Archive for the ‘portland’ Tag

08-08-2016 Journal – August in Maine!   Leave a comment

I have to say that the last week of weather has been as good as it can get for Maine in August.  Temperatures during the day have been in the mid-80’s and dropping into the mid-50’s at night. Just perfect.  Since it’s been so nice we decided to take our visitors for a day trip to Portland.  A hot and sunny Sunday in August means lots of tourist and thousands of people to watch.  Finding parking is usually a problem but we got lucky, parked the car, and headed down Commercial Street into the Old Port.

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Commercial Street runs right along the length of the harbor and always has some nice shots available of the boats.

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The ladies were in and out of a dozen shops and buying, buying, and buying. I spent most of that time people watching and taking a few pictures for future use.

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We returned home tired and hungry and began the preparation of our dinner. Shish-kabobs, salads, pies, cakes, and a growler full of Goat Island Light beer. Since it was my birthday my better-half bought me the only beer I like. and it was wonderful.  After dinner we made our way to the beach located in Scarborough, Maine. A cool breeze was blowing and the water was perfect for wading and relaxing.

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The clouds just kept getting darker and darker but it never rained.

It didn’t take long to tire us all out and we returned home to relax for the rest of the night.  Another great day and an even better birthday.

 

 

 

04-16-2016 Journal–Garden Day #2 & Chicken Wings!   Leave a comment

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I spent an hour this morning working in the garden and freezing my ass off. Another night in the mid-twenties and the fourth hard frost in as many nights.  Gardening with a heavy coat, hat, and gloves is cumbersome to say the least. The garden frames have been upgraded and extra soil added to all of the areas.  There’s nothing more left to do except add some fencing then relax on the deck until Spring decided to actually show up.  This cold weather has got to go.

My better-half and I spent the last two weeks being good little dieters. No alcohol, no sugar, and no carbs. In other words we’ve been miserable. This morning’s weigh-in showed me down 5 pounds and her down 3.  It’s a slow start but we have a long way to go to meet our final goals. So far, so good.

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Our celebrating of our two week diet brought us to the Great Lost Bear tavern in Portland.  It’s known for it’s excellent chicken wings and draws my better-half to it like a giant magnet. Her obsession for wings is beyond belief.  She wolfed down a platter of the super hot variety while I had a chicken sandwich soaked in what they call their Hellfire sauce.  The name is no joke, believe me.  My mouth, throat and lips were burning for an hour after we left the  establishment but it was so damn good. I remained alcohol free and settled for some rather good ice tea to help put out the fire in my mouth.

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Tomorrow we sit down to discuss what will eventually be planted in our garden for this year.  We’re hoping to change things up a little to have a more diverse selection of crops.  The discussion should be interesting since we have totally different tastes in food.  Every year it’s the same process but we’ve had much in the past with our decision making and who can argue with that.

Tonight will require another lengthy hot shower to work out all of the kinks, aches, and pains resulting from this mornings work.  I’ve been looking  forward to that shower all day.

WHAT’S BETTER THAN HOT WATER ON SORE MUSCLES?

11-06-2015 Journal – Shopping, Eating, & Drinking!   Leave a comment

This is the second chapter of our visit with my better-half’s family members as we made our way through the streets of Portland, Maine.  For this late in the year this Sunday was absolutely perfect.  Sunny and warm with lots of people on the streets enjoying what remains of our Indian Summer.  I wore my comfortable shoes in preparation for hours of walking and shopping with the ladies.  It was all of that and more.

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Portland offers a crazy selection of coffee shops, galleries, and gift shops and it felt like we visited all of them.  The women shopped and we men were dragged kicking and screaming through the streets waiting desperately for food and drink, and even a cigars for one of us.

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We were in and out of so many different shops and I’m not kidding when I say we could have purchased damn near anything.  Look at these little gems we found displayed on the sidewalk and before you make any comments, I didn’t buy any.

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‘For shopper’s who need a little weirdness in their lives.’

