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arrow-left March-April 2005

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Books Films Music Plays Travels

March 1, 2005

Film: (DVD) Dirty War

March 2, 2005

Jury duty

This is the third time I've been called for jury duty, and I've had a trial each time. Unlike many people, I actually look forward to the experience, which I generally find rewarding and interesting.

This time I was called to the new Cambridge Juvenile Court. In fact, this was the first jury trial to be conducted there.

The case itself was rather ridiculous, involving a petty theft in a high school, the sort of thing that really should have been handled administratively.

March 3, 2005

eBook: So Long and Thanks for all the Fish Douglas Adams

Film: (DVD) The Terminal

An enjoyable comedy, with Tom Hanks as a "man without a country" stranded in Kennedy Airport. Good fun.

March 10, 2005

Film: (DVD) Nell

Jodie Foster

********** Harriet off to Florida, I'm batching it for a few days.

My new computer finally arrived! It's a 20 inch iMac, with 1.25 gb of memory and a 250 GB drive. It is quite wonderful, and I also got the Bluetooth package with it (wireless keyboard and mouse.) Not sure, in retrospect that these were really all that worthwhile, especially the mouse which is just a single button mouse. I rather miss the scroll wheel and side buttons of my Microsoft wired mouse.

Now that I have a good desktop machine at home, I am leaving the PowerBook at the shop, instead of schlepping it back and forth on my bike. It is almost 3 years old, and the Applecare protection will expire this fall, so I figure it is a lot safer to avoid transporting it by bike so often. It is also very nice to ride without the weight of the computer, and without needing to carry the big Carradice saddlebag every day. I've been increasingly taking circuitous routes home to get some mileage, and it is a lot more pleasant without the laptop.

Instead of the laptop, I have put all of my active files in a single folder, about 5 gb worth, which I synchronize with my iPod at each end of my commute. This system works really well.

March 12, 2005

Some years back I built a set of shelves for the living room, sized for audio cassettes. However, I'm pretty much getting out of cassettes these days, so I took the shelves apart and re-aranged them to hold CDs. Took a couple of big bags of cassettes to the library, dumped 'em in the "magazine swap" bin. They went fast, glad to see them going to somebody who has use for them. Most of them were dubs of CDs or vinyl, and I knew I'd never listen to them again. I did keep all of the cassettes I had made from concert broadcasts, which is quite a few. I'm well situated especially for recording Boston Sym-phony broadcasts, and have quite a good collection. These days I record directly from a tuner to my computer's hard disc, no more tape to deal with!

March 20, 2005

St. Patrick's Day

Rode the Quickbeam in to South Boston to watch the St. Patrick's Day parade. Good to have a green bike for this!


March 21, 2005

Film: (DVD) The Day After Tomorrow

Some say the world will end in fire, some in ice. This one says ice.

March 22, 2005

Auditioned for the Summer Revels.

Film: (DVD) Luther

A pretty good biopic of Martin Luther.

March 23, 2005

Film: (DVD) Michael Collins

Second time I've seen this. Good bicycle stuff, especially the "ride-by" shooting on the church steps.

March 25, 2005

Film: (DVD) Open Water

Two SCUBA divers accidentally abandoned in the open sea. Well acted, with interesting camera work, but very gloomy.

March 26, 2005

Film: (DVD) Kind Hearts and Coronets

A classic British comedy from Ealing Studios, with a young Alec Guiness playing 8 roles.

March , 2005


March 27, 2005

Nice 36 miler on the Quickbeam, out through Dover, got lost in Medfield and Sherbourn, but found Rt 27, took that to 16 and home. Listened to Rimsky-Korsakov's Sadko on the iPod. About 40 degrees. My longest fixed-gear this year.


March 29, 2005

Film: (DVD) Zorba the Greek

Another classic, if you haven't seen it you should.

March 30, 2005

Film: (DVD) Head in the Clouds

April 1, 2005

April Fool: FasterCard

Film: (DVD) The Big Sleep 1945

This was a double-sided DVD, with two different versions of the film. We watched the original pre-release version, which was generally considered to be inferior to the released version, featuring less Bogart/Bacall wisecracking, but making the plot a bit easier to follow.

Gotta love General Sternwood in his hothouse...

April 29, 2005

Cirque de Cyclisme, Greensboro, North Carolina

Got up at the ghastly hour of 3:45 AM to catch a 6 am flight to Greensboro via DC.

"Cousin" Dale Brown, owner of Cycles de Oro and sponsor of the Cirque de Cyclisme picked me up at the airport, and lent me a fairly strange bike to use over the weekend, a frame he had built, designed around a Softride beam. When people were surprised to see me riding such a thing, I did point out that it was lugged steel!

There was to be an afternoon fixed-gear ride, but it was rather rainy and Dales bike was not fixed and was fenderless, so I skipped this one, went back to the Battlefield Inn to do my email and schmooze with fellow bike fans.

Later in the afternoon, we gathered in Dale's back yard, oohed and ahhed over his amazing collection of gorgeous bikes. He has a work shed which is one of the finest home bike shops I've ever seen, complete with a framebuilding jig and a very large collection of bike bits.

Doug Fattic gave a brazing demonstration and showed off some of his superb output. He's also involved in a program to help set up a bicycle manufacturing industry in Ukrane. He had a Ukranian city bike with him, a Nexus 7-speed in the Dutch style.

Brian Baylis was holding forth in the garden, showing off the gorgeous new frame he had just built for Dale. It was very nice to meet Brian in person, we had several very pleasant conversations.

Went to the Verona restaurant in the evening, where there was nothing available for an Atkins dieter, so I went with the lasagna, which was quite tasty.

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April 30, 2005

Cirque de Cyclisme Continued

Up early for a 16 mile sightseeing ride around Greensboro. Much of the area is quite lovely, especially as the spring is in full flower here. We stopped at an arboretum, where some local urchins remarked that our group of about 20-30 cyclists were "all riding the same kind of bikes." As if! There were everything from a couple of wood-wheeled fixed gears (Larry Black and Harvey Sachs) to the ride leader's Landshark racer, a brace of Peugeot PX 10s (one of which was a DNF due to a loose bottom bracket) and assorted other classics, including at least two bikes with Sturmey-Archer ASC 3-speed fixed gears.

In the afternoon, there were talks at the Lewis Recreation Center, on the general theme of French bikes.