Backstroking Into the Week Like…

Chatham Fish Pier

Here’s a pic from the Chatham Fish Pier. Now this is a working pier so during the day they really don’t want you hanging around here because the fisherman are trying to do work, bringing in their haul and all that jazz, and there are signs all over to that effect. However, if you go, like after 5 pm, you can just go into the lot and take a look around. This is a great place to see seals for free. Since this is where the fisherman unload their stuff these guys think they may get a free meal out of it, and a lot of times some of them will just be milling around hoping for some grub. Naturally you can’t find them, that would be a bad idea, both because it’s not good for them and also that they could bite you. Anyways while we were there these three seals were swimming around and this particular one seemed to be having fun literally swimming on his back just breaking the water line. He was putting on a little free show for us! So, if you don’t want to pay for a seal tour and hope to get a glimpse of these guys just head down to this pier. Sooner or later you’re bound to see them!

Hiking the Coastal Trail to a Scene of Beautiful Paradise

What did we do this morning? After a quick dip in the pool, we went over and hiked the Eddy Trail, probably one of our favorite locations to hike of all time. As an added treat they had the story of The Lorax all laid out along the trail, a page or two every so often along the way. The finale (well, really the half way point since you have to walk back) is ending up upon the cliff face. It just so happened to be high tide, so we got to see various boats floating along the flats. We even got to see a baby bunny along the trail. Of course it was scared but very cute as we said hello and went on our way.

Currently Reading: From a little library in Chatham by the lighthouse: Hell’s Half-Acre: The Untold Story of the Benders, a Serial Killer Family on the American Frontier. I think I might have heard bits of this story before but not really sure. You can look it up on Wikipedia, talk about a strange family.

In case you missed it, I decided to add my shot Where Time Has No Meaning to the shop as well. A nice relaxing Cape scene I think I captured pretty well.

A Full Day in Dennis, Harwich and Chatham

Where Time Has No Meaning, also available on the shop for purchase!

Another day at the beach! Swimming, Sunning! Earlier in the day I hung around the Bass River and checked out some of the sights around there. The majority of the day was spent as West Dennis Beach, like I said, swimming and sunning, and then swimming again until late afternoon. Finished it off with a visit to Mac’s in Chatham, hit a couple of Little Libraries (have you tried to new mobile app for it yet? It’s pretty great – much better than dealing with the website), then back to the condo for some chill out time. We were literally out practically all day from sunrise to sunset. Damn, are we tired! Tomorrow, we plan on doing our usual hike through the Brewster forest that leads out to the cliffs overlooking the flats.

Great Beach Day

Breakwater Beach

Too tired to describe everything that happened today. Highlights were spending most of the day at West Dennis Beach, playing in the surf and then just enjoying sitting in the sun and soaking up the breeze. This afternoon really did seem like the perfect beach day. After all that and grabbing a pizza it was off the Breakwater Beach to catch tonight’s sunset. Here’s one of the shots from tonight.

“Beach, Please!”

Skaket Sunset

Went down to the Chatham Fish Pier tonight and was greeted to quite a show as a bunch of seals including a harbor seal swam around on their backs and made us feel lucky to see them. I’ll upload a pic of them in a few days as they were captured on my DSLR and I cannot easily upload them to the site until I get back. Got some dinner in Orleans and caught a sunset at Skaket. Saw some cool whale art installation in Chatham center as well where you could also bid on the artwork. We also got to see a large heron fly over our heads which was really cool.

Wellfleet Wellness (Day 02)

Typical Wellfleet Harbor views

All the fun things we did yesterday with a couple of guests we had over for the overnight.

  • Swimming in the outdoor pool in the afternoon to cool off a bit
  • Getting lunch sandwiches from a local deli
  • Checking out our favorite spots at Nauset
  • Heading over to Macs on the Pier in Wellfleet enjoying a dinner on the beach
  • Passing by an amazing property and then noticing some crazy cottages and their asking prices for essentially a unheated shack
  • Heading over to Rock Harbor to catch the last rays of sunset
  • Grabbing some desserts at the Sparrow as per our usual routine!
  • Winding down with the charcoal grill doing up S’mores and turkey burgers and washing them down with beers
  • As always, illuminating conversation!
  • Falling asleep as midnight approached

All in all, a quite full day!

