Sunday, July 26, 2020

Looks Like Our Version...

...of the Redneck Riviera is just about complete.

We've got an Intex above ground pool and an Intex inflatable hot tub...

But before you laugh too hard, I have to say I'm now a fan of inflatable hot tubs.

They get great reviews on line for many reasons, not the least of which is they're inexpensive (about 1/7th the cost of traditional hot tubs), easy to set up (takes less than an hour) and simple to maintain (a chlorine floater does the trick).

Since they last between 3 and 5 years, that means you could replace them every few years for the next 20 years and still spend less than you would on a "permanent" one.

That adds up to some real savings...
never did learn how to use one of these things...

We had one of the expensive tubs at our last home, and you know what?

When you're sitting in the inflatable at night, it feels just as good as the traditional tub.

But, a couple of caveats...

1st, if you don't live in Dixie, these are 3 season hot tubs.

They can't be outdoors when the temps regularly drop below 39 degrees...can't take freezing weather and the heater wouldn't keep the water warm, anyway.

So if you like to sit outside in a hot tub with snow flakes gently falling on your eyelashes, this ain't your thang.

For us, that's just fine.  We tried the winter hot tubbing routine at our old house and didn't like it.

Come mid-October we'll either pack this one away until next April or move it indoors to our bonus room.

The 2nd caveat is this: they're advertised as a 4 person tub, but there's no way you'd comfortably get 4 normal sized adults in it.  It's really a 2 person tub, which is exactly what Karen and I wanted.

No offense, but I don't want to see you in your underwear, and I certainly don't want you snuggled up next me in a hot tub...that's private...

In my view, hot tubbing should always be a party for two...

...and this one accommodates that concept perfectly.

So here's to saving some serious cash on outdoor living!

Now...about that big blue tank in our backyard...

Yeah, you got me there.

I'm thankful for it in the heat...
a recent picture of me...

...but Lord willing we'll have an in ground pool next year...they're just prettier.

But I am keeping the hot tub... can bet your boots on it.

It's been awhile since I had anything good to report...
yep, that's my wooden play club...un-retired it this week and did pretty well...

...about my escapades on the links... I'm happy to say today went swimmingly.

Went back to gutta percha golf balls and hit my play club from the tees about 130 yards, my mid iron around 110, mashie about 85 and niblick around 50.

Even putted pretty well with Calamity Jane, and along the way I managed to snag a couple of pars and a couple of bogeys.

For *most* of the other holes I hung around double bogey.  (We shan't speak of the par 3 #7 hole.)

Walked off #9 after sinking a 1 footer for par and all was well with the world.

Enjoyed a lovely trip on the river recently courtesy of two dear friends...

...and Sharon

They were kind enough to invite us to their gorgeous home...

...and we enjoyed good conversation and refreshments on their pontoon and beside their beach.

A fabulous evening with a delightful couple.

Recent sightings...

see it?

natural camouflage makes it hard to tell but there's a squirrel in there

lilies are gorgeous this year...

...and wonderfully fragrant, too

(wo)man made rainbow from Karen watering the flowers

a turkey getting a drink from the bubbling rock fountain

wind chimes playing their enchanting song in the morning zephyr

Rose of Sharon in bloom

saved the best for beautiful great-granddaughter

And that dear readers is a wrap on this edition of the Atomic Monster Cafe.

As we plunge headlong into the last full week of July, I'd like to take this time to remind you of what's just ahead...

If you guessed, "an old silent movie - Million Dollar Mystery - from 1914" - well, no...but you've demonstrated an unexpectedly accurate grasp of silent movie history (how'd you manage that, anyway?)

But I'm afraid you've completely missed the point.

The train, see, is the month of August bearing down ominously and Norton there...well that's you laying around unprepared for what's coming, and Florence...well, lessee...Florence, well maybe you should stop trying to read so much into this.

I mean it's just a picture for crying out loud but it's a metaphor for the onrushing end of summer since August is just a week away.

I can tell you're not getting this so just forget the whole thing, but you'll be sorry...I tried to warn you...I did...

later, mcm fans...

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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Teaching The Manly Art...

pictures courtesy of Alec J. Arambula

...of self kids ages 5 to 12.

That's the goal of the MGGA (Michigan Golden Gloves Association) St. Mary's Boxing Club in Grand Rapids, Michigan with their Youth Camp program:

It's well known that boxing can be a great way to get physically fit, build confidence, and learn something useful about self-defense.
pictures courtesy of Alec J. Arambula

As the brochure states, this Youth Camp is 100% non-contact and runs on Saturdays from 10 am to 11 am until August 15th.  Cost is $50 per camper.
pictures courtesy of Alec J. Arambula

It's located at the St. Mary's Gym, 526 Broadway Ave NW in Grand Rapids, MI, 49504.

The gym is run by Tyler Wustman and Micah Hare, with an assist for the camp by coach Rudy Tewlde.

You can contact Tyler Wustman by phone at 269-509-1541 or you can email him at

The Michigan Golden Gloves website states, "Our objective is not only to build champions in the ring but also good citizens outside the ring. We know the many hours of hard work in the gym have assisted the boxers in developing self-discipline and good work ethics. These lessons will follow them long after their days of boxing."

So do your kids a favor, pull them away from their video games and TV programs, and sign 'em up for the MGGA St. Mary's Boxing Youth Camp.

They'll thank you for it.

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Saturday, July 18, 2020

Everyone Knows...

...the Zombie Apocalypse is the world's biggest fear, and for good reason.

But right on its heels in the Time To Panic department... the gut wrenching realization we're already half way through Summer!

Obvious implication?

Old Man Winter is lurking right around the corner, just waiting to pounce on us!

So forget about remaining calm...'s time to go a little crazy enjoying the 2nd half of the glorious summer weather.

A recent back breaking project involved leveling Patio Mountain...
hastily constructed by #4 son during our patio excavation process... Karen could create Patio Gardens in its place...
lovingly crafted by the Mistress of the Gardens...

...a beautiful transformation indeed.

Nice to see a plan come together.

A good course of action for this week's foray into the black arts of hickory golf might be to simply bow our heads for a moment of silence...

...but digging deep in search of a the bright side, I did actually enjoy my stroll through the beautiful countryside.

I could trot out some tired excuses, and perhaps stretching it a bit, one or two actual reasons for this disaster (see the previous section on leveling Patio Mountain)...

...but if you're anything like Karen, you've already skipped this part and are on to whatever's next... I shan't bore you with the details.

All I'll say is after using gutta percha golf balls for the past year, hitting ouimets with my hickories felt like golfing with miniature shot puts.

Next week it's back to my beloved gutta perchas and my mid-iron.
even Sir Kitschalot could have golfed better than I did this week

We'll tee it up again and hope for better.

In the once around the horn department...

Mr. Tiny Bug (latin: pestius tinius) cavorting shamelessly with one of our flowers

a little better than "knee high by July"

when did they start rolling instead of baling hay?

Baltimore Orioles at our feeder

phlox in bloom

a rare rainy night

from Larry up north...looks like a Sugarloaf eruption...

a little truth from Ziggy by Tom Wilson and Tom II

an old favorite

a little more truth from the comic strip world

Want to radically change your world?  Try doing this:

"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

    - Ephesians 4:32

later, mcm fans

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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

Get your paperback books here:

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