Sunday, December 28, 2008

feeling like a kid again

really smiled when i ran across a scan of this picture (Wellfleet harbor, 1972) the other day. it reminded me how much i've been feeling like a kid again lately, what with my new life in Acton with my new family.

because wasn't that what being a kid was all about? experiencing new stuff? (and having awe and wonder and general joy?) i'm still loving it.

happy new year, everyone!

Friday, December 12, 2008

back in the cage, but with a friend

meet Angel (on the left): she's joined our family and keeps Coral (on the right) company -- together they twitter and cheep most enthusiastically at times.

Angel is the loud one and she cries out at regular intervals, sometimes squawking in random annoyance and other times chattering to whomever will listen. Coral remains more stolid and reserved; but when anyone violates her territory, she emits a stream of unmistakeable 'back-off' chitters -- watch out!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

PRETTY bird! [wolf whistle]

meet Coral, the latest addition to our family. out of the cage at last.

Monday, October 13, 2008

from the back

see? the view is spectacular! (even at low tide, as pictured.) and it even comes furnished.

new property listing

our realtor advises that we grab this property quick, before anyone else steals it. sure, it's a fixer-upper; but the location is amazing.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

can i eat that? or is it just some bit of filth?

from a picture i took in Plymouth this past August. (i'm just getting to them now.)

Friday, October 3, 2008


why wait until late spring? why wait until December? what's wrong with today? (yesterday, actually.)

our rings arrived, and we just couldn't wait.

had a small ceremony with a jp and a (slightly larger) wedding dinner in the evening.

yay, we're married!

[we get back from a short honeymoon (in Wellfleet) on October 13 -- the first of many, most likely.]

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

moving . . .

. . . to Acton.

. . . on with my life.

. . . in the right direction.

. . . up (not out).

. . . pictures (and furniture and bicycles and books and appliances and everything else).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

too many cycles

Framingham FreeCycle:

Natick FreeCycle:

Marlborough, Hudson, Sudbury FreeCycle:,%20Hudson,%20Sudbury

and eighty others! (and that's just in response to a "Southborough, Massachusetts" query at

too many? for me, at least. more power to everyone else.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

FreeCycle for profit

yuck! i have a nice couch to get rid of (w/a queen size pull-out bed) and also a double bed. i went to FreeCycle to make a posting because i'd heard it was a good way to give away useful stuff, but it's so commercial!

it's Yahoo this and Yahoo that. fill out a zillion forms and wait for a moderator to review everything. (all while looking at a zillion ads.) i couldn't even get a good user name, other than this_stinks_2008 (which does have its own merits).

maybe i'll finish the bureaucratic/commercial stuff (and make a posting); maybe not.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

'In Future Times'

[this is a poem my beloved wrote to me:]

In future times, my eyes will fail
My heart will falter, luster pale
And yet, with you in memory dear
In loving me through every year
Forever blush, forever see
In loving heart, forever be

Forever yours,

[and the verse in the posting below was my response. no one has ever written me poetry before, so i can't help showing it off.]

Friday, June 6, 2008

don't laugh at the last line ;-)

today, tomorrow, yesterday
my mind's a whirl of what to say
love you so bad; love you so good
can't imagine what could possibly
ever go wrong in this, our dream,
this love affair of life, of living,
of playing on the family team,
of giving and forgiving -- mais oui!

infinite love,

[and for an overly long-winded explication of the rhyme & meter anomalies, ask me.]

Sunday, May 25, 2008

too much is never enough

it's been a honey moon for sure. euphoria overload. haven't written much, except journal entries. haven't read much either, except the first couple chapters of The Hobbit, aloud. watched a few movies though, including 'PS I Love You' and 'Stranger Than Fiction' (so you can guess where i am that way). dreams come true. more later.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


i'm three miles off the ground
and not ever coming down.

c'mon up and join me;
i have an extra ticket.

from here we can see forever;
let's start a journey towards it.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pot Doughnuts at Starbuck's?

i just noticed the sign on the front display case at the local Starbuck's:

"Top Pot Doughnuts and fresh-brewed coffee. There's perfection in simplicity."

well, i guess the big corporation went Amsterdam on us; good for them!

