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July 2001 Archives

July 2, 2001

Every morning when I

Every morning when I drive Peter to work aross the bridge from Charlestown into Boston, I'm cheered by the happy face on the upper left corner of this building. And these days it's important to start my day with a cheerful happy face since a week ago I was laid off after 10-years at Sybase. It's not all bad though, since I'd been taking some classes at Bentley College in their Information Design Program, and now I'll have a chance to try and find a position that will let me focus on the usability and user-centered design I've been learning about. It's either that or open a shop like the small ones I saw everywhere in Paris. I really couldn't figure out how their owners survived, between the large number of shops and small number of customers actually making purchases, but their days of sitting behind a counter making handcrafted items for sale and chatting with whoever entered, seemed like quite an enjoyable change from the usual work lifestyle. Well so much for the dreaming, I'm off to work on my resume instead.

July 3, 2001

Sometimes it just feels so

Sometimes it just feels so good to be arbitrary, and it doesn't really matter how young or old you are. Of course I'm speaking from the woman's point of view after reading today's column by Donald Murray in the Boston Globe. I started reading his column when it was called 'Over 60', but now that he and his wife are well beyond that, it's been renamed to 'Now and Then'. Though his commentary often provides insightful views of aging, today's article delivers a universal, any age scenario. When this arbitrariness hits me, I hope I can say, 'I'm having one of my salad days', trust that it will be understood, and then we can get on with other things.

July 4, 2001

I'm celebrating the 4th of

I'm celebrating the 4th of July with a battle of my own - getting my Verizon DSL installed after more than two years of promises. My service ready date was actually yesterday, anytime after 6 pm, so I eagerly began Step 1 of the installation process about 6:20. There was no problem plugging in the line filters for each of our four phones, so it was on to Step 2, plugging in the DSL modem. The lights were flashing and my hopes were high but alas, while the link and power lights showed a steady green, the ready light continued to blink. There was no synchronization with the Verizon central office. A call to technical support revealed that my service had not been activated and I was assured it could happen at any moment. However, if the ready light was still unready in the morning I should call customer care. Nothing was mentioned about the holiday, so I figured who knows, perhaps Verizon cares for its customers 24 x 7 x 365 and I called. Apparently they don't care on the 4th and of course, I can't begrudge them their patriotic due. Oddly though, the phone message said nothing about the holiday, only that 'Our normal hours of operation are 8 am to 8 pm EST'. This was repeated twice and then I heard, 'I'm sorry, you have entered too many invalid selections', a click and I was disconnected. I hope that my choice of Verizon DSL does not turn out to be an invalid selection. Stay tuned for further exciting developments.

July 6, 2001

Turns out fireworks are

Turns out fireworks are so ephemeral that it's not so easy to get good photos. Here's one from our 4th of July celebration along the Charles that did turn out alright. And I heartily concur with the Globe's assessment of the music performed by the Pops and celebrity guests before the fireworks began. For me, it was simply off the track of what's appealing and appropriate for a patriotic holiday. Much of the pre-fireworks show was stuff I wouldn't even bother to watch on TV and I would prefer that next year's concert follow the Globe's suggestion and reflect American values as represented in our music. Actually the music choreographed to accompany the display of fireworks did do that a little bit. My favorite was watching the skies light up to the sounds of 'Great Balls of Fire'.

July 11, 2001

Well I've missed it. First

Well I've missed it. First the Burlington Free Press article by Debbie Salomon and now the 11:00 Nightly News special on 'The Best Pizza on Earth'. And I'm mighty sorry, not just because I'm always ready to eat good pizza, but because it's my brother-in-law Jay Vogler who makes the best pizza on earth. They've been doing pizzas since my sister, Marcia, gave Jay a wood-burning brick oven for his birthday a year or so ago. There have been articles before, but nothing like last night's live, impromptu appearance when a TV crew, out looking for hailstorm stories, ended up eating pizza and doing a pizza story instead. So now that my mouth is watering, I'm planning a trip soon, and you should too if you're anywhere near Charlotte VT and 1510 Hinesburg Road on a Tuesday or Thursday night. Just call ahead (425-2152). After quite a few of Jay's pizzas, believe me, I know it's worth the trip.

