Friday, January 31, 2014

Cold Five

"We're havin' a heat wave
A tropical heat wave..."

Marilyn Monroe sang it in "There's No Business Like Show Business", but she must have been singing it about the weather here in Maine this weekend. Last week it was solidly below 0° for most of the days. Brrrrrrr!  It's 23° F right now with Mercury headed up to towards 37° for tomorrow. I say to heck with that polar vortex! I love these weather guys. Where do they come up with this stuff? I've been around a bit, watch the weather most nights and have never, ever heard the term 'polar vortex' before last week. Classic stuff. I think they just make this crap up to impress us! And now, what's the deal on naming every storm. Names like Brutus, Caesar, Gandolf, Khan and Nemo have made the scene lately. That last batch of 2 1/2'' of brutal snow, that brought Atlanta to its knees, was named Leon. Nice. Have we gotten to the point that every bit of changing weather needs a catchy moniker? 
Hey, there's a fog bank coming in today. 
Call it Alice!
Thunderstorm headed our way soon?
Call it Xander!
Oh, a batch of heat lighting is coming this July?
Ah, say hi to Wanda!
Thanks Weather Channel!
I hear the Humidity Channel is coming soon.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hat Rack

Everyone has got to find a place to hang their hat. Apparently, amid piles of lobster traps, this guy did.

When off to Western New York to spend my college years, most spring breaks were spent back home with my family. I never really thought about heading to warmer climes. Sure, there were opportunities to join some guys and drive non-stop to Florida and enjoy the sun and other sites, but I always passed. I did endure one extremely lonely week, alone.  Somehow, I got the brilliant idea that spending spring break my Junior year alone in a large dormitory was going to be fun. What was I thinking? I had books. I read. I had food. I ate. I had a stereo. I listened to "Blonde on Blonde" and many other records. I caught a movie one night. Took a bus to the city. On a couple of nights, I visited our local watering hole, but with all my friends gone South or back home, I was kinda bored. I left early. I slept a lot too, but that got old fast. By Tuesday, I realized I had made a stupid mistake, but I was trapped and was going to pay the price. That week I learned about loneliness. 
I like my alone time, but that week was a bitch.
Loneliness is not fun.
Lesson learned!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Grizzly

Time to grab a burger, and wash it down with a beverage.
It used to be called The Grizzly Bear but some sort of trademark infringement caused a name change to The Great Lost Bear. It's always a fun place to visit. With over 100 brews available, I'm surprised that they have any room to stock and prepare food, but they do. They have lots of sandwich choices on their 4 page menu. Something for everyone, as they say. However, if you are a 'sensitive guy' like me, beware the 'heat'. It often lurks in many items. Been there with family many times, and even the '3 Apostles' (Peter, Paul and Mark) stopped by once to raise some drinks to mourn the passing of a good friend.
Visiting the city?
It's worth a stop.
Be careful though. They have a BEARcam. hahahaha

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Life is full of choices. Some are like the 3 doors on "Let's Make a Deal', not all that important in the big picture of things. Others are critical alternatives that might very well change the courses of our personal histories. Some of these options involve taking some chances. At this point I think I better defer to Mr Sinatra on this one..."regrets I've had a few." Sure, I have some regrets too and most of them, when I get right down to it, involve chances I should have taken. I'm not talking life and dead here. Just rolled the dice a little bit more here or there. They were decisions that I think I should have made. I kick myself on a few of them, on others I have no idea as to what my success or failure rate would have been. Some of these regrets have been shared with some members of my family and inner circle. 
Some, I've kept deep within myself.
And no, we're not going to harvest them here in the open.
That's a 'crop choice' that's mine alone.
I'd probably have better luck with Monty Hall anyway.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Magic Ride

There's a little bit of everything in this image from yesterday and a few pieces hidden away. You can see a couple of boats hiding out for the winter, and a Breakwater School bus painted out in true 'hippy' fashion. Viewing this bus  sent me on a mad rush back to Tom Wolfe's book, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid test. Through the pages, he attempted to document the wild escapades of the Merry Pranksters, as they traversed the country in their psychedelic-influenced painted bus. Author Ken Kesey was among the riders and wrote about that link between the Beat Generation of the 50's and the Hippies of the 60's. Kesey's two best pieces of writing, if you ask me, were One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962) and Sometimes a Great Notion(1964). Enjoyed them both.
Now, Elenka and I had our own 'magic bus' adventure in 1976, but that's a story for another time.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Tree and Shade

Read a pretty good quote from Downton Abbey the other day. Charles Carson, the head butler, is making me think with this quote.

