Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Hey everybody! Hope you all have a great Halloween!

In the spirit of the season, I went and saw "30 Days of Night" last night. It was a pretty good movie....not great...but good. And, I will admit that when the vampires were on screen, there was massive carnage and lots of blood. Those parts of the movie were really awesome, and quite admittedly, pretty gross. But I loved those parts! Go see this movie if you're into vampire or spooky movies.

And, another movie referral: rent "1408" if you're into psychological, creepy movies. This movie, starring John Cusak, is taken from a Stephen King short story and is super creepy. Though it takes a tad too long for the set-up, once it gets going, you will be turning on the lights and scheduling a session with your shrink once it's over.

In the meantime, be good to the kids who come to your door tonight cuz one of them might be me! :-)


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Monday, October 29, 2007

World Series Champs!!

I'm happy to report that my Boston Red Sox have just captured the 2007 World Series Championship Trophy!

The Red Sox beat the formidable (**snicker**) Colorado Rockies in this 7-game series 4 games to none. A sweep. The second time in a row the Sox have swept their way to the title, the last being against the St Louis Cardinals in 2004 which ended the Red Sox's 86-year World Series Championship drought.

This 4-game sweep found the Red Sox outscoring the Rockies by a humungous score of 29-10. Let the pah-ty begin, ayuh.
Congrats to all of the Red Sox players, coaches, staff and fans. And I know my friend Sar is just ECSTATIC about this Red Sox victory. ;-)

I am SO going to try to get to the victory parade in Boston. Anybody heading down have an extra seat??


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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Not All Fort Knox's Have Money

Today I took a trip to Prospect Township, Maine with a friend visiting from Philadelphia. We went to check out Fort Knox (not the one with all the money...the FIRST Fort Knox) and the new Penobscot Narrows Bridge, upon which sits a 420 foot observatory. The bridge just opened this year in June (2007).

Though it was a bit of cloudy day with a few showers, the view from the observatory was awesome. It was a 360-degree view so we were able to look in each direction. With the tree leaves in their final week or so of full color, the landscape was brightly colored. This picture is looking North-East towards the town of Bucksport, and you can see Fort Knox in the foreground.

This picture looks South-West down the Penobscot River.

The fort was built way back in the 18hundred-somethings to protect the river from the Brits. The fort never had to engage in a battle as the threat of the Brits coming up the river to control the flow of wood (then used in the masts of ships) never materialized. The State of Maine was able to buy the property from the government in 1923 for a grand total of $2,121. It is now a historic site and is visited during the season that runs from May or so until the first of November. The fort is fun to walk through. Check out this view looking towards the town of Bucksport through a gun slot.

Here's a great view looking South from Bucksport towards the fort. The bridge is just so cool looking, eh?

Once we were done at the fort and bridge observatory we headed back towards Orono, but stopped first in Bangor to have lunch and beers at the Sea Dog mircro-brewery and restaurant. I totally love their logo! Oh, and their hamburgers. But c'mon, tell there really a more perfect food than a cheeseburger?? (Sorry vegetarian friends.....I could live on cheeseburgers...with bacon on them too, of course.)


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Sunday, October 21, 2007

World Series Bound!!!

Well, the Boston Red Sox have done it! They have come back from being down in their 7-game series 3 games to 1 against the great Cleveland Indians team to win the American League Championship Series and advance to the World Series!!! The Red Sox outscored the Indians 30-5 in the last 3 games of the series. Awesome.

The BoSox will be up against the Colorado Rockies, a hot team that has won something like 24 of their last 25 games.

It's gonna be a great series. A series the Red Sox win in 6 games.

Yeah baby. I love that dirty water.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I'm a Cookerer

I love to cook. It's one of the few things I do well all the time. I'm not a "Top Chef" by any stretch of the imagination, but I do a damn good job of putting together great meals when called upon to do so. Check out some of my recent feasts:

I recently moved back to Maine, as you know from reading this blog. One of the things I wanted to do was have my Mom and Dad down for dinner at my house. (My house used to be the house my Dad grew up in...I bought it from the family this year) So, for Mom and Dad, I had this great meal of roasted chicken (carrots and celery were roasted with the bird), mashed cauliflower(served like mashed potatoes), corn-off-the-cob, green salad, individual ramekins with the great chicken gravy I made, and for desert, we cut up the melon in the background. Yummy, eh?
Yes, I know...the silverware is totally in the wrong order.

