What have I been up to lately? Not a whole hell of a lot.
We had some friends over last night for a BBQ. I had to run to the grocery store a couple of times to get some needed ingredients. LD made a special salad dressing from scratch and also a vodka/strawberry lemonade drink. I picked the lettuce we’ve been growing and used that in the salad. Just burgers and dogs and some corn cobs, pretty basic. Thankfully everything came out great and I was complimented on my grilling expertise, which has gotten better and better with time. After all the eating, I lit the firepit and we had smores. It was a hot day but actually it wasn’t all that bad as there was a breeze and the patio is generally shady in the late afternoon. In the supermarket I saw some Del’s Lemonade Shandy Beer which I’d never seen before so I bought some and decided to try it, and I actually like it!
My microSD card came the other day and I inserted it into my phone, now rocking another 512GB on top of the 128GB I have internally. That should last me for a while. My grill cleaner also came yesterday so today I went ahead and gave the grill a deep cleaning. Strangely even though I ordered it from Amazon, it came from the Home Depot, which I thought was a little weird. If you’re interested it’s a grill cleaner by the makers of Simple Green. Anyways, the grill has never been deep cleaned since we got it, plus I wanted to get rid of the built up grease on the underside of the lid which made it look like peeling paint. I removed all the grates and flavorizer bars and gave them a good spray and scrub down. LD helped as well! We also picked up some more day lilies from the garden lady this morning. At this point we’ll have so many! Late in the afternoon we soaked the bulbs in a pail of water for a few hours before putting them into the ground, as per the garden lady instructions.
We went down to LD’s acquaintance’s house and swapped out some of our rather large hostas that LD hated and traded them for some day lilies that this lady had tons of and had dug a bunch out. What a character this woman is. Talks a lot but I actually had fun listening to her various stories. LD knows her from her gym. She’s apparently a member of the town’s garden club so she could be a good resource. Anyways, eventually we planted the lilies in various spots in the yard. They won’t bloom this year but hopefully they’ll establish themselves over time.
Made some steak tips on the grill tonight. Had to use them up before they go bad.
Game time: Box Bob. You know I love to try to solve these types of puzzle games. Currently stuck on level 10. Arrrgh!
The electrician came by today and fixed the outside outlet that I noticed had been wonky over the winter. I should now be able to string up the outdoor lights without problem. He’s also the town’s animal control officer and told us a bunch of stories – he meets a lot of crazy characters. While he was there though, we saw two bunnies jumping over each other in the yard and he told us that that is their courtship routine, and that within 30 days they will have babies. No sooner than he said that is when we also saw a littler bunny, possibly Shiloh or one of his siblings. It was like the whole family was out there. Maybe they’ll decide to use the pot again for another bunch of bunnies! I’ll need to mark this one the calendar and make a note. I also saw my first hummingbird come by this afternoon. It flited around the tulips and hanging plants before darting off. Very cool to see, I’ve been trying to attract them for some time.
Earlier in the day I mowed the front lawn and got some stuff out of the basement and into the car to drop off at the DPW for Hazardous Waste Collection Day. Finally trying to get rid of some old minor appliances that have been taking up space in the basement since last winter. I was also going to do the back but the gas was running low. I’ll need to go get some and then complete the back. The electrician/animal control officer also gave us some lowdown about the former sinkhole in the yard which we converted to a nice phlox rock garden. Apparently there must have been a tree there at one time that was taken down before we ever came here. Over time the insects in the ground ate whatever was left under the soil and it just starts to cave in. I learned some new things today. I also was able to finish the book on the theft of the Gardner paintings I started a couple of days ago. All in all, it was a very good read, if slightly outdated. It did make me what to go back there and see the artwork again. The crazy thing about that is that there just seems to not be any real leads. You would think sooner or later some talk about where they are would happen or a crook or someone would want to cash out somehow. Problem being that the works are just too famous. I will admit that out of all the ones that were taken, Rembrandt’s The Storm on the Sea of Galilee is easily my personal favorite. It was the artist’s only known seascape scene. I hope it’s not too damaged – it really is a work of art. Oh I almost forgot, we even went to the beach for an hour this morning and saw some guy power paragliding (sort of like these models) right over the dunes!