"The business of life is the acquisition of memories. In the end, that's all there is." -Carson

This ordinary butler might give Confucius a run for his money. Well, maybe not every day, but remember this: we all get lucky once and awhile and hit it out of the park. 
What's that they say about the blind squirrel?
Heck, even I can find an acorn.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Compost Run

Are you planning on watching the Olympics in a few weeks?
What's your favorite Olympic event? Hockey? It's always fun to see the US and Canada go at it. Alpine Skiing? Admit it. You watch to see who'll be the next one to rip their ACL to shreds at those wicked high speeds. Is Figure Skating your cup of tea? Heck, in my mind, it's really gone downhill since 1994 and the drama of the Tonya vs Nancy fiasco. How about Curling? How can ya go wrong watching a sport that involves 'rocks', brooms and women in tight, colorful outfits. Do you wait excitedly for the Biathlon? Combine cross-country skiing and guns and you might have the 'perfect' sport for 2014. Elenka's favorite? That's so easy. The Opening and Closing Ceremonies, period. That's not a joke! Although, the Olympics is the only time you'll see her tuned into a sporting event for two weeks. Sometimes, she's not watching. It provides her with the 'white noise' to get on with the rest of her life. For me, Bobsledding is always an exciting event. Back on Stevens Ave, we even built a run down to Leo's backyard, that really got dangerous after a good winter rain. These days, I don't have to wait four years for Olympic drama. You see, I head up this hill to the compost pile once a week even in winter. It's tricky making your way up. The fun really is in your trip downhill.
As a matter of fact, it probably would make a good event.
"Now at the top of the compost run, it's Birdman."
"He's the Olympic favorite again this year!"
"He medaled in this event four years ago."
"Let's just watch this."
"This will be fun."
Winters in Maine are long.
I need to entertain myself.

*Think warm weather: the Red Sox World Series 2013 trophy is in Portland today. Sorry BC.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Gateway Garage

Here's a little bit of the old and new of the city side by side. Straight ahead we have the entrance to the Gateway Garage, with parking facilities readily available to the right and left. Covering quite a wide stretch of the wall to the right is a large mural of a scene from yesteryear of Casco Bay with schooners dotting all around. I'm not a big mural guy, so I hope your not waiting for me to get too excited about it. It's rather bland anyway, with grays being the predominant tones. Let's keep it upbeat. Now, if you're headed for an 'island excursion' this summer and the Casco Bay Lines Terminal facility, next to all the ferries, is full at 10 AM, the Gateway would a secure backup plan.
Well, at least I can dream of an island getaway this frozen morning.
Dreaming is good!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

My Perspective

I had Mr. Beckwith for Art in both the seventh and eighth grade. My memory fades in certain areas, but I can guarantee you one fact of life in his art classes. The first assignment, regardless of grade, we had each year was 'perspective'. "If you're gonna be an artist, you must tackle perspective", was something close to his mantra. He'd slide a piece of white drawing paper across our long tables and instruct us to draw a road, trailing off in the distance: telephone poles, trees, mailboxes and other crap. Large in the foreground, small in the distance. You know it was that activity showing height, width, depth and position front to rear. Bla, bla, bla... I always completed the assignment. Not well, but done. He was a teacher back then. Later, he actually became a friend. Elenka designed our wedding rings, and Gary made them for us out of our high school rings. Strange how some things in life turn.
As for my perspective, I guess I better find an artist to help me out.
Any ideas?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Snow Day

Need further proof that birds ain't dumb? Would you want to hang out in this birdhouse through the winter months in Maine? Didn't think so.

Back in elementary school, life was easy. I didn't have to worry about shoveling or plowing a driveway, keeping the woodpile stacked or dreading the days the oil delivery truck backed up the driveway. Things are different now. I never kept track of snowstorms the night before. Of course, the sounds of plows and the jingle-jangle of their chains, outside my bedroom window, was the first clue. I just waited for Mom to yell up the stairs, "No school!" When I heard those joyful words, I'd flick on my radio and listen over and over again to the 'no school announcements'. I never fell back asleep. I just listened every 15 minutes or so to the repeating sweet sound of the DJ's refrain. "No school, Portland.
Life was mighty fine.
If there were days where I really could say, "Not a care in the world", these were the times.
A whole day ahead.
What to do! What to do!
I don't have to worry about that these days. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

