The other day, I discovered that the dryer would just continue to run even when the machine was turned off. Unplugging it was the only way to put a stop to it. It was quite frustrating since you could essentially not use the dryer because none of the controls would work; all it would do was continue to spin when you plugged it back in. I therefore did what any decent dude would do and went to YouTube first.
I discovered some videos that demonstrated how to take the panel off and access the motherboard. A relay there seems to frequently become stuck, so you just have to bang it or jiggle it to unstick it. It took me a few tries to get it to stop spinning, but now that it has, we can resume drying our items without having a service call. Yay! We not only saved money there, but I also feel very accomplished for having managed to get it back up and functioning normally. Bravo to me!
The other night we had friends over for a firepit outing and I don’t know what it was but they kind of sucked the life out of me. The last two days I’ve been feeling pretty tired and sleepy. Basically I think I just need a good nap. Maybe this week. We’ve also been doing a lot of cooking, from chicken dishes, to meatballs, to soups and almost everything in between. It feels good to me to use up all the groceries so that none of it ends up going to waste.
I recently finished a pretty amazing book about a cold case detective, and I’ve been sort of addicted to watching Hot Ones, where celebs talk about themselves while munching on wings packed with the spiciest sauces. I recently saw the ones starring Anna Kendrick and Michael Cera, both of whom gave it their all, to varying degrees of success.
i downloaded what I think is this cool animated wallpaper for my Samsung Galaxy phone. It’s free and I thought it looked pretty cool so I wanted to share in case anyone else was interested. Grab it here. (This link only works with Samsung mobile phones).
Currently Reading: Unmasked: My Life Solving America’s Cold Cases. We’ll see if this is any good. The book I just finished about the “other Dr. Gilmore” was a great read. You can find the links on my goodreads page over on the right sidebar or way at the bottom of this page is you’re using mobile right now.
There’s a bunch of gas guys out front ripping up the street apparently putting in new gas mains. They’ll need to come into the house tomorrow to hook it up to the residence but as of right now, they’re jackhammering the middle of the street to get access to the lines. Kind of a pain in the ass actually.
I’ve been experimenting with video a little bit because short videos are allegedly more “engaging” on these social media platforms than just plain static images. (On this one I am kind of cheating since it still is a static image at heart). However, I’ve decided that my main focus will still be just still photography because that’s what I feel I’m best at and it’s what I want to see and do. But if it can increase the number of individuals who find my stream, all the better.
Meanwhile we got some real snowfall yesterday, although only up to a couple of inches in the metro Boston area. More to the west and north, as is the case usually.
I was pretty busy today, heading over to Earth-1 between shifts to basically get a bunch of errands done and to scope out the scene.
Currently reading: The Other Dr. Gilmore. I got a notification from my libby app saying that this book on my list was available so I borrowed it electronically and am going to start to read it. I’m liking it so far as I’ve gotten into the first few chapters thus far.
I also had a mini-facial today, something I don’t think I’ve ever had done before.
We went to the beach today to get some exercise and some fresh air by strolling along the riverside and along the sea. The most recent storm produced very little snow for us, but as this photo shows, it still appeared dark and stormy. The clouds completely obscured the sky, and the waves were breaking pretty high, but it was still kind of fun to be out there,
Overall, the past few days have been uneventful. I’ve been attending training sessions for added tasks on the job, which looks like it will be a good gig. Although the program is currently simply an 8 week trial to assess how it works, it will likely begin in earnest within the next week or two. It will continue if effective, and I can think of no reason why it wouldn’t, but only time will tell.
Ended up watching some 4 episode documentary crime story on Netflix about the Cecil Hotel in downtown Las Angeles. Stuck right in the middle of the city’s Skid Row district the place had seen better times. A lot of people think the place is cursed, mostly because lots of people have actually died there. The story follows the disappearance of a 21 year old Asian girl who decided to stay there while travelling and never left the hotel. Where did she go? What happened to her? Foul play or something supernatural? It was a pretty good story, although some of the conspiracy theories that came out of it were a little whack, as people were trying to solve the mystery. The truth is actually quite tragic. I would suggest you watch it if you haven’t already and then google the hotel to read all about it’s sordid history and what’s going on there now. Yes, even after all the death, the place still exists!
