Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fenway Park Time Lapse Video

All work, a new house and a wedding coming up in about a month makes for a very bad blogger. Sorry, all. I've been to three games this season and have some pics from all of them that I will hopefully upload soon. Going to two more this week.

In lieu of any real posts, here is a really cool video sent to me from my future brother in-law.

One Day At Fenway - Letus Extreme Film - Time Lapse - HDTV from Tom Guilmette on Vimeo.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day 2008

I wouldn't call myself a Tree Hugger and I'm definitely no environmental extremist (IE, I use toilet paper, and lots of it!)
However, I do take steps to reduce my Carbon Footprint and try and make this earth a happier, healthier place to live.

My father is an extremely conservative man. Whenever someone talks about going "Green" he rolls his eyes and usually makes some very un-PC comment. What he doesn't realize is that he, himself, does things which are helping our environment. He may not be doing them all to "Save the Earth" - sometimes to him it's more about saving money. Whatever your motivation you can help. Here is an example of some things I KNOW for a fact he does.
  • Washes his clothes in cold water. Cold water only uses 10% of the energy that warm/hot water does. If you absolutely cannot fathom washing your clothes in cold water, try a setting for a cold water rinse. Something is better than nothing!
  • Air dries his clothes in warm weather. Not only does this give him "fresh" smelling clothes, sheets and towels; it saves him money on his electric bill and reduces the amount of energy used by turning off his dryer. Another friend of mine, The Missus over at OnCommonGround also air dries her clothes.
  • Turns off his computer when it's not in use. Again - he's saving money on his electric bill and reducing the amount of energy used in his house.
  • Uses a water-saving shower head. I think he started his when there were five kids living in the house and the heat and hot water bills got out of control. Yep, it's money saving but also helps save the environment, dad!!!!
  • Turns his thermostat WAY down in the winter. Ok, so we're not all as "hot blooded" as my dad. I kid you not when I saw his thermostat is usually set between 58-62 degrees. We don't all have to be that extreme (or freezing in my case!) but instead of setting your thermostat at a "room temperature" 68, try 67. And in the summer turn it up one degree if you use AC.
  • Regularly replaces the air filter in his car. By doing this when you get your oil changed, you can get about 10% better fuel economy, and with prices nearing the $4/gallon mark I'd say it's worth it!
  • Keeps his tires properly inflated. Doing this saves makes your vehicle 3% more fuel efficient.
  • Reuses Glass Bottles. My dad loves to reuse the Arizona Iced Tea glass bottles. He'll fill it with filtered water or homemade iced tea. This is a great help because while recycling glass in recycling centers is better than throwing the bottles away, it's very expensive for these centers to actually recycle the glass. Since the weight of glass is so heavy, transportation costs are higher and it takes a lot of heat to melt down the glass. Try and think of ways to reuse any glass containers you have. Some other suggestions I have would be to save old pasta sauce bottles to drain your cooking grease and reuses wine bottles as flower vases or candelabras.
  • He recycles glass, plastic and newspaper at the dump. He also returns plastic bottles and cans to recycling centers to get his 5 cent deposits back
  • He has a vegetable garden. Nothing tastes better than fresh veggies in the summer and not buying them in the store reduces transportation costs and causes less packaging to be thrown away.
  • He has a compost bin. Sure, it's for his veggie garden, but he's providing yet another way to help reduce the amount of trash in landfills and give back to our green earth.
  • He's planted a tree in honor of my grandfather who has passed away. A nice dedication to a loved one, and the environment.
These are just things I know he does off the top of my head. I'm sure I could think of more if I really tried. But this just goes to show little things can make a huge impact on our environment.

