Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's Never Too Late

File this under -It's Never Too Late to Write Up a Topic-

This post is something like 18 years in the making.

Yeah, cutting edge information here!

So I have gone to UMass Lowell twice. I refer to it the same way Veterans refer to their times in a war zone. I did two tours in Iraq, or I did three tours in 'Nam. Me personally, I did two tours at UMass Lowell.

The first time was between the Fall of 1989 and the Spring of 1991. I think it was the semester after I dropped out that the city did something to screw over the South Campus.

During that first tenure when I was a music student we had a parking lot along the bank of the Merrimack River. The land belonged to the city and there really wasn't any other parking area for commuting students on South Campus.

Then the city did this:
2010-06-29 - Lowell River Walk 027

Yeah, that lovely little park is my South Campus parking lot.

I'm still pissed about that, even though it didn't affect me. It took the University years to find another parking lot. In the end they built the Riverview lot using the same specifications as the main lot on North Campus. They found the steepest, most painful hill on the campus and put the huge parking lot at the bottom of it. I think that might be a state college thing in Massachusetts because the Bedford campus of Middlesex Community College was built the same way.

So my mother has been hospital hoping in Lowell and I had a chance to take pictures for this ridiculous almost 20 years too late post.

Yeah, so this is lame... here are a few more Merrimack River in Lowell pictures.

They have a beach on the Merrimack? Like, people go in the water? GROSS!
2010-06-29 - Lowell River Walk 013

Cool boat.
2010-06-29 - Lowell River Walk 053

My old, old, old, old school. Durgin Hall.
2010-06-29 - Lowell River Walk 046

2010-06-29 - Lowell River Walk 058

2010-06-29 - Lowell River Walk 040


Mmmm Wal-Mart Subway.


Time Machine

The Rush - Time Machine Tour kicked off in (I shoulda made a left at) Albuquerque last night.

This officially begins the period of avoiding all Rush related web sites until after Jen, Mike, and I see them at the Garden in September.

Don't spoil the set list for me, okay?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Survey Results

I have conducted a wide reaching meteorological study and have concluded beyond any doubt that our half-a-house is the muggiest spot on the planet Earth.

I will now widen the scope of the study to determine if it is also the muggiest spot in the solar system.

Thank you.

Monday, June 28, 2010


My step-daughter is playing in an all-star game for her softball league tonight.

I can't make it.

I'm very sad.

I don't want to be one of those step-dads who misses the big things, but the game starts so early there is no way I can get there before it ends.

I feel pretty bad.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Vote for the Better Image

Okay kids, I am leaving it up to you to decide.

Which picture is better? Click on the images to embiggen them and take a good look for me.

This one is the original. I took this on May 29, 2006 using a Kodak Easy Share Z740 Zoom.
Hancock Tower in Boston

This is yesterday's redo. I took this on June 26, 2010 using a Nikon D-90.

Which is better? Tell me in the comments section. I would like to know.


My Love

Originally uploaded by robj_1971
Here's my love with the swan boats in the background. Beautiful backing up more beautiful.

Great Big Boston Visit Post

Hello and welcome to the great big visit to Boston yesterday post. Pictures everywhere!

The Customs House.


The Longfellow bridge, taken from the duck boat on the Charles.

The State House.

In Haymarket Station. Here comes the train.

The Back Bay, from the Common.

Is the Duck Pond ever open?

We weren't sure what this wedding party was doing, but they were waiting on the sidewalk, singing and dancing. It was great.

Inside the Public Garden.

General Washington.

Newbury Street.



Trinity Church.

Trinity church and the Hancock building.

Another attempt at redoing the pic at the top of this page.

I like this one better.

Lame self portrait in the Hancock glass.


The front of Trinity church.

The skyscraper we skipped, the Prudential.

There you go. Highlights from our duck tour/walking trip of Boston. It was a blast.

Best of the Batch?

Originally uploaded by robj_1971
Is this the best of my pictures from today's trip to Boston?

Could be, I suppose.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Originally uploaded by robj_1971
We went to Boston today. I took the opportunity to try and retake the best picture I ever took using a much better camera.

Nope, still like the old one better.

Draw bridge

Never had that happen to me before.

Still Upset

I think I am still very upset about the end of the Bruins season. I haven't checked the news from the NHL draft yet. Normally I would have run to the computer this morning, or stayed up late last night to follow it live. Nope, not today.

Today we are going to a softball game, and then to Boston for a Duck Tour.

I've been to a lot of great cities over the past few years. St Paul, MN. Milwaukee, WI. New York, NY, Saratoga, NY. Washington, DC. Annapolis, MD. San Diego, CA. Also many others. Despite all of that, I still feel like Boston, MA is the place for me.

