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.

The Day After the Party

I had a great time at the dinner last night. I did not expect to be there for as long as I did. It’s cool to be part of a team where all the team members do generally care about you and eachother. If you know where to look on social media sites like FB and Twitter you might even see a group picture of all of us that was taken! I’ll leave that up as an exercise for you readers to discover. Was I afraid of catching Covid in such a setting, haven’t been going to such a thing in over two years? Well, truth be told I did a little bit, but I weighed the risks and who would be attending and the venue and I decided to go, figuring the risk would be pretty small, but not zero. Knowing me the way that I do, and who was going to be there leads me to think I’ll be alright.

Carson’s water fountain crapped the bed the other night, so we had to run out and get a new one for the boy. He really does seem to like the ones where the water trickles out of a spout. We ended up going with the Catit and he seems to like it. It’s cute, looks like a cat, and has some pretty neat features. I’m linking to it here in case I ever have to remember where to get the filters it requires and any updates. The IoT version looked cool but I considered that overkill and too much money. We went with the basic one.

Speaking of updates, I’ve noticed the key fob to my car’s alarm is acting a little weird. I think the battery is starting to die out. Luckily replacing it is just a matter of popping it open and putting in a new one. I’ve already gone ahead and ordered a battery and that should be arriving in a couple of days. It’s basically like a watch battery, only slightly larger – pretty common size by the looks of it. Probably could have just got one at CVS or Home Depot but I was lazy and ordered it on Amazon.

Love These Comfortable Friday Afternoons

Getting comfy for a weekend rest
Dixie says hello!

Happy Friday everyone! Even though the calendar says Friday the 13th, no bad stuff befalling any one of us today. In fact, we got a chance to spend part of the morning over at the sanctuary and got to see two new goat babies that they recently obtained. Named Dixie and Dickens they are both bonded brothers and look quite cute and curious. Their keepers are slowly acclimating them to the other animals and everything seems to be going well. A high point of this little trip was LD actually got to feed grapes from her hand to a turkey and to the giant tortoise named George. She said it was like touching a prehistoric dinosaur, the way their scales are and such! Anyways after such excitement, we really need to wind down a little bit. I had a pretty busy afternoon, and apparently so did Carson as evidenced by today’s picture post. That boy is just the cutest, isn’t he? You know the answer is yes.

If it’s the right chair, it doesn’t take too long to get comfortable in it.

Robert De Niro

I finally got around to updating the iPad to version 15. Took me long enough to get to that, huh? Also, I think I’m going to order a large pizza for myself tonight and just pig out.

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.

This Doesn’t Happen Everyday

This morning, I awoke to find out that I had been featured on the local CBS affiliate news station! Hurrah! On a side note, I used to watch Channel 7 news but became bored with it. Have you ever noticed that they have to use alliteration in every news report they do? You’ll notice it the next time you watch it — it’ll be introducing news articles with names like Dog Dangers, Pesky Problem, or Crumbling Concerns.

What a day thus far!

Early this morning was Carson’s vet appointment. I failed miserably in trying to get him into the carrier. I tried grabbing him but he wiggled out of my grasp and looked like he would bite me. He had been suspicious of me to begin with – they always seem to know when something’s up. All the coaxing in the world doesn’t seem to help because once they are on to you it’s game over. LD was the true hero though, she eventually got him up into her arms and even though he contorted his body crazily and even scratched her hand a bit, she held on to him, like a cowboy riding a bucking bronco and got him into the pet cage. Once he was there he checked out okay and was just probably glad to be out of there. Once he got home I was pleasantly surprised to see that he was actually pretty chill and didn’t go run and hide, which is something he would do in the past. This little traumatized kitty has come a long way, no doubt due to the affection and strength through love that we have both given him. After that LD has another appointment and I had to head down to the tactical store.

The tactical store was a little scary. With all the guns, and magazine clips and handcuffs and body armor. I found it a little bit daunting, guess that’s where all the law enforcement and SWAT guys go. There was one person in there, I guess an officer, looking at a gun that looked like an assault rifle – serious stuff! While I was waiting to be served, I was listening to what was going on with him. Before they even allowed him handle and aim the gun around, he had to present his badge and justify all of this, which I assume makes sense. It wouldn’t be wise to entrust these matters to just anyone coming in off the street. I had no idea this establishment existed in town! Anyway, I never understood how much effort they put into all of this – there are literally thousands of different uniform styles, and it’s a big deal.

