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Posts tagged ‘Snowman’

17
May

Maine Photos – Autumn, Winter, Spring & Music – the marcrescue blog

 

Greetings All,

 

I’ve been so neglectful about posting an updated blog that….

 

A: Most people have forgotten entirely about me

 

B: A few have actually reached out and asked about the blog

 

  1. Not because they miss me  – they miss the photos

 

Life is so chock full of busy that I didn’t even realize it’s been a touch over six months since I sent an update.

 

So here in a nutshell – or rather photos….is what’s been happening.

 

(With a music update at the end – so you don’t have to wade through that to get to the photos)

 

 

Last fall was – as always – a great time to hike. Here’s what our town looks like from the top of Mt Battie as the leaves are changing:

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Acadia National Park is not far away and hiking there is always good for the soul:

 

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The annual Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) is a huge event in town. It’s rated as one of the top 12 documentary film festivals in the world. Quite nice for a town this small and so far off the beaten path.

 

But for good reason – it’s exceptional:

CIFF 09-18-2015

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We had a great time at the anniversary showing of “Back To The Future” at a local theatre that showed it when it first came out (The Strand was built in 1926 – and is totally restored today).

 

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Even better – a mysterious DeLorean showed up in front of the theatre for the film:

BTTF bw Delorean 10-21-2015

 

Can’t beat Halloween in a small town. The town closes down a number of blocks for a Halloween block party – and this year we had a flash mob show up to the tune of “Thriller”:

Halloween Flashmob 2015

 

These weirdo’s were out trick or treating::

Halloween Selfie 2015

 

One of our favorite challenges – Beth’s Farm Market’s Corn Maze.

Maddening:

Beth's Corn Maze 2015

 

For the second year in a row we split up – me against the family – and they won.

I kept finding this sign over and over again – arghhhh:

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Before you know it – it’s time for the annual Christmas parade….does yours feature a lobster…with Christmas lights on it?

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How about a Lobster Trap Christmas Tree!

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It was a year of weird weather patterns this winter.

But as always some interesting snowpeople appeared in the yard:

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Cap America Snowman 03-21-2016

 

One great thing about winter is that the snow covers all the brush in the woods and with snowshoes you can hike places you can’t get close to in summer…..for instance you can find a tree that’s been ravaged by woodpeckers – hard to believe they can do this – but they do:

Woodpecker Tree - Copy

 

The hardest part about winter for us….it’s not the snow….it’s not the cold….it’s when the annual box of See’s “Nuts & Chews” box that my Uncle and Aunt mail to us from the West Coast every holiday season – turns into a box of empty wrappers….sighhhh:

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Before you know it – Spring is here and it’s time for one of our favorite days in Maine – “Maine Maple Sunday”. The day when all the maple sugar houses open their doors for tours, free samples and the best maple syrup you can buy – straight from the tap.

We hit three houses every year. The first is Sparky’s (http://sparkyshoneyandmaple.com/) – close to us and besides great maple syrup – they also produce the best honey from their bees:

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Honey

 

We also head to Simmons & Daughters (http://www.simmonsanddaughterssugarhouse.com/) for fresh “maple” cotton candy. Once you’ve had maple cotton candy you’ll never go back to the weird colored stuff they sell at fairs and circuses:

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They really are two of the “daughters”:

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Then it’s over to see Mark at Bradstreet Maple Farm (http://www.getrealmaine.com/farms/Bradstreet-Maple-Farm). Always a party with great samples (Didn’t get a photo of the maple fudge – the line was too long)

Waffles, ice cream with fresh maple syrup:

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Great maple baked beans:

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Mark always has a crowd around him because he’s always teaching people about making great syrup:

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You cannot believe how wonderful the aroma is inside a maple sugaring house.

Can’t wait to walk in the door again next year:

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A weekend trip to Portland is always fun….and it’s a wonder to take in the “Lock Fence” in old town by the harbor. There’s a chain link fence where people are allowed to put locks on – most with written or engraved messages:

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I’ve already got a lock picked out for our family to attach next visit:

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But spring time in Maine means it’s time to leave.

Leave?

Well for a few days – our favorite family trip / vacation is to New Orleans for Jazzfest:

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The fest as always was terrific – even after some pretty heavy rains – and we forgot our rain boots this year – which is essential for muddy grounds….but a little washing and a hair dryer in the hotel rooms dries out even the wettest and muddiest sneakers:

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Everyone always asks who was our favorite act….and I always say – no matter who the headliners are…when we were there Paul Simon, Tedeschi-Trucks etc….

(Here’s the lineup for all 7 days – we were at the Fest 2 days:)

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…my favorite moments are hearing artists that I’ve never heard before and are amazing.

