Archive for the ‘Insightful Non-Hockey Commentary’ Category

Being really smart people, we do occasionally read actual books rather than just hockey blogs; one book one of us recently started the laborious process of plowing through is “Battle Cry of Freedom”. It seemed a reasonably non-hockey-themed undertaking to help fill the summer hours, so imagine our surprise when we discovered in its pages one of the most obvious IPB shout-outs ever. Smack-dab in the middle of a description of the Union army’s tactical advantages on the Mississippi was the story of the ironclad river boats known as…

…wait for it…

Pook’s turtles.

We are not making this up.

This being a clear reference to us from beyond the grave, we felt we needed to enlist Boxworthy to do a little Civil War reenactment.

Pook's Turtle

We’ve done exhaustive reading since our first discovery of the term “Pook’s Turtle” (by “exhaustive reading” we mean “googled it and read the wikipedia entry”), and we can say with some confidence that Boxworthy’s costume is utterly historically accurate. That is exactly what Pook’s Turtles looked like.

Pook's Turtle Hat

One of the benefits of having a highly detailed and historically accurate CivilWar ironclad river ship costume is that, when the sesquicentennial celebrations are over and all the armchair Civil War buffs lose interest in playing at dress-up with him, Boxworthy will be perfectly accoutered to join the ranks of Red Wings bloggers.


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If you have a zoomy enough lens for your camera, and keep your windows relatively spot-free, you know what profession you can take up from the comfort of your own home? Nature photographer!

Bambi Meets Godzilla (Minus the Godzilla Part)

This little guy came by when we were putting dinner together…

June 27 2010

… And this little guy landed in front of our living room window while we were watching “Walker, Texas Ranger”. We didn’t even have to get off the couch.

Now all we need is much more exotic and lucrative wildlife to walk past our windows, and we could make a fortune!

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The arborist visited stately IPB Manor today, to assess the lightning damage.

The Black Locust's Last Photoshoot

You can see in the middle of the top of the tree there where the lightning struck; a big part of it is looking very dead, and a chunk of that dead part has fallen over, dangling precariously high above our yard.

The Black Locust's Last Photoshoot

There was some faint hope that maybe just that portion of the tree could be trimmed off, and the rest could soldier on, but alas. Look at the base of the trunk:

The Black Locust's Last Photoshoot

That hole there? That’s where the lightning exited the tree. So… the whole thing, which was not entirely structurally sound to begin with, is coming down. Either Friday or Saturday. After delivering the bad news, the arborist further made our days by suggesting that the daffodils and crocuses around the base of the tree, the flowers that are annually our only source of joy while the Devils are in their swoon, likely got vaporized by the lightning too. Fucking Nature.

With the departure of the black locust, which might very well be the tallest tree in our neighborhood, we turn our affections to the Cox’s Orange Pippin apple tree as our new favorite tree.

Cox's Orange Pippin

It’s hardly majestic, but something it does have going for it is that it’s highly unlikely to be struck by lightning any time soon. Pookie is hopeful that it’s going to turn out that the black locust was housing bad Devils spirits, and, like the tree in “Sleepy Hollow”, a rampaging Jamie Langenbrunner used to rise up out from underneath the tree on his hellbeast black steed and wreak havoc on our playoff dreams every year. Our itsy-bitsy apple tree is way too small for him to do that with. And if he did manage to figure out how to do that, he’d just get tangled up in the deer fencing. So maybe this is a good thing?

Go Into The Light, Black Locust

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We have a tall, scraggly tree in our front yard (we think it’s a black locust) that is hardly the most beautiful tree in the neighborhood, but which we love regardless.

Black Locust 7-24-08

It’s kind of the only plant life that was growing in our front yard when we bought the house, and is one of Pookie’s most beloved go-to photography subjects. Haven’t taken a picture yet for Project 365 and it’s not too unpleasant to take a camera outside? The front-yard tree is your man!

Black Locust and Blue Sky 3

November, 2008

Wonky Sunset Continued

May, 2009

B/W Linden

February, 2010

Puffy Cloud Locust Tree

April, 2010

You can imagine how upset we were, Gentle Reader, when a short, intense thunderstorm blew in over stately IPB Manor this afternoon. We were in our usual seats, strewn around the living room, sewing and watching TV, when we heard a enormous “POP!” and saw a shower of tree shrapnel raining down on the front yard. Our beloved ugly tree had been struck by lightning.

Exploded Tree

The camera was running out of battery and the photographer was still feeling a bit shaky. Thus the less-than-stellar focus and composition here.

When the storm abated, we went out in the front to figure out whether our house was damaged or on fire or showing any other signs of lightning strike, and to gather up the chunks of tree carcass scattered across the yard.

Tree Shrapnel

Tree shrapnel. It’s no laughing matter.

We did a cursory search on the interwebs about whether trees that have been struck by lightning can be salvaged, and were feeling pretty confident… until the top of the tree toppled over with a crash and hung there sadly, waiting for its date with an arborist. It looks like Pookie might have to find a new favorite subject.

But in cuter nature news, look who was in our backyard before the storm:

I'm Going To Look For That Baby Deer One More Time


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For a variety of convoluted reasons, we were exploring the native wildlife situation in New Jersey last night during the Devils/Bruins game. And on the website for the NJ Department of Environmental Protection Division of Fish & Wildlife, we discovered this amazing fact:

A national survey asked, “Where would you go to view wildlife if you could travel anywhere in North America?” Fifty-five percent of the respondents chose Alaska. When asked why they would choose to go there, Alaska’s variety of animals was the most frequent reply.

If variety of animals is what wildlife watchers are looking for, New Jersey provides some serious competition for Alaska. Alaska hosts 425 bird species, 102 mammal species, 10 reptile and amphibian species and 150 species of fish. New Jersey hosts 325 bird species, 90 mammal species, 79 reptile and amphibian species and over 400 species of fish. When you consider Alaska is 75 times larger than New Jersey, we are the hands down winner over Alaska in wildlife diversity. In fact, on a square mile basis, no other state in the nation has greater wildlife diversity than New Jersey.

Admit it — you had no idea! We sure didn’t, and it seems like at least half those animals live in our backyard. But here’s something that even the NJ Department of Environmental Protection Division of Fish & Wildlife won’t tell you. You know all those amazing, varied, more-than-any-other-state-can-claim-to-have animals? You know how rad and awesome they are? Yeah, well, none of them can score on the power play either.

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You guys, you know what we miss? Ski assassins.

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— What is UO with that commercial for whichever car it is that has that man-sized hamster driving the car? We keep waiting for the payoff, or at least the explanation, but no. It’s just a man-sized hamster gazing into the car showroom, and then driving around in the car. Why? What’s the point? Do they want us to think of their vehicles as hamster wheels? Because that doesn’t seem like a great thing to be associating an automaker’s product with. Good thing we have no idea which automaker is responsible for the commercial. (Way to be a doubly effective commercial, hamster. We don’t understand you, and we don’t remember what you’re for.)

— Meanwhile, and perhaps more importantly, the armed forces of ClarksonNation are practicing all their finest parade formations, because their emperor-god is supposed to return to the lineup tomorrow! WOO HOOOO!


The only bad news there is that just across the border, all those ceremonial displays of military might from ClarksonNation are making the citizens of the young ZharkovNation nervous. They are mounting their own displays in response.


This could get ugly.

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