Archive for June 2016

06-29-2016 Festivals & Farmer’s Markets!   Leave a comment

Is it just me or has June zoomed by in a flash. I’ve always considered the Fourth of July as the summer’s half-way point but I can’t believe that half of the summer is already gone. That is supremely depressing. A few days ago I mentioned in a post that my better-half and I had visited the Brunswick, Maine Strawberry Festival.  I sort of glossed over that visit for some reason but after rethinking things I decided to throw a few pictures your way. Check these out.

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The town of Brunswick is rather quaint and the park located in the downtown area is just beautiful.  The perfect place to take your kids on a sunny day, to quietly read a book or to walk your dog.

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It’s called the Strawberry Festival but it’s much more than that as you can see. Farmers from all over the area come to town loaded with fresh vegetables of all types.  It’s a giant farmers market and they offer some really delicious foods as well.

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I’m a former cheese addict who has been forced over the years to reduce the amount of dairy I eat.  It still won’t stop me from sampling a few tidbits of excellent goat cheese when I happen upon it.

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Many of the farms also sell canned pickles, jams, and jellies. They are a bit pricy but you’ll never find any fresher or as flavorful in a supermarket.

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I was more than a little surprised at all of the available vegetables this early in the summer.  We look forward to visiting many more of these festivals in the coming months. There seems to be one scheduled every weekend somewhere in Maine until Labor Day.

A GREAT START TO OUR SUMMER

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06-27-2016 Journal – Garden Update!   Leave a comment

With the month of June running out I thought I’d get one last garden update  posted. Warmer weather has certainly caused the garden to go crazy. The plants are growing approximately 2 to 3 inches a week or more and it’s still early in the season. Here are a number of pictures from the garden to show the results of our TLC and nightly watering. It’s been a rather dry beginning to the growing season and the watering is the only thing that will keep this garden plush.

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‘The herbs are going crazy.’

 

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‘Looking forward to many zucchini’s.’

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‘The tomatoes are blooming.’

 

Yesterday my better-half and I spent her day off relaxing and doing yard work. We harvested some lettuce and garlic chives to add to our evening meal. We decided that since the weather was so nice we’d be eating on the deck. Here is a picture of our table.

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I grilled a number of boneless chicken thighs dusted with rosemary and a basting of ghost pepper sauce.  Just before serving I brushed on a light coating of diluted yellow mustard.  Crispy, flavorful, and hot.  My favorite three things. Add a side dish of our homemade Bread and Butter pickles and things improve even more. The ice cold Chardonnay topped off the meal perfectly.

This was the first of many meals of this kind this summer. As the garden begins to produce more items our future meals  will be even better.

GARDEN FOOD IS THE BEST

06-25-2016 Journal – Summer Day Trip!   Leave a comment

As always my better-half and I try use our time wisely.  She’d been working for more than a week without any time off and it was burning her out. Finally a rare day-0ff arrived and we wanted to make the most of it.  The day was bright and sunny and expected temperatures were to be in the mid-seventies.  Perfect! We packed up the car and headed north along to coast to the towns of Brunswick and Bath, Maine.

The drive went smoothly although the summer increase in traffic was immediately obvious.  It’s always relaxing to just cruise along the coast, watching the boats, and listening to some good music.  We stopped briefly in Brunswick to attend the Strawberry Festival taking place in the town square. A friendly crowd of people enjoying the warm day.

Then we were off to the town of Bath, Maine. It’s most famous feature is the Bath Iron Works. Over the years they’ve build or repaired damn near every American naval vessel.  Just up the coast a short distance is a restaurant, the Kennebec Tavern, located on the water with a great view from their rear deck.

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We were both starving and were pleasantly surprised by the variety of seafood on the menu.  I ordered an extremely dry Malbec wine to go along with my oysters and Caesar salad.  The better-half went outside the box a little and ordered a scallop and bacon sandwich with crispy onion rings on the side.  Everything was just as delicious as it looks here.

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After lunch we took a short walking trip through the town so the better-half could do some shopping.  She scored a few items that will magically appear under the Christmas tree in a few months.

The trip home was uneventful and we were ended the day relaxing on the deck.  Then it was back to reality with garden watering and paying some much needed attention to the cat.  He hates when we leave him alone and he made it immediately obvious by totally ignoring us for an hour.

CATS ROCK !!

06-23-2016 Journal – BLAH! BLAH! BLAH!   Leave a comment

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As I rolled out of bed this morning I thought to myself “Are you crazy? It seems that most of my motivation has suddenly disappeared and I can’t find a really good reason to get up and get going. This happens occasionally and I’m not sure why but it does.

