Monday, April 17, 2017

Tasty ham, beautiful weather, laughs, the marathon...

As I begin this blog it's 2:15 Monday afternoon. It's called Patriots Day around here marking the first battles of the revolution at Lexington and Concord. I probably won't finish this at this sitting but I guess that really doesn't matter. At this point there are still runners crossing the finish line of the 121st running of the Boston Marathon. I remember in the 70's and 80's I worked at a store my former company has at the Prudential Center in Boston. Below is a picture of the rather bland Prudential building. On the ground floors were many retail stores.
 
 
Below is a picture of the exterior of the store on the right, behind the duckboat.


Anyway the reason I bring this up is at that time the finish line of the marathon was not too far up Boylston Street, very near the store front. It has since been moved about a half a mile up the street, No matter what your scheduled was you weren't going home for quite a while unless you traveled with public transportation. Still it was pretty neat to watch thousands of runners go by. This year there were over 30,000 runners. A bunch of us would go out to eat and have a few drinks. I know at times I have complained about what a pain it can be dealing with downtown Boston on any day. Still on days like today I have to say how proud I am to live here and how wonderful the City of Boston is. On top of the marathon, on the third Monday in April another tradition is an 11A.M. Red Sox game. The city was really humming today.
 
I was at my sisters on Easter Sunday. It was a lot of fun. The wine was flowing and all were cracking wise. The weather was very warm, 86 degrees. We all made fun of the way we talk around here. Not so much the Boston accent but the way we can contract a short sentence or phrase into one or two words.  Did you eat? can become, Jeet? 
Do you want to go down ... becomes Juwanna guhdown... You're supposed to... becomes yaspozetah. What are you doing... Whatcha doin?

My middle sister and I both read comic books at some point in our lives. There's a cliché  sound effect that is has been used in comic books for years. It could have been used in Archie or Spider-man. Most of the time it was used when someone was falling off a building, into a volcano, out of a plane without a parachute...
Ok you get the idea. So we're sitting on the back porch. There's an ant on the railing and my brother in law reaches out to flick it off. As the ant goes sailing off the railing I say, "Aieeeeee!"  My sister caught it and started laughing. I joined her in laughter. My other sister and brother in law looked at us like we had missed our medication. 
 
That's all I got for now.
I'm outta here.  

Monday, April 10, 2017

That was the week that was.





Right off the bat I want to get this out of the way. Several days ago my friend Dave and I went to see the construction site of the new casino they're building only about four or five miles from where I live. It is quite close to the rotary of death that I mentioned last blog though it is easier to use since it is the first exit off the rotary and it is much easier to get in position to take it. Well guess what? It's a construction site with trucks and cranes. It's not particularly exciting so there's just a picture. By the way this is supposed to be done in about a year. They are building a casino and a hotel.

The airport is not all that far away from here. About 5 to 7 miles east of here, so it is not unusual to have planes flying over. I was on the couch watching television or perhaps the television was watching me, when I was startled away by the roar of low flying jets. It was scary. You don't know what to think. It was two distinct planes low and loud. Were we under attack? It turns out it was opening day at Fenway Park and the Red Sox commissioned a fly over by the Blue Angels but it scared the hell out of  me.

The marathon is next week and they have established a Krystle Campbell Scholarship Fund with a team of runners called Team Krystle who will be running and raising money for the scholarship. They ran through the neighborhood the other day but I had no idea who they were until Arlene gave me the lowdown.

Sunday was a beautiful day so Arlene and I went out for a bite to eat. Having a hotel built in town has brought four very nice restaurants to town. We've been to Salvatore's before and I have also mentioned before that the restaurants location used to be a bank. The Depositors Trust, the site of an infamous robbery that took place as the Memorial Day parade went by. The robbers, which included 3 cops, broke in the store next door and entered the bank through the ceiling. They left the hole in the ceiling in the restaurant. The take was 1.5 million in cash and an estimated 15-25 million in gold and jewelry. Anyway as you walk out the back of the restaurant to the parking lot you see one of the oldest brick houses in the country, the Jonathan Wade house built in 1683. I had my camera with me.


 
However there is one older brick house in the city, possibly the oldest brick house in the country. This city was settled the same year that Boston was, 1630. The Peter Tufts House which is almost around the corner from my house. It dates to 1677. This is not my picture. I got it from Google.
 
 So we took a right out the parking lot up Governors Ave and Arlene said let's take a ride. So off we went to the nicest part of the city to the next town over and circled back into our hometown. Here's the video. With all our chit chat we sound like we're on the zoning board.  


  
So that's it for this edition,
I'm outta here. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Computer dead. Wait! It LIVES!!!

I was going to go next door to Arlene's. It's Friday night. I was going to bring my laptop and we were going to view some videos of us driving around on the Island. It cheers us up. The weather has been particularly crappy so I bought a bottle of wine, gathered up my computer paraphernalia, shut down the computer and headed next door. Long story just a little bit longer, I set the computer up on her dinning room table, went to turn it on and it was dead. I changed plugs, took out the battery and it was still dead. Naturally I was upset, still it was ten years old and I got much use out of it and as George Harrison said, "All things must pass". I decided to check out some new laptops the next day. I went to Staples and Best Buy. I was not thrilled with Windows 10. I had to decide whether I should attempt to have it repaired and if it could be repaired would it be worth repairing a ten year old machine.

Now I'll leap forward to Sunday morning. For old time sake I gave the old girl another shot and whaddya know? It turned on just like old times. It's amazing how much I depend on my computer for so many things and how I missed it even though it was only out of commission for a day and who knows how long it will hang in there.  Anyway I'm glad I didn't have to purchase a new machine and I think I should research some Apple machines.

Now as a subplot to all this, a trip to Staples is pretty much a straight shot from here. However getting to Best Buy is another thing. I don't know if you have rotary's where you live but here there are quite a few. They can be tricky but none are as notorious as Santilli Circle. Mileage wise Best Buy is not much farther than Staples but you have to negotiate practically the entire circle to get to the store. Well there's a lot of construction going on around here particularly in this area. They're building a casino about a mile from the Best Buy so there's roadwork and lane shifting, lane closures. If you're not in the right lane for your destination, guess what? You're going someplace else. Ya know we people from Massachusetts don't have a good reputation as drivers around the country. Maybe a bit aggressive? Well there are reasons.  Places like Santilli Circle are a very good reason why you become aggressive. And putting a Casino on Boston's doorstep seems like an insane idea. How are all these people going to get around? There are supposed to be a lot of smart people around here, but they weren't too smart when they laid out the road system.  I love/hate living in the Boston area. There are so many of us crammed in a small area. Below is an areal view of Santilli Circle. All the arrows are mine. Pay no attention the black line. The red ones are supposed to be my drive to the store. The blue ones are other cars entering the rotary and the yellow arrow is the direction I ended up taking because I couldn't get in the proper lane to take the exit to the store. And notice that as soon as you approached the exit for the store you had better hope nobody is entering the rotary as you try to exit it.    


 I had to drive almost two miles up the road to find an intersection where I could turn around and head back. There is also the possibility of getting stuck in the innermost lane of the circle, orbiting for an indeterminate time until you can make your break or die trying.  Oh do I feel bad for out of towners.

Well that ride from hell didn't result in a new computer and hopefully my old buddy here will keep kicking for a while yet. Now it's time to start thinking of supper, but then again I always think of supper.

I'm outta here.