Roundup of August 2021 Posts

It seems like every day the weather gets worse, the fires burn hotter, the coronavirus develops a deadly new strain and our country grows more contentious. I could fix all this quite easily, of course, by simply not watching the news. That wouldn’t solve the myriad problems but it would make me feel better. Sticking your head in the sand never made a problem go away, though. It just makes you more vulnerable to threats you can’t see that are heading in your direction.

A Few Updates

Before I get to the roundup of August 2021 posts, here are a few updates on topics I discussed in previous posts..

Seagate, back-up drive, computer back-up, safetyThe Computer Crash: Thanks to the computer experts at my local U Break I Fix plus my Seagate backup drive, I lost no files in the big crash. I even recovered all my photos although they are no longer nearly organized in folders. I’m working on that.  That’s a load off my mind. I’m back in business.

The Sneaky Insider: Thanks to outrage from fans and the general public, Mike Richards has lost his insider position as host of the game show Jeopardy. He also “stepped down” from his job as the show’s Executive Producer and his job as Executive Producer for The Price is Right. Mr. Richards no longer has any association with Sony Entertainment. That’s what arrogance, deception, a tone-deaf approach and inside dealings got him.

One wonders, however, how he managed to hold down all three jobs. Did he actually do any work as Executive Producer of two television game shows? Or was that just a fancy title that put more bucks in his bank account? Will anyone replace him in those roles? Time will tell.

Storrow Drive, Boston, Traffic Jam, Getting Storrowed, low clearance, August 2021moving van

Storrow Drive Traffic Jam
Courtesy WCVB-TV

Storrowed Trucks: The Storrowing continues as more trucks hit the bridges on the Storrow Drive parkway. The bridges always win.

Yesterday the Massachusetts State Police set up a roadblock on Memorial Drive, the parkway that runs along the other side of the Charles River. Troopers are turning away trucks before they can enter the road. It’s an expensive, low-tech solution but it works. Unless you want to argue with a State Police trooper. You will lose.

Roundup of August 2021 Posts

Moving on, here’s the roundup of August 2021 posts on The Next Phase Blog. Suze missed a couple of Mondays because she was on vacation. (I’m soooo jealous.) We have seven months to go before our twice-postponed Viking River Cruise. (Number 5)

Boston and History

Business and Technology

Food and Cooking



Our Changing Weather Patterns

Hurricane Ida, ISS, International Space Station, August 2021

Hurricane Ida from the International Space Station

Fall will not arrive for another 20 days. States from Louisiana to New York are reeling from Hurricane Ida. One wonders what more extreme weather our warming planet will bring. Here are some of my thoughts.

  1. At what point we stop calling a 20-year dearth of water a drought and start describing those states as a new desert?
  2. Why do cities next to the Pacific Ocean depend on water from the Colorado River?
  3. When do we stop enabling people to build big homes on barrier islands?
  4. How many King Tides and flooded streets does it take for businesses to realize that they have to help save their cities from rising sea levels? After all, Venice’s aqua alta finally drove them to ban huge cruise ships in the Grand Canal. Can America do less?
  5. What will happen to our western forests after the wild fires have burned over them? Without sufficient water (see #1) can they regrow or will they also become deserts?
  6. At what point will the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation flip, changing weather patterns even more radically all over the world?

Moving On from August 2021

We have no answers to these questions and more. Fall is nearly here. Winter follows quickly. Buckle up, folks; it’s going to be a wild ride.

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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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