Silent Windchime

On days like today, when the wind is just right, I could watch this for hours.

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Blue in Newbury

I just wanted to share some iPhonegraphy taken yesterday morning as the sun rose on Plum Island. Mary and I were fortunate enough to be able to go on an overnight to a beautiful inn called Blue. We had the penthouse that overlooks the beach and the wildlife refuge. We felt like we were miles away nestled in a sublime oasis. Too short but very reinvigorating. Thanks Kim and Jim.

IMG_0423

IMG_0424
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Good Bye Old Friend

Avatar(4)

You've served me well. Time for a replacement.

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Sometimes My Camera Tells Me Things

And what it tells me may not be the best advice. . .

Lie
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The Berkshires

Blue Staicase
We ventured to the Berkshires this summer for a weekend of music, gardens and mountain vistas. The goal was to attend two concerts at Tanglewood and take in some of the sights. We made it to the Berkshire Botanical Garden, The Norman Rockwell Museum and to Naumkeag. All with wonderful plantings and landscape design. We're so lucky to have the mountains in the west and the seacoast in the east. The combination of the lush landscape, iconic american images and the amazing music made for a decadent weekend retreat. There are some pictures from our weekend in the Photo Album.
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Happy New Year!

Wishing you all the best for the coming year. May your resolutions be kept and your wishes come true.
Stay warm, It's 8° F (-13° C) here.
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Matinicus Island Video

The first time we went to Matinicus Island, Maine we fell in love with the place. While experiencing it's newness, we took lots of pictures. I put them into a little slideshow video. Here it is for you to enjoy. It is also posted in the Movie Album.

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An Interesting Twist Of Fate

I just connected with a friend from high school. Someone I have not seen in twenty years. Although we had not spoken for such a long time, our intense experiences shared during three short formative years were enough to keep the conversation flowing non stop. The common bond of being raised in a city and in a time that was intensely exciting for young people. We were of course of legal drinking age before we received our diplomas. And due to the serendipity of timing we had never lost that right as we approached twenty one. We were in college with many people who were bestowed the right of legal libation but we watched as that right was legislated away after they received it. A cruel twist of fate probably the result our own excesses. Our friendship was also bonded by more that fluid consumption. We also had our common love for music and the dramatic arts. Many long days and nights of rehearsal and activities that centered around the school auditorium. There were many shared intense experiences that carried us through to graduation. We kept in touch in college but as lives and careers developed we drifted apart.

An interesting twist of fate, the same process that brings people together daily all over the internet via social networks, enabled us to connect. There was nothing so exciting as reconnecting with someone I thought I had lost. It was a real pleasure to experience. Although our lives diverged we still have the basis of our upbringing, no matter how dysfunctional, that will give us common ground. We both agreed that we throughly enjoyed our time in school and the place we grew up in. It was not until we were exposed to other students from other places in college that we realized the challenges we faced in the city by the sea. Those challenges made us tougher and created survivors. Meeting back up again after we both turned fifty requires a lot of catching up and explaining. The time flew as we both caught up with each others lives. I'm always so impressed with the things my friends accomplish in their lives. Even better is all the plans we have for the future.

I'm sure we will be in touch again soon. It was so nice to reconnect.

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Oh No! - A Meme!



Seven random facts about me.

1. I sucked my thumb until I was nine. Since my mouth was busy a lot of the time, I was a quiet child. People are amazed to hear that. The quiet part, not the thumb thing.

2. Left hip = Titanium It's 15 years old. Fell through a window INTO a house. Talented!

3. I did not eat seafood until I was twenty three. Still won't eat beets.

4. Blue cheese tastes like metal shavings to me. I don't know how I know what metal shavings taste like.

5. I've lived in the same state my entire life. Traveled a lot, but always called Massachusetts home.

6. Plastic surgery on my face twice. No Improvement.

7. I know how to splice rope.
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I Diserve This Lame Post

Why? Just look over there to the right. See that. See that new menu Item over there in the sidebar. The one that says "Links." That was one big mutha of a job I tell you. My neck is still sore from staring at the screen formatting all that. You can go have yourself a look. See what I enjoy on the interweb. Nice category headers, nice spiffy hyperlinks. It ain't blogging but it is more content for this here site. I hope you like it all tidy like and on it's own page. That is one of the benefits of having your own site. Another benefit is the heart attack you get when the web publishing software you use for the site presents you with an upgrade that tanks your blog during NaBloPoMo. No more upgrades this month! Live and learn.
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Say Hi To Marlin

Marlin
"This is Marlin. Carol adopted him from a shelter. He won't bite. . . Say hi Marlin."

