Tomorrow morning promises to be quite an adventure. One of the co-op students at work goes to Northeastern, and a lab there is throwing out some kind of robotic arm. Somehow, I managed to convince my roommate to drive me down there to fetch this beast. Some important things to note:

  1. Northeastern is in Boston.
  2. Traffic and parking in Boston’s quite bad.
  3. We’re scheduled to pick up the arm at 8 AM.
  4. 8 AM is during rush hour, which means traffic and parking will be worse than usual.
  5. The co-op isn’t always the most reliable, so I’ve already advised my roommate that this may all be for naught (except she’ll get a nice meal out of it, no matter what).

I’ll keep you posted.

posted September 30, 2002 – 1:49 pm

Call me a sellout. Call me what you will. I bought one. At least it’s for a good cause.

Rif’s commissioned me to design (and build) him a piano bench. Look for designs & details soon…

posted September 30, 2002 – 12:14 pm

I saw an ad today for – that’s “a-healthy-me-dot-com” – and read it first as “a-heal-thyme-dot-com”. Actually visiting the site makes me wonder if choosing a health insurance provider that publishes a horoscope was a wise idea.

Thanks go to my mom for pointing out this great piece on Peter Mulvey on NPR.

posted September 26, 2002 – 2:11 pm

I got to hear Rachel McCartney in the T this morning; I’m a fan. It’s a shame she won’t be playing with the rest of the Davis Square T Station Artists and Peter Mulvey in October at his CD release concert. Where do I lodge my formal complaint?

posted September 26, 2002 – 8:33 am

At Mary Chung’s, the local chinese restaurant, sliced chicken with broccoli is $5.50, while diced chicken with broccoli is $5.95. What gives?

posted September 25, 2002 – 10:32 am

There are a couple of upcoming performances in the Boston area you shouldn’t miss.

First, the Hot Club of Cowtown makes their return to Johnny D’s on October 8th. These guys are great – they play wonderful country/swing music and put on a fantastic show. Don’t miss ’em!

Next, definitely check out Snappy Dance during their week plus stint at the Copley Theatre (Oct. 3 thru 12). They definitely live up to their name, and are seriously funny performers. There’s been a special running on WGBH Greater Boston Arts featuring Snappy Dance, which should give you some idea of what they’re like.

posted September 24, 2002 – 6:42 am

Just call me the handyman.

My friend Rif called me yesterday afternoon ’cause his bike lock was jammed. He had been hanging out in Copley Square (a big, open plaza in downtown Boston) at a swing dance, so there was power (for the DJ) available; after trying some other avenues – the police said to call the locksmith, the locksmith wanted 150 bucks just to show up – I strapped my circular saw with cutoff wheel to the back of my bike and headed on down.

Understand that cutting through a half inch of steel in a Kryptonite lock is not a subtle or quiet effort. The saw spits sparks a good five feet into the air, and it’s quite loud. Nonetheless, there we were, in broad daylight, in the plaza cutting the lock off a bike and not a single soul said a word to us (granted we got one or two strange looks). Astounding. No prizes for guessing how quickly the police would’ve arrived had we been black…

posted September 23, 2002 – 11:33 am

Sectionals were this weekend, and you can see the results here. We went 3-3 overall (with four games in a row on Saturday – moderately brutal), and though we might have liked to have done better, that probably would’ve entailed playing more games. You can also check out some pictures here.

So Friday night, I was walking down to Davis Square, and this (probably) drunk guy on a porch, having picked up a poster, starts yelling:

Drunk Guy on Porch: Vote for reech! [referring to Robert Reich, but grossly mispronouncing it]
Me: [Just kept walking]
DGoP: (more emphatically) Vote for reech!!!!
Me: (realizing he wasn’t gonna shut up) It’s too late, my friend, the election was a few days ago.
DGoP: (crestfallen) Oh… did he win?
Me: Nope. Sorry.
DGoP: Bummer, man. [Short pause] Vote for reech!!

posted September 22, 2002 – 8:30 pm

Love Child’s got sectionals this weekend, and pending a good performance, we’d go on to regionals, in Purchase, NY next weekend. The bad news is that the tournament’s in Seekonk, MA. The good news is we don’t start ’til 11:45 AM. Wish us luck…

posted September 20, 2002 – 8:20 am

I took the GRE last night and I must say, in spite of my strong dislike for ETS, the computerized version of the test (I never actually took the old one, so I suppose I’m really comparing the GRE to the SAT) is really quite painless. Rather than starting the test at the same time as others, you begin as soon as you’re checked in and ready; although my appointment was for 4:30, I started the test around 4 and was done by 6:30. Not having the proctor saying “you may all open your booklets and begin” really relieves quite a bit of stress – you can start the test when you’re ready. Also, when you’ve finished a section early, you don’t have wait out the rest of the time ’til the next section (though you can). So, even though ETS isn’t high on my list of good companies, they’ve earned themselves some points in my book.

[ By the way, I did excellent, excellent, and good enough on the math, analytic, and verbal sections, respectively ]

posted September 18, 2002 – 7:39 am

My Seattle friend Abby’s having a party this weekend, and the theme is hillbillies and hicks. I was commissioned to write some songs for the occasion, and they follow (not for the easily offended or bemulleted):

Oh, Bandana
[ To the tune of Oh, Susanna, available here ]

My hair’s a wreck from the bed last night,
but in my drunken stupor I know,
It’s short on top, and long in back,
and it’s swingin’ to and fro’.

Oh bandana, oh please hear what I’ve said,
for I come from Alabama with a mullet on my head.

I woke up this morn’, hungover true,
my bedfellow I did spy,
At first I’s lost, then I recognized,
my longlost cousin Fry.


