Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Four University of Maine freshmen (quick learners, eh?) face felony drug trafficking charges following a marijuana investigation that started at the beginning of the semester, officials said.
The arrests followed the seizure of a pound of marijuana from a vehicle in which two of the suspects were riding, said university Police Chief Noel March, whose office teamed up with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency in the investigation.
"A pound of marijuana's a big transaction on our campus," March said Monday. "It's the largest I've seen on campus in one transaction."
So, which is worse? Finding out your 18-year old is a drug dealer or finding out your 18-year old is hopelessly narcissistic?
Today's college students are more narcissistic and self-centered than their predecessors, according to a comprehensive new study by five psychologists who worry that the trend could be harmful to personal relationships and American society.
"We need to stop endlessly repeating, 'You're special,' and having children repeat that back," said Jean Twenge , the study's lead author and a professor at San Diego State University. "Kids are self-centered enough already."
Ohio State took over the No. 1 spot in The Associated Press college basketball poll Monday, the first time the Buckeyes have held the top ranking since 1962 when they were led by Jerry Lucas and John Havlicek and on a run of three straight Final Fours.
But even during basketball season, football is still king in Ohio:
The turning point for the Ohio State men's basketball team came in mid-January after OSU football coach Jim Tressel addressed the team at coach Thad Matta's request.
Tressel led OSU to a Big Ten championship last fall and the Bowl Championship Series title game vs. Florida in January.
"Tressel delivered a heck of a message about everyone staying on the same page," Matta said Monday. "When coach speaks, no eyes come off him."
Thanks in part to Tressel, the Buckeyes have a swagger that was absent in the first half of the season, when Matta said players were a bit overwhelmed by expectations.
"Guys were too tight," Matta said. "I've always wanted them to enjoy basketball. It's a kid's game."
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
Monday, February 26, 2007
James Cameron, director of Titanic and creator of Terminator and True Lies is holding a press conference today in New York City to announce that he's got DNA evidence that shows one of the bodies in the Talpiyot Tomb is that of Jesus, son of Mary and Joseph.
Discovery Channel will air Cameron's 90 minute documentary on this discovery on March 4th.
According to Cameron, there are six boxes, inscribed in Hebrew, Latin or Greek, bearing the names: Yeshua [Jesus] bar Yosef [son of Joseph]; Maria [the Latin version of Miriam, which is the English Mary]; Matia [the Hebrew equivalent of Matthew, a name common in the lineage of both Mary and Joseph]; Yose [the Gospel of Mark refers to Yose as a brother of Jesus]; Yehuda bar Yeshua, or Judah, son of Jesus; and in Greek, Mariamne e mara , meaning 'Mariamne, known as the master.' Mariamne was Mary Magdalene's real name. (The boxes were taken from a 2,000-year-old cave discovered in 1980 during excavation for a housing project in Talpiyot, south of Jerusalem.)
So here's the rub: If Cameron is correct, the bone boxes, and the DNA found inside, is the first archeological evidence of the existence of the Christian savior. But given that Christianity was founded on the belief that
what proves Jesus lived (which neither Jewish faith or Islam denies--they simply deny that he was the Messiah or the Son of God), then invalidates the entire Christian faith. Faith being the operative word here . It's all been taken on Faith. We can't prove that Jesus lived. We can't prove he was born of a Virgin. We cannot prove He rose from the dead. We simply believe. And for those who believe, this won't provide compelling evidence to debunk the Christian faith. We'll continue to believe. Whether Jesus' body ascended with His Spirit doesn't invalidate His teachings any more than evolution does.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father. (Nicene Creed)
But not every one will see it that way. Remember the hullabaloo over The DaVinci Code? The work of fiction? How about the fury over Darwin? That's nothing compared to DNA evidence that supposedly proves Jesus did not bodily ascend. Thousands of angry Christians will be burning their Titanic DVDs, boycotting Avatar and calling for a Constitutional Amendment to ban Canadian born film directors from working in the US.
If nothing else, Cameron will provide us with weeks, maybe months of great entertainment, watching the apoplexy of the Fundamentalists.
I spent the entire weekend in the basement with my dad, helping him select photos for a coffee table that he's publishing. He's quite a talented guy and the book is going to be really lovely--he takes wonderful portraits (like this one of my nephew).
Posted by mainelife at 2:21 PM
We have a 200 gallon fuel oil tank in the basement. The fuel oil man just delivered 145 gallons of fuel oil. ($2.30 a gallon, I'll let you do the math).
Sad thing is, the furnace doesn't heat the whole house, it heats the downstairs (partially) and supplies our hot water. We have electric baseboard radiators in each of the upstairs rooms, for which we pay Central Maine Power. We also heat a portion of the downstairs with wood (fireplace in the study) and propane (gas burning stove in the living room), for which we pay AmeriGas.
Keeping us warm with -15 windchill is not an inexpensive proposition, but it's a small price to pay for living in Maine.
Amazing Grace, a British film about William Wilberforce and his efforts to end slavery, had some help from York resident and historian, Kevin Belmonte. Belmonte wrote a biography of Wilberforce, entitled William Wilberforce: A Hero for Humanity. Based upon that work, he was asked to be the lead historical consultant for the film, working with the screenwriter and director to ensure the story was historically accurate.
Over the last year, Belmonte has been consulting on two Wilberforce related documentaries -- one for the BBC and another U.S.-based documentary. He has also been speaking to various governmental and civic groups in the United Kingdom and the U.S.
The film is playing in Portsmouth at the Regal Cinemas (stadium seating, y'all), and around the country.
