Roundup of January 2023 Posts

woodchuck, marmota mormax, groundhog, marmot

Marmota mormax — Mass Audubon photo

Punxsutawney Phil has emerged and told us we have six more weeks of winter. That’s no surprise as human weather forecasters have told us to hunker down for a blast of frigid arctic air. New England has had a warm, snow-free winter so far, so this will come as a shock.

On the whole, however, the Northeast has escaped the numerous weather catastrophes affecting other parts of the country. We will bundle up and push on through this. When the cold has ended, our house will still be standing, dry and in one piece. That’s more than many people have right now.

Coming Soon: The Boston Quiz

I have a post coming this month that offers a Boston Quiz. It asks reader to select between two photos: one in Boston and one in Europe. To do this, and to calculate the scores, I bought a new piece of software, Formidable Forms, and I have been struggling to create the quiz and add it to the WordPress blog page.

Greetings from Boston, postcard, highlights, January 2023As with a great deal of software, the developers think it’s intuitive, easy to learn and use. Of course, they do. They designed it. They have been living with the software’s functionality and terminology for months or even years. Navigating it is a snap to them and they lose sight of what it feels like to be a new user trying to make something happen.

To be fair, the company’s customer service people are well versed in the software and extremely helpful. You can actually put in a comment and get an email response from a real live human being. One of them even made a video for me. What a difference from companies that expect you to learn their product on your own just by reading tutorials.

I’m excited about the quiz. If you like it, I can think of many other quizzes to do once I become experienced.

Roundup of January 2023 Posts

If winter’s cold blast is affecting you, just start a fire, curl up under a throw, and catch up on some of the posts you may have missed in January 2023 on The Next Phase Blog.

Boston and History

Business and Technology

Earth and Space

Life and Culture

Food and Cooking

Movies and Television


February Activities

Happy February, February 2023February is a short month but one that’s chock full of things to do. These include a virtual tour of Boston’s Unitarian Trail—places and people important to the development of Unitarianism in the United States.

I know that’s a yawn for a lot of people but stick with me — there really is a lot of interesting information. You can register for the virtual tour on the Boston By Foot website.

This entry was posted in Boston, Boston By Foot, Environment, Food and Cooking, Movies, Travel 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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