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Looking Over Rangeley Lake and the Height of Land

Filed in Destinations by on July 23, 2014 1 Comment

Moving on along our motorcycle trip (read about our first stop here), we rode into Rangeley, Maine and stopped for a break. We decided to get some lunch because, unfortunately, I hadn’t eaten anything yet. Steve suggested a pub across the street from where we parked the bikes. The pub was called Sarge’s and I have to say, it was a decent lunch. We got all sorts of filled up and went on our merry way.

We rode through the rest of Rangeley and continued to head West on route 4/16. When we made it to Oquossoc (which was the coolest little place), we made a left to ride South on route 17. I think Steve wanted to show me some lookout points.

After a while climbing a few mountains, we stopped here:

View of Rangeley Lake

Lookout Over Rangeley Lake

The two pictures above are looking out over Rangeley Lake, which is fairly gorgeous. There were times the lake looked almost fake – with all the islands and mountains. Very nice area with just tons of activities, such as pontoon boat tours, boat and canoe rentals, camping, eating and all the rest. Vacation extraordinaire.

This is a sign that was situated in the parking lot. It describes the history of the area and how previous inhabitants traveled through the local lakes and rivers. If you care to read it, click the image.

Ancient Travel Corridor

And here we have another picture of the motorcycles. I think this is the last one.

Motorcycles

After we left this particular lookout point, we rode some more and stopped at what people around here call, “Height of Land.” This is another lookout point where you can get a great view of Mooselookmeguntic Lake. Say that three times fast.

Height of Land, Maine

Height of Land - Mooselookmeguntic Lake

Mooselookmeguntic Lake

This area was awesome. When I get a chance, I plan on returning to show some people. Here is a somewhat weird video I found of the Height of Land. Even thought it’s wavy, you can get a pretty good idea of what things look like.

Height of Land – Rangeley, Maine

Visiting Smalls Falls in Maine – By Motorcycle

Filed in Destinations by on July 22, 2014 2 Comments

On Saturday, Steve managed to get in touch with me and asked if I’d like to join him and his son for a motorcycle tour up and around Rangeley, Maine. I excitedly accepted his invitation and less than an hour later, I was sitting upon one of his many motorcycles. In this case, I rode a Triumph Bonneville. Nice bike and really fun to ride. We toured about 112 miles in a few hours and it was a blast riding like I used to. Here’s one of my more dorky pictures:

Jay on Motorcycle

I took many pictures throughout the day – too many to show in one post. Since there were a few “spots” we spent time at, I figured it would be better to break things up a bit.

The first place we stopped at is called “Smalls Falls.” It’s located in Township E in Franklin County, Maine. I guess the town doesn’t have a name. That happens up here.

Anyway, I thought that taking a quick picture of the bikes was in order.

Motorcycles at Smalls Falls

I initially thought we were just pulling over for a rest. We had ridden for about a half hour and the sign out front said in big, bold letters, “Rest Area.” After we pulled in and after I saw how things were situated, I figured we were someplace good. I asked Steve where we were and he confirmed that we were at a series of waterfalls. Pretty damn neat.

After we parked the bikes and walked through the parking lot, I noticed a few signs. Since I always take pictures of these things, I decided to do so here as well.

The first sign educated the public on how mountains are formed and the second sign talks about what types of trees were around us. You’ll see those trees in the following pictures.

Formation of Mountains

Transition Zone for Plants

The signs were right next to the stairs that lead to the Sandy River.

Stairs at Smalls Falls, Maine

After we made it to the bottom of the stairs, we got a better view of the first and second falls.

Waterfalls at Smalls Falls

And as we continued walking, we were greeted by some signage and a very beautiful mixed pine forest.

Sign

Trail at Smalls Falls

Forest Trees

That smooth path didn’t last for long. After we walked to the right, we (or I) discovered that we were going to have to do some hiking. And by that, I mean climbing over roots and huge boulders.

Tree Roots at Smalls Falls

Trees and Rocks

Luckily, for the weaker and less agile hikers, there was a chain link fence for people to grab onto. Of course, I didn’t use the fence – because I am agile and strong.

