Saturday, December 31, 2011

December 31, 2011

I was at Panera, downstairs, overhearing a passionate discussion up above. Physics and cosmology. Went upstairs and sat near the three communicants. Listening in, pretending to read my Wall Street Journal. Singularities, black holes, quantum physics, event horizons and other disputed cosmic exotica. Seldom heard such an intense and interesting engagement and debate in ages. Consulting Webster's for definitive definitions to boot. Don't know who they were. But this is over by Northeastern.

Reading now ...
Secrets of the Operating Room.
Wall Street Journal. Review/C3: 12/31/11 - 1/1/12.

Thought for now ...
Maybe beauty comes from meaning.
... Overheard.

Image ... Holiday display, 2010. Fields Corner, Dorchester.

Friday, December 30, 2011

December 30, 2011

Image ... Tits and Tats. Mass Ave. @ Boylston St. The Berklee corner, where you'll find every imaginable fashion statement.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

December 30, 2011

Image ... Roofscape garden.

Flooded and Muddy

Roofscape's garden in Boston's Fenway has been flooded since Hurricane Irene struck coastal New England a glancing blow in late August.

... Work in progress.

December 29, 2011

Image ... One of a Kind, Dorchester.

The Fenway - by Jonathan Richman

The Fenway - by Jonathan Richman

Now I was born by the Fenway,
in Beth Israel Hospital.
Could that help to explain why I love the Fenway so well.
Nowhere do I feel more at home, it seems,
Then on the Fenway, where I dreamed my dreams.

Well I was small, they took us to old Mechanics Hall.
We got to see the Mighty Ted Williams,
Put one over the right field wall.
All that nostalgia comes out every day, you see,
On the Fenway where I've dreamed dreams.

Sometimes it rains, and then it is just damp and cold.
Sometimes I've roamed, its little paths when I've felt old.
Now smell the air, and you'll smell exhaust fumes everywhere.
Cause the place is just too narrow not to be bothered by them there.

But there's silence to the place when you stand there in the sun.
And there's an echo from an era that's already past and gone.
And there is silence in the Gardener Museum.
Where's that?
It's on the Fenway where I've dreamed my dreams.

Well after all.
Clap your hands.

And there's a silence to that place as you stand there in the sun,
and there's also this haunting silent sorrow,
Cause the glory days have gone.
And there is silence in the Gardener Museum.
Where's that?
Well, it's on the Fenway, as you know, where I've dreamed my dreams.
Boston's Fenway, where I've dreamed my dreams.

NOTE ... I love this song and it's very meaningful to me. But I'm pretty sure these aren't the real lyrics, as online lyrics often aren't, due to - well, I don't know what. I'll find the tune and transcribe the actual words.

Image ... Looking up the Muddy River running through the Fenway.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

December 27, 2011

Thought for now ...
It is in the giving that we receive.
... Saint Francis of Assisi, 'the joyful beggar'.

Image ... Frost on third floor window, Dorchester.

Monday, December 26, 2011

December 26, 2011

Image ... Kylee with Kiwis.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

December 24, 2011

A Yellow Warbler landed on my hat while I was sitting in the sunroom the day before last. It then flew off to the nearby fence where we both had a good chance to look each other over and get an ID. I feel blessed when birds perch on me, chickadees and titmice among the others. They don't do it lightly, although perhaps by chance.

A night of rain that evening and the garden is now flooded again, but only partly this time. The paths and patios are passable, if sort of soggy and squishy.

Working on Roofscape #1. Learning code. Marking up. Swatting bugs. Introducing and editing content. Writing new work. Back in the saddle. Fun. Of sorts. I love the challenge of coding.

Working at the Y. They're going to kick us out any minute now. Head home for the holidays. Good for them. Fellow sufferers. I've got to stop by the garden. Back anon. After these holy days. Everything closed now as if in mourning. The Puritans had it right. On the subjects of sin - and Christmas - they nailed it. Avoid both. They lead down the same path. As Niebuhr famously said, "The only provable assertion in all of religion is the existence of sin." Amen.

Image ... Shop window at the Pru.

Friday, December 23, 2011

December 23, 2011

Image ... Japanese Village Below Fuji in Snow. Wood block print, artist unknown.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

December 22, 2011

Happy Solstice!

Thoughts ...
... it appears probable that the progenitors of man, either the males or females or both sexes, before acquiring the power of expressing their mutual love in articulate language, endeavoured to charm each other with musical notes and rhythm.
The Descent of Man, Charles Darwin.

Image ... Lower Mills, Dorchester.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

December 21, 2011

Image ... Snowflake, Nixon Street.

Monday, December 19, 2011

December 19, 2011

Thought for now ...
It may be that the deep necessity of art is the examination of self-deception.
Robert Motherwell

Image ... Kayaks along the Charles River.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

December 18, 2011

The Higgs Boson, an elusive subatomic particle who's existence has been theorized since the 1960's as helping to give mass to matter, may have finally been spotted at Cern, the super particle accelerator array straddling the Swiss-French border deep underground. Here's a video describing the possible discovery.

Meanwhile, I'm flying along learning XHTML and CSS. Very exciting. I've always loved programming. This will bring Roofscape up to current standards and lift the design and functionality of the magazine by several notches.

