chrishansenhome: (Default)
Seems like the Old Town had a hot Friday.

Friday, June 26

  • At 12:09 a.m., a 14-year-old who had recently been returned home after violating his probation curfew sneaked out of the house again.

  • At 12:56 a.m., a caller reported a girl was leaning up against a tree with her legs sticking out into West Shore Drive. Police didn’t locate anyone at the scene and a nearby group of people hadn’t spotted anything. Um, some things are just beyond snide comments.

  • At 2:01 a.m., a caller reported he was locking up Three Cod when he spotted a man trying to break in the restaurant’s back door. The person fled the scene, but was captured on security camera footage from an adjacent parking lot. The suspect was not found, but it didn’t appear he had time to gain access to the restaurant.

  • At 9:32 a.m., a caller reported a naked man drove by the caller’s house. Police located the man in question and found he was wearing pants and had unbuckled them in order to tuck in his shirt. He was not naked. That's what they ALL say.

  • At 10:43 a.m., a caller reported that a neighbor had been saving a parking space with a barrel and when the caller moved the barrel she found a note taped to her car reading, “”Don’t touch other peoples property, you wouldn’t want someone to touch yours.” The caller was attempting to determine the owner of the barrel so police could speak with the person. Roll out the barrel! We'll have a barrel of fun!

  • At 6:02 p.m., a possible boat fire was reported. Police found the person was launching the boat for the first time and there was a lot of smoke, but no fire.

  • At 10:18 p.m., a caller reported loud wood chopping going on. Police responded and found people outside, but not chopping wood and not causing a disturbance.
chrishansenhome: (Default)
Thursday in its entirety was a day in the Old Town to stay in bed and pull the covers over you.

Thursday, May 14
  • At 9:27 a.m., motor vehicle breaking and entering was reported on Countryside Lane. A phone was stolen.

  • At 9:29 a.m., an employee at the Jewish Community Center reported a man passed out on the walkway to the parking lot. It was a man in his 70s who had fallen and was having trouble getting up. He was speaking with people trying to assist him

  • At 9:31 a.m., a man reported his laptop taken from his unlocked vehicle on Brookhouse Drive overnight.

  • At 10:07 a.m., a woman reported that she’d heard a “boom like a gun and shattering” and noticed that her passenger sideview mirror had been shattered. She didn’t believe she had struck anything and instead thought someone had shot her mirror.

  • At 12:27 p.m., a woman reported a road rage incident in which a vehicle followed her closely, honked repeatedly and tried to pass her on both sides. When she pulled over to let the driver pass, the driver pulled up beside the car, scaring her. She reported that the driver sped off when she picked up her phone to call police. An officer spoke with the suspect and reported everything was calm at that point.

  • At 1:31 p.m., a caller reported someone had been at their house soliciting paving services.

  • At 4:41 p.m., a man reported that he saw an online ad for peat moss and loom being sold in Marblehead and went to the specified house to buy some. He said he arrived and “had a confrontation with the lady,” whom he described as a Russian woman at a house with peat moss and loom in the yard. Police advised the business that it would need a zoning permit from the building department in order to sell from that location.
  • She should have known that you can't sell weaving machines in your yard.
  • At 4:57 p.m., a caller reported a boat had just come in with what the boaters believed to be a sturgeon caught up in the net and he believed it was rare. Police contacted the environmental police and took photos of the fish in case they were needed.
chrishansenhome: (Default)
Wednesday, April 22

    At 8:45 a.m., a caller reported finding a blanket and sheet under their front gate. Police searched the area and found nothing suspicious.
    At 12:49 p.m., a woman reported that a former friend was outside knocking on her door and yelling the caller’s name. The caller said it was the third time someone had knocked on her door, but the first time she could prove who it was. She said she wanted the person to leave.
    At 5:41 p.m., a woman called to report that her cleaning lady had been at a different client’s house earlier in the day and found the homeowner to be ”complete [sic] intoxicated” and “laying naked on the couch covered in feces” at about 3:30 p.m. Officers conducted a well-being check and the homeowner answered the door without pants, but did not appear to be a danger to herself or anyone else at the time. Officers cleared the scene. So the officers cleared the scene? Substituted for the cleaning lady then.
chrishansenhome: (Default)
It seems to have been a busy few days in the Birthplace of the American Navy and the Yachting Capital of the World.,

Friday, April 17
  • At 9:34 a.m., an residential attempted breaking and entering was reported. Police found a window had been forced open, but the resident didn’t believe anything had been taken.

