Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Pumpkin 🎃 People Return to NH

Nashua, NH, had its 4th annual downtown scarecrow competition, but Jackson, NH has been hosting its Pumpkin People event for over three decades.

This October was the 34th year, this town of less than 900 residents has hosted one of New Hampshire's most popular fall events — the Return of the Pumpkin People.

This popular fall celebration features area businesses and residents thinking outside-the-box and instead of a simple jack-o-lantern theme, the focus is to create pumpkin characters based on popular culture, literature, or seasonal themes. 
It's more or less a free-form competition without formal guidelines. Participating business or residential properties can design a pumpkin-themed display in any fashion.

On a recent weekend visit, we took the town's self-guided tour. We didn't see all of the different locations hosting Pumpkin People displays.
However, those we did see were quite creative. The town provides a map with an icon and fun logo. Visitors can complete the ballot and cast votes for their favorite display.

The event features real pumpkins in various displays. During the first 14 days, the displays include real pumpkins. Towards the end of the month-long event, some non-real pumpkin substitutions can be made as the originals can start to deteriorate.
When we visited, the pumpkin people had been on display for nearly 3 weeks, yet most were original pumpkins. There were so many great entries. Of course, we had a favorite.
These pumpkin penguins (pumpguins) got our vote!

👻 Happy Halloween ☠️

Friday, October 26, 2018

Friday Funnies

On our cross-country summer travels, we saw this unusual towel drying rack in a hotel parking lot. 
Did you figure out that it was on a boat? 
Thanks to all for comments received on the recent Spam Never Ends blog post. It seems that I may have provoked at least one particular spammer as I had an increased amount of spam comments the past few days. They were marked as spam and removed, as always. I sincerely hope that my drawing attention to this particular spammer hasn't resulted in any retributions on your blogs. It's puzzling why spammers have nothing better to do. A search of the Blogger Support Community didn't provide an effective way to prevent spam, other than comment moderation. It seems that Blogger should be able to provide an effective spam filter, once a comment has been marked as such.

On a far more serious note, here in the mid-Atlantic area, East Coast states are bracing for the season's first nor'easter this weekend with drenching rain and gusty winds. Some states may even get snow, although none is predicted in our area. 

Enjoy your Weekend and stay safe, Everyone.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Love & Marriage (Again)

Earlier this month, we attended the second family wedding within 4 months when we went to NJ when our niece Julie married Michael. In early June, we were also in NJ for the wedding of her younger sister Jamie to Mike

The father of the bride was my younger brother, Tony, who was very relieved as this was the last of his daughters getting married and both within the same half year.
The groom waited at the alter as the bride was escorted down the aisle by her father.
Quiet anticipation as the couple waited for the ceremony to begin.
As for her sister's wedding, the service again took place in St. Bernard's R.C. church in Plainfield, NJ. It's also the parish church of my childhood.
When the service was over, the happy couple started down the aisle as Mr. and Mrs.

Everyone went back into the church for obligatory family photos. A professional photographer was doing the set-ups. I took shots for our family album. There were several combinations of family groupings, here's a few. 

First the bride posed with her parents, Tony and Anita, then her sister Jamie and brother-in-law Mike were added.

The groom posed with his parents, George and Mary Ann, and was then joined by his siblings (but I don't know their names).

After photo sessions, it was time for the party reception to start. The couple made a colorful Star Wars themed entrance, preceded by their flower girl and ring bearer.
The youngest wedding participants (brother and sister) shared in the couple's first dance.

Here's the wedding cake and a "traditional" bride feeds the groom moment. Julie later smashed the piece of cake in her groom's face, but I didn't capture that moment.
A few shots of family enjoying the party: Grenville and the bride's mother, recently married niece Jamie and Mike, and Grenville and myself.

All our best wishes to the newly-married Julie and Michael.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Spam Never Goes

Spammers may leave your blog alone for awhile, but they can and do return. This April post discussed spam in more detail.

That post followed a previous one in which a fellow blogger alerted me to spam comments on some of my blog posts. I try to check recent blog post comments on a regular basis. But, failed to check for spam on earlier blog posts.

The past couple of days I've been getting multiple spam comments from Co Coya. Previous such comments had been marked as spam in blogger and then deleted. I'm not sure why they're showing up again. It's unfortunate that spammers have nothing more useful to do. I'm checking comments more often and marking them as MANY times as needed.

In recent days, I've also noticed spam comments from this same individual on other blogs and have alerted the blogger (via a comment) to check and delete comments from this individual.

A warning several months ago from fellow blogger, William (Ottawa Daily Photo) is worth repeating. I agree with his advice to spammers in the last sentence.

Note to my fellow bloggers, especially those using Blogger as your template. The last few days have seen repeated instances by one spammer, probably using two or more names, pulling the same Thai spammer routine we saw some months back. Co Coya is one of the names being used (Sam Nang being another), and the method is copying and pasting the comments of others (or text from your own posts) and adding in links, including in what looks like Thai spelling for their spam - which is the same page in both instances. 

I've seen it in my blog as well as several of yours, as well as another one going by the name Vaiybora and spamming another Thai page with the same technique. I encourage you to delete any comments from them, but also to report their profiles to Blogger as spam. To that spammer (or those spammers), I recommend you do the universe a favour and take a long walk off a short pier.

While it may not be possible to completely block all such comments, I urge fellow bloggers also to delete ALL comments from these individuals and report them as spam.

UPDATE: Thanks to all fellow bloggers who commented on this post to relate their own experiences. Many said they have received similar spam from this individual(s) and/or others. It's sometimes difficult to check comments on a daily basis, but perhaps by our combined efforts, these individuals can make better use of their time than being such pesky annoyances.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Friday Funnies

Enough said —  even missing a few letters.

