Monday, August 31, 2009

Some much needed thanks...

This past Saturday was my birthday, and we decided to throw a little party for my 26 years well spent on this earth. It turns out that it was a birthday weekend instead of just a party and I really feel like I need to express some deep thanks and gratitude to those who tried so hard to make it such a great time.

Tara and Mark, You guys drove all the way down from Houlton and partied with me Friday night, got me completely hammered and bought me an amazing 32" flat panel t.v.(which btw, is (f***ING AWESOME!) and ontop of it you still had to get up and leave at 5 am to make it to work.

Gene and Darrel, Gene I have to especially thank you for driving the long 3 hours, overcoming some tough emotions, breaking through the walls and swallowing it all so you could come down and spend not only my birthday with me but your own. Oh, and I will have that camper, oh yes, it will be mine!

T.J. and Deeds - You guys are awesome, I mean come on, who else would go through Gallblader surgery on Friday and then still drag themselves up and soldier on to still make it to a friends birthday on Saturday, only you Deeds, thank you!

Rob - It was your busiest weekend in this entire year, and you probably could of been doing a thousand other things to get ready for your show but you still took a few hours to come see me (and laugh at me) and you proved yet again why you really are my brother and best friend.

Lloyd and Debbie - I know its quite a haul up here, especially in less than prime weather but you still managed to make it and atleast spend part of the day with me. oh and thanks for the snausages, Deb!

Heather - never has a person tried so whole heartedly to make me happy. No one has ever gone to such lengths to give me what I want, how I want, when I want. You really are amazing hun and I know I never say it enough but thank you so much for what you do for me. I love you!

I could go on and on with this list and thank everyone for all their kind words, and I do, I truly appreciate every single person who wished me a happy birthday, it was these people I listed and all of you that made it one of the best birthdays ever.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Are you ready??

Infact, I think I am. With some helpful ideas from some friends and unending support from them as well as my wife, things are starting to move along in a big way. On Tuesday night my wife and I sat down and hammered out a thorough/brutal but well rounded work out routine that will carry me every other day for the next year. Since I don't really have any equipment yet we have been getting my training started with a 2.5-3 mile walk each night after work.

However, equipment will be on its way here tomorrow. A friend and coworker of mine gave me a hella good deal on a big universal weight machine that has every one of the possible exercises that I might need for my upcoming events. Combine that with the exercise bike we have and the punching bag for even more cardio, I am hoping to be in the best shape of my life by this time next year.

The fun doesn't stop there though. I said that the work out routine would take me through every other day. To fill in the gaps, with the help of my best friend and wife, we are laying out a course on the spread of our property. There will be a spot for me to practice my weight for distance and stone puts, as well as the 30ft high pole bar to practice the sheaf toss and weight for height. The only one that might present a challenge will be the caber toss...because of the size, height and distance needed for the event, I might have to ask my boss if I can practice in the field behind the mill some nights. I'm sure I'll figure out a way to make it work.

I took a trip to the gravel pit the other night and spent a little over an hour weighing and testing out an assortment of different throwing stones ranging from 16.6 lbs to 29lbs. I will hopefully picking up some burlap sacks and a couple bales of hay this week. The only thing really holding me up is the weights. I really wanted to purchase my weights so they are more "official", more like what Id actually be throwing, but the 56lb weight that I need for 2 of the events is at least $180.00 and the 26lb I need is another $120.o0. It's a lot of money that we don't really have to be investing in the such right now but I am trying to figure out ways to make my own reasonably cheaply, unfortunately everything we come up with costs near the same.

I am going to apologize to some of you. I know you are probably going to get sick of reading about these games and my training but I ask you to understand this. This thing right here, these highland games are the...and I mean the only big thing I have ever done for just myself. Everything I have ever done in all my memories has been done with someone else in mind. And that includes going back to school. Yes, I do want to go back to school, but its so I can make a better life for not just me but my wife, its to make her, my friends and especially my parents proud. Not only do I want this, I need it...I need to prove to myself that I can do it. That I can walk the walk.

Going back to the aforementioned for a moment. School is going really well. I am a little behind schedule but I am going to be taking some extra time at night to get caught up and even get ahead a little bit. So far I am really pleased with the classes and the programs that the Adult Ed uses. By this time next summer I will be completely done all my prerequisites. There has been a slight change of plan however. I was truly hoping that when I went back to school it would be full time, that I would get by on a part time job and I totally dedicate my days to school. That is not going to happen, atleast not for the first couple years. My wife and I have talked about it and agreed that it would probably be best if I kept working full time for the first couple years and took night classes to get all the basics and such out of the way. Its fine I guess, I'm still going to school and thats all that matters.

For now, I have to go to work. There is clean up to be done and a garage to destroy when I get home. This week is going to be a hectic one, my 26th birthday party is next saturday ((BTW, whose coming?!?)) and the house, lawn and garage is a complete wreck. We have family showing up Friday so I lose a day there. So for the next 4 days, wish me luck.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A step...or rather a toss in the right direction

This past Saturday my wife and I attended the Maine Highland Games and Scottish Festival. First off I should mention that this is something that I have wanted to do for YEARS and for some reason never did. There is a lot of Scottish heritage in my family and is something I am very proud of. The colors of my kinsmen runs through my veins as much as the blood does. I also have a deep love of the general culture of all the british isles.

We got there as the gates opened and from the first moment, for the first time in what feels like my whole life, I found a place that I felt like I actually belonged. People there were so inviting and friendly that it really made me take a step back. Now you have to understand, I have lived in the same town my entire life, I know EVERYONE and EVERYTHING about EVERYONE and I dont feel like I belong here.

