Saturday, May 1, 2021

Currently Under Construction...


 ...and coming along...slowly...my 1st putting green, that is.

So far I've removed the sod from a 6'x12' area, leveled the dirt and spread a layer of limestone gravel.

Next I wheelbarrowed about a yard of 3/8" crushed limestone on top of the base layer, wet it and then compacted it with a hand compactor 5x...


...and probably will again at least another 2 or 3x.

Would have been a heck of a lot faster and a ton less work to rent a plate compactor...


...but I did lose two pounds in the deal.

End result is supposed to be a smooth flat surface over which I'll spread some sand to fill in crevices and cracks.

After that I'll cut out a 4.25" hole for the cup.

Then the acid test: attaching the outdoor turf with landscape staples.

(I just laid the outdoor turf over over all that to get a sense of how level it is...and to take a picture.)

In preparation for making use of this work in progress once complete, here's the 1st tee...


A little rough at the moment, as our backyard needs a whole lotta tlc...but it's serviceable for now.

The green is a slight dogleg to the right, and will be a (hickory wiffle golf) par 4.

Together, they will comprise the 1st hole of the Ryan P. Hare Memorial Hickory / Wiffle Golf Course, with 3 more holes to be added by August, Lord willing.

More to come.


In the classic car department...


...I no longer own one.

Yep, Mr. T finally sold this past week, the proceeds of which to be used in the "martinis and bikinis" fund (read: in ground pool).

Had him for 6 years, and he inspired 8 "Papa's Model T" books...



Definitely going to miss him.

End of an era.


Making progress on Born Out Of Due Time...



...right at 23,000 words, headed for 27,000 to 30,000; solidly in the novella category.

With the "story within a story" structure it could easily blow up into much longer book but so far I've been able to resist that temptation.

Depending on the ending, I could leave it open for a follow up novella...still kicking that idea around.


Time to see what's playing at the local Drive-In Theater...


...ah, looks like that old classic, Parting Shots...

it's tulip time...



...in holland...



 ...and lots of out-of-towners are tulip peeping.





Al Bowlly, one of the great crooners of the '30's..."the very thought of you...and I forget to do...the little ordinary things everyone ought to do..."





beautiful spring day


love the shadow play of the oak trees in this picture



new bird feeder...



...getting some action.



the liberals of the plant world...bleeding heart flowers



It's closing time here at the AMC...



...so don't make us turn on the Giganta-Fan and blow all the riff raff out of here...



Go on, git!

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Friday, April 23, 2021

My Latest Project...



 ...a DIY backyard golf course...designed at no small expense by the prestigious firm of Wild_Hare Paper Plate Hickory Golf Course Professional Landscape Management Services, Inc., or WHPPHGCPLMSI for short.

The above is not the final rendering, of course...there's an inground pool slated to sit somewhere in the middle there which should serve nicely as a water hazard.

And with all the gopher holes that appeared at the end of last summer...


...there should be plenty of rough to avoid.

The heart of it will consist of 4 separate greens, each around 6' x 12'...


...with a low pile outdoor carpet surface.  That should give me plenty of 3' to 9' putts to practice.

Might not seem like much to you, but in my world anything over a foot is a crap shoot, so these greens should serve nicely.

I'll use my whiffle golf balls from the tees and in the fairways, then once on the green I'll swap them for my gutta perchas for a real putting experience.

With 4 greens and 4 tees, there are multiple combinations that will let me play 9 unique holes, using each green twice, and one green three times, for a par 32 or 33 course.

Depending on how this turns out, I could expand to the front yard next year...


...assuming Karen has left me by then for someone normal.

Stay tuned.



We have a number of stray / neighborhood cats who mosey on over for a bite to eat now and then, but one of the strays recently managed to worm his way inside...


...meet Buddy Tomcat Kitten, currently making himself at home on my side of the bed.

He'd been hanging around for a couple of months, out in the woods, seeking shelter under the She-shed at night, and then one day I noticed he was inside.

I questioned the Lady of the Manor closely as to exactly what her intentions were re: this wayward beast, to which she replied (and I'm quoting here for accuracy):

"Oh, never mind..."

Now my fears have been realized.

I've often said Karen's cats live and prosper under the protective umbrella of her love, and never has that been truer than with this latest addition.

Heavy sigh...


Writing continues to go well...


...as I flesh out the details of this short-story-turned-novella.

It's also become a story within a story so am currently searching for a new ending.

At least the creative juices are flowing again.


A quick spin through the parting shots department...

the mural was the best part



magnolia tree in bloom



recently had to shoo a vagrant away from my back patio



a young spiker stopped by for some corn



ain't it the truth



Time to pack it in for this edition of the AMC.

As always we appreciate your patronage, as well as your willingness to be so consistently disappointed.

Hey, it's not like we don't try, we're just not that good.

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

In the "so convenient you can't stand it" department, you can purchase my books here and on Amazon.com!

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Sunday, April 18, 2021

A Sad Delivery...



 ...yet a joyful reminder...of my son Ryan's current home in heaven.

His ashes arrived today in a very elegant urn, and once again I shed some tears for a life ended too soon.

It wasn't the driver's fault, but apparently there was some kind of issue with finalizing the delivery.

While she was checking details on her computer I mentioned the box she had contained the ashes of my 2nd son's cremated remains.

Without looking up from her computer she mumbled distractedly, "Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that..."

Her comment - intended to be kind no doubt - had all the sincerity of a milliner's compliment on how fabulous that $200 chapeau she's trying to sell you looks atop your bony noggin.

It reminded me of this stark reality:

Everyone has their issues, so you can't expect the world to be emotionally invested in yours.

Eventually she got it sorted, handed me the box, and went on with her day.

For my part, I've decided to keep Ryan's remains front and center...



...atop the focal point of the best room in the house.

It's too little too late of course, but for the time being they will serve as a reminder I need to pay less heed to the noisily urgent and more to the quietly important.

Something, regrettably, I did not do those years Ryan was daily in my care.



Some of the grandkids headed south recently...




...to warmer climes for a break from Michigan's chilly weather...



...where they enjoyed some sport fishing...






...and some pool time...





...and a whole lotta relaxing.

This is normally the part where I, as the pater familias of our wayward clan, trot out some lame stories about how tough things were when I was a lad...but I'm even less interested in doing that than you are in reading about it.

And that's saying something.


For whatever reason, I  have quite suddenly stumbled upon some creative energy...or perhaps more accurately, some creative recycling energy...


...and am in the process of turning one of my short stories into a novella.

Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I'm just plowing ahead - striking while the iron is still hot - in the hopes this actually leads to a decent story when all is said and done.

In any event, I am once again writing, which in my world is a good thing.


And that, dear reader, is going to have to suffice for this edition of the...


...I like that picture because I like old fashioned diners...all that shiny chrome with bright red stools and meals with names like Harry's Heartburn Heaven...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

In the "so convenient you can't stand it" department, you can purchase my books here and on Amazon.com!

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