Thursday, December 18, 2014

another blog about Christmas Past

Greetings!

Christmas is almost upon us and like most I tend to get nostalgic this time of year thinking of Christmas past when I was just a youngster.  Christmas morning was always spent at my Mom’s house until my Dad picked me up.  Dad would take me around to various relatives before ending up at Nana’s for the large family gathering and then home to his house where I we would have our Christmas and by that time I was pretty tuckered out.

Because my Dad picked me up Christmas morning I never got to experience the traditions on my Mom’s side of the family.  One year I almost did as I was determined to stay with my Mom for Christmas and see what exactly they did.  Once Christmas Day arrived though, I was super sad that I was not going to be with my Dad or go to Nana’s that I broke down and cried and asked to go to my Dad’s.  I’m still not sure why my Dad didn’t come pick me up, but instead Mom & Irving drove me to my Dad’s house that morning and we had Christmas in reverse starting at my Dad’s and ending at Nana’s. 

Now a days with my family being splintered and big it would be impossible to celebrate with everyone on the same day so we celebrate on and around Christmas when I have the kids and when it works out for everyone’s schedules.

Kate and I are making a conscious effort to establish our own traditions by doing things together that we had not done with anyone else before.  The first one being Kate’s idea last year when we celebrated our first Christmas together being married was making popcorn strands to trim the tree with.  I love this idea because it’s a very old Christmas tradition and they look really good on the tree!  It is a bit time consuming but we can get them done in one evening. 

I have a certain set of Christmas Specials that I like to watch every year, in no certain order;

A Christmas Story – Jean Shepherd’s classic story of Ralphie and his red ryder BB gun, how can you not like this movie!? 

 
Garfield’s Christmas


 Charlie Brown Christmas


 Muppet Family Christmas – It’s the only time the Muppets, Fraggle Rock, Sesame Street, and Muppet Babies were all in one special, capped with a cameo by Jim Henson at the end it’s THE greatest Muppet production ever!  I have the Canadian bootleg edition with is a complete uncut version.  When it originally aired they only had the rights to use certain songs for the initial broadcast so when they home video version came out they had cut scenes and entire songs while adding in a few scenes.  This version I have someone seamlessly cut together a crisp DVD release with a high quality copy recorded off TV. 


Twas the Night Before Christmas – 1974 Rankin and Bass cartoon that has also suffered over the years from harsh editing.  This time though and entire song was edited out because the lyrics used the word gay to describe happiness. 



Prep & Landing – the newest addition, these tow half hour specials and 1 short are just fantastic!

Love Actually – a British flick featuring a wonderful ensemble cast of multiple intertwining stories of love during the Christmas season.

 
A Christmas Carol - the 1938 version with Reginald Owen as Scrooge.  I first saw watched this in my early teens on Turner Classic Movies and now watch it every year on Christmas Eve.  There have been several other outstanding versions of the classic Dickens story that I truly enjoy, but this one has always been my favorite. 



I try to watch each of these with the kids in hopes that they will also grow to love them as I have.

That’s all for today, I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, and until next time,

Later Readers!

Mike

My favorite Christmas Song

Friday, December 5, 2014

Last of November

Greetings,

So a bunch has happened but I’m going to try and keep this short.  As you can see this is my third post in rather quick succession and you’ll know why in a moment. 

Firstly we found a place and moved to Oak St in Gardiner.  I did the majority of the moving but got some great assistance at different times from Irving, Mama Muller, Emma, Bob, Aunt Trish, and Andrew.  We are getting the house situated and are making it our own.   It’s a big home with three bedrooms, dining room, other room, large kitchen, small bathroom, back storage room, and cellar. 

I’m still looking for a record player. 

The biggest pain about the move was dealing with Fairpoint.  I called them several times and was on hold so long I would give up.  Finally on November 5th I waited on hold for 25 minutes before someone pick up.  Then it took another hour for them to find my account to transfer it over.  Once they were done they told me it should be ready November 13th.  Awesome.  The 13th rolled around, no internet working.  I called technical support, where they proceeded to tell me that the DSL isn’t synched.  They need to have a technician come out, but they don’t schedule those.  They gave my number to another department that schedules them and they will call when they have it set up.  So who knows how long that will be. 

So we have been internet less for over a week and it’s getting to me.

