The Walk, Revisited

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Today was yet another day when the forecast called for light snow. They were correct. Then they said it would be tapering by noon. On that they were wrong. It really was a light snow but through its persistence it did accomplish raising the ground level another couple inches. I had almost convinced myself to just do the day’s cardio on the elliptical when sanity finally struck and I went for a walk around the yard.

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Now, I don’t know why I don’t do this walk whenever I have the chance. It really was perfect walking weather with the temperatures in the low 20s and no wind. And unlike the last time I took this walk (well, with photos) I had assistants for the first section.

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We did a loop around the far field and down into the woods. About half-way down it became apparent that Walt was going to have to have a shorter walk than I had planned. The snow was up over his belly and as his rear legs aren’t really liftable, each step became a leap. That get’s a bit tiring and so we made a bunch of stops on our way back up to the house.

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Part 1
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Part 2, thirty seconds later

The pups, of course, were everywhere at once. Having dogs that are mobile is a new experience. Walt and Jasper both had pretty bad hip and knee problems keeping their frantic motion to a minimum. This is not our experience with these new two. They don’t stop moving.

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I took the pups back up and had to circle back to the beginning to get their leashes that are necessary to get them to cross the invisible fence. I was just going to go get them and head back inside but I did really want to look at the creek.

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Standing on the beginning of the East Branch of the Chagrin River

The past couple weeks have been routinely cold making the ice pretty thick and solid. I was able to cross over and back a number of times with nary a crack or death. One of the neatest parts of this time is that the water is using the ice as a sort of speaker cone, amplifying it’s running noise throughout the valley. The rushing sound is quite loud and a bit more urgent than one normally hears.

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Part of the deer superhighway

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Indy Wrasslin’

wrasslin20140207-2109Before I start my blathering about the event I went to last night, let me introduce you to my new phrase: Jollyville Fuck-it.

Usage: Lewis, how in the Jollyville fuck-it did you end up with oatmeal on top of the ceiling fan?

This will be explained below. And now to our regularly scheduled bloviating.

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There was a time when every small town had a theatre or two. In them the local people would see basic entertainment. Singers, humorous plays and the like, much like you would see in theatres today but with less, well, pomp. Ever since the advent of radio and television, the stage has been killed as a medium of entertainment for the mass of people. Sure plays are still put on, operas sung, but these are high dollar nights out and therefore not the staple of the average week’s fun.

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With the death of mass media like the aforementioned radio and television, it seems like local entertainment is becoming more possible. Publicity is easier done through Facebook, Twitter and podcasts, bringing together a mass of like-minded individuals that would in earlier times not have access to each other. And so now we have a thriving wrestling scene. And this is good.

Combining strong doses of vaudeville and Mexican telenovela storylines, slapstick athleticism and outlandish violence, wrestling is a fun night out. Laughing, cheering, jeering and general joyousness is the order of the day. Yes, plentiful $2 beer helps.

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A friend posted a couple photos to Instagram from a night she and her husband attended a show. I beseeched them to take me next time and so the next time it came around, we went. It was great.

wrasslin20140207-2103I didn’t really plan to take any pictures but I always have a camera in my pocket. Its wide angle lens gives a more atmospheric shot of the scene. I’m thinking I might do this again but with a different setup. This was fun. And how couldn’t it be when one tag team was named the Jollyville Fuck-its? Really.

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The Sacred Squeaky Tiki

squeaky-teaky-20140203-1818Above you see Walter and his Squeaky Tiki. This is an odd thing. Throughout his life, Walt has always picked one toy that he protects jealously. The Tiki is the current one. Right to its name, the Squeaky Tiki squeaks loudly when, for example, it is stepped upon by an unsuspecting person just trying to make it down a hallway strewn with puppies and puppy toys. And whenever that happens, Walt will leap to his feet, run to the Tiki, gently pick it up and take it to a quiet corner where he will sit very still with it in his mouth for quite some time.

