Monday, March 31, 2008

What I want for my birthday

I want one of these. It's a proton collider. Not sure why I want it, but isn't this picture cool?

Photo courtesy of www.newyorktimes.com. Here's the freaky article, if you want to read it.
Just imagine all the dumb office dares you could do with it.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I've been tagged! Where have I been?

My friend Chris from UMass had a cool idea. He wrote a blog post and Google-mapped all the places he's ever lived. Unfortunately he tagged me to do the same! So here goes.

If you click on the links to see the maps, just use the back button to get back to the post. They used to pop up in new windows but I don't see that I can select that feature anymore. Oh well.

From birth until age 18:
Shore Drive, Pittsfield, MA
What kid doesn't wanna grow up near the lake?

The college years +1 extra year living in Amherst
1986-87 Brown dormitory, UMass with my friend Pam from high school
1987-1989 Dickenson dormitory, UMass also with Pam. That's where I met Chris who tagged me to do this post!
Summer of 1988-Store Street, London England I worked at a pub that summer, just outside of Charing Cross Station. this is the year I met my BMF Dave, who was here for a few days visiting a few weeks ago.
89-90 Cliffside Apartments with my friends Chris, Jayne, and Jen. Good times!
Jan-June 1990 Rt 202 N Main Street, Belchertown, MA
June 90-June 91 Grantwood Drive, Amherst, MA Looks like there's a pool there now!

The Lady Foot Locker years:
...when I worked my ass off and moved all over the place. They gave us a $500 bonus and paid for the truck if we self-moved within 5 days of getting the promotion. I worked 4 10-hour days and 1 12 hour day (at minimum) each week, and several weeks a year only got a day and a half off work. But it was a good experience, learning sales, management, hiring & firing, and inventory control. I graduated UMass with no idea what I wanted to do so it was a good experience. Even now, 13 years after I left, I still cherish my weekends off and my holidays not cut short by closing at 11, driving 3 or 4 hours home, then leaving early the next day to open the store at 8am.

Anyway that led to my first very-own apartment!
June 91-March 93 Park Guilderland Apartments, Guilderland Center, NY, just west of Albany. Looks like it's been built up since then, those baseball fields are new. I had a nice westerly view of the mountains from my corner unit. It was a huge 2-bedroom for something like $400 a month. It had a washer and dryer but the washer stopped working. I never called the landlord, because I wasn't allowed to have my cat!

March 93-March 94 Strawberry Bank Rd, Nashua, NH. Rented a condo, where I could literally throw a rock into Massachusetts from my balcony. I liked the store I managed there in Nashua-I had a great staff. But the town was kinda boring for a single 25 year old. I'd probably really like it there now.

March 94-March 95 Wading River, NY, way out on Long Island. The town was really pretty, in the woods and near the beach and the North Fork. I think I lived on Sylvan Drive but I can't really remember. I really liked the two-room in-law apartment I rented from this ancient Irish couple, but aside from that, I hated living in Long Island. That place had the most self-absorbed rude people living in it that I have ever had the misfortune to have to deal with. I mean, Boston can be pretty bad for that too, but I never wanna live on an island with 7.3 million miserable people again.

Next, I went to Europe for 3 months. My base of operations was in Fjardhundra, near Enkoping, about 45 minutes outside of Stockholm. Spent about 6 weeks there checking out Sweden and 7 weeks riding the rails all over northern and eastern Europe, plus visiting Dave in England and traveling to Scotland from there.

After that it was back to Shore Drive in Pittsfield for a few months while I figured out what the heck to do next!

The Greater Boston years:
One of the places I always wanted to live was in or near Boston.
December 1995 I landed in Framingham on Franklin Street, across from the train yard and DPW. The cool thing with that is our street was always plowed first! But the house would shake sometimes when they connected the train cars. If you click Street View, the house I lived in is on the right-the white one with the stairs going up the side.

Sept 97 I moved in with my friend Karen in Natick Village - we could walk up to Rt 135 and watch the Boston Marathon in April. Some of my best memories are of the couple of years that Kim and Mary Clare lived a mile away and we did all sorts of cool stuff all the time.

In 2000 I moved to "the bunker" in Salem, MA. It's a famous tourist town and old harbor city north of Boston. The apartment had one window right on the street but it was cute, and it was close to downtown and the harbor. Really neat place to live but a pain to get anywhere.

