Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
*Deering Oaks in an afternoon snow.
Here's your vocabulary lesson for the today.
Ya, we're being pounded.
Local weather reports have been using all of these words since yesterday to help prepare us for this snow.
However, this morning the estimates of snow accumulation have been reduced a bit. The Blizzard of 2013 brought us somewhere in the vicinity of 31.5 inches out here. Things won't be that DIRE today and tomorrow, but the driving wind is the KILLER.
Anyway, we're a hearty bunch up here in the Northeast.
But please pass the Thesaurus!
Monday, January 26, 2015
Well, snow wasn't the only thing in town Saturday night. Ah, a certain Mr. Alan Jackson graced the city at the Cross Insurance Center. He brought along his "Keeping It Country Tour". No, I wasn't in attendance, but if someone had thrown me a last minute free ducat, I would have somehow found my way to the Spring Street site. Now, if it had been Dwight and his band of vagabonds, that would have been another story. Over the last few years every time his feet have hit somewhere in New England, I'm on a cruise, working or something else major is already in my plans. It'll happen. No, the my stetson probably won't accompany me. But I'll be there, someplace. His 2015 tour has already hit the road, and yes, I've checked out the tour itinerary. I'm really looking for a summer outdoor site, maybe under some stars.
I'll keep you posted.
"Turn It On, Turn It Up, Turn Me Loose"
Sunday, January 25, 2015
Am I on some kind of bird kick? Waiting for my gaggle of geese. I'm going to be here awhile, I bet. Here we are mid-yesterday's storm in the Stroudwater section of the city on outer Congress Street and not a goose in sight. They have fled for the winter. We are still here hanging on.
Who's the smarter?
I must admit this is a useful sign during the summer. There can be lots of back and forth action here. I've seen them crossing many times. On the other hand, out our way there's a moose crossing sign. I've never seen one there, ever.
That said, I'll probably hit one tonight.
Look out, Bullwinkle!
Saturday, January 24, 2015
They must have recognized me.
Their approach was loud and vigorous.
Without food, there was no way I was stepping onto that snow.
Friday, January 23, 2015
I've been thinking. Yes, I do that from time to time. Come February 1st, the theme for that day is something along this: If you left your city and never could return, what would you miss the most? I'm undecided at the moment, but I do know it'll be something in the natural world. The city is just chock full of pieces of mother nature's handiwork. For example, my photograph today is of the backside of Rocky Hill in snow. On the other side are some sheer cliffs that drop off precipitously. Unless you live nearby, most people probably have no idea that wonder spots like this one lurk close around us.
Search and ye shall be rewarded.
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Just grin and bear it.
Oh, and enjoy the frosty designs on your windows.
You can scratch your name in it for added fun.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Papers and choo choo trains: sights and sounds of days gone.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Ice. Fun. Sun.
Visiting WeekiWachee Springs was always a fun day.
By the way, they have live mermaids swimming in a huge tank.
You can watch them in the underwater theater.
So forget the dipping' dots.
Bring on the mermaids!
Monday, January 19, 2015
How can that be?
What we are looking at in this image is an estuary that I have always called Back Bay. My old high school overlooks it, seen here in the distance, and for many of my formative years, I lived overlooking it. How could I be this much out of the loop? Let me try this again. What you are looking at here is Back Cove. It is on the northern end of the city, and Baxter Boulevard circles it, as does a popular loop walking trail. At low tide, the area in view is a tidal mud flat of about a mile in diameter. At one time, I believe, raw sewage from the city flowed into this are and created quite an aromatic 'delight'. Thankfully those days are long gone.
It won't happen again.
I'm sorry for any false information I have ever passed along.
"Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa"
Sunday, January 18, 2015
It's all downhill from here.
