MAINE: my final frontier. These are the voyages of the Scooter Vespa 250 i.e. Super. Its continuing mission - to explore America's most heavily forested state - to roam the vast coastline, numberless lakes, and mighty mountains. To boldly go where no scooter has gone before!

Friday, August 10, 2012

New Friends from Away

Mike and Lori posted all the nice pictures of Beemer Girl and Chris and their trip from Georgia to Maine! Mike has two posts of the visit, Lori has one - all with great photos. I'll add my humble contributions now.

After a marvelously varied breakfast served and cooked by Rebecca and Mike at their home in South Portland, we rode to Fort Williams, home of Portland Head Light. Here Chris talks with Rebecca, while Mike talks to Lori - she's the only one who heard my suggestion to "Smile."

The lady in front takes a photo of the Lighthouse, while the director of the family on the right makes "suggestions" to the assistant director on how to take a picture. Meanwhile, I take a picture of the picture-takers.  

Speaking of picture-takers: Mike takes a picture of me taking a picture of him.

Lori and Mike watch a sailboat...

...while a small island ferry passes in front of Rebecca and Chris.

The couples have just had an appetizer: it's mid-afternoon - don't want to spoil dinner. I, on the other hand, had a breakfast of burger and fries. Since I sleep from 5 am to 1 pm most days, my dining schedule is a tad odd. Odder still is meeting Mike for a ride at times he considers middle of the day. The truth is that I have always enjoyed the quiet night to the cacophonous day.

Lori and Chris prepare to ride off with Mike and Rebecca, while I head home to prepare dinner for my sweetie. She works hard at a psychiatric hospital, and works out at a gym four days a week. My function is to ride, write, read, watch baseball like a fanatic, and have a good dinner ready when she gets home.

I have waited my whole life to live this way. If Kathy hadn't made the decisions she made, early in our marriage, she'd be a widow. So cooking for her, keeping our home semi-neat, is no sacrifice. 

I did a little math: I'll have to live to 103 years, seven months, and a few days to equal the sacrifices she has made to keep me sane and sober. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012


You may have read about the glut of lobsters being caught off the coast of Maine, resulting in what one lobster fisheries spokesperson called "the lowest prices in a generation." And as you can see below, this store in my area is selling soft shells for $3.99 a pound.

Soft shell lobsters have recently molted - shed their old shell when their bodies outgrew it - and are rattling around in a new house too big for their skinny bodies. Hard shells are tightly packed, like a fat man who desperately needs to upgrade to bigger pants.

So, soft shells have less meat, hard shells have much more. BUT - the soft shell meat is sweeter than the tougher hard shell. In the opinion of my dear wife Kathy, the more abundant but less tasty meat of hard shells isn't worth the $4 a pound difference.

Hauling the big fellas out of the water is no easy task - frankly, the ugly creatures would rather remain wet.
(I should point out, since this is a scooter blog, that I ride my GTS 250 to this store a couple of times a week for more lobster.)

Before cooking them, my wife likes to play with her food. Rosie - the cat on the left - understands that the rubber bands on the claws render the lobster harmless.

Teddy Ballgame, the cat disappearing down the hall, feels under attack, despite the banded claws and the fact that lobsters move like slugs when out of the water.

Fun time over, Kathy is ready for the serious work of dunking dinner into a pot of boiling water. Note that she wears an expression of "Yuck - this is gross!"

Twenty minutes later, and the memory of plunging a living creature into boiling water is replaced by the anticipation of a most tasty treat.

Just a couple of years ago, these pound and a half lobsters would have cost up to $10 a pound, and the hard shells even more. So, at under $4 a pound, you can understand why lobster is very frequent dinner fare throughout Maine this summer.

There are many ways to eat a lobster. This isn't one of them!

Kathy is surprised to see Teddy back - he who so recently fled from the Attack of the Living Terror from the Deep. Now, he wants to share. "Don't eat from my plate," bellows my sweet-tempered wife.

"Fine," says Teddy. "Can I have it if it somehow falls off your plate to the floor?" Note that as Teddy tries to push the lobster to the floor, Kathy's blurry right fist is aimed at Ted's head. (No cats were harmed during this meal.)

This is Kathy's best-selling painting, named "Lobster Love."

These are a pair of my favorites. I think the lobster is about to toss a knuckleball.