Archive for the ‘snow’ Tag

12-14-2017 Pre-Christmas OMG’s   1 comment

It’s been a number of months since I last visited my blog and I’m not entirely sure why.  I suppose it’a mixture of laziness, apathy, and the holiday season that’s approaching.  I’ve been wanting to write but I don’t want it to be more of the same crap you’re hearing and seeing in other media. The “Trump is the devil.” nonsense is wearing really thin except for a few braindead liberals and diehard Democrats.

There’s a time and place for everything but the last thing we need is the steady media drumbeat of negativety during the holidays.  I’d much rather enjoy the season with my family than listening to an incredibly biased media laying hours and hours of propaganda and fake news on me.  Life is just too goddamn short.

We’ve had out first two snow falls for 2017 and the snowblower came through as expected. I’m going to try very hard not to do the normal fall-on-my-ass routine that seems to occur every year.  I’ll be staying in the house as much as possible, I’ll keep nice and warm, and have a drink or two to calm my nerves.  Before I know it Spring will be here once again.

So Merry Christmas to family and friends and anyone bored enough to read this blog.

I’ve also been giving some serious thought to my New Year’s resolutions for 2018.  I’ll do a quick review of 2017 just after Christmas and then post 2018’s early in January.

Stay healthy . . . Stay warm . . . Kiss the kids and grandkids . . . Hug your pets.

 

 

 

 

 

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02-26-2016 Journal–Turkeys, Art & a Dirty Joke!   Leave a comment

This winter weather here in Maine remains fickle. Fifty degrees one day, then fog the next, ten degrees the third day, and freezing rain and black ice the next.  I’ve pretty much given up listening the the forecasters because they apparently don’t have much of a clue either.

With February almost gone we’re within six weeks or so from seeing winter start to fade away.  Overall it’s been one of the better winters since I moved to Maine. Temperatures were mild up until Christmas and we’ve only had one snow storm worth mentioning.  Without a doubt the best part is how much money we’ve saved on home heating oil.  Warmer temperatures and a serious drop in price from $3.40 a gallon to a $1.35 have kept a smile on our faces all winter.  We’ll probably end up saving between five and eight hundred dollars in heating costs this season.

We took a ride through the surrounding area last week just to see what was happening.  As always here in Maine we stumbled on wild turkeys a number of times.  With most of the snow cover already melting they’re able to feed in more locations than usual.  Here they are . . .

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Maybe they’re the true harbingers of Spring and not that dumbass gopher in Pennsylvania.

With the rediscovery of my creative juices I’ve been working on two projects steadily for the last week.  I’ve finished one and in another few days I’ll finish another.  I won’t post too much of either until they’re both complete.  Here’s a shot of a two square inch portion of the first. It’s a little strange but that’s how I roll.

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Just for a laugh I thought I’d send out a truly tasteless joke.  It made me laugh out loud for some reason but it’s sure to irritate a few of the ladies out there. That’s too bad . . . but here it is anyway.

A women went to apply for a job as a truck driver. Not too keen on the idea, the personnel manager for the trucking company said, “You have to be pretty tough to cut it as a truck driver, you know.”  I’m tough, I really am,” said the eager applicant. “Well, do you smoke and drink?” “Yes of course.” “Do you cuss a lot?” asked the interviewer. “You bet you asshole, “ said the woman. “I cuss like a lumberjack.” “So have you ever been picked up by the fuzz?”  “Well, no,” she admitted, “but I’ve been swung around by the tits a couple of times.”

Please no moaning . . . everyone needs a dirty joke once in a while even if it is a little corny.

C’MON SPRING

02-16-2016 Journal–New & Annoying Technology!   1 comment

Are you a technology lover?  Some people just put up with all of the new technology but really aren’t all that into it. I’m just the opposite. I love any and all technology and do my best to keep up with things as they progress. I never thought it could happen but I came upon some technology yesterday that annoyed and irritated me more than I thought possible.

