When in Jersey

You know you’re in New Jersey when the sunsets are as pink as a Jersey girl’s nails and the parkway rest area is named after Jon Bon Jovi”

-The Ladydoc 6/28/22

Spent the morning checking out some things in Spring Lake, Wall and Manasquan, having donuts by the lake. Saw a nice blue heron which I’ll put up later. Stopped at the Jon Bon Jovi rest stop on the Parkway heading back, because why not? Plus we were curious as to what was inside. I’m not sure what happened to the holographic JBJ which apparently used to be there. (Thoughts from someone else). Oh well. Most of the day was driving back to Boston, it took about 5.5 hours, mostly due to various crashes people had along the way. But we made it back safe and sound and that’s what matters. Carson was very pleased to have us back. He’s being all the love tonight. A nice thing that happened while away is that the vinyl flooring in the basement is almost done and it looks amazing! Very pleased with the look. Time to wind down now, it was a long but good day!

Spring Lake Beach Days and Nights

Nights on the beach down the shore

Today was pretty much an all day all out beach day down the shore. The day started out by us getting some bagel sandwiches at a recommended place down the street. We were not disappointed. After that scarf down we headed over to the beach which is within walking distance of where we are staying. Got the chairs and umbrella out, found a spot, and enjoyed the day, splashing in the waves and drying off in the sun, both under the umbrella and later on, out in the full sun of the day and enjoying some fun activities. I guess we ended up having such a good time there that when we got back to the cottage we pretty much unintentionally fell asleep and took a nap. As evening started to roll around we went out for some air and picked up a pizza from a cute little local place which we brought back and ate. This town really is so cute, from it’s little downtown area, to the lake area, and of course it’s seaside beach!

Hanging at the Shore

Updating from the Chromebook for the first time from the road! Working good. Here’s some shots from today, I don’t have time to explain and flesh out all my thoughts just yet, but here’s some quick scenes. Staying at an AirBnB in the cutest little tiny house (500 square feet!) right by Lake Como in New Jersey. Spent most of the morning getting here but it wasn’t that bad at all. We had dinner with a friend at a place by the shore and then after got to see some amazing sunset that was happening right above our heads.

Pink Skies Looking Up

Pink Skies

It’s orange down low near the horizon and pink on top, like the sky’s blushing as it forces out the sun.”

– Kim Holden

Spent most of the morning and afternoon over at Earth-1 taking care of some errands but by late afternoon I was back over at Earth-2 where I noticed the sky looking rather cool after the on and off showers today. Getting prepared to road trip to an area we haven’t been in years! Think I’ll bring the converted Chromebook with me and see how it pans out if I decide to update from the road. Maybe these colorful skies are a sign of good things to come.

Playing with Old Laptops, Bunny Crossings and Harvard Square Losing All It’s Character

Bunny X-ing!

I was so impressed with the experience of converting that old Windows 8 laptop over to Chrome OS Flex that I decided to do it to my old laptop that crapped out on me. My intention was to just have another machine around for backup and it would never replace my new Windows machine, but I like to tinker around. Anyways, it wouldn’t install which leads me to believe that the disk drive in there is really crapping out. For fun I may decide to see if I can replace it if I can get my hands on some really cheap hardware, but probably not. Anyways, it’s good to know that I really did need a new laptop, and I have the Windows 8 machine that I converted to Chromebook the other day, and that one is working like a charm. I even used it today to print some things and help LD out with some work she was doing.

Before I took on that task however we took a trip over to pick up some groceries and decided to check out a new Little Library that was on the way. I ended up getting a new book to read that was there – Johnathan Living Seagull: A Story printed in the early 70s. Looks like an easy read and I needed something new to read and occupy me. Apparently all my jabbering was getting LD annoyed as she was trying to read her books. Sheesh!

Anyways on the way to the location, LD noticed this very cool traffic sign of a Bunny Crossing. Probably not a real traffic sign, but cute and apropos nonetheless.

We grilled some salmon outside on a cedar plank this evening. It wasn’t that hot for me to do it and I didn’t mind. There actually was a rather nice breeze blowing as the sun started to go down. It went good with some fruit salad, both items obtained from the earlier grocery run.

