There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune



I love technology (II)

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My buddy Faceman points me to a pedometer which piggybags on google maps, allowing me to chart my loop in the park (which turns out to be almost exactly a mile - nice).

Google maps is the best. True dat; double true.


I love technology

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This is extremely cool. An artificial intelligence specialist has created a web application which, using what appears to be an inductive pattern associator, allows one to discover what one should read next. Go ahead, enter your favourite author, and you will see a map showing what other readers of that author like to read. Apparently, because I like Vonnegut, I should be reading Palahniuk. And you can do the same for movies. Unfortunately, there is no significant English documentation describing methodology.

Hat tip: Tyler Cowen.


Everyone talks about the weather. . .

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. . . but nobody does anything about it. And cliches are cliches because they tend to be true.

After 8 years in San Francisco, I'm glad to be back in a land where there are actual seasons. However, the displaced Californian must learn to adjust to seasonality's concomitant inconveniences.

Istanbul is hot. At times, very hot.

I have to wait until 8 pm before going for a run. And I am finding it increasingly difficult to adhere to my old standards of dress. My old boss Swojo will be dismayed to learn that I have all but abandoned the tie. I had a meeting this week wherein the clients showed up in linen shirts and I immediately thanked the Lord and pulled off my tie. I have, moreover, begun to wear polo shirts to work on occasion(!) I mean, what's the point of bringing a jacket to work if you can't wear it outside since you'll start sweating like a Frenchman? Nevertheless, I agonized about this decision, and I report it to you with pangs of shame and self-doubt. And I fervently hope that such compromises do not portend a significant moral or professional decline.


Bogus study

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The bean-counters at Mercer Consulting have deemed Istanbul to be the 15th most expensive city in the world for expats (in a tie with Paris). New York is ranked 10th, London 5th, and San Francisco 34th.

I don't trust their methodology. If I am interpreting their index correctly, they suggest that London is merely 19% more expensive than Istanbul, and 30% more expensive than San Francisco. I assure you, this is not true. London makes New York seem a bargain. My observation suggests that it is at least 30% more expensive than New York, which is in turn 30 or 40% more expensive than San Francisco.* At current exchange rates, Istanbul is far cheaper than any of these cities.

I wouldn't move to London unless I was filthy stinking rich, and even then, I wouldn't.

*Assuming your lifestyle consists of big pimpin, spendin cheese. Y'all know how I roll.


Luddites

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One thing I can't stand is the type of person who refuses to use a technology merely because his default attitude is to habitually resist change.

It was twenty years ago today that "La mano de dios" affected an important international sports event, resulting in the wrong team advancing. By now, both the NHL and NFL have perfected the use of video replay, to the advantage of their respective sports. Why does FIFA insist on not using the available technology? At the risk of generalizing from anecdotal evidence, this is symptomatic of the difference between the dynamist North American/New Europe world view and the backward-looking, change-resistant Old European attitude.

I may be a curmudgeon, but I throw my hat in firmly with the dynamists.


World Cup? What World Cup?

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Look, as big a hoopla as there is about the World Cup, one doesn't drink out of it.  Nobody ever punted the World Cup into a swimming pool, or took it to an establishment where women disrobe, or baptized their child in it .  I bet most of you don't know what it even looks like - I sure as hell don't.

But tonight Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals is being played, a remarkable event due to the fact that the Edmonton Oilers were all but written off just last week.  I bet my buddy Young Cheese is losing his head right now. 

So the most recognized trophy in the world now rests upon one game, winner take all. 

Go Oil.


Language and sport

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For the record, although we at "Taken At The Flood" seek to maintain an elevated level of civilized discourse, it is our mother (PSBN) who has seen fit to introduce the colourful colloquialism "bollocks".

This is symptomatic, I think, of World Cup passion.

PS: to J, who thinks a gash above an eye is a big deal, Ryan Smyth a few weeks ago came back to skate after losing three teeth in the prior period and taking some thirty stitches. I also site the fellow who scored a winning goal with a broken nose and replied to a curious reporter "you don't skate on your nose". Listen, everyone agrees: hockey people are tough.


