Archive for the ‘beaches’ Tag

07-07-2016 Journal – Spoiled Rotten!   Leave a comment

I think I may be getting a little bit spoiled but trust me . . . I won’t tell that to anyone but you. I never thought I’d live to see the day when I’d be considered spoiled but I have and it arrived yesterday.

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My better-half is on vacation this week and we’ve been going and doing anything we want and enjoying it immensely.  Yesterday was an almost perfect day. It was in the low eighties, sunny, and not a cloud in the sky. We decided to take a short day trip into New Hampshire to shop for antiques and to just relax and roam around for a few hours. Sounds pretty good right? Then why was I complaining almost the entire time? Why, because I’m spoiled.

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After getting home last night I sat on the deck and tried to figure out what my problem might be.  I spent a great deal of time whining and complaining about New Hampshire and those endlessly boring forests, lakes,  and those beautiful White Mountains. I complained about having to drive twenty miles along dozens of lakes and streams and be forced to see all of this damn beautiful scenery.  I also moaned and groaned after traveling through the countryside for an hour about that one car that was tailgating me or the one truck that was in front of me going only twenty miles an hour. Truthfully they were the only other cars on the road at that time. I was also upset that I had to drive by all of those cool little campgrounds and small beaches where I was forced once again to ogle a few well tanned and bikini clad lovelies enjoying their day. Am I going insane of just horribly spoiled?

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As we drove home back into Maine I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I could stop bitching about New Hampshire and return to my normal everyday bitching about Maine. More damn forests, more lakes, more good weather, and more of those damn beautiful vistas. Why me? What did I do in a previous life that I deserved all of these wonderful things.

I don’t know for sure but I’m working on it.

03-11-2015 Journal–Has Spring Really Sprung?   Leave a comment

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‘All you need is a coat, hat, gloves, a blanket, and a space heater.’

I hate to admit it but I think I may be suffering from a slight case of Spring Fever. I try never to fall prey to things like that but I’m beginning to feel it.  With official Spring being just a week away maybe it will actual happen.

I see ice and snow quickly disappearing and to help that cause along I spent two solid days cleaning snow and cumulated ice from my second floor deck. The snow was still two feet deep and the ice under it was between four and six inches thick.  To put it bluntly it was a real ball-buster of a job which I’ll never do again.  When I finally cleared a large enough area I set up the deck table and chairs and sat down for a break. Spring in Maine, twenty degrees, bright sunshine, sitting on my deck wearing a parka, hat, and gloves.

Yesterday was another beautiful sunny day and I decided to greet Spring with a flurry (no pun intended) of photographs of the beaches in the area. 

Here we go . . .

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‘It’s hard to walk on the beach when you can’t get there.’

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‘If you think the water looks cold you should feel the wind.’

So maybe I’m rushing things a little. Can you blame me?  This has been a long, long, long winter and it needs to “cease and desist” right now.   I took a drive past the amusement park in Old Orchard Beach and wasn’t all that amused. Brrrrr!

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‘It’s the only time of the year when the lines for the rides are this short.’

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‘Almost open for business.’

Even the birds are unhappy.  I can’t imaging why they insist on swimming around in freezing cold water but they appear to love it.  I was uncomfortable just watching them.

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So much for my first beach day of 2015.  I hope to God the rest of them are considerably warmer with a few more thongs and bikini’s to catch my interest. This is as good as it gets in March so I shouldn’t be complaining. 

It can only get better.

05-12-2014 Journal Entry-A No Garden Day!   Leave a comment

A day-off was really becoming necessary after the last few hectic weeks of gardening and lawn clean-up.  Today was the day.  The better-half was also on a day-off so we slept in a little, loaded up on coffee and breakfast, and then jumped into the car and took off.  It was a semi-beautiful day but the cloudiness was going to make taking pictures a challenge.

We drove east towards the shore and the traffic was light.  In two more weeks the tourists will arrive in force and make traveling a little more interesting in these beach areas.  We drove up the coast for a few miles and stopped briefly in a small cove used primarily by local lobstermen.  I snapped of a few photo’s of them  at work and a few of the birds covering the nearby rocks.  Neither seemed too happy about my picture taking but I persevered.

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It was breezy as hell and the temperature had dropped just low enough to require a hoodie if you planned on walking around.  We returned to the car, turned on the heater, and warmed up a little.  As we proceeded north it was great to see everything struggling to become green again and the sun finally decided to make an appearance.  We stopped briefly at the Portland Head Light which is one of the most visited and photographed lighthouses in Maine. It guards the entrance to Portland harbor.

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As you can see it’s just a place made for photographers.  It’s almost impossible to take a bad picture there.  Normally this place is mobbed with tourists but we were lucky to get here before the Memorial Day madness. 

Our trip continued north as we entered the city of Portland.  If you you’ve never visited Portland your missing something special.  It’s a small city with a small town feel.  It has a colorful waterfront as you can see and if you like the ocean the aroma of low tide here will enchant you.

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My better-half has a overwhelming desire for beer at almost any time so I decided to make a quick stop at Three Dollar Dewey’s, a local ale house and restaurant.  It’s located on Commercial Street in Portland, adjacent to the harbor.  It’s a charming area with fish markets, micro breweries, and some serious parking issues if you visit in season.  We try to stop at Dewey’s whenever we’re in the area for a quick cold one and a large order of fries.  They are just what the doctor ordered.

