Play Ball, Boys!

Legion baseball 1Legion baseball 2

Last night was the opening game for our local American Legion baseball team. That’s the summer league for high school kids for those of you unfamiliar with Legion ball. The park went under a major renovation last fall: new fences, scoreboard, dugouts, and grandstand. I thought they did a great job cleaning up the old girl, whose origins date back to the 1930s.

I was extremely happy to watch this, even though our local heroes got clobbered 18-3. At one point my wife said, “that smile on your face is the same one you used to get when you were drunk in college.” This shows how much baseball is ingrained in me. It also shows that I married right because my wife was pretty much beaming as well.

I suspect that attendance was around 50+. Along the center to right fence and the first base fence vehicles were lined up with people who either sat in them with the windows down, watched from their pickups beds, and set up chairs in front of their cars. The team turned a nice double play at the end of the top of the seventh and we all honked our horns in approval.

Summer baseball is here and I’ll be back!

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Conversion to Green Now Complete

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Summer is quite here and I’ve been working hard to keep up with it. In the past week and a half I’ve mowed a couple times, fertilized the lawn, planted four-o’clocks and marigolds, applied weedkiller to the dandelions, seeded the bare spots, trimmed that gawdawful overgrowth on the deck (seen in this picture above), and dug up a small garden plot so I could plant our giant sunflowers, carrots, and green beans. Between that and running my wife to Bismarck for eye surgery I’ve been a busy boy.

Today we have a small pattern of thunderstorms moving through and I’m hoping for a few hundreths of rain to fall with them. The drought is not willing to admit defeat yet though we finally got some decent rain last week. We need plenty more in June if we are to survive July and August.

I tried playing guitar last week and it hurt like a bitch just holding a pick. So I gave it a rest and I hope to pick it back up again this weekend. Sooner or later the aggravation caused by all the bus driving will fade. It’s just a question of when. Then I can get back to work to building up my calluses and go from there.

Writing is going well, when I have the time for it. On and off rain should pretty much guarantee that into next week. I’ve got no pressing outside projects so it’s time to keep my head down and ass in the desk chair, churning out words.

Carjo’s eye surgery went well. It’s a laser treatment for her glaucoma. The drops aren’t relieving the pressure and hopefully this will do the trick. We hope. She goes back for a checkup at the end of June and we’ll find out how well it’s working.

The cats are enjoying the weather. The young ones leave at the crack of dawn and come in periodically to check on the food bowls. Sansa and Arya are just a little older and they always nap inside. Our ancient Daniel spends the majority of his time inside, going out for a couple hours after supper to patrol his realm and remember the days when the grackles and mice feared his presence. He’s slumbering behind me now, burrowed into a wool blanket. Sleep well your highness.

So that’s it from here. The Twins suck for various reasons. The Expanse is still great and moving to Amazon next season. I have several episodes of the Americans to watch and I fear for the ending. I’m still walking four-five times a week and drowning my hunger with Diet Coke/Coke Zero Sugar. And if I have a good day I get a beer.

Have a great weekend.

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Memorial Day 2018

Memorial Day Remember

I remember everyone in my family who is gone but I especially honor those who served – my grandfather, father-in-law, and three of my uncles.

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School’s Out

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Last Friday was the last day of school. Now the recovery begins. I was doing field trips in between my morning and afternoon routes the last couple weeks and the whole thing was grinding me down. My poor hands, which already suffer from carpal tunnel, were pushed beyond the limit. The legs and ass didn’t exactly fare much better. Let’s just say old buses don’t exactly have the driver’s comfort in mind. I got stomach flu the weekend before last. I don’t drink at all on nights before I drive so basically I went two weeks without a beer. That’s not good for Jerol. But it’s done and now I face a summer of freedom (and poverty).

I started walking in the mornings. At first I tried my old iPod but because the power button is shot I had little control over it once I got it playing. I couldn’t skip songs or switch to a different playlist. I had been using my old iPhone 4S for an alarm clock (the chimes aren’t nearly as obnoxious as our real alarm). I gutted it of all memory-hogging programs and proceeded to load it with over a thousand songs, setting up fifteen playlists of rocking walking tunes. I love it when an improvisation works.

I’ve got a lot of projects to keep me busy. There might be some marketing research coming my way, which will help keep the lights on. I’ll be planting veggies and flowers in the next week, plus fertilizing the lawn and spraying weed-killer on the dandelions. Of course there is writing to do and that’s actually humming along. Soon enough my hands will have recovered enough to grip a guitar neck and pick without significant pain. And finally about a baker’s dozen of small home improvement projects. This isn’t a summer off, this is hitting the ground running. And I can and will have a beer every night.

And of course, here’s our obvious musical selection:

 

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The Devil’s Craft

craft beer is the devil's craft

I had two cans of Surly Furious IPA last night. Tonight I will likely have a couple Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale, because it is bitter and because it is summer (apologies to Joyce Carol Oates).

On the bitter front, I awoke with great plans of working outside, mowing and raking until I was sweaty and manly. My lower back quickly informed me that such a thing was a very foolish notion and I should take a buttload of Ibuprofen. I also slapped a couple smelly Salon Pas above my ass crack and one more on the back of my right hand.

Driving bus and gripping plastic steering wheels is raising hell with my carpal tunnel. I haven’t been able to play guitar since Christmas break and it kills me. So two more weeks of school and then we’ll see how long it takes to recover. It should only be a week or so but who knows. Getting my old sleep pattern back should take about the same amount of time. Then we’ll see what I can get accomplished with a clear head. Of course, drinking a couple beers might muddy those waters.

Have a great weekend and if you’re drinking craft beer, look me up in hell some time.

 

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Cross Your Fingers – Spring Might Be Here

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And now with more color!

That’s the view out to the deck. Note Arya hiding under one of the chairs. Also please note the last traces of snow along the hedge way to the back of the yard. But wind chill and the words “wintry mix” are no longer in any long range weather reports so I think we’re in the clear. I think by Saturday we’ll actually see temperatures in the 70s which is a far cry from minus twenty-five.

The spring/summer birds are out in force. A host of robins descended upon the berries from our mountain ash. The cats ran them off a few times but I’m glad the tree got stripped. We have to make room for the new buds. The apple trees survived the winter but the verdict is still out on the honey berries. And I think we need a new tree in the backyard. Something to block out the view of that elephant our neighbors have (see photo above).

Now if it would just rain.

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The Healing Power

Nerver Underestimate the Healing Power

Been there and do that every time my wife takes a bath.

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