Well the ice slammed into us really good. No power (or heat) in the house, no power in the neighborhood, no power for most of the city (although as of this writing two sections of town have lights) and a good chunk of central mass is totally dark.

Tonight I’m writing from a friend’s house in the former Fort Devens. Our friend insisted we come to a place where the lights burn brightly.

I have my laptop with me and once I get a chance to read about today’s news I’ll have things to say but I’ll just go with a few observations:

People seem to be taking the lack of power in stride.

Trees are down everywhere, very large branches were blocking my driveway we cleared enough to pull in and out but there are huge trees and power lines all over the place.

The bright side is with school out we were able to make a trip to my favorite haunt in the days of HiWired: Mighty Subs in Needham (where you would never know a storm took place). Art and Karen have been together since high school and have run this place for decades. Their motto is “Our small is their large” and they aren’t kidding.

If you are EVER in the Needham Massachusetts area give them a visit, they are only open weekdays till 4 and serve a full breakfast as well, but it is their Mighty Subs that are the star of the show.

There is a fair amount of pleasure just reading a book or staying under the and not worrying about the rest of the world.

It’s days like this when you really have to appreciate the Police, Fire and Utility people. When the chips are down they work like there is no tomorrow.

You know at least one Christmas its a good idea to buy your wife $300 worth of Yankee Candles. Not only will she not need any more for years but some dark day it might pay off.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, nobody has a better group of friends than me that you can count on. I’m really blessed.

And destructive as it was, those trees covered in ice, particularly the view of a tree covered hillside is one of the most beautiful sights you will ever see.

That nasty Ice storm that was supposed to hit us earlier today finally has gotten here, power just flickered on and off in the house.

Depending on if it goes off again and stays off blogging may be spotty for the next 24 hours, but we’ll see.

BTW If you have a PC that you normally leave on and you are in the same boat as me it would be a good idea to power it down and/or disconnect it from a plug. Electrical issues along with heat and teenagers/relatives are the top killers of PC’s.

“But tech guy” you say “I have a surge protector and/or an uninterruptable power supply connected to my PC.” Let me put it this way. It takes a few minutes to shut down the machine and disconnect stuff. If either the surge or the backup power supply fails what would you rather do: spend a few minutes re-connecting devices or putting in a claim on the guarantee provided by the makers of those things?

Cripes go to deposit the rent and eat some lunch and now we have news of a 2 hour conference call between Blagojevich and the Obamaites. Gateway pundit is on it:

This is the same call where Blags famously uses profanity to refer to his good friend, Barack Obama, “F— him. For nothing? F— him.”.

This is getting out of control rather quickly maybe even to the point where the media can’t pretend it isn’t important anymore.

What I’m really waiting for is the start of the conspiracy Reverend Wright card by that I mean when will we see somebody suggest that all of this is just a conspiracy to either disable the first black president or to keep him from taking office.

Don’t think for one moment that the same demagogues that preach black liberation theology won’t do it. It is their bread and butter. They will cash in on this in the same way the 9/11 truthers and the Obama birth certificate stuff people are doing so.

You don’t think people are cashing in? Somebody is buying those books, somebody is buying those tee-shirts and buttons. That means someone is writing them and making them. And don’t forget its guys like these that are a cheap source of attack for someone who wants to make trouble.

I think we’ll see it before my LogMeIn trial period expires.

UPDATE: Nope. I don’t know how the last three words in the first sentence of the 5th paragraph were lost but there are back there now.

Ace discovers that it all depends on the meaning of “no contact” apparently that doesn’t include a public photo of the president elect and the Gov from last Tuesday.

I guess that explains all the old Clinton hands but it doesn’t explain the title of this post. This does:

If you just want the relevant line start at 4:20 and watch till 4:45.

UPDATE: The Captain sees the Clinton link too.

Mike Barnicle is from my home town. He often talks sense and like a regular human being. He also refers to the Moran Square Dinner that has the best breakfast in the area.

I’m watching Morning Joe right now. They have Ariana Huffington on right now however and Barnicle’s intro suggested that she practically invented internet journalism.

Mike I love ya but COME ON! Did you ever hear of Drudge, or Instapundit, or Andrew Sullivan, or Kaus, or The Corner, or Michelle Malkin, or LGF, or Kos, or Eschaton, or Hotair, or Oliver Willis or Tim Blair? And that’s just naming a few!

I mean the Huffington Post is ok, but how solid is a webblog that has to shut off comments to prevent its own readers from embarrassing themselves as antisemites or as just crass when conservatives die. .

