The Puzzle

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography

The puzzle of my being has pieces missing here and there. Some were lost long ago, some more recently, and some pieces never fit, no matter how hard or what direction I try to connect them. And I did try to fit them, as best I could anyway. But some things will never fit, no matter how hard you try to force it to. And sometimes when I think I have it together, only a few spots left to go, some unknown hand comes down and drops the puzzle to the floor and the pieces scatter all about. And it’s then that I realize, I need to pick up the pieces that I can… and start again.

Black Friday

Everyday Life, Memories
Making a new friend.

Started the day off by driving to my mom’s this morning. She had to bring one of her cats in for a nail trim, and her cats are rather large and heavy, so I obliged to help her take them. That went pretty well and quick, although while I was there I saw a little dog patient who looked like he broke his leg. I could actually see his bone poking out through the skin. Gross! Hopefully he’ll get fixed up real quick – poor thing.

We had a great day yesterday. We cooked for my mom and sister and I think they had fun. I had a pretty good time, talking, eating, playing the man cave games, etc.

This afternoon we were meeting a friend and her kids at the sanctuary and then out for lunch to celebrate her belated birthday. That was also a lot of fun, I think the kids really enjoyed it and as you can see from above, I made a new friend! I even went ahead and picked up a chicken on my own and handed it around to them. Might not sound like much, but this city boy has gotten a little more country apparently. They actually like to be held and you can feel their little hearts beating when you do. It’s a pretty wild feeling.

In other news, I’ve started to create a jukebox database finally to keep track of all the records we have, whether they are in rotation, and the condition of each disc. Something I should have done long ago, of course as usual the data entry is the worst part, but it’s got to be done!

Happy National Jukebox Day

Everyday Life, Jukebox, Memories, Wildlife
Jukebox in the house

I know I’ve posted this before but it being National Jukebox Day and all I just had to get it up again. Yes, we will most likely be using this tonight as we prepare for the gathering tomorrow. We need to create some kind of database to keep track of all the records we have and their condition. It would be good to get a census of what he have versus what we’d like to get in there, and could help with rotating the songs in and out. I’ve written the story about how we got this machine before so I won’t rehash that here. Needless to say it’s a great conversation piece and we love it – even if the technology is so mechanical and freakin’ heavy! Moving this thing is a beast!

Made a quick visit to the market this morning, mostly getting some different fruits and veggies, planning on making some kind of cute looking turkey things out of them, much like we made the vegetable skeleton for Halloween a while back. Naturally I’ll be doing all the prep work on that. If it comes out well I’ll take a pic and share it with everyone. Sometimes those things can come out hit or miss, but either way I’ll be eating it anyway. Good to get those things already as the store although wasn’t too crazy, it will probably get worse as the day progresses in terms of activity.

I went ahead and put up the light-up reindeer on the front lawn this morning. I’ll have to consult with LD as to my placement of them but I’m pleased to report that they all move and light up still. Always a challenge trying to figure out the placement and the electrical outlets. Since it’s kinda warm today I figure it’d be good to get them up and out of the basement. I didn’t put them up last year but since we’re having guests tomorrow thought it would be nice to show the setup. Definitely getting into the holiday spirit early this year. Does this mean the tree will come down before February ala last year? Probably not! While I was out there I scared “Squibbs” the squirrel away from his ‘mealtime.’

I was going to work a half day today but lately since losing the contract I was on I haven’t been all that busy so I decided to take the day. Just as well too, it’s amazing how much one can actually get done when you don’t have to spend most of your nine to five someplace else. More updates as the day progresses perhaps, stay tuned…

Strutting My Stuff

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
Wild Turkey

I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I saw that Mass Audubon decided to use one of my photos for their Strut Your Stuff article about wild turkeys! I was going to save this one for reposting here actually on Thanksgiving, but here it is a bit early. The story behind this photo is pretty simple. LD and I were driving through Westwood when along the road on someone’s property LD spotted a bunch of turkeys walking around. Believe it or not, this is how a lot of my shots actually happen. So she stopped, I got out, tried to find a good spot real quick, and snapped a few and this was one of them that I thought was the best of the bunch. Just a spontaneous shot that came out pretty well I think. So, I am the cameraman but she’s the director a lot of times!