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My better-half and I were out and about enjoying the single digit temperatures and decided to do lunch at Applebee’s before returning home. Normally I’m an Applebee’s fan but they’re doing something now that just makes me a little crazier than usual. They’ve decided to put their customers to work by placing a small computer at each table. It just sits there and flashes advertisements and screensavers  the entire time your ordering and trying to eat.  They attempt to entice you to play some stupid trivia games so they can add $1.99 to your bill and keep you occupied while waiting for your food to arrive.

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The place was very busy and there appeared to be a serious shortage of waitresses. We were made to wait much longer than normal for our order resulting in a barrage of apologies from the nearby bartender and a roving manager. We sat patiently for quite a while but then I began to get a bit annoyed. Eventually the food arrived and thank God it was delicious.  Just as we were finishing our meal the bartender stopped at our table to ask the obligatory question they always ask, "How was everything?"  At the same time she nonchalantly dropped the bill on the table and quickly walked away.  Little did I know that they expected us to pay the bill using that little terminal at our table.

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I’m a firm believer that people working in restaurants should earn their TIPS. If you’re rude, annoying, and slow you won’t get a TIP from me. If your on top of your game and do everything just right I’ll fork over a 20% TIP every time.  I’ve been told that TIPS is short for "To Improve Personal Service" and I expect decent service before donating any of my hard earned cash.

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I was then directed to just swipe my credit card through the terminal at my table and follow the menus to pay my bill.  As the final bill was displayed I noticed a 20% TIP had been automatically added on.  I found that magic menu button that allowed me to dial back the TIP to only 10%. While the food was delicious the service was slow and I had to do all the work of checking myself out therefore no 20% TIP.

Then the stupid computer asked if I wanted a receipt printed out or to have one emailed to me. The last thing I need is another company adding me to their email list so they can pelt me with a stream of unwanted food alerts. I indicated I wanted a printed receipt so I could verify the amount I’d paid before leaving the restaurant. I was then required to visit the bar to the only register where receipts were being printed. I was made to feel like some sort of primitive Neanderthal who still needed an actual paper receipt and couldn’t handle the technology.  Since I’ve seen too many errors on bills over the years I don’t assume they’re always correct. This Neanderthal needs to see any possible discrepancies immediately and not a couple of hours later in an email.

I have a proposal for all of these so-called progressive restaurants.  In the future I will enter, seat myself, and order my meal from the computer on my table.  When it’s ready I can be alerted by the kitchen staff on the terminal, walk back, and retrieve my food. When I’m done I can take my dishes to the kitchen, pay the bill on the computer and have my receipt emailed.  Then I would certainly expect a 20% reduction on my bill for all of the fine service I’d rendered.  I’d never have to talk to or see any semi-interested employees or gushy and  insincere managers. I’d just eat my food and get the hell out.  What do you think about that?

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I now have to admit that there is some technology that just plain sucks. There I’ve said it, once and for all. And for all of those Chili’s restaurants out there, I see you’ve also started this same nonsense as Applebee’s with your cutsy table computers.  You’ll probably be seeing  much less of my business as well.

The customer is always right or have you just forgotten that.

2-14-2016 Journal–Avery, Kaiden & Alvin’s Chipmunks!   Leave a comment

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It seems that Winter has finally caught up with us. Up until now it’s been a relatively mild season as far as the snowfall goes. The temps have been up and down but noting too frigid until this weekend. Unlike many of the other northern states we expect to receive a lot of snow but the   temperatures usually don’t go much lower than ten degrees during the coldest months. 

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My father had a quaint old saying for cold weather like we’re seeing this weekend. He always described it as  "cold as a well diggers asshole" and if my mother was nearby it was "as cold as a well diggers elbow".  Below zero temps with a good healthy wind were all of that and a bag of chips.

