I Really Hate to Lose

Sometimes that can make for good motivation.  But in this case, it was an eBay auction, and you really should know when to stop clicking that button!

Thankfully, I’m not big on eBay, so I seldom try to win auctions.  Nathan was saving him money for a new portable game player (Nintendo DSi).  That device would allow him to get online and research a few things and play a few games.  But then he got the idea in his head that he wanted a computer.  His very own computer.

Of course in the very short time we’ve had our Apple Macintosh computers (two years), we’ve brainwashed him to think of nothing else.  So, we said we’d meet him half-way.  Seeing that he really didn’t need a new one and the smallest new iMac now sports a 20″ screen, we thought we could save a lot of money and buy a used one off eBay.

He watched the auctions for about a week before we settled on one that seemed to fit the bill (and budget).  As any of you eBay’ers out there know, things generally get a little more intense in the final minutes of any auction.  Going into it, we had that budget thing.  Then things got heated, the other person outbid me, I chased after it a bit… and so it went until we jacked the price about 25%.  Then I was just going to punch it one more time to “stick it to the man”…. and everything went silent.  Twelve seconds later, I was the owner of a 17″ Intel Core Duo iMac. Doh!

The seller had taken great care of it, and it was packaged in all the original packaging so I was pleased just the same with the final price. ($200 under the going rate of refurbished machines).  So, just in time for Fourth Grade, Nathan is set up with a computer.  His allowance money is dry and he’s already taught mama at least one thing on it.

MacBoy joins MacMama and of course, MacDaddy

MacBoy joins MacMama and of course, MacDaddy

School Shopping

I think in the not too distant future, School Loan is going to take on a whole new meaning!

While we were in the Brunswick area, we had to get Nathans school shopping done (started, and done).  The school supply isles at all the stores looked like a sale gone bad at Mardens or Reny’s.  Opened packages, disheveled shelves and a paltry selection.  Maybe the weekend before school starts (weekend after school starts for some) is a bad time to do your school shopping.  But hey, you’re talking about people that buy birthday cards on the way to the birthday party.

We managed to get everything we needed after making about five stops at the various stores.  Here I was thinking that these would be supplies for the entire classroom!

Not shown, the wheelbarrow to carry it all in!

Not shown, the wheelbarrow to carry it all in!

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

In the flesh.

OK, the reenactment flesh.  Let me explain.  Nathan has been wanting to go down to Brunswick all summer to visit the JLC museum. Jess had heard about it at some point and we were in the area earlier this summer, but didn’t want to spend the time inside on the nice day that it was.  So, we finally made it down on a nice rainy, museum-ish day.

Of course the tour was on the hour and we arrived at about half past ten.  Not as bad as it could have been, but a long wait for “chop-chop” minded kin like we are.  Just before the tour began a gentleman dressed in Civil War garb came in.  Everyone was thinking he was the tour guide until he opened his wallet to pay.  He must have sensed the eyebrows raising in the room.  He responded with “Not everyone is into it as some of us”.  It was obvious to all of us who he was impersonating.  Except that one poor lady that looked up at “Lawrence” standing amongst all the JLC photos and posters and asked.. “..so are you supposed to be someone in the past?”  He did even entertain her with the answer, she figured it out very quickly.

When the tour guide arrived he was nearly enamored as if he was meeting JLC himself.  It was a bit disrupting to the tour, but we managed to get through it and Nathan had his photo taken with JLC.

Some of you (us), may not be as into it as even Nathan, so here is a peek at what JLC really looks like.

Typical of the era, JLC wouldn't look directly at the camera

Typical of the era, JLC wouldn't look directly at the camera

Another Big Cat in the House

In 2007 Jess bought her Mac with Tiger on it.  Within a short month, we had Leopard installed on it.  Two years later, Apple has updated their OS once again and have named this smaller upgrade Snow Leopard.

You can argue whether it’s really an “Upgrade” or just an update; but for $30, it’s cheap enough to buy for the shiny new wrapper and to stay current… right?  One of the items it claimed it would do was recover over 6GB of hard drive space… that worked out fine for me, as I saw a 10GB swing in my favor.

With such a small upgrade now, I guess that means we’ll have a long wait for the next big OS from Apple now.

Meow!  $29 for a single seat, or $49 for the 5 seat family pack.

Meow! $29 for a single seat, or $49 for the 5 seat family pack.

Two Hundred and Six Miles

A friend asked me if I wanted to join him on a ride to NH this week.  He was headed for an overnight ride to Mt. Washington, staying in Bethel for the night.  It was about a 300 mile jaunt over and back, so I was fine with doing it in one day, but the start time was a bit late.  He was taking his twelve year old daughter, so he thought I should ask Nathan if he wanted to go.

