Setting the Bead With Fire: A Tractor Story

The boy on the right may have a dangerous idiot for a father.

Had you seen me, ’round about six o’clock in the evening on Sunday, heading in the general direction of the People’s Lawn Tractor with a gas can, some matches and a distinct air of purpose about me – well, no one would have blamed you for feeling a little uneasy.  That vague sense of foreboding may just have gained some urgency, if you were told that just minutes earlier, I had been studying intently a page on the Internet that used words like “fire”, “explosion” and “gasoline.”  Let’s face it, there’s a certain gleam that a man gets in his eye when he’s fixing to blow something up, a gleam that you would recognize instantly though you’ve never seen it before.

Here’s the thing:  Spouse, Furious G and I have been residing beyond the borders of little Juniorvania for about a month, or rather we had been away, living at my parents’ place, up until Saturday afternoon.  The reasons for the exodus are complicated, but boil down to the serious strain placed upon the People’s Treasury as a result of paying for electricity to heat the house when it gets cold outside, which is “always” on account of Juniorvania’s extreme proximity to Canada.  Accordingly, the People’s Department of Public Works, Heatery and Assorted Mechanicals contracted with an external provider to bash a bunch of holes in the walls of the house, install duct work and hide the workshop by placing a giant furnace on it.   This arrangement, of course, has caused the People’s Treasury to ratchet up the level of complaining to “jet engine” volume levels, as the People’s Minister of Finance is incapable of understanding how such an enormous expenditure could ever “save” money, and is instead convinced that this is all some sort of preposterous and grotesque joke perpetrated at the expense of his fragile nerves and anxious bowels.  In the silver lining department, however, this hugely destructive and horrendously unaffordable and unsightly project brings a bonus: air conditioning!

Where was I?  Oh yes, explaining how Spouse, The Boy and I made like Jed Clampett and Clan, packed up the truck and moved to Beverley in order to avoid being demolished along with the walls and ceilings.  Did you know that walls and ceilings are highly offensive to HVAC contractors?  Well, based on the nature and extent of the destruction I have seen, I can only assume that walls and ceilings have an unfortunate habit of making intemperate comparisons between HVAC contractors and uncouth and unattractive individuals with small penises, because the walls and ceilings really do seem to take a walloping from these fellows.

Our month long banishment from the premises thus allowed the stainless steel behemoth to take root and grow within the house;  outside the four (or fewer) walls of the house, however, also growing and taking root was an enormous rainforest where the front lawn used to be.

Now, I don’t want to say that the lawn was a little overgrown, but just this past weekend, scientists discovered three heretofore unknown species of snake, two tribes of nomadic peoples and a dinosaur roaming among the densely packed vegetation on the front forty.

If you look closely, you can see the dinosaur peeking over the top at left.
The long and the short, but mostly just the long, of the problem.

The lawn needed to be cut, but this was not going to be just any mowing; in musical terms, whereas the usual lawn mowing is a three-chord doo wop tune,  this particular excursion was going to be a Wagnerian opera with a side discharge chute.  There were many technical problems to be confronted – how to keep the engine from stalling when asked to chop down the giant trunks of the grass trees, how to illuminate the path of the mower (with the dense canopy of the lawn blocking out the sun from above), how to keep the Operator’s beer cold for the prolonged Mission time – but chief among these worries was the Problem of the Clippings.

When you cut large amounts of long grass, you create a commensurately large pile of clippings on the lawn, which pile must be moved, because if you don’t move them then you have essentially just piled a bunch of dead stuff on your (now shorter) lawn, thus depriving the living part of it entirely of sunlight and making the whole damn thing dead.

Complicating the problem, it’s been raining continuously here since August 6, 1942, so the clippings were a little wet.  Huge piles of wet grass clippings that need to be moved by means of manual raking means that the People’s Lawn Tractor Trailer must be utilized.  Patience, I’m getting really close to explaining the bit about fires and explosions and such now.

The trailer was banished outdoors from the relative safety of the garage this past winter, and there was one casualty: the left tire on the People’s Trailer lost the bead on its rim and came up flat.  The bead needed to be reset, and the tire re-inflated.

