Ramparts in Rockport

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography

Just going through some of my older photos and rediscovered this shot from Rockport that I had sitting around on the hard drive. Strangely the site was acting weird this morning and wouldn’t let me upload the photo but it seemed to have resolved itself an hour or so after.

I noticed a bunch of starlings hanging out in the back yard as well as grackles starting to hang around the feeder so these migrants are back. Not really a fan of the grackles – they’re rude and eat all the seed leaving none for the smaller and “cuter” birds.

Spring Time and the Loving is Easy

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
Baby Blue Jay signals spring

Unboxed and tried out the new vacuum that finally arrived yesterday. Also out together a bunch of new shelving for when we do some spring cleaning in the basement and get rid of some very old shelving and whatever crap is on there that isn’t needed. Think we’re going to finish the night off by ordering pizza and calzones from a somewhat new establishment that opened up down the road a little while back and get ’em delivered while zoning out to old 21 Jump Streets.

Enjoy this picture of a baby blue jay that I noticed and had to capture. I like how this one came out – check out the detail on the little feathers!

Puffins at Sea Feeling Mauldin

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
Puffins at sea, Eastern Egg Rock, Maine, 2016 (click to enlarge)

Had to take my mom to her dr’s appointment today to see what’s up with her hands at a CHA place in Malden. Basically it sounds like she has carpel tunnel and might most probably need surgery. Anyways, while she was in there I decided to walk around the area outside and came across a really old cemetery. I noticed a stone out front stated that 35 folks buried there fought in the American Revolution. The cemetery must have been there since long before though because I’d seen grave markers of folks who passed look before then. I found one stone marker that stated that the gentleman buried there was 90 years old and dies in 1692. That’s amazing that someone could live that long back then! It also means this guy was born in 1602! Also I noticed one some of the graves that Malden was spelled Mauldon which I also found interesting. Sadly, I could not read many of the stones as the elements had washed away whatever was carved on them. The place also seemed pretty lonely as these people lived so long ago that no body probably ever visits them. Is that what it feels to be mauldin? Well, I did – you know me, history buff and all. Curious about these early settlers of Malden. The rest of the day was just basically running a few errands all around town before finally heading back.

Also watched a documentary about misdemeanors and how it’s a rigged system against black and brown people.

The story behind the photo: Nothing to actually do with this entry! Puffins are my favorite bird. These little guys are so tough and yet so tiny and even though the odds and artic elements are against them, they survive. This is a shot from a few years ago off Eastern Egg Rock.

Which Way Do We Go?

Everyday Life, GameTime, Memories, Scenic Photography
Cool old sign at Powderhouse Rotary showing the directions of various towns.

The story behind the photo: I photographed this, what I think, rather cool looking old directional sign after the snowstorm a few days ago. I tried looking for some more information on it but the details are pretty sparse, which I found rather surprising. It is named for a James A. Reynolds. A plaque on the base of it probably describes all this better – I’ll need to read it sometime to enlighten myself. The directional post points in the directions around the circle of dozens of different communities (like Arlington, Medford, and Winchester). I hear the city plans on redeveloping this circle as it’s a traffic nightmare with traffic lights all around it and accidents happen here every now and then. My sister was even rear ended here once years ago and had some minor injuries.

Finally got a chance to refill the birdfeeder this morning as the snow out back finally melted enough for me to get out there and not get wet. I noticed some rather hungry looking dark eyed juncos and I felt bad so I made an effort this morning to get them some seed.

I noticed something strange on my Fitbit this week. Seems like some days I get a bunch of Active Zone Minutes and then on other days nothing, even though I feel I’m doing similar activities. I looked on the forums (I’ve been rocking a Versa 2 for over a year now) and some people say since the latest update they really messed up the Active Zone Minutes thing. Some people don’t even like this new way of tracking activity that Fitbit came up with. Not really sure what’s up with it, not that I really care all that much about that statistic anyway. I’m more about the HR, sleep tracking and step count. On another side note since I’m talking about devices acting weird, the microwave (which is pretty new) seems to be making some crazy noises which is a little unsettling. I also tried looking into that, but not having much luck.

