Friday, February 21, 2014

Earthworms in winter ? ? ?

This is a decidedly superficial and meaningless blog. While today Caracas and Kiev are burning I moan about the weather and post about generally shallow mundane subjects.

Last night and this morning we got hit by sleet and rain. More lovely New England weather. Donning my raincoat I stepped outside to scrape the sleet off the deck and note that I am out of salt. The plastic bucket that I keep my salt in was empty but for a few soggy crystals. So Before dumping in a fresh bag I figured I ought to rinse it out. Conveniently with just above freezing temperature and slop coming down from the sky I can place the bucket just below the diverter from the roof and in a few minutes it will be filled with water.
Went inside to have my morning coffee and 10 minutes later go check my bucket.
Lo and behold
A friking earthworm ! ! !

Its February. I know that the earthworm was not there when I put the bucket under the stream coming off the roof diverter. Where did that earthworm come from then?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Enough Already ! ! ! !

Can I stop beating my head on the wall now?

Last left you with Friday's snow storm.

Managed to get that one cleared out Saturday morning. And the day turned sunny and cold.
The view from the back corner of the property to the back of the barn.
 And on to Maple St.

The respite lasted only 3 days, just long enough to come down with the flu, chicken, swine, who knows? hacking , coughing , sneezing , snot , fever, throbbing head and all that fun.
By Wednesday morning we had another 10 inches.
Looking out the kitchen window at 7 am
Two hours work gets the deck, driveway and a bit of the patio cleared
Ever tried chewing through a 5 foot high hard packed snow bank with a 24 inch snow blower?
Road plow came by and winged over some of the banks, So I had to clear the driveway entrance again.
Two more hours to rake both roofs, clear the deck again, clear the patio
Clear the paths through a 4 foot snow bank so that the oil delivery and electric meter reader can get in.
Even Domino is tired of it, he said his willie freezes in the snow
By 3 pm, it stars all over again.

Hmmmm I wonder what Tom would charge for a 6 week stay at his Fat Hippo resort.

Friday, February 14, 2014


Its all like that wretched movie Ground Hog day. The same frustrating scene repeats it self over and over again.
Monday dawned like this.
After about three hours of work I managed to clear the driveway and the day turned sunny and cold. Most of the week was bitter cold. Then on Thursday it starts all over again.
9:00 am Thursday
10:00 am
3:00 pm
4:00 pm
5:00 pm
6:00 pm (shot with camera set at 800 ASA)
7:00 am Friday

10:00 am 3 hours of work and one snow blower shear pin later drive way is clear of the heavy soppy stuff. Some time during the night we got rain which froze on top of the snow but added considerable weight to it all.The machine could barely cope with it and kept clogging up.
The maple tree in the driveway coated in ice. I still have an other 2 hours of work to clear the roof and the path around the house. It is all sort of like beating your head on the wall so that when you stop it feels good.

Monday, February 10, 2014

A cold February flight

Saturday dawned clear and sunny, perfect day to bore some holes in the sky.

Met at Portland at 10:30 am and while we reviewed emergency procedures, we saw the Blackhawk take off. These guys are doing it right, they get to play with expensive toys on Uncle Sam's dime.
Soon enough we got our clearance and got rolling ourselves.
Left turnout over the Mall on our way to Biddeford for some fuel.
We pass over Beech Ridge speedway covered in snow
The Saco river in Biddeford iced over hard.
Biddeford in winter, one big depressing welfare milltown.
Base to final for Biddeford
80 gallons of 100 low lead later, we get going to find some lunch.
Making our way past Sanford
We set up for the approach to Nashua
And shoot the approach to Rwy 32
Where we make a quick dash for the Airport cafe and some lunch before they shut down at 2 pm.
Half hour later we get rolling again
Flying past Manchester airport
Another depressing New England town in winter.
Where the best pastime is screaming across the frozen lake on the snowmobiles.
And Ice Drinking, formally called Ice Fishing. A sport where guys escape the depressing town and their nagging wives for the day, get drunk while sitting in a tiny smelly tar paper shack on the ice, wiggling a worm in the cold water, and occasionally race across the ice on their snow machines to find a weak patch to crash through, and thus eliminate themselves from the gene pool.
 Over said frozen lake we enter a hold to the approach for Concord
Past the smoke stack of the paper mill.
Once past the smoke stack, we touch down on a very salty runway at Concord and make a quick turnaround.
And fly over the Ice runway on Alton Bay.
Lake Winnepesaukee is frozen solid.
Then make our way back to Portland for one last practice instrument approach.
Radar vectors to the initial approach fix take us out over Phineas Sprague's Spurwink Farm runway covered in snow.
Then over Kettle Cove
Where I snatch a quick shot over my shoulder of the sun looking down the coast towards Old Orchard Beach.
Another turn towards the fix has us looking at the islands of Casco Bay.
As we get established on the localizer we pass over Peaks Island with Fort Gorges in the center of the picture
Over South Portland outer marker inbound for 29, with Portland West End on the right of the picture.
The view out the right window shows Downtown Portland and a tanker as it makes its way up the harbor.
Zooming in a bit on the oil tanker.
You can see the bridge just beginning to open
 And the tug waiting to catch the tanker on the other side as it is flung through the gap in the bridge.
Still inbound to Rwy 29
A quick look over my shoulder
And the pastel buildings on Commercial St
Short final for 29
At decision height 274 ft over the highway
Just crossed I-295
Seconds to touchdown.
We made it home and did not break the plane. We must have done something right.