Thursday, July 13, 2017

All Surfed Out and Nowhere To Go

We are all set to hit the surf. We've been practicing in the pond and even hitting the waves with just two boards, but just recently I procured a third board (I won't go into the details) and now we are ready to go... our wetsuits are hanging just to the right. This should be good and I might be more stoked about it if the ocean wasn't so far away, but at this stage in the game I'm in no position to be picky. I'll take what I can get.

Now that we have three boards, we can all go the beach. I'm not sure how easy that is going to be since some of us have very complicated schedules, but no worries. Like everything, we'll find a way, or at least work hard trying.

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Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Clearing Trees

The time has come to take some action on the wild frontier that we know as our front yard. Believe it or not, this is the "after" pic, having removed dozens of little trees. Most of the flora is relatively well maintained thanks to the tireless efforts of our groundskeeping crew, i.e., all of us, but there are sections of the woods that seem to have grown rather aggressively. In all honesty we could probably leave them be and it would be fine, but the spread of all those small saplings does make it a bit unsightly. Plus, as they get bigger, you realize that they are having problems growing because they can't compete for light with the bigger trees. Finally, I think N has aspirations to fly his drone through the woods and the fewer the obstacles the better.

I've been told numerous times that the woods benefit from a little clearing now and then, and mom and the kids have commented on it, as well. In fact, mom and N have been taking some initiative and clearing what they can, but at some point you really need a chainsaw because the trunks are too thick for a pair of sheers.

Enter dad and his chainsaw. Now I'd put the chainsaw in semi-storage while awaiting the delivery of our next load of logs. Once that arrived, it was time to gas it up and start the process all over again. Meanwhile, since the saw was ready, I could go and clear some trees. The funny thing is, what looks like a few small trees turned out to be a lot more work that I imagined. The trees had narrow trunks, but they were surprisingly tall. Plus, I initially thought it would be 3-4 trees, but there were about a dozen. I couldn't even cut them all in one session and will have to go back for more.

Despite the challenges, it feels good to have finally confronted this problem, and it looks a lot better. No time for complacency, however, because there is a lot more work to be done, not to mention the issue of cutting and splitting the firewood. Then again, nobody ever said training to be a real man would be easy.

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Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Seesawing Weather

The weather has been pretty darn nice for the past several days, with temps hovering around the mid to high 70s and lots of sunshine. Before that we got slammed with lots of rain, to the point where we were all scratching our heads and wondering if we'd ever seen this much rain. I'm guessing we had, considering when we did the market it rained every Wednesday, and it was nothing like what we saw when Irene. Either way, the rains seemed to come on strong and last for days.

Then, before that, we had scorching heat, which seemed to portend for a brutal summer, but thus far, this does not seem to be the case. We had a day or two of mid to high 90s, and at one point the thermometer read 108 degrees. To be clear, this is not accurate in any way because the thermometer sits directly in the sunlight and always reads 5-10 degrees hotter. Even still, it was pretty darn hot.

Now we are in the midst of a mild, if not cool summer. It's past July 4th and the weather has been just beautiful. Usually by now we'd be in the midst of hot spell with plenty of thunderstorms.

I'm hoping that the rest of summer will be more of the same, but it's highly unlikely. For now I'll just enjoy it and once the brutal heat arrives, I'll have something to bitch and whine about.

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Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to fuzzytractor for the pic.

Good Vibes from Cinnamon Rainbows

Just a quick note and a nod to Cinnamon Rainbows, the surf shop at Hampton Beach. Great store with a great location and an amazing selection of surf gear. More to the point, however, are the very cool people. Like the big loser that I am, I forgot my leash for my board when we went to surf. The surf shop opens at 9:00AM so it was open by the time we arrived. I went over and asked about a leash and she showed me several, all of which were going to set me back around $25-30. You could go much higher but as you might have guessed, I didn't want to go there.

I finally asked if they had any junker leashes from their rentals that I could buy. Dave, who is the owner, was there and said he could get one off one of the boards out back. So I followed him out, he undid one and handed it to me. Of course I didn't have the little loop that attaches it to the plug, but a quick search on the ground recovered one. I was stoked and asked him how much and he said not to worry about it, just bring it back when I was done.

