53 Brentwood Blog

Monday, January 31, 2005

Giulio and the gem in the navel of Europe. 2.

LAUSANNE tends to inspire hyperbole. In a country of spectacular natural beauty it is the most beautiful of cities, Switzerland’s San Francisco, a city of incredibly steep hills that has developed tiered above the lake on a succession of compact, south-facing terraces. Vistas of blue water, glittering sunlight and the purple and grey of the looming, whitecapped Savoy Alps peep through between gaps in buildings or at the ends of steeply dropping alleys. Much of the city is still wooded, there are plenty of parks, and the tree-lined lakefront promenades spill over with lush, beds of vibrantly colourful flowers. Attractive, interesting, worldly, and well aware of how to have a good time, it’s simply Switzerland’s sexiest city.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Giulio and the gem in the navel of Europe. 1.

From the terrace of the cathedral, I saw the lake above the roofs, the mountains above the lake, the clouds above the mountains, and the stars above the clouds. It was like a staircase where my thoughts climbed up step by step and broadened at each new height.

Victor Hugo

Friday, January 28, 2005

It stinks.

Smoking stinks and makes you stinky.
And not only that.


BBC News science and technology writer Ivan Noble was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in August 2002. Since then he has been sharing his experiences in an online diary.

This is my last diary.
I have written it ahead of time because I knew there would be a point when I was not well enough to continue.
That time has now come.
When I began writing about having a brain tumour, I did not really know why.
That personal style of journalism was never something I was particularly attracted to or interested in reading myself.
But when I was diagnosed back in 2002 I had a strong urge to fight back against what felt like the powerlessness of the situation.
I really wanted to try to make something good out of bad.
I was not sure if what I wrote would be any good and I was not sure if anyone would read it but I wanted to try.
And I also very much wanted to use the diary to maintain my link with my job if I was not well enough to work.
Optimism in dark circumstances
I know now that people have found the diary useful, and it meant a lot to me in particular to know that there were people in a similar situation to me or caring for such people who got something out of it.
The regular feedback from dozens and dozens of people every time I have written has been wonderful, especially in real times of crisis.
I know that it has kept me going much longer than I would have without it and I am grateful.
I am grateful to many people and this is probably the time to let them know.
My oncologist has been superb in his ability to generate optimism in dark circumstances and to provide me with invaluable respite, as has his colleague my neurosurgeon, who has more than once pulled nasty lumps of cancer out of my head with astonishing skill.
I did not see all the members of the teams involved in the craniotomies I had but I know what a superb job they did and how they kept me in comfort and without pain afterwards. They and all the staff involved in my operations and aftercare were first class.
My GP has been unstinting in his support and without his prompt action at the beginning of my drama I believe I would have done nowhere near as well.
The support and professionalism of Macmillan nurses is legendary and mine has been no exception. I clicked with him the minute I met him.
My plea
I would also like to say thank you both to the many colleagues and friends at the BBC who have been such a support and especially to the people who manage the department I work for, for their personal support way beyond the call of duty.
What I wanted to do with this column was try to prove that it was possible to survive and beat cancer and not to be crushed by it.
Even though I have to take my leave now, I feel like I managed it.
I have not been defeated.
Thank you once again to everyone who helped me and came with me.
The last phase now will, I know, not be easy but I know that I will be looked after as I always have been.
I will end with a plea. I still have no idea why I ended up with a cancer, but plenty of other cancer patients know what made them ill.
If two or three people stop smoking as a result of anything I have ever written then the one of them who would have got cancer will live and all my scribblings will have been worthwhile.

Thursday, January 27, 2005


If you’re going to sin, sin against God, not the bureaucracy.
God will forgive you but the bureaucracy won’t.

Hyman G. Rickover (1900–1986), U.S. admiral.


Wednesday, January 26, 2005


DARK, deep, and cold the current flows
Unto the sea where no wind blows,
Seeking the land which no one knows.

Ebenezer Elliott.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

The House

The House
Originally uploaded by jadedturtle.
We got anywhere from 20 to 30 inches of snow. There are drifts that are up to 5 feet in the back yard.

I got off tomorrow and will be digging my car out.


Blizzard 2
Originally uploaded by jadedturtle.
January 22, 2005, 4 P.M. - Governor Mitt Romney declared a state of snow emergency and activated the National Guard because evacuations may be necessary in coastal areas. He urged residents to stay off the roads for safety sake and so that road crews could do their jobs.

