Friday, December 29, 2017

Snow, cold...

We got some snow a couple of days ago. Not a lot like some parts of the country just enough to be a nuisance. It's also been quite cold. Roughly two degrees last night. Well the snow got me to thinking of a tradition around here and I wondered if it existed anyplace else. This is a fairly densely populated area and if you don't have a driveway you have to rely on street parking. Well when the snow starts piling up spaces become scarcer. So if you've taken the time to shovel out your car parked on the street you claim that space as yours and further stake your claim by putting a chair in the space. Could be a kitchen chair or a lawn chair. I've seen a baby carriage anyway as I began to look for various items left as space savers in the Boston area I discovered that this is not something particular to this area. Other cities who regularly get snow do the same thing. I found plenty of pictures but I only took the ones from Boston though they do the same thing in Pittsburg, Philadelphia, Chicago and so on.

Christmas was a real toned down affair. In fact because of my sisters situation with her husband we did nothing. Arlene and I essentially just went out dinner, went back to her house and killed a bottle of wine. In a way it was refreshing not having to deal with shopping. Did I mention that as I write this it's FRIKKIN' COLD! Seven degrees as I write this not counting the "wind chill" factor.
On Mt. Washington in New Hampshire (12-28-2017) it was 34 degrees below 0 with winds of 100 miles an hour. In the video clip this guy went outside of the Mt. Washington Observatory with boiling water and watched it instantly turn to snow.
I could never go into Boston for the First Night celebration particularly with weather like this. I don't know how people do it? There could be, depending on the weather, anywhere from 300,000 to 1,000,000 people in town.
I can now rest a little easier as the temperature has risen to 8. Anyway I hope everybody has had a nice Christmas or whatever you celebrate. It's time for me to get my act together and actually do something productive. I'll visit around and see if I can get Arlene to invite me over for supper. Hey it's worth a shot.
I'm outta here.  

Monday, December 18, 2017

Say Kids! What time is it?!! This has nothing to do with the blog.

Arlene and I will be going out for a bite to eat a bit later on. She wants Chinese and I want Italian.  We could end up at a middle of the road place so neither one of us will be happy, and isn't that what it's really all about?

I was cleaning out my computer and found a few pictures that I may have posted these here on Blogger and probably posted them on Spaces a while back. I've been blogging since 2006. The first few shots here were taken in the fall of 2006 at the Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, across the street from where I worked for 11 years. It is a beautiful place with rolling hills and a wide variety of plant and tree species. 

Below is the memorial to Mary Baker Eddy the founder of the Christian Science Church.

Below are shots from Fall 2007.

There is a 60 foot tower in the cemetery affording a view towards Boston. Left of center you can see Harvard Stadium.

Below a few local pictures at the Mystic lakes from 2005 and 2006.

The next two pictures are the same. The first one was a picture of the trees reflected in the water and the second is the same picture flipped top to bottom. 

One thing I am noticing is I have less and less desire to drive. Fortunately it doesn't seem to bother Arlene as long as it's local. If we go back to the Island this Spring I drive to the ferry and she drives on the island. Essentially I do the highway driving. I do have to admit that I'm becoming a bad passenger. So anytime I can beg out of driving, well that's just fine with me. Did I just write a line to a country song?

My friend Dave doesn't mind driving. He drove us up to Lowell the other day. His car is 20 years old and it looks it. On the other hand  it runs quite well, at least it did for the 56 mile round trip. My car is 10 years old and served me well and I don't have any plans to buy a new...well newer car. What I really need is a teleporter. Screw the traffic, the woman with the little dog hanging out the window, the moron yapping on his phone as he turns onto a narrow side street not thinking that there could be somebody coming the other way. If I can avoid all that by stepping into the teleporter and *poof* myself to the supermarket. Then *poof* myself home. Well I'm ok with that.

Time to move and end this babble.
I'm outta here.   

Friday, December 15, 2017

Psst! Over here....

...I don't know if anybody will read this but here goes. My sister is in the middle of dealing with her husbands medical situation. He will not be coming home. She has retained a lawyer who is helping her wind her way through a complicated and difficult situation. My brother in law is in and out of reality but I'll give my sister credit, she is dealing with everything well after a very rocky start.

