01MAY2022 – OCF Update – May Day Comrades!

May Day!  That glorious day when Soviet leaders would parade fake ICBM’s down the main street of Moscow to impress the world with their ability to make fake ICBM’s.  And the music.  Just inspirational.

Today is the second beautiful day in a row and I’ll be heading out with Camera Girl to photograph Spring!   You know, renewal, rebirth, everything blooming, all that crap.  She will be my driver and native bearer.  A sort of combination of Frank Buck’s right hand man Ali and a Sherpa guide.  Her job is to watch the road and if I shout to be let out on the road, she must try and find a spot where it won’t cause a major crash.  Then she returns to pick me up after a few minutes without law enforcement intervening.  It’s a delicate dance.

Yesterday I finally attacked the poison ivy.  So far I seem to have escaped without dissolving into a puddle of festering sores and bubbling flesh.  But there’s still time.

Today Camera Girl alerted me to a war going on in the field.  For the last three years running a pair of barn swallows have taken up residence in one of the blue bird houses I put up.  And for the third year running a blue bird shows up after they’ve set up house keeping and tries to dispute their ownership.  He’s like the Occupy Wall Street of birds.  And every year they kick his butt and send him packing.  These blue birds are pathetic losers and I am ashamed that I installed these houses for them.  No wonder they’re endangered.  I’m renaming the houses barn swallow houses.  I’ll leave the government and Section 8 housing for those shiftless blue birds.


Here’s one of their earlier attempts to steal back the house last year.

So anyway today will be Camera Girl and I at play in the fields of the Lord.  But I’m sure to be back later to complain about something else.  Enjoy the day.


11MAR2022 – OCF Update – It’s a Blooming Miracle?

Today Camera Girl excitedly announced that one of her bulbs had bloomed in front of the house.  She said it was yellow and I couldn’t miss it.  But it was so small that I passed it three times before I finally saw it.

I tried to be as upbeat as I could be but I don’t know. I’m going to have to buy a magnifying glass and install it on top of this flower along with some signage.

It’s pretty enough.  But it’s not exactly eye-catching.  Well, it was covered by snow yesterday so maybe it’ll increase in size later on.  But I doubt it.  From now on I’ll have her read the descritions on the flowers she buys and specifically avoid ones described as microscopic.

On a different note we got our tax papers finished today and the accountant showed that we’ll get something less than three thousand dollars back from Uncle Sam and the rest of the thieves.  I intend to plow the money directly into some get rich quick scheme that involves a time machine and oil futures.  Right now the details are still coming into focus.  Or we might get the snow-blower fixed for next year.  Right now it could go either way.

28FEB2022 – OCF Update – February 28th, That Unusual Day


February 28th must have a complex.  It’s the only day that doesn’t know from year to year whether it will be followed by February or March.  But you say to yourself, “Why doesn’t it just consult the calendar?”  Don’t be ridiculous.  Days of the year don’t have calendars or even hands to turn pages.  Ridiculous.

I’ve always resented the fact that they add an extra day to February.  No one wants more days in February.  If you want to add a day add it to August.  Every school child in the world would bow down and worship you for postponing September an extra day.

But here we are, a Non-Leap Year, March waiting in the wings and even the COVID maniacs in New England facing up to the obvious that everyone hates them and they’ll have to give up the mask madness.  I found a classic car event in mid-March and I’m already looking forward to getting some good shots for the site.  Ah spring is in the air.

So, I looked at the news today; Ukraine, SOTU, KBJ, Ukraine, SOTU, KBJ, Ukraine, SOTU, KBJ as far as the eye could see.  Well, I need a break from this stuff.

So today I introduced Princess Sack of Potatoes to the mysteries of the visible electromagnetic spectrum.  I intended to get her a nice high quality glass prism for the class but Camera Girl explained to me that pre-school children and glass aren’t a good mix.  So, I bought some plastic prisms and we had to make do with some pretty sorry looking spectrums.  But it did the trick.  She was very interested in trying to make the colors herself.

I began a lecture on the wave/particle duality of the photon and was preparing to discuss the quantum aspects when she dropped the prism on the floor and walked away to play hide and seek with Camera Girl.  Well, I’m sure Isaac Newton didn’t really hit his scientific stride until at least four so there may still be time.

