Saturday, February 28, 2015
Friday, February 27, 2015
Have I mentioned it's snowed a bit here this winter? I thought I had. Ridding snow for a city this size can be a royal pain. When I was a kid and beyond, city trucks would just dump the snow into Back Cove and be done with it. However, recent environmental sanctions have put a damper on that practice. So, what's a city to do? Well, create some new terminology for one thing. Ah, let's call them 'snow farms' or 'snow dumps'. There are a couple now on the outskirts of the city on city owned property. One is near the Portland International Jetport. Portland, as of this week, has recorded north of 88 inches of snow. One 'farm' is situated in a wide expanse of open space, but there's a big problem building. It's near the Jetport. City trucks have lugged away more than 1 million cubic yards of snow and dumped it here. It's grown so high the FAA is now concerned. They fear, that if gets any higher, it could interfere with the taking off and landing of aircraft. The man-made mountain of snow now has reached 40 feet. FAA regulation say that 'jetport mountain' or wall of discarded snow could go up another 16 feet to 56 feet and be acceptable, but that it would create hazardous manuvering conditions for bulldozer operators on the 'mountain'. So other places have been found to dump the snow. Other mountains could soo be 'building'. Heck, it not even March yet. Driving by the Jetport each spring, I always keep note of how long the pile lasts.
No kidding, usually there are remnants still around in June.
See, up here there still often is snow in June.
This year let's hope not in July though.
That would not be a good sign at all.
Don't tread on me.
Thursday, February 26, 2015
A few years ago, a friend of mine had a sign on his math room wall...
"If it's fun; it ain't work."
Somedays, I might agree with this.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
I've always enjoyed it.
Back then and even now walking about in new fallen snow.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
By the way, yes, the 'whiteness' piled up, beyond the glass, behind the frame is a huge pile of snow that waits for melting temperatures.
I can dream.
Monday, February 23, 2015
And no, I have no idea where the name Bug Light comes from.
Maybe an infestation of 'no see 'ems'.
Ever heard of them?
You might not want to know.
*Research completed. Built in 1875, the light gets its name because of its small size.
I like my story better.
Sunday, February 22, 2015
-Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man
These words I've always heard quoted about the next upcoming baseball season. Well, at least until Kevin Millar got the Sox players to 'cowboy up' in 2004 and rode that theme all the way to hoisting the World Series Championship trophy. The Red Sox pitchers and catchers reported this past Friday to Fort Myers, Florida to begin another season, while this sculpture, of a family on a July afternoon waiting outside of our Hadlock Field, stands amid another four inches or so of newly fallen snow. Will it ever end? Not winter. I know it will, but what about the snow?
Someday soon, I might just get to see a spring training game.
"Hope springs..." in Florida.
Saturday, February 21, 2015
Yes, I've been out here quite a few times in my life. Sometimes with good results. Sometimes not so much. Get ready. I'm budding with an air of confidence too. I'm going to make a prognostication with some guessing and prophesying thrown in for good measure. We've lived in our place since 1977, and I haven't kept a running tab year to year on snowfall accumulations. Weather forecasters do, but as a rule I don't hold to much stock in them. At the end of each winter, they'll do a tally sheet for the area. So many inches here, so many inches there. Usually, in the course of my winter duties, I'll take a step back the end of February and say something like this, "Whoa, that's a lot of snow, or it's been a pretty mild one." Ok, here I go out on the limb. We have never had snow piled in the yard the way we do this year. The road in front of the house has snow piled as high as I've ever seen it. I stopped counting at 85 inches and that's not including the 6 inches this week and the 3-6 due tonight. I mentioned this to Elenka yesterday. I think I can say with assured certainty that this is the 'snowiest wintah' in our neck of the woods that we've experienced... and maybe the coldest too.
In the past, old timers would say, "This ain't anything like that winter of '47."
I think after this winter we can safely say, "Oh yes it is!"
And another thing.
I have snow drifted into my woodshed this year.
Never happened to this degree before.
Truth be told.
It might have been, because I ripped part of cover tarp away when I ran over it with the snowblower.
Not proud of that fact.
Friday, February 20, 2015
I have first hand proof.
I tried it once and once only.
A smart ass kid of twelve is not quick enough to accomplish it.
I was soon up to my knees in icy swamp water.
So, adults out there...
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Please don't ask.
If you're familiar with the wharfs off of Commercial Street you probably know Harbor Fish Market on Custom House Wharf and the restaurant J's Oyster on Portland Pier. They are right next to each other and this is the water between. On most summer afternoons this view is saturated with lobster boats, trawlers and tourists capturing this picturesque venue that just screams forth "Maine: Then Way Life Should Be". This image from yesterday shows the waterway getting pretty iced in.
