Monday, October 15, 2007

We're Moving

Hey y'all:
Mainiac Musings is moving to a new location (for a variety of reasons, but mostly because Typepad is making it easy to post from the iPhone and I'm never in the office or at home any more)
You can get theah from heah.

A Bit of Fol-i-Age. At Last.

Cider Hill Road, York, ME

I didn't think we were going to have color this fall due to the drought and strange weather....but momma nature is resilient and she's come through, just a bit later than usual.
Cape Neddick River, Cape Neddick, ME

Sunday, October 14, 2007

My New Kicks

It's finally cold enough for fires, hot mulled cider and fleece.....

Harvest Fest

After a stormy, blustery Friday, the weather on Saturday cooperated for Harvest Fest--York's own celebration of York's own history.
We go every year for the Ox Sandwich and the Bean Hole Beans, passing up the chowdah, lobster bisque, ribs, donuts, kettle corn and fried dough for a once-a-year kind of taste.

On Friday morning, the men from the York Harbor Inn dig a hole (in the town green) for the bean hole beans. They build a fire pit next to it to roast the ox and begin cooking it all around noon on Friday. I've no idea how they managed to keep it going through Friday's down pour, but come Saturday at 11, the ox was served. $6.00 for an ox sandwich on an onion Kaiser roll and $2.00 for a serving of beans big enough for two to share. $1.oo for a soda. We add a bit of horsey sauce to the ox and pull up a curb in the sun to eat.

After brunch, we head over to Olde York Village to watch the cider pressing and spinning and then head over to the Olde Gaol to see the York Militia. Don't come messin' round our town, as our boys are armed and ready to defend us from any interlopers from away.

The festivities on the town green are all moved to Short Sands Beach on Sunday, as the town green and the First Parish Church grounds are one and the same and no one interferes with Sunday meetin' at First Parish (the oldest continuously meeting congregation in Maine, established by order of King Charles).

This year, the town has imported a favorite Ohio pastime, and is holding the first ever Cornhole tournament down at Short Sands. They're calling it Corn Toss, evidently unaware that for those who find Cornhole too offensive, the new title is Baggo.

For the record, that Cornhole (we're not easily offended) was first played in York on July 24th, 2004 at our Clam Bake celebration of our marriage and new life in Maine.....Which is also the day that Jason Veritek gave A-Rod a well deserved glove to the face and turned around the Red Sox season. Maybe we should whip out the set this afternoon and toss a few bags for good luck, eh?

Marshall Point Lighthouse

Marshall Point Lighthouse

Procrastination Aid

Does anyone else love Blogger Play?
It's the new Bejeweled (aka, mindless entertainment in the midst of boring conference call) in my day, and now, it's a snap to install on your iGoogle page.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Hold The Pickles

Custom Cooper at the Hyatt on the Hill, Washington DC. The license plate reads WhpprJR.
Burger King was a corporate sponsor for a medial conference being held at the hotel......I'm guessing the topic wasn't cardiac care or obesity specialists.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Reader's Poll

Via Seacoast Online, I just learned that Columbus Day is now the second busiest weekend for tourism in Maine--more than 700,00 cars used the Maine Turnpike to leaf peep.

Which brings me to my question:
How do you pronounce that word that describes what the peepers are viewing? Foliage?

Is it fO-lE-ij? Or fO-lij? Do you pronounce it with two syllables or three?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Here We Go Indians, Here We Go

My best friend, my brother and my brother's best friend will be visiting the house that Ruth built tonight--two cheering on the Indians and one (my friend) cheering on the Yankees.

My little Yankees buddy is going to have to be very quiet as she's going to be sitting in the Indians play-by-play production area, compliments of this guy--a high school friend of my brother.

Retired Guy and I agree on this: we really, really want the Indians to finish them off tonight. We do NOT want the Red Sox to face the Yankees, and mostly, we really want to find out if George will fire Joe.

Lobster Buoys of The St. George River

As always, click to enlarge.
The museum at the Marshall Point Lighthouse, has a number of wonderful displays, but none are quite as colorful as the display with miniature pot markers. Every lobsterman in Maine has a unique buoy to mark his/her pots, and all the lobstermen in the area are represented on this board. They are arranged by geography, with Thomaston lobstermen on top and the Port Clyde fishermen on the bottom. Cushing, Friendship and Tenant's Harbor are in between.

The buoys to the left of the wooden frame are "in memorium."

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Saturday on the St. George River

Nuff Said

Sweep. The BoSox await the winner of Cleveland-New York. Well done, Sox.

You Gotta Love 'em

My brother doesn't understand how I could have deserted the Indians to become a Red Sox fan.
It's easy. David Ortiz hits one out in Anaheim in October and instead of silence, there is cheering. Real, certified noise 3,000 miles from Fenway, with members of Red Sox nation standing and cheering as Papi rounds the bases. Then Ramirez goes back to back and the noise is off the hook.

How could I not be a Sox fan?

But, as soon as this game is over, my Sox hat comes off and my Indians cap goes on. Here's to Cleveland sweeping the Evil Empire later on today--gnot too much to hope for. The Brownies had a tough one against the Patsies, but I'm feeling it for my second favorite baseball team.

Friday, October 5, 2007


Noon at Friendship Harbor, ME
We're off to the land of no internets or cell phones for the weekend. I've been practicing my downeast accent, but it remains so bad that I don't think it would fool a lobster.

Exciting news from York: a pair of Bald Eagles has been spotted in the dead trees on the York River a number of times over the past few days. We're hoping that they're shopping for a new home and will find the real estate in York to their liking. We also hope that they like to pose for pictures.

