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......

Yee Haw

The Farmers' Almanac says it's going to be a wintery winter this year for those of us east of the Mississippi:

The almanac foresees plenty of snow across eastern New York and New England and temperatures averaging up to 3 degrees below normal along most of the Atlantic Coast.

I can't tell you how that warms my heart!

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Mine wasn't 300 pages, but it was 59....59 pages to tell me that I talked for 112 billable minutes, received 225 text messages and transmitted 6 billion data bytes (those are free and unlimited).

New House

[as always, click to enlarge]
We're off to the mid-coast tomorrow to close on the new house. There's no internets up there (not at our house, at least) so it's over and out until Monday. Enjoy your weekend, y'all! Ours will be spent cleaning and polishing and exploring--unless we bump into the Wisdom Weasel--then it will be spent in the pub as he's offered to stand beers for us and I'll never say no to a free beer or two or six. If not this weekend, my friend, then soon.

It's Starting To Heat Up

The Maine Senate Race is going to be a barn burner.....this commercial has run three times tonight during our local newscast.

Firedoglake and Kos are all over Susan B.

Of course, she does have her supporters (and if they're for her, well.....)

If nothing else, this is going to be entertaining for the next few months, no?

New Maine Blog

Hey y'all......Lisa from Red Sox State of Maine has a new blog about daily life in Maine. Stop on over and check it out.

Lobster Boat Tie-up

Two weeks ago, the "market price" for a 1.25 lb. Maine lobster at the Boca Resort and Beach Club was a whopping $140.00. I kid you not--they wanted $5.00 more for a 'bug' than they charged me for my room.

Considering that, it's completely understandable that Maine lobstermen are tying up their boats to protest and bring attention to the low prices that lobster are currently bringing. Dealers in some places are offering $3.50 a pound. The last time lobster prices dropped below $4.00 a pound was in 2003, when diesel and bait prices were considerably less.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

'Closing The Gap' Strategies

Are you having trouble making ends meet? Need a little extra cash in your pocket ?
Well here are two ways to make money immediately: 1) be a blueberry thief or 2) be a blueberry sheriff:

A blueberry processor is offering a reward for information leading to the culprits stealing blueberries right out of the fields.

While the thieves are raking it in, Cherryfield Foods placed an ad in a weekly newspaper offering a $5,000 reward to help get to the bottom of the thefts.

"I know for a fact that some private growers have reported a half-acre here and a half-acre there stolen," said Ragnar Kamp, general manager of Cherryfield Foods. "Another producer said someone had broken down a fence to steal berries."

August is the height of harvest season for Maine's blueberry industry as tens of millions of pounds of the berries are harvested from the blueberry barrens.

The first option means immediate money, but is high risk. If you get caught, you'll have a cash flow problem for many more months while you contemplate the errors of your ways in Alfred.

The second option doesn't pay out until the thief is successfully prosecuted, but $5,000 goes a long way and the chances of winding up in the state pen are reasonably slim.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Good News for Cell Phone Users in Maine

If you've ever tried to use a cell phone in, say, York, or Denmark (ME) or Kezar Lake, you know why this is very good news:

AT&T has announced a planned investment of more than $4 million in the Maine wireless network in 2007. This will bring AT&T's three-year investment in Maine to more than $10 million. This year's planned investment includes the addition of six new cell sites and approximately 140 new radios to nearly 50 cell sites throughout the state. It also includes 15 new hardware cabinets and power amplifiers to increase capacity.

The 2007 enhancements focus primarily on expanding the network's voice capacity and enhancing the EDGE (Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution) data network, which offers faster download speeds for consumers and business users. The expansion also gives the company additional bandwidth to support its growing customer base and growing voice and data usage.

Since the iPhone launch in June of this year, the signal strength on all Cingular/ATT phones seems to have dropped.

A Beautiful Day for a Ball Game

Sunday was the pilgrimage to Fenway Park. Once a year, we go to a Red Sox game with about 10 other couples. More precisely, we are taken to a game by one of our friends who has season tickets. He manages to scrape together 20 tickets for a game, all in really good seats (he trades games with other season tickets holders).
We rent a bus, we go to the game and then afterwards, we go to Luccia's in the North End for dinner.
Angels vs. the Red Sox. It was a perfect day for baseball--70 degrees and sunny, little wind.
We were in Pavilion Seats on the 3rd base side, and from there, the Boston B was still visible in center field.