No, I don’t understand it.

Before the Tiki there was the Squeaky Monkey. That was a horrifying toy that I bought because I simply couldn’t believe that it had been produced. It was a monkey with an electronic squealing sound that would blare forth if you squeezed it in just the right manner. And it would go on for a seeming eternity with a squeal like a monkey having some horrifying act perpetrated upon its being. Walt would perform in much the same way as he does with the Tiki with one added twist. You see, the monkey would squeal for so long that Walt would dance around it at first like it was animate and yelling and he didn’t know what to do. When it finally stopped he would pick it up and go to the quiet place.

We still have the Squeaky Monkey. He is just in hiding while the puppies are still in their destructive phase. Which, at the rate they are going, may never end.

So, is this a good thing? Does he think this is an animal in distress and we are just putting him through hell? Is this his nurturing side (and having seen him work with the pups, Walter was built for dealing with puppies)? I have no idea. All I know is we won’t get rid of his Squeaky Tiki but I try like hell to not step on it. We live in a world of compromise and misunderstanding.

 

Detroit Auto Show 2014

detroit-20140122-1420The woman and I braved the much-complained of temperatures and drove to Detroit to see the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Hall. We hadn’t been up there in many years and as I am going to be looking for a new car this year, it was time.

What did surprise me was how much smaller the show seemed. The main space was full and, if anything, more opulent than I recall. It was just that there were fewer displays. I guess this is to be expected in the days of consolidation but it does diminish the show. It is always interesting to see the little, odd marques interspersed with the gargantuan. Now it is battle of the titans all throughout.

Downstairs was always a great place because that is where you saw the odd ideas. Two man shops would have a booth to show off their weird conveyances. This year there were only two manufacturers and one of them, Lingenfelter, did not appear to have anyone around.

Anyway, here is some of what I saw.

I am a sucker for little, little cars. Now the whole leaning thing is a bit worrisome but I could go for it.

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Mini had a very neat finish that I really wish more cars had:

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I will never get used to a Mercedes with a wing like this. A bit boy racer.

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BMW, now with colors for the whole Easter season:
detroit-20140122-1313 The new 911 Targa finally made the water-cooled 911 not look like Jabba.
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And do note the 917 in the background…detroit-20140122-1332 The Lincoln booth. I guess this is the sort of design that you pick when the average age of your clientele means they voted for Ike. (That said, I like it. I tolerate Ike.)detroit-20140122-1350

And Ford trotted out the Mustang I prototype… because.detroit-20140122-1403

And you have to love the look of the aged rubber.detroit-20140122-1402 Kia actually had a very interesting vehicle, probably the most interesting one of the show cars.
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The Walk

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This weekend I took some time to walk along the creek. With the weather we have been having recently there have been some interesting signs of movement down there. For example a great deal of the grassy areas were run over with flooding that, after the snow, made for some interesting lines.

Here you can see how it all starts out along the banks.

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And when you look more closely you can see the grass bent and swirled with the water flow.

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We had a few days of cold temperatures, some a fair amount below zero. This built up a pretty good layer of ice. These cold temps were, as the world is wont to do, followed by a few days of temperatures in the forties. This gave rise to a goodly amount of water flow which threw these newly minted ice sheets all over the place.

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And now we are heading back into a week of single-digit temperatures so the ice is growing yet again. Right now it isn’t strong enough to support my tubby weight but there are spots that work pretty well. (Don’t worry about me falling to my death. At best the water is about a foot deep in most spots.)

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But until the creek is iced over, the local animals have made their own paths around the water, leaving their tracks about.

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But even better is this one which, in a terrible picture, is one fallen tree that runs into another fallen tree on the other side of the creek.

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And while there are always tons of trees falling, there are tons more still standing.

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But some times they don’t make it.

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And in the rough weather you must keep the wildlife in mind. But not too much in mind.

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And so we walk home…

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