5-30-23: Good weather, allergies, Memorial Day business failer.
I wasn't feeling so great a few days ago, and it didn't help I worked a pretty long day down in Waterville helping Phil finish his docks at his new house. We spent all day Thursday getting this set up:
^It was partly set up already from work we had done earlier in the month, but there was a lot left to do. It was a cool day, but not ridiculously cold. We had to get 500-pound weights in place by floating them down into place using a 10-foot dock section, and that was pretty hard work. Those weights, man when they are ready to drop into the water they just about flip the dock and send you right in. I'm amazed no one fell in; we definitely had some close calls. Crazy mad-scientist Phil dove in a couple times to grab chains for the anchors. That water is cold, too!
I think I'm done working for Phil for the time-being. Maybe? Hopefully! I've done work for my good friend and former roommate off and on for many years now. When was my first work for him down in the Waterville area? Guy looks it up...
My awesome wife and I also did some work in our back yard, cleaning the shed and doing some mulch and whatnot. These old, rotting vegetable gardens had to get hauled on:
I also had the dogs outside with me. First, Groot:
^The fire pit that we used maybe one time last year and none at all so far this year..
Tiger Lily was on the porch:
I also pulled out all of those red patio blocks and replaced them. I added a couple feet of patio blocks so it's a 6x6 landing area now, and I spent some precious... precious time trying to seed a bunch of bare spots. We can't ever get the lawn 100% grassy in the shadow of our huge maple tree out back near there, but at least this year I'm putting in some effort for it again. I didn't do jack shit last year in the yard. What a bunch of crap!
Sunday we cleaned out the shed, and that was a horrible shit-show. The shed had a mouse infestation a couple years ago, but I never realized how bad it really was. We found all kinds of dead mice and old nests, and that was very sad. Some stuff was damaged like my old tent and float-bag for the canoe. Oh well, the tent was at the end of its life anyway and I don't think I've used that float bag since I did the Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race over 10 years ago. I don't even use my canoe anymore. What a bunch of crap!
It was 91 degrees Sunday, but the dew point was in the 40s so it never felt ridiculously hot. Yesterday was around 70 and crisp, and today was low 70s and also crisp. The good weather got us outside a lot, but it hurt business badly. We had a BAD week last week as far as sales, and it was by far our worst week of the year. Saturday was BRUTAL and only about half of what has been our normal. Too bad because we had a really good winter. People have more outdoor options now, and good weather on a summer holiday weekend is always bad for business. Never this bad, though.
I'm going down to the ol' homestead tomorrow to do a final, quick turkey hunt with Dad out back in his blind. I don't care if I get a turkey or not, but I like to get out there with him while I can. I'll bring the chainsaw and cut up some deadfall for them, and they need a light fixture replaced in their bedroom. Deck furniture needs to come out of storage, etc. I'll probably only spend 4-5 hours down there, but it's all about quality not quantity. I'm hoping to leave here around 0800 and be home by 1700-1730. We'll see how it goes...
I have the Red Sox on, and they haven't played so well lately. They're losing at Fenway to the lowly Reds, 3-0, and are 28-25 on the season and way behind the #1 Rays. I watched the Celtics totally blow it in game 7 last night against the Heat so they're done. The Heat had a 3 games to 0 lead in the best-of-7-series and the Celtics came back to tie it up. It was epic to see them come back, and then it was depressing to see them fail last night because they were TERRIBLE and were never even close in defeat. The Celtics were favored to win it all, too. What a bunch of crap!
Alright turds, all two of you who still read this bootleg pile of crap blog, I'm gonna scoot on down to the bar for an hour or so. Tuesday night karaoke isn't busy and they never stay open late. My awesome wife is the DJ or else we'd already be bivouaced for the night. Goonies never say die!
Monday, 5-22-23: I figured out how to get my
cellphone photos onto this bootleg site!
I did a relatively quick trip down to the midcoast yesterday to get in the woods with Dad and Jason. The mission: trim some apple trees at Jason's newer "Lot 44" in preparation for the fall deer hunting season. Investing in the wild apple trees is a great idea not only for this year but also for future years. Cutting off dead branches and clearing around them makes a big difference. As an added bonus my nearly 4-year old nephew tagged along, and he kept up very well.
We only spent a couple hours in the woods because it warmed up into the 70s and was getting too hot to be screwing around. Plus Dad is old, Hawke is young, and Jason had a birthday party to attend. On my drive down to Jason's I took 131 down through Appleton Ridge, and I noticed something 100% awesome near the Belmont corner. Since we finished in the woods earlier than expeted I didn't feel rushed at all (how rare is that?!) and I stopped along the way home a couple times to take pictures as well as a closer look. This is totally amazing:
^OMG GIANT NAVAL SHIPS THAT CAN BE TOWED ALONG! They are both incredible, but the carrier is my jam, man. Look at the intricate detail:
Weapons, aircraft, sailors. How long did this take to create?!
