Saturday, December 31, 2011

South Deerfield Post Office

South Deerfield Post Office on Google Maps

This is an absolutely fantastic post office, by far the best I have been to in the area. The building is pretty new and looks great, it's kept very clean and there is more then enough room throughout for the po boxes and the dual counters to help customers. There is also an island to allow people to make adjustments or finish packing before they get into line or while they wait. The staff is great as well, they are all very helpful and pleasant and 99% of the time they have answers to any questions i've asked in regards to best/cheapest way to ship something to place X safely. Everything moves quickly and even when there has been a 5 or 6 person line(3 on each side) it's typically taken about 5 minutes or less to get up to the front which I think is more then adequate compared to others I have visited elsewhere. Prices are ridiculous for most of the supplies that you can purchase but as far as I know those prices are set for them, and even if they are not I doubt the employees are getting a cut of bubble wrap sales. Even the regular mailman I have is great, always makes sure to put bags over my packages if its raining and asks every once in a while to make sure nothing is late. I thought it was very very impressive when he helped me track down a package that got misplaced at another post office on the way to my house in Texas. That's going above and beyond.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I first noticed this being mentioned in a few posts in my google + stream but didn't pay much attention. I ended up reading an article about it on . I ended up reading the first part of it and then just clicking on the link so I could send one to my girlfriend because I wanted to play a little joke. The really neat part is that you get to type in what phone number to call it from(i.e. you enter whatever number you want to show up on the persons caller id)That's the fun part, then you answer all these little questions and they create the call using the details you choose in your the end you can choose to place the call or send a video instead to an email.(The video was a feature that google added later, very creative I think.)

I really like the idea of this and applaud google for their creation. The only thing that I didn't like but probably was a preemptive move by google for people making prank calls to strangers is the restriction of calls beyond a certain time. I believe it was 8pm central. I know that I was unable to do it as of 9pm in the Eastern Time Zone. I think it's a good idea to limit calling hours because obviously it's def going to be abused by some kids i'd assume, or put a limit per day on calls per IP address to 2 or 3 maybe. No one needs to be sending anymore then that, even if they had 5 kids they'd be able to do 3 first day and 2 next.

Overall, great idea and I think it's been well received throughout, at least I haven't heard of anyone complaining. And if it turns out that there is a large number of complaints due to prank calls google posting warning that they will be turning over the names of fraudulent users.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Summary: Below I put the link to the "FakeGirlfriend" website which leads you to the explanation and instructions on "how it works" Bascially it's a service that pretends to be your significant other when you want/need to have a girlfriend. Text the number provided and your "girlfriend" will respond with a random text message. Message will be "girlfriend-esque" so you can show friends/family/x-girlfriend that's real or whoever you want that you have a new "girlfriend"

My Take: I find this to be extremely creative and funny. What makes it even more hilarious is that there are a number of guys out there who would most definitely use this if they were aware of its existance. While i'm sure it was originally created by Built by Ricky Robinett | Powered with Twilio.CO | Hat Tip to HannahDiscouraging DougTWiST as a somewhat joke there are men out there who want to make their ex-girlfriend jealous, prove to their parents they are dating again after divorce, prove to their parents they have a serious girlfriend, show their friends their girlfriend is real, ect ect. Ricky Robinetti has a link on this site to go to his "other" app which costs a fee that you can click on to "support" the making so if your really using this out there guys, show RICKY ROBINETTI some love and donate a few bucks, getting your loved ones off your back is worth it or you wouldn't be actually dialing a fake girlfriend up would you???



I found this link in my google+ stream originally from +Emily Manning


Friday, November 18, 2011

Small World Pre-school+ Child

52 Sugarloaf Street, South Deerfield, MA 01373-1144
(413) 665-4501

Fantastic preschool! All of the staff is so helpful and they are all amazing with the kids. When a friend of ours went to visit to look into sending their daughter they staying for an hour watching different groups and didn't even go home to talk first, wrote a check to hold their spot that moment. Seems to really be a caring place from the kids, teachers, owner and parents. They have different events like a hike one sunday with a picnic for all the fathers and the kids to spend time together, and the teachers volunteer their time. How great is that? You don't see that very often. Overall just a 5 star place and I'd recommend absolutely sending your children if you live within a reasonable distance. One parent drives almost a half hour just to bring her child because she's so happy there.

