Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wrestling and the Beach and Stuff

I’m on my second cycle of 10 hour shifts here at work.  These have been rough and it’s been DEAD at night.  Which I know isn’t a bad thing because that means nothing bad is happening.  But man does it make for long nights. 

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend two wrestling shows on consecutive days Friday July 25th in Fairfield for Maine Event Wrestling and Saturday in Augusta for IWE.  Canaan and Alex came along Saturday.  Attendance was low both shows, but they were both entertaining in their own way.  I know I got my $10 worth!  My next wrestling outing is shaping up to be IWE in Fairfield on Aug 8th


Saturday morning before going to the matches we took the kids to the beach.  We tried to go to Popham but they closed the road for an hour to celebrate Phippsburg’s 200th Anniversary, very inconvenient!  We turned around and went to the half mile beach at Reid State Park.  We brought a cooler with lunch and the kids had a blast, we all did! 

I had been doing quite well on my exercising and eating write, I even managed to drop several pounds the last couple weeks.  However, some very unpleasant chafing has but a hiatus on my walking until it heals up.  I’m feeling motivated and want to get moving so this is upsetting because I don’t want to lose that motivation.

I’m approaching 5 months since I submitted by story to Tor.com.  Their website states they usually get back to people in 3 months, if it’s been 4 then most likely it’s in the second look pile.  Of course it follows that up with at 7 months you should hear from us, if it’s been 9 months we probably don’t have it.  I’m hoping it’s that they are considering my story for publication.  That would be a dream come true! 

That’s all for now, check out this great cover version of “I’m on Fire” by Town Mountain, great stuff. 



Later readers!

Mike

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Santa's Village

Tuesday plans were made and Saturday they were executed as Kate, the kids, Mom, Irving, and myself headed north west into New Hampshire for a night camping and to spend the day at Santa’s Village. 


We loaded up the van and the 6 of us made the drive to Lancaster, NH and Rogers Family Campground.  Our tent site has water and electric and it ran us a mere $44 for the night.  Where they got us was the firewood.  You cannot bring your own across state lines because of bugs so the charge $6 for a small bundle.  We went through 3 of those plus a bunch of woods for the surrounding forest that totaled the equivalent of two more bundles plus. 

We set up our tents; Addison slept the Mimi & Pappy while Canaan slept with us.  We all went down to the pool for a refreshing dip in one of their 3 in ground pools, a wading one, a 3 footer, and one that went from 3 feet to 10 feet deep.



We cook hotdogs on the fire for dinner, the kids each cooked their own it was awesome!  Reminded me of our honeymoon and solidified that whenever we go camping hotdogs will always be cooked over the fire for dinner.   Everyone but Kate went down to the game room to waste some quarters.  I won Addison a purple elephant from the crane game, she was super excited.  After Irving and I vanquished some young punks from the pool table Canaan played his first game.  He was rough, but got better as he went.


The kids hit the sack and we sat out by the fire enjoying the beautiful night air.  It’s so peaceful sitting by the fire, not talking at all just watching the flames and the stars.
Kate didn’t sleep well to say the least while I myself was exhausted as I had gotten out of work at 7am and only slept a couple hours before hitting the road Saturday.  It was a bit chilly at 5am and Kate was stoking up a fire when I exited the tent. 



Kate cooked up breakfast a delicious spread of bacon, sausage, and pancakes!  Mom brought real maple syrup for which is the only way to go.  We cleaned up, packed up, and arrived at Santa’s Village before the doors opened at 930.   

The place was already hopping when we got there, however, waiting to get in was the longest line we waited in all day.  


We were there for just over 6 hours and worked out way through the whole park with the kids riding on every ride they wanted to go on, sometimes more than once.  We adults joined in on the fun and partook in several rides ourselves.  Addison was the champ though, riding the most and being the most daring!  A couple she wasn’t a big fan of but she was brave and out lasted them with the help of Steppy who was cheering her on yelling “that’s my girl” which gave her confidence.  She didn’t hesitate to try any of them! 





