Framingham Blog Posts
Framingham Commuter Rail
Recently the MBTA Commuter Rail changed the Framingham/Worcester schedule to make room for changes being done at the Yawkey Way Station. As of April 2nd, many of the trains now arrive at their stations a bit earlier. For example, my regular 8:19 am Framingham train now arrives at 8:14 am.
My morning schedule isn't that flexible enough to arrive at the train station that much earlier and I have about a 50/50 chance of catching the train.
Today I found out that the MBTA is strictly enforcing that schedule. This morning, when I went to catch the morning train, the train literally left as I arrived at the train station. I wasn't just me; there were several of us that missed the train. I was about 10 steps away from the door as the train was moving and the conductor blew a horn and moved the train. The door was closed and there was no possible way to get on.
Granted I know that the Commuter Rail has to keep a schedule, but I can't believe that they turn away at least 8 passengers like that. There should be a rule that if there are 5 or more passengers at the loading platform, the train isn't allowed to leave.
By implementing this rule, it seems to be a simple solution to build better relations with many of the commuters that travel the Commuter Rail.
As a side note, one of the passengers told me that they wouldn't wait for the next train and would seek an alternative way to go to Boston.
I easily managed to catch the next train which arrived about 25 minutes later. Not a fun way to start the day.
We are in the process of cleaning the basement of our house. It hasn't had a good cleaning since we moved into the house, and after a couple of flooding incidents, its time to do some house cleaning.
To help better organized some of my clutter, I just signed up for Shoeboxed. Which according to them, is the easiest and fastest way to organize Receipts, Business Cards & Bills online. I am hoping that I can get rid of several bins/boxes that have a lot of paper in it. There's no need to have the original copies any more. I'll let you know how that process goes.
I'll continue to investigate other Web 2.0 services that might be able to help out with the decluttering the basement. Lifehack has all sorts of great creative ideas on removing clutter and such.
A year ago I saw a post in the Post Office saying, "everyone has at least $2000 of stuff lying around the house." I don't know if that's true, but we'll soon find out!
Pearl Street Garage
The town is offering commuters a deal this winter: Park at the Pearl Street Garage for $50 a month.
The special rate is available for December, January and February. It is normally $80 per month to park at the town's garage, or $65 for Framingham residents.
The garage is across from the old RMV, a short walk from the downtown train station.
Commuters can see the lot attendant for more details and a discount pass.
Natick Collection Santa
Santa Clauses has returned to the Natick Collections again this year. You can find Santa in the "expensive" part of the mall near the Coach store and Neiman Marcus. First off they do have a good Santa, no pulling on the beard to see if its real!
We went to see Santa on the first day he arrived at the mall, November 17, 2011, and were disappointed how unorganized that Santa helpers were. They were having all sorts of problems with the camera and some of the digital equipment and had to retake some customers photos because they were missing in the computer. We also had to wait longer because of the technical issues.
We were disappointed with the photo that we got and found that the photo that we took with our own point and shoot digital camera came out better than their digital SLR camera.
If you plan on seeing Santa at the Natick Mall, just be patience while you wait and be sure to bring an extra camera along with you.
We found that the photo prices are a little expensive for the quality of photos, but I guess that the cost of having a good Santa.
Pearl Street Parking Garage
The distance from Framingham's Pearl Street Parking garage to the main waiting area of the MBTA train is .35 miles. Walking rapidly it takes about 6 minutes.
MBTA Parking in Framingham
In Framingham there are various choices when it comes to finding a place to park when taking the MBTA. There's a couple of things to consider. Monthly cost, and the location of the parking lot to the train station in bad weather and those days when you might be running late to catch the train.
The main MBTA parking lot, which is operated by the Central Parking, is near Howard Street and the train station. Parking is $4 a day, and you can get a monthly pass which costs $70 a month. The biggest problem with this parking lot is that it is always full. Monthly parking doesn't guaranteed you a parking space!
The Town of Framingham operates the following public parking facilities:
Pearl Street Garage - 289 parking spaces, located on Pearl Street, (across from the former Registry of Motor Vehicles). Spaces are sold by monthly permit. Rates are $65.00 per month for residents and $80.00 per month non-residents. There is an attendant on duty from 6:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday. This is the best option, but a long walk to the train station.
Waverly Street Commuter Lot - 65 spaces located next to Republic Plumbing, directly across the Framingham commuter rail station. Spaces are sold by monthly permit, rates are $90.00 per month. Since this is the most expensive lot there are always spaces available.
