Monday, October 30, 2006

Friday, October 27, 2006

Wildlife Watching, Buffalo Beer, and Turtle Fear

Watched a great documentary about bears on the National Geographic channel a couple of nights ago. I certainly knew bears were powerful and resourceful animals, but this really brought it home. And I can't believe I missed the one documentary I've been waiting for for years, one on the Yellowstone buffaloes. This is a new documentary, and can be purchased (which no doubt I will do) here and here. The Trailwood version is a bit longer with more footage. The bear documentary is on again this Saturday and next Wednesday, and the buffalo program is on this Sunday and Nov. 17 (see listings).

And speaking of buffaloes, the Ultra Turtle (aka Buffalo Laura) is shown in her terrapin crown, ready for tonight's buffalo Halloween bash. Appropriate warning signs have been posted in the neighborhood of the herd gathering.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Buffalo Sentenced

Is "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo" a "legal" sentence? Yup. Here's the judge.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Cat is Hungry

"I tawt I taw a puddy tat!
I did! I did taw a puddy tat!
Bad old puddy tat!"
Tigers to take series in six.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Mom and Males and a Puppy Dog Tale

So, Me and Mom and Itchy Brother (bro Bill, better known as Wilhelm) and the Princess and Red Chief and the Timster are all sitting around Ma's place the other night talkin the family talk (Me and Ma draining the wine supply). And I notice some jewelry that Mom is going to polish and I pick up one of the pieces . . . a gold buffalo pin (see photo)! What the . . . ? Mom says it was given to her by her Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman boyfriend when she was on vacation in Canada during college days (her photo is from that era). Getting this collar insignia pin was like receiving a fraternity pin, although it was only a whirlwind 2-week romance. This was all before Mom, a UI Homecoming Queen, fell for a wild fraternity dude who, not long after graduation, became a fighter pilot during World War II. That be Pa.

My son the Timster had photos of his new dog, Ali Baba, so here's the little guy all dressed up in his tuxedo. Ali is still getting accustomed to his new digs, and when Tim comes home Ali gets so excited that he runs and tumbles down the steep stairs.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I Love the Smell of Football in the Morning

That smell . . . that bear breath smell . . . smells like . . . VICTORY! I have seen hundreds of football games, but last night's Chicago Bears victory was the strangest game I have ever witnessed. Big bad Bears still undefeated despite the stench of an awful performance.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Thoughts While Grazing

Big buffalo weekend Oct. 27-29 - Halloween costume party Oct. 27. What am I gonna be? Allerton race Oct. 29 followed by herd gathering at Party Marty and the Sarge's house.

Bit of stressing lately with designs due for Allerton race t-shirt and Mammals of Illinois book cover.

Signed up for Owen-Putnam State Forest 13-mile "fun run" Nov. 4 in Indiana. Did the 31-mile ultra run last year, but this year I just want to camp out the night before to satisfy my campfire addiction and have a good run next morning on a hilly, beautiful course.

Thinking about joining Buffaloes on a trip to the JFK 50-mile run in Maryland/DC area Nov.17-19. Don't want to run that far, just backpack. Since part of the run is on the Appalachian Trail, I could drive out there with members of the herd and maybe do a short 2-day hike on the trail.

With my new camera, I expect to have plenty of photos of "adventures" to post. Don't you hate it when grass gets caught between your teeth?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Saturday Night with Red Chief

My Saturday nights are usually pretty tame, but sometimes the simple things are the best. While the Princess was out and about, I had a blast with Red Chief last Saturday night as we toasted marshmallows over the fire outside under a full moon. In the cold evening air Red Chief would occasionally leave his chair and blanket to peek at a rising, brilliant moon. "Ooooo" he would always say as he got up every couple of minutes to stare at the night's brilliance all around. The cold air and the late hour eventually snuffed out the energy of the little guy, and a soft couch, warm blanket and pleasant dreams took over.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Posted especially for Pokey and the Possum Queen around the corner.

Blue Tuesday

Woke up at 4 a.m. yesterday with a fever and stomach feeling like it was about to launch. Had the fever most of the day, and although a launching never occurred, it was on the verge nearly all day. Stayed in bed most of the day. And to make me feel even worse yesterday, Princess borrowed my car and had another car hit her while she was driving with Red Chief in tow in the back seat. Accident was not her fault. Fortunately, they are fine, but now I'll have to deal with dented car. I've had better days.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Princess, Red Chief and the Timster

Princess gives her son, Red Chief, some feathers.

Princess and her little brother Tim

Buffalo Power!

I invited my kids (daughter Angie, son Tim and grandson Ethan) over last night for an elaborate meal of hot dogs and marshmallows cooked over an open fire. I spared no expense. Actually, I needed willing victims for test shots on my new camera; the food bribe worked.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

New Look at a National Scar

Civil War photo of a young black in slavery tatters and
later in freedom as a Union army drummer boy.

Being an American history nut, I was drawn into a short article that appeared in the News-Gazette last week about comedian Bill Cosby seeking funds for the construction of a national slavery museum. Right away I thought, “This will be controversial.” And sure enough, after doing a little digging on the subject, there are pros and cons all over the place for the project, even disagreement among blacks, whose views range from "Get it built" (some saying rich black rappers and athletes should give a fair amount) to "Forget the past, build on what we have now and put the money where it is really needed."

The Gazette article did not mention that the museum was beyond the planning stage, so I was surprised when I came upon an aerial photo of the carving up of a forest along a river in Virginia where the museum is already being built. The slavery museum backers want a museum that is uniquely dedicated to slavery, but perhaps a better place to put the museum would have been as part of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which is in the planning stages and will be adjacent to the Washington Monument and across the street from the National Museum of American History.

Interestingly, the slavery museum is being built in the middle of historic civil war battlefields near Fredericksburg, Virginia, 50 miles south of Washington, DC.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Mad Dawg: A Bit of Ireland in the Herd

Besides the Devil Dawg, there is another mut in the buffalo herd, the Mad Dawg (Mark Daly). The mad mut is shown above during the Riddle Run (my favorite running event), the annual January "no matter what the weather" run (it was minus 11 degrees one year). In the photo he is carrying his array of international instruments, which includes an Australian didgeridoo and an Irish drum. Out on the trail, Mark entertained the runners as a one-man band. One of the ringleaders of the local "Irish mafia", the Mad Dawg is quite a character and was a regular at our Thursday evening trail runs at Mahomet. When he disclosed last year that he had brain cancer, I was stunned. Mark is a fun-loving, crazed guy, and the bad news hit like a brick in the eye. The Dawg has had his ups and downs in his battle with cancer, but he remains an active runner and biker, and nut case. One tough buffalo.

I ran a 5K race Saturday, the proceeds of which go to help Mark and his family in his cancer fight. It was quite a testament to the Mad Dawg with a good turnout of friends and supporters at the race.

My beloved Illni and Chicago Bears! What a weekend. Kicked butt.
Photography: Finally bought a digital camera this weekend, so expect many more photos in Tomfoolery.
Backpacking: Itching to take another backpacking trip out east, but don't know if I can make it soon. Would like to go as the leaves turn colors. If not, may go in November. Although it will be chillier, I'll just hunker down and stay by the campfire. Can't wait.