I had a great post here about the neighbors who want the USS Constitution to change the way she fires her cannons because they feel lit is too loud. They want the cannons to be quiet until 9 AM on the weekends and the National Anthem to not be played so loudly and the charges to be smaller.
To which I say: shut up.
This tradition has been going on since before 1800 and the charges have been made smaller over the years already. They barely use any black powder to set the cannons off already and oh yeah, we are at war. These cannons are shot off twice a day in honor of the men and women who are serving and who have served. Many of these sailors will be going off to active duty combat after their 3 years at the Constitution is up and many of the National Park Rangers have also served in some capacity. This ship is the mascot of the entire Navy and it is only appropriate for her to fire her cannons off as a sign of respect…and its pretty cool to watch them do it, as well.
I was lucky enough to get to take a trip on the Constitution a few years ago with my Dad. It was Armed Forces Day and so there was a 19 gun salute (why are they always odd numbers?) to the men and women of the Armed Forces. While I couldn’t really see over the sides of the ship, I knew enough to get down to the gun deck in time to see them load and fire the charges. Afterwards, I got one of the shells as a souvenier of my trip…it stunk to high heaven for a few weeks, but it is awesome. See:
So, be quiet people living at Flagship Wharf…Nomar would have never been a jerk like you are. Oh, and I hope you enjoy it next summer when they are turning the Yard back into a working one and putting the USS Cassin Young into drydock! That should be exciting…lots of banging and crashing and melting and tearing. Its going to be awesome to see what kind of letter you send to the NPS unit.
One of my all time favorite shows, even today as a 30 year old, I learned so much from SS. I learned how to use music as a way to remember things, how to speak with my hands through sign language, how to be silly, and to always question things.
One of my favorite songs from the show is when Lefty the Letter Salesman tries to get Ernie to buy an O…I have a soft spot in my heart for Bert and Ernie. They remind me of my sisters a lot, especially the fish clip.
I got to meet a Muppeter a few years ago when Carroll Spinney was going around promoting his new book. Because we got there so early (I was wicked excited) I was first in line to get my book signed. It was awesome…while he didn’t bring Big Bird, Oscar was there in a duffel bag and quite angry about it.
I regret not being able to ever meet Jim Henson, but like a lot of people my age, I kinda feel like I did. You could see his character through the Muppets he controlled and all different types of his personality, especially when he was paired with Frank Oz. A great show and a wonderful thing for kids to continue to be able to watch. Who can get through the clip of Big Bird learning the Mr. Hooper died without getting teary eyed?
We had our Halloween party last night since the bar we go to has their party on the Friday before the holiday. There were a lot of interesting costumes, but we were able to take 2nd and 3rd place in the costume contest with these:
Michael was some local, but American Gothic took second place (50 bucks!) and Macho Man Randy Savage took third (20 bucks). Overall a good night.
We also had other people hopping into the picture frame through the night:
While I did not place, I liked my costume a lot. I was Amelia Earhart and my boyfriend was Ernest Hemingway:
I could totally see Amelia wearing striped socks.
Tonight, we have already bottled beer and I am going to go have dinner soon. After that, pumpkin carving!! I love Halloween
Last week, just in time for the cold weather of this week, we were able to get our asbestos covered hot oil heater from possibly the 1920s removed and replaced with an energy star gas heat system. This took many many many phone calls and discussion amongst different groups of people.
One of the biggest drawbacks that we could come up with of doing this type of conversion is the cost. However, it was a lot less than what we thought it was to get the asbestos out, as well as the oil tank and oil in the tank.
We used two different companies to take care of this job over two days. The asbestos removal took from 7 AM to about 2 PM and made the heater go from white to black as shown in the 2nd picture. Thankfully the weather held up and stayed in the 60s since we had no heat.
The next day at 7AM the gas guys came in very pleased with the condition of the heater. Loud banging, drilling, and thumping commenced for hours later and when I left for my parent’s house at 5, the electrician was still working. He did not leave until about 6 or 6:30. The result of that was the third picture: an energy efficient gas heater that takes up about 80% less space and will not leave oil puddles or cause us to need to contact Jim Sokolove.
