April 30, 2006

Two more West Wing Eps

I hate series finales. I usually don't watch them. But I'll probably watch this one. It will bumm-me-out.

Two things.

First, I really don't like that they killed Leo McGarry. They got about two episodes of sentimentality out of it, and now it's been left behind. I would have much rather had the McGarry character fade into the background as the VP, a fitting end to his career, and to actor John Spencer's legacy.

Second, I don't understand why they are laying the groundwork for all these Santos administration character relationships and storylines. Why aren't they using these final eps to wind down the Bartlet administration. Let us see them wrestling with the final days. Trying to cement the legacy. That would be interesting, and a fitting wrap up for all these characters we've grown to care about.

They now have two more eps to close out the Bartlet administration, AND tie up all these loose ends that are being created. (And the "next week" teaser made that one look like a clip show, so they may have only one more ep to tie things up.)

Is it possible they are setting up for a Movie?

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:28 PM

Procrastination works!

Last night I was in Rochester NH. The local Getty gas station -- which regularly has the lowest gas prices in my world -- didn't let me down, they has unleaded regular for $2.81. That's the best price I've seen anywhere in a few weeks.

I should have bought gas last night, just in case, but I decided to put it off till morning.

This morning I turned the corner where I could see the Getty station in the distance. I could see that the price was no longer $2.81, but I couldn't make out what it was.

Stupid, I thought to myself. It's gone up overnight.

$2.76. It had gone down! Let's hear it for putting things off.

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:56 PM

April 27, 2006

Ze Frank: The Show

By far the best video-podcast-news-show I've seen yet. This is like rocketboom, but the way The Daily Show would do it.

Check it out.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:03 PM


I just signed up to attend BarCampBoston in June.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:14 PM

April 23, 2006

Lighting one last candle

Well that's it for another birthweek. Funny, I don't feel any older.

This past year has been a so very eventful for me. Just some of the things that have happened:

My work has really taken off for the first time since returning from Calif. That's very satisfying, and it looks like it will continue.

I've been through a trying family emergency which has tested us all, but which has given me a chance to make a small repayment for all the help they've given me over the years. And it's maybe given me a new perspective on things.

An age-old, dear friendship changed into something unexpected, and even more wonderful.

It's been a year of growth.

When I brought my dad home from the hospital, he told me, "This is the first day of the rest of my life."


UPDATE: Cake image "adjusted".

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:31 PM

April 22, 2006

My Birthweek: Day Six

I had planned to go out to see fireworks tonight.

There's a funky little traveling carnival in town here this week. Coincidentally, I was down here in Melrose on this weekend last year too, and I was watching TV back then when suddenly I heard fireworks out the window. Last year I had no idea what they were part of. But I craned my neck, looking out the window, wishing I could see them.

This year, I saw the posters for the carnival and fireworks a couple weeks ago. So I was looking forward to going out to see them.

But it rained tonight.

I stopped by there earlier this evening, and was told that the fireworks had been cancelled. So now I needed something else to do with my evening.

I went to Burlington Mall.

Way back when, before moving to California, I used to go to BM often. But I don't think that I've been there now in over 15 years. I learned recently that there was an Apple Store there, so I guess that was one of the things that tipped me over the brink, and drew me there for the evening.

It's odd. Places that you once were very familiar with. But now, years later, I couldn't dredge up the slightest memory of the inside of this Mall. Yet once I was there, every corner I turned would trigger a rush of memories. Old relationships, the stores we'd visit every time, the odd architecture, the glass elevators, the food court. It all cane back to me.

Memory is a weird thing.

Surely this is yet another example of how mundane my life is these days. But I actually enjoyed my visit to Burlington Mall. I must go back again soon.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:56 PM

Birthweek, Day Six

We are also in the middle of the birthweek of Gone East pal, Jo Ann McS.

But she doesn't believe in birthweek, so don't say anything to her.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:31 AM

Survivor: Exile Island -- Episodes #6-10

I've finally caught up with back episodes.

Possible spoilers ahead...

