Monday, December 27, 2010

christmas presence

Carrie's brother Ross came out to visit us from Arizona and we all went outside to play in the snow. Ross and Pandora had the most fun. She is normally shy around strangers, but must be able to sense kinship because she has always been happy to see Ross and my sister, Kemmer.
I got the newest in the series of the hardcover reprints of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents comics as well as a couple of Avengers (the TV series) books. Also a couple of Hong Kong action movie DVDs. The present I'm playing with most, though, is my new 1 terabyte external hard drive. I'm going to use it to store all my photos and artwork scans. I've already put more than 12,000 photos on it and that is just a drop in the bucket of its capacity.
Today we're having a blizzard. I got out the snowblower and cleared enough to get my car out, then Carrie took over while I got ready for work. Just before leaving, though, I called in to work and found out the office is closed. Snow Day!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Sneezin's Greetings

Anybody want to color this for us?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Holiday Mail

There's something wrong with my camera, so I may have to resort to scanning things to post here for a while. First is a special bonus in an expected mailing from Deane. She asked me if I was still interested in getting town themed postcards since she and Dan were planning a trip. Of course I said yes. They came recently. Quite a few of them. Along with a couple of smashed pennies. The pirate one was nice, but look at this one! Cool!
Thanks Deane!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


After our usual holiday dinner at an ethnic restaurant, we went to do the Riverwalk. Somebody did graffiti to make it a catwalk instead.

We saw a black cat
a white cat

two cats
two cats meowing

a cat with a lightbulb
a lightbulb meowing

and a cat with a lightbulb meowing.

Happy Thanksgiving

Looking forward to Kemmer's visit today.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fishmas Shopping

We spent the weekend doing shopping and yardwork. While at LL Bean, where I bought myself a nice hat, Carrie found an Eskimo Trout.

Yes, those are live fish in this picture.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Happy Anniversary

The above picture was taken 19 years ago.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Aren't you jealous?

The photo to the left was taken on a recent stroll through the woods on our property.

The picture below is the view of our front yard from the bay window in the studio.

Click on each picture to get a bigger, more glorious view of fall foliage.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weevil Remembered

The last couple of months we could see he was getting bonier and more feeble. We were bringing him into the vet's a bit more often and were slowly transitioning him from dry food to wet. Which he liked very much. We had him on medications and even had him at the vet's on Saturday, but the two cancerous tumors in his head were too much for him.

Sunday Carrie and I were taking turns watching him, mostly because he no longer had a good sense of balance, but also to make certain the other pets didn't pester him. He was always seeking out the company of humans, even if we didn't do anything with him, he still liked to be with us.

Around 1996 or so there was a yearling white cat hanging around behind the cotton lab near where Carrie was working. One of her coworkers picked up this lovable kitty and brought him to the vet for shots and stuff. She was going to just let him go. Carrie said we'd try and find a home for him instead. Unfortunately, we couldn't find anybody to take him. The only people interested in getting a cat we could find at that time wanted kittens.

I say unfortunately, but I mean it was unfortunate for the people who turned him down. We ended up being very happy to be "stuck" with him. And why did they want a kitten anyway? Was it because they are so cute and playful? Weevil was that all his life. In fact, I used his love of play to overcome his fear of being covered. He didn't like being inside boxes or anything like that. But after a bit of play therapy, he eagerly climbed into and under things, waiting for us to bring him a bit of play.

It was probably good for him to be stuck with us, not just because we're good parents, but because Carrie and I both have respiratory problems and were very sympathetic to Weevil's. He had a slightly runny eye (sometimes squinting with it to look like Popeye) and sneezed a lot. If only we could have taught him to use kleenex, we would have saved a lot of cleanup time.

Sunday we spent a lot of time with him and started talking about quality of life. He was having trouble even just walking with the tumors throwing off his sense of balance, and he was no longer in control of his bladder. But we discovered Monday morning he spared us making that decision by moving on.

I'll be doing a bit of digging up on the hill behind our house. We miss him already.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pepper Spray

A coworker brought in some habanero peppers recently. (The small orange ones.) After noting how happy I was at the prospect of trying them, another coworker brought me a selection of peppers from her garden.
I took a very small nibble of the habanero, knowing their reputation for heat, and got nothing. I took a bigger nibble and felt it. Not enough to go running for coolant, but enough to know a full bite would have been difficult. No flavor to speak of.
The largest of the group is the sugar chili. My coworker tells me that the crop this year is extremely variable in its heat level. I ate this one plain with no heat felt at all. Pleasant, but not strong flavor. A little sweeter than usual.
The yellow one, ho Chi Minh, is supposed to be the hottest of the group after the habanero. Slightly sour taste, no heat.
The round one, cherry, has a nice fruity taste and heat that accumulates. My first bite held no heat, but by the time I finished it my mouth was fully in flame. Yum!
The fat red one is the chilipeno. No heat, mild flavor.
The curly red one is the Portugal. Slightly fruity taste, not so much as the cherry. Heat was evident right from the start and lingered on for a while afterward.
Not shown are the bell peppers Carrie is growing for me. I like those in sandwiches.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Leaves They Are A Changing