Canaan joined the Boy Scouts, he’s a Bear Scout, he is loving it and has even already earned his Bobcat Badge.  Addison joined dance, Jazz dance, and has a recital in May.   Canaan will be starting basketball soon with games on Saturday morning. 

We went for an ultra sound and discovered that our baby is going to be a boy!

What you've read so far I wrote two weeks ago.  It only took Fairpoint 3 weeks to get our internet up and running so I'm finally able to post my blog about the Rhode Island Comic Con.

Once again Kate prepared a delicious Thanksgiving dinner for us.  We were joined this year by Cousin Jonny and the Orions. Now that Thanksgiving is over it is officially the Christmas season to me and of course it'll be over before you know it.

In closing here is a video of Cousin Jonny performing Farewell to Nova Scotia recently

 Later Readers!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Piss-Kaw-Talk-Us

Here's the Piss-kaw-talk-us story I told Anthony Michael Hall at the Rhode Island Comic Con

In the background is Anthony Michael Hall at the Rhode Island Comic Con
I was a huge fan of the series The Dead Zone that aired on the USA Network for 6 season from 2002 – 2007, it starred Anthony Michael Hall and was based on the book by Stephen King.  Being a Stephen King story it, of course, took place in Maine and even though the show was filmed in Canada.  Through-out the series they would use actual town names and other locations that were actual located in Maine which I always thought was cool.  In one episode the even had to go to Litchfield, which is where I grew up. 

In Season 2 Episode 18 episode “Precipitate” Johnny must find the Blood Mobile to put right what might go wrong.  For whatever reason the lady at the Blood bank cannot tell Johnny what town the Blood Mobile is in, but she can tell him what County.  He accepts this nonsensical policy and tells the kindly Blood Bank tech to tell him the name of the County.  She checks the book and proudly announced “Piss-kaw-talk-us.” 

I was perplexed, here was this show that always used actual Maine locations and now they are using a made up County name?  I sat there saying the word over and over until I finally realized that they were using an actual Maine county, they just horrible mispronounced Piscataquis. 

From that point on whenever I say the word Piscataquis I always pronounce it Piss-kaw-talk-us.”

On Halloween night 2014 some friends and I traveled down to Ocean State for the 3rd annual Rhode Island Comic Con weekend.  At the Halloween party that night the man himself Johnny Smith, Anthony Michael Hall walked in the take in the festivities.  I worked up the nerve to go and speak to him and told him the above story of the mispronounced word.  He either genuinely thought my story was humorous or he is a really good actor, which he is. 

I lean to believe that he was being genuine as with each person he interacted with that night and through-out the weekend, from what I saw, he was wonderful with each and every one of them.  He would stand up, shake their hand, give them his undivided attention and have lengthy conversations with them.  On Saturday I noticed he was there right at 9am when the early bird got in, and he was THE last person to leave his table that night at 7pm when they were closing the floor for the night. 

He seems to truly appreciate his fans.

Later Readers!

Rhode Island Comic Con

 This blog is late because we moved a couple days after returning from RICC and it took them three weeks to get our internet hooked up! 

Greetings! 

 
This past weekend I spent a spectacular time with some great friends in the Ocean State for the 2014 Rhode Island Comic Con. John, Jere, Ju, Jonny, & I piled into Vanna and about 4 hours later we arrived at the Omni Providence Hotel, we made great time.  We were able to check in early and had adjoining rooms which was very convenient.  The hotel is attached to the Convention Center where the Con was being held, and the Providence Place Mall via a skywalk.  Once we parked the car it didn’t move until we left Sunday.  After getting settled in we attempted to find where we could get out passes as our weekend party pack was at will call.  Turns out we had to go to the ticket master box office at the Dukin Donuts Center, which is attached to the Convention Center, to pick up a single ticket master ticket and then Saturday turn in our ticket for a wrist band that showed we could the weekend pass and were issued another bracelet showing we bout the early bird pass as well.  Those early bird passes paid off more than we thought they would.  



