Here’s a pretty good Mahjongg type game I’ve been playing lately. I especially like the various board layouts you can try out. My current fav is the Snake layout but it’s all good. Shanghai
Things are starting to get back to normal around here which is really good and provides me with a sigh of relief. LD is finally back and doing well. I did take a tumble down the stairs this morning but thankfully it was my left buttcheek that took the brunt. Thankfully not on my tailbone because that would have been really problematic. I’m alright, maybe just a teeny bit sore in the affected area. The stupid railing finally gave, I had a feeling it would sooner or later and I guess today was the day. Going to have to get new brackets and reinstall since that’s the part that snapped, they’ve been there since forever. None the worse for wear though so no worries. I’m a pretty tough cookie.
On a positive note, the hydroponic garden we’ve started is performing nicely. Real soon I’ll be able to remove the little domes on the sprouts and they can grow freely. I also checked on the pine tree out back that showed signs of distress this summer but I’m pleased to see that it has mostly recovered on it’s own. It even has two pinecones on it now.
I disabled comments on posts that are greater than two weeks old moving forward. Seems spammers just would add stupid comments. It’s really a waste of their time since every comment has to be registered and approved which theirs never would be but I got sick of seeing the notifications about it, so that ought to curb that.
Things I do to pass the time lately these days, playing around with various filters to entertain myself. I thought this one was kinda cool. Let me put a spell on you with my magic hands. Actually I don’t need a filter for that, but speaking of doing things with hands…
I went down to an antique dealer this afternoon and picked up a couple of drawer craft cabinets to store craft supplies for LD that she had ordered. These will go with another hand crafter cabinet that a carpenter must have built for someone a couple of weeks ago using solid wood, not any of that particle board crap. That one is so cute looking, plus you can’t beat the price and I think there is just something about some hand crafted woodworking. Carpentry was one of the things that I was interested in as a child but I never pursued it. I think having to sand down a project we had to do in shop class for what seemed like 5 billion times in high school burnt me out on it. However, my sister is actually really good at carpentry believe it or not. She can build or repair just about anything. Also, I saw you rolling your eyes regarding my hands comment.
Not looking forward to being outside at all tomorrow, but those are the breaks!
Woke up to the first snow storm of the year. We got about 13″ in this area but at least it was mostly fluffy. I’ve been going back in forth to the hospital that last couple of days and probably for next few days to visit LD (thankfully it’s not Covid related, but still the sooner she can leave the better – caring thoughts appreciated, things are looking good but I still worry!)
The plow guy came after I was pretty much done so I didn’t need his services this time (my own masculinity remains intact if my back is a little sore – lol). I’ll be on the heating pad tonight! I’m only half kidding – it really isn’t that bad. Just want to get LD home as healthy and as soon as possible.
You may notice that I’ve moved this site over to a https URL instead of the less secure http that I’ve been using. So you may need to update your bookmarks but probably not. I’m not collecting any information from visitors, not doing e-commerce or anything like that, it’s just a prudent thing to do.
I just heard my New Years Eve skating photo from a few days ago was featured on NECN. Pretty cool. For some reason they don’t seem to be notifying anymore, just showing on tv. I wouldn’t have known about it but a woman I used to work with back in my AutoCAD drafting days saw it and commented the news to me.
I just picked up and finished reading Fauci: Expect the Unexpected. Easy read. That’s my first book on 2022. Hopefully I’ll be able to do more reading this year. I was horrified to learn that according to my Goodreads I had only read 5 books in 2021. Is that right? My average is around 25-30 books a year.
Spent a part of yesterday getting things set up. For one, I finally got the AeroGarden up and running. Pretty cool how it uses hydroponics on a desktop type scale. What we didn’t realize is that the super bright light it uses to imitate sunlight will be on for 15 hours a day. I woke up early today to try to sync the lighting time with our daily schedule. We also set up LD’s professional website, the URL is up and we’re still working on the design and content style but all the admin stuff is installed and ready to go.
Spent a little bit of yesterday checking out the New Year Festivities down in the local town. I think this shot captured the night pretty well. LD helped me direct this shot btw! Ended the night with Starbucks’ hot chocolate, looking at some lights on people’s houses, watching television, eating shrimp cocktail, and just laying low. Strangely yesterday didn’t really feel like any particular special day to me, just seemed like a regular day in the end. Fell asleep on the couch but did wake up in time to see the ball drop in NYC, then right to bed. Been that kind of a year I guess, I think 2022 is going to be the year that we’re going to be back to normal going into the spring. High hopes!
