Ye Wee Blogger

What a Hell of a State We're in

Ye Wee Blogger

What a Hell of a State We're in

Easter Tradition - 2019

Sea­son­ably Warm­er this Year but Much the Same Deal as 2018.

  Boats, Dogs, Birds, Squir­rels, a Har­ley & Some Young Anglers

Tardy becomes Timely

Last year I pushed out our annu­al per­son­al news­let­ter later than we would have liked. Unable to pull it togeth­er early enough in 2018 to asso­ci­ate it with New Year / Christ­mas, we sent it out at East­er. It was truly tardy. Some of you remarked that you pre­ferred to get it dur­ing the East­er hol­i­day because there was more time to read it.

The first quarter of recent years has been a busy time for us on work and oth­er fronts. So it is easy to fol­low that notion and re-clas­si­fy the deliv­ery this year as timely. So, best wishes for East­er and the bal­ance of 2019.

On a Per­son­al Front

More Bion­ic

In the Spring, I had my left hip joint replaced with a plastic and titani­um affair. It matches, more or less, the one fit­ted four years earli­er on the right. It was the same clin­ic, same sur­geon and much the same pro­ced­ure. I had long become accus­tomed to trig­ger­ing air­port and oth­er secur­ity scan­ners. So not much per­son­al adap­tion required to becom­ing more bion­ic. It’s ter­rif­ic to have essen­tial mobil­ity restored. I can pull on my socks and tie my own shoelaces again without eye-water­ing pain. Dog walk­ing is enjoy­able and not the uncom­fort­able chore it had become.

What’s Going On

Kar­en still works for the Gov­ern­ment. She is a 17-year vet­er­an of that already! Recent high­lights include occa­sion­al trips to Fed­er­al Pris­ons. She went to medi­ate between aggrieved ward­ers and their man­agers. It always involved travel to remote loc­a­tions in the nation’s heart­land. Inter­na­tion­al travel had dropped off a bit for her, but trips to pro­fes­sion­al events in Las Vegas had not. She isn’t a gam­bler and can’t be bothered with slot machines. She and her col­leagues found more ori­gin­al ways to enter­tain themselves.

Kar­en and the Minigun

Her 100 round Mini­gun burst topped off a ses­sion with oth­er auto­mat­ic weapons includ­ing a .50 Cal Bar­ret Sniper rifle.

.50 Cal Barrett Sniper Rifle
.50 Cal Bar­rett Sniper Rifle
Bat­tle­field Vegas

Bat­tle­field Vegas provided the range day for Kar­en and her team. They are not the only organ­isa­tion provid­ing that kind of exper­i­ence in the city.

Where We are Headed

Kar­en is not long back from a trip to Brus­sels and is off to the Medi­ter­ranean mid-May for a week on busi­ness. So Inter­na­tion­al travel is back on the agenda for now.

As usu­al, I am officer-in-charge of the rear party and the Vizslas.

I still design, host and sup­port web­sites. Stay­ing abreast of changes and innov­a­tions in the industry is an ongo­ing com­mit­ment. But I enjoy it.

Hol­i­days in 2018

Our hol­i­days in 2018 fol­lowed a famil­i­ar pat­tern. We spent two weeks in Maine in the Fall and anoth­er two in the South Car­o­lina Low Coun­try over Christmas.

Back in the Maine Stream

In Septem­ber, we ren­ted a prop­erty in the hin­ter­land behind Cam­den, Rock­port and Rock­land in Maine. It was close to Bel­fast too where we stayed in 2017. And, it wasn’t far from Rack­liff Island (2011). So we were in famil­i­ar territory.

The house was on a vast hill­side covered by dense con­ifer woods inter­spersed with huge inter­linked open spaces. To us, these looked like gigant­ic over­sized ease­ments. But, we found out that they are com­mer­cial wild blue­berry fields. Their own­ers had com­pleted the 2018 har­vest about six weeks before we arrived. So, the areas were avail­able for dog walk­ing right on the door­step. They were steep going for my new hip.