On the way back I decided to hit for some lunch by going to the Burger King Drive thru. Thankfully all the hoopla from this morning about Ernie Boch Jr. giving out free gas at the station literally right next to place had all been finished by then. Seemed to be a little antithetical to me that people would wait in these long lines burning gas just to get gas. I heard some folks were waiting there since last night. Seems a bit drastic to me, it’s obviously no doubt some kind of self promotion but hey, I guess it made some folks happy.

Kindness Submitted

Carson warmth on a cold Saturday in February

Ended up being a rather productive Saturday as we did a little reorganizing of the home office here and cleaned up a bit. To relax we ended up watching the story of The Tinder Swindler on Netflix. In between all that I happened to notice Carson just hanging around on his cat tree and was lucky enough to grab this picture. Such a handsome, sweet and cute boy. He really saved us during this pandemic.

Making Kindness the Norm. LD found out about this thing where you color this image and then submit it and you get a sticker and maybe some other things if you’re lucky. Seemed like a good thing to do on a crappy weather day. My particular entry is on the left here using colored pencils. You still have time to get your own in if you’re interested and let’s face it, kindness should be the norm in this world of ours. Last night we also binged watched just about every episode of “Unbelievable” on Netflix. It’s really good, definitely recommend.

Think I’m going to attempt to make an Irish Beef Stew tonight. Perhaps I’ll update this entry as to how it all turns out.

2021 Year End Review

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!

Photo Descriptions:

  1. Started off the year with the annual tradition of going to the beach on New Years Day. This was taken in Marshfield.
  2. Same as 1 above.
  3. Took a trip into Boston for something and had some eats from Luke’s Lobsters. On the way I snapped this pic.
  4. “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.
  5. A pic along York, Maine
  6. 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.
  7. A shot of the Powderhouse in winter
  8. Another edited version of number 6.
  9. A shot of the Powderhouse area rotary and it’s cool sign back in winter.
  10. 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.
  11. Another Nauset shot from this time period (possibly March)
  12. 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!
  13. 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.
  14. Shiloh the shy bunny. One of the children of Gracie, the bunny depicted in shot 12.
  15. 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.
  16. Me in the car?
  17. Rango, LD’s soul goat, sadly passed away.
  18. An evening stroll one night at Jamaica Pond got us this shot.
  19. 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.
  20. Boardwalk walks up on Plum Island.
  21. Another Salisbury Beach scene.
  22. 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.
  23. My love of Pemaquid payed off when the moderator of a lighthouse group made this the cover photo for the month.
  24. Another hike on the Cape allowed us to capture this little walkway over a marsh.
  25. Skaket Beach
  26. Skaket Beach
  27. Visiting LD’s old boss and her husband in RI got us this picture shortly after.
  28. See 15 above for the story.
  29. Two juvenile hawks that we born around the house and kept screaming for weeks.
  30. The house next door to Earth-1 being torn down for more condo development, Sad.
  31. Hanging with baby goats and snuggles in RI.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. Cape summer trip. What I feel one of my better shots from the summer trip. Gray’s Boardwalk.
  35. Birthday trip!
  36. Plum Island again
  37. Lots of trips to Marshfield and got many a lobster roll at a place across the street from where this shot was taken.
  38. Lavellete NJ trip. It became my second favorite place in NJ behind Cape May!
  39. Me and my well endowed pencil. No pencil envy here!
  40. Another beach shot.
  41. Duxbury Beach boardwalk, another favorite beach location for walks and hangs this year.
  42. Staying at an Airbnb in Arundel, Maine.
  43. Under the lights at the Boathouse in Kennebunkport, ME.
  44. On a boat in KBP.
  45. 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.

Happy Gotcha Day (Plus Booster!)

Carson and his friend Peng

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.

Blue Mouthwash

Moonstone beach again.

Had a dentist appointment yesterday morning early so the night before I kept waking up so as not to miss waking up on time, if you know what I mean. Everything checks out fine but he did prescribe me this mouthwash to use for my gums. While I was waiting at the pharmacy to pick it up their computers went down and I had to wait even longer for that to get back up before I could get my prescription. All in all I’d say that whole process took about an hour, something that usually only takes 10 minutes.

Later in the afternoon I took my mom’s cat Hardy to the vet to get his nails trimmed. He was pretty good this time, got into the cage easily and was quiet the whole time, whereas he usually cries a bunch.

I started back around 3 o’clock and I can tell you that traffic is back to it’s awful pre-pandemic self.

We finally got around to setting up some more streaming services on the new tv. Prime video and HBO/Max are ready to go. It is nice to have so many options. This should increase our movie and series watches for entertainment.