A picture’s worth a thousand words they say, so here are some of the highlights from the past year. 2021 wasn’t totally terrible, and there were some really high points, but 2022 looks to be really special and hopefully will also be better in so many ways. We can hope!
- Started off the year with the annual tradition of going to the beach on New Years Day. This was taken in Marshfield.
- Same as 1 above.
- Took a trip into Boston for something and had some eats from Luke’s Lobsters. On the way I snapped this pic.
- “Auggie”, a different looking wild rabbit that appeared only that one time during Inauguration time. Wonder what it’ story was. Didn’t seem like the regular kind of wild rabbits we have here.
- A pic along York, Maine
- Another pic of the Nubble from a different angle. I liked getting the perspective of the bench in this one, thought it made it stand out a bit differently.
- A shot of the Powderhouse in winter
- Another edited version of number 6.
- A shot of the Powderhouse area rotary and it’s cool sign back in winter.
- Nauset Light down at the Cape. This is the first time that I saw that a cottage next door was available for rent which we would later take advantage of, unbeknownst to me at the time.
- Another Nauset shot from this time period (possibly March)
- Another bunny decided to have it’s children in the pot on the deck, second year in a row – hope we can go for three!
- Someone was inspired to paint Nauset based on my photo in number 11. First time that I know of that my art inspired someone else to take it and create something else out of it.
- Shiloh the shy bunny. One of the children of Gracie, the bunny depicted in shot 12.
- Staying and the Viewpoint Inn in Maine which had these incredible views of the Nubble from it’s back yard area. Want to stay here again.
- Me in the car?
- Rango, LD’s soul goat, sadly passed away.
- An evening stroll one night at Jamaica Pond got us this shot.
- That’s me up in Salisbury under the docks after getting my second Covid shot. At that time, we thought that might be all there was to it.
- Boardwalk walks up on Plum Island.
- Another Salisbury Beach scene.
- Staying next door to the Nauset Light in a a cottage was quite a thrill and allowed me to get this wonderful photo as the sun started rising.
- My love of Pemaquid payed off when the moderator of a lighthouse group made this the cover photo for the month.
- Another hike on the Cape allowed us to capture this little walkway over a marsh.
- Skaket Beach
- Skaket Beach
- Visiting LD’s old boss and her husband in RI got us this picture shortly after.
- See 15 above for the story.
- Two juvenile hawks that we born around the house and kept screaming for weeks.
- The house next door to Earth-1 being torn down for more condo development, Sad.
- Hanging with baby goats and snuggles in RI.
- Staying at a farmhouse with an attached Alpaca farm was quite a different treat. I learned a lot about alpaca husbandry on this trip and the place was actually pretty cool.
- Looking at various lotus flowers at a place were we obtained special strains of hostas for planting. Looking forward to see how they produce this coming year.
- Cape summer trip. What I feel one of my better shots from the summer trip. Gray’s Boardwalk.
- Birthday trip!
- Plum Island again
- Lots of trips to Marshfield and got many a lobster roll at a place across the street from where this shot was taken.
- Lavellete NJ trip. It became my second favorite place in NJ behind Cape May!
- Me and my well endowed pencil. No pencil envy here!
- Another beach shot.
- Duxbury Beach boardwalk, another favorite beach location for walks and hangs this year.
- Staying at an Airbnb in Arundel, Maine.
- Under the lights at the Boathouse in Kennebunkport, ME.
- On a boat in KBP.
- Carson and Peng for the holidays.
More in-depth notes on above:
There were so many beach walks and hangs this year I can’t remember them all. Most of them were either to Duxbury or Marshfield, usually on a weekend day. Just to hang and walk mostly. A couple of times we used our chairs to sit out in the summer or even actually went into the water but many of the trips were just to walk.
The main lighthouses that we hug around this year were at Nubble Light in Maine (always a classic – staying right across from it away from the tourists was also a treat) and Nauset Light in Eastham down on the Cape. It was really cool this year to stay in a cottage right next door to the light and the beach was literally across the street. It also helped that it’s on a private dirt road so there weren’t many people around in that particular area. 10-10 would do again. Plus the place was so cute!