Ep 6: Astronaut Off
Ep 6a: Clip Show
Ep 7: Merge
Ep 8: Idols everywhere
Ep 9: Cheeseburgers and Overconfidence
Ep 10: A Medical Emergency

Original Tribes Scoreboard
Casaya, Older Women -- 1
La Mina, Older Men -- 2
Bayonetta, Younger Women -- 2
Viveros, Younger Men -- 1


Terry, Airline/Fighter Pilot, 46 (was La Mina then La Mina)
Cirie, Nurse, 35 (was Casaya then Casaya)
Courtney, Performance Artist, 31 (was Bayoneta then Casaya)
Shane, Entertainment Marketing, 25 (was La Mina then Casaya)
Danielle, Medical Sales, 24 (was Bayoneta then Casaya)
Aras, Yoga Instr., 24 (was Viveros then Casaya)

Won Reward
1. La Mina, Viveros, & Casaya
2. La Mina
3. La Mina
4. Casaya
5. Casaya
6. Casaya, combined reward/immunity
7. -- none --
8. Bruce, Aras & Sally (Cocoanut Boat Challenge)
9. Courtney, Terry, Bruce & Sally (Bungie Cord Flag Race)
10. Cirie (takes Aras & Danielle) (Know Your Fellow Survivors Quiz)

Won Immunity
1. La Mina, Viveros, & Bayoneta
2. La Mina
3. Casaya
4. Casaya
5. La Mina
6. Casaya, combined reward/immunity
7. Terry
8. Terry (Obstacle Course with Puzzle)
9. Terry (Cheeseburgers or Memory Puzzle)
10. -- none --

Banished to Exile Island
1. Misty
2. Bruce
3. Bruce
4. Terry (Found Idol)
5. Terry
6. Sally
7. -- none --
8. Austin & Danielle
9. Aras
10. Terry

Voted Off
1. Tina, "Lumber Jill", 45, Casaya Tribe
2. Melinda, Singer, 32, Casaya Tribe (was Casaya)
3. Misty, Engineer, 24, La Mina Tribe (was Bayoneta)
4. Ruth Marie, Retail Leasing, 48, La Mina (was Casaya)
5. Bobby, Attorney, 32, Casaya (was Viveros)
6. Dan, Astronaut, 52 La Mina Tribe (was La Mina)
7. Nick, Financial Sales, 25 La Mina Tribe (was Viveros)
8. Austin, Author, 24 (was Viveros then La Mina) (Jury)
9. Sally, Social Worker, 27 (was Bayoneta then La Mina) (Jury)
10. Bruce, Karate & Art Teacher, 58 (was La Mina then Casaya) (Medical) (Jury?)

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:14 AM

April 21, 2006

My Birthweek: Day Five

Today I went for a walk with my nephew (and god-son) North.

He's 4. Since he was very little he's been fascinated by earth moving equipment. He calls any sort of digging equipment a "scoopy truck".

They're putting in some sort of pipe down the street, so North and I walked down to watch the digging for awhile. They were also using a jack-hammer. All-in-all it was very loud, but he was fascinated.

We stood and watched for quite a while.

It was a good walk.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:11 PM

April 20, 2006

My Birthweek: Day Four

The weather's been real nice for all of my birthweek so far. I've been down here in Massachusetts for almost a month now helping my parents. Today I treated myself to a couple of hours off in the afternoon, and a walk up Mt. Hood.

I walked alongside the golf course, beside the ponds, and up to the old stone tower.

I watched a raccoon trying to sneak off with a captured creature in its teeth. It had to swim across the edge of the pond in order to not pass too close to me.

I spent some time pondering whether the game of golf might be modified to award extra points for hitting "canadian" geese with your tee shot.

A very nice afternoon.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:00 PM

April 19, 2006

My Birthweek: Day Three

Quiet celebration day. I treated myself to dinner at Kelly's Roast Beef... the Saugus one, not the Revere Beach One.

I also found the latest copy of my favorite magazine, Wired.

Don't I lead an exciting life?

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:54 PM

Ain't it cool!

Steve Garfield sends along this screenshot.

FIRST Place - Red Sox
LAST Place - Yankees

Isn't that pretty?

Posted by jackhodgson at 04:34 PM

A Post Turtle

I got this as a forwarded email. I usually just delete them, but this one I just couldn't bring myself to trash.

It's not the most clever humor ever, but, well, you decide.

A 70-year-old Texas rancher got his hand caught in a gate while working cattle. He wrapped the hand in his bandana and drove his pickup to the doctor. While suturing the laceration, the doctor brought up the subject of George W. Bush's rapidly declining political fortunes.

The old Texan replied, "Well, ya know, Bush is a Post Turtle."

Not knowing what the old man meant, the doctor asked what a Post Turtle was.

