February 28, 2005

February Blogger Meetup Postponed

Due to the looming snowstorm -- and the forecast for hazardous travel conditions before, and certainly after, the meetup -- I've decided to call off tonite's Boston Bloggers Meetup.

I'm gonna look into an impromptu mid-month gathering in the next week or two. Stay tuned.

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:42 PM

February 26, 2005

Chili Good

Well my first-ever batch of chili was a success. It came out pretty good considering.

I've made some notes of changes I want to try next time.

I did make one big goof in the preparation.

Here's the recipe I was using, but I was making only a half-portion of it. But I screwed-up when measuring the chicken broth, and put in the full quantity (5 cups instead of 2.5). So it was pretty wet.

I didn't discover this until it was simmering, but I was able to spoon off about a cup and a half. This got the consistency back close to what I think it should have been.

Of course I probably removed a lot of flavor with that liquid, nevertheless it was pretty tasty.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:40 PM

Makin' Chili

foodnetlogoFirst time I've tried this. Lookin' good. I'll report more later.

Posted by jackhodgson at 05:47 PM

The Daily Show on blogger credibility.

Jon Stewart talking to Peter Jennings about bloggers.

Stewart: You don't know who is it. But can't you judge, you know, people keep saying, oh it's these crazy people, but like anything, like with journalism, or with blogging, or anything, just be discerning. Different bloggers will earn your trust, or earn your respect.

Jennings: Absolutely, there are bloggers I read and trust and it takes time. I don't believe anybody I read the first time.

Posted by jackhodgson at 04:19 PM

February 25, 2005

Swoops are good

pf_swoops_milkI saw a piece on the Food Channel recently about how they make the Hershey's chocolate treat, "Swoops".

I just got me some, and boy they are tasty.

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:05 PM

Oh, THAT's who that was...

From today's Boston Globe:

[Redsox manager Terry ] Francona was asked what he plans to say to President Bush when the Sox visit the White House Wednesday.

"Probably, 'I'm sorry,' " Francona said.

The last time the two spoke was by phone when Bush called to extend congratulations on winning the World Series.

"I thought it was somebody else," Francona said. "It was real short. I was taking a nap with my youngest daughter. The whole time he was talking to me I was thinking, 'Who is this?' I couldn't put a name to it. I couldn't figure it out.

"Then I hung up and got a call from [Senator John] Kerry. I said, 'Oh [expletive], that was the president.' "

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:00 PM

Survivor Pulau Ep#2 My Notes

s10logoSurvivor Pulau

"39 days, 20 people, 1 survivor"

Continuation and comments contain spoilers.

Watching live (as opposed to later via my PVR) takes so long!

Jeff & Kim snuggling. Hmmmm.

Koror revealed, at the start of the reward challenge, that they had lost the flint. That is a HUGE mistake. It gives Ulong a big psychological boost. Who was the woman at the front who spilled the beans? Katie? Jenn? Will she pay any price for blabbing this?

## The Balance & Whack-a-Mole Reward Challenge.

Bobbyjon seems to have some anger problems.

Ulong kicks butt, for some fishing gear, and firemaking.

Who won the flags?

Angie 2
Ashlee 2
James 1
Bobbyjon 1
Stepnenie 2
Kim 2

Janu 2
Jenn 1

Later they make a big deal about Angie "owning" this challenge. I admit she did herself some good by being strong. But she got two flags, so did three other women on her team, and one on the other tribe. What's the big deal?

Ian retrieves the fire box. That should earn him some virtual immunity. "A good day. We can be proud." He said.

Ashlee won't eat.

## Morse Code Immunity Challenge

Willard is a weak/slow swimmer. Tom and Ian are good in the water.

Did Kim really fail to do any of the pulling? She was strong in the whack-a-mole challenge. Is she a poor swimmer, worse, could she be timid in the water?

Maneuvering for tribal council.

Kim or Ashlee?

At TC, Kim says she had no clue that snuggling with Jeff would look bad. Hmmm.

6 votes to 1 to 1, Ashlee goes home.

The kids lose another member. I'm not sure if it was Koror's maturity that led to tonight's immunity win. Although that underwater pull certainly benefitted from teamwork and patience. Of course, the youngest Koror, Ian, continues to be one of their greatest assets.

