Monthly Archive for November, 2005

links for 2005-11-29


eatWe spent the week­end eat­ing and drink­ing to near excess with Matt & Sharon, who were vis­it­ing from New York.

Pres­ley out­did her­self again with the meal- con­jur­ing a deli­cious turkey, all the fix­ings, and a cou­ple of pies for our enjoyment.

Dom 1995Matt and Sharon even brought along a bot­tle of 1995 vin­tage Dom Perignon cham­paigne. Sharon received it as a gift from her work, but we esti­mat­ed that this vin­tage is worth more than $150 per bot­tle… it was tasty, but we agreed that it did­n’t leave any bet­ter impres­sion that a $8 bot­tle of Korbel.

AT&T Wireless -> Cingular -> AT&T?

new AT&T logo So, hav­ing been forcibly con­vert­ed from AT&T Wire­less to Cin­gu­lar, I read this today:

Well, you can say good­bye to Cin­gu­lar. SBC, which closed its merg­er with AT&T last week, decid­ed that after spend­ing untold mil­lions pro­mot­ing the Cin­gu­lar brand for its joint ven­ture with Bell­South, that they’re going to drop the name and start sell­ing wire­less ser­vice under the AT&T brand name.

Why? On the day we read about GM shed­ding 30,000 Amer­i­can jobs, I’m hav­ing a hard time under­stand­ing just what the hell U.S. Big-Busi­ness is up to. Some­body is mak­ing mon­ey on all these shenani­gans, but I’m not con­vinced that work­ers and con­sumers share in the party.

UPDATE: Won­der­ing about that new AT&T logo? It’s weak, right? Well, Rus­sell Beat­tie has a nice put-down review.

UPDATE 2: Design­wee­nie also feels uncom­fort­able with the new AT&T mark.

links for 2005-11-21

links for 2005-11-17

links for 2005-11-14

Saturday walk

23 Sydney 3Wow, anoth­er week­end with great weath­er. Like last week, I took anoth­er walk around the neigh­bor­hood, and snapped some photos:

One of the more archi­tec­tural­ly inter­est­ing build­ings to go up in recent years, is the lux­u­ry con­dos at 23 Syd­ney. They’re real­ly love­ly, but like­ly inhab­it­ed by wealthy Aholes.

More pho­tos here.

Good News Garage This is the famed Good News Garage, oper­at­ed by Ray Magliozzi of Car Talk fame.

curbs A while back I men­tioned that they were tear­ing up and re-paving Brook­line Ave, near our house… well, we noticed some­thing cool — they’re going to nar­row the road by about half, extend­ing the side­walk out 20 feet or so. I sus­pect a nice bus stop will soon follow.

Don't Dump I love these lit­tle plaques, which can be found all over Boston and Cam­bridge: “Don’t Dump. Drains to Charles Riv­er.” Is that where our toi­lets drain too?

The Kennedy Kerry Klan?

Polit­i­cal dis­course is in such a sad state, these days. Peo­ple on the Right vicious­ly brand Democ­rats and Lib­er­als (cap­i­tal “L”) with ridicu­lous com­par­isons, while simul­ta­ne­ous­ly charg­ing us with doing the same to them. And they get away with it. Here’s the lat­est exam­ple, involv­ing Gov­er­nor (and like­ly 2008 GOP Pres­i­den­tial can­di­date) Rom­ney of Mass­a­chu­setts, who was intro­duced by attor­ney Ger­ald Walpin at a Fed­er­al­ist Soci­ety event:

Today when most of the coun­try thinks of who con­trols Mass­a­chu­setts, I think the mod­ern day KKK comes to mind — the Kennedy, Ker­ry Klan.”

Rom­ney laughed along with the audi­ence, The Boston Globe report­ed in a sto­ry for Fri­day’s edi­tion, and thanked the speak­er for “a very gen­er­ous introduction.”

I’m not sure which part is more ridicu­lous, but since Rom­ney prompt­ly backpedaled and apol­o­gized. As for Walpin, the com­par­i­son is more than offen­sive — it’s ahis­toric, giv­en all the work Sens. Kennedy and Ker­ry have done in the area of civ­il rights.

Why not also assert that Rosa Parks sat at the front of the bus for States’ Rights? That makes about as much sense as this KKK joke.

links for 2005-11-12

WBUR Podcasts

On PointAsk, and ye shall receive. NPR pow­er­house WBUR has start­ed offer­ing it’s pro­gram­ming in Pod­cast pack­ag­ing. Now, you can down­load and lis­ten to On Point and Here and Now, on your iPod.

There are some lim­i­ta­tions, how­ev­er… due to the music licens­ing cabal, they can’t offer con­tent that con­tains music licensed for broad­cast only — appar­ent­ly ASCAP and BMI think that peo­ple will rip songs out of MP3 Pod­casts, and share it with their friends. Not only is this ridicu­lous on its face, but it also blind­ly ignores the inher­ent pro­mo­tion­al poten­tial afford­ed by Pod­cast­ing. So, they have to edit out bumper music, and prob­a­bly skip music shows altogether.