What are some other simple things we can do?
  • If you can't grow your own garden, buy Organic. Some people debate this doesn't really help the environment, but her is what it DOES do:
    • Cuts transportation costs - no more fruits and veggies coming from Asia or South Africa
    • Provides income to your local community
    • Reduces the amount of harmful pesticides found in your food
My fiance and I have recently signed up for Boston Organics home delivery service. Look for a similar service in your area and get excited for some amazing fresh fruit and
vegetables as well as healthier meals for you and your family.
  • There is always the ride a bike, walk, carpool, use public transportation or get a scooter instead of driving your car places. With the insane gas prices more and more people may be looking into these options. If you're out shopping for a new car, make sure to look for a hybrid or one with great fuel economy. Did you know for each gallon of gas saved 20lbs of carbon emissions are avoided?
  • Replace burnt out light bulbs in your house with energy efficient CFLs. CFLs use 25% less energy than the standard Incandescent bulbs and last 10 times as long. Seems like a no brainer to me!
  • Bring your own bags to the grocery store. FINALLY! Stores (including places like Target, not just grocery stores!) are now selling reusable cloth bags to their customers. I have to tell you we (as the United States) are YEARS behind the rest of the world in this. I remember going to Germany for the first time in 1994 and being shocked that the grocery stores didn't provide paper/plastic bags. Nope, you had to bring your own. And it makes so much sense. Raise your hand if your house is overrun with plastic grocery store bags? Mine used to be....and still is to a lesser extent (the Fiance has not caught on to bringing his own bags to stores). If you're in the same boat, search for stores which let you recycle your plastic bags (I've seen bins at Shaw's before) or use them to big up your dog waste when going for a walk. Learn about more steps to a Greener Kitchen from StartCooking.com.
  • Unplug electrical devices which are not in use. After you're done with that pot of coffee, or your morning toast, unplug the coffee pot and toaster and save on electricity.
  • Sign up for online banking and save the amount of paper bills sent to your house. In this day and age, there is no need for all of that wasted paper!
  • Reduce the amount of junk mail you receive. Opt out of mailings if you can, or sign up for a service like GreendDimes to eliminate up to 90% of postal junk mail for up to 5 years.
  • Add Facebook applications such as Lil' Green Patch (to save the rainforest) and MakeMeSustainable (to spread the word and reduce your carbon footprint). Add me as your friend on Facebook to see how much impact we're making collectively!
  • Go Vegan! Ok, this one is not for me, BUT meat eating has proven to have a negative effect on the environment (not to mention your health). Rain forests are being depleted for food production and livestock produces 7 trillion tons of manure each year. Learn more about the effects of meat eating on the environment here. So while I don't pledge to go meatless, I will cut down on the amount of meat I consume and pledge to only buy organic meats. A friend of mine, The Sexy Vegan, has some great videos on YouTube. You should subscribe to his videos for some great vegan recipes (and fantastic entertainment). The Sexy Vegan works for Vegin' Out - a vegan food delivery service in California (used by Red Sox fan Andy Dick!)
  • Educate Yourself! Find an environmentally friendly resource and use it to educate yourself on how to become more earth-conscious. TreeHugger.com is a great website I was introduced to by writer, and long time friend Kara DiCamillo.
  • Don't buy plastic water bottles. Ohhhh this is hard for me. I love the convenience of them and I hate the nasty taste my Nalgene bottle leaves (plus it leaks some nasty stuff into your water). I have been wanting to order a Sigg Water bottle. Not only is it eco-friendly, there are a ton of cool designs. If you must use a plastic bottle, go for Poland Springs Eco-Friendly bottles which use 30% less plastic than similar sized bottles and is 100% recyclable.
  • Donate old towels and blankets to your local pet shelter. They are always in constant need. You can get a tax break, and help rescues live another day.
  • Start recycling programs in your school or office
This is just a small list of things we can do to make every day earth day. Even Fenway Park has gone Green ; If Wally can do it, you can too!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Red Sox Batting Stances

Ahhhh Patriots Day.
The weather is beautiful, the runners ran, the Red Sox won....and I....worked.

To cheer me up on this blahhhh work day, my cousin sent me this gem:

How I missed it before, I don't know. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Boston Organics Fruit and Vegetable Delivery Service

Thanks to The Missus at OnCommonGround I heard about a great service called Boston Organics.

I hate buying anything other than "staples" at a grocery store - I tend to go to a Whole Foods Market or a Farm Market to buy meat, fruit, vegetables and herbs. Of course I gravitate towards the same foods and get stuck in a "food rut" once in a while. I think Boston Organics may help me get out of this rut, and force me to eat more fruits and veggies (so I'm not throwing away money). The best part is I don't have to leave my house (or beg my dear fiance to stop at the store on his way home from work) in order to get all of this healthy food.

