Monday, May 31, 2010

Hate to say it...

Howie Carr is right...Charlie Baker is bombing. He has no energy and Gov. Deval Patrick is doing an effective job with his campaign. Baker on the other hand is boring and isn't giving people a reason to vote for him. I certainly am not impressed.

See Howie's thoughts here.

Old school

I cannot wait for Thursday...the 12th time the Celtics and Lakers will meet in the NBA Finals. The Celtics have won all but 2 of those times, the last time of course in 2008. Get those Beat LA chants ready!

Speaking of which, here is an article on the origin of "Beat LA" with video from the game that started it...a game in 1982 against the 76ers, not the Lakers.

Also, I read that the Celtics have only lost 3 NBA Finals series - an .850 winning percentage (they of course have won 17). The Lakers are 15-15.

All around

This has been a whirlwind Memorial Day weekend thus far. On Friday I attended my school's prom at CR Sparks in Bedford, NH where I had my first ever blackberry (it came with the dessert). On Saturday we all headed to Hampton Beach to help my in-laws get their place ready for a rental. Lynn did most of the work and I took Kevin to the beach to throw rocks. The tide was all the way in so we just sat on the rocks looking and throwing smaller rocks. After that we headed to my friend Bill's house in Raymond, NH for his fiance' birthday party. The kids were knocked out on the ride home. We got back home around 9pm or so and Erin stayed asleep until the next morning!!

Yesterday we went to the 10am mass and Kevin stayed in the pew for most of the mass and Erin sat quietly on my lap (so there is a God after all). On Memorial Day and the 4th of July, the cantor always sings this beautiful song that includes the words, "O Lord heal our broken land and turn our nation back to You." In the middle of the song the whole choir stands up and sings "America the Beautiful." I always get teared up and yesterday was no exception.

It was also the last Sunday for our pastor, Fr. Bob Connors. Tomorrow he begins his new assignment as pastor of St. Patrick's in Watertown. Our parochial vicar, Fr. Chris Casey (who baptized Kevin and Erin), is also leaving to go to St. Agnes in Arlington. Our new pastor, Fr. Brian Mahoney, doesn't come here until June 14 so our senior priest in residence, Fr. Jim Lyons, is running the show for two weeks! Fr. Mahoney will just be the pastor at our parish. Fr. Connors was the pastor of the two parishes in Dracut but now the other parish, Ste. Marquerite's, is going to share a pastor with St. Rita's in Lowell.

After mass we headed to Middleboro for Lynn's niece's birthday party. Today we're going to the annual Memorial Day Parade here in Dracut and that's about it. We have to do some grocery shopping too I guess but that's all. It will be nice to just hang out for the day.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Only if it is a Democrat

Hillary Clinton, 2003:

“I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic, and we should stand up and say, ‘We are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration.’”

Gov. Deval Patrick, 2010:

"It seems like child’s play compared to what is going on in Washington, where it is almost at the level of sedition, it feels to like me."

So...it's OK for folks to compare George Bush to Hitler and call for his assassination but when you critique President Obama you should go to prison?

Makes sense to me.

By the way, Gov. Patrick. You also said “I think that the number of people in the Grand Old Party who seem to be absolutely committed to saying ‘no,' whenever he says ‘yes,’ no matter what it is, even if it’s an idea that they came up with, is just extraordinary."

Hmmm, ask Mitt Romney how the Democratic state legislature treated his ideas. Your idea to abolish the Mass Pike? That was his idea but the legislature refused to do it. How about them changing the state law regarding filling Senate vacancies so he would not have the power to appoint a Republican had John Kerry been elected president in 2004?

Shall I go on?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Good riddance

One of the biggest hacks in state government, Michael Travaglini, is leaving his job as the head of the state pension fund next month. His reason? "...efforts by legislators to curb the compensation of people in his office." He also said that "The environment has turned hostile." Gee, I wonder why that is? Perhaps because the state payroll is full of swine who use the taxpayers as their own personal ATM.

What a complete jerk.

This bum makes $322,000 a year plus bonuses. Care to guess how he got his job? Take a look at his last name. Sound familiar? It should. His brother is Robert Travaglini - the former Senate President.