Getting our shots was big this year, for me it was a couple of trips up to Amesbury because that’s where I could get an appointment at that time, so we made the best of it by exploring the neighboring sights afterwards like Salisbury Reservation and Plum Island.
It was cool that baby wildlife decided to grace us with their presence, baby bunnies born in a pot for the second year in a row and didn’t mind Carson watching them. I think he was more their protector than an adversary if you can believe that. Baby hawks too, very majestic, but hopefully never found Shiloh and company. Shiloh, the last baby bunny that was scared to leave after all his siblings did. LD was kind enough to put out some water and a lettuce plant for him. The next day, two nibbles off the plant, two little poops, and he was gone to live his adventures. I do admit to having empty nest syndrome every time they leave us.
Staying on an Alpaca farm was pretty cool, in rural Connecticut with family. Learned a lot, also a bit of fly swatting which can be annoying. And got to hang with baby goats which is always a pleasure.
Celebrated my birthday on the Cape. Special times there and stayed in a pretty cool Airbnb called the Osprey Nest because it feels like its up in the trees. Although the place was a little small, it literally had everything you could possibly need. Plus they had this cool booth that I would use in the kitchen area. 10-10 would stay again. I feel I get some of the best pictures I ever take down on the Cape for whatever reason. It’s a beautiful area but there’s something more that I can’t place why.
Our one outing to New Jersey this year was at another BnB (BnB’s were big this year for us – expanding choices) in Lavalette, a cute little beach town. It was a bit downcast and windy while we were there but it was still pretty cool. I enjoyed the area so much that it’s my #2 of my fav places in that state. It just seemed to have it all to me, easy access to whatever you need, a beautiful beach and boardwalk, not really busy at all (and if you want that you could drive to the next down over – Seaside Heights). That particular trip didn’t exactly work out as planned but I enjoyed it.
The last BnB and most recent was in Arundel, Maine. Stayed there because the town of Kennebunkport was doing it’s annual Christmas Prelude. HGTV featured the annual Kennebunkport celebration as the “#2 Christmas Town in America.” Plus we got to meet up with one of LD’s former colleagues and met the dogs Pippa and Boomer, and Boomer left quite an impression! Sailing up and down the Kennebunk River in a lobster boat while sipping coffee brandy on a sunny day was also rather enjoyable.
But as much as we enjoyed the few times away (choose to keep it rather low key due to the virus circulating, and were neurotic about being careful) staying at home was just as much so, whether with firepit outing with friends or just ourselves. Carson was also a really big help in that department as our mutual love him and for eachother kept us all sane.
I know I’m probably forgetting a bunch of stuff but these are the moments that I think were some of the high points, at least for me personally. I’d like to give all my love and thanks to LD for making it all happen and making me feel like the luckiest man alive every year.
After running a bunch of errands early in the afternoon we had decided to lay low for the rest of the day. But then we got a call from a couple we know asking us if we’d be up for a firepit hang. So after some debate we said ok and we had a nice fire outside and we got to use the new heater for a second time and have learned that it actually throws really good heat and no one was cold. We also got to use up some of the alcohol that we’d purchased on xmas eve so that helped as well. With the last two outings now I’ve gone through all the wood so I’ll have to get more in the next day or two. It was nice to have some social time.
In the evening it was more season 3 of the O.C. binging. Approaching the end. However I’ve learned that there is now a podcast being run by two of the stars that discuss various classic episodes and have some of the actors and writers/producers on discussing various episodes and what not so I may tune in to that at the end just for fun (search for It’s the OC Bitches on YouTube or any podcast thing you use). I never saw this show back in the day, and the high point for me was the first half of season 1, but it’s still a good show that holds up even today.
Spent the afternoon walking along the beach and trails in Marshfield. Felt we had to get out of the house, get some fresh air, and maybe a little bit of exercise. After doing a little internet research I’ve discovered that all these various benches along the trail are actually dedicated after dogs. I don’t know who Sammy was but I can see that they were much loved by their owners.
Had a nice quiet holiday yesterday. We opened our gifts (and even got a surprise! – Thanks L+D!) and baked cookies and watched some shows and ate meals. Carson made out quite well and I think all his excitement got to him as he ended up sleeping for most of the day after playing with his cat toys. It may not have been the usual holiday that we do (we didn’t see the littles this time around) but you have to make do with the best you can. And of course we missed those we could not share the holiday with.