  • At 10:21 a.m., a caller reported a tax return had been fraudulently filed using his Social Security Number.

  • At 12:32 p.m., vandalism was reported in which someone threw cereal in a urinal. My mind is boggling at the moment. What kind of cereal? Was there milk with it? Sugar-coated or plain?

  • At 1:32 p.m., a store employee reported a group of five men had made large purchases of gift cards with credit cards and he believed those credit cards could have been fraudulently used. Police spoke with several other nearby police agencies and tracked a group through a few towns. It was undetermined at the time whether the credit cards were in fact fraudulently used.

  • At 6:05 p.m., a caller reported that money had been taken from a locker at the high school. The money was from selling items for a fundraiser.

Saturday, April 18
  • At 12:56 a.m., a caller reported that a Porta-a-Potty was in the roadway on Ocean Avenue. An officer was able to move it back to the sidewalk area where it had been previously. Was there cereal in it?

Police log

Mar. 11th, 2015 09:11 pm
chrishansenhome: (Default)
Haven't had one for a while, but this is a doozy:

Tuesday, March 10

At 3:02 a.m., a woman called to report an unknown person was knocking at her door and wouldn’t stop. Police determined the sound was coming from a malfunctioning CD player in the caller’s home.

chrishansenhome: (Default)
Hasn't been much funny in Marblehead for the past few months. There's been one murder, and a lot of snow complaints. A LOT. Things got funny again today.

Sunday, Feb. 15

At 7:49 a.m., a caller reported their vehicle’s mirror had been clipped.

At 8:47 a.m., a CO issue was reported. Is that a carbon monoside issue, so some other problem? Enquiring minds want to know.

At 10:36 a.m., a woman called to complain that a town plow had just undone the clearing of her driveway that a private plower had recently finished. She said she would send the bill for her private plowing to the town. She called back two hours later to say that the town “sucks” and she would be contacting the governor. My presumption is that she is a recent immigrant from Florida or perhaps Arizona, where snow is nearly unknown. You just have to put up with this stuff. And as for the town "sucking", perhaps that's because there are lots of incomers.

At 10:49 a.m., a town plow driver complained that a resident was blowing the snow from his driveway into the street.

At 11:28 a.m., a caller reported that the driver of a yellow cab stopped in the middle of the causeway, got out of the car and urinated. It would HAVE to be a yellow cab, no?

At 12:13 p.m., a neighbor snow dispute was reported.

At 12:31 p.m., a town employee reported he had been threatened and chased over snow removal by a landscaping crew.

At 1:40 p.m., a 30-foot-by-30-foot hole in the seawall opened. To let all the fruitcakes out?

Monday, Feb. 16

At 7:16 a.m., a woman called after her car became stuck in a snowbank.

At 10:29 a.m., a smashed back window was reported on Laurel Street.

At 11:55 a.m., a plow driver became stuck. He reported that residents were yelling at him as he attempted to shovel himself out.

At 4:03 p.m., a woman reported that a UPS truck slid into her vehicle, damaging it, but the UPS driver left the scene.

