A Tree for Thee

I’m not ready for a tree yet.  I could wait until about the twenty-second and be fine with that.  Last year Jess bought a nice little faux tree, the kind that comes out of the box all ready to use.  Just add power.  My kind of tree. Nathan squawked a fair amount last year about that tree, which didn’t help one bit, but this year we agreed we could get another real one.  I told Jess she needs to use that faux tree at least three years to get our money’s worth, I just didn’t say which three years.

All that to say, I still go tree picking every year.  More than once.  It’s the decorating and adding the lights that gets me.  Today I helped Matt and Sarah carry theirs off their property.  Nathan and I joined them for their first of two or three trips to the land for Christmas trees.  No snow, actually quite mild (I road the motorcycle earlier today; 37F) and not nearly as much effort as years past.

Picked your tree yet?  We’ll be busy for the next couple weekends, so I may just get my wish of the twenty-second, or something close.

Matt takes the lead on the tree exodus.

Matt takes the lead on the tree exodus.

Day Mountain Day Hike

We were able to get our “monthly” hike in today.  Jess wants to try and get out every month, so we’ll see how long we can go.

We “slept” in (read: no alarm clock), and took our time leaving.  We were held up in Holden by a car accident, and eventually detoured.  With the slow exodus and the delay, and then a change in hiking plans, we found ourselves in Bar Harbor at lunch time. Finding a spot to eat was easier said than done.  Things are mostly closed up down there now.  We ate at Geddy’s and then made our way down to the southern end of the island.

A couple summers ago we biked up the Day Mountain Carriage Road.  We thought we’d add another trip up it by boot.  Maybe this winter we’ll snowshoe up it for the “trifecta”.

Click the Photo to view the Gallery.

Summit Photo

Summit Photo

One less turkey

Another bird was consumed in Wesley this year by the Waite clan.  This was our second year over on the hill for Thanksgiving.  Twenty of us gathered around the table and enjoyed a meal.  There’s so much to be thankful for this year.  I hope you and yours had a wonderful day that was shared with family also.

The Feast in the Upper Room

The Feast in the Upper Room

Good ‘Ol Boys (and girls)

[New video added - the YouTube version had unacceptable quality]

We did something a little different this year at Thanksgiving.  We organized a session of skeet shooting.  In years past there was usually someone going hunting before the day was out.  While that tradition was stopped long ago on the Waite side, it still continues on the Libby/Harris side.

We assigned everyone some item to bring and we had plenty to work with by the time we arrived at the gravel pit.  We had quite a few people step into the shooters circle so we didn’t get that many rounds in.  We came back forty minutes late for Thanksgiving dinner as it was.

I put together this two minute video that I think sums it up pretty good.  Sorry Sierra, I didn’t get your hits on video.

Tony blasts away

Tony blasts away

It’s not over…

“You can have the ball when you pry it from my cold, frozen fingers!”

Nathan didn’t say it… but then again, we haven’t asked him to give up baseball for the winter either.  He can play as long as he wants to, I just may not be able to “play through”.

We arrived early at my parents place for Thanksgiving and had some time to play catch, before everyone else arrived, in the beautiful weather we had for the day.  It was a foggy start to the day, but it cleared off nice.  This photo was taken at around 10 AM.  The fog was mostly gone, and then we had a blast of cool air come up over the hill and bring a wall of fog with it. I snapped a few photos while Nathan played catch with Uncle Steve. More Fog Photos

Fast Ball from the arm of Nathan

Fast Ball from the arm of Nathan

Another Snow Fly

You know you live in Maine (or Alaska) when you wake up in the morning, you just received a fresh fall of snow and when you get in your vehicle to drive to work… there’s a Mosquito flying around in there!

Tough little bugger eh?

Mosquito with Yeti blood

Mosquito with Yeti blood

Second Amendment

the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

I got up early this AM to head down to a friends (Matt) to help with a project.  Once I arrived, I learned that the materials weren’t there, so the project would not commence.

I brought along my rifle in the event we had time to go hunting.  Since the project was on hold, we had time to go hunting.  You have to have the background of my hunts with Matt, no different than hunting with other people really, just a more predictable day.  A short walk in the woods, followed by several stories by a warm fire, eating something.

We actually lasted about ninety minutes.  Only about half of it was actually attempting to be quiet while walking through the woods.  Which is the definition of our hunting.  Carrying a gun while walking through the woods.  We’ve done this for ten years now.  This time was over new terrain (to me) and ended with stories by the wood stove eating warm cookies.  We topped that off with a video of Whitetail Deer hunts (Which made hunting look like a trip to the grocery store).

Why the mention of the Second Amendment?  Well, the Second Amendment really was intended for self defense, but if they take our guns away from us, they take hunting away from us right?  Not that I’ll ever have a successful hunt, but it’s the principle of it.

Go ahead, let loose in the comments… but remember, I’m the moderator [smirk].

Walking in the woods

Walking in the woods

Excuse mister… I think you’re leaking something

..and that’s my lawn your leak’ing on!

Another Friday working from home.  I don’t usually expect to see much on the outskirts of Charleston.  Today was a bit different.  A truck pulled off the road in front of the house, the driver got out, walked over to the “hidden view” side of the truck, and took a leak.. on my lawn.  I wanted to rap on the window and let him know he was being watched… but I didn’t want to startle him.

The Flash card was out of my camera, I hesitated about even loading it, and I still had time to take the photo. The man had to go.  And by doing so, he made my blog.  Hey, if anyone knows him, uh.. never mind.

Seeing a man about a horse

Seeing a man about a horse

Ten years ago…

..and one month, I was a bit stressed out about finding work.  Jess and I left Boston for Maine and it was she that had the job up here.  I came on faith. Very little.  I spent a full month looking for work and pacing in our “in-law” apartment.

I had a couple interviews and finally had one with a man from The County like myself.  To this day, I still think that’s why he gave me the job.  That company was bought out by The Boeing Company in 2002(?) and thankfully still remains in Bangor as my employer today.

I’ve changed positions just once and now hold the title of “Programmer Analyst” (web developer).  This month marked ten years at Boeing (Boeing graciously allowed us our past employers accrued years).  At five year intervals, we are given achievement awards and given a choice of products to select from.  For my five year mark I chose a ring.  I wanted to get something that I couldn’t get at Wal-Mart (other items included flash-lights, tool kits, etc.).  For my ten year milestone, I chose… another ring.  If you would like, you may now call me “Lord of the Rings”. Kidding.

Blessed and Thankful.

Ten Year Achievement

Ten Year Achievement

Pellets to Ashes, Dust is still dust

Really exciting photo today.  Ashes and “clinkers” from the pellet stove.  I finally emptied the ash pan.  I wanted to wait until I was half way through a ton, but I decided the extra math problem was good mind excercise.

I just finished burning my twentieth bag.  Eight-hundred pounds of pellets reduced to under four pounds of ash (less than 2 gallons by volume). All 150 bags of pellets I burn this year will produce only enough ash to fill one bag!

Eight-hundred pounds of pellets is about 5.6 Million BTU’s.  Convert that to oil.. about 50 gallons.  Fifty gallons by $2.81 (?).. $140.  And the 20 bags of pellets cost $88.  And that’s running with a recent oil price.  The oil in my tank cost me $3.81/gal back in September, or $190 for that many BTU’s.  So far so good.  Oil would have to drop to $1.80/gal before I’d start burning oil instead of pellets.  Any gamblers out there? (That was a rhetorical question)

The ash and clinkers.

The ash and clinkers.