Syd Barrett

Subject Syd Barrett
DateCreated 7/11/2006 5:15:00 PM
PostedDate 7/11/2006 5:07:00 PM
Body It’s hard for me to overstate how important Syd Barrett’s music is to me.  I never played anything that sounded remotely like him, but his songs were so original and inventive that it gave me (and every other putz who ever tried to write a song) the freedom to just do whatever came into my head.

The truth is, while he did pass away on Friday, we lost Syd more than 30 years ago… before I was even born… and somehow that doesn’t make losing him again any easier.

Syd once recorded the line, “Wouldn’t you miss me at all?”

The answer is Yes.


10 hours to go

Subject 10 hours to go
DateCreated 7/9/2006 8:17:00 PM
PostedDate 7/9/2006 8:08:00 PM
Body Another weekend on-call is slowly drawing to a close.  Just under 10 hours to go until I’m off the hook.  It’s a bit after 9:00 at the hospital now, and I haven’t heard anything since 5:00 pm EDT yesterday.  I’m thinking things are going well now.  They better be.  I’ve already gotten more calls than is normal and I don’t want any more!

Me and my cell phone have been inseparable this weekend.  I would have loved to shut it off, but that would be letting the other folks down.  Sometimes it sucks taking responsibility seriously.

My two year cell phone contract is up next month.  I’m thinking of upgrading the phone.  Maybe a swankier camera with a flash and a lense cover and stuff.  Also it’d be nice to have an internet connection that is more than just text based (as my current phone is).  The phone function of my phone is fine, but it seems like such a small part of the package now.  That’s kinda silly when you think of it, eh?

Nine hours and 45 minutes until I’m off the on-call hook.  Hey morning, where are ya when I need ya?


Happy 4th of July

Subject Happy 4th of July
DateCreated 7/4/2006 10:35:00 AM
PostedDate 7/4/2006 10:00:00 AM
Body Yup, Happy 4th of July.  230 years ago today the USA was born.

Or was it?

Or was it really 230 years and 2 days ago that the USA was born?

What’s so damn special about the 4th of July anyway?

The 4th of July was the day that Thomas Jefferson brought his draft of the Declaration of Independence to the 2nd Continental Congress.  On that day it was signed by two members of the congress, John Hancock (President of the Congress) and Charles Thompson (Secratary of the Congress).  On July 8, 1776 the Declaration was read publicly on the steps of Independence Hall, and the Liberty Bell was rung.

So yes, July 4, 1776 was a big day… but was it bigger than July 8th?  And for that matter, if the Declaration was presented to Congress on July 4th, when was the decision to actually declare independence made?

The answer to that is July 2, 1776.  That was the day that the actual vote to Declare Independence from Great Britain was made.  Each of the 13 colonies had a vote, and the final results were 12 votes in favor of independence and 0 votes against, with only the pussies from New York abstaining.  After the vote was completed a committee was made to put the declaration into writing.  The committee members were John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Robert R Livingston and Roger Sherman.  Of course, as every Amercian kid knows, Thomas Jefferson did the actual writing.

So I ask the question again, why do we celebrate Independence Day on the 4th instead of the 2nd?  Clearly the moment the Colonies became Independent from Britain was the 2nd of July.

It seems I’m not the only one who asks this question.  It seems that John Adams agreed with me!  John Adams the 2nd President of the United States, the 1st Vice President of the United States, the father of the 6th President of the United States, a member of the Continental Congress, a drafter and signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Allow me to quote a letter written by John Adams dated July 3, 1776:

“But the Day is past.  The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most
memorable Epocha, in the History of America. – I am apt to believe that it
will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary
Festival.  It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by
Solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty.  It ought to be solemnized
with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells,
Bonfire, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other
from this Time forward forever more.”

We can forgive President Adams for not mentioning Fireworks… although I suppose Guns + Bonfires = Explosions, and that’s close enough for me.

So take today off from work, have a cookout, spend time with family and good friends, celebrate the birth of your nation, and then go watch fireworks until your eyes water and your ears ring…

but next year…

Next year do it all on July 2nd too.  If your boss gives you shit for taking the day off on the 2nd and the 4th just tell him President Adams said it was okay.

Sources: (I got the quote here)


Robert: Wanted Criminal

Subject Robert: Wanted Criminal
DateCreated 6/29/2006 8:39:00 PM
PostedDate 6/29/2006 7:53:00 PM
Body Interesting drive home today.

For those who don’t know, my horrendous commute from Tewksbury to Canton has morphed into a horrendouser commute from Tewksbury to Framingham.  It takes about the same amount of time, but now I have a number of other traffic jam options to supplement the route 3 to 128 fiasco.

For this evening’s horrendous commute I chose route 30 to route 128 to route 3 to route 495 to route 38.  This has the benefit of being the shortest route, while not necessarily the fastest, and avoids the Mass Pike.  However, one traffic light held me up for over 10 minutes tonight.  Damn did that suck.

Eventually though I reached 128.  When merging into traffic I looked over my left shoulder to see what was coming and it was clear sailing.  Then I looked ahead of me to see what was ahead of me (funny how that works, eh?) and it was four lanes of gridlock inching along at about four miles per hour.

The gridlock was caused by an accident at route 2, and like the good traffic reporter that I am (in my own warped mind) I managed to whip out le telephona de camera and snag this wonderful crap picture:

The final tally:  One police cars, two fire engines, and three cars smooshed together.  My drive home sucked, but it was better than those poor folks.

On to route 3…

I have a nasty habbit of driving really fast.  I try to control myself when other people are in the car, but when I’m solo I turn into lead foot.  I make the kessel run in less than five parsects, if you’re getting my drift.  Tonight while bombing down route 3 I saw two cars on the left shoulder and moved from the left lane to the middle lane.  Good move on my part, it was a two cop speed trap.

As I approached said speed trap I was no longer doing 85-90 as I’d been doing less than a mile before, but had slowed to only 15-20 miles per hour above the 55 mile per hour speed limit.  Of course one of the two speed trap cops began to emphatically point in my general direction and wave over toward the left shoulder.

Busted, thinks me.

As I pull into the left lane, headed for the left shoulder where said staties are situated, another car passes me on the left and the cop waves madly at him.

hmmm thinks me.  Was he even waving at me at all?

I’m not sure anymore, but I pulled over anyway… being the honorable citizen that I am.  I’m now stopped on the left shoulder, about 100-150 yards down the road from the speed trap.  The cop who was doing all the psychotic arm waving jumped into one of the two patrol cars, puts on his blue lights and pulls into the left lane… and goes bombing right past me.

Now what the fuck do I do?  The other cop had gone back to his radar gun and was facing 180 degrees away from me.  And I sit there like a twit.  I wait about a minute and see no more cops.  The cop I can see hasn’t looked in my direction at all.

Kick-Ass, methinks.

He was waving at that other car after all.  So I sit there waiting for a chance to pull back into the 65-70 mile per hour traffic from a dead stop… which means I waited for quite a while.  No other cops showed up, and I drove the rest of the way home without seeing any flashing blue lights… so I think I got away with it!

Can I have a, “WOOHOO” people?

So what else is going on?  Well tomorrow night Mike the Wisconsin residing Bass Player and his Wife of almost exactly two years and their yet to be born baby are arriving back in civilization.  A very busy few days are in the works.  There’s a chinese food trip tomorrow, a Border Cafe in Harvard Square pilgrimage which includes a long awaited stop at Pandamonium Books (which I think has moved to Central Square) on Saturday, a baby shower for the forthcoming Mikey Junior (assuming the baby is a he, if it’s a she it’s a Tammy Junior) on Sunday, and then 4th of July in Boston on Tuesday… although we’ll probably spend the evening watching the fireworks from the Cambridge side of the Charles River.  I expect the groovy camera to get a work out.

Then there was last weekend, where my baby brother got married.

There they are:  Mr and Mrs John and Mary.  I couldn’t be happier for them.  They done good.

I made the best man toast.  I’ve got lots of experience doing it now, having been a best man for Larry the MBA grad student / Electircal Engineer, Mike the Wisconsin residing Bass Player, and now for John the Short Brother.  (He’s a measly 6’3″ tall.  A solid 3″ shorter than me.  HA!)  The toast wasn’t that good.  It was probably a touch better than the one I gave at Mike’s wedding, but no where near the quality of the one I made up on the spot at Larry’s wedding.  I just wish I could remember what I said that day!

So I was best man, which means I was in a tux.  I’ve long believed that a tuxedo is the one and only look that works for me.  I usually look like a big fat doofus, or a general slob.  Put me in a tux though, and you see class.  A side of me that is usually hidden from view.

I haven’t seen any pictures of me from the wedding that show off my stylin’ look to it’s fullest, but just before the end of the reception Jamie (who just got a new job, congrats to you Jamie) managed to steal my groovy camera (she owns the exact same model) and take this excellent picture of me, just exuding sophistication and class:

So she yelled at me for a few minutes and then took this one:

That’s a very tired fat man right there, and the night was just begining.  It was just about 11:00pm there, and I still had 3-4 hours of playing chaffeur to a newly wed bride and groom.  It was totally worth it of course.  Anything for my little brother.

One final note.  I think you should all go to this site and listen to a great example of just how good Boston music can be.