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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Greetings From Florida

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T
here was no problem when the plane was lifting off PWM Portland Jetport in the morning. Weather was fine and due to the fact that USAirways had neglected my request to give me the seat at the aisle I was now seated at the window on the VERY LAST SEAT in the plane. I didn’t check in my baggage, had everything with me, so also the NIKON 3100 which I started using eagerly when there was a fine view down to the coast of Maine.
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No, the trouble started as we were all seated in the waiting area at Charlotte Intern’l Airport. The plane was supposed to leave at 11:45a but soon we got the news. Bad news. 
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There was a few “repairs” to be done on the plane and it had been hauled over to a hangar. With other words: it had disappeared from view for us. The next news we got was that departure was postponed until 12:15p. Alright half an hour…not too bad.  Next news: 12:30p. What the devil…? Next news 12:45. Now we were looking at an hour late. I had long since called the sales guy in Florida telling him about the delay. They started boarding at 12:45a and were about done at 1.00p. That’s when I made another call to Florida.

This plane was much larger than the previous one and it was not full. I tried to get into Lala-land but I am a bad sleeper onboard of any airplane. But I think I made it happen today for about 45 minutes, cause I woke up of a very loud booming voice from the speakers announcing a landing within 35 minutes.
It said that we had been rerouted for the third time and if we looked out on the left side we would see FREEPORT in the Bahamas.

The Bahamas???

I did not see the Bahamas, as I was seated in the aisle seat I had requested.

After that I lost track of time and happenings, but I’m positive that another hour was gone when I came to myself again. Again there it took some time until the next announcement. We were still 30 minutes off and there Ft.Lauderdale was overcast and had a slight rain. So much for sunny Florida, I thought.
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I looked around and saw this odd coupla guys being far away in dreamland. Nice guys eh?

After much cruising through Florida airspace we landed in Ft.Lauderdale Intern’l Airport which bear the odd name of Hollywood Airport. Let me tell you there is NO absolutely no resemblance of Hollywood.CA. So please, don’t mix that up.

Dan, the man, I had been phoning with all kind of bad new over the last hours, was cruising in a black pickup along the arrival zone. I phoned him again one last time and I saw his truck just pulling to the curb.

He took me north through the big city traffic of Pompano Beach, and Boca Raton before we reached the place where they had parked the beast.

Aside of a few touch-ups in the grand paint scheme there doesn’t seem to be anything amiss. The thing runs and breaks just as a guy would expect. The engine is big (5.9L) and probably thirsty like a bull in the desert. But who cares.

Well, I care.  Surprisingly gas was not cheaper than in Maine. In fact mostly it was significantly higher. And that’s just another reason for me not to return to Florida any time soon.

Florida might work for some, but it never did for me and it never will. It’s downright boring here and the crowds would scare me off all the time. I’m not a man who likes big crowds. Gimmee a small crowd any time, but I hate the mingle of Florida. I also know that Florida has one of the highest crime rates in the country and it doesn’t surprise me a bit when I look at the poverty all around.

Anyway lets not go there.

I took over the van and departed north on I-95. My Norwegian GPS-lady talked me to a Motel at Lantana and that’s where I am holed up for the night.

Since all I ate today was a tiny sandwich, purchased at the outraging sum of $8.25 at the Charlotte Airport, I was reasonably hungry. So I asked the reception guy about a restaurant in walking distance. WALKING – because I had been SITTING all day. Thought it would be good. So, yeah half a mile up Lantana Blvd there should be a family-style restaurant. Without further investigations I marched up said Boulevard and I had probably walked just about a quarter of a mile when I noticed I was getting very sweat under my shirt. HUMIDITY! It was getting to me.

Before I ever reached the place I turned around. I walked it all back and I realized that in FLORIDA you don’t walk. That’s probably the reason why this guy at the reception desk had given me such a strange look. I entered the van punched up my GPS and found out that said eating place was 0.9miles up the Boulevard. Good thing I had turned around. Otherwise I would have died on the curb. Dehydrated!!

The parking lot was packed, but i found one empty spot. Since it was pretty warm, all doors of the restaurant were wide open. I noticed I drew a bunch of curious stares when the bus came to a stand-still right in front of it.

