Friday, December 31, 2010

The Gloom is Gone fo the Moment

The rain has finally ended for now. I know I've said often that I moved here for the gloom, but lately there has been more than enough gloom to go around. I was able to work outside a bit today. I let the horses out onto the frozen pasture where they were able to behave like horses, running, kicking up their heels and rolling instead of standing around watching it rain.

I have lots of plans for the next few days of cold dry weather. I have a massive pile of brush to burn, do some fencing for a new pasture, plant some trees and I need to clean out the greenhouse. Hopefully a gardener friend is going to come for a couple loads of manure. I'm running out of manure storage space. It just doesn't cook down like it does in the summer.

I'm even planning to do some laundry and hang it on the line to dry. The East wind should do the trick even though the days are short at this latitude. They may even be freeze dried.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


I'm not a big juice drinker. I do enjoy it but I'm more fond of coffee and water. Last week I got a big box of Mandarin oranges and I got sick of having two a day so I figured I should juice them.

My mother had a juicer attachment for her mix master when I was growing up. Once in a while she would juice some oranges and it was a real treat. I didn't want to go to the expense of getting a power juicer, but I've been able to find a manual juicer at the local grocery stores. I went to the kitchen shop at the Seaside Outlet Mall and I found a nice glass juicer, which I put to work as soon as I got home.

I ended up with a pint of juice. It wasn't that homogenized pasteurized crap that is squeezed from unsellable oranges you find in the cooler at the store. It was rich and flavorful and laced with pulp. It took me back to the days of my youth sitting at my mother's breakfast table.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Where It Was At

The older I get the more fondly my memories become. Radio was a big part of my early life. Radio isn't the same these days. There are few radio stars left. Sure there are some personalities and the closest would be all those local Morning Zoo personalities. Every city has one or two and this is one of the reasons radio has become the lowest rung of the entertainment business. No one these days commands the respect and the devoted listenership that radio personalities had just 30 years ago. Back then radio was meant to be listened to not just a provider of background noise. A good show never got old.

Two shows that I fondly remember were on the now defunct WNEW-AM. William B Williams had the Make Believe Ballroom show and the theme song lured me in daily. It was old big band music. It had to be good in order for my 20 year old ears to accept the music from the 30's and 40's. The theme music said it all.Make Believe Ballroom

Since I was young, sleep meant little to me so I'd stay up all night listening to the Milkman's Matinee with Al Jazzbeaux Collins. Here was the theme song for his show.
Milkman's Matinee

My adventures in radio have long gone. I rarely ever listen anymore and when I do I do it for background noise. Like most other people I pay more attention to the nonsense on TV and worse yet the Internet. I know it's horrible, but I can't wait until the next adventure of the Real Annoying Orange that comes out nearly every Friday. What have I become? It's a disgrace.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Finding Farm Hard Ware

I am all for shopping locally, but sometimes you just can't find the weird little items for the farm. Years ago If you couldn't find something you needed at Brims you could find it at Darigold. Then Darigold downsized and became Papa Jacks but now there is only one local farm supplier left in the area. I'm not being critical of their stock because they simply can't carry everything for each discipline of animal husbandry. Also they have to keep an eye on their bottom line and it makes sense for them to buy from suppliers that have a broad array of what is needed, but not necessarily hard to find items. Also sometimes they have to buy large quantities.

A recent example are those white vinyl caps that you put on T-posts. I had a horse that ripped a chunk out of her butt on a sharp T-post so now every post gets covered. I just fenced in a new area and I needed more post covers. Locally I could only find them in a package of 100. I needed 47 of them and I found them on line in packages of 25. I also needed to replace two fence chargers. Locally they sell for over $100, but I found them on-line for under $40 each. Then there was the tank heater that was made specifically for 5 gallon plastic buckets and the watering nipples to water chickens.

For those of you looking for those hard to find farm and pet items try or even better American Livestock also carries all sorts of medicines and treatments at very low prices. Orders over $100 get free shipping.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Pants on Fire

There are two types of liars. The type we all dislike are those that lie to take advantage of someone or to make money or a grab for power.

The other type of liar is one that I like. These are people that exaggerate to make a story better. These are stories that are usually based in truth but get embellished to the point of unlikelihood. It's hard to call them their story because they are often somewhat plausible and if not they are at least entertaining.

