First full day in Albany

I was up at about 8 AM, showered and then spent the early part of the morning reading Foundation and Chaos. It was unusually mild out early today. I went with Eric to take Cali out for a walk after breakfast this morning and it felt almost humid.

I skimmed through the local paper during breakfast, the Albany Times Union. The opinions column had Andy Rooney’s column, which I don’t get in any of my local papers, and, as usual, I was hilarious. The column attribute included Andy Rooney’s email address, so I decided to sent him an email message, and this is what I wrote:

Mr. Rooney:

I’m writing to tell you how much I enjoyed your column, “A Staggered Life” in today’s Albany Times Union. I don’t ordinarily see your columns in print, but I’m up in Albany visiting friends this weekend, and I caught your column on the editorial page.

I’ve been an enthusiastic fan of everything I’ve read of yours which to-date includes “My War”, “Sincerely, Andy Rooney”, “Common Nonsense”, and most recently, “Years of Minutes”. I don’t watch a lot of television magazine programs, but if I happen to be near a TV at 7:55 on a Sunday night, I always tune in your segment on 60-Minutes.

I appreciate your candor, sense of humor, and skill as a writer. Most of all, I enjoy reading what you write.

Sincerely,

Jamie Todd Rubin

Early this afternoon, Eric, Ryane and I headed to a local mall where I picked up a fitted Yankee hat (size 7) since my old had really needed replacing. We had lunch at Ruby Tuesday’s (where our buffalo wantans came out cold the first time) and then headed back to Eric and Ryane’s house to pick up Cali and take her to the local city park.

The park was pretty desolate, but it was still mild out, although heavily overcast. We walked around for a while and allowed Cali to chase a few squirils. After dropping Cali back off at home, we headed back out and dropped Ryane off at a bridal shower in Saratoga Springs. Then Eric and I headed to a sports bar in town and spent a few hours watching the Seahawks of Seattle pound the Redskins of Washington over several beers and mixed drinks.

On our way back home, after picking up Ryane from the shower, it started snowing pretty hard. Somehow, the conversation got turned to Harlan Ellison and Eric mentioned that Ellison lived a few houses up the street from his parents. I couldn’t believe it! I’ve been past his house several times and never even knew it! I always knew his house was up in the hills but now I know more or less the address of Ellison Wonderland, which just boggles my mind for some reason.

We decided to stay in for the evening and ordered pizza. We closed out the evening playing Scrabble (which I lost) and then Uno (in which I was blown away). I can’t seem to win any type of game whatsoever. Why is that, I wonder?

I’m heading to bed now, and as I look outside, the ground it white, and the snow is still coming down pretty hard. The winds have picked up too, and are blowing strong. Weather is saying 3-5 inches by morning. We’ve got a lot planned for tomorrow–including sledding, so we’ll see how the snow turns out.

I’m so pissed I forgot my camera!

Richard Cheese

Eric was playing some hilarious music in the car today–by a guy named Richard Cheese. This guys takes popular songs of all genres, rock, metal, rap, r&b, and makes them into “lounge” songs. He’s got a great band backing them and a clear voice that brings out the absurdity of some of the songs he sings. I checked and three of his albums are available on the Apple Music store. When I get back home, I’m going to get a few of the albums as they are incredibly funny (especially “Do Me” off the Apertif for Destruction album.

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Richard Cheese

Eric was playing some hilarious music in the car today–by a guy named Richard Cheese. This guys takes popular songs of all genres, rock, metal, rap, r&b, and makes them into “lounge” songs. He’s got a great band backing them and a clear voice that brings out the absurdity of some of the songs he sings. I checked and three of his albums are available on the Apple Music store. When I get back home, I’m going to get a few of the albums as they are incredibly funny (especially “Do Me” off the Apertif for Destruction album.

First night in Albany

Eric and Ryane took me to this Indian food place in Albany called Ghandi. It was the first time I ever knowingly tried Indian food and it was all delicious. We ordered a bunch of stuff and I tried some of everything: chicken Mahkani, saag (sometimes called palak paneer), which is a spinich and cheese mix; mixed grilled tandori with chicken, fish and lamb; garlic naan (a kind of bread); and briyani rice.

I got a tour of Eric and Ryane’ house, which seems large on the inside. I also met their dog, Cali, who just turned two years old. What a cute dog! I forgot my camera–something I didn’t realize until I was already on the train–or I would have posted some pictures to go along with this. We took Cali for a walk, and then spent some time chatting.

Later, we went upstairs and played the old game “Operation”. This was the Homer Simson variant. Eric is a huge Simson’s fan and has a whole cabinet dedicated to Simson’s memorabilia. I lost by the way–I managed to earn a total of $300. Compare that to Ryane who raked in $4,000.

Eric and I closed out the evening with a game of ESPN 2005 baseball: Yankees at St. Louis. Yankees lost the game something like 14-3. A lot of it had to do with the fact that I couldn’t seem to master the pitching controls. It was fun regardless.

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First night in Albany

Eric and Ryane took me to this Indian food place in Albany called Ghandi. It was the first time I ever knowingly tried Indian food and it was all delicious. We ordered a bunch of stuff and I tried some of everything: chicken Mahkani, saag (sometimes called palak paneer), which is a spinich and cheese mix; mixed grilled tandori with chicken, fish and lamb; garlic naan (a kind of bread); and briyani rice.

I got a tour of Eric and Ryane’ house, which seems large on the inside. I also met their dog, Cali, who just turned two years old. What a cute dog! I forgot my camera–something I didn’t realize until I was already on the train–or I would have posted some pictures to go along with this. We took Cali for a walk, and then spent some time chatting.

