You awake yet?

 It’s been wonderful here at the Ol’ Homestead lately. The weather’s been great, I can sleep with the windows open and not worry about the state bird of Alaska crawling through to feast and the evenings have been full of merriment. The downside? Sometime in the last few years, a community of crows have taken up residence in the trees behind the house. Add to them all the cardinals, blue jays, robins, and myriad other common brown peeperbirds and things get a bit loud right around sun up.  Who would have thought a little ball of feathers could make so much racket.

It’s not a big deal, mind you.  In fact, it’s kinda nice hearing all the different critters. All we have up north are ravens and the frozen freakin’ north’s version of the common brown peeperbird. Those guys aren’t sure when sunrise is up there (neither are we human types, it hasn’t been dark for a month), so they just babble along pretty much constantly and it fades into background noise.

This morning was a bit different however. The neighbor across the street decided, at 7:30 on a Sunday, that the lawn needed to be edged and trimmed. Mowers are one thing, they pretty much keep the same level and you can ignore them.  That’s not the case with that infernal invention, the weedwacker. Fer cryin’ out Christmas tree lights, hold the damn trigger in and just go. How hard of a concept is that to grasp?

This same neighbor has installed a motion activated security floodlight. I’m all for being safe and everything that entails, but this thing’s brighter than the sun   I’m not too sure of how good a job it does lighting up their driveway, but  it does an excellent job illuminating the inside of  Heltcha’s house whenever anything in the local area code moves.

It’s a fine Sunday morning, the loony’s finished his landscaping project du jour, and the coffee’s done.  Maybe I oughta switch to decaf……..

Satirical fun

I found this guy while hangin’ ten in cyberspace.  Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.   (A modicum of intelligence is required)

http://iowahawk.typepad.com/

Courtesy of my 14 year old cousin…

I’m here at the old homestead for a bit of R&R and that involves getting re-acquainted with some relatives.  Long story  significantly shortened, my sis and I were spending some time with our teenage cousin yesterday.  I had this infernal machine fired up and was showing her pictures of where I live via Google Earth.  One thing led to another, we started wandering the blog roll, and we ended up here at her suggestion.  I haven’t laughed that hard in a while. 

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/rapture

This guy is truly warped and fits perfectly into my sense of humor.   Enjoy!

Exiled

and banished from the realm, my golf clubs have been incarcerated in the crawl space at my house some 4200 miles away.  They have been traitors and deserved the punishment as befits those who cause golf balls to slice whereupon said ball ends up in the nasty stuff called rough.  It’s been two years since they’ve seen the light of day.   There’s a reason and it’s too obtuse to delve into in this short space.  Suffice it to say my game has withered.

The weather today was incredible and I managed to get through the day without a trip to Lowe’s.  (I know, the Cubs may just pull out of the cellar…)  Got all the chores done, learned how to make one of my favorite Polish dishes from the Queen of Pierogies, Heltcha the Polish Matron, and had yet one more wonderful home cooked dinner.  That lead to a wild hair going somewhere it shouldn’t, so I grabbed my Dad’s clubs and headed off to the local driving range.  I should take a couple of years off more often.  When I get back, they should just about be taking the covers off the greens at the courses.  maybe I oughta commute the sentence on my clubs and play a bit…

Nah,  I’m going fishin’ !

At last…

The weather gods have smiled upon us mere mortals and have ended the misery.  The temps have dropped into something resembling Earth as opposed to the surface of Mercury.   This evening ended up being one of those gorgeous nights I remember from growing up here: crystal clear, dead calm,  and with a sky full of stars. 

I found out my older cousin is a cook of the highest order this evening; something that truly surprised me.  Had a great night with her, her hubby, my mom, and my sis.  The laughter flowed easily, the drinks were plentiful, and dinner was a repast of inimitable description.  Good enough that I traded an afternoon of bread making lessons and knife sharpening for the recipes.    I’m can be bribed if y’all want copies…..

All in all a great evening and one which will stick in my mind for a while.  Tomorrow’s another wish list day.  I’m at 11 trips to Lowe’s and counting so far.  Knocking off the small stuff from Heltcha’s wish list so my bro and I can make a solid run at the big ones. 

So, with a more than sated appetite, a couple of high quality black & tan’s under my belt, and a fun-filled evening behind, I head to bed where I may even get to sleep…

HAWT!!!

I finally went ahead and did it.  I took two weeks off from work and went on vacation to my hometown in upstate NY.  Mom has a wish list of things to get done around the house, my sibs and I were able to get our schedules synced, and here we are.  Along with unbelievably humid and hot (by my standards anyway) weather.   The guessers here are calling for a break by the end of the week.  I, for one, certainly hope they’re right. 

So far it’s been fun. Seeing family and catching up with people I have seen in 25 years;  trying to find my way around town again without getting lost.  That’s a more daunting task than you’d imagine.  Most of the landmarks I grew up with are gone, including some streets.   Tomorrow’s another day of knocking out the prep work tasks before the real work starts on Monday… 

Where’s that cold beer I left on the table?????