I've known a few master liars and I've never minded hearing their yarns. They were harmless. Sometimes their stories even got better with time and more embellishment.

To you liars out there, keep up the fine work.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Yourshire Pudding

I've been so immersed in James Heriot lately that I figured it was time I cooked a proper British dinner. He writes so poetically about roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. There are times that I can really get into the Herriot spirit when I'm working with the horses or out among the chickens monitoring their behavior or confirmation.

It's been a rainy winter here much like I imagine the winters were on the Yorkshire Dales where Herriot practiced. How fitting to have a Herriot type dinner on a rainy night such as this.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I Can't Count

I know that if I stack my hay properly I can haul 50 bales per trip. I can fit 40 bales in the horse trailer, 8 bales in the truck bed and two bales in the tack room of the horse trailer.

Somehow along the way I found I can stack the bales on their sides I can fit more bales in the horse trailer. Today I went to get a load of hay. Since I no longer store hay in my garage I can only store 35 bales in my hay room. I figured I know what a 35 bale load looks like and I had been counting, but when I got home I found that I loaded 38 bales. Fortunately I was able to stack one row higher in the hay room. I'll send off a check for the extra bales on Monday and I'll be able to squeeze another week out of my supply.

Friday, December 24, 2010

I'm So Confused

It's not often a musical act confuses me but I've been bested by The Cat Empire. I can't decide if they are Rappers, Salsa, Klezmer, Reggae, a Swing Band, or just an Aussie quasi Folk group. They are good and interesting, and they cover all the musical basis, but I think they'd be more interesting if they would dedicate each album to one style. They are all over the place. Normally this would be great for someone with a short attention span, such as myself, but it just ends up confusing me.

Here a Cat Empire Video

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I am fascinated by auctions. I haven't been to a real auction only charity auctions, but it is something I'd like to dip my toes in someday.

Charity auctions often see common donated items like a bottle of wine sell for hundreds of dollars. One of my jars of honey went for $65 at one auction. It's a charity thing and a chance for those with deep pockets to share their wealth.

I've participated on Ebay auctions and I've won a few but most go over the value I place on the items and I let them go to a higher bidder.

I think I need to find an auction mentor to show me the ropes before I make any big mistakes. I'd like to attend some farm auctions one of these days. Any cool stories out there?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Squeaky Floors

Tango and I have been writing to one another about squeaky floors. She has some in her town house that are driving her mad.

I, on the other hand love a floor that squeaks. I have a squeaky spot in my kitchen that I try to step on when ever I walk through. Squeaks give a house character.

But back to Tango's problem. I went through several ways to fix a squeaky floor with her and then after doing some research she sent me this video. This is the best thing I've ever seen to fix a floor through carpet, hardwood and linoleum. Here's their web site The best thing is how inexpensive it is. Very cool!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


A few months I wrote about trying to give something away every day and I have to report I'm doing pretty well on that commitment. I often give things to friends and another great resources I found for giving is Freecycle. Along with ads that people post to give things away many also post ads for things they want. I'm surprised how many things I have that have not been used recently that I no longer need. It's like people out there know what I have laying around.

It becomes exciting to open Freecycle and see if I can match my stuff with someone who wants or need it and keep the giving going forward.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Wouldn’t it be interesting to write entirely in homophones? A phrase like I do not know you will become, “ Eye dew knot no ewe.”

It must be hard for someone who speaks English as a second language to catch on to this just as all those idiots out there that get tattoos of Chinese symbols on their body. Are you really sure that symbol means what you think it means? “But that’s what they said at the tattoo shop!” And we all know that tattoo artists all have degrees in philology.

The nuances of language are so delicate. It is so easy to slip up linguistically and in writing. Right? or that could be wright, or rite, or write?

One can be easily hurt by language; bee leaf it ore knot…

Sunday, December 19, 2010

They're Back!

Well, let's say they are coming back. After two months of dismal egg production the hens are coming back in. They are even growing new feathers and are starting to look "henny" again.

Recently egg production has bee one, two, three or even no eggs a day, but I've had three days this week where there were seven per day. I have standing egg customers and sometimes they had to wait two weeks for me to fill their orders.

I'm surprised they are laying again since the weather has been cold and rainy and we haven't even hit the shortest day of the year yet.

