Depth of Field

We had an unusually mild winter (though unusually mild winters in the Northeast seem to be more and more usual) and very warm weather early in the spring. Though the periods of very warm weather haven’t persisted they have been enough to get the flowers and other plants thinking summer thoughts, just like the rest of us. Over the weekend we have put together and used a new (smaller) charcoal grill, brought the Adirondack chairs out of storage and put them on the porch, gotten cushions for them, and put two little side tables out to more or less complete our outdoor living room.

Sitting on the porch this morning I noticed how trees and bushes are greening up, obscuring the view we have all through late fall and winter. Without leaves and greenery we can see farther. New foliage closes things in, and in another month, the distance we can see will have been reduced considerably. And even though we’ll still be outdoors, and will still hear the traffic before we see it, it will feel more enclosed, and hopefully we’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy it before fall comes and our view opens up again.

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4 Down, 158 to Go

It’s bottom of the sixth and the Red Sox are down 3-1 against the Toronto Bluejays. The Sox are 1-3 on the season and already people are talking about what’s wrong with them.

You’d think I was a big baseball fan or something, but I’m not. Not a big fan, anyway. My wife? Well, that’s another story. She’s the serious sports fan in the family, especially when it comes to baseball. I like baseball, but not as much as she does. She savors it, loves the fine points, and is much more in tune with its history. My enjoyment of it is much more conditional, and situational.

For me, baseball is best enjoyed in person on a warm summer night or bright fall afternoon. Or, better yet, on an AM radio, listening to the voice of the announcers, waiting for things to happen, the white noise of the crowd and radio static punctuated by the occasional drama. As much as I am not a big baseball fan, some of my fondest memories actually involve baseball – and AM radio. Listening to a game at night, particularly when the Sox are on a West Coast road trip, sitting on the porch on a Sunday afternoon while pretending to tend the grill, or when I was a kid, sitting in the barn with my grandfather and my dad on a hot summer afternoon. My grandparents lived that much closer to Boston than we did (only about 50 miles), and we could actually listen to the game on AM radio from Fenway and WHDH in Boston.

So on my way home from my evening meetings during baseball season I’ll already have the AM band preset for the local Red Sox Radio Network station and get my 15 minute fix of baseball on the radio. They were made for each other.

Maybe a Fundraiser?

The city of Biddeford, Maine has been trying to get rid of the Maine Energy Recovery Corporation (MERC) waste-to-energy plant and out of its in-town location for years (or, for those of you from away, that’s pronounced “yee-ahs”), practically since it opened. Most recently the city came up with a way to purchase and close the darned thing and get rid of the garbage smell, which is only a problem if you happen to be downwind, once and for all.

Apparently this won’t happen right away, however, because the Legislature killed a bill that was needed to allow the deal to go forward. Maybe they can find a Pink Floyd tribute band to do a benefit concert of “Animals” to help raise the several million it will cost. There is a little resemblance to the Battersea Power Station, don’t you think? Just a little?