Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Time

Somehow it's just not the same as it was even a few short years ago.

Rudolph and Santa Looking Suspicious

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More Good Music

I did some more checking and came up with another two videos to share. I only have two wishes on these. The first being that the focus were better, the second that it just be Evan playing these pieces...he can certainly carry them with no help.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Have A Listen

A super client and a pleasure to work for (this is not his home piano)!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Visit to My Boulder

Today I took 'A' on a ride to Annisquam to show her my boulder.  I parked on the main road and we walked up the big hill to see it.  When I took the original photo, I hadn't the time to really look around.  'A' and I walked the area just around my boulder and as we turned to leave, this stunning view greeted us.
Annisquam Lighthouse

Someone picked a good boulder for me!

There is a huge area of trails that eventually lead down to Ipswich Bay.  When we have more time than we did today, and on another good weather day, we plan on doing more exploring.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Well, I Don't See Your Name On It!

Everyone should be given the gift of something that's nearly everlasting.  I found my gift yesterday.  It's real name is Squam Rock, but someone, sometime, decided that I should 'own' it.

Click to enlarge to see my name on it
Yep, folks, my name is on it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Elegance

Despite the excessively cold weather 'A' and I decided to go for a walk this afternoon.  One of our favorite classy houses on Pleasant Street is tastefully adorned for Christmas.

Five and a half hours later and I'm still chilled.  I must say, add in the wind chill factor and brrrrrrrrr...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Nostalgia in Black, White, and a Gray House

My dad was an electrical engineer and that really showed at Christmas time.  This house is the first I lived in...for my first 3 years.  Dad's Christmas light display won him a plaque award in a decorating contest organized by the Haverhill newspaper.  In addition to all the multicolored lights and the two story foil Christmas tree, Rudolph's nose blinked red and Santa waved at passersby.  Well, Santa continually waved...even at nobody.  In those days the house was painted white.  With the old fashioned BIG bulb strings of lights, it was all brightly lit.  This was the first of many more Christmas displays of future years.

Coolidge Avenue, Haverhill, MA  1957
We moved to the neighboring town of Groveland and the tradition continued.  For several more Christmases, Santa, the reindeer, and the life-sized, three dimensional sleigh filled with foil wrapped gifts adorned our lawn.  After that was the life-sized barn, with all the participants...from Baby Jesus to the Wise Men...also large as life.  Our cat liked to sleep in the hay with Baby Jesus.  I don't think he minded...Jesus that is...the cat just assumed it was her territory.  There was the giant Christmas 'card' that filled the arch of the breezeway and Santa going down the chimney.  Santa in the chimney was a short lived display...only one year.  Dad liked a roaring fire!

Coolidge Avenue, Haverhill, MA 2010
So, that first house in Haverhill is still there and every once in a while we take a drive by.  Things change.  It's been vinyl sided in gray and the garage has been enlarged, driveway widened.  The bones of my folks first house are still there though, kept nice and neat.

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's Beginning to Feel Alot Like Winter

It looks a lot like it, too...minus far.
Mill Pond Without Ducks

Mill Pond has iced over and, by the foot prints and shoe slide marks, it looks like daring children temporarily replaced our duck friends.  I wonder if they will be skating there this weekend?  There are a dozen or so ducks left in the mostly unfrozen little pond in the meadow. That little pond is a bulge in the overflow stream from Mill Pond as it flows through the meadow toward the ocean.

Sometimes the harsh cold gray of winter weather can make everything want to lose color.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A Little This, A Little That

Because so much is going on all at the same time that I can't think of just one thing to write about.  With the arrival of THE holiday season, key work diminishes...although there is still some...and tuning work increases.  This year seems heavier in that regard.  The only problem is that I seem to be getting the dregs of tuning jobs, that quite possibly, the semi-retiring(?) other island tech doesn't want.  Maybe, maybe not.  And not all of it is lousy.  It's just that the ratio seems tipped that way this month.

