Thursday, September 30, 2010

Anthropologie in Harvard Square

We've been watching developments at the corner of Brattle Street and Story Street since the Crate and Barrel store closed in February 2009. For a while it turned into a textile museum of sorts but that reverted to an empty storefront.

Anthropologie, a new boutique, opened in August. This store is another Urban Outfitters concept, for people with a little more cash to spend or plastic to bend.

A few customers, always a good sign.

As you can see, this is a store that likes to dress itself.

We caught the window dressers in action back in August.

But we prefer our store windows undressed.

Last Boot of My Macintosh Quadra 610

Welcome to Macintosh.

It is now safe to switch off your Macintosh

I booted up and shut down my Macintosh Quadra 610 tonight for what will probably be the last time. I got the machine in 1993. At the time it was the greatest thing, CD drive, 3.5 floppy, ethernet adaptor.

I never installed a browser so it was never on the internet, but it did connect to our internal Novell network and later to our Windows Server network. I also still have some well thumbed Inside Macintosh programming books from that era.

I had it home for work during June of 1994. I remember looking over the Mac screen to watch the low-speed police chase of O.J. Simpson's white Ford Bronco.

For the last two years my Mac Quadra has been serving as a paperweight. My company released the last Mac version of our main product in April 2008, and officially discontinued our Mac version that December.That's too bad. These days there are a lot of Macs being purchased for home use, but few being purchased for office use, which is where our market is.

Note: the screen flicker on the Mac is the product of the video filming catching the refresh rate, the Mac does not flicker that way to the naked eye. Booted up and down in less than 2 minutes, those were the good old days.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Colbert Mistakenly Apologizes to Gay Iowans for Corn Packer Comment

Stephen Colbert apoligized to gay Iowans for his remark about corn packers in his recent testimony before Congress on migrant farm work. As everyone knows, corn is picked in Iowa but packed in Wisconsin.

He should have apologized to the Green Bay Packers. They suffered the double injury this week of also getting mauled by the Chicago Bears. This weekend the Packers will be fed to the Detroit Lions. And last week the cheesehead was mocked on that terrible new NBC Show Outsourced.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Buck Up America, Buck Up

I am starting to hear an echo:

President Barack Obama quoted in a Rolling Stone magazine article posted today: "People need to shake off this lethargy, people need to buck up."

Vice President Joe Biden yesterday: "Those who didn't get everything they wanted, it's time to just buck up here, understand that we can make things better."

Sarah Palin speaking in Kentucky two weeks ago: "Buck up or stay in the truck."

Actually, in all three cases the buck up was not addressed to the American people at large. It was addressed to the establishments in the Democratic and Republican Parties.

Establishment Republicans aren't happy with Sarah Palin supported Tea Party candidates knocking off establishment Republicans in the part primary elections. Establishment Democrats on the left aren't happy that President Obama has not yet turned America into a socialist utopia with a Canada-style health care system and no Pentagon.

Establishments don't like to be disestablished. And the message to both establishments seems to be that if they are feeling their influence has diminished, they should consider what a total loss of influence would mean. And stop whining about it. Seems I've heard that before too.

Meanwhile, over at MSNBC tonight, they are taking the buck up advice personally, especially Lawrence O'Donnell Keith Olbermann, and Rachel Maddow. Chris Matthews seems to think buck up is good advice.

Monday, September 27, 2010

New Alewife Brook Bike Path Makes the Grade

Construction of a new Alewife Brook Bike Path has been proceeding all summer. Work on the three segments appears to be nearing completion.

The first segment consists of repaving the existing trail that follows the railway tracks from Brighton Street in Belmont to the Alewife T Station in Cambridge.

The new grading includes a retaining wall on one side.

A view of the commuter rail tracks as the path approaches the Alewife T Station and office towers on Cambridgepark Drive.

Only half the path has been widened and regraded.

The old cinder gravel path through the trees and brush continues the rest of the way to Alewife T Station. Presumably this will be widened and regraded too.

The second segment is a new bike path that connects to the Minuteman Bikeway near the Alewife T Station and runs along Alewife Brook on the Arlington side and across Massachusetts Avenue.

The new bike path will connect to the Minuteman Bikeway where it passes under Route 2.

The new bike route was mowed down in July when this picture was taked but has regrown since then.

The new bike path from Route 2 to Massachusetts Avenue.

The path continues from Massachusetts Avenue towards Broadway.

The third segment is a repaving of the bike path that runs along the Alewife Brook Parkway from Massachusetts Avenue to the Mystic Valley Parkway. This will connect to existing bike paths along the Mystic River.

The old path was narrow and had become rough and uneven.

The occassional mudhole was also a problem for bicycle.

In July, the new repaved path begain at Broadway Street.

The new bike path is wider and is raised for better drainage.

There are some nice playgrounds and playing fields along the new bike path.

