Wednesday, December 31, 2014

He called it The Flash!

A Meteor during the 2009 Leonid shower - click to enlarge
  Yesterday at coffee Norton came in.  He was all excited about The Flash.  He claims to have been walking his dogs in the field at his home when he saw it.  He told us it was 100 feet off the ground and as big as a battleship!  It would have been about 4:30AM he said.
  In all truth a meteor was seen in some parts of Maine about 6:30PM the previous evening, but that's not what he saw, nor is it what he said.  Norton has a way off putting news items in the first person if you will.  Or, often, he just makes things up.
  Now, I'll also submit that a large hole opened on Hammond Street in Bangor (just in the area of yesterdays blog) early in the morning yesterday.  Public Works officials blame a sewer pipe or collector from the 1800s.  I wonder if The Flash fell to earth seconds after being seen in Glenburn.
News Article on - click to enlarge

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Fire traps and eyesores

The Hayford property at Hammond and Franklin
Photo: Courtesy of Dick Shaw via Bangor Daily News
  The people in the City of Bangor, Maine were worried in 1914 about the condition of some buildings in the City which were dilapidated and a danger.  The City had experience a terrific fire in 1911 and people were jumpy.
  The property in the photo was a topic of discussion among some.  Owned by the Hayford Estate, a wealthy family of the former Mayor, the property had already had a shed burn and people were nervous about the remainder.  The Hayford family responded by moving in a couple of sons of the family so it would be secured as a residence.  It didn't work.  The buildings were torn down, eventually, and replaced.
  That corner became the home of the District Court which is now the U S Post Office, the court having moved to new digs in 2012.
  I should note that the City of Bangor is once again in the process of tearing down firetraps.  There's a cycle you know.
  Read more:

Monday, December 29, 2014

Dependability is 100 years old

1914 Dodge Brothers Model 30
Photo: Dodge Photos
  Dependability has been a word for 100 years.  Really.  The word was "coined" by an advertising man, Theodore McManus, in advertising for the Dodge Brothers new model.
  Using a process known as anthimeria Mr. McManus combined the words depend and ability and the new word was born.
  My own experience with Dodge was in the Navy and a fleet of delivery trucks (like bread trucks) with the slant six engines.  My men weren't easy on the trucks but they lasted and lasted.  I've owned 3 or 4 Dodge cars my favorite ,a Neon, was totaled by my lovely wife Linda one winter day.  All of those were good cars.
1964 Dodge Dart - click to enlarge
Photo: Dodge Photos

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Naked fishing to start Winter Season; and more.

Sunset in the Bangor area for the Winter Solstice
Photo: Mark Silk via Bangor PD Facebook 
  Mark Silk works for the Maine State Police as a photographer.  He also carries a personal camera and he has some free time too.  He took this photo as a "start of Winter" series.
And some people tried to fish naked
Photo: AdamDanielson via Bangor Daily News blog
  And for others there were a variety of starts.  The naked fishing seems to be the most outrageous.  We also had a number of "polar dips" as fund raisers on the first day of Winter.  Maybe I'll try this only in August.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

More ads, more stuff

There's an ad on TV now that I'm sure most of you have seen.  The product is Theraflu and it's that time of year.  It's a good product; I've used it myself.
The ad features an adult man who appears to be a giant in a play house.  He is very ill, red under the nostrils, fever and all.
The man calls his doctor and receives a same day appointment (a miracle in itself).  He is prescribed the Theraflu and upon returning home he takes the first capsule.  Immediately he smiles.  Just swallowed the first capsule and he's healed.  That's some powerful stuff!

I wish there was a product like that for itching!  The Lichen planus is spreading and it itches all the time.  The few products I use aren't a lot of help, but worth using.  I'm open to ideas.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Warm Christmas in Maine

Sunset in Bangor Maine 12-25-14
Photo: Ashley Conti, Bangor Daily News
Photo taken from Brewer, Maine
  It reached 54 degrees on Christmas Day 2014, a new record.  We all know that the "normal" weather isn't far behind, Money I believe.
  I suppose we could have enjoyed to temps except that it rained most of the day, 1.34 inches,  the sun made its appearance about 3:00PM.
  There have been a few times, all recent, where the weather has run amuck of normal.  Normal being ice skating on the ponds and sleds on the hills.  Not this year though.
Sunset through the spruce, or is it fir?
Photo: Ashley Conti, Bangor Daily News

Thursday, December 25, 2014

It's Christmas day, already.