Beacon Hill

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography
Classic Boston

Here’s a shot down some alley I found a while back in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood – pretty swank. Beacon Hill is predominantly residential, known for old colonial brick row houses with “beautiful doors, decorative iron work, brick sidewalks, narrow streets, and gas lamps”. As the name implies, it is a hill, so if you’re going to walk it prepare to walk up and down some steep hills in places.

Been another low key couple of days – just getting ready for the turkey day and all. In fact, we went to the grocery store last night and it was pretty busy, but we got most of the things that will be needed. Got caught up on a lot of the shows we like to watch – a bunch of them are going on fall hiatus (inane) so there’s that. Million Little Things – drama so over the top it’s ridiculous, SVU – actually pretty good this season I think compared to the last few, the usual Datelines and 2020. I’ve tried watching a couple episodes of Watchmen on HBO but it strikes me as really strange. Maybe I missed it but it seems like it only tangentially touches on the graphic novel that started it all, taking place 34 years after the events of the DC limited series within the same alternate reality. Not what I was expecting.

Anyways, back to Thanksgiving, we’re just going to be having my mom over and maybe my sister if she’s around. My sister’s never really been much family oriented, so she might be out with her latest flavor of the week. Same story over and over, different day. We’ll see – she’s invited anyway.

We’re starting to get the itch to get a new felines, to replace the ones who have left us for the rainbow bridge. LD’s been looking at one particular cat who has cardiomyopathy, as a kindred spirit perhaps and deserving of love just the same. That might be kind of tough though, we’ll see.

Update: We put the tree up already! While putting it up we discovered that very few of the lights worked so we had to make trip down to home depot to get some new ones, but now it looks great! I think this is the earliest we’ve ever put up the tree, but what better time than the present?

Dreary Days (Daze)

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography
A little bit of color for what’s been a dreary week.

It’s been a pretty dreary week here in Boston. Just drizzly on and off for days, sort of mirroring feelings of late. Not a deluge but little pellets on and off enough to annoy oneself. I figure things have got to turn better eventually, and in truth, some things already have – so things aren’t as bleak or dramatic as I might make it seem. I’ve been having more anxious dreams as of late too, enough to wake me up in the middle of the night with a faster heart rate, but I calm myself down right after. Just have to take it slow, after all.

Expect to have hope rekindled. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again.”

Sarah Ban Breathnach

I always did love that quote. So I’ll keep on reading and believing in it. It’s true. Just have to keep hanging in there, right? And if anyone wants to send along some good thoughts and mojo, that would also be appreciated as well!

Low Key Sunday

Everyday Life, Food, Memories, Scenic Photography
The Commonwealth Avenue Sisters

Went to the Sanctuary today. Goats hung out with us which was fun. Sadly, the cat we had thoughts of adopting from there was adopted by someone else a few days ago. Maybe it’s for the best at this time though.

Afterwards hit up visit to Trader Joe’s in Foxborough (by where the Pats play) to get some groceries for the week. We’ve already cooked up some mushroom pizzas, ricotta bake, and some mustard glazed chicken.

What else? Watched the end of the Celtics game, flipping between that and Law & Order reruns on We TV. A typical low-key Sunday.

The above picture is one I took along Commonwealth Avenue in Boston a little while back. I always found the look of these two buildings rather cool. Come to find out, the “sisters” have an interesting back story! I still learn something new everyday!

What a Week

Everyday Life, GameTime, Jukebox, Memories, Scenic Photography
Newport, RI

Not the greatest week this week, but things appear to be looking up! Between spending a few days at the hospital visiting, losing an important piece of jewelry, and just being a stress bag all around. But like I said – things are looking up – found the jewelry this morning (my brain is just mush these days), and back home getting back to normalcy. Still have some worries – work sucks, and some major dental work most likely coming up again but c’est la vie.

