Saturday, June 28, 2014

Dem Bones Dem Bones

I should know by now that whenever you have a significant trip planned, the bod says "Yeah? Well let's see what you can do when you try to get ready for it and your hips and knees don't work!" I've spent the past week trying to prove the old joints and bones wrong, but they're stubborn little odds and ends that don't give up easily.

When the bone doc mentioned the eventuality of having cortizone injections through the groin, I noticed that I broke into a moderate sweat. No wonder my days of tent camping came to an abrupt end. My body parts could see the writing on the outhouse wall! At least I have an official-sounding reason not to "rough it" any longer. I'd never be able to stand up again.

I also prefer to think of myself as stately when I use my walking stick instead of decrepid. The bones disagree, but what do they know? They're just bones. The only thing that gives away my condition is when I try to swing a leg up into the cab of my truck and may have to take a couple of tries at it. I fear that one of these days I'm going to haul off and accidentally knock the slats from under some unsuspecting little kid with a round-house karate kick.  That would be tough to explain, especially with me crumpled on the ground crying harder than the kid I just leveled.

Oh well, all I have to do is carefully finish my research on the road and get back home in the next couple of weeks. Then  everyone will be safe again with me playing hermit behind my computer screen and my backside planted firmly in a chair.

I might just have to use those contraptions called aeroplanes in the future. I hear they work pretty well for many types of expeditions. I'm not sure where they place the "handicap" sticker though - on me or on the pilot's rearview mirror.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Once In A While Hollywood Gets It Right

I came across a commentary last night on the TV show Longmire (Mondays, 10:00 pm on A&E). I have liked that show since it started a couple of seasons ago and now I better understand why.

Their technical advisor is an Umjibwe transplant to the Cheyenne Nation since he was a child. He has stayed true to the major tenants of the Cheyenne and Native American cultures in general without the usual shallow Hollywood depictions and shows the interactive ups and downs of cultural interplay with Whites. A great deal of attention has been spent ensuring that sacred and ritual boundaries are not crossed. Those are for tribal members only and not for TV.

They have quality male and female Native actors that carry major compelling roles and address everday issues (plus the usual drama associated with the law enforcement angle of the show with its own brand of Native/White tension). I have been impressed!

I encourage people to watch this show and get a better glimpse of life on the Native American side. It's not a cowboy and Indian type of thing at all. It's a refreshing look at entertainment through other eyes and the producer of this piece of work deserves accolades for its attention to detail, not to mention the author of the books the show was developed from.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Coming Up For Air

The major events of the summer are now about halfway through, i.e., Fathers Day, my Dad's 81st birthday, the folks' 63rd wedding anniversary, and of course a new book being picked up by my publisher. The clouds have parted and it's time for a breather, other than it has been raining the past few days around here!

Hang on. I forgot something. I'm heading to the Blackfeet Reservation in Browning, Montana to do some research for a new book, I'm going to visit my Son and Grandson for a couple of days, Middle Daughter is getting married in early August, Youngest Daughter is still trying to figure hers out, and there are family birthdays up the kazoo in August and September.

Just think what a dilemma I'd have if I wasn't retired! Where did my youthful energy go? I don't remember lending it out to anyone. I envy Lily the Terrorist. When I'm gone, she gets to lounge around the doggie spa and play with her friends without a care in the world except who will be giving her another treat.

I think my own personal time will arrive sometime around February, but I'll have to wear wool socks with my sandals and shorts by then. Such is life in the Pacific Northwest.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Humming Birds From The Valkyrie

It's not often that I feel threatened in my own back yard, but lately it's a little tenuous out there since I bought new humming bird food and a new feeder. Someone told me that the reason I was getting so few birds to show up was likely that the nectar had molded and the birds don't do molded.

Okay, so I ventured to my neighborhood box store and bought new stuff and a larger feeder. Sure enough, the flights started arriving by that afternoon and until dark. I was pleased!

All sorts of colors and activity flitted around the deck where I had hung the feeder. I could watch them from my recliner in the house, too. Great entertainment for those easily amused, like me.

Then someone must've put the word out for airstrikes against any creature coming close to said food source. The friendly little hummers became the Vinland Terrace airwing, complete with close quarters tactical fly-bys.

Lily the Terrorist and I were no match for the onslaught when she needed to go outside and do her duty. At first I thought we were being accosted by a swarm of large bees, but no, a hummer stopped just short of my nose as if to issue a warning to stay away from the feeder.

It has gotten to the point that I can see them swooping from the trees and hanging out on the grape arbor waiting for refueling. Lily and I have sped up our walk to her outhouse in anticipation of an incoming raid, much to Lily's chagrin.

I can only surmise why the local tribes did not set out food for these creatures in the old days. No one wanted to be impaled by a humming bird beak. It would be embarassing to explain their ear piercing with the supersonic bird wings attached to it.

Maybe the hummingbird feeder should have been given more thought!