Monday, January 31, 2005

30 degrees?!?!

Yep thats right the temperature actually got up over 30 degrees in Maine yesterday. It was the perfect day to be skiing and I was right in the middle of it. I left Somerville on Thursday night and made it safely up to Bethel by midnight. The ride was uneventful except for the lack of an open supermarket after 10PM in Windham and the slowest gas pump in the world in Bridgton. On Friday I woke up early and threw on a bunch of layers to prepare for the single digit temperatures. To stay warm I telemarked and actually made it until two in the afternoon. My legs were really sore and as a reward I bought myself a nice Pat's Pizza. Jen (from the spy house) and I worked on the Wizard of Oz puzzle that Mark and Kate had started. After four hours we finished the puzzle, see the pictures in the slideshow. I went to Sud's at eight after falling asleep on the couch. On Saturday Kate and I went up to the mountain and skied the entire day together. The weather was great and the conditions were even better. For dinner we went to the chinese restaurant and it was so yummy. I got them to edit meal number 18 and they substituted mushrooms for the broccoli. A fantastic meal!!! We drove around for a little while and then went back to the house where we watched television. I ended up watching a PBS show about the influenza epidemic of 1918, unfortunately I never got to watch the conclusion. The Grizzly was okay, we got there early and just sat watching people play pool. It then became too crowded and loud so we left around 11. Yesterday I woke up super early and was on the mountain a little after eight. I skied by myself for the entire morning before meeting everybody at the Peak Lodge. We skied until 2:30 and then ate lunch. Lunch was rather eventful and comical from the goggle wearing to the straw flipping. We even learned an interesting tidbit about Amy and New Year's Eve ;o)

Last night I drove back home in average time and was able to find a parking space very easily. Afterwards I walked over to Jennifer's and made some crazy cheese quesadillas. If anybody has suggestions on exactly how to make them let me know.

Sunday River Slideshow

Thursday, January 27, 2005 Again

I made it into another feature Tom Green Look-A-Like

I figured out what it is I don't like about the winter. Everthing you do in winter takes twice as long as it does in the summer. In the summer when I want to leave my house it is as easy as slipping on some flip flops and opening the door. In the winter I have to make sure I grab my hat from my room before I go down the hall and put on my hiking or snow boots, then I have to put on two layers of coats. It is such a pain in the butt. Walking everywhere also takes twice as long because you have to navigate through the snow piles and it is much harder to get any traction in the mushy snow. I also have found it takes a lot longer to go visit Jen because I can't drive over there anymore and must walk the mile to her house. Let me tell you it is a really long walk in these conditions.

Work has been going really well lately. I have a second interview for the State Street job next week, so apparently I have made it to the second round. I am very excited for this position and have my fingers crossed. Tonight I will be leaving for Sunday River because I have tomorrow off. It will be nice to ski on a Friday when there aren't many people on the mountain. I might even try to telemark this weekend for some extra exercise.

I just found a cool new internet search feature on the website. Go to this link Amazon Yellow Pages. Type 02114 for the zip code and then on the left in the yellow search box type in a business. Try Dunkin Donuts or CVS and you will certainly get a hit. Now in the search results it will list different locations and some of them will have pictures next to them. Click on the picture and you will be shown an exterior shot of the actual business. You can then move up and down the street and see other businesses in the area. Cool stuff.
Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


At my desk is where I sit
Expenses run on my PC
Waiting for the process to finish
The LJ needs an update
Snow has fallen all around
More seems to be on the way
Sidewalks like ancient passages
Is that a snow pile or a car?
The T is running behind schedule
Crowds overflow the platform
Late to work once again
My stomach rumbles from hunger
Ninety minutes until warm pasta
Blaring music bellows out of the speaker
Status bars whiz along the screen
The recalculation is now complete

Monday, January 24, 2005

The Blizzard of 2005

Wow!!! I think that word almost sums it up. The biggest snowstorm of the winter hit this weekend and it was just amazing. On Saturday I went to work to get something accomplished without pesky people bothering me every two minutes. The snow started to fall around three and by the time I left at five it was really starting to come down. As the red line passed over the Charles river, I glanced back towards the city and it was just a large white blur. It was snowing so much I could barely make out the lights on the old Hancock building. My first stop was at the Star Market in Porter, which was truly a mob scene. The lines for the registers were halfway down the aisles. I gathered all of the supplies I would need to make quesadillas and pizza. Everything I needed was available except shredded cheese. The entire section was empty except for a couple packs of shredded swiss cheese, so I improvised and grabbed block cheese instead. The checkout had died down a bit by the time I got there and I quickly got out of that mad house and walked home. Earlier in the day I had moved my car in anticipation of the snow emergency and it was nicely placed two cars in from the corner and close to the curb.