(no wonder everyone likes going there so much.)

Sunday, April 20, 2008


cat-sitting at a friend's this week. feel like a different person when i'm here -- out of my element. but it's a good change.

getting some computer chores done; am not used to a high speed connection and not quite sure what all to do with it, except enjoy.

fun hearing poetry & music at HCAM this Saturday ( ); then lunch & good conversation with another, newer friend at a beautiful spot in the Southborough Open Land parcel near Davis Farm.

ah, people.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Obama verbally fouls himself again

Barack Obama at a closed-door fundraiser (where he presumably thought he wouldn't be quoted) described small town voters: "it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them . . ."

nice, Barack. at least he's now apologized for those comments.

but he didn't *ever* apologize (that i heard) for his "typical white person" description of his white grandmother. [see my earlier blog entry for the full quote.]

well, maybe i'm a "typical white person" and don't like when people -- especially potential leaders -- disparage me or people i know. maybe Obama should talk to his therapist about why he comes across as such an asshole sometimes. maybe next time he'll be ready for the presidency.


here's the "bitter .. cling to guns or religion" quote from the Wall Street Journal article 'The Other Obama':

'At an April 6 fund-raiser in San Francisco, this Obama explained to his non-blue-collar donors: "You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive Administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." '

and here's a link to that April 14, 2008 article:

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Don't forget Tuesday!

to honor the recent death of Charlton Heston, tonight i watched my favorite movie with him in it -- 'Soylent Green'.

great film, very 1973; the kind of stuff i grew up on.

but the part comes with Edward G. Robinson 'going home', and the violins in Vivaldi's 'Spring' well up, and i always cry -- every time; doesn't matter that i've seen it fifty times, i always cry.

i guess it's part of what fiction is for: an emotional release.

when you need groceries, don't forget -- Tuesday Is Soylent Green Day!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

choosing happiness

can a person *choose* to be (or to become) happy? is it possible?

i didn't used to think so; in fact, i remember disagreeing very strongly (more than ten years ago) with a good friend on that very subject -- that i could simply choose to be more happy. (i guess i thought happiness was something like the slope of a mathematical function -- something derived from an equation.)

but now maybe i've changed my mind. maybe she could see that i had it in me to find happiness from within myself and that it didn't require some false-fairy-tale happy ending.

i've already *had* the happy ending; now i just have to enjoy it (and myself) properly. i choose happiness! whee!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Eostre moon

dragged myself out this morning for a few day-after-full moonset pictures (like the above). and here's an etymology quote from wikipedia for the day:
"The modern English term Easter developed from the Old English word Eastre, which itself developed prior to 899. The name refers to the goddess Eostre, who was celebrated at the Spring equinox, and has cognates in Old High German ōstarūn, plural, "Easter" (modern German language Ostern). The Old English term Eastre ultimately derives from ēast - meaning the direction of east. This suggests it originally referred to a goddess associated with dawn. Corresponding traditions occur with the Roman goddess Aurora and the Greek goddess Eos."

Friday, March 21, 2008

Obama describes "a typical white person"

Barrack Obama recently delivered a wonderful speech on race, in which he said he couldn't disown Reverend Wright any more than he could disown his white grandmother who supposedly said racist things. OK.

then in a followup interview on ABC he said he had more perspective on the issue because he was "half white" [since his mother is white]. i'm cool with that too and think it's a good thing to say.

but then in a radio interview on Angelo Cataldi morning show, 610 WIP sports radio, he said (in response to a question about what his white grandmother says about his being so close to the presidency):

"Well, you know, she is extremely proud, and the point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity -- she doesn't. But she is a typical white person, who, you know, if she sees somebody on the street that she doesn't know, you know, there's a reaction that's been bred into our experiences that don't go away and that sometimes come out in the wrong way. And that's just the nature of race in our society. We have to break through it. And what makes me optimistic is you see each generation feeling a little bit less like that. And that's pretty powerful stuff."

