March 31, 2004

Spring Cleaning

Sorting through some of the geek junk that I've accumulated over the years. I've decided to try selling a few of them on eBay. Here's the first.

Fastlane Serial MIDI Interface

Posted by jghiii at 02:21 PM | Comments (1)

Green Flash

I've always said that this is real and that I once saw it. No one ever seemed to believe me. Well NASA says it's real!


Many think it is just a myth . Others think it is true but its cause isn't known. Adventurers pride themselves on having seen it. It's a green flash from the Sun . The truth is the green flash does exist and its cause is well understood.

[Thanks RobH]

Posted by jghiii at 01:55 PM | Comments (2)

March 30, 2004

Maine Gov. Angus King

"Every day in America, about 25,000 people buy a quarter-inch drill. But nobody in America wants a quarter-inch drill. What they want are holes."

-- Maine Gov. Angus King, 2001 Pop-Tech Conf.

Posted by jghiii at 09:37 PM | Comments (0)

My how the Tivo has fallen

I've never been shy about saying how much I love my Tivo. But over the past few years they've developed a really bad habit of putting advertising on my recorder without my permission. The latest is this.

Tivo has announced a plan to offer viewers the opportunity to view commercials while they are fast forwarding through commercials.


Known as Video-to-Video, the idea is to let viewers click a button on their remote control to immediately watch a 3-minute video describing products and services that might appeal to them. The marketing clips are promoted through small icons that appear on the TV screen as viewers fast-forward past regular ads.

I'm not sure what makes them think that I'll be fast forwarding through commercials, see one of these icons, and say, ooh there's a commercial that I really do want to watch.

Posted by jghiii at 09:34 PM | Comments (1)

Boston Rob Personal Appearance

From the Portsmouth Herald:

PORTSMOUTH NH - Massachusetts native and CBS Survivor All-Stars contestant Rob "Boston Rob" Mariano will be appearing at the Brewery Lane Tavern tonight at 9 p.m.

I thought these guys were embargoed from making personal appearances until after their "vote-off" has aired.

Posted by jghiii at 12:12 PM | Comments (3)


I've always felt that birthdays are anti-climactic. You wait all year, then it's over in a day. So I decided last year, that THIS YEAR I would stop celebrating my birth DAY and start celebrating my birth WEEK.

I mean, the whole thing is pretty arbitrary anyway. Your birth certificate says what TIME you were born, yet we usually celebrate not during that MINUTE, or even during that HOUR. We celebrate the whole day. So why not celebrate the whole week.

Anyway, my birthweek is coming up. It's Mon - Sun, the week of April 12. I'll be posting a schedule of the week's festivities soon.

Posted by jghiii at 12:00 PM | Comments (4)

Last Place!

Early this morning the NY Yankees and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays kicked off the 2004 baseball season with a game in Tokyo Japan. The game was at 7pm local time, which was 5am Boston time.

Tampa Bay is what you call a "rebuilding team". They have a good manager, but even he admits that it will take time. Here's how weak they are: this spring this manager make the reckless declaration that he thinks that this season they won't finish in last place.

Well, they beat the Yankees this morning! 8-3.

A-Rod was 1 for 4 including TWO strikeouts, and Jeter was zero for 5!

So note this day. They Devil Rays are in first place, the Red Sox are tied for second, and the Yankees are in last place. Get used to it Georgie!

Posted by jghiii at 10:26 AM | Comments (0)

A beautiful shining

Gone East pal Rob H sent me the link to this pretty amazing photo gallery. Elena is a Russian woman who rides her Ninja motorcyle through the abandoned lands around the Chernobyl nuclear reactor.

I travel a lot and my favorite destination lead through so called Chernobyl "dead zone" It is 130kms from my home. Why favourite? because one can ride there for hours and not meet any single car and not to see any single soul. People left and nature is blooming, there are beautiful places, woods, lakes. Roads haven't been built or repaired since 80th but in places where they haven't been ridden by trucks or army technics, they stay in the same condition as 20 years ago. Time do not ruin roads.

Early on in looking at these, I was planning on making a joke about how attractive this woman, with her fast bike, is. By the end of the pics and her commentary, the sadness and tragedy of the whole thing... well, no joke.

Posted by jghiii at 10:13 AM | Comments (2)

March 29, 2004


A conservative is a liberal who's been mugged.

A liberal is a conservative who's been arrested.

-- anonymous

Posted by jghiii at 11:35 PM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2004

Survivor All-Stars Notes - Ep#9

Posted after Ep #9, Mar 24, 2004. This post, and its comments, may contain spoilers....

This may have been the weakest Survivor clip show ever, not that these highlights things are ever all that good.

No one was voted off, and we really didn't learn much of anything we didn't already know.

A couple of minor notes:

The skit was OK. I didn't like it as much as others apparently did. But I did really like how at the end, when she was voted out, they all sang the musical theme. That was pretty funny.

By the way. I think this was the bit, that in the commercials they described as, "what the survivors do when they think the cameras aren't watching." Huh? Not really.

Getting drunk on caffeine. Was kinda fun, but not as scandalous as they'd hinted in the commercials.

When Jenna starts flirting with Boston Rob. Amber says, "I'm not gonna get jealous of any of her hanging on him and doing anything like that. I'm not gonna get jealous. I'm not gonna get jealous. I'm not. I'm not. Not. Not! NOT!!" ... Or something like that.

Then a few minutes later: Amber: "I have Boston Rob wrapped around my little finger."

Boston Rob: "After this is over hopefully Amber and I can be having some fun together, spending my Million. Worst case scenario, we'll be spending hers."

In recapping the combined reward/immunity challenge, they still didn't show how Rob managed to take the lead from Ethan who was WAY AHEAD. Is there something sinister here? or did the camera people just miss the shot?

That's all. They say something unusual happens next week. Not the expected Merge. We'll see.

Posted by jghiii at 08:29 PM | Comments (1)


As everyone knows, I am world famous for my pancakes. Well it is with great pride that I can now tell you that my mom has passed on to me the recipe for her world famous meatloaf. Yum!