We saw Bobby Keilty make a spectacular catch in right field to save a three run homer. We almost got to see a fight when Julian Tavarez brushed Orlando Cabrera's jersey and Orlando took offense.
In the 5th inning we got our 15 seconds of fame with a shout out on the scoreboard. The Fenway Franks were tasty, the peanuts were salty and the beer was cold.

The only thing missing was a win. JD Drew struck out looking with two on to end the 8th and that at bat just about sums up his season so far. He and Manny have decided that batting is a spectator sport--no need to swing the bat. And just like that, the Yankees are only four back.

As they say, tomorrow is another day. Wakefield mesmerizes the Devil Rays and the Angels return to Annaheim to face the Evil Empire. As of tonight, this guy might be my favorite player in baseball. Ryan Budde. Yankee slayer.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Those Crazy Buckeyes

A field yellow-leafed soybeans with a message......planted in a field about 10 miles from where I grew up. It's not just me. It's the entire state.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Summer Pleasures

As strange as it might sound, grocery shopping and cooking helps me regain my equilibrium and settle back in after I've been away from home for too long. Especially in the summer when so much good local produce is available and I can tour the countryside while doing the shopping.

Wednesday, I cut out of the office just a bit early and headed out Cider Hill Road to Zack's for four ears of corn, fresh picked that day.

Then a stop at the York Corner Garden (Rt. 1 just south of 91) for peppers, just picked high bush blueberries, local tomatoes, and a few organic peaches (not local).

For dinner, we had this delicious tri-tip roast, compliments of Elise, fresh tomato/mozzarella salad with basil from the herb garden and roasted corn on the cob, served with a strong pinot noir.

A blueberry/peach cobbler* and coffee on the deck finished the meal off perfectly and by the time the coffee was gone, I felt centered again.

I followed Elise' recipe pretty closely, excepting I used one half green bell pepper and one half red pepper for the salsa, as well as basil. I thought the red added a little festivity to the situation. The tri-tip was delicious, so as Retired Guy likes to say, this recipe's a keepah.

*I'm partial to this recipe that I found in the New York Times quite a long time ago. The cinnamon and nutmeg work perfectly with the peaches.


  • 2 lbs peaches (about 6-8 peaches)
  • 1/4 c. light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 2 c. blueberries
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 c. sugar and a separate 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

  • Directions

    1. Start with the blueberries. Combine 2 cups fresh blueberries, 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tbsp butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring until a syrup forms for 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

    2. Now, the 2 lbs of fresh peaches - pit and peel them, then chop the 2 lbs of fresh peaches (enough to make 3 1/2 cups) you can leave the skin on if you prefer. Toss peaches in a large bowl with 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg, 1 tsp ground cinnamon and 1 tsp salt. Let sit for a few minutes to absorb flavor.

    3. For the cobbler topping: In another large mixing bowl, mix 1/4 cup sugar and 1 egg in a bowl and whisk. Add 1 tbsp baking powder, 1 cup flour, 1 tbsp vanilla extract, and 1/2 cup milk. Beat well with a wire whisk until the mixture is smooth and resembles a cake batter.

    4. To layer use a 3 quart rectangular pyrex baking dish spread the peach mixture evenly across the bottom. Spoon the blueberry mixture evenly over the peaches. Then pour the batter evenly over the blueberries.

    5. Bake in a 375 degree oven, bake cobbler for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes, in order for flavors to meld before serving. Serve warm with ice cream and fresh mint.

    Thursday, August 16, 2007

    The Cushing Cottage

    We just returned home from the inspection on the Cushing Cottage. Looks like all's well with the septic, the roof, the basement, the furnace, the foundation and any other matters that might be deal breakers. It's even more lovely than I remembered and while the septic guy was probing the leach field and the house inspector was looking for carpenter ants and leaky faucets, we picked enough blackberries along the driveway to stuff our bellies.

    The cottage was designed by an architect and mixes the traditional Maine cottage with light and air and views. It's not the rustic camp I originally thought we'd buy, but many cosmic forces aligned to make this work out and I have to believe it's the right thing. Would you believe me if I told you that Retired Guy vacationed here 26 years ago when the land was owned by his close friends? Or that the mortgage broker randomly suggested to us has a wife who works for my company?
    There's a separate sleeping cottage a bit closer to the water that might make a perfect studio.

    Retired Guy thinks he might want to sculpt granite.

