The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Leaving for parts unknown

We're leaving within the hour to parts unknown.

At least this way, you're getting fair warning that there might not be a post for a day or two (it depends if we can find an open wireless hot spot at our destination).


On the Road

We're currently in Lake Wales, Florida, just a short (very short) distance away from our final destination. Along our very circuitous route (I-95 south to I-595 west to US-27 north) we saw some interesting sights—the sea of grass, burning of sugar cane fields, Lake Okeechobee, Gatorama, the Placid Tower (which surprised us—a three hundred foot tower/restaurant) in Lake Placid (home of the 1980 Winter Games—who'd've guessed Florida would have housed the Winter Games) and even a dome house for sale.

[Nestled in the trees] [A cylinder with a dome]

Unfortunately, the house apparently has been abandoned for quite some time, as there were hundreds of huge spiders with large fangs rawr rawr rawr.

[Arachnophobia anyone?]

We're talking feet across looking like something right out of J. R. R. Tolkien. We didn't stay long.

The hotel we're staying at is under serious renovation, or perhaps it's still under construction, or something like that. Drywall, cinder blocks, exposed lumber, guys in hardhats walking around (very odd on a Sunday). That must be why the room was so cheap for the night.

Tomorrow, we hit the final destination.

And then home.

And I'll be bringing video of our travels back with us.

Monday, October 23, 2006

A visit to Isengard

Make you the world a bit better or more beautiful because you have lived in it.

Edward W. Bok

I was worried about the weather this morning, afraid it might rain and ruin the plans I had for our destination was an outdoor destination. But the weather cleared up enough not to rain and it made the day an enjoyably cool one.

And our destination?

[Welcome to Isengard]

The Historic Bok Sanctuary which houses one of the largest musical instruments I've ever seen, the carillon (basically, a large tower with bells—this one has 60 bells of various sizes which are played via a specialized keyboard).

[A keyboard with which to play bells] [Cutaway view of the tower—the bells are at the top] [Just a sample of two of the bells]

The grounds around the tower are a conservatory and are well maintained, lending themselves to the serene feeling one gets when walking around the site.

[Lush vegitation abounds] [More lush vegitation] [But let's not forget the spooky trees!]

But I picked the destination simply because of the tower. As a kid I came across photographs of the place my maternal grandfather had taken, and I was always intrigued by the place and have been wanting to visit the place for years. When I decided to take a trip I knew just the place—Bok Tower.

[Behold Isengard!] [It's too light to be Barad-dûr] [“It's only a model!” “Shh!”] [Of course it's pink!  This is Florida after all!]

What was disappointing was the music. I mean, we're talking 60 bells of various sizes, but whether it was the fact that it was 60 bells, or the player of the carillon still learning to play the instrument, the music just didn't do anything for me.

[That's a brass door, not a gold door, but it's still impressive]

I would have liked to have stayed a bit longer and soaked in the environment a bit more, but The Kids … they got hungry.


Yeehaw! We're at a junction!

For the trip back home, I decided we'd take State-60 east (even though the scariest drive of my life had been along State-60, but that was at 1:00 am with 50′ visibility and a semitruck doing 100mph right behind me—that was then, this is now, in the middle of a sunny day) and at Yeehaw Junction take US-441 south all the way back home.

[They sell good food bars there] [Steven Spielberg must have been inspired by this truck for his film “Duel”]

For such a small one building town it sure was noisy with all the truck traffic passing through.

Now, before the trip, I was told that US-27 was a very dangerous route to take, but I found State-60 and US-441 to be way more frightening than US-27 ever was on this trip (maybe because US-27 was two lanes each way the entire trip, whereas State-60/US-441 were two lanes total through this part of the state).

[North shore of Lake Okechoobee] [The lake is around here somewhere] [Ah, there's the lake!]

As we were driving home, the weather off towards the south east looked rather ominous, although the threatening rain never did materialize.

[The sky is getting darker] [and darker …]

Now, for this trip, I borrowed Smirk's digital video camera and took about an hours worth of footage over the past two days.

[Me directing the video—photo by Spring Dew]

The intent is to edit the raw footage into a video blog entry that (hopefully) will be coherent and amusing. We shall see.


Not quite in the nick of time

Congratulations!

You are now the proud owner of a genuine Tucows Squishy Cow.

I'm sorry it took such a long time to get to you—I announced the Squishy Cow giveaway right as our stock of Squishy Cows went bone dry. Thanks for being so patient!

Your Squishy Cow should provide years of entertainment not only as a desk accessory, but also as an amusing prop in your photographs and home videos.

Remember, if you post Squishy Cow photos on Flickr, please give them a tag of SquishyCow or SquishyCows so everyone can find them!

Enjoy your cow!

Joey deVilla
Technical Evangelist / Squishy Cow Wrangler
Tucows
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Way back in July I'm reading The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century when I see this entry on getting an official Tucows Squishy Cow and all I have to do is take photos with the Squishy Cow in interesting places in Florida.

So I sign up.

And wait.

And wait.

And eventually forget about the whole thing.

But what should I find waiting for me when I finally get home?

[Mooooooooo!]

My Official Tucows Squishy Cow.

Had it arrived but two days earlier I would have taken it with me to Bok Tower.

Heck, I could have taken photos of it next to real Holstein cows.

Sigh.

Obligatory Picture

[It's the most wonderful time of the year!]

Obligatory Links

Obligatory Miscellaneous

You have my permission to link freely to any entry here. Go ahead, I won't bite. I promise.

The dates are the permanent links to that day's entries (or entry, if there is only one entry). The titles are the permanent links to that entry only. The format for the links are simple: Start with the base link for this site: http://boston.conman.org/, then add the date you are interested in, say 2000/08/01, so that would make the final URL:

http://boston.conman.org/2000/08/01

You can also specify the entire month by leaving off the day portion. You can even select an arbitrary portion of time.

You may also note subtle shading of the links and that's intentional: the “closer” the link is (relative to the page) the “brighter” it appears. It's an experiment in using color shading to denote the distance a link is from here. If you don't notice it, don't worry; it's not all that important.

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