The King's Marquee

Election Day is finally here! Let's get out there an seal the deal for Trump and the American people! And don't forget to support the CTGOP under-ticket!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Hull City theme and withdrawals...

Yeah, yeah, I know its only June. But I'm having English Premier League withdrawals. I can't help myself.

If anyone knows anything about the official "drink" of Hull City... please share that information via comment.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

1940 german Reichsender broadcast/1940 Reichsender Sendung

Amazing history captured. Note the old time radios and quality of the sound. What's amazing is that United States, British and even German broadcasts still exist for preservation of history. Truly amazing.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Visit to Roger Williams Zoo

One of the great treasures locally is the Roger Williams Park Zoo located in Providence, Rhode Island. We took at quick family trip up to see the wonderment of the animals in their recreated natural habitat.

We actually opted to become zoo members which I think is worth it from several standpoints - if you come back a second time, it pays for itself, and you can also use the pass at other area zoos around the country like the Boston Museum of Science, and lastly, it supports the work that the zoo is doing to provide education to children and adults that visit.

The zoo seems to be in the process of expanding the habitats for the Elephants and Giraffes which is a sign of great things to come. Plenty of activities for young children, and enough to keep adults interested.

This bird was interested in getting up close to the glass and seemed to take about as much interest in the visitors as the visitors did in him.

The flamingos pretty much kept to themselves. It's understandable why people would adorn their lawns with plastic replicas of this amazing bird.

My daughter was taking note of the camels and enjoying each and every exhibit.

While not technically a "petting zoo", there is a barnyard area that houses a number of sheep and other mild animals that are found around domestic farms. It's a great touch for the zoo to include these friendly animals too.

Here my daughter is visiting with an Ox. He didn't really want to get to close, he was more than happy 10 feet out from the kids' little hands!

The monkeys are a blast. There are a two very large windows to view the monkeys from and they don't mind showing off their acrobatics on their swings, toys, and trees. They seem to almost pose for the camera like movie stars and move on to the next group of photographers to make sure that everyone gets a chance to take a pic.

We were fortunate to see the Elephants from up close. There are special feeding times for some animals including these mammoths and also for the giraffes as well. The three Elephants were seven years old and seemed more gentle than one would imagine for such a heavy creature.

The zoo also has kangaroos like this one. The Kanga looked more annoyed with his or her surroundings. S/he occasionally looked up to see who was disturbing her nap!

Aside from animal exhibits, there was also this nice lady playing the harp. My daughter took an interest in the instrument, and she was even allowed to try it out.

Here are the baby giraffes outside of the feeding barn. It's pretty amazing to see these animals from 10 feet away. It gives you a whole new perspective on some of these majestic creatures. And its also an added reminder that as custodians of the land, that we need to preserve areas for these creatures to grow and roam.

So if you haven't been to Roger Williams Zoo Park, then I'd strongly recommend a visit.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Sunset at Watch Hill, RI

This is one of those photos I had to share.
As most folks know, I sold my beloved Catalina 27 over the winter of 2006-2007 in anticipation of the arrival of my second child.
Keeping the boat made little sense as the amount of use that I would have gotten out of her would have been slim to none. Trying to keep little children safe around docks and boats is a tall order. Boats have plenty of - let's just say - rough edges and hazzards that can't be childproofed like the inside of a home.
Then you throw in the costs of storage, dock fees, prep and paint, and winter storage, and you are talking a small fortune for something that would end up being a floating cottage. Then you throw in serious engine repairs due her like replacing the engine, and also replacing much of the wood holding the stations and mast and you are talking a slightly larger fortune.
Passing off "Stargazer" to a younger man with plenty of time and energy (and money to blow) was a wise decision. Although I miss the old girl, beat up and worn as she was. She was still mine.
Alas, I'm landlocked with only my dingy and outboard. Old "Belle" deflated sits in the basement waiting for another day, another time. And that time will come.
But, at least some scenic ports like Watch Hill are still accessible by car.
I captured a quick pic of one of my favorite ports in the Northeast. Our little family sat and watched the sun set while enjoying some homemade ice cream on the beach.

Raw Video: Elderly Man Paralyzed in Hit and Run

This is another black eye for Hartford - New England's so-called "rising star". It's not only the fact that the hoods behind the wheel are less than animals without a conscience, but the by-standers who simply opted to look the other way, walk by, or drive on. This is what Hartford has become - for all its so-called Liberal undertones, its pretty apparent that most of these people only care about themselves. Pray for Mr. Torres. Hartford Police: Please catch the villains; let's hope the justice system show's them no mercy. They don't deserve any.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Lawn Management 101

One of the more costly aspects of home ownership is yard maintenance. And sadly, the previous owners of the house were obviously were not big fans of beautiful lawns and land management.

