Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Neighborhood Band

Tonight was one of those perfect evenings to walk the dogs. A bit of cold creeping in, rain subsided but giving way to a lively wind that played the trees and sent the scattered clouds up across the crescent moon. The dogs didn't take much note of the weather, which I believe is immaterial to them. They were out walking and that was good enough.

We took the usual path, down to the neighborhood park, back by another road. All the popular trees were properly sniffed; olfactory news was obtained, and Ollie made his frequent entries in the discourse; a dog's version of a tweet, I suppose.

When I am alone with the dogs, the pace is about as brisk as the dogs allow. Of course, they break my stride to explore or cross paths or do what dogs do on walks. But they have gotten better as a team; Ollie in the left and Chloe on the right seems to suit them, and they resume that formation after straying.

On the way back, we passed a house that, as I understand it, is home to a working band, known as the Womack Family Band. I like the name, especially since no one in the band is named Womack. I know they tend to go out on tours, reaching far-off towns. They recently took along another local talented guy named Chris Castle on what they called the "Drenched Earth Tour", perhaps a play on Bob Dylan's '60s Scorched Earth Tour which, if I am not mistaken, included members of The Band, a fairly generic-sounding outfit that included Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, and some others.

The Band lived and recorded in a somewhat famous house that became known as Big Pink. I guess the house by the park is the Womack's Big Pink, although, thankfully, it is not pink. Regardless, I think bands, especially fairly mellow ones like this, make good and interesting neighbors, and I wish them success. Should you want to check them out, they have several pretty neat videos on Youtube; a more artful one that was partially shot at our local reservoir (which appears fairly frequently on this URL), can be accessed by clicking here.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Kick at the Finish

When I used to run the half-mile in track, there was always supposed to be that "kick" at the finish where everyone sped up and gave it their all. I believe 2011 is taking a lesson from the world of track, because there seems to be a "kick" at the end of it as well, speeding toward the finish. Kind of a shame, really, because there are parts of this season to really savor.

A plus, from my viewpoint, is that Christmas shopping does not hold the place of prominence it once did. I mean, it is still important to get nice things for various loved ones, but it gets easier when you realize you cannot even hope to buy acceptable clothes for the kids who are now twenty-somethings. Gift cards become great options for those who really want them - and it seems that many do.

Here are a handful of pictures representing the blur that has been the past couple of weeks.
My wife's work carving the Halloween pumpkin featuring our two dogs.
Fall scene.
This was the view through the skylight at a friend's house in Michigan.
Our Ollie got attacked by a killer bee-gle on Halloween.
And below, I am pretty sure it was one of a pair of cormorants out at the Conservation Club a while ago.