Monthly Archive for August, 2005

Stellastarr* tonight

I got a nice surprise from our friends at FNX:

Congratulations! You and a guest have been added to the VIP list for the PRIVATE WFNX / Smirnoff Off the Radar concert with Stellastarr*.

This private concert is Wednesday August 31st at the Middle East Downstairs (472 Mass Ave in Cambridge). The doors open at 9pm. HOWEVER, your entrance is based on club capacity. SO GET THERE EARLY – it’s a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE admission.

Last time I saw Stellastarr, we were down in front, and all the college kiddies were making out with each other. How romantic

links for 2005-08-31

The Constant Gardener

Rating: A+

We had the opportunity to see The Constant Gardener (metacritic) a couple of weeks ago, and I neglected to post about it.

I’ve never read a John le Carre novel — I remember him saying on Fresh Air that he was a former British intelligence officer, so I naturally assumed that his politics were more aligned with Tom Clancy’s, than Amnesty International. Now, I’m the kind of Liberal who squirms around radical activist-types, so when we were greeted at the cinema door by Amnesty representatives with their pamphlets and petitions, I wondered just what kind of action pic this was. I ducked the do-gooders, and took a seat.

It was my impression that the film is being marketed as a Ralph Fiennes action pic, (see poster). And while there certainly is a lot of suspense, the true heart of the film lies with Rachel Weisz’s character — the radical activist. The film provides a window into an Africa that we often hear about, but rarely see… sure, the film is indignant about corrupt local officials, warfare, disease, and neglectful (or antipathetic) Western powers. But, it also shows African people who are generous in spirit, and worthy of a better collective future.

La Laque & Pas/Cal

When I was in New York, Jenna and I checked out the La Laque & Pas/Cal show at Tonic, in the Lower East Side. They were celebrating the joint release of a 12″ single.

The real surprise for me was how much I liked the Brooklyn-based La Laque. They’re three girls & three boys, playing French New Wave / Surf rock. Listening to the few MP3s out there won’t quite convey the energy and feeling they exert on stage. I may never listen to another Stereolab album again [sic].

And it was nice to see Yuki & James (of Asobi Seksu) again… they’re coming to Boston soon, and I can’t wait to see them play again.

Weekend

After 5 days off from the nine-to-five last week, I drove down to nyc to hang out with Jenna again.

Photos will come soon, because they need to be developed… (Presley had my trusty Elph with her in Vegas for MacyMe’s Bachelorette weekend).

Speaking of which, here’s Macyme:

links for 2005-08-30

Boston City Rally

Little known bit of knowledge: scooter rallys have very little to do with riding scooters. Matt and Sharon came up to Boston for the city rally, and we had some fun.

yo

More shots on Flickr »

links for 2005-08-24

Google Desktop Beta

I’m on vacation this week, but here I am on monday morning, remoting into my work computer to install and test out the new Google Desktop Beta.

It includes a Dashboard/Konfabulator widget functionality called Sidebar — which puts information on your desktop — Gmail, local weather, news, and even recommends cool links based on your own browsing habits.

Also, I’m excited for Quick Find, a Spotlight/Quicksilver-like launcher functionality. I’ve been using AppRocket on my work PC for some time now, but it always seemed sluggish. Time to uninstall that app.

Then there are the search improvements… the new version comes with a convenient Outlook search toolbar that is light-years faster than Microsoft’s own built-in search. I’ve wanted something like this for years — i just always assumed that it would have to come from Microsoft.

links for 2005-08-19

Liquid Television

Check out the trailer for the live-action film of Aeon Flux. It doesn’t look that promising, to be honest…

Charlize Theron has a snappy black hair cut, but her outfit looks more PG-13 than the dominatrix-inspired garb Aeon wore in the MTV animated series.

Ah well. If they really wanted to attract 13-year old boys, (and me), they’d do it right, and take the R rating…

links for 2005-08-18

Boston Scooter Rally

RippinestPatch

It starts tonight — the Boston city rally. Watch out if you’re walking or driving around the city in the next few days… especially in the Fenway, which is ground zero…

But, it kicks off tonight in Allston, at O’Briens — the amazing Jam tribute band, All Mod Cons are playing. See you there.

MT Upgrade tomorrow?

UPDATE: Nope, it looks like we’ll get Beta 5 today

It looks like we’ll have a Moveable Type upgrade tomorrow.

I’ve been using the betas for a while now, and overall the experience has been positive. Though the release number only jumped to 3.2, this is a major upgrade. Those people who grumbled at the release of version 3.0, (myself included), will enjoy the new features in this release.

Pressed Sandwiches

pressedPressed, Central Square
736 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139 [map]

Rarely am I motivated enough to post about food… after all, it’s something I do every day (that is, eat). But, there is a newish eatery in Central Square called Pressed, which I’ve lunched at a couple of times now, and I felt compelled to offer some observations.