I ordered what I rarely do at home….a BURGER. It was all Angus with Chilly and fries. Oh and they had BEER. So I had me a Yungling dark ale. It was gone long before the food had arrived. The food was definitely all home-cooked and exceptionally good. The Yungling got another one and when they asked whether I’d like dessert I had to decline.

And that was the first day of my Florida adventure. There’ll be more tomorrow!

Thanks for coming along!

Monday, April 29, 2013

On A Short Note

First of all I want to thank you all for your birthday wishes to Bea. She asked me to do this as she actually doesn’t blog here. It was the last thing she said before she left me at the Concord Coach Lines Terminal in Bangor, ME.
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We had been there early- 2hrs early - as Bea would have to drive back alone and had planned a bit of shopping in Ellsworth, ME.
While I was waiting I had a conversation with a Vietnam Vet, whose main problem was that his cigarette smoking was killing him. yet every 30 minutes he was outside getting another one. Well, he sure didn’t look healthy to me.
So much for smoke addiction.

The bus left on time and the only stop this coach was making, was in Augusta,ME.

A taxi brought me the few miles out to the Comfort Inn where they have nice rooms with a coffee maker. This one is just 1 mile from the Portland Jetport, so I don’t have to get up too early. Flight is leaving at 8am which would put me into Ft.Lauderdale at 1.45pm. I overheard two ladies at the reception desk who had just arrived from Florida and could tell that the temps down there were around 86F. Together with the usual Florida humidity it might knock me flat out.

And that’s about all for today. As they they on commercial websites: Check back often!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

On A Beautiful Spring Sunday Bea Got Lost And Received A Birthday Celebration

Normally I wouldn’t put such a long headline in my blog, but today I kinda had no choice. The weather was incredible nice (we have deserved it) and so I rolled out our red convertible after I had “doctored her” on the carburetor/choke a while.
1-DSC_0493It is a sure sign of spring arrival when I roll down the canopy. Went across the border for gas and parked her in our driveway for an afternoon outing. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

While I was working on said carburetor/choke stuff, unbeknownst to me, Bea had gone with Molly exploring the depth of our property. Just so you understand, it’s about a third of a mile through a very tight jungle-like wilderness before one gets down to the ocean. Well, it’s not really the ocean, but a deep cut-in bay off the ocean. It has an English/French name, called HarbourDeLoutre. Under low tide large parts of it are falling dry.
 
Back to Bea. Like I said, I had not a clue where she was, hadn’t even noticed her wandering off, when she suddenly popped up in the doorway of my shed, totally out of breath. All she said was “I got lost”.  I had no idea what my wife was talking about, for how the heck can one get lost around here?

It was first when she elaborated about her ordeal through the wilderness that I got the hang of her story. She had wandered off along the rear of our property, following the trail to the point where it’s loosing itself in the underbrush, then proceeded among trees and brush. When she had seen a  house (???) she turned back and wandered on until she came to a mud hole. Molly had gotten hot as well and jumped right in and with Bea watching laid right down into the black juice.
1-DSC_0479Terrific, now I had a lost wife and a muddy dog!

Good thing I didn’t know about it at the time.

Bea had walked on, gotten into a panic, walked some more, then seen some red boundary markers and followed them until she got out of the woods at the Welshpool cemetery which is a good distance from here. Shortly after, she had met a neighbour and told her about the adventure. The neighbour lady had offered a coffee but Bea was now worried that I might get worried wondering where she was. So she walked on with Molly in tow until she finally reached home sweet home.

First order after her return was using the garden hose on Molly.

As Bea is gonna have her birthday tomorrow, and we will be on the road, friends had let me know that they planned a secret birthday party for Bea today.  I had been instructed just to tell that we were going for a spring stroll in our friend’s garden. At a quarter past three I loaded Bea and Molly (both were now sparkling clean) into the convertible and off we went. It’s only a few miles to our friends place and when we got there they were out in the garden.
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Bea’s Strawberry Cake                                         ………and her Birthday Cake

Bea had thought that she would bring a cake along and she did , but when she showed off the cake platter she saw quite another cake ready and decorated with wavy little candles. I think Bea was quite surprised.
So we spent a wonderful afternoon chattering and enjoying coffee, cake and ice cream. Oh and we had a nice glass of white wine too.
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It was a grand day and I suppose that Bea won’t forget this early birthday celebration any time soon, especially after her wilderness adventure.

