“In beholding old stones we may feel our
anxieties about our achievements–and lack of them–slacken . . . Vast
landscapes [and seascapes] can have an anxiety–reducing effect similar
to ruins, for they are the representatives of infinite space, as ruins
are the representatives of infinite time, against which our weak,
short-lived bodies seem no less inconsequential than those of moths or
This is what our front yard looked like in the early 80s. The clusters of aspens were fairly thin on the ground.
The odd-looking pine trees, a couple of them, were in back of the aspens. All they did was interfere with the neighbor's lovely large spruce in back of them. Oh and we all became colored sometime in the 90s.
Big guys with big tools and big trucks came calling in the summer of 2011 after we had let things get almost out of control.Those pine trees were very ugly, so it was no big problem to remove them.
The aspens grew quickly and by the late 90s were giving so much shade that the flowers and shrubs underneath did not grow well. Our hydrangeas were forever stunted. As you can see here in this picture from the summer of 2011 we took out the old pine trees and left just a lump of sawdust where they grew.
And then, in addition to removing the old, large pine trees we "raised the canopy" on the remaining aspen trees. Not all of the latter made the cut as you can see if you don't mind my pun.
And eventually the whole process starts over with some ornamental trees planted in Fall 2011.
Taking some advice from the sadly late A. Bart Giamatti, I took a little time for Paradise last evening—aka Dehler Park on a Friday evening in June with the Scarlets and Royals playing each other.
Before the shadows started spreading across the outfield I stopped for a bratwurst—from Sheboygan of course—with a little ketchup and mustard, on my way to a seat in the shade. Got the usual catch in my throat as I stood at attention for The Star Spangled Banner.
This was the first time the two teams had played against each other this season. Last night, early in the season, with parents and grandparents and friends all watching, most of the players perhaps understandably looked a little ragged, though the pitchers, apart from a little wildness, looked fairly good, especially the big kid with the gigantic shoes who started for the Scarlets. He could be their #1 for this season.
When I say players I mean everybody that has a part on the stage of Dehler Park: coaches, umpires, fielders, pitchers, batters, bat boys, announcer, even the scorekeeper.
When I say they looked a little ragged I did not mean the umpires, at least for this game. For unknown reasons Billings has always been blessed with good umpires, on a par, for example, with the young guys just out of umpiring school that do the Pioneer League games. Of course, there were the usual minor changes in the strike zone including at least one high curve for strike three that was arguable, and which the guy behind the plate let both player and coach vent a little. Some close plays at home and first tested them more than a little and they came through pretty well. By the way, as we usually do for these games, we had three umpires, just like in the good old days of the National League. That way, the guy at third base doesn't get lulled into falling asleep.
So then, and this applies to both sides, in addition to the batters generally having their timing off, and only a small running game to speak of, the fielding left a good deal to be desired, though the scorekeeper joined in the need for improvement by calling a difficult sinking, slicing line drive which the Scarlet left fielder might have caught with more than usual skill or effort, an error, which scored two runs as the Royals came back from a 4-0 early advance by the Scarlets. It looked like a hit to me. But there were other misplays and attention deficits, sometimes brought to the attention of the embarrassed player by a very loud Royals coach.
It looks like bunting needs some work and defending against the bunt wouldn't be a bad idea either. Unfortunately for the Royals, the bottom of the 11th inning—no time limit in Paradise, is there?—started with a walk, always an ominous beginning. An average bunt saw the Royals pitcher slip on the dewy grass. Nobody out and men on first and second. Ian Byorth, making up for a failed bunt earlier, finally got one down which the pitcher hurried a little on the way to first base, which was covered by the second baseman a little too late, so it went off his glove and Justin Black scored from 2nd on the error, whose I'm not sure. Final score: 7-6 There are some good pictures and a little more description by Ryan Minch with more names than I can remember without a scorecard in the Saturday Gazette. Check it out.
It is free to join up. What could make more sense: increase your chances of getting a transplant by offering your own parts when you don't need them anymore. I'm sure you need to tell your next of kin about this.
This was an attempt to capture The Singing Christmas Tree with a small digital camera without flash so as not to draw attention to myself. We saw and heard this extremely good production on Saturday afternoon. If you have a chance it will be repeated on Sunday afternoon at Emmanuel Baptist Church on Shiloh. If you are going south on Shiloh from say Rimrock, you pass Grand and then Broadwater, where the really big Faith Chapel is, just keep on going past two roundabouts and then a little further, it is on the right.