Crosby Beach Sunset (Day 01)

Crosby at sunset

Well, we made it down here by mid afternoon. Not too bad. Got a early dinner over at Mac’s (one of our favorite places). LD got some pool time already. Night swimming! Just before that though we headed over to one of the nearby beaches as sunset approached and I took some shots. Unfortunately I’ve discovered that the converted Chromebook does not seem to recognize the DSLR camera so the high res shots will have to wait until I get back but it does recognize my cell so that’s what this shot is from. I think we’re going to be having a full day tomorrow so I’m going to end it here for now.

Ready for Adventures Ahead!

Adventure ahead

Today ended up being running around to get a bunch of things. First I needed to go down to HQ to sign some paperwork that was outstanding and for my trouble they gave me a fifty dollar gift card for gasoline at a local station here in town. Pretty nifty. Then later in the afternoon I got a call that my equipment which had been on back order for months finally arrived at the Tactical store so I could finally go pick it up and I went ahead and got that done. That place doesn’t scare me anymore after being there a number of times now. Funny how it all came together on this one particular day, almost all at the same time. Kind of weird. Anyways, it’s all done and I’m ready to move forward. More excited about getting ready for an upcoming trip. This is going to be good because besides the usual sights and fun, we might have a couple guests visit. I’ll be bringing the travel Chromebook so I can do updates from the road, like last month.

Stargazers are Popping!

Stargazers in bloom

Whewwww! It sure is a hot one out there outside today! I don’t really have anything newsworthy to mention right now, but I had to share how our Stargazer lilies were doing. Maybe they like the heat! The floral celebrity, stargazer lilies are young, bold, beautiful, and dramatic. The meaning of these fragrant flowers can be one of wealth and prosperity, but their white variety can dress down to genuinely express purity and sympathy. I must admit that these are probably my favorite kind of lily, closely followed behind by the fire lilies. ((plug!)) Very aromatic as well. Do any of you have a favorite kind of lily?

From Here to Tanglewood

Visiting Symphony Park in East Somerville, MA

From the sculptor: “‘We Are Still Listening,’ was created from a magnificent regal tree which once stood in front of the Hadley-Conant home, a family of musicians of the 1880s. I wish to dedicate this sculpture to the honor of the Hadley-Conant family, the residents of East Somerville, and those musicians who will continue this tradition through musical performances and events in Symphony Park.”

I wanted to check this thing out after hearing it mentioned about a week ago as they did an unveiling. I also did a little lookup on Henry Hadley, I had no idea. That’s what learning is all about! He would later go on to create Tanglewood, and to think it all started right here in East Somerville!

Reading List

Currently Want to Reads

I mentioned that I’ve been looking for some books to read so I went through my Goodreads list and thought it might be interesting to see what I’ve been wanting to read lately. Some of these books are pretty new and aren’t out yet, and some are old and just hard to get a hold of. Of course I could buy the books but I prefer to find them in Little Libraries. I prefer non-fiction so you may see a common theme in my selections. I won’t list every single book on my current list, but most of them. So without further ado, let’s get to the current list and if you have read any of these or have more suggestions, let me know!

How to Speak Whale: A Voyage into the Future of Animal Communication – I always had a fascination with whales and have read a bunch of books about them. Leviathan was one of the better ones. They are pretty much the only reason I wanted to visit Nantucket a few years ago, which reminds me that I need to get back there one of these days.

Reading allows us to see and understand the world through the eyes of others.

– Chris Riddell

Split Decision: Life Stories – A book by Ice-T! We all love him as Finn on SVU and he has a pretty good and controversial music career as well. Anyways this book looks interesting to me as it details his life but also parallels it with one of his friends growing up and how they ended up in different places and that he could have ended up there too if certain decisions were made.