Normally after my first cup of coffee I can feel the energy level rising and I began mentally working through my list of things that need to be accomplished for the day. Unfortunately for most of us that list never seems to get any shorter and easier to complete. They say tomorrow is another day and that’s true enough, but it’s also true about the next To-Do list. So today may be one of those days where I just do as little as possible. Maybe an hour or two on the Xbox or an hour or two on the deck working on my tan or even taking a short ride to a nearby wildlife sanctuary. It’s very relaxing to wander through the woods and take a few pictures.

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It’s been a week of computers for me and as much as I like working with them they tend to drive me insane.  I’ve finally converted all of the computers in our house, except for the iPads, to Windows 10.  It sounds so easy but it’s anything but. Before I ever get tempted to change an operational system again it would be easier to just discard the old computer and buy a new one. Microsoft has worked hard for years to make me a disgruntled customer and they’ve finally succeeded. Along with everything else they also alerted me this week that on June 30th they are discontinuing a software program that I’ve been using to blog with for almost four years. It’s by far the best blogging writer I’ve ever used and they just made a decision to do away with it.

Unfortunately for me the only really viable alternative is becoming an Apple user and I just can’t do that. In my opinion they’re overpriced and overrated so I’m stuck for now with Microsoft. I will be doing more research in the coming month to find alternatives and could very easily be convinced to dump Windows 10 and go to UNIX. If it’s even closely comparable to what I’m using now I’ll make the change in a heartbeat.

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So I’m getting out of bed now, heading for the coffee pot for a second cup and maybe that will be enough to motivate me to do something worthwhile today. I wouldn’t count on it if I were for you.

THIS IS A SERIOUS CASE OF THE BLAH’S

Posted June 23, 2016 by Every Useless Thing in Just Saying Again

06-21-2016 Journal – June Garden Update!   Leave a comment

It appears that summer is finally decided to arrive. We having much warmer weather during the day and at night and it shows. The garden has really taken off in the last week and things are looking up except for the ghost peppers which aren’t doing well at all. They seem to need hot days and hot nights with a lot of sun to flourish and they’re certainly not finding that here in Maine.  I don’t expect much production from the ghost peppers this year and I’ve pretty much decided to try them one more time next year but in a different way. I intend to plant them either in a cold framework or I’ll build a small greenhouse to try and keep the temperature is high as possible for as long as possible. If that doesn’t work then I’ll give up on ghost peppers entirely and just buy them online. Here are a few shots of the garden taken this morning.

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 The better-half’s flower gardens are also in bloom almost everywhere on the property. This could possibly  be the best year we’ve ever had with a diversity of colors that is amazing.

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We also had a special occasion last night. We harvested the first of the lettuces for this year and they were a perfect addition to our evening meal.

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That’s all for today.  I’m having serious computer issues that need fixing and I hope I’m successful. Microsoft is making my life miserable once again and as usual they’re not much help.

06-19-2016 Journal – Weekly Update!   Leave a comment

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Summer is finally here but it’s been a little disappointing so far.  It’s the middle of June and the nights remain chilly which is doing nothing to help my pepper plants in our garden.  Very disappointing but not totally unexpected, it is Maine after all.

This week I’ve been consumed by these designs that I’ve been creating.  Each day I become more adept at using the computer software to color my sketches.  It’s an interesting process but it’s very detailed and time consuming.  I sat for almost three hours yesterday totally focused on what I was doing and when I finally finished and stood up I was suffering from eye strain and legs that went a bit wobbly. Even with all of that the results were much better than I expected.  The work will continue today and I’m actually looking forward to getting back into it.

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Most people just don’t get it. They see my time spent doing these designs as wasted but they couldn’t be more wrong.  The hours spent in these tasks are the highlights of my day.  The focus needed to complete them is something I’ve grown to need over the years and I’ve looked forward to it since I was a young child.  It’s the best addiction I’ve ever had and I hope I never lose it.

I’m hoping to breakaway for a while this week if the sunny weather continues. I could use some quiet times in the woods taking a few photographs of my favorite subjects . . . dragonflies.  They should be swarming near the swamps in large numbers by now and I plan to make the most of it. Here are two shots taken in 2011 when there were huge numbers of them in the area.

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I’ll be disappointed if I can’t get a few pictures but these cool nights may delay their arrival just a bit. I may be forced to return to the swamp a few more times before I have any success at all. Thankfully I live close enough which makes things so much easier.

ENJOY YOUR DAY

06-17-2016 Journal– Art & Criticism!   Leave a comment

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It’s another day in paradise here in Maine as I drag my butt out of bed this morning. Time to leap to my feet, put on my shorts, and go jogging for a few miles.  If you believe that then there’s something really wrong.  The only jogging I’ll do is with my car. I’ll be spending my time today sitting in front of this computer and working on my series of designs that have consumed me for a month.

