Monday, December 31, 2012

Nice and Naughty ;-)

The last day of twenty-twelve.  Why do i prefer even-numbered years to odd?  Maybe being born in an even-numbered one inclined me towards it; maybe it doesn't matter.

I wonder how long i can leave up the holiday lights?  Hanukkah was the 8th to the 16th, winter solstice December 21st, Christmas the 25th, and New Year's is tomorrow.  Maybe February ... that's it, Valentine's Day might be a good take-down deadline.  Or  perhaps tomorrow.

Okay peeps, this is your last day to enjoy indulgences that you might promise to stay away from next year—seize the day/night, for tomorrow *is* next year.  Do yourself a favor:  do something naughty!  Food, sex, et cetera.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

happy, merry

heh, this morning on a Facebook thread i'm following, someone was complaining of the regulations his company must follow; as a christmas present, i kindly did not suggest that he take his company to China and see how he likes it there.  :-)

and i just got back from my morning run on this perfect white christmas morning.  nobody out on the roads; my footprints were the first on the new-fallen snow; and a few unhurried snowflakes hung in the air, deciding where to land.

happy day, peeps!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Excuse For Missing All The 12s

Yesterday morning i took a bicycle ride to my bank in Clinton at 11:20; it's only about three miles away, so i'd have plenty of time to come back and take a picture of my fiancé's funky digital clock on 2012-12-12 at 12:12 and 12 seconds.
    It was cold out, so i bundled up.  The ride over to the bank takes ten or fifteen minutes, and i pull up to the bank just as some woman wearing a sweatshirt (hood down) goes into the ATM vestibule, which has a door into the bank.  I follow her, walking my bicycle, which i leave in the alcove at the front of the bank, along with my hat, gloves, and helmet.
    Since i'm cashing in some Savings Bonds, i figure i shouldn't get in line for the teller but instead go talk to a manager or something.  So i bypass the velvet rope area and walk over to a section of glassed-in cubes; a dark-haired woman at a desk waves me over.  I sit down, show her the Savings Bonds and my IDs, and wait while she takes them back behind the teller's counter (after she'd explained that i could actually have taken them to a teller).
    It's taking a long time!  What's she doing back there?!?  I check my phone—11:50—and look behind me; i can see her behind the glass on the other side of the counter.  Damned, i'm not going to be home to see all the 12s after all.  Hum-dee-dum.  I look back again, and this time she's not behind the counter, but i see the reflection in the glass of her walking back.  Finally!
    "I'm sorry that took so long," she says.  "We've just had a robbery."
    A robbery!?!
    "Is every one all right?" i ask calmly.  "I didn't even hear anything."  I turn around again and now there are several cops, both uniformed and plain-clothes, walking around.
    "A woman in a hoodie handed the teller a note asking for all the money in the drawer.  She said her partner had a gun."
    Hmmm, maybe i'm glad i didn't go to the teller queue after all.
    "Hey, who's bicycle is this?" asks one of the cops.
    "Ah, that would be mine," i say, twisting around; the cop nods.  "Sorry, i didn't see anything.  My back was turned the whole time."

By the time i looked at  my phone again, it was 12:18.  Oh well, no 12s.  Another fifteen minutes for her to get the money for my Savings Bonds and for me to sign them over.
    But at least there was time for me now to stop at Bolton Orchards for a cup of cider or two on the way home.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

hello autumn!

(i put in the exclamation mark to boost my writing-energy ;-)

bicycled to Bolton Orchards this morning, tearing like mad along the roads by the golf courses.  sweatshirt weather now.  also for running, earlier.  pretty soon it will be too dark to run in the early morning and i'll have to wait until 9 o'clock.

bicycled home with a gallon of milk, four ears of corn, a bag of pretzels, and a bag of sea salt & vinegar potato chips in my backpack — heavy up the hills, but good for an old man like me.

maybe Thursday i'll bicycle to Concord.  have to clear out this cough/cold from my lungs first, though.

perfect weather today.  lots of sun, but not too warm.  (71 degrees F, according to the weather widget.)  maybe time to sit on the back deck and read.

