Saturday, August 28, 2010

Boothbay Harbor

Ahh, Boothbay Harbor. Every time I think I've given up on Maine entirely, we stumble across something just cute enough, or goofy, or cool enough to make my hopes stay alive.
A rare 1/2 blue lobster

We visited the Boothbay area, which is about an hour to the Northeast of us this last Thursday, to celebrate my birthday. Our tentative plan was to visit the aquarium, spend most of the morning there, eat some lunch, maybe shop a bit and head home. Well, as we planned this, I couldn't find anyone that had ever been to the aquarium, which I thought was odd. I kept getting "Oh, the aquarium in Boston?" from people. This made me intrigued but a bit nervous about what we'd find. But this was the Maine State Aquarium. It had to be pretty decent, right?
The Aquarium. All of it.

When we finally found the place, tucked away down a twisty road on the far side of the harbor, we found out why no one had been there. It's teeny tiny! Essentially one room attached to a large building housing a research facility, the aquarium had a large touch tank, a "shark" tank (with one unfortunate 2-foot long shark and a couple of rays) and around 10 fish tanks.

Beyond that, they boasted a 10 foot section of t-shirts and mugs for sale, a tiny display case of lobster history pieces and a couple of bathrooms. It's not much, and I could see a hundred ways to remodel and change a few things to make it more modern and appealing, but if you are in the area already, you should visit.

While this was initially diappointing, the visit was not a bust. The fish they did have were lively and well-kept and the showpiece for me, as it should be at the Maine aquarium, was the lobsters. They had a century old monster that was over 2 feet long and a variety of oddly colored ones as well, a condition that is estimated to occur in only 1 out of 32 million lobsters. So we wandered for a bit, tried to milk our $5 admission for as long as we could, then lit out, determined to find some way to spend the rest of the day.
Their Giant Lobster

This ended up being easier than we'd thought. First, we stopped at a place called McNabbs Fine Tea and Yarns. But it looked like some lady's house so we left. Then we stopped and decided to brave it anyway and turned back around. It turned out to be some old lady's house that just happened to be filled to the brim with yarn and in one room, in the back of the house, hundreds of tins, bags, boxes and bowls filled with teas. No order at all either, just wherever they happened to land, with hand labeled stickers and tags. I felt like we were in the domain of some witch or an alchemist. Apart from Roscoe the dog, who kept handing me his red rubber ball, he kind of ruined the effect. We spent a while there, huffing tea, until we reached a sesory overload and my wife chose a couple to buy. We ended up with some cinnamon and spice chai and a black tea that smells like a smoky fireplace.

After that, we wandered around a cemetery for a while and headed into the center of Boothbay Harbor. Which I loved. It still had some things that rang untrue to me, like they were doing things a certain way because it was expected of them, not because they loved it, but we found a lot to enjoy in the little town. Unlike Old Orchard Beach, which is geared towards young people buying clothes and hanging out on the beach, Boothbay Harbor has the feel of an oceanfront town for empty nesters. Lots of shops selling wine and high-end knick knacks and nice restaurants. No Fried Dough and French Fries to be found, Lobster and tapas seemed prevalent. There were a few oddball surprises,  like Enchantments, which was so stuffed to the gills with fairies and glitter that it was overwhelming. At first glance, it seemed to be the exact thing that was missing out here - a fun and funky shoppe filled with insanity, run by beach bum hippies. But Enchantments only appeared to be that way. Once you got inside and saw all of the angry signs about cell phones, pictures, ice cream and babies you realized that it was all a sham. Or run by the worlds most uptight hippies. (I did snap a photo before noticing the harshly worded signs about it....)

We ate lunch at a place called the Chowder House's Boat Bar, which was a bar made out of an actual boat, where we shared a cup of chowder and some homemade potato salad while we watched a family kayak in the harbor.

We stopped into a lot of shops, some good, some overpriced. I realized that Christmas ornaments are really hard to shop for when they are displayed exclusively on Christmas trees, and that if you see a fairly full ice cream shop with a short line, you should get in there because later in the day when you do want ice cream, that line will be out the door and along the walk. But the day was perfect, warm with a cool breeze and there were enough diversions that we'll have to visit again. We also popped down to Newagen to see a lighthouse and eat some salt water taffy on a pier.