The day went perfectly walking from tent to tent, talking to all the different historical societies and the different clans that came to fly their colors and represent their families. Eventually we made our way down to the sports field and had a seat on the knoll to watch the competetitors go at it. As I watched them throwing the stone (the mideval version of shotput) and throwing the sheaf (tossing a hay bale) I realized how much fun it looked. Now dont get me wrong, these people are true athletes and train hard for these competitions, but it looked fun and I wanted to do it. I couldnt compete that day for obvious reasons but as we walked around the rest of the day I mentioned the idea to Heather and with her support I made the decision. Starting today I am going to be a Highland Games Competitor. I have months of training ahead which is kind of perfect since their season is drawing to an end but next August 21st, I will walk on to the Topsham Fair Grounds wearing my family's colors and compete as an amateur in the Scottish Heavy Events.

I am asking all of you, my friends and family to support me in this. I will need every bit of encouragement I can get. Some kind words as well as some screaming at me may be necessary cause the road will be rough and the training will be a death sentence endured but in the end I believe with all my heart it will be worth it.

I am hoping in time if I achieve any amount of success that maybe I can travel to different games across the country and maybe even one day compete in Scotland as an amateur. If anyone has any questions or wants to know anything about this, please, please feel free to ask...Ill do my best to answer anything.

As I was thinking about this today, which I admit, I did all day, I thought of this line to end this with.

There is a good chance I will fail, There is a better chance I will succeed, but this is the BEST chance I've ever had to be the man I have always wanted to be.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Too my wife

Two years ago today, we met together on the shores of Pleaseant Pond surrounded by our friends and family and vowed our love for each other. 730 days later we stand together still, better, stronger and if possible even more in love. We've taken on this rollercoaster and walked off the other end, sometimes a little woozy and stumbling from time to time but we have always come out the end. I love you Heather Naomi Monroe Kinne, more and more with every day. You have taught me that is alright to dream, to believe in things, and to take care of myself as well as others. You have stood by me when others would have ran. You have showed me unhindered devotion and caring. I truly believe that you are the thing that makes me complete and I feel so lucky to have you. I love you, babe. Happy Anniversary

Friday, June 5, 2009

The second chapter..

A year or so into our relationship, my wife asked me to do something special for her. I asked her what it is I could do and she said that she didn't know but she wanted something that no one else had done for her. So after months of hemming and hawing and trying to figure out what that one thing could be, I wrote her a story. I took the life that we had created together so far and transformed it into a fantasy world. After winning her heart with the tale I decided that I should keep going with it, taking our adventures thus far and making them into the grand tales of Bear and Amalia. Eventually I will post the original story but for now you can feast on the second chapter. I give you "There be Beasties!" Please enjoy

It was the eve of the summer solstice in the sixth year of the second age. The Bear Prince had just returned home from a long day’s work in the forest, harvesting lumber and firewood for the coming winter. Every man, commoner or royalty, put in an honest day’s labor in the northern kingdom. It was the only way to ensure prosperity in the land and Bear was more than willing to comply with the tradition. Just as he sat down to enjoy a cold drink with his wife, a rapping came from the front door. Amalia kissed her husband on top of the head and left to answer the door. It wasn’t more than a moment later that she was calling fro him. As Bear turned the corner to the foyer, he saw standing in the doorway a man who was visibly exhausted. He had long brown hair tied back and wore a plain cotton shirt and knee high boots. Strapped to his side was an old-fashioned navy cutlass. Bear recognized immediately that this man was a sailor.
“Who are you?” Bear queried of the man.
“Sir, I am Geddy and I have come here at the behest of a man named Acadia.” Bear’s eyebrows shot up at the mention of the name. He quickly ushered the man into the sitting room. After getting him comfortable, Bear made his way to the kitchen to get him a meal and a drink, Amalia only a step behind.
“Who is Acadia, m’Love?” Amalia asked, obviously worried by Bear’s response to hearing the name. Bear took a deep breath and leaned against the counter, his mind obviously traveling backwards in time.
“Trenton Acadia has been one of my dearest friends since I was able to walk. He is now the Mayor of Pub Harbor Village on the far Eastern shores of Desert Island. If he has sent for me, something is seriously wrong.” They got the meal together for the messenger and made their way back into the sitting room, letting Geddy feast before grilling him for details. “So, Geddy, what problems have come to Pub Harbor?” The man wiped the corners of his mouth with a napkin, took a deep breath and began his story.
“Three weeks ago, on the eve of the full moon, when the sun sank and the misty twilight settled in the harbor, a ship came into view. We didn’t think much of it, as it is getting to be summer and more and more ships come in. We heard something strange, though, a loud piercing sound. And then another and another. It was only then we realized it was cannon fire and our village was under attack. When someone finally found a scope to try to see the colors of the ship, we discovered it was the Dread Pirate Geoffreys.” At the mention of that name, Bear’s eyes went wide and he slid forward to the edge of his seat so he would not miss a single word of the story.
“Who is the Dread Pirate Geoffreys?” Amalia looked between the two men with a concerned expression. Bear laid his hand over his wife’s and gave it a gentle squeeze.
“The Dread Pirate Geoffreys is the cruelest sailor to take ship in the last two ages. He robs from the poorest and kills innocent men and sea creatures alike for nothing more than the pleasure it gives him.”
Taking another long breath, Geddy went on with his tale. “It all happened so quickly. It seemed one minute he was still five miles out to sea and the next he was already on shore, making his way to the village with his crew. They killed two dozen people, robbed shop after shop and then as quickly as they came, they were gone again, just like the wind. Luckily, most of the village still stood and the next day we began to fix and rebuild what was destroyed. But a few nights later they came back again, and again a few nights after that.” Geddy sighed, rubbing his tired eyes. “Pub Harbor is in dire need of help, my Prince. We fear what is still left standing won’t be for much longer and Trenton thinks you are the only one who can help.” Bear sat there for a good long minute, his eyes staring out into the falling sun on the horizon. Amalia was at his side, an obvious look of discontent on her face. He stood up and paced for a moment in the sitting room, staring only at the floor in front of him.
“I know you are tired, but can you ride, Geddy?” Bear crouched down by the man, resting a hand on his forearm.
“Of course I can, Sire,” the sailor nodded in response.
“Rest for now if you can – we ride hard in an hour for Pub Harbor.” With his decision made, Bear stood up and made his way out of the room and up into his and Amalia’s bedroom, again with Amalia only a step behind him.