Later dude...don't let the door hit you on the way out the door.

Hacks galore

The Boston Globe did an amazing job yesterday highlighting the hackery at the state's Probation Department. In sum, its commissioner, John O'Brien, rules with an iron fist and there is little to no oversight of the department. In 2001, former Speaker Tom Finneran helped strengthen O'Brien's powers by giving the sole power to hire and fire workers.

I think you know where this leads us.

Well, O'Brien has now been suspended pending an investigation by the Supreme Judicial Court.

And tell me again why local aid is being cut? Schools are being closed? But, these guys get free reign to spend and hire whomever they want?

It's for reasons like this that I don't think I will be voting for any incumbents in November. Enough is enough.

See the story here.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

What a week

It was so nice to get home at 4pm yesterday - I worked late every night this week.

On Monday we had a softball game way out in Keene (on the Vermont border). The game started at 5pm and we didn't leave until 6:45 or so as the JV team when into extra innings. Then we had to pick up the girl's tennis team and then stopped at McDonald's and Wendy's (they were next to each other thankfully). We got back to the school around 9pm and after unpacking the bus and chatting with one of the custodians, I was off and home a little after 10pm.

On Tuesday we had another game that was home but went into 13 innings (we lost). After that we had our Spring Choir Concert which lasted until 8pm. On Wednesday I went on a field trip to the Museum of Fine Arts (I was a pinch hitter for a teacher who got sick) and because of bus delays we didn't get back to the school until 8:15 or so. And finally, on Thursday we had another game. Luckily this got over at 5:15 but I had to meet my father in Burlington who had the kids. I was making good time but got stuck in mega traffic on Rte. 3 and didn't get there until 6:30.

Today Kevin has gymnastics and I think we're going to head into Boston today to see the USS Constitution and maybe Bunker Hill.

Next week will be no better. We have games on Monday and Wednesday (the last ones unless we make the playoffs), Academic Award Nights on Tuesday, a Softball Alumni Game on Thursday, and the prom on Friday. Luckily we get out at 12pm on Friday so I'll get to go home for a few hours before the prom.

The end of the year is always busy...but lots of fun.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Um....

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal:

"We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam.”

Former Connecticut Democratic Party Chair George Jepsen:

"I don't think at any time did he deliberately or knowingly create the impression that he served in Vietnam."

So....

Karma

Oh this is too good. State Rep. Mike Moran of Boston was rear ended by an alleged drunk driver...who is also an illegal alien. The best part? Moran voted against the Perry Amendment!

The illegal supposedly laughed when told of the charges he was facing. He probably know that in this state, illegals get better treatment than citizens. Like Howie Carr always says, "I don't want any special treatment, just treat me like an illegal immigrant."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Disgrace

Can you imagine a visiting Head of State coming to our country, addressing a Joint Session of Congress, and publicly criticizing a state law and then Members of Congress giving him a standing ovation?

You don't have to imagine it. It happened:



Did you see that bum Sen. John Kerry right up front?

What will happen?

I don't mean to get ahead of ourselves here but let's say the Celtics beat the Magic and make it to the NBA Finals. Furthermore, what happens if the Phoenix Suns beat the LA Lakers in the Western Conference Finals and play the Celtics? Will the Boston City Council pass a resolution calling on the Celtics to boycott the games in Phoenix?

A first?

Can you imagine a visiting Head of State coming to our country and publicly criticizing a state law and then the President of the United States standing next to him and also criticizing said law?

You don't have to imagine it. It happened.

Whose side is this guy on?

Friday, May 14, 2010

You know when...

You know you're a parent when...

...you go to On Demand to find something on HBO On Demand and you automatically go to PBS Sprout On Demand

...you speak to your cat the same way you do to your kids

...an amazing Friday or Saturday night is when you can watch TV in peace

...you consider watching a kid's show even if there's no kid around (so sue me, I like Fireman Sam)

...you get super excited about a trip to get ice cream

...you relish errands just to be alone for a few minutes

You know it's hot out when the cat is sprawled out flat on his back










Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tell me again...

The Boston Globe tells us that the two local men who were arrested today for allegedly being involved in the Times Square Bombing Plot are being held for "immigration violations."

