May 31, 2004

Memorial Day

mja at Concrete Frog: "I am grateful."

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:13 AM

May 29, 2004

A fictitious character

Paul Krugman, NYT:

People who get their news by skimming the front page, or by watching TV, must be feeling confused by the sudden change in Mr. Bush's character. For more than two years after 9/11, he was a straight shooter, all moral clarity and righteousness.

But now those people hear about a president who won't tell a straight story about why he took us to war in Iraq or how that war is going, who can't admit to and learn from mistakes, and who won't hold himself or anyone else accountable. What happened?

The answer, of course, is that the straight shooter never existed. He was a fictitious character that the press, for various reasons, presented as reality.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:46 PM

Redsox win!

I just want to say that that was a great game last night.

It had a come from behind win, Pedro pitching poorly (with a little 'tween innings tantrum in the dugout), a GrandSlam homer, Pedro pulling it together to shut them down, a no-rain delay, the skipper getting beaned in the dugout by a foul, Ichiro whiffing on catching a flyball/turned homer, and lots more.

We watched the game on TV here from the lake, and sent a stream of text messages to the cell phone of Brittany, my niece who was sitting in the bleachers.

Go Sox!

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:26 AM

May 28, 2004


Favorite on-the-run, fast-food breakfast:

Dunkin' Donuts: Bacon, Egg & Cheese Croissant, large Coffee with cream and 3 sugars.

Previous fave: McDonalds Egg McMuffin, large coffee.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:48 AM


James Cook and the Transit of Venus, Science @ NASA:

On August 12, 1768, His Majesty's Bark Endeavour slipped out of harbor, Lt. James Cook in command, bound for Tahiti. The island had been "discovered" by Europeans only a year before in the South Pacific, a part of Earth so poorly explored mapmakers couldn't agree if there was a giant continent there ... or not. Cook might as well have been going to the Moon or Mars.

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:26 AM

May 27, 2004

Time Flies.

I have this nice 13 inch Sony TV that I've used for a few years. It's usually hooked up to my TiVo, but that's off on special assignment, so the Sony's just sitting around. Last night I wanted to just plug it into the cable to watch the RedSox game. It didn't work.

I mean, all TVs are cable-ready these days? I should be able to just hook it up to the cable, right? Nope.

The channels are all scrambled, even the lower ones. I run to another TV to see if the cable is on the fritz. Nope, that's OK.

Thinking back, I guess I've had this TV for quite some time. Maybe it's not as "cable ready" as they need to be these days.

I look at the reg. info on the back. It's a Sony KV13TR27. And it was manufactured in June 1992!!! It's a perfectly fine TV, but tuning technology, and channels assignments, seem to have left it behind. Ah well.

Posted by jackhodgson at 05:24 PM

Burrito Bound

Headed off soon for the Thursday Blogger's meeting. On my way there I'll stop for a bite at Boca Grande, a great little mexican place just up the street from Berkman. Best burrito's I've had this side of the Rockies.

Posted by jackhodgson at 05:09 PM

It's a five-story tall log cabin

I've stayed in this hotel during both of my visits to Yellowstone. It is an incredibly cool place. I love to just hang out in the lobby. Settle into one of the comfy chairs, read a book, watch the other visitors, occasionally wander out onto the second floor balcony, overlooking a field of geysers, and see how Old Faithful is doing.


First-time visitors often twirl, openmouthed, as they take in the lobby. The ceiling soars 76.5 feet high -- the height of a seven-story building -- with stairs leading to near the top. There are two levels of balconies, with railings made of branches, and a dozen dormer windows set into the sloping roof. A "tree house" or "crow's nest," where musicians once played, perches near the top, and a clock, nearly 20 feet tall, overlooks the lobby from a looming, stone fireplace.

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:02 AM

May 26, 2004

Have Laptop, Will Travel

I've been in NH for over a week now, working on various projects. Now I'm headed back to Boston for a couple days.

I've got a long list of things to accomplish while in Boston including some meetings on big-city projects, and I'm hoping to make it to the Berkman Thursday meeting. But I'll return to the Lake on Friday when the Vermont Hodgsons will be arriving for the holiday weekend.

Also back in NH, on Saturday is the annual Prescott Park Chowder Festival (click Events, then Chowder Fest). My dad enjoyed it last year and want's to go again this time. I'm hoping that some other family members will join us. I'll be there mostly in order to do my board-member duty.

If you're in the NH Seacoast Area you should check out the Ch'Fest. Ten restaurants bring at least 50 gallons each. For a small donation you can sample as many chowders as you like. The line starts forming around 10:45am, chowder is served starting at 11:30 until it runs out, usually around 1pm.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:26 AM

May 25, 2004

RedSox alert

Just a reminder that the RedSox are on national TV tonight, vs the Oakland As. ESPN2.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:30 AM

May 24, 2004

Impressive, if true

Mike Liddell, Director of Online Communicationsfor the 2004 Democratic National Convention Committee, posts to the Berkman Thursday Yahoo! Group on how bloggers can apply for press credentials for the Convention. In part he says,

Bloggers should simply use the name of their blog as the 'news organization'‚ if they're interested in applying for credentials. While that may not seem a tad confusing for the typical blog, this is a relatively new medium and this is the first time (that I know of) where bloggers are being given official credentials to any major event. There might be a few bumps along the way but the Convention is committed to giving bloggers the same access and treatment as other members of the media.

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:46 AM

It's a Gone East Exclusive

I'm really happy to announce that Sarah and Rob Hafer have just revealed that they are expecting their first child. They don't know, or haven't yet disclosed, if it's a boy or a girl. The bundle of joy is due soon after Thanksgiving.

Rob and I were roommates for many (many!) years. A few years back he met Sarah, and I was "history". They now live in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

My very best Gone East wishes go out to them.

