Monthly Archives: February 2004

Of Skating and Tearing Down Highways

I suggested to Becky that Saturday might be a good day for her to try and teach me how to ice skate. There are numerous skating rinks in the North Shore area, but we decided it might be fun to drive in to Boston and skate at the Frog Pond|http://www.cityofboston.gov/parks/frogpond_winter.asp. We drove in, and after a few orbits around the Common, we found an incredibly nice parking space on Beacon Street, just above the intersection with Charles Street, and free to boot.

The Frog Pond was just a short walk away, so we headed over there, paid our admission, and rented skates. Apparently, the only thing they had in my size was hockey skates, so I was stuck with a big clunky pair of those while Becky got figure skates.

Now I have attempted to learn how to skate in the past, with disappointing results. But I tried to do my best. Really, I did. And Becky was a great and patient teacher. We spent maybe half an hour out on the ice, Becky calmly holding my hands as I slipped and slided. She gave me all of the advice and pointers that she could, and I did my best to follow them. And I know that she would have spent as long as was necessary, had I but the will to continue. I was simply too frustrated, however, so I gave up and sat out for a while as Becky had a few more turns around the ice.

Am I a quitter? Well, on Saturday I sure was. Maybe some day I will give it another go, but for now I will just leave it on the list of activities I’m content not to do.

The day wasn’t a total loss for me, however. After skating, we walked over to the Faneuil Hall|http://www.faneuilhallmarketplace.com/ area, where we had earlier spotted what might be a good photographic opportunity. I did indeed take that photo|http://gallery.prwdot.org/boston_228/IMG_3105, as well as several others. We then had the brilliant idea that there might be good views from the top of the parking garage at Dock Square. We took the elevator up to the 7th level, and wham! There were some spectacular views to be had! And it was free! I took a bunch of photos up there from that fantastic viewpoint, including this nifty panoramic photo|http://gallery.prwdot.org/boston_228/boston_panoramic_smaller. If for some reason that doesn’t load, you can try viewing the full sized image here|http://prwdot.org/img/boston_panoramic_smaller.jpg. (Note – it’s large, so if you’re on a dial-up modem be prepared to wait a minute). There are also some cool shots of Boston’s old Central Artery being torn down. You can see the full photo gallery from the day here|http://gallery.prwdot.org/boston_228.

Happy Leap Day!

Any Ideas?

Howdy, Loyal Readers!

Peter and I have been toying with the idea of redesigning this here website. It’s not that we think there’s anything wrong with how it is now, it just feels like it might be time for a change.

We are looking to you for suggestions. What do you like about World Wide Wood? What don’t you like? Is there anything that you’d like to find here? Do you visit any of our links? Would you like us to add different links? Do you like the red?

Okay, I think you get the idea. Drop us an email or leave a comment and let us know what you think. And be standing by for the new and improved World Wide Wood.

Settled

I received a check in the mail last night for thirteen dollars and eighty-six cents, courtesy of the Compact Disc Minimum Advertised Price Antitrust Litigation Settlement|http://www.musiccdsettlement.com/english/default.htm. The deadline to file as a member of the class action was March 3, 2003. I had filled out a form back then, stating that I had purchased a compact disc between January 1, 1995 and December 22, 2000.

The original lawsuit accused a group of recording companies of conspiring to raise the prices of music CDs across the board, including BMG, EMI, Sony, Universal, Warner, as well as some retail chains including Tower Records.

The settlement provided for $67,375,000 in cash refunds for consumers across the country, plus $75,000,000 worth of music cds to be distributed to non-profit organizations. In Massachusetts, these CDs will be distributed to public libraries.

Thanks go to Mass. Attorney General Tom Reilly|http://www.ago.state.ma.us/ for fighting for the citizens of Massachusetts, and for getting these checks sent to approximately 68,000 Massachusetts residents.

Dear Corey,

We would like to thank you for your very awesome Christmas gift! We would have never thought to rent snowshoes for a weekend and go tromping off into the snow!

We went this weekend up to Jackson, New Hampshire and spent a couple nights at the Ellis River House|http://www.ellisriverhouse.com. It was a cozy little bed and breakfast|http://gallery.prwdot.org/nh_weekend/IMG_2980 with nice views of the White Mountains and a fantastic breakfast!