Some gametime for fun that’s keeping me occupied at times:

  • Neon Dash – a platformer where you have to control a block over obstacles.
  • Just one chance – haven’t beaten this one yet. Thing is with this you only get one chance – if you die, you have to wait 24 hours to try again.
  • Conveyor mayhem – a puzzle game where you move crates onto their targets. Took me a few to beat all 22 levels.
  • Crazy Dungeon – not too hard, move your guy around the board but don’t get caught by the nasties.
  • Huggernaut – grapple around to beat the levels.

Other minor things – updated to site to WP 5.3. Seems to have gone well, although I notice the photo captions aren’t centered? Strange. Update: Never mind, appears to actually be that way – there’s some CSS code that fixes it temporally which I’ve used on the last few posts. One of somewhat related note, I’ve had this domain since 2001 – today is the anniversary of when hatchetation.com first went live! It’s all grown up now. You can catch up some older versions of the site through snapshots in time at the Wayback Machine. I wish I could find the even earlier versions back from Geocities but I think it’s on some zipdisk that I can no longer read.

Going to roast some carrots this afternoon to bring over to some friends tonight who are hosting a get together, should be fun. Speaking of fun, check out this video of a fully restored first coin operated jukebox. Must be priceless! It doesn’t play records – it plays Edison cylinder rolls!

Chicky Mama

Everyday Life, Memories, Wildlife
Mama Hen with some of her chicks.

Yup. Went to the Sanctuary today for a little bit again. I happened upon this scene of a mother chicken tending to her chicks. I find it interesting that they are so different looking color wise. We also hung with a cat named Grayson, where there could be the possibility that we could have him, if we so wanted. He’s very sweet. We’ll see about logistics moving forward to see if it’s a real possibility. Then I had to get back for a work meeting that took and hour and a half.

Wequassett Morning

Cape Cod, Memories, Scenic Photography
Morning’s view.

Day 2 at the W. Yesterday we had lunch in Sandwich on the way down (one of our usual spots by the Canal). Soon enough we got to the place and checked in, had supper at a place called Pate’s that we like and they came through. The line was out the door upon opening – we never seen it so busy in the summer! Delicious meal, then we headed back and relaxed for the rest of the night.

Today after a restful night, we got room service which was nice. Hadn’t done that in a long time. Afterwards we went for a walk along the spit. Soon enough it was time to go. We didn’t head home right away though – we tried to hit some little library’s to see if we could score any good reading material. Came up empty this time, although I did find a book entitled Why Men Love Bitches. Senseless drivel? We hit a couple of beaches – they are pretty empty this time of year, but there’s something nice about the silence. We visited the wildlife area on South Chatham too but didn’t catch anything spectacular sadly. Of course we had to hit the Chocolate Sparrow for a quick lunch and some delicious drinks.

Although I had a good time I still feel bummed about a few other things going on. Hoping for the best, I know I’ll get through them. I also got a feeling that I’ve got a mad case of Seasonal Affective Disorder! This getting dark early sh*t sucks,

Reflections: Autumn Day

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography
Sunset Lake, Braintree, MA

The day was filled with visits to doctors. Just trying to get a handle on what ails us. Hopefully the path ahead will be more promising than it has been lately. Anyways, the bulk of the day was just dealing with those appointments and then just chilling round the house after it was all said and done.

I also took some time to rake up and bag some more fallen leaves. Mostly from the front, but I don’t get every single little leaf – I think leaving some around is good for the critters and environment (that’s what I’ve read anyway) – just dealing with the majority of them, plus more will just fall anyway. I also cleared out the clogged sewer drain out front. You think the next door neighbors could do it at least once in 10 years? Jeezus . Also went ahead and finally pulled out all the wild tomato plants that had been growing around. That was starting to get a bit unwieldy and plus would never eat them anyway.

What else? Rotated a couple of records in the jukebox – every now and then need a change of pace. I have toyed with the idea of starting a collection of old jukeboxes but that’s not really feasible due to cost and storage, and they’re all heavy as hell – some of those old Wurlitzers and Seaburgs really are beauties. Just a fantasy.

The above shot is from a place in Braintree called Sunset Lake. I just happened to catch it at the right moment for the shot. I especially like the gazebo in the background.