Frontier Regional High School- South Deerfield, MA

Frontier Regional- is a known "sports" school throughout the area and continually sends 

team after team season after season sport after sport year after year into the playoffs and 

beyond. The towns that feed into Frontier are Conway, Whately, Sunderland, and Deerfield which 

are mainly rural wide open farming areas and the student population reflects that. It's a public 

school and several buildings have recently been remade from the poor condition to basically 

brand new still. 


Gym is nice and can fill to capacity for a home basketball game and atmosphere 

is great. Boys+Girls teams are both top notch at basketball, soccer, football, cross-country, 

volleyball, and baseball. Teaching was about average for the area with trivial authority figures 

making hypocritical decisions, displaying favortism for some depending on who they were, what 

they played, ect ect. Same in a lot of small towns in the area but compared with other schools 

elsewhere would rank below average in that category.

Police Departments- Local Western Mass Towns

Deerfield Police Department: For years the Deerfield police department was a solid group of veteran policemen that all lived locally and had built longterm relationships with the community as a whole earning them respect with almost everyone. They had a job to do but balanced the need of having a positive re-pore. Knowing when to give a simple warning on the first nice day of spring rather then a speeding ticket can go a long way in a small town. In a place like this where news spreads like wildfire the poor treatment of citizens won't be kept quiet and won't be tolerated. By poor treatment I don't mean a needless speeding ticket either though, it's obnoxious but not something to stage a protest about.

The department has now shifted to bringing in a younger generation of officers by sending local applicants to the academy and then hiring them afterwards. Out of the total of 6 or 7 full time police officers working in the town 3/4 are from the "old guard" and I went to school with at least 3 of them. 1 a year below me, 1 in my class and 1 a year or 2 years ahead of me. This is the kind of hire that could really help the community by having officers that can relate and easily communicate with the citizens along with working knowledge of possible trouble areas and overall knowledge of roads and landmarks.

However, they happened to choose guys who don't exactly scream "Thank you for being a citizen in this town, we are here to serve and protect you and if there is anything you need were always here" More of the kind of guys that wear sunglasses indoors in the summer, hand out tickets to people like there is an expiration date on each one and one has set the record for most tickets/overall money brought into the town by those tickets in a month+quarter. That's quite the accomplishment for someone that has only been working there a couple years and there has been a department for a little while longer I think, haha.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Alina's Ristorante....South Deerfield, MA

Alina's Ristorante 
6 Elm Street, South Deerfield, MA 01373-1006
(413) 397-2190
Google Earth Street View

Alina's is a small quaint ristorante but I get the feeling that they consider themselves a 5 star eatery with elegant surroundings which is a little overly gracious if not downright laughable. Location isn't very good in the center of town with parking on main street with a used tv repair place, laundramat, and a bar with patrons smoking outside on the sidewalk. All of the above are nothing I would even think of when going out to grab a bite however the way Alina's portrays their establishment I wouldn't imagine passing through a crowd of drunk teenagers, and then 2 local farmers arguing over who is most sober to drive home. 

Then since they have limited hours of operation i've stopped in because I just got the urge to have a nice meal forgetting they were not open and could only imagine how I would feel if I just drove from Northampton, Greenfield or further like Holyoke, Springfield, East Longmeadow ect which is the type of clientele they seem to direct marketing at. Then to add a little difficulty to the obstacle course if you can get there when their open, you have the money to pay 50%-75% more then what typically the food should cost and maybe even more when you factor in that it's SOUTH DEERFIELD, don't mind the Russian Roulette Waiter game where your either going to find someone you'd be happy to introduce your single children to or someone that you can't figure out why an upscale restaurante would be hiring people whose personality is so bland white walls in the bedroom seem really exciting when you get home well that's the problem though.... 

The wine selection is one of the best parts of Alina's. They really seem to know which wine's/types go well with each food. Back to the problem though, remember how I said you can park right on main street out front of Alina's? Well, so can the police. They typically watch the bar that's a feet down the street and then the other bar called the Hotel Warren which is on the other side. But watch your wine because the DPD doesn't mess around with "warnings" Have that 3rd glass with a glass of water and a little food in between or the young guns trying to make up for all that high school abuse will show you who's the boss now!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Western Massachusetts of 11/12/11

Thinking of visting New England? Going on a trip to Massachusetts? Maybe catch a Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics or Bruins game? Planning on taking route 2 or 91/Mass Pike? Well, your going to need where to stop for any number of things and these are the reviews to let you know what's popular for the locals and tourists like Yankee Candle, where the quaint little lunch spot is that out of towners won't know about like the Bridgeside Grill and where you should stay away from if you want to make your trip nausia free, or at least what part of the menu to avoid if you stop at a place like Frontier Pizza.....Here we go!

