Friday, November 18, 2011

Birds Of A Feather?

Since the weather was abnormally nice for mid November, the wife and I decided to go for a walk last Sunday (11/13). There were a couple of reasons as to why we actually went for a walk together. One, I wasn't able to get my normal Saturday walk in 'cause I had to spend the morning at DMV and two, the wife is on a weight loss kick and I finally convinced her to go on a walk with me.

So off the park we went and because I decided to stun two birds with one pine cone, I took a slew of videos. Six in all, as a matter of fact. Fortunately for you, all are in the general neighborhood of 2 1/2 minutes for viewing time. Aslo fortunately for you, they all cover one general topic: Father Nature. Hope you enjoy this little slice of suburban life today.


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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Bad Thing About Storm Alfred

click here for companion video

As promised, here is the bad thing about "Storm Alfred".

Lots of damage. Although this video will show you a small representative sample of what went down on October 29th, I will tell you from my travels the next day, that the damage ran the gamut from what you saw in the video to quite a few houses having trees blown onto them (winds were 15 to 45mph, with gusts up to 70 in some parts of the state).

I won't say that you should enjoy this video, but keep in mind what I told you about the background in the first video, because that exact same background pops up early in this video. BTW, the video clocks in about 10 minutes, so feel free to skip around if you wish.



Saturday, October 29, 2011

Indian Summer On Mountain Road

I was doing a test drive of my video shooting skills a few weeks ago and I thought now would be a good time as any to subject all of you to the gradual retooling of this blog from a picture oriented thingamabob to video oriented thingamabob.

Both videos are two different views of Mountain Road Newington taken one glorious Saturday morning on my way home from my errands. Hope you like.




Saturday, September 17, 2011

Many Days In The Life Of Yello Bear (5)


Oh shaddup will you? Until I get to the last picture in this post, this blog still belongs to Yello Bear, not you. So be off with you and let me entertain these good folks in peace. We're still hanging ten at the playground and as you can see, I's getting ready to do a little wall climbing. Or a little wall diving, take your pick. If my nose and face looks a little discolored, it's due to an overly affection doggy deciding to use me as a chew toy. Doggy breath...feh!



G's daughter Jenelle getting ready for a dance competition.



I's chillin' out on the bird feeder, which due to the fact that G is flat broke, hasn't been filled with birdseed since July.



I's love climbing trees so that I can survey my kingdom!




And now it's time for my siesta. I hope you enjoyed this small sampling of the many busy days in the life of Yello Bear, because I sure have enjoy spending my time with all of you. Take and have a fun-filled stress free rest of the year!

Done?

Yeah, I'm done.

Kewl beans. I thank you muchly, Yello Bear.

De nada.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And so we come to the end of not only this fascinating glimpse into the life of Yello Bear, but to the current incarnation of this blog as well. This fun filled pictorial blog is going on a well deserved vacation as yours truly tries to decide whether he should re-tool this blog into something a little different, or make the temporary vacation a little more permanent.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Many Days In The Life Of Yello Bear (4)


I is...ummm...G is loaded with money today and he decided to lend me a couple of Jacksons so that I could buy some gourmet honey imported from Ulee's of Florida. Damn good stuff that honey is.


"G here. Thought I would give everyone a brief respite from listening to the yellow mighty mouth and show you a little bit of the homestyle graffiti that has been gracing this particular bridge ever since I was a child of my daughter's age. This particular bridge is the one that brings you into Newington from points north and west and takes you out from points south and east. The road I'm standing on is one that should be familiar with everyone who has read this blog, as it has been featured at least once a month during this entire blog's existence. Anyways, this is one of only two spots that is heavily adorned with graffiti, with the other being directly behind me."


That's enough of G warbling his tiny little thoughts on my blog...umm...his blog. Back to me. I'm catching up on my suntan in this picture. Hoo boy was it hot that day!


And here I is going for a ride on a bicycle, courtesy of G's daughter Jenelle and her best friend E. Man I had a good time riding around on that bicycle.


And here I is getting ready to go down the slide at Jenelle's former school's playground. Jenelle is in 5th grade this year and has moved onto the middle school for her classes. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!


And here I is riding on the playground zip line. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Many Days In The Life Of Yello Bear (3)

Hello dare! It is I, your old pal Yello Bear, who is none the worse for where. I've come through unscathed from Tropical Storm Irene last weekend and I trust that all of my good friends and readers have the same outcome as well. If you're all good and comfy, we shall continue where we had left off from two week ago.



Yello simply loves supporting his local businesses, and one of his favorites (as well as his left hand man G's) is Goldburgers. Goldburgers has the best dang burgers, hot dogs, fries, onion rings and daily specials that this bear has ever seen in his short lifetime. If you're in the local area, give Goldburgers a try. After all, their signature burger, the Goldburger, made the Hartford Courant's top ten list of best burgers in the state.