Today was another bright, sunny but cold day.  I decided to take a walk around the property in my tee shirt just to assert my dominance over the decrepit winter season.  After the first seven minutes it seemed less and less of a good idea so I beat a slow, dignified retreat back to the comfort of central heating.  But a defiant pose was struck.  A tone was established in my relationship to 2022.  I definitely have the upper hand.  From here on in I reestablish my direct control over the whole of my domain.

What this actually means is pretty soon I won’t have any meaningful excuse for not doing the outdoor repairs and other chores that I neglected back in November.  But that’s acceptable.  This will be a normal year.  No COVID crap delaying implementation of normal activities.  Even that supply chain nonsense is fading in the rear-view mirror.  Sure, everything will be twice as expensive; lumber, hardware, paint.  But do-it-yourself is an inherently frugal strategy.  Even in my mechanical ineptitude I foresee great progress on the Master Punchlist that every homeowner maintains (if only in his heart).

So welcome March, that changeable and blustery month with its St. Patrick’s Day (Camera Girl’s birthday) tradition of Corned Beef and Cabbage and, despite the inevitable New England Nor’easter snow storms, the beginning of garden work.   This year I hope to add a vegetable garden closer to the house.  All this carrying around of hoses seems very inefficient and possibly if the garden is closer to the house the rabbits and the other varmints might leave us some of the produce.

The calendar doesn’t reflect it.  Nor does the six inches of snow on the grass but in my heart, spring has sprung!

19FEB2022 – OCF Update – Weather Weirdness Continues


We go from having a couple of feet of snow on the ground to nothing.  In the last three days we’ve had sixty mile an hour wind, heavy rain, sixty five degree temperatures, five degree temperatures and now snow.  All we need is frogs falling from the sky to complete the list.  Ah, whatever.  Camera Girl brought home some Chinese food for lunch after her sojourn to the empty but expensive grocery stores.  And I never look gift chop suey in the mouth.

I’ve gotten so used to high winds that I didn’t do anything in preparation and, sure enough, disaster struck.  Well, not disaster.  My barbecue grill blew off the deck and got busted up a bit.  It’ll need some straightening up but it should still get the job done.  Oh well.

So, February 19th, almost the end of the month!  Sure, March is still winter where I live but the days are getting longer and you start getting that itch to look for signs of spring.  Crocuses, daffodils, tulips.  None of those are anywhere near appearing.  But other things are happening.  New birds are starting to appear.  The turkeys have been on the move and the pond has thawed completely.  Soon frogs and salamanders will be heading for vernal ponds to breed.

So, even as the snow whips by my window I am thinking of grass and flowers.  And without the stupid mask nonsense spring and summer will be the free time they ae supposed to be.  Barbecues and soon even opening the swimming pool and the grandkids coming over to swim and even a baseball catch.  All really good things.

Revenge of the Morbidly Obese Weather Girls

One should never mock the weather gods in New England.  Even if they happen to have blue hair and weigh in at half a ton.  Even after tax day you are never safe from snow until the Fourth of July (or is it Juneteenth now?).

And the worst part about it is that even though it’ll mostly melt later on today I have to clear the driveway to allow for safe passage of guests today.  Bring out the snow shovel.  Oh my aching back.  Damn you fat weather girls wherever you are.

Well, I don’t take back a single word of it.  If I’m going to have unearthly weather; snow in the summer or flaming meteors of bitumen I want it announced by a cheerful pretty woman who will gracefully point at the green screen and smile her blinding white smile.



So I finished my shoveling and decided to take a few photos of the weirdness.



Another Update:

Now you see it, and now you don’t


28MAR2021 – OCF Update – The Expedition to the Great Eastern Glacier

As you may know I am a climate heretic.  I not so much dismiss global warming as I cheer it on.  Living in the frozen hell of New England I look forward to the day when I may roam around my yard in early February in my speedo.  Unaccountably my neighbors aren’t as keen on my idea.

Be that as it may, the National Geographic Society contracted with me to fly aerial reconnaissance over the Great Eastern Glacier.  Since it is located in my front yard I agreed after the usual haggling over remuneration.  Here is that photo.

