Happy First Day of Spring

Springtime in Boston

Today was spent filing my taxes, which is always enjoyable to do. While I generally finish it by mid-February, this year was probably the latest I’ve ever started. However, I wanted to be sure I had all the necessary paperwork.

Spring Crocuses

I went down to the post office this morning to get some mailing materials. LD plans on shipping out a couple of things so I had to make sure all the required packaging is ready.

Yesterday we tried looking for some of those bunny planters but came up empty at the Trader Joe’s at Gillette Stadium. I plan on going to Somerville toward the end of the week, so if I have time I might try to hit the one down there at Assembly Square and see if they have them in yet. While I’m there I might also try to pick up some Union Square Donuts because the ads they’ve been showing me lately have got me wanting to try some of their more interesting creations.

I’ve started to place some of the plants outside that I’d been trying to keep alive inside during the winter. I think the weather will be warm enough now for them to be out there. I’ll probably head down to the Home Depot later today and pick up some leaf bags because there’s a bunch of leave detritus I want to get rid of and trim some of the foliage in the front of the house. Spring cleaning time.

Speaking of spring cleaning, we did clean out a couple of closets and some of the stuff in the basement, making progress on those tasks. In the evening we made a lot of meatballs.

Currently Reading: Born To Run, by Bruce Springsteen, and The Icepick Surgeon, a book about scientists who did things that weren’t all that ethical. And also The Joy of X: A Guided Tour of Math from One to Infinity. So I guess you could say I’m on quite a reading tear so far this year.

So Slopping Wet Right Now

Well, I went outside today and did my job in the punishing rain and snow. I could have chosen an alternate day, but I thought today would serve as a good illustration of the various weather conditions I may encounter in the future. As I continue to conduct this kind of work, it helped me see what I will need to change in how I manage my activities. Chalk it up as a worthwhile learning exercise. Naturally, after a long day of feeling like a drowned rat, I arrived home and jumped into a hot, steamy shower. But I’m glad I did it. Builds character, Amirite?

In the early evening I finally finished my latest book read. Fascinating DNA stuff coming down the pike in the future, from creating bioweapons, to designing babies with particular traits you’d want and select, and could be all created in a lab, no man or woman needed (just the DNA cells from the parents, whether man/woman or any other combination), to GMO foods and future cures (how did you think the vaccine was created so quick?), to bringing back extinct species. Naturally it’s also scary if controls aren’t put on some of these things, but these things are coming, probably by within the next 50 years. You’ve been warned!

Boston Love

Looks like the utility guys are out front again this week, digging up the middle of the street and replacing the pipes. Pretty annoying to get around but I suppose it’s a necessary evil. Looks like they might done with it all by the end of the week so all in all, not too bad.

I’ve updated the site to the latest version of PHP and everything appears to working as it should, so that’s good. I always get a little bit anxious when there’s a big underlying thing going on under the hood of the site but I’m not doing anything too crazy and keep all the subroutines up to date, so it’s all good.

I’ve had some love for this Boston photo I took and have been getting quite the likes and purchase interest in my work, so that’s always good to see. I’ve made a couple of sales so far this week, which is great.

Spent some time at Earth-1 yesterday, One of the cats had to get his nails cut and then we needed to get some business done over at City Hall. You know, what’s wild, is that a couple has purchased or will be purchasing a top floor unit on the condo right next door to my mom’s house, but the crazy part is that it’s actually the niece of one of LD’s most trusted and long lasting friends. I mean, what are the odds!? That’s pretty whack, actually. I’m waiting to run into them and introduce myself. So far, only my sister has seen them. Other than that, and all the walking of the beat I did on Tuesday (perhaps I was a bit overzealous but I feel I did a damn good job), it’s been a pretty low key week so far.

There’s a great article in the latest issue of Smithsonian Magazine that talks about how this little island off the coast of Iceland is trying to save baby puffins, which as any readers to this blog must know, is my favorite bird. Worth the read if you can find it and have the time.

