go into the repair
routine. Great, I thought, I'm going to find a quick trick to fix this from the repair menu. 
Nope, He had me click into a reinstall routine which essentially made me reinstall all the system
files back into the machine for a second time.  Actually- this was worse, since it pretty much
killed the work I had put into it from the first upgrade I did. 

reloading, it comes back up (45 minutes later) and he directs me to open I.E. and down load the SP4 update.
IE opens and he directs me to Microsoft's downloads page and I click on the sp4 download.
A window opens but it doesn't trigger a download it just sits there- blank. I try it again- nothing.
and then he says: Close I.E. and Use Firefox to download the update. 

Whereupon I said: "What? Why don't you get your supervisor on the phone with us and repeat that
you want me to load MS SP4 update with Firefox."

The phone went dead for a couple of minutes and a supervisor got on the line. I told him I was 
out of time for now and to have someone call me back to finish this repair. SP4 is like 134 mb
and I had an appointment I needed to make. so I set up a second call for 4:30pm  in the afternoon.
Meanwhile SP4 had downloaded, and I left it installing  so I could reboot the machine when I got back. 
I asked them to forward me the trouble ticket via email. 

When I returned home and I did get a call from Microsoft (albeit 45 minutes after the appointed call back time but not before I replied to the ticket mail asking about the 4:30 call)

The Tech on the phone said he was going to help me fix this right away. I explained much of this
story to him and since I had installed SP4 I ran the System update while we were talking ( I was encouraged that it was working). So I reboot after 40 System updates (and that wasn't ALL of them) 
Go back to get the rest of the updates and guess what. 
IE doesn't work. FireFox still does...but I have to force quit I.E.

Same problem in Safe mode as well.Since it was already another hour and half wasted, I had to get off the phone and frankly, my patience, at this point, was contained by only a micron of restraint. Another phone appointment is set up for Monday.  

But I'm not going to wait, I'm gonna fix this even if I have to back it up and wipe everything. 
Still, If the Techsupport folks at MS said that I could only fix it with backup wipe and restore- I would have said  "OK", and done just that. But each one said - "no, you won't have to do that"

There's no moral here yet....I'm dumping a bunch of cache files from IE right now and I'll see if that helps
(I doubt it) . 

Begin forwarded message:

From: Compass Rule Manager <******>
Date: May 29, 2005 3:36:22 PM EDT
Subject: "Regarding Case Number SRX********-1"

******* The following is an email for a support case from Microsoft Corp.
******* DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE--your email will not be added to 
******* the case if you do.  Instead, FORWARD your response to the
******* email address ******@MICROSOFT.COM and place your text after
******* the keyword 'MESSAGE:'.  Also, delete all other text above 
******* and below the keywords 'CASE_ID_NUM: SRnnn' and 'MESSAGE:' 
******* to ensure proper delivery of your email.  Thank you.

CASE_ID_NUM: SRX**********-1
********************** The message for you follows ************************
Hi Ben,

I have been trying to contact you regarding your recent technical support incident with Microsoft Windows. I am sorry I was unable to contact you. 

I trust you were  satisfied with the technical support you received. Please don't hesitate to call us if you have any concerns about your case.1-800-936-5700.

Thank you for choosing Microsoft.


A**** ****
Team Manager
Microsoft Windows 2000

Benjamin Lowengard

Monday, January 17, 2005

Skinny on the Mini

Here I am again, responding after MacWorld05-now that the Apple pundit/evangelist/rumor sites have had their say. here's mine: I suggest you go to Apples' website and take a look at the keynote. Not very exciting but you can at least scroll through the boring parts and take a look at the demos. Obviously Steve is selling Apple in his usual way-black turtleneck, paced very carefully, i was hoping for as "under the seat" surprise like the wireless toilet-seat iBooks I saw in NY MacWorld one year. No such luck but some nice things did show. SOFTWARE iWork (Keynote 2 & Pages) (word processing app) Hooray! Keynote is great and the one thing it is lacking is useful text editing. The "Appleworks" folks can stay with Appleworks if they need a spreadsheet, I don't need one. Integration with the iLife apps looks promising. Output Keynote to Flash...? this means Pages will be your simple html editor. Since I'm a fan of Create and Composer (and NVu) I welcome the competition for simplifying this stuff. iLife 05 (iDVD 5, Garageband 2, iMovie HD, iTunes 4.7) The iLife suite is a great and cool suite of Applications. Like the iPod it introduces people to Apple software, which if needed scales to Pro Apps very well : iDVD to IDVD Studio, Garageband to Logic, IMovie to Final Cut, iTunes 4.7 to ??(iTivo?)??. Ok, you have to ditch your sub 1.25ghz iMacs to really use these applications (see below) and a DVD drive is useful. But since this is included with new Macs-everyone has the tools for rudimentary file editing- be they pdf,txt,jpg,html, etc... Final Cut Express HD -A nice upgrade and includes Soundtrack-precurser to Garageband, but a little more powerful. iPod shuffle $99 dollars for an iPod? cool. Mac mini $499 for an Apple CPU with iLife05? sure to get more memory, bluetooth, airport card, the combo drive- the faster cpu--uh oh- better look at that iMac G5 again. Really, I'm hoping Apple treats this as the loss leader it can be. Sure you can build your own *nux box inside a Shuttle case but this is so well constructed, technology folks will just salivate. --- So I wait for more stuff to come along: Griffin Technologies released an awesome number of peripherals this week, and NAMM is coming up -that may be interesting as well. I just ordered an Alesis Micron- from what I hear this is the coolest keyboard anywhere. more on this later... O