Alternate Heading: Number One Defeats Number Two (Depending On Which Poll You Choose)
Number one or number two Ohio State defeated number one or number two Wisconsin 48-49 yesterday in Columbus to claim the Big 10 Championship for the second year in a row.
It was an ugly, ugly game (the Buckeyes haven't won a game scoring fewer than 50 points since 1982), but it's much better to win ugly than lose pretty.
It may have been freshmen Greg Oden's final game at Value City Arena. Oden (number 20 and the oldest looking 18-year old on the planet) is expected to be the first player drafted this year should he declare for the draft. Retired Guy would like to see him playing in Celtic Green next year. I think he looks smashing in that little scarlet and gray number.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Good old fashioned shopping spree.....for most women that might mean new Jimmy Choos or an ensemble like this (lovely, isn't it? And I do look good in black):
But my shopping spree consisted of pillow shams for the guest room, 2 wool cable knit sweaters. Being a woman and all, I believe that no shopping spree is complete without some new shoes:
Or a beautiful new coat:
Retired Guy keeps asking if I'm ready to fix the Chevy or when I'm going to cut down that tree in the back.
What can I say? Some women are especially suited to living in Maine and it seems I'm one of 'em.
Friday, February 23, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Remember this sad tale?
Well, after spending about eight total hours pulling together all of the documentation that the State of Ohio needs to be convinced that I didn't live or work in the state from 2003-2005, writing a cover letter, photocopying all of it, driving through a blizzard to Express Mail the package, and then another hour on the phone this morning with the IRS to try to get my tax transcript for 1995-1997 (I ordered them on February 1 and the IRS shows that they were pulled and mailed on that day, but they never arrived--so I requested a duplicate this morning).......
So after all that, my phone rings this afternoon. It's the nice lady who wrote me that letter from the state.
She tells me she's received and reviewed the 2003-2205 information and it's clear that I did not need to file in the state of Ohio for those years and given the information that I've provided and the explanation in my cover letter, she is going to close this file. I do not need to provide them with the transcript for '95-'97. Great news!
there is just one more thing. It seems that the Great State of Ohio has lost my tax return for 2000. She sees that I've paid them, via credit card (it was e-filed) the correct amount and there's not a question of me owing them any money, but they've lost a lot of e-filed returns between 2000 and 2002, and this appears to be one of them. Can I please send her a copy of the state filing for 2000?
Uh. Huh. Now the nice lady and I specifically discussed 2000 when I called her on February 1 after receiving the letter. 2000 was mentioned in the RE line of the letter, but not in the body of the letter, so I asked her if she needed documentation for that year. She said no, so I didn't send it to her. Now she tells me she needs the tax return. Can you guess how quickly I'm getting that to her?
Goodness. It's almost enough to make me a Michigan fan.
This story leaves so many unanswered questions and is wrong on so many levels:
Claude Van Tassel doesn't want to come home.Seems he's done this once before, as well:
It was nearly five years ago that the well-known auctioneer from Lyman, Maine, and father of 12 went missing while shopping at the Dover Ames store with his wife. Van Tassel told her he was going to get a cup of coffee — and was never heard from again.
"He has asked that his location not be given out because he does not want to be found," said Interim Police Chief Anthony Colarusso. "In essence we have a person who has been missing of his own volition since 2002, but he is healthy, he is alive and well in Pennsylvania. At this stage the case is closed, the family's been notified."
"We then began to dig into the history of Mr. Van Tassel and learned that he did a similar thing and was missing in another part of the country a year previously," Colarusso said.His wife isn't buying the story, but since Mr. Van Tassel doesn't want to be found, the authorities won't tell her where he is. Wouldn't that drive you crazy? All those unanswered questions, like don't you miss your 17 grandchildren? Why not just ask for a divorce? My curiosity would be killin' me....
Van Tassel told his wife he was going for coffee before that disappearance as well. His abandoned truck was found weeks later in Ohio, and Van Tassel was found 72 days later at a homeless shelter in Iowa.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
It was 36 degrees F today. I didn't ever put on a coat, as it's positively spring like....considering how I felt at 36, I thought I'd share the true Maine Guide to RealFeel temperature (it's not original):
60 above zero:
Arizonans turn on the heat.
People in Maine plant gardens.
50 above zero:
Southern Californians shiver uncontrollably.
People in Maine sunbathe.
40 above zero:
Some foreign-made cars won't start.
People in Maine drive with their windows down (or tops down).
32 above zero:
Distilled water freezes.
The water in Maine merely gets thicker.
20 above zero:
Floridians don coats, thermal underwear, gloves, wool hats.
People in Maine throw on a flannel shirt.
10 above zero:
New York landlords finally turn on the heat.
People in Maine have their last cookout before it gets cold.
People in Miami start dying.
People in Maine close the windows.
10 below zero:
Californians fly south to Mexico.
People in Maine start looking for their winter coats.
20 below zero:
Girl Scouts in Maine sell cookies door to door.
40 below zero:
Washington, D.C., runs out of hot air.
People in Maine let their dogs sleep indoors.
120 below zero:
Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
People in Maine get upset because they can't start their minivans.
459 below zero:
ALL atomic motion stops (Absolute Zero).
People in Maine note, "It's getting wicked cold outside."
500 below zero:
Hell freezes over.
Maine public schools will open 2 hours late.
Coming to a store near you, Stephen Colbert's AmeriCone Dream Ice Cream from Ben and Jerry's:
The flavor, Stephen Colbert’s AmeriCone Dream is a decadent melting pot of vanilla ice cream with fudge-covered waffle cone pieces and a caramel swirl. It’s the sweet taste of liberty in your mouth.And via reader,Starfish: April 17th is free cone day at Ben and Jerry's. No limit, she tells me.
