Friday, December 23, 2016

The Enchanted Village

I've posted this before though this is a different version. It's a childhood memory. My mother would take my sister and I into Boston so she could do Christmas shopping. There were no malls around here at the time and Boston was where the major department stores were. For us, my sister and I, taking the trains and buses was an adventure. I 'm sure as the day progressed my sister and I were not the most pleasant creatures to be around but my mother persevered and as a bonus we got to see the Enchanted Village at Jordan Marsh a New England department store chain that had been around since around 1840's. It was swallowed up by Macy's in 1996. Anyway every year Jordan's would set up The Enchanted Village. A series of scenes with automated figures. We loved it. After Jordan Marsh disappeared the display was shuffled around town until it disappeared. Then a local furniture store, Jordan's Furniture, no relation to Jordan Marsh, purchased and refurbished the display and began setting it up in one of their stores. Arlene and I went in 2013 and enjoyed this childhood memory once again. 

So to all my blogging friends a Merry Christmas, happy holidays, whatever you celebrate. I thank you for your support.
I'm outta here.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Marathon movie

Mark Wahlberg has been making the rounds promoting the marathon bombing movie both nationally, and locally. Our plan for Sunday was to go to a local restaurant for a bite to eat and return to Arlene's and watch the football game. Both Arlene and I had seen the various ads for the movie as well as interviews and late night television appearances by Mark Wahlberg. I remember that day. Seeing the television trucks in my neighborhood. Wondering why there was a truck from New York there. I soon found out what happened on that day.

I later found out Arlene's connection with Krystle Campbell. Arlene's twin daughters and Krystle grew up together. They played at each others houses when they were kids. Every time Arlene hears a reference to the bombing she gets emotional. My only connection to all this is through Arlene and where I happen to live. 

Still this city has a connection to Krystle. As I have been going all the saved pictures I have I came across some pictures of Krystle's funeral that I took. These are only outdoor pictures.


Then I found these pictures of a trip Arlene and I took five years ago out to western Massachusetts during the Fall. Once you get out of the greater Boston metropolitan area it's a whole different world. It's rural and hilly and really quite lovely.


Then I found this clip from around 2007. It's a harbor boat ride of some sort. I don't remember if it was from a trip to one of the harbor islands, a whale watch or just a fast boat ride. I apologize for the cheesy music and shaky camera work. Still I think it was a fun ride.
Ok that about wraps this entry. It's back to work on Tuesday then I am off from Friday until Jan. 3 2017. I will officially be in my 46th year of employment with this company. How time flies.
I'm outta here.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Hammond Castle Goucester Ma. .Sorting through things...and blah blah blah

So I was staring at all the stuff that I stuck in the spare room. I either wasn't sure where to put it or if I should keep it at all. I see things that I have carried with me for years and wonder if it's not time to part ways with selected items.

I have taken the last week of the year off. I have been yapping about permanently retiring and you never know, I may begin the new year retired.

I have been taking pictures as a hobby since about 2005. I make no claims as a photographer. I just point and shoot. I don't fully understand all three of my cameras and I really don't care. Still I do like taking pictures. Going through some saved pictures, if I want to keep them or just lighten my load.   

Back in 2010 Arlene and I took a ride to Gloucester Ma. About 25 to 30 miles north from here. Specifically to the Hammond Castle. John Hays Hammond Jr. was a scientist who held over 400 patterns and is considered the father of remote control, specifically as it pertains to missile guidance systems. Anyway he designed and had the castle built on a cliff in Gloucester Massachusetts, overlooking the ocean. The Castle housed his collection of medieval artifacts, living quarters and his laboratory. I think it was built in 1926. The Castle sits on 7 acres and you can take self guided tours through most of it. It can also be rented out for weddings and various social events. I had a bunch of pictures and video clips that I took. I spent way too much time playing with the pictures and video clips. Still it kept me from doing laundry, washing the floor, or any number of constructive endeavors.

There are some shots and clips from a bit down the road at the Gloucester fisherman memorial.  

I also found shots from a concert I went to in 1970 at the rock club The Boston Tea Party. It was one of the first solo outings after the break up of Cream, for Eric Clapton. My friend Jim took these pictures.

Here's one I took of The Who at the Tea Party.

I want to thank the folks who comment here for all your kind words. They mean a lot.

I'm outta here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Ok  it's suddenly turned cold. There are times I think about living in a warmer climate. Now in reality I'm not going anywhere, but when the temperature is at 20 degrees there is little incentive  to go out unless you really have to though I understand it will get much colder in a couple of days.

Lets see now, we are going through a minor remodel at work. It seems to be a more behind scenes update. I was there in 2007 when they did a major remodel. This building used to be a horse drawn trolley car house from 1863 until 1893 when they went electric. As they tore up the floor you could see remnants of trolley tracks. In the basement half the building was horse stalls, the other a maintenance area.

In the early 1930's it became the Big Bear Supermarket and about twenty years later we, (Star) moved in. This is the exterior present day right across the street from the Mt. Auburn Cemetery.

I've worked in many stores over the last, near, 46 years but this was always my favorite. It used to be the highest grossing store in the chain but that was twenty years ago. The pictures below are from the 2007 remodel but it looks the same now. It's always been a favorite store. I remember seeing Julia Child there back in the '80s. She lived nearby in Cambridge.

That's where I work. 


Arlene is doing very well. We were discussing our next trip to you know where. We only got to go once this passed year and that little island has become part of our lives. If I had the money we would move there.

