Archive for April 2014

04-29-2014 Journal Entry – Life in the Vault!   1 comment

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I mention my better-half in this blog often.  With Mother’s Day approaching I thought a salute to her would be appropriate.  She’s raised her three children, seen them graduate from college, and watched as they moved on with their lives.  She is and should be proud of such a major accomplishment.  Now since her nest has emptied it was time for the next stage of her life with me to begin.  It was time for both of us to readjust to a new and different style of living.

As I’ve gotten older I find myself looking back and reminiscing at odd times.  I have many wonderful memories that I reflect on occasionally and that was always part of my master plan.  Growing up I decided early on to build an archive of memories that I could enjoy after I was too old to create new ones.  I always pictured myself sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch of my home looking back at all the fun I’d had in my life.  I looked forward to the day I could mentally relove any number of women and remember them as being even better than they actually were.

My normal approach to living was if something looked interesting I just jumped right in and tried to experience it.  Why not? I was slowly filling up my mental filing cabinet for use after my retirement. It made for a pretty cool life all in all but there were many bumps in the road as well. That was to be expected and those not-so-great memories also made their way into my mental “vault”, to lamely quote from a few Seinfeld episodes.

As a young and middle aged man I saw life in my sixties as something totally different from what it actually turned into.  When I was thirty I felt twenty, in my forties I felt twenty-five, and in my fifties I felt thirty-five.  It was in my mid-fifties when I first met my better-half.  I’d heard the term “better-half” used for years by others but I just thought it was something people said to convince themselves they’d found that elusive soulmate we all search so diligently for. Little did I know that I would all of a sudden become a real believer.  One can never know when that thunderbolt will hit but OMG when it does, it really hits hard. Things haven’t been the same since we met and I’m all the luckier for it. I felt like I was sixteen again both mentally and physically which was more than just a little scary at first.  But I adjusted.

I was forced into retirement much earlier than I ever thought possible thanks to the downsizing of the state government here in Maine.  I was afraid my master plan had been seriously compromised. Now I’m sitting on that famous porch of mine with my better-half, my cat, her grandson, his parents, and all of the new memories we’ve been creating over the last decade. The vault is full to overflowing, I’m happier than I’ve ever been, and I see many more terrific years ahead of us.

Of course, I’m writing this to brag a little but also to let all of you know that life can be good regardless of your age.  My fantasy now is to sit on that infamous porch when I’m In my nineties and hopefully remember the things I’m experiencing today, tomorrow, next week, and next year.  I imagine I’ll be feeling like a man in my sixties then which should be a weird and amazing turn of events. It’s incredible how our minds work  to help us to adjust to these constant life changes.

It will happen to you too . . . . . . .  Wait for it!

AND A HUGE HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO MY BETTER-HALF.

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04-27-2014 People, Duct Tape and Lake Sharks!!!   2 comments

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People are strange. The things they do are strange, puzzling, amazing, and sometimes truly stupid. Today is just a day of musings and questions.  There doesn’t seem to be logical answers for some of the things I see and hear every day.

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I was shopping recently and discovered something odd and surprising.  I found a rack of "duct tape" for sale in many and varied colors and patterns.  There was some with  tiger stripes and another covered with green shamrocks. Cool right? What’s the effing point?

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My first reaction was why fancy duct tape?, and is it really "duct tape" or it is just "duck tape". I was always sure it was "duct tape" until I saw a recent TV commercial selling "Duck Tape".  It looked the same as the good old standby stuff  but it had a flashy and cool cartoon duck as it’s logo.  So what do  I ask for at Home Deport?  Where do I find the Duck Tape? I’m then forced to deal with that stupid blank stare you get when one of their employees has no clue. Most people love duct tape and use it for damn near everything.  But why? That leads me into my next unanswered question.