Another book came through from my library app, so currently reading: The Genesis Machine: Our Quest to Rewrite Life in the Age of Synthetic Biology.

A Wish for the Ladydoc



Sometimes I wish that we had met sooner,
that the detours along the way could have been fewer.
But then something tells me we found eachother
at just the right place in our lives.
I love being with you,
You're the best thing to ever happen to me,
You're my favorite person in the world.

In you I have found: the perfect partner, the best friend, and the sweetest love that I ever imagined. I’m so happy that life has brought me to you. 

Best birthday wishes to the perfect woman in the world who chose to love an imperfect man like me.

Happy Birthday "Ladydoc!"

We ended up having a lovely dinner at The Capital Grille.. Currently reading: Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks. After that I want to see if I can find the book about Ada Blackjack. Another amazing character from history that time seems to have forgotten about.

The Kind of Snowstorm I Love

So we had some snow today. By the way all the news programs we’re describing it you’d think it was going to be something special. It clearly was not. We did a couple of inches of snow, but it was the nice fluffy stuff that is easy to deal with and it was no big deal. Everything got delayed by about an hour and I’d say that was the correct call. It’s snowed more of less throughout the day but it’s really only sticking to grassy surfaces. Tomorrow is our training meeting at HQ to go over the new “beat” as I’ll call it which should keep me busy in the mornings with three other folks on the team all year round as I go about the town center performing a certain required task. I’m a little apprehensive about it, but I applied for the job and got it and it’s pretty good money so I’m hoping I’ll get over it, I’m sure that I will once I get it going. I probably just feel that way because it’s something new to me.

My store is having a sale for the week, so if you ever wanted to pop on something in there, now could be a good time.

Currently reading: Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked. A couple of years old by now and I pretty much know most of the stuff in the book already, but it looks like an easy read plus it’s cool to see what tricks social media and games use to suck you in to their platform time-sucks. I’m really on a reading kick so far this month!

Cold Couple of Days on the Cape

On the way to Coast Guard Beach (available for purchase)

We had an opportunity to spend a couple of days out on the Cape and recharge. Although it was partly cloudy for most of the time, the only really sunny day was extremely windy which it made it feel really cold, so I didn’t go crazy getting photos, but I was pleased with I was able to capture of which a small sampling is here on this post.

We had some great food and hot chocolates and spent a bunch of time just hanging out, relaxing and reading. Speaking of which my current read is The Urge: Our History of Addiction. This book is about deeply humane history of addiction–a phenomenon that remains baffling and deeply misunderstood despite having touched countless lives–by an addiction psychiatrist striving to understand his own family and himself. Another find on Libby that was available immediately so I figured I’d give it a shot. We also drove around to a bunch of beaches and breakfast places for early noshes.

Update: I had some interest in some of the cape photos from this trip so I’ve made them available on the store page. Check it out if you like my work.

Hospital Waiting Makes Me Sleepy AF

Yesterday we spent a good chunk of the day at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. LD had to have a procedure done and I went with for support. I was surprised initially at how busy it was down there in the heart of Longwood on a Friday morning. Trying to find parking was, well, trying to say the least. After driving around in a garage for a while which literally had no parking, we tried to valet. The first time around the attendant says there was no valet parking available. Uhmm, what? Time for the appointment was starting to draw near. We went around one more time and somehow the valet parking became available again. Not really sure how that worked but glad it did. Almost got hit by some woman who was ahead of us who obviously in my opinion could not drive the giant vehicle she was trying to park over to the side. She kind of made a big deal out of it saying she wasn’t going to hit us, but to me it sure felt like she would. I guess she felt slighted that we had to honk to get her attention. Anyways, most of the day was mostly just waiting which I guess really took a toll out of me because I ended up feeling very tired by the time we got back home in the afternoon. I had planned to maybe order a pizza for delivery for dinner but I ended up just falling asleep. I slept for over ten hours, which for me is a lot since I think I average around six or seven a night. Perhaps I’ll make good on that pizza thought by ordering one tonight.

