Archive for the ‘shopping’ 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.

 

 

 

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07-02-2016 Journal – The Holiday Weekend!   Leave a comment

I’m not one to become overly excited about holidays but the 4th of July has a little extra meaning for me. Not because it’s the nations birthday, which is important, but because it was the birthday of my favorite grandfather.  It’s the only day of the year that brings back in vivid detail the many memories that I have of him. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY USA and grandpa Jeff.

My better-half surprisingly started her vacation yesterday which will include the holiday weekend. Since the day was beautiful and sunny we once again took a day trip to Bridgeton, Maine located an hour east of our home. It’s located in the foothills of the White Mountains along the New Hampshire border. It’s a quaint small town filled with many interesting shops that we enjoy visiting.

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Here are a few shots of the Maine street which was fairly busy with visitors. We hit our usual favorites to look for anything old and interesting. It’s always fun to people watch and roam around and not have to be concerned about the time.

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If you like bells . . . they’ve got plenty.

It was very relaxing day but since we were starving we made a stop at Towanda’s Deli for a nosh. We relaxed at an outside table and had one of the freshest and most flavorful sandwiches we’ve had in a long while.

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At the next table sat this handsome fellow. He lounged quietly with his owners and seemed to be enjoying his day as well. His name is “Russ” and what a sweet and friendly dog he is. He came over and said hello and goodbye as he and his family were leaving. An awesome dog.

Our drive home was pleasant and the day was a perfect start of our holiday weekend.

HAPPY FOURTH EVERYONE

04-08-2016 Journal–Who Doesn’t Love Shopping?   Leave a comment

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After yesterdays shopping trip with my better-half I’m sitting here this morning trying to figure out exactly what kind of positive benefits I might have reaped from it as well as any negatives.  The trip was relatively short compared to her usual shopping forays so I was forced to sit and read my Kindle at only three locations. Fortunately for me they were all in the Mall and out of the weather.

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The positives.

Positive #1 – I sat an hour or so in the Mall out of the rain and cold weather.

Positive #2 – I had a free hour of reading time.

Positive #3 – I made my better-half happy by accompanying her.

Positive #4 – I was out of the house.

Positive #5 – I was able to continue my detailed study of black leggings and the effect they have on me when worn by skinny, well built, chubby, and the occasional obese woman.

Positive #6 – The good feelings that are generated by all those black leggings on the really well-built women.

Positive #7 – We ate a really delicious luncheon meal at Uno’s and:

Positive #8 – Our well-built waitress was wearing black leggings (that were even better than any dessert).

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Now let’s move on to the negatives.

Negative #1 – I was forced to go out in the rain and cold weather to sit in an effing Mall.

Negative #2 – I wasted an hour of my precious time trying to read my Kindle in a crowded and annoying Mall.

Negative #3 – I remained silent and refused to voice my displeasure so not as to upset my better-half.

Negative #4 – I was taken to the Mall when my time could have been better spent at home with my X-Box.

Negative #5 – I was continuously distracted by a steady stream of women wearing black leggings.

Negative #6 – With all the hormones flying around because of the black leggings I was forced to remain seated the entire time (I hope you get my drift here).

Negative  #7 – Eating out requires that I pay for a meal that I could have made at home for a fraction of the cost.

Negative #8 – Our waitress was way too efficient making numerous trips to our table to distract me from conversations with my better-half (it was those damn black leggings she was wearing).

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Since the negatives cancelled out the positives I suppose you could say we had a reasonable day.  Not outstanding but not terrible either. If it wasn’t for my better-half and all of those black leggings it could have been much less enjoyable.  It’s amazing to me how our excellent relationship has developed over the years due to those thousands of little inconsequential compromises we make. Only one thing could have made our day better and close to absolute perfection.

MY BETTER-HALF NEEDS  TO BUY A FEW PAIRS OF BLACK LEGGINGS !!

Critical Disclaimer: Darling this entire post was written with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek. You’ll just have to compromise a bit for all of the sarcasm.

