Ah, the festa season starts…

Since I was in Seattle last summer, I missed most of the festas here in the North End. Today, though, the parade for the Madonna di Anzano passed right under our window. Marching bands are good for many reasons; one of them is reminding you that it’s almost 2:30 and you haven’t left the apartment yet, despite the fact that it’s a beautiful day. See you later.
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North End Thursday

Quiet day so far here in the North End. Lots of errands. I think that all the errands I used to do have expanded to fill the extra time I have now that classes are over.

But it’s been a productive day—returned some DVDs and the rental car we got yesterday to get Lisa to her endodontist appointment; emptied my locker at Sloan; and finally remembered to get my hair cut. Small victories as I check each item off in my organizer.

Sitting in the barber’s chair, I watched the workmen from NStar disappear beneath the road surface. “Quite a show you’ve got out there,” I said. The barber said that this was another gas leak—the second this year in more or less the same spot, right under our window. Later I passed one of the workmen holding a length of corroded pipe. “Normally they last longer than 40 years, but this one…” Heap of soft gray sub-street dirt, 200-year old fill and former river bottom, on the sidewalk beside him as the schoolkids walk by on the Freedom Trail en route to Paul Revere’s house.

I thought I was done…

…but no, my fun is just beginning. I’ve been faxing stuff to our mortgage consultant for over an hour now. It’s 8:30 at night and I still have to return our rental car to Logan tonight. I’m definitely getting a better picture of what I’m in for with this househunting stuff.

At home, breathing easier

After a weekend spent in the cold rain of Bar Harbor, I’m back in Boston this morning relaxing and trying to get myself used to my new free time. It’s not really free; I have to do a fair amount of work to get ready for our house-hunting trip in Seattle this coming weekend. But I have no cases to read, no classes to attend, and no papers to write. I feel better already.

Back again…

I was in Calais, Maine this weekend—and in St. Stephen in New Brunswick Province of Canada. They’re separated by a few hundred yards of river and a time zone. We stayed with Lisa’s childhood friend Kelley in a former hunting cabin that’s undergoing extensive reconstruction. It was a really good time… albeit a bit cold.

It’s amazing experiencing currency exchange shock so close to home (disclaimer—this was the first time I ever visited Canada). Our hosts told me that it’s pretty common to tell jokes about the exchange rate (sample: “The lottery is up to $35 million Canadian! That’s, what, about $300 US?”).

Back again

I was in Newport, Rhode Island over the weekend with a crowd from Sloan. There’s an annual gala there each spring for the b-school, and it was so well done it was almost possible to forget how much the tickets cost. I almost managed not to feel bad about not blogging or checking email. But it’s nice to be back in Boston and back on line.

The weekend is here

Lisa is home from a business trip. We’re about to check out Mamma Maria, a restaurant that we’ve lived up the street from for a year now and have never been to. Tomorrow I’m going to see Midnight Oil and Garbage, among others, for free. That’s about it for me. Hopefully I’ll have more blogging soon.

Waking up with a jolt

Good morning! I had an interesting awakening, almost, this morning. The New England area had a 5.1 magnitude earthquake this morning. And of course, being me, I pretty much slept through it. I woke up and thought, “Oh that’s interesting. Lisa must be sleeping poorly,” and promptly went back to sleep.

Heaven help us if we ever slide into the sea one day. I’ll wake up and think, “Gee, the humidity is high tonight. Blub.” and promptly go back to sleep.

Too nice a day

I’m starting to appreciate the Boston spring. It’s about sixty-something degrees, not a cloud in the sky. I’m sitting on the patio outside the Marriott, which is lit up with MIT’s wireless network, blogging and checking email and generally having fun. Unfortunately it’s a bit windy and my fingers are also freezing, so I might have to go inside after all, but it’s nice to get a bit of sunshine.

A scawchah heah in Boston; and Patriots Day

Starting from 42° F, climbing to 82°. This isn’t the April I know and love.

Having been a little flip yesterday about the Patriots Day holiday, I decided to do a little more research. Here’s what I found (courtesy this page): Patriots Day is a holiday in Massachusetts and Maine, celebrated on or around April 19. It commemorates the battles at Lexington and Concord that were the opening skirmishes in the war for independence. The holiday touches down in my neighborhood too: April 18 was the night that the light was set in Old North Church warning that the British were marching to Concord.

Given all the publicity over the Marathon over the last week or so, I’m disappointed that there wasn’t much in the way of reminders to those non-native New Englanders like myself what the holiday is really about.
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Weird holiday (not that I’m complaining)

I have no idea why Massachusetts has a random holiday called Patriots Day (no, it’s not about the football team), unless it’s to let everyone attend the Boston Marathon.

I have even less idea why MIT gives us two days off for that holiday.

But I’m not really complaining. 🙂

It’s good to be on break

Wow, a busy morning. I’ve been hatching Manila Envelope 1.0.3 for almost two months. In the words of Eliot’s young woman after the final patronising kiss, “Well now that’s done: and I’m glad it’s over.”

I should have learned the lesson in the first place: limit your scope and move ahead quickly. During the last two months, I messed about with trying to incorporate the Blogger API, add Keychain support, and support uploading images as well as downloading news item departments. I need to get stricter about setting release scope and sticking to it.

Enough of that. Currently consuming some lovely porcini risotto and relaxing a bit. Then I have to pack. We fly tomorrow to Lisa’s parents; we leave New Jersey for Italy on Sunday.

Akamai on the move

Since the Boston real estate market hasn’t really caught up with the slump, it’s not surprising that Akamai will be breaking its lease to move out of the Cambridge block that it shares with Forrester and the MIT Laboratory for Computer Sciences. No word yet on the new location, but the $15 million termination fee to MIT has to be good news to the school… at least until it’s time to find someone else to move in.
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Good morning

Snow falling on Boston streets this morning. Quite a kiss-off from winter.

I’ll be working on two last assignments due tomorrow (the last day before our spring break starts Wednesday). Between that and a raspy throat I need to get checked by the doctor I’ll be away from blogging today. Talk amongst yourselves.

One last thought–as I was trying to think last night about ways to improve OmniOutliner2OPML, I realized that what’s really needed is a translation the other way, from OPML into OmniOutliner. I may start looking at that, though I doubt I’ll have it out before we leave for Italy.

BTW, is anyone else doing anything with OPML? One reader wrote in to say he was curious about my script but since he only had one app (Radio UserLand) that supported OPML, he really couldn’t do much with it…

La Naomh Padraig, courtesy Niall

Our friend Niall had us all over to his place last night to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (aka La Naomh Padraig). This was the first time he’s had a party since Dubhfeasa went back to run her big hospital division in the old country, and he was in rare form. He served everyone home-colored green beer (making some concessions to American observances!) and Black Velvets (half Guinness, half champagne), among other fine beverages. It was a really great time.