We Voted

There were a few state Supreme Court judges up for reelection, but mostly this was a county/local election.  There was also one state-wide referendum about allowing local townships to exempt 100% of the property assessment instead of the current 50%.  If it passes, I’d be surprised if it lowers my property taxes more than ~ $200, but every little bit helps.

We had no trouble finding the municpal building in which we were supposed to vote, but, initally we were directed to the ground level polling station.  Whoops — wrong one.  Our district votes in the basement, around the other end of the building.  Whatever.  We found it, and our names were in the books.  We did have to produce photo ID.  YEA!  That’s a good thing!

OMG, the spread those women laid out wasn’t just leftover Halloween candy in a bowl like our previous polling place had, but was all manner of home baked muffins, brownies. cookies, etc., along with some store bought pretzels, on a jam packed 8′ long folding table.  I snagged a mini blueberry muffin on my way out, which was terrific.  Also on my way out, one of the women handed me a grape Blow Pop, along with an “I voted” sticker.  I put the sticker right above the Spam logo on my fleece vest (from the Spam Museum in Austin, MN).  The woman asked “Spam, the meat”?  Yup.  She grew up eating it like my parents did.  I think it’s yucky, but mostly because I like my pork smoked for hours, and pulled, with BBQ sauce, or ground, with the right herb/spice mix to make it into classic b’fast sausage.  Smoked ribs rock my socks, too.  The only thing that was missing from that spread was bacon.  Wow.  I love this polling station!

Stella Glasses

Stopped by a local deli that sells beer to pick up a 12-pack of Yuengling, and happened to notice three Stella Artios glasses on a shelf behind the checkout counter.  Mentioned to the woman who’s always there manning the counter how pristine they looked.  I think the Stella glasses with the gilt rim are awfully cool looking, compared to ordinary pint glasses sporting the brewer’s logo (although the Victory Brewing “Hop Devil” ones we bought from our favorite local pub have the cutest looking green devil with earrings).

The checkout woman and I know each other by sight, but not by name.  She’s a sweetheart.  She said it was a promo, and one of the glasses is a giveaway with a purchase of a six of Stella.  So, I added one six of Stella to my 12 of Yueng, and she gave me all three glasses, claiming she was dying to get rid of them to make room for another display.  SCORE!  Those three glasses are going to downstairs in our basement “man cave” rec room, on the shelf behind the wet bar. That significantly lowers the odds of any of them getting broken.  I’ll wash and dry them by hand, so the gilt stays intact as long as possible.

On another note, because we had gotten back from Cape May yesterday afternoon, I had nothing planned for dinner, so we went to our fave local pub for lagers and nachos.  My lager came in a Yuengling pint glass, so I asked our waiter if I could buy it.  I know they will occasionally sell them if a patron asks.  In the past, they’ve charged a couple of bucks, which is quite reasonable compared to what the brewery would sell them for, then add on shipping, and it’s not worth it.  Our waiter went to check, and came back with a price of $1 for the Yueng glass, so I asked him to add it to our bill.  The regular bartender is an older guy who is either the owner, or a partner in the place.  Wait staff always has to check with him first.   Fair enough.  If the answer is “no,” I’m not going to steal it.

Anyway, our waiter offered to bring it back to the kitchen to rinse it out for me, but I declined, knowing I was going to toss it in the dishwasher when we got home, so he brought out a paper bag in which to wrap it.  Our favorite waitress was on duty at the time, and came by to say “hi,” but she wasn’t waiting our booth that evening.  FWIW, never gyp the wait staff on a tip at any joint at which you are a regular, and they will do their best to accomodate your request, if it’s a reasonable one.

Two days, four new beer glasses, at a whopping cost of $1, beyond the cost of the beer itself.  Can’t beat it!  All that on top of a four day getaway to Cape May off-season, with our dog … life is good.

Cape May Sunrise

From being beneath the tree line to clearing it, this sunrise happened within ~90 seconds.  These shots were taken at the Cape May Lighthouse state park on Nov. 1, from the observation deck at the eastern end of the parking lot.  This is my favorite place to watch a sunrise.  These are completely unretouched; they’re just what my Nikon DSLR caught when I kept snapping every few seconds.  It’s not even that good a camera.


No, that’s not a euphemism for Jesus.  When I bought this farm, we knew damned well there was going to be a problem with Canada Geese down by the pond, and in the adjacent low lying field.  After checking out the prices of solar amber strobe lights to screw down into the dock, I decided it’d be cheaper to get a couple of coyote decoys.

We have not seen a Canada Goose land in our yard since May.  Over the summer while they’re molting, they can’t fly, so that wasn’t much of a test.  But, they should have been all over the place a month ago, like they were last year.  Nope.  Not a one.  Oh, they fly over in large flocks, but they do not land here anymore.

Our neighbor said the geese used to be all over the place before we bought it, and was wondering what the difference was.  Told him about the coyote decoys.  He asked whether they worked.   Apparently, they do.  It’s really nice to be able to walk around the pond without having to dodge the icky sticky green and gray goose poo.  And, it’s better than having my dog nearly dislocate my shoulder, running after them.

I only have anecdotal evidence, but that $50 I spent on decoys really does seem to be doing the trick.

AFAIK, Tricky Nicky is only spewing his own special brand of hate at gays, and people with whose religion he doesn’t agree.  *yawn*

Dirt Man and S-I-L

Our local dirt man was supposed to come by at 8:30a, but was here half an hour early with his dumptruck load.  Dirt is cheap; labor is not.  Cash under the table works.  It’s like the old days of “fix my broken wrist, and I’ll give you two chickens.”

