Double Bingo.

Sunday night finished off with some hot chocolate and a Scrabble game with the elder Barnebeys. They may have been impressed when I played EDITION, but they were browbeaten by the time I laid down SQUALID two rounds later. Good thing they believed me when I told them that ET is a valid variant for the past tense of EAT.


I made it!

I'm not sure I even care.


Wall of Twine

A little bit more Birthday Art; this one a direct result of the Twine Flu Epidemic of Aught-Nine. Are you getting a load of that stuffing job KAtie did?


Mustache Week Approaches

Anna and I made a giant papier mâché mustache for my birthday party. At one point we claimed it was going to be a mustache-shaped piñata. Then we saw it in real life. And covered it with months worth of my completed crosswords. At which point we knew we could never actually part with it. And it came just in time for December, the week of the mustache!

Plane, Train, & Automobile

In my time off I've been touring some of the Upper Midwest's better known M-cities (Moline here I come!), but I took a break and jumped on the Hot Train down to Chicago last weekend. It turned out to not only be M-less, but also cell-less. Good news—it still is actually possible to rendezvous at an appointed time without the use of a cellphone.

That's just what I did with Jeremy and Rachel Sunday afternoon.

Then we went for a long walk down this even longer pier.

At the end, we found the place someone had decided was a good spot to lockup their bike. I want to know what happened after they used 2 u-locks to secure it to this rusty metal rod (double lock!). Where'd they go, and how did so many pieces of their bike manage to give them the slip before they got back?

Then I set my camera to it's 1930's mode for one more shot of the skyline.

Naps with Kermit


Frog Flights

We all know that kermit loves to fly, travels well, and has both functional and fashionable swimwear; but did you know he skydives too‽
Kermit, Wisconsin State Capital, On Wisconsin!

Luck, Leis, & Looks

Last Wednesday I was lucky enough to get these two messages in short succession. By Friday we were headed up to Appleton, and beyond.

We took this canoe trip on Saturday and had so much fun we came back to The Beach Club again that night, this time by non-paddleable transportation. It was a double surprise party(!), which is 1 surprise party topped with another surprise party, not a party with 2 surprises.

Luckily someone was there to take our photo with our sweet, sweet swag on. Unluckily, we didn't follow the photographer's advice to take one medium-sized step to our left.

[Not pictured: W. Barnebey]

Katie was even lucky enough to sing a karaoke duet with The King/with her by herself. It would be untrue to say that the locals loved it; they tolerated it enthusiastically. The Green Bay girls couldn't get enough though.

Kermit, Frogsuits
Kermit sat me down in the morning for a talk. He wanted to swim, I wanted coffee. Luckily the lake was only 51℉; His frog parts wouldn't have survived. Instead we had coffee and huevos rancheros motuleños. They're a Barnebey Family tradition; if you've even been to a cabin with me I've probably made it for you.

morning sun

We were on such a high after that breakfast we took on the fire tower without ropes or harnesses. Gutsy, but worth it for the peeps from the top.


In Which the Comments Go Offtopic.

This old Desert Island post has started attracting spamments in the last week or so. I was going to delete the first one, but they said such nice things about how I have done really very good site I couldn't bring myself to get rid of it. And then there's this XRunner 5.0 Palladium. If I knew where to download it I would definitely recommend to all, but I've never heard of it. So I can't. I am hoping that by saying it again I get a lot more people looking for it though.

I can't wait to see what the next comment is going to ask for!


Like Twines Through an Hourglass

Twine Eyes

Ahh, the magic of Halloween. Those Old Celts with their crazy pagan traditions have really put together an all-star lineup of holidays for the modern American tramp. Remember when it was just about the candy? Lame-sylvania. Now it's about the costume. And the drinking!

My Celtic holidays have been good over the last couple of years. A couple of riots in Madison, an obtuse reference with 3-hole-punch Jim, a possibly insensitive bloody Steve Irwin (2 months might have be too soon), and then  a Don Draper and Joan Holloway a year before anybody would recognize Don Draper and Joan Holloway. This year, ripped straight from the headlines, the Twine Flu. Which is like the Swine Flu, but thinner and ropier.
Twine Flu

LobstoMom, Twined, Lolita LobsterIt's surprisingly contagious though. Luckily the lobster only caught a mild case, localized to her wrists. They are your prime twine exposure areas after all. Unfortunately, they're also your most important de-twining appendages. We can only hope that she's had that LobstoBaby of her's immunized, children and lobsters under 6 are the Twine's most susceptible demographic.

When it spread to The Frog though I started to get worried. Frogs don't even have wrists. That meant it was time to pull out the big guns—the penicillin of rope, the kryptonite of string, the Twine's only known cure—the box-cutter.
Kermit, Twine Frog, Box-cuttered

In conclusion, beware. The Twine is out there.
Twine Woman

It's watching.
Eyes, Masks

And it will entwine you.
Entwined, jumbles

If I could turn back twine, I'd only change two things:
1. Even more twine.
2. Skip the Vernors.

A Leaf Leap

I had to get up there somehow...