Posted by: David | March 8, 2012

Vacationary Sojourn

So this is Spring Break week. While the students are off in sunnier climes it’s a good time to get some of that use-or-lose vacation time spent. Took the quasi-annual trip to Connecticut, where I was born and raised, to visit my best friend and his family. We’ve been friends since fourth grade.

West Rock Tunnel, New Haven, Connecticut.

My drive down last Sunday was uneventful, save for the fact that my car was still having its leaky transmission repaired late into Saturday night. We have an automotive garage right next door. It’s convenient, but their hours are a little odd. But it was nice to be able to drive 200 miles without having to worry about my transmission running out of fluid. All I had to worry about was the traffic, which is nothing on a Sunday afternoon. Until I got in front of some asshole in an Infiniti. Asshole was in a pretty big hurry. Nothing happened, but it got me thinking …  Would it be better to be in front or behind an asshole in an Infiniti …? Really it was just the phrase “asshole in an Infiniti” that fired up the brain. That and most of a 70-song mix CD from a friend at work got me through the 4 hour drive.

This is the window over their kitchen sink, looking to the patio and back yard.

Speaking of music, the mix CD featured a whole bunch of great music new to me and worthy of passing on. Nickel Creek have come and gone, though according to their website they still tour in a reconfigured grouping.  The two albums I’m still enjoying are the eponymous Nickel Creek (2000) and Why Should the Fire Die? (2005). At first it sounds bluegrassy, but after listening to these 2 albums a lot, it’s a little harder to classify the musical style, which is a frequent marker for the music that really sticks in my music box brain. Ingrid Michaelson is another artist new to me. She’s a singer songwriter and though her lyrics occasionally sound a tad contrived (which might be why some of her songs found their way to Grey’s Anatomy ), contrived lyrics don’t really bother me that much. There’s a lot of great musical textures on her 2009 album called Everybody. Next on the hit parade is an artist called Sheetal Bhagat. Musical style of India but with western arrangements. Very pleasant and somewhat reminiscent of Loreena McKennit at times. If you act NOW you can download some of her music for FREE! In case you didn’t know, music is very important to me. There’s a tune in my head at all times. Back to the trip.

We had lunch at an Indian buffet restaurant and they had this cool wooden sculpture on display.

We took a day to drive to Hamden and New Haven for a nostalgic visit to some of our old stomping grounds. We used to do a lot of walking as teenagers. Our domiciles were about a mile apart as the crow flies. We had more pigeons than crows. And sea gulls. Don’t know why the gulls came to Hamden, but we used to throw them french fries while loitering behind McDonalds. McDonalds isn’t where it used to be, nor is the Burger King where I worked my very first professional job slinging burgers and buns onto the gas grilling machine. We also loitered quite a bit behind the Magic Mile shopping centers.  Walking back there now, as middle-aged men, was slightly creepy.

Lake Wintergreen, March 2012

What this note near Lake Wintergreen meant is anyone’s guess.

At one point our travels led us to Lake Wintergreen. This is a lovely little lake nestled into the West Rock Ridge. We didn’t share any memories there, but I used to ride my bike there to take pictures or go fishing. I took a photo there in 1973 that had been a favorite and was curious to see what the place might look like almost 40 years later. Plus we were settling a debate over where Lake Whitney and Lake Wintergreen actually were. There’s a nice hiking trail that goes all the way to West Rock Nature Center.

Lake Wintergreen, 1973

My buddy has a very energetic goldendoodle puppy almost a year old. We took her on a lot of walks. There are apparently lots of folks in the Fairfield area with dogs that need walking and if they don’t have time to walk the dogs themselves then they hire someone to do it.

Abby, a year old goldendoodle.

We took Abby for a nice walk on the beach (Long Island Sound) and there was a chatty guy there walking a very shy and timid little rescued mutt.  The guy gave me a card with a URL on it. Something about dogs and Fairfield and the law.  Boring. The dog had a great time on the beach. We began chatting with one nice lady who’s dog was almost the exact same age as Abby. The dogs were well matched and had a great time playing. Then the lady’s phone rang and she started a long chat about something detailed and important. She and her dog drifted away from us. I had to pee really bad anyway.  Fortunately there was a porta-potty nearby.

Shells on the beach. Of course I picked up a few to bring home.


  1. I love the song “Helena” by Nickel Creek. I think that is what it’s called.

    Yeah, that’s a great song. Helena. Just happened to be the song stuck in my head while stacking firewood this morning.

  2. No after pic? Only a 1973 before pic? What a tease. 😉

    Strangely enough, the after pic comes before the before pic. I think that there must have been some logging done in the last 40 years though, since most of the pines from the 1973 photograph are gone.

  3. “Asshole in an Infiniti” would make a swell song– maybe Nickel Creek could regroup and do it.