Life isn't always pretty.
But it's what we have.
Winter along the water's edge: this is home.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
from roofs around the city. Here's some seen looking out of a Cumberland Avenue window, towards the Westin Portland Harborview Hotel. Now, that's a mouthful. It all seemed so much easier when it was just the Eastland Hotel. At the Stevens Avenue house there was a corner on the driveway side where ice ran from the roof to the ground. It was thick too, about 8-10 inches. My self-appointed job each February was to 'take it down'. The backside of an axe accomplished the task nicely. The thought that I might have been doing severe damage to the roof never crossed my mind.
My life of innocence continued.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
It was passed along to me via my Mom, I think. If I started writing my list of worries, I'd still have pen in hand years from now. Well, I exaggerate a lot, so maybe I'm doing it here. Let's just say I have my share. Maybe more. There I go again. Most people don't share their inner most fears and for good reason. Sundays, I'm usually up early and out and about scouting up a couple of cups of coffee and a morning paper. About a month ago a good friend, who is a women basketball coach at St. Joseph's College in nearby Standish, offered me a deal I couldn't pass up. Buy a tall, plastic coffee mug for $20, support the team and enjoy a free cup of Dunkin Donuts java every Sunday for the year. Fifty-two weeks of free joe? I did the math. After about 9 Sundays, I'm drinkin' for free. Now the problem. I've got to get that mug filled every week. I'm forcing myself. So even in bad weather, I'm on the road. Lately, the weather issue here hasn't been snow, but the brutally cold temperatures. Yesterday the wind chill at 7AM was -17°F. If that wasn't enough, the after-blizzard, strong winds have kept up their pace and have created some treacherous driving conditions. Pictured here is one of the most dangerous stretches of road on my way into the city. The snow is blowing off of the fields, covering the roadway and making for close to whiteout conditions.
I worry when the wind drives the snow this way.
But the real BIG worry is that I won't be able to make it to my free cup of coffee.
See, my life is worry-filled.
Carrying this gene has a lot of weight.
Monday, February 16, 2015
How about you?
*One more time. Friend, Yelena has a new blog. If you have time, please stop by and say Hi. Thanks to all who did yesterday!
Sunday, February 15, 2015
Got a little free time today. Visit my friend Yelena's new blog. She's had few comments. Please give her something to read. hahaha
Saturday, February 14, 2015
For us, it's going to be a Valentines' evening and next day snow-in. Blizzard warnings up all over the state. We're going to hunker-down and ride 'her' out... and oh yea, FEAST!
On the plus side, our menu for the night:
Lobster Mac and Cheese.
Homemade Crab Cakes.
A iceberg-wedge salad with blue cheese and bacon.
and a bottle of Prosecco.
(Did I tell you I sleep with a helluva cook?)
See you tomorrow!
*ps. Sorry I'm late. We had an 'interesting' breakfast and adventure in the city. More later on that. No, I wasn't arrested.
Friday, February 13, 2015
The coldest weather of the season headed here this weekend.
Do you suffer triskadekaphobia?
I just fear another blizzard this weekend.
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Often these signs bring with them difficult times.
The huge icicles, hanging off this local town office, usually mean coveted warm air and $$$ is escaping somewhere. Not good. Driving home yesterday, Elenka tells me many homes and establishments either had active shovelers at work or saw roofs that showed evidence of snow having been removed. Luckily, few if any of our storms this winter have brought rain. Water on top of all this snow would mean roofs collapsing and pieces of property damaged beyond repair in some cases. Not good. Another issue that these storms bring is gigantic snowbanks at stop signs around the city. In some cases, you put life and limb in danger, as you attempt to maneuver out into traffic. Not good.
Some of you have inquired, so here we go.
What are the statistics so far for the winter in these parts?
Around 74 inches of snow has fluttered to the ground since the first flake back in December.
A week or so ago, we got a 50 inch treat in just 7 days.
Looks picturesque, but it carries with it that nasty underbelly.
Forecast: Tonight 1-2 inches. Saturday into Sunday? Don't ask.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Well, at least for me.
Here's an interesting sculpture in Deering Oaks, along Park Avenue, called "The Hiker". It's a memorial to American soldiers who fought in the Spanish-American War, the Boxer Rebellion and the Filipino-American War. It's been standing here in our park since 1924. Designed by Theo Alice Ruggles Kitson, the artwork commemorates American soldiers who fought in these wars. Recognize it? Some of you might. There were about 50 identical copies constructed in the early 1920's and probably spread about the world. I've always wondered about this piece of art here in our park. Why was it here? And what did it represent? A little research and those questions, I guess, have been answered. The sculpture shows a soldier heading into battle. Why is it called "The Hiker"? Of course, you are probably asking yourself this same question. It's the name these soldiers gave themselves on the battlefields: 'hikers'.
