Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sorry, oh so sorry, to post so sporadically. Of course this is directed to those stalwart enough to check for new posts only to retreat to your more consistent and productive daily digital muses. Well rejoice dear reader as we have more information for you regarding our meandering amongst the land so easily taken for granite (sorry).

We have been working diligently all Summer. Traveling when possible, reading and playing video games when not. We were lucky enough to kick off our Summer with some major events. My mother was present for our very first Old Port Festival in June. It was stupendous! The city of Portland pretty much isolates several streets all interconnected throughout the city and allows the end of each major street to a specific radio station where music is played all day long amongst great food and street vendors aplenty. For those of you tuning in from Rochester imagine things along the lines of the East End Festival, Jazz Festival, or (dare I say) the Lilac Festival, except covering much more ground and with an ocean nearby. For those of you tuning in from Ithaca and its respective locales, imagine something like the Ithaca Festival... on steroids. For those of you tuning in from undisclosed territories, invite us out and I will attempt a comparison completely free of charge, that is unless you are willing to pay me. Just saying. I have been to plenty of festivals in my life, but the multitude of various cultural and culinary experiences available at the Old Port Festival were truly remarkable. I myself managed to pick up and shirt, with a whale and heart on it stating "Whale in Love!" in Arabic. Wonderful. My mothers visit was also wonderful outside of the festival with additional accompaniment of my cousin and my mothers oh so sweet and bashful pooch, Holly. (who is apparently terrified of strange people in giant lobster costumes, I understood her fear). Not to mention getting to watch the United States soccer team clench a tie with England in preliminary groups stage of the 2010 World Cup, but this old news to all of you I'm sure. (especially in England).

We then move into July which came and went kind of like a fireworks display, it seemed we had come home for Kari's youngest brothers Allen's graduation from high school at the end of June and next thing you know (explosions of fiery red and blue sparkling wonder) we are standing on a large stair case with so many members of Kari's family, I think neighboring vacationers may have imagined a local cult and/or mafia family was in their presence, luckily our collective normalcy must have eased their concerned minds. Allen's graduation was magnificent and I can never quite express just how proud of this young man I am. He is a stand up individual (which says a lot being how tall he is). He has a good head on his lofty shoulders and will go on to do even greater things in college and his life ahead of him, I am sure of it. We kicked the soccer ball around, played some can-jam, and "flew kites." Nothing quite compares to a day out on pickle platter pond.

Allen, good luck to you and all that you do. You have always been and always will be someone that I view with an endless potential and mind that is capable of taking advantage of this potential. You are a great person and will only shine brighter with each day you continue being yourself.

On to the Outer Banks! We went to the Outer Banks, NC, with almost everyone in Kari's family that I have ever met including those close to the family as well. It was an excellent time and true test of the eating establishments of the area. Kari and I were overjoyed to be able to "get away" from it all, but stay put with those closest to us. Thank you Judy for making this possible! Allen, sorry about the toe. We had an amazing time within the confines of our castle like abode and out and about amongst the waves of the fantastic beaches. Not to cut it short, but being with few pictures of these occasions I will move onto some recent events. For some fun photos see link:

Zooming to August! Hot! so very Hot! Of course having an Ocean source nearby that has an average temperature that through comparison makes our refrigerator look like a sauna, painful sacrifices are made in the icy water to escape the suffocating heat and humidity of a New England Summer. Today, to escape the heat and doldrums of day to day living Kari suggested we flee to one of the many islands of the Casco Bay near Portland, ME. This, of course coming from Kari and not myself, was a reasonable and superb idea. We decided on Peaks Island today. Peaks Island is the most inhabited island within the Casco Bay that is not connected to the Maine land via bridge. A favorite location to famed American director John Ford, the island peaked (no pun intended... entirely) our interest. We drove up to Portland, got some tickets from the Casco Bay Lines for only $15!, and hopped aboard. After a brief stint of me gratefully not being sea-sick, we arrived to Peak Island with it's warm welcoming sign, placed I'm sure to comfort and inform any tourist that may have stumbled aboard the boat unknowing of their destination.

We then embarked on a five mile walk smiling consistently without interruption save for the occasional look of shock at the natural beauty surrounding our fortunate periphery. We discussed many wonderful and mostly fictitious things, one such topic being of how we would schedule and organize regular visitation from friends and family. I spoke of the Summer months being of primary interest for most, but claimed October for immediate siblings and their respective significant others. Kari replied with honest concern about what if any potential children are in school. I took this under consideration, but said that it had to be in the Fall as all of us being so recently used to traveling somewhere in the Fall and experiencing new subjects and learning much from our recent collegiate experiences. Then my answer came to me, by then we all will have (hopefully) concluded our collective collegiate experiences, having six separate college degrees (surely enough to encompass all that academia could possibly offer) we could simply educate the children ourselves for that time period of anything they could possibly be missing in their classrooms (rooms with much less captivating scenery I am sure).