    It's waterfront but it's going to need some work to make it user-friendly waterfront. The drop to the dock can get a bit steep ......

    but once you 're there, it's quite nice....
    It's been unoccupied for the last two years, so it's overgrown and needs some TLC and maintenance, but it's really nothing that a little elbow grease and a scythe can't handle.

    Wednesday, August 15, 2007

    Have you Ever....

    Had a Red Bull Slurpie?

    I have......

    Monday, August 13, 2007

    20 Hours of Maine

    I'm flitting in and out of the state in less than 20 hours, rather like this bumble bee was flitting around on the cone flowers last night.

    A good friend and colleague's mother has passed away, so it's back to the airport and off to Pittsburgh for a couple of days for the services. Of the first 15 days of August, I've only managed to spend three here. It's not the way I'd plan it, but we do what we have to do.

    I briefly considered going directly from Boca Raton to the funeral, but in the end, the cost was the same and I NEEDED to come home, watch the last three (should have only been two innings) of the Red Sox on NESN, dead head the flowers, weed the garden and watch the hummingbirds and hummingbird moths (they're regulars to the garden this summer) feed on the flowers. I also needed to kiss Mac the Dog's ears and pet the cats.

    Additionally, in 20 hours I did some laundry, processed some paperwork for the mortgage on the.....wait for it.....wait for it.....cottage that we're buying up to Cushing (more on that later), rescued Lucy from Sublime Restorations where she had a quick face lift to repair a self-inflicted garage door ding. She looks a good 10 years younger. Ok, now that I've attended to the blog I can flit off to Pittsburgh.

    Lots has been happening in Maine, so here are a few links for you to peruse while I'm out:

    Oyster Farming Dispute
    We hosted our second big time international visitor
    Our local beach has its good name sullied by Forbes Magazine
    Michiganders buy two of our ski resorts
    The RED SOX stink
    Ding Dong. The Rove is Over.

    Saturday, August 11, 2007

    The View From My Window

    Last day of our National Sales Meeting. Six hours of presentations and we can call it a wrap and head home tomorrow morning.
    That's the view from my hotel window. Not that I've had time to do anything more than glance at it quickly before I run to another meeting, but it surely is pretty.

    Keeper's House For Sale

    The Keeper's House (aka Robinson Point Lighthouse) is being offered for sale for $2.5 million.

    It that asking price leaves you a bit short of discretionary income, don't worry-- utilities are very low. No electric bill, no sewer or water bills to worry about as the Keeper's House is entirely self sufficient and off the grid. Energy is solar powered, water is reclaimed from sea water, and the septic helps keep the flower garden blooming.
    Neighbors include Linda Greenlaw and her family, but island life is quiet and peaceful and generally lacks the celebrity/tourist trade of some of the other Maine Islands.

    Thursday, August 9, 2007

    Lobster Boat Races This Weekend

    If you want to catch a lobster boat race, the place to be in Maine this weekend is Henry Cove for the last weekend of this season's lobster boat races. The Lorna R out of Beals Harbor is rumored to be going for a speed record of over 55 mph.

    Tuesday, August 7, 2007

    Senator Collins Changes Her Mind?

    Or did she evolve? No matter...

    We've been wondering how long it would take Senator Collins to change her stance on Iraq, given that most in the state of Maine want us out of Iraq yesterday. We still haven't made up our minds as to who we're voting for, but the Senator's stance on Iraq has made both of us far less likely cast our votes her way. It's been especially disappointing that she's held out far longer than other less moderate Senators on this matter.

    Now USAToday reports that:

    Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a co-sponsor of Salazar's legislation on the Iraq Study Group, wants to go further: binding legislation that would order Bush to restrict the mission of U.S. troops to counterterrorism, training Iraqis and protecting U.S. assets.

    The goal, she says, is to "set the stage for a significant but responsible withdrawal of American combat troops over the next year."

    For most of these lawmakers, their decision to embrace change is colored by politics.

    Collins is seen by Democratic challengers as particularly vulnerable in the 2008 elections because of the overwhelmingly anti-war sentiment among Maine voters.

    Ayeuh. (emphasis mine)

    Not Seen In Maine

    My dad shared a few more photos from the Safari and on this 9th anniversary of the embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, I thought I'd share them with you. This elephant is wet on the bottom, dry on the top. The photo was taken in Amboseli National Park.
    And I can never resist a good giraffe photo.
    And the lions.....they showed little fear of the safari vehicles and allowed for some up close photos.

