Sunday, December 27, 2015

And so it's ...

 ...over. I hope everyone had a good holiday. I did. The food was tremendous. There was only four of us initially but there was easily enough food for three times as many people. Christmas eve involved a traditional fish dinner. Shrimp for starters, along with a host of other items such as stuffed mushrooms and two different kinds of pizza, a couple of items of which I have no English translation. Basically a bread like item stuffed with spinach and tomato, and one with chicory and tomato. Then a meal of cod fillet and rice, sea scallops and salad. The deserts were quite numerous, ricotta pie, Italian style cookies and lemon squares. There were a couple of items I don't even recall. Way too much food for four people. Christmas day was just as bad or good depending how you want to look at it. Basically it was lasagna with the meat balls, sausage and beef. Beef is particularly delicious when cooked in the tomato sauce. Again salad, string beans and something else that I also can't recall. Then the deserts. Oh I forgot the homemade pizzelles. There's no comparison to the store bought ones. They are much too thick. My sister has mastered my mothers recipe. They were tasty and quite delicate. Perfect with coffee. I'll say it, we all ate like pigs. I left with my goodie bag of lasagna, sauce with all the meats, ricotta pie, lemon squares, cookies and probably something else the I just can't think of. There's three or four meals ready made in my fridge and freezer. All in all it was a nice time with insults (good natured) flying around and lots of laughter.

New years is not that big a deal. Arlene and I will spend it together. She spent Christmas with her family with ideas of visiting each other scrapped when we could see an argument over who should visit who brewing. We stayed with our respective families for Christmas and will spend New Years eve together. Whether we remain awake for midnight is an open question.

I dabbled on Facebook but I am not all that thrilled with it. On the one hand it's quite nice to be in touch with people that I haven't seen in 30 or 40 years. On the other hand seeing people put up pictures of their cats sleeping, or telling of a tasty meatball sub just doesn't do it for me. I'll stay on there but I still find it difficult to post stuff there. I do have one friend of mine who as it turns out goes to Martha's Vineyard quite a bit as well so we have talked about that and shared pictures as well. It even turns out that we were both there at the same time last September. Arlene is not thrilled about it as my friend happens to be a woman who I've known since 1970. We were never romantically involved as she was my friends wife but we had music in common and she has a beautiful voice. In fact I know her whole family. Her father was an opera singer so I know where she got her talent from. I would play the guitar and she would sing. I can't sing.

So that's it for now. I'm about to go next door to Arlene's as we like to watch the Patriots, and that's just 45 minutes away.

I'm outta here.    

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Over the river and through the woods...

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 always gets the most looks. Why? I don't know.

First of all I want to say that the bonehead wasn't me. This is not to say that I haven't had bouts with boneheadism. There was a leak from the drain under the big sink at work. The plumber came and all was fixed. One of my co-workers went to use the sink and discovered that the water was turned off. He managed to get the hot water on but he couldn't get was the cold water to work when he opened the faucet. He was confused. The rest of us (2), looked under the sink and saw two valves,  presumably for hot and cold. 

For some reason, we'll call him "Mr. Bonehead", did not turn the cold water on then couldn't understand why there was no cold water.  He was totally unaware of something, very obvious. Sometimes, something inside of us, flicks the "duh" switch. This quickly became snicker material. This man is married with children, and owns a house, so when he couldn't figure out that that the two valves under the sink, and the two faucets on the sink were related, it told us he was approaching "Maximum Duh!"
Hey we milked the episode all afternoon. It gave us much material to bust his chops with. Nothing really vicious but a few good laughs. Who hasn't gone "duh" now and then.  

Oy do I have a lot of pictures! I have been better organizing them for months now.  Still I don't mind looking pictures from the last ten years.
Here's my hometown, the Mystic River, which flows to the harbor, on March 1, 2007.

The white house in the background with the columns, is the "Grandfathers House" in the Thanksgiving poem "Over the river and through the woods..." I walked by it to go to high school for 3 years not even knowing that. Not that knowing that gave you the secrets of life. On the other side of the river is a small concert shell with the poem on it and small blurb about the author.




