End of Year Trip and Jackie The Duck!

We decided to take a little small trip this week and get by the water. LD found this cute little place by the sea so we went! The pic above is the view from out back – the property is right on the water! Gorgeous! The weather was downcast for much of the trip so no sun, but at least there really wasn’t any rain to stop us and it was rather mild the whole time we were there. I didn’t even need to wear my jacket at all, although LD did feel cold at times. Maybe I just got used to the elements being outside a lot nowadays. It’s no too far from Paine’s Creek which is an area that I love so we checked that out, along with some other nearby sights and some good eats along the way.

The highlight, however, was meeting Jackie the Duck, who also lives there! Jackie the Duck’s story is actually extremely fascinating. He was essentially saved by the owner lady as he emerged from his egg. His mother had either killed or abandoned the chicks for whatever reason, and this little boy would very certainly have died if she hadn’t taken him in and saved him. Anyway, the act of doing so imprinted her on him, and he became a member of the family as a result. He is a pet, but he is so much more! Let’s see if I can recall any of the stories the lady told us about him.

He bathes in the house, but he must wait for his feathers to dry before proceeding with his day. He follows her around the house and rides in the car with her. He’s riding shotgun in a straw-filled tub. He wears a diaper in the house since ducks can’t manage their functions, and there’s reportedly a lady in Maine who makes these duck-specific diapers, so maybe this is a thing? When they’re playing in the ocean out back in the summer, she’ll toss him in and he’ll ultimately return back to her on the shore. In fact, when he’s finished swimming, he waddles right out of the beach and into the home. When he falls asleep, his bill is a little heavy, so you can see him drop his head every now and then; we witnessed this in person today! He really was a sweetheart, he even poses for you so you can take his picture. What a character! He has no interest in hanging with other ducks, and why would he, he’s living the life a of a king, even by human standards! I hope we’ll get to hang out with him again sometime (the lady liked us and said next time we’re in the area to give her a buzz!)

Plenty of Cooking, Consumption, and Contemplation

We had guests come over yesterday so we baked a bunch of things, plus we had a bunch of ingredients and things we needed to use up so why not cook them up and eat them?

The “mousse”

First up, Blondie brownies and after that butternut squash using the Instant Pot which was then created to be used in a mousse (using a recipe we obtained from the waitress from the Capital Grille that we visited last week), although we did order takeout for dinner and had salads and burgers from a place I hadn’t been to in years and went to only once in town, called Colonial House. It’s sort of tucked away in a residential neighborhood on a side street. The kitchen is literally right there by the entrance when you go in, which I find odd compared to most restaurants where the kitchen is in the back, but it’s okay. Surely a location the locals would be familiar with, as I think most people not from the area would have trouble finding it or even learning of it. We devoured delectable cupcakes for dessert after the main courses, but I believe we overindulged because by the end of the evening we felt a little stuffed. I hadn’t consumed so much food in a while.

Today we also roasted some Delacota squash (I don’t think I’ve ever had this type pf squash before, come to find out, I felt it tasted like butternut squash, with the added benefit of that you can eat the skin which made prep so much easier) , and LD and I also made some cashew based vegan-ish cheddar broccoli soup! A new recipe, one we’ve never tried before, first time! Result? It’s actually not bad. If you’re interested you can find the recipe we used here. (We actually ended up using the Instant Pot because we felt it was easier, you can find details about that preperation further down the page in the comments section.)

It’s nice seeing the daffodils and tulips leaves starting to bust up through the soil. Spring is so close now I can feel it! It makes me so happy I’m wetting my plants!


Have you noticed how recently it seems like everything in our nation is failing? The supply chain is horrible, certain financial institutions are struggling, the medical system is in disarray, the airlines are all in trouble, trains are derailing, the mail sucks, etc. I simply have the impression that things are becoming worse over time when they ought to be getting better, but I don’t really see anything noteworthy being done to address the problems. Is it only me? Am I overreacting?

A Wish for the Ladydoc

Best

Wishes!

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.

