Rainy Good Friday Things

Picked up some groceries this morning for this Easter Sunday. Watched an intern of LD’s from back in day defend her dissertation. She’s now a doctor! So proud! What a major accomplishment, especially considering all the environmental factors over the years to get it done. Bravo D!

Gametime: Dungeon Heart. I’m currently at the time of this posting stuck on level 15.

Living It Up in Lavalette

Day 1: Running Around the Beach

Day 2: Giant Hungry Hungry Hippos Experience

Day 3: Coffee and Meetups

Fun couple of days away. Got to see some family, hang out at a house by the beach, partake in the local activities, take a side jaunt through New York State to catch up with a friend (shout out to The El Dorado Diner in Elmsford!) and grateful for the good times. Didn’t get back from travelling until late last night, hence the sparse update- have to recuperate!

Currently Reading: Divine Might: Goddesses in Greek Myth by Natalie Haynes

Helping Out a Few Migrant Families

Tuesday is my busiest day of the week usually. This time on my rounds I changed it up a bit and went around some different ways which ended up being quite fruitful. Some folks think they have the schedule down which is why we like to change it up a bit every now and then. All you have to do is follow the signs and you’ll never have a problem!

In the late afternoon I dropped off some supplies for donation that LD heard about for some migrant families living in town and what they needed. So I went and took the stuff down to the home to be dropped off. It helps out these folks and we were able to get rid of some stuff that was just lying around so it was good to get it moved. Win-win situation.

Gametime; A cute little puzzlescript game called A Rat in Cheesetown. Don’t worry, I didn’t find it difficult but a fun diversion for a few.

Tuesday before the Turkey Day

Game time: Connect-4 game.

After work today I drove down to Marshfield to pick up some of Thursday’s delectables. I was a little concerned about how the traffic would be since I’d be going in the late afternoon, but aside from the usual Braintree split awfulness of Route 93, it wasn’t all that bad. I was really pleased to see that the place where I got the stuff didn’t appear all the busy. I remember when I went last year there was a line out the door and we all had to wait in the cold until we could get inside. That wasn’t the case this time – guess it was a good time to go after all! Then I came home and did laundry and cooked dinner. I still need to hit the grocery store tomorrow morning for some last minute ingredients for some other items we want to cook, but that should be no big deal. The real nice part is I’m booked a massage in the early evening, which is going to be great because I could use one.

Fall is Shot Time

Gametime: Fall? A nice little puzzlescript game to distract me as I recover from getting my Covid shot this afternoon. Took me a little while but I was able to beat the game. Now back to my reading….

I forgot to mention that yesterday I went and picked up some nice Dedham Pottery placements and pot holders from a local woman who was looking to part with them. They look so cute with the rest of the kitchen décor. And speaking of that we finally hooked up the new drapes against the picture window to the kitchen dining area and it matches perfectly. Everything looks really nice, if I do say so myself.

Currently watching: Daisy Jones and the Six, NYPD Blue Season 3.

And Even More Annoying Now

Just when you thought the utility crews closing down every street couldn’t possibly get much worse, they start digging up people’s lawns and driveways to install new piping. In fact, they just notified me that they intend to dig up the driveway here and relocate the gas meter to the front of the house. That should be interesting to say the least, and also quite disruptive. We all want to hear jackhammers and backhoes all day in the driveway, which we found out they want to do on Monday, and then in 2 weeks or so they’ll need to come inside the house to hook up the new pipe to the existing infrastructure which will shut us down for 5 hours or so. I’ll need to go down there and move some of stuff out of the way temporarily for them to have room to maneuver. And, of course, the traffic around here is terrible now that someone had the brilliant notion to do all of the neighboring streets at roughly the same time instead of rotating the schedule around more.

