My Only Tax Free Weekend Purchase

This weekend was the weekend that the state of Massachusetts decided to hold it’s sales tax free weekend, so people generally use it to buy up some things to take advantage of the savings. I could have went with a new sound bar that I’ve been eying, or this moon globe lamp that I thought looked really cool, or the beach cart that I think would be useful. For me though, my only purchase was going down to the Home Depot to buy a new Carbon Monoxide detector, and that was only because last night the old one started chirping (had to first figure out which machine was making the noise, trรจs annoying!!) and it said it had basically reached the end of it’s life. Not so exciting, huh? Strangely the store wasn’t as busy as I thought it would be. Perhaps I just happened to be there at the right time, around four o’clock in the afternoon. I did also try looking for some furnace filters to have a little bit of a stockpile on hand but they never have the size that the one we have uses, so I struck out there. Is the tax-free weekend even really worth it that much? Maybe a little bit, but I don’t think it’s really all that big a deal, especially since it’s capped at $2500 and can’t be used on the certain items that really would make a big difference.

Calling to Me (Sun’s Out, Hot Dog Buns Out)

Calling to me.

Firstly, here’s another pic of the Nubble from earlier in the week. A classic Lighthouse destination and one of our favorites.

Saw this hot fog food truck was around that I wanted to try. Ended up going with one that had grilled corn, queso cotija, crema mexicana, with some chili lime salt on top, and it was pretty good! Then it was off to Wellesley for a mail pickup where I ended up eating some cod. Guess I was a little hungry this afternoon!

I also spent a bunch of time nodding off in my gravity chair out on the back deck in the sun. Totally relaxing!

Finished the day off with a night by the fire pit. Ah! Finally ended out the evening by watching the documentary “I Just Killed My Dad” on Netflix.

Plug ๐Ÿ”Œ time: Smooth Sailing now available for purchase. Wouldn’t it look so nice on your wall?

Buzzing Around on Buzzard’s Bay

Got to hang out in Fairhaven with friends yesterday and pretty much made a day of it, swimming in Buzzard’s Bay, having tacos for lunch, and a great dinner outside as the sun started to set and a beautiful full moon rose.

Good hang and good food with good friends, you can’t ask for anything more. Thanks for having us!

Birthday Shenanigans in a Treehouse

Nubble!

Too many things to say about my birthday getaway right now. But the highlights were hanging in an Airbnb in Dover NH that had an actual treehouse overlooking the scenic Piscataqua River, watching baby robins being fed by their mother in another tree in the back yard, getting clean in the shower that had two showerheads almost opposite each other which was really cool, grabbing burgers at the BRGR Bar in downtown Portsmouth, getting some shots over at the Nubble, hanging out and swimming at Long Sands beach, eating clams at Bob’s, and getting a gravity chair that I wanted and a book about Rumi that I also wanted to read! It was really hot outside but it is Leo Season as they say! Naturally I must thank LD for making my birthday amazing and every day, as always!

I’ll need to expand upon this at a later date, but all in all, totally amazing!

Love to Sail

Sailing

Went to a farm today, picked up some fresh produce to cook on the grill tonight. Ended up taking a nap in the afternoon, for some reason I felt tired and the map for an hour really helped pick me up. Dinner ended up being excellent though: salmon, corn, carrots, and a delicious peach and nectarine salad. Top it all off with this shot of a sailboat moored in Cape Cod bay at sunset. Perfection. Ended up watching a documentary on Netflix called The Girl in the Picture. My heart aches for that girl.

Friday Frolics For New Kicks

Enjoying life one lighthouse at a time.

Watched this documentary last night which was about the debacle that was Woodstock ’99. Crazy crazy! This afternoon LD and I went down to the New Balance Factory Outlet and bought matching sneakers. She thought it a little ridiculous but I think it’s cute. Maybe we’ll both wear them at the same time! Haha!

Here’s a flashback photo of me visiting one of my favorite places along the eastern seaboard, Pemaquid Point in Maine.

Running with the Sunset ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ

Just running with the sunset

Spent the day at the beach today. It was, in a word, glorious! One cool thing was watching all the piping plovers run along the shore. They are so small little creatures, but they can run on those little legs of theirs pretty fast. Anyways, by the end of the day for whatever reason (perhaps it was the sea, the sun, lunch, and eating a huge lobster roll) we were pretty zonked. I mean, I could not keep my eyes open. When we went to bed we slept the whole night solidly.

