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James Bulger Likes This

by Dave on May 12, 2010

in Boston

Look at the “captcha” message that popped up (as usual) when I tried to paste a web address into a Facebook chat window this morning:

whitey-facebook

Are Zuckerman and Facebook trying to help the FBI find Whitey? The answer is: “of course not, stupid.” The FBI, however, is definitely still looking for him. I decided to update myself on the hunt for the rapidly-aging fugitive with a few web searches. So, Wikipedia, basically.

  • James J. Bulger is currently on the FBI Ten Most Wanted list. A reward of US $2 million is being offered for information leading to his capture.
  • Bulger has been featured on the television show America’s Most Wanted 14 times, first in 1995 and last on July 26, 2008.
  • The last confirmed sighting of Bulger was in London in 2002. Since then, however, there have been unconfirmed sightings elsewhere.
  • FBI agents were sent to Uruguay to investigate a lead. FBI agents were also sent to stake out the 60th memorial of the Battle of Normandy celebrations, as Bulger is an enthusiastic fan of military history.

whitey-bulger If James J. is not apprehended before his demise I doubt the body would ever be identified unless Catherine Grieg turns it in. And a clever move like that would see her in Interpol’s custody about five minutes later. They’re obviously well-hidden overseas (or South America in true Boys from Brazil style) using aliases. He may just drift away into the ether and maintain his odd, Robin Hood-esque place in Southie lore forever. The Bureau obviously has a lot of pride riding on this case, due to the whole Connolly angle, so they’d better get their best bloodhounds out before Whitey crosses the finish line and ends up departed, permanently.

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The site from which I used to spelunk my quizzlet questions each Friday has unfortunately gone the way of the Dodo. I’m quite happy to make the questions up myself – but that seems pretty disingenuous. I’d also like to reboot the sense of community we had here on Pye in the Face in years past and encourage reader participation. See where I’m going with this?

Using my Facebook status and Twitter account I’m going to invite all of you to submit the 5 questions which normally make up Friday’s Quizzlet. If folks care enough to get involved maybe I’ll be able to do this every week. I’d also like to invite people to answer the questions themselves in the comments like so many of you used to do in PITF’s golden era. Monday I’ll also be reinstating the Quotelet contest – with real prizes this time around. Sound fun? I’m certainly looking forward to it. Update: Thanks for all the submissions, folks. Here we go.

Appetizer: It’s a common observation that people’s pets resemble them in some way. What are 3 similarities between you and your pet? – Amy K.

1. Shepherd is loyal to a fault. You could say that, however, about every dog that has ever lived. “Want me to follow you into traffic? OK!” Although my “gut feelings” are usually quite dependable there have been a few times in my life where I spent time and energy on fixing people – when I should have been taking out the garbage. Or walking into traffic.

2. Shepherd digs his sister. Janet and I have been very close (since we stopped living together at our parent’s) and we both value each other’s support. For obvious reasons this has become especially important recently and also explains how my 5-day business trip to Boston has turned into over 3 weeks at this point. I’m reminded of Belushi’s SNL skit, “The Thing That Wouldn’t Leave”. But she swears she isn’t. We’ll see what she thinks in another 3 weeks.

3. Shepherd is fascinated by deer poo. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it, people.

Soup: Has anyone ever really cared when Jimmy cracked corn? – Megan C.

Yes – it’s quite possible that over the years at least a few people have cared. I’m assuming that to “crack” corn is to husk it and thought up some possible examples.

  • His hungry corn-fed family.
  • A cow, pig or other farm animal who was also quite hungry. If he’s crackin’ corn on a regular basis, he probably lives on a farm. Or needs a hobby.
  • Any major theater chain you wish to choose. Kernels don’t grow on trees, they grow on corn stalks. And getting at the kernels first requires you to crack those motherfuckers.
  • Native American dry colored corn artists. Without Jimmy they’d have far less time to create breathtaking art.

So next time you want to hate on Jimmy the corn cracker, Megan, try showing a little compassion instead. Cornpassion, even.

Salad: What’s your favorite Bonnie memory? Sorry that’s personal but I’d like to hear it. – Mary C-B.