So it looks like we have a little bit of snow on the ground today – looks good with just a little bit of white on the ground. LD had an acquaintance former trainee over this afternoon outside which gave us a chance to use the firepit again and to finally break in the outdoor heater. Ended up spending about 3 hours out there but even though it was a bit cold out we were actually quite toasty. Plus it was nice to have some company.
After that was all done we went out and got some takeout that had been pre-ordered a few days ago. Just feeling the Italian for a change instead of the usual ham blah blah blah. What a nice day! Merry merry to all!
I awoke to a strange sight outside the house as I was getting ready to get in my car to go to work. There was a rather large package waiting in the driveway which for a second thought might be ours but upon further inspection was not, It appears to be some kind of water filtration device after googling the company name listed on the box and appears to be quite expensive. Anyway the address is nowhere close to ours (the number and street are nothing alike) and upon further investigation I believe it may possibly belong to someone either in another part of town or a different town altogether. Looking up the tracking number I’ve noticed someone put in a ticket to investigate. LD contacted UPS later to tell them about it (UPS is the WORST btw). I’ll just leave it where it is for now and see what happens.
I went vegetarian tonight and cooked up a white bean and swiss chard stew along with some parmesan garlic bread. Now swiss chard is not normally something as part of my repertoire but this actually came out pretty good!
Finally a fun night out in Boston! Down by the seaport! Meeting up with a friend and having a dinner by the water! (same friend we hung out with in Kennebunkport a little while ago. She lives in both places). In an igloo which was warm, ventilated, spacious, and fun! Would def. recommend and do again. It was cold outside though but nothing a New Englanders like us couldn’t handle (the eggnog cocktail warmed me up pretty good as well – as evidenced in pics #1 and 3 above – must have had something to do with the peanut butter whiskey). It did throw me for a little bit of a loop! Yeah, I was feeling pretty good by this point. The food was also quite tasty, I happened to go with the pumpkin ravioli and I really enjoyed it. The seaport is a really cool area now. Totally fun night!
Three years ago today was the day that we were to meet Carson, the cat that had been living in a shelter in Millis for two months. I don’t know what is was about him when we saw his picture on the website but his big round eyes, dashing grey coat with white paws, and heart-shaped nose cuteness just spoke to us like he could be the one. Around noontime was the appointment and we arrived a little early. When we were finally introduced he looked a little scared at first, but not too bad. He allowed us to brush and pet him and play with him and it was almost like an instant connection. Yes, he is a bit shy and skittish at first, because it’s all new to him, but I could tell he will adjust really fast. I could tell he would be a gentle and friendly cat. Plus, he apparently loves face-scratches which is something LD had become an expert at with Oreo, so right there is a connection that could work for us. He’s shy (but I found not overly so) and he didn’t hiss or scratch, he seemed like a real catch. I knew we could love this cat and that he also had the capability to return the favor.
It was pretty much a done deal after spending some time with the little guy. Carson was getting an all expenses paid trip to his new forever home. After all the paperwork was signed, he got placed in the carrier and I let him say goodbye to his other cat friends at the shelter, who in their own way, probably felt bittersweet. Sad that he was leaving them, but happy that he could find a loving home to be in. I’m sure the volunteers who help out at the shelter felt the same way. Also, I have to say this shelter was amazing so I’m giving a plug to Purr-fect Cat Shelter. They are really a wonderful folks doing good work there so if you’re looking for cat, check them out.
So with that, I’m happy to say that Carson is now a member of the family, this grey and white handsome bundle of joy. Interestingly I had found a Xmas tree ornament while shopping at Target with his exact name on it. What are the odds of that? I don’t think that’s an everyday name but it does seem to suit him, so we’ll be keeping that. Naturally we ended up buying it, so I guess it was fate that he would be coming home with us. He’s since got a bunch of new ornaments with his picture proudly displayed on our tree.
He’s become quite comfortable with us now and his personality really shines through now. He loves to squawk and get brushing, he loves to play with his toys, he likes to squawk to tell me to open up the front door so that he can look outside. He spends time with his momma and keeps her company, whether at home or at work. He really ended up being the perfect pet for us.
