Jason C

Joined September 2016
  • Day15

    Wish I could stay...

    October 8, 2016 in the United States

    I'm actually leaving weld just to find somewhere that I can get internet and not have to drive to get it. Don't know where that will be but I'm driving now.
    JeepWhiz has been just fantastic. Not a lot of places to take it since the roads are nearly impassible here, having grown in, with locked gates everywhere so no traffic to help keep anything clear. But there's new land here I havent explored, so good roads and views must be somewhere, and just bombing around on West Brook and Byron road has been very pleasant on these beautiful days.
    One safety note: the bridge that goes to the lot on Tumbledown stream, off West Brook rd, the one the house burned down on, has a cable across it (not visible enough) without any kind of lock. The problem is that bridge beyond it is just solid enough to maybe support a car going accross it but most likely would collapse. So it may tempt someone to drive onto it. The cable needs a lock and or the bridge needs signage or outright replacing. It is a major attractive nuisance.
    Photo: "Amber Alert". It's been over 23 years since Maine's first Amber Alert. We had our second one two days ago lol. No one really reported a kid missing, more like someone needed emergency care and complained the sitter hadn't brought the kid back yet. The sitter brought the kid back. And that was Maine's second Amber Alert. Welcome to Maine!
    I don't want to leave here at all but really need a break from the lack of internet and cellular service.
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  • Day11

    Weld

    October 4, 2016 in the United States

    I came up to the "Stowell Farmhouse" with Mom's managment crew, with Mom and the Cherry Tree (Cherokee). Ivan said there was no electricity when I showed folks the frozen pizza I brought, so I figured there was no internet either, and combined with zero cellular service, that meant I could not fly the new drone. However, I noticed a blinking light on a modem in the house indicating it was on. So Ivan was wrong. I had to stay within 20 feet or so of the house but was able to get the drone off the ground. It was quite exciting even though the weather was a bit overcast. I went upstairs and and had my mother put the camera goggles on, which allow one to see what the drone sees, in real time. She thought it was fabulous and noted that we could get the lake and barn and home all in a photo at once which is something is she could not accomplish on the ground alone. So I went to work trying to achieve the right height and angle to properly proportion the home the barn in the lake all at once.
    That work continued today and it was much better weather. On my first attempt ( I only got about a 15 minute window of having the thing in the air and terms of battery time before it automatically starts coming back) I did an excellent job. The thing isn't easy. Skills-wise it is not too difficult it's just very glitchy. Anyway I focused on photos rather than video and really got some excellent shots, at various altitudes and angles. Some photos were as high as 1000 feet in the air! Amazing.
    Mom and Veronika will be extremely pleased and the high def photos should appear in advertisements. I had a feeling dragging that drone all the way out here would be a good idea.
    I very much also enjoyed making myself useful with the drone, and helping to unload the boat, haul dozens of pillows in the Cherry Tree and so forth.
    I took JeepWhiz up on the Ring of Mountains through Lake View Mountain Bowl. This was not a good idea. I got in the main gate on West Side rd but its been so gated so long there's hardly a road left. Scratched up Jeep Whizz pretty bad and only to arrive at the top (see rough location map photo) at a gate with a combo lock I don't know the combo to. So back down I came.
    I then tried the drone again at the farmhouse for even more footage but the goggles would not connect to the drone. Finally after shutting everything down 3x and using up half the battery it connected. I launched it and it had a bad glitch, powering down sideways onto the field at about 40mph. Amazingly even though pieces flew apart, it is now back together and is apparently 100 percent okay. However, I stop filming for the day and instead did take a number of still photos with an excellent camera I picked up in San Francisco recently. It took really really good shots and the light was fantastic. So that was nice. Then I went over to the store where got a couple Italian sandwiches and came back to the Chalet where I am now. Its nice that I can work on this little blog with no cell svc and sync it later.
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  • Day10

