Friday, October 24, 2014

Random doodles

Superior sunset

   I took the dogs out for an hour long walk tonight immediately after work, and was rewarded tenfold: the sunset was absolutely stunning and kept changing right before my eyes.
This golden twister…
   ...Became this cotton candy colored twister! Even clouds are shaped like tornadoes in the state of Kansas.
    The only bummer was how difficult it was to find a clear spot to get a shot. Humans are awfully good at mucking up beautiful sunsets.

How about a little cuttle?

   A bunch of my coworkers got back from Hong Kong earlier this week, and one of them bought this bag of dried cuttlefish snacks which originated in Japan. And today it finally happened: Bill opened the bag and took a bite, to the horror of everyone standing nearby, then held the bag out to me and asked me if I wanted to try one too. And of course the answer was yes. I dove in for the tentacles first and took them off in one bite, and found it to be not unpleasant at all. The smell was strong and slightly offputting, but the taste was like dried salmon or tuna... just very salty. And chewy. The problem for me was not the taste, it made my jaw hurts to chew so much!

Shibas in need

   MSIR, the rescue group from which I adopted my two dogs, is about to get flooded with dogs of all ages from a commercial breeder who is shutting down. Obviously, this is great news--one less puppy mill contributing to an epidemic of over-breeding and mistreating animals. Problem is, MSIR needs somewhere to stash all of the new recruits, plus the 19 dogs they already have in their care. If you are looking for a wonderful dog to adopt, please go to and fill out an application. Here are some facts about the breed to help entice you:
   Shibas are excellent mousers--better than a cat because they go for the kill... As my guys reminded me this morning, when I was already running late for work! Taylor caught it, then Aki took it from him & finished the job. Ugh!

   My dogs have caught mice, rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, possums, and birds--too many to count. And  they've treed a raccoon much bigger than themselves.  (Shibas are only about 25 lbs, though they look much bigger in photos.)

   Shibas provide a perfect place for you to sit your cup. Here, Taylor mistakes the Cappy's cup for a cap!

   They're equally good at holding whales:
   Cold winter nights are no problem with these excellent couch warmers:
   They give your cat someone to boss around:
   Did I mention that they are great mousers? (Mine have caught at least 10 this year alone.)
   They are excellent running buddies:
   They can provide all the fur you need to keep yourself warm... And then some:
   They are excellent first mates for your kayak:
   Need I go on? Clearly, they are the best. So hurry up and get to that website and fill out your application, please! And tell your friends!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Halloween surprise

   Be careful running at night, you never know who you might meet! I switch up my route around my neighborhood frequently, precisely so I discover new things. And tonight it was a fantastic front yard walk through haunted house at 78th and Hemlock. It was truly amazing and it's detail and included a lot of anima Tronic skeletons on rides, spooky sounds, music, and much more. No tickets required!
   I started my run before game two of the World Series (Royals vs. Giants) began, but this was my long run night, so it was an hour into the game by the time I finished. But don't think for a second that meant that I missed the game. I centered my run around downtown Overlin Park. The weather was a balmy 70° for October, and all the bars and restaurants that were showing the game had their windows and doors wide-open. I could hear the chanting of "let's go Royals!" Blocks away. So I was able to circle back around and keep tabs on the game. (And I DVR'd it too.) it was exhilarating to see the Royals crush the Giants, only a night after the Giants crushed them. Looks like it's going to be a great series!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wisdom from a Beastie

   The Beastie Boys' Mike D was featured in an interview on CNN, and I loved this quote (referring to the difference between being a producer, and being a musician): "You are going to have to bust your ass at the end of the day, no matter what, so choose what you want to bust your ass on."  Thanks to my college buddy Frank N for sharing this.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A fond farewell

   On Sunday morning we checked out of the cabin and drove back to where we started, Portland. We grabbed a quick lunch together at J's Oyster on the wharf. I was delighted to have one last chance for lunch with my family, and for great Maine seafood: fresh oysters, and a big lobster roll!
   We had a seat right by the window with a view of the harbor, and sunlight streaming in. The last few days have been in the 60s-70s, and today dropped to 40s-50s. Our timing was perfect for leaf color and weather, and as Stella's daughter, Roz, said, Stella must have arranged it just for us!
   Too soon, it was time to jump back into the VW Golf (with only 350 miles when I picked it up!) and take the colorful 1.5 hour drive back to Manchester, New Hampshire.
   Mom took this shot for me to share with Madeline, the VW enthusiast. I have to say it was a very smooth, quiet comfortable ride--impressive for a little car. But the seats and the vantage point can't compare with my ol' Rav.
   I pulled into the underground parking garage to return the car, stopped right behind one other car, and began to gather my phone charger, my sunglasses, and anything else I could quickly stuff in my backpack. I was leaned over the passenger seat with my back to my door, when I heard it open, and I heard a man's voice say, "Ma'am, I need to check in your car."
   "Okay," I said, because I was obviously expecting it. What I didn't expect was to turn around and see my former coworker, Peter F, smiling because he'd successfully tricked me! He and his mom had finished their trip in New Hampshire and pulled into the garage just before me! We were on the same flights on the way home, so he kindly treated us ladies to dinner and a beer in Manchester, and frozen yogurt at Pinkberry in Baltimore. It was such a great way to end a great trip.

Nuts and Mooses

   Sunday we checked out of the hotel and made an unscheduled stop at Perry's Nut House on our way down the coast. I mean, when you see a giant wooden squirrel holding a giant peanut, how can you NOT stop for that? I'm so glad my family enjoys all the same stupid things I do. Wait... Maybe it's their fault!?!
   On the way down to Camden, we wandered into a resort called Point Lookout that looked especially enticing. There were many cabins nestled in the woods, and we followed the curving path all the way up to the overlook and see clubhouse, where many weddings are held. It seems like the perfect place for us to spend the night. (Note for future trips: the cabins are quite small, and really only accommodate one person for each of the two bedrooms. The beds are doubles, not queens as we were told.)
   As we were enjoying the view, suddenly, the silence was broken by the sound of a moose bugling. To this day, none of us have ever seen a moose in Maine, but finally we have heard one! The bronze statues on the resort property will have to suffice for this trip.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Happy endings in Camden

Spoiler alert: awesomeness ahead!
   Saturday afternoon found mom and I hiking up Mt Megunticook to a spectacular viewpoint from which to enjoy Camden, Penobscot Bay, and the fall leaves in full glory.
   The trail was steep, and often slippery from fallen leaves as well as from the inherent dampness of the woods, the mosses, and the streams. But what a spectacular payoff for the effort! Mom doesn't hike as often as I do, but she made it look easy. We had plenty of time to rest at the top and drink it all in.
   Then we walked back down where Marty picked us up...
   And she took us to the Lobster Pound for dinner: a cold beer and a hot lobster!
   Afterward, Mom, Marty, and I met Gayle, Rosemarie, and Lorri across the street at the Whale's Tooth pub for drinks and dessert. Soooo many choices. So I chose two.