October 31, 2003
To promote the new Olympus E-1 the Olympus management team has posed nude for photographs made with the E-1. They say "The aim is to get people talking about the E-1's revolution in digital camera technology." I have no idea how that could result from this.
Microsoft & Google Rumors
The Motley Fool has this commentary:
Top 10 Implications of Microsoft Buying Google
10. Free worm with every search.
9. Google renamed "Microoosoooft."
8. Google becomes default search engine on all computers; attempts to use Yahoo! causes PCs to emit a pungent odor.
7. The search choices on Google will change from "Web," "Images," "Groups," "Directory," and "News" to "Web," "Shop Microsoft," "Buy From Microsoft Because You Have No Choice," and "Steve Ballmer Dancing."
6. Google Image Search will not show Microsoft's dark side.
5. All searches on the term "Steve Jobs" will return bios on Art Garfunkel, Ike Turner, Burt Ward (a.k.a. Robin), and other second fiddles.
4. Long speeches from Bill Gates about how "Smart Appliances" will allow owners to use Google to search for what's in their fridge. When pressed, Gates admits such appliances are only available in his mansion, and that he's never actually seen his refrigerator.
3. Microsoft uses Google technology to search for weapons of monopolistic destruction.
2. All searches on the term "Larry Ellison" will produce lists of garbage-collection websites.
1. "Bill Gates is richer than Warren Buffett" subliminally inserted into all search results.
Last Blast...of grave photos for awhile.
October 30, 2003
I forgot to mention that some time in the last couple of weeks I stopped in at John Harvard's Brew House in Harvard Square and enjoyed what they call spiced ale. It was exactly what pumpkin ale should be: just very lightly spiced, not so much so that you feel like you've got your nose down in a tin of allspice.
Tonight I was back at JH (which was what reminded me) and I tried their "Irish Dry Stout." Oh retch! It had an overwhelming flavor of envelope glue...the nasty kind that I haven't tasted since my childhood. I drank about half the pint thinking that I might discover something more to, or if that failed maybe pure drunkennes would allow me to get it down. Neither worked, and I finally took a walk leaving more than half of it sitting on the bar. I retreated to Herrel's for some ice cream to cleanse the palate.
Before all that had started I stopped in at The Cellar along Mass Ave, near Harvard Square. Last weekend I met a nice straight couple who seemed to enjoy good food and drink and they said that The Cellar poured the best Guinnes in Boston (or Cambridge). "What?" I asked, "How could this be?" Guinness (on tap) is Guinness, the only variables being temperature and how they pour it, and any decent bar around Boston gets that right (I did refer them to Daddy's in Castro, where they pour it wrong, but they're only $2.50 each and you get to lounge around in your underwear on Monday nights.)
So I hit The Cellar and yikes! It's packed tight with 30-something straight people. Very loud. I crowd up to the bar and get a $3.50 Guinness and it's poured right, but I think it's too cold. It tastes the same as any other Guinness I've had. I drink it fast to escape. If you're 30-something and straight, you might love the place. I think I prefer the Phoenix Landing in Central Square with its skinheads. Drink your Guinness the wrong way and somebody might kick the shit out of you. That's real sincerity.
So this party that I have neglected to mention was last Saturday and it was hosted by Kevin and Arthur and one nominal reason was to thank the people who donated to Ride FAR, but the real main reason was to celebrate the one year anniversary of the adoption of their two sons. The invitation informed us that bedtime for the boys was 8:30, so I made sure to arrive well before that to meet them. Naturally, lots of kids were present with their parents. It seemed the parents had managed to achieve parenthood through every possible means, including one couple that had gone the time honored traditional route. It was sort of a United Nations of methods of child-getting. The Bush White House would have been appalled. But the truly astounding thing was how wonderful all the kids were. I mean, you think back to the last time you had a grown up party with alcohol and about 20 kids under foot. Were the kids fighting and whining and crying and spilling shit and eating the gold fish and torturing the cat? Not the kids of the friends of Kevin and Arthur. They were all thoroughly charming, polite, spillproof, and (in a few cases) budding geniuses. The cat (as a sort of litmus proof) slept quietly on the back of the couch throughout the party despite occasional prods from the kids. Naturally Kevin and Arthur's boys were the best, and the older one was impressive in insisting on kissing EVERYone on the lips before he got put to bed. Well, he'll have a good resistance to diseases soon, if not already.
