Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Presents!

What a perfect way to kick off the War Of 1812 Bicentennial Commemoration Year! Some beautiful pictures of USS Constitution from John Bohn of John Bohn Photography.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Contrary Views

I've been a registered Republican since I turned eighteen and became a voter. While many Democrats don't want to believe it; Republicans run the gamut from moderate to hardcore. And where you fall depends on the viewers perspective. Most people who know me here in Massachusetts find me to be fairly's a blue state. But "flyover country" people find me fairly liberal. And then there is my Dad ("Diane, Miranda isn't necessary if you are innocent, it only helps the guilty.") who found me to be nearly left wing on civil rights.

So I am conservative on military/foreign policy/economic issues and very open on social issues. I only ask that you close the door. If you want to do your own thing, just don't push it in my face.

But I am up for any discussion and I'll consider other views. I am doctrinaire on few things. I think that's why so many #Occupy people would talk to me on Twitter.

I feel this lets me see past a first impression. Others might say it just makes me wishy-washy.

Now most of my conservative friends get very upset about "Citizens Energy" taking oil from Citgo/Venezuala/Chavez. But I think they are missing the big picture. Citizens Energy, for those of you who may not know is a non-profit that supplies home heating oil to those who can't afford it. They've been doing this for 30 years or so. They started of buying oil at the source, selling some to cover the cost of donating the rest. This idea particularly appealed to me. Instead of just asking for money, they were using their smarts to make money and doing good with it. They also accept donations.

In recent years, with oil prices going up and more and more people needing help, they asked oil companies to make direct donations. Citgo said yes. And just like any other charity, Citgo's generosity was acknowledged in their ads.

Did I mention that the president of this organization is Joe Kennedy? He started this before he ran for and served in Congress. Now Joe Kennedy is far to my left. And in my opinion he was not an effective Congressman. But you can't take the success of Citizens Energy away from him.

Some people think that because Hugo Chavez is not a friend of the United States that Citizens Energy should not accept the donation.

Really? I think that's ridiculous. First off, it's not Joe Kennedy's place to refuse it, it's for the families/people in need. So you want Joe Kennedy to make political statements by punishing people who are up against it? My opinion is that anyone who objects isn't thinking this through to it's logical conclusion.

You don't like Hugo. I get that. I don't either. Hugo uses oil money to repress his people and consort with other countries that are not our friends. I know Hugo makes this donation just to zing us. So what?

Are we that childish that people should be cold because you don't like Hugo's foreign policy? How short sighted! Should people be cold because Joe Kennedy is liberal or from a liberal family or he was born wealthy?

People who carp about it are only adding fuel to Hugo's fire. He's laughing every time someone beefs. Because then he gets to say Kennedy asked for help and only he helped. That's a fact.

It's not Joe Kennedy's place to turn away donors when there are little kids sleeping under ten blankets because Dad got laid off.

It's a worthy cause and if you want to donate, follow this link.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Were There Bumps In The Road?


But it all worked out and it was fabulous!

I can only hope that each of you had a Christmas as happy and funny and satisfying as mine.

There was a plan.....isn't there always? My sons, Tom & Frank were supposed to come on the commuter rail. I went online and printed out the Christmas Day schedule, highlighted the times that their trains backs and forth would leave. I knew the train times too and I was going to pick them up at South Station (across for the #Occupy-Less Dewey Square). Foolproof, right?

Then I went out yesterday and got everything for chutney, assembled everything in a bag. that way I could wake up; make chutney; leave it to cool; pick up the boys; pick up
Jen at Grace's (I had her car from the party last night); deliver some of the chutney in their orange shell portions to Walter & Tom around the corner; and be in my seat at 1300 hours.

I got up at 9 and kinda lazed around for a few minutes. My parents called upstairs, knowing that I wanted to be up at 9. My father called my name and I answered. My mother called up "It's ten past!". I called back "Oh no!" and we all laughed. I showered, dressed, made my bed and took my stuff downstairs.

I sat down with parents to give them their gifts and told them this was the first Christmas since 1962 that I had them to myself on Christmas morning. I went out to the kitchen to start chutney at 10 am on the dot. My schedule was rolling right along. No last minute rushing. No stress. I called Walter & Tom and asked them to look out the dining room window. It looks right into our kitchen window. I held up the cranberries and the orange You see chutney is a tradition and I was too blah to get up and do it on Thanksgiving. I told them I'd be over at noon.

I cut the first orange in half and the phone rang. It was my son Tom telling me that the train was leaving at 10:40, not 11:21. I was confused and protested. Then Tom explained (while I pulled it up on the laptop) that I was looking at "Christmas Day Observed" meaning the holiday that the T gives it's workers because Christmas fell on a Sunday. Today was just the plain Sunday schedule.

Fine, I hurried up making chutney, calling Frank trying to wake him so he could make the 10:40. I put the chutney in a box and outside the backdoor. There was no room in the fridge and it was colder outside anyway.

Then it was off to grab Tom, Frank and Jen. Everyone was loaded up and it was back to Charlestown. We were lucky and there was a parking spot right out front, in front of my Dad's car.

