Sunday, November 25, 2007

What did you do for Thanksgiving?

Matt's birthday landed on Thanksgiving this year, so we had a double celebration. We had a full table with Susan & Brad, Mom, Matt, Emily, Josh & Jen, Jesse & Steph J.
On Friday Matt helped me split and stack firewood which made me even more thankful. It was a no-brainer to avoid the "Black Friday" madness.

This is great AMERICAN holiday and I'd like to hear what your family did.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Weekend

I was up in Spofford NH for the weekend of our church Women's retreat will try to send pics as I saw Russ and we went to the Pumpkin Festival with his g'friend and her family.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Moving Day.. always an adventure

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


It's amazing how many times I've spent stuck in a narrow stairwell trying to help negotiate a queen size box spring around a tight corner. In the past we have moved an old player piano (with a cast iron sounding board) which was so heavy that it had it's own gravitational field. I helped once on the moving party of a divorcing couple who fought over the ownership of the furniture. We've have rented trucks of all sizes. One truck contained empty boxes that were marked for biohazards. I have seen the folly of loading a large box with books or records. One time we had to take some time to look for a missing loaded revolver. On the same move we had to disassemble a model railroad table that got stuck while we attempted to move it from an attic. We have lugged couches and chairs over icy and snowy walks. One time we helped move a co-worker out of an apartment on our lunch break. Her lawyer advised her to get out quickly because her roomate was selling drugs. Naturally the roomate arrived during the move. She had an interesting expression on her face as I remember. I have inflicted my own moving pain on friends and family by moving all my cellar junk from the old house to the new house. I also lugged gallons of fuel oil from the old house before we demolished it.

Saturday we had a new adventure when we attempted to bring a loveseat up a narrow staircase in Boston. What I have learned from moving friends and family is that if it is a dorm or apartment, it will always be located on the third floor. There will always be corner and a banister or some other obstacle. After the couch refused to go any further we retreated to the backyard and with the help of ropes, a come along and muscle power the couch was lifted up vertically alongside a very rickety fire escape. The neighboring building was quite close and we successfully avoided destroying an air conditioner which protruded in the couch's flight path. An elderly woman offered the helpful advice that we were "going to die". Thankfully we did not die, the couch suffered a small wound and it looks wonderful in the apartment's living room. When it comes time to move the couch again, I will be using a sawzall with a set of demolition blades. It will leave in pieces.... it won't be pretty

Thursday, October 04, 2007

October Birthdays

October Birthdays


Do you have a comment or greeting about any of the October Birthdays? Please enter your comments at the bottom of this posting (click on comment link)

Friday, August 31, 2007

September Birthdays

September Birthdays

Do you have a comment or greeting about any of the September Birthdays? Please enter your comments at the bottom of this posting (click on comment link)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

August Birthdays

August Birthdays

Do you have a comment or greeting about any of the August Birthdays? Please enter your comments at the bottom of this posting (click on comment link)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Falmouth Road Race - 2007






Emily participated in the 2007 Falmouth Road Race after raising $1125 for Tedy's Team . Thanks to all the family and friends that contributed to fighting stroke. We arrived on Saturday and spent the day relaxing at Old Silver Beach with Kirsten's family (Emily's college roomie) in delightfully warm bay water (we are used to more frigid conditions). Kirsten's family were gracious hosts and let us stay in the "Lighthouse Room" in the family's cabin located just a few miles from the beach.

On Saturday evening we decided it would be prudent to check out the race course and the location of the school buses that would transport the runners the day of the race. The finish line is located conveniently near the BBC Pub which is located across the street from the beach.




















The day of the race was a little hectic even by summer-at-cape standards when almost 11000 runners and their supporters decide to drive to a single location at a set time. The race had a few interesting entries. There was a lobster, a Mohawk Indian clad only in a loin cloth and Wonder Woman. At 1 hour, 22 minutes and 27 seconds, Emily crossed the finish line.