Finally, for tonight I cooked up a walnut-crusted salmon with a roasted veggie jumble and lemon crème fraiche. It came out pretty good but I think I should have let the zucchini go a little longer in the oven. In the interim I was trying to solve some of the puzzles in Screw Gravity. Just when I think the game was over, there were more puzzles.
Another ‘quick’ shot from the Nauset Light taken a few weeks ago from our little getaway. This was taken as I was coming out of some paths along the shore directly across from this vantage point. This lighthouse is actually very accessible which is nice. I think the brown vegetation also gives this shot kind of a daunting-like vibe. I would be interested in hearing your own thoughts on this, if any of you would care to share. I also posted this photo to a lighthouse lovers facebook group that I frequent and some guy there said he wanted to digitally paint this and send me a copy so I said sure, that would be great. So we’ll see – kinda awesome that I inspired someone to create something off of my own work – that’s pretty cool.
The knuckles on the back of my right hand are all red and dry, almost raw, probably from all the hand washing. One thing I’ve also noticed is that the tips of my fingers seem super sensitive to heat, so like picking up hot things while cooking, like more so then usual. Should I be concerned?
I set aside some time this morning to assemble a new pet carrier for Carson. He has a vet appointment at the end of next week and the carriers we currently have seem to small and just old. Time for an upgrade. I’m apprehensive about how we will get him in there next week as he screams bloody murder if you try to pick him up and he gets panicky scared (we learned this last year), I suspect he has some trauma from wherever he was before to being placed in the shelter where we found him. Poor little guy. Last time he was so scared he literally pooped himself in the old carrier. But it’ll have to be done as he’s due for his yearly checkup.
The condo building next door drama over at Earth-1 continues. The main focal point is the removal of a fence that separates the two properties from each other. As it is now there’s no fence plus they destroyed some of the grass on our property. When last speaking to the fence people over there they said it was only going to go halfway. That would still allow people or animals to go from the community path, behind this new condo, and onto our property unhindered. That was a no go for us. After calls to the city, it seems we may have gotten them to see the light as now we’re told a fence will go all the way across the properties (as it should) and the grass would be replaced. This is due to take place this Saturday afternoon. Hopefully it’ll be acceptable. This condo to begin with is ridiculous. First of all I think it’s too tall (so goodbye sunlight) and from what I can tell the units are very small. Not sure who would pop on this for the money they’re asking for, but I suppose someone will.
Gametime: Been puzzling over Boolean Bloom. I’m currently stuck on Level 8. I mentioned this before, but I love these kind of puzzles to solve.
What a strange weather day. Sun, then snow, then sun and snow at the same time. But that’s not what the photo above is all about. No, that’s from our beach excursion down the Cape almost two weeks ago (has it been that long already???) Like I mentioned before, it was very blustery cold but look at what we saw! Totally worth it. I must say the Cape is one of my favorite places to shoot – there’s just so much beauty there.
Been going through some plant catalogs – trying the decide what to try our hands at this season. Earlier in the day we dropped off some vegetables and fruits for the sanctuary animals. We’ve done it a few times now. A nice contribution.
Ended up getting take out for dinner tonight. Hadn’t done that in a while.
Gametime: Irrlicht Apprentice. Fun little game that took me a couple hours off and on to complete.
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.
The calendar folks came down this morning and I did my little photo shoot with me posing by the shot I took that was selected. They were supposed to come on Monday but scheduling and all, so this morning it was done. I imagine I’ll be on their social media and advertising at some point, so I’ll be looking out for that. Then I got back into my everyday clothes because we had the last of the planting to do. We are hurting puppies right now for all the digging and watering and mulching (another trip to Depot!), but finally the last of the tulips, muscari, another rose bush and a Japanese holly are in the ground. The pine tree and sourwoods require a lot of watering so I’ve been out there daily drenching them.
