Friday, January 13, 2012

Anybody Recognize This Bum?

Thought for the day:  Yeah, it's cold, but they have cheap lobster. 

There's a lot of good things to say about Maine, but if you live there, ya better like snow. A lot. The average annual snowfall in Augusta is only eighty inches, but would you believe in 1996, they had a whopping 173.8 inches? Whew! That's a LOT of shoveling!

But that isn't the whole story. The Pine Tree state has a lot more going for it than a ton of cold white stuff every year. Like waterways, forests, parks, quaint fishing villages, and a bazillion scenic lighthouses. (only a slight exaggeration) And didja know? Bangor happens to be the home of prolific author Stephen King, as well as a bunch of very lucky Little Leaguers. King had a professional-quality baseball diamond built for them behind his house. Know what the locals call it? The Field of Screams. Isn't that perfect?

Okay, just a couple quick facts before we look at some pictures. Let's see, Maine is the only state comprised of a single syllable, and the only one bordered by a  single other state. (New Hampshire) The first ship built by English colonists was built there in 1607, the first sawmill opened there in 1623, and Togus, the country's first Veterans Hospital, opened its doors there in 1866.

Everybody knows about Maine lobsters. But did you know nearly 90% of the nation's lobsters are caught off the coast of Maine? While we're talking numbers, Maine also produces 99% of the country's blueberries, and 90% of its toothpicks.

Acadia National Park is the only national park in New England, and from the pictures I've seen, it is absolutely breathtaking. The Pine Tree state also boasts 542,629 acres of preserved parkland overall, and  seventeen million acres of forests. (No wonder they can make so many toothpicks!)

When all the bays and tidal rivers are included, Maine has 4568 miles of coastline. They also have more than sixty lighthouses, and 4613 islands larger than an acre.

Eastport, Maine, is the most easternmost city in the United States, so it's considered the first place in the country to receive the sun's rays every morning. It is also the only U.S.-owned principality that has ever been under a foreign government. Following the War of 1812, British troops held the city from 1814-1818.

Talk about a neat museum! Bryant Stove Works and Museum has a collection of antique cast iron stoves, heaters, roadsters, touring cars, player pianos, pipe organs, music boxes, calliopes, nickelodeons, and hurdy gurdies. Sounds like a must-see place to me. You'll find this antique-lover's paradise in Thorndike.

Wells & Son Cannery has been operating in Wilton since 1894, which may make it one of the oldest canneries in the country, but what makes it unique is WHAT they can. They import and can dandelion greens. That's their oldest product, but they also can beet greens and fiddleheads, which are the young furled fronds of certain ferns ... pickled in brine and vinegar, with garlic, bay leaf, and red pepper. I have a feeling all of these products may be somewhat unique to Maine. (Furled fern fronds ... that's quite the tongue-twister!)

Grindle Point lighthouse, in Isleboro, first started shining its light in 1848, but was deactivated in 1934. The keeper's house became home for the Sailor's Memorial Museum four years later, and in 1987,  at the urging of the townspeople, the lighthouse was once again reactivated.

The Penobscot Narrows Bridge, located in Prospect, has a unique feature. See that tall structure? It's the tallest public bridge observatory in the world. An elevator whisks you up 420 feet, and you emerge, and then go up another two stories to take in a breathtaking 360 degree panoramic view of the entire area.

And not far from the bridge is the country's FIRST Fort Knox, built in 1844. It is one of the best preserved fortifications on the New England seacoast. Pictured is one of its remaining Civil War cannons.

Here is the gorgeous Mt. Katahdin, which is 5271 feet high, and lies at the end of the famous Appalachian Trail.

                                           And so, ya see, Maine is about a lot more than just

Okay, let's take a gander at some of the laws still languishing on the books in Maine.

  • If you're heading to church, don't forget your shotgun. They're required in case of an Indian attack. (Ya never know...)
  • You may not step out of a plane in flight. (Um, well... darn?)
  • After January 14, you can be fined if you haven't removed your Christmas decorations. (Uh-oh, time's almost up!)
  • It's illegal to catch lobsters with your bare hands. (But once you get 'em, it's perfectly fine to boil them suckers alive.)
  • In Augusta, it's illegal to stroll down the street while playing the violin. (How about a harp?)
  • In Biddeford, it's against the law to gamble at the airport. (Guess I'll have to pass on boarding that puddle jumper, then.)
  • And you may not roller skate on the sidewalks, either. (How unfair. Have you ever tried to roller skate on the grass?)
  • In Freeport, it's illegal to sell mercury-filled thermometers. (But if you really want to, you can fill your Mercury with thermometers.)
  • And ya can't spit out a second floor window. (Climb up a flight.)
  • In Portland, shoelaces must be tied when walking down the street. (But, officer! They're loafers!)
  • It's also illegal to tickle a woman's chin with a feather duster. (Behind the knee is kinda nice, though.)
  • South Berwick law says it's illegal to park in front of Dunkin Donuts. (Of course. Those spots are reserved for the police.)
  • In Waterboro, dog leashes may not be more than eight feet long.
  • And in Waterville, it's against the law to blow your nose in public. (Suck it up, dude.) 
  • Finally, in Wells, there is to be absolutely no advertising in cemeteries. (No biggie. Not many buyers there, anyway.)