    Port Clyde

    October 3, 2016 in the United States

    Well, while the internet on the Island was excellent, I am writing about it the following night, from the Chalet, where there IS NO internet. My point being that in case you're wondering why I chose this oddly named "Find Penguins" app.. now you know: it works in remote areas with no cell coverage! See photos of the boat, Mom etc. I really enjoyed my trip to the island. Mom and I enjoyed catching up over some lobster chowder and bisciuts. We talked about and covered variety of subjects and matters, some rather important, and seemed to be about on the same page on most of them. Her Colonial style home, which was transported all the way from New Hampshire, over the water out to the island somehow, was really remarkable to me in a number of ways. I felt a certain sense of solitude or protection or something. More solid than just it's obvious comfort and luxury. She said that the place is lined with a quarter inch thick sheet of solid lead, and I really feel that might of had something to do with it. Anyway, it is a very romantic place with a lot of privacy for the size lot that it's on and the number of buildings that are there. Its also just about as convenient as living on the mainland. This can be primarily attributed to Ivan and Dawn her caretakers. Who are apparently available and at the ready seemingly any time to take her to and from shore on a very practical, comfortable and safe boat. On a very quick trip.
    Some lobsterman had his boat sunk; Ivan and I witnessed him apparently draining out the petcock and trying to work on the thing. It was definitely ground ashore. I had heard of a boat being sunk when I was down in Portland I read about it in the paper. That was the second time in head been sunk... Now I got to witness the third time lol. Mainers.. and lobstermen in particular can be kind of tough at times I guess. I remember that according to Maine law if you raid a lobster pot the the law is that you could be shot. Kind of tough. I don't know if that law is still on the books or not.
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  • Day5

    Cabin at Wolfes Neck

    September 28, 2016 in the United States

    Saw my brother Nate today, and my cousin Shawn, as well as my near family member (I guess I will call her) Brenda, at the corporate offices. I went in there to get an ID so that I could get my family discount at the retail store. Brenda took care of me, and tomorrow morning I guess she will have an updated ID badge for me. Meanwhile she supplied me with one that is very classic from a long time ago and I'll try to get a photo of for the travel blog here. I also went down to Wolfe's neck, to do the first experimental flight of the drone (without its camera). With all the birch trees gone, and the grass all dried out… one good thing is that there's some open-space to practice flying a drone. It takes three things to fly the drone it takes the drone a phone and a pair of I goggles. The latter don't have to be worn but they need to be nearby and they need energy and they ran out of battery power leaving my drone hovering at about 100 feet camp with no way to get it down or control it . I don't know the gate code there so I had parked up by the chain and I had to run back to the truck and get a battery while the drone hovered in midair. Kind of an odd situation. When I got back down to the cabin area where the Drone was hovering it had not changed its position even one foot . Pretty remarkable . Overall the thing has quirks though . But I'm getting the feel for the drone. Right now it doesn't seem to want to land until "I read the tutorial (flashes an annoying message saying this rather than just freaking landing) or it runs out of batteries... which is how it finally got itself out of the air. I don't know how it knows if I read the tutorial. Some famous speaker in a commencement address once "said little by little progress is made."

    Going to probably stay in the old Port today got one of the last rooms available there and there's nothing in downtown Freeport. Boy, I used to complain about prices now they are more expensive than ever and you're lucky if you can even find a place in downtown Portland or Freeport. That new Hyatt Place in the Old Port, on a Wednesday night in what I would call nearly the offseason is still over $500 tonight for a room . Can you believe that? There's a couple others that are over 400 right around the Old Port . I thought San Francisco was expensive . At least I can find somewhere near the center of the city for cheaper than that pretty much anytime . Wow . But I did find a place on the Portland peninsula after much diligent work , for a couple days . I used my hotels.com discount to save about half but it was still outrageous. I hope to visit Jesse and people like Laura Fuller of Fuller glass my old friend and former business co-manager, and maybe Sonny Robinson who I guess now is a clairvoyant which is kind of interesting to me.
    Btw at Wolfes Neck I walked next door to the neighbors to the north where they are building a beautiful post and beam home out of Oregon Douglas fir and Maine pine. Wow it's huge! See photo. They are catching stripers there in case anyone wants to know… It's confirmed that they are running. I got to talk with some of the construction guys there. They got the approval easy enough I guess to expand and that property is probably 4-5000 ft.² now.
    I found a rock that had crystals on it out in back of the cabin glad no one threw it away just because it took me hours to harvest that from the shore at the time. Many many years ago!
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  • Day2

