Wednesday, September 30, 2015
I filled up here recently and was pretty happy that I sort of lost my way and found this CITGO. Prices around the city are a bit higher than this, mostly in the 2.20's. On the road last week I paid 1.83. While on the road long distance, I look for PILOT or TA stations with their tall signs that beckon me. Stations that long-haulin' truckers visit are a highway oasis that I want to pull over and visit.
Besides, they have lots of food, black coffee and loads of stupid stuff'.
And you know how 'stupid stuff' pulls me.
Look at that set of Hot Wheels' Mustangs!
Ah, just what I need.
It's a 40 channel CB radio.
"It's your Birdman, Good Buddy!"
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Working at trying to have lots of fun that is.
Off to some water today.
Details coming soon.
Hint: I won't be bobbing about.
Monday, September 28, 2015
I stick to Hannaford's.
I know my way around most of their stores.
Sometimes though, I can be thrown a curveball.
For example, milled flaxseed?
Sunday, September 27, 2015
My work boots and Sperrys pale in comparison.
Wonderful details, yes?
Saturday, September 26, 2015
What do you think it's all about?
Want to wager a guess?
Oh well, can't stop.
Plenty on my plate.
Friday, September 25, 2015
It's all Gloria's fault.
I've talked about my Aunt Gloria before. It's all her fault. She sent me my first camera from a PX on an airbase in Germany. It got into my little grubby hands in July of my 11th year and I have been photographing ever since. The first photos that I had Mom run and develop at the Rexall Drug at the corner were taken on the Nelson's porch of a bunch of best friend hanging out. Let's see, I captured Billy, Linda, Eddie, Leo, Skipper, Judy, Judd and a few others as I remember.
And another thing, she also turned me on to gargoyles. During my eighth grade year at Lincoln Junior, she sent me a pair of gargoyle bookends, again another birthday present. I spent nights in bed rolling the ceramic bookends around in my hands. I never suffered any nightmares from this gift. I probably should have. I think I even remember doing a writing assignment on them for Ms Storer in 8th Grade.
My love of cameras came from her.
My love of gargoyles came from her.
Thank you Gigi!
Thursday, September 24, 2015
And no, I don't know if Bonnie has painted this span.
But I will be asking.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Now, I know what you are thinking.
No, I've never approached her while she's painting.
Besides, I'm a suspicious character not shady... or sketchy.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Have you ever used one?
On the weekends the infomercials for them are all over the dial. Now, I'm going to admit something here. I'm kind of infatuated with them. Whether it's veggie smoothie or one made of all kinds of fruit combinations, I'm under a spell. Maybe it the swirling concoctions blending all the colors Swirling, swirling, swirling! You know, now that I think about it, it might just be that whirring sound that has captured my imagination. What ever it is, I can't avert my eyes. 'Look away. It's hideous!" Would I like to use one? Sure. You betcha! I'd be to afraid that I'd buy one, use it a couple of times and then it would disappear into one of our 'black holes', otherwise known as our kitchen cabinets never to be seen again. And that's the truth. However, would I ever put my plastic down and buy one of those Magic Bullets or other dynamic machines?
But it is fun to watch all the 'action'.
Monday, September 21, 2015
Now, to answer your question.
No, I didn't buy anything, but I spotted a few things.
I have a good memory, you know.
After all that we were hungry.
Off to Kennebunkport and lunch at David's KPT- The Boathouse.
Lunch was on their sunny deck overlooking the 'port'.
Fabulous way to end another day in paradise.
Sunday, September 20, 2015
Only in Maine, I guess.
You make the call.
* Dad, on his birthday, would have loved to take a spin.
Saturday, September 19, 2015
Ok, this is not a longhorn steer, but it will have to do. The latest news from this corner of my world is that Justin and Yelena have pulled up stakes and moved to Austin, Texas. Let me take a breath. Yelena has a friend in Austin, who she visited a few years ago and fell in love with the city. Justin and Yelena are in love, so I guess the move was the next logical step for them. For two Maine homebodies like Elenka and I, it's hard to find the logic, but we know regrets down the road can be hard to manage. What do they say, 'fish gotta swim; birds gotta fly'. They've settled into a beautiful apartment complex northwest of the city and seem so very happy together. Thanks to 'facetime' we have been able to keep track of their comings and goings, but of course it's not the same. Justin, when he makes a move, likes the 'big' step. For example, he headed off to IU for college (22 hours away), but we always knew he'd be returning. This time it seems a bit more long term... and so far away.
But for us, if it's what he truly wants, it's what we want for him.
Does this makes any sense?
I'm sure many of you have faced this same dilemma with kids.
Now, is this a steer?
Today, it'll have to suffice for a U of Texas longhorn.
