Archive for the ‘storms’ Tag

09-14-2016 Journal – Mother Nature & Dentistry!   Leave a comment

Since our return from our vacation things have quickly returned to the normal everyday insanity. Over the years I’ve discovered that Mother Nature is a fickle friend at best and she got me again this week. We were still enjoying the post vacation afterglow as we visited a nearby Walmart. It was sunny and bright with a chance of thunderstorms. As we exited the store it was pouring rain with wind gusts of 30-40 mph.  We didn’t give it much thought until we heard on the radio about the severe wind advisory throughout the area.

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We arrived home to find the huge 60 foot maple tree in our backyard down for the count. It had missed hitting the house by only a few feet. It was a double trunked tree with one trunk now on the ground and the other still standing but leaning dangerously close to the house.  It was badly damaged as well and looked as if it might fall at any moment.

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The trunk that was down was partially blocking a nearby road used by our neighbors to reach their homes.  One of those neighbors arrived within minutes with a chain saw and agreed to take the wood in payment for cleaning up the mess. Hooray . . Right?  Not hardly. After doing an inspection of the standing trunk it was obvious that it too had to be immediately removed before it fell and caused serious damage to the house.

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The better-half found a guy through someone at work who is a tree removal expert.  Having no real choice in the matter he arrived to inspect the tree and I agreed to his price (OMFG) and told him to proceed.  So yesterday I got to spend my entire day removing limbs and leaves and watching the tree get dismantled.

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It’s now the day after and the tree is gone, I’m sore all over, and the house was saved from serious damage.  Nothing can save the damage the entire experience did to my wallet.  Thanks a lot Mother Nature . . . you nasty old hag.

After the last of the limbs and leaves were picked up and removed I took a shower and arrived for my dentist appointment right on time. The day just kept getting better and better as two of my teeth were extracted.  I was packed with gauze, patted on the head, and sent on my way.

THREE DAYS I REALLY WANT TO FORGET

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08-14-2016 Journal – My Almost Friend!   Leave a comment

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Mother Nature is normally not my friend.

We celebrated yesterday because it finally rained.  Not like the dozen or so sprinkles we’ve received in recent weeks but an honest-to-god rain shower.  The rain cooled things off overnight but ten minutes after the sun came out this morning the temperature zoomed back to 90 degrees.

I should be happy . . right?   Not very.  We need a good five or six days of rain just to get the water levels back where they belong.  Early this morning at 5am both my better-half and I were awaken by the sounds of tree branches cracking. Just outside our bedroom window a rather large tree branch snapped and barely missing the house.  This portion of the tree was obviously dead and we knew it was only a matter of time before it fell.  I once attempted to climb the tree with a chain saw to cut it down but it was just too dangerous.

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The house is just a few feet to the right of the photograph.

How it missed the house is a mystery but thank god it did. That’s the second time in the last year a tree has fallen close to the house and missed it completely.  We must have a guardian angel keeping an eye on things.

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Mother Nature isn’t usually this kind.  I remember a time in Massachusetts that we had a storm that dropped a 100 foot tall oak tree onto our backyard and took the corner of my house with it.  At the same time a giant pine tree fell on my car in the driveway and crushed it completely.  I count my blessings any time she chooses to leave me alone. Today was one of those days.

MOTHER NATURE IS NOT NICE

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.

01-21-2016 Journal–Here Comes the Other Shoe!   Leave a comment

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I filled up the gas tank of my car yesterday and spent $18.00. I also ordered a heating oil delivery of 100 gallons at $1.30 per.  What the hell is really going on? We have all this good news happening and still the stock market is yo-yoing hundreds of points up and down.  I’m certainly glad I pulled all of my IRA funds out of the market and bought Certificates of Deposit.

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It’s been a number of years since we’ve seen these low prices but I’m not getting my hopes up just yet. Being the cynical SOB that I am I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.  There’s no way in hell the powers-that-be can let this go on for much longer. Don’t you know it’s the job of the citizenry to pay more taxes, more surcharges, more fees, and to give, give, give, until it hurts. If you don’t do that or even complain just a little then you’ll be branded as selfish and of course racist. I’ll just keep holding my breath until it’s time to pay the piper for all this temporary good fortune.