White Apple

Drive down any neighboring roads and off to the left and right this is what your faced with today. Scenes like this. It's that combination of bare branches and new fallen wet snow. My friend Jason has told me stories of an albino buck that he and others, up Washington county way, are constantly on the chase to bag. And every few months or so, there seems to be a story about a white lobster trapped, or some other strange looking white dolphin or frog tracked down in the natural world. Heck, I even saw guitar, blues legend Johnny Winter playing some mean riffs on his ax with his band in the 70s. 
Looking for whiteness these days? Here in Maine today, wet snow can be a feast for the eyes.
Pull yourself up to the table and enjoy.
Dinner is served!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Move Me

I'm not on the move!
Don't get nervous.
When I reach my target, I like to settle in with all my comforts around me. Case in point, we arrived in our present home in 1977 and haven't strayed. We've made many, many changes to suit our tastes and moods. It's a beautiful home that I like spending time in, whether with family or those lucky days alone. I don't need to be constantly on the move daily to find entertainment. I can find it all here. I find myself in a serene state with lots of elements around me. Some might venture upon this place somedays and call it a bit messy. I call it lived in. Yes, the kitchen table is still a refuge for any and all that hasn't got a home yet, but eventually even the junk all seeks its place in my world. When we do move, it'll be a chore, but for now it's home.
Sure, moving day will come, but for now it's still on the back burner.
For me, right now, keep these trucks firmly entrenched behind this barbed wire. 
I've got plenty of choices 'to do' today.
Something will 'move' me.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Three Cameras

Ode to my Nikon

Oh Nikon,
You are attached to me always,
help me watch my world,
record my world,
catch my world
see my world,
touch my world,
love my world,
remember my world.

Oh Nikon,
You, dressed in shiny black,
most days lurk in my backpack,
waiting to pounce,
awaiting a stack of sea rocks,
two colored, brick-laced doors,
a blue sheet of tinted ice,
a red birdhouse layered in frozen water,
a lonely tree stranded in snow.

Oh Nikon,
Today, quite expensive,
a long way from that silver number,
sent from Germany,
photographing friends,
sitting on the Nelson’s porch,
who would have thought that,
it would come to this,
a daily photo blog,
with my trusty friend.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


There was a time...
I have read that there was a time when most all of this city's streets were made of cobblestone. This is Moulton Street down in the Old Port. It stretches from Fore Street to Commercial Street, about 100 feet in length. Few streets here look like this today. You think potholes are rough on the alignment of cars. Think about miles upon miles of driving on streets like this one. There were a couple of times when me and the guys grabbed our poles and  ventured down on Commercial to do some fishing. I'll tell ya, it was even rougher on bike traffic. I remember that going slow and taking it easy got you nowhere. You had to be moving at a pretty good pace to get anything accomplished in terms of progress. As I remember, the fishing at the end of the wharf was great, but our teeth vibrated for days!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Food Art

I like this place. This Whole Foods.  Usually when we shop for food, it's not here, but I must say it's an interesting place to hang out for awhile. When getting the staples for the table for the week, we head to Shaws or Hannafords, often depending on what's on sale. Elenka is very frugal, whether she's shopping for food, clothing or items for the house. Every once in awhile, we're on the search for uncommon items though, like notable  platters of unique cheeses, breads and wines. If so, we'll often stop here. We're seldom disappointed. I've also noted the shoppers here are a pretty diverse lot. Some, like us, are looking for a few noteworthy items, while others are pushing a loaded cart with the entire week's bounty. I find this interesting. Then again I find lots of things interesting. Oh, and I almost forgot, they have fine java and a comforting area to grab a little lunch.
Pretty much, if you're on the hunt for a break from the hum drum for food, you'll find it here.
And I find it artistically comforting to the eyes.
Think that strange?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cookie Sprinkles

So, how did yesterday go for you?
This was my day.

