Sunday, September 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Beth! Back home.

Well first things first. Happy Birthday to my friend Beth! I hope you have a wonderful day! I hope all your days are wonderful but this one especially!

OK. As you can assume by me actually writing this that my traveling companion Arlene and I got home safe and sound driving up from Cape Cod at the right time to avoid the nonesense that is traveling across Boston at rush hour. Big Dig or no Big Dig it's still one congested mess. Yes we have a nice new tunnel under the city which replaced the old and ugly elevated roadway above the city. A road way which cut a majority of the city off from the seashore. And I do admit to liking the new bridge. It does give the city a nicer skyline especially at night when it is bathed in a blue light.

Let me just say I had a wonderful relaxing time on Martha's Vineyard. I am so grateful for having such a charming getaway about 100 miles from my door. For the most part the weather cooperated. Any real rain happened at night. The first and third days were sunny and beautiful. The other days were overcast at times with a couple of brief rain showers. We stayed at the same hotel but had our room upgraded when we arrived there. And guess what? The lady at the desk, Dierdre is from the very town I live in. Not only that, her sister was visiting so we had some conversation about the old hometown. And it is old. Founded in 1630. Anyway, apart from waundering around Oak Bluffs, which by the way is where much of Jaws was filmed, We wanted to explore some different places as well as re-visit Aquinnah and the clay cliffs on the other side of the island. The last time it was shrouded in fog and you really couldn't appreciate the beauty of the place. This time it was picture perfect. We also visited Edgartown, some of Jaws was filmed there as well. We were going to go to Chappaquiddick Island, which is a two minute ferry ride, but there's not a whole lot going on there though there are a few things to see. There is only one paved road on the island and a couple of destinations but that's it. Maybe next time though it's $12 to get there. It's cheaper to go from the mainland to the Vineyard. We checked out Edgartown which is also quite charming. The old whaling sea captains homes and historic places. It's a beautifully maintained city and I sure it would take mega bucks to live there. Of course it's quite touristy as is the whole Island. That's the only source of income. The entire economy is based on tourism. At one time it may have been the whaling capital of America but that was a long time ago. I give two thumbs up to the bus system on the island. You can buy a three day pass for $15 and go anywhere. So much cheaper than a cab though they are reasonable as well, at least in the off season. I've been there in May and I've been there in September and September is definitely the best time. I have about 300 photos of which about 100 are usable. I decided to make photo album videos instead of posting the pictures though they will appear someplace eventually. The first one below is just Oak Bluffs of which I already have plenty of pictures of but if you have a camera around your neck you just can't resist
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The next two are of Edgartown taken on two separate days. It was overcast on both days with a shower on day one though the sun did eventually come out.

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And finally we come to the Clay Cliffs in Aquinnah, formally known as Gay Head. Who knows where that name came from? Aquinnah is the original name given to the place by the native Wompanog people. A much better name as far as I'm concerned. It was a gorgeous day and I finally got a chance to take some clear shots of this magical place.
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So I must leave now. The football game is about to start. I will be back after the game to catch up with what's going on out there in Blogger land.

Go Pats! I'm outta here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Edgartown, The Clay Cliffs iv Aquinna

Hello again. First of all I apologise for not doing any visiting. I have been on the go, albiet at a leisurely pace. On the down side I haven't been sleeping well. I do much better in my own bed. Of course I am refering strictly to sleeping here. On the upside and there are a couple of upsides. Our room has upgraded. Why? I don't know. Maybe because This is our third time down here in the span of a year and things are slow as summer is at an end and all the crowds are gone. We went from a single bed in a tiny room. As the old joke goes, the room was so small that when you shut the door the door knob got in bed with me! The room was so small, all the mice were hunchback! The room was so small when I put the key in I broke the window! The room was so small I had to go out in the hall to change my mind!
Anyway this time we were upgraded to a large room with two double beds. (Hey you gotta sleep.) A living room area and a fire place. It's not functional but it's great for effect. I've got a bunch of pictures but I will have to sort through them when I get home which will be sometimes early Friday evening. Eventually I will post a picture of the room and the area and places that I have been. The pictures I will post here are raw images from my camera. I do have a photo program on this little computer that I have with me but I don't know how to use it completely and besides I don't want to waste time on my vacation editing and sorting hundreds of photo's. I do have a couple of samples though.
The weather has be overcast the first two days but comfortable. Today was a picture book day. Temperature is about 72 right now (5 p.m.) Below is a map of the island with 3 stars.
The red star next to Oak Bluffs is where we're staying. The ferries also go to Vineyard Haven just to the left. Apart from that the only other way to get here is by plane. The blue star is next to Edgartown. We went there on Tuesday. It's a beautiful town with a rich whaling history. There are whaling captain's homes. I would say you would have to be well heeled to live here but it is beautiful.
Today (Wednesday) we went to the Clay Cliffs in Aquinnah. I went there last year at this time but it was all fogged in. This year it was just gorgeous. I have a bunch of pictures not to mention videos. I got to get pretty close to them this time. The beach was gorgeous, the cliffs were gorgeous and the day was gorgeous.
  Alright there are plenty more photo's and videos but that's for later. Now it's time for supper so guess what?
I'm outta here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Good Morning from Martha's Vineyard

