Sunday, August 31, 2008

Singer sewing machine

All's quiet here.  No houseguests, relatives, or scheduled Copper Country tours.  Slowly working on the huge list of things to do, but I find myself still tired and largely unmotivated, as if I just stepped off the ship:(

Bought PW a vintage Singer sewing machine.  It's a 1902 model 127 treadle-type(model 27, specifically, I think), with the sphinx design, set in a six-drawer cabinet (type1-6, maybe a 4, which is not listed anywhere I could find on the net).  Looks pretty cool, is in fine condition and I snagged it for only 50 bucks, out of a garage just 3 blocks from here.  Yesterday I bought 2 antique irons and a little, antique, vulcanizing kit from a garage sale.  I think that makes more antiques than I've bought in my entire life, to date.  I also, almost joined the international antique sewing machine society, or something to that effect...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The remains of summer

It's about 8:30 am.  The sun is up and warming the day.  We're camped out shore-side at a state park just down the road from home.  In-laws are up from below the bridge with their RV and we chose to stay a few nights at the cabin next-door to their campsite. 

It was damn cold last night, which would of made for good sleeping if PW hadn't insisted on closing all the cabin windows and kicking on a little heater.  I was up at first light, feeling a little stuffy and nauseous from a suspected case of food poisoning, or a 24-hr flu bug.  Took a shower at the camp showers (HOT AND LONG!), completed some paperwork for the old job and now I ready to rock.  My MIL just walked over and gave me a huge mug of steaming coffee!!!!

Damn that's good!  Where was I?  Yes, paperwork is done and I'm ready to spend another day exploring the Copper Country with the folks, PW and LP.  I''m sitting at a picnic table facing the woods, with the sun-kissed lake on my right and it is a glorious morning despite feeling a little sick.

After a blueberry pancake breakfast we're heading into the woods to an abandoned copper mine to do a little prospecting, then walking some trails in the woods across the highway from the park.  Later, I have to head into town to pick up the oldest two kids and buy my son's books for his first semester at my alma mater.  There's also the small matter of calling a few roofing contractors to save me from certain death on my roof.  I sincerely hope all of you are enjoying the remains of summer, as I am.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

First week home

It's been a little over a week since I hit the beach and flew home. I encountered the typical travel bullshit one is forced to endure when traveling more than 15,000 miles, or half way round the planet. Drank too many beers in Perth, checked in with two other crew and the ticket agent mixed up our baggage tags and tickets. Found out you cannot fly from Sydney Australia to Los Angeles California with a ticket that says Santagio Chile. Go Figure.

Found another flight to Los Angeles, but not before spending 8 hours the Qantas Business Class Lounge in Sydney. They have wonderful, hot showers, fluffy towels and tons of champagne. Discovered tons of champagne gives me a splitting headache, despite mixing it with liberal amounts of OJ.

Made it to Minnie and managed a seat on the last flight out to the Copper Country. PW, LP and one of my neices picked me up and for the first time I can remember, I slept when I got home. Slept for a day and a half, except for eating a few times.

Since then, it's been the break of relatives. My neice was here when I arrived. MIL and SIL arrived two days later. A day after they all departed, FIL and his fiancee arrived. They've been here a few days and just today I got up at six am to drive an hour South of here to go copper mining. Such are the makings of a vacation here in Copper Country. One day you're at the beach, soaking rays, the next you're swinging a rock hammer, or dredging through a muddy tailings pile, looking for bits of red metal. If you watch the Travel Channel, you just might have seen a show on this particular mine and how they let touristy types (and wayward Geologists turned Geophysicists) mine their own copper on Saturdays. It was fun, dirty and a good workout. The folks have some copper to take home and I have a sore back.

Tomorrow, we plan a bit later start to head North into the Keweenaw Peninsula, eventually reaching Copper Harbor. We'll hit the beaches along the way and the gift shops in town. Maybe dinner at the Harbor House. FIL expressed an interest in stopping at The Gay Bar for T-shirts and a beer. I'm always game for that.

A few more days and they'll be gone, but tomorrow, we may have a surprise house guest for a few days as some of our friends-a couple who just moved downstate last week, have just announced they are probably moving back up here immediately and the husband needs a place to crash while he looks for housing-they just rented out their house as they left! Good thing they didn't sell it, eh?

So, anyway, not much else going on, other than I've decided I am mortal and cannot put a new roof on my house, by myself, in less than 3 weeks and survive to return to work. I was destined to either die, or be seriously maimed for life in the process. Now I just have to figure out how to scrape up the cash to get it done while also paying for my oldest son's first semester of college...

Good news is I now have one of my chimneys lined with stainless steel and can fire up the wood stove this winter (next month). Gotta love that wood heat, especially with the cost of fuel oil this year. Plus, I LOVE making wood. Cutting, splitting, hauling, making kindling-all of it. I don't know why, but I just love it. Something about axes, mauls and chainsaws, I guess...

That about wraps things up. Time to hit the rack so I'm fresh enough to drive all day tomorrow.


Friday, August 8, 2008

Say hello to the Vicar and the Temple of Suck is open

Greetings O Internets.  I've been neglecting you not because I want to, but because I must.  Many things happening out here in the Indian Ocean this trip, most of them unpleasant and very time-consuming.  I've used you for email and a bit of limited surfing via your trusted steed, Google Reader, but alas, is all.  I've missed the random surfing, the act of actually going to a fellow bloggers site, reading comments and actually commenting.  (You have no idea how hard it is NOT to comment for me).  I miss reading my hometown newspaper every day too:(

Most of all, I was forced to miss something I've been waiting for ever since the final week of FTTW-writing with those crazy fuckers again!  Yep, we got together and rekindled the madness.  This week was the grand opening:(  The Temple of Suck has been born and I was forced to miss the birth.  There's a forum and a sister site we'll be using for rants and raves called Peasants and Pitchforks.  With a little looser format and a weekly topic that we may or may not write about, this door to our inner demons should prove to even more creative and fun than the old FFTW.  I'll be there, having taken the position of The Vicar.  Nearly all my FTTW buddies are there, you may get to see a few of our infamous email chains (be prepared to wet yourself), there are also going to be a few new faces (some you may know!!) and just yesterday I found that next week is going to get weird.  Very. As in Travis.  I promise you, no matter what happens at the temple next week, if Travis comes through, your life will be forever changed.

In the meantime, this past week was all about FOOD, or whatever any of us choose to write about.  The Temple is open my friends.  Go pay your respects and I'll see you all in few days after I hit the beach, traverse the pond and recuperate from this very long and difficult trip and what seems to be a case of food poisoning I've manged to have ON CREW-X DAY!  Yes, I've got full-blown, catastrophic intestinal distress just as I prepare to travel 15,567 miles from the middle of the Indian Ocean to my beloved Copper Country.  I pity the people I'm about to fly with.