Currently reading: I did end up reading that last book mostly in the waiting room of the hospital yesterday so I am on to my next read. The Lost Family: How DNA Testing Is Uncovering Secrets, Reuniting Relatives, and Upending Who We Are. Hoping this one will be interesting to me. Have you begun to notice a pattern in the types of material I like to read yet?

Remembering the Sleepwalker

Hanging with the Sleepwalker

Who remembers this gem of a photo from a few years back? In honor of a Throwback Thursday I plucked this picture out from my archives. This scene was on the campus grounds of Wellesley College. It was part of some art installation. The statue had amazingly realistic skin texture. I’m not really sure why the artist thought having a naked guy in his underwear would make much sense on a college campus where the population is female, but there you go.

In other news for some reason my knee has started to be acting up again. Not sure why as it hasn’t bothered me in months, but last night while lounging on the couch I really started to feel it.

I finished the book I mentioned in the previous entry. Pretty crazy story and really sad about how that Indian tribe was treated, basically all being murdered for their money, and most everyone was in on it, right up the line, and the story pretty much lost to history. Wikipedia has a quick write up on some of it, but for the full story you should read the book. Interestingly, a movie directed by Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro is in the works. Next up on my reading docket is Pathological: The True Story of Six Misdiagnoses. Not sure if I’m going to like this one but I’ll give it a try. If it doesn’t grab me by the second or third chapter I might drop it. I’ve been reading these books on my phone with the Libby app, which I thought at first might not be ideal, but I’m finding that I actually don’t mind reading books on the phone.

A Valentine’s Day Message for You

Valentine’s Day. I used to hate Valentines Day or at least be ambivalent towards it growing up. I was like Charlie Brown in that I would never get a valentine from anyone unless it was that thing you used to do as a kid in elementary school, but that wasn’t real. It took a while, but somewhere along the way, after much time, a couple of failed relationships, and a lot of just learning to love myself and maturing, that Valentines Day became something I could enjoy.

It was all about finally finding that right person, and it took a long time, and I mean a really long time, but like they say, the wait really is worth it. When you find someone that “just fits” it’s pretty incredible. Is it always perfection and sunshine? Of course not. But when it’s right, you learn to work with it, compromise at times (most times), and maybe better yourself and your partner in your thoughts , your views and your feelings. Someone who thinks more or less the same way that you do, but in a healthy, conductive and sharable way. At least that’s what I believed happened in my particular case. The heart that is meant to love you finds beauty in all of your flaws.

So whether you like this holiday or not, whether you’re in a healthy relationship or single, just remember your own worth and know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We all seek connection and the desire to be loved. Although it is present, it only becomes apparent when you aren’t really looking, as the cliché goes. The truth is, it’s been inside yourself all along. And once you can find it within yourself, then the person looking for the same will find you. I’m living proof.

Currently Reading: Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI. I’m on a reading binge right now!

The Saver Versus the Tosser

I imagine you could say that after considering the two alternatives, I’m a saver. I have a tendency to keep things, even if I know I won’t use them, because I’m constantly plagued by the question, “What if I ever need this someday, maybe as a backup?” Saving a worn-out pair of sneakers despite the fact that I doubt I’ll ever wear them again. Perhaps some of it is a result of how I was raised. We never had much, so we were taught to save. My grandparents lived through the Great Depression, and people of that generation really ingrained in themselves the value of holding on to what you can. Things don’t come easily. And growing up with a single parent on Welfare just instilled that feeling even more. We weren’t cheap though. I learned a lesson that if you really wanted something, you should get it, the opportunity might never arise again and then you’ll be banging your head against the wall about what could have-beens. Just do it within reason, and my family always got me anything I ever wanted, somehow, someway, through hard work and the love they had for me.

I lot of my “Knick knacks” are little souvenirs that I picked up on trips, or have some kind of remembrance for me, like the gold coin I got from the DoD for my work on the Yucca Mountain reports, or the giant Dunkin Donuts sign I picked up from the newscasters from Fox25 a few years back when I was on television, or all the various tickets stubs from concerts and Broadway plays I’ve attended. There’s a bunch of Pac Man memorabilia just because I like that, and a bust of Xena Warrior princess back from the days I was into the show (don’t ask, that’s a whole story for another time). There’s various lighthouse statuettes from all the ones I’ve visited, and pressed pennies bent into the shapes of other places that I’ve been.

