Sunday Afternoon Picnic and Softball

A friend of ours wanted to get a Sunday afternoon game of softball organized so we could all meet her fiance and children.  Simple fun for simple people.  We had quite a crew for the bash and it went quite smoothly, even the short rain shower hardly altered our steps.  It’s always a good break from the routine to have something different happen for a change.

I can’t believe we didn’t get the whole family together for a portrait!

God Bless you and your family Melissa and Darren.

Game on.

Game on.

Pitching Machine

Well, that kayak money was burning a hole in our pockets.  Jess convinced me to buy a pitching machine for our use at home and on the practice field.  Of course the cheap model was backordered, so in order to actually get any use out of one this year, we bumped up to the next model.

An you can’t have a machine without a bucket of balls.  We’ll have to wait until next year for the batting cage… I think.

It works great for ground ball practice and pop-flies along with the obvious batting practice.  I ran it off an inverter and an old lawn mower battery for a little while (portability), but it works best off 110v.

Batter Up!

Batter Up!

Game Two: @ Monson

Monson wasn’t any tougher than they were last year.  I don’t think there were more than three players taller than three and a half feet.  Maybe next year they’ll be the team to beat.  We did our part when playing defense and did what we could to get the bats swinging.  In the end it was the extra walks they gave us to get our players around the bases.

We finished the game 17-0.

Nathan at bat

Nathan at bat

Snipe Hunt

Well this hobby is about ten years over due for me.  I bought my first GPS in 1994.  That’s right. 1994.  It was a Magellen.  Talk about bleeding edge.  President Clinton had just turned off selective availability that set the civilian GPS market on fire.  I had it three days, maybe two, and took it back.  It wasn’t capable of “survey” quality accuracy nor did it have fast satellite acquisition.  Those features came about ten years later, I was a bit harsh on the review.  Most likely because of that first impression, I’ll never buy a Magellan ever again.

Where was I going with this anyway?  Geocaching!  That’s right.  Nathan has been wanting to try it to see if he might like to try his hand at Geocaching.  We have friends that go quite often and their child talks about it enough to keep Nathan’s interest up.  We finally had a chance to go look for an official cache.

I printed off a few cache details for Nathan to plug into the GPS on the ride down to Acadia.  I figured it would help him learn to use the device faster.  After we were done bike riding, we went about seeking our first cache.  OK, forget the first cache, let’s move onto the second one.  It was called SNIPE HUNT.  We pulled the waypoint up in the trusty (dusty and glitchy) Garmin and headed off.  We drove by the location but spun around in heavy traffic to make that compass arrow happy.

I was suspicious when we pulled into the Information kiosk for Trenton.  As we focused intently on the GPS direction, a lady asked if she could help us.  She was closing the kiosk and was quite polite.  We motioned with the GPS and said we were on a mission.  Her reply.. “Your close, you’ll find it.”  I wasn’t convinced. (Note avoidance of discussing cache one above).

With a little tweaking of the GPS screens, we found an output that was the most helpful in locating the cache.  With some help from the hint that was given (and me), Nathan found the cache and eagerly pawed over the contents.  We both certainly enjoyed the techie “scavenger hunt”, but it’ll be time, as with all hobbies, that dictates how many we seek out in a year.

The Cache

The Cache

Biking Acadia: The Mountain Loop

Another rise and shine morning this was to be.  We planned a little better by not landing in Acadia just before lunch; we landed at lunch!  We ate Subway lunches in the Jeep and I read the trail maps until I found something that would fill our afternoon.  Nathan and I felt up to sitting out tail-ends on the bike seats again, so we decided to bike eleven plus miles around the Mountain Loop carriage trail.

Well, around the mountain turned out to be as much up the mountain as it was around.  We climbed for nearly three miles before cresting at 780’.  Now that the summit was behind us, that meant we had several miles downhill.  Downhill riding never lasts as long as the uphill riding, go figure.  We we making the turn just before Jordan Pond before we knew it and was climbing again to enter the Amphitheater.

We did eventually find the Jeep again and all agreed we probably bit off a little more than we all wanted to chew on.  We’ll be ready next time!

On the Carriage Trails

On the Carriage Trails

A Hundred Miles An Afternoon

It certainly was shaping up to be a weekend sans baseball (and work!).  Nathan went over to his grandparents this afternoon so Jess and I had a chance to go for a motorcycle ride.