Hump Day?
Stupid name, if you ask me. The day began a bit off. My bowtie would not cooperate. It kept falling apart at the last minute. Listen, I can do this. I know I can. Done it without help other times. I'm getting better at it. Blame it on the tie. Was not a happy camper! Off to work 10 minutes late (6:40 AM), causing me to fall behind those big, yellow modes of transportation. Got to my office. Lynda had the java made. My day's picking up. Hazelnut, morning coffee  washed down with these sprinkled cookies. 
Checked my mail. 
Did it go uphill or down from here? 
You decide.
Next, my printer jammed again. There are issues here.
Had a few visits from bosses. Congrats in order for that verb 'retire'.
Got a couple of hugs. I love hugs.
Checked my mail.
Wrote an ode to me and my Nikon. Ya, I do that sometimes. I needed that. Relatively smooth work day. No big issues needed my 'delicate touch'.
Checked my mail.
Read the morning paper, finally!
Obits? I'm still alive!
The afternoon was a bit hectic. I'm working on heading up production on a magazine. Lots of layout work but easily handled.
Wicked foggy driving home. The pea soup kind. 
Home free at 4PM, but still a long day.
Litterbox emptied. 
Woodbox loaded.
Woodstove lit.
Birdfeeders stocked
Checked my mail.
Elenka home.
Did I do anything wrong today? I'll know soon.
Fed cats.
Chicken pot pie for dinner. mmmmmmmm!
6-7 PM watched News. Ya, I still do it.
Made Cinnamon Raisin, Hazelnut, Oatmeal Cookies.
Remember the NYE resolution?
Electric blankets on.
Checked out the evening TV Guide to TCM. Nothing intrigued.
Enjoyed the last of the box of maple walnut ice cream.
Viewed ESPN.
Indiana's on, playing #3 Wisconsin. Go Hoosiers!
BIG upset... IU 75 Badgers 72.
Great game, very entertaining. 
Marchin texting me all night, the quarter by quarter results of battle of unbeatens in local B-ball.
'dogs down Scots 69-60. Sorry I missed it.
TV on. Remote in use. Caught 10 minutes of Dance Moms. Idiot TV.
Got the next day lunch together: leftover pot pie, iced tea and a clementine.
... and to think this all began with sprinkled cookies.

What do you think? Good day? Bad day?
How was yours?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Gateway Seats

These colorful seats await passengers this summer at Portland's Ocean Gateway. The plan is for a summer of cruise ships to dock here carrying passengers with loaded wallets for the city and nearby busable sites like LL Bean and North Conway, NH. Until then, perhaps your daughter would like a scenic place to hold her wedding reception, or your company is looking for a fantastic venue for an end of the year celebration. If so, you might want to check the Gateway out. 
You up for cruising the Maritimes this October?
Bring your fleece.
I'll take the Caribbean in July with temperatures nestled in the 90s somewhere, thank you.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Blue Ice

I've been to Fitzpatrick Stadium (the old Portland Stadium) for many football, soccer and lacrosse games in my lifetime. I've even been to a few rock concerts and a couple of drum and bugle corps competitions. I've watched the ending of the Maine Marathon and some high school track meets on this field too, but I've never gone to a hockey game here. You could today. The entire field, goalpost to goalpost is a solid mass of ice. Blame it on Saturday's mild temperatures and rain. Then the mercury dropped, and well, you GET the picture. The city could use some hockey too. From 1977- 2013 Portland had an American Hockey League affiliate, but due to major contract issues between the Portland Pirates hockey team and CCCC (Cumberland County Civic Center). They've had a parting of the ways. I call it a pissing war. The Pirates moved, this year, to Lewiston, Maine to play in a much smaller arena. Negotiations continue to get the Pirates back. Hopefully, they'll return next winter.
Stop screwing around! 
Drop that puck!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Two Doors

This was a colorful look I spied yesterday, amid all the whiteness. I've traveled Pleasant Street quite a bit, but I guess I've missed them. I'm just surprised these colors hadn't attracted my eye before yesterday. Portland's a city with a lot of brick along with some fabulous architecture. These were aspects of the city that growing up, I never noticed. I do now. Better late than never.
There is always time to grow.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

City Ice

Want to shut this state down? Bring everything to a halt? Send in the ice. I think it was around 1974 that we got hit with some very strange weather. We had a typical Maine winter snowstorm that without warning turned into to a soaking deluge of rain. I mean it rained, and rained and rained some more. Then before the plows could get out and do their thing, we got a flash freeze. The roads turned into solid ice about 6 inches thick in some places. It was crazy! Many of the streets in the city were impassable, with vehicles parked on both sides. There was only room for a single car to negotiate a passage at a time. Some streets were actually closed. Streets were deep-rutted, frozen masses of ice. The Portland schools were closed for 9 days it was so bad. Even for me, it's hard to image that a city could be brought to its knees so fast like this, but it happened. Out our way, I can't remember losing power. I don't think we did. The storm was one of those freaks of nature that comes from out of the blue. The damage was done before anyone had a chance to prepare. It caught everyone by surprise. Plow trucks were rendered useless. The city just had to wait for a thaw, and mother nature took her sweet time.
Ice can do that.
Yes, it can!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Dawn Sky