Now I just need a lunch.

(By the way, I fully expect that one day there will be some major palace intrigue, between my sister-in-law Lisa and I, to see which one of us gets Ma's Apple Pie recipe.)

Posted by jghiii at 08:16 PM | Comments (6)

Like Jo Ann

Last night I watched "Kathy Griffith Griffin: The D List" on Bravo. FYI, she played the sarcastic girlfriend on the Brooke Shields sitcom a few years back.

The Bravo thing was her doing standup. Very funny. She reminds me of Gone East pal Jo Ann. Very similar story telling styles, rhythms, bitchy (in a good way) attitude.

Posted by jghiii at 08:07 PM | Comments (15)

March 27, 2004

Eubie Blake

If I'd known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.

-- Eubie Blake

Posted by jghiii at 11:48 PM | Comments (6)

March 26, 2004

Almost there

Years ago, long before I lived in California, there was a measure that I would use to mark one of the major milestones of Spring. I would look forward to the days when it would be at least 50 degrees at 8 am.

This morning it was 48.9 at 8.

Posted by jghiii at 08:18 AM | Comments (2)

Daily Quote -- Thurber

All human beings should try to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.

-- James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)

Posted by jghiii at 08:14 AM | Comments (4)

March 25, 2004

Red Shirt!

March 25, 2004 -- Fifty years ago today, the first color TV sets made for consumers started rolling off the assembly line. Because they were initially too expensive and there was little color programming available, it took more than a decade for color television to become a household fixture.

I remember the first Color TV I saw. It was long after 1954. In the late 60s one of my friends was the local "rich kid", his dad made a lot of money, they lived in a big house, and they had a COLOR TV!

I didn't know this kid too well. I seem to remember that he was kind of a jerk, but I wanted to see COLOR TV!

A few years later, a real friend got a color tv in his home, and I remember that we had two strong impressions from it: (1) Most shows were in Black and White, and (2) the color of the shirts on Star Trek meant something, like science, engineering, and "this guy's gonna die."

Posted by jghiii at 11:23 AM | Comments (21)

Daily Quote -- GB Shaw

The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them.

-- George Bernard Shaw

Posted by jghiii at 10:28 AM | Comments (5)

What about palindromes?

It appears that there's a movement afoot to require banks to program their ATMs so that if you type in your PIN number in reverse order, the machine will give you the money, but will also call the police. The idea is that people could use this as a MAYDAY in the event they are being forced by a bad-guy to withdraw the cash.

I just sat here, in the calmness and safety of my desk chair, and I can't quickly determine what my PIN would be backwards. I have little hope that I could figure it out with a gun to my head. A better idea would be to have a user selectable additional digit that we could add to the end of the PIN that would set off the alarm.

The other problem with the "reverse-PIN" idea is that it discriminates against people with PINs like 4994.

Posted by jghiii at 10:12 AM | Comments (3)

Glutton for Punishment

This round's picks:

[UPDATED: to show actual results.]

L 9 UAB over 4 Kansas
L 10 Nevada over 3 Georgia Tech

W 1 St Joe over 4 Wake Forest
W 2 OK State over 3 Pitt

W 1 Duke over 5 Illinois
L 3 Texas over 7 Xavier

L 5 Syracuse over 8 Alabama
W 2 UConn over 6 Vanderbelt

After the previous round I had thought that it's all over now. So many of the high seeds were knocked out that Duke was just gonna mow down the rest of the competition. But the guys on ESPN seem to like teams like Syracuse and UConn more than I realized was possible. One guy even liked Nevada. So maybe it's not all over yet.

Posted by jghiii at 08:18 AM | Comments (1)


Richard Clarke:

"Your government failed you, those entrusted with protecting you failed you and I failed you. We tried hard, but that doesn't matter because we failed. And for that failure, I would ask — once all the facts are out — for your understanding and for your forgiveness."

Posted by jghiii at 07:49 AM | Comments (1)

March 24, 2004

Also tonight!

In addition to a "very special Survivor" tonight. The Red Sox are playing the Yankees for the second time this Spring Training season.

TiVo will record Survivor, and I'll root for the Sox live.

Posted by jghiii at 06:29 PM | Comments (5)

Where's the planets?

I've been reading about this magical alignment of the planets. Kinda like the way they all lined up in 2001: A Space Oddysey so the black tombstone thing could do fly-bys.

So I just stepped outside here now to see what's what.

The moon has a nice bright Venus flying in formation, and that's cool, but I don't see any others. Where are the other planets? I want Jupiter and its moons. I want Saturn and Mercury.

What a gyp!

Posted by jghiii at 06:27 PM | Comments (0)


It seems that this spring will bring the arrival of a particuarly large annual batch of the 17-year cicadas. According to this article, we're OK here in New England. But my friends in Michigan are doomed!

Posted by jghiii at 03:12 PM | Comments (1)

Survivor tonight

Don't forget that Survivor is on a weird night again this week.

Posted by jghiii at 01:36 PM | Comments (1)

March 23, 2004

Cool Quote

New feature here on Gone East. Each time you view this page you'll see a different quote at the top of the right hand sidebar.

These quotes are selected randomly from a collection I've accumulated over the years. As of now there are over 200 aphorisms in the set.

Posted by jghiii at 03:47 PM | Comments (3)

The 800 Pound Gorilla

Wal-Mart Stores has officially launched its online music store.

The conventional wisdom is that Apple loses money on every song it sells at 99 cents, but makes it up on sales of iPods. But Walmart is pricing at 88 cents. How's that gonna work?

Also, they've named it "Music Downloads". In what universe do they think they're gonna be able to use that exclusively? It's like creating an operating system and calling it Windows. Oh... yeah.

The Wal-Mart service, called Music Downloads and located in a section of the company's Web site , sells individual songs for 88 cents each from a music catalog that has been expanded by 50 percent since the store went online in testing mode in December. Prices for entire albums vary.

