29 November 2015

Of Dogs and Driveways

I had a weird encounter one day last week, and I've been meaning to write about it. I was out with the dog before starting my work day, and a neighbor was having a new asphalt driveway installed. Since the dog tends to be nosy about people, she wanted to check out the workers, and we were heading in that direction anyway.

A guy who appeared to be in charge was standing by his car, talking on the phone. As we approached he finished, saw us, and asked, "Whippet or greyhound?" I answered greyhound, he looked over the dog for a moment or two, then said, "Your dog's in pain, it's time to put her to sleep."

Now, I have mentioned before that our dog is 14, and she has been dealing with some pain from arthritis, mainly in in her hind legs. We give her medication for it twice a day, and we pay very careful attention to her movement and behavior. We are always on the watch for any signs that she is in greater discomfort, or that her overall condition might be worsening. And I suppose it's possible this guy had some experience working with racing dogs. But however well-intentioned he may have been, it's highly presumptuous to say such a thing to a stranger. So I responded only by saying, "It's not time yet. We'll know when it is."

Then, as if things weren't weird enough already, he moved around the corner, toward where a few other men were finishing removing dirt from the driveway area before beginning the asphalt pour, gestured toward the waiting truck, and said, "You want some of this? We're definitely gonna have some left over." I didn't know how to respond, so I remained silent, and he kept going: "Where do you live? I'll just bring the truck around when we're finished."

For a moment I considered accepting his offer. Our driveway has parallel depressions from the car driving over it repeatedly, and I thought it might be nice to get those filled in. But I didn't want to get involved in dealing with asphalt without talking to our landlord, and I also did not know if it would be a bad idea to cover our older driveway surface with new asphalt, or the ramifications of covering only a small portion of the surface. So I thanked him for the offer and said I had to get back inside, which was true.

26 November 2015

Checking In

Still here, still really busy. I'm also working slightly off hours, so I'm frequently not finished until 7:30 or 8 pm, leaving precious little time to relax and even less time to think about blog posts.

I have car show photos gong back several months, but I haven't had time to pull them together into a post. I had an idea for something else I wanted to write about crawl through my brain a couple of times, but of course right now, when I have a few minutes, I can't get it back. (I knew I should have made a written note about it.)

But I do have a long holiday weekend to enjoy like many other people, so Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Enjoy yourselves.

18 November 2015

Status: Busy

Hi. Yeah, I know. Work is keeping me very busy. Like, really, really busy. I honestly can't say when I will get time to make a meaningful contribution here. But I'm not going to put the blog on hiatus; I'm just saying, it may be quiet around here for a bit.

11 November 2015

Car Stuff: Out of Context

Working in Harvard Square this summer, I spotted a few interesting cars, like the MGB I posted a while back. Some vehicles were a bit more unusual, like this Jeep Cherokee.
Two-door versions of this generation Cherokee are very rare; this could be as old as the mid-1980s, and I think no newer than early '90s. It certainly stands out in the Square. It appeared ready to set off on a safari; perhaps it belongs to a globe-trotting relic hunter, a modern-day Indiana Jones?
My big regret is that earlier in the summer I saw it with its doors removed, like a classic open-top Jeep Wrangler, but by the time I figured out that I should be taking pictures of it, the doors had been put back on.

09 November 2015

Duty Calls

Things have been bubbling lately. Temp jobs have come and gone, for reasons not worth going into here, and now I'm about to start my first sustained experience as a remote worker. I've accepted a long-term assignment with a company where everyone works remotely.

That doesn't mean I'm going to be one of those coffee-shop people; for one thing, I don't care for laptops. No, it means I'm going to be working from home, staying in touch with my coworkers via daily online "meetings" and chat software. My training begins tomorrow, so by the end of the week I should have a clearer picture of how it's going to work.

As for how it will affect blogging, that remains to be seen. I don't yet have any sense of how busy I'm going to be during the day. I'll also be dealing with the dog, who has become quite demanding in her advanced age: when we are home, she needs to go out every two to three hours, on average, and wants food almost as frequently.

05 November 2015


A new phone usually means a new case. Over the past few years I have tried some different styles, including top-opening sleeve and book style. But although I've been working again for several months, I'm still trying to be careful with money, and spending another $40 or $50 for a new iPhone case may not be the most prudent move, at least not yet.

I decided to take an economical approach this time. I happened to follow a link to an eBay seller offering silicone slip-on sleeves for $1.50 (that's not a typo) with free shipping. They even offer a choice of five or six colors. I was going to get clear but since my phone is black and gray I decided to get a gray-tinted sleeve. It isn't super-snug but it offers at least a minimum of protection, and makes the phone easier to grip (the aluminum body of the iPhone can be somewhat slippery).

I may decide to upgrade the case at some point in the future, possibly to something in a similar style but done in leather. But for now this one will do.

02 November 2015

Car Stuff: Employee Parking

On the far side of the inbound Orange Line tracks at Wellington station, there is a repair facility for Orange Line train cars. Along the outside of that building is an access road where MBTA employees can park. The majority of the cars parked there on any given day tends to be pretty ordinary, but this one stood out.
It's a Porsche, probably 1980s vintage, and probably a 944, though I'm not terribly knowledgeable about identifying Porsche models. I know that cars with this basic body were first sold as the 924, starting as a 1976 model ('77 in the USA), and that the 944, which arrived in 1982, was an evolution of the original design. The blistered fenders are the biggest giveaway that this is a 944 and not a 924, though there are other small visual differences. (There was also a later car, the 968, also using the same basic body but with higher front fenders.)