Vignette Fragments of a Family Tree

Headed over to my mechanic finally to get my headlight replaced. Sad to hear that the main mechanic is retiring and heading back to his home country of Lebanon, but he’s definitely deserves to enjoy his retirement. The guy is an amazing mechanic and they’re really good there. If you’re really interested in who it his hit me up and I can get you the details. Anyways I thought it would be a bit pricey but actually it ended up being quite affordable. They took me right away (I like to get there early in the mornings) and was done within the half hour. Glad I was finally able to get that headlight fixed.

Reading this book on DNA had really got me thinking about my own ancestral origins, although I myself would never personally do one of those DNA test things. On my mom’s side, I know her parents, and somewhat of their parents but that’s about it up the tree on that side. My grandmother had many sisters and brothers – my grandfather was an only child. On my dad’s side I know even less. There’s him and I’ve heard of his parents, but that’s it up that tree. No idea about siblings that far up either. The branch that is me will probably end with me since I don’t plan on having any progeny. I guess my tree is a little sad snippet, just a couple of branches up and no dangling limbs after me. I wonder if a century from now if anyone would ever wonder who I was?

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.

Check In but You Can Never Leave…

Ended up watching some 4 episode documentary crime story on Netflix about the Cecil Hotel in downtown Las Angeles. Stuck right in the middle of the city’s Skid Row district the place had seen better times. A lot of people think the place is cursed, mostly because lots of people have actually died there. The story follows the disappearance of a 21 year old Asian girl who decided to stay there while travelling and never left the hotel. Where did she go? What happened to her? Foul play or something supernatural? It was a pretty good story, although some of the conspiracy theories that came out of it were a little whack, as people were trying to solve the mystery. The truth is actually quite tragic. I would suggest you watch it if you haven’t already and then google the hotel to read all about it’s sordid history and what’s going on there now. Yes, even after all the death, the place still exists!

My Top Moments of 2022!

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Thought it would be fun to list what I felt were the top ten moments of my life from 2022!

It wasn’t easy coming up with this list and truth be told, with the exception of maybe the top two, any of these could be in any order. I’m sure I’m missing some things as well here and there, but these are the moments that stood out the most to me from the past year. As usual the images I’ve taken during the year helped me to remember and capture some of the moments. You can click on the smaller ones to see a better view. And now without further ado, let’s get right to the list!

Number 10: Visiting Cameron the baby goat on Easter!

Yes, Cameron was born on Easter, and that white goat which you can see in the left hand bottom corner of this photo is Mira, his mother, which is short for Miracle because when she was a baby she almost didn’t make it. She’s turned out to be an amazing mother to her baby – it was fascinating to watch. So Cameron will be a year old come April of next year. Sadly, we learned that his mother passed away since from eating too many turnips of all things.I would like to see how big Cameron has gotten though, maybe in the spring we’ll get a chance to revisit.

Number 9: My Birthday Trip staying at a Treehouse!

I never saw this one coming!

Thanks to LD I got to be 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 probably some more things that I can’t remember right just now, but the memories that do stand out to me will be with me forever. It was pretty cool watching the sunset over the river from the top of the treehouse. Hey, I grew up in the city, we didn’t have any treehouses! Especially not any as large as this one was.

Number 8: New Glasses for the Win

I finally got a chance to head on over to the eye doctor for some new eyeglasses this year. I’ve had the ones I’ve had for quite a while and I felt it was time for a change, plus I wanted to get progressives since the way my eyes are currently working these days. It was good to see that my eye health in general is pretty optimal, only a stronger prescription for my near sightedness was needed, which is what I suspected and hoped. Like I said, it was time for an updated look! They’re Versace to boot!

Number 7: February Cape Trip / Orleans House

After travelling down this very narrow private dirt trodden road we had arrived at where we would stay for the weekend at a rather luxurious house on Namequoit Point in South Orleans, Cape Cod. It was all very quiet and rather dark in the cold winter night, although you could see the beauty of the stars above without any light pollution. Once inside I was impressed with the rooms, one with a very large television set, and a cute little day bed to go along with the master.