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‘The end of life as we know it . . . NOT’

I see again that the next gigantic, horrific, and dangerous "Storm of the Century" is making it’s way across the country. I’m supposed to feel bad for all those folks living in the mid-Atlantic states who’ve have mild winters almost every year for as long as I can remember. While we in the north are up to our asses in snow drifts they are posting about the flowers they just planted and closing their schools when they get an inch of snow. Boo-hoo folks. Suck it up, shovel some snow, and fall on your ass a few times.  Actually go to a store and buy a snow shovel. See what it feels like to have a little bit of winter to deal with.

Am I being too harsh? Am I not feeling their pain? That would be a big YES. I can sit back for the foreseeable future and listen to every weather person, news commentator, and politician who can get some face-time on TV as they whine on and on about this terrible storm. 

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‘Hurry, get to the store for bread, milk, and TP.’

I have only one more thing to say. I just don’t care.  The government in it’s infinite wisdom should invest it’s money to buy every illegal alien a snow shovel and bus fare to the east coast. They should be able to have everyone shoveled out in just a day or two.  Rumor has it that our racist citizens really don’t like all that manual labor so let’s give that job to the illegals too. Make them earn all the free benefits we are all being forced to pay for.

Have a wonderful and snowy winter you poor bastards.

U. S.A.  . . . U. S. A.  . . . U. S. A.

10-29-2015 Journal – #/+*@^ Computers & Limericks!   Leave a comment

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I always try to plan ahead for ideas for this blog but today I’m having a difficult time concentrating.  I’m a lover of all new technology and make it a point to stay up to speed with new software and hardware as it comes available. Today is one of those days that computer junkies fear the most.  No working internet connection.

We had a moderately heavy rainstorm last night and things were fine when I crashed into bed at 1 am.  I awoke this morning and my internet connection is dead. While my in-house network is still functioning thanks to a battery backup unit, good old Time Warner’s internet feed is missing in action. Unfortunately our house is located in a semi-dead spot for internet, GPS, and telephone reception.  I have range extenders for damn near everything but they also run in conjunction with the internet.

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In order for me to make or receive calls today I’ll be forced to drive a few hundred yards up a nearby hill near the house to get just two bars.  My alarm system is sending me text messages on the phone (3G) telling me the system is off.  Damn, tell me something I don’t know.

In the past the system usually comes back on-line very quickly but not today. It’s been four hours already and still nothing.  And of course their telephone lines are busy, busy, busy.

Let’s kill some time today  while I wait for the internet to return by revisiting some things I truly enjoy and that’s limericks.  I’ve collected many, written a few, and they always seem to lean to the naughtier side of things. Some of the best I’ve ever seen have come from Great Britain because they’ve been writing them for centuries and have some of the naughtiest and funniest.  I’ll try to keep todays collection naughty but nice and I’ll skip the x-rated stuff for now. Here’s five of my fav’s.

#1

With a maiden a chap just begat
Bouncing triplets named Pat, Nat, and Tat;
Twas fun in the breeding,
But hell in the feeding;
As there wasn’t a spare tit for Tat.

#2

There once was a young lady named Hilda
Who went out with a top body-builder;
He said that he should,
That he could and he would,
And he did and it damn near killed her.

#3

A notorious harlot named Hearst
In the pleasures of men is well-versed;
Reads the sign at the head
Of her well rumpled bed;
“The customer always comes first”.

#4

There was a young fellow from Kent
Whose tool was incredibly bent;
To save himself trouble,
He put it in double,
And, instead of coming he went!

#5

As the elevator car left our floor,
Poor old Sue caught her boobs in the door;
She yelled a great deal,
But had they been real,
She’d have bellowed considerably more.

***

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‘And one from an anonymous kid.’

Hopefully some time today I can get these posted but I’m at the mercy of the Time Warner road crews.  Here’s one of my own limericks I wrote after living in Maine for more than ten years.  No names have been used to protect the somewhat innocent.

There once was a young lady from Maine
Who ruined her dress with a stain.
She thought she was clever,
But her mother knew better,
And asked “What the hell is his name”.

It’s now  been eight hours without the internet and it just came back on.  “Better late than never.” should be scrawled somewhere on Time Warner’s Logo.

ENJOY YOUR DAY

02-21-2015 Journal–Winter Doldrums!   Leave a comment

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The cat and I have been reduced to bachelor status since my better-half flew off to Delaware until next Tuesday.  She had a death in her family and had to  to drop everything quickly and catch a flight.  I dropped her at the airport in a freaking blizzard and returned home. Three hours later she was still in the plane sitting on the runway waiting for it to be deiced.  Just hearing that made my palms a little sweaty. That late start insured she’d miss her connector in Newark and be forced to stay the night at one of New Jersey’s finer motels. Anything that an airlines agrees to pay for will almost certainly be on the lower end of the luxury scale.  She eventually made it to Baltimore the following day as a much more experienced traveler than when she left.