Well I've got a date with a cloths dryer.
I'm outta here.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Arlene on the mend. Self driving cars?! Here in boston?! Are they nuts?!!!

To begin with, I can't remember if I mentioned this before, Arlene had some surgery. Let's just say it's "female related" and pre-ancerous.  She is doing well though she can't wait until she can resume all normal activity. She is going back to work

My left shoulder is still bothering me and I'm still struggling over when I'm going to give up working altogether. This job has been part of my life for almost 46 years (April 1) and as much as I want to stop working it is a major change. On the other hand, despite my whining things are going well.

I saw on the news that a local company is going to test driverless cars in Boston. This will be interesting to say the least. Boston is a wonderful place with much to offer but a good driving experience is not one of them. The story goes that the eventual road layout was based on the cow paths way back in the 1600's. Nice going Bossy! As close as I am to the city I will defer to public transportation if I have to go in unless I am guaranteed a parking space and I know where the hell I'm going.  

Here are a few pictures from our little road trip down to Chatham on Cape Cod back in June 2007.


A couple of years ago a young guy I worked with went to Rome with his dad. I asked him if he could email me a few pictures. Well as I was cleaning out my mail box I discovered the email from two years ago. He sent me 5 pictures.
Thanks Andrew!
I suppose one of the reasons that I have blogged infrequently is that I am out of my routine. The move and living at my sister's house for four months, then there were Arlene's medical issues. As I mentioned above she is doing very well. In fact she went back to work today, a week early.
OK I had other stuff to write about but I can't think what it is at the moment. I should jot these ideas down like I used to. Alright  time to  click publish.
I'm outta here. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Nov 6 2016 A Sunday Morning ride to Cambridge.

Ok so I don't blog in over a month then I do it two days in a row. We're still waiting for word from the hospital relating to Arlene's release from the hospital. She did well and is, understandably, anxious to go home. Aside from that, I have been off from work for a week as I cut my finger on a slicer machine. This wasn't the first time though it may be my last time as I inch closer to complete retirement. In 46 years you are bound to have a mishap when working with sharp knives and slicers. This injury wasn't bad. I've had worse. No stitches were required. This is the fourth time in all my years that I have injured myself so in my line of work that's a pretty good average.

I did this before but this passed Sunday I took a ride into work and I made a very amateur video of my ride. Placing a small camera on my dashboard made things a bit shaky. I made this drive many times over the years as I have worked in this store many times more than any other. I was at this location from 2000-2011 and have worked their many time since 1971.
So this is essentially my ride to work.  

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

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

This entry has taken me over a month! Plus January 2007-2008 pics and other stuff.

Ok nothing new to report on the moving front. There's are still things that I have to do, bring over, find homes for and so on. I am still hampered by a touchy left shoulder, leg that is acting up, and an extra flight of stairs to lug this stuff up. Enough about that. 

Being a sports fan around here has been pretty good for the last sixteen years and it's still pretty good. The local teams have won nine championships. Our baseball team was in the playoffs again and the football team is an ongoing threat to win another one. Sports-wise the rest of the country hates us. Three years ago as Arlene and I pulled up to the hotel on the Vineyard, we were unpacking the car and another car pulled up behind us and began unpacking as well. There were a couple of ladies from Texas of all places. We chatted and it was quite pleasant until they asked where we were from. We told them that we were from just north of Boston. Her demeanor suddenly changed and she said, "Oh yeah! You've got that damn Patriots hat on!" Hey relax lady. It's a hat and just sports! That was the end of that exchange.

I work with a guy who has a tendency to mangle pronunciations much to our amusement. Today it was the name of the actor Denzel Washington. He became Deznel Washington. Later on he informed me that our boss would like me to price up a box of Cabot Monterey Jack cheese except he called it the Montgomery Jack cheese. Then there are the customers. On lady wanted a half pound of turkey breast, only she asked for, ..."a half pound of turkey with breast." I'm sorry the breast is sold separately.

Ya know sometimes I am just not aware of what's around me. I just found out that Fannie Farmer lived at the end of my street. The family house was there until 1979 when it was destroyed by fire. When I get a chance I'll grab photo of the commemorative stone. 

Here are some pictures from 2007 and 2008. About half the pictures in this slideshow were taken after a snowstorm and I decided to make them black and white.

This blog entry was started some three weeks ago. (At this point,  Nov. 8th, it's been more than a month) Things have been disjointed for a while. Arlene has had some health issues and she is going in to the hospital for a "procedure" on November 8. It's not real serious yet it's something that has to be taken seriously. As far as my life, it has been unsettled since this whole moving saga  began. I was too comfortable in my old apartment. Moving out, putting my furniture in storage, Living with my sister and brother-in law was ok. I must have been operating on adrenalin when I first moved out and took all my personal stuff to my sisters. However getting it all back here has been tough as my left leg. that I injured on vacation several years ago, has been acting up, coupled with a shaky left shoulder a couple of flights of stairs has slowed the process down but enough about that.

Update-November 8th. Arlene had her surgery today and all turned out well. She will be home on the 9th. That's tomorrow if I finally publish this tonight.

I apologize for this disjointed blog. Hopefully I will get back to a more normal life.

These were taken a few days ago locally by the Mystic River. Well I took them not the river. It was overcast and the Fall colors are muted. As soon as I got home from taking these, the sun came out.

The back of my old church.

These last two were taken this passed Sunday morning by the Charles River in Cambridge. Once again it was overcast.

Ok. Let's get this show on the road.
I'm outta here.