Post-4th Reflections & EtcEtc&LT

Independence day has passed and Shanahan and I are  glad. He despises boom-booms more than me; I loathe them. We didn’t have as many mortar shells, M-80s, and firecrackers  exploding in the neighborhood this year as in past years, but we had a couple of solid nights and this raises an observation and a question:  The other day in SAMs I noticed fireworks packs  ranging from  $50 to $120 . That seems to me a lot of dough, and if the recession is so severe(which is sure seems to be), who the heck is buying and exploding  all the artillery?

From the Pachydermous front: Alaska’s governor resigned over the weekend,  with 18 months to go in her term — reputedly  because the media was all over her and there were all sorts of ethics investigations underway and she had no time to govern? Or something like that. Huh. So, if she gets elected president and same sort of crap happens then , will she also resign that job? But you can see Virginia from the White House. (I think.)

In the interest of fair balance, the donkeys ought not get too swollen with self-importance. I can report to you that I continue to get regular emails from the Obama site and various individuals, including Michelle, and not once has anyone answered a question I sent in (no matter which dictated protocol I followed) nor  has anyone done any sort of follow-up that I’m aware of, nor tried to figure out if my email is even real. In my old days in PR we used to get disgusted by marketing, advertising and PR efforts that lauded output, but never looked at ultimate results. I can just hear the President’s Computeryoiks telling him how many tens of millions of messages are going out every day, and this is a totally meaningless measure. Sheesh.

Repeat Message: Contrary to my earlier misleading information, the next Woods Cop book will be out spring of 2010, not fall of 2009. Publisher pushed it back, not me.

The other day, whilst walking our trail we came upon a doe eating in an open field in midday. I got a nice shot of the Shan-man straining at his leash to see the creature. Notice that the dog has his summer haircut. He looks nice — for the moment.  His sojourn in the Yoop will no doubt change that.

For you oldsters: When I signed up for Medicare through my Social Security, we talked to Pfizer (who inherited my old company’s retirees) and they told me with my company insurance I wouldn’t need Medicare Part B. Two of us talked to them and heard the same thing.  I should have known better; after all, Pfizer had charged me for health insurance for my deceased wife and adult kids for years – and I didn’t pick up on it. Silly me.  But , trusting the opinions,  I didn’t sign up for Medicare Part B. Guess what: Later Pfizer turned down lab test claims, and declared they are my supplementary insurance, that I need Part B. Nice. (If they’re supplementary, how come I pay the same rate I paid when they were primary?)  So I tried to contact SS to get the Part B and went through a 20-minute litany of menu options and finally got chance to tell them I wanted to talk to an operator, so they switched me over and a message told me everyone was busy, that I should  call back later, and they hang up on me.  I stared at the phone, like what the…over? I couldn’t even get into an on-hold queue! I couldn’t believe it was this way, so I went through the whole rigamarole again with the same result. Call back later. Click, Ahhh, my government and American industry in action.

Jerry Reagan is tying some #12 yarn body (feather post, mixed color) flies for me  for the Yoop, and trying to arrange a pick-up is like trying to find your drug dealer, I imagine. Hey, yarn bodies are great flies for searching all season long. Just switch colors from month to month.

Oh yeah, here in Michigan we can use marijuana for legitimate  medical reasons, but it remains against the law to  buy it. How’s that for good governance?  Say what?  The trend lines these days suggests we’re all going to end up like (or with)  Alice in Blunderland.

I’ve got two Woods Cop manuscripts to haul north with me, items to work on when daily play- and research-times are done.

The dog is antsy as all get-out over all the packing being done around here and I think he’s feeling like he’ll be left behind. He’ll soon be a happy boy (albeit cramped in the back of the Green Streamer).

The crop of blackcap razzies this summer has been fantastic. We’ve got more than a gallon in the fridge. Lots of berries on the blackberry bushes too, but we’ll be gone when those ripen. In the yoop we’ll have bloobs and razzies and thimbleberries — at least the beginning of the harvest; you need sharp elbows to compete with those little Finnish ladies!

Dick DeLong sent me an email the other day, which made me laugh out loud;  I forwarded to half the world. The message was this:  THE MEANING OF LIFE IN 13 WORDS: “Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the fuck happened.”  How true.


Ripe Blackcaps.
Ripe Blackcaps.
Next crop to ripen: Blackberries
Next crop to ripen: Blackberries
Hey, hey you guys! A deer!
Hey, HEY you guys! A DEER!
Out in the Open
Out in the Open
Okay, the dog is creeping me out. I'm outta here, dudes.
Okay, the damn dog is creeping me out. I'm outta here, dudes.
From Randomland: This guy is wearing rubber toe slippers and a brain-bucket on his stand-up tricycle, the operation of which takes up the entire path, which is 3.5 of my giant steps wide. Geez, what spaceship dropped his keester here?
From Randomland: This guy is wearing rubber toe slippers and a brain-bucket on his stand-up tricycle, the operation of which takes up the entire path, which is 3.5 of my giant steps wide. Geez, what spaceship dropped his keester here? Like most bikers he is wearing an MP-3 or something and doesn't bother warning folks he whooshes up on.

Next Book to be Spring 2010

Friends of Grady Service, Tree, Limpy et al: After telling everyone that Shadow of the Wolf Tree will be out this fall, my editor informed me today that the publication will be next year in the spring.  This will actually make life a little easier for me. Fall publication dates have in the past made conflicts for autumnal work with DNR officers. So, I’m not complaining. Sorry if you were ready for a new Grady Service tale this fall. You’ll just have to wait a wee bit longer. Thanks and Happy 4th of July. Joe