A friend of friends of mine is a single Mom with two great kids. So, I thought I'd help her out one night and made a kick-ass lasagne. The sauce is homemade, cuz I'm good like that. It's a ground-turkey and fresh spinach lasagne, fresh brocolli steamed, fresh garlic bread, and though it's not pictured, I also made a green salad. This was, without a doubt, the bestest lasagne I ever made.

This is in it's pre-cooked state.

For a party I was invited to I made a tortellini salad. This is something that I learned in Philadelphia as it was easy to find this kind of salad in lots of places. It's not hard to make,and whenever I would bring it to pot-lucks or for a dinner, it would go fast. I would never bring any of it home with me. However, up here in Maine, I brought it to the party, and hardly anybody touched it. Wacky how regional foods can be. So worse-case-scenario was that I had tort salad for a week. complaining could be heard from me, that's for sure.

This past weekend I put together a great Sunday meal for friends of mine who I've known for a long time. They've been really helpful to me as I've made the re-settlement to Orono after having been gone for 24 years. They've gotten me in touch with contractors, had me out for drinks and dinner, have me over for lobster and Red Sox games. It's been great seeing them, so I thought I'd do something cool for them and their two kids: I made Sunday dinner! This time I made chicken cordon bleu (I use prosciutto and provolone instead of regular ham and Swiss cheese) and also roll fresh spinach into the chicken. I also served fresh steamed brocolli, mashed cauliflower, and homemade chicken/garlic rice, all served with a homemade gravy for the chicken. It was truely an awesome meal.

So, if you're ever in the area and want something good to eat, let me know. I'm sure I'll have something around the house I can whip up in no time. If not, we'll just head uptown and get a pizza at Pat's.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Nobel Peace Prize

Congratulations to Al Gore on his Nobel Peace Prize win! (Sharing in this prize was the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, so hats off to that group also.) His concerns for global warming set off a world-wide awareness that had been largely ignored up until his focus on this topic.

Despite having the Presidency taken from him by a fucked-up Supreme Court and a retarded base of US Republicans, Al Gore moved on past the atrocity that put George "moron" Bush in the presidential seat of our country. While Bush and his misinformed lapdogs have been destroying the planet (and the reputation of the United States of America) with their "wreck first ask questions later" mentality, Al Gore has been telling the intelligent people of this country and planet that we are on a collision course with disaster if something isn't done about man-made emissions.

Will the people and countries who affect this climate issue the most listen up? Probably not because we all know that companies will NOT spend money to make things safer and cleaner, they'll only spend money on more machines to create more product (and thus more waste by-products) and machines to replace humans as their workforce.

It's sad that we as humans would be so dumb as to destroy the only place we have to live. But that's what big-business does to a invokes a "but we'll go broke if we make things better and safer" mantra that politicians (yes, mainly Republican'ts in this country) use to stick-up for the environmental destruction. And it doesn't help when you also have a president that won't honor global plans to improve the environment (I'm thinking of the Kyoto Treaty here).

So we have Al Gore. And what an impact he's having. He has raised the awareness through books (Earth in the Balance and The Assault on Reason), lectures, and an Oscar winning movie, An Inconvenient Truth. Way to go, Al. I, for one, appreciate what you're doing. Keep the faith, brotha, keep the faith.

And congrats again on being recognized by the Nobel Peace Prize committee. This award is WAYYYYYY better than being selected as "Time's Person of the Year".

And did you all notice how cool it is that 2 former Democratic Presidents have won the Nobel Peace Prize while Bush-the-World-Wrecker has been failing miserably as "president"? Jimmy Carter in 2002, and now Al Gore. Is it any surprise that Democrats have more concern over fixing things and making them better for everyone instead of always destroying things?

**NOTE: Yes, I'm aware that the US Democratic Party has its issues too. But overall, they are by FAR the lesser of the two evils for the two major political parties in this country.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

I Have Got to Find The River

The Penobscot River is but 50 or 60 yards in front of my house. When I was a kid growing up down the street from where I now live, the Penobby was the play-ground for us kids down in this end of Orono.

