Saturday, December 3, 2011

Which one?

I have owned cars most of the time since I was 16, when a nine year old car costs $50.00 right up to the present.  There was a period of time from boot camp until about 1962 when I didn't, and from 1976 to 1981 when I didn't own a car - most of that time I was too drunk to drive anyway.

1948 Ford was first
That photo represents the Ford I owned in 1957-1958, it was dark green and stock - no money for hot rodding.  Art down at the gas station saved me his "good" used tires - about one a week.  Gas was cheap too, I worked for a Chevy dealer and the car I bought belonged to the used car managers wife.
1959 Studebaker Lark wagon
I'm only showing favorites.  This car is the one I bought when I got back to the good ol' USA after two years in Japan, and one year on the USS Hornet in Westpac.  I was in civilian clothes so I could sneak back into my own country in 1966.  The finance guy I used was a retired sailor that I had worked with.  This was a great running car, and good to drive.
1988 Subaru wagon
The first car I bought new.  Ours was maroon unlike the one in the photo.  I bought it when I was hired by the City of Brewer and used it for the 75 mile round trip commute every day.  It had 243,000 miles on it when I gave it to a neighbor.  During the time I owned it I replaced a water pump, two windshields, two lighters in addition to all of the required maintenance in the owners manual.  Good car and reliable, you bet!  This may be number one of my favorites.  Still time left at age 71 to buy another one too.
1993 Mazda Protege
I bought a new Dodge that my wife drove, I used this one.  We had moved to within 12 miles of my job by then.  This, engine wise, may have been the best; you could check the oil any time during the 6000 miles between changes and it was still the same color it was when it was put in!  A five speed transmission (like the Subaru) was super.  We gave this car to a couple who were dirt poor and really needed some help - he totaled it about two weeks later!
2004 Dodge Neon
This one replaced the Mazda, it was small, cheap and mechanically good.  It ran great and was easy to drive.  I bought this one used too.  The little "black bomber" was totaled by my wife, while she was taking our daughter home.  She skidded on some slush to avoid another car, bounced off a utility pole and crashed in to a new steel guard rail.  Thankfully no injuries; seat belts save lives!

So that sums it up, some great cars, some good cars and some I would never buy again, that's life.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Just silly!

Those of us who have spent much time around cats know they're a little bit crazy acting.  Cats love to climb in things, they explore everything they can access, and they end up in some interesting places!
You can't see me now!!
Go grocery shopping and use a paper bag (only if you forgot a reusable bag, please) leave it on the floor, and a cat will find it and have hours of fun.
Have you been looking for me?
Any place will do, even small spaces will attract a cat.  The magazine was just the perfect place for this kitty.  I don't know what was in that magazine but it must have been eye opening.
Just hanging around.
Leave you closet door open and the cat will find it, go inside and make itself comfortable.  They also get a bit tired.
Eight ball in the corner pocket.
This kitty just wants to be left alone!  And I think it likes small spaces, or at least isn't afraid to go in one.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Yesterday morning when I got up at 1:30AM the temperature here in the Bangor, Maine area was 55 degrees!  On the last day of November!  Meanwhile the temperature in Miami, Florida at the same time was 53 degrees - it was warmer in Bangor, Maine than in Miami, Florida.

And I was going to write about ice fishing, I still am.

The season in Maine starts with the month of January. Ice permitting.  Every year at least one person drives a pickup truck on the ice that sinks.  People still haven't learned to wait until the ice is safe, thick enough, however you'd like to word it.

When I was a boy we would ice fish on a local pond, just an axe, a couple of traps and warm clothes.  No gasoline powered auger, no fancy ice shacks, no snowmobiles, and no pickup trucks.  That's not how it's done anymore.
TV? and warm too.
Little more convenient.
And, the winner is...........Snow Bear

