Summer weekend -- 06/27/10

This is the first weekend of calendrical summer. It is also the first weekend of "Schools Out for Summer!" weekend since this past Thursday was the final day of school in our town.
(That link is to Alice Cooper doing "School's Out for Summer" with the Muppets.)

Friday (after I was finished with work) Nancy and I went 'cross the bridges to Newport for a corporate-sponsored gathering at a Newport Gulls game. (Some of you may recall me describing attending a Gulls game about a year ago.) There were almost sixty of us (counting spouses and children) for dinner and baseball. The stadium food services provided us with an impressive amount of food (green salad; pasta salad; French fries; choice of hot dog, hamburger, BBQ chicken; corn on the cob; soda or water; ice cream).

That is the Gulls mascot (a giant seagull, of course). Can you imagine spending hot summer evenings walking around wearing that costume? And in the picture below you can see Nancy and me. (Yes, I look fat, feel fat, am fat -- the lack of exercise forced upon me because of my Achilles heel, etc. does not seem to have curbed my appetite. *sigh* However, I hope that by the start of August I will be able to start to do some walking and perhaps by the middle of that month I might be able to start some light jogging. (Yeah, I said "I hope" not "I definitely will." As much as I can daydream about leaping back into action, I fully realize that getting back into shape will be a slow process.)

And sunset at the ball game... The sun has just slipped down behind the stadium. We were sitting on the right field side; I think the next time I will sit on the left field side (as I did last year) because it was annoying to have the sun in my eyes for almost five innings. (That row of white tent-like structures is not part of the stadium -- it is the covering of the bus and trolley stop at the Newport Visitor's Center on the opposite side of America's Cup Avenue from the stadium.)

The amount of walking I did that night -- from parking lot to stadium, up and down the bleacher style seating, and then back to the car -- plus driving 21 miles each way (Nancy does not care for driving across those bridges) -- was a bit more exercise than my right foot/heel/ankle has been accustomed to and that night it decided to let me just drift off to sleep and then seek revenge in the form of sharp heel pains to deprive me of a couple hours of sleep.

On Saturday we attended an alumni gathering....

Nancy had received an invitation to a gathering of Binghamton University alumni in Rhode Island. This is the university where I had enrolled in the English PhD program (back in 1970), dropped out, and then returned a few years later to get an M.S. in Systems Science. The undergraduate liberal arts school (and the largest component of the university, with about seven thousand of the total enrollment of fifteen thousand) is Harpur College. Nancy got her bachelor's degree from Harpur, which will be celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. She and I completed our M.S. degrees together from the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science (which, actually, was still called the "School of Advanced Technology" at the time that we had graduated.) And then Nancy, of course, went on to get another master's degree from the School of Education. (So Nancy has three times as many Binghamton University degrees as I do -- and she's the one who actually sends money to the alumni association.)

The above photo shows part of the bucolic setting for the gathering at a lovely home in the village of Kingston, not very far from where we live. I was somewhat startled to discover that I knew our hosts from the years when worked at Binghamton University (programmer/analyst in administrative systems). David had been Dean of Arts and Sciences at the university and Linda was in academic advising. I hadn't seen them in almost a quarter century. A fascinating couple, they had relocated to Rhode Island where David had spent three years as Provost of the University of Rhode Island before returning to teaching and research. He and Linda spend months every year traveling to do research and have published books dealing with topics ranging from pilgrimages to Iberian-Jewish history and culture. (And they've also published a cookbook.) So here we are, living in the same town for the past fifteen years, barely two and a half miles apart, and never ran into each other in all these years.

The picture below is looking towards their house. The part of the house on the left dates back to around 1790 and the part on the right was used as a blacksmith's shop in colonial times. The middle section that connects the two original buildings and makes them all one was added much later.

I also got to meet a former colleague at the university who was the Dean of Academic Advising and for whom I wrote many lines of COBOL code. He (along with someone the university's development dept.) was representing the university at the gathering.

Jill's Road Trip Report: this week she has hiked Mt. Diablo, went kayaking again, visited San Francisco, and then on Saturday morning she flew down to LAX to spend the rest of her trip in the Los Angeles area.

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