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:34 AM

May 23, 2004


I spent all day yesterday at water quality school.

In the morning was the refresher course for local lake coordinators of the NH Volunteer Lake Assesment Program. Sounds impressive, but VLAP is just a deal where a bunch of guys, and the occasional woman, get together on a Tuesday morning, head out onto the lake on a couple of pontoon boats, and then fill a bunch of plastic bottles with lake water, which I then drive to the DES lab in Concord so it can be sliced and diced to add numbers to a 20 year long history of data about the quality of the lake water.

Then yesterday afternoon some new folk arrived, and joined those of us from the morning who have way too much spare time, and we were all entertained by the annual training for the Lake Hosts program. That's the one where we hang out at boat launches and teach people how to spot exotic invasive weeds that are hitching a ride from lake to lake on their boats and trailers. And get bit by a lot of mosquitos.

I'm being a bit flippant about these. They are both for good causes, but if it hadn't been a gray rainy day, it would have been a disappointing way to spend a Saturday.

They did have good banana bread at the morning session.

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:26 PM

Passion, with sprinkles

This merits promotion to the "big leagues".

Jo Ann in a comment to "Shermainia Sherbert?":

Okay, Alex...

Them's fightin' words, too! I challenge you with a fist full of whipped cream and maraschino cherries!

What do you mean "California lacks truly great ice-cream"? Do you even know any ice cream brands from the state of California?! Well, allow me, a California native, to enlighten you...

First of all, don't go countin' Ben & Jerry's when you're mentioning California ice cream, as you know--that's Vermont's ice cream!

And "Cold Stone Ice Cream"? Another company to invade us... they're from Arizona! Don't go crediting them to California!

Ya wanna know California ice cream companies? For starters, how about Baskin-Robbins! Yes, that little ol' company is from California! And how about Dreyer's ice cream from right here in good ol' Northern California.

Maybe those examples will be a little too big and corporate for ya. Then how about...

...San Francisco's own multi-award winning Double Rainbow! (The smoothest ice cream ever, ever, ever.) And what about San Francisco's own Mitchell's ice cream? Excellent! (No connection to San Francisco's Mitchell Brothers though.)

Want really authentic, house-made mom & pop style ice cream? There's Polly Ann's in the Sunset District--from San Francisco. Gotta be one of the first little ice cream factories to make totally wacky flavored ice cream (you name it, they've done it... exotic fruits, vegetables, whatever!); they've been doing it right there since the '50s. (I've been going there since the early 80's.) It's a wacky place, too!

Want a taste of really old-fashioned and totally neighborhood-style, house-made ice cream? Try Joe's Ice Cream in the Richmond District. Excellent and the parlor is really authentically old and charming and the ice cream is... made right here in San Francisco. And then there's Bud's Ice Cream from San Francisco--very yummy. And good ol' Berkeley Farms Ice Cream... "Farms in Berkeley? Mooooo". Oh, and don't forget about San Francisco's original "It's-It" ice cream sandwiches!

And being that you're in the Bay Area, I'm not even getting into Southern California ice cream (or other parts of the state), even though you did rip on the entire state by saying that "California lacks truly great ice cream." Oh, Alex! You hi-tech mastermind, cool-car driver... puu-lease! :-)

Boston may have us beat on baked beans, the best old ballpark (but we've got the best new ones!), roundabouts, marathons, water bubblers for drinking fountains, duck sauce, Ally McBeal, tea parties, Fluffer Nutter, lots of U.S. history and famous dead guys buried there, Ben and Matt, bars where everybody knows your name and the Kennedy clan.

But California... well, okay, that would be unfair to compare, since Boston's a city and California's a state. Oh yeah, that was the comparison!

So like in California... we have lots of sunshine, Lake Tahoe (okay, half of it), the best beaches, film industry and the beautiful and crazy folk to go with it, hi-tech industry and the geeky folk to go with it, the best plastic surgeons, Disneyland (the original), home-grown produce, Mt. Whitney, real and bleached blonds, hippies, silicone, Yosemite, silicon, Hollywood, surfers, the wine country, Missions and lots of Spanish history, the best Baja California Mexican food in this country--but that's specific to San Diego (The Bay Area thinks it does Mexican food well, but it doesn't compare to SD), La Brea Tar Pits, Cable Cars, Self-Realization Fellowship, Ghirardelli Chocolate (and ice cream!), The Golden Gate Bridge, everyone from every other state who moved to California (!), and... spectacular sunsets.

Now don't get me wrong! I love, love, love, Boston! But this California girl has to defend her native turf! And I'll totally do it, dude! "Don't mess with California." :-)

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:49 AM

May 21, 2004

Thursday at 8

Defamer likes Joey:

And, surprisingly, it all sort of works. Sure, the comedy revolves around the dumb/tit axis, but this is a sitcom; that's how they work. The jokes mostly land, the characters are pretty likable (especially Jennifer Coolidge as Joey's clueless and cruel agent), and there are probably just enough laughs to keep Jeff Zucker from an early Fall suicide. And yes, it all feels a bit like Friends.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:51 AM

Shermainia Sherbert?

I believe that it is our own Sherman who laments the loss of Brighams. Hublog:

Brigham’s has gone cute ...: Brigham’s new owners have ignored my advice and gone cute with ice cream flavor names. Couldn’t be worse: ‘Reverse the Curse,’...

[Thanks Boston Common]

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:23 AM

May 20, 2004


First the State of Jefferson, next Shermania.

Jeffersonians desire to be free from the influence of the population centers of California and Oregon because voters in those areas tend to vote against the lifestyles and livelihoods of their rural counterparts. We are outvoted and under represented.

[Thanks j-walk]

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:12 PM

A good start.