Friday night featured the Halloween Party, and as none of us are party people we weren’t that interested in going.  However, Ju wanted to at least check it out so Jonny and I joined her while John & Jere checked out Dave & Busters.  D&B turned out to be quite disappointing while the Halloween Party was not!!   The three of us met up with Leah, a very awesome young lady who had traveled from the Boston area alone to the con, and eventually John and Jere came down.  Leah is fan of Supernatural and I dare say she likes that more than I like wrestling, yes that much!  The Halloween party featured a mechanical bull, karaoke contest, costume, standard high school dance songs like Cotton Eyed joe, Macarena, and ect and a few celebrity guests; Brian O’Halloran, Scott Schiaffo (the chewlie’s gum representative from Clerks), Seth Gilliam (Father Gabriel of the Walking Dead), Linda Blair, Anthony Michael Hall, and Cosplayer Belle Chere.  I got my picture taken with O’Halloran, Schiaffo, Gilliam, & Belle Chere.   The Halloween party was a lot more fun than I thought it would be.  We all had a great time.   I even got to tell Anthony Michael Hall my piss-kaw-talk-us story!


The costumes through-out the weekend ranged from very intricate detailed work that was just fantastic to store bought to meh.  The majority of attendees wore costumes, lots of Dead Pools, Black Widows, Harley Quinns, and lots and lots of cat suits.  There was a few random ‘s that surprised me like a Firestar, Darkwing Duck, and very large heavy set male dressed as Elsa from Frozen.   Everyone was very happy to pose for photos if asked and I got a few.  Once of my favorites was a girl with a very nice Captain American contest with the upper portion was actual scales woven together.  The pictures do it absolutely no justice. 

The convention floor was set up left to right with comic artists, vendors, celebrity photos & autographs, and finally celebrity headliners.  The headliners filled a large area as it was anticipated their lines would be long, and they were correct.  William Shatner was there both days and I never saw him once.  Outside the convention center on the main floor were several vehicles and minor booths set up.  Vehicles included; the DeLorean, Kitt from Knight Rider, Mystery Machine, and other.  If you went up to the next floor they had the panel rooms as well as the pro photo op rooms, and a few other attractions.   We all pretty much did our own thing on the convention floor, sticking together and separating at times.  I had Brian O’Halloran sign my Vulgar DVD, a couple trading cards by Curt Hawkins and my photo with him, also a photo with cosplayer Jennifer Rose. 


 I was at a comic book convention so of course I picked up plenty comics, some of them for pretty darn cheap too spending about $20 on close to 40 books.  Also Jonny got me a Bates Motel room keychain, pretty darn cool!  They had a lot of really neat stuff there, and if I had the money I could have spent quite a lot of it. 


 On Saturday Jay joined us as he was there to see and meet Colin Baker the 6th Doctor.  We did hang out on the floor together for a bit, but mostly he did his own thing as well.  He got a couple signed photos, did the professional photo op, got that photo signed as well, and attended his Q&A Panel.  Jay had worn a Dr. Who shirt that his the outfits of all the doctors on it in the order with which they played the iconic character.  In the photo Colin pointed to himself on Jay’s shirt, it’s pretty awesome!

Jonny and I attended the end of the Raiders of the Lost Ark panel as we planned on meeting everyone for the Supernatural Panel that was to follow after.  They couldn’t get in because the crowd was so large, so it was just Jonny and I.  Then everyone on the panel except for Jim Beaver, had played bit characters that were only in a few episodes.  The main reason I had wanted to go was to see Mark Sheppard in action as Leah had sold how funny he was at the panels, and he wasn’t even there.  So we left.   We were pretty tired from being on the floor all day and decided to head up to the room for a spell, knowing we probably wouldn’t get back on the floor.  Basically they oversold the show and the Fire Marshall shut it down as far as for a few hours they wouldn’t let anyone back in the center, no matter what kind of ticket they had.  People were lined up down the hall ways, around the building outside in the rain, thousands of people.  People were furious and rightfully so, especially the people outside in elaborate costumes that were there for that evening’s costume contest and they couldn’t even get in to have them seen.  Luckily we had the early bird and was able to get in straight away before the chaos broke out. 


Saturday night we all, including our new pal Leah, went to dinner at Joe’s American Bar & Grill.  I had a fantastic burger, cooked to perfection as did Ju.  John and Jere went with the Mac & Cheese  and were very please, Leah the half roasted chicken, and Jonny…I just can’t recall but I’m leaning towards chicken sandwich.  It was fun dinner. 

