Thursday, May 31, 2007

Karen Powell Takes Her Turn

Local activist Karen Powell [news] has an announcement to make, and she'll be making at the John Boyle O'Reilly Club this coming June 19th. The City of Springfield could certainly use some new faces on the City Council, and Powell's candidacy offers a perfect opportunity for us voters to make this happen.

Powell's views almost precisely (if not entirely) mirror my own views. In the past, she has worked with the Citizens for Limited Taxation, opposed trigger locks for guns in the City (read this Reminder article to see why), opposed the Albano-proposed needle exchange program, and helped manage this spring's "Keep Springfield Beautiful" effort (which I also participated in as a volunteer in the trenches ;-)

See her invitation to any & all interested, below.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

You are cordially invited to the
official campaign kick-off
Karen Powell
Candidate for

Springfield City Council

Tuesday, June 19, 2007
5:30 PM to 7:30 PM

John Boyle O'Reilly Club
33 Progress Avenue
Springfield, MA

“ROCK 102 Morning Show” personality - John O’Brien

Featured Speakers
The Honorable Mayor Charles V. Ryan
2004 Teacher of the year - Melinda Pellerin Duck

Donations welcome

Paid for by the Committee to Elect Karen Powell
c/o 34 Mohawk Drive, Springfield, MA 01129

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Labels: ,

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Springfield Eats a Big Breakfast

Springfield, MA, celebrated its annual "World's Largest Pancake Breakfast" on Main Street this Saturday (May 26th). The event returned to the downtown location after a two year stint over at the Eastfield Mall (on the city's eastern outskirts). The breakfast had originally been scheduled for last weekend (May 19th), but was postponed due to bad weather.


The calm before the storm:
Tables line Main Street on Friday afternoon.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Below is a leftover clip from the Breakfast videos.
It's a car being offered as a prize.

~ ~

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Out & About in Springfield, MA

Okay, here we go! I made a brief video at the bottom of Longhill Street in Springfield, MA, yesterday. As I recorded it, I was twice distracted by folks who wanted to get my attention. The first person was a woman asking for directions. She got quickly annoyed with me, however, as I took my time explaining various turns while the cars behind her got backed up. So she just drove off. The second person was some chick shouting out "Hey, a camera! Hi!" - and she waved merrily as the car she was in sped by me, which was funny. See the video, below. I also wandered around Springfield and snapped a few photos (scroll below the video).


Earlier in the day, I strolled down Chestnut Street and stopped to take a couple of photos of the stairway opposite the Museum of Fine Arts. The stairs lead from Chestnut Street down to Dwight Street, and were apparently meant to be used by folks trekking from the Museums to the Civic Center.

Unfortunately, the area is currently gated and locked. The banners inside that I saw were old and torn. (Nostalgia trip... ~*~`~..*..... I remember using the stairs as a teenager back in the `70s to get to the Civic Center for rock concerts.... I don't remember much about the rock concerts.... perhaps because of the drugs and alcohol....~*~`~..*)

I don't know if the stairway/park is always locked up or not, but every time I walk by it, it is. Why is that? I don't know, but I suspect the usual suspects: vagrants and drug addicts.

The picture above shows the lower part of the stairway/park, next to Dwight Street. There's a drained pool there at the center-left, and also a statue of a naked chick to the right.

It's a beautiful little urban park, and a it's shame that it doesn't get any use these days.


Meanwhile, on another part of my travels, I spied these pigeons (above) roosting between the steel beams of the railroad underpass at Dwight Street, just before coming out onto the Lyman Street intersection. There's a fairly thick layer of bird yucky all along the walls, there, and also covering the lights.

Yeah, I know. Woop-dee-doo.


And finally, below are just a couple of extra photos I had left over from my daily walks. The first one is of an old abandoned car on the lot next to the closed-up "Louie's Auto Body" on East Columbus Avenue. The photo below that is of a vagrant's house parked in the doorway of a vacant building at the corner of Main Street and Adams Street. (Both photos are about a month or so old.)

~ ~

Missing Persons in New England

Labels: ,

Thursday, May 17, 2007

My Bro to Make "People's Court" Appearance

Big News!!