Frank and I walked around the corner to deliver the chutney and enjoyed a visit with Walter and Tom. But Frank was quick to remind me as the time got close, that we had to get back. you don't mess with Papa's schedule. Walter & Tom teased him, but he held firm.

So there was everyone, everyone but Grace and her family who do Christmas with her in-laws.

Tons of delicious food and fun conversation. Family and presents and laughs. My Frankie & Jennifer one upping each other, telling crazy brother's kids laughing so hard they couldn't talk.

My Tommy gave me my favorite candy, Hersheyettes! But since he left first, it was the least he could do. Other plans? Really...that's ridiculous. LOL

My brother and he family packed up an hour later. Jen and Frankie left minutes before Grace and her crew showed up. More presents, more desserts, more stories, more laughing.

After Grace left I cleaned the kitchen and dining room. We had been cleaning off and on all day, so there wasn't a lot. But I swept and vacuumed and cleaned all the counters and the stove. I washed all the tablecloths and napkins and put the kitchen back together.

Once I was completely tuckered out, I came into the living room and fired up the laptop. I flipped through the channels and that's where I found my last Christmas present.

"Rio Bravo" is on AMC "Christmas With the Duke"

A wonderful, happy, satisfying day. I hope you are all as happy as I am.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sixteen Hours Later

I'm awake.

Still no cell phone.

Friday, December 23, 2011

I Am About To Slip Into A Coma

I have just had a super stressful 46 hours.

Add to that the fact that I have only slept 8 hours since Wednesday morning at 7 am.

Normally I sleep 12 to 15 hours a night.

But the matter was successfully resolved. I am going to bed now and sleeping until noon tomorrow.

Oh and I left my cell phone in Plymouth.

Good night.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What I Should Be Doing....

Instead of eating this Hershey chocolate nugget

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Missing Tampa's Pane Rustica

Doesn't this blueberry tart look luscious? Trust me, it is. In my many trips to Tampa, this is a place that I ALWAYS made sure to drop in on.

Pane Rustica, 3225 South MacDill Avenue Tampa, FL 33629 (813) 902-8828

There is something for everyone there. Pizza, sandwiches, pastry, gelato. I'm not the only one who thinks so.

But I am missing them even more today because I am in the middle of an energy lull and I have to bring a treat to a party. How much easier would it be to jus pick up a couple of these babies. I would be the toast of the party and I could nap.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Why Am I so Drawn To These Zombie Movies?

It's not just zombie movies actually, it's any post-apocalyptic movie/story.

Right now I am watching the Chiller Original Movie.... (da-da-ta-da-da!). "Remains" It's low rent. A poor man's "Walking Dead". But hey! Walking Dead is gone until February 12th.


Don't judge me.

December 16, 1773

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Arguing With The Childish

Update - Her last last reply before this post was to tell me to stop tweeting her or she'll block me. Since then, she's sent two more tweets. She's mad she didn't get a link in this blog. Seriously? LOL!

♪♫I'm not touching you.....♪♫

So, I am amusing myself with Twitter and listening to Howie Carr when I get a tweet from a pro-Elizabeth Warren (Democratic candidate for Massachusetts US Senator). In responding, I find to my delight that @ElizabethNewsRTs is a bot that simply favorites anything someone writes about Elizabeth Warren.

I decide to have a little fun with it and tweet some pro-Scott Brown messages.

A person I don't know or follow pops up in my feed. She tweets @ me
"FYI will be a competent addition to Senate. What experience did Brown have besides driving a pick~up truck? "

Ok, I'll play. I talk to people with opposing viewpoints all the time. I've said time & again, if I couldn't talk to Democrats and liberals, I would pretty lonely here in Massachusetts.

So, there is some back and forth where she is sarcastic about the truck and tweets 3 times that Scott Brown hasn't driven the truck since the election. Yeah, whatever, who cares.

Then she tells me i need to be more educated about Senator John Kerry. Really? LOL! What don't I know about him? That he's a military fraud? Check. That he's a gigolo? Check. That he is useless in the Senate and has done nothing meaningful? CHECK. That as much as I loathed Ted Kennedy, I will admit he was tops at furnishing constituent services and Kerry is worthless in this area? Check.

Rodiogal also claimed that I insulted Elizabeth Warren by calling her a "carpetbagger". Umm, look it up, I think Warren's pic is right there next to the definition.

So I answer every tweet. And when she finally realizes that she can't bullshit or cow me, she throws out this one -

":D Twenty tweets to me? You know, obsessive compulsive disorders can be treated with medication now."

Nice, imagine a conservative taking a shot with a mental health slur? Yeah, I know.

So I point out that I was merely answering her. That she started with me, I didn't seek her out. Then she threatens to block me...........LOL! Block away! No one's going to miss you.

I So Wanted To Go To This!

Today I am missing


Presented by Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission

I went to the last one and enjoyed myself so much. They sent a Twitpic of the group at Francis Scott Key's monument.

I'm going to mope all day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Embarking On a Life Of Crime

Today I was listening to a local newscast when the subject turned to....what else?....#OccupyBoston

Occupy Boston: 'This is a movement of the mind'

"Protesters are hoping the conservancy will allow them to put a Gandhi statue and a plaque commemorating their time at Dewey Square."