days like this feel like heaven.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

back at a favorite haunt

back in West Concord again . . . back at Nashoba Brook Bakery and enjoying a slice of their fresh 7-Grain bread (toasted, with butter of course—plus they gave me the heel, too!) while sitting at the counter in the corner in front of the window which overlooks the footbridge over the brook.

the heat of August has broken, for a day at least, and the ride from Bolton was cool & refreshing (with the possible exception of a 10 mph breeze from the north, which fortunately wasn't from the east).

mmm, bread & butter and coffee.  a padded stool in front of a big window with a view.  plans to catch the train later west and then a bike trail north.  paradise, all of it.

and then home again (after meeting with the caterer) to sleep in a soft bed with my true love.  i couldn't ask for more.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Time to post this pic again! :-)

Democrats are mighty pleased with Mitt Romney's VP choice.

Romney is wisely broadening his base from the 1% to the 5%.  Score!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

my old school

here's an early morning (06:30) shot of one of my favorite places—Uris Library at Cornell (before the hordes of people arrive ;-).

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

'Labor Day' detour

this morning i was bicycling from (Bolton to) Acton to West Concord, headed to Nashoba Brook Bakery (where i am now), and part of Piper Road (the way i usually go) was closed, all blocked off with traffic cones.  there was a cop waving cars in the direction of the detour; but he let me go through, saying "Keep to the left."

i didn't know if there had been a big accident, or if there was  construction, or what might be going on.  no cars were coming the other way on Piper, and after a little while i came to a big crowd gathered in the street.  there was an older-looking New Hampshire police car at a jaunty angle in the driveway and a lot of people milling around the property, a few trucks parked here and there, and a cop in the road.  i wondered what might have drawn New Hampshire police all the way to Acton/Concord Massachusetts?

even though there didn't seem to be any big emergency going down, i stayed to the left and slipped through the crowd, past the cop.  when i got to the end of Piper, where it dumps out onto School St, there was another cop and i asked him what was going on.  he said they were shooting a scene for the movie 'Labor Day' (with Kate Winslet).


i think that's the closest i've ever been to a movie shoot, and the only reason i was going through Acton at all was that i needed to stop at a bank there.  lucky me!  (and lucky that i was on bicycle; if i'd been in a car, they never would have let me through.)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Demonoid down? :-(

just spent a while reading comments on the unavailability of Demonoid:
[and the list goes on....]

very sad.

illegitimi non carborundum, demonoid.

oh well, back to more "legitimate" stuff.

Friday, July 27, 2012

i couldn't resist this JPG . . .

i'm making an effort not to post partisan political stuff on Facebook, but i couldn't resist this image from MoveOn:
i'll be mighty glad when the stupid pre-election media blitz is over and we can go back to "normal" life.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

sultry July afternoon

sitting on the back deck, now that it's becoming shaded.  hot as Hades today (for Massachusetts), and humid as the Everglades (with only a mild exaggeration).  my phone just warbled like a sick electronic parrot to give me a flash flood warning, but the radar shows it none too close.

after a twenty-year sabbatical of sorts, i guess it's time for me to go back to school for real—time to begin catching the commuter rail into Tufts and taking the CS classes i should have taken twenty years ago.  i should have extended my undergrad a year or two back in 1993 and taken the classes then, but all i can do is now.

by waiting twenty years, i can spend my time with C++ instead of C, and on computers a whole bunch faster (roughly 200 times faster).  [if anyone can give me a better number comparing computers of 1992 to 2012, i'd love to hear it.]

wish me luck with my computational consciousness development (and with finding some financial aid!).

stay cool, peeps.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

my other car

you might see me on the road
wearing a t-shirt that says
"my other car is also a bicycle"

gets a hundred miles
a gallon of water
drink or sweat, the same

everywhere i go i –  the gym
there and back is my workout
membership fees never due

i don't go out much
rainy days, or snow
i'm fair weather game

take a ride to Concord town
or Lancaster and Bolton
Orchards on every side

nighttime i stay home
with my love who prays
safe rides to my name

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Our home we got to save!

ah, watching disc 1 of 'Star Blazers' — whee!  Derek Wildstar, Nova, Captain Avatar, Trelaina, and all the others . . . yay!

thank you, CW/MARS library loans!

who says the '70s & '80s are gone?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hakuna Matata

another day in paradise.  :-)

roll the bones, and what do you get?

