Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Water, water, everywhere.

It's fun to take kids from landlocked states to the beach. 

Emily & fam at the beach.

Oh, sure, there are lakes in Montana.  Some of them are even sort of big.  But due to all sorts of hazards of geography, none of them hold a candle to Lake Superior.  Dammed-up rivers just don't compare, and hard, rocky beaches can't top big, beautiful stretches of soft, squishy sand.  (Don't feel too badly for them -- it's not like they don't already have an embarrassment of riches in the natural wonders department.)

Anyway, this is all just a longwinded way of saying that after a six-year absence, Emily got to take her family to the beach again, and it was awesome.  We lucked out on the weather front, dodging a bunch of rain that rolled through earlier that day, and as an added bonus, the lake was the warmest I've ever felt it in my entire life.  Troubling from a global-warming standpoint, but for that day, for three kids who'd been hearing all day about how ice water-y it is from their mom and Auntie Mary, it was a pleasant surprise.

Now, if only they could master the subtle art of not walking across the picnic blanket with wet sand all over their feet...maybe next time.

Aine ran aground.Elliot busies himself with a bucket.
Sticky fingers.

Friday, July 27, 2012

What's making me happy this week.

July 27.

I forget how much I miss Emily & her family until we all happen to be in the same ZIP code again.

(Also:  I should eat at the Black Cat waaaaaaay more often than I do.  Tasty!)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Toivo is the sheddiest cat I've ever lived with.  You can't touch him without coming away with fingers full of hair -- cripes, sometimes it seems like you can't even look at him without getting fur all over yourself.  No amount of lint rollering can put a stop to his madness.  (Hell, we've even tried vacuuming him -- he's deaf, so he doesn't mind -- but not even that gets rid of it all.)

With Flannery, I'll notice when she's shedding more in the fall or spring, changing her coat out for winter or summer.  Toivo, though...man.  He's just a puffball every day of the year.  Just another of his many peculiarities that make him endearing and a little bit gross.

I broke down and gave him a brushing last week. 

July 19.

It's like he shed an extra cat's worth of hair.  Unreal.  And I could've kept brushing, too -- he still had hair readily coming off.  Unfortunately, by that point (which was all of five minutes, tops) he'd descended into a hissing, yowling fit and it was getting too hard to pin the little hellbeast in place.

In the meantime, at least the fine people at 3M can count on a steady revenue stream from their lint roller sales division.

Oredock demolition update.

Haven't posted one of these for a while -- here's what things look like this week.

July 23.

Obviously, they're working on the top level of the dock (where the train tracks used to be).  The chutes are all still hanging, though most of them have been sheared off a bit. 

For comparison's sake:  a picture from May 25th, and another from July 11th.

May 25.Oredock, July 11.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Police blotter.

Monday, 3:25 P.M.:
Female at Pamida Beach carrying vodka bottle, intoxicated, swearing at kids, falling down hill.

Tuesday, 6:30 A.M.: 
Caller reports an approximately 40-year old male who is dancing in the alley since 5:30 this morning behind her residence on Bratley Drive. Subject has on shorts, flip flops, baseball cap, and a Packer blanket/poncho over his head and he appears to have a silver van with a canoe on top.

Tuesday, 2:59 P.M.: Caller reports there are two people in her attic robbing her.  States they were there all day yesterday and they hid when the Meals on Wheels lady came.

Wednesday, 10:38 P.M.:
Caller reports someone’s cows have been harassing their horses.

Thursday, 2:32 P.M.:
  Caller reports her neighbors use "major" profanity and she can't take it any longer.

Friday 7:16 A.M.: 
Call who would not give his name and was very crabby called to complain about a plane flying overhead.

Saturday, 5:21 A.M.:
Caller has a bear between her car and house that won't leave even though she has been honking at it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Police blotter.

Friday, 7:07 P.M.: 
Report of a "big mean canine dog" chasing cars and scaring people.

Friday, 10:58 P.M.:  Caller is quite upset, stated he is in fear for his life.  He states that a group of people just tried to land on his dock with no lights on, but he managed to chase them off.  He asked that dispatch please not think he's crazy, but his ex-wife is connected to the Mob in Chicago and he believes that she has the means and the knowledge to have him killed.

Saturday, 8:25 A.M.:  Person in sheriff's department lobby to report that her neighbor needs a "5150" (something she saw on the Today Show yesterday).

Monday, 12:16 P.M.:  Caller on the sidewalk on 8th Street East reports there is a bear in the kitchen. Update, 12:22 P.M.: bear has been chased out of the kitchen.

Tuesday, 10:25 A.M.:  Elderly woman in Mason reports someone broke into her house again and this time stole groceries. Woman says she has changed locks and nailed the windows shut, but nothing seems to help.

Wednesday, 12:50 A.M.: Anonymous caller reports a female running down the beach naked.  Does not seem to be in distress.

Thursday, 11:23 A.M.:  Caller reports a rabbit has been trapped.  Update: it was a cottontail.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"ShopKo Beach" just doesn't sound right.

July 9.

I'm sure generations of Ashlanders to come will hear old timers like me refer to the beach across the highway as Pamida Beach and roll their eyes; but hey, old habits die hard.

(Plus, as someone who was accidentally left in a cart there as an infant, I think I can call it Pamida or Gibsons or whatever the heck I want.)


Friday, July 06, 2012

What's making me happy this week.

I'm a few years late to the party on this, but please enjoy...IKEA Heights.

And if you're looking to waste a lot more time, fall down the rabbithole.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Wrong number.

Me:  Good morning, how can I help you?

Old Guy:  I need to talk to whoever's in charge of lawn mowing.

Me:  Uh, are you sure you have the right number?  This is a law office.

Old Guy:  Yeah!  I'm sure!  I need to talk to somebody about those kids cutting the grass.

Me:  I'm not sure who you're talking about -- are you trying to reach the city public works office?

Grandkid (in background):  GRANDDAD!  YOU'VE GOT THE WRONG NUMBER!!!!!

Old Guy:  I need to talk to somebody about the grass.  Can you transfer me?

Me:  Well, maybe, if I knew who you were trying to get ahold of?


Old Guy:  (to Grandkid) I will hang up, but this lady's gonna transfer me!

Me:  Uh...


Me:  (laughing)

Old Guy:  (hangs up)

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Fireworks echoing off the oredock, July 4, 2008.

I took this video down by my Uncle Chet's old boathouse four years ago.

I wonder if it'll sound different this year with the chutes hanging down?