Set for Success Backpack Drive

City Councilor Kate Toomey and Friendly House are coordinating the Fifth Annual Set for Success School Supply Drive for homeless children in the Worcester Public Schools.  They especially need pens, pencils, crayons, rulers, notebooks, highlighters, calculators, and backpacks.

Local blogger/sometime do-gooder Brendan Melican has found a distributor who will sell 250 backpacks for just over $1,300.

While that’s way too much for any of us to pay for on our own, we hope that as a group — bloggers and readers — we will raise enough money to buy 250 children backpacks for the coming school year.

If you’re interested in donating, please visit this page.  Every little bit will help!

To encourage donations, I will do something special for readers who contribute at certain levels:

If you make a $15 donation, I will write a blog post on any topic you want.  (However, if it requires an Albert Southwick level of research, you will need to donate $50.)

If you make a $25 donation, I will take you out to dinner before the City Council meeting of your choice.  (Warning: I’m cheap.)  Then you can chill with me during the meeting.  (Warning: I like to sit within clear sight of MikeGermain.)  Alternatively, for a $25 donation, I’ll take you to see The Expendables when it gets to the West Boylston Cinema.

After you make a donation at one of these levels, let me know what your choice is and I’ll get working on a blog post (or pencil in a City Council date).

Thanks in advance for your support!

To Worcester’s graffiti crew and YOU!

Thanks to T-Traveler for pointing out the T&G article about graffiti removal in Worcester.

That reminds me that I had wanted to recommend a product to everyone, and especially to the graffiti task force guys.  It’s something my husband found at Building 19 a few weeks ago:

He bought it with Deed Rock in mind, figuring that for $3.99 a gallon, it was worth a try.  I have no idea what’s in it, but the label says it’s biodegradable & non-flammable, so at the very least it was unlikely to be harmful.

Well, it has been a busy summer and we haven’t gotten to Deed Rock to try it yet, but we did an experiment last week which has me champing at the bit to try it on graffiti.  I’ll explain, but be forewarned — toilets will be mentioned.  If you’re squeamish, read no further.

For decades the toilet in my house has had a problem with stubborn “stains” under the rim where the water comes in at each flush.  I qualified the use of the word “stain” with quotation marks because I’m not sure exactly what the nature of the discoloration was, but it was certainly impervious to Comet, Ajax, bleach, and all of the other retail toilet-cleaning products, as well as rust removal products like naval jelly and CLR.  My husband managed to remove the stains once before about 10 years ago using hydrochloric acid and a wire brush — I suppose it’s a miracle that the porcelain is still intact.  But nothing short of that would even reduce the stainage.

Until SafeScience Concrete Cleaner & Graffiti Remover, that is.

It was my husband’s brainstorm to try the SafeScience product on the toilet stains.  This solution is supposed to be used diluted, but he put some undiluted solution on a Scotch-Brite sponge and scrubbed lightly at an area of the stain.  In less than two minutes, the stain was gone!  He proceeded to use it all around the rim, and now our problem stains are history!

I should also mention that my husband, being the daring sort, did this without gloves or any other protection, and came to no harm, nor was the sponge damaged in any way.  This product is not only effective, it was cheap and safe.  I can’t wait to see how it does on graffiti!

Here’s a close-up of the label, so you can see what else it’s designed to work on:

Go get some while it’s still in stock at the Grafton St. Building 19.  I read online that SafeScience, Inc. became GlycoGenesys, Inc. at some point, and has had some financial troubles recently.  It’s unclear whether they’re still making products like this, so hurry up & get some while it’s available — and cheap!

Introducing…Wormtown Fleet!

Part of what makes Jeff Barnard the premier Worcester blogger is not just his wit, or his writing talent, or his prodigious output. 

For me personally, and for many other area bloggers, Jeff has been a mentor who works to encourage and promote other bloggers.  He created a one-stop shop listing Worcester area blogs, and he frequently links to other, lesser-known bloggers.  As any Worcester blogger knows, a link from Jeff means lots of hits, and  most of us have gotten plenty of readers through the Worcester blog list

Jeff has made himself available (to me, and to others) numerous times for advice, and the best piece of advice he gave me was to include more pictures in my blog.  He told me to keep a camera on me and just snap away when I saw something interesting.  It’s obvious that I never took that advice.  I never needed to; Jeff took enough pictures for the whole blogging community. 

Face it: with Jeff spending most of his time at home fighting his illness, you’re missing your daily fix of Bump Installation Crews, politician sightings, Newton Square updates, and only-in-Worcester photos

And we’re missing it too! 

Since it would take a fleet of cars to continue creating all the photo posts one taxi driver was able to do for so long, the bloggers of Worcester have decided to band together to form the Wormtown Fleet

This is not the cast of Wormtown Fleet


Every day, at least one Worcester area blogger will post a photo (accompanied by a witty or insightful comment) to his/her blog. You can get a complete list of the posts here

Wormtown Fleet may feature cameo appearances by Will W. W.


If you don’t have a blog and would like to contribute a post, please let me (or your favorite blogger) know and we’ll gladly post what you send us. 

We’re all wishing Jeff a speedy recovery!