Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Chance Cafe

It's December, it's Winter, it's New Year's Eve, and it's the last chance to be a good guy this year.

Must string some letters together . . . .

How about: Had a great week in the capital city of the center of the universe! Friends and family from near and far - mix that with delicious food and a dessert or two - throw in a BBQ from time to time - walk ZooLights - add some kettlecorn - do some scrapbooking - dig for your ancestors (figuratively) - have just one more jelly wreath cookie - attend a Christmas eve service led by a pastor was fortunate to be in attendance, broken elbow and all - share Christmas morning with the good guys - (where are those snickerdoodles?) - golf (for some) - Sunday morning service with the dedication of the newly-adopted twins - read - shop - scrapbook - call family or be called by family - plan for the next gathering.

Well, that wasn't too bad! Wrap that all up in safe travel, and it seems like a time for Thanksgiving all over again!

Have a great and blessed New Year all year long!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dos Amigos

I have a friend who is dealing with esophageal cancer and had been keeping track of him through other friends. I finally decided some face-time was appropriate. Wanting to 'take something' with me I contacted another friend who had recently authored a book on the OSS, (pre-CIA) and 'Undercover Leathernecks'. He's had several magazine articles on Civil War settings and now focuses on WW II.

We chatted about archival resources around the country, mutual friends, travel, current aches and pains etc. The conversation prompted me to move on a WW II project which has been on the shelf for a (long) while. (This will be developed in another session.)

The book is signed, I'm knocking on the recipient's door - and his mother informs me that his wife took him to help a lady with her computer! Sounds like a good report to me! He is doing well but there is still more of the road to travel.

All in all, a good day for at least three people.

***** ***** ***

If there has been a rumor abroad that I'm preparing an apology for all this language jazz - it's not true.

Caution: groaner ahead -

Who delivers the Easter treats to all the fish?

The Oyster Bunny

(You were warned!)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

09 09 09 0Raine 0my

Glad I got this in today - I'd have to wait 100 years to catch it again! But then in only 13 months we'll be able to do 10 10 10, and in another 13 months. . . .

Today's paper had a story about a local whose granddaughter is age nine today on this 9 9 09. Devon's greatgrandmother is 93 on this day (we'll call that a partial); she is the ninth grandchild of our patriarch and her mother is his ninth child. Devon's address is 999 on her street. Our patriarch is 81, which when added together total - __ right!

In the battle of the raindrops the good guys lost ground - but not from erosion- we are now at
-6.55 compared to our average y.t.d. Ah, well. . . .

Last year the National Weather Service changed the approach to the designation of the
monsoon period. For years a dew point temperature of 55F or higher for three consecutive days would announce the start - often early- to mid-July and the period would end, usually mid-September, with a string of three days with a dew point of <55F.

Now they appproach it less as a baseball statistician would, and have the man-on-the- street welcoming style. The monsoon period is now designated as June 15 to September 30.
Take care- don't let the meteorologist-eavesdropper hear you say monsoons - as in "the
monsoons are late this year". Smiles will come if you call it monsoon, but not if you call it "the monsoon season". Huh? Monsoon is an Arabic word meaning "season". You should be able to note the social awkwardness quickly and shy away from it. The 'season' must include a change in the wind direction - ours goes from being mostly westerlies to a south/southeast direction. The heat of the summer (110'sF) pulls the moisture up from the baja and the Gulf to rain on our parades now and then.

The most during this period has been 9.36" and the least was .35 - this is why we measure in hundredths of an inch - quarter-inch groupings would never do.

***** ****
Painting indoors? Wear an old pair of socks over your shoes; it saves the shoes from drips and
easily rubs up splatters on the floor.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Raine, raine, do your thing, See what blessings you may bringe

Right on schedule (every four or five months) - somebody hits the switch (maybe it's the lightning), and the presses start rolling again. Actually the pressure is not so much on the switch as it is on the individual - I just wanted to stop the yelling! So, for a period of time, and some degree of regularity it may come to pass that words will flow which will contain an acceptable level of understandibility. And maybe interest.

After a delicious meal at home or abroad, I'll often say "Pretty good, what there was of it" knowing full well that seconds are readily available. So far, faint smiles outnumber the slaps. . .

These words could be applied to our rainfall (y.t.d.) in this southeastern corner of a Southwestern state. Numerically speaking, our annual rainfall just bumps over 14". The y.t.d. average is just under 11" and this year we're sporting 4.39". That leaves us with- just a minute- (tap tap, tap, tap tap tap tap, tap)- here we are6.5" short so far this year, with our wettest month, August, well behind us. What to do? More on Mr. monsoon next time.

