Friday, March 30, 2012

Gardening for the hungry (video)

Grow a Greener Garden shares a program PBS did on Ample Harvest founder Gary Oppenheimer.
After finding his garden too bountiful, gardener Gary Oppenheimer gave his excess harvest away to friends and neighbors, and soon that route was maxed out as well. He didn’t want to waste great food, so after donating the rest to a local women’s shelter, the idea grew to figure out a way to connect home gardeners to the food banks who are prepared to handle and distribute fresh produce. 
So Gary founded, with a focus on doing just that, so that surplus harvest can go to hunger relief and not the compost bin. Today, from Master Gardening groups to your friends and neighbors, more people are sharing the bounty and there are some great and easy ways for you to do the same.
You can view the PBS episode here Episode 220: Gardening for the Hungry (time = 1 hour)

Gary Oppenheimer also spoke to the TEDxManhattan event in February (time = 14 minutes)

The Franklin Food Pantry is registered with Ample Harvest.

This was cross-posted on Franklin Matters

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Are you a Dream Ranger?

From the TC Bank in Taiwan, comes this wonderful expression. You'll need to follow the subtitles (minimize the ad window)

Are you ready to ride?

Or are you already living on the ride?

Hat tip to this week's Monday Morning Memo

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Franklin, MA - Let's get out and vote today!

15 Letters to the Editor

If this is any indication on the level of civic engagement in Franklin, then this election has been good to get so many involved. Let's all get out to cast our ballot.

Franklin, MA: Election Day

Monday, March 26, 2012

Colorful morning

I completed filing our taxes on Sunday and will go running this morning in a change of schedule for this week. I ended up working during the night Saturday/Sunday morning on a DR test. Due to the missed sleep, I didn't run as I normally would on Sunday.

The temp has returned to more seasonal cool morning today. The radio announced is it 39 degrees F. A bit cooler than the 50's we started with and then got up into the 70's for much of last week.


The daffodils are up in bloom now and it is good to see some bright colors!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Circle of Friends Coffeehouse: Peter Mulvey

A busy day on Saturday as we took in the soccer double header for the NE Revolution home opener and then followed it up with a concert at night.

The Brazilian and Canadian women's national teams played in the first game of the double header. Canada controlled the match to win 2-1.

In the second game, the Revs scored 28 second into the game and then made that score hold up to finish 1-0.

The concert at the Circle of Friends Coffeehouse featured Peter Mulvey. He had been recommended to me for sometime as well worth seeing and he was. David Goodrich accompanied Peter switching among several guitars over the course of the concert. Peter did like wise and also had a bango for one piece. Both are very good and the concert overall impressed my wife. She can be a tough sell sometimes but she admitted they knew how to play.

A sample of what they performed Saturday night can be heard via this YouTube video

If you do get a chance to hear Peter perform, it would be worth your while!

For more about Peter you can do well by starting with his website

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Billy Collins at TED

Billy Collins got to TED! Hurray!

For some of my own poetry, you can visit

Note: Billy Collins gets some credit for helping to create sherku, my form of haiku. You can read about it in the post "What is a sherku?"

Friday, March 23, 2012

What day is it?

This could be an interesting day. I normally run three times a week on Weds, Fri and Sunday mornings. The alarm went off this morning. I got up and went to the shower as I do on the days I don't run.

In the shower, I resolved a problem that occurred at work yesterday and then realized it WAS Friday and I should be running not taking a shower!

Oh well. Maybe I will solve more problems as the day progresses! I can always run later.

Have a great day!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

History in Black and White

I love Oreo cookies. Did you know that last week was their 100th birthday? To celebrate they retell historical moments with Oreo cookies.

Now, to get some milk and watch this again with an Oreo (or two)!

Shared from the Oreo website

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Band of Brewers 'master'

If you know Brian, you would agree that he is always willing to help. Monday night, as on most bottling night's, Brian is busy organizing things to ensure everyone gets what they need (clean bottles, empty boxes, etc.) so the kettles get emptied in a timely manner and then the delivery of the beer to take home can begin.

I had a roll of duct tape in the car and needed to get it to help repair a box or two. While I went to the car, Brian stepped in to my bottling station so we wouldn't miss a beat.

Band of Brewers - leader

So just for the record, in case anyone ever doubted Brian that Brian knows how to bottle beer, the photo says it all!

Thanks for stepping in.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Deja Brew - 6 kettles bottled

The "Band of Brewers" bottled what we had brewed two weeks ago on Monday night. The cases of beer are now home to be enjoyed a little at a time. The group has completed 184 kettles with 105 unique beers.

The cap code is the letter

S - Stunner = A creamy British Pub style pale ale “stunning colour”
L- Llevar Porter = If you like Ravell , you’ll love this one. Vanilla accents
C - Crazed & Confused - Hazed & Infused style Ale. Nice tasting, hoppy finish.
P - Potbelly Pilsner = A very drinkable beer. A nice fruity flavor with a nice dry bite
B - Big Safari Amber Ale - Requested by DC50. A very nice and malty pale ale. Knock off of African Amber
(blank) - LaPierre Big Red - Big malty taste with smooth hops flavor. For our friend always, Bob

DejaBrew_100917 009

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bruce Springsteen - SXSW Keynote

Bruce Springsteen gave a keynote speech at the recent SXSW Conference. Fair warning, some of the language is raw.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Wedding date

Once upon a time, there was a ring


Now after Brad has graduated from law school and passed the MA Bar, Brad and Allison have set their wedding date:

Jan 26, 2013

Some future posts will get into the wedding planning and creating that 'good experience'

Friday, March 16, 2012

Franklin, MA: Trivia Bee

I went to the Trivia Bee to take some pictures of the early rounds. As I arrived, Glenn Jones recruited me as a substitute for one of the members of the Town Council team. I hope someone got a picture of Bob Bissanti, Glenn and I on stage. As 'apolitical' as I am and need to be as an information source, that is as close as you'll see me get to a "Town Council seat".

