Holes in the Piles

Standard

While standing around a plant in Worcester yesterday, one of my co-workers grabbed a tape measure and looked like he was randomly playing with it.  Until he held in a way that one end touched the floor and the other came to just above my hips.  He then said “that’s the snow we got this week”.

The winter storm from earlier in the week remains the hot topic in and around Boston; quite simply because you can’t avoid the impact.  Boston was hit with over two feet of snow earlier this week – notching up the 6th largest snowfall in a storm in Boston’s recorded history, and the largest for a January storm.  Worcester, where I was visiting yesterday and where I will be all week, they got their largest snowfall in recorded history — 34.5″.

I got home to Dorchester on Thursday morning to a new level of frozen hell I wasn’t at all prepared for.  Yes I have lived in places where we have seen a lot of snow, yes I should be used to shoveling, you don’t have to pile that on … but what I wasn’t ready to face is ‘where the heck was I going to park?’

Seriously!

My condo didn’t come with parking (the building as a whole has a driveway for two cars, but one each is given to the other two units – and I get the backyard for the pup).  So I am relegated to street parking, which as long as I knew people who live in Boston is as long as I knew that street parking is an adventure.  My street, Edison Green, isn’t big enough for all the people who want to park,.so many of us park ‘kinda illegally’ in a space where two streets merge creating an open road triangle.  Typically, this isn’t a problem because you can fit a lot of cars in there without blocking the road, and there always seems to be enough spaces for everyone.

The storm changed things, A LOT!  Boston has over 800 miles of streets, and while they have a massive fleet of snow removal vehicles, snow removal is a misnomer right now.  Plows can move down the streets, but the snow has to go somewhere – and right now, they can’t get the big shovels or dump trucks in to move the snow.  Even if they did, they would be focusing on the big roads that are still slowly digging out as well.  For Edison Green, this means that snow is piled up on both sides of the street up to five to six feet high.  Digging those cars out must that were here during the storm must have been a massive task.  Not just from the sense that someone had to move feet of snow off of the car, but you have to put it somewhere – meaning you have to get it on top of that five foot pile, with your five foot pile.  Then when you clear the snow, you have to maneuver your car, which is tight enough on Boston streets when there is no snow.  For the cars that were here during the storm that have been dug out, they leave these huge holes in the mass of snow surrounding the patch of curb.

With that much work, the biggest fear would be that after you cleared that massive hole for your car that when you get home – someone else is parked there.  So, each hole is blocked off with either a street cone, or a lawn chair, or a box, or something to mark it as saved.  The city actually allows this. An ordinance saying you can do that for up to 48 hours.

When I came home, I noticed the situation and started to sweat it immediately.  Literally, panicking that I wouldn’t find a spot – and if I did, it would be a ticking timebomb of waiting to get towed.  I actually got really lucky – at first coming across a big big spot cleared completely with no one putting up something to save it.  In fact it was too big.  The entrance had room only for one car, but the space was wide enough for a second if one allowed itself to be blocked in.  There wasn’t a doubt that I was free to take it for when I got home, but there was also no doubt that taking it would be a real ‘dick move’.  My plan B wasn’t that bad.  This space made for two with one car entrance … well, I could make a second entrance.  It mean taking a hole just big enough for someone to walk through and breaking it open for a car to fit.  It’s still nasty difficult to get in and out.  If someone is parked across the street from me, I usually have to do what I call a “Nascar turn”; in other words, turn into the snow drift so my car bounces off of it and whips around.  Needless to say, I wouldn’t recommend it if you are trying to maintain the finish on your car – but I don’t see why anyone would bring a nice car down the streets of Dorchester for this exact reason.

Another storm arrives tomorrow, and we will see how much worse this becomes.  Maybe we will see if the overall snow removal plan is to “let it melt” or actually clear things.