This year my wife and I agreed that our fav this year was the PresHall Brass – led by 82 year old saxophonist Daniel “Weenie” Farrow. They are the resident brass band at Preservation Hall….and soooo good:

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A great reminder – however – of how fortunate and lucky the musicians are that have had great successful full time music careers – are the bands that are playing outside the gates….in the street….for tips.

These two bands….of kids…..were amazing:

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In New Orleans it’s like that every year. In the streets around Jazzfest, in the French Quarter – the quality of the street musicians is just stunning.

Besides the Fest itself….and of course the food…..can you say “Oysters at Felix’s”?

Oysters at Felix's 2016

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There’s nothing better than wandering through the French Quarter admiring the architecture. Such a beautiful, historical place:

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A lot of the buildings have historical plaques that tell the story of the building:

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It’s now an art gallery.

But my favorite find was this one.

A red house with a nondescript store:

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Even the plaque was sorta dull…..until you got to the end…..you never know what you’re going to find in New Orleans:

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Whoa!

 

Speaking of streetcars…..we’ve discovered if we time it right.

We can spend the day at Jazzfest,

Hit the French Quarter for dinner afterwards.

Finish the night at perhaps the best place to end any night – no matter what time it is (they’re open 24 hours a day – every day of the year):

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And then catch the last streetcar of the evening on the line heading towards our hotel:

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A wonderful end to a wonderful trip.

 

A word about music.

Most everyone I work with at Mishara Music has spent the year touring, writing, exploring but not recording.

So we’ve been working under the radar – marketing and building the audience for our artists.

Streaming….although some might feel angst about it….frees us up to do some very dramatic promotions.

As streaming replaces downloads – we realized that we have even more freedom to give more music away.

So….our 7th Mishara Music free song sampler at Amazon.com…..which contains some of our biggest selling tracks:

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The free download is at:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01F541CVQ?ie=UTF8&keywords=mishara%20samplers&qid=1463442753&ref_=sr_1_1&s=dmusic&sr=1-1-mp3-albums-bar-strip-0

 

Listen on Spotify at:

https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify%3Auser%3Amisharamusic%3Aplaylist%3A3X8lXbbALNV9CsthDoqrEf

 

Listen on Soundcloud at:

https://soundcloud.com/misharamusic/sets/the-artist-sampler-mishara

 

Enjoy!

Marc

PS Talk about tough decisions – my wife took a photo of me making one of the most difficult of the year (and truth be told – she took a lot of the photos above as well – probably the ones you like the most)….what boxset to buy on Record Store Day….so many boxes….so few funds!

Box Sets Record Store Day 04-16-2016

 

Marc Ratner

Mishara Music

 

E-mail: marcrescue@gmail.com

Website: www.misharamusic.com

WordPress: www.marcrescue.wordpress.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/marc.ratner

Twitter: www.twitter.com/marcrescue

 

 

 

 

 

 

17
Mar

A Song for St Patrick’s Day / Snowman wars – Winter love in Maine / Life in Maine with an eight year old – the Marcrescue blog

Greetings All,
Welcome to the latest Marc Ratner blog post (this edition and previous letters posted at www.marcrescue.wordpress.com) that of course is supposed to be about the music and artists from Mishara Music (www.misharamusic.com) but always ends up being as much or more about family life in Maine with an 8 year old.
If I were to do chapters for this edition – I’d have to include:
St Patrick’s Day
YouTube Views
Justin Timberlake
Mountain Rescue Association
Winter Box Races
Monopoly
Awards
Snowman Fight
Odds and ends.
How in the world am I ever going to make sense of all that?
I won’t of course.
But it’ll all be here in some form or another.
Let’s start off with St. Patrick’s Day.
Imagine your name is Connor Garvey.
And you look like this – notice the color of his hair:
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Imagine you’re a singer – songwriter and because of your name you always get asked to play on March 17th – otherwise known as St. Patrick’s Day.
The only problem?
You don’t know a single “Irish” song.
Can make for a difficult evening.
So you write an “Irish Song” and record it at a live concert.
Something to be enjoyed – but especially on St Patrick’s Day (great for morning shows).
Here’s a YouTube link to hear the song:
“Irish Song” is on the live album “Before The Meteors” coming soon to Amazon and iTunes:
ConnorGarvey-BeforetheMeteors1600x1600
It’s a companion piece to Connor’s just released “Meteors And Beating Hearts”:
Connor Garvey Meteors And Beating Hearts Twitter size
Next on the list.
YouTube Views.
There are so many artists with new music these days – it’s almost impossible to figure out who’s making an impact.
And who has time?
Peter Bradley Adams has a new album just out called “The Mighty Storm”.
You might wonder -what kind of audience does Peter have these days – this being his 5th solo album after debuting with eastmountainsouth a decade ago.
The simple answer?
A big one.
A very big one.
Everyone says that more music is listened to on YouTube than anywhere else these days…..
……so what happens if you go to YouTube and type in Peter Bradley Adams?
Turns out people LOVE to make photo and lyric videos out of Peter’s songs – he has an emotional connection with the audience that is amazing.
So type in his name and this is what comes up to start:
PBA YouTube Views
 
