Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It's June and the Cactus is in bloom

One does not usually associate New Hampshire as a place to find Cactus, but in 2004 I ordered some high altitude cacti from a mail order outfit called Intermountain Cactus located in Kaysville, Utah.

I'm happy to report that 9 years later, I'm greeted with cacti blooms in June and July. This is possible because these cacti are grown in a COLD climate. It gets cold. But as cold as New Hampshire gets it  is much wetter than Utah, New Mexico and Colorado. The secret is DRAINAGE. I built a sandbox for my plants. They survive the winter, look squashed and dead but By June they pop into action and exhibit these beautiful flowers. I was given some guidance on cacti from Chuck Anderson of Mason Hollow Nursery in Mason NH. The Nursery has hardy cacti available for sale (mention that you learned this from this blog). 

Cacti are great plants, they do not need to be watered. They can defend themselves. Some of the Cacti I ordered had thorns that easily penetrated my leather work gloves. The predominant cacti variety in my collection is the Opuntia, but I do have some barrel cactus that have I have wintered successfully.

The first bloom of 2013. This is one of the older plants. This is one of the Opuntias. I usually get some pink bloom from other varieties.

As an experiment I took a pad from a houseplant and planted it. To my great delight it wintered over. The interesting thing was that I think this will bloom, unlike it's houseplant parent.

A shot across the sandbox, The secret is DRAINAGE, full sun.
Give it try

Saturday, June 22, 2013

My Mom at the wheel at 91

In 2012 my Mom did a little rally racing with her grandson's team Carr Racing (Find them on Facebook).
I could never accuse her of "driving like an old lady". She was 91 when this video was made.

The video became a big hit on YouTube and she received a few calls from some news organizations. Needless to say we are very proud of her. Today she was asking about an Indian Motorcyle. I think she has ideas about riding it in the New Boston 250th 4th Of July parade. As responsible children we have to put our foot down. Maybe at 91 but definitely not at 92.


Mom, ready to go

Kicking up some dust

Sharing a laugh with the Crew Chief

Carr Racing Team

Mom's ride, manual transmission of course

Friday, June 21, 2013

A long day with short shadows - a fine Midsummer's Day

Happy Solstice everyone. I was a bit more diligent with my bi-annual celebration of the sun's tilting.
I placed a 45 inch pole and measured the shadow at high noon. The shortest it became was about 15 inches. If I could remember any trigonometry I could probably figure out where I am.

My setup, a fiberglass pole which measures 45 inches from ground to tip

Shortest shadow came in at 15 inches

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sushi Night

John and Angelika Weber have a long time tradition of a monthly "Sushi Night". After selecting a restaurant, they gather with friends for food and conversation. As accomplished cooks they also study the menu and preparation techniques. realizing that in some instances they could do better themselves.

Harry "Butch" Cotterly is a long time friend and attendee of the Sushi Night dinners.  For his birthday John and Angelika prepared him a Sushi dinner. Ginny and I were happy to be invited.

Lobster, Avocado, Cucumber Sushi
The triangular shape allows them be arranged in a "pie"

Sliced salmon on Sushi Rice
tuna tartare - tuna, seaweed, seasonings, orange zest and avocado
This was Angelika's own version of the dish
Angelika is really good at rolling Sushi. When I tried this they resembled sloppy tacos
The finished platter, I had to rush to get this shot before it was devoured
Oysters shucked by the Oyster Master seen below
Butch, the birthday guest. He only looks grumpy, he was quite pleased

Butch demonstrates his way of shucking oysters, also has some interesting things to say

Friday, June 14, 2013

Yikes! Another thing to worry about

It's one thing to have your computer infected with a virus, and another of the possibility of having a hacker deliver a 830  volt shock directly to your heart.

As a member of the Pacer club, I was a bit dismayed to read a report in the Homeland Security News Wire that security flaws in pacemakers and defibrillators make them vulnerable to hackers.

After receiving my Pacer in January, I spent some time on the internet reading about the technology. My pacer does NOT have Internet access. At first my inner geek was a little disappointed that as a bionic being I could not mind meld in cyber space. The manufacturer of the device sent me an old fashion dial up unit to upload my log files and ensure that everything was working properly.