Winter Storm Juno – Day 3: Next

Standard

It’s a bright sunny day in Central Connecticut, the day that makes it official – Winter Storm Juno is over.  The sky is blue, the radar is clear, and even the wind has taken a break.  The temperature is up a tad, allowing for easy plowing and road clearing.  In fact, writing this at 2:30pm (on Wednesday), there is no road problems at all.  That’s really the benefit of the travel bans issued before the storm hit.  They weren’t cleared until the snow was pretty much winding down, meaning the plows had the opportunity to get their work done without citizens in the way.

According to Weather Underground, the worst to get it was Worcester (pronounced WOOster), MA which got 34.5″ during the storm – the most in their 120 years of recorded weather taking history.   Boston got pummeled with 24.4″, and the coastal areas saw up to 6 foot storm surges causing coastal flooding.  Power was lost to over 30,000 homes, and damage was reported at over 2,000 homes requiring evacuation.

Yet of course, there are many calling for weather forecaster’s heads for screwing up this prediction — specifically the New York City prediction (God forbid they stock up with 3 day supplies only to find out they get inconvenienced for 6 hours).

For the rest of us, it was a warning well headed – ensuring that we all remain warm, off the roads, and out of harms way.  This could have been a deadly storm, but early reports is that it basically wasn’t.; different warnings may have had different results.

Truth is — I have to give big kudos to the Weather Channel, who after being the center of attention for everyone on the east coast the previous 24 hours decided to change the lead this morning.  They didn’t immediately fall back on the storm that was, but while they had our attention they went to the storm that’s next.  The next few days will see a small warm up, flurries on Friday, a blast of cold on Saturday, then … another big one coming Sunday night and Monday.  It’s going to be 5-8 inches predicted, which is nothing compared to what we just went through, but out of context that would be a very dangerous storm too.

So we all regroup, reprepare, and be aware for what comes next.

As I keep saying at work:  Life is a round of golf, once I get out of one hole I head to the next.

Winter Storm Juno – Day 2: Harkening

Standard

The weather outside is indeed frightful, but dear God don’t make me finish that lyric.  Today is the second day of Winter Storm Juno, and it was the day Juno attacked. Some of the early day reports suggested the storm wasn’t that bad … well, that’s because the news people were sitting in New York City sipping their warmed chai lattes watching the little discomfort of weather pass them by.  Meanwhile, Juno continued on and put in place a smack down to the rest of New England … so far.

The big numbers from Juno initially is going to be snow fall.  Sometimes you can giggle away the early predictions for storms (weatherman says 6″, but I am sure he is only packing 2″).  The predictions they had here were quite ridiculous too – ranging from 12-36″ in small bands of areas.  Early indications are that this storm is showing some numbers that are quite impressive.

Where I am at in Connecticut right outside of Hartford, they started seeing the flurries in late afternoon, but it really started blowing after midnight.  The snow is nearly stopped here at just about 5PM, but the wind is still blowing and is expected to blow until the morning tomorrow.  When measured at 11am this morning by a trained spotter, Manchester, CT had 17.5″.  I haven’t seen more recent numbers, but there is little doubt that it broke 20″ in this area.

Back home in Boston, they are getting the guts of it.  At 2:45PM, South Boston reported 24.0 inches of snow.  The thing is, Juno is still going on back there.  They are reporting blizzard conditions continuing until at least 11PM, and expecting the snow to end as late as 5AM tomorrow.  Winds along the coast have seen up to 50mph winds, including Nantucket Island who saw a 76mph gust.  If that’s not enough, they are seeing storm surges – rushes of sea water coming up over breakers like they would normally see during hurricanes, but in the freezing conditions it is making evacuations harrowing.

The good news is everyone has taken this very very seriously.  Most states along the east coast issued travel bans.  Connecticut lifted their ban just an hour ago, but few are expected to go running out tonight.  Massachusetts hasn’t hinted about lifting the ban any further east than the far western part of the state.  Boston’s T-Line (subway) has been shut down all day.  Nearly no store is open.  And a sign of the shear Snowpocolpyse this is … Dunkin Donuts remains shut down.

