Hanging Out on the Fourth of July

We had a wonderful time at my LD’s friend’s beach cottage in Fairhaven. We celebrated the summer and the Fourth of July with a cookout and a nice hangout. The wind was blowing hard, but it felt great blowing around me. We relaxed and enjoyed the scenery. One of the most memorable parts of the evening was the fireworks. The town of New Bedford and the surrounding communities and private homeowners light off fireworks in the bay, and we had a great vantage point from the back deck of the cottage that faces the waters of Buzzard’s Bay. It was beautiful to watch the fireworks light up the bay and reflect on the water. As the night went on, the wind died down, and we continued to enjoy the beautiful night.

Hanging at the Airbus

I went to pick up a piece of pottery this morning, and I’m thrilled with it! Yesterday, I noticed someone selling another Dedham pottery piece that I had never seen before, a napkin holder in the shape of a bunny. So naturally, I had to get it and add it to our growing collection of Dedham pottery. I drove over and picked it up this morning, and I’m really pleased with its size and quality.

Currently Reading: Mass Murders: Bloodstained Crime Scenes Haunting the Bay State. This book has a slight bent about the paranormal which I don’t really care for, but I thought some of the crime stories might be good.

When in Jersey…

Just got back from a weekend in New Jersey. It was LD’s college reunion so we attended. She got to get together with some old freinds, some she hadn’t seen in quite some time.

It was a fun outing. The weather was nice. Before the actual dinner they had a mass at the connected chapel to the college. What a beautiful chapel, I had never actually been inside before. Picture doesn’t really do it justice. You have to be in there and admire the high ceilings and stained glass and sculptures. Excellent attention to detail. We then took a little tour of the campus and the girls reminisced of their times there. It was cool to hear the stories.

The actual event itself wasn’t run too well, too many little things for listing now, but one funny story is this woman who joined our table and I guess was part of their class except she was like not a regular student, more like a weekend college kind of thing. She kept getting in all the pictures and interrupting but I suppose just wanted to be a part of the festivities. She said she was some sort of couples counselor but when you pressed her on certain things, it just sounded weird and off. There’s a lot more, like the time I handed her a photo prop that had the word Princess on it and she looked at me like I had three heads. (she had said her name was Princess, like I said, a bit strange). Anyways there’s way more to be said about these various encounters but better to tell it in person.

We had pizza at a local place by a train station and got to hang out with another friend who decided to come down and meet us, which was nice. We stayed at The Madison, a place we used to stay at often before the pandemic (since the pandemic we never use hotel rooms anymore, mostly Airbnb’s now) but for this particular trip is was convenient. Except the place is kind of going downhill, which is sad. I mean, it always had it’s foibles but now with it being sold to some company and not run by a family anymore, you can tell the difference. The food’s not the same, the service is definitely not the same, they even removed the pool to build another space for weddings (since that’s it’s main gig these days) and having a pool was one of the main reasons for choosing that place – for us. We didn’t check the reviews beforehand because we thought it would be like it always was. Won’t be making that mistake again!

The next day he hit the town center and met up with two other friends from LD’s graduating class at a diner called The Nautilus. Another place that I probably hadn’t been to in over 10 years if not more. That was pretty much the same. Again, fun meeting them and listening to the stories. Then it was off to grab some Jersey Boy bagels for the road and head on back.

The Verizon guy finally came this morning and upgraded everything, including a new set top box, which is what started this whole rigmarole. But now we are blasting with giganet speeds so access quality should be really good now.

Currently Reading: Staying with the computer future for the moment: Quantum Supremacy (review).

Pet Peeve of the Week

Oh you know I’m getting one of these Deadpool & Wolverine popcorn buckets (YouTube link) when the movie hits this theatres this summer!

I like how without warning the town just decides to repave all the streets in our surrounding neighborhood and close them all off, with no communication about it, Just show up out of the blue and screw it all up. Getting in and out of here is a nightmare right now. Although I suppose once it’s done it’ll be nice. Just a little heads up once in a while would be greatly appreciated. I went to Somerville and hung out with these two guys yesterday.

