Random Thoughts

How do you tell if your two cats are playing with each other, or actively tying to kill each other? One second they appear to be trying their hardest to tear each other’s throats out with their teeth, and the next second they are curled up together, grooming each other. I don’t get it. All I know for sure is that the kitten likes to stir up shit any chance she gets, and every now and then the bigger cat will turn the tables and ambush the kitten in ways that nearly make her shit herself. It’s scary and entertaining at the same time.

Harry’s coming home tonight. Just for one night. He’s having computer troubles and Jen is going to troubleshoot with him. That’s all. It’s going to be great to have him here though, even if it is a super short visit.

The weather sucks. It’s going to be super cold tomorrow, and we have another snow storm on the horizon. Hopefully I’ll be through with the car music by then. Hopefully the weather will start to improve once February ends, but we all know that Spring doesn’t come to New England anymore until mid-May at best. I want Summer. I want to move to San Diego where it’s summer all the time.

The Red Sox are playing their first Spring Training game right now. The annual beat-the-hell-out-of-a-college-team kick off to the grapefruit league season. They have a 5-3 lead over Northeastern University in the middle of the sixth inning. I am looking forward to the Red Sox season, even though it is clear we have another last place finish in our future. The fun part about Spring Training is the clean slate. Sure, our roster is a nightmare, but until you start losing games that matter, the possibilities are still very much endless. Speaking of San Diego, now that Xander Bogarts is a Padre, maybe it’s time to become a fan for real. I mean it is one of only three non-Boston stadiums I’ve ever been to. There’s personal history there. Maybe.

So television. I am currently trying to keep up with the following shows: The Last of Us, Star Wars The Bad Batch, Star Trek Picard, Poker Face, The Flash, Extraordinary, and You (season three, I am a full season behind). I may also get back into Star Trek Discovery but I’m a full season behind there too. The Mandalorian is coming back next week so we’ll add that to the mix as well. Yellowjackets season two is on the horizon too. On top of those shows, I have a weird compulsion to start binge re-watching The X-Files and Star Trek Deep Space Nine as well. Why am I torturing myself like this?

I haven’t shot any film since Disney World. I blame the weather. I still have a bunch of rolls saved up. I had way more than I needed for Disney so there’s still a nice supply available. I want to get some more black and white film to play with too, and once the weather starts clearing I am going to go WAY off the deep end, with both film and digital. I just need to find a way to convince people to go with me. Like a photography club or something, but just with people I actually know rather than random folks in some online club.

I want to go wander around Boston. I want to go wander around New York. I want to go wander around the mountains in New Hampshire and Vermont. I want to go wandering around the coast of Maine. I want to go wander around the coast of Massachusetts. I want to go back to Washington. I want to go back to San Diego and Los Angeles. I want to go to San Francisco for the first time. I want to go to Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington for the first time too. I just want to go places. Covid screwed us out of three years of exploring. I want to make up for lost time.

Okay. Back to work, Robert. Only 2.5 hours to go until the weekend when you’ll see Harry and do a mountain of work on music and spend quality time with the love of your life. Get on with it!

Morning Pictures: Kind of a Bust

I went to two places this morning to take a few film pics. Both places ended up kinda sucky. First was a frozen Forrest Lake. It was 8:00am, less than an hour after sunrise, and the light on the ice was kinda cool, but it just felt weird. There were a handful of people there bitching loudly about yesterday’s Patriots game. I felt weird standing there taking pictures of nothing while they were hanging out. I wasn’t anywhere near them but it was still strange.

The second spot was a public parking lot that only holds about eight cars right next to the Spicket River, which is very high right now, across the street from the top of the Spicket Falls Dam. There was nothing to see there though. I took a couple of pictures of the buildings across the river reflecting in the water. Maybe one will look okay? Doubtful though.

All in all, kind of a waste. I might try again tomorrow though if I can get out a few minutes earlier. This sort of thing is easier and better when the sun comes up before 6:00am rather than after 7:00am. I didn’t take the point and shoot though, so I don’t have anything for the photo a day yet. I’ll get something. Where’s the cat?

