Saturday, December 16, 2006
The history of Santa Claus and his legendary toy factory is anything but well-documented, a result of the eccentric entrepreneur's carefully cultivated aura of mystery. (He is known for forcing elves to sign strict confidentiality agreements.) But some facts are known, among them that Claus, along with wife and business partner Mrs. Claus, set up shop in Turkey in the fourth century A.D. under the name St. Nicholas Toys & Candy Co.
The small operation quickly gained favor in the community for its charity works on behalf of poor children. Soon, the company had expanded throughout Europe and parts of Asia. It entered US markets in the 18th century when loyal Dutch customers of Sinterklaas B.V. (the company's Holland subsidiary) emigrated to New York. Shortly afterwards, St. Nicholas Toys & Candy changed its name to Santa's Workshop and relocated its headquarters to its current North Pole location.
In an 1823 exposé "A Visit from St. Nicholas," writer Clement Clarke Moore revealed previously unknown details of Santa Claus's Christmas Eve operations, including his method of product delivery (onto the roof and down the chimney) and the names of some key reindeer personnel (Donner, Blitzen, Comet, et al.). The existence of a red-nosed reindeer with advanced guidance capabilities was unknown until the mid-twentieth century.
With increasing competition in recent years from toy-making giants Mattel and Hasbro, as well as retailers (including discounter Wal-Mart and traditional Toys "R" Us stores), Santa's Workshop is not content with past success. Instead, it is looking to increase operating efficiencies and create growth in emerging markets, with twinkling eyes peeled for opportunities in India and China particularly. In many ways, however, the history of Santa is also its future: creating high quality products that are desired by children everywhere, and capitalizing on a unique brand that to most customers means holiday magic. I hope this information will be enjoyed by all, and I hope no one will be offended when I use the words Merry Christmas because I feel it should not be changed. Christmas really has come a long way thru the years and some how the true meaning has been lost along the way. Anyway we want to wish a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all Bill&Judy.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Boston's New Year's Eve Celebration of the Arts
Come one, come all to Boston's most celebrated party of the year! First Night 2007 offers many new and exciting performances and activities for the entire family!
First Night New Year's Eve activities take place from 1pm to midnight on Sunday, December 31st, 2006 at over 30 indoor and outdoor venues throughout downtown Boston. With the purchase of a First Night button, revelers gain admission to performances featuring the very best in theatre, dance, music, visual arts, film and more.
Churches,theaters,museums,and performance centers open their doors to First Night Button holders throughout the entire day. Popular attractions include the Family Festival at the Hynes Convention Center featuring interactive activities for all ages, gigantic ice sculptures on Copley Square and the Boston Common, a glittering fireworks display, and a Mardi-Gras style Grand Procession that sweeps through the streets of Boston. I have set up a link at the top of the post just click on the Title "Firstnight 2007 Boston" for everything that is going on thruout the day and night.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Here are three of the photographs that were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
With Veterans Day over for the year 2006 I can't help but wonder why all the news coverage about the war in Iraq has come to a stand still. I happened to find this story I am posting by accident along with the photographs of the american soldiers who have been killed that were censored by the Bush administration. So much for our right of freedom of the press. I can't think of any reason for this other than for political gain. They really think that if we the people do not see all the caskets of our dead soldiers as they come home we will not think about this war that will never end. I feel this is a big mistake and our soldiers deserve an honor guard and 21 gun salute as they return home to United States soil. Just ask yourself why are they hiding and covering up the fact that our soldiers have been killed. Its as if they are ashamed of them. All our soldiers are HERO's and must be treated as such. Every american has the right to question the reasoning behind this and find out why this is happening and change this policy A.S.A.P. The Pentagon tries to suppress the publication of photographs of coffins carrying the remains of troops killed in Iraq. The claim is that the Department of Defense is merely trying to protect the privacy of the families of the dead. However, since none of the dead are identified in the photographs, this claim seems fraudulent. More likely, the Pentagon acting on orders from its Commander in Chief (President Bush) is trying to keep the visual impact of the calamity of the war in Iraq away from the U.S. voters.
