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November 2005 Archives

November 16, 2005

I know I always say this...

It has been a really long time since I've posted anything here... I need to jump start this thing. Starting now, I'm going to try to post something at least once a day for the next 2 weeks. I can't promise it will be interesting, but maybe it will get me back into the habit...

So what's new? Well, we've found out that we are having a boy. Despite rumors to the contrary, we still haven't settled on a name yet. I have a handful of girl names that I really like, but for some reason boy names are more difficult. I'm sure we'll figure something out eventually... definitely before he turns 6.

In preparation for the blessed event, we've been spending most of our weekends purging, rearranging, and cleaning the house to make it more baby-friendly. Progress is definitely being made. We've got huge piles of books and clothes either bound for ebay or donation. Furniture is shifting around the house. Things are taking shape. The clock is ticking, but i think we're in good shape.

That's a much catching up as I'm willing to write about at the moment... Trying to recap every little bit of the month that has gone by since my last post would be kind of ridiculous, and wouldn't be particularly interesting to either of us. Better I should just start fresh.

November 17, 2005

Confessions of a Book Fetishist

I love books. Not just reading... although I love that too. I love actual physical books. For some reason, I attach sentiment and meaning to the books on my shelf.. Sometimes its a connection with a particular time in my life. Sometimes its a connection with the person who recommended or gave me the book. Occasionally, it's the potential locked inside a book that I've owned for years but never read. My shelves are full of them. I've spent thousands of dollars on them over the course of my life, surrounding myself with printed words.

Lately, lack of space and disposable income have made me take a long hard look at my relationship with books. Making room for the impending arrival of our offspring has forced me re-evaluate my need to possess. A couple of weeks ago, I went through my entire collection and weeded out piles of books that I'll probably never read again or have never read in the first place. Then I separated out the books that I couldn't bear to part with, but didn't need on the shelves. Those went into the basement. It was both gut wrenching and liberating. But what about new aquisitions? Do I really need to own that cheesy sci-fi novel that keeps me company on the train? Do I even need to own that great Neil Stephenson series? Probably not. And ultimately, there are other more important ways that I need to spend my limited resources.

Fortunately, not owning books doesn't have to mean not reading them. Lately, I become reacquainted with an old love... the Public Library system. Jessamyn would probably smack me up side the head for taking so long to come around to this. What has really sucked me in is the Boston Public Library's online search and "hold" system. I can log onto their website and search the entire Metro Boston Library system for whatever I feel like reading. I can make a wish list for books that want to read but never remember when I'm actually at the library. Best of all, I can request a "hold" on a book anywhere in the system and when it's available it will be sent to the library two blocks from my office. I can even renew online. It's like Amazon, but free! As a result, I've managed to go over 3 months without actually spending money on a book. Sweet! One of the only drawbacks is that I sometimes have to wait awhile after a book comes out before I can get my hands on it. Another is that I find myself lugging around a lot more bulky hardcover books, since those stand up better to the rigors of library circulation. Small sacrifices. I'm making progress.

November 18, 2005

Teenage Lobotomy

The most interesting thing I've been exposed to so far today... a radio documentary previosly broadcast on NPR called "My Lobotomy". It follows Howard Dully as he embarks on a journey to find out everything that he can about the transorbital ("icepick") lobotomy that he was given as a 12-year old boy in 1960 by Dr. Walter Freeman. Freeman invented the procedure and performed about 3500 of them over the coarse of his career, often on people who were not suffering from serious mental illness. Dully interviews Dr. Freeman's son, as well as many of his patients and their families. At it's emotional peak, Dully gains access to his own personal files from Freeman's archives, including photos of himself with the icepick still inserted in his eye sockets. He learns about the reasons that he was lobotomized and is finally able to talk to his father about why this was allowed to happen. Gut wrenching and emotional. Definitely worth checking out. You can listen to it in RealAudio here.

Tonight my lovely wife and I are going to go up to Gloucester to catch the musical stylings of Mr. Peter Mulvey at the Fishtown Artspace. Peter puts on a rocking good show... you should go.

November 20, 2005

PRP=zero

Well, I've already blown the "one post everyday" pledge... I really meant to post on Saturday, but never quite got around to it.

Peter's show was really was really nice. He played in this funky little venue in Gloucester, MA called the Fishtown Artspace... a cool community orientated art education/gallery/performance space. Dogs and babies running around. Always good to see Peter.

Saturday we worked on the house a bit... and although I know that some progress was made it's in one of those phases where it's a bigger mess than when we started. I'm sure that we'll be able to put a major dent in it over the Thanksgiving weekend. In the evening we hung out with Paul, Beth, Dave, and Rita for some tasty chicken, homemade chips (fries... but they were made by and Englishman, so that makes them "chips"), and beverages . We spent much of the evening drinking, talking, and watching the food network. Paula Dean creeps me out... I think I've lost all of my punk rock points.