Eventually, we had to get home to empty the dog's bladders and we left, stopped for some groceries and got home just before the skies got dark and it started to rain.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Time - It Keeps On Slipping

Old age aint no place for sissies. - Bette Davis

I turned 32 today. It's kind of odd to think back to ten or fifteen years ago and what I had planned to do with my life, and how, really, none of those plans or dreams are even the same now. I mean, I've wanted to be a professional artist or author in some capacity since I was a child, but at 23 I don't think I would have ever imagined I'd be living in Maine, working for a drug store, with hopes of publishing a book, opening a motel and selling a few sculptures. At the time, I was considering the idea of running my own gas station and drawing comic books for a living. Five years before that I was working at a phone survey center, and I was probably hoping I'd eventually be able to grow a proper goatee.

But for my age, I don't feel too bad. The kids at work mock me, but they don't treat me like I'm ancient, and I really feel like most of the things that brought me pleasure back in the day still do the same now, and that's what's important to me. That I still hold on to some part of my youth while finding better things to replace the rest. We'll see where the next 365 days takes me. 

And lest I start feeling too old, I can always look forward to how we plan to celebrate my birthday on Thursday. By going to the aquarium, getting some Ice Cream and  buying a set of Legos. Aww yeah!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Come Again. If You Want To Die


And that's about it. For the last week, my life has been my job and nothing but. My "boss" was on vacation, which was all right, the store runs smoother when he's gone anyway, but it does mean my work load is increased, then one of my fellow managers lost her kitten in a really tragic way, so I had to work a 12 hour shift unexpectedly and after an evening of staying up WAY too late. Then, the next day, my "boss" returned. As a general rule, I'm not supposed to talk specifics about my work on any kind of public forum, but lets suffice to say that he arrived, dinked around, left again, came back, made some vague allusions to work and then left. The day before we were scheduled to host a huge event in the parking lot. So there was another 11 hour day, capped by a trip to Bath to grab a cooler for the next morning. That was another couple of hours.

Yesterday, I spent the day inside, doing my job while the "boss" sat outside in a tent schmoozing the radio personalities. Another 11 hours wasted there. I have a day off today, but just the one before I'm back in there.

I hope I get my spirits back to snuff before I decide to play "How many people can I fit in the cardboard compactor". 

On the bright side, I did devise a clever new scheme to make a little bit of money with some sculptures and art. If I can find the time to put it into operation....

Saturday, August 14, 2010

156 Years Of Something

Now Playing -
Ka Huila Wai
by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

Life - 
Yesterday, Lindsay and I attended the  156th annual Topsham Fair. Growing up, going to the fair was always a kind of bittersweet event for me. It was fun, I loved the carnival rides and the exotic foods and the animals, but it also meant that summer was almost over. That another break had passed with a few camping trips as the highlight of my adventures. Not that I hated the summers I had growing up, they were very memorable and frankly, the stuff 1950's sitcoms were made of, but I'd always secretly hoped that this summer would be the one when mom wouldn't have to work and we could go on a real vacation, to England, or Alaska, somewhere more exotic than Salt Lake City, Utah.

That never panned out, but really, the fair we went to kind of made up for it. It was, and continues to be, The Eastern Idaho State Fair, and folks in Idaho know how to do up a fair properly, with dozens of proper carnival rides, carnies hawking balloon games and ball tosses, all built up at the end like a glittering, loud party. Just past that, was a collection of buildings, filled with exhibitions of photography, ancient bottle collections, quilts, artwork and more. Most of these bored me to tears as a kid, but when I reached adulthood, I found myself enjoying them more and more. Then it was the food booths. Everything you could think of - Mexican, BBQ, Chinese, Japanese, Southwest, Tex-Mex, Irish, Thai, Fried, Sauteed, Grilled, Slow Roasted... I tasted food at the fair that I'd never seen before or since. Then the animals and farm exhibits. Hundreds of livestock and booths extolling the very newest in farm tools and machines. And every night, there were events in the huge stadium/racetrack. Depending on the night,m you could find yourself watching monster trucks and real bands. For instance, this year they have Foreigner for their rock band and Kenny Rogers on the country night. We never really attended the events, but it was kind of cool. It was one of the rare times that legit names showed in an area like Eastern Idaho.
The main strip. Note how each booth sells one type of food.