The owner was outside doing some painting on one of the ships so I chatted with him for a bit. Older fella, nice guy, also was in the Navy. He didn't build these super-models (please, no hot chick references today) but he was doing some restoration work. I would have felt guilty bothering him, but I think spending 4+ years on an aircraft carrier myself gives me a pass, so-to-speak.
I want to own one, but there are two problems. First, where would I put it?! Second, it's probably not for sale and it it was for sale I'm sure the cost would be VERY HIGH. I'd love to stick one in the restaurant, but that would be really dumb. Plus who knows they might not even be for sale. The guy mentioned getting them into a museum at some point. I mentioned the wonderful Cole Land Transportation museum, but for obvious reasons that was a stupid thought. All I wanna know is why? Why would NAVAL SHIPS be in a LAND TANSPORTATION MUSEUM?! Kinda runs against the name of the place, eh?
I also stopped to check out a blueberry field that we raked in a couple times in years past, Gushee's off the Sennebec Rd in Union near the Appleton line. The field looks beautiful:
^OMG GONNA BE FULL OF DEM BOOBERRIES IN ABOUT 10 WEEKS!
A zoom-in on the blossoms:
^It's just incredibly beautiful, and the photo doesn't really do it justice. This is Cliff's raking year at his house, and I think I'm in. Hard to know how good or bad the crop will be just yet, but those photos above have me all fired up for it. Plus we could use the money because the restaurant is a long way from paying our personal bills, we still spend more than we make each month, and I expect a down-turn in business over summer. Not because we suck, far from it, but because people have other options like going to camp, backyard parties, Waterfront Concerts, etc.
Thursday, 5-18-23: The easiest week of the year
so far? Bye bye $2000. Oh, exercise win.
The restaurant hasn't had a great week of sales yet, but we're closed Mondays, Tuesdays usually suck, and it gets better with each passing day into Saturday. Sunday counts as the last day of the week for payroll purposes so this is only our third day out of six for the week despite it's the 5th day of the week going by the calendar. The last couple Thursdays have been ten pounds of shit stuffed into a five-pound bag, but so far this one is trending better. Last Thursday I think I had to go wash dishes for the last couple hours because we had a call-out. What a bunch of crap!
It's only 2030 ,and I plan to head down to the bar in about an hour to drink some and hang out. I'll watch some of the Lakers-Nuggets NBA game both here at the house and at the bar, but I don't really care that much who wins. A Lakers-Celtics in the finals would be great, but both teams lost their game 1 so that isn't looking too likely. The Celtics lost to the Heat last night despite being the favorites to win it all. What a bunch of crap! Ah well, it's just a game.
My awesome wife and I met with our business lawyer again today, and bye bye another $2000 for that one. We have a couple things to deal with that suck. A lot. First is the issues with former friends and business partners that still need to be resolved. My bad there. Second is my kicking the shit out of an asshole customers' car door back on December 28 last year. The fuckin' DINK threatened Katherine, and he tried to run me over. Oh, he also beat me up. What a bunch of crap! He has to go to court for assault or some shit, and I have to go for a misdemeanor of disorderly or something like that. I'll have our lawyer deal with it so hopefully I don't have to buy his loser-ass a new car door. More on that later this year. No sense writing too much and putting it on the Interweb and making things harder on us as it flows through the legal system.
I'm still using my old compter with Winders 7 on it, and I need to get my newer computer into the rotation. I bought the thing about 6 months ago and have barely used it. What a bunch of crap! I get this message from Google with my old computer:
^FUCK OFF, GOOGLE!
^I deserve that for using old-ass technology and not making it a priority to upgrade my shit.
Speaking of upgrading my shit, I plan to get some work done around the house over the next couple months. I need to remodel the bathroom because I think the plywood under the toilet is rotting, and the back yard needs a lot of love. If I didn't lose my friggin' digital camera I'd post photos so maybe I can take some with my cellphone and get those onto this bootleg old computer. It can't be that hard to upload photos from a cellphone, can it? I dunno because I've never done that before so it's all theory. What a bunch of crap!
I do wonder where my digital camera went. Maybe it's in my truck still? I need to clean out the truck, and I really need to get a newer truck. I'm at a tad over 99k miles on the thing so passing 100k seems to be likely by early June. A couple trips to the midcoast and a trip or two to help Phil will get it there.
