Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Good Grief The Week Is Flying By...

My Grandpa always said that the older you get, the quicker life runs you over. This past couple weeks it's seemed like Life was driving the southbound Amtrak and I got caught in the crossing.

Last Friday I sat in with the East Fork Bandits band for a dance down in Macon. Other than it was hotter than the hubs of Hell... we had a blast. We'd gotten in 2 practices, and considering *that*, we sounded pretty good. Did a couple of 15 song sets, had a pretty good crowd of dancers and a larger crowd of listeners. Somehow it didn't rain that night, but the mud was in abundance. Holy cow...

Here's a few pics and a couple of videos from Friday. I was playing guitar in the 6 piece band. There were 3 of us from our regular band Keota, Mary Beth, Louis and myself with Kevin M. on lead guitar and vocals, Todd S. on a thumpin' ol Rickenbacker bass, and Timmy L on drums and vocals.

Gotta do the obligatory Mustang Sally... The video quality is horrible, sorry 'bout that, but the sound is "decent".

Did a song by a gal named Jennifer Hanson called Beautiful Goodbye that was kinda cool, sorta grew on me a bit.

After Friday night, Keota did a couple of short sets at another deal as guests of another band. Had a load of fun there and hopefully a little bit better quality video. I'll have to give it a look.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Vicky Goes To The Hardware Store.... OR... A Tale Of 2 Darrells.

A couple of years ago a dear friend of ours out in California got a pair of pretty nice pieces that I'd built, a wall cabinet and a matching mini quilt holder/shelf. I got 'em packaged up and shipped out to her. I had some particular screws that I wanted her to put the pieces up with...but... I forgot to put them in with the shipment. The screws would show to a certain degree and I wanted those particular screws to be used.

Here's the history of this whole little saga. (with Vicky's permission of course)


The first email from Vicky:

J. and J. came over for dinner yesterday, and J. took a look at the cabinet and hanger, and he's going to come back next weekend to get them up for me.

Could you tell me what I need to get to hang those? He said he could pick stuff up, but he'd rather know what you recommend.

I'm so excited about getting these up! They're absolutely perfect!

This is when I realized that I'd forgotten to package the screws with the furniture. My reply:

Ack! I meant to send screws with it.

Okay, the screws are gonna show but that's part of the look, they'll go thru the upper back of both the quilt hanger and the cabinet. 2 to 4 screws (depending on how much shakin you get out there) will do each piece. You need to go to a GOOD hardware store and ask for " number 10 by 2 inch brass wood screws with round heads and slotted". That'll look like "#10x2"rh-slot wood" on the package or something there 'bouts. 1 1/2" ones might do it, that'll be J's call as I don't know what he's got to run it into in your wall. The slotted part is gonna be the hard part to find and that's why you'll need to go to an old time hardware store. Philips headed screws just look hokey on pieces like this, that's why I like the older slotted style (I'm hardware anal, by the way... LOL) and the brass will age to a nice brown in a year or so to blend in with the wood.

J will hafta free drill the wood so that the screws fit the wood loosely and then if you're not gonna hit studs in the walls, he'll have to pick up some good sheetrock screw anchors to run the screws into. I'm sure he'll know what to get there, there's lots available and everyone has a favourite type.

Here's what the screws will look like...

And here's how they're measured, this one happens to be a #10x 1 1/2"

Love you too Vicky, make sure and get "after" pics!


That last email is what Vicky took with her to the hardware store and whooped out on the ol boys there. lol

That evening I got this email back from her describing her trip to fetch some screws....


First, let me preface this by saying that no one in the whole of LA County knew where there was an old timey hardware store. So I paged in our maintenance man, and he said, "Vicky, just go over to ****'s." In our itty bitty work town of ********, there's this really old, creakity hardware store that I forget about. They're probably the only store in the world who still has a handwritten charge ledger sheet. Our company bills runs usually between $2 and $15 a month - and they still let us charge there! But the reason we even keep an account open with them is becuase they invite us to their Christmas party every year for cupcakes and coffee! LOL

Anyway, I digress.