    Fireside Inn

    September 25, 2016 in the United States

    Having alledgedly completed my hunting and successful photoshooting/shopping of Wessie, today it was time to roll my suitcases down Riverside st, from Motel 6 to the much nicer and only $35 more expensive Fireside Inn here in Westbrook. So what was I doing at the Motel 6? Well I just had some old business to take care of with some ole buddies of mine, DMoney, Smoothie, and Shifty, who are just up for a day or two visiting from New York and Connecticut hoping to meet a few local girls, who were working up the street. Motel 6 in Westbrook just seemed like the appropriate of place for that kind of thing.
    Ok ok I am kidding! And if you know the reference (Gov LePage) that was funny.
    But even at Motel 6 I was able to make a few cultural observations about Maine that the average Mainer probably would not. Take for example the fact that the staff there (see photo) dress in traditional religious garb from their home countries. Okay that's fine and it's nice that the state of Maine either allows or from what my Uber driver told me, has a law, regarding the right to wear clothing that is part of one's religion at work. And I understand certain Muslim and Arabic cultural requirements to wear a headdress when it comes to women, because women are very pretty and I guess showing their faces everywhere causes a nuisance. That's actually kind of true isn't it? LOL. Okay so this practice works fine. In Maine. Yes, in Maine... 98.5% white, 1% Native American and one half of 1 % other races combined.
    But what Mainers probably never think about is what the heck would happen if there was a law like that in California? With the massive immigrant population there and tens of millions of people living there. It would literally be a traveling circus. Not to sound like Governor LePage or anything. There would be all these different robes headdresses, flocks, sandals, Tiztzits, kippahs, tichels, gartels, niquas and birquas!
    And again, not to sound like Governor LePage, but it's a matter of time until these type of people start bringing massive knives and swords to work. You think I'm kidding? In the Pacific Northwest there's already been a student who's allowed to bring his kirpan to school for religious reasons. These are not just regular jack knives. They are straight edged swords and large knives that are definitely made for killing people. (see photo!) To put it bluntly. And it's not really an option, there has been a commandment that these be worn by all Sikhs...or Sheiks... or whatever you call them.

    The Kirpan (Punjabi: ਕਿਰਪਾਨ, kirpān) is a religious sword worn in a strap that enables a it to be suspended near one’s waist or tucked inside one’s belt. It must be worn by all initiated Sikhs (Khalsa), after a mandatory religious commandment given by Guru Gobind Singh Ji (the tenth Sikh Guru) in 1699 CE. The Kirpan is part of the Five Ks uniform that all initiated Sikhs must adhere to. “Kirpan” literal means “weapon of defence” (“Kirpa” means “mercy” and “Aan” means “honour”) and encapsulates an initiated Sikh’s solemn obligation of courage and self-defence. A Sikh who wears a kirpan is supposedly not wearing it because it is a weapon; he or she is wearing it because it is part of their officially prescribed religious uniform.

    The Khalsa is expected to live by the high moral standards of the Sikh Gurus at all times as stipulated in Guru Granth Sahib and Rehat Maryada (Sikh Code of Conduct) which includes such things as abstaining from smoking, drinking and other intoxicants, eating killed animals, performing daily prayers and always maintaining the five distinctive physical symbols of Sikhi (Kakars) on them. The most noticeable of these symbols being uncut hair (Kesh).

    Okay so just please notice the fact that men AND women are supposed to be wearing these knives. I would be hesitant to bet that the housekeeping staff at the Motel 6 in Westbrook does not have one of these knives somewhere in and around their person. So don't get them upset!

    Anyway here at the Fireside Inn, life is a lot less exotic and I'm a lot happier. I was given two whoopie pies (photo) upon check-in, my housekeeper is named Caitlin, and the front desk woman was knitting a blanket for her little baby at work. Now there's something I've never seen on the west coast... Any form of knitting by front desk staff. I'll be much more relaxed over here.
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  • Day1

