Monday, October 15, 2007
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
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?
Thursday, October 11, 2007
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
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
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.
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."
Posted by mainelife at 12:47 PM
Sunday, October 7, 2007
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
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.
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
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.
"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.
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
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.
...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
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.