South Windsor, CT Archives

August 18, 2006

Life At The Top


U.S. News & World Report just released its 2007 rankings of colleges. Once again, Williams College is ranked #1. My alma mater achieved a perfect score of 100, finishing just ahead of some random school in Amherst, Massachusetts.

August 19, 2006

The Bronx Bombers Win A Pair

I watched the second game of the Yanks' double header at Fenway to the bitter (actually, sweet, in this case) end . . . this showdown set the major league record for the longest nine-inning game ever. Having shellacked the Sox in the afternoon contest by a 12-4 score, the Yankees then prevailed in a seesaw 14-11 nightcap that included a seven-run seventh inning rally for New York. This puts the Sox 3.5 games behind their hated rival in the AL East race.

Happy 60th, President Clinton


You may not have been perfect, but it's increasingly clear how badly we miss you!

Tennis On Television

The novelist David Foster Wallace has a brilliant piece on Roger Federer in the "Play" magazine insert in tomorrow's New York Times (which arrives on Saturday for home subscribers like me). In the article contains a spot-on analysis of the limits of appreciating the sport on television:

TV tennis has its advantages, but these advantages have disadvantages, and chief among them is a certain illusion of intimacy. Television’s slow-mo replays, its close-ups and graphics, all so privilege viewers that we’re not even aware of how much is lost in broadcast. And a large part of what’s lost is the sheer physicality of top tennis, a sense of the speeds at which the ball is moving and the players are reacting. This loss is simple to explain. TV’s priority, during a point, is coverage of the whole court, a comprehensive view, so that viewers can see both players and the overall geometry of the exchange. Television therefore chooses a specular vantage that is overhead and behind one baseline. You, the viewer, are above and looking down from behind the court. This perspective, as any art student will tell you, “foreshortens” the court. Real tennis, after all, is three-dimensional, but a TV screen’s image is only 2-D. The dimension that’s lost (or rather distorted) on the screen is the real court’s length, the 78 feet between baselines; and the speed with which the ball traverses this length is a shot’s pace, which on TV is obscured, and in person is fearsome to behold. That may sound abstract or overblown, in which case by all means go in person to some professional tournament — especially to the outer courts in early rounds, where you can sit 20 feet from the sideline — and sample the difference for yourself. If you’ve watched tennis only on television, you simply have no idea how hard these pros are hitting the ball, how fast the ball is moving, how little time the players have to get to it, and how quickly they’re able to move and rotate and strike and recover.

The entire article can be read here (registration required).


August 26, 2006

Getting The Alarm Clock Ready

Since I returned home from Africa earlier this month, I've kept the alarm clock turned off and avoided wearing a watch. That's not to say I haven't been doing any work--I've been in the office most days this month--but I've been able to apportion the hours of the day how I want. The pace has been leisurely. Of course, with school about to start, that's all about to change. I head into New York for a conference the next three days, I'll spend most of Tuesday at the U.S. Open, and then Wednesday marks the start of the school year for me: new faculty orientation begins then and athletic team captains return to campus Thursday night. So the alarm clock will be a regular part of my morning routine starting next week.

November 23, 2006

Happy Turkey Day!

It's Thanksgiving Day, one of my two favorite holidays (the other being Memorial Day). I drove up to my parents' house in South Windsor to celebrate. Unfortunately, I'm still fighting this bug, which makes the day a lot less enjoyable than it might have been.

December 24, 2006


Tomorrow I begin my round-the-world trip. I'll head west, and so will lose a day crossing the Pacific, but will gain it back in pieces over the next two months. The idea is to visit places I haven't been before (other than Australia, where I spent much of my last sabbatical in 1998; I'll be there in early January for a few weeks) such as Southeast Asia, India, Egypt, and Spain. I'll finish up with a couple of days in London, which means I'll have spent time in my five favorite cities during my four-month sabbatical: London, New York, San Francisco, Sydney, and Tokyo (the latter only on a brief layover, unfortunately).

April 8, 2007

Song Of The Day #98

An interesting article in the "Arts & Leisure" section of today's New York Times makes the point that the "Hallelujah Chorus"--usually associated with Christmas, but an appropriate pick for Easter, too--actually was an anti-Semitic piece intended to celebrate the destruction of Jerusalem.

London Handel Orchestra, Martin Neary & Winchester Cathedral Choir - Handel: Messiah Highlights - Hallelujah (Chorus)

May 6, 2007

A Day At The Races


I drove over to western Connecticut this morning to Lake Waramaug to see the Choate crews compete in the Founder's Day Regatta. Watching rowing is sort of like going to watch the Tour de France--a few seconds of frenetic cheering surrounded by lots of sitting around and eating.

May 13, 2007

The Stuff You Find On YouTube

I didn't know President Bush performed U2 covers: check it out.

June 4, 2007

Midnight Sun


I am spending the afternoon and early evening with my parents in South Windsor and was able to concentrate on my travel agent routine online while up here. I've booked flights to and accommodation in Tromso, Norway for later this month. Tromso is north of the Artic Circle and when I arrive there in mid-June, I am not going to be experiencing much darkness in the middle of the night!

