The green metallic motion lamp of Abby's dreams
As my readers know, I got Abby a lava lamp as one of her “smaller” birthday gifts (the larger being a heated, massaging recliner that is back-ordered, pun intended.) There were several bonus items associated with this gift…
- Unlike the lava lamps in the time of Pink Floyd (when I was a kid), this one has green metallic lava, and green is decidedly Abby’s favorite color
- Abby and I were both fascinated by watching lava lamps when we were kids. My grandparents had one, and by the time I was 11 or 12, it was one of the main reasons I looked forward to visiting them.
- Abby needed a night-light in her dressing room.
When we first plugged it in and turned it one, we expected to wait about two hours for it to achieve full lav, but even after the entire evening, nothing much was happening. In fact, it wasn’t until the next day that its viscously mesmeric motion bloomed. But now it is going well, and on our way to bed tonight, we both stopped in our tracks and watched it, commenting on which blob was going to collide, which bubble was going to reabsorb, which sphere would boil up next. We laughed out loud watching it, making splashy sound effects to accompany this squishy ballet.
Wil Fry got tagged by someone to post eight things about himself that no one, or at least very few people, knew about him. One of his was that he witnessed the murder of a police officer, which is tragic and wicked cool at the same time.
At Aztec Ruins National Momument, 2003
So, here are eight things you might not know about me…
- My first recognizable word as a baby was, “Radio.”
- I am CMV free, making me a choice plasma donor, and I have donated five gallons of plasma.
- I have performed aerobatics in three different airplanes, a Cessna 150, a Cessna 152 Aerobat, and a T-34 Mentor.
- I dated 8 women who were 5′ 2″ tall. My wife Abby is 5′ 7″.
- I cannot swim, and don’t want to learn. In fact, I hate the water.
- I once helped ditch a car that one of my high school buddies had “borrowed” from his grandfather then wrecked, in what became known in my circles as the “Valley of Shadows” incident.
- In college I extensively infiltrated and explored the maintenance tunnel system at Oklahoma University. My friends and I were the “Mole Patrol.”
- I haven’t eaten any meat at all since 1989, and no animal products since 1994.
Earthworms under our garage door
A very good friend of mine at my office was fired yesterday, and in his swirling miasma of rage and hurt, he lashed out at me, in the form of a nasty voicemail on my cell phone. In the middle of listening to it, he dropped the F bomb, and I deleted it at that point. Later today he called back to apologize, and I accepted his apology. I liked him a lot, and I thought he was a pretty cool, intelligent guy, but I didn’t deserve his infantile tyrade, so our friendship is more or less over.
As for the rest of us, I’d like to quote 1987′s Oliver Stone movie Wall Street: “We’re all just one trade away from humility, buddy.” By that I mean, of course, that none of us is indispensable at our jobs, and if it ever happens that we are fired, don’t despair, for it will all find its way in the end.
As for the title of this entry, it’s been raining buckets for 24 hours now (and in turn watering my new trees). When I got home and opened the garage door, I found hundreds or even thousands of earthworms under the seal where the garage door meets the floor. I thought it was the coolest thing I had seen all week.
Coolest hat ever
Abby and Dorothy (our defacto Mother-in-law) are in Baltimore this week with Abby’s daughter Chele, who in Baltimore is known by her actual first name of Dawna. (Pay attention now – this will be on the test.)
While they are gone, I am increasing my chore slate by about five fold, since I can tear up anything and make any noise I want without disturbing my wife. One thing I did so far was to repair the long-inoperative drawer on her antique chest-o-drawers (which will pleasantly surprise her), which I decided to do after putting away a bunch of her laundry, which I also decided to do. While I was in the garage working on the drawer, I found some nails that were perfect for fixing the siding that the goats had knocked off the house while sharpening their horns, so I went out to do that. While I was cutting off a piece of broken sheet steel, Coal inexplicably began eating the butt of my hammer. He is normally a pretty picky eater (it’s a myth that goats will eat anything), so I was a little surprised to see him adding tools to his diet. I chalked it up to Saint Patrick’s Day, not because I thought it was the real reason, but because it game me an excuse to post photos of me in my excellent Dollar Tree Saint Pats hat.
For reasons that are not at all clear to me, I was singing Isaac Hayes’ brilliant Theme from Shaft as I was preparing lunch in my kitchen just now. I was belting it out…
“Who’s the black private dick who’s a sex machine to all the chicks? (Shaft!) You’re damn right.”