“You know I’m coming with you, right?” she declared to the prince.
“M’Love, this is a dangerous journey and I could not bear the thought of putting you in harm’s way,” he replied.
“But you have said that I can handle myself better than most women you know,” she retorted. “You won’t win this one, Bear. I’m going.” Bear let out a long, deep breath and nodded in agreement, stuffing a couple of shirts into a satchel. Amalia busied herself packing her own clothes and the rest of Bear’s as he went to a large wooden cabinet in the corner of their room. Taking a key out of his pocket, bear swung open the large oak doors. Before him, carefully laid out, was a small arsenal of different weaponry. First he holstered two pistols on his own belt, then set aside a belt and pistol for Amalia. Next came the daggers; one on his belt and one on hers. Finally, he took down the two swords that hung on each of the oak doors – one was broad and heavy, obviously his, the other shorter with cleaner lines and more sheen, obviously the weapon for a woman with more finesse. Bear walked over to her and handed her the sword, wrapping her hands around the pommel, his hand resting over hers. Amalia looked down at their hands and then moved her eyes up to his, where she could see the worry.
“You cannot hesitate,” is all he said to her, and she simply replied with a nod of her head. A short time later they were on their way through the eastern woods, headed for the far coast.

Pub Harbor was a two day ride. First they had to head south through the city of Bangor and then head due east past the Lucerne Castle and the village of Ellsworth. Bear hoped with any luck they would catch the tidal flow right and be able to ride the horses across the sand bar at low tide out onto Desert Island. Amalia had never been to Pub Harbor with Bear so she was both excited and frightened at the same time. She had no idea how to prepare for what was ahead but at the same time she was glad to be at Bear’s side.

They had little trouble crossing the sandbar onto Desert Island and as soon as they reached the shore Amalia noticed the difference in the terrain. The trees on the island were mostly all pine and spruce and the landscape was nothing but rolling hills in all directions that swept up and then slid off into the deep blue waters of the sea. “It’s gorgeous here!” exclaimed Amalia. Bear and Geddy both smiled, taking in the view around them.
“There’s no other place like it!” replied Geddy proudly. As they rode for another hour or so a giant mountain peak, the largest on the island, started to come into view on the easternmost point of the island.
“Bear, what mountain is that?” asked Amalia.
“That, m’Dear, is Callidac Mountain and at the base of it is Pub Harbor.” Still they rode on, up and over many more hills until they were almost touching Callidac Mountain. As they crested a sharp hill, buildings came into sight. They made their way into a village that started halfway down the hill and looked as if it would slide off into the sea at any moment.
“Thank the Gods, it still stands!” cried Geddy joyfully. Bear had to admit the beauty of Pub Harbor and the land surrounding her was enough to take his breath away every time. Pub Harbor was filled with shops, all famous around the world for their handmade crafts. You could find anything from pottery to jewelry, fresh baked goods to clothing. Of course Pub Harbor had to keep up with its namesake as well, and boasted dozens of pubs within its streets, each different in a unique way and each brewing their own homemade ales, which always proved a tasty temptation for a weary sailor.
As they made their way down into the village, people were out cleaning the streets, fixing doors and windows and straightening the signs in front of their shops. Amalia was enthralled with the variety of stores and pubs. Everywhere she looked there was something different, and she wanted to see it all. Bear couldn’t help but smile, watching her almost fall out of her saddle trying to look at everything at once. Bear noticed one pub in particular with huge bay windows and teal green signs. Hanging from its front door was a large sign painted in gold stating the name of the establishment… Geddy’s. Bear leaned over and nudged his new friend and pointed to the pub. Geddy chuckled. “My wife’s place! She runs the pub while I’m out to sea. Speaking of which, you and Amalia are more than welcome to take one of the rooms above the tavern at no charge!”
Bear smiled and nodded. “Thank you, my friend; your offer is greatly appreciated.” With that Geddy parted ways with Bear and Amalia so he could go see his wife while they went to look for Trenton Acadia.

As luck would have it, Acadia was not a difficult man to find. The village square was a grassy knoll that was cut into the center of the hill. It was adorned with a gazebo and a monument to the sailors who had lost their lives at sea. It also offered a perfect view of the harbor and open ocean. There, standing in the middle of the gazebo with his advisors and some of the residents of Pub Harbor was Trenton Acadia. They were all pouring over maps and pointing in different directions, arguing among themselves. Bear and Amalia made their way to the gazebo totally unseen by the group who was totally involved with themselves. Bear cleared his throat and a few of the men jumped, letting out yelps as they were startled by the man and woman who had so suddenly appeared among them. Acadia had a much different reaction. Trenton leapt over the railing of the gazebo and tackled Bear in a massive hug. Suddenly realizing his manners again, he stood and introduced himself to Amalia before declaring to the rest of the people that help had finally arrived!

That afternoon Amalia spent a few hours wandering from shop to shop looking at all the different merchandise while Bear and Acadia reminisced and tried to devise a plan at the gazebo. “Are there any ships left?” Bear asked of the Mayor.
“All that’s left are a few small fishing boats and one larger vessel that should be returning tomorrow.”
“Is she able to stand a fight?” Bear asked, a hint of hope in his voice.
“She might be able to make a run, she has twelve guns on board, but The Friendship is more of a cargo ship.”
Bear sighed and sat back in his chair, looking at the map of the northeastern sea in front of him. “As soon as she makes port tomorrow, have the captain re-supply and get a fresh crew on board. At the very least, we need to do some scouting.” Acadia nodded in agreement, staring down at the same map that Bear was looking at. For now, though, m’friend, let us drink,” Bear cracked with a grin.

