Thursday, September 3, 2009


Tedy Bruschi is retiring. He's been the rock of the Patriots defense as long as I've been watching the team. He's been one of the central forces driving the team mentality that has led to three Super Bowl titles. He's been a class act, and a player I've been proud to root for. He's built a life here in New England, and we're proud to have him.

Maybe Jerod Mayo can step into his role as the defensive leader. By all accounts he's another bright player with a "high football IQ". Hopefully he's absorbed enough of the Patriot way of doing things to take up the reins.

Either way, I'm glad to see Tedy walk away intact and healthy. It's always sad to see a former player 10 years down the road unable to walk, or play with their kids. Hopefully Tedy dodged that bullet.

So thanks, Tedy. I can't wait to see the #54 get hoisted over Gillette Stadium.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Great Restaurant

It's been a while since I've posted. The move took up most of our time, and then I was out of commission for a few days, after pulling all of my abdominal muscles. Not good times.

I wanted to post about one of my favorite restaurants, though. We went there for dinner this past Friday, and I had steak frites, which came with arugula salad and black truffle vinaigrette. It was wonderful. I love the atmosphere - it's great, inventive food, but it's a casual feel.

My wife had the Moroccan style marinated skirt steak. I love skirt steak. It tastes like no other cut of beef. In this case, it had a nice, cool tzatziki sauce served with it. It was all great. If you live in Metro West, check them out. 51 Lincoln. Yup, that's the name, and the address. Newton Highlands.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The New Apartment, Allergies, and the Other Spring News

Well, we moved in a week ago. I like the new place. After a few years living in an apartment building that felt like a motel, having a place in an actual house is nice. There are lots of windows, and the street is quiet. It's a nice little neighborhood. We're still unpacking, but the place is starting to shape up. Oh, and my car insurance got cheaper with the move. Always a nice bonus. The Indy 500 is next weekend, and we're having my family over to watch in hi-def. Hopefully we'll have most of the unpacking done by then!

In other news, the only thing keeping me from looking like a coke addict after a bad night is Claritin D. Yup, it's allergy season. Oh, yay. I can't wait until the trees around here are done spreading their pollen - huh, it sounds dirty when you say it like that - and I can get back to normal. In the meantime, Claritin is keeping me functional. Thank you, Loratadine.

My brother returned safely from his trip to Bangladesh. He flew back via Bangkok to New York, then grabbed a shuttle to Boston. He desperately needed a haircut, a shave, and some fresh vegetables. I'm not sure where he's shipping off to next, but for now, it's good to have him home safe.

Oh, and Verizon FiOS is awesome. I love being able to download podcasts in seconds. Totally beats DSL, hands down.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Moving, Pizza, and My Brother

A few updates, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The lovely and talented Tracy is away for the week, visiting her family in New York. I'm packing up some of our stuff, in advance of our moving date (in early May). We've done some staging work, so all the books are in one area - I only need to empty a couple of bookcases into boxes. We've also donated some kitchen gear that we haven't used enough to justify moving. I'm going to pack the kitchen next, so that'll be a bunch of stuff ready to go.

We're donating a bunch of books, too. We're both pack-rats, so we had a bunch of old textbooks and paperback novels that we culled. If you have books that you no longer need, try They'll even come pick up your books. I'll let you know how it all goes, once they've picked up.

I also found a pizza place I like, called Franco's, on Moody St, in Waltham, MA. It's classic thin-crust bar pie. Crispy and thin, with just a little bit of doughy crust. It's nothing fancy, but they have live music on the weekends, and cold beer. It's pretty cool, and a large pizza is less than $10, which is rare these days. Yeah, it's a dive. But it's a good dive. With good pizza. And that makes up for a lot.

Lastly, my globe-trotting brother is due back in the States early this week. He was, you may recall, working on a freighter that was heading to Bangladesh, where it would be run upon the beach and sold for scrap. I'm not sure how he'll be flying back - the last report was maybe via Bangkok. I was hoping he'd go via London, with a nice, 8-hour layover so he could see the city, but as long as he gets home safely, I'll take it. My fingers are crossed.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My Globetrotting Brother

My brother is a recent graduate of Mass Maritime Academy, and is at sea right now on a ship out of Corpus Christi, TX, that up until recently hauled asphalt up and down the east coast. It's a neat gig, and so different from what I do that I'm frequently in awe. This isn't some little barge - it's a real live freighter, like the one on which you'd hitch a ride as you went off to join the Legion in an old adventure novel. I say, "up until recently," because the company that runs the ship just sold it. While it was at sea. To an Indian firm. For scrap. Yeah.