So I head over to ****'s a while ago at lunch. I walk in this place and I'm totally overwhelmed always. It's so packed and "junky" -- well, that's probably how you guys like things in that sort of store.

So I wait my turn, and in my best professional voice, I proceed to tell a guy who is undoubtedly the dullest person I've met in a long time what I needed. I repeat it four times. Then finally some other guy comes out from the bowels of the building and asks if he can help. So instead of trying to tell the story again - just in case these are "Dumb and Dumber," I just pull out your email that I had printed (pictures and all) and handed it to him. He reads the whole thing, right down to the ILY part -- and then asks me if he can go show this to Bob or somebody who's in the back. Before I could answer, off he goes with your PM. I hear them talking about it. I'm thinking they're discussing whether they have the screws.

So then Bob comes out, and also had Darrell, Darrell and his other brother Darrell. They were passing your PM around and in ernest discussion about it amongst themselves. Okay. I've been in there for 15 minutes now. So I ask if they have the screws.

Honest to Pete -- the other brother Darrell says, "This letter is neat. How did you do this?" I said, "Do what?" "How do you get a letter off that computer thing with a picture on it?"

Heck, Jace, I can barely describe the screws I needed -- I sure wasn't gonna get into a Bill Gates discussion with these guys on the workings of the internet.

So I just said, in a rather irritated voice now, "Do you have these screws or not?"

"Oh, yeah, we have them. We forgot that's why you came in!" (Would it have been too obvious to say "Duh!" here?)

20 minutes later I walked out with every number 10 by 2 inch brass wood screws with round heads and slotted! Seriously, all 12 of them. Don't know if I'll ever need these again, but I've sure as heck got them now.

Hey, I'm starting a screw stash!!!

I love you! Thanks for the PM. It was a HUGE hit in *********!!


So there you go, Vicky got the hardware she needed, the Darrells were astounded with technology, and I got a laugh out of it... and you probably did too. :-)


Friday, July 25, 2008

Did I Say "Rain"? It's Past The Point Of Stupid Now

Last nite... I can't give you a good description. Here at our house in the last 24 hours, something between 7 and 10 inches, maybe more. It's hard to measure that much rain. A town just north of us recorded 12.1 inches last night. I think we probably got about 5 1/2 inches last night alone. I haven't worked up the courage to look in the basement this morning... I've got an idea what it looks like. Roads are closed everywhere. It's a mess.

We're genuinely concerned with all the rain here in this corner of the state. The ground was already saturated and now it sounds like maybe 2 more days of this.

I need to go find my Ark plans. Later.


Eh, after I posted this Sal and I went out to see how much stuff was under water and the answer is "a lot". Sally got some pics and here's a few of 'em.

These pictures are of Bear Creek, which borders some of our property. Usually it's a 12 to 15 foot wide creek with about 1 to 2 feet of water in it. This is just on the south edge of our farm and it's over 1/4 of a mile wide and rising. More rain is forecast for tonite. More roads are closed than are open... it's pretty ridiculous.

This one is just unreal... that road will be completely gone when the water goes down. There is a soybean field on either side of the road that are total losses obviously. I've guessing the water to be about 4 feet deep over the road in the middle.

The only critter that seemed to be enjoying this whole mess...


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rain, A Busy Weekend, And A POS Cabinet.

We got back in the hayfield yesterday and got baled up what had been mowed down for a couple of days and rained on once. Mowed down about another 40 acres in the process and.... it rained all night, all morning, and all day. It's flooded again.

Yee Haw.

Getting ready for a busy weekend, although it doesn't look like there's gonna be any field work done according to the weather forecast, it'll let me get caught up on some odds and ends stuff in the shop. Ain't hardly stepped foot in there for over a week now.

