Archive for December, 2007


Monday, December 31st, 2007

Alfesco I’ve had a pretty busy holiday, and unfortunately I never got around to that last Wednesday night dinner post. We went to a new Italian place I picked in Davis Square; I was particularly proud of the invitation:

Twas the last Wednesday Night Dinner before Christmas and all through the city the dinners were chanting, “lets go someplace that’s not shitty!” When what to their wondering eyes should appear but an invitation to Alfresco…. my dear.

The menu was hung on teh interweb with care, In hopes that they all soon would be there. The dinners were rushing (to make it by ~7:30) in their Keds, while visions of yelp reviews danced in their heads.

He whistled and shouted and called them by name, “now, tell me if you can make it by 2 o’clock.” He spoke not a word but when straight to his work, providing directions from Davis. Just head down highland two blocks.

I had scallops in pasta (how not surprising), and wow the scallops were awful and dry, but the pasta sauce was yummy, and everyone else liked their meal. Its close to home, is always empty, and good enough that I may go there again.

1 Catch 22 Solved (21 to go?)

Monday, December 17th, 2007

An update on my snow emergency and street sweeping catch 22 problem:

Please also note that there will be NO further enforcement of street sweeping regulations until sweeping season resumes in April of 2008. Thank you for your patience as we work to make the city’s streets safe, clean, and dry.

It appears that there is little point to sweep streets in December this year, who would have guessed that there would be large piles of snow preventing the little green machine sweepers from doing any good at all. At least they aren’t trying to make the city a bunch of money by tickting people anyways.

Government Gets Something Good Done!

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

The Senate recently passed a bill that if enacted would raise car, truck, and SUV milage standards nationwide to 35mpg by 2020. In a surprising turn of events President Bush said that if the bill, in its current form, is sent to his desk he will SIGN IT! That is pretty amazing, does he even remember how to sign bills? I like now the New York Times phrases it as “Bush Won’t Veto…”

But all is not well, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid broke with the party line and introduced the bad FISA reform bill to the senate floor over the objections of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Joseph Biden, and Chris Dodd. This is the bill that I praised Chris Dodd for “putting a hold on” a while back. More on the story is here. Luckily Dodd is still on the right track and has pledged “to filibuster any legislation that does include retroactive immunity” for the telecoms involved in the NSA wiretapping.

Well, Dodd’s threat of a filibuster has postponed this debate until next year. It seems that the traitorous majority leader has decided that he’d rather try to pass other laws than spend the remainder of the year’s session listening to Chris Dodd talk. I have to add that the bill is also sponsored by a democrat, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), and for him I don’t have words. I would like to point out that “Dodd was the one Senator currently running for the White House who left the campaign trail to debate the” measure. You would think that just maybe the other 3, or is it more, current senators could take some time off from the campaign trail to help defeat the disaster that is this new surveillance law designed to replace the expiring Protect America Act. What we need is not more surveillance powers, unless they are surveying the executive branch’s overreaching power grab, and most certainly not immunity from past infractions against the rights of the public. End Rant (at least until January).

Snow Day

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

The View from the Porch
We had a snow day at work today, in light of the 6-12 inches of snow arriving between about 12:30pm and whenever it stops today. I had planned in advance and got up at the ungodly hour of 6am to make the 7:30 bus from alewife. That was my usual bus for the months when I went without a car. It was a good move, leaving work at ~2pm it took me until 4:15pm to arrive home, on the bus, which was faster than driving for sure, at least me driving in this stuff. It also saved a bundle on gas mileage, as sitting in traffic with the heater going is just about the wost case scenario for that I can imagine.

MIT 2007 DARPA Grand Challenge Entry But I did briefly, between learning of the snow day at around noon and 12:30 when it started snowing wish that my car could drive itself from home to the lab and come pick me up. Now, maybe robotic cars were just on the mind because some of the principle investigators in charge of MIT’s DARPA Grand Challenge entry came to give a talk at about 1pm, which was cut short, and was pretty much a disaster of a talk. There were some really sweet video’s constructed from data taken during the competition that made the whole thing well worth it. Anyways, I just want to go on the record saying it would be sweet if cars could live in a repository garage somewhere, possibly roboticly controlled to save space, and they could show up at times and places requested in advance, or could be called to come early or late, or just come now. They could temporarily park on the street while waiting for you, but they would spend the night in the repository. Well it wouldn’t leave your side until you told it it was ok. And of course, you could still manually drive while it is transporting you it if you wanted. Anyways, it is apparently currently impossible to do that, according the the PIs, and I guess they would know, they did at least give it a try.

By request, more snow pictures:

Black and White All steamed up The car, more just a measure of total snowfall, than interesting.

India Quality

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

India Quality India Quality was true to its name, and its sign, it did indeed have “excellent north India cuisine.” The service was also quite good, I came in after pacing about in the cold still waiting for my compatriots to arrive, and they immediately took care of me despite my not knowing even how many of us there would be. It turns out, only three of the many many people in the group could come. It is, of course, finals week, so that had a significant affect on attendance.

