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August 17, 2002

A new beginning

Here we go again... a second attempt at starting a group blog for disgruntled web workers...

In times past, it was me doing all the posting, and sometimes I'd been so busy I forgot. But, now that I have movabletype installed, it should be easier to update, and with syndication, I'll be reminded of the latest updates on my own home page.

So, welcome to the new disgruntledweb.

August 14, 2002


Yuck. I'm sick. So predictable. As soon as the weather changes, WHAM.


Made it back with little effort. Didnt get to say goodbye to Matte before I left Lowell, but I'm sure he probably appreciated the extra sleep.

Lowell is a nice town. Next time, I may make a day of going to the various museums.

And now, it's back to the grind. I'll try to have the photos posted by the end of the day, I promise.

August 12, 2002

Monday, Part 2

I started a map... but it needs help. Perhaps I can find some online to help me... Drawing in Freehand is not my strong suit. Drawing roads in a big empty map of a state is harder.

Lots of pictures, some of which will make you laugh.

And when I finally get around to helping Bill with his family history, and you see the many variations in the Dunn clan, you'll see that I look like both the Dunns and the Lanes. There's a bit of each, and each one of my cousins gets a different ratio, but it is all obvious where we came from...

What really sucks is I'm missing Littlehale reunion next week. SUCKS!

Monday, Monday...

Another night gone. I'm back in Lowell, trying frantically to update. Annalisa and I finally got to talk tonight, and Matte took me on a driving tour around Lowell and the surrounding area. Very cool.

Too much caffeine from a SlurpNGulp. Ick.

Pizza for dinner. Sal's.

Cats on bed: 3.

Tired sweaty Matt's: 2.

Painting Geekgrrls: 1.

Can you tell the fun is over? I could barely even find postcards without braving the masses of tourists. BLEH.

My favorite gift shop in Maine was closed. But I got a photo.

And that's my next chore.

August 11, 2002

Sunday in the Park with (Alexander) George

What a day! Relatives, good food, and beer... Black & Tan's to be specific. Listening to stories, talking about how old (or young) everyone looks, house hunting, car buying, and parenting.

Oh yeah, grandparenting too.

Thank god for the beer. And the biting of tongues.

Sunburn. Grammie in a fishing hat.

PHP and XML and MySQL.

Second cousins... or First-once-removed, or something.

Pemaquid Point, of which I have many photos.

Multiple cultures, none of which has seemed to soak into my Aunt, who speaks about her "chocolate grandbaby"...

Talk about moving Gram, and her memory, and the red and white candy dish from her Grandmother.

And money. And conference calls.

Thank god, I'm leaving...

August 10, 2002

Saturday, In the Park

Other sights today include: retail hell, Kelly's car with Maine plates, a runaway dump truck.

Stories from Bill and Mim include: gram and papa;s move to the farm'
bill's loss of a model a in the move from frankliun to farminbgton'
maple syrup made on the farm (and found, still good) with cedar

Charlie Kenny

Family photos that Gram was throwing out.

The wonderful look of surprise Gram had.

Found a photo of Sarah, age 6 or so. She hasnt changed. And, despite it all, she and my aunt look
and act very very much alike. Perhaps that's why they don't get along so well.

Listening to Mim and Bill tell stories of the grand moves that happened... Tales of Papa and Gram's
retirement to the farm, how horrible a place it was... the starling that came up the toilet...

Bill's joke of how to give a cat a bath...

The porcupine in the venetian blinds...

Skunk in the milkhouse, digging up seedlings.

Tilling the fields.

Gram's retirement in 1972

Photos of me, age < 2. My hair was just as unkempt then.

A postcard for Gram, sent when I must've been in first grade, wishing her a happy new year and
asking about Benny dog.

Lots of photos of Papa's siblings (at least the boys).

Photos of Mim looking very much like Sarah, till she smiled.

Simon, having that same look. Alex too.

Ok, being antisocial. Must go participate.

Grammie and Shrub

Listening to stories was the order of the day today. Between visiting with Grammie
and with my aunts and uncles (some blood relation, some by marriage) I heard a great
amount of stories. But, I was too shy to ask if I could record them all.

So, I'll try to recount some of them here, along with some photos, when appropriate.