Monday, August 06, 2007

Coffee Pond - Family Reunion

Four generations traveled from six (or maybe it was seven) states to enjoy the beauty of Maine. We traveled north for an overnight stay had a great mexican meal, swam in the warm water, kayaked and sang tunes around the campfire (citronella candles). All night loons called out... wonderful. The party started before we arrived and continued after we left. Alas our stay was too brief. A complete account of this event will need to be reported by our intrepid reporter in the 4th Street Beat.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Sicko and the "Topsy-Turvy" Bus


My sister is always full of suprises. The latest is driving a "moving billboard" demonstrating the enormous amount that is spent on defense spending. This billboard is the "topsy-turvy" bus which consists of two actual school buses joined together. The bad news is that it is top heavy, the worse news is the obscene amount spent on defense, the good news is that it runs on bio-diesel. She parked this in front of the Wilton Theatre for the premiere showing of the documentary "Sicko".







I feel that everyone regardless of their opinion of Michael Moore should view this film. You would have to be dead not to be affected by the content. Afterwards a film discussion group was sponsored by "Woman Making a Difference". A lot of discussion centered around HR Bill 676 sponsered by Presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich http://kucinich.us/issues. Former Gubernatorial candidate (1992), and TV talk show host Arnie Arnerson spoke passionately about some personal health issues that she faced during her campaign. I feel that Susan made a valuable contribution during the discussion and I will quote her:


"My thoughts about health care---- I know I am very lucky and blessed and our medical issues have been few and managed with insurance. We have had some denial of treatment, but were able to move through that.... Now I have friends asking frequently ----" when are you going to retire?" And I see that insurance would cost so much to maintain that I wouldn't have any retirement $$ - it would all go to health insurance.. That just doesn't seem right.
So my question is " are we citizens with the right to health care for all OR are we consumers to buy insurance with the "middle man" taking profits and making the decisions to approve or deny care?
Long ago fire protection was paid for privately and those who paid had a medal medallion afixed to their house.. if the firemen came and did not see a medallion, your house burned down.. We are happy that system is gone and service is provided equally for all, like police service and the postal service and the community library. They are not totally flawless, but they function pretty well most of the time!
Are we citizens or consumers?"



Later we headed out to Peterborough to pass the bus to the next driver. This was the evening of the release of the final book of Harry Potter, so the bus had plenty of visitors including the local police. I wasn't concerned about getting my copy because I knew that the Amazon Owl would deliver it on Saturday afternoon ...


























Who is this painter "Willme"?





We were having a yard sale and why rummaging through the attic I discovered some paintings that I must have bought at an auction or yard sale. The canvases were facing each other so I was unaware that they had paintings on them. In my fantasy these will appear on "Antique Road Show" and be worth a fortune. Google is no help so I need to turn to the readers of this blog. These poor folks are either making candy or nylon. I can't tell.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Annual 4th of July Pots and Pans Parade

The citizens of Greenville, NH know how to celebrate Independence Day. The festivities begin the evening of July 3rd on the Adams Street school grounds. There is a block dance, food booths and a firework display at 11 PM. After midnight, the "Pots and Pans" parade forms and marches down main street accompanied by floats, hot rods and dozens of fire trucks from neighboring towns. The sound is deafening because everyone is making as much noise as possible. I couldn't find an appropriate pot to bang so I opted for a chinese gong.

It's no secret that the 2008 presidential race is fully up to speed in New Hampshire, so I was pleased to see that Governor Bill Richardson made an appearance (in a Red Sox jacket). Next year I'll be looking for a larger gong and ear protection.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Barn Un-Raising

We've all heard of Barn Raisings, but what happens after many years when the barn slides off the foundation and presents a danger to anyone foolish enough to venture inside? The answer is a barn UN-raising. This consists of attaching a chain to a main beam and pulling with a tractor. The result is dramatic , but it require two attempts because post and beam construction is resilient. Thankfully no one was hurt and it appeared that the bats and swallows were able to fly to freedom as the structure fell.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Memorial Day is not for sale

