Monday, April 30, 2007

The Nubble

Any time is a good time to sit at the Nubble Light.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

What Have We Done?

Brady Quinn, aged four.
I thought we'd dodged a bullet when the Browns selected Joe Thomas as their first round draft pick. Certainly before they drafted again, Brady Quinn would be off the board, right?

Don't get me wrong. I think Brady is (in order of importance): 1) a Tom Brady level hottie (always important for us female football players); 2) a very level-headed, intelligent young man (his academic advisor spent 45 minutes gushing at his wonderfulness off the football field) and; 3) a pretty good quarterback.

I just don't think he's got what it takes to win. I so, so hope I'm wrong about this and all the experts are right, because Cleveland gave up a huge amount to draft him 22nd by trading their first round pick next year to Dallas. It's either Cleveland's best move since Art Modell slunk out of town, or Dallas made a mensa level move.

Anyway, here's to Cleveland's next franchise quarterback. Let's hope he's a Brady and not a Couch.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Welcoming the Orioles

It's time to set out the oranges. Early May in Maine means Baltimore Orioles and adding a little color to our still brown and gray days. Orange halves in bushes attract orioles and even if the little birdies don't show up, the oranges are quite perky. Orioles also love grape jelly, and have been known to eat it right out of the jar. I have it on good faith that they're especially fond of Smucker's Grape.

If you'd like a guaranteed view of the Orioles, try Clay Hill Farm for lunch or dinner. It's a lovely restaurant and is the only restaurant to be certified as a bird sanctuary. During May, they are inundated with Orioles.

Friday, April 27, 2007

I'm Not Taking This Bet

Remember how all those New Yorkers wondered if the blood on Kurt Schilling's sock in the ALCS was real and all of Sox Nation knew beyond a doubt that it was real?
The controversy bubbled up again this week in Baltimore, due Gary Thorne's complete lack of a sense of humor or understanding of irony or his desire to become a national story...whatever.
WEEI spent hours discussing whether it was real, national media outlets picked up the story and to no one's surprise, Kurt Schilling went ballistic and then went directly to his blog, where he writes:

Someone gave me a great idea to end this once and for all. No one will ever need to bring it up again. I’ll wager 1 million dollars to the charity of anyones choice, versus the same amount to ALS. If the blood on the sock is fake, I’ll donate a million dollars to that persons charity, if not they donate that amount to ALS.

Any takers?

Um, not me. I totally believe you, buddy.

Friday's Diversion

Brought to you by a creative graduate student with too much time on his hands.

Click here for 50 years of history, very cleverly done.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Be Still My Heart

For an Ohio girl now living in southern Maine, whose family is still in Ohio and who still gets her haircut in Columbus, and who still works in Cincinnati, could there be any better news than this? Skybus
My first trip home is already booked for the low, low price of:

Passenger 1$40.00
Taxes & Fees $16.30

Total price of this trip: $56.30
Amount Due: $56.30

Skybus is scheduled to begin twice daily flights from Portsmouth International Airport at Pease to Columbus, Ohio on May 22.

Fares start as low as $10 per flight not including taxes. For example, a round-trip flight from Portsmouth to Port Columbus International Airport in Columbus, Ohio would cost $36.30 with all taxes and fees included.

10 minutes to the airport and less than $60.00? I'd best start buying Carbon off-sets. A lot of carbon off-sets.


(photo from time I go down to take a picture, the tide is too high)
Last week's nor'easter shifted enough of the beach at Short Sands enough to expose a shipwreck that was last seen in the early 1990's.
Historians believe that this shipwreck is a sloop from around the time of the Revolutionary War, although local amateur archeologists think that it might be a "pinky" a small, manueverable fishing/cargo boat. It seems to appear about once every 10 years after a big storm.

According to the village manager, Steve Burns, York has 67 shipwrecks and only 28 have been located.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tuesday, Mainely

I'm in God's Country for a few days of mind-numbing meetings and corporate stuff, so here are a few things to muse on:

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Good Earth Day to You

Up to the Nubble, a lovely sunrise. The Sox take the first two from the Yankees and temperatures will be close to 70 today for Dice-K's start.

As the Detroit Free Press reports, most of us now believe climate change is real and it's finally cool to be green:

A USA Today/ Gallup Poll last month found that more Americans than ever before - 60 percent, up from 48 percent a decade ago - believe global warming is already changing the world's climate. A slightly larger percentage of Americans think it will cause major or extreme changes in climate and weather over the next 50 years.

There are still skeptics - led by conservative talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh - but their numbers and power are dwindling.

Even ExxonMobil, an oil company that was funding global warming skeptics who create the impression that the science on climate change is iffy, has stopped funneling money to skeptics and says it's time to take action, said Andy Hoffman, a University of Michigan business school professor who studies business reaction to environmental issues.

He calls this the "third wave" of the environmental movement, following waves around 1970 and 1990.

Enjoy your day and be green.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Wicked Good

The Sox were Green Monsters (insert groan here) last night, coming back in the bottom of the 8th to tie the game on Coco Crisp triple and going ahead on an Alex Cora single.