In 2003, I moved to Wakefield, MA. The apartment I shared with a girl from work was gorgeous, and it only took me 14 minutes to get to work...if I were driving through a major snowstorm. Otherwise it was less than 11. Plus, it was a great location to get into Boston or up to the beaches in New Hampshire. There was a pretty lake there which everyone in town walked around for exercise. Even me!

In 2004, I moved in with Randy in Somerville. Not going to show you the house for safety reasons but there is street view so if you want to march up and down all the side streets feel free!

Well, that was kinda fun! And not as much work as I thought! Also, I thought I'd moved 10 times since I graduated college, but it's only 8 :-)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sox take a stand

From www.survivinggrady.com:

"Details are still a bit sketchy but the bottom line is this: the Red Sox players took a stand to protect their "extended family" of coaches and trainers. It appears there was a dispute on whether or not coaches and members of the training staff would be paid the same $40,000 stipend for the trip to Japan that the players will receive. Terry Francona and the players believed that would be the case, but news contradicting that was reported yesterday. When word filtered down to the Red Sox players, they unanimously voted to boycott today's spring training game as well as the entire Japan trip if the dispute wasn't resolved. Within and hour, their demands were evidently met.

No doubt there are spin doctors working their magic to come up with a plausible story about the whole thing being a simple misunderstanding. Damage control. Whatever happens, it won't take away from what the Red Sox did as a team today to show their support to the rest of the organization.

Another reason to be proud to be a Red Sox fan."

My view: I say it's another reason to be proud of the Red Sox period. $40K isn't a lot for the players, but for the rest of the staff it means A LOT like it would to most of us. Many of them make a good salary (well, for us Joe and Jane regular people) but I still thought this was cool. Put it in the college fund for the kids or in the retirement fund, or stay out of foreclosure. Nice job by you, Red Sox boys. Hope it spilled over to Oakland too. That's only fair.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

John Adams

I really got into the new John Adams series on HBO. It started Sunday. If you have HBO be sure to catch it or record the showings. Living in Boston, it's doubly cool for me, but it's also very well done.

Sign of spring

There are little green things poking up out of the ground where I planted bulbs last fall!

Monday, March 17, 2008

M.I.A.

Me, that is. Can't say anything nice so I won't say anything at all.

Except, that I'm SO HAPPY our vacation is in 2.5 weeks. Big yay to that! Last full-week vacation: July 2007. That's really bad for me.

Oh yeah, and I was really happy to have my English friend Dave here for a short visit. Always great to have Dave around. We've been friends half my life now. Just about 20 years since he came into that London pub I was working at next to the train station for a quick light-and-lager. I don't even remember when he gave those up for straight pints outta the tap. Wow.

OK, I guess I DO have nice things to say. More, some other time. ;-)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Shots

So, for that magnificent vacation that we have planned to Peru and Ecuador, we had to get some immunizations. Safety first! We went to the travel clinic at the best hospital I've ever walked into, Mt Auburn in Cambridge, MA, where they promptly shot us up with Yellow Fever vaccine, an MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) shot - evidently they're not so confident in the ones we got in the early 70's, Hepatitis A, and tetanus/diphtheria boosters. Jeepers.

So, I didn't eat before we went and almost passed out. Not from the pain or even getting shot up. This lady knew what to do with a needle, I barely felt a thing. I just got really dizzy. I recovered from that just fine with a little food. Went to work. Where I promptly began to suffer really bad hip pain, back pain, and stiffness of the joints. I kinda thought I might feel under the weather, but I wasn't expecting that. I also wasn't planning to work until 7:10, but I did.

We got about 35 pages of info when we went in there. Yesterday I finally read them. Evidently I'm one of the 25% of women who experience this with some of the shots, and it's nothing serious, it'll go away. I think having 4 Big Ones on the same day had something to do with it.

They also packed us up a bunch of scripts for antibiotics, malaria prevention pills, and altitude sickness preventative medication. Jeepers. I've barely been to the doctor twice in the last 5 years, and now I have more meds than I've taken in 15 years!

I guess I'll take the warnings pretty seriously. Boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it! And lots of deet in the jungle.

Oh yeah, and don't fall off a cliff or get hit by a car.

And, today I saw

Two wild turkeys strolling along route 128 in Bedford.