Friday, December 31, 2010
Good Riddance, but Now What?
by Ogden Nash
Come, children, gather round my knee;
Something is about to be.
Tonight's December Thirty-First,
Something is about to burst.
The clock is crouching, dark and small,
Like a time bomb in the hall.
Hark! It's midnight, children dear.
Duck! Here comes another year.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Well, here's my hair-of-the-dog remedy for what ails you -- little Celtic trance music from my favorite Celtic trancers, Skilda. Take two viewings and call me Ishmael.
And for those who like their lives and their trance music a bit more, shall we say, frantic.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Just in case you missed your daily dose of Boing-Boing because of all of the Christmas distractions today, I refer you to a nicely researched and illustrated story found by Maggie Koerth-Baker, “Why NORAD Tracks Santa” by Retired General Victor Renaurt, Jr. I learned a few things by reading it. For instance, did you know (remember) that before there was the North American Aerospace Defense Command, CONAD tracked Santa because of a wrong number in a print advertisement? (Image above shows the adv.)
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
The overcast on Winter Solstice Night was so thick one couldn't see a hint of the moon in the sky, let alone a lunar eclipse. I went outside at 2:20 AM or so and couldn't tell if the sky was any darker then, than earlier. I do know that there were no shadows cast as I danced naked in the snow, so I suspect we are in for three more months of winter at the very least. Thanks to neighbors and passers-by for not calling in the local gendarme - while exposed, I was facing the back fields, not likely to affront anyone's line-of-sight. The God of Winter is appeased for another year ... even if I had to revel Saturnalia all alone.
It's snowed and rained and sleeted and hailed today. Outside temps have hovered right at the freezing mark. I suppose now that the sun has rolled past the horizon the temps will droop ever so slightly, making locak roads the equivalent of the fresh ice on the hockey rink just after the Zamboni has cleaned the ice.
I discovered a stupid mistake I made when I went out to the truck in search of the twelve-pack of Diet Coke I purchased a while ago at the grocery store -- they'd all frozen. Then exploded. All over the back of the Suburban. Horrendous mess and it is all my fault. Will I ever learn?
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
And so it goes, buckaroos...
Monday, December 13, 2010
While the trailer was rocking and the wind a-howling, I went out about midnight and tightened down the outriggers to reduce the motion from the 30 MPH winds broadside to us with gusts around 38 MPH. Not near as bad as forecast, but we got a couple of inches of rain and all of the snow is gone. Haven’t gone down to camp as I don’t feel like tackling the mud, so I don’t know if the lake has come over it’s banks. The air temp hit a high of 57°F this morning and is well on its way back to the freezing point. Still, it was nice, albeit damp, walking the dog this morning. All the more reason to bemoan spending this winter in Maine…
Iggy contemplates a leaden sky, remembering all the fun he had playing in the snow only a day ago.
Walked down to the beaver dam – run-off is a good 18” over the lip of the dam and running strong. Not enough light to enable sight of the top of the dam through the water. I tried to photograph it,, but all I managed was to get wet to my pockets from the bull rushes and bracken next to the stream. I think that I’ll just hunker down and wait out the rain – once I find some dry clothing to put on. I’m still trying to catch up with my blog reading. I’m down to only 545 entries to read from somewhere in the 10 thousands (not that I read all of them, mind you—who needs two week old weather information?).
The holiday season, that is. Not really feeling it, myself. Hannukah ended a couple of days ago, the Winter Solstice will be upon us next week, along with the Wiccan festivals of Saturnalia and Yule. Festivus, Christmas, Boxing Day -- they are all coming. Are you feeling festive this year? It’s a little tough for many here and abroad with no income nor hope of any in the New Year.
Well, help is on the way via the Boston.com’s The Big Picture. An entry this week, “Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” has 37 photos of holiday preparations from around the globe. A sample that caught the editor’s eye as well as mine from a Reuters photo is cropped and shown below to entice you to go see all of the images for yourself. Enjoy.
Image copyright © 2010 Reuters – I only can wish I was that good. Hats off to Christian Charisius – great photo, bro. (Do click to see the uncropped version and view all of these great photos. If you are on a slow connection, go make yourself a meal, empty the trash and walk the dog, they take a while to download).
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Special Thanks go to Candy Minx, from whose blog I swiped the duck video. You go girl!
Monday, December 06, 2010
According to the Free Online Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
“Definition of BUG OUT -- intransitive verb
1: to retreat during a military action; especially : to flee in panic
2: to depart especially in a hurry …”
So there I was, sipping coffee and perusing email on my newly restored laptop on Sunday morning around 9:30. Outside, snow flurries danced on the Northeast wind, the temps in the low thirties and the air faintly smelling of the pulp mills to the North. I finished the mail and clicked on the NOAA weather forecast for my area. Holy Fortune Cookies, Mai Tai! They were forecasting a significant Winter Storm, with snow accumulations of 5 to 10 inches. Ouch. I thought the forecast was for flurries Sunday and just an inch or two of the white stuff on Monday. Damn my luck.