Musical Desks

I don’t have a desk in the office anymore. Now when I need to go in I have to reserve a desk through our scheduling system. It’s not a bad deal, really. I just pick a desk location at random, show up, sit down and go. I can see the desks’ names but not a map of where they are, or who else has signed up around that spot. Today I had a desk in the Foxborough building for the morning, now I have a desk in the Westwood building that is closest to home. There are a few people sitting within ear shot of me right now. No one is close enough for Covid-discomfort, but I can hear them when they are on the phone… and they are all on the phone… and have been for over an hour.

Worse? I forgot to pack some headphones today. I have a headset mic I use for conference calls, but nothing that I can use with my iPhone. My solution? I installed iTunes on my work laptop for the first time in 100 years. I had to take multiple updates and reboot once before I could get it to run, but it’s working now. I’m listening to a photography podcast and I’m thinking about switching over to some Boston based 80’s punk rock. Moving Targets, maybe? Overall my impression of iTunes for Windows in 2022 is, wow does this application SUCK. It really does. Oh well. It’s working and I am okay with that.

On a personal “Duh” note, I have been sitting here for nearly two hours and just happened to notice that my laptop battery was down to 40%. I have a power strip that I brought with me and I plugged it into the wall when I got here, and my laptop is 100% plugged into the power strip. What the hell? Oh… there’s a little on/off switch that I didn’t see at all. The power strip was off. Oops.

Unrelated, I am hoping to take Dad’s film camera out around town tomorrow before work. I’ll freeze my ass off, but I still want to do it. I’m not sure where to go, I just know I need to finish the rolls in both of the film cameras, Dad’s Pentax and my Nikon, before Disney. Both cameras have black and white film in them and Disney needs to be in color, you know? Also, my Nikon is a test case, using Dad’s 50mm lens via an adapter. The lens/adapter combo worked perfectly on my DSLR, but I’d like to have some proof that they work on film too before I take them to Florida. There are only a few weeks left. I need to get on this. the light is supposed to be crappy tomorrow morning, but I’ll do what I can.

Another unrelated topic. On the way home tonight I need to stop somewhere and buy a winter coat and some gloves. We have snow in the forecast this weekend, though it looks now like it might be mostly rain, and I need to be ready. I also wonder if I should get a couple of extra t-shirts for the Disney trip. I only have three that fit me correctly. Maybe if the weather holds this weekend I might go to a thrift store and see if I can get some 2x shirts cheap. Hmmm. Interesting thought. Maybe I could look for some camera gear while I’m there. Heh heh, ain’t I a stinker?

Okay, back to work with you.

Feeling Okay

My stomach is okay today. No issues at all. I am almost willing to declare that whatever started going wrong two days ago, and then went really seriously wrong yesterday, has passed. It’s 3:13pm and I’m an hour passed lunch. I have taken in 40 ounces of liquid and 56.86 grams of protein. Everything is on pace for a successful day.

So the question left to me is, did I do something wrong to cause my problems over the last two days, or was it a bug that I possibly caught from Harry as he was sick to his stomach all weekend. I was going to assume it was something I did wrong until Jen told me that she’s feeling sick to her stomach today. I think it might have been a bug after all. That almost makes me feel better about the whole thing, other than the fact Jen is feeling sick today, which sucks completely.

I am feeling well enough tonight to go out and run an errand for Jen, even though it bums me out on an unrelated level. She bought something from her favorite computer/electronics store recently but it needs to be returned. I am going to return it for her. The bummer part is that the store is in Cambridge, right down the street from Harvard Square, and right across the river from Boston’s Back Bay. I have been wanting to take a camera to both of those places for months now but haven’t had a chance. I could do it tonight but it will be dark and I won’t have time to stop and that makes it a two strikes and you’re out situation. Maybe I’ll be able to take some pics from stop lights. I’ll bring my DSLR and put it in auto mode, just in case. I won’t bring film though.

Speaking of pictures, the weather is going to be crappy tomorrow. No sunrise pics this time. It’s not supposed to rain until mid-morning though, so maybe I’ll take the film camera out to a couple of places around town. We’ll see. The DSLR will go to Vermont with me on Sunday but I don’t think the film camera will. We’re not planning on spending much time in Burlington so there won’t be many opportunities for picture taking.

On a final, also unrelated note, our bathroom has a floor again:


Where To… Again?

I find myself asking this multiple times each weekend. If the weather is going to be good tomorrow around sunrise, where do my camera and I go?