View Western Mass Reviews in a larger map

Friday, October 21, 2011

Castaway's Lounge

Castaway Lounge 
U.S. 5, Whately, MA 01093(413) 665-8733

Castaways is a local strip club in the truest sense of the term. I used to stop by to have a drink or two most afternoon's when I was in college and it's not a bad place at all. The owner is a little much to take but unless your there a lot you usually just have to hear about him and not see him. It's open 5 days a week typically, not open sunday's and monday's but sometimes that changes during the year. The bar manager is great, keeps things running smoothly, just don't act like an asshole and you won't have any problems. Bouncers can be little mouthy but again as long as your not doing anything shouldn't be an issue. Prices are high if your just going for a drink because your paying for the entertainment too. There's a $5 cover charge after 5pm unless you go regularly enough to not worry about it. Bottles of beer are over $5 for a bud and a mix drink is $7-$9 which is about normal for a strip club in the area. Girls aren't bad, some very pretty girls at night and especially on weekend nights but there's always a few your going to want to avoid. You can tell right away the ones that have been there since about when you were born and should probably move on. No one is too pushy about private dances usually but it's worth the $20 for 2 songs if you have it. Tipping $1 at the stage is typical and not bad for a little show.
Liked: Service, Atmosphere, Value

Snowzee's-Sunderland, MA(formerly O's) Bar

330 Amherst Road, Sunderland, MA 01375-9311(413) 665-8788

Since the  purchase of the "Seven O's" recently it has now been changed to "Snowzees". Other then the lack of effort put into the name the bar is a quality hangout and on any given night has a mix of college students, young adults, middle aged couples and those single men and women we all love to see out at college bars drinking to their hearts desire. Prices are relatively low compared with going uptown Amherst and Northampton and there are several beers on tap along with a fully stocked bar. Wide open dance floor and a food shack outside in the parking lot are a few benefits that save you from an inebriated drive to get food. The position of the bar on 116 makes it a target for police and patrons would be best served to have a designated driver and adhere to that policy because going in either direction it's a minefield to drive. There is a bus stop across the street though so that's always an option for college students while the bus is running.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Google Engineer trashes Amazon and Google+ in ACCIDENTAL PUBLIC POST

There's been a lot of talk about Google+ and how it might compete against Facebook, but one Googler accidentally voiced his opinion on the subject last night in a Google+ post that quickly went viral.
Google engineer Steve Yegge posted a lengthy note on Google+ that touched on his days at Amazon (overseen by the "Dread Pirate Bezos"), Google's failure to understand platforms, his concerns about Facebook, how Apple "gets it," and what Google needs to do to excel.
One problem—the post was only supposed to be viewable by Google folks, internally. But Yegge mistakenly made the post public, much to the delight of his followers and the tech community.
After discovering the mistake, Yegge decided to delete the post (though he was not asked to do so by Google) because it was "really a private conversation between me and my peers and co-workers at Google," he wrote in an update post. He also noted that "even now, after six years, I know astoundingly little about Google," so his words should not be taken as gospel.
Thanks to the power of the Google+ share button, however, the entire rant is available on some of his followers' pages. What did Yegge have to say? It's a doozy.
Amazon: You're Doing It Wrong
Yegge started his post with an assessment of Amazon, where he worked for 6.5 years. In a nutshell, "Amazon does everything wrong, and Google does everything right," he wrote. Yegge criticized the company's hiring procedures, operations, charity giving, accommodations, compensation, and what he perceived to be lack of perks. Founder Jeff Bezos, he said, was "an infamous micro-manager" on the level of Steve Jobs, who made "ordinary control freaks look like stoned hippies." (Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.)
"But there's one thing they do really, really well that pretty much makes up for ALL of their political, philosophical and technical screw-ups," Yegge wrote. About a decade ago, Bezos realized that "that Amazon needs to be a platform."
"A product is useless without a platform, or more precisely and accurately, a platform-less product will always be replaced by an equivalent platform-ized product," Yegge wrote.
Google Doesn't Understand Platforms
While Amazon is humming along with its platform development, however, Google doesn't "get" platforms, Yegge said.
"I was kind of hoping that competitive pressure from Microsoft and Amazon and more recently Facebook would make us wake up collectively and start doing universal services," he wrote. "But no. No, it's like our tenth or eleventh priority."
Yegge pointed the finger at Google+, which he said "is a prime example of our complete failure to understand platforms from the very highest levels of executive leadership."
"The Golden Rule of platforms is that you Eat Your Own Dogfood. The Google+ platform is a pathetic afterthought," Yegge continued, pointing to the lack of an API at launch.
Microsoft and Apple both understand the dogfood rule, Yegge said. But "Google+ is a knee-jerk reaction, a study in short-term thinking, predicated on the incorrect notion that Facebook is successful because they built a great product."
Worried About Facebook?
"They worry me," Yegge wrote about Facebook.
"Facebook is successful because they built an entire constellation of products by allowing other people to do the work," he said. "So Facebook is different for everyone."
Google, however, is two steps behind, Yegge argued. "Our Google+ team took a look at the aftermarket and said: 'Gosh, it looks like we need some games. Let's go contract someone to, um, write some games for us.' Do you begin to see how incredibly wrong that thinking is now? The problem is that we are trying to predict what people want and deliver it for them."
Very few people have been able to do that, with Steve Jobs being the exception, Yegge said. "We don't have a Steve Jobs here. I'm sorry, but we don't."
Yegge suggested that Facebook would hire him away from Google, "but Google is home, so I'm insisting that we have this little family intervention, uncomfortable as it might be."
Dramatic Cultural Change
How does Google develop a platform and eat its own dog food? "It will take a dramatic cultural change in order for us to start catching up," Yegge wrote.
"We don't do internal service-oriented platforms, and we just as equally don't do external ones. This means that the 'not getting it' is endemic across the company: the PMs don't get it, the engineers don't get it, the product teams don't get it, nobody gets it," he wrote. "Even if individuals do, even if YOU do, it doesn't matter one bit unless we're treating it as an all-hands-on-deck emergency. We can't keep launching products and pretending we'll turn them into magical beautiful extensible platforms later. We've tried that and it's not working."

