Monday, December 31, 2001


Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2001


Tonight, outside of Shanghai Village, where I was picking up Chinese food take out, a couple asked me how to get from there to Boston Harbor.

I sighed, explaining to the couple that Boston is quite a ways from here (ten miles). I sent them straight down Massachusetts Avenue, which (if you follow it carefully from Arlington) will take you through Cambridge, into Harvard Square, then eventually past MIT over the Charles River. "After you cross the river, ask for directions again." They thanked me, and went on their way.

Earlier in the afternoon, Jenn's aunt and family came to visit and of course they asked for some pointers for how to get from my house to the local mall. They at least had a map, so I could direct them a little better than the couple outside the restaurant.

I am now wondering, as I write this, whether the couple managed to get to Boston Harbor. Boston is a mean little city for city driving.

Friday, December 28, 2001


I was glad to find yesterday's link to the point about happiness.

When I got my pay check a few weeks ago, attached to it was a note from the president, urging us to stay upbeat during this slight downturn in the market. On the back of the note were the words about being happy now. I subscribe to this thought, but I need to keep reminding myself of this because it's difficult to actually be happy. It's an elusive feeling.

I often think back to my glory days of my school days and ponder the happiness I felt then. I think I'll be doing the same thing when I'm sixty years old, looking back on today and deciding "Boy! I was sure happy back then."

I think the happiness that is suggested by the link is not the pollyanna happiness of fools. It's instead a reminder that life is meant to be difficult. Be happy for the present, for the now. Be happy we're on the journey. And that's not a bad reminder.

Thursday, December 27, 2001


There is no way to Happiness. Happiness is the way.


I replaced the CPU fan in my computer. Actually, I went the computer store and had a sales person help me with picking out the right fan. The technician pulled out my motherboard, and unhooked the fan from the CPU.

The new fan is so quiet, I almost couldn't believe it was working. The person who rang up the sale ($7.35) walked over to my machine and attached it for me. I booted it up right there to see it in action.

Now that's service! (I did pull apart the machine with my own screwdriver once I got there, to make it easier for them to help.)

Tuesday, December 25, 2001

Jesus' Birthday

The gifts have been opened and sampled. I have enjoyed the bounty of today's special meal. I relish the idea that I have a few more days off from work. Yet the big memory for me is going to mass in the morning with Jenn and Mia, my baby daughter.

At mass, I am reminded that this day is about Jesus, about God becoming flesh through His birth. It's an important reminder.

Too often, I find myself more and more consumed with the traditional concerns of the holiday season: the cards, the gifts, the tree, the decorations. Those end up becoming the obligations of the season, and I grow weary of it.

It's His birthday today. Let's enjoy that.

Monday, December 24, 2001


Whew! I spent forty minutes trying to "win" the Solitaire game on my PC. I finally got a deck that let me finish. Should I try again? Why not! I'm waiting for Santa...


Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2001

The Golf Channel

Horrors! I've lost The Golf Channel in a recent cable listings change. Instead, I now get MSNBC. The golf station is now a 'premium' channel, which I can probably get a la carte, or as part of some other package (on par with ESPNews and CNNSI).

On the side of cable operators, it makes sense to make this change now (in the middle of New England's winter, with no golf in sight for another three months). But I will surely miss it during the heart of the PGA Tour golf season.

Wednesday, December 19, 2001

Country Music

I listened to country music during my drive home from work tonight. My boss suggested it, and I took him up on it. Every once in a while, I'll listen to the country station for a few days at a time. It had been a while since I did that.

WKLB was doing the "Top Five at Five" and I liked every one of the songs they played. The songs were:
  1. Riding with Private Malone (David Ball)

    This was a tear-jerker of a song, involving the owner of a classic car and the gentle ghost who rides in it.

  2. I Don't Have to Be Me (Until Monday) (Steve Azar)

    A very jaunty song about a man who takes Friday off and hits the open road.

  3. I'm Tryin' (Trace Adkins)

    A very sad song about how all the singer can do is try, despite everything going against him.

  4. I Wanna Talk About Me (Toby Keith)

    My favorite: a country "rap" about how the singer wants to talk about himself instead of just listening to his girlfriend.