Surprisingly enough, Nathan said he’d go! [He has never asked me for a ride on the motorcycle, so I knew he did it for me and not him].  We met the other half of the team in Newport and Nate and I escorted them as far as Wilton before veering off to an alternate route home.

Nathan and I arrived home by 7PM, and I received a call at 8PM from my friend.  They’d made the mountain and would be skipping the overnight-er for a hard ride back home to avoid the rain.  I still haven’t heard how the last three hours in the dark went for him.

A good day for a small group ride.

A good day for a small group ride.

Pre-Storm Coast Visit

So the hurricane is coming through tomorrow and we decided to load up a couple of vans and head to the coast for a wave viewing.  It was premature for the really good waves, but we were entertained just the same.

We packed a lunch and stopped at the Seawall for a picnic and some wave tag.  Then it was a quick stop at the Bass Harbor Light for some foggy photos.  As we left the main island we pulled onto Thompson Island to give the boys a chance to wade in some calmer waters as the previous beach was too rough for them.

The photos may look familiar to some of you… but I assure you, I did take these photos. [smirk]

Photo Gallery

Bass Harbor Light

Bass Harbor Light

UPDATE: The storm did bring up some large waves the next day.  It’s probably just as well we didn’t go on the storm day, as it could have been us you would have been reading about in the papers.

USS Albacore

…the super dry submarine.

On our way out of Portsmouth, we stopped by the USS Albacore.  Al was tipped off about this stop from a co-worker.  The submarine was used as a research vessel in determining hull shapes for more efficient subs.  It was a hot and muggy walk through the very tight quarters of the vessel.  This is no place for someone claustrophobic, don’t bother entering this one mother.

Photo Gallery

Periscope up!

Periscope up!

Strawberry Banke

Another out of state trip.  This one wasn’t quite as far and it was to our neighboring state, NH.  Deb and Al had been down to this living history site in the past but up for another trip.  Strawberry Banke was an old fishing village in Portsmouth, NH.  They’ve since filled in the “cove” the split the village, and have m0ved a few buildings, but for the most part it is as it was all those years ago.

We opted for the guided tour of a few of the buildings, the only way you’d see these buildings we were assured.  The tour guide was quite over-zealous and energetic for her age but it beats the alternative.  I think we collectively all agreed that we liked the old store the best.  Though you couldn’t buy anything there, even a young chap like myself remembered some of the old containers the products were sold in.

It was a long day, but we had a good time with family.

Photo Gallery

The Warehouse on the "dock"

The Warehouse on the "dock"

The World Series in Bangor

The Senior Little League World Series that is.  It’s pretty neat to have a series like this played “locally”.  We enjoyed a couple of these games last year when Nathan started getting into baseball, so this year we made sure we attended at least one.

It was a entertaining game.  A lot of great talent.  Asia-Pacific ended up beating Greenville, SC with a walk-off double.

If you like baseball and don’t want to travel far to watch some great games, check them out next year.  They’re in town for a week.

For the love of the game... we didn't really cheer for either side, just watched.

For the love of the game... we didn't really cheer for either side, just watched.

From Sea to Shining Sea

So we arrived home last night from Quebec City at around 11PM… to wake this AM and drive to Bar Harbor for some Bay Fishing.  So we drove from the St. Lawrence Seaway (FRI) to the Atlantic Ocean (SAT), all within 24 hours.

I’d been wanting to take Nathan “real” fishing for some time.  We always go and catch a few sunfish, but that hardly counts for much.  My older brother will take us once or twice a year and we usually do much better on those trips.  So off we went to Bar Harbor where we chartered a boat to show us the big fish! Cod, Pollock, Mackerel, Black Bass and the lure of the Wolf Fish!!  I remember going ocean fishing when I was a teen and we caught a mess of fish varying in sizes, (one girl caught a shark!) I hoped he’d do the same.

We boarded the forty person Tiger Shark at 1PM with 7 other paying customers and putted out a whole mile to the breakwater and then went in a 300′ circle for nearly four hours…. 200′ off shore.  After two hours and only a few small fish, a small child asked the Captain, to no avail, to “…please try a different spot, as this spot appears to have no fish”.  About five mackerel were pulled from the water before Nathan had a chance to land one.  Then four minutes later, we headed in.

Certainly not how I remembered it. Blame in on global warming, or just a worn out Captain Randy, either way, it’s  hard to justify the price or another time.

Photo Gallery

Holy Macerkel!

Big Mack!