Back in August when we had the cold snap, a few trees got fooled into thinking autumn had started. Most notably those early changers, the sumacs. But then we had the heat wave. (90 degree weather in Maine is a heat wave.) In our yard, one branch of one maple tree turned a lovely red. It still is, but a few other trees are now starting their color show as well. Nothing in our yard is as spectacular as that one maple branch yet, but yesterday we took a walk down the street and I took a few pictures. The new header is one of them. Nice time of year to be in Maine, eh?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Open Lighthouse Day

The second annual Maine Open Lighthouse Day saw us travelling up to Owls Head (see picture to the left) and Rockland (top photo). We, of course, stopped at yard sales and post offices along the way. We'd been to see both of these lighthouses before, but Owls Head is not normally open to the public to actually go inside (with its stunning views) and the Rockland Breakwater Light was too dangerous to travel to, walking over the looooong walkway during a storm. We saw the lightning that day, we weren't planning on feeling it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


<-- before
after -->

The previous owner of the house had the woodstove hooked up into the single chimney. Since it was already carrying two outputs (furnace and hot water heater) that was a bad idea. Since it was hooked up to the furnace, any creosote leaking down to the furnace would be an extra bad thing. We opted not to use the woodstove until we had a separate chimney for it. Now we do. It has a slight crook it it because it was otherwise a choice of moving the stove too close to the rug or cutting through the roof rafters. So a curve in the pipe was acceptable.

Festival Weekend

Saturday we had two festivals to go to. The first was Greene Village Day. Just something for local organizations and vendors to set up booths with a few displays of this and that, and a bunch of things mainly geared towards kids. There was also a parade, but we started out too late to see that. I did pick up a Greene t-shirt. Showing support for the locals through participation and purchase. We also gave some money to a cat group.

Next we went over next door to Lewiston and found the Greek Festival. The live music and dancing are only in the evenings, so we were disappointed about that. Carrie got some lamb kebob for lunch and a loaf of apricot almond bread for later. I enjoyed going into the church and reading their comics. The image to the left (note the word balloons) came off their pocket calendar.

In between, we did stop at a few yard sales. I got a hutch to put on the second computer desk. Our puppet population has been booming and now there is more storage/display space for them. Unfortunately, Neil the Horse's spot on the wall is now covered. I did some rearranging of pictures, but he still can't fit in the computer room any more. Now he's in the bedroom. Moving him also prompted us to do some more picture hanging and we have the bedroom now mostly covered along with a couple of things in Kemmer's room and a few other places around the house.

But that was on Sunday. After the two festivals on Saturday we still had plenty of time so did a little more exploring of the area. Carrie brought me to an antique store she'd found earlier. We're going back with trade items for sure. And we also tried out a couple of parks. The riverside one, with an old converted to pedestrian use railroad bridge was best. We'll be going back to that also.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Folk in the Eyes

Last Weekend we went to the annual Bangor Folk Festival and listened to lots of music. An oud player, a Korean drumming group, a couple of Celtic groups. The Quebecois style of Vent du Nord appealed to us enough that Carrie bought one of their cds. Note in the clip above that the guy in the middle is doing the percussion.

Spam I Am

Several months back we heard that Spamalot was coming to Maine and we were determined we would go see it. Well before it was to play I went to the theater's website to check what the prices for tickets were. I quickly realized that it was already close to being sold out, so with Carrie at hand I reserved a couple of seats for us. Good thing, too. That weekend they were sold out.

First thing I thought as I was watching the theater fill up was how old the audience seemed to be. Aren't Monty Python fans younger, college or high school age like I was when they first were shown in the US lo, these many years ago? Oh. They'd be my age now. Right. Nevermind.

The show itself was fun. We both are glad we went, but have no desire to see it again. Carrie thought it didn't bring enough from the movie and deviated from the movie too much. I thought it drew too much from the movie and didn't have enough original material.

Fence Sitting (part 3)

The fence did get finally set up, a few days longer than expected. It even has 2 gates. The next step is to put up the wire on the inside to keep Pandora from roaming. We're hoping to have most of it done during this long weekend.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Spamalot Sunday

Guess what we went to see last Sunday.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dead Reckoning

We decided we wanted to go to the Montsweag Flea Market today. I checked for nearby Post Offices and found one before Montsweag, in Woolwich, and one after in Wiscasset. But in checking the maps, I noticed a place called "Ancient Cemetery" that I thought we should go check out.
We did a couple of errands in the morning, then headed out. We took the pictures of the two Post Offices, we stopped at the Montsweag Flea Market (where I got about 40 different postcards, most for ten cents each), and found the Ancient Cemetery pretty easily.
There were a lot of interesting headstones for as few graves as the place had. The best was this one with the creepy eye at the top and the winged cherub.