After a relaxing evening with some wonderful clam chowder and a cod dinner from a place we like down here called Mac’s and a visit to our old standby the Chocolate Sparrow for some hot chocolates I rested up in order to try to get up before sunrise the next day. As the sun was rising, which you could see out the gorgeous picture window opposite the bed, I got to see various birds visit the feeder that was placed just outside. A good selection of black capped chickadees, song sparrows, tufted titmice, mourning doves, and a red squirrel or two, who seemed to have realized that all they could hope for was droppings from the birds above them. Later in the morning we decided to explore down to the Point, past the boathouse with it’s various canoes and kayaks laying outside awaiting the summer days. Although it was a pretty windy day, the sun was shining brightly on the bay and we took a slew of various photos. We walked in the sand all the way out to the tip of the point and have the photos on our phones to prove it. Among the sea gulls and horseshoe crabs that lay on the beach there was a cool looking petrified tree that we photographed ourselves with. I’m kicking myself because while I was packing for trip I had forgot to big my main camera and only remembered it after we were on the road for forty five minutes so I had to make do with my cell, which thankfully does take pretty good pictures and I usually will use just as an adjunct but I’m still angry with myself for forgetting my main equipment.

For breakfast we went to a place we hadn’t been to in a while called Jo Mamas (what a name, right?) that does does a really decent breakfast sandwich. I thoroughly enjoyed mine. After some more bit of relaxing I decided to see if I could get any possible sunset shots from the area whilst LD went off to get a much needed massage. The sky started to look a bit ominous though as perhaps it might rain or even have a possible snow squall. As four in the afternoon came by I looked out the window. It looked like the wind had died down considerably which was blowing quite hard for most of the day, but the clouds in the sky were getting heavier and thicker and more gray with each passing moment. It was beginning to look like there wouldn’t be any really cool pink cotton candy sky colors like there were last night. Instead it would look like various shades of puffy white and gray, which can be interesting in it’s own right. The clock said 4:17 and this time as I looked out the picture window I could see that snow had started falling blowing around in the wind. The flakes looked pretty big as they blew sideways from right to left across my view. Sunset was at 5:18 pm, I had decided that I will wait until five pm and then if it’s rather nasty out that I would give up on this particular quest. There will always be another time, plus I’m just not as young as I used to be so I have to be careful and be smart.

Five o’clock had arrived. it was still lightly snowing out and the sky was gray. I knew I wouldn’t get any colorful sunset shots tonight but I thought it might still be cool to see the Point with the snow falling on the sandy beach so I decided to take a quick trip out the back door and down the hill to the beach. Just as I was putting on my jacket I noticed that somehow a red squirrel had managed to somehow get past the blocker and found himself inside the feeder with the seed. Industrious little fellow! I zipped up my jacket, donned my hat, and headed out the back door. When I approached the feeder the squirrel proactively took off like a rocket even though I had no real intention of shooing him away, I just happened to be passing by. Down the hill back I went, past the boat house and onto the spit of a beach and grabbed a couple of shots real quick and called it a night for my photo adventures for the day. I got back just as the sky was turning dark, although it had looked like it was starting to have a pinkish kind of quality to it but I had already decided to stay put. Also by this time I had noticed that the red squirrel had come back and this time I watched him acrobatically jump from the ground, onto the cone that was supposed to keep them away and from there right into the feeder. To the winner goes the spoils!

For dinner LD was kind enough to pick up some take out on her way back from her massage. I had decided to get a juicy cheeseburger and she got a chicken along with a salad and we shared both! Then it was just a quiet night of more relaxing and enjoying the moments of each other’s company.

Number 6: Lavallette Visit/Yonkers NY

Spent a few days down in Lavallette, NJ at a Airbnb, in fact the same one we stayed in last year at this time. It’s a great location and a pretty good place to hang out. We had a some family stay overnight with us at the beach house and I do think they all had a fun time. We were able to see two sunsets (all three days had gorgeous weather), a full moon one night, and even whales breaching right off the shore. It was quite the sight to see, especially since they were so close to the shoreline. There’s a picture out there of one literally right next to a surfer, like he could touch it with his hand, it was that close. Had some good food (some takeout but we also made some stuff and gobbled that all down over the time stayed). We were able to enjoy the takeout meals while seeing the sunset at the end of a neighboring pier. The following night, we had our guests picked up by driving them to the JBJ rest stop area so that we wouldn’t have to travel all the way back to the Airbnb because we were spending an additional night. There were some amazing pictures taken there of LD belting out the hits with the guests. It was a really fun time!