I need to go help Phil again next week putting in docks. His plan seems like it sucks, but then it comes together and actually looks pretty badass. I don't ever plan to own a place on water where I need docks, but you never know. One of his awesome "mad Scientist" plans involved putting 1000 pounds of weights onto a 10foot section of dock and floating it out, but then it started to sink... with me on it. Epic failer hahaha! I don't fuckin' care I can swim and I was only a few feet from shore. Too bad I had to bail because it was 1530 and I had to go to work. I got back in town with jut enough time to clean up and help go cook for 3 hours. That was last Wednesday, and at least the weather was good.
I have a little tan now from working outside with Phil last week Tuesday PM and most of Wednesday. I spent the night at their place Tuesday night, and it was nice to visit some and help my friend. I wasn't there for work as a contrator for him like I've done so often in the past. Who knows, maybe he'll need me for some contract work but I doubt it because he has a local guy he can hire and their new house is immaculate. It just happens to be on the water so he needs docks for swimming and other fun activities.
I realized that installing docks sucks. A lot. Those fuckin' things are HEAVY. He has a tractor so we don't have to lift them, but I had to paddle some and when we got into the current it was real work. He has 150-lb and 500-lb anchor-weights and moving those 150-lb weights was a challenge since I only weigh 145 or so. The 500--lb ones were sinking that smaller dock section hahahahah
Alright turds, all two of you who read this bootleg shit-show of a site, I gotta head down to the bar to drink beer. I've had some here, but not too much. I don't want a hangover tomorrow so we'll see how it goes. I've been on and off this thing so it's now 2130, time to beat-feet it for a short and nice 6-minute walk. Goonies never say die!
Friday, 5-12-23: Cardio fail. Oh, a movie.
I need to go mow the lawn later. Too bad one of the wheels on the mower is stuck so pushing at around with a wheel that doesn't spin sucks. A lot. I only had to spot-mow last Sunday, but now things are growing really fast. Some people are advocating for a "No Mow May", especially in Bangor. There seems to be research that not mowing early in the season allows the bees to pollenate more. Makes sense to me until you get to June 1 and have to friggin' hay your yard because the grass is 18" tall. Plus it seems like a great way to harbor ticks. Gods damned those little fuckers.
Winter, ticks, allergies. All three of those things are making me less and less happy about living in this entire state. I'm not sure we're still here in a few years. Other places might not have winter or ticks, but there are still pollens and other crappy things like tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc. Nowhere is perfect. Arizona has parts that seem just about perfect, but then it's summer and 110 degrees so that's DEFINITELY not ideal.
I should be out back starting some yard-work, but I don't want to right now. Maybe I'll lube up that mower wheel or try to get the backup mower going. Or maybe I'll just wait so the bees can be happy for another day. Our neighbors' yard looks worse than ours right now, both across the street and next door. Lots of dandelions everywhere so congrats to the bees. We need bees or else we're all pwned, or so they say.
I need to seed some bare areas and figure out what to do with the garden that we haven't had in a couple years. We have two raised beds, and I should see if I have a photo in the archives of this turd-heap because I lost my digital camera 6 months ago and don't know how to do cellphone photos to my computer. I suck!
^Lush garden from Aug, 2017. That's Copperpot in the foreground and a very young Tiger Lily closer to the garden. RIP Copper things are still not the same when we go outside without you. Groot and Tiger Lily just aren't meant for fetch the way he was.
We have a second raised garden bed, but it's full of empty dirt and covered with a tarp. The wood for the sides is starting to rot so I should just rip it all out. I need Kat to help me make these decisions, though. We also need a play area for Damon with most likely a little fenced area so he doesn't get run over by the dogs.
I have two hours until work, and I don't really feel like doing anything. What a bunch of crap! I'm not tired enough to want to nap; I forced myself to sleep in this morning because a nap in the afternoon is never a guarantee. I had to be the dishwasher for the last part of work yesterday, and today we had a bartender call out so I was thinking I might be needed. I'm not gonna bartend, F that, but if someone else got pulled off part of shift for it I might have been needed. Kat was about to do it, but then Katherine agreed to pull a double so she's working 14 hours today. I don't think she'll be doing so well later when we're packed so I hope she proves me wrong.
Yesterday was an unhealthy vortex of negative energy all day, and it's carried over into today. The Wednesday night close at the bar was done poorly so that started us off roughly yesterday morning. Then we had callouts, and business was not good. We tried some "Drag show" competition that has sucked the past two Thursdays so bye bye to that. Kat was in a TERRIBLE mood, and it made the day totally suck. Oh well, at least the Celtics won to force game 7 tomorrow.
