Roundup of November-December 2019 Posts

We’re in a new year and a new decade. One hundred years ago we had the Roaring Twenties but there’s no telling what the 2020s will be like.  We come at these new beginnings with hope, optimism, cheer and good wishes for all. My hope is that these good feelings will last longer than a week.

The Yankee Swap Party

Skrewball Whiskey, Peanut Butter Whiskey, Yankee SwapBoth hope and optimism surged last night at an annual Yankee Swap party. When it was my turn, I picked a golden package of Ferrero Rocher chocolates. As I don’t eat candy (just don’t like it), I swapped for a box of maple syrup. Those three bottles of high-quality, fruit-flavored maple syrup were in my hands for about 10 minutes before someone else swapped them for what they picked. I ended up with a wine aerator (???) and a set of those little things you put on wineglasses at parties so they don’t get mixed up.

It could have been worse. The gifts got stranger.

My husband picked a bag with three flavors of salt and a grinder. He swapped that for lottery tickets and a jar of orange marmalade. Hope surged and we were optimistic for a while until someone took that gift in exchange for their bottle of—wait for it—peanut butter whiskey.

We don’t drink hard liquor and, even if we did, I doubt we would drink that. Does anyone drink that? Maybe I can cook with it. How about a peanut butter whiskey cake?

Hindsight and the Year in Review

2019 Year in Review, Roundup of November-December 2019 PostsAt this time next year, all the newspapers and magazines will have year-in-review articles with the exact same headline: “2020 Hindsight.” I thought of it first—and 12 months in advance, too.

In fact, I’m going to do some hindsight right now on posts I wrote in November and December of last year. I never did a roundup of November’s blog posts so this is a twofer. You get the roundup of all the November-December 2019 posts.

Roundup of November-December 2019 Posts

Boston and History

Business and Technology




Lifestyle and Culture



If you have fallen behind, this roundup should keep you busy for a while.  And if you like any of these posts, please feel free to Like and Share, retweet and pass along to friends and family you think would enjoy them, too.

Looking Ahead to 2020

Now I’m going to sit in front of the fire and read for a while myself. Minus a shot of peanut butter whiskey.

Viking River Cruises, Rhine Getaway, travel, Basel, Amsterdam

The Rhine Getaway Cruise

We have a lot to look forward to this year, not least of which is another Viking River Cruise. This one goes from Basel, Switzerland, to Amsterdam on the Rhine River. I love having travel to look forward to.

There will be holidays, anniversaries and birthdays. I anticipate a very busy tour season. So far, at least, it’s all good.


Happy New Year to all my readers and contributors.

This entry was posted in Books, Boston, Environment, History, Jackie Quinlan, Movies, Spiritual, Susanne Skinner, Television, 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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