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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Inspections: Hadley Auto Service

If you're looking for somewhere in Hadley to go to get your car inspected, there are three locations along Rt 9 -- the Jiffy Lube, Country Nissan, and the Hadley Auto Service.  This morning, I set out to the Hadley Auto Service for my first local inspection.
Nothing much to report -- my car passed inspection.  Two things to be aware of: Hadley Auto Service only accepts cash for their inspection services ($29); and, it's located right beside Esselon, which is a lovely place to wait while your car is being inspected (grab a coffee, tea, muffin, cookie, snack, or meal and relax -- the auto shop doesn't have much of a waiting area).

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Mass Dash

If you were out on Rt 47 or Rocky Hill Road last night around 9pm or 10pm, you may have seen vans parked along the side of the road or at the school; you may have seen people running decked out in lit-up visors and vests, alone on the road.  A few hours earlier, had you been near Shelburne Falls, you may have seen some of the same people, either running on the road or waiting in vans to provide relief or stretching by the side of the road to take up the race.  And you may have wondered, as we did, what kind of race is this?  We asked a relief van in Shelburne Falls -- a marathon, a half marathon?  No.  It was a 200-mile relay race from Mt. Greylock to Boston.  Curious.

I looked up the race this morning to find out more about it and, of course, to write this post.  The race is called The Mass Dash, and you can  read the delightful description of the route here.    Teams of up to 12 runners participate in a 2-day race comprising 36 relay legs all the way across Massachusetts -- from the Berkshires to Boston.  The race benefits the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through team fundraising.

The race sounds amazing.  Good luck to those still running this morning.  I hope you enjoy the beauties of Massachusetts as you run through mountains and forests, by lakes and rivers, through historic towns and landmarks.  Keep your legs and be safe!

If you're traveling east towards Boston today and you see vans and runners making their journey, show a little support -- they've come a long way already.

The Mass Dash

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It's Too Hot! More tips.

More tips: The Center for Disease Control has a whole list of tips available on the website and also quite a few pages available on their own website -- Extreme Heat.

There's going to be more high heat tomorrow, with little cooling tonight.  Be ready.  Maybe I'll see you at the mall or at the movies.

It's Too Hot! Tip #7

Tip #7: Go to the library -- if it has a/c.
Being a librarian myself, I am a big fan of libraries.  If your local library has air conditioning, and it's working in this heat, take a break and make a visit.  You might just get there in time for a special program -- or you might find a book, magazine, video, or comic that suits your fancy.

It's Too Hot! Tip #6

Tip #6: Drink water.  Lots and lots of water.

It's Too Hot! Tip #5

Tip #5: Go to the store.
Save up those errands for the heat of the afternoon and go to those stores that have air conditioning.  Don't worry about taking it slowly, either.  Just stroll those aisles, enjoy the cool, and maybe even buy a little something.

It's Too Hot! Tip #4

Tip #4: Get those windows closed and those shades drawn!
This may go against all summertime reason, but if you can capture that  cooler night air and keep it in your house, the house will stay cooler.  So when you wake up in the morning, keep the curtains closed and shut the windows (or at least take the openings down to mere cracks).  The closed windows will keep the cooler air in and the closed curtains will keep the sun from beating the air into a frenzied heat.  Your house will be cooler inside, even if you don't have air conditioning.

It's Too Hot! Tip #3

Tip #3: Ice cream!  Need I say more?
I don't need to, but I will.  Ice cream, soft or hard.  Popsicles, fudgsicles, frozen lemonade, sherbet, italian ice, frozen fruit bars, sorbet, frozen berries... the list goes on.
For a fun twist, make up some Kool-Aid, lemonade, or fruit punch and freeze it into tasty ice cubes or mini-popsicles (with your ice tray and a few toothpicks).
Here's a map and a list of some of the local places for ice cream.

It's Too Hot! Tip #2

Tip #2: Take in a film.
There are at least three theatres immediately in the area -- the Amherst Cinema, the Pleasant Street Cinema (Northampton), and the Cinemark at the Hampshire Mall.
For less than $10, you can get some action, adventure, romance, laughs, culture, and -- air conditioning!  Not a bad way to spend a super-hot afternoon!

It's Too Hot! Tip #1

What to do when it's 96 in the shade and 105 according to the temperature at the bank?
Tip #1: Find a large body of cool water and jump in!  This may be the ocean if you have wheels and a bit of time on your hands (and a/c in the car); it may also be the river, a lake, a pool -- or maybe just your bathtub.
Watch out for sprinklers in the mid-afternoon, though -- lots of that great water evaporates into the air -- and that dry grass is dangerous on bare feet!
And don't forget your sunscreen -- the sun reflects off that water and becomes much stronger and harmful to your skin.

Heat Advisory

You may have noticed that today is hot.  And it's still relatively early.  If your brain didn't fry, you may also remember that yesterday was also very hot (record breaking, I think).  The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for Western MA today. Please -- limit your outdoor work and your indoor work, if you don't have air conditioning.  As the day gets hotter, take some time to head to the stores and the malls -- they can help keep you cool.  Don't overextend today -- the heat and the humidity will be extreme -- 100 degrees or higher!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Where are the Fireworks?

If you like fireworks and Fourth of July celebrations, there are plenty of local places to go this weekend:

July 2:
Beacon Field, Greenfield: celebration; 9:30pm fireworks

July 3:
Stanley Park, Westfield: Lights for Liberty festivities begin at 5:30pm; 9:15pm fireworks
Michael E Smith Middle School, South Hadley: music and games at 6pm, fireworks at dusk

July 4:
Lake Wyola, Shutesbury: boat parade at dusk
City Hall/Memorial Bridge, Springfield: Star Spangled Springfield concert at 7:30pm; fireworks at 9:30pm
Amherst: 3pm parade, Stars in the Sky events at 5pm, fireworks at 9:30 (UMass)
Old Sturbridge Village 19th Century Independence Day
Chesterfield: July 4th parade at 10:30am, pancake breakfast at 7-10am

Post a comment if you know of a local July 4th event I haven't included here.  Include a link, if there is one.  For other listings, visit this page on the Visit Massachusetts site.
Happy Independence Day!