The Good, the Happy and the Sad

The Good:

The Nubble

The Happy:

Alright, tonight I’m going to attempt to make some linguine with zoodles that I’ll create myself and throw it together with some shrimp. The recipe called for scallops, but we don’t have any, hence the substitution.

Anyone want to guess how this is going to turn out?

I took another picture of the fire lilies out front surrounded by the hydrangeas. What do you think of this version? I played around with the tone I bit more in this one.

and the Sad:

I learned last week that a work colleague of mine passed away. It’s so weird when you hear things like that. That makes three now of people I used to work with for years (well over a decade, almost two), now just gone. We all started at ADL together and worked on projects for a decade until we got bought out by another company and we spent a good decade and a half there – before they laid us off. I lasted at the company a few years longer than he did. The business was changing and we were all aging out I suppose. Apparently it happened over a month ago, but I just found out about this a few days ago. The leukemia finally caught up to him. He beat it once. I wonder if he got it to his being exposed to toxic chemicals during his deployment to Iraq in Gulf War? We’ll never know for sure.

Two of the three—including the one who just passed—and I used to play Quake ][ deathmatches on the company network after hours. It was just the three of us. We logged many hours together playing that game. Sometimes I think back to those times and reminisce. I thought we would get together and play again someday for old times sake, however remote it seemed, but that’s never going to happen now.

Rest in peace, “Helmet.”

In Search Of That Girl, You Know the One…

While we down on the island with our most generous hosts we got to talking about how LD and I met and there was talk of a poem I had written at the time that she really liked. (I was some emo back then!) I finally dug it up and here it is in all it’s glory. Tell me what you think of it.

That Girl, you know the one, the one that makes you better, makes your friends jealous and your parents scared. 
That knows who she is, who she was, but hasn't planned out who she'll become.
That challenges you, tests you, competes with you, all while standing by your side.
That can cheer you up with only a phone call or a smile, that's intriguing but never impossible to figure out.
That knows what she likes, but is still learning what she loves.
That isn't afraid of commitment, but holds onto her individuality.
That doesn't feel she has to say she loves you, only prove it.
Whose sense of adventure is never lost, even if its just during a trip to the grocery store.
That sees a little humor in everything, and points it out even when it isn't PC.
You know, that girl.

I'm looking for her.

Well, the good news is that I finally found her!

The pic above is one I took this morning after noticing that the fire lilies are starting to bloom. This is probably my favorite of all the various lilies we have growing. This morning I went to the gym with LD and decided to just sit in the hot tub the whole time and relax. It was a great morning for it but it’s made me sleepy most of the day and I don’t feel motivated to do the things that I thought I would get done today. Well, there’s always tomorrow, think I’ll just lay low today.

Garden Roundup

Summer is my favorite time of year! There are so many garden flowers in bloom, and it really shows the benefits of the hard work that was put into the garden. One of my favorite things to do is to go outside and admire the garden flowers. I just cut up a watermelon and picked some of our growing lettuce, I think I’ll make a nice salad with it tonight.

The Rose Covered Cottages of Nantucket

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to visit the rose-covered cottages in Nantucket. The winding lanes and idyllic scenery transport you to a simpler time. Each cottage has its own unique blend of architecture and blooming roses, which make it a one-of-a-kind experience. The smell of roses and salty sea breeze (and it was pretty breezy at times!) is a relaxing combination that invites visitors to immerse themselves in the serene beauty of Siasconset. It was a perfect place to slow down and enjoy the beauty of nature. I’ve got a lot more to say about the trip over the next few, but there’s a ton of things I have to get done around home first, so stay tuned!

Let’s Make It a Beach Date!

We had a good day at the beach yesterday, meeting up with some friends. Good times. The weather was also amazing. I did not wade in the ocean, but everyone else did! We noticed a bunch of people playing what must be some new beach game. It looks like there’s a mini trampoline and you biunce a ball off of it to the other person. Never seen this before but a bunch of people had there own games set up which makes me thing maybe it’s the latest thing?

