Saturday, May 21, 2011

Indigo bunting

Like many other things in our life, the two bird feeders in our back yard are modest, and we sometimes forget to fill them.  We aren't 'birders.'  Mostly we get grackles and sparrows (and the steady stream of selfish squirrels).  The most colorful display was a day last week when, at the same time, there was a blue jay, a goldfinch, and a cardinal.

Today, we saw our first indigo bunting.  The sighting was more fun than I'd like to admit!

I'm still trying to think of a baseball pun.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Garden envy

Tulips and daisies and lilies in profusion. Crocuses. Even some early-season roses. All over town, flowers are exploding in bright colors. The yards are positively bristling with blooms.

Except ours. We have, it seems, no skill or luck at all when it comes to growing things. Inside or out. Vegetables, herbs, flowers , grass -- doesn't matter. We plant it, tend it, watch it. It dies, or at best looks like a cheap imitation. The few lilies and tulips we have in our comically small garden are nice, but almost pathetic in comparison to the neighbors. I don't know why.

That may explain my affinity for the lowly dandelion. We have lots of healthy dandelions. And I need do nothing at all to make them grow! One takes one's satisfaction where one can.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The bucket list of modesty

I retired today. Everybody keeps asking, endlessly, repeatedly, ad nausuem, "What are you going to do?" I mumble something about getting rich or fat or drunk and we have a little laugh. Boy, am I tired of that question.

We were all taught to enliven our writing by using 'action' words (that is, verbs). OK. I'll apply that lesson to the eternal nagging retirement question. (It's interesting how many of these can also be nouns.)


Perhaps all at once.

There. Does that answer your question?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Rush River IPA and a confession

Rush River brewery in River Falls, WI was reportedly founded by some St. Olaf college grads. Wouldn’t it be nice if they’d stayed in Northfield so we’d have our very own craft brewery? I sampled some of their Bubblejack IPA this week. I don’t know how it got that name. Seems like they’re trying just a tad too hard.

It’s unfiltered, so it looks a little smoky in the glass, but the taste is very bright and crisp. Hoppy. I like it, which will surprise nobody.

But here’s a confession: I’m sure I could not distinguish Rush River Bubblejack from any other IPA. My taste buds might be getting tired. The whole craft beer thing has finally – for me – grown a little tedious. So trendy and faux-rebellious that I tend to shut down. What had been a niche is now the norm. I don’t want to be normal.

Maybe I’ll start drinking Budweiser or Miller High Life or Grain Belt Premium. Yeah. I kind of like the Grain Belt idea because, even though it’s just a bland straight-ahead simple American lager, it is a regional as opposed to multinational beer. And you can get it at Target Field, where for some reason the beer of choice seems to be Bud Light. I am not going to drink Bud Light. A guy has to have some standards.