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"What's the difference between a condom and a coffin?"
"You come in one and leave in the other, but you need to be stiff to go in both." -
Joke I read on the Interweb


Tuesday, 8-29-23: I might have to tell some old guy he should just die. That fuckin' DINK!
I went to work as usual this morning to help with the food delivery, to do some bookkeeping, reply to emails, etc. Things seemed to be pretty well on track, and after an 1130 interview was pushed back to 1330 I thought I'd have enough time to grab some groceries and scoot home for a jog, lunch, then back to it. Unfortunately, as I was leaving Paradis next door, code was rolling in to talk to me about our "loading dock" back exit.


I knew code would be looking at that exit because I had to put some work into it. Last month we had some old-ass customer making a stink about it not being up to code, and that fucking asshole was telling people not to come to our place because it was unsafe. OMG DUDE WTF, OVER?! He never talked to me about it, never taked to anyone representing our business about it, he just took it upon himself to start his own little crusade. We had put a lot of work into that bootleg thing as well, and it's now 100x safer that it ever has been.

So I fixed the dock, or so I thought. Sadly he apparently went back to code, complained some more, and now I have to do more work. It needs extra railings, and he was also complaining about our exit and lighting and other shit that we can't control because it's a place that was built in 1968 and we don't even own it. WE JUST FUCKING PAY RENT TO USE THAT PLACE ASSHOLE!

I actually talked to this ass-factory guy at some point in early or mid-July, and I explained to him that we just rent there and I'm happy to put some work into what was adimttedly a shitty, bootleg-looking rear exit. Too bad by the time I talked to him he was already telling people our place was unsafe. What a bunch of crap! I wa trying to get him to understand that we constantly work to improve the place, and he should know that since he used to go there when it was a total piece of shit. Back when we went to watch wrestling there that rear exit was not even close to being safe, and a lot of people would have died if there was a fire. Oh well, the wrestling sure was fun to watch and I wouldn't have even cared... if I cared about dying in a fire there. I probably would have been too drunk hehehe.

SO I had my gallon of milk and other groceries in the truck, and I don't even buy groceries that much anymore, when code asked if we could spend a few minutes in the place. What am I going to do, tell them to piss off so my milk doesn't spoil?! Of course I walked in with them and all the way to the rear exit in question. It was two of them, and they actually were totally awesome to me. They were very fair and polite, and I could tell they felt badly for us because this fucking old asshole was still complaining despite the fact I put in all kinds of work back there last week.

Check out this exit area:


^Before we opened in, late 2020 just before a snowstorm rolled in the next day, we built that for the place.

Apparently that's not good enough and it needs even more railings, etc. They said the guy came in to their office and was complaining, saying he used to do code stuff forever ago back before he retired something like 20 years ago. Code said they even had to Google the guy and all they could find was some lawsuit between him and California. HAHAHAHAHA! When code thinks you're shady and looks you up on the Interweb ya done fucked up. I could tell the code people didn't care at all for this guy, and to say I don't care for him is an understatement. I want him to die. Now.

The thing that got me the most fired up was this one comment from code. They said he wanted them to shut us down until we fixed everything. OMG WHAT THE FUCK, OVER?! WHO FUCKING DOES THAT? I DON'T EVEN KNOW THIS FUCKING OLD ASSHOLE WHO MUST BE IN HIS 80S, AND I WANT TO STAB HIM IN THE EYES THEN PUT HIM IN A WOOD CHIPPER!

We've had some enemies of our business, people who hate us because we fired them, former business partners, etc. However, none of them (at least to our knowledge) has tried to shut us down over some railings on a back exit on a building WE DON'T EVEN FUCKIN' OWN. Code knows how the landlord operates, and I can tell them feel badly about our situation. Thankfully this is the email I got earlier from one of the two code officers:

Thank you for taking the time to meet with the Deputy Code Officer [name removed for this bootleg site] and I today, we certainly appreciate your time and cooperation in this matter. As discussed, we have received another complaint regarding the emergency exit at your business. After evaluating the building layout and the current rear emergency exit, we ask that you add wooden railings to the “open” areas on the landing to include the areas where the chains were installed, make sure the light above the exit is working and on during business hours (options also include this light being on a dusk to dawn light sensor or solar powered) and that you adjust the bottom riser on the steps. We see no issue is making this exit an emergency exit only and cease the prior use of it as a loading dock area. As discussed, you can receive your business deliveries through the front entrance of your space and eliminate the back as a loading dock. In regards to the rear exit door and the fact that one of the double doors was blocked off and framed in by a prior business, we will not be requiring you to alter this. Please keep the operable exit door clear of all obstacles and in good working condition.

