Archive for the ‘animals’ Tag

10-05-2015 Journal – Fryeburg Fair Day!   Leave a comment

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The annual Fryeburg Fair began yesterday in southern Maine. It’s what amounts to a week long farm show as similarly held in many other states. My better-half and I usually visit the event mid-week in an attempt to avoid huge crowds.  We’ve never attended the opening day festivities because that would be crazy. Unfortunately this year we lost our minds and got a little crazy.

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Fryeburg is a community with an average population of approximately 3500 people.   It’s listed as the 102nd largest town in the state of Maine making it no more than a small black dot on the map.  The week of the Fair brings between 350,000-400,000 visitors to town and yesterday it felt like they all arrived at the same time. It made for a rather uncomfortable day for those of us with claustrophobia issues.

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‘Jumbo Donuts appear to be very popular.’

At 10 am the crowds were so so thick it was difficult to move around.  The entire fairgrounds was packed solid with people and the lines at almost every food vendor were unbelievably long.

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One of the most annoying problem for me was the number of people riding around on electric carts. I hate to use a broad-brush approach to people on those carts because some actually do need them but I saw quite a few that looked in a lot better shape than me cruising around, talking on their phones, and wolfing down Jumbo Donuts.  It just gives me pause.

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I avoided entering most of the buildings due to the large crowds but it was even difficult to take photographs outside.  In years past we’ve spent as much as eight hours at the fair but yesterday we left after just three and a half hours. 

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If we never learn anything else we now know that opening day should be avoided at all costs. Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying.  It was nice to get out and enjoy a beautiful sunny Fall day and the Fair food was greasy and delicious as always.  We’re actually considering a second visit later in the week when the crowds thin out a little and we can really enjoy ourselves. You can be sure of one thing, we’ll never be there again on opening day.

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‘Gridlock traffic in town as well.’

10-03-2014 Journal Entry-Fryeburg Fair #3   Leave a comment

This third installment of Fair day will be my last lame attempt to take you there.  I  wish I had some sort of smell-a-vision to really help tell the whole story but since I don’t,  I’ll do the best I can with pictures.

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We’ve visited the animal barns in the last installment but there was so much more to see than just that.  I was extremely interested in the foods being offered since I’ve spent the last year on a rather strict eating regime.  This was a day for me to misbehave a little and the choices were numerous.  Here’s a brief collection of those possibilities.

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Here are two of my sins for the day . . . .

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“Deep fried veggies.’

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‘Funnel Cake’

I was also dragged kicking and screaming by my better-half to an endless number of exhibits of things that held no interest for me.  Just being a cooperative partner can be trying at times.  There was no end of the shopping possibilities and she wasn’t about to miss any.  Thank God we only have one grandson to buy for.  If I hear or see anything with Mickey Mouse on it any time soon I may run screaming into the night.

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“This was the only place that convinced me to spend my money.’

Now here’s a montage of photo’s of a host of other things that piqued my interest as we roamed around.

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This one last photo will further explain just how I felt after ten hours of walking, sweating, and rubbing elbows with those huge crowds of other hot, sweaty and smelly human beings.  I was totally exhausted and was just about done with Fair Day for this year.

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‘Suicide by hippo.’

But there’s always next year to do it all over again . . . . . .

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10-02-2014 Journal Entry’s-Fryeburg Fair #2   Leave a comment

In this installment we’ll continue our journey through the huge crowds of people and make our way to visit the huge crowds of animals.  I couldn’t possibly post all of the animal photos I took.  The number and variety was amazing and the better-half made sure we saw each and every one of them. Here’s a montage:

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‘Shave and a haircut.’

 

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‘Llamas, I’m not a big fan.’

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‘Clean as a whistle.’

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‘Huge !!!’

If the Fair were held a little closer to our home I suspect we’d spend multiple days just roaming around the animal barns.  Attending the many events where animals are displayed for judging would easily take an entire day.  We were a little pickier this year in what we attended but as always because of my better-half’s love of pigs we took these pictures.

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‘One happy pig.’

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‘Many happy piglets.’

It’s now approaching the noon hour and we made our way to a small grandstand to watch the skillet throwing contest.  I’m a big fan because the contest is a tongue-in-cheek throwback to the good old days of farm shows. I’ve captured a number of entrants as they tossed their skillets into the air but the last one was the big winner of the day.  She was also the returning champion from last year’s Fair and to be as kind as possible she was more than a little scary.

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‘Going . . . .’

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‘Going . . . .’

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‘ Gone !!!!, The winner and still champion.’

I took a quick picture of this guy who was either bored to death or just plain exhausted.  He was sitting on his four wheeler with hundreds of people walking by and was dead asleep. 

