Tonight is my first woodworking classes. I can’t wait… is it 6 PM yet?

posted September 30, 2003 – 11:57 am

A few years ago, I went to the Ig Nobel prizes (brought to you by the Annals of Improbable Research) and saw clips from the riotously funny Project Grizzly. After only four years, I’ve broken down and purchased the video from Amazon. It should be here soon, and I’ll have to find a way to contain my excitement until then.

Which reminds me, the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony is coming up – Thursday October 2nd at Harvard. Definitely go if you can (I’ve got class).

posted September 25, 2003 – 10:48 am

Check out my new toy:

Drafting Machine

I got the drafting table cheap a while ago off a listing on Craigslist and just last night got the drafting machine from a seller on eBay. The machine is pretty old (maybe it’s from the 70’s?), but everything seems to work just fine – the scales keep their relation to the table as you move the head around and they’re adjustable enough to easily get a 90° angle between them. The machine is a “right hand” version, but I’m gonna try to convert it to lefty by switching where it mounts on the table and changing the scales around a bit. We’ll see how it goes.

I’ve always enjoyed making pop-up greeting cards, and this setup makes it a breeze!

posted September 23, 2003 – 8:49 am

I had a great time watching Pirates of the Carribean on Friday night. Johnny Depp was brilliantly and suprisingly flamboyant, especially for a Disney film. It was, of course, an appropriate film to see on “talk like a pirate” day.

It promises to be a full week with Matt’s birthday dinner on Thursday and his Pirates vs. Zombies party on Friday. Come dressed as a pirate or zombie or face the consequences (which are: being forced to create a sock puppet on the spot and wearing it around for the whole evening). I’ve got my costume all planned out…

posted September 22, 2003 – 12:03 pm

Don’t forget, today is talk like a pirate day.

posted September 19, 2003 – 8:11 am

Last night, for the first time in quite a few months, I paid a visit to the Lexington Scrabble Club. There’re always nice folks at the club, and I played two good games. Bingos from last night included BUCKLeS and DAIsIES (which could’ve been DAIrIES, DIArIES, DAIlIES, or DAISIEd). Though it didn’t cost me (I still won the game), I missed a few good ones – I need to practice making bingos with a blank in my rack. Learning the threes has really paid off, though. I got away with two phonies, too – FOVIAL and OBOER. Lucky me…

posted September 19, 2003 – 7:18 am

We went hiking Saturday on the Tully Trail in Central Mass. and had a great time. The trails were well marked and well maintained, and the area was gorgeous. It passes through several parks/properties, but it’s all managed by the Trustees of Reservations. They manage a number of other properties all over Massachusetts so check ’em out.

posted September 15, 2003 – 7:40 am

Finally, an Ask Slashdot I can weigh in on with some authority. You can see my comment (Score: 5, Informative!) here.

posted September 12, 2003 – 1:25 pm

After nearly a year, my brother updated his site to let folks know about some sweet t-shirts he has for sale at CafePress. There’s the robo-murito (robotic monkey burrito), frog, and satellite, all from artwork he’s done. Stock up now; when he’s a famous artist, they’ll be worth thousands apiece…

posted September 11, 2003 – 8:59 am

For the first time in a long time, I’m having a bad hair day. For years now, all I have to do is shake my head when I get out of the shower and my hair is done. Sure, when I don’t shower in the morning, my hair’s all a mess, but when I actually care that it looks okay, it looks okay. Today, however, it looks like someone buried an M-80 in there. Yikes!

posted September 11, 2003 – 7:21 am

For the second time this week, I got to work more than fifteen minutes late ’cause of traffic. Monday, I got to the highway and found it a seven mile parking lot. I managed to avoid sitting in it for hours, but going the back way took a while. And then today, a truck full of methane tipped over causing officials to intermittently close portions of several major highways. Driving just sucks.

In somewhat related news, on our way back from Plymouth this weekend, my brother and I counted cars on the road and divided them in to two categories: those that got above 25 miles per gallon and those that didn’t. We were generous, I would say, and when we were in doubt about a car’s mileage, we assumed it could do better than 25 miles per gallon. Counting 50 or so cars (and SUV’s, minivans, and pickups – all passenger vehicles) the split was right down the middle – half better than 25, half worse. According to the EPA and this article, the average mileage for new cars in 2003 was about 21 mpg, so we weren’t too far off in our counting. That’s appalling!

posted September 10, 2003 – 8:00 am

This past weekend, my brother and I went on a nice bike trip from Plymouth to Provincetown along the Claire Saltonstall Bikeway. It’s not so much a bike path as it is a route – there are signs guiding you from road to road (and eventually, for about 20 miles, on the Cape Cod Rail Trail).

We rode on Saturday from Plymouth to Eastham (about 60 miles or so) and from Eastham to P-town on Sunday (another 30 miles). The weather was spectacular, and we were lucky to have a great place to stay for Saturday night in Eastham: our friends have a house right on a fresh-water pond for swimmin’ with a great deck and a hottub, all not 50 yards from the bike path. And of course, there was good ice cream all along the way. The ferry back to Plymouth Sunday evening was also quite pleasant, though we were tired and mostly just napped at sea.

So three cheers not only for our friends in Eastham, but for Rubel BikeMaps, whose Eastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod maps proved clear and invaluable.

Look for a few pictures soon…

posted September 9, 2003 – 8:10 am

I took one more picture of the kludged cable from my iMac hack – this time with the good digital camera. Check it out:

iMac IDE Cable

So a good portion of the city of Boston moves in or out of their apartment on September 1st (any guesses on what percent of the city turns over?), leaving behind them a wake of trash and assorted abandoned goodies. One of my favorite September 1st activities (when I’m not moving myself) is to bike around and check out the freebies left on the sidewalk. Past hunts have yielded such treasures as houseplants, pots, tools, etc.

My brother and I went digging around on Monday night and discovered… drum roll please… a car roof rack! Not a cheapie one, either, but a genuine Thule rack, including a piece to mount a bike up there, as well as carry several sets of skis. The only thing missing is the set of feet to attach the rack to the car (and even if we’d found them, it’s unlikely that they would’ve fit my car since they’re matched to the roof shape). The rack and accessories are worth about $200 new, according to the website.

We were about a mile and a half away from my house when we found the rack, and only had the bikes for transportation. Rather than risk someone else finding it while we went back for a car (or waste the time having one of us sit around waiting for the other to come back with a car), we managed to strap the three hefty beams to my bike using only two bungee cords, and I managed to bike home without taking a spill. Check it out:

It’s hard to see, but there are two beams strapped to the bike just under the basket and a third sticking up out of the basket
Roof rack strapped to bicycle

Here’s the rack disassembled in my garage
Roof rack in pieces

I’m heading off this evening to the bike store to see about buying the feet and gettin’ the rack all set up.

posted September 3, 2003 – 7:09 am
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