Thank you again for your time and assistance. Please let me know if you have any questions.

So city code was fantastic to deal with, and I could tell they don't want to shut us down. They're professionals so they can't come out and say it, but when they get someone on that kind of a crusade and they actually have to Google the guy's name that says it all. What they want us to do is perfectly reasonable, and I'm more than fine with it.

My big issue is with this old retired fucker. He didn't come to me to work with me at all on it, he just went to code, and he wanted us to get shut down.


If we get shut down, even if it's only for a day or two to make repairs, we're done. The shutdown would harm our business beyond repair, and we've been on the verge of closing for half the summer anyway. If not for the last 3 weeks of good sales and a loan from our credit card processor we'd be all done. Fin. The end. Bye bye jobs for 25 people, bye bye space for the weekly jam and biweekly dances we do, and those events mean a lot to people in the community.

I was so fired up I wanted to call the guy and say this to him:

"You old, wrinkled-up piece of shit! How dare you try to get us shut down over some railings on a 'loading dock' we inherited that isn't even a loading down anymore! We rent the building, we don't own it, and we've improved it 1000x since what it was before, and you know this because you came to the place prior. Your old, communist, shit-stained ass is banned forever, and if I see you I'll break both of your fucking legs and burn your house down."

I don't have his phone number so I can't call him. What a bunch of crap! I looked back in my calls log, but there are too many calls to choose from so hopefully I can get his number from others whom we know. I know the coordinators of the dances we host are mortified by his actions because they told me that. A lot of people hate him, and I want him to keel over and die.



Thursday, 8-24-23: Another long day of work, mostly carpentry and demolition.
I helped Gavin replace more floor at his place today for the entire day, and then I spent 2.5 hours working at the restaurant for what was a busy dinner-rush before the sold out Niclkeback concert at the Bangor Waterfront. Does Nickleback have one great song? Just one? Guy looks up their collection of top hits because guy cannot think of one besides maybe the one that was the intro to WWE Monday Night RAW 15 or so years ago. That song was just decent and not great, by the way...

Burn it to the Ground is probably a 6 on a scale of 1-10, and that's the one I'm thinking of... I guess? I don't despise Nickleback, I respect their body of work, but it's just not really for me.

Some of the concert nights over in Bangor really hurt our business; it all depends on who is playing and on what day. Sometimes a Sunday night concert can help us because we have a better-than-average dinner and then we close so who cares? Concerts on Friday, Saturdays, and even Thursdays like tonight can hurt, though. It's not too busy at the bar right now, but we did have a great dinner for a couple hours before the concert. We'll probably get a little busier after the concert, too. That overrated concert will end between 2230-2300 and then we'll get people coming for drinks after. Maybe? Hopefully!

Oh, funny story, I was taking care of a group from Canada earlier at the restaurant, and they said they were staying across the street at an Air BnB for the concert. 3 hour drive one-way. Super cool people by the way. Turns out the place they were staying at is my old apartment OMG HAHAHAHA! The new landlords turned that apartment into an AIr BnB rental AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Good for them; I have no horse in that race so they can do whatever they want. I know they did put money into the apartment and it's pretty nice now, probably nicer than when I ever owned it.

That floor at Gavin's... removing the old foor = what a bunch of crap! It's incredibly difficult and requires some power. Gavin and I got it done, but it took a lot out of us. The old kitchen floor is 3 or 4 layers so it doesn't come apart easily.

^Laminate flooring, luan underlayment, hardwood below that, and the original subfloor. A friggin' million nails, too. Gods damn it!

^We got another 4 feet done (not all in the photo) and there is only a couple feet left. I dunno when I'll have precious... precious time to help with that last part because Gavin has weekends off and that's when I work. A lot. This weekend at work = pwned, especially Saturday when we don't have anyone for janitorial maintenance for the day. What a bunch of crap! We have big events tomorrow night and Saturday night, too. I'll be putting in a lot of hours there tomorrow and Saturday. Maybe Sunday, too.

