Friday, April 29, 2016

The night before

Saturday, April 30, 2016 is the day of my move. I fully admit that this has been one giant, pain in the ass. Pain though it might be, it's not an exciting topic to write about, but I wanted to write something before I move and begin some unpacking things that I will need  while I await the refurbishing of my former place, then moving back to the apartment upstairs. Now that's a run on sentence. It's a long story.

So it's Friday night, the night before. There's a bit of peanut butter and some bread. A spot, perhaps two spots of milk enough for some coffee in the morning. A bit of grated Romano cheese, three eggs and a half a zucchini. Whatever I don't consume Saturday morning is outta here. Between packing and moving clothes and possessions here, there and everywhere, going upstairs, downstairs I'm plumb tuckered out. Still it will sort of be like I was a kid, well semi retired again with my own bedroom and all my toys. So hopefully it will only be 6-8 weeks as estimated, then I'll gather everything up and slowly, make camp and settle down. The one bright spot will be a one week vacation in June. We will be heading you know where. This will be the closest to summer we have ever gone. I would imagine there will be more people than we usually see, but I think we can live with the burden.

Alright, if I keep writing, it will be tomorrow.
I'm outta here. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Why do you write a blog?

It's been a long busy week since the last time I entered a blog entry and I have to be honest after my last blog where I only received one comment (thank you Nookworm) I was discouraged and thought about shutting the whole thing down. Then I thought, as of now anyway, there are a couple of people, two maybe three, that  I have known and even spoken to, for eight years or so. I do think of these people as friends. I don't mean friends in the internet sense I mean friends in the very essence of the word. They have always been there, which is more than you can say at times about people who live next door. Toodie, I've known you since the days of Spaces, you along with our mutual, dear departed friend, Beth and Rhapsody. These are only hold overs from Spaces in my blogosphere.  

From Blogger there is only one I really know and has been a regular visitor, Gere (nookworm) and I thank her. I am not by any means upset at the people who I really liked and I was close to, in an internet sense at least, from Spaces and beyond, are no longer around these here parts. Life moves on and things in life change quickly. What was necessary fun at one point, is miles behind in the present. I am in the middle of a move. It is a royal pain. Particularly when I will be moving back in, six to eight weeks I hope, to a newer, better place upstairs from where I presently am. There's nothing wrong with my present place except that the d├ęcor is at best from the 1970's. It's quite comfortable and affordable. I have good landlords, they want me back and it helps that Arlene lives next door and has known them for almost forty years. I have been a lucky guy! 

I don't know yet when I will be back on Blogger on a more regular basis as I have been busy trucking things to a storage space, Arlene's and my sisters. The big move will be Saturday the 30th. At the moment I am waiting to go out to breakfast with Arlene and her cousins from California. They have been doing all the touristy things that you do when you visit Boston. Even right here locally there are things that date back to 1600's including a cemetery. Then there's Paul Revere's route that runs straight through town and on to Lexington and Concord. A home that was George Washington headquarters at the beginning of the revolutionary war. It's a whole different world here than in California.

OK I see Arlene is outside. Time for breakfast.
I'm outta here.      

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Marathon Monday

These are not my pictures.

The Boston Marathon is Monday. I remember back in the 80's, I was working downtown in a store we have at the Prudential Center.