In Maine, if you're trawling for groundfish and catch a lobster, you have two choices: throw it back or take it down to Massachusetts where you can sell the lobsters. 12,000 pounds of Maine lobster ended up being sold in the Bay State in 2005--a very small fraction of the 67.3 million pounds of lobster caught by Maine Lobstermen in that year--but enough to convince many groundfishermen to sell their fish at Massachusetts piers.
So the state of Maine wants to make it legal for those lobsters to be sold here and have a bill pending that would do so.
As with many things in Maine, there isn't a clear-cut answer: the lobstermen oppose the bill, primarily because the lobsters caught in groundnets are the large female breeding lobsters that produce millions of eggs each year. Additionally, the lobstermen believe that a change in the bill would mean more trawlers targeting the lobsters and actually increase the numbers caught and sold (Federal law allows 100 lobster a day or 500 lobsters per trip to be kept in these circumstances).
Supporters of the bill say it's important because the number of boats selling fish at the Portland Fish Exchange has dropped from 250 to 110. The number of jobs at Maine processing plants has dropped to 800, down from the high of 1,700. They also contend that the lobsters caught 50 miles out to sea don't have any interaction with the lobsters caught by the traditional Maine lobsterman so there's no need to fear this bill.
Maine lobstermen have long practiced conservation and careful preservation of their fishing grounds, with the end result of lobstering being one of the few healthy fisheries left in New England. They've marshalled all 6500 lobstermen in opposition to this bill.
More information here.
The GloucesterTimes (Gloucester, MA) provides the Bay State perspective.
The Working Waterfront weighs in. (The Working Waterfront is the monthly published by The Island Institute. If you have any interest in Maine Island life, visit their museum/storefront in Rockland or on-line here).
Monday, February 19, 2007
My dad braved the Ohio portion of last week's blizzard to see what the neighbors were up to. They were up to a little manure spreading and some blacksmithing and they were heading off to school. The English kids had a snow day, but not the Amish kids.
He wanted me to be sure to tell you that he was in a nice warm car, not in a buggy, so he really didn't feel that brave.
Especially after he shot this picture:
Somebody dropped the ball on this one.
Tom Brady's protection on the field is better than his protection off the field...his ex-girlfriend Bridget Moynahan, is three months pregnant with his child.
We wonder how Gisele Bundchen, his Brazilian super-model new girlfriend, will feel about babysitting on Friday nights.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Holy Moses. Via my good blog buddy Marie --the Appalachian State Mountaineers are going to invade the Big House on September 1, 2007, and they'll get to see Lloyd Carr work (ahem) those sidelines in person.
This should be a great game--it's enough for me to re-up for the College Game Day package for next season--two time defending 1-AA National Champions versus the team favored to win the Big 10 and possibly contend for a 1-A title. Remember, last year, the UNH Wildcats (1-AA school) visited Northwestern and came away with a huge win. Now this is a little different, in that Northwestern's athletic program is the reason we're still the Big 10--we do have 11 schools but only 10 have real teams, but ASU has an amazing offense and a lot of talent. And Michigan is sure to be overly confident about this game.
We'll say it here first--we see a big heartache in the Big House on September 1. Go 'neers!
UPDATE: Just to be clear-the heartache will be Michigan's, as the Mountaineers pull off a stunning upset.
Two men from Waterboro, Maine are attempting a 7,000 mile snowmobile trip from Tok, Alaska to Maine. They're also taking a little side trip to north of the Artic Circle.
So far they've covered 1862 miles, facing temperatures of -30 degrees and frozen rivers with six foot ice heaves:
This ride is similar to one made in 2000 by Mike Ouellette, Kirk St. Peter and Mike McCarthy of Caribou, who covered the 5,977 miles from Tok to northern Maine in 29 straight days of sledding, with no breakdowns or delays.
They've also run into mechanical problems that limited them to only nine days of actual riding during the first 36 days of the trip. They faced long waits as replacement parts had to be flown in and ferried to remote locations.
But they say the spectacular landscape and the wonderful people they've met along the route are making their adventure worthwhile.
Memorable people they have met include a hermit who took them in for a meal of caribou and hardtack, a trapper who explained how he runs a line of 100 traps for wolverines and bears and a waitress who inaugurated Wolfinger into the "Sourtoe Club" after he downed a drink said to have a pickled human toe in it.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
We're in a dither getting ready for Eldest and her boyfriend to visit. Cleaning and changing sheets (we're so excited), cooking, shoveling the driveway yet again (because Eldest and the boyfriend), shopping for their favorite foods (are so much fun to have visit) and deciding what to cook for Monday night dinner when both kids and their significant others will join us for dinner.
So while we're dithering, here're are few easy reading (heh) articles for your consideration:
The Kingmakers-- Howard Fineman reports on the GOP candidates' battle to win the evangelical endorsement. There's more at stake than just an endorsement here. If Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell have their way, we'll be living in a theocracy where non-Christians are second class citizens.
Glenn Greenwald looks at John McCain's blogger and Frederick Clarkson takes it a step further, calling Patrick Hynes "McCain's Personal Christian Nationalist."
Andrew Sullivan and Sam Harris debate fundamentalism. Oh, and they argue about some other stuff as well.
Political Cortex has the weekly roundup of blog posts about the religious right.
With this reading list, I'd imagine that someone with think I'm anti-Christian, but that's not the case at all. I'm pro-Christ and his teachings, but anti-Christianist.
I'd like this to be a non-political zone, but until our churches are once again the non-political safe sanctuaries they were meant to be, you'll have to forgive me for an occasional foray into these topics. It is a safe zone, and while I welcome dissenting--even strongly dissenting-- thoughts, no swearing, no personal attacks, no offensive or abusive comments will be tolerated and as always, I reserve the right to delete any comments that aren't keeping with the spirit of civil debate.