So as we head towards Christmas it looks like we will top 60 degrees around here. Last year we were close to this temperature then all the snow came. Nobody wants a repeat of last year. It's seasonably cold today but will shoot up quickly in the coming days. I'm already thinking Spring. Quite premature as we are not into January yet.
I got this from Facebook and it cracked me up.
Alrighty it's getting late in the morning and I have to do a bit of food shopping to do. Then there is the Patriots game at one o'clock, the team everybody in the U.S. loves to hate. If I don't make it back here before the holiday, everybody have a wonderful holiday.
I'm outta here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

State lottery and other blather.

I don't say this to brag but Massachusetts has the second most successful state lottery in the country only behind New York. I will admit to buying a scratch ticket once in a while. Not often. Maybe once a year but for the most part your chance of winning are about as good as throwing your money out your car window while you're on the highway. My main beef is going into a small neighborhood store to pick up a loaf of bread instead of going to a supermarket to save 15 cents, unless I go to my local Italian bakery for some real good and fresh baked bread, but parking is an issue there. Most of these small stores have a table in the rear where people sit and scratch or stare at a screen with a bunch of numbers on a grid. I have no idea what they're playing and I don't care. The problem comes when your standing in line with your bread or whatever you want, cigarettes, newspaper, milk, items which are pretty quick transaction, and some pain in the neck gambler is asking the clerk, "Give me 4 #27's, 4 Big payouts, a quick pick, and 2 Scratch my Ass and win tickets. Then I want to play the daily numbers game with these numbers. Now I want to cash in these tickets that I won $2.00 on... " Then the next person does basically, the same thing. You can see the agitation on the customers faces who want to get in and get out and that includes me. These gamblers have basically taken the convenience out of convenience stores. 

I watched bits and pieces of the debate. Basically all politicians are just bad actors. In fact we had a real president who was an actor. It was on in the background I did like when Jeb Bush called Donald Trump "feckless". I must admit that I was impressed that Jeb was aware that Trump's feck levels were dangerously low. Maybe it's a medical condition that's treated with a drug like profeckohydrochloride. It's basically like inept. You have to be really ept in todays world.
"Let he who has no feck, cast the first stone."

I did like Trumps plan to deal with illegal immigration. If he were president he would make all illegal immigrants wear their hair like he does.

My family, Arlene and a friend all went out to dinner the other night. It's a Christmas thing. I was telling my boss about, it meaning to say " sisters, Arlene, a friend Dave and my brother-in-law Jim."
What I did say was"...Dave and my husband-in-law Jim." 
I took a lot of crap for that one. I really fecked up.

Okeydokey it's time to end this thing.
I'm outta here. 



Friday, December 11, 2015

A cheapy post.

I haven't been in front of the computer as much as normal. I did spend some time on Facebook mostly because it takes forever to post anything other than words. I'm blaming most of it on my computer. According to my anti virus software there nothing wrong with my computer and yet it has been frustrating. So I have limited my computer face time. Facebook has been both nice and useless. Nice because I have been put in touch with some people who I haven't seen or heard from, in some cases 30 or 40 years. Useless because of people posting some silly information. This is my primary place. I really haven't had anything to blog about in the last week but I found this little bit and it made me laugh. These are things people have actually said in court both by people on the witness stand and attorneys.

So that's it for now. Time to get ready for a dinner date with you know who.
I'm outta here.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Facebook. I'm not sure.

I joined Facebook several years ago and never went back until a couple of months ago. On the one hand it has put me in touch with friends who I haven't had contact with for about 30 years including my Godchild. I like this part very much. On the other hand some of the posts I've seen are really nonsensical. Is it really relevant or important that you had a steak last night and it was really delish? And then you respond that you like it? It seems so superficial. I spend enough time in front of the computer screen as it is. So basically I'm torn between staying with for the purpose of keeping in touch with friends I haven't seen in years. As far as posting there I suppose I will from time to time but I can't treat it like I treat blogging. I enjoy blogging. It is a chance to be creative in any number of ways, not that I have posted really important stuff here but at least I try to make it something that might interest someone. I have to think about what I will post. So I am in a bit of a quandary over it. All the people who I have reconnected with have been really nice to me and I am truly happy to be able to communicate them again, but in the long run I will probably end up treating it more as less as another blog. I just don't know if I will be able spend the time in front of the this screen for both places on consistent basis.
I've talked to some friends about Facebook and responses range from, "I love it!" to "It's stupid". So I'm just curious as to what my Blogger friends think.