“Who is the man that would risk his neck for his brother man? (Shaft!) Can ya dig it?”
…when I dumped a container of noodles onto my plate. It was a shaft of noodles!
What a wondrous world.
When Robert Stinson and I were in college, he and I drove to Oklahoma City so I could buy cheap tires for my 1973 VW Beetle. While we waited, we walked up the snowy street to grab a bite, and on the walk back, Robert photographed a rusty spring sitting in the snow. The next day he submitted it to the OU Daily, and it appear on the front page with tag line, “A Harbinger of Spring.”
About ten strokes of each goat's hair in the rake
I thought of that tonight as I enjoyed another harbinger of spring, the shedding of the goats. After I finished planting the remaining five trees (two peach, two apricot, and a crepe myrtle in the front yard for Abby), I policed up the lawn implements. This was all to the amusement of our goats, who you will recalled are named Coal and Buxton. I threw them some hay from the pasture where I had mowed Monday to clear a place for the trees, them I gave then some early green stuff that grows in Abby’s azalea bed. Finally, I got the rake.
If you’ve never had a goat, sheep, horse, llama, camel, donkey, etc., you might not know that they and their coats are tough. For our goats’ thick winter coats, I use a grooming tool that looks like a rake. I do this for them every March, when I can see the pale undercoat start poke through Coal’s black outer hair. At first they don’t quite remember what I am doing, but before long they are pressing close to me, enjoying being brushed.
Someone came into my office today to get away from the spitstorm into which an office environment can devolve. My office, which was once the darkroom at my newspaper, is mine alone, and if I want, I can close three steel fire doors between me and the newsroom. He came in and looked at all my photos on the walls for a moment, then said, “I came in here to get away from all that’s going on out there.” He paused and added, “It’s like a church in here.”
I didn’t know exactly how he meant it, but I smiled nevertheless.
This project got pushed back a couple of weeks by miserable weather or job conflicts, but today I finally got to town in the truck and bought fruit trees! I got two Early Elberta peaches and two regular Elberta peaches, two dwarf Santa Rosa plums, two Early Golden apricots, two Bing cherries (I had to, since we live in Byng), and two paper shell pecans,
A truck load of potential, the trees I bought today
one Stuart and one Choctaw. The tree place didn’t have the shade trees we wanted for the driveway, like Willows or Redbuds, but we can get them later in the week.
I set the fruit trees out by the garden, the place I plan my orchard, in hopes that they might dig their own holes and plant themselves, but it looks like I might have to get the shovel after all.
A couple of my friends told me a few years back that fruit trees were more trouble than they were worth. At the time, that advice seemed like nonsense, and after last year’s bumper crop of plums and peaches at Echo Canyon Bed and Breakfast, then peaches and apples down at Dorothy’s house, I found that I wanted more fruit and in more variety. We live on a pretty large patch of land, and fruit is an almost perfect food for a vegan like me.
In my head and in my iTunes I am composing a new playlist, one I hope will end up being a successful road CD. I have to admit, as much as I loved making tapes when I was 28, it has become exponentially harder to make a really good road CD. If I may quote the film High Fidelity…
“Now, the making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. Many do’s and don’ts. First of all you’re using someone else’s poetry to express how you feel. This is a delicate thing.”
The deal is that after I burn a CD of road songs or songs about some topic, then listen to it for a while, two things happen. 1) I get tired of it, and 2) I start to collect a whole new cadre of songs for my next CD, under the aegis of an iTunes playlist called “Next.”
At the moment, my “Next” CD playlist reads like this…
- Falling by Balligomingo
- Marooned by Balligomingo
- Unknown Track by Conjure One
- You’re Still the One by Shania Twain
- Rainy Monday by Shiny Toy Guns
- Post-Modern Sleaze by Sneaker Pimps
- Love Is by Stevie Nicks, a song I decided to like after I read that Sarah McLachlan played piano and sang background vocals, which only became obvious after I learned that and listened to the song again
- Dare You to Move by Switchfoot, which was a song I got from long-ago girlfriend Michelle, then passed along to Frank when he was having a crisis
- Here Without You by 3 Doors Down
- Lines on My Face by Peter Frampton. Oddly, the lyrics to this song should be obvious, but I find them incredibly ambiguous.
- Only Because of You by Roger Hodgson
- Three Wishes by Roger Waters
That’s about an hour of music. I might be able to cram one or two more songs onto the CD. I really need you, the humble reader, to guide me.