Friday, February 16, 2007
Maine (have I mentioned this before?) is one of only two states with two women representing us in the Senate. Senators Snowe and Collins are common-sense Mainers and at least to our way of thinking, spend a lot of time trying to do what's right for their constituency, even when that means not toeing the party line. Snowe was re-elected by an overwhelming majority this year and her approval ratings (79% favorable) are the highest in the Senate. She was featured in Time Magazine last fall as one of the Top 10 Senators.
Anyway, Senators Snowe and Collins are introducing legislation to improve No Child Left Behind, which will hopefully help stop leaving behind so many of those students that the original bill failed to pick up at the bus stop.
From the press release:
Senators Olympia J. Snowe and Susan Collins today introduced the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Flexibility and Improvements Act. This bill reforms the No Child Left Behind Act, giving states, school districts, and schools greater control and flexibility in implementing and executing the No Child Left Behind law. This legislation builds on the major recommendations made by the Maine NCLB task force which was created by Senators Snowe and Collins in 2004.
If you taped Grey's Anatomy and don't want to know what happened, stop reading immediately.
Otherwise, is anyone else doubtful that one of the hottest shows on TV is going to kill off the lead (and title) character?
Note that I've said doubtful, because Meredith Grey spent most of the hour in the frigid waters of Puget Sound. Then she spent the rest of the show not breathing on her own, with a body temperature of 81 or thereabouts and in the final minute of the show, she flatlined.
Instead of ending the show with a flatlined Meredith, we see Meredith with Denny and the policeman who was blown up in that terrific cliff-hanger last season. When she asks if she's dead, Denny answers "Damn right you are."
Ok so anybody want to weigh in with thoughts on whether or not they've really killed off Meredith? I can't stand the suspense.
Oh, and if they do, will they have to rename the show?
UPDATE: Just spent some time checking other blog posts on this episode. Now I'm convinced that Meredith is dead because everyone seems to think that it's against the rules of TV to kill off a character like Mer......could this be the time for the show to finally break some new ground?
Thursday, February 15, 2007
In light of the weather forecast for the next week (very cold), this is especially bad timing.
In Maine, about 5 percent, or roughly 25,000, homes are heated by propane. Propane is used for heat by 50,000 homes in New Hampshire, 29,000 homes in Vermont and 64,000 homes in Massachusetts, and due to a Canadian railroad strike and the blizzard, propone supplies are getting dangerously low.
The storm delayed the arrival of the tanker Alrar into Newington, NH (Retired Guy and I saw her moving into the mouth of the Piscataqua this morning while we were up on the Nubble) where it will off-load 16 million gallons of propane.
There are four sources of propane in New England. Propane deliveries arrive via tankers at ports in Rhode Island and New Hampshire, and there's a pipeline terminal in Selkirk, N.Y. The fourth source is rail shipments. All of New England is affected by the strike against Canadian National, Canada's largest railway. But Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire are especially impacted because of their geography. Maine gets 50% of its supply via Canadian Rail.
As of Thursday, Downeast delivery truck drivers were taking steps to deal with tight supplies. They were checking the gauge on customers' propane tanks and filling only those tanks that needed it the most, but by next week, temperatures should normalize and lessen the demand.
Right on the heels of Maine being recognized as the state with the highest tax burden in the US, (13.5% goes to the state) the Maine State Legislature is considering a bill to increase their pay.
We really don't mind paying the state of Maine: it's a geographically large state; it's lightly populated so the cost of infrastruture maintenance is greater per capita; there are many who live below the poverty line here and need a hand from their neighbors, etc.
However, we do agree with this editiorial in today's Kennebec Journal:
In brief, the bill proposes that the state planning office "shall develop a salary plan for members of the House of Representatives and the Senate sufficient to meet a basic needs budget, which must include, but is not limited to, the following expenditure categories: housing, transportation, child care, health care insurance and out-of-pocket health care expenses, clothing, food, personal care and recreation." And once that plan is developed, it should be implemented for all lawmakers.
What on earth were the bill's sponsors thinking?
Indeed, for some the ideal would have all of society's members earn a salary to cover their basic needs budget. Not just state legislators, but child care workers, garbage haulers, lobstermen, lawmakers, clerks, farmers, teachers, lawyers and everybody else who makes the world go around. And such a system would take from the rich and give to the poor, too, just to even things out.
But we don't live in such an economic system. If lawmakers feel they need a better salary, then there are other ways to go about raising the issue: salary surveys of other states' legislators; a historic review of Maine lawmaker wages; followed, then, by a measured proposal to bring salaries up to a level for which a case has been carefully made.
We're calling our representative today to let them know our thoughts.
Blogger continues to be a bit balky while uploading photos, so I've created an album of blizzard photos and posted it here.
Enjoy! (there are also photos of the Mother's Day Flood of 2006, if you are interested in more Maine weather photos).
It was very windy last night. All night. We're off to shovel the drifts off the drive and once that's done, we're heading to the beach to see what we can see. Remember the herb garden shot from yesterday? Over at the right is the herb garden this morning. I can't shoot from the same perspective because there's a drift where my camera was yesterday.
All told I'd guess we got just less than a foot of snow, with a crust of about a quarter of an inch of good hard sleet. The good news is that the drifting is minimized by the hard crust on the top of the snow.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
10:00 pm Lost update edition: American Idol has selected the final 24; Lost is starting; Ohio State beat Penn State; Mac hasn't ralphed for 6 hours; life is the way it should be. Mainelife out, until tomorrow sunrise edition.