As for me … well, if you caught yesterday’s feed, you know I hunkered down in a hotel with the pup.  That keeps proving to be a really good decision.  The hotel, a Marriott Residence Inn in Manchester, CT, has been brilliant on how they dealt with it.  If you stayed at a Residence Inn, you know that it isn’t a fancy hotel, but it does offer snacks for dinner and a continental/hotel waffle free breakfast – not to mention the usual housekeeping services.  The hotel management, knowing that they still had people here knew they need to have staff on hand — so they put the staff up for the duration of the storm.  It’s becoming a little bit of a bonding moment with all of us, like we are all in this together.  They work to keep the doors clear & the parking lot plowed but that’s just for emergencies only — none of us can go anywhere.  The pup has been challenged to do his business, especially when we got up at 5AM and nothing was cleared yet … and the snow went up past his winkie.  I’ve done some work, kept warm, and tried to talk the pup out of going outside whenever he wanted.  There remains no reason for me to leave the hotel, no reason to plan to leave.

Tomorrow will be a different story.  Tomorrow some of our plants should be opening up, and work should be beginning again. I may need to stick my head into a place here or there.  My preference is to make a run home tomorrow, even though my hotel is booked through Friday, it’s that desire to see what has happened to the place and see if I am coming home to trouble.  Then again, if the roads are still shut down and I have no place in Boston to park my car (no I am not being cute) then I better plan to stay here.

We’ll see what Day 3 brings.

Winter Storm Juno – Day 1: Hunkering

Standard

The North East USA is expecting a winter storm to hit starting tonight (as in Monday night, for you Bearfeeders by mail or just too lazy to read it when its posted) and go through most the day tomorrow & Wednesday Morning.  It’s a big storm.  In fact, they named it Winter Storm Juno … or Blizzard Colbey if you live in Connecticut, which matters for some reason.  Up and down the east coast, plows are gassing up, grocery stores are emptying, and salt piles are making national & local news videos.  In a joke that probably only those of you who know what I am talking about will get — this storm is so big, it’s become the first thing to take New Englanders minds off their deflated balls (come to think of it, it’s probably more funny if you don’t know what I am talking about).

Alright, time to stop kidding around.  This is in fact a really bad storm.  It has the potential to be one of the worst winter storms in recorded history for this part of the world.  I know a prediction is only as good as the paper you write it on, but there are few that questioning the power this will bring or the facts that are leading to the story.

I am writing this from Hartford, CT – which expects to see the same impact as Boston, if just a couple hours sooner.  As I write this, at 4PM Eastern, the prediction is that the storm will begin in just a few hours and start hitting it’s peak around midnight.  On the low side, they expect 12 inches of snow – but are predicting around 2 feet along the coast, up to 4 feet around & in Boston.  This storm is also classified as a Nor’Easter, a winter storm which pack high winds from the southwest (and heading to the Northeast .. or Nor’East … get it?).  They expect winds to gust as high as 50-60 mph, leaving visibility to near zero.

Massachusetts has issued a ‘state of emergency’ banning all vehicle traffic starting at midnight tonight.  Connecticut the same, with all vehicle travel banned at 9PM.  This is so bad it’s not 9PM until ‘blah’ … it’s 9PM until we damn well tell you otherwise.

As I mentioned, I am not home.  I was scheduled to be at a plant near Hartford all week working on what was the most critical event I’ve faced since starting my new job down here – but the weather cancelled it.  While I could have risked the weather to make a run home (and by timing of things, I would have made it), I chose the safe route and hunkered down.  The pup is with me, I try to travel with him whenever possible, so he’s safe too.  We are in a hotel with a kitchen in the room, and the hotel has a pantry that I can access — plus they have hotel waffles in the morning.  I have a half-case of dog food with me & a couple chew toys – not to mention my bare leg, which he is going to town right now licking to his heart’s content – so as long we can get outside for doggie business Auggie should be happy.  I’ve also got my personal computer, so as long as I have a battery and WiFi,I have NetFlix.  Oh, I will still have work to do even if most of my plans for the week are off my plate, but that can get done at a hotel just as good as a plant.  So by all rights, we are hunkered down, settled in, and bundled up for the next few days.  I expect by Wednesday things will clear and I can make plans to hit the road home.   Snow or not, we need to get home by the big game on Sunday.  Deflated balls or not.