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Have you ever skydived?  Everyone knows that it’s one of those things that’s just so damn exciting and dangerous that everyone says they’d like to try it.  I thought that at one time years ago and set out to try it myself.  I spent a portion part of a day being trained on how to jump out of a plane.  Stand in the door, look down, pee your pants , and jump . . . asshole.  It wasn’t a college course but it was required by our local politicians and insurance companies before you do something stupid. That way everyone is protected if and when you hit the ground at full speed. I went up, jumped, came back down and rode an adrenaline high for hours.  Just guess what the two things my memory has retained about that entire experience. The first thing was something I noticed as I climbed into one of the worst looking aircraft on earth. The entire interior surface of the plane was covered in duct tape (not duck tape).  It looked like the pilot preferred using duct tape instead of doing regular maintenance.  I thought at the time this was done specifically to help motivate idiots like me to jump out of that freaking death trap.  It was apparently done so you didn’t snag anything like your chute as you moved to the open door to jump. Silly me.

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The second thing that stuck with me was the young blond Scandinavian women with the tight purple skydiving outfit who was hanging around the airfield that day.  After my extensive two hours of training she approached me with a business proposition.  She offered to skydive with me wearing a camera helmet and to tape my entire jump from start to finish for only $150.00.  She was extremely hot and I wanted to appear courageous so I signed up and gave her the cash.  She slithered into the plane with us and sat across from me all smiles and moist hotness.  During the flight to 14,0000 feet I fantasized about first doing the jump, surviving, and then possibly jumping her later. I knew I’d need help  to drain away all of  that excess adrenaline and she could certainly take care of that. That fantasy ended rather quickly when she cut the loudest and most disgusting fart I’ve ever heard, looked at me and smiled.  Even the pilot of the little two seater turned around to see what all the noise was about.  It took a few hours to get that stench out of my nostrils and it was just the additional motivation I needed to get the hell out that plane.  She took a pretty good video of me on the way down and strutted away from the landing never to be seen again. Those are my two main memories of that day, duct tape (not duck tape) and blond bombshell farts. What a life.

My last inquiry into people calls into question their ability to recognize and identify when someone is feeding them a line of BS.  As I’ve mentioned in the past, in another lifetime I was a state police officer in Pennsylvania.  One of the downsides to being a rookie cop is being stuck with all of the crap traffic details the more senior officers don’t want to do.  There’s a state park called Moraine Lake near Butler, Pennsylvania that is a huge tourist draw during the summer months.  Unfortunately the only entrance and exit to the public beaches is from a nearby interstate highway.  It became so congested at times on Saturdays that the backed up traffic would become a public hazard.  This required a few of us rookies to spend our day standing in the hot sun telling citizens to keep moving because the beaches were full and there was no place to park. This required them to drive five additional miles to the next exit just so they could turn around and drive back for another try.  There weren’t  many happy folks after that and on a normal Saturday the station would receive hundreds of complaint calls from pissed off beach goers.

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On one specific Saturday I was sent out to the park in mid afternoon after traffic had already been rerouted for hours. There was a veteran cop there which was unusual and he seemed to be in charge. I found out later he was there on a punishment detail for some infraction he’d committed a few days before.  For the first time in history there were almost no complaint calls being received at the station.  I found out why just after my arrival  at the park. That veteran officer was telling each and every car that came by that "there were sharks found in the lake and the beaches were closed, keep moving please."  Not one person questioned him or called the station  to verify his story. The funniest thing was the rumor about lake sharks being mentioned in a local newspaper the next day. I was amazed then and still am. 

That’s it….I just had to ask these question and I honestly never expected a reasonable answer to any of them.

4-25-2014. Journal Entry – No Wine Before It’s Time!   Leave a comment

I’ve been boring the hell out of everyone lately with the trials and tribulations with my garden and my DIY projects.  I apologize for that but only just a little.  My main goal for April was to get all of my old projects put to bed before I start creating new ones or “God Forbid” before my better-half does.

