Category Archives: Uncategorized

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr

I remember Martin Luther King Jr very clearly, although I do not remember meeting him, as I’m told I did. In the early ’60s my father worked at Brown University in the chaplain’s office. A protege of William Slone Coffin’s from Yale Divinity School, from which he received his Doctor of Divinity degree, my father was responsible in those days for inviting speakers to visit Brown. Many civil rights activists, MLK Jr and Malcolm X included, were among them.

Almost always after the events, speakers were invited to a reception at our house, or someone else’s house, close to the campus. I remember that time mostly as a time of a lot of people coming and going. I was 6 years old when MLK visited Brown University in November 1960. My father and MLK were the same age. 

The famous “I Have a Dream” speech occurred exactly on my 9th birthday – August 28, 1963. My father was in Washington DC to attend, along with a couple of bus loads he organized of residents of Middletown, CT and faculty from Wesleyan University, where he was by then chaplain. 
I watched the whole event, hoping to catch a glimpse of my father, and listening to all the speeches, hymns, and songs. I remember MLK Jr’s speech as an excellent one, but it was more or less expected in those days that he would give a great speech. He always seemed to. We (my mother and I) always watched his speeches, and very often my father was there. The “Dream” speech was considered as one of his best, to be sure, but at the time it did not have the stature it has today. 
I remember most clearly my father’s eulogy in Wesleyan Chapel after Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis five years later. He could barely get the words out between the tears. I was crying, too. The whole place was. 
When my father traveled to Mississippi and Alabama as a Freedom Rider in the mid 60s, marching from Selma to Montgomery, organizing food and clothing drives for Belzoni, we of course worried that he might not come back. My mother put a brave face on it for us but several Northerners had been murdered in cold blood in those days for trying to intervene in segregated society, including clergymen. The Middletown Press ran an article at the time that recounted my father’s squaring off with a Mississippi policeman trying to close down a march. A witness in the party was quoted as saying he came dangerously close to getting beaten with a nightstick and arrested, as so many were. But he continued to go, and we were proud of him, especially after President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to end segregation. 
It is hard to believe how bad things were in the late 50s and early 60s for black people in the South. How many brave black and white people gave their lives, and were injured, which was always a threat in the air, for equality. Because of Martin Luther King, Jr. Yes, there were many, many others, including my father, who did their part and took their chances. But he was indisputably the leader, not only in speeches but also in nonviolent action. 
I remember the big struggle to get MLK Jr day declared a national holiday. I still see the nasty, ignorant, and hateful comments on Facebook and other Web pages about him and the day. Back then, it was literally a matter of life and death, and of serious injury, jail time, and financial loss to stand up for equal rights. 
He should never have had to do what he did. Equal rights for black people should never have been an issue. But it was, and he fixed it, along with my father and thousands of other brave souls. Let’s celebrate them all today, and clearly remember what inspired us all to act in the name of justice for all. 

Vertical Epic tasting results, full set, Dec 28

Results from the Stone Vertical Epic tasting Dec. 28.

Overall Stone Brewing pulled it off. All the beers were drinkable. And most were exceptionally good. Each was a different style, which was by design. So it was not a true vertical in the sense of it being the same beer produced each year, and tasted as it aged, as might be the case with Orval for example. But it was something no other brewer has done, and you have to hand it to them.

We had a great time with the event, tasting from oldest to newest, and comparing one to another, using the homebrew recipes for detailed information about the brews. One of these days I need to try making one, probably the ’02. The first and best (at least in our scoring)…

On a scale of 1 to 5 mugs, completely subjective, in order from top to bottom (best to worst) here is the average of scores from Kirk Searle, Brian Kelly, Helen Grembowicz, and myself:

4.3    2002
4.2    2006
4.175  2005
4.175  2009
3.725  2003
3.55   2008
3.5    2007
3.375  2004
3.2    2012
2.3    2011
1.375  2010

We had print outs of the home brew recipes for each (excepting 2012, which hasn’t been published) and checked the list of ingredients for spices, hops, sugars, malt mixtures etc. The 2010 suffered most from being unusual I suppose, with Muscat grape juice and chamomile unexpectedly cloying.