View out the LR window on Sunday morning
Where we are (were) parked is all of 35 feet to the water. As I have mentioned in the past, the water has come up quite high this fall. If the area receives a significant volume of snow this winter, flooding of annoying, if not dangerous proportions can be expected. Unlike my brother, I am not up to wading around in near-freezing water. Then there is the whole issue of water damage to our trailer and the lack of flood insurance thereon (only available for permanent and semi-permanent structures on improved sites.) Plus the whole ‘mud season’ scenario where nothing short of a helicopter is able to extract you from wherever you have been too stupid to escape. So a quick conference with myself concluded with two words: “bug out”.
And so I did. From ten in the morning I broke camp until well past dark. I was extremely fortunate that I was only going to be hauling out to high ground a few miles away. So, I didn’t trouble about the niceties (and necessities) when seriously traveling. Breakables and the like went down low on the foor. The external shower was taken down and draped in the shed to dry out (we’ve had a lot of rain and things were soaked from that and the melting snow flurries. It took a while, but I worked ceaselessly until it was as done as it was going to get.
I loaded both vehicles and am fortunate to have a neighbor willing to drop everything to follow me over to the farm and bring me back so I could then drive the Suburban and trailer over. Thank you Katy. They were so nice, they even took pity on my bedraggled state and offered me dinner! Thanks again, folks. Sorry I didn’t have the presence of mind to photograph the standing rib Pork Roast Davey served – it was a work of art.
So here I sit, cooling my heels and other parts of my anatomy in front of the farmhouse we used to live in. The wind’s out of the West around 20 MPH and the 12” of snow that has fallen so far is starting to drift. Two space heaters barely hold the interior at 60°. I suppose I will have to attempt a heart attack tomorrow, shoveling open the drive, before firing up the ‘Burb’ and going to town for some bread and water. And fuel ... mustn’t forget the need to stay warm. Iggy barely keeps his ears above the snow. Forget about the rest of him. Like a good dad, I smush down a section when he starts to circling and that allows him to keep his butt clear of the snow when doing what comes naturally.
And that, my friends, is all for tonight.
“‘Publishers really don’t want a difficult writer who writes brilliant books. Publishers really like a good writer who writes good books and doesn’t have any problem with being a prima donna. That’s part of the unwritten credo: ‘Don’t be a dick.’”1
What Mercedes Lackey posits as the ideal author, from a publisher and editor’s perspective, holds too true in daily life. In the USA, there is a significant portion of the population who expect, no, demand that we all are good little boys and girls, alike in a die cut sameness of mind, body and belief. From an early age we overtly instruct our offspring to conform and then recoil in horror when they trot out the timeworn phrase, “everybody else does it.” Of course, “it” is something that (usually) only a minority actually do. Sort of like writers, no?
It isn’t my place in the grand scheme of things to attack or rebut one of my heroes. Mercedes Lackey is an eminently qualified writer and, from all reports, anything but a prima donna. I can only wish to be a tenth as good as she has proven herself to be.
But (there’s always a but, isn’t there?). I do believe that those who write truly brilliant books that sell thousands or, even better, hundreds of thousands of copies, have earned the right to be difficult, demanding, cantankerous and otherwise odious prima donnas.
Just get out from behind the customer service window at Walmart and the Post Office, would you?
1 Locus Online Perspectives, Mercedes Lackey: Making Fun — posted Wednesday 10 November 2010 @ 10:55 am PST
Thursday, December 02, 2010
It’s raining outside, a fact one is extremely aware of when living inside an aluminum can. The weather wonks are predicting something between an inch and 3 inches in the next twenty-four hours or so. So much for the ice on the lake – it is gone as of 20 minutes ago when I took the dog out to empty his bladder. Snow is pretty much gone already, too. In it’s place is little pathways of ice, compacted then frozen over the past week or so as autumn turned gray and nasty.
Snowy Autumn – Last Weeks of November, 2010.
We’ve been fighting serious condensation in the Airstream. It is inevitable, aluminum conducting heat so well, poor insulation and all of the Thanksgiving cooking I have been doing. Seems folks took pity on our financial plight this year. Personal friends provided a 29 lb turkey and a bag of veggies, along with a bottle of propane. The Food and Medicine Coalition gave us a very nice bag of Thanksgiving goodies, including apple cider, pumpkin pie, squash, beets, onions, potatoes, bread. And, we had dinner with our neighbors, Dave and Katy and their house guest Lauri on T-Day, too. That required the contribution of some homemade cornbread dressing and southwest Ancho Chile candied yams. So yours truly has been a very busy bee at the stove of late. In fact, I’m still cooking the last of the big bird … she was too big to cook whole in our oven.
Iggy is being a little porker, socking down every scrap and morsel that comes his way or within even close proximity. He’s even mastered climbing up onto a plastic storage bin on the dining table to reach the cat’s bowl. Meanwhile, Jingle Belle is so confident she sees no problem with reaching out and swiping her claws across Iggy’s tail stump in passing. That leads to much chasing and caterwauling and barking within the confines of the trailer. Remind me why I consented to my wife keeping a kitten again, please.