I was able to help with some of the questions but none of us knew the two ingredients for "an Arnold Palmer drink". We went with a wild guess at 'Scotch and water' and lost. Now we know it is half ice tea and half lemon aid. After we dropped out in the 5th Round, I got called away to pick up my daughter at the train station. Maybe someone can fill us in on who won?

The "Miracles", sponsored by Tom Powderly, were the Round 2 winner by answering this question correctly: What river does the Brooklyn Bridge cross? (answer below)

The Dean College Team won Round 3 by answering the question: How many years are celebrated in a sesquicentennial? (answer below)

The Franklin School Committee won Round 4 with the answer to the question: What do you call a group of monkeys? (answer below)

The "Munibees" participated in Round 2

The Rockland Trust Team participated in Round 4

Round 2 - East River
Round 3 - 150
Round 4 - troop

The 15th Annual Trivia Bee is a fund raising event for the Franklin Education Foundation.

This was originally posted to Franklin Matters

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What's the solution?

Historically Franklin's voter turn out is about 20% (of the registered voters) for a local election, about 40% for an override or debt exclusion (to raise taxes) and 80+ % for a state or national election.

These results are not what they really should be. The local election, for our town council, school committee and other elected positions occurs every two years. Some of the elected positions are every four years (Town Clerk, Treasurer/Collector). These local elections are the most important under our city form of government. Yes, even though was are "the Town of Franklin" we operate with a city form of government. We have a council where members are elected to represent the residents at large. They have final say on all budget and business matters. The School Committee governs the school budget. The Town Council can only approve at the bottom line dollar level, they can't get into the individual details, contracts, etc. of the school budget.

So these groups get elected with only a 20% turnout!

The state and national elections get a 80+ turnout and yet they have very little direct effect on the local issues. Yes, the sate aid does account for about 30% of Franklin's budget but otherwise, they have nothing to do on a day-to-day basis.

Even when it comes to raising taxes, only about 40% of the Franklin voters turn out. This vote has a direct effect on each taxpayer. Does it mean the vote doesn't matter? Does it mean that the dollars don't matter?

Franklin, MA: No

Franklin, MA: Yes

Trying to get the word out to keep the voters and taxpayers informed has been my mission for the past four plus years. If you have any suggestions or recommendations, please send them along. I am ready to listen.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cool water downspout

Out in Shepherdstown, WV this past weekend for Jonathan's funeral, I had a chance to take a walk around town on Saturday afternoon. This house has a good idea on how to handle their rain runoff with their downspout

Shepherdstown, WV:  good down spout!

Rather than drop it on the sidewalk, they carry it over the sidewalk to the street!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Early birthday photos

I probably should save this for later this year but this is too cute to wait for


And likewise this one


Birthdays are so much fun! One reason why we should celebrate our birthday every day is simply the glory of getting up to enjoy an other one!

Friday, March 09, 2012

Franklin Agents and Brokers: Real estate brokers support new high school

For me, the most compelling reason for the new high school is what it does for real estate values. Seeing the realtors get together to write this is great!

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Wicked Local Franklin Opinions RSS by GateHouse Media, Inc. on 3/8/12

The undersigned are agents/brokers from some of the larger real estate brokerages in the Town of Franklin, specializing in both residential and commercial real estate sales. We are writing to explain why we support the new Franklin High School from a real estate perspective. One of the first questions every potential buyer asks us is "How is the school system?" There is an absolute, indisputable correlation between home values and school ranking. So, whether or not you have a child in the Franklin school system, this impacts every home and/or commercial business owner in the town of Franklin.

Things you can do from here:

Thursday, March 08, 2012

water changes everything

Did you see this ad? It came as an insert to one of the magazines subscribed to by my wife and daughter.

Magic ad, before

When you wet the ad, the age changes

Magic ad, after getting wet

As the product itself is something added to water, the integration of the message with the product was pretty cool

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Grease is the word!

FHS production of Grease. March 23 & 24, 2012 at the Horace Mann Middle School in Franklin starting at 7pm. Tickets are $10 at the door.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Deja Brew: 6 kettles

Took some time out last night to join the "Band of Brewers" to make 6 kettles at Deja Brew

DejaBrew - the kettles

Three beers that we had made before Stunner, Crazed and Confused, and Llevar Porter.
Three 'new' beers Big Safari Amber Ale, Potbelly Pilsner, and LaPierre Big Red

We'll go back in a couple of week to bottle and bring them all home

Monday, March 05, 2012

Checklist, ignored

Noticed yesterday that even though there is a pretty good listing with check boxes for the kind of coffee to be served, that our local Dunkin shop writes on the line above the full check list.

why do they need the listing and check boxes?

Hmm... there must be a story behind this. If I have the time, I'd like to explore this someday.

Did you see something like this with your coffee shop? or other fast food delivery service?

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Friday, March 02, 2012

Things go bump

Even when snow falls, whitening all around us, there can be bumps.

Snow Bumps on the brick walk

How do you deal with bumps in the road?

Do you keep your head?

Today is Dr Seuss's birthday. Celebrate all that goodness in the rhyme!

From the archive, I did a series of posts on the lessons of Dr Seuss for the job searcher. You can find them all here

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Dogwood in Snow

There is snow in New England this winter. After not seeing any significant snowfall since the surprise buried us in October, we have some now. About 3-4 inches here in Franklin thus far with some light precipitation still coming down.

Dogwood with snow

Yes, we did skip the Leap Day. Too much to do and so little time to do it. Hope your Leap Day was a good one!