Friday, October 24, 2008

A hodgepodge of stuff

The morning is gray and it’s dark till long after 7 AM. The sun is still an hour away when I walk out across the driveway and listen to the crunch of seeds from the maples under my feet. This year there looks to be a bumper crop of maple seeds and also of pines. The white pine in the back if filled with cones. I’ve noticed that jack pines are also heavy with cones and, when I was down south earlier this summer, the longleaf pines were filled with green cones. The old wives who spin tales warn of a bitter winter ahead and with our economic news I wonder if the abundant seeds may be a sign. Yet, biologists suggest that many trees have developed a pattern of producing large crops of seeds every half dozen or so years as a way for survival. If they produced the same number of seeds every year, the squirrel and bird populations would increase and they’d be no seeds for reproduction. By having an infrequent bounty, they insure that some seeds will survive and make it to the ground where it will have a chance of germinating. At least we’re not seeds, the odds are against them. I hope the biologists are right and the old wives are wrong, for we could do without any more hardship right now.

So far, our fall weather has been pleasant. We’ve only had two brisk mornings that have dipped into the upper 20s (-2 or 3 degrees for your Celsius folks). But that’s supposed to change this weekend and early next week as we get a foretaste of winter. It won't be long till it's time to star waxing skis.

Diane, in her blog, posted a link to a Ron Howard video yesterday. The former child star of Andy Griffith show and teenage star of Happy Days is now a middle-aged director who, like me, is most often seen with a hat. He spoke in favor of Obama. In the video, Howard went back to his character of Opie and talked to Andy, who told him why some people are afraid of change. Then he went and saw the Fonz, from Happy Days, who also spoke in favor of Obama and admitted (with Cunningham's help) that he had been wrong to want to give Bush a chance. The video gave me hope. I know Obama is talking about hope and change, but seeing this video, I have hope not just for change in the country, but change in my hairline. You see, Ron Howard and I share a similar head with very little hair on top. It was exciting to see Howard so easily transformed from a balding old guy to a teenager with a mop of red hair. This is the change I’ve been hoping for! Would it be a violation of election laws if I offered to vote for Obama in exchange for one of Howards toupees? (For information on Howard making this promo, click here.)

Finally, I was looking through my spam email box yesterday, seeing if any messages I wanted got lost there, when I came across the email I copied below (I took out the url). Folks, if you’re going to try to steal my identity and the 28 dollars and 53 cent I may have in a bank (which happens not to be Wachovia), at least get your details correct. Citigroup gave up on buying Wachovia several weeks ago and it’s been sold to Wells Fargo…


Citigroup announced a buyout of Wachovia brokered by the FDIC. All Wachovia bank locations will be in the Citigroup merger to prevent failure of Wachovia. The Citigroup/Wachovia would focus on upgrading banks' security certificates. All Wachovia customers must fill the forms and complete installation of new Citigroup Standard digital signatures during 48 hours. Please follow the installation steps below:

Read more>> (url removed)

Sincerely, Winifred Benton.
2008 Wachovia Corporation.
All rights reserved.


  1. I don't even read my spam box. I just have all spam marked email deleted immediately and permanently. If a non-spam email gets occasionally trapped, I figure they will write back. I'm kind of Darwin-like with email, survival of the fittest.

  2. Ed, I don't either, but for some reason, over the past week, I had several emails that I was waiting for end up there

  3. It's amazing that people fall for these traps, all the warnings notwithstanding.


  4. Hey, I just get ones that say I can increase the size of my penis. Which would be an interesting trick considering I do not have one.

  5. Most of my email goes straight to filter or spam. I love never having to see anything not from a real person or now political candidate--feel too guilty to filter them

    Can't wait until 11/05. I have strong political views but never believed in shafting them on others. things are so out of control--and I shouldn't be feeling guilty for selling an apartment and making a profit

    Thanks for the Ron Howard/Andy Griffith (never really thought of him in any political terms) Henry Winkler link

  6. Randall, I agree, the letters are poorly written and when they use outdated info to lure folks into their web, I shake my head

    TC, I'm so relieved that your not a transvestite...

    Pia, Glad you liked the video clip! I thought it pretty funny, I love Andy's gentle advice

  7. Thanks for the link to Opie, Sage. I enjoyed that!

  8. I love that about the periodic bountiful seeds for the trees' survival. The weather has been really mild here in Chicago. Soon to change, I'm sure. Ugh.

    You're so funny about Ron Howard and his hair!

  9. We even get spam SMS's these days.... shocker!

    You'd think they'd be a bit more convincing!

    Toupees have the tendency to come flying off, don't they? At the worst times!

  10. Kenju, I also placed a link there for a story about how the video came to be--it's interesting--Andy Griffith is back in NC!

    Epiphany, I'm glad you got a chuckle of out of my self-abasing humor!

    Leila, yes, I think they do, but wouldn't know from first hand experience. (but since I don't drive a convertible...) I wasn't serious--in fact all the photos I've seen of Howard (out of character) he's not wearing one, but it's hard to play an 8 or 16 year old with a bald head!

  11. You mean the African prince will not be putting money into my bank account? Dang. All my spam is for enlarging parts that I don't have.

  12. I loved that Ron Howard came out and did that to support change.

    People here have been talking about the abundance on the trees. Apple limbs are breaking under the weight of so much fruit...or they were. They're almost harvested now. All our pines are running over with cones. I guess it is a sign of things to come.

  13. Sage: Your writing style is great and it reads like a pleasant travelogue through nature. It took me back to living in Ohio where I blogged several times about the fate of Deer, who are losing their habitat to suburban sprawl.

    My very sincere thanks to you for your sensitivity to Gunner's passing and for taking the time to stop by. It has been quite hectic, but I assure you I'll be by ore often. :)

  14. glad you liked the Opie video! We're getting a bit of fall here in So Cal - very foggy in the mornings . . .

  15. Our jack pines are laden with cones, also.

    Just heard a bird hit the window and when I looked out, there were several birds, including robins. I suspect they are flying through on their migration journey. It's exciting seeing robins yet at this time of the year.