Well, I better start saving my pennies now. I am going to rip it down and get arrested. I'll do it every day if I have to....or as often as I am out on parole.

Be sure to throw a few bucks in my canteen, so I have chocolate, thanks.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

One Part Of the Plan Worked

I did sleep crazy late. I missed the Tea Party Reenactment because I was still asleep when it started. My parents were ready to come up and check on me when I finally surfaced after sleeping 15 hours.

Instead I caught a Pearl Harabor themed MIDRATs and now I am listening to Pundit Review Radio break down last night's Iowa Republican Debate.

Boston Tea Party Reenactment

Tomorrow night.....actually later 4 pm the Old South Meeting House and the Boston Tea Party ship & Museum are celebrating the 236th Anniversary of the boston Tea Party.

You should go!

I am so grateful for a late afternoon/evening event. I am going to sleep crazy late!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Last Batch Of Cookies Out Of The Oven

Tomorrow is the Kelley Family Christmas party. I've made a batch of chocolate chip cookies and a batch of milk chocolate/coconut/walnut cookies.

I spent the day fighting insurance issues and meeting my new pain clinic doctor.

Every day this week has been "on the run" so to speak. I can't wait for Sunday. I'm not doing anything.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Pearl Harbor Remembered - 70th Anniversary

Bill Durette of the Charlestown Historical Society Veteran's Project forwarded this info

"In the early morning hours of December 7, 1941, the Japanese suddenly and without warning launched a surprise air attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. After just two hours of bombing, more than 2,400 Americans were dead, 21 ships* had either been sunk or damaged, and more than 188 U.S. aircraft destroyed. The attack at Pearl Harbor so outraged Americans that the U.S. abandoned its policy of isolationism and declared war on Japan the following day officially bringing the United States into World War II.

This one event would go on and affect every family in Charlestown. By wars end practically every family had their sons serving and in many cases fathers, sons and sisters would serve during the war. For this we must remember their sacrifice and appreciate how they fought to bring peace to the World and preserve our way of life.



Source - Charlestown Veterans History Project

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Had Fun & Stayed Out of Jail

Today the City of Boston held their annual Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration. It's always the first Sunday in December. This year mark's the 70th anniversary. More reason than ever to turn out. I was just a few minutes late running through Faneuil Hall, slipping off my shoes so I didn't make noise sneaking in the back. The Faneuil Hall Armory is an old building with creaky wooden floors. They were just singing the National Anthem and I was in my seat in time to join in. Once everyone was seated I whipped out the laptop, camera and cell phone (muted) so I could Tweet & Facebook the event live.
This is a shot of invited guests on the podium. There were representatives of the American Legion, AMVETS, Boston & Massachusetts Veterans' Services and others who work to make sure our veterans are remembered and taken care of in various ways. CDR Bonner, 72nd in Command and CDR Gillen, 59th in Command were on hand to represent USS Constitution. This is CDR Bonner, US Navy addressing the audience.

The special guest speaker was Donald Tabbut, past Commander of Pearl Harbor Survivors. Read more about Radioman 1st class Tabbut here.
Then it was back to the Charlestown Navy Yard for USS Constitution's Annual Tree Lighting. The flip the switch just after evening colors.
This is the view from the ship when I turned away from the tree. Pretty awesome, huh?

I got to see CDR Bonner again, CMC Rhodes (she is friends with Santa); CDR Gillen; CDR Cooper, his wife Maryellen and their too cute for words daughter in her little pink mittens. Tom Rudden was there in his 1812 Marine Guard uniform for the festivities. I got to meet his wife Teri as well.

Which brings us to loot! The best adventures come with souvenirs. This is a coin from this to commemorate this year's US Marine Corps birthday. Thanks Tom!

I'm home, I'm exhausted. But I got everything done and in an unusual move, I stayed out of trouble. I'm told that there were #OccupyBoston protesters when people who were on time (yeah, I know that's not me) were entering the Faneuil Hall Armory and that's why there were extra cops.

Now had I been on time......there would have been some trouble. I am deeply troubled by the huge lack of respect the Occupy people are continually rubbing in our faces. They claim to want to open a dialogue for all Americans but they just keep irritating people.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

So I Rescheduled Spa Sunday.... Saturday.

I spent the day reading (only for pleasure, thank you Stephen King & Cosmo)........

and watching trashy TV, no news, no C-Span.....

and taking car of my nails.....

and a home facial.....

and my favorite body scrub......

and my Dad made chicken soup.......

and tomorrow there's Navy stuff!!!

At 2 pm, CDR Bonner, USN will be speaking at Boston's Pearl Harbor Commemoration

70TH Annual Pearl Harbor Day Services
Veteran's Services Mayor Thomas M. Menino, in conjunction with the American Legion and AMVETS, will be hosting the 70th Annual Pearl Harbor Day Services in historic Faneuil Hall. This event is open to the public. Refreshments will be served following the program. Cost: Free. Sunday, December 4, 2011, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM. Faneuil Hall Armory, Faneuil Hall Sq Boston, MA 02109.