July 11, 2007

Harry Potter 5


I took the kids in the Kennedy Institute program to see Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix today. It was pretty entertaining, but clearly darker than its cinematic predecessors. Imelda Staunton was spot on as sickeningly-sweet Dolores Umbridge. The stars of British acting were reassembled for the picture, but most of them didn't have much to do. The film is the shortest Potter flick yet, though the novel it was based on is the longest.


August 4, 2007

Rising Star?


Tonight John Isner, fresh from the collegiate tennis ranks, improbably won a match in a third-set tiebreak for the fifth straight time in the Washington ATP event. He knocked off a series of players with far more accomplished records, including Tim Henman, #8 seed Benjamin Becker, #2 seed Tommy Haas, and--tonight--#9 seed Gael Monfils. Against Monfils, Isner dropped serve for the first time in the match at 5-all in the third, but broke the Frenchman serving for the match to set up another tiebreak. Isner will face top seed Andy Roddick in tomorrow's final.

August 26, 2007

The Calm Before The Storm

I am enjoying a quiet Sunday at my parents' house, knowing that the pace of life back at school will accelerate dramatically this week, as the orientation of new faculty begins and the first waves of students return to campus.

November 4, 2007

Runaway Win


Choate Football assembled an impressive 48-7 win over Lawrenceville in a Sunday afternoon game. The Wild Boars scored all their points in the first half and never looked back. It was nice that the entire roster got to see some playing time.

November 22, 2007

Song Of The Day #326

This is "Truckin'"--on Thanksgiving Day, the Grateful Dead seems to be an appropriately named band.

Grateful Dead - American Beauty - Truckin'

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cartoonist Chris Ware provided this terrific Thanksgiving cover for The New Yorker last year:

December 25, 2007

For Unto Us A Child Is Born


Follow along here.

Merry Christmas everyone!

May 11, 2008

iTunes Store On The iPhone

Since my parents' house has a wireless network I can connect my iPhone to--unlike the Choate campus!--it's possible to connect to the iTunes Store from the portable device. I purchased and downloaded an album--Sarah McLachlan's Rarities, B-Sides and Other Stuff, Vol. 2--which will sync to iTunes on my desktop machine when I get home. Pretty simple. And I had forgotten how much faster surfing the web on an iPhone is when it's connected to an active wireless network.

June 15, 2008

Over A Barrel

Filled up the tank of my Ford Explorer today. The cost? $93.63--getting perilously close to $100! I can remember breaking the $30 mark and thinking how outrageous that was.

Tiger Is Amazing Once More


I missed most of the excitement surrounding Tiger Woods' back nine charge at the U.S. Open yesterday, but I marveled tonight at his sinking that twelve-foot putt on 18 to force a playoff, saving his chances for another major title.

July 4, 2008

Lunch With Tucker

Tucker Bryan ("HELLO TUCKER") felt left out that I did not mention in this blog that he treated to me to lunch at Half Moon Cafe yesterday when he visited campus, so here is Tucker's fleeting taste of fame.

August 3, 2008

Big Win For The Scot


Andy Murray earned his biggest tournament victory ever, beating Novak Djokovic in two tiebreaks with a controlled performance in the final of the Cincinnati Masters this afternoon. This was Murray's second win over the Serb in as many weeks.

Murray served for the match at 5-4 in the second and squandered four match points. It looked like the Djoker might be able to carry the day if he could get to a third set, but a brilliant exchange at 4-all in the tiebreak, punctuated by a Murray crosscourt backhand winner, provided the critical edge.

Based on current form, these two 21-year-olds are the most capable challengers to the Nadal/Federer stranglehold on the game's top spots.

August 24, 2008

Busy Week


Wow! Not only is this week the Democratic National Convention in Denver and the start of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York City, but it's also Imperial Fleet Week in San Francisco. Check out the details here.

December 24, 2008

Thank Goodness For BitTorrent

So I am well into "clearing the DVR" mode during this vacation and I got halfway through the first season of HBO's new series True Blood when I realized the seventh episode wasn't properly recorded. (Every so often the machine records on the wrong channel.) Since this series is not on iTunes and isn't being streamed on the HBO website, I was in a quandary: I was hooked on the show, but unable to watch the rest of the season without seeing this missing episode. On the Choate campus, all peer-to-peer sharing functions are blocked by the firewall, but this is not the case at my parents' house, so let's just say I was able to find an alternate way to see Episode 7. And since I transferred the next two episodes from ReplayTV to my MacBook using the handy DVArchive application, I will have just three more left to watch when I get back home late on Christmas Day.

A Christmas Thought From Santa's Neighbor


I ran the below panel a year ago, but given the spirit of the holiday, it seems an appropriate message coming from the OTHER resident of the North Pole who flies through the air:


December 25, 2008

Doubt On Celluloid


Our annual family pilgrimage to the cinema on Christmas Day led us to the film Doubt, which I had seen on Broadway in 2005. Frankly, this version was disappointing (or, as my father dubbed it, "overrated"). The casting of Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman didn't rise to the standard set by the pairing of Cherry Jones and Brian F. O'Byrne in the staged version. And the pacing of the movie was a mess, undermining the dramatic tension that permeated the play.

