Friday, June 19, 2009

Headin' Up Nort

Oh Yeah, Hey Der, We're headin' up ta da Nort Woods tomorrow after a stop ta congratulate nephew Kevin on his high school graduation over der in Neenah. Goin' up ta da Mercer area ta fish, hike, picture take and generally veg out. Hope ta come back with some good, if not great, photos and some tall tales and even taller fish stories (some might be true even, don't cha know). Just ta get in the mood for the drive, I ran up ta da Twin Cities and back earlier this week. Main reason was ta return Sammy da dog ta his rightful owners, Sally and Uncas. On da way home I passed a scene that I had photographed last fall. This time I had fresh batteries in my camera so it wasn't as frustrating as last year. The story and the "Fall" photo can be found in my 10/27/08 blog "Oh Yah! Bin Up Der!". Here's the "Summer" version.

Some photog friends of mine have put me on to a technique called "Mini Photography" (or something like that) where you manipulate photos to look like miniature models. I've been playing around with it to varying success. Here's a couple of examples.

Same photo as above with a different twist.

Possibly my best effort to date.

See you in about a week with some new pics a real tall tales of the Northern Wilderness.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

DOG DAYS - (and nights)

Ah yes it's the dog days of Summer (and Derek and Jeanna). This weekend Jo and I are blessed with a visit from all the grandpuppies. On Thursday I rendezvoused with Jeanna on a secluded road on the outskirts of Mount Horeb to pick up the kids, Tina and Snoopy. Seems as how Saffron was taking Mom and Dad to Chicago to catch a couple of Cubs games and the pups needed a friendly place to stay for a few days. The transfer was made, Saffy woke up long enough to give Grandpa a sly little smile and went back to that baby dreamland where Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Toothfairy and babysitting Grandpas dwell. Friday I saddled up the Honda and headed North to meet Sally to make a similar pickup at a Dairy Queen in Wabasha, Minnesota, home of the National Eagle Center and location for the film "Grumpy Old Men". (Seemed like a logiacal place for someone who likes eagles and is an old, not too grumpy, man) This weekend Sally was taking Uncas to Duluth for his sister's wedding and puppy, Sammy, needed a friendly place to wag his tail for a few days. The switch from one Honda to another was so smooth that Sammy was hardly aware of the change until we drove off and left his beloved mommy standing outside the Dairy Queen spooning up a Blizzard. After the required time of whining and looking out of the window Sammy settled in for some rest to prepare himself for some good-natured jousting with cousin Snoopy. The trip back to Fennimore, although the weather and scenery were beautiful and wildlife spotting was plentiful, was marred by my good friends, the Cubs. I had lost the WGN (Chicago) broadcast of the game but was unfortunate enough to tune in to the Minnesota broadcast. Well they certainly didn't candy-coat the Cubs play (or lack of, or lack luster, or just plain crappy). Once again the Cubs managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Back home Tina and Snoopy anxiously awaited my return with cousin Sammy. Upon our arrival all @#$% broke loose Sammy jumped on Snoopy and the two didn't stop a bumping, jumping open-jawed rough house that made WWF Wrestlers and Ultimate Fighters look like the University of Chicago Chess Team. In the mean time, Tina managed to use her best hiding tactics and stayed clear of the younger combatants. Somewhere around 10pm a time out was called (actually I think it was more of a rejuvenation period) and all three "pups" and Grandpa took a breather. Bedtime approached and sleeping arrangements were made . . . everyone in one bed. Tina found a safe haven curled up between Grandpa's legs while Tina, Sammy and Grandma jockeyed for comfy positions in the remaining ninety seven percent of the bed. Things finally quieted down, that is until, about 2:30am, when Sammy felt that it might be funny to stir things up a little by jumping on Snoopy and barking a little. Grandma, in her Grandmaish, wisdom thought that they might need to go out and out they went. That did the trick. The fresh air perked everyone up a little while before the gentle snores of Tina and Grandma once again filled the room . . . for at least two more hours. Well it's Saturday and everyone had a early morning nap, a hardy breakfast and, in some cases, a long walk. (Grandpa and Tina opted for a short walk and some quiet time alone) Things have pretty much quieted down for a while as we prepare for the next round of "Death Duel 2". Saffy and her folks are still in Chicago and are hoping to cheer them Cubs on to a victory today. (There is a possibility that if they lose again, Saffron may be banned from attending future games. Her record is 0 and 2) Watch for her out in the Bleachers today wearing her little pink cubs outfit. Tomorrow Saffy and family return to Wisconsin and Jo and I are bringing Tina and Snoopy home then Monday I'm off to the Twin Cities to return what's left of Sammy. If there's any outstanding stuff on the trip you'll hear about here. (It will be kind of a "Hear, Here")

Sammy stands watch while Grandpa,
Snoopy and Tina recharge their batteries.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I Knew It Was True!

As some of you may,or may not know, I'm a huge fan of the TV show Lost. I have been listening to the news lately concerning the "disappearance" of Air France Flight 447. Could the lost plane fallen into a similar situation as Oceanic Flight 815? Are there a remnant of survivors wandering about on a mysterious island in the South Atlantic? Are there "Others" on the island? I saw a photo of the two Americans that were passengers on the ill-fated flight and they are easily good looking enough to be lead characters in an island drama. With the original TV series ending after next season, could another major network be working on a new show to replace it? As the reports continue to roll in things get more and more intriguing. Much like the show, the story has taken on a real international flavor. Air France tied to KLM (Dutch) is involved in a possible deal with Alitalia (Italian) and Airbus recently opened an assembly plant in China, a flash of light was (allegedly) sighted by a Spanish pilot, the American couple lived in Rio and, to top things off, David Caradine was found hanged in Thailand, Osama bin Laden (location unknown)released a statement almost simultaneous to Barack Obama's speech in Cairo, Egypt and a topless coffee shop in Vassalboro, Maine burned to the ground. (pun intended) If this doesn't stink of all the ingredients of a blockbuster TV series I don't know what does. I agree that it may not achieve the excellence of "I'm a Celebrity... Get Me out of Here!" but, it might get close.The plot seems to write itself. I can see it now. A Brazilian/American couple have washed up on the beach of an uncharted island (they had to wash up because they floated onto the beach in a 12 mile oil slick caused by the crash). In the tradition of good old Yankee Enterpreneurism, the couple soon realize that they have landed in one of the few places on earth without a Starbucks coffee shop. Franchise arrangements were made and they opened shop in a deserted, haunted inn that was previously owned by eight or ten of the Caradine brothers who had leased it from eight or ten Baldwin brothers. Their clothes were ruined by the oil slick, so they had no choice but to operate topless. This made little difference because their main (only) customer was a marooned Spanish pilot who had recently been blinded by an intense light flash in the sky. Other episodes could involve a peg-leg pirate with a kid seeking treasure, an Englishman with a native pal seeking a white whale, a FedEx guy with a volleyball seeking a topless coffee shop and one titled "Hey watch where you point that cappuccino thing". I don't know about you but I'm really looking forward to the season finale of this series!
Check your local newspaper for time and channel!