Thursday, May 30, 2013

Oh I really need this vacation.

Oh I need this vacation! I haven't been off since last September. Today I almost lost it with a customer. Next to deli where I work is the kitchen. Essentially they have prepared food, meals, chicken wings, grilled chicken , pizza (actually quite good), sandwiches etc.
Well today I got stuck working there for a bit because of two  (questionable) sick calls It got infuriating when I was making a sandwich for a guy and I asked him what he would like on his sandwich (tomatoes, hot peppers, pickles and so on) and his reply, "I don't want any mayonnaise." I was thinking, 'Hey (pardon my French) shithead,  I asked you what would you like on your sandwich not what you don't want on your sandwich. I tell ya I was ready to go over the counter and punch this guy in the mouth. I am not a violent person but I could feel my anger growing. Now I didn't go over the counter and punch this guy in the mouth but I really wanted to.

After another hideous Wednesday two people short and someone who was an hour late. I won't go into detail, I just told myself to ride it out. No amount of crabbing was going to change anything. It still wasn't an easy day. So I ended up leaving about 10 minutes early, as we finally had some semblance of a crew, tired, hungry and glad to be away from questions like, "Do you have ham, the kind for sandwiches?" WHAT! Here in a deli! Ham for sandwiches! You must be joking!
Or one of my all time favorites that I have mentioned several times in the past and still makes me laugh. I asked a customer what kind of turkey he wanted. Oven roasted, (basically a plain roasted turkey), honey, pepper, smoked, the list of varieties goes on forever. His reply, "Oven proof."

Fast forward 6p.m. I make a call to Arlene to check in. We are both anxious for this getaway as the last time she had a week off was the last time I had a week off, September of 2012. Now it's only a few days away. We will leave on Monday morning and head down to Woods Hole on Cape Cod and grab the ferry to Martha's Vineyard. Same hotel, who's lobby you see in the header picture of this blog. Our sixth time in the last 3 years. Only in the off season though.

Now I have a quick and usual meal of pancakes. I have two longtime friends coming over. The odd thing about this is though I've known both of them 45 and 44 years respectively and they both know of each other and have mutual friends and the fact that I still see both of them regularly, the three of us have never been in the same room alone. Each had a separate group of friends and I hung out with both of them. When Earle arrived Dave greeted him with " Hey Earle! What's it been, only 40 years or so?"
We all share the same sense of humor, musical likes, and so on. We watched a program on PBS about the Marathon Bombings. This program looked at the technology, camera footage from all kinds of sources, sophisticated facial recognition computer programs. A misspelled name of the dead bomber on a tip from the Russians on file in the U.S. and just how events played out. It was as current as last week. Great program.

After the program and a couple of beers. No really just two. We just started talking and joking and laughing and though we all share the same humor, this was the first time this trio was bouncing jokes around. We are of the Monty Python, Saturday Night Live, George Carlin influences. It was easy and a lot of fun.

So hear I sit now at about 12:12 a.m. writing a blog when I should be in bed sleeping. I ended the day on a good note.

Now I really got to sleep.

I'm outta here.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Memeorial Day?

It seems that Memorial Day is not a day when we remember those who have gone before, whether in defense of our country or our family and friends. Memorial day has become yet another excuse to sell us things and eat hot dogs and hamburgers. Yesterday I was looking through some old photo albums. I became choked up with emotion especially when I saw pictures of my parents. They both passed in 2004. My dad, earlier in the year, I honestly can't remember the exact date, and my mom two days before Christmas. There I was saddened by thoughts of 2004 while on television there were Memorial Day ads trying to sell anything from electronics to cars to food. Images of people eating, swimming and driving their new cars and having fun. This is all wrong. It is supposed to be a solemn day but in reality it's just a day for big business to rake in more cash. If it was up to me everything would be shut down and the true meaning of the day would be observed. It's not a day to party. It is a day to remember those who have died in defense of our country and loved ones. I cannot celebrate this day the way it is presented to us, in fact I am appalled at what it has become. I had a totally different blog planned. One that I started yesterday and I suppose I will eventually publish, but not today. I choose to remember my parents, aunts and uncles and grand parents. It's one day. Hey big business! How much money do you need?
My mom and dad. May 19, 1950. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Franconia notch New Hampshire

Cannon Mountain

Time to slow down.

