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A most pleasant lunch

It is (or was — just IM'ed with my friend from the UAE for a while) much sunnier and a bit warmer that the weatherman predicted. My lovely wife O and I had soup at the newly-opened Pho Lemon (Vietnamese restaurant), and it was good. There's just something about Vietnamese food that I love — light and fresh but very satisfying all the same. We talked about O's company's upcoming holiday party — it's at Commonwealth Pier this year, and we'll be staying overnight at the new Seaport Hotel.

We saw that Cardinal Law's resignation merited an extra edition of the Boston Globe. That's pretty serious.

On the way back, I picked up two tech books at Quantum Books. First, there is the new O'Reilly C Pocket Reference, which I badly need since I've been programming in C and its offshoots for years and yet still hesitate whenever I begin a for loop. It's copyright 2003 and its actually translated from German — probably the first computer book I've seen not written first in English for the US market, although there must be others. (And why are there so many music and sound software companies in Germany ?)

I also picked up Unicode Demystified, which is worthy because it explains a lot of the linguistic and historical facts behind the details that you need to know if you're going to deal with non-Latin alphabets. (I bet typesetting this book was a bit of challenge.) For example, I learned that the funny marks around the o in the Vietnamese word Pho are actually a tone mark (combining hook above) and something that looks like an apostrophe but is actually a contracted form of a combining caron, but I can't make Windows IE or Mozilla display them properly: it turns out like this: We went to Phǒ̉ Lemon for lunch. Well, at least the pho will taste good no matter how the word is rendered...

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