Three Bodies of Water in One Morning Part Three: Merrimack River

Hello and welcome to the third and final post dealing with pictures I took this morning. This time we returned to Raymond J Martin Riverside Park on Riverside Drive in Methuen, MA. The last time I came here it was with my Nikon film camera, also known as the ebay camera. Today it was all digital, babie. Nikon D90 like a boss from 2010.

When I first arrived the water was perfectly still. It was like a mirror, except for the mist. I am so happy most of my shots came out okay. At first I couldn’t figure out what the two crossed lines in the water were, but then I realized they were reflections of the contrails in the sky. Awesome.


Dig that crazy mist!


This one is a little crooked. I was leaning over trying to get under the tree and I should have just used the LCD screen. Oh well.


Ducks! Even though they ruined the perfectly still water. Still, ducks!


Now we come to the lesson part of our journey. Using Manual mode instead of Auto means that when things come out of the blue you can’t just point and shoot. You have to set things up. When I suddenly saw a mist-spiral cruising along the top of the water I had to be quick, but in Manual I wasn’t quite quick enough and this is the best I could get. Had I been in Auto I would have nailed this before it hit the trees. This is the best I could do under the circumstances, I guess.


I was trying to get another misty shot but the birds flew in out of nowhere and it looks like they were the point all along.


Just look at that!


I wish I had the polarizing filter. I would have seen right through that glare to the bottom of the river.


I need to find out what that building across the water is. Pretty sure that’s Andover, MA.


Did Robert use exposure compensation on this puppy? Yes, Robert did use exposure compensation. Almost like he knows what he’s doing, babie!


Album cover?


No, this is the album cover.


I took a few of the park itself too, including some pics of the places I got all of the previous views.


Blurry background AND blurry foreground. Nice.


Gazebo pic #1.


Obligatory flag pole pic.


Gazebo pic #2.




And that, friendly readers, brings my three part post journey to an end for today. If the weather holds I might do my original idea of visiting three bodies of water in Tewksbury tomorrow. Long Pond, the Shawsheen River, and Ames pond. We’ll see. Tewksbury is only 15 minutes away but it seems like a long drive for some just-after-sunrise goofiness. I haven’t checked the weather since last night. If it holds, I might give it a shot. I’ll let you know.

Three Bodies of Water in One Morning Part Two: Forrest Lake

Part two of this morning’s photo adventure is Forrest Lake. I’ve been here a few times and the pictures always disappoint me. Not today. Not really, at least.

There were a lot of people at the boat launch area so I walked a little toward the closed beach to keep plenty of social distance. The mist coming off the lake made the stop worthwhile.


Dig how still the water was.


Is it really a lake, or is it more like a pond. Seems pond-esque to me, but what do I know?


The public beach closed at the end of August.


Dig that crazy mist.


I should have brought my polarizing filter but it doesn’t fit on the lens I was using.


Next stop is the final stop, at the Merrimack River.

Three Bodies of Water in One Morning Part One: The Mighty Spicket River

Did I go out shootin’ pitchers this morning? You know it babie! The air was cold but the sun was bright and the sky was perfectly clear. I thought about going to Tewksbury and checking on the Shawsheen River and Long Pond and maybe Ames Pond but we had people coming to pick up the couch we donated and I didn’t want to go that far from home. Instead I visited the three biggest bodies of water in Methuen. The Spicket River, Forrest Lake, and the mother of them all, the Merrimack River.

I took a few pictures at each location, going slightly overboard at the Merrimack, but we’ll get to that later. First, some shitty pictures of the muddy and gross looking Spicket. It’s super low, but not nearly as low as it was the last time I checked on her.


The Mighty Spicket has seen better days, but it’s not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. This is on Hampshire Street, just a few minutes after the sun came up.


The sun wasn’t getting through the trees to the water, but it was pretty freakin’ glorious out on the road. Is this why they call it golden hour?


Crossing the road for a different view…


The next post will be Forrest Lake and after that will be the Merrimack (where I went a little overboard).

Photo Time

I warned you, here come a ton of pictures. Well, maybe not a ton. I’ll try to be more selective than usual.

The first peek at the sun
Hello there
30 seconds exposure
Boat #1
30 seconds exposure
30 seconds exposure
10 seconds exposure
2.5 seconds exposure
Boat #2
Actual curl
Merrimack River
Boat #3
Spicket River, on the wrong side of the dam
Osgood Street


Remember all of that washing machine talk yesterday? I mentioned there are actually two washing machines. The big guy is the main one, but there is also another one in the pedestal that the big sucker stands on. When we bought the set we thought that was a good idea. In actual fact though, I think I used the pedestal washing machine once over the last two plus years and that was just to make sure it worked.

Last night after Jen fell asleep I went down stairs and washed a pair of jeans and a t-shirt in the pedestal. Again, just to make sure it worked. It did. The water lines into it worked and the outflow hose worked too.

Or so I thought.

When I was hooking everything up yesterday morning there was a little bit of water that spilled out of one of the hoses onto the floor. I kept forgetting to clean it up. This morning I took a little towel down cellar and took care of it. I figured I’d just throw the towel into the big machine and the next time I needed to wash clothes I’d was the towel with the rest of it.

I opened the side loading washing machine door and about a gallon of water sloshed out.


The drum was full of water. How? It was empty when I took the last load of laundry out yesterday. Why was it full now?

Apparently the pedestal washer’s outflow somehow either drained into the big machine, or it drained out, went past the splitter on the out flow hose, and then backwashed into the big machine. Is that even possible? It must be.

I mopped up the new spill with a couple more towels and ran the unit in 15 minute quick wash mode. Everything drained appropriately.