    Uber

    September 24, 2016 in the United States

    I needed to go to my bank before noon so quickly grabbed an Uber car. Okay well first of all I've been hanging out in San Francisco and I have to tell you since that's the birthplace of Uber, and I've actually been to the Uber building, a sign-less stealthed out place next to the Palace Hotel on Market St, which no one who even drives for Uber has ever been to, that the Uber car that I called to pick up at the airport last night that I got into would never pass for acceptable in San Francisco. It was a beat-up old Ford 500 with scratches all over the top of the trunk lid and the doors were all dented up. There was too much crap in the trunk for my suitcases to fit and peanut shells all over the floor of the ratty old interior. But anyway the driver was nice. And being from Maine, none of that bothered me. I just loaded my stuff into the back seat. But what did kind of shock me is something that might be interesting to native Maine folks. It's something you wouldn't think about and then I never thought about but now that I've been away I have a different perspective. My Uber driver was playing the radio and the station WCYY. The radio was blurting out "Maine's only alternative station!" (see photo).
    Now, granted this is something to be proud of and thank God that there is an alternative station in Maine. Frankly, I don't agree with their boast, but that's a different story that goes way back with me. Back to the story I'm telling: it's a bit scary that there's only one alternative radio station in the state of Maine. Even if that's not true and there's one or two others. That's still kind of scary LOL, to people from out of state! Look I'm just saying. If you've ever had the curiosity as to what out-of-state of people really do think about Maine, well there's a hint. And Maine continually continually engages in this kind of behavior. Just Google "Maine's only" lol. You will find Maine's only summer games Olympian , Maine's only 24 hours a day news team, Maine's only five-star chef, Maine's only Curling club... (thank God)... Maine's only USDA poultry facility... Maine's only bookmobile... Foot Golf Course... Garage door showroom... Okay I could go on and on STOP! Okay it's the 42nd most populous state, and losing population... let's not rub it in! Easy with the "Maine's only" thing. Of course if you know me well you know that 20 years ago I came up with the related "one in Portland" concept. Is there a Baskin Robbins in Maine? Yeah there's one in Portland. Major Airport? Yes, one in Portland. Strip club? Orange Julius? Chuck E Cheeses? Yes, one in Portland. On and on. Now I'm more open-minded and can tell you that there's a five-star chef in Kennebunkport. LOL. Yes, at that White Barn place certain family members of mine like to go to. Maybe next time someone goes you could suggest that they go easy on the " Maine's Only" boast. Besides, last I remember, most people thought of Kennebunkport as part of a New Hampshire anyway. And what the heck is a five-star Chef anyway? I don't think that means it makes them as good as if the chef were GAY, in any case!
    And more than only one gay chefs exists in Maine. So if the chef at The White Barn Inn is gay they should advertise that instead.

    My friend asked me if I'm excited to see all the things that have changed since I've been gone. I said well last time I visited the only thing that had changed was there was a new Best Buy in Augusta. They really honestly looked at me like I was completely lying to them. Kind of had a come on " let's be reasonable " face.
    Well there's a big new development that I guess got approved for the Portland Waterfront area and that will be done in 10 years so there's something. I have not actually visited downtown Portland I'm sure there's plenty of new things there or at least I'm hoping. But I'm very much a symbol of the past as I walk down Congress Street. Because I never even knew that the city took the dog man's dogs away from him. And that probably happened years ago. I'm glad I don't drink any longer (for 9 years) or else I'd make a fool out of myself.
    Okay so the other Uber incident happened on the way back from the bank when we lost cell service completely. This is the kind of thing that also scares people from out of state. I currently carry a T-Mobile phone something that a Mainer would would laugh at. Okay well I also have a Verizon phone, and my Uber driver had an AT&T phone. All 3 phones lost service completely at Northport... A place I used to work. This is not exactly the Backwoods folks. But I've never really experienced in all my Uber travels in Oregon, and California complete loss of a cell phone signal. This is when Uber stops working. I guess I've turned into a huffy puffy out-of-stater because I just got out of the Uber car and started to walk away , and I was ready for the 2-mile walk back to Motel 6. I don't need no stinkin' Uber. Especially one that seriously broken because it is completely relying upon the concept of cell phones working all the time in their business model to work . And at Northport, three of the four major cell carriers fail.
    Okay so I'm walking down the road now to my Motel. I bet any Mainer can probably tell you what happened next can't you? That's right... My Uber driver would have nothing of this behavior on my part. And was following me as I walked down the sidewalk at 3 miles an hour in her car. Unwavering. There was no way I was going to walk it didn't matter that she was not going to get paid, she was going to get me where I needed to go and that's just how it was! This is Mainer behavior. I knew resistance was futile. Kind of like when I was bicycling in cherryfield 20 years ago on a 50 mile ride and a grumpy old lady insisted that I eat some of her cranberry cake. There was just no saying no. So I got back in the car and she got me back to my motel. That's just how life should be.
    I got her an extra Amato's Italian sandwich but she didn't want one. Trying to give it to her was also futile. Well let me put it differently: she's not going to have lunch with a client it's just not how a Mainer would do things. I could tell she was starving and wanted a Maine Italian very badly. But I could sense that she was going to drop me off and then go back to Amato's, that's just how it goes. Mainers differentiate business and socializing and would rather eat alone in their car. Am I right? Once a Mainer always a Mainer. And just because you do something for someone doesn't mean you need anything like money or a sandwich in Maine.
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  • Day1