Hollis Court Lot - 89 parking spaces located near commuter rail station. Spaces are available for daily parking on first come, first serve basis. Lot is lighted at night. Rates are $4.00 per day.
Alternative Parking Lots:
Silton Glass - Parking is within easy walking distance of the Framingham MBTA Station Rates: $5 daily, $20 weekly, $50 monthly, $550 annually 612 Waverly St., Framingham, MA
Columbus Club - on Fountain Street Carl D'Aveta, president for that organization, says the club has offered parking for at least five years at $40 per month. About 20 commuters park there.
Orlando Enterprises Dumpsters and Demolition Site - on Cedar Street, is also offering discount parking for commuters. They are located right across from the Train Station. There's a sign in the window to call them about the Commuter Parking rates.
This year I have seen quiet a few wild turkeys in the Boston area. I don't know if it's a population explosion or something, but it seems weird to see so many wild turkeys.
I have seen them in various locations in Framingham, near Cushing Park and in Lexington near Route 2. They aren't the same turkeys because of the different size and colors.
I don't know who the known predator of Turkeys, Wolves, Foxes? I got a feeling next year that they will be a population explosion of them.
Also in the Cushing Park area a Red Tail hawk has been flying around. Usually you'll see some crows attacking the hawk. I suspect that the crows are trying to force the hawk out of its territory.
This weekend we put up shutters on 10 windows on our house. Here are some of the lessons that we learned:
Never move a ladder with a drill on the top.
This happened during the first widow and I ended up getting a cut on my face. Lucky for me it was a small cut since it could have been worst.
Make sure to measure all the Shutters before drilling them
We mis-calculated on the bay window and decided that larger shutters would be better. We couldn't return the other shutter since I already drill holes in them. This mistake cost us $30. Hopefully this advice will save you money!
Make sure to drill all the way in the house.
There are a couple of shutter holes that I didn't drill all the way in, and as a result the placeholder isn't all the way in.
Shop around for shutters.
Both Lowes and HomeDepothad shutters, but HomeDepot had enough supply on hand to meet our needs. Both stores had them in the Window department near the back wall.
It took about 15 minutes to do each window. Some of the windows took a little bit longer because they were high off the ground a little tricky to do. Also it was difficult to maneuver the latter around some bushes and flowers.
We found that it does take two people to put up the shutters, if you want to get it done right this isn't a one person job. Also it best to drill the hole locations in the shutters first then put the bottom of the shutter on the house. This way the second person didn't have to hold the shutter while getting saw dust in their hair.
Kiddle Carbon Monoxide Alarm
If you have a any Carbon Monoxide Alarm, you should check the battery in it. Even if the alarm is plug in, the battery does need to be replace on a regular bases.
We have a Kiddle Carbon Monoxide Alarm, and the way that it notified us that the battery is low is that it beeps at odd times. So for no reason at all the alarm would go off. There is no indicator of why its going off, and in fact the Alarm light would go off indicating to "Move to Freash Air." It would be better to have a 'Low Battery' warning.
Replacing the battery every year will avoid any false Carbon Monoxide Alarms. We'll be updating our smoke alarm and the Carbon Monoxide Alarm at the same time next year.
We have a Fiotec FPOS1300x-03 Tempest 1/6 HP pump in our basement which we use to pump out water. We plan on getting a stump pump later this spring, this will be more of a permanent solution. We rarely get water in the basement, just when there's a lot of rain during a short amount of time, usually because the ground is too saturated.
During the rain storm this weekend, and the melting snow, the water table rose. On Sunday night at 11:45PM there was about 6 inches of water in our basement water hole. By 3:45am the amount of water rose to 9 inches. At 10 inches the basement becomes flooded.
We ran the Fiotec pump for 3 hours and got the number down to 7 inches. This means that 2,970 gallons of water was removed from the basement. The pump ran again various times throught out the day on Monday and by Tuesday morning, the water level was at 5 inches.
The pump works really well, there wasn't any problem with getting the water out. By keeping an eye on the water level and the weather, we were able to avoid a flood this weekend.
We keep a wooden ruler by the pump hole to measure the water level and constantly monitor it to make sure that the water level doesn't rise to a dangerous level. We use to mark the wooden ruler where the water would rise to, but now we record the amount on a piece of paper that is near the water hole.