Monday, September 30, 2013

So it's been a week since I've been back from vacation. Adjusting back to some of the silliness of my job. From having a woman ask me for a "little half pound of American cheese" to having somebody from the front end in a near panic calling about the almost empty cooked chicken warmer by the registers, "WE NEED CHICKENS! IT'S ALMOST EMPTY!" Then there was the silly pep talk my immediate boss gave us. He finished up by saying, "If it's possible, we can do it!" Easy there Winston Churchill.

My computer has been off and on for a while now. I did have a breakthrough yesterday though. for a few days I couldn't view video's on YouTube. Finally after several frustrating hours I fixed the problem. I hope. As usual I took many pictures. About 500. Arlene had her own camera this time. It's a very compact 12.1 megapixel camera. So much easier than my camera to carry around than my camera with the bulky case for the lens's and other paraphernalia associated with the camera. Anyway, though Arlene has taken photos on Martha's Vineyard before she used a little 5 megapixel camera of mine. She now has one of her own and it takes wonderful pictures and video's. Arlene took some excellent pictures. Out of the 130 or so pictures she took I used about 100 to make a slideshow. All the pictures you will see are hers. She did a great job.

I still have pictures and video clips to check out. I really need a proper video camera. Well I don't need it but I may get one someday.

We have had a run of fabulous weather and it's supposed to continue this whole week getting up to the 80's at some point. Today I am just going to lay low as I have a head cold. Believe it or not it's my first cold in 30 years or so. I have been pretty lucky health wise.

 I was originally going to go to Lowell Ma. with my friend Dave. He lived there for about 20 years and knows his way around. In the mid 1850's it was the largest industrial park in the U.S. It is considered the birthplace of the industrial revolution in  this country with many historical sights that I have never seen. I was there many times in the 80's but apart from Dave's house and Tony and Ann's Pizza, I didn't see much of Lowell.

So that's it for now. I think I'll lay about and do nothing. I want to be as rested and ready to go back to work. It's only a matter of time before I'll get another frenzied call, "WE NEED MORE CHICKENS!"
I'm outta here.   

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The last day

What can I say? The weather has been stunning. As I write this it's Friday evening. I'm sure I won't finish this until Saturday evening or perhaps Sunday. Today was the warmest day so far. I'm not sure what the temperature was but I bet it was close to 80. We've been here this time of year before but I think the wonderful weather has brought more people than the last 3 years. I almost thought that I wouldn't like having all these people here because every time we've come, either at the beginning of the season or the end, we've felt like we had the place to ourselves. We then came back to reality and realized how lucky we are to be able come to a place like this 3 hours from my front door. As I mentioned in the last blog along with there being more people here there are more people from different states. I couldn't imagine driving across the country from California to this small island off the Massachusetts coast. We became friendly with a couple from Minnesota. They, I imagine like everybody else that came a long distance, wanted to see the country, not just Martha's Vineyard. If the Vineyard was your only destination, why not just fly to Boston, rent a car and drive down. It would certainly be cheaper and save all that wear and tear on your car.

We stayed at the same hotel and they know us now and greeted us with this.

Another nice thing about having a wonderful place like this close to home is that I get to watch the Red Sox game as I write this. Today we went back to the west side of the island where the clay cliffs are. They are beautiful.


At the base of the cliffs is an clothing optional beach. Thanks to my long distance lenses I found out this was true.
Thanks to a cloudless sky all week, the full moon was as awesome a sight as the blazing sun at sunrise.