The World Famous Dorchester

Standard

The city of Boston, with it’s 650,000 people tucked into 48 square miles, is a network of neighborhoods & villages.  Some of these are named after the geography (like Bunker Hill or Back Bay) but others are names of the annexed towns Boston kinda sucked up.  I live in the later, and probably the most famous of the later.

I live in World Famous ‘Dorchester’.  (Pronounced DAH-chest-Ta .. I’m not making fun the accent, that’s really how I’m supposed to say it … seriously … they tell me the short name is ‘the Dah’).  It is one of the largest neighborhoods in Boston, and currently the largest populated neighborhood as well.  It’s big enough, the neighborhood is broken down to smaller neighborhoods, like I am in the Upham Corner/Savin Hill area of Dorchester.

Dorchester was annexed by Boston in 1870, which seems a long time ago, but even up to this date, Dorchester stood as an independent city than an annex neighborhood.  Dorchester was founded in 1630 by Anglicans from Dorset.   They held a town meeting in 1633 & opened an elementary school in 1639, the first of each on American Soil.  They began building the city near the intersection of modern day Mass Ave, Columbia Road, and Boston Street; including the James Blake House built in 1677 which still stands today (the oldest home in Boston still standing).  As it turns out … these places are all within 3 blocks of my home, including the big intersection when my Dunkin Donuts (a modern Boston requirement) stands.

The list of people who are from or have lived in Dorchester is surprising to say the least.  Donna Summer,. Norb Crosby, and the New Kids on the Block are all from here.  The Kennedy’s have their start from Dorchester, and suspiciously the owner of Nevada’s Mustang Ranch.  Dennis Lehane, author of Shutter Island & Mystic River, is from here.  Martin Luther King, Jr lived here while attending Boston University.  Dorchester is well known for one actor, Mark Wahlberg (aka Marky Mark aka Dirk Diggler aka that actor with the Boston accent that doesn’t hang out with Ben Afflack), who hasn’t stopped showing of his history here; but it’s also home of an equally famous actor Leonard Nimoy.

All this aside, there is a pretty dark side to Dorchester.  In the 1800s, most of the immigrants coming to Boston found themselves in South Boston or Dorchester.  Boston’s historically strong public transport, even back when it was horse drawn rail carts, meant the money of financial districts can be separated from the labor to the south.  Through most of the 1900s, organized crime ruled much of neighborhood and became the home of famous mobsters like Whitey Bulger.  The last three or four decades, Dorchester had a reputation where it was generally safe to live there but trouble wasn’t far away especially if you were coming into the area and making trouble.  The “tough” Boston image has Dorchester to thank for most of it’s existence.  In recent years, change has started to come to the neighborhood.  Sometime in the future, I’ll go into that, once I can really think I can say for sure if I see it.  But rest asured, my door isn’t getting busted down by gangsters.  Dorchester’s fame continues to grow in part to the aforementioned Mark Wahlberg who with his family started a burger joint called Wahlburgers – and a reality show filmed in the restaurant plays on their Dorchesterisms (strangely though – the joint is in Hingham, about two towns away).

Say what you want about Dorchester, if you have anything to say at all that is, but it’s a place steeped in history, and there is something about the place that suggests that it will continue to be a melting pot of uniqueness that will keep it creating things to add to its fame.

Recharging

Standard

I’ve had a running joke since November … people ask me if I like living in Boston, and my answer is: “I’ll tell you once I have been in town long enough to live there.”  As much as I joke, the fact is there is a fair bit of truth to it.