    I love this wistful post. The lake is gorgeous, and so are the rest of these photos. Thanks for taking us along on Spring Break.

    Thank you Moonbeam! iPhone photos again. Wistful you think, huh?

    Maybe you and Amadeus could record Asshole in an Infiniti. If more lyrics come to me I’ll let you know. 🙂

  4. I love your 1973 photo

    Thank you nursemyra. I’ve always liked that photo too. It used to induce more nostalgia than it does now. Maybe you’d like to take a look at some photo-laden posts from 4 years ago. I scanned a bunch of my old B&W negatives from my salad days.

    Royalty Free Wallpaper
    SW 6 Ave Portland OR
    Yeah More Photos From Dave’s Past

  5. In addition to this “Spring Break” are you going to get some Easter vacation?

    It is spring now, and it has not rained for weeks, maybe not since Christmas. The fields are brown, but it doesn’t look like summer, because in August the fields are brown, too, but there is invariably some little thing that still makes it.

    With all that sun now, I had to take away the birdfeeder video sticky.

    The poodle looks as if its fur reflected the colours of the sofa. Did you photoshop it a little?

    Probably no Easter vacation.

    I hope that you see some substantial spring rains soon.

    It was nice of you to keep that birdfeeder video up so long. I was flattered that you liked it so well. A couple of weeks ago there were many small birds feeding on the snow below the feeders, but I didn’t manage to capture them on video. I’d hoped to make another video in that style.

    The goldendoodle does have a multi-colored coat, but I always enhance the color of the photos I post. Any similarity in hues is artificially coincident.

  6. I wonder if that wooden sculpture in the Indian restaurant might be Vishnu from the Bhagavad-gita. He was told by the god Krishna, as he drove his chariot I think, that he must fulfill his role as warrior and kill people, a message that I have had trouble understanding–especially from a god.

    I think ‘asshole’ and ‘infiniti’ together are kind of depressing. It is well you had music accompanying your drive.

    That dog is adorable. If I ever start a religion dogs being sacred will be part of it.

    You were lucky to find a porta-potty on the beach so you didn’t have to use a rock cave. (I’ve HEARD of people having to do that.)

    I’ll bet you’re right about that sculpture. It was really impressive with lots of parts and intricate carving all over it.

    I see your point about “asshole” and “infiniti”, but let’s remember that Infiniti is a brand and not the number. Does that help?

    I’ve seen the bumper stickers for your religion already: “Dog is my copilot”.

    I WAS lucky to find a porta-potty. Nuff said.

  7. Sorry I’ve not been ’round to make snide, snarky comments on your post. I’ve been a bit too busy to do so. Love the photos from New Haven. I need to travel more.

    No need to apologize, time stretches out a mile in this blogosphere. Or maybe 5000 feet anyway. Close enough.

  8. I gnominated you for a Kreativ Blogger award. Please come by and pick it up when you have a chance. You may want to bring a dolly– it’s quite heavy.

    WOW! Thanks Moonbeam! That’s awfully sweet of you. I’d like to thank all the little people for that, if I win that is. If I don’t win then I’d like to thank all the big people, so they don’t hurt me.

  9. Well, shoot! I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve come by for a dose of your unique perspective and photography! I’ve had issues, blah blah, but don’t we all from time to time?
    You started me right off with your term “quasi-annual trip”. Who but Dave would say “quasi-annual”?
    I also was quite taken with your song title, and it’s not for me to reign (sic) on your lyrics, but if you and/or Moonbeam and/or me’s gonna writa song, I think it flows better to call it “Asshole in Infiniti”, you know, take the “an” out. That way you get all the metaphysical implications while still keeping the brand name intact. Just my opinion; it’s your Asshole so you shall do what you will. 🙂
    OK Next: Love, love the bee bang bang note. My first thought was that the person didn’t care much for bees (which upset me as they are in danger in some places and we need them to pollinate, and yes they can sting, and we don’t like those Africanized ones, but really, many are quite nice), but then I saw the hugs and kisses at the bottom of the note, so who knows? I see why you HAD to take that photo.
    Thank goodness you were able to quickly resolve that “really having to pee” situation! I was all pins and needles for a very short time about that.
    The sculpture, lake, seashells and tunnel; all worth recording, but that Abby! What a charmer. Glad you had such a nice getaway, and thanks for taking us on your trip!

    Hi Muse! Welcome back. Time is irrelevant in the blogosphere.

    I’m not the only one to append just about any word with “quasi”. Dead common in these parts it is.

    Agreed, “Asshole in Infiniti” has better flow. Onomatopoeia? So many ways to go with that, and not enough time.

    Glad you appreciated that weird little note found in the woods. I imagined it was something left by secret lovers …

    The bladder is a very insistent organ, isn’t it?

    Thanks for visiting.

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