[Cross-posted to TECHPopuli]

Posted by jghiii at 02:48 PM | Comments (4)

March 22, 2004

A nice place to visit...

The numbers don't lie.

Dave, my brother who ran away to live in Warren, Vermont (near Montpelier), sent along these crucial stats.

What do all these numbers mean?

6, 4, 2, 1, 2, 2....
1 inch.....


Six, the number of consecutive days it has snowed in

6, 4, 2, 1, 2, 2.... Inches of snow that has fallen each day for 6 days in a row

Seven, the temperature this morning when I got up...

17, the total snow fall for last week

Two..... the total calendar days of spring 2004

1 inch..... the size of the snow flakes falling Saturday afternoon.

Posted by jghiii at 11:01 AM | Comments (3)

Just call me expert

One of the most popular archive pages on this blog is a really brief report I wrote last summer about the fact that my brother had seen three moose during one of his hikes in Pawtuckaway State Park.

As a joke about the oddness of the word for more than one moose, I entitled the report "The Plural of Moose".

I never offered any opinion on what was the proper plural of this word. But in comments readers offered facts and opinions of all sorts.

Here's where it gets interesting, it seems that "what is the plural of moose?" is a question that haunts the net world. Every day I get many visitors to this site because they've typed "plural of moose" into Google, and Google generously sent them to me.

Every day, all the time.

I think there's money to be made satisfying this compelling cultural question.

Today I discover that I'm now being quoted as an authority on the question. On the Snowheads discussion forum, "A snowHead" has written, "...according to JackHodgson you may be wrong about the plural of Moose."

I'm now an expert on multiple moose. I wonder if this is how Martha Stewart got started?

Posted by jghiii at 10:12 AM | Comments (3)

March 21, 2004

Smitty is a babe

NH Native Stephanie Birkit is a regular on Late Night with David Letterman.

Union Leader:

Teatime with Tom Brokaw, hallway chats with George Clooney, dancing with John McEnroe and "hanging out with Dave" are not the usual exploits of a Plymouth High School grad.

"It seems like it must be happening to someone else, somebody who is more deserving of this," Birkitt said during a week off from the show. "It's so funny, almost like I'm living someone else's life.

"It's like I'm some goofball who made some sort of terrible mistake and I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop all of the time,"she said.

Posted by jghiii at 12:49 PM | Comments (0)

Oil, Cars, and Dockers

Wal-Mart will be listed at the top of the Fortune 500 when it is published next week. Yahoo!:

With sales of almost $259 billion — nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars — the late Sam Walton's global chain of general stores topped the list of the nation's largest publicly traded companies for the third straight year.

In addition to Wal-Mart, in the Fortune Top Ten, three are oil companies and two are car companies.

Posted by jghiii at 12:34 PM | Comments (0)

Pawtuckaway Ice-Out 2004

Here's a fun project that I've been working on this "spring".

Ice-Out 2004: Guessing when the ice cover will get down to 10% this year.

Posted by jghiii at 12:16 PM | Comments (0)

Sherm is so happy now

Well, after day one of the second round of March Madness, I am 4-4. 50%.

For someone who actually knows nothing about basketball, that's about what you'd expect. But when you realize that two of my losses are by a #1 and #2 seed, and that I should be at 6-2, well, I didn't do so bad at picking.

Posted by jghiii at 09:01 AM | Comments (0)

March 20, 2004

Million Dollars for doing nothing

Billionaire nerdy-geek Mark Cuban is coming to Boston to find people to be on his "reality" show, The Benefactor.

From his blog:

You know you want to...

Apply to be on my upcoming show The Benefactor. No special skills required, but we will put you in a pressure cooker with such potential tasks and challenges as playing solitaire and — for the more advanced contestants — our old favorite card game, war. For the speed freaks out there, you could win showing off your bumper car skills.

As you can tell, I’m up late at night coming up with challenges that work the mind, body and soul, individually, and in teams. More often than not, we will simply put you someplace interesting with something interesting going on, and see how you and all your new friends get along with a million bucks on the line.

If you are daring enough to be yourself on network television, here is how you apply.

Casting: The Benefactor, Open Calls/Application Information Open Auditions Set for Atlanta, Boise, Boston, Dallas and Las Vegas.

How would you like to win a million dollars? Billionaire businessman and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is set to give away a million bucks to a complete stranger. Why? Because he can. How will he decide? However he wants. One million. His rules. YOUR chance! Mark Cuban is “The Benefactor.”

Candidates can visit, keyword: casting, for information on how to apply and eligibility requirements.

Posted by jghiii at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)

Survivor All-Stars Notes - Ep#8

Posted after Ep #8, Mar 17, 2004. This post, and its comments, may contain spoilers....

>> Kathy's comments after returning from Reward: "They hugged me at Chapera." Is Kathy scheming to be transferred to Chapera?

>> Is Kathy the only player who wears glasses?

>> Logrolling Reward Challenge

>> Did Kathy hurt herself by not choosing good items?

>> Mogo Loses. Is Kathy betraying Mogo? Is it really obvious?

>> Rob and Amber.... eeeeuuuuuwwww! Will they betray one another? Will one of them sacrifice themself for the other. What's with the dorky piano music????

>> Immunity: Target Practice

>> Jeri's lame dart wins the round! Rob's lame arrow wins immunity!!!

>> Pretty lame target shooters. Only Jerri, Rupert and Rob made any contact. Chapera wins Immunity. Mogo goes to TC.

>> Ethan is pissed that Jerri gets to stay longer than him. I repeat: It's not about "winning" it's about "surviving"

>> At TC, Lex makes a big speech about how a #1 could win in final 2. What's that about if Ethan know he's gonna vote him off? Maybe it's Lex rationalizing voting Ethan out now.

>> Ethan voted off. Who did Kathy vote for?... She voted for Ethan.

>> All the past winners gone now. All #2s gone too. Three final fours remaining: Kathy, Lex and Tom. Africa finally blooded. Only "old friends" still together on a tribe: Alicia and Amber.

