Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Haircut, a Fallen Tree, and a Visit from a Turtle

Yes, a tree fell in the back yard today, and the wife said goodbye to her long hair, revealing a woman underneath that many hadn't seen for quite some time. We also got in a brief party at a fellow DSU-er who is going away, then grabbed an episode of Lost online, the season finale (what the hell is going on with that now, anyway? Lots of questions to be answered). I did stakeout on the rabbits for a while, those pesky devils who have been devastating the flowers in the back yard. I altered some of their plans for the evening.
While I was at the backyard picnic table, I was visited by a traveling turtle, seen here. Perhaps he was warning me about being too harsh with the rabbits, or perhaps he was indicating that while there is a race being run, there are still two of them in it--one expected to win, the other plugging along with a sense of confidence that others don't fathom.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Standing Up for Hillary

The Second Street Diner was packed this morning with Hillary Clinton supporters who waited patiently for the campaign bus to arrive, but then enjoyed a kick-ass address that ended with a rousing call for effective leadership that has been sorely lacking.
Clinton addressed several things near and dear to South Dakotans, and she nailed every reference to the state, the city, and the issues that are central to the times. Check out the Madville Times for what promises to be a more in-depth discussion of the issues.
DSU's own Jona Schmidt sat next to Hillary as the candidate enjoyed a piece of the great apple pie at the restaurant. Jona's mom (Virginia?) was chosen to sit at the table having just converted to being a Democrat at 80 years old just so she could vote for Ms. Clinton.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Listener of Stories

I should create a job title for myself, "Listener of Stories," wherein I get to listen to stories that people tell me. It's one of my favorite things, like listening to the father-in-law tell his stories about leaving the farm in Winfred and venturing out on his own, taking off with a group of friends and working building grain bins in Minnesota, or serving in the Marines in 29 Palms, California. Or listening to my friend tell about the vacuum line on his car, how here it does pull, here it doesn't. Or even to a new aquaintance, Leon Saugstad, who came to fix the water softener, how he went to five different schools growing up in the area, some of them now non-existent, as his family rented and farmed one farm after the other. Or another friend tell about cruising up over the Rocky Mountains into Coeur D'Alene or growing up in Bucks County, in eastern Pennsylvania. That's a good day for me, soaking up stories, and telling some of my own.

I actually got a real job yesterday, a strenuous one. But I lost it about three minutes later, so my experience as a fabric layer is still limited to one brief voluntary stint and those three minutes in my imagination, my favorite kind of labor.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What Used to Be a Swimming Pool

It's 43 degrees here today, so swimming doesn't top my agenda, but we do still have that option, with the community center pool now available again. But it's not so with the outdoor pool.
We're grateful for having sold our old house every time we pass by the construction zone that was the swimming pool next to our home. It won't be ready this year, but the plans for the new aquatic center are ambitious and impressive. If it's successful, parking there will be even more of a problem than it was.

Lilac Barricades

In conversation today it came up that few new houses sport the kind of lilacs it takes decades to develop, big productive lilac bushes like these, a wall of them to sanctify the spring air, to lay its blessing on the death of May, the birth of June. The breeze coming out of the north had a chill to it, but these big breeze filters put their stamp of approval on every whiff.
If we say thanks to veterans today for the gifts their suffering brought us, we can also look at the gifts handed down to us over the years from someone, ever so many ages ago, like those who envisioned these flowering lilacs when they planted the twigs and watered them. I hope the owners of those new houses will favor their successors by leaving them blossoms like these.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Short Bus Student Revenge

Tasteless activities await on sites like Online Games, where you can play games like "Short Bus Rampage," with a description provided that will tantalize everyone who's wanted to take a school bus and run over children:
Drive over and murder all the school children as you get your own back on them for bullying you! Drive over them all and then out of the scene by the time the timer runs out or the police'll be on you! Good luck killing all the bullies!

Of course, there's no way to tell who the bullies are, so you're encouraged just to run over everyone. Not that you should run over bullies, of course.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gateway to Appleville

I don't know what pollinates apple trees, but these trees are definitely flirting with the powers that be. With rain in the forecast, it may not be long before the petals have fallen, but today, they all had their hands in the air.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Apple Trees in Bloom

For now I'll just let these apple trees do the talking about what's been going on for the past couple of weeks. While I've been busy with other activities, the apple trees have pulled up from their roots and down from the sky these bouquets for our pleasure. Before you know it, the blossoms will be apples dropping into the yard.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

New Windows for Beadle Hall

Yesterday a crew was scoping out Beadle Hall to get ready for putting in new windows, including arched windows that have not been seen for 40 years or more. Meanwhile, there will be refugees as our offices become uninhabitable this summer.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

A little video celebration of our Spanish-speaking neighbors, via con YouTube: Disney's Three Caballeros.

And, from 1986, The Three Amigos.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Spring Events

Spring this week was in evidence, not just because we had a small crowd of people at the house on Saturday for the Kentucky Derby, but also because it was warm, warm, ever so warm. At least by our standards here in the frozen north. Quick, how long till frost? Grow, stuff, grow!

For the derby party we were able to invite guests out to the porch for the first time this season, and they were appreciative of the space and comfort there. Too bad the race was marred with poor Eight Belles and her demise.

We also put behind us the old house on Catherine Street, vacant since July when we moved into this big unit. We signed the papers on Wednesday, the buyer signed on Thursday, and we got our check that day. But we're happy to have it out of our hair.

Meanwhile, it's time for the city-wide cleanup, with free stuff at the curbside all over town. Much of it will reappear at garage sales and even in the flea market this summer. It's spring, it's finals week, and it's time to finish the semester!