  5. The Long Goodbye (Brooks and Dunn)

    I didn't hear much of this song, as I was pulling into my driveway, but it was sad. Chances are, I'll hear it tomorrow.
In college, I DJ'd at an alternative music station, and I asked someone there what constitutes 'alternative'. He said that alternative music was music that was different from what you listen to. If you listen to rap, then listen to rock. If you listen to rock, then listen to classical. Tonight, country was my alternative music. And it was good!

Tuesday, December 18, 2001

Brad Pitt

I take some solace that I am younger than Brad Pitt. He turned 38 today.

I first really noticed Brad in the movie Fight Club. He played his character with such enthusiasm that I took an instant liking to Brad Pitt. When I read that James Gandolfini (who plays Tony of the Sopranos) liked Pitt in Kalifornia, I made it a point to rent it. Brad Pitt was just as crazy in that movie as well ("Reebs. That's beers backwards.")

Yes, he's a "handsome man" (and nothing is wrong with that), but as an actor, he's taken on some non-handsome roles. For some reason, that's quite appealing to me. My favorite Pitt performance is in Twelve Monkeys. It's a Bruce Willis movie, but Pitt stole the scenes with his over-the-top performance as a lunatic.

The good news: the is up for sale. The bad news: The present owner is selling it for $950. C'mon!

Wet and Snowy

A wet, snowy day. The snow flakes were heavy with precipitation. Driving home was an exercise in caution.

Thursday, December 13, 2001


According to Google Groups, my earliest post to USENET was August 26, 1992. It was a posting for a new roommate. Sheesh!

Here's my announcement of my Tiger Woods web page (October 1996).

I can't hardly sleep now. Here's a post on the closing of the Tasty restaurant in Harvard Square (November 1997).

And finally, a post on Wade Boggs, after the Yankees won the World Series in 1996. I actually saved a copy of this post on my ISP. Maybe I can delete it now.

Wednesday, December 12, 2001


I think I could see myself riding around in that new invention by Dean Kamen. I remember reading an article about his earlier invention, the iBOT, a self-balancing mobility system for the handicap. Disabled people who have tried this machine wept for joy because they found themselves climbing stairs, and "standing up" at eye-level to those standing around them, all things they couldn't do with conventional wheel chairs.

Of course, the Segway probably can't beat a bicycle for the most common forms of tooling around.

Monday, December 10, 2001

The First Picture for this Blog

The last entry featured the first image interspersed in this BLOG.

A Picture of Snow

I took a picture of the snow that fell on Sunday. The previous night, the news said up to two inches, maybe even four. It was more like eight, where I live. I spent about an hour shoveling, going slowly so as not to hurt my back. It was that nice "soft" snow, easily packed into snow balls, but also easy to move around with a shovel. As I write this, most of the snow has melted nicely, but winter seems to have officially arrived here in New England.

Saturday, December 8, 2001

The Cross Atlantic Report

While reading Evhead's BLOG, I found a link for The Cross Atlantic Report, a "pictures and movie diary" of some folks living in New York City and Europe (Paris, Brussels). In their nicely designed web photo album, I chanced upon this classic photo of the Twin Towers.

I felt instantly wistful.

The First Snow

First snow has arrived. According to the news, the accumulation will only be one or two inches. When I had my car at the tire place, I put on snow tires, so I feel prepared for winter driving. It's amazing to think that a few days ago, it was almost 70 degrees.

Friday, December 7, 2001

Out of Sight

Blork (Ed) liked Out of Sight. :-)

Christmas Shopping

I have done virtually all of my Christmas holiday shopping on-line. This is sure taking the stress and strain away from the usual holiday rush. Jenn's been to the mall once. I hope that I don't even have to step into the mall until January (although we do plan to take Mia over to see Santa).

Thursday, December 6, 2001

Almost A Year Old

Last night, I updated my archive index. In a few short months, this BLOG itself will be a year old.

Also in a few short months, Mia will celebrate her first birthday. I've been writing a BLOG titled Mia's First Year, and as the name implies, I'll be ending that BLOG after her birthday. She'll make many appearances in this journal.

Wednesday, December 5, 2001


Several dozen, if not several hundred BLOGs are created daily with Blogger, and other tools. Every once in a while, I poke through what's new, and what's changed. I have a list of BLOGs that I visit semi-regularly, but most of my BLOG surfing is limited to short visits from the what's updated page.