I have started several blogs since my last one but just never got around to finishing them. I could start 'em but I couldn't finish 'em.
But life goes on. On January 5, 2018 it will be one year that I stopped working completely. Now it's nice not working but it has been an adjustment for me. I hung around with my friend Dave on Wednesday. We ended up taking a ride to Lowell Ma. because he wanted to buy some chocolates to send to a friend of his in Australia. Lowell is about 25 miles from here and I'm sure you can buy chocolates around here but he was driving and I had nothing else to do. He likes to buy from this place because he used to live in Lowell in the 80's and 90's and still has quite a fondness for it. The candy store is a privately owned business and have been in this same location for sixty years. And yes I ended up buying some boxes of chocolates.
I wish I had brought my camera. It was a sunny but cold day. Dave knows his way around Lowell and this is a historic city and some of the old textile mills are still standing and the canals are still around. For most of the 1800's this was Americas industrial center. It's a good sized city with a population of about 109,000. We went to a favorite lunch spot of his and later we stopped at a "private club" for a beer. Now the only reason I could see that this was a "private club" and not a bar was you had to press a button, and then you got buzzed in. You can't smoke in any places of business in Massachusetts but apparently since you couldn't just open the door and walk in, it is a  "private club" not a bar, and there were people inside smoking. I have been to this "private club" in the past and it's a nice place. We had a couple of beers then continued on our way. We went by where he used to live with his wife and kids back when I used to visit in the 80's. And the grand finale  was going by the house Bette Davis was born in. These are pictures from the internet.

Something else I didn't know, well I did kind of know but I forgot I knew. (What the hell is he talking about?) Fannie Farmer lived up the street from me. The house was lost to fire in 1979.
Then there's the house where Amelia Earhart lived with her mother and sister. Her sister lived there until 1998 when she died at the age of 98.

One thing I have noticed is I am becoming less and less enamored with driving. The greater Boston area is a wonderful place to live. It has much to offer but driving around here is not one of the perks. For an area supposedly filled with so many smart people they weren't so smart when they laid out the streets and roads. We have many rotaries or roundabouts if you like and they can be a challenge. One in particular near where I grew up, features six roads leading up to the traffic circle. If there is a pedestrian that wants to cross from on side to the other, They press the walk button and everyone entering the circle stops and the pedestrian crosses.  Then all the traffic lights turn green and everybody enters the circle at once fighting for position so they can exit where they want. It's insanity. So as I age, though I am fortunately in good health, I sometimes think about moving north to New Hampshire. It's quite rural compared to Massachusetts, and certainly cheaper to live though I would miss being able to go into town which is only five miles away. 

Okay now I'm beginning to ramble. Maybe I'm all blogged out. I had jotted down several things more to write about but I think I'll save them for the next installment. I had other things like the state's plans to change the rotaries to roundabouts. Difference? There will be lane markers and you have to be in the proper lane for your proper exit. Yeah right! Then there will be times when the white lines will be covered with snow. It won't matter. As far as I'm concerned it will be the same free for all it has always been. It would be tough to police.

So it's time for me to get my act together and go and run a couple of errands. I plan to come back later and see what's going on in blog land. For now...
...I'm outta here,  

Friday, November 3, 2017

Medical update plus whatever comes into my head.

My brother in law is in a rehab facility. He's improved a bit but he still moves between reality and into some product of his imagination. My poor sister is holding it together but I know this is wearing her down. All my other sister and I can do is offer her as much help and support as we can.

In other matters we have had an unusually warm Fall. At 7:10 on Friday evening it was 71 degrees and in typical New England fashion there's potential for snow at the end of next week. If you don't like the weather, wait a minute.

Locally in Massachusetts they have just passed a law against what is called distracted driving. I suppose that covers a host of things though I have not researched myself. I can only guess eating and drinking are part of it but it's really aimed at phones and the various things you can  do with them. Right off the bat I will say that I don't have high zoot phone. I have an inexpensive, basic phone. I don't need all those apps. In some respects a lot of technology has passed me by and that's ok. I think it's all fantastic though I do find some of it annoying. A friend has a new car and turning on the radio was needlessly busy. The GPS and your phone are all linked to an infotainment center. Press radio, set your station and then it asks you, "Is this the station you have selected?" and you have to press yes. For God sakes! Just get on with it! Remember reaching over and turning the radio on with a knob, which also controlled the volume, and if you had already set the station, you were done!

