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.

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.

Written on the wall

Saw this on a wall outside the Big Dig this morning: “Torquemen: Fortitude, Guts, Persistence.” I don’t know what the hell it means, but “Fortitude, Guts, Persistence” just became my tagline.

Nice Boston weekend

I just noticed–though I managed to blog every day this weekend, I didn’t write much about anything going on with me. This is called either “healthy” or “avoidance,” depending on your perspective.

Well, Lisa got a lateral move within her employer that puts her in a more geographically independent job, which frees us up for our move when I graduate. We celebrated with a dinner with friends on Friday night preceded by the customary tasting at the Wine Bottega in the North End. In the middle of dinner, my friend Bransby got a phone call with a job offer–so we had a double celebration.

Saturday we went to Lala Rokh, a Persian restaurant in the middle of Beacon Hill. I haven’t spent much time on Beacon Hill; after the bustle of the North End its silence was either refreshing or tomblike (see, there’s that perspective thing again!). The restaurant was great–I’ve had kebabs and such before, but the inventiveness with ingredients turned everything up a notch.

On Sunday I worked all day when I wasn’t blogging. I’m having some thoughts about the dynamics of that. After I finish my system dynamics homework (or before, if present practice of procrastination continues), I’ll post the causal loop diagram that explains most of my blogging recently.

Back before the parade

Okay, so little did I realize when I made plans to fly to Brussels and return to Boston today that we’d be just a few jumps ahead of the Boston Patriots as they pull into town. I had to deduce that they won the Superbowl yesterday (since the Monday European editions of the US papers didn’t report it). As the bus pulled away from the terminal en route to the train, the driver pointed out the helicopters that were hovering to cover the return at Logan, and we walked through the place where the parade was to end at Government Center on our way home. We may have been in Brussels for a few days, but we’re definitely in Boston now. 🙂

Just an apostate enjoying the choir

I just saw my in-laws off after a nice weekend in which we took in the North End and the Symphony. I was watching the playoff game with my father in law before I went to get their car at halftime. Walking down Salem Street, I saw a guy stick his head out a third story window and yell “PATRIOTS!!!” at the top of his lungs. Up and down the street there were roars of approval.

I don’t watch football under normal circumstances, but there’s something great about being in the city when the Patriots are playing and playing well. Must be like what atheists feel like going to a really rousing church service.

‘Tis (Almost) the Season

I was feeling grumpy yesterday about all the Christmas decorations in the mall as I walked around with Lisa and our friend Kelley, who was visiting from Maine. But this morning I saw something that changed that feeling in a second.

Every morning I walk through Government Center Plaza on my way to catch the train. For the past month or two there has been a crew building a big tent shelter — one of the kind that have steel frames and their own climate control. Something that looks like it’s intended to stand up all winter.

This morning I went by to see that the tent had changed. Formerly plain white, it was surrounded by wooden boxes painted like they were wrapped presents, and the spire of a pine tree stood on the far side. Curious, I walked past the door and saw the interior decorated with pine rope and lights.

And I started crying. Because I thought about all the kids who would be having Christmas without one of their parents this year. And all the parents who wouldn’t be hearing from their grown children.

I hope the city intends that tent for the children.

More Beautiful as it Unfurled

Happy November!

I spoke too soon yesterday. This morning I noted that fully half of the trees in Government Center had started turning yellow.

I have to find another replacement power adapter for my PowerBook today. This is the second one that’s crapped out on me. The first, at the beginning of this year, had a cable break at the end that plugged in to the computer. This one has developed a short in the part of the power cord that plugs into the wall, near the “yo-yo.” (See this picture of the power adapter if the term yo-yo confuses.) It was actually kind of entertaining: a small flicker of white-blue light coming from under the yo-yo. When I saw what it was I unplugged it, but it had already burned through some of the outer strands of the gold wire inside the plastic.

Today’s music: “Sleep” by Mark Eitzel. I’m still mining all the artists whose stuff I heard on KEXP over the summer. An artist to listen to but not necessarily to sing along with. Lyrics to “Sleep” are less profound in print than sung, but from the equally brilliant “Christian Science Reading Room”:

I was so high
I stood for an hour outside the Christian Science Reading Room
And suddenly I could not resist
I became a Christian Scientist

Though in my days of gravity
The absolute measure of being free
I was so high
That I even scared the cat
And using the language of his tail
He said he had a vision: thousand-watt flags flying over my head
And then he hid under the bed
And his eyes were as big as bells
And suddenly he could not resist
And he became a Christian Scientist
And together we explored our world
And found it became more beautiful as it unfurled