Thursday, January 11, 2024


It was under a cold cloudy sky with a fritter of snow in the air that Richard picked me up this morning.  After tracking down a couple cups of coffee and two carrot muffins at McDonalds in Goderich, we headed out on area roads to see what we could see and what worldly problems needed our immediate attention.  Our travels took us twice through the tiny burg of  Homesville and once through Ben Miller with a slight ricochet later off the north end of Bayfield.  Another few hours well spent.

With these cold, wet, and snowy gray days upon us now the sullen landscape hasn't left me with a lot of photo enthusiasm so again today I have had to rely on our front yard birds, squirrels, and a few Christmas decorations for color.  But hey, the first week of January is already behind us and next month at this time we will nearly be halfway through the shortest month of the year.  And, in late March we will be seeing the first beginnings of Crocus flowers pushing up through the melting snow:))))

With temps a few degrees above freezing, it was a wee smattering of wet snowflakes we had coming down at times this afternoon. (we have a winter storm warning for Friday)  I topped up the birdfeeders and moved a few pounds of wet slushy snow around.  I didn't really need to do that but I did that anyway.  I needed the exercise.  The rest of my day was spent in my sunroom recliner reading.  I am coming down the homestretch of my latest book, 'Two Years Before The Mast'.  It has been a long read and a long arduous two-year voyage from Boston Massachusetts, down around Cape Horn and up along the California coast taking in the ports of San Diego, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.  And then back to Boston again.  One of the nice things about factual books like this is the link of old and new technology.  This story took place in the early 1800s but with each physical place mentioned in their long sea journey, I can sit here in the comfort of my recliner and follow along on my Google Maps.  If the author is describing sailing along the California coast between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles I can zoom in and see the actual coastline they were sailing past.  I use Google Maps a lot of the time when I'm reading books with geographic locations and descriptions.  For example, if I were reading about the Battle of Gettysburg I could fly right down over the fields, forests, and rocks, where the battles took place.  Google Maps sure add a nice touch to reading:))

Facebook threw me a memory for today which led to a few other memories around the same time......It Just Felt Like A Chiricahua Mountain Kind Of Day and A Surprising Visit From The Montana Folks and Destination.....Parker Canyon Lake Arizona

Al's Music Box:)) Pretty Woman  is a song recorded by Roy Orbison and written by Orbison and Bill Dees. It was released as a single in August 1964.  The title was inspired by Orbison's wife, Claudette, interrupting a conversation to announce she was going out. When Orbison asked if she had enough cash, his co-writer Bill Dees interjected, "A pretty woman never needs any money."

GROANER'S CORNER:(( Here are some gift ideas for those special men in your life!  Buying gifts for men is not nearly as complicated as it is for women. Follow these rules and you should have no problems.

Rule #1: When in doubt – buy him a cordless drill. It does not matter if he already has one. I have a friend who owns 17 and he has yet to complain. As a man, you can never have too many cordless drills. No one knows why.

Rule #2: If you cannot afford a cordless drill, buy him anything with the word ratchet or socket in it. Men love saying those two words. “Hey George, can I borrow your ratchet?” “OK. Bye-the-way, are you through with my 3/8-inch socket yet?” Again, no one knows why.

Rule #3: If you are really, really broke, buy him anything for his car. A 99-cent ice scraper, a small bottle of deicer or something to hang from his rear view mirror. Men love gifts for their cars. No one knows why.

Rule #4: Do not buy men socks. Do not buy men ties. And never buy men bathrobes. I was told that if God had wanted men to wear bathrobes, he wouldn't have invented Jockey shorts.

Rule #5: You can buy men new remote controls to replace the ones they have worn out. If you have a lot of money buy your man a big- screen TV with the little picture in the corner. Watch him go wild as he flips, and flips, and flips.

Rule #6: Do not buy a man any of those fancy liqueurs. If you do, it will sit in a cupboard for 23 years. Real men drink whiskey or beer.

Rule #7: Do not buy any man industrial-sized canisters of after- shave or deodorant. I'm told they do not stink – they are earthy.

Rule #8: Buy men label makers. Almost as good as cordless drills. Within a couple of weeks there will be labels absolutely everywhere. “Socks. Shorts. Cups. Saucers. Door. Lock. Sink.” You get the idea. No one knows why.

Rule #9: Never buy a man anything that says “some assembly required” on the box. It will ruin his Special Day and he will always have parts left over.

Rule #10: Good places to shop for men include Northwest Iron Works, Parr Lumber, Home Depot, John Deere, Valley RV Center, and Les Schwab Tire. (NAPA Auto Parts and Sears Clearance Centers are also excellent men's stores. It doesn't matter if he doesn't know what it is. “From NAPA Auto, eh? Must be something I need. Hey! Isn't this a starter for a '68 Ford Fairlane? Wow! Thanks.”)

Rule #11: Men enjoy danger. That's why they never cook – but they will barbecue. Get him a monster barbecue with a 100-pound propane tank. Tell him the gas line leaks. “Oh the thrill! The challenge! Who wants a hamburger?”

Rule #12: Tickets to a football game are a smart gift. However, he will not appreciate tickets to “A Retrospective of 19th Century Quilts.” everyone knows why.

Rule #13: Men love chainsaws. Never, ever, buy a man you love a chainsaw. If you don't know why – please refer to Rule #8 and what happens when he gets a label maker.

Rule #14: It's hard to beat a really good wheelbarrow or an aluminum extension ladder. Never buy a real man a stepladder. It must be an extension ladder. No one knows why.

Rule #15: Rope. Men love rope. It takes us back to our cowboy origins, or at least The Boy Scouts. Nothing says love like a hundred feet of 3/8″ manila rope. No one knows why.




  1. Another great blog entry tonight as usual!! Very enjoyable and the photos were beautiful!! Thank you for your hard work getting this all around.
    Don in Okla.

  2. I like the abandoned RV in the field joke. Ha!

  3. Aha more beautiful juncos. And yes, google is a great adjunct to reading - maps, and many other wanted info.Wonderful.

  4. I like the big fat birds with tiny necks, enjoyed the mobile home idea also.