Thursday, June 30, 2005

One Dark and Stormy Afternoon...

Yesterday was a dark and stormy afternoon, there were big black clouds rolling in from the East, so I grabbed my iPod and hopped in my car to drive to work.

Drawing by Mike Posted by Hello

As I drove towards the library the sky grew even more foreboding and I knew that we were going to be in for one hell of a storm. About this time I realized that the basement would most likely flood if the rain was heavy so I whipped out my cell phone to call my brother and ask him to pick all of my guitars up off the basement floor.

Drawing By Mike Posted by Hello

Although you can not see it in my illustration, by the time I got to work it was raining pretty hard, but not hard enough to stop me from going out onto the front porch of the library to watch the lightning hit every building in sight. When I came back in from the porch I was just in time to pick up the phone. My Mom was on the other end of the line and she delivered the sad news.

Drawing By Mike Posted by Hello

She told me that the basement was indeed very flooded but fortunately my brother had gone down there and picked all of my valuables up off of the floor and moved them to higher ground. Although none of my awesome stuff that I know that all of you covet secretly in the darkest corners of your heart, was harmed it is still a colossal pain in the neck to clean up.

secretly I found myself wishing for the first time in my life that my Dad was really Moses of biblical fame; that way he would be able to hold back the water as it seeped...I mean roared into the cellar. And as long as my Dad is Moses I might as well get to be Superman so that I could dry the cellar up with my X-Ray vision and super-breath!

Drawing By Mike Posted by Hello

Monday, June 13, 2005

Oh the Things I Have Seen

This post has been driving me nuts. It is a simple little post that I began about a week ago, it should be moronically simple to finish; but for some reason I have not been able to get it just right.

I have decided to go with the ultra simple approach.

Everyone has at least seen one of those joy stick operated machines filled with prizes, be it in an arcade, on the way out of a grocery store or in your neighborhood bowling alley. You drop a handful of quarters into the machine and grab onto the joystick and for the next sixty seconds you have to bring all of your concentration and manual dexterity to bear so that you can select a prize and manipulate the mechanical claw directly above it before the time runs out. If you are particularly gifted you may end up with some piece of California Raisin memorabilia or a crummy (but shiny) digital watch.

Most of us have played these games before and I was not surprised to see one standing in the lobby of the Weathervane in Kittery Maine. Colleen and I had just finished lunch and were on our way out of the restaurant when I saw the machine out of the corner of my eye and stopped dead in my tracks. Instead of the prize area being filled with stuffed animals and the odd sports bottle, some enterprising genius had filled the machine with water and a bunch of live lobsters.

Drawing By Mike Posted by Hello

On the one hand I thought that this was the dumbest and strangely enough coolest thing that I had ever seen. Think about it if you were hungry and had two dollars in your pocket and better than average hand eye coordination then you could grapple...yes I said grapple...a lobster and walk into the restaurant and they would cook it up for you. I was also impressed that a restaurant would risk the PETA backlash of installing this contraption. While I am no vegetarian I couldn't help but think that perhaps this setup might be a tad cruel...until I realized that it was better for the lobsters than the traditional lobster tank.

Drawing By Mike Posted by Hello

In the traditional lobster tank every lobster is assured a certain death. It is only a matter of time. With this scenario a particularly cunning lobster could theoretically out wit the claw and live to a nice old age. Or at least until he was big enough to take on the claw crustacean to clamp. Given enough time the lobster could become a highly adapted and perhaps even intelligent super-lobster. Think about it, I know that I have been.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Return of Me!!!

I have just returned from my vacation in Maine and there was a beautiful new iPod Photo sitting on the kitchen table waiting for me...I have to go and play with it; but please check back tomorrow because I have have had many adventures and seen many things since I last posted.


Friday, June 03, 2005

The New Neighbors

Kristen moved into the house on the island one week after her ninth birthday. The house that her father had bought was the smallest house on the island, but at least it was big enough to let Kristen and her brother have their own bedrooms.