They couldn't stop A-Rod, but Coco did his best. He almost snagged this A-Rod dinger before flipping a$$ over tea kettle into the bullpen. But no matter. Coco got his first hit (0-7 prior to last night) off Mariano Rivera to drive in the tying runs.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Yanks Are Coming

A-Rod's playing a little better than he was in October of 2004 (10 Home Runs, 26 ribbies, and a .351 batting average), when he was reduced to cheating to try to get on base, but we're not beneath (above?) reminding him about this little incident and hoping for a similar incident. It's the Yuckees and all's fair in love and the Sox/Yuckees rivalry.

Let's go Sox.
Check out more Sox info at A Red Sox State of Maine.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Clean Up

Today was clean up day down at Short Sands and York Beach. Volunteers gathered to shovel seaweed and sand out of the parking lot and off the village streets. Many hands make a light load (as my grandfather used to say) and a lot of progress was made. The beach was moved back to the beach.

If you're in the area this weekend, village officials are asking for help to clean up Long Sands. Go down to the beach, claim a stretch of road and throw the rocks from the road back down to the beach. The village thanks you in advance for your help.

York County sustained at least $17 million in damage during the last storm.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Maine's Own to Duke

Joanne McCallie has accepted the women's basketball head coaching job at Duke.
McCallie grew up in Brunswick, ME and still has family where it's "the way life should be."
She played basketball at Northwestern (the 11th school in the Big 10 Conference), coached at U Maine for 8 years before heading to the part of Ohio that Nobody wanted to coach Sparty for seven seasons.

Good luck, Coach P.

We Are Virginia Tech

Yesterday, the TV created white noise while I worked. The VaTech Memorial Service, broadcast live, was just too sad to focus on until Nikki Giovanni rose and delivered her words at the end.
For those of you who didn't see Nikki Giovanni at yesterday's Memorial Service, here is the poem that silenced the room:

“We are Virginia Tech.

We are sad today and we will be sad for quite awhile. We are not moving on, we are embracing our mourning.

We are Virginia Tech.

We are strong enough to stand tall tearlessly. We are brave enough to bend to cry and sad enough to know we must laugh again.

We are Virginia Tech.

We do not understand this tragedy.

We know we did nothing to deserve it but neither does a child in Africa dying of AIDS, but neither do the invisible children walking the night away to avoid being captured by a rogue army.

Neither does the baby elephant watching his community be devastated for ivory. Neither does the Mexican child lookin' for fresh water.

Neither does the Appalachian infant killed in the middle of the night in his crib in the home his father built with his own hands being run over by a boulder because the land was destabilized. No one deserves a tragedy.

We are Virginia Tech.

The Hokie Nation embraces our own and reaches out with open heart and hands to those who offer their hearts and minds. We are strong and brave and innocent and unafraid. We are better than we think, not quite what we want to be. We are alive to the imagination and the possibility we will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears, through all this sadness.

We are the Hokies.

We will prevail, we will prevail, we will prevail.

We are Virginia Tech. "

Nikki Giovanni had the gunman in her class in 2005 and those "disturbing writings" that were reported on yesterday were written for her class. She brought his work to the attention of Lucinda Roy (who wrote a beautiful OpEd in the NYTimes yesterday). Administration was notified but there was nothing that could be done as there was no direct, specific threat. Nikki feared him so much that she eventually threatened to resign rather than to continue to teach Cho. She said that she was "troubled by his meanness" this morning on CNN.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Love That Dirty Water......Boston You're My Home

What's not to love about a town where fans rooting for the same team will toss pizza at each other?

Also note that Remdog thinks the guy got tossed not for "throwing the pizza" but for ruining a good piece of pizza....(the pizza tosser was from Maine. Wicked small world.)

Storm Update

Long Sands is a bigger mess today than it was yesterday. The buoy is still on the move. Rain and strong winds continue.

EagleCam Out Lasts the Storm

I just checked on the eagles via the EagleCam, and momma was sitting on the nest, looking very serene and calm while the nest sways and the wind HOWLS on the audio feed (it's very difficult to watch the birds with the sound on right now because of the piercing, screaming noise--that's how hard the wind is still blowing here in Maine). The next few days will be crucial to the chicks' survival.

Over at the Bald Eaglecam blog, Wing Goodale explains how important large trees and existing, long-term nesting sites are to the eagles:

One of the reasons that these birds were able to weather the storm is that their nest is in a large, healthy, white pine. These large trees are extremely import as eagle nesting sites. Last summer, when I was working with Chris DeSorbo banding and taking blood samples from eaglets, we both noted, that almost without exception, that the eagle nests were in the largest trees in the area. This storm shows just how important these trees are.

In addition to the nesting pair on the EagleCam, there are 400 other pairs of Eagles riding out this storm.

BioDiversity Research Institute is trying to raise
$50,000 for the EagleCam, eagle research and contaminant research.


This is starting to feel a bit like the Mother's Day Floods of last year (many of the same roads were closed then):

From sections closed in York as of Monday evening:

  • Route 91 at Scotland Bridge, at Kingsbury Road and at Gowen Lane
  • Shore Road/Philips Cove
  • Birch Hill at Frost Hill Road
  • Reserve Street
  • Ogunquit Road by North Village Road
  • 79 Scituate Road
  • Betty Welch Road
  • Bayview Road
  • Long Beach Avenue
  • Thistleberry Lane at Roaring Rock Road
  • 129 Scituate Road
  • Bay Haven Road
  • 41 Brixham Road
  • Harbor Beach
  • Sohier Park

Monkey's Weather Video

Monkey has deep thoughts (and video) on yesterday's event.
We rate this video and the accompanying post a "highly recommend."

