Sunday, June 22, 2008

Picture Perfect Margarita

When my brother-in-law asks if you want a drink, it's a good idea to say yes then also. He and my sister have that (among much else) in common, the ability to "whip up"; that is, produce exceptional food and drink at a moment's notice. Something refreshing and yummy is bound to appear; salt-edged, lime-garnished, froth-topped and trimmed with a hot-pink bendy straw, no less, Gary nails the presentation.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Upstate Downer

The final Hall of Fame Game was being played in Doubleday Field on June 16th and it was sold out; we didn't even know about it before coming up here, but there we were in town, and tickets on the street were not exorbitantly priced. The nice guy who sold us two for an oddly nominal fee ("Ten bucks? For both?") had probably heard the weather report...or looked at the sky. We were optimistic, though; hadn't the sun held sway for the parade? So what was a little rain now? It's just a drizzle. Ignore all those people who are leaving. They're still letting us in, right? They'll get in a couple of innings and we'll get to see a little baseball...but it was not to be. Just before we entered the stands there was an announcement urging those not in the covered grandstands to "seek shelter immediately." Ten or fifteen minutes later, there was hail on top of the now-driving rain. Cooperstown felt a little like Mudville a couple hours later when the last Hall of Fame Game ever, scheduled for 2 p.m., was finally called on account of this:

We were under that tree on the left at first, then Ken spotted a place under this bank portico. Thanks Ken!
The Cubs and the Padres left without playing, and suddenly, everyone who was at last year's game tried to remember a little harder what it was like.
Four hours later, it was clear and calm, and we had dinner at the Lake Front restaurant.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Out On the Water

The Seneca Lake Pier

Below, the Stroller IV, our tour boat
We had beautiful weather at the lakes, and we went for two boat rides. At Watkins Glen we toured sedately around Seneca Lake in a 1934 "motor vessel" made of Phillipines mahogony that was purpose-built and has been plying the lake tour route since it was christened.

At Otsego, we rode in the front on the second-story prow (what's that called?) of a much bigger ship. So fun. The trees cover most of the shoreline, as something like eighty percent of the lakefront property is undeveloped. And then we had lunch.

Ken on the Glimmerglass Queen, on Otsego Lake

A medieval style tower built by a landowner; below, a sailboat race

Veggie burger at Cooperstown's Lake Front restaurant comes with fruit, yum.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cooperstown Hall of Fame Game Parade

Olivia relaxes with Ken before the parade starts. She knows she'll have a good view from here. Ken's photos came out much better than mine, so the following are all his:

This man on the train float is firing explosives from a miniature cannon.

Mighty Casey waves to the crowd. He and his fellow dead heroes Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle were the friendliest players there.

The Aqua String Band

Fire Truck

The Big Green Monster

The Money

So we're back from a few days of vacationing in Corning, Watkins Glen, and Cooperstown, New York.
The last day we were in Cooperstown, the Cubs and the Padres were in town to play the Hall of Fame Game, a tradition since 1940, now coming to an end as a result of contract negotiations.
There's a big parade before the game, featuring the players riding in a trolley. The townspeople put on a great line-up, with the Cooperstown Community Band on a flatbed, the Edward P. Maloney Memorial Pipe Band (and another pipe band whose name I didn't catch, that's two pipe bands,) a fire truck, a lawman of some kind on a very large horse, Mummers from Philly, special appearances by Micky Mantle and Babe Ruth, and lots more, interspersed with cool classic cars (from a major sponsor.)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Too Darn Hot

The heat is making people act crazy, you know that? Especially on the roads. I was driving east on Sunrise Highway between Valley Stream and Merrick this evening at seven p.m., and you know what people were doing? ...are you ready for this, are you sitting down?..... Everyone was driving the speed limit. It was remarkable. Everyone slowed down, but smooth like honey. We made all the lights, all of us. Way to go, people. And here was the most laid-back car of them all, this cute ol' yeller; I love the serif font of the Volkswagen logo.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Alien Invasion

Aliens landed in my yard. Well, just the one. And I knew his home planet was the yard next door, so I just threw him back. Sorry, guy, but it's just too darn hot to play hackysack today. Go find another Deadhead.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Now Blooming

The giant digitalis (foxglove) I planted late last fall. Honestly, if you were a bee, could you resist this dreamy purple psychedelic tunnel? Doesn't it just look like the best nightclub ever in there?

and the spiny fireworks of nigella (love-in-a-mist.) This is an annual I planted years ago that reseeds itself and surprises me every time.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Inviting The Usual Suspects?

I don't think I'll attend any catered barbecues this summer. Just to be on the safe side.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Instant Identification

.. I don't know if these guys are always this good, but...
Thanks to I know this is the larva of a lady beetle crawling around on my Hibiscus syriacus. I didn't know what to make of this thing at first: it looked like a caterpillar, but only from the waist down, because it also had six distinctive legs, unlike most caterpillars. I looked around at bug identification sites, registered at, posted this photo in the late afternoon, and less than an hour later, I had two responses that allowed me to identify it. Thanks you guys!