Friday, June 29, 2012

A litle ride

My wife and I decided to take a little day trip recently.  We really had no special place to go, so as a starting point, we picked the new Oxford Casino.  We are not gamblers and had no intentions of going inside the place, but probably we should have.

After all the hype about the place we expected something spectacular.  Both of us agreed that the outside is slightly less.  In fact neither of us was impressed at all.  We weren't the only ones there.  Many cars and other vehicles of most all types and descriptions were in the various parking lots, so I cannot say people are turned off by our perception of the exterior.  But then most of the people in those other transporters were there to gamble and not just to get a glimpse of the place.

And that's probably why we should have gone inside to see what it looks like there.  We didn't.  There was nothing on the outside to entice in.  Perhaps we've been spoiled by casinos in other places that did call out to us, although once inside all we did was gawk at the proceedings.  At least I guess we can say that we've been to the casino in Oxford.

Along the way we stopped in Gray for breakfast.  My Texas style cinnamon French toast was very good.  I'm not sure what "Texas style" means, but the bread was bigger than most restaurant French toasts.  My wife had an egg combination which she said was hot and extremely good.

I saw what I would consider a rather sad sight in that restaurant.  At the table across the aisle from us were a man and his young son waiting for their orders to arrive.  Each had a cell phone and each was just sitting there texting.  There was no conversation.  Their food arrived and the man changed from texting to a phone call.  He was conducting some business while both he and the young boy were eating their breakfast.

Later I mentioned to my wife that I thought that was a sad time.  She pointed out that the man was probably a businessman with some urgent business.  I know not and should not judge; but it seems to me a dad and son could put away their phones for the half hour it took to enjoy a meal together and to share information on their lives. 

Of course they had to drive someplace when they left the establishment, but I'd bet there was a lot more attention paid to those cell phones than to each other.  It may be a comment on today's society.  After all, there is currently a commercial on the TV that has a man and his older son standing side by side texting to each other.  We know that because the text is also shown on the TV screen.

Sad sights quite frequently are accompanied with happy ones, and that was the case at the restaurant.  A young family was in another nearby booth.  As they finished their meal, the waitress came along to ask if everything was all right. 

The mother in the group said it was not and demanded to see the manager.  Only a moment passed before the lady manager arrived at the table.  As she approached, she said she was sorry there was a problem...then burst into joyous laughter.  "Oh my goodness, you have gotten here early," she exclaimed as she bent to hug and kiss the family members.

The 'complaining' mother smiled and looked at the waitress and explained there was no problem; she just wanted to surprise the manager, her mother.  She said the family was from out of state and was just arriving for a visit.

The pleasurable exchange was continuing as we left the restaurant.

We continued our trip all the way to New Hampshire on Route 26 before turning for home.  It was then my wife got just a wee bit nervous.

Understand, my wife doesn't speed.  If the speed limit is 55, she sets the cruise on 53 or 54.  If that limit is 35, she doing 34.  About the only exception is a 65 mph highway where she tries to hit that 65, not the 69 or 70 most people drive. 

Therefore, she wasn't concerned when a State Trooper pulled in behind her as she left Rt. 302 in Fryeburg and headed south.  But, even though she stuck to her personal habits, that Trooper established a safe distance behind her and it remained very consistent.  When the limit dropped to 50 or 45 or 40, my wife dropped her speed accordingly and only edged back up when the limit became higher.

That Trooper's distance never varied.  Mile after mile, as her speed went up and down, so did the Trooper's.  Finally, after a half hour of the dance, the police officer turned off, probably heading for the then nearby barracks.

"Phew!" was her comment.

Looks like we'll have a warm weekend.  I hope you have a great one.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Visitors

We have a pet containment device called "Invisible Fence®." It is an electrical wire that marks a  border that activates a beep from a receiver on the dog's collar.  The dog has a few seconds to move back from the line to stop the beep or a mild electrical charge "zaps" her.

We had an invisible fence installed when our dog came into our lives eight years ago.  It runs generally all along our property borders.  The fence company taught us how to train the dog and even came to our home three or four times to work with us working with the dog.  Since then, she has never tried to cross the property line.

Various animal visitors have also learned where our pup's boundary is and occasionally taunt the daylights out of her.  There are a couple feral cats, several birds, and many squirrels that take great pleasure out of teasing the dog.  The cats and squirrels, possibly other animals, walk right along the other side of the line.  Our dog, Mariah, chases them but always stays on her side.  Birds will fly just above the ground from one line to its opposite and then light, waiting patiently for the dog to get there.  Then fly back, again challenging her.

I was reminded of all this the other evening when we heard a ruckus in the front yard.  On the other side of the line was a flock of turkeys.  Big turkeys.  Very big turkeys.

Mariah was trying her darndest to let them know they weren't welcome in her yard.  They paraded up and down the neighbor's driveway but didn't enter our yard.  We have taught Mariah that she won't get into any trouble for barking at intruders, animals or people, when they come into our yard, but she will be called into the house to quiet her for neighbors' sakes.

She has learned well and frequently tells the intruders to go away and then just turns and runs to the front porch where she knows we'll be waiting at the door.  She did that the other evening when those turkeys were deciding on where to go.  Once Mariah was in the house, the turkeys disappeared into nearby woods.