Google has announced an initiative to try and discourage the distrubution of "adware, spyware or just plain junk" that comes secretly bundled with other apps.

As a first step, we have outlined a set of principles we believe our industry should adopt and we're sharing them to foster discussion and help solve the problem. We intend to follow these guidelines ourselves with the applications we distribute (such as the Google Toolbar and Google Deskbar). And because we strongly believe these principles are good for the industry and users worldwide, we will encourage our current and prospective business partners to adopt them as well.

[Thanks j-walk]

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:08 PM

Thursday night!

Oh boy! I can't wait to see what happens on Survivor tonight... hey wait... oh... that sucks!

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:47 PM


You know what would go down real good right now? The Kung Pao luncheon special at Su Hong in Menlo Park, California.

Do you think they deliver?

Posted by jackhodgson at 02:42 PM


My sister is one of the best aunts I've ever known, and I've known some good ones.

Here's today's A.Word.A.Day:

materteral (muh-TUHR-tuhr-uhl) adjective, also materterine

Characteristic of, or in the manner of, an aunt.

[From classical Latin matertera (maternal aunt), from mater (mother).]

This word is the feminine counterpart of the word avuncular (like an uncle).

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:34 AM

I knew it! Part Two

First we expose the "Coinstar machines can't count" thing, now this. The Washington Post must be getting nervous about littlle ol' Gone East.

"John McCain explains how the Old Man of the Mountain really came to fall in an exclusive Gazette video by ace fake reporter Vermin Supreme."

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:46 AM

May 19, 2004

I've suspected as much

Al's Morning Meeting quotes a Wall Street Journal article where they tested the accuracy of Coinstar coin counting machines. They also tested a bank's coin counting machine. (Scroll down the Al's page for the coin counting item.)

For consistency, we began with equal piles of $87.26 worth of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters that we had gotten from a local bank in coin envelopes.

Talk about a tough economy. The machines at both Commerce Bank and Coinstar gave us less back than we put in -- Commerce Bank missed by a whopping $7.02, while Coinstar was off by 57 cents.

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:56 PM

Mac OS Fix

Over on TECHPopuli I posted a link to a fix for the Mac OS help-app vulnerability.

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:48 PM

May 18, 2004


Tony Randall died last night.

The obits that are appearing are mostly remembering him for his work in the Odd Couple and other TV shows, and those were great. But I remember him most for his roles as the put-upon sidekick in movies like the Pillow Talk series and others.

I've admired him recently for the energy he still showed as he guested on talk shows like Letterman.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:36 AM

Geeky Socks

During our recent expedition to Kittery Trading Post, Beth, my sister who has become quite the fitness buff, got a chance to show me a product that she's been raving about. Socks made of "Superwool".

At least I think that's what they're called. She'll correct me if I'm wrong. But she says they are the most amazing socks she's ever worn.

I came across this article about a new way of weaving to resist bacteria. I wonder if this is how Beth's socks work.

Forbes Technology:

Don't be repelled. But I've been wearing the same pair of socks in the gym now for oh, about three weeks. My T-shirt, too, is a bit overdue for a date with the washing machine.

The odd thing is, none of these items are offensive. That is, they don't stink (and yes, I do get my heart rate up on the treadmill, thank you very much.) Reason: The articles of clothing are woven with fine threads containing silver ions, highly reactive little guys that, in a warm environment, essentially combine with bacteria as it forms. This prevents the bacteria from being able to reproduce and, well, to cause those unpleasant locker room odors.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:36 AM

May 17, 2004

He's gonna do what!?

Gone East Pal Erik Schwartz is headed out to do something that for most of us would be the adventure of a lifetime. It's his second time.

It’s time for another Singlehanded Transpacific Yacht Race, and for some reason, I’m crazy enough to go for a second time. The race starts in San Franciso Bay on June 26th and ends in Hanalei Bay on the island of Kaua’i. My main goals this year are bettering my 14 day passage in 2002 (I’m aiming for 12 days), testing the performance sailing software I’ve written, anchoring closer to the beach in Hanalei and having a really good time.

I'm leaving Maine for California to do some final prep on the boat tomorrow, so I'll be in the Bay Area from now until the start in June. Come on by the start at Corinthian YC and say hi.

You can follow along the race here

You can see the newest in performance sailing software at

Posted by jackhodgson at 04:45 PM


I've been pretty quiet on the whole subject of Gay Marriage, but let me just go on the record by saying...

First, I can't imagine how Gays being legally married could really hurt anyone... and second, in this weird world of ours, how can it be bad for more people to publicly declare, and make promises about, their love for each other.

Congratulations to the newlyweds.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:24 AM

T-Birds in RI

SteveG sends along this link to the Rhode Island National Guard's open house and airshow.

There was a time when I would go to 6-10 airshows a year. Originally I'd go to watch the flying demonstrations. But eventually I became familiar with all the popular acts, and the others were more of the same. Then I'd go just cause I like hanging out at airports. (In this day and age, that probably makes me a suspected terrorist.)

Rhode Island National Guard Open House and ... Air Show 2004:

Major General Reginald A. Centracchio, the Adjutant General of Rhode Island and Commanding General of the Rhode Island National Guard announced today that the Thunderbirds, the United States Air Forces Flight Demonstration Team, will headline the annual Rhode Island National Guard Open House and National Guard Association of Rhode Island (NGARI) Air Show, June 19-20, 2004, at the Quonset Air National Guard Base, Quonset Point, North Kingstown, Rhode Island.

I see from the website that Sean Tucker will be appearing too. Sean is one of the acts that never got boring. He's an amazing pilot, puts on a great show, and is worth the price of admission all by himself.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:12 AM

May 16, 2004

It's Fry's for Hiker Geeks

I spent two and a half hours in the Kittery Trading Post today.

