Italy’s been great! We spent a few days in Rome, headed down to Sorrento for a few more (and ate like royalty!), and are now back in Rome ’til Tuesday. We’ll see more of the Vatican, enjoy the now sunny weather, and almost certainly eat more pizza… the rosemary potato pizza is divine.

If you haven’t been following their campaign, has been trying to get CBS to air a commercial they produced, to no avail. It’s become a bit of a cause, and if you’re interested in urging CBS not to censor ads, you can click on the link below.

posted January 31, 2004 – 3:35 am

We’ve arrived in Rome, and save some trouble adjusting to the time-shift, we’re having a great time. I think it would be difficult not to enjoy any country where cured pork is available at every meal.

posted January 25, 2004 – 8:20 am

Plane leaves in four hours. Can’t wait!

posted January 22, 2004 – 8:59 am

Well, I didn’t end up playing the State of the Union drinking game, but I did watch a few minutes of the speech (any more than that, and I woulda thrown something heavy at the TV).

[ If you happen never to have seen one of these addresses to the nation, you should know that every 15 seconds or so, the president says something dramatic and with great emphasis, and all the congresspeople and senators and other audience members stand and applaud for about 30 seconds, finally quieting down so the speech can proceed. ]

Well, my favorite part by far last night was when Bush was discussing the PATRIOT Act and said “Key provisions of the Patriot Act are set to expire next year,” when an unexpected round of applause burst from the Democrats (and any sane-minded person) in attendance. He looked for a second like a deer caught in the headlights, poor guy.

He went on, of course, to ask our representatives to renew those provisions and help fight the war on terror. He didn’t note, unsuprisingly, that the PATRIOT act has been grossly misused to investigate (non-terrorism related) corruption in Las Vegas, coerce reporters into giving up their First Amendment rights, and threaten Federal Air Marshalls (the people hired to protect you from terrorists on airplanes). It’s for certain the act has been invoked many more times, but since the law actually prohibits anyone (banks, libraries, ISP’s, etc.) from mentioning that they’ve been asked to provide a law enforcement agency with any information, we might never know.

Good thing I didn’t watch the whole thing, I’d have been too angry to come in to work today.

posted January 21, 2004 – 7:12 am

I’ve been a little sick this week and hoping that it’d go away before I left for Italy. Just in case, I’ve stocked up on Sudafed for the plane rides.

The New York Times has a good page on all the (Democratic) candidates in the 2004 election, as does Project Vote Smart.

In retrospect, it probably shouldn’t be too surprising that Kerry won the Iowa caucus – he’s a pretty stereotypical Democratic candidate. He supported the war, but now says it wasn’t such a good idea. He voted for the PATRIOT Act (how could anyone have?), but now says he’d let it expire. He’s your average, waffling, non-commital, Clinton-like democrat.

Interestingly enough, Edwards also voted both to authorize force in Iraq (i.e. voted for the war) and also for the PATRIOT Act, though the NY Times page on him doesn’t note that (at least not in the same way as it does on Kerry’s page – so much for unbiased reporting). They don’t seem too different.

Though I’m pretty interested in Dean, I can’t blame the public for not voting for him. There’s really very little information on him out there – he didn’t really do that much as governor of Vermont. Beyond that minimal voting record, we’re to judge him based on the things he says, and it’s pretty clear he’ll say whatever he thinks is necessary to get elected.

Of all the candidates, it’s sad (for me, anyway) that the one with a record to back up their rhetoric, will probably not climb out of the single digits for percentages in primaries. Kucinich (excepting his flip-flopping on abortion some years ago), actually voted based on his principles (against the PATRIOT Act and going to war).

Even with all the waffling and position-changing, I’ll happily take any of the democrats over Bush (for tons of reasons, including: increased spending on education and the environment, tax cut repeals, foreign policy that doesn’t buck common sense, increased civil liberties, etc.).

For more political fun, try the State of the Union drinking game. For more depressing news on how GW is screwing the American people and probably lying about it on TV tonight, check out MoveOn’s Medicare Drug Plan fact sheet (with a decidedly liberal spin, of course, but rather large grains of truth).

posted January 20, 2004 – 8:37 am

After hearing about them from Rif last week or the week before, I finally saw a bean delivery truck this morning with the great slogan on the side:

“Without beans, chili would just be a bowl full of meat.”

How true.

Abby and I are off to Italy on Thursday!! I can’t wait.

posted January 19, 2004 – 5:58 am

Between the article this week in the New Yorker about S.U.V. safety and this article about Subaru evading fuel economy regulations, I’m mostly not so thrilled with car manufacturers right now. Some good news is that Motor Trend magazine named the Toyota Prius the 2004 car of the year. Hope it helps hybrid sales.

posted January 13, 2004 – 8:04 am

Well, I managed to survive the cold, and even made it out of the house once or twice this weekend.

On Friday, Abby and I had one of the best sushi dinners I’ve ever had at Fugakyu in Brookline. It sounds like the service can be hit-or-miss there, but we had nothing short of perfection. We were promptly seated, our food came out in a reasonable amount of time, and it was divine. For a real treat, try the Tiger Eye appetizer – cuttle fish stuffed with smoked salmon and avocado – yum!

Filene’s is having a reasonably big sale right now, so I ended up buying two long-sleeve shirts and three sweaters yesterday for $75. Post-christmas shopping is a wonderful thing.

posted January 12, 2004 – 7:20 am

It’s cold outside. Like snot-freezing cold.

I took a shower this morning before work, and thought I could get away without a hat for the short trip to the car. In the less than thirty seconds it took to walk to the car, my hair froze. Pretty much solid.

According to, it’s 1° F right now at Logan.

posted January 9, 2004 – 7:37 am

Last week, we went to see The Maker’s Hand – an exhibit on studio furniture at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Wow! There are some absolutely gorgeous pieces there (as well as some not-so-gorgeous ones). If you’re in town before the end of the exhibit (February 8), check it out!

Wanna see the one of the worst Flash animations ever? Of course you do. It’s waiting for you right here.

posted January 5, 2004 – 7:17 am
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