Friday, October 30, 2015

All-time Best Halloween Blog Post*

I am making this an annual event.  That is how much I like it.  Hope you like it.
Tomorrow.  Tomorrow is Halloween.  It has become quite a big deal, commercially, that is.  Why, I would guess that the dollar turnover on decorations and partying is as big as Christmas.  Yet I don't think of Halloween as a holiday.  A day for fun and mischief, perhaps, but even the mischief has gotten carried away from fun into wickedness.

But that's not the reason for this post.

Here is the reason:  Wishing you a fun and safe good time on Halloween.  And,

inflicting on you once again my all-time favorite Halloween cartoon.  You are welcome.

Purely for your entertainment (and to keep you out of trouble) check out these rules for sharing your Halloween spoils.

*Yes, I am tooting my own horn.  "Lo, he who tooteth not his own horn, the same shall not be tooted." --Gene Fowler

Thursday, October 29, 2015


After the first ninety minutes in Wally World, this old guy advised the spouse that he'd be on the bench in front of checkout #17.

She nudged me gently, my eyes popped open, she said, "Watch the cart.  I'll be ready to go soon as I use the restroom."

Later in the evening she told me she hated to wake me because she was afraid someone would associate her with the silly old man who was asleep in the midst of all that traffic.

Embarrassed that someone might think I was hers?  Well!

(Someone is concerned about what the People of Walmart think of her?  Or me?) 

Ha. Haha.  Ha.

Borrowed from Bob Warr.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fading Fall

Queen Anne's Lace makes one stubborn last Attempt huddled next the ground
Frost has laid her tall proud sisters low
But she soldiers on.

Pine straw tan and falling fast soon will cover
All the Grass beneath the windbreak and then
The West wind will blow cold.
But we will soldier on.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Looking South from the backyard.

Psalm 24 The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?
He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

Today is Robert Montgomery "Bobby" Knight's 75th birthday.  If you don't know him, check Wikipedia.  In Indiana everyone pretty much falls into three groups:  those who idolize him, those who can't stand him, and me and three others who figure he's just another guy.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Junk Drawer

Today's post is a rehash originally posted four and one-half years ago under the title "Catch-all Drawers."  This is the result of a meme in which I went to the fifteenth page in the blog archive, counted down fifteen posts and . . .
Every kitchen, I have been told, has a "catch-all drawer." Though I doubt that everyone is as disorganized as all that, it certainly would have been true for our kitchen, except for the fact that we now have TWO catch-all drawers in our kitchen, given that the first one was full to overflowing long ago. The second one nears that point, and thus it will soon require that someone do something about that. The logical thing would be to dump the drawers, transfer most of the contents to the waste bin, and start over.

The main trouble with that is that every time we throw something out, two days later we want that very item. And this is true even if that item has not been used or even seen in several years. Why do we do this? There are three hardware stores within a mile of our house, and there are probably no items in the drawers that would cost more than seven dollars to replace, and most of them a buck or so.* Ooh, empty drawers! What a concept.

Yet the idea of empty drawers brings to mind this as well. BBBH frequently refers to the kitchen as a one-butt kitchen, which I have come to realize is her way of telling me to get out of it. She bemoans the fact that there is not enough storage space, there is not enough counter space, and so on. My suggestion that storage space could be better utilized if some of the items were, well, disposed of, is not well received. See previous paragraph in re what happens when something is discarded. Also, remind me to keep my mouth shut about the kitchen.

*Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.
Word of the day: disorganized

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Fun, Frolic, Toil, and Throwback

Monday we visited the Elwood Opera House for lunch with friends along with a walk down memory lane.  Well, not our memories because the place predated us.

Very interesting old building with a fascinating story.

BBBH took her turn on the boards.

Then each afternoon this week has been filled with toil in the yard and garden.  Here we see the flower garden in its current state.

Wednesday pretty much finished the job except for seeding the flower garden.  The seeds have been shipped.  Anxiously awaiting their arrival.

The benches and swings and hammocks and tools have been stored.  Lin showed us her magnificent  storage job.  You will never see mine.

A Thursday throwback.  The garden 2011.

Word of the day  :predate

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Utterly Exhausted

Trying to put the yard to bed for the winter.  It is a lot more work than it looks like, and when it is done it will be hard to see the effort expended.  I had drained, rolled, and stored meters and hoses, chopped all the hostas, pulled vines.  At least as much effort went into walking back and forth garage to barn, barn to shed, shed to garage collecting the various tools.

