"Once tagged by this entry, the assignment is to write a blog entry of some kind with six random facts about yourself. Then, pick six of your friends and tag them; no tag backs. This explanation should be included."

1. When I retire, I wish to own a garden center.

2. When I was few weeks old, I woke my mother up with my crying. My mother tried to feed me. My grandmother, woken by me, told my mother I was dying and needed to be taken to the hospital right away. She was right.

3. I secretly think "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" is comedy gold.

4. I have, on more then one occasion, torn my entire small toenail off by choice.

5. I am not afraid to judge a book by its cover or its typography.

6. I have not had a glass of milk since I was 5 years old.


I owe patrickwonders a nice, crusty loaf of French bread next time I see him, as I've been baking loaves of the stuff from the recipe in The Bread Baker's Apprentice, a book he recommended a while back. I've never been able to make a good bread until now - now I have wonderfully airy and soft loaves with crispy-yet-not-to-crispy crusts. Damn.

PS - if you buy this book, buy a kitchen scale as well.

Multimedia Extravaganza

Man, extravaganza would be a great Scrabble word.

First Media

As a big fan of Don Red (and Ouch!, and Prince Bud, and The Thungs) I've got mention:

Nerd Core For Life, a documentary about nerd hip-hop. It's not all that Don/Ouch!/Prince Bud are about, but the documentary is pretty eye-opening. Lots of nerds rap. Which is awesome. I hope there is a tie-in tour of the artists and it comes to Boston (which is a pretty fucking nerd city).

Second Media

Here's a picture of my apartment as of last night (Kelly in the background). Everything was aglow.

Third Media

The book you see on the couch is Robert S. McNamara's In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam, one of the most amazing books I have ever read. If you have seen The Fog of War, you will be familiar with the overall content of the book; however, the book offers a deeper insight into the decisions being made at that time (and if you haven't, watch the movie first or you may be overwhelmed with the data in the book). Not only does it offer a first-hand account of the decisions and thoughts of the most powerful people in the world during the late 60s/early 70s, but it provide a clear and concise analysis of the mistakes made during that period. McNamara even has bulleted lists detailing how to avoid the same mistakes.

Interestingly, almost all of the mistakes McNamara covers were made in the lead up and execution of the war in Iraq. Minimal forces (did you know there a formula for the number of troops needed by a government to fight a gorilla insurgency? Turns out the government is supposed to have a 10-to-1 numerical advantage - didn't happen in Iraq or Vietnam), limited warfare, bad public relations, no support from allied countries, and most significantly (in McNamara's view), trying to solve a nationalistic problem with force (this applied primarily to Iraq after Saddam was removed from power, not during the initial invasion). Basically, if the natives don't believe in your cause, you can't convince them to, and you are left with the mess. The halls to the oval office should be lined with reminders of failures in policy and action so that each day the president and the administration can remember the mistakes of the past.

Recommending a book by one of the most hated men in America, a man who many consider the chief architect of the Vietnam war (and therefore, the man primarily responsible for the 60,000 American deaths and the countless Vietnamese deaths) is difficult for me. I am pacifist- i don't like violent conflict and never believe that violence is a good solution to the problem. What I think is important about this book is that it is basically a field manual for avoiding these mistakes in the future. Writing such a book does not forgive McNamara for his part in the war but it is an important book that only he could have written.

Last Media

Go see Kelly's show!


In September I played in the Thursday Night Swiss at the Boylston Chess Club and had two of the best performances of my life. I drew an Expert (a chess player with a rating over 2000) and beat a USCF Master (a player with a rating over 2200). For comparison, I’m rated around 1500.

[Event "September TNS"]
[Date "2006.09.21"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Godin, Eric"]
[Black "Fletcher, Adam"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "2200"]
[BlackElo "1508"]
[EventDate "2006.09.??"]
[EventRounds "4"]

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 g6 3. e4 d6 4. d4 Bg7 5. Be2 O-O 6. Nf3 Nbd7 7. O-O e5 8. d5
Nc5 9. Qc2 a5 10. Bg5 h6 11. Bh4 Bd7 12. Nd2 Qc8 13. f3 Nh5 14. Rfc1 f5 15. Bf2
fxe4 16. Ndxe4 Nxe4 17. Nxe4 Bf5 18. c5 Nf4 19. Bc4 Bxe4 20. Qxe4 Rf5 21. cxd6
Rg5 22. Bg3 cxd6 23. Bb5 Qf8 24. Rc7 Rc8 25. Rac1 Rxc7 26. Rxc7 Qa8 27. Bxf4
exf4 28. Qe6+ Kh7 29. Rc8 Qa7+ 30. Kf1 h5 31. Rc4 Re5 32. Qxd6 Qe3 33. Re4 Qc1+
34. Ke2 Qxb2+ 35. Kd1 Qb1+ 36. Kd2 Qxa2+ 37. Kc1 Rxd5 0-1

I think my game against the expert is actually a better game, but I don’t have that one handy to post here.


jluke, gib, rmeinhart, rat_girl3 and I'm sure others have posted this challenge:

The first FIVE respondents to this post will get a free piece of art from me, made by me! In turn, they must make the same offer to five other folks.

Possible art includes watercolor paintings, drawings, music, or some other unspecified work.

Cambridge Public Internet Mesh

If you're local to me (Cambridge, Somerville) and interested in helping provide community Internet, please join the MIT Roofnet/Cambridge Public Internet mesh network.

You can get pre-built nodes here:


You don't need to connect the nodes to your cable/DSL line if you don't want to; they are autonomous if they can reach other nodes. The peering agreement is pretty much "you pass my packets and i will pass yours". It's all still in beta and doesn't cover all of Cambridge, but I believe in building an alternate provider of Internet, especially one that is high resistant to a single controlling organization.