I have what I call a “tchotchke” shelf where I’ve laid many of these treasures. My idea is for one day to actually photograph and catalog all these various items, sort of like what a museum would do when it curates all its items. A veritable treasure trove ala King Tut. Will I ever do that? Probably not, although I do like the idea, overkill though it may be.

I didn’t watch the Super bowl last night, I could care less. We did watch the Puppy Bowl however, something that’s become somewhat of a yearly tradition now. I find it quite entertaining this year, going into overtime and all, although the halftime show was really weak.

Currently reading: Unmask Alice: LSD, Satanic Panic, and the Imposter Behind the World’s Most Notorious Diaries. So far not bad. I’ve never read the original book “Go Ask Alice” but basically it was all a fraud is what I’m learning from reading this.

Finally I’ll leave you with a little joke, “What did the janitor say when he jumped out of the closet?”


All Smiles

This book on the Sackler’s that I’m reading I am finding really fascinating. So interesting to see how the marketing of a drug and getting out to doctors to prescribe has been such a big part of the process and these guys pretty much wrote the book on it. And I’m still just in the 1960s era of the family. I would definitely recommend reading it if you want to see the dark underbelly of the pharma industry.

Anyways, today I had a dentist appointment at their new office in Medford. They moved out of the Somerville place in Winter Hill and supposedly that building is to be demolished and probably replaced with more condos, but when I drove by it was still standing. The new office looks really nice inside, with a spacious lobby and neat treatment rooms and everything looks new, but the outside of the building in my opinion could use a lot of work. It looks like some sort of warehouse. I got a clean bill of health and will return in 6 months.

An ad popped up on my Insta that Holly Madison had some new show on ID called The Playboy Murders so I went looking for it and saw that the first three episodes were airing on Saturday so I cued those up on the DVR. Might be good, might suck, I don’t know but I’ll be checking it out to see. Hopefully it will be interesting.

Gametime: eseveR. I found this game rather enjoyable and beat it in about an hour. Fun little puzzle game.

Just Call Me Dryer Repair Guy

Different beach vibes from 2 weeks ago.

The other day, I discovered that the dryer would just continue to run even when the machine was turned off. Unplugging it was the only way to put a stop to it. It was quite frustrating since you could essentially not use the dryer because none of the controls would work; all it would do was continue to spin when you plugged it back in. I therefore did what any decent dude would do and went to YouTube first.

I discovered some videos that demonstrated how to take the panel off and access the motherboard. A relay there seems to frequently become stuck, so you just have to bang it or jiggle it to unstick it. It took me a few tries to get it to stop spinning, but now that it has, we can resume drying our items without having a service call. Yay! We not only saved money there, but I also feel very accomplished for having managed to get it back up and functioning normally. Bravo to me!

The other night we had friends over for a firepit outing and I don’t know what it was but they kind of sucked the life out of me. The last two days I’ve been feeling pretty tired and sleepy. Basically I think I just need a good nap. Maybe this week. We’ve also been doing a lot of cooking, from chicken dishes, to meatballs, to soups and almost everything in between. It feels good to me to use up all the groceries so that none of it ends up going to waste.

I recently finished a pretty amazing book about a cold case detective, and I’ve been sort of addicted to watching Hot Ones, where celebs talk about themselves while munching on wings packed with the spiciest sauces. I recently saw the ones starring Anna Kendrick and Michael Cera, both of whom gave it their all, to varying degrees of success.

Stormy Skies

Stormy Skies

Currently reading: The Other Dr. Gilmore. I got a notification from my libby app saying that this book on my list was available so I borrowed it electronically and am going to start to read it. I’m liking it so far as I’ve gotten into the first few chapters thus far.

