Saturday, January 26, 2013


Last Monday (21st) I went to the Auto Show. The picture you see below was one I thought I had posted on my last blog. It's actually 4 shots stitched together. This is a big place. 

A view from the food court at the Auto Show.

The lighting wasn't always the greatest in some spots and sometimes people were crowded around some cars. This was my favorite car there. A Bentley
Here's a video of most of the photo's.
The video took an ungodly amount of time. I'm not sure if it's my computer or the Internet or my particular connection to the Internet. It's not the fastest. More than likely it's a combination of all three. Well I soon must get ready for work. It's a late shift. I probably won't be home till 9:30 or so tonight. If I have the energy when I get home I'll look in and and see what's happening in the blogger world. If not I'll do it tomorrow morning. Then it's off to another Sunday driving adventure. Hopefully it won't end up being another aimless driving experience like two Mondays ago. Time to hit the showers.

I'm outta here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Monday was Martin Luther King Day. A day set aside to celebrate his birth. It was also the public presidential inauguration ceremonies. It was also the last day of the auto show. Monday is also my regular day off so my friend Dave and I drove into town and hit the convention center. The show was what was to be expected of an auto show, but we're guys and we like cars. I thought I could hold out until dinner time but the scent of fried food wonderfulness, just the foods I shouldn't eat, wafted through the air and clicked the hungry switch on. There was the usual variety of fast foods, Asian, Mexican, a pizza/pasta counter. We were also looking out for some coffee when we came across this bar/fast food looking place with a couple of large Sam Adams banners hanging up. "Why buy overpriced coffee when you can buy overpriced beer?" we reasoned.
So we saddled up to the fake bar and looked at the real menu's. It was the usual suspects, fish and chips, burgers, lobster rolls (lobster salad in a hot dog bun), veggie burger and so on. We both settled on a overpriced cheese burger and fries ($9.95) and an overpriced bottle of beer (6.95). To be fair the meals did come with 3 packets of ketchup and we had the option of having a plastic cup for our drinks. Things have a way of balancing out. Here's a shot as we were coming out of the food court over looking part of the hall. It's a wide one and pans to the right.

I may post some pictures later on. The auto show and some pictures was going to be my whole blog. I certainly was reminded several times that it was MLKjr Day and I certainly remember when he was shot and killed in 1968. That made me remember Bobby Kennedy being shot that same year along with Governor George Wallace. The Viet Nam war and sweating out being drafted. I never was. I remember where I was, as others who were old enough to remember, when President Kennedy was assassinated.

Quite a bit has happened during my lifetime. So many social, political, medical, scientific changes, disasters, breakthroughs, wars, triumphs and tragedies. I remember when the Russians beat the U.S. into space. People building fallout shelters because the Commies might drop nuclear weapons on us. The Cuban Missile Crisis. Those were scary times. I got to watch on live television, the first moon landing. I got to see (on tv) and hear The Beatles and was smack dab in the middle of that mid to late 60's era of pop culture. Long hair. All the fuss seems so silly now but back then it was a hot topic. I personally had a great time during that era. The United States was booming during the 50's. Everything was bigger and better.

I'm know there are many things that I have left out like the computer. How has that changed everybodys life? Maybe it's just hitting another age bracket where you tend to have more reflective moments. Whatever it is, I suddenly came to realise all that has happened and is happening at an accelerated rate, during my lifetime. It really is quite a story.

I'm outta here.   

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

How to spend an afternoon or... to waste an afternoon. Last Monday was supposed to be a leisure day . We were going to go to an early lunch then hit a movie. Arlene had to be home by 5:30. About 9:30 A.M. she calls and says she really didn't want to go to a movie, suggesting rather lunch and maybe a ride somewhere. Those last two words "ride somewhere" proved prophetic. I really didn't care about the movie and as far as riding somewhere, it wasn't etched in stone. Or was it?