Tomorrow we will be on the road to Bangor, ME from where I will take a bus to Portland,ME.
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But that will be a story you’d have to wait for until it’s out.

Thanks for coming along again!
 
 

Friday, April 26, 2013

SUNSHINE And Our Old Home

Waking up to sunshine is the essence of my life. I know I was born on a Sunday and it probably was a sunny Sunday. Without sun I feel the day is not worth much. Probably the reason why I became a snowbird.
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A bright day on Campobello
 
So today we have plenty sunshine. What sunshine does to the colours is amazing. Ever been out on an overcast day in autumn and suddenly the sun broke through? At once the colours sprang to life. A bright orange appeared where there was a brownish leaf before. The dark green moss on the ground was lightening up to a vivid bright green.
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Even the old gnome is smiling over the sunshine

In the extreme north, where Sunshine during the winter becomes rare, humans are developing symptoms of depression. In northern Norway they have light studios, where people can be exposed to a very bright light. It helps the body to overcome bouts of depression.

”The Guardian” has an article about why cloudy skies are not good for our health.
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An old German radio – not functioning and very old doorways are part of our home

Sunshine flowing through windows is also something I like very much. Our house gets a much friendlier face in the sun. Living in that old house from 1903 has been a pure pleasure for us. I never enjoyed modern-style homes very much. I like the fact that there is a history in a house. The thought of what might have been going on within these walls many decades ago is fascinating to me. If we look around, so much in our world is constantly changing at record speed. Living in a home that hasn’t changed much is the opposite of what we see in our daily lives.
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There was a time during the sixties and seventies that most people didn’t have much appreciation of old houses. During my 25 years in Norway I have seen a lot of architectural vandalism. I saw perfectly stabile and solid log homes be abandoned and be replaced by ugly square “cardboard” houses. This “new style” sprang from a growing economy where people thought that “modern” was good and that they had to show the world that they too could afford a new home. Values of a tremendous scope got lost.

Fortunately, a new renaissance  has changed that. Today we again have a sense of historical value. We buy old-style windows, surround our home with an old-style porch. We go to flea markets and find antique furniture which will fit into our home.

It has made me happy to see this change come along.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Clockless But Not Clueless

I tried to see what time it was, but whether I was still half asleep or my wristwatch was playing some dirty trick on me, I just couldn’t figure it out. There was a slight light outside the windows, but it could be the moon. I looked again at my watch, the little hand was lodged somewhere around the twelve, while the big hand seemed to be in the neighbourhood of 7 or eight or in between.

Anyhow I got up to see the bathroom. When I came down the stairs, I saw Molly who lay just at the last step of the stairs. What that was meant to be I could not understand. When I passed along the cook stove I saw the green figures of the build-in clock. It showed 5.45a. So it WAS first daylight after all and not the moon. Interesting! So the night was actually over…or soon to be. Looking at my watch again I found it dead. The battery must have folded. I have had time in my life where I went without a wristwatch for years. I never missed it then. But of course now I am looking at my empty left wrist umpteen times a day.

When I got upstairs again Molly followed suit. She jumped on my bed after I had cuddled myself down into the feathers again. There she was and fell asleep again. I did the same – for a while.

But finally the day caught up with me again or I did with the day.

I knew I had to do some phone calls today. Business calls and a few private calls. Also I booked a hotel room in Portland, ME for April 29. Have to get myself out to the airport real early the morning after, so I made sure that hotel isn’t far from the “jetport” as they call it in town.

Someone, hopefully the sales person, will meet me at Ft.Lauderdale Internat’l airport and take me to where our new van purchase is parked. We will have to complete some paperwork and I will find myself a place where I can rest for the night. I sure don’t look forward to the terrible Florida traffic.
I reckon it will take me 4-5 days to get home again.