Wow, how cool was that? Good surf vibes from Dave and thumbs up to a very cool surf shop.

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BTW, the leash came in very handy for when I got worked over in the surf. 

Thanks again to Dave and Cinnamon Rainbows, and thanks for reading, and thanks to Steve Bissonnette for the pic.

Quick Turnaround

Boy, how's this for timing? Last week when I was heading off to work at the Inn, our wood guy TB delivered our firewood. It was a bit comical, actually, kind of like everything in my life. I was scrambling, as usual, just to get out the door and get to work the other afternoon. It seems like I'm running around looking for my tie or my name-tag or other assorted items when I finally made it out the door. I was driving toward the main road when I spotted this logging truck up ahead. My firewood OCD kicked in as I pulled to the side to let him pass. Well, if you can believe this, I recognized the name on the truck. It's the same guy who delivers wood for our logger, TB. I figured he was coming to our house, so I turned around and followed him.

Sure enough, he pulled into our driveway and parked. I took the alternate route (we have a big driveway) to the house and got the cash and paid the man. I'm guessing we would have worked out the finances in some way or another, but it would have been a lot simpler if he had just given me a heads up that he was coming. Oh well, I should know better by now.

Mind you, I'm not complaining (am I?), I'm super stoked to have the wood. And, it's killer maple, which burns hot, and he gave me tops, which I alway prefer. Now we can get our wood pile back to normalcy, and maybe a little drama in obtaining our firewood isn't a bad thing, especially since we have no drama in any other aspect our lives... yeah right.

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Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Practice in the Pond

A weekend or two back, while A was at the solid sound concert, which for the record she thoroughly enjoyed, mom, N, and myself camped out about 45 minutes away in Vermont. It was fun camping, I think we should do it more often, and if you can believe this, we brought along our surfboards. Now this is a little kooky but I strapped the boards to the roof and brought them along because I wasn't really sure what we were going to do all day at the campground, and the simple reality is, we need practice on our boards. Surfing and shredding waves is a bit farther in the distant future. For now, we just need to get comfortable on our boards.

We noticed this first hand when we hit the waves a couple weeks back - just paddling and sitting are not a given. This is especially true when you're not only getting bounced around by the waves, but are busy paddling for your life to get outside of the sets. And the waves weren't even that big!

So I came up with this idea - since waves are hard to come by, but bodies of water are aplenty, why not make the most of the situation and take the boards out on a lake? Sure, it's a little kooky, but considering that we need practice in just being comfortable on the board, which includes paddling and sitting, all we really need is water. I recall when I was first starting out I had this old and indestructible board. I took it into our pool and practice standing on it. The board would shoot out and hit the side of the pool, but since it was an indestructible junker, it didn't matter. Just practicing the motion of standing on a board is helpful. It's very difficult to stand when the board is still, so once you're on an actual wave it will be that much easier. At least that's how the theory goes.

So we strapped the boards onto the roof of the fit and headed out to Bennington, where we camped. I forgot the name of the campgrounds but it was a VT state park. It was very nice, and busy, to boot. The ranger said they were full for that weekend, and you could tell that the campsites were full. Though we got slammed by the weather, we did manage to suit up and paddle out. Since it was a lake we didn't need our full suits and went with spring suits, which are much easier to put on. We then paddled out and practiced all of our needs. I think it's a great idea, and a good workout, as well.

It was kind of funny driving around VT and MA with surfboards on the roof, but who cares? As long as it gets us to where we need to be, that's all that matters.

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Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Peter Sandstrom for the pic.

Goodbye to Sharon

Now that A is done with driver's ed, I'm happy to say that we are done driving to Sharon, and not a day too soon. It was such a bear of a commute, I don't know how people do it. I realize the school is appealing, but to make the drive 5 days a week is a bit too much for my liking. I don't think I could do it, though I guess you find a way. Somehow it's a longer drive then going to the big city. Plus, at least in the big city, there is plenty to do, including work and all that good stuff. In Sharon, which is in the middle of nowhere, there is nothing to do. You can head up to Royalton but there's not much going on there, either.

I guess in the end we did our time and we can be thankful that it's over now. Not sure when I'll be going up there again but hopefully it won't be anytime soon... no offense to the residents of Sharon.

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Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to EunSurk Lee for the pic.