I learned that Harvard Square’s “pit” was being destroyed. Like the Garage, which I discussed a week or so ago, here is yet another piece of Harvard history that is vanishing into oblivion. I can tell you some tales about the pit, but perhaps I’ll save them for another time. Although I used to frequent Harvard Square frequently in the 1980s and 1990s, I now only go there rarely, if at all. Although the original character of the square has essentially vanished or is in the midst of doing so, change seems unavoidable, and so it’s kind of a bummer to see those iconic places go away.

Summer Saturday and a New Look

First really warm day in a while here. It was a rather low-key day. I experimented with the website’s design a little bit, but I’m not sure how much I like it. I may go back, it depends. What do you folks think? This afternoon, I actually watched the 21 Jump Street movie on TV. It was awful. That’s how Hanson and Penhall to end up?! Only the original premise is similar to the television show, but like I noted, it was awful. It was an uneventful day, as I previously stated. I did eventually watch some WNBA basketball because one of the players on the team playing is the kid of LD’s swim trainer. It was quite cool to see! Moreover, I found the game to be really entertaining. I was impressed with these young women.

Tomorrow afternoon the Boston Pops is going to be in town down on the local common here putting on a show. Not sure how crowd control is going to work on that on. Needless to say, I plan on pretty much staying away from the area.

War on Women, Flex, Zookeeping and Puffins

As mentioned before, I finally got my hands on a USB stick and used it to get Google OS Flex on that old Windows 8 laptop, essentially turning it into a Chromebook and I have to say I am very impressed. On Windows 8 that old Dell laptop ran like a dog and had awful Windows 8 on it. It screams now and is very lightweight. Since it is a Chromebook it’s very reliant on being connected to the internet to do things, but that’s okay with me. I’d recommend if you have any old laptops around to go ahead and install this – it really does breathe new life into old machines. If you want to learn more on how to do just search on YouTube, there’s tons of people showing how it’s done, it’s actually really easy.

As for the Roe overturn that happened today, it’s definitely a huge step backward. I’m not surprised it happened, we’re living in pretty f**ked up times. Where do things go from here?

For some levity here’s an arcade game that I used to love and pumped many quarters to back in the 80s. Someone went ahead and programmed a version of it for the web. Great job – just as tricky as I remembered. It’s a classic called Zookeeper.

And finally for some more levity, check out the Puffin cams! My favorite bird. Depending on when you’re watching this you might see the parents in their burrow taking care of the baby!

A New Day Dawns

Cape Memories

I find it hard to believe that this shot was from a year ago today! Thankfully some trips are coming up and I’ll have some opportunities to take some new shots. As for what I’ve been up to the last few days, it was pretty much just resting up. Actually taking naps and getting some rest overall, which is weird for me since I’m generally always on the go. I am preparing to get that old laptop up and running Flex, I just need to get my hands on a USB stick I don’t need, probably will just buy a new one for that task. Speaking of buying things, I do want to buy some new sneakers. I’d like to get another pair of the M880E10’s from NB that I’ve been kicking around with over the last year or so. I really like them. Of course they’ve changed them to a new model number which doesn’t look exactly the same which makes me annoyed.

Lost But There’s Always Next Year

Ah so the C’s lost. Oh well, there’s always next year. I did stay up and watch it. The jinx of me watching strikes again! I did find it interesting though that all the local news stations just sort of mentioned it in passing whereas if they had won, I’m sure they’d be spending 75 perfect of the broadcast talking about it.

We have an old Windows 8 (blech!) laptop here just collecting dust. I think I’m going to wipe it and Install Chrome OS Flex on it, just for fun and to see how it is – essentially making it a Chromebook like device. I’ll need to go scrounge up some 8GB USB drive that I don’t care about first though.

Got a new faucet installed in the kitchen today!

Thursday Doings

Pleased to say that the correct desk mat arrived today. Looks good, it’s just what I wanted.

There’s a new Aldi’s that opened up in the next town over. I’ve been meaning to check it out and see what the buzz is about. Maybe I’ll check it out this weekend sometime.

What do you think of me as a comic strip? I thought it looked pretty interesting. Just playing around again, you know me!

Heb Returns and Ms. Pacman

You all remember Heb, right? I had to do a double take this afternoon when I was walking around the back yard. Were my eyes playing tricks on me? Is it possible that we had a rabbit garden statue that I had forgotten about? Nope. I recognized it was Heb after a few seconds. Oh, my, has that little bugger matured. In fact, I used to think Heb was a male, but after seeing it observing two other smaller bunnies frolicking around in another part of the yard, I’m not so sure. Is it possible that Heb is a mother? Already!? Wow, they grow so quickly!