Some other comments:

2002: Like honey mead
Doesn’t taste like a wheat beer (40% wheat)
Like angels dancing on my tongue

2003: More alcoholic than the 2002, more malt forward

2004: Starting to taste what I don’t like about Belgians

2005: Like Ommegang (dubble)

2006: This is more of a thirst quencher. Could drink a bottle of this [not sure of the earlier beers in other words]

2007: Peachy nose

2008: Getting towards tasting like the bottom of the stale vegetable crisper

2009: Like a porter

Little bit of a burnt nose

2010: [Muscat and chamomile detected by astute tasters]
This is everything I detest in a Belgian beer, all rolled into one

2012: Pretty good example of the Christmas spicy beer thing

I worked in Santa Clara from early 2000-mid 2002 and looking through the local beer selections discovered Stone’s Arrogant Bastard, which soon became a staple of the fridge and parties at the apartment complex where we lived (we being employees of IONA, where I worked at the time, sent out to assist the transition of the Netfish acquisition).

When I moved back to MA, I looked for Stone brews and found the 03-03-03 Vertical Epic. Following the instructions on the label I bought one of them to keep every year after that, waiting for the release of the 12-12-12.

Because I did not have an ’02, after a couple of years of indecision following the prices on eBay, I finally decided to go for it, and was lucky enough to get a good bottle. As it turned out, it was the star of the event. What a great event!

Homebrew recipes (see bottom of blog for complete list)

The 11 bottles and tasting glasses laid out on the kitchen table below Santa say it all.

The 11 bottles and tasting glasses laid out on the kitchen table below Santa say it all.

Letterman looks like he's grabbing for the remainder of the VE tasting glasses.

Letterman looks like he’s grabbing for the remainder of the VE tasting glasses as the evening comes to a happy close.

Kirk, Helen, and Nataly (who wasn't drinking)

Kirk, Helen, and Nataly (who wasn’t drinking)

Nataly, Jane (who  wasn't drinking beer), and Brian

Nataly, Jane (who wasn’t drinking beer), and Brian

Spectrum Road

Cindy Blackman killed it all night. On the two Cream tunes (Politician and Sunshine of Your Love) I did not miss Ginger Baker. Vernon Reid seemed a bit shy about the Eric Clapton parts. Not that he couldn’t play them. He can pay anything. But he seemed uncomfortable about it. Cyndy just kept on hammering the kit, as she did all night long. I think she’s my new favorite drummer. Great show!

IASA Meeting Postponed!

Apologies but the IASA NE meeting scheduled for tomorrow, Feb. 26 has been postponed. March 26 is the most likely new date. A formal notice of the rescheduled meeting will be available soon.

IASA NE Meeting next Thursday, Hub Vandervoort to speak

Continuing our monthly meetings for the IASA NE chapter next Thursday Feb 26 hosted by Progress Software, with Hub Vandervoort speaking on event-driven architectures. Hope to see you there.

Hub’s presentation has been well received at recent industry conferences. I’m looking forward to it. Also when I spoke with him yesterday about it we discussed the interactive format we’ve had at past IASA NE meetings, and he is definitely interested in doing Q&A/whiteboarding after the talk.

Registration, details, etc.


Hello, this is my new general purpose blog.

I created it so I could import all the entries from my previous blog at (see below).

(Maybe if I’d known you could import MoveableType entries to WordPress I would have started a new one here, instead of at Blogger.)

I suppose it’s just as well – I can use the Blogger one for OSGi postings, and this one for general topics.

Need for WS-Trust

Sorry for the delay, meant to post this earlier…
Gunnar has posted a good entry giving some background on the requirement for WS-Trust.
Federated security is becoming more important as we move up the abstraction layer in software, and think more about assembling applications more and more from reusable services hosted in disparate software environments.
As interoperability specialists, we have been aware of this requirement for quite some time. In fact I contributed to the original IONA security architecture definition about 5 years ago. It has evolved considerably since then, and of course we will continue to evolve it toward standardization as these new security specifications mature.
We have one really great example in production (unfortunately do not have permission to mention the customer name) that federates Windows Active Directory with RACF on the mainframe, creating a single sign on solution based on Kerberos.
ps Like the George Clinton analogy!