Friday, September 23, 2016

Day Two...

...perfect summer weather...on the first day of fall.

That board is actually at the Rosemont Inn where we've stayed before...

...we stopped by just to see if they were still in business...they are...but one of the things that becomes obvious if you hang around Satugatuck as the years click on by is places change hands pretty frequently.

Case in point...The Twin Gables b&b is where we stayed eleven years ago on our honeymoon, and they are now the newly renovated Hotel Saugatuck.


They open in the next week or two and the makeover is astounding...I grieve the loss of the old, 1800's victorian style decor that defined that historic building, but the new renovation is strictly top end WOW...the rooms are luxurious and will have the $270 to $550 a night price tag to prove it.

I hope they make it, but in a few years they may be under new ownership with a new name...happens all the time 'round here.

Some cool stuff from our wanderings about town yesterday...
included this because it's a rare sight near downtown Saugatuck...if you've ever spent an hour circling the blocks trying to find a parking space you'll appreciate the import of completely empty streets...

I like the optical illusion of the mask's "pupils"...just holes in the pegboard on which it hangs but it makes it seem like she's watching over the shelf of stuff below...
cool sign...didn't go inside the store but love the old car door advertising ploy...

sweet michigan map backs on these adirondack chairs...

lunch at the blue marlin...make that the mermaid...but this hangs in their lobby...

advertised as the world's strongest coffee...would have tried it but at $21 per bag it wasn't worth risking death by caffeine...
saw this statue in someone's yard in Douglas and had to take a pic...henceforth he's known as "granite man"...wonder what the real title is?
a view of lake michigan...the water level is much higher than the last time we stayed in the Saugatuck / Douglas area...
Karen looking fabulous as always and ready for the morning meal...
...and me, proving I've reached the age where I look better from a distance...ah 60!  how I detest thee...

Breakfast over, now off to packing then headed back home...

Later, mcm fans...


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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Happy...

...Anniversary...no, this is not a picture of Karen bailing me out of jail...this is a cell below the Coral Gables restaurant we investigated after supper last night.

So what's that got to do with happy anniversary?  We're spending a couple of days in gay old Saugatuck at a very nice Bed and Breakfast, The Twin Oaks...
Happy to report the accommodations are hospitable...beautiful old home from the 1860s, tastefully updated and within walking distance of all the shops downtown.

So how have I started this mini-vacation?
The same way I start every day, checking on Notions...only my surroundings are a bit more welcoming than usual.  (I'd offer up some lame apologies to my wms coworkers but they'll never read this anyway,)

This is a gorgeous old home...love their fireplace in the common area:

Hoping I can convince them to light a fire before we leave...

Ran into an old friend while we were out and about last night:
Haven't seen the Captain in ages...I spend more time with Mr. James Beam now, but back in the day the Cap' and I enjoyed some good times.

We'll see what today brings...probably some shopping, browsing the antique mall, might even roll a few games and the former Lakeshore Lanes (under new management now and can't remember their new name)...as the old saying goes, the afternoon knows what the morning never suspected, so I'll report back later with the exciting news.

Later, mcm fans...


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Sunday, September 18, 2016

By The Light...

...of the silvery moon...except this ain't June...just a Friday night shot of the rising moon over the rooftops.

har·vest moon
noun
  1. the full moon that is seen nearest to the time of the autumnal equinox.

So I guess it's the remnant of 2016's harvest moon since the equinox happens this week on Thursday, September 22nd.

Either way it's been beautiful the last few nights...always amazes me to look up and realize we actually sent humans up there almost fifty years ago.



If you'd asked me on July 20, 1969 when Neil Armstrong did his "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" thing - which I watched as a 12 year old on Chebeague Island with my engineer dad who used to work for Thiokol in the 60's - I'd have told you we'd have colonized the moon by now.  Fifty years?  Plenty of time.

File that under the same heading as Back To The Future's vision of what 2015 would be like with flying skateboards, cars, etc.