They hold a big old tractor/steam engine/old engine thing out at the fairgrounds every year called the Flywheel Reunion. Lasts for about 4 days and is a lotta hoopla, draws a heckuva crowd into the county with a ginormous flea market and more tractors and folks in bib overalls than you can shake a monkey wrench at. I'm playing guitar with some swell folks in a country/southern rock band, East Fork Bandits, on Friday nite at a dance there. Then on Saturday night, our regular band, Keota is playing a couple of sets as guests of another band at a sit-down music show. Oughta get all "musiced" out by the end of the weekend. I don't think we're playing anywhere Sunday night, so if you want us over at your place... send me an email. :-)

Lessee... the big POS painted cabinet from this post got sorta kinda wrapped up. The customer came and looked at it, were thrilled silly, paid me some money... and I've still got a little to do to it. Gotta tone some wood on it that I replaced to match the other stuff and order some hardware for the bottom doors that'll match the upper doors. The hinges? Gah... don't ask. I hate 'em. Seriously. Those are so wrong... they're... blegh. It's gotta get gone soon 'cause everytime I walk by it I wanna pick at 'em like a loose piece of wallpaper in an insane asylum.

Anyway, there's 2 beveled mirrors that I resilverd that go in those openings at the back of the base top. I'll move it to their house before they go in.

There it is in all it's freakin' glory.

The customer is finishing it themselves... after I match the repairs.

Okay, dingity dingity dang. Have a great weekend. I'll try and have some videos to throw on for you!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Flap Sander and Near Death

I dunno how it came about, but my friend Dick, up in NY reminded me the other day about nearly being killed to death by a sander some time ago. I'm no big fan of being killed to death... I don't care what prizes are involved.

This whole thing has gotta start with a couple of clarifications. Anyone that is in the furniture refinishing/restoration business abhors working on chairs. They're not extremely profitable, there's lots of 'em, they're always busted or unglued... and most of all... they're just a pain in the butt to deal with. Some days I'd sooner be drug down a gravel road by an outlaw gang riding horseback, than to do chairs.

But I do 'em.

It's what I do.

Salami, salami, baloney.

Anyhow, one of the tools I use to make the pain a little less (usually) when working on chairs is this miracle of the drill attachment world, it's called a flap sander. Satan used to call it "one of my favorite things"... right up there with brown paper packages tied up with string and hellfire.

Here's a Gen-U-Ine picture of my chair sanding setup.

Click it if you wanna see it bigger. Don't worry, I wore the blood stains off of it long ago.

What that is, is.. a Hitachi high speed 3/8 drill. It spins about 2500 rpm (repeated poundings minute)and those little flippy things in the chuck... those are flaps of 220 grit sandpaper on fabric backing. When I'm using it I usually just lock the trigger on and hold it by the motor instead of the handle. Works better that way. Keep in mind that "locked on" condition.

So one day I was out in the shop sanding chairs, hating it, and drifting in and out of consciousness with the banality of the task, and everything was going just dandy. Now I had on a big ol' loose sweatshirt, long sleeves and all that business, when things just went as wrong as they could go. I'm talking going to church in your underwear type of wrong.

As I sanded I got the flap sander just a little too close to my sweatshirt that protruded ever so slightly in the direction of the sander, supported by my ample belly meat. All of a sudden KABALAMALKEJOIEMM;VASKN AND AL;KFMA;IEMMMMMM!!!! That thing caught my sweatshirt and jerked out of my hand. Remember when I told you I had the trigger locked on? Okay.. just checking. It commenced to spin at something less than 2500 RPMs (repeated poundings minute) and as it did, it wound up my sweatshirt... yanking my right sleeve into the fracas as it went. It beat me like a cheap piece of meat at the local Golden Corral. As it wound up, it climbed up my belly, whipping me half to death with the cord flinging around. First in the face, then on the neck, then down south on the man parts, then on my belly, then on my face and neck and back to the man parts again. I have no idea how many times this happened as I started to slip out of consciousness and life started to ebb away and I saw my long deceased Uncle Leo standing there with his fishing pole... just smiling at me, most likely waiting for a fishing buddy in the great beyond.

Finally, (praise Jesus) it wound up to the point that it unplugged itself, with the drill stopped winding itself up at a point just below my chin, looking like some sort of new neon green ghetto bling hanging from my neck.

