Archive for October 15th, 2007

Pope Waves from Beyond the Grave


 Pope / Fire
This fiery figure is being hailed as Pope John Paul II making an appearance beyond the grave.

The image, said by believers to show the Holy Father with his right hand raised in blessing, was spotted during a ceremony in Poland to mark the second anniversary of his death.

Details appeared on the Vatican News Service, a TV station in Rome which specializes in religious news broadcasts.

Service director Jarek Cielecki, a Polish priest and close friend of John Paul II, travelled to Poland after hearing an onlooker had photographed the image.

Father Cielecki said he was convinced the picture showed the former pontiff.

“You can see the image of a person in the flames and I think it is the servant of God, Pope John Paul II,” he said.

from the Daily Mail

We hate to say it, because we alway sort of liked the formalistic old fart, but it looks to us like the servant of God, Pope John Paul II ended up in the “other place”….

Accidents Happen


As if we weren’t worried enough about our personal security, what with radioactive waste and deadly pathogens in the vicinity (see previous post), as we went to park at our local sports bar for lunch, right around the corner from¬† our home (see church in background), we were confronted by a scene out of a disaster movie.

Actually, it was all rather innocuous.¬† A Yellow delivery truck (it looked orange to us, but we are somewhat colorblind) making a delivery at the fabulous CuCu Club, got hooked on some cables and brought down a utility pole. We passed up the light, flaky fish and chips from Donahue’s we had been looking forward to and settled for a Cubano from the diner on the corner instead.

BTW, a re-election kickoff party for JD Donahue (Watertown City Councilor at Large) will be held tomorrow night at the Ancient Order of Hiberian Hall at 6:30. Local politics rule! Support your local sports bar – and its owner.

Dowbrigade Living on Radioactive Waste


Several large properties in the East End of Watertown, including a nearly 12-acre swath of land at Greenough Boulevard and Arsenal Street that was once used to burn depleted uranium from a Watertown Arsenal nuclear reactor, are undergoing close scrutiny to determine how badly contaminated they are and who is responsible for cleaning them up.

The status of the former uranium disposal site is in limbo, as state and federal agencies haggle over who should make the land safe for public use.

from the Boston Globe

Are you kidding us?!!? That 12-acre swath of land at Greenough Boulevard and Arsenal Street is FOUR BLOCKS from the Dowbrigade’s Fortress of Solitude and Rest Home, from whence we pen this post.

And now, after three years we discover that we are living atop a nuclear waste dump! And that the area in which we live is undergoing “close scrutiny” to see how badly contaminated it is! And we thought the reason the walls glow at night is that the previous tenants had used that luminescent “Glowz” paint.

The Watertown Arsenal is a huge red-brick conglomeration stretching almost a half mile along Arsenal St. in Watertown, which abuts Cambridge on the east and the Charles River on the south. Part of the wave of urban arsenal construction during the buildup to WWII, it is being converted piecemeal into retail and high-tech rental space.

We had always envisioned that era as a patriotic jamboree of American industrial stockpiling, with endless rows of jeeps and lorries, neatly packed and stacked gas masks and maybe an occasional Sherman tank or amphibious half-track waiting for the call which eventually came and went. This is the first we have heard about the existence of a WATERTOWN ARSENAL NUCLEAR REACTOR!

We have long been aware that the neighboring People’s Republic of Cambridge was a nuclear power. The research reactor at MIT, a squat white dome tucked behind Central Square on the MIT campus was both a scary reminder of the isotopes among us and a noteworthy driveby on the tourist’s tour of Cambridge, between the excretionary Stata Center and the corner in Cambridgeport where the Toasted Toga Taco House once stood. The joke, back in the day, was that if the Northeast power grid ever went down, at least Cambridge would have lights.

But who suspected that a stone’s throw away, stuffed under the radar by the nefarious military industrial complex, was a working military reactor producing weapons-grade plutonium waste.

Or that this highly radioactive waste was being BURNED IN AN INCINERATOR, with the ensuing smoke and ash left unfiltered to drift down on the neighborhood and contaminate people, pets and the places they live.

We thought the operant debate was whether to bury our radioactive waste for 20,000 years under Yucca Mountain near Bumfuck, Nevada, or find some obscure third-world cesspool desperate enough for US protection or pandering to take it off our hands. Or somehow shoot it into the sun (our personal favorite). Little did we know that another alternative existed – just throw it in an incinerator a few blocks from Dowbrigade headquarters!

Taken on top of the developing story that our august employer is in the process of constructing a Biosafety Level-4 lab, where scientists will fool around with microscopic killers such as Ebola, plague, and anthrax right across the street from the Boston Medical Center, which just happens to contain our dentist’s office, we are feeling less and less secure these days.

Now, we are trying not to panic with the implications of this news. We are desperately looking for a lighter side of this situation. So far, the best we can come up with is this:

Since our governor seems so determined to bring legal gambling to Massachusetts, perhaps the state will give us odds as to the relative likelihood of succumbing to radiation poisoning as opposed to some mutant strain of the plague.

All kidding aside, folks, is anyone else concerned about the recently revealed Watertown Nuclear Reactor, and the radioactive waste in our gardens and yards? Or are we being needlessly paranoid again?

Frankly, we love living in Watertown. It is quiet, family oriented, and a mere 20 minutes from our office by car or bicycle. Our neighbors are all Armenians, which is fine as long as we don’t bring home any Turkish taffy. Our garden is thriving. In fact, we have a fat, juicy tomato on our nightstand right now, serving as a nightlight.