We’re getting ready to move the trailer over to the house at the farm. Not much point in staying once the ice is in--- a seven mile fetch to the Northwest can be mighty chilly without the resistance of the water to slow down the wind a little bit.
All in all, we are doing OK. Haven’t had any luck finding work but I am confident something will turn up (it better – heating is expensive here). I have no desire to imitate a “Pops-cicle” anytime soon, either.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Thursday, November 04, 2010
It's been pretty cold in the morning lately. Water buckets have an inch of ice and I find it necessary to break skim ice with one of the frozen buckets to get water from the lake. Winter is on its way (Boo~ Hiss!)
Ran into my neighbor (Hi, Katey) this morning at o'dark thirty - we were both putting our trash barrels out for pick-up at 7:00. The changeover to standard time next week will give a whole new meaning to 'being in the dark'. Instead of a gray dawning it'll be strictly starlight to load the barrels by.
Deer hunters are out in full force. What the heck is with these folks that they feel the need to shoot their buck or doe two, three, even four times? Some asshat tried to kill a deer in the middle of a game preserve (Marsh Island - all of UMO and most of Orono and Old Town) field behind the new Old Town Elementary School yesterday. This brilliant ex-con hadn't a sufficient clue as to where they were and what was downrange. Like the University of Maine biking/jogging trail, a housing development and the aforementioned school. I used to work the Radio Shack that was in the strip mall in front of this field. What a maroon!
And So It Goes...
Monday, October 25, 2010
I split a molar. Lengthwise, upper jaw, left side. Clenched the jaw a bit to hard, I guess. Falling apart, for sure.
Hark! Is that the Grim Reaper's scythe I hear?
The dentist I saw today (Thursday) says I have an infection in the spongiform tissue in the maxilla. So onto penicillin for a week and then they will yank the damaged tooth out as it cannot be retained without leaving a significant path for infection to my bloodstream. With a compromised circulatory system and pump, that is considered a "bad idea" according to the tooth doc.
And So It Goes...
Saturday, October 23, 2010
There’s no question in my mind that winter is around the corner. Although, “they” say it will warm up next week with a chance to see 60° F. for a high next week. Today, it is a different story. A clear, cold night with a full moon allowed the mercury to plunge to 33° by the time my bladder insisted I either get up or soak the bed. “They” had said today would be breezy. No kidding – the wind was out of the North upon rising and blowing a steady 25 MPH with considerably higher gusts. The white caps out in the middle of the lake were more reminiscent of Lake Champlain than a little pond in Maine with a six mile fetch. As of this writing (an experiment in off-line composition with Windows Live Writer – I know, I know –late to the party per usual-) it’s 46° and the wind has moved into the West at about 20 MPH. That will be our high for the day. “They” are forecasting a hard freeze for overnight.
I sure hope “they” are terribly wrong.
Looking Northwest … inside the cove. Note the whitecaps out in the passage (Double-click to embiggen).
“They” are the weather wookies at local TV and radio stations…
Monday, October 18, 2010
Today I don’t have to think about those who hear “terrorist” when I speak my faith.
Today I don’t have to think about men who don’t believe no means no.
Today I don’t have to think about how the world is made for people who move differently than I do.
Today I don’t have to think about whether I’m married, depending on what state I’m in.
Today I don’t have to think about how I’m going to hail a cab past midnight.
Today I don’t have to think about whether store security is tailing me.
Today I don’t have to think about the look on the face of the person about to sit next to me on a plane.
Today I don’t have to think about eyes going to my chest first.
Today I don’t have to think about what people might think if they knew the medicines I took.
Today I don’t have to think about getting kicked out of a mall when I kiss my beloved hello.
Today I don’t have to think about if it’s safe to hold my beloved’s hand.
Today I don’t have to think about whether I’m being pulled over for anything other than speeding.
Today I don’t have to think about being classified as one of “those people.”
Today I don’t have to think about making less than someone else for the same job at the same place.
Today I don’t have to think about the people who stare, or the people who pretend I don’t exist.
Today I don’t have to think about managing pain that never goes away.
Today I don’t have to think about whether a stranger’s opinion of me would change if I showed them a picture of who I love.
Today I don’t have to think about the chance a store salesmen will ignore me to help someone else.
Today I don’t have to think about the people who’d consider torching my house of prayer a patriotic act.
Today I don’t have to think about a pharmacist telling me his conscience keeps him from filling my prescription.
Today I don’t have to think about being asked if I’m bleeding when I’m just having a bad day.
Today I don’t have to think about whether the one drug that lets me live my life will be taken off the market.
Today I don’t have to think about the odds of getting jumped at the bar I like to go to.
Today I don’t have to think about “vote fraud” theater showing up at my poll station.
Today I don’t have to think about turning on the news to see people planning to burn my holy book.
Today I don’t have to think about others demanding I apologize for hateful people who have nothing to do with me.
Today I don’t have to think about my child being seen as a detriment to my career.
Today I don’t have to think about the irony of people thinking I’m lucky because I can park close to the door.
Today I don’t have to think about memories of being bullied in high school.
Today I don’t have to think about being told to relax, it was just a joke.
Today I don’t have to think about whether someone thinks I’m in this country illegally.
