Leslie's Latest News

Saturday, June 29, 2002


Just completed Part 5 of my England photo album, which covers our visits to two gardens: Buscot Park and Bourton House.
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Ran out of milk for breakfast, but since it's a weekend I had time to cook. Went out to the garden and picked some spinach and basil and made scrambled eggs with onions, spinach, and basil. Quite yummy. Unfortunately, while I was out there I noticed that the garden needs weeding, the grass needs mowing, the vines need trimming. But it doesn't seem so hot and humid today, so I guess I'll be able to spend a couple of hours trying to get things into shape.
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I've added a search feature by www.atomz.com to both my weblog and my home page. The feature is free for small web sites, and is very easy to install. You just go through a short registration process and they give you some html to cut and paste into your web page. Very nice. (Thanks for the pointer, Laurie!)
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Wednesday, June 26, 2002


There's a trailer for The Two Towers available on the web now.
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Pete Sampras got knocked out of Wimbledon in an early round, one of the worst defeats of his career. I'm sorry to hear it.
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Oh dear, I've stayed up much too late, but I've gotten some more photos uploaded, including scans of some of the photos Nancy sent. ClubPhoto just today increased the number of pictures you can store in one album, so I've expanded album 4 to add the following: a visit to Lower Slaughter, Chedworth Roman Villa, some pictures taken around the cottage, and Nancy's pictures of me setting off and returning from my horseback riding jaunt. There are also a couple of more pictures of me that Nancy sent added to the earlier albums in the appropriate places.
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Tuesday, June 25, 2002


I was browsing through the historical photos of Watertown on the Watertown Public Library web site, and I found this undated picture of the Coolidge Theater on Mt. Auburn Street. I remember taking the street car out from Harvard Square to go to movies in this theater in the 60's. I liked them a lot because they put two layers of butter on their popcorn.
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Vignette stock is up today. Great. I hope it keeps up. We're decompressing from all the last-minute overtime and holding training for the sales reps today and tomorrow.

I just received some photos Nancy took of me in England, and hope to get them scanned in soon.
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Friday, June 21, 2002


We're in crunch mode at work, but today has been frustrating. I've spent most of the day waiting around for other people to do stuff which if they had done it correctly this morning, might have meant that I wouldn't have to work on Saturday. But since things have been screwed up, it looks like I'll have to be here tomorrow. Grumble. The good news is that we ship on Monday, one way or another. And on Friday we're having a little celebration, and have been promised a trip to see Minority Report, the new Tom Cruise/Steven Spielberg flick based on a Philip K. Dick story. That should be fun.
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Thursday, June 20, 2002


An interesting development - Southwest Airlines plans to start charging larger passengers an extra fare if they take up more than one seat. There was much discussion of this on the radio talk shows last night. First point everyone makes is that airline seats should be larger to start with. But after that they start talking about the rights of large people to not be discriminated against and to pay the same fare as everyone else. No one seemed to mention the rights of the normal-sized people who have a really uncomfortable time when seated next to someone who takes up their own seat and half of the neighboring seat. On my flight to England, I was seated next to a guy that spent the first 4 hours of the flight with his elbow about 4 inches past the armrest and sticking into my ribs. It was extremely uncomfortable, and I probably should have spoken up about it, but I just suffered in silence. Of course, even if the airlines make these people pay for 2 seats, I suppose there's no guarantee that they'll leave the seat next to them vacant if they can stuff someone into it.
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Wednesday, June 19, 2002


Here are more pictures from England. This album finishes up the chapel at Sudeley Castle, then takes us to the Cotswold Farm Park, a place where rare and endangered farm species are preserved. It ends with an evening walk from Laverton to the pub in the hills above Stanton.
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Monday, June 17, 2002


Making spider silk from goat's milk?
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Saturday, June 15, 2002


This Oxford English Dictionary: Current Newsletter has two items of note: some information about J.R.R.Tolkien's stint on the staff of the OED in 1919 and 1920, and a note that the word "blog" is one of the new words that have been drafted by the North American Editorial Unit for inclusion in the next edition.
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Gosh, the weather has been terrible since I got back from England. It's been cool and rainy almost every day, except for one day that was hot and muggy and one very nice Saturday mentioned below. I just got a small packet of books that I left behind at the cottage, which it appears Wendy and/or Nancy had packed up and shipped to me at exhorbitant postage rates. I imagine they are now back home, too - I'll be interested to hear what they did in the week and a half that I missed.

Last night I stayed late at work to play Magic online. This is the last weekend for the free Beta, so I am trying to get in as much playing as I can. I've been doing quite well, and winning enough packs that I would be breaking even on the cost if I were paying real money. Don't know, though, whether the level of competition will stay the same after it goes public. Last night I played a guy from the Czech Republic, so we had a nice chat about my connections to Slovakia and we added each other to our "buddy" lists (a feature that lets you know when your friends are online and allows you to easily chat with them and leave messages). This whole international flavor of competition is something you don't get in real life Magic unless you can travel to a Pro Tour venue.