03-21-201 Journal–A Day in the White Mountains!   Leave a comment

I’d just like to send out to Mother Nature a big huge kick in the butt. I awoke this morning to her latest gift . . . 6 inches of snow with more expected. I think it’s just her way of letting us know who’s really in charge around here.  So I spent this morning getting the snowblower out of storage, gassing it up one more time, and clearing the driveway again. Dammit!!

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I much prefer to talk about our day trip yesterday which was much nicer than all this crappy snow today. We took a ride west into New Hampshire to the foothills of Mt. Washington.  It was a cold and sunny day which made for  a great drive.  We were headed once again to North Conway, NH known for it’s many cool little shops and outlet stores. Here a photo looking down Maine Street towards Mt. Washington.

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The town was packed full of visitors and every store and shop was crowded. A little sunshine goes a long way in helping to open purses and wallets. I actually opened mine for a change and did my part to help the local economy.

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After walking a few miles and looking at damn near everything we decided to stop for lunch at a restaurant called Horsefeathers.

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Their menu had a lot to offer but I always lean towards seafood whenever possible.  The better half had a great crab and cheese sandwich and loved it. I ordered some super garlicky mussels and this was all that was left a short time later.

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The food and drinks were terrific and we returned to the car fat, dumb, and happy.  All of our purchases were loaded up and as we drove down Main Street towards home this was what I saw in my rearview mirror. Just a beautiful area.

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I can’t wait to return later in the summer to make the trek to the summit of Mt. Washington. We’ve done it before because the view will take your breath away. If I remember correctly on a clear day you can see five states from up there and parts of Canada as well.

JUST A GREAT DAY TO SHAKE OFF THE WINTER DOLDRUMS

01-13-2016 Journal – Snowblowing & Shopping!   Leave a comment

I went to bed last night with expectations of a light snow fall and awoke this morning with almost five inches of the white stuff clogging my driveway. And a special thanks goes out to the Saco snowplow driver for missing my mailbox and then filling my driveway with eight inches of snow.  So instead of a quiet morning lounging in bed I was forced to brave the cold and snow to clear the damn driveway. How could my better-half possibly survive if she couldn’t get out to shop sometime today?

This was my morning wake up call.

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The snow made for interesting pictures as it stuck to each and every tree branch we could see. I snapped a few photos with my point-and-shoot camera but by the time I got around to getting my Nikon ready the snow was already dropping from the trees.  Here are a few substandard pics to give you some idea of what I’m talking about.

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The rest of the day was spent running errands and generally just screwing around. She enjoyed her day off and I enjoyed getting out of the house for a while.  More snow in the forecast for the weekend so we’ve got to enjoy the time out when we can.

I’m sorry for the short post but other responsibilities need tending to. More to follow soon.

12-16-2015 Journal – The Christmas Ho–Hums!   Leave a comment

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I think the arrival of Christmas Day may be just a bit anticlimactic this year. Maybe not for you (if you have kids) but for me I’m afraid it could be. I bought my first presents back in July of this year in my lame attempt to get as much of the preparation done as early as possible. I accomplished that easily enough but little did I know there’d be a huge downside to it as well.

So today is the sixteenth of December and in about an hour I’ll be mailing off four Christmas cards to my family members.  For all intents and purpose Christmas is already over for me, I’m just sitting around waiting for the day to get here. Then I can move on to the next holiday, then the next one after that, and on and on and on it goes. 

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‘And a merry little Christmas to you all.’

My attempt to do all of my shopping online this year was only 85% successful. Hopefully by next year I’ll have figured out a better way to do things. I purchased a number of gift cards this year from different business and will hand them out as needed but next year I’ll order them on line and have them mailed direct. Thank you ever so much Amazon. I can even get my regular gifts ordered online, have them gift wrapped, and sent on their way with a card. Easy peasy, right?

I know some of you out there will accuse me of having no real Christmas spirit. That I’m losing that personal touch by not elbowing my way through throngs of idiots to make my purchases.  I’ll be forced to miss out on parking problems, arrogant store employees, and the many fine citizens who insist on being a-holes or even worse. I’ll certainly miss all of those high pressure sales people who love getting in my face to annoy and irritate me as I stroll through the mall. How can I possibly choose not to smell the body odor of hundreds of overdressed and sweaty shoppers. If that doesn’t get you into the Christmas spirit nothing will.

