Protests, First Night and Boston Getting it Wrong

I’ll tell you right up front as I start this that I’m as much of a fan of First Night here in Boston as I am of the 4th of July.  Actually, it’s probably more accurate to say that I hate the crowds and accompanying stupidity for both just as much, but what the 4th stands for matters more to me.  And, I’ve never been able to figure out why they call the celebration of the last night of the year First Night.

Anyway, New Year’s Eve here in Boston is celebrated with a giant city-wide party.  You can buy a button that will get you into all kinds of things for free.  There are concerts, ice sculptures, fireworks, skating, dancing, face painting, puppet shows, museums, all sorts of things.  The list is almost endless and it is entirely impossible to do it all in one evening.  This has been happening as long as I’ve been living here and, though it nearly went bankrupt and stopped happening a year or so ago, it is back with a vengeance now.

Enter politicians and police to screw it all up.

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School Vacation Week: notes from the front

To most of us, most of the world even, this week is the festive week between Christmas and the New Year.  Most Universities are in Intercession, some non-profits are closed, and many people choose to go on vacation.  To those of us who work in education, this is School Vacation Week.  To those of us who work in the Service Industry, this is Hell Week.

To those of us who do both, this is a tsunami of bad behavior, worse parenting, and unbelievable entitlement.

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A new Christmas tradition?

Kelly and I are big Neil Gaiman fans, in case you didn’t know already.

Now we have yet another reason to love the guy.  Last year he recorded a wonderful version of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: a version in which he reads from Charles Dickens’ own annotated copy, as Charles Dickens, complete with clothes and beard.

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Miracles can happen

With Christmas a week away there is a lot of talk of Santa, wishes, and miracles happening.  This time of year can be tough for people who don’t have a lot or who want something special for someone else in their lives.  I feel lucky to have witnessed two really interesting and spontaneous acts of miracle making on the internet lately that have helped me to remember that there are truly good strangers out there in the world.  That’s the easiest thing to forget during this time of hustle, bustle, insanity, and chaos.

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When good causes go awry

Good people make mistakes.  It happens.  No one is perfect.  How we acknowledge those mistakes, and how we try to make amends, that is what’s critical to getting along with everyone, especially those who are harmed by our mistakes.  It makes a world of difference whether we recognize the harm we sometimes do as individuals, as organizations, and even as nations.

And that is why it truly pains me to see groups that I believe in make bad, even horrible mistakes, and then fail to do the right thing afterward.  It is just heartbreaking.  And lately it seems like it is one after another.

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Christmas Card 2014

We’re back at it again this year, we’re saving on postage being environmentally friendly and putting our Christmas Card online.  There’s also the time factor.  It took me more than 8 hours to wrap the Christmas gifts that are being shipped to 3 places in two other states and being handed out here in MA.  Actually mail merging the labels for the over 100 names on our list, labeling, signing and then mailing the cards (maybe not in that exact order) is WAY more time than I have.  So, an hour or so of photo editing it is.

And so, I give you, our 2014 Christmas Card.

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I think I like Yorkshire

Although Kelly has been to the UK before, I have myself never been there.  So I have no idea what I would actually make of anyplace in the UK, frankly.  Certainly there is a lot of interesting history to see all over the place.

Still, I think I would like to see Yorkshire.  It strikes me as a very interesting place, for a variety of reasons.

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