There’s a small chance of snow tonight here in Huskerland, and I only have some of the yard work done. Treefuls of leaves have been bagged, but more leaves have offered themselves sacrificially for collection (thanks, leaves). I’ve only cleaned half the gutters because I need a taller ladder for the front of the house and I don’t really want to climb the roof. Chicken and lazy. It wouldn’t be much snow, but it’s all downhill from here, baby. So, before winter gets its freak on, instead of actually finishing yard work, I thought I’d pay special tribute to the awesomest season I know, autumn. CONTINUE READING >>>
by Sir Jonathan Boniface Perry
My fellow blog readers, we do not harass Caesar with tickle fights to haze him, but to Epilady him because he’s Mediterranean and obviously pretty hairy (Mediterranean men recognize their condition and are not offended. Especially Caesar.). Yea, verily, here’s the state of the bachelor: Hungry! No, really, here it is:
1. Whenever the theme song for “The Office” plays, I make up another song on the spot and sing it over the top of the theme. Sometimes there are lyrics which may or may not include “Shake your butt. Shake your butt, baby.” I’m working on that. On a related note, I’m sad to hear that Steve Carell plans to leave the show at the end of next season. Bummer.
2. Last week I was accidentally subscribed to Ladies Home Journal. Also Parents Magazine and Family Circle. Probably a sweepstakes entry gone bad, though I don’t rule out a clever prank. My issue of Family Circle arrived in the mail today. Really, I did cancel them.
3. Found a dead bird. 1st bird this year. 3 last year. My yard might be cursed. I also suspect vuvuzelas. Or soccer in general. I left the bird because it was on the edge of the yard and had already been sitting several days. It smelled a bit & its little claws were sticking up all twig-like. I mowed around it, so there’s a small square patch unmowed on the side of my front lawn being fertilized a special way.
4. Yes, I realize DB could also stand for Douche Bag. Oy.
5. I traced several lines of ancestors back into Switzerland for a few hundred years to as early as the 1500s. Crazy awesome! That’s 500 years! Didn’t know we had any Swiss. I knew about a few of our German lines, as well as Chippewa, Cherokee, likely Welsh and Dutch, but not about the Swiss. Still haven’t found how my dad might be related to Benjamin Franklin. (More to come later on this genealogy business. Probably.)
6. Average daily blog hits in June- over 100!
7. Found a great Belgian Chocolate Gelato sold by the pint at the supermarket. Need to quit buying it so I can lose weight.
8. (Update on nicknaming post.) a)Darrin at work has started calling me Pretty Pretty Princess. Retribution is required. b)I’m trying out other nicknames for Paul J. who was non-plussed by the nickname Paulina. Paolo was also apparently inadequate. I’m thinking Polyglot or something else with Poly-. Maybe Polymer (not Polyamorous). c)Still need a good nickname for Randy besides Bookie and Wizzer (not a spelling error from me). Randalina doesn’t quite do it. Maybe the Great Randini. d) Nickname for Dave Micek, DJ Mice K, is still super awesome!
9.Today, the aforementioned Apollo Polyglot at work guessed I was only 27 years old (he’s 10 yrs off). This, of course, rocks. Not sure whether this guess was based on my maturity or if my vampire white skin is paying off.
10. Need to renew my passport for that cruise in Dec. It needs to be valid for 6 months after the trip, but mine would only be good for 5 1/2 months after. Oh, hey, I’m taking a cruise. I’ll sunburn in style.
11. I now have over 13,000 songs on my iPod! Sure, a few hundred tracks are chapters of audio books. Sure, I had to finally upload a few of those Mozart CDs last night that had been sitting around unused for a few years. Sure, 135 of those tracks are of my own poorly recorded music and of those maybe 30 are duplicates. Do I have a 2-disc set of a Bulgarian women’s folk choir singing Bulgarian folk songs leftover from a world music binge in the ’90s? Yes, I do. But I’ve reached a special milestone. If you figure that each album averages 10 tracks, this would mean I should have about 1,300 albums. According to my iTunes it would take 35 days to listen to this 58GB of songs. Will I listen to all of these songs straight through uninterrupted over those 35 days? I will not in a boat with a goat. But I can, if I wish to kill myself that way. Also, there is chocolate gelato.
