North by Northeast

Clean Out Your Storm Drains Now, Please.
19 December, 2008, 9:18 am
Filed under: General | Tags:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If you have a storm drain in front of your house, clean the debris our of it before this snow hits. This will eventually melt, and then our streets will be flooded. But, if everyone takes five minutes to clean out their drain… no floods.


Too many personal blogs?
2 November, 2008, 6:51 pm
Filed under: General

Folks, I have four blogs, two of which are “catch all” anything-I-want-to-post blogs. Those two would be this one and my Tumblr blog.

This seems a little ridiculous. I first started the Tumblr blog as an experiment on several levels: to see the interface (love it), to assess Tumblr for Amanda’s usage (she now uses it and likes it), to test Disqus as a comment plug in (worked there, works on Amanda’s), and to try out moblogging (pretty neat).

So it turns out that pretty much everything I need for a personal blog is on Tumblr, since I’m just looking to keep it simple there, and I have other blogs for “pro-level” blogging and customizations (whatever it means).

Should I stop posting here and move my longer text posts to Tumblr? I’ve thought about integrating my Tumblr blog onto my personal domain ( because that looks simpler than any other system.

Can I get an opinion from you, one of the (at least) six of you that read this blog on occasion?

Many thanks!

An Open Letter to Congressman Markey in Support of the Route 16 Green Line terminus
25 October, 2008, 10:14 am
Filed under: Local, politics | Tags: , , ,

Below is the text of my correspondence, sent this morning, to my U.S. Representitive, Congressman Ed Markey of the 7th district. It urges his public support of the Route 16 terminus for the Green Line extension through Medford. For more on this issue, please visit the Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance web site.

Dear Congressman,

I’m writing to urge your public support for a local issue here in Medford that has a strong, positive impact on Eastern Massachusetts, on which you can have a very positive impact on I urge your support and leadership for the MBTA Green Line Terminus at Route 16 in Medford.

I’ve been working along with the Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance to ensure that we take this once in a lifetime opportunity to build as much infrastructure as possible to benefit the future generations of our city.

As a new resident of the city (3 years) I got involved too late to help support the state’s initial plan to have the Green Line terminate at the West Medford Commuter Rail Stop, which is the line’s logical terminus. I sincerely regret this. I feel the residents of that part of town made a poor choice for the future of our city, for our environment and for our neighbors who rely on public transportation to make their lives in the greater metro area possible.

I hope that you do not make the same mistake I did, but in regard to the Route 16 terminus, supporting it too late to make a difference.

I am a home owner on Orchard Street. My backyard abuts the railway that will be under strenuous construction for an untold number of years to make this extension possible. I am willing to deal with that inconvenience for the greater good of our city, its citizens and our environment. Right now, I deal with very loud commuter trains passing every 15 minutes or so, from which I get almost no benefit. At 2 in the morning, CSX freight trains roll by and shake my house, only about 25 yards from my newborn son’s nursery and my own bedroom. It’s about time something moved through that ravine that benefitted its neighbors instead of only annoying us.

As a former resident of Brookline who lived very near to the C-line, I know the noisiest that line can be, on outdated tracks that make the trains squeal. Even that noise would be many times more acceptable than what I have now, but that does not benefit me. New tracks and new trains on the all-electric Green Line would be nearly silent compared to the diesel behemoths that pass by now. Improved sound walls that the EOT has promised with construction will actually make my situation better, despite increased traffic in my backyard. The new sound and vibration damping will work with commuter trains and freight trains as well as the much quieter electric trolleys.

I believe that this is the first time I’ve written to you that I’ve urged you to take a stance on an issue I didn’t believe you already favored. I’m very appreciative of your leadership in high-tech and communications issues, such as net neutrality. In all, I’m extremely pleased that you are my Representative. I hope that you’ll come through for me here, in an issue that perhaps one of the most personally important to our city’s life.

Please feel free to contact me personally if you would like any additional input from a direct abutter to the tracks.

Thank you for your time.

Brian W. Christiansen

3 Blog Ideas
11 October, 2008, 11:41 pm
Filed under: General
  • The fine print on common TV ads that tell you something asinine.
  • Photoblog: screen caps of silly things (usually facial expressions) caught when pausing your TiVo
  • A blog that just lists ideas for other blogs

Putin’s Take on the Georgian Conflict
14 September, 2008, 8:05 pm
Filed under: General

This is a fascinating interview with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and CNN, where Mr. Putin suggests that the United States may have pushed Georgia to begin the conflict in South Ossetia, and possibly to benefit the U.S. Presidential bid of John McCain.

CNN’s Matthew Chance interviews Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

I’m not making this stuff up. If Putin is (and frankly, let’s remember he was in the KGB) it still makes for interesting reading.

Also, Mr. Putin gives us some historical background on the region, and offers some thoughts on other international issues, from Kosovo, to Iran, North Korea and even agricultural trade between the US and Russia.

Two of the Greatest Daily Show Clips of All-Time
7 September, 2008, 10:08 am
Filed under: politics

Over the past two weeks, The Daily Show has covered the Democratic and Republican National Conventions in the cities that they were held. What transpired was truly the best two weeks of the Daily Show yet.

Here are the two best clips from the RNC week, which may be two of the best DS clips of all-time:

Sarah Palin and the Gender Card

John McCain the Reformed Maverick

I would embed these clips into this post, but stupid can’t cope with embed codes. This remains the lamest part of WordPress.

The Truth About Palin
3 September, 2008, 11:45 pm
Filed under: politics

…it is important for the public to know that Palin raised taxes as governor, supported the Bridge to Nowhere before she opposed it, pursued pork-barrel projects as mayor, tried to ban books at the local library and thinks the war in Iraq is “a task from God.” The attempts by the McCain campaign to bully us into not reporting such things are not only stupidly aggressive, but unprofessional in the extreme.

Angry Amateurs, Joe Klein, Time Magazine.