Can’t Stop the Spring Loving

Everyday Life, General Website, Memories, Scenic Photography
Happy Spring!

It was a pleasant surprise to receive some telescoping Marshmallow Roasting Sticks from our friends that we visited last weekend, since we mentioned how great theirs were and we wanted to get some. That was SO nice and now makes me want to fire up the pit and start getting some S’mores action going (even though I’m not a huge fan of marshmallows in general but it’s the experience). Also, if the weather trends warmer next week I may pull the grill out early. I also finally got around the hanging up the glass print of Carson that I got done for free a few weeks back. Now I just need to try out the new vacuum and hook up the Smart TV still. By the end of this weekend for sure!

I looked into those Timber Stoves that the Chocolate Sparrow had. As I suspected they are on the pricey side, but they’re so cool. If anyone would like to gift one to me, I wouldn’t complain!

Just updated the website to the latest version of the blog software – most of the changes should be imperceptible to you all – mostly administrative “under the hood” stuff… hopefully, although I may play around with some of the newer features in my posts moving forward.

Love to a Possible Future Stay

Cape Cod, Everyday Life, Lighthouses, Memories, Scenic Photography
Nauset Light – One of my favorite shots from March 2021. Now Available!

The story behind the photo: I’ve always likes this particular location, mostly because it’s an angle of the Nauset Light that I don’t think is photographed to often if at all. This particular spot is a bit out of the main public’s way so I think that might be why but I really like having the gate in front showing like this. I’ve shot this location before last summer but I thought maybe I’d revisit it now just to see how it looks at this time of year. This shot actually features a neighbor’s gate belonging to a rental property next door, which might be a really cool place to stay for a bit – been looking into it, although I wonder if having the lighthouse beacon spin around all night would be annoying? Guess it depends where the beds are set up – either way it would still be a cool place to stay and it’s real close to the water, plus it looks cute and surprisingly not expensive. I posted this shot to my Instagram account and the actual owners of the property commented that they liked and appreciated the shot and started following me!


Had a fun outing this afternoon! Good times – was nice to get a little social interaction for a change and seeing folks I hadn’t seen in a long time.

A Day in the Ville

Art, Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography

So artsy.

Woke up at the crack of dawn to get ready to drive over to the Ville to take my mom to get her 2nd COVID shot. Arrived a bit earlier than her appointment time but nobody was really there so they took her right away and now it’s done. Hopefully she’ll only have none to mild symptoms. She didn’t have any after the first shot but I hear the second one is a little tougher. In the early afternoon she heard of some food giveaway that a guy running for mayor is involved in just outside of Union Square so we took a drive down there and she got a box behind the Holiday Inn, loaded right into the back of the car ala contactless pickup. I was actually impressed by what was inside. Gallon of milk, bag of apples, bag of onions, some large carrots, two tubs of cream cheese, a large tub of yogurt, a package of hot dogs, some chicken in a marinade, some other things I can’t remember now and some masks. It was a better haul then I was expecting – it reminded me a little bit of those Imperfect Foods boxes we sometimes get, but for free. She said she’d probably only do it this one time and leave it for people that might be more needy, but it is a weekly thing if one so wishes to keep going proving that there is help out there if you know where to look. God, I hadn’t been in that part of the city in forever. It’s amazing how different some of it looks with these big developments taking over. There’s this huge one right next to the old Buddy’s Diner, which to me looked a bit comical with these big pricey looking living spaces right next to this tiny little diner car building. (I’ve never actually ate or been inside Buddy’s but I hear it’s an iconic site).

Can’t wait for the weather to get just a little bit warmer as I want to fire up the firepit and enjoy the nice smell of burning embers. Speaking of that, the Choc Sparrow had these cool wood pellet burning towers to keep folks warm waiting outside and had the loveliest aroma. Makes one want to look into getting one, although I suspect they are pretty pricey and probably pretty hard to find in stock.

One Night and Day on the Cape

Cape Cod, Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography

Back from a one night overstay on the Cape at a place LD researched incessantly and felt safe at in Brewster, which it was – need to put this on our places of locations that we like and will go back to. Had lunch take out from the Dan’l Webster in Sandwich first before arriving (not the first choice but it worked out). Saw an amazing sunset at Skaket although the wind chill was killer, but so worth it. Have a lot of shots to go through still. Relaxing night after by the fireplace. Hot Chocs from the Sparrow. Next day breakfast take out from the Hole in One which I brought back to the suite. Nauset Beach in the afternoon scoping more photo spots and shots and hiking the Eddy Trail again to the cliffs. Photos to come.

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.

Rainy Day

Scenic Photography
A rainy day in Beacon Hill.

At least just about all the snow is gone. Yesterday was a good day to get some household duties done. I did a bunch of vacuuming but over time it has been appearing to not work as good as it should so I ordered a new vac on Amazon that should arrive on Monday. Got caught up on a bunch of DVR’ed shows like Dateline, 20/20 and SVU. Are we all excited for Stabler’s return? I think everyone nearly lost it when Finn says to Benson about showing up to some event and she wasn’t going to go and he tries to convince her she should because she deserves the honor and ending with the quote “plus you never know who might show up.” As an aside, we’ve been watching 21 Jumpstreet reruns as of late as well. I’d never seen the show before so it’s new to me but LD is reliving the magic. Also watched a movie called “Lars and the Real Girl” about a guy who has a relationship with a fake woman mannequin – yeah, it was weird.

The other day happened to be by a little library in Wellesley and took a book that caught my eye. Dreams by CG Jung. Yes, that Jung. Might be outdated by today’s standards and thoughts but does looked an interesting read, and we all want to know what are dreams are all about, right? Anyways, it appears to be a collection of a bunch of papers he wrote on what dreams might mean. Actually I can’t really get into it after reading a few pages. Just not doing it for me. Seems really big on associations which I guess isn’t so much a thing nowadays. Plus, alchemy?

Gametime: Mahjong Single. The thing I like about this one is the selection of different board layouts. Still plowing away at Tanmatsuban. I got through about 28 levels so far but now it’s getting a bit too difficult foe me.

Sometimes Upside Down is Better

Uncategorized

What do you know? I actually had some numbers on that Powerball ticket I played yesterday. I knew I had a feeling. I had a number plus the megaball, which leads to a payout of … four dollars. Guess I’ll use that money to just play another two tickets.

The story behind the photo: Well, the roses might have died but I like having flowers to look at so how about replacing them with some fresh flowers. These purple carnations look to do the trick. I photographed them and then worked my “magic” on post processing and rotated the shot 180 degrees.

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.

Not the Sporty Type

Memories

LD and I were talking this morning and somehow or other the conversation turned to sports in school when we were growing up and it reminded me of my own experience with that, which I had sort of forgotten. I was a small kid, correct proportionately but in a smaller version of the average size school child. Anyways, this lead to me being picked last most of the time when it came time to play a school sport. I think this is why after a while, I decided not to pursue any further sports in school and rather just shoot hoops in my own backyard with a friend, or my sister at times, or just by myself, and is probably why I was just never not that much into sports. My creative pursuits were much more academic anyway.

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.