I recently discussed applying for something that will fill my days with a little bit more activity, and I can now report that I got chosen for it. I will learn more about it at the end of next week when I meet with the big Kahunas, to put it simply. It’s too soon to say whether or not it will work, but I have to give it a shot. A little butterflies, but I’m confident I can adapt and it could also result in better things in the future. We shall see.
When I went to work yesterday morning I noticed one of my headlights went out. If it’s not one thing it’s another. I’ll try to get that addressed as soon as I can. Also been playing a couple of mega millions tickets but so far, nothing. Had to try though. On a brighter note, I did cook up what I thought was a pretty good risotto dish last night and paired it with some shrimp on the side which was not part of the recipe.
I entered a contest to win tickets to a future Antiques Roadshow recording that would take place during the summer. Despite the fact that the event is free, you must have a ticket to enter, and you must win it in a random lottery. So I thought, “What the hell?” Although I’m not what I would call an avid antiques follower I can appreciate the time and work that goes into a lot of the products that were created back then and in a certain way. I find it appealing in part because it evokes memories of the past. Every object has a backstory, whether it’s a wooden cabinet, a beautiful painting, silver jewelry, or an antique watch. They stand for the quality of craftsmanship from a bygone era that will never be seen again. I’m a history buff at heart.
I’ve noticed the sun sets are really starting to get later and later, mostly because the lights I’ve had timers on light up now while there is still sunlight out, which I’m liking, whereas before it was dark. Liking it!
We began taking down the holiday decorations, including the tree, today and last night. I also performed a lot of cleaning and reorganizing. We decluttered, organized, donated food to the community pantry, and even stopped by a little library in Canton where I picked up a new book to read called The New England Grimpendium. It is essentially a guide to macabre attractions in New England. Maybe one day I’ll visit a few. I’ll be reading a book about atrial fibrillation as well.
We’re trying to use the Instant Pot to prepare a very sizable chuck roast for supper. We’ll have to wait and see. I don’t think I’ve ever had chuck roast, but it was included in a butcher block package we received quite some time ago, so we felt we should use it up. Update: it came out pretty good!
Gametime: I found this game to be really fun, with puzzles and a bit of platforming thrown in. What’s cool is that each camera movement shifts the world itself, essentially changing the level as you play and you have to think about where to place things as elements change. It’s hard to explain, but after you play it, you’ll understand. Took me about a day to beat all the levels. Nymphiad
How’s everyone’s new year so far. Not much to report over here, just back to the grind. As soon as I dream up something worthwhile I’ll post it. In the meantime enjoy this pick from the Kennebunk River over in Maine.
Thought it would be fun to list what I felt were the top ten moments of my life from 2022!
It wasn’t easy coming up with this list and truth be told, with the exception of maybe the top two, any of these could be in any order. I’m sure I’m missing some things as well here and there, but these are the moments that stood out the most to me from the past year. As usual the images I’ve taken during the year helped me to remember and capture some of the moments. You can click on the smaller ones to see a better view. And now without further ado, let’s get right to the list!
Number 10: Visiting Cameron the baby goat on Easter!
Yes, Cameron was born on Easter, and that white goat which you can see in the left hand bottom corner of this photo is Mira, his mother, which is short for Miracle because when she was a baby she almost didn’t make it. She’s turned out to be an amazing mother to her baby – it was fascinating to watch. So Cameron will be a year old come April of next year. Sadly, we learned that his mother passed away since from eating too many turnips of all things.I would like to see how big Cameron has gotten though, maybe in the spring we’ll get a chance to revisit.
Number 9: My Birthday Trip staying at a Treehouse!
I never saw this one coming!
Thanks to LD I got to be hanging in an Airbnb in Dover NH that had an actual treehouse overlooking the scenic Piscataqua River, watching baby robins being fed by their mother in another tree in the back yard, getting clean in the shower that had two showerheads almost opposite each other which was really cool, grabbing burgers at the BRGR Bar in downtown Portsmouth, getting some shots over at the Nubble, hanging out and swimming at Long Sands beach, eating clams at Bob’s and probably some more things that I can’t remember right just now, but the memories that do stand out to me will be with me forever. It was pretty cool watching the sunset over the river from the top of the treehouse. Hey, I grew up in the city, we didn’t have any treehouses! Especially not any as large as this one was.