The list just keeps going on and on.  Notice the lead track from his last album “Between Us” has OVER TWO MILLION VIEWS and they are hundreds of thousands of other views (including over 100,000 from a live performance at radio station WNRN in Charlottesville).
Not many artists have kind of connection with their audience.
Here’s the link to the “Between Us” video with over 2 million views:
 
What’s next on my chapter list?
Justin Timberlake?
An interesting story – half smart / half crazy.
I always love to surprise my wife with presents that she totally doesn’t expect.
Tickets to Justin Timberlake were one such present – she’s a big fan and I thought that he probably is very entertaining in concert and it’d be a fun thing to do.
I was right:
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We had a great night.
But this leads into the “crazy” part and the next chapter:
Mountain Rescue Association
For twenty plus years in California I was a member of a mountain search and rescue team.  On a pager 24 hours a day / 7 days a week / 365 days a year.
If the pager went off I was out the door.
Rescue work took lots of training……before joining the rescue team I did a lot of mountaineering and training with the Sierra Club and my rescue team was a part of the Mountain Rescue Association (www.mra.org).
Every year we attended a state wide training with all the other California MRA teams and had to certify in one of three disciplines that rotated every year – rock rescue, search and tracking or snow & ice rescue.
After all those years of training, rescue work and rescue management experience (I was Captain of the team for seven years and spent a term as the Vice – Chair of the Calif Region of the MRA) I now travel back to California to work as an examiner for the testing that’s held the first Saturday of March every year.
This year the Search and Tracking testing was held in Placer County California – (somewhere between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe).
Here’s the crazy part.
Usually I plan in advance – fly to Los Angeles a few days ahead of the test and have some music business meetings before I head to the testing site.
Was just about to click on the “Buy Ticket” button on my computer to get a really inexpensive ticket to fly to LA for my regular trip…..when I thought…..”Oh oh – when’s the Timberlake concert?”.
“Crap!”
Thursday night….in Boston.
The MRA test was Saturday morning in Placer County at 7am.
Think you’re tired?
Here’s what I had to do.
My wife and I drove 4 hours to Boston for the concert.
Had a great time.
Drove 4 hours back to Maine.
Got home at 3:30am
Got up at 6am – left the house at 7am to drive to Portland, ME to catch my first flight to Newark – where I connected to a flight to LA (had to fly in and out of LA)……we got to LA an hour late because of the strong winds from one of the big winter storms blowing across the country…..at 6pm (now 9pm my time in Maine).
Then I proceeded to enjoy that wonderful rush hour traffic on the 405 freeway (the busiest in the country) and finally got to pick up my search gear and leave for the training at 9pm (now midnight East Coast time).
Got the training site at 4:30am after the all night drive (caffeine is my very good friend).
Put the seat back in the car and napped for an hour and a half and then got ready for the testing.
(If you’re counting that’s about 4 hours of sleep in about 36 hours – not counting some dozing on the plane).
Had a great time working the test – I was one of the examiners for the Santa Barbara Search and Rescue Team and they aced the exam.
Here’s the 7am morning meeting for the briefing for the examiners:
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Here’s all the members of the MRA certified teams gathering for the annual photo – (that’s a lot of people that volunteer their time to rescue people in very dangerous situations):
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Here’s the Santa Barbara team command post – planning the search:
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Another command post photo – notice the snappy vest I get to wear hanging over the chair – such a fashion guy I am:
Santa Barbara Command Post 1
After the testing was over – I headed out for a three hour drive to Carson City, NV to visit my Aunt and Uncle……and get some glorious sleep……ahhhhh.
Then back to LA for a day of meetings and then back to Maine.
Funny thing about being in LA after adjusting to a colder than usual winter in Maine.
As soon as the outside temperature on the rental car dashboard read 64 degrees – I turned the AC on – It was too warm for me!
After the normal 12 hour travel day – from Los Angeles back to Midcoast Maine – I arrived home at about 2am to a much more comfortable temperature – ahhhhh. (Although finding the battery in my car totally dead at midnight in the parking garage at the Portland airport because I left the dome light on was not the most pleasant of return surprises – Doh!):
Temp arriving home
Which leads me to the next chapter “Winter Box Races”.
If you read my last posting you would have seen all the photos (and video!) of our annual US National Toboggan Championships.
A great way for adults to act like kids and have fun.
The kids want their day as well – so last weekend was the 3rd Annual Winter Box Races.
Sort of like the Pinewood Derby other places do in the summer.
Uh uh.
No summer breezes and lazy days for us.
