Tuesday, May 31, 2011

June Swoon

Tomorrow ushers in the first day of June, but from my notes it appears that summer is already here.  Here's the evidence:

1. Sports Illustrated today proclaimed the Cubs' season is as good as over.  Their numbers department took a look at the playoffs since the wildcard expansion in baseball (1996) and only 95% of those teams that were 5 games below .500 or 5 games behind the division leader made the playoffs.  Perhaps you've heard of the acronym for the Cubs: Completely Useless By September.   I should petition to rename the team Cubj!  You know, j for June.

2.  I hung the laundry on the line this morning and it took literally less time for it to dry than the next load spent in the washer.  Sheesh.

3.  After my morning run, I'm now considering having gills implanted.  So humid.  So hard to breath.  So sticky.  So yuck.

4.  I cleaned out my closet this morning and left a shoe box on the floor for what was merely a minute or two.  When I turned to pick it up, Gus was firmly planted inside.  The LAZY days of summer are here (well, at least according to Gus).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Get out of my bird feeder AND...

This fat guy has been eating the bird feed that I put out.  That's not the worst of it though... get this... he then grabs his favorite newspaper, a can of air freshener, and retires to our roof to take care of his business.

How rude!

Look, I can deal with him stealing the bird food, but seriously, don't use my roof as a toilet! 

It was time for action.  We quietly opened the sliding door and Laura took the picture.  I took a step out onto the patio and as he was climbing down our tray feeder I pegged him with a baseball.  Square in the back!  But, it wasn't a full windup.  It was more of what I like to call a "dart throw".  Accurate for sure, but not much velocity behind it; just like trying to hit the bull's eye.  He then started to make a break for the big oak trees adjacent to our garage and I let a fastball rip.  I think I hit the fence... it was loud... but definitely not the thud I was hoping for.

Oh, no worries. Two summers ago it was Tom vs. the Chipmunks.  This year, the sequel: Tom vs. the Racoon. 

Spoiler alert:  The summer is just beginning and I will win this battle!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Before & After - Front Yard

Before = What a mess!  
Laura and I built a retaining wall a few weekends ago and we needed Mother Nature to cooperate so that we could have some dirt delivered.  As you can see from the first picture, the dirt finally made it.  After several trips with the wheelbarrow to replenish the dirt in the raised vegetable garden beds and some of the other landscaping we able to get to focus our attention on the intended project in the front yard.

 After = Much better.
  From the picture you can see we were able to put the wall back together after the dirt hauling delivery truck came.  We raised the lilac bush that Chris and Ken gave us about 10 inches.  The landscaping bed now goes all the way back to the flowering crab apple tree Sarah and Jed bought us last summer.  Just in front of the tree is the wagon wheel that Mom & Dad gave us for Christmas.  Nice touch!  Somewhere in there is a yucca that we stole from Jane, although I doubt that she misses it.  Thanks to all that have contributed to giving our home a little more curb-side appeal!

And to all of you mothers out there, Happy Mother's Day!  I love you, Mom!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Big Unit makes it to "The Shelf"

Laura and I watched the Diamondbacks take on the defending World Champion, San Francisco Giants, at Chase Field in Arizona on Sunday, April 17th.  Nothing too memorable about the ballpark itself, except for already blogged about swimming pool in right-center field.  Yet, I can cross another ballpark off of my list!

I have seen 16 different Major League Baseball parks for 14 of 30 possible different franchises.  My goal is to see one for each existing franchise, and in some cases like the White Sox and Cardinals, two!  I am scheduled for a visit to Florida later in June which will then give me 16 different franchises, which is over the half-way mark.  Watch out Rays and Marlins!   I'm still trying to find a weekend to sneak off to Target Field in Minnesota.  And somebody's favorite sister-in-law is getting hitched in Colorado this September.  Hmmm... perhaps I should just focus on not messing up the wedding weekend with my own personal agenda?

On with the blog... I always purchase a bobblehead to commemorate the triumph of crossing off yet another ballpark from my list.  Randy Johnson, the "Big Unit", stood an inch shy from seven feet tall.  He is probably best known as tall flame-throwing lefty with wild mullet-like hair, yet this video clip still comes to mind: click here. [Jed, if you're reading, you may not want to click that link.] 
Pictured, you'll see that I have acquired a Randy Johnson bobblehead for my Man Room!  Oddly enough, even though he towered over every other major league ballplayer, he sees eye-to-eye with all of my bobbleheads.  You'd think that they could vary the mold a little to give the guy a fraction of an inch over his other 7-inch tall molded brethren!  At least they got his mullet hair right!  His locks are even painted in a glossy paint to give them that appropriate oily/sweaty consistency that a pitcher's hair acquires by the middle of the third inning on a hot July day.  Yuck.

Also pictured you'll see the rest of my bobblehead family: everyone from Ryne Sandberg to the Seattle Mariner Moose.  Now the Big Unit will claim his own spot on "The Shelf".

Also, I need to send a shout out to Sarah who gave me four 6-foot long strands of ivy to decorate my Man Room.  You'll see them at the top of the wall in the picture.  They are the perfect addition to my room!  Thanks again!