Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Reunion and other stuff.

I seem to be on a weekly posting schedule. I guess plant growth is slower in the fall, sorry, faithful reader, for my inattention.

I was outraged, yes outraged and appalled, to see that a performance of the opera "Idomeneo" was cancelled because of fear of attack by Muslims. This quote is from the NYT today:

"The Deutsche Oper Berlin said Tuesday that it had pulled "Idomeneo" from its fall schedule after the police warned of an "incalculable risk" to the performers and the audience."

Mozart! Now they're after Mozart. Judy and I are seeing the Met's "Iodmeneo" sometime this fall. I didn't realize when ordering tickets what a courageous political act it was.

When the furor over the cartoons in that Danish newspaper arose, every newspaper in the West, or the World, should have published those cartoons every day for a week. The Pope should have explained his remarks a few weeks ago, but not have apologized. These attacks on free speech and free press are not to be tolerated. Get over it, you crazies. If you don't like it, just say so. We'll talk. Nobody likes beheaders. And you editors of papers, why do you roll over for this intimidation? Pretend you're reporting another story about a blowjob and a head-of-state.

OK. Mood Change. My fiftieth high school reunion took place this past weekend with events sheduled from Friday to Sunday. Judy went to three things with me, under duress, but probably had a better time than I did. And I loved it. I saw many people I hadn't seen since graduation and, almost, picked up conversations where we had left them fifty years ago. One hundred of about 130 living classmates showed. We graduated about 165 in 1956. Some of us are clearly identifiable and some not. People came from all across the US and Canada and Europe. No politics or war was discussed, only bio snippets and grandkids. It was exhilarating. I think it was the affirmation that all those other folks are out there and all still in business, even if retired.

In the garden, I spread another load of wood chips and covered all the bare patches in the lawn. There's not much green visible. I hope the chips work out better than the straw did.

When the chips are down.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Chipping In.

9-21-06 SHORT HILLS: Just a couple days left until fall officially begins and I start a new photo album in iPhoto. The weather remains pleasant. Today Frank’s Tree left me another load of chips, at 7 am, twice the size of the previous load. It probably represents a whole days work for them. I’m guessing they are glad to get rid of the chips. Anyway I started moving and spreading the chips on bare, grassless and muddy spots and got about half done. That took about 4.5 hours. Hopefully as the chips decompose they will be replacing some of the top soil lost to erosion.

Well, how ‘bout those Mets! Now if they can remember how to hit leftys and find some healthy starters it could be a fun post-season. The Giants had a pretty good outing in Philly too.

Fanny had some inflammatory lumps removed, probably foreign bodies like burrs or thistles. To keep her from scratching or the other dogs from licking her we dressed her in a tee shirt which works perfectly and looks quite chic.

Monday, September 18, 2006


9-18-06 SHORT HILLS: The weather remains beautiful for late summer, warm with cool nights and less humidity. We had a nice rain a few days ago. The tree that had fallen was taken down, and I had the arborists leave the wood chips. I spread them on some of the muddy areas where the dogs have destroyed the grass. It was about four or five yards worth and took most of the day to move from the driveway to the yard, say 50 wheelbarrels full, and spread around. I’ll ask for more chips to get the rest of the muddy areas covered. Grass seems an impossibile dream with dense shade and four big, active dogs.

Yesterday we brought the indoor plants back in from their summer vacation outside.

We have very little in bloom now: the last few rose-of-sharon, hydrangas, hostas, fall wild asters and other fall wildflowers [weeds]. The shrubs have ripening berries that the birds pick off as the color appears.

The early summer was wet, but August was dry and we ran the sprinklers until Labor Day. Either the early wetness or later dryness was bad for the English ivy which has mostly disappeared from lots of places, but will, hopefully, return on its own.

Monday, September 11, 2006


9-11-06 SHORT HILLS: It is a beautiful day just as it was five years ago this date. I have been avoiding all the ceremonies and replays on TV and talk shows “where were you”s as so much overload, at least for me. I remember. It was life altering and a historic watershed. I get no solace or reassurance from all the blah, blah, blah.

Obviously most of the subsequent reactions and responses on the part of the administration have been misplaced and gotten us into the present Iraqian quagmire and alienated us from a lot of the rest of the world, blowing off the sympathy and good-will of honest folks everywhere. The incumbent executives have also used and turned what happened to their own purposes to advance their own agendas and their own re-elections, playing on people’s fear of recurrences, to the detriment of our national interest.

I feel angrier at them than at the perps.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Two at Shea

9-6-06 SHORT HILLS: I got to NJ last night in the rain. We lost a red maple with a rotted trunk that went down during Ernesto and have lots of branches scattered around. Most of the other stuff looks OK at first glance.

Today I went to Shea for the day time double-header against the Braves. I took Mid-Town Direct from Millburn to Penn Station and the #2 train to Times Square and the #7 to Shea—travel time 2 hours—in time for a hot dog before the Anthem done very nicely by the cast of Spamalot. The Mets won the first 4-1 and the second 8-0 with lots of good news in both games. Should I post my score card? Nah. Slumping bench players in both games got hits and pitchers all pitched well. Carlos Beltran’s knee is OK, Shawn Green woke up. José olé olé is very exciting. Carlos Delgado hit one out. The reverse trip home was no problem. I read the New Yorker in the morning and the Post in the afternoon.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day

9-4-06 VERMONT: The Monday of Labor Day weekend is always a downer even now that I don’t have to go back to school or, worse, work. It remains cold here, but today was pretty and nice. Ernesto was rained out by the time he got here and contributed only 0.25 inches and no more wind than the average rainy day. Yesterday I was depressed, but today, with a bit of sun and a shovel, I felt better.

Saturday we went to an auction preview in Haverill, NH and saw nothing interesting except “free hostas” that a neighbor had dug up a left by the roadside. I passed them by on the way out, but took them on the way home as no one else was apparently interested. Today I planted them near the lily bed by the porch, filling that section and eliminating some scruffy lawn. I cut each of them into two or three pieces and had enough to fill the whole area. Add water and it’s a full day. I also transplanted the garden herbs to a large pot, two actually, one each for here and for Short Hills where I go tomorrow.

I’ll also bring down dozens of tomatoes and some corn and the remaining dogs.

Sunday Judy left in the morning. I did repairs to some heating ducts in the old basement and a few other indoor chores while it rained. In the afternoon I went to the preview at Wm. Smith’s auction which was held today. There was lots of very nice stuff, but I’m auctioned out. None of the things Judy was interested in were worth a trip back to bid.

Trips to town and back have been exciting. We have seen a flock of turkeys and a pair of fawns several times. I’ll post pictures tomorrow.

New blooms: bottle gentian, more sedum.