Have a great weekend, y'all. Go Sox. Go Indians. Go Bucks! Boil the Boilermakers.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Witness This, My Friend

LeBron James is a Yankees Fan. A native of the Buckeye State, a Yankees fan? The shame of it all.
Anyway, LeBron, may you witness a Tribe sweep of the Evil Empire. As much as I love you, LeBron, you can't show up at the Jake in a Yankees cap. Time to be traded to the Knicks, King James.

One Down, Two To Go

Yee Haw. Josh Beckett seems to have sewn up the Cy Young award last night with a nasty performance against the Angels. Big Papi is back in form, and Youk hit a solo shot in his first at bat.
Such a dominating performance leaves us with only one question: what the heck was Papi wearing for the post-game press conference? Yowza.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Federal Government Enacts Whale Protection Act

And no one is happy about it. Not the lobstermen:

"There’s no way the industry can comply by October 2008," she said. "I don’t know what the [formal] response to the rule is going to be, but there definitely needs to be a response."

Mike Dassatt, board member of DELA, was highly critical of the mandated change. He said its financial effect on Maine will be significant.

"We’re talking about a whole state that will be impacted — tens of thousands of jobs," Dassatt said. "It’s like me telling Tiger Woods how to go golfing. Someone sitting behind a desk in Washington, D.C., should not tell me how to set lobster gear."

And not the whales' protectors:

"The net effect is that whales will be receiving less protection off the coast of Maine than they have before," Williamson said.

Williamson said that while the environmental groups recognize the economic importance of Maine’s $300 million lobster fishing industry, they believe that Maine fishermen, who have spearheaded resource protections in the past, can adapt.

One thing is for sure. You should expect your lobster to cost more in the near future.

Here We Go Red Sox, Here We Go

The Red Sox and Angels will begin the ALDS tonight with a first pitch at 6:37--Brian Williams will get short shift in our house tonight.
In preparation for tonight's game, a little linkfest of Red Sox love:
Complete series coverage from The Globe
My favorite Sox blog
The Dirt Dog Blog--hysterical brilliance
Tony Massarotti column on the Sox newest ace, Josh Beckett
Report card on John Lackey--no worries, he's a solid B and we're an A+ offense.

Sports Illustrated breaks down the series.

And, we can't forget the Tribe. May they defeat the Evil Empire in three.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Red Sox You're My Only Only Only

UPDATE: had a little blogger glitch and had to correct the title of this post.

Blackwater USA

Today, Congress began an important hearing into Blackwater USA, a private mercenary firm who has extensive contracts in Iraq and their use of force. This isn't a new problem, but it took an egregious act of aggression to bring it to a hearing.

Why mention this on a blog about Maine? Mostly because it's so very important. Blackwater's activities in Iraq undermine any small good we've managed to accomplish and our dependence upon them and other private contractors is economically excessive and not viable as a long term solution. Right now we're in a viscious cycle. We can't win with them, and we shouldn't abide their actions, but we cannot go to war without them.

There's a whole lot about Blackwater that's smelly: The founder, Erik Prince, is a fundamentalist Christian, from a very, very wealthy Michigan Republican family. He served as an intern in the Bush White House. His sister The firm has shown an 80,000% increase in government contracts since 2001; most of the contracts awarded have been in no bid situations; your tax dollars are spent at a rate of $1,222 per day per Blackwater contractor, and Blackwater operatives earn as much as $600.00 per day. Does your loved one who's serving in the military get even close to that salary? In previous cases where Blackwater has killed innocent Iraqis, the State Department has arranged cash payoffs to make the matter go away.

But the stinkiest thing of all: Order number 17 , signed into effect by Paul Bremmer, which effectively gives contractors working in Iraq a free pass to do as they please, without fear of prosecution. Our troops can be tried for murder and excessive use of force, but not a Blackwater mercenary soldier. Our "Christian Nation" is effectively turning a blind eye to injustice and "sin" and no rule of law for these men, and it's got to stop.

The New York Times blog live blogged Erik Prince's testimony today, complete with embedded video and the WaPo has an extensive article. Salon has background here and here.

If you're really interested, Jeremy Scahill has written an excellent book on Blackwater, entitled Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. Don't read it at night. It's scary enough to give you nightmares.

September is the New August...

...for a couple of reasons.
First: There's a Maine adage that every home in Maine becomes a bed and breakfast during June, July and August as friends and relatives from away visit vacationland USA, and it's held true for every summer we've lived here.

The summer is a mostly enjoyable flurry of washing towels and changing beds, driving down 103 to Chauncey Creek with a guest for the first time, loading beach chairs and coolers into the car and heading to the beach for the day, and quick trips to Freeport, Monhegan and down east. It's grilling out for eight and nights on the deck until long after dark, laughing and talking with friends and family. Come September, we get the house back to ourselves and a chance to catch our breath.

Until this summer. If you don't count Wedding Weekend, we had nary a visitor. We weren't lonely or bored, mind you. We were just without house guests.

That all changed on Labor Day weekend. Of the 30 days of September, we had only seven days without house guests. It's the way life should be. My aunt and uncle had their first clam chowder (and their second and third), their first lobster (one was enough), and a live view of a former President and First Lady, complete with a handshake. My parents got to see the Cushing Cottage and our good buddies Dick and Ount Potty got to visit Cushing and work for their lodging (installing lights and trimming some landscaping--thank you so much). We hosted the Yankees' fans on the weekend that the Sox played the Yankees and the friendship emerged intact.