We had lunch at "The 99". A chain restaurant in the northeast. Not a bad place. Good food at a reasonable price. I know, that sounds like a commercial. It was a beautiful day, about 62 degrees and sunny. As we ate lunch we talked about some of our favorite movies. I mentioned a few that I would like to own. Arlene then suggested,
"Would you rather just go somewhere and buy a movie?"
I said OK and, "Let's go to Best Buy. It's just up the Revere Beach Parkway."
This is not one of my favorite roads. In fact no road around here is my favorite road. I do feel sorry for people from out of town. There are many wonderful things about this area but the road layout and built in stupidity aren't among them. And the worst part of going to Best Buy, "just up the parkway", is that it's less than two miles from the restaurant. Get on one parkway, and if the lights are with you you can be at the other parkway in about a minute. Even with the light, the turn off for the store is maybe two minutes ahead. In the last 10 years a shopping center was built on the right of the Revere parkway and the Best Buy is on the left. Up until 10 years ago it almost a straight shot east to the ocean. About 7 miles. Now with all this new retail going in they had to design an elaborate exit lane system. That's all well and good. And you know what's really important? Having a sign telling you what lane you should be in.

Oh they have a sign. Unfortunately they put it around a bend under an overpass, where by the time you see it, you had better be in the correct lane, or you're either going towards the ocean, into the Best Buy parking lot or back the way you came. I pick a lane and round the bend. I can see the sign, but at this angle there is a tree in front of the sign. Not an old tree but something planted when all this change happened. What dumb ass plants a tree where it can block a sign! And what dumb ass thought it was a good idea to place the only sign where you really can't make a choice. There are 4 lanes but there are cars on either side of you. So we ended up heading east towards the Atlantic. Well not for long though. After a bit of driving We found a place to reverse our direction. You have the same problem on the way back. You approach the area where all the turn offs are and face an onslaught of lunatics shooting out of the same underpass you just passed through. You look for your opening and pray it's the right one. Wrong again.

"Listen. It's such a beautiful day, why don't we go to the Such and Such Mall in New Hampshire. It's the first exit after we cross into New Hampshire. It's a straight shot up 93." reasoned Arlene.
I had to agree. Rt. 93 runs right through my home town and it's a straight shot into New Hampshire, about 25 miles. An easy drive at highway speeds. And there is another plus. No sales tax.

We could have been in that mall up north in all the time we wasted trying to go to Best Buy. Up 93 we go. The January thaw is here. It's in the 60's and the sun is bright. It's an uneventful ride. The both of us are yapping about something. Probably work.
"My boss is such a (fill in the blank). Do you know what he did?"
We had apparently crossed the state lines when Arlene said, "Ooooh! That was our exit!"
There's plenty of blame for both of us. The easy drive after the nonsense after lunch, must have lulled us as we headed north of the city.

Now what do we do? I decide to take the very next exit to try and double back. I mean if we wanted to we could have driven to Canada. I have a GPS but for some reason I took it inside with me and so it was home. No clue as to where the mall is or where we're going. We're in about a 30 mile radius of home so it's not like we we're on the edge of nowhere. Little towns in southern New Hampshire and into Massachusetts with little farms and rolling hills. All very quaint and nice. We are on Rt. 97 heading south/southeast. I have never heard of Rt.97 but we were either going to end up near the ocean or pretty close to home. The most annoying thing was we were traveling strictly through city streets. Places I never heard of. Places I may have heard mentioned  on the local news. There had to be a sign eventually mentioning a highway I recognise. We're not all that far from Boston.

This day started at 11:45 a.m. After an eternity of being behind a garbage truck, we soon saw a sign for a road we recognised. We were still a half hour to 40 minutes from home. That was only a guess because the road we hit is a highway that encircles Boston by 20 miles or so. You have to be sure to pick the right direction, north or south. There are even places where when you are traveling on Rt. 128 south, but actually heading north. As long as I am heading the right way I will be able to grab Rt. 93 almost right to my driveway. There's a tad of exaggeration there, but it's less than a mile from the highway to my house. It all sounds so simple. Then there's also looming rush hour traffic.