After we separated as Jonny, John, & Jere headed to the IMAX for a screening of John Wick, Ju eventually made her was back to the room after some window shopping, she almost shared and elevator ride with Brian O’Halloran.  Lean and I ended up heading back to the convention floor for the last half hour of the show.  We grabbed some pictures, browsed a bit, and saw some cool costumes.  The coolest part of all thought was that near the elevators of the hotel we saw Scott Wilson, Hershel from the Walking Dead.  I had a wonderful, but albeit, brief conversation with him and I have to admit I marked out like crazy.  He was such a super nice guy and thanked me after I thanked him and he was so sincere about it too.  Then he ended up on the elevator with us, Leah asked him if he was having a good time and he replied, “more importantly, are you having a good time?”  It was so cool!

Jonny, John, Jere, & I finished off the nice laughing heartily while watching 22 Jump Street.  The movie is completely stupid, but it is hilarious and was the perfect way to close the night. 

Because of the time change we got and extra hours sleep before checking out of the hotel and heading into the convention center.  I took in two panels this day, one about cosplay costume making that was really enjoyable and the other was phenomenal!  Warehouse 13 with Saul Rubinek and Eddie McClintock.  First off they ruled the panel, they cut moderator off immediately and ran it themselves.  When it came time for audience questions Eddie was the one holding the microphone for them even.  In the next room to us was the Walking Dead Panel and the kept erupting in applause, Saul lead us on a loud ovation to out due them, and then when it happened again, he just said “oh fuck them” and continued with his story.  It appears that they characters that they played on the show were just extensions of their natural personalities.  It was a great way to close the weekend before the long drive home. 

I had been reading the weather updates and it was talking about nothing but snow as we were to head north and back home it was piling up.  Fact is we didn’t really hit any snow until Maine, and nothing that affected the roads until Topsham.  So on the van ride home, we made great time!

Planning for this trip started back in February and culminated 9 months later with a fantastic weekend full of interesting stories and wonderful experiences with some great friends!

Later Readers!

here's a link to the story I told Anthony Michael Hall piss-kaw-talk-us

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The End of the Octobercountry

Greetings,

We have a lot going on in the next couple of weeks, and they are indeed exciting times.  

In just a couple days time myself, John, Jere, Julie, and Jonny will be heading south to Providence for the Rhode Island Comic Con.  Plans that were started in February are finally going to coming together for a grand time indeed.  We will be staying for two nights leaving Friday, Halloween, for the drive south.  The actual con is Saturday and Sunday, the hotel we are staying at is attached to the convention center so we don’t even have to drive to it or deal with parking or anything of that nature.

Friday night is the Halloween Party, Saturday Night is an After party, Saturday and Sunday is filled with walking around the show floor, meeting people, getting photos with and autographs from celebrities of all mediums.  There will be merchandise galore and some wicked cool cosplay.  It’s going to be pretty awesome.  Also Jay is going to meet and spend the day with us on Saturday.

I’m not going to have as much money as I would have liked so my spending on photos and autographs is going to be very selective.  There is going to be a bunch of wrestlers there, but the one I’m looking forward to the most would be Brian O’Halloran who played Dante on the hit film Clerks. 

There are a bunch of panels on Saturday and SundayOn Saturday I’d really like to hit “So you Want to be a voice actor”, “Star Trek Continues”, and Costume Contest. Sunday it’s “TV’s Comic Book Crimefighters” Q&A With George Takei, and “The Secrets of Warehouse 13”.  I don’t know if I’ll make them all but I’m going to try.  I’m surprised there is no wrestling themed panel as there are so many great wrestlers there. 

Also there are gaming tournaments and a bunch of vehicles there from different movies and tv shows like the General Lee from Dukes of Hazard, the Bat Cycle from the 1960’s Batman and more.  Also the RKO Army is going to be doing two live stage productions, Saturday is the Rocky Horror Picture Show and Sunday is REPO! The Genetic Opera.  All the panels and the musicals and free with your admission, you just have to be willing to wait in line as seating is first come, first serve.

If the Halloween party is not my thing on Friday night then I’m sure the Saturday Night after Party will be lame as well.  Luckily there is a wrestling show 20 minutes away that I just may zip over too. 