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Number 922

I've always liked animals, except skunks, and Linda and I have quite a collection of photos we use on occasion for screen savers.  I have picked out some that remind me of thing that have taken place over the years.
Time to plow.
I picked this one because when I was about 9, maybe 10, a neighbor taught me how to plow with a horse.  He only used one horse.  It took me about two hours before I could "plow straight".  It's not an easy thing to do.  Today, in Maine, there are still a few folks who use horses for work, either on farms or in the woods.  Some people still raise horses for shows or for horse pulls at the fair.  Work horses are truly beautiful in my eyes.
Hopeful, but dumb.
I love cats and some of them were great hunters (I didn't encourage it), a big yellow cat, Sam, we had when I was a kid brought home a baby rabbit one day and a duckling another; we kept him in for a while after to give the "wild babes" a chance to grow.
  Some cats, like the photo, are really dumb, that cat really believe shes hiding, while waiting for a bird to feed in the feeder - it's not going to happen.  We had an all black cat, Midnight, she would sit in the snow to hide under a bird feeder; just believed she wouldn't be seen. Dumb, but an excellent mouser.
Fox kits
When we lived in Newburgh a fox had a litter under a neighbors shed, right next door.  Oh what fun to watch them play, run and jump on each other, or climb around on things.  It was great fun for most of the summer watching them.  Well, fun for us, we didn't own any chickens.  Foxes ate my ducks when I was a kid, I didn't build a very good pen.
And, in keeping with the season, here is a "Christmas kitty".  A black and white cat hiding in red flowers, nobody could see her!  Always curious cat do climb in and out of things, they love bags and boxes.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A different kind of weather

  It's the end of November here in middle Maine, and yesterday it was 58 degrees!  It tied a record, I guess that's a good thing, but where's the winter.  I had to switch back to my lighter fleece yesterday; I walked early at 4:00AM about 3 miles with my "winter coat", and that was a "hot" mistake.
What winter used to look like
  It was so warm that what was left of the snowbanks was gone by four in the morning, and while I'll admit the walking was nice - it was unusual.
  Maine gets a winter like this, during a El Nino year I think; and I'm not too worried, we'll get winter at one time or another.
I don't miss this.
  I don't miss the difficult driving, which I really don't have to do, but it's warm; there should be baseball down in Florida by now!
Mr. Paplebon, shown here, will be in Philadelphia next season, good!
  New subject:  Today, November 29th, marks the date in 1890 when the very first Army-Navy game was played.  The game was played on the "Plains" at the U S Military Academy in West Point, NY.  The Navy won the game 24-0.  Three years later Midshipman Joseph Mason Reeves, who later became an Admiral wore the very first football helmet!  He was told by the doctor at Annapolis that if he got hit in the head - one more time - he would suffer "instant insanity" or even death.  He had an Annapolis shoemaker fashion a helmet of leather.
Army-Navy game in 1908, at Philadelphia

Monday, November 28, 2011

Another time, another place.

  When I worked in Brewer my office looked out on Main Street, which is also State Route 9, locally known as the Airline.  Lacking an interstate highway Canadian trucks going from Atlantic Canada (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island) headed to the large Canadian cities of Toronto and Ottawa frequently cross Maine, it's the shortest route.  So those trucks, on the way to I-395, go up or down Main Street in Brewer.
  At Thanksgiving time the ladies and I would try to guess the date the first truckload of Christmas Trees got driven by, if one or two hadn't already made the trip.  Usually during the two weeks near Thanksgiving about 200 truck loads of trees go through Brewer.  A lot of trees are from Maine but the majority were Canadian.  Each truck load has, I'm guessing, one thousand trees, multiply that times the selling price (retail) of a tree and that's a "truckload of money".
Loading up.
Not so much.
  There is another story about Christmas trees too.  It is something that has been going on for more than a hundred years in Chicago.  Farmers in Michigan and Wisconsin raise trees that are going to be donated to the poorest people in Chicago.  The trees are loaded on to the U S Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw at it's homeport of Cheboygan, Michigan.  Boy Scouts and other volunteers do the "dirty work".
  The trees are taken to the Navy Pier in Chicago and the volunteers and Boy Scouts again do the dirty work, there are about 8000 trees!
  All of this happens on the first Friday of December.  Just a by the way here, the Cutter is working on buoy maintenance during the trip on Lake Michigan, it's hardly just a "joyride".
USGC Mackinaw arrives in Chicago, with trees on board.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Not for me!

That's it!
  Well I was going to take Hollie for her visit, then I leaned over to open a cupboard....that's when "it" happened.
  Now, this has nothing to do with a bare cupboard, or a poor dog, or gettin' none.  This has to do with a backache.
  I started out anyway, I got Hollie and took her to Tim Hortons for her coffee (iced, gingerbread flavor, and sweet and low, yuk) a breakfast sandwich and then came home and Mama got the rest of the day, which turned out to be quite long.
  I got my chair, and a heating pad.  The heating pad is my new friend, and it sits in the chair with me.  It does have the ability to turn itself off, when it gets tired of helping me, but even I have some character defects - so I accept it for what it is!
  I'm going for a one or two mile walk, it's warm, about 37 degrees so I won't die in the cold.  And then, and then, I'm coming home to my new friend, the heating pad!
My new friend!