Winter’s Last Blast in March 2017

Up until the point when the blizzard hit us here in Easton, Pennsylvania last week I was wondering if were going to have a bona fide major snow storm this winter. I wanted at least one before we entered Spring and Mother Nature certainly delivered. Last week’s storm won’t go down as a record setter, but it did shut everything down for about 24 hours when it arrived on the 14th of March. So, it was

I actually did make my way to work that day. I live about a mile from where I work so I just broke out all my cold weather gear and marched through the snow. It was fun.

Here are a few pictures a took during and after the storm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Podcast Listening: 03-12-17 to 03-19-17

In a few prior posts on this blog I have written brief reviews for Podcasts that I listen to regularly and enjoy. I haven’t published a Podcast related post recently, but remain a avid fan of podcasts. I now listen to more podcasts now than I ever have have previously. Going forward I am going recommend specific podcasts from my favorite podcast hosts that I have enjoyed and found informativerather than just write a general post about a particular podcast.

Here are two Podcasts from last week that I enjoyed:

March 13, 2017:  The Joe Rogan Experience #930 – Guest: Will MacAskill

March 17, 2017: The Bill Simmons Podcast, Ep 189 – Guest: Steve Ballmer

 

 

 

 

 

App’s I like

I haven’t posted a review of iPhone/iPad app’s in a long time, but here are two App’s that I have been using the past couple of months that I am very pleased with and highly recommend:

Dark Sky – Weather

I really like the design of this app. When I first read about that app my initial reaction was, “Well what can it provide that other weather app’s do not?”. However, i found that it really does display weather information in a very unique format that gives you a complete picture of the weather in your area very quickly.. The maps are great and are especially cool when displayed on a tablet

Dark Sky costs a $3.99, but I think it well worth it.

StocksTracker – Financial 

The second app that has become a new favorite of mine is StocksTracker.  Yes, there are hundreds of stock app’s out there, but I think this app is exceptionally well designed and the interface is very well organized.
The bacic app is free, but if you want the full version with all the bell and whistles it costs $15.00. I used the free version at first  and I liked it so much that bought the full version after two  weeks. I think the charts are very good.
It is a great app for the iPhone, but even better on the iPad.

Trip to Boston

I made a trip up to Boston last weekend. It was my first trip to Boston in over 5 years. I don’t remember the exact time I was up there last, but I know it was at least 5 or 6 years ago. I went up there by train from NY early Saturday morning and came back Sunday on the Acela, which was my first time on the fastest train in the U.S.  As a train buff I really enjoyed my ride on the Acela. I would definitely like to see more trains like the Acela put in to service in different parts of the USA, where it makes sense.

I really enjoyed seeing seeing some my favorite spots in and around the city. I stayed at a small hotel in Back Bay and I was able get around pretty easily on the T (Boston’s Light Rail & Subway). One of the highlights of the trip was go to see the Boston Bruins play the NJ Devils at TD Garden with a few relatives. That was my first visit to the “new” Boston Garden and I was very impressed by the building.It is a great venue. I would love to see a Celtics game up there one of these days, especially since the C’s are good again. I’m sure the atmosphere at a Celtics game would be electric.

It was very cold (sub 20 degree temp’s)  and windy last weekend in Boston (real winter weather, finally!) so I did not spend as much time walking around the city as I might have in a little bit warmer temp’s. But I did have an opportunity to walk around Back Bay and Boston Common. I also took the T out to Brighton, where I lived for a few years. I always find trips back to places where I have previously lived interesting just to see what has changed. I did notice a few new buildings in downtown Boston, but no radical change, unlike, say, New York City, where the skyline seems to be changing about every 6 months.

Here are a few pictures I took during my 24 hrs in Boston…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Favorite Photos of 2016

After lengthy deliberation I have selected the photos that I took in 2016 that are my favorites. I originally published this post with 10 photos, but soon after decided I needed to   add a few because 10 just wasn’t a large enough group to represent my favorites.

Most of the pictures I selected were right here in Easton, PA, along with a few in Montclair, NJ, where I once lived, and New York City, another former home city of mine.

All photos with my iPhone SE or my iPad Pro 9.7.

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Nisky Cemetary, Bethlehem, PA

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Spring Garden St., Easton, PA

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Painters on the Lehigh River, Easton, PA

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Centre Square, Easton, PA

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Old Passenger Train Station, Easton, PA

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Fall in Easton, PA, Route 611

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Toll Bridge, Route 22, Easton, PA

Group II

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Lower Manhattan from Governors Island

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One WTC from the South

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Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center

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St Francis Xavier Church, 16th St., Manhattan

Group III

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Presby Memorial Iris Gardens, Montclair, NJ

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Presby Gardens at Mountainside Park, Montclair, NJ

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Gardens at Van Vleck Estate, Montclair, NJ

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Ticket Windows at Hoboken Terminal

La La Land and the Race for the Oscars

Oscar time has arrived and Damien Chazelle’s La La Land looks set to dominate the Academy Awards  in the same fashion the film has dominated many other Film Awards events in the lead up to the big show on Hollywood Blvd.

I feel the same way about La La Land  that I felt about The Artist a few years ago. When I saw The Artist I though it was a lock to win Best Picture because it was such a unique film in this era, as a silent, black and white film. La La Land is a visually stunning film and as a musical it too is unique among the 2016 films. The entire cast was outstanding and it portrays Los Angeles in a very flattering way, which the Academy always seems to like. I see La La Land winning  not only the Oscar for Best Picture, but many other Oscars as well.

The big question is if La La Land can break the record for most Academy Awards wins for a single film. Titanic, Ben Hur and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King all won 11 Oscars.

La La Land garned 14 nominations, but includes two for Music Original Song, so LLL can win 13.  I think LLL is going to win 11 or 12 Oscars. I don’t think Ryan Gosling will win Best Actor for LLL, even thought his performance was excellent because the competition from Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea) and Denzel Washington (Fences) is.

However, I think is very possible that LLL wins every other Oscar that it was nominated for. We’ll see soon enough .

POST Academy Awards comments.

I must say that I was quite surprised that La La Land did not win Best Picture. I have not seen Moonlight yet, but I was well aware that it was a highly acclaimed film. However, I really thought that LLL had all the momentum. I guess not quite enough. Still, LLL had a very respectable night pulling in 6 Oscars, including Best Director for Chazelle and Best Best Actress for the very deserving Emma Stone. I don’t think those will be the last Oscars that those two win.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Changing Seasons on the KSAT

I took these four pictures on the Karl Stirner Arts Trail in Easton, PA between October, 2016 and January, 2017, one each month, capturing the change in seasons. All pictures were taken with my iPad Pro 9.7.

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George M. Fattell.

The gmf journal is a general subject blog that reflects my thoughts and opinions on a variety of topics that are of interest to me. Current home base is Easton, Pennsylvania, USA. Retweets do not equal an endorsement.

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