Bicycling in Greater Boston

During and after college I got around mostly via bicycle. During college after moving from JQA dorm at Umass to Sunderland, MA, I   acquired a bicycle to commute from Sunderland to Umass in the summer. During the school year the 5 college bus system and Pioneer Valley bus system were adequate. I lost my bike one evening travelling home through Umass Amherst when I hit a grate, bending my bottom bracket and giving myself a severe case of road rash.

I next recall riding centuries in the greater Boston area. In some cases going off course about 30 miles. I had purchased a Univega Gran Turismo for touring rather that a standard road bike.
When I moved to Somerville MA I brought that cycle with me.

I joined the Boston Area Bicycle Coalition (BABC) now known as Massbike. At a event for a cycling conference held a MIT, I entered a raffle and won a Cannondale SM500.

I did have an automobile at times but after crashes or non-use I just used walking or cycling.

I rode my bicycle year round even in the snow.  I recall a instance when I rode to a choir gathering at my choir directors house and parked my bicycle on top of a snowbank and locked it to a street sign.

I enjoyed riding across Cambridge to Brookline to visit my girlfriend.  I took a lane as is permitted by Massachusetts version of the vehicle code.

I got to know John Allen while in BABC.

Once I was married, the cycling lifestyle took a rest.

Southern California is beautiful. I hope I can do more cycling.

Adam Selene    October 2014

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Cycling in Greater Boston by Adam Selene is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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War on people not governments/organizations

With the change of the Art of War from targeting governments or even bad actors more and more people are becoming targets.

I started to think more about this today after reading about cluster bombs yesterday.  Seems that the US armed forces are dropping cluster bombs everywhere overseas. Wonder when a descendant of an American Government will drop them or something like them on an American City ?

Like mines, these devices are indiscriminate on whom they maim or kill .

Cluster Bomblet

Human Rights Watch on Cluster Bombs

Visiting the UN demining page – I like the subheading “Welcome to the United Nations. It’s your world.”   The page says that 15-20K people are killed most of them children annually.

Then there is follow the money – I wonder who manufactures these lovelies for the US?

Looks like Textron Systems is our local purveyor here in the USA.

Cluster bombs are a problem in Afghanistan and became a problem during the  Vietnam War in Laos also.

Where did morality go? God help us, please.

Adam Selene October 2014

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Thinking of Our Grandkids

To All Humans, Americans, Politicians.

While we make law, shouldn’t we think of our grandkids ?

Our grandkids are our legacy. You can take that as far as you wish, but you should consider them. Most of us are concerned with the day to day of life. Politicians can serve as best as public servants when appropriate by considering the impact of laws that they make on our/their grandchildren.

As a Scouter, our motto seems to be ‘It’s all about the kids’. As politicians, while you serve your constituents, at least theoretically, perhaps you should be thinking, ‘It’s all about the grandkids’.

Walt Kelly said “I have met the enemy, and he is us”.

While making law that could affect our grandchildren, politicians may actually make ‘good’ law and remove ‘bad’ law. Then we could be happier with our politicians.  I hope to provide for the definitions of good and bad law in a future post or perhaps  a modification of this posts.  Perhaps after returning from taking my youngest son home from ‘The Mikado’.

As our founding fathers said in the Declaration of Independence ‘Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’.

Adam Selene   October 2014

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Thinking of our Grandkids by Adam Selene is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Legislators and the future

While making law,  I believe it would be prudent for legislators to consider the possible impact on their grandkids.

The golden rule says to do unto others…   If a legislator makes law cognizant of the possible impact on their grandkids, and knowing that people are not perfect and do make mistakes, we will be much better off while making and enforcing law. Those much better off would include their and your grandchildren who might be the same individual. As a legislator, you and your constituents should be happier too.

It is important to also consider the motivation of the criminal. Is it a starving person stealing to eat or feed a family eg Jean Valjean 24601? Is it a young person making a mistake, or is it a first offense? Violent criminal activity is another matter,  but still compassion should be given to the victim and the miscreant. Can the miscreant be reformed, or must some kind of therapy combined with incarceration be applied?  Can the miscreant be made to make some kind of repayment to the victim and society.

I have been the victim of violent crime. The miscreants being new immigrants to our country were deported after serving their sentence.

Adam Selene October 2014

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How and What I learned (part 1)

I am the oldest of five.   I grew up in the town of Milton, Massachusetts with my Mother, Father and 4 siblings. Of course we also had a dog.

My next youngest brother and I were close when we were very young.  I recall that we were playing in the ‘playroom’ when my Parents brought my newest sibling home.  We asked if she could play with us 😉

I also recall when my youngest sibling arrived home. I came home from school and went upstairs and said hello to my newest sibling.  He later grew up to become a Navy Seal and served in the First Gulf War.  Returning from the war, he became a pharmacist, got married and came down with ALS and went from diagnosis to death in 9 months.

My Mother also grew up in Milton.   My Mother was a teacher before marrying my Father.  I recall that during my youth, my Mother was my  Den Leader. When I became a Boy Scout, my Father, his friends, and other townsmen became our Scoutmaster and assistant Scoutmasters.