Coffins of U.S. military personnel are prepared to be offloaded at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware in this undated photo. President George W. Bush on April 23, 2004 stood by an order that no more photographs be released of flag-draped coffins returning from Iraq, a restriction critics say is aimed at sanitizing the war for the public.
Friday, November 10, 2006
November 11, 1918, was the day that brought to a close the most destructive, and far reaching war in human annals, establishing November 11 as a national holiday. The day marked the end of the Great War known as World War I.
In 1926 the U.S. Congress designated November 11 as Armistice Day to commemorate the resumption of the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed and to honor those soldiers both alive and fallen who served during the war.
Unfortunately this did not turn out to be so. After World War II and Korea, Congress changed the name of the day in 1954 to Veterans Day in order to include all soldiers who had served in combat. Since then other armed conflicts, from Vietnam to Iraq, have ensued, swelling the ranks of U.S. veterans into the millions.
It is a sad time when an unknown soldier has died in a war. That means that he or she has no family to claim them and secure a proper burial. After the Great War in 1921, the very first unknown soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. In England an unknown soldier was buried in Westminster Abbey. In France yet another unknown soldier was buried at the Arc de Triomphe. All burials took place on November 11th. These people have died for their country and each country obviously feels it’s important to recognize their sacrifice and make sure they rest in peace.
In the United States in 1958, two more unknown soldiers, one from World War II and one from the Korean War, were placed in Arlington next to the World War I soldier. In 1984 an unknown soldier from Vietnam was also placed there. It is now customary in the United States to place these soldiers next to their fallen comrades.
To honor these men and all Americans who gave their lives in each war, an Army honor guard, the 3rd U.S. Infantry keeps a day and night vigil. Every November 11th, at 11 A.M. there is a ceremony at the Memorial Amphitheater to honor them as well.
As the U.S. honors veterans of all its wars tomorrow, Veterans Day, the U.S. Library of Congress and the Department of Veterans Affairs are working to make sure the nation never forgets their service. I have set up a link For more information just click on the Title Veterans Day at the top of the page .
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
I thought I would share some of the United States Marine Corps history with anyone who may be interested, and at the same time wish all past and present U S Marines a Happy 231st Birthday. I set a link up for much more. Just click on the Title Happy 231st Birthday top of post.
On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress passed a resolution stating that "two battalions of Marines be raised" for service as landing forces with the fleet. This established the Continental Marines and marked the birth of the United States Marine Corps. Serving on land and at sea, .including their first amphibious raid on foreign soil in the Bahamas in March 1776, under the command of the Corps’ first commandant, Capt. Samuel Nicholas. The 1783 Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War and as the last of the Navy’s ships were sold, the Continental Navy and Marines disbanded.
Following the formal re-establishment of the Marine Corps on July 11, 1798, Marines fought in conflicts with France, landed in Santo Domingo and conducted operations against the Barbary pirates along the "Shores of Tripoli."
Marines participated in numerous operations during the War of 1812, including the defense of Washington at Bladensburg, Md. They also fought alongside Andrew Jackson in the defeat of the British at New Orleans. Following the War of 1812, Marines protected American interests around the world in areas like the Caribbean, the Falkland Islands, Sumatra and off the coast of West Africa, and close to home in operations against the Seminole Indians in Florida.
During the Mexican War, Marines seized enemy seaports on both the Gulf and Pacific coasts. While landing parties of Marines and Sailors were seizing enemy ports, a battalion of Marines joined General Winfield Scott’s army at Pueblo and marched and fought all the way to the "Halls of Montezuma," Mexico City.
World War I, Marines distinguished themselves on the battlefields of France, as the 4th Marine Brigade earned the title of "Devil Dogs" for actions at Belleau Wood, Soissons, St. Michiel, Blanc Mont and the final Muesse-Argonne offensive.