We eventually pulled into my driveway at about 4:20 p.m. I had two beers in my refrigerator. We drank them. Apart from lunch, they were the best part of the day. 4 hours, 80 miles. No DVD. No movie. A day we should have headed straight home after lunch. We settled in and listened to George Carlin for a couple of hours. We needed the laughs.

 So we started thinking about how the day played out. We figured going to lunch and the movies might be too much. She had to be home by 5:30. At least that was the plan. Nah, let's buy and watch this movie I want. It seemed like a simple and quick solution. Then we decide it's actually easier to travel north and hit that mall than to deal with the traffic bedlam around here, and if you're paying attention it is. We weren't. We ended up having lunch and "taking a ride somewhere". 

I'm outta here.       

Sunday, January 13, 2013

So let's see...

...where was I? Oh yeah. After months of torture from the bank, the seller and the state my sister finally ended up getting her house. She finally moved in on Tuesday the 8th of January. It turns out she's less than a mile from me. Not that she was all that far away from me in the first place, 3 miles. This time she is on the same side of the city as I am. It's all a residential area. A right at the end of my street,a left at the park, 2nd right 4 houses in. Maybe a 10 minute walk.

I am begining to write this on Saturday night. I had a late shift today and arrived home at about 9:20. I am writing this now instead of tomorrow morning (when this will more than likely be published) because a few thoughts on what to write are still floating around in my head. My company was just sold, again. We were owned by SuperValu. They were neither super nor a value. We have been part of that corporation since 2006. The five companies that SuperValu sold were, Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco (who used to own us back in the 70's until that corporation got swallowed up by a larger one) Shaws and Star Market. The last two are really one company. The last one, Star, is my original company. Boy do I miss it. We really haven't been Star Market since 1999. Anyway so all is in limbo for now. We just had 700 people laid off two months ago. This is making me think quite seriously about retiring next year when I hit 62. Besides I don't know if, at this point, I have another 5 years in me to hit 66. I've already been doing this job for 41 years, 42 on April 1. Still I am grateful to have been steadily employed and paid nicely for what I do.

Sometimes the customers can annoy and sometimes they can be quite amusing especially when they mangle the pronunciation of something. I may have mentioned this before but we do not sell all beef balonga. Nor do we sell mosquito turkey breast or the Italian delicacy, pasquito. In english that would be balogna, mesquite and proscuitto. I will also admit that at times we make fun of people. I mean, if I have to work the counter for any length of time, say 4 hours or so it can get boring, repitious and annoying so you can't help and make some kind of comment to a coworker when  someone walks up with a face like a catchers mitt. You  need a release somtimes.

There are strange people walking around outside. I was sitting in my car waiting for my shift to begin when I hear someone saying,
I looked at my rearview mirror and there was this guy walking slowly by my car waving and saying hello to nobody in particular. This went on across the parking lot right up and to the store.

The flu has hit this area pretty hard. Boston alone had 700 confirmed cases and there have been 18 deaths across the state. I have not had a flu shot. The one time I did get one I got the flu. That was about 30 years ago. Maybe I'm gambling here but I have been blessed with a good imune system. I have not been sick in about 30 years.

It is now Sunday morning. I have a bit of housekeeping to do as I have a few friends coming over to watch the Patriots game at 4:30. It's been pretty exciting around here when it comes to the Patriots and I'm sure things will change once Tom Brady retires. It's hard to believe he's been here for 13 years. What a pleasure it's been to watch this team. Then there's the Red Sox. They will be a roll of the dice this year. Enough about sports.

Well this has been a rambling excerise and in the light of a new day I realize that I have repeated myself from the past couple of entries but when I started this last night I was a bit fuzzy from a 9 hour day. I do think of things to write about during the course of the day but I don't make a note of it to remind myself later on. When I finally sit in front of the keyboard I end up thinking,
"What was I going to write about?" I draw a big blank. So I think I'll end this "rambling excercise" I've got things to do before 4:30, laundry, vacuming, a bit of house keeping and cleaning the interior of my car, not to mention the exterior.


I'm outta here.