There, a couple of mysteries solved (for me anyway) today.
Anybody seen one of these?
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
This large Forestry truck, once an Army vehicle, sits for sale on Route 320.
It's been converted into a 'firetruck' for use in rugged terrain.
Not for me though.
I've had my fill of big trucks.
Maybe I could put a plow on the front.
With all this snow piling up, I could use a plow.
Monday, February 9, 2015
Our Lady of Victories still stands tall though amid another blanket of snow. It's been snowing, heavy at times, since Friday morning and will continue, prognosticators say, through this evening. What's a guy to do. I have no sword like she has. Just my trusty Toro snowblower at the ready. I have no "vorpal blade to go snicker snack!", like that of Lewis Carroll's Jabberwock. Those in the know, who keep track of such things, are saying that this has been just about the snowiest week since record keeping began. At this point I could really care. All I know is that since January I have cranked that snowblower up too many times. Just another inch until 3 PM. I guess I can hold out and keep the fire burning here in the kitchen. I had plans today.
I have extra shovels.
As a kid, we shoveled sidewalks for money.
After a month and a half like this, our pockets would be exploding!
Sunday, February 8, 2015
What do they say?
Life moves in mysterious ways.
Saturday, February 7, 2015
Hey, it was many years ago.
It did happen.
I think it happened.
It had to happen.
Perhaps I've been caught in the 'fog of war'.
This seems a perfect example of maybe a false memory.
Perhaps I've disremembered it.
Hey, Brian Williams hasn't secured the market on this stuff.
Isn't everybody a bit of a liar?
They were nice sunglasses though.
Friday, February 6, 2015
Walking the sidewalks of this city this frigid morning wasn't going to happen.
Want to survive a Maine winter?
Here's some good advice.
Pick your spots!
Thursday, February 5, 2015
By the way, you don't want to know what's falling outside these windows right now.
Yesterday the temperature was warm about 35°F.
Snow was melting a tad.
Today... only about 4 inches added.
Do the math.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
On our peninsulas, both Western and Eastern Proms, parking looks to be a nightmare. I took a brief spin up and down a few snow clogged avenues the other afternoon. First, like most urban landscapes, parking is always a premium, even on the sunniest of August days. So you might just imagine what narrow, in the best of days, streets resemble these days, after about 40 inches of whiteness dropping from the sky. First of all, some vehicles have not been moved since the big blizzard of last Tuesday. They sit stranded amid huge snow drifts. Other cars are assembled where they can, any which way. Most streets have on site parking, first come first serve. Driving these streets, drivers are constantly weaving, crawling and stopping to navigate from one end to the other. I noticed in the paper today they had a poll on how the city is doing dealing with snow removal and keeping them passable. 60% of those polled give the city high grades (A or B) in their attempt to return reality to the peninsulas. Another 19% grade them as a C. If you ask me, that's pretty darn good considering what the plows and crews are up against.
Where to put all the snow?
They used to dump it all in Back Cove, but that's a no-no these days.
Too many environmental regulations and all.
The snow is taken to 'snow farms' out on the city limits.
They are just huge fields where bulldozers await truck after truck, endlessly.
There are lots of farms in Maine.
In summer and winter, apparently.
A dusting tonight maybe 3-6 inches?
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Examine your anchors.
You might be surprised.
Monday, February 2, 2015
30 inches last Tuesday.
On Friday, we got an additional 6 more.
Today, we're expecting another 8-12 inches. Schools are closed again. It's 9°F.
I'm going to keep this positive. I've lived here my entire life. I'm used to it. I haven't moved away so I must like it, right? I don't have to get up and go anyplace today or tomorrow. My schedule is completely up to me at this point.
So being upbeat here.
My Patriots won the Super Bowl yesterday 28-24.
Every football fan, out of the New England area, hates us... 'cause they ain't us!
Tom Brady wins 3rd MVP.
Pats with 4th Super Bowl.
Malcolm Butler is going to Disney World!
Sunday, February 1, 2015
I'd have to go with, What are the the waters of Casco Bay, Alex?
Today, February 1, 2015 is Theme Day across the CDPB (citydailyphotoblog) community, and the theme this month is: If you had to leave forever the city from which you usually post, what would you miss most?" Believe me. That was easy! When I first saw the theme posted about mid-month, it took me about 2 seconds to decide what I had to do. You see. To paraphrase a bit of Willie the playwright, "The WATER's the thing." I've lived here all my life, except for parts of 4 years, and it has a pull. Can't explain it, but it's there.
I'd miss the views
The Fore River.
The islands floating on it.
It's everywhere around us here.