Signs of the Times from Augusta Maine

Arby's Ball &: What used to be the "5 for $5 Deal" at Arb'ys, which included 5 roast beef sandwiches for $5 is now $7. They still have Jamocha shakes. And most recently free WiFi.

2-Pack Special: Two packs of cigarettes are now more expensive than 2 pizzas.


Augusta Maine Report, 122907

I no longer have a bicycle. I do have snowshoes. I do have a bike lock. I do go to the Lithgow Library & Reading Room w/ my snowshoes.

The Snow Polls: I'm sure the snowman to the left is voting for Ron Paul. Is that strange?
On my way home from work I saw him holding a Ron Paul sign. I'm not sure who the snowman on the right is voting for. Neither are they.

Joe Phelan, Kennebec Journal photographer, made sure the papers of Augusta and Waterville Maine had news on Sunday. The wire service was down. Joe, overhearing the problem, requested the master key. Went to the roof. Cleaned the snow off the satellite dish. The news lives another day.


Frozen Bleakness

A horseless carriage.

A flying machine takes advantage of the cold frozen air. Fuel is expensive, and especially flying around. In cold temperatures fuel is more dense, making it cheaper by the gallon.

I saw a springtime landscape. A beautiful springtime landscape.

Fallen apples in the snowfall.

A police truck in Augusta Maine.

Development on Western Avenue Augusta Maine, 122807

You won't believe your eyes.

Wood chip truck, Augusta Maine.



Grate! Just Grate! More snow. It doesn't bother me much but it really makes it a hazard getting around whether you're driving or walking. While walking, it is more dangerous you will be hit by a car.
A couple inches of snowfall seems like nothing anymore. Please send more snow! How will I be inspired otherwise? (Plus the mercury levels are driving me crazy.)

Domino's Pizza is the only place that delivers past 10 p.m. on weekdays in Augusta Maine. I've ordered from there twice I think. They have anchovies.



Moscow on the Hudson:

I hardly left my house for 3 days. I celebrated Christmas on my phone in the frozen bleakness of Maine. (The weather was actually sunny and mild.)
I watched movies from Lithgow Library & Reading Room. Including Moscow on the Hudson.


Charlie Wilson's Christmas Special

This Christmas I went to see the movie Charlie Wilson's War. It was cool because I've been to Afghanistan and I've met Charlie Wilson before. (I told him my unit found a crate of Stinger missiles that he sold to the Afghans, in the hangar at Kandahar International Airport.) Here's a picture I took of Charlie Wilson and John Murtha in Washington DC, March 2006. They mention John Murtha once in the the movie. And learning from the movie, it seems he actually held a large part in funding the covert war in Afghanistan.

Here is a scene from the movie. It's shaped like Pennsylvania, but definitely Afghanistan.

I took pictures at a party in his honor at the Rayburn Building on Capitol Hill. This photo is the real Charlie Wilson who is played by Tom Hanks in the movie.




My friend Matt (aka Level) sent me a DVD documentary-art video of friends at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, 10 years ago. Well produced, Matt is a video editor for News Channel 8 in Alexandria Va.


Any Maine Thursday

The mailman delivers my mail. Some of it cards.
Some of it packages. They are the gifts of my
Christmas season this year. I have the
fanciest tree. It's cut clean
and made flat by a
carpenter. (Like
was Christ
and its
not its trunk
are in the ground.
My gifts are

Lithgow Library

Snowblowing and shoveling on Weston Street. A man in the background with a shovel: obvious envy for the mechanical blower.

I wore my snowshoes to work and walked past the back of China King Augusta Maine.

This snow stile made it possible for me to take a shortcut. Possible with snowshoes.

This sidewalk, turned survival course by snow plows, would have been impassible without snowshoes.

Why do you hate me?!

Arriving at work with snowshoes on.


121907, Augusta Maine

Maine Christmas tree on Weston Street.

The old YMCA across the street from the Lithgow Library & Reading Room in Augusta Maine.

Mans' footprint on the Earth.

If you drive it's a nuisance.

I take my recycling to Shaw's Supermarket. I park in the produce section.

I watched a DVD from the Lithgow Library called "My Country, My Country." It's a documentary about Iraq two years after the U.S. invasion, during the elections.
I have wanted to go to Iraq as an artist. To try and find some images or words that would help lead to peace. I got, what I thought was pretty close at one time. Now I just watch DVDs and read about it.
Knowing Arabic would help.


