Saturday, September 27, 2014

Early in the morning, that's when things happen.

  This past Wednesday morning something happened that I was going to write about on Thursday, but for some reason I didn't.
 I got to McDonalds about 4:35AM to wait until they opened.  I meet my coffee buddies and we talk
outside while we wait.  Then it occurred to me that I'd be alone, or so I thought, because one of them was in Virginia and the other had a medical appointment.  So I waiting in my car.
  It was dark no parking lot lights or signs were lit, and inside the crew was working with just a few lights up front, the rest of the building was dark.
  Then, as usual, a car come in the lot and drove to the "to go ordering" place, no lights nothing lit up, they waited for a couple of minutes.  It happens often, it's almost like they think the lights will turn on and dancing little people will sing Let Me Take Your Order Please, sort of like a Disney movie. Then he drove around the building and parked in the handicap
parking where he didn't belong.  Walking to the front door he read the hours the place is open and
gave a kind of dismissal wave with his hand.  Then he saw me sitting there.
  He walked over and told me they were closed.  I said I knew that, I was just waiting for my girl friend to get out of work.  He asked me what time she got out.  I gave him my best blank look and said  "eleven!".  Off he went.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Helicopters train to save lives on the water

Flying over Pushaw Lake
Photo: Ashley Conti, Bangor Daily News
  The Army National Guard 126th Aviation Medevac Unit was training recently over Pushaw Lake in Old Town Maine.  The Unit is based in Bangor, Maine.
  The crews practiced three types of rescue.  Using rescue straps which is possible when a person isn't too severely wounded and can wrap the straps around himself.  A floating litter can be used if the person can flop in to it and a 30 foot ladder can be used.  The ladder hangs from the UH-60's door and a crewmember descends the ladder and hooks in injured person to the ladder and flies to land or a landing platform with the people on the ladder - that's a last resort.
  All three types were practiced during the day long training.  There are times when an injured hiker needs to be hoisted and/or flown to a hospital and the Army Guard has always been willing to help.
The Blackhawk crews spots the target, it's near the left edge of the photo
Photo: Ashley Conti, Bangor Daily News

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Missed for lack of knowing

Two Falls West Sebec Lake -click to enlarge
Photo: Bill West
  My lovely wife and I were within a few yards of this place once.  But, we didn't know it was there so we haven't seen it in person.
  One day while driving around we took Maine 150 north and east until we arrived at the end of the road.  There are some rental cabins and a couple of year-round residences as I remember, and this wonderful scene.
  So . . know where you're going and what's there or you may miss things you'd wish you hadn't.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mixing Religion and Politics. Yes or No?

Click to enlarge
Illustration: The Pew Research Center via The Wall Street Journal
  Do you favor a Priest, Minister or Rabbi telling people how they should vote?  Yes, I know some already do, regardless of putting their churches in jeopardy of losing a tax-exempt status.
  The question should be "do you favor churches paying federal income taxes?"  In that case, yes by all means.  But, I'd still take them out of the election process.
  It appears from looking a the chart that more Republicans are more in favor of church involvement.  I'd say that the Evangelical Christians are more in favor, but the affiliation is not on the chart. 
  I'd take a very strong NO stance on this subject.  Personally I don't thing churches should have a say in anything except the "religion" part of what they're there for.  Feel free to use the comment section.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cross if you dare

Cape William Moore Bridge, Alaska
Photo: jkc916/flickr via
  This bridge crosses an earthquake fault.  The cantilever bridge is only anchored on one end.  In the event of an earthquake one end is free to move or swing so the bridge will not collapse.  I'm guessing is you were on that bridge you'd be safe.  On the other hand.....
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnels
Photo: Corbis via
  This bridge is twenty miles long, it has near the middle two one mile long tunnels.  The tunnels allow shipping to continue in the Norfolk/Newport News area to continue; that includes many Navy vessels too.
  I crossed this bridge in about 1974 (?) when it was only a two lane affair, lots and lots of large trucks and scary.  Now there is a second two lane structure so it's probably a lot safer.  A friend still drives on it and reports that the 65 mph speed is enforced (you must drive 65mph).
  The bridge connects southern Virginia with the Eastern Shore, or the Delmarva Peninsula that contains parts of Virginia and Maryland and the State of Delaware.
  Go to:  to read and view more bridges that are scary.
  As a follow up to the blog about the luxury train (sometime back, I don't keep track) watch the train as it arrives in Portland, Maine.

Monday, September 22, 2014

It is apple update time

A Cortland still on the tree
Photo: Felicia Kasprzak
  We have already been to Mainely Apples in Dixmont, Maine two times.  They have 1650 trees there with 40 varieties of delicious apples.  The last trip we bought Ginger Gold, a cross of Golden Delicious and Albemarle Pippen developed in Virginia in the 1960's; what a great treat.
  We also have some Zestar an apple developed by the University of Minnesota in 1969.  Several Universities in apple producing states are always working up new varieties.  U Maine has an orchard in Winthrop that they work with.
Ginger Gold on the tree
Photo: Mainely Apples

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Common Ground Country Fair

Lad meets Llama
Photo: Bridgett Brown, Bangor Daily News
  Every fall the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association holds it fair.  It started in Litchfield in 1977 and has been held in Unity ever since.  It's not a fair in the usual sense, there are no rides but there is a lot to see and do.
  Families come by the hundreds to see, smell and taste the goods that are offered.  There is plenty to eat prepared on the spot and a lot of exhibits and animals to see and discover.  It is a celebration of the Back-to-the-Land movement that Maine has experienced.  There are more family farms in Maine now than there have been in ages, many of the farms supply organic foods to the eastern part of the Country.
Read and see more:

Scottish Highland Cattle
Photo: Kate Collins, Bangor Daily News