Today I don’t have to think about those who believe that freedom of religion ends with mine.
Today I don’t have to think about how a half-starved 23-year-old being a cultural ideal affects my life.
Today I don’t have to think about how much my life is circumscribed by my body.
Today I don’t have to think about people wanting me cured of loving who I love.
Today I don’t have to think about those who view me an unfit parent because of who I love.
Today I don’t have to think about being told my kind don’t assimilate.
Today I don’t have to think about people blind to the intolerance of their belief lecturing me about my own.
Today I don’t have to think about my body as a political football.
Today I don’t have to think about how much my own needs wear on those I love.
Today I don’t have to think about explaining to others “what happened to me.”
Today I don’t have to think about politicians saying bigoted things about me to win votes.
Today I don’t have to think about those worried that one day people like me will be the majority.
Today I don’t have to think about someone using the name of my religion as a slur.
Today I don’t have to think about so many of the words for me controlling my own life being negatives.
Today I don’t have to think about still not being equal.
Today I don’t have to think about what it takes to keep going.
Today I don’t have to think about how much I still have to hide.
Today I don’t have to think about how much prejudice keeps hold.
Today I don’t have to think about how I’m meant to be grateful that people tolerate my kind.
Today I don’t have to think about all the things I don’t have to think about.
But today I will.
The preceeding appeared on John Scalzi's blog, Whatever, this morning. As there are several of you who don't read his blog on a regular basis, I thought I would share. All credit goes to John. And, as of this writing, there are already 205 comments pertaining to this entry at his site. They're entertaining and educational in their own right. I suggest you give them a read.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Been trying to catch up on my blog reading and have come to a conclusion -- it is time to thin out again. It's the recurring story of my life -- my eyes are bigger than my stomach and that is massive ;-). There simply isn't enough time available in my day to read them all. So, apologies in advance to all that receive the cut. Information overload has struck again.
I've had no luck finding work so far. This area is hurting, big time. There seems to be six to ten applicants for every shitty opening and hundreds for good ones.
Going to be moving to the house soon as nightly temperatures are headed for below freezing this week and the wind comes whistling down from Canada with next to nothing to stop it. This aluminum beer can we call home loses the heat faster than we generate it.
That is all for tonight. Keep the greasy side down, all you Snobirds as you head South. Wish we were also leaving but the wallet is bare still.
And so it goes...
The Newfie War
The American President was in the Oval Office when his telephone rang.
"Hallo, Mr. President " a heavily accented voice said. This is Archie, up'ere at the Harp Seal Pub in Badger's Cove, Newfoundland, Canada eh? I am callin' to tells ya dat we are officially declaring war on you eh!"
"Well Archie," The President replied, "This is indeed important news! How big is your army?"
"Right now," said Archie, after a moments calculation "there is me, me cousin Harold, me next-door-neighbor Mick, and the whole dart team from the pub. That makes eight!"
The President paused. "I must tell you Archie, that I have one million men in my army waiting to move on my command."
"Holy jeez," said Archie. "I'll have ta call ya back!"
Sure enough, the next day, Archie called again. "Mr. President, the war is still on! We have managed to acquire some infantry equipment!"
"And what equipment would that be Archie?", the President asked.
"Well sir, we have two combines, a bulldozer, and Harry's farm tractor."
The President sighed. "I must tell you Archie, that I have 16,000 tanks and 14,000 armored personnel carriers. Also, I've increased my army to one and a half million since we last spoke."
"Lard T'underin' Jaysus, bye", said Archie, "I'll be getting back to ya"
Sure enough, Archie rang again the next day. "Mr. President, the war is still on! We have managed to git ourselves airborne! We up an' modified Harrigan's ultra-light wit a couple of shotguns in the cockpit, and four byes from the Legion have joined us as well!"
The President was silent for a minute then cleared his throat. "I must tell you, Archie, that I have 10,000 bombers and 20,000 fighter planes. My military complex is surrounded by laser-guided, surface-to-air missile sites. And since we last spoke, I've increased my army to TWO MILLION!"
"Jeysus, Mary and Joseph," said Archie,"I'll have ta call youse back."
Sure enough, Archie called again the next day.
"Mr President! I am sorry to have to tell you dat we have had to call off dis 'ere war."
"I'm sorry to hear that" said the American President. "Why the sudden change of heart?"
"Well, sir," said Archie, "we've all sat ourselves down and had a long chat over a bunch of pints, and come to realize dat dere's no way we can feed two million prisoners."
The tale above is taken from the “Groaners Corner” at Al and Kelly's Travel With The Bayfield Bunch blog. I sure hope my theft is treated by Al as the sincerest form of flattery, as I'm pretty sure most of my 45 or so readers probably don't read his marvelous missives. He's a man for whom the phrase “cantankerous codger” may have been invented. And, I am addicted to puns and Newfie jokes. It's a sickness, I know. They say that misery loves company. Welcome, company.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
After getting launched, I remembered my wife's admonition against dying by drowning (she claims it is her right to kill me) and my promise to put a PFD (personal flotation device, aka "life jacket") on as I was going alone. So, I struggled into the fool thing, zipped it up, took no more than 25 strokes with my paddle when I got stuck on a stump submerged in the cove to the west of our place and promptly proceeded to lose my balance and dumped me and the canoe over.
