Thursday, December 18, 2014

Art Easels

Muse Paintbar has come to our city. Let me get this straight. They supply the paint, canvas, apron, some expertise and art to be painted. You check out their calendar and locate the picture you want to paint, show up 30 minutes before the session, and you are off chasing Piccaso. Oh yes, you do supply the cash anywheres from $35-$55 dollars. There is a kitchen and a bar that supplies wine and beer at a cost. You can also reserve the entire room for a large painting party for you and your friends. I looked in the windows at their site on Commercial Street. There were about 20-25 canvases set up paintbrush ready. I can see where this might be a pull to some, but not me. The painting would be difficult enough. Good grief! Alcohol would not be an enticement either. I can just image what my canvas might look like at the end of the two hour session.
Have you seen one of these in your city or town?
Would you take a chance?
There is a pull.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Barn Sky

I took this about a month back when fall was still hanging on for dear life around here, and there was a blanket of early morning fog about. I've photographed this barn a number of times, but never posted anything. It gets my attention every time I travel past it. Anyone else have this affliction? You know a barn, house, building or storefront that intrigues you, but you have no idea why. There are horses here. Quite often there are multiple horse trailers parked in the driveway. We have a harness racing facility, Scarborough Downs, nearby. Perhaps that is what the horses here do for a living. All I know is often, in January and February, on my drive bys the horses here enjoy galavanting about in the snow.
I've pulled over to watch them.
I enjoy it too.
What's that all about?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Trailer Art

I like to dream.
You?
Perhaps I'll take up art again. Even though the first time I attempted it you couldn't call it, in any shape or form, 'taking it up'. I spent a day or two with it. They might get to calling me 'Grandma Birdman' for my primitive work. Hey, I might finally buy that Harley and take off into the sunset for Alaska, a la "Easy Birdman". How about buying a big sailboat and setting off down the inter-coastal highway? I'd probably get stranded on some remote island and do my best 'Robinson Birdman' bit. I might make Daniel Defoe roll over six feet under. I like to walk. Maybe I might try the Camino de Santiago and walk my 'Way' across Spain. They might get to calling me the 'Walking Bird'. Maybe one of those Ironman Triathlons might just quell my dreaming fire. 'Iron Birdman' has a nice ring to it. After all, I had a bike and liked to swim growing up.
Jeepers.
All that contemplating this morning has me pretty tired.
I better turn off the alarm and go back to sleep.
'Dreaming Birdman'.
That has a nice ring to it.
Ah... to dream.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Santa Parade

I've got a secret.
Enjoy. I haven't got many. Over the last couple of years I've been collecting little Santas. It started on a whim, and now I tell Elenka that I can't stop. I can, but it bugs her a bit when I say that. It all started two years ago when I spied a couple of 50's era Santas sitting on a shelf at the Gorham Goodwill store. I stopped to look for ties but got sidetracked. They seemed lonely. Last December I added a few and two weeks ago a few more. Like us all, I have selective memory. I can remember the strangest stuff, long past, but sometimes struggle with my plans for the day. This said, so far I have not returned to the house with a duplicate Mr. Claus. Lucky, I guess. Elenka says my collecting days are over, because this small mirrored mantle is full.
She might again be correct.
However, I wouldn't venture to Vegas with your life savings.
... if I were you.
Ho, Ho, Ho!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Stragglers

Do you straggle?
I try not to.
However, sometimes I sin.
There are stragglers in this world.
Similar to these few remaining leaves, reminders of a summer past, they cling hoping against hope that they might hold on. I really don't like to drag myself in 'after the dance has started'. I'm an early bird when it comes to most aspect of my life, up early, at my desk with coffee before the masses, at meetings on time. However, when I'm in the partying mood, I'm a strong advocate of arriving a bit on the side of being 'fashionable late'. When I have a get-to-gether, I do not want to meet and greet all 15 of the revelers at once, especially if there has been some distance since our last meeting. I'm not talking laziness here. That's an entirely different animal. Always getting a late start and dragging yourself in or around your world, not a good attribute. 
So if I arrive late, don't roll your eyes.
It won't happen again.
Have you noticed?
It's never the same leaves.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Winter Games