We had a late checkout the next morning, so we took our time, ate breakfast on the beach at a local coffee house we like called Lava Java, and enjoyed a little more time at the beach as the sun was feeling quite wonderful. As we were about to return to Boston, we decided to take a detour and visit our old friend Chris and his two young girls in Yonkers, New York. There was a park right next door where we could all hang for a bit outside and the kids could play in the meantime. Beautiful looking children too. Quite a whirlwind of a weekend! As LD likes to say #livingalifeIdontneedavacationfrom!

Number 5: Spring Lake “Hut” Stay

Hard to believe that this was even this year, for some reason to me it seems so long ago! We stayed at an Airbnb in the cutest little tiny house (500 square feet!) right by Lake Como in New Jersey. Spent most of the morning getting there but it wasn’t that bad at all. We had dinner with a friend at a place by the shore and then after got to see some amazing sunset that was happening right above our heads.

The next day started out by us getting some bagel sandwiches at a recommended place down the street. We were not disappointed. After that scarf down we headed over to the beach which is within walking distance of where we are staying. Got the chairs and umbrella out, found a spot, and enjoyed the day, splashing in the waves and drying off in the sun, both under the umbrella and later on, out in the full sun of the day and enjoying some fun activities. I guess we ended up having such a good time there that when we got back to the cottage we pretty much unintentionally fell asleep and took a nap. As evening started to roll around we went out for some air and picked up a pizza from a cute little local place which we brought back and ate. This town really is so cute, from it’s little downtown area, to the lake area, and of course it’s seaside beach! This is also when we first experienced the JBJ rest stop.

Number 4: Goat-a-Grams Visit

On this day I was able to get a couple of baby goats to visit LD for a continuance of her celebration this year. They were the cutest things, named Speck and Ziggy, brothers as it were. A nice thing that along with all the goat snuggles is that they were going to town on eating all the fallen oak leaves. I think they had as good a time as we did. It was a fun experience and they came right to the house. We also had a couple of guests visit which was also very nice. It was interesting to watch the goat watch one particular guest and watch that same guest watch that particular goat! I would totally do this again. I’m glad the weather held out and didn’t rain. It was a bit windy (the remnants of Hurricane Ian) but nothing us hardly New Englanders couldn’t handle.

Number 3: Summer on the Cape 2022

Some of the fun things we did with a couple of guests we had over for an overnight as well.

  • Swimming in the outdoor pool in the afternoon to cool off a bit
  • Getting lunch sandwiches from a local deli
  • Checking out our favorite spots at Nauset
  • Heading over to Macs on the Pier in Wellfleet enjoying a dinner on the beach
  • Passing by an amazing property and then noticing some crazy cottages and their asking prices for essentially a unheated shack
  • Heading over to Rock Harbor to catch the last rays of sunset
  • Grabbing some desserts at the Sparrow as per our usual routine!
  • Winding down with the charcoal grill doing up S’mores and turkey burgers and washing them down with beers
  • As always, illuminating conversation!
  • Falling asleep as midnight approached
  • Saw some cool whale art installation in Chatham center as well where you could also bid on the artwork. We also got to see a large heron fly over our heads which was really cool.
  • 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.

Number 2: Duxbury Photo Awards Ceremony

What an honor!

We got dressed up for this! A while back we had entered some of my photos from Duxbury Beach on over to the Duxbury Beach Reservation Committee and low and behold they actually chose one of the three that we submitted! I was notified that I’d be included in their upcoming calendar why back in the late spring. Imagine my surprise when months later, I was invited by them to participate in a thank you and reception to be held at the Duxbury Bay Maritime School! We arrived and were greeted by the trustees of the Reservation and lead upstairs to the Chart Room where all the winning photographs were on display, printed out and framed around the room! Very cool! After a brief talk and meet and greet with the other folks we all got our gift bags filled with goodies from the Reservation even and got to keep our winning photo, frame and all! They really do look pretty amazing all framed out.