Are All Lives Equal?: Why Cost-Benefit Analysis Values Rich Lives More and How Philosophy Can Fix It – I’m not totally sure why I added this one? It just seems somewhat fascinating that someone somewhere can decide mathematically what they think a person is worth?

Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks – Well, I watch a lot of crime documentaries and this book looked interesting in that vein to me.

Blood Orange Night: My Journey to the Edge of Madness – A do love a good memoir now and again, and this one seems to deal with a woman and her addiction to benzodiazepine.

For everyone, a book is a search and hopefully a discovery.

– Shelby Foote

Been There, Done That: A Rousing History of Sex – “Explorations into age-old questions and bizarre trivia around birth control, aphrodisiacs, STIs, courtship rituals, and more establish that, when it comes to carnal pleasures and procreation, there’s never been a normal, and sex isn’t something to be scared of.” That was enough of a teaser to get me interested in reading this.

Unmasked: My Life Solving America’s Cold Case – As I mentioned before, crime docs are all the rage and cold cases seem to really grab us. A lot of work goes into solving things like this and I think this book describes that.

The Gift of Rumi: Experiencing the Wisdom of the Sufi Master – I love the quotes I’ve seen from this guy. Someone who is so eloquent with words like that is someone that I can learn from. So I think it would be interesting to see who this person actually was and how he saw life around him.

Birds and Us: A 12,000 Year History, from Cave Art to Conservation – Along with whales, which I’ve liked for a long time, I also grew to like birds, although I got into birding a lot more recently. It all started with noticing different backyard birds and there’s something thrilling about noticing a bird you haven’t seen before, at least that’s how I feel.

Silent Invasion: The Untold Story of the Trump Administration, Covid-19, and Preventing the Next Pandemic Before It’s Too Late – I was more interested in reading this when it first came out. It’s kind of dimmed on me now but it still might be a good read just to see what a clown show that was going on.

Funny Farm: My Unexpected Life with 600 Rescue Animals – We’re going to somehow visit this place in Jersey someday. LD and I like to visit the rescue animals at the farm and this book details some of what it takes to run places like that. It’s a lot of work and a labor of love, I am sure.

Cults: Inside the World’s Most Notorious Groups and Understanding the People Who Joined Them – Cults I find fascinating. Like, what makes people just join them and get blinded by whatever it is? Vulnerability I suppose could be one reason. A need to belong? The book also looks closely at the lives of some of the most disreputable cult figures and tell the stories of their rise to power and fall from grace, sanity, and decency. Sounds like it’s up my alley.

One of the best things about reading is that you’ll always have something to think about when you’re not reading.

– James Patterson

Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty – They are one of the richest families in the world, known for their lavish donations to the arts and sciences. The source of the family fortune was vague, however, until it emerged that the Sacklers were responsible for making and marketing OxyContin, a blockbuster painkiller that was a catalyst for the opioid crisis. I’m interested in learning that story.

The Memory Thief: The Secrets Behind How We Remember—A Medical Mystery – Memory is such a fickle thing. Hell, I know that from my own recall of memory.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents – a fascinating subject that I think would benefit me to learn more about.

And Party Every Day: The Inside Story of Casablanca Records – A bet there’s a lot of crazy stories in this book, from a record company that housed the likes of KISS, Donna Summer and George Clinton, to name a few. A banquet of hedonism and self-indulgence that sounds like a good read.

Well, that’s my list so far. I hope to get to read some or all of these over the next few months. Once again, let me know what you think about my list and if anything on it interested you.

Firepit Party Night Leads to a Beach Afternoon

Meeting the Day

Had a fun night last night having a friend over. I grilled trout, something I’d never done or even eaten before, and it came out great. We finished it off with turkey burgers and zucchini. Our guest also brought over one of the most delicious salads we’d ever had! Thanks so much L! As the night wore one we did a fire pit and enjoyed some s’mores. It was a beautiful evening. We definitely hope to do this again. Wonderful way to spend a few hours together.