Good Morning

Hello there.
It's snowing here.
Have a really nice day.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Seacoast On Line Gallery

My shot of the Wiggley Bridge. See the Seacoastonline Gallery's shot (and many others) here,
and their story of York Beach flooding here.

One More Photo Album

More shots from the storm are here. Additional shots are in the below post, and the post below that.

The Clean Up Begins

Town is a mess. The Short Sands Bouy lost its anchor. Mud and sand cover most of downtown.

Much of the sidewalk on Long Sands Beach is now sitting in the middle of Atlantic Ave or has heaved up in place and some lobster pots made their way into downtown.

More importantly, our thoughts and prayers are with the VaTech family during this horrible time. Such a senseless, terrible tragedy.
Maine News is reporting that damage is severe throughout southern and mid-coast Maine. "We've had hurricanes that have done less damage, " says Joe Cupo.

Photo Album

More photos of the storm are here. We can't get down to Long Sands to see what's happening, but maybe the road will open later. We'll see.
Maybe more later. Maybe not.

More Views of the Nor'easter

The view through the windshield.

Harbor Beach, one hour before high tide.

Nor'Easter Pounding The Maine Coast

I spoke a bit too soon this morning--the power went out shortly after my last post. Thankfully, it's back on, at least for now.
Heavy rain continues to fall in Maine, although the Boston Marathon blog posts indicate that the wind has died down and the rain has stopped in the Bay State.

Since moving to Maine, we've seen some good blizzards and had significant flooding during the Mother's Day flood of last year, but we've never seen waves like this. The Coast Guard is reporting seas of 20-25 feet (as always, you can click to enlarge all the images).

Downtown is seeing flooding due to high tides, and our favorite little summah cottage now has a very large tree on the roof.

Usually one can walk through the parking lot to get to Russel's Lobster Shack, but today a canoe might be a better idea.

Happy Patriots' Day

Patriots' Day is an Official State Holiday in Maine and Massachusetts, but not other stereotypically patriotic states like Texas or Vermont.

Does anybody know why Maine and Massachusetts both still celebrate this day and what they celebrate? Some Mainiacs weren't quite sure, as the Maine Sunday Telegram found out.

The wind is howling and the rain is pounding the windows, but we still have power and we have no snow accumulation. Other areas aren't faring as well, with power outages and farther north in Maine and to our west in New Hampshire, significant snow has fallen.

Nearby, New Market, NH has flooding and portions of the town are being evacuated. Down Amy's way, a parking lot has flooded and cars are sitting in water up to their windows. Saco is facing possible beach erosion and much of southern and central Maine is under a coastal flood watch. High tide is at 10:42 am and 11:06 pm, with a new moon. Yikes. But no one is predicting floods like we had last May (so far, anyway):

Despite all of this, the Boston Marathon will begin at 10:00am, and Maine will represent, as will our little town, who is sending 9 runners. God speed, y'all. Stay warm and hydrated.

Sox are scheduled for a 10:05 start, but don't hold your breath for that first pitch.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Approaching Storm

It's starting to look like the approaching storm has us right in the cross-hairs. We now have a winter storm watch in effect for overnight Sunday through Monday and warns of coastal flooding and erosion. That's a normal warning for us (it accompanies every nor'easter-- photos of coastal flooding and high waves are here), but this one could be significant:

Sunday will feature the powerful developing storm system along the Eastern Seaboard and that will produce flooding rain and high winds along the coast from the Middle Atlantic States and southern New England Sunday into northern New England Monday. Wind gusts from 40 to as high as 75 mph will occur, especially from eastern Long Island to Cape Cod, Nantucket Island, Martha's Vineyard, and the Maine coast. Coastal flooding and beach erosion are also big concerns.

Meanwhile, interior areas of the Northeast, especially in the higher elevations, could pick up a considerable amount of snow before the storm winds down on Tuesday. Heavy wet snow could bring down tree limbs and power lines and it will be a bear to shovel.

Internet Amusements

You've got to try this:

1. go to
2. click on "maps"
3. click on "get directions"
4. type "New York" in the first box (the "from" box)
5. type "London" in the second box (the "to" box)
6. Click *get directions*
7. scroll down to step #23

Hat tip to Starfish for passing this along (she recently returned from I'm wondering how she got there and back).