Second: the weather. We've yet to have a deep frost. We've yet to have a night in the 30's. I put on the flannel sheets and took them off after one night, as temperatures soared back into the 80's. We have no foliage to view. This time of year, it should be a riot of color, but even in the western mountains, a colorful tree isn't the mainstream, it's a rebel ahead of its time. We had a bit of a cool start yesterday, but the forecast calls for 80's again this weekend.

We've also got a house full of guests planned for this weekend. The way it's going, we're going to need to call September the new July and October the new August.

Monday, October 1, 2007

"Cool" Blog

It's devoted to unnecessary quotation marks.

New Music Monday

If you're looking for new tunes, may I humbly suggest the new Melissa Etheridge. Play it loud, on a good stereo, in a place where you aren't embarrassed to dance and sing along.

Lordy, is it fine stuff--so good it brings tears to my eyes. It's deep and profound, but not preachy and it's more than just the intense passion of her early stuff-- the passion is still there, but it's tempered and wise, not adolescent.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Picture of the Day

Chauncey Creek Lobster Pound, Kittery Point, ME
The perfect marriage of Maine and Ohio.....(not my plate, by the way, just a too perfect Photo Op for the Mainah who was born in Ohio).

Saturday, September 29, 2007

2007 AL Eastern Division Champions

Thanks to an original Dirt Dog, Kevin Millar, the Sox are Eastern Division Champions (the Orioles had to beat the Yanks in 10). I'm sure Dan Shaughnessy is elated and relieved. Ever since he claimed the division for the Sox on May, many Sox fans have been certain the Yanks would take it.

We more backed into it than took it outright, but we'll take it anyway we can. Yee Haw.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I'm On The Pigeons' Side

Pigeons are pooping on Bengals fans.

I've been to Paul Brown stadium about 1,000 times (or at least it seems like 1,000 times). It's a dee-sas-ter.

The fans wear 80's style orange and black pants and tiger paw gloves, the guy running the sound system plays "Welcome to the Jungle" every 37 seconds, the Ben-Gals cheerleaders would scare away an elephant, and the drunk guy next to you keeps screaming "who dey". I totally understand the pigeon's point of view. The Who Dey Guy deserves it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Latest Celebrity Sighting

My parents and aunt and uncle are visiting from Ohio. We thought they might enjoy meeting some of the local folk, so we called up to Walker's Point and asked if 41 could come out and play. He said yes, so we agreed to meet in Perkin's Cove.

He brought Barbara with him, but she doesn't ride on the boat, she just eats at Barnacle Billy's.
A rather large crowd had gathered to gawk, and as the President left the restaurant, he shook hands (including my aunt and uncle's) and chatted with folks. Regardless of politics, I couldn't help but be impressed by his graciousness and the time he took with each person who wanted to talk to him. My Uncle Don was so thrilled he says he's not going to wash his hand, ever.

The Secret Service Zodiac boat flies the flag of the United States of America, the Texas State flag and the Maine State flag (and those are your tax dollars at work folks).

Ride The Bus To The Beach

Starting December 17th, Skybus will fly from the Pease Jet Port directly to Jacksonville and Ft. Myers, FL.

If you want to ride the bus for $10.00, you'd best get those cheap seats now. At 9 am this morning, there are $10.00 flights to Ft. Myers available on December 17, 18 and 19. If you want to return to Boston for $10.00 you can fly on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day--or wait until January 3rd, and I'm guessing those tickets won't last very long.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Friendship Harbor

Lobster Boats, Friendship Harbor, ME (edited in Photoshop)
Friendship Harbor is the second biggest fishing harbor in Maine....according to local wisdom.

Picture of the Day

Rt. 1 Bridge between Kittery, Maine and Portsmouth, NH
Next time Baldacci asks for some tax dollars to improve our infrastructure, I'm voting yes....again.

Something Smells Fishy at Starbucks.....

Starbucks is giving 50 million songs to launch the new iTunes WiFi music store....that's $50 million dollars of free tunes.

My first thought is "yee haw", I know where I'll be next Tuesday morning. Getting me a no fat latte and a free song.

My second thought was "doesn't seem prudent." What's good for me, might not be so good for Starbucks. That's a lot of songs and a lot of money. Why would they give away so many songs? It only make sense if revenues are down and they need to bring in additional customers in a big way.

Third thought, it might work too well. I'm going to pay them $3 for a latte and they'll give me .99 worth of free stuff. Considering the physical overhead, the cost of goods sold and the cost of the employee makin' my latte (health care, stock options and the hourly rate), there's not a lot of profit left in that cup of joe.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Common Ground Country Fair

We're off to what Downeast Magazine calls "Maine's most authentic country fair", and a weekend in Cushing with Retired Guy's brother and sister-in-law. We'll have a weekend of organic, locally grown food, sustainable living and a picture fest from The Trip To Italy....can't wait.
Have a great weekend y'all. We'll be in the land of no TV, no internet access and spotty cell phone reception.
Go Sox. Please.

Fish Chowder

Two summers ago, on a foggy cool August afternoon, I had a bowl of heaven. A fish chowder so delicious that I wanted to grab the pot from the stove and hide it in a secret place so that every bit of it would be mine (I didn't, but it was so very tempting).

I asked for the recipe. Bad idea. Turns out, it's a secret family recipe and no one, but no one outside the family gets the goods (imagine a Portuguese Colonel Sanders and you'll get the drift).

So for almost two years, I've been googling fish chowder recipes, checking every cookbook that I own or can get my hands on, ordering fish chowder at any restaurant serving it, and experimenting with recipes. Nothing is ever as good. I started to think that it must have been a flawed memory.... my hunger and the cold tricked me into thinking the stuff was better than it was. It's just a bunch of potatoes and haddock in some milk, right?

