Print Story New England has often been bad for the crown
By georgeha (Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 10:26:51 AM EST) crown, Maine, Culture (all tags)
aka LARPing Transpotting

Plus Harry Potter 6, The System of the World, We were Soldiers Once, Player of Games, Ernie's War, Albacore, Lobster Pie, casting a Paul over the trip, Hefewiezen boxed wine and premixed margaritas, Renys, VX8700, Life is good, carbernet vs toreador and more

Poll: Favorite Beach?

That was a much needed vacation. The drive there wasn't too bad (compared to getting to Wildwood on a Saturday in summer) with the only heavy traffic getting onto I-95, and getting through Ogunquit, checking in at 3:00, giving us a driving time of 8 1/2 hours, including a few stops, one of which was a late lunch in Lowell at Wendy's, probably not the same one Jack Keroac frequented. After unpacking and a snack, we headed out to the ocean, finding free parking near Crescent Beach. It was high tide and early evening, which may explain the parking availability, but it still felt good. Later that night we ended up at the Wells House of Pizza and Roast Beef, for a very good thin crust pizza, and a glass of Longhammer for me.

We rented a two bedroom cottage in the gated Beach Dreams development (lots still available, starting at $149k), which made for a better vacation than having to all sleep in the same room, heh heh. Eight year old was psyched that there was a TV with cable in their bedroom, in addition to one in the main room. The kitchen was good too, we were able to have four dinners at the cottage. There were two pools we could use in the main site, and we mostly used the smaller, closer one, with one trip to the bigger pool complex, complete with kiddie pool and hot tub. Eight year old was the biggest fan of swimming, but she's young enough to not have intermittent medical reasons to make swimming difficult.

It felt odd to be living in a gated, HOA type community, and we didn't meet anyone there, we'd just see them in passing. It seemed to be equally divided into people from Massachusetts, New York, Vermont and Quebec. It wasn't near as social (or as crowded) as the condos in Wildwood.

It was a hot week for Maine, and the heat drove us to the movie theater one day to see Harry Potter and the Half blood Prince, the first Potter movie I've seen on the big screen. It could have used more Helena Bonham Carter, but then, what couldn't?

In other media news, I was able to catch up on a lot of reading, since I didn't have the interwabs or laptop to distract me.

Right before we left I finished up Stephensons' The System of the WorldVolume 3 of the Baroque cycle, a big thick tome tying up the tales of Jack, Eliza and Daniel with more or less a happy ending. The Baroque cycle was a good read, but I doubt I'll ever reread it, there are too many other books out there, and it takes a big time commitment. Maybe I'll hunt down Anathem when I next need a Stephenson fix.

Next up was We Were Soldiers Once...And Young, a non-fiction book about the battle of Ia Drang in Vietnam, when the US first tried the Air Mobile concept that became the stereotype of the Vietnam War. It's an engrossing read that puts you right in the middle of the action.

Then there was Banks' The Player of Games, a Culture novel I picked up at a Goodwill a few months back. Banks is one of those writers you rarely see at thrift stores. It was a good Culture novel, set after the time the Culture becomes nearly omnipotent, so to allow drama the protagonist, the most famous game player in the Galaxy, goes to a barbaric empire outside the Culture where the Empire's culture is centered around a game.

I started John Adams, apparently I'm in good company.

When we got home, I finished upWarfare and the Third Reich, one of the books I garbage picked a month or so ago. It's more of an encylopediac look at the fighting Nazi Huns with different articles of different parts of the Hun fighting Nazis. Maybe I can trade it in.

Also at home I found Ernie's War at a Goodwill on Sunday, after garage saling, and finished it in a few days. It's easy reading, since it's newspaper columns. I like that he talked about the non-glamorous parts of WWII, including the engineers, the artillery, the AA batteries and the Ordnance group.

Enough book talk.

Sunday's garage saling resulted in finding a Verizon branded LG Vx8700, we now have a spare phone.

