Sunday, April 28, 2013

Normalcy slowly returning. Part two slideshow.

I guess it's alright to exhale a bit. It turns out two more people I work with actually knew the younger bomber from school and the neighborhood, brings this whole terrible episode a bit closer to home. Still things have to move on. I've personally had a busy week. Nothing bad, just a lot of stuff to do. I visited one of my sisters a few nights ago. She lives close by. As I waited for my sister to answer the door a cute cat came up the stairs. My sister answered the door and said the cat belonged to the people who live on the second floor.

"I'm sorry I can't let you in sweetie." said my sister. She then rang the second floor doorbell and we went inside. I then thought, "I would like to see the look on their faces when they open the door and find the cat sitting there."

I knew I had more pictures of Boston but it would take a while to sort through and and pick pictures to consider. I also used this as a way to unwind before I went to bed. It was nice to re-visit these places again. We would take these little trips from time to time. It was usually Arlene and I though it could be with my friend Dave.
One day a couple of years Dave and I found that we both had nothing to do so we decided to go into Boston via public transportation and hit the observation deck of Prudential Building. Some of those pictures are here. Other day, well afternoon trips really, are here as well. A trip to the North End. The original Boston before all the landfill happened. It is old Boston and Boston's "little Italy". There's a combination of historic (Paul Revere's house, the Old North Church ect.) and a European feel. It's an area filled with restaurants, Italian food stores, cafe's and pastery shops. It's a special place to me personally despite the narrow streets and non existing parking. My uncle had a store there and now my cousin is running it. You'll never have a bad meal here no matter which restaurant you choose and there are plenty.

Arlene and I hopped a bus one winters day and went to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. Great museum. I included pictures from a walk around the campus. Here's the video.

   So things are begining to settle down but it's still all very fresh. Ok it's time to get on with the day. It's been a beautiful day this whole blog has taken me a while.

I'm outta here.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Krystle Campbell

I did not know Krystle Campbell though she lived about a four minute walk from from my front door. I have lived here since 2007. My neighbors knew her. My neighbors children played with her and graduated from high school with her. Today was her funeral. I also live within walking distance of the center of town. At first I wasn't going to go but I am overwhelmed by sadness and have been brought to tears on more than one occasion. Out of respect for this young woman I went. On my way I passed the city hall.
The funeral was held at the church where I received my First Holy Communion and Confirmation, St. Josephs. Another connection, though admittedly a thin one. There was a decent crowd when I first arrived with a full contingent of television crews, both local and national parked in front of the library across from the church, and a few foreign ones as well. Overhead there were helicopters. The crowd grew. There was a threat that the Westborow Baptist Church would picket the funeral. Local biker groups and teemsters pledged, and in fact showed up to form a human wall to keep the protesters from interfering with the funeral. Yeah they looked like tough bikers but in fact, from what I saw they were thoughtful, good people. They just like to ride motorcycles. I am not a particularly religious man but Bless Them. I don't know if the protesters showed up because I left right after the casket was brought into the church.

The Bikers and teemsters move into position.

I neglected to mention in my praise of all those whole reacted to the explosions, the fire men. There is a fire house very near to the finish line and those people rushed towards the explosions along with the police, medical people, race officials and  ordinary citizens. Incredible bravery and compassion on everybody's part.

As I said  everybody around here including me, have been affected by this tragedy. As I walked away from the church I felt my emotions once again, bubbling to the surface. You see this kind attack happining in cities around the world on television and it's horrible to imagine. Now it has happened in my own backyard. I'm not sure why the marathon was picked except maybe because it is on a world stage and it attracts many thousands of people. Even as I write this I am watching, on CNN the the thwarting of an attack in Toronto. They have said that it has no connection the Boston Marathon attacks. At least it was stopped before we had another tragedy.

Well with all that has happened in the last week I have neglected many more mundane tasks of life. Laundry, vacuuming and the like. Actually it will be a welcome distraction. I would also like to mention, being from Boston, a special thanks to New York. Yeah we're sports rivals in all sports but getting support from the Big Apple means so much to we here in Boston. What they did at Yankee Stadium was so touching to us. When 9-11 happened fire fighters and medical people and other support people from Boston went to New York because it was an attack on America. And though you can't compare the loss of life in both attacks they were still both attacks on America and after all we are all Americans. Also though I haven't mentioned it but my heart does go out to the people of West Texas. They also had a larger loss of life than we had in Boston. They are a small town we are a large city on the east coast with an event that attracts a world wide audience not to mention millions of tourists. A good chunk of their world was wiped out not to mention the loss of life. Their fire fighters and law enforcement people were no less brave than those here in Boston. I feel empathy, sympathy with all those folks. Then there are the floods in the mid west. I admit I haven't paid much attention to that story as we have all been preoccupied. This has been a tough week for America but as always we will overcome all this.

