Skip Navigation

February 26, 2007

Shootout at McGlinchey’s

Friday was the first meetup of the Philly Photobloggers in almost a year. Thanks to Geoff for getting the ball rolling and Kathleen for suggesting a theme. Why was I there? I’m not really a photoblogger, but I couldn’t resist the volatile mix of cameras, a smoky bar, and beer.

The evening was supposed to start with dinner at the Good Dog Bar, which I had never heard of, the reason being that it has only lately occupied the location where Frank Clement’s Tavern was for many years. I should have known that wouldn’t work; the place is small and always packed. We moved the party one block south to Buca di Beppo, a warren of dining rooms where there’s always room for one (or ten) more. The food was much better than I expected. I had porchetta rustica, which was good, but I was also eyeing Kathleen’s sausage and ziti, which she graciously permitted me to sample. Mmm.

After dinner, we adjourned to Tops (upstairs at McGlinchey’s) for the shoot. I brought a camera, but the available darkness was no match for my 400 speed film. I did click the shutter a few times, though; I like the sound it makes.

I was the subject of a few pictures, mostly because I can remain motionless for extended periods (it’s a favorite pastime of mine) and certainly for a mere 1/15 of a second (at f/2.8). After a round of Brown Shugga, the bitter Canon/Nikon rivalry was forgotten, and we all threw our glasses into the fireplace and declared unswerving loyalty to each other like so many Musketeers. "All for f/1.0 and f/1.0 for all." Of course, that’s not what happened at all. I could tell you what happened, but then they’d have to kill me. (First rule of Philly Photobloggers? Don’t talk about Philly Photobloggers.) Let’s just say it was a lot of fun, and we have the pictures to prove it!

The evening did goad me into finally getting a Flickr account. In picking a screen name, I was surprised to discover there were already eight Flickrites named Tony Green. Only one of them has ever posted a picture, however. Gee, I have a lot more in common with these slackers than just my name.

February 21, 2007

Susan Werner at Puck

Susan Werner is one of my all-time favorite singer-songwriters, so I’m banging the drum for her new CD, The Gospel Truth, due for release March 6.

Although she lives in Chicago now, the album was recorded here in the suburbs of Philadelphia at MorningStar Studios. Her first album (seven albums ago) was recorded there as well; she lived in Philadelphia in those days. I'm sure she would say she chose MorningStar because they have a lot of experience recording gospel choirs, but seriously? I think she misses Wawa.

The last time I saw her was November 30 at Puck in Doylestown. Her show was great and included a number of the new songs. She played most tunes alone as she usually does, but drummer Grant MacAvoy, who produced her first album, sat in on a few, supporting her with his typical sensitive artistry and restraint. Some sandwiches and fine beer helped us enjoy the show, including Franziskaner, Chimay, and Corsendock.

There are samples of four of the new songs on her web site, and she will be appearing at the World Cafe March 24. Susan writes, “I just wrapped up the best record of my career.” Based on what I heard, I can’t dispute that. Not at all.

February 16, 2007

Blogger Meetup Time Again

I list my regular appearances in meatspace over on the sidebar (courtesy of Upcoming), but other than that, don’t single any of these meetings out for special attention except for the Philly Blogger Meetup. I do try to promote the meetup precisely because there’s not much talk about actual blogging. The conversation is wide-ranging and stimulating and, of course, there’s beer. (Diet? What diet?) January’s meetup was quite well-attended and tomorrow’s looks to be successful as well. Ten Stone Bar & Restaurant, 21st & South St., 3:00 pm.


And here I reported that you were not going to make it! Look forward to seeing you there again.

Kind of a last-minute change of plans freed up the weekend. Look forward to seeing you, too! It's been a long time... last May or something? I enjoyed the office tour video. :-)

February 13, 2007

Best Wishes to Dan Rubin

Best wishes to Dan Rubin, now-erstwhile alpha blogger at the Philadelphia Inquirer, who will be writing a column in the paper. But it will have hyperlinks! Well, maybe not, but if anyone can do it, Dan can.

I'll never forget Dan coming to our Philly Blogger meetup two years ago, ostensibly to learn about blogging firsthand from a subset of the local blogging community—the subset who likes to socialize and drink beer. Sure, he had never blogged, but it was kind of like Michael Jordan visiting the local playground to get shooting tips. As Mark wrote in his tribute to Dan’s skill, “It was like he was a professional writer or something.” I enjoyed meeting Dan and was impressed by his sincerity and earnestness. I only wish I had made note of what he was drinking... so I could try some. Breakfast of Champions and all that.

I assume this move wasn’t entirely Dan’s idea, and I was surprised since it seemed that Blinq was wildly successful. At least it was wildly successful with me. After years of being aggressively telemarketed by the Inquirer (who in the age of the Do Not Call list, are about the only sales calls we get), I may have to start reading the paper. Best of luck, Dan! I’ll miss you in cyberspace.


I said the same thing - maybe this was part of their bigger plan to get us to read the print version again? ;)

February 12, 2007

Restaurant Week: Alma de Cuba

Hmm, I seem to have overlooked posting about Restaurant Week. We missed the last one in September; this time we remembered and chose Alma de Cuba, which occupies the site of the old Le Colonial on Walnut Street.