Okay, boys and girls, it's that time again. Time for (ta-DA!)

The Weirdest News Stories of the Week

*** Fritz Gall, an unsuccessful Austrian inventor, has found an inventive way to cash in on his long line of dud ideas. He got a big fat government grant and opened a museum of ... what else? Failed inventions. He and partner Friedl Umscheid have amassed quite a collection to fill their Museum of Nonsense, too. What kind of utterly useless creations are in this Austrian museum, you ask? Items like the portable anonymyser, which is shown in the picture. [Don't want to be recognized when you go out in public? No problem. Carry along  this handy-dandy black cardboard strip on a stick, and simply black out your eyes as needed.] Or, how about a pencil with no lead --- developed with cautious civil servants in mind, I understand, but it sounds like just the tool to use during those pesky bouts of writer's block. Got any use for a portable hole? How about a bristleless toothbrush --- for people with no teeth, of course. Get the idea? I dunno. Definitely sounds like my kinda place.

*** A 67-year-old grannie got off scot-free (or was that pot-free?) after she convinced a Pennsylvania court she had no idea those seven well-tended four-feet plants in her yard were (gasp!) marijuanaShe claims a bearded stranger wearing a pointy hat gave her the seeds. So naturally, having no idea of who he was or what they were, she planted them in her back yard right next to her plot of tomatoes? Um, right. She says she wanted pretty flowers, but only got pretty weeds. Turns out, her weeds were ... weed? Who knew? Call me a skeptic, but something tells me ... she did.

*** British police released this picture in the hopes that someone can help them ... er ... crack a case. The would-be thief's face was covered during a recent robbery attempt at a convenience store, so police are hoping someone can provide an ID based on this shot. Any identifying marks there that you can see? Me, neither, but like the caption says, I'll betcha he's a real arse.

                                    Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


  1. Maine sounds like a nice place and, if I ever visit, I'll be sure to take a weapon to church.

  2. The first Fort Knox,huh? I didn't know that. My critique partner Marcy lives in Maine. She always has some beautiful pictures to post!

    I don't live in Maine, but I do wish somebody would take down my Christmas tree by 1/14. (The kids put it up; I'm not taking it down!)

  3. I love Maine. The coast is brilliant. The northern interior can be a little dicy though because of the bears and the moose. But the blueberries are the best.

  4. I wouldn't mind having a SUMMER house in Maine, but I'll take a pass on spending winter there. ;)

  5. I've seen photos of Acadia National Park and I agree it looks so beautiful. I'd love to go to Maine in the summer to see it. And I'd catch me a lobster with my bare hands. I'm a rebel like that. :)

  6. Well, I guess I better stay out of Waterville. Due to my sinus problems, I could lose my lifetime savings.

  7. Maine is beautiful, but strange. I can't wait to send this to Strider!

  8. Good morning, ladies. Thank y'all for stopping by.

    Delores- Think I'll leave the gun at home. What's that quote? "I have always counted on the kindness of strangers." Can't remember the source ... "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" maybe? Anyhow, it fits. Take care.

    Dianne- You're right; Marcy's pictures are always beautiful. Almost makes me wish we lived there. Almost. (Not a fan of that much snowfall.) As for your decorations, stick to your guns. Who cares if the decorations are still hanging come summer? Heck, if you wait long enough, you can just claim to be getting a head start on next Christmas.

    Anne- The coast, with all those scenic lighthouses, looks absolutely gorgeous. As for the blueberries, there's nothing like locally grown and homegrown, is there? The berries that come from our grocer's case down here are more like blueberry-like substances.

    Linda- I'll go along with you there.

    L.G.- You go, girl! Might wanta carry along some bandages, though.

    Arleen- Nah, just wipe it on your sleeve. Or better yet, on your husband's sleeve.

    Austan- Strange, huh? I'll defer to your judgement, since I've never been there. Hope your daughter enjoys the post.