It looks like I'll need to start printing more carton lables.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


During the summer our horses get out every day, but when it rains we keep them in. They aren't locked up in a stall. Our stalls have open doors and they can go in and out as they please. Outside their stalls we have a fenced in area where the entire ground is covered with thick rubber stall mats so they are never standing around in mud.

It's been rainy here just about every day lately, but the last two days have been dry and they got to do out today. The pastures are still wet and they did stir up a lot of mud and rolled in it, but it was good for them to get out. I've noticed them not liking the sight of one another over the past two days and this escalates over time so a day out breaks the monotony.

I wish I had old established pastures that two horses couldn't turn to mud, but I have what I have. I've seen some horses that are always standing in mud and I can't imagine how their feet aren't totally ruined. I constantly search my horses hooves for any sign of thrush which is hard to avoid in this climate, but in all the years we've had horses I am proud to say we've had the same bottle of Coppertox for close to ten years now.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Remarkable Person

The photo above is of a mansion that I worked in while I was in high school and college. I came across some remarkable people during my tenure there. Many were best described as transient laborers who would come to work for a couple months and then they'd wander off. By transients I don't mean they were hobos or bums, though they did hire bums from time to time. They had wonderful stories. They were people with infinite interests and and needed to move around a lot to keep gathering their cashes of stories and life experiences.

There was one very remarkable person I remembered today. Like the other transient workers he didn't work there long. He didn't live on site and I don't know where he lived, but one could tell on first impression that he was someone that came from great wealth and education. He had a slight British accent and spoke magnificently with a command of the language I've rarely seen. I recall showing him around the mansion on his first day. His job was assistant to the librarian.

As I showed him around I realized that he was actually showing me around. He started in about the mansion telling me it was a recreation of Jacobean architecture that was popular in the King James period of the 1600s. He told me about the sterling chandlers and about the craftsmen that created them. He went on about the Italian wood carvers that that labored for five years creating the carvings on the stair case. He told me the story of the leaded glass windows and about the application of gold leaf on the reading room wall. He was well versed in every aspect of this grand home as though he grew up in a similar home.

I recall him boldly addressing the pipe organ in the grand hall. This organ had never been played in the entire time I worked there, but he treated it with reverence like an old friend. He knew the switches that needed to be turned on the bellows in the basement. The floor rumbled as the motors beneath our feet brought up the air to the organ. He arranged the stops where he wanted them and shortly after his feet met the pedals and his fingers confronted the keys. He started in with a Bach organ piece and the the entire mansion vibrated and resonated in harmony with the pipes. It was remarkable and his skill as an organist was unmatched.

I hadn't thought of him in the last twenty five years and I was surprised when his name popped into my head today. I did a search on the net and found him successfully still doing music not far from where we worked. He is a Choir Director and organist. His bio stated he was trained at Westminster.

I think I learned more form him during his first day on that job that I've learned from anyone in the the span of one day before or since.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sufjan Stevens

I recently stumbled upon Sufjan Stevens on KANM. He sounded very interesting so I downloaded the album which they were playing. It is known as Come on Feel the Illinoise (that is the way the collection is spelled).
Within listen to the first two tracks I fount this to be the most intelligent and thoughtful collection I’ve listened to in quite a while.

Wikipedia lists Sufjan’s music in the following genres: Indie folk, baroque pop, folk rock, alternative, progressive rock, electronica, art rock, and experimental. However I have a hard time pinning any tag on this work. He employs all sorts of instruments and voices which can make one reflect on British concept albums, rock operas, Iron and Wine, the Decemberists, NRBQ, Owen Pallet and thrown in some Dan Fogelberg for that Mid-West feeling. Who needs New York and LA when sounds like this can be made from the spirit of the Heartland?

My words don't do justice to this collection. He also has several newer and older albums in his collection and I'm looking forward to spending time with each. By the way, he plans to release an album for each of the 50 states.

Check out this Sufjan Stevens Video

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bing, Bing, Bing

In the past 24 hours I have driven from Astoria to McMinneville, to Waldport, Back to Astoria then onto Scappoose then back over to McMinneville then back to the coast near Newport and I'm finally back in Astoria.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Rain-X Removal

My father-in-law has always been a faithful user of Rain-X which is a coating you apply to your windshield and it makes visibility much better while driving in the rain. The problem with Rain-X is that it must be applied exactly as the directions state. Another problem I've found that it works great the first time you apply it, but subsequent applications kind of muck things up. The only way to make it right is to replace the windshield or clean it off if you can and replace with wipers in the process.