I've started reading a new old book.  It's been in this family for 60 years, give or take a few.  I've just never read it.  The title you wonder?  Queen of the Flat Tops, written in 1942 by Stanley Johnston, a journalist aboard the USS Lexington from her exit from Pearl Harbor just days prior to the attack, to her sinking on May 8, 1942 in the Coral Sea Battle.  My dad served aboard the 'Lex'.  His battle station was sky forward.  He was one of the last of her crew to jump into the Coral Sea.  But that's a story for another time.

It's gotten quite cold here and our Rockport ponds are starting to ice over.  'A' and I continue to walk, several times each week, to Mill Pond to feed the multitude of ducks.  Our feeding trip a couple days ago was quite humorous.  Ducks don't ice skate very well!
Ducks on Ice

I'm still involved in trying to straighten out the matter mentioned (or rather not mentioned) several days ago.  Things have settled for a couple weeks.  Long term solutions haven't been addressed or decided or even deemed doable.  It'll take time to work through it all.

So for now I'm working through each day with a list of 'have to do today'.  If I finish the list each day, I feel good.  If I've accomplished a bit more than was even on the list, I'm happy.  I'm trying to set aside at least an hour each day that I can label as fun. 

Sometimes that's as easy as Ducks On Ice.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Here But Mostly Distracted

I'm giving no explanation at the present time.  Some things have happened, family things a long way from here.  But they have come to rest at my feet.  Not really.  They have generated enough serious concern that I feel I must try to make things right.  The way someone would have intended things to be.  I'm hoping for a good solution.  It will never be a happy ending so it would be foolish to hope for that.  Anyway, it is taking a good deal of my time, but be assured that I still stop by and check in on every one of you.

And I'll still write here.  It might be brief stuff or just some pictures.  All depends.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Baglady (another self-portrait)

When I haven't been working, or walking, or taking photographs, or shuttling 'A' to work, or being sick...yes, I had a terrible head cold all last week...I've been raking leaves.  We have huge oak trees lining our street.  Enormous.  And they create an enormous mess of leaves later in the season than any other.

Although I have declared the job FINISHED for this season, I know that there will be many more to rake up come Spring.  You see, several neighbors don't bother to rake and all it takes is a bit of wind and........

This season's bag count...and they are 39 gallon bags packed 98.  Pictured are just a small portion of the total that I raked and bagged yesterday and today, 29 I think.  'A' and my mom will load the bags into mom's car and take them to the dump to empty in the lawn debris pile.

The Baglady
I'm sure glad that it's done for another year!  All pain killers, massages, and tickets to tropical vacation spots will be joyfully and gratefully accepted.  Nice comments welcome as well, but do make note of the preceding list of acceptable congratulatory items.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Within and Without

Not too much to say about this photo.  A very good friend and I have been pushing digital images around a bit. This photo of the loo has been converted from color to black and white.  It works much better with no color.

Three of Me at the Loo
It is also another self-portrait as I appear three times.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Every So Often

Our most recent 'fun' adventure happened last Sunday on our way home from the turkey farm.  We had made a slight (read very long) detour so that 'A' could stop at a Border's book store.  After that stop we became nutritionally ignorant...on purpose...and stopped at a favorite ice cream stand for dinner.  Everyone just has to eat ice cream for a meal once in a while, don't they?  We stopped at Cherry Farm Creamery for our treat.  By the time we finished there the sun was just beginning to do it's disappearing act in the western sky.  As we headed east the moon was visible.  A giant orb behind the leafless trees.  HUGE!  And full.  And a 'blue moon'. 

There are two definitions of a blue moon.  The first is when a full moon occurs twice in one month...the second full moon of the month is referred to as a blue moon.  The second definition is when there is a fourth full moon within a single season.  I think we fell under the second definition this time.

"Once in a blue moon."  Now you know.

While the moon was still low in the sky I wanted to take a picture.  But from where?  We were on a secondary road that parallels the highway.  There was no place available to pull over, no pretty scenery to add to the shot.  What to do?  Soon the moon would be too high in the night sky, it would be too dark.

