Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bag of Bones

So, while I was counting down the nonseconds to #WalkingDead, my mother was watching a "Criminal Minds" repeat. A commercial came on for the movie version of Stephen King's book "Bag of Bones".

I remember reading this book and what a pleasure it was. It was one of two books I took on vacation with me to Dubai, years ago.
I read "Bag of Bones" & Dennis Lehane's "Shutter Island" while lounging by the rooftop pool pictured here. I whiled away delicious days in the sun with Coke in glass bottles. I was catered to by the pool guys who guarded me against sun stroke.

It's like a dream now, but it was a spectacular vacation.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I Made It Out Into The Sun

I walked up to the Monument and picked a nice bench on the southwest side. I relaxed in the last of the sun and finished off the murder mystery I was reading.

The Pull Of Indian Summer

(Was that politically incorrect? You know I don't care, I was just wondering.)

I've pushed the envelope with my stamina this past week. So today was scheduled to be "Nothing Day".

I have fulfilled the first requirement of a "Nothing Day" and slept twelve hours. It's 1300 and I haven't showered or dressed yet.

But it's warm and sunny here in Boston. It seems a sin to waste it.

On the other hand, I won't make it far.

One of the drawbacks of our yard is that it is only sunny for a few hours, early in the morning. If I were in Rocky Nook, there is always a way to sit comfortably in a sunny spot. There are places in Charlestown.....but the time & effort it would take kinda defeat the purpose of a "Nothing Day".

If I am going to bother packing up and heading out, shouldn't I go to the gym? Walk over the North Washington Street Bridge to the North End?

Tough decisions.

Friday, November 25, 2011

It's Not Like I Don't Know Better

I got off the Blue Line and I was thinking "I should just walk home."

But no, I walked through Faneuil Hall and picked up some chicken pad thai and took the 93.

The pad thai leaked on my pant leg when the bus driver had to jam on the brakes - thanks random jaywalker!

Now I am home and I feel a little guilty over not exercising today.

Otherwise, I got stuff done. As I have pretty much all week, which is why I haven't posted much this week.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Adding Fire To Rutherford Ave Flames

I certainly hope Elizabeth Levin's remark was taken out of context.

"There's nothing more important than this project in...making a difference for neighborhood and making a difference for the city,’’ said Elizabeth Levin, speaking as a Charlestown resident, not in her capacity as a member of the board that oversees the state Department of Transportation. “And yet we don’t seem to be able to take that opportunity . . . because, for some reason, the change makes people nervous."

This is from an article in today's Boston Globe regarding the ongoing plans to redesign Rutherford Ave & Sullivan Square.

Change doesn't make us nervous Ms. Levin, the City "helping" us makes us nervous. As stated further in the article -

"Many skeptics have long memories, recalling past instances when government claimed to know best for the people of Charlestown: busing, urban renewal, construction of the towering, and lead-painted Tobin Bridge."

It's not a "Townie vs Yuppie" battle as Dante Remos of The Boston Globe states on Twitter. It's another skirmish in the long Charlestown vs City Hall and/or some State or Federal entity battle. And if some newcomer is not as skeptical of City Hall help....the should do more research.

The Townies who are battling the current redesign plan are not fighting against "leafy boulevards". That idea is laughable on it's face. We are not trying to fight improvement. We are saying if the plan is not well thought out, it will diminish the quality of life in the rest of Charlestown.

You know, a starvation diet and a new dress will make you look thin, but it will also destroy your health. Let's not "pretty up" what is most definitely an eyesore at the expense of what we now enjoy.

New Spam Email

I just deleted an email purportedly from "FBI Washington Dc" with the subject line "Re: We found your name in our list".

I had to laugh. My mother has long said, in worried tones, "I bet you have an FBI file!". One day she said it to my father and he replied "Of course she does." and walked from the room.

So if the FBI was actually sending out such emails, my reply would be "Of course you did! And not just any list, the A List!"

UC Davis

I am quick to point out when the #Occupy people do something wrong or stupid. So let me be clear on the other side.

The actions of the campus police at UC Davis in this video are WRONG.

What they did was inexcusable. The baloney about commissions and investigations offered by Chancellor Katehi is complete nonsense.

The police and police-like entities have pepper spray for their defense. This was not how it was used in this instance.