8:44 pm We sincerely hope Jenny the heart-broken donkey comes to her senses tonight update edition:
PITTSFIELD, Maine --Jenny the donkey remains on the lam but her owners may be closer to corralling the incorrigible critter. Ever since she escaped on Jan. 18, the donkey has stymied efforts to get her back including tranquilizers and a horse whisperer.
The speculation is that Jenny has been roaming the woods behind the farm looking for a partner from whom she was separated at auction.
Gail Lever of Princeton, Mass., believes she has found the mate. Both donkeys -- Lever believes both are actually mules, the offspring of a jackass stud and a female horse -- were considered too ornery and were passed off to another owner.
Jenny went to Pittsfield to live with Joe Varricchio and Mary Gaeta. Isabella went to Lever, who found a home for her in Acworth, N.H.
As a last resort, Lever said she's thinking of putting Isabella in a trailer and bringing her to Pittsfield in hopes of luring Jenny back into the corral.
Lever believes Jenny and Isabella, who were likely lifelong companions and probably even sisters, have been heartbroken since the auction. "These animals bond and they become such close friends," Lever said.
7:48 pm It is Valentine's Day afterall update edition... A lovely rotini with homemade sauce with meatballs, a nice bottle of Seven Deadly Zins. For dessert, a wonderful bottle of rose champagne (tres so not Maine) and strawberries dipped in chocolate. Mac is no longer erupting and is issuing loud complaints regarding the withholding of his dinner, the Buckeyes are whipping the Nittany Lions, while we watch with a roaring fire.
Outside, we've watched one snowshoe' er get buried in a roadside drift and flounder helplessly for far too long (we were just getting ready to go help when he kind of flopped left into the road). There were a pack of cross country skiiers (four of the women from down the road) just before dusk, and not too long ago a rare snowmobile headed up the road to the empty field. Neighbor Dave has snowblowed (snowblew??) his driveway and the other neighbor's driveway three times today. He's slightly snow OCD. Other neighbor's husband is in Ecuador with the New Hampshire National Guard until Saturday.
6:07 pm Transportation Update Edition: Most flights out of the Portland Jetport are cancelled. Call ahead or check the online flight guide.
Maine Turnpike speed limit is 45 mph. You can check their roadcams at their link.
Greyhound has cancelled all buses out of Portland tonight. Amtrak is stopping trains to Maine and Vermont.
All Casco Bay Ferries are running (can you IMAGINE?)
You can check Maine Road Conditions here.
LL Bean employees should call in before heading to work.
Blizzard warning is still in effect. Midcoast Maine is above freezing and getting heavy rain. South and west of the midcoast it's very, very cold.
Barometric pressure is 29.06 in and still falling.
Seas are 16-20 feet.
A coastal flood alert is in place:
WHILE THE TIDE HEIGHT AT PORTLAND TONIGHT IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN WELL BELOW THE 12.0 FOOT FLOOD STAGE...THE COMBINATION OF STRONG ONSHORE WINDS GUSTING TO 60 MPH AND POUNDING SURF WILL CONTINUE TO CAUSE BEACH EROSION AND SPLASHOVER IN PLACES LIKE CAMP ELLIS...GOOCHES BEACH...YORK BEACH AND RYE BEACH. HIGH TIDE OCCURS IN PORTLAND AT 843 PM TONIGHT.IF YOU LIVE OR WORK NEAR A LOCATION SUSCEPTIBLE TO SPLASHOVER AND BEACH EROSION...BE PREPARED FOR POSSIBLE IMPACTS ON ROADS ALONG THE IMMEDIATE SHORE
5:19 pm Sorry for the live blog interruption. Had to do a little internet research. Google terms include "dog vomiting"; "dog throwing up"; "dog maalox" For the record, yes, you can give your barfing best friend maalox, but the emergency vet clinic (the Village Vet is closed, of course) doesn't really recommend it. Instead of our romantic Valentine's Day evening in front of the fire, we're going to be watching Mac the Dog like hawks and possibly braving the elements to drive him down to Portsmouth to the emergency vet clinic. Last time we went there, Spike set us back $695.00. But he's alive and well. Do not tell my father that I spent almost $700.00 to save a cat.
Anyway, forecast has changed yet again. We'll stay with snow the rest of the night and could get an additional 6-8 inches accumulation. Wind gusts up to 50 mph.
4:15 pm We've switched back to all snow. It's really coming down. We're off to shovel the front walk before the freezing rain starts.
3:33 pm Comair has finally cancelled my flight. Outside, more of the same. I've lots of pictures to post, but blogger seems to be balking.
3:07 pm Who says UPS doesn't deliver?
3:00 pm We've changed to the dreaded wintry mix--mostly snow mixed at times with big pieces of sleet. It tip taps at the windows. Pat the plow guy came right around 2pm. Between the blowing and the snowing, you can't tell that he was here. The
NECN just said that the seacoast from Portsmouth, NH to Saco/Portland will have 3 or so hours of less than a quarter mile visibility and heavy precip. They are also saying that this may be the worst snow that Vermont has ever recorded.
1:44 pm The cold air in place over northern New England is holding the wintry mix to our south and east. That pink line just can't seem to get past Cape Ann, although everyone forecasting the weather promises that it will. We now have hard, wind-driven snow, with gusts that shake the house.
Mac and I did make a trek through the woods. We scared what I think was a red-tailed hawk from his perch--he left the safty of the pine tree with a complaining squawk and headed out over the Little River, but didn't see any other signs of life, no deer or coyote tracks anywhere we looked. It's bitterly cold. Removing gloves for picture taking was a painful process. So cold that despite two layers of smartwool socks and my sorel boots my toes were frozen. I'm sipping a cup of this to warm up. It might take two to do the job right.