And it also turns out that the soil in this area is particularly poor for growing much of .... anything. Notwithstanding the challenge, it's every (normal) guy's dream to have a plush green lawn - like the one you see on the Scott's lawn commercials or the one you see when visiting Fenway Park. Of course, in most parts of Connecticut the challenge is daunting and nearly unachievable. The reason for this is the types of soil we are forced to live with.

You either have the famous "Connecticut Clay" or sandy loam. Clay has a distinction for poor drainage. Loam is the opposite it barely holds enough water to sustain life. In both cases, the answer is to have truckloads of topsoil brought in and till it into the existing soil before seeding.

Before spending the money on bulk soil purchase, I experimented by buying about 15 bags of topsoil and chose a few locations to see if the grass would take with one or two inches of soil placed over the existing loam. The results were good. I used Scott's seed and somewhere between 14- 21 days I had new grass growing.

Of course the backyard has a bizarre look to it - almost as if there are islands of lawn inside a sea of dirt. The picture above was taken on May 8th. And doesn't show the lawn in its worse state by any means.

Another experiment of mine was using the Scott's PatchMaster for tackling round areas that either grubs or got knows what got to. My rating on the materials is a B- to C. It's actually a pain to work with and the results are far less than the bag promises to deliver. The only good thing that can be said of the product (and this is no reason to purchase it) is that birds and turkeys don't raid the seed as they do with normal seeding applications since the patch works as both an insulator and masks the actual seed (all two seeds per square inch that is).

Defeating the purpose of the purchase, but adapting to its positive attributes, I plant regular seed and throw some of the Patchmaster on topic to keep the birds from finding it. So what's the worst thing here? I guess I make use of the PatchMaster I have and never buy it again. Pretty simple.

New Found Villains

Country living has introduced me to new lawns foes.

First, I learned about the invasion of the moles. Moles are small little creatures that seem innocent enough at first. Then after you see how much damage they can cause by tunnelling to death, they move at light speed and turn your lawn into a three dimensional maze. Pretty frustrating.

When visiting Agway, I asked the lady behind the counter how to get rid of the moles. An older woman standing at the counter recommended using a shotgun. I could sense that I wasn't alone in my mole frustration. And the lady wasn't kidding about the shotgun.

The problem was more of an early spring annoyance. I tackled the problem through poison peanuts, Grub-Ex, and a mole trap. Sadly, the mole trap did nothing except nearly trip my poor sister-n-law who was playing with the kids in the backyard a few weeks ago.

The second villain is the the worst of the bunch. The wild turkey.

The wild turkeys are not easily vanquished. They are luck Tuskin Raiders - as Obi Wan Kenobi once said - and I'm paraphrasing - Raiders are easy scared off at first, but return in larger numbers.

I spoke to the folks at DEP about my wild turkey problem. They agreed that wild turkeys are not easily deterred. They offered two solutions - purchase a dog, and offer a hunter to come over and shoot them. Yeah, no kidding.

I was informed that hunting is a reasonable way to keep the population down, and that shooting them is within my right during the right season. I was sort of surprised that DEP would recommend killing animals, but I think that up unto that moment I was blending DEP and animal rights activists as one in the same. I guess I was wrong.

For the most part, I did a good job shooing away the turkeys. That is until two days ago when a wild turkey flew up onto my back deck - a good 20 feet off the ground, stood a top of my new grill, and proceeded to stare in at me through the window. My wife and younger child were amazed at the audacity of this beast.

For weeks I chased him out of the yard - of course he would sometimes hang out just beyond the boundaries of the lawn in the woods. He and his three friends were having a field day kicking up my straw where my new seed was growing. And there is nothing worse than seeing these beasts kick up your straw 40 feet from you.

So as I begin to create my beautiful lush lawn - full project deferred until fall, I'm aware that there are quite a few battles that lie ahead.

The battle to find decent topsoil to overcome the sandy garbage left behind by the builder.

The battle against the fowls of the air.

The battle against the wild turkeys.

And lastly, the battle to keep wandering children out of the growing area. Ugghh. I'm almost ready to tar the whole darn thing.

In any case, I found a great site that has a short video on growing grass; it can be found here. Here is another site that requires flashplayer. And this site located here that breaks down lawn watering.