My wife has been driving her father's car and the Rain-X coating was so bad that she insisted I study sites on how to remove it. Rain-X is considered the bane of window repair shops. Many don't even want to work on windshields that have ever been treated. The suggestion was to use Soft Scrub or Bon Ami or similar products that do not scratch to remove the coating. I tried Bon Ami and the stuff just beaded up on the windshield. It didn't remove anything even with vigorous scrubbing. Next I moved onto glass stove top cleaner and this worked like a charm. It actually removed the stuff.

Monday, December 13, 2010


There are simple pleasures that I often forget to take part in such as having a cup of afternoon tea, or having a glass of sherry. Another thing I neglect is our rocking chair.

Nearly every home has a rocking chair. My mother always had one in her bed room and we had an outdoor rocking chair on our porch. My wife bought one when she first moved in and she used it occasionally to rock her youngest son.

Once in a while I will find myself in our rocking chair and I thoroughly enjoy my time there. Our chair is wooden and hard but it is comfortable. It fits the butt and back perfectly. It's arms rise to the perfect height to attend to my arms.

Then there is the rocking. I've sat in chairs that have a springy action, and I've sat in chairs that slide back and forth, but nothing compares to rocking. It is so simple yet it is perfect.

I'd be willing to bet there is an under utilized rocking chair in your life. It's time to reacquaint yourself with it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A New Age

I recently realized that I have officially entered middle age because this year I purchased more sympathy cards than birthday cards.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Minimalism, Part 4 of 4

La Monte Young is known as the Father of Minimalist Music. Though most people deeply into minimalism have never heard of La Monte. His recordings are numerous, but don't expect to find them at your favorite music store. You can find some of his works on compilation albums, but his original albums sell for hundreds of dollars.

When I first entered the world of minimalism, people in my circle referred to La Monte's music as "Dueling vacuum cleaners", "Angry bees" or "Damn, those are some squeaky breaks." La Monte's stuff is hard to take even for those are well seasoned Minimalist enthusiasts who appreciate what he does.

Mark Twain once said this about Wagner and I'll switch it to the La Monte's music. "La Monte Young's music is really much better than it sounds."

If you dare to have a taste click on the link.La Monte Young

Friday, December 10, 2010

Minimalism Part 3 of 4

Terry Riley is probably the third or fourth most influential composer in the minimalist music realm. Riley's influences come from Persian and Indian music with micro-tonal impressions. His recordings are not as easily accepted by the ear as the two more popular composers mentioned in the previous posts, but there is something there. Terry Riley has a good body of work, however he fewer recordings than Glass or Reich.

My favorite is a concert I recorded on WNYC about 30 years ago called Ten Voices of the Two Prophets, which I don't think was ever commercially released. Though the title sounded mystical, in actuality, Riley used two Prophet synthesizers, each with five voices. This to me was his finest work and takes me on a magic carpet ride every time I listen to it. I don't have the means to share that work on this blog, but here is a link so you can get a taste of what it is that Riley does.
Terry Riley, Persian Surgery Dervishes

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Minimalism, Part 2 of 4

After opening the door into the main hall of minimalism you pass through the Philip Glass room and then you next open the door to the Steve Reich room. Reich another of the great minimalist is lesser known than Glass, but he has an impressive body of works. Most popular was his Music for 18 Musicians.

I met Steve Reich briefly at Carnegie Hall. I was on my way to my seat in the audience and he was monkeying around with the sound board at the back of the audience. I walked back to say hello and to compliment his work. He was a gracious unassuming person and actually chatted with me for a few moments.

Reich's music is more of a percussive nature. He does employ other vocalists and musicians, but the pieces he writes for them is percussive in nature so even the violins and wind instruments are used percussively.

It is simply fascinating attending one of Reich's concerts. The stage usually has several grand pianos, six or eight marimbas, several drums and assorted other percussion instruments. The musicians walk on stage and start quietly, but within minutes they are all working their pieces in total concentration creating unforgettable sounds for their audience.