Damn that water was cold. Did I mention that it has been raining and windy and generally downright unpleasant for a while? It has also been cold, too - in the thirties and low forties at night with highs in the fifties during the day.
Fortunately, I was in shallow, albeit soft-bottomed water and able to partially empty the water in the canoe. That made dragging it to shore where I drained it dry before paddling home much easier. While I was cold, I wasn't hypothermic due to the continued activity and the fact I was wearing a thick wool shirt as proof against the wind. Wool is still warm, even when wet, unlike most synthetic fabrics.
My wife found my bedraggled appearance quite amusing. Truly, so did I, although I wasn't about to let my wife know. Have to maintain some semblance of dignity, don'tcha know.
So that was my unplanned swim. Just glad to be able to report the circumstances in person.
And So It Goes...
Thursday, October 07, 2010
This a really vicious bit of coding. It will hurt you badly and I suspect most banks will find some way to weasel out of their so-called "Security Guarantees" to avoid paying for the resulting damages. There is no choice but to be hyper-vigilant. After my bout with a bit of malware that mimicked my own virus scanner in March I have become very sensitive to these threats. Fixing the problem was both expensive and very time-consuming, something I wish on no one but the malefactors themselves.
- by Carlo Orlando on 20101006 @ 11:51AM EST | google it | send to friends
- Filed under Security | (related terms: fake, bill, malware, itunes, clicking)
Hackers have developed a new and clever scam that targets legitimate Apple iTunes subscribers, then drains their bank account.
Fake Bill Traps Customers into Clicking Malware Link
Victims of the scam receive fake "iTunes receipt" that appear completely authentic, with none of the spelling errors or image source code issues that have become synonymous with spam and malware messages.
The only real problem with the would-be receipt is that the total for the bill was said to be completely outrageous. And that's part of the trap.
Clicking "Report a Problem" Is a Big Mistake
Researchers say that the fake and outrageously high bill is enough to raise the ire of legitimate iTunes subscribers. The reason for this is that most people are likely to take action when seeing an "incorrect amount" appear on their bill.
Since the next step for most people in this situation would be to click the "report a problem" tab, this is where hackers have decided to plant the Trojan.
Fake Adobe PDF Reader Delivers Payload
The attack vector uses Adobe Flash, which is a technology that Apple refuses to use for its alleged security weaknesses. Panda Labs released a statement explaining the infection process:
"After clicking the link, the victim is asked to download a fake PDF reader. Once installation is complete, the user is redirected to an infected web page containing the Zeus Trojan, which is specifically designed to steal personal data." (Source: yahoo.com)
Phishing Schemes Increasingly Popular
Phishing has become a major problem for security companies in recent weeks, with users of the popular social network LinkedIn being the targets of a similar attack these past few weeks. (Source: scmagazineus.com)
According to Luis Corrons, technical director of Panda Labs, the variation in the methods of attack is what has been keeping security companies on edge.
"Phishing is nothing new. What never ceases to surprise us is that the techniques used to trick victims continue to be so simple, but the design and content is so very well-orchestrated. It's very easy to fall into the trap."
While some of the addresses that the malware uses is blocked by the Anti-Phishing Working Group, uncovering and restricting all addresses is an uphill battle that seems more and more improbable with each passing day.
By the way, I highly recommend subscribing to the infopackets newsletter. It is free, scrolling down past the adverts is pretty simple, the links work and the information is timely. What more could you ask from a tech newsletter?
Saturday, October 02, 2010
So those of you suffering with floods and closed roads have my sympathy. Things will get better.
We're watching "Misery" on TNT this afternoon. There's the reason I shudder everytime I see Kathy Bates in a movie...
More manana. Have a good Saturday.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Guess the Fates weren't happy with my entry about the jury selection process. All 10 paragraphs are lost in the bit bucket. And, of course, it was all polished, witty, erudite commentary on the Maine Judicial Systems kinks and foibles (not to mention the hot menage a trois between the Baliff, the hot blonde and yours truly).
Short version -- voir dire for a major murder trial now being conducted took almost 9 hours and I discovered butt muscles can actually cramp in a 'Charley Horse'. Missed serving by "that much, Boss". Last lottery draw for 15 out of 37 spared me. Free until next week, when I must show up and go through the process all over again.
And So It Goes.
We're all hunkered down for some really nasty weather. Four inches of rain is predicted along with high winds. I find myself eyeing the trees, trying to guess if that limb or this stem will give way at 50, 60, 70 MPH?
The joy of living in a glorified beer can.
The leaves around the lake are turning colors rapidly. I suspect that the best of the color will be gone from North of here before Columbus Day weekend. Around Bangor and Downeast, west across US Route 2 through Rumford into the White Mountain National Forest, the Mount Washington Valley and across to Burlington, Vermont, all should reach peak for the holiday weekend. Southern New Hampshire and Vermont, Northern Massachusetts should all peak 10 days before Halloween.