Thank you everyone. Thank you America, and the rest of the world.
Boston Strong      

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sadness both here and all over Metro Boston.

Today there was a wake for Krystle Campbell. Helicopters hovered overhead. There was still a police presence at her family home and I imagine there was a large presence at the funeral home. The same place both my parents, uncle and aunt were waked. I have watched as much of the television coverage as I could. Work was my only diversion. This has touched us all in the area. Some more than others. I mentioned previously how the young lady Krystle Campbell was friends with my lady friend Arlene daughters. She knew the family. How her daughters went to school through high school together. How they played together as children. How a co-workers mother knew the young M.I.T. officer killed while in his patrol car. How another co-worker was the aunt of the little boy from Dorchester. The bombers lived four streets away from where I work. Who knows I might have dealt with them.

I want to thank all the folks who commented and expressed their feelings and condolences. Beth, Beth's sister, Carole, Nookworm, Catches the eye, Terry, Caroldee, Buttons and Jo-Anne Meadows. Thank you all. It means so much to me.

I have been filled with much emotion over the last few days. Not only for the people killed but for all those killed but all those who received critical injuries. I am filled with sorrow and anger. As I have watched the tears would well up in my eyes.

I have to express my admiration for all the law enforcement people. The medical people and the average citizens who ran towards the blast area, not away, to do whatever they could to help the injured. It was an amazing show of humanity. I am humbled. This has been an experience that has shaken us around here. There have been explosions, 5 deaths, 175 or so injuries, some critical, some severe, car chases, gun battles, police cars rushing in all directions, helicopters in the sky over the parking lot at work, helicopters all over the place. My thanks for the support from all over country and the world for Boston. We will rebound. I admit that I swelled with pride when President Obama said, and I'm not sure it's a direct quote but it went something like this, "They picked the wrong city to terrorize. Not Boston.....not Boston."
Now I know he was playing to the crowd but I didn't care. It made me feel good and swell with pride and make no mistake we are all proud to live here in Boston. I love the phrase, "Boston Strong".

Here is the slideshow I mentioned in my previous entry. It took me a while to pour through my pictures then to put it together and upload. It is by no means the whole city as I have not been everywhere. I took these pictures over the last six years.

Once again my thanks to all. I will be back visiting around on a more regular basis in a day or two.

Friday, April 19, 2013

I'm home.

Well it's been quite a night and quite a day. I was up most of the night following the story. All the local stations and CNN. Not that I wanted to stay up but I could not sleep. I slept about an hour just before I had to get up at 5:30. I do remember hearing a sound in the distance somewhere between 10 pm and 11pm. I didn't know what it was but it sure sounded like it could have been an explosion. It turns out that was the explosion that occurred as the police and authorities were chasing the bombing suspects after the officer was shot and killed at M.I.T. They didn't say it at the time but my first thought was, "Is this the bombing suspect?". The news media didn't report it as such and treated it as a seperate incident. Not that I blame them. On the other hand when watching the various news conferences who ever was speaking, a police chief, FBI, mayor or governor would mention that they wouldn't answer certain questions and members of the press would go ahead and ask those questions anyway. Makes me wonder about their intelligence.  

I am not thrilled with my company either. Cities surrounding Boston have been closed off. All businesses were ordered to close.  Somerville the city next to mine was not in lock down. Though I have never mentioned it if you read my previous blogs it's pretty obvious where I live. I work in Somerville. If you drive about a mile up the road you pass the Museum of Science. In Boston. A little further up the road is Mass. General Hospital. Somerville was not in lock down. The parking lot of my store borders Cambridge. Literally where the parking lot ends is where the border between Somerville and Cambridge. There's a park, a hockey rink and the East Cambridge Health Center. You could walk to where the health center from where I parked in about 20 seconds. My company closed their Cambridge stores but they left my store open because technically we were in Somerville not Cambridge. Those money grubbing bastards. People were nervous all day. Here's a picture taken from my car while I was on a break listening to the radio.
 Here's the store.