So it was with a mix of goofy excitement and interest that we decided to go to the Topsham Fair yesterday. Now, don't get me wrong, I know normal fairs aren't as extensive as the State Fair was in Idaho, even the Pocatello Fair was unimpressive out there, but I was excited to see what a fair out here was like, and they do advertise it a lot, There's been a banner up about the 2010 Fair since we arrived in Topsham. If nothing else, we figured, it would be an entertaining evening of people watching, well worth our $7 per person admission.
Shabby, shabby, shabby.
Well, it was probably worth our $14 in giggles, but I was shocked at how, like many other things out here, there's so much room for improvement, but no one seems to care. Like, once you've been around for 156 years, you don't really need to try anymore. Sure, they had all of the requisite exhibits. They had a few carnival rides, a few booths with impossible games, food wagons and a perfunctory attempt to display some livestock and tractors, but it was all so half-hearted feeling. Yet people were there in droves. It was around 4pm on a Thursday evening when we attended, and though the crowds weren't overwhelming, there was a good group of people in every little corner of the place.
These sausages were nowhere near as hot and delicious as they looked.

For one thing, the fair was really poorly laid out. Most fairs you attend, everything is laid out in a pretty uniform fashion. The rides are in one section, the livestock in another and so forth. Here, food wagons jockeyed for position with ferris wheels and you could get heckled by the clown in the ball toss while trying to eat your fried dough. At first glance, there seemed to be a lot of food choices, too, but the more wandered around, the more we realized that for the most part, each wagon served one specific food, like one wagon for sausages, one for fish and chips and one for fried dough. Each one sold a few beverages and maybe some cotton candy on the side, but to get a meal, you had to make multiple trips and stand in five or six lines. And apart from the different wagons, there wasn't actually any variety. There were five separate wagons that sold nothing but fried dough. And not with any changes, either.
To be fair, the White Pants were more bloomers than pants. WHITE PANTS! WHOO!

Their exhibits were horrible too. Usually, the places the awards are displayed are dedicated buildings, the Photos in one room, etc... Here, all of them were crammed together in one building that also housed a model railroad and a food counter. So the artwork was hung crookedly next to 4x6 photos in dollar frames above rotting blue ribbon vegetables.
That's right, in the year of my birth, Dinosaurs were the featured article, with Aluminum being only slightly less important.

I realize that someone reading this post would assume that we hated all of this. I didn't. I get a kick out of ludicrous stuff like this. How the "Museum" housed a few artifacts, a couple of banners from previous fairs, a selection of National Geographics with a sign that said "Find your birth year and month - $3.00" and a bunch of kids in the corner playing Rock Band on the Playstation. Heck, if I hadn't already paid an entry fee, I would have paid to see the guy that looked like Kyle Gass from Tenacious D holding a Boa. It just bothers me when a few simple changes would have made the experience many times better but it seems like it isn't done out of laziness or complacency.
I genuinely cannot fathom what could bump a paper plate with 5 AC/DC cards on it down to second place.

So we spent about an hour and a half wandering in a circle. In fact, we made several laps of the fair, trying to find the wagon serving fried dough that didn't have them pre-cooked and sitting under heat lamps. We got heckled by carnies and bought a sausage that looked much better than it tasted. We watched a blacksmith in a college basketball t-shirt and Lindsay petted a cow, but after a while, we realized that unless we wanted to pay $8 to ride the ferris wheel, or throw our money away on stupid games of chance for stuffed toys we didn't need or want, it was time to go home. Although I did just realize how fun it would be to give a 3' tall care bear to the boys to destroy.

Reviews Of Unusual Size

by Victor Gischler
2010, 250 pages, paperback

1 -Don't get me wrong, I've dug Gischler's last couple of books, humorous fantasy/sci-fi novels about vampires and the apocalypse, but when I heard he was releasing a new crime novel about a slacker, part time deputy that gets into the middle of something far over his skills set, I was very excited.

2 - And with good reason. Gischler writes conscience free bad guys and real people in rough situations better than anyone around. In fact, I think it's a safe bet that Victor Gischler is the best crime novelist  alive today.

3 - His characters are dirty and stupid and mean, and generally perfectly human. There's no supernatural feats of daring or Batman-like fighting skills. Life is unfair in a Gischler novel, and I love it.