We all got a little sunshine. Afterwards, LD and I went to Green Harbor for some lobster rolls and clams; we were there, so why not? When we got home, I made some teriyaki rice with vegetables and we watched some more The Shield episodes.

This morning, I went to town to mow the lawns, and we jointly mulched several of the lily beds. Mulching appears to be an endless task. I also cleaned off the Adirondack chairs and patio table to remove the pollen that had accumulated. This gardening stuff is a lot of effort (granted, it’s a rather big back yard). It looks great when everything is finished. I feel fairly accomplished this morning, despite the fact that I’m little sore.

Just a Quick Little Recap for This Weekend Thus Far

Over the weekend, We dedicated a significant amount of time to taking care of various tasks and activities. We both started by tending to the garden, spending hours working on planting and mulching to ensure the plants thrived. LD was in particular beast mode today removing a bunch of weeds. We then made a trip to the Depot to pick up new string for the trimmers, the darn thing ran out on me as I was whacking away. Saturday evening, I prepared the grill for some steak tips and zucchini, providing a flavorful and satisfying dinner ( or so I hoped). The following day, we opted for a classic choice of turkey burgers something simple plus we had some on hand. With that we added some shucked corn on the cob, which we find comes out pretty nice on the grill. With leftover chicken on hand, we decided to make the now famous lemon orzo soup to avoid any waste and have something else to nosh on during the week ahead. We also brought some of the soup to LD’s previous landlady, who had recently been hospitalized, offering both nourishment and support during a challenging time. She should be coming home today so that’s good news. Amidst the planting and mulching and even a little bit of napping, I managed to make progress on reading some books that I had been meaning to finish, finding a moment of relaxation and fulfillment in the midst of a busy weekend. The only real bummer is having to attend a wake later this afternoon for a woman who was kind to us and helped us with our burgeoning green thumbs.

Currently Watching: The Shield, not your everyday cop show from the early aughts.

Baby Bunny Sighting

Nice to see that at least one of the baby bunnies from a few weeks ago is still hanging around and seems to be doing fine. It was definitely going to town eating some grass.

Baby bunny sighting in the yard being dwarfed by the leaves of the tiger lily plants.(Pic courtesy of LD).

Yes, I know I probably need to cut the grass again already due to all the moisture we’ve had over the last couple of days,

On another pleasing note, tonight is my work group dinner at a local restaurant, where we all hang annually and just enjoy each others camaraderie and maybe swap some war stories from our time in the field. We’ll see if I have anything interesting to share afterwards.

Currently Reading: The Lost Tomb: And Other Real-Life Stories of Bones, Burials, and Murder. I had just finished the last book I read about Michael Lauder and this read should be lighter.

Yard Work Sunday

Yesterday we finally got the flowers in the beds and pots. I pulled out the grill and swapped out the tanks between the heater and the grill. Saturday was Porchfest over at Earth-1 and I didn’t go because I knew it would be crazy. In fact, the band Guster really made an impact. I don’t know who they are but I guess they’re pretty well known. This was literally on my street. Drives my mom crazy. Actually a lot of the residential homeowners hate the event because a lot of people aren’t respectful of their property.

The mama robin next door has been busy feeding her babies. It’s really amazing to watch.

I went ahead and removed the glass panes from the storm doors and installed the screens. A yearly tradition but Carson likes to be able to smell the smells outside when he sits on his perch by the front door.

Visiting an Inner Sanctum of the Mind!

We started out the day actually going to a trainer space out in Weston to do a free weight strength training exercises with a trainer for a hour to help get a little bit in shape. We did squats, and dead lifts, curls, and all kinds of stretches. Not the worst way to spend a free hour in the morning. Then it was off to what I wanted to check out, this fine dandy of place, right in my hometown. It’s only open to the public once a year. It’s run by a couple who have transformed their house into this place. It’s quite a sight. The crown jewel of the house is surely its Grand Hall at the top of the staircases. Every inch of the walls and vaulted ceiling in the auditorium is intricately painted with bright colors featuring the artists’ interpretation of creation stories from different cultures. There are 57 murals of about 5,200 square feet in total.