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I knew exactly how he felt because it was the same malady that struck me as I sat listening to this Country and Western group while my better-half wandered around on her own shopping for more Fair junk.

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My final installment from the Fair will be posted in two days and will include a variety of random shots taken throughout the day. Lots of food stops shopping kiosks, and hours of people watching.  Come back to visit.

9-29-2014 Journal Entry-Fryeburg Fair Day #1   Leave a comment

My body is talking to me this morning and it isn’t all that happy.  Fryeburg Fair Day has come and gone for another year leaving us walking wounded behind.  I’m going to post our Fair Day over the next few days because I have a lot of photos I’d like to share which should help give you a real feel for the place.  The ride to Fryeburg was uneventful but the closer we got to the fairgrounds the more the traffic increased as you can see.

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Being the simple person that I am I thought I’d start our day at the main entrance to the fairgrounds.  This is one of the few events where I don’t mind paying a $10.00 entry fee.  It’s worth every penny of that $.80 an hour it’s costing me. That’s a good deal anytime.

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Yesterday was a day of smells. Twelve hours of smelly crowds, really smelly animals, and the aroma of deep fried everything.  If you ever wanted to deep-fry a particular item, you could find a booth selling it here at the Fair. There’s nothing like the smell of old and hot cooking grease at 8:30 in the morning.

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‘You don’t see signs like this too much anymore.’

If you like crowds this is the place to be.  I’ve been coming to this event for seven years and my better-half for almost fifteen.  In our opinion the crowd today is the largest either of us have ever seen.  The fact that it’s Woodsmen Day is probably part of the explanation.  It’s the day for axe throwing, log rolling, tree climbing, and an assortment of other events for the wannabe lumberjack. If you like beards and flannel shirts this is where you need to be.

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I’m not sure exactly sure just how large the fairground  is but with all of the campgrounds surrounding the place it must cover at least 100 acres or so.  That’s an uneducated guess so those of you from Fryeburg who may be reading this shouldn’t get your panties in a knot if it’s a little inaccurate. To put it simply, the place is huge !!!!!

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We normally start our visit with the area set aside for the little kids.  Pony rides and small merry-go-rounds right next door to Old McDonald’s petting zoo.  The little ones seem to love getting in there for a little "hands on" with the baby animals.

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‘They love milking the plastic cow.’

Before doing anything else we stopped for our traditional Fair Day breakfast meal.  A large order of greasy French Fries, vinegar, and ketchup will certainly get the old heart started on these cool Fall mornings.  Another hour or so of wandering around is next on our agenda before we head for the animal barns. My better-half waits all year to return here to visit all of her animal friends. I swear she must have been born a farmer in a previous life.  My next posting will offer up an assortment of animal pictures and a few other interesting events like the skillet toss.

That’s it for today, installment two will post in 2 days and if you have an interest in farm animals, stop back to visit.

10-01-2013   Leave a comment

I’ve been mentioning the Fryeburg Fair for a month now and today was the day.  We were up at dawn and enroute to pickup the better-half’s daughter and one year old grandson.  I’d  pounded down two quick cups of coffee to get my heart started and to keep me alert during the fifty minute drive to Fryeburg, Maine.  It was early, I hadn’t slept all that well, and I knew it was going to be a very long day.

I was looking forward to taking the grandson to his first Fair but everything else was up for grabs.  As we entered the town of Fryeburg traffic was exactly as expected, grid lock.  We moved very slowly through town to the area where the fairgrounds are located and parked in the front yard of a local resident for $5.00 bucks.  Every house on the street approaching the fairgrounds has a sign up and a person waving a flag trying to entice idiots like us to park with them.  Depending on the size of their yard they can turn a nice profit during Fair week.  We unloaded the two hundred pounds of baby stuff, threw the little guy into his high-tech stroller and began walking the short distance to the main entrance of the fairgrounds.

When I say there were thousands of people swarming the area I’m not kidding.  I have a minor phobia about large crowds and close quarters and I knew today was going to test me in a big way. 

The better-half has a few things during every Fair visit that have become a tradition for her such as immediately buying a stack of postcards, a giant plastic coffee mug, and chowing down on a box of french fries.  It took just a few minutes for those three items to be scratched from her to-do list and the rest of us were finally permitted to find a freaking rest room.

The crowds continued to grow, the sun came out, and it turned into a beautiful yet sweltering day.  During the drive to the Fair the temperature was in the low fifties but within an hour of our arrival it started climbing into the mid seventies.  An absolute scorcher as it turned out.

We visited exhibits, nibbled at various food items and delivered the grandson to the petting zoo for an introduction to a few of Mother Natures favorite animals.  He was curious for a moment as he and his mother were mobbed by a herd of small goats looking for the food they were carrying. His interests in the goats waned a bit but then he discovered the straw covering the floor.  It held his interest almost as long as the goats.  Maybe next year he’ll be more interested in the animals. 