And here I is, checking out some fantastic concoction that G is about to sink his teeth into. I don't know what it is, but it sure does smell something good. And he's got some good old fashioned hand cut french fries as well (Goldburgers also features sweet potato fries too). Ain't nothing better than feasting on good eats in the spring.



And I's just chillin' chillin' on this nice oh-so-comfy roadside couch. Man, I bets you're just so jealous of me. I know G is, 'cause he has to lug me and this nifty camera around all day, with no rest for the weary. I'm telling you, I's just get worn out from telling him what to do and where to go all day.



I just loves pointing out all the local businesses that Newington has to offer.




And Yello Bear always likes eating Girl Scout cookies and..... What? You like to say something G?

G nods his head vigorously

Okay, go fer it.

"G here. If I could be serious for a moment. The local Girl Scout troop were selling cookies in front of the bank that day (the bank is heavily into being a genuinely good corporate citizen of the community) and in fact, I had asked permission if I could take a picture of Yello Bear surrounded by Girl Scout cookies. The scout leader happily and whole heartedly gave her permission, so I snapped a picture and then bought a box of cookies to donate to the military. So my friends, support the men and women of the military as much as you can. It doesn't matter what your political leanings are, just remember that these brave people are doing a job that they choose and believe in, and we should always keep that fact in mind."

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mother Nature Interruptus

For those of you who were expecting a new post here, it's been delayed a week, due to Mother Nature's temper tantrum called Hurricane Irene, which is expected to deliver a nasty drive-by to Connecticut this weekend (August 27th & 28).

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Many Days In The Life Of Yello Bear (2)




After I had G take me to the post office to buy some money orders in which to pay my bills, I was feeling a bit peckish. So I had G take me to D&D to pick up a tasty munchie in which to quench my hunger. Now since I often like to share my tasty snack with my friend, this usually means I don't buy something with lots of sugar, like a cinnamon roll or a Boston eclair, or even a glazed donut (mmmm....donut). Instead, I buy a tasty bagel or croissant, toasted to a golden brown and dripping with butter (mmmm....butter). Yummy for the tummy!

A brief interruption as Holly the Cat was throwing a temper tantrum because she wanted to make an appearance and I didn't want her in my little pictorial journey. However, G prevailed because he threatened to make me listen to Robert Byrd and his magical banjo of bluegrass if I didn't agree to let Holly make an appearance. Since I, Yello Bear, is a diehard moderate Republican with hardly any leanings to the left side of the aisle, and the thought of listening to a moldy oldy politician playing music scares me almost as much as admitting to the fact that I voted for Slick Willie twice*, I acquiesced.


And what journey wouldn't be complete without making a stop at this blog's favorite park and front page header. G was complaining that he needed a breather, so even though I was full of vim and vinegar and roaring to go, I gave G the benefit of the doubt and made a pit stop at the Banks Corner Park. He sat on his butt shortly after taking this picture, while I decided to soak up a few rays of sunshiny goodness.


Our ultimate destination this day was the school playground, where G's daughter spent K-4 attending school. I just loves the swing, and the fortunate thing is that G does as well. So much so that short after taking this pic, he hopped on the swing and swung until he was about ten feet in the air. Naturally he didn't jump off, but instead gave me a boost and I jumped an extra fifteen in the air and executed a perfect 1440 before landing in the soft wood chips on my belly.


And unlike G, I is very good in geography, as you can see that I was able to pick out the fine state of Connecticut from this funky colored map on the first try.


G!
You bellowed?
You blithering idiot! How many times do I have to tell you that before you post a picture, you have to make doubly sure that it is facing in the proper direction!
What? It's facing in the right direction. Aren't you laying down to take a nap?
No, I'm not lying down taking a nap, you doofus! This is a picture of me sitting on the wall holding my walking stick! If I was lying down, do you seriously think that the stick would still be horizontal like that?
Ummm, yes?
WHAT? ARE YOU NUTS? DID YOU NOT EAT YOUR WHEATIES TODAY? DID YOU WAKE UP THIS MORNING AND DECIDE THAT BEING STUPID SHOULD BE THE FIRST THING ON YOUR TO-DO LIST TODAY?!
Ummm, no.
You and I need to have a seriously long chat in the backyard when we get home today. Do I make myself clear, crystal or otherwise?

G shuffles off towards home, leaving an angry Yello Bear to stew in his own juices

*Truthfully, I voted for Clinton twice, only because GHWB wasn't a viable candidate the first time, and Bob Dole definitely wasn't a viable candidate the second time.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Many Days In The Life Of Yello Bear (1)

No, it's not this particular fun-filled song (used for a theme song in a syndicated radio show called Flashback in the 80's), but simply a peek at the many days in my life.