This afternoon I was jonesing to go the beach so we went and spent some time in the sun and the waves. I was feeling hot and getting in the water just cooled me right down. I will say that the beach was pretty packed today. Guess everyone had more or less the same idea. Grabbed lunch over at The Green Harbor Lobster Pound again, love that place. I went with the clam plate and LD went with, naturally, the lobster roll.

Visiting King Tut: The Immersive Experience

Finally got a chance to check out the Immersive King Tut Experience over at the South Boston Sowa Power Station. It was interesting, definitely focused more on the religious afterlife beliefs that the ancient Egyptians had, after you learn a little about the Boy King’s life you watch him go on his journey through the Afterlife. We went with another couple friends of ours. Afterwards we hit a famous Quincy restaurant with has great views of the Bay and had lunch there on the deck. It was a beautiful day!

Currently reading: For One More Day by Mitch Albom. A little library find from a visit to some of them a few days ago. In a bit, I’ll list a series of books both new and old that I’d like to get a chance to read over the summer and maybe why I’d want to read it.

The Plight of the Honeybees for the Grandfather


I’ll get to the bee story in a minute but first I wanted to give an update on what’s been going on with me today.

I woke up early today to head on over to my mechanic at Earth-1 to get my ride inspected. Needless to say it passed with flying colors, no problems, as I figured that it would, and only took about 10 minutes or so. I literally got there a little after 7 am and was out of there by 7:20, after chatting with the guys and stuff. I stand by this shop, they’ve been good to me. It’s important to find a place you can trust.

I then went and got my hair cut really short, with summer now upon us in full swing, I need to do anything to keep me cool as a cucumber. I briefly entertained the idea of riding my bike around town but then decided against it, partly due to the heat, and partly due to my own laziness.

Then there was a bunch of errands to run and things like that. I finally headed back around mid afternoon. So, it was a pretty full morning and early afternoon. I decided to just relax for a bit once I got back.

As for the garden, it looks like some new lilies have been popping, looks related to the fire lilies but the colors are little different, more of a purple tinge to them as opposed to the red. Still waiting for the Stargazer buds to open up but I imagine that should happen over the next few days or so. We must have planted these late last summer after a visit to a farm in Mendon that was growing them, far as I can recall. There’s also a bunch of regular tiger lilies growing over near the “prairie area” that we got from a lady last year in the garden club wanting to get rid of them from her residence since she had so many.

Today’s the start of Prime Day but I really don’t “need” anything at the moment. It’s all a promotional scam anyway. I do however have my eyes on a specific sound bar, a specific beach cart (I’m finding this might be a nice amenity the more and more that we visit the beach, also why are they so expensive?), and a specific gravity chair but I’m hoping to maybe get one of two of these as possible birthday gifts in the future. Anyway I’ve added them to my personal shopping list for maybe popping on at a later time should those plans not pan out.

Ok, now for the story you’ve all been waiting for. I must admit I find it a little bit amusing in a Schadenfreude type of way.

I learned of another fiasco over at the neighbors. Yes, the same neighbors that had us and everyone else looking for their cat while they’re away on vacation somewhere in Europe. Somehow a group of honeybees decided to make their home near the front of their house. However I have learned that there must be a little hole there or something because apparently the swarm is actually living inside of the house. I saw some of these bees myself when the Grandfather (remember him?) was out front with the Animal Control Officer of the town so I went over to see what the commotion was. I guess Grandpa had originally called some pest control company but they needed to see a picture of the bee to see what kind it was. When they learned it was honey bees and not carpenter bees they told him they couldn’t kill them since they’re protected species or some such. There is literally over 1,000 bees in there! I’m not kidding! It’s huge! The Animal Control Officer, whom we know pretty well, tried putting a box there hoping the queen would go inside and then the drones would follow, but following up on that hours later, the queen never went in, so that was a bust. However, since learning that the bees are actually in the house I guess you can kill them? I don’t know but this family either took the worst possible time for them to go away on vacation or they just aren’t having any luck right now. I don’t know if anything happened today because I wasn’t around but if not I suppose they’re going to have a fun time when they get back, whenever that is. Meanwhile this poor Grandfather is trying to manage all these things that he never signed up for. He thought he was just going to watch a cute little kitty cat. Little did he know that the little un-fixed (mmhmm, these people should not have pets!) bugger would escape and cause havoc in the neighborhood and that a swarm of bees would be all over the place. And this is just the things that I know about. I suspect there might actually be more!