Like any reasonable person, I turned to everybody’s most trusted technical advisor: random and completely anonymous people with no verifiable credentials whatsoever.  They taught me this trick:

I didn’t have ether, so I used (a VERY little bit of) gasoline instead.  It took three attempts, but each one featured a very satisfying “thwumpf” sound, and enough of a fiery flourish to excite all but the most finicky of pyromaniacs. Still have all my limbs, didn’t set the house on fire, and did not launch any exploding fiery wheels through the upper story windows of the house either. Time elapsed: maybe five minutes (including time required to fill a really big bucket with water as a precaution measure, lest there be any unfortunate incidents).

Trailer’s working like a charm.

Am I Too Late to Enter the Toronto International Film Festival?

Much of the weekend was spent gathering things together that must be here when Furious G arrives.  Of course, one of the things he’ll need is a stylin’ ride, so we dropped some Benjamins on a pretty wicked l’il swing contraption.  It does pretty much everything except make pizza (unless I missed that page in the owner’s manual) and you can connect an iPod to it so that baby not only rocks, but also ROCKS! to Zeppelin or what not.  Hey, it’s never too early to start an education, I think.

Anyway, here is a little video memorializing the maiden voyage of Furious G’s new contraption.

Posts From the Big (Yellow) Chair

I don’t know anything about this Foursquare business, except that it’s some sort of application that people notify about their whereabouts in an effort to earn badges about things.  To this, I say, “Badges?  We don’t need no stinkin’ badges.”

Also, I humbly submit that yours truly is the Mayor of one place right now: the big yellow chairs on the hill out back of the house.  The Mayor is enjoying a spot of sun and some wi-fi right now.  Carry on, the rest of you citizens.

Decidedly Less Emo than the Tears for Fears Version.  Less Pretty, Too.
Decidedly Less Emo than the Tears for Fears Version. Less Pretty, Too.


I didn’t make it through yesterday. Home early, alternately baking and freezing, nose and eyes a wellspring of all manner of unending and disgusting fluids.

Getting sober is nоt еаѕу tаѕk. It соmеѕ with its uрѕ and dоwnѕ аnd a lоt оf hаrd work. Wіth аlmоѕt 60 реrсеnt of sober реорlе еxреrіеnсіng relapse, it’s nо wоndеr thаt people аrе аfrаіd of gеttіng sober. Undеrѕtаndіng your fеаr оf gеttіng ѕоbеr is thе fіrѕt step to соnԛuеrіng іt. Once уоu gеt a hold оn thе fears that are drіvіng уоur hesitation аnd procrastination, уоu саn begin to ѕее сlеаrlу the bеnеfіtѕ оf gеttіng sober. Bеlоw аrе tеn reasons whу people are afraid tо gеt ѕоbеr аnd hоw to overcome them.

It’ѕ true that gеttіng ѕоbеr requires a lоt оf dіѕсірlіnе аnd wіllроwеr, but thаt’ѕ nо excuse tо nоt gо thrоugh with іt. Whаt most people dоn’t undеrѕtаnd is that gеttіng ѕоbеr іѕn’t аbоut depriving уоurѕеlf оf something or uѕіng уоur willpower tо ѕtееr сlеаr оf drugѕ аnd аlсоhоl, іt’ѕ about сhаngіng thе wау уоu view thе rоlе оf drugs аnd аlсоhоl in your lіfе, since this could create an addiction in your life, but there are centers of Rehab for Drug Addictions which could help in case an addiction problem raise. Whеn уоu think оf gеttіng sober аѕ a ѕuѕtаіnаblе lіfеѕtуlе іnѕtеаd оf a short term ѕоlutіоn, thе fear of not having еnоugh dіѕсірlіnе quickly fаdеѕ away.

Wіth the fасt оf gеttіng ѕоbеr comes the fасt thаt уоu nееdеd tо get ѕоbеr bесаuѕе уоu’rе an аddісt. Non-addicts dоn’t become ѕоbеr, thеrеfоrе most реорlе аrе аfrаіd оf hаvіng thеіr рrоblеmѕ оut іn the open оnсе thеу bесоmе sober. Thіѕ ѕhоuldn’t be a problem іf you оwn uр tо уоur past and communicate openly with уоur frіеndѕ аnd fаmіlу. Trуіng tо hide thе fасt thаt you wеrе аn addict оr уоu’rе nоw ѕоbеr only makes things wоrѕе. Stор саrіng ѕо muсh about what оthеr people thіnk, аnd have the courage tо let реорlе knоw you’re sober аnd you’re рrоud.