I pulled in to a corporate office park area thinking I might be able to find at least one tree to frame my moon shot.  The first turn was into the parking lot of some high tech firm.  It was a gated drive, but no worries, the gate was raised and the guard shack unmanned.  To the consternation of the other two captive within the car, I pulled right in and drove to the eastern end of the parking lot.  There was a section of the lot with a few dozen cars parked.  Second shift, maybe?  From my spot on the far edge of the parking area I took the photo posted here.  Actually, I took three.  This is the best.

I turned the car around and headed back to the main drive.  Turned to head out the exit and found that the gate on that side was down.  Oops.  The others got nervous.  "What are you going to do?"

I pulled up near the gate, hoping that there was a sensor that would get that arm lifting to let me out.  No such luck.

The others got more vocal.  "I told you we shouldn't have come in here!"  "I bet they have cameras watching us!"  "The police will be here, I bet."

"Cool!  Then they can confiscate my camera, check out the digital images to find ducks, rainbows, a horse or two, and a couple roosters!"  "Oh, and I mustn't forget...the blue moon."  I backed out of the exit drive and drove the wrong way out the entrance.  Very quickly.  That gate was still open.

Just a little bit of fun even though no police showed up.  What's the worst thing that could have happened?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Meet Vinnie and Lou

Last Sunday we traveled north to visit some jailed birds.  Raymond's Turkey Farm is located in Methuen, MA, about an hour and a quarter from Rockport.  When I was growing up, we always bought our Thanksgiving turkey there.  In later years they opened a Christmas tree farm and that's where we chose ours for many years.  Anyway, this year my mom wanted to buy a turkey pie.  Not for Thanksgiving...we're having ham...but an individual serving pie for just any day.

As if an over an hour drive wasn't enough, little did we know that Haverhill was having it's holiday parade.  It's evidently a big one and trying to get around it added an extra 15 - 20 minutes to our drive.

It's been years since we've been to Raymond's, but nothing has changed other than the large flocks of turkeys are now out of sight way behind the store.  In sight though were this year's birds that had been granted a stay of execution.

We had to walk right by Vinnie and Lou to get into the store where my mom discovered that the individual, all white meat turkey pies were sold out.


 Then we had to get back home past the parade!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Short Changed...Again

Tomorrow is the Rockport PTO Holiday Fair and I will be a vendor.  It can take some doing to reserve a table at this fair.  It's fairly large and well-attended and some folks have been vendor-ing at it over a number of years.  The first year I had to settle for half a table just to get a 'foot in the door'.  Last year I got my reserve money in early and received an entire table...though not in the best of locations.

This year I was an early reserver once again.  I'm not much in the spirit of the season, but I've managed to boost myself into getting prepared..

Today was busy with work and meetings.  It was dark by the time I got to loading all my 'gear' into the Rav4 and hauling it all, and mom and 'A' and myself, up to the high school gymnasium to set up.  The email that I had received, and the confirmation card that arrived in the mail, said that my payment of $50 and my donation to the raffle of one handmade item ($10 in my case) reserved an 8 foot table.  Everyone's confirmations said the same thing.

There's a problem though.  The table that I am assigned is only 6 feet.  There are 12-6 foot tables.  There are at least 34-8 footers, probably more.  You better believe that I'll be mentioning this to the 'woman in charge', the woman who took my money, tomorrow (she kinda of disappeared tonight before I had a chance to air my grievance). 

I figure it this way.  $50 for an 8 foot table equals $6.25 per foot.  My 6 foot table should have only cost me $37.50. (Same for the others stuck with those 6-footers)  I am renting sales space and I should not have to pay a higher rate for that space than other vendors.

Did my ill-fortune end there?  Oh, of course not.  After I got back home and had some dinner I needed to go down to my workshop to glue on a set of keytops.  This client had reserved the last set of standard off-white keytops available.  The supplier no longer stocks them and this was the last set that I had.  I can still offer off-white, but in a more expensive set.  I got everything lined up ready to go and discovered that there was no A-A.  Now to some of you this doesn't mean anything.  Let me explain.  A-A is the first note at the left end of the keyboard.  It is a different shape than any other key and thus within the set of new keytops it is important to have that A-A  (as well as a C-C for the right end).  Still don't understand?  Well, I'll just say that an important part of the set was missing and I can't get any more.  Yep, short changed again. 