That night almost half the town was crammed into Geddy’s Tavern, all sharing Geddy’s famous dark stout. Bear and Amalia, Geddy and his wife as well as Acadia and his were all seated at the head table, while the other residents all talked and joked across the tables. Bear stood, clearing his throat and raising his glass, and immediately the whole tavern went silent. “My friends!” he exclaimed. “Drink hearty tonight for we know not what comes on that horizon tomorrow. I toast you all now.” He nodded at Geddy and Trenton. “To friendship!” He smiled at Amalia. “To love!” He then raised his glass to the windows and out to the sea. “To freedom! Salute!” With that, a roaring “salute!” and cheering filled the bar. They all shared a few more pints of the dark stout before retiring for the night, off to get some much needed sleep for the next day’s adventures.

The next morning, Bear woke to bright sunshine, the salty smell of the sea air and Amalia humming, sitting in the window looking over the Harbor. Bear rose and kissed her gently and she smiled up at him. “Love, I have been hearing something strange all morning. If I didn’t know better I would swear I’m mad! I’ve been hearing thunder constantly, yet there are no storm clouds on the horizon.”
Bear laughed and patted her gently on the head. “I will show you the source of your thunder, just as soon as we eat some breakfast.” As they made their way down into the tavern the scent of fresh blueberry pancakes and bacon filled the air. Bear and Amalia sat with Geddy and his wife and enjoyed a homemade feast while they all talked back and forth about the happenings of the different kingdoms and different cultures. After finishing up, Bear packed a lunch for himself and Amalia and loaded up the horses.

Amalia was stunned by the beauty of the rocky shore of Desert Island. The cliffs were made of solid pink and gray granite that rose from the sea floor and went hundreds of feet into the air. They passed Seal Point which lived up to its name; hundreds of seals lay beached, enjoying the summer sun. As they continued past the sandy beach the rumbling of the thunder started to get louder and louder. Finally they broke through a clearing and all you could see was a wall of water. Every time the tide rolled in, it filled a narrow cavern and thundered outwards, creating a giant spray that went twenty or thirty feet into the air. “This, Amalia, is Thunder Hole, the source of your unseen storm,” chuckled Bear. Amalia was amazed by the raw power as they walked down the cliffs to get a better view.
“How deep is it?” she questioned Bear.
“No one really knows. The last person that fell in didn’t make it back out. The current here is far more than any man can withstand.” After a time, Amalia had seen and heard enough and they continued on with their journey around the island. Bear took her to a small winding carriage trail that worked its way up the side of Callidac Mountain until it reached the summit. The top of the mountain was littered with boulders half the size of a house and when you stood on top of one you could see for miles and miles in every direction, including directly down upon the village that was more than half a mile blow them. It was on top of one of these boulders that bear laid out a picnic for him and Amalia. They sat for a while talking and eating, enjoying the warm summer sun and the cool breeze of the sea.

Just about the time they finished their meal Bear spotted a four-masted ship returning to the harbor below. It was The Friendship returning from her voyage to the Southern lands. Bear and Amalia had a ship to catch so they quickly packed their things and made haste down the mountainside and into the village. Their timing seemed perfect because as they reached the dock they had just finished putting fresh supplies on the ship and the Captain was gathering a new crew. “Welcome aboard The Friendship, my friend!” He greeted Bear and Amalia warmly.
“Are you ready for another grand adventure?” Bear asked.
“Always ready for a romp!” howled the captain with a smile.
“Well, let’s go see what trouble we can get ourselves into!” chimed in Amalia.

A short time later they set sail and were headed into open waters. On board with the crew and captain were Bear, Amalia, Acadia and his advisors as well as Geddy and a couple other pub owners. They set their course in a South-Easterly direction to follow a small chain of islands that could pose possible hideouts for Geoffreys. The water was clear and calm with a good tail wind. It was perfect sailing and they were making good time. Although Amalia was nervous about possibly coming into a battle, she was having the time of her life. She had never been on the open sea before and she loved the freedom that it offered. Being there with the man she loved made it all the sweeter and no matter what happened after today, she was a happy woman. They rounded the chain of islands a few hours later, each man looking through his own spyglass for a hint of pirate, but there was nothing there but seals and rocks. The Captain brought the ship back around and started to head back in the direction they had come, just as the sun was starting to sink in the late afternoon sky.

“There be beasties!” came a bellow from the man in the crow’s nest. Sure enough, a few hundred yards off the port side a giant fin came up out of the water and splashed back down. “Is that a whale?” jumped Amalia. Bear nodded and took her hand, leading her to the side of the boat where many of the men were already watching the creature. Soon another fin appeared, then a tail. They had stumbled across a whole pod of them. The helm brought the ship around closer to them so they could have a better look. Everyone watched as the whales played on both sides of the boat. They leapt into the air, blew plumes of water high into the air, and smacked their fins against their sides. After a few minutes Bear noticed that the whales were headed in a northerly direction and he turned to the captain. “Isn’t it sort of odd for them to be heading north this early?”
The captain thought for a moment and then nodded in agreement. “I can’t say that I’ve seen in forty years on the water.”
Bear watched the whales for another few moments before spinning on his heels and hollering to the helm, “Mate, make a northerly course for Pirates’ Cove!” Everyone on the ship gasped and turned to look at Bear.
“There is no more Pirates’ Cove!” cried one of the town advisors. “After the fall of Blackbeard, the Scotian Maritime Navy took over the island and renamed it Halimouth Island and uses it as a guard post for the Maritime harbors,” stated another. “Even you know that, Bear,” added Acadia.
Bear looked at them all and shook his head slightly. “Gentlemen, if you were the most feared pirate on the seven seas and you had a crew of over fifty cutthroats at your command, would you think twice about storming an island that had a mere fifteen guards on watch?” All of their eyebrows started to go up, ready to argue with Bear again when he added, “And when was the last time that Scotian guard from Halimouth set foot in Pub Harbor?”
“Well, it has been about three wee…” The advisors jaw dropped.
The captain needed no more encouragement. Charging the deck he drew his sword. “Helm, full sail ahead!”

