Archive for May, 2011

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Well, Praise Be…..

May 21, 2011

…. it’s all sweetness, warmth and sunshine. Hallelujah, the weather finally changed. Gone are the everlasting back-to-back showers, grey skies and chilly temps. What a difference a couple of days make!

Because of the rain it had been 10 days since I had cut the lawns… hayfield anyone?? So, I’ve spent the last 3 or 4 hours doing the back yard, shirtless, and soaking up the sun. *Note to self: Don’t try to clear grass blockages at the outlet with the mower running again.* It was like a hammer blow to the tip of my middle finger – not nice. Glad I was wearing a glove though else otherwise it likely would have been gashed open. As it was there was a good deal of impromptu dancing, cursing,  involuntary clenching of the butt cheeks and swinging of the hand.

“Okay, don’t look. Just leave the glove on, put your hand back on the handle and keep mowing. Ah, screw it; I gotta look. Eewww – not bad; could be worse. Bet that’s going to throb for awhile.”

Three quarters of the nail is showing a nasty looking bruise underneath and it hurts a bit to type. Silly bugger – won’t do that again anytime soon.

Anyway, I’m loving the weather but right now I had to come cool off in the basement after all that mowing.

I thought I would have all sorts of free time this week to post here but it didn’t turn out that way. Turns out with Lynda away all this past week there was more for me to do; not less. C’est la vie. We’ve texted and talked a number of times each day but I’m still looking forward to when she arrives home tomorrow night. Phone calls just don’t equal face time.

Here’s a shot for Kel. I noticed this box at a local flea market down the street and around the corner.

Long Way From Home

….and another… the chip truck mascot.

 

George, at Your Service

 Time to go scrub the sweat and grime away. Catch ya on the flip side.

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Science – Fact and Fiction

May 15, 2011

It looks like I’ll have a bit of time on my hands this week so I might just slash off a couple of posts. (Especially if it continues with this sodded rain…. it is now Sunday night; it’s been raining since Friday evening and is supposed to continue until Wednesday.)

Anyway, this won’t be the ‘big’ reading post I promised to do some time ago. No, I just thought I’d show the strange range of books I keep on the go at any one time. Way, way over HERE at one end of the range is Stephen Hawking’s ‘Brief History of Time’. Having read Bill Bryson’s ‘A Brief History of Nearly Everything’ a few months ago my appetite had been whetted for more science. Bryson’s book fascinated me as he lead the way through the developement of the modern sciences. Hawking’s book is surprisingly accessible and readable considering the concepts he is conveying. (My concept of time must be a little warped because I find it hard to believe this book has been out for over 20 years.)

Now, if you look way, way down that-a-way you’ll see Douglas Adams’ second book of his ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ trilogy, ‘Restaurant at the End of The Universe’. This carries on brilliantly with its sardonic, acerbic, compelling spoofing of science fiction literature. It’s a grand farce that stands up well after about 30 years.

The pace of my recent reading has dropped back a few notches so I’m not plowing through 2 or 3 books a week anymore.

Beady-Eyed

This has nothing at all to do with science but what the h*ll, eh? Lately I’ve been listening to this CD again – Aerosmith’s “Honkin’ On Bobo”, which is mostly covers of songs that had inspired the band. All done with verve & muscle. Here’s a live version of ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’. The only science at work here is they make my gas pedal foot heavier, blind me to red traffic lights and make me corner way too fast. The whole album is best listened to real frickin’ loud. nuf sed.

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Exploring

May 9, 2011

Our little corner of the world through a small boy’s eyes:

Our g’son Owen has been out for more frequent visits lately and now his big thing is stretching his boundaries. ‘Walks With Pops’ started when he found a suitable stick for walking a couple of weekends ago and he asked if I would take him out through the greenbelt behind the house. That led onward to the creek, checking both banks as far as we could go, and the train tracks. Left a penny on the tracks and marked the spot so we could find the penny later. Chucking big rocks into the creek to see who could make the biggest splash. Finding the best stones for skipping and seeing how many hops we could get. Testing his boots in the shallows at the edge of the creek. Collecting souvenirs – a patch of moss, a special stone, a fiddlehead fern, little things…. his pockets were chuck full.