Other news: I’m really like this new laptop; it’s much faster than the one I had before, and it’s also much cleaner. There’s no bloatware, and there’s nothing like a Windows laptop with almost nothing on it to slow it down. Also, the screen is way better.

Last night, because neither the Celtics nor anything else worth viewing was on, I ended up watching a PBS documentary about Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. He’s a fascinating individual. Genius. I pretty much think his brain doesn’t work like most peoples. They say all the great artists are a bit mad. On Friday, I’m looking forward to seeing Amber Heard on Dateline, although I’m not sure why. I suppose it’s like watching a train accident.

The Ms. Pacman Arcade Machine

I ordered a desk mat from Amazon to rest my new laptop on but had to return it because they sent the wrong one; I’m waiting for a replacement. They do make it pretty convenient to return items, I just bring it down to the Whole Foods down the road. After that I went in the basement and packed up all the neon pacman lights that we have. I wouldn’t want to guys who are installing the flooring to ruin them in any way. They came from a guy in Hong Kong who I’m sure is no longer creating these wonderful neon lights. Once everything is done, they will go back to surrounding the Ms. Pacman machine we have. It’s an original MsPac machine, created by Midway in the 80s and we have it set to take quarters. (We’re listed on the VAPS!) I kind of use it like a bank. I’d like to get this rug to place in front of it but that might be a bit much.

For dinner tonight I decided to fire up the grill and do some chicken, corn cobs, and some dogs. My stomach was a bit wonky over the last few days but I’m back to normal now. I think I just overindulged a bit last Friday (I ate too much pizza and drank too much soda probably) so I think I need to make myself be more mindful. Last night I fired up some roasted shrimp with tomatoes and onion topped with feta and complimented it with a side of orzo. That came out pretty good.

Dudley and Other Updates Finally!

Dudley is seven!

Yesterday we went to celebrate a cow’s birthday, of all things! Dudley is one heck of a beautiful cow though, there’s no denying that. It was hosted at a sanctuary in Sherborn and we also got to see a bunch of other animals, and some vegan vendors. The highlights were Dudley, of course, and a llama that kissed LD and I!

Some other quick news, as you can no doubt tell, I’m finally doing an update, and that’s because I set up my new laptop today. I decided to go with an Asus Vivobook. Not the top of the line but it’ll get done what I need to. I decided to not go with Acer again. Some of the plusses are that this machine is way faster since it’s newer. I’ve been slowly getting all my stuff back up. So far it’s going pretty well.

Finally some other small updates over the last week or so. I had my CPR training so I’m certified in that for another year. I’ve adjusted to my new glasses pretty well. We cleaned out the basement pretty much entirely and got rid of a lot of things. The great part is that a lot of the items were taken by some folks that they could use them, instead of them ending up in the trash. There were some items that needed to get scrapped and for those we had these two teenagers who are trying to run their own company come and get the stuff. They were wonderful to work with. We picked out the vinyl flooring and that will hopefully be getting installed soon. Speaking of installing, we finally got the new blinds up all over the rest of the house, the ones that can open from the top or bottom. They look great! With all that stuff gone I was able to rearrange and get all the shelving in to where it needed to be. Things are getting done! Still need to figure out what to tell the mason about the front steps but that’ll be coming forthwith as well.

Back in business!

Laptop is Dead

This morning I happened to notice a bunny in the process of creating a nest. It would grab a bunch of grass strands in it’s motuth and then hop over to an area by the fence in the back and lay it down upon what I assume would be a warren or burrow. I’ll have to keep watching this development to see what progresses over there – we can never have enough baby bunny cuteness here!

Went and picked up my new glasses today. trying to get used to them a bit, I never had progressives before so it’s a little bit of an adjustment for me.

Unfortunately a little while after typing up this entry, my laptop died and looks like it’s never coming back, so until I can get a new one updates may be pretty sparse. Total bummer. If anybody wants to help me out consider purchasing something from my art store. It would really go a long way.

No Gravity? No Problem!