The All Points Bulletin Search for Spaghetti

I happened to notice a post in a Facebook group that I am a member of about a missing cat in the neighborhood that was loose around and to my mind looked a lot like the next door neighbor’s cat. So I went around the corner to this other neighbor who are the parents of the father who is the owner of the cat. We call him the Grandfather. Anyways, yes he did say the cat was missing. He was assigned to watch that cat as apparently the next door neighbors are away on vacation in Europe somewhere. He said the cat was upstairs in their house but that he escaped by literally clawing his way through the second floor screen and jumping off the roof, down a tree and into the lawn below. I believe this is true because he showed me the screen that was ripped which can be seen from the street.

LD had seen the cat wondering around in the yard but by the time the Grandfather and I had gotten there he was gone again. We thought his name was Buddy because we had heard the father call him that, but when I asked the Grandfather he said that the cat’s name was actually Spaghetti. I have a tendency to still call it Buddy however.

Anyways we were off to the beach and couldn’t spend all day looking for this cat, but LD and I stayed active on social media, and other folks on the FB group would comment that they saw him in their yard and whatnot. Long story short, Spaghetti was eventually found and returned back to the family. A happy ending is always nice. Truth is I felt kind of bad about Spaghetti. I wouldn’t want him getting hurt or anything. I mean, there’s been hawks, there’s cars, other animals that could hurt the little guy, et cetera. Seems like he was having the time of his life however, chasing things and basking in the sun of other people’s property.

Sleepy after swimming

As I previously mentioned, we had been jonesing for a beach trip so after dealing with the Spaghetti fiasco for a little bit we were off to wade in some waves. After chomping down on a sandwich from a local deli we travelled down Route 3 and decided to hit Duxbury. I thought maybe with the weather being so good and it also being a Saturday that the place might be packed but actually it was pretty light, which to me was perfect as I’m not really one for big crowds, especially on the beach.

Anyways, we went into the water, jumping the waves and having a good time. Afterwards I went to dry off in the sun in my beach chair and apparently fell asleep. Sea air always had that effect on me since I was young. There’s just something about it that really puts me to sleep. Unfortunately when I woke up a bit later I had a bit of a stiff neck, but what can you do? We did get to see a seagull take off with someone’s chip bag, poke into it, and eat it’s contents. It was too far away for us to do anything about it and in a way it was a little humorous to watch. And we saw a monarch butterfly on the beach as well.

We finished off the day trip with a visit to the Green Harbor Lobster Pound and chowed down. I got the clam plate and LD got a lobster roll. This being our first visit there of the season.

When we got back home I noticed Spaghetti was back outside again on this leash contraption that the neighbor’s set up? I mean, really? REALLY? But at least he is safe and hopefully someone is watching him a bit closer this time. I feel like we did our part and had a nice enjoyable day.

2 XL, the Robot from my Youth, Lives on!

Here’s a bit of nostalgia from my past! I actually had one of these toys growing up, this must have been around 1978 or so. 2 XL! The robot that would help you learn. It’s essentially just an 8-track player but the makers cleverly placed all the questions and answers expertly on various places on the tape to make it seem like it was intelligent and could interact with you. check it! Scroll down on the page to get to the original 8 tracks which is what I had (produced by Mego), not the later one from the 90s. I can’t remember exactly which cartridges I had but I probably did own at least the superhero and comic book one. Man, this brought back memories.