At 10:42 p.m., water was “gushing” from a house on Orchard Street.
chrishansenhome: (Cartoon)
I had been reading the Police Log in one site, which seems to have dried up. Fortunately for us all, another site was much more lively. So, I've gone back to July 1st and collected all the interesting log entries for your delectation. I have put a lot behind cuts but, believe me, that wacky and wonderful little town next to Salem keeps its constabulary jumping and the stuff behind the cut is sometimes as funny as the stuff outside it. Don't miss it!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014
12:25 a.m. Assisted caller on Russell Street with out-of-control teenaged son. Son then called 911 and reported that his stepmother had just threatened him. Officer spoke with both and restored the peace.

Putting some behind the cut, up to this one... )

6:10 p.m. Caller reported he was driving home and had observed a man on an inflatable whale. He was concerned about the man’s well being, given the weather. Harbormaster spoke to man who was fine and “enjoying the Fourth of July.” He was advised to stay away from the channel. Sounds like he needs to stay away from nosey callers. What channel was he watching again?

More under a cut... )

1:42 p.m. Caller reported losing cell phone with “curly thing” on top on Smith Street. Cheez Curls? Curly-Wurlies? Curly fries?

Monday, July 7, 2014
9:39 p.m. Caller requested well-being check of friend on Washington Street whose phone had been busy for the past three hours. Man was fine. He said sometimes he just does not like answering the phone. Diogenes would have stopped looking had he encountered this man who lives on Washington Street.

And here's the rest behind a cut... )
chrishansenhome: (Default)
At 10:04 p.m., police responded to a report that an unwanted person was repeatedly ringing the doorbell. When police arrived, they discovered he was a Chinese food delivery man with the wrong address.

Make sure you give the delivery person the right address or you, too, may end up in the Police Log.
chrishansenhome: (Default)
If you're in Marblehead, then it might be yours. From Friday's Police Log:

Friday, May 23

At 6:32 a.m., police were notified that someone pulled a tree out of the ground on Pleasant Street and took it onto a bus with them.
chrishansenhome: (Default)
Thursday, May 15

At 12:35 a.m., a Seaview Avenue resident called the police to complain about someone ringing their doorbell. Responding officers determined the doorbell was jammed. Call an electrician, not the police!
chrishansenhome: (Default)
Today's entry from the Marblehead Police Log shows that one's spouse doesn't necessarily know everything about one.

Monday, April 28

At 10:23 a.m., a Susan Road woman entered the police station to turn over a bow that she found in her house. The woman later returned to pick up the bow after she learned that it belonged to her husband.

Oh! Nevermind!
chrishansenhome: (Default)
After a long spate of boring logs, today we have litterbugs, working contractors, and a camera-shy gent.

Sunday, April 14
  • At 8:02 a.m., police responded to a neighbor complaint/harassment issue on Russell Street
  • At 9:19 a.m., a woman visited the police station to report that the trail in the Forest River Conservation area is littered with trash near the rock, on which graffiti is written. The woman brought in a receipt, and think it may lead to the culprits who left the trash

  • At 10:30 a.m., a man visited the police department to report that a woman walked up and photographed him Say "Cheese!".

  • At 11:30 a.m., a caller reported that contractors were doing work Nothing worse than a working contractor, I suppose.

  • At 2:27 p.m., a man reported to police that the utility door where the bathrooms are located on Lighthouse Lane was wide open

  • At 4:15 p.m., police responded to a delivery truck that struck a light pole on West Shore Drive and Village Street

  • At 4:19 p.m., a caller reported that there was a syringe at the beach on Ocean Ave.

  • At 5:10 p.m., police responded to reports that a car backed into a wall on Maverick Street and knocked it over

  • At 9:27 p.m., police responded to a water main break on Green Street and Arnold Terrace

  • At 9:40 p.m., a woman called police complaining of a toothache and is transported to the hospital Hm. I guess tying the tooth to the doorknob didn't work.
  • At 10:49 p.m., a caller reported an erratic operator on Atlantic Ave.
chrishansenhome: (Default)
I'm sure you've all missed the Marblehead (MA) Police Log. It's been quite quiet lately, with little of interest to people other than those who have needed their services. This morning, however, I received the following entries from Monday, 24 March:

  • At 5:08 p.m., a Haley Road woman called police to report that there was a car parked outside of her house that was making her feel uncomfortable.

