Boston Blog Posts
New England Weather
What's with all the bad weather we have been having in New England, seems like every night that we had some really bad storm with lots of lighting and thunderstorms. Is this what Al Gore was talking about in An Inconvenient Truth?
Maybe I should go and see the movie.
This morning I drove from Framingham to Lexington for the first time since moving. I left the house about 7am and arrived in Lexington at 7:40 with no traffic problems.
The commute down the Mass Pike was no problem and there was a slight backup on getting onto 128. I believe that the backup would be longer if I left the house a few of minutes later.
There are some good back roads from Framingham to Lexington that I'll investigate over the next few months. For now, I think its pretty safe to go the Mass Pike / 128 route. I am sure that the roads will get busy once school starts.
I heard on the radio that some business, such as Staples and Kmart will be starting their back to school sales next week. Wow! Summer seems to get shorter when we get older. Also I learned that the back to school season is the second busy shopping season, next to Christmas. Which I guess if you think about it isn't all that surprising.
Update: Avoid Lexington Street in Waltham, Massachusetts this week. There's construction going on near the Burger King and it is causing all sorts of traffic tie ups. You are best to avoid the area.
Blackjack is one of the most popular games in any casio. Its the only game in the casino that gives the player the best odds in the long run. The key is to follow the basic blackjack strategy.
In 2000, I created a one page Blackjack cheat sheet to cover all the basic strategy at winning at blackjack. The goal of the Blackjack Guide is to have a quick one page reference on how to play the game. I wanted some way to learn the game quickly.
Download the orginal BlackJack Guide and start mastering the game today, who knows maybe your next trip to Las Vegas will be paid for in a couple of hours at the Blackjack table. There's lots of sites that you can use to practive Blackjack without loosing any money.
Real Estate Links
If you looking for houses in the Boston area, there's two good sites to look at:
Mass Land Records - Get information about houses that you might be interested in, such as getting how much the house is mortage for.
PropertyMaps - Good source of information on houses available and where they are located.
The American Dream
Yesterday we put an offer on our first house. The owners got notified of the offer this morning. We aren't sure if the owners will accept the offer but we are excited about the whole process.
This is a buyers market right now, we have a slight upper hand in the negotiation process.. The Boston area has a lot of houses on the market in our price range, so if we don't close this deal, we will still have some opportunity to find something.
This is our opportunity to get a little piece of the American Dream.
Snowy Evening Commute!
Another storm is now hitting New England during the evening commute. I don't think it will effect the commute as much as the December storm.
Things are a little different for me since I am not in Boston nor did I take public transportation this morning. I expect that the evening commute will be a little more challenging than normal.
I think the problem will be the "inch and hour" snow that will be falling when I drive home.
When I get home tonight, I'll post another update on the commute conditions. I am sure that I'll be happy that I still have my Subaru.
Snow Day 2.0
Today New England enountered a major snow storm that caused 457 Schools, Colleges/Universities and Day Cares to be closed.
The height of the storm happened during the morning commute and many commuters stayed home or took the MBTA. This is because of the storm that happened last month that cause a nightmare commute for many commuters. Newton, MA got about 7 inches of snow.
You can check out the complete list as posted on WHDH.com at 6am this morning.
City of Newton Recycles
The City of Newton has this great site: Newton Recycles. This list all the various items that can be recycled and where to properly dispose of them.
What a great list! A quick look around our apartment this weekend I can see how we can use some of the sites that are mentioned on the page and perhaps make some cash in the process. I am sure my landlord will appreciate it.
Another place that we found this weekend is that Goodwill will take about 90% of the stuff we have. The only problem is that the nearest Goodwill is in Summerville. Its a long drive to get rid of stuff.
I also found the United States Book Exchange to be a good source to recycle old books. However, don't be afraid to throw out those old Computer books, you know, how to install Windows 3.1. Hmmm, that might be a good book to throw on eBay...
Wireless at South Station
In the past, travelers to Boston's South Station used to be able to get free WiFi while waiting for their train. If you google WiFi South Station you'll find several article about the free wireless access at South Station. However, the Free WiFi is gone in favor of a paid service provided by GuestBox.com.
So how is the wireless service at South Station? Is it worth the $9 month fee or $8 hourly fee? Don't ask me, it appears that the service isn't Macintosh friendly.
I am unable to login to the service using my Powerbook G4. I had no problems with the signup process, it went very smoothly and I was very excited to get online. However, I can't get past the login screen. I don't get any error messages, its just the login screen keeps showing up asking me to login everytime.
Problem is that I already put in my credit card number for a monthly subscription. I am unsure if this is related to having Macintosh 10.5 installed on my computer. I'll check to see if I have the latest patches. I am currently using Mac OS X 10.5.1 (9B18) on a Powerbook G4. I am also using the latest versions of Safari and Firefox.
If you have any support issues with South Station wireless, you should contact GuestBOX, you can call them at 888-999-1299.
The Boston's South Station commuter rail was pretty quiet this morning. This isn't a surprise since most business travelers took most of this week off. I was very excited to find a seat this morning.
Can someone explain why Dunkin Donuts hasn't open a franchise inside South Station? The nearest one is about 3 blocks away from the station. It seems that with all the commuter trains that come in the morning that Dunkin Donuts would do pretty well in the morning. There's a Dunkin Donuts in the Harvard Square 'T' station that does pretty well all day.
The South Station terminal has a good assortment of restaurants, and I have seen many people goto the station to get lunch during the busy lunch hour. There's three main eating establishments restaurants: Cosi, McDonalds, and Master Wok.