 The police were a constant presence.
It's not a great picture but you can see the top of the Prudential Building from the lot. That's more or less where the finish line of the marathon is.
I was just at the Watertown Mall on Monday, the day of the marathon. There were helicopters overhead all day. The suspect lived four streets over from my store. Who knows he might have shopped there. One of my coworkers mother knew the M.I.T. officers who was killed. Even more sad, the aunt of the little boy killed at the marathon works in my store. She's the sister of his father.

Update It's now about 7pm and gunshots have been heard in Watertown. It's unknown what's going on at the moment. I'm going to sign off at the moment. I haven't eaten yet and I'm tired. If there is a conclusion to this I sure all of you will know soon enough.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

At the moment all other blog subjects are trivial.

First of all I would like to say that I am aware how some people around the country may feel about Boston and Massachusetts. Sometimes we may come across as smug and toot our own horns about all we have and I guess I am guilty of this as well. On the other hand we do have so much to be proud of. I am more proud than ever now. Despite the horrible events of a few days ago, to watch people rush towards the areas of the bombings without regard for their lives to try and assist the injured. The coordination at a moments notice of all the medical personnel, who fortunately happened to be there because of the marathon, and just everyday people risking their lives to help the injured. I'm not saying that this wouldn't have happened in any other American city because it has. Atlanta in 1996. New York, at the twin towers, a much larger tragedy. Yet it is a tribute to the people and personnel in the medical community that more people didn't die. It is a tribute to the world class hospitals in the area. It is a tribute to the city. I defy anyone who has walked the freedom trail to not get choked up when you walk passed the grave of Sam Adams. Not some character on a beer bottle but the actual Sam Adams who agitated the people in the Old South Church to dump tea in the harbor to defy the tyranny of the British. The reigning super power in the world at the time. Walk by the grave of John Hancock. Benjamin Franklins parents.The site of the  Boston massacre. The Old North Church, "One if by land two if by sea." Then go to the Lexington Green where the first shots of the American Revolution. This is America's birthplace and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

I am also touched by the outpouring of support from all around the country, even the world. There's no greater rivalry in sports than the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox and yet at a game in Yankee Stadium they played "Sweet Caroline" the Red Sox theme song and New York stood united with Boston and flashed both team logo's on the big screens saying something like we're with you Boston. In fact the whole country has thrown there support behind Boston. It makes me proud to be a Bostonian and more importantly it makes me proud to be American. This will not stop us as Americans. This will not stop us as Bostonians. We have more big events coming up. There's the Fourth of July Boston Pops Concert and fireworks by the Charles River. That also draws huge crowds. Surely there will have to be new restriction. It is the sign of the times we live in, but the concert will go on. There's the First Night Celebration on New Years Eve. Something that once again, began here in Boston and spread across the country. We as a nation cannot let these cowardly acts stop us. They can only strengthen our resolve. Despite all our problems, acts like these don't weaken us, it brings us more together.

As I mentioned in my previous post, this has touched me personally. The third victim grew up around the corner from where I presently live. Her family still lives there. My lady friend Arlene knows the family. Her daughters went to school with the young lady. Moreover, one of Arlene's daughters goes to the marathon every year to cheer on the runners, hand out water and so on. This year, for whatever reason, she decided not to go and everyone is grateful for that.

There is a police presence everywhere in my city. I have not been to downtown Boston but from what I see on the news the city is full of police both local and state as well as the National Guard and the F.B.I. and I'm sure there are other governmental agencies as well. It's not a sight you like to see in America but I guess it's reassuring none the less.

The above was written early in the morning on Wednesday. It is now about 7:45 Wednesday evening. I have been watching local news and CNN. I just watched and interview with some Boston Police and an E.m.t. What heroes! They along with firefighters from a firehouse that's right there and plain civilians rushed towards the blast area not away. In an instant you saw the worst of humanity and the best.

I guess I will wrap this up now. When I get the time I am going to make a slide show of my beautiful Boston. I know I have posted many of these pictures in the past both here and on the late lamented Live Spaces but I don't care. Despite my sadness and anger I am more proud of my city than ever and I want to share my beautiful Boston.

Thank you everyone.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The tragedy hits close to home.

