Monthly Archive for August, 2003

Henry Street: A new chapter

Henry Street, CambridgeI posted some photos of our new apartment, and it occurred to me that Several things are noteworthy:

1. Its in a house. Odd.
2. It faces a small park, and is a block from the Charles River = green space
3. We’re no longer in the heart of Central Square — it’s a a good 10 minute walk to the red line now.
4. I don’t like being far from the red line
5. Dark hardwood floors are cool. who knew
6. Presley is happy we’re moving. which is reason enough


I’ve re-upped my subscription to Typepad, mostly because I love the features. The photo album alone is worth the $11.96 a month.

Anyhow, one added bonus, is the ability to dole out discounts to deserving folks:

As our thanks for taking the time to help beta test TypePad, we’re offering you the chance to share the savings of a 20% lifetime discount with twenty of your friends and family members. We really appreciate the community that has formed during testing and we hope that it continues to thrive as the service grows.

Let me know if you’re interested—it’s great software from great people.

Words Cannot Convey…

We visited our apartment again tonight, and it seems as if they are re-wiring the unit. Holes are sloppily punched and cables run through our walls, leaving a dusting of plaster on our belongings, and clumps of the stuff on the floors, in the sinks, and on our bed.

G & P Management didn’t even think it necessary to let us know, so we could prepare by boxing up our stuff… no, instead, the electricians had to work around the mess, (which was created when the cleaning crew turned everything inside out 2 weeks ago), so of course they managed to break everything in sight.

coffee maker, george foreman grill, french press, blender, speakers, bottles of alcohol, wine glasses, shelf, frame holding autographed Liz Phair album cover, grandmother’s oriental rug, & star-shaped paper latern… we’re keeping a list.

Almost Choke

My parents are in town visiting, and I thought it would be fun to go to a Red Sox game…

Never-mind that it’s late-august, during a pennant and wild-card race, in the craziest baseball city with the smallest stadium in mlb.

After trying in vain to find 4 tickets together for this weekend on craigslist, I ponied up and started calling brokers. These guys must make a killing– that’s all I’ll say.

We ended up 10 rows up from Pesky’s poll, way the hell out in right field. Still, the rain held after a violent thunderstorm, and we got to see a terrific game.

I love Byung-Hyun Kim, but he simply has to stop with this choking thing. A closer is a closer. Lights out.

Too bad I forgot the digital camera…


It’s worm week here at my workplace. The lastest little virus is the W32.Welchia.Worm, which has attacked our internal servers here, and spread like wild fire.

The funny thing about this virus, is that it’s purpose seems to be to clean up last weeks’ mess, the MS Blast worm. The Welchia goes into a system, deletes the MSBlast virus, and tries to download a patch from Windows Update. How friendly!

At least it’s a friday — maybe we can all get out of here.


Someone I know (who may work at is spreading the
W32.Sobig.F@mm virus… it’s not a terrible worm, but annoying to keep getting hundreds of emails in my otherwise spam-free work email inbox…

Howard Dean Jams

And he played harmonica as well...More evidence that this guy has appeal outside the 2 coasts…

Playing the blues, and he’s self-taught.

I don’t think Clinton had chops like that.

Temporary Digs

Due to the fire, we’ve taken up temporary digs at a friend’s apartment in Allston. Plum-B is staying in Maine for a while, and he didn’t need his room, which he offered to us for nothing in return.

His 3 roommates (and house-kitten Alfie) have been truly generous. And I’ve got a fellow weblogger to talk CSS and XHTML with—Jason writes at And our cat Katya has another kitten to bully around.

Life can get pretty strange, but it’s oddly comforting knowing that your friends can pull it together when you need them. Now, we’ve got to figure out how to sue the pants off our landlord…

Persistent Annoyance

I still can’t figure out what’s wrong with my CSS… it crashes IE5 on Mac OSs 9-X, and Win98. A good chunk of my audience gets a crashed browser when they visit. HELP!

UPDATE: Matt Jacobs has earned my total respect and humility for pointing out this little problem:

I figured out what the problem is and it’s not your fault. It’s in here:

#gray {
float: left;
padding: 8px 5px 8px 8px;
font: 82% “lucida grande”, arial, verdana, sans-serif}

For some reason, the float:left in this id is causing the browser to crash. If you take out “float:left;” then the page loads just fine. In fact, the page looks exactly the same when you take it out (at least in IE and Safari). So, there is your problem.

Well its a relief that it wasn’t my fault, per se… but, I can’t account for why I’m using those floats… I guess I thought it was for good measure. Which is why I’m setting a new rule: Don’t write a bit of CSS that you don’t know what it is doing, or that you can do without. Time to clean it up, I think.

I also streamlined much of the code. Individual archive entries have comments & trackbacks down the right bar, to save your scrolling. Also, the menu nav changes depending on the post category.

Fire, Part II

Fire photo albumIt took longer than expected to post pictures of the fire. Here are the details:

We had a little fire in our building on Friday afternoon.

Friday, around noon, my girlfriend Presley was at home… and she heard a bump—which she thought sounded like a neighbor dropping something. Shortly thereafter, the building fire alarm went off and she approached the door. There was some smoke coming in.

So, she opened the door, and saw that the hallway was filled with black smoke. She couldn’t tell where the fire was coming from, so she closed the door and called 911. They told her to stay put, and put a wet towel under the door.

She grabbed our cat Katya and put her in her crate, and opened the windows… waiting for the firemen. Finally, 20 minutes later, 4 guys came crashing through our door with axes and O2 masks, and checked to make sure she was okay. Of course she was, she just wanted to get the heck out of there.

Fire photo albumSo, they decided it was too dangerous to go out through the hallway, so they started axing the heck out of our front windows, ripping the frames right out of the wall. They helped Presley onto one of those ladders, and helped her walk down to safety. One of them carried the cat down too, who was remarkably calm for a change.

Once she was on the ground, she called me, and I left work.

As far as we know, the cause of the fire was this:

The apartment next door to us was vacant for about a month—so they must’ve had trouble filling it—so they decided to refinish the hardwood floors. When contractors were sanding the polyurethane, they apparently didn’t turn off the gas. I’m not sure what the connection was that started the fire, but the “bump” that Presley felt was some kind of explosion. It could also be related to the polyurethane fumes and a lack of proper ventilation.

They had the entire block roped off, and as far as I know no people or pets were injured (including Presley and Katya). The firemen were really great, as were the Red Cross, EMTs and the city of Cambridge. With the exception of glass, no windows, and smoke, we have no fire or water damage.

We stayed in a Bed & Breakfast for the weekend, and we are now staying with friends—so we are settled and comfortable.

Time to look for a new apartment…


Big news in our lives at the moment—there was a fire in our building and we had to move out while they clean up and rebuild.

I really wanted to post about it while I was standing around on Mass Ave Friday, watching the firemen and EMTs. Time to set up Moblogging, I suppose.

Nobody was hurt, including our kitten Katya… more details to come, along with a photo album of the scene and the damage.