Wednesday, October 7, 2015

October Horror Movie Month

 So I’ve decided to have my own 31 days of Halloween if you will by watching a horror type flick every day and blogging about it!  So check this post for updates as I will only be posting the one blog about it whole experience.   Also I don’t have anything pre-planned, I’m just deciding what to watch day of.

October 1st

I decided to start the month off with the movie that made me a fan of horror flicks when I was a kid and that is “The Monster Squad.” 

The Monster Squad
TriStar Pictures
August 12, 1987 82 minutes

To me “The Monster Squad” was to monster movies as “The Goonies” was to adventure movies.  I mean the stars of both film have the same mom, Mary Ellen Trainor.  Another similarity is in “The Goonies” has Chunk but “The Monster Squad” was less PC and just calling a character Fat Kid. 

 Sean and his group of friends call themselves “The Monster Squad” and they discover Monsters are real and only they can stop Dracula’s plan to take over the world.  Featuring such Monster’s as Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman, The Mummy, Vampiresses, and one that is The Creature from the Black Lagoon but they legally can’t call it that because of Universal Monsters copyright so instead it’s called Gill-Man. 

This movie is also the first time I learned about Nazi Concentration Camps because I asked my Nana what was the tattoo on the Scary German Guy’s arm was.   The most memorable scene for me was when Jonathan Cries who plays the Wolfman was calling Sean’s dad to warn him and that Dracula was going to kill his son while he was transforming into the Wolfman.  Great scene!  Of course the most well-known line is “Wolfman’s got nards!” 

Great start to the month!

October 2nd

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
New Line Cinema
October 14, 1994 112 minutes

The seventh film in the series is the most unique as it takes place in the real world mixing reality and fiction.  Heather Langenkamp who played star of the first & 3rd films Nancy Thompson returns playing “herself” in a story where Freddy Krueger crosses over into the real world going after Heather through her family.  Many actors and Hollywood executives played themselves in the film such as various studio executives and personnel, Wes Craven, and Robert Englund playing himself and Freddy Krueger.

My favorite death scene in the flick is the nanny Julie who is killed in a similar fashion as the character Tina Grey from the first flick dragged up the wall and across the ceiling.  Although this killing, as well as the rest of the killings in the movie, is more realistic with an appropriate amount of blood spilled instead of gallons using human emotion to garner an audience reaction.

As a whole this film is much darker and Freddy is much more serious and evil than how he portrayed in the other films. 

October 3rd

Almost Mercy
Magna Entertainment
May 26, 2015 85 Minutes

I found this movie on Netflix in the Horror section although I wouldn’t categorize it as horror myself because to me horror is scary, this wasn’t scary.  It wasn’t a comedy either it was mostly a good story that got very gory at the end.  I really enjoyed it, but what really held it all together was the narrative by the female star of the film Danielle Guldin and co-starring roles from Horror movie Icons Bill Mosely and Kane Hodder.
The film is about two outcasts, friends from childhood who are bit sociopathic and are pretty much treated like the dirt on society’s boot heels.

October 4th
Dark Was the Night
Image Entertainment
July 24, 2015 98 Minutes

Set in an isolated northeast logging town called Maiden Woods this creature feature is actually based on an event that occurred in 1855 in Topsham, England when the town awoke to biped foot prints through town in freshly fallen snow. 

The star of the flicks I Kevin Durand who I’ve recognized in several movies and TV shows usually playing the bad guy or secondary rolls.  He was really good in this as the town Sherriff who is the town’s only defense against these unknown beings. 

October 5th
Viva Film
February 27, 2015 91 Minutes

I found this film on Netflix with the description that was basically teenagers at an all-night party at an abandoned insane asylum where they inadvertently summons a demonic spirit, sold.  The opening scene was a topless girl shooting up heroin before eating a bullet.  Well it started strong!

As the movie progressed and the cast was unveiled there were several people that I didn’t know their names but I did recognize them from other movies and I had liked them.  I really enjoyed this movie, good tension, practical effects, good story and it was well acted.  Some good unexpected stuff along the way.  Well worth watching. 