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Last night my better-half and I spent our night at home babysitting the grandchildren.  We had the good sense to stay inside and not be roaming around in sub-zero temperatures.  The house was warm and cozy, the toddlers were reasonably well behaved, and another viewing of Alvin & the Chipmunks was in the offing (Just shoot me now).

Their parents were having a Valentines Day date night and weren’t expected to return until eleven.  Just as the boys were finally falling asleep and Alvin and the Chipmunks were coming to an end they showed up much earlier than expected. The current temperature at the time was –2 degrees with a wind-chill of -15. It apparently was just too damn cold for them to do much of anything and they’d called it a night.

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It’s now the next morning and I’m almost ready to leave this warm bed.  Hot coffee might give me enough energy to pick up all  the toys scattered throughout the house before having my bowl of hot oatmeal.  I imagine I’ll be stuck in the house for another day or two which doesn’t make me very happy.

I’m moving slower than usual due to a late night awakening where I spent two hours playing X-Box LEGO Star Wars, reading three chapters of my latest book, eating a cookie, and returning to bed at 5am.  This insomnia I’ve been suffering with for the last two months is just killing me.

01-08-2016 Journal–Maine Woodstock 2016!   Leave a comment

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‘1969 was an interesting year.’

How to kill an entire Sunday.  Let me tell you how I did it.  Yesterday my better-half was scheduled to work and I was looking forward to a day of peace and quiet and time to work on MY projects. How could I even dare to imagine something like that, I should have known better.

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‘Who loves you Janis’

Unfortunately some months ago I made a commitment to her concerning the laptop she’d just purchased.  I promised I’d help her setup the new laptop by transferring all of her photographs from the old to the new. This should teach me a valuable lesson for the future. Never volunteer for something unless you’re absolutely sure you know what your getting into. I thought I knew but apparently I was once again clueless.

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‘The spooky Doors.’

I cleared off the kitchen table, fired up both computers, made a pot of coffee, and settled in for what I thought would be an hour or two of work. Oh how stupid I am.  Little did I know just how many photo’s she had scattered throughout that hard drive of her old computer. She had pictures from multiple cameras going back six years. There were videos from both her IPhone and IPad and I kid you not . . . more than ten thousand pictures taken with an assortment of past and present cell phones. She apparently has never discovered the use of the delete button.  It was a trash dump of photo’s placed on that laptop with absolutely no attempt at organization whatsoever.

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‘Jumpin Joe Cocker’

As always I fall back to the old adage “When someone gives you lemons, make lemonade.”  I found my own IPod and plugged it in, put on the headset and spent the next seven hours having a 60’s Flashback Sunday.  I started out by listening to the entire three days of Woodstock with the original recordings.  That required me to immediately switch from just coffee to coffee laced with Drambuie.  I then cranked up Joe Cocker, The Band, The Yardbirds, The Hollies, Janis Joplin, The Doors, and even the Greatest Hits of War. 

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‘My favorite band, The Band. ‘RIP Levon’

At the end of the day I’d transferred no less than twenty-five thousand pictures to the new laptop and was suffering from a serious coffee buzz overlapped with a Drambuie buzz.  There’s nothing better than Drambuie so after I finished transferring all the files I stopped drinking the coffee. From that point on it was Drambuie, Amy Winehouse  and me.  What a great way to spend the day and complete a tiresome project.

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‘Sweet Amy’

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‘Even sweeter . . . Drambuie on the lips.’

Today I’m back to what I’d call normal but still showing signs of a rather interesting hangover. For some reason my first cup of coffee this morning tasted strangely like Drambuie. How odd! I guess that’s one of the effects of time travel back to the sixties. Along with rocking out, a sore throat from all of the singing along, and being able to return home with no arrests or STD’s to show for it.

That’s what I’d call a good day in any decade.

02-06-2016 Journal – February Snow!   Leave a comment

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I awakened yesterday to another snow storm that eventually dropped more than ten inches on us. It was one of those snows that seem to stick to every surface, covering trees and bushes and turning the area into a wonderland. It’s one of the few winter things that can get me to leave the house. As you can see my camera operates just fine in the snow.

