Laptop dance


My computer, at the ripe old age of 5 months, is broken.  The poor thing is so sick that it stops working after a few clicks here and there.  It is still under warranty and after exhausting all at-home repair possibilities (including cleaning out the virus that started this round of computer illness), I have concluded that it will have to go back to the place where it was born to be looked at, diagnosed, and fixed.

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Sunday signage

(124:  Good advice.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

It’s another beautiful day here in the Bogs.  I can’t remember the last time it rained.  The nights have been cool and the days have been warm.  Typical, lovely September weather.

The gazpacho I made for dinner last night was delicious.  The recipe is a keeper.  It’s from Fitness Magazine and you can find it here if you’re interested.  This morning I made a scramble for breakfast.  I am the Queen of Scrambles around here, sometimes using unusual (for breakfast) ingredients.  Today’s scramble was pretty simple with typical breakfast ingredients — potatoes, peppers, onions, veggie sausages, and Cajun seasoning for a kick.  Oh, and the eggs of course.

I’m getting lost in cooking.  Not so much for the eating part (although I don’t mind that) but for the comfort of it.  It keeps me busy and in the moment for the most part, although it certainly brings up memories and thoughts of Mom from time to time.

For dinner tonight I’m going to make vegetarian stuffed peppers (a curried kind of thing with potatoes) and that eggplant dish I stumbled upon yesterday.  Should be yummy.

Sunday signage

(073:  Feels like cotton.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I’ve seen all sorts of things sold at the various summer festivals held around here and most of those things sort of fit in with the festival somehow.  I haven’t yet figured out how sheets (even if they feel like Egyptian cotton) fit in at an Italian Festival.  It seemed more flea market than festival to me.  But hey, a guy’s gotta earn a living somehow.  With the high unemployment rate here in Ohio, and the loss of all those manufacturing jobs, sales isn’t a bad way to go.

I wonder if he sold any sheets that day?

M and I went to Blossom last night.  We had hoped some of our friends might go with us, but they wimped out.  That might be unfair.  I’m sure they had other things they needed to do since in some cases they’re just in town for the weekend.  Still, I’m sorry they didn’t make it.  The weather, which had been stormy throughout most of the day, turned out to be lovely.  We hit a few rain squalls on our way to Blossom but once there it pretty much cleared up.  I can prove it:

There were not the usual large number of people there.  Saturday nights at Blossom are  pretty well attended, especially on the lawn.  I’m sure the off and on rain storms throughout the day played a role in that.

M and I had a lovely time.  We set up our blankets (we layered since the ground was wet) and picnicked on the lawn.  By the time we finished eating our dinner the music had started so we sat back and just enjoyed the music and what turned out to be a beautiful evening.

(The Blossom cup holder.)

Last night’s concert included George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.  In a letter to a friend, Gershwin wrote about it:

I heard it as a musical kaleidoscope of America, and of our vast melting pot, of our national pep, of our blues, our metropolitan madness.

I’ve never been a fan of Rhapsody in Blue.  I didn’t expect to enjoy it much.  Perhaps I never really listened to it before.  Or perhaps it was the way the Cleveland Orchestra performed it, playing the original jazz band version.  Whatever the case, I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The pianist, Inon Barnatan, was fantastic.  Bravo!

Some of the other music the orchestra performed included Richard Rodgers Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Lady, Cole Porter’s Night and Day, and Gershwin’s Final Ballet Sequence from Shall We Dance.

Because the night was so nice we rode home with the top down on the convertible, going through town(s) rather than taking the highway.  (Riding in the convertible at high speeds is brutal.)  I especially like the back roads at night and looking up at the stars as we speed along.

All in all, it was a great evening.

New shoes and a Camelbak

(069:  My feet hanging out by the pond.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I’ve been doing my part to help stimulate the economy lately.  I bought another pair of new shoes, this time for wearing in the boat.  My old boat shoes were looking pretty gross after accidentally stepping into the pond (instead of the boat) a few times.

I was thinking this photo (above) might be my new avatar.  Those striped socks are getting a little old.  A change in footwear occasionally might be a good thing.

