Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Here is the final track listing of the BoCaNO best CD ever.

1Mr. JonesCounting Crows4:32
2Just Like HeavenThe Cure3:32
3Brown Eyed GirlVan Morrison3:05
4Sweet Child o' MineGuns 'n' Roses5:56
5American GirlTom Petty and the Heartbreakers3:33
6The Space BetweenDave Matthews Band4:03
7LingerThe Cranberries4:34
8American WomanThe Guess Who5:07
9In Your EyesPeter Gabriel5:29
11Wonderful TonightEric Clapton3:44
12Pop Song 89R.E.M.3:05
13Gold Dust WomanFleetwood Mac5:04
14Pictures Of YouThe Cure4:48
15The Lady In RedChris De Burgh4:16
16No RainBlind Melon3:37
17A Thousand MilesVanessa Carlton3:57
18Closing TimeSemisonic4:33

In other news I joined the gym.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Weekend In Camden

A year ago Jennifer and I spent a weekend up in Camden, ME at the Nathaniel Hosmer Inn. We had such a great time we decided to go back again this year and once again we had a fantastic time. I took off from work a little early and I stopped in Amesbury to meet Jennifer, because she was going to leave her car at my mom's house. After that we were on our way north to my most favoritest state of Maine. The weather was gorgeous and we had the radio cranking in the old Jetta. Instead of taking the normal way (Route 1) we decided on a more scenic route through the heart of Maine. It truly paid off because not only did we make it to Camden in record time, but we saw some of the most beautiful countryside I have ever seen. At one point we came up over this hill by a farm and you could see for at least fifty miles. The perfect combination of a farm on top of a hill let us see the outlines of the western mountains, it was breathtaking. We continued over narrow bridges, around sharp corners through more farm lands and across dirt roads before regaining the main road about a half hour west of Camden. It's amazing how much we miss by travling the interstates.

Once in Camden we set up residence in the same room as last year and before long were wandering down Main street. All of the memories from last year came rushing back as we peered into the familiar store fronts. Our first stop was a coffee shop where we picked up some baked goods to settle our hungry stomachs. We ate them in Harbor park overlooking the harbor and the Megunticook River waterfall. The sky was cloudless and the streets were filled with tourists going in and out of the little shops. We explored for about an hour before returning to the Mary Wheeler room. We were both quite exhausted from a long busy week and it wasn't long before we were both fast asleep.

The next morning we woke up to the smell of bacon frying. I had slept through the night and didn't wake up once, it had been weeks since the last time that happened. The queen sized bed, quiet street and cool weather made for prime sleeping conditions. At 8:30 we walked into the dining room for breakfast. Only five places were set, which was quite different from the full house we experienced last year. The other guests were a woman from Stratham, who was planning on a day of cycling over in Isleboro, and a couple from Somerville. We chatted with them and the two inn keepers over a "divine" peach cobbler, followed up by a bowl of local fruit. The main course of this little three course breakfast was a crepe, cheese, and bacon creation. I was a bit weary at first, because it looked a lot like egg, and the texture was very similar, but once I made it through the top part the rest was great.

After breakfast we strapped on our hiking boots and drove over to an isolated parking lot I had scouted out the night before. There is an intricate network of hiking trails in the area and I had chosen the least congested routes in advance. Once again we passed up Mt. Battie, the tourist trap mountain with an auto road, and ended up at the top of Zeke's lookout and then Bald Rock mountain. Both spots provided gorgeous views without the crowding of the more popular Battie. The trails weren't well marked, but we did manage to find our way rather easily. One trail in particular seemed to have had few visitors at all because it was very grown in and the spiders had taken over. There webs were strewn across the trail at five and six foot intervals. At one point I ended up with a spider dangling near my head, but instead of backing away in fear I showed it a thing or two and took a dozen photos of him swinging around. Of course only one actually came out clearly, but as with most of my pictures it takes about a dozen bad shots for the one memorable shot you frame and put on your living room wall.

Five hours later we returned to the car with two empty Nalgene bottles, sore legs and an interest in wine. We had heard over breakfast of a small winery over near the trails we would be hiking and decided it was the perfect way to end the hike. We pulled up to the three hundred year old barn and weren't exactly sure what we were in for. Another couple was just about to start a tasting so we joined in and grabbed a couple clean glasses. We tried about eight different wines in all and they were wonderful. The oddest wine they had was a blueberry wine, which was made entirely of blueberries, it had an aroma much like blueberries, however the taste was much like a red wine. It wasn't the best wine ever, but certainly better than one would anticipate upon hearing of such a thing. We purchased two bottles from the winery and drove back to the inn for much needed showers.

With clean clothes on our backs we ventured back downtown in search of some lunch. It was nearly four and we planned on going out for dinner, so we made it a light lunch. We walked into the same sandwich shop from our first day and ordered a bit of food. The woman behind the counter asked for a name on the order and I quickly suggested Janet, and smiled towards Jennifer. Ever since our arrival the inn keeper had been introducing Jennifer as Janet and despite a couple tries to correct the situation, we weren't able to correct her. Finally, the name Janet was called and I paid for lunch, that's what happens when you try to be funny. Again we dined in Harbor Park, but this time the view was slightly different because the sun was brightly shining down upon the harbor. Looking out to sea you could see a fog starting to push its way across Penobscot Bay towards the harbor, I was thankful I wasn't aboard a boat trying to find my way back home.