Our 'winter games' have started.
And no, not the Olympics.
I don't really care that my calendar is saying it's the 13th of December and not the 21st. I don't care if the winter solstice is still more than a week away. Sunrise to sunset, it bothers me not a bit that today still is not the shortest day of the year. As far as I'm concerned, it's winter! The snow blanket sticking to all the evergreens in a winterland delight, the temperatures pretty solidly encased in the 30's or below each morning and snowplows awakening me at 3 AM as they run the hill by the house are all determiners in my book of the season change. I say; it's winter. Deal with it. Oh, and my birdfeeders need refilling sooner. When my feeders are active areas it's cold or a storm is on the horizon. 
Bank on it.
Brisk chickadee action breeds winter.
I've got to load my feeders again this morning.
Enjoy the season change.
There's no avoiding it.
Play by the rules. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Going Down

Going down?
And we were, as we began our decent back to the first floor in the Victorian Mansion last week. There was a time I would have loved to just hop on these slippery, wooden balustrades and take the quick trip down instead of taking the lazy man's way. Our house on Coyle Street had a quite wide expanse of a front stairway. Nothing as elaborate as this though. It did have a large window seat, that in the winter when the trees were devoid of leaves, allowed you to lookout over Back Bay. I never tried to 'ride the banister' there, however the railing on Stevens Avenue wasn't so lucky. There were lots of trips down to our music room 'on wood' in that house. We lived there from the time I started third grade until I was a sophomore in high school, and in those early years my weight, age and the sturdy rails were a lethal combination. 
Of course, if Mom caught me I was in trouble.
But I picked my spots.
I wasn't crazy.
Going down?
Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee! 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ice Cover

Welcome to my world!
This is a bush just off the back step. It'll give you a pretty good idea of what we have been up against the last few days. No, it in no way comes close to reaching the pinnacle of ice cover we had in Maine back in 1996, but it has made moving about pretty treacherous. Now, with a solid day of heavy rain at times, getting from the back step to the safety of the dry garage floor has become quite a task. There's something about adding a 1/4 inch of water atop the ice that puts all bets off. Somedays, it almost makes you long for a six inch snowfall. 
Ah, but as they say, 'be careful what you wish for'.
A broken leg, hip or wrist, just before the holiday or anytime, wouldn't be a pretty picture.
That would be the wrong kind of ice breaker.
Tread carefully.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Reception Room

The spirit of Christmas is among us.
On Saturday Elenka and I took a little trip to "100 Years Past". We visited the Victorian Mansion on Danforth Street in all its holiday grandeur. The stately home, decked out for the holiday season, was completed in 1860 as the summer home of Mr. Ruggles Morse and his family. He made his fortune in hotels in Boston, New Orleans and New York. He died in 1893 and the home and its contents were sold to local merchant Joseph Ralph Libby. His family lived here for over 30 years without making any major changes to the house and its contents. The home was rescued from demolition in 1941 by William H. Holmes, who opened it as the Victorian Mansion, in a tribute to British Queen Victoria. What we are looking at here is the Reception Room, which is the first room you enter to the right of the main staircase. Most days I'm really not into white Christmas trees but this one was quite beautiful. Every decoration loaded on this tree seemed to give the impression of some sort of  snow-covered dream. All of the rooms on the first and second floors are open, overly decorated for Christmas and instill the holiday spirit of the times.
It was a inspiring trip back 100 years.
Sort of dream-like.
"Mr. and Mrs. Birdman here to see Mr. Ruggles Morse and his wife Olive, please."

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Chains

It doesn't look like much on an early Sunday morning, but the wharves in this port city provide few parking spots and lots of activity on a working day. While in high school, the 'fish factory' a local fish processing plant, provided working opportunities for guys and gals. I was too young to work at the time, but Leo took a chance. Pretty good money, but with a couple of downsides. The aroma was strong and followed you for days. Similar to a couple of older guys living in the six-links apartments nearby. They were painters by day and had a terrifically hard time eliminating the smell of paint and turpentine from their skin and clothes. 
The second drawback to working at the fish factory?
Every feline in the neighborhood followed you for days.
Meow!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Ice Walk

We took a stroll on Danforth Street on Saturday afternoon. After a plate of Irish nachos and something to wash it down at Bull Feeney's, we headed to the Victoria Mansion to view the rooms decked out in all their holiday splendor. As I recall, the last time I was there was as a high school junior on a field trip. When we exited close to 4:30 PM, this slushy sidewalk had began its turn to a treacherous, frozen walkway. Since this image was taken, we've seen a bright sun but with temperatures encased in the 20's not much melting. When walking on this stuff, you need your wits about you or the results might be quite  unpleasant.
Pretty scenes can lead to danger.
Slip-sliding away.
Call 911!  

