Archive - Feb 2006

February 20th

Sunset in cold country

The setting sun illuminates the snowsnakes slithering across the highway west of the nursery while a ominous bank of clouds hover over the horizon like a range of mountains.

Snap, crackle and pop

There must be some major humidity changes going on in the house. Last night as I was drifting to sleep, a huge snap awakened me, followed by stuff rolling around. My curiousity got the best of me, so I got up and walked around until I saw what happened: A big beam snapped down the middle which freed up one of the pegs which concealed the lag bolt holding the beam in place. The peg was what was rolling around.

A few hours later, at four in the morning, another enormous crack--almost like thunder--and apparently another beam formed another new crack.

February 19th

Hymn sing

Weblog reader Chuck and his wife Barb hosted a hymn sing last night at their home. A good time with an interesting mix of people. After about an hour or more of singing, out came the snacks. Chuck and Barb are grand hosts.

A couple of the singers know the hymns so well, even even the numbers I consider obscure, that they didn't look at the book. So, these hymns are deep in people's memories.

February 18th

Cattiness at the bird feeder

Perhaps the finches are moody because I took away the thistle feeder for financial reasons and replaced it with broken sunflower seeds. Nyger thistle is their favorite, but they will eat the sunflower seeds if forced. But boy, they are fighting out there today. Lots of angry cackling.

February 17th

High of ten below

Don't like this weather, even if the sun shines. I find the cold oppressive. Last night, I visited friends and drove cross country home on gravel roads. They were drifting in. Realized that if I went in the ditch, nobody would find me for a while. Looked and felt around and couldn't find the cell phone in the pickup. Decided just to drive carefully.

Today, frigid cold. It was twenty-two below zero at noon. The sinister white snow-snakes slithered across the highway. Ugly stuff.

February 16th

Career speaker

Today I spoke to two classes of 9th graders at the school in town about careers. I guess the idea was I would tell them how to become a 1) nurseryman and 2) a writer.

I regard neither as a career. In fact, the word career makes me cringe. I don't ever want to have a career unless it involves baseball, and unless I develop a knuckleball in a hurry, that isn't on the agenda.

Winter drags on

Went out to take some photos at sunset tonight. I noticed that sunset occurs a full hour later now than it did in December. We are just about two months away from the shortest day of the year. That means the darkest 1/3 of the year is behind us. However, we are in the grip of a little cold spell which is more January than March. Single digits today, and below zero tonight.

February 15th

More kerfluffle

Okay, now this story won't go away. Cheney, who has two drunk driving busts on his record, had "a beer or two" before the hunting incident. A beer or two, for those of you who have never had a beer or two, doesn't usually mean a beer or two.

Also, nobody called the cops. You would think if there was a shooting that the first thing you would do would be to call the cops, even if it was accidental. Why might nobody have called the cops?

I still think the press should largely ignore the hunting thing and concentrate upon the larger issues at hand.


In a decent world, Dick Cheney's hunting incident would be seen by all as:

1) a horrible day for the injured hunter and his family,

2) a horrible day for Dick Cheney

3) an incident of no national significance and not worthy of national coverage beyond a footnote in the news.

But we don't live in a very decent world. Instead, the media has chosen to beat up Cheney over the incident. What was most offensive to them, it seems, was his failure to report immediately to the media what happened, as if it were any of their business.

February 14th


This old barn is less than two miles from the nursery on an abandoned farmstead. It probably hasn't been used for thirty or forty years, but it is still in remarkably good shape--no sway to the roof or anything. I like when they have the brick base.

I counted about seven unused old barns on the way to town. It is nice that they are still standing.