The Chancellor should be removed, nevermind all this malarkey of asking for her resignation. The head of campus police and those officers who used the pepper spray should also be gone immediately.

Peaceful protest is indeed to be protected and this was clearly that. It doesn't matter what happened before the clip began, in the moment, the campus police are in no danger. Any talk of what happened before the clip begins, or happened earlier in the day or the day before doesn't matter. What matters is the fact that in a moment that the protesters were sitting on the ground, arms linked, they were not in an offensive posture.

We have seen time and again, professional police departments....for example Boston....keep their cool under far more pressure. US Davis campus police clearly have a problem.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Irony Is Killing Me!

Well, for once, #OccupyBoston is providing me with entertainment. Right now, November 19, 2011 they are running a live transcipt of their #GA (General Assembly) meeting.

The current discussion is about replacing worn, deteriorated tarps.

You can read it yourself here

They have or want an "Aesthetics Task Force". They are arguing the attractiveness of blue vs brown tarps.

Don't they hear themselves????

They have appropriated this lovely park - which is named for a Naval hero - and trashed it. They've turned it into their own little slice of the Third World complete with Smell-O-Rama.

But they are worried about the fact that the thicker, warmer brown tarps might be bad. You see, as CQ points out "Are you aware that brown was the unfortunate color of the fascist movement?"

Seriously? If you are worried about the "aesthetics" of Dewey Square - THEN GET OUT & TAKE YOUR SHIT WITH YOU!

Or leave it, I don't care, we'll clean it up, just get out.

Seeing what the have done in Dewey Square upsets me as a Bostonian and as a fan of naval history. Dewey Square was planned and commemorated in honor of Admiral of the Navy, George Dewey, USN.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

US Navy Blue Angels in Boston Today At Noon

Navy’s Blue Angels to fly over Boston on Thursday
Boston, MA--Two aircraft from the Blue Angels, the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, will conduct two to three flights over Boston Harbor on Thursday beginning at approximately 12:30 p.m. This will be a routine flight, approved by the FAA and the City of Boston, intended to familiarize Blue Angel pilots with the local area before they perform during the Boston Navy Week War of 1812 bicentennial celebration over the July Fourth holiday next summer. This commemoration takes place in conjunction with Boston Harborfest.

Considered America’s second war of independence, the War of 1812 was the first time our young nation was threatened on our own soil. We demonstrated to the world that, in the face of impossible odds, the United States was up to the challenge of defending our independence and our economy. This is a challenge we continue to live up to today.

In commemorating the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the Star Spangled Banner, the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard will honor these legacies, and remind American citizens that freedom of the seas and the free flow of commerce remain as critical to our country today as they were 200 years ago.

There will be celebrations around the country with signature events in Boston, New York, Baltimore, Norfolk, Va., New Orleans, Chicago, and Cleveland, and smaller events in other cities.


For more information about the Blue Angels visit:

For more information about the Navy’s War of 1812 bicentennial commemoration visit:

A Book From Me To You

If you'd like it.

"The Encyclopedia of Angels" by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

I accidently bought two copies, six months apart. The first one was a gift. I forgot I bought it and bought it again. By the time I realized was too late to return it.

I just did the same thing with the new Stephen King book. But it was a pre-order, so they both came at once and I am sending one back.

So anyone who wants it....drop me a line.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Today Was Better

Of course, it had to be, the US Navy told me it would be!

But there are new meds and I think I'm pretty high. Still and all, things got done.

Tomorrow at 2:30 pm - "DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable: Bicentennial of The War of 1812"


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Today Was Awful

Just really sucky.

And to top it off my hat from the Ripley Race doesn't fit.

I was supposed to be searching my room for my bank card and the van keys and something of Frankie's. I was emptying every bag, every shelf. I pulled the hat out of my travel bag, it's not like I've needed it around here, it was 70 today. I pulled it on and it slid right back off my head

I went downstairs to beef to my parents. I showed my mother and she said "Hey, Big-Head, did you find the stuff you were looking for?"

No one wallows in sympathy around Muriel.

Also, thanks to Grace for being Grace. And thanks to My Marine for my new skill set.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Vid From 11/6/11 Ripley Race

Ripley Race 2011 from Caitlin Kellagher on Vimeo.

Thanks to Caitlin for posting this.