Finally last week, I found a recipe over at Diana's Kitchen. (Thank you Diana!)
I added extra thyme, more pepper a bit more bay leaf, wine instead of water and poof. Heaven in a bowl.

Hearty Fish Chowder

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 medium carrots, cut in small dice
  • 1 rib celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 pound frozen haddock fillets
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 bay leaf (I added an extra half leaf)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried leaf thyme crumbled (I used quite a bit more)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (way, way more pepper)
  • 1 cup dry white wine or water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter; add onions, carrots and celery, stirring and cooking until onion is tender. Add fish, potatoes, bay leaf, salt, thyme, pepper, and wine or water. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until fish is cooked. Break fish into chunks. Add milk and remaining 1 tablespoon butter; heat through. Discard bay leaf, sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Fish chowder recipe serves 4.

Barack In Portland

Barack Obama will be holding a Countdown to Change event in Portland on Tuesday September 25th. Doors open at 4 and the program starts at 5.

You can buy tickets online ($23.00)

The Portland Expo
289 Park Avenue
Portland, ME 04102

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Prius Update

It's like driving a computer. Once I'm in it, I actually like it. Now if I can only figure out how to navigate the garage with a blind fold, I'll be set.

Our Neighbors

We met our Cushing neighbor this weekend (that's him up there). He's a rarity in Maine these days-- a real, live lobsterman who can afford waterfront property--even if they own the property out right, taxes for waterfront property often are more than a lobsterman can afford. Or some CFA is willing to pay such a dear price for the land, a practical Mainer will sell and move to a house off-water. Lobstermen who don't live on the water often fish from floats moored in a harbor (like that one at right).

Our neighbor lives on the water because his family has owned the property for over 250 years and he drives a truck most of the winter to supplement his fishing income. The house has no furnace and no basement. The washing machine is in the garage and the dryer is a clothesline.

As soon as they realized we were mainers, and we weren't "mass-people", they offered us lobsters Rich had brought home that day. Then they told us to borrow their kayaks any time--don't even ask. Then Richard said he'd make sure that our drive was plowed so we could get to the house in winter. If he was on the road, his wife would be able to plow us. He also volunteered to help take down any trees on our property that are "wind damaged."*

We quickly found out that they don't like the neighbors on our other side anymore than I'm guessing we's never good to jump to conclusions with neighbors or people in general, but the two interactions we've had with them make me a tad wary. The first time we met them, they handed us a formal contract for the maintenance of our lane and said that we needed to "get this matter taken care of immediately." okaaaayyy. We fully plan to contribute to the upkeep of the lane, but I'm far more comfortable working out a handshake deal--not signing a legal document that could land us in court. My word is bond. I'd hope that they are the same way.

The second time, they brought their three Irish wolfhounds over and let them run amok in our yard and garden. If you've never seen one of these puppies in person, click the link to see just how ginormous these guys are. Anyway, one tried to sit in Retired Guy's lap while the other two tormented mac the dog. One would have been a bit much, but three was out of control. Then they mentioned that they'd turned in the lobsterman* for taking down trees on his land in such a way that we took it as a warning that we should not improve the view on our land. As soon as they left, we took down about 15 trees--with a hand saw.

I also have a sneaking suspicion that part of my wariness is because they're from away and they act like they are from away. They moved to Maine because they love Maine, but now that they're here, they want to start changing things.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Even Reagan Knew Better

Must. Not. Blog. About.The.Sox. Must. Not. Think.About.The. Sox.
Anyway, just received this little tidbit in an email from someone I trust (and who is a Republican, so I assume he's got no vested interest in a misquote):

...Even Reagan knew better. This is a direct quote from the recently published Reagan Diaries. The
entry is dated May 17, 1986.

'A moment I've been dreading. George brought his ne'er-do-well son around
this morning and asked me to find the kid a job. Not the political one who
lives in Florida. The one who hangs around here all the time looking
shiftless. This so-called kid is already almost 40 and has never had a real
job. Maybe I'll call Kinsley over at The New Republic and see if they'll
hire him as a contributing editor or something. That looks like easy work.'

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Gosh Darn You, Al

Because of An Inconvenient Truth, I'm now driving an ugly little box of a car.

Ok, it's not totally Al's fault. Part of it might have to do with the price (23k); the gas mileage (60 around town--verified by my two tree hugging friends who already own them) and the fact that we had to get a new car (lease is up on the Pathfinder), but a lot of it has to do with my husband's conversion to greenie, tree-hugging environmentalist after he saw the movie.

I grudgingly admit to feeling good about conserving energy (we've changed every light bulb in the house to CFL's), and I love the price tag, but for a girl who loves cars, the aesthetics of this one leave me with a face of distaste.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Yesterday we had lunch at our favorite spot in all of Maine. Seafood chowder and a crab melt for me; lobster bisque and a lobster BLT for our New Yawk friends.
Rather than tell you where it is, I thought I'd see if anyone recognizes the spot from the photo.

Friday, September 14, 2007

That's York, Not New York

We've got friends coming to visit for the weekend, but they aren't arriving until later this evening. We wanted to eat suppah in the pub, so I called the York Harbor Inn to make sure they'd be serving dinner at 10-10:30.

The really nice lady on the other end of the phone informed me that they had a "late night" menu so they'd be serving late.

Now I'm excited. My late is midnight......then she says "ayeuh, that late night menu goes until 10 pm." Oh.

My friends (they live in Manhattan) consider 10 pm the normal dinner hour. I've got some explaining to do.