I am still seriously considering selling the restaurant, but I don't know what we'd do without the place. Without the restaurant I don't have a tax office anymore, and I don't want to do taxes here at our house. I guess if we did sell I'd just be ready to move. This area isn't really that great anymore. I'd miss racquetball, but that's about it. I haven't even played Rball in a couple weeks anyway. What a bunch of crap!
We went to the movie theater to see the new Guardians of the Galaxy 3 on Monday evening. I really didn't want to go, I just wanted to stay home and rest, but I went anyway to be a part of the team. I think it's the first movie we've gone to at the theater in at least a year, but I don't really know for sure. What would have been the last one we saw? Maybe End Game part 2 with Thanos and all the comic guys thrown into one giant movie (that was a pretty good movie.)
Guardians part 3 was a very good movie. I really like the first two, and 3 was almost as good. Parts of it were really sad, parts were amazing, and my only minor gripe was the end felt a bit flat. It's the final one (or so they say) and I would have liked a little better send-off than what we got. I'd give it a solid 8/10.
Alright turds, all two of you who read this shit-pile bootleg site of mine, I should go try and do something productive now. I think I have to sneeze again because these allergies are ridiculous. Maybe I'll clean out the truck or sit out back. I'll wait to mow, if I mow at all, because Kat's taking a nap with Damon. She's BEAT so I really hope she can sleep some this PM. I don't need to be waking her up with the loud mower right outside the open bedroom window...
Thursday, 5-11-23: Back to work soon.
The Celtics aren't losing, it's tied 73-73 early in the 4th quarter, but they had a decent lead at halftime and they gave that up not long ago. Oh, they also gave up a 2-1 series lead and are now down 3-2 so if they lose tonight they are eliminated from the playoffs despite being the highest remaining playoff-seeded Eastern Confrence team. What a bunch of crap! Maybe they won't lose, but the 76ers have been the better team over the past couple games. Can't stop Harden and Embiid.
It really bums me out that I have to go to work again tonight. I'm ready to sell the restaurant. Don't think we'd find a buyer even willing to pay half of what we have into the place, though. This morning sucked. A lot. We had a great Wednesday night, but a lot of things weren't done including things that are just plain stupid. A big container of sour cream left out all night = what a bunch of crap! In the trash for that. Other things weren't done that should have been done so what's the point? I'd gladly sell to anyone offering even half of what we have into it right now. Just tell me where to sign!
The problem is, and it's a HUGE problem, what do we do for a living if we don't have the restaurant? I'm not ready to retire and do nothing all day yet, and even if I was ready for that we don't have enough money to pull it off. We can live comfortably on 40k a year so we don't need tons of money. I could go get a "real" job, and I almost did that last fall. I should just do what our maintenance manager, Jay does. He used to own a bar, he had other successful businesses, and now he's older and just wants to do maintenance and keep it simple. I respect that.
I did go help Phil put in docks Tuesday PM and most of yesterday. That shit was WORK. First we had to clear a bunch of brush in a tick-infested waterline field area. Thorn-apple = DO NOT WANT BUT GOT. Sunburn = DO NOT WANT BUT GOT. It was a nice visit with Phil and his family including an overnight stay, but it was arduous at times. Too much brain-work, and I don't know how to install floating docks that's way above my pay-grade. Each section is very heavy so we needed Phil's tractor to do a lot of the lifting, and at one point I was on a 10-foot section and sinking when we also had 1000 pounds of anchor-weights on it. HAHAHAHAHA! That shit was toast, but we were only a few feet from shore so I didn't have to swim. Just some wet feet, even with nice boots on.
I did get a chance to do 3 nice, quick turkey hunts with Dad Tuesday morning before I drove to Waterville to help Phil. It was a fantastic weather morning, not too hot and not too cold, and behind their house we did call in a couple smaller jakes. I could have easily shot one of them, but I decided to take a pass in case something bigger came along. They stayed in our area for quite a while gobbling back at the call and decoys, but nothing else showed up. Dad did get his second Tom turkey, a 19-lb bird, yesterday late PM at the prison farm. He wants me to do a hunt out there because there are tons of turkeys in those field, but I dunno if I do that I gotta stay well into the evening. Maybe if I spend an overnight, but I'd rather be home for overnights most times...