October 6th

Universal Pictures / Blumhouse Productions
October 7, 2014 82 Minutes

Video cameras are sent to a college girl, a wanna be clown, and a husband and wife duo who each think they have won a prize.  However shortly thereafter they received threatening letters warning they are not to stop filming or they will die. 

This is a found footage style film that I watched on Netflix.  It was ok, don’t think I’d ever watch it again. 

October 7th

Devil’s Backbone, Texas
March 31, 2015 82 Minutes

I found this movie in the new release horror section on Netflix.  The synopsis they have is “A filmmaker returns to the scene of his father’s mysterious death in the wilderness to uncover the madness – or the evil – that claimed his life.”  I’m not sure this is descriptive enough.

This is a documentary about filmmaker Jake Wall and his journey with his friends and siblings to his father’s beloved land in “Devil’s Backbone, Texas” to spread his father, Bert Wall’s, ashes.  Bert was a horror writer who claimed this land to be the most haunted land in America and it was even featured on Unsolved Mysteries in January 1996.  They have a “clip” of Unsolved Mysteries complete with Robert Stack talking about it. 

This film wonderfully blurs the lines of fiction and reality mixing first person interviews and home video footage like an actual documentary.   As the picture progresses the footage does start to become less documentary style and more like found footage, especially the last several minutes.  Doing some research this is an actual highly paranormal sight and it really was featured on Unsolved Mysteries on January 12, 1996.  

more to come...

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Sunday Funday!

On Sunday the 4th Canaan had a football game in Lewiston at 1030 in the morning, he had to be there at 930am.  Even though I got out of work that morning at 7am we decided to make a day of it and go Apple picking after.  Even though the day started out quite chilly it turned into a beautiful afternoon. 

We got the field by his allotted time and I was surprised to find a 1st/2nd grade tackle game in progress.  It was Lewiston vs. Brunswick and as it turns out it was Caiden’s team, and even though he had broken his arm at the previous game Caiden was still there cheering his team on.  Krista enjoyed the opportunity to snuggle with the Wesley boy. 

Canaan has been awesome this year on the field, he plays both offense and defense and on the kick receiving team.  He plays right guard on offense and nose tackle on defense.  I’m so proud of him because win or lose he tries his best and always has fun.  Between practically every play when he is on defense you can see him dancing on the line waiting for the offense to clear their huddle. 

Mom and Cousin Paul with Sammy also came to watch Canaan and his teammates defeat Lewiston 6 – 0 in a hard fought contest.  Canaan made a few tackles including a joint sack on the quarterback, which cost me $5.  On offense the kid opposite him was much larger than he is, but he wasn’t intimidated and did a fantastic job blocking him out and clearing the hole when needed.

At the games conclusion we headed south to Cumberland for some apple picking at Orchard Hill Farms a place Kate and I discovered last year.  We had gone to Sweetser’s to pick apples last year and discovered when we got there that they didn’t allow people to pick their own as the trees were very old and they didn’t want people to damage them.  Sweetser’s is known for having rare and old apple varieties.  They directed us to Orchard Hill Farm. 

At Orchard Hill we discovered the gravenstein apple which is my now my favorite apple.  It’s crunchy, juicy, sweet and a bit of a sour tang.  Not only is it a delicious eating apple but when Kate baked anything with it, it was amazing!

Orchard Hill was hopping with people, cars parked up and down the road.  We managed a spot right in front of the building.  I bought our bag and we filled it overfull with gravensteins.  Kids had a lot of fun, Canaan found this little tiny apple for Wesley.  The trees were loaded with apples!  After putting them in the van we took a ride of the free hay wagon pulled by a 1951 John Deere tractor.  The ride went right through the orchard, and we were warned that if anyone reaches out and grabs a tree, and he know’s…it’s tempting, he will stop the wagon and leave them there. 

We found a spot on the side of the building on the lawn and broke out the picnic lunch giving Wesley some back and tummy time before heading home. 

Kate made us an amazing apple pie for desert and some pretty fantastic cheeseburgers for dinner.  By the time my head hit the pillow for a quick pre-dinner nap I had been up for 27 hours. 