We do cardboard box races on the tubing hill:
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We even had a Jamaican Bobsled:
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Alas – history has a tendency to repeat itself – the Titantic hit the iceberg once again:
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But nonetheless – a great day was had by all!
Monopoly!
Ethan decided one evening a week or so ago that he was ready for the real thing – no more kiddie version of Monopoly – he wanted to play the adult version.
Sure enough – he picked it up quickly….it wasn’t long before he held that exclusive title to “Boardwalk”.
And wouldn’t ya know…….4 houses later…….dad landed where he shouldn’t have:
Monopoly Defeat 02-18-2014
Which I guess is a good thing…..because dad loves his music business company – and as wonderful as it is – it’ll be nice to have a real estate mogul in the family making those big bucks!
But it sure is satisfying when Mishara Music artists get Awards.
Connor Garvey (he of the “Irish Song” above) is currently touring supporting his new album “Meteors And Beating Hearts” and has been attending festivals and winning some nice trophies in the past couple of years.
He won the 2011 Maine Songwriters Association Grand Prize after being nominated against some other great songwriters:
Connor Garvey Maine Songwriters
He also won the songwriting prize at the 2012 Texas Wildflower Music festival:
Connor Garvey Wildflower Winner 2012
Connor was nominated for Male Performer Of The Year at the New England Music Awards a few weeks ago – didn’t win this time but it was a great category of performers:
 Connor Garvey New England Music Awards Nominee 2014 - 2
But then comes another winner – Connor just got voted by the fans as “Most Wanted” for the upcoming 2014 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival:
Connor Garvey Falcon Ridge Most Wanted 2014
Might be worth taking a listen to the above mentioned new album “Meteors And Beating Hearts”.
Here’s a recently posted YouTube Listening Channel where you can hear the entire album:
Tracks I love a lot include “Bright Morning”, “Old House” and “Spark”!
I’m curious to know what other Connor fans like???
Speaking of Awards and specifically those New England Music Awards from a couple weeks ago…..(.I do believe Connor got robbed in his category ask me why and I’ll tell you) but Mishara Music had a great night nonetheless.
Why?
None other than our Chris Ross won in his category:
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And those voters have no idea what’s coming – they haven’t heard the newest songs yet…..Chris just posted three acoustic versions of new songs on YouTube that will be on his next album – due this Spring / Summer and they’re great.
Want to sample them?
 “Burns”
“Easier Said Than Done”
“Drunk Women”
And while I’m talking about new songs – if you haven’t seen these two performances by Barnaby Bright of new tunes that will be on their next album – also due this summer – you ain’t seen / heard nuthin’.
There is no better realistic love song than “Just The Same” and this simple version recorded at 9am at a radio station visit is a perfect rendition.  I’ve heard people gasp out loud at some of the lyrics at shows:
Here’s another new one “Sail” – recorded live in Portland Oregon on tour opening when Barnaby Bright was on tour with Vienna Teng:
Snowman Fight
Every year my wife loves to get outside and make snowmen during those wonderful winter days when we have great snow and bright sun……every year she does something different.
Earlier this year she started winter with the annual traditional snowman:
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But you’d be surprised to know that snowmen are territorial.
If you build them too close together – they’ll start fighting.
How?
With snowballs of course:
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Snowman fight 3 02-21-2014
Snowman fight 02-21-2014
But alas….if you’re a snowman…..no matter who wins the fight….ol’ Sol is always the victor – a good lesson for all of us:
Snowmen Lose
Odds And Ends
So learning the lesson of the snowmen – we make the most of winter – it’s here, it’s cold, it’s fun.
Nothing like a family snowshoe hike:
Family Snowshoe KJR 03-09-2014
On a sunny day in winter:
 Winter Sun
But the snow will be gone soon – at the harbor you can feel the change in the air and that Spring is close by:
 
Spring Is In The Air KJR 03-06-2014
We’ve loved winter – I’ll keep you posted on our Spring adventures in Maine.
My only problem until then……with Spring in the air  it brings rapid changes in weather – warm / cold / warm / cold – we tend to get icy rain and then immediate freezing.
I’ve become an expert in shoveling and clearing snow…..just can’t quite figure out how to “shovel” ice:
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Marc
PS Snowmen and landscape photos by Kim Ratner!
PPS One more music mention – Ken Yates album “twenty-three” continues to garner great airplay all over the country and he continues touring to support the album.  Here’s the YouTube listening channel:
PPPS  Don’t forget – over 50 free songs available on our Mishara Music Amazon.com free song samplers:
5 Amazon Samplers
More free songs on our http://www.misharamusic/freesongs page – and we never require an email address or registration of any kind to download our free songs!
Enjoy and share.