Just to note, my step daughter was just singing a song about a raspberry pickle. It's very catchy. Infectious even.

Okay, off to

Friday, June 25, 2010

Stormy Weather

We got some heavy rain and wind last night. It made the drive home interesting.


Today is Friday.

Last night was Thursday night.

Thursday night must be a rough night at the McDonand's in Methuen on Pelham street.

We got into line at the drive through at 7:00pm. We got out of the line at 7:20. We were the fourth car in line.

20 minutes at a McDonald's drive through. Try and fathom that.

What's more? They got my step-son's order wrong. His six piece McNugget Happy Meal came in a six piece box but there were only four McNuggets inside.

Evil, evil, evil.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy Anniversary

Happy anniversary to John and Mary! Four years. Excellent.

Work Crews

There were four work crews on the road this morning. I am trying to compose a sonnet entitled "Them Mean Ol' Work Crew Blues" but I'm not getting far.

You know what's awesome?

Comments on blog posts are awesome.

Just saying.

Even anonymous comments are awesome.

Just saying.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Zzz zzz zzz

No insights from me today. Let me let John Lennon tell you how I'm feeling:

I'm so tired
The Beatles

I'm so tired, I haven't slept a wink
I'm so tired, my mind is on the blink
I wonder should I get up and fix myself a drink

I'm so tired I don't know what to do
I'm so tired my mind is set on you
I wonder should I call you but I know what you would do

You'd say I'm putting you on
But it's no joke, it's doing me harm
You know I can't sleep, I can't stop my brain
You know it's three weeks, I'm going insane
You know I'd give you everything I've got
for a little peace of mind

I'm so tired, I'm feeling so upset
Although I'm so tired I'll have another cigarette
And curse Sir Walter Raleigh
He was such a stupid git.

You'd say I'm putting you on
But it's no joke, it's doing me harm
You know I can't sleep, I can't stop my brain
You know it's three weeks, I'm going insane
You know I'd give you everything I've got
for a little peace of mind
I'd give you everything I've got for a little peace of mind
I'd give you everything I've got for a little peace of mind

Although it's only been two nights for me, not three weeks... and I don't have any grudge against Sir Walter Raleigh.

Otherwise this pretty much applies.

Thanks John!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mom Update

We are still at the hospital. My mother is in a recovery room waking up from the anesthetic and probably being introduced to her new knee.

We are just waiting to be allowed into her room. Once we see for ourselves that she's okay I am going to take a nap.

So far so good.


Yeah, that is the time. I have been awake for almost two hours. Yeah!

The upside is that I tooled down the highway at 75 mph on a Tuesday morning. That was nice. Except for the one cat who was anticipating rush hour traffic by going very slow in the right lane.

As the boy scout motto says, be prepared.

Monday, June 21, 2010


I just finished installing iPhone OS 4.0. I haven't messed with it yet.

Jen and I are sitting at home flaking in front of the tube.

I am so in love with her it's insane.

You are the love of my life sweetie. You make me so happy.

Happy Summer

Today is the first day of summer (according to my work calendar). Happy Summer everyone! It sure looks like a summer's day out there, and it sure was hot in our apartment this weekend. I'm one of those people who will take hot over cold any time, so it's a good thing in my book.

Today I am only working a half day. I have a very minor medical thing to take care of. Nothing major. Tomorrow I am out for the day. My mother has a medical thing to take care of too. A major one. Knee replacement. I've made myself available to the parental units for anything they may need. In order to get to the hospital on time I have to leave the house by 5:20am. Yes, I said 5:20am. So, if you were starting to think, "awe, he's lucky. He's not going to work tomorrow," you can factor that in and be glad you get to sleep until 7:00 or whatever.

As Geddy said, "I get up at seven, yeah and I go to work at nine."

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to everyone for which the day applies. The kids called me today to wish me a happy father's day even though I am only a step father. Let's just say it made me happier than you can possibly imagine.

Tonight we're taking the dad's out to dinner. I am not sure if I am supposed to know the details or not (I do) but it will be a nice night out.

Oh! We have a new washing machine. It was delivered at 9:00 this morning. I have done two loads. Can you believe it? My wife and I have bought another major appliance together. Happily married indeed. I love her to pieces.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Random road trip to the ocean in Rockport, MA.


The Disney pictures are finally all online!

Here is the Flickr Collection page.

If you aren't a Flickr friend you will see only the public pictures. Those don't have any pictures of the kids. If you notice a discrepancy please let me know so I can change the permissions on that image. If you are a Flickr friend you'll see it all.