Atop the bank

Oh, and me imparting a little wisdom about how the banks get undercut by spring runoff enough that the edges are dangerous to stand on. He’s a funny guy. We had been walking for about a half hour along a trail that followed the creek’s path when he turned and asked. ‘Are we lost?’ Well, you’re leading this expedition, O. Do you think you can find our way back? ‘Sure Pops… but I’m not ready to go back yet. Let’s keep going this way.” Okay buddy; lead the way..

 
I like the opinions he offers on what he sees, the questions he asks, the little things he takes note of. ‘Inquiring minds want to know’, doncha know.
 

Ridge banked by cedar

Lynda describes O as an old soul, and the embodiment of her father Victor. He certainly is a sight to see trudging along in his rubber boots and his ‘just the right size’ walking stick.
 
Our walk done, we sit to enjoy a drink of milk and a couple of cookies while filling his parents and gramma in on our travels. ‘We saw…. we did….. it was so cool when ….’
 
You’re not the only one who had fun, Owen. Thanks for one of the special times of my life. 
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Olio

May 3, 2011

… a mixture of the good and bad rattling round my brain.

The Good: My daughter-in-law’s second ultrasound was conclusive; they’re having another girl. If they are very fortunate they’ll have a clone of their daughter Madison – one of the sweetest personalities on the planet.

The Bad: Early last week another of my cousins (and BJ’s) died. He had lived a solitary life for the last 25 or so years but had managed to manipulate and hurt his sibs and parents in so many ways it was sick. Strange not to feel much of anything but relief at someone’s passing but that’s the way it is. So long and hope your next life is healthier and fuller.

‘Big’ Picture Bad: Yesterday was Canada’s federal election and the outcome was definitely not to my liking. A majority Conservative government – very scary considering Prime Minister Harper’s modelling on George Bush’s policies and practices (which proved very unsuccessful). Corporate tax cuts; tough on crime; super-jails; militarization; cuts to social services to those who need that safety net most. The Liberal party fell flat and lost many seats. The Democrats had a surge and are now the official opposition (Yay!) and gained many seats. The Bloc in Quebec was disembowelled; leader resigned (Yay!); separatist bastards can go pee up a stump. The Green Party leader won the sole seat for that party in the House of Commons; good on Elizabeth May – a feisty broad whoops, I mean, lady.

More Good: The reason Lynda’s youngest son spent a few weeks here was because with his share of his inheritance he bought a chip truck… and had it here working on it and getting it in shape for the season. Yes Kel – along with french fries, burgers & sausages he is also serving poutine!!…and getting compliments on it, too. His first day in business was last Saturday and I hope and pray that it’s a continuing success for him.

The ‘So-So’: Weather!! Man, will it ever warm up and stop raining? We had 3X as much rain this April as last year – one storm system after another out of western Canada and the American midwest and gulf. I’d really like to ditch the long-john underwear but every time I try going without them I chill to the bone.

More Good: During this last week I’ve been getting reaquainted with a female friend from many years ago – when we were in our early and mid twenties. She was a server at a bar I was a regular at in downtown Toronto – Yorkville – T.O.’s version of Haight-Ashbury… tho these were the ‘disco days’; hippydom having passed. So it’s nice to catch up on lives and stories that diverged for so long.

More Bad: I’ve had a number of Dr appointments lately because, quite frankly, I think I’m getting old. I really haven’t felt well since I got sick on New Years Eve – it has been one thing after another and I’m sick & tired of being sick & tired. So, I’m being pro-active; seeing my MD; being compliant with his suggestions, etc. and even EXERCISING. (God help me) Monitoring mood and outlook for signs of a recurrence of chronic depression – gotta watch that – don’t want to go through another bout of that.

So, that’s it; that’s all for today. The good and bad of it. Choose to have a good day; it beats the hell out of the alternative. I am.