Wizards of the Coast have announced that this year's Magic Invitational (an elite tournament for 16 of the top players) will be held on Magic Online. This is a very interesting concept. They apparently intend that fans can tune in and watch the games directly. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out. What makes it particularly tricky is that traditionally the Magic Invitational has used some offbeat formats and cards that are made up specifically for that tournament. It seems a lot to expect that the programming team for Magic Online should make radical changes in the card pool and playing rules just for that one tournament. We shall see.
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Friday, June 14, 2002


I opened the door to the back porch last night to let the cat out and was greeted by a blast of wonderful scent. The honeysuckle had started blooming! I think that's one of my favorite garden scents. I have to try to remember to get out to sniff every day, even though work is taking up so much of my time.
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Things have been very busy at work as we try to get out a release by the end of the month. I'll probably have to work at least part of the weekend. So the process of getting my trip photos on line is not going as quickly as I'd hoped, but I have gotten another album together. This one covers Winchcombe church, the restored steam railway, and Sudeley Castle.
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Thursday, June 13, 2002


Intuitor Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics. I got an 85% on the physics test (see link at the bottom of the page). A bit embarassing because my college field of concentration was physics. (Harvard didn't offer computer science as a concentration way back then, but many of the computer science courses counted toward the physics requirement, so I actually took only 2 physics courses as an undergraduate.)
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Monday, June 10, 2002


I've added another set of England pictures, this album covering Hidcote garden and the village of Stanton.
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The peonies are blooming this week. I brought a small bouquet of them into work today (2 white, 2 red, 1 pink) and people were oohing and aahing over them. One guy plans to bring his camera in tomorrow to take a picture of them. I have to admit, they do look pretty spectacular.
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Sunday, June 09, 2002


After what seemed like a week of rain ever since I got back from England, we finally had a gorgeous day, which, providentially, fell on a Saturday. So I went into a flurry of activity trying to catch up with my garden for the time I'd been away. The grass was tall enough that it was going to seed, so mowing the lawn was a high priority. I also did a lot of weeding and pruning. Made a salad from spinach, radishes, and sugar snap peas, and spent a little time lounging in the hammock. It was great!

I've added a few more photos to my Club Photo collection. It's the same album, now entitled First Days. New stuff includes a ride in Jackie's Mini to Snowshill, and to her mother's house and garden at Chipping Norton. Also a visit to Chipping Campden and the Ernest Wilson Memorial Garden.
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Friday, June 07, 2002


I've started uploading some of my trip photos to Club Photo. So far, just the first day, showing a couple of country walks and details of the cottage where we were staying. More to come as soon as I have the time.
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Tuesday, June 04, 2002



:: how jedi are you? ::

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Coleen Rowley is quite a woman. There's an article about her in last week's Time Magazine (The Bombshell Memo) and a copy of her memo here.
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Monday, June 03, 2002


I'm safely back home, but a bit jet-lagged. And I'm supposed to work tomorrow - that should be interesting. It's going to take me a little time to process the hundreds of photos I've taken, but I'll try to come up with a few in the next few days that give a bit of the flavor of the trip. For tonight, just two. The first is a picture of the three adventurers: Nancy Atherton, Wendy Lindboe, and me. This picture was taken aboard a restored steam train by a delightful nine-year-old boy (Master Grant Spooner) who was fascinated by our digital cameras.


The second is a typical Cotswold landscape. This is a view of the village of Snowshill, as we came down the hill after walking from Laverton. And yes, it was that beautiful everywhere in the Cotswolds.


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Today I'm at Heathrow, shortly before checking in for my return flight to Boston. My visit to the Cotswolds has been wonderful! I have toured several beautiful gardens (including Hidcote Manor, one of the best in the country), stately homes, historic castles, ancient churches, picturesque villages, and a ruined Roman villa (with floor mosaics). I have rambled down village lanes and walking trails, climbed over innumerable stiles, and seen thousands of sheep, plus cows, horses, goats, pheasants, hawks, peacocks, rabbits, hares, swans, deer, dogs, cats and two foxes in the wild. I have seen sunsets (at 10:30 pm!), a full moon, a couple of rainbows, and a hot air balloon, and have ridden a roan hunter named Simon on a long gallop over the hills (that was the best!).

I've visited woolen weavers and silk dyers and sheep shearers. I've ridden in a restored steam train and in the back seat of a mini. I've bought far too many books and taken hundreds of photos. I've drunk gin and tonics on the patio while listening to my host tell stories about his meetings with royalty. I've attended a Queen's Golden Jubilee party in a village hall. I've eaten lumpy bumpy, spotted dick, steak and mushroom pie, terrine of pigeon, curried parsnip soup, spatchcock with Jersey Royals, and many yummy preparations of salmon and asparagus and raspberries.

And now, sadly, I'm heading home....


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