'Nuff Said

Via my brother, the biggest Brown's fan who ever lived. Heh.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

For My App State Friends

How many batteries does it take to shock Michigan?

Just one Double A!

Heh :)

Some Good News

It might be too early to really tell, but it appears that the ban on herring trawling is having a positive impact:

Fishermen say they are seeing more herring returning to the Gulf of Maine, where a ban on trawlers that drag nets through the water has been in effect through the summer.

"There has been lots of sea life, and it kind of amazes me," Daniel Fill, captain of a Rockland-based fishing boat, told the Portland Press Herald. "I have seen fish where I haven't seen them for years. They're in nice, big bunches for miles."

Other purse seine herring fishermen, whale-watching companies and tuna fishermen are reporting similar observations. They also say they see more sea birds, dolphins, tuna and seals, which feed on herring.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Belicheater Part II

(Warning: I tried to act like this didn't make me happy and I tried not to gloat, but I can't, so I stopped trying.)
So, the league has officially determined that the Patriots cheated against the Jets on Sunday. All that's left according to the Boston Globe and the NY Post is for the NFL to determine the penalty.

It's not the first time that the Pats have been caught taping another team's signals, and it's not the only form of cheating--if you're a Colts fan any doubt you had about Willie McGinist's "injury" in the playoff game in 2003 were put to rest after he was able to make a celebratory sprint to mid-field when the Pats won the game.

Add these instances to the rumors that Belichick fudges injury reports and the whispering that he has knowingly allowed stadium personnel to mess with the other teams' radio transmissions, well ya gotta ask "Is one of the greatest coaches ever or is his just a conniving, sneaky, criminal mastermind?"

As a Browns fan, it might help answer that question that's haunted the city of Cleveland for years "Why was he such an unbelievable screw-up in Cleveland and a genius in New England?" The answer we now know is that he just hadn't figured out how to cheat.

As a sports fan, it's disappointing that a franchise who puts so much emphasis on players' character and maturity has a coaching staff who clearly values winning more than character. As a devoted Belichick detractor, it's just desserts for the guy who took a Head Coach job with the Jets and then spit in their eye two minutes later, who fired Bernie Kosar and treated the Cleveland media like it was a bunch of kids off the short bus, and couldn't win even half the time until he got to New England.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11

I'm one of those folks who thinks that this day should always be remembered, but I never have words that are adequate.

My September 11 story is pretty unremarkable. I got a phone call at 8:55 from my friend in Manhattan. After I so very patronizingly told her that it could not possibly have been a commercial jet that hit the building, I tried to log onto the MSNBC site. It was unresponsive. While I waited, another friend burst into my office and announced that the second plane had hit the other tower. We left the office and headed to my house (no TV's in the office and the internet was just useless).

The two of us were the only two people that I know of in our workplace (the Cincinnati office) who left the building, went home and watched the news coverage. Most of my colleagues just continued to work as if nothing had happened (and quite frankly, it's always puzzled me--who could remain incurious? who could focus on a day like this?). Like so many others, I waited for news of my friends who worked in the World Trade Center (miraculously, not a single one out of the seven people that I know were injured or killed), and news of our two colleagues, who were staying in the Marriott, finalizing a sale to meet DOJ requirements. They were both fine, but we didn't know that at the time.

The one image that I can never forget is my friend, kneeling under a tree in my front yard, sobbing--he cried (he told me later) for those lost, for those who lost someone, for our country, and for his two small children who would grow up in a world that would never be the same. It was a brilliantly beautiful day, marred only by a grown man so overcome with grief that he was unable to walk from my front door to his car in the driveway.

The New York Post has a memorial site, as does the New York Times.

German Cole Slaw

My sister in law and I take cole slaw pretty seriously. We're aficionados--we like it all-american, jazzed up or made with stuff other than cabbage--like broccoli. We like it on sandwiches or as a side to a hamburg. My brother is passionate about bratwurst, and most especially during football season. We often serve potato salad or macaroni salad at a tailgate, but last week, we decided that there has to be a slaw that's perfect with brats. We tried Napa Cabbage slaw (she in Ohio) and the broccoli slaw (me in Maine). We adjusted a recipe that we found in an old church cookbook. None were right. Last night, we made a recipe that Betsy's mom suggested and we think it's just right to go with a mess of brats at tailgate.

German Cole Slaw

1 head of cabbage, shredded or chopped briefly in food processor
2 medium onions, cut in rings
1 green pepper; chopped
1 jar pimento peppers; chopped and drained
1 cup sugar
1 cup white vinegar
¾ cup canola oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoons celery seeds (up to 2)

Combine cabbage, green pepper, onion and pimento in large bowl. Mix sugar and celery seed into this mixture.
Combine vinegar, oil and salt in pan and bring to a boil. Pour immediately over cabbage. Refrigerate, stirring several times.

Make at least 8 hours before serving.

Monday, September 10, 2007


My niece. She's as sweet as she looks and very funny as well. A work trip is always easier when I get to see the little guys.

Bill Belicheater

What do you expect when a Bon Jovi fan coaches your team?

The NFL is looking into claims a New England Patriots employee was videotaping signals by Jets coaches on New York's sideline during the season opener.
It ain't the first time. Hire low class, you get low class......
(and yes, I know that I might rot in hell for not worshiping at the alter of Belichick, but I'm from Cleveland. 'Nuff said).

Does This Mean I Can't Tell Michigan Jokes Anymore?

