Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Adventure Begins with a Raft

My brother and I, as we grew up on the Missouri River, were always dreaming and scheming about jumping on a raft and heading out for the territories.  Not having a raft created some difficulties there.

These four boys, spotted this afternoon preparing to disappear down the stream, reminded me of my own time on the river.  They got the rafts safely in the stream, then realized they were sitting on the ground.  I told them to be safe.  It looked like fun.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Rapturous Sunset

The wife and I are still here, it seems, but the sunset through our living room window is heavenly enough for me today.  Rapture comes in many forms.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dogs in Madison

A recent dog attack in Madison has led to some increased attention on dog regulations and requirements.  As a person who spends time out on the road and about town on foot or bike, I've noticed that many people do not adhere to the requirement that dogs be on a leash or be fenced in.  Many mornings I'm confronted with a barking dog running out onto the street where I'm jogging.  I see people walking their dog and having it make a pit-stop, leaving a surprise souvenir for the yard owner.  I hear dogs whose owners apparently don't recognize how annoying their constantly barking dog is.  I see dogs chained in the yard with no visible water or food.  I don't think the new regulations will address all these things, but maybe it will help people recognize that owning a dog requires more than bringing it home and feeding it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Billygoats in the Yard? Voters say, "Yes!"

Okay, so 18 people voted on the goats-in-the-yard issue.  In an overwhelming response, 83% chose to support goats in our yard.  I was tempted to shift the language of the question to ask whether voters would want goats in their yard, but I didn't.  I'm sure that everyone would clamor for our goat(s) to visit once we got it/them.  Now, the results are not a binding vote, but rather an opinion poll, right? And, though the voters responded favorably to the issue, they didn't approve a budget for said goat(s?).  A quick search of the local goat-outlet shows some availability recently, but without an approved budged, it's only window-shopping there.  It's the Duin Exotic Animal Farm down in Iowa, where, instead of a goat or five, I could get some chickens, ducks, geese, rabbits, horses, or turkeys.  No raccoons or squirrels.  We've got a strong supply of rabbits, thanks.  Now maybe if there were a rabbit-hunting goat, we'd be in business.

A Recycling Love Story

JB pointed me to this video.  I liked it!

A Love Story… In Milk from Catsnake on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Funeral Season

It seems like we've lost a share of people over the last few weeks.  Two friends have lost their mothers, another his wife, another his brother.  Their pain is shared by those who know them, friends who feel the tug of their loss, the falling away from the living.  It's a sense in keeping with my belief that we live in a kind of social fabric, woven together like threads in a greater cloth that is growing and wearing out as though it were a living skin, shedding and adding constantly as people come and go into our lives.  Some might say it's easier if the ties are thin, the threads few.  We would hurt less often.  But it seems to me that this flurry of losses is a reminder that we're blessed with many friends, much family, many ties.  With so rich a fabric, it's no wonder our losses come.  So do our additions.  Thank you, friends, for sharing with us.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Spring Arrives to our Busy Weekend

As the semester closes out and some of us seek to finish grading to turn in final grades, the activities seem to pile up, starting with the AAUW progressive dinner, with appetizers out by the golf course, dinner at our place, and dessert at a third place.  Cleaning up and getting the house ready after being neglected over the spring as I've been working on a third house was a challenge.  Now today is graduation day for those students, then the annual Kentucky Derby party out on the lake, then a retirement ranch party out in the country.  Tomorrow?  Mother's day!  I don't know what the schedule is for that yet.  Whew!

Meanwhile, lots of other things wait for my attention, most importantly finishing up the cool old house so we can put it on the market.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Why Paper (Sometimes) Rocks

While my students were diligently working away at their final exams, on paper, thank you very much, I tried to get on the D2L server where all their other electronic submissions are was greeted by the message here.  Little did my students know that they were in the clear while others were facing trouble as they tried to create and submit files for their final exams.  

Grass Powered Mowing

The wife is forever advocating that we get some sort of additional creature to cuddle with on the interior of our house and another creature to take care of the mowing (and provide hair for yarn, I suspect).  On both counts, my resistance is durable, but I was intrigued tonight to see an article on the NYTimes describing how some small farmers are putting away the tractor (and its fuel requirements) and putting the stick to the ox.  The oxen do require fuel, but is fairly abundant.  The wife likes the idea of a goat.  Do you like the idea of a goat in our yard?  Hmm.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Blowing the Stripes Right Off the Road

Yesterday we were out west of town when I noticed that the wind had blown so hard over the past few days that even the stripes on highway 34 were peeling up and blowing away.  Now how about that?