I stood there kinda slumped against the work bench trying to collect my thoughts with what had just happened in the last 5 seconds of my life. I looked down at the drill just dangling there... lifeless. My pulse rate had to be up in the 200 range. I looked at the chair that ended up on the floor in all the confusion.

I started unwinding the drill and sander from my shirt, and thinking about how much certain things hurt from the pommeling they had just taken. I stumbled towards the house and go in.

Sally: What happened?

Me: What?

Sally: What happened? Your right shirt sleeve is 8 inches longer than your left one. You don't look right.

Me: Flap sander thing got me.

Sally: Oh that. You okay?

Me: I can't tell yet... it happened so fast. I saw Uncle Leo, honey.

Sally: How about pizza tonite for dinner? (signaling the end of any subtle sympathy I might have received.)

I've used it alot since then, several times a week. I'm all good with it now. I'll tell you sometime 'bout sanding off a table top with an old Rockwell sander with lacquer thinner on the table (I don't remember why at this point). Maybe it's some kind of sander death wish. I dunno.


Friday, July 18, 2008

HEADLINE: Horrible North Missouri Drought Of 2008 Broke Today!

It's true. The 7 day long drought of 2008 broke this afternoon with a deluge dumped from the heavens. Just in time too. Mommy and Daddy Mosquitoes all over the region were starting to worry for their babies living in waterholes that could possibly dry up in the next 30 days of the drought. Earthworms everywhere were starting to wheeze from an outbreak of dust. Postholes being dug were taking 15 to 20 seconds longer to fill with water when dug. It was getting serious, folks.

What did it take to break this awful awful 7 day drought?

We mowed down about 40 acres of Alfalfa and about 80 acres of other hay. *sigh* Got about 90 bales (the big ginormous ones) of the alfalfa wrapped up, probably another 40 bales of it got washed off... and all the other grass hay did too.

Eh well... it was too fluffy and leafy and full of cow vitamins anyhow.


In other news, I've suddenly become a cop magnet. I dunno what the heck is going on. I got an insane speeding ticket earlier in the year that caused me to give birth to a litter of orangutans when I had to go to court and do my bit to keep Macon County afloat for the first quarter of 08. That was the first speeding ticket I'd got in years. Not that I didn't deserve em... but...

So 'bout a month ago we were leaving a place where I'd played with the band and across the street about 6 cop cars all lit on one of Macon's finer (heavy sarcasm) drinking establishments. Well heck, I wanted to see what was going on cause, that's just the way I am, so I circled the block. Got a good look at a buncha painted up heavy girls flowing outta the front door like dumping marbles out on the floor. A few other unsavory types followed and then the officers had their guy and his mouthy wife/girlfriend who was pointing and flailing her arms and evidently predicting the end of the earth... and I'm just guessing her soon to be handcuffed condition.

So me and Sal just drive on down the street and on come the flashing lights.

Gah! I hate that a whole bunch.

I got no ticket but the officer told me I made 3 turns without signaling and then I DID signal and went straight.

My great great great Grandpa Weber used to pull that move all the time when he was outrunnin' the sheriff on horseback. Always worked for him. Anyway, I told him he had an attractive badge and showed him my papers and we went on our merry way.

Last nite we leave from playing at a local eating and drinking place and I'll danged if I did'nt get pulled over again. This time it was a state trooper and I was speeding and had my license plate light burned out. I commented on his perfect posture (no I didn't) and he told me to go on without the speeding part taking place.

Good grief.

We had some fun last nite, always like playing at this place. We get a local crowd and just have a blast. Sal got a nice shot of us with the sun behind us.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Took A Skinnin' On That Deal.

Sal and I were coming home the other night from playing music and I just happened to think of a phrase my Grandpa used all the time... I'd forgotten all about it and I actually used it in context with whatever the heck me and Sally were talking about. It surprised me so much, I can't remember what it was that was being discussed.

Anyhow, the word is "Skinned" or "Skinnin'". I suppose other folks have used the word like my Grandpa did, but he's the only one I ever heard say it. It means "you got took" or "you paid too much for too little" or "you just threw your money away on something".