"Woof"

"Marlin Gimme your paw."

"I don't do that."

"oh. . . um. . . sit!"

"Can't you see what I'm doing already."

"Oh yah. . .sorry."

"No problem. Let's go sit on the couch so we can snuggle. That's what I do best"
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Sorry About That


Sorry About That
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I need one of these

Good thing I have a titanium hip.
flask_lg
You can get your own here.
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Sad News of a Fire on Our Maine Vacation Island

From Maine Coast Now

I poke to Robert, the fire chief, earlier and he said this is a terrible loss for Matinicus Island. The islanders are already rallying to rectify the situation. A temporary trailer to house the Post Office is said to be on it's way and the owners of the new general store as well as Craig, the property owner, have insurance to cover the loss. I guess we'll have to wait a while for the long anticipated General Store. There hasn't been one on the island since we started vacationing there five years ago. Our most recent visit was in January for a taste of the Matinicus winter. Robert and Cynthia were our gracious hosts for the long weekend.

This brought to light the needs of their all volunteer fire department. They are collecting donations and receiving aid from several communities in Maine. Hopefully they will get some much needed equipment upgrades.

Additional coverage from WLBZ
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Canine Mind Control

She is using her mind control on me

This is my friend Ruby. Her eyes get like that when she takes control of my mind. She is making me stop drinking single malt scotch for the night. That is the reason my face is like that.
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Big News!

After months of deliberation and soul searching Mary and I have made a life changing decision. We're combining our love for cooking, the excitement of fly fishing and our love of nature and the outdoors. We finished negotiations today and have successfully signed paperwork to buy the Roscoe Diner in beautiful Roscoe, New York.

Sign of the times

We've decided to get away from the rat race and head to the country. Since we both love to cook we decided that a career change in the restaurant business could be done in almost any location. People have to eat so we knew a new career involving food could take us anywhere we wanted to go. Initially we will continue to do our day jobs by telecommuting. Thank goodness for the internet. As the business progresses and we get on our feet in Roscoe we will transition to the diner permanently. Fortunately both our companies have other offices close by.

Situated at the southwestern end of the Catskill Park, Roscoe is the epicenter of the famous and historic fly fishing mecca the Delaware River basin. The Fly Fishing does not get any better than this on the east coast. Also close to the home to the famous Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum and the Wulff School of Fly Fishing. I attended the school a couple of years ago and just fell in love with the area. Since that time I've made several secret trips to Roscoe and was in negotiations with the owners of the diner. Now that the plans have solidified I can also announce that we will be putting a second floor onto the diner where we will have a full sportsmans lodge and fly shop. Note how the design will lend itself readily to the second floor addition.

Things are going up!
This will truly be an exciting time for us. Stay tuned as more details unfold. Remember to save room for our famous Roscoe Cherry Pie!
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I agree with Eden

I agree with what Eden said. But George is one of the nicest people I have ever met. He was also full of mischief and a great deal of fun.

Me and the Guys with George at The Perfect Storm Press Junket
I'm the fat one.
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I've carved into a rock and made my mark

Babson Bolder
Babson Bolders; from The Dacrons

I found out yesterday that a change I suggested some time ago for my product will now be adopted for our much larger product. It's really only a wording change, but I know I suggested it. Thanks to a co-worker who pushed it through with some convincing arguments it will be changed. I know that once I see it implemented, the fact that 130 million users will be affected, will give me a little giggle. If I went into detail it would be pretty boring so I'll keep up you in suspense. Many of my coworkers have made changes to the product and they are both profound and patented. My change was neither. I guess sometimes it's the small things that give us a grin.
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My Simpsons Avatar

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Carter Takes First Place in the Pinewood Derby!

In the home of Indy Racing League our Tiger Cub came in first. Seven is a lucky birthday. Totally awesome, totally! Congratulations Carter.
For the full story go to More Than Just Corn.
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Happy Birthday Carter!