WinterKids is a program that's been around for quite a few years now. It introduces young kids, many new to Maine through the Refugee Resettlement Program in Portland, to the excitement of getting outdoors in winter, with a goal of developing a lifelong enjoyment of the season. Yesterday's Winter Festival at Payson Park was sort of a kick-off of the program. If numbers of people on the hill was a testament, sledding down the Payson hill, with a bunch of moguls built in, was certainly the most popular activity, but snowshoeing demonstrations and ice skating at the pond, where, yes, they even had a fire to keep your hands and feet warm were available as well. Throughout the winter, there are events scattered across the state for local communities to be exposed to the enjoyment of winter in Maine. Kids in grades 5-7 can even get a WinterKids Passport, which provides free or discounted equipment and opportunities at sponsored events across the state.
I wish there was something like this for me, back when.
I might have taken skiing much more seriously.
Saturday, January 17, 2015
Cold January days like today were made for sleds and ice skates. There never was a long, icy hill that my sled didn't fall in love with. And as for my skating, I especially enjoyed the Allen's Corner rink. It was big. There was plenty of room for ice hockey games, games of red rover on skates, 'the whip' or my favorite pastime: chasing good looking high school girls in their white skates. These days my love of ice pretty much just extends to the ice machine at hotels or our ice cube tray and some concoction I've thrown together on a warm summer afternoon on the deck. On days like today, I've got my eyes peeled for any large chunks of ice that might be in the mood of falling from buildings.
Getting a 'header' by one of these might signal less 'ice time' on the deck in 5 months or so.
That wouldn't be a good at all.
Friday, January 16, 2015
A sale lasting about 40 years?
Now, that's an amazing feat.
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Does a banging headache about 12 hours after indulging count?
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Sure, there were times the thought of the excitement of it ran across my mind growing up. But the circus? I think not. It never entered my mind. Running away to join the circus that is. I must admit though that there were those crazy days on Stevens Avenue where Dad offered it as a legitimate career choice for me."What? You're kidding me right?" He wasn't laughing. Remember: mischief had a way of finding me. At least now, I wouldn't have to travel far, and if I didn't like it, Dad would probably take me back. Yes, believe it or not the circus has come to town. Not the Ringling Brothers, not the Big Apple, not the Cole Bros., not Barnum Bailey, but CircusAtlantic. Never heard of it? Neither have I, but they have started offering courses in a warehouse at Thompson's Point.
Riding a unicycle across a highwire?
Tumbling on a trampoline?
Working on a trapeze?
Doing a little juggling?
I was thinking more on the lines of a clown.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
So far, lots of rumors.
Talk is cheap.
Monday, January 12, 2015
If you're taking a seat in this sun, bundle up.
That's not a gentle, warm, summer breeze a blowin'.
Sunday, January 11, 2015
It was another time.
As a matter of fact, if this couch was there amid all the books, I might still be there.
I milked my imagination as much as I could.
Saturday, January 10, 2015
We all need it.
Time that we can just kickback and maybe just wait for the next onslaught to hit. When Slugger, the Portland Sea Dogs' mascot, hits the road in the off season, he ends up doing a lot of hugging, waving and mugging for the camera. Yesterday, he visited Bonny Eagle Middle School promoting the "Slugger Reading Challenge" on behalf of the Portland Sea Dogs. He was up early and ready for middle schoolers at 7 AM. Here he rests and waits for the 'friendly assault' coming around the corner. I guess it wasn't a case of 'letting THIS sleeping dog lie' yesterday.
So next question- So what's sea dog anyway?
A very experienced sailor?
A seal or a similar marine mammal?
A mythical beast-like dog with fins, webbed feet and scaly tail?
A minor league baseball player?
There were lots of questions like these when the name was selected in 1994.
Friday, January 9, 2015
My latest effort in creating a domicile for my fine feathered friends is seen here. I try to put up a couple of new ones each year. This one got painted gold for no reason other than it was the first can of paint I came across in my search for a different color. Most of the housing around the yard is picked up each fall, but others like this one are permanently attached. I've got a couple up around the garden on posts that will certainly need some attention come spring. Yes, after yesterday blast of frigid temperatures, I'm contemplating May right now. Maybe even a sojourn to a couple of beaches around Daytona come April.
Please pass the sunscreen.
"It's gold, Jerry. Gold."