I was coming home from work about a half an hour ago from this writing. As I made the turn to enter my neighborhood I saw all these television trucks one street over from my house. As you can imagine I was concerned. There were several police cars as well. I arrived home grabbed my camera and walked back.

It turns out the third victim grew up around the corner from me. My lady friend, who lives next door, knew the young lady. Her daughters went to school with her. She no longer lived there but her family still does. They had made a statement to the press.
At this point I don't have much more to say except Arlene is quite upset having watch this woman grow up and play with her daughters. She married the son of a guy who grew up next to me. Her name was Crystal Campbel.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Two dead, one a child 8, 50 to 100 injured.

It is now being called a terrorist attack. It's a holiday in Massachusetts. Patriots Day. The day that the first shot of the Revolutionary War on the Lexington Green was fired. The birth of our country. Perhaps that had something to do with it. Perhaps it was knowing that in the running world this is about as big as it gets. Over 27,000 runners from around the world. Spectators from around the world. Thousands of people line the route particularly when the runners hit Boston. I've seen the crowds. It gets bigger every year. What will happen next year? For now I mourn for the injured and the dead. And though I don't live in Boston proper I am very close by and it is my city and I mourn for my city. A city I love.   

The marathon tragedy

It is difficult to find the words to write concerning this. As I write this the situation is ongoing. It's about 4:23 in the afternoon and I'm still watching the event on television. Nobody at this point knows what really happened. I was out taking care of a few errands. I have just heard that two more bombs were found at this point. It's almost 4:30. I was actually on Massachusetts Avenue which intersects Boylston Street, the street where the marathon finish line is. The finish line is only a few blocks I was in Cambridge about two miles away. The bombs went off around, as far I can tell about 2:50. I was on my way home, almost there as I drove into the city square. As I approached a fire station one of the doors opened and out came a fire truck and went about 500' and turned to head towards a high way. This highway goes right into downtown and if the traffic is light you can be downtown in about 8 minutes (my estimate). At the time I didn't have the radio and didn't think much concerning the fire truck. I was home about 4 minutes later and turned the television about 3:05 and found out what was going on. 

I am quite familiar with the area. We had a store right near the finish line. It has since been rebuilt a block behind. I worked at that store and was there for three marathons. There are thousands of people everywhere. It's a very festive occasion and one that we who live here are quite proud to have in our back yard. It will never be the same. It's 5:10 and I am going back to the television.    

Sunday, April 14, 2013

I went to the movies and other assorted blathering.

Yes indeed I did go to the movies. I had a rare Saturday off. I didn't ask for it and was a tad ticked off when I found out because I didn't ask for it. It was done in the name of saving payroll. I will get paid for it but it comes out of my vacation time. Now I get (allegedly) slightly over 6 weeks off a year and I admit that isn't too shabby. The only problem is I don't get much of a chance to utilize those weeks. Last year, for instance, I only took two weeks off and a handful of single days. Makes me wonder what happened to all that money that was supposedly set aside for employee vacations. I also use the word employee as opposed to the new term used "associates". I don't go to work to associate with people. I go to work because the company pays me to perform tasks on behalf of the company. They employ me. There's nothing wrong or degrading about the word employee. It's a very accurate description of the situation. Simple and to the point. Associate is just another softened word used these days. Perhaps they (business) think somebody will find that word offencive and sue? I suppose it's not beyond the realm of possibility but I think they have much bigger problems than the possible misinterpretation of one word and how it might offend somebody. One of my favorites is restroom. I have yet to see anybody resting in there though I suppose you wouldn't really want to label it for it's actual intended purpose. It would make me laugh though and we can always use a laugh.