In happier news, I’ve been replacing the screens in the doors with the glass panes in anticipation of colder weather, and getting some stuff put away for the season. The kitchen and adjoining area are all done now, although we do need to get a new wired door bell chime to match the new décor. It was probably time for an update to that old system anyway. Maybe we can get one that has a better sound too. I also want to purchase a saw to take down on more stray tree that sprouted up over time and just grew. I still haven’t pulled out the tubers or addressed the sump battery yet. Maybe I’ll get to to those tomorrow. sometime.

I’m having great fun playing through Katti. I mentioned this game in the last entry. I’ve been able to get to the second set of levels called “The B-Side”. Excellent puzzle game.

Meeting Some New Pals

Yesterday was a cooking day! We were on fire, in the morning cooking up all those apples – an apple crisp and some apple bread. In the afternoon we went to check out some of the recent arrivals at the sanctuary. Plus we had some canned corn and cat stuff we wanted to get over to them for some time now. In the evening we made a chicken dish and turkey meatballs.

The new paint on the adjoining kitchen room looks beautiful! The second coat will go on today and then it should be all done!

Gametime: Katti

Home for Some Quick Updates

Just a little quick update in some photos to explain the week.

First up is this picture I took of the Nauset Light. Now since it’s September, it’s the time of the year that my Duxbury photo is featured in their official calendar . Green Harbor is closing for the season on Monday so we had to get in one last lobster roll for the summer. These two hawks better leave our bunnies alone!

Planning on doing a firepit tonight so there could be an update to this post afterwards and there’s something big happening tomorrow.

Gametime: One Many Nobody – cool puzzle game where you need to clone yourself to escape the levels.

First of the Spring Things

Things I finally got around to yesterday afternoon:

  • Planted the various tubers in the ground that I had stored in the basement over the winter
  • Moved the potted plants outside that had been living in the house over the winter
  • Got out my gravity chair and almost fell asleep in it for a few
  • Tilled the raised beds
  • Fired up the grill and did some dogs, chicken and steak tips (very meaty dinner you cold say)

Things I plan to get to this week

  • Replacing the glass panes in the doors with the screens
  • Probably some more cleaning out of the cabinets and the basement
  • mowing the lawn (even though it’s No Mow May I at least need to do the front)
  • mulch the beds and patio and other areas
  • get some birdseed for the feeder

Gametime: The Pigeon Post Principle – I found this game pretty fun!

All Smiles

This book on the Sackler’s that I’m reading I am finding really fascinating. So interesting to see how the marketing of a drug and getting out to doctors to prescribe has been such a big part of the process and these guys pretty much wrote the book on it. And I’m still just in the 1960s era of the family. I would definitely recommend reading it if you want to see the dark underbelly of the pharma industry.

Anyways, today I had a dentist appointment at their new office in Medford. They moved out of the Somerville place in Winter Hill and supposedly that building is to be demolished and probably replaced with more condos, but when I drove by it was still standing. The new office looks really nice inside, with a spacious lobby and neat treatment rooms and everything looks new, but the outside of the building in my opinion could use a lot of work. It looks like some sort of warehouse. I got a clean bill of health and will return in 6 months.

An ad popped up on my Insta that Holly Madison had some new show on ID called The Playboy Murders so I went looking for it and saw that the first three episodes were airing on Saturday so I cued those up on the DVR. Might be good, might suck, I don’t know but I’ll be checking it out to see. Hopefully it will be interesting.

Gametime: eseveR. I found this game rather enjoyable and beat it in about an hour. Fun little puzzle game.

Gametime: Nymphiad

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

Christmas Prelude in Kennebunk Weekend Fun

Christmas By the Sea Fireworks in Ogunquit, Maine.