    Take care.

  9. I really want to go there, but maybe in summer... (hey, stop tickling my chin with that feather or I'll have you arrested!) Man, when I turn 70, I'm going to grow some pot, too. ;)

  10. Grannie may be telling the truth. In 1969 while stationed in Japan, I found what looked like a tree sprout growing behind my friend's house. After transplanting it to the front of the house, I watered and cared for it till it was about five feet tall. Later, when I was stationed in North Caroline, I saw an information poster that showed a perfect likeness of that bushy little tree. Turns out it was a marijuana plant. True story.
    Your naive older brother

  11. Carrie- Me, too. It sounds like an ideal place to visit in summertime. Heck, by the time you're 70, it may be legal.

    Ron- Woo HOO! First time you've made a comment in a long time! Oh, that is too funny. You never told me about that before. (It might have actually been a false arelia, or something like that. Not sure of the spelling, but it's a tree-like plant that looks almost identical.) But this lady accepted those seeds from "a stranger in a pointy hat." That just sounds too weird. Wow, really good to hear from you. Your naive little sister.

  12. I am lucky enough to get to Maine regularly. We have family living about a mile from the lighthouse you have pictured...Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth. It is at the head of Fort Williams, an decommissioned military post that has been turned into a park. If you ever get the chance to visit, do so. There are stunning views, walking trails and you can even explore some of the abandoned fort buildings.

  13. Liza- Oh, lucky you! Sounds exactly like the sort of place I'd love to visit.

  14. Oooh I love Maine and have been to Portland there. Will watch that shoelace law next time I'm there! :-)
    And believe me, I moved up to New Engalnd in 1995--just in time to get CRUSHED with snow that winter. I'll never forget that!

  15. Oh, I've always wanted to visit Maine! I have family in New England and have been in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts many times, but I've never made it up to Maine. These pictures are all so awesome.

    I love the law about being required to have a gun at church in case of an Indian attack. Haha it never hurts to be prepared.

    Have a great weekend, Susan! :)

  16. Jennifer- One thing about getting crushed by snow and having to stay holed up in the house for a long time, you find out how well you and your can family get along. (Played lots of Scrabble, did ya?)

    Julie- Hmm, ya think seeing all those guns in the pews would make for shorter sermons? Just a thought ...

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend, ladies. Take care.

  17. Susan, I think you know more about my state than I do. I'm downright embarrassed. But thank you! Because I had no idea about that bridge observatory and I am putting that on my list of things to do soon.

    It is beautiful here, I'll say that, especially the islands but not much snow this winter. We just got our first real winter storm yesterday.

  18. re the final picture. I quite expect they had pictures of his face too, but in the UK showing those would be considered unfair. Not cricket. Too easy. Against his 'human rights'.

  19. The kindness of strangers came from Streetcar Named Desire. Love that quote. I love Maine. It's very similar to New Brunswick, which is where I am right now, visiting my grandson.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, Susan. That was very nice. Have a great day.

  20. Maine is still on my list of must see. And LOL, the granny and the crack. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  21. How funny. I just started reading a book that's set in Maine. lol

  22. Marcy- Nah, no way I know more about Maine than you do. Living in a place trumps any info I might dig up by doing a little research. If you do go to that bridge observatory, I hope you take some pictures from there for your blog. Yeah, I saw you just got some snow. Time to dig out the long johns.

    Cro- You're saying the police were more concerned about his rights than his dignity, eh? (Then again, maybe this end looks better than the other.)

    Joylene- Ah, thank you, dear lady! Of course, it's "Streetcar..." How could I have forgotten that? You're right; it's an awesome quote. Thank you so much for stopping by and nudging my memory.

    Jules- Glad to make you light up and crack a smile.

    Donna- Cool. Kismet, huh?

    Y'all take care.

  23. What is a portable hole? I don't think I'll be able to sleep tonight without an answer to that one. If you can't step out of an airplane in flight, then is parachute jumping illegal? Merely curious now.

    Janie Junebug

  24. I guess that Grannie new exactly what she was doing. How old are the 1960s hippies now?

  25. Janie- Beats me. Guess we have to go to Austria to find out. Parachute jumping would probably be considered illegal under that outdated law, but it'd be a lot smarter than jumping without one!

    Al- Bingo!!!

  26. What a lot of fun information about Maine, one of my favorite states since it is one that reminds me a bit of where I come from (Sweden). And lovely cats with no tails come from there too. I knew one once. Thanks for this great post!

  27. Hi, Inger. Glad you enjoyed the info about Maine, and glad it reminded you of home.