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Interiors

WHAT was he thinking?
For that matter, WHAT was he doing?

Ever question why someone would do or say something and wish you could get inside their brain for about 30 seconds? You know, get 'interior'. Case in point. Did anyone else struggle through the NBC adaptation of the Peter Pan LIVE the other night? I did. I wish I hadn't. That's 3 hours of my life I'll never get back! I usually love Christopher Walken, but... What the heck was he doing for his 180 minutes? Did he forget his lines? He was constantly looking for the teleprompter. A couple of times, closeups showed him with mouth open, moving but no words coming forth. Some very odd stares. He seemed to miss his marks. He can't sing. He surely can't dance. He put so little into his performance, and I use that term so very loosely here. I mean, Cyril Ritchard (the original Captain Hook) must have been flip-floppin in his grave. Why? How could he do this? Sad to say, he looked to be under the influence of something. Some catatonic state?

The character of Hook should be hilarious as he vamps his way back and forth across the stage. His make-up was atrocious! Was he doing 'whiteface'? His entire performance should have been title "Dazed and Confused". If I was writing the review for the show, the headline might would read, "Sadly, This Peter Pan Doesn't Fly!"
Solution?
More fairy dust, please!
*If that doesn't work, cast Birdman as Hook. 
He could do it!
... or at least take a chance with say, a Nicholson or a Shatner?
Hold on.
Oh-uh!
I think Mr. Walken just rang my cell.

Check out Ritchard doing "The Captain Hook Waltz".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlmWmGHZpHM

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Up Stairway

Up the stairs.
Down the stairs.
I do believe there used to be a restaurant at the top of these stairs back a bunch of years. These days there are a few shops up there. One looks to be a photography gallery. Photos lining the stairs? This is an interesting advertising ploy, if you ask me. Well, you really can't blame them. If you pay rent for one of these high-priced shops, you need to make some big money over these five weeks between turkey and Santa. The adage 'any port in a storm' almost works here, especially if your store is not the walk-in variety, right off the street. Having to journey up these steps would offer that extra challenge to sell your wares.
Luckily, I don't have the pressure to make rent in a downtown shop this time of year.
I can just walk and take-in what I want.
I did not venture up these stairs.
Case in point.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Nature's Tinsel

Tinsel's birth was in Nuremburg, Germany in 1610. That's where all my trouble started. You see, I really like tinsel. I used to love it, but now realize I am resigned to liking. You see, little of this silver makes its way to our tree. Long story... I still can conjure up vivid, painted memories of lying on my back in the Stevens Avenue living room under the Christmas tree trying to make my way visually to the angel riding on the top. It was quite a task. It was a dream world. I imagined myself lost in the blizzard of colored lights, sparkling decorations and of course the silver strips of tinsel. These strands of sparkle would enhance every inch of our tree, and I really thought brought the tree to life. It was always a sad that day, in the week after Christmas, when Mom deemed the holiday structure a safety hazard, and we had to take it down. All the big colorful ornaments we stored away in their boxes, long strings of synthetic garland were folded up and the fun part for me all the silver tinsel was saved for another year. I made it my job to circle the tree repeatedly gathering the shinny silver over my hand. It came off last and signaled for me the official end to the holiday. The dragging the tree out of the house into the backyard was nothing compared to removing the strands.
Tinsel, though, always brought back smiles.
Especially in March or April...
When I'd see our cat streak by me running down the hall, trailing tinsel out of his butt.
Now that's a lasting holiday image!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Burger Joint

