banning robots
i've got a robot crawling my site, disguised as some sort of service to monitor my webspace and alert me when it goes down - but it's essentially packaged spam. i've seen it increase its visit to my weblog with each day, today it hit me up at least 10 times. hopefully i'm able to ban the robot with an exclusion file.

photopoint is down!
it went down as late as 011217, it's nearly a month now, still no word as to what happened with photopoint. this is the first time i've been screwed by an internet commerce site going out of business. you'd think they at least send a courtesy e-mail to all its paid customers. not a good way to built up any sort of brand loyalty, i hope it wasn't just a case of let's take the money and run. maybe lawsuits will be filed, but what can you get from a company that's gone bankrupt? how do you split nothing? i've had about 1600 photos stored in various photopoint albums. now it looks like they might be lost. of course i have backups, but they're sort of unorganized, out of order, without captions. time to look for a new online photo album place, but those are hard to come by these days, it's not a very lucrative market, photopoint disappearing off of the face of the earth being a perfect example. so until that time i can find a suitable replacement for the service photopoint use to provide, if you click on an old photo link and it goes nowhere, don't blame me.

are the celtics for real?
they beat the knicks at madison square garden tonight. that's not what's impressive. what's impressive is that they were trailing for most of the game, but then in the fourth quarter the celtics clamped down on their defense and then had a surge for the next 12 minutes to pull ahead and beat the knicks. it's been a long time coming! the celtics are finally starting to turn it around! i think a lot of people are still whispering about the celtics, they can't believe that the celtics have been winning, they don't want to jinx anything by proclaiming the celtics arrival (noh noh, the return!) as a good basketball team just yet. if you're a celtics fan, you feel like you've been hurt before, and you don't want to believe just yet. i want more proof. i can't breathe a sigh of relief until the celtics get into the playoffs. how long ago was the last time they went to the playoffs? i want to say 1991. that's probably around the time when i started watching them. prior to that, i've never been much of a basketball fan. i was still in high school, i use to be of those boys who stared blank face at jock guys talking sports. not anymore though, i've made the complete 180 degrees transition. i was never a fan during the larry bird era, so i've missed a lot of the celtics' past greatness. i've sort of been watching while they were waning (when larry retired), and when they hit rock bottom. now that they're on the rise, this has got to be one of the best feelings for a sports fan, the feeling that the team you've been rooting for through thick and thin is finally showing the rest of the world what you've known all along, that they're the best team out there. it feels like vindication, and vindication feels pretty good.

this morning my sister drove me out to pay a visit to mister fan, a friend of the family, who owns a tailor shop in needham center. i had to get something fixed. you know your relationship with clothes has transcended another level when you actually have a personal tailor that you go to. this time of the year is one of the busiest times for tailor shops because with so many post-holiday sales going on, everyone bringing in clothes for alterations or hemming. afterwards i came home and quickly drove to brighton for game day.

the last game day was almost half a year ago, can you believe it's been that long? the participants on this particular game day, the first one of the year, were dan, elias, brian, and john. brian noted that we were probably only able to meet because our significant others (those who have one) were not in town this weekend. a large christmas tree crowded one corner of the living room, young men huddled around a coffee table, brian's christmas gift lava lamp undulating hypnotically to the side, dan's special gaming music mix softly playing in the background.

quo vadis?

el grande's

el grande

games played: quo vadis?, a strategy game about roman politics, and el grande, a game that on the surface appears similar to web of power but i like it better, despite all the counting (i don't consider counting to a key ingredient of a good game). i think everyone derived some guilty satisfaction over seeing colorblind dan trying to distinguish the difference between the different colored playing pieces. dan won quo vadis? (i was fourth place), elias took el grande (i was in second place, narrowly beating dan). brian, who normally reigns the gaming world with his fearful victories, won neither games, which leads me to believe that he is in fact mortal after all and not some sort of supernatural entity incapable of gaming loss.

around 11pm my friend manny came over my house so we could exchange belated christmas presents. he's been away in delaware, exiled by his company to work on a project. i gave him this logic puzzle involving spinning around these elephants arranged in a row so they'll slide out of a container (did i mention he collects pachyderms?). he gave me a hot pepper growing kit. wonder if i can grow anything from my work space upstairs? a farcry from my old space, my new space doesn't receive any natural sunlight. and can vegetables really grow during the shorter days of the winter season? i might have to wait until spring, and i might have to grow them downstairs on my old windowsill.