Our Own Oddities

Red Tulips in Forest Park

When we moved to Saint Louis, we first encountered Our Own Oddities. This local Sunday special was featured in the comics section of the Post-Dispatch. This strip always seemed to me to be similar to the syndicated Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. It frequently featured unusually shaped fruits and vegetables, such as a potato that resembled Richard Nixon. In addition to freakish produce the strip also featured peculiar local trivia, like a woman who lived at 1919 Montgomery St. and was born at nine o’clock on August 19, 1919. The paper discontinued this feature years ago, which is unfortunate, because I have some new entries.

I rode in the park this morning and while riding I encountered two noteworthy scenes. The first was a man on the bike path. This man was holding a log in his hands. This log had been cut to fireplace length and was about 8″ in diameter. He was holding it out in front of himself, with both palms pressed against the two flat ends. But what made this individual even more unique was that he was dragging a car tire behind him, laid flat on the path, by a rope around his waist. His homemade exercise regimen certainly set him apart from all us others.

The other scene of note was encountered while rolling past the Grand Basin. A dozen new moms were working out, each with their new baby in its stroller facing them. I guess that watching mom gyrate in front of them, must have been soothing or at least entertaining for the infants. It would have made a good pic.

Not to be outdone, Anne witnessed her own oddity, while walking home from school. We are not alone here, while suffering under the ministrations of the sewer district. There are many other streets that are also undergoing the same uncrossing of the waters that we are. While Anne was walking by one such site, she observed a driver attempting to exit their driveway. MSD had trenched out the road in front of the house, such that when the car exited the driveway, it first dropped into the dugout section of the road. Thump! Then it attempted to climb back out again and ran into an even steeper wall along the road’s centerline. Whump! Some back and fill ensued, eventually leading to the car’s escape, but not completely, because it had lost a bumper in all of that bumping and grinding.

Earth Day

Great Blue Heron’s Call-to-Arms

Today, is Earth Day, not quite a national holiday, but a holiday near and dear to us both. Yesterday, we celebrated it properly by attending its festival in Forest Park. We arrived carbon neutral on our bicycles, not bookkeeping our own CO2 exhalations, which were minimal. Anyway, it was the easiest way to travel.

The Saint Louis festival is a conglomeration of booths. Some are nonprofit and some are for profit. It really is a mish-mash. You can be discussing regional bike politics at one booth and then fending off aluminum siding salesmen at the next.

The fun of Earth Day is shopping among these often disparate environmental, political and economic approaches to saving the planet. A class of pitches are from our utilities. Our lovely sewer district was pitching its greenness, with its program to uncross the streams. We were already too aware of this initiative. The electric company was asking us to subsidize their shift from fossil fuels to renewable sources, which is mandated by law. Under the current administration a little consumer push could be in order. I need to research this some more.

Cars are another big category at the fair. In past years, multiple manufactures would ply their higher MPG wares, in an effort to show their greenery. This year only Subaru dared. Separate were the electric vehicles. Headlined by Tesla with its new model 3 and whose sole salesman was overwhelmed by the crowd. 

Man holding dog leash: It’s time to go.
Boy petting skunk fir: I don’t like skunks.
Man holding dog leash and plastic bag: Well, I don’t like holding sh!t.
Booth person: Get use to it, man.

Corporate America aside, it is the more informal organizations that I dearly love. These civic organization’s booths are populated by volunteers. They are generally more closely aligned to saving the environment and they were way more fun to speak with. We had a great time and stayed longer than expected. 

Red Maple Leaf Shawl

Anne’s Red Maple Leaf Shawl

Anne has knitted the above pictured Red maple leaf shawl. Isn’t it lovely? I love how she has even worked into the pattern the leaf’s veins. I also love its gradual transition from colors light to dark. She is such a crafty woman. She modeled her shawl yesterday, for our photo shoot and while she looked fantastic in it, you really couldn’t she all of the shawl on her as well has you can see it here, laid flat. Seeing this photograph today, she mused that maybe she should have worn it pinned as a cape, like superman would, or rather superwoman, or maybe nature girl. She plans on wearing the shawl to Becca and Rey’s beach wedding this summer. I hope that she does not have to wear it under some other outer wear like she wore at our wedding, many years ago. It is too beautiful hide. 

Lime Bike

Lime Bikes in Forest Park

I discovered half-a-dozen Lime Bike bicycles today, in Forest Park. There were sitting on the path between Pagoda Circle and the Visitors Center, under the blossoming Bradford pears. I had heard that this kiosk-less ride sharing service was coming to town, but it was still a surprise to see them just sitting there. A lock immobilizes the rear wheel, which with their app and a credit card can be unlocked. The first ride is free. There is also a lojack system that tracks the bikes. Almost a hundred of these bikes were distributed around town.

I hadn’t been expecting the bicycles, when I stopped to checkout the blooming trees. The above photo is just the latest example of this shot, which I have taken again and again. I thought that I had missed these flowers, while we were in California, because normally them bloom at the beginning of April. They are late this year, but then so is spring this year too,

What a Nice Day!

Pussywillow Blossom

Anne went to school, but only for the morning and I went for a bike ride in the park. I picked her up at eleven and we went out to lunch at Vine, on South Grand. It was warm today, so we ate outside. Despite its name, Vine is strictly non-alcoholic, being a Muslim establishment. We had water instead. We also shared humus with pita (the humus among us), followed by wraps. It was all good food and cheap too.

Afterwards, we went to the garden, where there was plenty in bloom to see. I’m feeling a little weary now, what with a full day of fun in the sun, but I am not the one who announced that she needed a couch, when we got home. Still, it was a particularly fine day and we got to enjoy it together. Luv ya Babe!

Whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on

Beneath the Santa Monica Pier

One place you don’t want to be during an earthquake is beneath the pier in Santa Monica. Another place that you don’t want to be is at home with me today while MSD tears up the road in front of the house. MSD has laid all of its sewer pipe and now plans on repaving the street, but before they can pave, they must first tear up the old surface. Our shaking was caused by a Bobcat with a pile driver. It rattled the windows, shook the house and caused a few things to fall. Anne got a late call to substitute and she was out of here. The shaking didn’t last too long, but it was soon followed by a steam shovel that was attended by a parade of dump trucks. Our side of the street has been excavated down to the subsurface.

We parked the car around the corner in expectation of not being able to use our driveway for a while. I also put out the recyclable dumpster for tomorrow, but I am now unsure how it will be emptied, what with a moat in front of us and no drawbridge to be had. Plans call for replacing the old asphalt with new concrete. This means that we will be out of our driveway for a week, so that the concrete can cure. Then they plan on doing it all over again on the other side of the road.

The really earthshaking recent events though have been the FBI raids on Trump attorney, Michael Cohen. Purportedly related to Stormy Daniels, this line of inquiry looks capable of superseding the rest of the Russia investigation. It seems ironically fitting and proper that his presidency could be brought down by one woman and a stripper at that. As Trump said, this is a disgrace, his disgrace.