Very chilly today. Must be in the 20's with some breezes, even real winds at times. Worked at the Prudential Center's 'Winter Garden', Panera and YMCA. Snell Library at Northeastern closed today.

Began moving titles and content into Roofscape #1, while working with CSS coding learned this morning - 'span', 'div' and 'float'.

I do, however, suffer from being at computers for hours on end, a physical unease and mental fatigue. Maybe we all do at times, but some more than others.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

December 17, 2011

I've chosen this image of Chy-chy for my holiday card.

Image ... La Chynae Loving, my goddaughter, doing her Nutcracker thing.

Friday, December 16, 2011

December 16, 2011

Thought for now ...
Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.
... Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Image ... Shadows. Nassau, Bahamas.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

December 15, 2011

Thought for now ...
Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persitence. Talent will not; there is nothing more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
... Calvin Coolidge.

Image ... Tobin Bridge over the Mystic River from Admiral's Hill.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Roofscape #1

Possible outline of Roofscape #1 ...

Image: Alleyway.
Welcome: plans, subscription, archives, journal, Twitter.
Contents: title/summary.
Ad: Fat Cow.
Cookout: Puttanesca.
Beans: PR's horse.
Birds: list, hawks.
Homeless in Boston.
Orion: Night of the Hunter.
Thought for now: ?
Portfolio: AAPL (1 new pick per).
FWD, unsub., etc.

December 14, 2011

Thought for the day ...
Your true traveller finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of this liberty - his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure.
... Aldous Huxley.

Image ... Geese over the Muddy River.

Monday, December 12, 2011

December 13, 2011

Thought for the day ...
The surface is all you've got. You can only get beyond the surface by working with the surface.
... Richard Avedon.

Image ... Shadows on steel.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

December 12, 2011

Here's the image I'm considering for this December's holiday card. The view is of rooftops on Beacon Hill taken through a snowfall.

The alternative is the image in the December 12 entry below. But I'm not even sure it's mine, although I'm certain I edited it, perhaps extensively. It's a little cheerier.

Image ... Rooftops in Snowfall.

December 11, 2011

Thought for the day ...
Finally, I do think the way to a full and healthy life is to adopt the sensible system of "small helpings, no seconds, no snacking, and a little bit of everything." Above all - have a good time.
... Julia Child.

Image ... Wrapping paper.

Carrots in Champagne

I found this recipe in an old New Orleans charity church cookbook on sale at The King of Records on Queensberry Street. The King, a great junk shop, is now sadly gone but not forgotten. Over the years it furnished my garden in the Fenway with chairs, tables, umbrellas and loads of books, the garden being my favorite reading spot, including Julia Child's The French Chef Cookbook. Jerry, the former owner, is a fellow gardener in the Fenway, holding informal jam sessions with his many musician buddies under his huge katsura tree, brought back from Japan at the end of WWII.

This is a flexible and forgiving recipe. It isn't even necessary to quantify it. Just use whatever amounts strike your fancy, within the realm of good taste. I've kept it simple to serve as a side with substantial fare such as bird. If wanted, it could be extended with, say, some shavings of prosciutto or Parmessan or maybe with herbs.

This recipe invariably invokes a few puzzled looks when it's set on the table. Then this delicious dish gets totally demolished leaving no doubters in its wake.

green table grapes
maple syrup

1. Trim the tops and tap roots off the carrots. Peel. Slice thinnly.
2. Steam, or boil in water to cover, until the carrots are al dente, or tender-crisp. Drain and let dry.
3. Slice a bunch of green table grapes along their length.
4. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Whisk in the champagne and maple syrup.
5. Add the carrots and grapes. Saute until the carrots are tender. Serve as a side.

Friday, December 9, 2011

December 9, 2011

As the Occupy Boston encampment in Dewey Square is broken up, the O.B. website offers a quotation from Dr. King, whose concern was always with economic as much as racial justice, which he considered to be inextricably linked.

Thought for the day ...
True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Image ... Clock and lights, Nixon Street.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

December 8, 2011

Image ... Lief.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December 7, 2011

Image ... Patio umbrella.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

December 4, 2011

First frost in the garden. The dark mud rimed with a white dusting. The sodden paths now firmer underfoot. And this is December! The latest frost I can recall. Oh, there was a snowstorm around All Hallows' Eve, but that doesn't count. Frost is frost and snow is snow. No one ever skied on frost.

Our first fall frost usually descends between mid to late September. And this one was only in the gardens, sloping down toward the Muddy River. Nowhere else that I noticed in the city, a chill walk across town.

Image ... Nudes on a glass vase.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

December 3, 2011

Image ... Installation at a church on Berkeley Street, Boston.

Friday, December 2, 2011

December 2, 2011

This is one of those images that I have no idea what the source photograph was, much less how it got to look this way. Often I apply multiple filters, sometimes several times, until things get interesting. There's always the Undo button if I go too far. In fact, this may not even be one of my photos, it may be a found image. Whatever it was, it looked nothing like this.

Thought for the day ...
Facts are better than dreams.
Winston Churchill.

Image ... Wake.