Simple Tasks, and Remembering Old Somerville Peeps

I finally got around to and finished a number of things around here that I’ve been meaning to do. After my shifts, there were a number of small duties that required my attention. We probably won’t be sitting outside on the patio under the umbrella for the remainder of the year, so I finally put the patio umbrella in storage. Maybe a firepit outing, but I don’t see us seated by the table. Three bags of oak leaves that I had been planning to bag eventually got filled. I reasoned that now was a good time to complete that because it was sunny and not too cold outside today. I brought in the sage plant, I think I might want to try to keep that one going over the winter, Most of the other plants that are still out there are pretty much done for the season. Sad. I also threw a bunch of the pumpkins that had been being eaten by the squirrels out onto the lawn for them and to decompose naturally.

I switched the propane tanks putting the almost empty on into the grill and the mostly full one into the outdoor patio heater. It might come in handy on a fire pit night, if we decide to have one, with or without guests. I may store the grill tomorrow but I decided to hold off a bit on that task for now. I also relocated the power washer from the shed to a warmer location to store it for the winter. First and foremost, because doing so was instructed, but also so that there would be more room in the shed for additional storage of items.

The accomplishment I’m most proud of is that I finally finished hanging the curtain string lights that LD had purchased quite a while back. To create a cozy atmosphere, I hung them up in the sunroom near the big glass doors. These are replacement lights that dangle across and down for a really attractive look. We had similar lights there for a year or two before they ultimately died. The wonderful thing about this specific model is that it has 8 various settings, so you could do wave, or slow glow, or strobe, etc. I believe she purchased these from Target months ago. I would never use some of the settings but I like either the solid or the wave and slow glow settings. I’ll see which one LD likes the best and go with that one.

I’m almost done reading the book I bought a few weeks ago about the reign of Akhenaton and Nefertiti. I think I’ll be giving it four out of five stars, it’s a pretty good read, especially if you’re at all interested in the 18th dynasty, The duo definitely made a lasting impression! We’re still talking about him today! The first monotheist, Tut’s father, a heretic to many, and what’s up with those hips? The portrayals of Akhenaten himself greatly differ from the depictions of other pharaohs. Traditionally, the portrayal of pharaohs—and the Egyptian ruling class—was idealized, and they were shown in “stereotypically ‘beautiful’ fashion” as youthful and athletic. However, Akhenaten’s portrayals are unconventional and “unflattering” with a sagging stomach; broad hips; thin legs; thick thighs; large, “almost feminine breasts;” a thin, “exaggeratedly long face;” and thick lips. Could be just symbolic though, he did radically change the traditional art style from thousands of years times past. Fascinating individual. Still, wouldn’t it be funny is they could come back and tell all these scholars, “Uhmm, You guys are way off! it wasn’t like that at all!”


Ok, I got a fairly humorous story to relate. It’s from back in the days when I worked at a pizza place. It was an interesting time in my life, I’ll need to try to remember and perhaps share some more of my experiences from that time, just being a 20 year old kid still learning about himself and his place in the world. Anyways there was a store next to the place where I was working at the time. Sort of like a 7-11 but smaller. It’s a place called Q’s Nuts now, but I digress. Anyways, back in the day, there was this woman that used to work there behind the counter. Her name was Cindy. She had pretty eyes and looked a little bit like Lynda Carter, but not as great really. Everyone almost always commented on that. A few houses down from the store lived this guy. I think he might have been from Portugal or something. Married, a few kids, yadda yadda yadda. Well, Cindy was being a bad girl because she had the hots for this gentleman. She would physically leave the store and stand out on the corner of the sidewalk looking for this guy. She used to think he looked like Elvis Presley. Now, I’ve seen this guy, and I can tell you this, he ain’t No Elvis Presley! It was like she was crazy about this dude! So, she’d be out on the corner, slowly turning her hips from left to right (I think she was trying to impress anybody driving by by showing her butt. Very peculiar now that I think back on it), spinning on her red high heels (which quite frankly didn’t look that good on her.) And that’s all she would do. Left-to-right. Left-to-right. S-L-O-W-L-Y turning on the corner. You could go into the store and just pig out or whatever and she wouldn’t care. I guess now that I’m reading this story back to myself it isn’t that funny, it’s just another one of those you-had-to-be-there deals I suppose. Oh yeah, she used to have this rank station wagon that ,uhmm, has a few stories to tell. Someone told me that one night, she was in it naked in the back, awaiting Elvis, splayed and all, and then later that evening, well, let’s just say when the station wagon’s a rockin’, don’t come a knockin’ – IN THE GUY’S OWN DRIVEWAY NO LESS! I felt sorry for the wife. However I am more sorry for just the thought of those two doing the horizontal bop – gives me the willies! *Eeep!*