Our tree in 2009
Decorated and Photo by Linda Grant
  Well, we made it to Christmas Day, 2014.
and none of us know yet, what's the final score.
So, go and enjoy this day, in whichever way,
that suits you and yours, and I'm sure you will say;
well, we made it to Christmas Day.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Tipping (the Maine way)

Forest Ranger Hammond checks for tipping
Photo: Tristan Spinski for the New York Times
  Forest Rangers in Washington County are busy the last couple of months each year watching for "tippers".  That's not folks eating in restaurants although they tip too.  Tipping in this part of the world means taking the tips of branches from fir trees to make Christmas Wreaths.  Tippers are people who gather the brush for the wreath industry.  Tippers need a permit from the land owners to gather the tips.  Forest Rangers are on the lookout for people without a permit.
  In Washington County (the real Downeast Maine) people mostly earn their income from seasonal jobs, the work in lobster factories, working the blueberry harvest, and tipping.  Tippers who are hard workers can earn up to $500.00 a day for a ton of brush.  You see their product when you watch the news and see wreaths on the graves at Arlington National Cemetery.
  Read more:

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

As the crow flies

The shortest way there, that works for me,
whatever else could there possibly be?
I don't want to walk from here to the moon,
I just want to get there.  And very soon.

Why do they build all these sidewalks like this?
What could be possibly wrong? Shortness is bliss.
It doesn't matter if we cross some guys lawn,
why that son-of-a-gun would be better if gone.

I'll just go ahead, one little bit don't matter!
If I can't go the shortest way, I'll be mad as a hatter.
I know you're not supposed to go that way,
but what can that property owner possibly say"

It's human nature, this thing "desire path",
we'll go out of the way to cause someone's wrath.
It as the crow flies or it's no way at all,
just another path so the human race can fall.

Desire path.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Cross between a noodle and the moon?

It's named for the moon coming over the hill,
you just see the top and it gives you a thrill.
We all have a part of the very same moon,
and it always looks like it will all be up soon.

It's named for the Luna a name we all know
and it's only real purpose seems to be show.
It's right at your finger tips or very near so,
the Lunule is on your nails.  It stays as they grow.

Lunule (see it?)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

I want to kiss your purlicue....

I want to kiss your purlicue,
it is a very part of you.
That little piece that you see,
more of it than you see me.

Sometimes it's dirty or warm with sweat,
and at other times as clean as it can get.
Oh, that sweet little piece of flesh,
with it my lips want to mesh.

What is that little purlicue?
That makes me want to do to you.
It is the little "web" that lingers,
between your thumb and your fingers!


Saturday, December 20, 2014

It's a what?

  The New Orleans Pelicans, a team in the NBA, has a player named Anthony Davis.  He's a star player and has won awards each year he has played.  He is usually the player with the highest score each game as well as rebounds.  But he has, or doesn't have, on feature that makes him stand out.  He has no glabella.   He has been made fun of because of the lack of on of these.  Sports announcers may say something like "...Davis had 28 points and 12 rebounds and one eyebrow...  
Glabella, the space between eyebrows
  Did you ever see something that looked like a human butt?  Bumps on a tree, pumpkin or a rock.  Quite common in nature the forms are called natiform.  Now we've probably never used that word, but it's there, someone must use it.
Photo: www.

Friday, December 19, 2014

That's a lot of money for a VW, but...

A 1955 Volkswagen 23 window bus (not the subject)
  Recently, at auction, a bus similar to the photo sold for $245,000.00.  The 1955 VW bus, 23 windows and all was fully restored.  Torn down piece by piece all parts were fully restored, so maybe it was a fair price.  It was a lot of work after all.  And this is a highly collectable and sought after model.
  Read more:
The Spartan interior (actual bus)
Engine in the rear and a spare tire too!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

What about this?

You know, there's not much to write about, on days like this,
now it's still snowing, not much you see, but it didn't miss.
Just enough of it so a cleanup is in the works,
those lying "weathermen"! What a bunch of jerks.

When they say "it's a total miss" then you should look out,
because, you see, those kinds of storms, carry quite a clout.
This one is kind of tiny when measured up against the rest,
Ol' Man Winter hasn't given us his very, very best.

