Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Return of the JWs

The bespectacled women of middle age wearing a modest skirt and boring blouse, brought to mind an old style schoolmarm.  There could be no mistaking what she really was though.  She got out of a car stuffed with people. 

They're baaack.

Some readers may recall, some months ago, I complained that the Jevoah Witness brigade found me here at the homestead.  Frankly, I'd forgotten about the intrusion until recently when they returned.  They've ramped up their efforts, before it was only pamphlets, now there's face time.

There's a sign on the fence near our back porch that reads:  Warning Bad Dog.  Schoolmarm asked if the dogs were indeed bad.  I said, of course not...towards those who belong here.  Schoolmarm looked confused.  Then she asked if I found comfort in God.  Of course, I said.  She said my neighbors didn't seek comfort in God.  Sorry to hear that, I said.  She read a line from one of Paul's letters off of a handheld gadget.  Then she gave me a pamphlet.

A couple months later as I was carrying groceries into the house, that car stuffed with people crept up the driveway.  The Schoolmarm got out.  I'm in the middle of taking in groceries, I told her.  This will just take a moment, she said. What do you think of when you think of Heaven? 

I said, I think about that part in Revelations at the throne and angels singing Holy Holy Holy.  I also like the lion laying down with the lamb stuff.  Where's that?  Isaiah?

She didn't answer.  She read a snippet from another of Paul's letters from a handheld gadget and gave me a pamphlet.

Later, I read the pamphlet.  There wasn't much information about Heaven.  The New Testament was put in quotes.  Jesus was referred to as Michael.  Then there was a wispy description of the qualifications of some guy with a French name who apparently did the translation of the Gospels for the JW's.  It was explained that the Catholics got the translations wrong because they clouded their thinking by studying philosophy. 

When the Schoolmarm comes back, I'm going to ask about her views on philosophy and if she noticed that Paul calls Jesus Jesus rather than Michael. 

And I'll wish her Merry Christmas.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Capped Off

The final mow of the year.  For a while at least, no more ducking branches, no more pine needle stab wounds, no more worrying about inadvertently chopping up toads and snakes.   The thistle eating finches have flown south.  Soon the grass will be gray and dormant.

I pulled into the garage, wondering if the area over the septic tank may need just one more trim before putting the snow shovel on the tractor.  I dismounted, brushed the pine needles from my butt and noticed the gaping hole where the gas cap ought to be.

Uh oh.

The cap has come off before, presumably the vibrations of the tractor unscrew it.  It has always remained with the tractor though, hanging from a black plastic tether.   This time:  no gas cap, no tether.

Let's see, how to find the missing gas cap.  Retrace the cutting path...but what if the cap, when free of its tether, was flung into a non cut area?  Chances of finding it then, seem awfully bleak.

For three days I looked for the gas cap.  No luck.  Though resigned to having to purchase a new one, I determined to look for it just one more day, then another.  My persistence was rewarded, for the gas cap appeared smack in the middle of a mowed area.  How I could have missed it, I'll never know.

I suspect my nemesis, the fisher, placed it there for reasons nefarious.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Pop Culture Frenzy, Round 52

Welcome once again to Pop Culture Frenzy.  Thanksgiving is next week.  Now, I don't want to hear Cyndi talk about small pox blankets and how Native Americans got screwed.   Let's talk about the meal.

What is the ultimate side dish at Thanksgiving dinner?

A shapely little Irish Terrier.  Oh. And stuffing.

Hostmaster:  hm, a redhead.  I always figured you preferred blonds.

That was before I teamed up with a blond.

Hostmaster:  ha!  I feel your pain, pal.


What?  Wait.

She's not a real blond.

I am too!
**** you, *****.


See, she has always felt she was a blond
trapped under a mousey brown head.
Peroxide did the rest.

Hostmaster:  inside and out? 


That's bull****. 
 There are much safer lighteners. 
 And I'm not a bulimic, ****** it!

Hostmaster:  the holidays can be so stressful for some folk.  Oh well.  Back at it.
What's the ultimate Thanksgiving side dish?

I've only had hearts and gizzards. 
 Can you believe no one else wants them?

Hostmaster:  eating gizzards is something of which no bird can conceive.

You eat turkey, don't you?