I also had a mini-facial today, something I don’t think I’ve ever had done before.

Taking Down the Decorations

To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold.

We began taking down the holiday decorations, including the tree, today and last night. I also performed a lot of cleaning and reorganizing. We decluttered, organized, donated food to the community pantry, and even stopped by a little library in Canton where I picked up a new book to read called The New England Grimpendium. It is essentially a guide to macabre attractions in New England. Maybe one day I’ll visit a few. I’ll be reading a book about atrial fibrillation as well.

Just me in January

We’re trying to use the Instant Pot to prepare a very sizable chuck roast for supper. We’ll have to wait and see. I don’t think I’ve ever had chuck roast, but it was included in a butcher block package we received quite some time ago, so we felt we should use it up. Update: it came out pretty good!

Christmas Prelude in Kennebunk Weekend Fun

Christmas By the Sea Fireworks in Ogunquit, Maine.

Back from a wonderful weekend in Maine during the Christmas Prelude festivities that the town of Kennebunkport puts on. LD got this sweet little Airbnb location right near the center of town so everything was really convenient and accessible to get to. The first night there, which was Friday, we kind of just checked in to the Airbnb and got some takeout and hung with some friends that live in the area. We got to hang with their pups, Boomer and Pippa. Boomer is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever so he’s a pretty big dog. He doesn’t really seem to know that though as his master keeps trying to train him but he has a ways to go. Still, he is a love and LD can’t get enough of him, they have a special connection, Pippa is a Jack Russel and a bit feisty but that’s her personality. I don’t think we got back to the Airbnb until after midnight. For some reason time just seems to fly anytime we are there.

The next day we got breakfast done the street at a little coffee shop and then headed over to some crafty fair thing. They did have some amazing looking gingerbread houses in one of the shops. In the evening we hit a restaurant and checked out some things, like the various lighted trees in Cape Porpoise as well as KBP and did a bit more shopping and browsing. Before that though we drove to Ogunquit to see some fireworks – perhaps that town wanted to get in on what KBP was doing. The weather was great all weekend except that it was a bit on the chilly side.

On Sunday we checked out some Dog parade they were having. Pippa was supposed to be in but bailed at the last minute because it was a bit too cold, plus she’s feisty, like I mentioned before. For lunch LD had somehow managed to reserve a fish shack at this restaurant called Batson River Brewing and Distilling. It was quite an experience. We liked it. And I have to say the food on this trip was really good. Every place that we went was great. I took a ton of pictures of which here is a sampling. Truth to tell I simply cannot remember every single thing that we did!

Driving home on Sunday night kind of sucked because we got stuck in the falling snow so getting home was slow but we made it safe and sound and that’s what’s important.

In other small news:

Gametime: Sophie the Slug. A fun little sliding game I’ve been playing with lately. I also borrowed a new book from my Libby App entitled “The Babysitter: My Summers with a Serial Killer” about the story of Tony Costa. It’s a pretty good read as I am enjoying it. I learned a fascinating tidbit while reading the early chapters of this book in that he actually lived two streets up from where I grew up. Pretty wild.

Bettie Page Fanboy and Other Things

Hope you guys all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We had a pretty low key one but that was alright with us. No need to get all stressed out and all that. We kept it pretty intimate between just the two of us and, of course, Carson. The main fixings we all had prepared for us but we did make the LadyDoc’s signature green bean casserole and she also made an baked apple crisp of which I did most of the preparation of ingredients. I think we actually work well together in the kitchen and I even find it a little enjoyable I also finally put the outside grill into storage for the winter marking the end of our outdoor BBQ season..

The Christmas tree, or holiday tree, if you prefer that phrase, was finally put up. We quickly added the lights, decorations, and everything else. By now, we are experts at it. This year, to give it a more classy look, we chose to use only white lights, and also the fact that the usual lights we use seemed to have shit the bed. Why can’t they make any of those that can last? Of course, we also retrieved Peng, a large penguin, from storage that we like to think Carson makes friends with.

