Make Life Worthwhile and Smile

Cape Cod, Everyday Life, GameTime, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
A seal smiles while basking on a rock.
A seal smiles while basking on a rock.

“You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile.”

Charlie Chaplin

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.

Schools Reopening. Yeah, right.

Everyday Life, GameTime, Scenic Photography, Things that make me go Hmmm
Goofin’ around Scituate Light, 2017.

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!

Gametime! Lifespan Candle – cute little game!

Thanks NECN for featuring another one of my seal photos!

I really like how this site looks on an iPad! Best way to view my photos on the web I’d say.

Alice and Odds and Ends

Food, GameTime
Such a cute house. I like the little corner window. Sandwich, MA

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.

More later…

Thankful for Little Things

GameTime, Scenic Photography
Still available for a limited time!

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.

More later…

July 4, 2020

Everyday Life, GameTime, Memories, Scenic Photography

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!

Red Roses

GameTime, Gardening, Memories, Scenic Photography
Roses are red…

“But he who dares not grasp the thorn

Should never crave the rose.”

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.

Movies and MahJong

Everyday Life, GameTime

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?)

Rivulets in the Sand

Cape Cod, Everyday Life, GameTime, Memories, Scenic Photography
Rivers in the sand

“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!

Two Steps Back

Everyday Life, GameTime, Memories

(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!

Today’s Gametime: Wiz!

Sunday 1/19/20

Everyday Life, GameTime, Scenic Photography
Cape Purpose, Maine

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!

Braving the Cold

Everyday Life, GameTime, Memories, Scenic Photography
Tut’s 25-foot tall guardian visits Boston City Hall!

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.

Coldest day of the season with wind chill factor, no problem!

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?

“Ula” Momento

Everyday Life, Food, GameTime, Reading

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!)
  • Misogynies by Joan Smith (review)
  • Talking as Fast as I can by Lauren Graham (my celebrity crush!)

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.

Anticipation

Everyday Life, GameTime, Memories

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!

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!

Relay

GameTime

Relay. This game is amazing. I was finally able to get to the bonus last level (22) after about a week and a half, although I couldn’t beat it. Really makes you think! I’m looking forward to more of what this team can create.

Trying the Impossible

Everyday Life, Food, GameTime, Gardening

Well, I jumped on the bandwagon for this one and this afternoon partook in the trying out of an Impossible Whopper at Burger King. I had heard of this thing for about a week now so I was curious to try it myself and see just how it is. And you know what? I actually liked it. It tasted just like a regular whopper to me. It is more expensive and the patty is plant based meat substitute. So I give it a thumbs up. I would get it again.

Sean the Pumpkin Vine is really starting get long – will we get a real pumpkin out of it? Fingers crossed! We did get the flowers already. Also been watching the 90210 reboot. It’s actually not really a reboot, but a story of the actors from the show getting together to do a reboot of the show. Pretty Meta – it’s actually not bad, I find I’m kinda digging it. I never saw the originals anyway.

Got a new puzzle game to rack my brain on: Landfill. I like it, but I do find it challenging.

Sunday Chores and a Side of Rock

Everyday Life, GameTime, Local Music Scene
Natalie Joly and the Reckless Hearts, Norwood, 7/28/2019

The bedroom is finished! The area rug has finally been laid down, the artwork is up on the walls, the new shades are in the windows, and it’s all good. Even went to the hardware store yesterday to get some new knobs for the nightstands that match the decor of the room better and put those on. While there I also obtained a bolt and a nut I needed to help repair the mower when the piece fell out last week, but it’s all good now. At some point I plan on buying a new mower with some accouterments and features that I currently do not have but that will assist moving forward, but for now these touch ups will do. We also got a bigger planter for Sean the pumpkin plant who is growing more everyday. He’s kind of an experiment at this point, so we’ll see what happens to him as the days progress.

Went out to the grocery store and bought some things that we ended up grilling for lunch. It was pretty hot out but overall not too bad – I didn’t mind it, and it actually came out pretty good. Will need to refill the tank real soon though, as it’s quickly getting to empty. Also competed food prep for the week early, which was a bonus.

I little while back I sent out one of my photos to be printed on glass, and that also arrived yesterday. For some reason, this picture I just like. It has a lot of muted greens in it which is not something I usually have in my photos – I don’t know – I just liked it. An impulse buy to be sure, but when my pics are printed and framed, I feel they really look better. Also blown up like this you can actually see the people in the top of the lighthouse where the lens is because they were doing tours that day.

Later in the early evening the town was having a free BBQ and concert on the Town Common, which we attended, at least for a little while – to take in some sights and hear some music. I had seen this musician there last year – she’s really good.

Here’s a fun puzzle game I’ve been playing around with this week: Blockon. It starts out pretty easy but I’m finding the later levels extremely challenging.

Cape Vacation 2019 Day 01

Cape Cod, Everyday Life, Food, GameTime, Memories, Scenic Photography
A sunset shot along Paine’s Creek – July 12, 2019

Finally on the Cape for a week to start a week of summer vacation – it’s been a long time in coming, believe me. The day started off with tying up some work items, taking LD to a chiro appointment, and doing some other quick errands, but then we were off!

The first stop which we like to do is grab lunch in Sandwich at a place called Fisherman’s View – which sits right along the Cape Cod Canal.

The Sagamore Bridge in the distance along the Cape Cod Canal.

I had the beer batted cod sandwich which was very good and LD had a lobster knuckle sandwich which looked and tasted amazing. I give that place two thumbs up – food’s great and has some spectacular views. Like I said, it sits along the canal and abuts the Sandwich Marina and park, which the town did a wonderful job of making look pretty sweet. Worth a visit if you’re ever down that way – it’s also not far from the Dan’l Webster, so if you’re familiar with that part of town you’re almost there.

After a bit more driving we arrived at out destination for the week. It’s in the same complex that we go to almost every year, but this time around we had to choose a different unit due to a friend wanting the use the main unit (long story). We’ve never been over on this side of the complex, but I find that I actually like it – it’s more secluded and it’s actually very cute! So, pleasantly surprised on that note. It also seems a little bigger but that could just be the way it’s laid out.

We decided to hit the grocery store up to get some food, but honestly, mostly snacks for the week. Once that was done we decided to catch some sunset down over by Paine’s Creek – a very scenic spot if you ask me – I got some great shots from there last year as well. However, it was very buggy so I didn’t stay out there too too long. I think I got some good shots though considering. Also, there was a looming cloud blocking the sun a bit toward the end so that made ending a little early a simple decision. However, we weren’t totally done yet – we headed over to Nauset Beach (on the ocean side) as night was approaching to listen to some crashing waves in the darkness. We wrapped it up with a trip to the Chocolate Sparrow and downed some delicious hot chocolates. All in all, a great day for day number one!

Gametime: https://robie.itch.io/on-your-marks

Uhmmm…what?

Bicycling, GameTime, Reading

Well back from the bike ride! Some observations though, who put this ride together? I realized that there didn’t seem to be any theme to this ride. And also, who picked the route? It happened to go up to the highest hill in town – so steep I had to walk my bike up. Now I remember why I like the Cambridge ones better. Speaking of the bike, it performed great, so I’m very happy with that. Well anyway, there were photos taken – maybe I’ll be in one looking all haggard. We’ll see.

Currently on the reading docket: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed. I’ve heard some good things about this book – hoping it’ll be an interesting read.

Also, not a weekend goes by that we don’t take a visit to Home Depot of Lowes for something. In the meantime if you’re looking for a good game try Blackened. It’s sort of like Sokoban but different. It took me a while to solve all the levels but I found them enjoyable.