Backstroking Into the Week Like…

Chatham Fish Pier

Here’s a pic from the Chatham Fish Pier. Now this is a working pier so during the day they really don’t want you hanging around here because the fisherman are trying to do work, bringing in their haul and all that jazz, and there are signs all over to that effect. However, if you go, like after 5 pm, you can just go into the lot and take a look around. This is a great place to see seals for free. Since this is where the fisherman unload their stuff these guys think they may get a free meal out of it, and a lot of times some of them will just be milling around hoping for some grub. Naturally you can’t find them, that would be a bad idea, both because it’s not good for them and also that they could bite you. Anyways while we were there these three seals were swimming around and this particular one seemed to be having fun literally swimming on his back just breaking the water line. He was putting on a little free show for us! So, if you don’t want to pay for a seal tour and hope to get a glimpse of these guys just head down to this pier. Sooner or later you’re bound to see them!

Hiking the Coastal Trail to a Scene of Beautiful Paradise

What did we do this morning? After a quick dip in the pool, we went over and hiked the Eddy Trail, probably one of our favorite locations to hike of all time. As an added treat they had the story of The Lorax all laid out along the trail, a page or two every so often along the way. The finale (well, really the half way point since you have to walk back) is ending up upon the cliff face. It just so happened to be high tide, so we got to see various boats floating along the flats. We even got to see a baby bunny along the trail. Of course it was scared but very cute as we said hello and went on our way.

Currently Reading: From a little library in Chatham by the lighthouse: Hell’s Half-Acre: The Untold Story of the Benders, a Serial Killer Family on the American Frontier. I think I might have heard bits of this story before but not really sure. You can look it up on Wikipedia, talk about a strange family.

In case you missed it, I decided to add my shot Where Time Has No Meaning to the shop as well. A nice relaxing Cape scene I think I captured pretty well.

A Full Day in Dennis, Harwich and Chatham

Where Time Has No Meaning, also available on the shop for purchase!

Another day at the beach! Swimming, Sunning! Earlier in the day I hung around the Bass River and checked out some of the sights around there. The majority of the day was spent as West Dennis Beach, like I said, swimming and sunning, and then swimming again until late afternoon. Finished it off with a visit to Mac’s in Chatham, hit a couple of Little Libraries (have you tried to new mobile app for it yet? It’s pretty great – much better than dealing with the website), then back to the condo for some chill out time. We were literally out practically all day from sunrise to sunset. Damn, are we tired! Tomorrow, we plan on doing our usual hike through the Brewster forest that leads out to the cliffs overlooking the flats.

Great Beach Day

Breakwater Beach

Too tired to describe everything that happened today. Highlights were spending most of the day at West Dennis Beach, playing in the surf and then just enjoying sitting in the sun and soaking up the breeze. This afternoon really did seem like the perfect beach day. After all that and grabbing a pizza it was off the Breakwater Beach to catch tonight’s sunset. Here’s one of the shots from tonight.

“Beach, Please!”

Skaket Sunset

Went down to the Chatham Fish Pier tonight and was greeted to quite a show as a bunch of seals including a harbor seal swam around on their backs and made us feel lucky to see them. I’ll upload a pic of them in a few days as they were captured on my DSLR and I cannot easily upload them to the site until I get back. Got some dinner in Orleans and caught a sunset at Skaket. Saw some cool whale art installation in Chatham center as well where you could also bid on the artwork. We also got to see a large heron fly over our heads which was really cool.

Wellfleet Wellness (Day 02)

Typical Wellfleet Harbor views

All the fun things we did yesterday with a couple of guests we had over for the overnight.

  • Swimming in the outdoor pool in the afternoon to cool off a bit
  • Getting lunch sandwiches from a local deli
  • Checking out our favorite spots at Nauset
  • Heading over to Macs on the Pier in Wellfleet enjoying a dinner on the beach
  • Passing by an amazing property and then noticing some crazy cottages and their asking prices for essentially a unheated shack
  • Heading over to Rock Harbor to catch the last rays of sunset
  • Grabbing some desserts at the Sparrow as per our usual routine!
  • Winding down with the charcoal grill doing up S’mores and turkey burgers and washing them down with beers
  • As always, illuminating conversation!
  • Falling asleep as midnight approached

All in all, a quite full day!