New Ipswich celebrates Memorial Day on the weekend before the official holiday. Memorial Day is usually considered as the beginning of summer. As I write this the death count in Iraq is listed as 3422. I'm a Vietnam Vet, I've visited the wall and seen the 58,209 names carved there. I'm guessing that the TV ads and Sunday Paper inserts will be advertising "Memorial Day Sale" for all kinds of "stuff". I only ask that anyone that reads this take a minute and consider what sacrifices have been made.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Beware of Euonymus alatus (Burning Bush) - Cautionary Tale


What was I thinking? When I planned a foundation planting 15 years ago I made the mistake of choosing a Burning Bush for it's fall color and interesting bark. For several years I removed what I perceived were seedlings under the the bush. Actually these seedlings are appearing from an enormous fibrous root mass. I chose this plant for it's fall color and it's reputation for bug resistance. Last summer some hideous caterpillar type creatures were taking up residence. Unfortunately they were unable (or unwilling) to kill this plant. I have learned that this "landscape" plant is listed as an invasive in New Hampshire, although I see it still stocked at a local nursery. Why invasive? After ripping it out with a pickup truck and chain, I've been trying to remove any remnants of DNA in it's massive root structure. It has pushed it's roots into my lavender and my PJM. How rude. I decided that the karmically responsible solution was tossing the roots on top of an overgrown rosa floribunda (another invasive) or feeding it to the European bittersweet (Yet another invasive). We think we are so clever bringing new plants and insects into our environment We are fools. Spring is here, you will be visiting your local garden shop. If you see Euonymus, I would suggest a dose of "Round Up"

Monday, April 23, 2007

How did the Yankees do this weekend?

Has anyone heard how the Red Sox/Yankees series went this weekend? Oh, wait a minute, the broom was in use last night as the Sox took all 3 games from the Bronz Bombers.

Not only did the Sox win, but all three victories were come from behind wins. And last nights game featured a record breaking ( for the Red Sox, tied the Major league record) 4 home runs in a row by the Red Sox. I do feel somewhat bad for the Yankees Rookie pitcher who gave up all 4 homers though, and hope this has no lasting psychological affect on him. This was the first time in 17 years that the Sox have swept the Yankees in a series at Fenwaypark.

The pendulum has swung back onto the Red Sox side right now. I was at one of the games last year in August when the Yankees had what was then called "The Boston Masacre" which effectively ended the Red Sox season, so I will revel in the latest battle won by the Red Sox between these two great teams.

Stay tuned to see what happens next weekend when the Sox visit the Evil Empire. Meanwhile this is one Sox fan who will be sleeping well this week. :)

Sto Lat - Stephanie and Gary

Stephanie & Gary


After an entire week of flooded and washed out roads, the weather turned warm and sunny just in time for a party in honor of the upcoming marriage of my niece Stephanie B. and her fiancee Gary T. Because the wedding will be held in Colorado the party offered an opportunity for the East coast relatives to meet Gary and his parents. My sister had planned a Polish celebration complete with traditional food and customs. Music was provided by accordionist and Polka Party host Gary Sredzienski.

Friends and family helped with decorations, food and entertainment. It was a pleasant way to spend a bug-free spring evening in New Hampshire.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Spring Nor'easter - too much rain

April Flooding 2007



We are having a pre-wedding party this saturday in New Boston. In addition to planning a menu and decorations, we now need to think about washed out roads and bridges. The Piscataqua river has overflowed it's banks into town, flooding businesses and destroying some of the roads. When my mother settled into town she was considering one of the homes located along this river but wisely chose a location on higher ground. Thankfully the predictions for the weekend are for warm sunny weather.

We have the advantage of living upstream. The head waters of the Souhegan river originate in New Ipswich. There are several flood control dams that slow the flow into the towns located downstream. We take a morning walk along a trail that circles the dam. The entire trail and part of the overflow area is now underwater.




Friday, April 13, 2007

Yankees / Red Sox Rivalry - the season begins

It's early in the season but the Red Sox and the Yankees are in a tie right now. We might have to get used to this for much of the season. The Yankees have a great offensive lineup but their pitching is suspect and Mussina is on the DL already. The Red Sox have some aging pitchers (as far as baseball is concerned anyways) but if they can hold up and Dice-K is the real deal (and it looks like he is) and Schilling and Beckett hold their own, it could be a long season for the Bronz Bombers. I hope so anyways. Yup, I am Red Sox fan, true blue, always have been, always will be. The funny thing is that both the Yankees and the Red Sox are looking up at the Toronto Blue Jays, who are in first place. The Jays are a force to reckon with this year, so its going to be quite a fun season.