Back from a wonderful weekend in Maine during the Christmas Prelude festivities that the town of Kennebunkport puts on. LD got this sweet little Airbnb location right near the center of town so everything was really convenient and accessible to get to. The first night there, which was Friday, we kind of just checked in to the Airbnb and got some takeout and hung with some friends that live in the area. We got to hang with their pups, Boomer and Pippa. Boomer is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever so he’s a pretty big dog. He doesn’t really seem to know that though as his master keeps trying to train him but he has a ways to go. Still, he is a love and LD can’t get enough of him, they have a special connection, Pippa is a Jack Russel and a bit feisty but that’s her personality. I don’t think we got back to the Airbnb until after midnight. For some reason time just seems to fly anytime we are there.

The next day we got breakfast done the street at a little coffee shop and then headed over to some crafty fair thing. They did have some amazing looking gingerbread houses in one of the shops. In the evening we hit a restaurant and checked out some things, like the various lighted trees in Cape Porpoise as well as KBP and did a bit more shopping and browsing. Before that though we drove to Ogunquit to see some fireworks – perhaps that town wanted to get in on what KBP was doing. The weather was great all weekend except that it was a bit on the chilly side.

On Sunday we checked out some Dog parade they were having. Pippa was supposed to be in but bailed at the last minute because it was a bit too cold, plus she’s feisty, like I mentioned before. For lunch LD had somehow managed to reserve a fish shack at this restaurant called Batson River Brewing and Distilling. It was quite an experience. We liked it. And I have to say the food on this trip was really good. Every place that we went was great. I took a ton of pictures of which here is a sampling. Truth to tell I simply cannot remember every single thing that we did!

Driving home on Sunday night kind of sucked because we got stuck in the falling snow so getting home was slow but we made it safe and sound and that’s what’s important.


In other small news:

Gametime: Sophie the Slug. A fun little sliding game I’ve been playing with lately. I also borrowed a new book from my Libby App entitled “The Babysitter: My Summers with a Serial Killer” about the story of Tony Costa. It’s a pretty good read as I am enjoying it. I learned a fascinating tidbit while reading the early chapters of this book in that he actually lived two streets up from where I grew up. Pretty wild.

Happy National Jukebox Day!

Today’s National Jukebox Day so I figured I’d reiterate a little history of the one that we have serving court in the sitting room across from the fireplace and add some things from last time out.

It’s not one of the super expensive famous Wurlitzer’s but it gets the job done. This particular model is from a company called Rowe/AMi and it dates to 1982. We actually found this one on Craigslist (this was during a period when I was searching for random things for a man cave – it’s also how we obtained a Foosball table, air hockey table, and an authentic full size Ms. Pacman arcade machine – each one with stories for another day, especially the foosball with the kid having the climb the walls to a window to get back inside his building). I’m not sure now what made us decide to get a jukebox in the first place, perhaps just really feeling nostalgic at the time. Anyways, this guy Dave in Braintree wanted to part with it, so we got it. We were able to haggle him down a little bit from the price he originally wanted. I think he said it was from his mom’s house or something when he was growing up but since was sitting in the garage for a while taking up space. That’s the thing about these machines – they’re actually pretty large. In getting it home we actually had to get movers to move it because it weighs so much – all that mechanical workings are pretty heavy – also due to the nature of the innards they had to be very careful not to jostle it too much because it could get cranky. One thing out of place by just a smidge and it gets messed up. It came with the records as well but I think we replaced most of the selections he had in there, as they weren’t to our particular tastes. We prefer pop, hair metal from the 80s, classics, that sort of thing.

It only holds 200 45 RPM LPs. Part of what we like to do is search bargain bins or antique stores once in a while to pick up some. It’s a crap shoot on the quality because a scratched record can ruin the experience, but overall we’ve been pretty lucky, and they’re actually pretty cheap. There’s a antique place in New Hampshire down the road from where we’ve done baby goat yoga that has never let us down in selection or quality. You can also buy some online from some reputable retailers. And yes, an iPod or your cellphone can hold and stream thousands of songs (like LD’s friend Michelle seems to always mention) but we like the nostalgia of actually having a real jukebox. It’s always fun having friends over that can dance along it front of it with us, in fact we did just that about a weekend or so ago with our guests at the time. As I mentioned, most of our selections are from the 80s, but we also have 70s and older stuff. LD has a whole collection of records from her mom and dad when they were younger and those are great, and in great condition too. Every so often, in a need of change, I’ll swap out some records and their labels with new songs and get those into the rotation. Thankfully there’s a website where you can print and customize the labels to your liking for free. We finally created a database in Google Docs to keep track of what we have in there, what’s in storage, and their condition, so that when we go browsing again someday we’ll know what we have and what to look for. That was an ingenious idea from LD, whereas before we just got whatever looked good to us not realizing we already had that one.

