Monday, October 31, 2011


Happy All-Hallows-Even (“evening”)!

Halloween was an exciting time growing up. It was always, simply amazing to me that dressed in my devil costume, I could walk up to any house, to peoples’ houses I had never met, never seen, say “trick or treat” and get loads of candy piled into my bag. Often, we had to stop home and get a second bag we ‘hit’ so many places. Yes, that lil’ red devil did pretty well for himself each October 31, much to Dr. Richards’ (my dentist) delight.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Trick or Treat?

Say what you will, but it's only October 30th on my calendar. By the time I was up and on the road this morning, a lot of melting had already occurred. Two snow falls before Halloween? It's hard for me to remember. But alas, it has come and will be just a fleeting memory with the mid-week temperatures expected. Might this be a harbinger of our coming winter? Hard to say. I don't hold much faith in the Old Farmers' Almanac, because it's always predicting a tough winter for these parts. Two years ago, when I was home for my surgery, it was pretty mild. Last winter, it was a bit more upbeat. Today, there are lots of church services canceled. For the 3-4 inches of snow in my driveway? Here's what I say. Stop the predicting and all the worrying-mongering and just let the days play out as they will. That's what I'm doing. Simple as that!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

No Turn

No Turn and no entrance either at this Market Street doorway. I've always wondered about this once ornate stone entrance to nowhere. Its been bricked over a couple of times. On this street, to the right and left, and up there is a mix-match of patterns and designs. Some reconstruction has been administered and not for the better. Although now, its been rendered an architect's nightmare gone bad, I'm sure in its time it was well meaning and probably was an eye-catcher, as they say. This column design is found further up this block and carries on along the second story. There was a meaning to the madness; I'm sure.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Just a Memory

It snowed last night! Yes, I said snow. It was a dusting, but still it was snow. It's been awhile since we've had the 'white stuff' this early. I heard yesterday that upstate there's a town that always gets it for Halloween, but I just can't remember it around here... ever. I'm sure it has and will again, but for heaven's sake, it's October... not December. And that's not the worse news that I wake up to this morning. The weather forecast for tomorrow night--- ya, you guessed it, more snow. There's 3-5 inches coming to the coast.
As Peter Pan said to Wendy about flying, "Just think happy thoughts." Maybe I'll fly away!
I'll leave it at that.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Detroit Leaning

It's all about blue today. It's a good safe hue for me. It's the sky. It's the sea. It's just me. As in azure, baby blue, beryl, cerulean, cobalt, corporate blue, cyan, indigo, midnight blue, navy, Prussian blue, robin's egg blue, royal, sapphire, sky blue, slate, steel blue and more. I find it strong. I find it calming. I find it secure. I hear it's a good color for bedrooms. It's soothing. It's even been known to keep evil spirits away. They say colors have meaning for us. I don't know about that. For me, it comes down to this. Blue is a simple color in all its shades. It's me.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Round and Round

Stop this merry-go-round! I want to get off! Ever have that feeling? I get it every now and then. As a kid, I'd say Faster! Faster! Faster! I'd see just how fast I could get my bike moving down 'college hill', skidding and bring up sand and lots of dust at the bottom, or how fast I could get those steel runners of my sled streaking down the backyard hill and across Gulliver's icy surface. Life seemed to be a blur, and I liked it like that. Go! Go! Go! Never look back! Well, in retrospect that's how I remember it. It probably just creeped by, but as a early teen that's how it seemed to go down. These days, I like a gentle pace in my days, fully under control, but that not how it seems some days. Some busy mornings, it's more like that childhood's playground toy, a bit out of control, attempting to whip me off. It's a bit unsettling, till it's over. Anyone else have mornings like this, or is it just me? It often is.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Afternoon Hydrant

A fading sun brings the afternoon to a close. This time of year, regardless of your state, a warm spot under a blue sky is always welcoming. Now, in this photo, the good thing is, if it gets too 'warm' here, the fire hydrant will come to your rescue. This reminds me of those days where we always seem to be putting small blazes out. No matter how we spend our day, there always seem to be those days that come along every once in a while, where there are always obstacles to our peace of mind. Hope your today is fire free.