My Friday “can’t miss” work thingy has been rescheduled by others because THEY are ill. Spouse is covering for me otherwise (may the Wendel bless her kind soul) and I am remaining at home in a pile of self-pity and blankets, drinking orange juice and crunching on toast.

Nоbоdу ever said getting sober wаѕ еаѕу, but іt dоеѕn’t have tо bе as scary as іt seems. Undеrѕtаndіng уоur fеаrѕ behind getting ѕоbеr can hеlр уоu соnԛuеr thеm and ѕtаrt your jоurnеу tо rесоvеrу.

Stinky Tim’s, a Called Shot and Spouse

Last evening, I had to take a trip in to Cambridge to pick up some suits that I had purchased there a couple of days before. Spouse had been off work for most of Monday and all of Tuesday (she has apparently spontaneously developed a case of the Bubonic Plague). She claimed, despite the occasional hacking cough and her generally mucous filled aspect, to be feeling much improved in the early evening hours last night . She insisted on coming with me for the drive. It was a beautiful sunny spring-like day, and I didn’t see a distinct difference, from a medical treatment point of view, between “Spouse slumped on the couch in front of the TV, oozing phlegm” and “Spouse slumped in the passenger seat, oozing phlegm”, so I agreed.

Stop one on the way to “oore’s” (the “M” had blown down during Sunday’s windstorm) in Cambridge was our local Tim Horton’s. Those of you who follow me on Twitter (where my user name is warwalker) may have some familiarity with this particular location, as it seems to be a recurring theme in my “tweets.” We call it “Stinky Tim’s” because the neighbour’s property seems to have some sort of a problem with their septic tank, with the predictably odiferous consequences; the stench is greater or lesser, depending upon the prevailing meteorological conditions, but it is usually only problematic when one is sitting in the drive-thru lane, which borders directly on the property in question. Despite its olfactory woes, we quite like Stinky Tim’s, and will regularly bypass other Horton’s locations en route to our home to go to that specific location; I can’t explain it other than to say that it’s in the neighbourhood, feels like it’s the meeting place for all our neighbours, and it seems to otherwise provide us with endless entertainment. One night, for example, on the way home from some work related function, Spouse and I stopped in much later than we ordinarily would. Things were different right from the start: it took an unusually long time for the attendant to greet us and inquire as to our order; it took an inordinately long amount of time to explain, re-explain and further re-explain my order of “two steeped teas with one milk in each and a medium-sized box of Timbits”, which the said attendant had somehow garbled (twice) to relate to two medium coffees and a Boston Cream donut. When I had completed walking the attendant, step-by-step, through the list of items desired for the third time and was invited to “drive up”, Spouse and I looked at each other doubtfully. In the time between leaving the place where we placed our order (peeps with knowledge of drive thru terminology – is there a name for that place?) and arriving at the pickup window, Spouse and I concluded that our server was likely intoxicated. A quick conversation at the pickup window – during which it was revealed that there was still some profound uncertainty on our server’s part as to the items desired – did little to revise our opinion. Very shortly thereafter, he delivered to us the aforementioned two steeped teas and a medium-sized box of Timbits that was absolutely stuffed with Timbits. I’m not kidding, this box – which customarily would contain something on the order of 40 tasty little doughnut holes – had been packed, stuffed and jammed beyond belief, to the point that there were really no longer individual Timbits inside, but instead a multi-flavoured doughy brick weighing some four to five pounds. It was ridiculous. I tweeted to my followers that the pickup window at my local Tim’s was “paying off like a loose Vegas slot machine”, urging those interested to depart post-haste for the location in question.

Anyway, to get back to the point of my pointless story, we stopped in to Stinky Tim’s last evening to pick up a couple of cups of tea for the drive to Cambridge. Those of you in Canada will already know that Horton’s is currently running their annual “Roll Up the Rim to Win” promotion (specially printed paper cups sold with coffee and tea purchases each include a chance for the purchaser to win prizes, with the result being revealed by unrolling the upper rim of the cup – prizes range from free product at Horton’s locations, to computers and vehicles).   Those of you who aren’t Canadian may have difficulty understanding this, but Roll up the Rim to Win is a very big deal up here;  most Canadians know at least as much, if not more, about when this promotion starts and ends as they do about the NCAA March Madness Tournament schedule.  Most of us also keep a pretty careful watch on our personal win/loss record at Roll Up the Rim.  This year, Spouse and I have been on a relative hot streak vis-a-vis this promotion; at one point, I had collected 3 winners in my first 7 purchases (for some folks, this would just be another line on the resumé, but I like to think that I am an ambassador of sorts for the competition) – all of which were for a free beverage. As we were going through the drive through this time (word to the wise Timbit shopper: all staff appeared to be sober on this occasion), Spouse opined that she wanted to “win something different.” In particular, she said as she received her steaming hot cup of tea, she wanted to win “a donut”.

