Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Flow of Data

I would like to take a moment to direct your attention to a new blog/website I just found...Flowing Data

Bluntly put, this site is enough to make this research analyst hyperventilate.....or some such orgasmic expression....

Take a moment to check out the spread of Walmarts over the years...

I am stepping off my soapbox now..


Monday, July 14, 2008

Weekend in Bar Harbor

This past weekend, my wonderful boyfriend decided to take me away for the weekend to Bar Harbor for my birthday. It was a beautiful sunny weekend where much walking, much hiking, and way too much eating took place. Darn that Ice Cream! Darn that Blueberry, soft serve ice cream!!And the pizza.. and the beer.... ahem.. ya. darn it.

As we headed up Route 3, coast bound, we decided that we both were really hungry. Dave wanted hot dogs.. I wanted a place that offered vegetarian-ish choices. As we pulled into Bucksport, our hunger was ravenous, I ditched my vegetarian dreams, and told Dave that the first burger joint, pub, or hot dog stand he saw, pull over..

Appearing on the left was "Wo's BBQ".

Wo's is a little ice cream stand that offered BBQ sauce they make themselves to accompany pulled pork and chicken, lobster, and oh what's this? A BBQ black bean veggie burger??? EXCUSE ME? I'll TAKE IT!
Davey of course got a 2 dog hot dog basket with hand cut fries. Top it all off with their homemande BBQ sauce - which is fantastic, by the way, and we were set.

I have to say that the people who own/work at Wo's have got to be the NICEST people I have ever met. Completely hospitable, made absolutely sure we had everything we needed, brought our food to us. It was such a delight, and we have now decided that we will stop at Wo's every time we go through Bucksport.

But we weren't done yet.. Shain's of Maine Ice Cream, where Wo's had creatd their own called "Sweet Heat". I simply HAD to inquire. Bascially, they took pecans, roasted them with cayenne pepper, and then shoved them into chocolate ice cream. They gave me a sample.

Now let me tell you. I can handle a lot of things. I can even handle a pizza where the sauce is Texas Pete's Hot Sauce. I don't know what kind of peppers these pecans were doused with, but let me tell you. I think it burnt the skin right off the back of my throat. They were standing there.. waiting for my reaction. I had to take it like a woman. No tears, no skewed facial expressions. A simple, "well that's different", hmm I think I'll take a scoop of Moose Tracks instead.

I waited until I sat at the table before confessing my suffering. Dave was smart enough to pass on the sample. So, he actually got to taste the rest of his ice cram, and everything else we ate this weekend, unlike me who had no sense of taste until Saturday evening.

Back on the road, we enjoyed the views of a typical small coastal town. The ships in the harbor, the quaint shops where everything is ridiculously over-priced, and tout catchy names, such as "The Baits Motel" and "Angler's Restaurant"
Penobscot Narrows Bridge
Coming around a corner, we got our first glimpse of the bridge - it's huge.

We noticed that there were windows on the first tower - an observatory! We will have to check that out next time we come through, and have more time.

Our time in Bar Harbor was great! We walked around the centre ville several times... smelled the "fair smell" the whole thing seemed to give off. We were amazed at the umpteen shops that had Bar Harbor t-shirts, or Maine sweatshirts. Honestly! We browsed Cadillac Mountain Sports, and Acadia Mountain Sports because we love looking at camping and outdoor gear.

Saturday morning we hit the trail, after some coffee, a very long walk down some residential streets, and a veggie sandwhich at a cafe. We hit the Loop Trail, and began our search for the trailhead to the Bubbles.
The Bubbles are the left-over debris from the glacier that covered much of Maine eaons ago. The deposits are in the form of boulder-like forms, that look like bubbles.

Ahh.. we made it to the Pond!

Once you're at Jordan Pond, you can follow the trail that leads around the pond.

This is the bridge beginning the trail, and these planks go the entire distance of the trail. The Trail Team wants to protect the vegetation around the pond, so this forces people to stay on track.Finally, we made it to the other side of the pond..see how far we've come??
We decided rather than trudge through that labyrinth of bubbles back UP the mountain, we would take the paved road back... As we walked a shuttle bus stopped and asked if we wanted a ride - how nice!! This whoe trip has been filled with nothing but nice people!!
2 1/2 miles later, we're back at the car..

We were thinking about what we wanted for dinner. I suggested.. pizza and beer. GREAT IDEA...yum! we called Dysarts to have it ready for us by the time we were done walking around.