Nasty ice storm warning in my area all the way, power might be iffy today.

This is quite inconvenient since the first eBay auction is due to end today, hope I don’t lose connection at that time.

If things get really quiet around here, that is the reason why. Of course if I get a sale then I’ve got to fire up LogMeIn and get going, now THAT would be a bad time to lose power.

The AP reports that Mass cities and towns should expect aid cuts:

House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi pushed Monday for legislation that would allow cities and towns to join the Massachusetts’ insurance plan despite objections by local unions, saying the move could save municipalities millions as they brace for possible cuts in state aid of up to 10 percent next year.

Well I have a Plan B to make up for my lost job. When I went to pay my water bill today I see the assessors office has a plan B too:
santa-ticket1

Multiply that by thousands of roofs and they may have a winner, but I think my plan is better

This has been a tighter than usual year. Circumstances from the 20th anniversary Cruise to other stuff had eaten up a good chunk of the money I normally set aside for Christmas gifts.

When the job left that clinched it. I generally buy the gifts all during the year for friends and family but for some reason the nieces and the brothers and sisters got covered early but the nephews and friends didn’t. Usually it is much easier for me to shop for the guys and the boys but items jumped out at me early for the other crowd this year. So Violet has something but Jack is out of luck.

As far as the immediate family this is where cheap has really paid off. All year I’ve been paying for everything with my Amazon.com gift card, then writing a check the following month to the card company. All the electric bills, all the oil bills, the 20th anniversary trip, Catholic School tuition, groceries et-al. The kids put their wish lists on Amazon and I had a stack of $25 coupons to use for them.

Additionally instead of ordering everything together I made each order separately. That way I was able to check the daily deals and jump on a thing or two while qualifying for the free super shipping.

My final order is being placed today. This will complete my Christmas shopping except for the the 12 guys who are out of luck unless I find something in the next two weeks. It will still be a thin Christmas but this really paid off this year.

Tight times or no da wife decided to give take me to see Mannheim Steamroller in Lowell Mass. My impressions follow:

The Memorial auditorium in Lowell is a great place to watch a concert, we had the “nosebleed” seats literally with our backs to the back wall and they were great for the concert its like watching a game at Fenway without breaking the bank.

Before the concert began the guy in charge of the place plugged gift cards for the place, and then very foolishly wished everyone a “happy holiday” (arbor day perhaps?) Considering the group and the concert and the demographics of the audience I can’t think of anything he could have said that would retard sales to this crowd more.

For some unknown reason the air conditioning was on in the place during the first act. It was freezing so we kept our winter coats , muffs, hats and scarfs on. Somebody took care of it at halftime.

They had a list of war dead in the auditorium, the amount of Civil war deaths from a city the size of Lowell was staggering to see as was the long list of Lowell men who apparently died on the USS Maine in 1898.

The list of 8 medal of honor winners was kinda large too.

I never thought I would see a bust of Gen Ben Butler in a place of high honor, he’s not a guy in history that you think of that way.

In the packed auditorium I noticed something right away:

There was nobody with a visible Tattoo.

There was nobody with a visible piercing.

There was nobody with any kind of shirt with a loud slogan

I didn’t see a single man with an earring

Nobody had hair dyed odd colors or with weird cuts

It has been decades since i saw a crowd composed of totally normal and average people. I suspect that the fact that Steamroller’s music gets a lot of it publicity from the Rush Limbaugh show had something to do with it. It was so striking I kept my eye’s open to see if I could find anyone odd during intermission and when we left. Other than a pair of really odd looking silver boots on a lady not a thing.

If you have heard cd’s and I have several it can’t compare to the visuals of the lights and film used in the performance. It is really something to see. The wife thought the cd’s were ok but decided the performance made her appreciate the Cd’s much more. She thought it was awesome.

It is a shame that the founder Davis is laid up, the idea of dividing the group into two, adding members and splitting them into east and west coast tours is great for the audience to expand the number of people who can see it, but I think I would have liked to see the original group at least once.

The videos and film were really classy. Apparently in larger stadiums they have live dancers and performers either instead of and in addition to the film. I find myself wanting to see it in that setting as well.

It never struck me but when they talked about medieval music and how many carols came from it their music does sound like it comes straight out of the 12-14th century sometimes.

I would really like to be able to buy tickets for an event for the actual face value of the tickets.

I never get sick of Christmas music, if the PC crowd manages to chase the word Christmas out of every other venue the music will keep it alive.