I thought we could finish a 4-foot section of floor and have time and motivation to go play racquetball after, but F that we didn't finish until later in the PM and I didn't want to burn any more precious... precious energy. Plus I needed to go to the restaurant to help with that dinner rush and do an interview. It was getting really busy when we arrived a tad before 1700 so I didn't even do the interview. He's a friend of Dan's so he's hired, and hopefully he does a good job. Can't be any worse than the last guy whom we hired. He only lasted a couple weeks, and he got hurt twice so that will probably jack up the worker comp insurance. What a bunch of crap!

I might go back to the bar later for a beer, I dunno. It might get busy again after Nickleback so maybe I'll have to work more? I'm happy to work when it's busy because busy = how we stay in business. However, not being too busy would be nice so I can rack out as well. Tomorrow is the truck delivery and I have a bunch of administrative things to catch up on before I work in the PM to close. We might not get too much sleep over the next couple days so I should try to get some soon. Doesn't mean I will, but I should!

The Donald Trump mug shot is hot off the press after his booking in Georgia. Another stupid crime that he probably did really commit, but that is nowhere near the level of criminal activity that I'm sure the Bidens and others partake in on a regular basis. The Trump stuff is so obviously politically motivated that is pisses me off and now Trump is probably getting my 2024 vote.

^HAHAHAHAHAHA! At least he got to stay in his suit and they didn't throw him in some orange prison jump suit. A prison suit would have made it all the more entertaining, though. According to some in the news he was trying to look defiant in that photo. Um, ya think?! Thanks, Captain Obvious! I'd be defiant if I were in his shoes, too. The official charge is something to do with "election interference" even though all he was doing was questioning all the fraud on the Democratic side from the 2020 election that got a mentally invalid guy elected as our president. What a bunch of crap!


Tuesday, 8-22-23: News headlines on Fox News.
It's funny watching people on Fox News take a huge verbal dump all over our pudding-head president Joe Biden. I don't watch it much, but checking in from time to time entertains me in a sad way because this fuckin' guy is supposed to be our leader. The clips they show right now on Hannity are Biden in Maui, Hawaii, and they play the following clip:

"Jill and I have a little sense about what it means to lose a home. Lightning struck... to make a long story short I almost lost my wife, my '67 Corvette, and my cat." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! IT WAS A MINOR FIRE THAT DIDN'T DO JACK SHIT FOR DAMAGE AND THE MAUI WILDFIRE WAS SO FAST AND DEVESTATING THAT IT BURNED PEOPLE INTO THE SIDEWALK AND 850 PEOPLE ARE STILL MISSING TWO WEEKS LATER. WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP!

FEMA is there, but lots of them are staying in luxury resorts. The electric company near Maui didn't maintain their shit, they warning system didn't activate, and the water disctict had to wait hours before they issued water to firefighters. Epic fail, Hawaii. Lots of people died in Hawaii earlier this month because of severe incompetence. Yet we still send billions over to Ukraine. What a bunch of crap! The incompetence goes all the way up the chain of command to the White House, too. So sad...

There is already a lot of buzz around the upcoming 2024 election that is still close to 14.5 months away. Who will be the leading Republican candidate? Who will be the leading Democratic candidate? Biden is technically eligible for a second term, but he's a friggin' borderline dementia patient at this point so how in the hell would that work? Biden isn't even fit for this current term gods damn it! Trump is leading for Republican candidates right now, but he might end up in prison who knows? Trump is a scumbag, but lately every month someone wants to nail him for something that is really dumb and totally politically motivated so all it does is piss people off and make them want to vote for him, myelf included.

Alright, aweome. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom on one of the movie channels that we rarely watch and should stop paying for. Bye bye Fox News. Bye bye Red Sox losing in Houton. THIS MOVIE IS AWESOME AND IF YOU DISAGREE THEN I HATE YOU. I PROBABLY HATE YOU ANYWAY, BUT I'LL HATE YOU A LITTLE MORE. I have nothing but fond memories of this movie from my childhood, and it's all kinds of dark and crazy. Data from The Goonies is the sidekick "Short Round" and the bad guys rip someone's heart out. A pit of lava, underground evil slave-lair, a lot of it doen't make sense and I love it all. Chilled monkey-brains?! Of course! Let's find a meme of that because it's the Interweb and there must be one somewhere...