By:Steve Yegge

Vehicle Inspection Center-Greenfield, MA

Vehicle Inspection Center 
188 Federal Street, Greenfield, MA 01301-2780(413) 773-3770 
This inspection center is by far the best facility I have been to or seen in the area. While most of the local places to get an inspection are repair shops mainly and offer inspections on the side and therefor have very limited seating if any, no restrooms, ect this facility offers that and much more. They have 2 bays up and running at most times and as long as your not going at the very beginning of the month or the very end of the month there is little wait if any. They also offer the option of dropping your car off and then putting your registration, keys, and payment through a slot in the door so you don't have to wait which is a nice option to have. The "Vehicle Inspection Center" has a furnished waiting room with windows looking into the inspection area so your able to watch the inspection if you wish. There is a soda machine that offers a variety of drink options along with a water dispenser from poland springs to get cold water. There are 2 big couches, several chairs, and a few tables with a variety of magazines that are mostly car related. The only suggestion I would have is a little more variety in regards to the reading material like some sports illustrated, cosmopolitan, maybe a few different papers instead of just the local recorder. Overall, its a great facility and it's the best place for your car inspection needs in the area around greenfield, MA.

Greenfield Savings Bank-South Deerfield, MA branch
Greenfield Savings Bank 
61 North Main St, South Deerfield, MA 01373(413) 665-4011

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Categories:ATM Location, Bank

Transit: South Deerfield Center (451 ft S 

Your rating:
Greenfield Savings Bank has recently redone the building they reside in for the South Deerfield, MA branch and it came out beautiful. During construction it was somewhat annoying to continue to play the guessing game when it came time to figure out which door you had to go in that day because they worked on the building without closing the actual branch but that's a small price to pay considering they could have just closed the bank and forced all the customers to do their banking elsewhere or use another GSB branch in the meantime. The staff are all very helpful and pleasant, and the lines inside move quickly so there is not usually much of a wait if any. They offer free checking AND savings accounts with online billpay, debit card, and a free gift for opening an account included. The gift changes throughout the year, for example at one time it was an umbrella, another was a bbq knife, prong, and spatchulla grill set, and even a puree machine from black and decker was offered once. Most of the items are relatively high quality and more then you would expect from a giveaway. Something I thought was nice also was the bank provides a local branch phone number so you can deal with any problems immediately unlike a lot of the bigger banks that only offer 800 numbers and it takes 20 minutes just to figure out what you need and there is not a chance to get to an actual branch. Overall I would absolutely recommend GSB as an option for your banking needs if your in the Western Mass Franklin County area. They offer 6 different branches I believe and the main headquarter is in Greenfield, MA.