Gotta keep it between the ditches!


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Dog Walk

It was pretty clear to me that we had gotten into a dreary day. I knew it already when I opened my eyes this morning as my watch showed 6:30a and there was only limited daylight. See. our bedroom window is facing east and usually the sun is shining right through. Not so this morning. Normally, that would cause a considerable delay for me getting up, but due to the fact that Molly (usually) needs to get outside at record speed I decided that I was done with sleeping. So I got up.

To my big surprise, Molly was still asleep when I saw her on her doggy bed downstairs. Finally she got up, standing around in the kitchen, not even thinking of lobbying me to get outside. Was there some thing wrong?

I should find out a minute later.
I opened the door and had to beckon her to get outside. Listlessly she stepped outside, but when the rain and the wind hit her she turned around and was back in the entrance.

What????

That had never happened before but eying the weather I could muster up some sympathies for her. It was just too bad.
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However, after breakfast I put on my boots, grabbed the bright blue umbrella and took Molly outside. I hadn’t even reached the road when the first storm cast had hit my umbrella and whipped it sideways. I got a good portion of water in my face. Jerking the umbrella back I looked around for Molly. She gave me her most miserable look, like do we HAVE to do this?
Our usual morning walk extends about over 600 yards, on a real nice day it can be half a mile or more. This morning Molly made it about 100yards down the road when she got rid of what she was supposed to get rid of. Without me saying a word she whipped around and marched right back to our house. Dogs are sooo smart. I had a couple of more fights keeping my blue umbrella centered over my head or rather fending off the worst storm casts.
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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Quiet Walk Through Eagle Hill Bog

What we hadn’t done in a long time was doing a walk through the bog. The bog walk is a feature of the Roosevelt Park Natural Area. The park has built a wonderful boardwalk so nobody gets wet feet. Of course April 22 was too early to see all those wonderful flowers one can see in July and August, but with yesterday’s cold wind it offers nice protection from the nasty cold. The sun was standing low in the west, but was still shining over top of the trees in the bog. There are nice moss patches and rare plants like the pitcher plant, which wasn’t really so far out as the picture below to the left shows.

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Pitcher Plant                               …and just breaking through..     

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  1-DSC_0388                                           The trees show that the bog has a lack of nutrients.

A bog is a mire that accumulates peat, a deposit of dead plant material—often mosses, and in a majority of cases, Sphagnum moss. It is one of the four main types of wetlands. Other names for bogs include mire, quagmire and muskeg. Frequently, as the illustration on the right shows, they are covered in Ericaceous shrubs rooted in the Sphagnum moss and peat.

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Below: Lichens called “British Soldiers

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Bogs occur where the water at the ground surface is acidic and low in nutrients. In some cases, the water is derived entirely from precipitation, in which case they are termed ombrotrophic (rain-fed). Water flowing out of bogs has a characteristic brown colour, which comes from dissolved peat tannins. In general the low fertility and cool climate results in relatively slow plant growth,  but decay is even slower owing to the saturated soil. Hence peat accumulates.

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Informative panels are helping the visitor understand the biodiversity of the Eagle Hill Bog. Nice solid wooden benches invite to sit down and relax. It’s a pure pleasure to walk the bog.

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Afterwards we went a bit farther down the road to the beach. But it was cold out there so we didn’t stay long. Just long enough for a few shots.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 22, 2013

A NEW U.S. MONEY GRAB

The creativity of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has brought up an incredible idea.  Napolitano can’t get more money out of Washington, so what is the solution? Yay…we charge the Canadians and Mexicans when crossing our border. That should bring in hmm……maybe….well probably enough to let us have a raise in our salaries. :-)

What sounds like a bad joke could become reality in a few years…at least if Napolitano gets it her way.

And just so you know here is the article I found on CTV:

Colin Perkel, THE CANADIAN PRESS
Published Monday, April 22, 2013 12:14PM ADT
Last Updated Monday, April 22, 2013 4:49PM ADT

TORONTO -- A proposal to charge travellers a new crossing fee at U.S. land border crossings has drawn condemnation in both countries.