Once at home I quickly packed my backpack with clothes, books, dvd's, a pizza stone and anything else I might need over the next 24 hours. After packing I threw the bag on my bag and nearly tipped over from the weight. I put on my boots, gloves, hat, vest and jacket and trudged out in the half a foot of snow. Ten minutes later I arrived at Jennifers and unloaded all of my stuff. We quickly went to work making quesadillas, which turned out to be a success. Oh if you ever make quesadillas it is definitely easier to use one tortilla folded in half than it is to use one on top of the other. We watched a whole bunch of television and read a little before going to bed. At bedtime we looked out the window and estimated that there was about a foot on the ground already. The wind was blowing so heavily when you first heard it you thought a plow was driving by the house.

Sunday morning we awoke to about two feet of snow on the ground with drifts up to three feet deep. We would quickly move from window to window peering through the blinds trying to get a complete picture of our surroundings. I quickly became bored with this and decided to make brownies and pizza dough. After I was finished with the dough we decided to go out and shovel around Jennifer's car. She had parked the car in the armory parking lot, because there weren't any spaces available on the street. At first this seemed like a good idea, but it would later lead to a bit of a challenge. We waded through the sometimes waist deep snow out to her car and began shoveling around it. Thankfully the snow was light and it didn't take too long. Afterwards we walked around a bit and checked out the snow on and around Highland Avenue. Cars on the main road were buried so much at first you thought it was just a snow pile until you could see the little antenna sticking out of the top. People were walking around awkwardly in groups, it reminded me of the end of The Day of Tomorrow, when all the survivors start popping out of their shelters. We started back towards the house and helped a guy whose car was stuck on the corner of the street.

We made it back inside where I continued my kitchen work and made sauce for the pizza later on. I finished the sauce and was bored once again, did a couple of crosswords and read another chapter in my book. I realized I hadn't eaten lunch so I went back to the kitchen and began making the pizza. The pizza came out really well although I think there was a little too much sauce. After dinner Jennifer began calling around and trying to find out if she had to go to school today. Finally we found out that her school did have school, we couldn't believe it since it seemed like every school in and around Lawrence was closed. The snow finally stopped and it began to clear around sunset. I checked the temperature and throughout the storm the highest it reached was 24, but for the most part it stayed around 15 degrees. I became extremely bored at around seven o'clock and started playing Minesweeper on the computer, which kept my attention for about fifteen minutes. I became completely stir crazy and told Jennifer I was going to go for a walk. The walk back to my house wasn't too bad although it was starting to get cold. It was nice to be in my house and I quickly changed into some long underwear before going out to see my car. I was worried it would be buried up over the roof, but when I turned the corner to my surprise it didn't have any snow on it. It did have a little on the hood, but besides that it was free and clear. I started the car and began shoveling around it and within ten minutes it was free and clear. As I tend to do with shoveling I took it to the next level and actually pulled the car out of the space and shoveled out the entire space down to the pavement. I was quick about it and put it right back in to the space and left the car for home.

The walk back to Jennifer's wasn't too bad since I was still sweating from clearing out my car. The temperature began dropping again, so by the time we went to sleep it was about five degrees. The interesting thing I have noticed is that before all of this snow a temperature of five degrees would have felt so cold, but now when you go outside it doesn't seem like a big deal at all. Anyway this morning we woke up and Jennifer called the school only to find out she definitely had to go to school. I looked out into the armory parking lot and it still hadn't been plowed, but there was somebody out there shoveling a couple cars down from Jennifer's car. I saw this as a great opportunity, because it was going to be a lot easier to shovel if there were other people helping out. Of course Jen protested, but I insisted that it wouldn't take long since there were other people to help. I went out and started shoveling at 6:10. It only took about a half hour before we had shoveled about sixty feet and managed to force both cars out to the end of the driveway. We went back inside to get ready for the day and rushed out to the car. She ended up leaving on time and made it to work safely. I walked home and finally got to take a shower. After getting out of the shower I looked at the clock and realized I was right on schedule to start a regular day.

FYI - Jennifer made it to school safely and they had a total of seven kids show up out of the usual twenty six. No waste of a day there :oP

Friday, January 21, 2005

Cold Again

Okay the temperature was below zero this morning. What is going on with our climate? I don't remember it being this cold when I was young. Of course I don't remember much from when I was young. Yesterday I was walking out of the parking garage at work and this guy was driving his car and his ski carrier slammed right into the low clearance bar, but he didn't care and kept driving. I don't know if he got stuck somewhere, but I was waiting to hear the loud bang of the ski carrier ripping off of the roof.