So I'll go about my business, coffee and a list.
And if I'm gone an extra hour that is time not missed.
Go get the broom and shovel, oh, and take out the trash,
it's just a little snow.  No call for something rash.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Can I remember and remember when

Ladies sell Christmas Seals in Bangor, Maine 1952
Photo: Spike Webb, Bangor Daily News
  Christmas Seals started to be sold to fight Tuberculosis and to help fund Sanatoriums around the Country.  The Organization currently operates as the American Lung Association which promotes lung health and helps fund the fight against lung cancers.
Christmas shoppers in Downtown Bangor 1954
Photo: Paul Marcoux, Bangor Daily News
  Shopping at W T Grant and Co. stores was a big deal in the 50's and 60's.  The company simply "overbuilt".  Makes me wonder about Wal-Mart, will they ever overbuild?
Photo: Yahoo Sports
  Yes! Baseball season is only a few short years (I mean months) away.
  Now, what happened yesterday:  I was rushed for time, sort of and I simply forgot.  I know, I know that's hard to believe, but it's true.  I did remember after I'd driven about five miles towards town.  Oh well.  And....the cell phone works fine; it was an "ownership" problem

Monday, December 15, 2014

The new cell phone

I bought a new cell phone, I know nothing about,
it's been quite a process; I'm ready to shout.
It took 3 days to switch over the number
right now that's about all that I can remember.

I wanted it to be easier to text,
so that's what brought on this terrible hex.
Now I have to learn to use "a mobile device",
after using a plain one that still worked quite nice.

I'm sure that with time it'll all work out,
that may be when you'll hear my next shout.
It's got all of these features by Android and such,
probably I won't use many of them much.

I want to text on a much larger screen,
and maybe make calls somewhere in between.
Texting is necessary for a couple of friends,
and I'm like a diver.  I'm getting the bends!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Which job is number one, in your State?

Here's the list - click
  Each State has a distinctive occupation, it's listed for your state on the map.  In Maine the job that most identifies the State is Logger, or maybe more correctly Logging Equipment Operator, most of the work is done by machines (harvesters).
  It's a surprise that Farmer isn't more popular in states like Nebraska or North Dakota; isn't that where most of our food comes from?  But I guess Farmer isn't a distinctive occupation - but it should be.
  The article, in the Bangor Daily News also list on map of trees per person.  When you see that maybe it makes sense to list "logger".
Trees per person (northern) - click
Source: USDA via Bangor Daily News
Read the article:

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Can women in tight skirts vote?

  The Bangor Daily Commercial on Nov. 9, 1914 stated; Resolved, Women are not fitted to vote while they adopt the present style of dress. 
  Much was said in the few years leading up to suffrage for women and the right to vote.  Here in this part of Maine the Grange was very politically active and along with the Democrat Party vowed not to let women leave the house and vote.
  There were women's groups on both sides of the issue - all active in either allowing women to vote or not.  It would be 1918 before women had that right.
  Read more, it's entertaining:

Friday, December 12, 2014

Laser guns!

A Laser weapon waiting to be loaded on to a ship
Photo: U S Navy
  The United States Navy has been looking for a way to protect ships, expensive ships, against much less expensive anti-ship missiles.  They have found an answer - the laser.
  Successfully tested a number of times at land bases and about ship the weapon is now on active duty.  One has been installed on the USS Ponce and is on patrol in the Persian Gulf.
  Read more:
  Here are the results of one test.  A remotely controlled airplane is shot down by a laser:
Photo: U S Navy

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The little lost sheep was warm

Gage waiting to go home
  It's cold wandering around Omaha at night, but Gage, the lost sheep, had a sweater on.  It is the Season after all and Gage is well dressed.
  It seems Gage got out of his own yard and wandered around for a while.  The sheep was seen by a friend of his owner.
  His owner often dresses Gage in festive attire.
A verse from the Wiffenpoof Song

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Dodge Model 30

Model 30 made from 1914 to 1920
  In the early years the Dodge brothers made engines and other parts and supplied the growing automobile industry.  Ford and Oldsmobile bought some of their parts.
  Horace Dodge had the idea that the Dodge brothers could compete in the "whole auto" industry and the Model 30 was introduced, it sold 500,000 units in the six year run.  It was one of the most popular cars of the day.
  For some reason they are now hard to find but Ford's Model T is more plentiful.  Of course many more Fords were built.
  Read more:
The radiator cap "hood ornament".