First of all, Grammie seems well. She is more mobile and happy than she was almost 2 years ago
when I was here the last time. However, she is NOT happy with our President, and in this,
I will begin to tell you why.

My grandmother is a Christian, by the way, but not the stodgy, bible thumping fire and brimstone
Flanders type. She is her own woman (as most in her generation tend to be, if not when they were
young, then definitely when left old and alone). The nation, however, being sent on a "Holy War"
is not a good idea. Trying to remember her exact phrasing, but suffice it to say, Shrub was not
her choice. I believe the word idiot was used, and my grandmother is known for careful phrasing.

She never implied he was ignorant.

"GOD did not intend to bring this nation to war against the perceived enemies of ONE man."

She also did not share his opinions on education, having been a teacher for a great many years.

"You simply cannot teach all children the same way."

Go get em, Grammie Frances.

I sat with her for at least a full 2 hours and listened (painfully at times, since she tended
to get lost and ramble) to a LONG stream of thought.

I do love her a great deal. But even in my loving care, I cannot say that she is not slowly
getting old.

New friends and Family Drama

Yesterday, I drove (and drove and drove) to Andover, Bethel, Newry, Errol, and all points between. Turnpikes are evil wicked things on weekends.

Meeting my great aunt Addie was fantastic. She's a sweet 85 year old woman who now has carpal tunnel from baking pies and bread, but she just doesnt care. The restaurant she ran for 30 years (but is under new mgt) was closed yesterday while the manager was out of town on a resupply run, and the folks at the new ice cream parlor (also in Addie's name) were not quite welcoming to townsfolk.

Addie reminds me of what I think my grandfather wouldve been, and that's refreshing. An old lady with spunk and attitude... when her doctor told her she should quit smoking, she said, quite frankly, "Doc, if you had something you'd been doing for years and years, and you LOVED to do it, and you'd made it to 85, would you quit?" (The doctor said "no") She said "Yes, I'm the only one left, and I smoke. But I like it. Everyone tells me how unhealthy it is, but I'm polite about it. I always ask before I light up, even in my own house. If someone's bothered by it, I don't."

She had 2 while we talked.

She looks a lot like Papa George. And I see a lot of them in my mom.

I really like her, after our chat. I had a feeling I would. When I called Sarah from the cemetary later, she mentioned Addie was always fun.

I also met Addie's youngest daughter, Susie, who reminded me of a cross between Tracy Ullman and that actress from Angela's Ashes. Her husband reminded me of Onslo from Keeping Up Appearances.

Addie wants me to keep in touch, and I'm sure I will. She seems like quite a spunky lady, in a good way. The way that if she were our age, she'd hang out with us.

The countryside is so beautiful up there. I'm not going to upload photos since it would take a LONG time. Well, maybe a couple...

It was sad seeing the headstones of some closer aunts and uncles of my mom. I didnt know them well, but I knew them. It was great to see the area where they lived, and every time I saw something truly beautiful, I got goosebumps. I realized why people live there. It's really wonderous.

I stayed in Portland last night so I could getr some much needed rest, and because my uncle told me it was too far too late to drive. So I spent mucho dinero. That's ok, I'll just stay an extra night @ Round Pond. I love it there anyway.

My uncles are there already, and my cousins (a few) may be coming. Most cancelled, which, I can say, sucks BALLS NASTY since I dragged my ass all the way up here from Ohio. But I'm not gonna be bitter.

After all, I made a new friend in Addie.

August 9, 2002

G-Monkey & Special Sauce

Last night, Matte, Annalisa, Dot-Org and I all went to the 'Dub' (not to be confused with the Dube) for dinner. The Dubliner seemed a lot like Mac's, forced into the space of the Mohawk, with live music and Damon's-style crappy service. I'll blame it on that specific waitress.

Dinner was NICE. Colcannon potatoes (mashed with garlic and cabbage), some sort of carrots, and a really nice mozzarella-tomato-Chicken breast. (Danny, look, chicken and tomatoes!)

This morning, I decided that I won't be back here tonight. I'll probably either stay somewhere near Andover or somewhere else in Maine. I'll miss Sooz tonight, but it's a 4 hour drive, and up and back in one day seems illogical. AND, the weather may not hold for hiking and beach-going if I put it off.

I still had my very own personal kitty to wake me up...

Fred makes a good alarm clock.

