Friday, January 31, 2014
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
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.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
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
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
Now, Elenka and I had our own 'magic bus' adventure in 1976, but that's a story for another time.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
"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
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
Well, at least I can dream of an island getaway this frozen morning.
Dreaming is good!
Thursday, January 23, 2014
As for my perspective, I guess I better find an artist to help me out.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
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
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
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
Ode to my 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.
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.
Today, quite expensive,
a long way from that silver number,
sent from Germany,
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
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
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
This was my 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?
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.
Checked my mail.
Did I do anything wrong today? I'll know soon.
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.
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
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
Stop screwing around!
Drop that puck!
Monday, January 13, 2014
There is always time to grow.
Sunday, January 12, 2014
Ice can do that.
Yes, it can!
Saturday, January 11, 2014
All in all, a night on the town for the family of 6 was always quite an adventure.
Friday, January 10, 2014
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
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
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
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.
Monday, January 6, 2014
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
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
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
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
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
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.
*Photograph my world.
*Enjoy family hard.
*See friends more.
*Cook a bit.
*Take a trip.
*Make a new friend.
*Be a better person.
*Touch the future.