[email me if you want an mp3 of the whole 6' 42" interview clip. i did my best to transcribe what he said.]

his speech may have been careful and polished and effective; but this interview was realtime and (to me) very revealing.

Barrack, you may be two generations removed from your "typical white person" grandmother, but how much "less like that" are YOU feeling? apparently not too much less.

[maybe if he comments on his comments on his speech, it will clear things up. or else he'll get crucified.]

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

better day

worse weather; better mental state. have done a lot of thinking about physics and why i drifted away from it. i guess it's that i don't like what our society does with developments in physics. quantum computer stuff would be cool, but that's about the only appealing thing i can think of.

and today i smile at my own particular brand of literature & language studies, with its focus on computational cognition. sometimes i find myself drifting away from my center of self-respect; good to be back.

good speech yesterday too, by Barrack Obama. i'd still prefer him as Hillary's VP, but it's nice to hear him give a thoughtful speech instead of the silly applause-generating nonsense.

Monday, March 17, 2008

i just realized . . .

twenty years ago this spring i was finishing up my senior year in high school and getting ready to go off to Cornell to study physics.

lately i've been reading books about Richard Feynman (my academic role model at the time) -- a biography called 'Genius' and another, 'The Character of Physical Law', a series of lectures he gave at Cornell back in the '60s.

'who am i?' i find myself asking, and 'what am i doing?'

this past summer i picked up an intro physics text -- the one i should have used, but didn't (because i thought i was smart enough to skip the first two years). i haven't started working through it yet; i just thought it was a good idea when i saw it.

maybe it's time to go back to Ithaca and start again in physics.

maybe it's not too late.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Obama backpedals (for the better)

hah, good job, Barrack -- this morning on Good Morning America, Obama indirectly said that he *would* probably accept the vice presidential side of the ticket if he couldn't be the presidential candidate; he couldn't bring himself to say it directly (he is after all a politician), but he did backhandedly fess up.

Geraldine Ferraro was also on for an interview, and she spent some time dispelling the silly nonsense about Obama's campaign accusing her of being a racist by taking a quote of hers wildly out of context in order to spin it in their favor. Obama himself didn't have anything bad to say about Ferraro or her comment, probably because he actually bothered to find out the context and wasn't giving in to the foolish hype.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

running again

right now my body feels a little like i just lost a fight; but instead, i won one. today i went running again, the first time in over fourteen months. my legs felt a bit like lead, and my lungs wheezed somet from the cold/cough thing i'm still recovering from; but it was magic nonetheless. (and i even sprinted the final hundred yards.)

pain in my right hip has prevented me all this time from running (and indeed even walking, without a lot of pain) all this time; but that's behind me now. maybe i'm not ready to run a marathon yet, but i'm out of the woods. (you can't run in the forest for the trees. ;-)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Obama is *not* a unifier. Vote for Clinton.

Barack Obama is now saying that he does *not* want to share the Democratic ticket with Hillary Clinton, who says that she's excited about one of them being the other's Vice President (to be decided later, when the voting ends).

Instead of trying to unify the Democratic party, which is nearly evenly split, Obama wants to keep it divided.

Obama has less than 10% more delegates than Clinton so far, yet he makes it sound like he's way in the lead.
He's not.

A vote for Clinton is a vote for Obama too; but a vote for Obama is a vote for him alone.

Unify the Democratic party -- vote for Hillary Clinton.

(And maybe Obama will come around and help unify the party.)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

No more

More than twenty years ago, i came to an important conclusion about my life. And then i went to college and let people change my mind, and i decided to ignore that hard-won conclusion.

But finally now i realize that my original conclusion was right for me and that i was a fool to have changed my mind. No more.