I was reminded of these characters by going back through the old ancient website when I was much more introspective if also a bit immature, not realizing at the time that these people might have had problems so keep that in mind as I relate this next tale. It brought to mind another character. There was this one guy called Artie. Good customer, sort of looked like Art Garfunkel, but every now and then he would come in the store and be all screwed up, like drunk or high or something. He was a child of the 60’s so basically at least half of his brain cells must have been fried. Every night , or almost every night, he would come in and buy a slice of pizza. Maybe that was his dinner or something, I’m not sure, but he had one almost every night. Always just one slice, that’s it. Nothing else, ever. One night he strolls in, all messed up, and buys a slice. Then he starts acting like he’s in ‘Nam or something and get, like, all weird. He runs out of the store onto the middle of Highland Avenue, which is a fairly major street and has quite a bit of traffic at times. He stops in the middle of the street and his slice falls, *plop* right on the center line. He’s so screwed up, he bends down, picks it back up, eats it right there quick as a whip, and almost gets hit by a car. And it’s as though nothing ever happened. I was scared there for a minute because this dude almost really did get hit! But that was Artie for you. I haven’t seen either Artie or Cindy since I left that place. God, it must be over 30 years by now. Wow! I hope they found happiness in life and are doing ok. I don’t think they’d remember me or I them if we saw each other but maybe if I see a woman who looks eerily a bit like Lynda Carter…

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.

What Sight Greeted Me This Morning

I woke up to see this going on this morning:

Later in the afternoon I was able to discern that this little guy has dug his teeth into at least three of the smaller pumpkins that were around. He apparently is moving them from all about, somehow removing them off the back stairs and moving them onto the concrete patio floor where he can gorge himself.

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.

Two of the Three Sisters

Drove to drop off 2 blank CDs in Walpole to someone online who asked for them in a social media group that we belong to. Got a bunch of free stuff off of there that was useful so just sort of giving back. I’m looking for some stuff for the game room that I’m hoping will show up on there at some point.

Made an appointment to take my mom to get her drivers license renewed at the end of the month at the local AAA office, forget going to the RMV! It took a while to get one, you basically have to keep clicking online every 10 minutes or so and hope you bump someone else out of the way. In hindsight now I’m realizing it may be a little tough to be able to make it there on time but I’m going to try.

We got these special lily bulbs from LD’s garden lady friend yesterday. I’ve been soaking them overnight to be able to put them in the ground today. For some reason the lady said they should go in as soon as possible. Just need to find a spot where they’ll actually fit. We have too many things growing! I eventually decided to put split them up a bit, putting some in the main round area and then the rest out toward the back corner of the back yard. Fingers crossed they come up next year!

Here’s a pic I took of two of the three sisters lighthouses in Orleans. These gals were replaced by the Nauset Light that’s there now but they saved these ladies and set them further inland and used to adorn a park now. Thanks to Lighthouses around the World for featuring me!

A Case of the Mondays

Beacon Hill Alleyways

For the start of the week I finally decided to swap in some new hydroponics. The lettuces we had growing there were mostly used up by now, from me either eating them or giving away some of the leaves for a friend’s Guinea Pig pets. So this time around I’m mostly going with herbs such as chives, mint, parsley, lemon basil and oregano. Also had an extra spot so I stuck in a mini cherry tomato. If it all goes to plan they should start sprouting in a bout a week or so. I find that herbs and lettuce do the best in this little hydroponic garden of ours.