The two decades before World War II, the Marine Corps began to develop its doctrine and organization for amphibious warfare. The success of this effort was proven at Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Tarawa, New Britain, Kwajalein, Eniwetok, Saipan, Guam, Tinian, Peleliu, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. By the war’s end in 1945, the Corps had grown to include six divisions, five air wings and supporting troops, about 485,000 Marines. Nearly 87,000 Marines were killed or wounded during WWII and 82 earned the Medal of Honor.
Landing at Inchon, Korea, in September 1950, Marines proved that the doctrine of amphibious assault was still viable and necessary. After the recapture of Seoul, the Marines advanced to the Chosin Reservoir only to see the Chinese Communists enter the war. In March, 1955, after five years of hard fighting, the last Marine ground forces were withdrawn. More than 25,000 Marines were killed or wounded during the Korean War.
The realities of the Korean War brought major changes in the basing and deployment of Marine Corps forces. The Corps strength ballooned to 192,000 men in June 1951, to 232,000 a year later and nearly 250,000 by June 1953. More than half the troops actually served in the operating forces, and the 1st Marine Division and 1st MAW, operationally employed in Korea, were kept up to strength.
The landing of the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade at Da Nang in 1965 marked the beginning of a large-scale Marine involvement in Vietnam. By the summer of 1968, after the enemy’s Tet Offensive, Marine Corps strength in Vietnam rose to about 85,000. The Marine withdrawal began in 1969 as the South Vietnamese began to assume a larger role in the fighting. The last ground forces left Vietnam by June 1971. The Vietnam War, the longest in the history of the Marine Corps, exacted a high cost, with more than 13,000 Marines killed and 88,000 wounded.
The Vietnam War proved to be the ultimate test of the Corps’ basing and deployment decisions of the 1950s and early 1960s. From the March 1965 landing of Marine ground troops as Da Nang until the departure of the last large Marine units in June 1971, the war impacted drastically on all Marine forces within and outside the III Marine Amphibious Force. Peak Marine strength in Vietnam was reached in 1968 when more than 85,000 Marines were in Vietnam out of a Marine Corps numbering just over 300,000.The Iraq War is still on going. Who knows how much longer it will be before it will come to an end. I feel the U S Marines are still needed in this world today we could never have come this far without them. Maybe some day they won't be needed. I hope to see that happen in my lifetime.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
I wanted to show everyone some pretty neat art carving by Fitzy Snowman they do custom carved pumpkins that make a great addition to any party or event. They also do carved snow, ice, and sand. I set up a link for all the information about this company just click on the Title Pumpkin Art at the top of this post. It gives a lot of information about up and coming shows and displays
There master sculptors can carve your corporate logo or slogan with unbelievable precision. They also offer foam pumpkins which can be displayed for years. Pumpkins also make great window displays for your business or just to display in the office. Foam pumpkins can be shipped anywhere in the world. Place your order today to insure timely shipping.
They can work with your florist to create dazzling centerpieces or larger displays. Pumpkins are not just for Halloween anymore. Fall weddings and anniversary parties are a perfect match for pumpkins. There master carvers will work with you to create a design that matches your theme perfectly. The fall schedule is rapidly filling up so contact them today to reserve a master carver for your special event.
Let's face it sports fans need their gear. So at Fitzy Snowman Sculpting it's there duty to provide you with the best quality foam and natural pumpkins emblazoned with your favorite team logo. They can carve local and little league team logos as well. Just send us a 300 dpi copy of your logo and we will create a one of a kind pumpkin for your special team. You can Contact them by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 781-249-1494 for custom pricing information.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
I'd like to share a little history about the Boston Tea Party. In 1773, Britain's East India Company was sitting on large stocks of tea that it could not sell in England. It was on the verge of bankruptcy. In an effort to save it, the government passed the Tea Act of 1773, which gave the company the right to export its merchandise directly to the colonies without paying any of the regular taxes that were imposed on the colonial merchants, who had traditionally served as the middlemen in such transactions. With these privileges, the company could undersell American merchants and monopolize the colonial tea trade. The act proved inflammatory for several reasons. First, it angered influential colonial merchants, who feared being replaced and bankrupted by a powerful monopoly. The East India Company's decision to grant franchises to certain American merchants for the sale of their tea created further resentments among those excluded from this lucrative trade. More important, however, the Tea Act revived American passions about the issue of taxation without representation. The law provided no new tax on tea.The colonists responded by boycotting tea. Unlike earlier protests, this boycott mobilized large segments of the population. It also helped link the colonies together in a common experience of mass popular protest. Particularly important to the movement were the activities of colonial women, who were one of the principal consumers of tea and now became the leaders of the effort to the boycott.