I did read that the Yankees are not offering to extend A-Rod's contract. Although I can't verify this I heard a rumor that as part of the extension he was demanding a laced handbag (sorry ManPurse) outlined in pearls as part of the deal. Apparently the old manpurse is not in fashion any more. :)

Oh well, I am anxious to hear everyones thoughts on the Yankees and Redsox and how they will both do this year. Meanwhile the unbelievable thing is that if you go up to a Blue Jays game in Toronto, you can park for less than $5 and buy a ticket for as low as $8. Of course you have to get there and gas is so darn expensive, but that' a whole other topic.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Help! Bacteria is eating my 35mm transparencies

Something is living on the film emulsion, Yikes!

There is a lot than can go wrong in the trail from raw film to a developed
transparency. I have been scanning groups of family slides that span a period of over 4 decades. Some of the early Kodachrome slides from the late 1940's have kept their deep colors and the color rendition is very good. But in some of the later slides I started to notice a strange greenish spider type growth embedded in the emulsion. The green globs can be easily erased with photo-editing when they appear on a wall or the sky, but these globs seem to prefer to grow on people's faces and bodies. I was fairly consistent with my choice of films, Kodachrome, Ektachrome and Fujichrome. During my Navy Service I preferred to use a fine grained Kodachrome with a very slow speed of ASA 25. The resultant transparencies from this film have wonderful deep colors and have held up well over the years (see below).

Spices and Grains in Singapore

So what went wrong with some of the transparencies? I'm guessing bad dyes, stale film, stale developing chemicals, storage that was too hot, too wet, too dirty....probably all of that. Some of the results of the "Seattle Filmworks" brand film that I tried were dreadful, over the years they developed a garish greenish tinge. Some of the transparencies that my sister gave me to scan suffered some unimaginable trial of a badly designed slide projector (not the preferred Kodak Carousel), water damage and perhaps rodent abuse.

Water is no friend to slides

Thankfully we have entered the era of digital photography. Images are kept as 1's and 0's written in a proprietory format on a thin spinning disc of oxide coated aluminum being read by a magnetic coil flying over them at 7200 rpm or faster. What possibly could go wrong? Computers running realiable software maintain the whole system, it is completely foolproof.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Obama stops by in Peterborough, NH



2008 is just around the corner. Here come the candidates! I received an email this morning that presidential candidate Barack Obama was going to make an unofficial stop in nearby Peterborough. He was going to get something to eat at the Peterborough diner and visit the bookstore before heading off to a town meeting in Keene, NH. The Peterborough Diner has served as a backdrop to many a candidate. It is a classic diner with ornate gold lettering on a green background. The typical scenario involves the candidate stopping in a diner (usually during the breakfast hour) and chatting with the locals about weighty issues. Out of camera range there are the media consultants, the satellite trucks and the entourage of interns handing out buttons and stickers. Thankfully none of that was evident on this visit.

My impression is that the guy does have great people skills. He did a good job with the crowds (poor John Kerry lacked that). I'm a sucker for political celebrities, so I put down my $25 (no sales tax in NH) to buy his book and got him to sign it. This isn't just a ploy to immediately resell it on eBay, I think the guy has an interesting personal history and I intend to read the book before I resell it on eBay.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Rockland Hotel - a little family history



Recently, I sent out some photos of my grandfather to commemorate his birthday. While I was collecting the photos I came across the biographical notes that my cousin Cynthia had made about our Grandfather. She remembers the hotel (even had some dreams of time spent there) but I was too young. Here are her notes:

