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.

It’s Like Pulling Teeth Sometimes

It’s me again!

What do you call a bee that can’t make up it’s mind? A maybe! Sorry, couldn’t resist. As for today’s news, since I’ve been MIA for a while, I had to return to Earth-1 today to take my mother’s other cat, Laurel, to the vet for his monthly exam. There was some good news and some bad news in the end. The good news is that his exam went smoothly, and he received his requisite injections, just like his brother Hardy did a few weeks ago. The not so good news is 1) he’s overweight, but we kind of knew that since he weights almost 20 pounds and 2) he’ll eventually need 10 teeth extracted, which sounds a little crazy to me. But they said we could wait up to a year, which also sounds a little weird to me, but I guess it hasn’t progressed too badly yet. Anyways, bottom line is he’s going to have to wait a while for that. Doesn’t seem like an absolute necessity at this time, but we’ll watch it. He’ll also be on a little bit of a diet but you know how that goes.

We finally got around the mulching and replanting some of the plants LD got over the last few days, along with the ones that were outgrowing the hydroponic garden. Now that those are out of there and outside we can start growing some new hydroponics. The area is shaping up beautifully in my opinion. To think that I got LD interested in gardening in the first place, but now I see that I’ve created something of a monster! Nah, just kidding.

Gametime: Nyctoban -You’re know it with me and these Sokoban-style puzzlescript games! This one is particularly intriguing since the crates you move about cast light in regions where your movement is restricted. I thought that was pretty neat. Stuck on level two thus far.

Of Alpacas and Local Artisan Popups

Started out the day by checking out a local artisan popup grouping of shops over at the Norwood Space Center. Found some pretty cool items there. Then it was off to Carver to see another popup but this one was being hosted by an alpaca farm in the area, so we got some more things and got to hang with some alpacas – the stars of the show, as it were! I got lunch off of some food truck that was there. On the way back we went to Home Depot to pick up some cinder blocks. We’re planning on designing a corner cinderblock garden up along the fence, or latest project. Something along the lines of this image. We have most of the flowers and stones, it’s now just a process of deciding how we want to stack it and how we want it to look. I imagine we’ll be working on this over the next few days. Also got some mulch for the patio area to help spruce it up a little bit more.

I was going to replace the glass panes in the doors with the screens but I heard tomorrow is actually going to be a bit on the chilly side so I decided to postpone that a couple of days. Carson likes to have the doors open so he can look outside at all the various things but he also likes the smells. He’ll be able to enjoy that better once I have the screens in for the season.

For dinner, even though I’m beat, I cooked up some rosemary infused pork tenderloin with sides of mashed potatoes and broccoli. Anyways I may hit the rack a bit early tonight.


Gametime: Rock Forest – a not too hard cute game that I found.

Orleans Sunrise and the Burned Hand

The sun rises over the cliffs off the coast of Nauset Beach, Orleans, Ma.

The story behind the photo: This was taken in June, I believe, while we were staying at the Nauset Lighthouse cottage. It’s actually across the dirt road, and the fence here is to keep you from going too far over the cliff’s edge, which you can’t see in this photo. I believe I got up at 5 a.m. and walked out to this spot in the hopes of capturing these sunrise images.

The burned hand teaches best. After that, advice about fire goes to the heart.

J. R. R. Tolkien

In other news, I burned my hand last night, in addition to everything else. I removed an oven-safe pan from the oven while I was cooking dinner and set it on the cooktop to do something else, but when I returned to it, I had forgotten it had been in the oven and grabbed the handle, scorching myself. For a while, it hurt like a motherfucker. I would apply ice to it and the pain would go away, but as soon as I removed the ice for a second or two, the pain would return. On my skin, it felt like a continual scrape. I eventually went to bed with my hand on the ice pack and was relieved to see that everything had improved by morning. I knew it couldn’t have been that bad because my skin wasn’t bubbling or blistered. Just red. That was a close call. It made me feel incredibly stupid and angry with myself.

As for other walking hospital news, I finally got a knee brace for my right knee. I’ve been wearing it for most of today to try it out and it seems to be helping I think. Time will tell if I stick with it or not.

Gametime: Another version of Mahjong.

Currently Doing

Update: Currently Playing: Checkpoint – I completed all 26 levels – feeling accomplished!

Currently Watching: Been watching the Secrets of Playboy documentary series on A&E. It’s not bad.

Currently Reading: Fighting Time by Banks and Knapper

Currently Eating: Using the lettuce we’ve grown hydroponically on burgers we made.

Currently Listening: the Jukebox naturally! Another Loaf record has arrived!

