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Can't hurt to try:

Dear Leslie,

Thanks so much for creating such a positive living experience: I've really enjoyed renting at The Royal Arms in Mountain View.

In the time I've called your complex my home, I've made special efforts to be a good resident:

  • I've always paid my rent on the first of the month.
  • I've never filed a maintenance request.
  • I'm on good, first-name terms with all my neighbors -- I don't ever bother them with loud music or TV noise.
  • I've participated (and even helped host) complex-wide events like this year's Summer Picnic.

I never, ever do "dumb tenant" things, for instance:

  • I protect the cupboard woodwork with water-proof mats and dry my dishes before storing them.
  • I always use a cutting board so I don't mar kitchen counter surfaces.
  • I don't misuse, overuse, or put inappropriate things in the toilet, garbage disposal, microwave, or oven.
  • I am conscientiously "Green" in my use of water (and know who is paying the bill).
  • I alway use a timer when doing laundry so use of the machine by other residents isn't blocked.

I treat your apartment as I would my own home: with respect.

By the way, the Mujiks are the best on-location support team I've ever met. They are each incredibly friendly. You can see Senada's smile from 100 feet away! The facilities are always manicured and clean thanks to Mr. M's diligence.

Bozzi is wicked smart and has kindly helped me out several times (including a ride to the airport -- can you believe that?!?). Someday I hope to have enough money I can pay him to do my taxes!

Alas, Leslie, that time has not yet come -- so I must ask you a favor: would you reconsider raising my rent?

In this harsh economic environment and due to some recent upheavals in my career, it'd be a real hardship on me.

Please let me know your thoughts on this matter: anything you're able to do would be much appreciated by me.

In exchange, also let me know if there's any way I can help you. For instance, I can promote The Royal Arms by posting positive reviews on Yelp or any of the apartment review sites. Let me know what you need and I'll be your guy.

I look forward to your reply,

Mike McCreavy

Tags: Rent

If you want to try your hand at writing some 8-Bit code for the Commodore 64 and you have a Mac, I recommend the following setup:

You can download a Mac OS X Binary Distribution of the VICE emulator from the Mac OS X VICE Team's page. I got the Vice Mac OS X 10.5 Cocoa Universal Binary, Version 2.2. Untar it, drag the App to your Application's Folder, and you're good to go:

According to, the latest version of DASM should be hosted at, but that link 404's. If you go to the root of the homepage talks about some legal dispute between Atari and the owner of Likely some kind of copyright/trademark issue. Although the page indicates that those legal issues were resolved and the original site's content will soon be restored -- it has been like that for years. So I just grab the Older, 2.1.6 version of DASM directly from

If you have XCode installed, you should be able to just untar the DASM's source, cd into it, and then "make" -- you'll get a "bin/dasm" executable you can put in your path:

In your DASM folder, create two directories: "code" and "drive". In "code", create a file named "flashy.asm" and enter:

        processor 6502
        org $c000

start   sei
        lda #flash
        sta 789

flash   inc $d020
        jmp $ea31

That's the traditional Commodore version of "Hello, World!": the program installs an raster interrupt that flashes the border's color. The program itself isn't that important for now -- you just want to see if your compiler is working. Now, from the DASM directory, you can assemble it into your "drive" directory with:

./bin/dasm code/flashy.asm -o drive/flashy.prg

If all goes well, you'll have a file "drive/flashy.prg" you'll want to load into your Commodore Virtual Machine.

The easiest way to connect your Commodore Virtual Machine to your Mac's File System is to go to the "Settings" Menu of the VICE Emulator and choose "Peripheral Drives" to bring up this dialog:

Make sure "Enable IEC Drive" is checked, and then click the "Mount" Button. Navigate to the "drive" directory you created and click "Open". Now close the dialog and choose the "Settings" Menu and "Save current settings" so you don't need to do that each time you restart the Virtual Machine.

Now, you can access your "drive" directory from within the Commodore 64 Virtual Machine and can edit assembly language programs on your Mac, cross-compile them, and then load and run programs easily from within the Commodore 64 virtual machine:

Isn't that great?

Tags: Commodore

The past few weeks at work I've been tasked with doing business development ("bizdev"): cold calling contacts I've dug up from the web and trying to get them interested in a service I'm offering.

The rejection associated with this has been somewhat disheartening... Contacting 20 people and organizations and not getting a single lead is a kick in the teeth for me. And when you 5x it and contact 100 people and still don't get a response, you seriously have to think "am I doing this wrong?"

What I've learned so far doing this:

  • Don't say no to anything, ever.
  • Suggesting your offering is limited in any way, shape, or form is giving "them" an excuse to hang up.
  • Keep trying. Keep leaving messages until they call back. It's not being needy: it's closing the deal.
  • It's not me -- a real saleguy pro is having the same level of luck. You've got to keep trying: it's a numbers game.

How these learnings paid off today:

This weekend we went white-water rafting on the Tuolomne river -- a lot of fun. I left my Jeep in San Francisco in a parking garage, and when we got back to San Francisco I found I had also left the dome light on.

Dead battery. Grrrr...

The funny thing is: I had taken the "roadway assistance kit bag" out of the Jeep because, knowing I was going to park in SF over the weekend, I didn't want to return to another busted window.

My jumper cables were in the roadway assistance bag.


On the plus side: I was parked in a high-trafficked area: cars were always coming in and out of the garage all the time.

Normally I'd be hung up on the idea of hassling people to solve my problems... But Kragen was closed and I had this newly toughened sales skin and I started waving cars over.

  • Station wagon with two Vietnamese kids: no cables.
  • Older couple in a suburban: no cables.
  • Mexican lady: no cables.
  • White guy: no cables.
  • A young black couple fighting: (ok, I chickened out on them -- they were yelling too much at each other).
  • Another mexican lady: didn't stop.

Should I be getting discouraged yet? Kinda. I saw a Porsche stop at the entrance to the garage -- Chinese 20-something kid driving. I asked Weili: "what's the chance an Asian in a Porsche is going to help?"

"None." she said matter-of-factly.

I didn't bother trying to wave him over -- but he circled back and parked near us.

He walked by and I got the impression he'd help even less: he was a chinese guy with Japanese Rock Star moussed fauxhawked hair. Driving a $100,000 car. With fancy pointed shoes.

He walked by us and I channeled Glengarry Glen Ross -- or maybe it was Boiler Room. Whichever one said "a sale not tried is a sale failed."

It didn't take much to hassle him: "Hiya, excuse me -- do you have jumper cables we could use for a minute?" And I pointed to my Jeep with the hood popped.


2 minutes later I was using a fancy "separated" jumper cable (you attach the crocodile clips to both cars, and then join the two pieces of cable together -- no sparking) thanks to the Porsche kid: it was great to hear my engine go "vrroooooommmmmm...!"

If there's a moral to this story, it is: "keep hassling people until you get what you want."

Now I know how those kids on Mountain View's Castro Street (who hassle everyone with their "Save the Ocean" fake charity pandering) work: get enough numbers, eventually you'll land a sale.

I hope all this brings me closer to landing a big fish at work someday soon.

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