Roundup of January 2019 Posts

Bart Simpson, The Simpsons, Disconnected from Server, Error messageJanuary has ended and I’m almost glad.

Almost because today marks another year I have been on Planet Earth and, at my stage of life, that is a sobering fact.

Glad because last month engaged me in a daily struggle to maintain the blog’s connection to the server. The problem left me without access to The Next Phase Blog for over a week. I lost a week of posts, a week of readers enjoying those posts and a week of page views that I use to measure progress and interest.

Smoothing Out the Wrinkles

Oh, well. Worse things have happened. I spent a lot of time on the phone and finally got the problem sort of fixed but it keeps recurring, which is annoying and frustrating. I hope to iron out the wrinkles soon.

Nevertheless, I and my other authors persevered and we finally got 12 blog posts published. The cold weather keeping us inside makes for time to catch up on anything you might have missed—especially if you gave up after seeing no new posts during the week of January 4.

Persevering Through the Cold

Jack Nicholson, the Shining, Jack Torrance, Frozen, Cold is just a state of mindAnd speaking of the cold, last night I drove into Boston to attend a private Boston By Foot tour of the Emerson Colonial Theater. (More on that in a future post.) I parked in the garage, underneath Boston Common. I had on a winter coat and gloves.

As I waited for the elevator up from the lower level, a sharp young businessman strolled up to wait along with me. He wore a business suit with the collar turned up to keep him warm. No overcoat, no hat, no gloves, no scarf.

Being a grandmother, I commented, “No gloves?” He beamed. “Not really,” he said. “Well, I have them but they’re in the car.” The Polar Vortex had not yet struck Boston so I refrained from telling him that he had 10 minutes from the exit to his destination before frostbite set in.

There’s Always One

No matter how cold it gets, there’s always one of the guys around. You can tell who they are because even on the most frigid days they wear shorts and, often, sandals. When the temperature drops, they add socks to the sandals and put on a flannel shirt. If it’s too sloppy for sandals, they wear sneakers and tennis socks.

Man in Shorts, Shorts in Snow, White dudes in shortsOther people dress for the weather but the Men in Shorts consider themselves above it all, warmed by a high metabolism. Or an exaggerated idea of masculinity. I wonder how many end up in the ER during a Polar Vortex, surprised that frostbite could happen to them.

Denial is powerful.

Roundup of January 2019 Posts

As usual, we covered a wide range of topics last month with information, advice and opinions. Make a pot of coffee, pull up a chair and go through the roundup of January 2019 blog posts.


Boston and History


Friends and Family

Lifestyle and Culture

Movies and Television

That’s it for January. February is a short month but we will do our best to populate it with interesting posts. Stay warm, stay dry and don’t wear shorts.

This entry was posted in Animals, Boston, Friends and Family, Health & Safety, History, Movies, Science Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , by Aline Kaplan. Bookmark the permalink.

About Aline Kaplan

Aline Kaplan is a published author, a blogger, and a tour guide in Boston. She formerly had a career as a high-tech marketing and communications director. Aline writes and edits The Next Phase Blog, a social commentary blog that appears multiple times a week at She has published over 1,000 posts on a variety of subjects, from Boston history to science fiction movies, astronomical events to art museums. Under the name Aline Boucher Kaplan, she has had two science fiction novels (Khyren and World Spirits) published by Baen Books. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies published in the United States, Ireland, and Australia. Aline’s articles have also appeared on the Atlas Obscura website. She has been an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America since 1988 and is a long-term member of the Spacecrafts science/fantasy writers’ group. As a tour guide, Aline leads architectural and historical walking tours of the city for Boston By Foot, ghost tours for Haunted Boston and historical bus tours of the city. She lectures on Boston history and has appeared in the Boston Globe, as well as on TV for Chronicle, an award-winning television program that broadcasts stories of New England. As a lecturer, Aline has spoken at Brandeis and Tufts universities for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She has also addressed as service organizations and local meetings. She is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston and lives in Hudson, MA.

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