Gametime: Slimoban II. Fun little puzzle game, I remember playing the first one a couple of years back – currently about halfway through – took me a little while to get the hang of it, but I’m digging it now.
Can’t believe the election is this close. Actually maybe I can, since the country seems so divided, but still. Half the population must be garbage for voting for a candidate so utterly unsuitable to be president. All people care about is taxes? Really? What about everything else that needs true leadership, nevermind all the corruption and lies. I never realized that there’s a significant part of this country that just doesn’t want things to change and I find that really sad and distressing. I don’t like leaving the decision to these swing states but still holding out some hope. It’ll be what it’ll be, we’ll get whatever we deserve. The real question is, can we live with it?
We spent the afternoon planting and landscaping the lawn by splitting hostas and digging and planting various plants around the back so that hopefully come spring, things will really be looking good. Seems like a good way to spend today.
Been doing some rearranging in the house today. LD’s office is temporarily going to be in the sun room which is a big improvement. Also looked at some ovens today because it’s getting to be time to replace the one that’s there as it’s quickly running out of its useful lifespan and it’s time for an upgrade. One that would match the decor better would also be a nice improvement to the kitchen. Still trying to get the right match (dimensions, etc.) Not easy to get just the right combination of factors all lined up! Would’ve maybe liked to get one on the tax-free weekend but it isn’t happening. It’s got to be right so there looks to be more looking around for the time being. Anyways, the new setup in the sun room is a reason to smile.
I’ve also been following the Tufts Covid dashboard. Interesting.
Gametime: SokoDroid has been keeping me busy lately.
Tonight’s movie watch was Lymelife. Kind of a strange movie, but we kind of dug it! I’m giving it a recommendation if you haven’t seen it.
I just don’t see how kids going back to school in the fall can really be done. I’m just talking about K-12, never mind the university kids, which is a whole another ball of wax. Can they really deep clean every high-touch surface as much as may be needed? Most school buildings are old and the ventilation sucks. Paying the price now for not keeping up infrastructure. Can’t use fans to blow anything around either. Could try to teach outside but how many days aren’t going to be cold or inclement? Again, most places probably won’t have the space – especially in the metro-urban densely populated areas. Kids are going to wear masks all the time? Good luck. Don’t really have the space to social distance. A classroom is going hold, what, like 8 kids per class? Some elementary classes have 25 students. Who is teaching the students that are remote while others are in school? Also, how does this work with upper elementary, middle school and high school students who see multiple teachers for different subjects? Limiting interactions is almost impossible in some buildings, especially with limited bathrooms. Teachers don’t want to be exposed. School nurses cannot work remotely and some have small children or work in Boston hospitals, their hands are full. Group activities are out. What a depressing time to be a kid (adults too for that matter)! Sounds almost like prison. And what about transportation? Going to need a lot more buses or take the kid yourself, there goes the traffic counts. That’s even assuming it won’t affect the job you might have and need to get to or try to do. I’m not even taking into consideration the special-ed kids. School budgets for school needs will now need to be spent on PPE. Plus, there’s nothing coming from the Federal side, a real disgrace in my opinion. The whole thing is just one big mess. Finally, what happens when a teacher or student tests positive? Does the whole class quarantine? What about siblings, do they quarantine as well? What about teachers that have health conditions which deem them high risk? Do they risk it or are they forced into an unpaid leave?
Yes, we all want kids to go to school. They need the classroom, their friends, the social and emotional growth and development and structure that comes what all that. But it has to be safe, and I just don’t see it happening at this time, and that’s going to be very detrimental too. This year needs a do-over!
Here’s a fun little game I discovered called Alice. It took me a little bit to solve all the puzzles but they weren’t too bad.
