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May 31,2008 (WeekendEdition)

May is the time of year when gardens in New England go through a lot of changes.  While the tulips and some irises start blooming at the beginning of May, the leaves on the trees don't come in until nearer to the end.  By the end of May, things are in full growth mode.

The RainyDayGarden is no different.  While many of the plants have started growing at the beginning of the month, Buffy and Eliot were not able to find many shady spots to rest during their daily patrols.

However, the interns were able to observe all of the goings-on today while remaining cool in the shade.  Hmmm, we can see Buffy resting, but just what IS that Eliot up to[Permalink] - Wan Chi Lau


May 30,2008 (FlashFriday)

Last week Improv Everywhere pulled off an impressive early "Happy Birthday" well-wishing event for the Brooklyn Bridge.  700 folks gathered, inspite of the rainy weather, and participated in a camera flash wave across the bridge. 

There are a lot more photos on the Improv site of this and other "scenes of chaos and joy in public places."  Enjoy and have a great weekend! [Permalink] - Wan Chi Lau


May 29,2008 (TechThursday)

i-rocks makes some great peripherals for both the Mac and PC.  They are well engineered, cleanly styled, and reasonably priced.  We have many of their accessories (keyboard, enclosure, card reader) in-house and use them daily. 

Recently, we decided to reduce some of the "wire clutter" around the office, so we started looking at wireless keyboards and mice.  As expected, i-rocks had a combo which was exactly what we were looking for (cross-platform, USB, Bluetooth). 

The X-Slim keyboard has a very low profile.  The keys are well sculpted and the response is noiseless. The mouse is nicely sized and all of the buttons are ergonomically positioned.

Since these peripherals are wireless, power comes from on-board AA batteries.  The optical mouse needs one and keyboard requires two.  The compartments are accessible from the bottom of the devices.

We tested the i-rocks X-Slim USB keyboard and mouse with both Macs and PCs.  Installation and setup were both quick and simple.  The Bluetooth dongle had no problems connecting to the devices.  Folks here are loving their new peripherals.  BTW, anyone out there need some old keyboards and mice?  They are available, but comes with some "strings" attached :-)  [Permalink] - Wan Chi Lau


May 28,2008 (WowUsWednesday)

A week ago we got ourselves an old 12" aluminum Powerbook.  The case is scratched and dented.  It needs a larger drive, more memory, and not all of the keys on keyboard work.  It is exactly what we had been looking for... a Mac laptop in need of a full restoration.

The first thing we are going to fix is the case.  We could try to get the dents out, but we thought it would be better to give the case a new laser-etched design.

When we started researching companies who can do interesting laser etchings, we came across the work at RefillSeven.  The work shown on the site are done using wood, but we were so taken by their stuff that we thought it needed to be shared.  Enjoy! [Permalink] - Wan Chi Lau


May 27,2008 (ThrillerTuesday)

We have read The Di Vinci Code, listened to the audio book, and seen the movie.  Before Dan Brown hit it big with The DiVinci Code, he had written Angels & Demons

A few weeks ago, we got the unabridged 15 discs version of Angels & Demons for the commute to and from work.  Two of us in the office have now finished the series and we have to say, Dan Brown knows how to weave a good story.  If you are looking for some good vacation reading or commute listening, pick up this first work from Dan Brown.  We guarantee you will wish you had more vacation time or a longer commute! [Permalink] - Wan Chi Lau


May 26,2008 (MemorialMonday)

There is an old cemetery, on Route 125 in Kingston, New Hampshire. When the last of its bodies was interred, it was still on a country road. There wouldn’t have been electricity or automobiles or penicillin when the last of its bodies was interred. Kingston, New Hampshire would have been a hard place to get to back then, and you can still miss it if you aren’t paying attention when you get to that set of lights where Route 125 bears right and some other road continues straight.

The cemetery is bounded on all four sides by a low stone wall, which is slowly becoming a low stone pile. You enter through a little white wooden gate in the middle of the front wall. Unless you’re me and you hop over one of the side walls looking for cell phone service on Friday.  And on Friday, there were American flags silently waving over some of the the gravestones.

John Quimby was there, as were Israel and Captain James Collins. Other graves marked with flags were so worn that you couldn’t read their inscriptions. But somebody knew, somebody knew who the soldiers were, and somebody remembered. And somebody wanted us to know that they were there.

Today we remember these people, and all the men and women who came after them, and are themselves interred in a plot with a flag waving above it. We remember them because as much we might wish for a better, more peaceable way to resolve conflict, we know that human reality has always included military encounters, and these are the people who particpated. We remember them, these people from the past, because they fought for a cause, and that cause was “America.”

“America” is what brought the managing editor’s family here in the late ’60’s, when the communists in China posed a serious threat to Hong Kong. “America” is what brought my mother’s parents here from the Canadian Maritime Provinces in the nineteen-teens looking for work and a better life. “America” is was caused a collegue and his wife to travel to a small orphange on one of the lesser islands of the Phillippines and adopt twin 8-year old boys just about a year ago.

People still come, and people still seek to be free, and people still believe in “America.”  And all those flags on all those gravestones in all the cemeteries in every place in America, we need to remember.

New graves are still being dug, and new flags are still being placed, on our war dead. To thousands and thousands of Americans, the name on the gravestone does not belong to an unknown person. It belongs to a husband, a sister, a brother, a wife, a college roommate, a father, a mother, a friend. Today, some Americans will stand in front of a grave and tears will roll down their checks, because they remember, they remember, the person lying quiet and still in the gentle hands of the earth.

Today, we remember them all. [Permalink] - Carolyn Donovan


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