We headed to Greenville but by the time we were in Dover-Foxcroft, the sky didn’t look so great in the direction.  We changed course and went to Orono via LaGrange.  I had never been on that section of Route 16 so it was nice to ride some new pavement.

We ended up back at the house with just under one hundred miles added to the odometer.  I am always grateful and happy to get a ride in… no matter how small.

Wife and I

Wife and I

Hiking Acadia: Norumbega Mountain

We did our best to get up and around at a decent time this morning to make that drive to Acadia we didn’t make yesterday.  Nathan and I were a little whiny about our sore seat-ends after biking in the Bangor City Forest.  Jess has a nice gel-seat on her bike so she wasn’t nearly as affected as we were.  Being in the condition that we were, Nathan and I voted to hike instead of bike today.

As typical, we arrived at the trailhead about twenty minutes before lunch.  To speed our ascent to the top, we took the Goat Trail which climbs more directly to the summit.  The trail was steep but it wasn’t long before we were sitting on top.  Nathan wanted to take the longer, gradual sloping trail down, but Jess was fine with dropping down off the mountain at a quicker pace so we took the same trail back down.

When we eat in Bar Harbor, we tend to migrate to Geddy’s.  We walked right in and was seated quickly, but we watched people come and go before we had our food… sixty minutes later.  Next time, someone else will get our business.

Family Summit Shot

Family Summit Shot

For Sale: Old Town Kayak, 160T

Back in 2006 I bought a sixteen foot tandem kayak for Nathan and I to paddle around.  I needed to replace the Old Town Dirigo that I had because Nathan had outgrown the child seat in it.  It appears that 2006 was the downhill side of our kayak hobby.  We used the kayak three, maybe four, times and it’s been in the garage ever since.

I decided to make some more room in the garage and put it out on the lawn and see what would happen.  I’m not a good sales person.  Well, actually I am.  I can sell a ton of stuff fast.  But, I my prices are usually so low, its hardly a sale.  Close to a giveaway.

I printed out the Old Town spec sheet on it and put it out on the front lawn for sale.  We had to go to Bangor to run errands so I made sure my cell number was on there.  Within  ninety minutes, I had a call.  “We’ll take it!”.  By the time we were home, there were messages on the answering machine and on my cell and someone in the driveway ready to load it.

SOLD. I guess I priced it right for the current economy.

Older photo of the kayak

Older photo of the kayak

Bangor City Forest: Biking

Nathan had a half day of school today.  That opened up a chance for us to do something non-baseball related.  We never have practice or games on Friday, Saturday or Sunday; coaches first rule, backed and supported by all parents.  So, Jess and I both took the day off and was able to get a few things done before leaving the house at 11:30 AM to pick Nathan up at school.

We originally had thought about going down to Acadia to bike the carriage trails, but after a stop at Subway for a quick lunch, we thought that may make the day a bit too long.

This winter we snowshoed around a loop in the City Forest, so we thought it would be neat to bike the same or similar trail.  It had been a while since Nathan had been on his bike (for all of us really), so it took awhile for him to get started.  Before too long he was feeling the trail fly by beneath him.  Then, in a Bangor City Forest minute, the trail wasn’t beneath him at all.  Off the trail, into the brush and over the handle-bars he went.

We ended up biking about five miles by the time we arrived back at the Jeep.

Nathan was fine after his spill.. even after his second one.

Nathan was fine after his spill.. even after his second one.

Derailed

Last year Jess and I were out for a bicycle ride on Route 15 when my bike’s chain decided to just wreck the derailleur. Well, I’m just now getting around to “fixing” that derailleur. I called some shops and to my slight surprise, there wasn’t any way I was going to fix it cheap.  I hardly paid $100 for the bike (get what you pay for right Jack?), there was no way I was going to pay $77 to put a derailleur on it.

To get the “most” out of my money, I decided to just replace the bike.  Wal-Mart had a “mountain” bike for $89.  I shopped around and picked up another “disposal” at Toys R Us for just over a hundred.  Jess had a coupon so the assembly fee was a wash, another hour saved.

Now I have a “parts” bike.  One without a derailleur.  Which might just be the part that decides to let go first on this fine quality bike I purchased.

But hey… check out those quality disc brakes!

They're pretty junky, but they look cool

They're pretty junky, but they look cool