Snow Dog at the Dog Park

[Snow Dog]

Snow Dog

We had a good snow sculpture snow last week, and someone made
this dog at the dog park.

I’ve been researching cell phones with better cameras, and
cameras that fit better in a pocket, and haven’t found anything
for less than $80, which seems frivolous. But I might get
annoyed enough at the great pictures I’m missing that I’ll just
get myself a birthday present.

Following up on last August’s arrest

I spoke to my neighbor who was arrested
last August when a neighbor called the police because his dog
was barking.

He’s still not completely out of the woods, but his lawyer made
a motion last month to have the evidence thrown out on the basis
that the breakin was improper, and the judge granted the

So the DA can still go through appeals and drag it out, but
they may just drop the case, if they accept that they don’t have
any admissible evidence.

I asked him if that meant he would get his computer back, and
he said he’d asked that too. His lawyer said the next thing the
police would do is apply for “destruction of the evidence”, which
will certainly apply to the alleged marijauna plants, and might
apply to the othe items seized in the breakin. (Not just the
computer, but his camera, printer, monitor…)

I can see claiming that a hard drive is evidence, but I really
don’t see how a printer can be.

Anyway, the lawyer’s advice is that he can fight the
destruction of evidence application, but he advises against it,
on the grounds that it might well cost more time and money than
the equipment is worth.

I’m glad I set up my offsite backup system.


I got a phone call at 8 AM Friday morning.

I was nervous when I realized who it was — it was the partner
of one of the people I was playing the concert with yesterday.
The last time I got a call from someone like that the day before
the concert, it was the wife of one of the performers saying he
had slipped on the ice and was flat on his back in bed and
couldn’t possibly get to and play a concert the next day.

So I was relieved when it turned out that this call was because
my friend wanted to borrow my crutches.

The story was actually somewhat alarming. She’s a fairly fit
person who climbs mountains and does folk dancing and ride a
bicycle for long distances. Two weeks before she’d been to a
folk dance weekend and danced 15 hours between Friday night and
Sunday afternoon and felt fine during and after.

For a couple of days before, her knee had been bothering her a
little, but then all of a sudden she went to leave work, and
pushed back the chair, and she couldn’t stand on her right

She was glad I didn’t mind loaning her the crutches. Until she
got them, she wasn’t able to move anywhere without assistance. So
she had to wake up her partner to go to the bathroom at night. I
said that was like having a dog, but she said the dog probably
didn’t whimper both to and from the bathroom. Actually it’s
probably easier with the human, because for the dog, you have to
put shoes and a coat on to take them out.

Anyway, I reminded her when she was being grateful that she
wouldn’t have thought to call me if she hadn’t been so helpful
during the six weeks I was on them — she regularly called to
see if I wanted to come to the supermarket with her, and went to
the pharmacy for me, and took me to visit Bonnie.

I was also glad I’d tested getting them out of the closet while I
was fit. They had enough ice skates and vacuum cleaners and
camping equipment in front of them that I wouldn’t have wanted to try
to do it standing on one foot. I’ll be more careful when I put
them back in the closet.

We don’t know quite what’s going to happen with my friend’s
knee. She’s had an x-ray, and it looks like torn cartilage or
maybe other junk in the joint. She has an appointment to see an
orthopedist next week.

Crutches aren’t so expensive that comfortably off people can’t just go buy
them, but they do take up enough space in a closet, and
reasonably fit people use them seldom enough, that it seems silly
for every household to have a pair. I think it’s something the
socialist model “From each according to his abilities; to each
according to his needs” should apply pretty well. So there
should probably just be a central supply depot that delivers a
pair when you need them, and then you bring them back there when
you don’t any more.

My rationale for keeping mine after the hip surgery instead of
donating them to one of the places that gives them free to poor
people, was that when you sprain your ankle, which I had been
doing every 3 or 4 years, people tell you it heals faster if you
use crutches and keep the weight off of it. I’d never tried that,
because of not having the crutches, but I was going to test it
out the next time my ankle gave out on me. It hasn’t given out
since the hip surgery. I hope that’s because the physical
therapy I got then, which focused more on balance than on
strengthening hip muscles, fixed the problem with my ankle, but
maybe it’s just having crutches in the closet makes it less
likely that you sprain your ankle. The same way carrying an
umbrella makes it less likely to rain hard.

New Cambridge Public Library Building

[Cambridge library]

I finally got to the new building of
the Cambridge Public Library
, which opened in November,

It’s really pretty nice. Of course, it helped that it was a
sunny day — I’m not sure it would be as cheerful at night or on
a cloudy day. But just having enough space does make a lot of
difference to how pleasant the seating areas are.

One of the problems with the old library was that it was hard
to find things. The new one has a pamphlet with diagrams of
what’s on each floor. It was still a little hard to figure out
that the “L” floors were underneath the main floor in the
“Glass” building rather than in the “Stone” building, but after
I realized that, I had no trouble finding the fiction collection.

I didn’t check out the meeting rooms or the lounge areas. I
did sit down in the “New Books” area and check that my Nokia 810
could connect easily to wireless.

It’s obvious just by looking at the fiction collection that a
lot of old books have been deaccessioned. When I found only two
books by Elizabeth
on the shelf, I checked the catalog. It lists three
of her books as being in the Cambridge library, but all of them
seem to (for now) be in the Minuteman Library Network.

One problem with life in Cambridge recently has been that while the main
library building has been closed for the renovations, the old school
building used as a substitute home didn’t have enough air
conditioning to be a good place to go on a hot summer day. It
looks like this will solve that problem.

I’ve always liked the Richardsonian Romanesque old building,
but it clearly didn’t really have enough space, and I’m glad
it’s been joined by a pleasant new building. When the decision
was made to make an addition rather than move the main library
to a new site, a lot of people felt that a Central Square site
would have been more accessible to more people, both in terms of
where people live and where the public transportation goes. I
understand that point of view, but I’m glad the old library is
still there. (For me, Central Square is a little closer, but
not enough to matter.)

If you want technical discussion of the architecture, here’s an

Condo for sale

[for sale sign]

This is good news, because one of the owners of this one is the
crabby neighbor who called the
about the barking dog, and probably the person who murdered
the angelica plant.

He definitely hasn’t been happy here for some time, and I hope
they both find places they like better.

So if you know anyone who’s looking for a condo in Cambridge,
let them know about 235 Broadway if you think they’d be good neighbors.

Urban snow architecture

We had about three inches of snow yesterday. It was just
enough to need to plow and shovel, but building a snowman of any
size would have been hard work.

[snow cave]

This snow cave was hollowed out of the pile of snow shoveled
from a sidewalk in front of a convenience store, and plowed from
a fairly wide street. I tried to get Sunny to investigate it so
you could get a better idea of size, but he was more interested
in investigating a nearby candy wrapper. Those are fairly large
dog footprints you see inside it.

It’s the kind of convenience store where people sometimes leave
their dogs tied up in front so they can run in and get
something. (Not Sunny; he gets uncomfortable and when he’s
uncomfortable, he makes the people around him uncomfortable.) So
this cave might have been shelter for a small dog.

I’ll either take up taking my camera on walks more often, or
get a better camera on my next cell phone.