I did make it work.  I happened to have some spare off-white keytops accumulated from breaking up a set when a keytop got damaged and I needed a replacement.  However, there was no A-A (of course not).  I used a C-C (trust me it will be okay).  I'll have to trim it to look like A-A and then I'll remove the 'C-C' designation at the back end of the keytop.

My evening has made a cranky me.  Tomorrow better be a good one.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Of Holiday Music

Every year I am tempted to put in an order for a 'special' Christmas CD.  This year I finally did it. 'A' was looking for a specific CD, too.  Hers seems to be one of those hard to find items.  So we trekked to Gloucester Music in search of our odd requests.

When we arrived, I was thrilled to discover that the store has a resident cat.

His name is Pumpkin, but he prefers PK as it is more dignified.  A trait he has honed to perfection.  Of course I didn't have my camera with me and that meant a trip home and back to take some pictures of PK.  By the time we got back to the store, he had stopped prowling the bins of CDs and had settled into his countertop cardboard box for a nap.  You can probably notice that he was not overjoyed about being awakened for a photo session.  When I was done, I thanked him with some under-chin scratching and was rewarded with a chirp-like purr.

Today the owner of the store called to say that my CD had arrived.  What is it you wonder?  The Ventures' Christmas Album.  Think Hooked on Classics meets 50's Rock and Roll and then throw in all your childhood favorite Christmas songs.  You know, Rudolph and Frosty and Jingle Bells and more...

I used to have the LP.  I don't remember what year, but I think I was about 12 or 13 years old.  Played that thing every Christmas season until I no longer owned a record player (or later a turntable).  It's still as quirky and fun as it was back then.  Gotta get in the spirit!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Envelope Art...Again

For Veteran's Day...

With love from my Uncle Hughie who was killed on a B-17E training flight near Gowen Field, Idaho on April 3, 1942.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


I've been having a hard time coming up with a post.  Oh, there have been lots of things going on.  Mostly they have been things that annoy several stop-sign running idiots, or work.  There's been a cram-load of work.  Work stories bug people when they don't really care about what work someone I'll spare you.

So staying on the positive side of things, as I would really rather do, I must comment that it has been delightful to walk about town without having to sidestep around tourists.  It's a love hate thing with the tourists.  Yep, gotta love 'em as they mean nice weather.  If it's sunny and warm and, most importantly, NOT winter, they are here in droves.  This time of year they thin out and that means cold, nasty weather has arrived with colder, nastier weather on the way for the next few months.  To me that is not a good thing.  I like warm and sunny.  Oh, we'll get our sunny days to be sure.  They just won't be toasty warm.

So that means what?  Can't seem to have the good without the annoyance.  At least that's my take on it.  There may be some of you out there that don't mind having to bundle up and brave the wind and ice, rain or snow.  I do.  I want no more than jeans and a t-shirt, thank you.  And I hate socks, too.

'A' and I walked today.  It was windy and chilly.  A cloudy day with the remnants of an off-shore storm.  I was surprised to see a tourist bus parked in town.  I bet they're sorry they dished out the bucks to stop at a dreary town where the majority of the tourist trap shops are closed during the week!

Anyway, we walked out 'the Neck' and out Tuna Wharf.  I looked across to T-Wharf and saw a tourist type taking a photo of...
you guessed it, Motif #1.  Supposedly the most photographed and painted building in the United States.  I waved from my vantage point just beyond "that red barn" as some not-so-informed tourists have been heard calling it.  Maybe she'll not notice me and email me around to all her relatives!  Guaranteed not too many of the tourist folk snap the view that I did today.  (see above)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

For the Love of Maps

Wednesday mornings I volunteer in the research library of the Sandy Bay Historical Society.  Today I needed to find an old map book.  Someone doing research had photographed an old map from the book and had forgotten to write down the source.  You know, book name, publisher, that kind of thing.  The old map books - atlases - are in the storage room.

It didn't take long to find the requested atlas.  Actually only one was even a possibility.