Also, here’s a cooking tip which you might know already: when you’re done roasting some carrots put lemon zest and some juice from a lemon right on top of them as they come out of the oven – the flavor of the carrot and the lemon, I find, go really good together. Now I’m not much of a carrot eater so this was a new discovery for me anyway but if you’ve never done it – give it a shot next time.
Does anyone else’s CNN channel freeze up every so often for a couple of seconds? Seems to be the only station that does it. Pretty annoying.
Current obsession game time is Slimoban. I seem to be stuck on Level 18 at the moment.
I’d like to take some time to thank folks who came here from my Facebook posting in the Cape Cod Photography group who commented there and liked the Eastham picture I posted and showed me some love.
Still watching that bunny. Did some more messing around in the pot early this morning, as Carson and I watched on. Apparently it is not that rare for bunnies to do this as a search of YouTube shows, Still, it would be cool to see it happen “live” as it were.
Not the usual July 4th for sure, but lately everyday is more or less the same now – kinda sucks but such is life these days. Plus with the way things are right now it’s hard to celebrate America, but I suppose we will try.
My morning started by watching 2 finches learning to fly while pecking at some salvia on the patio. One of them would also try to land on a salvia branch but it couldn’t support it’s weight and would just land on the ground time and again.
Game time: Lonely Cube – good isometric puzzle game I’ve been playing lately. I’m currently stuck on level 7-8! Argh!
I found some pics I took when we visited Nantucket back in 2010 (!) but I wish I had taken more back then – I’m not satisfied with what I got, so in the future someday I would like to re-visit the island, just a day trip, to get some more sights captured.
Had the old landlords over for a socially distanced BBQ this afternoon. Good times!
The story behind the photo: This was a valentine’s gift one year and I felt like playing around with close up photography. I wanted to focus on the rose petals toward the front of the shot with the baby’s breath muted in the background. I then applied some effects after to give it a “softer” look. The red rose has been associated with love and passion for thousands of years. In Greek and Roman mythology, roses are often linked to Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love.
Gametime: Ice Roll. In case you haven’t noticed I have a thing for Puzzlescript games. I like these kinds of games that make me have to think on how to get to the exits. Maybe they can help you pass the day away too trying to solve them.
Spent some time over at Earth-1 this morning/afternoon. It was a good time, ended up watching SpiderMan 2 of all things. I think tomorrow I’m going to do some planting.
NECN shared another one of my photos this morning – the Rockport view from below. Still haven’t seen any of them on the television though – maybe I missed it, thankful for the promotion anyhow. I actually have a large-format produced version of this photo printed in glass hanging up in the bedroom. It’s one of my personal favorites.
Gametime: Turtle Mah-Jong. Pretty good version of the classic game! Something to pass the time. Speaking of passing time been watching some movies too lately (might possibly do a movie a day type of evening watching). So far we’ve watched Inside Out (good!) and Hedwig and the Angry Inch (huh?)
“You don’t need to be the tide to rise and fall, you don’t have to be a wave to touch the shore; just be a little sand-grain and feel them all.”
In these days of staying at home, I’ve been going to go through some older photos I just have laying around on my storage devices, touch them up, and if I think they’re worthy enough – sharing them, to keep the content coming. As I may have mentioned before, I will literally take tens to hundreds of shots from a location in which only one gets to be posted. So how’s about another sunset photo – people seem to like those! Once again, I like the texture of the sand in this one – the rivulets marking tiny canals throughout.
Other things we’ve been doing to keep sane, is going out for a little walk at lunchtime. We discovered a little trail very nearby that cuts across some streets, like a shortcut, which has these pretty blue wildflowers growing along it. Also beating a game called Colorkey, although admittedly I found it pretty easy except for the last level.
BONUS! I just found out that NECN (a local news station in Boston) shared my Blue sunset photo below on their page! Might be shown on the news segment – I’ll be keeping a look out for that!