My new hydration/day pack arrived yesterday.  I ordered a Camelbak Day-Star.  After looking at a lot of different hydration packs and reviews of them I finally decided on the Camelbak Day-Star because 1) it got excellent reviews, and 2) one of those glowing reviews involved a short woman who raved about how wonderfully it fit.  I’m not extremely short but short enough that sometimes backpacks just don’t fit comfortably.

I wore the Day-Star around the house for a little while and it fits wonderfully well.  I’m impressed.  Now I have to fill up the bladder and throw a few things into the storage pockets to see how I do carrying around 2 liters of water and supplies for a day hike.  I’ve been working on getting in good shape for our trip to Colorado and that includes being able to carry my own stuff.

(Sunday’s sunset.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

That’s about it from the Bogs for now.  I’m off to turn a big bag of fresh basil into a batch of pesto, make a salad with a bunch of lettuces and other veggies, and then work on a zucchini-tomato gratin that I got a recipe for over the weekend (from Vegetarian Times).

We’ll be eating well.  🙂


(026:  The missing peonies.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

As mentioned on my other blog, the peonies, vase, and pruning sheers pictured above were all stolen from our porch sometime Sunday night/Monday morning.  I was glad to see the pruning sheers go.  Not so glad about the peonies and the vase.  Especially the vase.  It wasn’t ours to lose.  I haven’t heard from our friend yet (the one who gave us the peonies; I emailed her last night).  I’m hoping the vase wasn’t valuable in some way, particularly not in the sentimental way as there is no insurance that covers that sort of loss.

We’re assuming the thief or thieves are the same people who bashed our mailbox as well.  Nothing says “school is out!” like minor theft and mailbox bashing.  It must be frustrating for the kids these days, having all these plastic mailboxes around that don’t bend and twist in the satisfying way the old-style metal boxes do.  Bashing a plastic mailbox — such as the one we have — usually doesn’t result in much more than the door(s) flying off.  Easily fixed.

We called the sheriff’s office and they sent someone out yesterday evening to make a report.  There has been a rash of such incidences in our area and we decided we should put it on record.  Some of the stuff going on is a little more serious than a missing vase of flowers and the loss of broken (and not mourned) pruning sheers.  Cars have been broken into.  Houses have been egged (a mess to clean up).  And I’m sure there are still a few metal mailboxes out there that have been knocked over or twisted beyond recognition.

I have tons to do and shouldn’t be wasting time sitting here yammering about a minor theft.  It’s annoying.  And a little scary that someone has the balls to walk up to a well-lit porch (we left the light on that night) and just walk off with stuff.  It’s also a reminder that we better make sure we lock up.

As for the front porch, we’ll go back to the plain and simple look.  I’m actually kind of surprised they didn’t take the watering can.  That may have been the most valuable thing on the porch that night.

All the more reason to suspect it was kids.

I’ve procrastinated long enough.  Having taken the day off due to illness yesterday, I have double the work to do today.  I think I’m feeling a little like a deer in the headlights.  Frozen, unsure which way to go.  It’s probably best just to move.  Once moving, I’m sure I’ll figure out what my priorities are and from there I just have to keep moving until everything is taken care of.

So much to do…

I’m not dead

(Driving into Cleveland.)

Last Sunday M and I went up to Cleveland to see Spamalot at the Palace Theater.  We left home early so I could get a few photos before the show, but it turned out that it wasn’t early enough.  We thought parking would be easy on a Sunday morning, but hadn’t done our research well enough to know there was a Cavs game that must have started fairly early in the day as there was quite a bit of car and foot traffic near the Q.

It was a beautiful morning for taking pictures but, alas, we were unable to find a parking spot near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where I wanted to take some shots.  We didn’t have time to park a good distance away and walk so we went right to the theater district to find a parking spot near there before the show.

M and I have been fans of  Monty Python’s Flying Circus for a long time.  One of the first movies we saw together while we were dating was And Now For Something Completely Different.  We have Monty Python and the Holy Grail on video tape and DVD, having bought them as they became available.

Did you know Monty Python and the Holy Grail was voted the most popular “Scottish” film at IMDB?  The film was shot almost entirely in Scotland.  During our first trip to Scotland, M and I made a point of putting Doune Castle on our itinerary (Doune Castle was featured in the film as several of the castles).  We weren’t able to do more than a drive-by due to time constraints, but at least we came home with several photos of the castle.