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We finished our fries and drinks and then walked around town for a few minutes of people watching.  Everyone was out in large numbers enjoying the sunshine and warm weather. Check out this little project someone created along the street. Snap a padlock of some sort on the fence and write your name on it.  I though it was pretty cool so take a look.

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It was mid-afternoon and time for us to depart.  We enjoyed this relaxing break from our normal lives and were ready to head home.  Tomorrow is another day.

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.

05-14-2013   Leave a comment

Spring has finally sprung here in Maine.  That cold nip that’s been in the air for the last few weeks seems to be disappearing and sitting on my deck actually feels warm instead of just in the sunny spots.

Something else is an excellent predictor of warm weather and that’s road construction.  We’re just a week away from the beginning of the tourist season which under normal conditions is a huge pain in the butt.  Add the influx of tourist to the unbelievable amount of road construction and what do you get? You get madness.

I spent a portion of my day yesterday riding around the area,  running errands, and just enjoying the sunshine.  I saw a few things I found more than a little disturbing.  I once lived in the Boston area and there we were required to suffer through traffic jams which are a way of life.  I spent more than seventeen years sitting on Rte. 128 in gigantic traffic jams and logged more time sitting on that highway than I did in my office. It was one of the many reasons I felt a move to Maine was a good idea.

Maine is a very large state with a reasonably small population and under normal circumstances we have a difficult time even finding a traffic jam.  Unfortunately that appears to be changing this year.  I spent more time than I’d like sitting in construction traffic yesterday and I swear I must have seen at least sixty percent of the state’s population.  They were all jammed into one of the main intersections in Scarborough, Maine which has been under construction for at least two months.

It takes a real genius to begin a large road construction project just prior to tourist season at one of the busiest intersections in the area without being absolutely certain it will be completed before the tourists arrive.  It’s not the town officials that are to blame but the idiots from the state government in Augusta.  They bitch and complain about the poor economy and then do their level best to screw things up.

The perfect example to make my point was this scene.  You have two large intersections within a couple of hundred yards of each other.  There are no less than fourteen lanes of traffic merging into and out of this area which unfortunately is the direct driving route to the beaches and the marsh areas where tourist love to visit.  Every lane except for two was closed.

I sat and watched some poor schmuck standing in a shallow hole spreading asphalt with a wooden paddle.  He was sweating his butt off as he pushed and pulled the material around to get it level.  Standing right next to him were four supervisors in their pretty white hard hats, reading their clip boards, and watching the poor guy working. Making a rough estimate I would calculate that more than $100.00 an hour was being spent to supervise one guy making $20.00 an hour.  I really appreciated that the entire group of supervisors were proud enough to wear their official State of Maine, Department of Transportation  jackets.  It’s the perfect way to advertise to "We the People" where our hard earned tax money is being spent.

Shortly after Memorial Day that intersection will be an even bigger nightmare.  I’m certain that all of our Canadian visitors will really appreciate spending a good portion of their vacation time sitting in the heat at that intersection.  You haven’t lived until you’ve experienced a road rage incident where someone is screaming obscenities at you in French.  At least I won’t understand what the hell their saying.

02-28-2013   Leave a comment

Another winter month coming to an end.  It’s hard to believe that it’s March already and we’re within a few short weeks of April and the beginning of another Spring.  Even with all of the snow, sleet, and ice we’ve had this winter it’s just flown by.

Since I’m the ultimate planner I ‘m already looking forward to gardening and how I plan on improving our garden.  You really can’t start too soon in Maine because our growing season is so much shorter than the norm.  Last year we had some successes with the garden and a couple of abject failures.  For the first time I planted collard greens just to see if they’d grow in this colder climate. OMG, a huge mistake on my part.  I didn’t realize just how freaking big those plants could get.  I planted only six plants and they just took over the entire corner of my growing frame.  I was so pissed I jerked them out of the ground and personally delivered them to the compost pile.  I wasn’t even smart enough to keep one or two to eat.  I’m guess I’m in need of counseling to help me manage my Garden Anger.

I like keeping a medium sized garden that produces well and anything that I deem a problem or an obstacle to my goals is gone, gone, gone.  I guess that’s why my compost pile is fifteen feet long and three feet high.

My biggest disappointment is growing tomatoes.  I love to eat them and use them in a variety of recipes but it seems that successfully growing them isn’t likely to happen.  Cherry tomatoes seem to do well both in the garden and containers on the deck but regular tomatoes, no such luck.  I’ve tried different fertilizers, had my soil tested and adjusted, planted a number of variations, all to no avail.  I even went so far as to buy a couple of those upside-down growing bags that were advertised on TV for a couple of summers. They were a huge pain in the ass to start with and never produced a single tomato.  Very frustrating to say the least.

I have a sizeable herb garden which always does well and supplies us with a variety of herbs for cooking year round.  I may try a few new and different things this year like adding additional garlic chive plants, a chocolate mint or two, and maybe two or three varieties of basil and sages.  It’s much more fun to experiment with your plantings when there’s no fear of the plants not growing as expected.  I’ve discovered that most herbs will survive almost anything except a lack of water.

Well, so much for my first taste of Spring Fever.  It all started with this little burst of warm weather today.  I feel as most people in Maine do.  We’ve had our long and snow-laden winter which was beautiful and all but it time to move on.  Very soon we’ll have warm weather, the smell of cut grass, walks in the woods, strolls on the beach, and vacation visits from family and friends who refuse to come to Maine in the winter.  Can’t wait!

Here’s hoping 2013 is as good as expected and even better than last year.  C’mon warm weather, you’ve been missed.

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