(Work crap story here) I’m still hearing flack about a mix up I was involved in a couple weeks back and now everyone’s in a snit about. Yes, I had a misunderstanding about a task whereas they just wanted to know how long it would take to do something but I took it as how long would it take, told them and they said great, and went ahead and did it although I wasn’t supposed to. Why ask if you’re not going to do anything!? Looking back at it now I can see it could be read two ways in the way it was asked. I was a bit zealous in my search to find stuff that I might have jumped the gun a bit on that, but if the pressure wasn’t so high in the first place maybe it would have never happened? Oh well. So now they are crying over budget (again) and they want to win the re compete for this project which is coming up (not sure how my involvement would change any of that, wouldn’t you just eat it and not place things like that in a proposal? Plus I’ve learned you can have a great proposal and be cheaper than the competition and still lose – that’s why I’m in this mess in the first place) and want me to move it to overhead, but that freaks my manager out because it will ruin the utilization numbers for the month of the group because for some reason they’ll all agog about having the numbers look good for January (they just recently reorganized again – seems to happen every 18 months or so since I’ve started working in this business). Same old story I’ve heard a million times before. Gets old real fast.
Well, I can’t change the past. It is what it was. Makes me think they’re concerned about profitability (as usual – I get it, but geez), I think a bunch of folks are on the light side, not just me, and that is not a good sign. The business is somewhat cyclical – it gets busy and then there are lulls – I believe we are in somewhat of a lull at the moment, maybe if they could win some projects things would reflect better what they are trying to achieve. I’ve been able to find some things on my own here and there but it’d be good to get something solid. Meanwhile the place goes ahead and buys another company and is building a huge ass headquarters for millions that won’t be done for two years (got money for that though), yet they worry about one week of my part time work bringing down the house. Oh, and nobody cares for the stupid open office concept either – it’s so 2002. Anyways I haven’t heard as of yet what the final outcome will be or what they want me to do with the time I used. A good part of me really doesn’t give a fuck. I’m finding myself getting really tired of this same old story and it makes me want to break free and try something new, but the other side is I need the job and where am I going to find something equatable as what I have now? Crazy to believe in September I’ll be 30 years in. (Not that that seems to matter any – I think my manager was in high school while I was putting out reports).
Then I try to figure out if I could just retire now. Total pipe dream – I can’t but it would be nice. Another 13 years at least of this shit!? Feels good to vent though. I’m open to possibilities if you know of any. I could happily be a lovely assistant to someone. Another pipe dream.
But there is something to look forward to. I’m going to see Def Leppard and friends at Fenway park late this summer with LD and a friend coming up from Jerz. Thanks LD!
Started the day by cleaning up the snow that fell last night. It was the kind of snow that’s easy to deal with so I was done fairly quickly, cleaning up the driveway and walkways. Nice that the sun was out today and melted a bunch of it as well. Well, actually that’s not true, before shoveling I finished some books I had been reading, I also got a massage yesterday so I was ready to go. Feeling the sun out there today does make me wish Spring was here already, I want get started on my plantings. It’ll be here before I know it, but I want it to come now!
I was able to (finally!) finish all 7 seven levels of Full Circle as well as this game, Escape the Void, which is similar. I’ll keep at these things until I beat them – it’s kind of obsession with me.
I ended up going to the grocery store this afternoon to get some needed things. Isn’t that so exciting to read about? So what did we do with the groceries I got? We made Instant Pot Chicken Pot Pie (can someone invent skinless potatoes already? Peeling them is annoying). I enjoy doing the prep work though, cutting the carrots and mincing the garlic, etc. etc. Also helped assist with a tofu dish for LD. Spent the later evening watching a thing on Aaron Hernandez and the SAG awards show, which I found kind of boring but LD didn’t want to watch the remake of Hellboy. Can’t imagine why!
I went and got a much needed haircut early this morning. I find early Friday mornings are the best time to go to this particular barbershop because it isn’t too busy and I can get in and out really quick. Also, I’ve noticed that barbershops (or most of them) are all pretty hip these days with young men doing the work. Not the barbershop scene I remember growing up as a kid.
