Monday, March 21, 2016

Big storm! We;re all gonna die! No wait, it won't be that bad. Oh no! It;s the end of the world now! Nah! It's just going to be a dusting...

Sometimes I'm ashamed to say I live around here. It happened again. Three or so days ago weather forecasters predicted a snow storm for this area. 6-10 inches. Then it was reduced to 4 to 6 inches. Suddenly it then became 8-10 inches. Then we all breathed a collective sigh of relief as the forecast changed to 0-3 inches. As of about 8 p.m. Sunday evening it was back to 6-8 inches. Monday morning it was still snowing and there was about an inch and a half on the ground. By noon the sun was out, the snow was melting. There was about an inch of snow on my car and the ground. 

Now back to Sunday. Arlene and I went out to run an errand to pick up some small rugs for her home. As we left the store I suggested that we make a meal of spaghetti and meatballs for supper, except I requested linguine. Neither Arlene nor I had any of the ingredients nor the desire to make a sauce from scratch but fortunately there was a supermarket in this shopping center. The lot was packed. The store was packed. I thought, these people can't be shopping because of the impending doom in the form of snow? We were there to buy some linguine, a particular sauce and some hamburger, all of which turned out tasty. There was a buzz in there air. Having worked in the supermarket business for 45 years there is a difference in the feel of a crowd between just a busy day and a impending snowstorm busy day. Come on people! Even if we did get 10 inches, annoying though it is, it doesn't mean to shelter in place, praying that your 4 loaves of bread and two gallons of milk will hold out until the end of the "snow event". Snow event? It sounds like something you have to buy tickets for. The milk aisle wasn't too bad but there was an undertone of foreboding in the bread aisle due to the upcoming snowmageddon.

At 5 a.m. this morning (Monday) they cancelled school. Now it was different when I was young. Sure we had snow days. Without fully slipping into "old fartdom" completely, we did have days when school was cancelled, but if you had just an inch or two of snow on the ground you went to school. What really is annoying to me are the weather forecasters, who have much more sophisticated equipment now, were all over the map on this. Watching a local station run a self promotional commercial about "having the most advanced Doppler radar in New England" and have them screw this forecast up royally.
As I write this sentence it, it is partly sunny and in the 40's. Not a beach day but pleasant enough for March. We have turned into a bunch of weenies around here. Calling off school because of, at best, 2 inches of snow. If I were a weather forecaster and I wasn't sure of the outcome of a snow situation, I would say so. They kept giving their forecasts, which would change radically within a few hours. That's what happens around here. A month ago we went from 70 degrees one day to 9 below within a couple of more days. It's a tricky place.

Due to my moving situation, and Arlene's new job situation, if we get to go to you know where this year it will have to be after June 20th. It will be the latest in the spring, on the cusp of summer, we have gone and more than likely the only time we will go this year. We will miss going early as the crowds are light and you can pretend you're there alone. It's very quiet. 

We are both adjusting to the semi retired life. I'm not complaining. Working 3 days as opposed to 5 or 6 days a week is an improvement though the money is not what once was but I am lucky to have saved and have the stock market come back after 2008. 

Politics is one step away from this.
       I'm outta here.  

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sunday March 13, 2016. Driving around...then eating.

Sunday was a beautiful day. It really was. Hardly a cloud, temperature around 60. Sometimes I can or will stay in even if it's wonderful outside because I have things to do indoors or I just plain don't feel like going out, but not Sunday. Actually Arlene felt the same and suggested we take a ride. Then I suggested we go to the Tufts University Campus. I grew up a few blocks from it and I remember going to the campus when I was a kid to see Jumbo the Elephant. Jumbo was the Jumbo from the Barnum &Bailey Circus. Jumbo was a star of the circus until he was killed when he was hit by a train in Canada. He was stuffed and donated to the university by P.T. Barnum as he was a friend of the Tuft's family, early settlers here in the 1600's, who's decndants donated the land for the college. Jumbo was put on display along with other animals from the circus at Barnum Museum of Natural History on the campus. That was disbanded, I think in the 1930's. Jumbo was quite popular though so he was still displayed and had become the school mascot. I remember riding my bike up to the campus and seeing him. The in 1975 an electrical fire burned down the wooden building where Jumbo was displayed in. They saved his tail and some ashes in a peanut butter jar. The skeleton was sent to the American Museum of Natural History in New York. 

Anyway, Arlene's daughter graduated from Tufts so she is quite  familiar with the campus and I could take some pictures. We also just drove around town. Arlene is much more familiar with our own home town than I am and she volunteered to drive! It was also good to check out neighborhoods where I could potentially be living. This city is one city away from Boston. The older part of town dates back to the founding of Boston in 1630. You can see the difference as you go north where it truly becomes a residential suburb of Boston. Below is a video of some of the things we did yesterday. Driving around, bits of chatting or maybe chattering, pictures I took on the campus. Afterwards we had supper at our favorite local restaurant.   

Here's a clip from a local stations restaurant show where they featured Raso's Restaurant. It's big city eating in the suburbs. Nothing fancy about the setting except the food and a great staff.