Ya know there are days I can take my job, and there are days when I don't know if I can make it to full retirement age. That's almost 5 years from now. That would make it 47 years at the same job. I remember about 20 or so years ago my friend, who has had many jobs, was going to school relating to computers. He said to me, "Paul, you don't want to work for Star Market for the rest of your life, do you?" This was an attempt to get me into the computer field. I didn't even own one at the time. Plus when he gets technical with me my eyes glaze over and I slip into a coma. I just want a computer that works. Just like my car. Not that I want drive my computer.

Well my job is far from glamorous but it has provided steady employment all these years whereas my friend has had many jobs over the last 20 years. I am happy to report that he is employed. He does something related to the computer field. He is also fortunate to have a wife who earns more than twice what he and I earn combined.

There are days when I find the customers amusing. It's always amusing when a customer mispronounces something. Imagine the mangling of black pepper turkey breast. Imagine saying something similar to pepper only much more embarrassing. There are days when you have your fill of people pointing at something I can't see and saying, "I want some of that."

Now I say, "I can't see what you're pointing at."
Well now they're getting upset because they have to make an attempt to read the sign. Hey maybe it was his day off and he was taking it easy by not doing any reading.

I not going turn this into a rant about work. Actually on Monday I remembered I had an account with Photobucket. I used it back in the days of Spaces. There were little video's of day trips we took back 2008 and 2009. I found a video of the time we took a gondola to the top of Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire. Then there was a video of Franconia Notch also in New Hampshire. There's a gorge there and some waterfalls. New Hampshire is a beautiful place and fortunately the state line is about 25 or 28 miles from here. We went to Cannon Mountain in the fall. It's not a real big mountain, something over 5,000 feet. It's used for skiing and the gondola ride up provides some beautiful vistas, particularly in the fall. Both videos were shot with a little 5 mega pixel camera and some of it can look a bit washed out. Still they are nice memories of beautiful places.
Now I'm having a problem getting my videos off of YouTube onto my blog. It keeps telling me there aren't any videos. I did find a way to get a video on a blog entry from YouTube to Blogger but it puts it on a new blog post. It has been infuriating. I have tried to publish this thing in whatever free time I have had, and in the last couple of weeks there hasn't been much, but I never got it the way I wanted.

So the way this is going to work out is, I'll publish this then I'll publish two more blogs with the videos on them.
I don't know if it's my computer, or that I have accidentally changed some setting. In any event, there's a load of wash in the machine and as my ol' grandad used to say, "If there's a frog in the bucket, then someomes having waffles."
We didn't know what the hell he was talking about either.

I'm outta here.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Nice Saturday Hampton Beach/ Rye New Hampshire.

Saturday was a beautiful day. Off the coast, around  70  degrees, on the coast 10 to 12 degrees cooler. Arlene and I both had a rare Saturday off and we decided to take advantage of the nice weather and go somewhere outdoors. Hampton Beach is about 50 miles north from here on the New Hampshire coast. New Hampshire has the smallest coastline in the United States but what it has is beautiful. I had never been there but many people I know including Arlene have. It's a local vacation spot. The main drag is lined with fast food places, various little stores, a night spot or two, and a restaurant or two. It's an affordable place for vacation, though much like Martha's Vineyard,I would never go in the summer. It's no Martha's Vineyard though. Still it's a very nice spot, with a beautiful beach. There were people on the beach and a few in the water. It had to be COLD! There were kids splashing away in pools of water, kids digging a hole, some surfers, a wind surfer, sunbathers and people bundled up against the chilly wind. We then went up the road a piece to another coastal town, Rye. This was a much more upscale town with large homes and mansions overlooking the ocean. Unfortunately there was no place to stop and take pictures of them on the windy coastal road. Fortunately though some of the beaches weren't officially open there was plenty of free parking and access to the beach. This is where we saw the surfers and the windsurfer.