If you’re wondering about the photo in today’s entry, here’s the quick story behind it. I found this shirt in my closet recently which must have been hanging there for years featuring one of my favorite models of all time, the legendary Bettie Page. I always liked Bettie Page. Nearly 60 years after her modeling heyday—which made her the most-photographed model of the 20th century—Bettie Page continues to fascinate fans worldwide. The so-called Queen of Pinups tied with Einstein at No. 8 on Forbes’ 2013 list of top-earning dead celebrities, and Time named her one of the 100 most influential people on fashion; her impact is so enduring that Madonna, Beyoncé, and Katy Perry borrow style cues from her (they’ve all donned the U-shaped “Bettie bangs”). It’s interesting to note that her fan base is not just men as it was originally. Such an iconic look. she had a pretty interesting life too, and in many ways, a little tragic. There’s no denying her style or signature look. LD thinks this picture of me looks a little trashy, but I don’t know, I personally thought it was actually a pretty good picture of me. What do you guys think?

A Bettie Page fanboy

I finally downloaded the Libby app to my phone so I could take out books from the library right from my smartphone now that I signed up for a library card after having a defunct one for years. Not sure how much I will like reading off the small screen. The app itself is pretty cool though. very well thought out and intuitive. I didn’t mind the Kindle I had but I do find something satisfying about having an actual book in my hands to read, Anyways whenever you want a book you usually have to put a hold in for it and then when it gets freed up you can read it for a limited time. I currently have two holds on a couple of books I think I want to read. Empire of Pain about the Sackler dynasty and their peddling of their products which led to the opiate epidemic. The other tome I’m interested in reading is Caste, about the unspoken caste system in America. Looks like that one I’ll be reading first.

Watched a show on Netflix last night called Stutz about Jonah Hill and his therapist. It was actually pretty good, Check it out if you think you might be interested in something like that. I also watched a thing on King Tut on PBS, a two episode presentation about his allies and enemies in honor of his tomb being discovered 100 years ago this month, Everyone loves the boy king. Besides him and the pyramids that’s probably how most people get interested in this sort of thing. For me, it was the pyramids and the enormous structures and intricate artwork. And of course the mystery of it all.

I know this entry is kind of all over the place but that’s the way I roll sometimes. And remember! Mark Bethoney Photography to check out some of my artwork for sale. Might make a good gift for you or someone you care about that digs things New England and likes to look at pretty pictures.

Simple Tasks, and Remembering Old Somerville Peeps

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Little Update to Appease the Masses

I grilled up some flat iron steaks the other night. Seasoned with just a bit a salt. LD said they came out great, so that’s what we had last night. Tonight I think I’ll grill us up a bit of turkey burgers. I actually prefer beef burgers but she like the turkey so…

I updated the iPad to iPadOS16. One thing I noticed that I really like is the new weather app. I wonder if there’s something similar for Android? I’ve been running Weawow which I found to be pretty good, but I’m digging the way Apple’s version looks and feels.

Updated the website under the hood, Shouldn’t be any issues hopefully, Let me know if you see anything weird though.(Would any of you really do that?)

I’ve been playing around with some design elements, such as this post with a gradient background and and rounded image that cuts the gradient over to the right. What do you think? It looks best on a big screen like a laptop or tablet, on mobile the picture just goes small and doesn’t look as impressive. Hey, I’m learning new things on my own! And speaking of playing around, I decided to play another Powerball ticket. I mean, come on, how could one not with the stakes so high? When I do play I only play one ticket (and only when the jackpot is super high) – all you need is one.

I ordered a new book to read that just came out. Egypt’s Golden Couple: When Akhenaten and Nefertiti Were Gods on Earth. Yeah, King Tut’s parents and they have quite an interesting story that I’m interested to see what these authors take on them are. So look forward to my review on that.

The plumber came over late this afternoon, I was expecting him at some point although not really today. Anyways, he put in some new line that will go right into the new oven. Speaking of which, the appliances are supposed to get delivered tomorrow morning early, so that’ll be some fun.

