Monday, June 29, 2015

Lucky...

...Me...Karen in one of her "Stop Staring" dresses...she wore this to a recent wedding up north.  Here's another pic:
Same dress, this time at the reception.  Here's a pic of Karen and her two lovely daughters:
That's Amy on the left, Sarah in the middle, and Karen on the right.  I am surrounded by beautiful women!  As I said, Lucky Me...

While they were attending the wedding, I was holding down the fort at home...went to the store to buy some beer, and the good folks who make their living on Madison Avenue in the advertising biz scored a direct hit:
I am not a Budweiser drinker, and never drink beer from cans...but I bought a six of these...God Bless America...who knew that drinking beer could be so patriotic?

And to make matters even worse, I also bought this bottle of 3 Olives Vodka...not because we drink 3 Olives Vodka...never had it before...but just had to have this bottle:
Madison Avenue thrives on pigeons like me.

So it was a very quiet weekend with everyone up north at a wedding and me doing the bachelor thing at home.  If I really was a bachelor, I'd undoubtedly have a routine...but I'm not, so I did some wandering around my empty house wondering what I should do next.

Besides trying to catch up on some work related issues, I also watched a couple of movies I haven't seen in a while but really like...Robocop,,,

...and Man On Fire.


I'm turned off by the over the top violence in Robocop, but the underlying theme of humanity lost in a tidal wave of evil, then regained in a triumph of good has always grabbed me.  There's a scene in the movie when Robocop is dealing with his partially recovered memories...he visits his old house, remembers his wife and son from his previous life, and is enraged by the overwhelming loss.

But the real tearjerker is Man On Fire, where virtually every main player gives outstanding performances, none better than Denzel Washington.  Both of these are definitely worth a look if you haven't seen them.

The gardens continue to bloom...this past weekend we were blessed with more lilies...
more orange lilies popped this week

yellow lilies in bloom

Love summertime in Michigan...

Later, mcm fans...


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer...

...Solstice...about 23,000 people showed up at Stonehenge this morning to watch the sunrise.  Personally I would have been more likely to visit this:
...not as crowded and a bit more clever.  Dubbed "fridge-henge", it was constructed by two guys getting ready to recycle a bunch of old refrigerators...not quite as steeped in mystery as its older brother but still visually interesting.

So now we formally begin summer, and the long, slow slide back into winter as the days start getting shorter again.  I'm so happy I could spit.

This was also father's day weekend but I'm not going to wax philosophical on this subject as I have in the past.  I heard from 3 of my 5 sons of their own accord...one I kind of prodded by texting him first...the other son and I are what I guess you would call "estranged".  Such is life.  I told all of them at different times I hoped they would be able to overcome the horrors of their suburban, middle class upbringing.  That's what therapists are for, right?  We soldier on.

This was my breakfast of champions on Saturday...chips, ground beef, cheese, a fried egg, and hot salsa...oh yeah, that's the stuff....washed down with a good Modelo beer.  Ready to face the day...

...and since for the first time this summer season we actually had warm, sunny weather on the weekend, we spent a lot of it outside...I loaded my vintage coke cooler with ice and refreshments, turned on our low power AM broadcast station (tune into AM 1000 if you're ever within a hundred feet of my place) and chilled with our retro tunes for much of both Saturday and Sunday.

Of course the weekend wasn't all play...I also did some useful work:

...I repainted my mack truck cigar ashtray...black wooden stand, metallic silver ashtray.  It was a tough job but someone had to do it.

The backyard continues to flourish...our first lily popped up this week:
I love lilies...they are so beautiful...we also have yellow ones about to bloom.  Still waiting on the black eyed susans and daisies to make their appearance...then summer will have officially arrived.

So now it's approaching 11 pm and almost time to kiss the weekend goodbye...

Later, mcm fans...

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Congratulations...

...Amy!  Amy Wirgau graduated from Baker College with a degree in Radiologic Technology this past week and I am very proud of and happy for her.  She worked hard to achieve this goal and I know she'll do well.

Ok, so that's not the best picture of Amy, but I chose it for two reasons:  1) she has a beautiful smile that lights up a room, and you can see that in this picture, and  2) she's always in motion, moving forward toward her goals.

Plus that was her walk past us on her way up to the stage to receive her degree...it's a "moment" that should be saved and celebrated.

Here's a better shot of Amy.  This was taken the night before graduation at her pinning ceremony, when all the graduates of the Radiologic Technology department received their pins:
She's a beautiful young lady...Congratulations, Amy!

I must say I was impressed with the graduation ceremony of Baker College in Muskegon:
They don't bill themselves as a Christian college, but everyone from the President down to the students accepting awards gave thanks to the Lord for what was accomplished during their time at Baker.  You could not leave there without knowing there's a true reliance on God for what they're doing at that college.  Very impressive.

Later, mcm fans...

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Our Lady...

...of Mercy chapel...at the Lacks Cancer Center.  Had a recent scare with Karen's annual checkup, and spent some time in the beautiful chapel while she was undergoing additional tests.
So why is it we turn to God when we're in trouble or worried or scared, but otherwise figure we've got life handled by ourselves?  A minor study in the ignorance and arrogance of man, I suppose.  Thankfully all is well with Karen.

Summer is struggling mightily to escape Spring's recalcitrant grip, and it looks like this weekend it may actually succeed...eagerly anticipating some actual sunshine and warmer temperatures...in the meantime, the backyard continues to flourish:
the peonies in glorious bloom...
...and we continue to enjoy being outside as much as possible:
relaxing by the firepit in the evening...
enjoying a manhattan and a cigar by the pool...

Recently saw a 1956 Thunderbird and have been rethinking my "must have a 1956 Corvette" mantra:
That is a beautiful car, and they are typically 10's of thousands of dollars less expensive than their Corvette counterparts.  They were actually created to compete with the 'vettes of the mid 1950's, and for a while they outsold them.  Now all I need is to find $40k of loose cash hanging around that I don't need for anything in particular and I'll finally own that classic car...

In the "no particular reason" department, here's another exciting video about a day in the life of a vintage toy...


Later, mcm fans...

Monday, June 1, 2015

Coffin...

...bank...

...a knock off of the very popular "Thing Bank" of the mid 1960's.  "Thing", as you may remember if you're of a certain age, was the disembodied hand that lived in a box in the Addams' Family home, circa 1965.  John Astin (father of Hobbit actor Sean Astin) played Gomez Addams, patriarch of the lovable but macabre family.

Of the various toys and novelty items spawned by that series and the Munsters which ran during the same 1964-1966 time frame, the Thing Bank...

...was probably the most popular.  It naturally spawned various and sundry knockoffs, of which the generic "Coffin Bank" is one.  The Thing Bank is battery operated; the Coffin Bank is a windup toy.  I actually like it better.  Here are both of them in action.

The Thing Bank:

And here's the (better, in my opinion) manual Coffin Bank:

Can you tell this was a do nothing weekend??  More crappy, Michigan weather with temps in the 50's and wind chills in the 40's...but hey, it's only the end of May...what can you expect?  This is why we'll be moving within the next year or so, Lord willing.

Later, mcm fans...