This nursery rhyme is often used by those well beyond elementary-grade years -
Rain, rain, go away,
Come again another day (and often with. . .
Little Johnny (Brenda, Arthur, Elspeth, etc.) wants to play.

[People from the Eastern U.S. and Cananada, with their uncertain, untimely and undisciplined 'rain showers' repeat this oftenly in the summer season.]

The rhyme goes back at least to the late 17th Century - John Aubrey, the holey one, is almost certainly a brother of some sort and note children using 'Raine, raine, go away, Come again a Saturday', to "charme away the Raine".

***** ***
WHAT MEANETH THIS: ad hoc, as in "ad hoc committee" ? A good Latin term indicating
'for this', with the idea of 'for this task only'.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Now is the time for every good man to come to.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Those are the Breaks! Part the Second

We're recuperating nicely in Arizona, thank you. How nice not to need a store-bought heavy jacket, nor a home-made scarf, nor the four layers of outdoor readiness (with the exception of the waning hours of our NY stay).

Things were just ducky during our last full day cruising the Northern border. At a pond at one of our breaks we saw 12-15 Mallards - drakes and hens - come skidding to a stop on the chilled water, shake themselves, and let the water roll . . . you know how water behaves with these creatures. Great sport! At first one walked (waddled) on the thin layer of ice near the edge of the small pond and soon many of the gang were attempting it - with expected results. It provided many solid digital shots.

Another break in the day was when we were alerted to a mink scurrying from the pond to the woods with a reward of some type in its mouth (nothing Mallard-like). We may or may not have a distinct pic - its under review at the moment.

Let's take a break from the breaks and dabble in an older word or two from our wonderful language. (No extra charge.) The question is - would you rather be an eggler or a flunkey?
As an eggler you would gather and sell not only eggs of all kinds for eating and hatching, but nests, snakes and other items for curious purchasers.
The eggler was outside in his travels, and the flunkey moreso. He was a 'servant of the livery'. When the coach left, the flunkey ran along with or ahead of the horses carrying a lantern or torch to light the way, pay tolls, or otherwise be ready to meet the needs of the coachman or passengers.

What a life those teens had - fresh air - exercise - entrepeneurship opportunities- travel and adventure - little, if any, homework. Rugged individualism at its best. Right!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Those are the breaks!

[Note: Recent inactivity on this blog will not be commented on until a thorough review of plausable explanations has been listed, field-tested and approved by the director.]

On this day, as in several previous, one finds oneself 20 miles from the Canadian border in Plattsburgh, NY. We had a break in the wind. (Do I need to reword that?) What had been a force of 15-25mph [c.25-40kph [for our bi-numeral acquaintances]] was down to three to five mph [five to eight kph] for today.

We also had a break regarding the temperature. Gone was the 25 F [Celcius on your own], here came 45 F.

The missus and I headed out to a sugar shack to surprise friends in the middle of boiling sap in the process of making maple syrup. Alas, there was no activity to benefit from our surprise. The preceding two nights and days had been too cold for the sap to flow at a good pace. They thought that tomorrow would be a good day for boiling. Earlier in the week, 150 gallons of syrup had been produced. That's dealing with about 6,000 gallons of sap, and I'm not going to try to figure that in liters (or is that litres). Sooooo we searched out other sugar shacks to bother, but none had weather different from our first stop. So. magically, our visit turned into a shopping tour in the gift shop of one of the sugar shacks. Maple cocoa, maple coffee, varieties of shapes of maple sugar items, 2009 syrup, maple cream, pervasive aroma. Just a bit heady. . . . (yes, they will ship).

Several years ago I became aware of birch syrup - from an inquiry about maple syrup in Alaska. I learned that it takes about double the amount of birch sap to develop one gallon of birch syrup - 80 gallons. The aroma and the flavor are somewhat medicinal in my judgement. It is not too distant from the soda Moxie - even the diet variety carries that flavor. It all works out O.K., as it tastes pretty good on Dairy Queen. Really.

So, the day was a break from some of the have-tos of the week and the resignation of sparing ourselves from the 'brisk' winter weather by being indoor people. During our tour of duty in the North Country, I recall the period we called the 'January thaw'. Around the third week or so of January, we would benefit from a warming period - the snow and ice would melt for a few days, and I would allow myself to think 'Ah, we're going to have an early Spring this year. Good for us!' The thoughts and hopes were shattered in not too many days by the return of belligerent Winter weather, freezing the tears on our cheeks.

Those were the breaks.