All the Feelz

Been trying a new meal kit delivery service but so far this one hasn’t been impressive. It seems like they are all kind of the same after a while. They generally start out good but sooner or later, something goes awry with the shipping or you just get bored with the choices. I did learn how to cook a bunch of things though so it has been somewhat educational for me and given me skills that I can use to cook up own own creations or even just recreate some recipes that they’ve shown me in the past.

Would like to try to get through a bunch of little things tonight. Work is changing their communication systems over to Google from Zimbra so I need to go through some setup and change a couple of passwords and such for that to work. Set up 2FA, all that fun stuff. I’ve been putting it off because I had changing settings but if I don’t do it by early October I won’t be able to log in. Speaking of work, they’re also changing up their CPR scheduling so we all have to take that again in a month or so even though we just had it a few months ago but that’s cool.

I caught some of some local documentary yesterday entitled Chet’s Last Call which was about a Boston dive club just above another dive bar called the Penalty Box where Mafia guys hung out across from the Boston Garden in the 80s that hosted local bands. It was sort of a dedication to the bar’s owner, named Chet, who gave a lot of these groups a chance. This was 20 years before I had gotten interested in the local scene so most of this was before my time but some famous type groups who did play there were the Beastie Boys, Hüsker Dü, Bim Skala Bim and the Mighty Bosstones. It was sort of interesting, it definitely was a very different time. Anyways it got me in a Boston remembrance state of mind so I’m reposting this photo from Beacon Hill. I also spent some time at the gym to watch LD do her swimming thing. She invited me to see her do her thing so I obliged. She’s doing great and loves it so much. I found my old ‘All the Feels’ shirt so I wore that trying to make a statement.

Which brings to mind my next point. Is this blog getting stale? Feel like I really haven’t put up any interesting content in a while.

Stargazers are Popping!

Stargazers in bloom

Whewwww! It sure is a hot one out there outside today! I don’t really have anything newsworthy to mention right now, but I had to share how our Stargazer lilies were doing. Maybe they like the heat! The floral celebrity, stargazer lilies are young, bold, beautiful, and dramatic. The meaning of these fragrant flowers can be one of wealth and prosperity, but their white variety can dress down to genuinely express purity and sympathy. I must admit that these are probably my favorite kind of lily, closely followed behind by the fire lilies. ((plug!)) Very aromatic as well. Do any of you have a favorite kind of lily?

The Plight of the Honeybees for the Grandfather

sunsets

I’ll get to the bee story in a minute but first I wanted to give an update on what’s been going on with me today.

I woke up early today to head on over to my mechanic at Earth-1 to get my ride inspected. Needless to say it passed with flying colors, no problems, as I figured that it would, and only took about 10 minutes or so. I literally got there a little after 7 am and was out of there by 7:20, after chatting with the guys and stuff. I stand by this shop, they’ve been good to me. It’s important to find a place you can trust.

I then went and got my hair cut really short, with summer now upon us in full swing, I need to do anything to keep me cool as a cucumber. I briefly entertained the idea of riding my bike around town but then decided against it, partly due to the heat, and partly due to my own laziness.

Then there was a bunch of errands to run and things like that. I finally headed back around mid afternoon. So, it was a pretty full morning and early afternoon. I decided to just relax for a bit once I got back.

As for the garden, it looks like some new lilies have been popping, looks related to the fire lilies but the colors are little different, more of a purple tinge to them as opposed to the red. Still waiting for the Stargazer buds to open up but I imagine that should happen over the next few days or so. We must have planted these late last summer after a visit to a farm in Mendon that was growing them, far as I can recall. There’s also a bunch of regular tiger lilies growing over near the “prairie area” that we got from a lady last year in the garden club wanting to get rid of them from her residence since she had so many.

Today’s the start of Prime Day but I really don’t “need” anything at the moment. It’s all a promotional scam anyway. I do however have my eyes on a specific sound bar, a specific beach cart (I’m finding this might be a nice amenity the more and more that we visit the beach, also why are they so expensive?), and a specific gravity chair but I’m hoping to maybe get one of two of these as possible birthday gifts in the future. Anyway I’ve added them to my personal shopping list for maybe popping on at a later time should those plans not pan out.