It was over 50° F here today so a lot of the snow has melted. It was really nice to get outside today and get a little sun, taking a walk and enjoying it. I went down to the corner store and played a Powerball ticket just for the heck of it.

Gametime: Feed the Boy and Tanmatsuban. That second one will really keep you busy!

Another Version of the Same Things (A Daily Routine Nowadays)

Everyday Life, GameTime, Lighthouses, Memories, Scenic Photography
Another version of the Nubble shot I posted a few days ago. This one is available on media.

It’s nice to start hearing the birds chirping outside in the morning again. A sure sign that spring is not far away.

Gametime: Ice Slide. Been trying to solve these puzzles this afternoon. I love these sorts of games.

Ever since watching that three episode Dateline that just aired I can’t get that “Why Did Love Put a Gun in My Hand” song from Dorothy out of my head.

Gaslight Lit Alleys Make Me Hope for Spring

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography
Beacon Hill in spring -slightly grittier version now available

Started the day off with some cleanup snow shoveling from everything that fell last night. I think this might be the end of it as the weather is predicted to start getting warmer in the days ahead.

Rest of the day pretty low key, taking a walk, doing some laundry, watching a special on the life of Cleopatra and catching up on some Dateline crime story episodes.

Castles in the Snow

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography
Another one from Powderhouse Park

The story behind the photo: I happened to be in Somerville this morning and I decided to grab a couple more shots around the Powderhouse since it’s right where I grew up and I figured the recently fallen snow would add some good contrast. I can remember climbing the rock wall behind this edifice. Interestingly enough, this building is where you used to go to get your parking sticker but now that’s done over at City Hall and as far as I know this building’s been closed for a long time. This proves that even though Somerville is a pretty dense, urban and sometime grimy city, there are spots that have beauty.

Lonely House Facing the Sea

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography

Thanks to whoever ordered a metal print from my store of the Arundel Captain house. I do feel that is one of my better shots personally. Always nice to think someone liked my work enough to hang it in their home or office. While going through some of my older pix I found this one of a house in Gloucester near the water’s edge. I bet the views from this place can be amazing. It seems to be out on a spit all by itself.

I ended up completing my taxes yesterday and submitted, I think it’s the earliest I ever got them done.

The Oldest Stone Building in Massachusetts

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography
The Old Powderhouse

ASIDE FROM BEING A TOWERING relic, the Old Powder House had a prominent role as a gun powder storage facility in the lead-up to the American Revolution, contributing to its inclusion in 1972 on the City of Somerville’s city seal. The tower was built of stone and originally featured three interior levels, complete with a fireplace and chimney.

The Powder House was built in either 1703 or 1704 by the French Protestant shipbuilder Jean Mallet on land (then known as Two Penny Brook Quarry) purchased from Jonathan Foskett. During this time, the structure functioned not as a gunpowder storage facility, but rather as a windmill for the Mallet farm. In 1747, the Mallet family sold their land to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, where the windmill structure was utilized as a powder magazine (from which it derives its modern day namesake).

In 1774, the Powder House found itself at the center of one of the pivotal events leading up to the American Revolution. On September 1, 1774, General Thomas Gage landed with British troops at the 10 Hills Farm on Mystic River, whereupon they marched up Broadway and seized the 250 barrels of gunpowder that were being stored at the former Mallet farm. This event marked the first act of aggression by the British toward the colonies and consequently trigged the “Powder Alarm,” where many individuals from the surrounding villages prepared to march to Boston for battle, though their actions proved to be premature.

The structure did, however, serve as a critical munitions depot for the Continental Army during the 1775-76 siege of Boston, a fact which is honored by a nearby bronze sculpture of a hat worn by said soldiers.

In 1818, the Massachusetts Bay Colony sold the land to Peter Tufts, later inherited by Nathan Tufts (for whom the surrounding park is named), during which time the Powder House was incorporated into the Powder House Farm. Moreover, the building was also used as a storage facility for “Old Powder House Brand” pickles.

