Archive for October 2015

10-31-2015 Journal – Bye, Bye October!   Leave a comment

Say goodbye to October everyone. This last month has just flown by and once again ended with no Halloween trick or treaters at our house.  Depending on how you look at it, it could be both a good thing and a bad thing.  Being in a rural area with very few toddlers around, we’re usually safe from pranksters and vandals and that’s a good thing.  The bad thing is for my better-half who prays for costumed kids to show up in great numbers.  These days she’s forced to pour all of her Halloween craziness on her grandchildren and she does . . . in spades.

Our out-of-town visitors arrived yesterday afternoon, intact and tired after an eight hour drive through NJ, NY, CT, MA, NH, and finally Maine.  With this recent burst of warm weather we decided to do a little grilling on the deck.  It’s likely to be the final time we’ll be using the grill this year and next week it will be winterized and stored away.  Here’s a quick shot of the kabobs just before hitting the grill. They were yummy.

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If that does make your mouth water just a little you may have a serious problem.  The food was excellent and gave everyone a chance to sit back and relax and catch up a little.

I’m up early this morning and enjoying a cup of strong and hot coffee.  I fed the cat and he apparently enjoyed his breakfast because he just strutted into the man-cave looking for a comfortable place to plop.  After all he desperately needs that 18 hours of beauty sleep every day.  I’ll give him about ten minutes and he’ll be out cold for a few hours.  If you haven’t figured things out just yet, he’s also retired.

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‘A big fat lazy cat.’

I hear people waking up in the house and if I know my better-half there’ll be quiche in my future within the hour.  More hot coffee, some crispy bacon and if I’m sneaky enough I might snatch one of the last two chocolate éclairs leftover from last night.  Who says life isn’t awesome some times.

Today will include a  visit to see the grandkids and possibly some shopping. I hope the weather clears a little so I can get a few good shots of the group.

MORE LATER

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10-29-2015 Journal – #/+*@^ Computers & Limericks!   Leave a comment

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I always try to plan ahead for ideas for this blog but today I’m having a difficult time concentrating.  I’m a lover of all new technology and make it a point to stay up to speed with new software and hardware as it comes available. Today is one of those days that computer junkies fear the most.  No working internet connection.

We had a moderately heavy rainstorm last night and things were fine when I crashed into bed at 1 am.  I awoke this morning and my internet connection is dead. While my in-house network is still functioning thanks to a battery backup unit, good old Time Warner’s internet feed is missing in action. Unfortunately our house is located in a semi-dead spot for internet, GPS, and telephone reception.  I have range extenders for damn near everything but they also run in conjunction with the internet.

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In order for me to make or receive calls today I’ll be forced to drive a few hundred yards up a nearby hill near the house to get just two bars.  My alarm system is sending me text messages on the phone (3G) telling me the system is off.  Damn, tell me something I don’t know.

In the past the system usually comes back on-line very quickly but not today. It’s been four hours already and still nothing.  And of course their telephone lines are busy, busy, busy.

Let’s kill some time today  while I wait for the internet to return by revisiting some things I truly enjoy and that’s limericks.  I’ve collected many, written a few, and they always seem to lean to the naughtier side of things. Some of the best I’ve ever seen have come from Great Britain because they’ve been writing them for centuries and have some of the naughtiest and funniest.  I’ll try to keep todays collection naughty but nice and I’ll skip the x-rated stuff for now. Here’s five of my fav’s.

#1

With a maiden a chap just begat
Bouncing triplets named Pat, Nat, and Tat;
Twas fun in the breeding,
But hell in the feeding;
As there wasn’t a spare tit for Tat.

#2

There once was a young lady named Hilda
Who went out with a top body-builder;
He said that he should,
That he could and he would,
And he did and it damn near killed her.

#3

A notorious harlot named Hearst
In the pleasures of men is well-versed;
Reads the sign at the head
Of her well rumpled bed;
“The customer always comes first”.