We had a picnic lunch in the park of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and chips in the Gingerbread Forest sitting on a picnic table in the shade.  It was overcast the first half of the day and the sun came out the second half of the day, but it never got too hot.  You couldn’t ask for a better day. 
Santa’s Village has changed so much since I last went over 20 years ago.  The park is modern and updated, super clean, bathrooms everywhere, and while they sell food and drink for the standard elevated prices they also supply several quaint picnic areas for families to bring their own lunch. 
Everyone had a fantastic time!

We stopped in Bethel on the way home for dinner at the Crossroads Diner.  We had passed it on the way over the day before and the parking lot was packed, today though, no so much.  The kids got cheese quesadillas, Irving soup, mom chicken fritters, and Kate and I got burgers.  


Those burgers were fantastic!  At least a half-pound patty with cheddar cheese, bacon, this slices of tomato and tangy pickles with mayonnaise on a soft yet golden toasted bun.  Mine was cooked a perfect mid-rare!  Kate also enjoyed hers immensely!  We agreed that we would go back again if ever in the area for another rock solid burger! 

Maybe someday we can hit Storyland. 

Later Readers!

 
 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Vows, Wrestling, & Oregon Bombed in WWII

Back on June 12th I made some declarations of how the rest of the year was going to be and so far I have stuck to them. 

I have not had fast food except as outlined on June 27th
I have dramatically increased my water and decreased my soda intake
I’ve cut out many foods that I shouldn’t be eating like sweets, chips, good stuff
I’ve increased my exercise

This wasn’t all done on the 12th, I mean yes I stopped fast food then, but everything else has been added incrementally so as to wean myself off all the junk I was eating.   It’s been difficult at times, especially during my nights at work when I had gotten into the habit of mindless eating and eating 
out of boredom.


 WWE Network posted the first 3 years Saturday Night Main Event with the remaining episodes to be added later.  When I was a kid I used to go to bed set my alarm for 1125pm so I could wake up and watch it on channel 6 from 1130 – 1am, it was awesome!  I love having WWE Network with all the PPV’s and shows like Clash of the Champions, World Class, ECW, first year of RAW and the Old School WWE Arena shows.  I have had the most fun though, watching these episodes of SNME. 

I was going on a Wikipedia Journey, it’s the same thing as a You Tube Journey just on Wikipedia.  I stumbled across a bit history from WWII that I had never heard of before. 
Back in September of 1942 off the coast of Oregon a Japanese submarine launched a float plane piloted by Nobuo Fujita who, on two occasions, dropped incendiary bombs in an attempt to start fires in the great Pacific Northwest Forests.  Needless to say it didn’t work out.  What’s truly amazing is what happened after the war was over and the relationship Fujita created with the residence of Bookings, Oregon.  It’s worth reading about at these two links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobuo_Fujita

Check out this kick butt band, Hurray for the Riff Raff,



Later Readers

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Music of the Night

For my birthday my buddy John bought me a Bubba thermo mug.  This mug is nothing short of spectacular!  It is double lined to prevent sweating, except on those excessively hot and humid days, holds 32 ounces of water and it keeps it ice cold for hours, which is exactly how I like my water.  In the past my water would get warm after a bit and I wouldn’t drink it because I don’t like warm or even mild water.  In the week that I’ve had it I have increased my water intake while at the same time decreasing my soda intake.  I have drunk 3 – 4 mugs a day!

Kate and I went and saw Phantom of the Opera in Boston at the Boston Opera House on June 27th which coincided with our 1 year wedding anniversary!  On the drive down we stopped at Chik-Fil-A at the North Shore Mall Food Court in Peabody for our Anniversary dinner.  Kate was super excited!  It’s where she wanted to go, sincerely!


