Category Archives: Baboon Achievers

Small Accomplishments

Our son informed us this week that our 7 month old grandson was pulling himself up to standing on the living room furniture.  “He looks so proud when he does it!” son reported. Oh, to be so proud for such a small (but essentially huge), accomplishment.

What small accomplishments are you proud of? When can small be huge?

 

Data Dump

Last week the Trail hit 7,000 followers.   This made me curious about some of our other current stats.

  • Overall # of views: 834,276
  • The most viewed posts are some of the oldest, written by our beloved leader Dale, however the fifth most-viewed is “Music: The Most Powerful Art Form” by our Chris.
  • The post with the most comments in the last four years is “Chores and the Great Depression” by our Jacque.
  • Top author is, of course, Dale, followed by Verily Sherrilee, Renee, Barbara in Rivertown and Northshorere (Clyde).
  • Recent top commenters are Barbara, Steve and Renee.
  • We have more activity on the Trail on Tuesday and Wednesdays. Our quietest day is Sunday.

But these are just numbers.

What do YOU think is noteworthy about the Trail? And if you have never commented before, this is your day – just a one word comment to add to our stats?

 

 

 

David vs Goliath

Today’s post comes from Crystalbay

I’ve been MIA for a few weeks because I’m thoroughly embroiled in a fight with city hall. In this city, people aren’t allowed to have a boat at their dock unless they themselves own it. This means that my own kids couldn’t even dock here. I have no boat, and have rented it out every summer for much needed income. A local marina owner found out and filed a complaint against me. I was notified that I had to remove the friend’s boat in one week or face trial. I didn’t comply, then received a summons for a court hearing. Bottom line: I’m facing up to a $1000 fine or 90 days in jail for having one boat at my otherwise empty dock. This money is 1/4 of my annual income, so I decided to fight back.

In a group email to the mayor and city council, I begged for help in resolving this. I explained my situation. I also wrote that, short of help from them, I might have to go public. Not one responded. I’m sure that they thought I was just blowing smoke.

I made one phone call to the StarTribune. They came out the very next day to interview me. A week later, the story was featured on the front page of the Minnesota Section.

What’s happened since this is nothing short of phenomenal. 360 comments followed the article, 95% positive. Someone posted the story on a Lake Minnetonka Fan Club FB page. 250 more comments followed, 98% from people outraged by Orono’s actions. A high end attorney offered pro bono representation. Two more local newspapers wanted in on the action and two more articles brought even more support. I’ve been told that the story spread across the state and that even our governor is following it. I’ve had offers to pay any legal costs or fines. Hundreds have expressed interest in attending my public hearing on Oct. 25th. All three reporters from the three articles published want to be present for possible follow-up articles.

What began as just me and the city locking horns over my dock has taken on a life of its own, with hundreds of people angry about everything from how our tax dollars are being spent to government overreach to how seniors are treated. It seems that disdain for city councils around the lake in general was tapped into by one old lady’s predicament. It’s reminding me of the movie Network when Peter Finch got people to open up their windows and yell, “We’re mad as hell and we’re not gonna take it anymore!!!!!”

In short, my situation going public has touched a palpable and collective nerve in the community across the lake. Even if, as many are predicting, my case gets dismissed, something has clearly been awakened. All I wanted was and is to be able to have one boat at my dock.

What was your David vs Goliath moment? Have you ever had to fight City Hall?

 

 

Slice-o-matic

Although I love cooking, I also love any gadget that makes it easier or quicker. So when I saw a strawberry huller online last week, I was intrigued.  Between the jam and the bags of  berries that I freeze every summer, I spend a lot of time over the sink hulling strawberries with a little sharp knife.  I searched around, discovered that the huller was carried at Bed Bath & Beyond and headed over there on my way down to Northfield to get strawberries. I faced the wall of kitchen gadgets and finally found it, a steal at $7.99 if it made the hulling process easier!  Here’s a quick look at how it works:

And it does work, however, not better than my little sharp knife. After all these years I’m pretty fast, transferring the hulled berry to a bowl while picking up the next strawberry with the hand holding the knife.  With the huller, I ended up having to add an extra step of pushing the button to “dump” the stem and sometimes having to pull twisted stem out of the berry.  After the first batch of jam, I went back to the knife.  It does make a very nice uniform hole if you want to fill the strawberries with something but for a big project, it’s not helpful.  Oh well.