My Grandpa helped me get started in the cattle business, he'd had livestock his whole life and was near brilliant when it came to knowing what's what with cattle... but that didn't keep him from getting "skinned" once in awhile.

About 30 years ago or so a bunch of fellers opened up a new fancy livestock sale barn just north of us and came around wanting business... guaranteeing prices and all sorts of silly crap like that. Anyhow, Grandpa went up to the new sale barn and bought about 25 head of bred Hereford cattle... of course the new sale barn delivered 'em, trying to impress folks with their congeniality. I watched 'em come offa the truck and thought they looked kinda tough, 'bout half were snotty and half of that half were wheezy.

So next morning I show up at Grandpa's to do the chores and I'm walking thru the barnlot and there's an early second period calf fetus laying there. I made note of that and told Grandpa and it was decided that rough handling in the truck and such had just caused one of the cows to abort. So, the next morning I'm walking thru the barnlot again, and there's a couple more fetus' and one dead cow and a couple more that can't get up. The sale barn is called and the once congenial new owners are now all "tough luck... that's the way it goes"

Grandpa hangs up the phone, looks at me and says. "Welp Jace, looks like I just took me a skinnin' on that load of cattle." I called our vet, and he was a real swell guy, he said that he thought if we got the state vet out to look at the abortions and dead cow that the manager up at the new sale barn might be a little more receptive to helping my grandpa keep his skin.

State vet shows up that afternoon, another one had died in the meanwhile and more were going down... and it was getting real ugly real fast. When a big shot vet like that shows up and starts reciting diseases like ugly cousins ask for dances at your sister's wedding... folks just seem to pay real keen attention to what all he has to say.

The new sale barn manager sends out a truck, they load up all the live cows, and hand Grandpa a check for his cattle and troubles. Shortly a dead truck shows up with a loader, they pick up all the dead stuff and haul that away all nice and tidy too. And Grandpa sidestepped a pretty severe skinnin'.

Sometimes he'd use the term and it wouldn't fit so bad, it was perfect... if that makes sense.

I wore my hair quite a bit longer and I'd just been to the barber shop. Grandpa asked me what I'd done that day and I said "got a haircut". He looked me over pretty carefully... "Looks to me like you got skinned"... translated, I paid for a haircut and got nuthin in return. Skinned, used to it's maximum potential right there. :-)


Sunday, July 13, 2008


As I've said before, I'm a youtube addict. I get stuck there on that whole ginormous website of videos and can't get loose from it. I'll start off with a search for a particular band or song and an hour later I'm watching 2 midgets wrestle a sea lion in a wading pool filled with Jello.

How the hell does that happen?

Anyway, I got a little complication of youtubes for you. "Idiots". Oh and Lord have mercy... the internets are full of 'em. Here ya go.

I don't care if this is real or faked or whatever... it makes me laugh. How not to break into a building with "rock proof" glass.

LOL and then this jackass that KNOWS he's won the race. "Hello. Darwin?"

Parallel parking couldn't be any more painful if you drug the car into the spot with your tongue tied to the bumper. The techno music forced me to drive an icepick into my ears.

I don't even know what would cause a person to attempt this on a bicycle.... or any other means of transportation for that matter. My parts ache for this idiot.

And then in typical youtube viewing fashion... I got sidetracked to this guy that's so drunk, he's trying to ride his bike (or somebodies bike) without a front wheel.

And finally making the full youtube sideways dance... I just fall into drunk videos, which still falls into the idiot theme. Beer.

Off to play some music!

Have a great week.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Uh... You Seen My Bulls?

After a late night last night and having a little trouble getting serious about the day this morning.... the phone rings. It's my Uncle up at the farm.

Uncle: What are you doin'?

Me: Drinking coffee. You?

U: Checking the cows.

Me: Everything good?

U: Not really... I don't know. What color are the ear tags on the 2 Angus bulls that are running with the main herd?

Me: *Arranging thoughts on the fly in my head that would make this last question relevant to a reasonable answer* White.... why?

U: They're yellow. The ones on the 2 Angus bulls with the cows are Yellow. I don't think that they're our bulls.

Me: Did the neighbor turn some cattle in on his side of the fence?