Laurel and Hardy (Laurel is the one with the dreamy eyes).

I’m somehow down to the FINAL level(!) having finally solved all of the other ones of Cargo Lines, the game I mentioned an entry or two before. Pulling my hair out trying to solve this last one. This game is great! Oh, and my left knee appears to be bugging me again, think I’ll need to start wearing the brace again.

Currently Reading: The Unclaimed: Abandonment and Hope in the City of Angels. (NYT Review here).

Just a Quick Little Recap for This Weekend Thus Far

Over the weekend, We dedicated a significant amount of time to taking care of various tasks and activities. We both started by tending to the garden, spending hours working on planting and mulching to ensure the plants thrived. LD was in particular beast mode today removing a bunch of weeds. We then made a trip to the Depot to pick up new string for the trimmers, the darn thing ran out on me as I was whacking away. Saturday evening, I prepared the grill for some steak tips and zucchini, providing a flavorful and satisfying dinner ( or so I hoped). The following day, we opted for a classic choice of turkey burgers something simple plus we had some on hand. With that we added some shucked corn on the cob, which we find comes out pretty nice on the grill. With leftover chicken on hand, we decided to make the now famous lemon orzo soup to avoid any waste and have something else to nosh on during the week ahead. We also brought some of the soup to LD’s previous landlady, who had recently been hospitalized, offering both nourishment and support during a challenging time. She should be coming home today so that’s good news. Amidst the planting and mulching and even a little bit of napping, I managed to make progress on reading some books that I had been meaning to finish, finding a moment of relaxation and fulfillment in the midst of a busy weekend. The only real bummer is having to attend a wake later this afternoon for a woman who was kind to us and helped us with our burgeoning green thumbs.

Currently Watching: The Shield, not your everyday cop show from the early aughts.

Feeling High as Flying a Kite at Revere Beach

We went today to go check out the 8th Annual Revere Beach Kite Festival. It looked like it rained a little bit, but mostly it was just overcast, and though it first it sounded like it might not have been the right decision to go, that changed as time went on, and it was actually a really fun time! And of course afterwards I had to gobble down a Kelly’s Roast Beef. I even got a gift for LD’s friend who’s coming to visit next month.

A video from last night’s Trixter show that we almost attended: YouTube link. Also some of the bikes at the ride yesterday looked pretty rad to me, including this Urban Arrow Bike, which costs an amazing 8,000 dollars. Personally, for me, I think I’d rather buy a car for that money.

Currently Reading: Another coming through my Libby app, Filterworld: How Algorithms Flattened Culture. (review here) I really got to get cranking on finishing these books before I have to return them!

Finding Sanctuary in a Change of Plans

We were supposed to go to New Jersey this weekend, Teaneck to be precise, to see the band Trixter play at a place called the Debonair Music Hall, (we had the tickets and lodging all squared away beforehand) but with LD’s concussion healing and due to the lateness, stimuli and whatnot, decided to bag that for now and maybe go again at a later date. The time just didn’t seem right for right now.

Passing by this statue I had to photograph – I thought it looked really cool! (Sanctuary Theatre)

So instead, I went on the Cambridge City Spring bike ride! This particular ride’s theme was passing by all the locations and neighborhoods of the Cambridge African American History trail, stopping at two places, one being the boarding house that Harriet Jacobs ran for a while. While there I learned of her book written in 1861 and decided to add it to my reading list next.

Currently Reading: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs (1861).

Baby Bunny Sighting

Nice to see that at least one of the baby bunnies from a few weeks ago is still hanging around and seems to be doing fine. It was definitely going to town eating some grass.

Baby bunny sighting in the yard being dwarfed by the leaves of the tiger lily plants.(Pic courtesy of LD).

Yes, I know I probably need to cut the grass again already due to all the moisture we’ve had over the last couple of days,

On another pleasing note, tonight is my work group dinner at a local restaurant, where we all hang annually and just enjoy each others camaraderie and maybe swap some war stories from our time in the field. We’ll see if I have anything interesting to share afterwards.