At 3:30pm they will begin boarding for USS Constitution's Tree Lighting Ceremony. I will be there and I will get to meet Middleboro Jones!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

For Those Of You Keeping Score At Home

I saw Dr. Miller & Kate today. Eight months post transplant, there is no sign of myeloma. I am considered in complete remission.

There is every indication that I should cruise easily to the eighteen month mark and beyond.

But you know that I only look at the short term. So we are just counting on the 18 months.

I am ten weeks out from the one year anniversary of the transplant. The months between the one year anniversary and the eighteen month mark should be mint! And they coincide with the #WarOf1812 stuff.


Sure, I can't get all my drugs. Sure, I have to fight the insurance company. Sure, the meds mess me up sometimes. Sure, I sleep 12 to 15 hours most days.

But still.......SWEET! LOL!


Let's see.....

I went to see "J.Edgar" tonight. Good movie. Free movie pass. Good batch of popcorn. Good night.

I have the newest Stephen King book, 11/22/1963 and I carry it with me everywhere except the bathroom and the dinner table.

I have to grab up my friend Griffin and head down to the USS Constitution Museum to make an ornament for Sunday. Everyone who stops by the Museum can make one (10am to 5 pm every day until Christmas Eve). They will put it up, or you can show up Sunday put it on the holiday tree aboard the ship yourself.

Sunday, December 4th, I'll be aboard Old Ironsides for the lighting of the tree just after evening colors at 1612 (4:12 pm) and the arrival of ..... wait, I am not supposed to say. Let's just call him a very special guest you don't want to miss.. It's supposed to be sunny and high 40s on Sunday. Come on down.

The Herald ran an article on the two month anniversary of #OccupyBoston and I was totally pissed to see that the #Occupy people are taking credit for Bank of America backing down on that debit card fee. What blowhards. You know I stood at the corner of Pearl and Bunker earlier this evening.....I think it caused the bus to come there.

Yeah, it's the middle of the night.....they are playing with my meds and I am a little off kilter.

One of the problems is a drug I am having a hard time obtaining. See if this makes any sense. This particular drug, which I won't name, is manufactured by Shire, Teva and Barr Pharmaceuticals. But it's on back order everywhere. What my doctor and I are being told by separate pharmacy sources is that the FDA allows for the manufacture of a certain quantity in a calendar year. Supposedly come January we will be awash in this drug. This is the dopiest thing I have ever heard. But CVS has been telling me since October that they can't get it. Last month, the small pharmacy near my oncologist didn't have it & sent me to the hospital's main pharmacy.

Now yesterday, the main hospital pharmacy had no generic and said Blue Cross wouldn't pay for brand name.

Or "bran" as the pharmacy tech with poor diction said. "Blue Cross won't pay for bran." I asked "Bran?" She repeated it. "Bran? Like cereal?" She stared at me. "B as in bravo; R as in romeo; A as in alpha; N as in November?" She nods and says "D.".

Good. Lord.

At that point I had already been in the building for two and half hours. I had already had to explain that Blue Cross would fill another prescription because it was a change in dosage. I had to instruct them on how to call Blue Cross to get the override. As with their billing department, I am stunned at the lack of knowledge and overwhelming inefficiency in the main pharmacy. It's not just me, I hear them talking to other patients. Just making declaritive statements like "It's not covered" with no explaination. I can't imagine if I had just said stuff like that to people in my old job.

I knew that Blue Cross would cover the "bran" if the generic was unavailable, but I had had my fill of them at that point. I left.

This morning I called Blue Cross. Five minutes. Done. Now I just have to go back and make sure they have some "bran" left for me. And that the copay doesn't croak me. The generic version is already my highest copay. I'm sure the "bran" copay is worse. crazy do I sound? You see taking this drug as I have for the last several months and then abruptly stopping is bad. "Prolonged use of "XXX" followed by an abrupt cessation can result in extreme fatigue, insomnia, irritability, and mental depression."

Pissa. I'm a junkie.

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?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Check Marks On The WHOLE List!

Every day is a list. I do some. I do none. But today - I did all!!!! Dry cleaning; gym membership; drug store; library; UPS store; supermarket. Venti vanilla chai tea latte was my reward. I walked around the North End and not through no pastries were consumed during this adventure. A mile and half is pretty good for me.

Happy Halloween, so far we have had just a single Trick-or-Treater. It's not like the Nook.

Oh well, I've taken the Nyquil and I am going to pass out now.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Reprinted With Much Love

Red Journalism: Michael Yon’s Medevac of Righteousness Failure; the Golden Hour of Truth.

An Open letter to Micheal Yon.

Somewhere near FOB Gabe, Iraq in 2005 there was an action, which resulted in two casualties, Truth and Justice. Immediately a 9-line was called in as Truth and Justice were quickly bleeding out. There is a “Golden Hour of Truth”, which, as defined by Don Freed, is a period of time immediately following an incident when events should be put to paper, as they are freshest in the mind and will give the greatest most accurate accounting of an event. Everyone with a background in reporting information, from policemen to journalists know this, that’s why the Medevac of Righteousness is always on stand-by.This particular Medevac of Righteousness mission was given to the pilot, Michael Yon, who received it with great enthusiasm. But something went horribly wrong. Somewhere between his bunk and the pilot’s seat, he forgot about the mission. Truth and Justice kept calling for evacuation, but something more important seemed to be afoot.