Last Sunday, November 6th many runners, volunteers, walkers, organizers and little kids got together to honor Col. John Ripley. Col. Ripley was a Marine, a Navy Cross recipient and a Wounded Warrior.

We honored Col. Ripley by raising funds for Wounded Warriors via the Semper Fi Fund.

Many veterans, civilians and active duty military participated as well as Wounded Warriors. That brings us full circle, which is a beautiful thing, isn't it?

If you didn't get a chance to participate this year, it's ok. I will soon be telling you the date for Ripley Race 2012.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pahty, Pahty, Pahty!

Saturday we had a Girl's Night for Jen's birthday. Today was a family party for Tommy's 30th on November 4th and Jen's birthday yesterday.

Food, family and laughs.

Tonight I capped it off with fresh chocolate chip cookies - thanks Dad - and Walking Dead.

Tomorrow I hope to get a good foot under me. There are lots of things to do. I want things in order before my next trip.

December 14, 2011 - Frederick/Montgomery Star-Spangled 200 Conference

I've got a month to get my ducks on a row.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I Need Someone To Yell At Me....

....and get my ass in gear.

Jen's 1st birthday party is tonight. Today is her actual birthday (Happy Birthday, Jen) and we are having a Girl's Night/Bruins party tonight at Grace's house. Tomorrow is a family party. It will be a joint Tommy/Jennifer birthday since their birthdays are close.

Last night I made cupcakes and brownies (with and without nuts) and prepped some appetizers.

Today I have to finish and go to Grace's to setup stuff with Debbie. I have to pop over to Lyndells in Ball Square for almond discs, Jen's favorite cookie.

But I am emailing and commenting and blogging.

Friday, November 11, 2011

CWTT Fundraising Kick-Off

So what are YOU doing this Veteran's Day? Do you want to honor the day in a meaningful way? My good friends Blake & Bob explain how you can do that in the video.
You can click on the link in the side bar or follow this one to get information on donating/sponsoring Cook with the Troops.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November 10th

Happy Birthday USMC! Go read what My Marine posted.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

12 Hours Sleep and A Shower Later....

The ride back from Annapolis was AWFUL! Next time Mary tells me to wait until morning....for the love of God make me listen.

The rental car was due back Tuesday at 6 pm. The original plan was to leave Annapolis Tuesday morning. But Monday, when I was enjoying my leisurely, warm day, I changed the plan to leaving after dinner. I don't mind driving at night and there is less traffic and I would get some stuff done with my son Tom......blah, blah, blah.

So I hit the road at 2145/9:45pm. Full tank of gas ... snacks ... water ... clear weather....

I made great time up to the Maryland/Delaware border when I realized I had much less cash on my than I had previously thought. Normally, I would have used my bank card, cursed the extra fee for using it in the rest area ATM and moved on. After all I had a regular credit card for gas and stuff. But I had left the ATM card in Boston. If I had left in daylight/business hours, I could have gone to a bank branch and made a withdrawal. But it was nearly midnight. I could turn around and tap, tap, tap on Mary's door a little after 0100/1 am....yeah, not with a gun to my head. The credit card has a PIN number for cash withdrawals....but that number was at home and it's not like I could call my parents and ask for it.

Fine, I have maps and the car had a compass, I would just drive non-toll roads. I just needed to avoid the New Jersey Turnpike ($9.10) and the George Washington Bridge ($12.00) and something coming up on the Delaware border.

That was going just fine, in fact it was pleasant to drive through the Pennsylvania farm country under a nearly full moon. But at 3 am or thereabouts I stopped for gas as I always do when I hit the half tank point.

Credit Authorization Denied.


I couldn't get through to the credit card offices. Fine I kept driving. I figured worst case I would pull over when I was within 50 miles of empty and wait until I could go to a bank.

I tried again at a gas station at 4am. That denial said to call credit card issuer. I did and got through. It was a "security block". The customer service agent said "Ma'am, there are charges from multiple states." I told her that was me driving. I answered 7 security questions and they released the card.


So I at the road again and made it back to Massachusetts with $6.00 in my pocket.

At that point, sleeping would have messed me up. So I did things, stayed awake, returned the car and then went to bed.

But everything drove me crazy, I was so on edge from lack of sleep and stress. Do you know the Salvation Army has bellringers out already? I don't care how bad the eonomy is, it's wrong for them to be out before the Christmas Season!

