14 September 2015

Monday Musings...
Welcome to another week here in the Heartland of America.
And, it was a very nice weekend, as far as the forecast went.
In the meantime, our Hoosierland weather will have us enjoying these wonderful pre-fall temps with a high today expected to reach into the mid-70s, and no precipitation to speak of.
Truth be told, our furnace kicked on overnight (thermostat was set to 70) because outside, it dipped into the mid-40s.
Got a bit on the "brisk" side.
Still, such weather tends to want to get you motivated a LOT more than sweltering heat, right?
So, let's get that motivation rolling this morning, as we get a cup or glass of our morning drink poured and look to this day...
*** First out of the sweater factory is our "What the hell happens today, Bob?" feature:
September 14 -
(it's a Philly word - that's called a "sub" to you Midwesterners, as well as many from NY)...call it an east-coaster thing...and damn tasty, especially if you use ITALIAN meats and cheeses with oil and mayo! Molto bene!)
(oh, the fun we could have with THIS one...and now much better some workplaces might be for the next 24 hours...HA!)
(Ah...well, we know where we can find a police officer, should we need one, right?)
Moving on...
*** We're going to TRY and keep things light today (because we had a niice yesterday), so let's get these crap-sandwiches out of the way first.
Now, you just KNOW you live in the ghettohood when you see something like THIS outside your house.
While you can't notice it directly, this "crew" was busy toking on joints (saw at least two being passed about), so we called the FWPD on them.
And naturally, AS SOON AS we called, they took off (like they KNEW), which leads me to believe that someone spent some serious money and maybe got a digital police scanner...how else can you explain it?
Anyway, the officer arrives and I go out to fill him in and I tell him the story.
He DID ask the all-important question::
"How do you know they were smoking pot?"
Okay...I'm 63 years old, and to borrow a line from Han Solo: "Kid...I've flown from one side of the this galaxy to the other...seen a lotta strange stuff...", so I think I KNOW what I'm seeing when I see it...plus, a few lifetimes ago, I smoked a couple joints in my day as well. Wasn't for me.
I told the officer that the "smokes" were hand-rolled, being passed around, taking the type of drags you DON'T take with Marlboros or Newports...that kind of thing.
Well, he got the info and left, and that was pretty much that, until I found out that those in the van knew the people two doors down - Latino, bilingual, borderline quasi-okay people (that do play music loud once in a while).
But with Wifey being a teacher, we really DON'T want a bunch of pot-smokers hanging out NEAR the "Fortress"...doesn't look good , kapeesh?
Let's just say that I WILL be watching for them, and I don't care who they know...we're keeping them away from us.
They want to smoke weed...find a nice SECLUDED area...someplace ELSE.
It's not like we DON'T have any spots such as that down here (we have more than the police know about, trust me).
*** And then, there's THIS (black) jerk...
Seriously...a BOOM-TRIKE???
Some older guy (probably my age or close) who, for some reason does not DRIVE (thank God) who pedals around on his "trikey", and BLARES this boombox (you heard me correctly) he's got attached to the ass-end of it.
You can hear the lyrics over a BLOCK away, and shouting at him does NO good at all. Talk about hearing-impaired.
Naturally, he just HAS to ride past OUR place damn near every day, and with the windows closed and the TV and radio on, you can still hear his music, which tends to lean towards older R&B - not bad but STILL too damn loud.
Now, you just KNOW if you call the police on THIS turd, that the person on the other end will wonder how many screws YOU have loose. "Man on a tricycle with a boom box being loud? What are YOU smoking?"
So much for OUR quality-of-life, Mr Mayor...anyone like this riding in YOUR neighborhood?
I didn't think so.
*** Okay, so now that we have the local jerk-brigade done with (for the time being), let's get to the main attraction...which took place AFTER I had mowed our front lawn early Sunday.
Yesterday, Wifey and I attended our second (annual) MONARCH FESTIVAL (their fifth) out at Eagle Marsh, which is part of the Little River Wetlands Project.
Here's their website:
Now, getting there was "half the fun" as they say...sort of.
Kinda looked like THIS.
Engle Rd. was blocked off, so we turned off, but I had this weird feeling, like I should have driven around the barriers (which said local traffic only). We WERE "local traffic", so I looped back and went past the barriers. We came to a fellow who told us this was done JUST for the parking for the festival, as they expected more people than last year (good idea).
He directed us as to where to park (right across from the entrance - we got there nice and early.
As soon as we enter, there was this table, and they were handing out trail maps, event flyers...and they also had event T-SHIRTS!
Very nice t-shirts, too. I asked them were they FREE? The girl said "sure, take one".
Well, you don't have to tell this old bird twice...lol.
The walk to the "barn" as a LOT longer when you're not driving (as we did last year), and they had bermed the road much better (raised it a good two feet), so it was above any standing water (another good thing). Along the road were tents various crafts like hand-made jewelry, carved wood knick-knacks, fresh honey, produce from pollinator gardens...cool stuff.
They also had some of the trails open...much better than last year, when they were mostly ALL flooded out, so off we went out TRAIL 8 - one of the shorter trails (about a 1/2 mile), which took us through some really nice ground.
Our "Intrepid" couple set out...