Pressed is the kind of sandwich shop that puts all the emphasis on detail… the interior is decorated very modern, with an earthy green glow, black chalkboards with the offerings, and nice light treatments. One odd thing that I noticed is that everything is branded with their leafy logo – from little bags of candy, to bottled water. Think high-end McDonald’s, without the playground.

Setting aside the ambiance, (which I will return to later), how is the food? Quite good, it turns out. I’m a fan of panini-style sandwiches, and toasted bread in general, but often times when you order a panini at other places, you get regular old sub-shop ingredients pressed between way too much bread. Pressed hits the mark both in the quality of ingredients, and bread. Their breakfast sandwiches are especially delicious, made with real eggs and cheeses. They serve coffee with the haughty brand name of Terrior, and it’s pretty tasty in hot and cold form.

So, for Pressed to spend all this energy getting all these details correct, it’s a shame they don’t put the same effort into service. I stood ungreeted for about 5 minutes today, ready to order, while two employees were mumbling about the cash register. Then, after ordering, and holding out my $20-bill, the young man (who looked like an art-school post-grad), started shuffling menus and looking up prices in silence… after what seemed like all morning, he announced that my $3.75 breakfast sandwich and large iced coffee would cost – $5, even. After a second of processing, I figured out that the register was broken. Not a big deal, it would make sense to communicate this to the customer.

So, I saddled up at a table to flip through last week’s Weekly Dig, and waited for my breakfast. After 10 minutes or so, I finally stood up, and the other employee, (who looked and sounded like he’d be more at home in a family diner, behind the grille), turned and grabbed a bag from the counter, and handed it to me. How long had it been sitting there? If I had sat there another 10 minutes, would he have called me then?

Service is a big deal to me – even in a fast-food sandwich shop. My previous two visits might have gone smoother, however it’s a shame that this one has cemented my impression.

links for 2005-08-16

NPR + Podcasts

I see that NPR is not renewing their Audbile contract:

NPR’s beloved shows like “All Things Considered” and “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me” used to be available on Audible, but after what I can assume was a lackluster performance, have since been pulled from Audible’s library.

There is a new poscasts page on the NPR site, however it isn’t yet clear if the local stations that produce content, such as WBUR in Boston, will follow the national plan.

Google SiteSearch

Google is playing tricks on me, lately. When I use “SiteSearch”:http://www.google.com/services/free.html to search this site, I don’t get individual results– just recent results, from my home page and RSS feeds.

Case in point– “pixies”:http://www.google.com/search?ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&q=pixies&domains=http%3A%2F%2Fnedward.org&sitesearch=http%3A%2F%2Fnedward.org&btnG=Search

I’ve posted many times about this group: “1”:http://nedward.org/archives/002831.php “2”:http://nedward.org/archives/002606.php “3”:http://nedward.org/archives/002627.php “4”:http://nedward.org/archives/002456.php, etc. Yet only the home page result appears in my SiteSearch.

Is it that this site’s pagerank is so low, that Google isn’t bothering to index it anymore? If anybody has some ideas, or replacement suggestions, i’d love to hear from you.

Flood in Quincy

Poor Jason & Kim… all this rain that fell this weekend found its way into their basement.

flood

Three Lambrettas (a DL, Starstream and Cento), all of Jason’s clothes, tools, washer and dryer, furniture… all under water. So sad.

Presley and I had both of our scooters down there until Saturday afternoon, when we decided to truck them down to JavaSpeed for repair– talk about dodging a bullet.

I just feel so bad for those guys. It really sucks.

links for 2005-08-12

Meteor Showers this Weekend

Stef passed on this information about meteor showers this weekend:

The 12 th and 13th of August is the best time that you can see meteor shower this year.

They are called Perseids, and you can expect to see at least 60 meteors per hour.

According to NASA, the best time to see the Perseids this year is “between 2 a.m. and dawn on August 12th, if you get away from city lights, you could see hundreds of meteors. This is a good time to go camping!”

Pixies @ The Paradise

Yesterday, we scored tickets to a last-minute Pixies show at the Paradise, a small club just over the river from our house. They were shooting footage for a DVD, so the room was full of boom & track cameras. This is my 4th Pixies show, but by far the most intimate — we were only 6-7 feet from Kim Deal!

Presley posted our photos… here are some teasers:

pixies

Kim Smiles, uploaded by Presley

pixies

Frank and Joey, uploaded by Presley

links for 2005-08-08

links for 2005-08-05

The End of The Connection, Follow-up

A follow-up on the cancellation of The Connection, the Boston Phoenix’s Mark Jurkowitz has a fascinating interview with ex-host Dick Gordon. I almost feel bad for the guy.

(page 2 isn’t linked as of now…)

I for one am still waiting for Bostonist to post a word about this… Public Radio scandals are like celebrity news in this town!