Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Today is my birthday, and the anniversary of the first time I dated the BW. I had called her sister, the sister suggested I take the BW instead, and we met. So it was pure coincidence. A couple of years later we got married on her birthday, which was another coincidence because we just wanted to get married on a Saturday so neither of us would have to take off work. It makes it easy to remember both dates, because if I don't I get in trouble.
Since I hadn't come up with anything special for the day, she had mentioned the Winslow Homer exhibit at the local Art Museum, and I suggested that I take her to that. It was interesting to me to see the woodcuts because I once took a drawing class, and got pretty good at it. Once you learn to see, you can draw anything. The bad part is that in order to draw anything, you have to make every single line yourself. I drew a perfect picture of a brick house, and then lost interest in art. Actually, it was when I found out that the big scandal was that three of the "whites" that some painter had sold for a million dollars apiece were fakes. He had lost the whites (probably thought they were just primed canvas) and had a student replicate them. That made them worthless.
Back to Winslow Homer - he was born in 1836 and died in 1910. This exhibit was his woodcuts, and he did them until he was 38 years old, then quit to become "a real artist". The way they were done was the artist drew on a block of wood that was glued together to make a perfect end grain surface. That allowed them to make finer and finer cuts, until the end result looked like a photograph. Then there was a process which used electrolysis to transfer the woodcut to a steel surface that would withstand repeated inking and printing. Steam powered presses and rolled paper allowed the drawings (and print) to be printed, cut, folded, and bound very rapidly, so Bally's Pictorials, Harper's Weekly, and an Illustrated newspaper were able to print runs of a minimum ob 250,000 issues each time they went to press. The actual circulation was at least three times the print run because more than one person read every copy.
The thing that got me was seeing how Boston looked in 1856, and the farming, sailing, Civil War, etc. scenes. It was a shame that in 1874 he decided that the woodblocks were "too commercial" and he wanted to be a "real artist". He is mostly known for his paintings, but the woodblock images convey real history too.
Then we went to a restaurant that was too noisy (had been nice and quiet the last time there) and left after one beer each. We stopped on the way home for an ice cream cone at Strachen's. I think $5.48 is kind of steep for one ice cream cone, but they were very good cones. They remind me of the ice cream we got in the 1930's and 1940's - even after WWII. The "dairy" made it in our home town for commercial, and when we visited Uncle Dean and others we made it ourselves. It would be "frozen custard" today, but I have never ever had commercial peach ice cream that came close to the stuff Dean made one time. The peaches were ready to fall off the tree, and we just peeled them and threw them in the mix. Frank and I turned the crank, taking turns, then after it sat, we all helped eat it.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
I can't remember what all I have been doing, except that I bought another three trays of St. Augustine plugs (I couldn't tell if they are Palmetto or Floratram) and got them in the ground over two days. I bought some fertilized, pre-wet peat moss to mix with the sand when I planted them, and used plenty of reclaimed water to soak the area where they started.
Yesterday the wash basin I use all the time was broken - the stopper was in, and the control lever went up and down, but nothing happened. So after I got done with the laser treatment I stopped by Lowes and bought a new tailpipe for the wash basin. It doesn't have a stopper - I thought about a pop-up plug, but the BW hated the one that was in the tub when we came, so I bought the one with no restrictions. It's antique bronze, so it doesn't match anything else in the house, but the pop-up lever can't rust off inside the drain, either. I think it was the hair I shed all the time that kept the lever wet enough to be eaten away.
It took me two and a half hours to get the water out, tailpipe out, and clean everything up so I could put things back together. Every time I turned around I had to search for another tool. Because of the arrangement we had in the travel trailer, I have five tool boxes, two open plastic tubs, and lots of tools in their own containers scattered around, and I don't use a lot of them for years at a time, so there was a fair amount of hunting. Fortunately I found the teflon tape easily in the beginning, but some tools took a lot of digging.
I remember, in the early days of doing plumbing at 265 S. Audubon Rd., that I would make at least three trips to the hardware store for every plumbing job. Later it got down to two usually, and after 20 years or so I would get the occasional job done with only one trip. This was a one trip job, so I did luck out that way. With age and experience comes a little benefit sometimes.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
A little bit ago we were coming home from Sweetbay, and I spotted a magnificent Jacaranda tree along Omaha, covered with blossoms and without a single leaf showing. I have to admit that it's really spring, and it's good that I trimmed the dogs yesterday. It gets up to, and sometimes over, 90 degrees in the afternoon now, although it's mostly in the high 80's when no cold front shows up. We also go for a week or two without rain after the unusually wet March.
Today was a shopping day. I started out with a Kiwanis meeting at 7:30 at Dockside, then offered to take the BW with me to Costco, but she had two doctors to see and passed. After I got the books up to date and put the Kiwanis money in the bank, I continued on to Costco, and laid in a bunch of patent medicine and groceries. Then I came home, and got the mail in. When the BW showed up late, she had stopped by the Walmart to return some tops and buy more clothes. Then she had a nap before another appointment, and after the appointment we went to Sweetbay and laid in a trunk full of groceries. So I think we did our share at keeping the economy happy today.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Yesterday I didn't go for a walk - but I did mow the lawn, run the weedeater all around the fence and house and use it to trim the street, driveway, and sidewalk, and blow the sand off the sidewalk and driveway, and the grass clippings off the concrete. That took three hours and 20 minutes, and then I had to rest in the recliner for a couple of hours until I had enough energy to take a shower. Last summer I walked four miles and then did the lawn, and was totally wiped out for the rest of the day, and I have slowly figured out that when you are old enough, you can't do everything that you could even 30 years ago, let alone 60. So I didn't do much yesterday.
Today I did take the walking sticks for a three mile walk, but then I had to groom both dogs. Harry was a dream - he would just lay there, and only look a little unhappy when I was clipping his chin or the sides of his face. Grace was never that good - she tries to jerk her feet away, and just generally lets me know she doesn't like it. Ralphie is terrible. He will let me do the top of his body without too much complaining, but after that it's a struggle. I never did get his feet or face, and wound up using a pair of doggie clippers (with ball points on the end of the blades) to do his head and his feet (sort of). That took up most of the day here, and then I edited 10 pages of a paper for Annie, which took several hours. So the day went pretty fast after I got up around 7:30. It's 10 to 8 now, and I don't feel like I got much done, and I still have another few pages for Annie.
Friday, April 08, 2011
For those of you what want to see a video, got to this web site:
Note: you will have to copy the address and paste it in your browser - I can't seem to make it a link just by pasting it in the blog.
I have no hesitation showing a video of me using the poles, but I can't easily take a video of myself, and the BW isn't interested in helping. I guess I could just walk past here, but this is a professional job that I got from the Spark People article.
It doesn't take much to learn to use them, unless you can't walk and chew gum at the same time.
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