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Amazin', what a bunch of old people can do: - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Amazin', what a bunch of old people can do:
Saturday Afternoon- or, How the Wisteria Was Won

There's a wall of wisteria on and above the fence on our eastern edge. For almost 20 years it separated us from our neighbor Sally. Now, the renters from you-know-where are in residence.

Last year, with us mostly inside tending to the kitchen, these plants got a little out of hand. More like a LOT out of hand. They spread, they dig, they climb. They particularly enjoy entangling themselves in neighboring trees; the Russian olive in our back yard has always been a favourite, but by this spring they'd breached the perimeter of the back yard and started climbing the redwood in front.  And so yesterday, our mission, which we chose to accept, was to beat back the crop, as close to outright extermination on our side of the fence as possible.

God designed these things on a particularly grumpy day. They're almost always too thick to just break apart by hand- but they're squishy on the inside, making them resistive to blades.  (Think a cross between asparagus and overcooked spaghetti and you get pretty close.)  So it takes an arsenal of weapons, keyed to the size and depth, to get them up (or down) and disconnected.  Yesterday, at various times, we used, in increasing order of DEFCON: hand pruners, bypass cutters, a shovel (for where the things really went underground), a mattock (essentially a Pickaxe Lite, which I didn't know existed as a tool until Eleanor brought one home), a bowsaw, and a chainsaw for the ones really in need of being massacred.

We were full-on this effort for barely two hours, but it seemed a lot longer by the time we called it quits.  Here's the haul:

That was shot looking down on it from the back stoop, but at ground level it has elements of the Watts Towers installation to it.  Maybe instead of hauling it to the curb we can get a grant from the Albright Knox or something.

Our dear neighbors' dog was along the fence about half the time, barking for about 80 percent of that- mostly of the "let's play" variety. We get along fine with him, anyway, and he and Ebony seem to have established a decent detente. I also remarked to Eleanor, during one of the digs, that I was pissing off a bunch of worms. At that very moment, Mr. Warmth from next door got into his car and pulled away, so I added, "and some of them even have drivers licenses."


Saturday Night- or, Get Off My Outfield Lawn

I'm sad to say I missed seeing this event as it unfolded- but my Internet was brimming with it when I got up this morning.

The Mets have an incredibly talented and generally very young pitching staff.  Plus, they have Big Sexy. That's the term lovingly imprinted on their oldest player, an almost 43-year-old pitcher named Bartolo Colon.  He's closer in age to me than he is to any other player on the team.  He is, to put it kindly, a bit rotund.  And while he is known for his hitting (pitchers in the National League have to fend for themselves at the plate), it is mostly for the amusement that results from watching him, in order of likelihood: swing and miss, not swing and get called out, make contact and rumble down the basepath, and occasionally avoid a fielder and get on base.

Never, in his almost twenty year career, did Colon hit one over a fence.  Until last night. There are better copies of this, but I can only embed Youtubes, so wait for it and enjoy the sheer bliss in the voice of Gary Cohen as Big Sexy goes deep:

The postscript to this event makes it even better. That sea of orange they cut briefly to after the ball went out? Those are Met fans who go to a few dozen games a year, home and away- but they were on the right field side. The home run, as you saw, went to left. And this was in San Diego- and yet the ball was caught by a Mets fan, living nearby in California, but with roots here in Buffalo.

Almost 20 years ago, Bartolo Colon, still on his way up to the majors, threw the first (and still only) no-hitter for the Buffalo Bisons in their modern era. So it's fitting that a Buffalo guy would catch the monumental ball- and, as a Good Neighbor and true Met fan would, he went right down to the clubhouse and gave Big Sexy the ball. For free.

He now gets four or five days off.  We're doing a lot less around the house today.  Because you can do great things at our ages, but not as often.
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