Monday, August 29, 2011

The day after. Pay not attention to the 1st video.


Today through Saturday the weather will be absolutely perfect. About 80 degrees with sunny blue skies. As I write this I am listening to two guys on the radio who are debating whether the news media did a good job yesterday or was it overblown media hype. The local television stations were on for twelve hours straight. Too much? I had the TV on all day as I didn't lose power except for about 5 minutes at around 9 am. I'm sure there was much hyping of the storm all over television but I found the two local stations I watched to be pretty even handed. When the storm was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm they said as much. If they weren't on all day I'm sure people would complain that they weren't. I never watched any national media because they all hype things. Particularly FOX and NBC.
Here's a clip of an NBC reporter hyping a flood in New Jersey on the Today Show some years back. She's seen in a canoe paddling down a flooded street, giving the impression that there were great amounts of water on the storm flooded streets.

Still some places had it worse than others. It was a hurricane at first and it has caused a lot of damage both in the U.S. and to some islands in the Carribean. As of this writing there were 25 deaths as a result of this storm. I'll bet some of these deaths were the result of stupid decisions by people. You know Darwinism. The thinning of the heard. There were a group of people, I'm not sure where, who decided to have a party during the storm and camp in the backyard in tents. A tree fell and killed someone. Not a smart decision. Locally it ended up being a very nasty rainstorm. It was worse down at Cape Cod and the islands. 700,000 people lost power in the state. I'm not going to minimize the storm because if it had taken a slightly different course things could have been much worse. Around my neighborhood there were small branches down and one wire down. The day is gorgeous today. The week looks to be gorgeous. Too bad I'm working the rest of the street.

Yesterday was like a snow day. There wasn't a whole lot to do. There was no public transportation and the wind was gusting to 60 mph. Despite all the turmoil going on outside I was quite relaxed and had a nice day doing very little.

I made these two little videos of the storm. Two because one would have been too large to upload as one. It takes place between the hours of 7:30 am and 2:30 pm.
video

So all in all I survived just fine the only problem I have had is uploading the second video but that was all my fault. I have spent entirely too much time putting this all together. I'd be embarrassed to tell you how much time I spent editing the second video and trying to get it the right size. It's uploading as I write. I hope it works. The second video is a dud. It won't play. OK enough. There's a beautiful day outside and I have been inside long enough.
I'm outta here.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The calm...

We've had an interesting year weatherwise. We've had blizzards, tornado's, an earthquake and now a hurricane though it won't be as bad as it will be further down the coast. I will be hunkered down tomorrow. I do have to work tonight but I will be home all day tomorrow. I would love to drive to the ocean tomorrow but that's not really a good idea. I do think I will go out early locally just to see what I can see. This all depends on just how bad it is tommorow. By the time it hits Eastern Ma. it should be downgraded to a tropical storm which is still something to respect. I got batteries, a radio, some flash lights and enough food to cover me for a few days though I don't think I'll be needing much.

There's not much else to report. I've been working odd hours. Tonight I will be working till 9pm. I'm not happy about that but it is what it is to use a cliche. If the power doesn't go out tomorrow there should be little to worry about around here anyway. Time to hit the showers. I should be back tomorrow because I really have no place to go, as long as we have power that is.
I'm outta here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I was out yesterday but today I'm in.

I went to Walden Pond yesterday ( Sunday ). There are a couple of small beaches like this one that I know of. The picture above is 3 shots stitched together. Usually an easy thing to do but these shots involve moving people. The first shot was taken on the left, then the middle then the right. People move in the time it takes to take the 3 shots. The result are some ghostly images at the place where each photo is stitched together. I was aware of this effect but I took them any way.

Waldon Pond is a lovely place. It's still just a large pond in the woods. It's fame, that is if you've heard of it, comes from a man named Henry David Thoreau who wrote a book called Waldon. In a nut shell. Thoreau lived in Concord Ma. He walked into the woods about two miles and built a cabin to live by the pond. He lived there a little over two years though he wasn't a hermit. He would go back into town and people would visit him. It seems to be about simplifying your life and being one with nature. He wrote on other things as well. Anyway the land he built his cabin on belonged to a family friend Ralph Waldo Emerson. I know zilch about him.

I used to fish at Walden Pond with my friend Jimmy. Mostly we caught rainbow trout. That was about 40 years ago. Sunday was a beautiful day. Waldon was close by, about 15 miles or so. We took about an hours walk in the woods and along the shore. Apart from the two little beaches I saw, people were jumping in at many spots along the shore. So much for peace and solitude. I did take some pictures but there's nothing remarkable about them. It's just water and trees. This will be a destination in the fall though.