#4

There was a young fellow from Kent
Whose tool was incredibly bent;
To save himself trouble,
He put it in double,
And, instead of coming he went!

#5

As the elevator car left our floor,
Poor old Sue caught her boobs in the door;
She yelled a great deal,
But had they been real,
She’d have bellowed considerably more.

***

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‘And one from an anonymous kid.’

Hopefully some time today I can get these posted but I’m at the mercy of the Time Warner road crews.  Here’s one of my own limericks I wrote after living in Maine for more than ten years.  No names have been used to protect the somewhat innocent.

There once was a young lady from Maine
Who ruined her dress with a stain.
She thought she was clever,
But her mother knew better,
And asked “What the hell is his name”.

It’s now  been eight hours without the internet and it just came back on.  “Better late than never.” should be scrawled somewhere on Time Warner’s Logo.

ENJOY YOUR DAY

10-27-2015 Journal–Goodbye Fall, Hello Winter!   Leave a comment

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The last days of Fall are approaching with the leaves losing their vivid colors and one bone chilling night after another. We’re slowly running out of those nice bright and sunny Indian Summer days. There really isn’t all that  much upside to Winter that I can find.  Fortunately this state is filled with thousands of people who live to romp in the snow, go snowmobiling, skiing, and skating on the lakes.  It’s some sort of an awful winter inspired insanity.

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I didn’t include that small percentage of Mainers who claim to be ice fishermen.  I see those little shacks popping up on almost every lake and have heard for years all of the fishing stories from their occupants.  It’s more about getting out of the house, hiding from the wife, and drinking an adequate amount of alcoholic beverages that help make the fish seem even bigger for their stories.

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Yesterday required a road trip through the northern part of the county near the town of Naples located along the shore of Sebago lake. It was our one last chance to capture as many of those foliage pictures everyone seems to love so much.

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Here’s a shot taken of Sebago lake with the foothills of the White Mountains in the background.  Just looking at the coldness of the photo gives me the shivers. 

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I’ll certainly enjoy looking at these photos in a month or so when everything is frozen solid and covered with snow and ice.  Then I can begin my constant complaining about Winter and endless whining for warmer weather. I guess I one of those folks who just loves bitching and complaining about Winter. 

10-25-2015 Journal – I’m a Streaming Fool!   Leave a comment

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I’ve been accused on any number of occasions by any number of people of being impatient.  Not just a little impatient but brutally so.  Over the years it’s become less of a problem but in my younger days it was truly a bitch to deal with me. I wished on many occasions that I could loosen up enough to keep myself from going a little bonkers but it was difficult.

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I was reasonably successful in most of my career endeavors and while impatience kept me focused and motivated it tended to irritate and annoy many others. Procrastination in others was my second biggest complaint and those that reported directly to me paid a price if they were so inclined. I have no regrets about those years to be sure but even today procrastination makes me a wee bit crazy.

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Over the years my impatience has prompted many posting on multiple blogs concerning the over use of advertisements on TV and just about everywhere else.  It made most forms of entertainment difficult for me to watch because of all of those annoying interruptions and distractions.  Then my prayers were finally answered . . . . . . Netflix.

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Watching television or movies and having total control is something that takes a little getting used to.  No more sitting and waiting for shows to begin, no constant interruptions with stupid ads, and the ability to pause the show and return at my convenience. It’s freaking awesome. I also subscribe to Amazon which is very similar to Netflix in some ways and is money well spent in my opinion. 

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Unfortunately I use the ROKU service to connect my televisions to the Internet and most of their extra services and channels are filled with ads causing me not to often use them.  ROKU provides an excellent gateway for streaming but paying them additional fees for programming and movies over and above the cost of their devices remains annoying. My ever present impatience with anyone who insists on trying to remove money from my wallet keeps me looking for better alternatives every day. 

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Being free from the clutches of cable TV now makes changing companies very easy too.  No more contracts, everything is month-to-month, and more vendor possibilities are being created almost weekly. If a company is dumb enough not to cater to their customers then I will move on to someone who does. For a change we the consumers finally have a modicum of control over our costs and time like never before.