The sun set and they sailed on in the light of a three-quarter moon. They came into sight of Pirates’ Cove and sure enough, on the western face of the island The Maelstrom laid anchored. Amalia looked up into Bear’s eyes and asked him quietly, “How did you know to follow the whales?”
Bear turned, motioning out to the sea. “Whales are the oldest and smartest beasts of this Earth. They have seen the atrocities that Geoffreys has committed, killing their kind as well as our own. They too want vindication as do the rest of us.” Amalia turned and looked at the approaching island. Pirates’ Cove was a narrow spit of land that rose straight up out of the ocean and was a mass of solid rock. There were no shallows around the island, so a ship could sail right to the cliffs and drop anchor. It made for quick unloading and fast getaways. The island was filled with caverns that led into tunnels that wormed their way through the rocks. One in particular led straight up to the top of the island; it was a perfect lookout point. It was that exact reason that the Scotian Navy had taken the island and Bear was guessing it was Geoffreys’ reason as well.

The captain led the ship to the eastern face of the island where they were hoping they could surprise the pirate crew. Bear, Acadia, Geddy and Amalia led the crew into the cavern, with the rest armed to the teeth and close behind. All they found in the first cavern they came into were a bunch of drunk and passed out cutthroats which the crew quickly gagged and bound together. It was in an upper cavern that the fun began. As they rounded one tunnel’s corner, the group entered the largest cavern in the island and it was full of nasties. A great battle began between the pirates and the Friendship crew. The sound of pistols blaring and metal clanging was almost deafening inside. Bear watched a shadow duck into one of the other caverns and he took after it, knowing it was Geoffreys. Amalia went to follow her love but was soon ambushed by three men. She drew her sword on two of them and they went back and forth the around the cavern, trying to best each other. The third pirate tried to sneak behind Amalia to gain an advantage but she was having none of that. She forcefully thrust her hard-heeled boot into the man’s jewels and sent him screaming to the floor. “A hole in one!” she exclaimed loudly. The other two pirates became distracted by their comrade’s cries of agony and Amalia took the opportunity to clean her sword through one’s heart while drawing her pistol on the forehead of the other. The cutthroat knew he was bested and surrendered.

While Amalia tended to the rest of the pirate crew with the sailors of The Friendship, Bear had engaged Geoffreys in a fiery battle. The two men fought over the entire island, in and out of caves, leaping over boulders and trudging through tidal pools. They had put each other through hell and were bleeding, but neither was keen on giving up. As the Friendship crew gathered the rest of the pirates into the brig on the ship, the metal clanging of the Geoffrey’s and Bear’s swords echoed throughout the entire island. They had made their way to the top of the lookout point where no man had an advantage except his skill. They battled on into the cool night while everyone from below watched. Geoffreys made a powerful lunge at Bear and as Bear went to take a side step he tripped, falling straight onto his back. Geoffreys, putting all the strength he had left into a final lunge, went clean over Bear and over the cliff’s edge. When Bear stood, Geoffreys clung for dear life by the hilt of his sword; it had been driven into the ground with the force of his lunge. “I beg of you, me prince, help me! Mercy!” cried Geoffreys loudly.
Bear crouched down, easily able to extend a hand to Geoffreys if he wished. “Mercy?” said Bear. “Where was the mercy for all the times you raped the sea of her bounty again and again? Where was your mercy then, Geoffreys?” Bear wrapped his hand around the pommel of Geoffreys’ sword. “I have no mercy for you. Harm was done by your sword. By your sword, so will it be undone.” With that, Bear pulled the sword out of the ground by the pommel and sent Geoffreys falling into the murky ocean below. Amazingly, the dread pirate survived the fall, but just as he raised his fist into the air to swear his vengeance against the Prince, a plume of misty water rose high into the air directly behind. Just as Bear said the words “There is your mercy,” with a dark smile, a great whale leapt high into the air and crashed thunderously down onto Geoffreys, sending the pirate into crushing black oblivion.

Bear made his way down through the tunnels and out into the open caverns where he was greeted by Amalia and his other friends. It was obvious that he was sore, but he would survive. As they made their way back to the ship, Bear admired Amalia’s handiwork with the cutthroats. “It seems you’ve been busy,” he chuckled.
Amalia leaned up and kissed him lightly on the lips and smiled. “A girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do,” she said.

They made their way back to Pub Harbor on The Friendship with The Maelstrom in tow. The pirate ship was to be cleaned and re-commissioned as The Windjammer: Royal Protector of Pub Harbor. Upon their arrival back in port, they were greeted by all the village residents as well as people from all over the island. A great celebration ensued and lasted deep into the night. The village of Pub Harbor was saved. They had their treasury back, they had a new protector, and they also had a prince and princess who needed some sleep.

