Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Another Busy Weekend

This past weekend was another one to remember...

With my daughter, her hubby and the kids it's always an increase in activity! The good kind that is. Seeing the kids always makes my day!!

 Anyway my oldest granddaughter wanted to do two things...see Avatar in 3d at the IMAX and go to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. So we set out on Saturday morning and went into the museum via the Train and Subway...

The day started with a dusting of snow but as is typical in New England...it warmed up to 50 degrees later in the day with bright sunshine and blue skies.

I found a picture by a guy named Renoir just hanging on the wall..

He's not bad!

We ate lunch at the museum and my poor daughter was fighting off a headache the whole day!! The screaching sounds on the subway brakes didn't help the much...but she was a trooper.

 and doing just what her daughter wanted to do...

We got back home rested up and went to AVATAR later that night.. I love that 3d stuff...it's so cool.

The kids hit the road on Sunday morn and around lunch I hooked up with a couple friends and headed to Gloucester to the Cape Ann Community Cinema . Before the show I had a delicious Bloody Mary topped with big tasty olives and a succulent large shrimp and fresh celery at Elliot's at the Blackburn. Across the street at the cinema, we watched a bunch of Cartoons from the 30's, 40's and 50's that were banned...some not even available for sale today here in the USA!? But you can buy them in Japan. The theater is filled with comfy couches, the popcorn was fresh and we were able to bring in our own wine to sip on during the show!!

Gloucester Inner Harbor Feb 21, 2010

Anyway it was a Boston to Gloucester weekend and I hope everyone had a good one...today I am getting my finger operated on and so it may be awhile before I can type!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Smith Nation Comes To Town

I got lucky this weekend and got to see all my girls together...

My daughter Jennifer came down with her brood and my Mom and her were all smiles.

and of course my granddaughters Jazz and Raine came for the trip and everyone looks great!!

Jazz loves to sit with her DAD

....and my Grandson Haven is getting so darn Handsome!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Vegas Calling

Vegas Strip from Wikimedia
Las Vegas, too often we get a chance to go there and find ourselves pumping money into a one armed bandit and forget that there is so much else to do when we visit the place. I want to get back as it's been a few years since I was there and silly me spent all my time,  off the strip and in the casinos...It's fun but it would have been great to see a Vegas Show or two..

What I think I'll do next time I book a trip there is get my tickets  at Ticketmaster for at least one Vegas Show before I even get on the plane.  I know the cacophony of sounds that flood over you when you walk into a casino! The winning slot machines ringing in your ears, the shouts at the roulette tables, will all lure me to the nearest blackjack table or craps table and I will just want to win!!

Of course I love to throw down some bets and win but one of my most memorable trips there was when I took a ride outside of the city and coming back down the hills that night and seeing the city from a distance, the pulsating lights, the clear mountain air...it was beautiful.

There is just so much to do there and it's only when you are gone  that you realize you probably should have stepped away from the tables and taken in the sights and sounds that make it such a fun place to go

I missed Bette Midler when I was there last time and I just know she would have made the trip...

Of course there is more Nightlife in the city that never sleeps than just about anywhere. I know I'll still throw a few bets down but I never go there expecting to win and only bet what I can afford. With the airfare specials and great hotel deals I get in my email it's time to book a trip. I just want to be sure that if I come back I have more to remember than just losing at the gaming tables.

And of course I am a single guy with a great new haircut and some fresh new jeans...I am ready baby!! 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Cover Up

Sporting a new hair cut  courtesy of my friend  The Bonster,  I hit the streets of Cambridge, MA with my buddy Joe, looking  for some live music and a few cold I.P.A.'s

Joe had told me about an Irish Pub (The Plough & Stars, 912 Massachusetts Avenue) that featured live music at 4pm. It's a small place so if you want to catch a seat at the bar, get there early. We did and  the Englishman who was sitting next to me at the bar told me before the band began to play that  "The bar should charge admission because these guys (Josh Lederman and the Csars ) were really good"

He was right and throw in a surprise appearance...My son Patrick stopped in to see me and was able to listen to a song before heading out to do whatever 18 year olds do...

I was particularly impressed with the Clarinet player, really don't see that in a bar band too often, and the fiddle player was also quite good. It was a mix of Irish music and whatever else the band felt like playing...

After the show we headed to Somerville and ate one of the BEST Burgers and absolutely delicious Fries and Onion Rings at R. F. O'Sullivan and Son. This was Joe's idea as well. It didn't hurt that Joe knows the management and we were able to get a table in few minutes.

To finish off the night,  I left Joe with his friend at the restaurant and I went to the Lizard Lounge,  a short walk as you can see in the map above,  for    The Cover-Up hosted by Brendan Boogie "A Tribute To Neil Young"

The Cover Up series of shows is something Brendan gets some of the most popular bands in the Boston music scene to come down and play in this tiny basement bar with velvet walls where Budweiser  Bottles are only $3.25 and they play covers of some of the legendary musicians of our time.