After the dirt delivery, my other half shredded the knees and a pocket of his jeans moving the stuff around with the front end loader.  Good  dirt delivery, but his old jeans are air now conditioned around the knees and left pocket.  Normally, we would repurpose them for dipstick or grease rags, but my sister in law has a thing for patching up old jeans with hippie dippy things.  I can’t  wait to see what those  jeans look like when we get them back.  Psychodelic, man …

More Tractor Supply Goodness

I LOVE this place.  As its name implies, it does have tractor parts, which we occasionally need, but it also sells other related things, like feed, fencing, saplings, and … some clothing.

For several years, I’ve wanted to find a good pair of overalls that will stand up to rain, dirt, snow, etc.  TSC had a fantastic pair of winter ones in my size.  Good price, too, for quilted lining duck cloth ones.  The inseam is a couple of inches short on me, barefoot, but it won’t matter over a pair of pac or hunting boots.  And, yeah, they’ll fit fine over a couple of layers of normal winter clothing.

It’s not the best time of year to plant fruit trees, but we finally found the ones we wanted last Spring:  Kieffer pear (has to be cooked), Bartlett pear (edible raw), and Honeycrisp apple.  TSC ran out of Honeycrisp whips last Spring, but the one we got today is at least twice the size, and well branched, so I’d call it a good sized sapling.  In fact, all three of the fruit trees we got are good sized saplings.

And, yeah, we picked up a couple of tractor parts while we were at it.

Jury Duty

I haven’t gotten stuck with jury duty in almost 30 years.  Bingo bango, I suddenly got hit with a jury duty notice to be on standby for the one week this year that I’m going to be out of state on the first real vacation I was going to have in years.  Haven’t had a real vacation that didn’t involve family obligations in several years, so it would really suck the wind right out of the clouds to have to cancel it (and lose my 50% upfront deposit) to be “on standby” for jury duty.

No, I didn’t cancel my vacation, and forfeit the 50% I paid upfront to the B&B.  I took a wait and see approach, and filled out the jury duty form, checking off all the boxes that didn’t disqualify me, but requested a deferral.  All I did was simply state that I was going to be out of state that week, but didn’t want to shirk my civic duty, and asked whether it could be rescheduled for another week.  I stated nothing about being on vacation, and having to forfeit half the cost of it if they didn’t honor my request.  The form states that “your request may be denied.”

I got lucky.  The county granted my request to reschedule.  So, my vacation will happen.  But, in exchange, instead of being on standby for an entire week, I’ll end up getting assigned for one particular day, TBD by the powers that be who schedule these things.  I’ve done jury duty before.  It sucks, and involves a lot of waiting around.  I think I’ll bring a Mary SanGiovanni book.

Knowing when you need to show up is better than having to call some number every night to find out whether your juror number is on the “get here tomorrow morning” list.  Besides, if you’re on standby, you will end up having to go to the courthouse for jury duty one of those days, so knowing ahead of time which one is a good thing.

Baby Got Back

The loaner car my dealer let me have for a week was super sweet.  It was a 2017 S90 T6 AWD.  Nice.  Very nice, but it’s bigger than I’m used to driving, and I was never quite sure how far to pull into a parking space.  Its turning radius was pretty good for a car that had that long a wheelbase, but still …

I test drove one of those before deciding on a zippier S60 T6.  The S90 I got stuck with for a week while my car was in the dealer’s service department to fix an oil leak that never should have happened on a new car was fine, but I’m glad I didn’t buy one.  Kudos to my dealer for giving me a loaner at no cost, without my having to ask for one.

Oh, man, am I so happy to have my car back!  So, I turned in the big ass one for my own that doesn’t have so much back.  I got my midsized baby back.  How many people actually love the car they drive?  I do, and my mom does, or she wouldn’t insist that we drive it to visit her, and ferry around in it to take her out shopping.  She has her own car, and a license to drive it, but she’s afraid to go anywhere farther than half a mile from her place.  Frankly, she should be afraid to drive.  The last time I was a passenger in her car, with her driving, she was going to pull out right in front of a motorcyclist until I yelled “STOP!”  That was two years ago.

So, yeah, I’m thrilled to have Helga back.  Yippee skippee!

Best Neighbor

Apparently, while the solar eclipse was working its way over my part of the country, I was busy fobbing off a whole bunch of freshly picked produce from our kitchen garden on my neighbor.  Here, it never got any darker than ordinary afternoon cloud cover.  Much to my relief, when I handed him the basket over his pool fence, he picked out half of it, put it in a bucket, and handed me back my basket.

Apparently, their garden is a bust this year.  His basil started off well, then turned yellow and died.  The groundhogs are getting his tomatoes and eggplant.  Our herb garden is separate from our kitchen garden, but the basil is going ballistic.  Told him to come on over any time he wants to grab some, and told him exactly where our herb garden is.  He can have all the rosemary, thyme, and oregano he wants, too.  We can’t use it all.  Doubt he’ll take me up on it, but I wouldn’t have offered if I minded him raiding the entire herb garden.

We’ll give him some tomatoes, later, because the groundhogs got his crop.  They got some of ours, too, but we have enough to share with the critters, and our neighbors.  The crop’s a couple of weeks late.

FWIW, this is the same neighbor who brought us a load of sheep shit, for free, drops off free range eggs every so often, also for free, and all he asks is that we chicken sit for him while they’re gone for a week, because his SIL is terrified of the chickens.  I’m pretty sure the reason our crops are doing so well this year is because of the sheep shit.  Fantastic neighbor!