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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Touching history

The highlight of the trip so far (aside from the alone-time with my bride, of course) was a visit to the John Adams estate in Quincy, Massachusetts.

I became an admirer of John Adams long ago, after seeing the musical 1776 and then reading everything I could find about him. He is perhaps the most unjustly overlooked founding father, possibly because of his curmudgeonly disposition and the fact he always chose what was best for the country- not what was most popular or politically expedient.

The tour included the birthplaces of John and his son, John Quincy, and a fascinating walk through "The Old House," where John and his remarkable wife Abigail spent the remainder of their lives after he retired from public service.

The Old House is amazing. It boasts the original wood floors, and features furniture and household effects actually owned by John and Abigail. We saw the desk where he wrote the series of letters which resulted in his reconciliation with Jefferson before their deaths. And on the way out, I managed to touch his famed walking stick in its stand by the front door.

I am one happy camper.

Tomorrow we're off to Groton, Connecticut to wander around inside the U.S.S. Nautilus, the world's first nuclear sub.

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Linguistic adventure

While wandering around Salem, Cindy and I encountered this liquor store among the various tourist spots. The name dates to the 1500s. And get your mind out of the gutter... it's the hole in a cask through which it is filled.

Off tomorrow to Quincy to see the Adams houses, then on to Boston.

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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Random observations from the road

Skip Star Trek: The Exhibit at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. While it does feature Kirk's command chair (supposedly) from the original series, most of the artifacts, aside from the costumes, are "replicas of props," and not very good ones. The replica of the bridge of the Next Generation Enterprise would have been fun to explore, except that its primary purpose was a venue for selling overpriced photos. Oh, yeah- did I mention that photographs were not allowed? This must be a new restriction, given all the video on YouTube from prior shows in San Diego and Arizona.

Bah. I did sit in the captain's chair, and Cindy and I had our photos taken in front of a green screen for shots supposedly showing us in the transporter room. I always wanted a photo of me containing matte lines...

We're outside of Salem, Massachusetts now, following a day of unbelievably heavy traffic and two torrential downpours. I'm looking forward to Salem, and hoping to find a book of spells I can use on the way home.

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So there.  
The kgb@kgb.com e-mail address is now something other than kgb@kgb.com saga.
kgbreport.com used to be kgb.com until December, 2007 when the domain name broker Trout Zimmer made an offer I couldn't refuse. Giving up kgb.com and adopting kgbreport.com created a significant problem, however. I had acquired the kgb.com domain name in 1993, and had since that time used kgb@kgb.com as my sole e-mail address. How to let people know that kgb@kgb.com was no longer kgb@kgb.com but rather kgbarkes@gmail.com which is longer than kgb@kgb.com and more letters to type than kgb@kgb.com and somehow less aesthetically pleasing than kgb@kgb.com but actually just as functional as kgb@kgb.com? I sent e-mails from the kgb@kgb.com address to just about everybody I knew who had used kgb@kgb.com in the past decade and a half but noticed that some people just didn't seem to get the word about the kgb@kgb.com change. So it occurred to me that if I were generate some literate, valid text in which kgb@kgb.com was repeated numerous times and posted it on a bunch of different pages- say, a blog indexed by Google- that someone looking for kgb@kgb.com would notice this paragraph repeated in hundreds of locations, would read it, and figure out that kgb@kgb.com no longer is the kgb@kgb.com they thought it was. That's the theory, anyway. kgb@kgb.com. Ok, I'm done. Move along. Nothing to see here...

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