I have this problem, where by I am always early or at least on time to things. I check how long it should take to get there adjust a bit for unknowns, variability, and errands intend to run and set out. Of course, I always get there way too early. This time I got there at ~7:10 for a 7:30 dinner. This is not a problem specific to Wednesday Night Dinner, and as such has no bearing when others arrive. I do specifically remember one time where being way too early went a long way to impress a landlord and may have helped me cut a deal, but beyond that I can’t say as being early so often does me much good. My usual delay tactic is to walk aimlessly up and down the street. This time it was interesting because I had never ventured towards town from Kenmore square, and I had my camera with which to amuse myself, so I did:

Looking Down Com. Ave. The lights are on @ Fenway

They are not particularly stunning pictures, there were other good city skyline shots, which I always like to take, but always turn out badly at night. I swear Boston looks like a jewel on every clear night as I drive home, but the camera just can’t capture night scenes as well as I would like. Most of the best of those shots were marred by the elevated highway, so I didn’t even waste flash disk space on them.

Generic Statement of the Day

Monday, December 10th, 2007

Jed: : well it’s not really a sloppy one liner in the sense that it’s on line
Jed: : it’s more sloppy in that
Jed: : I’m just excluding specific cases
Jed: : which may change in the future
Jed: : if [[ something_specific ]] then; continue; fi
Jed: : ah dilemma… I suppose I should just spend a little more time on it
Liryon:: its always best if you can avoid cases, but sometimes there are cases
Liryon:: hows that for generic statement of the day.
Jed: : you should blog about it
Jed: : :-P


The Publick House

Sunday, December 9th, 2007

The Publick House Tonight, in celebration of one of my gaming buddys, Post’s, birthday a bunch of us went to the The Publick House, a bar/restaurant in Brookline. It’s one of those places where the beer menu is larger and has smaller print than the food menu. I got a seasonal beer called Winter Solstice, it was very acceptable, for beer (high praise). The dinner was spectacular, certainly the best bar food I’ve ever had; certainly the best I’ve ever reviewed on the blog. I got the Pumpkin Ravioli. There were 5 or so large raviolis filled with yummy pumpkin in a creamy white sauce with cheese. Something, either the pumpkin or the sauce was just the right amount of sweet, it was excellent. The other entrees received compliments as well, and for desert a delightful home made cake, pictured:
Post and the Cake
We used a table candle to substitute for birthday cake candles, luckily it was real and not an LED, as is becoming popular. All in all it was a fun time, and I would definitely go back for the pumpkin ravioli.

Tennis Pro

Friday, December 7th, 2007

In light of no longer having anything to do tonight I took it upon myself to get some “exercise” or at least fun, making level 2000 pro in wii Tennis:
Tennis Pro
I expected it to stop me at 2000, but it didn’t. Clearly, it is already off the chart. It appears that the max is expected to be ~2400, and that above ~2220 you only gain points (up to 5) for a 40-Love game. I am going to be satisfied with my 2003, unless I get really bored.

By somewhat popular demand, my wii. Designed in consultation with the room mates to get it just right. All theirs look like them as well, possibly that’ll be a post eventually.


Herrell’s Ice Cream

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

Takemura I met with some of the Wednesday night dinner crowd at Takemura, before skipping out on the restaurant for the night which was Herrell’s Ice Cream. You see, the group went to Takemura, a sushi and other Japanese fair restaurant in the basement of a building near Harvard Square, on April 4th 2006; so, clearly, that is not the restaurant for tonight. If it were, that would mean we went to the same place twice. The pre-Wednesday-night-dinner snack I had was pretty good, just some steak tips in a yummy teriyaki sauce with rice, which is exactly what I had in mind last night when I voted for it over some pizza/sub place. But that place got a lot of support, so we’re going there next week.

On another note, you know its Christmas time when you can’t walk within a hundred meters of a super market (@ porter square on the way to the T) without thinking for a moment that you are at a train crossing due to the incessant bell ringing of the salvation army.

Beauty and the Geek Finale

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

Dave and Jasmine, the winners!
So I was not initially a fan of David and Jasmine, despite that Dave is from Somerville, MA and Jasmine is from Columbus, OH. But oh how they are deserving of the win leaps and bounds above Sam and Nicole. By no fault of Nicole’s, it just doesn’t appear that sameSam has changed at all. While she certainly is glamming it up now, its hard to tell if there is any other change. Dave and Jasmine clearly changed, and got my vote despite my initial opinion.

So from my previous posts we know that I went to high school and college with Luke, and that a guy I know from work was friends with Jesse from kindergarten through college. It has recently come to my attention that, now pay attention this is a 4 hopper: my room mate Claudia’s not quite boyfriend Nick’s room mate is in a clique with Nicole at Tufts. She hasn’t met her yet. Now I just need to find the 3, and 5 social network hops to cast members; skipping six of course because theoretically you can get anywhere with 6. Then I can feel even more way too connected, especially if its to 2 more geeks. Luckily my friends are telling me not to go on the show, I’m taking that as a good sign.

Katie and Luke: 1 Network Hop Erin & Jesse: 2 Social Network Hops Sam and Nicole: 4 Social Network Hops

Here are some interesting screen captures from the final episode, part of a montage, but they are more interesting when you slow it down.

It Looks Like Luke is Driving that Thing!
Looks like Luke is in the driver’s seat, but who is in the passenger’s seat and when was this. It looks like a fun little toy.

What does it say?
Man, I really need an HD capture card, what in the world does that shirt say, clearly it’s a joke (they laugh in a few frames), but what is it? In the montage it’s harder to tell there is text on the shirt, which is probably the effect they were going for. I can probably Google up a list of shirts that it could be, but I’m not sure that is worth my time.