Dave's Journal, June2016


"The best laid plans ......"

The plan for today was drive to Alewife station and train into Charles Street and wander up and down Beacon Hill.

Three miles before Alewife, I hit dead still traffic (construction) and we inched along so it took 32 minutes to go the 3 miles to the station garage. Which was full, and so was the overflow garage across the street.

I once asked Mike what the backup plan is when Alewife is full. "There is no backup plan" is how he so honestly put it.

So I continued and drove all the way into the art museum parking lot (where I get a discount).

I was NOT in an artsy mood, I wanted to walk around Beacon Hill which is now a 2-train ride across Boston. But I made a 30 minute visit to the museum. Then left my car there and walked zig zag for some hours, but never made it up to Beacon Hill. Then I took the train back to my car, got on the turnpike (a lot more miles, but I avoid that construction jam).

I surprised myself that I actually stayed in a reasonably good mood, despite that I went through the troubles to do something I didn't plan on doing.

Life's tough, huh.

These (below) are pots and pans and cooking utensils.
The sign said it was Art, and who am I to argue with the museum experts.
Pots and pans, huh.



"The Pru" behind apartments along Commonwealth Ave.


Hmmmm.... Mike is telling me that for $14.50 I could take the commuter train from home into Boston, and it would take just little more than an hour. This trip into Boston cost me gasoline ($6-$7 ?) and parking ($14 at the museum) plus 1h:50m driving.

I think the commuter train is in my future. In fact (I love this part), now that Deb is retired, she can drive me back and forth from the Leominster train station! Is that great or what !?


Today is the first day of Deb's retired life.

If anyone knows of a job open for a 71 year old deaf white guy with a bad attitude, please let me know.

Early This Morning at the Wildlife Sanctuary




(Glad that I bought that Minolta 135mm lens - for $25 !!)

(try not to stare at this)


Ogunquit, Maine (Today)

Deb's first day of retirement, we drove up to Ogunquit (I love the place). Never saw the water this high or this turbulent. It was just gorgeous.
It'll take me a day or two to sort through the pictures, and post them here.


More Pictures (Files are big. Give the page a few seconds to load.)

jpg Feeding my unstoppable, incurable addiction to old lenses, I just sent a guy named Yuri Boguslavsky $50 for that 1950's Russian lens over there.

He says ....

This Industar-26m version has a focusing ring with large ridges (previous version had a focusing lever). It was made in the late 1950's. The lens is in EXC- condition, the glass is clean with some minor cleaning marks.

If you have a screwmount Leica (or Leica copy) and want to have a sharp coated lens on it - try this Industar-26m, you will not be disappointed!

We shall see.

Scenes from Boston, Today

The local library issues discount passes to various places, and one of them is the Boston Aquarium. The pass lets you in for $10 and the regular admission is $26. So today, we "saved" $32 and had a really nice time in the city. Ate at Joe's grille on the harbor and got a great table and they let people sit and sip drinks and never every rush you out of there. A good time.




Face it .... this is an unsolvable problem .... end of discussion

50 killed in Florida nightclub

Omar Mateen carried an assault rifle and a pistol into the packed Pulse club about 2 a.m. Friday and started shooting, killing 50 people and wounding at least 53, police said. After a standoff of about three hours, police crashed into the building with an armored vehicle and killed Mateen.

Mateen bought his gun legally just last week in Florida, the fed said Sunday.

And the latest killings only added to the bloody pedigree of the AR-15.

Here are some of the other mass shootings in which the lethal rifle figured:

Dec. 2, 2015 - The AR-15 was one of the weapons Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik used to kill 14 people and wound 22 more in an attack on the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California.

Oct. 1, 2015 - Christopher Harper Mercer fatally shot and assistant professor and eight students in a classroom at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. He was armed with an AR-15 and other weapons.

June 7, 2013 - John Zawahri was armed with an AR-15 when he went on a rampage at the Santa Monica Community College outside of Los Angeles. He killed five people and wounded four before he was killed in a shootout with cops.

Dec. 14, 2012 - Adam Lanza used an AR-15 purchased by his mother to murder 20 first graders and six staffers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. He used a handgun to kill himself as the cops were closing in.

July 20, 2012 - The AR-15 was part of James Holmes' arsenal when he opened fire during the midnight screening of "The Dark Night Rises" at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

So here it is in two cold facts:

(1) America will never disarm itself or allow the federal government to disarm it.
(2) Given the firepower of the weapons legally available to the people, it will never be possible to stop a person from killing lots of people in crowded places.

I think we need to stop agonizing over "what we can do about it". There is nothing we can do about it.