Friday, April 13, 2007

Amusements For the Upcoming Weather

In preparation for the Pounding Nor'easter expected to hit us on Sunday, I've compiled a pile of books:
Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army by Jeremy Scahill. I'm almost finished with this book and highly recommend it to all fellow conspiracy theorists or anyone with an interest in Iraq and trying to figure out what's next.
My Latest Grievance by Elinore Lipman. I adore all of her books and this one is no exception. Narrated by a precocious 16-year old growing up in a residence hall of a private college (her parents are professors and dorm parents) it's vintage Lipman--astute, wise and forgiving of human foibles.
Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart. Finally out in paperback, it's been called 'masterful', 'brilliant', 'marvelous' and was one of the NYTimes' Book Review's 10 Best Books of the Year. Sounds perfect for a rainy/snowy Sunday by the fire.
Reading Like A Writer by Francine Prose. Just out in paperback. Just in case I ever become a writer....
And Finally, the best for last:
Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky. Just out in paperback. I'm ecstatic that my book club has selected this for our next discussion. I read it last year and have been looking for an excuse to re-read it. To be able to do so and then discuss it, won't be easy but it should be worthwhile.
Suite Francaise was written by a very popular French writer in the years leading up to WWII. It chronicles the Nazi invasion of France and the occupation. It's a remarkable work, brilliant and astonishing on its own, but the second appendix to the book is extraordinary.
It is the correspondence between the author and publisher, and later, the author's husband and publisher. These letters chronicle the confusion and disbelief that occurred as the Nazis began and then escalated their plans for the Jewish race. It is poignant and heartbreaking as the reader knows full well what will happen, but it's evident from each letter that the writer cannot imagine such things.
Irene Nemirovsky was deported to Auschwitz in July of 1942. She was exterminated almost immediately upon reaching the camp. It's not an easy or comfortable read, but it is a masterpiece and it is so very worthwhile.

Not Had Enough Yet?

If you still need more Imus coverage.....just kidding.

No one needs more Imus coverage; however, David Carr of the NYTimes postmorts the entire saga and his analysis is worth reading in its entirety. If you prefer the Cliff Notes version, here are a few of money quotes:

“Imus has a long history of saying far more negative, divisive things,” said Robert M. Entman, a professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University. “In this case, he chose a college basketball team. College athletics is sacred in our culture in a way. We tell ourselves that it is a place that we have transcended race. This was an attack on the purity of sport, student athletes who are not paid to perform."
Regarding Imus' decision to appear on Sharpton's show:
By seeking absolution from people with their own political agenda, Mr. Imus lost custody of his apology.
And finally:
Who countered for Mr. Imus? The cadre of white, accomplished males who have been his running buddies for years. He may have black friends, but they don’t show up on his show much and that broadcast apartheid left him without meaningful allies. Mr. Imus was alone and ineffective in his defense, after years of being surrounded by sycophancy that has left him reflexively entitled and ill-prepared for media opportunities in which he does not control the microphone.
Now we see why Mr. Carr writes for the NYTimes and I've got this silly little blog. He's wicked smaht and he writes wicked good.

Texas Sheet Cake

We liked last week's brownies so much, I spent the last few days looking for another chocolate recipe (chocolate goes so well with the red wine and a storm) to make, when it hit me: TEXAS SHEET CAKE!

When I was a kid, my mom made Texas Sheet Cakes like it was her job. Every church potluck, neighborhood picnic, visiting a friend or special dinner at home called for a Texas Sheet Cake. It required no stacking, no icing, no fancy stuff.
Later, I was enlisted to be the family baker (my mom had a job outside the home and wasn't shy about assigning in-home jobs to us), and I can just about make one in my sleep. Problem solved.
A sheet cake it is--with enough left over to share with the neighbors.


2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
2 cubes butter
1 c. water
1/4 c. cocoa (I use Hershey's)
1/2 c. sour cream
2 eggs
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. vanilla and mix together.
Pour into a jelly roll pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

If you don't want the icing, you can just sprinkle with powdered sugar. If you're frosting the cake, make the frosting while the cake bakes as it's best when the frosting is poured on before the cake cools.

1/4 c. cocoa (more or less to taste)
1/2 c. milk (start with slightly less)
1 cube butter

Cook these three ingredients together until bubbly. Add:
4 c. powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla

Pour frosting on hot cake when it comes from oven. Serve with a nice Red Zinfindel, but don't tell Mom I told you that part. She always preferred it with a refreshingly cold Diet Pepsi.

The Calm Between The Storms

We skated out of yesterday's storm with little accumulation (if you agree that two inches of snow in April is "little"), but it looks as if the "Storm of the Century Part 2" will not be so kind to us:

After a snowy and rainy Thursday, the weather across the Northeast will take a brief break. Most of the region will be mainly dry but some scattered rain and snow showers may fall from western Pennsylvania to northern New England.

Look for some impovement on Saturday but that will be short-lived as as a major storm develops off the East Coast by Sunday. This storm may have some historical impacts for the month of April.

Look for heavy rain and fierce winds by Sunday night and Monday morning from the Middle Atlantic region to New England. Coastal flooding and wind damage are possibilities. Interior sections of the Northeast, especially the higher elevations, may see some record snowfall from Sunday night through Tuesday.

Local weather-casters are using ominous phrases like "pounding Nor'easter" and "100 year storm" (which we supposedly have already had). Right now, it seems that we'll have only rain, but that may change. For now, outdoor activities are du jour (did I use that correctly?): we're walking the dog, heading to the driving range, and picking up downed limbs from last night's snow.

The storm will impact the running of the Boston Marathon as well as numerous Patriots' Day celebrations.