I grilled up some burgers before nightfall. It was getting a little windy and it looked like it might rain, but it never did. Annoyingly the wind would ever so often blow out the burners so I had to relight it a few times. I hate when that happens. I did notice while I was waiting that one of those day lilies from the garden lady bloomed and nearby were Shiloh the baby bunny and what I think may be it’s mother Gracie. Nice to see them around.

Currently Reading: Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family

Some Shots from Nauset

Nauset at Sunrise

Here’s a couple of pics from our little getaway at the cottage. I’ll post more as the days go on. The lighthouse shot was from when we both got up at 4:30 am to catch the sunrise over the cliff across the street. I haven’t processed those pix yet but while we were there we saw the cutest bunnies and actually a toad in the yard (I haven’t seen a toad in the wild in many years, and especially not in a yard!) It was a relaxing little trip and the cottage was just so cute, will definitely stay there again. LD twisted her ankle on the beach (a little tweak) so we had to turn the activities down a little bit but since this trip was all about relaxing it wasn’t a big deal. One place we discovered for meals is a place called Mac’s. Very impressed, probably will be our main go to moving forward and of course as always, we visited the Chocolate Sparrow every day. Before leaving we hiked around the Great Salt Pond which travels through salt marsh and into cedar forests. Later in the day we spotted a young coyote in the marsh grasses over at First Encounter Beach. Basically we didn’t want to leave but we were starting to miss Carson a bit (I know I was) and I think he missed us too. So it’s nice to be back but it was nice to get away too. We will return!

A Little History

Carson
Oh, Hello Carson!

I see that according to my records, this website is going to be 20 years old in November. Now mind you, that’s just this website with this URL. I started blogging a few years earlier, first on Geocities in 1998 (!), and then through my ISP at the time. I can remember I would have to code the HTML and then upload it through FTP, and then check it. If there was a mistake or an update I’d have to re-edit the HTML, re upload the file through FTP and check it again. It made archiving a real pain. Nowadays it’s all automated and I can just focus on the content. I wish I could find the Geocities HTML. It was so terrible but I was teaching myself how to make web pages. I think it does exist on an old Zip Disk somewhere (remember those?) but even if I could find it, I’ve no way to read it. The old ISP one can be found on the Internet Archive WayBack Machine in bits and pieces.

Over the rainy long weekend we went over to LD’s old landlady for a little inside BBQ, we picked up the air fryer (haven’t tried it out yet though), we got through just about everything we had ever DVR’d including finally finishing every season of 21 Jump Street, went to the Sanctuary to drop off some carrots and apples for the animals, and did a shitload of meal prep. I also finally got around to setting up the SmartTV but when I turned it on the screen was all cracked. Going to have to figure out a way to return that since it’s been a while, plus after seeing this one I think I want to get a better and slightly bigger one.

Everything in the garden appears to be doing well, and today I noticed the lupines are starting to blossom. I see LD also obtained some more blub plants from the gardening club lady today while I was over at Earth-1. We’ll put those in tomorrow. I also ordered some Simple Green grill cleaner because I want to do a deep clean soon on the outdoor grill and a 512GB microSD card for my phone to store all the wonderful cell photos I plan on taking with this new device.

A few weeks back in Marshfield by the beach I happened upon a Little Library which had a book written by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt. That’s now next on my reading list.

Everyday Has The Potential to be a Great One

Sunrise off the Maine coast

Yesterday’s biggest adventure was bringing one of my mom’s cats to the vet for his yearly shots. He checked out A-OK with was great, but he did puke a bit in the cage when he got done. Poor thing was so stressed out, but like I said, he bounced back in an instant and everything checked out fine. I finally went ahead and strung up some warm lights outside on the back deck now that the outlets out there are working again. I might still rearrange it a bit differently or even move them to the table with the umbrella on the back patio – I’m not sure yet. Been playing around with this new phone a bit. It has so many features I’ve been watching YouTube vids on how to use some of them! Needless to say I’m very happy with it. I’m really digging the wireless charging. I did have to purchase some new USB-C cables and a couple of adaptors so I could still use my older portable chargers when I’m on the road but no biggie.

I went ahead and installed the AC in the bedroom. Little early this year, but at least now it’s done and ready to be used should the need arise. I still need to set up the Smart TV. Now that I have this new phone I should be able to cast to it effortlessly, which will be nice and to have more options. As for the gardening, the azaleas and columbines are blooming. Supposedly doing some kind of plant swamp with an old woman tomorrow sometime, a trade of some of our hostas for her many day lilies that she wants to get rid of. We’;; be starting off with 20 of them or so. The plan is to maybe plant them along the left side fence where there’s a bunch of bareness, hopefully they can fill out that area. We’ll see. Unfortunely it looks like the bunnies have been getting at and eating the phlox in the rock garden bed area but that’s nature!