>> There are now 3 remaining original Mogas and 3 original remaining Sabogas

>> Tribes out of balance now, the "next week on Survivor" hints that they will shuffle the members to even the numbers. Will Amber and Rob get split?

>> Overall Survivor Note: I think that starting out with 3 tribes has really improved things. Made for more permutations, and more options for Mark/Jeff. I hope they keep it in Season 9.]


# Remaining from the Meta-Tribes

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

# Latest tribe lists

# Chapera (6 members)
Alicia 2-Australia 9th
Amber 2-Australia 6th
*Boston Rob 4-Marqesas 10th
*Tom 3-Africa 4th
*Rupert 7-Pearl Isl. 8th (was Saboga)
Jenna L. 1-Pulau Tiga 8th (was Saboga)

# Moga (4 members)
Kathy 4-Marqesas 3rd
Lex 3-Africa 3rd
Shii Ann 5-Thailand 10th
Jerri 2-Australia 8th (was Saboga)

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) (was Moga)

My S8 Status Page

Posted by jghiii at 08:36 AM | Comments (3)

It's Madness

Here are my picks for the winners in Round II:

Update: W=win L=loss

St Louis
1 Kentucky (L)
12 Pacific (L)
6 Boston College (L)
2 Gonzaga (L)
New Jersey
1 St Joe (W)
12 Manhatten (L)
6 Wisconsin (L)
2 OK State (W)
1 Duke (W)
5 Illinois (W)
6 NC (L)
2 Mississippi (L)
1 Stanford (L)
5 Syracuse (W)
3 NC State (L)
2 CT (W)

Posted by jghiii at 08:04 AM | Comments (0)

March 19, 2004

Oddly sweet, but weird.

This guy in India has married his grandmother.

He's 25, she's 80.

"I felt she needed extra care as she is old. I can look after her better as a husband than as a grandson," Narayan Biswas told Reuters.

Two things I find most notable about this:

First is that the Reuters story, described the woman as having, "a red vermilion streak on her forehead, the mark of a married Hindu woman." I'm thinking that maybe being able to show this mark is a comfort to her, so that's nice.

But also the story indicates that there's nothing perverse about this. It's just a guy trying to care for his grandmother. The story says. "Local officials say marrying a blood relation is illegal under the Hindu Marriage Act, but they have no plans to take action against the couple."

How civilized. Here in Ashcroft's America, this couple would be crucified by the government. But in India they've used discretion to do the right thing.

Posted by jghiii at 02:57 PM | Comments (4)

March 18, 2004

I lived, for now anyway

It was touch and go there for awhile, but I seem to be past the worst.

I went and dug the soup can out of the trash. There was no expiration date on it anywhere... so it must have been from just a few weeks ago, right?

Posted by jghiii at 09:02 PM | Comments (5)

iLife '84

iLife '84 "It's like Microsoft Works for the rest of your life."

Posted by jghiii at 09:00 PM | Comments (1)

A good hot lunch

I ate some really old soup for lunch.

It was in a can, isn't canned food supposed to last forever?

Anyway, I'm starting to feel a little queasy. If I die, you'll all know why.

Posted by jghiii at 04:50 PM | Comments (9)

Blog Geek Thing

As an exercise in learning RSS, I've created an RSS 2.0 feed for this blog. I'm hand coding the feed so it may occasionally be out of sync, or totally broken for that matter.

Bug reports, from those of you reading in an aggregator, are welcome c/o jack at da4 dot com.

The 2.0 feed is at, and is listed down in the right column.

Posted by jghiii at 01:01 PM | Comments (1)

March Madness

I'm not a big basketball fan, except for a few weeks in March, when I get into the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. It all starts today. 32 basketball games in the next two days. 16 games on Sat and Sun. More the next two weekends.

I really don't know much of anything about the teams this year -- well, any year for that matter -- so I'm gonna cheat and hold off on making selections until after the first round. Check back Sat AM for my picks.

But looking over the brackets, a couple of observations...

I'm looking pretty closely... and, I'm not finding Cal or UCLA. I see Stanford, and I'm even seeing Duke. What's up with that?

Posted by jghiii at 12:02 PM

Wal-Mart getting behind non-CRT TVs


Wal-Mart Stores will increase floor space dedicated to flat-panel TVs due to strong sales, another indication that this trend in televisions has momentum.

The retailing giant, which already is one of the largest outlets for consumer electronics worldwide, is in the midst of expanding its selection of liquid-crystal display TVs , plasma TVs and other types of digital sets, a representative said last week.

[Cross-posted to TECHPopuli]

Posted by jghiii at 10:05 AM | Comments (1)

Posted without comment

Photo: Boston MA, Thu, March 18, 2004

Posted by jghiii at 09:42 AM | Comments (7)

March 17, 2004

Pot of Silver at the end of the rainbow

I wish I was in Virginia City, Nevada today.

A few years back, a bunch of friends and I were on our annual retreat to a condo at Lake Tahoe. As most of the gang went off skiing, I took off on my own for a random, roadtrip.

I ended up on the other side of the hill, over in the Carson City, Nevada area, exploring the valley. I saw signs for "Virginia City".

I always thought VC was a made-up place, for the TV show Bonanza. So I followed the signs.

After heading out into the desert for about a half hour, the signs directed me off US-50, and up a windy road into the craggy, red/brown mountains.

As I approached the little downtown of Virginia City, the look of the place, and the signage along the road, had created a picture for me of a restored, old wild-west tourist town. Saloons, wooden raised sidewalks, sasparilla.

At the edge of town the main street was blocked, and traffic was diverted onto a parallel street. I got glimpses of crowds along the main street, and I heard "gunshots". Some sort of "gunfight at the OK corral" tourist attraction, I thought.

I parked and walked down a side street to the center of town. As I walked down the street a metamorphosis happened. It was kinda like when Dorothy first opened the door of her house in Oz. The colors changed from reds and browns, to lots of green.