Howdy everyone! Yello Bear here, with my trusty left hand man G doing the transcription and whatever else that I deem necessary to the stroking of my ginormous ego here on my new home. Forget about the fact that this blog is maintained by my trusty left hand man G here, this is Yello Bear's blog now. I may turn it back over to G if he stops doing his impersonation of the gimp and starts acting more like Sherman.


I usually like to start my mornings off with a little branch balancing. I need to keep extra flexible so that I can drink all of that honey flavored Mello Yello soda without getting sick. Just look how toned my arms and legs are in this picture. I tell ya, I am one hot piece of bear that the chicks go crazy over.


Hey G! Didn't I tell you not to take any pictures without me in them? Yes, I know its Old Glory flying at half staff. Man, that flag does look majestic flying in the wind, don't it? Okay, Old Glory is the only righteous exception that I will make to my egotistical rules. You did good and I'm proud of you.


I do all of my banking at Webster Bank, for two reasons: 1} it's best local bank in the state, which is saying a lot because most of the local banks have been swallowed up by very large corporations (Wells Fargo, Niagara), and 2} it ain't Skank of America.


I also like to have my morning cup of java from D&D, but G scoffs at my choice of liquid refreshment, so he goes to...yeech...Starbucks. And sometimes, he'll drink Starbucks sleazier offspring, Seattle's Best Brew. I mean, what kind of manly man drinks coffee from some yuppie-fied place that features healthy foods and c.d.'s from people who should've left the music biz 15 years ago?


After I get my caffeine crave satisfied at D&D, I next go to the post office to pick up a few money orders and stamps so that G can pay my bills for me. What? No, I don't spend MY money to pay MY bills. I spend G's money to pay MY bills. After all, isn't that what a left hand man is for? Exactly, a bottomless pit of money.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Now This Is Winter! (5)

And now, it's time to close out the 2010/2011 winter season with the final installment of our series. Starting next week, we'll be skipping right up to the mid Spring season with a very special treat for everyone. Why special? Because I get to share that silly side of me that most everyone here very rarely gets to experience.

But, enough about that. Instead, let's deal with this.


More melting snow and bits and pieces of brown grass and leaves and bare trees. Not really sure as to why I took such an odd shot. Unless of course, I felt like taking an odd shot, which in turn would explain this...odd...shot.

Hmmmm.



Holly on the window looking out. Judging by the decoration on the dining room table, I would say that this was taken in mid February.

Hmmmm.



Another shot of Holly.

Hmmmmm.



Okay, this one I can elaborate on. Jenelle is playing her PS2 game (at least I think that's what its called). Something she likes to occupy herself on long trips or during competitions when she has a lot of down time between performances.



Another shot of Jenelle, wearing one of her dance school outfits.



Lunch. Lunch that warm winter day was a ham and cheese half-grinder with onions, pickles and mayo. The bag of chips is from a local company here in Connecticut that is starting to make a splash coast to coast called "Deep River Snacks" and I would say that they're tied with Cape Cod as being my preferred chip of choice for lunch. The grinder is from a local shop called Tony Baloney's. This particular flavor of chip, Cracked Pepper and Sea Salt, definitely has a nasty kick to it.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Now This Is Winter! (4)

Yay. More shots of shnow for your emotional pining of all things cold....Sorry about that. Got a sobering reality check yesterday (7/29) from a co-worker who suffers from the same genetic malady that I do, and I don't want to have it bleed into my blogging. After all, a blog is escapism at its very finest and one should try suspend the real world from invading it as much as humanly possible.

With that said, on with the show!


Another fine outstanding example of how much snow we got slammed with this past season, and as you can see, the plow basically went down the middle of the street and created a true one car pathway. And yes, those snowbanks are basically my height (5' 7") give or take a few inches.



They did run a sander on the road as well. Just not at the same time as the plow. The width of this road (my street) is about a car and a half, give or take. Amazingly enough, with all of this snow, we did not lose power in our neighborhood during the entire winter season.



Another fine example of Jenelle's creativity. This is a picture of a bird in a tree. The detail in the drawing is pretty good.



A clearer version of the picture, complete with the legendary Mr. Ducky.



About a month later, when the weather started to warm up to the point of melting the snow.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Now This Is Winter! (3)

In part 2, I gave everyone just a general overview of how bad the snow was this past January and February. This week's post will give everyone a good specific idea on just how bad it really was, mostly because these were taking during the bright sunshiny morning and afternoon. Nothing like a little bit of light to really bring out the ugliness of Mother Nature. Sort of like when someone uses black and white for dramatic and emotional photos instead of color.


This was taken from my shoveled out sidewalk. That shrub in the background and the tree in the foreground should give you a good idea of how deep the snow was in the front yard. Well that, and the buried car in the background.

