Over the last 6 years I've written 3274 posts. This one, #3275, will be my last. It has been apparent to me, and probably to you, that in the last year or two I've lost my enthusiasm for blogging. Occasionally I have something to say but most of the time I've been filling space with pet and backyard wildlife photos. I recently heard someone say, "If it isn't fun, why are you doing it?" That pretty much sums it up. Why, indeed?
I'll still be reading your blogs, and I may even leave more comments now than I have been. In the unlikely event that I return to blogging I'll tell two people and the next day they'll each tell two people and the day after that they'll each tell two people... At that rate after a month over 1 billion bloggers will know that Mike is back.
In the meantime if anything interesting happens in my life I'll post it on my Facebook page, although you'll need to be my "friend" to read about it. (I won't turn out the lights here until everyone has had a chance to read this.)
P.S. Many thanks to Teresa for all of her design work over these last six years.
P.S. Many thanks to Teresa for all of her design work over these last six years.
Make your own Mark Sanford tombstone here.
I usually do most of my traveling in the fall, mostly because the weather is nicer North to South but also because it's football time in the Bluegrass. While making reservations for Champ and Psycho at the kennel I realized how much I will travel this year.
July 30th to Aug 3rd - Meeting up with William and Laura in Chicago. My first trip there without going to Navy boot camp or changing planes at O'Hare.
Late Aug - To New York to see Briar and Isaac. Dates to be determined soon. I can't seem to stay away from the City.
Sep 18th to the 20th - Kentucky vs Louisville in Lexington
Sep 24th to October 4th - I'll spend a week in NYC for Briar and Isaac's wedding, then fly from LGA to LEX for the Kentucky - Alabama game.
Mid-Oct - A week in Sydney, Australia for the International Food Festival. Dates to be determined soon.
Oct 30th to Nov 1st - Homecoming Weekend. Kentucky vs Mississippi State at Lexington.
Thanksgiving Weekend - Football and another of Alison and Allan's great Thanksgiving dinners. Kentucky vs Tennessee at Lexington.
I've yet to make Christmas plans but I'm pretty sure that I'll spend the holiday, and my birthday, on the road.
Evidently there are no lengths I won't go to for a great bowl of noodles.
Last October Justine took a break from school and flew from Gold Coast to Sydney. She got there during Good Food Month and caught the last night of the Noodle Night Markets. I commented at the time, "Damn! I may have to go back to Australia next October so that I can OD on noodles."
October is fast approaching, Good Food Month has been renamed the Sydney International Food Festival, the Noodle Night Markets are back, and I'll be there. Justine, always up for a road trip, is going with me, although she'll probably take a side trip to Bond to meet up with friends.
Mmmm. Noodles and family. Does life get any better?
I watched The Criminal so that you wouldn't have to,
Yes, my first Roku film was a turkey. For the first hour plus it was good. An intriguing plot, mostly good acting, great cinematography, and stellar editing. Unfortunately the last 20 minutes started silly and ended ridiculously.
Another disappointment was Eddie Izzard as the CSI, or whatever the Brits call it. Evidently after reading the script he decided to phone his performance in.
I hope that my next streaming film is better.
Fed Ex dropped off my Roku Digital Video Player today. With it I can stream Netflix movies and TV shows to my TV instead of watching them on my 15" laptop screen. Netflix currently has over 12,000 titles out of its catalog of over 40,000 titles available for streaming. In 10 minutes I found a dozen indie flicks that I didn't know existed and that look like something I'd enjoy. There's no telling how many films I'll find as I browse the complete list. I took it for a test drive and watched the first episode of Showtime's new series, Nurse Jackie. Even on my 7-year old conventional TV the picture and sound were great and there were no problems streaming through my router. Plus for my $8.99 a month I continue to get DVDs in the mail for films that can't be streamed.
I can already order pretty much everything I need online and have it dropped at my door except for most of my food. If a grocery were to step up and offer online shopping with next-day delivery I might never have to leave the house except to mow the lawn and walk Champ and face it, I could pay someone to do that.
I learned yesterday and this morning that that will never happen.
Someone in the neighborhood is looking to give away her 4-month old male basset hound puppy, Broby, to a good home. She is a single, unemployed Mom with a baby that is beginning to crawl and she's having difficulty with the expense of taking care of a puppy, and with keeping Broby from playing with the baby the way he would with another puppy. He's a sweet dog and Champ has never had a problem with him when we've met him and his owner while on one of our walks so I volunteered to take him home with me on a trial basis. I knew that there might be some jealousy problems to begin with, and there were, and I was relieved when, late last night, Champ and Broby started to play together nicely. Unfortunately things changed for the worse this morning. I feel sure that Champ wasn't intentionally trying to hurt Broby but I was afraid that he might, accidentally. Poor Broby's head was soaked from Champ repeatedly wrapping his jaws around it. I phoned his owner this morning and walked him back home a few mintues later.