Thursday, January 8, 2015
It's cold, baby!
Outside my country kitchen window at 5:30 AM, the temperature reads -20°F as I type these words. Add in a little breeze, and they are saying it feels like an almost tropical -34°F. The high today will reach a balmy 15°F. I'm not braggin', but that's a bit cold, even for us up here in our corner of the world. This autumn sedum that flowers and keeps the birdbath company all summer through, wants no part of this snow and frigid temps. Right here right now, any thoughts of spring and summer heat are hard to conjure up, and I have a pretty good memory. But we're a hearty bunch up here in New England. Luckily, this 'blast' will last just a day, then life will get back to a normal January day tomorrow, with my outside thermometer reading about 32° for the high.
Got to get up and face this day?
Warm the car.
Grab that scarf.
Where's my mad bomber winter hat?
Oh, and no school in Portland today... the Cold and bus issues.
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Back in third grade, I got pretty good at drawing Woody Woodpecker. I loved that cartoon. I'd do sketches of him on every piece of scrap paper I could get my hands on. Sister Ardmarabalis was not too impressed at my efforts. She wanted me more focused on the pages in the latest issue of "My Weekly Reader". I thought perhaps I could make small cash from my friends drawing Woody and some of my other cartoon friends. Now, I lay this all at the 'hand' of John Gnagy, the TV artist, and that "Learn to Draw" kit that I got from Santa that year. Needless to say, I'm not pounding away at my art any longer, but the woodpeckers are relentless.
They've got to be doing some damage to these trees.
Always the refrain is "Rat-Ta-Tat-Tat...
Don't be a peckerhead!
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Hair on the head can make you unique in a strange sort of way. These days shaved heads seem to be a dime a dozen or less. Not unique in my book. Hair has always been a thing for me. At my age to wear it the way I do can often lead to questions. Why? Why? Why? My answer, simply put is, "It's me". But really, when I trace the bloodlines back, there's one that's pretty strong that trickles back to those British Invasion bands of the 60's and another would take you back to Adam's Barber Shop on Stevens Avenue. One year, heading back to college, Dad told me that the hair had to go and he sent me right across the street to Adam's. I delayed it as long as I could but eventually sat in the chair. Maybe my Dad had spoken to him in advance and passed the word to 'take it off'. All I know is he strapped me in and asked what I wanted done. I recall saying, "Just a little trim, leave it pretty long." The next ten minutes or so went like this: there were smiles, buzzing sounds, clipping, laughter and words spoken in Italian exchanged, and I was about bald! As I walked out of the shop, I uttered a curse to the sky and said to myself, "Never again, you bastard!" And true to my word, I have NEVER stepped into a barber shop since.
His humor cost the barbers of the world a lot of pay days.
He was oblivious then.
"Just a little off the sides, please."
Monday, January 5, 2015
And that always led to memorable times.
Streaking on the ice paths all the way across Gullivers.
Oh, but I hated the trudge back up that hill.
Sunday, January 4, 2015
http://itsasmalltownlife.blogspot.com/. The house, still decorated for the holidays, was filled with enchanting lights. This morning we woke to 5 inches of snow and an icy mix falling. As I mentioned yesterday, snow and ice I can handle, but with a Sunday forecast of a steady rain and below freezing temps, this had a chance of not being a snowblower- friendly event. In a little bit of drizzle making a crusty snow, the deed was done in about an hour. I took a walk in the backyard and took 90 photographs documenting the snow and ice.
An icy ornament still hanging.
2015 Christmas card?
An icy ornament still hanging.