Also, even with this caveat, they aren’t offer­ing the full shows. On Point’s shows are approx­i­mate­ly 20 min­utes long, and Here and Now seems to only include 1 main seg­ment (8–10 mins). I’m not sure if this is a band­width con­sid­er­a­tion, callers’ per­mis­sion, or what. Since they stream on the inter­net both live and full on-demand archives, I don’t see how either of these could be reason.

Maybe they just want to ensure that you tune in your radio dial…

links for 2005-11-10


Our ceil­ing is leak­ing, ever so slow­ly, above my 20-inch apple cin­e­ma dis­play… bet­ter dou­ble-bag it.

links for 2005-11-08

Election Day


It’s Elec­tion Day, and I haven’t done much research on the City Coun­cil race here in Cam­bridge. The Globe has a spe­cial elec­tion sec­tion, but I can’t find much infor­ma­tion on Our Fair City.

I hate to cast votes blind­ly, but what can I do at this point? Go by the signs in my neigh­bors’ yards? By how much polit­i­cal mail I’ve received? (Jesse Gor­don wins on that count) Or, per­haps I’ll just take the advice of drunk­ards.


The nation­al media seems to be writ­ing an awful lot into the Vir­ginia governor’s race. Due to a one 4‑year term lim­it on that office, pop­u­lar Demo­c­ra­t­ic Gov­er­nor Mark Warn­er is out, but his Lieu­tenant Gov is still lead­ing by 4–5 points:

[Warn­er], who has anoint­ed Mr. Kaine the can­di­date who can con­tin­ue the poli­cies he says have brought the state a bud­get sur­plus and improved scores on school tests.

Sounds like Al Gore’s 2000 strat­e­gy… Being a charis­mat­ic Demo­c­rat from a Red state, it will be inter­est­ing to watch Warn­er in the next 3 years. ABC News’ The Note points out:

Sen. Clinton’s camp is close­ly watch­ing the out­come of the Vir­ginia guber­na­to­r­i­al race, claims the New York Dai­ly News, out of con­cern that a Kaine win could make Gov. Mark Warn­er a more for­mi­da­ble oppo­nent for the 2008 Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial nomination.

Obvi­ous­ly, if Kaine and the Dems can hold on to the VA Governor’s man­sion, the White House should be the one wor­ry­ing. Can’t wait to see how they spin this one.

Squirrel Brand

Squirrel BrandWe dis­cov­ered an inter­est­ing urban sto­ry on a walk we took this past week­end, down Colum­bia Street in Cam­bridge map… the famous Squir­rel Brand can­dy and nut com­pa­ny fac­to­ry, made famous by 90’s swing-revival­ists Squir­rel Nut Zip­pers, (don’t let that turn you off).

After decades of pro­duc­tion, the com­pa­ny moved on, but the city and com­mu­ni­ty stepped in and con­vert­ed the build­ing and grounds to afford­able housing:

The Squir­rel Brand build­ing had to be gut­ted. Its 132 6‑by-8-foot win­dows, 12.5‑foot ceil­ings, and wood floors had been sat­u­rat­ed by more than eight decades of molasses steam. Just-A-Start offi­cials esti­mate a cost of $6 mil­lion to ren­o­vate the fac­to­ry and two small­er build­ings the orga­ni­za­tion pur­chased near­by. But they say they remain com­mit­ted to sav­ing the build­ing rather than lev­el­ing it.

Also, I had no idea just how much can­dy was man­u­fac­tured here… Nec­co, Toot­sie-Roll, Squir­rel Brand:

In 1928, at the height of an era when Cam­bridge pro­duced most of the treats that sat­is­fied the nation’s sug­ar crav­ing, 32 con­fec­tionary man­u­fac­tur­ers flour­ished with­in the city lim­its. They took ships’ holds full of sug­ar or molasses from the West Indies and turned it into gooey, sticky, and choco­latey treats.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, only a Toot­sie sub­sidiary remains on Main Street…

links for 2005-11-06

PageRank and Me

When I switched this weblog’s domain from to a while back, I want­ed to main­tain both URLs for a tran­si­tion peri­od, so as not to lose readers.

Sounds inno­cent enough, but since then, Google has stopped deep-index­ing this site. On the advice of Casey, I tried re-direct­ing with 301s, pro­vid­ing a sitemap with every entry on this site, and a whole lot of oth­er trick­ery… all with­out luck. To this day, search­ing the old domain is more fruit­ful than search­ing the new one.

Since I’ve tried every­thing I can think of, I think the fact remains that has a high­er PageR­ank than… There are still many peo­ple who link to the old domain.

I’ve start­ed send­ing out emails to the peo­ple I know about. But, won’t you help me out, and update your URL?

Thanks in advance.

links for 2005-11-02

links for 2005-11-01