When I get back thought it's no rest for the weary.  I have one work day and then we sign the lease on the home we are renting and we have to move it.  It'll be a busy long day for sure but Wednesday November 5th we will be our first night in the new place on Oak St in Gardiner.

The Wednesday after that will be a truly exciting day as we hope to find out the sex of baby labbe.

That's all for this week

Later Readers!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

This and That

Greetings readers, 

My Grammie  Connie died.  She was my mother’s step-mother.  My whole life she and Grandpa Hobart lived out west at the Grand Canyon and Pahrump, Nevada.  I was never as close to them as my other grandparents based solely on proximity.  I would write Grammie Connie letters a few times a year, the last I received was earlier this year.  And up until the last 10 years they would visit most summers.  The last time I saw them was when I went out to Las Vegas in May of 2007.  We had a nice visit, went to lunch, and they got to meet Canaan.  They’ve never met Addison and I doubt Grandpa Hobart ever will, he seems determined to stay in Pahrump even though he had no family there at all.  

Everything seems to be falling together for us finding a new place to live.  The bank that is foreclosing on the home basically told us we could live there through the winter as it wasn’t being sold until February.  I don’t want to buy and oil for it though, so I’m trying to limp through with what we have.  A place we live on Oak St in Gardiner looks like it’ll be ours come first week of November.  It’s a little bit more a month, but heat is included so awesome!!

Baby Labbe is coming along smashingly, at the time of this posting it is the size of an avocado.  We had an appointment Monday and heard the strong healthy heartbeat along with some kicking and moving around.  It was fantastic!  We have an appointment next month to hopefully find out the sex.

Aunt Carolyn was ordained as the pastor of the Water of Life Lutheran Church in Newcastle this past Sunday.  It was quite an interesting event to witness first hand.  It was nice to see the whole family there, including Aunt Linda up from Maryland to share in the moment. 

Kate and I hit Fat Boy for the last day of their 2014 season, such a fantastic place!  Looking forward to next March.

If you have a chance you should check out my hot dog blog, I have posted it on facebook like I do this one but I should start trying to get the word out more. http://mainehotdog.blogspot.com/

Later Readers

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

I come forth with sad news, after more than 5 months I received a letter of rejection from Tor.com for my story that I submitted.   Although I am saddened by this I will sally forth and locate another place to submit it in hopes of future publication.  After doing some research I located a couple places and just need to decide which one is the right one for me.

I’m working on another story currently about a man and his pen, he really likes this pen!

My stand up material is actually progressing nicely.  I’ve started gathering material in a different and much more effective way. 

Exercising and weight loss has been coming along extremely well.  I’m down over 20 pounds and have almost entirely given up soda.  The giving up soda is a pretty significant since I used to consume so much of it on a daily basis.   I owe a lot of it to my Bubba cup that my best pal John got me.  I’m a big fan of Ice Cold water and this cup keeps it ice cold for hours!

So we have to move.  The people that we are renting the house from basically let it go into foreclosure and then lied to us when they said they were trying to work with the lender on doing a loan modification.  Our lease expires at the end of October so we will need to be out by then.  It’s quite frustrating. 
 
 Canaan is playing tackle football this year for Gardiner, it’s on the 3rd/4th grade team.  He loves it and is doing awesome!

            Kate and I went to the Tom Petty concert August 31st in Portland, it’s his first show in Maine in over 30 years.  Tom Petty is Kate’s favorite musician and this is her third concert of his that she has been to.  Previously in Mansfield, Ma & Kentucky.  Originally we had tickets for the 30th at Fenway, then they announced the Portland show.  So we ended up selling the tickets to Fenway and buying the Portland ones, and it worked out magnificently.  

            Steve Winwood opened the show with an hour long set, he sang 3 songs that I recognized, “Back in the High Life Again”, “Higher Love”, and what I would call my favorite song of his that he wrote, “Can’t Find My Way Home”.  We sat through his set and it felt like it dragged.  The crowd was very lively though the whole time.  
 

             After a 30 minute intermission Tom came out and we then stood for the next two hours.  Those two hours flew by.  Kate was so into the show singing and dancing with every song.  Every song!  Of course he sang his classic hits and he sang a few songs from his new album as well.  It was really good show!  If he ever comes around again you can bet we will be there. 

Later readers