My notes on last week's episode.

The Challenges:
Ep#1 Race to the beach immunity: Ian & Jolanda
Ep#1 Reward&Immunity: Koror
Ep#2 The Balance & Whack-a-Mole Reward Challenge: Ulong
Ep#2 Morse Code Immunity Challenge: Koror

Challenge Scorecard: (Immunity/Reward)
Koror 2/0
Ulong 0/1
Ian 1/-
Jolanda 1/-

The Survivors:

(name, age [picked by])

## Koror (brown):

Ian, 23
Katie, 29 [Ian]
Tom, 41 [Katie]
Janu, 39 [Tom]
Gregg, 28 [Janu]
Jenn, 32 [Gregg]
Coby, 32 [Jenn]
Caryn, 46 [Coby]
Willard, 57 [Caryn]

## Ulong (blue):

Bobbyjon, 27 [Jolanda]
Stephenie, 25 [Bobbyjon]
Jeff, 21 [Stephanie]
Kim, 25 [Jeff]
James, 33 [Kim]
Ibrehem, 27 [Ashlee]
Angie, 24 [Ibraham]

Order out:

1. Jonathon, 23
2. Wanda, 55
3. Jolanda, 39 (Ulong)
4. Ashlee, 22 [James] (Ulong)

Posted by jackhodgson at 03:12 PM

February 23, 2005

Fourth Graf

SteveG got mentioned in the 4th paragraph of today's New York Times article on blogging.

Some vloggers are further blurring the lines between journalism and blogging by producing news reports of local interest. Steve Garfield of Boston, a self-described citizen reporter, took a video camera to investigate, among other things, whether election campaign workers were following the law by staying 150 feet from polling stations. He posted his report at stevegarfield.blogs.com/videoblog/2004/09/150_feet.html.

By the way, they said that Steve is "a self-described citizen reporter". I don't know if Steve actually used the term "reporter", as opposed to the more frequently used "citizen journalist". But I prefer reporter. It is more simply descriptive, and avoids the whole value argument as to whether bloggers are "journalists", but we certainly are reporters.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:36 PM

Here's what I think about The West Wing

About a month ago I wrote that I was drifting away from watching The West Wing. But then I had my mind changed by those who argued that the show had found its way under the new authorship, and it was getting good again.

I've been watching since then, and I agree. It's good. But it's not the same.

The alternating story-lines -- of the presidential campaign, and the fading Bartlet administration -- are intriguing. Seeing the former allies as opponents, and disappointed with each other, is fascinating.

But the thing is, the show's no longer about hope. It's become a tragedy looming. These people used to be family, and now they are at each other's throats.

I have a prediction: President Bartlet is going to die. He will die from his MS in the final days before the election, or perhaps just before the convention. Russell will ascend, and his obvious lack of ability will throw the election to another.

That's what I think.

It's become a dark tragedy, and that's great drama. And I'll probably keep watching. But it's no longer The West Wing that I used to love. The West Wing was born of the Clinton presidency, but now there is a new administration, and it shows. In so many ways.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:53 PM

Good eBay commercial

I just saw a great TV commercial.

A young boy has a favorite toy. It's a beautiful toy tugboat. One day, while out on the ocean, the toy is lost overboard. He's heartbroken. We see it sink to the bottom.

Years later, the toy tugboat is caught in the net of a fishing boat. It is taken by one of the fishing crew, and listed for sale on eBay.

In the final frame we see the young boy, who is now a grown man, as he discovers his long-lost toy on eBay.

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:06 PM

SpaceShipOne/White Knight to visit Oshkosh

EAA announced today that Burt Rutan's famous spaceflight duo will be visiting Airventure this coming summer. They will be on display all week.


This is the ONLY planned public appearance of these two aircraft in one place. Preliminary plans call for White Knight and SpaceShipOne to be at EAA AirVenture for the event’s entire seven-day run. After arriving on Monday, July 25, the aircraft will be available for up-close viewing on the main AeroShell Square showcase ramp until their departure on Sunday, July 31.
Posted by jackhodgson at 03:16 PM

February 21, 2005

Hot Date

Yesterday I tagged along on a shopping trip with Etc. Forum regular Janice, and her two girls, H & L. We went shop-crawling in Concord, NH. LLBean, Petco, Border Books, Steeplechase Mall.