I can commit sin.
Does the fact that cattle is classified as 'grass-fed beef' make a difference when I'm face to face with a double-decker cheese burger with a couple of slices of bacon, onions, lettuce, tomato with relish or mayo topping it off. What? Do you think I'm crazy? The temptation is too severe. I'll visit my local confessional, do my penance and deal with the guilt. This is a slice of one of our Elevation Burger establishments around the city. This one, with its rounded front, sits on Commercial Street. We visited it last winter, when it was the Farmer's Table, a full service restaurant not just a burger joint. Our meals were fine. I guess it just wasn't getting the traffic in the door needed to survive. As for this place, I've never sat down to sample its fare. I've never eaten at Red Robin either. We have one of these in the Mall area. I'm intrigued to sample one of their 'gourmet burgers' though. Their online menu looks delicious! Now, unlike these two places, I have eaten a couple of times at Five Guys. I've stopped on the run for cheese burgers. They were greasy, and the burgers slid off the roll repeatedly, but they were scrumptious! I'm cautioned often, by a close and personal friend, about how meals like this are not good for me, and my comeback is always the same. It's not like I'm sitting down across from one of these everyday. Fried food(see clams), anything that even resembles fettuccine alfredo and these greasy burgers, when I'm EVEN just glancing at these on a menu, elicit the same response from my 'food cop'. 
"Are you kidding me?"
Thanks to her, what goes into my body is good for me.
My diet is extremely nutritious.
That's a very good thing.
But can't I just sin a bit?
No? 
I didn't think so.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Maya Katherine

Welcome to the world little girl!
Let me introduce you to my new grand niece.
Maya Katherine
Born: Friday November 28, 2014
 @ 2:44 PM
6lbs. 15 1/2 oz. 20 inches.
Sleep tight little one. This world can be a crazy place some days. You'll need your rest. Can't wait to meet you.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Fish Heads

There used to be a pretty good seafood restaurant off of Commercial Street called The Holy Mackerel. It's gone now. Financial issues, I hear, took it under. I'm sure, if it was still in operation, gulls like this would be hanging around it all day too. You see seagulls have never met a french fry, a sandwich of any persuasion, seafood or not, roadkill or any example of edible trash that they didn't like and 'take care of'. They are pretty much scavengers and for the most part steer clear of people. That's good thing, because I wouldn't want to come between a gull and lunch. They can be pretty aggressive. These fish heads strew along Custom House Wharf would attest to that and be my Exhibit A.
I sat and watched them for a spell the other morning.
It was kind of disgusting, really. (I wouldn't enlarge this, if I were you).
Pick, pick, pick.
It was too early for lunch for me.
Good thing too.
There is no way I'd get a lobster roll down after watching this episode.
Life on the wharves... every gull for himself.
The heads have it!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Theme Day: Worker

Today is December 1, 2014 Theme Day across the world-wide CDP (citydailyphotoblog) community. This month's theme is of the worker population. Easy one. Find someone who's working and click away. Here's Mark making his stand. Could be his last stand. I don't really know or pardon me for saying this really, care. Unlike a lot of photo bloggers, unless I know them, they go nameless, anonymous. This guy has a hot dog stand at Tommy's Park in the Old Port. The stand has competition, lots of pushcarts and food trucks in the summer, of course, but even in winter there are always a couple of wagons in the area. Heck, this guy must have a real following. He sells t-shirt, for crying out loud. That's not an expression I use a lot, but it fits here.
Nope, never have sampled his goods.
Don't plan on doing it soon either.
Elenka has taught me a lot about what I put into my body.
Greasy dogs and burgers with cheese, onions and sauerkraut.
Tsk, tsk, tsk...
He's got a fine Christian forename though.
Mark.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bait Shack

Strange bedfellows.
I like them. I enjoy reading about and researching when strange combinations, sometimes through no fault of their own, are thrust together, side by side. For example, some might shy away from buying a luxurious condominium on Chandler's Wharf off of Commercial Street, because this neat bait shop finds a home right next to you. I've seen actual photographs of the units. They are quite beautiful, and what views! If you might enjoy a life, sometimes complicated by sea smells, feral cats, the constant squawking of gulls, wharf traffic and (from what I hear) other wharf 'critters', you can call this brick condo just to the left your home. 
What do they say, "Nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want..."
When, or if, it's a condo life for me, it'll be on land.
Solid, solid land.
I ain't no pirate! 
"Drink up me hearties, yo ho! Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me!"(from one of my favorite rides at Disney World: Pirates of the Caribbean)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Warehouse

The Portland Company has quite a history. It was founded in 1846 as a foundry for building locomotives and other railroad equipment. It built 626 locomotives and 160 ships including Iron Clads in its early years. Today the nine acre site houses mostly marine-related businesses on a prime piece of real estate just below the Eastern Prom on Fore Street. It looks to be pretty dead in this shot, but there's a lot of activity in and around its many buildings. Much of the traffic in the area between now and December 25th will be for tickets to Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad's "Polar Express" ride along the waterfront. The Chris Van Alsburg picture book is one of my favorite holiday stories. Now Portland Yacht Services is one of the linchpins of the complex, although there is no holiday story attached to PYS that I know of at this time.
Perhaps I could pen, "The Little Yacht That Couldn't Find Christmas".
Any other suggested titles? 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Tree Farm