I think Annalisa left for work already, and Matte sounds like he's watching tv in bed. I'm gonna shower and hit the road north, planning on staying in/around Andover tonight. Going to go eat some of my Great Aunt Addie's famous pies.

Oh, almost forgot, the title of the entry: Annalisa and Matte named their new Sock Gorilla "G-Monkey" which is short for "Gorilla Monkey"-- he's now part of their ever-growing Monkey clan. The special sauce refers to Sideshow (another kitty) peeing on my shirt last night. Bad kitty. She has issues.

See you guys on here tomorrow, if I have access :)

Must... get... coffee... and Dunkin' Doughnuts!!!! No Krispy Kreme or Tim Hortons for me!

Not here...

I miss home!

I'm updating tonight.

August 8, 2002

I still say NO to Continental

nala was nice enough to take me to the airport this morning, so I could catch my flight to Cleveland. But, knowing that it was Continental, I shouldve expected problems.

First, our flight didnt arrive in Columbus as scheduled... they never made an announcement that there was a problem. It finally arrived just at the time we were supposed to be on the ground in Cleveland.

They were not holding the Cleveland flight.

We asked the flight attendant which gate we would be landing at, in order to gauge how long it would take to run through the airport. Sorry, she said, it's in a completely different concourse, separated by a tunnel, 2 escalators, and a peoplemover. Not to mention, the gates were on the furthest ends of the concourses from each other.

"We'll have a cart waiting for you at the gate."

And they did. To their credit, they helped us make our flight. 3 carts later, we boarded, but not before one of the travellers got snagged in a random search.

However, there was a group of 5 behind us who barely made it because they couldnt get another cart dispatched quickly enough. Such insanity.

When I arrived in Hartford, my luggage was all there. (YAY!) AND I got a free upgrade in my rental car (to a 4-dr Cavalier! Just like mine!) AND I got express pickup. Insane. Drop you off at your rental car, with the keys already waiting. Sign nothing. Just pick up and go. Scary, really.

And, then I made my way to Lowell, with the help of my trusty Avis map, and followed the traffic to downtown, where Matte and Annalisa live, and drove around till I found the address... It wasnt too hard, but the one-way streets kind of made it a little more confusing.

So, I'm not in Ohio. I'm here. In Lowell, typing away.

No photos yet.

Another East Coast Adventure

I'm here. I made it to Lowell, much quicker than expected. Matte is showing me how "butch" he is with all his powertools.

Ms. Christine (aka Sassymama) is now 21+ years old.... we won't say what the + is...

I'm missing a vintage VW show this weekend??? Crap.

August 7, 2002

Coworker Dan proves his worth

Coworker Dan brought me an article from the local paper talking about wireless (and wired) ethernet access points in cities around the country. From that, I found places with traditional access all over Maine and 3 wireless places (so far) in Boston. It's also suggested that big city Starbucks have some sort of ethernet access.

Yay me. The less I have to try to do with AOL, the better.


Got to work this mornin, tired as hell, but coworker Dan had brought me detailed maps for New Hampshire and Maine. He's pretty familiar with where I'm going, and we talked a bit about places to go and see. He and my friend Lee both recommended Grafton Notch, but said it's definitely for hikers, of which I am NOT one.

Unless I get a burst of energy, I'm not going anywhere off the "beaten path."

Mom finally emailed directions, which I will have to transcribe to somewhere useful, since they're on my home account, and I forgot to forward them to work, where I have a printer.

Lunching with the Sassy One this noon, returning a mini-tripod to Target... and checking on a possible upgrade to my laptop bag.

God, I just wanna sleep.

No Sleep 'Til Boston

Argh... under 5 hours sleep last night because Hensley apparently threw the doggie-equivalent of a tantrum in the middle of the night. Add that to worrying about the trip and you have a very tired Matt.

I need to start making a list of things to take, aside from clothes.

Camera memory adapter
Batteries for camera
Walkman FM adapter
Batteries for walkman (and AAA for adapter)
Mini-cassette recorder (from Jake)
Tapes for mini-recorder
Batteries for mini-recorder
Cell phone
cell phone chargers (car and home)
hands free kit
Bendy laptop light
laptop power supply
ethernet cable
phone cable
hockey-puck mouse (not taking)
cd-r's (for photos)
mp3 cds (dance & classical)
maps from my car
maps from Dan
plane tickets
bug killer
phone card (just in case)
mini-flashlight (just in case)
extra contact lenses
auto reservation #
family addresses and phone #s
annalisa & matte's christmas presents...
insurance card (car & emergency health)

ditty bag
bank cards

(pay credit bill before going)

time to go do some work.