Currently Reading: The Lost Tomb: And Other Real-Life Stories of Bones, Burials, and Murder. I had just finished the last book I read about Michael Lauder and this read should be lighter.

The Grass Just Keeps on Growing

A slight exaggeration

Mowed the front lawn this afternoon. It’s amazing how fast the grass is growing now after pretty much being dormant for months. No sooner do I mow it then it seems it needs mowing again!

Earlier in the day my phone beeped me a notification that a book on my Libby download queue was ready to be grabbed. It had been a while since a book I had wanted to read was ready.

Currently Reading: The Best Minds: A Story of Friendship, Madness, and the Tragedy of Good Intentions. I wasn’t sure about this book at first because it looked pretty long but a few chapters in and I’m getting hooked. It’s actually a pretty good read. It’s up for a Pulitzer.

Spring Time Sprucing Up

After working my rounds today, I began starting to do a lot of cleanup on and in the gardens. Getting rid of old leaves, cleaning out the beds, checking on the flowers currently coming up and bulbs starting to emerge from the soil. Getting out the various hanging planter tools and preparing the decks. Cleaning out the firepit and buying a bunch of stuff to get the season started. This is a great time of year. Also, looks like the next door neighbors just opened their pool so get ready for their drunken late night loud parties again. Oh, and LD probably has a mild concussion. Great.

Currently Reading: The Riddles of the Sphinx: Inheriting the Feminist History of the Crossword Puzzle. (review).

Gametime: Ping On Ice

Swan Boats Start Up Tomorrow

The iconic swan boats of Boston start up another season tomorrow in the Public Garden. I didn’t get a chance this winter to check out the clown heads at Winteractive this time but maybe sometime in the summer I can check out these boats again.

Currently Reading: Welcome to the O.C.: The Oral History. Great television show from the 90s, especially the first few seasons. I only got to see the whole series a couple of years ago on streaming, having never watched it when it first came out.

Wild, Windy, and Wet 💦

Not the greatest day to be outside today but I persevered. We lucked out pretty good considering, never lost power, no flooded basement, etc. although the outdoor heater blowing over a couple of times bummed me out. Looks like the top is probably pretty warped now but I’ll check it out better when the weather brightens up and assess what happened.. Also the television guide on the Fios doesn’t seem to be populated, might have the reboot the box.

Currently Reading: Sociopath: A Memoir by Patric Gagne. So far into the third chapter and I’m liking it.

Not the Greatest Message, Right?

Me and the Bunny outside Woody’s Liquors Store in Somerville a couple of years ago. Such an “Old Somerville” thing to do!

Something to keep the kids busy while the parent(s) stocked up. 🤔🤷

We’re on the hunt for some old vintage board games, so if you have any, let me know!

My knees have been acting up again, joy of joys.

Currently reading: Bad Therapy: Why the Kids Aren’t Growing Up. I find myself not agreeing with this author in the book at all for the most part, but was curious to see another perspective.

Beach Ready and Dollhouses

I’m ready for those warmer weather beach outings now! This picture I took a little while back makes me yearn for those days right now, but I know they’re coming. Just have to be a bit more patient.

Today’s brief adventure was checking out a dollhouse in Wellesley that I found for LD (it’s amazing what you can find on Facebook Marketplace, I do like to look over the listings) to perhaps buy for her new office location. This thing was quite large yet nice and not flashy, and it came with the prettiest furnishings. She fell in love with it right away, and it’s now part of the family! Then we took a little side trip to see something macabre, which I’ll tell more about later.

Later on in the afternoon I ran a couple of errands, put in a Powerball ticket (had to try, right?) ate some more lemon orzo soup that we made again last night and updated this page with this latest entry.

One of LD’s Birthday gifts from yesterday. A 100 piece jigsaw puzzle of us!

Currently Reading: The Battle for Your Brain: Defending the Right to Think Freely in the Age of Neurotechnology. Getting all science-y with this read!

Small Weekly Updates and Beach Waves

B.E.A.C.H.: Best Escape Anyone Can Have.