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Happy Birthday Admiral

RADM Grace Hopper
 In 1944 Grace helped build the Harvard Mark One the first computer of the modern age.  She taught the computer to talk too.  Before her success with computer language the machines only understood math formulas we needed them to understand other directions.  She invented COBOL (helped invent) the first time computers could be used in business.
 Later when the Mark Two stopped running Grace found a dead moth that had shorted a circuit.  We now use the word "bug" when something is wrong with a computer, and we de-bug it.
 Admiral Grace Hopper would be 108 today!  Happy Birthday.  She is, as you know, one of my heroes.

Working with UNIVAC in 1960
that's just the keyboard part!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Out there somewhere

Acadia National Park Loop Road
a two minute time exposure. - click
Photo: Robert F Bukaty, Bangor Daily News
  Yesterday was a day that nothing got done, by me that is.  Nothing.  I went to coffee and did a couple of small errands.  Then...nothing.  I have no idea where the time went, but it's gone.
  I did buy a new electric razor, it works well and feels good, but the jury's still out.  I needed something that didn't disturb the skin patches that are affected by the Lichen planus.  That stuff is progressing now on my forehead and the back of my neck.  The medicine is working on the stuff in my mouth but doesn't phase the skin stuff.
  I hope your day was productive.  It was a Sunday and the Celtics played good basketball and won, that was fun to watch.
  There is an edit to yesterdays post about the age of the gent when he started walking in 1898 (86).  He finished at age 98.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A long, long walk at 98 years old

Cross country.  Two times!
  Frank Schrom, in search of his daughters, walked from New Orleans, Louisiana to San Francisco, California and back to Mobile, Alabama.  He completed to New Orleans to San Francisco trek on December 4, 1910.
  It's just unbelievable!  But it's recorded in the New York Times in the December 6, 1910 issue.

Just WOW!

It should be noted that he began walking in 1898 at 86 years old and finished in 1910 at 98.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

I'm almost tired.

  Yesterday was a great day, or a good day, but it almost made me tired.  It was Hollies 30th birthday so we celebrated that.  She had heard so much about 30 making women feel older that she had some question as to whether she was a "geezer" or not.  No, I told her you have to be 60 to start being a geezer.  She was satisfied with that answer.
  We ate lunch at Bugaboo Creek in Bangor, because they give a birthday cake to the celebrant and you also get to kiss the moose (stuffed head).  She informed them that she has Autism and didn't want any noise or candles.  She also requested the cake to go.  She did kiss the moose.
  I recently learned that the animals on the walls will no longer talk, that's kind of sad because children, and a lot of adults, really liked that.
  So, I left home at 4:15am to go to coffee and got home about 1:30pm, I think that's about 9 hours and enough time doing things to make me a little tired.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Dodge Brothers starts to build trucks

1927 Graham Brothers stake truck
  The Dodge Brothers started to make "trucks" at the request of the Army in World War One, they supplied panel trucks to be used as ambulances.  They weren't really trucks because they were built on automobile chassis.  They were the only trucks built while the Dodge Brothers were alive, they both died in 1920.
  After the war production of trucks were passed over to the Graham Brothers for a few years until the Grahams were brought in to the Dodge fold.
  Read more (it's interesting):
1931 Dodge Panel - wish I had one. - click

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tractor Girl

Manon "Tractor Girl" Ossevoort
Photo: AAP
  I learned about the Tractor Girl when I read a column by Julia Bayly in the Bangor Daily News.  Julia writes a lot about tractors on her Rusty Metal Farm.
  Tractor Girl Manon is a Dutch actress who has already made it the length of Africa, no easy feat in itself.  Now she is in Antarctica and headed for the South Pole.
  She drives a Massey Ferguson 5600 series.  She hopes to make the Pole by December 10th.
Read more:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Want a date? What word will you use?

A North Dakota roughneck
Photo: Jim Urquhart/Reuters, a dating web site, was asked to find the word most used by those who want a date, in each state.  According to their research the man in the photo would use the word "oil" in some context.  People in Texas, Oklahoma and North Dakota all use that word.  In Maine the word du jour is "woods".  I live, work, hike or hate the woods, or do you want to go in the woods?
  Read more:   there's a link so you can find the "word" in all 50 states.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

To fish with bait, or wait?