Gee, whatever does that mean? Aren't we just profiling these poor men who just want a better life in America?

Does Gov. Patrick still feel that those who feel going after illegal immigrants is not "above board?" Isn't this just, as he said, "stirring up fear?"

Will the City of Boston now boycott the federal government for arresting these poor gentlemen?

Full story?

The John F. Kennedy Library is touting a new exhibit on the 50th anniversary of JFK's "victory" in the West Virginia Democratic Primary. They swoon:

Kennedy's campaign in West Virginia was all-out. For weeks he traveled up and down the state, meeting thousands of voters, many of whom suffered from severe economic hardship. He shone a national spotlight on their plight and detailed a plan for economic recovery. He commended their strength in the face of adversity. And instead of shying away from the "religion issue," he confronted it head-on. By May 10, 1960, Kennedy had won the West Virginian's votes, and they had won his heart. The people of West Virginia-their kindness and fairness, their grit and determination and patriotism-made their mark on this young candidate and helped to shape the President he would become.

I wonder if the library has copies of all the checks and money bags the Kennedy's (especially Ted Kennedy) used to bribe voters and election officials? This was the most corrupt election in American history and for the JFK Library to spin it like this is so dishonest. Kennedy's people paid so many people off, including the sheriffs who controlled the ballots, that West Virginia's economy grew by 7% (I made that last part up of course but you get it).

What a crock.

Which way is it?

So it seems that a Catholic school in Hingham rescinded the acceptance of an 8 year old as his parents, the school discovered, are lesbians. The archdiocese has said that there is no rule that prohibits children of homosexual couples to attend Catholic schools.

That's fine, I have no problem with this student attending the school and I am not defending the school here. But what kills me is everyone piling on the archdiocese saying that the school is discriminating. If you recall the debates over gay marriage back in 2003, pro-gay marriage people said that this would not impact churches who oppose gay marriage at all. This, they said, is not a religious issue but a state issue and churches are free to ignore it if it violates their teachings. But, now that the church is acting upon what they said, they're calling the church "pathetic" (Jim Braude on WTKK this morning) and "inappropriate" (State Rep. Garrett Bradley in this morning's Globe).

I knew this would happen.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What liberal media?

After Boston Mayor Tom Menino's trip down memory lane this week in which he spoke of "Jason Varitek splitting the uprights", the Boston Globe has a piece today on other famous sports flubs. They mention Ted Kennedy's "Mike McGwire and Sammy Sooser" beauty; John Kerry's praising of "Manny Ortez" and Martha Coakley reminding us all that Curt Schilling is a Yankees' fan. They also mention Scott Brown asking if the Sabres are the team from Washington and former Connecticut Rep. Chris Shays calling the White Sox the Blackhawks.

It's interesting, when they mentioned the Democrats, they just list the correction. But for Brown and Shays they add some little snid remark.

Brown: That'd be Buffalo, Senator Brown.

Shays: Shays, who later corrected himself, must have missed the movie "Eight Men Out," which chronicled Shoeless Joe Jackson and his "Black Sox" teammates.

No other little shots at Kennedy, Kerry, or Coakley. But of course, who would be surprised?

GOP Victory

It was a zero sum gain as the seat formerly held by Sen. Scott Brown was picked up by another Republican yesterday in a special election. In Cambridge, a Democrat won the Senate seat formerly held by a now guest of the government at the Billerica House of Corrections. So, the party make-up hasn't changed but the Massachusetts GOP has to feel good about holding onto Brown's seat.

Spineless AND worthless

Amazing column in today's Boston Globe about the gutless Boston City Council. They are so worthless with Mayor Thomas Menino holding all the power in city government. Now, with the Boston Firefighters looking to receive a 19% pay raise despite city libraries being closed, high unemployment, etc. the City Council has remained silent on the issue. They can either accept or reject the deal and no one, except for Chuck Turner, has said anything (Turner said he's vote no).