We were interrupted midway through our island endeavor by a bright blue dragonfly fly flitting about a little marsh on the inland side of the road which encircled the whole of the island. This little dragonfly of course was merely an appetizer to both Kari and my own appetites for viewing wildlife. After looking at the marsh for a short period I noticed crouched under a small branch a beautiful bird of Blue and White crouched silently, possibly mid meal. I did not attempt to move to close to it as not to scare it off or disrupt a potentially savory dish. I have tried for the life of me to identify this little fella/lady, but no luck. My gut says Great Blue Heron, but too small right? Go ahead and let us know in the comments.

Finally after circling around the fifth mile, we stopped in the local grocer to grab some grub. Then we sat and took in some more of the wonderful view and parted for the ferry once again to return home.

A final note, as I do not know when we will meet again. We are on the move, if you need our new address let us know. We don't move until the 28th of August, but we will be in a cozy little beach house less than a hundred yards from the Atlantic Ocean. This means many new things to experience and post, one of which being fishing. Maybe I will start practicing now, I'm going to go find the cat and see how this pans out. Until next time, gone fishing!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I made the Breakfast!

Not the best post, but fun none-the-less. We just wrapped up breakfast. I took on the task of frying up some Plantains, with intentions of coating them in delicious freshly ground cinnamon and brown sugar. Well, the product turned out, but not without a few snares... hehe. No pictures, but I found this one online to give you an idea of what happens when I work with hot oil in the morning.

Needless to say after catapulting slices of plantain into regions of the bedroom from the kitchen with a propelled force that would impress the higher ups of NASA, breakfast turned out pretty good. Little bit of honey over the top of some freshly fried plantains coated in a layer of fresh ground cinnamon and brown sugar... amazing, enough to even help me to forget the near death experience that occurred merely minutes before serving.

Episode 15: In Which We Speak of Bikes and SketchUP

Derek gave a bit of an update the other day, and since I have some time off (YAY!), I figured I would fill in some gaps in the form of Frequently Asked Questions.

Part I: Cinco de Mayo

Question: Did you and Derek enjoy delicious Margaritas on the Fifth of May?

Answer: Yes, yes we did.

Elaboration: We purchased a brand new bottle of Cabo Wabo for the occasion, a bottle that will surely last us until the next Cinco de Mayo. We also have mastered the art of guacamole making and of eggrolls filled with random stuff making. These include southwestern taco eggrolls!

Part II: Christmas in May

Question: Did Derek finally get his Christmas Present?

Answer: Yes, yes he did.

Elaboration: Derek discovered a wonderful event at Gorham Bike and Ski called the Bike Swap. Every year hundreds of people bring in their used bikes in the hopes that they can sell them in order to get a new bike. People like Derek and I (i.e. poor people) can go and buy some pretty awesome used bikes that are far superior than any new bike that we could afford. I found a Trek 1000 road bike for cheapcheap and because we were there to find Derek a Christmas Present (5 months later) he got a fancy fancy Lemond Buenos Aires Road Bike. His pride and joy is pictured below, complete with new bike pump and handlebar tape.


Question: What are you doing with that fhancy education you received back in Ithaca?

Answer: Stuff!

Elaboration: I've been working, as previously mentioned, for Monsieur Rasor (or m. rasor) at MRLD. We've been working on urban planning projects for various towns here in Maine. In October we began a build out analysis of Rockland. The project has been recently completed and Rockland has received a Downtown Revitalization Grant (yay)!

My role in this whole shebang is the graphics side of things. This means that while Mitch bangs his head against his monitor writing clever things about our work I play in SketchUp (and Illustrator, and AutoCAD, and Photoshop). Below is a snippet of the recently completed Rockland Project.

Up next, some LEED certification (probably)!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Been a long time...

Welcome Back!

So we're back, and somewhat better than ever. It has been a while since the last post and thank you to anyone who still might read this blog. Though I think we will not ever fully be so, we have however become relatively acclimated to our surroundings here in Maine. (So has the cat, probably more so).