Greencine has added adult videos to their stock. Netflix doesn't have that. Greencine has been very discreet about it. No announcements on their website that I can see. It was all done by e-mail. To get the adult videos you have to go modify your account settings. There's a new check box (way down low) where you can indicate you want to get access to adult videos. Once you check that you get sent to a legal form which you "sign." Then I think a real human checks it and then makes the change. The only difference on the front page is in the Genre pulldown where I find a new "Adult" item. Once I finally got into the adult section I was disappointed that they haven't yet instituted even the minimal sort of segmentation that you might see in your neighborhood store. You know (don't you?) gay, straight, lesbian, S&M, the bulls of Pamplona, etc. I mean, Greencine is a San Francisco business and I don't want to have to slog through a list that's 90% hetero.
Gay New England
David, at GayNewEngland.net sends his Kindest Regards in a comment, and who am I not to accept them. Never heard of GayNewEngland.net before, which just shows how out of touch I am. It has (among many other things) an apparently up to date list of bars, which certainly relieves some of my confusion. I know new bars have cropped up recently, but Bay Windows hasn't updated their list since Clinton got his blow job. And without a bar list you have to go asking young alcoholics where the action is and my friend list is woefully short of young alcoholics. (I'll try to improve in that regard).
News you can use
2 for Fotolog
The Lincoln grave is interesting. It's Abraham Lincoln, and it's in the Common Street cemetery in Watertown. His wife's name is even Mary! This Abraham, however, died in 1869 and Mary died in 1859.
October 29, 2003
The Knee Defender is a $18 device you can buy to prevent the person sitting in front of you on an airplane from reclining his seat.
Hey, I have a question. If you convert to the Church of Latter Day Saints as an adult, do you still do the missionary duty? I ask because a couple of days ago I was walking along when I espied two Mormon missionaries coming my way looking as delicious as twin ice cream sundaes in their nice white shirts. But when as they got closer I thought they had a hard over-age-30 look. In fact, they had the air of FBI agents working undercover. Anybody got any light to shed on any part of this? Mormon missionaries over 30? FBI working undercover in Brighton? Anything?
This evening about 4:30 or 5:00 the sun got under the clouds that were beginning to break up, giving them an unearthly orange glow. The sky to the north and northeast was an unusually rich turquoise as twilight was coming on. Combine all this with trees at the peak of their autumn foliage and you've got some surreal light. Like Maxfield Parrish, but on acid. Sorry, it would have taken Kodachrome and a tripod to do it justice, neither of which I had.
Avenue Victor Hugo is Open!
Some time ago the sad word went around that the Avenue Victory Hugo bookstore was closing. It dealt mainly in used books, and its location on Newbury Street had become very high rent. Well, who knew (certainly not me) that they managed to pull off a deal with the wonderful boys at Johnson Paints so they could relocate just a few doors away from their ancient location. 353 Newbury Street. They've been open since March and the store is every bit as good as it was. Maybe it has a tad more light now, and a lot less mildew, but generally it is still a cramped warren of shelves packed, packed, packed with books you want.
Testosterone NumbersHere are my numbers from September 11, 2002, before Androgel:
- Free testosterone: 1.7 ng/dL (range 1.5 - 3.5)
- Total testosterone: 335 ng/dL (range 270 - 1100)
- Free testosterone: 1.5 ng/dL (range 1.5 - 3.5)
- Total testosterone: 485 ng/dL (range 270 - 1100)
- Free testosterone: 2.8 ng/dL (range 1.5 - 3.5)
- Total testosterone: 568 ng/dL (range 270 - 1100)
Lordy, how do I keep it in my pants!?