Across the street from my house is the old Bangor Hydro Power Plant. This plant used to produce electricity from water routed from the other river I live near...the Stillwater River...through the turbines within this old hydro-electric plant. This building sits on the area where the Stillwater and the Penobscot Rivers merge. These days, however, this plant is no longer used to create electricity, although it still has a power-routing station located on the property. The dam at the mouth of the Stillwater River is on the list to be removed soon.

These pictures were taken from my front door. You can see the old hydro plant, and in the background you can see the gray/blue color of the Penobscot River through the trees.

Here is a picture taken from the river looking back at my house. Pretty close, eh? I wonder if this counts as waterfront property?

A couple of pictures of the river - one right by the hydro, and the other looking south down the Penobby.

This time of year the water is down pretty low. It hasn't rained much lately, so the water is down a little lower than normal. Once winter hits,
the level will rise and much of it will freeze. And when the spring thaw arrives, it will be a raging river with a wicked higher water level.

Luckily this area never floods, so I'm safe and sound right where I'm located.
**crosses fingers**
**rubs lucky rabbit foot**
**hangs up a horseshoe**
**gets out 4-leaf clover**

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Check Out The Size of My....

...front-yard tree! Wait...what did you think I was going to say? OMG! You pervert.....

This tree was planted by my dad and his brothers and aunts and uncles...when they were teenagers. So right around the time that mankind was making the switch to paper from stone tablets. hahaha! I kill me.

Actually, I guess it might've been closer to the early 1960s. They dug the tree up from the bank of the Penobscot River right across the street from the house they were living in, which I now own. Look at how huge it is!

And comparatively, that's one small house right below it. **gulp**

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Maine Hockey

Yay! Guess what arrived yesterday? Any guesses? C'mon, take at least one... Okay, what arrived yesterday, you wonder?

My University of Maine (at Orono, from now on referred to as UMO) Black Bears 2007-2008 hockey tickets!

I'm so totally psyched! In this part of the world, UMO hockey is IT. It's A-Number-One. There is a huge waiting list of people hoping to get season tickets. So, how did I get mine so quickly after just getting back to Orono? Well, my parents have never stopped renewing their 3 season tickets. They first got season tickets when the hockey arena was built (Alfond Arena) back in 1979 or 1980. At first we had 4 tickets so Mom, Dad, my sister and I could all go. It was awesome. When I graduated in '83, they dropped the number of tickets they purchased to 3, and they've continued to renew them every year. They don't really attend the games anymore, but they have no problem finding people to take the tickets. See, the University takes over control of any tickets that are cancelled by a season ticket holder. Or, if a season ticket holder kicks the bucket, the tickets go back to the University. They do not allow tickets to be passed on to someone else by the ticket holder, which totally sucks. But, since the team has, over the years, become so hugely successful the University wants to make sure it's big donors have access to tickets and to hell with the community that's supported the team from the beginning. But, regardless, until the time comes that the University has the right to take over control of my Mom and Dad's tickets, I'll be buying at least one set of them. Maybe next year I'll be ready to pay them for all 3 tickets. We'll see.....

Hockey is, by far, the sport I enjoy the most. Chalk it up to growing up in Maine, or having a Mom who's Canadian. Whatever. I love hockey. And the University of Maine's hockey team is one of the top college hockey teams in the nation. I used to attend the Black Bear hockey games with my family wayyyyyy back when I was in high school, but haven't seen a live one since 1983 or so. The few times I was able to watch them while I lived in Philadelphia was if they made it to the Frozen Four Championship because that's the only time of year that ESPN/ESPN2 carries college hockey.

But this year will be different. This year I'll be at every home game. And the first one is this Saturday night, October 6.

So if you're trying to reach me that night and I don't answer my phone or I don't come to the door, you know where I'll be. And I guess that'll be the perfect time to rob my house.

But don't you think you'll be finding my remaining tickets for the season...I'll be carrying all of them with me.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

World Series - The Ice Cream Prediction

Well, if the ice cream I've bought up here in Maine ends up being a foresight of the upcoming World Series, I've got the Red Sox beating the Phillies 4 scoops to 2 scoops!

Go Red Sox!

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