Monday, March 3, 2008

snow crow

took this while out tramping in the storm on the 1st; the locals were keeping an eye on me.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

"fussing and flapping in priestly black"

[Sting, 'All This Time']

woke again this morning to the raucous, crowful caw-caw-cawing of the local murder congregating outside my window.

no sun after this morning's snow yet, but above is another picture from the 10 February snow/rain/snow combo.

keep the sun in your heart!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

walking stick

last Friday the bus driver wouldn't drop me off in front of Borders, so i had to walk back to it from the mall.

when scaling down the hill at the edge of the parking lot, i passed a tree who had apparently been assaulted by a snow plow, since a broken-off branch lay on the ground nearby.

i continued on to Borders; but on the way back i picked up the branch and took him home, vowing to adopt him into my family of walking sticks.

now he leans against the wall by the door, awaiting my attention.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Shall we play a game?

LOGON: joshua


sometimes i wake up and realize that we made it through the '70s, and we made it through the '80s, and we made it through the '90s . . . and we didn't all blow each other up. we didn't.

the things we feared most didn't happen. whatever tragedies we've experienced have been minor, compared with even a limited nuclear exchange; minor.

maybe there's hope after all.


Monday, February 11, 2008

sun after snow (before rain and then more snow ;-)

yestermorn, after an early snowfall, the sun came out for an hour or so; and i grabbed my camera for a few pictures on my way down the hill to the café (before the sun & breeze blew the fresh snow off the branches).

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

more Annie Dillard

[the next paragraph from AN AMERICAN CHILDHOOD, p11.]

I woke in bits, like all children, piecemeal over the years. I discovered myself and the world, and forgot them, and discovered them again. I woke at intervals until, by that September when Father went down the river, the intervals of waking tipped the scales, and i was more often awake than not. I noticed this process of waking, and predicted with terrifying logic that one of these years not far away I would be awake continuously and never slip back, and never be free of myself again.


i'm afraid that some people don't ever wake to their lives very much -- it's easier not to; sometimes it's frightening to be self-aware and responsible for your own actions.

Monday, February 4, 2008

the best, from Annie Dillard

[from AN AMERICAN CHILDHOOD, p11. i so love this.]

Children ten years old wake up and find themselves here, discover themselves to have been here all along; is this sad? They wake like sleepwalkers, in full stride; they wake like people brought back from cardiac arrest or from drowning: "in media res," surrounded by familiar people and objects, equipped with a hundred skills. They know the neighborhood, they can read and write English, they are old hands at the commonplace mysteries, and yet they feel themselves to have just stepped off the boat, just converged with their bodies, just flown down from a trance, to lodge in an eerily familiar life already well under way.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

cold quantum comfort

sometimes the idea of other realities comforts me, realities where history has taken different turns than it has here and where things are different.

perhaps those other realities can't easily be reached from this one; but i still believe they're there, like unread books on a library shelf.

physics & math say that every quantum reality *can* exist -- if you can imagine it, there's probably a alternate quantum universe like it somewhere there in the multiverse.

and it's why i like fiction so much; it takes me most of the way to a variety of realities.

Friday, January 25, 2008

time to check the Lost & Found

i bicycled home from my late class last night; it was cold, so i was all bundled up. when i got home i shed my sweaty clothes, used the bathroom, and then realized that my rings were gone. aack!

frantically, i dug through my backpack, the pockets of my jeans (which i'd changed out of at school) and jacket and gloves. nothing. normally i was very careful with my rings, never taking them off or setting them down except at home. but not this time.

one is a sterling silver ring that a dear friend gave me (an irreplaceable token of our bond). the other is a 14-karat gold graduation ring (that i'd painstakingly modified to add a 1/2 to the 92). both gone.

maybe i'd left them in the school bathroom where i changed out of my jeans; maybe i'd left them in the classroom when i gathered my stuff to bicycle home; maybe i'd left them outside when i put on my gloves before riding off.

i remember seeing them on my hand while i was sitting in the cafe, so i knew i'd really been wearing them. damn.

i searched through everything i'd had with me again, one last time. i'd finally given up and was willing to let the silver ring pass back into the chaos of the world in which my friend originally found it. and my graduation ring? my wedding ring to academia (as i thought of it)? my donation to oblivion. despair had set in.

those parts of my life were over and done. good-bye and fare well. and then i walked into the bathroom to take a shower. there, on the metal lid of the wastebasket by the toilet, where i'd set them when i first came home, were my rings. salvation.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

around the clock -- AWFUL

i just heard a police officer (from a town which i shall not name) say on a tv interview:

