Appreciating Somerville just a bit more

Rose moves from Somerville to Cambridge, which promptly gives her all sorts of agita when it comes to getting a resident parking permit:

... I'm starting to hate Cambridge. In Somerville, all they wanted was a copy of the lease, the registration, and $5. None of this garaging crap, no mail.

Really, how am I supposed to have 2 pieces of mail addressed to me at my Cambridge address when I've JUST MOVED IN? And how am I supposed to keep my car from getting ticketed and towed while I'm waiting for this mail? ...

Oh, goody

Jody picks her son up at a birthday party at the local bowling alley:

... When he was done bowling he took off the rental shoes and handed me his socks so he could put his flipflops back on. I stuck the socks in the goodie bag to carrying them. And then I forgot to take them out. So later, when he was ready to investigate his goodie bag loot, he screamed "AHHH! I GOT DIRTY SOCKS IN MY GOODIE BAG!"

Was it wrong of me to laugh as hard as I did, before I told him they were his socks?

Needed: A life

Cavatica explains:

... Probably someone should set up a support group around this: People Who Spend Way Too Much Time Checking To See If They Are Still Part Of Things Based On Whether Or Not Anyone Has Emailed Them In The Past Hour Or So, or PWSWTMTCTSITASPTBOWONAHETPHOS, for short.

Why "local" newscasts suck

Ron turns on the TV at 11 last night to see what had happened in Central Square:

Instead, all I see is coverage of the Michael Jackson trial. Which is in Santa Maria, California, almost as far away from Boston as you can get and stay inside the USA.

He later adds:

Well, now I have to say the Globe sucks more than any of the TV stations. The only coverage in today's picture is a supremely uninformative photo at the bottom of page B1, showing a bunch of hard-hats stringing yellow caution tape outside a McDonald's. There's no story, just a two-sentence photo caption.

The TV news people, once they got to the story, devoted a good three minutes to it, including great footage of smoke coming out of the sidewalk.

Ed. note: Did the Jackson verdict really warrant the Two Hub men die in blast treatment on page 1 of the Globe?

Hearing on HB 1881 -- the Resolution Affirming the Civil Rights and Liberties of the People of Massachusetts

Support the Bill of Rights -- the REAL PATRIOT Act

Wednesday, June 22 at The State House in Boston

10 AM: Hearing on HB 1881 -- the Resolution Affirming the Civil Rights and Liberties of the People of Massachusetts

12 noon: Rally in Boston Common near the steps of The State House

It is CRUNCH TIME for the Constitution, as the Bush
Administration is now pushing Congress to renew the sunset provisions
of the USA PATRIOT Act -- and EXPAND the Act's powers. We need to push
back! Let's pack the hearing room (either Gardner Auditorium or Room A2
-- check for exact location) and fill the Boston

Please contact your state representative and senator and ask
them to support HB 1881 - visit and click on “learn
more” at top of homepage to see if they are on the current list of
co-sponsors or to find out who your representative is.

For more information, email [email protected].

Urban croquet

Thwok! David Von Euw shows the importance of followthrough at one of the West Roxbury Croquet League's Monday matches.

Yes, if you've ever driven down the West Roxbury Parkway on an early Monday evening in the summer, those guys really are playing croquet by the side of the road near Weld Street. They play every Monday, from the running of the Kentucky Derby through Labor Day - when they dress up in formal whites and sip champagne to celebrate the end of the season.

Above, Bob Branca, the league commissioner (he owns the croquet set) sets up a shot. Branca says the league started in the 1980s, when a group of parents of students at the nearby Holy Name School started having backyard get togethers. One thing led to another, somebody suggested croquet and they've just kept going.

On a good day, a dozen or so guys will show up to the league's "field" on the parkway, come hell or 90-degree, 90%-humidity conditions. Most of the players are from West Roxbury and Roslindale, but Branca says one guy drives up from Taunton - and another drives all the way down from Chestnut Hill.

"It's ghetto croquet," Joe Galeota jokes, pointing out hazards unfamilar to tonier clubs in Ye Olde Englande - such as dips and bumps in the grass and dog droppings (fortunately, no geese infest the area).

The official league pennant beckons parkway motorists:

Kibbitzing seems almost as important as the game itself:

That's especially so when Dick Leahy plays. Beating anybody else is like beating the Pawtucket Red Sox, but beating Leahy is like beating the Yankees, Von Euw says.

Official croquet rules.