Hakuna Matata . . .

. . . every day.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


The sweetheart where the relations which it exposes are good

[i love the Translate widget — give it a phrase in English, translate it to another language, and then translate that translation back into English; what fun!

C++ is calling, so i'd better get to it.

ciao, peeps.]

Friday, May 25, 2012

Live in today!

today is the birthday of Ralph Waldo Emerson, i discovered when i went to the Writer's Almanac page.  and there i pulled some good quotes:  "Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air."  (which i feel is a fab way to go about life.)

and this is an even better overall approach to living:  "Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."

and yesterday i "discovered" an entire Boston album that i'd never heard, 'Corporate America'.  i say 'discovered', but it was actually sitting on one of my hard drives, in the compressed FLAC format.  i guess i acquired it in the murky past, and it sat waiting patiently for me to get around to it.  a good reminder to me to keep up with my data!

happy weekend, peeps!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

favorite food update

remember how i used to say that if i were trapped on a deserted island with only one food, that one food would be peanuts?  OK, time for an update.  along with the peanuts (or peanut butter, if it's the good kind, made only from roasted & salted peanuts), i would like to add nutella — ah, nutella, n u t e l l a,  n  u  t  e  l  l  a . . . that yummy hazelnut spread, which my fantastic fiancée re-introduced to me recently.

(i'd need about a million jars of it, with as many of peanut butter, on that deserted island.)

right now i'm sitting on the couch eating peanut butter & nutella, and i could not be any more gastronomically pleased.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What will you do when . . .

When a hand reaches up from the comic book page, will you take it?

Will you take the chance when it comes?

Or will you play it safe and let it go?

You decide, every time.

Good luck.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

ah . . . Groton

walked from where Sandi works into town to the Main Street Café.  found a comfy chair near a plug; now coffee & computer & Kindle, and lunch later — life is good.  hips a little sore from the walk, but just the usual.

the rain is done for the week, at least according to the forecast; and the sun is back in command.  feels like summer instead of spring, but i'm not complaining!  :-D

love the atmosphere here, small-townish and quiet.  no commuter rail station in town, but it's on the Nashua River Trail that connects Ayer, Groton, Pepperell, & Dunstable and there's a station in Ayer less than four miles away.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

OK, i'm a slacker . . .

hmmm, so much for my blog entry every day.  oh well, it was worth a shot; i'll just have to do what i can.

did odds & ends today:
• transplanted four baby apple trees into transitional containers (i.e., re-used hummus containers with holes cut in the bottoms) and a fifth (slightly older) into a regular pot.  more mouths to feed.  :-)
• finally got around to watching 'Highlander' this afternoon.  fun, but not my favorite — it had its moments, but probably won't watch it again for a long time.
• and baked a loaf of bread, too.  yum!

brought the baby apple trees outside for a little while this morning, in the brief sunshine we enjoyed; it's raining out now (and we need it).  time to make dinner . . . .

Thursday, May 10, 2012

naughty bits

heh, did some digging and found free downloads of some naughty bits i've been looking for (which aren't commercially available anymore).  part of success is not clicking on the wrong buttons at certain-stuff-is-free-(but-most-you-pay-for) sites and having a lot of patience.  meaningless, but fun.

watched some of Ken Burns's 'Mark Twain' film today:  thoughtful but sad stuff.  Twain's stuff is some of my favorite.

errant ants are coming into our apartment — the poor guys, they're just lost.

also looking through some old pictures (that were backed up on extra space on the Mark Twain discs).  ten years ago seems like such a long time ago . . . .

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

more fun with C++

yay, i've maybe found a good open-source C++ library (and community) to work with — Cinder!

the beauty of a good library is not having to start from scratch, but being able to jump right in with tested & functioning features for my programs.  i had been thinking of doing the graphic stuff in Java, since i can make Java calls from C++ in UNIX; but i'd much rather be able to use (and carefully modify, if needed) pre-made stuff.

that's what i liked about Java — it has a wicked good library of nearly everything i'd want; the main problem is that Java is too slow.  Java is great for quick & dirty internet stuff, but i want dedicated high-speed stuff.  if i were a (hugely) better programmer, i could do it all from C; but let's be realistic. C++ is a good compromise.

and open-source is good because i want to get into the nitty-gritty stuff and mess around with it if i so choose.

wish me happy coding . . . .