Ok, now for the story you’ve all been waiting for. I must admit I find it a little bit amusing in a Schadenfreude type of way.

I learned of another fiasco over at the neighbors. Yes, the same neighbors that had us and everyone else looking for their cat while they’re away on vacation somewhere in Europe. Somehow a group of honeybees decided to make their home near the front of their house. However I have learned that there must be a little hole there or something because apparently the swarm is actually living inside of the house. I saw some of these bees myself when the Grandfather (remember him?) was out front with the Animal Control Officer of the town so I went over to see what the commotion was. I guess Grandpa had originally called some pest control company but they needed to see a picture of the bee to see what kind it was. When they learned it was honey bees and not carpenter bees they told him they couldn’t kill them since they’re protected species or some such. There is literally over 1,000 bees in there! I’m not kidding! It’s huge! The Animal Control Officer, whom we know pretty well, tried putting a box there hoping the queen would go inside and then the drones would follow, but following up on that hours later, the queen never went in, so that was a bust. However, since learning that the bees are actually in the house I guess you can kill them? I don’t know but this family either took the worst possible time for them to go away on vacation or they just aren’t having any luck right now. I don’t know if anything happened today because I wasn’t around but if not I suppose they’re going to have a fun time when they get back, whenever that is. Meanwhile this poor Grandfather is trying to manage all these things that he never signed up for. He thought he was just going to watch a cute little kitty cat. Little did he know that the little un-fixed (mmhmm, these people should not have pets!) bugger would escape and cause havoc in the neighborhood and that a swarm of bees would be all over the place. And this is just the things that I know about. I suspect there might actually be more!

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.

With the Greatest of Ease…

Ended up watching the semi-finals of the National Spelling Bee on television last night. I was surprised at how poorly I did playing along but then again, most of the words they have to spell are not used everyday. In fact, some of those words I’ve never used in my entire life! May check in tonight and catch the finals.

The tubers I planted a few weeks ago that I had stored in a bag in the cellar over the winter are starting to sprout again. Amazing how that works. Also with all the rain we’ve gotten over the last day or so, the lawn needs another mowing already.

I took a ride down to the Tactical store to see if my work equipment was in since we ordered it over a month and a half ago but it’s still on back order. Guess there really is something to those support chain issues the news always talks about. Speaking of work, next week I have my annual CPR training. Boy, that time went fast.

Tried to get a few shots of Carson playing. Here’s one I thought was pretty good.

A Good Memorial Day Weekend All Wrapped Up

Memorial Day

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

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

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

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

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

The Spectacle of New Spectacles

I finally got a chance to head on over to the eye doctor for some new eyeglasses. I’ve had the ones I’ve had for quite a while and I felt it was time for a change, plus I wanted to get progressives since the way my eyes are currently working these days. It was good to see that my eye health in general is pretty optimal, only a stronger prescription for my near sightedness was needed, which is what I suspected and hoped. I’ve purchased the new frames that will have a new shape so I’ll be looking a little different when they come in next week sometime. Like I said, it was time for an updated look!

And now for some small news snippet updates from today:

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

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

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

Until the Twelfth of Never

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

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

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

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

Today’s Shots from the Garden

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

More later possibly…

Site Software and Other Updates

Bearded Iris makes an appearance.

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

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

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

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

The Struggle is Real

The Struggle is real.

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

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

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

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

The Arrival of Heb

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

Christian Dior
Meet HEB, The Hosta Eating Bunny

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

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

Things Working Out in a Roundabout Way

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

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

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

Truth is Stranger than Fiction, My Friends

May flowers
One of the great specimens we obtained from the local garden club last weekend.