"Anthony was smuggled across border to get out of Poland in 1901. Came to
U.S. Worked in the coal mines in Pennsylvania as a child (no child labor
laws). As a adult, he worked at Yale and Town. His sister Mary worked
there as a timekeeper and helped get him a job. Anthony got to be a
foreman (would be an engineer in modern times). He was very concerned
about the worker's finger tips that were always being cut. He invented a
shield or safety catch for Yale and Town lock company to prevent loss of
fingers of assembly line workers. Still in use. He got $500 for it
which is much too high for those days as one could buy a house to live in
during those days for that money. He spoke fluent English and knew how
to handle the foreigners. He had a wonderful sense of humor and charm.
Many evenings he would have a class for those who wanted to be citizens.
Naturalized at least 50 citizens through interpretation/translation
assistance. He sponsored such a large number that the governor gave him a
citation. He was a good citizen. Every evening he would walk to the
Advocate (newspaper) office. There was a big bulletin in the window with
daily news which he would read and come home and tell his family what was
going on. As Lillian said, "I think our interest in politics comes from
these reports".
With the $500, he bought a mansion that had to be razed. Took all the
lumber and built two apartments over their bungelow. Kowaleski's lived
in one. All the bathroom fixtures were transferred. Lamps and other
things were installed after being taken apart. Lillian remembers various
neighbors coming in to admire and pull the chain to flush the toilet.
"Goodbye outhouse. Boy, did we feel rich".
Anthony sold insurance at night after work. Whenever he made a sale he
would wake children up with ice cream or a chocolate bar.
Loved animals...dogs always followed him home and in his last years,
worked at a veterinarian hospital to be near them.
Helped build the Holy Name Church in Stamford, CT (stone by stone). Owned
and operated a hotel in Stamford -(Rockwell ??) and made quite a nice
living in real estate until the stock market crash in the 20's."

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Squirrel proofing the bird feeders...Ha!

We used to have a "squirrel-proof" birdfeeder. It had a cantilevered perch that would cover the seed when a heavy rodent would climb aboard and gorge on black oil sunflower seed. Of course the clever beasts discovered that they could hang on the side and reach into the opening avoiding the perch. One day I was startled when a mouse climbed out of the seed when I was refilling the device. I spent a couple of weekends adding fishing sinkers to fine tune the weight of the tripping mechanism. Icing was a definite problem , because squirrels are natural meteorologists and understand that a frozen lever does not move. A couple of roaming bears, attracted by the smell of oil seed, decided that the best approach was to tear the damn thing apart.

I decided on a different approach using hanging metal mesh baskets with a clever name of "No-No" or something. The squirrels like to hang on these, sucking the seed through the mesh I assume. Originally I had them on a metal pole, which was bent to the ground by more marauding bears. The mesh held up pretty well to the bear attack, just a few teeth marks in the metal rain guard. I also discovered that roman candles will deter bears from feeding.

I tried suspending the feeders between 2 trees at a height that hopefully out of the reach of all but the tallest bears. Everything was fine for a couple of months, but finally an especially acrobatic squirrel appeared and managed to walk along the 10 feet rope. It was awesome to watch, he (or she) would take careful steps using his (or her) tail for fine balance correction. Even more distressing was that this squirrel gave lessons to the other squirrels and soon it was a regular high wire act.

The picture that I have posted shows my latest (and greatest) attempt yet. I have a series of washers, computer CD's, and light weight aluminum tubing covering the rope. I'm not positive it will stop the raids, but it will be fun to watch their attempts.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Why can't I find lyrics to "Hupaj Siupaj"?

UPDATE (June 21, 2016) - I found the words!

I have found a book called Treasured Polish Songs which contains the word to "Our Company" the song that most of us know as Hupaj Siupaj. The book is available at Amazon. Nine years ago after a fruitless search I posted a request on my blog. Some of the comments pointed me in the right direction. I'm including the words but STRONGLY suggest you buy the book, it has all the Christmas Songs and so much more.


Page 104 - Treasured Polish Songs
Page 105

Monday, March 12, 2007

Coyotes (I mean Fisher Cats), Bears and The 1808 Sign.. Oh My!





In the middle of the night we were awakened by a strange animal sound. All sounds are magnified and more frightening around 3 am. After we turned on the exterior lights we could see a creature running through the yard. Apparently we had a visit from a coyote and thankfully all the cats were safely inside. Coyotes breed in January- March and are quite vocal during that time.