The call to study a new levy -- contained in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's proposed budget for 2014 -- is needed to defray increased security costs, proponents say.

However, Michael MacKenzie, executive director of the 70,000-member Canadian Snowbird Association, said Monday that Washington is trying to ease its "desperate financial situation" on the backs of Canadian travellers.
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"While we appreciate the fiscal challenges faced by our friends in the United States, we would prefer the U.S. government focus on ways to reduce obstacles at the border that hinder trade and tourism," MacKenzie said Monday.

"People feel like maybe they're being nickel and dimed a little bit and politicians are taxing people who can't vote, which makes sense politically but it just sends the wrong message."

Currently, air passengers pay to enter the U.S. but the fee is included in the price of the plane ticket. Drivers and pedestrians do not pay a specific entry fee, although bridges spanning the border charge tolls that go to the bridge authorities.

In its proposal, the Department of Homeland Security urges a study of setting up and collecting a crossing fee for both pedestrians and passenger vehicles along the Canadian and Mexican borders.

Among other things, the study would examine the feasibility of collecting from "existing operators on the land border, such as bridge commissions, toll operators, commercial passenger bus, and commercial passenger rail."

Given the early stages of the proposal, just how such a fee might work -- whether it might apply to travellers leaving the U.S. as well and what it might cost -- is far from clear.

Nevertheless, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce weighed in Monday, saying charging a toll to drive into the United States would be a "serious mistake" and pledging to lobby against the idea.

"Any fee on travellers crossing the border is bad for individuals and for the economy," the chamber said.

"Building the walls higher and making the border stickier and thicker is exactly the wrong way to go."

In testimony two weeks ago to a Homeland Security Committee, the head of the department Janet Napolitano said fees that support processing more than 350 million travellers a year have not been adjusted, in many cases, for more than a decade.

"As the complexity of our operations continues to expand, the gap between fee collections and the operations they support is growing, and the number of workforce-hours fees support decreases each year," Napolitano said.

The budget proposal, she said, calls for hiring more customs and immigration officers through adjustments in inspection user fees "to recover more of the costs associated with providing services."

Critics warn that fee collection could slow already clogged border crossings.

Last week, Democratic Rep. Brian Higgins from Buffalo said any fee could hurt cross-border business.

"At a time when we are looking to increase economic activity at our northern border, we should not be authoring proposals that would do the reverse," Higgins said in a letter to Napolitano, according to the Buffalo News.

Given the importance of cross-border traffic, successive Canadian governments -- including that of Prime Minister Stephen Harper -- have made the free flow of goods and people a priority.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce said any new fee would break down the sense of North American community Canada and the U.S. have been working to build.

MacKenzie said there are already numerous fees and taxes to cross the border and a new tax could be a "sizable economic burden" to people who cross the border regularly or amateur sports teams.

End of article

And then there are the border communities who would suffer big time. Just thinking of all the families out here who have family members living “on the other side of the fence”. Can’t go see auntie Amanda anymore without paying for it.

The United States has brought this over themselves. It was after 9/11 that land border restrictions were applied – to no good use. And when budgets are exhausted Canadians are on the block to be milked. But the milking will have devastating effects on America’s cross-border shopping. It could easily end in a big commercial slaughter.

Instead of removing border stations like they have done all over Europe, North America goes the opposite way…. hampering travel and commerce.

It’s kind of hard to understand such thinking.

I Pulled A Stunt On Ebay

I have been looking for a 2. van for our sightseeing business for a while. I looked on all the common advertising sites and on Ebay.
As it turns out Ebay has the biggest choice. But Ebay doesn’t sort the vehicles after zip codes of your geographic convenience. They kinda leave that for you to find out about.

Anyway, I had put a bid on a large 15-seater and been watching what happened. The price stayed way down for a long time. So I put in a fairly high max. bid. Fairly high, compared to the low price it was sitting there. But then the price scale sprang to live. Somebody had laid his eyes on this van. So the price went up and up. It went beyond my max. price and I put in a higher bid. There was half an hour left when I did that. Now I was watching the auction. 10 seconds left. What did I see? The price went higher and even higher than my new max. bid. Shoot…. but I might find another one, I thought.

