Category archives for: Cranky Old Bastids

Newly Donated Piano At Senior Center Sparks Controversy Over Whether Everyone Does, Indeed, Hate The @#$%ing Eagles, Man

Wiscasset Senior CenterIt’s always a good time at the Wiscasset Community Center’s senior center when Ellie Tracy plays piano and fellow members of the center sing along. But the music had added meaning on March 19. The members were honoring the Jasmin-Melnicove family of Dresden, for giving the circa 1920 piano to the senior center about a year ago. On hand for the supper and the singing were Denise Jasmin, and her 92-year-old mother, Lee Damioli. “I think it’s great,” Damioli said about the recognition the family was receiving for the donation. “Thank you, ladies,” Rudi Rines said during a program for the guests of honor. Then he led fellow members in a round of applause for them. While Tracy played the upright, Rines and a line-up of other members sang “Sweet Caroline.” (keep reading at the Wiscasset Newspaper)

Cranky Old Mainer On Deadline Wonders If He Can Get Away With Writing 850 Disjointed Words About Absolutely Nothing. The Answer Is, Apparently: Yes

Mike LangworthyIt’s funny how certain patterns recur in life. Not comical, necessarily, just odd. My first piece in The Forecaster, even before The View From Away, was about attending a performance by my daughter’s special-needs dance class in Falmouth. This one touches briefly on the always inspiring STRIVE Rocks! Dance Marathon at the Maine Mall (go next year; you won’t regret it). I went into both events feeling pouty because my hip hurt. I left both events a little embarrassed by my own weakness and impressed by what I saw around me. My story starts the Monday before the event. We had returned from a week in Denver. Either the semi-arid environment of the Mile High City, or the few days’ break from winter, or the fact it was in the 40s, I was feeling good. Digging the snow away from the trash bins and from around my wife’s car was a breeze, 10 minutes of easy shoveling before popping down to the Old Port to meet the accountant. I thought signing our tax returns would be the most painful experience of the day. (read more at The Forecaster)

Old Crank Can’t Get His Old Cranks Fixed

Cranky Mainer of indeterminate genderI can get my house painted inside and out, new windows put in, a complete roof remake. I can get my lawn mowed, raked and seeded. I can have a new boiler put in, the basement redone, floors polished and my dog groomed. But I can’t find anyone to fix a drawer. The drawer is in the upstairs bathroom. It’s part of an oversized vanity, much like my own. It has two big drawers, hers and mine. Wouldn’t you know that it’s mine that’s broken? It appears that the sliding fixtures have detached somewhere in the back, and the drawer sort of hangs there like Quasimodo, who has forgotten where the bells are. I tried fixing it myself and for a piece of time, it worked; then, like everything else I’ve fixed in life, such as my daughter’s tricycle, it came undone and it’s hanging there. The problem is the once-ubiquitous handyman has faded from the American scene.There was a time when I was younger, back around the time Franklin Roosevelt defeated Wendell Willkie, that the landscape was sprinkled with handymen. It was an honorable profession, almost like being a bus driver or school janitor. Every American neighborhood from St. Louis to New Orleans, and Waterville had one or two. (read more, just before bedtime, at Kennebec Journal)

Cranky Old Mainer Gets His “How ‘Bout Those Durn Insects” Column Completed Just In Time For 182.5 Straight Days Of Winter

Edgar Allen BeemThe summer of 2013 has been one of constant struggle and occasional open warfare. With insects. I’m not talking about mosquitoes and black flies. I’m a Maine native. I know how to deal with them. This year I have been doing battle royal with ants, fleas, hornets and bees, not to mention deer flies. It was the insurgent ants that first got me going this summer. One day I discovered that tiny little pavement ants had infiltrated our home and established a supply route from the kitchen window up the wall and along the top of the cupboards. Barely noticeable, these busy little invaders went about their secret business despite our daily retaliations with a rubber spatula. (We didn’t want to spray anything because of the grandchildren.) Then one day I took everything out of the cupboards and discovered that what they were after was a single sugary fruit jelly candy inside a clear plastic box. You would have thought it was impenetrable, but it was filled with a battalion of the little buggers. Tossed out the candy and got rid of the pests. (read more, if you don’t have any wet paint to watch, at The Forecaster)

Economist Says Maine Should Get 3,000 Bright, Young, Good-Looking, Nubile, Fecund Workers To Move To Maine Annually, Where They Can Live In A Trailer And Drink Coffee Brandy All Winter

USM economistAUGUSTA — Any efforts to improve the economy in Maine will be thwarted by the state’s aging population unless the state can attract more young people, and the widely held goal of preventing young Mainers from moving out of state won’t come close to solving the problem. That was the keynote message from University of Southern Maine economist Charles Colgan during a four-part forum launched Tuesday morning by House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick. “People assume that if we could just keep our young people here, it would solve the problem,” said Colgan to dozens of people who gathered at the Augusta Civic Center. “There are not half enough of them because not enough young people are born here. We have to get people from other places to move here. We’ve got to get more people in.” Colgan, who is regarded as one of the state’s most experienced economists, estimates that in addition to keeping Mainers from moving away, the state must attract at least 3,000 new residents a year for the next 20 years in order to sustain the state’s workforce. It won’t be easy. In addition to myriad reasons that Maine is at a competitive disadvantage — ranging from tax rates to frigid winters — a dearth of high-paying jobs that could prompt young people to come to the Pine Tree State poses a major recruitment challenge. (read more at Lewiston Sun Journal)

Bangor Residents Say Waterfront Concerts Are Too Loud; Also, Would It Be Too Much Trouble For The City Council To Put Mama’s Family Back On TBS?

