Monday, April 27, 2009

Emerge My Little Babies

I've been gettin' pretty lathered up lately about garden stuff, and I just can't hold it in anymore. I realize that not many of my friends or work colleagues are as jazzed about flora and fauna as I am, and it is evident in the yawns that immediately follow my words. What then makes you, a dedicated Lair reader any different? You are no different. You've probably already jumped over to Hulu after two sentences of this steaming pile. So what I'm essentially doing here is curling up with my diary...the behavior of a twelve year old girl. Let's have a quick summary.

Gardening = Geriatric

Diaries = Pre-pubescents

Me = Identity crisis

It's actually fine. I like it, the garden likes it, it keeps me off tha streets...we all win, and this year I'm hoping to win big. What I'm finding is that it all boils down to soil preparation. Last year the priority was just to get the thing together with little regard for the soil composition. As it turned out, Kit Kats and diapers don't need that much nourishment so it all worked out. This year though, I will be upping the ante with sweet ingredients like lime, manure, shredded decomposing leaves, dead squirrels, and possibly a little sphagnum moss. Any good gardener will tell you that organic material is crucial to the prosperity of your little ecosystem, and that it can hardly be overdone. That is why I am especially committed to brewing an especially tangy batch of nitrogen-rich crud for all of my little babies to soak up.

Another horticultural aspiration I had for this year was to extend the growing season. The two ways I plan on doing this are by way of sowing seeds indoors and relay planting. The indoor seedlings are really just kind of a way to get more satisfaction out of it all by witnessing and facilitating the entire process. I don't expect to save any money, but it has provided me with enough knowledge to start up a killer conversation over canasta at the rest home.

Take a look

The dudes in front are like, "Feed meh Seymore!"

Also, I went out tonight to see if anything was happening on the hops front, and would you believe the little turds are about six inches tall already? They're lookin' mighty too. Thick n' meaty, ready to stink up the joint. With any luck we'll have this going on soon.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Archers of the Oak Lair

I took part in my first 3-D archery target shoot today, and I'm here to report that it was all that I was hoping it would be. The event was one of many put on by the Eau Claire Archers and it was clear that they had their ducks (or any wildlife for that matter) in a row.

Not exactly sure what to expect, I showed up with a couple fellow 3-D virgins (sorry Scott and Ralph) ready to shoot some crap. And what a variety of crap there was. Our hunt began on a winding trail that led us to our first unsuspecting target...a caribou I think. There he stood, totally oblivious to the deadly predators nearby. What a beauty. Foam horns, nice big foam body...stunning. I should also mention that this all plays a lot like golf. You approach your target, estimate yardage (measure yardage with a range finder in our case) and let one fly. There's an obstacle of some kind at each stage like elevation or a pesky tree branch that must be accounted for too, further separating it from the controlled setting of an indoor range. So anyway, back to this juicy, majestic specimen that stood before us waiting to be harvested. I wheel up to the tee box, nock my $6 arrow, and release my first shot into the animal's leg giving me 5 out of a possible 12 points. Not the end of the world I thought, I mean the thing's almost 40 yards away, I didn't completely miss and destroy my arrow...did I? As it turned out, I must've hit the stake that anchored the foam beast to the ground because when I pulled out my arrow it looked like this.

Trying to leave all that behind me, I was less than optimistic about my chances with the next 39 targets and 5 remaining arrows. I knew there would be a certain level of donation for participating in something like this, but an arrow per shot seemed a bit ridonkulous. But after a few good arrows I started to become more confident in the notion of actually finishing the round with the equipment I brought. It bears mentioning though, that any time you have 3 dudes shooting at the same spot over and over again, and Jupiter aligns with Mars, there is a chance for the elusive "Robin Hood". Pretty cool...especially if it's not your arrow.

One of the most pleasantly surprising things about the shoot was number and variety of target types. We were confronted by a smattering of animals ranging from mammal to reptile. It was clear that this was no attempt to emulate any kind of real hunting scenario, unless you consider wandering through a zoo deliberately and indiscriminately shooting one animal after the next regardless of species to be a real hunting scenario. Each scene individually though, did offer a shot that was a fair representation of what one might naturally find in the woods...or in Jurassic Park.

Yeah, that's a stegasaurus.

We did see this guy out there along with a variety of other Reinhart targets. I especially appreciate the bipedal nature of this one. Always wanted to shoot a biped.

The only thing I was left wanting by the end was a scary clown target. Any kind of evil clown will do, but a perfect fit would've been either a Killer Clown from Outer Space or the clown that Pee Wee chained his bike to in front of Mario's magic shop. Aside from that, I had a blast flingin' arrows and look forward to my next lawn ornament safari.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Roll Over Chopin

Lately we've just been so caught up in the anticipation of Maura's first steps that we almost completely missed her musical development. When they get to this age it's hard to have a full appreciation for the scope of their ability, so this was certainly a wake up call. Join me now as we watch this little petunia blossom before our eyes.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Elite 8

Hey wait...don't leave. This isn't a post about the remaining teams in the NCAA basketball tournament so hear me out. It's about the eight remaining contestants on *drum roll* ...American Idol.

Now you can run away.

I tuned in about halfway through this season, but I'm starting to get emotionally invested nonetheless. Though it's probably a complete waste of time since each of you weep sweetly while worshiping your favorite idols, I'm gonna go ahead and give you a quick rundown of each contestant and how they stack up.

8. Slumdog Bazillionaire

Anoop is a lot like salsa in the regard that people love to say 'Noop-Dog. The only difference is that if salsa is America's favorite condiment, Anoop is more like easy cheese.

7. Grubby Timberlake

I think this guy can rock a little, but every time I see him I smell corn chips and beer. His talents are more suited for cartoon voice if they were to redo Peanuts he could be a 45 year old Pigpen.

6. Great American Hero

"Bye bye now."

It's almost time to mash the panic button as viewers appear to be growing weary of this awkward balladeer. My suggestion would be to dig a pair of Gokey's once worn glasses out of the garbage and see if they still hold any magical power.

5. Big Rounds


"Little" needed a homerun on Motown week but basically had to settle for a sharp single though the infield. Definitely not terrible, but the Fantasia factor will soon wear off, much like everyone's fascination with her luscious lumps.

4. Lil' Miss Mamacita

16 years old or not, this turd can turn the dial to 11. Shortly after this picture was taken this happened.

3. Whatshisface

"Yowch! Sharp strings!"

This guy's pretty good, whatever. His giant mouth contributes to his ability to make powerful faces.

2. Gokey Smurf

"I fully ex-spec you to vote for me."

Fashion-sensitive, and just plain sensitive, Gokey's glasses are a plea to keep your eyes above the belt line. However, his overtly tender song selection may carve his name next to Clay Aiken as the nice guy runner up.

1. Emo Lambchop

"Hi, I'm Sonic the Hedgehog. Have we met?"

Say what you will about the risky arrangements and bold outfits, this drama queen knows how to continually put Paula Abdul into a state of cougar-like wonderment. His adroit performances and androgenous demeanor score points with all genders and ages.