Went to Earth-1 to run some errands, visited my grandparent’s grave in Malden, had a treat at Kelly’s Roast Beef, visited LD’s old landlady who recently lost her husband who was a very nice man, celebrated LD’s birthday, and yeah, that’s about it.

We made a quick visit to the beach today since it was kind of nice out. When we arrived we were amazed at how active the waves were and the water itself was quite close to the entry points. We had never seen the water travel up that high before.

Today we plan on making the lemon soup again.

Currently reading: Gardening Can Be Murder: How Poisonous Poppies, Sinister Shovels, and Grim Gardens Have Inspired Mystery Writers and Only Say Good Things: Surviving Playboy and Finding Myself by Hef’s last wife.

Living It Up in Lavalette

Day 1: Running Around the Beach

Day 2: Giant Hungry Hungry Hippos Experience

Day 3: Coffee and Meetups

Fun couple of days away. Got to see some family, hang out at a house by the beach, partake in the local activities, take a side jaunt through New York State to catch up with a friend (shout out to The El Dorado Diner in Elmsford!) and grateful for the good times. Didn’t get back from travelling until late last night, hence the sparse update- have to recuperate!

Currently Reading: Divine Might: Goddesses in Greek Myth by Natalie Haynes

Visiting some Goat Friends and Getting New Brakes

We spent yesterday hanging out with some goats at the Sanctuary. I hadn’t been there in a while, and we dropped off some food for the animals. After all of that and returning home for some relaxation, we cooked up a storm, preparing a variety of recipes, some for later in the week. I finally had some time today to travel to Earth-1 and get my brakes done; it had been long overdue, and I’m delighted to be able to mark that off my list.

Currently Reading: Genealogy of a Murder: Four Generations, Three Families, One Fateful Night by Lisa Belkin.

An Ordinary Thursday with Meanderings

Bow to the King! The wonders of A.I.

Just playing around with some AI this afternoon. Doing a little face swapping on things. Like me on this Greek artwork. At least I think it’s Greek? Could be Roman I suppose. Anyways, it’s pretty good except I don’t think it got the hair quite right.

Not much to report on about today. Just shuffling around town doing my thing. It’s amazing that on the days you don’t think you’ll get a lot, you do, and when you think you’ll get a lot, you actually don’t. It’s so strange. Meanwhile, the head honchos want to have a meeting with us in a couple weeks to discuss some “issues.” Sounds ominous but that’s just the way these guys talk. Not sure what that’s all about but hopefully nothing too earth-shattering.

Currently Reading: Released: Conversations on the Eve of Freedom by Gypsy-Rose Blanchard. Looks like this will be an easy one, it’s only about 100 pages. I already know the story from all the television shows but it popped up as available, so I figured, what the heck. Give it a go You know the story, the one about the Munchausen by proxy.

Embracing the Cold and baby goats

We took a ride out to Franklin, Ma this afternoon to look and admire some more goats, including meeting this cute little one week old named Nugget. They also had a farmer’s market there where we got some goods. I got an alpaca winter hat which is super soft and warm, and LD got some stuff including a homemade wooden bunny made by an artisan who works with wood that you can stick crayons into it’s back – really cool.

Currently reading: We’ve Got You Covered: Rebooting American Health Care

So That’s What It Is

So I guess this is what I’ve been dealing with lately. Joys. I’ve been hobbling around like Quasimodo, plus this cold weather doesn’t help it any.

Patellar tendinitis is a common overuse injury, caused by repeated stress on your patellar tendon. The stress results in tiny tears in the tendon, which your body attempts to repair. But as the tears in the tendon multiply, they cause pain from inflammation and weakening of the tendon.

And not just one, but both knees, although the left is probably a bit worse off than the right. Apparently the way to address it is nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, rest, elevating the knee, ice packs and stretching and strengthening exercises. None of those are easy for me.

Today was very cold outside, but I persevered!

Currently Reading: On Our Best Behavior: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Price Women Pay to Be Good by Elise Loehnen.