I got sidetracked, though.  I love maps.  I leafed through a few and then came upon a treasure.  Not only were there maps in George Walker's Atlas from 1879.  There were lithographs depicting prominent buildings in the various communities mapped in the book.  The lithographs were fascinating, exquisite. 

And I was thrilled to come across the page with this one:

Moulton's Castle, Newburyport.  Yep, THE Moulton's Castle.  I think the same lithograph that is reproduced in minuscule in the Maudeslay State Park brochure.

I got my jacket and my car keys and headed home for my camera.

I know.  It's just one of those things that fascinates me and probably very few other people.  Since this is my blog, I get to put it here!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

On Walks

We've been walking a lot.  Not only in Rockport, but also in Mattapoisett near my cousin's house.  We took some time off...or should I say I took some time off - mom being retired and 'A' on vacation.  On Friday morning we went to the Bourne National Cemetery to visit my dad's grave.  A surprise awaited.  Wind turbines at the cemetery!  Well, no one to complain about noise or view or anything!

As we normally do when travelling to the cemetery, we stayed with my cousin in Mattapoisett for the night.  'A' and I went walking there and saw a beautiful double rainbow over Mattapoisett harbor.  It made the complete arc beginning behind a hill to the northwest and ending in the water to the southeast.

As we walked down the 'Neck' there were more surprises.  This time a painted horse.

And a pretty sunset behind the scrub pines.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Things That...


in the night.

It's that time of year.  Harvest Fest...didn't go.  But the town did dress up with some scarecrows.  Here is one display.

outside the ice cream shop
'A' and I have been walking just about every night and all sorts of creatures have been out there.  The scarecrows, of course.  One of which sort of took us by surprise.  Even made us cross the street thinking that it was a real, rather questionable character.  Yep, it's that time of year. 
leather shop gets scary

On another night time walk we discovered a skunk scooting the edges of the main road on Bearskin Neck.  I tried to get a photograph but the flash couldn't handle the distance and I really didn't want to try to decrease the distance.  No way.

My favorite display was a portion of one.  I didn't like the full scarecrow-y thing that one of our shops had out on their porch.  It was rather poorly executed.  But I did love this part.
on the porch in front of Willoughby's

There are lots of pumpkins and orange lights.  Halloween is getting to be too decorated.  I like saving the big time lights and all for Christmas.  Others think otherwise obviously.  Right about when we got to this display on Main Street two bunnies ran across the sidewalk in front of us.
orange glow on Main Street house

We've been enjoying the night walks.

full moon over the harbor with Motif #1 at far left and the end of T-wharf middle to right

Sunday, October 24, 2010

In Response

to my last self-portrait post may I present two historic title references.

The first, the Van Gogh (without bandage, without hat, Scribbs)

And another title example, a self portrait by Gustave Corbet.

For those of you wondering what on earth I'm talking haven't read the previous post.  Go read!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Self Portrait with Pipe

Amanda and I broke with tradition today.  Instead of walking several miles throughout town, trying to explore new routes, discover overlooked gems, we headed to the South End and beach walked.  It was ideal...very low tide.  The cold wind was blocked by dunes of popples*.  I toted camera, of course, as I have been trying to do more of lately.

I took a couple dozen photos.  In reviewing them I deleted some, naturally.  I'm trying to be a bit more selective in my review process.  Is it a 'good' shot, technically well-composed, color good?  I don't like to 'doctor' photos if I can help it.  Sometimes just some cropping.  Then come the next questions.  Is it a photo worthy of keeping?  Why?  More often than not the deletions outnumber the keepers.  That being the benefit of digital...just go for it, experiment, erase it if you fail...some techie advances have been good!

Self-portrait with Pipe
For my self portrait I was inspired by a self portrait taken by someone dear to me.  The concept the same...the emphasis quite different, I think.  To that person who's brought much to my life...thank you.