Good morning. This is the sunrise this morning, about an hour before this writing. We had an uneventful drive down and ferry ride. Yesterday was a beautiful and I don't have much time this morning as I have to shower and go out for for breakfast. I will report back later when we get back from where ever we are going to go.

I'm into the shower and outta of here.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Off to the Vineyard

Off one more time to Martha's Vineyard on September 19. I have to say it's really nice to have this island getaway only about 100 miles away. It's about a 90 mile drive to the parking lot where I leave my car ( well duh! ), about a 3 mile bus ride to the dock and a 7 mile ferry ride to the island. All the summer yahoos are gone. Anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 people invade the place over the summer months. The actual population is about 15,000. The weather looks to be good. I plan to explore a bit more of the island this time including the notorious Chappaquiddick Island. Remember Ted Kennedy driving off the bridge into the shallow water, escaping but leaving Mary Jo Kopechne in the car to drown. He claimed he was disoriented. Maybe he was but we will never know the true story. Be that as it may I want to go there only because it is so notorious. I want to go back to the clay cliffs. It was quite foggy the last time. Too bad because there was spectacular scenery and color. 

I will bring my little baby computer with me to report on whatever I have to report on. Right now it is 6:20 in the morning and I am leaving for work. Two more days of work. A day to prepare then I'm off for a nine days stretch. I can't wait.

For now,
I'm outta here.     

Monday, September 12, 2011

I was going to blog on Sunday but I was out and pretty busy. It was, as everybody knows, a solemn day in the United States. It was also a solemn day in Massachusetts as 206 of our citizens perished on that day. The two planes that hit the towers took off from Boston. Funny it was a beautiful day weatherwise, just like it was ten years ago. I know everyone knows where they were when it happened. I imagine it was similar to the Pearl Harbor attack 70 years ago. As I said I was going to write yesterday but I just couldn't get it together.

I also had pictures and clips that I had taken on Friday when my friend Dave and I went to the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kenebunkport Maine. I always like to take the time to sort through the the pictures and clips. Some pictures might need to be strightened or maybe enhanced a bit due to lighting conditions. It's never good to shoot into the light. The light is behind the subject and it appears darkened because the light is shining on the back of the subject and it appears darkened. Sometimes you have no choice if you want a picture of something and the sun is behind it. Anyway the museum is about 90 miles north of here. It was interesting as they had trolleys and buses from all over the country and different parts of the world. Some where restored to their original shape. Others were in the process of being restored and others were just wrecks either waiting for future restoration or being canabalized for parts.

These are all the extra wheels, if thats what they call them, and axles that have been collected.
The actual grounds of the museum were nothing to write home about. So I didn't. We did take a trolley ride around the grounds but it was really nothing more than a half an hour ride through the woods. There are a lot of woods in Maine. They stopped the trolley car twice and a man dressed as a period conductor gave a couple of talks on the history of trolleys in the area and on the very trolley car we were riding in itself. At one point in it's life it was taken out of service and purchased by a doctor who turned it into his office. After he died it fell into disrepair and was purchased by the museun in 1957 and fully restored.
Built in 1924, in service in Ohio, it was retired from service in 1947.
Since the closest big city to the museum is Boston there are a lot of trains and buses from the local transportation system. Buses, trolleys and trains that I remember from growing up. Who knows I could have even ridden in some of these vehicles. They even left the destination scrolls on the front of the buses and trains and trolleys in place showing locations that I am very familiar with. Other vehicles came from other parts of the country and other countries like Australia, Germany and England. Later year vehicles from this area had a T in a circle as an identifying marker. For short we call the rail and bus system the T, The MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority) Later buses were and still are, yellow and white. The older ones were various colors depending on the line on which they ran. The Orange Line, Blue Line and Green line etc. The lines are still called the same but the buses are now the same color. There were a few buses  up there that are still in service down here. I don't know why they're on exhibit as they are still current.