My brother, Gerry, went to a taping of "The People's Court" a couple of months back, and I've just received word that his appearance will be airing on June 13th, 2007. Mark your calenders, accordingly!

Gerry owns "Affordable Doors," a garage door & opener company out of Manchester, CT (his service area is throughout the state), and his small claims case is in regards to a non-payment/partial payment by a customer. In the interest of dramatic suspense, I can't tell you how it comes out. But you can see for yourselves by tuning in on the day it airs (June 13th). Check your local listings for the channel and time.

* *

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

DRAW ME: I am a Unique Person!

This is something for all of you visitors to enjoy!

In a celebration of diversity, I created the below drawing of a very unique person (see bottom of post). You may notice, of course, that he/she has a slight development problem. That's where all of you folks come in: First, left-click on the image to select it (it should load to its actual size). Then right-click on the image and download it to your desktop (by selecting "Save Picture As" from the resulting menu). Using your favorite art editing program (file is in GIF format, so you may need to increase colors to 16 million), add a physical feature to help this person develop and grow into a complete human being. Save your contribution, then e-mail it back to me at


1.) It doesn't matter which body part you choose, but you must select one from the list I have below (so please, no penises).

2.) Put whatever clothes you like on your body part, but try to keep it similar to the clothing on the other parts.

3.) You may choose a skin color, or leave the part blank. But once a skin color is chosen for a particular person, that color must be maintained for the whole body. (EDITOR'S NOTE: A colorless part [by default considered a white person] may be colored in if a particular body needs a part to be completed.)

4.) Keep the body part similar in proportion to the rest of the body.

5.) No more than two contributions to start with, until visitor participation is gauged.

6.) DO NOT change the size of the image. It should be Width-280 px. by Height-330 px.

7.) The deadine for drawing submissions is tentatively set for May 31st, 2007, depending on contributions.

As the contributions flow in (I'm sure!!), I will indicate next to each listed body part how many times it was selected, so as to give others a better idea of what to pick next - hopefully, the least selected item (the drawing in progress will also be displayed). Many parts, such as the nose and ears, will be paired as a single contribution. Contributors names (or screennames, if you must) will be listed at the bottom of each drawing, along with what they contributed.

Duplicate contributions will create a new unique person, which will be added to this post, next to or below the original drawing. And so eventually, we may have an entire community of unique individuals making up our own diverse community! (This "community" may be placed on a separate post.)

But it all starts with this first special human being! It's all up to you folks! So start downloading and start drawing.

- HAIR (1)
- EYES + EARS (eyebrows optional)
- NOSE + MOUTH (1)
- TORSO + NECK (1)

UPDATE NOTE: My brother, Gerry, has kindly contributed this poor woman's torso. There is a tragic tale to be told somewhere in her life, I'm sure - as if something went terribly wrong in some car accident, or perhaps a diet plan gone awry. Even so, she's still smiling!

* *

Missing Persons in New England

Labels: , , ,

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Rogue Journal Alters Format

The New England Rogue Journal has recently altered its format to that of a hybrid weblog/ezine. The new format will allow for faster, easier updating, with more frequent story updates for visitors. The site still includes the "R-Files" section (unsolved murdered & missing persons) and weblog directory, as well as the legal column "Mass Law."

Stop by the latest incarnation of the New England Rogue Journal.

* *

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

VIDEO: Digging For Animals

A trip into the woodlands of Forest Park, in Springfield, MA, where I trekked about in search of Nature's little creatures. I dug into the swamps, lifted old logs, and rolled over stones in my quest for wildlife. There were plenty of salamanders to be found, but other animals would prove to be a bit more elusive...

~ ~

Missing Persons in New England

Labels: , ,

Hartford Advocate Film Critic Bagged

This little news item was e-mailed to me today: Hartford Advocate film critic John Boonstra was arrested on Friday (May 4th) by police as he arrived in Stamford, CT, for what he thought was a romantic rendezvous with an underage girl. That "little girl" was actually the police, who had been engaged in an online chat exchange with Boonstra (which police say he initiated) for the past several weeks.

What a dumbass.

Let this be a lesson to any would-be child sex predators out there: The police know how you operate, and they are watching out for you.