We ate lunch at a nice seafood place in Northwood, called Johnsons. I just reheated some of the leftover onion rings. Yummy! (And yet another major SoBeDi violation!)

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:51 PM

Again, still.

It's been snowing here in southern NH since about 2:30 this morning. Right now, at 8am, there's about 3-4 inches on the ground, but it is incredibly light airy snow. It is truly "powder" snow. The forecast was for the snow to not really get going till noon today, so it may get heavier before it's all over.

Maybe I'll post pics later.

Posted by jackhodgson at 07:59 AM

February 19, 2005


I made cornbread this morning. I just made up a batch of store-bought, box mix, and I'd like to learn more about scratch recipes, but for a start it was very good.

Most of my "cooking" activities since the start of the SoBeDi, has been stovetop cooking, but I'm intrigued by baking. The problem is that so many of the common baked items are not really in keeping with the lo-carb lifestyle. Must research this.

Posted by jackhodgson at 02:56 PM

Your lips say no, but your eyes say yes, Yes, YES

Reuters via Yahoo! News:

Thirty-six state attorneys general are now investigating whether video rental chain Blockbuster's new "no late fees" policy deceives consumers.
Posted by jackhodgson at 07:40 AM

February 18, 2005

Survivor Pulau Ep#1 My Notes

s10logoSurvivor Pulau

"39 days, 20 people, 1 survivor"

Continuation and comments contain spoilers.

"millions of jellyfish" = foreshadowing?

lots of wwii wrecks

james: "I thought we were gonna get breakfast"

wanda singing showtunes, very odd.

wanda: "about it's being one big party"

stephenie and jonathan jumped out of boat to swim for it, and were immediatly left behind.

jolanda & ian won race to baeach, and thus the first (individual!!) immunity

why was yolanda wearing heels?

yet another "well", i still think that they secretly purify the water supply

janu, rock climber, vegas showgirl.

yolanda ate a grasshopper

coby campaigning to oust jonathon

ian picked katy picked tom picked janu picked greg picked jenn picked coby picked karen picked willard ... jonathon out ... named koror (brown)

jolanda picked bobbyjon picked stephanie picked jeff picked kim picked james picked ashly picked ibraham picked angie ... wanda out ... named ulong (blue)

two tribes living together on the same beach. great idea!

tall, sharp nose, short hair (james?) comforting two women

heavy beard guy (coby) openly crying

## obstacle course reward/immunity

koror did excellent, worked together, made good group decisions

ulong made dumb move to try and collect too much stuff in challenge.

koror also gets a "let's-make-a-deal" type choice of whether to give up known campsite and go to an unknown. they decide to take door #2, an unknown new beach.

(even though they are separating the tribes, i think that having them together for a few days will make for an interesting dynamic.)

but koror capsizes their canoe and loses the firemaking tools!!! (i don't put it past burnett to rig the boat so that the challenge winners lose their loot.)

ulong had a machette. I thought they only got canteens?

wheeling and dealing: targeting angie

jolanda bossing people around... also she forced the strategy to try to take too much in challenge.

## Tribal Council

James says some good things.

Jolanda voted out. Too pushy. Forced a bad decision in the challenge.

The Survivors:

## Koror (brown):

Ian, 23
Katie, 29 [Ian]
Tom, 41 [Katie]
Janu, 39 [Tom]
Gregg, 28 [Janu]
Jenn, 32 [Gregg]
Coby, 32 [Jenn]
Caryn, 46 [Coby]
Willard, 57 [Caryn]

## Ulong (blue]:

Bobbyjon, 27 [Jolanda]
Stephenie, 25 [Bobbyjon]
Jeff, 21 [Stephanie]
Kim, 25 [Jeff]
James, 33 [Kim]
Ashlee, 22 [James]
Ibrehem, 27 [Ashlee]
Angie, 24 [Ibraham]

## Order out:

1. Jonathon, 23
2. Wanda, 55
3. Jolanda, 39 (was Ulong)

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:50 PM

Carol & Steve Shows

I just sat down and caught up on all the Carol & Steve shows. If you've never watched this fun video-blog you're missing out. Recently they visited NYC, went to a wine show, and went grocery shopping. But my favorite eps are when they just sit at their kitchen table, drink beer and wine, and chat.