Coyotes are not the only excitement in our town. March is Town Election time and we have the "Sign". The "Sign" has dominated our newspaper letters and town politics for some time. Sometime in the past an illuminated LED sign was installed by the 1808 corporation. After the neighbors picketed, petitions offered, cease and desist orders, letters sent to the papers... there will be 3 warrant articles on Tuesday's ballot related to the "Sign". Ironically the "Sign" is now being used to defend it's right to exist (it has a rudimentary computer brain). There is a lot of money at stake in this issue, a daily fine is being enforced for violation of the cease and desist order. Passions are running high... http://www.1808corp.com

Voting is tomorrow, so I'll post the outcome as a comment.

I mentioned "Bears" in title... They are another creature that we see more now than when we moved here 30 years ago. After they destroyed my birdfeeders they haven't been back. I did see a few hanging around the "Sign"

Sunday, March 04, 2007

What's for dinner? Roast Mouse?


I first became aware of a problem when I preheated the oven to heat some tortillas. I noticed smoke billowing from every opening of the stove. I assumed that it was a small grease spill that would quickly burn off.
After I was forced to open the windows I realized that I needed to find a remedy. There was no sign of a spill on the floor of the oven so I removed the bottom panel. There was no spill beneath the panel. It was then that I noticed an "object" lodged between the bottom panel and a plate of metal that acts as a flame spreader. When my wife asked "How did grease get in there?" I had the realization that maybe it had crawled in there. There is not much left of our visitor after several bakings but some whiskers and the hind legs were clearly visible.
I had a little chat with our 3 cats about their responsibility on maintaining a vermin free environment. Bon App├ętit!

Friday, March 02, 2007

March 3rd - Worm Moon (Vermicomposting revisited)

Years ago while visiting my children's middle school, I was shown a vermicomposting project that the science teacher had set up for her students. Vermicomposting is the process of using worms (Eisenia foetida) to eat food scraps and produce rich compost.

After ordering a pound of worms from Plains Georgia, I received a package label "live worms". Preparation was simple, I prepared a bedding of shredded newspaper, some soil, coffee grounds and some crushed eggshells, and dumped in the box of worms. The worms have been thriving every since. The are easily the most trouble free creatures I have encountered, they are much less problematic than the cats (who produce unusable compost). All they need is an occasional melon rind or some corn cobs and they happily munch away. You can actually hear them eat!

The only issue I face is the separation of the worms from the compost. Placing newer material on one side of the bin is supposed to produce a "worm migration" from the old to the new, but not for these worms (I can only assume that these are sedendary worms that have grown fat and lazy on melon rinds).

I was under the impression that I was being a good steward of the earth by raising these creatures, but today I was made aware of a darker more sinister side of worm-wrangling. Apparently introducing non-native worm species to the environment can be damaging. I can't imagine what damage I'm doing growing high-altitude cactus in the front yard.

Headlines:

"Worms may be responsible for destroying foliage in forests in northern United States and Canada"

http://www.acfnewsource.org/science/killer_worms.html






Worm Photographs courtesy of Paul Romagna (Feb 19 2007)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Only 8% of Americans read blogs says Dave Poltrack

I found this quote from my cousin in the Sacramento Bee (link no longer available):

"One of the things that's probably overstated by the press is how many people are visiting online blogs," Poltrack said in a presentation to TV critics. "I think you all blog each other, but I'm not sure the rest of the world is joining in the process that much."
In a conversation later, Poltrack said he would guess the majority of people who do read blogs are bloggers themselves.
"That does not leave a whole lot of real people who spend their time with blogs," he said.


Hmm, interesting observation Dave. I know a number of "real" people that may not read blogs but use variants of them. There is nothing new and revolutionary about Blogs.... they have a long history. The term "blog" is a shortcut for "web blog". It's such a silly word that produces fun spin-offs like "blogger" and "blog-o-sphere". Ouch!