If you plan on taking Amtrak METRO or Acela from South Station, I highly recommend that you bring your own food on the train. A bag of chips or soda is much cheaper at a supermarket than at the train station. Also the food selection at the station is very limited.
I suspect that the commute tomorrow isn't going to be that bad so its going to be a good week to be going into Boston.
The MBTA was experience delays this morning due to the cold weather. This morning I waited almost a 1/2 hour in the freezing cold waiting for the train. Most commuters left after about 25 minutes.
The MBTA should have a better system in place to let commuters know about train delays. Hopefully they will fix this in the future. I feel sorry for the people that were in the train waiting to get into Boston. Wonder if the commute will be better tonight if the cold air continues.
Snow Day in Boston
Today was a pretty snowy day in the Boston area. Weather forecasters warned people that it was going to be a quick storm dropping about 6 inches or more of snow during the evening commute.
What made the storm really bad is that almost everyone left work early! This caused a grid lock with most of roads in eastern Massachusetts. I know some people that left work in Natick around 3pm and didn't get to their house in Newton until 7pm. A commute that usually takes about 30 minutes for the 20 mile distance took 4 hours today!
The MassPike was bumper to bumper going into and out of the city of Boston. The bottleneck lasted for many hours, and the side roads weren't any better. Washington Street in Newton had the largest backup that I have ever seen. Most people were taking this route to avoid the traffic on the Mass Pike and get to 128.
The suburbs weren't any better to commuters. Local media reported slow traffic on Route 9 in the Newton/Wellesley area. Some commuters even ran out of gas on Route 9! There were lots of reports of people being on the road stuck in traffic for 5,6,7 hours.
I was in the city of Boston and took the commuter rail from Newtonville to South Station. I got out of work around 4:30 and waited to catch the 5:05 train. The train was a little late getting in and they waited an extra 15mins before leaving. (I am not sure the reason for the delay.) Most of the trains were late getting in and there were lots of people in South Station waiting. I manage to get to Newtonville around 6pm.
I stopped at the Lobster Wok to pick up Chinese takeout for dinner, and there were few other people also had the same idea. The restaurant was the crowded that I have ever seen it! I did notice that the Starbucks next door was also crowded and a few people were using their laptops in the cafe. Must be nice to sit inside and sip on a Eggnog Late and enjoy the first winter storm of the season.
My white 2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS had no problems getting up the street to my apartment. The car was covered in snow, but had no problems getting through the unplowed parking lot. I saw several front wheel drive cars having problems in the parking lot and fish tailing on several side streets. It really helps to have all wheel drive.
The next time a big storm supposed hit the Boston area during the evening commute its probably best to work from home, or at least leave really really early. I am sure there's plenty of New England drivers that wish they didn't go to work today.
Boston Sports Bar
Yesterday, KirkJerk posted that no Boston Team has lost since the Red Sox came back from being down 3 games against the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS. (The only exception is the Boston Bruins) Since October 16, the Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and the New England Patriots haven't lost a game.
The Boston Celtics do look pretty good this year, and I enjoyed watching them win to go 7-0 for the season. It couldn't be more perfect for the Boston fan, watch the Celtics win during the week and then on Sunday watch the Patriots win. No question about it - Boston sports teams are playing at a very different level than other teams.
If you are visiting Boston and looking for a sports bars to watch the games, here are three good options:
The Good Time Emporium - 30 Sturtevant St, Somerville, MA 02145
Lots of big screen TVs and plenty of free parking makes this a great sports bar. Plenty to do before or after the game.
The Fours - 166 Canal St, Boston, MA 02114
Directly across from the Fleet Center, a great local favorite. Easiest to get to via Public Transportation.
Game On - 82 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215
At Fenway Park, a great place to watch any game.
Boston South Station
This week I am doing an installation at a customer site near the South Station MBTA Terminal in Boston, Massachusetts. I have been taken the MBTA train from Newtonville in every day.
Its amazing how quickly you can get to Boston from Newtonville than to take the 'T' from Woodland or from Riverside. Ts three stops from the Newtonville station to South Station. If you take the Riverside Green Line, at three stops you still in Newton and miles away from the city of Boston.
The only "downside" is that I have to stand during the whole trip to Boston, but its a short trip so I don't mind. There's plenty of 8 hour parking across the street from Shaws, and it cost .50 an hour or $4 for 8 hours. Plus there's a Starbucks and a Dunkin Donuts near the station, so riders can pick up a treat on their way in.
Visit Historic Concord, MAIf you plan on visiting Boston this fall, you should include Concord Massachusetts on your trip. Here are some places to visit in the Concord area.
There's nothing like enjoying a nice fall day by walking around Walden Pond. Enjoy the sites and sounds of Concord Woods and enjoy scenic views of the fall foliage reflecting in the pond.
The Wayside and the Orchard House
The Wayside in Concord, Massachusetts is a National Historic Landmark lived in by three American Literary figures: Louisa May Alcott, Margaret Sidney and Nathaniel Hawthorne. The Alcott House is where Lousia May Alcott wrote her books and it is kept the same way it was when the Alcott's lived there.
Old North Bridge
The Old North Bridge is the site of the famous battle between the Minuteman and the British. You'll learn about the reason why the British wanted to cross the bridge and who the Minuteman were.
Enjoy an afternoon tea or lunch at the Historic Colonial Inn. The Colonial Inn was where many solders were treated during the Old North Bridge battle. Did you know that directly across the street from the Colonial Inn is a grave stone marker of a British Solder? Some people think the building is haunted.