Our most frequent stop in Maine, aside from the pool and cottage, was the Hannaford Plaza, which in addition to containing a Hannaford grocery store, also contained the movie theater, a trolley stop, and a Renys. We liked Hannaford (thirteen year old had already been to one on her New Hampshire trip), it was nearly as good as Wegmans. Renys was cool to, a department store with lots of closeouts, prices were pretty good. I was delighted to find out that Maine allows grocery stores to sell booze, though you have to wait until 8 or 9 in the morning on Sunday. I picked up a box a merlot, and found it much easier to use than corks and bottles. In other booze news, I bought a four pack of Cuervo premixed margaritas to take, and one night I used one of the plastic margarita glasses in the cottage, even rimming it with sea salt. Mighty tasty.

Our second most expensive day was at the outlets in Kittery, where we bought a lot of girls clothing. It was probably cheaper than buying school clothes in Rochester. I broke a long running streak of only buying clothing for myself at thrift stores (save for socks, gloves, shoes and underwear) by buying a pair of cargo shorts at the Kittery Trading Post.

Our furthest day (aside from driving to and fro) was a day in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. We started with a mediocre Goodwill, then off to the Great Bay Estuarine Research Reserve, where the girls decided not to hold a horseshoe crab. They had a small salt water tank with a bunch of horseshoe crabs, a handful of green crabs, some fish, some sand shrimp, and even a lobster. Mrs. Ha did hold the horseshoe crab, the kindly docent's time was not wasted. The research center was nice, low key and informative place, we ate our lunch there at at shady table.

Next up were two recommendations of Mrs. Ha's sister_in_law, who go to Kennebunk nearly every summer. First,USS Albacore, a retired research submarine, the first tear drop shaped one made. This was also the first submarine I've even been on, and I found it very interesting, if cramped, hot and oily smelling. The girls have decided that a submarine career is not for them, even though current ones are much bigger (thirteen year old might have been swayed if there was a swimming pool, but that's only for Commie submariners).

For dinner we headed right into Portsmouth's quaint, crowded downtown to try and find
Portsmouth Gas Light Pizza. No luck, and the parking prices were henious, so we eventually found the free municipal lot, which was only about three blocks from Portsmouth's quaint, crowded downtown. We eventually found the pizza place, in a basement, and it was early enough for happy hour
specials, which made my pint of Pomegranate Wheat only cost $2.50. The pizza was darn good, and also thin, it must be a directly on the east coast thing.

The most expensive day turned out to be Thursday, sitting on the beach and trying an extremely gummy black licorice Scotty dog. It took out two of my crowns, the ones I had put in about a year and a half ago. We were planning on going to the world famous Maine Diner later that night, so I thought I could just buy some OTC temporary crown cement and enjoy the dinner. Wrong. We got to the Maine Diner, and while eating a sticky corn muffin, I felt one crown come off, which I stored in a torn off corner of the menu. The food was very good, Mrs. Ha had lobster pie, I had Maine crab cakes, thirteen year old had pancakes with real maple syrup, and eight year old had chicken fingers and fries.

Definitely worth a return visit.

Back at the cottage, I decided to temporarily stick my crown back in, during which I noticed that I was missing my farthest back crown, I must have swallowed it while eating sticky corn muffins. Figuring that a new crown would cost $$$, I decided to do the fiscally responsible thing, and LARP Trainspotting. Several times. Many times. I gave up after three days, the crown was lost.

Now I have a rough and sharp temporary crown in my mouth, I'm surprised my tongue isn't bleeding.

I had been seeing Life is Good stickers around for a while, and I was wondering just what it was, perhaps some sort of mild, innocous cult? I found out in Maine that's it's a clothing brand, rather pricey for me. At least I know.

The trip home was quicker than the trip there. Somehow the girls discovered that Kevin Jonas is really named Paul Kevin Jonas, and were very amused at someone named Paul. They were not amused at London Calling, do you know how hard it is to figure out the Fader settings on a car stereo while driving down the road at 70 mph?

< Phone interview starts | A vodka bottle gave you those raccoon eyes. >
New England has often been bad for the crown | 43 comments (43 topical, 0 hidden)
That's a lot by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #1 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 10:37:15 AM EST
of beach erosion in the first pic.. From the most recent storm that passed off short, or is it usually like that ?

And the kids don't like London Calling ? Are you sure they're yours ? Or is this not the Clash version ?