Here is a video of a promotional trailer for a CD that some students in Allendale Michigan made when they took on the momentous project of mastering Music for 18 Musicians. Having heard this piece performed live on several occasions I can say they really nailed it.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Minimalism, Part 1 of 4

I got an email from my nephew the other day. He read my profile where it says I like Philip Glass and wanted to know what my favorite Glass pieces were. I’ve been meaning to write about my favorite minimalist composers for quite some time since their music inspired me in the way religion inspires others.

I remember the day I first tuned into minimalism. I was driving my Subaru Brat South on Route 17. I had just passed the Ridgewood exit when the sounds of the Philip Glass opera, Einstein on the Beach blessed my speakers. It was being broadcast on WBAI. I had a destination, but I just kept driving for hours as the opera played on. When it was over I went into Sam Goody and walked out with the box set on Tomato Records. I think I spent nearly a month listening constantly to each side. I was reborn.

Soon I had tickets in my hand to see it performed live at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The opera was over three and a half hours in length.

Since then I’ve become nearly as enamored with several of he other operas and appreciate his other work strongly, but nothing can top my first love of Einstein on the Beach. If you look at the Glass discography there seems to be thousands of recordings. His music turns up in so many films and even commercials. I failed to keep up with all of his stuff, but I still pop in my ear buds from time to time and listen to my favorite operas.

There is a remarkable video linked here of the abbreviated story of the production of the opera.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Nuff Said

It is very interesting that how when you communicate with some people you really have to go into deep detail and then you have to compare impressions and somehow come to a consensus.

I'm a relative quiet person. I speak a lot less than most men and I prefer a quieter approach to speaking.

I realized today that I have an excellent communication relationship with my friend Blue Mamba. We can say volumes with inference rather than speaking. We have a mutual friend, so I asked her if she had spoken to our friend, and she said, yes. At that point I knew that she knew what I knew and the conversation on that topic was over. Had she answered "no" that conversation would have been over as well and that would have prompted her to seek out our mutual friend for the scoop.

We limit our words as one may limit typed characters while typing text messages. We have no over statements.

Monday, December 06, 2010

So Far So Good

After an active summer with my bees I strapped down the tops on the hives to let them be. I left each hive enough honey to last the winter, but since it has been so cold and wet I figured it was time to look in on them today since the sun was shinning.

Honey bees don't like to be messed with when it is cold, rainy or windy. Though there was a stiff breeze today it was the best day in the last six weeks to open them up.

All six colonies in my upper bee yard were strong and healthy. Some even flew out to check me out. As a treat I poured about a half cup of drivert sugar on top of each cluster of bees. This is finely ground sugar. They can eat sugar in a dry state and another benefit is that it knocks off any mites that may be on the bees.

There are another seven hives down at the bee yard by my house. Here the news wasn't quite as good. All but two colonies were healthy. I had one colony that was totally missing, a symptom of Colony Collapse Disorder, and I had another colony that had starved. This is something I never like to see, little bee butts protruding from the honey comb sells. I had left them more than enough food to last the winter, but it appears their honey had been robbed by another colony, leaving them with nothing.

My Russian Blue colony was as nasty as ever. No sooner had I opened the lid and a couple hundred bees boiled out. Though theoretically it is too cold fro bees to fly they were all over me in an instant. They are going to be a fun group to work with come spring.

All the surviving lower colonies got their ration of drivert sugar and I strapped down the lids again to leave them alone for another two weeks. Thus the cycle continues.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Finally Finished

I am finally finished with all my leadership roles in several different organizations. I started to no longer pursue extending any obligations in a leadership capacity to one organization two years ago and I gave up maintaining a website for that organization at the same time. This left me with one organization to shepherd along, but tonight I finished my final duties and handed to roll onto to someone else.

Though the leadership was the easy part since I had very dedicated people doing all that needed to be done on the ground; the main frustration was that it was hare to find new blood to step into leadership roles. Finally people who really enjoy the things we do saw it was time to take it to the next level and fill all the official positions for a one year commitment.

My relief is that I no longer have to travel to state board meetings. I no longer have to find meeting locations or mediate squabbles. I really enjoy the word "Shepherd" that I used in the first paragraph of this post. My position was that of a shepherd and my joy now is that I can return to being a sheep.

Saturday, December 04, 2010


I posted about James Herriot yesterday. Herriot was his pen name, but in reality his name was James Alfred Wight, also known as Alf Wight. He was born in Scotland in 1916. He became a qualified Veterinary Surgeon at the age of 23.