Today you are a seven year old Tiger Cub. Seven is a very lucky year. We hope you have a lot of fun and all your Birthday wishes come true.
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The commute home today was a tad long

I saw a lot of this today.
Snowstorm Traffic 12-13-2007
Total commute time - three hours fifty-five minutes. I had to stop once to clear the pile of snow the windshield wipers had made on the hood of the car. My iPod was full of podcasts to listen to. Had a long call with my niece. Didn't have a "bio" break. I must be getting mellow. No one had to peel me off the ceiling of the car when I arrived home. Once there, a fire was lit and the hot toddy's and dinner were made. Snug in our cozy home, in front of the fire, on a long winters night. The shoveling can wait till morning.
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Greenhand

FFA Manual
Yes, I was a member. I spent a year at Essex Agricultural and Technical Institute as a forestry major. I joined the FFA and achieved the degree of Greenhand. That's my pin attached to the cover. I never got one of those cool corduroy jackets, but I coveted the ones my classmates had. They made you look like you were a member of a motorcycle gang. Most people don't know about the FFA, but the movie Napoleon Dynamite put it on the map in this new century. Being at Essex Aggie was a wonderful experience. I sometimes regret that I left. The reasons I left were all good though. I enjoyed my limited time there and have many great memories of the place. Students got half a day in class and half a day in the field or on the farm. I got to manage timber stands, plant trees, study lots and lots of biology and also work at traditional farm skills. The staff were all friendly and helpful. My fellow students were a pleasure to be with and all had a good sense of themselves. My father always said I was the happiest there. It must have showed. Being on the super honor roll was evidence of that. Whenever I drive by the school I always feel a sense of pride and gratitude. I wish I could go back all over again.
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Trucks

"Let's play trucks!" A cry heard from boyhood days. It was usually replied to with an approval. Out would come the fleet of metal trucks from our toy boxes and things would settle down into truck territories. First up, the roads. You would need a piece of wood, like say a shingle, at least two inches wide and eight inches long. The process would begin by dragging that stick across flat, dry, powdery dirt in a neighborhood yard. The dryer and dustier the better. The roads were defined with side by side wind rows of the powder that would serpentined thru the yard. If you had a truck with a plow or an earth mover truck, all the better. That was more authentic. Your road was sacred. If another wanted to cross your road project and make an intersection they would have to ask permission or face the wrath of a pissed off seven year old. Once the road was done, dump trucks were loaded with dirt and gravel then deployed at all different construction projects. Loads could also include grass clippings, more dusty dirt or wood chips. All vehicles were actually hand pushed around. (batteries not even an option and no remote controls!) The sounds came from various tones of raspberries blown from the lips of their respective drivers. As progress would continue there were more sound affects but hardly any chatter was produced. Occasionally a declaration would be uttered like "this tree trunk is the gas station. Everyone needs to come here to fill up after each trip" and thus a new civic law was enacted for the backyard municipality. If you passed another boy propelled truck on the road the correct greeting must be uttered in the deepest construction man tone possible. The greeting was "Hi Joe" and the reply was (in an attempted deeper tone) "Hi Joe" and off you'd go. The thing was, EVERYONE was named Joe. No Mike, Billy, Jimmy or Jerry, you were Joe. Is there any other name for a self respecting truck driver? No way Jose! These projects could last hours and hours. If it was a particularly impressive civil plan , it could continue into an additional day. The end result was a development plan everyone would be proud of. Another result was the dust and dirt would cover elbows, shins and knees. If it was a particularly ambitious project on a humid day we could sometimes have faces so covered in dust it would look like we had been given black eyes. The mark of a truly successful day of trucks. "Right Joe?" "Right Joe." brrrrrmmmm, Brrrrrrruuuuurrrrrr, ruuum ruuuum errrrrchhhhh.
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The Black Hole Theory is Clogged

Science was turned on it's ear today when the black hole theory was disproved at the residence of John LeJeune, an amateur black hole enthusiast. While preparing for guests to arrive this Thanksgiving season the two black holes LeJeune has been maintaining became clogged. The first hole, Garagetofil resisted yesterday when he tried to store a portable gas grill in it. "It just sort of made this belching sound and out came the grill. It wasn't like it just popped out in a short polite belch, it sort of rolled out slowly like a prolonged, how long can this last, kind of burp," said LeJeune "The grill landed upright and It just wouldn't go back in."

