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Showing posts from July, 2010

Moose watching

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More time than usual has transpired since my last post. Two new ones are written, but I don’t have the accompanying pictures ready and so am holding off on them. However, my friend Paul’s post inspired me to dig into my fairly massive 1990s travel tome, which is mostly unshared as I figure out what to do with it. Snipping bits out to post here is one thing I’ve considered…

By 1993, I had been to most of the U.S. National Parks along the Rockies at least once. These ventures out west afforded me the chance to see ample wildlife: bear, buffalo, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, etc. The one thing I was eager to see but hadn’t, though, was the largest of the North American even-toed ungulates--Alces alces, or, more simply, the moose. I don’t know when my fascination with moose started, but by this point in the early 90s I was determined to see one. Then a New York Times travel section article on a prime moose viewing area just outside of Pittsburg, New Hampshire, was handed to me. That’s not…

Spinning Blues Breaker

Nearly five years after moving here, I decided that I wouldn’t be setting up a stereo system in my basement. So, I pulled out my mid-90s (i.e., way outdated) stereo equipment to see what exactly I had and could recycle. In the small pile of components, I found my turntable, which I had totally forgotten was in my basement closet. Since I’ve only kept two albums on vinyl—Dark Side of the Moon, which I am just hanging onto because, well, it is Dark Side, and a second record that I don’t think was ever released on CD—I have little reason to hook up the turntable to the main unit.

But, curiosity got the better of me, and I wanted to see if it worked. I brought it upstairs, and, looking for a flat surface where the cables could reach my receiver, I sat it on top of one of my floor speakers. Not smart, as you probably guessed right away. Anyway, I plugged it in, and, not sure of the condition of the needle and not wanting to damage my copy of Dark Side, I threw on my other record. It is Bria…

RIP, Boss

To me, there were two George Steinbrenners: The one often vilified in the newspapers before his suspension, and then the one most of us forgave when he returned from it. I was sometimes amused but mostly did not care for the first incarnation of him, grew to like him while he served that suspension, and thought more highly of the humbler iteration we Yankee fans witnessed in the background for most of these last 17 or so years.

Steinbrenner had already made good use of the revolving door he installed at the manager’s office in Yankee Stadium and had already coined the sarcastic phrase “Mr. May” before I met him in either 1982 or 1983. In the early 1980s, I worked as a caddy on a private golf course, one where many famous people played. I had grown indifferent to celebrity appearances (aside from perhaps Mickey Mantle…), and when told that I would be Steinbrenner’s caddy, I treated him and his playing partner like I would anybody else.

Mr. Steinbrenner was pleasant though; more pleasant…

George and Sybilla

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I recently noticed something similar about some of the trees in my yard and the research I've done on my family.

I wasn’t in this house long when I recognized a problem with the four maple trees that were at the top of my driveway. Planted too closely, there was inadequate space for them now that they had matured. Several arborists gave me differing ideas on what to do, all involving felling at least two of them. I combined their expertise in deciding the two that had to go. One of the remaining trees is magnificent, maybe 40-feet tall, and just as wide. The other is not quite as wide, but just as tall. Together, from my window, they have a great profile. From the curb, however, the story was different, with a noticeable concave mass missing from each in space formally occupied by the other two trees. I had been assured, though, that they would grow out. While not there yet, three years later, they’re filling in nicely. Perhaps in a year or two they will have fully rounded out.

I …

Well, I'm not burning them...

Seinfeld fans may well remember the line “"What is this obsession people have with books? They put them in their houses like they're trophies. What do you need it for after you read it?" While I can think of many justifications for keeping such books, there is some validity to this statement. Often, however, I am reluctant to practice what the line suggests.

This quote is on my mind because I am fairly aggressively going through my bookshelves and getting rid of books. Some were read, some were just started, some have me wondering what I was thinking (or what the gift giver was thinking), and some are just ridiculously outdated.

As an example, a good percentage of my friends in "Bloom Country" no longer make me chuckle. Apologies, Mr. Breathed. Further, I’ve decided that I don’t need every Dave Barry book, even if I used this brilliant quote of his as a very recent status: “Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant y…