Prickly

Silk Floss Tree Trunk

You would not want to try to shimmy down this tree trunk. In is in the Climatron, at the Botanical Gardens, where we enjoyed a perfect Sunday afternoon. It was super bright out, with not a cloud in the sky. This weather brought out the photographers in droves. There were crowds of them. There were wedding photogs, maternity and baby ones too. Then there were people like Anne and I, people taking pictures of the garden as other than a backdrop. The gardeners have been busy in the few weeks since we were last at the gardens. All of the water lilies are gone, along with their floating Chihuly globes. Quite a few of the beds have already been turned. One would think that they’ve been prepping for the next season of Game of Thrones, as in, winter is coming. That was hard to believe on a day like this one.

We ate lunch at the garden, vegetarian naturally. We split sandwich halves, of the kale grilled cheese and the mushroom Ruben variety, chased with humongous side salads made from garden greens. Ahead of us at the order counter were a family of four, mom, dad, brother and sis. Brother and sis were going at in a very loud manner, while mom and dad tried to ignore them. I turned to Anne and said, “And on your day off.” She later said that she was this close to going into full teacher mode. She had been planning to use her latest call and response chant. “I’m a waterfall. When I say waterfall you say shush. WATERFALL!” “SHUSH!”, “Waterfall.” “Shush.”, “waterfall.” “shush.”

Watch-a, Watch-a

Space Orks

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Dave and I used to play Warhammer 40K, with figures just like those pictured above. He texted me this photo, which coincided with Anne finding in the news that there has been a shooting in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn (4 dead, 7 shot). Dan lives in this neighborhood. Her motherly concern caused her to reach out to eldest her son and ask for proof-of-life. Not immediately getting an answer, she continued worrying and soon tried again. I checked the news and discovered that the shootings occurred at a gambling parlor, on a cross street near Dan. Eventually, he got back to us and everything was alright. Dave is with him in NYC this weekend and they are at a gaming parlor, playing Warhammer. They are playing for points, so no gambling is involved and hopefully no gunplay either. We really shouldn’t worry so much, NYC is safer than Saint Louis is these days.

Anne has been dissecting owl pellets at school. An owl pellet is something that owls cough up from their gizzard. Usually, they are composed of indigestible components of the prey that they feed on and comprise things like bones, feathers and bits of fur. Sounds truly disgusting, right? That’s what the third graders thought at first, but they got into it and soon took to the task with relish. She claims that she never touched any of the pellets, but instead used tweezers and toothpicks to examine them. The kids ended up doing most of the work anyway and Anne washer her hands afterwards. According to Anne, on a continuum of grossness, owl pellets are less gross than dead mice found while opening the cabin for the summer and way less gross than phlegm. I’m sure youth wanted to know. We’re planning on getting our flu shots this week, because although it is unlikely one would ever catch anything from owl pellets, there are plenty of other sources of disease in the third grade.

Braves Chopped

Mohawk Pipe Tomahawk, 1750, New York

The fallout continues from this week’s blowout 1st inning, in the Cardinals-Braves NLDS Game 5. Georgia Republicans are carping that the Braves organization’s decision to not distribute their trademark red foam tomahawks in that game, generated the “karma” that led to the Braves rout. Earlier in this series Saint Louis pitcher, Ryan Helsley, of Cherokee heritage, disparaged Atlanta’s Tomahawk Chop cheer, before Game 2 in Atlanta. “I think it’s a misrepresentation of the Cherokee people or Native Americans in general,” Helsley told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. His complaint led the Braves to not hand out their foam tomahawks when play returned to Georgia, but it took ten unanswered Redbird runs to silence Atlanta fans and halt their performance of the Tomahawk Chop, at least for a while. Later, while railing against political correctness, Georgia conservatives cried a Trail-of-Tears, big crocodile ones, claiming that they were actually just honoring their state’s Cherokee heritage.

Yeah, right.

Well, at least Atlanta distinguished itself better this time around. Not the least, Atlanta fans did not cause a lengthy game delay by throwing trash onto the field, unlike the last time the Cardinals and Braves met in postseason play. Looking forward, Saint Louis hosts the Washington Nationals tonight. This series is for the National League pennant. I’m hoping for a good series. The Nationals should let Washington take its mind off of politics for a while and give it a chance to shine. Unlike that other crosstown franchise, who shall not be named.

Let’s go, Cardinals!