Saturday, November 21, 2015

Remember this?

Here is a classic clip from the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, 1965. He showed it almost every year on the anniversary show. It still cracks me up

It's been a busy week. The highlight or more accurately lowlight of the week was Thursday. A busy day at work and an absolutely horrendous drive home. As I have mentioned before, my drive home takes me through Harvard Square. It's a busy crowded, busy place and it's even worse during the evening rush hour. Still it's a small enough place that you usually can get through it in about 5 minutes. Well Thursday as I was just about leave the square and get on Massachusetts Avenue I see several blue lights speed up and block off the entrance to, as we call it, Mass Ave., and all traffic was directed back through the square. It forced me to take the confusing, rotary filled, nerve wracking Rt. 16. A ride that takes me (it's a little more than 5 miles) at best 20 minutes and at worst 35   minutes took 1 hour and 20 minutes. Why were we diverted? There was a student protest on Mass. Ave. A couple of hundred demonstrators march up the street then lay down. These are not my pictures.

They were protesting a couple of police shootings. I know people have the right protest and if I was part of it I suppose blocking a major road at rush hour is a great way to garner lots of attention. Still forcing traffic on to other all ready congested roads at rush hour made for a tedious, slow ride home.

I'm still going through some of my old discs that date back 15 years ago. There are some old video's and pictures from back when I started fooling around with a camera. For most of the picture taking expeditions it was Arlene and I. A few were with my friend Dave. Below is a video of Arlene and my short trip to Georges Island in Boston Harbor. There are about 18 islands in the harbor. Several that you can get to by ferry for recreational purposes. Georges island has a fort that was later converted to a prison for confederate soldiers during the civil war. Oddly enough there no footage of the fort. I did take pictures but I don't know where they are at the moment and truthfully it's not very picturesque.

To continue with checking out old pictures and organizing the old ones, This is a slideshow of flower pictures. I don't yet know if this is all of them. They were taken locally and around the Boston area.

Well I guess that's it for now. Thanks for visiting. It's now supper time then a trip to a friends house to watch The Soprano's. I never saw it when it was on. I'm 3 episodes into it.
I'm outta here.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Rainy Day

Just out of curiosity, have you ever written a post that for some reason always gets more looks every day than anything else you've written? I have one of those. I don't think it's anything special. It was just a recounting of an annoying experience concerning a flat tire. What happened to me was not anything that hasn't happened to anyone else when trying to deal with a business that doesn't have their act quite together. It was annoying and expensive and I ranted about it. It happened in 2012. It never got any more comments than the initial ones, but it always gets the most looks. Why? I don't know.

So what else is new? Nothing earth shattering. It was a busy week. I am in the middle of changing dentists. I had gone to a dental chain business who offered their services at a reduced rate. I should have known. I don't know if it's a regional chain or a national chain but as I have learned once again, you get what you pay for. I'm speaking of Aspen Dental. After promising my dental implants in 4 to 6 months on Oct. 31 2014 nothing has happened. Well nothing except one of the posts implanted in my jaw came out. I called and made an appointment only to find out that they can't do anything about it because their surgeon won't be back for a month. Why did they book me in the first place? He apparently goes from location to location and it takes a month for him to make all his rounds. I make another appointment. I go back a month later only to find and I quote, "That part of our business failed an inspection."

I told her that hearing that didn't fill me with confidence. I had two appointments in two months and nothing was done either time. I made another appointment reluctantly. Another month wait. Enough is enough. I went to a local private dental office and made an appointment. I had to get my x-rays from Aspen Dental. I went in this passed Friday. I first told them that I was cancelling my appointment, then I asked if I owed any money. I wanted to know if they charged me for my last two visits. If they did, I wasn't paying.

I didn't owe anything. I then asked for my x-rays and said, "... and I'm not coming back." So hopefully this will have a more positive outcome. I always avoid doing business big chains, though that's nearly impossible in most retail. I'll always go to a ma & pa coffee/donut/breakfast shop if they is among my choices. Dunkin' Donuts? It's like a disease around here. They are literally everywhere. There are about 58 Dunkin's in my city and the 3 cities that surround it. Starbucks? Not for me. There's one in the store where I work. Cambridge is the perfect city for Starbucks. Now I like Cambridge but there is a certain type of person here, one who's ancestors may have come over on the Mayflower, if ya know what I mean. It sometimes seems that some of them always smell something bad. Apart from that I do like the city. It's full of funky shops and beautiful homes and a lot of people, 100,000.
Here are some shots from a beautiful Sunday morning, June 2008 of some of the homes on Mt. Auburn Street, the road I take to work. On one side, the homes and the other the Charles River. There was little traffic as it was early.