We both let a number of things slide last Fall when I broke my leg.  I decided today to do one chore I’ve come to hate and one I’ve always loved to do.  The first task was to empty my huge dehydrator that has contained five pounds of habanero peppers, one pound of cayenne peppers, and a tray or two of red chilies, for more than a month.  I kept procrastinating because after drying them thoroughly they must be ground into a fine powder.  I’ve done it many times before but it’s a nasty job.

The last time I attempted it I paid a horrible price.  As I began grinding up the peppers the dust from the grinder filled my man-cave very quickly.  I was forced to flee when I couldn’t stop sneezing.  Along with the sneezing my face was on fire.  I was smart enough to wear latex gloves but I quickly found out they weren’t thick enough to keep the pepper dust from burning my hands and anything I might accidently touch later in the day.  I won’t get into any intimate details but I had a selection of body parts that felt like they would at any moment burst into flames.  It took the better part of a day for everything to return to normal but I learned a few valuable but painful lessons.

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This time I was wearing yellow dish-washing rubber gloves, ten times thicker than latex, a face mask with an air filter, and a long sleeved shirt.  I was sitting on an upturned bucket on the back porch with an extension cord to run the food grinder.  I thought I had it all covered but once again I was sooooooo wrong.  Within minutes the mask turned into a death trap.  The filter was keeping everything from entering my nostrils including air.  I cracked the mask just enough to get a breath and instead got a nose full of the dreaded pepper dust.  It was all down hill from there and another day of pepper pain awaited me.  I finally finished the job and now I have these three jars of hot pepper dust that I need to use sparingly so I don’t have to do this again any time soon.  I might be forced to rent a SCUBA outfit the next time.

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The second job is a fav.  I need to explain that I’ve been a winemaker since the mid-1980’s. It’s a skill I picked up from my late grandfather whose elderberry wine was to kill for. Late last summer my better-half and I decided to make a batch of blueberry wine made with good old Maine home grown berries.  The wine was almost forgotten with all of our Fall activities, my broken leg,  and the holidays.  It’s been sitting for the last ten months in my man-cave and today I shook off my laziness and bottled it.

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And here’s the finished product.

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Of course a good winemaker always tastes his final product and I tasted the hell out of it.  I was as surprised as anyone when it turned out to be possibly the best wine we’ve made in the last ten years.  I’m going to find a dark corner of my wine cellar and hide it for a few more months. It should be spectacular by then.

And our Spring continues to roll right along.

04-23-2014 Journal Entry – More Garden Prep!   Leave a comment

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I’m making today an official day of rest.  For you religious folk out there today is my Sunday.  No gardening, no home repairs, and no shopping.  It’s a do my workout, post my blog and relax kind of day.

I’ve been working steadily for the last week and one by one the projects and problems have been solved and accomplished. The damage caused by my better-half’s derrière to the garden’s raised bed has been repaired.  It wasn’t a tough job just a little time consuming.  It’s amazing to me just how in a few years time good old Mother Nature is can totally destroy a piece of untreated lumber. 

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This was a raised bed I built a few years ago and in two years time I was forced to replace three sides of that rectangle. It was initially built with  untreated lumber I had laying around.  Three sides to the bed were totally rotted but the fourth side I didn’t replace at that time.  I used pressure treated lumber for the replacements, made the repair and moved on.  It was that remaining untreated board that I just finished replacing.  I tried to take it out in one piece but it crumbled in my hands as I lifted it out. Hopefully this repair will last a while longer and I won’t be replacing anything for quite some time.

I no sooner finished that piece of work when I started preparing for the next project on my Spring To-do List.  As I mentioned in my last post the set of steps on the rear of my house had been badly damaged by the falling ice and snow from the roof.  A quick trip back to Lowe’s to purchase another load of pressure treated lumber and I was ready to go.  In years past when this has happened I just replaced the broken railing with exactly what had been destroyed.  Not this time.