What Are They Gonna Do to the Band?
The Ohio State University has been named FIRE's (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) Speech Code of the Month for this Diversity Statement issued by the University Housing Office. Included in the statement are The Goals:

• Increase sensitivity to differences through exposure, dialogue, and personal reflection
• Address thoughtlessness that may limit our efforts
• Maintain a talented and qualified staff with a commitment and conviction toward diversity.
and The Expectations:
As a member of The Ohio State University residence hall community, the following are guidelines that we embrace to contribute to your success, as well as the positive experience for all students living in your hall.
Respect the variety of differences in the residence hall community through your actions, words, As a student in our community, you are asked to be respectful of these differences:
• Do not joke about differences related to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, ability, socioeconomic background, etc.
• Do not use obscene words or gestures. Oftentimes these are unwelcome and offensive to students in your community.
• Listen to other students living in your floor community. If a person indicates that a behavior or action is offensive, you should stop the behavior immediately.
• Actively challenge the stereotypes you have of others. Use your time to consider the new experiences you are having at The Ohio State University, instead of relying upon the past evaluations you have had of others.
• When in doubt about the impact of your words or actions, simply ask.

Here's where I'm troubled: Have you ever been on a college campus? Most college students can't utter a sentence without a swear word, let alone last a semester (or in this case a Quarter) without profanity. Now swearing is a violation of housing policy.

Secondly, if jokes about ability are "threatening", then one cannot discuss Michigan football on campus. We certainly can't tell the joke Q: Why doesn't Ohio slide into the Ohio River? A: because Michigan SUCKS! Due to this statement every single Ohio State student will need to buy new attire to wear to The Game--because F&*k Michigan certainly seems to an expression covered by this statement, as does Muck Fichigan, Screw Blue, and Ann Arbor is a whore. And those shirts are in abundance at every OSU Michigan game.

Buckeyes can't flip off the Michigan Band anymore and I can't wait to see what the university does to those students who throw full beers and half eaten hot dogs at the Michigan bus.

In all seriousness, it's certain that an esteemed university such as The Ohio State University has any ill intentions here, but the statement is vague, appears to be unenforceable (“Words, actions, and behaviors that inflict or threaten infliction of bodily or emotional harm, whether done intentionally or with reckless disregard, are not permitted.”--how is an RA going to enforce that? What does not permitted mean?), and has the potential to turn every normal roommate disagreement into a "he said/she said and it did me emotional harm" nightmare. Lastly it limits a student's free speech, it may unnecessarily impede valuable, honest intellectual dialog, and it assumes that students aren't adult enough to manage tricky situations on their own.

I'm 99% Sure I'll Be Receiving One of These

Given my family's beliefs and my step son's fervor, should the rapture occur in my lifetime, it's certain that I'm going to get one of these....

The really cool thing about this is the way that it works --it's just like that switch on Lost. It's a dead man switch. If someone doesn't reset the bugger, it sends the emails. I'd contend that a sending the left-behind letter will have a way bigger impact than the electromagnetic burst in the South Pacific.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Maine Fiction

The first installment of Cathleen Schine's serial fiction The Dead and The Naked appears in today's New York Times magazine. It's setting is an artist's colony on an island off the coast of Maine.

You can read it online here, or listen to the author read the first chapter (found at the same link). If the first chapter is any indication, this is going to be a dandy.

Friday, September 7, 2007

TIckled Yellow

I'd be fibbin' if I said I was anything other than delighted to receive a package from Boone, NC in this morning's mail. In it was attire for both Retired Guy and me to wear on November 17th, a lovely sign to hold up at that game (For Sale--Recently Destroyed Big House) and some mardi gras beads to accessorize the ensemble.

But the very, very best part of the entire package are copies of the The Watauga, filled with photos taken by my good blog buddy, Marie (and sender of said package). Marie, words will never be able to adequately express my sincere thanks for the gifts. The best I can do is to promise to wear that shirt in the Not-So-Big-House on November 17th! It will be a pleasure. Muchas Gracias, Marie.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Get a Whirly Pop Now, Friends

It takes no more time to make and unlike microwave popcorn, Whirlypop corn won't kill you pr make you gasp for breath.

You can get them at Kitchen, Etc in Portsmouth and The Store in Rockland Me.

Breaking News From Michigan

In light of last week's special teams debacle in the Big House, Coach Lloyd Carr has announced a new field goal unit will handle the kicking duties this weekend against Oregon. They are pictured above: Curley, a freshman walk on; Larry, a senior offensive line specialist (who guarantees that he can block someone 30 pounds lighter--a feat his predecessor could not accomplish); and Moe, the star of his junior high soccer team.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Afternoon in Port Clyde

On Friday afternoon we headed to Port Clyde for fish chowder at The Dip Net. Nothing's as good as a chowder and draft beer on a cool afternoon in the fog.

After lunch we browsed in a couple of shops and bought a wonderful step-back Windsor Rocking Chair, four English Bible Chairs and an English scrubbed pine dresser. It took more than one trip in the car to get it all back to the cottage, so I sat in a chair in front of the shop and chatted up the owner for a while while Retired Guy took the first load home.

I heard about the cruiser that she and her husband bought in Manhattan and sailed home and the less than hospitable treatment they received in York on that trip. I heard about her duties as a selectman and eventually I got up enough courage to ask her if she'd met the Chief Justice yet.
Yes she allowed that she had.
I said "They say he's a nice guy."
She said, "Aye-uh. That's what they say." And her tone indicated she thought a bit different.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

September Sunrise

September 1, St. George River, Cushing Maine

Fun Monday Trivia

From The Detroit Free Press news site:

• By the time kicker Julian Rauch got back to Appalachian State's campus in Boone, N.C., after giving the Wolverines the boot, he had more than 20 new friend requests on his MySpace page -- from Ohio State fans.