I could not let this pass, despite her illness. I took her to task for addressing the fates and identifying, among all the possible prizes that might be delivered, a donut worth approximately forty cents (retail) as her desired windfall. “Attention, Gods in Charge of Dead Hockey Player Donut Store Promotions,” she had said, “I would vastly prefer to win a forty cent donut over a thirty thousand dollar car.”

I’ll give you three guesses what the Donut Gods delivered.  I’ll give you a hint: I’m thinking about making another late-night run to the Drive Thru and collecting that Boston Cream this time around.

Dreams of Grandeur

Newest Leafs star
Newest Leaf Prospect?

Spouse advises that she had a most interesting dream last night: she skated for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League.

In real life, she has never before played a game of hockey. (This last fact, I have only just learned, and am determined to remedy somehow.) In the land of Nod, however, she pulled a Blue and White, Maple Leaf-emblazoned jersey over her head and set off to do battle against the (unidentified, so far as I know) opposition on the frozen pond. I can hear the wags now; the Leafs might be better off with her over, say Rickard Wallin. Oh damn that’s funny. So funny, I feel like I want to stab someone.

Anyway, Spouse tells me that she doesn’t know who the opposition was, or who skated on her wings, but she does recall that she spent her time on the ice making “sweary jokes”. I have been able to learn little else about the specific details of what constitutes a “sweary joke”, despite persistent and thorough interrogation on my part, except to confirm that the jests in question do indeed (as you might expect) involve profanity of some sort. Spouse was able to advise that the Angry Irish Overlord himself made an appearance in this dream; he was evidently not impressed by Dream Spouse’s chosen form of expression and voiced his displeasure. Now this is where the dream gets weird…erm, “weirdER.” Fictional Burke indicated his disapproval by personally attending to the “puck drop thingy” (face off), prompting Dream Spouse to say – in a sarcastic and “funny” voice, I am told – “Sooorrrry, Misssster Burrrrrke!”, earning her an immediate and permanent benching at the direction of Unreal Burkie.

I swear to you that Spouse was not drinking before retiring for the evening last night. All I can tell you is that we went for Indian food at dinner; the only thing I can surmise is that apparently the Tandoori chicken recipe made liberal use of some sort of arcane insanity peppers. Those of you in the area of the Bombay restaurant on King George Road in Brantford, don’t say you haven’t been warned.

Click Here to Hear Spouse Re-enact The Line That Led to Her Benching

I Love the Smell of Egg Nog in the Morning

I have been pre-occupied with issues of civil defense, ever since the brazen assassination attempt of Sunday last.   Clearly, Juniorvanian security forces must be augmented if peace, order and good government are to be domestically restored.  Accordingly, although the Government of Juniorvania prefers the dove over the hawk, it is quite clear that the dove gets its ass kicked by things like snakes, whereas the hawk literally eats them for dinner.

Accordingly, serious consideration has been given to augmenting the armed forces of Juniorvania in the fashion depicted below (supplementary forces shown deploying seasonal camouflage).

house with santa heli
Santa and unidentified elf personnel medi-vacing casualties in sector 7-G on Bat 21 - Gene Hackman (not shown) believed to be hiding in the juniper bushes.

Menagerie: Rogue Snake Department

Judging by the beret, this particular criminal must be French.

Let’s play a little game, shall we?  Why don’t you tell me what species of reptile you see coiled in the leaves in the picture below.  I should mention that the little cretin was, um, what’s the word, “rattling” his tail when discovered.   By “discovered”, of course, I mean “nearly trod upon” during a brief late-morning survey Spouse and I conducted of the western environs of Juniorvania;  tramping about in the brush is a lovely way to spend some time in the warm sun of a mid-November forenoon, cup of tea in hand – provided, of course, that one’s woodsy saunter is not interrupted by pestilential menaces and assorted blackguards of the animal kingdom intent on doing you in.    My perambulations seemed to disturb our most recently discovered visitor, as Spouse advises me that the vicious little scoundrel actually struck at my pant leg as I strode through his immediate vicinity, blissfully unaware of the potentially mortal threat currently attempting to assassinate me.

