Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fallfest is the bestfest

Our annual trek to fall fest was yesterday. A great event by a gracious couple who are kind enough to invite a horde of people to their property in Dodge County. This is a gathering that takes place on the last Saturday of September every year. We have been going to it for at least 10 years and have enjoyed every one.

It is an event that is hard to explain, but it's basically getting a bunch of friends together to celebrate fall-ness. Carla, the hostess, always roasts a turkey on the grill, Patty Barrett always brings her fat-a$# beans, as they are so warmly termed, and Donna is in charge of the apple pies. There are lots of other dishes featured, but those three are annual staples that we do not do without.

The one exception to this was the year franz, Patty and Brad's dog, got into the beans on the drive to fallfest. Not wanting to feed the dog-tainted beans to the rest of us, she fessed up and we all went beanless. I'm sure the ozone is in better shape as a result.

This year we had a GREAT day after stressing through an overcast, rain threatening day, all day. It was a beautiful half-moon evening, warm enough to sit in a t-shirt by the fire if you so desired. One of the unexpected pleasant surprises was a band playing just down the street played some great music from the 80's and 90's. It was loud enough that we could hear, but not too loud to drown out conversation. Van Halen, Tom Petty, Bryan Adams, they knew all the good old ones.

We played a fair amount of "Cornhole" which I guess is the actual (though strange) name of the beanbag horseshoe game. I figured out pretty definitively that I suck at it. Six games and a ton of trash talking verified that fact. I think I'm distance challenged or loft-challenged or something. It was a good time despite the fact that I was cheering when my bags would land before the wood and then roll up onto the wood for a point. A silly game, but it annoyed me that I wasn't better at it.

I am thoroughly enjoying my writing class, though it was cancelled this week because the instructor has bronchitis. It is such a pleasure to meet with people who share the love of writing and are good about giving supportive, constructive criticism. It is exactly what I need at this point in my life. We'll see where it takes me.

Right now I have to go take a nap, so I'm...Blogging off.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Reading for a Cause

Here's the poem I read at the Open Mic poetry reading tonight for http://www.wastelandpoets.com/
It was a great night for a great cause.

Diesel Kingdom

Aisle sitters demand their space
an orphan seat calls me
standers are losers
this is my house
King of the Bus
(Ruler of none)
but King nonetheless

Smokers, drinkers, loners, crazies
all fall within these borders
of glass and steel
subject to its shuddering confines
they eavesdrop
on neighbors’ wayward drivel
wishing they’d shut up

People incapable of quiet
fondle Alexander’s electronic Bell
workers gaze looks of gloom
out rain-spit windows
a serf up front asks for change
I’d like some change, alright
the King of Change

The bus stops here.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Still going...




Well, I hit the 1000 mile mark today on my bike. (Picture at left shows 1005.1) That's double what I put on in a season, so is a decent accomplishment, at least for me. I expect to put on another 200 or so before it's over completely too. Some observations and statistics:


  • I average 14 MPH, so I figure the total number of hours in the saddle is 71.4


  • I killed 1 chipmunk


  • I had two bee incidents, one with a sting


  • I saw 3 deer in two encounters


  • I saw a mink and several cranes


  • One fly in the mouth (Ptew)


  • I did not get one flat tire


  • I only got rained on 3 times, one of them hard


  • Almost all miles were logged on the Glacial Drumlin Trail or on my work commute

So, it is done. It got to be a bit of a grind by Late Aug.; more mechanical in some ways, than enjoyable. But it again proved that I can do anything I put my mind to which is due in part to my self discipline, and part due to my obsessiveness. Thanks Mom!

My question now is what do I do for a follow-up next year? I'm thinking of sky diving or starting my quest to hike the entire length of the Ice Age trail. (1000+ miles). If this stupid mid-life thing would leave me alone, I wouldn't have to do anything. :-)

Stay tuned for the next Non-Celebrity challenge. For now I'm...blogging off.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Little Nothings

Random Observations:

  • I got to witness firsthand the annual flying ant launch last night on my bike ride. They were everywhere. A weird experience, and fairly annoying, from a biking perspective anyways.
  • Grasshopper season was last week. Bees for a couple of weeks before that.
  • The sumac is taking on color. This is beautiful. Beautiful, bad news.
  • The French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers and Pugs at the dog park make the funniest noises when they get excited. Its all that nasal stuff crammed into such small spaces, I guess.
  • The weather has been scary nice for 5 days and the forecast calls for 4 more of the same. Scary.
  • I've dealt with Chat Support for ATT and Dell in the past two days and suffice it to say that I'm tired of over-courteous non-English speaking tech supporters. Both calls I ended up just saying "I'll figure it out myself." Who has time for that?
  • How come all I wanted was a laptop with internet and Word on it and now I'm tempted to wipe the functional laptop that is mine out with an OS install just because I don't know what the previous owner had on it. Does it matter what he had on it? If it's working, it probably doesn't matter, eh? I have an obsessive streak in me like my mother I guess. It's just proof again that we're never really satisfied now, are we?
  • Packers will go 11-5, Vikings 10-6, both in playoffs.
  • My fantasy football team will end up 9-7 and miss the playoffs.
  • Poetry is like trying to compress an entire story into less than 100 words. That's why every word matters.
  • I love this laptop, even if it has some unknown junk buried deep within it.
  • More soon, as I'm...blogging off.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

On the Road Again

I hit Mile 893 today on my quest for 1000 miles this summer on my bike. The end is in sight, and frankly, I'll be glad to get there. It's been a bit mechanical these past couple hundred miles. So much so, that I sometimes forget to enjoy the ride. I get in the "just grind it out" mode and forget all the beauty that is whizzing by. Once I've finished, I'll slow down to normal pace again and hopefully renew my "live in the moment" mode.

School started today, much to the delight of my wife. SHe tried to accomplish everything that's been on hold for the last 60 days in a single 8 hour stint. I told her that I wasn't sure, but that she might have tomorrow and the rest of the week to get to some of it as well. She was not amused.

Sarah said she likes all of her teachers except for one who, in her words, is boring. Ben's of the the opinion that this school thing is kind of messing up his whole summer thing. He said it makes the days seem "like an average day." I guess when every day of summer is a party on the patio, school can seem a bit dry.

This past weekend was the garage sale. We cleared about $150 as a family. Kind of disappointing actually, but still good to get the crud out of the garage and basement. I consider the money made to be a bonus.

Typing this on the new laptop. I's a dream machine and should allow some freedom to write more, and more frequently. That was the intent anyways.

Will try to post more later this week. I really have no excuse not to now that I'm empowered!

Blogging off...