TravelBlog: London

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One would assume I would be surrounded by English fans right now, but at the moment, Trinidad-Tobago fans outnumber us.

I'm a hockey fan, so I like to think that footballers are a bit pansy, but this kid Rooney is a baller. That is what we in North America call "heart".


The Dynamic Culture

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It just occurred to me today that Dr. D uses the word "bling" with facility, moreover he uses it (astonishingly) correctly. Just how the chain of causality led to a term originating from a rap song being used by suburbanite doctors is beyond me. But I would like to see that ethnographic study done. I suppose that the causality (or at least inter-temporal correlation) is multi-directional, in that Dr. D was sipping Courvoisier long before Diddy and Busta Rhymes.


Payback

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Back from Tibet, I was stunned to learn that Skilling and Lay are facing over twenty years each, and will in all likelihood die in prison. Incredible.

My buddy Sammy Dub, The Man Who Called Enron, will surely pop a bottle when I next see him, and drink to the pair. What a stunning turn of events.


Busy working night and day

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Over the last couple of days, the old school has been holding a little shindig for its alumni. Man, when they do it, they do it right. The function was held at the breathtaking Çırağan Palace, an old Ottoman beauty hewn from marble that has stunning Bosphorus views. The Prime Minister made an appearance, and when I asked him a question, he looked me right in the eye as he was eloquently not answering it.

The quality of people I met there was top-notch. Too often, one meets BSers and "empty suits", as a colleague used to term them. Here, the people were "real" - from captains of industry, down to the undergrads who are not averse to a cocktail or two. Solid.

Then, last night, somehow my buddy Sal inviegled his way into a party which was held poolside at a mansion on a hill overlooking the Bosphorus. Double Barrel and I roll up, and an attendant shows us to a crowd of people by the pool, dancing. We casually stroll in, grab some cocktails, and immediately start chatting up some young Turkish ladies, when the DJ takes it upon himself to introduce Dre and Tupac into the mix. I mean, this scene could have been on the Sunset Strip. Again, solid.


Welcome

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I am somewhat distressed to note that over the last twenty-four hours this blog has received considerable hits from an East Coast domain that suggests the readers are inmates at my former employer. I suppose the leak was inevitable.

Now that both my mother and my former (and, the way this world is, possibly future) bosses are reading "Taken At The Flood", you can be assured that editorial standards will reach new heights. As a consequence, a select few readers will receive an occasional email if and when events get a little too "spicy" (a colourful term much-loved by my old boss Swojo) for family entertainment.


Kuşadası

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Sunset by the fishing boats, near Pigeon's Island, Kuşadası.
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Mens sane in corpore sano

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Double Barrel is presently in post-marathon form, and I seem to be getting into a bit better shape. So, we ran up the hills of Bodrum yesterday, managing to leave the road and find and lose a trail through sage brush to the top of a remote point, sandwiched between the beach resorts. From there, we had a nice view of the Greek (Ionian) island of Rhodes and the blue waters of the Aegean.

Ever the Classicist, Double B informs me that Bodrum is the home of Herodotus, the father of history. I'm hoping it is a city with a profitable future, threfore I attended a business meeting, then we traveled overland to Kuşadası, over the fine Anatolian hills and verdant valleys.

I had come here many years ago, when I was much younger.

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Bodrum before the rush

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The bougainvilleas have blossomed in the Aegean resort of Bodrum. The crowds have yet to engulf the town, so it is exceedingly pleasant. One can go for a good run along the seaport, lounge by the pool, and enjoy excellent local food.

Life continues to be one ordeal after another here in Turkey.


About me

  • I'm Sunset Shazz
  • Living the dream in Istanbul, Turkey
  • I grew up in the hardscrabble streets of suburban Ottawa, Ontario, committing petty crime, insulting the elderly - basically the classic misspent youth. When I was 19, I moved to West Philly, where I put myself through the Wharton School by dealing crack and hustling. After stints in Paris and London, I eventually graduated and moved to San Francisco, where I put in eight years hard labor working for The Man. But now I pop bottles with models, deciding cracked crab or lobster - who says mobsters don't prosper?
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