I downloaded Mozilla a few days ago, but didn't get around to trying to install it until this morning. Three crashes! And all I was doing was accessing this blog, checking preferences and reading the help file. But that's not the point, I want to know how to enable tabbed browsing. When I look in help, it tells me where to go in the preferences to set up tabbed browsing. Yes. I can get there. But how do I set it up so that Mozilla always opens a tab? Or should I say, never opens a new window? It looks like I can set up special keystrokes that will cause new tabs to open, but the behavior I saw indicates the default behavior is to open a new window. How to fix? I'm not prepared to use a crippled version of Opera, especially if the crashes keep coming so steadily.
October 28, 2003
Back on August 27 I posted a couple of photos of some odd public art I saw in Battery Park City. Last week I returned there and got a lot more photos, and a little more info. The location is Nelson Rockefeller State Park in Battery Park City. The whole shebang is called The Real World and the sculptures are by Tom Otterness. Later in the day Andy and I just happened to come across more of his sculptures at the Hilton in Times Square.
October 27, 2003
It's the Sandbanks Cemetery in Watertown, Massachusetts.
Public transit photos. Well, I can certainly contribute there. Here's a photo of an old Boston trolley that lives and works in San Francisco now.
Many of you will enjoy Tattooland.
A Dunkin' Donuts latté has finally gone past my lips and over my tongue. Got it at the DD in Allston at Western Ave and North Harvard Street. I didn't get even a wince from the employee. It looks like the machine is partly automated. She put the cup under one dispenser and hit a button. Espresso came out. She put the little steam pipe into a pitcher of milk and hit a button. Froth occurred. She poured the milk into the espresso, put a lid on it, and handed it over. It was quite acceptable. I did notice on the promotional material the fine print saying "participation and prices may vary by location," so maybe not 100% of DDs try to sell the stuff. But they did make some noise about buying 30-some-thousand espresso machines including the training in how to operate and maintain them. The fine print went on to say "Limited time only." I find it hard to imagine this is just a temporary promo. Sure, they'll pull the espresso machines out of those locations where the sales are poor, but why bother to put that on the ads? Would people sue? By the way, the rumor that crullers have been kicked off the menu was confirmed. The story is that they required more labor than donuts to make, and the new dough formula didn't hold together well enough to twist into a cruller.
Lisa commented on the mouth breathers, and I think she was picking up on my earlier post about DD (even though she put it in the comments on my photos, oh my!). What I've seen at the Dunkin' Donuts in town is not the dull-witted mouth-breathing staff I've seen in the far suburbs. In the city they're usually quite bright and high energy, but there's (1) a huge language barrier, and (2) they don't care about donuts and coffee. It's glorious that in this country brand new immigrants can get a decent, clean job right away. But I think they ought to learn these words: coffee, sugar, cream, milk and all the numbers up to twenty. If they can't grasp "bear claw" or "apple fritter" I can understand and work with that. But when I ask for a large coffee and get a donut instead, I become exasperated.
Best Buy (referring once again to Lisa's comments) is entirely a different story. There the cashiers certainly seem to have graduated from American high schools. Language is not the problem. What the problem is I can't figure out. They generally act like teenagers on some sort of work release program from a drug rehab clinic. They speak not at all, or if they do speak it's in a surly mumble. This is most true at the Watertown Mall Best Buy. The sales people out on the floor seem all right, but those cashiers! Each time I buy something there I'm tempted to cancel the purchase at the register. The Best Buy at the Cambridgeside Galleria is worse. There the sales people are just as bad as the cashiers. That store is beyond hope. The staff at the Fenway location, however, are completely the opposite. Cashiers and sales people are friendly, polite and energetic. I think this pattern suggests it's some problem in local management.