In ports other than Boston, agents of the company were persuaded to resign, and new shipments of tea were either returned to England or warehoused. In Boston, the agents refused to resign and, with the support of the royal governor, preparations were made to land incoming cargoes regardless of opposition. On the evening of December 16, 1773, three companies of fifty men each, masquerading as Mohawk Indians, passed through a tremendous crowd of spectators, went aboard the three ships, broke open the tea chests, and heaved them into the harbor.As the electrifying news of the Boston "tea party" spread, other seaports followed the example and staged similar acts of resistance of their own.
When the Bostonians refused to pay for the property they had destroyed, George III and Lord North decided on a policy of coercion, to be applied only against Massachusetts, the socalled Coercive Acts. In these four acts of 1774, Parliament closed the port of Boston, drastically reduced the powers of selfgovernment in the colony, permitted royal officers to be tried in other colonies or in England when accused of crimes, and provided for the quartering of troops in the colonists' barns and empty houses.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
The building below is Faneuil Hall and was given to the city by Peter Faneuil in 1742.It burned down in 1761, and was rebuilt again in 1763 and then enlarged in1805. The upper story was used as a meeting hall for the many gatherings during the Revolutionary movement.
It is where colonists first protested the Sugar Act in 1764 and established the doctrine of "no taxation without representation." Firebrand Samuel Adams rallied the citizens of Boston to the cause of independence from Great Britain in the hallowed Hall, and George Washington toasted the nation there on its first birthday. Through the years, Faneuil Hall has played host to many impassioned speakers, from Oliver Wendall Holmes and Susan B. Anthony to Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy, always living up to its nickname, "The Cradle of Liberty."Faneuil Hall
A look inside Faneuil Hall
Faneuil Hall was expanded in 1826 to include Quincy Market, and later dubbed for Boston Mayor Josiah Quincy. The market remained a vital business hub throughout the 1800's; but by the mid-1900's, the buildings had fallen into disrepair and stood empty. The once-thriving marketplace was tagged for demolition until a committed group of Bostonians sought to preserve it in the early 1970's. Through the vision of Jim Rouse, architect Benjamin Thompson and Mayor Kevin White, the dilapidated structures were revitalized, thoroughly changing the face of downtown Boston. The 1976 renovation was the first urban renewal project of its kind, one that spawned imitations in this country and abroad. Faneuil Hall Marketplace is still Boston's central meeting place, offering visitors and residents alike an unparalleled urban marketplace.
Faneuil Hall Marketplace is actually four great places in one location Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, North Market and South Market, all set around a cobblestone promenade where jugglers, magicians and musicians entertain the passers-by. So by all means, stroll, shop, eat, laugh, wander, wonder and explore it all. For a lot more, click on the link I have provided at the top of the page Title Boston Sites. Hope everyone will enjoy.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Sunday, September 24, 2006
The Early History of Prospect Hill Park
This Photo was taken from the very top of what is called Boston Rock because of the view. This was quite the surprise for I had never seen it nor did I know it was even here. and I was born and raised in this area, wonders never cease. I have gathered some information about this little bit of history for anyone interested. I also set up a link with the Title Prospect Hill Park at the top of the post where there is all the information about the City of Waltham Ma for all to check out.
The life history of humanity has proved nothing more clearly than that crowded populations, if they would live in health and happiness, must have space for air, for light, for exercise, for rest, and for the enjoyment of that peaceful beauty of nature which, because it is the opposite of the noisy ugliness of towns, is so wonderfully refreshing to the tired souls of townspeople.
