Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Twin sons of different mothers

When Neil, our new head of maintenance, started working here this fall, everyone immediately thought he and looked alike. I didn't see it, though I do admit to noticing that we are both short of stature, have short hair, glasses, similarly shaped faces, and similar builds, and both seem to have generally cheery dispositions. But today, when we coincidentally wore similar sweaters to work, I did finally think, "Wow! We look like we could be brothers!" (That's me, the older "brother," on the left):

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas at the old homestead

Some cell-phone pics taken December 24-25 while celebrating Christmas at my mom's house in Grove City. First, a "Merry" pillar candle on my mom's mantle, along with some greenery (and a familiar face snapping a picture:

A three-plate Santa Claus in the bathroom--apparently can tell if I'm naughty or nice even in there!:

A Santa's-helpers Radio City Rockettes ornament (which we bought for Mom as a souvenir of her seeing the Rockettes Christmas show here a few years ago) being used as a lamp-switch hanger:

A ceramic sleigh in the front bay window:

The dining-room light decked out in (artificial) greenery--it looks awfully pink, but that's the best I could do in color-correction:

A little tree, a stocking, and a poinsettia on the hearth:

Finally, the fireplace all aglow on Christmas morning, just before the Carnage of the Gifting:

Sunday, December 13, 2009

O Christmas Tree

Just a short post to save for posterity what our tree looked like for Christmas 2009, which is pretty much what it's looked like for the past 6 or 7 years, since we've had this particular tree:

Though I don't think that the number of ornaments we have is excessive (2 storage boxes), we have too many to put them all up on the tree. Here are a few that made it up this year. First, a kitty with a ball of yarn:

Next, a frosted glass wreath, a Santa holding a small tree, and a Harlequin figure who is tucked into the tree a bit:

Though rather blurry (my camera doesn't do too well with close-ups of small things), I hope you can see Dorothy below--her friends The Scarecrow, The Tin Man, and The Cowardly Lion are near her on the tree.

An skinny green elf (which is a more recent version of a well-loved ornament from my childhood) and a tiger in a Santa hat:

Finally, lined up in front of our (more or less obselete) laserdisc player, the characters from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, including a couple of folks from the Island of Misfit Toys:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mountain climbing

This has been (until the last few days) a remarkably mild fall; a few weeks ago, on a warm and breezy Saturday morning, my Hiking Buddies and I went down to Chillicothe to hike in the Great Seal State Park, specifically the Sugarloaf Mountain trail. The trail is short (around 2 miles) but steep, rising 500 feet in less than a quarter mile. It's really more a hill than a mountain, but still, it's a challenge to one's wind and balance. Below is the picnic area at the start of the trail.

Next, some trees and sky:

To the left is our intrepid gang as the hike started going steeply uphill. The tilt kind of sneaks up on you, as one minute you're hiking and chatting and solving the problems of the world, and the next minute, you're almost gasping for breath as it dawns on you that you are really going up a (small) mountain. Below, a tree with some crazy peeling bark (don't know if that's natural or the work of animals, and I'm not enough of a nature boy to research it).

We didn't quite make it to the very top, but close enough to realize that the view from the top would not be much better than from a few yards away, what with all the bare trees in the way:

Here I am, looking first suspicious of nature, then all butch and unafraid:

And here's Don taking a picture of me taking a picture of him. Even in nature, it can just get too meta sometimes.

Some nice pics of the sun and trees and a pond on our way down the trail--which was almost worse than going up, what with having to grab onto trees to stop from slipping and sliding on the dry layers of leaves covering the ground.

After the hike, here's narcisisstic me in the car window, and the Big Boy we did not stop at on the way out of town (lunch was actually at Steak and Shake, but their sign isn't as interesting).

BTW, I've had a hard time making sure I'm spelling "Chillicothe" correctly throughout, but not as hard a time as the drunken sailors who put together the official web site of the Great Seal State Park, where it is spelled with three "i"s.