“And How Does that Make you Feel?” – Hardy

Hardy, the cat therapist

They finished installing the fence over at Earth-1 and believe it or not, it’s actually quite beautiful. I thought they would try to cheapen out and put up something ass but they chose this black metal-aluminum fence that looks really good and looks like it’ll last a lifetime, the entire length from the street to the back of the garden area.

The story behind the photo: While I was over there, I noticed my mom’s cat Hardy sitting like this on the couch. Made me think he was being a listening therapist in this pose. He’s polydactyl, meaning he has extra toes, as can be seen in the photo by what I call his thumbs showing. They actually use these thumbs to constantly open cupboards and such. It’s pretty annoying actually.

I re-tilled the raised beds out back and removed a bunch of more of the oak leaves detritus, cleaning it up. I want to get most of that stuff done and out in anticipation of the town collecting the yard waste starting next week.

We watched a show last night on PBS entitled Coded Bias, basically about how AI has been programmed, with biases, unintentional though they may be, and how it can affect folks, now and down the line. Pretty interesting stuff.

On my cell, I’ve noticed lately I’ve been getting a lot of “Scam Likely” calls. Of course I never answer, either ignore or add to block callers but they keep coming. Very annoying, probably get about 2 or three a day.

Life is Like Climbing the Stairs

Climbing the stairs to Nauset Light.

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

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

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

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

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

Brotherly Love Bonds

Cat brothers.

My mom’s two cats are brothers born seconds apart. They will be 4 years old in January. When I saw them sitting together like this I knew I had to try to take a picture. For the record they’re names are Laurel and Hardy. Hardy (on the right) has a little bit darker markings whereas Laurel is a bit lighter but Laurel is also somewhat bigger (the big brother!) and loves to eat. They both are polydactyls which means they have more than the usual number of toes on one or more of their paws. Basically they have thumbs and their paws look like mittens to me. Just the front paws though have this anomaly. Although these two cats are somewhat of the larger variety than a usual cat (I believe they may be descendants of an F1 or F2 type cat hybrid) they are really loveable and sweet, as evidenced by this picture. They fell asleep together like this but were kind enough to remain in this pose as I got on the floor and took some quick cell phone snaps.

Losing Myself Into the Arms of Autumn

A bench scene in autumn with a fall covered tree canopy above it.
Autumn has come.

“Summer rushes in on the heels of spring, eager to take her turn; and then she dances with wild abandon. But the time soon comes when she gratefully falls, exhausted and sated, into the auburn arms of autumn.”

Cristen Rodgers

The story behind the photo: This was taken in Braintree Ma. at a place called Sunset Lake. I came across this bench and I liked how this big tree just sort of seemed to have its limbs growing out above it. The original I have of this photo is actually much wider and shows more of the tree spreading out but in order to maximize social media viewership I trimmed it down and gave it a portrait orientation, making sure to try to capture the bench and as much of the tree canopy as I could. Maybe I’ll play around with that one a little bit more and see if I can use it somewhere.

Today rather started on a melancholy note. We learned that LD’s previous landlady’s cute and wonderful little dog “Pookie” somehow got run over in their driveway by a current tenant in a big truck and had to be put down. I feared that something like that could happen someday as I myself was afraid of running it over with my SUV when I visited there a month or so back. This particular dog was so hyper and so small it would be easy for it to get crushed by anyone coming up the driveway. He was such a sweet dog, this really is just devastating news and we are both really saddened by it. Here today, gone tomorrow, right? A good reminder to me that tomorrow is not guaranteed. 2020 just keeps on rolling. Can it get any worse? (Don’t answer that.) I do know one thing. Carson is NEVER going outside!

In other news, I tried my first sampling of a dragon fruit yesterday. My thoughts on it – kind of meh. I washed masks and did laundry. I cleaned out the firepit and obtained some more fallen limbs from the yard for future burning. I used the Instant Pot to prepare a spaghetti squash for later consumption. I finished reading the latest book that I had acquired from a little library. At least the sun come out this afternoon and it was nice and warming and I enjoyed sitting out in it for a little while. I cooked up some gouda cheeseburgers and then I sat on a heating pad to try to alleviate the pain in my lower back. Joy of joys.