Well, the weather is supposed to be good tomorrow so I’m asking yet again. Boston is the big beacon on the horizon, but I just don’t want to deal with parking and getting around town.

Maybe head back to Plum Island and hit a couple of the spots that I saw but didn’t stop at on Friday.

There’s a lighthouse in Gloucester. I think there might actually be two of them. It’s an hour drive, but if I’m on the road early enough it could be kinda cool. I don’t know.

There’s still the Concord River at Minuteman National Park. There’s another pond in Tewksbury and another river walk in Lowell.

I really don’t know what to do. What a weird feeling.

Packed and Ready

My camera bag is packed, my broken tripod is folded up, and I even have a sweatshirt and clothes laid out. We are goin’ shootin’ in the morn.

But where? I’m thinking Salisbury Beach (sunrise at 6:18am) or downtown Lowell or downtown Concord. I haven’t decided yet.

All that’s left to do is set an alarm on my AppleWatch that hopefully won’t wake up my beloved Jennifer… and decide where to go.

Boston? Naw, not this time. Salisbury Beach and Lowell? Hmmmm. We’ll find out when I actually get there.

Out Shooting Tomorrow?

The sun comes up at 6:20 am tomorrow and weather kitty tells me it’s going to be mostly sunny. Tomorrow sounds like a perfect morning to grab the camera and go shoot stuff.

But what?

I’m thinking of following the Merrimack River into Dracut and Lowell. I’m not sure though. Maybe I’ll go to Forrest Lake in Methuen, or what about Long Pond in Tewksbury? I don’t want to go too far, but I kinda want to get out of town. I don’t know. It seems like a waste to just stay in bed, but that’s usually what I end up doing.

The weather looks good on Saturday morning too. Maybe Salisbury Beach at sunrise again? It’s been two months since I’ve visited the ocean. It might happen.

I’m going a little crazy with all of this, aren’t I.

Where to Next?

I’m not planning on shooting any pitchers tomorrow. The weather is supposed to clear up, but I don’t have it in me. I’ll be ready to go in a couple of days though.

But where should I go? There’s a couple of spots in Lowell. The river walk next to the hockey rink, and pretty much anything downtown. I’m going to be disappointed though because I’m pretty sure they got rid of the cobblestones. Downtown has a sort of 19th century nightmare vibe to it though, so I’ll still go. But when? No idea. I think a Sunday at sunrise would be best. We will see.

Billerica center has some nice things. A little park, the old church. Stuff like that. Concord is nearby and it has one of my favorite places, Minuteman National Park. I’m hesitant to drive that far for a river view when we are balls deep in a brutal drought. That might wait for the fall. Also, my tripod is broken (it doesn’t tilt anymore) so long exposures of the Concord River might not work out. We will see.

Boston. Cambridge. I put in for a couple of days off later in the month and one of them may include an early morning in the city. Weather permitting. We will see.

Is there anything in Salem, NH? Dracut, MA? There has to be, right?

Where else can I go? I might have to ask The Google. We will see.


What do I want to do tomorrow? Besides the 0.75% of a band practice. I don’t know.

Visit my mother? I could use a little of that. I saw dad today but it’s been a week since I’ve seen mom.

Work on the 50 songs in 90 days thing? Maybe. Probably not.

Get up at sunrise and mess around with cameras again? That would be fun, but where would I go? I’ve hit my favorite spots in town. Maybe downtown Lowell? Maybe the river walk in Lowell? Maybe the Shawsheen river in Tewksbury? I know a couple of good spots, but if the Shawsheen there is as dry as the Spicket here it might not be worth it. Boston? Too far away.

Stay in bed constantly refreshing eBay all day? I’m still the highest bidder but there are 22.5 hours remaining.

Pet the kitty all day?

Finish Umbrella Academy and start Stranger Things or Orville or Westworld or….

I don’t know. In the immortal words of Traffic, from their second record, Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring?

Manual Mode Part 1

I am about to post a bunch of pictures from this morning’s manual mode bonanza. I am going to break it into three posts. One will be downtown Methuen and the top of the Spicket Falls Dam, The second will be the Methuen Rail Trail and the Bird Sanctuary. The third will be Walnut Grove cemetery.

Here’s the downtown and the dam pics. I don’t think I will give any details, just pics.

All of these were shot with my Nikon D90 in manual mode because I am insane.

I think this is my favorite of the whole day.