My first box will be delivered next Thursday. It will contain:

  • 2 Granny Smith Apples
  • 3 Green Bartlett Pears
  • 2 lbs Bananas
  • 1 lbs Honey Tangerines
  • 1 Mangoes
  • 3 Navel Oranges
  • 2 Plums
  • 1 Avocados
  • 1 6oz Bagged Spinach
  • 1 Cucumbers
  • 0.75 lbs Good and Ugly Tomatoes
  • 1 head Red Leaf Lettuce
  • 0.5 lbs Snow Peas
  • 1 lbs Zucchini
So now instead of wasting time at the store, I can plan my weekly meals ahead!!!! Anybody want to share any good recipes that contain the above foods?

And yes, I will talk about the Red Sox again. I just...have nothing to say at the moment. Strange, I know.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Melting Pot Burlington: Two BIG THUMBS DOWN

Despite being named "The Best New Restaurant in Burlington, MA" according to Market Surveys of America in 2007 - I advise you to think twice before heading to The Melting Pot in Bedford/Burlington, MA.

The chain restaurant in and of itself is a fantastic concept - and a wonderful night out for couples, friends or families. The four-course fondue menu (Cheese Fondue, Salad, Meat Fondue, Chocolate Fondue) is unique and fun....and usually here is where I would also say it is delicious.

My fiance took me there last night for my birthday dinner and a much needed night out. We're in the midst of moving and planning a June 08 wedding and extra cash is just not something we have at the moment. Spending $118 on dinner was a little steep for us at this point in our lives, but he knew how much I needed it. So off we went, with high expectations. Only to be horrifically disappointed. Why you ask?

  • Our first impression of our waitress was her bad-mouthing a co-worker mentioning how he sounded like a used car salesman and she couldn't stand his voice or to look at him (Not the way to represent yourself, Jocelyn!)
  • The cheese course was fantastic...until we noticed the fruit sticker still on one of our apple pieces. Completely intact, and obviously had not been cleaned or run under any water. (Ewww dirty, unwashed fruit) We let it go....
  • We both ordered the Caesar salad. Not only was the lettuce so wet (hey at least it was washed) that the salad dressing slid off and pooled in the bottom of the bowl, there was a HUGE DISGUSTING hair in my salad. We brought it to the waitresses attention who as also disgusted (although she had no problem with the unwashed apple) and she offered to bring us new salads (no thanks honey) and said she didn't know how it was possible b/c there was a guy on "salad duty" that night.
Now normally I would have gotten up at this point and left, but I had SO been looking forward to this meal and we just didn't have the energy to seek out a new place to eat. The rest of the meal was ok.

We had to endure another disgruntled employee when she brought out the broth for our meat course. The pan had this neat little contraption which literally sealed the lid on the pan, so hot broth or oil was not spilled on the waitress or customers. Fiance asked what it was called and she said it was her "killing machine" named Fred...and it was used on rude customers.

When the meal was over we went to speak to a manager and spoke with co-owner Brian Skedd. We mentioned the issues we had with the meal. He said "I'm sorry to hear that, come back and see us again soon." Excuse me, Mr. Skedd, are you SERIOUS? Not only is it highly unlikely that we will ever set foot in that establishment again, I vowed to let everyone I know about my horrible experience. So here I am, writing about it on my blog.

Dear Mr. Skedd,

As a frequent restaurant goer I would like to offer you a few suggestions. Perhaps they will help you live up to your 'best new restaurant' reputation.
  1. Make sure all of your food is cleaned before it is served to patrons
  2. If a hair is found in the food - do more than offer another serving of the food. Perhaps offer a free dessert, free drinks, a free meal on a future visit. Do something other than shrug your shoulders and say you hope to 'see us soon.'
  3. Pay a little more attention during your interview process - or have some training sessions for your very unprofessional staff (let me clarify - your unprofessional food servers. The hostesses and bartender were just fine.) Yeah, as a matter of fact because of all of the other issues I almost forgot to mention. After our meat course was served we went 40 minutes without hearing a peep from our waitress, dear Jocelyn. 40 minutes is quite a long time - especially when drinks are empty (you lost out on your bar tab for that one!)
  4. Don't underestimate the power of word of mouth or the blogesphere. As a matter of fact, Compass Partners LLC just released a survey which says 36.2 million women in the U.S write and read blogs every week and approximately half consider blogs a “highly reliable” or “very reliable” source of information and advice. Get more information about Social Media trends here.