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As you can plainly see, I’m bored out of my effing skull waiting for the day to finally arrive.  Am I excited? Yes! Will the day meet and exceed my expectations? I can only hope.  The only saving grace will be the grand children. A couple of excited smiles from them will make up for all the BS that seems to be more of a requirement these days than ever before.

EIGHT SHOPPING DAYS LEFT

And coming all too soon:

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11-20-2015 Journal–More Pre-Christmas Shopping!   Leave a comment

I’m posting a little later than I like today. I was stolen away by my better-half for a day of errands and Christmas shopping.  I wasn’t thrilled but I’m trying to work on improving my Christmas spirit  this year so I’ve been smiling and nodding a lot. That was my first mistake.

For those of you unfamiliar with Maine the “Holy Land” of shopping is the town of Freeport located approximately 10 miles north of Portland along the coast. It’s a small town composed primarily of an endless supply of outlet stores from damn near every retailer you can name.  It’s always been a tradition for us and most Mainers to do some of our Christmas shopping there and to spend more than a little time doing it.

This year was the first time we’ve actually gone to Freeport before Thanksgiving and Black Friday (Thank God).  The stores weren’t too crowded and finding parking was a snap for a change.  Our first stop was my favorite place called Mexicali Blues.  It’s actually a modern day version of what once was  considered a “head shop” minus the bongs and roach clips. 

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If you like extremely bright colors and off-the-wall apparel, this is the place.  I never miss a chance to visit and I always buy something interesting. Today I picked up a few wild and crazy stocking stuffers for some of the family members.  I just love the place.

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Smoke a fat doobie, sit on the sofa, and contemplate on this bird. That’s sure to get your head and your Christmas season kick-started.  If you choose to do that I’d recommend a huge bag of Lays wavy potato chips and lots of wine.

Another stop that is always mandatory in Freeport is a visit to L.L. Bean.  The crowds were small and the better-half was able to take her time (like always) and buy a few small things for the family. 

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I waited until the appropriate time to start complaining.  I was hungry, I needed coffee, my feet hurt, and anything else I could think of.  Being subtle with the better-half is a losing battle. I just have to blurt things out until she gets tired of hearing me. Sometimes it takes a while but it always works eventually. 

We made it home in record time and I was able to put anther day of shopping hell behind me. I guarantee you I’ll be hiding for the rest of the holiday season in places the better-half won’t look.  Wish me luck, I’ll need it.

11-16-2015 Journal– X-mas Insanity Begins!   Leave a comment

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This post will probably be confusing for some of you because there isn’t any rhyme or reason behind what I’ll be writing.  I’ve been very busy of late with a lot of little stuff that needs to be handled before the holidays officially arrive. Just keep your hands and feet inside the car, this ride may get a little bumpy.

My life has changed dramatically in the last month due to my elimination of  live cable television.  I’m happy to announce that I haven’t watched more than ten minutes of commercials, ads, or television shopping channels for over a month.  It took me a few weeks to get the hang of streaming and I’ve been able to locate and avoid those few channels that still insist on running commercials. It’s truly a game changer.  I have more freedom to watch what I please when I please and no scheduling of my time in order to watch a specific program.  No more waiting for commercial breaks to make  bathroom runs, I just hit the pause and Ta Da.  I also like watching what once was an hour long show in 43 minutes, minus all those damn commercials.  Life has gotten seriously better.

The better-half’s birthday has come and gone and was a great success. She loved her gifts, the wine, and that big, fat, medium rare T-bone steak. I tried to be as romantic as possible and I think I pulled it off rather well.  Here’s my lame attempt at a table setting on our crazy retro dining room set.

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I’d like to officially thank the cow that made the ultimate sacrifice for our meal. Tender and soft as marshmallows washed down with a semi-sweet Merlot.  Yummmmm!