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Our final stop was at our favorite tavern, Three Dollar Dewey’s, for a healthy four course meal of Gin, popcorn, nacho’s, french fries, and a delicious piece of strawberry shortcake.

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We had our fill of food and drink and returned to the car feeling fat and sassy.  It was a short ride home where we could kick back and relax a little more. The visitors needed a good nights sleep before their departure the next morning as they headed south for Rhode Island. 

WE CONTINUE TO ENJOY THIS INDIAN SUMMER

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.

07-31-2015 Journal– I’d Like a “Grande” Please!   Leave a comment

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Starbucks . . . what can I say about Starbucks?  Something good? Something bad?  I have it . . . something sarcastic, of course.  As most of you are aware I’m not their biggest fan.  The only accomplishment that Starbucks can claim as their own was to increase the price for a simple cup of coffee from $.10 a cup to prices well north of $3.00 a cup.  Thanks a lot Starbucks!

My dislike of Starbucks is directly related to the area of the country from which it sprung.  I passed through the northwestern section of this country in the mid-sixties on my way overseas and then again upon my return.  I’ll never forgive or forget the shabby treatment most of us servicemen received from the left leaning liberal residents of the area.

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That being said let me tell you about my visit to Starbucks yesterday.  I was dragged out into the heat of the day to accompany my better-half running errands.  She stopped for a quick hair trimming and I was left sitting in the car sweating my ass off. It was either sweat and be miserable in the car or go into the nearby Starbucks and be unsweaty and just as miserable there.

I ordered my “Grande” coffee which for you normal people out there means a “Large”.  I guess it hurts less when you’re handed a “Grande” coffee and charged $3.50.  Seated next to me were a foursome of young ladies that appeared to be in their early or mid twenties.  I noticed them immediately because only one of them had blue hair and the total number of piercing for the table was less than ten.  Shocking!

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They were getting a little boisterous in their support for those Greenpeace heroes attempting to block a river in Oregon by hanging off a bridge and floating below in the river on their kayaks. Years ago I was an avid Greenpeace member but abandoned their organization when their goals and principles took a strong left leaning direction. These young ladies were fully in support of this blockade but didn’t see the obvious irony.  Greenpeace is blockading an oil ship from passing as they sit in the middle of the river in plastic kayaks. They must have forgotten that those cute little plastic boats are made from plastic, a petroleum bi-product. How ironic and hypocritical at the same time, a liberal specialty.

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“They should try this logo, it might increase their market share.’

I didn’t engage them during their group rant but I did laugh out loud a couple of times.  It’s good that they have a sympathetic company like Starbucks that supplies them a place to hang out and support all of the tremendously unimportant liberal causes . . . of course at a price,  $3.50 a Grande.

03-15-2015 Journal – A Slow News Day!   Leave a comment

During all of my working life I prayed for a slow news day. A day where I could sit on my butt and do absolutely northing except relax.  I’ve finally reached a point in my life where I have days like that and I just don’t appreciate them like I once did.  Shame on me I guess.

Two days ago my better-half surprised me when she arrived home from work at 11 am, four hours early.  It was a good surprise and definitely not what you first thought when you read that.  We had half a day to just kick back and do whatever we wanted.  Since it was a sunny and freezing cold day we decided a quiet drive with our cameras would be perfect.  We made our way to the coast but taking pictures there in the winter is a major yawn.  Dirty snow and ice just isn’t anything I need more pictures of.

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‘Snore’

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‘Yawn’

After a half-hour passed we decided to just drive straight north to Portland  for a visit to a few of our favorite pubs.  Our first stop was a tavern along the waterfront called Three Dollar Dewey’s. This is a regular watering hole for us where the better-half can have her Shipyard beer and a side of fries and I can have an ice cold vodka-tonic with onion rings.  The drinks were grand and the food was even better. 

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This is the official T-shirt logo for Dewey’s which explains where and how the name of the bar was created.  Maybe next trip I’ll try for a $2 Feelie. Then we walked a quarter mile down the street to our second favorite place, The Dry Dock Tavern.