Today is not as nice as yesterday. It's going to rain and it's about 20 degrees cooler. Well it's time to move out and do something constructive.
I'm outta here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Idle ramblin's (the checks in the mail Carole), local tales

I am writing this because I feel compelled to write. For the most part I will be making this up as I go along. See, I just made that last sentence up...and this one too! No I haven't been drinking though Arlene and I killed a bottle Sunday night after a lovely dinner at Raso's. We both had the same thing. I can't remember how to pronounce it but it was a chicken cutlet (or shrimp) covered with lemon garlic sauce with mushrooms on top of roasted peppers and prosciutto on a bed of linguine. Out of this world! Oh now I remember. Ok I looked it up. It was called Chicken Saltimbocca. Which in Italian means "jumps in the mouth". This restaurant is a little gem right in our own back yard. Ever since they built a hotel here, 10-15 years ago. A bunch of really nice restaurants have sprung up around our small square. One of my favorites, and I know I've mentioned it before, I just can't remember if it was here or 10 years ago on Spaces, is a former bank. It's notorious because over the Memorial Day weekend in 1980 the Depositors Trust Bank was broken into by three local cops. They broke in through an optical shop next to the bank and broke through ceiling into the bank. They did it for 3 consecutive nights. They got 1.5 million in cash and anywhere from 10 to 25 million in gems and jewelry. The estimates were all over the map. Besides who really knew what was in those, not so safe, safety deposit boxes? Only the people who put the stuff there in the first place. They made a made for tv movie about the incident in 1990 called "The Cops are robbers". The upshot of all this is that the former bank is now a restaurant but they left the hole in the ceiling where robbers broke in.

Oddly enough as I write this I think of another notorious incident that took place across the street back in the 70s. Back in the 60s and 70s there was a chain of muffin houses around New England called The Pewter Pot CafĂ©. There also some notorious characters around in those days. One you may have heard of, Whitey Bulger. He was headquartered in the next city which borders Boston. There was another local mobster that was headquartered in Boston. Whitey Bulger wanted that operation. He slowly started eliminating the mob in Boston, you can guess how, and that mobs leader took off to here. Why he picked to flee only about 10 miles where he was before seems kind of stupid. Well guess what? Whitey found out that he liked to go to the Pewter for coffee and a treat. In walks a man dressed as a construction worker and guns him down in broad daylight, escaping in a waiting car.

The Pewter Pot chain is long gone but the place is now a breakfast place. Arlene and I have gone there from time to time on a Sunday morning.

Lets see... Mark Walberg is trying to shoot a movie about the marathon bombings. So far he will not be able to shoot any scenes at the University of Massachusetts and the town of Watertown, 8 or 10 miles west of here. The town won't allow them to shoot the scene on the street where the shoot out between the brothers and the police took place. The residents on that street were ok with it but the town manager was against saying something like, "It wouldn't be good for the town."

For a laugh I checked out real estate on Martha's Vineyard. Believe me I don't have the kind of money it would take to buy a home there. I can't even afford a home here. Anyway there wasn't a home for sale under $900,000. The prices went up to $3,500,000. Yikes! Still, I want to be here.

Ok, enough. My brain is drained. Time for bed.
I'm outta here.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Different winter. Some nonesense.

Well it's been a year since our 9 foot Jan.-Feb. snow fest in 2015. This year we've had maybe 7 or so inches of snow. This year, during the same time we've been 9 below 0 to 60 degrees with the possibility of 70 degrees next week. What a difference. I'm not about to launch into a global warming speech. What do I know? Still this year is quite a contrast to last year.
Here are some pictures I got off the web.

This year I am still determined to go to Martha's Vineyard. Arlene has a part time job with the school department and school lasts well into June, a bit later than we have usually gone in the springtime. Mostly to avoid the crowds. Of course I still do have the little matter of finding a new place to live. So basically I could be full of it. In fact I probably am.

I caught just a little of the Republican debate. I could only stand to listen for about 10 minutes. Every time I heard Trump say "believe me",  "this is the truth" , I became even more put off by this crude, blowhard, ego maniac. Any time somebody keeps asking you to believe them makes me suspicious. The bit about the size of his hands. How presidential of those guys. We've come to a point where candidates are comparing the size of their wieners as a qualification for president. I don't recall Lincoln, Eisenhower or Kennedy using this qualifier. All that was missing was Geraldo Rivera. Oh the campaign slogans. Nixon would have been easy.

Can you imagine if the democrats did the same?

At least I hope, whoever wins the election, they are civil to each other after the voting. Take the last election. Obama and Romney became friends and formed a singing duo. They recently finished  a record breaking, three week stint at Caesar's Palace.

They have earned rave reviews for their heart stopping rendition of the Supremes' classic...

It was basically an afternoon of silliness. Oh alright. One more.
All the stuff above happened because I watched a bit of the debate. Today, as I write this I took a quiet day. A day where I had nothing pending. I wasn't going anywhere. I didn't to go anywhere. A day to step back and relax. I had a nice breakfast. Watched some news. Played a game or two of Risk. I amused myself on You Tube and Google.

So I began this by talking about the difference between this winter and the last. I thought about it because there is no snow on the ground now and last year there was quite a bit and this picture collage I made and posted last year was still in my computer. I took them in the succession of storms over about 3 weeks. It's just from and around the house. There's no music.

Time to move on to some other activity. More than likely, fall asleep in front of the television. I have a pretty busy day tomorrow (Saturday)  so I'll be moving on. Cue the western music.
I'm outta here.