We had one gentleman at the entrance to the trail snap a picture of us before we set out.
Met up with a birder who had a tent set up along the trail (we were the first to come by) so we talked about the birds that come by, and he spoke about how they had bald eagles in one of the trees 1/4 mile away, as well as herons and rails.
After that, we continued our trek through a nicely carved path where I noticed a LOT of movement along the ground...
There were LOTS of these small green with yellow striped frogs jumping past...I was afraid I'd step on one.
And all those marvelous prairie sunflowers...like walking through a valley of them.
We made it back from trail 8 none the worse for wear and continued on.
They had the exhibit where we saw the stages of development of the monarch butterfly...all alive and well.
We have people who GROW monarchs just so they can release them (and that was another exhibit).
Another table has the people who "tagged" them before releasing them, and with these butterflies becoming an endangered species, you need to keep track of them and help their environment so they can thrive.
 Fort Wayne is right along the migration path (to Minnesota and points north to back south into Mexico). Now between you and me, Monarch butterflies and hummingbirds are the ONLY "illegal aliens" I prefer to see in MY city...period.
There was the butterfly tree, where Wifey and I hung on with our names on it.
A man at that table went DOWN to Mexico to track the migratory path, and came back with some fantastic pictures of monarchs COVERING trees down there.
Even the media showed up for the event. we saw the WANE SUV there, and the Journal-Gazette was also there, so here's the J-G article from today's paper:
Nah, we didn't make the pictures, but that's fine (I got me a free t-shirt...lol)
After that, Wifey and I hiked some more along part of TRAIL SIX, but turned back (darn it).
We did get to see some turtles sunning themselves on a log (the picture didn't turn our due to sun glare on the view-screen...sorry).
They also have these nice wooden benches to rest along this trail.
There was fun for the kids as well...face painting,  make your own wings, and such... and ALL of it was FREE...no kidding.
The only thing NOT free was the food and those selling merchandise (like one person with some spectacular photos, pre-framed).
The food consisted of three trucks, Wise Guys water ice, New York Pizza, and Pizza Bomba. We opted for the NY pizza ($3 a slice - kinda like Sbarro's), but it was GOOD...seriously good.
And I told these guys as much.They appreciated that.
After that, we strolled about for a time, took some pictures and the  headed out (we had already been there for damn near 3.5 HOURS...the time simply FLEW by (just like a butterfly), but stopped back at the woman with the handmade jewelry, and I relieved myself of some cash that was slowing me down...I got some nice things for the Missus (ain't that what you're supposed to do when you're married? heh.)
*** Last back to the chrysalis...you know, perhaps the BEST thing about attending something like this is the ATMOSPHERE.
Looks like a Bob Ross painting.
You look around, and there's nothing but God's creation all over the place...and you try to take it in as best your' mortal mind, body and spirit can.
And the tranquility there is fantastic.
There are those times when such things can become a bit overwhelming, and that's okay. I think our Creator PLANNED it to be like that.
There is a sense of humility that comes along, too...and that's FREE also (just like that t-shirt).
It's nice to be however small a part of ALL of this...and yet, I think we do have a much larger role. to play.
A hidden glade, nestled behind the trees.
That brings me to the PEOPLE we met there.
I never have such a  feeling of hope for humanity as when I'm in the presence of DECENT people
And Indiana thankfully DOES have it's share of such souls.
It's refreshing to see people say hello to you or offer to take a picture of you and your significant other, or even offer a bottle of water after a trail hike (and the water was free too).
Maybe, just MAYBE if we had more people with such an unselfish attitude towards others, we MIGHT stand a better chance of survival on that evolutionary ladder.
A good time for people of ALL ages.
Lord knows I see SUCH a contrast between those I encountered at at Eagle Marsh...and those that are trying to pass for humanity in our part of the ghettohood.
God don't make junk!
What is the factor (or factors) that make these people SO damn different?
I can't look to poverty, because some of the nicest and most humble people I've met didn't have that many nickels to rub against each other.
Nor, can I look to social status, because many I've known were never famous or even "of note"...they were everyday people (like the song says) and they were the salt of the earth.
I cannot look at education either, for many I've known had not the educational levels that we see with society in general today.
Our grandparents (from my generation) barely got out of high school (many didn't get that far) and yet, within them came SUCH WISDOM...and COMMON SENSE that surely NO level of education could have taught them.
Maybe, it's got something to do with their MORALITY, as in being appreciative to be one of God's creatures, and being allowed to live life as it was meant to be lived, rather than deny all that means and go through life with a negative attitude, taking from others at every opportunity
I've never met a thankful person that wasn't happy, nor have I ever met a happy person that wasn't thankful.
A happy man and prairie sunflowers
There has to be a connection with a higher authority...don'cha think?
THAT has to be the answer, because everything else people attempt doesn't seem to make the grade.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay SAFE out there, America.