There were shamrocks in the store windows, and "erin go bragh" signs all over. It was St. Patricks' Day in the wild west.

Can you say "cognitive dissonance"?

It seems that Virginia City was founded way-back-when, by three Irish Guys who were looking to strike it rich in the silver mines. The town has always celebrated St. Paddy's Day with enthusiasm. According to one explanation, their festivities are the second longest running in the US. Right behind Boston's.

Anyway, I stumbled into this thing, and it was a fun way to spend the day. A weird mismatch of the OK corral and pot-of-gold wielding leprechauns. With some Mark Twain mixed in for flavor, but that's another story.

So next time you are in western Nevada in mid March, or any time for that matter, drive on out to Virgina City. The countryside is magnificant, the history is fascinating, and they have green beer.

Posted by jghiii at 11:40 AM | Comments (6)


It's still snowing very lightly here in Boston. I've only been out to get the paper from the front yard, but I estimate that we got about 4 inches. But as I noted yesterday, it's well below melting. This snow will be here for a few days.

My brother up in NH must be in heaven. He'd given up on getting any more snowmobiling into this winter. Can you say, "sick day"?

Posted by jghiii at 10:15 AM | Comments (4)

Tonight, tonight

Just a reminder, Survivor All-Stars if on Wednesday this week. That's tonight.

Posted by jghiii at 09:52 AM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2004

Let's be clear

A BBC Poll, that's getting a lot of play on the net, says that the Iraqi people think things are better now than before the invasion. The Bush administration is gonna use this as proof that they were right all along.

Make sure you tell anyone who is confused, that the problem isn't that we threw out Saddam. The problem is that the president lied to us to get our support.


An opinion poll suggests most Iraqis feel their lives have improved since the war in Iraq began about a year ago.

The survey, carried out for the BBC and other broadcasters, also suggests many are optimistic about the next 12 months and opposed to violence.

Posted by jghiii at 06:02 PM | Comments (4)

Internet Maverick

I think Mark Cuban is an interesting guy. He struck it rich by founding, selling it to Yahoo!, and then cashing out before the crash. He bought the Dallas Mavericks basketball team where he's a court-side fixture. He started HDNet which is creating content for Hi Def TV. He's gonna be the subject of a "reality" show, called The Benefactor, where he gives aways money. And we heard in the news today that he's bought 6% of search engine

Well, he's started a blog. It's new, only three entries so far. But he has a history of being very vocal in email and the media. If he writes regularly, it will be juicy.

Posted by jghiii at 05:52 PM | Comments (1)

Campaign Infomercials

Mike Walsh wonders if maybe the Democrats should cancel the upcoming convention in Boston.

Ok, probably won't happen but maybe it should. 

Think about it.  What really is going to happen at the Boston Democratic convention other than a bunch of Democratic delegates running around with funny hats, getting drunk, tying up traffic and pissing off the locals.


Why not cancel the convention, and use the money to fund some useful Anti-Bush activity.  For example, fund a real facting finding mission to Iraq so Kerry can develop a concrete plan for reconstructing Iraq and getting the hell out of there.

Posted by jghiii at 12:58 PM | Comments (2)

This one's for Scott

Watching the cable news channels, we see that it's already snowing in NYC. The most discouraging thing about this spring storm is that, unlike the usual march snow, this one isn't gonna melt tomorrow.

The forecast is for the temps to stay at or below melting until the weekend. And it may actually even snow some more on Thursday.

The good news is that this will be the end of winter. By this time next week, this system will have moved out, and the warmer temps of "spring break" will take hold.

Posted by jghiii at 12:07 PM | Comments (3)

March 15, 2004

Survivor All-Stars Notes - Ep#7

Posted after Ep #7, Mar 11, 2004. This post, and its comments, may contain spoilers....

>> Great Shii Ann line: "I know every single thought that's in [Jerri's] brain cause its coming out of her mouth"

>> Could there be a player more clueless about the way she's seen than Jerri? She described herself as, "an uplifting member who is generally in a good mood and keeping spirits high."

>> The challenge happened very early in show. Whats up with that?

>> All smiles as they enter the challenge area. A big change from last week. Happy campers.

>> That's a change: combo reward/immunity, plus take an opponent with you and protect them from Tribal Council. Actually, taking someone with you on Reward is classic Survivor. A proven way to sow jealousy.

>> Rob didn't untie the paddles. He was way behind, Ethan should have won. But Ethan was struggling with untieing the final paddles. They didn't show much of Rob getting them free. But when he came out of the jungle first, the paddles were still tied together. He must have used the machette to cut them free.

>>Kathy is picked to go along on Reward. She is now suspect in her own tribe, and she knows it. But she is pretending to be happy to be there. Make the best of a bad situation.

>> Was Rob gas-lighting us by pretending to be a bad golfer? He fell down on his first swing. It was such a clumsy fall that it seemed fake to me. And he lost the driver into the ocean. He may have thought that this was foreshadowing a future challenge, and he didn't want to give anything away. Always playing.

>> Not only was the challenge early in the program, but the Reward trip went on forever. Unusual I think.

>> "Kathy fell into our trap" --Tom

>> Lex and Jerri still allied, against Colby.

>> Did Ethan say, "I take full responsibility" and "I dont want to lose to Rob..." These guys really are giving away a lot in Tribal Council.

>> Colby said it too.

>> Colby interrupted Jerri. What was that about?

>> "I'm good a putting puzzles together, I'm uplifting, always in a good mood. I have alot to offer." -- Clueless Jerri at TC.

>> The Lex-Jerri alliance is strong.

>> Africa still untouched... First season now down to one...