^Even better, a "Chilled Monkey Brains" tee shirt HAHAHAHAHAHA! Lots of colors and sizes available I love it!

I probably won't watch all of this movie because I will either go to bed or go back to the bar (my awesome wife is hosting the karaoke now.) so I'll miss some of the epic ending scenes that are pretty scary for a kid. I was probably not much older than 10 when I first saw this flick, and holy crap my parents let me watch just about anything except for porn.

^Bad guy rips someone's heart out and hold it up like a trophy as it randomly burns. Good shit for a 10-year old to watch!

The 1980s were so fucking awesome. Look, we were allowed to do things like this and unsupervised at that:



Thursday, 8-17-23: Time to put in the work. Like a boss.
On Tuesday 9 days ago my awesome wife looked at me with tears in her eyes and suggested we close the restaurant for good on September 1. How did I respond? I sat in silence for a few moments while I digested it all because I had also been having similar thoughts about closing the place. I even looked at some job listings a couple weeks ago to see what else is out there. Her plan had merit. Closing would mean 25 people no longer had jobs, and it would mean we would officially have lost a TON of money. Like, a seemingly insurmountable amount of money, but I was still about to agree with the decision and get the ball rolling on making it happen.

Oh, it would also mean both my awesome wife and I wouldn't have jobs. What a bunch of crap! Is working at the restaurant really a job for us right now, though? For me it's not really a paying gig. I did make about $55 taking tables for a few hours earlier this evening, but a little here and a little there is not really a livable income.

We have had many rough stretches over the summer and we've lost money all summer. However, sales per hour are up quite a bit, we've gotten a lot of really good reviews lately, and we are starting to figure it all out. Slowly but surely, as they say. So I sat for a moment and I told Kat we should stay open for a while longer with three things factoring in whether or not we can do it:

First, sales needed to meet a certain threshold last week. Thankfully not only did we meet that goal but we also smoke-checked it by 15% (a big number for what we do weekly.) Tuesday last week was TERRIBLE for sales, but the rest of the week was great so we ended the week with our best summer sales of all-time (3 years of data.) We totally crushed it last week. Oh Jesus, hell ya! If we had a bad week last week we would have started planning our "going out of business" sale. I'm not even joking about that last part either. The event room was responsible for thousands of dollars of income, obviously not all profit, last week so that room really carried us.

Second, we needed financing. I tried to get some refinance money from our bank last month, but this was my answer after a tentative approvel:

I have a good credit score, but the tax returns are a toilet. What a bunch of crap!

In hindsight that DENIED was a win for us because we got financing through our credit card processor in a program that was shockingly easy to take advantage of. They had offered it to us earlier in the year, but I didn't want to do it because I thought the interest rate sucked. A lot. However, interest rates suck a lot these days no matter what because we have the wrong leaders in Washington. What a bunch of crap!

The influx of precious... precious money is a guarantee we can keep the place open well into the fall. I really do want to make it to our 3-year anniversary in March, 2024 because, at our current rate of growth, I think by then we can really make a go of it.

Third, last and maybe not least, we need more staff. That could be the hardest part because for some hard-to-explain reason ever since the 'rona it's really hard to find help. Pay has increased, but where are all the workers? We need a cook, two dishwashers, and maybe a server/host. We do have one applicant, but it's really slim pickings out there lately. What a bunch of crap!

So far this week sales have been decent, and I think we will finish strong with upcoming events tomorrow and Saturday night. Financing is in place, but all I wanna know is where are all the workers? Other people whom we know sing the same blues. It's just so damn hard to find help these days. It's really tough to explain that last one.

I tried something different tonight. Have I evolved as a person? My go-to when I update this bootleg site that almost no one will ever read is channel 1928, 1980s. However, tonight I decided to try channel 1918, "Classic rock." So far not every song has been a win, but there have been some good ones. Van Halen, Rolling Stones, Elton John (decent but overrated), and now an all-time great that will never play on the 80s channel: Deep Purple Perfect Strangers. If you don't like this song then I hate you. I probably hate you anyway, but I'll hate you a little more. THIS SONG IS AWESOME!