I thought that as long as an email popped up congratulating me as the winner of this item.

?????

I was flustered. The price was now well 500 Bucks over what I had offered. What was going on?  How could I be the winner? I pulled up the Ebay page where it gives you the confirmation for your bid.  I had to rub my eyes: It said $38,025.00!! It scared me beyond saying. The last winning bid though was $4,337.00.  What had happened was a simple typo. It shoulda been $3,825.00!

Ebay’s bidding system works the way that it will do automatic bidding up to the max bid one has put in. Since my max bid was well…..way beyond, Ebay had been bidding up the price ……until I won!

Of course the price for this item is still pretty low so I finally went with it.
Now I’m looking for a one-way ticket to Florida.

The thing is stationed in Boca Raton, of all places.
Of course you want to know what hapless vehicle that is which can be sold for such little money. Here it is, and I have already put on our decals. :-) Haha….

DODGE VAN DESIGNThe year is 2001 and the mileage 55,000 which is less than what our 2006 Chevy has. Can you see it being converted into a winter RV?  I can! 

Come on over and take a ride with us!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Peter’s German Apple Cake And A Beach Walk

When the weather turns grey and it is wet outside I can’t do much outside. Then I’m getting restless and have to occupy myself with something. The best I know to be busy with is baking a cake. (and then eating it..:-)

So what cake should I bake?

I decided to do the good old “German-style Peter’s good apple cake”. It was a cake like that which I once managed to impress my new girl friend (now my dear wife) with. If you want to try it it’s pretty easy.
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Here’s how:
You take the same weight of everything and I will give it to you in metric grams, but you can just about use ounces if you like.

You’ll need:  200gr.wheat flour, 200gr. 200gr.sugar, 200gr.butter (the real stuff pls.) and equal weight (200gr.)of eggs. (I usually go for 4 eggs), a tea spoon of baking powder, two average-size apples, raisins, cinnamon,
The dough before raisins and apple slicesWhip eggs and sugar together, add the warmed-up butter (doesn’t need to be runny) then the flour and the baking powder. Whip good together until you get a good dough with no lumps in it. If you like vanilla you can add some vanilla extract.1-DSC_0322
Fill it in your baking form.
Spread the rains on top.  You have peeled the apples and cut them into thin slices.
Put apple slices all around or spread loosely over. Sprinkle cinnamon and a bit of sugar. ready to go into the oven. You bake in a 350F (180C) pre-heated oven for about 50 minutes on the middle shelf. Before removing check with a pin whether dough is done.

Let the cake rest for a while but it should be eaten before cooling completely. Apple cake has to be warm and served with whipped real cream, not unlike an apple pie.

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Finished baking and removed from form…….Bon Appetite!
After that cake was done and tried, the sun came out and we went for a beach walk with Molly. It was shortly before sunset, so we got a good photo light. We studied how far the winter storms had pushed the water over land.
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Enormous amounts of gravel and sand has been washed up into the grassy area.
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The main beach area where summer guests use to sit has changed a lot as well.
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Though the beach is still sandy, a lot of it has been washed away and left the beach a lot steeper towards the water. The power of nature will never cease to amaze us.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Made In Canada

When I think automobiles made in Canada the Ford-owned Mercury brand comes to mind first. Mercury was the upgraded version of a common FORD. The Mercury brand, however, has died, one of the reasons being that the models were too close-up clones of regular Ford-models.

The automotive industry in Canada consists primarily of assembly plants of foreign automakers, most with headquarters in the United States or Japan, along with hundreds of manufacturers of automotive parts and systems.

Canada is currently the eleventh largest auto producer in the world, producing 2.1 million cars a year, down from seventh place with 3 million per year a few years ago. China, Spain, India, Brazil, Mexico recently surpassed Canadian production for the first time. Canada's highest rankings ever was second largest producer in the world between 1918 and 1923 and third after WWII.

But it’s not the numbers I was bound to talk about. There is a car which actually has genuine Canadian history and it wouldn’t surprise if you never heard about it.