It was high tide by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 10:40:50 AM EST
The tides were around ten feet. When we went back the next day, near low tide, the beach was a few hundred yards wide. FB has a few more pictures.

[ Parent ]
that's expdected by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #3 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 10:43:04 AM EST
I meant that there's a 4 ft "wall" of sand right up onto the house -- the drop off between the end of the dunes/shore and where the "beach" begins..  That's the beach erosion I meant.

[ Parent ]
Oh that, I'm not sure by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #4 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 10:48:26 AM EST
it was  week before Hurricane Bill, though.

You can see the sea wall and rest of the beach near low tide below, same as the evening pic but looking north instead of south.

[ Parent ]
Upon reflection by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #5 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 10:55:17 AM EST
that's a concrete sea wall, not sand.

[ Parent ]
ahh it's a sea wall by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #18 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:41:08 AM EST
which means the beach will erode even faster, to save those beach front homes :)

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On my mental do do list by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #20 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:43:30 AM EST
is to find out the prices of those baechfront homes, and the ones in Kennebunk, where they would take up the equivalent of 3-4 lots in Welles,

I figure a million for a tiny cottage in Welles, going up from there.

[ Parent ]
player of games by garlic (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:12:57 AM EST
is supposedly one of the inspirations for the civ computer game (obviously along with avalon hill's advanced civ).

I was doubtful at first by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:17:11 AM EST
until I checked publication dates, whoa, Player of Games is 21 years old, Civ is 18. Where does the timego?

[ Parent ]
Ironically by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #15 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:37:34 AM EST
The Iain Banks novel that Civilization inspired was the unpublished "I'll start the new novel as soon as I finish the Pyramids..."
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
also, every sub has a pool. by garlic (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:15:53 AM EST
it's called the bilge.

My brother was (is?) a submariner. There's not much more space in the modern subs than there was in the old ones. They still have situations where they have to hotbunk, or bunk in the torpedo room.

Yeah, a cow-worker was by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #9 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:17:57 AM EST
but he can't say much, for opsec reasons.

[ Parent ]
submarine classification by garlic (2.00 / 0) #12 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:25:17 AM EST
After graduating with an EE degree from Anapolis, he had to go to submarine school, to make sure he understood the nuke plant. One of the prerequisites was calculus review, probably for the reserve officers, since even the english and poly sci majors at anapolis have to take calculus. The calculus book they used at sub school was labeled classified, and it was the same text that they had used at Anapolis.

The Nautilus engine room, the first nuclear sub engine room and designed in the early 50s is still classified.

[ Parent ]
I wasn't sure about security by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #14 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:26:55 AM EST
so I didn't take any pics, but I think anything classified was removed.

[ Parent ]
Albacore by ana (2.00 / 0) #16 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:37:51 AM EST
was not a nuclear powered boat. Skipjack was the first nuclear powered teardrop submarine in the US Navy, built after Albacore pioneered the hull design.

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
Right, by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #19 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:41:34 AM EST
but there was the props (wasn't there some flap about Google Earth showing a sub prop), the sonar, the electronics and the groovy Pullman sinks.

Paranoia on my part.

[ Parent ]
I guarentee by garlic (2.00 / 0) #31 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 12:45:31 PM EST
that the things that are sensative about old sub designs have been removed from the boat.

[ Parent ]
Why didn't you tell me two weeks ago by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #33 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 12:50:19 PM EST
I could have taken pics of the kids at the periscope.

[ Parent ]
Classified books by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #17 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:38:41 AM EST
That's not so much because of the book, but because of the margin notes that might be made in it.
[ Parent ]
that sort of thing by garlic (2.00 / 0) #32 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 12:47:11 PM EST
can get you arrested. Working papers have to be managed seperately from other documents, and if not destroyed after 6 months, have to be logged into the document control system.

[ Parent ]
WIPO by garlic (2.00 / 0) #10 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:19:05 AM EST
lake michigan dunes. Great beaches, but not so great swimming.

I already had two Great Lakes beaches by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #13 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:26:11 AM EST
but I added it.