Mr. Charles Eliot, Landscape Architect for the Metropolitan Park Commission, Boston 1893.
In Waltham, to the north-westward of the centre of the city's population, lies the noble eminence of Prospect Hill, the greatest elevation in the neighborhood of Boston after the Blue Hill.
Created in 1893, Prospect Hill Park covers 250 acres, entirely within the City of Waltham. At this size, it is a significant open space, and "perhaps the largest municipally-owned park inside the loop of Route 128." The park covers a ridge which features two significant peaks. At 485 feet above sea level, the higher of the two is the second highest point in the vicinity of Boston, only the Great Blue Hill stands taller. This peak has been called Great Prospect, but is more often referred to as Big Prospect, while its smaller associate, which stands at 435 feet, is known as Little Prospect. Both peaks provide excellent views of the Boston basin.Check out this map click to enlarge
The Metropolitan Park Commissioners were Charles Francis Adams, Philip A. Chase, and William B. de las Casas. They hired Sylvester Baxter as a secretary interested in the subject and familiar with the ground to be covered, whose duty it would be also to collect documentary information along with Charles Eliot, an associate of Frederick Law Olmsted, as a professional landscape architect, to devise a practical scheme of development and prepare the maps, plans and report to explain it.
The Commissioners published their report in January of 1893. In it they stated their belief in the importance of a metropolitan park system: The provision of ample open spaces for public recreation and the promotion of public health is now universally regarded as an essential feature in the proper equipment of urban communities. In all parts of the civilized world the leading cities are recognizing this necessity. The younger cities are perceiving the wisdom of providing amply for the future in this respect by securing lands in suitable locations and in sufficient amount, to be developed with the growth of their population. The older cities, like London, Paris and Berlin, though long possessed of extensive reservations of this description, are to-day finding their amount of open spaces inadequate, and are taking measures for securing extensive areas in addition that will meet the needs of the future. This report reviewed the numerous suitable locations for parks within the metropolitan area, and included a map revealing both existing and proposed public open spaces. Among the proposed open spaces was a park which would have included both Prospect Hill and nearby Bear Hill. Despite their interest, the Metropolitan Park Commission chose not to involve themselves in the acquisition of Prospect Hill. This was in part due to the fact that Prospect and Bear Hills both lay entirely within the City of Waltham, and thus Waltham's own Park Commission, formed in 1892, was already making plans to acquire the land that would eventually form the park.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
I wanted to start off by asking what people think of the new look of my template. I decided to make a change from the all black it used to be, to the 3 shades of gray. I also switched to the new blogger beta and think I have made a mistake because I have not seen any new comments at all since I switched over. I sure could use some help by getting some comments to see if it is working, It will be greatly appreciated.
The weather this morning seemed really nice compared to this past week which has been lousy. So we took a walk around the Charles River Walkway for some much needed exercise and fresh air. I took several pictures on the way. I am glad we chose to check this walkway out because I really like it and find it to be a great change from the treadmill routine. I find I am starting to like being back home to where all my roots are and will have to make a point of going out exploring more often. I had started to feel hungry and then decided to go to a really good restaurant named Bertucci's which I always enjoy. I have a link set up at the Title of the post Charles River Walkway just click it for the menu and more information about Bertucci's. After our feast of Italian food I just sat there and realized just how lucky I am in this life to have someone to share all this with and that would be my better half Judy. I do not ever seem to let her know. How thoughtless of me I will make it a point to change this part of my way of thinking and doing things with the LOVE of my life.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
A Legacy Of Love Francisco Bourdier 1960 to 2001
I'm sure all who knew or even had the pleasure of meeting Francisco at #2 Twin Towers where he worked as a security guard for the Deutsche Bank will always remember how he greeted everyone with a friendly smile and a thoughtful good morning or good day. Best wishes and regards to his wife Erma and daughter Francesca. May God bless and keep you always. To view more tribute postings click on the Title at the top of this post In Memory.