Visited my doctor last week. He seems to think, barring accidents, that I'll live to see another day or two. He suggested I lose a few pounds, but I told him I loved my wife and didn't think I could handle a divorce. Har-de-har-har. Back again yesterday for a blood draw after 12 hour fast. I didn't realize they use the hour from 8 to 9 to get their s%&* together. The Doc's dog was happy to see me.
Hope y'all are safe and sound. Back to court on Monday. Then it time to emulate the Ant and quit the Grasshoppering. Winter is just around the corner.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Autumn has arrived in fact, if not by calendar. The weather is now typically fallish, with rain every day or two, breezy cool days in the 50's and 60's in between. Nights are in the mid- to low 40's now, with freezing temps in the works by the end of the month. The leaves of the swamp maples are starting to turn. Upland areas are still green, but there's a dryness to leaves on the trees that is starting to become noticeable. A localized drought has been an issue for the last few years in this county, so colors in Bangor aren't going to be anything to write or photo about, but up towards Moosehead Lake, Baxter State Park or over in Western Maine and New Hampshire, such is not the case and quite a brilliant leafy show is about to be staged by Mother Nature.
Don't forget - this Sunday, September 19th, is "International Talk Like A Pirate Day" So get your "Arrrr, Matey" in gear and join the fun. Screws with the local TV reporters whole bunches if all you do is pirate stuff all day long. Try keelhauling your local Weather Vixen.
That's about all. No joy on the job-hunting front, so likely we'll be stuck here this winter. That sucks, really bad.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Bad news greeted me this afternoon when I opened up Bloglines this afternoon. Sad news. The passing of an era:
“September 10, 2010
Today, Ask.com let our users know that we will shut down Bloglines on October 1. Not an easy decision, especially considering our loyal and supportive (not to mention patient) user base, but, ultimately, the right one given business reasons simply too hard to ignore.” (ASK.com Official Blog – Bloglines Update)
It seems that ASK.com thinks that Twitter and Facebook are going to be the dominant method of conveying information for the foreseeable future, that RSS and blogs are a passe method of conveying information ... and by extension, anything worth saying can be said in 140 characters or less.
So now I have to find a new feed reader program (ed.: Done – Great News is an offline reader that will import ALL of your Bloglines feeds and allows you to read on or offline) and watch all the blogs in the world close their doors or admit they are antiquated. Yes, another sign that I am 'over the hill and twice as moldy'.
Are you ready for the coming apocalypse of the blogverse? Friend ShellyS tweeted her discovery of the news on one of her blogging blogs. She cites the loss of her Blog Roll as one of the major downsides for her. I hadn't even thought of it. Maintaining a blog roll is a royal pain in the ass, one I learned first hand when using the AOL Journals editor. There's no way I am going back to a line-by-line blog roll. No Sireee. Not me. Guess the blog roll is a goner, too. Then again, the coming demise of the blogverse will simply be hastened when no one can find my favorite reads.
Maybe it is time to join the mindless horde, ignore my privacy rights and issues about Twitter, MySpace and Facebook and join the rest of the one-line-lemmings.
What do you think? Is it time to close the doors here at The Daily Snooze? Are blogs truly moribund? Or is there a “market” for something more than one liners and mindless “tweets” about the quality of toilet tissue recently acquired? Can one actually maintain a blog with only a public library internet feed once a week? Truly, I am serious when I ask all fourteen or so of you faithful readers. It is only for you and my gynormous ego that I do this, after all.
Saturday, September 04, 2010
Well, survived Earl. A couple of inches of rain in about 14 hours with just a little gusty wind. Slept through most of it. Had to go out to refuel the genny during the worst of it. Pretty much soaked to the skin, but needed to keep the big fans running to stand the heat. Mid to high 80's outside translates into a freaking oven inside the aluminum tube. Too much blowing rain to leave the windows open so fans are the answer. Too bad we don't have power - it definitely was an air conditioner night.
They're forecasting real sleeping weather for tonight - low 50's. Yum!
Thursday, September 02, 2010
One Forecaster's projected eye path - Image via AccuWeather.com.
We're inside the blue path projection :(
Overheard at the grocery store:
Woman 1: "Have you got clean panties on?"
Woman 2: "Of course."
Woman 1: "Good thing ... Earl's coming."
We've been hanging on every update to the track and intensity of Hurricane Earl over the past few days. As of this writing, looks like he'll miss us, except for anywheres from 2 to 6 inches of rain. Our fear, here amongst the swamp oaks. birches, alders, old pines and firs, is the potential for severe winds downing trees and tree limbs. Just another of the fears when living in an aluminum tube. So forecasts of heavy rains with relatively easy winds is a true pleasure, given the alternative. Still, vigilance will be maintained until Earl and Gaston have blown by.
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Book of Odds - My Everyday Life: Wednesday - Letter From Afghanistan: Shaken to the Core
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
No luck finding any temp work, but haven't been looking as hard as I might.
