Monthly Archives: October 2003

San Francisco Tidbits

Here are a few things I found interesting in San Francisco:

Re: Alcatraz
* Towards the end of Alcatraz’s use as a federal penitentiary, some of the cells were fitted with music listening jacks. You could plug in headphones and listen to two channels of audio, for example, music and radio dramas.
* On the wall of the kitchen, there were racks where sharp cutting instruments were kept. Behind them, painted on the walls, were black silhouettes represending each knife and other utensil. This made it easy for the kitchen staff to see if any items had been stolen, and specifically which items were missing.
* Alcatraz was considered a desirable neighborhood for families to live in. The prison staff and their families, including wives and children, all lived in a housing complex near the cell block. Children were ferried to and from the city to attend school. It was one of the safest neighborhoods in San Francisco.

Re: Transport
* The Bay Area transportation system was confusing to me for the first two days. Here’s why:
* There are five different mass-transit organizations in the Bay area: ***MUNI|***, ***BART|***, ***Caltrain|***, ***samTrans|***, and ***SFO|***.
* Each of these organizations runs either a bus or a train service.
* MUNI runs gasoline and overhead-powered electric buses, a ‘historic’ streetcar line using early-20th-century streetcars from around the world, a modern streetcar+subway line, and the famous historic cable car system, in the San Francisco municipal area – mainly within the city limits.
* BART runs high-speed trains with above- and under-ground stations throughout the Bay area, both in San Francisco and in surrounding communities. Some BART stations are shared with MUNI stations.
* Caltrain runs a commuter train service into the city and to the south of the city.
* samTrans runs a bus service into the city and into San Mateo county south of the city, in the “Peninsula”.
* SFO, the San Francisco International airport, runs its own ‘AirTran’ train service. This runs around all of the terminals and parking lots at the airport, and connects to the BART transit line in a station at the International terminal.
* Caltrain, samTrans, and BART share an ***’Intermodal station at Millbrae|***, at which you can connect between any of the systems.
* If you want to take a water ferry from San Francisco to a location around the bay, such as Sausalito or Tiburon, you must utilize a third party, such as Blue and Gold Fleet. No municipal authorities run water services.

Contrast this to the Massachusetts Bay area:
* The ***MBTA|*** runs streetcars, subways, commuter trains, buses, and water ferries all throughout the Massachusetts Bay area. All of the vehicles and stations bear the same “T” logo, so they’re easy to find.
* ***Massport|*** runs the Logan International Airport, as well as shuttle buses to get around the airport, and it also runs the Worcester and Bedford regional airports.

Coming from Boston, do you see how I’d be confused?

project mail-a-thon

If any of you have surfed on over to the blogs listed to the right you may have seen the ***website of Michelle.|*** A few weeks ago she started “Project Mail-a-Thon” which I gleefully took part in. The details are as follows:

qqq| *The ***original instructions|*** from Michelle’s site*

i have decided to start a live internet/real life project. i call this project mail-a-thon quite simply because i cannot think of a better name for it, and i think it’ll stick. it’s catchy, huh?

this is a project that, on a global scale, could bring much happiness to many mailboxes. while “real mail” is more expensive that e-mail, it is, for the most part, infinitely cooler. and, seriously, a stamp doesn’t cost that much.

so, to participate, this is what you need to do:

1. leave a comment saying something to the effect that “wow, this sounds neato. i want to participate!”

2. email me your snail mail address, to rebecca at prwdot dot org. this is an essential part of the plan, don’t forget it.

3. i will mail you something cool within one week of recieving your address. this cool thing will be a surprise. the object of the mail-a-thon is to send happiness. yes, happiness. how cool. you will also, at this time (within one week), also mail me some happiness. i would like that. i like mail. i like happiness

4. when you recieve your happiness in the mail, you must post an entry on your blog that reports your happiness, has a link-back to, and post these instructions. {If you do not have a blog comment back on this site to let me know what you think!}

5. you will mail happiness to others who request that you do so via your blog.

but, you may still be left with one question… how exactly do i mail someone happiness? well dears, that is going to have to be something you figure out. i am guessing it will be distinctive to each person.|qqq

So, I sent off a little letter to Miss Michelle and was quite happy to have received a postcard from her this week. It is a handmade postcard with flowers and my name in pretty letters across the front. It definately made me smile…which was the whole purpose of the game!