Hooray for us!

10-23-2015 Journal – Portland in the Fall!   Leave a comment

The warm days are becoming a rarity already and in Maine when there’s sunshine and warmer temperatures you get the hell out of the house and enjoy them. Once the snow starts to fly around here you can be sure that for the next five months it’s multi-layer clothing, boots, parkas, hats, ear muffs, and gloves. 

My better-half and I decided to try a little spontaneity yesterday when we rolled out of bed and saw the sun shining and the temperatures in the high fifties.  As we cruised around looking for a decent cup of coffee I made the decision to spend the remainder of the day in the city of Portland.  Portland is a great place to walk around, kill some time, and people watch. Parking always seems to be an issue whether it’s tourists in the Summer or huge piles of plowed snow in the Winter. We rode up and down Commercial street looking for a parking spot and got lucky rather quickly.

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As we were entering the city and driving along the waterfront we saw in the distance three huge cruise ships that had stopped in Portland for a visit.  They’re a blessing for the local economy but always clog the city with tourists and street vendors.

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We worked our way down Commercial street to the Dry Dock restaurant. It’s become one of our favorite spots to relax, have a drink, and some good food. I normally go straight to the menu looking for sea food but not today.  I had a bowl of hearty chicken and rice soup that was to die for along with a smoked turkey and cheddar sandwich.  I’m a real bread lover and that sandwich was made with an incredibly fresh rye bread baked earlier in the day.

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We finished our meal and visited a few other businesses along the street so the better-half could deal with her shopping addiction.  We stopped at Mexicali Blues for some incense and a sari that the better-half plans on converting to some sort of window treatment for the kitchen.

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It was also required by my better-half that we make a stop at the beer drinkers Mecca, The Craft Beer Cellar.  More beer varieties that I could ever imagine but since I don’t drink beer I spent my time looking through the mead selections. I settled on a locally brewed honey mead that was a little pricey but worth it. It’ll be a nice addition for us to enjoy with our Christmas dinner. The better-half spent alm0ost 30 minutes talking beer with the proprietor and finally settled on some sort of double IPA that I never heard of.  

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Then it was a quick ride back to our house with enough sunshine left in the day for me and the cat to spend a comfy hour on the deck.  We’re getting very close to the time of the year when the sun will only shine occasionally so we have to enjoy it when we can.

10-21-2015 Journal – Dreams, Both Dry and Wet!   Leave a comment

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I’m still lying in bed this morning and wondering what this day will bring. I seem to be unmotivated more than usual and I’m trying to snap out of it but it isn’t working all that well. I just poured my second cup of coffee which I hope will jolt me enough to get me moving.

It’s been a week of cold nights, semi-warm days, and some of the weirdest nightmares and dreams I can ever remember having. The dreams started in earnest about five nights ago and I remember the details rather vividly. That in itself is a little usual and the fact that they’ve been extremely sexual is just a plus I suppose.

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I’ve always loved dreaming and actually look forward to having them and remembering them. Dreams just fascinate me.  I realize that almost everything we’ve ever seen or done in our lives is stored away in our brain somewhere but how that information is accessed and displayed in a dream is awesome and mysterious.  It’s like having a time machine that makes it possible for us to drop into our past, see any number of old friends, dead family members, and some special situations with a twist of the weird thrown into the mix.  I especially like the weird dreams and can only pray that I remember all of the juicy little details.  As with everything the devil is always in the details and there seems to be plenty of devil in my dreams of late.

Dreams also make it possible to mend old relationships.  Over the years my dreams have made it possible for me to develop a better relationship with my late father and to even mentally create a better relationship with a borderline horrible ex-wife. Little does she know all of the wonderful things she’s done for me and to me in my dreams.  Some good, some really fantastic, and a few that were utterly disgusting.  Oh baby!

