Today was a crappy day.

This made it a whole lot better.  Dachshunds are not only stubborn, they’re tough little buggers, too.


Dog survives a month in burned-out house

By Brian R. Ballou, Globe Staff

A Hyde Park woman cried tears of joy this week after finding her dog alive among the ashes of her burned-out and boarded-up house, where the dog had survived since a blaze totaled the residence on Feb. 23.

Terisa Acevedo initially thought that Lola, her year-old long-haired dachshund, escaped the blaze and was wandering through the neighborhood. In the days after the fire, the 24-year-old EMT and Northeastern University student posted fliers on telephone poles and walked the neighborhood hoping to find her dog. But as the days turned into weeks, Acevedo began to think that Lola perished in the fire.

But on Monday Acevedo returned to the house to shut off the alarm on a truck she was keeping parked there, and she heard a scratching noise at the boarded-up front door. She immediately knew it was Lola.

Acevedo yelled out her pet’s name and with the help of friends, tore the plywood off the entrance. Lola, apparently out of fear, retreated into the blackened interior of the house. But when Acevedo called out her name again, Lola ran into her arms.

“It was a miracle,” Acevedo said yesterday, hugging her dog at the Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Jamaica Plain, where Lola is being nursed back to health.

Hair! And flowers.

This is another one of those flashmob videos.  It came from an article on where they, rather insightfully, point out that someday we’ll probably all look back and wonder why on earth people ever did these things.  But, for now, I’ll take them.  This one is advertising for an upcoming production of Hair that is coming to Boston.  The video is here and I like it very much.  I especially love that the dancers are people of all shapes and sizes and colors.  That just thrills me to pieces.

Oddly enough, I associate the music of Hair with my childhood.  Or, rather, my pre-teen years.  I had a rather odd but inventive music teacher in Middle School and there was one year in grades 6-8, I can no longer remember which one, in which he had us do a concert of all the music from Hair that didn’t contain 4 letter words.  Granted, there isn’t a ton of it, but we had a great time with it.  I had a little solo at the beginning of Age of Aquarius.  This was the same guy who did a whole unit for us on The Beatles which included why Sgt. Peppers was such a big deal, the whole Paul is Dead thing, and the White Album.  He was, in retrospect, probably someone who did too much acid in the 60’s but he was pretty kickass.  As a professional musician, I owe him a lot.

Anyway, enjoy the video.  It brought a smile to my face.


On a very different note…

Everything going on in Japan is just so terrible, and so heartbreaking.  Kelly and I know a number of people from Japan (like our property manager and the former organist at our church) or people who live or have lived in Japan (like Liz, Dan, and their kids).  It just seems to get worse and worse too.  But there is still cause for hope, I think.  And there is much to be thankful for in our own lives.

I saw this photo today, and it almost made me cry.  This poor man is lucky to have his dog back, especially since he may well have lost everything else.

A survivor is reunited with his dog by a rescuer

– Geoff

The new job so far

Well, I figured I had better put something up about the new job, so here it is.

So far, I am really, really loving it. Despite having to wear a tie every day (usually a suit in my case) it is quite laid back and everyone is just so friendly. I share an office with my coworker who is also a security analyst, and that is actually a good thing because the room is fairly large and a lot of other people have cubicles. But because of the nature of our work we have to have an office with a door that locks. But we have a fair bit of freedom, and so I will be bringing some personal touches to my office. I will probably hold back from going hog wild just yet, because we are going to be moving into another building in a couple of months and I don’t want to have too much stuff to pack. But the school is really great, and I am getting to do the kind of work I have always wanted to do in IT. They are already talking about me doing some classes for new users at some point, and they are also going to help me get more certifications. I will probably have my EnCase Certified Examiner certificate before the end of the year, as well as my Security+ and possibly my Linux+. There are some other certifications they want me to get as well, and of course I want to eventually get the big kahuna, the Certified Information Systems Security Professional, or CISSP.


Anyway, my first day (yesterday) was spent just trying to get everything set up.  I have a desktop computer with 2 monitors, a laptop computer, a company cell phone (an iPhone), all sorts of software and permissions that have to be set up, plus keys, my school ID, my school employee ID, my access key card,  my parking permit, and all the normal HR stuff.  So far we have finally managed to get my laptop and desktop up and running but the SIM card for my iPhone seems to be missing and my voice mail for my office phone is still screwed up.  But despite all the expected craziness, I am having a great time.  The campus is surrounded by all sorts of interesting places – restaurants, stores, landmarks, you name it.  My boss took our “department” (there are only three of us) out to lunch yesterday and it was nice.  And so I will be spending a lot of time getting to know the university and all of its quirks and ins and outs.  But it is really exciting.  I have a lot to look forward to I think.  I am going to learn so much in this job, and it is going to be so much fun.

And just think… in a couple of years I may be able to start graduate school.  For free.