Friday, September 18, 2015
Are you at all claustrophobic?
Do you like small places?
I enjoyed my four years of dorm life. I found it greatly to my liking.
At home here I have a very small den, loaded with books and photos. It has a small TV that is just perfect to wall myself away with a late night baseball game on a warm July night or the Patriots on a frozen December Sunday. But to tell you the truth, I don't think I could ever survive working at a place the size of PLUM. Could you? Way to tiny even for a guy who likes to get cozy. For a whole different reason the place haunts me though. I don't even like to read the word when I pass the structure.
"I've got a plum."These were Mom's words to me on a Christmas break home from college. Out of the blue she said, "I've got a plum."
"What?", I said.
"I've got a plum." She repeated.
I thought she was going crazy. With her 4 growing teens, it would have been easy to do.
"What are you talking about?" Was my refrain.
Any idea what she was up to?
Ever heard that expression?
Well, sad to say, she claimed she had caught my father in a mild indiscretion.
Is that a nice way to put it?
I had never heard that expression before.
I hope to never hear it again.
... a pin prick to the 'balloon of life' for me.
Quite a plum...
Thursday, September 17, 2015
I did today.
However, somethings remain mysteries.
This is the old H.H. Hay Drug store at Congress Square. The Square spits here. To the left is Congress Street the city's so called main thoroughfare. The construction of the Maine Mall in South Portland in 1971 pretty much 'stuck a dagger to the heart' of this once bustling street of department stores, movie theaters and restaurants. It's been on the rebound over the last 20 years or so, but it still struggles for its new identity. To the right is Free Street. Travel down this avenue and you'll find Portland's oldest bar, the Cross Insurance Area home to the Portland Pirates and various concerts, and lots of little shops. Here's what I learned today. Long ago Mom always remarked to me that she worked at H.H. Hay Drug, and I thought it was in this classic flat iron building. What I found out was that there was another Hay's Drug, also in a flat iron building, at the corner of Congress and Middle streets called H. H. Hay Apothecary. This one was identified as 'lower', and the one at the Square was the 'upper'. I never knew this. I do now. And I'm going to check out this second building to see if it is still standing. Details to follow.
So, Mom worked at Hay Drug, but which one?
I always thought I knew.
Not so fast, Bird!
A mystery lingers.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Back at my old stomping grounds, another year is underway. Each recent September, the first day begins with the staff decked out in t-shirts with an upbeat positive saying on the back. This year was no different. Since I live nearby, I got a call in August for a favor. "Will you take a photo of us?" Someone also got the idea to add another special touch to the day: green Converses. You see, green and white are the school colors. Well, at least 5 took them up on it. Not a great percentage, considering you're talking a school staff of over 100. Oh well, maybe it'll catch on during the year, and there's always next September. After all, sometimes fads start slow and build to a crescendo. I'm an optimist, you know.
I WAS disappointed in one aspect of this fashion statement though.
All of them were low cuts.
Not a hightop in sight.
Converse hightops are very cool.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
My fall 'to do list' grows by the day:
Finish the painting on the driveway side
'Hit the road'
Get me some kindling
Stack the wood
Clean the garage
Organize the workbench, again
Do more clearing up back
Burn some slash
Bring in the birdhouses
... and on and on.
How's you list coming?
Keep in mind this is ONLY my list.
I think there's another list (for me) perculating around here somewhere.
Monday, September 14, 2015
I'm sure we've all done it.
Have a small project that can be remedied with some minor supplies and a few labor intensive hours.
There, job done.
Ah... not so fast, my friend!
Once you get a little demolition underway, you realize there' a bit more in the offering than you bargained for. Well, case in point. My woodshed, attached to the back of my garage, has been begging for a little TLC the last couple of years. The front edge of the shed gets a lot of snow and ice accumulating in the front over the winter months. I hang a large tarp over the opening to keep the snow and ice away from my wood, but it still piles up there and melts big time in the spring. In 26 years, I've had to replace the plywood flooring once and now a second time. What I didn't realize until I had the old flooring up was that the weight of the cords of wood, a pesky woodchuck and the water damage had seriously damaged the main 2x6s running beneath the floor. My friend Curt, who had done some major work here at the homestead, stopped over to survey the damage and is going to take care of it this week. A job, that I thought I could take care of easily, now will entail some major work. Now, where am I in all of this? Well yesterday, while ripping up the rotting flooring, I threw out my back or something. No problem sitting or sleeping, but at the moment, any up or down movement is out of the question. So, I won't even be able to assist him this afternoon.
Not good at all.
I'll be laying low for a few days.
See, little jobs often do turn into so much more.
Not good at all.
*(shot taken on outer Stroudwater Street... yes, cows in the city proper.)