Now before you think this wrong my friend,
let me assure you that it’s not,
since the last time we met, my cousin Fry’s
becomin’ rather hot.


The moral of the story I guess,
is don’t get drunk and screw,
‘cause if you do, you never know,
your cousin could end up with you.



Smalltown Faces
[ To the tune of Camptown Races, available here ]

Smalltown faces look like me, doo-da, doo-da
all’s the people’s my family, oh, doo-da day.

Grandpa Paul he married his kid, doo-da, doo-da
Now his family tree’s inbred, oh, doo-da day.

Paul’s an uncle now,
he’s their cousin too,
He’s got lots of mouths to feed,
and we live in a shoe.

My sister’s got eyes like mine, doo-da, doo-da
And it’s true, she’s lookin’ fine, oh, doo-da day.

I’ll ask for her hand one day, doo-da, doo-da
Assumin’ I can beat my brother Jay, oh, doo-da day.

He’s only got nine toes,
the tenth got lost somewhere,
I’d be a sure bet to marry her,
‘cept I got no hair.

My other brother’s named Andrew, doo-da, doo-da
But he’s no worry ‘cause he’s 3-foot-2, oh, doo-da day.

And if to her I can’t be wed, doo-da, doo-da
it’s for sure I’ll end up dead, oh, doo-da day.

Gonna go away,
I’ll be wearin’ a frown,
leavin’ the holler is hard to do,
Podunk’s my kind of town.

posted September 16, 2002 – 8:30 pm

It was a wonderful weekend Love Child (my frisbee team) spent on Plum Island – much thanks to Betsy & Bayard for hosting. There was lots of eating, drinking, dancing, game playing, skinny-dipping, and kite flying. I managed not to have to put on shoes from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon, a definite sign of a successful weekend. I put some pictures up here.

posted September 16, 2002 – 6:14 am

Welcome to my new home on the web (formerly here). Let me know if you find broken links, misinformation, or any money. ‘Cause it’s mine.

I’m going to Seattle. Have I mentioned this yet? Okay. Good.

Off to Plum Island for a weekend of relaxing on the beach with the frisbee team. I can think of worse things.

posted September 13, 2002 – 8:58 am

Well, today I cut the (non-existent) cord and terminated my cell phone service. Done and done. Much like my car, I really haven’t missed having a phone, and am thilled that I got rid of it. Everyone should try it! is alive, but there’s nothing there yet. It’ll probably take me a few days to migrate the site over. In the meantime, I’ve been playing with a photo album generator my friend Dave from San Francisco wrote; it’s free (as in beer), it’s customizable, and works well. Good job, Dave.

posted September 12, 2002 – 11:06 am

This afternoon, I registered (which won’t work for a few days while Dotster & Cedant get their respective servers in order). Tripod has been a good place to host these pages for the past year or so, but it’s time to move on so I can have more images & video and not have to think about it. I’ll put up a notice when I’m actually going to switch…

posted September 11, 2002 – 12:03 pm

So today I have to write a proposal for my job title, function, hours & pay for the next three months. You’d be surprised (or not) how tempting it is to suggest they pay me tons of money for not much work, all of which is interesting (by my definition of ‘interesting’). But seriously, it’s nice to have an employer that’s more or less interested in having be do things I’d like to do. And I will suggest I move to a slightly part time (30-35 hrs. a week over only 4 days) job, assuming I can keep healthcare, etc.

Got some good woodworking done in the garage last night, as my friends Betsy & Bayard asked me to make a new cross-piece for a marionette of theirs that had broken (expect pics soon). I also fixed the gib screws on my lathe by replacing the smaller, original screws with socket-head screws. The slots for the hex wrench in the original set screws were being stripped, and moving up a few wrench sizes seems like it’ll help loads.

posted September 11, 2002 – 6:22 am

Yesterday afternoon, we had a memorial ultimate frisbee game for my advisor and friend Eric Jensen, who died a year ago today in an unfortunate motorcycle accident. He was a great guy who did a lot of good things, including teaching at Brandeis, being active in the Carlisle, MA environmental scene, and, of course, playing frisbee. A good number of folks from his old frisbee team (Simone’s team – X-Mojo) came out to play yesterday, along with some of the old “geezers” from the Physics & CS departments who used to play (and still do, I gather) on Monday afternoons on Chapel’s field. It was definitely a good time…

In more uplifting news, I’m headed to Seattle in late October. Know anything fun to do out there?

posted September 10, 2002 – 7:44 am

So I have a theory regarding the GRE. It goes as follows: if you’re smart enough to manage to sign yourself up for this god-forsaken exam, you shouldn’t have to actually take the test in order to get into graduate school. Seriously. I spent a good hour and a half on the phone this afternoon just trying to get an appointment (okay, it probably didn’t help that the whole world’s also trying to get an appointment before October 1, when the test gets an additional writing section). If you can guess the correct number to call without making two or three phone calls in error, you’re honestly smarter than I.

A lesser man would have given up after calling three “incorrect” numbers (quotation marks ’cause, by all rights, they should have been “correct” numbers). A lesser man might have given up after waiting, even before I got to wait on hold, for upwards of 20 minutes, listening to a recorded voice drone on about test procedures. A lesser man probably would have hung up when the attendant answered and immediately started reading from the same script from which the recorded voice (noted above) read. They are not I, though. I persevered, and got my appointment in Boston on September 17th. For my hard work, I pay $109, plus time lost. Great.

posted September 3, 2002 – 6:54 pm

In case you were curious my Hebrew name looks like this (thanks to Tova for her last-minute help):

It translates to “David, son of Andrew”. ‘Course it looked a little scratchier when I nervously signed it on the wedding contract at Dan & Marcie’s wedding on Sunday.

Know of any cheap flights to Seattle?

posted September 3, 2002 – 11:13 am
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