It’s name is BRICKLIN.

The picture below shows the

BRICKLIN SV1
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Malcolm Bricklin is no stranger to the automotive industry, having sold the first Subaru franchises in North America in the late 1960s, and brought the bargain-basement Yugo passenger car to US shores in the 1980s. The Yugo became probably the most hated automobile in North America. But between these two ventures came Bricklin’s passion project.

The entrepreneur devised a plan to create a sports car company bearing his name. In the 1970s, he successfully sought financial backing from the Canadian government, and the SV-1, or Safety Vehicle 1, was born in the province of NEW BRUNSWICK. The coupe included safety features well before proposed government mandates, including a roll cage, gull-wing doors with side impact beams and a fiberglass body painted according to a “safety” colour palette. The cars had no cigarette lighter or ashtray. Non-smoker Malcolm Bricklin believed it was unsafe to smoke and drive. The Bricklin is the only production vehicle in automotive history to have powered gull-wing doors, that opened and closed at the touch of a button, as standard equipment. But the safety equipment’s heft made for sluggish performance, and reliability plagued the company from the outset. Bricklin’s firm filed for bankruptcy in 1976, having sold fewer than 3,000 cars.

Examples have been known to surface on eBay Motors for under $10,000.

 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Cold Fog

Unless you are living way south in an area far from any water body you must have dealt with fog in the past. The farther north you live and the closer to the coast, the more you are familiar with fog. If you live on Campobello you know fog from the day you were born or started living here. Fog can be part of every day life out here. Eleanor Roosevelt could occasionally complain when fog was a daily occurrence over several weeks.
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Obviously these pics were not taken today…

And the reason for this much fog is that we are exposed to two contrary elements: very cold water and warm, moist air from Florida. The colder the water is, the colder is the air right above it. The warmer the air masses from Florida are, the bigger is the difference in temperature and consequently the more fog we get. Because of the high humidity on foggy days the fog feels cold.
April weather conditions are never quite stabile. Some days we have sun and rather dry air, next day rain clouds can be moving in. The weather in April has caused people to say things like “April does whatever he will” or something similar to that extent.
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Right now we have rather cold fog. It’s thick enough to prevent any sun rays from touching the ground and so today was a rather dull day, weatherwise. Maybe not only weatherwise but also otherwise. I think of what the situation in and around Boston is like for people living there. They are living in a fog of fear. A young criminal is running around somewhere and 9000 police men are looking for him. Seems it was reason enough to ramp up security with armored vehicles and request people to stay inside their homes. Dogs have to pee inside, (well not only pee, I guess) people can’t go to work, stores are closed. It’s like the U.S. is under attack. What I have not seen are short-distance missiles, but even FEDEX parcels are delayed because of the lock-down in Boston/Watertown.

Our media are having a field day, several field days. It’s good business for them. After all it’s not every day that we see massive concentrations of law enforcement troops descend on a town. Locals are making the best of it. They hang out of their windows, their cute little electronic gadgets in hands, and taking pictures and videos of the mayhem. These days it’s everybody’s hope to get their video published on You Tube, cashing in on advertising compensation when their little film goes viral and the viewer number reach the millions.

But let’s get back to the reason of all this: How did these perpetrators have come into the United States? That is a question I think many people are asking themselves these days. According to what I have seen in the press they haven’t been  born here. Nope, they got in AFTER 9/11. They were REFUGEES!

The United States have some of the most restrictive immigration policies in the world. After 9/11 we got an entire new set of stringent rules. Airport security was increased, U.S. and Canadian Citizens had to show their passport when crossing the northern border, and Canadian snowbirds who dared to overstay in the U.S. can be bared for many years from re-entering the U.S. (even though all they do is spending their money)

But people who claim to be refugees seem to be able to enter and settle freely in the country even when they originate from countries where U.S. authorities know terrorists are running their dirty businesses. After 9/11 Canada was blamed that screening of immigrants to Canada wasn’t thorough enough and that terrorists had come across the border into the States.

Now we see that potential terrorists have come into the U.S. through quite different channels. And they keep coming!
They seem to be impossible to stop – just like …..Cold Fog.