Since we had time to kill before dinner, we walked around all the shops in the downtown area. As always, I didn't buy one thing. Of course I saw several things I would have liked to take home, but for some reason on vacation I don't tend to buy souvenirs. In the grand scheme of things this could be a good thing, because I don't need a bunch of useless junk lying around the house for years. We strolled down by the water and saw a couple schooners returning to port. They were out for an evening cruise, but the fog had stopped them dead in their tracks. I overheard one of the captain saying, "The fog rolled right over us. It was as thick as pea soup and to top it all of the sun was shining so much it lit the fog right up and you couldn't see a darn thing." It turns out most of the charters for the evening had been cancelled due to fog, much to the disappointment of many tourists. The long hike and afternoon of shopping had worn me out, so we returned to the inn to rest before dinner. Apparently my head was on the pillow for thirty seconds before I fell fast asleep. I awoke an hour later to the sound of a cork coming out of a bottle of wine. We had stopped at a store to buy a cheap bottle of wine to drink before dinner. I was still pretty thirsty and don't think I was able to truly enjoy the Riesling, but given different circumstances I am sure it would have been wonderful.

We walked in to Zaddik's Mexican-Italian restaurant and were surprised to find it so empty. We sat right down and quickly order nachos, which we had planned on ordering ever since we sat atop the acme of Bald Head Mountain. As soon as they were placed on the table we immediately devoured them and only after I was nearly full did I decide it was completely necessary that we finish them. We moved on to the main course which was individual sized pizzas. I was quite full at this time, but somehow managed to finish my mushroom and ham pizza. It wasn't the best pizza I've had, but it filled me up and given the relapse of exhaustion I was feeling I didn't really care. We walked outside and noticed the fog had finally reached town and was making its way up Route 1. It rolled up the street oblivious to the busy scene it was penetrating. Our full stomachs encouraged us to roam around the foggy scene and we obeyed there wishes. First we went on a walk through the airy stone and grass amphitheater at the library. Continuing down towards the water I noticed how the rope hand rails were covered in moisture from the fog. The stores began to close and we new it was time to go back to our room and begin another night of restful sleep.

Ten of the fifteen gongs sounded from the church bells before I woke up only to wonder why it was so light at five o clock in the morning. After glancing at the clock I realized the church was in fact announcing the beginning of mass because it was actually eight in the morning. I began packing my things and showered before we walked over for another full breakfast. Two new people had arrived at the inn overnight and now there was seating for seven. The food was just as delicious as the prior day and probably even better given my trepidation towards the crepe the prior morning. Upon completing our meal, Glen, the inn keeper told us all about the history of the house and the person was named after. He was quite the storyteller and would always try to sneak in impossible tidbits here and there. Following all of the stories I packed the car while Jennifer got a tour of the rest of the house. Once the car was loaded we went back inside and bid farewell to the inn keepers, telling them we would definitely be back next summer and possibly sooner.

We sat in the car looked back at the inn one more time, turned onto Route 1 South and began our long journey home. It was the end of another vacation, but the start of a fun and relaxing tradition. The perfect way to end a summer and begin the wonderful season of autumn.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Online Music Store WTF

I was on the internet the other day looking up information on David Gray and on his website I saw his album can be pre-ordered on iTunes. So I log in to iTunes to check it out and can't find it anywhere. In a moment of confusion I go back to the website and notice that it is only available on the UK iTunes music store. Sure enough I go back to iTunes and switch to the UK store to find it on the main page. Now here is the reason this topic deserves an LJ entry, if you aren't from the UK you can't buy things from iTunes UK store. Now maybe it is just me, but this really seems ridiculous, music is music is music, why should it matter where a person lives. After a little research I learned the different countries music stores might carry different artists as well as music and albums. Have we really progressed so far with technology to limit ourselves by international borders.

It is time for the record companies to step up and let us have our music. A few years ago the record companies were whining and complaining about the Napsters and Kazaas of the world. They have since sued a bunch of teens and slowed the piracy down to a trickle. In the meantime online music stores have popped up and done a killing, especially iTunes. For those of you that are unfamiliar with these online stores they are very convenient and at 99 cents a song I don't mind purchasing a couple songs every now and then. Of course there are some drawbacks, first and foremost is the lack of artists from certain stores because a record company isn't affiliated with the music store. For instance only until recently could you find Dave Matthews Band on iTunes. Other artists missing from the world's largest music store are AC/DC and the Beatles among others. Now I find out the artist restriction is based upon the record label and country of the artist. Why wouldn't they want there music available to everybody? It just seems counterintuitive to sell something and not want it available in every market across the globe. Its time to bring down these musical borders.

In other news my weekend was pretty good although I am still tired from working last week. The weather hasn't exactly helped. Enough of the sticky humid weather already, lets get back to the nice dry weather from early last week. Saw two movies this weekend: Broken Flowers and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Bother were very good, obviously two very different movies, but each great in its own way.


Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Breather

It has been crazy this past week at work and I have been there for about 15 hours a day and I feel completely drained. Thankfully the project we are working on is finished and we just need to make sure everything is working correctly. I can at least say I learned a lot over the last few days.

Besides work I haven't been doing much of anything except sleeping. I had to miss BoCaNO last night, which was trivia again. I hope they did alright.

Jennifer and I were hoping to go up to the mountains this weekend, but it seems like the weather isn't going to cooperate and will be rainy. It really stinks considering how nice it has been around here lately. The last couple of days have me so excited for the fall. It is by far my favorite season. The cool crisp air just brings back such wonderful feelings. I also decided I need to hike as much as possible this fall since I wasn't able to go much in the spring. Time to make up for lost time I guess.

Okay we are heading out for dinner in Arlington.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Another Update

Jennifer is still away so here I sit at 11PM updating my LJ. I am completely exhausted and should be going to sleep, but for some reason I just can't get into bed. It has been a busy week at work and I have already put in three ten hour days with a couple more still left to go. Hopefully by this time next week I will be able to breathe a little easier.

Tonight for BoCaNO we went to the Hatchshell for a free classical music concert. It was great to lie in the grass and look up at the stars. It was also nice to be hanging out with friends, so very relaxing. Afterwards we went to Cold Stone, but I had to pass since I had already eaten so much all day long. I suppose it is time to hit the hay and get some rest in preparation for another long day. Man do I spend a lot of time in front of a compute screen now.

Peace out!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

My New Commute

Back in my car and finally starting to enjoy the commute. It has been almost two months and I think I have found the most efficient way to Waltham from Somerville. Of course I am not going to disclose my secret route, because it won't be long before word spreads to the rest of the Waltham commuters and it will be back to the drawing board. At first I took the obvious path to Route 2, but it was just driving me crazy. So I hopped on Google Maps and began experimenting with different back roads. The key is to find as few stoplights and more importantly try to find stoplights where you will rarely have to sit through more than one light. My final route might be a little longer, but I don't end up sitting through three or four lights. It's all about average speed, for the three lights your average speed is zero, but if you drive an extra mile at 30 MPH you are doing much better. The average speed also comes into consideration when driving on 95 North. The traffic on highways can be very deceiving, it looks like it is going much slower than it really is. I can now consistently get to and from work in 20 minutes, that is down from up to 45 minutes in my trial phase.

One thing about my commute that does kill me is the voluntary "toll" near Alewife station. Most of you probably don't know about this "toll", but I have to deal with it everyday. The "toll" comes in the form of three beggars who pace back and forth and pester people for money. They make me crazy every time I drive to work. They are making a killing, so I guess I can't blame them for doing it, heck they make a couple bucks on each red light. One guy in particular is always carrying a huge wad of bills, but to his credit he has perfected his limp.

Okay enough ranting and raving. Good night all. Sleep well!!!


Sunday, August 7, 2005

Gem Island Vacation

I'm back to make an entry. You may be wondering where I was since I never update my LJ anymore and didn't let you in on my plans. Well starting last Saturday I went up to Maine to spend a week at a house Jennifer's parents rented. The house was on its own island called Gem Island in South Bristol. The house rental comes with a small boat so you can get back and forth from your car to the island. Let me start by saying I had a fantastic and relaxing week. Jen's dad and sister were only there for the first day, and from that point on it was just Jennifer, her mom and me. We kept busy all week doing all sorts of random things including reading, crosswords, kayaking, hiking, shopping, espresso drinking, boating, swimming, a little bit of working and a lot of just hangin out.

I took a bunch of pictures you can see by clicking on the sunset picture above. There were a few interesting sunsets so you will see a few pictures of the same portion of sky, but on different days. The weather was good all week, except for a cloudy day early in the week and a thunderstorm here and there. I was a little freaked out during Wednesday night's storm, but I think it had a little to do with how asleep I was when this happened. Two days later, we had another storm and I sat out on the porch through the entire thing. Towards the end of that storm the rain had stopped and Jennifer and I saw a bright flash of light, followed by a huge crack of thunder. It was weird how close it was given the fact that the storm had already passed.

As I said above I did work a little bit early in the week. It basically involved me checking my email on a super slow internet connection and then staying on the phone for a ninety minute conference call. On the bright side I did get a better idea of the requirements for our upcoming project. Oddly enough I am looking forward to going to work on Monday and closing out our big project. I have a week and a half to finish, but hope I can wrap everything up by Friday.

Okay it is getting late and I need to go to bed. I can't squander all of the extra sleep I was able to get over the past week. Tomorrow may involve a trip to Plymouth or a day of work with a trip to the movies thrown in to mix things up. I haven't quite decided yet. See how I feel in the morning I guess. Of course I could go on forever about my wonderful vacation, but a picture is worth a thousand words and I think there are about 40 pictures for you to check out.

Hope everybody is doing well!!

PS - Here is a slideshow from a recent trip to Plymouth