Thank you, US Taxpayers!

Thank you all for the sacrifice and work put into the Recovery Act. I’m very thankful for the millions of dollars that taxpayers across the USA are (or will be) paying to help improve the infrastructure, and especially the roads, here in eastern Massachusetts. Our commonwealth government is putting the money to work right now resurfacing plenty of roadways and repairing some of our elderly bridges – and they even have a nifty map showing you where your money is going.

I now can thank you every day, since there are some key stretches of Rt. 2 and a handful of roads in Belmont that had been pretty bad, which are now beautifully smooth and bump-free thanks to these extra-special Recovery projects. Although, I’m not sure if I should thank you, the taxpayers, or if I should really be thanking your children for their future contributions. I’d better thank some other of our descendants now too, I suppose, just to be sure it’s covered – thanks!

A big shout out to the town of Belmont, which just this week took the Recovery money to heart. I’ve been enjoying the super-smooth new curve of Blanchad Road, even with it’s new traffic calming devices. (Make that Blanchard – but one of the construction signs used to say “BLANCHAD RD UNDER CONSTRUCTION” for so long I kind of got used to it.) And parts of Park Ave and a few stretches near down town are much much better than they’ve been for years.

No, what I really have to hand it to Belmont is for going all out – right down to the dirt. Yes, about half of my drive through Belmont on the way home tonight was on dirt roads. All the way dirt – nice and dusty, with plenty of leftover gravel to jump up at the windshield, and big ruts to make for an interesting ride. I’ll be sure to remember to avoid driving in Belmont for the next week or so until they can bring some major routes back up to paved status. 8-(

Awesome new business idea

I have an awesome new business idea. I came up with it while drinking DD with friends after eating Korean food at H Mart, so it must be good. But I have no worldly idea of how to actually find the right people to see if it would fly. Sigh.

Seriously – it’s amazing. OK, we were sitting around for a while and yakking it up, and maybe I’m a little out there, but I think it actually has potential for a new niche market someplace. Involves licensing management (in areas that understand licenses but aren’t usually managed like this), and usefully targeted advertising (yuck, I know, but hey, the “useful” applies to consumers and advertisers alike). Requires web presence much like dozens of other sites use, but fits a niche that’s simultaneously narrow and yet broad (depending on how you look at it).

The idea has nothing to do with what I do for a living or volunteering at the ASF. The question is, do I actually know anyone I trust who could evaluate it and might know the right place to sell it?

Who remembers Caldor Middlesex Mall?

Or, as a friend and I call it, “The Caldor Mall”. This is an old joke, since there have been at least three other stores in that spot since then, and more years than I care to count.

Seriously – anyone else have fond memories of shopping at Caldor in the Middlesex Mall, or other local Caldors? It’s not as big a local name as Lechmere’s, perhaps, but the colorful logo was still a big sign in the region back when.

I’ve seen the variety of deadmalls.com and similar mall memories web boards talking vaugely about it, but very little actual data so far in Google. Seriously: there isn’t a picture anywhere on the web of that particular Caldor? Someone’s gotta have scanned in some old newspaper article about it or something! I’m surprised that some geek has actually setup a cheap mirror of the old caldor.com website(which I don’t remember), before it went under about a decade ago. The Wayback Machine also has some archived web pages, showing the caldor.com domain going from the real thing, through a couple of domain squatters, and then to nothing in recent years.

I was thinking of this as I’m making plans to have dinner with friends at one of the newest big retailers nearby, H Mart. You see, the only way I could explain how to get to H Mart was to say it was behind the Caldor Mall. Luckily, the person I was emailing that too actually understood me.

Ah, H Mart, I’m already excited to see your oodles of Korean and Asian groceries and food court – as evidenced by both local media coverage, and my friend @BigHeadDennis (Famed for assisting with an ocean rescue with his cell phone) who I think has mentioned at least three trips there already. Yum.

So – anyone have pictures of the Caldor at Middlesex Mall?

Little Ironies

Kind of like: “you park on a driveway, but drive on a parkway”.