As for Boonstra, his infamy is secured. He resigned from the Advocate on Monday. Any respect he once had from his reading public is gone. Sure, some of his friends will hang in there with him - hell, knowing the Advocate's culture, they may even feel sorry for him. But he will always have that asterisk next to his name: child sex offender.


* *

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Got One!

Well, I came home from work last night to see that one of my mouse traps had worked as advertised!

I had noticed a mouse problem a couple of weeks back, and resolved to rid my house of their intrusion, one way or another. Mouse traps are my first tactic. If necessary, I'll get a cat and put her to work. (It will be a female cat - male cats suck - preferably black, and named "Killer".)

I purchased two kinds of traps: Two baitless spring/kill traps, and two "trap door" live capture traps that use bait. For several days I had no luck with either. But finally, tonight, I got my first kill. I had placed a kill trap beside my refrigerator, just by the entrance to my living room. My very first reaction when I saw the little rodent splayed out was, "Oooh! Got One!" I quickly picked up the trap and examined the kill. His little legs were sticking out from the front and back of the trap - the trap having snapped closed while he was apparently leaping through it. His little black eyes were bulged out of his head - as if he was still shocked by the unfortunate turn of events.

I immediately took the trap outside and dumped the body. It was only after I got back inside, however, that I thought I should write a blog post about my little victory - and wouldn't a photograph of the kill be neat, too?! But too late for that. I opted not to go back outside to retrieve the corpse and put it back in the trap for a photo (that I actually considered it may alarm some people). So instead, I drew a quick ink sketch of what I witnessed and scanned it. The sketch is below.

I thought, too, that the way the mouse was splayed out seemed surprisingly similar to a cartoon I drew for my "Small World" series about three years ago. That cartoon is below.

I'm still not entirely satisfied with the mouse traps, though, since it's been two weeks and I have only one kill to show for them. So I still may get Killer if the body count doesn't start going up soon.

~ ~

Missing Persons in New England

Monday, May 07, 2007

Squirrel Tossing

Somebody sent this video to me and I just had to link to it. Animal lovers - and quite a few PETA folks - are probably going to go nuts over this clip. I just thought it was funny as hell. For the record, I don't advocate abusing animals. But I figure it doesn't look like the little guys got hurt in this video - just tossed around a bit!


Golfing Stuff & a Grievance

I wanted to videotape my golf swing to get a better idea of why I'm so bad at golf, so off I went to Franconia Golf Course (Spfld, MA), where I set up my camcorder at the practice area across the street from the parking lot. In this video, I'm just practicing sand shots and lob wedge shots.

While I was out there, I also decided to go hunting for golf balls.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In other news, I happened to be strolling down East Columbus Avenue on Saturday when I caught sight of an offending piece of litter as I passed by the Marriot Hotel. I picked it up, and lookee what I found....

* *

Thursday, May 03, 2007

FLASH! - Spider Bite Causes Erection

I'm not going to comment on this article. I think the story speaks for itself....

WASHINGTON — A Brazilian spider delivers more than a painful bite that sends most victims to the hospital. Its venom stimulates an hours-long erection. Now scientists have figured out the chemical that seems to be responsible for the penis boost.

In Brazil, emergency room staff can immediately spot the victims of a bite from the Brazilian wandering spider (Phoneutria nigriventer). Patients not only experience overall pain and an increase in blood pressure, they also sport an uncomfortable erection.


~ ~

Missing Persons in New England

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

What a Bunch of Poppycock!

Hard as it is to believe, I have never heard of the boxed snack that goes by the name of "Poppycock". When I first saw it in a "Big Lots" store today, I laughed out loud (aka "LOL!") and quickly showed it to another shopper. Oddly enough, she seemed much less amused by the snack's name.

Had I missed something? Was this some new snack named after the popular exclamation? Or has this brand been around for years and I've just been living in a snack-deprived cave?

Poppycock comes in a variety of flavors, too. There's Original, Cashew Lovers, Chocolate Lovers, and Pecan Delight.

Personally, I could never put anything in my mouth that had that kind of a name to it. I was even going to buy a box just to try it out, but I couldn't bring myself to be seen putting it on the cashier's counter.

* *

Labels: , ,