  • At 8:01 p.m., a woman on Washington Street called police to report that she opened a letter and a "puff of white smoke" came out of the envelope. The woman was advised to contact the Salem Police Department because the incident occurred in Salem.
If you lived in Salem (witches, recall) and you opened an envelope and a puff of white smoke emerged, wouldn't you be a bit frightened? So frightened that you'd call the police in the next town over rather than the cop shop in Salem?
chrishansenhome: (Default)
The Marblehead Police Log has been pretty pedestrian lately. However, yesterday, there was an exception.

Sunday, Feb. 23:

At 12:08 a.m., an Old Salem Road woman called police to report that her 12-year-old terrier wouldn't come inside and she wanted an officer to come whistle for her. The woman said she didn't know how to whistle and had already offered the dog its favorite treat. Perhaps, being 12 in dog years, 84 in human years, the poor pooch had gone deaf.
chrishansenhome: (Default)
Seems like door slamming has become the Town pastime. Read on.

Saturday, Jan. 4
  • 10:09 a.m., a caller from Humphrey Street said her neighbor has been purposely slamming her door and running up and down the hall and screaming. The caller said her neighbor slammed the door 10 times at 9:30 p.m., then, at 11:30 p.m., did it five more times. From 11:30 p.m. to midnight she was running in the hall screaming, the neighbor reported. Presumably she was rehearsing for "Noises Off".

  • 11:01 a.m., a caller reported that a white lobster boat was sinking in the harbor. The Harbor Avenue caller reported that the boat sank. A message was sent to the harbormaster.

  • 12:24 p.m., a 22-year-old fell on West Shore Drive and got his finger stuck in a snowblower. The patient refused treatment. Ladyfingers for tea!

  • 5:26 p.m., a Washington Street caller reported a snowbank was obstructing the view. DPW said they would take care of the piled snow. Great service! Move those snowbanks so that the townies can see the harbour.

  • 10:24 p.m., a Humphrey Street resident complained that her neighbor was consistently banging doors. Opening and shutting them. For now she only wanted a log entry. The caller was informed that if she wants a police response she should call back. OK, now, perhaps it's not "Noises Off" but "The Tempest".

  • 11:54 p.m., a caller reported a man got out of a white Mazda in front of the Masonic building and knelt, as if praying. It appeard odd. Odd? A century ago it was the Odd Fellows Building, but odd today? No shit, Sherlock.

Sunday, Jan. 5
  • 00:02 a.m., a Gerry Street man complained about receiving repeated group texts. Not sexting, one gathers.

  • 00:12 a.m., a Pleasant Street caller reported that a person in the building threatened her and was "slamming stuff." Police responded to the scene and the officer noted that he had spoken to most occupants of the building. They were drunk and he told them to go to bed. Did everything but tuck them in. I suppose it was the rest of the "Noises Off" cast.

  • 00:15 a.m., a father and daughter domestic incident was reported on Elm Street.

  • 8:31 a.m., a past hit and run was reported on Lincoln Avenue. The vehicle was struck while parked overnight.

  • 10:15 a.m., a walk-in to the station from Franklin Street reported that everything had been stolen from her. Part of the "Noises Off" rehearsal, I suppose.

  • 11:42 a.m., a Humphrey Street caller reported that a neighbor walked on to his property and waved her arms at him and spoke to him in an aggressive manner. "Noises Off" director, I guess.

  • 2:09 p.m., a downspout was reported missing on a Miles Standish Road home. It was an aluminum downspout painted red to match the home's bricks. Too Much Information?
chrishansenhome: (Default)
Tuesday, Dec. 31

  • 10:54 a.m., a Sevinor Road caller reported that someone appeared to be sabotaging her doorbell. She called an electrician to fix it, and thinks someone put super-glue in it. She has no idea who might have done it. Avon calling!