If that didn't do the trick, then this shoveled out path (done by yours truly and not by my lazy ass son) should be a better example. The top of the wall that you see on the left is about two and a half feet from the ground. The hump that you see with the little opening in the foreground is actually a buried bush some three feet in height.



I was very fortunate to have a neighbor of mine help me with the driveway. I had shoveled down to the back end of my car before he came over with his snow blower, and together we finished out the driveway. The snowbanks are courtesy of the town plows. And just to give you a basic idea on how crappy the plowing was due to being smacked by back-to-back-to-back-back snowstorms (seriously, I am not exaggerating on the amount of snowstorms), where you see the last of the car shadow is about where the actual end of the driveway is. And you can definitely see how deep the snow is in the front yard, just by looking at the tree.



Because we got smacked sooooooo bad by the multiple snowstorms, it became virtually impossible to make a right turn from my street to Mountain Road for about a month. The multiple snowstorms basically forced the town to put the snow wherever they were able to find a spot for it. Thus, it got put on the corner of our yard, which is where stop sign is.

Think I'm fooling about the depth of the snow at the corner of my yard? The snowbank on the right is the same one in the previous pic. Mountain Road literally became a true one car road. If two cars were coming towards each other, whoever was closest to one of the side streets would stop about several feet from the side street and wait for the other car to pull over on the side street in order to let them pass. From this section of the road, there are only three other side streets. Out of those three, only two were used for this maneuver. The third was the road just before the multi-photographed concrete barrier and had a hill that absolutely ate up cars in this kind of weather.
About the only pretty things that you'll find in this entire series (besides Holly my cat) are the snow covered trees. Everything else just shows off Mother Nature at her worst.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Now This Is Winter! (2)

Considering what's going on in California this weekend, maybe I should've called this, "Snow Armageddon"....oh well, and now, for something completely different, we have...winter in summer!


Continuing with our brief interlude of the warm fuzzies, I bring you yet another action packed shot of Holly stepping out her little cube. Doesn't she look all soft and fluffy? Doesn't this just want to make you pick her up and scritch her tummy until soft purrs of content fill your senses? I thought so.

By the way, this is my avatar on Facebook, which in keeping with my five year streak of never really showing my face in cyber space pretty much means that I'll be forever coming up with bizarre and unique photos to represent myself with. After all, how many people do you know have an avatar of a slaw dog and fries as an official representation of themselves to the public at large?



Now back to the issue at hand, soft fluffy white stuff. This is the tree that has been featured from time to time on my other blog, and I thought that this looked so funky and spooky that I needed to have a picture of it. And if you look very closely, you can see that the top of the snow almost reaches that twin trunk. My friends, that is about two feet of snow there.



This is about three and a half feet of snow in the backyard. I took this from the back porch. My mom's little dog did not do his thing for the entire winter season out there because as you can see, he would've vanished the second he made contact with the snow.


Looking towards the side. I'm estimating that there's almost four, simply because the top of the fence is just barely seen. That hump you see in the left foreground is the remnants of the dead tree that was cut down late last summer, which was most tree trunk. No, I did not walk back there either.


Looking towards the other side at the mountain. Looks kind of spooky and magical don't it. Nifty looking snowdrift on the deck there, isn't it? Just on the other side of the fence, I'm estimating that the snowbank is about five to six feet deep.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Now This Is Winter In Connecticut!

Yup. Even though you may be frying out your brain cells where you're currently living, on Shooting Suburbia, we are hip deep in the 2010/2011 Winter season, Connecticut style.

If you recall back in early January, I was doing some serious bitchin' about the lack of plowing, lack of traffic planning, the record amount of snowfall (115+ inches) and the fact my twenty minute daily commute turned into an hour. At the time, I had no pictorial proof to corroborate my bitchin'.

Guess what folks? I gots proof.

Feast your sizzled optic nerves on these little babies.

Yes, this is looking up my street where my house is situated. Those three white lumps that you see just off to the left are my car, my wife's car and my mother's car. That dry spot? Probably where a few cars idled trying to see around that ginormous snowbank in the foreground. And yes, there is a stop sign there. I do have a picture of it later on in the series.

Looking down the right side of the street. Yes, a plow did go down the street. The center of the street. Once. Which is why you see that funky snowbank in the foreground.

Looking up Mountain Road. Yes, that is the mountain off on the left. And no, that section of the road really doesn't get plowed more than three times a month during the winter season.

Brief mental health interlude. Holly taking a siesta in her little cube, which is located in our bedroom. Yes, Holly is preferred subject of choice when I feel the need to break up the monotony of the photo roll.


Another non-action shot of Holly. If you're wonderin' how I got those pics, especially since my body can't quite bend the normal way that other people can, I dropped to my knees, then flattened myself out. And yes, there were cries of pain and agony as I got back to my feet.