Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Newport: There She Sat

We were in Newport this past weekend for a wedding. It was the daughter of some of Anne's friends, to a young man with an apparently wealthy family, since the wedding and reception were at his aunt's summer home, and by "summer home" I mean one of those bazillion-dollar-mansion "cottages" that Newport is famous for -- we were in fact next door to the famous and exclusive Bailey's Beach, and just down the street from The Breakers and The Elms. It was really nice, a very pleasant setting and not as over-the-top as it might have been, and the reception was a total blowout. Photos to follow -- stay tuned.
(I'm mostly caught up with photos by the way, just posted a few oven shots on Flickr the other night. I have basically just a few gnome home shots from a recent ride -- don't ask, you'll have to wait and see -- and the wedding shots I took over the weekend, and I'll be up to date.)
Away from the wedding, the rest of the town of Newport was not as impressive. They make a big deal of of their history as the center of Gilded Age summer-home society, and they expend a bit of effort keeping the place quaint -- and there are a lot of really fine old Colonial-era houses that are still up to code and in use in town, in addition to the preserved Gilded Age "cottages" -- but the vibe in town was relentlessly tourist-trap commercial, a more upscale version of the Jersey Shore. The tell (and something I first spotted in Florida, likewise in a wharfside setting): lots of nice-looking pubs and bars and restaurants, but no good beer. Luckily, we found one exception...
Friday was a travel day, including a lunch visit with Anne's sister in Milford CT, Saturday was some touristy exploration followed by the wedding, and Sunday was more touristy exploring with some friends, a hike along the cliffside trail that runs behind the mansions, before the drive home. Traffic was typical for New England: awful.
Computer Fun: I've been trying to get an old FORTRAN program to work on my laptop, and I ran into some difficulties when some subprograms couldn't be found; I decided after some Googling that my best bet was to just rewrite them from scratch. Two of them just looked like old-timey "standard library" routines, and were fairly easy to emulate, but the other two seemed to be custom subroutines, part of the program and probably in some missing file, and it took a little sleuthing to even dope out what they did... (Basically, they were poorly-conceived workarounds, written to ease the transition from punched cards to file I/O. Yeah, it's an old program.) Anyway, I was messing with these over the weekend, planning & researching at the B&B, and the wharfside coffee shop, in between our other activities, and then last night I sat down and wrote the subroutines, and they worked fine -- if not on the first try then at least before I went to bed. The rest of the program is still hanging up, but that might be because of calls to some missing database, a project for another weekend.
How's Your Bike Training Going? Don't ask...