Monday, March 27, 2006

Spring Break

Kerry was on spring break this past week, so we went to Boston. We stayed with Scott, Carlie, and Liliana, who remains our cutest and most favorite niece by a substantial margin. She's almost five months old now, and we've been lucky enough to see her three times since last November. It's fun to see how much she's changed since Christmas, learning to grab most anything and pull it into her mouth. She's also smiling - particularly when dad makes raspberries - and even rolling over occasionally. (Rolling out of bed and a couple of smiles are about all I've managed this morning on the way to work, so I appreciate her accomplishments.)

We got to catch up with other friends while in Boston. We met up with Emily, from med school in Dallas, at her new home with Rich near Gilette Stadium, and spent a day in Newport. (Speaking of new homes, there are some nice little 56-bedroom summer cottages on the Cliff Walk there, if you happen to be a Gilded Age magnate.) We didn't make it over to Officer Indoctrination School, where I spent six weeks in 1996, but I saw the flagpole on the drill field and my favorite Quonset hut. We saw Jen, whom we knew from Northern Virginia, and her partner, Michelle, one evening. They live near Tufts, where my parents went to school, and right next door to one of Scott and Carlie's good friends. Jen and Michelle took us to a great, authentic Mexican restaurant, and then, even more generous, drove us home through the bewildering streets of Boston. On Friday, we saw Saptarsi, from residency, his wife, Trupti, and their new baby girl, Mira. Sap is just the same as when he left Hopkins; though that seems just yesterday, he's actually nearing the end of his three-year cardiology fellowship.

Our real interests for the trip were family, friends, and chill, but we did manage to get in a bit of touristing. Apart from Newport, we walked almost the entire Freedom Trail. It's really a neat invention, as it takes you to many historical landmarks in Boston, some of which you would otherwise miss, and few of which you would be able to string together so neatly. We actually started off the day west of the Freedom Trail's head, so that we could catch the monument to
ether (yes, ether) and the Make Way For Ducklings statues in the Public Gardens. We had a great day for our walk: a little cold, but that just made stopping for a hot lunch in the North End all the more delicious. The only flaw was making our trip on a Tuesday, when the USS Constitution is not open for vistors (sorry, Thursday through Sundays, only). But we learned about the Barbary Coast war at the museum and took a nice water taxi back to downtown, so that was all right.

A great trip all around. Thanks to Scott and Carlie for hosting us, to all our friends for making time to see us, and to Nick and Christa for looking after the Furryous Two while we were away.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The best birthday present* ever

* based on Aristotelean ethics

William's story is funny and strangely touching. Thank you, William.

The best birthday present involving a series of puzzles and clues in the Holler was given to me by Kerry. It was like one of Dave's elaborate Games, except that it didn't require spending a day in a van with five other people and a reference library. That, and it ended with a Black & Decker food processor. (Yes, it really does sound like a table saw. Cool.) Thank you, Kerry.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Under which line-item is "shamelessness" funded?

President Bush is requesting line-item veto authority. Well, now we know why his sensible, prudent adminstration has been unable to rein in the wild spenders in Congress. It's not because they have advocated tax cuts as the cure for all economic ills. It's not because they have advocated spend-and-spend solutions to policy issues (eg, Medicare prescription coverage, the energy bill). Nor is it because the president has been unwilling to veto even the most egregious examples of fiscal excess (eg, the transportation bill). No, it's because he, like so many presidents before him, did not have a line-item veto.