The last two months have made me a "global warming" cynic and a "climate change" believer.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Lookin' Good has a new do for spring. It's quite nice and much more functional than the old site.
I discovered it while searching for an article on the York/Kittery school merge discussions.
Which will be big news if it actually comes to pass. It will be big news while it gets discussed.

We've Got An Eaglet

Well not we as in Chez MainiacMusings has an eaglet, but we as in the EagleCam nest has a baby.
A baby eagle has been spotted and you can see the video of it here(it's wicked cool, click it and see).
Earlier this week, the baldeaglecam blog reported that they feared the eggs had failed, but an eaglet was spotted earlier today.
Oh Happy Day!

CBS Cancels Don Imus Immediately and Permanently

CBS has fired Don Imus, and it looks like they're not kidding around......Guess I'll be buying a Sirrius Satellite Radio.

Ok, Rev. Sharpton and Rev. Jackson. I'll be watching to make sure that you are good to your promise to clean up the rappers and other African American performers.

You're officially on watch. I cannot abide a hypocrite, fellas.

Bigelow Tea Sponsors Half Hour Of Imus Telethon

Our new morning set-up--Who needs MSNBC?

Jeez'em, I am now confused. Cindy Bigelow has just waxed profound for about 2 minutes about how Don Imus has enriched the lives of families with children, yada, yada, yada, how honored she and her parents have been to be even a small part of the great work he's done for children.

Almost makes me sorry I dumped all our Bigelow Tea yesterday morning, after reading this article. (Sorry, I get a bit passionate sometimes and it seemed an appropriate gesture).

I won't be watching MSNBC anymore, however. Imus' firing seems to be a response to the noise. It's the easy thing to do to quell the rising storm in order to avoid the real issue: how to fix the continued disproportionate levels of black representation in our media, our boardrooms, our workplaces, our universities, etc, and the way that people of color are treated in every day life.

Should real good, real change come from this firing, then I applaud it. At this time, my inner skeptic believes Imus' head was sacrificed by NBC so that life at Rockefeller Center can remain as it is.

Sharpton will forget about Imus; Jackson will move on to other causes. Stringer will have the BEST recruiting class Rutgers has ever seen (heck, she might finally win that elusive national title next year), and NOTHING will change. That will be the real tragedy of this mess.

BTW-Where's Russert been in all this?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


MSNBC has announced that it will no longer simulcast the Imus in the morning show.
Yes, I'm sorry about that. I'm more sorry that he said such a horrible thing, but I've listened/watched the man for 15 years and I'd dishonest if I said that I'd hoped he'd get another chance.
Jason Whitlock of the Kansas City Star expresses my thoughts on the I-Mess more eloquently than I can.

UPDATE: Olbermann has just admitted that he went to management at MSNBC and asked that Imus be removed.

2 Hours

Dice-K makes the Fenway debut in two hours.
It's more exciting than....well, anything.
Just ask the Boston Globe who spotted this guy,sporting Dice-K's old jersey, come all the way from Japan to see Dice-K's first start in the Fenway.
Makes me almost believe it's spring, despite knowing that the Boston Marathon might be postponed due to WEATHER.

It was no dice on the Dice-K tickets for tonight (had one, but couldn't swing two), so we're going to order a double cheeseburger pizza from Anthony's (best pie in town, imo), build a fire, open a Smithwick's and watch the game.

Here we go Red Sox!

Green Monster Coming to Central Maine

They say that the farther from Fenway a New Englander lives, the deeper the passion for the Sox. A town in Central Maine might have been thinking that when they decided to build a miniature Fenway Ball Park for their Little League Team:

Red Sox fans in central Maine rejoice. Fenway Park is coming to you.

By summer's end, and maybe sooner, the Green Monster wall and every other nook and cranny of the famed bandbox of a stadium should be complete and ready for play -- right here in Oakland -- in Little League scale.

"The shape and everything is exactly like Fenway Park," said John Blais of A.E. Hodsdon Consulting Engineers in Waterville. "It is a total rendering of Fenway. It is a great, fun project.
With our weather, they might be better off building a miniature Garden to play hockey......

Free The Lobsters

If you're planning on a lobster dinner anytime soon, you might want to take out a bank loan or wait a bit before splurging on that dinner. Maine lobster prices are at record (or very close to record) high of $15.00 a pound due to a "perfect storm" of contributing factors: terrible winter weather, the timing of fishing seasons and very cold water.

One group wasn't deterred by the prices. An anonymous group paid almost $3400 for all of the one-claw lobsters at the New Meadows Lobster Pound in Portland so that they could release them back into the ocean. No one knows who the group is, but PETA has denied involvement. They evidently don't like the lobster industry enough to give them money for any reason.

Good Morning

It's Wednesday. The crocii have survived last week's snow. That's the good news. The bad news is that like last week, we're bracing for another storm. Depending on the storm track, accumulations might be significant.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hey University of Florida--Way to Stay Uber Classy

The President of the University of Florida, Dr. Bernie Machen, somehow, in the middle of an interview about a playoff for college football, manages to take a swipe at Greg Oden:

Dr. M: It's ridiculous. What a homer. I was at Michigan (as provost and dean of the school of dentistry). I know how they get in at Michigan. Don't talk to me about the Nobel laureates at Michigan.

