CategorySlice of Life

What’s been happening with me lately

I hate credit card companies


Today I received a Citi credit card bill with the second late fee in two months. The first late fee was definitely my fault, but I sent the second payment in 4 days before the due date. So I called customer service to complain. The first guy I talked to said there was nothing he could do, because my account “didn’t qualify” for a refund of a late fee. I asked what account DID...



It wasn’t even a New Year’s resolution — I just felt like getting a gym membership. Our local YMCA is just up the street from my house and my employer offers a discount on the fees as a company benefit, so I decided to sign up there. The Y staff made it extremely difficult for me by misplacing my forms, giving me the wrong member card, and failing to call me back time and time...

Timeless wisdom


Today I found myself thinking of a quote from a movie that has a lot of personal resonance lately.
“Life is a shit storm. And when it’s raining shit, the best umbrella you have is art.”
— Pedro Carmichael (Peter Falk) in Tune in Tomorrow

Comings and goings


I just learned that Robert Altman, director of some of my favorite movies (The Player, Gosford Park), has died. He was 81. For a while in the previous century I kept a memorable quotes collection on my computer — things that struck me as profound or funny, mostly. One of them was an exchange between Altman and an interviewer from Newsweek: “Have you ever worked for a mogul whom you felt was...

More Scotland


The best 100 photos from Scotland have been uploaded to my gallery. See them here. Also, Willem Lange wrote a couple of “Yankee Notebook” installments about the trip that are now available on his web site. It was really interesting to see a shared experience through another lens. The Wonders Never Cease in Scotland (Sept. 24, 2006) A Lovely Land, Fertilized By Blood (Oct. 1, 2006)...

I’m back from Scotland


And what a trip it was. My fellow tourists were a really fun group, and Willem and his wife Ida were a hoot. I tried plenty of whisky, took over 500 photos and movies, and was able to completely forget about work most of the time. A resounding success! Internet access was pretty scarce, so I couldn’t do any blogging from the road, but I will be uploading photos to my Gallery2 site soon. In...

Countdown to Scotland


In just a month I’ll be on my way to Scotland, land of golf, caber tossing, and Ewan McGregor! My plane tickets are in my possession, and I’m checking out travel guides. And re-reading The Game of Kings, by Dorothy Dunnett. Not that I will have much time to go wandering by myself. The tour has been exhaustively pre-planned by Music Contact International, the company that handles all...

More new things


Things have been pretty crazy around here. The web hosting is the least of it, really. Here’s the list. New hardwood floors. My housemate Mike has been lobbying for a replacement of the ratty old beige carpeting up here for a while. Nevertheless I was surprised when he gave me a mere week’s notice that his friend Larry the Logger had agreed to do the work. This meant I had to move all...

Work hell


Sunday morning I was awoken by a call from a co-worker saying that he couldn’t connect to our main file server. I went in to work a bit later and discovered an orange blinky light on the machine. One of the disks in the RAID5 array was unwell. After two calls to Dell tech support and hours worth of diagnostics, I left at 7:00 PM thinking that the problem was fixed. Yesterday evening I got a...

The unbearable weirdness of being


On the way out of Burlington last Saturday, I picked up three pots of yellow mums from City Market. I had hoped to plant some perennials, but these were so tempting in their bright health and biodegradable pots that I decided to get them for now and pick up something for the long term later. I met up with my sister Andrea’s family in Essex and carpooled with them to South Ryegate. Minutes...


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