Watched this crazy documentary on Netflix the other night about a story of a family that was involved with a man who kidnapped their daughter. Twice. The real nutty part was that the dude was having sex with the mother and the father, but neither knew about it, all in a ploy to get to the daughter. The last L&O:SVU episode took a part of that story and incorporated into the episode a bit. Needless to say, if you ask me, the parents weren’t too swift to allow all that to happen the way it did. The documentary incase you’re interested is called Abducted in Plain Sight, and let me tell you, it’s a doozy. Just another reason why I much prefer factual things over fiction, since I find most of the times, the factual stuff is even crazier than anyone could dream up. And speaking of factual readings, that book about the women who ran the “Jane” service that I’m just about ready to finish is fascinating. And to think that parts of the country might have to go back to all of that? That’s insane. I heartily recommend the book.

Caught the end of the Celtics Bucks Game 5 last night. God, that was painful to watch in the last seconds.

I think I’m going to participate in the Annual Spring Bike Ride in Cambridge. I haven’t done it in a couple of years so maybe that’ll be a fun thing to do on a Saturday morning upcoming, although I’m probably pretty rusty and really haven’t ridden the bikes in quite a while. We also booked my second covid booster shot for a couple weeks out.

In the late afternoon I finished mowing the front and back lawns, which if you’ve ever been here know that that’s quite a bit. I wanted to get it done though before the real hot weather starts hitting our way tomorrow. As I do every year I dodged the random buttercups that grow in the middle of the back lawn. I don’t care if they’re considered a weed, I like them. Once they’re done blooming I’ll go over them but for now they stay and as a plus provide some nutrients for some local bees and other critters, so it’s ecologically sound. I also transplanted some of the lavender seedings into pots that LD had previously prepared. I still need to do some edging but I’ll try to get to that tomorrow sometime.

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.

Plant Day

We started out the morning getting some plants from the get together the town garden club puts on once a year. Got some really good specimens this time too, including a gorgeous hanging pot of flowers and vines in the same pot, really spectacular looking. I’ll definitely need to take a picture of it once it’s set up. Just a bit too windy right now. While at the shindig we got to see some of the members that we know, so that was cool, but it was windy and cold as heck. Not May like weather at all, although it’ll be in the 80s by Friday. In fact, it was so windy today that the outdoor heater tipped over and bent the top reflector panel a little bit, which bummed me out a little because I pride myself on keeping those things like new. I have since secured it better so the wind won’t do that again. I believe I can bend it back into shape, it’s just a small bend.

Then we headed to the office to get some mail. While there I hit a local little library and got a new book to read, pertinent to what’s been going on in the news these days, as a coincidence. The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service will be my next read. I can remember an old Cold Case tv show episode that delved into this a bit. Then we visited Volante again for some more “special” phlox that has some really cool patterns that we’d never seen before and are using to enhance the landscape around the driveway. Finally we went to Home Depot for some mulch but they were out of the kind that we wanted, so we’ll have to wait a little for that. Maybe go to Lowes and see if they have any of it later on. We also need to start trans planting the flowers currently growing in the hydroponic garden as they’re starting to get too large for it and I want to start a new batch of plants there. Might also be time for the lavender seedlings on the windowsill to get transplanted as well.

Frisky Feline Fridays

Bring us back to this scene, please. I did obtain the Tut tickets, and we’ll be attending in the middle of July, so I’m looking forward to that. I sowed some leftover cosmos seeds in one of the patio pots. Hopefully, they will sprout soon.

The next-door neighbors should not have a cat. When we woke up this morning and looked out the window, we discovered that they essentially leash it to some clothesline setup they have out back so it can walk around outside, but only so long as it stays inside the bounds of the clothesline, do you know what I mean? Anyway, one issue with this setup, which I believe has many, is that when another neighborhood outside cat swings by, things could turn ugly. Kiki, a local cat, came over, and the little leashed cat was not in a pleasant mood, as cats are. Cats are strange creatures, being so territorial and all.

