Backpacking and camping on the Olympic Peninsula was just spectacular this weekend. We had great weather for the most part (and good gear to keep out the short spells of bad weather), and had a good time. Look for pictures soon.

In the meantime, I’m hangin’ out in Seattle for the next couple days. Anything I oughta do?

posted June 30, 2003 – 11:11 pm

As reported in the Guardian (and just about every other online news source), the Supreme Court ruled the Texas anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional. It’s nice to get good news these days, with so much of the news being depressing and all.

Off to Seattle (and Olympic National Park) tomorrow for a good week and half of vacation!

posted June 26, 2003 – 10:23 am

Cheers to Anna for putting me on to Chowhound. According to Matt Groening, it’s “the anti-Zagat’s.” Combine these reviews (the anti-Zagat) with those in Zagat’s and you get pure food energy! Or at least a decent idea of where’s good to eat near you.

posted June 24, 2003 – 8:51 am

Somehow, ultimate frisbee got a bad rap on Is it a stereotype that disc players have trouble finding dates? I’d never heard that one before, nor had many of the folks on Fark (except the guy who submitted the story), and it was nice to see a bunch of people (including quite a few who don’t actually play themselves) come to the defense of the sport in the ensuing discussion.

posted June 23, 2003 – 8:40 am

Danielle & I hosted a very successful dinner party last night for Rif & Anna’s birthdays (a success other than the part where I got spattered with hot oil, anyway). We made this recipe, along with couscous and a great candied parsnip dish. Danielle made another beautiful cake (her last creation with Anna is here), and a good time was had by all.

The irony of the weather situation has not passed me by – I’m headed out to Seattle for a frisbee tournament at the end of the week, and the weather there promises to be so much better than it’s been in Boston.

posted June 23, 2003 – 6:29 am

My dark, dirty past is coming out this week. Well, I guess it depends on your definitions of “dark” and “dirty,” but the event under question here is my less-than-starring role in the movie Major League II.

My friend Ben was a bit of an actor in high school, so much so that he actually had an agent. One of the gigs Ben got was to be an extra in this movie, and he brought me along. Ben’s dad drove us up to Baltimore from DC, and we got to Camden Yards sometime in the morning on a Saturday or Sunday. We didn’t finish filming until about four in the morning, when they would’ve had to start paying us overtime if they’d kept us any longer (we did exceed the amount of time they were allowed to keep us without feeding us, though, so we chowed down on some Major League donuts).

Most of the scenes were wide-angle, most-of-the-crowd type shots, but somehow Ben and I were selected to be in the closeup shot at the very end of the movie. The director must’ve reshot the scene a good fifty times, and actually thought he might want to do more the next day. Well, Ben & I couldn’t make it back for the other shooting, so they borrowed our shirts and gave us MLII shirts as loaners. For a while, I even kept the stationery they used to write us thank-you notes when they returned our shirts. They either didn’t end up reshooting or used the footage from the first day, ’cause we’re in the movie, as you can see below.

Somehow, this all came up in conversation the other day with my co-worker. She was astonished that I didn’t actually own the movie (it’s hardly worth the media it would come on), and promptly paid a visit to Blockbuster to rent the DVD. Courtesy of Kerry, here are two screen shots of my brilliant on-screen appearance:

Major League II
Yep, that’s me in the upper left above.

Major League II
Me and Ben on the far right.

Two things to note. First, I have no recollection of what the heck I was doing with my hands in the first picture. Second, I swear, big glasses were all the rage back then.

posted June 17, 2003 – 8:55 am

I picked up a few books and a CD at lunchtime today. I’m looking forward to using The Complete Illustrated Guide to Furniture and Cabinet Construction and have heard good things about Everything is Illuminated. And, to top it off, the new Radiohead album is sweet.

I used my credit card to pay for my purchases at the store. I’ve had it for quite a number of years, now, and it’s been swiped so many times that the signature on the back has been quite neatly removed. As in, you can’t see that there was ever anything written there in the first place. As my receipt (the one I had to sign) was printing, the clerk examined the back of the card quite thoroughly. I signed my receipt and he scrutinized my signature on paper and checked the back of the card. The one without any kind of writing or indication of a signature. He proceeded to “check my signature” by holding the two items (receipt and card) up next to one another. He didn’t say a word during the whole process, and let me go no problem. Weird? Yes.

posted June 16, 2003 – 10:59 am

I saw Spellbound last night – it’s a great documentary that follows eight kids through their regional spelling bees to the 1997 national competition. It’s quite funny and entertaining, as well as being a nice “slice of life” film documenting quite a few different ways of living in this country. Only a few times does it push its message to hard, and the rest of the time it’s relaxed enough to let the kids and parents speak for themselves. Definitely check it out.

posted June 12, 2003 – 9:23 am

What was I doing Monday night around midnight? Moving a piano, of course. My parents moved in to their new place Monday, but they didn’t have a home for their piano. My brother decided he had room, so the plan was to unload their truck first and have the movers unload the piano at my brother’s on their way out of town.

Mind you, the movers themselves were truly great guys – they worked from about noon ’til midnight with few breaks. The moving company, however, was on the rotten side of things. They only sent two men to unload a fifty-five foot truck with about 6 tons of stuff on it (no wonder it took nearly 12 hours)! They also neglected to plan for the piano moving (two guys alone would’ve had a lot of trouble moving the piano). So, try to avoid using Abel if you’re moving.

So the truck finally showed up at my brother’s place around 11:30 that night. We spent about 45 minutes wrestling with the piano before we got it upstairs (both the walls and the piano remained scratch/dent free). The scariest part of the whole affair? After working (hard!) for nearly 12 hours and ultimate lugging a piano up a flight and half of stairs, these poor guys had to drive back to DC last night! I’m sure they didn’t get in until 7 or 8 this morning. I’m very sad to report the moving company actually had scheduled them for another job today – it’s not clear how that’s different from slave labor. It looks like the Federal Highway Administration regulates interstate movers – perhaps they’ll get a letter (or I’ll just send one to the BBB).

posted June 10, 2003 – 11:04 am

I took my car on it’s first roadtrip this weekend – drove down to New York and back up via northwest Connecticut. It performed wonderfully. See:

58.2 miles per gallon!

posted June 9, 2003 – 1:51 pm

Seen in Salem, MA on the parking lot-facing wall of a church:

Thou shalt not park without authorization, or thou shalt be towed.

posted June 6, 2003 – 10:26 am

My parents are moving up to Boston next week into a great condo in Cambridge. Yesterday I saw the condo in Somerville that an old co-worker and his wife recently moved into, and three more friends are in the process of buying places in the area. I feel left out!

I got a gig recently doing some voice-over work for friend’s company (no fun voices, just pretty straightforward text for a multimedia presentation). Guess that means the class I took wasn’t completely in vain. It was on the steep side (about a hundred bucks), though, and not quite worth it. The teachers, Jordan & Ken, are nice guys who’ve been in the business for a while, but it’s hard to get too much useful from four hours of a group class.

posted June 6, 2003 – 7:51 am

The latest trend in online dating/whatever services seems to be Friendster. According to their page, they’ve got several hundred thousand members and they’re growing. Curiously, their page doesn’t seem to answer the question: how do they make money? Almost certainly it’s not through the sale of t-shirts and mugs. Thankfully, someone is keeping an eye on them.

posted June 4, 2003 – 11:54 am

Wanna drool over some nicely designed items? Go right ahead.

Inexplicably, the opening of Spellbound was delayed by a week in Boston, foiling our plans for a Wednesday viewing. Sadly, our exposure to the world of competitive spelling will have to wait.

posted June 3, 2003 – 7:04 am
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