If you are interested in giving Broby a good home let me know and I'll hook you up with his owner. Right now she has a sign in her front yard that says "Free Puppy" and I'm not sure that's the best way to find him a good home. He's had his shots but he hasn't been fixed or microchipped. He sleeps in his cage (not included in the deal). He knows a few tricks like sit, stay, and roll over. Sometimes he gets confused and he rolls over when you tell him to sit. I think he knows that it will make you laugh.
A quick update: I can see Broby's house from my living room window and I notice that the sign is gone. I don't know if his owner changed her mind or if she's found him a home.
A last update: Broby has a new home.
Champ came home from the kennel wearing a Clemson bandanna and quickly asked me to break out the Kentucky blue.
Then he showed the Tigers what Paw Power is all about.
Isaac has been acting in HR training videos:
My favorite is:
I don't know why I took my camera with me because I never took any photos. When I go to NYC I have so much fun taking in everything - the sights, sounds, smells and feel of the city - that I don't bother photographing just the sights.
While in New York I always like to see a film that may or may not eventually make it to Charleston, and if it does make it it will be months from now. On Friday Briar and I saw Easy Virtue, a film adaptation of one of Noel Coward's early, lesser-known plays. It's a lightweight film that won't win any awards but it's fun to watch and a great way to park your brain in neutral for 90 minutes. Jessica Biel (yes, Jessica Biel) does better than you might expect as the femme fatale. If you are a Colin Firth fan, and who isn't, you need to see Easy Virtue if you get the chance.
After the movie Briar and I had lunch at Ramen Setagaya's newest location on University Place, a couple of blocks below Union Square. More about restaurants and what we ate in a later post.
After lunch Briar and I walked around the Village and Chelsea. In Washington Square we saw a crew filming a scene for Step Up 3-D. It was lost on me since I've never seen Step Up or Step Up 2 but Briar went all tingly when she saw that they were filming a scene with Adam Sevani, one of the dancers from Step Up 2. A short way away the coreographer was working with dancers for an upcoming scene. (Briar will have to leave a comment and tell you his name.)
From Washington Square we wandered up 8th Avenue in Chelsea and had our second celebrity sighting. When we stopped to look at the puppies in a pet shop window Patricia Clarkson stopped to look at them with us.
The highlight of the weekend, as planned, was to see The Norman Conquests trilogy. I am possibly the biggest Alan Ayckbourn fan in the US. I've seen his plays in London, New York, and Charleston. I've read most of his plays that I haven't been able to see. As with restaurants, I'll fill you in on my Ayckbourn addiction in a later post.
I'm off to New York this morning for a long weekend with Briar and Isaac. One of our goals is to see all three plays in Alan Ayckbourn's The Norman Conquests trilogy on the same day. That's 6 and a half hours of theater over a span of 11 hours. I also want to check out the new pedestrian mall created in Times Square.
For the past two weeks I have been coming home to an empty, quiet apartment, all the while thinking that there was something missing. Then, I realized what it was... a roommate!!! I'm not used to living alone, so I'd like to introduce you to my new roomie!
This is Dinner! Originally, Mason and I (and the Pet Helpers staff) thought this was Lunch, but someone caught the mistake and called to let me know. haha So, Mason and I just call her Snack until I can come up with her permanent name.
Lunch & Dinner (Snack) are sisters, and there was a third sibling (of unknown gender) named Breakfast. Breakfast was already adopted and in a new home!
Snack has just gained enough weight to be spayed (which will be done tomorrow) and I can take her home the day after that! Her second round of vaccinations will be given before she comes home with me on Wednesday!
She loves to play, and is very snuggly and loving! She likes to bury her head in my hand if it's anywhere near her! If anyone has any name suggestions for a cat with that personality, please post them!
Most mornings and evenings when Champ and I start our walks we see the vixen and her pups on or near the pile of downed tree trunks, at the condo construction site, that serves as their den. By the time we get back to the house 30 minutes later and I grab the Nikon they've disappeared. Until tonight. Tonight we saw both Mom and Dad with the pups. When I returned and raised the camera the pups took off, followed by Mom. (There's a reason foxes are called wily.) Dad stayed behind to see if I was a threat.
[Please click on the photo for a better view.]
When I didn't move he came closer before running back toward the den.
[Click on this one, too.]
This photo makes it look like he was closer to me than he was because I was using the telephoto lens. I paced it off after he left (I'm anal that way) and it was about 200'.
I aplogize for the quality of the shots. It was overcast, the sun had just set and the D200, bless it's heart, did its best to make it look brighter than it was. I keep hoping to get a photo one morning of the pups with Mom. They are so small and so cute. Of course, I have to remember that these are the foxes that want to eat Psycho.
I bought this cantaloupe at Walmart on Wednesday.
Now I've been told to destroy it. (Not trash it. Destroy it.) I'm going to eat it because:
1) Cantaloupes are my favorite melon.
2) Melons are #3 on my list of favorite fruits.
3) Melons are a terrible thing to waste.
4) If there is any salmonella it's on the rind, not in the part that I will eat.
5) Just to be sure, I washed it with Dawn antibacterial dish washing liquid and warm water.
6) Hey! I paid a $1.50 for it.
If my logic is flawed Justine will post which room at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital that you can send flowers to.