(The last pic above is actually from Weston next to the town green where we worked out.)

After that we decided to try a place in the Ville that I had always heard great things about and since it was in the area we went to try it. A little place called Three Little Figs. It was good. Then we came home and bought some flowers to be planted soon as part of our gardening tasks.

New Server and Video Particle Effects

Under the hood here the website has been moved over to a new server so things should be a little peppier, you might not notice anything different but as long as it works is pretty much all I care about.

I finally got around to planting the tubers that we stored over the winter. Every year I dig them out in late fall and replant them in the springtime so hopefully they’ll start sprouting soon as always in time for the summer blooms. I placed them in one of the raised beds which I tilled and got ready for planting last week. I also need to plant some seeds of sunflowers and asters that we got gifted to us a few months back. Might end up just putting the asters in a pot at least for now. Think I’ll put the sunflowers in one of the raised beds. One thing we’ve decided to do is not go too crazy this year with the pots on the deck. This year we are thinking in being a bit more minimal. Went a bit overboard last year.

Walking around the neighborhood this afternoon I was struck by how pretty this tree looked so I snapped a quick pic:

Happy Earth Day!

I spent the late afternoon bagging up some thorny branches that I cut down last fall and finally made smaller and bagged so that the city can come take them away. I need to get to the home improvement store soon though because the f***in thorny tree like thing is starting to grow back again. Not the greatest thing to be doing with my knee acting up but things need to get done! I cut it down some more but it’s only a matter of time before it rears it’s ugly head again. Stubborn little bast**d! Anyways, enjoy this much nicer scene of spring that I took over in Wellesley, Mass!

Spring Time Sprucing Up

After working my rounds today, I began starting to do a lot of cleanup on and in the gardens. Getting rid of old leaves, cleaning out the beds, checking on the flowers currently coming up and bulbs starting to emerge from the soil. Getting out the various hanging planter tools and preparing the decks. Cleaning out the firepit and buying a bunch of stuff to get the season started. This is a great time of year. Also, looks like the next door neighbors just opened their pool so get ready for their drunken late night loud parties again. Oh, and LD probably has a mild concussion. Great.

Currently Reading: The Riddles of the Sphinx: Inheriting the Feminist History of the Crossword Puzzle. (review).

Gametime: Ping On Ice

Quite the Handfuls

Yesterday, when sorting through some old stuff, I stumbled upon this Polaroid, which seems like it was taken a lifetime ago. This is from the early Aughts, I think. This picture has quite the backstory, but I’ll let the readers try to piece it together as an exercise. I’m going to have to make some time to look over my other photos from this chapter of my life. There must be a couple more just like this one.

Some things that I want to do coming up in Spring is maybe a mini-golf outing and also a glass blowing class with another couple friends of ours. If they bag though maybe we can go with any other of our friends that may be interested. I also still want to try that axe throwing thing, that’s been on my bucket list for a while now.

This afternoon while I was walking around the flower gardens today, I noticed the daffodils starting to blossom and the tulip leaves starting to emerge. I also observed a snowdrop that I planted a few years ago is now in bloom, a lone soldier braving the cold to reach the sun. I’ll need to do some spring cleaning, get rid of some leaves, and so on, but not yet. I was thinking tonight might be a nice night to light the firepit, but I’ll wait on that as well. It’s nice to know that I won’t have to wait too long to do these things, and maybe even get the grill out a bit early.

Today also happens to be Pi Day (you know, as in 3.14159…) Normally I would celebrate by eating a pizza pie but I’ll probably save that for tomorrow as today I plan on trying my hand at making a mushroom ravioli dish.

Trimming the Bush(es)

I completed a number of tasks today to take advantage of the warmer weather this weekend. That makes sense, with temperatures in the 60s tomorrow and snowfall on Tuesday. Today I even got to talk to a woman who told me she was from Afghanistan and comes by me every now and again so we struck up a short conversation. Anyway, after my shift, I went ahead and decided to attack the insane rose bushes out front. I wanted to drastically reduce the size of those babies. Meanwhile, LD went to urgent care to see about a sore throat she’d been getting. And last night Carson gave us a little scare as a string was coming out of his butt and wouldn’t dislodge but I eventually got it out. Thankfully he’s fine now. That boy needs to stop eating strings! Also, since it’s National Pizza Day, I had to get some tonight. But back to the rose bushes.