12. Thwarted a kitchen invasion by ants last week. They were probably displaced by the recent heavy rains. I gassed my house with poison that probably was the cause of my subsequent sickness.
13. Put down 120 lbs of topsoil near the foundation of the house to fill low spots that were pooling with water during those heavy rains. Need more. A little water was leaking into the basement. On a positive note, I could set-up a Slip-and-Slide in the garage.
In conclusion, that is the recent state of the bachelor. Will there be changes? Probably. Will they be snail-paced? Most certainly. Will you have a good Independence Day/July 4th Holiday? I hope so. May the force be with you.
The secret word is Polyphonic
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I think leaf-peeping sounds like it should be a punishable offense. It would be cool to do, but it just sounds dirty. Anyway, it’s autumn and time to start taking care of the fallen leaves and wrap up the yard work. For about a decade after college I lived in a duplex apartment that was pretty unfit for humanity. There were advantages, though, one of which was the great non-problem of yard work. I didn’t have to do it. It’s one of those odd benefits of apartment living. I actually lived in a basement duplex, so there was a yard on the property and, from time to time, such as when I was dissatisfied with the state of the acreage, I took matters into my own hands and cleaned up my area by trimming back some bushes that had taken to regularly whacking me or removed a discarded refrigerator which has somehow blown into the yard. Yard work wasn’t required of me by the lease, nor, apparently, was it required of anyone.
The thing is, I do actually enjoy yard work and have fond memories of doing it in ages past. I find it even more satisfying now to do at my own place. I affectionately remember during my youth going kicking and screaming to mow the lawn at the threatening behest of my folks, whom, I should add, I love dearly, but might have been evicted by the neighborhood association had it not been for my infrequent yard maintenance. During my near decade of college I would come home once every few months to find that the jungle in my parents’ backyard had managed to swallow most of the yard tools and several large and endangered mammals. Of course, I wasn’t the only one to do the yard work. I do have 2 younger brothers, but either one brother managed conveniently to be overseas in Europe for the school year, or the youngest had a debilitating broken toe which prevented any physical activity besides walking 2 miles to school each way or dancing in the school musical (I really wanted to say ’run on the track team’, but that’s just not so).
I enjoy raking leaves during the crisp autumn afternoons, building great piles of arboreal death, but I would enjoy dental surgery if it were outside in the fall. Autumn is always thrilling with the fantastic foliage colors of red, orange, brown, and yellow and the nip in the air that promises a brisk winter right around the corner. These are the days of the holidays and refreshingly happy vacations. It’s when sports get fun again. I’m sure I would very much enjoy New England in the fall. It’s a fantasyland that I have yet to experience. Perhaps one day when I finally grow up and become a man I’ll move out to New England just so I can be there in the autumn to happily rake up the mountains of fallen leaves that have swallowed the yard and a lost California Condor or two. I’d probably just leave them there. They’re so pretty. The leaves, too.
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by Jonathan B. Perry
Saturday night I went into Ace Hardware to use my $5 birthday gift card before it expired (I’m on their mailing list). I dragged my car the 3 minutes through the snow and ice with the single purpose of buying a tree pruner, one of those telescoping tree pruners for high spots in your tree that you can’t reach with the regular clippers. Now, in December I actually climbed one of my trees to trim it, but that didn‘t feel so safe and I was a bit lightheaded after coming down. I’m not the monkey I used to be. Ace has 3 telescoping pruner models and even though there was a big price gap between the 8 foot and the 12 foot models, I went with the more expensive 12 foot pruner and can’t wait for it to warm up just a little so I can pretty-up my trees.
Taking my long pruner down from the display, it occurred to me how much this felt like a medieval weapon. This was perhaps why I dawdled in the store a little longer, walking up and down the aisles, either feeling like a guard with a spear or a horseless jouster. It was pretty excellent. I even ran into an old friend who was shopping for a drill bit (I won’t say anything about tool size comparison). The cashier asked a bit sarcastically if she could bag it up for me. It felt great to finally get this excellent gardening tool-weapon to add to my arsenol of domestication.
I remember using the telescoping pruner on my grandparents’ property in CA over the years. They had walnut trees, oaks, and eucalyptus, mostly. They’ve since sold the grand old acreage, much to everyone’s great sadness, but I bet they still have their tree pruner. They still have trees. They still like tools. They’re still alive.