Posted by jackhodgson at 03:01 PM

A Public Service

Peggy Noonan writes about Bloggers in the Wall St. Journal:

When you hear name-calling like what we've been hearing from the elite media this week, you know someone must be doing something right. The hysterical edge makes you wonder if writers for newspapers and magazines and professors in J-schools don't have a serious case of freedom envy.

The bloggers have that freedom. They have the still pent-up energy of a liberated citizenry, too. The MSM doesn't. It has lost its old monopoly on information. It is angry.

[Thanks Dave]

Posted by jackhodgson at 02:21 PM

Survivor Pulau: Week #1

s10logoI haven't watched it yet, but I hear that the peanut gallery is aching to start ranting about something. So have-at-it in the comments forum. Warning, there will almost certainly be spoilers there.

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:56 AM

February 16, 2005

It's Starting!

Spring Training. From The Globe:

Keith Foulke arrived yesterday, joining Wade Miller, Matt Mantei, and Trot Nixon as regulars in town ahead of schedule. Come tomorrow, those four beautiful words can be strung together: Pitchers and catchers report. Position players arrive Monday. The first full-squad workout is Tuesday.
Posted by jackhodgson at 11:52 AM

February 14, 2005

Cast your votes now.

s10logoThe new season of Survivor starts this Thursday. Set your TiVos.

I'll leave it to the girls, over in the forum, to start comparing the hunky guys. Oh... yeah... I guess the girls aren't the only ones who will be weighing in on the hunkiness.

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:20 PM

Among the living

A few people have expressed concern about my absence here over the last few days. How sweet.

I've been distracted by a fairly major new project, which I may talk about sometime soon. But anyway, it's taking a lot of my time, and I need to work up a new "blogging rhythm" to make sure posting here fits into the schedule too.

Headed off to Boston for the afternoon, to meetup with Forums area regular RickF, who's in town for Linuxworld.

I'll try to post some tonight, or tomorrow.

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:17 PM

February 10, 2005

Gilmore Girls - ABC Family drops the ball

As Jo Ann pointed out in the forum, ABC Family channel is not showing all the eps of GG in order. In fact, they are hardly showing any. They played 3 from Season 1, then two from S2, and tonite they're into S3.

So I guess I'll return to the Netflix DVDs to see them in order.

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:06 PM

Mutual ground ?

Etcetera comments regular MGA points us to this profile of a potential 2008 Democratic Presidential candidate. Tennesee Governor Phil Bredesen. Wall St Journal:

The Democrats have noticed that senators and Northeasterners don't do especially well in presidential elections. That has led to some talk of running a governor from the South in 2008, but Southern Democratic governors are in short supply.

Of those who remain, my governor, Phil Bredesen, is starting to get some attention.

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:28 PM

BMac Notes

I've posted some notes from last night's BMac meeting over on the TechPopuli site.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:46 AM

February 09, 2005

Gilmore Girls: Pilot Episode

About six months ago I "discovered" The Gilmore Girls, and pretty quickly I became hooked. I think the things that appeal to me most are, the character Lorelai (Lauren Graham, who I think really is that cool in person), and the charming small town life of Stars Hollow (which, sadly, is actually a studio backlot, I'm pretty sure).

A few days ago, the Gilmore Girls syndication on ABC Family, restarted with the pilot episode. I've already seen some of these early eps, but now I'll be watching from the start, in order. My TiVo is recording them, and I'll be writing here about them. I'm always fascinated, with a TV series that has been evolving for many years, to go back and see how they portrayed the characters in the first few eps. What traits were there from the start, and which ones occurred over time?

BTW, a good episode guide can be found here.