I was tired.

I washed my hands and plopped down in my recliner.  I picked up the Margaret Coel Wind River mystery and opened it to chapter six where the two-dollar bill marked my place.  The priest had just learned that the lady lawyer had been dragged into the case when

Apparently the book slipped from my hands as my head fell back against the headrest.

"Hey!  Hey, Old Geezer!"  I shook my head and opened my right eye just a slit.  I saw Annaliese on the balcony waving her right arm and fairly dancing up and down in place as she hollered again.  "David!  Yeah, I am talking to you."

This bodes ill.

"Lady," I said as calmly as my racing pulse would allow, "I would thank you kindly to be quiet, patrol your space and leave me alone."

Gales of laughter as Elizabeth joined her in her hilarity.  "Zero chance, Old Man.  We just overheard talk that suggests your Missus is planning to be away for a while.  Is she going off and leaving you here with us in charge?"  More raucous laughter.

"It is none of your beeswax.  What my Beloved and I do is none of your concern."

"All I have to say is you had best be afraid, be very afra. . ."

I heard the screen door slam.  My head jerked up and I saw that the two porcelain women were standing immobile in their accustomed spots.  BBBH skipped into the room.  "Hi, Hon!  I'm home.  Would you bring the packages in from the car?  Oh, and bring in my two red suitcases, too."

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Anyone Have a Sturdy Sabot I Can Smash This Thing With?

I have issues with computers.  I mean we all have the virus and trojan issues; we all have the pop-ups and unsolicited advertisements.  We all deal with them in one way or another.  But this is not what I mean.

We were sold into the computer age with the promise of a more efficient and easier life,  This turns out to be largely poppycock.  More information more readily available, yes.  Too much information too freely shared.  But again, this is not what I am on about.

I am mad at the people who make and sell the computers and the software.  I am mad because they misrepresent reality and sell our dreams down the river for their own perfidious ends.

Here is the crux of the matter.  For years I maintained a neatly organized four-drawer steel file cabinet.  Yours might have been oak or walnut, but the purpose was the same.  In it I filed papers that I wrote or collected and wished to keep.  Want a document?  Go to the cabinet, open the drawer, go to the file, and voila! there is the document just as we left it a week ago, a year ago, a decade ago, or even in some cases forty years ago.

So buying into the promise of convenience, upon acquisition of a computer I started writing and storing my documents on the hard drive and on ancillary hardware sold for the purpose.  You know: floppy disks, diskettes, thumb drives and so on.

As the industry grew and changes became head-spinningly rapid, we allowed ourselves to grow with it.  I mean, who wants to be a troglodyte in the information age?

Now as I moved from one device to another or one platform to another I judiciously transported stuff I wanted to keep from the old equipment to the new.  Makes sense, doesn't it?  No, it does not.

And here it is.  I have documents on my current device which I wrote originally in Microsoft Works.  I kept them because I wanted them.  And I still have them.  Ostensibly.  But I cannot open them.

And as for floppies and diskettes, no way to read them anymore.  Old hard drives?  Doorstops.

Cf the automotive world.  Autos have changed tremendously in the past seventy years.  But I can still drive a 1930s car.  I can drive a modern vehicle. Would that once learned one could always drive a computer.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Conclusion to the Outing

Following our examination of the covered bridge five of us went into downtown Roann which was all of two blocks away.  And a couple of blocks long.  The rest of the group peeled out for home.  Mary Ann said that they just didn't know how to have fun.

The antique store was the goal of four-fifths of the group.  The other fifth, not so much, although I did take a walk-through just to see what was there.  Here I found an honest antique dealer, for he had a sign posted near the cash register that read, "We buy junk and sell antiques."  He further enhanced his credibility by informing us that he does not haggle.  He sets fair prices and sticks to them.  And, big deal: "We take cash and personal checks with driver's license.  No credit or debit cards accepted."  All in all, my kind of merchant.  BBBH bought stuff.

Next door but one to the antique store is a park as shown here.  A bell, a log cabin and the jail.
Well, the jail is the second cabin seen behind the first one.

The mandatory historical plaque affixed to the cabin.

The jail looked quite sturdy but were I the sheriff I think I might have ordered smaller windows, bars notwithstanding.