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I woke up yesterday to a little more snow but it didn’t upset me at all. I tried to get a good nights sleep but the cat was being a huge pain in the ass.  He was upset that my better-half wasn’t there and kept getting up when he heard noises thinking she had come home.  It drove me a little crazy and around 3 am after a few minutes of rude name calling I  locked him out of the bedroom. It truly is a miracle that he’s lived as long as he has because I’ve wanted to kill him on numerous occasions and last night was one of them. He’s definitely used up all of his nine lives by now so he’d better be careful in the future.

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Today I thawed out a large container of my four alarm, OMFG chili and choked it down while watching TV and working on the computer.  I’ve been doing everything possible to convince Windows 8.1 to accept an old computer game from 1995 so I can play it once again.  It’s my all time favorite simulation and Hooray, Hooray, I finally got it working.  The game is called Pharaoh with an add-on called Cleopatra.  It’s still good after all these years and tomorrow I’ll be spending a good part of the day having some fun with it.

The cat has calmed down a little so tonight should be a little quieter. With any luck I’ll be able to get out with my camera tomorrow and commune with good old Mother Nature for a while.  I’d like to get another collection of really good snow photos before winter suddenly comes to an end.

My better-half should be returning on Tuesday after the funeral and I’ll sure be happy about that.

02-13-2015 Journal – You’ve Got Mail–NOT!   Leave a comment

Another day in the deep freeze that is Maine. I keep bitching about all of the snow but each day I’m also anticipating and hoping for a few snow free days. We had three or four inches of snow yesterday which this year is like nothing at all. I’ve been constantly trying to widen the driveway in order to have more room for the new snow that’s coming but it’s a losing battle. Here are a few mailbox related photo’s.  None of them are my mail box because it was totally destroyed by the snow plow in the last storm.  I have only a bag full of pieces left.

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‘This is as good as you can hope for.’

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‘This delusional neighbor honestly thought these red streamers would help.’

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‘You’ve Got Mail – NOT’

I checked the weather forecast last night and OMFG was I sorry I did. A new storm is on the way and is forecast to drop somewhere in the area of two more feet on us on Saturday and Sunday.  To add insult to injury they’re predicting wind gusts of fifty mph which should make for some humongous snow drifts and ball freezing wind chills.  The drifts could possibly get as high as six feet or more.

With all of that good news coming our way I’m going to spend this snow free Friday preparing for the coming storm and also our celebration of Valentines Day.  I’ve completed my shopping for Valentines Day gifts and if it snows a few feet we’ll have lots of snuggling time to be sure. 

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My better-half made arrangements last night for a heating oil delivery this morning and I’m patiently waiting for the truck to get here.  I spent a half-hour last night digging a path from the driveway around the side of the house to where the oil tank nozzle is located. If we don’t have a path properly cleared they won’t deliver the oil. I’m always cooperative especially when I have no freaking choice.

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The next chore is to make a quick trip out for a few gallons of gas for the snowblower. With all this snow on the way the blower will be getting a serious workout and I certainly don’t want to run out of fuel.  I’d have a heart attack and die if I was forced to shovel all this white crap by hand.  We’ve stocked up on food and checked the generator to make sure we’ll have power if there’s an outage.  Just a normal process we must adhere to for any large winter storm here in Maine.  Then we can sit back, watch the snow pile up, and pray for Spring to arrive.

I heard on the news yesterday that we’ve had between seventy and eighty inches of snow since the first of the year which even in Maine is outrageous. It should make for some really cool photographs and I intend to take as many as I possibly can. I guess the old saying is true, “when you’re given lemons make lemonade.”

02-11-2015 Journal–More SNOW!!!!!!   Leave a comment

My life is no longer my own.  It seems my only purpose in life is to monitor the weather reports to determine how much snow is coming and then to spend a great deal of time moving the white stuff around to clear walkways and the driveway.  With two storms a week becoming the norm I can anticipate more and more snow in the next few weeks.

Even my cat is pissed about the snow.  His routine includes four hours a day lying on a huge bean bag in front of the picture window.  He loves watching traffic go by and seeing the birds flying around.  That’s his job and if you get right down to it, it’s a better job than mine.  I took this picture today as he sat looking out at the snow.  He’s not too happy about it either.

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‘It’s a little tough to see much of anything.’

The snow and ice on the roof worry me a little because every night the news reports tell of collapsing roofs on all sorts of buildings.  As you can see from this view from my bedroom window, the icicles are almost ten feet long on the rear of the house.

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It’s a wonder that any of the birds that stick around through the winter are still alive. We normally feed them all winter but it’s tough even getting to the feeders with five or six feet of snow making it almost impossible.  I  tried to take a short walk just a few feet into the backyard and this was as far as I could get.

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I keep hearing that this is the snowiest winter in recent memory here in Maine.  Taking into account that March is normally our snowiest month we may be in for a lot more before Spring decides to arrive.  If this craziness keeps up I may have to invest in a much larger and fancier snowblower. It should have a nice padded seat, a heater, and a hookup for my Ipod.  A cup holder would also be nice because I wouldn’t want to spill my Irish coffee. 

Then bring on the effing snow.

02-01-2015 Journal–Miscellaneous Winter Crap!   Leave a comment

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I’m almost fully recovered from he damn flu . . . . finally.  My ability to taste food has returned and my temperature has fallen back into the normal range. I’m feeling good and looking forward to the continuing insanity that will be the remainder of my winter.

I always plan for slow times in January and February but this year isn’t cooperating.  I started out with the flu in January, next a colonoscopy, then a car inspection, an annual doctors visit, a dentist appointment, and finally an eye exam.  After all of those pain-in-the-ass chores it will be the end of March and winter will be almost over.  Along with that list is the ongoing bathroom remodel which has been in limbo because of the flu.

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The weather remains snowy and snowy and even more snowy.  We already have more than three feet of snow and are expecting another foot or two within the week.  If you are a skiing, skating, snowmobiling or snowboarding snow bunny then Maine is where you need to be. 

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My house has two feet of snow on the roof and ice hanging everywhere else. There must be ten ton of ice and snow that at some point will come crashing down behind the house. God help any living thing that happens to be roaming around when that happens.  There could be deaths reported.

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I hope these steps survive the ice drop in one piece this year. In years past I’ve been required to replace rails and steps after they’ve been crushed by the falling ice.

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I love waking up to the winter view from the window in my bedroom but this is what I saw yesterday as I opened the curtains.  More freaking ice.  I suppose it could be worse and I’m almost positive it will be.  My better-half and I are heading out into the snow and ice with cameras in hand to see what we can see.  I’ll post any interesting pictures as soon as I can. 

It’ time to gear up and get moving.

08-14-2014 Journal Entry–Wet Weather & Hot Salsa!   Leave a comment

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Now that the rain has finally stopped I might be able to get out the house for a few hours. The last week minus two days has been pretty damn wet.  Last night at 2am I took a peek out the rear window and surprise surprise, there was three feet of water in the back yard.  The runoff from the surrounding hills became so heavy there was nowhere else for it to go. Fortunately the yard drains very quickly and once the rain stopped the flood disappeared. 

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‘The Beginning’

With all the rain keeping us inside I decided to take care of another cooking chore while I had the chance. I spent a good part of the day yesterday making salsa.  My normal salsa recipe makes 10 quarts or 20 pints but I decided to increase it by fifty percent. I purchased the necessary ingredients, returned home and got to work.  It took longer for me to dice the peppers, onions, and tomatoes than it did to complete the entire batch.  Three hours later the kitchen looked like a tomato bomb had exploded but the end result was well worth the effort. I finished the batch with 13 quarts and 8 pints of some killer Roasted Corn & Black Bean salsa.

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I changed the recipe a bit and added more habaneros, less jalapeños, and a healthy heaping tablespoon of cayenne pepper.  I call this batch my Commando salsa. As your eating it,  it slowly creeps up behind you when your not paying attention and blows the top of your head off.  It has an immediate hit of habanero to jolt you a little and then the jalapeños lessen the burn somewhat.  Just when the heat is subsiding from those jalapeño’s the cayenne kicks in at the  back of your throat and nails you hard.  With that mixture of peppers the more you eat the hotter it gets but man it’s a wonderful pain.

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‘The End Result’

As of this morning it’s been canned, labeled and placed on the shelf. There should be more than enough to keep us salsa happy for this entire winter. I’ve worked my winter cooking list down to just two remaining items.  I need to make a huge batch of chili and some hot pickle relish. Once those are complete I’ll pretty much be done with the garden for this year.  I should be able to start removing some plants and begin the cleanup in two or three weeks. 

Fall is fast approaching and I can’t wait.