Friday, February 28

Won't you take me to ...

... Obsession Town.

I achieved my goal of 250,000 steps for February.
And in an apparently unconnected celebration I gained weight in February too.

Thursday, February 27

This is good

In the news the past few days is a proposed change to Nutrition Facts.

Thank you FDA and Michelle Obama!

And while we're doing the thanks, we may as well add Advances in Science and a Populace with Obesity.

My happiness is not really health related, more that my company holds artwork for 5,000 products that will need updating.

Wednesday, February 26


The smell of my shirt today.

I'm wearing one that my mum washed while I was in the UK.

Her washing powder is summer fresh!

Tuesday, February 25

Trouble Brewing

There's been a big kerfuffle surrounding the Cambridge Prison in my neighborhood.

It's full of asbestos so they removed the government workers about 5 years ago. Only the prisoners remain in their own little 24th Floor Papillon.

Lately someone (city, state?) awarded the refurb to a company who plan to spunk $200 million on cladding the concrete monstrosity in glass.

The neighborhood is not happy. Glass reflects and presumably that reflection is going to (delete as necessary): Sap our power, burn bugs, kill trees, make hipsters wear sunglasses etc.

There's a meeting tomorrow and I guess we're going! I'm sure there'll be plenty of people with million dollar homes bleating about parking, noise and glare.

Which is worse than asbestos and prisoners screaming obscenities when you're trying to read a book and enjoy a glass of wine in your garden.

The plan is to turn the building into office space (because we don't have enough of that in East Cambridge), some apartments (because we don't have enough of those in East Cambridge) and probably a Whole Foods because we only have 8 of those in a 4 mile radius.

It will be nice to know I have another place to buy Quinoa while the asbestos riddled prisoners are shipped out to some sorry suburbia.

Monday, February 24

A Change is Gonna Come

Sam Cooke knew it, but I'm struggling with it.

I've been splashing a bit of Armani on for the best part of 25 years, so I'm shocked that they've gone and changed the bottle!

What is the world coming to?

Saturday, February 22

Saturday Night Out

Went out to dinner with my sister and all of her brethren tonight.

Food was good, but the highlight was my niece Grace.

At the local train station she decided it would be a good idea to play Gangham Style through her iPod and sing and dance along.

Then at the restaurant, she started taking selfies that got sillier and sillier. She may only be seven but she does a good Michael Caine impression.

On the ride home she asked if me and my sis were twins. I reminded her that I was much younger.

Thursday, February 20

Hello UK

Last night, UK bound, I boarded the plane and settled into my Business Class seat, which in an hour would become a bed.

I was already woozy from a sleeping tablet, when I heard a commotion.

Snotty kid starts bitching to his dad that Business Class is not as good as First Class. What a little shit.

Chanting "Serenity Now", I began to calm back down when another brouhaha erupted.

A family had claimed the middle beds but they weren't assigned the seats. Escalation occurs. Flight Attendant, Pilot (British Guy - too polite), TSA Gate Attendant. With the threat of the police looming a compromise was reached.

The next morning the Flight Attendant apologized for the stand-off. The family were Arab and I sensed a bit of a racial undertone to the attendants rather two-faced sorry.

Anyway. Here I am.

If you're a nerd who likes Hallmark ...

... then you'll love this one.

I was 7,953 days into my life before I met my wife Anne.

And today is 7,953 more days since that day.

I've now officially known her for half my life.

Wednesday, February 19

That's not how it works

I was watching a show on Sunday set in a bakery and I had the nice idea of ordering some macaroons.

I found a bakery in New York who offer 2 day delivery. Which is ideal because macaroons do go off (as if I ever save them!).

I ordered a box to take to the UK for my parents and an extra box for Anne to console herself while I'm away.

I figured 2 day delivery would have them on my doorstep by Tuesday or at worst today.

I received this e-mail.

Dear Richard Taylor,

Thank you for your order from Dana's Bakery! We wanted to let you know that your order (#012359) was shipped via FedEx, FedEx 2Day® on 2/19/2014.  You can track your package at any time using the link below.

2 day delivery is from the day I order the product. Not from when you decide to get off your butt and cook up some product.


Anne will get 2 boxes on Friday! Lucky her. I hear they go off.


I'm flying to the UK tonight for a quick 3 day family visit.

To counter the jet-lag I was up at 4am.

Didn't help that we went to Clink last night and I had one too many cocktails (which means I had two).

My plan for tonight?