Heading into the city, I pass this small tree farm many times in many different weather conditions. I must say this snowy scene tops the book. I drove by it at first the afternoon of our storm and then circled back. I do believe it was worth the return trip. What do you think? My plans for today do not include any 'Black Friday' shopping, shoveling or cutting down of any Christmas tree. The tree will come soon enough. Doing little today. Resting up from yesterday. I'm pretty good at that. I've perfected the art. Really, just awaiting word on the birth of our grand niece in New Jersey. Daniella got an epidermal at 2 AM. 
Our thoughts are with you, Daniella.
A new little tree taking root soon.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Land Ho!

The Pilgrims have landed!
Finally!
Until yesterday I did not know that the Mayflower really landed on the shores of Casco Bay. Here's proof positive that it really happened. I've been listening to a lot of 'talk' recently in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. Everybody trying to share the 'real' story of the event and its repercussions. It seemed like all the tales had their own take on when, why and how it happened. All I really wanted was a plateful of truth, but everywhere I searched I seemed to be subject to overlapping facts and the real differences as to the first 'real' Thanksgiving and the coming ashore of the Pilgrims. All with similarities. All with some differences. So, if you're are waiting for my story on when, why and how, you'll have to suffice with this. The Mayflower landed in Portland near Fore Street yesterday.
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
If you're are celebrating with turkey today, enjoy.
Family, friends, the bird, football... and about 12 inches of snow here.
Gotta love it.
Happy Thanksgiving!  

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ankle-Deep

I was ankle-deep in yellow leaves the other day when I took this photograph in the Old Port. I seem to always find interesting sights 'behind the scenes'. These barrels are lined up at the rear of a local restaurant and are just inundated with fallen leaves. Autumn's final goodbye. This sight will be gone forever later today. Starting around noon and running into tonight, we are expecting 9-12 inches of snow. I don't know if they plan to move these soon. If not, this might make for an interesting image come February. Maybe just the tops will be peeking out then. I might return. Of course, by then I'll be more than ankle-deep in the results of winter's fury. Until then, if you're in the upper Northeast today, bundle up and bear it.
We're a hardy bunch up here.
Bring it on!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Math Time

Outside, it's a math problem.
There are rectangles, circles, triangles and an infinity sign gracing the outside of In'finiti Fermentation & Distillation on Commercial Street. Inside, it's anything but. You'll find a restaurant, a bar, a distillery and a brewery. Just before you step through the doors, you see a stack of wooden barrels each showing its name and logo. That's the only hint that seems to reveal the contents of this building. To me, it's always given me the look of a factory not a restaurant. I was really surprised when I found out it was a restaurant and brewery. I have a good friend who teaches math to middle school kids. She'd be really excited with all the math 'angles' seen on the exterior of the building. She's a great educator. Each time I entered her room, I attempted to solve the math problem that was being discussed. Most times my answers ended with the room in laughter. However, I reminded her students and mine that Freshman year I ended first quarter with a 105 average in Algebra. So I knew what I was talking about. She'd just smile and move on with the lesson.
Math is everywhere.
In school and sometimes when you're out on the town.
Remember: always check your work.
Miss you, Alexis.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Water Taxi

Here in the foreground is one of the small water taxis that service the the islands of Casco Bay. I've never taken it or any other for that matter on the water. Let me think back a moment. I've probably only taken a street taxi about 10 times in my entire life, and most of those were during my collegiate years when the Greyhound, due to bad weather, got in well after midnight. It was about the only way you were going to negotiate East Avenue at that time in the morning. The bus station was located in a pretty shady part of the city too. I must say traveling that stretch along the New York Thruway in the winter months, late arrivals seemed to happen a lot. Now, on the water, if I'm heading for an island excursion or just a day trip cruise, I'll hop a ride on one of the Casco Bay Line ferries, that are lined up here in the background and at the ready. Riding them with the 'island crowd' is always a treat too. They always seem to lugging such an interesting conglomerate of stuff in their bags. Life on these islands is different than spending your days on the mainland. That's for sure.
Taxi?
Taxi!

