Archive - 2005

November 15th

Old man winter

The swamp is a slush pot this morning as the falling snow gathers faster than the water can melt it.

A little red twig provides some color relief in the otherwise drab landscape.

I was looking through a copy of Arizona Highways magazine this morning. As always, the magazine carries incredible pictures, pictures which start getting one to think about a winter escape.

November 14th


That's the only way to describe today's weather. Cold, sleet, wet. I guess it is an Alberta clipper that is coming through. Nothing to do but stay inside and putz around.

So, I dug through some boxes in the garage, hoping to sort out some of the accumulated stuff. Got stuck reading old journals from my college years in the mid-1980s. Boy, I wouldn't go through that time of life again.

November 12th

Nine yards, cont.

No clear consensus has emerged in the debate over the origin of the phrase "the whole nine yards." The cement truck explanation is in a tie with the ammo belt explanation in responses from readers, several of whom have researched the matter.

I often wonder why some of these phrases stick and develop a meaning which is generally agreed upon. We all know how to use the phrase "the whole nine yards," but we can't agree on what it originally meant.

The new Newt

Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House, has reappeared as chair of an organization called the Center for Health Transformation. This is a bit odd, given Gingrich's past reputation as a flame-throwing free marketer, for this organization is committed to providing health insurance for all citizens, a patently socialist notion.

November 11th

The whole nine yards

Weblog reader and historian Allan writes wondering if I know the origin of the phrase "the whole nine yards." I do not, so I looked on the internet and there are several possibilities.

--It could be a reference to football. Nine yards is just short of the ten required for a first down. The "whole nine yards," somebody postulated, is an subtly ironic reference to falling just short. I doubt this. Somehow "subtle irony" and "football" don't seem to belong in the same sentence.

Any idiot

A few years ago, Dad was extolling the virtues of PVC pipe to a local plumber. The man spat back, "Yeah, now any idiot can be a plumber."

I suspect more than a few photographers who have spent years dealing with film and film development are a little chagrined at how easy photography has become with digital technology.

I took the photos below, loaded them onto the computer, adjusted their coloring, cropped them, reduced their quality so they don't take so long to download onto the web, and loaded them on the website--all within thirty minutes.

Pictures of the last day of Indian summer

The pods of asclepias (milkweed) are a favorite target of photographers. No wonder why.

A touch of Christmas in the asparagus patch. A red asparagus seed stands out against the green asparagus foliage, which is aparently impervious to frost. The red seed is not on the green part of the plant--it comes from a stem which was very dead and which had fallen on the green stems.

Last day of Indian summer

At least that is what the weather forecast says. Tomorrow is supposed to bring more typical November weather--sleet, drizzle, cold. But today! It is going to be 64 degrees and sunny.

SPENT a little time reading Winston Churchill's World War II memoirs last evening. Nothing like good historical writing to pull one out of the cares of the moment and into a larger world.

November 10th

Red Lobster, etc.

Olla and I had a good trip and accomplished all of our goals.

Olla had been telling all her friends at the Fertile Hilton that she was going to the "funeral parlor" today, and they would respond so gravely--"You'll pull through fine," and pat her on the back, not realizing how much Olla enjoys refining the plans for her funeral. The spectacle of these people feeling sorry for her gave Olla the giggles, so she was in high spirits when we left for our visit with the undertaker.

Gravestone shopping

I am picking up Aunt Olla in a little bit to go shopping. Our first stop is the funeral home to pick out a stone. She wants to get that all taken care of before the county starts assisting her with the nursing home costs--and she will only be allowed $75 per month.

We are also going to Fargo to pick up a new walker, and get a stereo system compact enough for her to have in the nursing home.