Ramblings of a Maineiac
|Posted on September 1, 2016 at 3:00 PM||comments (0)|
With barely two months left before the election of the next president of the USA, we seem to be mired in a quagmire of ad hominem insults and unsubstantiated innuendos rather than serious campaigns that deal with the important issues facing our country and that offer cogent policies to address our problems.
Whether Democrat or Republican, one should be incensed that the candidates from both major parties refuse to articulate clearly their positions and solutions without vacillating to please the audience at hand. Our presidential candidates cannot just be against everything championed by the opposition; to govern they must be for something and only when the elctorate knows what that something is can it make an intelligent choice at the ballot box.
Our country's friends and allies must think they are watching some kind of tragic comedy as they try to understand the 2016 election. On the one hand, the Republican candidate has verbally berated Mexicans, Muslims, women, handicapped, journalists, immigrants, other Republicans, to name a few of the targets of his vitriolic attacks, and has based his entire campaign on appealing to the baser fears and prejudices of a disaffected populace. The Democrat, on the other hand, has not projected the trust that Americans so want to see in a candidate, due in no small part to her lack of transparency in many of her prior endeavors and actions.
It appears that we will be going to mark our ballots for the one that seems to be the lesser of two evils, not the one we enthusiatically support. It is sad that our process did not produce someone that takes us eagerly to the polls. A great country like our should produce more bradly acceptable candidates for the most powerful office in the world.
|Posted on February 3, 2016 at 11:35 AM||comments (0)|
Our wonderful cat, Alfie., left us last week. Following a period of declining health due to kidney problems, he stopped eating and drinking and barely moved. With the sage advice of his vet, we decided that it was time to end his sufferring.
Choosing to euthanize a family member, albeit a furry one, is not easy. The one consolation is that Alfie is now pain free and perhaps enjoying the company of our family pets that preceded him, Puffy, Raisin,Coco, and Georgie. I can imagine them running around wherever faithful pets go after they leave the bounds of earth.
Alfie's departure is particularly difficult at our age as it is doubtful that we will adopt another furry friend. Who knows maybe in a few weeks we will just have to visit the animal shelter,,,and maybe fall in love all over again.
Goodbye, loyal friend!
|Posted on August 24, 2014 at 5:45 PM||comments (0)|
When the human machine runs well, one forgets how incapacitating minor problems can become.
While on a vacation trip to Quebec City, a pedestrian friendly venue but with treacherous cobblestone streets , my wife broke her 5th metatarsal in what in medical circles is called a Jones fracture due to its location. Fortunately, the Chateau Frontenac where we were staying had a doctor on call that made room visits. As it truned out, he also provided medical services to the Circle Du Soleil that was debuting a new show just down the street form the Hotel. His advice-get back home for follow-up and treatment!
Initially my wife's foot was placed in an aircast but after a few weeks, the orthopedist felt that it was not doing the job so a real cast replaced the "boot". As she cannot place any weight on her foot she has to use a walker. She soon discovered that her mobility was greatly impeded with her current arrangement.
What happened next? I injured my foot while walking in the surf with my grandson. Thinking that I had suffered only a sprain I did not seek medical attention for a week or so. When the pain did not abate but got worse, I went to the ER where an xray was taken and a diagnosis pronounced: broken fibula! What a surprise since I had been walking on this leg all along. Now I am fitted with an aircast and told to see my orthopedist. When I do manage to get an appointment with my orthopedist 10 days later, he discovered that the ER made a mistake-I have no broken fibula and there is no evidence of such a break on the xray! But, the ill-fitting aircast has damaged my big toe to the point that I need to take medication.
Both my wife and I are anxiously awaiting when our minor problems disappear and we return to our full functioning states of well-being.
|Posted on June 6, 2013 at 5:20 PM||comments (0)|
Every year the wintry hands of Mother Nature transform Parson's Beach and the mouth of the Mousam River, cutting new channels into the marshy tidal flows, moving and redeposting tons of sands into old riparian pools, and changing once familiar contours into a new and exciting landscape. As part of this creative process, old trees and stumps become abstract yet natural sculptures strewn about the mossy or sandy shores.
|Posted on January 10, 2013 at 11:40 AM||comments (0)|
No, this has nothing to do with the current flu epidemic. This is about pure joy.
There is nothing quite as infectious as the sound of laughter, particularly that of a young child. Simple and unfettered by social conventions, the wholesome giggles of a toddler lighthen the daily tribulations and bring joy to the soul. Our 9 month old grandson Caden, reacting to his mother's voice, provided us with such pleasure. No matter how many times I have played this clip, I still brings a smile to my face...and perhaps it will do the same for you.
|Posted on August 28, 2012 at 1:00 PM||comments (0)|
Between now and that fateful day in November when the polls open for the election of our next president is the period that I call the Foolish Season. During this time, all logic seems to disappear in favor of fantastic claims that are unsubstantiated by facts, dire prognoses of fiscal calamities should the wrong candidate be selected by the voters, neurotic character assassinations, unrealistic and unattainable promises.