Anyways I think Kiki was more curious that anything. They essentially just stared eachother down, their faces almost touching. There was definitely some tension brewing there. The “owners” of the leashed cat eventually came out and asked whether it was our animal. I went outside to see if I could scare Kiki away, but I couldn’t since there was a fence in the way. Anyway, I informed them that our cat remains indoors, and that the orange cat was named Kiki, and that he resides at a house to the south. Incidentally, we mentioned to them before that our cat stays inside when they asked us if we were missing a cat because one had been living in their basement, for about a month! Uhmmm,, what???! A story for another day, these people are a little whacked. Anyways, the neighbor lady claimed that one of their cats (Kiki’s owners) was killed by a coyote. Even more incentive to keep your cat inside! I see Kiki outside all the time since he’s a tough cookie. He appears to be older than I believe he is. His face reminds me of an old soul, but he’s not a mean or feral cat. He just likes to be outside, shaking his butt on bushes and marking that he’d been there. All of this is to say, and I’ll reiterate, these people should not have a cat. Or any pet for that matter. There was also another story with a dog that they had but I’ll save that for another time.

In the early evening, more commotion over at the same neighbors. Guess one of their daughters was going to her senior prom tonight as she came out in a gown and got picked up by a boy in a tux! They had some family there to taking some pictures. We watched.

And thanks Boston.com for featuring my photo for today!

First Day of May

Love (not a recent picture though).

May. more than any other month of the year, wants us to feel most alive.

Fennel hudson

Another somewhat productive day I’d say. I finally took to task of getting the storm door glass panes out and putting in the screens for summer. My fingertips are hurting because these particular panes are somewhat difficult to get in out and there’s no real room to get your fingers underneath the mechanism in order to remove them. But with some brute strength and some sore fingertips I was finally able to get them out and get the screens in. Needless to say, Carson would appear to be quite pleased with this latest development as now he can see and smell the air to his heart’s content. And that’s really why I did anyway in the first place.

In between getting the two screens out I also mowed the lawn in front of the house as it was starting to look like it really needed it. This also marks the first mow of the season for me. After that I went ahead and manually pulled out all the dandelions that I could see. It’s a never ending battle but it’s done for now, until they rear their little yellow heads again, of which I am sure they will.

In the afternoon we took a quick jaunt over to Volante farms and got a few more plants. I still need to buy some hanging plants for our various hanger setups but it’s still just a tad too early. I assume by next weekend they’ll be good to go and be outside without danger of being too cold in the evenings. We spent a bunch of time landscaping another area, removing a bunch of ground ivy and putting in hostas, a really cool looking two-toned phlox that I’d never seen before, some other red flowering things, and then mulched it all. It looks five thousand times better if you ask me. LD’s had some great ideas this spring and they are really starting to show. We also redid part of the rock garden in the back, which is surrounded by the blue Adirondack chairs because I moved them from the patio to there. Gardening is not easy work, no one ever really tells you that part. Our backs are sore, my knee is what it is, my neck is crinkly. What the heck is happening to us?

I spent some time playing around with some different logos for the site. Not sure if I’ll ever use any of them but it helped pass some time. What do you think of any of these choices? I think I’m becoming partial to the second one, but like I said, might not use any of them.

A possible logo I’ve been playing around with.
A better option? Personal favorite so far.
A bold choice?

Spring Brings Blossoms and Grill Marks Make Me Smile

Spring blooms in Boston

While I was working out in the gardens today I couldn’t help but notice that the lilac trees were starting to bud and bloom, so naturally I had to whip out my camera because that’s what we photographers do, and the result is the picture you see above. Check out the little fuzz on the buds.

Started out the morning after shift by heading to HQ for a team meeting. We’re having a team dinner in a couple of weeks at a function hall in town so that’s something to look forward to. Anyways, the meeting has basically just hashing out some details of things that are coming up, most of which I had already knew. It had been a while since we had a meeting though, so it was kind of cool to see everybody.

As our first grilling session of the season, I fired up the grill late this afternoon and fired up some strip steaks. Normally, I like to conduct a deep clean before starting the season, but I skipped that for now. Because the propane tank in the grill was nearly empty, I replaced it for the one in the outdoor heater. On Wednesday, when I replace the door screens, I’ll probably go get that one refilled again. That’s my current plan anyway.

I might do this overlapping column thing on LD’s website later this weekend. I need to study to code and then implement it. I think it might look cool but we’ll see. I also need to add some more graphics for more visual appeal.