 We got parked literally just around the corner from the Opera House at a surprisingly reasonable $16 for the night.  We had a bit of time to kill so we check out the area hitting the outskirts of Chinatown and ended at the Central Burying Ground in the Boston Common.  We enjoyed the weather and the shade of the trees at the fencing surrounding the cemetery.  It was here that a squirrel scared Kate by approaching a bit too close for her comfort before jumping into cemetery bringing momentary relief to our heroine.  Cleverly though, the squirrel came up from behind and was about to pounce when Kate moved away to safety.  A recent video of a squirrel attacking a child was fresh in her mind and she didn’t want to risk experiencing that for herself!



On the walk back Kate noticed the strap on her shoe looked worn and could possible break, two steps later it did.  I scurried back to the parking garage to get her other shoes because yes she brought 3 sets of footwear with her.  Boston has the weird public trash receptacles that function similar to the blue mail boxes, still though she managed to throw her shoes away in it! 


The show started at 8pm and we made it to our seats in plenty of time, I even picked up my souvenir magnet before the show began.  The best seating section in the opera house is the dress circle.  The seats to the far left and far right are reduced because they are considered limited view.  After research I discovered that the limited view is very limited indeed as you only cannot see what is happening on the very far left or very far right of the stage depending on the side you are sitting on.  I was assured by others online that these seats were wonderful and worth getting.  I was hesitant but took the chance, you see I have wanted to go and see Phantom of the Opera again ever since I saw it the first time at the Wang Theatre in July 17, 1994 with mom and Gram-Gram.  I’ve built this show up in my mind, to the point that it quite possible might not live up to the hype that I have created for myself. 


I can honestly say that the performance far exceeded any hype that I had built, and we literally missed nothing on the stage!  We both agreed that the show was phenomenal and it just blew us away!  The sets were amazing, the singing was fantastic, the entire package of the show was just outstanding!  Here’s the thing about out seats, they were $45, while the seat next to Kate, just 18 inches over, was $145!  Let me tell you, their view was not $100 better than ours!

We got stuck in traffic on the Tobin Bridge taking 45 minutes to go 2 miles and getting a bit of Carbon Monoxide poisoning when we were trapped in the tunnel leading to the bridge. 

We stopped at Sonic for a cream slush and midnight snack before heading making our way home. 

It was fantastic night making our first anniversary quite memorable.

Later readers!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cotton Comes To Harlem

FILM REVIEW
 
 
I recently found this movie on Netflix and for reason’s I can’t figure out I decided to watch the flick.  Released in 1970 I’m not sure if this film is considered Blaxploitation or not, but it does feature some great lines such as “Honkies on the wood pile” & “Is that Black Enough For Ya?”

This film, based on a novel of the same name, is about the Revered Deke O’Malley and how he is here to save his fellow black man by taking them back to Africa aboard his ship The Black Beauty and charging them handsomely to do so.  You’d never guess it but the good Revered is a crooked and just wants that money for himself.  ON the case are tow hard nosed NYPD Detectives “Coffin” Ed Johnson (Raymond St. Jacques) and his partner Gravedigger Jones (Godfrey Cambridge) whose facial expression never changes through-out the film no matter what is happening.  Coffin and Digger treat Harlem likes it’s their own wild west town, they rule the roost and everyone else be damned.

White people play the dupes and apparently no one is afraid to hit a lady when she expresses her opinion. At the end of the day though, I enjoyed the flick.

The only actor I recognized was Red Foxx of Sanford and Son fame who had a bit role.  Apparently Clevon Little made his feature film debut, he’s better known for playing Sherriff Bart on Blazing Saddles, one of my all-time favorite movies.

Back in the day this flick was an overnight success and even generated a sequel two years later “Come Back, Charleston Blue” once again featuring the antics of Detectives Coffin and Digger. 

Check out the trailer



Later Readers

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Almost time for the big 3 5

What’s up readers?

So I’ll be 35 Tuesday, I’ve come to a bit better terms with it but I’m not all the way there yet. 