I decided I am going to put in the work. I will fucking live at that restaurant if I have to gods damn it. Throw a cot in the office hehehe just kidding We live 1/3 of a mile away that would be stupid when our bed is a better option. There is a lot of truth to my last sentence, though, at least to a point. This week I have been there a lot. A LOT. I've found the balance so far, too. I've lifted some weights, jogged, and played racquetball. Blueberry raking really helped level up my fitness, and I've had better-than-expected jogs and lifts in my small basement gym. Today I felt great down in that gym, and I weighed in at 140 pounds. Again. I weighed in Tuesday at that same number. OMG!

I weighed 140 pounds in high school so wtf?! I was closer to 145 a month ago so blueberry raking leaned me up even more. I don't recall being this lean since high school. I feel great, though. I don't think it's an unhealthy weight, at least I hope it's not. I'm not a big person so I think it's ok. Maybe? Hopefully! I definitely still eat plenty of food, but I obvoiusly burn it off. I'm not actively trying to lose weight, not at all. It just happened as a side-effect of lots of exercise and work.

All joking aside, I made it a point to learn new aspects of our business so it has a better chance to succeed. I spent a couple hours learning prep Tuesday, a couple hours yesterday, and some today cutting chicken in between that and then, later in the day, taking tables like a boss. I've gotten a lot better as a table server, too.

So far this week I've gotten a ton done down at the restaurant, and it feels good. I got some carpenty stuff done, I've become somewhat proficnent at a portion of our prep (cutting veggies and whatnot), and I've booked future events. I really think we can make it, and that's a massive turnaround compared to how I was feeling about it even to start this month. Having such a great week last week really showed us what we are capable of when we fire on all cylinders. It's not all sunshine and roses, but there is enough positive to keep me all-in for the rest of summer.

I think we have the potential to have a really good fall, and if I'm wrong oh well I guess I can say we gave it 100% and did all we could to make it work. The end of summer, warm weather, and those friggin' Waterfront Concerts will really help us. Some concerts don't matter at all like last nights concert from a band called The Lumineers. I don't know what the hell those are? Lights? I know popular acts like Jelly Roll really killed us already this summer. Fucking JELLY ROLL. ARE YOU SERIOUS WITH THAT STUPID SHIT?!

I think of a jelly roll and I'm thinking of a Little Debbie dessert cake-log-thing when it's really some popular singer.

^Jelly Roll singer with is porn-star wife. I don't really know if she is a porn star, but come on. He looks like the bastard, illegitimate son of John Candy wtf?! I love John Candy so no offense to the deceased GOAT regarding comedy. If you don't love Planes, Trains, and Automobiles then I hate you. I probably hate you anyway, but I'll hate you a little more. John Candy made that movie work. Period.

When I think of a Jelly Roll I don't think of a fat white guy who loves Jesus with a Pam Anderson-lookalike wife. I think of these:

I guess they are not really even Jelly Rolls. I SUCK. I'm too old for this shit you kids get off my lawn. What a bunch of crap!


Thursday, 8-10-23: Finished the raking season strong. Now what?!
Gavin and I went blueberry raking together for what will most likely be our last ride in the blueberry fields of all-time. What a run it has been for us, too. I remember our first day raking together for Cliff nearly 20 years ago; Gav took a vacation from his job at the time that I believe was located down in Georgia, and we camped out with no clue what we were really doing. Did I even have this bootleg site that almost no one ever reads way back then? Guy checks the archives... nope, that was before I wrote on this useless, crappy blog. The oldest raking photo I think I own is from 2007...

^Gavin meeting me at Payson's field way back in 2007. I might have older photos from blueberry raking, but I'm not wasting all this precious... precious time looking around for them.

I did look wayyyy back in the archives of this bootleg piece of shit site, and I found this from August 7, 2005:

My buddy, Gavin, and I camped out for the week and we lived a life of drinking some beer, doing some blueberry raking, and hanging out last week. The first day of raking started out pretty badly when we awoke to pouring rain on Monday morning. That was a bunch of crap! The rain did end so we got to the fields a couple hours later than we had wanted, and when we arrived everything was still drenched. Then we discovered the first field we had to rake was some total piece of trash that had a lot of weeds and that had been raked just last year. What a bunch of crap! Fields are supposed to be harvested every other year in order to maximize yield, but I guess the owners wanted to harvest it again so they could syncronize it with the surrounding fields. I'm still not sure why we had to do that, but it sucked because we didn't make much money at all. The crew boss, Cliff, felt so badly we had to rake it that he decided to pay us $3 a box instead of the normal $2.50!