Amazingly, my brother -- who'd rather be hiking (or skiing) -- has never been there. And this morning he suddenly announced that that's where he wanted to go today.

I had been planning a quiet day indoors, surfing the web and reading, but the idea of watching him discover the KTP was not to be missed.

As I expected, he liked it. He spent hours roaming the departments. Hats, maps, hiking clothes, hats, kayak accessories, kayaks, camping gear, hats, backpacks, trail guides, hats, and more.

For those of you familiar with Fry's electronics in California, just think that, but only with stuff you use outdoors. Very geeky.

After that, we drove up Mt A where we added some stones to the wise, old indian's grave, then nearly got carried away by mosquitos.

It was a good day... Oh and I made my* world-famous meatloaf for dinner.

(*formerly my Mom's world-famous meatloaf, but there's been a passing of that baton.)

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:08 PM

Thor rocks!

Last evening we had the biggest, coolest, thunderstorm I've been in in years. At one point during the storm were seeing major lightning flashes in every direction. And major downpours of rain.

As the storm was fading, my brother and I made a dash out to the barn. I was running with a coat draped over my head to keep a little dry. As I ran, a very bright lightning flash illumined the ground. As I said to Scott a moment later, any time you see your shadow on the ground below you, THAT'S a good one!

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:14 AM

May 14, 2004

2/3 of the way there.

Science - AFP via Yahoo!:

A privately-financed rocket ship has reached a record altitude of 65 kilometers (40 miles) during a test flight, its US makers announced Friday.

SpaceShipOne, with Mike Melvill as pilot, was carried Thursday from a base in California's Mojave desert up to about 16,000 metres (53,000 feet) on the back of an airplane and then launched, said its designer, Scaled Composites.

Scaled website

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:11 PM

...a bad example...

"No-one is completely worthless; you can always serve as a bad example."

-- Anonymous

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:58 PM

Survivor All-Stars Notes - Epilog

[Complete set of my Survivor All Star Notes]

Posted after Ep #17, May 13, 2004. This post, and its comments, may contain spoilers....

Nice try Sherm.

Last night we saw the wrap-up episode for the eighth season of Survivor. It was mostly a continuation of the Reunion show, with a smaller audience.

They began with letting Jerri and others vent a little bit about how they are all treated and perceived after being on the show. "I'm not evil (a jerk, self-centered, thoughtless, clueless, etc.) I'm just edited that way."

The troubled souls among the all-stars all renewed their devotion to Survivor, which is no great surprise since their being member in good standing of the club is an important part of their future potential income.

On the whole I admire Mark Burnett and Jeff Probst, but all night long, every reference to Jerri was qualified with "but we love her" or "she's sexy". Kinda lame.

Now that we've got all that off our chests, the rest of the show was clips to illustrate the players chosen by the fans in various categories.

I won't rehash all that stuff, except to say that the least interesting category produced the best quote of the night:

Johnny Fairplay was chosen as best villain. He was sitting in the front row (and could he look any slimy-er?).

It's still pretty obvious to me that Jeff P really doesn't like JF. So after being the good host, and having to blatently lead JF into plugging his wrestling program, Jeff says, "you still pissed off about not getting into All-Star?" and finally my favorite: "...and good luck getting into the after-party."

A couple other updates: Lex is still pissed... the audience still thinks he's a jerk... and BigTom has mostly made up with Rob.

Periodically throughout the night they revealed the "final four", the top four vote-getters for the second million dollars.

Colby. Kind of a surprise to me, but the ladies like him. He was also selected as sexiest Survivor guy. Although my sister, who loved him after his original season, felt he really let her down in all-stars.

Big Tom. Big surprise. No doubt he was a great character, and it was kinda sweet how obviously surprised and touched he was to be chosen. But "deserving of the million" ??? What were people thinking?

Rupert. My pick. Clearly a favorite. As the show began, and Jeff mentioned that later that they would announce the winner, a couple of survivors pointed to or looked at Rupert. At one point Boston Rob acknowleded that Rupert was the most popular, but that he himself was the most deserving.

Boston Rob. Sherman probably played a part in Rob getting to this point. Also, Rob has been appearing on TV shows all week and apparently campaigning for votes. So it's impressive that he was still beaten by another.

And Rupert wins. I'm happy about that, definately a sentimental favorite. And bringing his wife and child onto the stage was a nice touch. Sherm will probably have something to say about this.

I haven't looked to see if they have released the vote counts, but I'd bet that it was: Rupert by a wide margin, Rob and Colby nearly tied, and Tom a distant fourth.

Now is when I should try to say where I think this Survivor season ranks among the others. I'm not sure. I wouldn't call it the best. Top three probably. But maybe it can't really be compared to the others. It was quite different. With the prior relationships, and the resulting highly charged emotions.

I kinda like the way the Rob-Amber thing has turned out, but I'd be disappointed if this were to become a regular thing in the future. It seems unlikely though. I think the only thing that made it possible in this season was that the players had so much knowledge about each other going in. In a regular Survivor season they are strangers and thus more wary of each other.

So that's it for another season. Now we wait until September for Vanauatu (or something like that).

Hodgson... OUT!

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:51 PM

May 12, 2004


I killed my first mosquito today.

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:46 AM

Harry Potter Preview

Here's a fun, 10-minute long, Behind the scenes preview to the next Harry Potter movie.

Posted by jackhodgson at 07:41 AM

May 10, 2004

Queer I for the Blogger Guys

I logged into Blogger this morning to discover that they've made a fairly dramatic change to the design and layout of their site.

After a quick lookover, it seems that all the old functionality is still there, just arranged differently. If any of the blog grant folks are confused by this new look, send me an email and I'll help you out.

PS. I think the new look is great.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:24 AM


SteveG has set up a special blog to encourage people to vote to give Rupert the One Million Dollars.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:21 AM

Survivor All-Stars Notes - Ep #16

[Complete set of my Survivor All Star Notes]

Posted after Ep #16, May 9, 2004. This post, and its comments, may contain spoilers....

Notes written while watching the episode:

Watching the "previously on Survivor", they recapped the whole season, and some of this stuff seemed like it happend SO LONG AGO. It's been a long season.

Right at the start of the ep. R&A tell Jenna she HAS to vote with them and get rid of Rupert.

>> The Final Four Feast.

They gave them a Polaroid camera to play with. This didn't seem to be your usual, in-your-face, Survivor product placment, but I can't help thinking that this will boost Polaroid camera sales in the future.

In fear of the "purple rock"

>> Maze-Ladder Immunity Challenge... remember that Rob is very good at puzzles... it's much more even than I would have expected...

Amber wins Immunity! Her first ever they say. This was unexpected.

An aside: Are the commercials always this long? I usually watch the recording later, so I can FF through the ads. But tonite I'm watching it "live". They seem really long.

Jenna agonizes over whether to be loyal to Rupert and risk the randomness of the tie-breaker, or to turn on him and guarantee herself into the final 3?

In the end she choses to take her best shot at the money, and votes Rupert off. He's gone.

We're all still waiting to see what is the "big surprise" they've been promising.

They take the walk of the fallen survivors. Like most people I always dread this segment as a schmaltzy yawner. But it was OK tonite. I think the editors found just the right mix of reminding us of something endearing, or goofy, or touching, about the person who is gone. It wasn't too long this time too.

>> 3-Some Endurance Immunity... this one is a Survivor classic... After two-plus hours, Jenna unconsiously lifts her foot, and she's out... I though that now R&A would give-in, 'cause they would each take the other to final two, but instead they get into a little pissing match over, "you go", "no, you go". Even though they both say out loud that they will take the other to the final two, they try to beat each other. In the end Amber makes a mistake and touches the pole with her free hand.

Rob wins Immunity and controls the final two.

But will Rob really take Amber? Is THIS the shocker they've promised? Will Rob turn on Amber and take Jenna to final TC?

Jenna feels that she's obviously out, that Rob will pick Amber. Amber says she's nervous. Rob gives a great private speech to the camera talking about how he's torn between staying loyal to Amber, or making a move that will put him in the best place to win the million, and what he'd look like if he betrays the last friend he has, in order to win.

>> Tribal Council

Lex's eye-rolling disgust is so old. Enough!

Amber campaigning for Rob to stay loyal. "That's what I would do."

In the end I think Rob realizes that even if he was prepared to betray Amber -- which personally, I don't think he would do -- the best strategic move is to take Amber with him. He realizes that he probably loses to either one of them, and betraying his last friend, the woman he claims to have real feeling for, would be so low that it would kill what little chances he has.

And he does pick Jenna to be the last voted off.

>> I may be the only person in America who always likes watching the "final day with the final two". I think it's interesting to see how they interact when there's no more conniving to be done.

There's that Polaroid camera again. Will lovers all over America be buying them now to make romantic scrapbooks?

R&A have a comfortable last day together, and then it's an ugly night. I wonder did they get any sleep? They're acting like it's all over, and there's nothing left to do. But they should be thinking about their Final TC pleas and answers.

>> Final Tribal Council

Rob (paraphrased): I know you're pissed at me. I did some of you wrong. But consider that I played the game well.

Amber (paraphrased): I don't really deserve to be here. I was lucky, and under the radar, and on Rob's coat-tails, that's how I got here. But whatever the vote I got enough out of this experience.

I think this is exactly the right attitude for Amber to take. The Jury may vote for her if they realize she knows how lucky she is and that she's contrite about it.

Many of the Jury are really angry at them. Mostly Rob, but not just him.

Alicia asked them to describe "in one word" the playing strategy that got them this far. Rob: "competitively" Amber: "with luck" (sic!)

Who's have thunk it! ShiiAnn is the voice of calm and common sense!!! "They both played well." She's not one of the ones I'd have expected to be unemotional about it.

Kathy is VERY emotional and angry at Rob. It's a surprise to me. Where did that come from? Did Rob and Kathy have a closer relationship out in the world than we realize? She is very hurt.

Over all, I think that Rob is really troubled to discover how much people were hurt by his "playing the game". He felt that it was a game, and there should be no hurt feelings if he played hard. He's regretting that he didn't realize.

They vote. We see one vote for Rob, and one for Amber.

>> Jeff heads off for NYC with the ballot box... He reprises his hanging-out-of-the-helicopter shot from the episode one intro. This time over NYC.

If you've come this far, you know what happens next. I won't try to recap it all.

Overall I'm surprised at the extent to which the reunion show was out of control. The marriage proposal was nice, and apparently not known by the producers in advance... revealing the final vote was actually anticlimactic.

Amber wins the million, 4 votes to 3.

The reunion show was interesting in that there was a lot more remaining anger than in any past Survivor season. Usually by this point they've all kissed and made up. In the past it wouldn't be unusual for the big "enemies" to have become friends by the time of the live reunion.

But this time there was some very real remaining anger. Lex and Tom are still pretty pissed. Others too.

All this emotion led to the show appearing to not follow the course planned by the producers. I think that during every commercial they must have scrambling to see what to cut to fit in the remaining good stuff.

Jerri left during a commercial. I missed what happened that hurt her. Too bad, but we've all known, even from her first season, that Jerri is clueless about how she's perceived, and it was only a matter of time before her delusions had a collision with reality. Sorry she felt bad.

Overall the big difference this season is that these people weren't strangers at the start. They had histories, and expectations. I guess it's easier to forgive a stranger for turning on you, than it is to forgive a friend.