Monday, January 10, 2005

Solutions and Problems

Owlgarden People who know me well also know that I am no friend to Corporate greed and short-sightedness toward Energy policy, Employee responsibility (formerly known as loyalty), and the exploitation of third world industry in order to better the bottom line of an accounting sheet presented here in America. There are lots of problems with America, especially perceived if you're a liberal who has compassion toward all the hungry and impoverished people here and elsewhere around the globe. Industries like Automotive, Tobacco, and Petroleum corporations are failing the American people with their lack of motivation to address these issues and , by way of their international sales, this also fails the rest of the world . Our republican administration seems to want it this way by supporting corporations as if they were wealthy individuals- not as an infrastructure to our economy, letting these corporations perform terrible acts of irresponsibility toward the environment, and forgetting that generations following us will be left with a deathly planet of poison and disease. Rather than complain endlessly about this arrogant attitude (which I do elsewhere on this blog) I propose doing a bunch of stuff to help forward the cause of building a New World Order, not THAT New World Order based on terror politics in the Middle East and Asia, but replacing the conservative policies of our government with that of a peaceful initiative, future forward looking policies, and the rebuilding the attitudes of Energy, Health, Education, Transportation, and Media Industries toward a more social corporate responsibility. First off, you cannot blame American people for smoking. The key problem here is the tobacco industry and the failure of FDA to ban nicotine as a problematic ingredient. It is obvious to me, as a smoker, that I would smoke way less without the addictive qualities of nicotine, and probably not smoke tobacco at all if other substances of less addicting qualities were legalized. I find it weird that as a smoker who would like to quit, the government is not taking responsibility in this. I mean, the government should be telling the tobacco companies to shape up or pick up the tab. All instances of litigation of the 90's -billions of dollars - were mishandled and abused-dumped into lame-ass programs hardly benefitting anyone but the lawyers. The government has to step up and strike the industry where it hurts- and that's in the addictive fuel of nicotine. How do you do this? 1) Declare nicotine a controlled substance on the level of Cocaine and heroine. 2) Create a policy of 0% Nicotine in non prescribed products. 3) Let the tobacco companies continue the business but give them a time line to eliminate the nicotine in their products. 4) Encourage Big tobacco to grow Big cannabis instead. Why cannabis? Because it is economically sound to grow and has far more useful purpose in producing cloth, paper, and oils than tobacco has. Legalize it, don't criticize it. Secondly, There should be NO tolerance for lowering gasoline and industrial emissions standards at all. SUVs burning less than 25 miles per gallon should taken OFF THE ROAD. Trucks should be forced to comply with equivalent standards as well, and conversion to alternate energy propulsion systems must start today. . There are dark days ahead if this is not done now. We have the technology to build personal and industrial technologies that don't pollute and Americans will have to learn to move a little slower for the sake of the world. If America does this so will the rest of the world. This I know. Third, We have to change what we are teaching children. The Republicans and the Democrats seem to think that Arts, Music and Sports aren't that important compared to math scores and reading comprehension tests. By requiring schools to meet some politicized standard for learning isn't learning- it is Pavlovian training. Creativity through multiple means of expression, coordinating resources among communities rather than forcing them to compete for funds (children being the victim in this case) is not right. We have to turn this around and make Arts, Music and Sports the conduit for Math and Reading and social learning. We are in a society that is short on long term achievement and long on short term attention span. And we reward this. Growth, in a child, is combined process of society, parenting, learning by doing, and experiencing positive behaviors in peers and adults. Fourth and lastly, We are predisposed to some ancient Judeo/Christian ethic that does not reflect our society as a whole. Indeed, where our founders established freedom of religion as long as it was their religion to practice freely. People need their religion in order to cope with their own personal issues but in America we should not tolerate the demands of any particular religious morality- which by itself often is defined by a political infrastructure. All Americans have a right to believe what they choose to believe in, regardless of the Government. This includes Buddhists, Atheists, Polytheists, Satanists, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Sun worshippers, what have you... The government cannot discern between these cultures, nor should it referred to on our money, in our courts, or in government institutions anywhere. Time to take your religion home and to your preferred temple. Don't try to proselytize me, I have my own relationship with my own peculiar Godhead and I won't try to convert you either. I have more to say on how we should change our America -Today I see a decadent society starting to tumble into calamity and our nationalistic attitudes reek of fascism and exploitation with our own population and in the world at large. Time to change this now. Revolution starts at home. -Owlgarden