Laurel & Hardy

https://www.instagram.com/p/CECowWhA7L_/

Visited my mom’s today and these are her two cats. They are brothers and seem to be bonded seeing as they’ve been together since their birth. And if one is at the vet the other one wonders where he is and is glad to see him when he returns. They do everything together and have their whole lives.

Hike and a Return Visitor

Gazebo, Plum Island MA

Today – woke up late changing plans for the day somewhat. Took a drive over to Winslow to drop off some food for the animals, had intention to pick up a “grill box” that a restaurant is doing a few towns over from there. They put it all together and you place and cook it on your own backyard grill. Unfortunately we discovered too late in time to order so it’ll have to wait for another time to try it out. Instead went for a 1.5 mile hike through one of the town’s trails.

Looks like that bunny is coming around again! Carson just watches!

Tonight’s movie watch was Can’t Buy Me Love from 1987 starring Patrick Dempsey. I was saddened to learn that the lead actress in the film had died about 5 years ago from a drug overdose. I really liked her character in the film – I know the role is not the person, but still, it saddened me.

Hope Springs

Spring pops in the Boston Public Garden

“The deep roots never doubt that spring will come.”

One thing during the down times I like to do is puzzles, but I’ve exhausted my puzzle book supply. There’s some on order but they haven’t arrived yet, but LD was kind enough to create her own crossword for me to solve! She’s the best! Ordered a bunch of mulch coming on Wednesday so hopefully the weather will be good so I can go put that stuff down. I handed in my HR paperwork today sealing the deal on the previous chapter of my career and emailed my goodbye letter to the colleagues I enjoyed working with over the years. Bitter sweet but looking forward to new opportunities. It’ll take a while, plus all the summer concerts I was going to see this year have pretty much been cancelled so this is really going to a long haul, but it’s what has to be done. I do feel people are starting to go nuts being inside a lot so I don’t see how that’s going to happen with the warmer summer months approaching.

The story behind the photo: This one is actually a coupe of years old but makes sense in this time because it looks so empty yet springlike. I had been invited down to see some therapy dogs in town and before arriving there I strolled through the Public Garden and this shot just looked like it could be good, I especially liked the overhanging tree.

Meanwhile, Carson looking all sexy – this cat is a trip.

More later….

Sun 1/26/20

Property along Gloucester Harbor.

Finally took down the Xmas tree today and stored it away for next season. Spent some time at the Sanctuary as well as hitting a couple of grocery stores in the afternoon. Did a bunch of cooking this afternoon as well. Sad news about Kobe. Tried to do a impromptu photo shoot with Carson. We did get this one which I thought was pretty good:

Carson. 01/26/20

Appointment Day

Paine’s Creek last summer.

Lots of appointments filling out today. I had a dental appt early in the morning with a followup in two weeks and then LD had some stuff. Carson had a vet visit as well. That was a bit of trauma getting him in the carrier at first – but he did good while he was there. He was so scared he actually let out a little poop while en route – which actually was advantageous as it was used as his stool sample. Good job Carson! We also did get to check out a cute cafe in Lincoln as well since we were in the area (the Twisted Tree Cafe). In case you were wondering I had a pretty good turkey sandwich.

This seems to be the year of seeing concerts – got a whole bunch of musical acts to see this year. Might see Bon Jovi again (not sure why his prices are so high, he ain’t THAT good – just my opinion), and entered a contest for front row Billy Joel seats at Fenway along with a meet and greet after the show through SiriusXM – hey you never know. Can”t win if you don’t try although I know my odds on that one are pretty slim. This all goes along with acts I plan to see this like Def Leppard, Poison, Mötley Crüe and Joan Jett (granted all those are on the same bill) as well as Johnny Mathis, possibly Damone again and maybe Lita Ford or some such, who knows. Maybe even the Harp Twins. Might be getting tougher and tougher to see local acts these days as the old Middle East is up for sale though admittedly I haven’t done that in quite some time – age and all.

Wish I had CBS All Access – I want to see the new Picard show – heard good things, but I’m too cheap to buy the streaming service for one show. Anyone wanna invite me to a watch party? Heheh!Another show I’m looking forward to Forensic Files II! Wonder if it’ll be as good as the originals – I noticed it even has the same opening theme music!

Got a free shipment of Hello Fresh to try this weekend (friend that uses them got an offer to send a free shipment to us try them out) – we’ll see how it goes (haven’t done any of these things since the Blue Apron days, which we did for a while but quit a couple of years ago). I’m doing the cooking tonight! What else? Still keeping my amaryllis and European Tree going strong, so that’s good. Filled up the bird feeder outside as it was empty – I haven’t really done any birding in a while. Might have to get out there and try some again.