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I spent some time designing a much heavier and stronger railing for those steps that I hope will stand up to next years ice fall.  I’ve tried everything to eliminate the ice problem including attempts to rake the roof with a snow rack with a twenty foot handle.  The back of the house is just too tall for that.  So the railing I just finished should be able to take the hit from the ice without exploding into a zillion pieces.  I won’t know until next Winter just how good or bad my design really is.  I can’t explain to you just how much ice we have on that roof and how much it really weighs.  I can tell you that when the ice finally let’s loose the entire house shakes on it’s foundation.  The first time I experienced it I almost had a heart attack, I thought we were having an earthquake.I put the finishing touches to it yesterday and I’m pleased with the results. That was the last major repair needed and now I can focus on the garden.

One of my smaller garden projects was to build another large cold frame. I built a small one and have been using it for a few years and it’s saved me a lot of money in plant replacements. With this screwed up Maine weather another large cold frame makes a lot of sense,  I’m also building one for the better-half’s daughter who has created her own garden over the last two years that is slowly turning into something special.

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During our house remodel a few years ago I rescued a few windows and put them into storage.  They make the perfect top for cold frames.  I finished mine this week and have hers almost completed.  Once they’re both installed I can finish the cultivating of the garden and get the fabric placed into the frames.  I do the fabric installation early in the Spring which helps to warm the soil in the frames and eliminated the weed problem. Once that’s complete I’ll remove the plants from the cold frames and replant them one final time.  Then it’s sit back and watch them grow until late summer when the canning can begin.

It seems the springtime work is never done and unfortunately it never is.  It’s been requested that I frequently update the progress of this garden through the summer months and into harvest time.  I’ll be doing just that and will try to keep it interesting with as many photos as possible. 

04-21-2014. Journal Entry – Spring Has Sprung!   2 comments

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The weather has finally begun to change for the better here in God’s country. Over the last week the snow has disappeared and I’ve been able to get outside and breath some fresh air without a parka, hat, and gloves.  But as well you know everything in nature is a balance.  You get some good and right along with that you get some bad.  Now begins the actual work of cleaning up after Mother Nature once again.

The snow cover this past winter lasted much longer than normal which has it’s good points.  Most of my perennials in the herb garden survived the winter unscathed.  I normally replace twenty-five percent of my plants each year but it appears this year to be much better than that.  The downside is that any plant tall enough to stick up through the snow was damaged severely by the long term cold during February. I’ve cleaned most of the debris out of the raised beds and discovered other issues that weren’t easily seen before.

Yesterday my better-half was frolicking in the yard with the grandson and made the mistake of sitting on the edge of one of the raised beds.  There was a loud crack and the board she was sitting on snapped in half requiring an immediate repair job and a trip to Lowe’s for me.

We also were able to remove a downed tree we lost during the first snow storm last Fall. It was a struggle but we finally cleaned up the area and removed the branches and trunk to a nearby woods.  I may cut it up later for use in our occasional bon-fires since it’s been sitting for a while and dry as a bone.  It should burn nicely.

We have a set of steps at the rear of the house that were badly damaged when at least five tons of ice slid off the roof and crushed all of the railings and a few of the steps. Fortunately the main structural beams were unharmed. Another trip to Lowe’s for more pressure treated lumber to make those repairs. Along with the mailbox replacement this  has become an annual event and one I’m very tired of dealing with.  I’m in the process now of redesigning and reinforcing the steps and hopefully that will resolve the issue for new year.

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I took a walk through my garden yesterday and discovered that the deer have found us already and appear to be eating my chives as soon as they sprout. It’s been a tough winter on the wildlife here in Maine due to the heavy snow cover. I’ve been told that the further north you go the worse it gets.  The moose and deer have had a rough winter and I ‘m sure many of them didn’t survive.  The good news is the small herd that hangs around our house looks pretty damn healthy.  As I walked through my back yard I found piles of deer turds everywhere.  This just tells me that I’m going to be battling the deer for control of my garden all summer.  They’ve been spending a lot of time close to the house which in itself is unusual.

