A paper is just a paper unless everyone abides by it. 

Yesterday, I had arranged for Shawn Perry (Clear Vision Construction) to fix our front door. He wasn’t doing the work himself, but sent two guys to do it. The quality of the work is possibly the worst I’ve ever seen. I don’t believe (or at least, I don’t want to believe) that he has actually seen this atrocity personally, but he says “his guys sent him pictures and it looks OK to him.”

So. Here is a set of photographs. This is less than 24 hours after the work was deemed “finished” and complete. I called him one more time to tell him this was his last opportunity to come over, look at it, and do the right thing. He would not take my call. I left a message which said: “I’ve given you every chance to do right by me, but you have refused to even take a look at the job. Be it on your own head from this point on.”

The name: Clear Vision Construction, Owner: Shawn Perry. Maybe find a different guy.

Maybe Shawn is capable — but this is work done by his company and it is not merely unprofessional. It isn’t even amateur. It is horrendous. His workmen, his responsibility. It’s a pity he refused to make an attempt come back and do it properly. A shame. IF you insist on hiring this company, be VERY sure you have every detail of the job written clearly and accurately. His “words” are empty. I’ve had work done in my home many times over the years. I have NEVER seen anything this atrocious.

You can write the paper and sign the paper. But in the end, the other party has to live up to his part of the deal. I’m sure there’s a clever way to say this, but I’m not into “clever me” mode at the moment. Maybe tomorrow.


Garry and I are old enough to remember the good old days. I’m the perfect age to have been one of the kids in the back seat pinching and punching a sibling while whining: “Are we there yet?” How come our parents didn’t kill us before we grew up?

It’s a question that has taken on considerable depths of meaning with the passing decades

Those of you who wax poetic about the wonderfulness of slowly trundling down America’s scenic back roads should take a car trip across New England.

New England roads — the good roads, the paved roads, the roads with passing lanes — run north and south. For reasons no one can explain (lack of money? no interest? not enough tourists?), only one or two lane local roads travel east and west. If (for example) you are traveling the 231 miles from Jackman, Maine to Danville, Vermont, you will experience some of the nation’s most beautiful scenery.

Very slowly.

These are classic roads. They have not changed and in many cases, also have not been repaved, since you were knee-high to a grasshopper.


No limited-access highway will sully your pure travel experience. You won’t be tempted to eat fast food from familiar chains. No driver will tailgate to make you speed up. The car ahead of you — what we refer to as our “pace car” — will likely be an aging pickup rattling down the mountain. One of the driver’s feet will be glued to the brake pedal while he or she engages in a lively conversation with his or her partner while the truck weaves left and right — with an occasional fishtail. You’d be hard put to figure if the vehicle has a steering problem, or the driver is doing it on purpose to make you crazy. Whatever the reason, you are not going to pass the pickup.

Although you won’t find fast food chains on this route, you won’t starve, either. There’s plenty of good food and gasoline you can pump as you pass through the quaint New England towns. Classic towns with white clapboard churches and at least one or two pizza parlors. Baked goods for sale. Chilled pop in bottles and cans. Clean bathrooms.


It’s a breathtaking journey through the mountains. Magnificent and surreal. For the entire trip, directly in front of your car will be a poky driver who will never exceed, or even approach, the speed limit. He or she would not consider letting his vehicle get within 10 miles of whatever that silly sign says is a safe, legal speed for traveling those roads.

There is always plenty of construction. Everywhere. Oddly, if you go back the next year, the construction will still be ongoing with little sign of progress. After four or five of the dozen hours of the drive, the urge to get your car up to ramming speed and push the slow drivers out of the way becomes an obsession.

Slow drivers lurk on side roads. Do they use spotter craft so they know when we are coming? We try to pass, but they appear out of nowhere. They pull out and immediately slow to a crawl. If, by some miracle we briefly break free, another slow driver is poised for action at the next intersection.


Supposedly Dwight D. Eisenhower built the interstate highway system in case of an emergency, so military vehicles could get where they needed to be. But I think there was another reason. Ike came from farm country and had been traveling these glorious back roads his entire life. He knew he could never defeat the slow drivers. So — he built bigger, faster roads all across America.

Just … not going east or west in New England.


The Changing Seasons: June 2017

This has been the coldest, wettest spring I can remember and today is the start of our official summer. Longest day of the year, and from now on, each day will be just a little bit shorter. It’s hard to believe.

My garden is incredibly green. It has rained almost nonstop since the melting of the snows in March. Green, but without flowers. Mostly it has been dark and chilly. The roses are branching out like barbed wire with roots … and not a single bud. The lilies have buds, but no flowers. The columbine are gone for the year. Even the hosta are looking pathetic.

All of these pictures were taken during the perhaps three or four days of sunshine we’ve had … or indoors. I have gone out to shoot half a dozen times … and come back with nothing much.

Vines in the woods

That rarely happens, but this time it did. I’m not sure what all this dark, wet weather means relative to autumn to come. Super wet weather frequently means a rather dull autumn.

Summer woods

Many of the photos are Garry’s and the rest are mine except for the one shot by the stranger who snapped us at a restaurant we were visiting with friends.

Max “The Cardinal” has more interesting pictures to show, so drop by his site and take a look.

Speaking of weather, no matter who says what about the changing weather? This has been one peculiar year.

The Changing Seasons is a Monthly Photo Challenge started by




We drove up to Attean view from Jackman, Maine. It was around four in the afternoon and the sun was shining almost directly in our faces. It made shooting a bit more interesting, but the pictures — with editing — were classics for me. Nothing better than autumn high in the mountains.

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