Just look at Greg Oden's class schedule this semester. The Big Ten has fought the conference playoff, then they (complain) because Ohio State doesn't have a game in 48 days. (Actually 51 between the last game of the season and the BCS title game. The Big Ten traditionally ends its regular-season football schedule before Thanksgiving

Greg Oden? Last I checked, Greg Oden played basketball, and has done nothing except be an upstanding citizen and the best player in college basketball this year.

This coming from an institution who had a tenured professor, John Hall, show up so baked for class that he rolled around on his desk, giggled extensively and then made You Tube history (UF, of course, removed the video, but trust me, it was ridiculous)?

I'd like to tell you that I'm surprised by this, but I'm not. It's about what I'd expect from a school like Florida, who has a fan base that spent the morning after their basketball championship, not celebrating their win, but saying horrible (and anonymous--you brave boys, you) things about Ohio State and inexplicably, Michigan:

Hey Buckeyes, instead of spelling out OHIO at the football games, make it a word all your fans now have etched on their foreheads........LOSER.

Florida OWNS Ohio State. Florida has proven the Buckeyes are no match for them. Give it up Ohio State because you suck.
Troy Smith=worst QB ever
Jim Tressel=worst dressed coach in history
Greg Oden=baby
Thad Matta=horrible coach

Anon said...
It was fantastic watching the Gators humiliate Ohio State once again for the National Championship. When will you Big 10/11 fans learn that the SEC is the best conference in football, basketball, hockey (we don't even have teams, but if we did they would be better), and all the other sports. Give it up Michigan and Ohio State. You both suck at everything.

Hopefully Florida will get to destroy Ohio State again next year. It is fun embarrassing their crappy coaches on national television.

Gator Dynasty said...

To All Michigan Fans:

We found out who the real Fab Five is last night. Florida's Fab Five, consisting of Noah, Horford, Brewer, Humphrey, and Green, is the best starting lineup every assembled. No doubt about it. Want to know why? They are clean (don't take bribes/money), and have actually won titles.

Can Michigan's Fab Five say the same thing? No, not at all. They never won the Big Ten. Chris Webber took money and had his fabulous timeout incident. They were a complete and utter joke.

Now I guess we see that the fan base is just following the example set by their President.

Oh Please, Oh Please. Oh Please, Oh Please.

I might have snagged two box seats to watch Dice-K tomorrow. For Free.
I'm waiting to hear.
It's not easy to type with my fingers crossed.

Forget Imus. Let's talk about Essence Carson

And the rest of the Lady Scarlet Knights basketball team, who conducted themselves with dignity, poise and grace under pressure at today's press conference.
None more so than the captain Essence Carson, who showed why she's the captain.

In a blog post last year at Double A-Zone, she wrote:

"At Rutgers, academic excellence is understood to be a part of the norm. As road trips entail physical exhaustion and a mind that is so bogged down with the academic pressures of a professor, you fight to make it through each day. Will you settle for less - what we like to call mere crumbs - or will you strive to be atop the mountain? Every scholar-athlete understands the necessary time management skills that are needed to balance out the life of the scholar and of the athlete. So essentially, at the end of the day, our minds have endured a workout much more strenuous than that of any professional athlete. We are the nation’s 'professional scholars.'

I'm guessing that hundreds of thousands more people watched today's press conference than watched these women play basketball last Tuesday night. Maybe that and the lack of women and women of color coaching in Division I should become the real story here. Not to excuse Imus' remarks, but enough is enough already. Let's talk about the real story. Let's give these girls' the spotlight they should have had on their own.

Eagle Cam Update

According to the Eagle blog, the chicks might hatch this week.

Mom's on the nest now. Such an awesome (in the classical, not pop culture meaning of the word) sight.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Want to Help Out?

Volunteers are needed to listen to frogs...if you live at our house, you don't have to leave home, as we clearly hear the peepers from the back deck, but it doesn't appear they need help in our Boston suburb (aka Southern Maine). Also, after taking the on-line quiz, it appears we're frog tone deaf.

Maine Group Calls for Bush's Impeachment

We're not the live free or die state, but we think for ourselves. At least we think we do:

President Bush's policies on Iraq have prompted two groups in Maine to call for his impeachment. Maine Lawyers for Democracy and the group Maine Campaign to Impeach held a news conference Monday.
They say President Bush and Vice President Cheney broke laws when they made the call to invade Iraq four years ago.

"The Bush-Cheney administration mislead this nation into the Iraq war and commenced the war in clear violation of law. They deceived Congress and the public about the so-called imminent threat posed by the nation of Iraq," said John Kaminski from Maine Lawyers for Democracy.

"Not only must we hold our highest leaders in the land accountable, but we must also hold ourselves responsible for ensuring that those leaders are not betraying the trust that we have invested in them," said Dud Hendrick from Maine Campaign to Impeach.

The groups are calling on Maine congressmen Tom Allen and Mike Michaud, both Democrats, to begin impeachment proceedings against the President and Vice President.

Photographic Musings

I had much fun putting the new lens through the paces. It lived up to the hype and the waiting period (I've been trying to get one without the D200 camera body since August 2006).
What do you guys think?

It performs in a variety of situations.

