The past few weeks have been crazy busy at work, and although the weekend is my time, things went kinda wrong. On Friday I went to the South End Garden Tour volunteer registration in the evening, and then went to Boston Bears Happy Hour at The Alley. I didn't stay too late, I was simply exhausted.
Saturday morning, I went for breakfast at Charlies (yum!) on Columbus Avenue, then at 9:45, reported to my volunteer position at 1 Claremont Park on the roof deck. I worked until noon, helping folks up and down the spiral staircase to the home owner's garden on the 4th floor. It was a nice garden with a spectacular view of the Back Bay! Following my shift, I checked out eight of the other gardens (I didn't have enough energy to view all 31.)
I should have gone to the Boston Bears Barnight on Saturday night, but I had a migraine, took some pills and hoped it would go away so I could attend -- but alas, it did not go away... I guess it was a good thing in the end, as I was woken up at 5:00am Sunday morning with a page -- all of the servers I manage needed to be rebooted due to a problem with the mainframe. All would have been well, except for the one server in Lancaster, California that has been giving me grief for the past three weeks. It would not boot; damn P.O.S.!! I had to wake up the site contact, and contact Sun to go onsite to replace the SCSI interface card (second one in one week!) -- by 2:00pm it was done. At least the entire day was not wasted.
I called Derek and we went for a motorcycle ride!! We headed up I-93 heading toward Concord, New Hampshire. When I came up to the Windham exit, I decided to get off and head to Robin's house to say hello (she wasn't home) :-( We came back to Boston via Route 28 (and a few other side roads) stopping in all sorts of towns on the way home including Peabody, Salem (where we had dinner), Andover, Lynn and many other places of interest. It was a nice 6-hour Sunday drive. It was needed after last week's work schedule and the problem from this morning.
Your Government in Action!
Alaska is reputed to be the state most laden with congressional overspending (thanks to its powerful U.S. Rep. Don Young and U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens), and an April New York Times dispatch described two proposed, marginally useful bridges for the state that will eventually cost taxpayers more than $2.2 billion. One, almost as big as the Golden Gate bridge, would connect Ketchikan (pop. 7,800) with a 50-resident island and the town's modest airport (and would replace a five-minute ferry boat ride), and the other, a 2-mile-long span, would connect Anchorage, according to the Times, to "a port that has a single regular tenant and almost no homes or businesses." [New York Times, 4-10-04]
Universal Health Care (for Prisoners): A judge in Wilmington, N.C., had to officially "release" accused murderer Shirley Spaulding in May, as a ploy, to get the state to start picking up her medical bills. Brunswick County was running out of money because it has paid nearly $400,000 to treat her respiratory illness while she awaits her death-penalty trial. (Fortunately, she was too sick to depart custody.) [Raleigh News and Observer-AP, 5-19-04]
Donnie Newsome, the chief administrator (called the "judge-executive") of Knott County, Ky., was convicted in October 2003 of buying votes, then denied bail during his appeal because the judge found him a "danger" to the community, and then sentenced in March 2004 to two years in prison. But Newsome still manages the county's affairs from a detention facility in Lexington, getting briefings from an assistant during visiting hours. (Kentucky law does not require the resignation of convicted officials until their appeals are exhausted.) [Louisville Courier-Journal, 1-17-04; Lexington Herald-Leader, 5-19-04]
A small crime wave hit south Philadelphia streets late last year, with a gang of five or more men randomly attacking pedestrians, seemingly for fun, and in at least three of the incidents, the men wore boxing gloves to beat up their victims. And in April, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of part of the Patriot Act (a public document) but couldn't publicly reveal what its lawsuit claimed because such disclosure without Justice Department permission is forbidden by the Patriot Act. (The Department OK'd a heavily censored press release 22 days later.) [Philadelphia Daily News, 12-9-03] [Washington Post, 5-13-04]