Crosby Beach Sunset (Day 01)

Crosby at sunset

Well, we made it down here by mid afternoon. Not too bad. Got a early dinner over at Mac’s (one of our favorite places). LD got some pool time already. Night swimming! Just before that though we headed over to one of the nearby beaches as sunset approached and I took some shots. Unfortunately I’ve discovered that the converted Chromebook does not seem to recognize the DSLR camera so the high res shots will have to wait until I get back but it does recognize my cell so that’s what this shot is from. I think we’re going to be having a full day tomorrow so I’m going to end it here for now.

Ready for Adventures Ahead!

Adventure ahead

Today ended up being running around to get a bunch of things. First I needed to go down to HQ to sign some paperwork that was outstanding and for my trouble they gave me a fifty dollar gift card for gasoline at a local station here in town. Pretty nifty. Then later in the afternoon I got a call that my equipment which had been on back order for months finally arrived at the Tactical store so I could finally go pick it up and I went ahead and got that done. That place doesn’t scare me anymore after being there a number of times now. Funny how it all came together on this one particular day, almost all at the same time. Kind of weird. Anyways, it’s all done and I’m ready to move forward. More excited about getting ready for an upcoming trip. This is going to be good because besides the usual sights and fun, we might have a couple guests visit. I’ll be bringing the travel Chromebook so I can do updates from the road, like last month.

From Here to Tanglewood

Visiting Symphony Park in East Somerville, MA

From the sculptor: “โ€˜We Are Still Listening,โ€™ was created from a magnificent regal tree which once stood in front of the Hadley-Conant home, a family of musicians of the 1880s. I wish to dedicate this sculpture to the honor of the Hadley-Conant family, the residents of East Somerville, and those musicians who will continue this tradition through musical performances and events in Symphony Park.”

I wanted to check this thing out after hearing it mentioned about a week ago as they did an unveiling. I also did a little lookup on Henry Hadley, I had no idea. That’s what learning is all about! He would later go on to create Tanglewood, and to think it all started right here in East Somerville!

Firepit Party Night Leads to a Beach Afternoon

Meeting the Day

Had a fun night last night having a friend over. I grilled trout, something I’d never done or even eaten before, and it came out great. We finished it off with turkey burgers and zucchini. Our guest also brought over one of the most delicious salads we’d ever had! Thanks so much L! As the night wore one we did a fire pit and enjoyed some s’mores. It was a beautiful evening. We definitely hope to do this again. Wonderful way to spend a few hours together.

This afternoon I was jonesing to go the beach so we went and spent some time in the sun and the waves. I was feeling hot and getting in the water just cooled me right down. I will say that the beach was pretty packed today. Guess everyone had more or less the same idea. Grabbed lunch over at The Green Harbor Lobster Pound again, love that place. I went with the clam plate and LD went with, naturally, the lobster roll.

Visiting King Tut: The Immersive Experience

Finally got a chance to check out the Immersive King Tut Experience over at the South Boston Sowa Power Station. It was interesting, definitely focused more on the religious afterlife beliefs that the ancient Egyptians had, after you learn a little about the Boy King’s life you watch him go on his journey through the Afterlife. We went with another couple friends of ours. Afterwards we hit a famous Quincy restaurant with has great views of the Bay and had lunch there on the deck. It was a beautiful day!

Currently reading: For One More Day by Mitch Albom. A little library find from a visit to some of them a few days ago. In a bit, I’ll list a series of books both new and old that I’d like to get a chance to read over the summer and maybe why I’d want to read it.

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!

The All Points Bulletin Search for Spaghetti

I happened to notice a post in a Facebook group that I am a member of about a missing cat in the neighborhood that was loose around and to my mind looked a lot like the next door neighbor’s cat. So I went around the corner to this other neighbor who are the parents of the father who is the owner of the cat. We call him the Grandfather. Anyways, yes he did say the cat was missing. He was assigned to watch that cat as apparently the next door neighbors are away on vacation in Europe somewhere. He said the cat was upstairs in their house but that he escaped by literally clawing his way through the second floor screen and jumping off the roof, down a tree and into the lawn below. I believe this is true because he showed me the screen that was ripped which can be seen from the street.

LD had seen the cat wondering around in the yard but by the time the Grandfather and I had gotten there he was gone again. We thought his name was Buddy because we had heard the father call him that, but when I asked the Grandfather he said that the cat’s name was actually Spaghetti. I have a tendency to still call it Buddy however.