It’s obviously impossible to pick just one. There was an amusing recent occurrence, however, which happened up at the lake house about 3 summers ago. I bugged and bugged my mother to get on the back of a jetski with me, which she was absolutely dead set against. After taking a couple of test runs back and forth across her line of vision, I came back to the dock in one piece and finally coerced her to climb on. She got out of her lawn chair which was set up on the dock beside Gordo and several neighbors and they cheered her on as she straddled the evil, motorized sea beast.

The voyage started out well-enough, with Mom giggling and mock-screaming as she held on to my waist for dear life. Then it all went horribly wrong. Anyone with jetski experience will hammer home one piece of advice to a newbie – never decelerate in a turn. I did just that, right in full view of the dock spectators, and Bonnie and I rolled arse-over-tit beneath the waves in a split second. I climbed back on my steed but Mom had had quite enough and dog-paddled all the way back to shore as we both endured comments from the peanut gallery (well, I got a lot more shit than she did). I tied up at the dock myself about 20 minutes later. As I passed by my father he beckoned for me to lean down before whispering in my ear: “Thanks a lot, asshole. Now she’ll never let me get one.”

Main Course: Which crime would you make punishable by death, and how would the guilty be executed? – Gary P.

Child abuse. Particularly that of a diddly nature. Most states will already execute you for killing a child. Ruining the rest of their life via mental scarring will only get you a comparably short jail sentence followed by a “This Guy is a Diddler” sign on your front lawn. I’ll need more time to devise the ideal method of diddler dispatch, but I can tell you that it will definitely be slow, will definitely be painful and will definitely involve… diddling.

Dessert: Why hasn’t Will Smith insisted on starring in films with better storylines? – Angie F.

I have to assume here that you’re speaking specifically about the two cowboys fighting the giant robotic spider in 1880’s California? If you’re not, you should be. At least you get to see Bai Ling’s buttocks in that pile of garbage, which on second thought isn’t much of an incentive. Seven Pounds put me to sleep quicker that a mallet to the temple, but I think recently his choices have been quite sound. I really enjoyed I Am Legend, Pursuit of Happyness and Hancock. Your theory about Will’s bad choices may come back into fashion, however, as I see his next movie in production is entitled Monster Hunter. I’d like to go on record as saying I hope that movie involves at least one Sasquatch pursuit.

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Waste more time in… less time. The “New Facebook” features an application bar on the lower left of each screen where you’re able to place shortcut icons to any applications you like. I imagine many people probably haven’t added it to their navigation habits yet, but it’s very useful and I use it constantly. And by “useful” I mean “not at all realistically productive” because it’s Facebook.

As I am limited to only 5 shortcuts it took me a few weeks to settle in on an inventory, and the resulting selections are probably unique to most individuals. Here’s what I have in mine, left to right.

Events
Remember Evite? Neither does anyone else. As everyone you’ve ever known in your entire life continues to join Facebook, it’s rarely necessary to go outside the network for anything – and the definitely decent Events feature is what first brought me to that staggering realization. Still waiting on the “Food and Water” application.

Photos
We’re all familiar with this one. FB spent a lot of time early on (Jurassic 2006) devising a killer photo sharing system and it’s become a real thorn in the sides of Snapfish/OPhoto/Flickr. Easy java-based uploads, quick file size conversions and the ability to tag and sort are all reasons it’s become my base camp for all things ‘online photo’.

Crusades
The best FB “game” I have played as of yet. A medieval roleplayer, you join a tribe – Christian, Pagan, etc. – and then work your way up through the ranks buying land, buildings, magical gems to protect you in battle, weapons etc. Experience points are earned by fighting other players or performing special quests. I used to play Knighthood incessantly but find Crusades far more “sticky”, fun, visually pleasing and satisfying on a daily basis. Seriously, give it a try, peasant.

Scramble
This app for word game fans presents you with a grid of seemingly random letters and a time limit with which to form as many connecting words as possible. The boards are always different and unlike a crossword you can go up, down or diagonal all in the same word. It was a little imposing at first but I quickly became an addict.

Wordscraper
If you’re unfamiliar, Wordscraper is post-lawsuit Scrabulous. It’s made by the same developers who created the hugely popular original and they’ve changed it just enough that they can no longer be sued by those owning the rights to Scrabble. I tried getting into the official Scrabble FB application, but it was made entirely in Flash as opposed to Ajax, took too long to load and very few of my former Scrabulous friends and opponents ever bothered to adopt it. You can also customize the bonus tile spacing and point value making for some extremely high scoring and strategic games.