I think I have finally figured out the allure of this place. There's nothing really fancy here. Sure the town of Edgartown is for the well healed but it's not glitzy. You are only about 7 miles or so from the mainland and yet when you come here you are forced to lead a slower pace of life. Apart from your fellow vacationers there is little that reminds you of a busy life in the city. It's all simple and to the point. You take in the natural beauty. I can't tell you the simple joy of watching the sun rise over the ocean all by myself with hardly a car passing by behind me. At this time of year the sun is setting earlier and earlier so the main roads go quiet pretty quick and many of the little shops close at 5 or 6 p.m. Popular restaurants/bars may stay open until 11. The one supermarket in Oak Bluffs (where we stay) Reliable market closes at 6:30.
There's an old timey vibe that permeates the place, hearkening back to another simpler way of life. Sure our room was just a bit more than adequate. We didn't have a refrigerator so we brought a cooler with us. We did a lot of walking though we did use the excellent public transportation when we went to Edgartown. We only used the car once, driving to other end of the island to see the cliffs. Gas is quite pricey from 4.29 to 4.89 a gallon. Then again you can only go so far unless you go to the mainland and gas isn't cheap on Cape Cod either. Still it's hard to get lost with only six towns and only so many roads.
I need to work on my video recording technique, specifically getting some. Some of the videos were shot with my regular camera and some with a little 5 mega pixel camera. Sometimes I can't stand lugging that small piece of luggage holding the camera, lenses and added bits of related doo dads. Both the camera's need to have their lenses cleaned. I couldn't find the lens cleaning cloth. So some of the pictures may have some lens debris.
This particular video was last Thursday, Sept. 19,  mid to late afternoon. Shot with the little hand held, it is of poor quality. I had to lighten all of it but that wasn't enough. I am guilty of excessive panning, making it seem like you are watching the video in a top loading washer/dryer. Still that day, after some home made ice cream  we went through the Gingerbread Houses and emerged at the other side by the harbor. Had supper, then proceeded up around the harbor back to the hotel.
So here it is early Sunday evening after spending the day reliving the passed week through the pictures. When they are all ready I'll post them. There are some nice ones. For now it's time to get this show on the road.
I'm outta here.                                                                                 


Thursday, September 19, 2013

I'm back. Written on Sept. 18 and 19 .

I'm back here on Blogger and I'm back on Martha's Vineyard as I write this. I had some computer problems which explains my absence from Blogger and I am back on the island which explains my absence from work. When I mentioned to people that I was going back to the island for the seventh time in three years they all said, "Again? Why? You've  ready been there six times!"
Why? I am not sure I can answer that completely. There are people here from all the New England states, plus New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This is understandable because these states are all relatively close and you can get here within hours or a day by car (and ferry) but then you see plates from California , Utah, Wisconson, Minnessota, Nevada, Florida. Why?
Walking the beach last night.
I can't explain the charm of this place. Coming here early in the season or late in the season eliminates about 50,000 people. That's one reasaon, it's quiet easy to get around and many places are still open or open early for people like us and the others who are here when the crowds aren't. The weather is and will be picture book perfect for us straight through until next Saturday when we leave. We haven't been many places this time because we've been to most of them already. We have been content to sit on the porch reading or walking around down town and of course eating. We may take in a sunset before we leave because it was so spectacular the last time we went. I did get up for sunrise this morning. The pictures look pretty much like the ones I took before but it's still an awesome sight to watch the sun crack the horizon line of the ocean.
  This small computer I am using just isn't as capable as my laptop
so I can't post any more pictures right now and my little movies will have to wait until I get home on Saturday or Sunday.

I haven't been around for a variey of reasons, an oddball work schdule. Sometimes starting at 6 a.m. and sometimes at 12:30 pm and one overnight stint. Another reason was a finnicky computer which I think is back up to snuff now. So all I can say at the moment is that I should be back on a regular basis by Sunday, after the Patriots game of course. I am having a wonderful time and will be back to the awful reality that is my job. I know I know I'm lucky to have a job and that's true, but I have ben doing this job for 42 years, my company is in trouble and it has been tough sledding for the last 3 years so I my retire next year. I think I've had enough. 
Well I've got to go. There's a lot of important nothing I have to do.
see you Sunday.

I'm outta here. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

I dunno. A little of this and a little of that. I guess.