It was a great day, with beautiful weather and I am thankful we were able to do this.

Later readers!

Canaan took this photo, Kate really likes it because we were all laughing while Canaan was trying to position the phone the get us all in.  It was a genuine moment!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Wicked fun Weekend!

 It was a busy 4 days and with my vacation day I had three nights in a row off!

Thursday wasn’t too bad as Canaan just had football practice.  However, it runs from 530 – 730pm so it does interrupt dinner time and the normal flow to the evening.   After practice I bought us all Ice Cream at Debs, it will probably be our last of the season.   NBC Sports was streaming the NFL season opener of the Patriots vs. the Steelers, fast game with the Pats winning!

Friday I took the kids to school and daycare.  Then I ran some errands around Augusta stopping at Shaws, Dollar Tree, & Big Lots.  I stopped at Editor’s Note to play some pinball and buy a comic, I also set up to have him set aside a couple future books. 

The pinball machine called Pit Stop made by Williams Electronics and released in 1968 is based on car racing where the goal is to complete laps around the track.  10 laps gets you a free game, I myself played 6 games two of which I had won.  Very simple but very fun game.

Friday night was Youth night at the Gardiner Football game, the played Skowhegan and I’m assuming lost as they were down by several touchdowns when we left after the end of the 3rd quarter.   Addison cheered the first half of the game and Canaan with his team were called out at Halftime.  As I’ve said before it’s quite an experience going to a game, they had 4 different food shacks to get just about anything you wanted. 

Saturday was BIW family day at Funtown in Saco, once again Dad & Linda treated us. The weather was nice, sunny and clear but not hot.  The kids had a blast hitting the rides side first with the catered lunch of hot dogs and burgers in there.  Dad bought them Ice Cream and then they headed out before we took the kids over to the Splashtown side. 

When we first got it we went over to the carousel, everyone was ahead of me as Gram-Gram had called to talk about Blacklist.  When I caught up I watched Dad helping Addison up on a horse and when I looked back he had mounted the horse next to hers.  I could not believe what I was seeing!  Kate took Wesley on the ride as well sitting on the bench. 

We went on a few other rides.  Addison drove me around on the roadsters and we rode the balloon race together.  Addison drove Dad & Linda on the Antique cars while Canaan chauffeured Kate on the same ride.  The kids road a bunch of other rides each some multiple times.  When they went for ice cream I went into the arcade and played a single game of Family Guy pinball, I got the high score and earned a free game based on score.  They also had a play until you win candy claw that had frooties in it!!  I won two frooties.

Over at Splashtown the kids and Kate played in Pirates Cove and went down plenty of slides, plus some swimming in the 3 foot pool.  Kate and Canaan waited an excessive amount of time to slide down the corkscrew.  I honestly can’t believe that Canaan went through with it.  We spent close to 3 hours at Splashtown before calling it a day.  Canaan made the comment that this was the best Summer ever.

On the way home we stopped at Wendy’s in Topsham.  For whatever reason the staff decided that we waited too long for our food, I didn’t think so, and gave us each a small or mini Frosty.   Kate dipped a French fry in her Frosty and said that she didn’t know why but that dipping your fries in a Frosty was delicious.  The odd thing in this scenario is that Canaan, Addison, & I each picked up a fry and dipped it in the Frosty, we didn’t even question just how odd her statement was.  Incidentally she was right!  Something about the sweet and salty mixture was really good. 

Wesley was so good all day today we made sure he got some blanket time for about half an hour.  You couldn’t have asked for a better baby.  That and he is just so friggin cute!

Sunday Canaan had a football game at 9am at home in Gardiner against Bath.  Canaan played a great game putting pressure in the backfield, making a few tackles, and recovering a kick off.  I couldn’t be more proud of him for trying hard, doing his best, and it was clear that even though they lost the game he was having fun out there.

By the time Addison’s game started for her to cheer it was basically a recipe for disaster.  The game didn’t start until 11am, by then Addison had been at the field for 3 hours.  The 5th & 6th grade teams stop the clock so the game took close to 2 hours instead of the hour her coach thought it would be.  Basically it was too long for her and she had had enough.  Unfortunately Addison was forced to leave with just a couple minutes left in the game because of her behavior. 

