Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Monday, October 31, 2011

What Are the Odds? White Horse Beach, Massachusetts, USA

Almost exactly two months ago, we experienced fallen maple tree limbs from Hurricane Irene.  This time, the recent "October Nor'easter" did the same thing with oak tree limbs.  What is extraordinary about this is, in both cases, tree branches fell on electrical power lines and internet lines, did damage that costs money to clean-up, but in neither case was electrical power nor internet service lost - what are the odds?
Looking at it another way, why haven't I learned to not have limbs where they could take out my electrical power and internet wires?  Considering that electricity and internet are two of my favorite addictions in this modern society, it seems like I should have made a more thoughtful decision about protecting the airspace above the wires - and me, a careerist at protecting airspace.......... oh, yeah, I'm retired now.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Moving Day, Medford, Massachusetts, USA

Moving from one's current home to another home is often a challenging event - it is one of those times in life to exercise active and conscious control to purposefully effect a major change - invigorating, exciting, scary, full of promise about a new life ahead.......but already wistful for the one left behind.

 We had planned the move for months but, you never know what the day will actually bring until it arrives. We were very lucky - it was a glorious day to move - sunny, cool, a light Fall breeze, a happy, willing, and positive crew of strong, professional movers who arrived on time and worked hard.

Not a very big truck was required since Amy had done such a good job in thinning out "the stuff." There are many great charities in the area looking for used stuff - repair, reuse, recycle. (By the way, if you've never heard the late comic George Carlin's stand-up routine about "stuff,"  you might enjoy it).

Fifteen years is the longest time either of us has lived in the same location.  The clock starts again tomorrow......

Many hours were counted sitting on that chair (not to mention the many uplanned naps) - the chair stays with the house for the new owners - they have two young children - hopefully they'll get to hear and see a lot of books sitting on their Daddy's lap reading.......

Many disparage the dust bunny but, he has always been welcome in our home with us.  As illustrated above, this particular dust bunny is hereby acknowledged for standing guard and protecting a long-lost earring that had been hiding under a dresser for 15 years.  Such vigilance and attention to duty is commendable.

The truck packed, we headed 50-miles south to a new life in White Horse Beach, a village in the town of Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

In addition to being the center of the intellectual universe (as some believe anyway), Harvard Square regularly hosts quite an array of eccentric, unusual, homeless, or beautiful people - never a dull moment at the edge of the Harvard University campus.  Here is a sampling:

An eccentric one-man band. (Audio clip at the end of this post).
An unusual wispy beard.

An unusual look - and not just the beard.

A homeless man and his homeless leashed dog on the sidewalk in front of a bank.

Since I've covered eccentric, unusual, and homeless people- she must be the beautiful one.

Oh yeah, Happy 375th Birthday to Harvard.

Music from the one-man band.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Who Let the Cat Out of the Bag?, Medford, Massachusetts, USA

Where did that old saying come from, "the cat's out of the bag?"  Apparently, during medieval times, an unscrupulous merchant might have substituted a cat for the piglet the buyer thought he was purchasing.  If the cat got out of the bag, the scam/secret was revealed. In any case, this blog is more accurately about a cat in the bag.

In our house, the cat gets out of the bag when he damn well pleases. You only need to try to reach in there once to coax him out to understand why I would say that. I think he must become intoxicated by the brown paper smell (he also demonstrates similar behavior when jumping into any cardboard box left open). Each and every time a bag or box is left open, he will jump or climb in - almost no exceptions.  And since we are in the middle of packing and moving, danger lurks when we try to pick up what we thought was an empty bag or box.

Because if you get too close to the opening after he is inside, you will regret it - guaranteed - every time. His lightening fast paw with rapier sharp claws will swipe at you faster than you can pull back. Although science has specific definitions of an "animal,"  colloquially we seem to refer to any unpredictable or wild behavior as "animal behavior."  Rational behavior is to be nice to the hand that feeds you -  animal behavior is not always so nice - I guess this is one of the reasons they're called animals.  Cute but vicious - reminds me of an old girlfriend in my youth .......but that's another story .........

Friday, October 21, 2011

Anatomy of a Move, Medford, Massachusetts, USA

How do you leave your home of 15 years - the first home you chose together after marriage - the only home your only son has ever known - the home where his growth was marked in pencil on a door frame - where his grandfather planted a tiny Japanese maple tree seedling that grew to a graceful arch beside the driveway - where the flowering pear tree sapling planted by the curb now stands as tall as the house - the home that glowed warmly on a dark and cold winter evening coming home from work - the home where the curtains billowed inward with a spring or summer breeze - the home where the window screens vibrated deeply during a nor'easter - the home where you knew who and where someone was by the sound of a creaking board or stair step on the 100-year old floor -  the home where we lived and loved and laughed?