Number 8: New Glasses for the Win
I finally got a chance to head on over to the eye doctor for some new eyeglasses this year. I’ve had the ones I’ve had for quite a while and I felt it was time for a change, plus I wanted to get progressives since the way my eyes are currently working these days. It was good to see that my eye health in general is pretty optimal, only a stronger prescription for my near sightedness was needed, which is what I suspected and hoped. Like I said, it was time for an updated look! They’re Versace to boot!
Number 7: February Cape Trip / Orleans House
After travelling down this very narrow private dirt trodden road we had arrived at where we would stay for the weekend at a rather luxurious house on Namequoit Point in South Orleans, Cape Cod. It was all very quiet and rather dark in the cold winter night, although you could see the beauty of the stars above without any light pollution. Once inside I was impressed with the rooms, one with a very large television set, and a cute little day bed to go along with the master.
After a relaxing evening with some wonderful clam chowder and a cod dinner from a place we like down here called Mac’s and a visit to our old standby the Chocolate Sparrow for some hot chocolates I rested up in order to try to get up before sunrise the next day. As the sun was rising, which you could see out the gorgeous picture window opposite the bed, I got to see various birds visit the feeder that was placed just outside. A good selection of black capped chickadees, song sparrows, tufted titmice, mourning doves, and a red squirrel or two, who seemed to have realized that all they could hope for was droppings from the birds above them. Later in the morning we decided to explore down to the Point, past the boathouse with it’s various canoes and kayaks laying outside awaiting the summer days. Although it was a pretty windy day, the sun was shining brightly on the bay and we took a slew of various photos. We walked in the sand all the way out to the tip of the point and have the photos on our phones to prove it. Among the sea gulls and horseshoe crabs that lay on the beach there was a cool looking petrified tree that we photographed ourselves with. I’m kicking myself because while I was packing for trip I had forgot to big my main camera and only remembered it after we were on the road for forty five minutes so I had to make do with my cell, which thankfully does take pretty good pictures and I usually will use just as an adjunct but I’m still angry with myself for forgetting my main equipment.
For breakfast we went to a place we hadn’t been to in a while called Jo Mamas (what a name, right?) that does does a really decent breakfast sandwich. I thoroughly enjoyed mine. After some more bit of relaxing I decided to see if I could get any possible sunset shots from the area whilst LD went off to get a much needed massage. The sky started to look a bit ominous though as perhaps it might rain or even have a possible snow squall. As four in the afternoon came by I looked out the window. It looked like the wind had died down considerably which was blowing quite hard for most of the day, but the clouds in the sky were getting heavier and thicker and more gray with each passing moment. It was beginning to look like there wouldn’t be any really cool pink cotton candy sky colors like there were last night. Instead it would look like various shades of puffy white and gray, which can be interesting in it’s own right. The clock said 4:17 and this time as I looked out the picture window I could see that snow had started falling blowing around in the wind. The flakes looked pretty big as they blew sideways from right to left across my view. Sunset was at 5:18 pm, I had decided that I will wait until five pm and then if it’s rather nasty out that I would give up on this particular quest. There will always be another time, plus I’m just not as young as I used to be so I have to be careful and be smart.
Five o’clock had arrived. it was still lightly snowing out and the sky was gray. I knew I wouldn’t get any colorful sunset shots tonight but I thought it might still be cool to see the Point with the snow falling on the sandy beach so I decided to take a quick trip out the back door and down the hill to the beach. Just as I was putting on my jacket I noticed that somehow a red squirrel had managed to somehow get past the blocker and found himself inside the feeder with the seed. Industrious little fellow! I zipped up my jacket, donned my hat, and headed out the back door. When I approached the feeder the squirrel proactively took off like a rocket even though I had no real intention of shooing him away, I just happened to be passing by. Down the hill back I went, past the boat house and onto the spit of a beach and grabbed a couple of shots real quick and called it a night for my photo adventures for the day. I got back just as the sky was turning dark, although it had looked like it was starting to have a pinkish kind of quality to it but I had already decided to stay put. Also by this time I had noticed that the red squirrel had come back and this time I watched him acrobatically jump from the ground, onto the cone that was supposed to keep them away and from there right into the feeder. To the winner goes the spoils!
