Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Conference diary

Well it's not really a conference diary, just a comment or two. The real conference diary is in theory being wroted in my lovely little PDA of the Small Computer of Smallness variety. If I ever get round to it. So this is just a thought or two, or rather a twittering observation or five.

It's Monday today and the conference proper begins tomorrow (Tuesday, do try to keep up) evening. So why did I travel on Sunday? Because the board meeting began tonight and runs right through tomorrow up to the conference's start. So add in a tiny bit of recovery and jetlag time and there's yer answer.

Yesterday I was met in the early afternoon at Boston airport by Gary and whisked away to Boston. We did some city-centre-tourist-wanderings. Notable was how nice the harbour is, and the area nearby, and the Old State House, which latter was simply superb. From last year's visit to Philadelphia, through Gary sending me the excellent book 1776 by David McCullough, to this year's Boston outing, I've found US history absolutely fascinating. I think in the past I have been guilty of assuming that history, if it did not have knights in armour in it, was not interesting: these experiences in the US have helped to confirm the wrongness of that view. I had reread 1776 just before coming here so it was completely brilliant to see Boston, the harbour, Faneuil Hall and so on.

Even more brilliant was the dinner to which Gary then treated me at Legal Sea Foods. My word. It is no secret that I am a bit squeamish about sea food. I mean, I have always been a bit weird about fish but much more so about oozy gritty things in shells. On the other hand, there's often various Imps Of The Other Shoulder pointing out that it's a shame to miss out on interesting stuff, that When In Rome blah blah blah blooby blah, that I usually like it when I do try something, etc etc. So I joined Gary in a big pot of "steamers" (steamed clams) which are served with two things to dip them in, a buttery thing and a soupy thing. These were very very delicious indeed. Then I had this:

Legal’s Signature Crab Cakes

Maryland lump crab, mustard sauce, greens tossed with fall (?) fruits and nuts; choose:
• Combo: one crab cake, grilled shrimp and scallops
• Dinner: two crab cakes

This was megatronically fantastic. I had the combo not the dinner version so you get the variety. Difficult choice for the greedy as the crab cakes are so fabcakes that you could eat, say, seven of them: on the other hand the other stuff, the shrimps and especially the scallops, were wonderful too. This was one hell of a dinner. Yum yum yum. I was then going to be all good and have a lemon sorbet with my coffee but Gary - masquerading as an Imp of the Sprengel's Shoulder - talked me into Boston Cream Pie, which was also rather good, and at least we shared one between two. Pedants will have noticed that "fall fruits" probably was not in the menu we saw on May 27th but it was in the online one and I didn't take the blog to dinner, nor nick the menu, so I don't know exactly what it said there though the basic message is correct. You'll get over it. (Unless you are a real pedant in which case you will probably have to go there, check it, and email me about it. You know who you are.) (Oh yes, it's me. Damn.)

After that seriously good eating experience we walked (well I lurched, more, really) back to the car and orf we went to Amherst. I was very pleased that my GPS got us around Boston and out to Amherst so well. I brought the device itself and Gary brought two MicroSD data cards which I had bought and had delivered to him. If I can be bothered I might explain why two cards but I wouldn't hold your breath. And then if I did it would be pretty boring so hey.

We checked in and did all that stuff and then once I was settled in I went along to see Michael as he and Gary are sharing a room. It was excellent to see him again, too. I had a beer with them, but was fading fast and got back to my room in a seriously zonked state, falling asleep and waking again at odd and inconvenient moments. When I woke up at 1.30am fully dressed and feeling it was time to go to work (which it was, in London) I was pretty bl**dy confused but by a heroic effort I went back to sleep and that was Sunday down the tubes.


Lottie said...

I'm very pleased that you've written this post! Boston sounds great so far, I'm very impressed with your bravery re: seafood and rather amused by the name 'Legal Sea Foods'. As opposed to what, illegal sea foods? Like merpeople?

I think I might become slightly more brave about seafood too, after all I convinced myself to like mushrooms, olives, bananas and various other foods so I really should apply the same concept ("eat it, I'm sure it's yummy really") to seafood. Perhaps we should go to a seafood restaurant sometime and both order things other than fish. Or perhaps not..

Am I your only reader? If so I feel very privileged.

I'm having a lovely time in London, D&D are away at the seaside with Lys tonight and tomorrow, so sister and I have borrowed Billie from Eva for the night.

(Note lack of identification as to who these mysterious people actually are!)

Hope to read another update soon :)

Strawberryyog said...

Thank for your kind comments Lot. Yes Boston was excellent, and the meal delicious and only marginally scary. It's Legal Sea Foods because they opened the first one up next to the family's Legal Cash Market, and that was called Legal because it gave "Legal Stamps", a savings stamp. When Ah were a lad we collected (as did, I think, the entire population!) Green Shield stamps which were a similar idea.

But I like your idea better.

(Oh and it lets them have the slogan "If it isn't fresh, it isn't Legal" which is quite good.)

If you want to be braver about seafood then I would recommend starting with scallops which are the least shellfish-like shellfish I know. (Right, in my vast experience...). And entirely delicious. They're pretty much like white fish.

As far as I know, yes, you are currently my only reader. I still feel a bit squeamish about admitting that this exists or at least about actively publicising it. I am not sure why.

Glad it's nice in London and that you have borrowed a pleasant dog. Always a good move. And thanks re IDs - it is possibly a lost cause in the long term but I like it like this for the moment.

Strawberryyog said...

Update: actually they have a rather good "interactive scrapbook" on their website.


- that might work but if it does not, go to www.legalseafoods.com and do "About Legal" > "History" then do "Watch Now" for the - ahem - "Timewave". It's quite good, and reminds me (a bit) of that excellent junk shop at Te Papa.