Monthly Archives: July 2009

Vacation Tidbits

A few random thoughts while on vacation…

We’ve had lobster twice so far. We usually buy it (cooked) from O’Reilly’s Coop in Cape Porpoise. This year prices are about the same as last year – $11 for each 1.5 lb. lobster. Yummy. This is the only time I eat lobster. I guess I’m spoiled.
Before we came to Maine, I picked up an old Kent aluminum banjo from some coot in Roslindale. He said he hadn’t played it in 30 years. I took it off his hands for $50 and got a bridge and strings from Buckdancer’s in Portland (a great music store). The neck is straight and it plays good. Also picked up a book to learn the frailing (aka clawhammer) technique. It’s easy to get started, but hard to perfect. Let’s just say that I can make sounds now and I serenade the kids when it’s time for them to get up, usually past noon. It’s loud and effective at that. 🙂
Yesterday I took a walk out to the rocks in front of our cottage while everyone else went to see the new Harry Potter movie (not my thing). When the tide goes out, it’s about a quarter mile out and you can walk to them. They are a lot bigger than you think just looking from afar and being mostly covered up during high tide. Here I am out on the ocean side of the rocks (self-timed photo, of course!).
This is kind of a weird one – lobster traps and ropes getting taken over by beach grass. I guess at this point, no one is bothering to clean it up.
The weather has been spectacular after the first couple of days of rain. I was kind of hoping that the averages would start to work in our favor after such a rainy June. We’ve been able to take a few long bike rides. Once over to Kennebunkport to have lunch at Arundel Wharf, per tradition. Another good one is to Hills Beach and lunch in Biddeford Pool (always good to have that lunch goal in front of you). I played golf once (so far) with an IBM colleague who also vacations up here. We had a visit from Bob, Alyssa, and baby Milo (1 yr) – cute, but a boatload of work keeping up with the baby now that he’s walking. Then there was the hurricane force winds to contend with!
I read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, which happened to be on the bookshelf in the cottage. It certainly makes sense to me. He spends a good 2/3 of the book explaining how the food conversation has changed over time from “food as food” to food as a breakdown of nutrients that we consume in order to be healthy. It’s a big indictment of the food industry and nutrition science, although they are not necessarily to blame – we have more food products than ever, and it’s cheap, too. But all the processing of the component parts (wheat, soy, corn, meat, dairy) has a price too – to our health…high obesity rates, heart disease, and diabetes. It was an easy read, despite a lot of nerdy food and nutrition research. At the end he offers some simple “rules” for eating better. A couple of my favorites (summarized): 1) If a product claims to be healthy, run away! 2) If a product has more than 5 or so ingredients, be suspicious; especially if you can’t pronounce them. 3) Buy from local sources. 4) Eat mostly plants. Stay away from refined anything, esp. high fructose corn syrup. I think that the closest diet fad I’ve seen that matches to the eating well philosophy is the South Beach Diet. Anyway, good book, good reminders.

Speaking of food, Lucas and Giulia made some awesome clam chowder the other night! They are quite the cooks. It even got the Zach seal of approval. I see more of this recipe in my future. Lucas awesome grilled up some bratwurst he was having a craving for. They made a fire that night and the police even came by to check for the fire permit, which I never heard of them doing before. Luckily this was right before Giulia came out with the wine. Reportedly, Seth (friend of Lucas) said to the police as they were approaching and he didn’t know it was them, “Do you approach bearing booze?” in his best Shakespearian voice. Later, they ended up killing the wine plus another 6-pack or so of beer. Kids!
that’s it for now – off to enjoy the day.

Beach Grass

I took a ride to the end of the beach last night at sunset and got a couple of good pics.
I really like the one above – good light and angular, sharp focus. Sunsets themselves are hard to capture…must search for techniques on google. 🙂 Below is my attempt at capturing the sunset.

Greetings from Maine.