A Couple of Rainy Day Activities

Castle Hill Light, Newport, RI

Going through some of my archives and I came across this picture I took of the Castle Hill Lighthouse in Newport, RI that I thought was pretty cool so I thought I’d post it up and see what folks think of it.

Heading over to the supermarket this morning I noticed some chips that I had seen mentioned on the Phantom Gourmet the other day in my channel surfing. They are Lays chips but with flavors taken from other snacks, such as Lays chips with cool ranch Doritos flavor, and one with Cheetos. I picked up those two. They also have Funyuns and Fritos flavors but I didn’t see those. These are supposedly only available for a limited time. I’ve thus far tried the Doritos flavored and it’s pretty good, especially if you like cool ranch flavor.

Like I mentioned in the previous post I started reading a book about the two kids really (at the time) who created Doom and basically started the first player shooter sensation. It’s a pretty amazing read and I highly recommend it. It came out in 2003 so it’s not pricey. Having lived through and experienced many of the same things at the time growing up that these kids did made me really soak up this book. Brought back memories in the 80s of buying computer magazines at the time that had program code in it’s pages that you’d have to type in in order to play the games. And of course, I’d always make a typo somewhere so it wouldn’t work and I’d have to painstakingly try to find where it was, and the code was always a confusing mess of letters and numbers. Anyone remember that? I had totally forgotten all about doing that back in the day!

Birthday Shenanigans in a Treehouse


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!

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.

Reading List

Currently Want to Reads

I mentioned that I’ve been looking for some books to read so I went through my Goodreads list and thought it might be interesting to see what I’ve been wanting to read lately. Some of these books are pretty new and aren’t out yet, and some are old and just hard to get a hold of. Of course I could buy the books but I prefer to find them in Little Libraries. I prefer non-fiction so you may see a common theme in my selections. I won’t list every single book on my current list, but most of them. So without further ado, let’s get to the current list and if you have read any of these or have more suggestions, let me know!

How to Speak Whale: A Voyage into the Future of Animal Communication – I always had a fascination with whales and have read a bunch of books about them. Leviathan was one of the better ones. They are pretty much the only reason I wanted to visit Nantucket a few years ago, which reminds me that I need to get back there one of these days.

Reading allows us to see and understand the world through the eyes of others.

– Chris Riddell

Split Decision: Life Stories – A book by Ice-T! We all love him as Finn on SVU and he has a pretty good and controversial music career as well. Anyways this book looks interesting to me as it details his life but also parallels it with one of his friends growing up and how they ended up in different places and that he could have ended up there too if certain decisions were made.

Are All Lives Equal?: Why Cost-Benefit Analysis Values Rich Lives More and How Philosophy Can Fix It – I’m not totally sure why I added this one? It just seems somewhat fascinating that someone somewhere can decide mathematically what they think a person is worth?

Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks – Well, I watch a lot of crime documentaries and this book looked interesting in that vein to me.

Blood Orange Night: My Journey to the Edge of Madness – A do love a good memoir now and again, and this one seems to deal with a woman and her addiction to benzodiazepine.

For everyone, a book is a search and hopefully a discovery.

– Shelby Foote

Been There, Done That: A Rousing History of Sex – “Explorations into age-old questions and bizarre trivia around birth control, aphrodisiacs, STIs, courtship rituals, and more establish that, when it comes to carnal pleasures and procreation, there’s never been a normal, and sex isn’t something to be scared of.” That was enough of a teaser to get me interested in reading this.

Unmasked: My Life Solving America’s Cold Case – As I mentioned before, crime docs are all the rage and cold cases seem to really grab us. A lot of work goes into solving things like this and I think this book describes that.

The Gift of Rumi: Experiencing the Wisdom of the Sufi Master – I love the quotes I’ve seen from this guy. Someone who is so eloquent with words like that is someone that I can learn from. So I think it would be interesting to see who this person actually was and how he saw life around him.