In the olden days of the 70's when I worked at DEC we used to depend upon notes conferences to do our job. Along with the notes about VAXes and operating systems, there were the personal interest notes conferences like "Archery", "Beer Making" and one of my favorites "UFO's". There was even a conference named "ASKENET" (aka ask the enet), which the user could post a question and presumably someone would know the answer. DEC developers came up with Alta Vista, the first searchable full-text database on the web (think Google precurser).

What does any of the this have to do with those real people who are not reading blogs? They are being replaced by search engines like Google who do read blogs. For example a Google search of poltrack will find about 19,100 hits, many quoting Dave's words, many of these hits are from blogs. I find this interesting and ironical that Google is doing all this reading that real people can't find time for.

I suspect a number of people (maybe exceeding the 8% blog-readers) read customer reviews when they purchase items online. Customer reviews are not technically blogs but they have similar characteristics. A site such as www.Amazon.com has many of these. I always read reviews of products BEFORE I buy them. Most of the reviews are written by real people who are not shy about telling you the truth before you make your purchase.

What I appreciate about the internet is it's egalitarianism. Individual postings and web sites exist with the same public access as corporate giants such as CBS and Texaco. There was no cost involved with creating this blog, the web sites or the picture gallery except the internet access cost. I suspect that in the future corporate interest will push to create a tiered structure which will give faster connectivity to folks who are willing to pay big $$, but currently it is fairly equal so blog away gentle readers, blog away.








Sunday, February 18, 2007

Newbie Poster here


Trying hard to post here... of course I have a tutor (John) right by my side who is trying to convince me this accelerated learning curve is "heady" . I am finding it mildy confusing!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Overhyped Nor-easter has come and gone

Feel free to comment on this posting and any others. Just click on the "comments" link at the end of this article (under the robin). I'd like to hear what you have to say.


Wasn't it warm and cozy during December and January? I was enjoying the fruits of all that global warming. Then Valentine's day reminded us that it is winter. If you watched the news you would think that it was a new ice age. Weatherpeople with yardsticks and videos of jacknifed trucks. If you live in upstate NY then you really have a problem because the cold winds blowing over a thawed great lakes can produce an awesome snowfall. We get a similar effect with a Nor-easter which spirals in ocean moisture. I have the great option of working at home during inclement weather. I can't tell you how great that is. Not only do I work at home, but I have a window facing bird feeders. Samantha (cat formerly known as Paris) finds birds to be quite interesting. Sam is an inside cat, I've had my fill of animal attacks, car accidents and other mishaps.

I've noticed something interesting. Apparently the warm weather has made it easy for some of the birds to hang around. Can anyone explain why I see robins (harbingers of spring) hanging around in 12 degree weather? These are fat little things and they are dining on Holly berries.

I do get the regular winter visitors. Chickadees, Titmouse, and flocks of wild turkeys. I actually ate lunch on the picnic table in December, but alas winter has arrived.


This is the most under-used item in the yard. When the thaw occurs, the clouds of black flies and mosquitoes make outdoor dining impossible


Yup, a robin... no migration for them






Saturday, February 10, 2007

Longfellow's Wayside Inn

There are many benefits to having a boss located in a different geographic area (Houston). One important benefit is that when he did visit, lunch was on the company tab. New England is rich in history, but I sometimes take that for granted. I was completely unfamiliar with Longfellow's "Tales of A Wayside Inn" until my co-workers suggested this Inn as our lunch destination. I always think of the Boston Post Road only having fast-food restaurants and radiator repair shops, so this came as a pleasant suprise. The food was good and the prices were reasonable (even if we had paid). Unfortunately we did not have enough time to see some of the nearby sites including the "Wayside Grist Mill" and "The Redstone School" (of "Mary had a Little Lamb" fame). It's worth surfing to the site http://www.wayside.org

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Global Warming.. Our Fault or Cosmic Rays?



Brrrr! It sure is cold this week. How much impact do we have on global warming? I have no doubt that we are soiling our nests... but could this be a natural warming process? How much do we know of natural cycles in the geological timeframe?




Is it possible that Cactus will grow in New Ipswich??? As a matter of fact they can!