This is an image looking off over Casco Bay from the Eastern Promenade, just after 7 AM amid blowing snow. It certainly is one of my favorite spots in the city. When you had four kids, this became a night out for the family. Mom and Dad piled us in the station wagon, and we were off to either the Village or Sportsman's Grill for dinner. After the meal, we often headed to the Prom to watch the comings and goings of tankers, tugs and pleasure boats. Once settled Dad sat back and regaled us with stories, half truths and even a few lies thrown in for good measure. Knowing my Dad and his stories, I'm sure the 'lies' were added for important teaching points to us youngsters seated in the rear. If we were lucky, a big ship was docked at the Maine State Pier, or we caught a steam locomotive dragging cars from Montreal into the Grand Trunk station. 
All in all, a night on the town for the family of 6 was always quite an adventure.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Think Orange

So, they claim there is no word in English that rhymes with 'orange'. I'm not too sure that is really the case, but I don't really care at this point. I'm just excited about being able to photograph and talk about this colorful fruit. You see, 'white' everywhere I look is getting a bit boring. A couple, who every year attend our Christmas day festivities, always brings along a box of clementines, that we work our way through in January. Now, pretty much since they moved to Florida, Elenka's mom and dad have sent along a little taste of the South in the form of a box of big oranges and grapefruit. Both of these southern treats provide a little bit of extra sunshine to a Maine winter. 
So, I say, forget about rhyming word searchers today.
I'm putting a couple of these in my pocket, as I head out the door this morning.
I'm gonna let their juices run down my chin.
We can use all the extra sunshine we can foster today.
It's 4° right now. 
I'm grasping here.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


We've got a couple of outbuildings up back beyond the garden. For the most part, we store deck furniture and garden equipment in them. To keep the two straight in our minds, we named them after our cats. This is one we call 'sophie', after our Siamese and youngest. This is the newest addition. See, there's a method to the madness here. Off to the right, you'll find 'molly' after our brown and black tiger, who happens, I think, to have a touch of Maine coon in the mix. You're probably saying, Why? Well, in our 'garden world', it helps, in a small way, to keep things under control up here.
I just hope I won't have to dig my havahart trap out of this building, in the next month or so, to catch the crazy squirrels hanging on my bird feeders.
Them cwazzy varmints!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Port Storm

Ghost town.
This is an image of a Sunday storm from a couple of weeks ago. As you can see, when a good storm hits the Old Port area, it's a literal ghost town. I can testify to that. Heck, even all my favorite coffee shops were closed. 
I love old westerns. If Larry McMurtry had set his book Lonesome Dove in the East, this scene might have made a good setting. If I close my eyes, I can see a couple of tired riders pulling into an abandon town, looking for a drink and women. If they waited around for the storm to subside, they'd probably find both. However, they might have been hard-pressed to find a tumbleweed rolling down Fore Street here.
"Let's wait out the weather here Woodrow. This place looks promising and..."

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Three Tier

I just like it.
That's all.
I'll bet it needs some TLC inside as well as outside though. It does have an interesting look to it. Up here on the Hill, you see a lot of housing that you know was built roughly at the same time. This one however is pretty unique. It almost looks like the tower on the right was added as an aftereffect. The balcony on the third floor is cool too. I have a feeling that before the urban renewal fever of the late 60's early 70's, there were probably a lot more of these buildings and their ilk sprinkled throughout the city.
I like buildings with character.
This one has some.
Repunzel, Repunzel...

Monday, January 6, 2014

Pea Soup

I like soup!
I like chowder!
I grew up with the stuff.
On Christmas Eve before we headed out to services, Elenka prepared her delicious fish chowder. It was just the thing for our very cold, evening jaunt. After our spiral-cut ham for Christmas dinner, the bone provided the main ingredient for a delicious pea soup later in the weekend. This past Saturday, when the temps broke at -17° F at 7 AM, I notified Elenka that we were going out for breakfast and then off to get components for a hearty, corn chowder.
It was a perfect plan. Hot corn chowder and the Wild Card Playoff games. 
As a matter of fact, I know when I saw this pea green building in the storm last week, it must have triggered my subconscious and got me thinking: pea soup, pea soup, pea soup...
If you are preparing a soup or a chowder, I'll be in your corner.
Any good recipes?

Sunday, January 5, 2014


I don't know about you, but I'm getting a little tired of all this 'white' so let me splash this one on my post today.