This means that my cherry tomato slicer is still my favorite summertime gadget. I usually have tons of cherry tomatoes every year and the little slicer quickly and easily slices the little tomatoes into four bits.  Did I mention it’s fast?  And easy?  At this time of year I use it almost every day.

What’s your favorite summer gadget?

Stay-cation

For the most part I’m not a fan of new words. I like the words we have and I always have to remind myself that we only have the words we have because at some point somebody made them up.

But every now and then a word comes along that I can embrace wholeheartedly. One of those words is “staycation” – a perfect way to say you are vacationing at home.

Today begins my first day of a nice, long staycation. Because  I’ve been with my company for quite some time, I have a generous number of vacation days and also because of my workload, I don’t get to use too many of them for a chunk of the year.  Now that my big program is out the door, I have to get cracking on these vacation days.  This means a week plus off now, the rest of the Mondays in the summer off and then the entire of State Fair off.

This week though is strictly for hanging out and working on some of the stuff that hasn’t been getting done the last few months – cleaning, straightening, cleaning, yardwork, cleaning. Did I mention cleaning?

On Day One I’m going to make strawberry jam and make some basil-infused oil. I know that doesn’t sound like cleaning, but I do have a mammoth list and it has cleaning projects for every day as well as some of the more fun stuff.

What new word can you embrace?

Family Day

Twenty-three years ago today, a little bundle with a shaved head was put into my arms.

I was half-way around the world, in a hotel in Hufei, China and there were five other bundles being handed off to five other sets of arms at the same time. We spent 8 days in Hufei while all the last bits of paperwork were filled out, signed, stamped and copied (the copier only took one page at a time and after 45 minutes had to sit for a bit to cool down).  Then we headed off to Guangzhou where we had 2 more days of paperwork, but this time U.S. paperwork.

Then the group broke up; Baby and I flew to Hong Kong for an extra day, taking a long taxi drive to the Stanley Market to get a few trinkets, including a Chinese chop with her name carved into it. Then we said goodbye to China and took the long flights to get back to Minnesota.

Most of you know that we celebrate this day every year (usually by going to The Melting Pot). We used to call it “Gotcha Day” since that was when we “got” each other, but when Child was about 10 she announced that she preferred “Family Day”.   She said that “gotcha” made her feel like a package being picked up at the post office.  So now we have Family Day.  Some years we do cards, although never gifts.  I already have the best gift.

Do you have a family tradition that needs re-naming?

The Fugitive

Today’s post comes from Barbara in Rivertown.

I came across an entertaining article recently called “30 Illegal Things Practically Everyone Has Done”   https://bestlifeonline.com/crimes-everyone-has-done/   The following is a list from that article, though I’ve edited it by combining some items, and adding the language in italics.

-using public WiFi

– using a fake name online

– downloading music (w/o paying), movies, TV shows

– drinking underage

– playing poker with friends  ($2000 or more revenue)

– eating something before you bought it

– sharing your password

– using your cell phone while driving

– not updating your driver license when you move

– sharing medication

– jaywalking

– smoking marijuana

– not getting a license for your dog (or cat, in some cities)

– possessing a permanent marker (in Florida and NY)

– writing “disturbing” material (I don’t think this blog counts)

– littering, esp. throwing away a cell phone

– driving over/under the speed limit

– turning right on red, or rolling through a stop sign

– driving through a red light in the middle of the night

– doing a u-turn when it’s illegal

– rolling through a stop sign on your bike, biking on a sidewalk

– not wearing a seat belt

– public intoxication, OR drinking in public (out in the open, away from a bar or restaurant)

– making a meme  (Heck, I still don’t even understand what a meme is.)

Let’s have a little contest – we don’t necessarily need to know WHICH of these illegal things you’ve done, but I think we’ve all done some of them.

How many of these illegal actions have you accomplished?

Any good stories that come to mind?