1. Ryland the chicken is doing much better and has pretty much recovered from her wry-neck. She’s walking around, eating on her own, and generally keeping herself clean as well as chickens do. Her head is mostly on straight these days, which is more than I can say for most people I meet. She still has her head cocked a bit to one side most of the time, which gives her a bit of a quizzical expression as if she’s trying to figure out the joke without being too obvious about it, but that’s chickens for you in the best of times.
2. The soft-serve ice cream joint in Our Little Town opened up for business today. This is how you know it’s almost but not quite spring in Wisconsin. People in this state eat ice cream in any form in any weather, but to stand around outside and eat it requires the calendar to be within shouting distance of something that isn’t New Year’s Eve. It snowed yesterday and today’s high was about 27F, but the line of cars waiting to go through the drive through was down the block and there were people standing in line in front of the walk-up windows both times we drove by. It’s kind of a shame it wasn’t open in February when it was 74F here, but that’s climate change for you.
3. My high school choir director passed away last weekend. He was 103. They forced him to retire due to his age the year I graduated high school, and my guess is he outlived half the people who made that decision. And good for him, I say. I sang in choirs at every school I ever attended as a student and in a few other places as well, and his choir was the peak of it all. He had more energy than any of us, and he made the group something people wanted to join. Fair winds and following seas, Dr. Giersch. You made the world a better place.
4. The US Post Office now makes stamps that commemorate the Stamp Act of 1764. Technically they honor the repeal of the Stamp Act, which took place in 1766, but still. I like the fact that we have Stamp Act stamps, and the fact that the sheet they come in says right there on the front, “Taxation without representation is tyranny.” I used them to send in my tax return documents, the ones I still had to send for the second straight year despite having e-filed. It made me feel better about the whole thing. My particular Congresscritters don’t actually give a damn about representing me, so the stamps felt pretty appropriate.
5. I am now a patron of the arts, like some Renaissance nobleman in sneakers. You can do that with the internet these days – you sign up to contribute a couple of bucks a month toward a cartoonist (or someone else – I went with a cartoonist) and you get access to cool things and the warm fuzzies of knowing you’re helping support something nice in the world. If you haven’t been reading Bug Martini, you should start now.
6. I spent a good chunk of Sunday cleaning out the pantry, since it had reached the point where nothing further could be stuffed into it. It has a lot more room now. There is something inexpressibly satisfying about removing things that expired during George W. Bush’s first term. As George Carlin used to say about leftovers, it makes you feel good twice. The first time, when you put the stuff away for future use, you feel good because you’re saving food. The second time, when you put on the HazMat suit, grab the nuclear tongs, and send it off to be incinerated from orbit, you feel good because you’re saving your life. I’m paraphrasing there, but that was the gist of it.
7. We have now put the cats on a diet. I do feel bad for Mithra, since she really didn’t need it. But she is more willing to eat her lysine treats now, which cuts down on her asthma, so that’s good. Midgie, however, needed it desperately. She’s getting more flexible now, which is good. This makes her smell better, and cuts down on our laundry needs.
8. Lauren found my old guitar in the basement and convinced me to let her play it. It took her all of about half an hour to work out Smoke on the Water. She’s ready for college now.
9. There is not enough whiskey in the barrel to get through these modern times.
10. It’s the middle of the semester, which means that the roof is caving in for students everywhere. It’s a busy time for advisors.