Sunday, September 13, 2015
Well, at least that I remember.
Last night I dreamed a lot. They seemed to follow right after the other. One was quite vivid and scary. I found myself somewhere on a cliff with a couple thousand foot drop. Surely, death would meet me at the bottom. Of all my fright-alarming dreams I have had being on sheer cliffs with no way up or down is the most common. Last night I was peering over a very steep and perpendicular drop. Suddenly, I slipped and found myself slowly sliding over the edge. And get this, I had only one toothpick to stick into the ground as I was slipping away. It was horrifying! How I got back to the top, I'll never know. One single, wooden toothpick. The dream woke me up. I had both my fists clenched. It was unnerving for a few moments. I was wide-eyed. Falling back to sleep, for awhile, was out of the question. This one was chilling. Most dreams that I recall, I get over fast and fall right back to sleep, but not this one. I'm still a bit troubled by it now.
Anybody out there a dream solver?
Yes, I know it supposed to be helping me resolve conflicts in my daily living.
But sliding off a mountain...
On second thought...
Might it really have to do with my fondness for toothpicks?
*(A Sunday AM @Arabica Coffee on Commercial Street)
Saturday, September 12, 2015
Things are not always as they appear.
Don't let this photo fool you.
Lincoln Park is very much open for business year round. It's a rectangular green space bounded by Congress, Federal, Pearl and Market streets. It was created in 1866 following the Great Fire that took most of the buildings down in the city. It was named for President Lincoln and was dedicated on the 100th year anniversary of his birth on February 12, 1909. These days the park is home to a few small summer festivals, and really the only time it got close to a 'lockdown' was when the city finally voted, after about 3 months of having many tents pitched illegally on the grounds, to throw 'Occupy Maine' out of the park for good. However, the chain and lock here have nothing to do with that incident. It seems to secure a large gated opening used to bring in food stands and equipment for the summer festivals.
The park does have nice walkways with assorted iron benches that make for a pleasant stay among its trees and dappled sunshine.
Looks can be deceiving.
Friday, September 11, 2015
In this photo you are looking at one of the switchback tracks that's used when two engines are passing. We were heading up at this point. An engine and car coming down from the top would pull over and let us pass, and then the track would be moved back to the left. You can clearly see the teeth in this picture, and in the distance a water tank for the one steam engine that makes the trip once a day. On this narrow gauge track the engine and car just 'zips' along up the mountain. Of course, we're all cogs in the big picture of the world at one time or another. When we function as: a member of an organization who performs necessary but usually minor or routine functions, we're cogs.
The railway of life just keeps chuggin' along.
Clickety clack, clickety clack...
The railway of life just keeps chuggin' along.
Clickety clack, clickety clack...
Thursday, September 10, 2015
When the acorns began falling, it was time to make our slingshots. Now, you could go to White's 5¢ and 10¢ Store on the corner and buy a steel one, but it was cheaper and a lot for fun to make your own. We usually headed for the line of bushes in our backyard. The branches were so much more pliable then the ones on apple trees nearby. You just had to wade through the trees until you found a 'Y branch' that was not too big or not too small, but just right. That Goldilocks principle "of not to big, not too small etc." made perfect sense in so many cases growing up. This was one of those times. Unlike the one pictured here, ours were not constructed of a single branch split in two. Our search was to attempt find that almost perfect combination of two branches intersecting at a 'perfect' point, while having some good weight to it. It needed to bend but not too much. You see, the search took a bit of time and often suffered through many a trial and error phase. Next, it was off to locate a piece of elastic to wrap around each end. Luckily, my Dad was a letter carrier and kept a drawer full of large, thick elastics that he used to bind big stacks of mail. After construction was complete and trial runs were made, it was off to find ammo. Very small crab apples or the aforementioned acorn, we found the best. They traveled wicked fast and could make one shriek a bit if you were hit. OUCH! Now, when we wanted to drive our moms crazy, we'd load them up with small raspberries or bright red, choke cherries.
What a mess!
Our white t-shirts would end up covered some days.
What, we worry?
I'm better now.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
One of the things we had never done, but certainly something Elenka wanted to do was to ride the cog railway to the top of Mt. Washington. We can now say that is done. We pulled out of the driveway just after 6 AM, grabbed a couple of coffees and were at Marshfield Station in New Hampshire at about 8. The weather was quite heavily overcast, and we debated a bit about an alternative schedule for the day, as we watched a couple of trains head to the top loaded with passengers. Towards the top the sky looked to be clearing, so we 'bit the bullet' and bought tickets. In retrospect, it was a smart thing to do. The clouds continued to break and at the top you could even feel the warm sun through the cloud cover. The cog railway takes you pretty much straight up the mountain using the 'cog system' to get the job done. Believe it or not, the railroad up the mountain, the dream of Samuel Marsh, has been in operation since 1869. When Marsh displayed his plans for what he wanted to do, he was thought to be totally insane. At the time one of the NH legislators said he might as well continue his tracks straight to the moon. The engines, one steam and 5 bio-diesels, make their runs basically on the half hour. It was a fun-filled adventure for us both up and down. We highly recommend taking this trip to the 6,288 ft. summit. In Elenka's words, "That was so cool and so interesting!"