Monday, October 24, 2011


As a kid, I grew up watching them on TV. There was always something for me about those gold Notre Dame helmets. So, when Marchin said he had a connection for tickets, I said I was on board. We landed in the Hoosier State about 11 AM Friday, and I stepped on the 'green' of the campus around 3 PM. In retrospect, I don't think we could have fit anything else into those 3 days. They were jammed packed. And, oh yeah, we saw a football game too. The results (USC 31 ND 17) was the only 'downer' of the entire weekend. One of the unexpected highlights of the game came at the end. Hearing the the USC band play and the famous Song Girls dance to Tusk, that classic by Fleetwood Mac, made the cool end of the evening, warm. Red Pat, you guessed it right the first day. How did you do that? Three days spent in the shadow of the 'golden dome' (seen here) was a football, as well as a life highlight. Now, it's back to the real world.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Trawler Riggin'

Hard work always seem to find good results. One team wins and another takes it on the chin. It wasn't the struggle of good vs. evil, but it did match one storied collegiate university against another. For the first time in 21 years the game was under the lights and in the sight line of Touchdown Jesus. There, that's a give-a-way big clue! Where am I?
Final score--
USC 31 Notre Dame 17

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day Dawns

The day dawns. It's going to be a beautiful day, with highs in the 50's, partly sunny. It's going to be a long day too. Lots to do! Lots to see! My cameras will be busy. How are you doing on my quiz? Need a little more help? Today's clue-- one word-- Football!
What's your guess now? Where am I?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tainted Door

Off on a weekend jaunt with Marchin. I'm excited! Although I've been in this state many times, I've never stepped on this green. It'll be an 'on the go' next few days, and I'll be away from my laptop too. Can I survive? Stay tuned. So, here's a quiz-- Where will I be hanging out?
Hint: Breathing in the Midwest at a shrine of sorts. Where am I?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Center Stairs

Here are our City Hall steps. Round and round they go and where they stop? Well, it's politics. What do you expect? Big city, small town. No matter the size, it can be dizzying at times. What's on the election docket in the city this November? The item getting the most of the buzz? For the first time ever, Portland will have an elected mayor.
Mistah Mayor!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Holy Card

This is the backside of Chisholm Tomb at Evergreen Cemetery. I've driven by it many times and have even worked on it, but have never taken a good, long look from this angle. This is a stained glass window that depicts the Ascension of Christ. Each year at St. Joseph's Grammar School, we got a brand new catechism to use throughout the year, and along with it we got a holy card to use as a bookmark. The small cards are lithographed pictures illustrating biblical tales and parables. At funerals, they are available to family and friends with the name of the deceased and a small prayer. In school, the nuns told us they were blessed, and that we better take care of them. Have I told you certain nuns could be VERY intimidating to small boys?
Sistah, Sistah, Sistah!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Adirondack Rain

If you're looking for stupid, self-serving photos here of tea baggers and that other 99%, boy(or girl) you better move along briskly. Enough already! I say. Stop. Relax. Enjoy. Drink in the natural world all around you. It's so much more interesting!
Our two adirondack chairs are such soothing, reassuring places to hang out in on these fall afternoons. The warmth of the sun feels so good on your face. Even in the rain, there is comfort for me here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Twin Stacks

When I saw this sight out my driver's side mirror, I did a double take. Those twin smokin' stacks echoed only one thing... Duel. The 1971 made for tv movie, Duel, that is. It's the seemingly, eternal highway struggle between a 18 wheeler, tanker truck and a Plymouth Valiant on a lonely highway. Dennis Weaver is the bedraggled salesman, endlessly pursued on the deserted road. It's one of those flicks that, when I pass it on the dial, I can't stay away. Now, when I travel and hit the rest stops, I like to spend a few minutes checking out a few of the big rigs, idling in the distance. If I was single, I do believe this 'on the road' life would appeal to me. However, this borderline scary, rusted-out rig tale is not a big seller of that type of life style. Check it out, on TBS sometime this winter.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Walled Postcard

Postcard Portland. Got a kick out of this yesterday. The wall on the backside of the Asylum nightclub, that is constantly 'occupied' with graffiti, has been resprayed with the iconic Postcard Portland. In this tight spot, it was hard to get a better shot, but believe me it's BRIGHT! I love how Portland Headlight is depicted as a spray can. Hilarious! And it quite a redirection from its last few features; eerie Stephen King novels, and before that George Bush and Armageddon. I hear it took the eight street artists a week or so to complete the wall. How long it will last is anyone's guess, but for now it looks just fine.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

It's Family

Elenka is all about family. She was born in Newark and raised in Parsippany, NJ. She has many cousins and their families still residing in the state. Although her Mom and Dad have moved on to the Sunshine State, her ties are still strong there. It was kind of strange though when she passed the milestone of having lived more years in the Pine Tree state then in her home state. How did she come to find her way to me? She worked the summer, after her college graduation, at a summer camp in New Hampshire and on their days off some of her counselor friends traveled to Naples and the Long Lake area in Maine just to get away. She must have liked it, because she applied and was hired over the phone to teach art in Maine. And the rest, as they say is history. This story will continue at another time, but for now I'm just so amazed and happy that she made the decision to 'head' North. As my Dad said, (Birdman), she's the best thing that ever happened to you!" I can't disagree there.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Elenka... yes, you are the BEST!