Carson meanwhile continues to amaze. He really likes this fake mouse at the end of a string toy, so we play a lot with him using it as it seems to be his favorite. He’s like a dog. He actually will play fetch with it. Apparently this morning while I was the barbershop he took the mouse, carried it all the way up the stairs into the bedroom, and dropped in in the bed next to LD! What a character this cat is!
Work is work. Trying to find pieces here and there. What’s really annoying is that we noticed a job posting in the company looking for the work that I am totally qualified and AM doing! But for some wacko reason I can’t work with them unless I switch into their group (but they’d essentially have to ‘hire’ me even though I already work at the company – actually it makes no sense). We’ll see if they want to pop on me, although it’s dumb to me that the resources are already there but do to most likely financial setups we can’t just work together. The fact that I haven’t heard anything from them doesn’t make me feel confident but I’ll give it some time and see.
This afternoon I decided to brave the cold and check out the big Tut statue down at Boston city hall, since it’s only there for a few more days and I’m not sure I’d get another opportunity to see this thing. Like I said before, I have a thing for ancient Egyptian stuff.
Ended up going to a restaurant for an early dinner, Venezia’s down by the Boston/Quincy waterfront. Hadn’t done that in quite some time, it was nice.
Also as for gametime these days:
Goat in the Cave – help the goat survive and get out. I was able to complete all the levels.
As for Tasty Jewel looks like Level 92 is far as I’m going to get. I think I’ve annoyed LD playing this game long enough now.
Full Circle is a good puzzle game, but alas, I cannot for the life of me seem to be able to solve level 6. There are 7 levels total. When I get trapped like this it makes me nuts! I must solve the puzzle! But how?
Visited a Little Library down in JP while doing an appointment and happened to pick up some new books for my reading agenda. Not sure how engaged I will be or if I like them or not but I’m giving them a chance:
Einstein’s Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists by Prof. Richard Wolfson (Cosmic!)
Meanwhile I’m still getting through The Power Broker. Funny how times change – back then, expressways and thruways were all the rage whereas now they are seem as a detriment. It all depends on the time you live in I suppose. Values change.
Also had breakfast at a place called Ula which was pretty good and a hip sort of a place.
Gametime! Currently playing Tasty Jewel. It’s one of those match-3 type games but gets really interesting in the later levels.
I bought a new mailbox to replace the one out front. The door has rusted off it’s hinges and although I could repair it I think it’ll be nice to have a new one. I plan on installing it tomorrow.
After going to some doctor appointment visits, I went ahead over to the pet store to get some new gravel, some treats, a blanket, and some pet-safe ice melt in preparation for any newcomers to the family that might hopefully find a new home here tomorrow! I had forgotten how heavy those 40 pound gravel containers can be – it’s been a while since I had to lug those around, but to be honest, I do feel it’s time to welcome a new pet into our lives. I also brought up some stuff from storage that will be getting re-used.
In my spare time I’ve been playing Ninja Rian, which has me pulling my hair out every time I perish, but it is a fun platformer. As for TV shows I had been watching, I caught the 5-episode Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover on CW, which deals with all their DC superheroes and merging all the different universes into one. If you’re familiar with the comic from the 1980s you’ll understand, (hmmm I actually have all those original issues in storage – wonder if they have any good value? At least a few hundred dollars at this point) and I’m liking it so far – part 2 being the best of the first three to me. That was also the inspiration for me way back to designate my two main places of habitation as Earth-1 and Earth-2! 🙂
I had to order some Panasonic rechargeable batteries for my home phone back at Earth-1. I had forgot that you can’t just swap in regular AAAs into the phone as it requires these kinds of batteries. I do have to say, the ones I have in there lasted a hell of a long time. Meanwhile, over at Earth-2 I had noticed one of the lighted reindeers out front wasn’t turning his head anymore. I went out there and investigated. Somehow the connection rod from the motor to the link on the neck had gotten free. Just putting it back together was all it took to make it work again. I went ahead and pulled to trigger on those Mathis tickets for my mom – early xmas gift – 5th row!