  • 11:32 a.m., a Brooks Road resident reported a pair of earrings valued at $351 were missing from her home.

  • 2:15 p.m., a motor vehicle accident took place at West Shore Drive and Pequot Road. No patients were transported. One vehicle was towed.

  • 3:13 p.m., a man came into the police station and dropped off an earring he found at the laundromat. Hm, is the laundromat near Brooks Road?

  • 3:32 p.m., a Walker Road resident came into the police station and reported fraud, saying someone set up multiple phone lines using her information. Could it be Avon calling?

  • 3:32, a person who found a hypodermic needle flagged down an officer and gave it to the officer.

  • 4:06 p.m., a caller said she followed a blue pick-up truck into Swampscott, and an occupant in the truck was throwing rocks from a truck window at her. She followed the older model Chevy S-10 to the Stop & Shop parking lot where she collected its license plate number. An officer subsequently talked to the mother of a boy who was in the truck. The mother said it was not rocks or ice balls but grapes the boy was throwing. The officer was told that the boy would not do it again. I haven't a clue what to say about this. It's a grape…er, great story.

  • 8:24 p.m., police received a 911 call about a disturbance on Atlantic Avenue in a third floor apartment. A woman was reportedly yelling and screaming and hitting the floor. Police responded to the scene. It turned out the woman in the apartment was on the phone with her husband. Better the floor than her husband, I suppose.
Wednesday, Jan. 1

  • 2:25 a.m., a Bellevue Road (Swampscott) caller reported that a suspicious person was knocking on the door. Swampscott police checked Bellevue and Marblehead checked the Seaview Avenue area. No one was located on Seaview. Barnacle Bill the Sailor, perhaps?
chrishansenhome: (Default)
Thursday, Dec. 12

7:47 a.m., Emergency personnel responded to a Westminster Road address upon receiving a report that an elderly resident did not appear to be breathing. Command requested police for an unattended death. Police conferred with the medical examiner and state police. A funeral home was called to the scene.

10:18 a.m., police stood by for preacautionary reasons at a Middle Street address.

11:59 a.m., police received a report that a person was hit by a car on Elm Street and his elbow was injured.

12:24 p.m., glasses were found on Fort Sewall Lane and brought to the police station.

12:36 p.m. a broken lock on a medicine cabinet was reported on Baldwin Road. No medicine was missing but people were concerned about the broken lock.

2:02 p.m., Sudbury police called to report a local resident was the victim of a scam. The resident was told to write two checks for $15,000 each and, if he did, he would win a sum of money from the lottery and a car. An individual tried to cash a check at a Sudbury bank but the bank refused to do so. I am puzzled as to how someone could fall for a scam like this, except perhaps an elderly person. Sad.

2:20 p.m., police received a report from a Pleasant Street bank that a woman was trying to cash a bad check. The woman was taken into custody. Police charged XXX, 34, of Biddeford, Maine with uttering a false check and attempt to commit a crime.

2:31 p.m., a Franklin Street resident reported his wreath was missing from the front door. Happens every Christmas.

2:48 p.m., police received a report of suspicious activity on Humphrey Street. An elderly man was holding a shovel and a sign that read: "2 Young Men Wanted." It turned out the man was looking to hire snow shovelers at properties he takes care of during the winter. I don't suppose that pedophiles stand around with shovels advertising for young men to groom. Anyway, grooming with shovels is fairly rare.

3:12 p.m., an erratic operator was reported on Atlantic Avenue and Bank Court.

4:35 p.m., a pocketbook was stolen from a an unlocked car on Guernsey Street.

5:21 p.m., a motorist reportedly blew a tire after running over a cast iron cover to a pipe. National Grid was notified since it was their line. The utility company will have someone come out and cap the pipe.
chrishansenhome: (Cartoon)
Not much has been happening in the Old Town, but you might find some of these amusing. Must have been a windstorm on Sunday as the trees were dropping like flies.

