BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
I’m in a really…good…mood.
This weekend was an especially beautiful couple of days with a light breeze out of the northwest that kept temperatures right at 75 or so the whole weekend.
The Autobots are back again battling the punk Decepticons with Optimus Prine in tow. I’m not scared, we got a yellow, hip, hovering Mustang wannabe in our corner. I’m a huge Transformers fan…literally…they’re making them out of BMWs in Turkey right now. I’m not joking.
I had a wonderful Saturday at the zoo with my daughter and wife in Des Moines and stood about five feet from a 400 pound lion that was looking right into my eyes with his mouth open.
My wife wanted to bring home a red panda. She called him Sweetie. (That’s my name…freakin’ furball!)
Our 17 year old loves the zoo. Any zoo – it doesn’t matter. And she gets to run the map because I’ll get lost in those animal mazes in about 10 minutes.
We ate at Bravo Friday night in the Jordan Creek Mall. We sat outside and I had a Captain and Coke. You know it sounds funny from a man closing in on 50, but those are pretty darned good. I had it in a tall glass with ice, a double shot of the rum stuff and sat on the patio overlooking a man-made lake with ducks and fountains.
Parents and kids were walking along the boardwalk and I fancied a juggler or magician or something. Some show off college kid was doing handstands for his girlfriend on the grass across the lake. I can do that kind of stuff but my wife’s not impressed. She doesn’t like the muscular guys, so out of love for her, I’ve let mine diminish a bit. It’s dormant though – I can call it back whenever I want.
I did get a letter from the IRS saying there were looking at my taxes since it’s the first year of us having our business. That’s usually enough to get the firepit lighter out. I’m pretty sure the wife and I paid plenty of taxes last year and had mostly expenses vs. very little revenue on the business. I think it’s the Russians.
I stopped by the Artist Trax Grand Opening on Saturday when I got back from Des Moines. We went about 75 mph on the way home so I could get there and see what Rebecca Bowker and Ian Hauck have put together across from the future Amtrak Rail Depot on Avenue H. There’s some neat art in there and some neat spaces for artists. Some of those spaces go for as low as $50/month. Right now they’ve got some metal works and paintings and sculpture in there. It’s a nice place to practice your craft and showcase art for sale. They’re even donating a portion of sales back to the the Fort Madison Area Artist Association. You should stop in and take a look. Ian’s a real talent. (They usually have some wine on hand, too.)
Sunday afternoon, after watching cars turn into aliens and vice versa, my wife and I made our way out back to the garden I planted…oh….about two months too late for most people I talk to. But you know what…I can’t grow hair on my head but I got some stuff coming up from the dirt. I’ve been using some Scotts Miracle Gro fertilizer packets. You just dump these in the water like a HydroxyCut or something and then just water the plants. I got radishes, beans, corn, cucumbers, a single mound of watermelon, some strawberries ( I hear it takes three years to get a good crop – that’s bumpkis!) tomatoes and peppers all coming up. The tomatoes and peppers I headed advice on and planted plants, but everything else was seeds gosh darnit. I’ll have vegetables in the fall, and ya’ll have already eaten yours. Don’t come knocking…I dig fresh vegetables.
We stopped in at the Rotary Community Picnic Sunday afternoon. The smell of Hy-Vee grilling hamburgers, hot dogs, and brats made me put my nose in the air as I was tending to our garden Sunday evening. The cool breeze brought the smell a full two blocks east and made my stomach begin to crave meat. I watered the garden, put the cats back in the house, and loaded the family for a trip to Central Park. It was pretty packed. A nice event on a nice day with a bunch of really nice people – all to help the Rotarians raise funds for local and national charitable efforts. I gave a donation and then fed the family. Tried my hand at a raffle ticket, but Chuck Luck always looms large over this quickly balding head, so I know that was another donation as well.
I took my daughter and wife to Putt-A-Round and spanked ’em. Bought ice cream and shave ice and came home and passed out in the chair. Too much fresh air I’m sure.
As I sit spinning through the DirecTV lineups I heard some girls singing walking down the street on the cool evening. Some old tunes…2009 I’m sure.
But that’s Beside the Point.