The second occurrence happened today. LeJeune was removing belongings saved from two family homes he assisted in clearing out and selling earlier this year. "The stuff just had to get out of the living and guest rooms. We were successful in removing the boxes yesterday and we thought that the other black hole, Atticanholdit, was fine. We didn't think we could reproduce the fluke that happened yesterday in a million years. Unfortunately I had one box of magazines to place in there early in the evening and when I placed them at the top of the ladder and shut the hatch they came flowing out like a waterfall. It was actually sort of artistic how the black hole cascaded the magazines down the ladder and then down the stairway. It was almost like it was apologetic that scientific theories about black holes could be refuted by an amateur like me. We had to put the magazines in a conventional recycle bin just to be safe"

NASA scientist are still dumbfounded that in the space of two days LeJeune was able to disprove years of scientific theory and research. Early NASA investigations confirm that the amateur did succeed in clogging both holes. They thought it could never be done.
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Trans-mis-she-unn


From: HowStuffWorks.com

10/30/07
Call to Transmission Repair Shop (TRS)
Me: "Can you repair my transmission? It will not go into third gear. It's a GMC 1500 pickup, automatic, two wheel drive."
TRS: "Sure, bring it in. We'll take a look at it."
I drive home later that evening coordinating with my wife to come pick me up at home, drive me to the garage where they told me they don't fix transmissions even though they said "they'd look at it." She drives me to the "We only look at things not repair them" garage. She then follows me to the TRS and then drives me home.

10/31/07
Call from Transmission Repair Shop
TRS: "Yes we will need to rebuild it."
Me: "Ok. Please do the work. I need it by next Friday November 9. I have family flying in from out of town and we'll need the extra vehicle. Can you do that?"
TRS: "Oh, I can probably have it to you this Friday (11/2) if not Monday (11/6)."
Me: "Ok, Call me when it is ready."
TRS: "No problem"

11/2/07 Friday
No call

11/5/07 Monday
No call

11/6/07 Tuesday
No call

11/7/2007 Wednesday
No Call

I Call the TRS
ME: "Is my truck ready?"
TRS: "Yes it's been ready since Monday"
Me: (thinking WTF????) "Ok I'll be down to pay you today. I have an appointment around the corner from you. I'll need to pick yhe truck up this evening though."
TRS: "Ok, see you then"

10 minutes later
Call from TRS
TRS: "We're waiting on a switch we need to put in but it will be ready this afternoon."
Me: (thinking WTF???) "No problem, I can't get it until later anyway."

Side note: My appointment around the corner. . . I wait 45 minutes to see an oral surgeon. He walks into the waiting room to tell me the computers are down and he can't take my x-ray today. (Me: thinking WTF???)

I go to the TRS, pay the bill then head to work.

Later that evening I walk to the train station, take the (28 minute late) train, walk to the TRS, get the car and drive home. I'm happy the car now goes into third gear.

11/8/07 Thursday
Call from TRS
TRS: "There is some fresh transmission fluid on the ground where we left your car last night, we think you may need to bring it in."
Me: (thinking WTF???) "Ok, I'll check to see if it is leaking. If it is, I'll bring it in tonight. "

I call my wife. She says "Yes it is continuously dripping - all over the driveway."

I drive home last night, get in the truck, call my wife to ask her to pick me up at the TRS after she gets out of work. She agrees. I drop off the truck. She picks me up. I then take her to dinner for having to picking me up so many times.

11/9/2007 Friday
Call from TRS
TRS: "There was a seal broken at the drive shaft we fixed it and it is all set."
Me: "OK I'll be down to pick it up."

I walk to the train station and take the train, walk from the station to the TRS and pick up the truck. I asked if they refilled the transmission fluid. - Yes they did.