Tuesday wasn't any better because we were still in the shitty field so after working a couple hours for a mere 5 boxes I got frustrated and I took an hour break to go drink beer. After a couple PBRs I was ready to get back to work so I did a few more before lunch and several more after lunch. I ended the day with only 19 boxes, the worst total in the history of my life as an adult raker for one day's work. (I have had days with fewer boxes in previous years, but I only worked in the morning on those days.) Fortunately we got done with that horrible field and went on to rake better fields in the following days. I raked 75 boxes on Thursday, the most I've ever done in my life! It took me about 10 hours of work, though.

HAHAHAHAHA! I remember that raking year we were in a field below Payson's, and it was horrible. What a bunch of crap that was! Oh well, we didn't really even need the money we both got vacation pay from our jobs. I also did find a photo of the epic "Excalibur" 110-tooth rake that I am not really capable of wielding anymore. I did use "The Ex" for two boxes yesterday in my final row, but it was more akin to visiting an old friend than actually trying to bolster productivity. We used a 90-tooth higher-handled rake this season, and that seemed to be a perfect fit for me.

^Cliff at Bob Wright's field in 2008, 15 years ago, leaning on what was Gavin's truck at the time. Many years ago Cliff had a decent-sized raking crew with multiple fields to tackle. The trick for Gavin and I back then was figuring out the best week to take our vacation so we could capitalize on the better raking. We used to HATE doing Cliff's field, and now the irony is it's the only field left we ever do hahaha.

^Also from 2008 in the same field when I raked into a massive wasp nest the size of a soccer ball (or so it seemed.) That rake was stabbed directly into the nest, and those wasps were PISSED. I got stung near my eye so Gavin called me Sloth from The Goonies because of how it swelled up after. What a bunch of crap!

Cliff always said in past years his goal in his older years was to run with a smaller crew, one who didn't need babysitting, and just do a couple fields or maybe just his own fields, and that's exactly what he did. The pay increased a lot, too. A LOT. I averaged $51.90/hour this season. OMG! Two years ago (no raking in 2022) I averaged closer to $37.50/hr, but I was physically not where I needed to be at all. Not really even close in hindsight. What a bunch of crap! The restaurant took a lot out of me back then, and so did the after-effects of Covid and whatever stupid fucking shit they put in the J&J "vaccine" for the 'rona. I got COVID in early May, 2021 and the J&J "vaccine" later in May, and I wasn't really right for a long time after all of that.

The only field we have raked in since 2019 is Cliff's field, and I gotta give the man credit he's really put in the work on his own fields and gotten them to be decent if not great. A May 18 frost hurt a lot of crops this year and probably hurt Cliff's crop some, but it was still a great season. The only real turd in the proverbial punch-bowl is the rain we got. Saturday night, our second night of camping, was a total washout shit-show. What a bunch of crap! It really didn't affect the raking much, though. Just impacted the camping some, and there was some rain in the fields but not too much.

I keep a spreadsheet called RAKING that dates back to 1999. OMG! They are good records, too. I added it all up, and it looks live I've blueberry raked 9322 buckets/boxes of blueberries during that span of 22 seasons. (I missed 2002, 2020, and 2022.) I also raked for Art when I was a kid, but I don't have records from that. I might have them somewhere, who knows?

In those 22 seasons those 9322 buckets/boxes equals AT LEAST 205,000 pounds of blueberries. That's over 100 TONS of blueberries. HOLY FUCKING SHIT! My average per season is 423. My lowest is 2010 when there was a stupid-early and garbage season, bad crop, and we only got to go raking for 3.5 days. 151 boxes, $453, FAIL. My best year was actually 2014 when I raked for Cliff and then John and Suzette so I raked for damn near a month. Not every day, but enough to tally up 747 boxes, $2500+

This year's 474 boxes and $2634 broke my all-time income record. Of course life costs more than ever these days. What a bunch of crap! Total income since 1999 = $30,480. Not bad!