When we should be listening to rational arguments by the candidates, we are bombarded with slick ads that do little to enlighten the electorate but rely on obfuscation to sway the public. Carefully parsed sentences convey out and out falsehoods as acceptable shades of truths. No matter how one makes a statement, it can only be true or false but not both simultaneously. Partial truths and half truths are just other words for lies.
I long for the day when our presidential elections that are held to fill the most demanding and challenging position in the world are not fueled by campaign funds that exceed the GDP of many countries and allow egregious extremes to convince the average individuals to forego common sense and accept opinions, innuendoes, biases, as defensible facts and truths.
|Posted on November 28, 2011 at 12:45 AM||comments (0)|
The morning light at Parsons Beach continues to captivate me as we inch closer to the darkest days of winter.
Now that our clocks have fallen back to afford an earlier glimpse of dawn, a concession to our former agrarian ways, I frequently venture down to the ocean to admire this magnificent first light.
The contrast of the vivid reds, royal purples and blues, and brilliant yellow hues against the still-to-awaken landmasses, bold and black, create incomparable portraits that even the deftest brush strokes from the palettes of heralded master painters can hardly capture.
And, as they say a picture is worth a thousand words...so here are a few thousand utterances from Mother Nature. Enjoy!
|Posted on September 18, 2011 at 3:00 PM||comments (1)|
On certain days, Mother Nature flaunts her magnificent beauty for all to see and admire; September 14, 2011 was such a day.
Since I left home a bit earlier than usual for my rendezvous with my pals for breakfast at the Maine Diner, I decided to take a detour to Parsons Beach. As I drove down the tree-lined road, I caught occasional glimpses of the rising sun but I did not anticipate fully its splendor until I arrived at the bridge down by the water. On the left side, the fiery yellow orb slowly lifting above the Mousam River bathed the entire landscape with a peachy pink hue as it silhouetted flora and fauna alike. To the right of the bridge, the lazy moon had yet to leave its perch in the pale morning sky while fair weather clouds created the illusion of a distant mountain range on the horizon.
Seldom have I seen such a display of natural beauty!
I think you will share my admiration of Dame Nature when you look at the pictures below that although quite impressive fail to capture the true magnificence of this particular morn at Parsons Beach.
|Posted on March 15, 2011 at 10:35 AM||comments (0)|
Now that we have sprung our clocks forward and the daylight hours have increased noticeably from the depressive darkness of the winter solstice, the heart of this old fisherman begins to beat faster in anticipation of the first fishing outing of the spring. But, there is much to do before that initial excursion: equipment moved from its winter storage, waders checked for leaks, fly lines inspected and replaced, if necessary, reels cleaned and oiled, flies sorted, bug repellents and sunscreens purchased.
And with the arrival of each new season, the hope and desire that this year will be better than the last morph into wild expectation. Before one makes the first cast, it is easy to convince oneself that the Mousam River will soon reward the experienced angler with 20" browns and equally-sized brookies, that the Kennebago River salmon will exceed 2 feet in length and hit any and all flies presented, that Parsons Beach will teem with hungry stripers and aggressive blues. Yes self-deception is a key part of the make-up of the fly fisherman and what keeps the caster hooked for another year.
I can hardly wait to wet a line–this is going to be a great fishing season; I am sure of it!
|Posted on November 26, 2010 at 3:21 PM||comments (0)|
Yesterday, we enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving meal at a local restaurant, On The Marsh with our daughter Celeste and her husband Nathaniel.
While partaking of delectable seasonal fare in the comfort of the well appointed restaurant, we watched a stealthy blue heron as it labored to satisfy its hunger by searching for small fish and frogs in the narrow tidal stream that borders the property. Standing in bone chilling waters as the the tide rushed around its stilt-like legs, the impressive bird let nothing distract it while it peered motionless into the dark rivulet, looking for any shadow that might indicate a desirable prey.
After some time we returned to our food and drink and conversation, not knowing if our avian friend had been able to appease its pangs. Unlike the heron, most of us do not have to search for our food like our distant ancestors in the days of the hunter/gatherer. But, even in such a wealthy country as ours, not to mention chronically deprived nations like Haiti and Sudan, too many face hunger everyday dependent on the good will and kindness of others for their meals.
As we approach the Christmas season, let's be thankful for our bounty and share our goods with those in need.