I had another job interview yesterday at State Street. It was for a Technology Analyst II, which technically is a grade level below my current position. The interview went well and I thought the guys I would be working with were really cool. Cool in the sense that they were excited about programming and could discuss technology with me. In going to the interview I also realized the job I was about to get an offer for from IBT was not the right thing for me. The IBT job was basically doing the same thing I do now except over there. They weren't going to pay me more money and looking back I was only excited to leave SSC and not excited about the position itself. In the afternoon I had a call with IBT to discuss the offer and broke off the whole deal. I am disappointed about not taking a new job, but at the same time I am glad I didn't make a huge decision for the wrong reason. Now I just wait to hear back from SSC.

Last night I called my grandmother, Meme, and talked for quite a while. It was so good to speak with her. I also found out she will be around in May so Jennifer and I will have a place to stay. After the phone call I helped Jennifer set up for her little cocktail party. About six people showed up and we enjoyed cheese, crackers, hummus (well not me), grapes, cookies and some wine. We had some Reisling, Pinot Grigio and Chianti. I only had the Reisling, because I just love it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Oops Missed a Weekday

Yes I know I missed a day and I am sorry, but I had a lot of stuff going on. First of all it is cold out there, I had hoped we would make it through this winter without the extreme cold like we had last year. On the bright side I noticed the commute isn't nearly as bad as last year because I just have to walk to the subway and I am all set.

Last night was our second and final wine tasting class and once again it was great fun. We learned a lot in the three hours we were in class and I now actually enjoy wine. I did drinking a lot of wine last night, which when combined with my empty stomach made for a long drunk walk home. Jennifer was rather amused so I guess that was good and I was able to fall right asleep. I have had trouble the last four nights or so trying to sleep through the night. This morning I woke up at 5:30, which was a great improvement over prior nights.

On Friday night Jennifer and I went to Helmand, an amazing Afghani restaurant in Cambridge. We ordered a whole bottle of wine, a Riesling, a wonderful sweet white wine. For an appetizer we had baked pumpkin with a ground beef sauce. I had a prime rib and Jennifer had leek-scallion raviolis. If you are looking for a nice place to go that isn't too expensive you should try it. Helmand Restaurant

Friday, January 14, 2005

Rainy Friday

First of all here is a link to some pictures from trivia night on Wednesday BoCaNO Trivia Pictures

Well it is my first Flex day since we started them and conveniently it is rainy and I am just sitting in my house using the computer. I would have been better off just going in to work at least I would have had something to do. Oh well no sense in complaining. I just walked down to Davis Square and had lunch with Andy at Mikes Pizza. It was good stuff. Now I am going to look at pictures and try to label them before going to CVS and printing them out. Tonight we are going to an afghani restaurant in Cambridge. I am a bit nervous, but I know everything will be fine and I will find something to eat. If only they had Chicken Borek.

Enjoy the rain everybody.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Bad Showing

Last night was trivia night at the Kinsale and the BoCaNO crew was in rare form. We ended up with under 80 points. Oh well you can't win them all. It was nice to finally all be settled back in after New Years. Afterwards I went home and watch Project Runway. I must say it is a damn good show, one of the most dramatic reality series out there.

I guess thats about it. Check out this new drink from Starbucks. Chantico There goes my food budget for the year.


EDIT: I just tried the Chantico and must say it is so very very good. The taste reminds me of the warm chocolate chips in a chocolate chip cookie. I highly reccommend.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Again? You betcha!

I just had to post an entry today because I am very happy today. Last night we went to the Wine Tasting class in Boston and it was so much fun. We learned all about white wines last night and it was really cool to learn the differences between each variety of grape. We had two Chardonnays one that was stored in oak barrels and one that wasn't, the smells were very different. I really enjoyed the Riesling wine from Germany, nice and sweet without too much bite. I can't wait for next week's class on red wine.