"The Pilot"

  • An establishing shot of the small town charm of Stars Hollow was the first thing we saw.
  • Lorelei's coffee habit was the first thing we learned about her.
  • In the pilot, Luke's Diner is not on a corner, and there is much more of the former hardware store motif.
  • Luke as curmudgeon, established early.
  • When the guy is hitting on Lorelai and Rory, Lorelei announces Rory is only 16, and Rory says, "Are you my new daddy."
  • BTW, I'm pretty sure Rory is actually 15 at this point.
  • Independence Inn was quite an operation, big staff
  • Lorelai wore more serious business suits when working
  • The grumpy harp player annoyed me from the very start.
  • Rory offering to tell all the women what a stud Michel is. I see this as an effort to establish him as not-gay.
  • The incredibly accident-prone Sookie was pretty over the top. I'm glad they toned it down. Although, to this day Sookie will occasionally be wearing unexplained band-aids.
  • Lorelai and Sookie's dream to own their own Inn, established from the start.
  • Originally Lorelai was shown to be a skilled seamstress, which fades, but doesn't disappear, over the years. eg. she's good with wardrobe.
  • In the pilot, a picture on the mantel shows L&R standing in front of a "Blacksmith". Where are all the anvils?
  • We meet Richard and Emily. Another thing I really like about the series is how complex their characters are. They're not simply self-centered rich folks. But we didn't get to see that in the pilot.
  • We meet Dean. Even when speechless, Rory makes with the pop references "Chicago... Windy... Oprah."
  • Stars Hollow is a 30 minute drive from Hartford
  • Luke's backward cap and 5-clock shadow, were established early.
  • Patty refers to "Taylor Doosie" as if he's not a well known member of the community, which later we see he's been for some time.
  • Their house is structurally different. eg. there is a step up, into the kitchen.
  • The scene of Richard handing part of the paper to Rory, has always puzzled me. It's not totally a throwaway, cause they use it in the title sequence. Is it showing that Richard knows that Rory likes to read? But the look on her face is puzzlement. And later we see that they are only then starting to bond, and appreciate each other.
  • Luke giving little looks at Lorelai. His attraction to her was established from the start.
Posted by jackhodgson at 06:46 AM

February 08, 2005

Mardi Gras

Woo-hoo! Fat Tuesday!

Posted by jackhodgson at 03:50 PM

February 07, 2005

White Hen Pantry R.I.P.

According to the blog Misanthropicity, the White Hen Pantry on Mass Ave in Cambridge has closed. Old memories. In my starving artist days, I worked at this store. We used to call it the "little chicken" store. I worked three evening shifts, and two midnight to eights.

I quit after I was held up for the second time. The second time was at gunpoint.

[Thanks Boston Common]

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:48 PM

What is it, revealed.

I've changed the name and descrip of the mystery pic from a few days ago.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:55 AM

A little close for comfort

Yay Pats!

If you care, even in the least little bit, then you know that the New England Patriots won the Superbowl last night.

I'm not a huge football fan, but I root for the Pats, and I'm happy for their success. My dad is a really big Pats fan, and I know that he's excited about the Pats now moving on to "Dynasty" status.

Their third win in four years is an amazing accomplishment.

Having said that, the game was a lot closer than I think anyone expected. Gambling Pats fans are having a little cognitive dissonance this morning, as their team won the game, but they all lost on the point spread.

One thing that I think is pretty notable, is that for the third time, the margin of victory was an Adam Vinatieri field goal.

But now that that is over, we all have to start focussing on the important things, like helping the Redsox repeat as World Champs.

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:53 AM

February 04, 2005

Wadley Falls in January

Wadley Falls in JanuaryLast week I stopped by Wadley Falls on the way home from Portsmouth.

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:17 PM

What is it?

*Mystery Pic over on my Flickr site.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:16 AM

Fresh Snow

As Janice has mentioned in the Forum, we got some new snow last night. I haven't been outside yet, but it looks like about an inch of light fluffy.

The forecast is to hit 40 for each of the next few days. Good.

Posted by jackhodgson at 07:29 AM

February 02, 2005

Paperback Believer

Boing Boing points us to this combination of the Beatles' Paperback Writer, and The Monkees' I'm a Believer, by the original artists. 2.6 Mb Quicktime movie.

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:17 PM

Six More

Punxatawney Phil saw his shadow this morning.

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:06 PM