Sunday, Nov. 24
  • 9:53 a.m., a person walked in to the police station and reported being harassed about a joint business project.
  • 10:48 a.m., a road rage incident was reported on Gerald Road.
  • 11:09 a.m., police received a report from Brackett Place about a Facebook account being hacked into.
  • 2:30 p.m., a tree branch was down at Humphrey Street and Glendale Road.
  • 2:38 p.m., a tree branch was reportedly in the road on Tedesco Street.
  • 3:56 p.m., a tree and wires were reported down on Ocean Avenue.
  • 3:57 p.m., a tree was reported down on Cedar Street.
  • 4:10 p.m., a tree was on a car on Leo Road.
  • 4:40 p.m., a tree was reported in the roadway on Green Street.
  • 7:52 p.m., a woman and her daughter on Devereux Street reported feeling threatened by the father.
  • 10:16 p.m., a woman reported losing her pocketbook while shopping at CVS. She wondered if an employee had brought it to the police station.
Monday, Nov. 25
  • 1:44 a.m., a fire reported on Naugus Avenue.
  • 9:31 a.m., stickers with marijuana leaves were stuck to the school building and buses on Pleasant Street. Advertising ahead of the medical marijuana shops?
  • 9:53 a.m., a caller said he heard a man yelling and swearing on Lincoln Avenue. The yelling and swearing came from a man who was shrink-wrapping a boat and fell in the water.Anyone remember The Goon Show? Bluebottle's "I've fallen in the water."
  • 1:52 p.m., an attempted phone scam was reported on Clifton Avenue.
  • 3:12 p.m., a caller reported a man in distress on Tedesco Street. He was transported to the hospital.
  • 7:09 p.m., a woman on High Street reported a knee injury. She was transported to the hospital.
Tuesday, Nov. 26
  • 8:17 a.m., Salem asked that Marblehead police be on the lookout for a man in a white 2000 Jeep Cherokee who was videotaping women and behaving inappropriately. The man was headed toward Marblehead on Lafayette Street. Salem police took the man into custody.
  • 8:23 p.m., an Atlantic Avenue resident reported that a neighbor from Chestnut Street puts notes on his car asking if he lives there. Another neighbor says the Chestnut neighbor does this to others in the area, as well. He ought to just use Grindr or another online dating service.
chrishansenhome: (Default)
Marblehead has been relatively quiet lately. However, a week ago…

Sunday, Nov. 3

11:58 a.m., a Pleasant Street merchant said a kid was in the store and throwing things and threatening him and swearing at him. The kid has been in the store on other occasions and thrown pastry. Police advised the merchant to identify the male next time he comes in the store and request a no trespass order. Sounds like a pie throwing contest.

4:26 p.m., a bunker was reported to be open at Fort Sewall.

Monday, Nov. 4

9:17 a.m., an altercation between two people who know each other was reported at Dunkin' Donuts.

10:42 a.m., a Green Street student refused to go to school. The student was told he would end up in court if he did not go to school this day. The child was still uncoopertive and wouldn't go to school. In the end the student went to school. His grandmother brought him. Leave it to Grandma!

1:56 p.m., the unauthorized use of a credit card was reported on Hawthorn Road.

3:20 p.m., an elderly woman fell and possibly injured her hip. She was transported to the hospital.

11:30 p.m., a Lindbergh Road father came to the station to report his daughter was missing. Police searched for the girl. Later, her mother called and reported that the daughter had been at Preston Beach talking. Maybe they should have gotten Grandma involved. She's good at keeping kids in line…
chrishansenhome: (Cartoon)
That's a hell of a journey to start off with. So, last Tuesday I flew from Heathrow to JFK in New York. I used the Hail-O app to schedule a taxi, and it arrived in the right place on time. I had been a bit concerned that with my air-cast on, I'd be a bit hampered getting around, but I wasn't at all. I negotiated the Heathrow Express quite well, and arrived at Terminal 5 with ease. This is where it gets teejus.