We finished cleaning out more than half of the basement yesterday in preparation for the new flooring. A lot of rearrangement and getting rid of stuff that had accumulated over time. We got in contact with a couple of people who came and took a lot of the items, which was fantastic. A bunch of stuff will find a new home with someone else who can benefit from it! There was a ton of things we were going to have the junkers take away, but now there isn’t as much because so much of it was taken by these other people. Actually, everything worked out pretty well! We were feeling very accomplished by this task which seemed a bit daunting at first. We celebrated by downing an eggplant pizza from Bertuccci’s.

No gravity? No problem!

This afternoon was mostly spent getting to enjoy a BBQ with LD’s old landlords who actually live a few blocks away. Didn’t realize we ended up spending as much time there as we did, but it was a good time. Hot dogs and hamburgers – classic! One of their kids got them these gravity chairs and I got to try it out and I got to say that I was liking it. Might just have to end up getting one for myself soon. I do have to say though that being social is a bit tiring, especially when you haven’t done that much of it in a while! After that we headed into the office to pick up some things and then over to Home Depot to look at the flooring we’re going to use for the basement. The choice has been selected!

Just before the BBQ I got a text notifying me that my new glasses are ready. I’ll probably go down there sometime tomorrow and pick them up. Spend a couple of days getting used to them and all.

With the Greatest of Ease…

Ended up watching the semi-finals of the National Spelling Bee on television last night. I was surprised at how poorly I did playing along but then again, most of the words they have to spell are not used everyday. In fact, some of those words I’ve never used in my entire life! May check in tonight and catch the finals.

The tubers I planted a few weeks ago that I had stored in a bag in the cellar over the winter are starting to sprout again. Amazing how that works. Also with all the rain we’ve gotten over the last day or so, the lawn needs another mowing already.

I took a ride down to the Tactical store to see if my work equipment was in since we ordered it over a month and a half ago but it’s still on back order. Guess there really is something to those support chain issues the news always talks about. Speaking of work, next week I have my annual CPR training. Boy, that time went fast.

Tried to get a few shots of Carson playing. Here’s one I thought was pretty good.

The Demise of The Garage

I had recently seen on social media that The Garage in Harvard Square was finally going to be remade and replaced, and so another piece of a Harvard Square institution goes the way of the dodo. I have a couple of memories of The Garage having gone down there a lot in my youth. The earliest memory of it that I can recall is walking up that iconic ramp inside that would lead to the second floor, which is were Newbury Comics is/soon to be was. This was back in the late 1980s. Later on an escalator was installed parallel to the ramp but I can remember before even that was there. Anyways, walking into that store when I was a kid was eye opening.

Earlier in my youth I had got a comic book or two at a local drugstore up the street from my house (which later became the o2 yoga studio, also now gone) but the pickings were slim and once an issue was gone, it was gone, if they had it at all. This was back in the days when Newbury was primarily a comic book store and nothing else, way before they became more the record store they are today. This was around the time the direct market selling of comics was happening – literally places that only sold the books and had back issues that you could buy, and new stuff would come out weekly. That still goes on now but back then it was a new concept. Anyways my mom would always walk with me to The Garage and I would feast my eyes on all the books. In fact, that’s when I seriously got into collecting comics. I stopped doing that now but I did do it for years and still have lots of key issues. I was just glad that I found a place where I could find all the back issues of ROM:Spaceknight that I could find.

After buying my weekly collections of Marvels (never was much of a DC person) we would then head down the ramp and up the stairs to the pizza place that resided in the top front of The Garage before having to walk home, happy with my haul for the week. And we walked in all kinds of weather, even with snow on the ground and bone chilling cold. And we did this FOR YEARS. Towards the end, one of probably my last trips there I can distinctly recall having a slice while My Fair Brady was on the television set up against the back wall.

Eventually I stopped going to the Garage, having gotten older and finding closer and easier ways to get my stuff but I’ll never forget the many times that I did go there, sometimes waiting inside at the top of the ramp, hanging by the payphone waiting for the store to open, looking across the way at the anime store that had all these expensive skimpily attired female anime statuettes behind the glass. Or seeing the punk rockers with all their crazy piercings goofing around after hanging around in “the pit” the next block over. It’s there where I first saw someone sporting an actual blue tall spiky mohawk back in the punk days.

Ok, so maybe that wasn’t much of a story or a poignant remembrance. But I’ll never forget walking up and down that ramp.

I just learned that HBO Max is going to have a documentary on the Janes. Kinda weird how I just finished reading a book about them. Pure coincidence. I might just have to check out it.