I have veered off course. Yes I went to the movies to see "42", the story of Jackie Robinson. The movie was top shelf. I highly recommend it. The actor playing Jackie Robinson was tremendous as was the entire cast though I think Harrison Ford stole the movie. He played Branch Rickey, the owner of the then Brooklyn Dodgers, who made the decision to bring Jackie up to the major leagues as the first negro player. Jackie Robinson endured so much but Rickey had faith in Robinson ability to take all that was going to come his way and still succeed. My only complaint about going to the movie wasn't the movie itself or the crowd or the $4.00 for a small coffee, it was with the theater itself. The movie was advertised for a 1:30 start. We walked in at 1:15. Oh the screen came to life at 1:30 but all we watched were silly animations on all of their over priced snacks, and seemingly endless movie previews, television show previews punctuated with more ads for the snacks. This went on for 45 minutes. I seriously thought about walking out. The movie began at 2:15. In the future, if I can avoid going to an AMC Theater, I will. At least we got to have dinner at a local restaurant in my hometown whose name I never mention but I think you already what it is. It's a personal favorite and it's about 5 minutes from my house. I'll give them a plug even though none of you can go there, Raso's, pronounced Razo's. We started with our usual antipasto plate of fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers, marinated eggplant, caponata (not quite sure what it all consisted of but it sure is tasty), sopperasata salami and prosciutto with a heap of leafy greens in the middle along with a basket of fresh baked bread and some calamata olives in olive oil. My main course was a simple but delicious. Chicken, ziti and broccoli.

Beth's last blog mention the show Boston's Finest which I confess I have never watched, though I watched an episode on YouTube this morning. I did like it.I have said this before, I have been slow to appreciate my own home area. It took my acquiring a digital camera to find out all this area has to offer. I guess it sounds like bragging but I don't mean it that way. I just took it for granted and didn't even know how much came from here until I started to research places to take pictures and explore. Boston itself has come a long way in the last 40 plus years. Up until then the city had been in decline for the first 60 years of the 20th century. Then the 52 story Prudential building was completed in 1965 and every other skyscraper you see in pictures of Boston was built since then. We've also have a little brother complex because New York is just down the road apiece and let's face it New York is the largest U.S. city and New York is, well New York. Still despite the awful traffic, big dig or no big dig (I do feel sorry for visitors trying to make their way around the organically grown roads of the original Boston before all the landfill.) I have grown to love the place whereas before I was pretty indifferent to all the history and innovation that exists here. And though I don't live in the city proper, depending on the time of day, I can be in town in about 10 minutes. Finding a place to park is another story. I also got a kick out of hearing the Boston accent on the show and trust me none of those guys had a real strong accent compared to a lot of the locals. I find myself fighting it but occasionally a word slips out like cah instead of car.

Speaking of vacations I booked my vacation on Martha's Vineyard this morning. It's still 6 weeks away and I am chopping at the bit to get there. I'll be there June 3-7.

Alrighty then, it's time for either a late lunch or an early supper. With that said,
I'm outta here

Friday, April 12, 2013

First of all I would like to thank my blogging friends for their encouraging comments on my last entry. I really do appreciate it and I thank you!

When I started writing this I had asked if anybody had heard from Nancy, then I decided to send her an email. She responded the next day. She is fine. Some computer problems but that's all. She also left a comment on my previous rather whiny post. She's a friend from back in the days of Spaces. And I'm glad she ok.

As you may or may not know I work in a supermarket. Specifically the deli. There are times when I have to work the counter. It's part of the job and that's ok. However, after doing this for nearly 42 years it only takes one twit to set me off saometimes. Not that I go into a Basil Fawlty rant .In case you don't know, Basil Fawlty was the main character in the  British comedy series starring John Cleese called Fawlt Towers. Just about my favorite  television comedy along with Cheers and not just because it was set in Boston. It was genuinely funny. OK I just went off on a tangent. Anyway I asked this woman what she would like. She then pointed at what she wanted. Now from behind the counter I can't see what she is pointing at so I asked her again if she could tell me what she wanted because I can't see. Now she gets annoyed and forcefully points and says "This!"
Now I'm getting annoyed and walk around front. She says "This!" again.
What was so hard about saying low salt ham. The biggest word had four letters. This type of behavior happens more than you would think and it seems to have become more prevalent in recent years. I guess it's just getting to me. I think people are just more distracted these days. They seem to have forgotten how to comunicate face to face. They are all wrapped up in their phones. Staring at the little screens unaware of the surroundings. Walking into traffic. Funny how these devices of communication, fantastic as they are, really don't always bring people together, rather they seem to isolate them from the outside world. I have texted a few times and it is a remarkable way to send a quick message but I work with people who are constantly running into the corner to stare at their phones and typing back something. More than likely it's a generational thing. I certainly remember when I was young, we were such an oddball generation compared to our parents. We grew our hair long and listened to very different music than our parents. We were so different than the World War II generation of our parents. I am by no means knocking the younger generation, well maybe a little, but I think that constant attention to a little screen while trying to perform life's more mundane tasks that involves interacting with fellow human beings like shopping, walking or driving rates as annoying to dangerous. 