Imus Suspended for Two Weeks

By MSNBC. Beginning April 16th. I'm going to be driving around in my car for two weeks, listenening to the radio. I rather hope Imus decides to cancel his MSNBC contract and go back to a full radio format--not that I endorse his remarks. I don't. But he appears truly sorry, to have made amends and to need forgiveness. I'm willing to offer that.

David Gregory is hosting Hardball and devoting (at least the first 20 minutes) the show to this issue. He's distanced himself from Imus. Howard Finneman (who appeared this morning on Imus) is waffling. Jesse Jackson is now on Hardball to try to get an African-American a show on MSNBC. Only Barnicle (the dubious source guy, the guy who knows scandal) is standing firm.

Y'all should tune into MSNBC tomorrow for the next installment of the affair.

UPDATE: CBS Radio is also suspending Imus. So, I won't be driving around in my car for two weeks to listen to him on the radio. Ah, the age of 1,000,000 the midst of which, the Imus blog gets suspended....odd timing, is it not?

Beyond Irony

I've listened to Don Imus faithfully since 1992, so I know a bit about the guy and aye-uh, I admit that I find his show entertaining. He often says things that are beyond defensible and there's never a protected class on Imus. But, he covers current affairs (no pun intended) and politics in a way that helps me understand complex issues more easily than other talk shows and pundits, so I continue to tune in.

What he said last week about the Rutgers women's basketball team was horrible--racist and misogynist-- and I'm not going to defend him or those comments in any way.

I'd be remiss, however, given my generally cynical view of politics, big business and public life in America, if I didn't share with you the following true things:

While reading MSM articles and blog posts on the controversy, I clicked over to this post at
The most unfortunate google ad appears at the bottom of Mr. Willis' post:

Now I realize that Mr. Willis can't control the ads that adsense flows through to his specific posts, but he can block her ads from appearing on his site, but he makes money from the Coulter ads that appear on the site and he drives business to her. On a post dismissing Mr. Imus' apology and calling for his firing.....(for the record, he called her on the John Edwards slur on his blog--although his comments were directed more towards the Republican candidates who associate with her than about her)

Beyond ironic, is it not?

The other irony of this saga is that the Rev. Al (Crown Heights riot flame thrower, Freddy's Mart "white interloper" man, not to mentionn Tawana Brawley) Sharpton is leading the call for Imus' firing. I think it's fair that Rev. Sharpton, who has frequently used slurs, innuendo, and intimidation to line his pockets and ruin the lives of others, give up his public persona if Imus is fired.

UPDATE: C. Vivian Stringer, one of the icons of women's basketball calls Imus to task in a completely appropriate and (as always for her) classy way:

"It is of the utmost importance to be an inspiration to young people and I truly believe my team represented Rutgers University, the state of New Jersey, and NCAA student-athletes across the country in the highest manner. I am proud of these young women and strongly encourage Mr. Imus to instead read the headlines and the stories that told of our triumphs the past six months."
If you don't know about Vivian Stringer, you should get to know her. She's a role model, a hero, a coaching legend.

Next UPDATE: Hustleknockin' weighs in on the situation:
We give all manner of folks passes for similar language whenever it suits our odd peculiars, particulars and assorted pecadillos. the idea that black women are so second class that they can be insulted at the drop of a hat in word, in song, in image by any and all comers for profit or whim and actually be blamed for it themselves is offensive enough;

New Additions to the Blogroll

I'd like to welcome two new friends (I'm being a little presumptuous here, but after reading their blogs, I'm sure we'll become wonderful blog buddies) to the blog roll:
Monkey from Portland (Monkey has three very creative sites), and
Jim who blogs over at Growin' Up in Maine. He tells great stories about growing up an hour north of Bangor in the '50's and '60's.

We Found the Easter Bunny

Unfortunately, he wasn't as quick as usual.

Friday, April 6, 2007

In Search of the Easter Bunny

We're off to CT, hoping to spot the Easter Bunny. Have a wonderful weekend, everybody.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Perfect Brownies

I scratched the Heath Bar Brownies (apologies WisdomWeasel...will these do?) in favor of THE PERFECT Brownie.
Here's the recipe:

The Perfect Brownie

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 oz. bittersweet (I used semi-sweet) chocolate
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cups walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Spray an 8 x 8 baking pan with cooking spray.
Whisk the flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside.

Melt the chocolates and butter in a medium bowl over a pan of simmering water or a double boiler. Remove from heat and mix in the sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each egg before adding the next. Continue to whisk until the mixture is completely smooth and glossy. Add the dry ingredients (and nuts, if you're using them) until just incorporated.

Pour the batter into the pan, smoothing out the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with wet crumbs (about 35-45 minutes).

Cool teh brownies in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, and then turn out of pan. Cool completely before cutting.

It Shoulda Been Opening Day in Portland

But Mother Nature denies the Seadogs. Portland got 12 inches of snow.
A State of Emergency was declared by Gov. Baldacci, allowing power crews from neighboring states to help turn the lights back on. 94,000 homes and businesses are without power.

The National Weather Service predicts that this will be the state's third heaviest April snowfall. Christmas weather at Easter must be payback for Easter weather at Christmas.

The (D)Ice Man Cometh

Or Live blogging Dice-K's first inning as a Sox.