Seriously, this ASU upset over Michigan is really a mixed bag for Ohio State fans, Penn State fans and anyone who wants the Big 10 to be respected as a football conference. I'm tickled pink for my friends in Boone, but mortified that Michigan could lose at home in a game that was supposed to be a tune up. It's time for Carr to go. He won't be fired, but if he cares about Michigan football, he'll resign and turn the House keys over to someone who can coach.

UPDATE: This is really fun:
Derek Jeter received lots of ribbing from his teammates after his favorite university, Michigan, which he attended for a semester, was upset by Appalachian State Saturday.

"We were trying to hold off telling him until after the game, but the people in here are ruthless," Torre said. "That's why I had to take him out of the game. He was depressed."

Jeter responded with something he has said hundreds of times: "That's why you have to play the games."

Sunday, September 2, 2007

ASU Rocks The not so big House

Congrats to the Mountaineers! they know the joy that only comes from beating Michigan!
0h, 0h,0h how sweet it is
The NYTimes called this the biggest upset in College Football history and CBS seems to agree.
Congrats to my ASU Blog Buddies on a wonderful win.
Marie has covered the story as only she can.....

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Ta Ta

Have a great weekend y'all!
We're off to the Cushing house (AKA, land of no connectivity) for the weekend. I'll try to post via the iPhone, but even that reception is a bit skitchy up there.

While we're gone, College Football will kick off the 2007 season. There are a couple of barn burners this weekend: the Mountaineers of ASU will invade the Big House (at right) and the Penguins of YSU will visit Ohio Stadium.

We wish the Mountaineers well and we hope that the Penguins will be seeing a lot of this:
If they don't see a lot of this, well then I'm guessing that Ohio State won't be seeing a lot of first downs. (That's Beanie Wells, our running back, and by week four of this season, he's going to be a household heard it here first).


Boston 3-The Team Who Must Not Be Named 4.
C'mon Guys. Finish well at least.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Katrina Storm Surge

A friend took this photo of Katrina's Storm Surge as it hit Ocean Springs Mississippi on August 29th, 2005

My dad took this picture in December of 2005 during a trip to help rebuild the town. There was so much damage, that four months later, much of the town still seemed as if the hurricane had hit the week before.

Not a Mainah. Yet.

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.


The Inland North

The South

The Northeast

The West


North Central

What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

I found this quiz over at Boo's blog, and just had to take it.....
But don't kid yourselves, I know I'll never be a Mainah. I'm from away, I'll always be from away, and that's just the way it is. My grandchildren won't even be Mainahs, as the kids weren't born here. Like they say, "Just because a cat has kittens in the oven, doesn't make 'em biscuits."


Does this smoke anyone else's behind as much as it does mine? He can show up two years later and eat gumbo, but all he can manage in the immediate aftermath of Katrina is a fly by? Never mind the debacle in Iraq, what happened in New Orleans is an impeachable offense.

As a remembrance of the devastation that is Katrina, I started reading James Lee Burke's Tin Roof Blow Down last night. For me it's necessary that just like 9/11, I not forget what we allowed to happen in New Orleans.

His description of a hurricane massing out in the gulf, preparing to make landfall is worth the price of the book alone.

UPDATE: This from the NYTimes website this afternoon:

''We're still paying attention. We understand,'' Bush said in remarks afterward.

....... But with New Orleans and the Gulf Coast far from their former selves after two years, some here think it's the president's dedication that should be in the spotlight.

The front page of The Times-Picayune advertised a scathing editorial above the masthead: ''Treat us fairly, Mr. President.'' It chided the Bush administration for giving Republican-dominated Mississippi a share of federal money disproportionate to the lesser impact the storm had there than in largely Democratic Louisiana. ''We ought to get no less help from our government than any other vicitims of this disaster,'' it said.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Today, We Hope It's One and the Same

I'm wearing my favorite shirt today.....
We take an 8 game lead into the Bronx and it doesn't feel like enough. Regardless, GO SOX. Oh and how about a little run support for Dice-K? Just this one time?

Musings On Michael Vick

Yesterday after his guilty plea, Michael Vick stood in front of a bank of microphones and "spoke from the heart."

In addition to admitting that he'd lied to the NFL Commissioner, his coaches and teammates, he apologized to the young kids out there:

I want to apologize to all the young kids out there for my immature acts and, you know, what I did was, what I did was very immature so that means I need to grow up.

It's outrageous that Mr. Vick characterizes what he did as immature rather than sick, twisted, and heinous. He later said, "I hope that every young kid out there in the world watching this interview right now who's been following the case will use me as an example to using better judgment and making better decisions."

Decisions? Like the decision to electrocute, kill by body slamming and hanging a dog is simply a decision? He started Bad Newz Kennels in 2001 and was still involved in 2007 when the charges came down. He watched dogs that he'd trained maul and fight to the death and he got a "rush" from that. Someone who can make a decision to engage in the level of brutality and cruelty detailed in the news reports over six years and then admit only to immaturity and bad judgment clearly does. not. get it.

And don't even get me started on his finding Jesus and turning his life over to God because "it's the right thing to do as of right now"..... Convenient Conversion? You betcha. We can only hope that it sticks cuz this is a man who can use some of what Jesus was preaching.

Judge Hudson--He's gonna need a lot longer than a year to 18 months to ponder about all of this and turn his life around. I hope you give him enough time to do all the thinkin' he needs to do.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Birding Trifecta

On Saturday afternoon I took a break from cleaning and went down to the float. Four Herons fished and squabbled in the shallows. I watched them for a while until I noticed the bald eagle soaring right above my head. It was absolutely breath-taking. He was close enough for me to hear the whoosh of his wings as he back-pedaled and hovered. I went for the camera and the herons cooperated but the eagle was long gone by then.