We sat for a time in the shade of a tree and listened to a local performer singing a selection of songs and making nice with the crowd.  We were able to catch our breath, cool off a little, and change our damp little boy.  He had some fun clapping with the music and trying to dance and smiling and giggling at everyone.  It was pretty cool.

It was as expected a very long day.  We visited more animals, barns, horses, oxen, cattle, chickens, and llamas than I ever want to see again.  We ate more food, drank more water and made many more trips to the restrooms.  That for me is the biggest racket of all at this Fair.  They have an assigned attendant in each restroom who I was expected to tip after relieving myself.  Of course I left no tip because I refuse to pay someone to stand there and direct me to a urinal and then watch me take a leak.  Something is just wrong and a little creepy about that and I refused to participate.  I’d love to see just how those folks would list that job on their resume.  I won’t even try to guess.

It was finally four o’clock and we’d been roaming around for almost eight hours.  My back hurt, my feet hurt, I was hot and sweaty, and the baby was getting a little cranky.  The better-half and her daughter were exhausted as well and I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there.  So we did.

The soft seats of that car were the best part of the day.  The baby instantly fell asleep and we made our way home.  I was happy to be involved with his first official Fair visit and we were able to document it with hundreds of photographs.  Next year he’ll be walking, talking, and be a little more aware of what’s going on around him.  I’m already looking forward to that.

I’d really like to write more but I’m heading for the shower and then our nice soft bed. I am pooped.  

11-28-2012   4 comments

Another month has screamed by at warp speed and winter has arrived here in Maine.  We haven’t received much snow yet but the temps are in the mid twenties at night and low forties during the day.  It always takes me a few weeks to adjust my body to the winter temperatures but once that’s over it’s smooth sailing for the next five months.

I’d  like to thank those of you who persuaded me into sticking with my goal of reading all of the Harry Potter books.  As I thought, the books tell a better story than the films but the films special effects really do bring the stories to life in a different way. It’s hard to deny how important special effects can be when making movies about witches and wizards and a host of really strange creatures.  If I were to make a recommendation I’d still suggest reading the books before seeing the movies.  That’s almost impossible I know but it’s what I think.  Since the films have been released to TV I’m sure just about everyone on the planet has seen most of them.  That’s OK but if you’re a real fan then sit down and read them, you’ll love it.

I finished book three a few days ago, took a breath and immediately started on book four.  I’m only a few chapters into it but can already see the changeover to a more adult approach to the story.  A couple of early murders and a little sexual innuendo go a long way to making that point.  I’m actually looking forward to finishing the remainder of the books which shouldn’t take more than a few more weeks after my return from Maryland.

I’m sitting here this morning trying to solve a problem I’ve seen having recently.  We live in a very rural area filled with forests, farm fields, a few neighbors, and a plethora of animals roaming in and around the property.   I need to preface this with a tidbit of information to help you understand.  A number of months ago we had an unknown number of fucking thieves enter our home while we were out and they stole everything that wasn’t nailed down. The details are unimportant but the effect it had on us was profound.  I’ve since turned my home into a fortress with lock replacements, industrial strength deadbolts, a top of the line alarm system, and sensor controlled lights surrounding the house.  If you even fart within two hundred feet of my house the place will light up like Rockefeller Center and you’ll likely get to meet me and my Smith & Wesson.  The police should arrive just in time to save you.

Your asking I know, “What’s the big problem then?”.   Sounds great right? Not so much.  The problem began shortly after the lights were installed when I was in a much more paranoid place than I am now.  I was lying in bed at two in the morning and all of a sudden the entire rear of the house lit up.  I grabbed my gun and headed down stairs to investigate.  I looked out the windows and could see nothing so I opened the back door to look around and almost stepped on one of the largest skunks I’ve ever seen.  He was sitting almost against the door and I was one step away from a smelling and disgusting disaster.  Of course, I retreated immediately but that SOB hung around for another half hour keeping all of the lights lit.  A few times every week now I’m awakened not just by roaming wild animals but also my neighbors cat. He loves patrolling around my house in the wee hours and might even get some kind of a feline related thrill by turning on all my lights every so often.

“It’s a pickle I tell ya!”, to quote Frank Barone.  How do I take steps to deal with that cat?  Maybe I shoot him in the ass with a BB gun? I really don’t want to harm the little bastard because he’s been keeping the chipmunk population under control for a few years now.  I’m afraid there’s just no solution. I’ll  have to get darker curtains on my bedroom windows and just let it go.  My other problem is that I’m not very good at letting things go.

Time to go and enjoy the day.

Posted November 29, 2012 by Every Useless Thing in Humor, Just Saying

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