The light pole in the camp dooryard has snapped off at its base from years of little buggies boring their little teeth off. This poses a problem as the transformer on the powerline is also off. Can't very well ask the faceless bureaicrats at Bangor Hydro-Electric Company to replace the busted transformer when it'll just short out again from the lines coming in contact with the trees the yard pole is leaning against. Need over a grand to replace the pole. THAT isn't going to happen any time soon. That's like a weeks wages around here, assuming one can find a job that pays anything close to $25 an hour. And So It Goes.
Monday, August 16, 2010
We ate lunch and then napped for a couple of hours in the heat of the day as the Saturday beach traffic had been bugging me no end -- it was supposed to be easy driving on a Saturday, not bumper-to-bumper white knuckling nonsense. The nap delay did the trick. Easy sailing Northward. Had to detour on I-297 due to a bridge out in Pawtucket, RI so didn't have the fun of driving through Providence or Boston. We pulled into Bangor, Maine at dusk, about 8:00PM, making for a very LONG DAY. Parked in the dooryard at the house and went straight to bed after a meal of our favorite Chinese take-out. Sunday dawned clear and crisp at 67° at 8:00 AM, so we pulled out and headed straight to camp. Discovered some miscreants had broken in the front door during our sojourn in the Southland. Not a lot of things missing, but the place was pretty trashed. Bah Humbug. To add insult to injury, the power doesn't seem to be working, but I can't find my voltmeter to check the wires coming in to the camp to see if power is being delivered to the building. Note to self: Tomorrow - must find my meter.
Went through the 3 month accumulation of mail and discovered to my horror that I'd be summonsed to serve on the Traverse Jury for Superior Court. For August. Starting with a mandatory appearance on Monday, 2 August 2010. Tried calling first thing this morning, but all I got was voicemail. Went in this afternoon and ascertained that a bench warrant had NOT been issued for my failure to appear. However, they promptly signed me up for the October session, which begins in September and runs into November?
Phooey - I was hoping to make enough money to make it back down South for the winter. Hard to do when you have to be in court for 6 weeks...
And So It Goes.
Sunday, August 08, 2010
Tomorrow, if all goes well, we will head to Uncle's in Maryland. It is a solid 400 miles of secondary roads, more than I usually choose to drive in a day, but we'll give it the old college try.
Friday, August 06, 2010
Did I mention it is right on the Inter-coastal Waterway, less than 30 miles north of Charleston, South Carolina? Yep. Every other facility near the water might be full, but this one has a few openings so long as it isn't the middle of shrimping or sea bass (striper) season...
So, we will stay here through the weekend to avoid the crowds.
We got a middling late start after breakfast and then poked along on Interstate 10 for a bit before turning the nose of the Ford northward for Georgia. It will come as no surprise to anyone between Key West and Boston that it was a hot day, in the upper 90's for the most part, so there was no sense of urgency. Just walking from the truck to a rest room was enough to soak my clothing. Actually working in these temperatures and humidity levels can be excruciating. I was so heat sick on Monday before I quit that I contemplated hospitalization!
We did manage to score some fresh tomatoes, Vidalia onions, peaches and the best boiled peanuts I've ever had, hands down, from a little stand at the junction of a couple of secondary roads in Georgia. Drove through Havana, Florida, named after Havana, Cuba as the town took up cigar production for a thirty year period (1940's through the late 1960's). Also Cairo, Georgia, the birthplace of Jackie Robinson, and got to admire the range of architecture in that fair burg after a wrong turn (darn GPS) forced me to travel over several residential and downtown streets to get where I wanted to go. Almost had a cute blonde officer as an escort vehicle, but she circled the block and made sure we left town without causing too much mischief. Damn Yankees! Hrumph!
No pictures today - too busy driving, I guess.
Arrived in Valdosta just before sundown. I hate setting up in the dark as I always seem to injure or break something, so I was unwarrantedly PO'd when my dear wife's navigational skills had us retracing our path multiple times trying to locate the campground entrance. After doubling back yet another time we hit upon the magic combination of chicken bones and tea leaves and found the place, right where they said they'd be. Funny, that.
That's about all for tonight. No excitement. Cooked a mean mess of sauteed onions and Chicken-Spinach and roasted garlic sausages (the last of our stash of Sam's Club tube steaks) along with a [late of fresh tomato wedges and pickled beets for supper. Finished up with a still warm, juicy Georgia Peach. Yum!
Well, off to sleep. Who knows what tomorrow may bring?
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Monday, August 02, 2010
Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone
Sunday, August 01, 2010
We expect to be turning North at Jacksonville. Then next stop somewhere around Charlotte, S.C.
More as we actually hit the road.
Update: Corrected a misspelling & deleted the gratuitous line about my cell phone service. It hit 103°F. this afternoon - not much packing done. Can't imagine why...
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Photo Credit: CNN
"(CNN) -- Rising waters from flooding in northeastern China hit a chemical plant and washed thousands of containers filled with explosive chemicals into a river, state media said Thursday."
Read the rest of the tale, here.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
It wasn't something frowned upon by the elders, either. The town fathers considered it a service, particularly as the dump attendant was a heavy drinker and likely in town, tying one on, if you know what I mean. The local police didn't even bother to respond to reports of gunfire at the dump -- they just figured we were out shooting rats.