Richard Chamberlain played King Arthur in the production of Spamalot that we saw.  I thought he was quite good in the part, especially since it seemed to me he looked a lot like the current version of the Burger King which added more weirdness and wackiness to the production (something you’d hardly think was possible when it comes to anything associated with Monty Python).

The show was fabulous.  Brilliant.  Wacky.  Hilariously funny.  M and I laughed a lot.  We were both laughing so hard at times that tears were streaming from our eyes.  As far as I could see, the same was true for most of the audience members around us.  I think it was one of the best laughs and times I’ve ever had at a musical or any theater production.

If Spamalot is coming to your area — and you like Monty Python — go see it.  You’ll love it.  (I’m aware that the humour of Monty Python doesn’t appeal to everyone.  They seem to fall into that “you either love it or you hate it” category.)

(Building near Cleveland’s theater district.)

Because we had gone to a matinee performance of Spamalot, I did have the time and light to take a few photographs after the show.  The sky wasn’t as clear and blue as it had been earlier, and clouds had begun to move in.  Not the most perfect conditions for picture taking, but not bad either.

(Entrance to the Hanna building, also in the Theater District.)

We walked around the Theater District for a little while so I could get a few shots from there.  Some of the buildings are very interesting.  With my camera limitations I was only able to get parts and pieces of them.

(Building on Euclid Avenue.)

I suppose it would have been helpful if I’d written down the names of some of the buildings.  I can’t seem to locate them (the names) in my memory bank.

(Corner of Euclid and East 14th Street, I think.)

There were ponies on Euclid Avenue, something you don’t expect to see in the city.  A horse and carriage, yes.  Ponies and hay, not so much.

They were there as part of something called Designerosa, a temporary event that uses vacant buildings and land in Cleveland.  You can read about it here.

It’s too bad we didn’t have time to go in and look around.  Or make the time to go in and look around.

(Part of Playhouse Square.)

This post is getting long and I have things to do today.  M could use some help outside moving bushes, the house could use a good sweep-through, and there’s laundry to be done.

See ya tomorrow with the rest of this adventure.

Thanks! (3)

For birds.  Birds of all kinds and shapes and colors.  Even in the winter months, there are still plenty of the fine feathered creatures around to be watched and admired, and to fascinate.

I was reminded this morning of just how fascinating and beautiful birds can be by an email from a friend.  Cismonok sent me a link to this video:

Thanks!, Cismonok.  I really enjoyed watching the starlings.  What a beautiful sight!  I’d love to be able to stand there and watch them in person.  (It should be noted that I’m going to try very hard not to spend my day looking at all the other beautiful bird videos available on YouTube.)

I had another reminder about birds yesterday.  A strange flock arrived in the evening.  They are exotic, bigger than most of the birds around here, and hot pink.

Yes, they are pink flamingos.  I once did a blog post that included pink flamingos.  You can see it here if you’d like.  It explains, among other things, why I like pink flamingos.  You’ll have to scroll down a bit, past the babies and flowers and mummers, to get to the flamingos.

The package of flamingos was addressed to Best Mom Ever.  They are a birthday gift to me from M the Younger.  Tacky?  Yes.  But fun.  And they certainly made me smile and laugh.

Now all I have to figure out is the best placement for some of these lovely birds around the pond.  I’d like to have them out there in honor of M the Younger’s next visit (sometime around Christmas).  Not all of them, mind you.  You can take kitsch just so far before it becomes a problem with the neighbors.

I think it might turn into a pink flamingo and lava lamp holiday this year.

Thanks! to M the Younger for a fun birthday gift.  I have to admit that I’m glad you didn’t give in to the urge to buy 50 in honor of my 50th.

Today’s view of the pond:

Pretty, isn’t it?

It’s currently 33°F (feels like 22°F), sunny with a few wispy clouds, winds S 15-25 mph.  A good day to bundle up and enjoy the sunshine.  We don’t see it much this time of year and I think it’s always a good idea to celebrate the sun when it does make an appearance.

Anyone want to join me in a sun dance?