For dinner LD was kind enough to pick up some take out on her way back from her massage. I had decided to get a juicy cheeseburger and she got a chicken along with a salad and we shared both! Then it was just a quiet night of more relaxing and enjoying the moments of each other’s company.
Number 6: Lavallette Visit/Yonkers NY
Spent a few days down in Lavallette, NJ at a Airbnb, in fact the same one we stayed in last year at this time. It’s a great location and a pretty good place to hang out. We had a some family stay overnight with us at the beach house and I do think they all had a fun time. We were able to see two sunsets (all three days had gorgeous weather), a full moon one night, and even whales breaching right off the shore. It was quite the sight to see, especially since they were so close to the shoreline. There’s a picture out there of one literally right next to a surfer, like he could touch it with his hand, it was that close. Had some good food (some takeout but we also made some stuff and gobbled that all down over the time stayed). We were able to enjoy the takeout meals while seeing the sunset at the end of a neighboring pier. The following night, we had our guests picked up by driving them to the JBJ rest stop area so that we wouldn’t have to travel all the way back to the Airbnb because we were spending an additional night. There were some amazing pictures taken there of LD belting out the hits with the guests. It was a really fun time!
We had a late checkout the next morning, so we took our time, ate breakfast on the beach at a local coffee house we like called Lava Java, and enjoyed a little more time at the beach as the sun was feeling quite wonderful. As we were about to return to Boston, we decided to take a detour and visit our old friend Chris and his two young girls in Yonkers, New York. There was a park right next door where we could all hang for a bit outside and the kids could play in the meantime. Beautiful looking children too. Quite a whirlwind of a weekend! As LD likes to say #livingalifeIdontneedavacationfrom!
Number 5: Spring Lake “Hut” Stay
Hard to believe that this was even this year, for some reason to me it seems so long ago! We stayed 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 there 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.
The next 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! This is also when we first experienced the JBJ rest stop.
Number 4: Goat-a-Grams Visit
On this day I was able to get a couple of baby goats to visit LD for a continuance of her celebration this year. They were the cutest things, named Speck and Ziggy, brothers as it were. A nice thing that along with all the goat snuggles is that they were going to town on eating all the fallen oak leaves. I think they had as good a time as we did. It was a fun experience and they came right to the house. We also had a couple of guests visit which was also very nice. It was interesting to watch the goat watch one particular guest and watch that same guest watch that particular goat! I would totally do this again. I’m glad the weather held out and didn’t rain. It was a bit windy (the remnants of Hurricane Ian) but nothing us hardly New Englanders couldn’t handle.
Number 3: Summer on the Cape 2022
Some of the fun things we did with a couple of guests we had over for an overnight as well.
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
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
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.
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.
Number 2: Duxbury Photo Awards Ceremony
What an honor!
We got dressed up for this! A while back we had entered some of my photos from Duxbury Beach on over to the Duxbury Beach Reservation Committee and low and behold they actually chose one of the three that we submitted! I was notified that I’d be included in their upcoming calendar why back in the late spring. Imagine my surprise when months later, I was invited by them to participate in a thank you and reception to be held at the Duxbury Bay Maritime School! We arrived and were greeted by the trustees of the Reservation and lead upstairs to the Chart Room where all the winning photographs were on display, printed out and framed around the room! Very cool! After a brief talk and meet and greet with the other folks we all got our gift bags filled with goodies from the Reservation even and got to keep our winning photo, frame and all! They really do look pretty amazing all framed out.
After looking through the gorgeous calendar my shot appears in the month of September. Why did I pick this shot to take? I had just happened to be walking around by the bridge and I saw that most of the water had receded at that time so I wandered underneath. I think at first I was taken with the woodwork underneath the bridge road surface. I thought the texture looked pretty cool, and then the more I looked I thought the ripples in the sand and even the shadows created by the sun underneath was also pretty cool. It’s also something really related to Duxbury Beach as the bridge is a big part of it and I wanted something representative of the area. I also took “regular” beach shots but I felt those could be from any beach, with this, I felt it was something that only exists here and is instantly recognizable to the folks who frequent here.
