Archive for October, 2007

Entertaining Tourists: October ’07

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

My parents and my best friend Paul’s parents came to Boston for a long weekend, and what a long weekend it was, what with the world series and all. We managed to do a whole lot (Map now with pictures), much more than when my parents came up last spring. Its taken me a few days to recover and find time to make up the map. It was fun, and good to have people to go out to dinner with, more than just on Wednesday night. And of course, it was great to see my parents, whom I love (they are the principle readers of this thing anyways it seems).

Blogging from the Doorstep

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

In my first real time blog I am here to tell you that on my street it is very hard to give away candy on Halloween. There is just no one here, now 1 block away there is a street, that when I walked through it at 7pm was packed with hundreds of little kids. But 1 block away almost nothing.

I dressed up as a guy wearing tinfoil, I mean Chiptole Burrito, and got my free one with a not-longer-than-normal-length line, which would never happen in Ohio. The line would be ~2 hours at every Chipotle in the state. I ran down there, at least partway, tonight, to burn off even more of my 2 consecutive burrito for dinner days. I also had to buy tin foil and candy on my way down there, hence the rush. Ok its like 8:15 and there haven’t been any kids since 8 so I’m going to pack up shop, silly kids not getting free candy.

Sox Sweep in Series!!

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

World Series ‘07 !!! I picked a good year and a good team to start watching baseball, and I toured Fenway Park for the first time today, pictures to come later. How exciting. And now college football back in the spotlight, go Buckeyes.

Outside Fenway

State Street Level Up the Third Base Line Fixing those Socks

A Win Win Situation

Friday, October 26th, 2007

Chipotle Sign Well I could mean the Red Sox, up 2-0 games in the world series, but in this case I mean Chipotle. A week ago a new Chipotle opened in Boston, and this one is even closer to my place, a 0.6 mile ~10 min walk from my place instead of a ~10 min drive. The win win situation is that now I can work off some of my burrito walking to get it and back, saving me gas (therefore money) and calories. The location is quaint on the outside and small and busy on the inside, see pictures. It is definitely not a good place for groups larger than 4 unless you Intend to carry out, or eat outside. Its a damn shame they don’t deliver, because the iLab guys at my place essentially don’t eat at places that don’t deliver.

Grand Opening Quaint Outside Small Inside

There are about a million burrito places in Boston, and it seems like all of them have a store within walking distance of Davis Square, where the new Chipotle is located. So they will be facing some stiff competition, especially from the closest one Anna’s Taqueria, which offers smaller burritos for roughly 2/3 the cost, but half the quality. Chipotle, being new, has had a lot of draw this past week from what I can tell. Two of my room mates went and tired it independently of me. The question is, will college students here go for the quality burritos at Chipotle or the cheap ones at entrenched local favorite Anna’s. People here swear by Anna’s, but now that they don’t have to drive to Medford to get something better hopefully they will see what they have been missing.

Another Week, Another Reason Not to Watch Beauty & the Geek

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Erin & Jesse Spoiler Alert:
Yep, so last week Luke left, and this week Jesse is gone. So much for the last remaining people I had a vested interest in. It was a good call on the other player’s part as they were a really strong team and had an alliance with the other team up for elimination, John & Natalie.
Teams up for elimination
Once again it came down to the guys, with my guy in a 1 point deficit, which is really hard to recover from. The guys’ questions are always slow lobs right over the plate, because they are trivia from areas like fashion that really have no trivia; this does not make recovering a point any easier. At least no one spoiled this one for me.
Group Hug
Oh and the Sox won tonight, unlike last week when I had Luke going spoiled, and a Sox loss in the same night. Rough night of watching TV I know. But hey, my bike riding friends say that when the Sox were down 3-1 in ALCS games, they experienced significantly more road rage.

Red Sox Win the Pennant

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

That is all.
ALCS Pennant

Pass No Laws Before Passing Bad Ones

Friday, October 19th, 2007

I usually don’t waste time at work with the blog but this has really hit all of my political buttons. In case you’ve been living under a blindfold for the last year or so, the US. government broke the law by asking the big telecoms to break the law and hand over customer data without warrants, which the telecoms gladly did. Unfortunetly the White House is throwing every state secret, classified, you can’t talk about this rule in the book at the people, congress, EFF, others, who are trying to expose this presidentially sanctioned criminal activity. They are also trying to pass an ex-post-facto law, which specifically indemnifies any telco that may have illegally helped the government in this case. Yesterday I read that the senate had agreed to attach language to the new surveillance bull that does just that.

This pisses me off to no end. I elected the democrats to stop just such tomfoolery from going on. It is better than we make no new laws than that we make bad laws such as this! If the democrats can’t convince the white house and the republicans of the need for new and good laws, then I am perfectly happy with their primary purpose being only to prevent the republicans from creating bad laws. But that is not what they are doing, out of what I must assume is fear that if no legislation passes they will be looks upon as not doing their jobs they are failing me. As far as I am concerned it is their job to ensure that no legislation passes. Yes, that takes the view that the republicans will not pass any good legislation. Not too far off in my estimation, as these republicans are ignoring the only tenet of their platform that I agree with, that being fiscal conservatism.

Luckily today I read that Senator Chris Dodd, who is a 2008 presidential candidate, has put the new bill “on hold” which, essentially is the best one man can do at preventing the bill from moving to the floor for discussion. And for that I must say thank you! Senator Dodd has proven to me that he is at least trying to do what he was elected to do. He is not afraid to do nothing when the only practical alternative is to do a bad thing. How hard is that people; come on. I can only hope that other senators and presidential candidates see his actions and copy them verbatim.