Friday, October 14, 2011


"Let me out!"
This critter wants out of the Children's Museum and Theater of Maine here on Free Street. Before it moved, we visited it in its former site on the old Westbrook College campus many times. It was a small, cramped existence to say the least. They've been here around 15 years now, and this new CM&T building covers all the weak areas of the other building. It's colorful, roomy, bright and the changing exhibits draw the kiddies and moms and dads in. I think this might be a wolf, not sure though. However, I know that I have had her feeling many times in my life... "I want out!"... but... not on a Friday! Yipeee! It's the weekend.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Here at Stroudwater Village, a millstone greets another fabulous dawn. Mostly used for landscaping purposes these days, there is a biblical reference. 'Having a millstone around one's neck' was not a good thing and quite a burden. Here's one I did not know 'showing your mettle' refers small flecks of metal which were known to chip off the mill bit when shaping the stones. They often flew up and entered the arms of the workers. A millwright's arms with many scars showed lots of experience... thus 'showing your mettle'. See, I knew there was more to this story then just a round piece of stone that years ago ground wheat and such. One of the originators of the term 'flour power', I guess. Yuk! Another bad pun.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Rusted Top

Another guessing game. What do you think this might be? Well, if you wagered that it was the rusted edge of a cupola, you would be correct. Pick up your winnings at the window. I found it in the parking lot at an antique shop near Bayside. Portland, with its long seafaring tradition, has lots of them sprinkled across the Hill, riding high and searching out towards the Atlantic. I envy some of the finer places here, with there window-lined cupolas funneling in the morning sunlight. Oh, to climb up the stairs with a good book and spend a few hours on comfortable cushions, soaking in the 360 degree look and in the company of fine pages.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Industrial Design

This photograph is just plain riveting to me. Sorry, I couldn't resist that pun. What they call this, I do not know. However, this I know. It's found on top of lumber mills. When I climbed up on Nana's sink and looked straight off in the distance, I saw a large one atop the Saunders Brothers mill in Westbrook. Then in our neighborhood, there was Lewis Lumber Company, and it had two sticking out of the rambling roofs. Back then, it was a day without gates keeping kids out, so at night we often explored the buildings, inside and out, and discovered lots of interesting stuff. It was great fun til that Sunday night when a frightening fire took it down. I found this piece of industrial design at an abandoned warehouse in the city. A remnant of another time.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Just Win...

Just Win Baby!
Growing up I was a big football fan. High school, collegiate, pros, I watched them all. For a long time, the only game in town on Sundays was the NY Giants. I hated (ya, I know a strong word) them with a passion! I was so excited went a fledgling league AFL (American Football League) started up and based a team in Boston. The Boston Patriots became my team. Along with the Patriots, the original 8 teams were the Buffalo Bills, Dallas Texans, Houston Oilers, Denver Broncos, New York Titans, Los Angeles Chargers and the Oakland Raiders. I remember one game especially. Some friends of my Dad were leaving on a cruise from Boston. He agreed to drive them down on a Friday night, and I tagged along. Down and back we listened to the Oilers vs. the Patriots game played at the old Nickerson Field. Why for the life of me, do I remember THIS game? I have no idea. Now, why do I have football on my mind today? Al Davis, who died Saturday, was a commissioner, owner (Raiders), coach, general manager and probably the main reason the AFL made it back in 1960. If there's ever a Mt. Rushmore for the NFL, he should be on it for sure. His slogan for his 'Raidahs'... Just Win Baby!

Sunday, October 9, 2011


My love of seafood began with frozen fish sticks and fresh haddock on Friday nights and progressed to fried clams and delicious mussels. I've never met a fried clam that I didn't fall in love with. When Mom and Dad dragged us kids out to dinner, it was either to the Sportsman's Grill or the Village Cafe. Once inside and settled down, there was only one item on my lips... the clams. On our first date, I took Elenka to the Village and stood in line on the back steps of the old place. She had no idea where I had taken her of what was ahead. I probably went to the Village, before it closed, around 75 times (no kidding) and NEVER ordered any entree other them the fried clam dinner. Am I a creature of habit or what? Last evening, with the temperatures still hovering in the mid-70s, we headed for Pine Point and Ken's. Guess what I had? ... and I washed them down with an ice cold Pumpkinhead. Yes, you could say I have a weakness!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Going Here and There