# Remaining from the Meta-Tribes
Pula Tiga 1 of 4
Australia 3 of 5
Africa 3 of 3
Marqesas 2 of 2
Thailand 1 of 1
Amazon 0 of 2
Pearl Isl. 1 of 1

Latest tribe lists

# Chapera (7 members)
Alicia 2-Australia 9th
Amber 2-Australia 6th
*Boston Rob 4-Marqesas 10th
*Tom 3-Africa 4th
*Rupert 7-Pearl Isl. 8th
Jenna L. 1-Pulau Tiga 8th

# Moga (6 members)
Kathy 4-Marqesas 3rd
Lex 3-Africa 3rd
Shii Ann 5-Thailand 10th
*Ethan 3-Africa 1st
Jerri 2-Australia 8th

Posted by jghiii at 08:22 PM | Comments (7)

Port Charles Massacre

I'm not sure if I have ever revealed this here before, but I am a General Hospital addict. I've been watching this ABC soap opera for like 25 years.

I record it every day, but I don't watch daily. I usually let them pile up, and then have personal GH marathons on an evening, or saturday morning.

Anyways, cause I let the eps pile up, I'm always about 2 - 4 weeks behind in watching the show.

For me, in the delayed storyline (3 weeks ago), there's just been a big fire in the PC landmark Port Charles Hotel. They did the whole Towering Inferno thing, with a bunch of socialites trapped at a penthouse party.

The whole 12 hour fire was stretched out over about two weeks of telecasts, but it's over now. The thing that's notable is that it was a bloodbath of killed characters. I'm talking about long-time, established, characters here. It's usually a pretty big deal when a soap kills an established character, and GH has three established characters die either in the fire, or in the aftermath.

They also teased us for a few days about two characters who where missing and presumed dead, but later showed up alive (no big surprise). And another character who is missing, but will eventually resurface.

Big changes. Must be new writers cleaning house.

Posted by jghiii at 07:20 PM | Comments (6)

March undecided

Mother Nature is not giving up easily. During the three hour drive home from Vermont last night my brother and I kept expecting the snow to taper off and stop. But everytime it would seem to be done, we'd drive into the heaviest snowfall of the drive.

It turns out that we were travelling WITH the storm as it moved southeast across northern New England. It was actually snowing harder in southern New Hampshire when we arrived than it had been in Vermont when we started.

Today was pretty nice back down here in Boston. It hit 50 degrees, sunny and bright. But the news is all a-flutter with a weather warning for a storm, tomorrow and Wednesday, that may drop as much as a foot of snow.

Gone East. Humbug!

Posted by jghiii at 06:53 PM | Comments (6)

March 13, 2004

Survivor All-Stars

Once again, I have watched the ep and will post my notes soon. Feel free to add your comments on the episode here.

Spoilers in comment, use caution.

Posted by jghiii at 12:42 PM | Comments (3)

Travel Day

Wow! That's the first time I've failed to post on a weekday in many months. It's just a sign of how weird things are in my life.

I seem to have moved into the season where I am on the road on many weekends. This week it's off to NH to attend the Nottingham Town Meeting, then on to Vermont for a day with my brother and his family.

Posted by jghiii at 12:41 PM | Comments (4)

March 11, 2004

Survivor All-Stars Notes, Finally - Ep#6

Posted after Ep #6, Mar 4, 2004. This post, and its comments, may contain spoilers....

People have been asking me what happened to the notes I promised for last weeks Survivor. Well, two things...

First of all I lost the piece of paper that I took my notes on while watching the ep. So I've been dragging my feet until it turned up. It has.

Second, and more seriously. People's reactions to this episode, in my comments area, and out in the world, have been pretty intense. I was a little reluctant to check-in with my wise-ass comments for fear that I'd say something stupid and reveal myself as the shallow... guy... that I am.

But I've thought about the whole thing a lot. And I've decided to throw caution, and common sense, to the wind.

Let's talk about the unserious parts of the ep first, then I'll talk about "the thing" later. Maybe you'll get bored and not read that far, and I'll be spared from this self-destructive act.

Some things I jotted on my scrap of paper:

>> In the recap of last week's tribal council, I noticed that Richard was wearing one of those hiking kilts. I wonder how much placement $$ he got for that?

>> Early on, when Rupert was talking about Sue's distress, he said, "she could have said 'foul' and she didn't."

I wonder if THAT is the safe word. Are the players told they can call FOUL and some process will kick in?

>> Jerri and Lex forming an alliance?

>> Rob/Rupert/Amber/Jenna agree among themselves that they have created a final-four alliance. Has one of these ever worked?

>> My sister caught the fact that the conversation between Colby and Shii Ann was shown out of sequence. Shii Ann is eating an orange, but they didn't get the fruit until after Reward. Is this conversation different when in the context that Sue has already left?

>> The Goodies Catapult Reward. Note that Jenna was the one who wanted to sit down and share, but she was shouted down by the others.

"Let's Play. Let's have some fun" they all said.

Mogo wins. Chapera is struggling to survive all these blows. They really must be reeling from all the setbacks.

>> The incident and Sue's departure.

In my notes, while Sue was suffering at the camp and on the beach, I wrote, "Sue's distress seems genuine and is disturbing. It's as if she has been raped."

One can go through all the physical evidence (really, no pun intended), and hash through what actually happened. But I think Sherm's entertainment guy had it right. "The point is, to Sue, it WAS a big deal."

And she should be treated with care and respect. It seems from what we saw that Jeff and Co. did that. I hope they really did.

I'm also glad, from the description of the interview with Sue and Richar, that she seems to have reached some peace about this. I hope that's real too, and that it sticks.

As for Hatch, I hope he doesn't take too much heat for this.

While it's right that Sue be treated and helped for what, to her, was a very real, and damaging, sexual harrassment. I don't think that Richard committed a sexual harrassment.

I think he knew that he was being outrageous, and he was certainly taunting her, and continueing his strategy of using his nudity as a way of adding confusion into the game. But I don't think he had any idea it would be so hurtful, and I don't believe he would have done it if he did.

On the Early Show he said, "We have a perspective of Sue Hawk as, you know, super tough… And I learned something: You know, she's a sensitive person. And afterwards, it really, really, got to her. It just started to really, really, get to her. It was emotional."

And finally, the critical reaction of some players afterwards. Very disappointing.