U: Yeah.

Me: Crap.

U: What do you want to do?

Me: Where are our 2 bulls? Is our other bull out there with the cows?

U: I don't know where our bulls are, I guess over on the neighbor. The other bull is still with the herd.

Me: So you think our bulls went one way and his bulls went the other?

U: I think so.

Now none of this really surprises me 'cause I've seen some pretty weird things happen with cows over the years and the possibility that our bulls and the neighbors bulls changed places is plausible... not real likely, but it could happen.

So it's raining again, and I ain't chasing cows/bulls/moose in the rain. So I just tell him if everything seems to be stabilized with all the cattle playing musical chairs I'm just gonna wait it out til the rain ends.

An hour later the phone rings again.

U: The cows are all up in the corner of the field by the gate.

Me: You wanna go ahead and move across the road to the south pasture and just get 'em away from the neighbors herd?

U: Might be best.

Me: Ain't no way we're gonna be able to separate bulls without getting 'em up to the barn where we can gate 'em. Let's do it.

So I burn up to the farm and the move across the road to new pasture goes pretty smooth... hotter than hell and 20 times wetter, but smooth.

While the cows come into the new pasture I see one of the neighbors heifers mixed in with our herd and then here comes the 2 Angus bulls with the "yellow" tags. I'm giving 'em a pretty good looking over... a REAL good looking over. We get all done and I drive the Mule over to where my uncle is standing.

Me: Uh... those are OUR bulls.

U: No. You think so? Really?

Me: Uh huh. Ours.

Now take into consideration that the numbers on the tags are long gone. The farm and home store sold me a real cute disappearing ink marker to write on cattle tags. There's a small batch of tags that we just kinda guess at what the numbers are until we run the cattle thru the barn again to re-tag those with bad tags. The 2 bulls in question are wearing tags written on with joke ink.

My uncle still not believing me wants proof.

Me: Okay... the smaller one of the 2 bulls will have a little blue spot on his left eye.

U: *perking up 'cause he knows he's right*

We drive over to the smaller of the 2 bulls and what do you know... a little blue spot on his left eyeball.

U: Well I'll be danged.

Me: So...

U: They needed new pasture anyhow.

Me: Yeah.

U: So what's up with the Yellow tags?

Me: I think they just turned a little yellow in the sun, they're the same tags.

U: Boy they're yellow.

So... there you go. No bulls were traded. No bulls were misplaced. One heifer was gained. (ain't figured that one out yet... but I don't ponder things like that too long, it hurts my head if I try to logic out cows) and everybody got moved to new pasture and is now happy as a cow can be.

TA freakin' DA!

Played to a real nice crowd last night at the county fair... I'll throw up some more pics on the next post.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Robert Plant. The Cowardly Lion?

Robert Plant, the front man for Led Zeppelin. He's got older. His looks have changed somewhat. Or... has he????

The Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz.

Take a look and tell me just what the hell is going on here. Alien convergence and transplantation perhaps? Yes, most likely.

Yes... now is as good a time as any to start making those tinfoil hats to save yourself.

'Course it could be me just overly noticing things again. I dunno...

Stay tuned to Sawdust and Cowpies for furtherrrrrrrrrr............bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Monday, July 7, 2008

A Shindig!

Between getting zapped by lightning and trying to play catchup on work and yardwork and housepainting and a half dozen other things... Sal and I decided to throw a Shindig. And so we did. And a fine one it was.

We live in a real rural, farming area and the weather had turned out perfect, so our attendance was down a little bit 'cause 'bout half that we'd invited had to scurry to get field work and haying done. But we still had a real respectable turnout. Lots of good BBQ beef (it's what's for dinner, you know)lots of baked beans and pies and cakes and as hard as it is to believe.... beer. Quite a bit of it.

Our band, Keota (we've got an awesome website now... THANK YOU NICKY!) played until we couldn't play anymore. It was hot, it was humid and it was a total blast. Anytime of the day, when we were playing and when we weren't, everyone there had a mile wide smile on their faces.

So, anyhow... here's a load of pics from our Shindig yesterday.