OK I'm getting really long winded here. To wind things up I ended up making a little movie of our ride and a picture book sort of movie out of the pictures because here unlike Spaces, there is no no free photo album feature. You only get so much free photo space on Blogger then you have to pay for extra space on Picasa. Besides some of my old friends from Spaces that I miss I also miss the seemingly endless photo album space they provided. That was the best thing they provided. Though I will say the photo album section is still running but what's the point if nobody looks at them. I have done next to nothing over there since the blogs were shut down. I do miss it. It was fun. However I do like the simplicity of Blogger. Well I am really blathering on now. As Groucho Marx once said, " You haven't stopped talking since I got here. You must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle." Yup I'm showing my age.

So first we have the video of the ride on they trolley then the video/picture album of the photos. Not as good as looking at big pictures but it saves time and space on the freebie space Blogger provides. I spent a good chunk of time putting these together. Finding music that fits both the content and the time and making the video file small enough to fit the 100 megabit limit isn't always easy,  and is time consuming but I have fun doing it. One cool thing on the first video is that the whistle on the trolley is in the same key as the music. It's the key of E in case you're interested.
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Man this blog took a long time! I guess I'm just overcompensating for not blogging or commenting for a week. Alright I'm done.
I'm outta here.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day - A day for labor

OK. So I worked. I mean it is labor day. I'm not whining, I have Tuesday off then I have Friday off as well. As I sit here writing and cooking supper (6:35 Monday evening) we here are waiting for thunderstorms. It will be rainy for the next couple of days. I had to cancel my trip to the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kenebunkport Maine. There are several routes to take including a seashore drive which is a bit longer but is much more scenic or so I am told. This trip of 90 miles or so is re-scheduled for Friday which looks to be a very nice day. Of course this is New England and that could change. There is another storm which forecasters are saying will veer away from the coast and out to sea but stranger things have happened.

In other news I have been transferred, excuse me, the term du jour is re-assigned to different store. Just as store managers are now "Store Directors" instead of being transferreed we are now re-assigned. Sounds much more important. Anyway it's in a very urban area. Maybe it's a mile and a half from Boston. Funny thing is the clientele is of a lesser economic strata and yet they have no trouble communicating what they would like. It's so different than the cushy neighborhood I was in in Cambridge. With all it's highly educated and affluent types who seemed to be befuddled on the intricacies of making a sandwich. In two weeks there have been no mangled pronunciation or pointing at something that I can't see and getting angry because I don't know what the hell they want.

I've worked in this location before in the early and mid '80s but it was a different store. It was new at the time and the grand opening featured a local sportscaster, the Patriot's Cheerleaders (they were still the laughing stock of the NFL at the time) and Frank Perdue. Frank Perdue may have looked like one of his chickens but he actually was a big man about 6'4''. Yes I met him and shook his chicken pluckin hand. Any way about 6 years ago they tore down that store and built a new one. Why? I don't know. This new store is an aircraft carrier, It's huge and clearly not necesary. For some strange reason they thought it was going to be like their store of the future in Chestnut Hill. From the sound of that name alone you can imagine that it is a neighborhood full of the upper crust. Well guess what? It ain't. It still the same people who shop there. What a surprise! The people who make these decisions are all highly paid. Apparently these company officials didn't study common sense in college. I was told that this was the other store that they were considering sending me to. I'm glad they didn't just for the drive alone never mind the those rich highly educated twits. This is an easy 10 minute drive and I have a very favorable schedule (7 to 3:30) save for Saturdays which is a 12:30 to 9 pm shift. The upside. No Sundays and I have Mondays off. My favorite kind of weekend.

Alright I don't have much more to spew out so I think I'll call it quits now.
I'm outta here.