Thursday, February 29


How is Eric more stylish than me?
I am in Boston last week for some business and do two things I enjoy most : swimming with a masters team, this time at MIT (beautiful fast clean 50m x 25yd pool) and visiting Eric and Simona in Cambridge, which I do for one night allowing me and Eric to go on a ramble through Cambridge, Somerville and Boston. All around us there is development for, mostly, we conclude, commercial and university bio labs which is THE thing here right now here, resulting in all sorts of regeneration and property value jumps, God bless. One can feel it in the air along with the smell of freshly brewed luxury coffee.

Eric is busy at his non-profit software company that neither me nor Roger understand but he is the lead engineer in an organisation that started in the maths department of Arizona and now employs >70 people and backed by the Milken Family Foundation. He is making a lot of money and works from home and can do whatever he wants, which is about right for his temperament.

View of Boston from Somerville's Prospect Hill Tower

Monday, February 5

And So It Goes

From California (photo AP)
My father did his voluntary military service in the early 1960s and therefore was not a candidate to be drawn up for the Viet Nam war (he had graduated law school in 1961). Both my parents marched against the war, arriving in San Francisco after the Peace Corps, however I do not recall Viet Nam with its inglorious conclusion and the fall of Saigon in 1975. I would have been old enough -- but it was not in my field of awareness at age 8 and second grade had more important things to occupy my imagination. Like kickball. 

Of course now a professional military dissolves personal responsibility - what, me worry? - while young people today are aghast at what is happening in Gaza (though no opinion, it seems, about Ukraine or Kashgar).  I recall the middle-age father of a college girlfriend (Republican) informing me: "I' am God damn proud to see bombs dropping on Iraq and using the US military force correctly, for once." And so it goes.

A Warm and Inviting Place

Every now and again I enter a restaurant and know it is well past its sell-by date like this Italian restaurant that has existed off Baker Street for 31 years, run by the proprietor chef and his son. The decor is garish and there is an over riding smell os something old. Windows and air ventilation non-existent, little room between the cramped tables and a bar counter that has long seen its days. The menu unchanged for 30 years including the daily specials (undated). Yet the clientele special - average age over 80, filling the venue, and talking animatedly or reading the newspaper at lunch hour. An ITV News broadcaster walks in and takes his normal place (I assume) while another old fellow sits with his dogs in the back. I don't see anyone kissing the hand but could be.

The food ? Fabulous. The son orders for me.


Sunday, February 4

The Future Is Upon Us. Again

Jim checks out the newest new thing
Roger's older brother Jim, otherwise a tech guy and ultra athlete when in training, checks out the Apple Vision Pro and is first to be "welcome[d] to the era of spatial computing, " as the Apple slogan informs. If anyone was going to pull us into virtual sordidness, it was going to be Apple (and maybe Jimmy) with its remarkable design (Steve Jobs: "Design is not the look or feel of a product, but rather what it does.")

Sonnet spends the weekend in Manchester with Madeleine, leaving me and Eitan and the dog to fend for ourselves. Pizza it is and non-alcoholic beer for me (I am informed that my snoring presently comprimises Sonnet's sleep during an intense work period on the Naomi Cambell exhibition so I have cut out alcohol and deserts before bed and now wear a nose strip at night to smooth out the breathing. Oh, and sleeping on my side, no moving.)

Eitan has accepted an internship with Crossroads Campaigns, a political consultancy providing "essential services" to progressive political campaigns, civic engagement enterprises and nonprofits. Eitan would like to join one of the actual campaigns, in The Year To Fight Fascism in the United States, and this could be a nice launching pad. He moves to Washington DC in a couple of weeks.