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PARTICIPATE just email me your snail mail address and I’ll give you mine and we’ll start the ball rolling!

self dialing

i have a friend. she lives in Florida. yup. she hasn’t called me in a looooooong time. but today, for the third time, her phone called me. i was treated to a serenade of what sounded like the “Macarena” presumably from her car radio. then i hung up. the marvels of modern technology!

San Franniversary

Yes, we’d love to move to San Francisco. That’s what I have to say after our trip last week. Can we afford it? No, of course not. So it will remain a distant dream. But we did get to experience a lot of beautiful San Francisco, and you can see it all here:

***San Francisco Gallery|***

The photos aren’t captioned yet, but here’s a daily summary of what we did so that you can figure it out. You can also click on the Day to jump directly to the gallery for that day.

***Day 1|***:
Fishermen’s Wharf
Coit Tower
Lombard Street (“The Crookedest Street”)
Ghiradelli Square
Pier 39
San Francisco Bay Cruise

***Day 2|***:
Civic Center
Financial District
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Yerba Buena Gardens
Mission District

***Day 3|***:
Palace of Fine Arts and Exploratorium
Bicycling over the Golden Gate Bridge…
…and to Sausalito…
…and to Tiburon…

***Day 4|***
Golden Gate Park
California Academy of Science
Sunset District
Ocean Beach
Cliff House
Sutro Baths
Palace of the Legion of Honor

***Day 5|***
Muir Woods
Napa Valley / Wine Country

***Day 6|***
Monterey / Monterey Bay
Cupertino (Apple Headquarters!)
Burlingame (Apple Store + Night of the Panther)

Hope you enjoy the photos. 🙂

And of course… Sunday, October 26, 2003, was our first wedding anniversary. Our trip to San Francisco was partially a celebration of our anniversary, and tonight we went out to ***Not Your Average Joe’s|*** for dinner to celebrate. We were thinking back on everything we’ve done in the past year, and it really doesn’t seem like such a long time. But every minute of it has been wonderful, and we are both looking forward to many more seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years.

the Mutiny of #17

Today is a sad sad day in Rhistory. For the first time in 24 years one of my beloved body parts has decided to jump ship. Mutiny, if you will. Luckily he could not convince any of the others to join him.

Peter’s entry {see below} tells the truth. I had tooth #17 {Lower left wisdom tooth} extracted today. He was causing me much pain and the oral surgen told me that wisdom teeth aren’t even used for chewing! What?! Pull that sucker out then!

I am just afraid that other parts of me may become dissatisfied with their current habitat. Will others choose to leave as well. Perhaps my spleen? or my pancreas? or my big toe? Let’s hope not.

Good and Bad

There are two sides to every coin, so they say…

– Bad: The Red Sox ***blew yet another chance at a trip to the World Series|***.
+ Good: At least Becky and I won’t have to think about baseball while we are on vacation next week.

– Bad: Becky had a ***wisdom tooth pulled|*** today.
+ Good: It’s better than her being on Vicodin while we’re on vacation.