Click on the image and take a good close look at the cherub. It is supposed to have two gourds with it. Gourds. Right.
We slowly made our way back home after checking out a couple of shops, and still found time for some stops before we headed for Bombay Mahal in Brunswick for supper.

Family Ties

To my mind there are two kinds of family: family through blood and family through choice.
You get born into a family with people you like or hate or a mix of both, but you're pretty much stuck with what you were given.
My sister Kemmer is family like this, but it's okay because I like her. She was up visiting last weekend. We didn't do a lot, but she's one of the few people I seem to be able to sit and talk with for long periods of time, so we did a bunch of that.
Many years ago, when I was managing a comic book store, I hired a guy named Shannon Slate. We became friends and apartment mates and I went out to his family's house a number of times for gaming sessions with Shannon and a few of his other friends. I am not always good with new people or authority figures, but Shannon's parents immediately made me feel welcome and a part of the family. Enough so that if they called me up and said I needed to come up that weekend to help with the haying, I would've. When Carrie made her first visit to me, I brought her there. They were family by choice. Decades later I still feel that way.
Bob and JoAnn (Shannon's parents) were up in Augusta yesterday and managed to squeeze in a quick visit. It was, of course, great to see them. Except for JoAnn's hair being gray and Bob having less hair, they looked the same as I remember them. I got caught up a little on some of the other members of their extended family and then they had to move on.
PS: I brought Carrie to see Kemmer during that first visit too.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fence Sitting (part 2)

The first section up on Thursday.
Friday two sides are all but done, with two sections next to the shed also up. Click on a fence post to get a better view.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Happy Kemmer Tiara Day

I forgot to post this morning!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fence Sitting

Most of the new fence looks like this section of it, but the installers have started. They are supposed to be done tomorrow.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Saturday Morning Car Tunes

First, we stopped of at the Greene Post Office so I could mail off the last 10 of my envelopes to get the Sunday Funnies first day postmark. Then we took the long and winding road to Freeport to buy bread (pineapple jalapeno!) and pet food. Afterward we continued on to Portland for a stop at Casablanca comics.
But we took all day to do this because we were constantly stopping at yard sales. Amongst our purchases are such diverse elements as: a small shelf to hold my plush Bullwinkle villains, a floor lamp for the studio, a side table to put next to Carrie's chair, and a Godzilla puppet.
On one of the yard sale pursuits, we came across this house. It's not a real lighthouse, and is nowhere near any body of water that would need one.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Your Cheeta Heart

Dan Piraro had a cartoon on his website mentioning Cheeta, so I thought I'd post my autographed photo of this celebrity. Obviously he didn't write my name, but did the scribble below it as his "autograph".

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday Funnies

The stamps were released on Friday. The Post Office in Greene actually had them! I bought mine, have you bought yours?

Sending off the first batch of envelopes to get the first day cancel. I need to paint a few more envelopes before I can send the rest off. I'm doing a total of 25, 5 for each stamp.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Having a Blast

Saturday we didn't do a lot, but did take a short hike in the nearby bird sanctuary Carrie found a few weeks back. They allow dogs on leash. And the birds have a really nice fireplace.

Sunday we took a road trip up to the Penobscot Narrows Observatory high atop the new bridge. It's the only one of its kind in the US and the tallest in the world.

click on any photo to enlarge it

While in the area, we decided to go next door to Fort Knox. Yes, there is another Fort Knox. This one doesn't have piles of gold, but has rambling old tunnels that we wandered around in.

En route to and from we made a lot of stops. I added another 8 post offices to my collection of photos of post offices I have been to. I found a ceramic figure of Sandy, the dog from Little Orphan Annie, bought a bunch of old post cards at non-collector prices.

We also stopped at Sandy Point Beach and saw an osprey nest complete with parents and chicks on some old pilings!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Stamps and Comics

I've mentioned stamps about comics before. Today I found comics about stamps!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Canned Laughter

Kemmer is visiting us this weekend. As a rainy day activity we went to the Maine State Museum. They had a giveaway comic there that I grabbed. The funny thing is, Maine had the last sardine cannery in the country until just recently. It closed down.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Spring is Sprung

And in Maine that means half the state can still be getting snow as it was in the middle of last week, and then we go through a weekend with temperatures into the eighties. It also means we have chickadees in the lighthouse birdhouse Carrie put in the backyard, and the Totoros and ospreys are coming out. There's a nest on top of a powerline tower not too too far from our house that we thought was long abandoned. But we've seen a pair of osprey hanging around it lately. We hope to see some babies there soon.