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.

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.

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!

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.

A Good Memorial Day Weekend All Wrapped Up

Memorial Day

We used the day to get a bunch of work done, while also having a little down time to relax. I awoke this morning and using an awl made another hole in my belt. Am I losing any weight? It doesn’t seem so, yet the belt was getting too loose. Now I’m cinching better. We looked out the window this morning and was able to catch a mama robin feeding her baby. The baby actually didn’t look all that young to me but it was cute how it followed her around hopping. When she would find something they would run towards eachother and she would stick the morsel right down it’s gullet, it squawking at her all the while. Eventually she flew off and left it to squawk by itself for a while. Then I lost sight of them until late afternoon when I saw the baby still scrounging around in the back yard. Actually I saw a lot of different baby bird species in the yard this morning, learning their life routine. Never really ever happened like that before. Strange.

After that it was time for a quick run to Home Depot. LD wanted to get a few more herbs to put into a herb box, things that give off a scent to naturally repel bugs from the back deck where we like to sit at times. They’ll end up going near our mosquito plants on the deck. Ended up getting two basils, a rosemary, and two squash plants which I transplanted into one of the raised boxes. The herbs I transplanted into a new tiny box with extra potting soil after I had drilled some drainage holes in it’s bottom. We also got some plumber’s tape because I’m trying to address the back hose which seems to be leaking at the spout. I’m planning on watering the garden a little later tonight and adding some Miracle-Gro to the water. We also noticed the dog rose bushes have finally bloomed. We might actually end up getting rid of that, we never planted it there (thanks Ms. Creesy … NOT!) and it’s so large now but dealing with it is tough because it’s very thorny. I also finally got around to patching up the screen door to the front of the house which I had punctured a bit last summer moving some furniture inside the house.

A couple of quick showers by each of us and then it was on to the next task at hand. Cleaning out one of the upstairs closets, which had been on the to-do list for a while. Now everything in there is neat and nicely organized, and we were able to discard or give away a bunch of stuff that had been sitting there for a while doing nothing taking up space.

While I was doing a load of laundry we had left over juicy burgers on pretzel buns that I grilled the other day for lunch, and ate them on the back deck, enjoying the sunshine. Tonight I’m going to make a turkey meatball soup and prepare two ears of corn using the Instant Pot. Both I’ve made before and are very easy to cook up. And also, Go Celtics!

So a pretty full day, and there was some rest areas in between. Finally I’d like to just take a moment to recognize all the brave men and women who gave and continue to give their all so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we have and I’ll end with a quote by Lee Greenwood; “And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.”  Thank you Veterans.

The Spectacle of New Spectacles

I finally got a chance to head on over to the eye doctor for some new eyeglasses. 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. I’ve purchased the new frames that will have a new shape so I’ll be looking a little different when they come in next week sometime. Like I said, it was time for an updated look!

And now for some small news snippet updates from today:

If anyone is interested, I’ve finally reached level 10, the ultimate level of Nyctoban. Fantastic puzzlescript game. I give it two thumbs up. I’m curious if anyone else tried it on my recommendation and how they’re doing.

Have you seen the seemingly millions of Amber Heard memes about her ‘dog stepping on a bee?’ She is really doing badly on social media. For the record, I am a member of #TeamJohnny.

This afternoon, we went out and bought a few more plants for the patio. What can I say? These days, we’re plantaholics! I got a couple of large hanging plants. The more time we get to spend outside, the more I want to look at pretty things surrounding us.

Until the Twelfth of Never

Got back from the show last night close to midnight. Like I said, I had taken my Mom to see Johnny Mathis, who just happened to be in Medford, MA of all places, for his current tour (12 dates in all, not bad for an 86 year old!) My musical tastes tend to run more to bands that are at Boston Calling this weekend but I can appreciate all kinds of music. I had gotten us 5th row seats two years ago because I remember my mom saying that seeing him would always be on her bucket list. I never really thought it would happen, but as luck would have it, it actually did! The view was pretty good, 5th row in a small venue you can’t go wrong. Everyone had to wear masks of course, and since the audience I would say were mostly older folks, everyone followed the rules. It was a very respectful crowd. Yes, I was in the fifth row with all the geriatrics. Hey, I’m almost there myself! Sure feels like it sometimes.

His orchestra was great and I have to say, that this guy hasn’t lost anything to his voice. He’s still got it after all these years. I think everyone had a great time and were very satisfied with his performance. I know my mom was. I think I saw other people like middle-aged daughters maybe that brought their moms to the show. I thought that was a very nice thing to do. Seems like everyone there had been waiting for over two years as well, and like I said, they definitely we’re not disappointed.