Former Councilor Tom Keane has a great column in the paper today about the weakness of the council and, the realization that perhaps we don't need one. Here's a taste:

The price of such timidity is high. The council is a big drain on the city's budget - $4.67 million in the next fiscal year. Councilors each make $87,500 annually (more than 2.5 times the average per capita income in Boston) while each councilor in turn has an annual staff allowance of at least $187,500. That's too much money to spend just to have these folks occupy their days pointing out where plows have missed streets or informing police officials about which favored constituents might make good cadets. Boston residents are entitled to expect that nearly $5 million should buy some measure of courage, independence, and representation.

And if that doesn't happen, it's not unreasonable to wonder whether the money could be better spent some other way. Get rid of the council, and the savings would allow the BPL to keep all branches open with a good amount left over for other needed city services. By doing nothing, the council treads dangerously close to making the case for its own demise.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Brown is out

Gordon Brown is out as Prime Minister of Great Britain and Conservative Party member David Cameron is in. Brown had said he was going to resign in September...guess that got moved up a bit, huh?

Interesting tidbit from Sky News:

Sky News' royal commentator Alastair Bruce said the Queen would have asked the Tory leader the constitutional question "Will you form the new administration?" and the moment he said "yes" he became prime minister of Great Britain.

I never knew that. I thought there had to be a vote by the House of Commons.

Anyway, Cameron is now the third major right leading head of government in Europe. He joins French president Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

If I've lost Cronkite

When self-proclaimed weeny liberal Dan Kennedy says there will be a backlash against public employees, you know they're in trouble. See here.

What's good for the goose

The Boston Globe editorializes today against negative ads launched by the Republican Governors Association against Tim Cahill. They write:

But candidates have the option of demanding that supporters pull down their ads. Baker hasn’t done it. So voters should put him and all future candidates on alert that the usual dodges won’t apply here. If a candidate doesn’t openly repudiate an ad run in his favor, voters can safely hold the candidate responsible for it.

Hmmm, when Martha Coakley, who ran the dirtiest campaign in modern memory, had tons of negative ads from outside groups did the Globe call on her to repudiate them? I think you know the answer to that question.

Happy day

Lynn, Kevin, Erin, and I headed down to Lakeville yesterday for the First Communion Mass of Lynn's niece Ciarra. We actually got a late start as we all slept in until the ungodly hour of 8:30! Kevin came into our room at 4:30am as he was scared of the thunder. We hardly ever let him sleep in our bed but we made an exception. When he does sleep there, he sleeps in for some reason (he says it's because of our pillows).

The mass was at St. Martha and Mary Church and we got there halfway through the mass. We went downstairs to change Erin and noticed the church hall and bathrooms were a wreck. I guess they got hit hard during the recent floods so everything was torn up. We went back upstairs to see Ciarra receive communion and then took some pictures afterwards. Then we all headed back to their house in Middleboro for the party.

After the party we went to the house of our friends Rebecca and Dave here in Dracut. They went to the Red Sox game and we said we'd watch their daughter for a bit. Her aunt couldn't get her until 5pm so we watched her until then.

Last night Kevin and I ran to the store to get some last minute things for Mother's Day - not presents, I already got everything but you should have seen the parking lot at the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua, it was packed with cars. I was picking up some food for today. I made Ina Garten's Roasted Shrimp and Orzo salad and her brownie pudding. Great stuff!

Happy Mother's Day to all!

Only in the government

Howie Carr points out the obvious today...that only if you work for the government can you get a 19% pay raise if you promise not to be drunk or high while on the job:

For a 19 percent pay hike, I would gladly submit to any kind of random drug testing the Herald demands. Hell, I’d even take a Breathalyzer before I write my next column.

Just as soon as the check clears.

Once again we get a revealing glimpse of the two Americas. One, the Dreaded Private Sector, in which you’re lucky to have a job, any job. As opposed to the fat-and-happy public sector, where the Boston Fire Department’s Local 718 runs amok. God, I hope that BFD file clerk who’s already pleaded guilty is singing like a canary to the grand jury about all those “disability pensions” down on Northampton Street.


Can we all agree that it is an onerous burden, if not a violation of the Eighth Amendment, to be expected to show up for work clean and sober? Life, liberty and the pursuit of highs - that’s what it’s all about, at least in the hackerama.