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

forgot yesterday — maybe a gimme after my b-day?

arg; so yesterday i forgot to blog; maybe two entries for today.  as far as i got yesterday was to post a quote-of-the-day from Ender on Facebook:
[from Ender's QOTD 2012-04-24:]

An education isn't how much you have committed to memory,

or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between
what you do know and what you don't. It's knowing where to go
to find out what you need to know; and its knowing how to use
the information you get.
-- William Feather, US Author

[thank you, as always, Ender!]
today i made the major accomplishment (for my limited skills) of getting past the 'Stairway to Heaven' section of X-Blades on the PS3.  playing that game inspires me to program:  "Ayumi is yummy!" is my slogan, and i'd love to write her in C++ as a red-head!  another difficult task on my impossible stack.  :-D

back to the grind . . . .

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Happy 30th birthday to me! (in base 14)

made good time riding to Nashoba Brook Bakery this morning:  just about an hour from our apartment, and not bad for an old man.

and speaking of my not being much of a family man, i found out yesterday that my own brother declined to be Best Man in my own wedding next April.  oh well, such is life.  maybe we'll have a smaller ceremony than originally planned, with just a few of our closest peeps.  plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

glad the warm half of the year is upon us; i'm happy to bask in the coming summer warmth.

enjoy the day!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

waiting to go to Jennifer's wedding

ugh, i'm not a big fan of getting dressed up.  a nice shirt and a jacket, sure; long pants, no chance.  if you don't want me to wear shorts to a wedding, schedule it before the spring equinox.  (the only exception to this being my own wedding, in which case i'm willing to make an exception — though it's to be 13 April 2013, so it shouldn't be exactly sweltering out.  ;-)

i have 8 nieces and nephews on my mother's side, and 1 nephew on my father's side; and this is the first wedding i've been able to attend so far for any of them.  (not that they've all been married — i think that this is only the fourth so far, but i'm not sure.)   they're all not that much younger than i, and we're not at all close anymore (if we ever were).  oh well, i guess i'm not a big family person.

thinking about going back for a post-bac Computer Science minor starting this fall.  ordered books from Amazon (one paper and one for my Kindle) to get an early start at it this summer.  been looking at 50cc motor scooters too, to get to the train station to take me to Tufts.  something constructive to do.  being with Sandi makes it easier to think about.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday night

tonight i am, as my father would have said, bacching it (pronounced "batching it"), as Sandi is off on a knitting retreat.  i'm parked in an easy-chair right in front of the HD TV (with a beer close at hand).

watched Resident Evil earlier, and now watching PBS Newshour and looking at graduate programs in computer science.  i guess the Tufts University post-bachelor's CS minor is still the most appropriate for me; maybe it's time for a motor scooter to get me to the train into Boston this fall.  who knows.

would be nice, though.  i would enjoy some Tufts classes.  would keep me off the streets.  :-D

Thursday, May 3, 2012


the nest-building bird is at it again, very industriously; he seems to be enjoying it, despite the rain.

watching Tomb Raider, just for some background amusement — a prelude (or accompaniment) to writing algorithms.

got a fab Cornell sweatshirt last night from my Sandi; she's such a dear.  i'm the most fortunate sentient in this sector of the galaxy.

ciao for now, peeps . . . .

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

It's been nine months today since Sandi and i met, and they've been the happiest months of my life.

We've moved to a beautiful apartment in the Massachusetts wilderlands outside of 495.  I had the privilege of taking a class with Dan Dennett at Tufts University this past fall, and i'm continuing my work on computational consciousness.  (See the picture of my new workspace!)  And Sandi quit a stressful dead-end job and went to work somewhere with great camaraderie and advancement potential.

Our wedding will be next April, and we can hardly wait — yay us!

Happy spring to everyone!