May 31, 2005

NotLongEnough Weekend

As the unofficial/official (depending on whom you speak to) kickoff of summer, Memorial Day weekend bodes well. Quite a bit was crammed into a small weekend space. Here’s the Reader’s Digest Version.

Friday Rivers and Needles

On Friday night, M and I were out and about scouting new geocache locations, and checking on my existing geocache.

There’s a particular spot I’ve known about that definitely needs a cache, but I didn’t know it well enough to plan one, and we got our first acquaintance with it on Friday. I think people get a little suspicious of you when they see you walking around with a video camera, but the video makes it a bit easier to remember site features when you’re back at home. Still photos are good for some things, but your brain puts together more of a sense of depth from a moving camera, and sometimes that’s important in understanding what you’re looking at.

On the other hand, wandering around with an 8-year-old puts people at ease. So it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other. The video in this post is among the copious footage we took.

In our travels, we happened upon a syringe under a rock. I called the police and waited there at dusk to show the officer where it was.

Saturday Caches and Lamb

Saturday morning was spent preparing for a trip to visit Bob and Patti.

It was an excellent visit. We had a hike along a beautiful trail as we sought the Dogs at Delaney cache. It was in a wet region, but the day was dry. When the warm sun hits the ground after a long rain it seems to lift all the scents of the trail into the air.

Back at the house, we lazed in the sunroom while Bob prepared us gin and tonics with Hendricks and cucumber (rather than lime). It is an impressive combination, and one I will be sure to attempt to recreate as soon as I find myself some Hendricks and some free time. Thanks for the introduction, Bob.

Bob also prepared an incredible meal of lamb and chicken shish kebab. As Patti remarked, if we were next door neighbors we’d all be significantly heavier. Their beautiful new kitchen renovation only makes matters worse. The more time spent in that beautiful and functional kitchen, the more calories would be prepared and consumed. I’m sure of it.

I’ve got “Morningstar Farms Veggie Bacon Strips” written in my PDA, which means I said I would try these. Now that I think of it, it might be worth putting together a side-by-side comparison of various nonmeat bacon products. Especially if I can rope other people in to giving their opinions in a blind test.

Eventually, we left the hospitality and great conversation at their house, but not before a trip to a local hand-made ice cream shop. The name escapes me.

That night, after some web searches and a look at the satellite picture, I noticed an undeveloped place in town I’d never seen before, even though I’d lived in the town my whole life. It was a place that looked ripe for a geocache.

Sunday Scouting and Sideways

In the morning I took the girls to scout this previously unknown area, and record waypoint coordinates suitable for hides. I won’t go on and on about it, but the trails, hidden in the midst of our town’s central residential area, offer a variety of things to look at and are a great place to walk around.

In the afternoon we had a family party for my cousin Rachael’s son.

Julie came by that evening and we ate steak, salad and Spanish rice. Sudden downpours meant we had to cook indoors, which is sub-optimal for steak. But we managed, marinating the stuff in beer which got mixed reviews. Cooking note: steak is best marinated in a beer with less hops character. No IPAs.

We watched Sideways which we seemed to agree was a well-made film, but we hated the main characters. I think you’re supposed to like one of the main characters by the end of the film, or at least pity him. I did pity him, but if he was supposed to go through some sort of transformative moment, I was hoping for something a lot more transformative than what we got.

However, the acting was brilliant.

We also got to watch an episode of Greg the Bunny (Julie supplied it) and I think that show met an untimely demise. It probably would have done better on Comedy Central.

Monday Parades and Such

Skimming right along, the girls were in a parade on Monday morning. The parade route goes by our house, so I cleaned the car while waiting for them to go by. Watching a parade alone is uncomfortable, because you feel like you have to wave at all the folks going by. I don’t mind waving at the veterans, but I hate waving at the politicians. The veterans don’t all have fakey looks on their faces.

Maggie worked in the yard all day, moving earth from one place to another in what was clearly hard labor. For my part, I spread weed and feed and Dursban which took a collective 20 minutes, probably.

K and I then went for a third scouting trip, and attempted to find a new, nearby cache that is hidden in a marsh. Both of us stepped in the marsh, filling our boots with water. However we didn’t give up until (running out of time) we realized we had what amounted to a deep stream between us and the cache. K was all for attempting to ford the stream, since we were already wet. But I believe the marsh was at least a couple of feet deep at that point. It won’t be so wet come August.

That was our weekend, in brief. Expect a post about a new geocache hide very soon…

Posted by James at May 31, 2005 1:53 AM
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Comments

The name of the ice cream place is Erickson's in Maynard. Wooa. Just looked to see if they had a website and didn't find one but did find a link back to this blog from a topic you did on Ice Cream last April.

I don't really think you're supposed to like either male character to be honest. Just the movie in general and the situations. The female characters are far more likeable.

Posted by: B.O.B.(bob) at May 31, 2005 10:22 AM

I believe the Erickson's link B.O.B. is referring to is this: http://www.drmomentum.com/aces/archives/001310.html

Perhaps this: http://www.drmomentum.com/aces/archives/001413.html

There is also this: http://web.maynard.ma.us/biz/eriksons/

Posted by: Patti M. at May 31, 2005 10:54 AM

That second link is about Stony Brook sanctuary, which we were talking about this weekend, Patti.

I couldn't remember what town it was in. According to the website, it's in Norfolk, MA. We'll have to plan an outing there sometime -- it's a very pleasant walk.

Posted by: James at May 31, 2005 11:12 AM

Stony Brook is indeed in Norfolk: http://www.massaudubon.org/Nature_Connection/Sanctuaries/Stony_Brook/index.php

I just renewed my Mass Audubon membership and received a handy dandy booklet of all the sanctuaries; good for traveling.

Posted by: Patti M. at May 31, 2005 11:21 AM

Stony Brook is lovely. I visited often when I lived in Mansfield. I could spend hours leaning over the boardwalk watching the fish swim by and the painted turtles sun themselves.

Posted by: Mike at May 31, 2005 11:43 AM

Eriksons is ok, but for a real ice cream treat, go to Kimball's in Westford. I have the added benefit of living about 10 minutes from there. For those of you that have never experienced Kimball's ice cream portions, order a small when you go, or a kiddie. A large will feed a family of 4 for a week. I ordered a banana split one time, and it was huge. Took me about 45 minutes to put it away.

Posted by: Bob McCown at May 31, 2005 12:13 PM

The root beer float I got yesterday at Kimball's came with a tray to hold the mammoth tower of vanilla ice cream that was threatening to fall off the edge of the cup. Bob ain't kiddin'. :-)

Posted by: Mike at May 31, 2005 12:23 PM

Blech,

Ericksons blows Kimballs away!

Larger does not = better. I'll take a small scoop of good ice cream over a giant scoop of mediocre ice cream any day. Plus the hassle of the parking, the lines and the hazard of dodging traffic make Kimballs a royal pain.

Posted by: B.O.B.(bob) at May 31, 2005 12:42 PM

As I have said many times before, I prefer quality over quantity.

Kimball's gives you too much ice cream. That's the only place where I've ever thrown ice cream away.

I don't need a petting zoo or pitch 'n' putt with my ice cream, I just need good ice cream, and for that, I go to Erickson's. Though the par 3 golf at Kimball's is fun...

Posted by: Patti M. at May 31, 2005 12:44 PM

Im not advocating quantity over quality. I happen to like the quality of Kimball's ice cream over Eriksons. Thats why I generally get a kiddie cone myself.

Posted by: Bob McCown at May 31, 2005 12:52 PM

Mmmmm. Erickson's. I haven't found a place out here that compares yet. Although the kids are big fans of Cold Stone Creamery. It's a chain outit reminiscent of Steve's. You pick a recipe and the scoop ice cream onto a board and then use spatulas to mash in the extra ingredients.

Posted by: briwei at May 31, 2005 1:01 PM

I've had both and prefer Erickson's. The Kimball's ice cream is a bit heavier. So, I think it's a stylistic difference. Both are good, though. When we went to Kimball's, we'd get 2 kiddie cups. For four of us!

Posted by: briwei at May 31, 2005 1:07 PM

I remember the first time I saw that ice-cream mashing thing at Steve's in Dartmouth (I don't think it's there any more). I thought it was pretty weird! It looked like a lot of hard labor.

It's so funny to read James' version of the weekend. Here's my version: GS all afternoon and evening Friday, then trying to get running and yard work in before going up to Bob and Patti's, then lots of fun at Bob and Patti's, and then trying to get running and yard work in before Julie comes over, then lots of fun with Julie, then a parade with my GS troops, and then trying to get yard work in before going to my in-laws for dinner. Now I'm trying to get running and yard work in before the girls come home from school. :-P That hill will be gone before autumn!! It will, I swear!!