The woman who lives up the street was behind me on High Street when I signalled to turn down Elm. There was a car backing out of Elm, so I had to wait. The woman behind me almost hit me. After the car parked I moved forward a foot and a pedestrian stepped out into the crosswalk. The woman behind me beeped her horn. I put my hand out the window and pointed my index finger back in her direction, like I was scolding someone and said "STOP!". If I could have focused my angry eyes on her, I think she would have been vaporized on the spot.

Then when we get to our section of Elm, we both pull in to what is a wide open section of resident parking. She calls out "You should be careful, the meter maids are out this time of day" in this cheery tone, like we're buds. You see, once I was out of the car she realized who I was. The rental car had New Jersey plates, so she thought I was an outsider when we were at the corner of High and Elm. If I didn't think my mother would have beat me with a wooden spoon I would have told her to shut up. But my mother WOULD HAVE KILLED ME. So I just said "Yeah, I'm just dropping something off". I was just dumping my luggage before returning the rental.

I told my mother I had to play the MegaMillions. She said "Why?" I reminded her that whenever we told Mama Kelley about bad luck days, she said "Play the lottery, you're due for some good luck." LOL! I didn't work.

Lesson Learned - I put a $20 in the suitcase pouch with the maps. Now I'm all set.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

I Apologize To Badge #69999

Today the MBTA called me about the incident on the Route 93 bus. The rude and uncaring driver was substituting for the scheduled driver, operator #69999.

I don't know Operator #69999 and I wrongly accused him.

The starter at Sullivan Square who gave me that number was reading it off the schedule. That day Operator #69999 was supposed to be driving the #93 (Sullivan to Downtown via Bunker Hill Street), but he wasn't.

The person from the T didn't volunteer the correct number. But they were clear that Operator #69999 was not involved.

I was wrong and I asked that they relay my apology.

Otherwise, the story is still correct and there is an ongoing investigation.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Loot From the Ripley Race!

Yesterday was a win all around. I was up early enough to be there for the Ripley Race, not just on time....but early! (Somebody pick up My Marine off of the floor.)

Mary and I arrived and promptly split up. She was participating, I was looking for a job. I registered and said "I'm not running, do you have something for me to do?" with that I was motioned behind the sign-up table and got to work.

Here's my shirt, cap, Semper Fi Fund newsletter, (losing) raffle tickets and my official number "857". My race number looks pristine, doesn't it?

Brant Alexander who was visiting from Chicago was the overall/Men's winner. Brianna Stewart, a sixteen year old from St. Mary's High School was the Women's 1st place finisher....for the 2nd year in a row!
Then there was the Semper Fi Team - After the race, it was off to Fado's for raffles and revelry and hanging with my USNI friends.

Later in the day, I needed to nap. My Marine asked if I didn't mean "pass out".....seriously, I can't get away with anything.
Here is an article and slide show from the Capitol about the Ripley Race.

The article highlights the more than one thousand participants and the race organizers and the Ripley family. They congratulate everyone who helped in raising more than $87,000 for this great cause. It's the third year and every year is better than the last.

But one great thing I don't want anyone to miss out on is the serendipity of this event. (I don't think I've ever blogged this word and I hope I have it right). Col Ripley was all the things the article highlights. A Marine, a hero, a recipient of the Navy Cross.

But Col. Ripley was also a Wounded Warrior. His injuries from Vietnam led to his death in 2008. So yesterday, the participants included civilians, Naval Academy midshipmen, active duty military, veterans and Wounded Warriors ran and walked in honor of a Wounded Warrior, to raise funds to help fellow Wounded Warriors.

And it was a beautiful thing.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

In Annapolis, Ready For the Ripley Race!

Going to bed soon. I'm wicked happy about "falling back" tonight. I'm not worried about smoke detector batteries......Mary will have to take care of that.

So we'll be up and at 'em early so we are ready for the 9 am start of the Ripley Race.

No, I am not running. Silly.

If you are in or around Annapolis, stop by, cheer on the runners.

From their website -

Established in 2009, the Ripley Race is a 5K road race to raise awareness and support for our men and women returning home from war. In just three years, we’ve raised more than $20,000 for returning veterans.

The Ripley Race is powered by the Cincinnatus Fund , a 501 (c) 3 that serves returning veterans where the system stops. This often means providing wounded soldiers with prosthetics and other tools that help them reprise a healthy, active life.

