Monday, May 21, 2012

I Went Here, 3

House of Dead Toy
The House of Dead Toys
    While attending a game convention in southern France we stumbled across this old house. It was a real traffic stopper, so it was not only us Americans that were wowed by it. Unlike everyone else, though, I went with my French friend Gregory to ask what was up. 
    We spoke to the old gent who lived there who explained that he gave all his grandchildren a new doll each Christmas, but only on the condition that they give up the old ones, which he carefully arranges among the other refugees that have preceded them.
     "I have thirteen grandchildren," he said, I think--I want to remember the number as 30 but don't trust that thought.

Just get the Frog cleared
     My riding continues, and is still my favorite sport.
     Paula, in her infinite wisdom as instructor, has expanded my knowledge and interaction to include cleaning Lightning's hooves before riding. She showed me how to do it and, in my own typical overheated excitement, I asked if it's necessary to get under the horseshoe when she pointed out to me that Lightning isn't shod. In my favor, though, I did not think that "clearing the frog" meant she'd stepped on an amphibian.
     I'm going weekly now too, because it's surprising how much I can forget in two weeks! So we also start off in the saddling stall--at least I've got the saddling down pat, even though I still fumble around with the bit. But it's like a loosening up of my old joints there, practicing getting onto the horse (getting easier!) and reviewing how to sit. Every little bit counts.
     I'm pretty excited too because last lesson we did a lot of trotting--that is, going at the horse's second gear (first gear is walking). I've got the secret down now--hold onto the saddle with one hand. Wow, what a genius I am! But be sure, I won't forget that lesson. And I also remember to sit up straight (a new postures for me, as I've mentioned) and keep my heels down to stop the horse (keeping them up confuses the poor animal since heel contact usually means "go.")
     I'm also happy to report that I am not crippled the days afterwards from using muscles that I have never used before. Just really sore.
Wolves eat the sun! Humbolt Style
     Yesterday was the great eclipse, and we in Humbolt were fortunate enough to be able to see it in it grandest style. Everyone was abuzz about it, and Arcata even held a special street fair to celebrate. Unusually it was a clear and cloudless early afternoon, holding forth a great (and unusual) promise to see the event. For the good of everyone's visual safety a booth sold those special glasses to stare at the sun and not go blind. I got there early enough to see that the line was already huge, and was at the same time late enough to find them sold out before I got to the front of the line.
     I mentioned to the organizer (who was pretty pissed off that they hadn't ordered a thousand sets) that she ought to hand out flyers to make a viewing box, whereupon she told me that they were doing just that at another booth, that had recycled materials on hand too! I went there, and they'd run out of that too.
     Well, thanks to my daughter Alisha we were not going to be skunked out of this possibility! She and Brian got everything in hand and made four viewing boxes and picked up up so we could ditch the crowd and find a less crowded place to watch the cosmos move. Shortly after the event was to begin we hopped into Alisha's car and went out to the Mad River to watch.
     It would take an idiot not to be able to look through the viewing hole to see things. The picture is us trying to figure out how to work the boxes. Not really--it's us clowning about it in our front yard in front of one of one of our beautiful rhododendron bushes. So we peered into the boxes in awe and wonder as the wolves devoured the sun. They crept up and cit out of it until it was a crescent shape.
     Then clouds moved over the sun and wolves both disappeared just long enough so we didn't get a view of the full eclipse with its promised ring of fire. That was very Humbolt, the usual kind of clowning that the clouds do to dupe us into thinking we will have something besides fog or clouds. Boo clouds! They cleared away in time to watch the sun fight way back, apparently making the wolves vomit it up to attain wholeness once again.Yay sun!
     Nonetheless, we had a fun time and shared our boxes with strangers on the Mad River bridge who believed the reports and didn't look at the sun. It was a fun day, and I'll say that hanging out with one's wife, daughter and son-in-law is a good thing, clouds or not.