Birds and Us: A 12,000 Year History, from Cave Art to Conservation – Along with whales, which I’ve liked for a long time, I also grew to like birds, although I got into birding a lot more recently. It all started with noticing different backyard birds and there’s something thrilling about noticing a bird you haven’t seen before, at least that’s how I feel.

Silent Invasion: The Untold Story of the Trump Administration, Covid-19, and Preventing the Next Pandemic Before It’s Too Late – I was more interested in reading this when it first came out. It’s kind of dimmed on me now but it still might be a good read just to see what a clown show that was going on.

Funny Farm: My Unexpected Life with 600 Rescue Animals – We’re going to somehow visit this place in Jersey someday. LD and I like to visit the rescue animals at the farm and this book details some of what it takes to run places like that. It’s a lot of work and a labor of love, I am sure.

Cults: Inside the World’s Most Notorious Groups and Understanding the People Who Joined Them – Cults I find fascinating. Like, what makes people just join them and get blinded by whatever it is? Vulnerability I suppose could be one reason. A need to belong? The book also looks closely at the lives of some of the most disreputable cult figures and tell the stories of their rise to power and fall from grace, sanity, and decency. Sounds like it’s up my alley.

One of the best things about reading is that you’ll always have something to think about when you’re not reading.

– James Patterson

Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty – They are one of the richest families in the world, known for their lavish donations to the arts and sciences. The source of the family fortune was vague, however, until it emerged that the Sacklers were responsible for making and marketing OxyContin, a blockbuster painkiller that was a catalyst for the opioid crisis. I’m interested in learning that story.

The Memory Thief: The Secrets Behind How We Remember—A Medical Mystery – Memory is such a fickle thing. Hell, I know that from my own recall of memory.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents – a fascinating subject that I think would benefit me to learn more about.

And Party Every Day: The Inside Story of Casablanca Records – A bet there’s a lot of crazy stories in this book, from a record company that housed the likes of KISS, Donna Summer and George Clinton, to name a few. A banquet of hedonism and self-indulgence that sounds like a good read.

Well, that’s my list so far. I hope to get to read some or all of these over the next few months. Once again, let me know what you think about my list and if anything on it interested you.

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.

Playing with Old Laptops, Bunny Crossings and Harvard Square Losing All It’s Character

Bunny X-ing!

I was so impressed with the experience of converting that old Windows 8 laptop over to Chrome OS Flex that I decided to do it to my old laptop that crapped out on me. My intention was to just have another machine around for backup and it would never replace my new Windows machine, but I like to tinker around. Anyways, it wouldn’t install which leads me to believe that the disk drive in there is really crapping out. For fun I may decide to see if I can replace it if I can get my hands on some really cheap hardware, but probably not. Anyways, it’s good to know that I really did need a new laptop, and I have the Windows 8 machine that I converted to Chromebook the other day, and that one is working like a charm. I even used it today to print some things and help LD out with some work she was doing.

Before I took on that task however we took a trip over to pick up some groceries and decided to check out a new Little Library that was on the way. I ended up getting a new book to read that was there – Johnathan Living Seagull: A Story printed in the early 70s. Looks like an easy read and I needed something new to read and occupy me. Apparently all my jabbering was getting LD annoyed as she was trying to read her books. Sheesh!

Anyways on the way to the location, LD noticed this very cool traffic sign of a Bunny Crossing. Probably not a real traffic sign, but cute and apropos nonetheless.

We grilled some salmon outside on a cedar plank this evening. It wasn’t that hot for me to do it and I didn’t mind. There actually was a rather nice breeze blowing as the sun started to go down. It went good with some fruit salad, both items obtained from the earlier grocery run.

I learned that Harvard Square’s “pit” was being destroyed. Like the Garage, which I discussed a week or so ago, here is yet another piece of Harvard history that is vanishing into oblivion. I can tell you some tales about the pit, but perhaps I’ll save them for another time. Although I used to frequent Harvard Square frequently in the 1980s and 1990s, I now only go there rarely, if at all. Although the original character of the square has essentially vanished or is in the midst of doing so, change seems unavoidable, and so it’s kind of a bummer to see those iconic places go away.