Rangeley Lakes - click to enlarge
Photo: George's Outdoor News, George Smith
  In the early last century and the century before (1800-1920) as "war" was fought in the Rangeley Lakes. 
  Most people fished for food.  They took fish with bait.  Then came the "sports" from the east coast cities.   They fished with flies, for sport.
  The two sides didn't get along to say the least.  It was a mostly verbal war.  In one instance a cook fishing for food has a large trout on his line.  "Play it!, play it" shouted at sport.  "Play your grandmother" the cook shouted back as he waved a 15 pounder over his head.
  Read more:

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Dodge Brothers done up proud, in Alberta, Canada

Dauphin Red and Manitoba Brown 1929 Dodge Roadster
  Bill Gess who lives in Calgary, Alberta is the very proud owner of this beautiful Dodge roadster.  It was reworked and restored completely.  You'll wonder how it was done when I show you what he started with.
  The car was originally sold in Waltham, Massachusetts in 1929 and it looks just as good now as it did then.  It was done in the original colors and tan sharkskin leather.  Sharkskin is a finish of regular leather not from the fish.
  Read more, see more cars:
At the start of restoration

Sunday, November 30, 2014

This little piggy stayed home.

The Pig on a plane
  Some people have support animals, helpers if you will.  Some people who have seizures have a dog that alerts them when one is going to happen.  Other people have an animal for emotional support.  Allegedly.  My own opinion is that some of them are attention seekers.  That's why you see women, or men, in Wal-Mart with four dogs in the cart!  Do YOU want to use that cart?
  One woman was an "emotional support animal" that's a pig.  That's right, she has for her "emotional" support a pot bellied pig.  A fine swine if ever there were one.  But the porker doesn't like to fly.
  Recently the woman and her support animal boarded a flight, she tied the leash to an armrest and the pig went wild.  No flight for the little guy, he was off-loaded and that little piggy stayed home.
An expanded view.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

White Thursday, Plaid Friday

Clean up on Thursday on Central Street, work for some - click to enlarge
Photo: Brian Feulner, Bangor Daily News
And play for others in Hayford Park - click
Photo: Brian Feulner, Bangor Daily News
  White Thursday was okay for Thanksgiving.  If you had a shovel or a sled.  And, if you had electricity, many didn't.  It was cold too, but that never stopped me when I was a kid either.
Picking the "one" at the Briar Patch - click
Photo: Ashley L Conti, Bangor Daily News
  Friday was Plaid Friday in contrast to Black Friday in the "big boxes", and many shoppers went to the smaller, independent stores downtown.  This store, Briar Patch, has been around for a long time and it's a favorite for small children who haven't "logged on" yet.

Friday, November 28, 2014

...and, a snow shovel too.

  Yesterday was Thanksgiving and a day to shovel snow.  Not any  old ordinary snow either, this was Thanksgiving snow.  I gave thanks because it stopped at 13 inches.  It was wet, sticky stuff (I could have used another word).  That stuff (I could have used another word) stuck to the shovel so you would have to handle it twice.  I fell down in a drift and couldn't get up.  When I fell my legs crossed and I could get one on the ground.  Finally I was able to drive the shovel down and use it for leverage; it ain't easy being a geezer.
  So I'm thankful that the ground was solid, there was no sinkhole, there was no terrible heat wave AND I don't have to shop today!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving. Well, where ever you are.

From: #Maine - click to enlarge
  You'll probably (you should!) notice some errors in the map up there.  This map and others like it were filled in by British journalists.   I would imagine that many people right here in this country couldn't do much better.  For all that matter could you, or I, identify a breakdown of Britain.
  Anyway, if you know where you live have a great day, I'll be shoveling snow (oh boy, oh boy).

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I've been busy

It's going to be one of those - click to see the bird
  Monday I drove down to Togus VA Hospital with a friend.  He had knee surgery and I drove home.  It didn't take too long, we left at 4AM and he was checked in at 6:30 and went to the OR at 8.  We left, after dealing with the pharmacy at about 1PM, and arrived home at 2:30.
  Yesterday was my normal Tuesday with leaving at 4:15AM and getting home about 2PM.  Now I am a bit tired but we still have a couple of errands to run today.  Buying a turkey is not one of them,  going shopping in a "big box" is not one of them either.  It's going to snow later on and snow hard all night to reach maybe 10 inches or so.