Saturday we ventured out early to Jackson Ski Touring Foundation|http://www.jacksonxc.org Lodge and got ready to do a little snowshoeing. Peter picked it up quite nicely, considering his being a newbie to winter sports. I enjoyed the snowshoes, but those nicely groomed nordic tracks|http://gallery.prwdot.org/nh_weekend/IMG_3008 were calling my name and I soon exchanged my shoes for skiis. I’ve never skiied on nice tracks like that and it was incredible! I may be spoiled for life now.

Tired, cold and wet we went back to the inn and eased our muscles in the hot tub for a while, went out for some dinner and grabbed dessert at the North Conway McDonald’s. Do you remember that one we went to with Greg, Sue and Pete with the Ski Gondola tables|http://gallery.prwdot.org/nh_weekend/IMG_3042? Fun, fun.

Being unable to resist the temptation we succumbed to the lure of the N.Conway outlet shops after a yummy breakfast and relaxing Sunday morning. We didn’t buy much but got to see some fine ice sculptures being carved.

It was a great weekend away and we thank you so much for giving us the little kick in the pants we needed to get outside.

Love, Becky and Peter

ps. there’s more pics where those came from|http://gallery.prwdot.org/nh_weekend?page=1!

Just Smile and Nod!

I was out for a walk today with my cute twin cousins, Thomas and Christopher. Here’s the scene:

Characters: Rebecca (the cousin), Thomas and Christopher (non-identical twins), Lady in Red Coat (Strange Lady walking on the sidewalk)

Setting: A bright sunny afternoon. Boys are dressed in dark blue snow suits, dark blue and dark green hats, and are seated in a dark blue stroller. There is a blue blanket up to shade their eyes from the sun.

Rebecca: Hey boys! Don’t you love going for walks on lovely days like this?

T&C: (Simultaniously) MaMa, DaDa, EEEEEEE!!!, squeak!

LiRC: Oh my! Twins! I have two sets of twin grandchildren! Can I see them?

Rebecca: Um..okay. (Lifts blanket)

LiRC: Oh my! Two Girls!

Rebecca: (smiles) (nods)

LiRC: And they’re IDENTICAL! Oh!

Rebecca: (smiles) (nods)

LiRC: And they look just like you! How sweet!

Rebecca: (smiles) (nods) (as LiRC walks away…Chuckles to herself)

Sometimes it is easier not to correct others and to let themselves be happy in their own little fantasies.

Birthday Tradition

January the 10th has been my birthday for 25 years. It is a special day for me. I share my birthday with my Uncle Dave, Rod Stewart and George Foreman. Growing up there have always been some birthday traditions and memories that are important ot me. An angel food cake, an old, metallic, “Happy Birthday Rebecca” sign from Judy Mingus (which has not aged as well as I), being serenaded at breakfast by Dad singing, Sixteen Candles, and being wisked off to Portland, ME for my 24th by Peter. Good times, good times.

“But why?” you may ask, “are you bringing this up now, on the 19th of February?” That is a great question. And I have a great answer.

In addition to those mentioned earlier, I also share a birthday with Charlie Clough. He sits behind my parents in church, tells jokes before the service, taught my pre-school sunday school class AND for the past 13 years or so, has taken me out to dinner on our birthday.

The 58 years that separate us have never been a problem. I talk about school (middle, high, college and grad) and he tells stories from his rebellious teenage years (those poor teachers!) and from his time in the South Pacific fighting in World War Two.

Every year we eat at the “Riverside Resturaunt” in Brookline, New Hampshire. All the waitresses know Charlie and they recognize me…and the place has been the same for years and years. If you go there on your birthday they’ll put a sparkler in your dessert, get you to wear a funny crown and take your picture. I have a collection of Polaroids commemorating each year.

This year we diverged from tradition. Anyone who may have been in the Massachusetts area the first couple weeks of January will remember that it was bitterly, bone chillingly cold. Way to cold to bundle up and go to dinner even further north in NH. So we postponed until this afternoon and went for lunch instead.

We had a little scare having just heard that the Riverside had just been sold. Would they still be open? Yes! Phew! We walked in and were in for a bit of a shock. What had once been a cute country resturaunt chock-a-block full of antiques and knick knacks was now stripped down to the bare bones. We could actually see the walls and ceiling! {All, or most, will be sold at auction on March 6th at the Brookline Auction House aka. the Tin Can}

As fortune would have it, the food was just the same and we were treated to the yearly sparkler and photo. Here’s to 2005!