With any other matter, it would be a near certainty that the producers would be emphasizing this kind of bad behaviour in the editing. It adds to the drama of the show.

As I was watching, I was convinced that the editing was not skewed. I believed that the editors would not mess around with such a sensitive issue, especially considering the possible repercussions on these people when they come back to the world.

Now, a week later, I'm not so sure. The editors might have blown out of proportion, the bad attitudes, of a few. I don't know, we'll see.

But I *AM* certain, that a battle line has been drawn between at least some of the women, and at least some of the men. Will the women use this as a rallying point, to take revenge on the badly behaving, or maybe all, men?

What with Sue's trauma, and Jenna's mom, this season of Survivor has gotten a little too "real" for me. I'm hoping that we can now get back to some good-old-fashioned conspiring and backstabbing. "Let's have some fun."

Posted by jghiii at 01:14 PM | Comments (4)

Contemplating the radish

Ed Cossette:

It's no wonder that in Dickson's Baseball Dictionary the term radish is defined as "the baseball." I haven't heard this myself, but my guess is it harkens back to an earlier time, a time before supermarkets featuring produce that never is out of season, a time when the radish wasn't an afterthought, wasn't just another something to consume, but was the first crop out of the garden and the first fresh item at the local market after a long, hard winter of canned foods and salty meats. Like baseball, the radish each season would arrive just when you needed it most, just when you can't bear to see another flake of snow.

Posted by jghiii at 06:58 AM | Comments (0)

March 10, 2004

Seemed like a good idea at the time.... NOT.

What was she thinking??? AP via Yahoo!:

COVINGTON, Ga. - A woman was caught trying to use a fake $1 million bill to buy $1,675 worth of merchandise at a Wal-Mart, and was later found with two more of the bills in her purse, police said.

Posted by jghiii at 01:23 PM | Comments (10)

Improving Tradeshows

I'm a little late to the game in pointing to this piece by Doc Searls. But let me add my support for his ideas. seems to me that this whole industry could benefit from the same open-source value system and development methods that caused the growth of Linux and the Net.

In that spirit, I'd like to share the best of what I've learned from the best of the tradeshows I've attended over the last few years. Here goes...

[Cross-posted to TECHPopuli]

Posted by jghiii at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

March 09, 2004

Forty Years Later

Boston Dirt Dogs have this riveting (a little long, but riveting) memorial to Red Sox Legend Tony Conigliaro. Like Kelly, I've aways had strong sense of the tragedy of Tony C's lost career.

Shaun L. Kelly :

Tony settles into his familiar stance, his bat cocked, his coffee eyes staring out assertively at the pitcher. A fastball is tossed at the catcher's tattered glove. As soon as the sphere is delivered, Conig's vigorous eyes become wide ovals as the ball whistles towards the strike zone. He swings with the panache of a bullfighter; his bat strikes the red numbers on his back as he completes his stroke. In less than a second, Dad and I quickly rise from our blue seats as the white ball make its way towards Lansdowne Street. In the last moment of my life, all would be finally right with the world.

Posted by jghiii at 01:52 PM | Comments (0)

It's not just me.

Gone East comments regular Beth H, from Southern New Hampshire, reported via email:

...we now have about 2 inches of wretched, freaking snow again.

Posted by jghiii at 11:46 AM | Comments (11)

March 08, 2004

This is a fine mess you've gotten us into.

Ted Williams' son died the other day. Very sad. This cartoon, which I found on the Boston Dirt Dogs website, is a little bit in poor taste, but it made me smile. [Click the pic for entire image.]

Posted by jghiii at 05:23 PM | Comments (1)


I love measuring things. I just stepped outside and measured the snow. From 1/2 to 2 inches. Most spots were 1 inch.

I love measuring things.

Posted by jghiii at 04:29 PM | Comments (3)

Survivor All-Stars

By the way, I have watched last week's Survivor. Soon I'll write up my notes. But feel free to post your own comments anytime.

Warning: There may be spoilers in comments.

Posted by jghiii at 12:16 PM | Comments (18)

Still Winter

We woke up in Boston this morning to a light fall of snow. We've been pretty spoiled over the past few weeks by the nice, pre-spring weather. But now it's been snowing lightly since daylight.

It's not too cold. It never went below freezing here in Boston. In fact, it's been above 32F now since Feb 29. Eight days. Nice. But it's forecast to drop below freezing tonight. So winter isn't over quite yet.

Posted by jghiii at 12:14 PM | Comments (1)

LA Law meets Sleeper

Premieres next week. A Lawyer show set in the year 2030. Interesting. Future technology in court.

The world has passed through some harrowing experiences, like the Brentwood Quake and the war in Iran, but in 2030 things look pretty bright. The world is more interconnected than ever before, thanks to high-resolution holographic projections beamed across the fiberoptic net and scramjets that make weekend trips to other continents commonplace.

Posted by jghiii at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)

March 07, 2004

Like T-Ball

During Spring Training we don't keep score.

Posted by jghiii at 05:20 PM | Comments (0)

March 05, 2004

It's a great visual

I don't know why, but this site made me think of Gone East pal Jo Ann M.

On this website, you will meet a unique community of individuals who love to skip! Yes, skip, as in leaping happily down the street...whether for joy, for fun, or for fitness.

Posted by jghiii at 02:32 PM | Comments (5)

Gotta Love Him

Harvard Crimson:

Strutting onto stage in a sparkling white dress adorned with feathers and a blonde curly wig, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, hairy legs and all, added “drag queen” to his eclectic resume at last night’s Hasty Pudding show.

Posted by jghiii at 01:43 PM | Comments (2)

Leaning Tower

Yet another thing that SteveG and Sherm have in common. "Prince Restaurant, on Route 1 in Saugus, has the best pizza on the North Shore."

Posted by jghiii at 11:56 AM | Comments (1)

If cats and dogs could blog

Maybe Maxie (a cat) should get the next blog grant.

Joy of Tech cartoon:

Cat: Mouse, your days are numbered.
Dog: Master!!? Where did you go?