After looking through the gorgeous calendar my shot appears in the month of September. Why did I pick this shot to take? I had just happened to be walking around by the bridge and I saw that most of the water had receded at that time so I wandered underneath. I think at first I was taken with the woodwork underneath the bridge road surface. I thought the texture looked pretty cool, and then the more I looked I thought the ripples in the sand and even the shadows created by the sun underneath was also pretty cool. It’s also something really related to Duxbury Beach as the bridge is a big part of it and I wanted something representative of the area. I also took “regular” beach shots but I felt those could be from any beach, with this, I felt it was something that only exists here and is instantly recognizable to the folks who frequent here.

None of any of this would have been possible without the love and support of the Ladydoc. From getting me here to sharing ideas and looking for opportunities for me. Hell, she even bought me the “real” camera that I used to take these shots way back when! I wanted to give her the credit that she deserves and for making me better in every way. All these shots that I take really couldn’t have happened without her in my life. So thank you LD, from the bottom of my heart.

The Runners Up!

Like I said there were so many things, even in a year when the pandemic is still hanging around, we did get to do a lot of cool things. Here are some more highlights that could have surely been in the top ten but I couldn’t fit them in. But here’s my attempt in a stream of consciousness type format:

As seen in the header image, on New Years Eve of 2022 there was some skating out out front of the town theater, hanging with Lenny at the Yoga studio, Carson coming out of his shell to meet visitors, various trips to the local beaches including Duxbury, Marshfield, and Revere. A cow named Dudley having a birthday party, Kennebunkport prelude this year with fireworks, good eats, and good friends, cleaning out LD’s old office in an adventure I called “Project Extraction.” Visiting our friends’ new house they just bought in Georgetown (we did this just yesterday on NYE), new appliances in the kitchen, a new bathroom in the basement and new flooring in the kitchen and cellar, some of my pix making the local news outlets including Boston.com, attending a couple of concerts this year, Johnny Mathis with/for my mom after being postponed for two years and a Meat Loaf tribute, partaking of food trucks over at a place called the Salvage Angel, a special Xmas Eve dinner from Rosetta’s, growing our garden and starting out with hydroponics, checking out an interactive King Tut exhibit during the summer, biking with a group in Cambridge over the spring, discovering Like No Udder in Providence RI and watching LD become a master swimmer. I also leaned a lot about cooking and grilling this year, making meals almost daily.

I read a bunch of books this year, though not as many as I had hoped. Some of my favorite reads this year however were the following: The Babysitter: My Summers with a Serial Killer, Egypt’s Golden Couple: When Akhenaten and Nefertiti Were Gods on Earth, Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture, Hell’s Half-Acre : The Untold Story of the Benders, America’s First Serial Killer Family ( a read I found in a little library in Chatham down on the Cape this summer), and The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service.

… And now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for!

Number 1: LD’s Very Special Birthday Party Extravaganza!

The party to end all parties and I think everyone who attended had a great time! We were scrambling a little bit as the party start time drew near, with getting tables set up, and picking up the cake, getting a balloon and such, etc. Everyone who said they would attend did and we even had three dogs visit, including Boomer all the way down from Maine, and Lenny, a dog I’ve been wanting to meet for a long time. (My first time meeting Lenny!) He was one solid boy weighing close to over 50 pounds! We played a game that made you meet and talk to people to learn things about them and it actually worked and everyone was into it. Another one of LD’s friends was kind enough to pick up the main entrees from Canton so that was a great help. The camera was all set up for the selfie station and I set up a shared google drive directory so that folks who took one can download their pictures. (I’d add more here but unsure if people would want their images out there so I’m not posting more). The weather was perfect for a party day! We had some pretty great homemade props which I’ll be saving to use for future events.

People also got to see the new basement and bathroom to help us decide on colors by voting. So we had a lot going on, between everyone meeting everyone, eating all the various dishes, watching LD smash her piñata, cutting the cake, playing the games, and having a good time. LD even went out of her way and cooked some gluten free things for some guests who could not partake of the main entrees. All the desserts were a huge hit, from the cake which truly was delicious to the special ice cream sandwiches we got from Providence. As the party was ending (the last guests didn’t leave till around 10 pm!) we saw the SpaceX rocket in the sky although at the time we didn’t know what it was, circled around the fire pit. The main thing was that everyone who came genuinely came to celebrate LD and you could feel the joy. We have to remember that we really are surrounded by wonderful people who care and love LD and I’m very appreciative that I was also able to partake in that.

