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



Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bump

               




               As most of you know my Grandfather, Raymond Young, Bump passed away recently.  He was quite ill and his passing was an unexpected expectance.  I’m very happy that I was able to be there for Gram-gram the day it happened.


                If you want to get technical about it, Bump was my step-grandfather, but he and Gram-Gram had been married for nearly 40 years, longer than I have been alive, so he is my Grandfather.  We were all very lucky to have him as our Grandfather.

                My memories of Bump are all fond ones.  I never saw his raise his voice, except at the dogs, and he was always quick with a joke and a smile.  He loved golf, cribbage, beer, and most of all Gram-gram, or maybe beer first.  He was very handy with wood and I have several of his creations in my possession that I have always and will always cherish. 

                In eighth grade I did a report on Bump and his involvement in WWII and I learned things about him that I never knew, and things about the war I had never read in history books.

                Every time I see one of the temporary orange Bump signs I have always thought of him.  

                In one of those, it’s a small world stories, it turns out that Kate’s Grand Dad and Bump were good friends.  Apparently several years back at the golf course Bump and Grand Dad first met when Bump was leaving the club house, he has his WWII hat on and Grand Dad asked Bump if he bought that hat or earned it.  Bumped responded “I earned this son of a bitch.”  It was a start of great friendship.  Grand Dad was also in WWII and both he and Bump traveled to the same places and fought in the same battles, they just didn’t know each other and don’t remember if they actually ran into each other or not back then.   When Grand Dad found out that Bump was my Grandfather I was in!


                What I will remember most though, is all the times we played cribbage together over the years.  I will always be thankful for all the times that he let me beat him, thanks Bump.  I hope someday when I am an old codger I can sit and play cribbage with my grandchildren, I’m sure I’ll let them win too.  
 

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