Thursday, March 29, 2012

So as I was saying...

...well I guess I wasn't saying anything. How are you? There's a greeting that men have used when they greet each other. Instead of common phrases of "greetery" such as, "Hi! How are you?" or "Hey! How're you doin'?", they have been known to say, "Hey! How's it hangin'" How stupid. Don't worry I'm not going to ask.

The above is what happens when you start writing before you start thinking. This passed Sunday instead of going out to breakfast my lady friend and I went out for lunch in a New Hampshire mall. I know I'm a hopeless romantic. It was actually her suggestion. It's a very nice mall and New Hampshire has no sales tax. It's a no big deal drive 25 miles up the highway. Take an exit and turn into the parking lot. I would rather do that then take my car or public transportation and go into Boston only 5 miles away. Fast forward.  We're in Ruby Tuesday. A nice chain restaurant with the best burgers I have ever had period. Prime beef is used for these burgers.

Remember I said earlier thinking is always good before doing. It's ordering time. Arlene places her order and now it's my turn. I order the triple prime cheese burger with New York State cheddar cheese. Now this comes with fries. The waiter informs me that this dish comes with a second side and proceeds to rattle them all off. Nothing sounded appealing until he got to the last side dish.

"Yeah." I said, "I haven't had mashed potato's in a long time!" completely forgetting that thirty seconds prior I had ordered a cheese burger with fries!

The meals arrive. I looked down at my plate and remark, "Hey! Both my side dishes are potato's!"
Arlene started laughing. "I did wonder about that."

The next time I go out, apart from checking to make sure I have my keys, my wallet, money, I must remember to take the most important thing with me. My brain.

Thank you all for your kind comments on my last blog. And thank you Marge for writing the longest comment ever on one of my blogs. A compliment on writing from you means a lot to me. And I will do more about Sicily and Italy. I also went back 9 years later. There are a good amount of pictures from both trips. 

To wrap this whole extravaganza up I have a little video. Last week I was in my store and I walked by an Easter display. You know the fake plastic Easter eggs. By the way how does a rabbit end up hiding dyed chicken egg on Easter? I have digressed. The baskets.
Those awful little yellow marshmallow chicks and so on. On the top shelf were these stuffed rabbits standing about 14 inches tall.. All with tee shirts on making some reference to chocolate. When you squeeze the bunny's left hand it breaks into song and dance. I loved it. There were three left and I grabbed two. I made this into a little video. I tried starting both of them at the same time but one was a Little faster and more active than the other one. So one rabbit would always get ahead in the song so that at one point there is a call and response between both rabbits. And what song will the rabbit duo be performing?
"I Feel Good!" by James Brown. I stuck a video opening at the beginning of this clip I made a couple of years ago. I think I may have used it once. It's as long or longer than the rabbits. Sorry about that.

    It's getting late. I'm tired. Good night, good morning. good afternoon.
I'm outta here.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Didja wonder why...

...I have a picture of a T.W.A. Super Constellation as a header picture? More than likely you never even gave it a thought. I've always liked the design of this plane. Moreover I have flown in one.  Not recently though. That would have happened in 1956. That was last century. That's a way to make yourself feel old. Hey! I'm working on my second century! Well putting all that aside, my parents had been here in America for 10 years. My mother was an American citizen being born here. Without getting into a complex family history dirge. Both my grand fathers were from the same little town in Sicily. They were farmers and knew each other.  After WWI grandfathers came to America to work. My mother's father brought his wife and all his children were born here. My father's father came alone and sent money back to the old country. Everybody went back to Italy just in time to catch WWII. To sum up, my parents married in Italy and came to America after the war. Ten years later they went back to visit for three months. I of course went along. I was four.

We were supposed to fly out of Boston when a snowstorm changed the plans. We ended up taking a train to New York City, one with sleeper cars, to depart from there instead. Here we are at one of the airports in New York. My uncle Sam (my mother's brother) is  taking the picture.
Left to right, my aunt Lucy, my mother Mary, my dad Angelo and me. The picture was taken by my uncle Sam, my mothers brother and my aunt Lucy's husband.
I do have memories of being on that plane. I remember the sound of the engines. I also had a toy model of that very same plane that I remember playing with it in the aisle of the plane. I don't know who gave it to me. We stayed in Italy for three months, also visiting Rome and some other long forgotten locations. For nearly two of the three months I was sick with scarlet fever. I also have memories of that. 

Getting back to the plane, I suppose my love affair started when I first eyes on it as we walked onto the tarmac. In those days you didn't board via some tunnel from inside the airport directly onto the plane. You walked up a stairway placed against the doorway of the plane. Anyway The image of that plane has stuck with me all these years. When I was a teenager I bought a plastic model kit of the plane. I don't know what prompted me to find a picture of the plane but there it was and once again it was love at first sight  again. I know it's only an image, but it is sleek and sexy and perhaps it did flick some pre-adolescence switch in my brain when I first set eyes on it. "I like it but I don't know why?"