Don't think underground travel here. Unlike large cities where the 'metro' means a subway system, the METRO in Portland is the bus line, that'll get you to among other places in the city proper the Maine Mall, Riverton, Westbrook and to South Portland. Those that follow this blog know that in my formative years I had quite a history riding buses. Occasionally, I still have bad dreams about forgetting my transfer tiocket or missing the bus up to the Hill and the Lee Recreation Center for my 6th grade basketball game. These days, my bus experience is pretty much limited to riding the 'dog' (Greyhound Bus Line) to Boston to catch a plane at Logan Airport or riding one of those comfort coaches south, while chaperoning a summer trip of teens. However, I must admit, to this day one of my favorite sounds in all of the world(yes, really, no foolin') is the shrill, tinkling tones of dimes and quarters making their way down the money slots of buses in my youth. Next stop, Munjoy Hill!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Summer's BACK

Fall is taking the weekend off! Summer returns to southern Maine for the next three days. Temperatures are heading back into the mid- 70's (here's hoping they hit 80). If everything falls into place and the planets align, the painting of the garage and new shed will be complete, and this afternoon after a trip to the vets with the cats, I'll get a chance to sit down sip a couple of Pumpkinheads and watch the two baseball playoff games. Here's hoping for a couple of upsets. I'm putting a few coins down on the Cards and the Diamondbacks. Ah... but sad to say, I will not be drifting across the warm sands of any local beach nearby with this lucky gent. Happy Columbus Day!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Make Your Mark

Making your mark on the world is always a tough act. I guess we all can't be a Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, who died yesterday, but maybe we can dream. Some seek the limelight; others find it falling inadvertently on them. Me? I relish my role as a bit player, who might strut across the stage of life and steal a scene or two. For me, that's what it's really all about.

"You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something--your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."
SJ 2005

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Irish Roots

Slainte is a wine bar and lounge on Preble Street in the city. When it first opened, my brother Marchin had to help me with its pronunciation. Slainte, (generally pronounced slan jah), is an Irish word literally translating as 'health' or slainte mhaith, 'good health'. Words and their etymologies always intrigue me. This is just another example of this fact. I've never been inside this establishment, but I would be willing to take a chance. It's got a classic look that I like in pubs and lounges. What do you think? Do you like to roll the dice once in awhile? Might you pull up a stool here? How about a tall, cold Smithwicks?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Autumn Spirits

What do they say about the best-laid plans? Saturday I had some plans to beat the showers and paint in the morning then head to Portland later, but I woke to a steady rain. It kind of threw me off. You see, Elenka had about 15 or so of her women friends coming over for an autumn celebration, and I was quite sure I didn't want to confine myself to my upstairs office for 4 hours. So I grabbed my camera, laptop, assorted stuff and headed out. I ended up at the Library and occupied myself with my laptop for a couple of hours. Usually, the front, glassed-room is a quiet spot with just the occasional outburst or rant of someone a bit confused, but that afternoon I had to listen to the constant, yelling and horn honking of the Wall Street protestors across the street at Monument Square. Needless to say, it wasn't the quiet room of books I had imagined I could escape to in the rain. In retrospect, my office confinement would have been a fine choice.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Redemption Open

Maine recycles its bottles and cans. I think it's a good thing. This is a redemption center that I sometimes take my empties to on Brighton Avenue. I can't remember the last time I threw a 'nickel' away. I just think it's a good thing to do for the planet. All my paper and assorted garbage is thrown away in proper receptacles, even if I have to go out of my way. At the end of the day, I often have paper in my pocket that I have forgotten to throw away. This is not something I learned from my parents; it's something I've done because it's the right thing to do. Some towns, cities and countries do a better job at it, and we need to follow their lead. We each need to do our part in taking care of this big, blue marble.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


We used to love to go to the Portland Public Market on Cumberland Avenue. It was always a nice spot to grab a cup of coffee, the paper and watch the world go by. There were proprietors of bakery goods, wines, cheeses, fresh fish, soups, and much more all at your beck and call. We had our favorite stop to purchase a soup and sandwich, on fresh, thick homemade bread. I wouldn't say it was always packed, but the aisles usually had there far share of customers. Not enough though. It closed about five years ago and got turned into office space. A peek through the windows yesterday, revealed that it's still not fully occupied. In the midst of these economic times, I guess I'm not surprised. But at least the sign still looks good, even in the rain. I must say; however, not everyone shared my interest in the building yesterday. Some chose to catch up on their zzzzzzzzzz.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Theme Day: Mystery Object

Think you have a chance? Go ahead and take a guess. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.
Today, October 1, 2011, is Theme Day across the CDPB (citydailyphotoblog) community.
If you guessed, the bottom of a dirty birdbath... you are correct, Sir!