Let’s make an identification, you amateur herpatologists:  tell me what sort of a beast you think it was that made such a brazen attempt upon my life.   Take a close look at the markings.   Remember, if you will, the rattling of the tail;  it’s difficult to forget, I can assure you, for those who have had occasion to make the personal acquaintance of this little villainous bastard.   The taxonomic process ought to be a little less stressful for you to do in the comfort of your own presumably adder-free home than it was for me during my dangerous, death-defying afternoon stroll among the serpentine assassins concealed around the perimeter of Juniorvania with evil in their repitlian hearts.   It will be easier for you to summon up Google and tap-tap-tap a couple of keystrokes,  possibly noshing on a little snack, as you idly venture a guess about the identity of my would-be killer.

Things were considerably less serene here as we embarked upon the process, I can tell you.  It involved rather a lot more screaming than I suspect most professional biologists employ during the conduct of their work, which screaming was spiced with a liberal dose of anxious profanity.  Still, we managed to get the photo and avoid entirely a trip to hospital, so all’s well that end’s well I suppose.  Except of course that somehow, during the identification process, the pint-sized terrorist managed to flee the scene of the crime and remains at large, a fugitive from Juniorvanian justice.  No doubt the little miscreant is plotting his next murderous escapade, so visitors to these parts should consider security precautions and have an eye to the ground when travelling alone.

He may be small, but he's a criminal.
He may be small, but he's a criminal.
20091122_What Kind of Snake_0796
If you look closely at the bottom of the picture, under the leaf in the middle, you can see the rattling thing on the end of the rattling thing.

Morning Visitors, Evening Intruder

I was up early Sunday morning and in a bit of a half-sleep reverie when it occurred to me that – most unusually – there was rather a lot of noise outside my bedroom window.

When you get right down to it, I sleep about eighty-five feet from the edge of a cornfield, often indoors.  Generally, there isn’t an awful lot of noise out there for the would-be sleeper or his next-day relative, the dazed and confused early morning riser, to contend with.  What little audio ambience there is would typically be of the pastoral background sort – birds chirping, wind rustling through the trees, that sort of thing.

These noises, though were different.  My brain needed to assimilate and assess the information with which it was being bombarded.  First, I determined that there were noises of many varieties, and lots of them.  Whatever was happening out there was not taking place by stealth.   I decided to confer the status of “racket” upon what I was hearing.  With that taxonomic decision out of the way, I proceeded to consider whether there was possibly more to learn about the situation.   After some careful reflection, I decided that quite a number of the many noises were similar;  I decided to assume that there was a lot of something causing this cacophony.  But what could those somethings be?  Examining my audio memory banks, I could not recall ever hearing this particular sort of racket before.

Requiem for Popeye: 1993-2009

How do you say goodbye to a friend?

Last night, Spouse and I were awake a little later than usual; she was idly catching up with some Facebook friends, and I had my nose buried in my newly arrived Maple Leafs Annual.  Popeye got up from his usual resting place – in front of the couch, sprawled out on a blanket placed just so on the floor for him – and began to make some noises as though he was about to vomit.  This was not a terribly unusual occurrence;  after all, he was almost sixteen and a half years old.  Spouse let him out the back door into the yard.

Popeye on surveillance_8352
Popeye Loved to Do Surveillance in the Long Grass

Recently, it had become his custom to (we felt) play a game with us, waiting out front for one or the other of us to finish our search for him, to let him back in the front hall and gently urge him to cross the tile floor just inside the door (with only one eye, Popeye had for years had a reluctance to cross smooth surfaces that was borne of depth perception problems).  The next step was to stand by, showing him a willingness to help (but not actually assisting) as he struggled up the three stairs to the living room.  So a few minutes after Spouse had let him out the door, I went straight to the front to retrieve our frail but mischievous little friend.

When he came back in the house, he went straight to the back door again.  This was unusual, but we had decided to get ready for bed, so Spouse urged him to go out back again for a quick pee before turning in for the night.  He did, then came back in again, but would not settle down.  A few minutes later, he wanted back out again, and we were growing concerned.  When he was out back on this occasion, wandering around the yard, he made a couple of unusual retching noises.