Fence at Smalls Falls

The following pictures show some of the falls. I’m not going to describe each one because they’re all kind of similar. I will say though that there are many of them. Probably about five in all, going all the way up the mountain. Some slides made of rock, some drop offs and some swimming holes. Very nice place and well worth another visit.

Waterfall at Smalls Falls

Looking Down into Canyon

Largest Waterfall

Swimming Hole in Maine

Top of the Falls

White Water at Falls

Waterfall and Swimming Hole

Big Hail and Almost a Tornado

Filed in Weather by on July 19, 2014 0 Comments

Let me tell you this – I didn’t move to Maine to get hit by a tornado. I thought that was a Southern thing. I’m not interested in tornadoes. Or hail for that matter. I’d rather be deciding what style of snowshoe I’ll be wearing for the upcoming Winter season. Something like that, but definitely not dealing with tornadoes.

The other day, my phone started going nuts. There was weather alert after weather alert. Laura’s was going nuts too. And I didn’t think anyone knew she had a phone. Well, apparently those in charge know we both have phones and boy were they trying to tell us something.

First it was a flash flood warning. That message appeared a few times. Then, they started sending tornado warnings. That was somewhat horrible. And the worst part was, the warnings were actually for the town we live in. How often does that happen?

We pretty much ignored the warnings. There was nothing going on outside. Until it began raining, of course. It rained at first, then it poured. During the pouring, hail began to fall. Huge, quarter sized hail. I don’t have pictures of the hail, because I was supposed to be putting the cats in the basement, but I do have pictures of the splashes the hail caused during their descent into the pool. Check these out (I snuck these).

Hail Falling in Pool

Raining in Pool

Hail Splashing in Pool

The reason we started rushing to put the cats in the basement was because as I was looking through the front window, I noticed some dead leaves being picked up from the woods next door and being carried away into Oz. I didn’t like the look of that. Couple the leaves with the hail and the unnerving alerts we were receiving on our phones, I figured we should heed the message.

Fortunately, we did not get hit by a tornado. Some other town did, allegedly. All we got was a whole ton of rain that made our pool water turn green. I’m still cleaning up that mess.

The Skunk Has Babies

Filed in Pets & Animals by on July 19, 2014 0 Comments

I know I don’t have any pictures of the actual babies, but you have to take my word for it when I tell you she has two.

Skunk

This is becoming sort of a pastime for us. The skunk shows up, pretty much nightly, looking for bird food. She seems to have found the food in the bowl on the ground. I guess that can’t be put there any more.

Funny thing – the other night, Mr. Orange was watching the skunk through the doors in the back. I turned the light on. Usually, the skunk ignores that. Well, this time, she ran over to the left and then decided to run back to the right to escape under the fence gate. As she was running to the right, we saw two little mini-skunks running with her. Cute as all hell.

I really don’t have anything against the skunks. I just don’t want them falling in the pool. I would also appreciate it if they wouldn’t spray me. I think I’m developing a bit of anxiety around the whole idea of going outside, forgetting about the skunk, and getting sprayed by it. That will not help my Jiu-Jitsu.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4

Filed in Technology by on July 18, 2014 0 Comments

I’ve written posts in the past regarding my issues with music in the new millennium. I suppose it isn’t so much the music – probably more with the music players and the format the music is now presented in. It’s difficult for a laggard, such as myself, to adapt to a whirlwind of technology that’s being introduced into society on a daily basis.

By the way, here are my previous posts on the topic:

Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 Computer Speakers
Creative Sound Blaster Update
How To Make Music From Your Computer Sound Better

Basically, I’ve finally transitioned from tapes to CDs and from CDs to MP3s. Or digital music. Whatever you want to call it. Since my transition to digital music, I’ve been traveling a bumpy road. Initially, I attempted to play my music collection from my laptop, to no avail. As I wrote in my past posts, that sounded terrible. After that, I tried out my badass stereo receiver that I apparently purchased right before receivers began playing digital files correctly. No matter what I did to assist in making the audio sound better, things stayed the same – lousy sounding music. I was almost at the point of going back to tapes and trying to dig up an old walkman on Ebay.