I stood in a queue for the check-in agent, as all those ahead of me had tremendous problems and I, of course, always choose the wrong queue to stand in. After check-in, I was told to go from Area B to Area G to wait for my wheelchair…the podiatrist told me to request wheelchair transport in the airport.

So, I toddled over to Area G and sat there for more than an hour while others who had earlier flights got transported to their gates. When it was my turn, a very nice lady porter got me into the wheelchair and wheeled me to security. I had some doubts about security, of course, but they were set to rest. I was wheeled through, avoiding the metal detector, and without standing up I held my arms out and got a pat-down from a very pleasant security person. No shoe removal, no cast removal, very pleasant.

I was wheeled to the gate, and got the lift down to the plane. The wheelchair left me at the door of the plane and I toddled down to my seat.

I had to take the air cast off and substitute a shoe for it; the very nice stewardess helped me do that and stow the cast in the overhead. When my seatmate arrived, she found another seat for her so that I had no neighbour and could get in and out. Very very lovely person: British Airways, you have a great stewardess.

Food was crap: chicken with 3 mushrooms, cole slaw (I think), a roll, and chocolate mousse. Oh, well. The flight was uneventful, and I arrived at JFK on time. I put the air cast back on and the wheelchair was waiting for me at the plane door.

I got through Immigration in the wheelchair lane. The agent was, of course, pretty snarly. Is there any way they could be severe, do their job, and yet not seem like they really wished I'd go back to London? Got my baggage very late, no problems with customs, and now for the first hitch.

I'd booked a coach ride to Westchester where my friend Fr. Jerry was to meet me in White Plains. No coach was in sight. I tried to call their 800-number, but my UK phone couldn't get through. So I called Jerry and asked him to call the coach company. He got through and the coach arrived. Cue a long boring ride to White Plains.

When I got off the coach Jerry appeared behind me and said, "Hi!", scaring the bejesus out of me. We dined at Outback, and I went to stay with him. Met his pastor, who was quite a nice guy, and got the 10-cent tour of the church. I did little or nothing the next day except post some packages to various friends and lunch at Chat Restaurant in Scarsdale. Next day I had lunch with a seminary classmate, John S., at the same restaurant. Wednesday I had their meatloaf, which was extremely good, and Thursday I had the burger, which was also very tasty. It was nice to catch up with John after so many years (35, I believe!).

Thursday evening I bade farewell to Jerry and trained it down to 125th Street, and got a cab to my friends Chaz and KK's place on 106th and First Ave. I booked a cab down to Penn Station and the dispatcher told me that to get there in plenty of time to take a 7:15 train I had to leave 106th Street at 5:30 am. I was dubious but not in any state to argue. So I was a bit apprehensive about standing on 106th and First with two bags and a shoulder bag waiting for a taxi at 5:30 am, but the cab was right there and delivered me to Penn Station at around 6.

I scanned my booking reference and got my ticket printed (great service, by the way) and got to the waiting area, where I was bombarded by "Be Careful!" videos from Amtrak. A lovely woman who sat next to me was from the Economist, oddly enough, and we had a long conversation about living in London, Rasa Sayang restaurant in Chinatown, dual citizenship, and working for the Economist. She gave me her card and I shall email her the link to Rasa Sayang. A red cap got me to the train for Buffalo.

I do recommend taking the train to Buffalo, by the way. Sit on the left hand side and you'll see great views of the Hudson. However, bring food with you. The turkey sandwich I had was perhaps the worst one I'd ever tasted. And, at $8.95, it should have been heavenly.

At Buffalo Exchange Street Station I got off, and was waiting for my friends Jeff and Michael to pick me up. There was a nice waiting room, but the agent said, "Closing in 10 minutes" so I went outside and sat on a concrete block to wait. A lovely woman was waiting there to meet someone from the next train, so we had a long conversation about Buffalo, Trenton (where she was from), and the stupidity of Amtrak in not opening the station until the last train arrived.