I suppose you could also attach a Freudian angle to it as well. Go ahead. It may or may not be true. It also  brings back memories of that trip to Italy. And though I was only four I still have vivid memories of certain events of that time including the T.W.A. Super Constellation. In the end it's still a beautiful, timeless design. Appealing design never goes out of style.

This whole blog, like the Constellation, came out of the blue. I was going to change my header picture and attempt a refurbishing of my blog. I looked at the picture and was admiring it again, when I heard the hum of the engines in my mind and I flashed back to that little boy playing with a model airplane in the aisle of a Super Constellation, somewhere over the Atlantic in 1956.

I'm outta here.     

Monday, March 19, 2012

A bit of this...a bit of that.

I'm not sure what direction this blog will take. This blog may be finished tonight or it could be done in a couple of days. It may depend on how lucid my thinking is. Tomorrow we are having a dog and pony show at work. What that means is the president of the company is stopping by. Since the store I'm in now is relatively new (6 years. My last store, the building the store was in was built in the late 1800's.) we have a conference room. So what happens when the president visits? Suddenly there is payroll enough to have 8 extra full time employees (I hate the word associates. Too politically correct for me.) to put up all these phony baloney displays. This is not what really goes on. You barely have enough time to get the basics done. I'm surprised the management hasn't asked us to sing "Everything is beautiful" when the prez strolls by. It's all such a crock and you know what's in that crock. All the store managers from the area will be there as well for some big meeting. More than likely I'm sure Mr. President knows, if he has an ounce realism, that all this falderal is a big load of crap and one big ass kissing festival. 

I just visited Beth's blog and she said she cleaned out a closet. That inspired me to clean the closet directly behind me. Anybody interested in any audio cassettes? How about a couple of portable cassette players? The biggest problems are old computers and all the ancillary things, speakers, monitors and keyboards. You can't just put them in the trash any more. It costs money unless of course, you are clever. The city wants me to go to city hall and buy a sticker to put on the computer so you can put it out on trash day. Well it seems to me that if I pay the money, put it out on the curb then somebody comes along and takes it. I've essentially given somebody a free computer and donated $25 to the city. I will try and be clever about this. At some point I thought I would need 100 file folders. That was 15 or so years ago. I forgot I had them. I didn't need 100 at all. I have a box labled magazines It's been sealed shut for 20 years. I haven't a clue as to what's in there. I also have a fairly large comic book collection. These won't be just chucked out. There are some very valuable books including Amazing Spider-Man and Fantastic Four #1. I started collecting in 1963. I sold a bunch of lesser books at a flea market but there are about 3000 of them and I think it's time to hit the flea market again. I won't be selling the valuable ones there but I have plenty of books that I would sell on the cheap just to lighten my load.To sell the valuable ones I will have to find other avenues. I remember thinking about 20-25 years ago that these books will help me during my retirement. Some books that cost me 12 cents are worth thousands of dollars if you can find the person who wants to buy them. That's the hard part. I have to research this further. 

Blog Part Two.
I actually started this blog several days ago. At this point it's Monday afternoon. I have been out running errands and I also stopped by my old store to see some of my friends there. I spent 11 happy years there. My immediate boss there and I have been friends for 30 years. In fact it was a place where we had all been together and  friends for all 11 years. Lots of hugs and handshakes. I along with others were shipped out for, I'm guessing here, payroll reasons. Though I think I'm correct. Anyway it's a beautiful day today as it was yesterday. Yesterday I took my lady friend out to breakfast and to work of some of the tasty fair we went to the Mystic Lakes for a walk. There's nothing mystical about the lakes. It's the english variation of an old Indian name Missituk. There are two lakes seperated by a dam. Everybody else had the same idea. People were out walking their dogs, fishing, playing soccer and like us, just walking the shore line or the park area. Of course I took my camera though there was nothing unusual to be found. I still took pictures though and even made a little video.

I live in a congested area and yet somebody had the forethought to set aside large tracts (at least for Massachusetts) of land for recreational purposes. These lakes and the river of the same name are in my town and others, flows out to the harbor where it meets the Charles River in Boston Harbor. Depending on time of day (ie "traffic") I can make it here in 10 to 15 minutes. Years ago I used to fish here though at the time though I wouldn't eat them. Then again I'm not a fan of fresh water fish save for maybe rainbow trout. The lakes and the river were polluted years before because beyond the lake another river (who's name I can't remember) that flows into the lakes from the north had tanneries and other industries on it's banks. In the mid 80's a movie called "A Civil Action" starring John Travolta (Remember Him?) was made. The cancer rates near the river were quite high and it was notorious court case in the headlines around here every day. Then in 2001 there was another movie directed by Clint Eastwood called "Mystic River" based on a Dennis Lahane novel. It wasn't a fun movie but a good one. Good enough to win an academy award. But I have digressed. Here's the video from Sunday.
 Okay I have gone on long enough. This entire blog has taken much too long to produce. It's time for me to get back to my closet cleaning situation. One thing has led to another and now I have moved on to another closet. Throwing out stuff that I have lugged around 40 years. I don't have a lot of storage to begin with but I am begining to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Okay enough.