With nearly 1,000 runners, the 2010 Ripley Race raised $10,000 for the Semper Fi Fund and had tremendous support from the military community and their families. This year, we’re aiming higher. Join us by signing up for the race or making a tax-deductible donation to the cause.

I Have So Much To Do!

And so much to blog about...but it will have to wait. I'm driving to Annapolis. So I will write later about the fabulous "LT William Bush Breakfast" at the USS Constitution Museum. My effed up sleep schedule. Going out with Jen and her gang last night.

For now just focus on The Ripley Race. It's tomorrow. Go/donate/support it any way you can.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

....And Litter

Iwalked over the the Cambridgeside Galleria and on the way home, I passed this.Some Ron-Paulians was apparently standing on one of the traffic islands near Community College - which is a high traffic area.

"Dedicated to PEACE"....and litter.

"First Blood: The Minutemen of '61" From Old South Meeting House

Today, thanks to the efforts of the Old South Meeting House & Boston National Historical Park Ranger Dan Gagnon, I learned more about the Civil weakest subject.

Dan told us of the 6th Massachusetts Volunteer Militia who were sent south in response to the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter April 12 through the 14 of 1861. Massachusetts was able to send troops immediately because they were so well prepared. As Dan put it, they were the Minutemen of their day.

On April 19, 1861 the 6th Massachusetts arrived in Baltimore to hostile crowds.

There was no direct railway to DC at the time. You had to go to Baltimore and then the train cars were pulled through the streets by horse from President Sreet Station to Camden Station...which just that fact had me saying "Hmmmm...".

The crowds blocked their passage, so the Militia got out and started walking in formation and things got really ugly.
Corporal Sumner Henry Needham who died in the riot is regarded by some as the first Union casualty of the American Civil War. There is some question though because he and three others were killed by civilians in a Union state.

Great job OSMHBoston & Dan Gagnon.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Ever Lust After A Muscle Car?

November 2, 2011
Attention car enthusiasts. Due to a generous donation from Mr. Jeff Kimbell, Ripley Race will be auctioning a 1970 Dodge SuperBee! The SuperBee has plenty of modifications and an investment by the owner of more than $45,000. The reserve limit has been set for $25,000, and 100% of the proceeds go to the RipleyRace! You get a classic muscle car that has been restored, and 100% of your purchase goes to support wounded veterans. The car will be on display in the parking lot at Fleet Feet Sports Annapolis from 10:00-4:00pm during Saturday packet pick up and also at the race and post-party held at Fado's.
About the 1970 Dodge Super Bee
Originally, the Super Bee series was a more powerful version of its close cousin - the Dodge Coronet. However, this particular Super Bee boasts a few angry additions worthy of mention. "King Bee" has a 440 block that has been stroked to 451 cubic inches, dual quads (Holley’s), 4 speed pistol grip transmission, 391 gear, custom exhaust/headers and high performance tires. It is street legal and runs on regular/pump gas, however, quarter mile track times in the 12 second range are certainly possible with slicks. Bottom line - this is not a car for children or the timid.


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Good Again Today....My Reward....

Eclectic meets Eccentric: Harvest's Taste
In France, South West means good food! Harvest Café, Bacon's Wine and Spirits have joined forces with Wine Traditions and Hangtime Wines to bring you a sampling of wines from the South West of France paired with Harvest's legendary small plates. The South West of France is one of the oldest and most diverse wine regions in France. We love food and wine diversity at Harvest Café and will share these regionally influenced small plates and traditional wines. The one thing that most French wines have in common, it is that most styles have developed as wines meant to accompany food. At Harvest we have always felt that Good Food and Good Wine make the best experiences.So Join us: Tuesday, November 1st at 7pm. Harvest Cafe, 40 Washington Street, Hudson. Six Wines, Six Plates $50 including tax (not including gratuity). Seating is limited. Reservations required by Friday, October 28th. (call Harvest with credit card) Tel: 978-567-0948. s and Wines from Southwest France ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So I went to the gym for an hour, walked 2.3 miles.....snuck in the Starbucks Vanilla Chai.....

Even though I don't drink wine, I'm up for regionally influenced small plates!

Now let's see "Eclectic"....."Eccentric"....of these two elements, which do you suppose I bring to the table?