What’s in your wallet? Are you using the Facebook application bar? Regardless, what are your top 5 favorite FB applications?

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Crazy Fall Follies, Part 1

by Dave on October 21, 2008

in Travels

September was a bastard, and I’m here to put into words a few of the reasons I have been remiss in posting for the longest time, ever. Wow. I am looking at these front page post dates and it’s embarrassing. To the folks that still check this everyday, hanging on my silly words – I apologize, and I will be doing better. A quick note: One of the things that has challenged me since upgrading my blog software is that the awesome little plugin which copies Facebook galleries and captions to this site no longer works, so I will link to public versions of said galleries on FB where applicable. So, will this juicy, super-long ultra update with photos make up for 3 weeks of silence? You be the judge. Judge Judy, preferably as she is my favorite.

peterborough-wedding
Yes, we all prayed for Stilts.

The first weekend of last month my friend Mike got married near Peterborough, Ontario. I was a groomsman and my fellow groom attendees were two guys, Paul and P-Nut, I hadn’t seen since the Guelph days. The bride gave me a lovely engraved silver business card holder and the wedding itself was lovely. The reception was held at the father of the bride’s farm and the sprawling home with several additions over the years made for a great location. I spent a good portion of the night chatting with a room full of seniors about the good old days, and told them I wish I had been born in their time. Then, I remembered I wouldn’t have had the internet and quickly switched the subject to Benny Goodman.

perth-wedding
“Don’t worry, ladies. No one who sees this will think we’re all sleeping together. Not until I tell them that, anyway.”

The following weekend I was asked to accompany a lovely friend of mine to her friend’s wedding reception at another private home in Perth. “Really? You mean, we don’t have to go to the ceremony? Just straight to the food and liquor?” It was a great time, my favorite memory having to be making fun of some jerk on the dance floor who unbuttoned his shirt (all the way) and was hitting on a bridesmaid at least 10 years his junior. I unbuttoned my own shirt, as did my friend’s brother, and we grinded away with our respective dates behind his back as the silly clown continued, oblivious. We had quite a fond audience by the end of our display and I in no way felt ridiculously immature.

danvers-wedding-photos
“You’re looking at this the wrong way, guys. For example, if I come on the Honeymoon with you I’ll pay for 1/3 of the hotel room.”

The next Thursday morning I pulled out of Portland at the ass crack of dawn and was parking at the Peabody Marriott by 4pm. I scarcely had time to check into my room and drop off my suitcase before the bride-to-be was dragging me to the rehearsal dinner. My very good, old friend PJ is married to one of the Bridesmaids, and between that night, the wedding and a bar bender in Boston that Saturday – I got to spend 3 whole nights with him, and there was much rejoicing. I also had a great time with Jen, Becky, Scott, Dan, Chris, Amy and many other Concord friends whom I don’t get to see often enough. Megan and Mark got married at the Danvers Yacht club, and the day was a doozy. Pictures

silvertone-party
P.J. did NOT approve. And Jim didn’t feel a thing.

Saturday morning I drove to the city and parked in the old Brinks Building (yes, that Brinks building) which is now a parking garage. I walked through driving rain through the North End to Matt and Lauren’s house and was immediately put to work carrying tables from the Nazarro center to NEMPAC. Just like old times! Although we were doused, Griffin and I had a joyous reunion and were back to our favorite mutual passtime… in no time. That evening I had arranged to meet a big whack of my friends at Silvertone, and that just got silly. I ended the evening screaming obscenities back at the husband of a woman I walked home, and spent most of Sunday lying in M & L’s guest bedroom, head in hands, while Griffin rocked through levels of Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb. Which is kind of appropriate, as I was simultaneously praying for death. Pictures

west-acton-pictures
“It’s been a long time, boys. Now who just grabbed my ass?”