July 15, 2001

I took a break

I took a break the other day to ride the ferry boat from the Charlestown Navy Yard over to Long Wharf, along with lots and lots of tourists. It's such a great treat on a clear, blue sky day though, that I don't mind sharing. In fact it's a shame that mostly just tourists use it during the day, since the quick 10-minute trip provides a summer escape that makes me feel like I'm on vacation too. Being in the vacation spirit, I did more looking around me as I walked up from the waterfront along Franklin Street. When I stopped to admire the busy and lush green park at Post Office Square, all redone while we were off in San Francisco, I happened to catch this interesting play of light on the buildings across the way. The criss cross pattern of the silver building reflects onto the otherwise dull brown building, making everything look like a sort of shiny plaid. I love being able to revert to my Paris flaneur role and notice local things that I'd miss otherwise.

July 22, 2001

Anyone want to hire a

Anyone want to hire a professional flaneur? Just call 1/800-flaneur. Strolling around and observing everything is basically what I've been doing for the last few months. I've continued my Paris outlook back here in Boston, and it's amazing how many new and different things I've seen. Part of it comes from having a camera at the ready. It just makes me look at everything a little more closely and things that might have escaped me before, are not only noticed but captured and saved.

So here's a series of photos from a wonderful walk I took yesterday, all along the harbor, from Lewis Wharf to the Northern Avenue bridge near South Station. Because I started out well fortified with a latte, my first stop was not until I reached the new Imax Theatre, now under construction next to the Aquarium. This shot is actually the back side of the buildings, taken from a little park next to the Harbor Towers apartments. From there I walked along past Rowe's Wharf and the Boston Harbor Hotel over to the new Courthouse. This side view shows the way the half-circle building wraps around, and how closeup to a window, you can see directly through to the front windows. I'd like to be standing right up inside there to see the view out in both directions. Walking back from the Courthouse across the Northern Avenue Bridge, I chuckled over the contrary sound of the closed for opening sign, a leftover from when the bridge still rotated out of the way to allow boats to pass below. I finished up at the James Hook Lobster Company, an authentic, dockside market, advertising its specialty with this shiny lobster on the roof. Sheesh! This is making me sound like a tour guide or something. Perhaps my next job should be driving one of those duckboats around the city.

July 23, 2001

The big dig has begun

The big dig has begun in Braintree with the beginning of construction for the new family room addition. Though it's possible to imagine what things will be like based on the drawings, the hole gives a reality to what had been just a dream.

The large photo was taken from the top of the dirt pile that you see in the first small shot. The basement wall shot in the middle makes it look like a really old farmhouse and the last shot shows there's still something green around the edges.

July 24, 2001

Until this morning when traffic

Until this morning when traffic got the best of me, I've been heading down to Lewis Wharf, where there's this perfect spot for sitting, smelling the ocean and looking out. It's peaceful with the sailboats quietly moored and the docks empty. What I watch are the waves, and the way the early morning sun makes the water sparkle on their tops so they look like fireflies dancing. The bigger the waves are, the more sparkles they have, but they're never spread out across the water like later in the day when the sun is overhead. The morning sparkly waves just stay in their narrow path between the rising sun and me, coming in, touching the shore and heading back out in a continuous flow. I accept their greetings and start my day.

July 30, 2001

Work continues on the Braintree

Work continues on the Braintree Big Dig with the forms in place and the foundation wall ready to be poured. Everything's going well as indicated by the thumbs up sign of the workman in the red teeshirt. But just to be sure, visiting construction supervisors are shown checking the work in the final photo.

About July 2001

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