10 Reasons

Everyday Life, Memories

That Girl, you know the one:

  1. The one that makes you better, makes your friends jealous and your parents scared.
  2. That knows who she is, who she was, but hasn’t planned out who she’ll become.
  3. That challenges you, tests you, competes with you, all while standing by your side.
  4. That can cheer you up with only a phone call or a smile, and that’s intriguing but never impossible to figure out.
  5. That knows what she likes, but is still learning what she loves.
  6. That isn’t afraid of commitment, but holds onto her individuality.
  7. That doesn’t feel she has to say she loves you, only prove it.
  8. Whose sense of adventure is never lost, even if its just during a trip to the grocery store.
  9. That sees a little humor in everything, and points it out even when it isn’t PC.
  10. That just fits and you know feels right without even trying.

You know, that Girl.

I’m glad I finally found her.

Testing PHP 7.2

General Website, Scenic Photography
Autumn Trees.

Just upgraded the PHP version on the site – this is only a test for myself to make sure nothing broke. So far seems legit. Main benefits are its faster processing and better security – the usual stuff. In my spare time I’ve been watching how to repair jukeboxes of all things. i believe I can change the needle, adjust the tome arm, and some other various fixes, should they ever be needed! There’s just something cool about watching the mechanisms do their things – I don;t know – maybe I’m just old school. Here’s another pic from the cemetery from last week before more rain and wind really made them bare.

An Extra Hour Adds a Lot

Everyday Life, Food, Memories, Scenic Photography
Castle Hill, Newport, RI

This shot of the lighthouse at Castle Hill in Newport, RI was from a getaway we had a few years ago. I’m putting it up now because I’ve planned another getaway coming up! It’s my usual appreciation getaway that I plan every year although this year it had to be postponed a couple of months due to other factors. This new one will be in a new location that I’ve never been so I’m looking forward to see how it all pans out.

Late this afternoon we went and saw Motherless Brooklyn, a movie starring and directed by Edward Norton – it was pretty good, and featured some big name actors like William DeFoe, Alec Baldwin, and Bruce Willis among others. I’d recommend it if you’re in the mood for a detective story and like some 1950s New York film noir. I had seen the previews and it looked interesting so I said let’s give it a go.

Earlier in the day we had created three dishes as part of lunch/dinner for tonight and also food-prep for the week (the usual routine):

  • Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash
  • Baked Scallops with a Parmesan crust; and
  • Turkey Spaghetti Squash Bake in peppers

The last one was to recreate with a different middle than the mac&cheese we went with last year around this time:

Stuffed peppers!

This morning I went to Home Depot to buy some more leaf bags and later raked up some more leaves. Good day to do some work around the house actually. Also been measuring the downstairs windows because we’re going with the same kinds of blinds that we have upstairs now – the Cordless Cellular Shades that are all the rage now. The windows down here are a lot larger so it’s more expensive but it’ll be worth it.

It’s not all fun and games though. Turning back the clock has made this day seem much longer which is great – but getting dark early is a bummer. I worry about LD, my mom, and a bunch of other things too as well these days.

Chicken Foot

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife

Went to the sanctuary for a little bit today and to soak up some sun. This city boy got to hold a chicken. Hey, I never held an actual chicken before! Not just any chicken though, this one lost his foot in infancy. Miraculously enough though, he is getting a prosthetic foot made that will fit over his stub!  His name is Petey and he is the chillest chicken I ever met with a bit of spunk.

Petey!

Halloween Recap

Everyday Life, Memories

Did you all have a nice Halloween? Last night we had I’d say about 50 kids or so come through between the hours of 6 and 8 pm. Even the parents dress up in costume now – I guess that’s a new thing? I don’t recall my folks ever trick or treating with us when we did it OR dress up. There was one guy dressed as a king which was different. The little kids are the best of course. Really the only reason to participate in the event. There was a thought that the two bags of candy that I had bought might not end up being enough but thankfully it was. There’s even a bunch of KitKats left over. I was figuring with the way the weather has been and was supposed to be that we wouldn’t get a crazy deluge and I was right.