"We're working the case literally around the clock..." and they still haven't solved it yet.

perhaps if they were working on it only *figuratively* around the clock, they'd have better success -- that is, unless new evidence in the case happens to be found in close proximity to that particular clock.

that officer has the honor to be the newest member of AWFUL, Americans Who Figuratively Use 'Literally'. congratulations. :-D

Thursday, January 17, 2008

'Apocalypto' now

watched 'Apocalypto' last night (Mel Gibson directed, 2006). lots of fun after 'Passion Of The Christ', with jungle, wild boar, jaguar, Mayan language soundtrack, native hijinks, and archetypal everything!

jumping off cliffs, graphic violence, and blood & gore galore. a little final redemption. "To seek a new beginning."

somewhat disliked it while i was watching, but liked it more once it was over.

Monday, January 14, 2008

snow adventure and excitement

woke up this morning and shoveled snow for an hour, just for something to do. then i called the special bus service that was supposed to give me a ride to a doctor's appointment in the afternoon.

but they're closed, due to snow. rats. then the doctor's office calls -- am i coming in?

i bet that i can figure something out and say "Sure!". then i check the other bus company's web site and discover that they are actually open and can at least get me vaguely in the vicinity. yay!

i've never been to this office before, so i go to Google maps and ask for directions. it takes a long time to load up, and finally i figure out why -- it has me going from Marlborough, MA to somewhere in Nevada with the same street name. smart assumption.

then i get it to keep me within Massachusetts, and i think i know where i'm going from the map. hah. i take the bus and get off on what i'm pretty sure is the right corner; but i still wander around for half an hour on an unplanned walking tour of downtown, mostly because the signs are covered in snow and i have to guess.

but then i finally find it, and i was still on time. (some part of my brain had gotten me to take an early bus.) coming home was easier, and i even found a Starbuck's after the appointment and recharged my batteries somewhat.

home again, home again.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

women can control the world

i hope women all over the US (and around the world) are waking up and realizing that they can control -- by their sheer numbers -- the outcomes of free and fair elections.

women outnumber men. and they can outvote them, too. they just have to get out there and do it.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

surcease of sorrow

Eagerly I wished the morrow -- vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow -- sorrow for the lost Lenore --
[Edgar Allen Poe, 'The Raven']
successfully *i* have have sought to borrow it, however; my books are pretty much the only thing getting me through.

(and videos, too, when i'm disinclined to read.)

Lenore? she's better reduced to a memory.

so not for Lenore; for nothing.

Friday, January 4, 2008

where men are from?

if men are really from Mars, they'd better bring their sandals when they go home again. (and maybe a beach umbrella and volleyball net.)

here's a piece of the latest mosaic from Spirit, a Mars Exploration Rover. now on to Venus! (and then maybe a date somewhere in between, like Earth maybe.)

and no bitching about politics today, i swear. (well, at least on my blog. ;-)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Iowa caucuses == crap

in the US presidential primaries, the Iowa caucuses make about as much sense as the electoral college does in the presidential election -- it's a load of crap!

same with the early New Hampshire primary -- why should any state get a special privilege?

i say, go to a one-person-one-vote system. have all the primaries on the same day to nominate the party candidates. and then eliminate the electoral college entirely and have whoever gets the most votes on election day wins, regardless of what state they live in.

i mean, duh.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

it's not too late

my motto for the new year? it's not too late to make up for things not done in the past (or done only poorly); it's not too late.

time to get to work, then. yay!

what are *you* up to?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

you said; i said.

[heh. ;-) ]
you said we watched the episodes (on tape) of the tv show before we watched the movie. and i said we never did.

instead (i said), you summarized a few things from the tv show episodes and how some of the actors were different. and then we dove right into the movie. i didn't mind at all.

but you still insisted that we had watched the episodes together. maybe you were thinking of somebody else. i don't really mind that either.
[happy Twenty-Oh-Eight, everybody.]