After a long night of drinking, music and dancing, Amalia awoke to the sound of Bear humming, sitting in the window, and overlooking the bay. He stood up and walked over to her, sat next to her on the bed and kissed her softly. “Happy birthday,” he said to her with a smile.
“Huh?” she looked up at him in sleepy confusion.
“You didn’t think I forgot, did you?” he chuckled and handed her a small gift-wrapped box.
“I guess I thought you would, but I’m glad you didn’t.” Amalia sat up, eyeing the box with a huge grin. She tore into the package as soon as Bear handed it to her and pulled out a bangle bracelet of two dragons with entwined bodies and a clasp of meeting heads. “Oh, Bear! It’s beautiful! Where did you find it?”
Bear took the bracelet and put slid it over her hand and onto her wrist. “I had it made right here in Pub Harbor, just for you. I know how much you love dragons.”
Amalia kissed him deeply again and ran her fingers over the bracelet and let out a small sigh. “What’s the matter?” Bear was confused.
“Oh, nothing at all, my love,” replied Amalia. “I just wish for once I could see a real dragon.”
Bear chuckled and swept a few hairs from her face. “Well, maybe someday you will.”
Amalia looked at him with a raised eyebrow and huffed a little. “Hon, you know that isn’t possible. There’s no such thing as dragons! I’ll never really get to see one!”
Bear leaned over closer to her and whispered in her ear, “Never say never …”

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A bit of a scare

Last year or maybe it was even two years ago, my wife introduced me to a sight called thisisbyus. Now defunct it was a sight where amateur writers could post any type of literature that they wrote. It was a wonderful sight where you could share something you created and didn't have to fear persecution. You were always guaranteed to get some responses by people who both loved and hated what you wrote. The best thing about the responses were that none of them were cruel or malicious. If someone didn't like your post they simply said why and offered some suggestions to possibly make it better.

I used the sight for a while to post my own work because as some of you know I have been a poet for over 10 years now writing well over 100 pieces. I am not claiming to be good by any stretch, I always just wrote what was on my mind and used it as a way to express my emotions. The last piece that I wrote was a tribute to one of the greatest (in my mind) authors of all time. Edgar Allan Poe. This man taught me things through his words that showed me a way to release a thousand entrapped emotions that were slowly killing me.

The scare, as my subject suggests is that I posted that poem on thisisbyus and I could not find the original copy anywhere. I thought I had lost the poem when the sight shut done and that it was gone for good. Luckily by chance this morning I found the copy so for your viewing pleasure (and so I can have yet another back up copy for safe keeping) I give you "Poe's World"

The raven cries out to all, “Nevermore”
Echoing through eternity, echoing evermore

Echoing through caverns and through titan wood
On through a dreamland not yet understood

Across the lone waters, the lone and the dead
Where there it falls deaf on a madman’s head

Guilt is the burden that he must carry
The beating of a heart drives this man weary

Where can he escape? Where can he flee?
He’ll follow those dark figures, those strangers he sees

Into the earth, deep beneath his feet
Into the deepest and darkest and ghoulish retreats

As quiet as a mouse down every stair
Into the realm of devilish scares

Greeted by stench and casks on the ground
And still it follows! That damned beating sound!

He bolts and he screams “To be rid of this hell!”
Only to be met by the toll, toll, tolling of bells

But on this night so dark and so dreary
Where so many weep and so many are weary

Love and life balance on a pendulum’s swing
Left to the mercy of an Eidolon King

Still there’s a hope, a shining star in the shade
Where pride is determined, and has yet to fade

A far off shadow dream now uncovered
‘Tis El Dorado! It has been discovered!

Bronze and silver and mountains of gold!
Sapphires and diamonds, more than any man can hold

Yet glee is fleeting and is soon to pass
As gold turns to stone and rubies to glass

Each of these gluttons had greed galore
And all ignored the heed of the words “Nevermore”

Without trying to steal his own words, I tried to create a single story, a world, pieced together by some of his most beloved works. I just hope others can enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Finally after a week and a few minor mishaps I can say that I have one of the major projects done on my list. We put the finishing touches on my wife's craft room last night and the only thing left to do is bring in all her yarns and actual crafts. I went into the room again this morning and it finally sunk in how different that room was and I got to admit that I am quite proud of it.

In other news, my annual winter cold has sunk in and is royally kicking my ass. Sneezing and hacking constantly and sleepless nights...I might chug a bottle of nyquil tonight...that'll do the trick.

I read a post of one my fellow bloggers the other day and it has really gotten me thinking. Fox was saying how she cares about her grades now, in her higher education than she did back in high school. As I read the post I felt like I could really relate to her as I was one of the "troublemakers" or "slackers" in my school. I used to party some and with everything else going on in my life I was out of school more than I was in it. I used to work 50 hours a week in our family's diner plus try and keep my grades up. When my mom went through her first bout with cancer, I was the one that went with her most days to her chemotherapy. My senior year I missed almost 2 months of school with a severe case of mono. My grades weren't terrible...I usually held a Bish average, but they could of been better.

I didn't go to college right out of high school for a couple of reasons. A) My mom was terminally ill and she couldn't have lived by herself or supported herself, so I wound up going to work to help out. B) I didn't know what I wanted to go for. It has only been within the last 6 months that I have finally made up my mind and feel like I have found something that will truly hold my interests.

Like Fox, I really want this time to count. I want to do better than I did in high school. Not only to show other people I can do it, but to show myself. High school was mandatory, this time is for me.

Saturday, January 31, 2009


Brownville Junction

The Three Rivers Communities. Three towns connected by solidarity and a will to survive. Placed in the foot hills of Maine set away from the rest of the world. My home. Half an hour from the closest McDonalds or Subway. Near an hour to the closest Wal Mart. A population of roughly 4,000 people over an area of about half the size of Rhode Island. It's place where I can walk into any store or restaurant and say hello to 3/4's of the people sitting there because everyone knows everyone. You have to here to make it. I love my home. I was raised by these very communities after my parents passed.

And I watched their hearts get broke.

September 14, 2008 was a day that will ring in these towns memories forever. A 31 year old man broke into one of the down town businesses in Milo and stole a case of alcohol, to cover his tracks he set a fire, which in turn burned down 5 businesses and put almost a dozen people out of house and home. Over a case of alcohol. One man, over a something so stupid took a town that was struggling, giving its last breath to survive and took the legs out from underneath it crippling it. Landmarks were destroyed, jobs were gone, homes and possessions were lost.