Some of these devices have built Bluetooth and some devices (but not mine) have the capability of performing a defibrillator jolt. Imagine somebody typing a few keys and we drop like a sack of hammers.

How about those implanted insulin pumps and other devices? We are living in a Sci-Fi world.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

New Boston 250th Anniversary - Artist in Residence Program

Remembering the Past

Looking to the Future

Honoring the Town of New Boston
New Boston has a number of events to commemorate their 250th anniversary. One of the ongoing programs is an "Artist in Residence" program in which an artist works with the art students to create a public work with a theme relevant to the town.

This year the artist in Residence was sculptor Emile Birch. This project began in 2011 with drawings and ideas. The 5th students formed the Styrofoam forms that were used to create the glyphs on the sculpture.

The designs represent the history and landscape of the town. The New Boston Historical Society assisted by teaching the children of the town's history.

The unveiling of the sculpture and a reception program were held on June 13th 2013.

New Boston Central School

The school is directly across from the Piscataquog River

Daily Photo Theme - Rural Thursday

"Going Up The Country, Baby Do You Want To Go?"

New Ipswich is a rural community, but not TOO rural. Boston is just a traffic clogged commute away. Thursday's Photo Theme is Rural Thursday. I have selected a photo that I took on our morning walk along Taylor Road.

1/60 Sec f/4.0
54 mm

Of course there is New Ipswich Rural and there is Plains Rural. After I left the Navy in California, I traveled across the country in some truly rural areas. I'm including a scan of one of the photos I took on that trip. Sadly I have no idea where I took this shot:

If you want to be really really really alone.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Field of Dreams? How About the Town Dump?

There has been controversy about improvements made to the ball field located at flood control dam site 35 located on Binney  Hill Road. Specifically the addition of fill and permanent structures such as a backstop.

Obviously the town is in need of additional field space for the the multiple baseball teams.

Home Plate at field at Damsite 35
State didn't like fill that was brought in

I had a thought on our regular visit to the town transfer station. I still like to refer to the transfer station as the town dump since I wax nostalgic about the dump on Page Hill Road. A place where residents would shoot rats scurrying among the garbage.

Standing at the metal pit I gazed out at a large expanse of FLAT land. Unlike the former landfill area, this was never a dumping area. As I understand it is not capped. Could this possibly be a site for a ball field?
Plenty of parking!

Town Landfill (with a view)

Capped area on left can not be disturbed, but the right area is flat and wide open

Just my thoughts.

Open Gate - Not a good idea

It may be an inconvenience to have a locked gate at the ball field located at Dam Site 35 in Smithville but there is a good reason for it to be locked.

This morning

Damsite 35 Parking Area

No need to do this, find a muddy road for this

Donuts in the outfield

152nd New Ipswich Children's Fair - August 17th 2013

Save the Date!

152nd NICC New Ipswich Children's Fair
August 17th 2013

Planning for the fair is a year long enterprise. Music, Games, Food etc.

Bill Tobin, the auctioneer intends to add a little flair to the fair

Bill and his wife Faith, built a float featuring a  full size reproduction of the State Seal of New Hampshire.
This float and it's construction were featured on the television show New Hampshire Chronicle.

Hopefully Bill will be able to display the float at the Fair. Finding room for it might be a bit a challenge!

July 4th 2011 Amherst Parade

Impressive isn't it?

Faith Tobin marching behind float
Amherst 4th of July Parade

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Happy 70th Birthday Len Swenson

I've known the Swenson Family for over 30 years. We attended his 70th Birthday celebration this afternoon.. The weather was wonderful, sandwiched between two wet weather systems, blue skies, no bugs, warm sunshine and great company.

Nennie's Five Star Catering provided a wonderful BBQ lunch.

This is collection of photos taken during the day. We wish him many more decade birthday celebration.

 I just like to do stuff that others are afraid to do cause they don't want to look foolish. It's not foolishness, just fun I'm not afraid to participate in.

Guest of honor

 I certainly didn't expect to see this!


 The present is symbolic. Lenny's children are going to have section of his landscaped