>> The BIG SURPRISE that they promoted all week turned out that we, the audience, get to give someone a million dollars. Vote online, next week's recap show will be live, and they'll announce who get's the second million. I'm voting for Rupert, and I gotta figure that he's a favorite.

But I can't wait to see how they reveal our votes. Will Jeff one-by-one reveal a series of computer generated parchment ballots with a name on each?

Jeff: "Let's see, so far that's 13 million 323 thousand 242 for Rupert, and..."

We could be at that all night.

Well, that's another one of these under out belts. Soon my post-Survivor depression will set in. We do get one more ep next week, but it's not the same. I guess I'll need to buy the Season One DVD and relive that one.

Hodgson... OUT!

# Remaining from the Meta-Tribes

Pula Tiga 0 of 4
Australia 1 of 5
Africa 0 of 3
Marqesas 0 of 2
Thailand 0 of 1
Amazon 0 of 2
Pearl Isl. 0 of 1

# Final tribe list

Order Out:
name season finish all-star tribes
==== ====== ====== ===============
1 - Tina 2-Australia 1st (was Saboga)
2 - *Rudy 1-Pulau Tiga 3rd (was Saboga)
3 - Jenna M. 6-Amazon 1st (was Moga)
4 - Rob C. 6-Amazon 3rd (was Chapera)
5 - *Richard 1-Pulau Tiga 1st (was Moga)
6 - *Susan 1-Pulau Tiga 4th (was Chapera)
7 - Colby 2-Australia 2nd (was Moga)
8 - *Ethan 3-Africa 1st (was Saboga->Moga)
9 - Jerri 2-Australia 8th (was Saboga->Moga->Chapera)
--- Jury ---
10 - Lex 3-Africa 3rd (was Moga->Chapera->CBM)
11 - Kathy 4-Marqesas 3rd (was Moga->Chapera->CBM)
12 - Alicia 2-Australia 9th (was Chapera->Moga->CBM)
13 - ShiiAnn 5-Thailand 10th (was Moga->Chapera->CBM)
14 - *Tom 3-Africa 4th (was Chapera->Moga->CBM)
--- Final Four ---
15 - *Rupert 7-Pearl Isl.8th (was Sab.->Chap.->Moga->CBM)
16 - Jenna L. 1-Pulau Tiga8th (was Sab.->Chap.->Moga->CBM)
--- Final Two ---
17 - *Rob M 4-Marqesas 10th (Chapera->Moga->CBM)

Amber 2-Australia 6th (Chapera->CBM)

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:10 AM

J.R.R. Tolkien

"Not all those that wander are lost."

-- J.R.R. Tolkien

Posted by jackhodgson at 05:05 AM

May 09, 2004

The Hokey Pokey

In honor of Pokey Reese's inside the park home run from yesterday.

BostonDirtDogs website:

You hit a homerun in, you hit a homerun out,
(you hit a homerun in) And run the bases all about.
You do the Hokey Pokey and you circle all around...
that's what it's all about.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:19 AM

May 07, 2004

Exciting Win

Come from behind, with a walk-off double to score the winning run in the bottom of the ninth.

I haven't blogged this, but I've been thinking it all Spring. I really think that, of the five soon-to-be free-agents that there's been so much talk about re-signing, I really think Varitek could be the one of those guys who we can least afford to lose. He's a great bat, a wonderful defensive catcher, a clutch hitter, and he's so good behind the plate, that he makes all our pitchers better than they would be otherwise.

Sign Varitek.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:22 PM


To avoid the possibility that dividing boys and girls into separate school classes might result in one group receiving an excellent education, we've decided to make sure they both receive an equally mediocre education.

PoynterOnline, Al's Morning Meeting:

Until now, public schools have been allowed to hold single-sex classes only in limited situations, such as for physical education. But proposed changes to federal education rules have opened the door wider. "For years, those who had a tremendous amount of money could pay for their children to go to an all-boys school or an all-girls school, and if it's been a viable option for the wealthy, why shouldn't it be a viable option for all students?" said Chain of Lakes (FL) Principal Carol Kindt.


But the American Civil Liberties Union and National Organization for Women are among groups who disagree with separating boys and girls, saying it's discriminatory and promotes stereotypes.

Posted by jackhodgson at 03:24 PM

Old gambler's motto

"You need to make a bet on something every day. You might be walking around lucky and not know it."

-- Old gambler's motto.

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:31 PM


Again, it wasn't a win for the textbook, but it did the job. And props to Pedro. Although we all had that sinking feeling when his first pitch was launched out of the park, he pulled it together.

On the radio, earlier in the day, a caller was defending Pedro, saying the he'd be strong in this game. The caller said Pedro would strike out nine. The hosts and I all thought this was too optimistic. Nine strikeouts was a lot I thought and they said. We'd all settle for a comfortable W.

Well after a rocky first inning, Pedro calmed down and pitched a fine game. Striking out eight when all was said and done. And eight was enough.

In related news, the Yanks lost, so now the Redsox are back in first by ourselves again. The loss ended NY's 8 game winning streak. I guess eight was enough there too.

Now we come home to play KC this weekend.

Posted by jackhodgson at 07:47 AM

May 06, 2004

Survivor All-Stars Notes - Ep #15

[Complete set of my Survivor All Star Notes]

Posted after Ep #15, May 6, 2004. This post, and its comments, may contain spoilers....

Notes written while watching the episode:

>> Storm clouds at the beginning

>> Pickup Truck/Night at the Movies Reward Challenge

Jeff: "In seasons 1-7, the person who won the car has never won Survivor."

Round One: balance walks - Rupert eliminated first

Round Two: belly crawl/puzzle - Jenna eliminated

Again, Rob is good at puzzles.