[ Parent ]
We Were Soldiers Once...And Young by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #11 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:19:55 AM EST
The guy on the cover of that book is Rick Rescorla, a UKian immigrant to the US. He later became the security chief for Morgan Stanley in the WTC. He saved several thousand lives on 9/11/01 and was last seen heading back in to the building to rescue more people.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

WIPO: Race Point by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #21 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:43:42 AM EST

I don't know much about Cape Cod beaches by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #22 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:46:39 AM EST
and I expect rentals there are outside our price range.

[ Parent ]
Not really by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #23 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:47:51 AM EST
P-town center itself can be expensive, but there are plenty of good places on the east end of town or in nearby Truro (3 mi east) that are no more than what you paid in Ogunquit.
[ Parent ]
How bad is the weekend traffic? by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #24 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:50:14 AM EST
I'm imagining it must be terrible, there's not a lot of room for 6 lane expressways.

[ Parent ]
Not too bad, really. by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #28 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 12:12:19 PM EST
It's the bridges getting on and off cape where the backups occur. Rte 6 is four lanes all the way along the cape and, unless there's an accident, moves pretty quickly.

The Sagamore and Bourne bridges are the only way on and off cape, so all traffic must cross at one of them. That's where the trouble happens.

But, if you can pack light, you can take the ferry (Children 12 and under are free on the slow ferry). A cab to North Truro (I've stayed at "Pilgrim Heights" before - it's not very far, really) is only about $10 last I checked. The ferry might be pricey for a family of four tho. Once you're there, you can rent bikes. That's all you really need once you're ensconced. There are lots of places to stay along East Commercial St. Most have a beach of some kind. It's a bit of a walk to central P-town, but there's a shuttle or you could rent a bike.

[ Parent ]
We Were Trollers Once.. And Young by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #25 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 12:01:06 PM EST
Terrific book. Ever read The Forgotten Soldier? Written by a German foot soldier in WWII. Another terrific read although there seems to be some controversy about the validity of his claims.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

How's my blogging: Call me at 209.867.5309 to complain.

it's on my mental list by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #26 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 12:03:59 PM EST
and next time i see a copy at the thrift store, i may get it.

[ Parent ]
The realistic alternative to Life is Good: by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #27 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 12:11:01 PM EST

Life is Crap.

You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
Yeah, I saw a few of those shirts, too by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #29 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 12:16:26 PM EST
I decided to stay out of the whole good/crap fight.

[ Parent ]
Wrestling with pigs by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #30 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 12:21:32 PM EST

only ends up coating you with mud. Or sand, depending on where you're wrestling.

You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
Old t-shirt of mine by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #34 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 12:53:52 PM EST
"Don't bother wrestling a pig. It wastes your time, and the pig enjoys it."

Alt text seen on similar shirts:"It wastes your time, and annoys the pig."

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
I've seen it this way: by ana (2.00 / 0) #35 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 01:42:16 PM EST
"Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time; it annoys the pig."

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
Women will never crew American subs. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #36 Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:20:54 PM EST

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

American women were never going to be in a combat by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #39 Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 10:09:09 AM EST

[ Parent ]
On a sub . . . by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #41 Mon Aug 31, 2009 at 12:16:16 AM EST
you're a rapee for 9 solid months, with no guns to fight back with.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
We Were Soldiers Once...And Young by lm (2.00 / 0) #37 Sat Aug 29, 2009 at 12:06:44 AM EST
I keep meaning to get around to reading that. I suspect that I probably never will.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
My copy has the Mel Gibson tie in by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #40 Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 11:02:31 AM EST
so they should be flooding the thrift stores soon.

[ Parent ]
Nice. by vorheesleatherface (2.00 / 0) #38 Sat Aug 29, 2009 at 10:38:59 PM EST
That is all.

Your girls have gotten big. by muchagecko (2.00 / 0) #42 Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 01:17:10 PM EST
And your wife is still a hottey.

I hate crowns. They always seem to fall out.

Headphone in one ear. It's the best way to listen to music with kids in the car.

A purpose gives you a reason to wake up every morning.
So a purpose is like a box of powdered donut holes?
My Name is Earl

Thanks, they'll be third graders and by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #43 Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 01:18:41 PM EST
eight graders tomorrow.

[ Parent ]
New England has often been bad for the crown | 43 comments (43 topical, 0 hidden)