Sunday, July 26, 2009

Down On Muddy’s Farm

Ahh, there’s nothing like catching up with old friends at a backyard blues jam on a warm summer night.

My old friend Mike had another one of his classic summer bashes this weekend, and it was really great to see him and a pretty large cross section of the people I grew up with, as well.

Mike, or Muddy, as we affectionately call him, is a special guy. One of those guys that stays in touch with everyone. I guess you could say he’s the linchpin of our old social circle. Matter of fact, if it wasn’t for Mike, I think I’d lose touch with everyone. I get so tied up with family, work and chores these days that I just can’t seem to find the time to hook up with any of my old friends, and I’ve lost track of at least half of them. I kind of stopped going to my high school reunions, mainly because the narrow channel of “just people in my graduating class” doesn’t represent how we really interacted. My crowd was into music, the blues specifically, and the old crew was spread across a few classes. Mike takes the time to find all of us, and drag our scraggly butts out of the house, and he can usually persuade our local blues band to make an appearance for a set or two.

So, it was great to see everybody and catch up. There were so many friendly faces to get reacquainted with that the time just flew by, and The Bluehemians were spectacular, as always. I just can’t get enough of their funky stuff! Thanks guys, I know it takes a lot of effort and schedule rearranging.

Good food, good music, good conversation. Good times. Thanks Mike!

The Summer Of A Thousand Beaches

All the rain we’ve had this spring and summer (if you can even call them that) has gotten me thinking about a summer a few years back that was really special to me. Whenever I think back on it, or reminisce about it with my wife, I refer to it as (cue the deep voiced announcer…) “The Summer Of A Thousand Beaches”.

Ok, so maybe it wasn’t really a thousand beaches that we visited that summer, and for that matter, maybe it wasn’t technically limited to the traditional June, July and August summer months, but there were a lot of them, and it was always summer where we were that year.

The year was 2001, and it was one of those serendipitous years where everyone was happy and healthy, and family, work and vacations all blended together perfectly to put us into a 7 month summer cycle. The cycle started in late February with our annual visit with my Dad in Fort Myers (baseball and beaches!). After a brief stop at home for clean skivvies, we were off to the left coast. Back to base camp again, and then off to Miami and points south. Home once again, just in time to kick off our New England summer.

Here are the beaches we hit, in chronological order, no less:

Gulf Coast

Sanibel/Captiva Island
Fort Myers Beach
Lovers Key


Venice Beach
Santa Monica
Will Rodgers Beach
Point Dume
Zuma Beach


South Beach
Key Biscayne
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo
Long Beach, Rockport
Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester
Katama/South Beach, Edgartown
Joseph Silvia State Beach, Oak Bluffs
Tisbury Town Beach
Menemsha Public Beach
Lobsterville Beach
Nahant Beach
Lynn Beach
Salem Willows

The above are just the beaches we actually walked, sat and swam at, there were many more that summer that we either had dinner overlooking, or just gazed at from the parking areas or highways.

You’re probably thinking “This guy must have been a baked potato after the first couple of weeks”. Nope. We’re not out early; lay on the beach kind of people. Working, visiting or sightseeing came first, with the beaches as a late afternoon treat, and sunscreen and hats were essential to all our journeys.

We really enjoy ending our day surrounded by the beauty and majesty of the ocean. Nothing can make you so conscious of what a very small piece of the world’s puzzle you are as the roaring ocean, and it really helps to drain away all the tensions of our days.

Come on ’09, give it up. I’m losing precious time…

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Where's All Da Food?

O yah, da stoopid hoomans haz sent back some foter grafs. theyse down at da bottom of da page in a slide show.

hurry back hoomans, and bringz food!

da katz

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Summer Redux

Yeah, the water is cold but I've been in
Baby, lose the laundry and jump on in
I mean all God's children got skin
And it's summer again

James Taylor "Summer's Here"

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Ask And Thou Shalt Receive: iPhone 3.1 Released In Beta

I guess Apple listens to us, cause they've just released iPhone 3.1 in beta to developers.

It promises a few more goodies, and hopefully a few fixes. Apple is mum on the subject so far, but info is trickling out from the developer community. Stay posted...

iPhone OS3: Gotta Have It, Gonna wait.

Apple’s long awaited iPhone OS3 is out, and although I really want to download and install it right now, I’ve decided to hold off for a while.

The reason? In a word; vacation.

Yup, I’m a chicken. I’ve already got my digital bags packed, so to speak, and I’m not taking any chances this late in the game. My 2nd gen Touch has podcasts, videos, games, and most importantly, a boat load of music on it, plus all of my contacts and personal email accounts. This will be my first “downtime only” trip in a long while, and there’s no way I’m brickin’ that thing just before I leave.

There are always initial problems with any new iTunes or iPod upgrade, and here’s why: There’s no way on Earth for Apple to test on every possible configuration out there, because there’s just too many of them.

Different computer platforms with different operating systems at different version levels, running different apps (also with different version levels), coupled with different iPod models running different apps (also at different version levels!), makes almost every iPod user unique, and creating a one size fits all product for them is a mind boggling task.

The trick is to hold off until Apple has time to address all the little glitches that surface after a major release. It would be a double upgrade for me. First, I’d have to upgrade to iTunes 8.2.23, then iPhone OS3.

In Apple’s iPod Touch discussions thread there are 163 pages of user comments regarding problems with WiFi signal strength and speed after upgrading.

In the iTunes discussions thread there are 83 pages of comments regarding iTunes not recognizing both iPhone and Touch devices after upgrade.

So, while downloading movies via WiFi, or playing the iPod through the car’s stereo via Bluetooth would be very welcome additions on a road trip, I’m going to pass for now. Last minute problems would really harsh my vacation mellow, and that just wouldn’t do.

That is all.