I though about things for a while and came up with a great idea – why not simply store a few of my albums on my Droid Razr Maxx phone and use that as a music player? I tried it and it worked. I finally had a digital playback device that was crystal clear. This lasted for almost a year.

A few months ago, I decided to take Amazon up on its offer to allow me to upload all my music to their “Cloud” and store it there. I would be able to use my phone to connect to my local wi-fi and stream my music back. This was a much better situation than simply storing a few albums on the phone. I would have access to everything I owned.

I really liked this setup – for a while. It was working out well. Now, I’m not sure you know this about me, but I have sort of a cheap side. The data plan I’ve got through Verizon Wireless is capped at 250mb a month. I’m not one of those people who use their phone for much more than texting Steve a few pictures of the new windows I installed. He would text back a selfie and we’d be done with it. At most, I’d use about 10mb per month. If I could lower the Verizon plan I have to one tenth of what I currently have, I would.

Well, as it turns out, my phone didn’t correctly connect to my wireless router during two nights last week. As I was listening to my full music collection on shuffle, dancing around and having a gay ol’ time, my phone was pulling its data through Verizon’s network, using up my allotted 250mb and then some. Actually, I think I made it up to 18 times that. The final total was somewhere just under 4gb. You can imagine my dismay when I woke up to receive dozens of friendly text messages from Verizon Wireless, informing me of my overage. Pissed off and disappointment is an understatement. Not so much that I went over, more of the fact that I was taken by “the man.” I’m the guy who beats the system by only purchasing the 250mb data plan. The same plan that’s hidden and that you have to scroll left to see. The plan that only I, and probably only a few other Americans, know exists. I was taken and I didn’t like it one bit.

Because of this situation, I had to pay a higher phone bill than I usually do. I paid it already, but I’ve also set a limit on my phone to stop accepting data when it hits 250mb. I also turned my data setting to the “off” position and just yesterday, I turned the phone off. I think I’m scared to touch it. Can you imagine if I had played more music last week? Can you imagine how high the bill could have been? These things don’t stop, you know. Verizon happens to like it when people use data. It’s how they get paid. The more the better. I’m just glad I caught it when I did.

And the thing that really peeves me is that this is an issue 12 year olds have. This is something some unsuspecting parent has to deal with after they get a ridiculous phone bill after agreeing to go on some “Family Plan.” Nonsense.

Life has been pretty boring lately. I’ve been working at my computer in silence. Since my phone is off, only to be turned on to check if someone has attempted to contact me, I can listen to no music. The old days of suffering have returned.

Since I have the Amazon service, called “Amazon Music” or something like that, I figured that all I needed was a device to stream my tunes – something like my phone, but something that wouldn’t be connected to a data plan. All I wanted to do was to connect to my wireless router and pull data from that. I needed a tablet. So that’s what I got.

Samsung Galaxy Tablet 4

Check out this little beauty. Now, mind you, my phone is still turned off. It’s actually quite liberating, not being connected so much. But honestly, the reason I keep it off is because of the recurring nightmare of some how, some way, the new tablet finds a crack in the system and decides to use my phone as a hotspot and pulls data from it. I can’t take that kind of stress.

Anyway, I’m really very happy with this tablet. It’s the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4. I think it’s the latest 7 inch tablet from Samsung and it’s a sweet dream. I stream my music all day and let things shuffle between each and every song I’ve uploaded to Amazon. The quality is great and as long as I stay 10 feet away from my phone, I think things will be all right.

Fluid Film For Rust Prevention

Filed in Automotive by on July 17, 2014 1 Comment

I’m not sure if this is specifically a Maine issue or not, but I am sure that now that I’m here, I’ve got to start dealing with rust. Rust on the truck, rust on the trailer, rust on the tools and everything else rust ruins. And I’ll tell you that it’s an annoying something to deal with because rust goes on behind your back. And it’s quiet.