Sally made us a banner with her banner making skills. This is our bands logo... and this is a mongo sized banner. All fabric. Just different colors and prints she puts together to make it come out like this. She's a genius. I'm pretty dang proud of her. She'd just got it finished up so we kinda did a haphazard hanging of it... she'll get someway of hanging it for real figured out. She always does.

We took over Jake's shop for the Shindig and hung the banner between the posts of the car lift.

We played... That's (from the left) Louis (Louie), Me, Martina, Ronnie and our friend Roscoe that sat in with us yesterday on the bass.

We had some fun... and played some more.

My friend Ryan wanted to play "Simple Man" by Lynard Skynard and I hung my Stratocaster on him, hooked him up, gave him some volume and he wowed the crowd. I think this was the largest number of people he'd ever played in front of and he did GREAT! Real neat kid with a lotta heart and gutsy too!

Then we played some more and had some more fun.

Some people brought their crayons...

Some people brought their own instruments to play....

And some people just took naps...

And then we played some more music and had some fun. That's my dad right there!!!

And yesterday was the last day for Nunsense to run in the theater in town and Katrina and Cheyene... 2 of the nuns from the play, came out and had some fun with us. They had us in tears with this little routine that they played out in the yard. Katrina (red hair) is in a ventriloquist act and Cheyene (black hair) is her dummy. I almost turned my chair over... lol

And then... well... we had some more fun!

Then, of all things.... we played some more music.

I just liked this shot. Ronnie is Martina's step-dad... They certainly compliment one another's musical gift, and this shot here... just "wow".

'Long towards the end of the day, some of us were starting to wind down...

And then it was time to just lay 'em down save something for the next time... what a great shot huh? Thanks Nicky!


Thursday, July 3, 2008

KABLOOIE! Lightning BLAM! Hit CRASH! the BOOM! tree.

So yesterday, early evening, Sal and I are in the house minding our own dang business when a bolt outta the blue nearly wiped us off the face the earth. Not 5 minutes before it happened, Sally asked me what kinda storm it looked like was coming "this time". I brought it up on the radar map and it was a little dinky Adams Family type of thing.

No sooner had we laughed about it being a "wussie" storm when God, Thor, Nikola Tesla, and Ben Franklin taught us a lesson in very close proximity lightning strikes.

The tree that it hit in our yard is a huge old maple... probably close to 100 years old... maybe more, but in that neighborhood. This tree sits about 20 feet away from the west side of our house. For one split second the living room where I was sitting was illuminated like 20 arc welders going on at once, then a house shuddering explosion and honest to gosh... we felt "hot" in the house. Totally incredible.

Here's a couple of pics of the tree. You can actually see the path of the lightning bolt on the tree where it stripped the bark off of it. The oriole feeder there is hanging from a cast iron rooster on the tree. It busted the rooster in two and blew the top of it away from the tree... it later fell off last nite sometime. There's bark all over the place.

You know how people always say when someone's been in a horrible, blindingly fast accident... "They never knew what hit 'em"


And Ha again.

And to put an end to the thought about what you'd do if you didn't have time to rationalize an explosion but your loved one was standing right there? Well... of course Sally and I looked at one another and yelled "I LOVE YOU!"

Ha once more.

We both simultaneously yelled the slang for excrement... quite loudly. A few times. So much for last words of love eh. lol

We kinda wandered around the living room/dining room patting ourselves down and trying to figure out just what the hell had taken place. We got it all figured out shortly and Sal asked me if I was okay and I said "yeah". I asked if she was doing alright... cause it really shook us up and she said she "thought she was having a heart attack and had lost her ability to say the ABC's.

She regained her alphabetism shortly afterwards... but she's ending every sentence she says with "...the goose drank wine" for some reason now. I hope that goes away soon.

Anyway, it played heck with some of our puters and equipment here in our home. We've just got my laptop hardwired up to the internet right now. I think it's gonna take the power of my son in law Martin to get it straightened out this weekend.

Seriously, we're ready for the rain to just kinda ease up now. Really.

It's not fun anymore.