Saturday, June 06, 2009

off to bermuda

Dad left on his cruise for Bermuda this afternoon. Maureen, Stanley, and I saw him off from the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal. He wanted to take a cruise (a leisure cruise—his stints in the Navy and as a merchant seaman don’t count!) and took the plunge and booked this cruise to Bermuda via Norwegian Cruise Lines out of Boston.

We arrived at the cruise terminal shortly after 1 p.m. and Stanley and I waited with Dad while Maureen dropped the car off. The line was astonishing, at least two city blocks long, and that’s the line to get through security.

Stanley Thomson and Jim Fleming at Black Falcon Cruise Terminal
Stanley and Dad, the outside line, June 5, 2009. (click to enlarge)

Maureen caught up with us after parking—and the line moved surprisingly fast. We’d already moved up a block by the time Maureen found us. I found out later that, when fully booked, the ship Dad is on, the Norwegian Spirit, carries 2,000 passengers. The lines were intimidating if you’re not used to that sort of thing, and it can get pretty confusing trying to figure out where to go once past security, but we kind of followed the crowd and got directions from the women who seemed to be in charge of keeping the queue in order and moving. Security was no hassle except Stanley set off the alarm and had to be hand-wanded—turns out it was the staples from his heart surgery that the scanner didn’t like. He showed the guard his chest and was waved through.

Norwegian Spirit through the terminal window
Looking through the window at the Norwegian Spirit while waiting to check in, June 5, 2009. (click to enlarge)

Dad was both nervous and excited, but the line continued to move fairly fast. To look at the crowd in the terminal you would think the din would be overwhelming, but it wasn’t, and the flooring was made of the stuff, the rubbery layer, that makes standing for a while bearable—and the entire line to checkout took just an hour. I guess we shouldn’t have been so surprised that it went so fast—NCL has been doing this for quite some time now.

Jim Fleming leaving for Bermuda, June 5, 2009
Jim Fleming, getting ready to embark, June 5, 2009. (click to enlarge)

We got to stay with Dad until he reached the gangplank. We waved good-bye and then drove around the wharf areas to see what was there and stopped at, I think it was Yankee Lobster Market, for a late lunch—lobster rolls for Maureen and Stanley and I got a scallop roll. The clam chowder is nothing special, but the scallops and cole slaw are really good.

Dad called Maureen about an hour after the ship left the dock, which he said happened around 4:15 p.m. He told her he likes his cabin, had already met some people, and was off to grab some dinner. Maureen said he sounded pretty happy. We think he’s going to have a great time and I’m looking forward to his reports from shipboard—I hope he can send at least a photo or two if he wants to. Ah, a cruise ...

posted by lee on 06/06/09 at 02:53 AM

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Thursday, June 04, 2009

just one photo

It was a dark and dreary day—but I went out to get a picture of the irises because they’re magnificent (the ones that didn’t get mowed down, that is!) Only one shot because the light was so lousy that this is the only one that was decent (click to enlarge):


posted by lee on 06/04/09 at 03:50 AM

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

cat proximity and ...

Stanley sent me to this site: A definite time sink. Some of it parts my hair: I’m just not geeky enough to get it—I had to look up some terms that I knew were linux, but not what they meant, for example. Stanley gets it a lot more than I do.

So far, these two are my favorites (also read the tool tips, you know, those words that show up when you put your mouse over the image):

Cat Proximity by No. 231

Brakes by No. 582

And here is a puzzle: The Cryptic Canvas. There are 50 movie titles represented on this canvas—enter the movie title and if you’re right, the little box turns green and the related image(s) fade to black. You can save it and return to it. Empire Magazine created it to celebrate an anniversary. So far I have 16 out of 50 figured out. The painting was created by Amie Bolissian, whose work is very weird but interesting.

Stanley recorded Earth 2100 for me. I thought it was really interesting, though very depressing—I’m not as up on humanity as those talking heads at the end seem to be. I’d like to think that we’re not the frogs getting cooked but I see so much complacency I think we probably are. Too many people into sustainability as long as it’s not uncomfortable. But maybe I just need to get out more.

On a cheerier note, we’re taking an early weekend this week—headed up to Boston on Thursday so we can do bingo with Dad and Maureen and then see Dad off on his cruise to Bermuda on Friday. We’ll probably head home on Saturday because we have so much to do, both work work and yard work. Not to mention cleaning the house ...

posted by lee on 06/03/09 at 06:30 AM

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Monday, June 01, 2009

what a gorgeous day

We’re a little late this year, getting the garden in. The trip to Michigan and wet weather delayed us a bit, but this weekend was great. By tomorrow we should have our tomato plants in the ground. And the corn planted (I mean raccoon treats planted, I think).

We enlarged the garden a bit—we need more space for tomato plants that will get some sun and I want to try corn this year. A fool’s dream, probably, since we have deer this year when we never did before—damn things ate most of my tulips and munched down a lot of peony buds and the top of a burning bush.

The climbing roses are stunning this year—and they smell wonderful. The rugosa has barely started blooming yet, but it’s loaded with buds. And the false indigo plant is really pretty—worth waiting for it to really shrub out and bloom.

Roses, false indigo, and Stanley working, May 31, 2009
Climbing roses, false indigo, a peony bud the deer didn’t notice, and Stanley, May 31, 2009. Photo by Lee Fleming Thompson (click to enlarge)

Stanley rototilling May 31, 2009
Stanley rototilling, May 31, 2009. Photo by Lee Fleming Thompson (click to enlarge)

backyard wide view May 31 2009
A wider view of the backyard—looking forward to getting our plants and seeds in. May 31, 2009. Photo by Lee Fleming Thompson (click to enlarge)

We put in several pine trees and arborvitae about five years ago and this year they’re quite substantial—except for the blue spruce. Those are still stubby shrubs. The lilac didn’t bloom this year, though it did last year. I think last year was a fluke since it really has another two years to go before it’s supposed to start flowering. You can see our eclectic sorta hedge in the photo below:

Ruby and Bingo May 31, 2009
Ruby and Bingo had a great afternoon playing. May 31, 2009. Photo by Lee Fleming Thompson (click to enlarge)

Ruby, who was one year old on May 13. 5/31/2009
Ruby is mostly a mellow, sweet dog. She likes sitting in the shade and watching Stanley in between mad bouts of wrestling with Bingo. May 31, 2009. Photo by Lee Fleming Thompson (click to enlarge)

Bingo busy finding the ball, May 31, 2009.
Bingo is a busy dog—always looking for a job to do. Her favorite thing to do is play fetch—and she actually brings the ball back to us! May 31, 2009. Photo by Lee Fleming Thompson (click to enlarge)

We went to Home Depot on Saturday to get replacement tomato plants for the ones from Burpee that croaked—Burpee sent them way too early and we had to leave them in the sink while we went to Michigan. Some survived. Helene gave me basil, and we got rosemary, lavender, petunias, and marigolds. Still need cleomes—gotta have them!

We need to replace the porch boards this year so I don’t want to load it up with pots as I usually do, but we did put the big pot outside and I planted the rosemary, some basil, some marigolds, and put in Bibb lettuce seeds. Whether or not we get any lettuce remains to be seen—depends on how close the deer and bunnies get to the house. If they get up on the porch, well, I guess it’s good to feed the wildlife, but I love homegrown lettuce so maybe we’ll get lucky.

It just felt so good to be outside, get my hands dirty, watch Stanley with the tiller, play with the puppies. We have lots more to do over the next few days and we have the whole front side section to clean up, shade plants to get in ...

posted by lee on 06/01/09 at 03:59 AM

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