Monday, December 27, 2010

I have no title...wait...there is a lot of snow...

Did you ever remember that you were supposed to remember something but you can't remember what you were supposed to remember? Just wondering. As I write this it is Sunday evening almost 9 pm EST. I say this right now because I won't finish this tonight, I will finish it tomorrow. We're  in the midst of a blizzard. Where I live we are expecting about 18 inches of snow. I see much shoveling in my future. You know what I don't mind. I kind of like it. Let me just say that I like it because I don't have to work on Monday. They say the wind will gust up to 50 mph as the storm worsens.

Boy am I happy I didn't have to work today! This is the kind of day I don't get upset with surge in business. This kind of storm that can cripple an area like Boston. It's crowded around here. Still it's not going to be like 1978. That's the one we remember around here. Mother nature can sure be impressive.

I spent a tranquil day. I didn't have to do do anything and I sure didn't do much of anything. I am warm and toasty and in a good mood. I guess I'm just decompressing. I got to watch the New England Patriots win yet again. Boy I am so lucky to live near a city with so many pro teams in contention for a championship. Anyway I didn't do much of anything. I did watch a bit of television. Boy are the networks exploiting the popularity of "talent shows". I saw a promo for yet another show, Live To Dance. What's next? So You Think You Can Yodel? America's Got Gas.

OK . Fast forward. It is now 2:35 on Monday. The snow is pretty much over but the wind is howling. It's actually tough to tell if the snow has ended because of all the blowing snow. All my shoveling is done. I've been out and about for a bit. It's slow going but you can get around. 

My street today.
 
That's my car surrounded by snow.

 And now a little movie.
video
Update. It is now about 4:45 pm. I stopped writing for a bit. Finished off my laundry and am getting ready to make a pizza.
Well despite all the snow I am none the worse for wear. People along the coast got the worst of it. They got mostly rain but the ocean was very angry. At the height of the storm there were 30 foot waves. Next week at this time most of this snow will be gone. If I had the energy I would get dressed, not that I'm not dressed at the moment, and go out and take pictures of the decorated houses before the snow gets ugly. But listening to that wind howl through the wrought iron on the porch I think I'll just eat my pizza and fall into a vegetative state.

I go back to work tomorrow. I have been very lucky to have had these last 3 days off. Apart for some shoveling I won't be so lucky next week as I work right through New Years day. Hey you pay for your thrills.

I had other stuff to mention but I can't think of it at the moment besides I hear the pizza calling.

I'm outta here.
  

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

While I have a minute...

Hi. Truthfully I have had little desire to sit at the computer for any length of time the last few weeks. Things will calm down after Christmas. There's nothing bad going on it's just a very busy time of the year. With 3 holidays and 3 birthdays in a little over a month combined with changes at work leading to my rather erratic work schedule I have had little desire to do much of anything when the day is over. OK enough guilt over my recent absence from the blogger world. I have not been over to Spaces since last June. Does anybody know if the photo albums will dissapear along with the blogs? I'm not worried about losing my pictures because I have everything saved off line. I'm just curious. I suppose I could go there and seek the information out but at the moment I'm not up to dealing with the cluttered nonesense that Spaces has become.

At this time I'd like to remember a mutual friend to a lot of us who left us about a year ago, Ducky. A very nice woman who had many things to deal with in her life. She had her ups and downs during the brief one or two years I knew her but she was always kind and tried to maintain a good attitude. I still have two emails from her just days before she passed. Nothing special. A music site and a YouTube video but I haven't had the heart to delete them. Merry Christmas Ducky. 

I'm not sure why the text in my last post appeared the way it did. I'm sure it was something I did. Sorry about that folks. In boring local news, we got our first bit of snow yesterday. It's was just a couple of inches but that's enough to snarl things up on the road. Cape Cod had it much worse with up to a foot of snow in spots. It's only a matter of time before we get a good sized storm. I know I've said it many times before but I'm always amused when some people act so surprised and panicked when it snows in the winter. I can understand this in warm climate but this has been a yearly occurrence during my lifetime around here. It has been established that we will get snow during the winter months. I say deal with it or move.

