Yes, it’s almost that time of year, so I’m sitting on the porch blogging away. Looking forward to doing more of it soon now that it’s spring, and the sun is up so long.

I saw an old friend this morning after my morning cappuccino and coding at my favorite coffee shop, Peet’s in Lexington. It was one of those odd moments of complete and happy surprise, since while we email regularly, I really didn’t expect to see him in downtown Lexington, just sitting on a park bench. In any case, he reminded me that I should blog more, and not just about that Apache stuff. So here you go. I will say I’m looking forward to catching up with old friends in the next two weekends, since I think some plans will be coming together nicely.

Hey! If anyone has good links for Patriot’s Day events this year, email them or post them here. I really want to get a good calendar of what’s happening when, since it’s one of my favorite holidays of the year. I’ll drop one excellent link here – if you want to know what actually happened back then, read Boston 1775, a blog by J.L. Bell, who has great commentary as well as links to original source material from the time of the revolution.

In other news, I’m ashamed to say I’m drinking instant coffee with my stroopkoeken. It’s one of those guilty pleasures – I love the Idee Kaffee instant coffee packets that I brought home from Amsterdam last month. Please don’t tell Janice or the staff at Peet’s I’m drinking anything but their bar drinks or my whole bean Maj. Dickason’s I get each week.

I’m blogging this

Yes, I’m blogging this. Just sent home two very dear friends who arranged a surprise night out to celebrate my 37th birthday. Note: they were a tad late with the celebration, but that still made the surprise just as sweet. I must admit to failing my save against stun when they walked in, especially since I’d just returned from a crazy week at ApacheCon previously.

After a nicely mysterious drive into town – spoiled only by the fact they weren’t quite sure how to get there, and I was wondering if I should drive, M & M took me to see Tomb!, the interactive adventure. This amusing interlude – presuming your disbelief is suspendable, or you just enjoy watching everyone else – was the start of many a good joke for the evening. You will laugh or incur my wrath.

A quick jaunt and a moderate parking circle got us to The Elephant Walk, an excellent French/Cambodian restaurant. Veeeeery tasty. After waiting at the bar with some spring rolls and a drink – a surprisingly good French martini, which mixes gin and fruity stuff successfully – we moved to the dining room for dinner. Just about heavenly. Plus the waiter (a $dayjob co-worker of M’s) surprised us all with delivery of dessert with a candle in it for my supposed birthday celebration. Delightful overall.

Damn! It happened again. Most of the funny stories have already escaped the grasp of my conscious mind. However one theme was growing up – something we’ve each done to different degress – in the Boston area. That means there’s a whole raft of shared media experiences we have, including Candlepin Bowling and Willie Whistle, to mention but a few.

(Look! I found this posting lost in the mists of the ether!)

I’m blogging this

This, alas, was a wonderful post about the delightful show-and-dinner experience that two very dear and longtime friends took me out for to celebrate my 37th birthday, but it was never saved and was apparently wiped by some mysterious key combination on my Thinkpad.

I assure you, the original was almost worth reading. A pity I need to now leave the table full of liquor bottles as they are, and stumble off to bed.

Thank you, M & M, for a night to remember. I’ll follow the path or else feel his wrath.

Hello to old friends!

For a variety of reasons, I was recently inspired to look up a number of high school friends and teachers. So this post is my way of saying “Hi, long time no… read about!” to anyone who’s coming to look at my blog.

I don’t know about everyone else – especially those in Europe or outside of the US, who seem to have a very different rythm to their school systems – but high school was really a defining moment for me. The experiences, environment, teachers, and friends I made from sophomore through senior year in high school are still important to me today. I hope I can get back in touch with some of those old friends now. We’ll see. You can’t go back again, or rather, everything is different if you go back. And it really helps to have some better writing in your blog postings too, something I hope to do once I’ve had more coffee today – or less pollen, in any case.

P.S. to some retiring teachers – and those who are still there! – especially S.E.T. and G.H., many thanks for your teaching, humor, and experiences. They did make a difference.