This was a marvelous musical show with a lot of attention to detail. It was an inspired telling of our Christmas story with enough of the joy-filled mystery of the Incarnation to satisfy a theology professor and enough pure entertainment schlock to satisfy the ordinary Hollywood pagan. Wow. Check these folks out when you get the chance.
You may also note on the inferior row of related videos, there is a nicely put video argument utilizing the "precautionary principle" which also comes down on the side of the hoaxers. These guys are playing for keeps. I wonder if we could make the game more interesting by having penalties for being wrong.
I was starting to get a little worried that maybe global warming or our recent financial messes had, like the swallows failing to come back to Capistrano, caused the annual migration of Salvation Army bell ringers to move somewhere else. But I was wrong. I saw my first Bell Ringer at Albertson's on Rehberg and Grand. He told me he was from Arizona and he enjoyed the cold weather.
This was a fun book to read. Especially if, like me, you were alive and paying attention to the peculiar presidential political melee during the summer and fall of 2008. There were a lot of dogs that didn’t bark and thus the whole thing was more than a little puzzling. This book appears to be an effort at explaining some of those conundrums. It does not speak to the main puzzle however, which was the almost total absence of any journalistic efforts to tell us commoners who Barack Obama was, other than he was somewhat black and spoke like a white man most of the time.
The main-stream media masters that I have heard, and their lesser kin out in the boondocks, obviously did not read this book. They say she didn’t write the book; that one of her editors did. And yet, the book sounds very much like Governor Palin talks, whether you like that or not, and as far as I know, almost every writer except for a few politicians always give credit to their editors, which she gracefully did.
Governor Palin is a journalist in the sense of writing in journals for much of her life. She draws on these for a summary of her earlier life: Normal kid growing up in normal places in middle America, and yet they were exciting places—at least in her memories and in her journals, and would probably be that way for the rest of us too if we had been smart enough to write in them and keep them for later use—weren’t all of our childhoods exciting places and times? Then she got interested in local politics after an ordinary education and an unremarkable early family life. Eventually she became the mayor of Wasilla Alaska. Then, a little later she ran for governor against the good old boys of Alaska, and she won.
Probably the high points of the book are her descriptions of her feelings when she discovers she will be the mother of an extra-chromosome baby boy (Down Syndrome) and then soon after, another bolt of lightning strikes when John McCain picks her for a short and tumultuous life as a vice-presidential candidate.
I thought at the time it was a brilliant choice because Joe Biden had already been chosen to be the Democratic choice for vice-president. What a splendid contrast: old Senator Jack S Phogbound from one of the corrupt one party states of the East versus the bright young reformer Sarah Palin from small town western America. While writing the last sentence it suddenly occurred to me that just as we have heard some institutions are “too big to fail,” maybe there are some states that are too small to avoid corruption, in that their cities and the lordly people that congregate in them tend to over balance the more ordinary rural folk, where much of the common sense of the country resides.
But even better, of course, was the fact that the vice-presidential candidate for the Republicans had more real experience at governing than the presidential candidate for the Democrats. This was delicious irony or so it seemed to me. Of course, with our main-stream media (MSM) in bed with Obama it was difficult to make that clear, though Palin did make an effort at the convention when she likened being mayor of Wasilla as something similar to a “community organizer, though with actual responsibility.” That might have been the best line of the campaign. No wonder our MSM types really had to scramble to put down this upstart nitwit from fly-over country. Well, you know what I mean.
The peculiarities and deficiencies of the campaign, which made some of us wonder who was actually playing the part of The Manchurian Candidate, are explored, at least from Palin’s point of view. We are all waiting for some explanation from the McCain point of view. Well, maybe not.
8 December 2009
I meant to get up early today but I forgot to set the alarm last night. So it wasn’t until about 8:30 am that I got over to Borders’ book store to check out the crowds coming to see Sarah Palin, perhaps give her some encouragement, and get their copy of her book signed.
The crowd seemed fairly normal and moved along steadily and cheerfully I thought, with a few signs, but mostly just bundled up against the bitter cold temperatures, a manifestation of global warming we are told. If nothing else these temperatures may well have kept at least some of the riff-raff huddled in the nearby coffee-shops. At 8:30 am the crowd, about 3-4 abreast stretched back from the front of the Borders store to the entrance to the IHOP restaurant. It may have gone back even further than that before they started moving around 8 am when the store opened.
I don't know if the RV above was part of the Palin entourage or not. I thought they traveled with sled dogs. It looks like a lot of Billings people are going to make room on their mantles this Christmas for a copy of Governor Palin’s book, alongside the Bible and their guns of course. Or maybe they will put a small bookshelf alongside the gun rack in the back of the pickup.