Anyways we were off to the beach and couldn’t spend all day looking for this cat, but LD and I stayed active on social media, and other folks on the FB group would comment that they saw him in their yard and whatnot. Long story short, Spaghetti was eventually found and returned back to the family. A happy ending is always nice. Truth is I felt kind of bad about Spaghetti. I wouldn’t want him getting hurt or anything. I mean, there’s been hawks, there’s cars, other animals that could hurt the little guy, et cetera. Seems like he was having the time of his life however, chasing things and basking in the sun of other people’s property.

Sleepy after swimming

As I previously mentioned, we had been jonesing for a beach trip so after dealing with the Spaghetti fiasco for a little bit we were off to wade in some waves. After chomping down on a sandwich from a local deli we travelled down Route 3 and decided to hit Duxbury. I thought maybe with the weather being so good and it also being a Saturday that the place might be packed but actually it was pretty light, which to me was perfect as I’m not really one for big crowds, especially on the beach.

Anyways, we went into the water, jumping the waves and having a good time. Afterwards I went to dry off in the sun in my beach chair and apparently fell asleep. Sea air always had that effect on me since I was young. There’s just something about it that really puts me to sleep. Unfortunately when I woke up a bit later I had a bit of a stiff neck, but what can you do? We did get to see a seagull take off with someone’s chip bag, poke into it, and eat it’s contents. It was too far away for us to do anything about it and in a way it was a little humorous to watch. And we saw a monarch butterfly on the beach as well.

We finished off the day trip with a visit to the Green Harbor Lobster Pound and chowed down. I got the clam plate and LD got a lobster roll. This being our first visit there of the season.

When we got back home I noticed Spaghetti was back outside again on this leash contraption that the neighbor’s set up? I mean, really? REALLY? But at least he is safe and hopefully someone is watching him a bit closer this time. I feel like we did our part and had a nice enjoyable day.

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.

The Love to Tinker with Gadgets

Here’s a little bit about me that you may or may not know. I just love to tinker around with gadgets. Whether it’s seeing what makes the jukebox tick, or taking apart old kindles and replacing the battery, or watching vids on how to replace OSes and boot up with different .iso files. I think I was always a little bit curious in that way, even as a small child. I mean, I even like reading manuals if you can believe that! Just trying to absorb all the knowledge that I can about something that excited me. I can remember taking apart certain things of mine but then would sometimes have trouble putting them back together. Hopefully I’ve gotten a lot better at that as I’ve gotten older. I know my limits though, some things I know would be out of my reach, but I do like to challenge myself a little bit on things like this. I’ve built my own desktop pc in the past, upgraded lots of tech, etc. It’s fun to figure out how things operate, or to even give new life to something that was pretty much dead. I also like learning about all the new things coming out. Once a geek, always a geek! It’s not necessarily always electronics either. It can be food related, like learning a recipe, or dealing how to keep plants doing their best. At times it’s a lot of trial and error but it’s the process that makes it so interesting to me. And true, when it’s a failure it’s a bit of a letdown, as there has been a couple of those naturally, but when it’s a success it does wonders for me.

I Just Saved a Squirrel from the Baby Hawk

This guy needs to eat but not on my watch! Sorry, pal!

Just what the title of this post says. I just happened to glance out the window and I see the baby hawk on the fence post out back, wings outstretched and looking rather interested at something. When I went to see what he was tracking a saw a squirrel scrambling up the fence only a foot or two away. I grabbed my camera and went out there and this distracted the bird long enough for the squirrel to hop into a nearby tree. The hawk itself meanwhile seemed to notice me and was wondering if I was a threat to it or not perhaps. As I got closer, he finally decided to fly off to the next street over. The squirrel safe, for now anyway.

The basement is for all intents and purposes, finished! And it looks amazing. Moved things around too so that there’s more room and it flows better. For example, all the games are in their own “room” so to speak, and on the other side is the couch, chair, fireplace etc. providing a comforting space to relax. I had to do a little bit of maintenance on the Ms. Pac but it’s working like a dream. That and the jukebox are probably the best things we ever got off folks, back when we used to do those sorts of things. I then went ahead and cleaned out the firepit since we burned stuff the other day. I was going to mow the lawn but I think I’ll do tomorrow since I need to get some gas for the mower and I just wasn’t feeling it today after doing all that basement moving work. I do water all the plants every night though unless it’s raining. Like to keep them all healthy and lush.