Haven’t mentioned this yet, but Kate and I took the Mom’s to Red Sox back in May for a Mother’s Day Fenway Park adventure.  You probably saw the photos on my Facebook page.  We drove down early to take the tour of Fenway, which was awesome and well worth it, we all enjoyed it.  Mama Mueller bought me a new Red Sox hat for my Birthday.  It’s pretty sweet!  We hoofed it over the Boston Burger Company for a Stellar Lunch and then made it back come game time to see Red Sox lose in thrilling fashion to the Toronto Blue Jays.  Just and all around fantastic day with our moms!!


Back to present day. 

Canaan’s team won the 2014 Cal Ripken Minor League Championship!  His team only won 2 games in the regular season, then swept the play offs for the Championship Trophy!  The first trophy that he ever truly earned.  Canaan, unfortunately, failed to make his all-star team, none of the 8 year olds that tried out did. 


 Tom Petty announced his 2014 Fall tour back in May listing Fenway Park as an Aug 30th stopover and the closest show to Maine.  We bought tickets, almost reluctantly.  Kate really wanted to see Tom because this is the closest he has come since his Mansfield, MA show in 2010 so who knows when he would be back. Of course though, just last Friday the added three shows to the tour, and one of them is Aug 31st at the Cumberland County Civic Center, his first show in Maine since 1980!

Back in March I submitted a story, one that I feel is my best to date, to Tor.com for publication.  The pay extremely well and is one the most reputable on-line publishers there is.  They say it takes about 3 months to get back to you, if it’s been 4 then they are probably considering it, and they usually always have a finally decision in 7.  Well it’s been over 3 months now so I’m hoping that, that’s a good sign. 

Andrew checked out the van and it needs Wheel Bearings, driver’s side is shot, passenger side is coming along as well.  Locally the run about $185 each, on the internet I located a pair for $103.20 from a place I’ve bought many parts from in the past.  So that should be taken care of this week. 

That means we have to drive the Nissan to Boston Friday for Phantom of the Opera!  I’ve been waiting to see this show again for 20 years!  Back in 1994 my mom, gram-gram, and I attended the touring production at the Wang Theatre as part of a AAA travel group.  This Friday Kate and I will celebrate our 1st anniversary at the Boston Opera House for her 1st and my 2nd time seeing it!  Funny story, back on our on-line dating profiles I had posted in mine that I loved musicals and couldn’t wait to see Phantom of the Opera next time it came around while Kate posted in hers who wants to take me to see Phantom of the Opera, clearly I did!

Later readers!
 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Almost 35

In just 12 days I am going to be 35 years old.  Damn.

When I turned 30 it wasn’t a big deal to me but for some reason 35 just is.  I’m so happy in life right now, thanks in large part to the kids and Katie.  I’m very lucky to have found her. 
I think the biggest part of my age is there are aspects of my life, goals to accomplish, that I haven’t accomplished. 

 Since high school I have dreamed of getting published and at times have worked hard at doing so.  I would keep saying, there’s time I don’t have to get it done right now.  That being said I realize that I’m not “old” and yes there is “still time” but I’ve been saying it 17 years!  Half my life practically!
That’s just one example, there are other things that I aimed to achieve and haven’t for various reasons that are basically excuses.  

In 2012 I made a list of new things I wanted to experience or attempt and was quite gung ho about it but after trying onions and acupuncture I just stopped.  For those of you that know, I had some free time in 2012, but for some reason just stopped. 

So here is my grand declaration for the world to see and probably only read by a handful:  by the end of this year I will:

Lose 25 pounds

Submit multiple stories for publication

Learn to play at least one song on the Banjo and sing it poorly

Blog more often

I will not eat fast food for the rest of the year…except for Chik-fil-A & possibly Sonic on June 27th because I already promised Kate, or if I find myself at a fast food joint I’ve never eaten at before or In & Out Burger.  Just covering my bases on that one, I don’t want someone to confuse this with a Marshall Eriksen sweeping declaration. 

And that's it, no excuses