Tuesday Dec. 18, Augusta Maine

I woke up a little after 6 a.m. and looked out my window. The morning is beautiful. I miss being able to wake up in the morning. I used to wake up early every day, until I started working the 'second shift.' I went back to sleep immediately after I took this picture, an artificial morning.

Churches are good community centers here in New England. Hopefully the denominations will try to outdo each other in do-goodership. In Maine, where jobs are scarce and population sparse, praying becomes the major health care plan.
I guess praying is a way to tell yourself what needs to get done over and over. A way to reassure your future. Thinking about things getting done, visualizing them, is many times the first step to reality. Praying becomes the way that people eventually get heating fuel so they don't freeze.
One of my neighbors, a couple houses down, was on the front page of the Kennebec Journal this morning because he can find no work, his wife doesn't work because of diabetes, their daughter is a high school senior just trying to get through her last year with good enough grades to make it to college. They share a similar story to many people in Maine.
The Salvation Army helped them buy heating fuel, which is more expensive than gas.
And the paper says the Salvation Army is falling short of breaking even this season.
I'm not sure if it makes sense but, I think what effects Maine's economy the most is its distance from population, which is what makes it appealing to its inhabitants. Catch-22 state.

I went to Lucky Garden for lunch and got tea, hot & sour soup, and ginger chicken for $5 something. That seems like an actual Chinatown price. Nice. Price.

I drove toward Gardiner Maine. School buses were either coming from or going to pick up students.
I remember this time of year being my least favorite when I was in grade school. The days are so short. No sun. Chopping, dragging, cutting, splitting, stacking :firewood. School suxed.

1.) Organic.
2.) Man made.

I went to Renys, the place with the blue awning, to get some snowshoes and cheap cold weather gear.

It is hard for me to believe that I live in a place that gives me a reason to buy snowshoes. I just won't believe it. Not even while I'm walking around with snowshoes.


Lots of Snow

The sidewalks don't look too much different than they did before the nor'easter snow storm. Although Western Avenue, my route to work, has the last sidewalks they plow. And all the snow plowed off the roads ends up on the sidewalk. While walking to work on Tuesday, some times I was a couple feet above rush-hour traffic, sometimes I was a couple feet sunk in the snow. A little bit of this. A little bit of that.

Tuesday, I was down by the State House, Maine's capital building in Augusta Maine. My friend Kevin called and told me he was getting married to his girlfriend Iona. Kevin is a photographer, most of the time at the Capital Building in DC. We all graduated from the Corcoran College of Art.

The sun is low
the air is cold
and dense

The sun is low
(and this is noon)
and things
are slow

Don't mind
the weather
(but it would
be better)
if the sun
was up there

Making Mounds: Was mound building mostly happening with northern ancient people? I forget, but it would explain a lot, except the masonry work.

On my way home from work, I caught up with, and passed an Augusta Maine municipal sidewalk-snow blower. It was a little after 1 a.m.


Nor'easter Goes Smoothly in Maine

Saint Augusta?: or Saint Augustine? The storm went well, most of the prayers of New England were spared their lives.

Berliners carry bags from Hannaford Grocery Store across the Father Curren Bridge in Augusta Maine. Though the weather didn't keep them from walking, they seemed to worry that the stores may close, making food unavailable.

Rich become Richer: I think telling people that "smoking makes the rich richer, and the poor poorer" gives them motivation to quit smoking (and buy stock in Philip Morris USA). Die-hard (good for investment?) smokers in Maine puff and chill in front a game shop on Water Street in Augusta Maine.

Snow biking: Snow biking is dangerous. It's like 5x more dangerous than gravel biking, uhhmm maybe 3x. But it is how C.J. met a friend of his who lives on the other side of Augusta Maine. They were on Water Street.

Shoveling: Paul shovels snow off sidewalks as part of a contract he has with local businesses. Jed shovels snow because he has no contract with Paul.

Snow Blowing: Hoa, one of my newly-met neighbors blows snow off her sidewalk. (Notice the Kennebec Journal mailbox.) I told here she looked like an Eskimo, she said she was the 'nook from the north.'
And a small snow-blowing tractor near the Senator Inn in Augusta Maine.