Of course now I’m dragging. Like I said, I’m almost a geriatric myself. But I had to get up and get to work. Maybe I’ll take a nap but probably not. I have to go get my covid booster later, not really looking forward to it but just have to get it out the way. Hopefully we’ll be able to recuperate a little bit this weekend. I say we’ll because LD is also supposed to take it easy after having surgery on a finger yesterday. Thankfully that all went well but her hand is going to be laid up for a while so I’ll be helping her out as needed.

Well, I’m off to roll up my arm and get a jab. Even though I feel like I’m dragging today I need to get it done. In the meantime, check out some of these lovely garden shots I took today!

Today’s Shots from the Garden

I think I like photographing our garden work just as much, if not more so, of trying to grow it!

More later possibly…

Site Software and Other Updates

Bearded Iris makes an appearance.

The site was updated this morning with the latest version of the software that I use. At first I was a little nervous because the update actually failed but when I reran it, it went fine. Although I don’t anticipate any problems as with anything new, you never know. Most of the changes are under the hood so you guys shouldn’t notice anything different. Still, if something looks really whack, I’d appreciate a note letting me know so I can take a look at it.

I got to work on the lawns after my early morning shift, mowing them and, yep, cutting down the buttercups. I wanted to rescue them, but it didn’t look nice in the yard, so they went. I then started edging the various places, including our ‘prairie,’ which sounded like a nice ecological idea at the time, but in actuality just brought around too many bugs, according to LD, so it was cut down. I also cleaned up the patio area, as well as the tables and chairs, because the pollen was everywhere. Yes, I know it’s ‘No Mow May‘ but I decided to not bag the clippings and and it needed to be done. So there. Heb the baby bunny and some robins even came out after to check out the new scenery.

After that was mostly done I finally made it down to the propane business and filled up one of our propane tanks.. That had been on my to-do list for a while so it was good to get that out of the way. Interestingly there was a bit of a line when I got there. I guess people are getting everything ready for Memorial Day weekend. That maintained my physical parts in shape, and as for my brain parts, well, I’ve maddeningly gotten to level 8 in Nyctoban. Is anyone else interested in this? The challenges are what keep me going. The way my brain is lately these days, I need these sorts of stimulants to keep it fresh. At least, I hope it’s keeping it fresh. Sometimes I misplace things I had in my hand literally seconds ago, or can’t remember certain things that I should. Scary to me at times.

As for school shootings, I said after Sandy Hook, that if that didn’t get them to do anything then nothing would. Sadly, I’ve been right again and again. This really needs to stop and be addressed now. It’s a travesty that things like this are still happening in this country.

The Struggle is Real

The Struggle is real.

Happy Friday Everyone. Today was a pretty good day. After my morning shift, we decided to head into downtown Boston because LD had one final loose end to attend to in town. It was a fairly quick visit. Since we were down there afterwards we decided to have lunch over at Revere Beach. It was actually a little bit chilly there, so much so that I had to borrow one of LD’s sweatshirts to keep me from actually shivering. We both got some roast beef sandwiches from Kelly’s on the beach and ate it in the pavilion across the street, always being watchfully eyes by the various seagulls patrolling the area. After that, it was back to the ranch because I had to get ready for my next shift. Naturally after we left the sun came out and it got warm but that’s the way it goes sometimes. It was still a fun outing.

Today’s main photo is from a robin’s nest that I was privileged to get close enough to watch the birds being born. I hope you enjoy looking at it as much as I do.

I decided to transplant and pot some of the stray spearmint that was poking its head out in the late afternoon. My mother had asked for some, so I’ll give her one of the transplants tomorrow morning. I also attempted to weed whack some of the thick grasses that had sprung along the fence in the ‘prairie area.’ Sounds like a nice idea for the environment, but the problem is that LD believes it attracts bugs, and they prefer to bite her because she is so sweet.

I’m going to grill some turkey cheddar burgers with a zesty homemade horseradish dressing on the side for dinner. I figured I’d best cook it now because tomorrow is supposed to be a no-cook day due to the extreme heat and humidity. Excellent for tomorrow’s 14-mile cycling trip! On another note, they are not all success stories in the kitchen. The other night, I burnt a nonstick cephalon pan. The dinner turned ok, but the Japanese BBQ sauce I used stuck to the pan I got a while ago and I can’t get it off no matter what I try, so I’ll have to go get another one. Total bummer but I suppose that is how one learns the adventures of home cooking.

The Arrival of Heb

“After women, flowers are the most lovely thing God has given the world.”