Countless deployments and 6 ½ years later, while gabbing with some old friends in the DFAC, an old faded memory began nagging at the fringes of Michael’s memory. My God! It was the call from Truth and Justice! He grabbed his gear, and headed to the bird.

After flying to the site posthaste, he landed and began a frantic search. He found the remains of truth, he thought. Maybe. He couldn’t really tell because Truth was so badly decomposed. All that were left were some bones. But maybe they weren’t even bones…maybe petrified wood. Who knows. A search of the area for Justice met with negative results. It seemed person(s) unknown had taken him away. Justice is officially listed as MIA.

How could this happen? A person that makes a living as a professional reporter of information gets a scoop on a war atrocity, does not follow-up on reporting the crime to authorities, and does not write a dispatch about this huge gross criminal act and the following cover-up? Can one professional reporter be so inept? Or could it be something else? One could look at said reporter as having participated in the cover-up because he wanted to protect his “Brothers”, a group which up until recently he did not seem to have a problem with publicly associating himself.

Michael, open up and tell us what really happened. Who did you notify? Why did you not follow-up? Why did you not report this atrocity if the first officials did nothing? Do you feel you could have done more? Do you think this could be viewed as a lack of intestinal fortitude to do the right thing…or maybe things didn’t exactly happen the way you said? Being on the receiving end of line of questioning like this is uncomfortable, no?

I hope we do find out what happened so we can get Justice back, but maybe when we do, Justice will point to a villain no one is expecting.
I am reposting this from the Professional Soldiers Forum with love and respect for exposing Michael Yon for the self-absorbed, narcissistic, bastard he is.

You see, Michael Yon talkks a lot of shite on his Facebook page. Then he deletes comments that don't agree with him. But don't worry about only getting one side of the disccussion. You can meander on over to the PS Forum and see where Yon was an asshat and got called on it. You can see all of it because Yon can't delete or manipulate that forum.

I am more proud than ever that I, Princess Crabby, the Empress of La Moata, she who has no equal, Princesa Malhumorada, Maggie has been "Banned By Michael Yon"

Just Finished Sunday Dinner

I didn't make it.

I had to fight to clean up some of it.

It was delish.

You people wish you lived with my parents.

Where Is the Damn Snow?

Last night, the French toast Alert was up and I made the decision to return the rental car early. It was due back today at noon. I thought "Why deal with this?"

So first, I forget to gas it up and pay more than top dollar to the car rental place.

Then, I open my eyes this morning to.......NOTHING! No snow, no storm, bright sunshine.


Then at breakfast I was chastised for going outside last night and telling some party-goers under my window to pipe down.

I'm staying in my room.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I Just Paid $5.32 For A Gallon Of Gas

My head cold is killing me and the rain is scheduled to turn to snow. So I made a snap decision to return the rental car early. It's due Sunday at 11:00 am. But I wanted it done with.

The whole drive over to Eastie I had the feeling I was forgetting something.....

I was.....

I forgot to gas it up at one of the million places I passed selling gas for $3.69 or $3.79.

When you don't fill the tank, car rental companies charge you a higher price.

My own fault.

As Kathy would say "Repeatan usedes.......Ammadick...Ammadick....Ammadick"

Shhhh! It's Nearly 2 AM

Ok, today was a total "here-we-come-on-the-run-with-a-burger-on-a-bun" day.

Up early to hang with Griffin, we went to Zume's Coffee House for hot chocolate & cookies.

Saw Spankie Frankie for all of three minutes, but apparently I am "the best mom ever". Sounds good.

Home to do some actual real-life business.

Stopped at Cake in Milton on Eliot Street. I had a Group-on and it was about to expire. I needed something to bring when we went to Cara's....Voila! OMG! Loved them!

Down to hang with Jen at East Bay before we went to a Tupperware party. Yeah, that's right, Tupperware. We are diverse. Seriously it was a chance to hang with Cara, our friend Chris' wife who we never see. And the bonus was Kevin's wife was there too.

I just didn't get enough Rocky Nook time this summer.

Then I drove home, but had a serious hankering for Beachmont Roast Beef. While I was waiting for my order (they are open until 2 am, but cash only) I realized that it's not such a big deal to get there anymore. When I lived in Rocky Nook, it was a pain to go over the bridge or through the tunnel. But now that I am mostly on the T.....Beachmont is tucked under...Beachmont Station!!! LOL!

Then I came back through the Sumner tunnel so I could take a spin around Dewey Square and see the #OccupyBoston-cicles. It was 37 degrees when I drove by. I gave myself a giggle because I was paying such attention to them that I followed the pickup truck in front of me right up onto the plaza. Pay no attention to the woman banging the "Uey" on Dewey Square.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I'm Home....I'm Unpacked... laundry is done.....

When's my next trip?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

#OWS Comparisons That Irritate Me

First we have people who tell us that

"The Occupy Wall Street protests are explicitly inspired by, and modeled on, the Tahrir Square protests in Egypt"

Now Stacey Hessler says

"Military people leave their families all the time, so why should I feel bad?” a defiant Hessler said. “I’m fighting for a better world."