4 - The only thing that should stop you from rushing out and buying this today is that you can't read. Even if you can't, this is a real book, out of real paper, and I imagine it would balance out that TV you have stacked on top of your other TV quite nicely.

5 - Let's face it, even if I didn't already love Gischler, I would have bought this book based solely off of the blurb on the cover - From the author of GO-GO GIRLS OF THE APOCALYPSE. Though I am a bit perplexed by the one from Publisher's weekly, which is worded like this on the cover - "[S]olid noir from Gischler" Does that mean that Publisher's Weekly left off the S in Solid? How odd.


by Jack Kilborn

2009, 245 pages, ebook

1 - This is the second novel by Jack Kilborn, the pseudonym used by author J.A. Konrath, author of the Jack Daniels series and this blog, which is a huge reason that I've come around to the idea of digital books. This review is also of only the first half of the file, the Revised novel, Trapped. I will review the second half at a later date.

2 -Essentially, a tale of survival, horror and cannibals, Trapped was deemed too graphic and hardcore for his publisher, so Kilborn did what he does best, released it in digital form himself for a good price, and sold the crap out of it.

3 - I was turned to Kilborn by my 12 year old nephew. I later realized that it was a pen name of an author I already loved, but when you have a kid ask you to read the only book he's ever finished, you check it out. And then you realize that the novel is totally inappropriate for a twelve year old.

4 - Trapped is a video nasty in book form, with graphic violence, mutants, genetically engineered killers, bad street slang, kids in jeopardy and bad government. It's one of those things that you have to be in the mood for, but man, is it perfect for when you are. If you aren't, you feel dirty afterwards, so be warned. It's a good book, but not for everyone. Especially if you don't relish the description of an eyeball bursting after a careful application of heat over a barbecue. While the person is still alive.

5 - Why do I love Konrath so much? Because Joe understands that digital books are the future, whether I like it or not. Besides having the brilliant idea for publishers to include a free download of the digital book with hardback purchases, an Idea that should be happening NOW, Joe realizes that digital books are like the DVD to VHS, and includes all sorts of extras in the file. Trapped not only includes the updated, revised version of the story, but at the end, there's a few decent length previews for other books and his original version of the book. The one that his publishers  made him go back and tame down. That's right, lurking at the back of the file is a second, full length novel even crazier than the one before. I assume. I'm saving that version for a later date. Maybe date is a bad word choice. Because that would be a horribly messed up date.

Writing - 

This afternoon, I should break  70,000 words on Graves! This is a big deal for me, I've never written a novel this long before, The Whispering Ferns was a children's novel and topped out at 49,000, and this is especially exciting because I have plans for this book. I'm going to actually start working on a query letter for an adult novel, query agents and a few select houses and then, if all else fails, I think this story has the potential to be successful as an e-book, so if I can't find an agent, I plan to make an attempt at publishing it myself.

The Last Sentence - 
"But you do have to say one thing about him. That zombie had awesome comedic timing."
From - "Graves" (WIP)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Gloom, I Has It

Now Playing -
Where Do We Go Now But Nowhere
by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Life - 

Ahh, days off, why do you have to end? For the last few weeks, we've been fortunate enough for our days off to fall on the same two days. It's been really nice. We've built a porch, made some fun little trips, worked in the house a bit. In the next few, that'll change a little, my boss is going out of town, so my schedule will be all over the place. That's why we decided to hit Portland and the beach this "weekend" (Which is Thursday and Friday for us) We had some shopping to do and we wanted to find a few items to decorate our porch with.
On that front, we weren't especially successful. The mall was a bust, Michael's Crafts and The Christmas Tree Shops had a few things, but nothing in our price range. Though the Christmas Tree Shop DID have Stubbs Barbecue Sauce, which is my favorite and impossible to find out here. (I bought a barbecue recipe book too for $4) Eventually, we decided to give up on the decoration quest, and headed down the road to Old Orchard Beach. I was intrigued to visit it again, as last time we went it was pre-season and very rainy and cold. I thought it might be fun to see it in full swing.

Along the way, we stopped at the skeeviest flea market ever. Every single tent was filled with items that looked like they'd fallen off a truck in 1992 and had been sitting in these tents on sagging card tables ever since. Stuff like Micro Machine coloring books and impractically designed knives. VHS tapes and badly faded "Harley Davidson Parking Only" signs. We wandered into the bazaar until we started to fear ever making it back to the car safely and then fled.