Jeff duly arrived a while later and we went to Anchor Bar, the originator of Buffalo chicken wings. What a disappointment. (If you follow the link, there's disappointment there too, as there is lots of noisy Flash animation.) The spicy wings weren't, and the blue cheese dressing had had some old cheese waved in its general direction. The cole slaw wasn't very tasty, and the beef-on-weck sandwich Michael asked me to try (roast beef on a special bun) was dry as dirt and very tasteless.

Onward to Niagara for the falls. They were OK at night from the American side, but overrun with tourists and the sight of the Las-Vegas-style casinos on the Canadian side at night was pretty grim. But, onwards! Immigration Canada was gruff but we got through OK, and ended up in the Radisson. I got out of the car, put my hand out, and said, "It's raining!" No, I was told, it's the mist from the falls.

Next day we visited the falls after an IHOP breakfast which was a bit too much for me. The observation area was crowded and rainy from the Falls, which are spectacular. A picture of me with a Falls-produced rainbow behind me was duly taken and I'll see whether I can post it when I get back to London. But there was too much tourist and rain for me, so after a visit to the souvenir shop, where a T-shirt, a stuffed moose toy, and a hat left with me, we went on to Toronto.

We landed at the Town Inn Suites hotel, near the gaybourhood. I went out to dinner with Chris Ambidge, and we got each other up to date on issues and things. Jeff and Michael went out with their friends, and I didn't see them until much later that night. The suite was great: two bedrooms, a large living area and a kitchen.

Next day, back to Buffalo. We had dinner at Outback, including a blooming onion, the second outback meal of my trip (with one more to come in Marblehead), and Jeff and Michael brought me to the hotel in Buffalo: Best Western. The front desk lady was really nice, and the room was quite comfortable. Jeff and Michael saw me to my room and left after a big bear hug. I'm really grateful for their companionship and their driving skills throughout a lovely weekend.

Next morning I went down to breakfast and had a bagel and coffee. But what made me do a double-take was the waffle maker! I'd never seen one in a B&B before. No waffles for me though.

I took a taxi to Amtrak Depew Street station. It was $40! Jeff had recommended it and I thought it was close to the station, but it was close to Buffalo's gaybourhood instead. I had no interest in nightlife.

I already had my ticket, so I sat down and shot the breeze with two Canadian truckers on their way to Springfield, Mass. to drive some trucks down South. Nice guys, very good to have someone to talk to, since the train was 1-1/2 hours LATE. What a pain. Freight has priority there and the Ford plant on the other side of Buffalo needed its empty car carriers more than we needed to get to Boston.

Once on the train, I found myself in a carriage with an Amish or Mennonite family. A big family. Must have been around 20 of them. Some of the younger guys were quite yummy-looking, actually, but the kicker was the baby. A three-month-old girl, dressed in black swaddling clothes and a veil and wimple! I felt for it, until it started to cry. And cry. And CRY. All the way to Boston. 12+ hours. I was beside myself.

The train was held up a few times more for freight, so we got to Boston an hour+ late, even thought they'd made up some time on the way. Night had fallen just after Pittsfield, so no scenery to speak of after the Berkshires.

My sister's friend Linda was to pick me up, but we had trouble connecting. We finally found each other, and I got to Marblehead around 11, and shot the breeze with my brother until 1am.

Tuesday was slow. Stayed at home all day watching TV and decompressing. We went to an Italian restaurant for dinner (with my sister), and the waiter managed to misunderstand "Macaroni and cheese" as "pepperoni pizza". He must have been new. He did see me injecting my insulin and we had a conversation about being diabetic (he's Type I). Home and to bed.

Today we're waiting for HWMBO to arrive this evening at Logan Airport. The rest of the stay will be catching up with friends. But, after this entry, I'm bushed. Off to get ready to face the day.

July 2017

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