Saturday, January 08, 2005

America 2004

this was a response to a friend about impressions of 2004 events: war, baseball, elections, etc.... it is unfinished and also (obviously) encouraged by Alan Ginsberg, may he rest in peace, (thanks to rocktripper ( for the Jelly Roll Beat stuff, them cats is cool) america I'm breathing and there is phlegm in my lungs america I've decided that my tomorrow isn't any more important than your yesterday - so here we are right now america i'm inundated with market strategy, branding, targeted sales, personalized credit cards and classical hits advertising a gas guzzling monster truck and a 50 inch tv america I block out the noise with my ipod, don't mug me for it america I am fundamentally christian in a fundamentally christian nation, raging christian values against other religious fundamentalists america, the reality is bleak but it's in high definition as long as you don't show any tits america my boys and girls are dieing on foreign soil we are defending a nation that doesn't exist - where they have a reason to hate me america I'm promiscuous, fucking the small potatoes into french fries, serving them up with an obese and greasy breakfast combination america I got my bikini waxed and i've been liposucked into the somebody i wanted to be america see my blog for more information, google my picture, steal my identity but don't ask for my social security number america i am a right click to make it my desktop and you're forensically searching my files, america would you verify this information with me before you send me a gmail invation america I wonder about nuclear bombs and how are they doing, how do they feel so unused and alone america I voted for the guy who didn't get elected, i should move to Ohio america you sold me heroin for cheap, and i can shoot-up a twenty-four hour hard-on with it and a little extra cialis america i want to be a patriot, a designated hitter, i liked being a red sox fan when they were underdogs, now i like the iraqi america i have the whole 1993 season on four dvds and the extra bits and bloopers are great america i get all my news from a late night talk show host, i stepped up to the window and you served me and thanks for the toy, i think i'll collect them all america the aids quilt isn't big enough to cover africa america i murdered my child, my wife, i had a boat that should have taken me to china or at least let me sail away from a setting sun america i am your terrorist, in your waking dream, your cold sweat on the pillow, behind your locked doors, living your catholic pornography, I'm your jew nigger fairy putting a jaw with teeth under your pillow america i am freely speaking america i am in your classroom, sitting in the back, waving my hand trying to get your attention, and you call on me and then march me down to the principals office america i'm downloaded, america i'm standing on a beautiful shore, on a beautiful morning, and wave of sadness rises up out of the ocean america excuse me i have to blow my nose

Friday, January 07, 2005

Unpredictable Apple

Here's my blog post for today on Apple.... If you're a rumor junkie like I am- trying to detect just what old Steve Jobs will announce next weekis a great game. This week has been amazing - today Apple stock jumped 4+ to just shy under 70. Yesterday Servers were publicly released with 2.3 gig g5s and a faster buss (and top off at 1.2 gig sata internally), Xsan boxes are shipping. Imagine connecting your 5 G5 FCProHD Edit suites to an Xsan sitting on top a 36 terabyte disk array (not just Apple's array either-Sun boxes/IBM/etc can be added to the just plug them in.. 10.3.7 was released last week and they dropped the price by 200$ on all the Displays. Rumors are motorboating along and its propellor is Apple suing the rumor mills. HAH! what does this mean? Apple did this last year and I remember Macworld 2004 being a bit underwhelming. Lots of rumors (Apple pda mainly) This year there will probably be lots of whelm. rumor count: 1) Apple Phone with itunes (motorola alludes to this), 2) a G4 rectangle headless box (rumor lawsuit material) 3) Flash Pods (2 gig solidstate? or 5 gig mini or 80 gig pods? Beatle ipod (that's my own rumor)(lawsuit) ? 4) a new 17" monitor? (for the switchers) 5) A fw i/o box for garageband users? I hope so... 6) Appleworks and Keynote and ??? as iWork suite (where goeth MS Office?) Office for the rest of us... 7) Plus there will be talk about X.4 Tiger (uh, NDA alarm on) Maybe a date set... some great stuff is in Tiger: widgets, Core DATA, Automator (you gotta see this )Spotlight, Safari all in 64 bit(? maybe..I'm sure the kernel will be 64 bit)- Finally data to saturate the bus. 8) Steve Jobs CEO at Disney? 9) Aqueducts discovered on Mars? and I think Wednesday's Apple financials will be amusing as well... And though Microsoft is still King, it's a one eyed King, and Apple seems to have 2 or 3 eyes. if this isn't amusing enough Folks, read the transcripts for the CES keynote with Conan O'Brian and Bill Gates. (demo gods were not kind to Bill again) Conan Rules! please note I bcc'd a bunch of folks on this message be kind! happy nu b