Get a grip! You are not fighting a war. you are not risking your life for a cause. You are not being shot at. The government is not suppressing your right to free speech.

As a matter of fact, mayors and government officials are bending over backwards for you. People are bringing you food and clothes.

You are not at war. You are at a Boy Scout Jamboree. You are staying up all night and eating marshmallows even though you know your mom would disapprove.

Get over yourself.

Bicentennial Commission Visits Naval Academy Museum - Video - WBAL Baltimore

This is video from part of our tour/conference yesterday. I am in the crowd at the bottom of the steps as the piece begins.

My Marine viewed it and said "You look so......civilized" LOL!Bicentennial Commission Visits Naval Academy Museum - Video - WBAL Baltimore

Well! That Hasn't Happened In A Bit.

I just slept 14 hours...through breakfast.....through lunch plans.....through wandering around Annapolis.

Just this past spring that was an every day occurrence.

Then every other day.

Then just a few times a week.

You get the drift. But I think it's been two weeks since that happened. Mind you, I'm not saying the rest of the time I'm getting along with 6 or 8 hours, lol.

Anyway, I am still at Mary's house. which is awesome by the way. It's this mix of Mary and her parents and family. My house was a little like this, but Mary's is pulled together like a designer did it. But like mine, you know most of these object have a story attached. I don't need to know the stories - although I do know some - to be comfortable and comforted.

So now, I am packed and can leave at my leisure, it's time to blog about yesterday and revise plans and see if I can't move lunch to dinner.

I'll be back here in less than two weeks for The Ripley Race - don't even by silly enough to ask if I am running. I'd be thrilled if you came - to run or cheer on the runners - and donated.

I'll be posing for pics and autographing body parts! How can you resist?

Monday, October 24, 2011

USS Constitution Turn Around

Last Friday Old Ironsides took a spin around the Harbor to celebrate the anniversary of her launching. J. Michael Rodriguez took these pics and tweeted them

This one above is my favorite.

You can follow him on Twitter @JMR_Boston

I Am the 2%

Mary showed me this and I howled laughing. I got this from Reddit. Go over there and give it a thumbs up.

Apologies For Being A Day Late - 23 OCT 1983

Beirut: In Memoriam
Posted By Laughing_Wolf • [October 24, 2011]

23 October 1983; A Blast that Still Echoes

October 23, 1983

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I'm Off!

I am hitting the road to Annapolis.

No blogging.

No Facebooking.

Minimal tweeting from the phone and even then, unless you DM me, I can't see what anyone else writes.

It's a #WarOf1812 road trip - yea for me.

In the meanwhile be entertained by my friends B5; Sal & the guys (& DeltaBravo) on the porch; my fellow Denizennes at the Castle; and everyone at USNI.

Miss me!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lack Of Passion?????


As Kevin from Heaven used to opine "MuthraGawd!"

If there is one thing I have never heard from a man in my life - it's that I lacked passion.

I think someone should call the doctor - My Marine must have bumped his head.

"Welcome Back!"

We're at Grace's watching the Bruins game. She made us a fabulous dinner of fish & asparagus. Debbie made snacks; brownies.......cookies.....salsa....nachos.....nuts...

Boone's Farm Wine???? Seriously Deb? She claims it's good. I don't drink wine, but I know this is wrong. She wanted neon blue, but she had to settle for wild cherry and some berry thing.

Grace, Jen and I were working on the ornaments for the Kelley Family Christmas Party. Deb came over with her glass of wild cherry. It smelled just like cough syrup. I took a sip, guess what it tasted like? Yup, cough syrup. So now we are relaxing, watching the Bruins, talking during the commercials. The conversation meandered about and touched on a family we know where the two children were not good to their father. Jen said she didn't like them. I started to defend them. Jen was yelling at me. Then I said that it was harder for me because I knew them and liked them before.

Jen yelled at me, "You are looking at this through rose colored glasses!"

I started to remember the actual circumstances - how I had tried to intervene. How I couldn't understand how they didn't see how poorly things were going to go if they continued with their plan.

I looked at Jen and said "I remember how I offered to help. I begged them not to do it. I forgot that. Guess I was blocking."

Jen says "Welcome back!"

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I Am Beside Myself

I just watched Channel 7 WHDH in Boston. They were interviewing Mary Rizzo. She was crying. I started crying.

The Rizzo are genuinely nice people that I have had interactions with for years. Eliot played soccer with Frankie; Nick played with my bosses' son Mark; Mike coached Frankie in soccer; and I would hang with Mary on the soccer field sidelines.. I didn't know Jonathan, but everyone who did loved him.

The Rizzo's lives were irreparably harmed when serial killer Gary Lee Sampson murdered their eldest son Jonathan. Sampson confessed to Jonathan's killing and the killing of others. He received the death penalty. Jonathan's parents set up a successful Memorial Foundation in his memory and tried to live their lives.

Now ten years later Judge Mark Wolf has thrown out his death penalty.