So now my kid brother is steaming through the Indian Ocean, having crossed the Atlantic, and rounded the Cape of Good Hope. They're heading north-east, toward the Bay of Bengal, where they will anchor in the harbor at Chittagong, Bangladesh. They'll sit at anchor for a few days, waiting for papers to pass and the tide to cooperate, at which point, they'll run the ship up on the beach. No, that's not a euphemism. They're going to beach her. Literally. Then they'll fly home. The flight should take, oh, 128 hours, give or take. But what a hell of trip.

He's been sending regular e-mails to us back home via the ship's satellite link (something they didn't have in those old adventure novels). Below is his most recent, in which he explains one of the ways in which the crew is combating the boredom of not seeing land for weeks. Remember, these guys are used to a few days between ports, all of which are in the United States.

What can I say? My kid brother's a heck of a guy.

Hey everybody,

It's Thursday, April X, 1045 Z, 0645 EDT.

We're out here in the Bay of Bengal, proceeding for Chittagong, Bangladesh.

We should be arriving the morning of the XXth, around XX00, and going to

Haven't had any more word on beaching and going home since the crew meeting
we had yesterday.

Latest is beaching on the XXth and getting on a plane that afternoon or the
next, so home by the XXst.

I know, you've heard all this already.

With the lack of action onboard the Asphalt Commander, the crew has taken to
speed walking and jogging the deck.

The Captain started it just after leaving Curacao, speed walking a zig-zag
obstacle course across / around the deck.

A weight vest adds to the challenge. Before long most of the crew was doing
it, some speed walking, others just jogging laps around the deck.

I myself went for the laps around the deck. By my measurements, its about 5
laps to a mile. I had been doing it pretty regularly, but have fallen off it the past week with the heat, rain, and wind we've been going through.

Today was the Official First Annual Asphalt Commander Speed walking
Championship, with all entrants being timed on the course.

The course began on the bridge, down the stbd. side ladders to the main
deck, up the deck, zig-zagging rail to rail, following a spray-painted course, up onto and around the foc'sle deck, down into the foc'sle, where the punching bag must be struck 10 time, back up out of the foc'sle onto the foredeck, back down to the main deck, and again zig-zagging down the deck, following the spray-painted arrows to the house, up the port side ladders, back to the bridge.

Judges were placed along the course and in the foc'sle to ensure that no
competitors jogged or ran, and that all rail markers were tagged as the competitor passed.

The official ruling has been made that one foot must remain on the deck at
all times to define a walk, where as a jog is constituted by both the competitor's feet coming clear of the deck during the stride.

You can't make this up.

Sounds pretty easy, but doing it for competition, the speed walking really
does wear you down. Its actually a grueling 7 to 9 mins on deck. And the speed walking seems to be tougher that just jogging it at an easy pace.

Anyway, got an ok time, had fun.

Can't wait to be back on soil.

Especially of the US variety.

How the heck am I supposed to compete with that?

Yes, apartment hunt finished.

Yup, we signed the lease last night. It'll be ready for May 1. Yay! Now we get to see if FiOS really is available. Verizon's website said it is, but you never know. I'm glad the hunt is over. It was getting frustrating. Now I can't wait to move in.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Apartment hunt finished?

Well, we may have found a new apartment. We're meeting the guy to sign the lease (and give him the check) tonight after work, and he says it's a done deal. Of course, I won't be sure it's done until I've signed something, and he's holding my check, but he said it was ours, so I'll assume we're all set. I'm glad that search is finally over.

It's sunny and warm outside today - and it'll be raining this weekend. Oh, yay.

In other news, for a few years now a friend has been telling me I'd really like Coldplay. I've been apathetic, and haven't really looked into it. Last night, I listened to a few clips on iTunes. Well, OK, then. She was right. Neat! I like finding a new band that already has a few albums out there, since it gives me a bunch of new stuff, all at once. This jives with my theory that you never start reading a sci-fi or fantasy book series until it's complete. I've already been burned by the Wheel of Time.