Getting back to the phones, I wonder what the police feel about this. While it is a good law in theory, it seems to be just one more thing that they will have to be on the lookout for. Then there are the people walking around staring at the little screens. Oblivious to others and sometimes oblivious to traffic. Once again I think the fact they have shrunk your old desktop computer down to something you can carry around in your pocket is amazing but it's also turned some people into phone zombies. I guess I'm just at the stage of life where I am simplifying, not complicating my life. Things are complicated enough. 

I think about all the things that have happened in my lifetime. The Korean War, television, rock and roll, the space race with the Soviets,. The Soviets themselves. I remember Khrushchev saying, "We will bury you!" Watching all the space launches in school. Around here the election of John Kennedy, then the assassination of Kennedy. Then watching live as Lee Harvey Oswald was shot and killed by Jack Ruby. Two months later the Beatles. The Vietnam War. The killing of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy. The riots at the Democratic convention. Woodstock. Watching the U.S. land men on the moon in my living room. The Beatles break up. The Kent State shootings. The gas crunch. Watergate and Nixon resigning. Once again around here, the Blizzard of '78. And this is still the 1970's.

There's so much more to remember right up through to the World Trade Center and the present day state of affairs. I guess in reality it's just me realizing that I'm aging. I really didn't think about it until about a year ago which is about when I stopped working. And now there's my brother in law, who has recovered a bit, but in reality this could play out in several ways.  

Anyhow that was a bit of a ramble. I will try to be back on a more regular basis and I want to thank all of you who always visited here. I do appreciate it.
I'm outta here.        

Monday, October 23, 2017

Family medical matters

Since we've been back from our little vacation my brother-in-law has taken ill. There has been an uptick in pressure and other family concerns. At the moment he is stable but he could go either way. All I can do at the moment is to be there for my sister. There will be a hospital move coming up in the near future which for all these years has been very convenient. It's (the hospital) very close by and will be closing soon. It will remain open as an emergency room and for prompt care.I spent six weeks there in September 1963 with a case of ruptured appendix. Getting back to my brother-in-law, there's the potential he might not be going home and have to enter a facility or worse...
Considering all that's going on my sister is handling it well. Now these kind of situations can create some family tension and that has happened. I won't get into details as this whole episode is still unfolding.
As for other matters, the weather has been wonderful. I can't remember a better October even as I write this the sun is out and we're heading for another 70 degree plus day. Rain is coming Tuesday into Wednesday but we need it. Arlene and I went to another new restaurant in town and it was enjoyable but none have topped our original favorite Raso's. Because of our local proximity to Boston the building of a hotel has caused all these new restaurants to pop up and it has been enjoyable to explore these places. What else are you going to do when you retire besides go out and eat.

 I started this particular entry a couple of weeks ago. I had two videos from our vacation that I uploaded to YouTube. I know you have already seen them Gere but they have been sitting here for a few weeks and that was the original idea of this blog entry.  

So that's it for now. I have a busy day ahead of me so I best get out of this chair and into the shower.
I'm outta here.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

We're back

Leading up to our little three day trip the weather looked like it could be iffy but for the most part it was fine. Sunday was overcast with sprinkles of rain here and there but it didn't matter. We sat on a bench watching the ocean beyond the empty beach. It was quite relaxing though there was a steady stream of cars on the road behind us. there were still visitors to the island which of course included us. At our hotel there were cars from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut Pennsylvania and of course Massachusetts. I didn't take many pictures as we've seen a good part of the place and nothing out of the ordinary was happening. I did get out early on morning and walked down to the water to watch the sunrise. There was one lovely sunset but I didn't have my camera and wasn't in a good position to get a shot.


I crossed the street on my way back to the hotel and looked back.

 So it was a relatively short time but it is always nicer than hanging around here. The day we left, Tuesday, was picture book. Just lovely, but we had to leave. Cape Cod is a lovely place to drive through and as you move further north the road becomes more highway instead two roads and the traffic thickens. The closer you get to Boston the more congested it gets. Still it was only about 10:30 A.M. and I do like seeing the city skyline the distance.

One other thing that I have enjoyed for the last few days is a you-tube video that has had me laughing even just thinking about it. Arlene received it a couple of days ago.  It was originally posted some six years ago. Try not to laugh!

Oh the laundry! I'm outta here.