Last year I went to the resurrected presentation of the Enchanted Village. It's the recreation of a little town during Christmas maybe 100 years ago. When I was a kid this was presented annually by the then most famous department store in New England, Jordan Marsh. Every year my mother would take my sister and I into Boston for Christmas shopping and a trip to the Enchanted Village. I realize now what an undertaking it was for her because there were no malls in the area and there were only two in the country at the time. Dragging us by bus and train into town. Of course we got to eat lunch in the big city which was fun. We got to mess around in the toy departments while my mother was busy shopping. Several hours into the day we would get cranky and want to go home. Traveling home at rush hour on those crowded trains was always an adventure. I don't know how she did it.

Eventually Jordan Marsh was bought by Macy's in the late 80's and the name Jordan Marsh disappeared after probably 100 years along with the Enchanted Village. It was resurrected some years later by the city and displayed on the Boston Common. That ended, I'm sure, because of budgetery cuts and it dissapeared again. Two or three years ago a local New England furniture retailer bought up all the sets moving figures, had the refurbished and set it all back up in one of his furniture stores. Aparently he remembers the Enchanted Village from his Childhood. What the hell I'll give him a plug. It's Jordans Furniture. I did buy a couch and a recliner from him. Anyway this is my long winded explanation for the little slideshow I put together this morning. I posted these pictures on Spaces about a year ago. I used "The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies" before as well so this a bit of a retread but that's what I have at this time.
video
So Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, whatever is proper or improper to say in these times of political correctness... oh don't get me started. Enjoy your family and friends. They're the only presents you need.

I'm outta here, but quite merrily so!

Toodle loo MSN

 

My quest is complete no thanks to MSN "help" .   
I sent an email to an MSN link after reading a paragraph titled, "Changing your email administrator and password". I received pretty quick response verifying the information I had provided proving I was the administator. They then told me they would evaluate the situation and send me a solution in about 24 hours. True to their word in about 24 hours they sent me a link . A link as to how to change your password! I can't change my password becuse because I am no longer the administrator. My Email address was hijacked! The password was changed so I could no longer use my email address. Their instructions? Log onto MSN and click on "change your password". How can I log in if my password doesn't work?  Then at the bottom of the instructions it said, "Only the email administrator can change a password." No shit Sherlock! That's why I wrote you clowns in the first place! At the very bottom they ask, "Did you find this helpful?" Beth you are right. MSN does suck.

On the bright side after more digging I finally found a way to cancel my account with MSN. Gone! Kaput after 12 years. It would have been kaput anyway on March 1st as that's when they will begin charging for their email service. They have ended their association with Verizon. MSN Premium wasn't all that great. It had a couple of nice features but nothing that I can't do without. I have had to enter all my addresses into my computer but it's over now. I'm so sorry for all the emails that went out from my email account. I sent an email out to Beth, Carole and Nancy. Carole's and Nancy's came back to me. I think I entered Caroles address wrong and Nancy's address may be an old one. 

So it's over. Time to move on. I've got to clean the bathroom.

i'm outta here.       

    

Friday, December 17, 2010

Good Play. Not so great photos.

The weather was cooperative. Cold but not freezing. There was little wind and it was sunny. Public transportation was very efficient. We traveled at the perfect time of day 11:30 in the morning. The subway took us all the way to the very edge of the theater district. As we hit the street I looked left and saw this part of the district.