A few weeks ago I was in my man-cave doing my exercises on the treadmill when I looked out the window to see four or five deer casually walking by. They stopped near the house and were standing in the yard as calm as you please. That’s very unusual for ten o’clock in the morning on any day.  I’m afraid they’ve become comfortable near the house which will eventually make for a real battle this summer. It’s not only the deer but also rabbits and freaking groundhogs as well.  I’m going to be busy, busy, busy.

I was able to run for my camera and snap a few quick pics of those deer before they scampered into the woods. Here they are.

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Who needs dogs and cats for house pets when you can have a herd of deer?

04-19-2014 Journal Entry – Easter Memories!   Leave a comment

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I never celebrate Easter.  Since it’s supposed to be a religious holiday and I’m not in anyway religious, I choose not to celebrate. As a kid my Mother celebrated anything and everything remotely religious due to her strict Catholic upbringing and education. I had no choice in those days so I went along as best I could but only as far as partaking of the more secular side of things . . . chocolate.  My Easter memories as a child are all about candy and eggs but not much religion.

My  Father was a living and breathing agnostic who side stepped religious matters religiously but even he couldn’t side step all of the holidays.  Another of my fondest memories of Easter was the year my parents bought my sister and I white rabbits.  They were all cute and fluffy and I clearly remember trying to get one of those little buggers from beneath our old refrigerator on Easter morning.  They eventually grew up to be rather large adult bunnies forcing my Dad to build a large hutch in the backyard to house them. There was always a stream of complaints from him about feeding the damn rabbits or cleaning out the damn cage etc. etc. etc.  Who knew it would all end in murder.

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One lovely summer day we returned home from playing with some of the neighborhood kids just in time for supper.  We were seated at the table ready to dig in when I found out just how much my Dad really didn’t like those rabbits.  He had dispatched the little darlings earlier in the day and they were placed on the table as the entree.  Needless to say my Mother, Sister, and I fled the scene with my Father left sitting there with a puzzled look on his face. He just didn’t get it at all.

I still don’t celebrate Easter and I never eat rabbits under any circumstances.  It’s  creeps me out to this day. 

Have you ever had a really long term close personal friend?  They’re a rare gift and in most cases are never really appreciated until their gone.  My best friend was named Dick and he passed away approximately 15 years ago.  He is partially responsible for another of my crazier Easter memories from our childhood. I’ve written in the past about the 1955 Birdville Elementary School Easter Egg Hunt fire.  It’s a really funny story that I may repost again in it’s entirety on another day.  Let it be said that Dick and I traumatized the Easter memories of a entire elementary school that year.  A small lit cigarette turned into a raging inferno that burnt down a two acre field next to the school where the teachers and parents had hidden all of the Easter eggs.  The field was burned, the eggs were cooked, and so were we.  We paid a really heavy price for just a few minutes of stupid.

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So now you understand my hesitation to celebrate even the silly secular side of this holiday.  I hope you all enjoy your Eater celebration with your family and friends in whatever manner you choose to celebrate it.  For me it’s just another fun day here in paradise.  Pass the chocolate please.

04-17-2014 The Search for Justice and Fairness!   2 comments

I can’t even begin to remember just how many times over the years I’ve taken attorneys, the ACLU, and the court systems to task.  I feel I’m as qualified as anyone to bitch and complain about the system because of my long career of working with hundreds of attorneys, judges,and a host of criminal and civil defendants.  Everyday that goes by we hear strange stories about  how screwed up things have become  with the courts and unfortunately the weirder the story the more likely it is to be true. 

I received the following information from a friend who is a retired law enforcement individual with more years of experience than anyone I know.    I pass it along for your amusement and  with a great deal of sympathy for us all.

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THE STELLA AWARDS

It’s time again for the annual ‘Stella Awards’! For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued McDonald’s in New Mexico , where she purchased coffee. You remember, she took the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving. Who would ever think one could get burned doing that, right? That’s right; these are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch your head.

Here are the Stella’s for year — 2013:

* SEVENTH PLACE *   

Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict , considering the running toddler was her own son

* SIXTH PLACE *

Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles , California won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Truman apparently didn’t notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor’s hubcaps .  