Later, we went upstairs and played the old game “Operation”. This was the Homer Simson variant. Eric is a huge Simson’s fan and has a whole cabinet dedicated to Simson’s memorabilia. I lost by the way–I managed to earn a total of $300. Compare that to Ryane who raked in $4,000.

Eric and I closed out the evening with a game of ESPN 2005 baseball: Yankees at St. Louis. Yankees lost the game something like 14-3. A lot of it had to do with the fact that I couldn’t seem to master the pitching controls. It was fun regardless.

Trip to Albany

The taxi picked me up from the house at 10:30 AM. When the seatbelt didn’t work, I smiled and reminded myself it was Friday the 13th. Naturally, I got to Union Station without incident.

I had a business class seat on the first leg of the trip from Union Station to Penn Station in New York. The trip was completely uneventful. I grabbed a tuna sandwich for lunch and spent most of the time reading. The bulk of the business class car seemed to be taken up by by one family, who (it seemed to me) were travelling to New York for the first time. At one point, they started playing charades on the train. Go figure.

I managed to do some writing–a total of about 1,600 words total. I did the first 800 or so on the first leg of the trip, the next 800 on the second leg.

The train rolled into Penn Station ontime. I gave Jen a call when I got there but she was at work. The next train was delayed about 15 minutes. This was the “Lake Shore” line that goes to Chicago by way of half a million cities. Although this leg was an hour shorter than the first leg, it seemed to be an hour longer.

I rolled into Albany-Rensallear station at about 6:45 PM and Eric and Ryane were there to greet me.

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Trip to Albany

The taxi picked me up from the house at 10:30 AM. When the seatbelt didn’t work, I smiled and reminded myself it was Friday the 13th. Naturally, I got to Union Station without incident.

I had a business class seat on the first leg of the trip from Union Station to Penn Station in New York. The trip was completely uneventful. I grabbed a tuna sandwich for lunch and spent most of the time reading. The bulk of the business class car seemed to be taken up by by one family, who (it seemed to me) were travelling to New York for the first time. At one point, they started playing charades on the train. Go figure.

I managed to do some writing–a total of about 1,600 words total. I did the first 800 or so on the first leg of the trip, the next 800 on the second leg.

The train rolled into Penn Station ontime. I gave Jen a call when I got there but she was at work. The next train was delayed about 15 minutes. This was the “Lake Shore” line that goes to Chicago by way of half a million cities. Although this leg was an hour shorter than the first leg, it seemed to be an hour longer.

I rolled into Albany-Rensallear station at about 6:45 PM and Eric and Ryane were there to greet me.

Friday the Thirteenth

Yet another Friday the Thirteenth is here, the first once since May 13, 2005. I’ve always wondered why Friday the 13th is considered a day of misfortune, just as I’ve wondered why builders label the 13 floor of a building as the “14th” floor (as if anyone is really fooled by this). Wikipedia has a pretty good article on the origins of Friday the 13th.

I’m waiting for the taxi to pick me up and take me to Union Station so I can catch my 11:30 AM train up to Albany. With an hour layover in NYC, I’m scheduled to arrive in Albany at about 6:30 this evening.

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Friday the Thirteenth

Yet another Friday the Thirteenth is here, the first once since May 13, 2005. I’ve always wondered why Friday the 13th is considered a day of misfortune, just as I’ve wondered why builders label the 13 floor of a building as the “14th” floor (as if anyone is really fooled by this). Wikipedia has a pretty good article on the origins of Friday the 13th.

I’m waiting for the taxi to pick me up and take me to Union Station so I can catch my 11:30 AM train up to Albany. With an hour layover in NYC, I’m scheduled to arrive in Albany at about 6:30 this evening.

Latest issue of F&SF

I got the March 2006 issue of F&SF today. I’m so far behind it’s not funny. I’m six months behind on SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, let alone any of the science fiction magazines I get. I always do a quick browse of the contents to see if there are any stories that look immediately interested, or any authors whom I particularly enjoy, In this issue, there is a David Gerrold story, “Thirteen O’Clock,” which looks interesting. I’ll try and get to it sooner rather than later.

Speaking of magazines, do publishers send out renewals at the beginning of the year, even if your subscription is not up yet? Do they do this because it’s a new year? I’ve gotten renewal notices for four magazines recently. And most of my subscriptions are not close to ending. Well, I’ll worry about re-upping next week.

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Latest issue of F&SF

I got the March 2006 issue of F&SF today. I’m so far behind it’s not funny. I’m six months behind on SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, let alone any of the science fiction magazines I get. I always do a quick browse of the contents to see if there are any stories that look immediately interested, or any authors whom I particularly enjoy, In this issue, there is a David Gerrold story, “Thirteen O’Clock,” which looks interesting. I’ll try and get to it sooner rather than later.

Speaking of magazines, do publishers send out renewals at the beginning of the year, even if your subscription is not up yet? Do they do this because it’s a new year? I’ve gotten renewal notices for four magazines recently. And most of my subscriptions are not close to ending. Well, I’ll worry about re-upping next week.

Lunch with AJ

I met AJ for lunch today and we headed over to Noodles. I don’t think AJ had ever been there before, but I recommended their macaronni and cheese with chicken because it’s outstanding. I think he enjoyed it. I got the “large” by the way and wolfed most of it down without too much trouble. I’ve noticed that my jeans feel a little tighter these days, and my weight, which for most of my life I’ve paid little attention to, is at its all-time high: in excess of 63 kilograms.

AJ is going to be working in my neck of the woods for a while so I expect these lunches will grow more frequent over time,

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