We Welcome Walton

Also we’d like to welcome Amy Walton|http://waltondammerunprwdot.org/g/ to the list of people hosting their blogs at prwdot.org, and note her presence in the links in the right hand nav bar.

The addition of Amy marks the fifth person formerly or currently from Mount Vernon to have their website hosted on our site, including myself. I love the fact that five Mount Vernonites have websites hosted on a server that is physically in the New York City metro area, run by a company that is headquartered in California. Isn’t the Internet wonderful?

Bless me father…

…for I have not blogged. It has been five days since my last blog entry.

The following incidents have kept me away from the house of blog:

On Friday, it was the Valentine’s Day party at work. Lots of food, a bagful of kiddie Valentine cards, the usual.

On Saturday, Valentine’s Day, Becky and I had a nice lazy day at home. We watched TV and hung out and in the afternoon we went to the CambridgeSide Galleria|http://www.cambridgesidegalleria.com/ for dinner at The Cheesecake Factory|http://www.thecheesecakefactory.com/. It was delicious. I had a spicy chicken sandwich and a slice of chocolate peanut butter cookie dough cheesecake. Becky had a tropical fish sandwich. Yum. ( Helpful Hint: If you go to the Galleria on a weekend, and eat at one of the three major restaurants, parking is only 99 cents for up to three hours. Even if you don’t eat, parking at the Galleria is still just $3 for up to 10 hours, and it’s just a short walk from the Science Park or Lechmere T stops, for easy access to the T system. )

On Sunday we were in South Boston for the twins’ birthday party. There were lots of presents and people, and two duck-shaped birthday cakes (which the twins did not get to eat, of course). Jenn|http://junefourteenth.blogspot.com/ also arrived on Sunday and came to the party with us.

Monday was President’s Day, but of course I did not have a holiday, so I was back at work|http://www.christianbook.com/ while Becky and Jenn hung out.

That brings us to today… I’m at work again and Becky and Jenn are babysitting in Southie.

On the techie front, I’ve been playing around with the Firefox|http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/ browser, and I’ve come to like it better than any other browser (including Safari) on both my Mac and PC systems. Firefox is based on the Gecko rendering engine, which is also used in Mozilla, Netscape, Camino, and numerous other applications. It’s fast, renders accurately, and looks nearly the same on every platform on which it runs.

Yesterday I bought another CF card|http://www.sandisk.com/retail_compactflash.html for the A70|http://www.powershot.com/powershot2/a70-60/index.html. I took some photos at the party on Sunday, and I had to delete a lot in order to get them to fit on my 128 meg card. With a 256 meg card and a 128 meg card, I now have three times the previous amount of space to store photos while on the go.

Speaking of the A70… as usual, something newer has just come out: the A75|http://www.powershot.com/powershot2/a75/index.html. Same price as the A70, more features, better design, bigger LCD…. oh well. In any case, I highly recommend the PowerShot line if you’re looking for an excellent digital camera for any budget. Canon is reported to be releasing a huge amount of new equipment this year, and thus far they have released eleven new products|http://www.dpreview.com/articles/pma2004/Canon/ at the Photo Marketing Association trade show in Las Vegas, including the A75.

Finally, please notice a few changes to our site nav bar on the right. Some inactive pages have been removed, and Kathleen’s new blog has been added – we’re happy to have her back on the list. 🙂

Another Sunset

Just as I was pulling in to the gym parking lot, I spotted the spectacular sunset stretching over the area of the Cummings Center|http://www.cummings.com/ccpage.html. So I spent a few minutes taking some photos|http://gallery.prwdot.org/cummings_sunset before I went in.

It’s good to keep a camera handy.

Instant Message (Osama/Saddam) Virus Game!

To anyone who has received a strange Instant Message from either of us in the past few days, asking you to click on a link to play a cool game or something along those lines:

If you are using Windows, and you clicked on the link, and installed and ran the game, then your computer is probably now infested with a virus-like adware. It doesn’t destroy any data on your computer, but what it does do is use your Instant Messaging application to send a link to the game out to everyone on your buddy list. This happens behind the scenes and without any warning to you – in fact, you won’t know it’s happening unless someone responds to the IM asking you what it is.

For more information on the viral game, and what to do about it, check out this entry on Bob Golding’s blog|http://bobgolding.blogspot.com/2004_02_08_bobgolding_archive.html#107656376248324548.

If you are running Windows and didn’t click on the link, you’re probably ok.

If you are running something other than Windows, like Mac OS X, then you are definitely ok.