Three jurors gave "incorrect answers" on their questionnaires. There is no question of guilt. There is no exculpatory evidence. There is no crucial DNA. Sampson confessed.

Now ten years later, Judge Wolf hits the family with this?

What. The. Fuck.

If there is a new trial, it will begin in December. Merry Christmas.

Hey MBTA Badge Number 69999!

Correction - Today, November 8th, the MBTA called to say Operator #69999 was scheduled to drive this bus, but someone else substituted at last minute. So Operator #69999 was not the person who was rude and uncaring in this incident.
I apologize.
That's right jackass, I got the number despite the fact that when asked, you gave a different four digit number. You ticked me off enough that I took the bus back to Sullivan Square and asked the starter. I also called in to the T and filed phone complaint with Carlos.

And now, it's time for your lesson in Social Media 101: "You never know who is sitting on your bus."

A late start on errands today - is anyone surprised? I left the house around 4:30 pm. When I got to the Route 93 bus stop aka "The Bunka Bus", I checked the schedule. A bus had left Sullivan Square at 4:30pm and would be cresting the top of Bunker Hill in a moment. Lucky for me.

I got on and sat in the first forward facing seat on the door side. There was a woman in the middle of the side facing seats in front of me. She was two seats from the door. She had a cane. I didn't notice anything past the that. I sent my Frankie a text message at 4:37 pm and then just gazed out the window.

Someone rang the buzzer for the next stop. The bus stopped at Medford Street and North Washington, the first stop after the North Washington Street Bridge. the woman in front of me slid forward in her seat like she was going to get up but she didn't. She was facing the driver and she was getting agitated. A different woman walked up the aisle, got off the bus and the doors closed.

As the driver pulled away from the curb, the woman with the cane asked "Was that Medford? Where is Medford?" The driver replied "I told you before I didn't know where Medford was"

I was just listening because I was confused, there is a Medford Street in Charlestown, but the 93 bus doesn't connect with that at all. Besides, now we were in the North End.

The woman with the cane, who I would come to find out was named Andrea, said "I told you it was the first stop after the bridge."

Operator who was substituting for #69999 replied "Well I stopped and you didn't get off."

Andrea "You didn't tell me"

Operator who was substituting for #69999 "Was I supposed to pick you up and carry you off?"

Now let's pause for a moment - I am know for hyperbole, exaggeration, etc. But I promise you, the above is a direct quote.

Another woman began speaking to the driver as well, telling him he shouldn't be talking to her that way. Andrea meanwhile is getting very agitated because it turns out she has two canes and one is WHITE. I, with my lack of situational awareness, just then realize, Andrea has one cane because of physical disabilities and a white one because she has a 90% vision loss.

I told the driver "You might not have known where Medford St was, but you certainly knew which was the first stop after the bridge."

The bus driver replied with some nonsense about how he had to pay attention to driving the bus.

An important note here - at no time was the bus driver upset, remorseful or angry. He was dismissive. He smirked the entire time.

I hit the button for the next stop which would leave us off in front of City Hall. I leaned forward and put my hand on Andrea's arm and told her "Don't worry, we will get off at the next stop and I will take you back."

The other woman said she was going to call and complain, I said I was too but I was waiting for his number to scroll by on the bus marquee. The driver called out a number over his shoulder - and it wasn't "69999". So on top of everything else.....he lied. This paragraph is wrong, on November 8th, the MBTA called and said it was not Operator #69999, but a last minute substitute.


After we got off the bus, Andrea and I crossed Congress Street to the Haymarket T Station and got on the 93 heading back toward the bridge. I asked her where on Medford Street she was going and she replied that she was headed to Endicott Street, Medford Street was just the closest T stop. So I took her down Thatcher to Endicott and escorted her right to her front door.

After I ran my errands, I was back on the 93 to go home. Different driver. But I was kicking myself that I couldn't remember the other driver's number. I was so peeved, it just slipped my mind. After all, the important part was getting this woman where she needed to go, not getting out paper and pencil to take notes.

But, it was a warm night and it wasn't late, the buses were still running fairly I stayed on the bus all the way to Sullivan Square and spoke to the starter.

I told him that I had been on the 4:30 pm Route 93 bus and I wanted the driver's number. He joked "Operator number, right?" I smiled and said yes. I told him I needed to be sure it was the right guy. I said he was Caucasian, young, good looking, facial hair and wearing a knit cap. The Starter said "So in other words, he looked like me?" We laughed and I said "Yes, except for the knit cap, he was good looking, just like you."

So that's how I know who you are T bus operator #69999. correction - it wasn't #69999, but a substitute driver.

I told the starter my story.

I called into the T's main line and told Carlos my story.

I really hope some of my fellow passengers call in. I think that woman who said she was going to cal will follow through, she was really steamed.

But for now Operator #69999 welcome to Blogger..........and Facebook..........and Twitter.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I'm Like A Two Year Old - Why? Why? Why?

By coincidence I walked over two bridges today that gave me some insight into questions I would come to ask later this evening.

I bought something at Radio Shack for my Dad, it wasn't right and needed to be returned. So I walked through Thompson Square, over the Prison Point (Gilmore) Bridge, crossed McGrath Highway and over a little bridge that spans the Lechmere Canal. The Galleria Mall is right on the other side. It's just over a mile, very pleasant, sunny, warm.....but you can feel fall right underneath it, know what I mean?