Well sorry about that little rant. I had a few annoying people to deal with at work and I just had to let off a little steam.

Here's a video I made the night of the blizzard. It's off the television. I just held the camera as I sat on the couch over the course of an hour. It's not an hour long. It's about 11 minutes. The temperature dropped about 8 degrees in about an hour Sometimes it's a little out of focus and shaky and though I have tripod I didn't use it because I didn't think about it. It's a reminder of that storm as the weather slowly improves. It's just a little slice of local television news about one big pain in the ass storm that's thankfully just a memory now.
 Well I sort of just rambled on (the checks in the mail Carole) with this post. I'm off tomorrow and am going tot the movies. More than likely to see 42 The Jackie Robinson story. It looks to be quite good. Time to get ready for bed.
I'm outta here.

Monday, April 8, 2013

A few of my dads paintings and a few thoughts on my blog and some local lore.

My dad would always draw. My dad was a very talented man. He played the piano quite well though he never had a lesson. I wish I had a recording of his playing. He could also play the guitar and the mandolin. One day my sister gave my dad an oil painting kit for either Christmas or his birthday and he was off to the races. He watched a guy on PBS who would paint a landscape in less than 30 minutes. My dad had no problem in copying the technique. He wouldn't just do landscapes he did portraits and his biggest project was recreating some of the Sistine Chapel ceiling paintings by Michelangelo. I have six of his paintings in my living room and my sisters have about the same. The are about 50 or so that remain back at the family house where one of my sisters still lives. The Sistine chapel Painting are quite large and still remain in the basement. I don't know what we will do with all the remaining paintings. I took some pictures of the paintings in my living room. The pictures are not of the greatest quality as some of them are  framed behind glass. You can see light reflecting off the glass and in some you can see a reflection of me taking the pictures. Here are a few of them.


I am not able to visit Blogger as often as I used to. So much of my time is taken up by just every day life. My days can be long often starting with a wake up at 5:30, sometimes 4:30 for a 6 a.m. work start. I am not complaining because I am fortunate to still be working for the same company (more or less) for 42 years. There are 700 people that recently, weren't so lucky. By the time I am finished with work, domestic chores and dealing with the phone it's around 9 p.m. and pretty close to bedtime. I enjoy writing a blog and visiting around but sometimes I just can't. I have also thought about just shutting it down because there are times when I write stuff that just doesn't attract anyone save for one or two people. That could be because I don't publish that often or I write things that are of no interest to anyone. I don't know.

Still here I am writing another one. During the course of the day, while at work, I find myself thinking of things to write about, often jotting ideas down so I would remember them later.

OK. Enough whining. I do have to continue my spring cleaning though I honestly feel like sitting around like a lump. It's a beautiful day outside and I have opened the windows. I have an urge to go out and visit things in my own city. Not Boston but my community 5 miles north. I am reading book on my city and have to honestly admit to not knowing some of the history that happened within a mile or two of my home. Where Jingle Bells and "Over the river and through the woods to grandfathers house we go" were written.
Grandfathers house is still there. Fanny Farmer lived here. The modern roller skate was developed here. The Issac Royal House, on the same street as my elementary school was on, housed the Continental Army including George Washington during the Revolutionary War. New York Mayor  Michael Bloomberg grew up here and went to the same high school as me. His mother still lived here until her death in 2011. One street over is the Peter Tufts house thought to be the oldest surviving all brick building in New England.
I remember going to the Tufts University Campus to see the stuffed remains of Jumbo the Elephant that was donated to the University by P.T. Barnum after he was killed when he was hit by a locomotive in Ontario Canada. It was destroyed by fire in 1975 and supposedly the ashes are kept in a 14 oz Peter Pan Crunchy Peanut Butter jar in the office of the Tufts Athletic directors office. At least according to Wikipedia. The Jumbo's is the nickname of the Tufts football team.
Then there was early colonial shipbuilding on the Mystic River two streets over from here.

On the more notorious side there was the grizzly murder of "The Black Dahlia" in Los Angeles in 1947. She was born in Boston but grew up here. She left for California for fame and fortune as an actress and wound up brutally murdered. It remains unsolved.