The structure and surrounding land were finally sold to Somerville in 1892 for the price of $1. The land was then converted into a park, designed by Horace Eaton, where the Old Power House was renovated and repaired.1

I grew up just down the street from this tower. I can remember coming home from school (actually I think it was CCD) and climbing the rocks in the surrounding park. For some reason I never realized that it’s actually the oldest stone building in the state. I’ll be passing by it tomorrow during my weekly visit to old S-Town. That’s the history lesson for today.

I ended up watching Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse this afternoon. I’ve never seen it and heard good things about it. The animation and music are top notch. The story takes elements from the Marvel comics of the time where different Spiderman from different universes all came together. I then ended up watching yet another special on Aaron Hernandez, this time from the perspective of the sheriff of the jail he mostly resided in, which did give a little more insight into the man but other than that, pretty much a rehash. I did these things while LD was busy getting her second dose of the vaccine. I expect to be getting mine by the end of next month most likely, depending on how the rollouts go.

1 All this text I lifted from Atlas Obsura, a wonderful website to find all kinds of interesting places.

Gazebo Shining in the White of Snow

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography
Snowy Winter February

Getting my tax stuff together for filing for the year. Hope to have it all completed by late next week.

Decided to email the parking department regarding the status of my sticker. Come to find out it was just sitting there approved awaiting me to purchase since two weeks ago, although I never got an email to that effect, as was should have happened. Well, that’s done, should be in the mailbox in a few.

Scituate, and a Lot of Clams

Everyday Life, Lighthouses, Memories, Scenic Photography
Scituate Light at sunset

The story behind the photo: A slight revamp of a shot I posted a while ago, using some different post production techniques: a different cropping and some focus effects.

I’ve been busy finishing up Crime Story. It only went two seasons. I thought it best when they stuck to the Luca vs Torello story arc and not so much the filler side episodes. Season 1 was definitely better in my view as they start off in Chicago and the mob slowly makes its way into Vegas. Season 2 did have some good moments though, finishing up in Latin America, although we never really know what happens at the very end since back then planning seemed more spontaneous so no new season, no resolution, although maybe it’s possible they all died in the plane crash. The give and take of the Torello/Luca storyline is what kept me interested.

On another note, a few weeks back I entered a contest to win a big glass print of one of my photos but I didn’t win, but as a consolation I was offered to get a small one for free (just pay for shipping) so I opted to try one of Carson. Couldn’t pass up that deal.

Today we took an afternoon drive over to Revere Beach just for a couple hours and enjoy the afternoon. I had forgotten that there were tens of thousands of surf clams deposited on Revere Beach by last week’s Nor’easter. Quite a sight to see so many on the beach, and mixed in the snow, along with thousands of seagulls eating at their all-they-can buffet. We took a bunch of photos which I need to go through and see how they came out. Finished that up with some delicious roast beef sandwiches from Kelly’s. Yeah, overpriced, but we haven’t been out in so long this take out was a treat and like I said, it was delicious.

First Love

Everyday Life, Lighthouses, Memories, Scenic Photography
Nubble Light

The story behind the photo: You never forget your first love. Nubble was the first lighthouse I ever visited. I can’t remember exactly how old I was – maybe early teens when my grandparents rented a place up in York for a couple of days. Since then I’ve probably been to this lighthouse more than any other over time. It’s a classic. Something not as well known is that a lighthouse keeper and his family had left their cat behind because he had come so attached to the Nubble, and the big tabby weighed 19 pounds by the time the next keeper arrived in 1930. Sambo Tonkus, also known as Mr. T, became well known to locals and tourists alike for his mousing and swimming prowess. Three or four times a day, he would swim to the mainland to hunt rodents hiding among the rocks!

Just been keeping up with the shoveling of the snow over the last couple of days and ahead.

Game time: Button Trail. Cute little challenger with a Nokia Phone screen theme from back in the day. I sort of gave up after getting to level 9.

The Beauty of Spring Flowers are Not Far Behind

Everyday Life, Gardening, Memories, Scenic Photography

“I heard a bird sing in the dark of December. A magical thing. And sweet to remember. We are nearer to Spring than we were in September. I heard a bird sing in the dark of December.”

