Shorts Alert – color: white

Just a friendly warning to Cambridge residents today that I am wearing shorts today, just in case some of you are the type to be offended. Either of men wearing shorts in the winter – some, I believe feel it’s un-Yankee – or of wearing white after labor day. I never bought into the no white after labor day in any case.

I will freely admit that my M.T.F.S. – Minimum Temperature For Shorts – has risen with my age. In college, it was around 40°F. Several years after that, I realized that as much as I love shorts, my M.T.F.S. had risen to about 50°F, since that was comfortable, and I didn’t need to prove anything else. Now as I have a child, I’ve realized I’ve let my M.T.F.S. slip into the mid-50′s, just out of practicality.

This is not at all to detract from the highly respected French Toast Alert, popularized by Universal Hub, which Adam has properly set to today’s level: Low. Rather, this is more of a style warning system, applying more to social situations, rather than being a warning about shopping situations (and potential riots when the alert goes to high and there are stampedes for milk, eggs, and bread).

This is really a chance to recognize those hearty souls who prefer the freedom of shorts. This also goes out to the old Lotus 1-2-3 team’s build lab staff, all of whom wore shorts. Especially one who admitted that he occasionally put on wind pants – but only when shoveling more than a foot of snow. And to a new friend we’ve discovered through daycare – hi Sam!

I’m also wearing a bright green sweater, too. Hee hee hee.

Exciting flights, boring flights

Actually, neither flight was exciting, which is just fine with me.  I spent the past half week in RTP at a business meeting, which was actually quite fun, considering you’re on the go from 8AM to 10PM each day.  Luckily my back pain had cleared up enough that I was down to a single dose of ibuprofin, so the flight was fine, although the office chairs were a little stiff.

Travelling for business is fun – as long as you don’t do it too often.  Except for this month (several trips unfortunately planned very close together), I’ve been successful in travelling just enough to still be exciting.  I must admit that having a big company travel agency really helps.  While the policies are byzantine, and you can get really strange looks if you try to do something out of policy, the travel website is actually pretty easy to use, and has a good variety of flights and hotels.

Stupid benefit I enjoy almost out of proportion to it’s value: we get a Hertz #1 Gold club membership just for signing up.  Along with earning miles or something that I’m not too sure about, the coolest thing is that Gold members have the cars waiting for them at the lot: your name is on the board (an interesting privacy issue, I suppose), you walk to your spot and drive away.  Much cooler, somehow, than standing in yet another line at the rental counter.

I was also almost absurdly lucky with dinners: a local co-worker suggested a place called Piedmont that turned out to have excellent food, the two people I went with each had a love of good food equal to my own, and a manager paid for it, saving me the trouble of putting that line in my expense report.  Yum and simplicity all in one.  And the team dinner the next night was at a kitchy place called Bogart’s, so we saw The Maltese Falcon in the background, although we were having too much fun to bother watching.  The food was surprisingly good, nearly as good as the first night, too.

The one disappointment was the bar staff.  What would you order at a place called Bogart’s?  I suppose there are a couple of valid answers to that, but if you love Casablanca as much as I do, you’d order a Champagne Cocktail.  Disappointingly, the waiter (who was pretty funny) came back and said the bartender didn’t know how to make it, what should he do?  I will admit at this point that I myself neglected to mention the bitters when I told him how to make it.  The result was pretty good nonetheless, probably because he ended up giving me a generous amount of a decent cognac.  Whoo!

Coming home, I was again struck by the oddity of air travel.  I rush out of one meeting, wait in lines at the airport wishing I had worn shorts and a lighter colored shirt.  Just two hours later, I walk off of the plane to sleet and frozen rain atop a dusting of wet snow.  Very discombobulating for the body to make the change.  I think it really struck me since I’ve been reading the Aubrey/Maturin novels, and was thinking about the human condition in a much earlier time.

I BELIEVE!

… in global warming! At least the past week or so in the Boston area certainly makes you think about it. I mean, I fully expect a 60 degF day here in Boston in January: it’s a tradition. If you’re lucky, you can play hooky from work long enough to both enjoy an after-lunch walk, and quickly wash your car in your own driveway.

But after no snow for the Christmas holiday, we just had nearly a week of over 50′s temps, and two record highs including one of 68! Plus no snow in any of the local forecasts. Something is wrong here, and you think about all those SUV’s that aren’t being driven to NH or VT because it’s not worth paying to ski yet…

Oh my gods.

Oh. My. Gods.

I know what it is. We’re being punished.

Remember the Curse (Bambino, not Pearl or Rabbit)? All the things we said about it? Like H**L would freeze over when that happened?

Well, the devil may have taken his time about it, but instead of letting H**L freeze over, he’s decided to make it come to Boston. Expect higher temperatures daily until we’ve paid our penance for that Series flag…