Josh Buckley

The Show was awesome and the musicians didn't just play the notes they played their hearts out. It was a mix of solos and ensemble bands. Neil Young's music can be  acoustic or filled with heavy metal romps. All the acts were great ! I spoke with the singer, Josh Buckley,  from The Gilded Splinter's who hopes to release their newest album, HOUSE,  sometime in March 2010 and  he told me he was hoping to find places to play up in my neck of the woods...I've gotta send him a list of  places so I can check out his music next time.

The Lizard lounge had some great looking Nachos but I was stuffed with Burger and so I didn't get to try them. Overall I think it was a great venue to see a show and you won't go broke paying $3.25 for a bottle of Budweiser....

I took some fairly good pics but I will have to post them later as I left my camera in my friend Jackie's car !! Hope she locked it!!

Well I am off to work

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Funny Email........40 Years of Marriage

40 yrs of Marriage

A married couple in their early 60s was celebrating their 40th wedding
anniversary in a quiet, romantic little restaurant.
Suddenly, a tiny yet beautiful fairy appeared on their table. She said,
'For being such an exemplary married couple and for being loving to each
other for all this time, I will grant you each a wish.'
The wife answered, 'Oh, I want to travel around the world with my darling
The fairy waved her magic wand and - poof! - two tickets for the Queen Mary II

appeared in her hands.. The husband thought for a moment: 'Well, this is
all very romantic, but an opportunity like this will never come again.
I'm sorry my love, but my wish is to have a wife 30 years younger than me.'
The wife, and the fairy, were deeply disappointed, but a wish is a wish.
So the fairy waved her magic wand and poof!...the husband became 92 years

The moral of this story: Men who are ungrateful bastards should remember
fairies are female.....

Have to thank my ex wife for that one...he he

Monday, February 08, 2010

Moving Pictures

"Daisy Galloping"  by Eadweard Muybridge 1887

I'm always wondering where to get good pictures for the blog..I take some OK ones but using other people's photos sometimes requires permission and in some cases payment..I find that Flickr is a good source and as long as the photographer posts that you can share his or her work you usually just need to give a link back to where you found the picture. My Flickr Account is nothing compared some of the quality photos you'll find out there.

Another great place to find photos and other media that you can use is at Wikimedia Commons  where you will find all sorts of picture categories like the animated  above, or just below...

Newton's Cradle a finalist for animated picture of the year in 2006

I didn't know I could post animated pictures !! Damn I am getting smarter and smarter....

Saturday, February 06, 2010

I'm Craving Captain Crunch French Toast

But the Blue Moon Cafe is all the way down in Baltimore, MD !! I gotta get back there this year and visit my extended family and while I am there I guess I'll have to get some of those famous Maryland Crab Cakes !!

I am too hungry to write this darn post I have to go eat something NOW!

Monday, February 01, 2010

What about Stem Cells??

In 1630 Galileo Galilei, the famous Italian philosopher, mathematician and scientist finished writing  Dialogue Concerning Two Chief World Systems. It was published 2 years later  but Pope Urban VIII suspended the distribution of the book and ordered Galileo to report to Rome to appear before an Inquisition. Galileo's treatise exposed major differences between what the church believed of the heavens. He went on to support,  to vigorously according to the church,  the Copernican theory which contended that the earth revolved around the sun. He was convicted of heresy and sentenced to life in prison. While his sentence was reduced, after he agreed to change his book, he lived the rest of his life under house arrest.

So what about Stem Cell research ?? Is this the dark science of today?

Harvard's  Stem Cell Institute,  strives to learn from stem cell biology, ways to treat Blood Diseases, Pancreatic Cancer, Nervous Disorders and more. The controversy surrounding Stem Cell research is that human embryos are being harvested for their stem cells and that women who live in depressed economies around the world,  are donating their eggs while undergoing hormone injections and surgeries which ultimately put them at risk for all sorts of problems.

 While it is my belief that this science should not be allowed to go without regulation, advances in the science have already allowed researchers ways to harvest stem cells without harming a fetus. The iPS stem cells or Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells are adult stem cells that have been genetically reprogrammed to behave like embryonic cells and are aiding researchers quest to find treatments for ALS,  Parkinson's Disease and Cardiovascular Disease.

With science there is always a chance that we will discover new things that can affect one's world view. To react like Pope Urban VIII and his imprisonment of Galileo in 1633 seems silly today. We should promote and support the research done at Havard's Stem Cell Institute.  Their research and others like it may one day give hope to those, crippled by ALS or Parkinson's Disease, a chance to live a normal life.

And That's My Opinion !