Have any of you had bad restaurant experiences? Bad experiences-turned good? I'd love to hear about them.

Until then, if you're in the MA area you may want to want to check out The Melting Pot in Framingham. Hopefully you'll have a much better experience!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Dear Julio Lugo,

Thanks for nothing, bub.
No Love,

Dear my loyal readers,
Yep. It's Monday and I'm still annoyed by the craptastic ball that was played this past weekend. I hope I get in a better mood about it all before my game on Thursday. I also hope my love for blogging comes back. I'm having a hard time getting back in the swing of things. Thanks for your support!

Friday, April 4, 2008

A-Rod Attacked By Hawk at Fenway Park

Although the red-tailed hawk might have been a little confused...it "attacked" middle school student Alexa Rodriquez, not Red Sox foe Alex Rordriguez of the New York Yankees. Still, the irony is not lost to all of us in RSN.

Boston.com had some great pictures of the "hawk attack" and even shared a little known fact:

Construction workers said they know of three hawks that live in the park, and that the birds are often seen eating rats and mice.
Aww lovely.

Apparently Ms. A-Rod was not the only person riled by the Hawk. WBZTV reports a WBZ photographer was also attacked.

Luckily nobody has been seriously injured as a result, and a wave of laughter has spread through RSN.

For those wildlife friends - Boston Animal Rescue League removed the nest and the egg. And fear not if you're going to a game this season - the crowds will likely scare the Hawks away during the games.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Kevin Youkilis Makes Baseball History

In an apropos game-ending ground ball to first, Kevin Youkilis made baseball history yesterday. The Red Sox Gold Glove first baseman set a Major League record by playing 194 consecutive error less games at first base. The Sox won the game 5-0 over the Oakland Athletics.

The previous record holder was Steve Garvey who played for both the Dodgers and Padres from June 26, 1983 through April 14, 1985.

Youkilis met Garvey for the first time on March 29th of this year in Los Angeles. He tied his record on Tuesday, April 1st (no joke!) and surpassed him yesterday, April 2nd. Surprisingly, Youk said he didn't know about the record until after the game - where he was awarded the first base (which was signed by teammates) from McAfee Coliseum, home of the A's. I have a hard time believing this, especially since he met Garvey earlier in the week - but hey - maybe he was just being modest.

This milestone leads me to name Youk as this seasons first Former Cape League Player of the week. Sure, the week isn't over yet, but it's my award so it's my prerogative! Youkilis played for the Bourne Braves in 2000, where he batted .309 with three homers and 14 RBIs.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008


It's official. Eric Gagne sucks. Wait, that wasn't official before? OK look, the guy used to be one of the nastiest pitchers out there, I can give him that. But game's overrrrrrr!!!!!

Last night, in his Brewer's debut GAGme got his first blown save against the Cubbies - giving up a 3 run lead in the 9th to Fukudome. Does he really have the stuff that closers are made of? I don't think so.

I just knew there would be video evidence of his craptastic close on the Interweb, so after a little bit of searching I found it on Awful Announcing.

Thanks Gagne, for the show. Fresh B King - are you still happy with your fantasy draft (yes, someone in my league DRAFTED Gagne...)? How about that 27.0 ERA!

It's No April Fools Joke....

...the Red Sox are starting their regular season play - once again - tonight at 10:05PM EST. I love how the season first started at 6:00AM and now it's 10:05PM. Sleep does not come easy for members of RSN.

I really am committed to coming back to my blog. It's been a crazy few months with work, wedding planning, getting ready to move, and . Watch this video to see what else I've been up to.