Afterwards we were walking through the Public Garden in the snow and decided to go get dinner at Parish Cafe. I always have a hard time finding something I will like, but last night it was easy. I ended up with a pasta dish with tomatoes and a ham like meat in a pesto basil sauce. It was amazing!!! I think that is the best Tuesday night I have had in a while.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Two In A Row

Believe it or not this is my second entry in as many days. So now I have to come up with something clever to say. This morning I walked by the free Boston Globe person and grabbed my much Metro on the way down to the train and saw this picture:

Now thats a big boulder, can you imagine driving down the street and you see that thing rolling down the hill towards you. AHHHHHHH!! I then started to read about the ACLU trying to get the police out on the Cape to stop getting DNA samples from everybody. I then thought maybe we should have DNA samples of everybody stored somewhere. After thinking for five seconds more I realized it might not be the best idea because with the DNA you could use it for clones which is a scary thing. I just remembered being young and going to the police station to provide them with my fingerprints for record keeping purposes. So now I sit on the fence and wonder what would be best? I think the government will have to trick us into using our DNA for identifcation purposes before everybody gives up their deoxy ribonucleic acid.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Question Marks

I recently realized I have a very hard time using question marks. I will often times write a question in an email and end the sentence with a period. It probably has to do with my horrible history in the subject of English. Wow looking back at my writing today is very disturbing. What is wrong with me these days? I can't write anything that makes sense or is in the least bit interesting.

Since I can't write today here are some pictures:
BoCaNO at Grendel's Den
Weekend In Bethel

After battling the flu a.k.a. The PIP all last week Jen and I went up to Sunday River for some rest and relaxation. It didn't start off that way though because first I had to sand the driveway at the Outpost. We stopped in Amesbury to get sand, which was an adventure in itself since the 100 lb container I put in my trunk broke and required me to take all of the stuff out of my trunk so it would sit nicely on the floor. We finally got to the Outpost at 11:00 and I spread out all of the sand with my hands because the shovel didn't fit in the container. It was a mess, but I survived. Saturday was a ski day and upon returning home my very wonderful girlfriend had baked brownies and walked to town to get food for dinner. We ate a lovely dinner of bow tie pasta, feta cheese, sun dried tomatoes and chicken sausage before going to the Grizzly for some dancing. It was a great time. Jen got to see "Middle Aged Dancer Woman", who's breasts nearly popped right out of her shirt. We also saw the weird guy with the tight white shirt dancing. He is a freaky dancer, I mean really freaky. Sunday morning had me waking up way too late and rushing to a full mountain. The conditions were okay, but it was just too crowded for my liking. I went home at one and was back in Somerville by five.

A nice weekend overall, it was so nice to get out of Somerville for a change. The week ahead looks to be relatively busy with an evening of mulled cider today, wine tasting tomorrow night, BoCaNO on Wednesday, dinner on Friday night and on Saturday we are driving to Connecticut to spend the weekend with Jen's parents.


Tuesday, January 4, 2005

To Bag Lunch Or Not To Bag Lunch

One of my resolutions has been to save money, so in the beginning I figured I would bring a bag lunch everyday. So on Sunday night I went to the store and bought groceries for the week. First I stopped by the deli counter to pick up some turkey, which now runs at about six dollars a pound. I bought a half pound of turkey and then decided to get Swiss cheese. I asked the man for the cheese and he asked if I wanted domestic Swiss cheese, which I didn't really understand. Did he mean domestic as in from the US? Because to me that doesn't make much sense. You should only be able to buy domestic swiss cheese in Switzerland. It's like buying domestic french wine or a domestic Toyota, it makes no sense to me. The confusion didn't end there, I asked for six or seven slices of swiss cheese and he began slicing. He threw the over sized sliced pieces, over sized in both thickness and overall surface area, on the scale. The total weight was two thirds of a pound. I didn't want to admit my guffaw, so I just said it was fine. Now I have to eat swiss cheese sandwiches with a little bit of turkey. I bought some other lunch things like apples, cookies and granola bars. Next I decided to shop for dinner things, which for me is one of three things: macaroni and cheese, spaghettios or cajun chicken soup. I have been eating this way for months and it is getting very old, but since I never know where I will be for dinner I never buy stuff to make a good dinner. Not to mention the fact that all of the recipes I have make way too much food. I finally checked out and found I had spent $36.

Fast forward to yesterday morning when I put together my lunch at quarter to seven in the morning. It took me about five minutes to put everything together. I went to work and once lunch time came around grabbed my bag lunch and went with my friends. Of course none of them brought a lunch and instead went to Viga and bough $3.50 worth of the yummiest looking pasta. I sat there with my stupid sandwich trying to eat it slowly so I filled up quicker envying my companions. Only then did I officially conclude that I would save more money, time and effort by setting up a fixed budget of $20 a week for having lunch outside instead of bringing my lunch. Now I just have to get through the rest of my swiss cheese and it will be Jay-Bo and viga once again. Woohoo!!!!