 Naturally, because I wanted to see OOB in full swing, it was gloomy and windy when we arrived. Which just made the air humid and muggy, somehow. But there were still quite a few people sacked out in the sand and wandering the boardwalk.
 I was surprised, though I shouldn't have been, at the variety of tourists. It's clear that the beach gets about half of the business from the South, New Hampshire and New York, even as far down as Florida, and the other half travels down from Canada - there were a lot of signs in French as well as English. I guess it's a good middle ground for them , though, to be frank, I liked it far less than Oregon and would likely not drive hours to get here.

The boardwalk and shops were mildly diverting however, though most of them sold things we weren't interested in. Clothing, henna tattoos and the like. We wandered around the carnival for a bit and had some crappy fries, then some excellent fries, and split a piece of decent pizza.

 There were a lot of people out, though most of my pictures seem to make the streets look kind of empty, and we had to shuffle through crowds of largely heavyset and sweating people, most of them holding french fries, ice cream, slabs of pizza or circles of dough.

Which was probably my favorite part of the day, the treat they call "Fried Dough" it was hot and decadent, swimming in honey butter and powdered sugar, with just a hint of cinnamon. The name bothers me though, it's like no one out here understands the importance of showmanship or something. Back home, these beasts would have been called Tiger's Ears, or Honey Butter Scones, or Elephant Ears. (Apparently, people in Idaho associate slabs of dough with animal ears, for some reason...) And if I owned a shack on the beach selling these, I would immediately call them something like Sand Dollars or Dough Clams, even Beach Blankets would be a better name than Fried Dough. Boring! But tasty!
After wandering for a bit more, we headed home, stopping off at a tiny toy store and an ice cream stand on route one. Yesterday, we went out for lunch, violating my previously stated "Not leaving the house except in case of zombie apocalypse, but it was worth it for some excellent fish and chips at O'Sheas. There's also a great shop next to the restaurant called the Nest, which sells all manner of nice home decor, where we got a few ideas for the house. We also made a quick stop at the Goodwill for some pillows and the craft store for some fabric to cover the pillows with. 

Then I read an entire James Patterson book and made dinner.

 Oh yeah, and the title to my blog? A result of watching this commercial WAY too many times -


Reviews Of Unusual Size - 
5 Things About...

by James Patterson & Peter DeJonge
2003, 384 pages, ebook

1 - A stand alone novel about a law student who gets caught up in the death of his brother, corruption, rich jerks and more death!

2 - I didn't enjoy this novel as much as Beach Road, another collaboration between the two authors, but it was pleasantly diverting, with some interesting twists.
3 - I read this in one sitting. Patterson's way of writing his thrillers makes the books seem a lot shorter than they really are. Which is why I read them as a brief escape so often.

4 - Most of the characters seemed kind of stereotypical and more wooden than I would have expected, especially the main character's friends, but I did get a kick out of the grandfather, a outspoken Irish coot.
5 - The Beach House actually has very little to do with Beach Houses, but I bet it sells itself as a summer read very nicely!


by Stieg Larsson
2009, 600 pages, ebook

1 - This book has been so heavily hyped. I've heard it called everything from "The Best Book You'll Ever Read" to, inexplicably, "The Biggest Thing Since Harry Potter!" which is odd, because the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo has very little to do with boy wizards, or young readers, for that matter. Apparently, from now on, any book that gets a bit of popularity will be compared to Harry Potter or Twilight.

2 -It does have to do with a mystery surrounding a missing girl, a rich, screwed up family, a disgraced reporter and a screwy investigator. It's like if James Patterson and VC Andrews had a love child that was raised by Michael Connelly in Sweden.
3 - Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book - it's a plump, tangled thriller, but as usual, I think the hype both set me up for disappointment and got my hopes up to high. I kind of wish they'd stuck with the original title, Men who hate women. I think it would have kept it under the radar more and I could have enjoyed it at what it was, a mystery about a missing girl.