The finish line is just up the street from the above picture. I do remember watching runners go by when I went outside for a break. Of course if you were scheduled to leave early in the afternoon you were going nowhere unless you were leaving by public transportation and that wasn't easy either. Still it is a thrill to witness an event that draws people from all over the world. Around 30,000 runners and about a million people lining the course. As I poked around the web about the marathon I came across a bunch internet trolls claiming the bombing was all staged and they all claimed to have proof. Of course all their proof came from shady websites. They claim all the injured were actors. One guy said his proof was a still picture taken from a video showing an FBI agent smiling. A still picture where this clown knew it was an FBI agent who was caught in mid expression which he conveniently assumed was a smile because it fit his scenario. Yeah it was all a big joke. So I got into it with a couple of these internet trolls who had no proof and no reason to explain why it was staged and then they began to mock the city, it's inhabitants and the notorious accent. Yes we have, not all of us, the accent and I admit it's not the prettiest accent around, but then they started taking shots at the city itself. Now we have our problems. A street layout that was laid out in the 17th century that is confusing to residents and must seem impossible to out of stators. When I see cars from other states, and there are a lot of them with 250,000 students alone from everywhere coming here every year, I do feel sorry for them but they still come here. And I do admit that it angered me when I read all the negative comments about Boston. I really don't have to defend the city, the history and the list of firsts are pretty impressive when compared to other U.S. cities. I'm not saying this is the greatest city in the country. There plenty of infuriating things about it. But it is my home and I must admit that despite all the problems it's a wonderful place to live with so much to offer. But what really set me off was claiming the whole bombing was staged while giving no reason why and claiming that the people killed were all living in different states. As I said when it happened, Krystle Campbell lived around the corner from me. Now I have no personal connection with her but Arlene and her daughters (twins) knew her. They are the same age. They played at each others houses when they were kids. It affected them and by extension it affected me. As I drove home from work I wondered why there were all these television trucks from around the country around the corner from my house. I was listening to music not the news.  And these cemented headed internet trolls really pissed me off. The pictures of people with their legs blown off, bones sticking out, were what they called "amputee actors". Now in reality I shouldn't have been drawn in to this debate but I was. They insulted the victims, the people and the city. Now I wasn't the only one who went after them and those people weren't just from Boston or Massachusetts. A tragedy is a tragedy no matter where it happens. Boston, New York, Connecticut, Paris, Belgium, all were horrific events. It's the world we live in. I often think about it when I am working. What's to stop some lunatic from walking into the supermarket with a bomb or machine gun? Nothing. It could happen anywhere. These are the times we live in. 
Well I just had to get this off my chest. It took me buying a small digital camera about 10 years ago to make me really appreciate where I live. Do I love my hometown? Yes I do. Am I proud of it? I sure am. When I go to work in the morning I drive down a road which is as old as the city itself, both my city and Boston, I see the skyline in the distance and I think how lucky I am to live here.
Ok. Rant over. Thanks for reading.
I'm outta here.      

Monday, April 11, 2016

A day at the beach

Ya see Arlene's car will not pass the emissions inspection and it has a rejection sticker. The car itself is fine. She has been going back and forth to the dealership. The problem is in the electronics. A few modules have been replaced and still they can't get the readings that they are looking for. Long story short, they (the dealership), had recommended to take the car for a fairly long highway drive. Sunday turned out to be a fairly nice day. I suggested we take a drive to Gloucester. It's about 35 miles by highway from here. Maybe 40 to 45 minutes at least on a Sunday, by highway. Supposedly a long sustained drive will cause the engine computer to gather some info to produce a reading as to how clean the engine is running. Blah blah blah...

This has been going on since March. Once again the car is fine. It runs well. So last Friday Arlene asked me if I wanted to go on a drive on Sunday. "Sure." I replied. What I didn't know was that I was driving. Initially thought I could video some of the ride up, hit one of the two beaches that I know of in Gloucester and take some pictures and video.

Bulletin Bulletin Bulletin! I've just been handed a bulletin bulletin bulletin. As I am writing this I have received a call from Arlene and her car passed! The long drive worked. Now back to our program.

One beach, Good Harbor, is one I am familiar with as back in the 70's my circle of friends and I went there quite a bit. My friend Earl's family had a cottage there. His mother had inherited it and now his sister lives there. It wasn't on the beach though ($$$) but it was a 2 minute walk to the water. What I found amusing about the cottage was that the only place where you had a view of the ocean was from the toilet seat. Anyway we decided to check out another beach as I had never been there. Wingaersheek Beach. I looked up the origin of the name and it's too long and boring to explain. It's of Dutch/German origin concerning some guy who did something back in 1670. For the most part it was a nice day. The temps were in the 50's with a bit of wind and the sky was a clear blue. All in all a nice day.      

Here's an exciting shot of a bit of the parking lot.

Having nothing to do with the beach, as I write this I am listening to the Red Sox home opener. It was almost game time when they announced that at the end of the national anthem there would be a fly over Fenway Park by two fighter jets. I went to my front door guessing from what direction they would be flying towards Boston and sure enough just as the singer sang, " of the free..." they flew right over my street. It was pretty neat. And by the time the singer sang, "home of the brave" I could hear the jets on the radio.

Ok here's a short video from Sunday. In advance I apologize for my dirty lens. I did wipe every lens and the inside of the camera but apparently not very well.

A couple of local items going back into the history of my hometown.
Here's a picture of a brick house not too far from where I live. I have driven past this house for what could be a thousand times never knowing anything about it. It is one of the oldest brick houses in the country, built around 1670-1680. The Peter Tufts House. He's the one who's family donated the land that Tufts University is built on. This is not my photo.