He and his wife Joan (not Helen) had two children, Jim who also became a vet who became a partner in his practice and a daughter, Rosie, who became a general physician.

Herriot’s stories take place in a town he calls Darrowby, which he based largely on the towns of Thirsk, where he practiced and the town of Sowerby

I recall reading a story about him the year before his death. He was in a field and a ram head butted him in the behind and James went flying. As many of his characters would say, :Things like this happen." The next thing I read was of his death in 1995 at age 76. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1991. He died in his home in Thirlby

Herriot’s use of the language was masterful. Equally masterful was his keen observation skills. I am always amazed by how vets can see things that simply aren’t visible we who look at our animals every day. I’m totally amazed by our local large animal vets and how they can set aside what we say is wrong with our animals that may prejudice them when they look at our stock, and pull out a wild diagnosis that I’ve never heard of

So for you fans of Herriot, it’s a good time to dust off his books and give them another go.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Pet Names For Money

I’ve been listening to all the audio books by James Herriot that I have on my MP3 player. My player plugs into the stereo in my truck. It’s much better than listening to radio blather.

Herriot, I’m sure you will remember was the author of all the All Creatures Great and Small series, which are the tales of a country Veterinary Surgeon in the 30’s and 40’s. Though I am familiar with many of the ailments, maladies and animal personalities of which he writes and I am totally confused when ever he talks of English currency and the payments that people are offering him. I decided to look it up and here’s how it all works.

Let’s say is a whole object instead of converting it to US Currency where it ends up being 1 and a half times what the face value is.

Like US currency there are 100 Pence or Pee to the pound. Their coin range is 1 penny, 2 pence, 5 pence, 10 pence, 20 pence, 50 pence, 1 pound, and 2 pounds. Paper currency is (Quid) 5 pound note, the 10 pound note, the 20 pound note and the 50 pound note.

Converting the Old currency to the new:
• Six pence - 2½p
• One shilling (or 'bob') - 5p
• Half a crown (2 shillings and sixpence) - 12½p
• One guinea - £1.05

I can understand how one might from another country could be confused with our US system and slang we have for our money. We have: Cents, Penny, Nickel, Dime, Quarter, Green Backs, Bucks, Fin, Saw Buck, a Hamilton, a Grant a C-Note, Grand, Big and I’m sure I’m missing a few in my list. If you ever think that Americans aren’t folksy about our currency, we could easily out-shine the Brits when it comes to our money.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Purina Sucks

Well, kind of. Granted, Purina products are a great feeds for livestock and pets, but a couple months ago they made a move away from paper feed sacks to a #5 woven plastic sack. Yes, the sacks are stronger and are unlikely to break in transit, but they are totally un-recyclable.

If you go to the Purina web site you can find their explanation of cost savings and durability. They do talk about the difficulty of recycling, but they are going to continue production.

I would like to use a different feed that doesn't use plastic sacks, but there is no substitution for Purina quality. There were a lot of disappointed kids at the Fair this year because when they used other feeds their animals weren't able to achieve market weight and they all went running back to the Purina brand.

With the amount of feed I use with the chickens and horses I will have have over a hundred plastic sacks to take to the dump next year. I am going to save and store them in the even Purina decides to take back the empty sacks from feed stores for recycling.

If you are concerned about these sacks, please go to the Purina web site and register your complaint.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Tick, Tick, Tick, Gong....

I just spent several days at my Father-In-Law's home. He is a man of many interests, but it seems his major passion is clocks and watches. He collects them and repairs them. Now, mind you "collects them" isn't quite a strong enough to describe what he has going on at his place. It is more akin to having a sample of every clock ever made and a few he has made himself.

The odd thing about being in a clock collector's home is the constant ticking. There were no fewer than ten clocks in his living room. Some wound and some not. Some were just mounted as objects of beauty. It was hard to figure which clocks were set to the correct time.

Fortunately there was only one clock that chimed on the hour and it made the sound of the Big Ben chime, but at least it was muted. Another clock that was working when I arrived stopped working and needed to be rewound. Oddly after being reactivated it started chiming and gonging, but with any regularity. It didn't just sound on the hour, but rather whenever it felt like it needed to be heard and whenever I wasn't expecting it.

There were other grand clocks in other parts of his house and fortunately the Coo Coo Clock in the bedroom I was staying in wasn't running during my visit.