Round Three: catapult into basket - Big Tom eliminated

Rob and Amber into the final round. Is this the first time we've ever seen these two go head to head? (no pun intended... heh heh)

Round Four: rope climb/rope walk/cable slide...

Rob didn't appear to hold back at all to let Amber keep up.

Boston Rob wins the car. He picks Amber to go along with him. Big surprise.

Rob seems SO HAPPY to have won the car.

>> The movie is "Lord of the Flies". Harsh.

>> Oh, and by the way. Amber gets a car too.

Rob: "What do we have behind door #3 Jeff?"

>> Later, Amber reveals to group that she won a car. That could be a big mistake.

>> Rob and Amber brought back candy, but then took a share!!!

>> Rupert trying to organize Tom-Jenna-himself against Rob. Rob knows this, so he instigates a fight between Rupert and Tom. Rob is a genius! As I recall, Rob was good at this in the Marquesas too. He would get people fighting with each other. He was very good at sowing FUD, Fear-Uncertainty-Doubt. (Maybe afterward he can get a job at Microsoft.)

>> Immunity Word Scramble

Remember, Rob has shown himself to be good at puzzles.

Amber takes lead, but can't figure the final solution... Rob comes from behind to figure out the puzzle.

Rob wins Immunity. He's guaranteed Final Four.

>> Rob-Amber romancing Tom... Tom: "I'm just a pawn. I'll vote however you tell me"... Tom insists that he's with them, and they agree to vote for Jenna...

>> Tribal Council

Cathy cleans up real nice.

Amber repeats what she said earlier, "I can smell the money." Lex and ShiiAnn roll their eyes.

Big Tom voted out! Big surprise! Amber and Rob betrayed Tom. Tom turns, and stares back, to give Rob (?) a last look.

I'll see the votes in a moment, but right now I'm thinking that maybe, after all that, Jenna voted with R&J. Let's see.

Both Jenna AND Rupert voted with R&J. The big four alliance held together.

In retrospect it seems that the whole thing, with R&J getting Tom to say that he'd vote with them, was probably a ploy to distract Tom from the fact that he was being set up. And Rob setting Tom and Rupert at each other's throats made it possible for Rupert to vote for Tom.

>> The coming attraction for next week said, "A surprise so big it will stun everyone. We guarantee it."

>> So that's the Final Four. Rob-Amber-Rupert-Jenna.

Yay Rupert!... Rupert has come a long way since the underground hut...

The last of the original final fours is gone... original finish of the FF: 6-8-8-10... Rob was the poorest finisher of the FF... Two men, two women...

>> Don't forget, the finale and reunion show is on SUNDAY night.

# Remaining from the Meta-Tribes

Pula Tiga 1 of 4
Australia 1 of 5
Africa 0 of 3
Marqesas 1 of 2
Thailand 0 of 1
Amazon 0 of 2
Pearl Isl. 1 of 1

# Latest tribe list

# Final Four
name season finish all-star tribes
==== ====== ====== ===============
Amber 2-Australia 6th Chapera->CBM
Jenna L. 1-Pulau Tiga 8th Saboga->Chapera->Moga->CBM
*Boston Rob 4-Marqesas 10th Chapera->Moga->CBM
*Rupert 7-Pearl Isl. 8th Saboga->Chapera->Moga->CBM

Order Out:
1 - Tina 2-Australia 1st (was Saboga)
2 - *Rudy 1-Pulau Tiga 3rd (was Saboga)
3 - Jenna M. 6-Amazon 1st (was Moga)
4 - Rob C. 6-Amazon 3rd (was Chapera)
5 - *Richard 1-Pulau Tiga 1st (was Moga)
6 - *Susan 1-Pulau Tiga 4th (was Chapera)
7 - Colby 2-Australia 2nd (was Moga)
8 - *Ethan 3-Africa 1st (was Saboga->Moga)
9 - Jerri 2-Australia 8th (was Saboga->Moga->Chapera)
--- Jury ---
10 - Lex 3-Africa 3rd (was Moga->Chapera->CBM)
11 - Kathy 4-Marqesas 3rd (was Moga->Chapera->CBM)
12 - Alicia 2-Australia 9th (was Chapera->Moga->CBM)
13 - ShiiAnn 5-Thailand 10th (was Moga->Chapera->CBM)
14 - *Tom 3-Africa 4th (was Chapera->Moga->CBM)

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:03 PM

Middle of the second

Continueing with my scheme of following the season as if it were a nine inning game. We are now halfway through the second.

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:20 PM


Let's talk about baseball.

Redsox won last night. Finally.

It wasn't pretty, but it was a "W", and it broke the streak, so that's over. Tonight we see if Pedro can put his pitching where his mouth is.

I haven't commented yet about Pedro's "they don't love me" rant of a few days back. Here's the thing.

It's not that I have a problem with him having these opinions. He's got a big ego and he gets his feeling hurt surprisingly easily. But hey, he's human, we all have our flaws. No, what amazes me is: what was he thinking?

He went before the media and basically whined that the owners weren't giving him what he wanted. Maybe that's true. Gordon Edes' column this morning indicates that the owners are trying to drive a very hard bargain. But what did Pedro think he was accomplishing by crying in the press?

The fans now think he's a whiner and the owners are no more endeared to him, especially since he openly called them liars. Plus, he went out that night and pitched one of the worst games of his career. What did he think he was accomplishing by this stunt? Was it simply uncontrolled ego venting? That's what it looks like.

I don't mind that both parties are bargaining hard, that's business. And I don't mind that Pedro's got a big ego that got bruised, that's only human. But mouthing off like that, possibly injuring team morale and concentration, and possibly his own focus as well. Well that was just plain stupid.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:54 AM

I'm not watching

Tonight is the big series finale of Friends. I don't plan to watch it.