    amatos

    September 24, 2016 in the United States

    -First things first... Italian sandwich. Now over the years I have honed the fine skill of creating a Maine Italian at a Subway restaurant on the West Coast. But it just isn't the same. It kind of gets me by, but the reality is it doesn't work well at all. The onions are red at Subway, not sweet yellow, the bread isnt that compacted Amatos bread that becomes one with the cheese, the ham isn't mild enough, the tomatoes are too mild, they put on too much green pepper, you can't get kalamata olives if you want those, the pickles aren't right and the cheese isn't the same. But if you are out-of-state I still recommend it as the only alternative . You just have to work closely with your sandwich maker and be a Nazi about the no lettuce thing. Wow, I didn't realize how fresh the sandwiches actually are at Amato's. These people risk their very appendages by slicing each slice of the tomato by hand into the sandwich. It doesn't even have a chance to sit in a bowl for a few minutes like at Subway. Amato's makes pretty good Maine Italian sandwiches, however, they are a little heavy on the tomatoes as a general rule. Something that's probably remained true since 1902. My Uber driver proclaimed that Amato's has the best Italian sandwiches which is absolutely not true. There are places in Augusta Maine and even Desrosiers in Freeport that are better.

    - The photo of the Motel 6 Lobby is simply something you would never see on the west coast in a Motel 6 ... an unattended computer tablet. These are things that an average Mainer would not notice. Something that I would never have noticed before I went to the West Coast. Now, one part of me feels comfortable being amoungst fools like myself who leave our expensive stuff all over public places. Ahh.. my bretheren. But another newer part of me feels like yelling "hey! who's tablet is this you better pick it up because that thing would be so gone in Oxnard California so quickly it's not even funny". So I hope people are happy I'm not as much of an idiot anymore. And I hope certain people, who noticed I that I lost a few things to theft in California... A few years ago... realize that they still pretty may be the exact same person that perhaps they criticized me for being... sorry to say. Because you're from Maine. Hopefully I've changed in a way that I've controlled and not let the world change me but simply become a bit smarter. While I might have an image of being kind of dumb having lost a few things perhaps now I am smarter not only that I was before but maybe I'm even a resource for you . You need to be on your toes in California and be smarter than when I was when I first arrived there. Here's a story: A friend of mine brought a bag of donation clothing to a donation place in San Francisco two weeks ago. For convenience she put her iPhone in the bag so she could carry it all at once. The place was closed so she placed the bag in front of the door at the donation place and turned around and started to walk away. She had been listening to music on her Bluetooth headphones being transmitted from her iPhone. Bluetooth has a range of about 50 feet. When she realized her phone was still in the bag with the donation clothing because her headphones stopped playing she turned around to walk back to the to where she left the bag.. less than 50 feet away . Yes that's how long it took for that iPhone to disappear. True story.
    -Third photo is something I came across that was kind of funny.
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  • Day1

    Motel 6

    September 24, 2016 in the United States

    I'm telling people I'm a Wildlife Biologist sent from Oregon to help search for an elusive giant snake named Wessie, in and around the Sappi paper mill here in Westbrook. All Mainers have not gotten the joke so far, and simply believe me. See photo of Wessie swimmimg. Oh this is big news.. the newspapers and every major News Channel have carried various stories about this over a several-month long timeframe. Businesses have signs up about it and my Uber driver said she would never take her kids near the river right now . The newspapers, the police and others might be very interested in my photo. This is my welcome to Maine. NOT much going on around here. Ayuh. Oh and by the way, just to be clear, most people think there probably is no snake. Yet, the media is relentless. Mainers are putting a lot of effort into this mystery . Someone even found a snake skin near the river and the Westbrook Police Chief certainly did not question that it was worth the taxpayer dollars to have it sent it off to a fancy test lab in Texas. The results indicated that there was an andaconda in the area. However now that brings up the question is this all just a hoax. I've come here to settle this question once and for all. See the photo I shot, of Wessie with the massive soccer ball sized head, swimming alledgedly near the Sappie Mill near motel six here. Click to enlage. Photo shoot was shot near a shop. Where I was shopping photos. Oh, shoot. Would you call that a photo shop? Or something like that, alledgedly.
    - In contrast, the very real fire, not "alleged", that jumped the 101 freeway right at San Francisco International Airport, see my photo, not bought at a photo shop, which made it hard to get to my hotel to catch my flight...was a total NON news event that no one cared about. Only one news channel picked up the story.. on their website only.. in a one paragraph blurb. And the next day I'm sure everyone forgot about it. Yes, this was a fire at a major United States airport that was big enough that it jumped a major US freeway that was 10 lanes wide. LOL
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