Posts tagged with "Boston MA"
Friday, March 30, 2007 5:34:00 PM
The o-ring of my Bialetti moka express maker changed shaped last night. It's no longer usable. For a few month it had been "moribund" but usable. And I *used* it. Average of 3 pots per day.
I have had this Bialetti coffee maker for 2 years, now. I got is second (at least) hand, in New-Zealand, early in the trip.
I am attached to this coffee maker, for a number of reasons. So I will resume looking for a spankin' new o-ring. Last time I tried, a few months ago, I wasn't so successful. I almost purchased a whole set in the shop of a purveyor of Italian goods and delicacies in Roslindale. They didn't have the 4-cup model. Otherwhise I'd have got it just for the ring.
Update:I found o-rings in France, I brought them with me, and I'm happy to report they fit perfectly. I think it's neat.
Sunday, March 18, 2007 4:55:10 AM
Amy and I mentioned inner worlds in a conversation the other day. Mine has music as a background. It is pretty much like the outer world, I reckon. Well, no, scratch this. It's messier.
My inner world has loads of samples of music. When I stop and think about it, I can pinpoint what song, or what melody. And I can trace why this particular one is in my head, most of the time. There is something else than music. There are sounds. Sounds that I heard. They repeat in my head until another sound worth of being repeated takes over. They are jingles. They can be short sentences too. Either ones I've just heard, or ones that I constructed myself. Either I'm practicing my side of the conversation in my head, or it's just my thoughts or bits of my thoughts that play. I move on to thinking about something else, or doing something else, and if I pause, a jingle is still playing. It's not bothering me.
But there are occasions when this is bothering me. For example, when I'm under stress and I'd love to focus on something else than the music or the jingle. Impossible. It's as though the volume is turned all the way up, and any thinking relevant to the conversation or situation at hand is banned from the setting.
In an effort to put a name on this tendency to reproduce jingles and sentences or play them in my heard, I looked up the "symptoms". The closest I found was echolalia.
Echolalia: The involuntary parrotlike repetition (echoing) of a word or phrase just spoken by another person. Echolalia is a feature of schizophrenia (especially the catatonic form), Tourette syndrome, and some other disorders. From echo + the Greek lalia, a form of speech.
In a book by Robert J. Waldinger, "Psychiatry for Medical Students", the part on "Thought Process" ( chapter four, "The Mental Status Examination") is particularly interesting. I think perseveration applies to me.
Rate and flow of idea. Patients frequently use the term racing thoughs to describe being flooded with ideas and unable to keep up with them. This condition is often seen with anxiety as well as in those with psychosis (e.g. mania, schizophrenia.)
Circumstantiality involves thinking that is indirect in reaching a goal or getting to the point. This style is common in obsessional people and in schizophrenic patients.
Blocking is a sudden obstruction or interruption on the spontaneous flow of thought, perceived by the patient as an absence or deprivation of thought. It is seen in patients with schizophrenia and in those with severe anxiety states.
Perseveration is the tendency to emit the same verbal response again and again to varied stimuli. This may range from constant repetition of one word or phrase (e.g. "night and day, night and day, night and day...") to an inabilit to shift fhe focus of conversation away from one particular topic.
Other abnormalities of though process. Abnormalities of thought process may include the following:
Neologisms are new words or condensations of several words that are not readily understood by others. This disturbance is seen in patients with schizophrenia and organic brain syndromes (e.g. a paranoid man used "plickening" to mean "the plot thickens").
Word salad is a jumble of words and phrases lacking comprehensive meaning or logical coherence. It is characteristic of patients with schizophrenia.
Echolalia is a parrotlike repetition of another person's speech. It is observed in patients with mania, among other disorders."
Now I'd love to hear about others' inner worlds :)
Thursday, March 15, 2007 6:56:51 PM
Talladega nights is an awesome movie. Amy and I watched it again last night. Sacha Baron Cohen is fantastic.
I wanted to blog about it and at the same time I didn't want to, considering my previous entry involves NASCAR. I wouldn't want people to start thinking I'm a NASCAR fan. I am not a NASCAR fan. I'll admit this just one thing: I like to drive fast and I like to think I do that well.
My favourite lines:
Ricky Bobby: Dear 8 pounds 6 ounces baby Jesus, new born, not even spoken a word yet.
Ricky Bobby: Dear little baby Jesus, who's sittin' in his crib watchin the Baby Einstein videos, learnin' 'bout shapes and colors. I would like to thank you for bringin' me and my moma together, and also that my kids no longer sound like retarded gang-bangers.
Jean Girard: [drinking from a small cup while driving his race car and being bumped from the back] you spilled my macchiato.
Ricky Bobby: Really, smarty-pants? What did French land give us?
Jean Girard: We invented democracy, existentialism, and the blowjob.
Herschell: Yeah? Well we invented the missionary position... You're welcome.
I'm not spoiling it anymore for you. It's hilarious, really. Well, just this one thing: I don't think you can win a race in reverse, even in the US and A.
Monday, March 12, 2007 4:26:56 AM
At brunch today (yeah, we indulged), I saw a commercial for nascar on ESPN. My reaction was "shake and bake!". Amy's reaction, after "hah!", was to wonder about the waste of fuel it was to have cars drive in circle. I couldn't argue. Amy said "you're going to say it's awesome". Yeah. I said it was a race and that the tracks were not always circles; some are oval (boring) others have curves. Pretty lame argument.
I said it had never occured to me before what a waste of fuel races were.