Overall, it was an entirely pleasant experience, and we would definitely come here again if only it weren’t for the 600 other restaurants we’d like to try. There was no problem with our reservation, and we were seated immediately on the second floor overlooking a gigantic photograph (at least 16 feet tall). We each started with a version of the mojito, garnished with sugar cane. My appetizer was classic ceviche. Not something I have every day, but I always love it. The Restaurant Week menu had two choices for each course, and I had planned to have the halibut mentioned on the web site, but the actual menu didn’t include it, so I switched to the Chicken Combo; Anne had the skirt steak. We both had flan for dessert.

I really couldn’t find much to criticize with the food; I enjoyed every bite. The acoustics contrive to undermine the atmosphere a little, however. While the rooms are dark and intimate in appearance, there is nothing to dampen the sound, so the place is quite noisy.

I always think it would be a great idea to go out every night of Restaurant Week, but quite apart from the expense, I just don’t have the stamina. At the end of this meal, I was pleasantly stuffed, and the satisfaction of this great meal lingered for several days.

February 6, 2007

How to Break the Mac

In an interview with Steven Levy, Bill Gates claimed, “Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally.”

Whoa, that’s sure news to me! Now, either Mr. Gates is seriously out of touch with reality, or more likely, is using Newsweek to spread good, old-fashioned FUD. Microsoft didn't invent the strategy, but they polished it to an incandescent luster.

I didn’t think it was possible for a hacker to take over a Mac “totally,” but after reading about the two latest Office vulnerabilities, I think I know how it could be done. The secret back door to Mac pwnership is Microsoft Office. Bill should know, shouldn’t he? ;-)

February 4, 2007

Forced to Use a Mac [nanoblog]

Been reading about the lukewarm reception of Vista and thinking it doesn’t much matter. So there may not be a stampede to upgrade to Vista and some may even defect to OS X, but eventually virtually every Windows XP user will become a Vista user, and Vista will be just as successful as previous versions of Windows. One defector, Erika Jonietz, writes of a time when she was primarily a happy Windows user, but “was forced to use Apple's Mac OS (versions 7.6 through 9.2) for a series of jobs.” Two questions: 1) where are these companies that force you to use a Mac? and 2) Are they hiring? :-)

February 2, 2007

Half-Hearted Diet Progress

I started a half-hearted diet back in October and, although it’s going slowly, it is working. I have lost 10 pounds. I know, I know, on a real diet you could probably lose that much in a week. Still, it is satisfying and 10 pounds is about half my goal. At my goal weight of 145, I would still be 10 pounds over my twenty-something weight, but I think I can live with that. It will probably be much more difficult to lose the next 10; I have already noticed that the rate of lossage is decreasing. Maybe I should, like, um, exercise or something.


Nah-- "real diets" shouldn't promise quick weight loss, since you're more likely to regain the weight. A good diet should have slow progress, since it should acclimate your body to the change and make it stick.

In any case, good for you! Exercise is good too.

Tony, I'm trying that too. Down 5 lbs so far but 5 is not as solid of a success as 10 -- mine could just be water loss or something.
My goal is to drop 20 also.
Do you think I should cut back on the beer?

Good luck to you.

That’s a great start—congratulations! You might have to cut back on beer a little if you think beer contributes a significant number of calories to your diet. But to me, a calorie is a calorie whether it comes from beer or something else. I don't drink much, so I haven't had to give any up yet. Here's a story: Last week, I weighed 155 one morning, ate an entire tube of Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies, had a hamburger and beer for dinner, and the next day weighed 154. When I told the guy I bought the cookies from that I had lost a pound on the “Girl Scout cookie diet,” he told me I should have had two rolls! The point is that I don't think what you do on any single day has any effect on your weight. It's the day-in day-out balance between the calories you eat vs what your body burns. If you eat fewer calories than you need, you lose weight. I found that if I eat when I'm actually hungry and not just when the clock says it’s time, I easily cut out a lot of calories without the hunger pangs that can ruin a diet.

February 1, 2007

Book: “New England’s Favorite Seafood Shacks”

As promised yesterday, a return to normalcy with a post about lobster rolls. With some snow headed our way here in the depths of winter, my mind has been spinning fanciful images of warm breezes and good food. Since those images won’t be fulfilled for many months, how about curling up with a good book in the meantime?

I knew of only two books with any kind of focus on lobster rolls: Lobster Rolls and Blueberry Pie: Three Generations of Recipes and Stories from Summers on the Coast of Maine by Rebecca Charles (who owns the Pearl Oyster Bar in Manhattan) and Deborah Di Clementi, and The Lobster Roll {and other pleasures of summer by the beach} by Andrea Terry and Jodi della Femina. (Andrea Terry is owner of The Lobster Roll restaurant in Amagansett.) Surprisingly, I don’t own either book, but yesterday I discovered a book that was published last year that I will have to buy: New England's Favorite Seafood Shacks: Eating Up the Coast from Connecticut to Maine by Elizabeth Bougerol.

I thought I had eaten at a lot of places over the years, but wow, this book is amazing. It’s not devoted exclusively to lobster rolls, but virtually every seafood shack serves them, and Ms. Bougerol claims to have eaten 156, so there’s lots of lobster love and plenty of new places to visit. Read more about the book and pay a visit to her Flickr gallery. It’s guaranteed to chase those winter blues away.


Oh! It's cheesy, to be sure, but I love the falling snow effect you put on your page at the moment. :)

Cheesy for sure! I was hoping to have it coincide with the actual snowfall, but it stopped snowing not long after I activated it and then I forgot about it. I'll probably leave it on until Saturday when the weather is supposed to clear up.