I marveled at its majesty and after landing on it and planting my flag I flew back to base.  Nature is truly humbling to behold.


Later I reconnoitered around the yard to see if anything was stirring.  During the week Camera Girl related running into the mallards on the pond and salamanders in her garden mulch but I saw none of these critters.  But in one of the gardens that my predecessor planted but that was swallowed up in the bramble area over time a few stray daffodils have already sprouted.


Whereas our planting is still getting started


And the reindeer moss is recovered from its winter funk.



So while I failed to witness the legendary mating ritual of the Southern New England Sasquatch that I had hoped to report on, nevertheless, much was achieved.  I was able to obtain measurements that prove categorically that the Great Eastern Glacier is certain to last for at least another 5,000 years.  Ice cores taken at a depth of 2.8 miles below the surface show that the legendary Kingdom of the Mole-Men has installed refrigeration equipment that will preclude any loss in glacial volume indefinitely.  Based on this data I am planning to construct a saw mill to provided cubed ice for the inhabitants of Papua New Guinea.  Since time immemorial the aboriginal highland inhabitants have been forced to drink their traditional summertime beverage mu-ba-bu at ambient temperature which in Papua New Guinea can be north of 110 degrees F.  Mu-ba-bu is a variety of fermented human brain fluid.  Predictably it has a very limited shelf life at ambient temperatures so access to really good cubed ice will be a revolution for the average Papua New Guinea house wife in regard to making the mu-ba-bu budget stretch.

The Blue Bird of Happiness Gets What’s Coming to Him for Living in New England

Exhibit A – Wednesday April 15th a beautiful sunny day


Exhibit B

A closeup of Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird redecorating one of Camera Girl’s deluxe blue bird apartments in the sky.

Exhibit C Saturday April 18th.

And the punch line as the happy couple take it in the teeth.

Late April in Southern New England

The moral of the story?  Global warming ain’t everything it’s cracked up to be.  Suffice it to say that for the next week or so the photo of the day will include a number of shots of spring flowers covered in show.

Nothing Says Spring Like a Blanket of Snow

We had a very warm, snow-free winter this year and now that it’s officially spring, the snow started coming down heavy this morning.  But I’m telecommuting today and don’t have to drive so why not?  There were five deer in the forest outside my living room window.  I was enjoying the view until the German shorthaired pointers joined me.  They started barking and scared the deer away.  But before the fearless defenders of the castle did their job, I was watching the deer feeding.  Apparently, there are enough new shoots on trees and bushes for the deer to browse on.  Yesterday the mallards returned to the swamp and grazed on the plant life that has been available since the pond thawed out two weeks ago.  Camera Girl saw a turtle swimming around over the weekend and the sound of the spring peepers has been noticeable lately.  I put up that photo of the first garter snake and the first bluebird has made an appearance at the feeder.  So even though it looks like January 23rd outside my window I’m not fooled.  Sure, we could still get the April Fool’s Nor’easter this year and even have to break out the snow blower one last time before moving the lawn mower to the front of the shed.  But spring is busting out all over the place.  This is just the spiteful spirit of annoying New England and its contrarian position against anything normal and happy.  But it won’t win.  We just have to be a little more stubborn than the powers of death and dissolution.  There’s snow on the ground but Spring’s in the air.

Spring Fever 2020

To the superstitious, pardon my use of the f-word in the title of this article.  I intend no pun.  I’m just anxious for spring to sweep away a very odd winter.  This has been an extremely warm and snowless one and now with the pandemic altering how we work and live I’m impatient for good weather to get me out of the house and make the world more interesting.

I’m tired of tv and the internet and want some real things to see and do.  I read that the Vernal Equinox will be March 19th.  This is the earliest it’s been in 124 years.  I guess that has something to do with this being a leap year.  So, this is the last week of winter.  In honor of that I’ll go out today and get a few photos of leaves budding and flowers sprouting and anything else that says spring.

Meanwhile I think I’ll look for some cheerful topics to write on.  I’m pretty bored with doom and gloom.  I’ll search for some activities that I haven’t been able to do since last year.  And that will put me in a better mood for writing.  So, excuse me for a while.  I’ll be back later this morning to see what new catastrophe has descended upon us.  But until then you all have my permission to go have some latest winter fun.