Massachusetts property crisis

Crystal posts a link to a Boston Globe story about property prices in Massachusetts. Houses here cost so much because there are too few of them for all the people who have been drawn to Boston because it’s such a great place for great minds to do great things. But that reputation, which has kept Boston competitive all these years, is beginning to buckle under the weight of absurd home prices.

Deterring chocolate

We were in Harvard Square a couple of weeks ago, and I got a sudden chocolate craving. We went into Cardullo’s in search of something other than American chocolate. Inside was a huge man. He wasn’t merely fat, he was clinically obese, huge, a gargantuan avalanche of flesh. He was carefully looking over the chocolate bars. I almost walked straight out, and it gave me an idea. As a public health exercise to fight obesity, they could pay guys like that to stand around in candy stores and fast food joints, wearing T-shirts saying “AFTER”.

CD pricing

After a day of working from home, I had to get out of the computer room. I went to Harvard Square in search of a 2x mono 3.5mm jack to 1x stereo 3.5mm plug converter. I found one at Radio Shack, but it’s a blocky thing that won’t plug directly into the camcorder, so I need to either find a really short 3.5mm stereo headphone extension cable, or wire up my own converter.

Where the day went

Picked up negatives of San Francisco photos, scanned them. Treated myself to a can of Irn Bru found in Harvard Square. Did a bunch of other stuff I don’t remember, and suddenly it was late at night.

When Kidney Stones Attack

Yesterday was already going pretty badly when I started to get abdominal pain at around 16:00. It initially felt like indigestion, but so did my last kidney stone attack… About twenty minutes later there was a wave of pain and nausea. I made it to the bathroom, rallied a little, but eventually had to give in and have a lengthy conversation on the big white telephone with Ralph and Hughie.

Donuts and police

On Sunday, we walked into Dunkin’ Donuts in Harvard Square to get coffee. There were five Cambridge cops standing at the counter in front of us, in full uniform. I was really, really tempted to take a discreet photo, but I decided I didn’t fancy risking a beating. Unfortunately, Harvard insisted that the Dunkin’ Donuts in the square not have the usual big pink and orange sign, otherwise I’d have gotten a great photo of four Harleys and a squad car parked outside.

CD orgy

Went to Twisted Village in Harvard Square and discovered way too many cheap CDs. Boards of Canada Geogaddi (2002). Meant to get it when it came out, but there was no way I was going to pay $17 for a CD. Picked it up for $8.99. Dunno if it’s used, but it’s in mint condition. Bang on a Can Industry (1995). Silica Gel 50) Noisy Children Party (1993)—A Seeland / Wifflefist co-release, so you know it has to be interesting.

3D sound

I gave in to temptation and got a set of binaural microphones. I’ve just been in Harvard Square recording ambient noise. Binaural recording is designed for headphones. Traditionally, it required an artificial head with acoustic properties similar to a human head, with two omnidirectional microphones inside. Nowadays, reasonable quality microphone units can be made a lot smaller. My binaural mics use a real head—mine. They fit inside my ears, like in-ear headphones.

Earring problems

I mostly sleep on my right side. The ear stud in my right ear has a rather nasty metal butterfly retaining thing, which has been digging into my earlobe and has left a nasty wound. So I’ve moved the titanium ring into the right ear, and put a stud back in the left. I’m going to see if I can get another captive bead ring in Harvard Square; the left ear should be able to cope with a 16 gauge now, but I’m not sure what ring diameter I want.

Wireless is go

I’ve got the wireless router accessing my dial-up ISP. Next step is to get a wireless card for the other Mac, then I can get cable modem… It seems there’s some incompatibility between the router and IE on the Mac. Oh well, maybe a firmware upgrade’ll fix it. Went to a bi brunch at Pho Pasteur in Harvard Square. Excellent food. Afterwards I browsed the music stores and somehow managed to avoid spending any money.