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In my dreams I’m always searching for something. I’ve either lost my car or can’t find the person, place, or thing I’m looking for. While I’m searching I run into people I knew or people I thought I knew and have some truly strange adventures.  In many of these adventures I have the ability to fly which is really cool. I’m also naked in many of the dreams which can be troubling but it makes flying a whole lot more fun. I’m not sure why exactly but my dreams have gotten progressively more interesting as I’ve aged. I have no idea why and believe me I’m not complaining.

My morning caffeine is  finally kicking in and this lemon poppy seed muffin is absolutely scrumptious.  I’m almost ready to leap to my feet, throw on some clothes, and go do something. I’ll wait a few more minutes before leaving this bed because I desperately want to rerun the dream I had last night.

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Where else but in a dream could I be snuggling up with a warm, naked, and exceptionally friendly, Lindsay Lohan. Up until last night I wasn’t even a fan but after that dream we shared I may have to reconsider her status. I’ve always considered her to be a somewhat sleazy character but in that dream she’s proven herself to be all that and more. 

I can’t wait for tonight.

10-19-2015 Journal – Flu Shots, Y or N!   Leave a comment

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Have you gotten your flu shot yet?  For the last month I’ve been receiving emails from damn near everyone reminding me to do so.  OMFG . . . every year it’s the same damn thing. It seems everyone on this planet knows how to keep me healthy better than I do. Up until three years ago I’d never had a flu shot but finally gave into all of the pressure from friends, family, insurance companies, and doctors.

Four years ago I came down with a wicked case of the flu that actually was so bad  I thought I was going to die. Since fear is the ultimate motivator for us poor humans I decided to finally give in and get flu shots on a regular basis.

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I understand how the shots are supposed to work but as with all things I’ve become somewhat skeptical.  I have very low expectations of most people because they insist on telling me things that forward their agendas instead of my own. People say I’m too cynical, skeptical, and pragmatic but after years of experience I’ve found myself correct more often than not. 

I made my way to Rite-Aid a few weeks ago with a note from my insurance carrier and a pat on the head from Medicare.  The process was simple, straight forward, and before I knew it I was in, inoculated, and done.  Then I sat down and began to peruse the pile of paperwork they handed me. A rather nice young lady took some of her valuable time to tell me about some of the possible symptoms I could expect.  First, within 48 hours my arm would be a sore and might stiffen up a little.  In a week after that I would likely have issues with headaches and possibly a minor fever.  I thought for a minute that I was flashing back on one of those hundreds of TV drug commercials we’re bombarded with. I sat patiently waiting for her to include anal leakage as one of my symptoms but she never did . . . thank God.   

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It’s now two weeks later and I’m going through my list of symptoms right on schedule. I had the required sore arm for a few days which was annoying but not too terrible. I could still pick my nose but it hurt a little. The arm remained sore for almost a week until the headaches kicked in. The arm still hurt but I was more concerned about the headache that was threatening  to blow the top of my head off. I’ve never been prone to headaches or migraines but this had to be something very similar.  I spent my days popping dozens of Tylenol and was still unable to sit quietly to read a book.  I won’t even get into the side effects from taking all of those damn Tylenol. All I could think about was how lucky I was to have so many smart people convincing me to get that damn flu shot.

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Next  the low grade fever arrived right on schedule.  It’s been sapping my strength for the last week but finally seems to be easing up some.  So for more than three weeks now I’ve had what I’m told is a mild case of the flu. My last serious bout with the flu lasted only a week but so far this alleged mild version has hung in there for three weeks.

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I’m beginning to believe that the cure is actually as bad if not worse than the disease. Thanks to everyone who convinced (conned) me to get that effing shot. All I really want to know now is who do I contact later in the Fall when I actually get the real flu. I have a strong cynical feeling that may occur as well.

It’s funny but I’m also sure if I do  actually get the flu all of those alleged experts who strong-armed me into this flu shot will be missing in action. They’ll return next year in larger numbers to again frighten and strong-arm many of us once again.