I trimmed them way back and also had access to some invasive plants there that I wanted to get rid of for a long time but it was just too difficult to get to. But not today! A couple of hours of hacking and they were gone! Come to find out there was a patch of daffodils under there just trying to breathe. They can get the full sun now! Of course the only negative thing is that where the thorns clipped my fingers every now and then through my gloves, they itch. But that will go away.

Busy Little Beaver

Today I took advantage of the wonderful weather to complete my winterizing duties and prepare for the season. After mowing the front and back lawns, I raked/bagged the leaves, cleaned out the shed and organized it a bit, switched out the tanks for the grill and the outdoor heater, got the grill put away for the season (probably won’t use the grill anymore, but we might use the outdoor heater! ), pulled the remaining flowerbeds from the raised boxes, they were done after the frost, stored away the power washer, brought out the shovels and roof rake for when it snows, put the patio umbrella away and reorganized the basement. Whew! Not sure why I’m telling all this, just proud of my accomplishments I guess.

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.

In a Thick Pea Fog and Pumpkins

Wow, it was thick as pea soup out there this morning. It all cleared up by about 10 am though and turned out to be a pretty good day. So I used it to get some things done that I’d been dragging my feet on the last couple of days. First,

  • Added some gas to the vehicle, was starting to get a bit too low for my liking.
  • Mowed the front lawn. It’s amazing how fast it grows. Got bit by some bug too which was unfortunate as it itches on my arm. Little f*cker.
  • Finally picked “Roger” the pumpkin off the vine. Proud that we grew this variety of pumpkin called a “Hot Chocolate Pumpkin”. Why is it named Roger? After Roger Moore, who played James Bond after Sean Connery. A Pumpkin we grew previously was named “Sean” in the same vein, so just keeping the line going. I suppose Regina should have been named Timothy after Dalton but I decided on Regina instead as it’s Roger’s “sister”. Not sure if Ruru, another pumpkin starting to form on the same vine, will make it, probably not, but Regina has a shot I think.
  • Helped LD set up her new Gravity Chair. It’s the bomb, now we can both relax the same way in our chairs!
  • Went down and had the propane tank to the gas grill refilled. Grilling season isn’t over yet!
  • Still need to refill the sump pump battery with distilled water, making sure not to douse myself in battery acid. Hopefully I can get to that sometime tomorrow.

Fall Cambridge Bike Ride in the Books

That time of year! It was time for the fall Cambridge bike ride again so I figured I would partake as it turned out to be a beautiful day. If I find other pictures that people had taken of the ride I’ll be sure to put them up and update this posting. There was one guy that we sort of know through the power of the internet that was also there and appeared to be filming it on his mounted GoPro so naturally I sidled up to him and a couple of times pulled in front just to see if I’ll be in his video later. First time I’d ever seen this dude in person – it’s a long story. I couldn’t help noticing some of the bikes these folks had, they looked really nice. Kind of makes me want to buy a new bike, maybe even an E-bike someday. Speaking of E-bikes, there was one guy there that made his own E-bike tricycle which was impressive enough but he also brought along his two pet bunnies that ride with him. Originally they were in the basket in back but at one point he took one out and placed it in front of him as he was riding. They seemed to like it.

Then when I came back to Earth-2 this afternoon I borrowed my mom’s chainsaw (Yes, my mom owns one!) and finally chopped down this tree that was part of the group of awfulness that I cut down a couple of weeks ago. There’s still one more to go but I think I’ll buy a hack saw for that. Chainsaw seems like overkill plus my cables don’t reach that far anyway.