Rust Underneath Enclosed Cargo Trailer

It’s only about 10 months old. I made one trip with my Arising Industries trailer. All I did was drive from Florida to Maine. We hit snow in New Hampshire, but I’m fairly confident that the state or town didn’t treat the roads with salt or the equivalent. Nothing contributed to the frame of the trailer rusting besides the fact that the paint job was not up to snuff and that the material the frame is made of is steel.

Rust Under Trailer

Looking back, I ask myself if I should have gotten an aluminum trailer. Then, I remember that aluminum would have cost me twice as much. There is a company out there (ATC) that I was pretty much sweating over while I was in the market to buy. They make awesome trailers, but they’re expensive. I suppose you have to make the choice while purchasing – are you going to own the thing for the rest of your life? Do you have that kind of money? If you aren’t and if you don’t, you buy steel. Especially when it’s enclosed. Snowmobile trailers are a different story. Buy aluminum. They are a much simpler beast. But even with aluminum snowmobile trailers, and other aluminum trailers for that matter, you have to concern yourself with the steel axle rusting away. Don’t forget about that. As you have your trailer in storage over the Summer, the moisture from the ground is eating away at the axle and hubs. Ugg.

Before Winter rolled around, I took a look under the trailer. I was surprised to find rust. Considering the trailer was brand new, I was taken aback a bit. I remembered the whole steel thing – blah, blah, blah. So over the Winter, I thought about the best way to tackle what I knew wasn’t going to fix itself or stop on its own. I initially thought about undercoating the trailer (and the truck which, of course, has the same rust issue) with rubberized undercoating. I couldn’t shake the horrible recurring nightmare of going outside to check on the underbelly of the truck or trailer one morning to see undercoating flaking off, with rust growing underneath. And once you’ve got that rubber on there, it would be a pain of monumental proportions to remove it and undercoat with something else. So, unless your vehicle or trailer is brand new, you can’t undercoat with rubber.

I found a pretty nice product after searching exhaustively online. Many, many sources pointed to a rust preventative derived from lanolin, otherwise known as wool wax. The product is called, Fluid Film and it sprays on metal like an oil. The spray never dries and should be reapplied every year or so, depending on how much the item you are spraying is used. If you drive a plow and salt truck, undercoat once a year. It you put about 10 miles a year on your truck and trailer like I do, undercoat once and call it done. Forever.

Fluid Film Spray Can

Check out this video. You’ll see what I’m taking about.

Fluid Film Car Applications

Yesterday, I decided to begin this project in earnest. I had already received three test cans of Fluid Film from Amazon and had to pull the trailer around, from the back year to the driveway. I really wasn’t interested in crawling under the trailer in that tall grass. Or grass of any height for that matter. There are bugs out there – lots of them.

Truck and Trailer in Driveway

After I was finished parking things in their new homes, I found some rusty areas on both the truck and trailer and sprayed them a bit. I wanted to see what this lanolin based rust preventative looked like.

First, I sprayed the hitch receiver of the truck. Those are notorious for rusting.

Rust Proofing Truck Hitch Receiver

I’m trying to think back to how I handled this in the past. I think I either gave my hitches and receivers a coating of grease or I sprayed WD-40 on them. Grease wasn’t so hot. The WD-40 worked for a while.

As I was hooking the trailer up to the truck, I noticed that the trailer hitch was looking pretty bad. The guts of the thing were rusted up, so I coated everything with Fluid Film. I know this picture is dark – you’ll have to use your imagination.

Trailer Hitch

After that, I wanted to see how the treatment looked on the trailer suspension. It’s areas like this, and especially areas like leaf springs on trucks, that can’t be rust proofed by anything other than a product like this.

Trailer Suspension

And lastly, I sprayed some areas of the truck’s front end. Try rust proofing this area with rubberized undercoating. Yeah right. You can see where I sprayed because the areas look wet.

Ford Super-Duty Front End

This afternoon, I grabbed a spare piece of paneling and placed it on the ground under the trailer. I thought I should treat a few steel beams in the rear of the trailer, just to see how it goes. But before I did that, I took some photos. I knew I was going to be writing this post.

Here are two pictures of what the frame looked like before I coated it:

Rust on Trailer Frame

Arising Industries Trailer Frame Rust

And here’s what those areas look like after I treated them. I only did two beams.