R.I.P. Catwoman


Actress Eartha Kitt died today. The news reports online are already eulogizing her varied talents as a singer, dancer, an actress-- invariably using the word "sultry." My introduction to Ms. Kitt was in the role of Catwoman on the Batman television reruns of my childhood. I remember being confused about three different actresses portraying the villainess. But even a young age, it was clear to me that Eartha Kitt's portrayal was the most feline.

January 11, 2009

No Super Bowl Repeat in 2009


The season just came to an end for the New York Giants. After such a thrilling run a year ago, it seems like this team had the potential to go all the way again, but was simply outplayed by the Eagles this afternoon.

April 12, 2009

A Little Easter Humor


Happy Easter, everyone!

June 21, 2009

Father's Day Tech Support


As part of the observance of Father's Day, I am setting up my parents' new 20" iMac (and also the new iPod Touch they got for free, since they qualified for the education discount as retired educators). I bought them Microsoft Office for Mac Home Edition and hooked them up with an iTunes Store account as well as an AIM account (so they can vidchat!). Next comes the chore of transferring all of their music, photos, and documents over from the Dell laptop and desktop they have been using; that can wait for another day.

July 27, 2009

Backup Made Easy


My new Time Capsule arrived today from Amazon (interesting that it's cheaper to buy an item like this from than directly from Apple; Amazon's price beat the education price from the Apple Store, plus there's no sales tax, as there would be if I ordered from the Apple Store). I got the 1-terabyte version, which will enable me to use Mac OS X's Time Machine software to back up my 750GB hard drive on my iMac as well as the data on a laptop or two! Plus it is capable of serving as a dual-band wireless router, simultaneously using both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, allowing all the devices on a home network to use the most efficient band automatically.

December 15, 2009

Mom's Birthday Dinner


I am up in South Windsor, where we just finished a celebratory dinner for my mom's birthday at Sakura Garden, a Japanese hibachi restaurant. Love this stuff!

December 24, 2009

North Pole Neighbors


You have to figure Santa's Workshop can't be all that far from the Fortress of Solitude, which makes these two gents neighbors!

Here's my annually-reposted snippet of holiday wisdom from everyone's favorite survivor of Krypton:




The family tradition of a Christmas Day movie was moved up twenty-four hours this year. Our entire routine was different, in fact: we went out for Chinese food for the very first time in my whole life! Then we watched Brothers, which was a pretty intense and extremely well acted film. Loved the new U2 song, "Winter," over the closing credits, too.

December 25, 2009

Google Search Stories

Interesting online ad for Google here.

June 7, 2010


A relatively quiet day after the departure of the Class of 2010 from the Choate campus yesterday. I met a couple of the new grads and their families for breakfast in town this morning, had a couple of meetings in the Athletic Center, got started on my term reports, and am visiting my parents for dinner this evening. Lots of work still ahead of me this week before I head off to Europe for an eight-day tour.

July 4, 2010

No Holiday For Shoppers

I stopped at the Apple Store at Westfarms Mall on my way to South Windsor this afternoon (I had to see about a minor repair to my MacBook Air). I was surprised the store was even open on Independence Day, as were most stores in the mall. It wasn't crowded there, of course, but I guess commerce does not take a vacation on one of the year's biggest holidays.

Wimbledon Wrap-Up


The final weekend was anticlimactic, I suppose, mostly because this year's Wimbledon Championships was an absolutely wild ride, with plenty of upsets, near upsets, and terrific showdowns. A few quick thoughts:

  • For all the millions of pounds the All-England Club spent on the retractable roof on Centre Court, the tournament did not experience one rain delay in 2010.

  • Who would have expected the Williams sisters and the Bryan brothers to lose the way they did in doubles?

  • We may have seen the last Wimbledon in which Roger Federer entered as a favorite.

  • And the Isner/Mahut marathon is surely one for the ages.

  • Ditto Venus Williams.

  • Though the men's final couldn't hold a candle to the five-set duals of the preceding three years, it was pretty cool seeing how Rafael Nadal dominated by improving his game.

  • Same with Serena Williams and her serving.

Time to decompress now.

August 3, 2010

The RSC's Glorious Summer In New York


In the summer of 2011, the Royal Shakespeare Company will be setting up shop in the Park Avenue Armory as part of the Lincoln Center Festival. The slate of plays to be transplanted from the RSC repertory has just been released: "King Lear" and "Antony and Cleopatra"--the two productions I saw in Stratford-upon-Avon in June--as well as "The Winter's Tale" (which I saw in in Stratford in 2009), "As You Like It," and "Romeo and Juliet." The latter two have garnered favorable reviews, so I will be aiming to snag tickets for these shows.

July 11, 2010

¡Viva España!


Nice to see Spain win its first World Cup title today. The game certainly was dramatic, if it wasn't pretty.

August 6, 2010

Ready For YYZ


Last week I bought the DVD of the Rush documentary, Beyond The Lighted Stage and enjoyed it. Now that I have familiarized myself with the history of the city's best-known musical product. I am ready to head to Toronto.

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