As Kristen and Justin walked into the house for the first time she was surprised at how clean the house was, she had always thought that old houses were dirty and filled with dust and cob webs. But the walls in the little house were gleaming from a fresh coat of whitewash and all of the floors had been scrubbed so that the yellow wood shone golden in the early morning sunlight.
While her father helped the moving men unpack the truck he told the kids to go upstairs and pick out which bedroom they wanted. Kristen and Justin ran up the stairs and into the left had bedroom. It was big and painted light green it had two big windows one of which over looked the front yard and the house across the street and the ocean in the background. The right hand room was much smaller and over looked the back yard with the tiny dock and motor boat that Kristen'’s father would use to get to work every day. The room was painted blue and also had two windows, the view out of the second window showed the side yard with the tall wall that ran around the perimeter of the big old house next door. Kristen and Justin stared out the window at the massive yard which had long yellow grass broken only by copses of trees and what looked to be at one time well maintained gardens that had now grown over with weeds.

The Old House Drawing By Mike Posted by Hello

The yard offered many opportunities for adventures and places to explore, but the thing that held the attention of the two young children was the tree shrouded mansion in the distance. It stood at least three stories tall and was by far the largest house on the property. Four massive chimneys climbed above the tops of the trees sprouting from the multicolored slate roof, which seemed to be covered in leaves and sticks. There was a large porch that wrapped around the entire side of the house covered in chipped and peeling white paint; the walls of the house were weathered and grey. Most of the house was hidden by the shadows cast by the large trees and Kristen doubted that anyone lived there anymore…at least no one who cared anything about the house or the yard.
"“Do you think it'’s haunted?"” Justin asked. Kristen shook her head and told him to grow up. "There are no such things as ghosts, but I'’ll take this room if you're scared."” Justin let out a small sigh of relief and ran back across the hall into his room. Kristen continued to stare out the window at the old mansion and as she stared she knew that she was going to have to slip over the wall some day and take a closer look at the big old house.

That night Kristen made macaroni and cheese for dinner, she had started to help her father out with some of the household chores after her mother died the previous year. He worked most of the day in the city and she didn'’t mind the work because it kept her mind off of other things. Besides if Justin helped it only took about an hour a day to keep the house clean. At dinner Kristen asked her father about the big old house next door. He smiled: "“I thought the old Doyle place would interest you two." He smiled and leaned back in his chair. "“At one point many years ago the Doyle'’s owned this entire island; they were a very powerful and wealthy family. This house actually used to be one of the houses where some of the servants who worked in the mansion lived. After the great war the Doyle'’s were forced to sell some of the land that they owned to others, and eventually the family died out until only a son was left." Kristen and Justin exchanged excited looks with each other. "“Does he live in the mansion Dad?"” Mr. Drexler shrugged his shoulders. "“Your guess is as good as mine Justin, but if he does live there I don'’t want the two of you bothering him. I want you both to promise me that while I'’m on the mainland you will stay on this side of the wall."” Kristen and Justin both promised their father that they would stay on their side of the fence but they both knew that they were lying. The big old house was simply too great a temptation for them resist.

The following morning as soon as their father was out of sight the two children slipped over the stone wall and into the garden next door. Kristen was right about who ever lived in the house they didn'’t seem to care at all about the gardens. Where there were once roses only wild tangles of thorns grew, the grass was yellow and came above the children'’s knees. Although it was a hot July morning it seemed even hotter on this side of the wall. The air was humid and dense, and all around the children was a thick mist that collected and moved dreamily in any low lying areas on the property.

Over the garden wall. Drawing By Mike Posted by Hello

As Kristen and Justin explored the property they found many interesting things; a grotto filled with statues and long dried up fountains. A goldfish pond that was green with slime and algae, although she doubted that a fish could live in such foul water Kristen could tell that something had made the stagnant pond its home by the ripples beneath the scum'’s surface. As the twins pressed on they began to grow more uncomfortable and not just because of the sweat that was seeping from their pores and the mosquitoes that the salty fluid attracted but because on more than one occasion both twins had that feeling that they were being watched.
As the twins drew closer to the house Justin pulled Kristen under a large tree, "I think someone is following us.”"

The Very Large Woman. Drawing By Mike Posted by Hello

He whispered, but the words had barely left his lips when two dry leathery hands grabbed both twins by the shoulders and spun them around. The kids were surprised to see an enormous old woman smiling down at them cruelly, "Someone is following you!" She hissed and she began to drag them both in the direction of the old mansion.