January 10th, 2005


Lucky with the weather

The drive out to Providence on Friday offered great weather, right around freezing but clear and no precipitation of any sort, and the drive back from Boston yesterday (via Pawcatuck, CT) was cloudy but nearly entirely free of any adverse conditions.

This is especially impressive because Saturday was so nasty in most of New England. I'm glad we drove up from Providence to Boston on Friday after the Brown game, or we'd have been in bad shape Saturday; it really wasn't driving weather. We didn't have to move around much, so we didn't, just doing a little Boston sightseeing of the indoor variety.

Saturday night's game was definitely a disappointment. On Friday, both teams looked pretty bad, but Cornell came out on top. Saturday, there was a lot more energy from both sides, but Cornell couldn't manage to score a goal. Someone observed that if you lose a game 1-0, your defense isn't the problem.

Fun to see everyone, though, and lots of good food and beverage. Kendra and Paolo met us at John Harvard's, so I got to meet one of the people she frequently talks about. Similarly, meeting Joy's friend Adam adds yet another face to the pantheon of people she's always telling stories about.

I was asleep at a reasonable hour last night, but really didn't want to get moving this morning. There's a surprise!

Mission to Saturn

Saturday's indoor sightseeing was mostly focused at the Museum of Science, which jauntily spans the Charles River between Boston and Cambridge. Joy and Adam and I headed there after I picked them up at his Mission Hill apartment; they weren't interested in the car museum, where a bunch of other folks had headed. The highlight of the visit was the planetarium show we went to, "Mission to Saturn." (It didn't hurt that it was narrated by John "Dr. Phlox" Billingsley!)

The show was very timely... the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and its moons is nearing another milestone; the Huygens probe, which separated from the Cassini spacecraft a few weeks ago, will be descending through Titan's atmosphere and landing this Friday! I may get up early to watch NASA TV.


I have fond memories of massive lavish parties at the Museum of Science in the early '90s during the week of the Macworld Expo. I think one of the distributors hosted most of those, but I think one was hosted or co-hosted by SuperMac, which made high-end hard drives, big expensive monitors, and video cards. Baka was one of their strongest resellers, thanks to the Cornell market, so we were always invited to these. Imagine a huge science museum full of geeks with loads of free food and alcohol. There were people playing everywhere!

Gas prices

Regular unleaded (87 octane) has been edging under $2 a gallon here in Ithaca for the last couple of weeks, but this weekend in New England was the first time in a long time I've seen premium (93 octane) under $2.

I think the cheapest I spotted was in Mission Hill, near Adam's place, $1.85/gallon for premium at a no-name gas station. The cheapest name brand was $1.93/gallon for premium. I think I ended up paying $1.95 or $1.99 a gallon at the Hess on the way out of Boston (wasn't quite worth the 15 minute drive back to Mission Hill to shave off a few cents) and topped up for a similar price just inside Westerly, RI from Pawcatuck, where Joy and I watched the tail end of yesterday afternoon's Indianapolis romp at CC O'Brien's, her neighbourhood sports bar.

When we'd been sitting there for 45 minutes and had both been served everything we were going to be having, the owner came over, said he hadn't seen us come in, and asked for our IDs. Joy wasn't drinking, but he really wanted to see her ID, so she went out to the car for it. He claimed it was state law that anyone in there has to be 21. I'm not familiar with CT law, but it sounds like a pain for a place that serves food as well as alcohol to have to limit themselves to 21-and-over even on a weekend afternoon.

Wonder what would have happened if Joy's ID hadn't been out in the car, since she wasn't planning on drinking, after all. Would he have kicked us out?