Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A witness to a rarity

I lost. There it is.  I have been remiss in not congratulating Dickie the Peap for having won our latest golf grudge match this past Friday afternoon. After a spirited back and forth on the course, we walked away with me being down 2 strokes to the little miser. As a result of suffering this humiliation, the consequence was one of typical Dickie the Peap: me having to lay out a whole quarter (a quarter!) to the triumphant victor. Along with my quarter I offer heartfelt congratulations. You were the winner. You were the victor. You were the better player. For that day.

It's funny, though.   My prize, however, was much greater. What I took away was well worth the cost of the contest. Like witnessing an unsuspecting, majestic, African lion in the wild; the splitting of a cell under the eye of a microscope, or the pause of a hummingbird in mid flight, I witnessed an event of such epic proportion that I am sure I will carry with me for the rest of my life. It truly was a memorable moment.  You see, one of our rituals during this periodic battle of lousy golfers is that we first have a lunch and a couple of pre-golf beverages to relax the nerves in advance of  the pending battle.  One of the caveats is that we alternate the hosting duties for these lunches.  This particular day's responsibility fell upon the shoulders of the resident Big Spender.   Everything was going well; the food delicious, the conversation varied, the beverages satisfying as usual.  Our waitperson came by and  picked up the bill along with the barely used, like-new condition, 3 year old credit card   from El Cheapo meant to satisfy our responsibility to the restaurateur.  Upon her return, she placed the completed bill and card in front of me.  What happened next was truly a rarity. Imagine a frog that snares a bug with it's tongue from 12 inches away; a serpent that strikes a mouse with almost invisible swiftness, or the force that a machine spring exhibits after losing it's resistance.  That same type of reaction time, force,  and motion was what I witnessed by the exhibition of the arms of the little miser flying across the table to secure his card.  Any inanimate object in the path of flight would have surely been damaged, broken, or I am confident, possibly destroyed.  It was that quick.

For the price of a quarter, I know now what I am dealing with:  the raw, unharnessed, power of nature.   I just hate to think what happens if we increase the wager on our golf game .    

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I am currently engaged in  a battle with an unwelcome neighbor  whom is making my life quite unpleasant due to their habits.  We have now escalated to a point where I think some sort of weapon may become involved.

The neighbor in question is identified by their Latin name as "sturnus vulgaris", we know them as English starlings. They are not a particularly cooperative neighbor as I have had a couple of interactions  with them to keep the noise down and clean up after themselves.  They have subsequently ignored me and have kept on their noisy, dirty ways.  Now I do try to be neighborly with everyone and can overlook habits of others I don't care for. But, I draw the line on the constant bombardment of birdshit all around the compound  and am getting tired of the nuisance.  Some one told me that Starlings are basically flying rats and I am beginning to believe that.  They simply are not a pleasant type of bird. They are not particularly attractive and their song is not that melodic.  Anyways, I was on the roof of the compound last night with some bird wire to block the entrance under one of the dormer sections where a family has taken up residence. Mrs. Kfred is a bit sympathetic to the newly born: "What are they going to do?  Just starve?  That seems a bit cruel." I remind her she is the one complaining the loudest about the white spots all over the ground and pavement as a result of their actions.  " You're right.  Kill those bastards".  Your orders are my lifestyle, dear.

I will persevere to evict these unwanted vermin.  I am normally one that is fairly accepting and tolerant of others.  (Dealing with the short-armed One and the Rat Bastard for years has strengthened my level of tolerance.)  However, if the birdwire fails to do the trick, I am prepared to move to the next level. I am contemplating having Gummo, the Balloon Boy, sit on the roof in the peregrine falcon costume I recently had commissioned. He actually has experience with flight.

Monday, May 7, 2012

I am getting too old for this stuff

The FTI Landscaping and Maintenance team, Beauty And Restoration Keeping section (BARK),  which members are solely myself and Mrs. Kfred, spent the entire weekend moving 12 yards of material around the compound here.  And I am feeling every damn wheelbarrow full of it today.  

It has been 3 years since I purchased materials previously and it was beginning to discolor and rot into the ground.  Not to mention, it is very effective at holding down the weed growth in areas I don't want weeds, I decided to this year add some more bark.  I probably should have had the bark blown in off of the truck like the smart people do, but, I actually don't mind the work.  I like how the pile slowly goes down one shovel at a time while the beds are, suddenly and slowly,  brightened and brought back to life.

Looking at my progress so far, I am happy.  The compound looks refreshed, new, and very springlike.   The downside is that I still have a pile of bark has as big as when I started.  There are still more areas to cover.  Any my back isn't ready to go another 2 days worth right now.  I guess I will just have to appreciate the old look for a bit longer.  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

An example to follow

I note that a 2 year old Canadian boy has recently been inducted into the Mensa Society.  2 years old!  Apparently, the kid can recite the alphabet both forward and backward, and count to 1000, among other accomplishments.

The FTI talent acquisition team is targeting individuals such as this for our FTI mentorship program.  The reasoning is that with childlike prodigys like this as an example, our group might be able to advance beyond shoe lace tying basics and tackle the really hard tasks.  Like being able to wake up with dry big boy pants in the morning.