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The Dry Dock is a warm and cozy place to spend an hour or so in the cold Maine winter but it’s even better in the summer.  They have a large second floor deck which offers an unbelievable view of Portland harbor where you can relax and sip a cool margarita or two and catch a few rays.

We had a great day even though it was as cold as hell. The snow melt continues and in just a few weeks  Spring will actually arrive. 

I hope to make this summer one to remember.

11-15-2014 Journal – The Birthday Celebration!   Leave a comment

The big day has finally arrived and now my better-half is one year older.  I’ve never been one to celebrate my own birthdays but for her I can make an exception. We started the day off perfectly when we looked out the window of our bedroom to see the first snow fall of the year.  We’d had a flurry or two a week ago but this snow covered everything just like it should and as you can see.

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She was on a day-off which allowed us to be bed buddies for an hour or so.  I brought her some excellent coffee and we relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed the moment. Much to her surprise I’d hidden a birthday gift or two in the closet and brought them out.  Our normal routine has always been to open gifts at the end of the day but I wanted to change things up a little.  She opened her gifts and read her cards (one funny and one mushy) and we planned the remainder of our day.

It wasn’t long before we were in the car and on our way to Lowe’s.  What better way to start her birthday than with a snow storm and a flu shot.  That little chore took five minutes and we were headed out to Portland for a day of walking around, people watching, and shopping. 

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You’ve got to love shopping in Portland. Let’s see if you can guess what state your in by the merchandise they have available for sale.

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We made a few purchases and hallelujah, a birthday miracle, the sun came out and the skies cleared.  It was still cold as hell but it was turning into a perfect Maine winter day. We were thoroughly enjoying the day and decided to stop at a little out of the way tavern for a quick drink and some French fries.  They also have this great fish tank.

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It was while we were there that she contacted some friends who we socialize with occasionally and agreed to meet later for drinks.  We left Portland and made our way to my favorite coffee spot located inside the Maine Mall.  I ordered us both some excellent Ethiopian coffee and we split one of their triple berry yogurt muffins,  It was incredible.

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We had our dinner at the nearby Sebago Brewery which while being a small brewery is also a restaurant and bar and usually packed with people.  A Friday nite at this place is a freaking zoo and we were dropped right in the middle of it.  We finished our meal and a short time later our friends arrived  and the birthday celebration continued.  Her day was filled with emails, messages, and the dozen or so tweets she posted on Twitter. She also received calls from her children, siblings, and other friends.  She  was in heaven.

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We returned home at a reasonable hour, fell into bed and relaxed.  That’s when I brought out her quad-chocolate layer cake. She blew out her candles, made her magical wish, cut us two slices, and we pigged out a little.  What better way to finish our day right where it all started. More laughing and enjoying each other’s company and then to sleep. Isn’t that what it’s all about after all.

Happy Birthday Lovey!

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.

01-24-2014 – Journal Entry   Leave a comment

I’m sitting here this morning trying to decide whether leaving this warm bed is the smartest thing to do. The weather remains problematic as always and I’m not in the mood to deal with it today.  It’s been in the deep freeze here for two weeks and it isn’t expected to warm up anytime soon.  The only thing I know for sure is that I can’t spend the next two months in this bed as much as I’d like to.

I’ve been trying to be as careful as possible with all of the snow and ice we’ve been having.  Now that my broken leg is almost healed I’m deathly afraid of slipping or falling and ending up back in the hospital.  I’m walking very softly these days.

The better-half stumbled out of bed early today for another shopping safari with her daughter.  It was unplanned but she responded immediately to the telephone call, rolled out of bed and hit the ground running.  Nothing is more important than spending a little quality time with her grandson and shopping at the same time.  If she’s lucky she may be completely awake by the time they arrive to pick her up but she’s like a zombie right now.

I began a small construction project this week which has been on hold because of this cold weather. I plan on removing a large window in our living room and I need at least three hours of warmer weather to do it.  It shouldn’t take too long to remove the window, replace the missing studs and insulation  and then close up the hole.  I can finish the rest from the inside of the house in just a few hours of drywalling and painting.  I must be out of my mind doing this in February.  Why I didn’t I do it in September is beyond me.  I’ll just sit around for another week or two waiting for a few hours of temperatures above the freezing mark.  Hurry up and wait.