The moment the plane takes off I'm falling asleep.

Tuesday, February 18

Monday, February 17

Conservative Contradiction

Found it interesting that Boris Johnson slammed George Clooney regarding the unlikely return of the Elgin Marbles to Greece.

Standard Conservative right-wing policy usually cannot wait to send anything foreign back to 'where it came from'.

A tip to all EU job-hunters and asylum-seekers.

Be made of marble.

Friday, February 14

Valentine's Day Massacre?


There's no greater sign of the milquetoast sanitation of life in the U.S. than of little kids handing out valentine gifts to all and asunder.

*, **, ***, OK I just thought of 3 more.

Driving into work this morning I passed a school. So the road was already busy with parental warriors in their 4x4 taking their walk-shy little Tarquin and Tamaras to first period.

A crossing guard (or lollipop lady as we correctly call them in the UK) decided to use her absolute power to stop the already busy traffic so a little girl and her mom could cross the road.

Half-way across, the girl whips out a present for the crossing guard and begins to have a conversation. Meanwhile the mom is merrily photographing the scene for an iPhoto event that I imagine will be titled "Why I'm teaching my kid to be a self-entitled c*nt".

I looked in my side mirror and counted 12 cars all stopped so that this little shit could chit-chat with the bitch in the fluorescent jacket.

3 more?

* misogynist NFL players raising Breast Cancer awareness

** The syrup laden CBS coverage of The Masters

*** The phrase 'Support the Troops' as a catch-all for niceness ... sure I drunkenly crashed my truck in the ante-natal clinic causing all 6 floors to explode including the creche but hey I support the troops.

Thursday, February 13

Ooh! That's so attractive

Anne and I are wrestling in mortal combat to see who can walk the furthest.

Nah. Scrap that. We've both got FitBit watches that track your steps, calories and other healthy nonsense. And each day it uploads your stats so you can see what a calorie burning superstar, or sloth like layabout you are.

I've set myself the goal of 250,000 steps in February, and as I approach the half way mark I'm a little bit under target, which is why if you walk past our house at night, you may see a weird man walking purposefully from room to room trying to reach his daily goal.

Of course we all predict within a year or so Apple will have an all-consuming product that will supersede the FitBit. It will track my dementia, daily rude thoughts, bone marrow strength and how often I say fuck each week ... all with a groovy cool interface.

As for this ugly eyesore. The watch rubs on my wrist and that's the product of 6 weeks. I'm switching to the other wrist for the next few days. I'm sure it will clear up by then!

Tuesday, February 11

Beats by (some French guy named) Dre

I signed up for a trial of Beats Music, the new subscription music service that's cooler than you.

You're presented with a jiggly set of bouncing circles, each representing a genre of music, and once you've chosen what you love and what you hate, they create a profile of playlists suited just for you.

The first song I played from my newly profiled selection was a French dude just talking over a minimal beat.

I did not select the 'French Guy talking' circle.

Today they're recommending Carla Thomas, which is right up by street.

But they're also suggesting Janet Jackson slow jams.


Let's Wait a While to see how this pans out.

Monday, February 10


Last Friday during lunch I noticed that every time I opened my mouth to eat my jaw clicked.

And it hasn't stopped. Yawn, eat or just pretend to be a screaming dinosaur and my jaw goes clickety-click.

By chance today I had a doctor's appointment. He appeared impressed by my click, but told me to not catastrophize the situation, apply some heat or cold and it may go away.

I thought at one moment he was going to punch me on the jaw in the same way they snap a shoulder in after a dislocation.

Sunday, February 9

That's just greedy

We're off to Napa in April and we just agreed on where we're going to have dinner.

Thomas Keller's Bouchon, Michael Chiarello's Bottega, and Hubert Keller's, Fleur de Lys.

You only live once which is just as well because who wants to have high cholesterol in their second life?

Saturday, February 8

Running in a serpentine fashion

I was walking along Boylston minding my own business today when I spotted a bunch of official looking Black SUVs and some cop cars.

As I approached, a couple of doors of the department store Lord & Taylor swung open, and out walked men dressed in black talking into their wrists (yes they actually do that!)

Then out pops Mr Charisma himself, John Kerry.

Nobody seemed to be forming a human shield so I kept walking only for one of the men in black to hold out his arm and tap me on the chest telling me to stop.

chose to stop. Of course I could have twisted his hand backwards and stolen his pistol all in one fell swoop, but I was listening to Simon & Garfunkel at the time and it put me in a mellow mood.