Ars Technica, also has some coverage of this.

A Week for Losers

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

LukeWell, in the start the eventual Red Sox loss (#3 in a row) I got an IM from Josh that included a spoiler for this week’s beauty and the geek. Quit now if you don’t want to be spoiled. It was one line, all spoiler, no lead up:

Man, Luke talks then he’s gone.

I finished the game, yelling enough at Josh that he felt compelled to take up the Red Sox cause for one night only, which is a big step for him, and I post it here only so his family has evidence of his weakness and treachery. I finished the game, then settled down for a spoiled Beauty and the Geek at 1.1 time normal speed.

Oh so, I skipped last week’s Beauty and the Geek update, well it didn’t have much to do with Luke or Jesse, but it was interesting. Nicole tricked Sam into putting 2 strong competitors up against Rebbecca and Will, whom Sam wanted to keep in the game, but Nicole did not. Nicole’s trickery paid off her in the end. In other news, Nicole apparently attends Tufts, which is all of a 15 min walk away from here.

Ok so this week. There was a make over. Luke went from this:
Luke’s Usual Outfit

To this:

Luke’s New Look 1 Luke’s New Look 2

In the end, Luke and Katie got put up for elimination by Shae and Josh because, as I said at the start, Luke isn’t really in the same category as some of the other geeks like Josh; and therefore, is seen as a threat to win. Although, Katie, after a 2nd best showing in the episode 2 debate, didn’t seem as smart as she was given credit for in the teaching segment this week. Luke went home in the end because Nicole knows what Britney Spears and Ashlee Simpson are famous for; that is having 2 kids and shaving her air, and lip syncing respectively. Come on, even I knew that. The real question is that with Tony, Amanda, Luke, Katie, and Hollie gone, are Jesse and Erin really enough of a reason to keep watching this pretty awful show. Maybe I’ll give it a try at 1.4 times normal speed like I used to watch family feud with the room mates. At that speed the 44 minute long show would only take 31.4 minuets. Don’t expect an update.
Goodbye Luke

Titles are Hard, I Give Up

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

So the Red Sox lost, It was such a close game, until the end, and I drove home during that (when it went to 9-6) so it seems even closer. But both of the ALCS games so far I’ve actually watched instead of just happening to be able to see the glow from fenway. Tonight I was even out, at Emily’s apartment condo warming party. It was a fun party other than the game. Actually it was more interesting, in that 4 of the girls who at first sight appeared to be single were actually lesbians, lowering the number of single girls there by a large fraction :-/. There was some public girl on girl make out action, I suppose that can make up for the lack of singles.

There was good news in the sports world for me today though (just in the games I didn’t watch). That being:

  1. #3 Ohio State won as expected without me even so much as checking to see if the game was going to be on TV here, although I doubt it was. With the rest of the results, it looks like OSU is once again going to be #1 in the AP poll, but I doubt the BCS will be that kind to us.
  2. #17 Kentucky helped OSU out by knocking off #1 LSU. Seems like this game was awesome and well deserving of being watched. I’ve got a cousin at Kentucky now, so theres an official reason to pull for them. Last week I pulled for LSU against those evil Florida Gators, even though a Florida win would have increased OSU’s ranking; its nice to see a team I actually kind of like knock of OSU, it feels better than if we’d needed the Gators to do it.
  3. #2 California lost to Oregon State also helping OSU out in the rankings. I must say these Oregon teams are making me happy this season, with this, and Oregon’s win over Michigan in week 2.
  4. And the last one is just spiteful: Louisville topped #15 Cincinnati. I am by no means a UC fan, so keeping them in the rightful place and out of the top 25 is appreciated.

So where was I instead of watching college football? Well, at another activity 2002 me would not have guessed, playing board games. I arrived at the Game Until You Die party later than I wanted, but just in time for the 5th spot in a game of Puerto Rico, which I came in 3rd. It was good to play with new people, as I saw 2 new strategies that I can try on my usual play group, who was in the other room playing power grid. I’ve played Puerto Rico more times than I can count at this point, and I’ve never won, but I’ve placed 2nd many times, so I feel that I could be good, but it really is a great game, its so much fun and interesting even when 4 of you have accidentally let the 5th person run away with the game. So now that I’m remembering board games and football and not baseball I can goto bed smiling, which is exactly what I set out to do with this 2:20am post.

Island Hopper

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

Island Hopper This week Paul picked Island Hopper, which is, what I would call, some kind of Asian Fusion Restaurant. Its on Mass. Ave. and Newbury St. I had the Mango Chicken, which was served in mango halves, and was yummy. If anything there just wasn’t enough of it. But, apparently, the item to get was Beef Randang, 3 people ordered it and they all liked it, as far as I could tell. Topics of conversation included numerical methods and creative methods for asking girls out on dates as practiced in small town Idaho, near where Napoleon Dynamite was filmed; we had an expert on hand.

Seasonal Oreos
After dinner we went to JP Licks, which is a yummy local ice cream place. I always go with the Cake Batter flavor, once I tired to get Oreo Cake Batter, but I screwed up my order and just got Oreo, so now I keep it simple. While eating we noticed this sign for their ice cream cakes, which left us with the intriguing question, “When, exactly, are Oreos in season?” Any ideas?