Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Venting Out Loud In Sturbridge

Today I should change the name of this blog to Venting Out Loud In Before My Head Explodes In Sturbridge.  Below are some things that are annoying the bejeepers out of me.

Sharing. It's a good thing.

  1. School systems are either considering, or have already banned bake sales during school hours.   As if this is going to help with childhood obesity.  If they want to help, schedule PE for an hour a day.
  2. Parents encouraging their children to have heart attacks in their 20's by not serving the right food, not teaching them to eat the right food, and allowing them to sit in their rooms for days on end playing World of Warcraft until their butts are too big to  fit through the door.
  3. The same parents accepting a phone call from their child's bedroom, and the child asking what was for dinner.
  4. Toddlers in Tiaras.
  5. Anybody in a tiara with a show on cable.
  6. Anybody with a last name that starts with a "K", and has a show on cable.
  7. A cable show about housewives from anywhere.
  8. Dr. Phil
  9. Anything at all on the Maury Povich Show
  10. Any housewife with a last name beginning with a "K", wearing a tiara, asking for life advice from Dr. Phil on Maury.
  11. Any cable show that the cable network states is not exploitative, but stars little people, toddlers, hoarders, addicts, or everyday kids from the Jersey shore.
  12. TMZ
Ok.  That's about it for now.  I feel better now.  Feel free to to add your own.  You'll be surprised at how good you feel afterwards.  


  1. Letting out steamThursday, May 10, 2012

    Thanks for the space, Wally.
    Some things kinda get to me, too. Here goes:

    1- Going into a grocery store and finding everything moved around! Sure, the “store” is getting the supposed benefit of getting more people to see more stuff as they search for what they want, but older and/or disabled folks, in particular, find that insulting, unfair, and mean.

    2- Trying to get out of Staples parking lot, among others, where you “have the pleasure of seeing greenery” but cannot see the oncoming traffic.

    3- Having a town sponsored scavenger hunt for decorated trees during hunting season. They even advertise this and tell you to “dress your children in brightly colored clothing.”

    4- People who lick their fingers before counting out your change, bagging your groceries, etc., etc.

    5- People who complain to you that others give them “cheap” birthday or holiday gifts.

    6- Members of the town government not speaking into microphones at televised meetings.

    7- The person in a local establishment who, when talking a food order from a person whose English was difficult to understand, rather than graciously taking the time to help the person express himself, placed her hand on her hip and stated, “This is America. We speak American here.”

    8- People who know you are trying to get down a store isle, but don’t bother to move their carts out of the way to let you pass.

    9- Ordering one of those fabulous shakes that have the whipped cream and syrup and cherry on top, but getting one without the toppings, when they never bothered to tell you that they were out of the toppings – and your mouth was all set to taste that whipped cream and syrup and cherry – sigh.

    10- People like me who sometimes find themselves beginning to obsess about something as trivial as whipped cream and cherries.

    11- People who wear enough perfume for everyone to “enjoy” it.

  2. Excellent!! Now, doesn't that feel great to have vented? Probaly not as great as it would feel to give a dope slap to the offenders, but therapeutic none the less. Sometimes, just making people aware of the things they do is enough to snap them back to our planet. Shopping carts blocking the aisle , and folks that font properly use a microphone can be helped. Those that don't let you know they are all out of cherries and whip creme just need to be re-trained. Unless, they are wearing a tiara. Then anything goes. 😉

  3. Blasted thumpers!Friday, May 11, 2012

    Right on, Wally!

    Between tiaras interfering with the the brainwaves of some folks, and ascots being wrapped too tightly and choking off blood supplies to the brains of other folks, sometimes I think we won't make it through another day.

    My heart now beats in rhythm with the deep thumping "musical" sounds coming from some passing cars. That's bad. What's worse is when those same sounds come from a neighbor's window or front yard for hours on end!

    Perhaps if I take my heart pills and stick them in my ears...

  4. Things that bug me:

    1- That little irritating 9/10 of a cent at the gas pump. Does someone keep adding that to the price to make us all crazy?

    2- The fact that there is still no door knob or handle on the front door of the Center School. If they need to lock the door so we can’t enter through the front, fine. But there still should be a reasonable way for emergency personnel to enter. Who else removes door handles when they can just lock a door? The days of latch-string only entries are long gone, and probably for good reason.

    3- The disappearance of ½ gallon containers of ice cream. The containers look so dinky now.

    4- The disappearance of slacks or jeans that actually reach all the way up to a woman’s waist.

    5- Making a phone call and finding that I have to somehow explain my problem to a talking machine that cannot reason. Sometimes I’d rather speak to a carrot.

    6- Dust.

    7- Lint.

    8- The fact that we still need a traffic light at Arnold Road.

    9- Teasers before TV new programs, when they let you know that something bad or dangerous has happened, but make you wait to find out where it happened. Just saying the name of a city or town would let most people draw an easy breath, and alert others to pay close attention – but no, they count on the fright factor to keep us glued to their programming.

    10- Loud and overly excited voices in ads. What a turn-off!

    11- Being out of chocolate.

    Well, thanks Wally. Venting sure does feel good...but I still can't wait for that good old chocolate train to come in.

  5. "talk to a carrot"! LOL!

    Yes! These are the everyday annoyances that are sometimes intentional, and those are the ones that can be fixed. That is the maddening part, they don't have to be. Except for dust and lint because our ancestors sweaters give us those. I have no clue about the chocolate, but that is a good point: what is an annoyance to some, doesn't bother others.

  6. Just found your blog for the first time today. In regards to Letting Out Steam's #3, in defense of the ConComm, this past year's scavenger hunt was held only on the Heins Farm property, where hunting is not allowed (although it doesn't necessisarily stop hunters from "wandering" onto the property). Most of the decorated trees were located close to the road on the Pond Loop Trail. But blaze orange should still be worn for one's own protection!


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