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Again this morning I discovered even more snow had fallen. I heard the snowplows a number of times during the night as they attempted to keep the roads clear enough to use. The last thing I did before going to bed last evening was to crank up my snowblower and clear the driveway.

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My better-half was scheduled for work at 5:30 am and the last thing I wanted was to be awakened early today just to clear snow from the driveway.  It’s 09:00 am now and I haven’t heard from her so I can assume you made it to work in one piece.  This photo was taken early this morning just as the sun was coming up.

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It’s just as beautiful out today as yesterday. The temperature dropped overnight which kept the snow sticking to the trees.  Hopefully I’ll get motivated later this morning and get my butt outside for more pictures. Since I’m slowly recovering from this flu I can start getting my life back to normal once again.

I WOULD HAVE LOVED THIS WEATHER AS A KID

02-02-2016 – Retro TV Trivia Answers!   Leave a comment

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But first a quick announcement:

Another year has come and gone and it’s again time to give the big one-fingered salute to our old friend “Phil” sitting comfortably atop Gobbler’s Knob in Punxatawney, PA.  A second salute also goes out to each and every one of the political hacks, suck-ups, and talking heads trying to make a splash on the local media.  For me it doesn’t take a stupid groundhog to tell me there’ll be six more weeks of winter.  I have a dumb-ass cat that can figure that one out.

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Now back to the trivia answers:

Some of you and I won’t mention any names (Sylvia) made a valiant attempt to coerce some trivia answers out of me yesterday. I may be cheap but I’m not easy but nice try anyway.  Here they are.

Answers

1.  123 1/2 Sesame Street.

2.  Four.

3.  The Church of What’s Happening Now.

4.  A policeman, a minor role.

5.  John Wayne, who then recommended his little known actor friend James Arness for the role.

6.  Happy Days.

7.  From it’s star, Redd Foxx, who was born John Elroy Sanford.

8.  The USS Yorktown.

9.  Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo, Betty Jo, and uncle Joe.

10. Perry Masonry.

BONUS ANSWER – At  age 30, after 12 years as a  platinum blonde and 18 as a natural brunette.

 

I hope you had fun trying to figure these out.  The next list will be posted in a week or so and I’ll make sure they’re as just as difficult.

HAPPY EFFING GROUNDHOG DAY

01-29-2016 Journal – A Creative Motivational Block!   2 comments

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I hate to admit this but I suspect I’m suffering from something akin to writers block. It’s a first for me and it’s puzzling.  In all my years of writing reports, letters, and thousand of blog posts I’ve never had a problem thinking of ideas and putting them to paper. That’s why this current creative hiccup is so bothersome. 

I can’t find any mentions of this malady anywhere so let’s just call it a "creative motivational block". I’m still having all of the creative ideas I could ever want or need but my ability to sit down and get them started has become more difficult.  I have of dozens of ideas everyday that are inventive, interesting and unusual but it seems to take forever to put brush to canvas or pencil to sketch book.  It’s maddening.

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The second part of my problem is really not a problem at all. For the first time in my life I’m financially able to spend the necessary money to obtain the supplies needed to do these projects.  In years past it was difficult at times to come up with funds which forced me to step outside the box a little and use materials I never thought possible. Maybe the best part of my projects in the past was that ability to overcome those challenges and still get the job done. I really don’t know for sure.

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As always the ideas keep coming and while some of them sound good in my head they’re eventually discarded. Others are easy to do and all it requires of me is to sit down and get started. That’s the bloody rub. 

I’ll be ready to start a current project when all  of a sudden more bright ideas come to me and I get sidetracked by them.  I’ll stop to write a few notes on the new ideas and the interest in the other begins to ebb.  It’s a vicious cycle that I’m trying desperately to put a stop to with only moderate success.