A Beer For The Shower said...

Frankly, I wouldn't have believed you telling us a story about a guy on an adult tricycle blasting a boombox without that posted picture. :)

Also, that looks like a great time you had there, and I love that quote, God don't make junk. How about an addendum, though? God don't make junk, but he did make the duck billed platypus, so we know he has a great sense of humor.

Bob G. said...

If there is one thing about me you'll ALWAYS know...I cannot make this kind of stuff up!
(and, after all these years, I have a vivid imagination)
So, you can see my dilemma should I contact the police for a noise violation.
(maybe a well-tossed ROCK would suffice?)

Yes, we had a blast, and I've read that this is something which occurs in many other states at this time of year - (check local listings for time and channel)

HA...I like that addendum.
I always figured that God had a sense of humor...and that's why ALIENS have visited us from other planets...

WE Earthlings are the "comic relief" of this part of the galaxy...!
No other reason to explain it.

Hey, thanks for swinging on by to comment.

Stay safe (and classy) out there, guys!

CWMartin said...

Boss-employee exchange? What are they exchanging? DNA? Pollen? Wives? Paychecks (hint hint)?

Cream filled donut! Woo Hoo!

Your neighbors... SMH... nothing a couple of well-placed eggs might not cure...

Very nice pic of the two of you... should turn it into a portrait!

Very good ending, too, and spot on. THey cannot see the light for their own darkness and try to drag everyone and everything with them. And those are eyes harder than those of the blind to open.

Anyway, glad you got blessed with such a beautiful day!

Bob G. said...

--I didn't think to ASK...but my best guess would be JOBS (and as you mentioned) hence paychecks.
--You and me BOTH...!
--Helluva waste of good "cackle-fruit".
(there IS the garden hose - bwahahahaha)
--It is a nice photo, but something is "missing"...ah, a TARDIS!
--That ending SO reminded me of that phrase I first heard from a dear black Baptist minister friend who told me - "God don't make junk"...and that applies to ALL that HE creates.
(people make themselves "junk")

A very nice day to be blessed,...then again, aren't they ALL?
(oh, yeah!)

Thanks much for rolling on by today to comment.

Stay safe up there, brother.