Later, we saw not one but two pileated woodpeckers. In five years in Maine, I've seen a total of we have two visiting a tree at the edge of the lane.

Finally, as if this weren't enough, we were awakened by the cry of a loon. It can't get any better.

Cushing--The First Weekend In "Real Maine"

Why is it that when ever some fun occurs in Kennebunkport, we're out of town? About 4,000 protesters marched, which must have rocked the weekenders. MSM coverage is here (I've ignored all copyright law and reproduced the coolest photo at right--thank you Maine Sunday Telegram. Please note the compound that the Bush clan hangs out in) and a local participant blogs about it here.

Anyway, while Cindy Sheehan, Dennis Kucinich and like minded Americans exercised their right to free speech, we were two hours north in Knox County closing on the new house.

We left York at 6 am in a two car caravan loaded with linens, cleaning supplies, a chocolate lab, a couple of lamps, cutlery and dishes and other bare necessities.

We stopped in Freeport at LLBean at 7 am (they never close--heck, they don't even have locks on the doors. Local Maine legend says that the celebs who summah here like to shop in the middle of the night to avoid the gawkers, but we haven't verified that) to buy a new dog bed for Mac the Dog. We stopped at the McDonald's for a cuppa Joe and ran into a dear friend from Belgrade Lakes who was on the way to Camden for the day. Small state....stuff like this happens all the time.

After a pre-closing walk thru, we loaded Mac the Dog in the realtor's car (the real estate broker is, BTW, a Hot Shit--if you want to buy property in the mid-coast area, drop me a note. I'll give you her particulars. We couldn't be more pleased with all she did for us, and we have to be her smallest sale of the year, maybe the smallest of the decade), and headed to the closing. The realtor, Kate, brought closing gifts to us--mums, french soaps, local cheddar cheese, pickles and cherry tomatoes, and homemade blueberry bread accompanied with triple berry preserves, and she was insistent that we all ride together, including Mac the Dog, as taking separate cars wouldn't be any fun.

We closed in a tiny attorney's office in Waldoboro, the three siblings selling their family's summer home, the two realtors, an attorney, a mortgage broker and us....two people from exceptionally humble beginnings, blessed by fortune and luck.

After the closing, we went for a celebratory luncheon at Morse's Kraut House Restaurant. The store features gen-u-wine German food stuffs and the Reuben is to die for.

After lunch, we headed home and got down to cleaning: While Tom headed down to the town offices to tell them where to send the tax bill, I scrubbed the icky linoleum in the kitchen, first with 409 on my hands and knees. Then it was Mr. Clean with a mop. It still looked gross and dirty. I gave up. The good news is that the dirt is all natural: uninhabited house in the woods dirt, not somebody's else's dirt. Mouse droppings, fly hatchings and dead carpenter ants I can handle. Somebody else's gick, I cannot.

Tom came home to report that the Cushing Town Offices aren't always open and they sure aren't open at 3 pm on a summer Friday.

He did get us registered in the unofficial town census down at the general store. A S Fales and Sons Groceries is about all there is in Cushing excepting for the Wyeths and the Olson house. Oh, and now us. He also found out where to get firewood and who to call to get the septic pumped out.

By 7, we were all in and not close to done. The kitchen (excepting the floor) was spotless, the bathrooms were sanitized and we had Kate's magnificent food to eat along with blackberries (and one raspberry) that I picked along our lane for dessert. Right after dinner, as I made the bed up, I realized I'd managed to buy all twin sets and we had not one set of full sheets for our bed....roughing it....heh.

Early on Saturday morning, we went up the road and bought fresh eggs from 'the egg man', got bacon and coffees at Fales and ate bacon, eggs, and blueberry toast on the deck. Then we washed windows. Sadly, it appears that we might have done too good a job.
We buried the little finch off the back deck. The total of Saturday was spent cleaning.....and weed wacking and scything, and weeding the garden... and birdwatching, but that deserves its own post.

On Saturday night, Kate came for nibbles and drinks and an official house warming. We sat on the deck and admired the view and talked and talked. Of important things and nothings. On day where York saw 96 degrees (hottest day of the summer), I wore long sleeves and was slightly chilled, but warmed by the good company and the lovely Pinot Noir.

Sunday, after a spectacular sunrise, we introduced ourselves to the neighbors. Marc and Kathie have just relocated from Chicago, along with their three Irish Wolfhounds and an African Parrot and will make Cushing their full time home. They've summered here for 25 years, but this will be their first winter in Maine.

Then we went exploring. Down the finger to Pleasant Point, over to Friendship, by the Cushing Community Church and the beautiful German Protestant Church in South Waldoboro. We bought mums and a fall planter at Moose Crossing Nursery. Then we made a stop in Thomaston for the papers, and then on to Rockland to TJ Maxx (a lamp shade, a bread knife and two door mats) and Home Depot (a grill, linoleum cleaner and polish, nails, insulation, a new sink faucet, a rotary mower and a dehumidifier).

Back home to strip the linoleum and then apply two coats of polish. FINALLY, a kitchen floor that I can walk across with my bare feet.

We have two toilets that leak, a kitchen faucet that doesn't work and well water that has a touch of coliform bacteria. We have carpenter ants and a window that has dry rot. Some of the light fixtures don't work and at low tide, we're muddy. But it's ours and the light is lovely in the evening and in the morning and at all times in between......