Currently Don’t Care: Tom Brady Retiring – enough already.

Looking forward to some really cool stuff coming up real soon so stay tuned for that!

Duxbury Redux and Expressionism at It’s Finest?

Redux

Went back to the wooden walkway and reshot the area again last weekend as this particular day had different lighting than the previous weekend visit, as it was more cloudy whereas last time had a lot of sun. Lighting differently can make some significant differences in appearance for sure. I plan on entering this shot along with 2 older ones to Duxbury for possible inclusion into their town calendar.

I don’t know if anyone else ever plays any of these puzzle games that I enjoy but here’s a new one: Long Haul Space Flight. I need these things to keep my brain going. Now if only I could get better at remembering things.

Guess who swung by this afternoon? That dude that wanted to draw my picture (again, why?) He gave me the drawing and I brought it home. It sort of looks like a mix between a kid’s drawing and some expressionist art, sort of a mix between an Alvar Cawén work and some 5 year old. It does look like me a little bit though? I’d take a picture of it, but it really needs to be seen in person. On the plus side, the canvas is rather large.

Apparently NECN featured another one of my photos, LD saw it flash up on the tv, by strangely this time I didn’t get notified. They do seem to feature my stuff now and again, I guess they like what I’m doing.

I got a golden ticket in the mail to the local BK, scratch off the card and see what you’ve won kind of deal. The big prize was free BK for the year but this kind only entitles me to a free Croissan’wich, which I got in the mail back at the end of October but expires Friday so I got to use it or lose it soon. Wasn’t that one of the most interesting stories you’ve ever heard me relate to you all?

Might add more to this post later tonight…

Follow my Love of Boston

Follow me to Boston

Here’s a pic I took of Faneuil Hall in Boston. Often referred to as “the home of free speech” and the “Cradle of Liberty,” Faneuil Hall hosted America’s first Town Meeting. The Hall’s vital role in revolutionary politics had not been part of its original plans, but it became home to an intricate collection of events that shaped the nation’s history. The 10 foot statue in the foreground is of former mayor Kevin White. I like how this picture turned out overall and I’ve been to the hall many, many times.

Spent most of yesterday at a friend’s house for a pancake breakfast outing on her back deck. As a bonus here boyfriend had a pizzelle iron and made home made pizzelle cookies, which was pretty neat. Then we hung by her firepit and her gazebo until it approached late afternoon. We got home just before nightfall and I ended up watching that Adele special that was on after watching some DVR’d episodes of true crime dramas.

And hey, what do you know, I actually won something for a change. It’s been quite the dry spell until today. I won a gift cert to Assembly Row – gonna head down there sometime this weekend and pick it up. Nice to start winning things again. Let’s hope that kind of luck holds out.

Gametime games that occupied my brain and reflexes for a few: A cute platformer called Sulka (which I finished in about 20 minutes) and a puzzle game called Tres Undos (which for some reason I can’t figure out how to solve level 2 yet).

Summer Returns for a Day or Two

Summer returns for a day or two

Today chose to be in the 70s which was a welcome change compared to what I dealt with a bit yesterday. I went on a bit of a spending spree today buying some needed things: a new cover for the grill, some gloves, and a new USB headset for my laptop since the ones I had been using since my corporate days finally bit the dust. I got one that also incorporates a 3.5mm jack so I can use it with other devices as well, so I’m looking forward to that being delivered.

Out on the afternoon shift today a woman came up to me and gifted me some lotion. I had been bringing in her barrels on trash day since she lets me use her driveway and she just wanted to meet and thank me for doing that. That was nice – actually most people that I’ve dealt with have been quite friendly to me. I am out there dealing with the public all the time now so it’s different than what I had been used to, but overall, I like the folks. Over the last couple of weeks I have been getting more and more comfortable with that.

I felt like posting a new photo today so I chose this sunset from Orleans down on the Cape to for the weather we had today.

Gametime: Apples Contain a Lot of Iron. Another puzzle game right up my alley. Seem to be stuck on level 17 at the moment.

A Hot Saturday BBQ

What have I been up to lately? Not a whole hell of a lot.

We had some friends over last night for a BBQ. I had to run to the grocery store a couple of times to get some needed ingredients. LD made a special salad dressing from scratch and also a vodka/strawberry lemonade drink. I picked the lettuce we’ve been growing and used that in the salad. Just burgers and dogs and some corn cobs, pretty basic. Thankfully everything came out great and I was complimented on my grilling expertise, which has gotten better and better with time. After all the eating, I lit the firepit and we had smores. It was a hot day but actually it wasn’t all that bad as there was a breeze and the patio is generally shady in the late afternoon. In the supermarket I saw some Del’s Lemonade Shandy Beer which I’d never seen before so I bought some and decided to try it, and I actually like it!