Oh by the way the president of the company never showed up. What a waste of time and money.

I'm outta here.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mighty fine weather

So here I sit. Outside it's sunny and near 70 degrees. I have some windows open. It's the first time I've done this so far this year. I can hear The sounds of power saws and hammering. It's actually kind of nice. People fixing things up. There's been a push by Verizon in the area. They came to my house about a month ago. There's an ad war going on between Comcast and Verizon on television. Well today I saw 3 different Verizon trucks on my street. But overall it is  nice to hear and see activity. I should be out enjoying the sun and the early warmth but I was out all day yesterday and though it wasn't quite this warm, it was a nice sunny day.

Well when I say all day I actually mean my day started around noon. The plans were to eat then drive to Marblehead, A city on the north shore with a sea faring history and all the quaint New Englandy charm you can stand. My lady friend and I went out for "breakfast" at our favorite spot. A little place called The Light House Cafe'. There's nothing really charming about  the place except for the great omelet's and food in general. All at reasonable prices. Now I'm not sure I know what a lighthouse has to do with breakfast. Though not far away from the ocean this town is not on the coast. As we talked over coffee waiting for our meals, I suddenly remembered a notorious event that happened in this very place back in the early 70's. It was a time of gang warfare in greater Boston. Back in the early 70's this place was known as the Pewter Pot Cafe'. All dressed up in colonial era fashion. One day a local bookie was bumped off while he was eating. This had a very detrimental effect on the Pewter Pot's business. Anyway as I thought of that I realised an even more notorious event occurred on this same street, a few doors down on the other side. One that became national news. What is now part of a restaurant was once part of The Depositors Trust Bank. On Memorial Day Weekend in 1980 three cops, one being a chief and three career criminals broke into an ice cream shop then into the bank. They were in there for three days going through all the safety deposit boxes. They were in there as the local Memorial Day Parade went by. Nobody will ever really know how much was stolen. Estimations ranged from 1.5 million to 25 million dollars. Who knows who had what in those boxes. It eventually all unravelled years later. I remember 60 Minutes doing a segment on it. There is one more very notorious event connected with the Mob that happened elsewhere in this city 9 years later but that's for another time.

After eating we went to a bakery for some bread and pasta. That really sounds weird but it was a Sunday.
Marblehead is a quint fishing town on the northshore. It's roughly 25 miles north of here. I haven't been there in 30 years. Getting to the city limits is pretty easy, getting around the place can be a confusing nightmare if you don't know where you are going. We had no clue. We did find the ocean but how hard is that? Finding a place to park was pointless. The streets are a tangled mess with annoying one way streets. I had had enough. We headed home. To bad. The part of the ocean we saw was picturesque and there was a walkway, but enough was enough.

As I mentioned earlier today was a gem but I stayed in. It's nice not to be beholding to anyone or anything for one day. I have spent a leisiurely day leisurely enjoying leisure at my leisure.

Wilma! Peel me a grape!
I'm outta here.        


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I'm still here.

So how was everybody Super Tuesday? Mine was well, just super. I got off to a quick start. In fact I was faster than a speeding bullet. Being more powerful than a locomotive I was able to get a jump start on spring cleaning by unloading much junk that I have carted around for years. Moved furniture and even vacuumed behind said furniture! Lets see...oh yeah I bent steel with my bare hands and up in the sky that wasn't a bird or a plane, that was me. I got rid of a trash bag and a half of vhs video tapes. Then there were books I went through. Some I kept. Some I will give away or donate. The trick to getting me actually cleaning and reassessing what I need and don't need, is for me to just get off my ass and do it. Once you get started, one thing leads to another. It was a long day  but luckily it was Super Tuesday and the super powers came in handy. I'm glad I accomplished what I did. 

Oh yeah then there were all the primary elections. I voted. Romney naturally won here in Massachusetts. You know I guess he was a good governor. He was our third in a row republican governor which is odd in this the bluest of the blue states. Of course we now have a democrat as governor. Still I think Romney comes off as stiff and out of touch with the common person. When answering questions he says things like, (these aren't exact quotes) "Oh I love Nascar. I have some friends who own race teams."
"I drive a Dodge truck and my wife has two Cadillac's."
I heard his his wife say, "I don't feel wealthy." PUHleeese!
Mitts OK though. He has tried to loosen up as the campaign has progressed. I did see him once without a tie. Soon after that he had jeans on. No jacket! Then he took it a step further. He unbuttoned the top button on his shirt! Oh Mitt stop it! You're driving the ladies wild! I think if Mitt wants to really loosen up he should continue his campaign dressed as Carmine Miranda.
Mitt Romney detailing parts of his economic plans if he gets elected President.
Now wouldn't that spice up the presidential campaign! In fact I think it would be great if all the candidates dressed like Carmen Miranda. Imagine the debates!

OK enough of that silliness. It's time for me to eat some supper. I'll look in on everyone a bit later in the evening.
I'm outta here.