*popples are stones that have been washed smooth and rounded by years of tossing in the surf.  In Rockport, many of these stones came from the local quarries and were once ballast in sailing vessels.  Removal of popples from Rockport's beaches is prohibited.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Hole Gets Deeper

Halibut Point sunset
I can't seem to get ahead of anything.  Household projects like getting ready for winter, or work - not that there's a lot - I just can't get any time in at it without interruptions, money is going out as fast as it comes in - I needed a new muffler this week in order to pass vehicle inspection - there went a chunk, plus the regular bills and business bills.  The up side could be that I never lack for something to keep busy.  The down side is that I have been too busy.  Never ending.  I'm caught between crying, fleeing to a far away country, screaming, banging fists or head against something unforgivingly hard, or doing nothing but nursing an unhappy stomach and a headache.  The latter won.  So all of you will have to be content with a pretty picture because I haven't managed to climb out.  It's only gotten deeper.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Close Up

Felt the need to post here and I haven't much to say. 

That's not entirely true.  I'm just too tired to organize any thoughts to make them worth reading. 

Work has been backing up on me.  Not because there is any significant amount, but because other obligations have interfered...or I've decided that I just need fun time.  So now I'm trying to catch up and I'm frantically working...long hours.  That's made me too tired to write much.

'A' and I went up to the Moseley Estate on Saturday afternoon.  I took over fifty photos.  Most were mediocre, a few were pretty good.  Another few I took just to play. 
Like this self portrait:

or...What do you hide inside your tree?

or...The texture photo.  A close up of the unfortunate demise of a wonderful barn destroyed by a recent fire.

 So that's all you get with this post.  When I finally dig out from under, I'll write something more.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Humor for a Gray Monday

Thought this was cheery fun.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Stuck in the Past

It has very little to do with the photo of the front end of a Crosley.  The only thing relating the two is that I saw the Crosley on the same day as the following happened.

Skip's, our favorite burger and fries (Susie-Qs) joint is closing for the season today and since 'A' works today and we couldn't go, we went yesterday.  Actually, as we found out last year, dining there on closing day isn't good.  They run out of all the good stuff.  As it happens, yesterday they were out of both vanilla and coffee syrups.  We had to get black & white frappes instead of our favorites of either...yeah, vanilla or coffee.

But that's not what this post is supposed to be about...

We ran a lot of errands on our way to Skip's.  The timing and locations of those errands resulted in a trip up I-95 getting off at Rte. 113 to head into Newburyport.  Mom wanted to stop at "Oldies", an antique and junk shop. the exit and on to Rte. 113 east.  It starts as a four - laner (two each way) and after a couple traffic lights becomes High Street with one lane in each direction.  Now at this point I must say that there are the two opposing lanes each flanked by a bicycle lane, then on-street parallel parking.  As I was driving along that section, I heard a horn blaring.  What the heck?  Where was that coming from?  Then I caught a glimpse of a little Hyundai passing me on the the bicycle lane!  NUTSO!!!  She, yes a 20ish woman, scooted that car right in between mine and the car I was so nicely following.  I couldn't believe it.  As we continued down High Street, Ms. Hyundai kept pulling ahead to tailgate the car in front and swerving into the bicycle lane like she was trying to pass them as well.  Finally, with a long blast of her horn...she did it again!  By now we had memorized her license plate...just in case.  I'd love to post that info here...probably shouldn't so I won't. So now the line up working from back to, the second car she passed, Ms. Hyundai, more vehicles.  Then the second car she passed turned off High Street and I found myself, once again, behind Ms. Hyundai.  We eventually came to a stop at the traffic light at the top of Market Street.  Ms. Hyundai couldn't sit still.  Did she have some high energy rap music playing in her car?  She was bouncing all over the place.  The light changed to green and we were all off again..Ms. Hyundai swerving behind yet another vehicle.  I'd gone far past our destination and needed to turn down a side street and backtrack so I have no idea what eventually happened or where Ms. Hyundai finally went.  All the time we were hoping for a police car and there was not one in sight.  Never is when you want one, is there?

But what I'd totally forgotten, and what prompted the title to this post, is that among the three of us in our car there were three functioning cell phones.

Yep, we should have called her in.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Often Music Helps

Brilliant statement coming from a piano technician, huh?