The old man looked at him and drawled, "When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fencepost with a turtle balanced on top, that's a Post Turtle."

The old man saw a puzzled look on the doctor's face, so he continued to explain:

"You know he didn't get there by himself, he doesn't belong there, he can't get anything done while he's up there, and you just want to help the poor dumb bastard get down."

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:52 AM

I'm an authority

I just noticed that my web stats took a jump on Monday and Tuesday.

Normally I get a couple hundred visitors a day to this blog, but on Monday that jumped to almost 700, and Tuesday it was still over 300. I did a little research and discovered the attraction.

A couple years ago I wrote a short post about "Dingus Day", which is the day after Easter. Dingus Day is sort of the mirror image of Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday. It's the first day AFTER lent, so you can "let 'er rip" again.

Monday was Dingus Day, and anyone who GOOGLE'd that term found my little posting as the #5 result.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:28 AM

April 18, 2006

My Birthweek: Day Two

Today I brought my father home from the hospital. That was today's present-to-myself.

He went in a month ago for treatment of some serious heart problems. It's been a roller-coaster month, but the result has been terrific.

He's a private guy, and I've probably already said too much, but he's doing great, and I'm glad he's home.

This morning he said to me, "Today is the first day of the rest of my life."

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:16 PM

April 17, 2006

Light a candle

Today (Monday) is day one of my birthweek.

I like to do something special on each day of my birthweek, it's like a series of presents-to-myself.

Today I drove up to NH to get my driver's license renewed. I got a present of $50 from the NH DMV when the renewal, which I expected to cost $100, only cost $50.

Yay! It's shaping up to be a great week.

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:00 PM

April 10, 2006

Another video link - The 5 Browns

A family of piano players.

Read this descrip on the TED blog:

What would it have been like if the von Trapps had played piano instead of sung? Well, for one, the hills would not likely have been quite so alive. That would have required a whole lot of piano lugging.

The entry points to a video of the five playing excerpts from West Side Story. Good stuff.

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:54 PM

History of the world, backwards

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:42 PM

Stating the obvious

Talking Point Memo:

This post is, hopefully, nothing more than stating the obvious. But let's just put down for the record that when President Bush calls recent reports of White House plans to attack Iran "wild speculation" that means absolutely nothing.

It's not just that the president has now earned a well-deserved reputation for lying. It is because he and his chief aides lied to the country about a more or less parallel situation -- the build up to war on Iraq -- only four years ago. We now know that the fix was in on the Iraq War as early as September/October 2001. And the president and his crew kept up the charade that no decisions had been made long after those claims became laughable.

Just exactly what I was thinking.

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:41 PM

April 07, 2006

I'm a police officer. I'm with Homeland Security ... I'll move it when I want to.

Leander Pickett, a teacher's assistant at Englewood Elementary, said he was manhandled and handcuffed by two plain clothed Homeland Security officers in front of the school Tuesday for no reason at all.

Read story...

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:50 PM

April 05, 2006


Aprilsnow 2

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:30 AM


Yesterday, my brother Dave, who lives near Montpelier Vermont, told me that it was snowing up there.

"Better there than here," I said.

Today it is snowing down here, near Boston. <grimace>

It's not sticking, but it's occasionally falling pretty hard. Big flakes.

I want 70 degrees back.

UPDATE: Oh oh! It's sticking now.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:19 AM

April 03, 2006

Opening Day

redsoxcirc100Play Ball!

The Redsox open their 2006 season at 2 EDT today in Texas. Yay!

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:54 AM

One of those number things

Ami, over on the Bruhaha list. points out that...

On Wednesday, at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 in the morning the time and date will be

01:02:03 04.05.06

That won't ever happen again.

Actually, it happens again in the afternoon, sort of.

And Becky Waring jumped in to point out that

...it will happen again, a month later, in most of the rest of the world (where May 4 is 04/05/06).
Posted by jackhodgson at 10:50 AM

April 02, 2006

I'm still in it.

One day I'll explain why the blogging has been so sparse lately. But I'll jump in here just for a moment to observe that one of my March Madness picks is still in it. And they're now a bona-fide favorite.

UCLA destroyed the hapless LSU team last night, beating then by like a 3-2 margin. It was never even close. So now they move on to the finals on Monday night against Florida who bean the media darling George Masons.

Oh, and the blogging will pick up again soon.

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:50 AM