Ok, I'm still struggling with this whole concept of covering your vehicle with these colored stickers. I see them on rear windows, bumpers and really anyplace that's available. Now, to be perfectly honest, I must add a bit of a disclaimer at this point. Yes, In my life I have traveled in my SUV with 2 bumper stickers gracing the back. One was an IU sticker, and the other was an Ireland number. No, it didn't say "Kiss Me I'm Irish". That one simply stated IRE. That's it and they are both gone now. Wear and tear took their toll. What's the deal with the multitudes that feel traveling over hill and dale they need to tell who they are supporting for President, that "This Car Climbed Mt. Washington", that "I Support Hemp", or even the "My Kid Is On Honor Roll" at such in such a middle school. And what the latest kick all about? Seen the stickers of the caricatures of the family: Dad, Mom, kids, dog, cat etc.? Don't get me completely wrong on this topic, I do enjoy reading some of the hilarious ones, but sticking them on the back of your car?
"Don't Drink and Park. Accidents Cause People."
 What's that all about?
My guess is the the driver must have a bit of 'weener envy' or something.
Do they think this 'sledgehammer effect' works?
Why else would anyone want to express their point this way.
Does your vehicle sport a sticker?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Looking Back

It's -17° right now. 
No, that's not a misprint. It really is -17°!

This is not fun any more! A heat wave is headed this way today. The weatherguy says expect the temps to top out at 22°. And this is suppose to make me feel better? Our family room is warm, so I'll spend the afternoon and evening entertaining myself with football. We got about 12 inches with that last snow that came in Thursday and Friday. The snow was of the light variety, and I was out Thursday afternoon and again yesterday morning snowblowing with my trusty Toro. The windchill and blowing snow were the killers. I wore a skier's face mask that really helped out. I think I would have been in trouble without it. Right now, we're off to find a nice, warm restaurant for breakfast.
Wish us luck.
No more looking back.
I'm looking forward towards spring.

update: 4 PM  and it's down to 17°. Another COLD one headed our way.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Digging Out

Like a lot of northern cities, we have parking bans during major snow storms in Portland. Most of the bans involve getting vehicles off the packed peninsula streets, so city plows can strut their stuff. The ban usually goes into effect at 10 PM and runs until 7 AM. There are streets and school parking lots available to get your cars into for the night. However, if you are a lazy sort, accidentally forget to move your car, don't hear about the ban or just think it's too cold and you'll just roll the dice, you're are probably headed for a big headache. There is a fine involved, but certainly the real 'pain' is the search for your car, the towing fee and then the added torture of a storage fee on the lot. So the bottom-line for your laziness can be up to around $450 bucks removed from your wallet. I do have a towing experience once. Don't ask. All I'll say is that the storage lot did not take plastic, and I had to scrape up the cash. Hopefully, that policy has changed.
So, you think a 2 foot snowstorm is a real pain?
Try throwing $400-500 on top of that.
Luckily, I've never had to be concerned about moving my car in snow.
Another perk of country living.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


It's snowy!
It's cold!
I grew up in big old, cold houses decorated throughout with large cast iron radiators. At 820 Stevens Avenue the banging, when the heat came on, kept me company all night long. Early, winter mornings always seemed to pack a punch. My room was frigid! Some days my breath could be clearly seen. Cripes! The night before, I'd even stack my school clothes on the chair next to the bed and actually got dressed in bed. Crazy!  Wrinkled-free clothes had not made the scene yet, and we had no clothes dryer, other than the sun, to help eliminate the creases. But I was a guy, and it was junior high so what I looked like was no big deal. Wrinkled clothes or not, when I hit the toasty-warm kitchen all shivering was forgotten for the day. Dad lit the wood stove at 5 AM and by 7 it was nirvana in there with the hallway doors closed. Eating my steaming bowl of oatmeal, with loads of sugar, and talking foolish to anyone who would listen was my fuel for the morning. One snow day, it was so freezing in my bedroom that, I etched a curse to the sky and myself, with the fingernail of my index finger.
"It's way too COLD!"
With that off my conscience, I jumped back, under the heavy quilt, and headed back to dreamland. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Year Breaks

You won't be seeing 'Photo of the Year' from me today. There, I'm glad I have that out of the way.

Here are a few things I plan to do in 2014.
*"Know thyself." The Greeks had it right.
*Wear a kilt.
*Work hard.
*Photograph my world.
*Enjoy family hard.
*See friends more.
*Cook a bit.
*Read more.
*Write more.
*Take a trip.
*Make a new friend.
*Be a better person.
*Touch the future.
*Celebrate life.