I have a quiet day planned for today but it never seems to work out that way. I need to spend at least forty five minutes on the dreaded treadmill before I do anything else.  It’s been a huge help in rehabilitating my leg.  It still amazes me how much a limb can deteriorate in such a short period of time.  Another week should have my injured leg back to it’s normal size.  Rebuilding lost muscle tissue is difficult and time consuming but must be done as quickly as possible.

Since the better-half has four days off I thought I’d surprise her with a night on the town.  I have a few ideas of places to visit with the Great Lost Bear  heading the list. It’s the best place in the Portland area where she can feed her ever increasing addiction to smoking hot chicken wings.  They specialize in XXX wings that are hot enough to set your hair on fire.  The second possibility is The Strike Zone located in Old Orchard Beach and their specialty is deep fried everything.  It’s a typically small sports bar where deep fried foods are the rule of the day. My weight loss program will be at serious risk if we go there but OMG the food is delicious.

It’s time to get motivated and moving.  I love Winter.

01-26-2013   Leave a comment

Shopping in January.  The temperature is nineteen degrees with a wind chill of nine degrees.  Are we effing crazy?  That would be a huge yes.  We were out of the house running errands where we rode around in a nice warm car, would run into a nice warm store, and then return to the nice warm car.  Sounded like an excellent plan to me but then again, what the hell  do I know.  Out of the blue my better-half decided to let me know she was jonesing for fresh crabs.  Could we swing by the docks in Portland to the fish market and pick up a few?  What was I going to say?

As we entered the city there were a surprising number of people roaming the streets.  There must have been some kind of political protest going on because we saw a number of folks carrying their home-made signs and waving at passing traffic.  It’s nice to see that those “Occupy Portland” idiots have found something to do through the winter.  Fortunately the turnout must have been rather low because there didn’t appear to be any delays with traffic flow.

If you’ve ever been to Portland, Maine you must be aware of the constant parking problems.  It’s ten times worse in the winter when a large number of parking slots are filled with piles of snow and ice.  We got lucky and found a spot after 15 minutes of cruising around.  They still get to take a shot at you for parking violations due to a stupid two hour limit on their meters.  I firmly believe that the town council and politicians are paid from the parking ticket fund.  I saw no less than four meter readers (parking Nazi’s) on one street dropping $25.00 tickets everywhere.

My better-half had the audacity to say “I think we should walk around for a while.”  My only reply was “Are you kidding me, it’s effing cold out here. Find a store and go in.”  So she did.  We were then in and out of a handful of odd little shops with off-beat merchandise and really high prices.  We found a place called Pandemonium which is the ultimate shopping experience for over priced crap.  I again was placed in a position where I had no choice but to buy something.  I found an ugly little pig clock for my better-half’s Valentines Day gift and a bottle of habanero hot sauce with a really scary warning label.  The cost of those two items could have kept my car gassed up for two weeks.  Highway robbery!

I could see in her eyes what was coming next.  It was two in the afternoon and she was dreaming of those stupid crabs and a cold beer. We swung by the fish market where I  remained in the car.  I hate going in there because even on a good day the smell is awful.  She was back in a wink with no crabs.  Apparently it’s too cold for crabs too and there were none available, Boo Hoo!

We then arrived at a local tavern, Three Dollar Dewey’s, that we visit whenever we’re in town.  A quick drink, some fish and chips, and then home.

I have to admit it was fun to get out of the house for a while.  I have one additional question for you women out there.  What would possess any women into going out into this cold weather wearing only a cardigan sweater, a pair of black, skin tight leotards, and a pair of Ugg boots.  I saw at least four women dressed in that outfit scurrying along bitching and complaining about the cold. I’ve always said I didn’t understand women and I still don’t.  You could freeze your Who-Ha right off if you had one.

Posted January 27, 2013 by Every Useless Thing in Just Saying Again

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