  • Tazo tea bags – a very earthy crunchy brand – use tiny stapes to affix the paper tag to the bag, making it much more difficult to compost them. Most Twinings teas – another premium but very corporate brand – use nifty little string ties, meaning the whole bag & tie is compostable.
  • The automatic sprinklers at a local business were on in the rain this morning. Not necessary; there was plenty of rain overnight.
  • When I asked for slices of toast at a great local bakery/cafe this morning, the hostess mis-heard me and thought I wanted a whole loaf, sliced. Instead of complaining, I decided to make toast (they have a toaster for customer use). Yum, whole wheat sourdough.
  • Arrow Street in Cambridge is one way, the wrong way (i.e., towards Bow Street – which it crosses, of course).
  • Yesterday, while writing my blog post about Starbucks Via(tm), I was actually drinking tea. Tazo Awake, actually; I had to cut the tags with the staples off before tossing in the compost.

You know, “Time flies like an arrow; Fruit flies like a banana.”

Any U-Haul haircuts yet?

So – how many U-Haul haircuts do you think we’ll have this year?

[poll id=”5″]

A U-Haul haircut is defined as when a driver from outside of the Greater Boston area, who, while driving a rental truck, strikes the underside of a bridge inside the Greater Boston area. This commonly occurs on Storrow and Memorial Drives during September, when one of the many new students at local universities (or, their parent) ignores the DANGER LOW BRIDGE warning signs, hanging chains, and other warnings at the entrances to local roadways, and drives down the road smack into a bridge.

Now it seems so far this year that we may have been spared any U-Haul haircuts – an amazing thing! For all things Boston, I trust in Universal Hub, and I haven’t seen any reports of U-Haul haircuts yet. A few Googles of likely news stories doesn’t show any either. Could this really be our year? A year of no U-Haul haircuts? We’ll see.

Something’s not right…

Now I know we shoveled a few days ago. And I’m pretty sure we shoveled last night. And we did everything else you’re supposed to do, too. I’d already been shopping for milk, bread, and eggs, and made sure the shovels were there, and gotten snow tires on my car. Plus parking my car the right direction to get out if there’s snow. Plus getting everything laid out for perfect french toast.

But there’s still snow on the ground – a lot of it. I really thought we shoveled. And I’m pretty sure we made the french toast: it was delicious, even though I didn’t fully dry out the bread like the recipe says. I couldn’t remember shoveling and eating french toast if I didn’t do them, right?

Right?

Oh, no. Oh no oh no, oh no.

You don’t think I’m stuck in one of those time loops, do you?

Oh, no.

A temporal causality loop or something, like the Enterprise has been in a half-dozen times or so. Yikes! and it’s almost the holidays, I’d hate to miss Christmas just because I was in loop 15,9727 of this darn snowstorm!

Oh, no.

I really am in a loop; I’ve posted the same blog posting twice in the space of a month! Hmmm… must get more lattes and increase my coding speed at work, and increase my creative juices for my blog!

It sure is pretty though. I just hope it stays nice and clean and white, before melting then freezing again. At least the snowflakes were light and fluffy and smaller than the average puppy.

Something’s not right…

Now I know we shoveled yesterday. And I’m pretty sure we shoveled this morning. And we did everything else you’re supposed to do, too. I’d already been shopping for milk, bread, and eggs, and made sure the shovels were there, and gotten snow tires on my car. Plus putting the big silver windshield cover on my wife’s 4WD in the driveway. Plus getting everything laid out for perfect french toast.

But there’s still snow on the ground – a lot of it. I really thought we shoveled. And I’m pretty sure we made the french toast: it was delicious, even though I didn’t fully dry out the bread like the recipe says. I couldn’t remember shoveling and eating french toast if I didn’t do them, right?

Right?

Oh, no. Oh no oh no, oh no.

You don’t think I’m stuck in one of those time loops, do you?

Oh, no.

A temporal causality loop or something, like the Enterprise has been in a half-dozen times or so. Yikes! and it’s almost the holidays, I’d hate to miss Christmas just because I was in loop 13,497 of this darn snowstorm!

Oh, no.

I really am in a loop; I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve said oh, no, now. OK, think. Think, think, think. I’ve got to send myself a message. Now I’m not Data, so I can’t program anything to broadcast in subspace, but… hmmm. I know! I could write something in the snow!

Wait, there’s too much snow. Guess we’d better shovel some. Hmmm. I seem to remember shoveling already.