Tag Archives: somerville

Impolitic: Propaganda for Non-Politicians – Next Super Precious art show

Here's some information about the next Super Precious Art Gallery group art show. Super Precious is one of the projects I started earlier in the year, and the shows have been getting better and better. If you like art, it'd be awesome if you'd sign up on the mailing list.


Into the highly charged political arena of this election season, Super Precious Art Gallery wades with an irreverent look at Propaganda for Non-Politicians. The show features over 20 pieces from 18 local and national artists advocating for everything from boats to coffee to Q*bert. Join us on Sunday, November 4th at Bloc 11 Cafe in Union Square, Somerville for an opening reception of the show with artists on hand and prints available.

The show will hang at Bloc 11 from 10/31-11/13. More information available at http://superprecio.us/ Peep the awesome poster by Josh LaFayette below.

Please RSVP and invite your friends to the opening here.

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Immediate economic impact of Hurricane Sandy – Market Basket edition

I've got a long history of fawning over Market Basket, the grocery store around the corner from my house. It's cheap, constantly crowded, and features a parking lot way too small for the number of people who want to go. There is always a police detail on site, and for the week around holidays, there are TWO police details on site. The floors are constantly sawdusted from wet breakage. The chaos in the aisles and check out area on the day before Thanksgiving and the days before Christmas is my spirit animal.

Market Basket is the perfect place to check out maniacal storm preparation, but today the road leading into the parking lot was shut for a street fair. The parking lot was more than half empty, and I've never seen the store so calm or quiet. Market Basket probably would done tremendous sales today, instead they probably won't even make their average.

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Cindy Brady’s Fluff art

Susan Olsen, who you may know as Cindy Brady, from The Brady Bunch, also makes Fluff art. Her work is currently showing at Bloc 11 Cafe in Union Square, Somerville. Union Square is the home of this weekend's Fluff Fest. I know all of this because that's me on the Cooking Contest Judge page right under the astronaut and State Representative. No offense, Mr. Astronaut and Ms. State Representative.

Hawk attack in Somerville

Linking to this story about a dude getting jacked up by a hawk while he was walking down the street minding his own business (the dude was walking, not the hawk) because I have a fascination with the hawks that hang out in Boston. I can think of at least 3 posts I've written about them over the years, including the 2nd or 3rd post I wrote when I started blogging again in 2004. HOLY SHIT that was a long time ago.

Somerville asks, ‘Are You Happy?’

My city in the NY Times! I remember noticing this question on the City's census form a couple months ago, but I didn't realize it was among the first in the nation...

Officials here want this Boston suburb to become the first city in the United States to systematically track people’s happiness. Like leaders in Britain, France and a few other places, they want to move beyond the traditional measures of success — economic growth — to promote policies that produce more than just material well-being.

To draw up its questions, Somerville turned to a neighbor, Daniel Gilbert, a Harvard psychology professor who wrote the 2006 best seller “Stumbling on Happiness.” Dr. Gilbert, who donated his time, is also helping the city do a more detailed telephone survey, using a randomized sample of Somerville’s 76,000 residents.

RCN DNS Redirect in Boston and How to Opt Out

A couple weeks ago, I noticed that whenever I mistyped a domain name, instead of getting a "Server not found" message or being redirected to Google, I was being redirected to a RCN search page. Not the end of the world, obviously, but still annoying.

I had heard about other ISPs utilizing DNS redirection or DNS hijacking on user accounts "as a service", otherwise, I don't know if I would have realized what had happened. I especially don't remember RCN in Boston/Somerville informing me of this added benefit or telling me how to get rid of it. Google let me know that other folks have gotten their ISPs to remove the service by opting out, so I gave it a shot.

I looked everywhere in my account for an opt out before sending an email to RCN Customer Service. I would have called, but this post made me think I'd be better off emailing them and waiting for a reply instead of frustratingly trying to explain the problem up a chain of customer service representatives. RCN refers to this service as PaxFire, but I didn't want to confuse things by using proper nouns. I sent the following email to around 10 in the evening:
It appears that DNS redirection was recently turned on on my account so that when entering text in the browser address bar if the text was not a website the page that loads is a RCN search page as opposed to Google. I would like to opt out of this service please.

By 11 the next morning, I had a response and solution:
...I reviewed your account and it needs to be updated. The PaxFire opt-out has been added to the account and in order to pull a non-PaxFire IP address, a good thing to try would be to power cycle the modem...Once complete, the PaxFire service should not be active on the Internet connection.

Another Somerville RCN user was also able to get the redirect removed by sending the above note to them, so it seems to work.

I had also mentioned my displeasure on Twitter and got a response there the next morning as well. The lesson? If you want good, quick customer service from RCN, email or Tweet at them instead of calling. Though, if they won't fix your problem, it's not going to be fun either way.

I hope I don't get throttled for this.