* FIFTH PLACE *  

Terrence Dickson, of Bristol , Pennsylvania , who was leaving a house he had just burglarized by way of the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn’t re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut. Forced to sit for eight, count ’em, EIGHT days and survive on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the homeowner’s insurance company claiming undue mental Anguish. Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish.

* FOURTH PLACE *

Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, garnered 4th Place in the Stella’s when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor’s beagle – even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner’s fenced yard. Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun .  

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* THIRD PLACE *  

Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania because a jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her tailbone. The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument .

*SECOND PLACE *   

Kara Walton, of Claymont , Delaware sued the owner of a night club in a nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the night club had to pay her $12,000 plus dental expenses.

And last but certainly not least:

* FIRST PLACE *

This year’s runaway First Place Stella Award winner was: Mrs. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City , Oklahoma , who purchased new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver’s seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner’s manual that she couldn’t actually leave the driver’s seat while the cruise control was set.

The Oklahoma jury awarded her  $1,750,000 and a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their operator’s manuals as a result of this suit. 

I could continue telling these kind of stories for hours but the point has already been made.  Sue anyone for anything at anytime regardless of the circumstances.  Welcome to the “Land of the Free” and the home of the “Incredibly Stupid”.

04-15-2014 Journal Entry – A Spring Swim   Leave a comment

In my last posting I was whining a little about not having much beach time here in good old tropical Maine. Being the bonehead I am and living with my boneheaded better-half we decided not to wait any longer to hit the beach. The snow had just melted and we were ready.

After a visit to one of our favorite watering-holes and after toasting a few glasses of cheer we made a bee line for the nearest beach. You need to understand that the temperature was in the forties with a twenty mile an hour wind making it feel like twenty degrees.  Alcohol can do a lot of things but it doesn’t help a person stay warm and toasty on a windy beach in Maine in April.   I was freezing my ass off almost immediately after leaving the car but the better-half was off to the races running around the beach like a German Shepard chasing a stick.  We both were snapping pictures the entire time but that ended rather quickly.

It was then I spotted a herd of totally insane people running free and unfettered among us normal and sane folk. The waves were roaring in and these fools in their wonderfully uncool wet suits were trying to surf in water that was only just above freezing..  Surfing in Maine in April is like running naked through a nudist colony in February.  It’s just nuts.  I watched them for a while but was forced to return to my car so I could once again feel my fingers. 

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“Out of His Ever Loving Mind”

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The better-half finally returned of her own volition all excited and happy about the entire evening.  She coerced me into driving another few miles up the coast to our favorite beach. It hadn’t gotten any warmer and I argued loudly about getting out of the car at all.  As usual she strong-armed me out of the car and down to the water.  There we were once again watching another insane human being wind surfing like he was in Key West and it was August.  Here are a couple of shots I took of that young idiot.  I’ve been known to don a wet suit to frolic in semi-warm water occasionally but no matter what people tell you . . . . it’s still freaking cold with that suit on.

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“Just Nuts”

We made our way home, turned up the heat, and discussed what mental illness could be responsible for such bizarre behavior, both ours and the surfers.  We never figured it out but we really didn’t care anyway. We snuggled into our bed under our wonderfully warm and overused electric blanket that’s become the best thing about these Maine winters.

04-13-2014 Journal Entry – Welcome to Spring   1 comment

Well, after five months  the snow is finally gone. Unfortunately the post-winter cleanup can now begin.  All of the snow and ice storms certainly  did their share of damage to the property this year.  One tree down, serious plant damage everywhere, and additional damage from the town’s snowplow. 

It seems we’re required to replace our mailbox almost every year and it’s starting to really piss me off. A nearby friend made the mistake of complaining to the town about the recklessness of their drivers and seeming lack of concern for all the damage they’ve been causing.  It took forever to find the right person to complain to and five minutes for that person to say quite simply, “move it a little further back from the road”.  It’s nice to know we have a freaking genius working for the road department.