So all in all I’d have to say it was a great year. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all tea and crumpets, there were things that sucked, like the various hospital visits and stays, and some other setbacks here and there, but overall, it was a year for the record books. And so, with that, here is my wish for you. I want to pause and reflect and send you special magic wishes for a joyful New Year. Wishing you a year of… new beginnings filled with hope and promise… simple pleasures to enjoy and share… beautiful moments to remember always… and peace and happiness in your heart and home. Happy New Year everyone!

Thinking About Adult Happy Meals

I finally got around to mowing the lawns late this afternoon, mostly just to pick up a lot of the leaves that had fallen. Those goats that visited a few days ago, although they were chomping through as many as they could get, they just couldn’t get it all. I’m kidding about them eating it all of course, most of the leaves are really starting to fall off the trees now up here. Speaking of eating, I am considering trying out that new “adult” happy meal that Mickey D’s has been promoting for the month of October. Yeah, I know it’s basically a glorified Big Mac meal for double the price but maybe I could score a Hamburgler toy, everyone seems to want that one but all you usually end up with is either Birdie or Grimace. Also for some strange reason the toys appear to have two sets of eyes. I rarely eat McD’s but I might have to make an exception in this case to see what all the buzz is about.

I need a haircut bad, probably going to get one on Saturday, as I plan at being down at Earth-1 for most of the day. Have to take my mom’s cats to get their nails done as well. Might as well just tie it all together and get a bunch of things done since I was enjoying the shore last weekend.

I voted today, filled out my ballot and put it in the box. Easy peasy, it’s the way to go in my opinion. I’m also going to book my bivalent booster shot, probably for next Friday sometime, would like to get that out of the way and done.

The Mysterious Case of the Hurting Knee

Not really sure what I did lately to bring this one, but my knee was really bugging me this morning, enough so that I had to put my brace back on. I hadn’t been wearing the brace for a couple of months since it hadn’t been an issue. I’m thinking it could possibly be due to the rainy weather we’ve been having, or maybe it’s just that I am getting old. Either way, it’s annoying.

Watchlist: Yesterday I watched Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial on Tubi on my laptop to kill some time. Basically using actors to recount everything that came out in the trial and reenacted some key scenes from each others viewpoint. The breaking of the fourth wall that they a lot was interesting, if a little unnerving at first. It looked really awful the first five minutes or so in, but I kept watching it anyway, and actually I came to the conclusion that it actually wasn’t all that bad. The guy playing Depp nailed him down pretty well. It’s basically those one-of-the-mill type made for TV movies that jump on tabloid ready stories, but it kept me entertained. Your mileage may vary. Now the next show that I want to watch is called Blonde on Netflix.

Enjoy this throwback picture I took from Boothbay Harbor up in Maine.

My Only Tax Free Weekend Purchase

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

War on Women, Flex, Zookeeping and Puffins

As mentioned before, I finally got my hands on a USB stick and used it to get Google OS Flex on that old Windows 8 laptop, essentially turning it into a Chromebook and I have to say I am very impressed. On Windows 8 that old Dell laptop ran like a dog and had awful Windows 8 on it. It screams now and is very lightweight. Since it is a Chromebook it’s very reliant on being connected to the internet to do things, but that’s okay with me. I’d recommend if you have any old laptops around to go ahead and install this – it really does breathe new life into old machines. If you want to learn more on how to do just search on YouTube, there’s tons of people showing how it’s done, it’s actually really easy.

As for the Roe overturn that happened today, it’s definitely a huge step backward. I’m not surprised it happened, we’re living in pretty f**ked up times. Where do things go from here?

For some levity here’s an arcade game that I used to love and pumped many quarters to back in the 80s. Someone went ahead and programmed a version of it for the web. Great job – just as tricky as I remembered. It’s a classic called Zookeeper.