I spent the week working out of the offices of my favorite Boston Web Designer (pause for the cause) company in Wellseley. Wednesday I drove all over the state visiting clients, and Thursday we had our first off-site company meeting at the Weston Golf Club. Wow – what a cool place. I spent the evenings at Chris and Amy’s in West Acton, and we had several impromptu weeknight gatherings which were spontaneous and awesome. I got to hang out with Chris, Kelly, Jenny, Killer, TKO, Carina and Ryan. We also recorded two episodes of our Goonblog hockey podcast, the first of which I finished editing and posted Sunday night, so be sure to have a listen. Funny stuff. Pictures

Friday I was back at Matt and Lauren’s in the North End and a few friends stayed in and watched the first Presidential debate whilst gingerly working on a couple six packs of Harpoon. I think we were all still a little delicate from the previous Saturday, and it was just what the doctor ordered. Old friends met new friends, we had a lovely breakfast Saturday at the North Street Grill (Nutella/Banana Sliders, anyone?) and we set off to Boston Wedding #2 around 1pm. Back to, you guessed it, the Peabody Marriott. What are the chances?

P1000335
“Are we on our way to a wedding or a fucking swim meet? Regardless, BACKSEAT!”

My old Vermont Academy friend, Wardy, was married later that day at a lovely estate somewhere in the MA countryside. The name escapes me, but the fact that they closed the bar at 9pm does not. The groom and best man were beyond pissed-off, but we had a great time while it lasted and continued the festivities back at the hotel until the very wee hours when security finally kicked us all out of Kim’s room. I had not seen Gaston, Ezio or Roller in 15 years, and it was also great to spend time with Carolyn (bride) Pritch (best man), Harriett (mother of the groom) Ron and others. Pictures (coming soon).

I’ll break down the rest of September/early October tomorrow, and if – after reading – you choose to let me off the hook for lack of posting I’ll be forever in your debts. It’s been a crazy fall so far. Until then.

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Back to the Bean Once Again.

by Dave on September 16, 2008

in Boston,Travels

It’s been over 7 months since I last graced the streets of Boston. That’s very, very hard to believe. With the exception of my 1.75 years spent living in England that’s the longest I’ve been away from the cradle of the revolution in 21 years. I’ve been so bogged down with my month of 5 weddings, work and dealing with family issues that I haven’t really had time to be excited – or apprehensive. Shall I break it down for the blog? Yesh? Then let’s begin.

Looking forward to:

  • Seeing my friends. I have organized, via Facebook (evite who?), a night out at a downtown bar for the only weekend night that I am free (not at a wedding) while I am in Boston. If they come, they come. But really I’ll only need a few key players to show up for it to be what I “need” as a Kaczynski-esque forest dweller on shore leave.
  • Seeing my little North End posse. Comprised of my friends’ children – namely Griffin, Maya, Lorenzo and Bella – I’ve missed these little guys and our Thursday night pizza/PS2 outings.
  • The North End Coffee tour. Weekday mornings spent at Paradiso, Beanstock, Villagio and other neighborhood bean water vendors, usually with Matt, Louis and others.
  • Work stuff. There are lots of new members of my Boston web design company (a quick pause for the cause) whom I have yet to meet in person. I look forward to a full week of office time, collaboration and several visits I have scheduled with clients in the area. I hope to do a lot of good in a short period of time.
  • New England Fall. My favorite season, and my favorite place to spend it. I plan to come down for American Thanksgiving this year as well, so it’ll be a nice double-dose of awesome Autumness.

Dreading:

  • Leaving my babies at a kennel. The breeder (who is awesome) said she would have taken them for the 4 days before my Mother and Sister get back to town, but she is renovating her entire ground floor and is having trouble caring for her own dogs at the time being. I have them scheduled for a last-minute kennel-cough vaccination tomorrow morning, and will be taking them to a vet recommended mom and pop operated place tomorrow night.
  • The drive. I have made the Canada – Boston run so many times in my life that I could do it in my sleep. But at the end of the day it’s 8 hours alone in a car each way. To prepare I have downloaded some new albums and audio books onto my iPod. I am curious to see if the books will keep my attention and maybe, just maybe, make the trip go a bit faster. I have everything from the newest Harry Potter to 7 Habits of Highly Effective People ready to go.
  • Sacrificing tangible, billable work time for face time with clients and my own company. I’m going to make sure I have some things outsourced so I’m not miles behind when I get back home on the 29th. About 313 miles, to be exact.

All things considered, I’m quite excited to see my peoples and walk the streets of my old hood. If you’re in the right mood, well rested and in possession of some phat tunes a long drive can go by fairly quickly. The blog will have a strong Boston theme over the next 10 days, lots of pictures from my new camera included, so get your beanpots out, find someone named “Sully” to sit next to and stay tuned.

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