It's not because it's on opposite another fave: Survivor. I could easily manage to record one, or both of them. No, I'm not watching because I don't like series finales. They are depressing.

Years ago I watched the finale of Barney Miller, a cop sitcom, and it just depressed me. They tried to give "closure" by showing how all the characters were moving on in their lives. But to me it was like all my friends were dying. It drove home the fact that there would be no more new stories. They were gone. It was finished.

In these days of widespread syndicated re-runs, I will be able to watch Friends nearly forever. I want to believe that they are all still there, living across the hall, and the street, from each other, drinking coffee, getting into trouble, and helping each other. I want them to keep being there.

I don't want my re-run experience to be darkened by the looming knowledge that they're really gone.

So I won't be watching tonight. I don't want to be depresssed, and I don't want them to leave. So, they'll always be there for me.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:38 AM

May 05, 2004


I just posted an interesting bit about RFID chips over at TECHPopuli.

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:45 PM


I pointed to this unique photo album a few weeks back. He's added two more cameras since then. I still like it.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:57 AM

May 04, 2004


Some may take comfort from the fact that the Redsox almost came from behind, with a cobbled together five-run 9th inning tonight against the Indians. But we wouldn't have been in such dire straits if we hadn't played such horrible defense in the 4th, allowing five runs.

We need to just keep this all in perspective. Bad streaks happen. You just need to ride them out. Maybe the Yanks will lose later tonight.

It's gonna be OK, it's gonna be OK, it's gonna be OK...

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:04 PM

That's GRRRR-EAT!!!!

MacCentral: "Apple CEO Steve Jobs will preview Mac OS X Tiger at the company's upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference..."

Posted by jackhodgson at 04:12 PM

The Second "Gone East Blog Grant"

Last January I created the Gone East Blog Grant program. Since awarding that first blog I haven't done a second, but I haven't forgotten about the program.

I've been thinking hard about a couple of possible candidates for a free blog, and I haven't quite decided who the lucky winner should be.

But recent events have given me a new idea. I've decided not to make the second award to an individual, but instead to a GROUP.

Group blogs are not as common as individual ones, but there are a many very good ones. One of the most popular blogs there is, Boingboing, is a group blog. Now there is another.

The winners of the second Gone East Blog Grant are the Gone East comments area regulars. They are: beth, david, georgev, jo ann, mga, rickf, sherman, steveg, and erik larsen.

The new blog is called "Concrete Frog" and can be seen at this link:

Congratulations to the winners.

Posted by jackhodgson at 02:37 PM

Coping mechanisms

BTW, I'm not the only one stressing about the losing streak. Ed Cossette at the excellent -- except for the name -- Bambino's Curse redsox blog, writes,

I'm officially initiating my level 2 coping mechanism which means I'm going to shut out the rest of the baseball world. I'll only visit Red Sox blogs and sites until this horrific losing streak ends. Don't want to hear about Pujols or anyone else. Screw it. I'm hunkered down like a snapping turtle.

Now here's another coping mechanism that I've been toying with: Every great season must have a difficult patch, and this losing streak is ours. And I'm kinda glad that it's coming now, and not in September when the suicide rate would be much higher.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:45 AM

If the season were a nine-inning game.

While watching last night's Redsox game, trying to put an ok spin on this disturbing losing streak, I came up with a new way (new to me anyway) of looking at the progress of the season. Instead of seeing it by month, or by "10% through the season now", or by before/after the All-Star break, instead how about using units that we're already very familiar with: innings.

It turns out that the 162 game season divides neatly into 9 18-game innings. We just finished game 25, so we're in the middle of the second inning -- still pretty early in the game.

We had a strong first inning, we're struggling in the beginning of the second, but it's still early in the game.

(BTW, my scoreboard graphic might be a clever hack, or it might be a graphical disaster. If it looks weird on your browser please leave a comment telling me so, and which OS & browser you're using. Thanks.)

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:18 AM

Permanently altered

Blogger and traditional journalist Ed Cone interviewed Doonesbury author Gary Trudeau about the decision to have character be severely injured in Iraq. On the subject of BD losing his helmet:

Trudeau started drawing B.D. while an undergrad at Yale in the late '60s, but until the current series of strips we had never seen B.D.'s hair -- the former football star was always shown wearing a helmet of some sort, no matter what he was doing. "The idea was twofold," said Trudeau of his suddenly bare-headed hero. "To convey a sense of vulnerability and helplessness, and to signify that his life had been permanently altered."

Entire interview...

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:25 AM

May 03, 2004

It works for me.

Gone East pal MGA sent this along in email.

MGA wrote, "And I thought I had seen everything..."

But this kind of site makes total sense to me.

Always Low Prices--Always. The Best and the Worst about Wal-Mart

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:51 AM

Paper Toys!

Looks like fun.

Paper Toys!

Here are some paper toys that you can make yourself.

Just print them out, cut, glue and enjoy. I've tried to keep them easy to figure out.

I hope that they amuse you.

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:32 AM

May 01, 2004

One degree of separation

David Weinberger writes in his Joho blog about a little brouhaha up here in Massachusetts where a National Guard commander forwarded a joke email critical of Sen. Kerry and other Dems. The thing that makes this notable to Gone East is that the Boston Globe article Joho quotes also refers to...

The state rep from the proud city of Melrose was also furious, saying that...
Well, this state rep is none other than Mike Festa, former high-schoolmate and running buddy (sorta) of our own comment-meister Sherman.

Posted by jackhodgson at 03:40 PM

Kevin Fox

"A good engineer will go to any amount of effort to avoid extra effort."

-- Kevin Fox,

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:34 PM


This morning my dad and I spent an hour un-winterizing (summerizing?) the pontoon boat. While we worked, an 18 inch garter snake patrolled the nearby shoreline, probably hunting.

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:32 PM