Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bye, Bye Summer

Summer gave BFE the best weather ever. I can't remember the last time I turned on the air conditioner and I haven't been tempted to turn on the furnace. For a month or more it didn't rain, wasn't windy and the day temps were in the high 70's to low 80's with night temps in the area of 55. As far as I'm concerned, summer doesn't get any better.

My gourds agreed. They took over the trellis, the fence the trellis lays against, the bushes a ways down the fence and the fence that runs perpendicular to the trellis. The vines are loaded with birdhouse gourds. I'm so excited about the crop that I don't care that I only harvested one sick cucumber and the other variety of gourd that I thought I planted never appeared. Next year: birdhouses galore. Also next year: better gourd / cucumber planning and planting.

Loaded Trellis

I planted Mexican sunflowers again this year. The butterflies love them and this year the bumblebees have been thick.

Boo! Bee!

Pretty Butterfly -- Don't know what kind

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Before the season officially changed from Summer to Fall a friend and I went to Spencer to the Clay County Fair. Captain Crab worked that fair for years and every year little H and I would go up and stay in The Hotel, park on the fairgrounds, get into and hang out at the fair for free.

It has been years since Crab worked the fair and therefore years since I've been there. I was taken aback by the changes there. One thing that didn't change was my route and the views I so enjoy.

Heading in to Gillette Grove

The first thing that threw me was the Sky Glider. Just like at the state fair! We took that first so I could get my bearings -- things had changed that much.

View from the top

Some things you can always count on

More things you can count on -- though I saw cabbages almost as big as some of these pumpkins

I was surprised at the new buildings. They had a convention center which was filled with shills. I like fair shills as much as the next person, but we walked through every building and every building that didn't have animals or trains in it was full of or surrounded by vendors selling CRAP. Not that I wasn't tempted. I really, really want an infrared sauna.

Vince couldn't make it. Something to do with parole violations.

The old train building was replaced with this incredibly large structure crammed with an intricate tableau of railroading.

A whole lot of choo choo

There were cities, small towns, a replica of the fair itself, a circus, a replica of Arnold's Park (which has no meaning to anyone who hasn't been near the Iowa Great Lakes), areas of industry, milling, mining, farms, and fishermen in row boats, barges, changing seasons... Gee, I didn't realize I liked tiny stuff so much.

Fire department in a snow covered town

The weather was on the warm side. We walked, sought food, looked for a seat in the shade and started the process over again. We figured we spent 6 hours walking in the heat and dodging the same bitch with a stroller for most of those 6 hours. Hey lady! Get a clue! Your infant is not enjoying broiling at the fair!!

Then we headed home and went through a small town only slightly off the track. I'd never been through it before but it was worth it just for this:

The -- end?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Speechless - You Wish

This little headline caught my attention:

Fines proposed for going without health insurance

Yes, by all means, require all Americans to feed the feed coffers of the insurance companies or suffer the consequences. Don't those idiots in Congress get it? SOME PEOPLE CANNOT AFFORD HEALTH INSURANCE. And any insurance they could buy would do them no good if they so much as stubbed a toe. (Bill: $500 they do not have against their $5000 deductible.)

While Congress is at it they might as well require everyone to buy a Ford and really help out the economy. Hey -- why not require everyone to shop at Walmart so the Wally World shareholders can keep raking in the dough while denying to insure most of their workers?

I may volunteer for the death panel. Please let my President lead.