― Oliver Herford

The story behind the photo: A day like today has me wishing for an early spring. This particular photo was shot in someone’s front yard in the spring in Davis Square not too far from Redbones on one of the side streets in the area. I just loved the crocuses defying the season by scrambling up through the dead and fallen leaves of the previous fall and winter.

I applied for my yearly town parking sticker. This year it’s all done remote so I had to scan some docs and now I’m just waiting for approval. Not sure why it can take up to two weeks. Also, I’ve been a resident of the town since forever, can’t they just look it up from any previous year? Whatevs, hopefully it’ll get approved soon. On a similar note, I just received my renewed registration for my car so that’s good. That literally only took 5 minutes to apply and a few days to receive.

Rediscovering Crime Story

Everyday Life, Memories

I’ve rediscovered a show from the 80s that I used to watch on Tubi – a serial television show called Crime Story. Time ranked Crime Story as one of the best television programs of 1986. I just remember liking the cars and the gritty mobster feel. Now that I can watch the whole thing without missing any episodes the story can be much clearer to me as it’s somewhat of an episodic show. I’m about 5 episodes in and the story is starting to heat up (although episode 2 was really weird). Can’t wait to get to the one where Julia Roberts first appears. It was her first tv work. Do you remember this show? Did you watch it? Did you like it?

Cat Catches Bluejay

Everyday Life

So far today I’ve seen a hawk in the back yard hanging out in a tree, Carson and I watching a cat right out front take down a blue jay and carry it off in it’s mouth (strangely Carson watched intently but didn’t spaz even though they were right in front of his face!), and tried to fill up air in my car’s tires but the machine I go to is currently out of order. Maybe I can find another one later today if I feel like exploring a bit (but probably not).

Did a fire out on the patio this afternoon- was jonesin to try out this new wood that I purchased. I did order a new steel poker though because the one that came with the pit kind of broke (the handle came off and broke in two), so this’ll be a nice upgrade as I got a decently built one that should last forever. I also recently updated the firmware on the home cams so I needed to reset them since 2 of the 3 weren’t displaying but after I went through the setups (essentially resetting them) I got them all up and running again, so that kept me busy for a little while.

A Numbing of the Fingers

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography
Relaxing on set.

Took my mom to an appointment down at the CHA in Assembly Square today. Her two fingers on her hand have been bothering her for quite a while now – basically has very little feeling in them and makes buttoning things and such difficult to accomplish. Basically it sounds like it comes down to some kind of carpel thing and muscle loss. I’ll need to take her back in a couple of months for some tests that they do and if surgery is required, which it sounds like it might be. Sounds like a small rather simple incision, we’ll see. While I was waiting outside (Since you can’t go in – covid) I ended up walking around some of the blocks down there to get in some steps. After that I paid some bills and renewed some stuff online.

Odds and Ends

Everyday Life, Lighthouses, Memories, Scenic Photography
My love of lighthouses will never die!

Got my Mega Millions and Powerball tickets ready to go. I only play when the jackpots get big and only 1 ticket. I’ve seen people in line spends hundreds on tickets when all you need is just one with the correct numbers. I don’t even care to hit the big jackpot – it’s almost too much – but second or third place wouldn’t be so bad. Anyways, when it’s like this you have to try just on the off chance. Total pipedream but worth a shot.

You can watch all the Hunter episodes streamed on Tubi. For some reason that cable channel I’ve been binging them on doesn’t include the 1st episodes of the first 6 seasons so I’ll be watching those on this service. Show wasn’t the same after the “Brass Cupcake” DeeDee left, probably why it tanked after. Those early seasons are gold! hard to believe they’re over 30 years old now. I only have about 12 more episodes to go and I’ll have seen them all. I like that the networks are playing the older shows since there’s not much new content due to the pandemic.

Climbing Mountains

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography
Not a recent picture.

Finally got around the removing all the remaining holiday lights from the front of the house this afternoon. I’ve been somewhat of a hibernation mode lately as there hasn’t been anything really new to blog on about in my personal life at the moment. It’ll change eventually but for now, quiet times for me. There’s enough going on in the national scene right now anyway. Here’s a pic from a trip up to the White Mountains of New Hampshire back in 2013, back when we could do outings like that.