Later in the day I was indulging in a nap (it was a day of indulgence) and as I was drifting toward slumber, I had a mental image of a crowd of car racing spectators. The image changed to that of an arena filled with a crowd of roman gladiatorial games spectators.
In my half asleep state, I was likening nascar and gladiator fights. Further thoughts brought the following: it's still better to waste fuel than execute wild animals, slaves or criminals.
At which point, I thought I really needed to sleep.
[All about NASCAR and Gladiators on Wikipedia.]
Wednesday, March 7, 2007 5:06:38 AM
It was really cold today. Cold and windy. 8F/-13C. And it felt like -13F/-25C. But it was sunny. It's possible the coldest weather I've ever experienced. It had to be noted.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007 9:11:00 PM
I swear I knew what I was going to blog about, mere moments ago. I was only missing the title. I knew I had several things to list. /me scratches head, looks confused. Damn, I should make a better use of twitter.
I could blog about ADD, mind you. Note the absence of H; "Hyperactivity" seems preposterous as far as I'm concerned.
Now, where was I?...
I wanted to share the irony of this Temperature Monitor program that I use and that seems to simply stop when the temperature exceeds a certain threshold (in this case, it was 83C/181F for the CPU A Temperature Diode). How dumb is that?
Also, I note that I have yet to hear the fans of my MacBook Pro.
There was something else...
Oh well, it probably wasn't that important. My minibreak time is up anyway.
Saturday, February 17, 2007 3:36:03 PM
I was in London, headed to Los Angeles to hop on a flight to San Jose, California. It was a 19 hour trip, with 15 more to go. I stayed in California less than two days. I walked a bit (as a rule, I walk to the meeting venue), I scribed 1.5 day of meeting (a little less than 1200 lines in the IRC logs, a little more than 13000 words), I happily met with a friend and his wife that I hadn't seen in a while.
The next batch of flights didn't go so uneventfully. The flight from San Jose to Las Vegas was delayed by almost an hour. A shame since I had a shortish connection to make it to the Boston flight. So we landed mere minutes after the Las Vegas - Boston flight had left. The good thing was that I was were my suitcase was. I spent an hour in the America West customer assistance line, wondering where my legendary luck was and reflecting on how worse it could have been without the said luck. A very helpful lady booked me on a Delta flight to Boston. I had 5 hours to wait.
I walked from the airport to Las Vegas, at dusk, camera in hand. It was interesting. There aren't a lot of people on their own in Las Vegas. (How mundane is that, for a comment?) I purchased a few gifts that I ended up misplacing on the next day, unfortunately. I took a few photos that turned out blurry; somehow the selector of my camera was on Manual Focus... I had a gourmet dinner at Wendy's. And I walked back to the airport. It took 45 minutes. Only to find out that the 10:10 pm flight was delayed... "Est. 12:45 am". Oh well...
I walked through security at 12:15 am. I was selected for further screening. They patted me down (and didn't find the lighter in my left back pocket). They opened my bags, my computer, ran their sample pads on my jacket, on my shoes, detected explosives, ran some more sample pads on my shoes, x-rayed them again and eventually let me go. I was late by that time. I took the monorail to the gates, ran to gate D41 and boarded at the last minute. It would have been pretty ironic to miss that one. I arrived in Boston 9 hours after schedule. And my suitcase had made it.
I'm back in Boston for 3 months. Yay!
Friday, December 8, 2006 4:49:32 AM
One week left and then I travel back to France. Living in Boston is fun. I drank more caramel macchiatos and cafe' mochas than I hoped I would, I didn't have any pretzel and I didn't post as many photos to flickr as I had hoped I would. I had very good clam chowders and got to try the Stata Center ping pong table just 2 days ago.
I really had a *wonderful* time, and I wish I can return soon.
When I think there is just one week left, I feel like diving on the bed, burying my face in a pillow, and pretend that this truth does not exist. This reference is from the movie "The Science of Sleep". The main character breaks into his neighbour's apartment and she shows up so unexpectedly that he just dives on her bed, hides his face in her pillow and asks her to pretend she doesn't see him.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006 5:03:38 AM
Happy thanksgiving, folks!
I'm off for a few days to experience my first Thanksgiving celebration. And I have to earn it by waking up at 5 am tomorrow, taking a flight, and being driven (and maybe drive) for about 3 hours.
Then I'll travel again, for work. Next Saturday. Through Chicago and to Tokyo. I've been there already 3 years ago, it doesn't seem so long ago, though.
And the week after I'm back in Boston for 10 days.
I'd like it if time just stopped, in fact. Right now would be good, since I'm going to bed in a few minutes ;)
Wednesday, November 15, 2006 10:46:06 PM
All is well that ends well.
Or rather, so far so good.
I picked up the newspaper this morning for the T ride and next to the sudoku game is the horoscope. Here's what I read:
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) Lady Luck is working on your behalf in repayment of your latest efforts.
And I told Amy,
"Amy! DHL are to deliver the Precious back to me today. That horoscope means the Precious will be fixed for good, now!"
She said something like,
and she nodded and smiled (gracious and kind friend I have here!). So I added,
"yes, dear, yes..."
"it's written in the newspaper and it's the truth. You'll see."
I'm making that up because I don't remember what we said. There was a lot of joking around this. Anyway. DHL just delivered the Precious and it boots!
It has a spanking new logic board (I haven't seen it for myself, mind you) and they removed a bad part (non-apple-branded RAM that my sysadmin purchased and installed a long while ago, and that they didn't return).
I don't believe in horoscopes, by the way.
Why? Simply because the odds that DHL delivered my Precious to all the Leos of the world are pretty pretty slim.
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