I don’t understand why me and my hundreds of neighbors didn’t think of that dumb ass solution.  I may be forced to build a giant brick column with my mailbox sitting on top.  We’ll see how much the town likes replacing a blade or two on their gigantic and expensive snowplows after trying to knock down my brick megalith.  I’ll just politely tell them to “plow a little further from my effing mailbox”. 

All of my winter projects have been successfully completed and right on schedule for a change.  In another two weeks I’ll be able to begin my outside work setting up the garden and getting  the mowers and weed-whackers operational.  Finally a steady supply of fresh air and sunshine after almost five and a half months locked inside the house. 

I’m also looking forward to some beach time in the near future as well.  This was the first winter in a long time that the snow cover stayed almost all winter which meant no long wintery walks on the beach. 

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Since my leg has healed completely and  I’m back on my workout routines maybe I can get that last ten pounds of ugly fat to disappear.  I’ve lost 35 lbs so far through a difficult winter with a minimum of outside activity.  I’m planning a very active schedule this summer with my camera and I traveling around this gorgeous state of ours.  One short trip to Texas in May and then I’ll have the rest of the summer to take pictures, work in the garden, and to sit on my deck and relax.

Goodbye and good riddance to Winter.

04-11-2014 Cellular Love & Marriage   1 comment

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I consistently ask myself questions about the things I see.  It’s not that I’m seeing these things that bothers me, it’s that I don’t entirely understand what I’m seeing.  One of the things that confuses me the most are the situations I see developing these days between people and their cell phones.

I’ll try to explain clearly where I’m coming from in order to keep any confusion to a minimum. After being held hostage by Verizon Wireless for the last seven years I made the bold move of dumping their service and stepping back three or four technological paces to something far simpler and inexpensive. I won’t get into the particulars except to say I’ve cut my monthly costs by 70%.  I don’t want you to think I hate cell phones because I don’t.  What I do hate is the unhealthy hold those devices seem to have on such a large portion of our population.

Next, I need to state emphatically my total and complete support for both heterosexual and homosexual marriages.  No, my mind isn’t wandering but hang in there a moment or two until I explain.  I object strongly to the new wave of intimate relationships I’m observing between humans and cellphones. It’s becoming a little embarrassing to see these phones being cuddled and stroked by both men and women in public places. It’s a bit disgusting. 

People buying their phones cutesy little bejeweled outfits in a variety of colored covers to keep things from getting too boring.  Even the kids are getting into the act with little or no parental oversight.  Sitting along in their rooms at night talking quietly on the phone, roaming the Internet until all  hours of the morning, and posting "selfies" to the world that would in some cases make a porn star blush.

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Those phones are coddled and babied and remain all snuggly in a pocket or purse held tightly next to the heart (or other body parts) of their owners.  I know many women and even a few men who would like nothing better than to have a large device vibrating in their pocket.  People just can’t seem to keep their hands off their phones and don’t even try. What’s next?  The formation of political special interest groups to promote our freedom to marry our cellphones?  Don’t laugh, as weird as things are these days,  it could happen. 

Cell phone ownership is becoming almost as intimate as a marriage.  First you need to find that “soulmate” or should I say “cell-mate”.  It must be attractive and shapely and have all of those attributes you’re looking for.  Once you’ve found that perfect match then your required to enter into a contract for a two year period.  Very similar to a marriage license if you ask me but with one additional advantage.  When your cell-mate gets a little older, all scratched up, and the battery starts to fail you can dump it and sign up for an upgrade. If you dare decide to end the relationship before the contract is up your forced to pay and pay dearly for that right.  Sounds just like a divorce I managed to survive twenty years ago.

I guess I just haven’t met my true "cell-mate" yet.  I suppose it will happen all of a sudden like a lightning bolt and I’ll be lost forever in that wonderful haze of first love, sexting something juicy for the first time, or sending an HD photo of some of my body parts to people who don’t want to see them.

You just gotta love those cell-phones.  Right Lovey.