2015 Christmas card?
Saturday, January 3, 2015
Let me pull out my crystal ball for a moment and take a quick glance. Wow! "Romper, bomper, stomper boo. Tell me , tell me, do. I see Michelle and Sharon and Lowell and Jack. I see Kate and Yelena and Malyss and Stefan too." Wait a minute wrong device. Whoops! That's my Romper Room magic mirror from way back. Here we go. Now we're in business. Here's my faithful glass ball. Let's see. What does it show in my future? Ah, anywheres from 4-8 inches headed this way tonight. That's the latest forecast. Starting after 7PM and extending until midnight, then changing over to maybe ice and freezing rain. Yuk! The last part of the prediction concerns me the most. You see, for any novices out there, snowblowers are great for all types of snow. Mine can handle handle anything up to say 12-14 inches, but throw in rain and all bets are off. These 'blowing machines' have big issues with slush. Our driveway tilts downhill a bit, and this is where the trouble lies. Slush and water build up at the bottom by the road and become an issue. I'll probably be up and out early attempting to beat the rain. I could throw caution to the wind, not blow and run my truck up and down ten times or so. I've taken this tact before; however, if a cold stretch hits the driveway will be rutted for weeks maybe. Then when it snows again and the ruts are still there... well. So you see my dilemma. Sticky, white snowcover makes for a winter wonderland, postcard event like in today's image, but often it wreaks havoc with snow removal.
Let me take another look at that ball.
Is there a mighty Ram pickup and a Fisher plow in my future?
Didn't think so.
Friday, January 2, 2015
So, one resolve that Elenka has for me in 2015 is to learn to cook? On New Years Eve, we were invited to friends' Alan and Sylvia's home for a dinner of tuna steaks, dipped in various spices and then pan-seared and a delicious salad of red potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, lettuce, olives, hard boiled eggs and more. Cooking, you see, is a bit scary for me; however, I do enjoy watching others do the deed. I enjoy viewing the Food Network too. Please don't ask me why. I couldn't give you an honest answer. Maybe it's because working in the kitchen seems so alien to me, and besides my culinary efforts would pale along side Elenka's work at the stove. My favorite shows that get my attention are "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" with Guy somebody, "The Barefoot Contessa" and "Giada at Home" with Giada De Laurentiis filling up my TV screen... and oh, she cooks too? What do ya know. Her outfits are mighty fine too! But really, all of them make cooking look so damn easy. They make it look like I could do it. The challenges for me would be getting all the supplies and ingredients together and then coordinating when everything should be cooking. That and having a 'master' chef lurking over my shoulder. Ah, but I refuse to be lulled into that evil trap. But you know maybe I will tip-toe into doing a little work in the kitchen this winter. It's worth the risk. If I do, it'll be documented for sure.
By the way, just an aside.
Did you hear that Giada and her husband have gone split-ville?
Thought you'd like this bit of food trivia.
Anyone else secretly watch these shows?
... and wants to admit it?
Thursday, January 1, 2015
Here we go again. It's the first of the month and time for Theme Day across the world-wide CDPB (citydailyphotoblog) community. I always find 'photo of the year' to be like answering the the question: so of all your children who's your favorite? It's always a hard task for me. Someone, please go through my 365 latest and pick one... anyone. Well, here goes. I'm picking one from last January of the Eastern Prom caught in the lull of a storm. Bare tree, storm-laced gray sky and this bench overlooking Casco Bay. There, my work is done.
Resolutions this year?
Playing it close to the vest.
One though, I'll reveal.
Plan to keep posting here, everyday.
I haven't missed a day since December 31, 2008.
Keep on, keeping on.
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Was it all you hoped for?
Did those things you wished for in January past come to fruition?
Did you accomplish all you set out to do?
What did you gain?
What did you lose?
Well, Portland gained one new rag and lost another.
The Portland Daily Sun, a free daily paper, bit the dust after just a few years existence. Most of the writers got gobbled up by their sister paper The Portland Phoenix, a weekly that has outlasted other of its ilk in New England. Boston and Providence come to mind. Dig Portland is the newest 'weekly baby' to hit the streets of the city in these bright red carriers. Apparently its Boston publisher feels that P-town is still ripe for a free weekly to survive and flourish. I must admit, at this point, that I do grab a copy on a pretty regular basis. It keeps me up on the nighty comings and goings about the city.
Does your city or town have these?
Do you pick them up?
Helpful to you?
I'm sure we all had a few of each.
Can ya dig it?