June 11, 2005
Such is modern communication--I am in an ice cream parlor in Minneapolis using their complimentary computer while waiting for friends for ice cream.
The search for furniture I like ended with the Ikea store near the megamall. I believe I will just rent a U-haul and come down and fill it up. Ikea has just the style of bookshelves, desks, chairs, dining room tables, even light fixtures, that I like. Spare, bare-wood. Basic. Perpendicular lines. And at a reasonable price.
Also visited Wickes furniture which had some reasonable stuff which I liked. I was ready to buy until a salesman who dripped with more sleaze than usual came over and started making the moves. Ugh. He was awful. He followed Lance and I through the store. He was always just around the corner. It was downright creepy.
The people aren't very happy down here.
June 10, 2005
Heading to Minneapolis today for a short break. Dangled a price on Priceline and landed the Minneapolis Hilton. Yee Ha! I love staying in fancy hotels for non-fancy prices.
Don't know how often I will be able to write this weekend.
It should be a pretty drive down--everything will be green.
June 09, 2005
Last night went exactly as intended: I spent nine innings in the recliner watching Johan Santana dispatch the Arizona Diamondbacks. The offense kicked it in gear. The Twins won 10-0, with Santana pitching a complete came shutout.
The game was in ESPN, and their commentators talk too much. Man, I long for the old-time announcers like Vin Scully, Herb Carneal, Jack Buck, Ernie Harwell--with their genius for letting the game take on its own rhythm. Instead, we end up with a "paralysis of analysis," as Jesse Jackson would call it.
Dick Bremer, the Twins TV announcer, talks way too much as well, and in an urgent, "this has never before happened in the history of...." voice which wears a person out after a while. Everything is just so amazing. Everything is worthy of such in depth intellectual dissection: "You could logically argue that, in fact, the right fielders for the Twins, taken as a group, have been more effective in the clutch than Vladamir Guerrero." Ugh.
I prefer the old growlers. Harry Carey. Jack Buck. I suspect Halsey Hall was an old growler. Beer guzzling, spit-sprayin geezers who stay with the basics.
Now I see that the most verbose sportscaster of them all, Bob Costas, is going to take 20 of Larry King's shows this next year. Good, that is where Costas belongs. Jibbering with celebrities. Describing them with big words to make them feel important.
June 08, 2005
A 9-8 game every now and then isn't all bad. Radke gave up four runs in the first, which is infuriating. He knows what he is doing wrong. He wants to "establish his fastball," which means pouring it down the middle of the plate and letting them hit it, figuring that in subsequent innings he will confuse them with his change-up. It is a silly strategy, but Radke has stuck to it for all these years and he will likely never change.
At least last night we had Torii Hunter to produce enough runs to overcome Radke's folly. Hunter put on a show. He can carry a team for a week when he's hot, and he's hot now. He pulled his Hunter steal last night, leaving first before the pitcher delivers. It worked very well, again. The pitcher threw wild to second and Hunter scored the winning run on a hit by Jacque Jones.
Last night was our first night of closing at five. I put a sign out just to make sure there was no mistake. Sane business hours are a must for a family-run business, otherwise you just get run into the ground. So, I went home at six and didn't know what to do with myself.
Cassio came home and decided to call Brazil. He buys a two-and-a-half-hour phone card and uses it all in one shot. When he calls, they know he's going to be talking for two or more hours, so they run and get the neighbors and the rest of the family and they line up and Cassio gabs their ear off.
So, I went out for a drive and stopped at the farm of friends Garth and Colleen. Shot BB gun with 6-year-old Grant for a bit, then we went inside to watch the ballgame as the sun set out the sun room window--an ideal evening, if you ask me. At ten o'clock, I drove back to Fertile to the apartment--Cassio was still gabbing with Brazil--and watched the remainder of the Twins game. I love west coast games. What a wonderful way to slow down after a long day--sit in the recliner from 9 p.m. to midnight watching a game and snoozing during the commercials for Treasure Island Resort and Caseeeeno.
Looks like things might work to move in July 1 or thereabouts--if I am not fussy about things being in disarray for a while. The cabinets and appliances will be in. The carpet should be in. The upstairs might not be finished, but I can sleep in the dining room for a while. We'll see.
The swans were gone again this morning. Apparently their visits will be sporadic. Carpenter Jeff is hoarding swans over on his pond between Fertile and Maple Bay--he counted 53 there the other day. Plenty of the grand birds to go around, with more hatching all the time.
Yesterday afternoon, I watched Mama Swan from the crow's nest lead the seven little signets around the pond. Oddly, they were harassed by a red-wing blackbird who seemed to want to get at the little ones. Mama Swan hissed and pecked towards the blackbird, but the attacker was persistent. Can't imagine what a red-winged blackbird would want with baby swans.
June 07, 2005
We're hearing a lot of complaints of young shrubs wilting up and dying. I am sure it is just too much rain at the wrong time. In the heavy soils around here, stuff just sits saturated, and it can kill plants if they sit wet for more than two days.
More rain last night. We'd usually call off the crew on a rainy day, but there is just too much planting to do, so we're going to keep slogging ahead. I am just glad that I am not farming beans.
THE SWANS RETURN: On his way out to the house this morning, carpenter Dean had to wait for a family of swans to cross the highway. Two adults and seven
little ones. They must have nested in the wild life refuge across the road. When I arrived, I saw them marching down the field road. I grabbed the camera and ran out to get a picture. I will post it if it turns out, but it was from quite a distance.
By mid-morning, the whole family made it to the swamp by the house, and they took up residence, however temporary, on the nest they used last year! So, it seems the swans are quite flexible about moving around. I suspect they will find more algae to eat on this swamp than on the lake at the refuge.
June 06, 2005
Pardon my tile fetish, but I can't resist showing you how the tile comes out after it is sealed up. I think I'll spend hours just staring at it. It is from India. I probably said it before, but it is my goal to find out where the quarry is.
We had enough tile left over to put a square of it out in the prow as a home for the piano.
June 05, 2005
On a day when most people (including me) would rather sleep in and spend the day in the recliner taking naps, we have people out wandering in the wet shrubs in the rain. I called off some of the help due to the weather, but we still have several customers here.
Most of the crew had other things going on today, so Joe and I are manning the till. Manning the till has to be my least favorite activity. I bristle when it goes slow. Can't somebody else do this? Do I have to be here? Whine, whine. Manning the till means standing there waiting for people to finish, standing there making small talk. The clock ticks slowly at the till. Unless there's a line of people waiting to pay, of course--then it is fun!
Gosh, do I have respect for people who face the public all day--say, those clerks at Menard's and Lowe's who have to field "where are the..." questions all day long. Uff da. It would drive me to distraction. I can't stand having more than one thing on my plate at a time. I forget what I am doing, get confused, sort of sieze up. Having people wait for me drives me nuts. The only way I get through such days is to keep notes and work my way down the list one item at a time--otherwise nothing gets done. But when I have people waiting patiently, or impatiently as the case may be, for me to finish with something, I can no longer concentrate upon the something.
Here is weblog reader Pearl from Felton who came to the nursery yesterday with a picture of a swan in a cornfield she wanted me to see. I think it is odd to see swans in a corn field, but apparently they love the corn. There are still some fields standing around here, and I see swans hanging out there--and even where the corn has been plowed down, the swans go in and forage. Thanks, Pearl!