Treating Metal with Fluid Film

Fluid Film on Rusty Metal

Coating Rust With Fluid Film

I think it looks pretty decent. It goes on clear and stays wet looking. I think it’ll be perfect for my purposes, which is to drive the truck only when necessary and really never use the trailer.

Fluid Film comes in spray cans, small cans with a brush applicator as well as gallon and 5-gallon buckets. Now that I know how this applies and feels, I am going to purchase a gallon container. I think the gallon costs around $60. After that, I can choose to brush it on or spray it on with any paint sprayer. I can even use a house paint sprayer.

Also, I wanted to quickly mention what someone can do if they are concerned with the insides of their frame rusting, which surely does happen. Fluid Film offers a rigid tube and flexible hose that you can attach to a spray can that snakes down the inside of the tubular frame. The spray comes out in all directions at the end of the hose. Some drilling may be required, but this is the real deal. Instead of having the inside of your frame or doors rust out, treat them. Take a look at this video. This technician shows you exactly how to do that.

Fluid Film Undercoating by Jeff’s Undercoating

The Hot Tub is Gone

Filed in Home & Living by on July 12, 2014 0 Comments

Oh thank goodness.

Laura and I were hanging out at the pool this morning when we heard some commotion at the front of the house. It sounded like the FedEx guy was here and he rolled the back of his box truck up and then back down. After a few minutes, I heard the sound again and started walking around to the front to see what was going on. That’s when I met the house’s previous occupant.

Let’s make a short story even shorter. About ten people were here for about an hour. They took the piano that I recently moved from the house into the garage and they also took the hot tub from the pool deck. We’ve been eagerly awaiting the removal of these items and now that they’re gone, we don’t know what to do with ourselves. The garage is one thing lighter and we have full space in the pool area. Here’s a picture of that. We now have our patio table set up and are in discussions about setting up some sort of an awning or screen room. That should be exciting.

Concrete Pool Deck

Birds On the Feeder

Filed in Birds by on July 12, 2014 4 Comments

Laura went a little, “birds on the feeder” picture crazy the other day. I had to filter through all the pictures she took to try to find the best ones. Instead of attempting to give you a description of each one, I’ll let you sort things out. I’ll just list the pictures below. But just to let you know, the birds on the feeder throughout these pictures are the Goldfinch, the House Finch and the male and female versions of the Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Enjoy.

IMG_4508

IMG_4507

IMG_4506

IMG_4500

IMG_4498

IMG_4497

IMG_4496

IMG_4514

Skunk On the Loose

Filed in Pets & Animals by on July 12, 2014 0 Comments

The cats were very diligently looking out the back door Thursday night just as we were heading up to bed. Since I like to turn the lights on in the back to make sure everything’s okay before I go upstairs, I was able to see what the cats had found. Guess what. There was a skunk inside our pool fence!

Skunk

Cute little guy. He was eating the fallen bird seed, just trying to stay alive. After he finished up this section, he (or she) walked over to the other side of the pool, ate a bit and then slid out the underside of one section of pool fencing. I was happy to see him leave.

By the way, the picture came out very bright and it looks like daylight, but in actuality, the time was around 2AM. You can also see Voleman’s ear in the lower corner of the picture. I wanted to point that out.

Bison in Maine

Filed in Pets & Animals by on July 12, 2014 2 Comments

We’ve been sure to keep a camera with us ever since we first saw the bison in Anson, Maine. We drove by their field a long time ago and noticed them grazing. That was the time we didn’t bring the camera. Since then, it’s been disappointment after disappointment (we never saw them again). Until yesterday.

Bison

Herd of Bison

Bison in Tall Grass

I have no idea what these bison are doing out there. There is a rather tall fence lining the perimeter of pretty large field, so my guess is that these bison won’t be here for long. They are something to look at though. And I can tell you, they became uncomfortable and sort of agitated when we walked toward the fence. When we arrived, they were laying down. After we stopped the car, they looked over at us. When we got to the fence, they started walking away. Who knew bison had such attitude?