It is interesting getting use to a new area. After discovering so many new things at first, you start to notice things that are just like back home, both good and bad. One such thing would be Traffic, yes it is everywhere. Whether you are on your way to see a Red Wings game and find yourself in automotive limbo 20 cars behind a car that has been waiting too long in traffic, or if you are on your way to go see the latest Harry Potter film and you find that time has utterly stopped on the way to pyramid... shops at at Ithaca, or even if you are traveling along a scenic little route between the Atlantic Coast and a lush tidal marsh you may find yourself behind an individual even more lost in the scenery then you and going an astonishing 15 MPH to compensate. I have deduced from my short and meager span of experience that as long as there are people, so shall there be other people waiting behind them.

There are goods things as well, though, and I would not generate a post for the triumphant blog return that is so negative. The environment, I'll say it again because I know that it is already a redundant term in my daily vocabulary... The Environment, Nature, Outdoors, The Natural World. It has been everywhere we have gone and I am grateful for that. Whether it is going to peer out over Lake Ontario and its placid expanse leading to the land of hockey and health care, going to Stewart Park to hang out with friends and family to listen to good music and enjoy the wonderful rustic nature of Ithaca, or taking a bike ride to the beach only to be reminded just how many beautiful things there are on the way there and back as well as the destination point itself. I thought moving to Maine would allow me a natural world not as developed as the one I knew back home in New York and I did, but found that this less developed land is the same as that very land I saw as over saturated with human interference and "enhancement." Thought Maine is no where near as developed as New York, it does have the potential to be and that is a serious thought. On the lighter side though, after seeing this abundance of nature at minimum so far I have become convinced that this is possible anywhere that people may find a value for nature itself and not just as land to own.

But enough of my rambling, what is new up here, what have we been up to, has Jacob harmed any of our neighbors yet?

(Jacob saying just how much he missed everyone, he has shown interest in putting a post on here, we'll see what happens this year.)

These are all good questions and I can honestly say that No, Jacob hasn't harmed anyone other than me and the occasional family member... so far.

A little more though of what we have been up to though. Kari is at work, as unfortunately she is most of the time, so I will do my best to update for her. She is still at the Depot and MRLD. She has been enjoying the freetime she gets by the usual devouring of any literary piece that may fall into her general proximity. I am also proud to say that I think I have officially gotten her on the Science Fiction/Fantasy path. She may deny it, but I'll let the facts speak for themselves. 1. She has, and much appreciated, watched not only all six star wars films but has struggled through some animation as well (Bless her heart) 2. We started watching a little show called Farscape and quite rapidly consumed four whole seasons (a show mind you that at first Kari might have referred to as dren, but soon grew to love) 3. We have now stumbled upon the wonderful world/s of Doctor Who, two seasons down so far and things are looking good. 4. We have also begun to multitask and watch some of the Dresden Files TV series. All in all, I am very proud and excited about this development, but rather than going on about my perspective of what Kari has been up to maybe I will just see if I can coerce her into telling you herself.

Onto what has been happening in my life... ALOT! In a good and at times extremely frustrating manner. I performed excellent as you may recall in the Fall 2009 semester and find myself drawing to a close of this semester in Spring 2010. In explaining my commitments you may see why I have not posted. The semester began as per usual with lots of joyous ambiguity and I found myself committing to just about anything I could. I continued my work as an off-campus student representative for the town of Biddeford, got on board with a grant involving the Saco River Estuary and the surrounding communities, and I continued my work for Noah ( on the ground nesting birds. All this plus a hefty course load, but how could you ever know your limits unless you test, and boy did I find mine. The student reps and Saco Estuary work did prove fruitful, but hardly what they could have been I'm afraid. My work with Noah however has taken off. I will be working all summer in the lab, getting results hopefully. I am very excited about this. We also got out a couple of times and managed to see more of the area, plus a great concert last month (Brown Bird and Low Anthem). We got us some wheels to! Sweet rides! Kari got a Trek road bike and I got a pretty little yellow Lemond Buenos Aires road bike. There will be much bicycle adventuring this summer I guarantee! Also, we have landed us a new abode for my senior year at the university. A tiny little beach cottage near Ferry Beach State Park on the Ocean. So much more I can say, but perhaps I will leave it there and discuss things further in another post.

Now some more photos before I go:

A little something I cooked up for Kari on Valentines, mind the sloppyness, I was on deaths door when I did this. (no worries though, not contagious)

Some photos from good ol' Fortunes Rocks Beach (more beach photos to come for sure)

Kari enjoying some end of the semester celebratory Cinnamon/honey/vanilla pancakes with a honey butter/walnut reduction with tarragon.

It's good to be back! See you all again soon!