There were ample nearby dog-walk­ing altern­at­ives with easi­er going for the hip. We had been to all but one of them on pre­vi­ous trips. It was like vis­it­ing old friends.

The own­ers of the rent­al had a com­pre­hens­ive bird, and wild­life feed­ing sta­tion set up on the deck. They invited us to keep it replen­ished dur­ing our stay. We were delighted to and were rewar­ded by a nev­er-end­ing pro­ces­sion of vis­it­ors that were great fun to watch. It kept the Viz­slas’ atten­tion for hours on end.

Not­able from this Trip
Eric Hop­kin – Loc­al Artist

Rock­port boasts an art gal­lery well worth vis­it­ing. The Farns­worth Art Museum houses work by some of America’s greatest artists. Squir­relled away in there are some paint­ings by Eric Hop­kin, a loc­al artist. He lives and works on North Haven Island. We enjoyed look­ing at his paintings.

A Most Exclus­ive Restaurant

We would have liked to have din­ner in the restaurant’s Lost Kit­chen in the nearby ham­let of Free­dom dur­ing our stay. The same held true last year, it was equally close to where we stayed in 2017. But, it may be the most dif­fi­cult-to-book res­taur­ant any­where. Chef Erin French runs the 40-seat res­taur­ant inside a restored hydro-powered grist mill. When the reser­va­tions open in April, the din­ing room gets booked up through to end-of-sea­son New Year’s Eve with­in a few hours.

The res­taur­ant has no menu, eight tables and one sit­ting a night. French and her small team of loc­al women serv­ers and cooks do it all. One serv­er grows the flowers, anoth­er raises the chick­ens. They use what’s avail­able that day. It is pure Maine Farm/­Boat-to-Table though, so the ingredi­ents are excellent.

We tried to book again in 2018 but, giv­en the odds, didn’t make it. Prob­ably our post­card was too plain to get noticed.

There is an inter­est­ing art­icle here. It details how Erin French fit­ted out the res­taur­ant with great skill and taste using mea­gre resources.

Hilton Head Obsession

We went back to Hilton Head for Christ­mas and New Year. This des­pite the reser­va­tions we have about the place. We left book­ing very late so missed out on oth­er areas we would have liked to go instead. Yet, it all worked out very well. The house we ren­ted was first class. It was less than 100 metres from the beau­ti­ful dog-friendly beach and in a quiet loc­a­tion. The own­ers enhanced the yard fen­cing for us to make it dog-proof. And they heated the swim­ming pool!

On the pho­to­graphy front, I had the usu­al struggles with the weath­er con­di­tions. Also, the lack of access that gated com­munit­ies engender. An early morn­ing trip to Bluffton proved to be fruit­less. An impen­et­rable fog shrouded the May River.

I did find a small Gul­lah enclave at the north-west end of the island. It provided access to Port Roy­al Sound and a pair of shrimp boats. They were laid up until the next sea­son starts.

Not­able from Pre­vi­ous Trips
Rod­ney Scott Whole Hog BBQ
For three dec­ades or more Rod­ney Scott made a liv­ing run­ning his BBQ joint out­side Hem­ing­way, a small rur­al town in South Car­o­lina. It’s 50 miles inland from Myrtle Beach. It is many miles to any size­able centre of pop­u­la­tion. Yet cus­tom­ers would travel for hours to get some of his BBQ. We stopped by and got some for lunch on our way to Beaufort in 2014.

The late Anthony Bourdain and Char­le­ston-based celebrity chef Sean Brock made the trip to Hem­ing­way to get them some Rod­ney Scott BBQ. Nat­ur­ally, the vis­it thrust him ever high­er up the lad­der of culin­ary fame.

Rod­ney opened a new Scotts BBQ res­taur­ant in Char­le­ston in 2017 and will soon open anoth­er in Birm­ing­ham, AL

Domin­ic Scott, Rodney’s son now runs the ori­gin­al Scott’s BBQ in Hemingway

This Wash­ing­ton Post art­icle about Rod­ney and his rise to fame tells a fuller story.