If this is my final season it was a great way to go out. I will miss it, but I can't do it forever. Years ago Gavin and I considered buying our own blueberry field, but I'm glad we didn't do it. We drove down to Hancock or somewhere near there to look at one once many, many years ago, but there was a snowstorm, a foot of snow, and we couldn't actually see the field. I remember rain was forecast on the coast, but it was a tad colder than expected and it was snow and not rain. Since we couldn't see the field we didn't move forward, and it was off the market by the time the snow melted and we would have had a chance to go look again since it was an hour or so drive away. No regrets because it all worked out and raking for Cliff has been awesome. I'll miss it when it's all done, and who knows Wednesday last week might have been our raking swan-song.

Our final rows of raking in 2023 for Cliff weren't great, but we still made good money for the day taking in over $300 each in 6 hours of raking. I think it's fitting we were in the lower field, jut Gavin and I, when a buck still in the velvet strolled out around 1300 as we raked. The buck was probably 100 yards away from us, but he didn't seem to see us at all and appeared to be eating blueberries for a few minutes before he saw us watching him (deer definitely have that "6th sense" when they know they're being watched) He stared us down, he actually took a step towards us, and then he thought better of if and trotted off back into the lower woods. It was so cool to see, and the weather was great. Not the best raking, but a fantastic final day. So what if I "only" made $312 instead of the $360 that I made two days prior?! For 6 hours of work I'll take that any day!



Tuesday, 8-08-23: Raking season so far with one day left.
Gavin and I are getting up early tomorrow, rolling out 0630, going to go blueberry raking for what very well could be the final day for us blueberry raking, ever. I thought that same thing two years ago, and I feel like it's a miracle of confluence that we were able to do another blueberry raking season. What a season it has been, too. The best of all-time financially.

I started my blueberry raking season on Friday, July 28, 1.5 weeks ago. I only worked for half a day, but the raking was good. I got to Mic Mac, set up camp, and Gavin rolled in later to meet up with me. Normally Mic Mac is packed in the middle of summer, but it was shockingly pretty dead there. No complaint about that! Saturday was HOT and the raking wasn't as good, but we both still scratched out a decent payday. It was supposed to get cloudy with afternoon showers Saturday, but the forecast was totally blown so it stayed mostly sunny and extra hot, and then in the evening it started to rain. And rain. And rain. AND POUR. It was totally pwned in no time, and this is what my tent looked like after an hour of heavy, pounding rain:

^WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP! The photo does not show the magnitude of it either. That was a small lake, and the inside of the tent was really wet. To make matters worse that is an old, bootleg tent that I dug out of the shed. The thing was already missing some parts, and one of the poles was broken. I knew I was sleeping in the truck so thankfully I brought a couple edibles and I had one of those with a couple drinks. I thought I'd be uncomfortable, but I slept fairly well. Not great, but good enough.

That deluge at the camsite was epic, and it ruined our night. It POURED for hours, too. What a bunch of crap! I thought I'd be totally beat the next day, but I was in good raking and got 75 boxes (22 lb boxes) and was done by 1530 so that's a win. The raking this year has been great. A few areas of the field suck some, but other areas are fantastic and the boss is always good about mixing it up so we can make a day's pay.

Raking Monday was decent, and on Tuesday I only raked for 3 hours before heading home. We switched from 22lb to 27lb boxes on Tuesday morning (with higher pay) and we weren't sure how well that would go. Turns out it's great, and it helps us make more money. Oh Jesus, hell ya! Bigger boxes means less time going to get empties, stacking them, etc. In bad raking filling the bigger box sucks. A lot. However, in good raking it's really great.

Physically I've had a good raking season. I finally got some tennis elbow in my right arm, but nothing horrible as compared to how its been in years past. I decided to go BEAST MODE for an hour on Thursday last week in a great row near the house, and I was able to rake 15 boxes in that hour. That includes time to stack them all, too. Awesome! I was panting, it was a real workout. Felt great knowing I could still do it, and that was $90 in ONE HOUR. I'm actually averaging over $50/hr this season thanks to better pay and good raking.

It's pouring rain again, and sales at the restaurant are shit. Flooding rains hurt business, and we had a bad last week as well thanks in part to concerts at the Waterfront (who the fuck is Jelly Roll?!) and the Bangor State Fair. All I wanna know is why? Why can't we make money at that place? I think we will close for good September 1, but that decision is not final yet. We've lost two dishwashers and we have a cook leaving soon so that sucks. It also sucks that the Red Sox are getting crushed by the lowly Kansas City Royals at Fenway. What a bunch of crap!

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