Friday, February 7

La la la la (cannot see, cannot hear)

Of course Anne picked the worst week to go away. No idea why her Grandmother 91 years ago thought it necessary to give birth during this week!!!

Finales of Biggest Loser (Biggest Guilty Pleasure) and Top Chef hit the screens this week and I had to avoid news all week so as not to inadvertently learn of the winners (or Losers).

It's not like we watch that many TV shows so to have 2 end in one week is unfortunate.

What I forgot to plan for is my new office, there are 2 TVs constantly playing in the lobby.

You have to walk past them to grab coffee, and considering my age, you then also have to walk past them 30 minutes later when you go pee.

And CNN ran a piece on the Biggest Loser. They thought she was anorexic. One down.

Wednesday night was Top Chef night. Being a cooking show, I figured it would be OK to read some sports news. My favorite cricket site has twitter feeds of cricketers and wouldn't you know a West Indian cricketer was cheering on Nina, one of the finalists of Top Chef.

So I've also avoided all cricket news for the last few days.

Finally watched Top Chef tonight. Ugh. Didn't want that douche to win.

Thursday, February 6

In the words of Ice Cube

It was a good day.

Today is my mother-in-law's birthday. She's 91. And although I cannot offer a lot of experience interacting with nonagenarians my m-i-l is the best.

No patronizing talk of soup, the war and kids today, instead Anne's mom is one of the funniest, interesting women I know. No subject is off topic – race, politics, abortion, sexuality, Seinfeld and the Game Show Channel, her range is wide and above all,
always kind.

Also. Today I worked in my Beverly office and kicked off a kooky idea to have a series of lunches with all of my colleagues. The first randomly selected 6 were funny, insightful and cool to hang out with for an hour that went by too quickly.

Tonight I had a Reiki session where Olga correctly guessed I was lost and lonely because Anne is in Ohio celebrating her Mom's B-day.

And finally I got home and managed to fit into a pair of cargo pants from Benetton. Excellente!

And then to bum everyone's high ....

Jeff sent me this PSA.

OK, it's not real, but it's darkly funny!

Wednesday, February 5


I'm going to have to post this in the style of an LA Confidential story.

Which client yesterday sent in a screenshot of a technical problem?

And why didn't they notice the chat in the bottom right of the screen?

And what colleague chats this?

And why am I more shocked because it was 2 women?

Photo of chatter blurred to protect the innocent.

Tuesday, February 4


My accountant gave me a silly desk toy a few weeks ago.

It's a deck chair that you sit your phone in.

At first I scoffed, but it's actually a cool way to keep an eye on your text machine while you drive through the daily routine that is work.

So it's been on my desk for 4-5 weeks and finally someone noticed that they mis-spelled Public ... in the worst possible way.

I've blurred out the name of my accountant. They're a great bunch of people (for accountants) and I don't want their reputation sullied.

After all they're numbers people not wordsmiths.

My worst spelling mistake came early in my career. I typed shite wall units instead of white wall units leading to the destruction of 40,000 Skopos catalogues. I'd have fired me for doing that.

Monday, February 3

Happy 10th Birthday

Apparently Facebook turns 10 tomorrow. Well done Facebook.

By the look of this photo for my 10th birthday I attended a pretentious photography course in Karachi.

I believe this was the year I received a pair of binoculars for my birthday. And I still own them.

The great thing about owning a pair of binoculars is that every few years you're in a cool location and you think to yourself, "If only I had a pair of binoculars." Then you're bummed out because they're in the bottom drawer of that unit where you keep board games, pads of paper you'll never use, and last year's Christmas Cards (except the kid photo ones, which go straight in the trash).

Looking thru' photos of my tenth year it is apparent I liked Adidas t-shirts, hiding my ears with long hair, holding my dog, and leaning against my dad's car. Beat that Facebook.

Sunday, February 2

Love that 13oz rule?

This is the mailbox right outside the Cambridge Prison.

Saturday, February 1

Bravo sir! Bravo!

I went for a long walk this lunchtime through Cambridge and Boston.

It feels like the first sunny day in a while, and as I crossed the Charles, the river was still frozen after a month of below freezing temps.

Swinging back around Boston I walked through the Public Gardens where the swan boats ferry tourists during the summer.

The pond is only a few inches deep so it's not surprising that people were skating or mostly slide-walking.

This guy caught my eye.

Cold enough to skate, but warm enough to go shirtless.

Sure his mother will be happy that he wore a hat.