Kate, Wesley, and I went to the Litchfield Fair as Kate wanted some fair food.  I hadn’t been to a fair in over two years and hadn’t been to the Litchfield Fair in years! 
We had a good walk around looking at all the expo halls, rides, games, and of course the food.  I found a truck was served deep friend milky ways and couldn’t resist the urge.  It was delicious!  Kate had a deep fried twinkie and enjoyed that as well.  We indulged in a few other fair food classics.  In the 4H room I ran into Amanda Wade, a school chum I hadn’t seen in years.  We had a brief chat and it was nice to see her and her roommate.

Kate had her first experience with pull tickets and she was immediately hooked.  She’s never been to a casino either and told me it would be best to keep her away. 

When we got home I had time to watch a bit of the Packers vs. Bears game to finish off the a great few days before catching a nap so I could get through the night at work.

Just an awesome and busy few days. 

Later readers!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Grafton Notch State Park

August 30th marked the final day trip of the Summer for Kate and I.  With my schedule it’s hard for us to find the time for these adventures because it’s best to go on them on my second day off so I’m not tired all day.  Our next possibility is October 11th after Canaan’s Football game.

On this day though we focused the majority of our trip at Grafton Notch State Park located in Oxford County not too far from the New Hampshire border.

Our first stop took us to Andover and Lovejoy Covered Bridge.  Along the way we found another windfarm, this one is I believe called Saddleback Windfarm.   I know some people don’t like the windmills and think they are eye sores, but Kate and I really find them neat.

Lovejoy Bridge was first constructed in 1868 in Andover spanning the Ellis River at 70 feet long it is the shortest covered bridge in Maine.  This is still an active bridge and we drove & walked across it which is what we do when we visit a unique bridge.  There was a group of girls getting their senior portraits taken.  The river was low and the banks were high and very sandy. 

We next traveled to Grafton Notch State Park with is located on Route 26.  The State Park is unique as a major route runs directly through the protected land and scenic spots on both side of the road.  We visited three of these places on this trip. 

Our first stop was Screw Auger Falls which features the Bear River running through a gorge featuring a series of drops leading to a 23 feet waterfall.  It’s very pretty here with several places you can sit and relax as well as a couple shallow pools to swim in.

Next was Mother Walker Falls, I read on line that it is a v shaped gorge 40 foot wide and 980 feet long that gradually descends 98 feet.  It wasn’t very impressive.

The final stop was Moose Cave which is a cave located in 45 foot deep canyon of bedrock that follows a 600 foot long gorge.  The cave was named for a moose that fell into the cave.  All three of these sights would be better to see during the spring thaw as without a good flow of water they are not much to look at.  They were all very nice though. 

There is a bakery on Route 26 in Newry called Puzzle Mountain Bakery that we stopped at on the way out of the park.  We picked up a couple whoopie pies and scratch made maple crème cookies.  Baked good and jams are located in a roadside booth with payment received down the driveway in an honor box located outside the actual bakery house.  

Kate got the standard chocolate whoopie, which she loved, I went with my favorite pumpkin.  The filling was the same for both, I’m not sure the make-up but it was good.  The Maple Crème cookies were good but sadly a couple were partially ruined in the cooler. 

On the Sunday River Road spanning 100 feet over the Sunday River is the Sunday River Bridge which was out next stop.  Built in 1872 this bridge is no longer open to traffic and is also known as the Artist’s Bridge. 

The river was also low here and we were able to go down onto the rocky floor. Kate put Wesley’s feet in the river and he was not please, not one bit!

Wesley was needing some time out of the car seat we stopped in Bethel at a spot on the river with picnic tables and a playground.  We spread out a blanket in the shade of some trees and fed the boy then letting him have some back time for about half an hour. 

We stopped at Snow Falls Gorge off Route 26 in South Paris as our last scheduled stop of the day.  Located a rest stop with a picnic area Snow Falls was named after Captain Jonathan Snow who was killed by St. Francis Indians in 1755. 

It was a great day we both really enjoy these day trips and I look forward to the next one.