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May 23, 2020


Maine vocabulary can be weird. (Want to play pass, anyone? Are you at home or at camp? Oh, he got done. But he still lives in the Anderson block.)

When I say scissor jack, I mean this.

For those with knowledge of German this is the perfect text for the above.
(The 11th commandment: Thou shall not be noisy)
This transcript is unfortunately not 100% correct or complete

We're on a suburban cul-de-sac, where only one neighbor actually has a front lawn. Landscaping, but not lawns. Perhaps people are getting a clue that we're living in a desert (OK, technically Mediterranean, but desert compared to the East Coast).

So things are mostly quiet, barring the background noise from the freeway a mile west of us. Except for a week in late spring. Once the rain stops (typically late April), the grass on the Open Space hillside behind us dries out and turns "golden".** So a guy with a big tractor comes out to disc firebreaks around the borders. It's a big diesel caterpillar, and not quiet.

As for this weekend, the closest to excitement will likely be checking the cameras out front. The last 3 nights, there have been cars meeting up in front of the house. Between 1 and 5 AM. Odd, that.

** And you thought that "golden state" moniker referred to the metal that made 1849 famous. Wrongo. It's the color of the vegetation during the warm months.

wj, I didn't know that about "Golden State." Learn something new....

That business of cars out in front of your house sounds creepy. What do you think they're up to? Lots of cars, or just an assignation of two, or what?

Speaking of people on or near your property for reasons that have nothing to do with you....

When we moved here, the land hadn't been a farmed for about ten years. The barn was falling apart, and unused except to feed the Percheron. (Separate story.)

One of our nearest neighbors at that time was the local (4-town) high school, which was about half a mile away, up a cul-de-sac. (Hmmm. Those cul-de-sacs...) Sometime that autumn we realized that the kids on the cross country team would run down the hill, come and hide in our barn, hang out for a bit, then run back up the hill as if they had done all their miles.

We tattled to the coach, and that was the end of that. I don't know for how many years they'd been doing it!

That guy was actually a good teacher and a very successful coach. I never really understood how the kids got away with it.

The wife and I are going to look at a house tomorrow afternoon that would allow me to get rid of all of my outdoor engine- and motor-driven stuff. We have been muttering about downsizing and being closer to the granddaughters for a couple of years. Suddenly, virus or not, we seem to be doing it. My wife was enamored of the listing for this place, and I have to admit that it checks off almost all of my boxes also.

Anyone in the contiguous 48 who lives west of the center line of the Great Plains, excluding that odd bit up in the NW corner, knows that grass's normal color is brown. There's a small chunk of the year, the exact time varying with location, when the grass is an unnatural green color.

Lots of cars, or just an assignation of two, or what?

Just one pair each night. My first thought was "drug deal." But I have a naturally suspicious mind. We're thinking that, if it repeats tonight, we may give the local PD a heads up.

@Michael, that's just anyone who grew up here. Experience suggests that those immigrating from east of the Mississippi have a lot of trouble grasping the concept. No matter how long they're here. Hence all the lush lawns.

That business of cars out in front of your house sounds creepy. What do you think they're up to? Lots of cars, or just an assignation of two, or what?

Depending to the answer to this last question, and based on something that happens in a very out of the way bit of the North Country I know, I'm guessing maybe drug deals, because it sounds like a location in which they're unlikely to be watched (by the law) or caught.

Aha! Great (and suspicious) minds think alike!

So wj....did they come back?


For GftNC, a topic carried over from elsewhere: Dairy Queen.

In my childhood, very often of a summer evening one of the parents would say, "Let's go for a ride." We'd all pile in the station wagon (no seat belts) and ride around town. My mother wanted to look out for houses for sale, my dad wanted to learn every last street and alley (he was a firefighter). We might go down to the lake and watch the sunset. But regardless of everything else, most nights we ended up our rides at the Dairy Queen.

I would have finished my large hot fudge sundae with whipped cream, nuts, and a cherry before we were out of the parking lot. Then I'd sit there waiting for my mom to not-finish her chocolate milk shake and give me whatever was left.

The Dairy Queen we used to go to is still there, much modernized and enlarged. I had a treat there on a visit a year or so ago, though my capacity for eating ice cream is much diminished, all the more compared to the huge serving sizes that are standard now.

Later in life I lived in Milwaukee for a few years and learned the difference between soft-serve ice cream and frozen custard. Kopp's was our fave.

Janie, they appear to have taken the holiday weekend off. We shall see what Tuesday brings.

Thanks for that Janie! I wondered whether to search Dairy Queen but decided for the purposes of that comment it wasn't worth it. However, this explanation/anecdote was fun, specially with the logos, menus etc. Interestingly enough, we don't have (as far as I know) the category of frozen custard, probably because in foodie circles it is pretty much an article of faith that "proper" ice cream (i.e. not mass produced, but if shop-bought then "artisan") should contain egg yolks - i.e. be started from a custard base.

wj: yes, do let us know what happens!

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