Summer 2011 winds down

Human sacrifice?
Human sacrifice?

Although I’ve been dealing with several big projects at work, I’ve also been out of the office a bit lately. On Wednesday, 24 August 2011, I joined Janice at her department‘s clambake at Steep Hill Beach on the scenic Crane Estate. We had met Corbin A.Y. and family on the North Shore just a few weeks before that at Malt Hill in Beverly, Massachusetts. The grounds of the vacation home he and Andria K.Y. rented with his boss provided a pleasant retreat.

I enjoyed the shrimp, clams, mussels, and lobster at the clambake, but Janice had few alternatives to seafood — a rack of short ribs and corn bread. Most of her co-workers went down to the beach, and we checked out the impressive grounds of the mansion. The traffic on Route 128/I95 both ways was heavy, even though we tried to avoid rush hour.

We probably won’t get to the Marshfield Fair or the King Richard’s Faire this year because of other travel. Hurricane Irene brought heavy rain and high winds to the entire East Coast of the U.S., but we were spared the worst damage. After last week’s earthquake and the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaching, skittishness was understandable. Needham Heights did lose power for a short time around midday on Sunday, Aug. 28.

Since as many as 20 people died, I think it was prudent to evacuate coastal areas from North Carolina through Long Island — it’s better to be safe than sorry. Fortunately, Janice and I had gotten some low-hanging branches removed and our gutters cleaned in the past few weeks. We did have to pick up numerous smaller branches.

I had hoped to see the Conan the Barbarian or Fright Night remakes with Thomas K.Y. and Josh C., but they and the Pathfinder/Skype: “the Vanished Landstelecom fantasy game will have to wait until people’s mutual schedules clear up. At least the half-season premiere of Doctor Who was entertaining.

I had to work from home again yesterday because power to my office and the Riverside MBTA station was out. Unfortunately, I didn’t check my e-mail beforehand and drove to work, finding out about the building closure only after dealing with detours caused by fallen trees.

On a sadder note, I recently learned that Ray C. and a former co-worker at BNA in Washington, D.C., had died. Ray was a good friend in my early years of high school, and like the late Bill B., we shared budding interests in science fiction, fantasy, and role-playing games. They’ll be missed.