 

As usual

Our man in Louisiana, Mostly Cajun, succinctly and concisely hits the nail right on the head again.  Go ahead, read it.  I dare you.

http://mostlycajun.com/wordpress/?p=14011

This was a day for remembrance and reflection on just what it took to get this nation to where it is.   A day to honor those who have gone before us.  In fact, Britain’s version is called Remembrance Day.   Have a look through the pages of a few books I’ve read recently:  Half a Wing, Three Engines, and a Prayer: B-17’s Over Germany  by Brian O’Neill, an accounting of several B-17 flying units during World War II as taken from the crew member’s personal diaries and official action reports, and With the Old Breed: At Pelilu and Okinawa by E.B. Sledge, written by a US Marine from his diary during the Pacific Campaign, come to mind right off the bat.  

It wasn’t easy or cheap, my friends.  Troops killed in battle and civilians killed in those battles invariably left behind someone who’s world just got shattered.   So when you wish someone a happy Memorial Day and they kind of grunt a reply or give you a funny look, rethink what the hell you just said.  Every veteran I know has lost someone to battle, training accidents, or mishaps of one sort or another.  Memorial Day is not a “happy” day for us….

Spring

And another season comes to an end.  The 76th International Bonspiel finished up this afternoon and with it, so did this winter’s curling season.  The year wasn’t bad, but I sure could have done without three and a half days of catnaps interspresed with mad bouts of sweeping curling rocks.  I normally play the skip’s position and don’t do a whole lot of sweeping, but for this tourney, I was playing as a lead.  That involved throwing the first two stones of each end and sweeping the other three guy’s rocks.  My shoulders are letting me know it’s been a very very long time since I’ve done that.  The team I was on ended up playing quite a few more games than I expected to play which was kind of a double edged sword.  One side was that the season just kept on going and I really wasn’t ready to end it yet. The other is I’m baked to a crackly crunch and feel like I’m 108 years old. 

We’ve shut the compressors off at the club, pulled all the rocks off the ice, and  brought the season to a fitting end.  It’s in the mid fifties ouside, the beer’s cold and flowing, the sun’s up, and the snow’s melting fast.  Spring has finally arrived.  Where’s my fly rod???

At least til next September when we do it all again!

Why am I not surprised at this

Seems our boy Barry, in true weasel fashion, is ditching the opening day game (in DC, no less) of our national pastime. The following is courtesy of Weasel Zipper: 

Dandy-in-Chief Won’t Throw First Pitch on Opening Day

And who can blame him? — You can tell from his previous fopperies that he never learned America’s pastime when he grew up in Pakistan or Indonesia or wherever else the undocumented poser may have been preened.

(POLITICO) — Stephen Strasburg isn’t the only pitcher who will be missing from the mound when the Washington Nationals host the Atlanta Braves this afternoon to open the 2011 Major League Baseball season. President Barack Obama won’t be on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch either.

Like Strasburg, the 22-year-old phenom who underwent Tommy John surgery in September to repair ligament damage in his right elbow, Obama may be letting his wounds heal. The president got a PR pummeling earlier this month for taking time away from world affairs to appear on ESPN to reveal his March Madness basketball picks.

Or perhaps the president is still sensitive after the national chortling he set off when he appeared in his high-waisted “dad jeans” at an earlier All-Star Game — although he seemed to make up for that fashion flub at last year’s home opener when he sported khaki trousers, a red Nats jacket and a Chicago White Sox cap as he launched a high toss in the direction of Ryan Zimmerman.

Another possibility is that Obama’s absence could be calculated to avoid a possible boo beatdown from fans unhappy with . . . well, pick your gripe. It wouldn’t be the first time a baseball crowd heckled a president: As the Great Depression and Prohibition dragged on in the early ’30s, Herbert Hoover was verbally roughed up at a World Series game in Philadelphia by a crowd that chanted “We want beer!”

Whatever the reason for Obama’s absence, he is departing from a largely unbroken, century-old tradition that began with William Howard Taft on opening day 1910 when the hometown Senators took on the Philadelphia Athletics. (The Senators won, 3-0, as Walter Johnson fired a one-hitter.) For you trivia fans, the first president to take the show on the road was Richard Nixon, who launched the 1973 season from Anaheim Stadium, home of the California Angels. (They won, too, 3-2.)

This isn’t Obama’s first whiff. He skipped out on the 2009 opener as well, sending Joe Biden to Baltimore in his place. In characteristic fashion, Biden trotted to and from the mound like a JV player getting his big break.

In Obama’s (and Biden’s) place this year, the Nationals will have five flag officers — one from each branch of the U.S. military — throw the ceremonial first pitches. It’s safe to say no one will boo them.

Is this guy afraid of a little heckling because he throws like a girl or is he afraid of getting booed out of the ballpark because he’s a weasel?  Either way, it’s pretty damn sad.    (Bet ya a nickel he’d have bounced it short…  the wimp)

The boys of summer

It’s baseball season again!!  And with the start of the new year there’s only two things I have to say:

1.  The Cubs are gonna make it 103 years

and

2. Yankees SUCK!

Any bets our boy Barry  bounces the first pitch in front of the plate?


Flickr Photos