What I Was Talking About

Here's what I've been excited about but haven't shared.

We thought there was a chance of us maybe renting a house in Tewksbury. It was a nice thought but the place has been rented.

Oh well. We will keep our eyes open and see if anything else comes along.


We are doing an interesting errand this morning. Tonight we are going to see Toy Story 3 with the kids.

Fun stuff.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Hockey Related Car Accident

Read this ESPN article.

There is a lot of information in this article that relates to difficulties we had while driving to Florida.

First of all, I am glad they are all right. Danny Briere plays for the Flyers, the team that the Bruins blew their three games to none lead against. I wanted the Flyers to die figuratively, not literally, so this is a happy ending.

Now. What to note that applies to our journey.


Okay, so this actually happened just after they crossed out of PA into New York, but still... Pennsylvania. Urgh.

Second. Route 81.

Third. It involved a tractor trailer.

Never have I driven on a more stressful highway, populated by more assholes weaving between lanes in their tractor trailer trucks. It was a mess. We nearly died 100 times at least. They say Massachusetts drivers are terrible, well if we are then 99% of the truck drivers on route 81 were fellow Massholes. It was ridiculous. We actually started cheering when we crossed the state line into Maryland. We started cheering again when we finally (safely) got ourselves off of route 81.

None of what I read in this article surprised me at all. I would expect stuff like this to happen 10 times a day on that road.

I'm glad everyone was okay though. Even though I want Danny Briere to lose every game he plays in for the rest of his natural life. Even if he plays Parcheesi with friends when he's 110 years old, I want him to lose.

Almost Done

I have almost all of the Florida pictures on Flickr. I was uploading the last batch off of my laptop when I left for work and it appears that the machine went to sleep before finishing because the Chef Mickey stuff and the drive home are missing. I still have to go through and finish making sets, and separate the kid pics (which have premissions set to family only) and the non kid pics (which are public). Right now just about all of the Magic Kingdom stuff is still set to family only.

Sneak peak:




The Celtics lost last night. My sympathies to basketball fans everywhere who have to suffer through another year with the LA Lakers as the champs. For Celtics fans, losing game seven after having been up three games to two is painful. Not, however, as painful as losing game seven after having been up three games to none... right Bruins fans? I suppose the fact that it came in the NBA finals as opposed to the second round makes it a little closer to even... but not all the way. Still sucks worse to be a Bruins fan.

The kids started summer vacation after finishing a half day of school about an hour or so ago. I am overwhelmed with jealousy. I want a summer vacation too!

We're having a washing machine delivered on Sunday. Now all of you readers (all three of you) can be jealous of us! HA! (that's sarcasm.)

We have something potentially big going on tomorrow, but I still don't want to make it public. We have to talk to some one and then things have to work out correctly and there are way to many variables (one being pure interest on our part) to get overly excited, yet I am overly excited. When it is time to make an announcement I will. Not before.

We're going on a long weekend visit to New York soon. I really want to go. I want to go NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW! It's just like the build up to Florida all over again, except this time the drive is shorter. I WANNA GO NOW!

Happy Friday, everyone.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Epcot Pictures are Up

Yes, the Epcot pictures are up on Flickr! Now I just have to go through two days worth of Magic Kingdom, and then the drive home. WOOHOO! Progress!

Including many sad attempts at artsy fartsy kinda stuff like these!




And who knew Disney World was so violent?

I am also very jealous right now. Today is the kids' end of the school year awards ceremony and I am not there. I wish I was. Jen is going so she and the kids can give me a full report.

What is even more jealousy worthy than that? Well check this out... the kids start summer vacation tomorrow. That's right. Starting tomorrow afternoon they get to be school-free for almost three months. THREE MONTHS! I am so jealous. I want to have summer vacations again. I miss it very much. Wouldn't it be great to just stay home with my wife all day and just hang out watching cartoons and playing in the yard? That's the life, I tells ya.

Anyway, go look at the pictures if you want to. If you don't then don't.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Warren the Ape Review

Here's my review of the Warren the Ape show.

I liked it. I laughed out loud in a few spots (that's LOL'd for the youngsters in the reading audience).

But it's not as funny as the FOX version of Greg the Bunny, and it's not as funny as either IFC version of Greg the Bunny. I mean it's good. I'll keep watching it... it was just not as good as it should have been... or as I wanted it to be. Frankly, some of the jokes (sex tape?) had been done on the IFC show.

But like I said, I'll keep watching.

Epcot Pics

Originally uploaded by robj_1971
The Epcot Center pics have been sorted and are on their way up to Flickr right now. It's slow business though.

I Know, I Know

I haven't forgotten.