I often wonder what was going through his head when he set the fire, because this didn't just affect a few people, this affected thousands. Thousands who grew up in this town, who frequented those businesses. I have watched tears shed over this tragedy more than once, over something so ridiculous, stupid and unnecessary.

2 days ago they finally made an arrest. I hope when the judge hands out his sentence, that he takes well into his consideration just how much this hurt not just the owners and the tenants, but the so many people whose lives were changed by this event.

I'm usually a fair man...

I say strap him to a light pole in the center of town, right in the middle of town where he destroyed an entire block and let every person who was hurt by this take one swing. If he survives, lock him up for life and make him do mandatory jail work and every cent that he makes goes back to the town.

That punishment is not enough, but what I would really do to this man I cannot post in a public forum.

So what is on your agenda?

Do you have any plans for this fine weekend? The weather doesn't sound all that bad and the temperatures have slowly risen to what are seemingly a comfortable level for this time of year.

The progress on my projects has slowed a little the last few days. I haven't been sleeping well the last few nights therefore my energy level has been quite depleted. I have managed to get her new sewing table finished as well as the painting in the room. Today I am going to work on the storage unit as well as doing some much needed cleaning around the house. I think, as the plan was last night, that tonight we are going to the movies with atleast one of our friends, hopefully there will be another couple going as well.

3 more weeks to go before I get to go back, when I say it like that it seems like a long time but I've gotta admit that this past week flew by, maybe the next 3 will as well. Now I am just hoping that I will get everything on my list done before we start back up.

I've been thinking the last few days how easy it has become to get down in today's society. It's hard to have any hope when you take a step back and look at where we are as a population and knowing that the future doesn't look much brighter, atleast not for some time. As much as that thought sticks in the back of my mind, I have to admit that I am quite happy with my life as a whole. I have a house that keeps me reasonably dry and warm. I have a wife that loves me to no ends and supports me in every way she can. I work for a company, who even though did have to give us some time off, tries everything they can to do their best for US, not for themselves. I have some of the best friends in the world and who mean everything to me. Even though I am quite over weight I have been making efforts to slim down and my health is reasonably well. Life is good.

Life is good. Even though there are some small things that could use improvement, that is a constant in life no matter who or where you are. What matters is that you don't lay around and wallow in self pity but instead make an effort to right the things you are unhappy with. It's only when we stick together, when we all make an effort, no matter how small, can we each and all be happy. Help yourself but help others as well and lets see if in a result we can make the future look brighter than it does right now.

Friday, January 30, 2009

My night resulted in....

My wife laying there with a blank stare on her face

Me: "You ok, babe?"

Her, starting to giggle uncontrollably: "I think you just fucked me stupid!"

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A little bit of progress

So now that it has been a couple days I figured I'd take a minute to write down the progress of my projects so far.

My wife's craft room is coming along, we had a minor set back with the base color of paint which resulted in me doing 2 coats of primer OVER the yellow but I am hoping that I can get the base color and the tape down to do the striping. I've already changed out the light fixture and it makes all the difference in the world. We've also decided to put in a 4' shop light in the other end of the room for some extra light while she is working.

I went shopping yesterday for supplies and found an excellent deal on carpet, getting enough to do almost the entire room for $35.00. Heather is going to custom knit a rug with yarn that I bought her yesterday that matches the colors on the walls.

Among other things I have finished loading the music off of our old computers onto our flash drive and now just have to figure out which cd's we want to copy.

I have replaced the aerator and sprayer in our kitchen sink as well as done the weekly grocery shopping and mailed my sister's christmas present...finally.....sorry sis

All in all I feel like I have gotten quite a bit accomplished since Monday. I just hope that I can keep up with the pace and keep myself busy and keep my mind occupied. I am kind of worried that I might have a cold setting in though. The last couple days I have been coughing pretty steadily and my lungs feel like they are on fire. Oh well, we'll deal with that as it comes.

How is your week progressing so far?

Oh, and I would like to say thank you to my lovely wife for all her kind words about me in her blog. Thank you baby I'm glad your happy with what is happening and it makes me feel like you appreciate what I am doing. love you

Monday, January 26, 2009

Almost glad

As I sit here and look at the thermometer reading -22 I am somewhat glad that I am not working today. I miss my job, it's true and the thought that I am not going to work for a month is quite literally a maddening. Luckily I have found some projects to help keep my time occupied over the next four weeks. Right now I am waiting for the sun to rise over the hills and cast its rays into our valley so the room I am working in will be filled with natural light. While I am sitting here waiting I figured I would let you in on my doings for the foreseeable future.

1. I am doing an extreme home make over on my wife's craft room. This includes:
- Painting it, starting with a yellow basecoat and blue, green and purple stripes.
- Building a 5'x6' storage unit for all her yarn, fibers and what nots
- Building a proper desk for her sewing machine. For the last few years she has been using the top of my grandmothers 75 year old singer free-standing sewing machine
- Build her a proper chair. She has been using one that I built for myself and is quite literally 2 sizes to big for her
- Put up a new light fixture. The one that is in there now is from the 70's and really isn't all that stylish plus it doesn't give off very much light.

2. Clean the Basement. Our basement is ridiculous. We have 4 families worth of crap stuffed in our house and our basement is completely unusable because of the clutter. So I have to:
- Clear the steps
- Organize all totes and boxes
- Sort through 3 huge boxes of dishes, pots and pans that were left over from my mother's diner
- Go through all the wiring and make sure everything is safe as well as remove any that is unused. Our house has been rewired several times with additions being made for phone lines, cable, etc. Half aren't being used any more and has resulted in a spider web of cable and wiring hanging from the ceiling.