My job is theoretically a ‘work-from-home’ role, where I will travel to different plants in my company a few times a month but … again theoretically … can settle into the day-to-day activities for about half my work schedule out of my house.  Yet in November, we became aware of two issues that left me with no choice but to split most my time either in New Hampshire or in Connecticut.  Now before some of you start saying “that’s got to be a quick drive cause all those states are so close” well hold your horses kiddies.   Both of them are nearly 2 hours from my place, and not in the same direction.  The distance is just long enough that if I plan to visit one of those plant more than once in a week these days I just plan on booking a hotel for that time (and am getting to know the Auggie friendly hotels).  Of course, if I am going to do that, I might as well beat Monday morning or Friday night traffic and just get the room for one more day.

That’s what happened this past week.  I kicked off my work week at 6PM on Sunday night to head tor Berlin, CT spending my nights in a Hartford suburb of Manchester.  My goal the whole week was to knock out enough work that I could leave midday on Friday to make it home for the whole weekend.  Between the snows and .. things not going to plan … I chose to spend one last night, to be exact last night, in Manchester.  Sleeping in and taking my time, the pup and I finally ended a work week when we got home about 1PM today.

The house I came home to was much how I left it.  Which since I am still in some state of furnishing was quite barren.  My living room has a single recliner (which the pup thinks he has every right to fill up as I do) and lots of open floor space.  The dining room has a 20 year old card table we used to use for Sunday night burnt chicken.  My ‘home office’ is three quarters boxes on the floor.  I should be working on this, I should be doing something about all of this, but instead I what I am doing tonight is recharging.  I am running the laundry, throwing out the rotten bananas, cleaning up the car, maybe heading to the Banshee to watch some football, but basically not doing anything much more than taking time away from work — because come tomorrow, it starts again. Okay, I might do it all commuting this week, but not the point.

The point is, my home, that was at first to be my base of operation, is now more of my recharging station.  The place where I go to just relax, cool off, and shake the cobwebs loose.  Today is a break, and let tomorrow be what it is.

The Legend that is Edmund

Standard

My Friend Edmund is a Legend!

McGinley’s Irish Pub was surprisingly empty that nice June night.  Surprising because it was a Friday, a night when you would expect Anchorage’s only downtown Irish Pub to be filled with students wanting to perpetuate the Irish stereotype.  Also surprising because it was the summer solstice, and if anything was a night to be out on the town it was then.  It was my first summer in town, and if I was going anywhere on the weekend it was McGinley’s.  I bellied up to the bar, and I broke into a conversation with a couple of gents sitting there as well.  One turned out to be a guy up temporarily to help work on a local hostel; but the other worked for the Alaskan Railroad that I learned was Edmund.  Edmund was as regular at McGinleys as you can get.  He was treated there not like a ‘good customer’ but one of those that are a fixture to the place as important as anyone to keep the bar alive.  After a bit, he made me the offer that he clearly had made many times over — to help get a good rate for anyone taking the railroad.  We exchanged phone numbers, e-mails, etc.

Then – mostly due to me living on the other side of town – I didn’t get back to McGinley for nearly 6 months.  While I talked to him a little a month later by e-mail to get a good price for my family’s vacation, by not going into McGinleys I basically didn’t talk to Edmund for that whole time.  Every so often, though, I would get a text checking in on me.  When I did start stopping in again just before my departure from Alaska, there he was – not treating me like someone who never shows up to see him, but someone who he considered a friend.

Mind you there are people like that that can make you feel uneasy, but for anyone who met Edmund you would find him to be a very genuine guy.  I say all the time that the best part about Alaska is the people — well, to be honest, the worst part was people too but not really.  Alaska, especially Anchorage and especially tied to my line of work, had a whole demographic of people who were focused on perception, image, and ego – where it was more important to make others think you are something you aren’t.  What was great about Alaska was those who didn’t fit that demographic were genuine in a way that was so easy to love.  Edmund was like that – whether it was when he talked about work or talked about faith he seemed to tell me what he felt, truly felt, and that I’ll take any day.  But of course genuine people in a society of those who aren’t are destine to run into frustration.  I was inspired in part to write this today because he is facing those kind of frustrations today – and I am sure there are loads of people out there that would rather there be more Edmunds in the world.  It’s like the old Dr. Seuss quote goes:
“Be who you are and say what you feel; because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

Of course, there are a lot of people who are genuine in the world.  So what makes Edmund a legend?  Well .. it’s because he is Edmund.