First batter- swings at first pitch and fouls it off
hits third pitch for a base hit. Coco makes one of his laser throws to second base (heh)

Second batter-ground out. Sox unable to turn double play

Third batter-misses with three change ups, but throws two fast fast balls for strikes. Walks the batter

Remdog announces that Dice-K is just feeling his way through this first inning, but he's left a lot of pitches up in the zone.

Fourth batter-First pitch high, but fouled off. Second pitch is a ground dribbler. Sox turn a double play.

Dice-K safely out of his first Major League inning. Sox enter the second inning with a 1-0 lead.

This concludes the live-blogging of Dice-K's first inning for for the Red Sox.

Snow Day

School is closed. The grocer and all businesses on Rt. 1 are closed due to power outages. We've got 6 inches of heavy, wet snow, and it's still coming down, as are many of our trees, pulled down by the weight of the snow. They've revised the forecast: most of Maine will get at least a foot of snow, with 16 inches to two feet.

It's a very busy day here: I've got to write an introduction to my father's book of photography (yikes, I'm not up to the task!), bake two desserts to take to Easter in Connecticut (I'm thinking Red Cake Cupcakes--I'll send a few down to Marie's kids, and heath bar brownies), wrap and mail a birthday present to my niece (she'll be three on Monday), work at the job that pays the mortgage, and pack to leave for CT.

Did I mention that in a fit of optimism we put up the bird houses?

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

They Must Be Kidding

Six to ten inches of snow? On April 4th. Goodness me. They aren't kidding.

A Little Sunshine in Every Dark Day

So I was driving down to Kittery to pay off my bet (again), two more cases of beer (we doubled up on this one, it was my idea), this time wrapped not in blue and orange paper, but in wrapping paper that I made from the SI photo gallery (yes, I violated copyright law, and if you like great photos, you should take a minute to click over there. Amazing work), muttering to myself, when I saw two very beautiful black and white heads bobbing on the York River. I had my camera and my new lens in the car and managed to first scare the little guys and then snap this shot.
Anyway, those two little guys made my errand very lovely.


Our storm now has some. We have accumulation.

Wednesday, Mainely

It's snowing, but you can tell that it really doesn't want to be. There's no passion in this snow, no heart in the storm. It seems to want to go away as much as the robin sitting in the tree would like it to go away.

There's some interesting stuff going on around the state (it's not every day that we can make that claim), and it makes for pleasant reading over a cup of coffee while the flakes drift slowly to the ground:

Reverb, a Portland consulting firm is working with rock musicians (Bonnie Raitt, Dave Matthews, Guster) to "green" their tours. Biodiesel and guitar string jewelry for all!

The UMaine Black Bears received their traditional send off to the Frozen Four yesterday in Orono. They will face the mighty Spartans of Michigan State on Thursday night. Boston College will play North Dakota in the other semi-final game on Thursday.

In York this spring, residents are no longer fighting (really, the dog law battle was long and very divisive) about dogs on the beach. This spring, the discussion is about surfing access, and as is often the case in Maine, summer folks are of one opinion and year-round residents are of another and the Board of Selectmen tries to play Solomon.

The Food Network names Portland as a finalist for Most Delicious Destination. Yum.

A replica of a Maine Lighthouse was dedicated on Lake Havasu, AZ. Thankfully it wasn't the Nubble.

Ashley Cimino, a girls' basketball player from Portland has been named a Parade All-American. The only other woman from Maine to receive this honor is now the Michigan State Women's BBall coach (Joanne McCallie).

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Chomped Again

But this one actually doesn't hurt a bit.

Would I be wrong to say that that's the best team to ever play college basketball? If not the best then surely in the top two or three.

Congrats, Gators.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Some Thoughts on Today's Game

Kurt gets shellacked. The Yuckees starter gets shellacked and they still manage a win.
It's gonna be a long season.....
Just kidding--really.
It's just a little gallows humor to take my mind off tonight's festivities. I'm not feeling too good about this one.

Compromise on Groundfishing Possible

The State Legislature is considering a bill designed to help save Maine's groundfishing fleet.
Fishermen would still not be able to sell lobster caught in their nets, but would offer a fuel tax exemption and rebates on fees paid at the Portland Fish exchange.

Some Thoughts About Tonight's Game

1) If Oden opens the game with a dunk, he'd better not get tackled in the celebration.
2) If Roy Hall is in the building, he'd best be sitting on the Florida bench.
3) Mike Conley. He is the fastest thing in Atlanta and Joakim Noah's mouth is included in that calculation.
4) If Ted Valentine is calling the game, the Buckeyes need to take their ball and go home. No good will come of staying and playing.
5) If there is a God of College Sports, Joakim Noah will break his wrist during one of his chest pumping celebrations of an "and 1" early in the game.

Get Ready, Sanjaya

Win or lose, we'd like to see Greg Oden let loose with one monster dunk right over Joakim Noah's cowering head. Just one.

It's Opening Day

If you're not optimistic, you're crazy*
C'mon Sox. Play Wicked Hahd at the Ball Pahk.
Sox vs. KC Royals 4:00 pm
Other game of note: TB at the Yuckees 1:05 pm

*Terry Francona as quoted in today's Boston Globe.