15 Minutes later I'm driving down the highway heading toward home. I look out the rear view mirror and see a GIGANTIC BILLOWING CLOUD OF WHITE SMOKE following me down the highway. I suddenly realize I am the creator of said smoke. (Me: Screaming WTF???) As I say this I pass a State Police car. I quickly pull over at the next exit looking for blue lights (none) and try figure out where to safely stop the car and clean my underwear. Tow trucks and taxi cabs were called.

(conversation with TRS censored)



The Taxi driver says "Make sure they road test that thing before you take it home. They should pay for this cab ride too" I told him I already had those on my list.

Later today the TRS called and said the transmission cooling line blew. It is now repaired, test driven and all cleaned up. My sister and brother-in-law have graciously consented to make a detour with me to the TRS on the way home from the airport. Hopefully It will work correctly when I drive home tonight. Wish me luck
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Should I be embarrassed or proud?


Maureen, technology rock star and lovely person rolled into one, posted this. I thought this would be interesting. It seemed harmless. So I mosey over to here. When all was said and done I am presented with this:



I guess when someone says you are a deity, it is supposed to be flattering. I even beat Maureen, a "Supreme Nerd." She has won awards, spoken in front of thousands of nerds and geeks about software tools and she has even been sent on trips with an inner circle of technology guru's because of her nerdy accomplishments. I beat her??? I'm a little rattled over this.

Anyway, sorry this posting is brief today. I'm posting this early because my wife will be out this evening. This means I will get some quality time with a newer version of Rapid Weaver, the software I use to create this site. But. . . I'm really not a nerd.

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Subtitute Professor

A friend of mine has to man a booth at an annual trade show in Lost Wages. Each year he asks me to cover a marketing class he teaches. I really enjoy doing this class and take quite a bit of time in preparing the lesson. Nothing too strenuous for the students. It is a 101 class at a community college. I have taught it several times and I've learned quite a bit about the art of substitute teaching. Over the years we have had to come up with a strategy to keep the students in the room. Sadly, I'm not kidding. All of these things are based on experience.

Here is our game plan.

1. Do not announce the week before there will be a substitute instructor. If you do, three people out of twenty five will show up for the class.

2. Arrive for the class at the EXACT time it starts. If you come early people will walk in see you are a substitute and walk out.

3. Start the lesson immediately. If you wait for the stragglers you'll loose a few people who were already seated. "I'll be right back, I forgot something." is a lie.

4. Do not greet the stragglers. If you do, it will give them an opportunity to speak to you and say "Oh, I must be in the wrong room, sorry" and then they will walk. (The other students will rat this person out and tell you the person is in fact a student in that class.)

5. Expect to see the number of people in the class decrease if you give them a five minute bio break.

6. Do not challenge anyone who suddenly stands up and says they have to go back to work, babysit or (fill in lame reason here). It will just
waste your time.

7. Take attendance at the end of class. They all know showing up for class is twenty five percent of their grade. Revenge is sweet!

These people pay good money to further their education but they don't want to show up for class. Hint; If you pay all this money for the course and the books, but don't want to attend the classes, do your self a favor, DON'T register. Use the money to buy some tacos. You can buy a lot of tacos with several hundred dollars and eating a taco won't take as much time as a three credit course.
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Sint Maarten, Saint-Martin or St. Martin



Sometimes you just get lucky! Thanks Kim and Jim! Looks like this is where we'll be staying on our vacation this year. Well almost. The house we will stay at is next door and is not finished yet. It will be when we get there. Same builder and basic design. Check out the rest of the pictures. We can't wait. The villa will be shared with nine other people so there will be lots of activity. Here is more information about Saint-Martin. The fly fishing opportunities? Maybe not so good, but I hear the game fishing charters are spectacular. If all else fails there's still napping, my favorite vacation pastime.
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Welcome to the world Olivia Marie Dunkerly!

This little cutie was born this morning. She is my first grand niece. I already have a grand nephew. Right Carter? She is absolutely beautiful. Happy Birthday little girl. May all your dreams come true.

Her are some more photos.
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Matinicus is Booked for 2006

We just got word from the owner of our rental cottage. We are now booked for our week of blissful boredom and copious napping. Matinicus is about 23 miles off the coast of Rockland Maine. It is as charming as it is rugged. We really enjoy being on one of the most remote inhabited Islands off the coast of Maine.


The Southern end of Matinicus Island, Maine.
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