LONG LIVE THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

10-17-2015 Journal – Horses, Turkeys & Leaves!   Leave a comment

There’s nothing better than a spontaneous road trip around southern Maine in the Fall.  My better-half had a mid-week day off which is reason enough to grab the cameras and hit the road. We cruised around, shopped a little, and enjoyed the day immensely. The sun was bright and the colors of the woods in some areas are really vibrant which seems to be a necessary requirement for a successful Indian Summer.

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I also saw my first bus load of leaf peepers driving up the turnpike this week with many, many more to follow.  People can’t seem to stay away.  Many areas remain green but one night with a hard frost will change all that very quickly.

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As we ride around we stop often to take photo’s or to check out yard sales but one of our regular stops is at this small farm to say hello to the horses. Again I forgot to bring apples along and they seemed disappointed but it didn’t stop them from running across the field to say hello.  They like checking us out as much as we do them.

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I’ve mentioned in the past about how often we see turkey’s in our travels. They’re kind of like big ugly versions of those pigeons you might see in Boston or New York.  This photo was a quick shot out of the car window as a flock was attempting to cross the road in front of us.  It appeared to be a Mama bird and a line of teenagers following behind.

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They seem to be moving around more than normal since the woods are now filled with hunters.  I  wonder which of these birds will be served up for Thanksgiving this year.  It’s a dangerous time for these fellows and I wish them luck, they’ll need it.

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Gotta love Fall.

10-15-2015 Journal–Off to the Woods!   Leave a comment

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Well, it’s the Ides of October already. Winter will be on us shortly and most of our preparations has been completed already.  I decided to take a deep breath today and walk for an hour or so through the woods, specifically in a non-hunting area.  I’d prefer not to end up tied to the fender of some drunken hunter’s car who swears up and down I looked like a deer.

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The trees are beginning to turn colors and we’re just a couple of weeks from seeing them at their peak. I drove to an area just south of the Great Scarborough Marsh located adjacent to the Atlantic ocean.  Most of the birds have headed south already but I did notice a few egrets doing some serious feeding before their trip begins.

The milkweed pods have opened and are spreading seeds everywhere. Next year should be a good one for those plants and the Monarch butterflies that love them so much.

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The remaining birds are feasting on berries of all sorts.  This area is covered with all manner of them and that tends to keep the birds hanging around until the snow begins to fly.

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I returned home feeling a lot calmer and at ease. Communing with good old Mother Nature always has that effect on me.  One last thing for you today. The Disk Network Memorial Table that I’ve been yacking about for weeks has finally been completed . . .  thank God!

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It’s felt good to finally get something in return from a cable TV company other than just one more rate increase or surcharge.

THANKS DISH

10-13-2015 Journal – C’mon Winter, I’m Ready!   Leave a comment

My Summer ending activities continue apace.  The garden was composted a few days ago and has finally been tilled to await planting in the Spring. I‘m officially done with the garden which will happily require no more labor from me. These final photos will end the year once and for all as far as the garden is concerned.

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These next two photos are the final surviving flowers on the property that haven’t been killed off by the cold nights.  They won’t last much more than another week so enjoy them.

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This sunflower looks a lot like I felt this morning as I rolled out of bed. Able to stand upright but just barely.

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Now I can move forward with other projects and chores I’ve been given by my better-half.  Her list never seems to end no matter how hard I try. My father warned me this would eventually happen but I wasn’t a believer until it was too late.

I was able to get around to working on my Dish Network Memorial table once again. I knew grouting a bunch of bottle caps would be difficult but it was more like a nightmare.  The table was grouted and so was I. I had damn near as much white grout on me as was on the table. Thank god it’s done.  I’ll let it dry for a few days and then seal the grout.

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‘Step 1’

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‘Step 2’

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‘Step 3’

The table will be completed right on schedule for my better-half’s birthday celebration that’s coming up soon. She likes me a little and she likes beer a lot so she should love this table.