Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Excuses for my erratic posting of late

I apologize for the erratic posting of late. I've always tried - with varying degrees of success - to post something I think will be interesting to readers at least once a day. Lately I haven't done so well. So what's my excuse?

Well, really it's a few things. First, February-March is one of my real busy times at work. Darndest thing about employers, they write you a check, they expect you to actually do work from time to time. I have books that I edit that ship in April, and another group that ships in the fall. So twice a year for about two months I am swamped meeting publication deadlines. And I always make my deadlines. While I occasionally post an already written piece from work, I don't blog at work... but busier at work translates into less time and energy for the reading and writing that goes into blogging.

Second, spring has arrived in Northeast Ohio. Well, sort of. For those of us who've lived in these parts for many years, spring doesn't officially arrive until ceratin events occur.

First, there's the 80/60 rule. It isn't spring until 80% of the roads you want to use are 60% obstructed by orange construction barrels, or 60% of the roads you want to use are 80% obstructed. Notice I said construction barrels, not construction work. It is not unusual in Ohio for a stretch of highway to be home to miles of barrels for months without ever seeing an actual construction worker doing actual construction work. Route 76 between Akron and Youngstown has, at times, had miles of barrels for months, which then disappeared without any discernible work ever having been done. My father's theory is that the state is to cheap to pay for a warehouse, and just rotates the barrels around on the highways for storage purposes. He may be on to something.

Second, dandelions. Anywhere in Ohio where a soil molecule exists, a dandelion will appear, with a root which stretches down beyond the depth to which human technology is able to penetrate the surface of the earth. I have dug up dandelions with roots larger than carrots. I have seen dandelions packed so densely that they had to be dug up with a shovel because those forked "weed diggers" were absolutely useless. And if you spray most weed killers on them they will actually still go to seed before they die, thereby spawning hundreds, or thousands, of new dandelions. Someone who knows something about it told me that's how most of the weed killers work...they accelerate the weeds' life cycles and they die of old age. AFTER they go to seed. Any Weed-B-Gone conspiracy theorists out there? After all, if you market a weed killer that kills weeds, but also accelerates the production of weed seed crops, that's pretty effective marketing. A few years ago somebody ran a tv commercial that showed a guy trying to pull up a weed, while a guy in china pulled on the other end of the same weed. That weed is in my yard. And it has friends and relatives.

Third, it isn't really spring until the Cleveland Indians are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Actually, I'm a life long Indians fan. And, beginning in the mid-nineties, we were treated to several years of some of the best baseball anybody ever got to see anywhere. When they won the pennant in '95, I declared that I could die a happy man, having seen something I never believed I would live to see. I think John Hart, as GM, got a lot more credit than he deserved, and I think Dick Jacobs, as owner, didn't get near the credit he deserved. I also think Mike Hargrove was a much better manager than most people realize, because quite honestly those teams weren't as loaded with talent as they appeared, and Hart was constantly tinkering with the roster, which makes the manager's job much tougher.

But spring is mostly here, and what's spring got to do with the dearth of fresh material on this blog anyway? Well, and we own a couple of acres which, when we acquired it two years ago, hadn't been real well tended for the last 15 years or so. Which makes for a heck of a lot of yard work just catching up, let alone trying to work on any new projects. I used to collect books. Now I am collecting machinery: a chipper-shredder here, a tiller there, tractors, chainsaws...all of which have been purchased as necessities. I either buy machinery, or I hire a crew of five laborers. And of course, there is then the using of all that machinery, which results in a lot less time and a heck of a lot less energy for blogging.

I told the wife last weekend, I may as well just post a "Back next fall" notice on the ol' blog. But then, fall will be leaf season, and firewood cutting...

I promise I'll try to keep up with my posting a little better.

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