I decided that I was in the mood for ice cream so we stopped back in my hometown. I parked across the street from the ice cream parlor and happened to look diagonally across the street. I see this old colonial style house, which has been a funeral parlor for at least 60 years, which is always part of the re-enactment of Paul Revere's ride. This is the Issac Hall House. He was a Captain in the militia and Revere stopped here to warn of the coming "British Regulars". I had my camera in the trunk of my car and decided to take a picture of this house, which is on the National List of Historic places, and as I zoomed in I noticed the date on the front of the house. I keep forgetting the history I have walked past over the years and taken for granted right in my home town.
The ice cream was great. I haven't had real ice cream in a year or so. Nothing fancy for me. Just a cup of Chocolate with hot fudge and walnuts. I guess it doesn't sound like a real exciting day but it was pleasant. I got some walking in woods time, though it was a bit more popular with people than it was in Thoreau's time. 

Not my best blog, not my worst blog. It's a blog. I have blogged and I am now blogged out so...
I'm outta here.

  

Saturday, August 20, 2011

What I did on my summer vacation.

Nothing.I haven't had one. I'll let you know if something happens though. Wait! I take that back. If I'm not mistaken Fall begins on September 23 this year. I will be going back to Martha's Vineyard or The Vineyard (that's what we jet setters call it) September 19-23 so it still is technically summer. I have to go after Obama leaves. We can't be in the same area at the same time. National security and stuff like that. I am excited about that. This time I plan to do a bit more sight seeing. I really want to go back to the clay cliffs on the other side of the island. The last time it was very foggy. There's also a nude beach in the area. Chances are I won't be going there. I would also like to visit Chappaqidick which is a small island off the southeast tip of The Vineyard (remember,jet setter)  `which used to be connected the larger island by a thin 2 mile beach. As of 2007 that beach is gone due to a severe storm. The island became famous or more properly infamous on July 18 1969 when Ted Kennedy accidently drove off the Dykes Bridge into the water killing Mary Jo kopeckne. I will try to see that bridge.
The population year round is 172. When someone from Chappaquidick goes to Martha's Vineyard the say they're "going to the mainland". When they're going to Cape Cod or Boston they say they're "going to America". Or so I have read. 
Apart from all that it's such a wonderful, peaceful, quaint place to be to recharge your batteries and as you know they are not included. I will report in from down there with my teeny little travel computer. Maybe some pictures fresh from the day.

I'm looking at my desk. After seeing a picture of Beth's desk I would be ashamed to show you my desk What a collection of diverse things. I only let things get out of control in this room as it is my hangout most of the time. The true me. There a small mesh strainer that I bought from a buck. You could fit it over a coffee mug. A set of headphones. A rechargable flash light Some papers having to do with the insurance policy of my old car, A posted note pad with something scribbled on it that's unreadable. A pocket dictionary. I should use it. Some pens. A moniter from my desktop computer which sits there idle, unplugged. Old and in the way. A phone which I hate unless I have to make a call. A couple of pens. A small spiral notebook and my autographed photo of Rip Taylor. 
Well it's been more than a week since I've blogged. I still don't the word blog. It's sounds like something you would do after a night of heavy drinking. I'm up writing this on Saturday night. I just finished a 9 pm workshift. As I am still awake (Duh!) I decided to write this now. Tomorrow I will go out for breakfast with a friend, a lady friend I might ad. After that we might take a ride out to Walden Pond. It's not far from here. I used to fish there30 or 40 years ago. Yeesh! I hate the fact that I can refer that far back and I was already an adult. Anyway Walden is a beautiful spot. Henry David Thoreau lived there for two years and wrote a book called Walden. Essentially it was about conserving natures beauty. Essentially it is the birthplace of the conservation movement. It's a national landmark. It's a pristine place. Maybe some pictures. Still it's just a pond.
It's time for me to go to bed. Flip on Saturday Night Live, fall asleep and not watch it.
I'm outta here.  