Today we ventured out into the world to look at cribs and steamer trunks. It's amazing how difficult it is to find a steamer trunk in this day and age. Apparently people no longer ship out with the merchant marines as much as they used to. When we got home we learned that the one place we didn't make it to (Kmart) has them on sale right now. I am writing about steamer trunks... all punk rock points out the window.

November 21, 2005

Pandemic

Just an experiment. All images found by searching Google Images for "pandemic".

November 22, 2005

Because He Can...

November 23, 2005

Variation on a Theme

Short day at work today, and then on to a long weekend full of turkey, movies, housework, and hopefully some straight-up oldfashioned slothfulness and sleeping in. Just what the doctor ordered.

November 24, 2005

Feasting

We just finished an amazing Thanksgiving feast. Lizzie brined a turkey overnight and it came out delicious and juicy. She also made garlicky mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, giblet gravy, rolls, and incredible sage stuffing. Now I can barely move! We've got so much food that we'll be having Thanksgiving over and over again for a week. Now we rest, digest, and prepare for the pumpkin cheesecake to come. Truly a day of gluttony. Much to be thankful for.

November 29, 2005

So Sue Me

Okay, so I blew the whole "one post a day" thing. Raise your hand if you didn't see that coming.

So it's Tuesday, and I'm still not sick of Turkey yet. It probably helped that we broke up the feast of leftovers with a delicious dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant last night. Pho Lynn is an amazing "mom and pop" joint with some of the freshest and tastiest Vietnamese food I've ever had. Four of us ate an enormous gut-busting meal, including appetizers. Total bill: $33. That's about $10 a person with tip. It's located in slightly skanky downtown Lynn, MA, but not nearly skanky enough to keep us from going back.

Today I jumped back on the Turkey Wagon at lunch with a bowl of the excellent turkey soup that my talented wife created out of the bones of our Thanksgiving bird.

But enough about food... let's talk about reading. Now that I have sworn off book buying and given that corner of my soul to the public library system, I have become a slave to the dreaded "due date". The library gives me 3 weeks to read a book or renew it. Depending on how busy my life is at the moment, the majority of my reading happens on the train while I commute to work. This equals a total of about an hour a day of solid reading time, five days a week. Maybe a little more at bed time. If I have checked out a book that is 800 pages long, I will most likely not have time to finish it in 3 weeks. So I renew it... unless someone else has put it on hold. So what then? Do I return the book and put my name back in the que, possible waiting months to get another turn? Or do I hold on to the book, racking up late fees until I can finish it? It's a moral question, I guess. I'll leave you to ponder it, or not, as you choose.

November 30, 2005

Chronic Cryonic

I'm fascinated by people who are clearly crazy, but in creative ways. That's why today's obsession is the Reverend Daniel Robert Izzo and his amazing patent for the Resurrection Burial Tomb. (Thanks to the very cool Godlorica blog for the link).

Rev. Dan Izzo of Syracuse, NY is many things. An inventor, a theologian, a mayoral candidate for the "Right to Life" party in Syracuse, a landlord, and a proponent of cryogenics. And probably completely nuts.

Abstract from the patent application:
"A Resurrection Burial Tomb includes a means to preserve and revive Human Beings and provide power and power systems for the same, comprising of a container of preservation means, holding the suspended dead person's body and connected to electrical and energy apparatus systems contained in the Resurrection tomb and robotic machine workers that help maintain and work to revive the suspended Huamn Being; wherein the process provides power and security from death to living Human Beings being useful and novel, producing a less savage empowered child culture and machine parents."

It seems to involve the preservation tomb itself, artificial lungs and heart, a portable nuclear power generator, a "muscle robot", somehow converting the bones of the deceased into a computer, and a wide variety of other wild concepts all wrapped up into one. While impossible to follow, his application is extremely detailed and obviously took a great deal of time and thought to create. It even includes 64 pages of illustrations, many of them hand drawn. I believe that the underlying motivation behind the concept is the Christian idea that when the end times are upon us, the those of us who have passed on will be resurrected in their original bodies. Rev. Izzo asks the fairly reasonable question "What if our bodies are cremated, or too deteriorated to come back to?" Being a man of action, he has set out to find a solution. An incredibly creepy solution involving creating the equivalent of cyborg zombies. But you can't say it isn't a creative solution.

About November 2005

This page contains all entries posted to Dave's Headblog in November 2005. They are listed from oldest to newest.

October 2005 is the previous archive.

December 2005 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.