The Paramount theater that you see as well as two or three more up the street were vaudeville/movie theaters. They fell into disrepair and all closed by the '70s. By then they were either showing x rated films and or featured strippers. I'll admit I went to one strip show in the "combat zone". This was not the only show I attended in my 20's, just the only one I saw in downtown Boston. The show I saw features a woman called Chesty Morgan. There's no need to explain her particular "talents". The  word ample is not a powerful enough adjective to describe this woman. All I can say is that her "act" also consisted of two little people with silver platters. As you may have noticed, I've digressed. Looking at the picture just knocked the dust off these memories. Well anyway, The theaters have been refurbished. I don't know if they all have stage shows or movies but these are beautiful old time theaters. We went in the opposite way towards the Colonial Theater. This one has been open for years and is one of the ones that features the Broadway shows. Here was my view from our seats in the mezzanine.
 The next three are composite shots. The first one is two pictures stitched together. The second one is three pictures. It's tricky when you stich together pictures involving people who are constantly moving. Well it's tricky for my computer program. If you look along the bottom of the third picture, near the middle, you'll see two ghostly images of people who either moved or were mostly removed from the final picture. Sort of like Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock got there molecules scrambled by the transporter. Apart from that they all matched up pretty well.
  Taking pictures of the performance was a strict no no. The show basically out lines the career of the Four Season from their beginings on the streets of New Jersey to fame with the songs sprinkled throughout. One thing that I did like was hearing live music and singing without having my head blown off. It was loud enough to hear but you could still hear the person next to you. Every live show I've seen has been loud! It was all slickly presented. The actors were fabulous. What a talented cast. Singing, dancing, acting. I didn't catch any flubs. I couldn't tell you anything of the history of the Four Seasons like I could about the Beatles. I also couldn't tell you of the validity of the story line. Still this show has been around for several years and Frankie Valli hasn't sued. On the other hand the first 45 rpm single I ever bought was "Sherry" by the Four Seasons, but then the Beatles happened. I enjoyed the show very much. I also enjoyed not having to shell out $70 for the seat.
The show ended about 3:40. We exited and picked out a spot to have some supper. I had fish and chips. Reasonably priced at $10. As I mentioned last time I brought my older point and shoot camera. It's only a 5.1 megapixel but it's compact and does what it's designed to do. The lights on the Boston Common weren't as elaborate as I remember from years ago. Still it was a nice night and we had to kill some time to avoid the rush hour crush between 4 and 7. My pictures aren't very good. I'm not skilled at taking pictures at night. Some are ok but the rest of them are blurry. You have to stand perfectly still because the shutter stays open longer to capture any light. Flash or no flash. Walking to the restaurant. The Boston Common is across the street.
This was about an hour later. Not a great shot as we enter the Boston Common. The Public Gardens are on the left, across the street. It was not decorated.

This next one came out ok all things considered. The two John Hancock buildings. The bigger one (60 floors), is all glass on the outside.
Looking towards the corner of the Common. On the left you can see the gold dome of the state house. 

Walking along the outer edge looking back.


During the summer this part of what is called the Frog Pond, becomes a skating rink. Within 5 minutes of this picture. The people were let on the ice. Because of my camera and me, the people in motion were blurry and some seem to be skating at super speed.

The diagonally opposite corner of the Common from where we started. On the other side of that church in the middle is the grave yard where Ben Franklins Parents and Sam Adams are buried. Paul Revere may be there as well but I'm not sure.


A blurry shot of the walk back to the subway. At one time this narrow street was open to traffic. Now it's only open to police, city or delivery vehicles. It leads to a place they call "downtown crossing". It leads to the main drag with many stores including Macy's. It occupies the former Jordan Marsh. A high end Boston based department store chain that got swallowed up by Macy's. We went into Macy's. Not to shop. To look for a restroom.


Whoops! I'm sorry to say that I have filled up all my free photo storage space. I had two more pictures. I'll have to rectify this situation.

Well in any event, It was a good day yesterday. This entry has taken me several house to put together. Time to get something to eat as the day grows long.
I'm outta here.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The headlines- Boy are we fat! Turkey Terror in Rockport! Plus selected short subjects.