Lobster traps wait for spring.......
12:00 pm The wind is picking up, but for the time being, it's not snowing as hard as it has been.
The snow plow guys of our village are hard at work, clearing parking lots and driveways.
We're putting on our boots and heading out into the back 40 to see what we can see.
11:22 am-Snow day!!!
One of the things about working from home is that one never, ever gets a snow day....until today, oh happy day.
The company just sent out an email (and I don't believe I'm compromising any vital company information to pass along a portion of it): "Due to the bad weather in the midwest and east coast, we have an unprecedented number of people trying to access the system remotely. Our servers are unable to handle the demand. We ask that you disconnect from the system so that functional groups that must access the system are able to do so."
11:04 am Linkfest:
Amy has an update (with pics) from the Granite State
Seacoastonline.com covers the blizzard
Portland Press Herald has more news (I love Frank's comment: "I actually enjoy driving in this weather." Attaboy Frank. That's a christly good mainah for ya.
HIP HIP HOORAY--Pat the Plow GUY is HERE! Crud. False alarm. It's Alex, the neighbor's son plowing them out. He was nice enough to knock back the snow from the town plow at the top of our drive, though. I believe we're now the only drive in the hood that hasn't been plowed. Might be time for a new plow guy.
Manchester Union Leader reports on the storm.
The wind is now picking up.
9:45 am Trip to the post office was uneventful, but the nice postal lady warned that they are not to make any guarantees about delivery dates. She has been told that their planes may not be flying today (a coastal flood watch is now in effect)...BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 5 AM EST THURSDAY... ...WINTER STORM WARNING IS CANCELLED...
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GRAY HAS ISSUED A BLIZZARD WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 5 AM EST THURSDAY. THE WINTER STORM WARNING HAS BEEN CANCELLED.
SNOWFALL TOTALS WILL RANGE FROM 8 TO 12 INCHES ALONG THE COAST AND 16 TO 24 INCHES IN THE MOUNTAINS AND FOOTHILLS TODAY THROUGH LATE TONIGHT. SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN MAY MIX WITH THE SNOW AT TIMES NEAR THE COAST. A THUNDERSTORM IS ALSO POSSIBLE.EAST TO NORTHEAST WINDS WILL GUST TO 40 MPH AT TIMES...ESPECIALLY ALONG THE IMMEDIATE COAST AND IN THE HIGHER TERRAIN. THE HEAVY SNOWFALL COMBINED WITH BLOWING SNOW WILL RESULT IN BLIZZARD CONDITIONS FROM LATER THIS AFTERNOON INTO THE LATE EVENING HOURS. THIS WILL CAUSE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS
9:00 am Snow continues to pile up. We've had our breakfast, mugs of coffee and our fill of NECN news reporting (summary: not too bad in Mass, CT, RI, horrible in VT, NH, ME).
For those of you not from NE, that ugly thing on the side of the house is where then nice fuel oil man adds fuel oil to our monster tank in the basement. In past years, we've had to shovel a path to it and clear the pipe from snow. In most years, the snow is higher than the pipe cap.
We're getting ready to head out to the post office. I've got to mail my tax information to the fascists, oh excuse me, that really wasn't nice. I mean the State of Ohio Department of Taxation. I still don't have the tax information from the IRS for 1996, 1997, but I'm sending them the required information for 2003-2005, as those returns clearly show I should not have filed a tax return for Ohio in those years. I'm hoping that once they see these returns they'll forget about 10 and 11 years ago...btw, is there a tax attorney out there who knows if I really have to provide them information from that long ago?
8:34 am Just checked with Comair, and my 5:40 pm flight out of the city (Portland for those of you not from Maine) has not yet been cancelled. HMMM.
CVG (the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati International Airport) has been under a snow/sleet/ice siege since yesterday, none of my colleagues are able to make it into the office, and our weather still projected to deteriorate during the day. Over under on this flight taking off? I'm taking less than 50%.
Long Sands Beach 7:15 am
7:32 AM Hard snow is now falling. Temperature has dropped to 11 degrees, but winds are light. We've been out to check on the beach. Waves are medium, but not fierce, and they haven't topped the new rocks that the village put in this fall to help keep the winter storms from breaching Rt. 1A (see nice new rocks at left).
A nice hot bowl of oatmeal to warm us and then the big decision: do we really think Pat the Plow guy will show up today? If not, we'd best take a first pass at the driveway/luge run ourselves.
This involves shoveling--the luge run is too steep for a snow blower.
6:00 AM Happy Valentine's Day! 16 degrees, two inches of snow and a blizzard warning in effect at wake up. The mountains of Maine and most of NH and VT will get feet of snow.
NECN tells us that tropical air aloft is pulling a lot of warm air into the upper surfaces and changing rain to freezing rain/sleet sooner than thought(It's almost all freezing rain in Mass and CT at this point). The meteorologists have decreased our estimated accumulation totals from 12+ to 6-10 but tell us that the ice accumulation will cause many power outages and difficult traveling conditions.
The plow drivers are desperately disappointed. They've not had much work this winter.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
10:00pm 19 degrees. Cloudy skies and no snow yet. I'm heading off to bed because 1) a watched pot never boils and 2) I've got a big day tomorrow looking for surfin' snowmen, and shoveling the luge run (photo above was taken on February 18, 2003 during a huge snowstorm).
9:44pm Snow has moved into the New Hampshire seacoast (Amy may be seeing a flake or two) and is heading our way quickly. I think we might beat that 3 am estimate for the first flakes.
9:27 pm A big welcome to all the folks popping over from Marie's place. I can assure Marie that there's no pressure being exerted. I got so excited for a little winter weather that I'd decided on Sunday that I'd be livebloggin' the event.
