Courtesy the Franklin Park Coalition http://www.franklinparkcoalition.org/

Which parts of Franklin Park would you like me to post next?

Today I finally posted a collection of images from a scenic overlook in Franklin Park’s Wilderness (not the Overlook Ruins off the Playstead) and I was going to ask a question at the bottom of the post but I decided to split it off into its own post.

In addition to the pictures from the scenic overlook I’m hoping to get posted tomorrow, I also have a series of pictures of Scarboro Hill that my recent photo of the painted tree (posted on both Instagram (more detail) and on Twitter (more detail)), some pictures of Scarboro Pond (not nearly a complete set yet), and I want to take some pictures at Schoolmaster Hill and the Playstead, but where would you like me to get pictures of next? Continue reading

My books are FREE in the 2014 Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale!
The 2016 Franklin Park Coalition Kite and Bike Festival

Finally, pictures from the 2016 Franklin Park Coalition Kite and Bike Fest

[Sorry about taking so long to get these up. Things have been really crazy for me.]

A girl and her kiteOn Saturday, 14 May, the Franklin Park Coalition, the Boston Parks & Recreation Department, and Discover Roxbury put on the 2016 edition of their Kite & Bike Festival. I took some pictures last year and while I wasn’t able to start the day with them this year there was no way I wasn’t going to get some pictures this year.

This year’s fest was a little different from last year’s, due in part to changes at the top of both the FPC and Discover Roxbury in the months leading up to this year’s fest. There weren’t the number of food trucks we had last year and the FPC/Discover Roxbury table was on the opposite side of the Playstead from the last two years, but there was a DJ and TEMPO International Rhythm Section, a local Caribbean band to play for those who came out.

Music from Tempo International

We did have a nice crowd despite the parks  department running a Bubble Festival on the Commons. The one metric that I can use to easily figure the crown size is how the kite seller did, and while last year he had sold out of kites long by the 4 pm official end of the fest, but there was a line of people buying kites at closing time this year with a nice selection for everyone to choose from. I don’t know if they brought more this year or not though so my metric may not be as reliable as I’m thinking it is.

FPC BKF 20160514_160911_HDR End of the day but still selling kites

One thing I was able to do was to shoot a little video to post on Instagram of the fun and it gave a glimpse of the fun at about 1:30 in the afternoon. I wanted to post the video from Instagram but it wouldn’t display so I put it up on YouTube so I could post it here.

The only food truck we had this year was the ice cream truck, and with temperatures in the mid 70’s you know they were probably busier than a team of one-armed paper hangers.

FPC BKF 20160514_160810_HDR Ice Cream truck

The Boston Public Library had their Bibliocycle there again, and the Franklin Park Tennis Association was there, and they were even putting on demos. Boston Bikes and Bikes Not Bombs were there, and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation had not only information but also free seedling trees for all who wanted one. I would have gotten one but I have nowhere to plant it outside and I don’t even have enough sunny windowsill to even put some small pots of spices or flowers on.

There was one really fun bike at the Fest, a highly modified ride turned into the Horse Chopper. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get my phone to work to note his name or the name he’s given to his valiant steed.

Of course, there was more than just kites, bikes, trees and tennis. As always there were families hanging out in the shade having picnics and just hanging out enjoying a beautiful day.

Picnics at the 2016 FPC Kite and Bike Festival

It was a fun day, and if you missed it you missed out. Pencil in next year’s Fest now. If I remember correctly it’s always the Saturday following Mom’s Day, which would make it Saturday, 20 May 2017.

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I hope these have been worth the wait.

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One Holiday to Rule Them All

(I wrote this for my sister’s site two years ago, and since her site is no longer available I’m reposting it here.)

One Holiday at a Time PleaseLike so many people this time of year, I hate when retailers roll out their Christmas merchandise as soon as Halloween is over. I even made an avatar a couple of years ago that simply asks, “One Holiday at a Time Please.”

When I went into my local CVS the day after Halloween this year to take advantage of the Half Price Chocolate Day specials I was surprised to see that all the space that had been dedicated to Halloween products and candy were now filled with Christmas merchandise, mostly candy. The lone exception was a simple shelf width of Halloween candy. That shelf was empty by the end of the day and Christmas candy had already filled the empty space.

As I was talking to a friend about it that evening I came up with an idea. Instead of having six holidays spread from the start of fall to the end of the year, let’s instead have one big holiday that extends from 31 October to 1 January. The name of this combined holiday?

Hal-giv-hanu-mas-za-year.

I know that’s a mouthful, but it does what retailers want to do anyway and make all these holidays one big celebration and marketing opportunity:

  • Halloween
  • Thanksgiving
  • Hanukkah
  • Christmas
  • Kwanzaa
  • New Year’s Eve

I know people will be angry with me, saying each holiday should be its own celebration, and families can celebrate each individual holiday as they choose to do. But I ask you to look at it from a marketing perspective. This way all new holiday decorations can be created for the continuing holiday and this way we won’t be kvetching because Christmas decorations push out the skeletons and tombstones instead of making turkeys and horns of plenty follow the graveyard decorations. Plus, if you use an advent calendar think about how much fun it will be for the young tykes of all ages with an extra month worth of doors to open. What do you guys think? Are you going to join me in wishing people a

Have a Very Happy Hal-giv-hanu-mas-za-year!

(For those who don’t know me that well, my tongue is quite firmly planted in my cheek, but as Aaron Altman says in Broadcast News, “I’m semi-serious here.”)

Je suis Paris – Je suis humain

In support for the people of Paris in the wake of the horrible attacks of 13 November 2013Last night the world was saddened by the terrorist attacks in Paris. As I was listening to coverage while one my way home from the grocery store I decided I wanted to make an avatar that included “Je suis Paris” in support for the city, similar to how so many people said,”Je suis Charlie” after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January.

It took a while to make it, after finally finding how Facebook was allowing people to add the French Tricolor to their profile pictures. A few hours before I heard that some were using “Je suis Paris”  but others were using “Je suis humain,” because it wasn’t just Paris values that were attacked but human ones as well.

I’ll be making this picture my profile picture on all the social networking and forum sites I’m on, and I want to help others use the text as well. I can’t help you with getting your image tinted with the Tricolor, but you can download this png image, a 720×720 image with a transparent background that you can use in your favorite image editor to add it to any picture you care to use it with. I’m publishing it with a Creative Commons attribution 4.0 International license. If you want to share the file I created all I ask is that you give me the credit for creating it, but you are completely free to do anything you want with any images you create with it.

 

As an aside, I find that France 24 has the best coverage of the attacks, and the link goes to the English version. There is also a French version (bien sûr) and there is also an Arabic version available. Both are available from the page I’m linking to.

Je suis Paris et Humaine (layer)
Creative Commons License
Je suis Paris et Humaine by J.M. Hardin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.