Two Days of Whacking

Thatcher Island Lighthouse rises up from the fog of the morning. Rockport, MA

Haven’t been able to update over the last day or so because I took it upon myself to get rid of some giant rose shrub like monstrosities that had taken over over the years and needed to go. So I hacked away at it when I could and then most of the time was cutting it all up into smaller pieces and getting them into lawn bags. It probably would have went a whole lot faster if these things didn’t have these nasty little thorns all over them. Well, into day two of the project I finally finished. I think that was quite an accomplishment for myself. Oh, there were like 4 bird nests in there as well. Thankfully they were all empty.

Unfortunely it appears my Fitbit Versa 2 has finally died for good. I know it’s just the battery but they don’t support replacing them plus it doesn’t seem worth the hassle. So no0w I have a conundrum. Do I get another Versa 2 (mine did last almost 4 years) and keep my stats and all from all that time OR do I go and get a Galaxy Watch which would integrate with my Samsung cell and such so much better. I think I’m leaning toward the Galaxy but I hate to lose that 8 million plus step count. For the record I burned 3,600 calories and over 412 active minutes yesterday hacking down the shrubs! Maybe that’s what put the Fitbit finally over the edge!

Feeling Zen on a Late September Saturday

Zen rock structures at Rexhame Beach 9/17/23.

Took a trip to Rexhame Beach yesterday, it was kinda crazy how warm it actually was outside so we wanted to get some sun and fresh sea air. The hurricane was long gone and it pretty much missed us entirely but the waves were still a bit high, though nothing like the day before.

One the way home LD treated us to some Gerard’s turkey sandwich dinners. Yum! Then I watched her at the pool at the gym because she wanted to get some swim time in. They had just finished putting the pool cover over the rooftop in preparation for the colder weather. It basically is like a big tent.

For dinner I grilled up some burgers and a squash that we grew. We learned of a new way to prepare the squash on the grill. Basically just cut it in half lengthwise and grill it flat side down until down. Lot less prep than slicing it into rounds and putting in foil.

In the evening I painted one of my fingernails on each hand. Why? Just to be a little artsy I guess. Keep people thinking. We’ll see if it stays around but in a weird way, I am kind of liking it – it’s so not generally me.

I want to get through a bunch of stuff this week in anticipation of a house guest coming next week for a few days, I definitely want to get more wood for the firepit, do some mowing and some landscaping. I want to try to tackle taking down at least some of this weird rose bushy tree like thing that used to be nice but has overtaken too much and needs to go. I also need to buy some goggles and gloves as I want to tackle refilling the backup battery for the sump pump in the basement. Safety first!

Great Day to Make Some Beautiful Music

Today’s main image is from a bouquet of Poms I got for LD to commemorate her coming home from a two day trip last week as a surprise. I especially like how I set up the shadows to photograph this one, using light and darkness in such a way. The Pom flower is in the same genetic family that includes both chrysanthemums and daisies. We added the dahlia that we grew later to the center of it. There’s a couple more of them outside that I may pick later on and place into another vase just for themselves. Then I’ll dig out the tubers and store them over the winter again. These are the ones that I replant every spring and they just keep going. Pretty cool how that works.

Back in my music playing days

Around lunchtime, I drove over to Beth Israel Needham to dispose of some old medication. Did you know you can just put them in a box in the lobby to get rid of them? Another nice feature is that there’s another box right next to that one where you can dispose of any sharps you have, which I did as well. The last time I was there, I noticed these boxes and made a mental note to return later to get rid of these meds we’ve had lying around for who knows how long. It felt good to finally get rid of them safely.

I also returned some other woman’s meds that we know who wanted to get rid of hers, so I got it all done at once. You used to be able to get rid of them at the police station nearby (but not the sharps), but they got rid of that for some reason.

I am starting to really get sick of all the rain we’ve been having. Can you relate? Speaking of water, have you ever added distilled water to a sump pump battery? I just found out I need to do that to the sump pump battery in the basement as the sensor is going off alerting us to that particular issue.

Oh, in my photo “memories” today this one from a few years ago of me playing piano in front of Bentley College came up, surrounded by some adoring fans. Have to admit that was a pretty good day. Comment if you think you know what song I was actually playing. If you’re right I might send you a little surprise gift.