None of any of this would have been possible without the love and support of the Ladydoc. From getting me here to sharing ideas and looking for opportunities for me. Hell, she even bought me the “real” camera that I used to take these shots way back when! I wanted to give her the credit that she deserves and for making me better in every way. All these shots that I take really couldn’t have happened without her in my life. So thank you LD, from the bottom of my heart.
The Runners Up!
Like I said there were so many things, even in a year when the pandemic is still hanging around, we did get to do a lot of cool things. Here are some more highlights that could have surely been in the top ten but I couldn’t fit them in. But here’s my attempt in a stream of consciousness type format:
As seen in the header image, on New Years Eve of 2022 there was some skating out out front of the town theater, hanging with Lenny at the Yoga studio, Carson coming out of his shell to meet visitors, various trips to the local beaches including Duxbury, Marshfield, and Revere. A cow named Dudley having a birthday party, Kennebunkport prelude this year with fireworks, good eats, and good friends, cleaning out LD’s old office in an adventure I called “Project Extraction.” Visiting our friends’ new house they just bought in Georgetown (we did this just yesterday on NYE), new appliances in the kitchen, a new bathroom in the basement and new flooring in the kitchen and cellar, some of my pix making the local news outlets including Boston.com, attending a couple of concerts this year, Johnny Mathis with/for my mom after being postponed for two years and a Meat Loaf tribute, partaking of food trucks over at a place called the Salvage Angel, a special Xmas Eve dinner from Rosetta’s, growing our garden and starting out with hydroponics, checking out an interactive King Tut exhibit during the summer, biking with a group in Cambridge over the spring, discovering Like No Udder in Providence RI and watching LD become a master swimmer. I also leaned a lot about cooking and grilling this year, making meals almost daily.
I read a bunch of books this year, though not as many as I had hoped. Some of my favorite reads this year however were the following: The Babysitter: My Summers with a Serial Killer, Egypt’s Golden Couple: When Akhenaten and Nefertiti Were Gods on Earth, Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture, Hell’s Half-Acre : The Untold Story of the Benders, America’s First Serial Killer Family ( a read I found in a little library in Chatham down on the Cape this summer), and The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service.
… And now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for!
Number 1: LD’s Very Special Birthday Party Extravaganza!
The party to end all parties and I think everyone who attended had a great time! We were scrambling a little bit as the party start time drew near, with getting tables set up, and picking up the cake, getting a balloon and such, etc. Everyone who said they would attend did and we even had three dogs visit, including Boomer all the way down from Maine, and Lenny, a dog I’ve been wanting to meet for a long time. (My first time meeting Lenny!) He was one solid boy weighing close to over 50 pounds! We played a game that made you meet and talk to people to learn things about them and it actually worked and everyone was into it. Another one of LD’s friends was kind enough to pick up the main entrees from Canton so that was a great help. The camera was all set up for the selfie station and I set up a shared google drive directory so that folks who took one can download their pictures. (I’d add more here but unsure if people would want their images out there so I’m not posting more). The weather was perfect for a party day! We had some pretty great homemade props which I’ll be saving to use for future events.
People also got to see the new basement and bathroom to help us decide on colors by voting. So we had a lot going on, between everyone meeting everyone, eating all the various dishes, watching LD smash her piñata, cutting the cake, playing the games, and having a good time. LD even went out of her way and cooked some gluten free things for some guests who could not partake of the main entrees. All the desserts were a huge hit, from the cake which truly was delicious to the special ice cream sandwiches we got from Providence. As the party was ending (the last guests didn’t leave till around 10 pm!) we saw the SpaceX rocket in the sky although at the time we didn’t know what it was, circled around the fire pit. The main thing was that everyone who came genuinely came to celebrate LD and you could feel the joy. We have to remember that we really are surrounded by wonderful people who care and love LD and I’m very appreciative that I was also able to partake in that.
So all in all I’d have to say it was a great year. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all tea and crumpets, there were things that sucked, like the various hospital visits and stays, and some other setbacks here and there, but overall, it was a year for the record books. And so, with that, here is my wish for you. I want to pause and reflect and send you special magic wishes for a joyful New Year. Wishing you a year of… new beginnings filled with hope and promise… simple pleasures to enjoy and share… beautiful moments to remember always… and peace and happiness in your heart and home. Happy New Year everyone!