Today is quite windy and chilly. In the teens. Tomorrow I am going into town (Boston as if you didn't know) to see the Broadway play "Jersey Boys". It won't be quite as cold as it is today but it will be cold. I thought, "I am going to prepared." I'm going into town with public transportation. It's about about 8 miles to my destination but the last thing I want to do is drive. Who needs the hassle or the expense? Public transportation means I will be spending a good deal of time outside waiting and walking. It's supposed to be a nicer day tomorrow. Less wind. About 30. Still cold. My extra preparation. Purchase some long underwear. I went out early in the afternoon. It was about 17 and windy. I ran a few errands and set off to the local mall. To tie all this all together. Since I lost the weight I have been able fit into the small size on some items. Some t-shirts, shirts, even boxers. There! I admit it! I'm a boxer kind of guy! But I have digressed. I search out the underwear section of the men's department finding a big mess first of all. I could not find a small or a medium matching top or bottom. There were no smalls. No medium bottoms, but plenty of L and XL! I suppose I could read this two ways. Either all the small or medium size guys have shopped early for undergarments to keep their nether regions warm and I'm too late, or most of the guys who buy long underwear are of the weighty variety. I looked at some t-shirts and found mostly L or XL.
I went to another store in the mall and found pretty much the same thing. You have read about how overweight we are as a country but I am finding this reflected in the how stores are merchandised.

This next little tid bit happened in Rockport Ma. Here are a few paragraphs from The Gloucester Times.

   

Turkey terror in Rockport

"ROCKPORT — Through rain, sleet and snow, Rockport mail carriers deliver — until now, anyway.
And it wasn't the rain, sleet or snow that stopped some of them.
Nearly every day over the last five months, an average of 10 turkeys — led by a pair of male "ring leaders" — have been chasing and attempting to peck a postal worker on his route along Marmion Way and South Street.
"They chase the truck down the street — two males in particular — it's just unbelievable."
The local post office stopped delivering mail to several South Street homes after an incident Jan. 15 when a number of passers-by stopped to help the postal worker as he was being chased by the quick-trotting turkeys.
"Last week, people had to intervene so (the mail carrier) could get back to his truck," Russell said yesterday. "He was trying to wave a bag full of mail at the turkeys as he ran when some folks pulled over to shoo the turkeys away."
For weeks prior to the incident, Russell said the mail carrier had tried to park the truck out of sight or change the time of day he was delivering the mail to that area, but nothing worked.
"They chase the truck down the street — two males in particular — it's just unbelievable."
The local post office stopped delivering mail to several South Street homes after an incident Jan. 15 when a number of passers-by stopped to help the postal worker as he was being chased by the quick-trotting turkeys.
"Last week, people had to intervene so (the mail carrier) could get back to his truck," Russell said yesterday. "He was trying to wave a bag full of mail at the turkeys as he ran when some folks pulled over to shoo the turkeys away."
For weeks prior to the incident, Russell said the mail carrier had tried to park the truck out of sight or change the time of day he was delivering the mail to that area, but nothing worked."

So we have a marauding gang of turkey's attacking postal workers and their vehicles. What's more incredible is that there are "ring leaders" to this gang. What they gobble goes!
One frightened postal worker managed to get this picture with his phone.

Turkey gang leader known as "Rico".

Also reported in the story, and this is what was written, the environmental police no longer relocate wild turkeys. I wonder if it was some sort of witness  protection program for the turkeys. If one turkey rats out another gang member the government will relocate them and give them new identities. "From now on Tom, you will be known as Phil." 
They have come up with a possible solution. The mail carriers will be given umbrellas. When they are approached by one of these turkey thugs they are to open the umbrella pointed at the turkey so that the turkey will think you are a much larger bird who is puffing up it's feathers. They are trying to outsmart the bird. And that bird is a turkey! One of the stupidest birds around. This is nuts. Either you just trap and move them or well, shoot them. Are they endangered? Maybe you could hire a hit man type turkey to bump them off.

OK. As I said above I'm going into town. Here's a very unimportant but interesting fact about Boston. It's the only place where you can go into an establishment and enjoy a Samuel Adams then cross the street and see his grave.