Posted by jghiii at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

March 04, 2004

It doesn't really matter, but...

The Red Sox won their first exhibition game of the Spring.... oh, and the Yankees lost.

Posted by jghiii at 09:57 PM | Comments (0)


Today is a big day here in beantown.

Posted by jghiii at 11:13 AM | Comments (0)

March 03, 2004


Ted Parrish, a stock analyst appearing on CNBC, just named Steve Jobs as a possible successor for Michael Eisner at Disney.

Posted by jghiii at 02:27 PM | Comments (2)

Google testifies before the Supreme Court

I'm not talking about Google execs, or employees, or representatives. I mean the Google search engine gave testimony.

The article didn't actually say that it was Google. But recreating the search on a handful of the major search engines, and Google is the only one that produces a result close to "6,230,000 sites available". And in any event it was still a piece of software that gave the answer.

This is sort of like a version of the Turing Test. The Google system was asked a question, and its answer became part of the court's record.

Boston Globe:

...[US Solicitor General Theodore B.] Olson told the [U.S. Supreme Court] justices yesterday, he typed in those two words ["free porn"] in a search engine, and found that "there were 6,230,000 sites available."

The top lawyer who represents the Bush administration before the Supreme Court said the search's results illustrate how pornography on websites "is increasing enormously every day," a central point in his argument for saving an antipornography law that was enacted six years ago but has yet to go into effect.

Olson also described a second Web search he performed by typing in "disable filter." He said he got "a screenful of step-by-step ways to dismantle" software to block explicit websites.

I don't know what the evidence rules for the Supreme Court are, but on The Practice that would be hearsay, I think.

[Cross-posted to TECHPopuli]

Posted by jghiii at 10:27 AM | Comments (0)

March 02, 2004

NH Rocks!

I want to hear what Sherm has to say about this.

AP via Yahoo!:

KILLINGTON, Vt. - Voting with a thunderous "aye," residents endorsed a plan Tuesday for this ski-resort town to secede from Vermont and become a part of New Hampshire instead.

The overwhelming voice vote opened the next chapter in what could be a long and costly push to join New Hampshire, 25 miles to the east.

Posted by jghiii at 11:04 PM | Comments (4)

Super Tuesday

As I wrote before, I'm still technically a NH resident, so I cast my primary ballot a month ago. But today is primary day in my two other home states: Massachusetts and California.

Wherever you live, get out and vote. As "Sally and the Suffragettes" said, "No matter who you vote for, make sure you vote."

Posted by jghiii at 11:51 AM | Comments (8)

There are those of us who love it...

Adam Gaffin's Boston Blogs site is taking some fire for being unattractive. I don't agree. I think it's fine. Good information, easily accessed.

Don't get me wrong, I admire clever and attractive design as much as the next guy. But it's a big mistake to equate quality with whizzy graphics.

A big story in the past few days was the Pew study which found that over 40% of people have put information on the web. That's a really good thing. But if we set the bar up at "award winning design" people will stop posting. That would be bad.

It's about the information, presented accurately, and usefully.

Pretty is OK too.

By the way, the guy taking shots at Adam has a blog that is tiny, tiny, white type on a black background. So why is he criticising? And of the two site this guy offers as examples, the SF Bay Area site is, admittedly, very nice, but the LA one is nothing to write home about, design-wise.

[PS. swell prize to anyone who knows the origin of the quote I used in the title.]

[PS2. I like the subway map idea.]

Posted by jghiii at 11:42 AM | Comments (10)

Sublime fragrance

So I'm not the only one to notice this. Although I have always resisted the impulse to talk about it in public. Bri:

The reason I always serve asparagus to guests is that it is often the catalyst for reviving dinner conversation gone slow. Just when talk gets to wearing thin about kids, pets and jobs, I like to chime in with a "Can you smell it?"

Most everyone goes “Smell what?” And then I know I've got them.

[Thanks Boston Common]

Posted by jghiii at 11:25 AM | Comments (0)

Special Prosecutor?

Followup to "government deception".

Adam Gaffin is confident that the walk/don't walk buttons here in Boston do, in fact, work as advertised. Personally, I think an investigation is called for.

Posted by jghiii at 11:15 AM | Comments (2)

Government Deception of the highest order

We need a Consititutional Amendement to prohibit this kind of government misbehaviour.

New York Times:

For years, at thousands of New York City intersections, well-worn push buttons have offered harried walkers a rare promise of control over their pedestrian lives. The signs mounted above explained their purpose:

To Cross Street
Push Button
Wait for Walk Signal
Dept. of Transportation

Millions of dutiful city residents and tourists have pushed them over the years, thinking it would help speed them in their journeys. Many trusting souls might have believed they actually worked. Others, more cynical, might have suspected they were broken but pushed anyway, out of habit, or in the off chance they might bring a walk sign more quickly.

As it turns out, the cynics were right.

Posted by jghiii at 09:45 AM

Sadie Hawkins redux

Apparently I was mistaken when I referred to Feb 29 as Sadie Hawkins Day. The folks at checked in to tell us that, although it is a somewhat irregular event, Sadie Hawkins Day is most usually held in November.

Well there you go ladies, you get another chance this year to capture all my goodness.

Posted by jghiii at 09:33 AM | Comments (2)

March 01, 2004

BloggerConII Session Idea

David Pinto has this suggestion for a BloggerConII session. I'm not sure if he is serious, but I actually think it's a really interesting idea.

The Yankees are in town that weekend, so if enough baseball bloggers show up, we can skip out on the afternoon session and watch the game (or better still, have a session where we watch the game and talk about how we can blog it).

Maybe a little more generic, blogging live sports.

Posted by jghiii at 07:17 PM | Comments (0)

Boston Photobloggers

Gone East pal Steve Garfield has started a new site:

If you've got a Boston area based photo blog, send me a note and I'll put up a link. When we get enough people signed up, I'll plan a get together so we can share tips, show photos, teach each other and have fun.

Posted by jghiii at 06:05 PM | Comments (0)