I didn't see an episode a few days before, but my wife tells everyone interested about what she calls a funny, funny sight.  She was outside as was the dog when a large duck came waddling up the driveway.  Before she had reached the line crossing the driveway, Mariah raced right to that line barking loudly and menacingly.  It did not scare the duck and it began running toward the dog.

The dog stopped barking, ears popped forward, and she turned and raced toward the front porch.  She obviously didn't want anything to do with that duck.  My wife laughs every time she tells the story.

Except perhaps those turkeys, which were getting their first impression of the 'vicious' animal nearby, I don't think there are too many animals in our neighborhood that have any fear of our hunting dog.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

A New Beginning, Perhaps

I've been away for quite a while.  Well, not actually "away," but rather just not publishing.  I'll blame it on age, but then age can be an excuse for lots of things.  The simple truth is I just got tired of writing the same old stuff over and over.  No matter how I tried, the posts all seemed to say basically the same thing.  So I shut down.

I've decided to give it another try for one simple reason.  I missed my regular attempts at writing.  My "creative" days ended many years ago, but jotting down simple thoughts on my life, my memories, and my reactions to some things political that affect me, and reactions of other events at least keeps the mind active; and that helps keeping me around.  So, here I go again for a while.  By the way, this will be periodic and not necessarily daily.

The fireworks booming has begun.  Maine now allows the sale of fireworks in the state and two market places are right here in Scarborough.  The news media says sales are booming (no pun intended) and I believe it.  The town has an ordinance that says fireworks may be discharged on only five days a year.  Four of those days are around July 4th and the fifth is New Year's Eve.

From what I hear, not many know of the ordinance.

I recall a year ago that I applauded the new law.  Well, at least I wasn't against it as it brought back memories of my youth of a very long time ago.  I said last year I was happy for the youngsters who could have that same enjoyment now.  Of course only folk over 21 years old can legally fire off the celebratory noise makers and only on their own property, but that also probably won't be completely observed.  I also said a year ago that I probably would regret my support once the blasting began.

That regret has come to pass.

We have heard fireworks nearly nightly since the stores opened earlier this month.  They are off in a distance but our eight year old puppy isn't used to them and, like when she hears thunder, seeks comforting.  I must admit that so far the fireworks have been confined to reasonable evening hours; but as the Fourth approaches, I suspect they'll get later and later, louder, and more frequent.

C'est la vie!  I suppose I could get some myself as my yard is large enough to set them off safely.  Unfortunately, I doubt my speed and mobility would support that safety.

In any case, it'll be an interesting several upcoming days.

Since we last met, my wife and I have had a new bathtub installed.  It's one of those walk-in types you see on TV.  It's not a TV one, though, as we had a local plumber get one and install it for us.  We like it, but I'll make one suggestion later if you're considering one.

There are a couple of things I never thought about.  First, and since the door goes all the way to the floor, or at least to the bottom of the tub, one must be in the tub before starting to fill it with the water and then remain in the tub until it is completely drained.  As I sat down the first time, all I could think about was the next half hour doing nothing while 60 gallons of water flowed in.  I was wishing I had brought a book with me.  I was surprised.  It filled in just a few minutes.

However, it was an extremely strange sensation feeling the water climb up my legs to the seat and then up my torso to the upper chest area.  I took advantage of the water and soaked for a little while then ventured to the whirlpool button.  My doctor would be extremely upset with me if he knew I turned on those little jets, but my finger just wouldn't stop.  Wow!  I only had it on for a few minutes, maybe five, but what a terrific feeling.

The plumber had installed a "fast drain system" and when I pulled the plug, the water headed wherever water goes from a bathtub.  I think it was drained a minute, possibly two minutes, later.

We both feel we have made a good decision.

Now my one suggestion:  we had bought a lower end tub for price consideration.  There is no room to stretch your legs out.  We have a 50 inch tub but they do come (much more expensive I should add) in 60 inch lengths and I think your legs would like it much more.

That's my return to posting for now.  I'd be happy if you have checked back in here and found this interesting.  I'll try another foray into posting in a day or few.

Dad!  Don't forget me!  I want to foray, too!


Friday, June 22, 2012

June continues.

I hope you continue enjoying your June.


P.S.  The Old Gator has been very quiet.  He'll return at 9 AM Sunday.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June Continues.

I hope you continue enjoying your June.

We're in for a couple of potentially really hot days with high humidity.  Take it as easy as you can and keep hydrated.  We seniors should drink some water about once an hour.  Check in on your elderly neighbors and relatives to be sure they're handling the heat O.K.


Monday, June 18, 2012

June continues

Although Summer unofficially began on Memorial Day, the real summer begins this week. And, if the Sunday weather forecasts are correct, it's going to be quite a beginning with temperatures possibly hitting the 90s in some areas.

By the way, in case you missed it, the Gator Baseball team, like they did a year ago, choked again and have gone home from the College World Series.

I hope you continue enjoying your June.


June continues.

Although Summer unofficially began on Memorial Day, the real summer begins this week.  And, if the Sunday weather forecasts are correct, it's going to be quite a beginning with temperatures possibly hitting the 90s in some areas.

I hope you continue enjoying your June.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

I doubt many are still checking into this blog, but, since today is "My Day," sort of, I decided to break the silence at least for a day.

Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there.  I hope this is a great day for you as you share the day with family and friends.  I know I will.


Friday, June 1, 2012