Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Radio Swiss Jazz

I just discovered this, and I love it:

I recommend the aacPlus 64 kb/s feed. (Windows users will have to install a plugin. Mac users can click on WinAmp and iTunes will know what to do.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

My brother doesn't understand me

I like the Boston Red Sox, and I was disappointed to see on the TV at my health club that they had just lost the playoffs three games to nothing against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. My brother lives in Los Angeles, but he’s a Dodgers fan so we generally get along just fine. We even speculated on the possibility of watching a World Series between his team and mine. So, I naturally assumed when I left the club that I’d find a voice mail waiting for me on my cell phone commenting on this sad day in my life.

There was no such message, so I called him. He hadn’t watched the end of the game, figuring that the Red Sox had an insurmountable lead. Unfortunately, no lead is insurmountable in baseball, and I sadly informed him that the Sox had lost. “Oh,” he said. “I’ve been playing a new version of Halo on my X-Box.”

I tried to return the conversation to baseball, commenting that a Dodgers-Angels World Series would be really boring. “Yeah,” he said, “people would rather see the Dodgers play the Yankees. By the way, I’ve been writing some interesting stories for the Los Angeles Times.” I didn’t ask. He writes business stories, not baseball stories.

Only a Bostonian would understand that even though I didn’t watch the game I was in a shocking state of grief and pain at that moment. Now I hope those damn New York Yankees go and teach the people of Los Angeles a lesson.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Alla and I decided to take a walk through the Arboretum today. We usually roll through it on our tandem bicycle, but today we went on foot. We experienced things on foot that we certainly would have missed on the bike, just as other slow adventures on the bike reveal things we never would have seen in a car.

For one thing, I ate a lot of stuff. This time of year lots of nuts and berries are mature, and I experimented liberally. Dogwood, for example, has an amazing fruit. I ate quite a few dogwood berries and foisted a few off on passers-by. I also ate something called a Princeton nut (it's orange, the color of Princeton University, but I can't find you a link. It's not very tasty.) The only berry I tried was mountain ash. Alla knows this tree from Russia, where she says people use the berries pretty commonly.

Late in the afternoon, we saw a large family group harvesting something from the ground and we went to see what they were doing. The family turned out to be Chinese, and they harvested bagfuls of Chinese chestnuts. First I confirmed with one of them that these aren't horse chestnuts and that they are indeed edible. So, of course, I picked one up, peeled it, and ate it raw. I liked it. Alla wouldn't eat one of these nuts raw, at least not until I'd survived for a while after eating that first one. But we did become engrossed together in harvesting some nuts for ourselves.

Alla teased me for making it into a competition, but I am who I am... We harvested into our own bags and weighed our take when we got back home. For the first time ever in any kind of harvest competition, I kept up with Alla. Jointly we had 3¼ pounds of little chestnuts. We roasted a handful of them this evening, and we look forward to enjoying them on quite a few evenings ahead.