The heat has been working fairly well…we still need to find our programmable thermostat so we can be more accurate in our heating levels. Only a few more major projects to do on the house for now…painting two rooms and possibly the hallway, putting up new molding in the kitchen, and then figuring out what to do in the deck area.
Another National Park here in Massachusetts is Saugus Iron Works. Located in Saugus, MA it encompasses one of the first Iron works in the colonies and created some of the best iron outside of Spain.
There is a collection of buildings that can be visited including a nail forge as demonstrated by Ranger Brandon here:
One of my favorite pieces of this park was the small map of the original site. Reminded me of a similar map I saw in Munich…
There is also a project to get the river cleaned up by taking out the phragmites that are choking the river. By taking them out, the river will flow quicker and take out the sediment that has settled on the bottom. It will make the river healthier and bring back even more animals. When I was there, they had orioles, frogs, eels, little fishes, and signs of groundhogs. So well on their way.
Saugus Iron Works is open until the end of the month and is free.
At work, we have some maps up and try to encourage people to mark where they are from with pins. At the end of every week, we take the pins down and “reset” the maps. I took down the old maps the other day because certain areas (like Hartford, CT and the Netherlands) were completely obliterated, but it was really interesting to see the distribution of all the pins. Here are some pictures (and proof, if you’ve ever needed it, that people come from every continent to visit Boston):
It will be interesting to see how the map morphs and changes over the next few weeks as most of our visitors will be from New England and Western Europe. Most of our cruise ships are carrying people from the New York/New England area or Britain to Canada and back again, so probably fewer South Africans or people from the South Pacific, but who knows!
Now, I knew when we bought this house that there would be a lot of time spent fixing things. But I didn’t really realize that it would take so much work. And it still isn’t done yet!! There is always something to do and something to buy.
So this is our office. It went from being a boring light blue like the other rooms in the house into a nice light yellow squash. There is still some touching up to do but it is much nicer than before and has our desks set up just in time for school to start up again.
The bedroom has been changed a lot, as well. Before it was a bland green color and the furniture they had in there was huge! We changed the paint to a “mellow mauve”, really a nice purple color and will be putting in a much smaller fan. This one feels like its going to take someone’s head off. That room is mostly done except for the fan, which is a small job that can be taken care of easily.
Now we just have to get moving on removing the asbestos covered hot oil heater in the basement. Its going to be easier than I thought, which is nice since we don’t have a ton of money to toss around on something like this.
So, I made it up and down the mountain without falling down once, which is actually quite an accomplishment for me.
The week began with some beer:
A sampler from Moat Mountain, lovely place to eat and lovely place to stay about 20 miles away from Mt. Washington and nice comfy beds.
Larry came along for the ride and the weather reminded him of traveling on the ocean with all the fog and rain.
The last of the snow from the winter…it wasn’t as impressive as last year since it was all gloomy when we went by in the morning. If we had come down the same trail (which we should have) the pictures would have been much better.
We made it up here in fairly record time for me. 4 miles in just about 4 hours…with the extra weather and some issues with breathing and a large group of people standing in the middle of the trail, so annoying.
A quick picture after we hit the summit going down Lion’s Head.
You can see how different the weather can be in just a few hours. It was lovely on the way down from the summit.
Remember, kiddies! Be Ice Smart! And remember to scream and wave your hands in the air while running away from large ice boulders.
Four times up and cloudy skies each time. I actually had some clear skies once while almost to the top, but they went away fairly quickly. Mount Washington spends about 90% of its year in some sort of cover: fog, clouds, snow, sleet, rain. It looks like this time will be no different with showers predicted for the morning of our hike.
Hopefully by the time this summer is over, I will have two more summit pictures to show. One will be a true summit (in my mind) because I’ll walk up myself. The other one will be aided by a car ride (really a truck ride) up the Auto Road. As my birthday present to myself, I have booked myself a weekend at the Mount Washington Observatory. Not only do I get to be geeky and learn about weather, I get to sleep overnight on the summit. How cool is that? I would rather the clear skies for that because I am definitely bringing both my cameras (just got the new one) to try and take pictures of the stars! 🙂