Hostmaster:  of course.  Birds have no problem with cannibalism.  And eating the heart of an enemy is a given.  Eating the gizzard, however, is another matter.
Anyway. Ultimate side dish.

Marshmellow Sweet Potatoes

I'm confused.
  Aren't sweet potatoes sweet enough?

Personally, I think marshmellows
 are pointless.

Bryan, have you never been camping? 
Marshmellows are pointless EXCEPT to make Somemores.
One thing's for sure, marshmellows are very sweet
 and do not belong on vegetables.

Cranberries are sweet.

Cranberries are fruit.  You are on to something
though.  Cranberries are only sweet because
 sugar is added.  Hey!  I know! 
 Let's add marshmellows to cranberries!


Hostmaster:  please pass the glazed carrots.

 Thanksgiving dinner is just another
example of women being exploited.
They prepare all the food and after the
meal they do the dishes while the men
watch violent football.
Fewer guys are watching football thanks to
all that dissing the flag stuff.
Maybe they could watch those guys who kick and
punch each other instead!
You want violence?  Ever
see the damage canine teeth
 can do to a lib?
Whoa.  She's on your team....
Teachable moment.
If Bryan wasn't a mean dog,
he'd be an alt right wing zealot.
Hostmaster:  sure glad I didn't ask about saying Grace.
What I am, is alt indifferent.
Let's end this round.  I'm hungry
for a heart.  
Bless us O Lord and these
thy gifts which we are
about to receive from thy bounty
through Christ our Lord.
Round 52
Fluffy/Molly  21
Bryan/Cyndi   20

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Don't Spook the Deer

The line to vote began at the door and coiled over and over many times before entering the roped section.  Serpentine.  It reminded me of an enjoyable figure skating drill.  Gliding across the ice, crossing one foot over the other, opposite edges of the blade back and forth.  This voting serpentine was slower without ice, needless to add.

It was strangely pleasant packed in that way in this small town, small building.  Strangers and neighbors calmly sardined in line to fulfill a civic duty. 

When the election results came in, Trump won.  "That's not fair!  He didn't win the popular vote!"   Must we review the electoral system for whiny disappointed voters every time they lose?

Now it's time to be sure the PRIVATE PROPERTY, NO HUNTING,  KEEP OUT signs are in place.  Deer hunters are making ready.  When Mabel was alive I used to worry that some over enthusiastic hunter would mistake her for a deer.

I have no delusions that I can protect the deer around here but I sure don't want some lout tromping around my back yard- that includes the neighbors with whom we share a tree line.

One particularly unpleasant tree line neighbor believes that if you fire a gun close to the start of deer season, it will spook the deer.  Yeah.  Sure.  The deer who live around here hear gunfire everyday.  Of course they will be spooked by gunfire in November. 

Never argue with a crazy person.  Our guns are silent.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Purple Finch

The Purple Finch is not purple. The male has a pink head and chest.  The rest of the feathers are brown and white.  The female (and the juvenile) are brown and white.  A stocky finch, with a melodic though not highly remarkable voice, is fairly common throughout its range.  The Purple Finch is seen year round in the eastern half of the US and in California.  Some travel to Canada in summer.

Purple finches live in coniferous and mixed woodlands, suburbs, orchards, parks.  They gather in large flocks in fall and winter.  In spring, they pair off to mate and raise young.  The female builds a nest of twigs, grasses and animal hair in pine trees, deciduous trees, or tangled vines anywhere from 3 feet to 60 feet off the ground.

Some Purple Finch Facts

- length:  4.7-6.3 inches
- wingspan:  8.7-10.2 inches
- 4-5 eggs, 2 broods per year
- incubation (by female only) 12-14 days
- nestling:   2 weeks
- food:  seeds, bugs, berries, flowers

Friday, October 28, 2016

Leave My Thumb Out of It

For the last couple of weeks, I've been under a cloud.  That problem I've been having with my thumb has been diagnosed.

No surprises.  Arthritis.  Well, one surprise.  It seems there are grades of arthritis.  I'm in the fourth grade.  How many grades are there?  Four.

So there's been some boohoo poor me. Oh my thumb!  I hate wearing this thumb support thing on my hand.  Oh the pain.  Oh the suffering.  Poor me.

In times of deep self absorption, it often helps to remember that some have it worse.  Like these guys.  It is, after all, Wild Turkey season.