My Maternal Grandparents also lived in Milton,  My Grandfather was known as Mr. Democrat.  He promoted Al Smith for President for the 1928 Presidential Election.  I introduced him in the post “Character is not Partisan”.   One thing I learned about him is that during the Great Depression,  he would hand out overcoats to men that called at his back door for a handout.  If you know the weather in New England, you may know what a lifesaver this can be.  Our saying about New England climate, is “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute”.

I have been chatting with some folks and have even parrotted what they have said about “Our kids can name all the movie stars, but can’t name the supreme court justices”.   Well, when I was a kid, I couldn’t either.   I could name “William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols,  DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Majel Barrett, Grace Lee Whitney; Groucho, Chico, Harpo , Zeppo and Karl Marx, as well as Friedrich Engels, Joseph Stalin, and  Leon Trotsky “;-)  And of course, Plato, Socrates, Julius Caesar, Buddha, Confucius, Saint Francis of Assisi,  William Shakespeare, Jesus of Nazareth, John the Baptist, Moses, Samuel Adams, John Adams, John Hancock, Ben Franklin, Sir Issac Newton, John Lennon,  Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and  Elvis Presley.  I was in love with Angela Cartwright.

For me and my contemporaries, it was a time of wonder. I really saw man walk on the moon.  

It was also a time of terror. The Cold War was stressful for all people alive during those times. For children like myself, it was terrifying.  It reminds me that “War is not healthy for children and other living things.”  I expected to either be vaporized or die in Viet Nam.  I recall when we got out of Viet Nam, that my family and I went on our knees and thanked God.  We then watched on the ‘Boob Tube’ when Saigon fell.

I recall when I had a copy of Mad Magazine with a pin-up of an American Flag with the stripes made up of Pejoratives for our fellow Americans.  My father became irate.  I knew my father had served in the US Air Force during the Korean Conflict, but learned later that he served with Chappie James.  No wonder he was angry with me.

God Bless America.

Adam Selene  Oct 2014

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STEM for Youth and Thank you to my teachers

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or STEM is where it’s at right now. I do believe in the value of a good liberal arts education but even more so combined with a STEM major.

I think it’s important to know both the intellectual and historical beginnings of our Nation.

History, language, art and Technical subjects are part and parcel of a good Liberal arts education. Of course content has changed over time. Used to be that a good liberal arts education de regur included Latin and Greek.

As a youth my education was largely Latin with a smattering of French. Thank you Mr. Earle and Ms. Noble.

Thank you Mr. Elliott for the introduction to Chemistry and to Mr. Burleigh for the Introduction to Computers with the PDP 8/L and the PDP 11/03

Thank you to:

General Sylvanus Thayer, Founder of West Point and Thayer Academy

Violet Cardarelli, Principal, Thayerlands

Coach Richard Sawyer, Thayer Academy

Joan Aicardi, 6th Grade, Thayerlands

Peter J. Benelli, Headmaster, Thayer Academy

William Elliott, Chemistry, Thayer Academy

Arthur Valicenti, Thayer Academy

Elizabeth Bailey, English, Thayer Academy

Grace Bernan, English, Thayer Academy

Peter Burleigh, Biology, Thayer Academy

William Cowperthwaite, Math, Thayer Academy

Rodney Barker, History, Thayer Academy

Marshall Litchfield, Biology, Thayer Academy

Reverend Frederick Nagle, Thayerlands

Peter Neely, Thayer Academy

Patricia Haseltine, Modern European History, Thayer Academy.

Ferdand La Chance, Physics, Thayer Academy

Neale McGoldrick, History, Thayer Academy

Lillian Wentworth,  Librarian, Thayer Academy

James Pendleton, Thayer, Retired 1976

George M. Butler, Music, Thayer Academy & Thayerlands

Hilda Donner, Typing, Thayer Academy

Henry Arthur Lea, Professor of Deutsch, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts Terra
Professor Lea had been a translator at the Nuremberg Trials.

I should also not forget to mention from the MIT High School Studies Program:

And from NESFA

Thank you to Michael A Burstein and Nomi S. Burstein who have a blog ‘The Brookline Parent’ and have two wonderful daughters.

I’m certain I’m leaving out some very important teachers from my youth. I hope to correct this down the road.

I’d also like to thank my friends, especially Ted Jackson and William Sawyer and Barbara Meek.

Adam Selene October 2014

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Youth is not a crime

Having been a youth some decades ago, I can say with authority that I would likely be a convicted felon if I had been caught doing the things I was involved as a youth, if not for Scouting and the MIT Highschool Studies program.

Most of us, particularly males, had similar experiences.

It’s well known that the human brain doesn’t fully develop till mid 20’s.  Unless our legislators are not human, they had similar experiences.

We should encourage our legislators to recognize this, and not treat most youth miscreants as criminals. We would want them to learn and grow and turn into the future citizens of character in our country, if possible.

God Bless America

Peter   October 2014

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