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I feel at times that I’m so concerned with getting my ideas exactly the way I imagined them that I’m losing the ability to adapt to changes that always seem to come along.  I’m in the middle of a project now that I’ve been fiddling with for a few weeks.  I’ve thought it through over and over again and visualized it to completion. It’s ninety percent complete but I’m lacking that final push.

I’ve always loved challenges but this one is a doozy.

01-26-2016 Journal – January Thaw?   Leave a comment

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I’ve been hearing weather rumors that we might be getting a few days of warmer temperatures.  I hope it’s true because being housebound is starting to make me crazier than usual. My better-half and I have been out a few times just to run errands but it’s been too cold to take those long walks on the beach or in the woods that we like so much.

After just a few weeks of freezing temps the house is already covered in ice and the build-up on the eaves has begun.  If we’re lucky this warm-up might just be enough to get the ice melting and dropping to the ground. As you can see by these photo’s there is ice hanging everywhere.

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The snow hasn’t melted off much yet and a few inches still remain.  From the amount of tracks in our backyard there appears to be quite an assortment of wildlife roaming around after dark. Some of the tracks are a little unusual making me wonder exactly what I’ve been missing.  Maybe we have a Bigfoot or two hiding in the woods or just one helluva big dog, bear, or deer. Who knows?

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If the weather gods agree I  hope to get back into the woods for a few hours this week.  Since the snow is only a few inches deep it won’t be necessary to unpack the snow shoes from storage. There always seems to be plenty of interesting things to photograph at this time of the year and some hearty wildlife to chase around for an hour or two.

We’re about three months from getting back outside to begin some of the garden preparations prior to planting. This winter has sped by so fast and Spring will be here before we know it. Then it will be back to work.

CAN’T WAIT!

01-23-2016 Journal– PC BS & Cultural Rot!   Leave a comment

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I’m just lying in bed this morning having my coffee and catching up on the state of our civilization here in the United States.  Don’t let that intimidate you, that just means I’m perusing the Drudge Report.  I’m not a drudgeaholic but as news goes it’s better than some and worse than others.  Unfortunately Drudge like all of the other news outlets seems to have his own agenda at times which puts me off a little when it doesn’t agree with me.

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The first thing I noticed was all of the panic and horror being brought on by this world ending 30 inches of snow expected soon in the mid-Atlantic states. Oh yeah, they’ll be severe flooding as well but I’m certain that Obama and FEMA will have things totally under control.

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Obama will soon begin his campaign of directing the rest of the country into having community prayer meetings begging whatever God they believe in to save Washington DC from total destruction. Then the media will begin it’s never ending assault on our consciences with heart rendering pictures of overturned cars, children in snow up to their waist, and a recount of all the homeless people forced to stay in shelters. Then the special interest groups will step in and have their web sites ready to go to accept any and all donations to save these poor innocent victims of this horrific "Storm of the Century.  If you aren’t reading sarcasm in this, wake up.

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As I continued my review of Drudge I came upon an item which pretty much tells the whole story about where things have gotten to culturally in this country.  It was a blurb out of the Sundance Film Festival about a much acclaimed movie, The Swiss Army Man. It’s a story based entirely on one man’s relationship with a farting and rotting corpse. It apparently caused many people to just get up and leave the theatre but also as disturbingly many did not. The star, Daniel Radcliffe, of Harry Potter fame should be ashamed of himself. There’s a fine line between avant-garde and just plain disgusting. He apparently hasn’t figured out just where that line is. 

Reading that story was enough for me. It motivated me to get the hell out of bed,  get dressed, and get on my way to do just about anything else. That certainly doesn’t include reading more about celebrities and pop culture idiots doing their best to show the rest of the word just how far we’ve come. It’s apparent that we in this country have forgotten our history lessons about the all powerful Roman Empire that crumbled and disappeared when their limits of decency and morality were ignored.

I don’t think we’re quite there yet but it seems we’re getting closer and closer each year to their level of idiocy.

HAVE A HAPPY STORM WEEK