In the "I'm moving" dept., Though I still have much to do I have the mover all set up with both moving and moving back. There's still quite a bit to do. Boy has this been an expensive month.  So that's about it for now. I know I have some blog visiting to do and some food to eat.
I'm outta here.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Snow, sun, wind, linguine and meatballs, string beans and salad...and oh yeah wine.

Another odd weather day on Sunday. It went as predicted though. It was much better than the last storm that went, back and forth between impending doom to about an inch.  They just couldn't pin it down. It snowed from early in the morning till about 10. The flakes were quite large, or as a certain ego maniacal presidential candidate would say, "They were hyuuuuuge!"
Apart from that, I packed a few more things on Sunday, then I decided to take a break and watch some television  which really means falling asleep. But that's ok. I still work 3 full days a week and it seems there is always something to do or someplace  to go when I'm not working so I'm not against doing nothing at all sometimes. I don't want to sound like I'm the ambitious type because I'm not, but there are times I just don't want to do anything.
Here are 3 pictures I took of some trees that were freshly covered with snow from a small storm the day before. There's nothing real remarkable about them, It was dawn and I just liked the way the sun played off the snow covered bare branches.


So at about 3p.m. Arlene tells me that she has to go to the supermarket and I suggest that we buy some hamburger, linguine, some Victoria basil tomato sauce and a few other things and have a nice home cooked meal. It was sunny but windy and chilly.
Long story short we ended up making linguine and meatballs, I had some frozen string beans and we made a salad. And oh yeah a bottle of wine. All quite                                                                   Then we come to the weather. One month ago we hit 77, today April 4, 2016 it is snowing, it's still snowing as I write this at 5:15 p.m. on Monday. It's a slushy mess outside. It's New England and that's what happens around here.
I have secured a storage bin and the junk people have taken away all the refuse. I'm working for the next 3 days so moving duties will be put on hold aside from taking a few boxes to my sisters. I wish I could pull a Rip Van Winkle and sleep until all this is over. But then I think about the people I see sleeping on benches while I  have a nice warm bed and food to eat and I come back to Earth and think about how lucky I am.
Ok that's about it with this disjointed post. Now it's time to do some shoveling and then enjoy a nice piece of lasagna that Arlene made while we were making our meal yesterday. Ok where are my boots?
I'm outta here 


Friday, April 1, 2016

On the move

So what have I have been doing. Packing and some more packing and then I did some more packing. As it turns out I will be coming back to this location in about 3 months, I hope. I've always had the option of moving back to this house as the apartment I have been living in is going to be gutted and completely refurbished. My landlords told me they would like me back and for the money it really is my best option. I have checked into what is available this  is still cheaper. Rents ranged from $1600 to $2000 a month. Some had washer dryer hookups none had off street parking. And then there's the fact that Arlene lives next door. I will be living with my sister who is just a 3 minute drive from here. I will be moving at the end of the month. Needless to say this has been a bit of a stressful time for me. My furniture will be in a storage facility very close by. As it turns out there are many around here locally. I've got a junk removal service coming Monday afternoon to lighten my load a bit.
Now the place I will be moving back to is much nicer than the one I am presently living in and I will be gaining a dish washers though that's not really a big deal to me.
It also looks like we will be going back to Martha's Vineyard sometime in June, probably on the 20th. I don't know if we will be able to go again in September, which is our favorite time to go but I am grateful that I can go at all. This is turning out to be a very expensive year but I have been working for 48 years and hopefully I will be able to fully retire early next year. That's a number I am having a tough time wrapping my head around but I am in good health save for my left leg that I hurt on the Vineyard (I know that sounds pretentious) three years ago. For a laugh I checked out apartments on the island. The only way you can rent an apartment is for vacation purposes. There were no residential apartments available. I can't afford a house around here so buying property there is really a joke, just not a funny one. Still if I were rich I would have no problem living there. Home prices ranged from $900,000 to $4,000,000. Ouch! Still they treat us well at the hotel. They know us, greet us warmly and there's always a bottle of wine in our room. One of our favorite things to do, right after we arrive is go to breakfast at Linda Jeans. They serve a terrific breakfast and the place is always packed. The rest of the week we eat at the hotel.
  So that's it for now. Time to have something to eat, then I will be back to catch up on my blogger reading.
I'm outta here.