*Note: just hate to watch that meter movin' so fast. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Stand Alone

Amid the cursed, brown, dying bamboo this birch tree takes its stand in the fog. Have you ever stood alone? Could you? I can't really say I have. I think it would be extremely difficult for me. I've taken lots of sides in my life but can't ever recall being on an island alone. I like company. I've always been a team player, and I think I've been pretty good at it. I like results too. When I do anything, I want results. Call me a pragmatist. I can live with that. I know the value of the numbers game. I've always been one who likes to play the numbers. I'm not talking gambling here. That's not a game I play, ever. I sure would love to win the lottery though. That Jaguar would look so wonderful parked in my driveway. 
Being the only one with a winning Megabucks ticket?
I could do that.
But as they say, "Gotta be in it to WIN it."
Maybe I need to rethink this 'standing alone' deal.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Bit o' Blue

Some days you just have to look to the heavens. Last week we had one  of those exciting cloud days with pretty much cloud cover all day. It was hard to see them moving, but they were. At one point, when I was up back, the sky broke to display this patch of blue. It didn't last very long, but you got an idea at how fast those clouds were motoring. Things were moving fast like the approaching holidays. I'm just happy 'lake effect snow' doesn't move fast or travel long distances. Elenka's cousin Irene and her family live in Hamburg, New York, the epi-center of all that snow last week. Most reports coming from the area were saying they got close to 80 inches. Yikes! Before Thanksgiving? That's scary. We live near the deepest lake in Maine, Sebago, but you seldom hear the about snow building off the lake. Let's see five days until 'turkey time' and I still have a few outdoor items to take care of this weekend: birdhouses taken in, some leaves to be mowed about, a couple of loads of wood to be moved to the garage, kindling to be chopped and stacked in the woodshed out back and the porch roof to be secured.
These will keep me honest till turkey.
Hopefully the snow will hold off until March.
Ya, I'm dreaming.
I do that a lot these days.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Walled In

Stone walls are pretty much New England. They are a way of life up here. They are relentless. Around here, if you look long and hard you'll see them everywhere. I've had friends from 'away' on their first visit to the area remark, "Who built all these walls?" This one is on our property nestled in the woods, and to be perfectly honest I had never really checked out this corner and the wall until a couple of weeks ago. Elenka pointed it out to me, and I ventured over. I do believe Robert Frost has captured the essence of the 'lives of walls' in his poem "Mending Wall". I can't help thinking of his words as I stroll along the rocks, or attempt to cross over one...
In these parts, farmers went for the stones, they found while clearing their land, long before they they looked to wood for fences to mark property lines.
"Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast..."

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Coffee Pot

Giddy up!
Some days I just want to load up a pack horse and hit the trail. I'm just dreaming of course, but in another life... Do you believe that we've been here before in another life? That we come back? I like to dwell on that feeling that I've been down this road before, but I can't seem to dig up a lot of evidence. As for 'coming back', I'm a bit more pessimistic. If in the big picture of things this really is some sort of merry-go-round we're on, I hope I'm given a choice whether I'll be in for a return engagement. There are some worlds I want no part of in an Act II. Being a card carrying agnostic, puts me in a tough place from time to time, but I'm living with it.
No, I don't want to return as a coyote.
No, I have no interest in being a waterfall.
A cowboy on a distant planet?
Pass.
Ok, this has got to cease right now!
Then again, maybe a month on a dude ranch would get it out of my system.
What do you think?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Book Talk

Well, when you get right down to it, it'll be more of a book comment than a talk. For the most part, my reading interest seems to always fall into the fiction realm. Something must be up though, because my last few selections are falling into the non-fiction category. If you read and liked the book The Endurance, the story of Shackleton's incredible voyage, you'll LOVE In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides. It's the amazing tale of journey of the USS Jeannette and her crew. On many occasions while turning the pages, I kept saying to myself, "This can't be happening". But it was and it did. Pick it up. What a story! If you have family who are members of the 'Greatest Generation' and who played a role in the the Good War, you'll want to read Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken, the courageous story of heroism that is the life of Lou Zamperini. If you enjoy stories where a theme of 'against all odds' runs across each page, you'll want to put this book on your Christmas list. On more than one occasion, I couldn't stop thinking of what my Uncle Leonard and his plight aboard his B-17 must have gone through during his agonizing end. In some chapters, I had to put my finger between the pages, close the book and just stare off to blue sky. His was a life that might have been. The imagination is a pretty potent tool.
So, any recommendations for my bookstand?
It's a long winter up here.