This is exactly like primitve tribes who throw a few dozen little girls into a boiling volcano every year to appease the gods. Our American mass murder victims are the people we are willing to sacrifice so that the average citizen may own extremely lethal firearms.

Disarming America, through a constitutional amendment is not going to happen. And in fact, my opinion is that people should be allowed to own firearms of limited capacity, as follows:

This means that a person cannot carry loaded clips and swap out the empties quickly. Must stop shooting and reload the gun, one bullet at a time after every 6 shots.

I do believe (hope?) it would be possible to get enough voter and congressional support to get this kind of legislation written into the (federal) law.

God Bless America


Okay, enough political raving. (I'm probably upset because we are meeting my daughter and grandchildren in Disneyworld, Orlando later this week.)

Here's a nice pretty picture from my "new" $50 / 60 year old Russian lens. The old lenses are not razor, clinically sharp, and they have this kind of pleasant feeling in their pictures.



Holly sh#t . . . . we are off to Disneyworld (Orlando) tomorrow to meet Loretta & family. Aside from this mass-murder last week, this morning in the news: Alligator kills a little boy who was wading in a pond at Disneyworld ! !

Well . . . we're back!
(full report in a few days)


DisneyWorld as Metropolis

We've been to Disney maybe 6 times in the last 30 years, and I always enjoy it, though less and less as I get older-er. But the same thought hits me every time we go.

I ask myself "Why can't we run cities like this? Everything's pretty near perfect; a utopia."

Then I think .... well actually none of us visitors is making this place run smoothly. We are here for the ride. The whole of Disney runs smoothly because of the behind-the-scenes, underground, underpaid Disney workers. They are mostly invisible as we enjoy our days there. We can afford to "live above ground" there, but the workers don't make enough $$$ to do that. It strikes me like a sci-fi story theme: the city dwellers living a good life on the surface, in the sunlight, and the "subteraneans" running the machines below ground that keep DisneyWorld (even the name seems scary now !!) running ever so perfectly.

Remember the Fritz Lang movie (1927) Metropolis ? Here are the subteranean Disney workers on their way to work inside "the Disney Machine" . . . .


In fact, look at this picture I took at Epcot this week. Looks pretty similar to the one above from Metropolis, right ? I may be onto something here.


Well, anyway, we had a really nice 4 days at Disney with Loretta, Michael and the kids!!!

I am still sorting through pictures and will post them soon.

Here you go . . . . . DisneyPix2016

Local Art Exhibit

This was not a good year for me, "artistically", as I didn't have any pictures good enough to submit, but Deb and I went to the local Summer exhibit today. The big opening was a few days ago, and today there were only 6 people wandering about.

The stuff this year was outstanding. The grand prize winner (an oil painting) was REALLY outstanding, so I did not feel too too bad about not submitting anything.


I made the mistake of clicking into Google News this morning to check up on how the world is doing. Of course . . . same news as yesterday, last week, last year . . . same old sh#t over and over. I am reminded of my favorite George Carlin quote:

"I think the human race has squandered its gift, and I think this country has squandered its promise. I think people in America sold out very cheaply, for sneakers and cheeseburgers. And I don't think it's fixable."

Democracy, The Brits, Politicians Lie, Misinformed People Vote

The best political system is a "benevolent, intelligent monarch" - a king (or queen) who loves his country and it's people and always makes the best possible decisions. The second best political system is democracy - the people vote for stuff.

The big flaw in the democratic system is the sum of two real-world forces:
1. people in power tell lies
2. misinformed people vote

I sometimes think that if we all knew and thoughtfully considered 100% of the absolute truth, we would all vote for the same things, time and again. Maybe I'm wrong there, but I don't think I'm too wrong.

Take the Brits, for instance. They just voted to exit the EU and that sent the industrialized world into a tumble of fear and speculation. Indeed their decision is not unanimous, and they (the Brits) continue to have fierce conflicting feelings on this referendum.

Today's news is that the politicians who spearheaded the "Brexit" campaign are taking back the statements they made to get people to vote for exiting the EU. Step by step, all morning, they have been backtracking on what they were promising and with every step back, the people who voted are getting more and more furious about "having been lied to".

Here is a short article on the 3 big false promises the Brexit politicians made to get voters to vote their way: Broken Promises

None of this is new. It's been going on around the world since politicians and democracy came into being. After the Brits, we have the second best liar / politicians that money can buy right here in the US.

My little speech here won't change a thing - people are sheep and must be told how to think, what to think, what to vote for, etc etc etc. No one, no one, no one ever spends the appropriate time to read the various viewpoints and truths and fact-checkings on any topic anymore. We just think like the guy on TV tells us to think. Then we go out and vote. Scary, huh!