November 28, 2006

What Web 2.0 has in common with Reform Judaism

Filed under: Judaism, Software Blog — marcstober @ 6:41 pm

When I started this blog I thought I would have clearly delineated categories, with professional posts about software development and personal posts about other things. But I always end up writing about themes that crosscut the personal and professional.

For example, a post on another blog with the same complaint about certain technical communities that my Mom makes about her Reform Jewish synagogue; i.e., that by always keeping things simple for newcomers you make things less engaging for those who literally do know the lingo.

November 21, 2006

The Reviews are In!

Filed under: Personal Blog, Software Blog — marcstober @ 6:23 pm

“the stober tool is really cool…awesome!! dont know why i didnt use it till now… we should do a little marketing of this product here in the engineering team …so that others can make use of such efficient and time saving tool .. as it saves many clicks to restore, backup and connect to the database…”

(Alas none of this will make sense or be useful to you unless your desk is within about 50 feet of mine.)

November 9, 2006

Gordon and Alperin

Filed under: Food, Judaism, Newton — marcstober @ 9:21 pm

I made my first trip to the new Gordon and Alperin kosher grocery store.

The first thing I noticed is that their meat department is full service. That means no reaching in the case for meat on foam trays: you order at the counter. It’s no different, really, than a deli counter (in fact their deli is the other end of the same counter), and you can get more exactly what you need, and you have some options of how they pack it for you. It’s great, but I’ve never shopped this way. (Actually, they don’t use foam trays; they vacuum pack your order in plastic. I’ve seen meat packed like this for restaurants. Just don’t expect to see the plastic-wrapped trays of hamburger you get elsewhere.)

I do wish they would put up some signs at least. Maybe they have something, or have a good price on something, that I’d like but I don’t know about. (Seems to be a pattern among small shops in the area. I go to Lincoln Street Coffee a few times a week, and can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard them recite their muffins and bagel selections until they finally put up a small sign.)

I tried a couple new items. I bought both Country Apple and Smoked Andouille sausage from Neshama Gourmet (these were in a self-serve freezer case) because I’ve never seen kosher versions of these varieties before. I also bought some Osem bread crumbs from Israel that looked better than the leading brand of pareve bread crumbs.

The meat is glatt kosher, which is never cheap, but the prices on groceries seemed good. They have a produce case, but no produce. I asked about it and was told (by who I assume was the owner) that because of the cost of electricity, he can’t compete with larger stores. That’s too bad; I’ll end up elsewhere when I only have time to make one stop. Everything is shiny and new, and there’s lots of space for growth.

November 3, 2006

Nahanton Park

Filed under: Newton, Parenting — marcstober @ 5:56 pm

Hannah didn’t have school, so I took the day off and we went on a “nature walk” in Nahanton Park. I drive by this park every day and have wondered what’s there.

Nahanton Park

First we had a (small for me; big for her) climb up a hill. For the top you could get your bearings: in one direction, the “Eiffel” radio tower (off Needham Street) rose above the trees, and in the other direction you could see the JCC’s clock tower.
A number of trails lead down to the Charles River, including one along the river on which you could push a stroller or wheelchair (except for a spot where a tree had fallen). Hannah had far too much fun just picking up pebbles off the ground and throwing them into the water, but really how often do you get to throw pebbles into the actual Charles river?
You can hear the traffic of Route 128 in the background; but if you can ignore it, it feels like you are much further out in the country.

There is a trail map and other excellent information about this and other parks at the Newton Conservators website.