Sunday, May 22, 2016

Please come to Boston

In the ongoing tradition of Alan cooking up cool stuff on weekends, all of us but the boss, who felt that his injured legs and feet wouldn't hold up to being cramped in the car and walking all day, went to the New England Aquarium and Quincy Market yesterday.

Everybody loves penguins

Yes, we did have fun.

You might think that lugging a two-year-old through all that stuff might prove challenging, but our Miss Peggy was an angel. She slept all the way over, sang all the way back, and had a ball in between. What a trouper that kid is.

Myrtle, the Green Sea Turtle

She loved petting the cownose did everyone..... How cool to have fish that want to be touched and swim right up to your hand like trapezoidal puppies. They feel amazing! Squooshy and yet velvety at the same time. I only left the side of the tank because there were a lot of other people who wanted to touch them too and I felt that I should make room.

Cownose Ray

We did the whole tourist thing too...walked through Faneuil Hall, ate at Dick's Last Resort and were duly it happened we had one of the funnier servers and since sarcasm is a favorite font around here, we had a good time. Food was can't beat seafood within blocks of the ocean....well, harbor, but close enough.

I've been to Boston to visit the market and aquarium twice before and passed around the edges once on the way to Gloucester. Both other aquarium experiences involved school trips and chaperoning other peoples' kids. I won't go into detail, but it sure was a lot more fun with just family.

A nasty accident on the way in yesterday reminded me of something I had long forgotten. A couple of miles ahead of us, twenty-odd miles or so before we got to Boston, someone had a bad crash. We sat for half an hour in gridlocked traffic....which triggered a memory of that very long ago Gloucester trip. We sat in traffic even longer then....waited and waited and waited ....only to find that the reason for the prolonged delay was a man.....running around in the stalled traffic....with an ax. You cannot make that stuff up.

In both Gloucester well over thirty years ago, and Boston less than twenty-four hours ago, I enjoyed clam chowder. Boy, I love that stuff.....

Anyhow, a good time was had by all; memories were made and photos taken. Thanks Liz for loaning me camera batteries. Mine were charged but died suddenly and my spares were in the the parking garage....several blocks away. 

And thanks Al. I have done more good stuff in the past three years than in the past forty....and here I thought I was over the hill and looking at the long decline.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Spring Break

On a farm......

Canning jelly

18 pints

The Amish neighbors have lots of foals

Does this tree make my butt look big?

Headin' home

At sunset
Why we stay here to pay all those taxes and put up with the government

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

I Swimming

There's a bug in my pool
It's right there
Mommy,......Daddy....get it out!
Oh, all right, I'll get it myself


Almost ready for the cap and gown

Tall and proud out on the stage

Going, going, gone

Hi Ma.
I didn't like college. The room was too small and algebra was too hard.
The worms were too squishy and the berries too mushy.
Can I move back home?
Can I? Can I?
Oh, and here's my laundry.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

I Failed Gym Class

More than once too. I wasn't much of an athlete in the first place, although I loved gymnastics. The whole blind-as-a-bat-thing interfered with all sports played with balls....and alas, most of them are.I could run pretty fast and jump pretty high, but catching balls or hitting what I was throwing at...not so much.

However, I was a tough little thing and could perform with a reasonable level of sufficiency. I probably could have gotten by and passed...somehow....

So why did I fail? Because I was terribly shy and would not, could not, undress and shower with other girls.  I "forgot" my required gym uniform. Often. Daily in fact. 

The uniform wasn't the only way I skated around the issue either. It was possible to hide in plain sight. The whole invisible act, kinda like an ostrich. Even today I am a pretty good hider in full view and still not be noticed sort. I get stepped over in lines and nearly knocked off stairs all the time, by taller, more aggressive folks.

You could also wet your hair in the sink and sneak off between the lockers, more or less unnoticed, pretending to already be done with the shower. I was never a popular kid so I got away with it, but the whole missing uniform/missing class/sitting on the bleachers reading a book thing was hard on my grade.

I managed to graduate from high school and get in a couple of years of college without ever showering in public. (The one exception to my nearly perfect record was a trip to swim at the Y as an adult. And I still shudder.)

So I failed gym. My other grades were generally adequate to keep me from being held back so it didn't really matter.

I admit to being a child of the fifties, an era much more closed and private and secret than today. I am utterly an introvert. However, I suspect that there are plenty of girls today, not unlike myself, who are shy, and careful, and private about themselves. 

What on earth are they doing to do when boys are added to the misery of those public showers?

I hate to even think.

Bad to the Bone

Polished up the Farm Side this morning and sent it along to the editor. This week's topic is the nasty Norway Rat. Like most farms (and cities) we enjoy the company of this ever-so-successful other mammal.

Or maybe enjoy is the wrong word. I personally abhor them, as do most folks. When one showed up on the bird feeder right in front of the kitchen window recently, I went on the warpath. Alan bought me a Crossman pellet pistol, which I love btw, but it doesn't have the greatest sights in the world. That did not stop me.

However, better shots than I am missed and missed and missed, as did I, for two solid weeks.

Finally it got so used to us trying to shoot it that it sat there yesterday while I dispatched it from about six feet away. I wonder why the pistol has such lousy sights anyhow....instead of the usual round beads, or things that line up sensibly it has two squares....if you line them up right, you can barely see your target.

The furor over the baby bison out in Yellowstone made me wonder what reaction I might get to admitting, in public, both here and in my column, that I used a "firearm" to kill a verminous rodent (I didn't actually see it die, as it scurried off, but it hasn't been back, so I'll betcha.)

I am sure there are plenty of defenders of rats, who, if this blog were more popular (thank God for obscurity) would take me soundly to task.

I have read some seriously ill-informed discussion of the above event, wherein foolish and pointless human interference caused the death of a protected animal. I found the interference to be simply outrageous and incredibly arrogant. Some folks thought the people who picked up the poor creature should be given a pass, since their actions were caused by an excess of ill-directed compassion.

 I call bullsh**. There are signs regarding the proper treatment of wild animals. I've been to the park. I've seen them. There is no excuse for what the fools did and not much of an excuse for the people who have subsequently attacked the rangers, the park, and any person with actual livestock or wildlife experience who dared offer a sensible comment in a public forum. 

I am beginning to think that some kind of practical animal husbandry needs to be taught in schools or something. The simplest of country kids knows better than to touch a baby animal, even a domestic kitten. Folks see fawns stashed by their mamas all the time. The best thing is to walk right past and pretend not to see. Simple. Obvious. Except when it's not.

We need to somehow counteract the Disnification of our interactions with the natural world before no one is allowed those interactions because of the foolishness of a few. Even if, as some sources claim, the mother bison was deceased, how hard would it have been to contact authorities about the calf, rather than intervene, risking lives, and ultimately causing the death of the animal?