Monday, January 31, 2005

Just a thought ..

Man, I love that song!!! Not for any particular reason -- just cause it is a GREAT song!  Of course in my Music Net line-up it is followed by The Stars and Stripes Forever then She's a lady -- so ...  Ahem. 

I DO own classical music, listen to it too, makes me cry with joy, not that I would admit that to anyone but close friends.  No good putting on airs in farm world, makes folk look at you weird.  Not because folk out here are uncultured -- contrarywise, just the opposite mostly.  Neighbor gal used to be a ballerina, NO, a real ballerina. Honest to heavens toe shoes and on pointe and everything. Sadly, often the arts do not pay the bills.  Reality.  Married to a farmer / truck driver she lives just a mile east of here on a farm.  Denying the coulda been's, when she walks, she walks like fallen leaves stirred by a passing breeze.  Rustling, she gathers herself, then swirling and dancing she moves across a room.  Farm wife, she describes herself. Fortunately she unintentionally gives lie to that with every step.

Me?  Commercial art mostly, artsy fartsy family, went to a fairly decent commercial art school in Pasadena even.  Now I drive tractors and such.  Odd, the folk that exist out in fly over land.

Not the point of my entry.  Michael Jackson.  I grew up knowing a fairly odd assortment of creative types.  Because of that, I wonder, behind the freakish mask that cosmetic surgery created, beyond the genius of his music, I wonder if he really isn't telling the truth.  I say that only because I grew up with creative people and if I was voting, I would have to say that it is just possible that he does see himself as a child.  It is just possible that he is innocent, truly so.

A Day like a dozen before it ...

Not much to say because not much is going on, at least not much different than any other winter day. Work, Oh! Weird tangent! Black squirrels! I grew up near the Rock Island Arsenal and (squinting, trying to remember) there is a story that someone that lived or worked on the arsenal way back when (how is that for historical accuracy?) imported black squirrels from (Germany? Holland?) and their coloration became dominant in the squirrels in the area. This would be a great place to have a picture of a black squirrel, but alas, I don't have one. Well, that and this was truly supposed to be an entry about the frost today but while I do have a photo of that -- I can't make it appear so instead I am talking about squirrels. No... that doesn't make any sense, but you will have that with me. Undocumented black squirrels and rumored photos of frost born of heavy fog, that is my entry for the day. Grin. A lot of my days are like that, squirrels and fog.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

This is one of the reasons that I have issues with the lefty leaners

Tonight, in sub zero temperatures, steel pipe in hand, I crept from pool of darkness to pool of darkness across the equipment lot to the door of the pole barn. Turning the handle on the door, I raised the steel pipe over my head and simultaneously let loose with a banshee wail and kicked open the door to confront a backhoe with creeping hydraulics. Yep, anticlimactic. For the record, I was ok with my attempt to terrify snow removal equipment, given the possible alternatives. 

How is it that I ended up creeping through the night in the cold?  The phone in the pole barn came off the hook and on to speaker phone, somehow.  Noticing that, I listened.  Sound of the K1 heater running and strange arrhythmic banging. Heater noise fine, phone off the hook and banging noises, not so fine. Bad in fact.  Could be nothing, could be trespassers or worse.  Thing is, nowadays, trespassers or thieves can hurt themselves on your property, sue and win because somehow the property owner shoulda ...  Yah.  Worse, trespassers or thieves hurt in a fight with a large physically powerful male property owner can sue because ... yah.  Enter the only bright spot in the scenario, I am a chick.  I can be "scared for my life" and get away with damn near anything. My terrified chickdom outweighs any "rights" thieves or trespassers may have. So I get to go check things out when things are maybe wrong. Time was, it wouldn't have been that way.

Things are is not always the way one would have them. I can't control the wave of miscreant's rights that threatens to drown anyone trying to stay afloat. I can and do vote to the right hoping for sanity and tort reform. Meanwhile, I also have my very own custom cut 2 inch by 3 foot steel pipe and a banshee wail. Disregard the fact that the backhoe was singularly unimpressed by either tonight.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

It was just a moment ...

I had errands to run today, busywork, urgent and unremarkable as errands tend to go, The Star Spangled Banner changed that. I had tuned into coverage of the Inauguration.  I missed the President's speech, but caught Air Force Tech. Sgt. Bradley Bennett and the U.S. Air Force Band performing the National Anthem. 

... O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

I found myself misting up over a song celebrating the strength and durability of a nation of people who, despite external attack and internal conflict, have stood resolute in the cause of freedom. As an Air Force tenor sang, freedom and our flag flew, may they always.

Friday, January 14, 2005

OH! Canada!

Yesterday, as I was wolfing down a quick pseudo burrito (refried beans and American cheese on a flour tortilla zapped in the microwave -- aint great eating, but it was fast which was key) anyway, I read the package on the tortillas. Yammer yammer about the joys of roundish, flat, baked flour and water in the expected English then, what?  The same thing in a foreign language, French. What? Pause. French?  I reread expecting the letters to rearrange themselves from the lilt of French cadence to the staccato of Spanish.  Burrito packages should have Spanish on them, right? Nope. Still with the lilt.

I pondered.


Oh! [It struck me] Canada! We are just south of Canada. A large percentage of the folk to the North speak French. Explanation. Wheeew!  That mystery would have driven me nuts.