The Love to Tinker with Gadgets

Here’s a little bit about me that you may or may not know. I just love to tinker around with gadgets. Whether it’s seeing what makes the jukebox tick, or taking apart old kindles and replacing the battery, or watching vids on how to replace OSes and boot up with different .iso files. I think I was always a little bit curious in that way, even as a small child. I mean, I even like reading manuals if you can believe that! Just trying to absorb all the knowledge that I can about something that excited me. I can remember taking apart certain things of mine but then would sometimes have trouble putting them back together. Hopefully I’ve gotten a lot better at that as I’ve gotten older. I know my limits though, some things I know would be out of my reach, but I do like to challenge myself a little bit on things like this. I’ve built my own desktop pc in the past, upgraded lots of tech, etc. It’s fun to figure out how things operate, or to even give new life to something that was pretty much dead. I also like learning about all the new things coming out. Once a geek, always a geek! It’s not necessarily always electronics either. It can be food related, like learning a recipe, or dealing how to keep plants doing their best. At times it’s a lot of trial and error but it’s the process that makes it so interesting to me. And true, when it’s a failure it’s a bit of a letdown, as there has been a couple of those naturally, but when it’s a success it does wonders for me.

I Just Saved a Squirrel from the Baby Hawk

This guy needs to eat but not on my watch! Sorry, pal!

Just what the title of this post says. I just happened to glance out the window and I see the baby hawk on the fence post out back, wings outstretched and looking rather interested at something. When I went to see what he was tracking a saw a squirrel scrambling up the fence only a foot or two away. I grabbed my camera and went out there and this distracted the bird long enough for the squirrel to hop into a nearby tree. The hawk itself meanwhile seemed to notice me and was wondering if I was a threat to it or not perhaps. As I got closer, he finally decided to fly off to the next street over. The squirrel safe, for now anyway.

The basement is for all intents and purposes, finished! And it looks amazing. Moved things around too so that there’s more room and it flows better. For example, all the games are in their own “room” so to speak, and on the other side is the couch, chair, fireplace etc. providing a comforting space to relax. I had to do a little bit of maintenance on the Ms. Pac but it’s working like a dream. That and the jukebox are probably the best things we ever got off folks, back when we used to do those sorts of things. I then went ahead and cleaned out the firepit since we burned stuff the other day. I was going to mow the lawn but I think I’ll do tomorrow since I need to get some gas for the mower and I just wasn’t feeling it today after doing all that basement moving work. I do water all the plants every night though unless it’s raining. Like to keep them all healthy and lush.

Just a Stream of Consciousness Thought Entry for Today

Highland Light

Random stream of consciousness thoughts from the last day or so: It’s that time of year again where we can here this incessant what I assume to be baby hawk squawking all day long. I remember the sound from last year. Just goes all…day…long. We updated LD’s website a bit with a new look the other day. Little more visually pleasing now. Been watching a couple of murder mystery type shows lately and I came to the conclusion you should never marry anyone with a last name of Peterson. I mean, what is it which these guys murdering their wives: Scott Peterson, Drew Peterson, that Peterson guy from the Staircase. Just don’t do it ladies! Did a bunch of grilling yesterday, going to do it again today and probably light the fire pit tonight, it’s been a while since I’ve done that. Did get to check out the new Aldi’s this afternoon. We were curious having never been in one before. Have to day I wasn’t impressed and quite frankly the quarter for the cart thing really annoyed me. You can find dome good prices on things there but I didn’t find the selection all that great. Maybe it was just this one particular store but I found it actually kind of on the small side. Well, curiosity satisfied. Did watch a documentary last night called There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane, which chronicled that horrific crash on the Taconic Parkway in New York a few years back. It’s still a mystery into what actually happened, although there are theories including my own. Going through some of my older photos yesterday I decided to repost this shot of Highland Light.

Birding Along with a Blue Heron

Blue Heron looking for breakfast.

Here’s one of the better photos I feel I took of that Heron yesterday. There’s also some shots of a swan family that I need to process. I do love birdwatching you know, another one of my hobbies that I started getting into a couple of years back. Of course my favorite bird of all time is the Puffin and I’ve had the pleasure of photographing them a few times. In fact, on the subject of puffins, I just learned that a new baby to a couple of them was born just the other day which you can actually catch here on YouTube.

It was kind of too hot outside today to do much of anything so I was pretty much a loaf today, although I did process some billing tasks and grilled a bit as evening rolled around.