Hope you love your forever home as much as we love you Carson!
This afternoon I went and got my booster shot, over at a CVS in Canton. Glad that’s done. In and out, really quite easy. They just ask for you name and DOB and then you get the shot and they update the card. Will I have any side effects? I don’t think so because when I got my second all I had was a little fatigue but nothing bad at all. I sort of tried to time things in such a way that it wouldn’t interfere with my daily duties. Maybe a little arm soreness at the injection site, quite a common reaction.
I checked my work email and we got a message saying that we’d be having to take a mental health first aid training within the next year or so. Interesting. Sounds like a 2 day course as well.
Visited the sanctuary yesterday and even though they’re closed on Sundays the owner lets us walk around and stuff because we’ve been so supportive over the years, I imagine. I got to brush Sparkle pictured here which is a gentle goat that I don’t get to brush very often, but for whatever reason, this day she wanted some, so I obliged. She was wearing a red coat to keep her warm.
I had a weird dream last night which was an amalgam from school days to writing reports to me being in a chemistry lab in the 90s. I had to get this report done and I remember I stayed up all night, and also that I was mad at my cowriters for not contributing anything. For some reason I tried to finish it by writing it up in the hallways of the chemistry lab that I worked in in the 90s. Not sure why I was lying on a cart and trying to get the font right for the very long report title. Then I went to turn it in in a mixture of a classroom from my 5th grade and a conference room from the 90s over at Acorn park. Also strange was Hilary Clinton was there and was the professor, but all the desks were pushed back so that most of the room was open. I think the dream brought up feelings of pressures from having to get reports done but also career choices that, for good or bad, lead me to where I am at the moment. Part of me felt sad about it, but just a part. Figured I’d write this down before it fades from my memory.
How about that shocker on “And Just Like That?” Didn’t see that coming! Decided to watch it last night since it had just premiered. Good thing we did because the spoilers from it are all over the net now. It’s not generally my type of show, I’d rather watch Stabler’s show (which this season has thus far been amazing), but with so much hype you have to check it out. They definitely made a mark to start things off.
My hometown is doing their tours of the houses all decked out in lights for the holidays again, so I figured I’d share one of my favorites from last year. Not sure if we’ll take a spin around the neighborhood this time around, but there is an art installation that I do want to check out soon.
For some reason I feel the art style of this caricature of me would fit right in with the art style of the Mad Magazine issues of the 1970s of which I used to own a few. I distantly remember having one that came with a record that you could place on a player and depending on where you placed the needle would have 6 or 7 different endings to the song. It was some paper thin like vellum kind of a thing. I remember you had to be careful not to bend it because then it was pretty much ruined. I even remember the name, It’s a Super Spectacular Day. It’s amazing what our minds can remember. I can remember that but can’t remember my schedule from last week.
Well, what do you know? Thanks to the magic of the Internet it still exists!
- Hanging at the Boathouse in Dock Square
- Love from KPT
- Enjoying the sunset on Goose Rocks Beach
- Hanging with Boomer (a really big dog!) at Em and her dad’s place
- Playing piano at the Breakwater (any requests?)
- Together on a trip down the Kennebunk River
- Sipping coffee brandy on the lobster boat tooling up and down the river.
Enjoyed the hospitality of Em and her dad and hanging out while meeting Boomer and Pippa, dining at two great restaurants, our Airbnb stay in Arundel, the sandwiches and coffee at a Taste of Paris, checking out the sunset at Cape Porpoise, hopping on a real lobster boat and exploring the river, and getting some gifts for Christmas.
Keep checking back to see updates from this weekend’s Prelude adventure!
12.04.21 10:12 AM Update: Here’s a quick picture of the main room in the Airbnb location that we’re staying in in Arundel, Maine. The location is pretty much off the grid (but not too far). Strangely there’s no microwave or television but the WIFI is pretty good. Pretty nice sunrise views here too but since it’s a pretty farm-like rural area there’s lots of old tractors and machinery around which I feel obstructs the view otherwise. Also, the water here is well water so you can only drink it if it’s been filtered and it tends to smell like sulfur. Like I said, a little off the grid. The owners here apparently do a lot of social work with the Wabanaki so I sense a Native American motif throughout the unit, whether it be sculpture, art on the wall, or the rugs on the floor.