This will be a bunch of things written as I think of them. For instance, I was sitting in my car during lunch, basically waiting for the break to end. I glance up to my rear view mirror and see this young guy walking towards my car, preoccupied by his little hand held device. I waited and watched. Bam! He walks right into the rear end of my car. He never dropped his phone though. I couldn't believe someone could walk through a parking lot and never look up. He wasn't hurt and apologized profusely. You see a lot of this these days. And I'm sure I will be seeing more of this as the students are back. Every year at this time we see anywhere from 250,000 to 300,000 students come to Boston and the greater Boston area, which includes my own city, which is the home of Tufts University. Greater Boston is the home to some 100 colleges and universities. You see the U-Haul vans all over the place and no late August early September would be complete without stories of people driving these vehicles into the city and getting stuck under one of the bridges or overpasses, of which we have many because of the Charles River being the border between Cambridge and Boston, despite the many signs telling you not to take certain roads because of the bridges and overpasses and what their vehicle height limits are. On the other hand if you are an out of stator  I certainly sympathize with these folks. It can be a very confusing places to get around. I lived here all my life and if I can avoid it I will not take my car into town. It's only five miles away but I will take public transportation. It's much easier. Since I work in a neighboring city to Boston, Somerville, We see many of these students in the store where I work. They are not just from the U.S. but from all over the world. I know I go on and on about Boston but I confess until about 2005, I took everything about the area for granted. I got my first digital camera in 2005 and decided to check some places to take pictures in the area. The more I researched the more astounded I was about the prominence of this city and the many treasures and firsts that occurred here and we have some very heavy duty competition first of which is New York right down the road apiece. Now we are tiny compared to New York. New York City  has about 8.3 million people and Boston has about 630,000 and yet we have 100 colleges in the area and NYC has 81. Now don't get me wrong I am not knocking New York City though it is a sport around here mainly because of the sports rivalry. Is there a bigger rivalry in baseball than Yankees Red Sox? New York City has won 55 sports championships, a huge chunk of that is because of the Yankees 27 championships and that started way back when the Red Sox traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees. Boston has the second most championships at 34. So after years of indifference as to where I live I now really appreciate where I live. True it is expensive, crowded, congested and confusing area to get around and though they spent 15-22 billion (depending on who you listen to) dollars for the "Big Dig" which tore down the old, ugly central artery, which was a raised highway that cut the city in half, it became a couple of tunnels and the Zakim bridge along with a one and a half mile stretch of green open space. I don't know if this has eased the traffic congestion much but it certainly looks nicer.

I learned that the site of the first iron works in the country is in Saugus Ma. about 5 miles north from here. Who knew?

Anyway we are now getting the usual stories of trucks and U-Haul trucks and trailers cluttering up the streets of Boston and the surrounding cities including mine. You can see the beginning of their presence in my store and others in the area. About a quarter of a million people bring a lot of money into the area and adds to the diversity of the city and the area. In the last ten years alone in my cities center, which is not particularly big, a hotel has been built because of the close proximity to the main highway into town, a host of restaurants of differing cuisines have spring up from Mexican, several varieties of Asian, pastry shops, Wi-Fi coffee shops and two higher end places, one of which is a former bank which was broken into over the Memorial Day weekend in 1980. The robbers broke into the bank from the adjoining building, through the ceiling into the room with the safety deposit boxes. While this was going on a parade was passing by outside. It was one of the largest robberies in the country. All money totals are estimates. Actual cash was about 1.5 million, but amounts taken from the safety deposit boxes is only an estimate because who knows what people were hiding from the tax man or were stolen items. They estimate that the gold and jewelry total to be around 18 million. The bank is now an upscale Italian restaurant but they left the hole in the ceiling where the robbers broke in and the bank vault door. You can dine in that room. Oddly enough with all the local exploration I've done in the last 8 years I have never been to this restaurant and it's less than a mile from my front door. I will get there and get some pictures eventually. 

Two weeks until vacation and Arlene and I can hardly wait. We are both spent and can really use the time off. I was going to write about how we met but I think I'll save it for a future blog. It's not a real exciting story and won't be made into a made for TV movie. At this point it is 9:15 Sunday morning and the rain coming down in sheets along with thunder and lightning but I don't care. I'm home and have nothing more to do than housework and laundry. Well maybe. It's up for debate at this point. It's Sunday and I really don't want to do anything.
That's it for now.
I'm outta here.