And finally for some more levity, check out the Puffin cams! My favorite bird. Depending on when you’re watching this you might see the parents in their burrow taking care of the baby!

The Unsolved Mystery of My Roots

I finally got a chance to watch this PBS show called “Finding Your Roots”. The premise of the show is that they get two celebrities and basically trace down their genealogical tree. On this particular episode they looked at John Leguizamo and Lena Waithe. What struck me as so impressive was far back they were able to trace these people’s roots. In the case of John they were able to go to like the 1400s to the time of the freaking conquistadors and Lena’s went way back too, to early Barbados. It’s also fascinating to see just where their last names originated from.

“You must always know your roots if you are to know how sturdy the tree will grow.”

Zoraida Córdova, A Crash of Fate

It made me wonder a little bit about my own history because basically I only know on my mother’s side up to my great grandparents and of that very little, nothing before them, and on my father’s side I don’t even know his parents having never had any contact with that side, although I’ve heard tales that they may have been lawyers, but nothing about their story or where they came from. So my history is pretty much blank. I guess all those hereditary genes will end with me, a mystery before, an unsolved mystery after. However with my last name there is something about the Lebanon area and of course Bethany, a town near Jerusalem, at the foot of the Mount of Olives, so there’s got to be some middle eastern descent in there somewhere although I am mostly Portuguese on my mother’s side. I would definitely watch this show more moving forward.

Wrong Delivery

Lobster Trap Tree in Cape Porpoise, Maine

I awoke to a strange sight outside the house as I was getting ready to get in my car to go to work. There was a rather large package waiting in the driveway which for a second thought might be ours but upon further inspection was not, It appears to be some kind of water filtration device after googling the company name listed on the box and appears to be quite expensive. Anyway the address is nowhere close to ours (the number and street are nothing alike) and upon further investigation I believe it may possibly belong to someone either in another part of town or a different town altogether. Looking up the tracking number I’ve noticed someone put in a ticket to investigate. LD contacted UPS later to tell them about it (UPS is the WORST btw). I’ll just leave it where it is for now and see what happens.


I went vegetarian tonight and cooked up a white bean and swiss chard stew along with some parmesan garlic bread. Now swiss chard is not normally something as part of my repertoire but this actually came out pretty good!

Duxbury Redux and Expressionism at It’s Finest?

Redux

Went back to the wooden walkway and reshot the area again last weekend as this particular day had different lighting than the previous weekend visit, as it was more cloudy whereas last time had a lot of sun. Lighting differently can make some significant differences in appearance for sure. I plan on entering this shot along with 2 older ones to Duxbury for possible inclusion into their town calendar.

I don’t know if anyone else ever plays any of these puzzle games that I enjoy but here’s a new one: Long Haul Space Flight. I need these things to keep my brain going. Now if only I could get better at remembering things.

Guess who swung by this afternoon? That dude that wanted to draw my picture (again, why?) He gave me the drawing and I brought it home. It sort of looks like a mix between a kid’s drawing and some expressionist art, sort of a mix between an Alvar Cawén work and some 5 year old. It does look like me a little bit though? I’d take a picture of it, but it really needs to be seen in person. On the plus side, the canvas is rather large.

Apparently NECN featured another one of my photos, LD saw it flash up on the tv, by strangely this time I didn’t get notified. They do seem to feature my stuff now and again, I guess they like what I’m doing.

I got a golden ticket in the mail to the local BK, scratch off the card and see what you’ve won kind of deal. The big prize was free BK for the year but this kind only entitles me to a free Croissan’wich, which I got in the mail back at the end of October but expires Friday so I got to use it or lose it soon. Wasn’t that one of the most interesting stories you’ve ever heard me relate to you all?

Might add more to this post later tonight…

What a Weird Day

As I was finishing up my shift today, a gentleman wearing a hat pulled over and came over to me and stated that he was an artist and drew various people around town. He even showed me some of his work. I suppose they were ok, but this guy was no Picasso. Anyways he asked if he could take my picture so that he could draw me, I guess, I mean I am rather adorable and cute, right? I obliged and let him take his shots. We’ll see what comes out of this one. I would have never believed all the weird stuff that I see these days out in the field.