Back in December my parents lost their Elder States Kitty, Maxx, to cancer.  It was right around Christmas and both of my parents have missed him a lot since.  Maxx was… particular.  The offspring of a tiny calico who formerly lived next door and a GIANT neighborhood Tom who was probably part or all Maine Coon, Maxx had a tiny head, huge body, and was all love.  He was a lap and shoulder cat who liked to sit in the chair in the living room with my Dad when he read or, ahem, “rested his eyes” and either cuddle on his lap or perch on his shoulder as if reading whatever my Dad was reading.

About 2 weeks ago my parents got to feeling that it was about time to add a new feline or two to the house.  My sister went online and looked for Maine Coon cats that needed a new home.  They found two 6 month old brothers who had been surrendered by their owner due to lack of time to care for them.  They had been surrendered at a high kill shelter in the south and had been transferred to a no kill shelter near where my parents live.  They applied, were approved, and were able to pick up the boys this past Saturday.

Introducing Meezer and Moon.  Pictures and commentary provided by my Mom.  All photos were taken at the shelter before the boys were picked up and taken home.

Meezer was pooped.
Meezer was pooped.

Here is a picture of a very tired Meezer.  He is more laid-back than his brother Moon, but they are both full of energy and love to play with a black shoe lace on the living room carpet.

Moon in a rare sleepy moment.
Moon in a rare sleepy moment.

This is Moon.  I can tell because he has more fur coming out of his ears.  This is an unusually quiet moment for him.  He usually does not want to miss anything and will bring you a toy to play with, even if it belongs to Jasmine!

Moon says, "let me OUT!"
Moon says, "let me OUT!"

This is Moon again.  When not taking a kitten nap, he is alert and ready to play, or attack your sweater zipper.  He also is the most vocal and is not shy about telling you that he wants your attention.

Moon explores the shelter enclosure.
Moon explores the shelter enclosure.

Here is Moon again!!!  I think he also likes to have his picture taken.  As you can see, these photos were taken at the rescue shelter before we brought them home.  They have been with us only 3 days, but are acting like they own the house already.  The first day they arrived, both kittens jumped onto Dad’s lap when he sat in the red chair.  That is what he misses most about Maxx, the chair time, so he was very happy.  Meezer stayed on his lap, but Moon climbed up on his shoulder just like Maxx used to do.

Moon woke me up this morning at 5 am, by climbing under the covers and sleeping on my pillow.  Without using his claws, he grabbed my face and started licking my chin.  How can you not like that?  I am wondering if this is basic Maine Coon behavior or did we just get lucky.

So, those are the newest family members.  I am hoping that we’ll get more photos from my Mom and Dad soon.  Enjoy the pretty kitties.


April 2nd & 3rd- Mark Your Calendars!!

Hi folks!

We have a big weekend coming up here in Brookline and Cambridge on April 2nd and 3rd and I wanted to tell you all about it NOW so you can mark your calendars, arrange for babysitting, rent a car, book your flight, etc.  That’s right, it’s THAT exciting.

On the evening of Saturday, April 2nd will be the annual Episcopal Church of Our Saviour Dinner and Auction.  There will be drinks, a silent auction of all sorts of great items (curated with an assist from yours truly), dinner catered by the fantastic Lisa Shaw (she’s handling the food at our wedding, come to the auction for a preview) and a live auction by professional auctioneer Dan Smith.  On offer will be everything from jewelry and Red Sox tickets to time in vacation homes, voice lessons, and private dinners catered in your home.  It is always a great night and it is one of only two major fund-raising events of the year for the Parish.

The schedule is:

5:30pm Silent Auction 7:00pm Dinner 8:00pm Live Auction

Sunday, April 3rd at 3:00pm is a can’t miss performance by The Seraphim Singers.  I’ve sung with this group for over a decade and this is probably the most exciting concert we’ve ever done.  We’re doing the entire Bach St. John Passion with the Orchestra of Emmanuel Music.  We’ll be performing in the acoustically lovely St. Paul Parish in Harvard Square, home of the Boston Boy Choir, and also of the St. Paul Adult Choir, who will be joining us for parts of the Passion.  A reception to meet the musicians will follow the concert.

Though I have had the opportunity to perform the St. John Passion several times in my life, this is the first time I have had the opportunity to perform as a soloist, so please, if you are available that afternoon, I urge you to attend.  This is one of the monumental works of choral literature and should not be missed.  If you have never come to one of my concerts before, this is the one to come to.  If you have come to one before and never come to another again, don’t miss this one.

If you have any questions, please email me or Geoff.  I’m making this post sticky so it stays at the top of the blog till April 4th.  Please check under it for new postings.

Thanks, everyone!


Edit 3/15/11- I finally have the updated concert poster to post.  Here it is:  Updated St. John Passion Poster <– download me !  email me to your friends and loved ones!

3/15/11  Aaaaand, one more edit.  Here’s a jpg of the poster if you want to see it in small scale before you download it.  Enjoy.


Pretty red poster!
Pretty red poster!

Consider yourself invited!