I’ve been diligently working towards having all things Christmas, purchased, wrapped, and hidden away by Thanksgiving.  That will free up my time between Thanksgiving and Christmas to be the better-half’s decorating slave. First the tree, then the lights, then tinsel, then motorized talking and singing toys scattered throughout the house.  I can only pray that my first gift will be a noise-cancelling headset. 

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Here’s some bad news. Last night I was strong-armed into watching the first Christmas movie of the season.  That’s right, a Christmas movie on November 15.  Please just shoot me now.

Three days ago I was dragged kicking and screaming to the Mall. It was a typical mall trip which bored the hell out of me. I ended up sitting in the middle of the mall surrounded by herds of screaming kids being chased by their parents. Thank God for my Kindle.  The best part of my visit consisted of my standing near a small kiosk and allowing a really hot young lady to place heat packs on my neck. I let her go on and on with her sales pitch and finally walked away without making a purchase. My neck felt a lot better and so did my morale. thBVIZQLLU

I have a few more gifts to wrap today and I think I’m  be totally finished with Christmas preparations.  With that goal being met I think I’ll then deserve a tall, cold, and refreshing Gin and Tonic later this afternoon. 

I hope your holiday craziness isn’t too overwhelming.  Before you know it 2016 will be here and we can start preparing for next Christmas. Are we all insane or is it just me?

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

10-03-2015 Journal–A Really Early Holiday Message!   Leave a comment

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‘This is written with my tongue lodged firmly in my cheek.’

Where did our Summer go?  It seems like just a short time ago we were complaining about the heat and humidity and WHAM, all of a sudden we’re rolling into October and looking down the tunnel at that proverbial bright light approaching at seventy miles an hour. That light is the damn holiday season quietly sneaking up on us. It’s October for God’s sake. Doesn’t anyone care that it just too damn early to be worrying about the holidays.  Stop the madness people. 

I was in Lowe’s yesterday visiting my better-half who was tied up with a number of other employees doing their Christmas reset. Just shoot me now, please. What the hell are they thinking.

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These retailers claim they start their seasonal BS  early because of the huge demand for their holiday products.  Honestly, when was the last time you ever heard anyone . . . that’s ANYONE say they were happy about seeing the Christmas season starting in early October.  Never!!  The truth of the matter is that the demand is created by the retailers themselves who lower their prices just enough to entice customers to the store.  They can be so disingenuous at times it makes me crazy. It just goes to show you how stupid they think we the shopping public are.  And sadly they’re right!

I refuse to be manipulated anymore.  No early holiday nonsense for me, no Black Friday idiocy, and no paying attention to the thousands of emails that will be clogging my mailbox over the next ten weeks.  I’m done with it. 

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I plan on spending exactly fifteen minutes on Christmas shopping this year  and thank God for Amazon. A five minute walk-in at Toys R Us for two gift cards, a five minute walk-in at Home Depot for one gift card, and finally five minutes to order seven additional gift cards from Amazon. That leaves just a few gifts I need to purchase for my better-half which will be ordered on-line as well and shipped directly to our house.

Stick those gift cards in an envelope with a Christmas card and a short note and you’re DONE.  No more stress, no more purchases of gifts that no one really wants or appreciates. Get your gift cards in the mail, buy what you want, and leave  me alone.  I never intend to spend more than an hour on Christmas preparations ever again. 

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I’m only asking Santa Clause for Amazon or Kindle gift cards this year since I’ve been very, very good. I’ve spent too many years getting clothing I hate and would never dare to wear, smiling and lying about how much I liked that fruit cake I received, and all of the required traveling around the countryside in terrible weather to visit people. I’m sorry folks, it’s nothing personal, but in my opinion if you’ve seen one Christmas tree you’ve seen them.  So here is my collective seasons greetings for most of you in case I forget later.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

HAPPY HANUKKAH

HAPPY STUPID KWANSA

HAPPY SEINFELD FESTIVAS

MERRY CHRISTMAS

HAPPY NEW YEAR

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I’m exhausted already from just listing all of this foolishness.  I wish I could just go find a cave and hibernate until February 15.  It would make for one of the best holiday seasons ever if I could.

BAH HUMBUG