– Bad: Millions of Windows users will soon become hopelessly addicted to a new ***online music store|***.
+ Good: Their addiction will play into the coffers of my ***favorite computer company|***

Major Events of 1943

In celebration of ***this guy|***’s birthday, it would be prudent to review some of the events of ***the year 1943|***.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

vintage er… again

just another update for you er fanatics. today’s vintage er episode was “a piece of mind”. The one where Dr. Mark Greene has his brain tumor surgery… The paralell plot involves a father/son who get in a car accident because of driving under the influence of alcohol (suv vs. garbage truck) remember? the son of that pair was played by none other than cutie ***Jared Padalecki|*** Some may recognize him as Dean from Gilmore Girls. Very interesting…

Weekend Adventures

Yesterday, Becky and I visited [Gordon College](’s 2003 Homecoming. There were receptions for the various departments, so I went to the natural sciences reception, and Becky went to the social sciences reception. I got to see some of my [favorite professors](, namely Dr. Senning and Professor Bjork. I also got to see and catch up with various classmates. I did take [some pictures]( while we were there, but nothing spectacular.

Today, Becky and I took a rather more adventurous trip. Many times in the past, we have been driving around Massachusetts, and noticed that Route 62, which runs through Beverly, seems to pop up here and there in random places. We have discussed some day possibly taking a trip from one end of 62 to the other. Well, we decided that Sunday would be the time to do it! So we packed some lunches, and started at the Beverly end of Route 62, with no plan other than to follow Route 62 wherever it would lead us. In the end, it was a great time and a fun expedition. So here’s a quick synopsis of our trip:

[The Photo Gallery](

Start Odometer: 182170
Start Time: 9:03 a.m.
Start Location: Lothrop St. and Route 62, Beverly, Massachusetts.

End Odometer: 182254
End Time: 11:52 a.m.
End Location: Route 62 and Route 32, Barre, Massachusetts.

Total Miles: 84
Elapsed Time: 2 hours, 49 minutes

Towns passed through, in order:
North Reading

Major highways intersected, in order:
Route 128 in Danvers
Interstate 93 in Wilmington
Route 3 in Bedford
Route 2 in Concord
Interstate 495 in Hudson

Most unusual sight:
A USPS delivery truck – on a Sunday!

Music listened to on the way:

Interesting Facts:
* Route 62 in reverse is ’26’. The exits for Route 62 on both Route 3 and Interstate 495 are numbered ’26’.
* The two towns at the ends of Route 62 are Beverly and Barre, both of which start with “B”
* If you add together 6 + 2, you get “8”, which looks sort of like a “B” (see the above fact)
* There are only three fast-food restaurants on the whole 84 miles of Route 62 – a McDonald’s in Beverly, and a McDonald’s and a Wendy’s in Maynard.
* Part of Route 62, in Bedford, runs along the Bedford Minutemen’s marching line, the historic path that the Minutemen took during the American Revolution.
* Route 62 crosses MBTA Commuter Rail lines many times, but only once does it come within clear view of an actual commuter rail station – in Wilmington.
* The roughest section of road on Route 62 is the stretch between Hubbardston and Barre. It is very uneven and bumpy. Most other sections are well-maintained.

Night of the Panther

***Mac OS X 10.3|***, aka “Panther”, is officially being released on Friday, October 24, 2003: ***The Night of the Panther|***. ***Apple Retail Stores|*** everywhere will be holding parties from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. that night to celebrate its release. Woohoo!

Becky and I will be there, just like we were for the ***Jaguar Party|*** last year. Only this time, we’ll be attending the party at one of the fine Apple Stores in the Mecca of Apple-dom, San Francisco.

Oh yeah… did I forget to mention? We’re going to San Francisco!!!!!!


We’ll be there October 18-25, and it’s sort of a combination vacation + anniversary gift (October 26 – 1 year!). I’ve taken barely more than 7 days off work this year, and seeing as I still have over four weeks of paid vacation time saved up, I figured it might be good to use it. We are flying direct from Boston to San Francisco on an American Airlines, staying at the Holiday Inn on Fisherman’s Wharf, and we’ll have a rental car for the last couple of days so that we can go on some excursions. We’re wicked excited! Becky has been to San Francisco before, but my only trip there was when I was in the womb – my parents tell me that I did get to take a cable car ride on their last trip to San Francisco before I was born! 🙂

Only one week and three days left til we leave!!