The moral of the story is: Buying the pedestal thing was clearly a mistake and it will never be used again.

Absent Minded Doof

Two things.

First. On Wednesday the dietician told me to wait an hour after eating before having anything to drink. Three hours later I am sitting at my desk having lunch and the minute I was done eating I was guzzling a water bottle. I was still gulping water when I realized what I was doing. Like… dude… she just told me! Yeah, that one is going to take some getting used to. I managed to do it right all day yesterday, but come on. The first day!

Second. I’ve been using the CPAP machine every night since, what… early 2019? Years. Literally years, plural. Like… multiple years! Every night! The only exceptions being nights where I was sleeping in a room that the CPAP machine wasn’t in. I can probably count them on one hand. Last night at 11:00ish, I put down my iPad and curled up in bed and went to sleep. I woke up an hour and a half later and thought that it was weird to wake up that quickly. I woke up again at a little before 3:00am and realized I never put the damn CPAP machine on. It was sitting on the table next to the bed looking all lonely and dejected and ignored. Years! I’ve been doing it for years and I just plain forgot last night. I even woke up without it on and it didn’t register! What the hell, Robert? Years!

In other news, February is continuing its theme of being a dick. I think we’re up to three instances where a super warm day was followed a day or two later by a legitimate snow storm. It was in the mid 60’s on Wednesday and today, two days later, we’re getting a foot of snow. Nice. Way to be a dick, February.

In other news that is actually important to the future of human civilization, I am sad to realize how little I know about Ukraine. They were a Soviet Republic and an American fascist tried to use them to rig the 2020 election and got off scot free because the United States government is broken and getting close to the point where it’s not worth saving anymore. I thought they were to the South of Russia but when I looked at a map I realized everything I thought I knew about Ukraine was probably actually about Georgia. Wikipedia just confirmed that. I thought Eduard Shevardnadze was the first post-Soviet president of Ukraine, but he was president of Georgia. Shit.

I keep reading stories about heroic stands by the Ukrainian army. They took back a city, they took back the airport in Kyiv. Things like that. Every time I read something good I try to find reports to back it up and I always find one report confirming and one report confirming the opposite. In the age of instant knowledge, I really hate not knowing what’s going on.

I have a huge confirmation bias regarding this war. It’s Russia. The superpower that stood against us for all of those years. The only nation that could match our massive military machine. How can Ukraine fight them off? It’s impossible, right? Then I try to convince myself otherwise. The Soviet Union I was so afraid of is gone. Sure, Russia retains most of that might, but Ukraine was a Soviet state too. They were part of that military. Who knows, maybe they were a bigger part of it than I realize. I’m wrong about everything else so why not that too? Then I read that the US government expects that Ukraine will fall within days. Damn it. Sometimes, not often, I hate being right.

Bio-Break Blues

One thing I’ve read* about drinking soda is that it dehydrates you. I’m pretty sure it’s the Carbon Dioxide in the carbonation that does it, but caffeine might play a role too. I could Google that but I’m lazy. The effect of drinking lots of soda all day long is that you are drying your insides out. Sort of.

So what happens when you stop drinking soda? I suppose that all depends on what you replace it with. In my case, I have replaced it with water. So what happens when you stop drinking soda all day and start drinking water all day?

Well… you don’t get dehydrated, right? Okay, so what does that mean? It means a lot of things, none of which I know anything about what with me knowing dick about biology. One thing I do have a lot of knowledge about is… well… it’s embarrassing and well into TMI territory but…

…I am peeing all the time. I am living in Urination Nation right now. I’m really lucky that there is a bathroom attached to the room I spend all day working in because I only have to take about 8 steps and I’m ready to go. I am most definitely not taking the piss when I say that every five minutes I am taking a piss. It feels like every time I manage to drain the main vein it is full again within 20-30 minutes.

The math seems to work out: Drink water all day = Taking a leak all day. Even Geordi La Forge would understand that**.

*Maybe if I had proof read this post I would have noticed that there was a typo on the fourth effin’ word. I fixed it, but come on, Robert.

**Remember that scene from Star Trek First Contact when Zephram Cochran has to explain to Geordi what taking a leak means and Geordi thinks it’s the funniest thing he’s heard in years?

Cheap Soda

My company has soda machines all over the place. The cans of soda are nearly free for staff. We have to pay the $0.05 state deposit and that’s it. Picture it; me, a lifelong dedicated fanatical soda drinker working in a building where cans of soda cost a nickel. Basically heaven.

Except that I can’t drink soda anymore. Shit.

I am in a new building now. Did I mention that? Probably. We were in Waltham, which was closer to home for me than any other company building, but they sold the Waltham building during the pandemic. We were moved to Westwood, which is further away than Waltham but was the next closest building to home. When we had our brief return to office experiment over the summer we had to setup our new desks and get used to the new place. Now it’s just where we go. No big whoop, right?

There was a point in time during our Waltham stay where I was trying to eliminate caffeine in the afternoon. I started bringing a water bottle and filling it up from the water cooler in the kitchenette. It tasted really bad. If I added a ton of ice it would get cold enough that the bad taste was sort of masked, but even if I put my go-to grape flavoring stuff in it, the taste was still crappy.

Now I am under doctor’s orders to no longer drink soda (Robert wipes away a single tear) so I’m back to the water bottle. There’s a little cooler in the kitchenette here too. I just filled up… nervous that this water would be bad too…

It isn’t. It sure ain’t the Poland Springs wonder that is our cooler at home, but it’s okay. I can live with it.

That sound you heard all over the surface of the Earth was my emphatic sigh of relief.