Yes, I consider myself an artist even though a few others might dispute that.  What others think has never really been something I concern myself with and I doubt I ever will.  If you’re around long enough you learn early on that everyone is an effing critic.  I love critics and on occasion I’m one myself.  It’s the anonymous and cowardly ones that irritate me.

I’ve been reading a strange book of “Poisonous Quotations” and that anonymous guy sure has a lot to say in that tome.  Here are a few samples of his anonymous work.

“Modern art is like trying to follow the plot in alphabet soup.”

“Modern art is when you buy a picture to cover a hole in the wall and then decide the hole looks better.”

“A modern artist is one who throws paint on a canvas, wipes it off with a cloth, and sells the cloth.”

“One reassuring thing about modern art is that things can’t possibly be as bad as they are painted.”

Those four quotation are cowardly since the authors were afraid to identify themselves.  I don’t mind criticism if the individual will stand up in front of the artist and offer his opinions directly.  Here are a few well known people who also have an apparent distaste for art but aren’t afraid to say so publicly. 

“Abstract art is the product of the untalented, sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered.”  Al Capp

‘One sees a square lady with three breasts and a guitar up her crotch.”  Noel Coward

“Art is a jealous mistress.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Art is either plagiarism or revolution.”  Paul Gauguin

“Art for art’s sake makes no more sense than gin for gin’s sake.” W. Somerset Maugham

“I’m glad the old masters are all dead, and I only wish they had died sooner.”  Mark Twain

Lets hear from someone once very well known in the political world. Like any politician he takes forth-three words to say two . . . “It stinks.”

“I can truthfully say that the painter has observed the Ten Commandments. Because he hath not made to himself the likeness of anything in heaven above, or that which is on earth beneath, or that which is in the water under the earth.”  Abraham Lincoln

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And last but not least here is someone who answered his critics directly and clearly. My second favorite favorite artist of all time right behind Salvador Dali as seen above.

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“Everyone wants to understand painting. Why don’t they try to understand the singing of the birds? People love the night, a flower, everything which surrounds them without trying to understand them. But painting – that they must understand.”  Pablo Picasso

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WELL STATED PABLO

06-15-2016 Journal – Fine Art & Good Luck!   2 comments

It’s been a hectic week for me. I’ve been working steadily for almost two months on sketches that have made me a little crazy. I’ve finished twelve so far with more coming. These are black & white lined sketches that are digitized as I complete them. I then use my computer software to add the colors of my choice.  Here is a 2X2 inch section of the first one I completed. I’m posting it for my sister so can see and understand just what the hell I’m doing. Here it is Deb.

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It’s not much of an explanation but it’s the best I can do for now. I’ve titled this one “Confusion” and rightly so.

Now on to other things.  I had a really close call yesterday and I’m not sure why I’m not in a hospital today.  My guardian angel must have been working overtime.  I was cutting my grass on a fairly new Toro riding mower. Our property is somewhat hilly in spots and I always take a great deal of care when cutting there.  I guess no matter how careful you are accidents can still occur.

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I was listening to my Ipod as I cut the grass and possibly was a little distracted by the music.  I somehow missed seeing a large rock partially buried in the ground and hidden by high grass. I struck that boulder with the blade going at it highest speed. The blade hit the rock, bent itself into a question mark shape, dug into the ground, and flipped the mower completely over. I was airborne for ten feet and thankfully landed on my fat ass and not on my thick skull.

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I was dazed and confused to say the least. Minor damages to the mower and to me but some serious damage to the yard.  If I hadn’t been thrown off it could easily have landed on me and broken ever bone in my body.

As I rolled out of bed this morning I was bruised and sore in many places but nothing serious. Thanks to Toro for building a machine whose safeguards kicked in and shut down the engine as it tipped over.  Needless to say I’m glad to in one piece today.

WHO SAID GARDENING AND YARD WORK ISN’T DANGEROUS

NOT ME THAT’S FOR SURE!!

06-13-2016 Journal–High Tech & Low Tech!   Leave a comment

Anyone who’s read this blog over the years realizes how addicted to the Internet I am.  I spend a great deal of my time roaming the Internet looking for odd facts on just about any subject.  With that thought in mind, I thought I’d share some tidbits about the Internet that I happened upon recently.  To me they’re interesting, but to you, maybe not so much.  Needless to say I’m posting them anyway, so here’s goes.

