Dec 2007

Sometimes You Get Surprised

Software can sometimes be frustrating and other times it can surprise you. Today, quality time was spent giving this site a new look. I was pleasantly surprised with the theme that I am using from MultiThemes. It is an add on theme to RapidWeaver, the software I use to build this site. Using the theme was a pleasure. I was able to control many things. Believe it or not, there was a lot of work to get the site to look this sparse. One of the best things about the theme was that it was free! I hope the new look is compelling enough for people to want to stick around.

Two things are currently on my mind about the site. First, I don't think that the hyperlink color is very distinguishable from the rest of the text in the posting body. Unfortunately it is tied to the color of the categories, tags, archives and other text in the sidebar as well as above and below each posting. Those elements are all hot or hyper links. For some reason the link text does not stick out as much when it is in with a lot of other text. Do you think the links are distinct enough? Second issue, I am not sure if I should have a home page or just have the blog be the home page. This website is more than a blog and that is why I have kept it. It has the two albums and the weather page. I'll also add a links page and other different pages at some point in the future. Because there are other things besides a blog here, I may be compelled to keep it. I know the home page is not the place where I have put the most up to date information. The blog has been the place for current events. When I add or change something on the site, I usually blog about it anyway. Let me know if you think the home page should stay or go. Remember to vote early and vote often.

While editing the home page today, I discovered I had not updated it in a year. Olivia the former star attraction on page one, will be a year old next week! The new photo is from the marsh behind my house. We are lucky to be living in such a beautiful area.
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Happy Holidays!

Hi Folks,

We're back from Florida where we had a visit with my in-laws. I have some stuff to post but I am going to try and upgrade the site first. Wish me luck. I have also moved the software over to a newer machine. Hopefully the transition will go smoothly.
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Banana Bread

Banana Bread
Made eight loaves this evening. Yummy! This is another tradition for the holidays. I got this recipe more than half a life ago in Marblehead. The trick to this recipe is the bananas are not even speckled yet. No brown gooey things here. I also use whole wheat flower for half of the flour and all purpose for the other half. Don't over mix the batter. Just mix enough until everything is combined.

Banana Bread from the Peach Family


1/2 cup Shortening
1 cup Sugar

2 eggs

1 cup bananas (2 - no speckles - fresh)
1 tsp. lemon juice (for color)

2 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup nuts (optional)

Bake @ 325 degrees F
for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes watch and check with toothpick
(top should turn golden brown)
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Tying Freshwater Flies with Rick Little

Fresh Water Flies Tied with Rick Little
From left to right; White Marabou Streamer, The Usual, Montreal Whore, Soft Hackle Wet Fly and Pink Floyd. These flies are from the heart of Maine. We tied these under the instruction of Rick Little. Rick is a long time member of the tying class at First Light Anglers. He is a great guy, a hell of a angler and an excellent tyer. He will be tying commercially for the shop this year. His class was well planned and he was thoughtful in his presentation. He supplied each student with a handout for the flies tied in the class. The handout will be posted on the discussion board at FLA. He tied each fly first, then had step by step instruction for everyone to follow. These flies were relatively easy flies to tie and all have a sense of motion and life in each pattern. This is due to the use of marabou, snowshoe hair and soft hackle. There will definitely be some additions from this class in my fly box next spring.
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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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Barbie Legs?

You decide.
Barbie Legs Carrot
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Following Sara's Instructions

Naked Jack-in-the-Pulpet Seeds
Per Sara's instructions, I donned surgical gloves and began squirting woody white seeds from the little red berries that could burn my skin off. The seeds were encased in a rusty colored goo that resembled the consistency of snot. After a while I figured out that if you rolled the seeds on a paper towel, the rusty snot would liberate itself from the seeds. Then they air dried for just a few minutes. After drying I rolled them on a new clean paper towel. This rolling removed the rest of the lethal snot/goo. I then placed them in a screen type strainer and gave them a light rinse, then it was back to a new paper towel for more drying. The picture above is the end result. They have now been placed in a paper envelope (never put them in plastic) where they will await planting in the spring. Why so much attention to detail? Any time you plan to propagate a plant that looks like this one does you take extra care. This plant has the potential to resemble a penis.
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Roller Derby and Dewars - Can it get any better?

BDD & Dewars
Last night the after party was sponsored by Dewar's. Just when I thought it couldn't get any better. . .

The bout was amazing. The Nutcrackers defeated the Cosmonaughties 69-42. This was a total vindication of the prior lopsided contest and more of what I want to see in Boston's newest sport. I'll reserve judgement on the other team in the league until we see their next appearance. There was nonstop action, great skating and the penalty box was crowded. The thrills and spills were nonstop and the off track entertainment was fun. The teams are skating better and we are seeing the jammers really come into their own. The skills of the pivots and blockers have improved and they are really regulating the pace of the game. Time is passing much more quickly and scores are being updated sooner. All these improvements are making for a much more enjoyable night of action and fun. Adding frosting to the cake, we met up with a new rolled derby celebrity Ballistic Miss L. of Pioneer Valley Roller Derby. It was a nice surprise to see her and for her to come all the way down from the wilds of central New Hampshire. Come with us to the next bout on February 9th and hopefully see a seagull get it's wings clipped.
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Tying With Captain Peter Yukins

Flies Tied With Captain Peter Yukins
This weeks critters were tied with the help of Captain Peter Yukins. He is an employee of First Light Anglers and also guides on the North Shore.
From Left to right; Pete's version of a Ray's Fly, front view of Pete's Lobster Fly, Puglisi Style Cunner, Pete's Pheasant Style Cunner. The last fly is made by just layering bucktail and pheasant. A really nice looking fly. I added a natural eye from the pheasant rather than a 3-D eye. I like the old style look of the natural. This fly would look amazing with jungle cock eyes. The Mrs. thinks the Puglisi flies are "as cute as a button." I hope the fish think they are "so cute they could just eat 'em up!"
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Jack-in-the-Pulpit Seed Propagation

Jack-in-the-Pulpi Seeds
Sara, Mary and I have been having discussions about the Jack-in-the-Pulpit seeds from our garden. I just thought you'd like to read more about it.

Wasn't that just the quickest little post?
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Fly Tying Season Has Begun

Snake Flies
Last Wednesday was the season opener for tying classes at First Light Anglers. Captain Nat Moody, one of the owners of the shop, started us off with a good versatile impressionistic critter, to limber up the bobbins and the vices. The design is a modified snake fly. This has Nat's signature bunny tail partially encased in easy body. It includes both types of rabbit strips in the construction. The zonker strip for the tail and then the cross cut strip palmered around the hook. Marabou covers the palmered crosscut. Bucktail is wrapped around the aft bunny tail. We finished off with a spun deer hair head. The head on the left is trimmed for a diver style fly. The other is a larger head used to push lots of water for surface action or a gurgler. If you are undecided, leave the heads bigger and trim waterside to suit conditions.

It was great to see all the guys at the class. The new format is well worth it. Only twenty more classes till striper season!
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