Continuing with my reorganization of all the pictures I've taken over the last 10 years, here are more taken on what is called the Kankamangus Highway in New Hampshire.

Yeah that's me. Ok that's it for this pulse pounding entry.
I'm outta here. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


...I'd like to take an axe to my computer. Yeah I know that does sound a bit violent but it has been a frustrating two days. I have been trying to post and this thing has been running slow. I admit I don't have the best internet service but it seems every time Windows installs a "critical update" my machine just takes forever to do anything. I was trying to upload a video to YouTube and it took 4 and a half hours and then it took forever for the processing to take place. Well it seems my computer was also installing a "critical update" at the same time. Well I finally got the video uploaded. By the way when I upload a video to YouTube it's primarily so I can post it here. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate if people view a video on YouTube but that's not my primary reason I use YouTube, it's because I can upload larger files there than I can here. That's a problem I didn't have back on Spaces. Then again in the world of problems, that's a pretty minor problem. I treat my computer like my car. I really don't care how it works as long as it does work, just put the key in the ignition and the car starts.

So I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving or as my brother in law said, a "Thappy Hanksgiving." I have to say it was a day of many laughs. At some point everybody was the subject of ridicule. It's just the way we (my family) are. Nothing was hurtful and everybody took their lumps with a good nature. Things were certainly toned down from the days of our youth. When we were kids my aunt and uncle and their kids came to our house for Thanksgiving and we went to theirs for Christmas. My mother and aunt were wonderful cooks but the amount of food was over the top. Never mind the appetizers, the meal had had to begin with soup, then there was the lasagna with the complementary meatballs and sausages, Then we had the turkey or ham depending on the holiday. I won't even mention all the side dishes and deserts. All the food was wonderful but it was overkill. I guess it's all part of being Italian and living through WWII. Still I do look back with fondness to those days. I have lost contact with my cousins. Two of them still live in the area, one lives in London and the other has become the family loony. I did see them (3 out of 4) when my uncle passed away several years ago. It was bizarre to hear my cousin living in London, with the combination of a Boston/London accent. It's hard for me to even imitate. It was just as bizarre hearing my aunt and uncle from Australia speaking broken English with an Australian accent. When my parents got married they moved to America (from Italy) though my mother was actually born here, it's a long story, and my aunt and uncle moved to Australia. So our Thanksgiving was quite nice. We have toned the food down quite a bit, though there was still plenty to eat.

I don't have much more to report except I have taken this week off before I lose the vacation time. Being a 44 year plus veteran of this company, even now as a part timer , I do have a lot of vacation time. I just don't take it. And I have to say that when you do they make sure that you feel guilty for using the benefit. When I was fulltime I could have taken 8 weeks off a year but I didn't. Shame on me.

This is not a particularly good week weather wise. It's been cloudy and drizzly though on the whole this Fall has been quite mild. I'm sure we're being set up for the winter. I just hope it's not a repeat of last year. That was one for the record books. Still it's nice to not have to work for 9 days. I can't wait to not have to work at all but that's a little over a year away. In truth I have still not completely adjusted to my reduced workload. Filling my free time is still something new. I had been working fulltime since 1969 and working period since 1968. It's a definite change in my life. Still I am lucky that I am in the position that I am in. Not everybody has been as lucky as I have been. I have a lot to be grateful for.

OK I was talking about here's the video I was talking about earlier. I am almost finished going through all my old pictures and putting them in much better order than I had before. It's been fun reliving all the places that we, Arlene and I and sometimes my friend Dave, have been locally and around New England in the last 10 years. Despite the weather woes that can happen around here, I am a died in the wool Bostonian/New Englander and I don't want to live anywhere else. So the video is a collection of flower pictures.       

So that's it for now, I'm outta here.