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Fast 14

Hello. As I mentioned sometime this past June They are replacing 14 bridges that span streets and the river heading about 7 miles north of Boston. I posted a few pictures and a video of the laying down of the new road bed but I never got to see the demolition of the old bridge. They started working their way north on the north bound lanes and now they are working their way north on the southbound lanes. What's really remarkable is that they start on a Friday evening at 6 p.m. and by 5 p.m. on Monday morning they are finished with the new road surface. The bridges aren't completely finished cosmetically but all four lanes are open again. They do two lanes at a time. Traffic continues on two lanes then when they are done the new lanes are reopened and the remove and replace the remain two. All in the span of a little over two days. So on Friday evening a few neighbors and I walked down to the bridge to witness the demolition. I didn't see all of it. We only a little over an hour as it got very dusty. They closed the road below the bridge at 6 and started demolishing the roadbed at about 8:15. I did take pictures of the massive cranes and jack hammers but they didn't do it justice. I'll include a couple. I did take video which I broke into two separate clips because it would have been too long as one.
This was the scene before they began.
The cranes looked like two prehistoric beasts feeding on a carcass.


To the left of the bridge is a Hyatt Hotel used, I imagine, used by people from out of town who want easy access, when the highway isn't chocked by traffic during rush hour, into Boston 5 miles away. This is the highway that leads to the new Zakim bridge and various tunnels all part of the never ending Big Dig. To the right is a 15 story (just a guess) retirement complex. I felt sorry for these people because it was noisy! At least it is over in about two days.
Here are the two little films.
video
video
 Anyway this little demonstration of destruction and rebuilding will all be done by the end of August. I can hear all the work at night from where I live. It's only a 10 minute walk to two of the bridges but all in all quite an achievement considering what is being done. Alrighty then It's time for a late supper.
I'm outta here.  

Friday, August 5, 2011

A day on the town

Wednesday Aug. 3, 2011. 75 degrees, partly sunny, simply a gorgeous, picture book day. I had just come back from the eye doctor. My first eye exam ever. I knew it was time. I knew I needed real glasses. I shot the works. Transition lenses and so on. Anyway such a day should not be wasted by sitting indoors so I rang up my friend Dave. Dave is retired (boy that sounds good) and maybe he had a suggestion as to something to do that didn't cost much since I had just dropped a bundle. He suggested the Boston Public Library. Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia as I am too lazy to do all the research myself.
  
"The Boston Public Library (est.1848) is a municipal public library system in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. It was the first publicly supported municipal library in the United States, the first large library open to the public in the United States, and the first public library to allow people to borrow books and other materials and take them home to read and use."

  Above is one of 4 buildings. It's a beautiful place. On the way in, by public transportation, there were tourists who were absolutely delighted when they heard an announcement over the p.a.
"Please step to the rear of the cah."
This women couldn't contain herself, "He said cah!"
Before we actually went into the library we had lunch at Pizzeria Uno. Not pizza but burgers. It was very good except for the challa bun which is a fine bun in itself but much too soft to handle a burger. Still it was tasty, if messy and our waitress was a complete babe!
It was cloudy when we got there but it cleared up quickly.

The entrance.
This is at the top of the stairs from the previous photo. I had to stich three photos together to get this shot. Well my photo program did.
 A mural depicting early cell phone use.
The courtyard.
  As I said it was a wonderful day. We just scratched the surface of the library. There was a terrific civil war exhibit featuring newspapers of the day, artifacts, period maps and so on. When we left we made our way up the street to the public gardens. There were plenty of tourists around. You could hear all kinds of languages, accents and people were posing for pictures. The Public Gardens were in full bloom.
George Washington surrounded by palm trees in the Public Gardens. Palm trees in Boston?
The Swan Boats. 
Walking away from the library.
Another stitched together picture.
A building called The Berkeley known locally as the wedding cake building.
The John Hancock Tower.
The base of the tower.
And finally the Make Way For Ducklings statues on the Public Gardens are always a hit with the kids. The statues were based on a children's book written in 1941. 
The above pictures are in a pretty random order. There are more that I may post on my Windows photo album but these are the gist of them. There are many of the John Hancock Tower because it's so imposing in the area. The only other tall building is about a mile up the street. I was there a few weeks ago. The rest are all in the financial district about 4 miles away. By the way this entire section of Boston is called the Back Bay because this is all landfill.

Now we come to selected short subjects. That is two little movies. They are just as random as the pictures. The first one is of the library. The second is just walking up the street towards the Gardens. I wish I had spent more time in the gardens because it was just beautiful. Everything was in full bloom. Street musicians were about. People were lounging on the grass. Kids were playing and tourist were busy snapping pictures. Okay feature number one.
  video
Feature number two is just us walking up the street to the Gardens.
video
This post has taken me a long time. I started on Wednesday night and here it is Friday. Still I thank all of you who have been loyal to me. I know my appearances have been sporadic back that's the the way things are going right now.
OK. If I want to wear any clothes to work tomorrow I have to do some laundry. I'm off. Some  say way off. In any event...
I'm outta here.