Let me start with a funny little conversation I had with my friend Laura sometime last summer.  We were talking about things to do and we played with the idea of taking the Alaskan Railroad somewhere.  That’s when I spouted up:
“We can get a good price on the railroad too — I know this great guy who works for the Railroad always loves to help people out get a friends and family deal.”
She came replied: “I know this guy who will do it.  He’s really easy to find too.”
“Did you find him at McGinley’s?”
“Yeah?”
“Was it Edmund?”
“Yeah!!”

Then there was some random guy I was chatting with.  I mentioned I liked McGinley’s and he said “Yeah, that’s fun place.  There’s folk down there that are great to talk to.  One of them works for the railroad.”
“Edmund?”
“YEAH!”

The Anchorage bar scene seemed like an extended family, but you check with some of the bartenders Edmund was part of that family too – even if he didn’t stray too far from McGinleys.

The thing about certain people … they leave an impression.  These are the people who aren’t just genuine, but genuinely good hearted and genuinely friendly.  My guess if any of you who never been to Alaska visits Anchorage, visits McGinleys – you may run across Edmund and find that he is all and a bag of chips. My hope if you ever visit Alaska you either meet Edmund or meet someone as good – because that’s the kind of impression I hope you leave with of the people of Alaska.  But that’s going to be hard … I mean … there are a lot of great people in Alaska …

But Edmund is a Legend.

Con – Wait For It – Necticut

Standard

Let me just get this out here … just because the Bear Feed has to be different, that doesn’t mean everything will be different.  Precisely, the weather.  You can’t get me to stop complaining about the weather.  Today … it’s Connecticut weather.

This new job was always suggested to be a requiring considerable time heading out to different plants where the attention was needed – in the first months the attention was needed just here in New England.   In the first month, when I was still trying to find these plants, I joked that you could tell when I would be on the road as it is the only day during the week that it is raining.  After the first month, it stopped being funny.  About a third of my time since I started this job I spent at a plant outside of Hartford, CT.  The longest portion was a week in early December, where I hunkered down without a car or the dog putting in 10-12 hour days before just crashing at the hotel overnight.  That week, made it down to that plant from Boston by train; with a return trip on that Saturday morning.

As I was riding in an Uber car (taxi-ish ride share) to the train station on that crisp cold Saturday morning, I realized that for the first time since I started going to that plant … it wasn’t raining.  I mean, it had stopped raining here and there while I was in the plant, but unlike the rest of the time I have been on the roads there, the sun was out and I could see more than a 100ft in front of me.

What I saw took me by surprise.  There were hills, high hills, nearly mountains spread out around the area.  To the south, there appeared to be drumlines, the smooth sloping narrow hills against a flat plain typical of glacial formations — but it sounds like they were glacial.  To the west there is a mountain range, not Alaska-ish mountains, but high green covered rolling things.  Sure, the landscape was granted a bonus from the daybreak sun turning all the colors up a few notches by the golden hour, but what was mostly drab urban suburbia brightened up into a true green landscapes.

Since that time, my trips to Connecticut (aka .. The CT cause spelling Connecticut is hard) during the daylight hours opened up some wonderful views.  I roll into the state from up north and find my way across the Appalachia foothills and thru deep green valleys.  Evergreens line the highway suggesting the pine-smelling potential of the summer.  For the most part, it’s just hints of beauty.  So much of this state so far for what I have seen is constantly interrupted by strip malls, mini-malls, and just plain malls; but when you travel for work you are stuck on a specific corridor dictated by a GPS.  Yet, the hints of something more are what makes visiting this area more interesting.