It's a darn good thing that it's actually turning out to be an event. Now we'll keep our fingers crossed that the power stays on. Electricity in Maine is far more fickle than electricity in other parts of the country. Part of our planned blizzard entertainment for tomorrow night is watching the Buckeyes battle the Nittany Lions on the hardwood.
8:43 pm Retired Guy has spent most of the afternoon and evening cleaning out the basement. It's really lovely down there now with shelves organized, shoes in bins by type (golf shoes, baseball cleats, football cleats--mine of course, gardening shoes, hiking boot and snow boots), general clutter disposed of. I have no idea why today was the day for basement cleaning, but I love the results. Work finished, he's now hunkered down in the living room monitoring the weather channel and NECN for the latest forecasts. Occasionally he pops over and checks on the Dog Show.
NECN has announced that they'll start live storm coverage at 5 am tomorrow.
7:14 pm Our current conditions are officially "calm before the storm". The snow is supposed to start tomorrow morning--3am or later. Earlier they'd thought it would start closer to midnight. Snow has started in western Mass and the southern tip of Vermont.
I checked on the folks back in the Buckeye state and they are currently in full scale blizzard conditions. Snow is expected to continue in northern Ohio until mid-day tomorrow and school has already been cancelled. There's talk of some skiing if the roads are passable.
The Coast Guard and the York Harbor Master have asked that all boat moorings be checked and double-lined. Mariners should be prepared for 50-knot winds and 20-foot seas in New England waters.
- gotten our groceries (mostly whole milk and Wonder Bread--it's what you need in Maine to survive the storm)
- bought whiskey (for medicinal purposes) and wine (for survival purposes)
- carried in enough wood to last two days--in case the power goes out
- replaced the flashlight batteries and located our emergency supply of candles
- moved a shovel up to the back deck so we can push the snow off
- filled the bird feeders
- washed the road grime off of Lucy (in 9 degree weather, the door handles and mirrors freeze before the water is even turned off)
- purchased two books from Amazon.com (delivery scheduled for today)
- bought extra salt for the luge run that serves as our driveway
Accuweather.com projected this pattern on Sunday and it looks to be very close to the what's going to happen, just a day later.
Monday, February 12, 2007
Aside from the forecasters (ahem) over at Accuweather.com, no one really wants to make a snowfall prediction quite yet, but here's a round up of what the local weather folks are saying:
The storm is expected to bring heavy snow to parts of Maine, and generate seas more than 20 feet high. Coast Guard units in New England are warning off-shore mariners about the seas, and the anticipated 50-knot winds.WMTW(ABC)-
The National Weather Service has posted a winter storm watch. Meteorologist Art Lester isn't yet making any predictions of snowfall tallies. But he says 12 inches or more "is not out of the question."
So far, Maine's largest city has recorded a meager 15.7 inches of snow this winter. This storm could bring that much in one dump.The National Weather Service has posted a winter storm watch. Meteorologist Art Lester isn't yet making any predictions of snowfall tallies, but he said other reports of 12 inches or more are "not out of the question."
Foster's Daily Democrat-
Blizzard-like conditions are expected for Wednesday's storm, with wind gusts of around 20 miles per hour throughout the day.
We don't have a CBS affiliate in Maine, so I can't share their insights with you.
National Weather Services are saying this:
...DANGEROUSLY COLD WIND CHILLS TONIGHT AND TUESDAY MORNING. SNOW
STORM POSSIBLE ON WEDNESDAY...
.GUSTY NORTHWEST WINDS BEHIND AN ARCTIC COLD FRONT WILL TAP A
FRESH POOL OF VERY COLD AIR TONIGHT. TEMPERATURES WILL FALL TO THE
SINGLE NUMBERS NEAR THE COAST AND WELL BELOW ZERO IN THE
MOUNTAINS. THIS COMBINATION WILL PRODUCE DANGEROUSLY COLD WIND
CHILLS OVER NEW HAMPSHIRE AND WESTERN MAINE TONIGHT AND EARLY
TUESDAY. ANYONE VENTURING OUT OF DOORS DURING THIS TIME SHOULD
TAKE CARE TO COVER EXPOSED SKIN.
IN ADDITION...A MAJOR STORM SYSTEM WILL APPROACH THE REGION
TUESDAY NIGHT...THEN TRACK NORTHEAST ALONG THE COAST WEDNESDAY
AND WEDNESDAY NIGHT. A CHANGE IN THE EXPECTED TRACK COULD AFFECT
THE SNOWFALL TOTALS AND WHETHER COASTAL AREAS WILL GET A MIX OF
SLEET OR EVEN RAIN. CURRENT INDICATIONS ARE THAT THERE IS THE
POTENTIAL FOR A HEAVY SNOWFALL ACROSS THE ENTIRE AREA.
Isn't this fun?
The state of Maine will have 14 dogs participating in the 131st Westminster Kennel Club Dog show (today and tomorrow with live coverage on USA network from 8-11 pm tonight and tomorrow night), including Patrick a black standard poodle from Phippsburg and Higgins, the Welsh Corgi from Dover-Foxcroft, ME.
The kennel club invites the top five dogs in each breed and then fills in the rest of the slots with other dogs who have been named champion.
There's a blog for the show and you can find breed information here.
I've promised Mac that I'll make him a nice peanut butter kong and let him stay up late to watch.
Congratulations to State Champion Ray Gauthier and all of the York Wildcat wrestlers.
Ray won the Class B 171 pound championship and the team finished fourth overall in the state. All 14 wrestlers qualified for the state tournament for York, who also won the Western Maine Regional Championship with three indivdiual regional champs (Ray, his younger brother Billy and Reaha Goyetche).
