Friday, May 25, 2007

Fortune's Wheel

Zabel about to win a sprint, second from left.
"Mr. 60%"
I'm Having trouble processing the doping news coming out of the European peloton today. The sad news is that Erick Zabel, an all-arounder who was one of the few German cyclists I generally like, admitted to doping. The good news, kind of, is that Bjarne Riis, the cocky Dutch guy I hated when he rode finally admitted to being doped up when he beat Indurain in 1996. Even that is a little sad, though, because I have really enjoyed the way Riis has run Team CSC in the past few years, getting great production out of some riders who people thought were past their prime. He knows his stuff. I think his doping was an open secret, really. I know people who referred to him as "Mr. 60%" because his hematocrit allegedly hit that absurd number once or twice back in the day.

It's just sad all around, though, really. It's such a great sport to follow, but I don't know whom to support anymore. I still believe Lance was clean, though. I hope I can always believe that.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Spring Hiking

This is the time to get out there--no bugs and no real heat, either. This Sunday's day trip was just under an hour of country-driving to an old girl scout camp that had a real live waterfall, high enough that it would really hurt if you were to fall off of it.

The disorienting thing, especially for an Eagle Scout, was getting lost. I didn't take a map, assuming that the place would be small enough for me to find my way around. And then I actually lost track of north, which I almost never do, and which was nice. I don't wear a watch so that I can forget about time, but it had been a while since I'd experienced the confusing pleasure of being lost in a woods, especially in this state.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Irises et al

I like when the Irises start to pop because that means the Siberian Irises will be coming soon and that is almost the highlight of the year in my inner life. In fact, this year my inner life will hold its third annual Siberian Iris Festival. It's going to be huge.
More Irises.
And Clematis.

The best new addition to the garden this year is probably going to be the Delphinium. When I brought them home, I had this conversation:

Wife: Did you know that Delphinium are my favorite flowers?
Me: No. How could I not know that?
Wife: I don't know.
Me: How come we've never had them before?
Wife: I don't know.

See how filled with mystery and how endlessly renewing a marriage can be? It's remarkable.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Daisy May and Seth Bernard

Great show downtown tonight by these twenty-something folky singer-songwriters. They're Michigan people and I'd heard their names up North before, but never their music until they were on Garrison Keillor a few weeks ago. In person, they're fabulous. Daisy herself is quite charming and has this great Michigan accent when she talks that turns into something very full and versatile when she sings. I don't know how to talk guitars, but Seth reminds me a fair bit of David Rawlings, with one of them tiny-like guitars and a similar elegance to his solos. They even covered Gillian Welch's "Orphan Girl." It sounded beautiful sung in a duet with a woman singer/ multi-instrumentalist named Laura Bates. That song is so great; I wonder why people don't cover Welch more often--it seems like "Orphan Girl" is one of the few you ever hear people do.

The show was held in a downtown ministry called Come 2 Go, and it was part of their regular programming, a relaxed, smoke-free, all ages gathering. It had such an nice vibe, I wondered if that was where Wes and Sarah go. It's interesting that church based organizations are bringing some of the more daring theater (at First Pres) and authentic original music (here) to town. While traditional music venues like bars keep booking reunion tours of Guns 'n Roses tribute bands, the churches are supporting the arts.

This July, either the band or the label that Daisy May and Seth work with are putting on some kind of family camp out weekend full of music and kid stuff and vegetarian cooking. It sounds great for a first time camping experience for my chilluns.
Posted by Picasa

The book I made.

I made this book. It's a small book, but I made it and wrote the stuff that is in it, and the feeling that gives just reinforces my belief that the more things you make, the better. This is the last poem on the last page:


Squirrel is the author of two nests: Hubcap Emporium (1965) and The Long Branch (2002).

Purple Coneflower’s latest ring-box of weevils, Train Song City (2003) is a finalist for the Purple Coneflower Prize for Third Books of Lunar Punditry.

Open Field is the author of Closed at Noon (2006), a critical study of tiny post offices.

Bird is a bird. This is his first contribution to poetry.

Long Walk is the Green Tea Professor of Flannel Sheets. Her first collection of seeds will be published by Warm Milk Press in November, 2009.

Left Turn at 5:20 uses Loma photography and coconut rice in an effort to answer a question posed to it by a muddy road that leads to a barn where a mummified cat is caught behind a beam in the upper hay loft.

Spouse is the foremost water-color graffiti artist practicing in the three recognized East-South-Eastern watersheds. The first retrospective of her work, Yo!, Murder of Crows!, is set to open soon after the next Scurvy Equinox.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Good News

As you can see above, the utilities all came out to mark their buried hardware, and, thank goodness, the sandbox is only minimally affected. We can easily tell the kids to avoid the flagged areas and play in the rest. And the flags add a nice, kid-friendly touch, I think. So, good news all around.

The real drawback to a sandbox, I'm just now realizing, is all the sand. Watching the kids play, I keep hearing myself tell them "now, don't get too sandy." How do other parents, wiser parents, deal with this? I mean, apart from not having a sandbox? It's a conundrum.

Okay, last sandbox post for awhile, promise.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The numbers are in.

Four trips from Mike Lough's house with sand. 22 wheelbarrow-loads. One shovel. All told, it adds up to 22". I might just keep saying it's "two feet deep" anyway. I had to measure it even though I knew that, in digging to the bottom of my sandbox, I would get a little sad.

I like how in this picture the bottom is shrouded in darkness. Yes, it is only 22", you say, but in truth it is much deeper than that in the ways that truly matter.
Posted by Picasa