I still have to go back and help Phil at least one more day, and I'd like to turkey hunt with Dad at least one more time. Even though Dad has his two turkeys for the spring season he'd still enjoy going out again. It is fun just watching them and seeing how the calls and decoys can work. Sometimes it's amazing how well it all works, and other times it's a total failure. That's life, right? As long as the blackflies aren't too horrible (and they can be brutal this time of year) it can be amazing in the woods time time of year. Long days, no ridiculous cold, start hunting at 0500 and hunt all the way til 2000, if you want.
Thursday, 5-04-23: Thunderchickens and houses.
I left here around 0730, and I got to the midcoast a little after 0900. Took over 1.5 hours because there was some traffic, but I wasn't in a huge hurry. I listened to some good 80s music, some talk radio, and lately the drive down hasn't bothered me like it did a few years ago. I used to HATE driving down to Warren because there's no highway, no fast way to make the 67-mile trek, but I don't even care... whether or not I care... anymore. Sometimes the traffic does piss me off, but not so much. I was thinking earlier how I can't make that drive in under 1.5 hours anymore yet I recall many, many years ago it seemed to take closer to 1:25 for a one-way trip. All I wanna know is why? Why does it take longer now? Maybe I drive slower? I am borderline old hehehe.
All joking aside I do believe it's growth in the local area, especially along the coast. Camden becomes a total shit-show of traffic more often than ever these days. I can go up Appleton Ridge, and sometimes I do, but it overall takes longer when my final destination is Mom and Dad's house. Appleton Ridge down 131 makes more sense when I'm going to Jason and Holly's house.
Turkey hunting this morning sucked a bag of ass. I forgot my head-net here at the house so all I had was my hood, and it was wet and chilly. We didn't see jack friggin shit either. We hunted Jason's amazing "Lot 88" and it just wasn't meant to be. We did see turkeys all over the back field at the house, though. Nice tom turkeys within striking distance of the house all day hahahaha! There's no sport in that, though. We had a nice lunch with Mom, and then we snuck out back to Dad's hunting blind. From there it was game-on, bigtime.
Dad set up a couple decoys and his "Foxpro" call, and within minutes of starting the hunt we had birds responding to us. The blind can comfortably fit both of us because it's badass so Dad was on the left, and I was on the right. Dad wanted me to get first shot at a Tom turkey, but I didn't give a crap. After maybe 10-15 minutes a Tom showed up off to Dad's side on the left. He told me to get ready, I told him to shoot it, and after the turkey started to get a little wise to our operation Dad made a quick decision and got the job done fast. Lucky for him becuse that turkey was close to hitting the road. Dad is still a GREAT shot for a worn-down borderline 74-year old who got all kinds of health issues, mostly stemming from Vietnam but also some from tick-borne illnesses and probably a side-order of lead poisoning from being a firearms instructor for seemingly forever.
It seems morbid to say, but when you take game it usually doesn't just immediately die and lie still. Even when your quarry dies it still flops around for a bit, at least that seems to be the norm. Dad's turkey was clearly wasted like Doc-J and 8-Ball from Full Metal Jacket, but it was flopping around some. We heard gobbles from multiple locations so I didn't for one second think the hunt was over. Sure enough just a few minutes later I was able to see three tom turkeys through some low brush off to the right, my side. They seemed a bit unsure, but they were heading in. I got into position, and they seemed even more nervous. I think they were getting ready to hit the road and then the tom dad shot twitched around again so they paused before they started hitting the road. The last one of the three stuck his head up, I had no more time to wait around, so I gave him the business end of my Remington 12-gauge. He flopped around for a minute, I balied out of the blind ready to shoot him again, but he was all done. Fin. The end. Meat for the freezer!
^Mine of the right, Dad's on the left in the photo. Buth turkeys were fairly close in size. His 16.5lbs, mine 15.5lbs.
It felt really good to get back into the woods to turkey hunt. I didn't turkey hunt at all last year. What a bunch of crap! I think I like deer hunting more, maybe? Hunting with Dad is really special for me these days because of his health issues. I'm really not too sure how much longer he can do it. He'll be 74 in about a month, and I don't see him getting healthier at this stage in his life. I'd love to be wrong about that, but there is no beating the clock and no one lives forever.
Meanwhile back here at home I'm working on helping Kat's oldest son, my step-son, and his girlfriend find a house. I went to look at a house with them a couple days ago, and that was an adventure. The interior was great, but everything else was ten pounds of shit stuffed into a 5-pound bag. The neighbor out back was creepily staring at us the whole time, and that's a major red flag. No yard, shard driveway with creepo neighbors, foundation issues, hard pass. One of the other neighbors did come chat with us, and he said some old guy was there a couple years ago and then something about a fire and no more old guy. RED FLAG. WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP!