Print That!

Sometimes I am at a loss about what is the best method for me to use in communicating my ideas to others. I am a writer, so I need to write; and believe it or not—I’d like others to read what I write.

Yesterday, I made my bi-weekly trip to New Sharon and then, Rangeley. I’m managing a grant related to aging in place. I thought about tweeting about it, but refrained. Knowing your demographic is important, at least that’s the wisdom offered by social media gurus, and other marketing “experts.” A good chunk of my demographic is 60-years-old, or older. Since they’re not on Twitter, tweeting does no good. I could use Facebook, but even Facebook has a limited reach, at least from my own experience with the demographic apt to read my blogging.

Press it!!

Press it!!

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Too Busy to Think

I’ve had a subscription to The New Yorker for years now. It was a gift from my son, as he knew that I was a fan of long-form narrative nonfiction. I still am. Most stories are impossible to capture in a few sentences, let alone 140 characters.

The New Yorker still offers information and stories that I find worthwhile. Often lately, I find the urban, smarter-than-thou orientation of many of the writers somewhat off-putting. It seems like many of the issues taken up in each issue are often predictable, at least predictable in a liberal, elite sort of way. Continue reading

Explore: Wilton-Bonus Material

Like the story of “The Maine Giantess,” Sylvia Hardy, the narrative of Joseph “Joe” Knowles, better known during his flirt with fame and notoriety, as “Naked Joe Knowles,” is also intriguing.

Knowles was born in Wilton, in 1867. His story goes something like this:

One hundred years ago, Joe Knowles clad merely in a jockstrap, said “goodbye” to civilization, and marched into the woods near Eustis to demonstrate his survival skills. As a number of publications note, Knowles was “the reality star of his day.”

Joe Knowles in his "wilderness suit." (Boston magazine)

Joe Knowles in his “wilderness suit.” (Boston magazine)

His story has been detailed in a number of places, including Boston magazine. Bill Green did a feature on Knowles on Bill Green’s Maine in 2013, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Knowles’ adventure in the Maine woods. Continue reading

R U Happy?

Happiness can be elusive. Is it an emotion or a feeling? Opinions vary.

In her 2007 book The How of Happiness, positive psychology researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky, describes happiness as “the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.” That’s a good start, at least in terms of defining what happiness is.

I was talking with a longtime friend yesterday about happiness, and its opposites. I mentioned to him that I thought the key to successfully staying in whatever game happen to be playing, is “managing your down periods.” Continue reading

Lobster Rolling 2014 (Fishermen’s Net)

A damn fine midday meal at Fishermen's Net.

A damn fine midday meal at Fishermen’s Net.

It was a good day for the JBE, so he decided to celebrate with a lobster roll. Tried to get my partner in crime to join me, but Miss Mary had other fish to fry.

I’m rolling with lobster rolls again, or as I like to say, “it’s lobster roll season” and I’m out and about sampling Maine’s finest.

I actually broke that line out about lobster roll season on some tourists visiting Portland and they seemed to like it.

We all know this is subjective and there’s no end to opinions about who has the best. If you need a primer on what I use in scoring my visits, check out this post about our last lobster roll ) excursion to Becky’s Diner. That one also involved some locally-brewed beer. Continue reading

A Different Approach

It’s always easy to focus on yourself. I know, I know—your situation is important and you don’t have time to think of anyone but yourself, or to ask about how I’m doing.

I’m re-evaluating most of my relationships. I remember a friend of mine from years ago mentioning that the “masses are asses.” My recent experience would validate his assessment. However, I’m trying to give people the benefit of the doubt and maintain a positive view of my fellow humans. Continue reading

Looking Back and Moving Ahead

All week, I’ve felt pressure from being behind the eight ball of work and deadlines. How was I going to juggle each of the balls I had in the air and not drop at least one of them?

Thursday happened to be my day for visiting two communities in rural Franklin County. They are where I’m engaged in a part-time grant project focused on Maine’s aging population.

Every other week, I leave my house just prior to 8:00 AM and usually don’t return until 6:30 or 7:00. I have two community teams I’m working with. I also end up logging more than 200 miles of windshield time.  I am enjoying getting back to grassroots organizing and connecting dots. Continue reading

Your Bumper Stickers Won’t Save You

As much as I’d like to sit home and blog, life sometimes intervenes. This morning, it was getting out of the house at 5:30 for my twice-weekly swim. I have a spring triathlon on the horizon. I woke up an hour earlier intending to bang out something for the sake of making my Tuesday blogging deadline, but as soon as I opened my laptop and tried logging on, I realized that I had no Internet connection–I’m not sure why.

I was also unclear about what to write about.

Lately, the things that I find important are either things I’ve written about before (reinvention, writing, fitness), or things I no longer find appealing (politics). Granted, there’s no shortage of things to write about relative to the latter, but more and more, I don’t find politics bringing forth any new solutions to some of the pressing issues of our time. In fact, the politician that many people imbued with so much hope has become very much like the leaders that came before him. Of course that never stops Americans from wearing their binary ideology on their sleeves, or the back bumpers of their cars.

Your bumper stickers won't save you.

Your bumper stickers won’t save you.

So here I sit, drinking corporate coffee and accessing an available Wi-Fi connection, blogging a few thoughts and ideas that crossed my mind while making my way up and down my pool lane this morning. Continue reading

Spring’s Arrival

A month ago, some of us had our doubts that spring would ever arrive. As the calendar turned from April into May, those concerns have abated.

In Maine, the transition from snow and cold, to something more tolerable happens rapidly, as if someone flipped a switch. In a mere week’s time, the temperatures have jumped 20 degrees, the grass is greening, crocuses are in bloom, and school-based baseball is in full swing. Continue reading

Writing About Food

Writing about food, just like almost everything else in our 21st century lives has changed. I don’t know what it is, but much of our current food writing seems to me to be carried out by writers that are more about the art of food, with less awareness about its preparation. Or, if the writer knows his or her way around the kitchen and kettle, then it becomes necessary to pull the “food snob” shtick, which I absolutely deplore.

It seems everyone these days is writing about lobster rolls. There’s the Lobster Gal, who has a new book out, and then, Yankee has another spread on the “best” lobster shacks in New England in their Best of New England issue. There are all manner of varieties of this common narrative—we get it—New England has lots of lobster “shacks.” Continue reading