Saturday, July 25, 2009

Blog Forecast for July and August: Mostly Photos, Slight Chance of Video, Deeply Stimulating Discussion Unlikely

Summer vacation is in full swing, and we finally purchased a new camera, which means my usually thought-provoking entries will be replaced by lengthy slideshows documenting how much fun I'm having not thinking.

We start this summer photo series with last weekend's main sports event. My sister and her family were in town for the regional art fair. Although I don't have any photos of that, I do have some great shots of us playing Disc Golf. I can't recall a time visiting my sister and not playing some kind of disc sport. Last weekend was no exception.

Abe and I bought 6 new Disc Golf discs, which was a big step for us, as we have hitherto been exclusive Ultimate players.

My niece, Amelia, and I both have great form.

How my other niece, Elsa, went through most of the 9 holes.

Our new camera has a sports action setting that takes multiple shots seconds apart. The resulting filmstrips are small on screen, but worth enlarging.

My sister, Sarah, clearly has a laid-back, controlled style.

Quite unlike Ben, her husband.

Amelia is well on her way.

Abe has a great start.

But needs to work on his end game.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Do they make one with a side car?

This afternoon at work I was searching online for a grant foundation by the name of Hearst. One of the sponsored links on the side of my search read: Motorcycle Trike Hearse. Designed to carry die hard bikers to their final resting place.

How could I resist?

The link took me to this website, where, indeed, you can purchase your own motorcycle hearse for only $12,000. Drive the Highway to Heaven in a wide array of exterior colors. Additional features such as imported European carriage lamps and tempered glass available.

From the website:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dear self,

You like your job.

I know you can see the sunny 78 degrees out of your office window all day and would rather spread out a blanket on the grass and read all day instead of run regressions on visitor data and hunt down more possible grant funds. But you like data and government money. So it's okay.

I know you would rather sit at the breakfast table on the screened-in porch, letting the soft morning light settle on your arms and cheeks. But running down the morning bus is good calisthenics.

I know that freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and an old sci-fi flick sound like just the thing tonight. But going to bed so you can wake up early again tomorrow has a reassuring Puritanical feel to it. Well, okay. Maybe there's time for the cookies.

Anyway, if nothing else, take comfort in knowing that you won't have to worry about this in 6 months from now. Michigan will change states of matter to solid ice, and being shut up in an office all day will be a pleasant alternative to braving the -10 degree terrain.

So in the meantime, enjoy the view of the Ginkgo tree outside your window.

Affectionately responsible,

Your better half

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hammocks and Impuse Shopping - An American Tradition

Any trip to the store - grocery, convenience, Big Box - I go armed with a shopping list. Still, one or two impulse buys usually fills my cart. Especially when Abe comes with me. Either because the ensuing discussion (justification) makes me take more notice or because Abe is particularly averse to shopping, and a bonus gift or two soothes his nerves.

When we were first married, he convinced me to buy a small "camp mirror" for its versatile features, such as a reflective surface, wall-hanging device, and trifold stand. It slices! It dices! It sat comfortably in the bathroom cupboard for several years, and still does.

Another early purchase was a 50-pack of cable ties (small plastic bands that wrap around cords to keep them in place - think heavy duty bag ties). I remember playing with a few of them to figure out how they worked. At one point I think we used one to actually tie up a cable.

A few months ago we got a small tub of colored foam shapes. Abe wanted to use them for game pieces (he is a board game hobbyist). We sat on the living room floor one night and sorted them by shape and color. I made geometric designs on the floor, and then we put them into the box, layered in rainbow fashion.

Impulse buys have unexpected staying power. The cable ties? Still in the original package. I just counted - there are 32 left. Even things we've never used, we tend to hang on to longer than things we've never used but deliberately bought. A few years ago we bought a hammock on a whim in Mexico. $10. Unfortunately, we couldn't find a place to hang it in our basement apartment, or in our 2nd story apartment after that, or the apartment after that.

Yesterday, while cleaning out the closet, I pulled out the hammock and brought it out to our screened-in porch. Abe and I hemmed and hawed about how to string it from the rafters, came up with a viable plan, realized we didn't have any rope, went to the store and bought rope, came home to discover there was no way to hang the rope from the rafters, and tucked the hammock back in the closet.

Maybe in 5 more years we'll find 2 trees.

The hammock will still be around. Probably the rope, too.