This ice cream war is pretty funny. You're all wrong, of course. The best ice cream is at Somerset Creamery! ;-)

Posted by: Maggie at May 31, 2005 1:12 PM

Maggie- You're probably right about the ice cream but Somerset is a bit of a drive for ice cream. I haven't gotten ice cream there since I was about 10 so I don't remember too much about the quality.

Posted by: B.O.B.(bob) at May 31, 2005 1:28 PM

Sounds like we need to hold an ice cream event. A Somerset Creamery visit.

When Brian is in town.

Posted by: James at May 31, 2005 1:43 PM

Sounds like an adventurous weekend! Cool beans!

Posted by: Chuck S. at May 31, 2005 2:09 PM

To prove how silly and subjective a debate about ice cream is I'll chime in with one of my favorites: Four Seas in Centerville.

Posted by: Mike at May 31, 2005 2:16 PM

I love Somerset Creamery, although there used to be (maybe still is) a place called Crescent Ridge which I used to like... in... uh... maybe Canton? I don't remember. OK, it's in Sharon. Whatever.

But let's face it. I'll eat just about any kind of ice cream. There's no need to go out of town. I'll even eat ice milk. I'm not proud.

Or thin. Speaking of which, Polly says thank you for the table scraps. (She says it with her eyes. I'm not hallucinating.)

As for Sideways... we did not all agree on which guy we disliked more, although I think it's fair to say that neither of them would be on our Christmas card lists. Since my counselor is the person who recommended the movie to me, I'm going to ask her tomorrow which guy she found less annoying. Gotta get my money's worth from these sessions, after all. :)

Posted by: Julie at May 31, 2005 2:18 PM

Also love the Ice Cream Sandwich in Sandwich. The ice cream itself is pretty good, but they make the BEST sundaes.

Posted by: Julie at May 31, 2005 2:19 PM

It is silly. It's like saying "My husband is the most hansome and clever husband." Even though it's true to me, it's still subjective.

Posted by: Patti M. at May 31, 2005 2:20 PM

For those of you unable to tolerate dairy, you might try the Toffuti Cutie, an ice cream sandwich that has no ice cream or other dairy in it. I like them because they're tasty and small. Sometimes I want an ice cream sandwich, but I don't want to eat a big honkin' snack, and these are perfect.

My parents loved 'em when I served them for dessert last week. My dad was initially snyde when he read "tofu" on the package, but he liked it. Mom has a tough time with dairy, so she was pleased as well.

Posted by: Patti M. at May 31, 2005 2:25 PM

Ice cream is my favorite ice cream.

;-)

Posted by: James at May 31, 2005 3:37 PM

I forgot about Somerset Creamery! Mmmmmmmm, waffle cone. I'll agree with James that, in general, ice cream is my favorite ice cream, but there are some brands that are just not up to snuff. If I'm going to ingest the kind of calories and fat it entails, the ice cream needs to be good. Or at least adorned with good stuff, like Friendly's peanut butter sauce and hot fudge with crumbled up peanut butter cup topping...

Posted by: briwei at May 31, 2005 6:30 PM

It's the classic! Oooh. I think I'm going to swoon. But htat may just be lightheadedness because of low blood sugar.

Posted by: James at May 31, 2005 7:59 PM

LOL, Brian. All I can think of is Sarah saying "Do you people put peanut butter on everything??"

Posted by: Maggie at May 31, 2005 8:00 PM

Do I put PB on everything?

No. Sometimes I have to put the stuff on the PB instead. Like cinnamon, for example. It'd be tricky to put PB on cinnamon.

Posted by: Julie at May 31, 2005 9:30 PM

I always liked cinnamon raisin bread with peanut butter. Mmm...

Posted by: Patti M. at June 1, 2005 8:28 AM

I put peanut butter on peanut butter once.

Posted by: James at June 1, 2005 8:34 AM

Two great tastes that...wait.

Posted by: briwei at June 1, 2005 11:11 AM

You haven't lived until you have tried frozen custard. I had it at Culver's in Wausau, Wisconsin. Awesome stuff and did not bother my stomache. http://www.culvers.com/

Posted by: Patty S. at June 1, 2005 5:42 PM

I want to live!!!!

Posted by: James at June 1, 2005 6:38 PM

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