I chanced upon Blork Blog, a lively journal of a Canadian with very varied interests. He has a lovely series of pictures from his office window, which he took over the span of a month. His BLOG is almost one year old. He has an engaging writing style.

I think you can get to know someone through their BLOG. Surely not everything, but certainly one's tastes, ones sensibilities. Sort of like book authors, actors, or news anchors, or newspaper columnists: we think we know them because we see their work, and from that, we extrapolate a little on "who they are". BLOGs are public expressions of ourselves.

I point to Blork's BLOG because I read two items that he wrote about Jennifer Lopez (1) (2). I share his admiration for J Lo. This connection makes me hope he's seen Out of Sight.

In this superb movie, Stephen Soderbergh employs a very stylish look and feel to a good-girl falls for bad-guy movie. J Lo gives as fine a performance in this movie as Jodie Foster did in Silence of the Lambs, that's how much I enjoyed her acting.

Of course, I know that J Lo is not Karen Sisco. I also don't know whether Blork would even like this movie. But thanks to his BLOG, I'm thinking he just might.

Tuesday, December 4, 2001

Sleep More?

With the end of the year fast approaching, I often try to assess what happened in the past year, and somehow tentatively set resolutions/goals for the next year. I think one thing I'm going to try to do next year is get more sleep. And one step towards that goal is to record when I sleep and when I wake. My brother has dutifully recorded his own sleeping habits, and I take inspiration there.

I also wonder why I find it so difficult to go to bed before midnight. I like watching movies at night. I also watch plenty of television. Tonight, after watching the Bruins game, I read a little bit, then spent a few minutes replying to an e-mail. Next thing you know, it's almost midnight. I should really be getting more sleep. (Jenn and Mia are in bed way before I go to bed.)

I blame my cable modem. The huge problem: the Internet is always "on". It's always available. Instead of getting ready to sleep, I end up doing "one more thing", like surfing EBay, or perusing SlashDot. I find that the computer keeps me up: it's incessant buzz, the bright screen, the endless links.

Maybe my New Year's resolution should be to taper off my after-work pre-sleep computer usage. Maybe one or two evenings a week, I can simply forgo the computer before sleeping? Maybe.

Sunday, December 2, 2001

The World Cup

The World Cup (of football; soccer to us Americans) starts next year in May, but the excitement for me begins today. The countries have been selected into groups. The United States will be playing in Group D with Portugal, Poland, and Korea (the host, along with Japan).

There is no true world championship like FIFA's World Cup. 192 countries entered the World Cup qualifying tournaments, which span two years. Of these counties, 32 "won" a place in the World Cup final tournament. Truly a world event.

In 1994, when the United States hosted this tournament, Jenn and I went to the semi-final match played between Spain and Italy in Foxboro Stadium. I spent the most money I ever spent on a live sporting event, but it was worth every dollar. Even on the way to the stadium, cars raced past us, honking, lights blinking, displaying Italian or Spanish flags. The crowd was the most electric, eclectic, energetic bunch of non-English speaking sports fans. My wife swooned over Roberto Baggio's thrilling goal (after which he blew a kiss to our side of the stadium). I was thrilled to be in such a frenzied crowd. (Italy went on to win the match, but lose to Brazil in the final.)

We're counting down the days to the World Cup in Japan/Korea. First match: May 31, 2002!

Saturday, December 1, 2001

A Rough Friday

Rough Friday. I caused a blowout of my passenger side front tire after hitting a curb, not even one mile from work. A moment's distraction (and yes, I was distracted with my cell phone), and there I was in a parking lot, eyeing a flat tire. Thankfully, I've changed the tires of my car once before, but after a few minutes of effort, I could not work off the lug nuts. I called AAA.

Since I called for flat tire assistance, the help arrived in a van. The burly gentleman revved up a generator, and applied his air impact wrench to the lugs. No go. He was as surprised as I was.

After a few minutes of trying, he says I'm going to need a tow. And just like that my Friday evening was toasted. I got home a little after 8PM, after dumping my car off at a near-by tire place, the same place that repaired my driver-side rear tire.

The walk home (about a mile) brought on a healthy dose of shin splints.