It has an electronic selector – you just type the number that corresponds to the number on the song you want to play. There’s a mini-computer in this one that supposedly keeps track of what songs were played the most, etc. but I could never figure out how it actually works – I need to look into that a little bit more. Speaking of, when I have the top open, it’s kind of cool to actually see the robot arm select the record you’ve chosen, grab it, and place it on the turntable. Then the needle comes over and places itself on the disc, and the tunes start flowing from the speakers, which are VERY LOUD if turned all the way up. It’s currently set to free play but the coin mech is all there and can be set to accept coins for play, it defaults to 25 cents per song.

Hopefully, it will never need service, because most of folks who actually know how to repair these things are in their late 80s, gone or no longer working!”

You might be wondering about the décor around the machine. The large hanging 45 over the machine on the wall was a pick from someplace in Maine on the way back from a trip I believe. An antique dealer dealing in kitsch and stuff. He didn’t really want to part with it but he eventually gave it up. The round mat in front of the machine is a personalized gift I got for LD and me. The label has our nicknames on it with the heading “Making music since 2008”, the year we met.


Gametime: Flopblock – I think I’m rather liking this game! Makes you think in certain ways.

A Quiet Cold Sunday for Squirrel Thieves

It’s a bit chilly outside today so we decided to lay law, take naps, and get caught up some things. The squirrels outside are working themselves pretty hard decimating the various pumpkins. I can see they’ve dug into at least four of them, the somewhat smaller ones of the group. While the large pumpkins and gourds have yet to be exposed I have noticed bite marks on those as well. I suppose those are harder to dig into so they are going after the smaller ones first. Also, we had 4 tiny white pumpkins which have seemingly just disappeared, I could find no sight of them. My theory is that they took off with them to their lairs for the winter.

Currently Watching: The Keepers on Netflix. Seven episode series going behind the murder of a nun and all the secrets that were uncovered tied into it. Pretty disturbing stuff actually. I’ve also been watching Hip Hop Homicides. Kinda crazy how many there actually have been.

Gametime: Mike & Munk. Pretty cool little puzzle platformer where a boy and a squirrel must work together to escape the traps.

My Key to the World

In an interesting chain of events, I allowed myself to get signed up for a library card as a service to LD in order to get a deal on some tickets to an attraction that she’s inviting a NJ friend and her kid late this weekend as they happen to be passing through the area. I used to have a card many many years ago but I think it’ll be neat to have one again. They make it real easy these days to get set up all done online. For now I have limited access until I can go to the actual library and pick up the real card. I’ll probably try to set some time aside next week and go get it. I also ended up picking up some more firewood for the outdoor pit so we can have a couple of hang outs this weekend.

When I was young, we couldn’t afford much. But, my library card was my key to the world.”

– John Goodman

Today’s Gametime that’s been keeping my brain moving a bit: Pill Escape. A slider type game where you have to move the pill to the exit while sliding around obstacles in the way. I’m currently in the 30 stages and it’s starting to get real frustrating!

Circadian Rhythm Out Of Syncing

Perfect November so far!

My circadian rhythm is all messed up now. Now waking up and 4:30 AM is pretty normal for now.

Taking advantage of the nice weather I went ahead and made a task list for myself of all the fall cleanup things I wanted to accomplish before the weather turns colder.