This past week we had a farewell lunch for our WMS project manager Annette...a few lunchtime pics at Wild_Hare Manor:




...missing from these pics is John Van Dyke...ironic, since he's the senior member of our team and the one who came inside and suggested it would be a good idea to take some...

Another Kris Walworth original drawing on our work whiteboard...this one celebrating the onset of the autumn season:

So this weekend we called a truce on the Garage War...truth is we're winning and within the next couple of weeks we'll have a) junk removed b) expendable good stuff given away, and c) good stuff we're keeping put away and everything in its place.

Friday night we watched LA Confidential again, mainly to see Russell Crowe's dynamite portrayal of officer Bud White...Kim Basinger got best supporting actress, but Crowe stole the movie in my humble opinion.


Saturday we awoke to rain...I trekked to Allendale for breakfast with a friend, then Karen and I did the martinis and bikinis thing once Mr. Sun showed up in the afternoon.


That night we watched "Now, Voyager", a popular movie from 1942 starring Bette Davis and Paul Heinreid...




...can't hold a candle to Casablanca.

Today flew by without getting much accomplished...thinking about putting in a vent free fire log set in our fireplace in the family room...drove to Watsons on  29th street where we bought the last one currently in our basement...and they don't sell them anymore.

After striking out on that we just chilled in the backyard, ending the day with a fire in the chiminea...



Sunset at 7:46 tonight...wasn't so long ago it was after 9 pm before Mr. Sun went to bed...heavy sigh...

Later, mcm fans...


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Sunday, September 11, 2016

8:46 AM...

...and the flags are at half mast...in honor of those who died on this day, fifteen years ago.


We are a changed nation, a different world....may God strengthen us and give us courage, perseverance and clarity as we struggle against a violent, perverse, godless ideology of world domination.

A heartfelt thanks to all those who portrayed courage despite its deadly consequence.  They are indeed heroes.

================================================================

It will be interesting on this opening Sunday of the NFL to see if any of the clueless millionaires playing an adolescent game will be moronic enough to join Colin Kaepertwit in his mindless "protest" against the country that gives him the freedom to publicly expose his stupidity without official censure.

Will all those with the lowest IQ's and the highest commitment to self-absorption please take one step forward?

Since stupidity is God's way of thinning the herd, I hope those that are so inclined do indeed proceed with their plans for career suicide.

On 9/11.

Unbelievable, but good riddance.

================================================================

This weekend has been more of the Battle of the Garage, and yesterday's crazy Michigan weather did not help.  Is it sunny or is it rainy?  It's both, several times throughout the day.

So progress was limited, but today should be better...we need some real estate to move stuff so we can organize the "give away" and "put away" piles...we'd prefer to not have that stuff drenched in a fall rain if at all possible.

While sorting through the holiday stuff I paused to admire the fading glory of our back yard...
...not sure how the jack-o-lantern candle holder got stuck back there but I suppose it's seasonally appropriate...well, getting there...

Watched a good movie last night...

...a real nail-biter with some very fine acting.  Russell Crowe is amazing as officer Bud White, a volcano of righteous anger and dispenser of street justice.  Kevin Spacey gives his usual slick, jaded, sophisticated turn as a man caught in a moral dilemma.  Guy Pearce is intense as the by-the-book cop in the midst of corruption, but adds depth with his intelligence and commitment to the truth.  And Kim Basinger gives a superb, Oscar winning performance as a fallen woman who finds her way out of a life of abuse.

It's intense but worth a look.

Later, mcm fans...


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Saturday, September 3, 2016

And Now A Word...

...from our favorite Ancient Otherworldly Oracle, Yoda...artwork courtesy of the talented Kris Walworth.

He graces us with occasional masterpieces on one of our whiteboards at work.  I always check to see what his latest inspiration has been, but sadly did not start photographing them until this one.