This message is close to an intersection near our Nashua, NH apartment. 

Enjoy Your weekend, Everyone.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

CT Birthday Celebration

(No) Surprise, we've been on the road again. This time the travel was to family events, which are always good great things to celebrate together. We attended an 80th birthday and a wedding, both within a week of one another and in 2 different states.

The first event celebrated the birthday of Grenville's Aunt Anita, shown with her son. Family and friends gathered in Storrs, CT at the home of another son for an afternoon of catching-up, food, and fun. 
Dad (Grenville) and daughter chatted as did assorted cousins. A third son of the birthday celebrant is talking with another family member.

Appetizers and dinner were served buffet style so everyone could circulate easily. Dining was indoors or outdoors. Younger party goers, including our grandchildren, joined their cousins at their own dining table.

"Big Band" style music was provided outdoors on a vintage record player, which led to this couple "cutting a rug" or in this case, a lawn.
Grandkids motored around the lawn in their cousin's "Jeep" and were joined by a friend.
A birthday party just isn't complete without everyone gathering for singing which is always followed by candle blowing and wishes made.
Our grandson, who is taking violin classes in school, gave a solo performance.

Then came time to blow out 8 candles, one for each decade totaling 80 years. The birthday "cake" was apple pie, Aunt Anita's favorite dessert. 
After dessert, folks gathered to do something that people seem to do less now with social media. They sat and looked at photo albums. Several were available at the party and sparked a lot of interest as memories were discussed and shared among family members. (Do you keep and/or look at albums?)
After the celebration and an overnight stay in CT, we headed to our native NJ to spend a few days visiting friends before attending the wedding of our niece (details to follow). 

Monday, October 15, 2018

And the Winner Is . . .

No, it wasn't Elizabeth the Mill Girl, Clocktower Place's entry in the 4th Annual Downtown Nashua (NH) Scarecrow Competition this fall (at left below). Elizabeth tallied under 100 votes. (Yes, there were some voting issues where votes didn't seem to register. 😟)

The winning entry (above left) WON by a landfall and was created by the Infant School of Jesus School, a private K-6th grade school, which mustered over 1,200 votes, outdistancing all other entries. The school really knows how to get the votes out as this wasn't a first-time win. Kudos to the winner !

BIG thanks to fellow bloggers who voted for Elizabeth (yes, there were some issues with votes not registering). There's no prizes, just braggin' rights. The scarecrows are a colorful fall addition to the streets of downtown Nashua, NH. 

(For those who may not know it, Clocktower Place is a former textile mill we live in here in downtown Nashua, NH. In the mid to late 1800s, it manufactured blankets and the young women who worked there were called "mill girls.")

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

"Downtown" Roadside Art

Roadside art isn't always found along back roads or highways. We found quite a colorful collection in various states during our recent cross country road trip. (A few of these sights were posted about during our road trip.)
In Madison, WI, Bucky on Parade was a free public art event that featured 85 life-size Bucky Badger statues on display from mid-May through mid-September. Bucky is the University of Wisconsin mascot and the university commissioned 64 artists to design unique interpretations of the iconic mascot with 15 statues placed on the campus, each decorated on a different theme.
In Mount Horeb, WI, just off US 151, we spotted hand-carved trolls that line the "Trollway" (Main St.) in a city that bills itself as the "Troll Capital of the World." As to why there are trolls everywhere, the reason is that in Norwegian folklore trolls protect the crop and make the crops more prosperous. So the trolls are in and around the town for that reason.

Bennington, VT had a few colorful moose. In 2005, artists were commissioned to paint life-sized fiberglass moose statues for "Moosefest." At a 2009 event, more painted moose were designed and auctioned off to charities. It’s been several years since the festivals, and many statues are now on private properties, but some can still be seen around town.visitors can still see painted moose around Bennington.
Colorful shorebirds were flocking in LaCrosse, WI, as “Herons of La Crosse” statues from the non-profit Pump House public art project were on display downtown.
Originally displayed in 2008, these 6-foot-tall sculptures are an original work of art. The heron project was first organized in 2004 when area businesses, organizations and families sponsored individual herons, which were decorated by regional artists in quite unique ways. Many herons had been in storage and were restored for the public display.
Many things are bigger in the West, including these boots in Elko, NV, that were on display at the Cowboy Gear Museum and the Western Folklife Center, directly across the street from one another. The boot on the right bears the words Elko, NV. I'll stay right here, Bing Crosby. Crosby became smitten with Western life after starring in a 1936 B&W cowboy musical. Crosby made Nevada his "home" between records, concerts, movies, and radio performances and from 1944 to 1958, he owned seven cattle ranches in Elko, NV.
Those boots were small when compared to the world's largest boot in the flagship store of the Red Wing Boot Company on Main Street in Red Wing, MN. In 2005, the company celebrated its 100th anniversary by crafting a 16-foot replica of its classic 877 work boot using the same design and materials. The boot took 4,000 hours to design and was made over 13 months. 
These two giants have nothing in common, except that both in the same town, LaCrosse, WI. "Hiawatha" is a 25-foot-tall, 20-ton cement Indian statue in Riverside Park where the Mississippi, LaCrosse and Black Rivers meet. Gambrinus has been named the "King of Beer" and hoists a goblet of beer. This 15-foot, 1-ton statue is keeping guard over the "World's Largest 6 Pack" that's right across the street.
We enjoyed seeing these "in-town" attractions. Best of all, unlike some other attractions, there was no admission charge.