Anyhow, this evening I attended a meeting if the Charlestown Neighhood Council down at the Knights.

Now everything from here forward is my opinion and my understanding of the situation. It's not reporting, I could have some stuff wrong. It was my first meeting on this subject and there have been many others.

It was hosted by the Real Estate Project Development and Transportation subcommittees of the CNC and the guests were representatives from Boston Transportation Department (BTD). Also in attendance were planners and subcontractors who are trying to come up with solutions to traffic problems in Charlestown. In particular, Sullivan Square, Rutherford Ave and Austin St/Prison Point Bridge.

I'll be posting more about this and attending all future meetings when possible. But for now let me posit an answer to one of the many "Why?s" that came up for me and others.

The BTD plans suggest that Rutherford Ave become a total surface road. Right now there are two underpasses. The BTD plan fills in those tunnels.

There is my first "Why?". We were told that less than a quarter of the current traffic travels through the underpasses. That if we fill them in, these vehicles will be forced to the surface. So....why add any cars? Even if it is a small percentage?

We were told that it would allow for shorter pedestrian crossings. Right now crossing from
Austin Street to the Prison Point Bridge/Community College buildings and T station runs about 200 or so feet. Now remember - I just made this trek today. It will be shortened approximately 100 or so feet to about 90 feet. Also, there will be better sidewalks and Rutherford Avenue will be a boulevard with green space, trees and parking spaces.

Ok, my next "Why?" - why is that a fair trade? You add all those cars/trucks from the underpass to the surface congestion to get a shorter crosswalk and some trees? One woman called out "Quality of life" when I was questioning this. Listen, if Cancer Girl here can make it across from Austin Street to the Bridge side.....almost anyone can.

The real answer came out from another question - What costs the City of Boston less - closing the underpasses or leaving them open? Closing them is cheaper.....I'm sorry....more cost effective.

Ahhhh, I see.

After the meeting I spoke informally to some of the other attendees. Their "Why?s" included "Who cares about multiple crosswalks that take us to the industrialized side of Rutherford Avenue? Who cares about parking spaces along Rutherford Avenue?"

Here is where my afternoon trip came in.
This picture is the Lechmere Canal Park from the overpass near the Cambridgeside Galleria.
This is about the midway point of the Prison Point/Gilmore Bridge about a quarter mile north of the first picture.

When I was young the top picture and the whole of the 2nd picture was a mess. All industrial and bleak and weedy. But now development, landscaped public spaces, new condos and office space have crept from the Charles River north toward Charlestown.

Can you see the chain link fence separating the landscaped area from the wild area? That wild industrial area stretches to Rutherford Avenue.

Now, why would you want Rutherford Avenue to be an attractive boulevard connected to Charlestown as opposed to the highway-esque scar that cuts this wild area off from Charlestown, one of the hottest residential neighborhoods in the city?

I'm not against development. Go ahead, build condos and office space and create jobs and landscape your way all the way from that chain link fence to the other side of Rutherford Ave.


Don't pretend it's for us. Don't pretend there isn't lots of benefit to the City (more development/bigger tax base).

And don't try to do it on the cheap - keeping the underpasses costs more, but it is a bigger benefit to the Town.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Saturday From The Rose Kennedy Greenway

So, you have seen all the pics in the papers and on TV and on Howie Carr's page of #OccupyBoston on the rose Fitzgerald Greenway. But they are only on part of the Greenway. For those who don't know what the Greenway is, it's this public space that came about when they put the Expressway underground. The elevated highway that used to put this area in shadow all day was named after Rose's father, "Honey Fitz". And rose's son, Ted secured most of the pork to fund "The Big Dig", so I guess I am ok with the name, lol.

Anyway, I had been tweeting about #OccupyBoston. Some of their Twitter supporters said that couldn't talk about it if I didn't go myself. So Friday night and Saturday morning I did - two separate visits mind you......Princess Crabby doesn't camp.

I have no good pics from Friday night despite the fact that I used the flash, it was just the cell phone and not the camera. Plus it was raining and everything was blurry. By raining, I mean that at times it was like standing under a waterfall. I saw filth and garbage and ruined plantings. There were people dancing under a tarp and playing music and chewing up all the grass. There was every kind of tent and shanty. And there was a 3rd world stench. They are going to be lucky if no one gets cholera or malaria.

Saturday morning I walked from Aquarium on the Blue Line to South Station for the Red Line.

This is how it looks Little parks, all different but connected between traffic intersections.
A world of difference from when I was a little girl. Just lovely.
And at the last intersection, just before crossing Congress Street to where the #OccupyBoston encampment is, I found this guy -
"We honor those who serve" I introduced myself and asked why he was there. He said he wasn't there to pick a fight. But that the story of some from the #OccupyBoston camp verbally and physically assaulting a uniformed member of the Coast Guard has moved him to act. He said he was there in solidarity with her.
The first thing I did was send it to Blackfive because I knew he would get it online much faster than I could - I really need to get a fancy-schmancy phone.