We are downsizing - at least half of our stuff must go - how do you decide what to put in the box, what do you give away or recycle? How do you pick which memory to package and which to discard?

But the calendar races by, the movers only 4 days away.

Growth chart soon to be painted over or scrubbed away.

Grandpa's maple tree thriving, perhaps to keep growing or, perhaps to be cut down by future homeowners.

And so you must pick, and pack, and seal it up, and repeat until it's done.

And when it's done, there's your lifetime of stuff reduced to an essential core.
A few decorations, a camping stove, career awards, boxes of photographs - and the first and only tricycle of the little boy who is now a grown man at University.  I can close my eyes and see his little legs pumping furiously on the pedals..........

A basement workbench, tools already packed - no more broken things that need fixing.

Closets empty except for hangars with nothing to hang.

It was a home where little boys and dinosaurs once fought raging battles as toy people in nearby Lego worlds stood watch.  It was a home where he grew into manhood.

It is not easy to leave so much behind.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Signs of Fall, Massachusetts, USA

Whether street-side mums......

or lakeside leaves........

the beauty of Fall in New England is revealed every year.  But soon................

Winter will arrive and this is what we'll get.......

........and this......

......and this.......

 ....and this.  Winter can be as beautiful as Fall - just a whole lot colder! Annually, among big cities, Boston averages about  42 inches of snowfall, similar to Detroit and Pittsburgh.    Salt Lake, Denver, and Minneapolis average about 60 inches.  Rochester and Buffalo average about 100 inches of snow. (I have not included the less populated high mountain locations that receive 20, 30, or even 40 feet each year, e.g. Donner Pass in the the Sierra Mountains).  Me - I'd rather be where it's warm, dry, and sunny.  I think I'll work on that.......

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Visual Definition: Catnap*

*Visual demonstrations for this definition provided by Milo the cat.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Wicked Smaat*," Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Fresh Pond is a 155-acre reservoir and part of the City of Cambridge water supply.  A popular 2+ mile perimeter road/trail surrounds it for the enjoyment of  walkers, joggers, bicyclists, bladers, birders, artists, and dogs.

In fact, the city has special rules for local dogs.  The second bullet on the sign above says that "dogs that belong to Cambridge residents may go unleashed......."  That's because just like Cambridge residents, Cambridge dogs are really smaat.

And the Cambridge dogs can read, too!  These smaat dogs will first pee on the post, then read the sign and resist the urge to run with abandon across the grass.  Not even small humans can resist that urge (the running part I mean - small kids don't usually pee on the post).

The portal shown above is on the reservoir fence and provides access to a parallel universe where Cambridge residents send their dogs to receive special advanced linguistic training.  This woman is awaiting the return of her dog who was at a seminar on dialectical analysis of accent emphasis in expressing canine mood.  (Either that or maybe it was learning to interpret friend or foe based on a brief smell).

And thirsty folks and dogs can use this clever water fountain designed as a gusher shooting out of the water main from the adjacent Cambridge Water Works.  Smaat and creative.........

Note:  "Smaat" is the local Boston area pronunciation of the English word "smart."  See Matt Damon and Ben Affleck movies to hear the accent. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Nature's Colors, New England, USA

Why is it that nature can combine red, orange, and yellow over green and we oooh and ahhh about how beautiful it is but, if I wore a red, orange, and yellow shirt over green pants, I would be mocked by family, friends, and strangers on the street?  Go figure.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Depth, Boston Area, Massachusetts, USA

Exterior of the Old North Church, North End, Boston.

On the grounds of the Christian Science Mother Church, Back Bay, Boston.

Pedestrian tunnel in Minuteman National Park, Bedford.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Stata Center at MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

The iconic Stata Center on the Massachusetts Institute of Technogoly (MIT) campus is in Cambridge, MA. It was designed by world renowned architect Frank Gehry and it serves as both classrooms and offices for the institute.

An odd shaped bicycle cruises in front of an odd shaped building.

The Stata Center is a magnet for photographers from near and far.

Self portrait reflected in the shiny building.

And here's one of the workspaces within - looks like a perfect domain for a brilliant scientist. 

Cambridge, Massachusetts is, according to some, the intellectual capital of the universe - or maybe at least the United States. It is home to Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and others. Many other top notch colleges and universities, and cutting edge businesses also call Massachusetts home.
In September this year, Cambridge opened an Entrepreneur Walk of Fame near the Kendall Square "T" stop. Honorees thus far include Edison, Packard, Hewlett, Gates, Jobs, Swanson, and Kapor. An impromptu shrine appeared following Steve Jobs' recent death.