Bangor waterfront concert noise complaintBANGOR, Maine — Some Bangor residents want the city to tone down the Waterfront Concerts, arguing their quality of life and right to peace and quiet on summer nights are being disrupted. Others defend the concerts as a boon to the city’s growth and diversity, and argue that organizers and artists are simply catering to the desires of the thousands of fans who purchase tickets. A Monday night City Council workshop drew dozens of residents, who packed into council chambers to voice their support for Waterfront Concerts or call for organizers to find ways turn down the volume. The meeting was called after the city received about 25 complaints from residents of Bangor and a smattering from outlying communities during a July 17 heavy metal music festival. Paul Trommer of Leighton Street in Bangor said the concerts have resulted in an “erosion of the quality of life in Bangor.” “I’m no prude, but I’ve got a real problem with the screaming and foul language at these concerts,” Trommer told the council. “You’ve hoisted it on the city, you’ve turned downtown into a mosh pit.” (read more at Bangor Daily News)

Governor LePage Announces His Intention To Seek A Second Sturm

LePage announces reelection bidRepublican Gov. Paul LePage announced Tuesday he would seek a second term in office during a private fundraising event in Kennebunk, according to a state senator who attended. Sen. Andre Cushing, R-Hampden, said LePage confirmed he was running during the event hosted by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Cushing said the announcement came in front of a group of about 100 people but LePage was unmistakeably clear that he would seek a second term in the Blaine House. LePage was reticent about running last week after the Democratic majority in the state Legislature, with help from some Republican lawmakers, doled out a veto override on a state budget LePage rejected for tax increases. “There was a group of people here committed to doing everything they can to see him re-elected,” Cushing said of the private, $2,000 per person event. (read more at Lewiston Sun Journal)

Governor LePage Says He’s Considering Wearing Nothing But A Speedo, Flip-Flops, And A Big Gold Chain To Work On Monday

Angry LePage faceAUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage told reporters in an interview Friday that he is mulling a run for Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud’s congressional seat and said that any fundraising he has done for the 2014 gubernatorial campaign could be donated to domestic violence causes. In response to a reporter’s question about whether inflammatory comments he made Thursday about Sen. Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, would hurt his gubernatorial campaign, LePage said, “Who said I’m running?” “I’m considering running for Mike Michaud’s seat if you want to know the truth because it can’t be any worse in Washington than it is here,” LePage said. “Everything’s on the table. Retirement, Social Security, running for Congress, maybe going back to Marden’s to stock shelves, who knows. I don’t take myself as seriously as all you do.” (read more at Bangor Daily News)

Maine Humorist Forgets The Part Of The Story With The Humor Again

Tim Sample Wiscasset ColumnistOne nice side benefit of my job as a humorist is that I occasionally get to perform at spiffy upscale resorts like Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Fla. It’s no secret that a few days of Florida sunshine around mud season can do wonders for any winter weary Mainer (and it doesn’t hurt that there’s a paycheck involved). The audience at my most recent Ocean Reef appearance mostly comprised people “from away,” a fairly high percentage of whom either maintain a summer home in Maine or have at least visited a time or two. Following the performance I experienced an odd but not entirely uncommon phenomenon. Having just spent an hour or so listening to my Maine stories, audience members began cuing up [sic] to tell me their Maine stories. (read more at Wiscasset Newspaper)

After The Nuclear/Zombie/Mad Max Apocalypse, Only This 90-Year-Old Lobsterman, Keith Richards, And Cockroaches Expected To Survive

Lobsterman in MaineHARPSWELL, Maine — A 90-year-old Great Island man swam from his sinking lobster boat to a small island Friday night before being rescued by his son-in-law. Phillip Tuttle was home Monday afternoon recovering from cuts and scrapes suffered in the ordeal, according to his daughter-in-law Verian Tuttle. “He’s a pretty stubborn, feisty Mainer,” she said Monday. Tuttle left his home late Friday afternoon after leaving his wife a note that he was heading out to check a trap and would be right back, Verian Tuttle said. But when he didn’t return in time for dinner, they knew something was wrong. Tuttle’s 26-foot-lobster boat, Queen Tut, had run aground off Gun Point sometime between 6:30 and 6:45 p.m., according to Jeff Nichols of the Maine Department of Marine Resources. “He’s very sharp — he really is — and he definitely was trying to find something to float on,” his daughter-in-law said. “He climbed out onto the ledge he hit, the tide was coming in now, so he knew he had to get to shore, and he had to swim about 30 yards. He’s a pretty good swimmer, or was in his day, and he made it ashore. He said he would crawl on the rocks a few inches at a time.” (read more at Bangor Daily News)

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