My microSD card came the other day and I inserted it into my phone, now rocking another 512GB on top of the 128GB I have internally. That should last me for a while. My grill cleaner also came yesterday so today I went ahead and gave the grill a deep cleaning. Strangely even though I ordered it from Amazon, it came from the Home Depot, which I thought was a little weird. If you’re interested it’s a grill cleaner by the makers of Simple Green. Anyways, the grill has never been deep cleaned since we got it, plus I wanted to get rid of the built up grease on the underside of the lid which made it look like peeling paint. I removed all the grates and flavorizer bars and gave them a good spray and scrub down. LD helped as well! We also picked up some more day lilies from the garden lady this morning. At this point we’ll have so many! Late in the afternoon we soaked the bulbs in a pail of water for a few hours before putting them into the ground, as per the garden lady instructions.

Gametime: Headlong Hunt.

Operation Plant Swap: Success

We went down to LD’s acquaintance’s house and swapped out some of our rather large hostas that LD hated and traded them for some day lilies that this lady had tons of and had dug a bunch out. What a character this woman is. Talks a lot but I actually had fun listening to her various stories. LD knows her from her gym. She’s apparently a member of the town’s garden club so she could be a good resource. Anyways, eventually we planted the lilies in various spots in the yard. They won’t bloom this year but hopefully they’ll establish themselves over time.

Made some steak tips on the grill tonight. Had to use them up before they go bad.

Game time: Box Bob. You know I love to try to solve these types of puzzle games. Currently stuck on level 10. Arrrgh!

The Electrician in the Garden

The electrician came by today and fixed the outside outlet that I noticed had been wonky over the winter. I should now be able to string up the outdoor lights without problem. He’s also the town’s animal control officer and told us a bunch of stories – he meets a lot of crazy characters. While he was there though, we saw two bunnies jumping over each other in the yard and he told us that that is their courtship routine, and that within 30 days they will have babies. No sooner than he said that is when we also saw a littler bunny, possibly Shiloh or one of his siblings. It was like the whole family was out there. Maybe they’ll decide to use the pot again for another bunch of bunnies! I’ll need to mark this one the calendar and make a note. I also saw my first hummingbird come by this afternoon. It flited around the tulips and hanging plants before darting off. Very cool to see, I’ve been trying to attract them for some time.

Earlier in the day I mowed the front lawn and got some stuff out of the basement and into the car to drop off at the DPW for Hazardous Waste Collection Day. Finally trying to get rid of some old minor appliances that have been taking up space in the basement since last winter. I was also going to do the back but the gas was running low. I’ll need to go get some and then complete the back. The electrician/animal control officer also gave us some lowdown about the former sinkhole in the yard which we converted to a nice phlox rock garden. Apparently there must have been a tree there at one time that was taken down before we ever came here. Over time the insects in the ground ate whatever was left under the soil and it just starts to cave in. I learned some new things today. I also was able to finish the book on the theft of the Gardner paintings I started a couple of days ago. All in all, it was a very good read, if slightly outdated. It did make me what to go back there and see the artwork again. The crazy thing about that is that there just seems to not be any real leads. You would think sooner or later some talk about where they are would happen or a crook or someone would want to cash out somehow. Problem being that the works are just too famous. I will admit that out of all the ones that were taken, Rembrandt’s The Storm on the Sea of Galilee is easily my personal favorite. It was the artist’s only known seascape scene. I hope it’s not too damaged – it really is a work of art. Oh I almost forgot, we even went to the beach for an hour this morning and saw some guy power paragliding (sort of like these models) right over the dunes!

Finally, for tonight I cooked up a walnut-crusted salmon with a roasted veggie jumble and lemon crème fraiche. It came out pretty good but I think I should have let the zucchini go a little longer in the oven. In the interim I was trying to solve some of the puzzles in Screw Gravity. Just when I think the game was over, there were more puzzles.

Life is Like Climbing the Stairs

Climbing the stairs to Nauset Light.

Another ‘quick’ shot from the Nauset Light taken a few weeks ago from our little getaway. This was taken as I was coming out of some paths along the shore directly across from this vantage point. This lighthouse is actually very accessible which is nice. I think the brown vegetation also gives this shot kind of a daunting-like vibe. I would be interested in hearing your own thoughts on this, if any of you would care to share. I also posted this photo to a lighthouse lovers facebook group that I frequent and some guy there said he wanted to digitally paint this and send me a copy so I said sure, that would be great. So we’ll see – kinda awesome that I inspired someone to create something off of my own work – that’s pretty cool.