3. Clean the Garage. God help me.
- Repack all our camping gear
- Build a lumber rack (Wood working is my hobby and I have about 3 dozen hard wood boards scattered around the garage)
- Fix my air compressor and build a cabinet for it
- Fix my wife's gardening table (I kind of destroyed it by putting 2 dozen of said hard wood boards on top of it)
- Build a miter saw stand and work bench to properly take care of my tools

4. Fix the upstairs bathroom
- I need to support the toilet. a few years ago we took the flooring out of the bathroom and what is in there now is not as thick as the previous flooring so the toilet has a little bit of rocking movement in it. Always a joy when you try to use it in the middle of the night, half asleep.
- Replace drain pipe in the sink

5. Paint the stairs and banister

6. Paint our spare bedroom. We were going to wait til this spring but what the hell, I have a little time.

7. Try to get as much of our music in our cd catalog and two computers onto our new 16 gb flash drive.

8. Go with my wife (and hopefully Deidre and TJ) to see Underworld: Rise of the Lycans.

9. Hopefully and this is a hope but may very well not happen, go to Cabela's in Scarborough to return some Christmas presents. I don't know if I can afford the gas but I would like to try and make the trip, it would be an easy and fun way to eat up a day.

So as you can see I have a fairly busy few weeks ahead of me. The first few projects will eat up 2-4 days each so I'm hoping I won't have too much time just so sit and go numb.
The time is some what welcomed though. I have been blessed with many injuries resulting in broken bones and screwed up joints over the years. In my job I use my whole body which frequently riles up the old sores so hopefully I can relax a bit and recoop.

I know a lot of people besides myself have some slow time this time of year, do you have any projects to get yourself through this long cold winter months?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A week of downs and more downs

Alright so the week hasn't been as bad as the headline sounds. Almost, but not quite.

Yesterday as I was at work on my machine in the mill, I see the president walk over and post a hand-written note on the time clock. Not a good sign. Usually when we have a meeting they print up a nice letter on a the computer giving us atleast 24 hours notice before hand. So I went over and read it and it stated that we had a meeting at 12:45 for All Employees underlined twice. Something was up.

As most of you well know the economy is in a major nose dive and thousands upon thousands are losing their jobs. Now I can join them. Granted, I am only in a temporary lay off, for the next 4 weeks I am 0ut of work. Benny, our president is one of the most decent guys in this entire world. He is honest, trustworthy, hardworking and he truly cares more about his crew than himself. He told us how since thanksgiving we have sawed 680,000 feet and only been able to sell 50,000. Right now we just can't keep going like this. Choking back tears he told us that he and the company would do everything they could to help us through this time, including paying our health insurance while we were off.

Things were tight to begin with. Heather and I finally had a plan on how to get ourselves more stable financially and how we might actually get ahead and now this is a major setback. I know we will make it through this. I have no doubt what so ever of that, but this will be a true test of our mettle.

I guess now I have some time to get some projects done around the house....too bad its -34 fucking degrees outside, haha

Now the other down that I referred to in the headline is my weight. As you well know I have been on a bender of weight loss, trying to get down to a reasonable and healthy weight. I am thrilled to say that this week has been a great success in the battle. This morning I weighed in at 300.4, the smallest I've been in almost 2 years. So far things are going splendidly and I am finding it easy to stay with the diet since I am still getting a dose of pepsi and chocolate everyday. Keep your fingers crossed that the next weeks go as smoothly.

How has your week been so far?

Well I am off to go crawl underneath the house. Apparently in the 3 day stretch of sub-zero temperatures the pipes to my washing machine have froze. Life is great, isn't it?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Keeping up with the resolutions

So as I said in my previous post, losing weight is one of my primary goals for the 2009 season. So to help me keep track of my progress and see how well or poorly I am doing, I am going to post at least once a week my weight and what I am doing to get to whatever point I am at.

When I started seriously thinking about getting back on the wagon it was December 27th and I was at 312.2lbs, I started drinking less soda and trying to keep more active at night when I get home from work and on the weekends instead of sitting around eating snacks and watching t.v.

When I wrote the post the other day about my resolutions I was at 308.8. I have kept up with my resolution and have rode the exercise bike every other day as well as cutting back on my portions with my meals.

This morning I was at 307.4

I am quite happy with my progress so far and I am hoping that I can continue at the same type of pace for a while. I realize eventually it will level off and I will have to work harder to lose weight, seeing some sort of progress is a reassuring thing and drives me to push that little bit harder. Lets see how this week will go

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Merry New Year!!

So per tradition I have waitedd until AFTER the start of the new year to figure out what my resolutions should be. My track average is usually pretty good with about an 85% completion rating, so hey, why mess with a good thing right? So here we go, 2009 New Year Resolutions

1. To lose 45 lbs. This will not get me to my goal weight but it will be a damn good start, and at less than 4lbs a month is in my mind a completely attainable goal.

2. To ride our exercise bike atleast every other day. More is acceptable, less is intolerable.

3. To pay off my wife's debt consolidation loan. 3 years ago she took out a loan to help me get my life back in order. Through a multitude of reasons we have fallen a few months behind on payments and we want desperately to get caught back up. If we can get it paid off it would be an extra $350 bucks a month we could do other things we want with.

4. To take my wife hiking in Gulf Hagas. I promised to take her last year and I let her down. I won't be making that same mistake again. Hopefully it will be easier this year with me losing weight.

5. To be more organized. I have already started this resolution. In the last month I completely cleaned out my gun room and totally reorganized everything. Also last weekend I made some giant strides with the garage. I need to build some lumber racks so I can actually put stuff away and make some room. Hopefully that will come this weekend.

6. Write one good poem. Growing up I used to write constantly. Granted, some of the pieces were quite awful but never the less it was an effort and an emotion expressed. I think it has been almost 2 years since I really wrote anything and I want to make that effort again.

7. Okay, this one is the grand-daddy of them all. This is the big one, this is the one that no matter what, by December 31st, 2009 must be accomplished or else this whole year will be a failure.
I. want. to. get. drunk. Period.

So what are your hopes and dreams for the year ahead?