"We need people off the roads. Not just tonight, but also tomorrow. With the snow anticipated falling at such a high rate, our plows can't possibly keep up, they'll probably be working right through the night and again right through tomorrow to get things ready for Monday," Romney said.

News of any state government office closings will be reported here.

Photo of a photo

Here's our intriguing, misterious and racoon-filled 53 Brentwood mansion.
My sister Angela came to Boston in 1996 (or 1997) and took this picture of the house - note Kelly's red car! - with her disposable camera
I just took with my digital camera a photo of that photo...


Saturday, January 22, 2005


Originally uploaded by jadedturtle.
Ok, we now have a way of posting photos. But it will entail the lot of you opening a Flickr account.

You can then post photos like this lovely fire hydrant I took in 2002. You'll also have a place to store photos online.

Tell me what you think.

That is if any of you care.

I at least know Giulio does.

Angel Food

Though men are no angels,
they're better by far
so long as they think
that you think
that they are.

Piet Hein

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Updated Resolutions:

Maiko: I'd like to get a puppy... or sanity.

Jeff: I'd like to pet more dogs.

Ann Marie: ???

Mike: to make more pretty pictures of donuts eating sharks in afghans.

Giulio: make a music CD. I know, it isn't that easy, but hey, why not?

Ann, where are you, and for that matter where is Mayumi on this list?

My resolution is ...

... to make more pretty pictures of donuts eating sharks in afghans.

Monday, January 17, 2005



A BOY named Simon sojourned in a dale;
Some said that he was simple, but I ’m sure
That he was nothing less than simon pure;
They thought him so because, forsooth, a whale
He tried to catch in Mother’s water-pail.
Ah! little boy, timid, composed, demure,—
He had imagination. Yet endure
Defeat he could, for he of course did fail.
But there are Simons of a larger growth,
Who, too, in shallow waters fish for whales,
And when they fail they are “unfortunate.”
If the small boy is simple, then are both,
And the big Simon more, who often rails
At what he calls ill luck or unkind fate.

my resolution for 2005: make a music CD.
I know, it isn't that easy, but hey, why not?

Thursday, January 13, 2005


Ok, resolutions for 2005

Maiko: I'd like to get a puppy... or sanity.

Jeff: I'd like to pet more dogs.

Ann Marie: ???

Mike: ???

Giulio: ???

PS Maiko!!! TATKATAKA! You're perfectly right, work is overrated!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Nappy Yew Hear

My resolotuion for this year is to pet more dogs.

Stephanie and I will be heading out to Kauai, Hawaii for two weeks on January 23rd. I may never come back after all this shitty weather we're having......

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

New Year

Happy New Year!

I'd like to get a puppy... or sanity. Either one is fine.

My family is dangerous right now. Out of my dad, mom, and sister's household, no one is working right now. Dad is in grad school so he's unemployed, my mom only works half the year, and my sister is actually the only one working but she does not make any money with what she does. In the adjacent house, my aunt works, but my grandma retired. Why does anyone need to work anyway? Work is overrated.

I have a couple of days off starting in 2 days! Yeah!

I recently picked a new primary care physician.
After two visits and exhaustive lab test, he said I was doing "fairly well" for my age.
A little concerned about that comment, I couldn't resist asking him, "Do you think I'll live to be 80?"
He asked, "well, do you smoke tobacco or drink beer or wine?"
"Oh no", I replied. "I've never done either."
Then he asked, "Do you eat rib-eye steaks and barbecued ribs?"
I said, "No, I heard that all red meat is very unhealthy."
"Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf / sailing /ballooning / motorcycling / rock climbing?"
"No I don't", I said.
He said, "Do you gamble, drive fast cars, or sexually fool around?"
"No", I said. "I have never done any of those things."
He looked at me and said, "Then why do you give a shit if you live to be 80?"


courtesy by Risti

Monday, January 10, 2005

Me too

I also like puppies, but unfortunately I haven't found one yet.

Hey guys, what are your wishes for 2005 - besides having a lot of puppies - ??

Friday, January 07, 2005

Truckin' 2005

We found something? What did we find? Was it a puppy? I like puppies.

Happy 2005.

To the Founding Fathers and Mothers, Sisters and Brothers of the 53 Brentwood Weblog.
To those of you who end up by mistake on the 53 Brentwood Weblog and
To those who don't have Internet.