Somehow, in the intervening years between sneaking into drive-ins in the trunk of a car and getting busy in the backseat with Cindy-Lou or Bettyjo, they changed the rules. Now, the mere possession of a rifle in your trunk is enough to send the police off the deep end. Any attempt at shooting vermin at the "Sanitary Landfill" would likely get me, at minimum, a night in jail and a court summons for trespassing on municipal property.
I was reminded of all of this because I saw (sorry, no phone or camera with me to take a picture) that they'd repainted the sign at the local high school in anticipation of a new school year. What sign, you ask? The one that warns it is a felony to bring a weapon onto school property by anyone, other than an on-duty police officer, responding to a disturbance at the school. Heck, when I was a kid, the rule was you could bring your hunting rifle in your truck to school provided it remained locked in your truck. If you were riding the bus and going hunting after school, you were allowed to bring your rifle or shotgun direct to the office and leave it in the principal's office until closing bell. Now, you'd go to prison if you tried that.
The times, they have changed. And not for the better...
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Found this Fionavar Tapestry Character Test over on Paul's blog, Aurora Walking Vacation. So, what the heck, I took the "personality test" and this is what appeared. Me, stubborn? Do pigs fly on Sundays?
Take The Fionavar Tapestry Character Test today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
And so, too, is one of the most formative influences of my twisted psyche, from the Beats of my Generation -- Tuli Kupferberg. Read his New York Times obituary here. Yes, Tuli, I, too, 'like boobs alot.' May your heaven be full of them...
The Fugs -- "Boobs A Lot" from the First Album* - 1965
Appropriately titled, “The Village Fugs Sing Ballads of Contemporary Protest, Points of View and General Dissatisfaction.”
Friday, July 09, 2010
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Leaving out for our last trip to Texas (there aren't any more trailers ready to go) in a few hours, then we'll see.
Stay cool and hydrated, my friends. This (heat wave) shall pass.
Saturday, July 03, 2010
If Samantha ever gets a record contract, look out world ... this chick is going places.
This is the third incarnation of this blog -- the second on Blogger. It started back in April, 2003, but that version was mostly unread and certainly unremarked upon. I don't even recall getting anything but spam comments! I erased that one after discovering that AOL was starting a blog service with no archive. What did I know about posterity?
I alpha- and then beta-tested the AOL Journals product from July 1 through the 27th of July when it was declared "ready for prime time" or some such. Lost the first few entries when the entire AOL Journals edifice collapsed after 2 days. But, you will find everything in the archives from July 30th, 2003 onward in the archives, if you care to look.
"Daily" is a misnomer, I know now. Hell, I'm lucky to produce an entry once a week, most of the time. No real excuse -- I'm just not as chatty. Some flack for posts over the years resulted in a severe curtailment of anything pertaining to family members and I have never spoken about business colleagues or acquaintances on the "Snooze." Thus, sources for material have died up almost as fast as my libido. I mean, just how much interest is there in the quality of my bowel movements, anyhow?
Alright, I know. TMI. But that's just the thing -- I find I must walk a fine line between telling too much, thus adversely affecting my chances for some super job I want in future, and saying so little that you stop visiting to read what I have to share.
Oh well, fuck it. I have been sweating in the 95° heat with humidity to match, driving ugly FEMA trailers (not safe for habitation) from one lot to another. Made some pocket change, a few enemies and sunburned my nose and ears. Managed to avoid the wasp bites that others haven't (a good thing, given the anaphylactic shock I am likely to enter if they do get me) but not the spiders -- I have had two bites, one on each hand. I'm so tired by the time I get back I can barely breathe. Sleep -- that's what I want these days. Blogging doesn't even appear on the radar.
I'm getting older, too, and it sucks. But you don't care. Time is taking its toll upon you just as fast as me. You have your own problems, I'm sure. So, you take care of you and I will try to do the same. Catch you again, real soon now.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
But someone did capture those cliches and put them to good use. Harry Chapin was one of my favorite balladeers, may he rest in peace. He wrote this song for his son Josh. It sums up the lives and feelings of millions of us.
Friday, June 18, 2010
What in heck am I doing here when it's a cool, wet, rainy 58 - 68° in Maine? About to go to work hauling FEMA trailers to Dallas. Texas. Where it will be even hotter next week. And for the foreseeable future.
Damned fool Yankee!
Look out, Steph -- here we come.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Below and on the next page are all the results from number 1 to 100 in numerical order!"
That is a very different kettle of (silver)fish, I think you will agree. And yes, Nellie, it's still a mess of typing, for sure. So feast your eyes on the "original" list that started the meme and then look again at the metamorphosis it has undergone. Sure be some hate for modern novels out there somewhere...
1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce (not that I understood it, mind you. It helped that I was drinking heavily back then)
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
Those on the original list which I've read are, appropriately, in red. So, from the original list, I've read 64 (I think, if I counted correctly). Still a lot of reading in this day and age, yet there are obviously some I ought to get on to and there's plenty I've read that would never appear on such an august list. What about you? Did you do more of less than in the entry 67 ways to waste your time and counting?