This is my first Broadway style show. The theater district in Boston is very close to the Boston Common. Both the Common and the adjacent Boston Public Gardens are all decorated for Christmas. I am bringing a camera with me. Not my usual but a smaller, older point and shot which is much less bulkier and can be carried in a pocket. I hope to get shots of all the Christmas lights.

This is part of the Common facing the state house. This and the next 2 pictures were taken in early April, 2007. It was a picture book day with temperatures around 73 The Common is basically a big open park with baseball diamonds, area's for concerts and just wide open spaces in the middle of a congested city.


The Boston Public Gardens is a beautifully maintained park across the street from the commons. This is completely landscaped. If it's not too cold, because it will be dark, I should be able to get some shots.



      




I lightened the second shot though now it looks washed out. The sprinkler was spraying as I shot. The original was a bit darker. A problem with shooting into the light. The third shot is of the Swan Boats on the man made pond. If you ever come to Boston you've got to stroll through the Commons and the Public Gardens. An oasis in the middle of city hustle bustle.

Considering the 1:30 pm start of the show it would be best if we had dinner in town and avoid the rush hour crush. I haven't a clue where but I'm sure of one thing. It won't be cheap. Too bad we weren't near the North End! There's about 80 restaurants there!

I'm outta here.  

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's been chilly!

Yeah It's been chilly though yesterday it was warm, near 50 with rain and wind, but who cares about the weather. We had yet another family birthday yesterday. My youngest sister. This time we got together at my other sisters house. We had a nice meal of tortellini with meatballs, green beans fixed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and garlic and salad. Followed a bit later with a tasty homemade cake and coffee. As usual the banter between my sister and her husband can be entertaining. My brother in law was getting on my sisters case concerning all the junk, books and other bits of space consuming items, she has saved in the attic over the last 25 years. She is the major pack rat of the family. We all have a touch of it though. Anyone interested in 10,000 comic books? She hates to see books thrown out. She works for Bentley College, a local business school. Who needs a twenty volume set of encyclopedias from 1985?

He- If you don't need it and it's useless, then get rid of it!

She- You're right. Get out!

I am so glad that there is a spell check at my disposal when I write these things. Spelling has always been a problem for me.  Couple that with my less than stellar typing "skills". When I say "skills" I mean I have no skills. Sometimes I'll write a word and have spelled it correctly, but it just doesn't look right. I go out of my way to make sure it's spelled right even when the spell check says it's correct. The spell check here at Blogger is a bit annoying. It will highlight in yellow, parts of words that it perceives to be a whole word and determines that it's a misspelled word. And believe it or not, I  just misspelled the word misspelled. Bless you spell check.

Well I have to get ready for another late shift. I know I haven't been around much the last several weeks. I will make an effort to visit around either when I get home from work tonight or tomorrow afternoon when I get home. Between work, family commitments and other things I just haven't had the time to play with my computer. This will probably continue until the holidays are over. I look forward to the day when I don't have to do anything or be anywhere. Until then it's head down to plow through the next few weeks. I can't wait till it's over. Until then,
I'm outta here.   

Monday, December 6, 2010

Otto VonShow III

OK the final installment.

I can't remember what make this car is. Very nice though. 

An Aston Martin I believe.



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No idea.
 

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A very nice Audi.
 
Buick

The Chevy Volt. An electric/gasoline hybrid. It's a different technology the the Toyota Prius. Good luck General Motors. It costs around $40,000. Yeah good luck with that one.

A Corvette.

There were the inevitable celebrity appearance. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt made an appearance at the Chevy Camero stand. It's amazing how different they look in person. The next car is another Chevy Camero. This one is a rolling American history book. It's one fantastic paint job. The car has painting of historical figures and events. From the begining through to the present.
Well there it's done. I have no doubt that I've guessed the wrong names on a few of the cars. But that's it. There's company coming tonight for the football game. I've got some things to do.
I'm outta here.