The bike path continues past the Dilboy Memorial Stadium.

The new bike path ends just past the Dilboy Stadium.

The Mystic River bike path is relatively new cinder gravel.

The Mystic River is a great desitination.

Back towards Boston along the Mystic Valley Parkway, the existing bike path is in reasonably good shape.

These projects are part of a larger regional plan to create a network of bike paths around suburban Boston:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Braille Playboy Found on Red Line Subway Train

You find a Playboy magazine under your subway seat on your way home and you think it's your lucky day. It's Friday so make that a lucky weekend. Until you realize the Playboy is in Braille.

Yes, that's Ashley Dupre on the cover, she's the call girl who brought down New York Governor Eliot Spitzer back in March 2008. I don't know what he saw in her.

Here's the pictoral spread on Ashley Dupre. Again, I don't see it.

And here's the centerfold for May 2010, playmate of the month Kassie Lyn Logsdon. She does nothing for me either. Am I supposed to run my fingers over the raised dots? ... Oh, my.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sharron Angle Wants Me to Open My Checkbook and Send My Money to Washington, DC

Sharron Angle is one of the darlings of the Tea Party which has been shaking up the Republican establishment by winning primaries across the country. She bagged the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Nevada and faces incumbent U.S. Senator Harry Reid in November.

I got a letter from her yesterday. She wants me to know that she is the "official Republican nominee to defeat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid." That's right, she's official.

And more than that she wants to get into my checkbook: "If you're the Republican I've been told you are, then I need you to find your checkbook right now." I'm kind of insulted by that. What kind of Republican runs and gets his checkbook out so that he can send money to some official?

Wait till you hear her pitch: "Defeating Reid would be a knockdown blow to Obama." That's right a "knockdown" blow, not a knockout blow, just a knockdown. The kind of blow that Obama might get up from and, well, win reelection.

Where would Sharron like me to send my hard-earned money? Washington, DC. To Friends of Sharron Angle, P.O. Box 96205, Washington, DC. That's right, Sharron Angle wants me to trust my money to her inside-the-beltway friends in Washington, DC. Wasn't that what the Tea Party was against?

Is this a joke? Is this some type of scam to get me to send money to some anonymous post office box so some slick tea partier can drain my checking account and live the high life in Vegas or Reno? Well, I'm confused but not confused enough to send her Washington insider friends a check.

Republicans Pledge to Do Better If America Will Just Trust Them Again

I am guessing that Ohio Republican Congressman John Boehner is good at mixing drinks. Take two parts Contract with America, five parts Declaration of Independence, a pinch or two from the Constitution and you have the preamble to his new Pledge to America.

Mix in pictures of the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, the Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol Building, the White House, and ramble on for 45 pages and you have the whole Pledge.

The problem is that I watched Fox News tonight and even Boehner's closest Republican colleagues can't seem to sell it with a straight face. "Yes, we know we didn't do these things the last time we had power, but this time it will be different. This time we mean it. Trust us. We won't get drunk again." That seems to be the party line.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jon Stewart Joins the Ranks of the Disappointed

Jon Stewart appeared on the O'Reilly Factor tonight and joined the growing chorus of disappointed Obama supporters. "He ran like a visionary, he has led like a functionary."

This is starting to feel like piling on following the lecture President Obama got from Velma Hart at a Pennsylvania town hall.

Meanwhile, people seem to be leaving the Obama administration likes rats abandoning a sinking ship. Economic advisor Larry Summers is going back to Harvard. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel may leave to run for Mayor of Chicago.

Bob Woodward has published a new book detailing infighting in the Obama administration over the war on Afghanistan. And then there is former President Jimmy Carter going around talking about how great the Carter administration was after all. Deja vu all over again.

Is support among Democrats for the Obama administration imploding? Or is this perhaps a very well-orchestrated rope-a-dope strategy designed to lull Republicans and Tea Party voters into a false sense of security before coming back at the bell. The bell for this round doesn't ring until the general election is over on Tuesday evening November 2, 2010.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

President Obama Tries to Rally the Exhausted and Disappointed

President Obama got an earful from a middle class supporter at a recent town hall meeting in Pennsylvania. Velma Hart speaks for a lot of Democrats I have talked to in recent weeks.

And here is President Obama's response to rally the his supporters and rekindle the enthusiasm for the fall election. He summed his party's problem up better even than Ms. Hall saying, "The fact is our job is not yet done."

The spark is there, but I'm not seeing the fire. And that's how the Tea Party may bring down the Democrats. The Tea Party is not so much a grass roots movement as a grass fire. So far the grass fire has burned out a number of establishment Republican candidates in primary elections. Will it also burn out the Democrat candidates in the November general elections? Or will the winds change and the fire burn itself out?

But I wouldn't bet on the wind changing. Democrats, if they want to get reelected to Congress, are going to have to get their own fire burning.