Working on a set of keys got delayed for far too long.  First is was that Friday grand piano damper job, then Saturday, umm, kinda went by.  Oh yeah, ordering flowers for P's funeral, a run to the dump, the bank, a tuning at the art association...time just gets used up.

So Sunday rolls around and I find that I have an incredible amount of catching up to do on the key job.  Aside from a fun little jaunt to do some antique and junk shop browsing, the entire day was spent in the workshop.  And I needed motivation to keep working along.

What better than some upbeat music.  What did I choose?  The first selection was Enchanted Carousel.

The second was Carousel Memories.

One of these recordings, I believe it is Enchanted Carousel is of a 165 band organ reproduction built by Verbeeck Organ Manufacturing of Belgium.  The only info I came across was that it replaced a Seabreeze Wurlitzer 165 after that organ burned.

Anyway, both recordings are a great deal of fun and kept me 'at it' rather than bemoaning the time involved.

And...while I was in that kind of mood, I ordered a calliope recording!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Life with Sad News

Which of course is much different from My Sad Life.  I was out doing some major piano work on Friday.  The job was far more involved than I anticipated, so I called home and asked my mom to drive a sandwich over to me for my lunch.  She did.  And she commented that the daughter of a long time friend had left a message on the answering machine requesting that my mother call her.  My mom couldn't figure out the number left to return the call.  Evidently when 'A' got home from work, she couldn't figure it out either.
I got back home at about 4:30 to find that the numbers they had been trying weren't correct.  I listened to the message...carefully...and jotted down  D's phone number.  My mom gave her a call while I went upstairs to change into comfy clothes.  Within a couple minutes my mom was calling me downstairs to take the phone.  She was very upset, shaking.  I talked to D and found out that her mom had died suddenly.
Fourth of July 2005, my dad and D's mom and dad watching the Rockport parade    Gloucester Times photo     
My mom and D's mom have been best friends since childhood.  My mom and dad and D's mom and dad had double-dated, traveled together, and shared a home briefly.  My dad and D's spent their careers working for the same company.  Our extended family.  Services will be next week.  Our thoughts and prayers are extended to D's dad and to the rest of their family.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Keeping Busy

being watched

Before I start on the end of yesterday, today a rather LARGE truck arrived next door to pick up the tree trunk left from yesterday's entertainment.  Yes, I watched it being loaded.  Yes, it was fun watching.  If people can't find fun in some notsoeveryday stuff, I don't care.  I can.
a wagon load of Marini Farm pumpkins

mom trying to find a good one
Yesterday afternoon the girls trekked to Marini Farm in Ipswich to buy pumpkins.  Actually it was my mom that wanted to buy two, then 'A' decided she needed one as well.  I like Marini Farm.  It's just a cool place with good food and yes, entertainment.  The corn maze is now open and I expect 'A' and I will traipse through it again this year.  Maybe I'll even take my camera so that you can see what it's like to be lost in a corn field.  This year should be better than last...we now know how the 'game' part of it works for 'collecting' rewards, so to speak.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Sad Life

I suppose I should start by saying that last week a neighbor told me that a rather large tree at our backdoor neighbor's house was going to be cut down.  I should also apologize for the poor photo quality...shooting into the choice.

Great, I thought.  Something going on to watch.  A 40 to 50 foot spruce tree being cut down.  And it is sandwiched between another tree to the back, power lines to the front, and a house to either side.  This should be cool!

This morning they arrived at 8:30 and got all their equipment ready for the job.  A 'cherry picker', multiple chain saws, a shredded/chipper, and two large trucks.  I was hoping that they would get working quickly as I had to go volunteer at the historical society, but I also wanted to see at least some of the sawing action.

Wow, they did work quickly!  By the time I left at 9:25, you can see that they just had to whack off the trunk. (which they did in sections)

Anyway, while I was out watching, the property owner came home.  She parked her car down the street, out of the way, and walked on by me.  As she did I said, "Hi, T___, thanks for providing some entertainment this morning!"

She responded, "If you think that this is entertaining, you have a sad life."

And walked on.

Huh.  That was kinda mean.