Christian Dior
Meet HEB, The Hosta Eating Bunny

I like that quote. Anyways, it’s a bit of a chilly, raw one out there today. At least the rain held off for the most part. Looks like tomorrow will be much better, and then it’s on to the sweltering weekend. One thing that this particular weather day seems to have appealed to was a little creature we noticed today for the first time. It’s name is HEB, titled by LD, and standing for Hosta Eating Bunny. He/she is, nevertheless, adorable. I also believe this is the tiny baby who has been nibbling on the leaves of one of the lilies in the back yard’s center rock garden area. The top stays untouched since I believe it is unable to reach it! But like I said, cuteness overload! We’ve been fortunate to have many bunnies born here over the years. Most folks would probably be annoyed by their garden presence eating things, but I don’t mind. If it needs some nourishment, I say go for it. Growing up in the city as I did we didn’t get any bunnies (strangely enough they are showing up now though). True story, I never saw a wild bunny until I visited Cape May in NJ and saw one by the lighthouse. Isn’t that crazy? I went over 40 years not having seen one hopping around in people’s yards. Now, of course, I see them all the time. We did used to get frogs though. I don’t see those hardly anywhere anymore, and don’t ask me how a turtle ended up in our backyard once growing up as a kid. Must have a pet that someone just deserted or it escaped, I know not which.

Today’s main picture is of the Fuchsia we have growing in a hanging pot. We love Fuchsia’s and get one every year but we find they do seem to require a little bit of work. Still, watching a hummingbird flit around it and grab a drink from the cones is a really cool sight.

The Day After the Party

I had a great time at the dinner last night. I did not expect to be there for as long as I did. It’s cool to be part of a team where all the team members do generally care about you and eachother. If you know where to look on social media sites like FB and Twitter you might even see a group picture of all of us that was taken! I’ll leave that up as an exercise for you readers to discover. Was I afraid of catching Covid in such a setting, haven’t been going to such a thing in over two years? Well, truth be told I did a little bit, but I weighed the risks and who would be attending and the venue and I decided to go, figuring the risk would be pretty small, but not zero. Knowing me the way that I do, and who was going to be there leads me to think I’ll be alright.

Carson’s water fountain crapped the bed the other night, so we had to run out and get a new one for the boy. He really does seem to like the ones where the water trickles out of a spout. We ended up going with the Catit and he seems to like it. It’s cute, looks like a cat, and has some pretty neat features. I’m linking to it here in case I ever have to remember where to get the filters it requires and any updates. The IoT version looked cool but I considered that overkill and too much money. We went with the basic one.

Speaking of updates, I’ve noticed the key fob to my car’s alarm is acting a little weird. I think the battery is starting to die out. Luckily replacing it is just a matter of popping it open and putting in a new one. I’ve already gone ahead and ordered a battery and that should be arriving in a couple of days. It’s basically like a watch battery, only slightly larger – pretty common size by the looks of it. Probably could have just got one at CVS or Home Depot but I was lazy and ordered it on Amazon.

Things Working Out in a Roundabout Way

I had to head over to Earth-1 for part of the day today to get some things done that I needed to do. One was taking my mom to the dentist. She had a ride set up earlier in the week but I said I’d drive her so she cancelled the ride. The ride needs to know three days in advance your plans. Anyways we had thought the appointment was 11 but it was actually at 9:30. Long story short, I took her around 10:15 figuring they’d take her early since she was getting something really minor done. While we were in the waiting room my sister called my mom saying she locked herself out of the house, so while my mom waited we decided I should just pop over there and let my sister in, which I did. When I got back to the dentist (it’s not far from the house btw, in the Winter Hill neighborhood) my mom was waiting out front. I had wondered if she got done early. She said no. Apparently the dentist had to do a bunch of crowns today and they figured waiting all the time would be a waste of time, so she made a re-appointment for next Tuesday, since I will be around there on that day. So, for my sister it was advantageous that I just happened to be around but no so much so for my mom but that’s the way the cookie crumbles sometime. However, on a bit of bright news, I made my final car payment today! I have finished paying off the financing. Wow, where did the time go, seems like it flew by. I will say it’ll be sweet not to have to pay that every month anymore.

During the afternoon I saw on a local Earth-2 group that someone a block away from where I’m stationed during the day was getting rid of an end table and put it out on the sidewalk. Just so happens my mom was looking for a free or cheap end/coffee table for her back porch. When I went over to the street I was pleased to see that it was still there. so I popped it into the back of my truck and will deliver it on Saturday. Speaking of Saturday I have decided to do the bike ride. I briefly checked out the bike that I want to use, since I have two. I decided that the mountain bike would be too heavy so I’m going to go with the light cruiser. I’ll need to arrive early enough to give the tires one final fill-up and to get myself over to Harvard Square in time for the ride, so I’ll need to get up early. And remind myself to keep well hydrated since the forecast looks to be hot and sunny with temperatures approaching 92 Fahrenheit!

Speaking of work, the whole team is having our annual dinner tonight. They haven’t had it for the last two years due to the pandemic but we’re having it now. Some of the retirees are getting their plaques and props tonight as well, so that’ll be cool to see. My predecessor is going to be there whom I’ve yet to meet and I’m looking forward to saying hello.