The knuckles on the back of my right hand are all red and dry, almost raw, probably from all the hand washing. One thing I’ve also noticed is that the tips of my fingers seem super sensitive to heat, so like picking up hot things while cooking, like more so then usual. Should I be concerned?

I set aside some time this morning to assemble a new pet carrier for Carson. He has a vet appointment at the end of next week and the carriers we currently have seem to small and just old. Time for an upgrade. I’m apprehensive about how we will get him in there next week as he screams bloody murder if you try to pick him up and he gets panicky scared (we learned this last year), I suspect he has some trauma from wherever he was before to being placed in the shelter where we found him. Poor little guy. Last time he was so scared he literally pooped himself in the old carrier. But it’ll have to be done as he’s due for his yearly checkup.

The condo building next door drama over at Earth-1 continues. The main focal point is the removal of a fence that separates the two properties from each other. As it is now there’s no fence plus they destroyed some of the grass on our property. When last speaking to the fence people over there they said it was only going to go halfway. That would still allow people or animals to go from the community path, behind this new condo, and onto our property unhindered. That was a no go for us. After calls to the city, it seems we may have gotten them to see the light as now we’re told a fence will go all the way across the properties (as it should) and the grass would be replaced. This is due to take place this Saturday afternoon. Hopefully it’ll be acceptable. This condo to begin with is ridiculous. First of all I think it’s too tall (so goodbye sunlight) and from what I can tell the units are very small. Not sure who would pop on this for the money they’re asking for, but I suppose someone will.

Gametime: Been puzzling over Boolean Bloom. I’m currently stuck on Level 8. I mentioned this before, but I love these kind of puzzles to solve.

Ripples in the Sand of our Lives

Sand and Sunset – My Happy Place, Brewster, MA

What a strange weather day. Sun, then snow, then sun and snow at the same time. But that’s not what the photo above is all about. No, that’s from our beach excursion down the Cape almost two weeks ago (has it been that long already???) Like I mentioned before, it was very blustery cold but look at what we saw! Totally worth it. I must say the Cape is one of my favorite places to shoot – there’s just so much beauty there.

Been going through some plant catalogs – trying the decide what to try our hands at this season. Earlier in the day we dropped off some vegetables and fruits for the sanctuary animals. We’ve done it a few times now. A nice contribution.

Ended up getting take out for dinner tonight. Hadn’t done that in a while.

Gametime: Irrlicht Apprentice. Fun little game that took me a couple hours off and on to complete.

Which Way Do We Go?

Cool old sign at Powderhouse Rotary showing the directions of various towns.

The story behind the photo: I photographed this, what I think, rather cool looking old directional sign after the snowstorm a few days ago. I tried looking for some more information on it but the details are pretty sparse, which I found rather surprising. It is named for a James A. Reynolds. A plaque on the base of it probably describes all this better – I’ll need to read it sometime to enlighten myself. The directional post points in the directions around the circle of dozens of different communities (like Arlington, Medford, and Winchester). I hear the city plans on redeveloping this circle as it’s a traffic nightmare with traffic lights all around it and accidents happen here every now and then. My sister was even rear ended here once years ago and had some minor injuries.

Finally got a chance to refill the birdfeeder this morning as the snow out back finally melted enough for me to get out there and not get wet. I noticed some rather hungry looking dark eyed juncos and I felt bad so I made an effort this morning to get them some seed.

I noticed something strange on my Fitbit this week. Seems like some days I get a bunch of Active Zone Minutes and then on other days nothing, even though I feel I’m doing similar activities. I looked on the forums (I’ve been rocking a Versa 2 for over a year now) and some people say since the latest update they really messed up the Active Zone Minutes thing. Some people don’t even like this new way of tracking activity that Fitbit came up with. Not really sure what’s up with it, not that I really care all that much about that statistic anyway. I’m more about the HR, sleep tracking and step count. On another side note since I’m talking about devices acting weird, the microwave (which is pretty new) seems to be making some crazy noises which is a little unsettling. I also tried looking into that, but not having much luck.

It was over 50° F here today so a lot of the snow has melted. It was really nice to get outside today and get a little sun, taking a walk and enjoying it. I went down to the corner store and played a Powerball ticket just for the heck of it.

Gametime: Feed the Boy and Tanmatsuban. That second one will really keep you busy!