In any event, the origin of Labor Day dates back to 1894 when Congress established the first Monday in September as a holiday to honor the contributions of the American worker to "the strength, well-being and prosperity of our country".

If Yoda is good with it, I'm good with it, so enjoy the holiday devoted to honoring labor by taking a respite and surcease from it.

Me, I'll be crying in my locally brewed craft beer (hey, it's Labor Day so you hafta support local businesses) thinking about the end of summer and what surely follows.

Used to love the fall season best...so pretty with cooler temps, football, halloween...

If the Great Gatsby likes it, I like it...but the problem is what follows, and the older I get the less I can tolerate Ol' Man Winter.  He's akin to one of your rude, loud, thoughtless relatives that leaves the door open, tracks in mud and snow on his boots and overstays his welcome.  Hello, it's getting late, time is up, time to go now...

Yeah, I know all you skiers, ice skaters, snowmobilers and hockey fans beg to differ...

...but in my world, this weekend represents this:


...summer packing her bags and heading for the station like a spurned lover...if we're lucky, she'll return eight or nine months from now...

Took Friday off to make this a 4 day weekend, and so far so good...Thursday night we sat by the fire for awhile then retreated to the theater room to watch "Forget Paris".


...an excellent movie with Billy Crystal and Debra Winger...unique in that it's an hilarious comedy that gives a very serious and thoughtful treatment of the subject of marriage.  Probably the most realistic movie I've seen when it comes to the challenges of blending two separate lives into one successful union.  I highly recommend it.

Yesterday we ran some errands then spent much of the day attacking the clutter in our garage...made some real progress but much more to go...amazing how much stuff we've collected over 11 years.

Last night we rinsed and repeated with the fire and movie concept, but this time we watched one of the best movies ever made, Casablanca:

Seen it more than a dozen times and always love it...some of the best movie lines ever spoken are contained in this film, including of course the best last line in a movie, ever:

"Louis, I think this is the beginning of beautiful friendship."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Saturday turned into a busy day spent cleaning the garage, something we said we were NOT going to do over the holiday weekend...do we know how to party on the last weekend of summer or what?


...what a mess, but there is progress believe it or not...we'll spend a good part of today and much of next week continuing this process...we did get my weights moved to the back of the garage where formerly there was so much clutter you couldn't walk.

Saturday night we skipped the fire, but cued up City Slickers as our movie entertainment choice...

...another hilarious Billy Crystal movie...he made a string of them in the late 80's and through the 90's.  Jack Palance as "Curly" won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor...rare for a comedy.

This morning I discovered Mr. Bolts had moved from the back to the front of the garage, an obvious attempt at escape...

This is the thanks I get for providing a safe haven for the unfortunate result of a grave robbing experiment gone horribly wrong?  Kids these days...

At least the goldfish still seem thankful for room and board...

...as do the winged fowl of the wild that frequent our bird feeder...


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Battle of the Garage continues...
Karen wandering amid the carnage...
Me sitting morosely, overwhelmed by the task at hand.
(if you know your Hollywood history, you recognize Buster Keaton and his classic pork pie fedora)

It may appear as if we're losing the battle, but this, believe it or not, is progress...big piles of junk to be hauled away and other good stuff to be given to Goodwill...what's left will be stored neatly in half the space...we're committed to cutting the amount of Christmas and Halloween decorations in half...so we press on.

In the meantime Mr. T's new home is sitting in the driveway...

...so far we've had great weather so no problem having him sleep outside...

Tonight we'll have one more fire to kiss the holiday goodbye and then it's back into the fray at shangri-la...

Later, mcm fans...


* Crass Commercialism Corner *

In the "so convenient you can't stand it" department, you can purchase my books on Amazon.com and Createspace.com!  I promise* you'll be a better person for it!

[* not an actual promise.  some exclusions apply.  valid yesterday only.]

Get your paperback books here:



Get your ebooks here:



Thank you!