    Monday, August 6, 2007

    It's Monday, I Think

    Happy Monday to you. It's day three of a 10 day work trip, the first part in Philadelphia with 3,000 business professors, the second part in Boca Raton with 1,500 colleagues at our Sales Meeting.
    The first part has been wonderful. Retired Guy came with me to visit our daughter. She entertained us in her fabulous new apartment on Saturday night and then she and her dad went to the Tut exhibit on Sunday, while I did booth and author meeting duty (I'm on the bitter bus about working two straight weekends in August, but trying to not kvetch too much about it). Last night we had dinner at Buddakan, an elegantly swanky Asian Fusion restaurant. It's all served family style, so we sampled Lobster egg rolls, ahi tuna pizza (think sushi on a toasted flatbread), corn and crab fritters, and edamami ravioli appetizers. The wine list is excellent and reasonably priced and the food is amazingly good.
    I'm off to a day of author meetings, customer schmoozing, and in between, hanging out in the booth, pushing our wares, while trading white lies and inflated statistics with the competitors. We're the talk of the meeting because of the recent sale of the company, so everyone is stopping by to see if we're panicked, off our game, looking to change companies. Since we all seem calm, unfazed and focused, they're not sure what to make of us.

    Thursday, August 2, 2007

    This Week's CFA Award

    I'd like to present this week's CFA to Gregory Gowan, but most unfortunately, he's a Hampton, New Hampshire local.
    As grumpy as I can be with the summah complaints, what we get in our little village is nuthin' compared to what Amy sees down her way. Hampton Beach can get 100,000 visitors on a hot summer day. Makes our 65,000 seem more manageable, no?

    Hummingbird Moth Video

 has video of one type of hummingbird moth, very similar to the one that I spotted in the garden last night. This video is far better than the shots I managed. Isn't he cool? has information on all three kinds of hummingbird moths.

    Out Of Africa

    My parents arrived home from safari last night and my dad was kind enough to share this shot of a leopard dragging her kill into the tree (it's a young Impala).

    They had a fantastic time, but consistently commented how much things had changed since 2001:
    1) many, many more tourist buses--way too many most days
    2) accommodations have not been refreshed. My parents said often towels were gray and over-used, rooms looked worn from 12-15 years of use and the exquisite customer service that we enjoyed in 2001 no longer exists
    3) twice, they were without rooms in the middle of the bush. My parents slept in the kitchen at Ol Tukai as the lodge was oversold (but they did say it's still the best place to see the elephants). Another night, they had a night in a bush tent half-way up the slope of Kilimanjaro. They loved it, but some of their friends were less than pleased with the unexpected "adventure"
    4) to protect the environment, vehicles are now not allowed off-road in the game preserves . Most of the really good stuff we saw in 2001 (lion hunts, lion kills, cheetah) were all off-road. And because the rovers can't leave the roads, mini traffic jams occur

    My mom's 70th birthday party was memorable--candle light dinner in a tent in the bush, complete with elephant droppings, lions roaring in the dark and a delicious menu of barbecue.

    They don't regret the return to Kenya and Tanzania, but agreed that they'd not go again. My dad feels that within the next five years or so, all that is good about safari in these countries will be gone from over-use.

    We decided that the next trip should be to Botswana and Zambia. We agreed that I'd be going the next time, as well. Missing this one was hard enough.

    Wednesday, August 1, 2007

    Does Anyone Know What This Is?

    I had the wrong lens on for taking these shots, but this little guy was so cool, I had to try to capture, does anyone know what it is?

    Coffee with A View

    It's the first cool, crisp morning in many mornings. The humidity has broken, the fog's gone elsewhere. It was a perfect morning for coffee on the deck.

    Yesterday, we ventured to the mid-coast to look at a couple of "camps"* that are for sale, and we discovered a new favorite place--Damariscotta Mills. It's the quintessential, sweet New England village. In yesterday's heat, the small bridge near the mill was packed with kids and teenagers diving from the bridge, while others floated on inner tubes or sat on the edge of the lake.

    We saw a few properties that are financially 'doable' for us, but now, Retired Guy and I have to negotiate the salt water versus fresh water question. I'm leaning lake, he's pulling for ocean. Ocean isn't swimmable (too cold); lake is. Ocean isn't fit for water skiing; lake is. Retired Guy points out that the camp on the lake is very much like "Ohio". Both are great for kayaking; the lake has loons. The ocean has Bald Eagles and Osprey. It will take the wisdom of Solomon to decide this question.

    *Camp-the Maine term for a summer cottage, usually on a lake.