It would be remiss not to mention that Reaha is a freshman and going into the Regional Finals, she had not lost a match since before Christmas.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
It has a nice ring to it, does it not?
We've already got a special weather statement for York (I love the urgency that the all caps conveys):
We'll be bringing in extra loads of firewood, filling the bird feeders, laying in the supplies (must make a big stew in honor of the event), and making sure we've got a couple of unwatched Netflix DVDs ready.
...POTENTIAL FOR A MAJOR NOREASTER TO HIT SOUTHERN AND WESTERN MAINE AND ALL OF NEW HAMPSHIRE WEDNESDAY AND WEDNESDAY NIGHT...
LOW PRESSURE WILL DEVELOP ALONG THE MID ATLANTIC COAST TUESDAY NIGHT AND CURRENTLY ALL INDICATIONS ARE SUGGESTING THIS STORM WILL INTENSIFY RAPIDLY AS IT MOVES NORTHEAST WEDNESDAY NIGHT.
STRONG WINDS WOULD ACCOMPANY THIS STORM AND MAY BECOME VERY STRONG WITH WIND GUSTS OF OVER 40 MPH LATE WEDNESDAY AND WEDNESDAY NIGHT INTO THURSDAY CAUSING SIGNIFICANT BLOWING AND DRIFTING. STRONGEST WINDS WOULD OCCUR NEAR THE COAST.
SOME MINOR FLOODING AND BEACH EROSION MAY ALSO OCCUR ALONG THE COAST AT TIMES OF HIGH TIDE.
THIS MAY BECOME A VERY LARGE AND DANGEROUS STORM SO ALL INTERESTS SHOULD MONITOR LATER STATEMENTS FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THIS STORM. THE TRACK OF THE STORM WILL BE CRITICAL ON HOW MUCH IMPACT THERE IS ON THE AREA AND WILL BE MONITORED CLOSELY.
Accuweather agrees it's going to be big:
It sounds like a classic nor'easter and should it materialize, we'll live blog the event from the time the flakes first start until they finish.
Google seems to have one standard for Christianity and another for Islam. Nick Gisburne has been posting videos questioning Christianity for some time, yet when he turned his attentions to Islam, You Tube banned him, saying "After being flagged by members of the YouTube community, and reviewed by YouTube staff, the video below has been removed due to its inappropriate nature. Due to your repeated attempts to upload inappropriate videos, your account now been permanently disabled, and your videos have been taken down."
When Google decides against you (be it your adsense account or your You Tube account), there's very little you can do.
UPDATE: Michelle Malkin weighs in
Friday, February 9, 2007
It's out and available at Amazon.
Some bloggers who contributed recipes are: Instapundit, Michelle Malkin, Hugh Hewitt, Power Line, The Volokh Conspiracy, Little Green Footballs, Captain's Quarters, The Anchoress, Stop the ACLU, Crooked Timber, The Belmont Club, Black Five, The Mudville Gazette ... and Bitch, Ph.D.
Yum. Pan-seared Hillary and a little slow roasted donkey, anyone?
Bill Oefelein, the astronaut who's one side of the love triangle involving NASA astronauts, has been granted a leave of absence to stay in Florida with his girlfriend, the second side of the love triangle, who was stalked and attacked by the third side of the love triangle, NASA astronaut, Lisa Nowak.
Four of the top eight stories on Mainetoday.com are about fires-three in homes, one in a business. Fires in winter in Maine are all so very common, and the state averages 5 deaths a year due to fires.
Causes range from a bad battery in a laptop computer (Biddeford on Tuesday) to mice chewing through electrical wires to chimney fires.
Wherever you live, please make sure you have a working smoke detector on every floor and check those batteries when you change your clocks.
Thursday, February 8, 2007
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
The Islander Trailer
I've been viral marketed....but not guerrilla marketed and I'm not going to call out Homeland Security, either. Someone named Eben Cole has been commenting on this site for a while and has been posting to message boards in Maine, and earlier today, Eben, star of the movie was kind enough to leave a comment announcing the website for the movie, The Islander.
The movie was filmed in Rockport and Vinalhaven, Maine and will open in Cambridge, MA on March 9 (although it's been shown in other theatres during the fall). The Portland Phoenix says it's a vibrant portrayal of island life, and judging by the trailer, it's at least a visually accurate picture of Maine island life. From the website:
On a small fishing island off the coast of Maine, families have lived and worked off the sea for generations. Everyone knows each other. Birthright is akin to law and men inherit their fishing territories. Eben Cole, like the other fishermen, continues his family’s legacy of harvesting lobsters from the waters surrounding the island.Islander is a classic American story, portraying the gravitas in the everyday as one man learns to accept the consequences of his choices with grace. Eben discovers that self-respect is the hardest thing to earn and that in community he must find it. Islander is a authentic portrait of human weakness and human courage
Global Warming, Climate Change, call it what you will. All I know is that we've got two inches (barely two I should add) of snow on the ground and it's February in Maine.
We watched An Inconvenient Truth the other night (pay per view--another Mainely Entertainment that does not involve leaving the house) and were sufficiently convinced by Mr. Gore's data and statistics that this stuff is real. We're worried about the impact on low-lying countries, water supplies and farm lands and we especially worried about the polar bear. We'd already started to reduce our carbon footprint before seeing the movie---and we're so glad that we did.
Now I find this article:: Climate change could crush wine industry the headline reads....
OK--this is a real crisis. I'm going to have to ask each of you to jump in and help out here. No California Chardonnay? No Old Vine Zinfandel? What would we do?
A little recyling, a few energy efficient light bulbs to save the wine industry. It's not too much to ask is it?