The Depositors Trust Bank Robbery in 1980, one of the largest bank and jewel robberies in the world pulled off by crooked police over the Memorial Day weekend even as a parade went by. It wasn't so much the cash that was stolen but what was in the safety deposit boxes. Who knows what was put in there and by who. Not everybody came forward to tell what they lost. Part of the former bank is now a restaurant. The bank vault door is still there as the entrance to the private function room an the hole in the ceiling where the robber entered the vault was left untouched. On the same street almost directly across ( the same street Jingle bells was written on about a block down) was the Pewter Pot Cafe. This was the site of a Mafia hit. It is now called the Lighthouse Cafe and is a popular breakfast spot. I had more than a few Sunday morning breakfasts there.

In 1989 the FBI succesfully taped a Mafia initiation ceremony here not too far from where I live.

Alrighty then I've gone on long enough. It's time for lunch or maybe a very early supper then it's back to work.

I'm outta here.

Monday, April 1, 2013

World of Wheels, Easter, Spring cleaning and an extra day off!

Yup. I went to the World of Wheels Show downtown last Sunday the 24th. I like cars. I always have. When I was a kid my dad would take me to various dealership showrooms in the fall when all the new models were being introduced. I don't know all that much about cars. A basic knowledge on how an engine works and the like but I have never been one to work on a car save for changing a flat. For me cars are eye candy, performance numbers and other related numbers. There were customised hot rods, classic cars, and various other kinds of curiosities including the three Bat Mobiles. One from the 60's TV show, one from the first Hollywood movie and the latest version. Not only that, there were personal appearances by the Caped Crusader and Cat Woman in the flesh. A fun afternoon but not cheap. About $15 for a burger and a drink before hand. $20 for parking and $18 for a ticket.

It wasn't easy to take all the pictures. Finding a spot where you can frame the picture without someone walking in front of you or coming up behind you wasn't easy. Some of the pictures came out too blurry and were essentially useless. On some shots a bit of the rear end of a car got cut off. I took my small pocket camera. I didn't want to lug around that suitcase with the camera and lenses plus the booklets and various other camera devices. Most of the time it was aim the camera shoot and hope for the best. There are a couple of slightly blurred shots that made it on to the forthcoming slide show. By the way check out the very thick soles on Bat Mans boots. He looked to be about 5,5" without them. Oh and one more thing. I made a rather silly intro to the whole thing.

Then I made a slide show out of the pictures I took during the blizzard on Feb. 8,9 and 10th. The morning of the 9th we were met with around two feet of snow. It took two of us 8 hours to clear the cars and driveway. The tenth day was a beautiful day. Most everything important had been cleared or dug out. I went down to the lakes and took a few pictures. I readily admit that I put another silly opening at the beginning and an overly dramatic soundtrack to the beginning part of the video. I'm just having a little fun here.

And then, on the night of the blizzard I took my little camera and pointed it the television. I shot clips of the local news coverage over the course of two hours or so. There are reporters here and there, by the ocean or on the highway. I Just hand held the camera. A bit shaky or out of focus at times but what can I tell you, The airport was closed so Spielberg's plane couldn't land. You watch as the temperature dropping over a relatively short time. Anyway it's a long video. At about 11 minutes I'll save it for next time.

And then there was Easter Sunday. I had a potential conflict between my sister and my lady friend. I was invited to both places. I won't go into the delicate negotiations but I didn't have a real winning chance with either my sister or Arlene if they both didn't concede something.
 The conflict ended up resolved by the lucky fact that my sisters meal was going to happen around one-ish in the afternoon. Arlene said her meal would happen around five because her daughter had to work. I won't go into the delicate negotiations but it worked out.
We had roast pork at my sisters with various side dishes including something I haven't had since before my mother passed 9 years ago, broccoli rabe or rapini. It's a green that's pretty simply prepared. Boiled, cooled and sauteed with olive oil garlic and a pinch of hot pepper. Sometimes you can add sausage or whatever. They may be an acquired taste for some but I think they're pretty tasty. We had our now traditional toast at the beginning of the meal which I think I have mentioned before. My brother in laws botched attempt to say Nostrovia, or as Jim mangled into something like, "nice driveway".

Around six I went to Arlene's. Couldn't eat anymore so I had some wine and some home made pizzelle my sister made. All in all a nice day.

And now I have an extra day off this week. A bit of spring cleaning is in order and some relaxation. I still will have to wait another two months for my first week off.

Well that's all for now.
I'm outta here