August 6, 2002

Buy, buy, buy

So, I found the walkman-headphone-to-car-FM adapter, aka the iRock 300W, at the Apple store, so even if my Geo Metro sedan (which I rented today) doesn't have a CD player, I'll be set for music while driving around New England. I really need to download some classical pieces, too.

Tonight, hopefully, I'll finish laundry, and buy the rest of my last-minute items.

My mom and cousins still haven't emailed me back regarding the weekend, so I hope they all show up.

Annalisa has been kind enough to let me crash at her pad for a couple nights (and to coordinate a welcoming committee in Beantown), and Mim now knows which nights I'll need to stay in Round Pond and Portland...

My coworker, Dan, is providing me with his detailed maps of Maine and NH.

It's starting to get exciting around here!

Prepping for the Trip

It's time to start gathering and packing... I leave in less than 48 hours for the big Down East extravaganza. I really can't wait, but at the same time, I'm nervous as hell.

Deep breaths. It's going to be fine.

Need rest

Argh. It's midnight. I must finish laundry and sleep. My god, I shoulda taken another day off just to plan, pack, etc.

Tomorrow more reports @ work;. Lunch w/ Ms. Sassy, and then more reports, I'm sure. I think I found how to get the cell-modem working, but I still must find the parts.

Bought lots of batteries... and some other stuff... Gotta pack light. I'm so friggin stressed I could burst.

Considerably less than 48 hours to go.

August 3, 2002

Damon's Sucks

Screw you, Damon's.

Screw you, and your zero inventory of medium rare prime rib. Your menu which no longer includes flavoured iced teas, "Main Event" prime rib, or garlic-encrusted prime rib. Your barely cooked baked potatoes. Your waitresses who forget steak-knives and let your butter and sour cream melt before they bring your meal.

And the wonderful flushing of my digestive system a short two hours later.

Screw you, Damon's: The Place for Ribs.


I shouldve done better, and that's all I have to say now about last night. Today was better because of it, though. We each said some things that we needed to, and I think anytime we actually communicate it's good.

Athens was indeed hot and muggy. And the bar was loud and miserable. The hotel was adequate and clean. It was a good trip, overall.

Christine arrives Monday, just as Ohio Jay leaves. Literally, I'll be dropping off Jay just as I pick up Christine.

It's non-stop guest-star week.

August 2, 2002

Mixes and such

I've come up with a really good mix cd this time, I think. Even-keeled and relatively smooth playing. It's not exactly what I wanted, but coming up with a themed cd is really tough.

So far it looks like:
Aimee Mann
Badly Drawn Boy
Flaming Lips
Guided By Voices
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Imperial Teen

We'll see what the blanks become. I really want to somehow use Death Cab for Cutie or Dismemberment Plan, and then 'E' gets completely lost. 'J' might be one of so many, I'm not going to list them.

The final track list will appear here tonight, I suppose. This should really be Thursday. I don't have time for this to be Friday already.

August 1, 2002

ACRN 2002: Return to Debauchery

Ohio Jay is here! And Becky, too. Unexpected, but always a treat. I swear, our table at Mac's was a twisted Sex and the City episode. Becky has to be Samantha, by default. Jay, well, lets make him Carrie. Dan, well, Dan has to be Miranda since he's sure not Charlotte. But that makes me Charlotte, so that sucks. Although she's cute, she's way too much of a perfectionist.

Work is SO gonna suck tomorrow.

I can't wait to go see everyone from ACRN tomorrow. I miss Kristi. And I miss Star Search.

Someday, my "cast of characters" page will be up, and you'll begin to know of whom I speak.

Oh, and the thought of Jay riding on the back of a motorcycle to the house tonight is quite amusing!

News from home: mom ain't thrilled with the thought of me telling her sister that I'm, well, not straight.

And, the fabulous Sassymama will be arriving next week, although not under the best circumstances. You're in my thoughts, Christine.