Dave had to go into "The Man Store", as he is ever searching for a good cigar. He bought two. I can't complain, they didn't smell as chalky as the ones he bought in Hallowell last week. Honey, just stick to the AVO 80s, and CAO Maduros yes? (those are my favorites)
To finish up the evening, we ate pizza, had two sips of beer, and crashed immediately, while watching "Deadliest Catch"...
five hours later, I was wide awake, looking blearily at the clock, only to find it said 3:15 am.
I listened to my iPod for awhile - "Gangleader for A Day" by Sudhir Vankatesh. Great book!
Next thing I know, Davey's awake as well, and had turned the TV back on. Oh good. The same episode of Deadliest Catch we had fallen asleep on was on it's second run-through..so I didn't miss a crab pot.

Sunday we made our way back home, travelling through Camden, and Belfast. We got home around noon, and spent the rest of the day puttering, and getting things done.

It was a great weekend - exactly what I wanted for my birthday!! Thanks Sweetheart!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Turning 30

So.. in less than 3 hours I will turn 30. I'm sitting here wondering why I don't feel the typical stigma attached to it. I don't feel any different. I don't feel older, or wiser. I can probably say with adequate certainty that I wouldn't make some of the mistakes I made when I was..oh say, 20. So perhaps I am a tad wiser.
Yet other than that, I have to say that I have no regrets for anything I've done or not done in my first 30 years. Everything I have wanted to try, or learn about, I have done. I moved to the city, did what I needed to do there, learned what I needed to learn, met whom I needed to meet, and then moved out of the city just as I came in - looking forward. I stayed until it was time.

And now I am where I need to be, and who I need to be with, ready to start the next 30 years of my life together with him. So what's ahead. A wedding, continuance with my career, finishing grad school, maybe having a child, travelling,maybe having a few more adventure, and never ever stop learning and laughing.

Well if that's what's in store, I say bring it on!! I'm ready!

I am ready to be 30!
YAY! Happy Birthday to me!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th Weekend

What an awesome weekend!

On Friday, we lounged around in the morning. The stick hot humidity the July morning brought made it impossible to get motivated. We slept in late, thanks to late night before, coupled with the strong port.
Once we did rouse from the cool air of the air conditioner and our arms wrapped around each other, we opened the bedroom door to have the sultry heat smack us in the faces.
Coffee... we need coffee..

I bumbled downstairs and started the process.. get the cups out, the saucer and a spoon, open the sugar bowl for him, and now wait.. wait for beeeeeeep that the black steamy, caffinated goodness is ready.

After the coherence o lait kicked in, we planned our day.

1.Putty the closet.
2.Go to Cabela's
3.Hit LL Bean on the way home
4.BBQ for dinner

Cabela's was hmm all hubub for nothing, really...it's a Bean's knockoff, where the prices are cheaper by a bit. And that's about it. I bought a pair of new hiking pants, and two shirts. dave bought a hawiian shirt, and looked at more BB guns.
They now have a atomatic rifle that shoots 2100 ft./sec.. c'mon.. WHO NEEDS SUCH A THING?

On the way home we went to Bean's. I looked around for more clothes, we hit the camping aisle. I saw a water bottle I wanted. The new kind that doesn't emit those bad chemicals that the plastic ones do. Davey wanted me to go away so he could buy it for my birthday. I said.. nah it's too expensive, don't bother..
So he put it down. :)

There was a concert outside - Bean's Summer Concert Series.. Toby Lightman.. have no clue who she is, but she sang beautifully.. the place was packed.
We walked around Freeport a bit, listening to the singing reverberating out into the streets, and smelling the sauteeing onions from all the hot dog vendor carts along the street.

We decided it was time to head home and BBQ.

by the time we got home, we had gone through the huge bag of trail mix we had bought at Hannaford's and decided we were not BBQing tonight. We crashed shortly after a few episodes of Law and Order.

Saturday brought a motivated day where we did absolutely nothing except walk from Hallowell to Augusta and back. We stopping into the Cigar shoppe in Hallowell, where Dave bought 2 cigars, which later we found were horrible. They smelled like.. plaster.. chalk.. those are the only words I can describe it.. blech..

Then we went to see Hancock with Wil Smith. Davey liked it, and I'm very glad. It was funny.. took a twist and turn in the middle, but all in all, another hit for Wil.

Sunday brought an 11:05 showing of Indiana Jones 4. here's all I have to say.. the minute I saw the word Nazca lines, I knew exactly where the movie was headed --> XFiles. My many years of study on all things ancient and paranormal allows this ability to know an x file when I see it..

Indy, sadly got old. And his son leaves much to be desired. So ya I'm glad I saw it and got it out of the way, but The Last Crusade is still the winner above all by far..

Next, I want to see "Wanted"..

We then went to see my parents, since my mother's frequent phone calls alluded to the fact that she missed me. It was a lovely visit, not for too long, and we got home around 7.. we were for some reason rather exhausted. I think teh heat and humidity have something to do with that. But we were tired, watched Deadliest Catch for a while, then crashed.. a successful weekend of REST. Yee haa..