A local resident advised us that this building was the original county jail, but I cannot attest to either his veracity or his accuracy.  Anyway, a solo visit to this park and its buildings entertained me whilst money was changing hands a few yards to the north.

An uneventful and pleasant sixty mile drive home concluded a fine day.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

On to the Eel River

After lunch at the orchard we drove about fifteen miles to Roann on the Eel River.  The roads went through a very scenic countryside.  There are no pictures because I was driving and the road was too narrow and too crooked to be concerned about photos.

 Our first glimpse of the river came when we arrived at Stockdale on the outskirts of Roann.  This is the site of the old mill seen here.  The signage lets us know that there is a group of people working to preserve this piece of history.

A few hundred yards and around a couple of curves and we are driving across the Roann covered bridge.  We entered the bridge from this end, either the north or the east end depending upon the reading of your compass.

This is the other end where we parked our vehicles just behind the camera.

A peek at the structural components and an interesting play of light.

Minus one couple who had deserted us at this point and the guy behind the camera, this is the fine bunch of people with whom we were privileged to spend the day.

The view through the windows  of the bridge.

  Eel River

Mac is more interested in the river than he is in being photographed.

The Roann Covered Bridge is a double span Howe truss structure.The total length is 288 feet with 16 foot width and 18 foot clearance.  It was constructed by the Smith Bridge Company of Toledo, Ohio in  1877

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Fall Day at the Orchard

Actually set the alarm clock for a 7:30 wake up call.  Imagine that.  On the road by 9:20 for a forty-mile northward trek.  Destination:  McClure's Orchard, restaurant, trinket store, punkin patch and general tourist attraction.  We were accompanied by a dozen friends and one might safely say that a good time was on the docket.

 Two little old goats greet one another.  I like the angle: I don't look too bad from there.

 Who you callin' a donkey?

 If there is merchandise for sale, BBBH is there.

 Of course we partook of the food and apple goodies.


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Home from the Prairie

Here we are again at Prophetstown State Park at the confluence of the Wabash and Tippecanoe Rivers.

We were greeted each morning by a world blanketed in dense fog which burned away by noon.  The view across this prairie afforded a look at the ridge opposite under clear skies.  The picture is good: it's the fog, not bad photography.

The grasses are seven feet tall.  Walking through them could get one quite disoriented.  Best follow a deer trail, or stay out altogether.

The idea of the park was to restore a natural prairie as it would have existed two hundred years ago.  All non-native plant species were removed and replaced with the original type flora.

Wiener and BBBH enjoyed the sunny afternoons.  So did I.

Lulu and Grizz on their leashes stopped by with Rececca for a visit, and a pet of course.

Louie led devotions at sunset

When the sun went down, the heavier outerwear was donned.  Visiting with friends and thanking our Creator is what it is all about.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Campsite: Prophetstown State Park.  Joy.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Lovely Lady

tl: 09; bl 08; center 15; tr 12; br 00 

With my Beloved Beautiful Better Half.  Today is her birthday.  Happy JoAnn Day, BBBH!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Flower or Weed?

A few years ago a little tree came up volunteer in the edge of the Secret Garden.  We thought it interesting, the leaves were pretty and soon enough we were able to identify it as a rough leaf dogwood.  Over time we found that it blooms profusely in the springtime, lovely white blossoms.  We cultivated the tree, pruned it and took secret pride in its appearance.

Then after several seasons we realized that the tree was not only shading a huge portion of the garden it was clearly sapping the sustenance for the flowers beneath.  The solution:  the axe.  I thanked the tree for its display over the years and apologized to it for the destruction I was wreaking upon it.  It was soon gone to the composter.

Then.  Then we discovered how insidious and how devastating to the garden this plant really was, for there soon sprang up all along the root system little treelets seeking to perpetuate the life of the dogwood.  The root was far from dead and now we see the extent of the sneaky invasion, for these roots extend throughout the garden to its very edges in all directions.

There is but one solution to the problem.  The gardener must dig and tear the roots by main force from the earth in which they are embedded.

Has some pretty little thing taken root in your life?  At first it seemed so innocuous, fun even, then it developed into a full-grown vice or habit.  You did not realize what inappropriate shade it was casting over your life until the fruit of your garden was shriveling, small and tasteless.  Worse, you did not see the extent to which the thing had embedded itself into your very life.

And when you do realize the extent of the problem you are helpless to resolve the issue.  The only recourse is to call on the Master Gardener.

Word of the day: innocuous