I have a stack of discs from 2005-2009 when I started to take pictures and videos. I also found a bunch that I had uploaded to a "cloud" that I had forgotten about.
Here are some random fall shot from 2007-2008.


I also found this video I made in 2007. There's nothing special about it. It was a rainy day. I took a bunch of clips and strung them together. I was on the front porch, the side and the back. I then remembered a song called Rainy Day Dream Away and to my surprise it was only one second less than the video.

So that's it for now. This took me two days to put together and I enjoyed doing it.
I'm outta here.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

What to do with this blog and how I do miss Beth.

Most of the people who came over with me from the late lamented Spaces to Blogger have slowly disappeared since 2010. Not that I ever got a lot of comments but the list of people who come here have gone elsewhere or just stopped completely. From 10 or 12 comments I am down to one or two and I do thank those folks for coming here. Putting a blog together is a bit of a task for me. It can take me a while, and to be honest it is disappointing when you only get one or two comments, at least after all these years that's on me for not making my blog interesting enough for others to read. Still I admit that I do like blogging and I probably won't shut down, at least until something I have written gets no comments at all. All my Spaces friends have disappeared save for Toodie, and my dear friend Beth is no longer with us. I do miss her greatly. She was  always very kind to me and we did have an off the blog friendship via phone calls and regular mail. Still  with all that said here I am again. It would be very hard for me to shut this down after seven or so years.

I recently opened a Facebook account and I have been overwhelmed with all the invites and old friends. Actual people from my past. Truthfully I'm not sure what to make of Facebook. On the one hand it's a great way to reconnect with these people, on the other it does seem more superficial than a blog. I just can't seem to get myself excited because somebody posted a humorous picture (and those are always subjective) and I am supposed to like it. Even if I do, plowing through all those postings for very little if any substance seems boring to me. I do like the fact that I am put in contact with some people I haven't seen in 30 or 40 years. Maybe I'm just on the cusp of becoming a cranky old man. Though I am semi retired and look forward to full retirement in about a year, I still haven't settled into a routine yet. I work three full days and have four off. For those three days (to maintain my benefits) it seems that nothing has changed except I make a lot less money per hour. Still there are people with much greater problems than I have. In fact I have to say that I am pretty lucky. I am in good health, have a wonderful relationship and some money saved. For the most part I should not be whining at all, but this last year and a half has been a radical change for me after working this particular job since, of all days, April 1, 1971. I was featured on the cover of my store flyer this passed week. It was just a small picture, with a brief line or two about my career. From 1971 until 1999 it was a wonderful place to work. We were all well paid, the best in the area. There was a family feel to the company. They took good care of us and we had lots of pride in this historic supermarket company. This very year they are celebrating their 100th birthday. Since 1999 we were bought and sold several times. Things got worse and worse to the point where we were glommed on to the side of another New England chain and the stores were slowly having the name of the stores changed to a name not familiar in the Boston area. Business was dying. Now this latest owner wants to change the names of all those stores back because of the historical nature of our company in the area. It was the first market in the country to wrap fresh meats in cellophane so the customer didn't have to wait for a butcher to wrap it up in paper. The same with our bundle pick-up service. You paid for your groceries, they were put in a numbered tub and it disappeared into the bowels of the store. You drove around the building, handed in your numbered tiles and your groceries were loaded in your car. I hope all this rebadging of the stores works because besides working for them for all these years, my parents shopped there and the bundle pickup was like magic to me when I was 5. By next year they hope to have the chain back up to 30 stores.

So what else is new? I spent a good portion of Saturday cleaning out my computer again. So many pictures and videos. I made a slideshow of some of the pictures. I think there's one from the Vineyard, a few from western Massachusetts, maybe a couple from New Hampshire, Maine, Cape Cod, Gloucester, (Home of the Gloucester fisherman!), Salem and several local shots from the Mystic Lakes. There's nothing mystical about the lakes. It's a name derived from and Indian name that I can't recall at the moment. Then there's the neighbors cat who took a shine to me she would greet me when I  came home from work. She was very sweet. She was 20 years old when she disappeared last winter. The music is me. I used to have a little home recording studio. It's a tune I never finished. It's the beginning and the end spliced together. I never finished it because I kept making a mistake on the bass line of the electric part and I went to stop the recording and in frustration I hit the record and stop button at the same time and broke the recorder. What you hear is just the beginning and the end spliced together played on a nylon string guitar. There's a bit in the middle that has two guitars but it was never going to be the finished product. It was just a fill in until I could come up with something better. Maybe someday I'll finish it.

Well thanks for reading my whiny post.
I'm outta here.