I finally got up enough motivation to dig the light-up reindeers and holiday trees from the basement and set them up in front of the house. One of the deers is being retired because he just doesn’t work anymore and this may be the last year for these other three. They’ve served well throughout the years but time and the elements have really taken it’s toll on them. Maybe next year we’ll get a new herd. We’ll probably need to rearrange their placement as I just got them out there and wanted to test to see how they perform.
I’ve also started watching reruns of the gameshow Match Game from the 1970s. What’s old is new again. I find it funny to watch because some of the things they do would be considered inappropriate by today’s standards, like the women contestants getting hugged and having to kiss a celebrity that helped them win. Still overall, I find it to be a rather enjoyable show. Guess it was quite the hit back in the day. As an aside I read that the MC is actually buried up in Gloucester MA of all places.
I changed the layout of the site a little bit, which you may have noticed. Will it stay? We’ll see.
This Elfland place that is making a buzz is not too far from my mom’s house. I drove by it last week in fact – it’s basically an empty lot where a gas station once was. (As a side note, we knew the owner of the station, he also owned a car repair place in Malden. He’s since passed but he always reminded me of a grumpy Santa). All that’s been removed and I assume another condo development will be going there, In the meantime some kid decided to place little buildings around the lot and little by little it’s growing by other folks adding to it. There’s even a movement to defend elfland but I’m pretty sure the developers are going to win this one as they would probably generate a lot more revenue. Maybe I’ll take a photo of it when I visit next week sometime.
Finally, I got my booster shot scheduled in about a week and a half. Might as well just get it over with and be protected. However, is this stuff ever going to end?
Yes friends, it’s that time of year again. The time when we dig out the tree and begin decorating things. Our tree went up fairly quickly this year and, I think, came out rather well. I also set up the lighted wreath on the door and set the timers for the various lighted things. We also went looking for a bookcase but ended up coming home with a large terra cotta cute-looking penguin, which LD has named Peng. Carson already had his picture taken with it and may end up on this year’s holiday card. I still need to set up the outdoor reindeers and such but I’m going to wait until later in the week when the temperatures are supposed to be better.
I picked up a new book from a little library we passed on the way back from where we found Peng called Automating Inequality. I’ve heard about this thing before where computer algorithms basically make decisions and tend to penalize certain populations. I’ll give it a go and see how it is.
I had a half a day today so was able to get a bunch of stuff done. We got all our turkey fixings for tomorrow at the turkey farm so that’s going to be real good in my stomach tomorrow. Traffic getting down there in the afternoon wasn’t the greatest, but coming back wasn’t bad at all. We actually arrived there at a good time as most people either got there’s already or hadn’t come yet. Right in a sweet spot.
Also it’s National Jukebox Day so here’s another pic of our juke to celebrate. Haven’t played it that much lately, I think the cat is a little bit scared of it, loudness factor and all. But we’ll turn him into a rock and roller yet.
Went back to the wooden walkway and reshot the area again last weekend as this particular day had different lighting than the previous weekend visit, as it was more cloudy whereas last time had a lot of sun. Lighting differently can make some significant differences in appearance for sure. I plan on entering this shot along with 2 older ones to Duxbury for possible inclusion into their town calendar.
I don’t know if anyone else ever plays any of these puzzle games that I enjoy but here’s a new one: Long Haul Space Flight. I need these things to keep my brain going. Now if only I could get better at remembering things.
Guess who swung by this afternoon? That dude that wanted to draw my picture (again, why?) He gave me the drawing and I brought it home. It sort of looks like a mix between a kid’s drawing and some expressionist art, sort of a mix between an Alvar Cawén work and some 5 year old. It does look like me a little bit though? I’d take a picture of it, but it really needs to be seen in person. On the plus side, the canvas is rather large.
Apparently NECN featured another one of my photos, LD saw it flash up on the tv, by strangely this time I didn’t get notified. They do seem to feature my stuff now and again, I guess they like what I’m doing.
I got a golden ticket in the mail to the local BK, scratch off the card and see what you’ve won kind of deal. The big prize was free BK for the year but this kind only entitles me to a free Croissan’wich, which I got in the mail back at the end of October but expires Friday so I got to use it or lose it soon. Wasn’t that one of the most interesting stories you’ve ever heard me relate to you all?
Might add more to this post later tonight…