Getting there was fairly easy and took about an hour. The GPS was no help as it kept wanting us to take these smaller roads, and on the map and directions I got off the web,it seemed like a straight shot on major highways. And it was!

Coming home was a bit different. There was a detour and we couldn't retrace our steps.  We were now on back the back roads it would be easy for us to get completely. We stopped at a shopping center of this very nice town  in Rye. Arlene went to buy some wine at a liquor store while I re-program the GPS. All it has to do is get us to the main highway. Long story short we made it home. We cracked open the wine and had a couple glasses each. As it approached 9:30 we were both getting tired. The subject's of conversation had dwindled dangerously down to me commenting on how good the ham and egg sandwich on a sesame bagel, I had for lunch,was. And then adding that I, "really like sesame bagels."

In response to my stimulating words Arlene slowly replied as if struggling to find the words to make a sentence, "Bagels...are good....." At this point we both burst out laughing. I had nothing to say but kept babbling, she tried to respond but would have rathered to just turn off her brain off at that point. We were both tired.

When we got home we went out to eat again. We got to my place at about 8p.m. We left at noon, We did a lot of walking by the ocean and that has a relaxing yet invigorating affect on you. There is something magical about the ocean. Why do so many people choose to live by it or near it. It's this big entity that can be calming or violent. It can reach right out and smack you one. It has to be respected but also enjoyed.

So after a nine and a half hour Arlene went  home. I slept well. Seven hours straight. Here's a slide show of some of the pictures from the day. There's music so if you don't want to hear it turn your speakers down.

I'm outta here.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Less than a month till vacation.

My vacation is less than a month away. It's been about 7 months and I can't wait. Yes I will, or should I say, we will be going back to Martha's Vineyard. This will be the 6th time in 3 years. There are a few places we haven't been to. We will be going to Nantucket just to explore. It's a very quick ferry ride from Martha's Vineyard. I know nothing about this little island. I imagine a good deal of it is in private hands. I guess there are many summer homes of wealthy people. There are public places, gardens and shorelines etc. I imagine we may spend several hours there, possibly go back a second day.

Just walking around Oak Bluffs, the location of the hotel, especially before and after the summer season, can be quite relaxing. I don't know if I'll get up early this time around to catch the sunrise but we will definitely be catching the sunset.. The last time we had chairs but other people brought food and drink. It was all quite nice and the sunset over the ocean is something I had never seen before.

We'll be staying in the same hotel, it's more like a bread and breakfast. A minutes walk to the ocean, a ten minute walk downtown. My header picture is the lobby of the Pequot Hotel. I put it there to remind me of where I will be shortly.

I found out that while President Obama was at Harvard he live in the city next to mine that borders Boston. It's an old style apartment building and he lived in a basement apartment.

He lived there for 3 years in the early '80s. It's quite trivial though. Just a local tidbit.

A couple of weeks ago we went to a local zoo. It's not a great zoo but it's close. It was a beautiful day and a break from what had just happened 5 days earlier. As far as I was concerned the wolves were the stars of the show. There was a sleeping leopard, a sleeping bear, some birds, a moose, cougar and so on.

The wolf was chillin' in the sun when these lunatic kids came screaming and running out of control. The wolf got up, looked down, and followed with his eyes until they sort of stopped in front of us and to the right. Their mother (I assume) tried to instill fear into their hearts by saying, "Tyler. Inside voice." She might as well have been talking to a piece of broccoli. The wolves are really beautiful and they are quite intelligent. You could see it in their eyes. Arlene was so annoyed with the yelling and screaming broccoli that I had to stop her her from going up to the kids and say, "Do you see how that wolf is looking at you? He wants to eat you!" And the wolf was looking right at him. Fortunately I convinced her not to say anything.

Well I'll wrap this up now.
I'm outta here.