Out and about in Cambridge

by Ian Maclellan

Piers came over this morning(well relative morning, I don’t wake up early), and we spent the days slowly trying to beat more levels in Midnight Club 2. This game is seriously impossible though. It was the first game I ever got for Xbox, but still to this day, I can’t beat the stupid thing. Stephen and I have been trying late into the night pretty frequently, but even by sacrificing a normal sleep cycle and wasting hours not working when we should, we are still only 71.3% done with the game. I don’t really like getting C’s so I aint stopping until I at least make it to a B. This is why I called in Piers. He is a new face, fresh pair of thumbs. Cause the thing about this game is you get worse the more you try and beat it. You need to take breaks and come back. This isn’t no need for speed, where you have nice easy to follow courses. This is a chaotic mandelbrot set, especially when it comes to having infinite edge length. This game has cracks and crevices that would have sent old Benoit packing, Z^2 + 1 or not. Piers doesn’t seem to have any more skill at this game either… Neither of us even have licenses though so we aren’t the best authroties when it comes to driving game difficulty. Still we will push on late into the night arms born against the fates, Aeneas and Virgil would have been proud. I’ll try and update this post late into the morning to tell you of our progress… So yeah that’s my rather sad life at the moment. Hehe Piers just got passed in the air and lost by .05 seconds. That was his 50th try I bet… Oh my. He needs a hug now.

We also started discussing further work and innovation into wind turbine design as I slowly move forward in that process. We will try and go to Home Depot tomorrow and pick up some supplies to make a plaster mold of my current five foot wooden blade design made of five 1×8’s glued together. We will then take that plaster mold and use it to make fiberglass positives from its negative. I have never done any fiberglassing before, but there are a number of articles online about how to make fiberglass car parts for hot rods that could be applied to making wind turbine blades. My dad constantly tries to convince me that it would be cheaper to buy the blades and make the rest of the parts. He is of course absolutely right, but I don’t really want to do that. I have higher goals of starting my own little wind turbine manufacturing set up to provide them for people I know with rural farmhouses and the like. It could happen. Stephen really likes the idea of making my own fiberglass parts(and getting to help) because he loves trying new processes learning new construction techniques. He spent a good amount time in one of his teenage years trying to build a handmade dinghy, but never quite made it to the fiberglassing. He didn’t make it partly because the boat was left outside for the wood to warp and I ended up using it as a snowskateboard ramp in 6th or 7th grade. I’m still not sure he has forgiven me. Stephen got a new book this Christmas on handmade boat design, maybe if he constructs a new boat his ire will dissipate. Piers is turning into an engineer at Tufts and is much better at physics than me(he was smart and took physics at Groton) so he will be a useful person to have on the design team. He also has a few places where we could site and put up a small turbine and has good organizational and construction skills. The crokinole board he made at Groton won him the woodworking prize.

This evening we took a break from the video games and world peace cookies(I have become addicted to baking them) to head out to Harvard and Kendall square for Dinner and a movie. For dinner we went to Wagamama near Harvard, by Heather’s suggestion. I think she read about it in the Boston Globe Magazine or G as it is called now. It was very unique. The waitstaff carry digital devices to take orders and have the ingenious idea to write the number of the items, drinks, food, and sides, on the placemat of each customer so any waitstaff member can place the food correctly, without too much hassle. They also had a wonderful fresh fruit drink selection, I had a Apple-Lime juice that somehow worked. I ordered it mainly because I didn’t think those flavors could go together. Emily and Heather both ordered some melon juice mixed and their drinks looked and tasted very different. Both were good, but if you are a person who wants perfect consistency, Wagamama might not be for you. Also say that name out loud, Wagamama, it’s a sweet name, I approve. I got ginger chicken udon, which came with the largest noodles I have ever known. Overall a great experience and I’d highly reccomend visiting. I didn’t realize this before, but looking at their website, they are everywhere, so check out their website and go visit. They didn’t pay me to say that, but they should. The bloggess has a really good post about trying to get money from Chipotle for advertising, but ending up with just some free coupons.

After Wagamama we said our good-byes to Alex and Emily then the rest of us drove to the Kendall Square movie theater, my personal favorite. We saw Milk, with a packed audience. It was amazing, probably the second best thing I have seen this year to David Attenborough’s The Life of Mammals. I love ecology, so that’s not even a fair comparison. Plus that movie has monotremes and numbats. Milk does win as the most heartwrenching and best acted and directed movie I have seen this year and it nearly made me tear up, which I haven’t really done since King of Kong a Fistful of Quarters.

On the way back from the movie we listened to a Talk of the Nation that was on the first about blogging. It was good, but nothing revolutionary. Also on the way back we stopped at CVS, where to my amazement they still carry real, Kodak Tri-X  black and white film. Who knew!

Life is boring at home so Piers and I are planning a big adventure. My first thought was taking the train to Franconia Notch in New Hampshire, but first it turns out that there is not a train, but an amtrak bus that goes there and second Mt. Washington is very dangerous in winter time. Also interesting to note that you can’t book just a bus trip on the Amtrak website because they are a train company and booking just a bus ticket is tantamount to ordering nothing fatty at McDonalds. My next big idea was to take the Cat From Portland to Nova Scotia, turns out that Cat doesn’t run in the winter so that idea was squashed. Current plan is still to take the bus to Franconia, but not climb Mt. Washington. I’ll keep this blog updated as I form my plan.

Since it’s New Years time, I guess I should make a resolution like everyone else in the world. Mine is to write an average of 500 words on my blog daily or 182,500 total for the year. I’ll come up with some sort of counter on the right side to keep track of my progress. Judging by how I normally approach writing projects, I am going to have to pull a lot of all nighters next December to keep on track. Don’t worry this wont meant that I wont be posting pictures, all posts will still be accompanied with some pictures, but I am going to add more about my life and such, and it will keep me sort of honest about posting regularly(I aint promising daily posting.)

Link for the day: Mustafah on Burn Magazine

I also want to make sure I have a link associated with every post, cause I read a lot of stuff on that internet and shouldn’t keep it all to myself.

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Review Round up:

Wagamama gets a 8.7/10 and Milk gets a 9.1/10

Woot this post is already over 1400 words