Drexel Fireball

John Gruber attended to Drexel University, my alma mater (check the interview link). That’s pretty cool. It also explains why he likes Macs so much.

Oh Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream…

I hate that time of night between shutting off the light and falling asleep. All too often, my thoughts come home to roost, free from the distractions of the day, to peck away at my mind. I lay in bed, tossing and turning, unable to get comfortable. Too hot, too cold, neck hurts, head hurts, knee hurts, wrist hurts. It’s always something. And so I find myself back here at the keyboard, trying to avoid the things that nag away.

“Something wicked this way comes.”

I’m feeling a generalized sense of dread lately. There’s nothing in particular that I’m worried about, although I do have a job interview on Thursday. I’m more happy about that than worried, and I don’t think that’s it anyway. I just feel wound tighter than a drum, and it’s all too easy for things to get under my skin.

I suppose there are plenty of things to worry about at that. The holidays are coming up, and I really want to go to my mother’s for Christmas. I’m hoping that the job I got at the mall will permit this. I don’t know what I’ll do if it doesn’t. Maybe I’ll get this tech support job, which would hopefully give me a little more leeway. I desperately need the money, but it’s very hard to be thinking about jobs at this time of year, when what one really wants is to spend time with family.

Perhaps writing this down will appease the storm of thoughts. I want to work on a redesign for the site, but I fear I’d never get any sleep that way, and I have too much to do tomorrow—errr, make that today—to get ready for my interview.

Memories are killing.

There were not many steps. I had counted them a thousand times, both going up and coming down, but the figure has gone from my mind. Memories are killing. So you must not think of certain things, of those that are dear to you, or rather you must think of them, for if you don’t there is the danger of finding them, in your mind, little by little. That is to say you must think of them for a while, a good while, everyday, several times a day, until they sink forever in the mud.

Samuel Beckett, The Expelled

The Tower and the Hive poor follow-up to the Rowan series

I was surprised to see a continuation to Anne McCaffrey’s series about a family with psionic talents while browsing the bookstore. I hadn’t heard of The Tower and the Hive, but then I really hadn’t been following Anne McCaffrey much since Lyon’s Pride. I picked it up, hoping for another great story about the Gwyn-Raven-Lyons, a fascinating group of people. The book got off to a good start, but I was ultimately disappointed by a rather stumbling plot line. It was much less centered than her previous novels.

The characters were strong as always, but closure was lacking. I would love to know what happened with Laria’s relationship with Kincaid. This was a rather weak follow-up to The Rowan, Damia, Damia’s Children, and Lyon’s Pride, all of which I would definitely recommend. Read The Tower and the Hive only if you’re a devout fan.

Maine-ly Rain

I went to visit my great aunt and uncle in Bethel, Maine a few weeks ago. It’s always a pleasure to visit them, mostly because they take pleasure in having guests. Aunt Chris is a really good cook, so there’s always something yummy for dinner. The area around the house is beautiful. They live near the Sunday River ski area, so it’s not too far from some semblence of civilization. The only problem with the week was that it rained almost the entire time. However, that couldn’t keep my family down.

We took one of my father’s Peugeots up Mount Washington. It survived the trip very well. The mountain was mostly surrounded by fog for the drive, but every now and then the clouds parted and gave us a view of part of the sunlit valley. The top was completely fogged in, but I got to see the Cog Railway, and I can now say that I’ve been to the top of the mountain.

My father and I also took a trip to Bar Harbor. Neither of us had been there before, and even though it’s about four hours away from my aunt’s house, we wanted to take a trip together and have a look around. We wandered around town, looking at the various shops. There was a cool little musical instrument shop near the water. When we checked in with the office for our schooner cruise, we found out that the four o’clock trip was cancelled due to insufficient passengers. We moved our reservations to the six thirty “sunset cruise” and hoped for the best. We decided to do dinner at one of the many restaurants serving lobster. Mmm, lobster. Then we went to the pier to meet the boat.

The Rachel B. Jackson rose from the water in pristine beauty. She’s a replica of a 19th century schooner built in Maine. The crew was very nice and allowed the guests to explore the ship at their own pace. They offered us coffee from the galley as we looked around. It was very cosy below, with a four-bunk room at the rear and a smaller room in the front that had a cool polished wooden desk holding the radar gear. It was very interesting to see the fine craftsmanship that went into the ship. There were real prisms in the deck that reflected a surprising amount of light into the living quarters below. The crewman we spoke to said they were salvaged from a wreck.

The crew consisted of two captains, a father and son, and two other crewmen who were volunteering on the ship for the summer to learn for their captain’s licenses. They were all pleasant and interesting guys to talk to on our journey.

As the time for departure drew nearer, the fog rolled in closer. The dock for the The Cat, a car ferry to Nova Scotia, was next to ours, and we could see the huge pontoon ferry looming out of the water. One of the crew joked that they didn’t worry about the fog until they couldn’t see the Cat anymore. The words proved almost prophetic, as the Cat was beginning to be shrouded in haze by the time we left. We didn’t see much due to the fog, but it was an enjoyable trip nonetheless. The crew and passengers wer friendly and talkative, as well as humorous, so the time passed quickly. Islands were dark shapes that grew in the mist as we passed. Thank goodness for radar. (My father even had his GPS.) Although it blocked the view, the fog leant an ethereal quality to the trip. I’d definitely like to try it again in better weather, even so.

The rest of the week was spent enjoying the scenery near my aunt’s house, swimming during the few times the rain stopped, filling up on delicious food, and reading some good books.

It rained about four inches during the time I was there, according to Aunt Chris’s meter.

I’m just here for the sushi

Ed and I went to New York City for the weekend recently to visit our friends Jon and Sam. Although it was a little shorter than we had planned, it was a pleasant weekend. We got there Saturday evening, went out for sushi, stopped at St. Mark’s Bookshop, and finished at Saint’s Alp Teahouse for some weird tea concoctions.

Back at Jon’s place, we introduced him to Settlers of Catan, a board game in which you use trade to build settlements and cities. I think he’s a convert now, mwahaha.

Sunday we had brunch/lunch at a nice little place down the street from Jon’s. I had yummy bagel and lox with cream cheese. We strolled around Soho for a bit in the afternoon. We stopped at this cool store called Evolution, which has a bizarre collection of natural history items. We also visited Dean & Deluca a gourmet grocery/food/kitchenware shop and the Apple store to cool off from the suffocating heat.

I had a good time, and it was nice to see Jon and Sam again. I’d like to visit them some time when it’s not so freaking hot.

I’d also wanted to visit The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, but that will have to wait until next time. Madeleine L’Engle wrote a book that was set there, A Severed Wasp, and she’s also the head librarian at the Cathedral, although I don’t think she spends much time there now, since her health is not as good. I found a couple of interesting interviews with her while I was looking for information. Jon also suggested visiting the Cloisters at the same time, so we have plenty of things to do next time we visit.

I’m baaaack!

Well, finally the box this site is hosted on is back on the ‘net. Sorry for the absence this past week, but we had to move it and had problems getting the DSL installed at the new location. As the DNS slowly propogates, things should return to normal.

They get it! They really get it!

It’s so refreshing to see two couples on one episode who truly get the point of Trading Spaces. They both said in their interviews for the season three season finale that they just wanted to see what the designers could do. Most people are nervous or downright annoying with the rules they lay down. It’s great to have people who are so into it.

Unfortunately, this episode has me craving a Philly cheesesteak real bad.