If the CT has proven something to me, if anything, it is that I need to patient with this part of the country.  I’m used to beauty smacking me in the face.  Alaska had a tendency to punch you with awesome, but it wasn’t just there.  I saw the great Kansas skies the day I first moved there, traveling the world usually meant the cool stuff was right where you you looked, and even when I visited Los Angeles even the hills & ocean broke through the smog.  Heck – I was spoiled by having the Mississippi River rolling only 2 blocks from the house I grew up in.  What I have seen of CT, not just now, the few times I came here over my lifetime previously hasn’t been all that pretty.  Yet looking back, I haven’t really seen much that you can’t see from the interstate.

So that puts the responsibility back on me.  I mean, I can’t easily break away from my interstate driving for the time being, not until the sun is out after I leave work at least.  Also, the amount of trees around here suggests that the spring, summer, and fall could be a fair bit awesome too.  Things in this state, and possibly what I will see for the months to come, may not smack me in the face when I first see it.  I’ll just need to wait for it.

 

** Administativenesstitude Note:  Bear Feed has gone Twit.  You can find your favorite Bear Feed on Twitter by following everyone’s favorite idiot:  @BearFeedMitch
Of course, that just means you’re more of a social nerd than I am.

It’s Different, It Has to Be

Standard

Welcome to 2015!

It’s a new year, a new flip of the calender, and a new opportunity to move on from the old.  Time to not just say you are going to do something different, but actually do it different.  It’s the time for resolutions, cleanses, and change.

At least until you get distracted by something … like a shiny object.

What is my resolution for 2015, you may be asking?  Well — you’re looking at it.  At least one of them.  See, it’s time for the Bear Feed to come out of hibernation.  In the last four months I have made a total of 8 posts – one of which was a bunny count and the other a copy/paste of a Christmas letter.  I pulled way back on my blogging for a number of reasons, some of which may someday actually make it on here, but it’s time to come back to it.

The Bear Feed always was something of a ‘fish out of water’ blog where an idiot tried to sound smart in hindsight of learning what a strange new world is like so the rest of y’all know what it IS like, and that will remain the same.  The more I get the hang of this new strange new world the more I realize that the Bear Feed will be different.  It has to be.  I’m obviously not living in Alaska anymore, in fact I live in a city that has a metro population five times that of all of the state of Alaska. It’s not just the change of scenery that changes the blog. Living in such a metropolitan place is a really big shift for me in general.  I lived 4 years in Milwaukee but never really felt like it was all that Metropolitan — not like it feels here.  If it stayed like the old Bear Feed I would go from saying: “I saw a moose on my street” to being “I saw a hooker on my street”.  So, while it is an exploration of what makes Boston so unique, but more about my place in it.  Not just ‘here’s what I see’, but ‘this is what I feel’.  What’s going to make it different too is that it has to be free to be something more than a ‘Boston’ blog.  While it’s not set in stone, I am likely going to be away from Boston at least a few days a week thru mid-February.  Not just around New England, but cross-country and even finding my way back to Wichita (my home for 11 years).  Put simply, that’s the biggest difference my world has gained since I moved here – and if that isn’t a part of this blog then it would be hard to make it anything else.

Yes shiny objects will come along, but you faithful Bear Feeders know that this is always an on-again-off-again kind of blog anyway.  That being said, there is a lot to blog about just to get y’all up to speed. Here’s a short list of topics (which I am capturing for my own purposes to remind myself anyway):
— Getting Around Boston — The T-Line, the Streets, the walking, the Uber
— Massively Huge New Hampshire (no seriously)
— The Condo in Dot
— Communities and Neighborhoods of Boston
— The history
— Lobsters (AKA sea rats)
— Taking the Train to places for a destination, not just the journey

Of course you can expect an awful lot of me regretting something and loading up on things about my dog.  Still, things will be different.  They have to be.  But that’s what starting a New year is for.