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Thursday, January 5, 2017

December 2016

December brought us a real, if thin, snowfall, and a genuine cold snap.  Below zero temperatures froze things up well enough for me to go ice fishing.  After several false starts, I found the honey hole over in Lowell's lake and brought home 8 decent bluegills.  The end of the academic semester finally came.  We had our insect folk song sing-along for the last lab in Entomology, and there was the annual Christmas carol sing-along/play-along.  These are always fun musical events, and give me an excuse to pull out the old charango.

Since final exams I've spent most of my time organizing my workshop and the other sheds.  I've built shelves and moved things around to places that make the most sense at the moment.  Stacey and I spent an afternoon recently packing things in plastic (presumably mouse-proof) tubs for long-term storage.  This event was essentially our final act of moving.

My friend Bob gave me a wood lathe, which I've always considered to be a highly specialized tool.  I've made some preliminary efforts with it, just with pieces of wood I had lying about.  I've turned some square pieces into round ones, and made two yo-yos and a top.  Lowell gave me his old fuel tank, so we spent an afternoon moving it over.  It needs refinishing and some other work, which makes for the perfect winter project.  It had sat so long that a tree had grown through its base and surrounded some of the angle iron.  It was an effort with chainsaw, splitting wedges and sledge hammer just to get that off.  We decided a welder would be useful, so we split the cost of a cheap one.  It will increase the range of projects we can attempt.

The dogs are about the same, and we still have Marshall.  We've had him about 4 months already.  Miss Kitty, now fully recovered from her surgery, is more spunky than ever.  She lost about 5 pounds, which probably helps.

Stacey and I went to the Therapy Dog Christmas party.  Sadly, dogs were not invited.  However, the hostess prepared a tremendous spread of diverse delectables.  It was fun to talk to people about dogs all night and some productive things came out of the meeting too.

We hosted the camera club Christmas party this year, which was a first.  We put all the dogs in crates in the (heated) workshop, which worked really well.  It was fun.  We have seldom entertained in recent years, but that may change now.  For Christmas day, we had Lowell, Savannah and her boyfriend over.  This was the first time we met the new beau.  He's gainfully employed, relatively normal, and a very nice guy.

I've been working as an expert witness for about 3 years on a wasp-related case.  It was finally about to go to trial and I had even booked a flight to Florida for next week.  Fortunately, the case settled out of court and I don't have to go.  I would have made a nice sum of money, but I would have had to drive back from St. Louis in the wee hours of the morning and be ready for my 8:30 class.  Both Stacey and I are quite relieved.

This may be my last blog for awhile.  I've been writing them monthly in recent years, but now even that seems a stretch.  Hard to believe I used to write them weekly.  They'll probably be restricted to special events or travel.  In the meantime, you can follow me on Facebook.

Click here for December photos.