4 - My least favorite character was the wunderkind favorite of the critics, the investigator, Lisbeth. I think she was set up with an appealing set of quirks and she certainly had reasons for her odd detachment with the world, but I think her persistence in acting mentally challenged just made her seem goofy. She could have been standoffish and lacking in social skills and still been appealing but instead, I kept getting annoyed.
5 - The big reveal and spoiler in the middle of the book surprised me, it was the logical ending to the book, the fact that it continued with the other plot for another hundred pages or so was kind of odd. It worked fine for  the novel, but now I want to see the movie and how they let it play out there. If I had been in charge of the script, I'd find myself making the two storylines converge a lot closer together.


by Jonathan Maberry
2007, 480 pages, ebook

1 - The second book in the Pine Deep series takes us deeper into the evil that permeates the ground of the tiny Pennsylvania town, and expands on the battle between light and dark.

2 - I got a kick out of the first Pine Deep book, Ghost Road Blues, but this installment was better. Better pacing, better twists, and Maberry is really ramping up to something big in the third installment.
3 - Which was my main complaint about the book, it reads like a second of three books. There's a good amount of catch up in the beginning and the end can barely be called that, it's more of a back cover inserted between chapters. And I can't wait to read the next one, which is already downloaded to my nook and waiting for me, thank goodness. 

4 - If Jonathan Maberry was as big as Stephen King, and I think he could be better than King in many respects, he could have released this as one volume. A massive, wicked epic.
5 - Dead Man's Road takes some conventional horror tropes and sneaks them in when you least expect it. Even when I knew something was coming, he manages to keep it entertaining and fresh.


Writing - 

I worked a while on my zombie novel the last couple of days, but it's hard to get in the head of people hiding in a drug store in Montana in the middle of October, surrounded by zombies, when you're sitting on a porch in Maine surrounded by hummingbirds and crickets in the middle of August.

The Last Sentence -

 I've got a pretty good chunk of company around the front that's noticed my buddy here.

From - "Graves" (WIP)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Looking For Maine

Now Playing -
Ain't Got So Far To Go
By David Byrne

Life - 

When we moved to Maine, I had an image of Maine in my head. Compiled largely of  sourceless assumption and a chapter in a Bill Bryson book, I'd pictured a rugged country with rocky shores and simple people, eking out a living by plucking skittery crustaceans from the sea while wearing a yellow slicker. Maybe relaxing in the evenings on the windswept porch with a pipe and some maple syrup drenched pancakes, grooming their white beard that lines their rugged jawline.. 

Instead, we found a fairly modern Eastern state, with tons of chain stores and modern amenities. Slowly, the image in my head has started to coalesce. We live in an area where a generator and a huge vat of heating oil is standard equipment and I've had the pleasure of meeting some legitimate fishermen and lobstermen, with thick calluses and windburnt faces. I still feel like Southern Maine especially is more modern than my tastes would prefer, but the North is looking pretty promising. Clearly, what I had been looking for was not a jet out here, but a time machine.  

So we've gradually been coming around to things. Making the trailer a bit more homey, screening in the porch and finding a couch has been huge, as has exploring our area more.

Yesterday, we found the Brunswick Farmer's Market. And I do mean found.It was miles from town, out amongst farmers fields and rolling hills, which somehow seemed both perfect and totally wrong for a farmer's market. Missoula Montana had a pretty great Market. Blocks of art and veggies, plopped right in the middle of the downtown, we loved that place. (Though they've since changed things and locations and I was pretty unimpressed the last times we visited.) But this market was what you picture when someone says Farmer's Market. A nice mix of  craftsmen, bakers, farmers, woodworkers butchers and candlemakers, with the light sounds of guitars, banjos and fiddles drifting from the tent in the middle.

We'd actually left the house that afternoon hoping to find a table or couch for the porch, but we came home with fresh potatoes (which we actually bought at a farm stand further down the road), beets, carrots, fresh maple candy, a pumpkin whoopie pie with cream cheese filling, a popover (a fluffy, eggy, air filled muffin of sorts that reminded me of the oven pancakes my mom used to make )and some small, sweet cucumbers. We also found some fresh wild blueberries, sampled some phenomenal lemonade, sweetened with maple syrup, bought a chunk of homemade summer sausage and a thick, dark, bitter brownie, flavored with semi-sweet chocolate and Guinness. 

Afterwards, we spent a half hour or so cruising through the forests and back roads before heading home for a nap before work.
I could get used to this kind of Maine adventure.

 Also, here's a picture of Ludo and Clover, because Pooka has been getting so much face time lately. I think it's funny how my hundred pound dog can manage to look so tiny when he's curled up on the couch like that. His head is really about the same size as the cat...