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High Tech

  • Russian Victor Yazykov, sailing alone in the South Atlantic, performed surgery on his own arm by following instructions from Dr. Daniel Carlin of Boston, relayed via e-mail from halfway across the world.
  • Cyberstalking: A man identified only as Roger was the prey in the world’s first live game of human hunting on the web.  It took a week to find him in a Berlin library, counting books.
  • In 1999, a NASA expedition set up the first Internet link to the North Pole and made the very first North Pole to South Pole conversation ever.
  • When a computer glitch occurred in Sydney, Australia, hundreds of programmed soda pop machines began dialing ambulance and fire emergency lines.
  • A company in San Francisco, California, has developed Internet software that is scented with a plug-in device for Web surfers called Smell-O-Vision.
  • The Vatican has considered recognizing St. Isadora of Seville as the patron saint of the Internet.  A clergyman during the sixth century, St. Isadora created a 20 volume encyclopedia, one of the earliest known databases.
  • A ferret named Misty was used by the US Space Command in Colorado to help rewire a new computerized command center.
  • In 1997, 67 million computer e-mail users in North America sent 2.7 billion messages.  Can only imagine how many are being sent these days.

I’m sure you were thrilled reading all of those useless facts but as we all know the Internet is the gift that keeps on giving. Now let’s move on to telephones because many of you anti-technology folks who really hate the Internet love old style telephones.

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Low Tech

  • A company in Japan developed false fingernails that glow when the wearer is talking on a cell phone.
  • Bob Prosser of Turtle Lake, Wisconsin, has a collection of 500,000 telephones, including an explosion proof military phone, a 14 karat gold Swedish phone, and a crank model used by the last Sultan of Turkey.
  • In Shoup, Idaho, there are no power lines, no televisions, and no stereos.
  • An answering machine in San Diego, California , created to take calls from Elvis Spotters has already received over 50,000 calls.
  • The Lazy E Ranch in Guthrie, Oklahoma, has telephones that are 6 1/2 feet above the ground, for use by cowboys on horseback.
  • The first telephone book was published in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1878, and contained only 50 names.
  • Albert Einstein never memorized his own telephone number.
  • The world’s smallest police station in Carabelle, Florida, is actually a phone booth.

I think that’s enough nonsense for today.  More trivia to follow as it becomes available. Fortunately there’s an endless supply if you know where to look.

06-11-2016 Journal–Things I Luv (Revised)   Leave a comment

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In the past I’ve posted lists of things I love and hate. Most of them were done to be humorous or at least tongue-in-cheek.  Today I thought it might be nice to list just ten things I really love.  I tried to do it seriously without attempts at humor but it’s difficult.  These are in no particular order except for the first item which if it showed up lower on the list I’d be a dead man.

  • My Better-half (Always first or else.)
  • My Stupid Cat (He wanted to be #1 . . . Sorry!)
  • Peace & Quiet
  • My Mental Strength
  • Losing myself for hours while creating anything. (Quality Time)
  • Sleeping Naked (Best thing since potato chips were invented.)
  • A Really Good Margarita (Or a Mojito)
  • Growing Anything
  • Eating soup
  • A really dirty joke or limerick.**

** I need to offer up some samples of this item or I just wouldn’t feel right about things.  These limericks and jokes  are “R” rated so if you’re offended by that kind of humor stop reading now.

Limerick #1

There was a woman named Lucille

who tried a dynamite stick for a thrill

they found her vagina in North Carolina

and bits of her tits in Brazil.

Limerick #2

There was a young man from Brighton

Who thought he’d at last found a tight ‘un.

He said, "Oh my love,

It fits like a glove."

Said she, "But you’re not in the right ‘un."

Limerick #3

A gay young man from Khartoum,

took a lesbian up to his room.

They argued all night,

as to who had the right

to do what, with which and to whom.

Joke #1

A man and a woman started to have sex in the middle of a dark forest. After about 15 minutes of it, the man finally gets up and says, "Damn, I wish I had a flashlight!". The woman says, "Me too, you’ve been eating grass for the past ten minutes!"

Joke #2

The scene, a newly wed couple on the first night of their honeymoon just before the passionate lovemaking was to begin. The wife tells her husband, "Please be gentle, I’m still a virgin." The husband being shocked, replied, "How’s that even possible? You’ve been married three times before." The wife responds, "Well, my first husband was a gynecologist and all he wanted to do was look at it. My second husband was a psychiatrist and all he wanted to do was talk about it. Finally, my third husband was a stamp collector and all he wanted to do was…oh, do I ever miss him!"

So much for my lame attempt at a little dirty humor. I just felt the need to be off-color this morning. I wonder why?

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ENJOY YOUR DAY