Now, I have climbed the mountain 5 times (Elenka 4), but this was certainly a different take on 'mountain climbing'.
This mountain has a very special meaning for both Elenka and me.
You see, on a trip down in the fall of 1973, I asked Elenka to marry me.
AND she said yes!
Making me both a very lucky and happy man.
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
It sits at the corner of Congress and High Streets tucked between the Portland Museum of Art and the Westin Portland Harborview Hotel in the heart of the Arts District of the city. These past summer days its been home to weekly movies, various installations, the music scene and food trucks, but there is a plan in the works for it to be so much more. Several designers from around the world have been asked to reimage this vibrant piece of real estate. Hopefully someday soon, it will hardly be recognizable to those looking on it today. And yes, there is a dark underbelly to this placid scene on an early morning sun-dappled shot. The homeless like it too. Just to the left in this photograph is the guts of the old Union Station clock.
Don't get me on a rant about that.
I'm not going there today,
It's too early.
Monday, September 7, 2015
Don't feel sad.
I've got plenty to share.
What do you need?
I've got a bowl in the den, that I keep wallet and car keys in. They are at the ready. If I need them, I know right where to go. Trouble is there's a lot of other crap 'trapped' inside that 5 inch deep bowl that just refuses to part company with me. Truth be told, this stuff even is not from THAT bowl. This is from a dish on our hutch cabinet that Elenka set aside for basically my spare change. Pretty sad, huh? Like a good plague, it just has spread like a wildfire. THAT bowl, you know that other container, now, when my wallet and keys have been deposited is overflowing. Ya, I'm sort of a pack rat. But where do I put this stuff. Every few months or so, I sit down really determined to do 'some damage' and throw out stuff, but I always seem to find important reasons to reclaim a lot of it. Look here. Keys that don't work, bracelets, a college ring, a couple of watches, my Dad's WW2 dog tags, his rosary, a few thumb drives, a couple of rocks, two Santa pins, more assorted pins that I have accumulated over the years...
What's it all about?
Am I in trouble?
Did I tell you about the draw in the living room?
Hey, is there a group meeting of 'junk anonymous' nearby?
A sad commentary on my times?
"Hi, I'm Birdman, and I'm a junk-aholic."
Sunday, September 6, 2015
Meet "Chick" Wilder.
He was quite the beach character.
Saturday, September 5, 2015
Yes, it's true, party boy...
No party cruise.
I might have to remedy this soon.
Friday, September 4, 2015
I find composting ourselves a lot easier.
And it's the right thing to do.
... AND less aromatic, if you get my drift.
Thursday, September 3, 2015
I've experienced quite a few Septembers in my days, and I can tell you when you get days in the 80's around here, enjoy them to the fullest. They will be fleeting soon. We're on another warm stretch that going to take us through the weekend and beyond. When this happens in this month in this state, just three words come to mind. Hit the Beach! Yesterday, it was warm out (87, sticky) on our country road and in town, so we did just that. We grabbed some ice coffees, lunch in a cooler, a couple of magazines, our chairs and headed for the warm sand.
As you can see, we weren't the only ones seeking out the rays.
That's Peaks Island in the distance. (YES, there is an island out there... it might be hard to see though). About 900 year round residents call it home out there in Casco Bay, that number swells to about 10,000 in summers like we've just experienced.
Beach time in September?
It's doable now.
Pass the suntan lotion, please.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Usually apple orchards around here offer a reduced price for drops.
Bruises and all.
I'm not proud.
I can eat around those soft, brown bruises with the best of them.
Oh, I just heard a couple more plop to the ground.
Might there be a pie in my future?
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Today, September 1, 2015 is Theme Day across the world-wide CDP(citydailyphotoblog) community.The theme this month is 'Curiosities', and I think Andy Rosen's installation at the Grand Trunk railroad pier "Unpack" falls somewhere into this theme. The pack of dogs is constructed with PVC and fake fur and has been attracting quite a few onlookers since it was installed in July. On the gloomy, gray-covered, early morning that I arrived alone to check out the elusive pack, my reaction to the sculpture was more downright creepy then in anyway curious.
It's up until the late fall.
It might look pretty cool in an early November snow.
I might be 'curious' to see it then.
For now though, creepsville!