May. 27th, 2009

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It must be some sort of promotional thing. Wait, I'll back up.

Jeeze, I'm tired. I went to sleep on the late side, around 11:15 last night, but that doesn't explain it. Waking up this morning was like waking up dead. I slept on the train, and when I was walking through Ruggles, I suddenly discovered that my zipper was wide open. This was not a dream.

I mean, I'm so tired this morning that I can barely function. So I went downstairs to Fresh City to get some real coffee, non-decaf. Incidentally, the girl who implied that I was a thief doesn't seem to be there any more.

Anyway, I'm walking in a half-daze towards the pastries to see if there's anything I like. As I'm walking, one of the girls behind the counter (about fifteen feet away) smiles at me and calls out "How are you doing, sir?"

Startled, I answered "Good morning! How are you?" and continued to the pastries. There was nothing that really grabbed me, though. As I walked back to check a couple of small pastry platters by the cash register, a man in a red embroidered Fresh City jacket walked up to a customer in a business suit, said something like "Hello, sir, thanks for coming in today!" and shook his hand. I started to suspect that something was going on.

Jesus. I'm so tired that I'm actually saying these words as I type them. I probably sound insane!

Anyway, there were no pastries that interested me by the cash register. A man who was sitting nearby jumped up and asked "What are you looking for?".

"Oh...a cinnamon swirl, or an apple strudel, maybe," I said. He told the girl to bake me one, and she said it would be ready in ten minutes; then he told her that the pastry would be "on him". I thanked him, said I'd be back, and left. I'm feeling pretty freaked out, but I guess I should go back.

Weird, weird, weird. Corporate-enforced false bonhomie always makes me feel weird.
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It turned out they didn't have either of the pastries that I wanted. So I got a muffin. That and my coffee was on the house, and they said the pastry would be free next time, too. I also got about fifty apologies, none of which were necessary.

That much cheerfullness is hard to cope with, particularly early in the morning when I'm as tired as this...
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My computer has been getting slower and slower and s l o w e r over the past three or four months. Boot-up took forever, and response time for anything kept increasing.

No wonder. It turns out I had only 1.6 GB free on the hard drive! So yesterday I went to Best Buy and grabbed a 1.5 TB external USB drive. I've already freed up over 60 GB on the system by moving over music and videos that aren't critical to me, and the system is doing much better.

I've backed up all of the family photos and videos that I've actually taken, but I'm not going to take those off the C drive; it would be a disaster if we lost those. But there's a fair amount of other video and music - probably another 60 GB at least, maybe more - that I can move onto the external drive instead. I should have done this a while ago. While I'm at it, I'm going to rip more of my CDs, too.

I used $10 worth of Best Buy coupons that I'd received to buy the drive (which was on sale), and was amused that I got a $10 from Best Buy instantly for buying the drive. It was still more than I should have spent, but it was necessary.
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[Edited 5/28]

Four stars.

A classic burger place. The burgers are large, plump, and delicious; there's a huge variety, too. They're not cheap, though! The fries, onion rings, and sweet potato fries are all likewise outstanding. Try the sweet red pepper relish at the tables; it's great.

It's almost always hopelessly crowded, though. There's often a long line to get in. Once in, expect to get jostled and bumped quite a bit. My seven-year-old son was hit once in the head by a chair that a waitress was moving, and bonked several times on the head by elbows (he's okay). Odds are you'll end up at the long central table, seated shoulder-to-shoulder and face-to-face with strangers if it's at all busy.
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There's a small dish of parsley by the cash register "for fresh breath". It works really well, but occasionally I've found a grain or two of sand while chewing. Just an FYI in case you have delicate dental work.

All that said, a day spent shopping and hanging out with friends in Harvard Square punctuated by lunch or dinner at Bartley's was my idea of heaven for many years!
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Five stars.

A hidden treasure, and a real gem. I didn't like roast beef until I tried Beef Barn. Their hot roast beef sandwiches are like none other: small (about hamburger-sized) on soft grilled rolls, piled high with perfectly-cooked thin-sliced roast beef.

On some days the roast beef is better than others, I think; I try to go on Thursdays through Sundays.
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They only accept cash, and there is no ATM machine on the premises. The closest machine is at the Stop & Shop a few minutes up the street.

What can I say? The Beef Barn is a really special place. There's nowhere else like it!
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Five stars.

River Falls is an outstanding addition to the Woonsocket area. Located on the opposite side of the bridge from the waterfall that gave the town its name, it would command a spectacular view of the river if the stone walls of the building weren't so very thick, and if the deep-set windows weren't so relatively high and narrow. If they could have a deck built overhanging the river, the view of the river would be absolutely incredible - but their prices would probably have to go up, I suppose.
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River Falls has picked up on one of the nicer features that Box Seats had, by offering unlimited soup - although that might only come with certain meals, I'm not sure. They also managed to add to their menu the authentic berched chicken that used to be served at the famous but now-closed Ma Glockner's Restaurant, although that's available on Sundays only.

All in all, River Falls is a top-notch restaurant, well worth repeated visits.


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