I disconnected the back hose and shut off the water line to it and stored the housing in the basement. I dug up a bunch of our tubers and stored them like I did last year so I can replant them in the spring. I raked and picked up a bunch of leaves, mostly ones near the utilities so that they weren’t obstructed. I still need to put some things away back under the sink but I finish that up once the dishwasher is totally installed. Did a bunch more of getting that ready today working with the plumber, it’s almost done. Speaking of new appliances, I fired up the new oven for the first time last night, just a simple bake. It worked like a charm. I may end up changing some of the defaults like the volume tone and certain other things, but generally it rocks. Once that’s in I’ll go ahead and replace the side screen door with it’s winter glass pane equivalent,

I heard about a simple pasta sauce recipe I want to try that sounds super duper easy. Marcella Hazan’s recipe is so basic that it only requires a can of whole peeled tomatoes, 5 tablespoons of butter, a dash of salt, and an onion cut in half. Throw it all in a pan and let it simmer for 45 minutes uncovered. Supposedly it’s pretty good. I need to try this real soon.

I started that new book I mentioned the other day. So far I’m digging it. I do find those people so fascinating, even though they lived over 3500 years ago.

For the latest Gametime I’ve been hooked on Stars Align, a cute little puzzle game that made me think!

I suppose one more try on the Powerball. Right? I got my numbers in again for tonight.

Small Things that Kept Me Busy / New Ai Header

I was playing around with some new header images, which you might have noticed. These images were completely created by AI just by giving it some keywords and this is what popped out. For some reason the header images look huge on the desktop to me, but I really liked how they fit on tablet and mobile. Anyways, ultimately I didn’t go with any of them although it was kind of fun to play around with the AI. I was using Midjourney this time around, at least until my little free trial ran out. You can click on each one to see the whole picture. I’m still not really satisfied with my header image but I’ll keep trying.

Fibonacci seashells in green

Game time: Color Portal. Beat it, not too hard but I did find it pretty fun for a while.

Getting In on the Dynamic Island Craze

Nubble from Afar (a Thursday Throwback!)

Yes, I have an flagship Samsung Android phone but I wanted to see what the buzz is all about with this new iPhone 14 feature called Dynamic Island. Just my luck someone has recreated it for Android and you can get it from the Google Play store here if you want to try it out. I do kind of like it, but I know its just some gimmick. I’ll keep it for a while and see how it goes.

Gametime: Currently trying to get through Dying Dreams.

Night Grilling, Women’s Basketball, and a Date with Mr. Do

Had some friends over for a BBQ cookout last night. We decided to do kabobs with some shrimp, chicken, and veggies. LD had forgot actually how much work it is to prepare all the food and our guests arrived a little bit early but it was all good as they helped out and everything actually came out really good. I was a little bit nervous trying to get the timing of everything right, but it all went swimmingly. Maybe I’m really getting the hang of this style of cooking! Ended it all off with a chat around the firepit.

Today I planned to really take it easy. Watched the Dallas Wings (a WNBA team) this afternoon as they’re in the playoffs and the mother of one of the star players is actually LD’s trainer, so we’re rooting for her. They forced a game 3 this afternoon over Connecticut and I like to root for the underdog so that was neat to see. It’s pretty cool that they even got this far and that we know someone connected to that organization. They’re playing on national television this afternoon for God’s sake! Next game is on Wednesday to see if they can advance to the 2nd round. Wishing them luck!

Gametime: Lately I’ve rediscovered an arcade classic from my youth. Mr. Do! It’s like Dig Dug only harder. You have to collect all the cherries while avoiding enemies. You have a ball you can toss to knock enemies out and get bonuses but while the ball is out of your hands you’re vulnerable. Just like in the arcade I can never seem to get past level 5. I think I might have had this for my Colecovision console back in the 80s along with another classic, Ladybug. Both were designed by the same man.

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.

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!

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.

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.