Friday, January 7, 2005

A few moments of peace and I truly did sign on to do the weekend assignment.  OH! I DID too!  Please ignore the fact that I am still working on not doing the one from just before Christmas ... nevermind.   I am going to take a small vacation instead.  I am going to visit the folks on "free parking" to catch up.  Ever been to this board?  Astonishing bunch, no lie. Razor sharp smarts mostly.  In the autos area -- but don't let that fool you, the following is a link to a sample of one of the conversations.   Click here: Re: Home Ec 101   If you stop-by wave hi to the folks! 

Thursday, January 6, 2005

One More Picture from today


The angel that stands guard over my pond (and the bullfrogs) seems to have been doing her job by preventing the ice from reaching the water.

The Purple Blob Strikes Again


Icestorm.  Pretty this morning, if you can get past the sound of ice cracking and tree limbs crashing to the ground.  No grid power here from 2:30 am until almost 5 pm.  The generator solved our no power problem, but a huge number of people in the area are still without electric service.  More later!

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

This was a freak-out

I wandered over to Dona's Journal --

She had a link to a "find out what kind of soul you are" thingy, Cool!  I popped over to the site to find out what kind of poetic soul I am!  They got me dead on.  Wild.

You Are a Hunter Soul You are driven and ambitious - totally self motiviated to succeed Actively working to acheive what you want, you are skillful in many areas. You are a natural predator with strong instincts ... and more than a little demanding. You are creative, energetic, and an extremely powerful force. An outdoors person, you like animals and relate to them better than people. You tend to have an explosive personality, but also a good sense of humor. People sometimes see you as arrogant or a know it all. You tend to be a bit of a loner, though you hate to be alone. Souls you are most compatible with: Seeker Soul and Peacemaker Soul What Kind of Soul Are You?   Secretly, I am glad that they didn't have a "you are a crabby, occasionally antisocial, finger nails in desperate need of a manicure soul" or that would have been mine.  I kind of like the hunter thing.

Saturday, January 1, 2005


New Year's Day has to be the self help book marketer's dream.  Over the years my lists alone have probably denuded an acre of white pine. I can't even imagine the deforestation involved in the printing of all the books I have bought in the hope of expediting the success of those resolutions.  No more! I have realized that I will never become a super model, own a wardrobe that is anything other than functional and machine washable, wear the latest look in eye make-up or own shoes that will make any man say anything other than "hey, I need a new pair of work boots, where did you get yours"?  I will never make millions selling real-estate with no money down. I will not write the great American novel. No New Year's Day promise is ever going to cause my closets to be clutter free or keep my bedlam of plastic food storage containers nested and stored in the same cupboard as their lids.  Not going to happen!

My resolutions this year will not require self help books or the seeking of knowledge from strangers. They will all be things that I am already good at and if not comfortable with then at least resigned to.

For the year 2005, I hereby resolve to:

1.  Continue feeling guilty about not sending return email in anything like a timely manner. Along with several that I have received lately, I will delay returning the one from two years ago, and another that I am apparently aging like a fine wine.  I will continue to occasionally nag myself that I need to get around to answering them, not do it, then feel guilty.

2.   I will not learn to wrap gifts with neat corners and precise creases and just a smidge of transparent tape at the overlap. I will continue to use whatever wrapping is near at hand with particular emphasis on aluminum foil sheets and plastic grocery store bags, smoosh the extra under the folds rather than trimming it off, and I may again use 1-1/2" wide lime green masking tape as a substitute for transparent if I run across the masking tape first when I have to actually wrap something.

3.   I will not work on improving my musical taste in anyway.  I will continue to play my Rick James CD at close to the maximum volume as I drive the thirteen miles into town.  I will remain unashamedly fond of almost anything performed by the Carpenters. I will still play Barry Manilow when I want to feel young because the very first concert that I every went to in my life was Barry Manilow. I was 12, I fell in love and I will not abandon my first love.  That almost every one's taste in music evolves after the passing of three decades and mine has not will not bother me even for a second.


4.   I will continue to cut my own hair even knowing that I don't do it well and it makes a naturally bad situation worse.  People are used to my "I happen to prefer to do my grooming in high winds look" -- it startles them, but they are used to it. I resolve to walk through the year with excruciatingly bad hair and not do a thing to improve the situation.

These resolutions, I believe I will keep.

The Tournament of Roses Parade had a Choo-Choo!!!

Knocked me out, a 207 foot long train, chugging down the streets of Pasadena!  That the entire thing was decorated with flowers -- well, all the floats are, but this one was something else!

Adding a link to the Tournament of Roses website, no pictures of the floats as of this writing but the parade is still going on. The float was by American Honda.

More train news.  Not nearly as spectacular, but important to me nonetheless, our little locos now have an indoor parking place!  Yea!  We put rails down in one of our pole barns and had a floor poured and last evening, our friend Mark ran our little Plymouth into the barn for the first time.


I am particularly pleased that we can now park this locomotive inside because the TGT is an extremely rare switcher engine and was manufactured here in Ohio by The Plymouth Locomotive Works, which is no longer in business. Only three of these locomotives were ever manufactured, one was built for shipment overseas and two were built for a U.S. armory in virginia.  To ensure that these two rare and still running locomotives were preserved and returned to Ohio, we, with our friend John of the Paint Valley Railroad of Chillicothe, Ohio bought the pair when they became available.