Low-key edamame at McDonalds

I love my friends.  It’s a shame I don’t get to see enough of them these days.  One is a writer – well, he should be a novel writer, with a name like Bret Thorn – a food service industry columnist.  He writes the funniest (and tastiest) stuff, although I have to say he’s much funnier in person.

I guess if you introduce edamame to mainstream America you can afford to be low-key about it.

Read more about the food industry and the latest in restaraunt trends. Heck, I didn’t know that McDonalds was currently introducing Americans to edamame this year!  They are good, but I’ll save my edamame experiences for decent sushi restaraunts, when you can get a nice warm salted bowl as an appetizer beforehand.

More essays on friends later.

NYC in 19 hours

No, it’s not the title of the latest travelogue, it’s my cheeky title about my recent trip to the Big Apple to help celebrate a good friend Bret’s 40th birthday.  Even though I was sick and just back from a red eye flight, it wasn’t one of those things that you miss.  Especially when he’s a food writer, and has reserved an entire restarant for his party!

I should really tell you where we went, but I can’t remember at the moment (plus I’m still undecided if I write specific reviews or not in this blog).  Thai, anyway, and quite good as you’d expect.  In fact the service was excellent: the waiters passing trays of hot finger foods quickly learned what our group – the Tufts crowd in the corner – liked and kept us well fed. I made sure to compliment the staff on their attentive and nonchalantly pleasant attitude after the event.

The Tufts crowd, comprising two of Bret’s friends, and our mutual friend Birdman, plus a couple of his relatives, and surprisingly enough his parents! ended up closing out the place.  So we decided to head over to a Brit Colonial repro bar that Bret said was a few blocks over for drinks.  Whee!  Quite posh, although I was disappointed that a fancy NYC lounge that attempted to recreate a British Officer’s Club from when England ruled the waves didn’t carry Tanqueray’s Malacca.  They did have one empty bottle though, and the barkeep was quite apologetic.  Plus, they had a whole list of Champagne Cocktails.

So I ended up staying out later, and drinking more, than I have since… well, since shortly after college.  And it was a total blast.  Not just Bret, and his family, and friends, and the amazing food.  Just doing it was fun.  Not that I need to do it again soon – at least not until the next 40th birthday party that comes around.

But that’s not getting you any closer to the secret of my title.  See, I had been away for a week on a business trip, and taken the red eye home with no sleep.  I really couldn’t justify staying away from home and family any longer than necessary.  So I sprung for the Acela, zipped down Sunday afternoon, had dinner, drinks, and more drinks; got honest to goodness 5+ hours of sleep at Birdman’s place; and had time to pick up bagels in those 19 hours before taking the Acela home.

Statistically speaking, I spent more time travelling than I actually spent with Bret, and if you add up the cost, it was $$$ per hour I got to see him.  Although staying in Birdman’s apartment was a bonus too.  And you can meet the nicest people on the train!  I imagine having reserved seats, so no-one is standing for three hours, really makes a difference in your travelling companions, however.

Oh, and Bret writes a blog about NYC food industry: I’m sorry to say that if you don’t know him, the delivery is no where near as good as he does in person.


Although I must respectfully disagree that Tufts grads never sing the song: of course we do!  But it usually is for the humor effect.

Being a dad feeling old

Caught up with an old friend tonight, who wrote this – so much like real life.

age by Mark Mironer

Now my thirties have almost been spent
And I wonder just where the years went.
When I ponder their worth
I reflect on the birth
Of my children, with naught to repent.

Many classmates can easily claim
They’ve been showered with fortune and fame.
Then I grumble, “not me”
Til I look round and see
Those kids who are bearing my name.

Then I’ll think back on diapers and drool,
Or the time that I’ve spent at their school,
And the games that we’ve played.
Do you think that I’d trade
That for dollars? I’m not such fool.

Be sure to checkout the OEDILF for more wordplay!