Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Free! Garbage!

You know, it's amazing what people will grab when it has a "FREE" sign attached to it. Past places I've lived, you could put out an old, broken chair, a couch that had been physically sawn in half, a shadeless lamp, a lampless shade, or spare pieces of pipe, electical bits, and other detrius that collects in garages and basements, and once on the sidewalk, it would be gone within the hour. I've had people stop and take stuff before I had even made it back to the house after propping up the "free" sign.

I was a bit nervous here in Sudbury, because it's kind of a swanky neighborhood and they might frown on this sort of activity, but I spray-painted the word "FREE" on a couple of spare pieces of cardboard, and propped it up next to an old wicker loveseat and table that came with this house when we bought it. Under these was a wicker-type rug, ruined in some summertime rains. Next to this was the clonky old riding mower that I bought from my brother Matt after we moved in here. It has no brakes, and the throttle is stuck at full speed. Plus, lately, you can't mow for more than twenty minutes or so before it eats the belt that turns the mower blades. I only fill it up every so often with gas, but I have a steady supply of belts to keep it running.

Anyway, the mower disappeared after a day. The wicker junk left us after two days. I am quite happy, and my faith in people's strange need to get something, even if it's crap, even in a swanky neighborhood, is quite restored.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Medium-pimpin in da hoooood

There she is, my new ride. 1999 Audi A6 Quattro 2.8. 37,000 miles.

Not as fast as the subie, not as fun, but so much easier to drive, and it has the BLING and a few toys.

I was sad to see my beloved WRX go- my first, and so far, only new car, and the only car I've really loved. You know, in that special way. But it went to someone who had never had a Suabru, so it has a chance to become someone else's favorite car.

Already my new car has thrown a check engine light- pulled it, it's an air sensor flow meter. I'll bring it back to the shop if it comes back.

Friday, October 01, 2004

The Old Timer

Wednesday night I got the opportunity to go to the Old Timer in Clinton, MA.

The Old Timer is a small little restaraunt with an Irish theme to it. It's run by "Jimmy", a sad faced, quick witted man in his sixties.

One walks into the Old Timer, and goes down a dark, narrow hallway back to the main dining room. The Old Timer looks like it used to be a church, or a theatre, or a playhouse or something that was converted into a restaraunt. The lighting is yellow, there is lots of dark wood, and the seating reminds me of church pews turned to face each other. At one end, up high on the wall, is a large enclave, big enough to provide ample seating for midgets, or a large nativity scene (parts of which, including lights and fake snow, are present year-round).

On Roast Beef night, you are less than American if you don't order "The Buffet." The Buffet is small, including only corn fritters, green beans, Mashed Potato, and a huge honkin' slab of roast beef.

French cuisine it ain't, but the mashed potatos are good, and the roast beef is good, provided that you like roast beef. The old Timer's roast beef night isn't really about the food though, it's about the atmosphere.

Atmosphere is provided by Jimmy, in cook's whites, large apron and running sneakers, belting out traditional irish tunes, american tunes, show tunes, and whatever else comes into mind, while walking around the dining room, carving and serving the roast beef, and otherwise directing the activities in the dining room. Jimmy is accompanied by a pianist banging away on a baby grand set right behind the buffet. The music is like the food, solid, but not technically good, but it's not about the quality as much as the quantity, and the amount of good humor that comes out of it.

I had only been here once before, and I had forgotten how much dman fun it is! Did I mention that they have a really good selection of draft beers? Guinness, Harp, Bass, Sam Adams etc. are on tap, and help to out you in the mood for singing along with your mouth full, swaying back and forth and generally having a great time. With the beer and music and sense of fun, it's kind of like a bizarre Irish Octoberfest. I can't wait to go back.