Sunday, October 31, 2010

Best Halloween Costume at the Burren

Best Halloween costume at the Burren in Davis Square, Somerville.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Late October Trip to Fieldston Beach in Marshfield

I've been coming down to Fieldston Beach in Marshfield, Massachusetts for the past nine summers. These last few years have seen some changes, which look ultimately they will be for the positive.

Gerard Farms in Marshfield falls into the category of things that hasn't changed.

A man's castle is a good place to park his boat for the winter.

The seawall is showing its age and starting to erode. This is what is left of the stairway and red cross marker for the old lifeguard station at the end of Hartford Road.

The seawall collapsed a little further down after removal of the stairwell at another street.

The new seawall is taller and thicker at the base. For now, they are replacing it in sections as needed.

The beach is still expansive and beautiful even on a gray day.

Lots of seagull activity is evident in the sand.

The seagulls are after clams, this one had been cracked open and cleaned down to the shell.

The seagulls were also after fish.

And more fish.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Are Republicans Headed for the Big Victory or the Big Fail?

Let's review the Republican Party objectives for this fall's elections:

(1) Elect an overwhelming number of Republicans to state governorships.

(2) Win control of the U.S. House of Representatives, retiring Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker.

(3) Oust U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid by either winning control of the U.S. Senate or tea partier Sharron Angle defeating him in Nevada.

(4) Keep Bristol Palin safe from elimination in this season's Dancing with the Stars.

Republicans seem poised to go 4 for 4 on election night next Tuesday. But then what? Let's look at the three key planks in the Republican platform:

Repeal Obamacare - Several Republican Senators have already indicated a disinclination to repeal Obamacare outright, preferring to make changes to the health care insurance legislation.

Stop the stimulus spending - Past experience suggests Republicans are likely to just substitute their own bridge-to-nowhere projects. The public won't stand for cancelling completion of half-paved roads.

Reduce the deficit - Reducing deficits runs contrary to the campaign promise of extending the Bush tax cuts. Will tea party influence force Republicans to address the deficits before tax cuts?

The big victory expected for Republicans is not expected to be nearly big enough to override Obama vetoes. They may unseat Reid but not win control of the Senate.

So it seems inevitable that Republican voters are likely to be disappointed. And it's quite possible for Republicans to unseat Harry Reid without winning control of the U.S. Senate, and unlikely even if they win control that they will have the 60 votes needed to move legislation through the Senate nor enough votes to override Presidential vetoes.

The big leverage for Congressional Republicans may be the power to refuse to pass funding bills. But that did not work out well for Newt Gingrich when he forced the federal government shutdowns in 1995 and 1996. And that could prove even worse if laid off federal workers add to the unemployment figures in this jobless recovery.

That means this 2010 election may be a no-win for Republicans. Either they come up short of expectations on election night, or they come up short after winning the election.

So, Bristol Palin, keep on dancing.

They Can't Help It, They Were Born That Way

By the way, Barney Frank approves this message. And wants you to send it to all your friends.

Monday, October 25, 2010

SomerStreets Closes Down Somerville Avenue

We were dubious. A celebratiomn of the reconstruction of Somerville Avenue? Big whoopee. Turn Somervile Avenue into Pumpkinville? It's a long street, that would take a lot of pumpkins. A parade? Well, everyone likes a parade.

We will say this: Shutting down Somerville Avenue from Union Square to Beacon Street was a lot of fun. No cars or traffic sounds. Just pedestrians, strollers, dogs, and bicycles. A cool thing to do on an otherwise quiet Sunday. Maybe Somerville should consider doing that for a few hours every Sunday throughout the warmer months.

Does two parents and a baby make a parade?

OK, there were a lot more than three people.

And if Somerville Avenue did not become Pumpkinville, a couple of pumpkins did spectate the event.

And there was a band, so that makes a parade.

Break Out Dem Hula Hoops Down by the Riverside

They've been singing "ain't going to study war no more" since at least the Civil War. Now beating the swords and shields into hoola hoops, that's a new angle. And more fun than plowing. Maybe this guy is onto something.

2010 Head of the Charles Regatta

While the crew races are billed as in Cambrifdge and Boston, we'll point out that the racing lane is on the Cambridge side of the river.

There was the usual throng of fans on the Boston side of the river.

And even more where the action is on the Cambridge side of the river.

No, these are not the Winklevoss twins.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cambridge Goes to Single Stream Recycling

Cambridge passes out new reclying bins, which will allow all recycling to go in a single bin with no sorting.

Another big advantage is that lids on the new bins will allow paper recycling to be left outside without getting wet.

And what to do with the old blue recycle bins? I guess you have to recycle them.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Foundry is Open in Davis Square, Somerville

We have been watching the space that was occupied by the Bowl and Board on Elm Street in the heart of Davis Square, Somerville. A new restaurant has opened there, called the Foundry.

The place has a long bar down the left side and tables down the right side. The food is brasserie meets tavern, with entrees in the $18 range, sandwiches in the $10 range, and a bar menu mostly under $10. Did I mention the raw bar?

We had heard there was to be a music club, but that hasn't opened yet and will be in the basement, in the the space that used to be the Jimmy Tingle Theater. The restaurant says the downstairs club will have a separate entrance.

If this sounds like the same formula as the street level Independent and basement level Precinct in Union Square, that's no surpise as owner Ken Kelly is the new force in the Somerville club scene. David Flanagan is co-owner & general manager.

Move over Burren. The Foundry was full on Saturday and Sunday nights this Columbus Day weekend, so you might want to think about dinner reservations.

Location: 255 Elm Street, Somerville, MA, 02144
Phone: 617) 628-9999
Mon-Sat: 5:00 pm - 1:00 am
Sun: 11:00 am - 1:00 am

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Would a Witch Wear Only One Strand of Pearls?

Christine O'Donnell wears the new policitcal uniform for a woman under fire, the strand of pearls. I will say this, a single strand is a bold statement.

Sarah Palin - three or four strands

Mrs. Eliot Spitzer - two strands

Nancy Pelosi - one strand of large beads