Great stuff, see it all here.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Back to the future

As I mentioned yesterday, today Lynn and I headed to my hometown of Melrose to attend the Centennial Mass for my grammar school, St. Mary's in Melrose. I spent a LOT of time at St. Mary's Church and School and the parish was a huge part of my younger years. It's also where I met Lynn. She was hired as our Youth Minister as I headed to the seminary in 2001. When I decided to leave a year later and came home, I had some intention of joining the Archdiocese of Boston as a priest but when I was leaving mass one Sunday and first saw Lynn...well, that changed all plans.

Anyway, Kevin stayed at my parent's house as Lynn, Erin and I went to the church. The place was packed and the only available seats were in the choir loft but with poor visibility. Lynn eventually went into the downstairs chapel to feed Erin and it turned out that it had AC, a TV hook-up to the mass, and a lot of people, including my cousin Bill, his wife Judy, and their children Mary and Luke. I stayed upstairs for the mass and enjoyed Cardinal Sean O'Malley's homily and celebration of the mass. After communion, the pastor, Fr. John Sullivan, said a few words and then introduced the Mayor of Melrose, Rob Dolan, who gave some beautiful words on the role of the priests and the school in Melrose and the impact they've made on the city. It was very touching and the cardinal seemed moved as well.

After mass there was a procession to a local hall called Memorial Hall for the reception. The reception was more of performances by the students so we decided to head out. We went back to my parent's house, got some lunch from Liberty Bell, and sat out on the deck all afternoon. It was an amazing weather day, perfect for lounging on a deck!

Today was a nice trip down memory lane. I remembered how beautiful the church is and we got to see some folks we haven't seen or thought about in years. A nice, nice day.

Do as I say...

If I asked you where Concord and Belmont fell on the political spectrum you'd be correct in saying Left. They're both similar in that they are comprised of upper middle class and super wealthy residents who love President Obama and who go to confession (opps, that's too religious) when they don't recycle.

They would be the first group of people to call Arizona's new immigration law "draconian" and "cruel." Who are we, they would say, to demand identification of people who are just here because they want a better life? Well, i just saw on the news that the Town of Belmont was giving out free water today...but only to citizens of Belmont. You had to show an ID when you got there and if you were not from the town, you had to leave. HOW CRUEL! Just because someone is from Arlington doesn't mean they're not entitled to free water! How can they be so heartless.

As for Concord, they are darn lucky they don't get their water from the MWRA. They just passed a ban on bottled water in their town. Whatever would they have done?!?!? I'll tell you what they would have done...they would have ransacked every local store and bought every bottle of plastic they could find and not think twice about it.

Typical liberals.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Back to the grind

So only one more full day until we're back to school after April vacation. This indeed is the home stretch as the seniors only have three full weeks left and AP exams are over the next two weeks. I cannot believe this year is almost over...it is the fastest academic year I've experienced in my four years of teaching. I am really going to miss the seniors as their freshmen year was my first year so they're the first class I've seen all the way through. It will be tough to say goodbye to them.

I didn't do a whole lot over break. We had three softball games but other than that, I just spent time with the kids and Lynn (Lynn goes back to work in two weeks herself). Erin is developing a real personality and Kevin is chattering up a storm lately. Tonight Erin was sitting in her swing and I was doing raspberries on her feet and she let out a huge laugh, it was hysterical.

Today was an absolutely beautiful day in Massachusetts so we decided to head outside on a little hike. We went to Weir Hill in North Andover - it was a picture perfect setting. The first part was a very steep incline and Kevin wanted to be carried which made it challenging for yours truly! But when we got to the top we got a nice view of the West. We then went down the other end and enjoyed talking to fellow hikers, playing with dogs, and taking in the scenery. The kids were really good and seemed to have a nice day strolling around and enjoying nature!

Tomorrow Lynn and I are going to Melrose for the 100th anniversary mass for my alma mater, St. Mary's School. I am a 1990 graduate of the school and wanted to go back and celebrate. I haven't been to a mass at St. Mary's Church for almost 5 years so it will be nice to go home again. I spent hundreds if not thousands of hours at St. Mary's as an altar boy, rectory worker, lector, CCD teacher, etc. The school and church played a big role in my formation and am looking forward to going back. Cardinal Sean O'Malley is saying the mass and I am sure there will be tons of old faces. I can't wait.