Before long, we became concerned that he was choking on something and Spouse was on the phone getting a number for an emergency veterinary clinic.  We located a place not far away (no help to the frustrating automated Bell information attendant at directory information) and quickly, we took Poppy to the truck for a trip to see the doctor.  He did not want to go down the stairs – it was becoming obvious to us that he was in some discomfort, but Popeye was always such a trooper about these things and he was never one to complain.  He was told he had to come down the stairs, to the front porch, and he did.  He was told he had to go down the stairs from the porch to the driveway, and he did.  We lifted him into the rear of the truck and Spouse climbed in to the cargo area beside him to try and keep him calm.

When we arrived at the veterinary hospital, we lifted Popper down to the ground again.  He didn’t want to walk across the deserted parking lot, but he did as he was told and came with us through the door into the little animal hospital.  He hesitated briefly upon seeing the tile floor inside the door, but bravely walked across the waiting room and down the hall to the examining area.  This was quite a feat for him, as we’d grown used to bringing a series of carpets to lay down across the floor of our usual vet, like the Army Corps of Engineers building a temporary bridge to get Popeye into the examination room.  In our haste to get out the door and get him some help, we hadn’t thought to throw those carpets in the truck.

Upon examination, the news wasn’t good.  Popeye’s stomach had bloated and twisted itself, and he was in a great deal of pain and distress.  He needed either immediate surgical intervention.  The only other option was euthanasia.  Popeye was sixteen and a half years old and in failing health.  The doctor could not recommend attempting surgery, and felt that even if he survived the procedure, he would not likely survive the recovery period.

It was obvious that the end of the road had come.  Spouse and I made the awful decision and stood by, rubbing him behind the ears and patting his head as he went to sleep.

I can’t begin to communicate the sense of loss I feel right now, and I only knew Popeye for a little more than four of his years.   His was a gentle, kind and playful spirit;  he often stood by silently and without comment while our cat Henry sat in Popeye’s bowl of food or stuck his head full into the dog’s supper and began chowing down;  he viewed his cookies more as playthings than treats to eat, often entertaining us with his “cookie dance”, tossing his head back and launching the treat into the air and across the room, then pouncing on it across the floor while making an odd thrusting motion with his front paws;  he loved to go for what we called a crazy run, basically a unique hybrid between a series of bunny hops and a gallop, bounding across the lawn to our amusement, cheers and laughter.

He loved it when people came to visit.  When we lived in our last house, children coming to the door on Hallowe’en were, in Popeye’s world, issuing an express invitation to join them for a bout of trick or treating that it would be downright rude to turn down.  Visitors to our home were, Poppy was certain, here to see him and him alone.

More than anything, he loved it when it snowed.  He would go outside and romp around in the drifts, often sitting down and facing the door, waiting patiently until the humans in the house got the message that it was time to come out and play.  He liked to just stand in the snow and submerge his entire head in the biggest drift he could find.  We thought it likely he found it necessary to do this to cool his brain down.

He had a way of sensing our moods.  A couple of Septembers ago, while on a weekend visit with Spouse, Popeye and I to a lodge on Lake Nipissing, my brother and his then girlfriend became engaged.  Upon announcement of the news, there was naturally much celebrating, hugging and hand shaking going on among the two-legged animals around the cabin.  Poppy treated us all to an extended version of his crazy run, doing two full laps around the cabin, up and down the large rock on which it was situated, and jumped in between folks as they were hugging each other to make it clear that he was happy too.

A faithful companion to me, I can only imagine the way Spouse feels about this.  He had travelled across Canada with her on a couple of occasions, by both land and air.  He had been to university and law school with her – famously attending (uninvited) one set of commencement exercises to the general amusement of the formally enrolled humanoids assembled in the Hall.  For sixteen years, as Spouse grew into the caring, loving and wonderful woman that she is today, Popeye was there.  Together, they went to school; worked; loved; lost; travelled from horse show to horse show; and moved from city to city.

As I type this now, I’m sitting on the couch in our den.  My feet are resting on the blanket that Popeye used to lie on, the one placed there just so by Spouse to make him comfortable as he snoozed away his days in his senior years.  As much as I feel the empty space on that blanket, I can only imagine the size of the space left by a missing friend of sixteen and a half years.

Rest in peace, Popeye.  You were a treasure to have met and a delight to have in my life.  I will miss you, my friend.