Friday, May 30, 2008

Warning: Maple trees are dangerous to your mental health

Here is a short lesson on what not to do.

Do not plant maples trees near your home. Period, end of story.

Do not let the fact that they shade the house from the hot summer sun sway you.

Do not let their fall beauty seduce you.

Do not, I repeat, do not plant them near your house if you value your mental health. Believe me, I should know. We have at least seven maple trees surrounding our house.

We spent at least an hour this Memorial Day, on our roof, cleaning out our gutters which were totally filled with whirley-birds a.k.a. Maple seeds.
And this was not the beginning. The beginning of May brought their blooms which when they fell created their own mess. But since that is now finished it is the whirley-birds and their mess which is fresh in my mind.

We have swept our porch, walk, and deck multiple times - on the same day. And they are still not finished. All of this gets tracked into the house onto the carpets. Everywhere I turn I find them. They are in my hair, in the baby's play pen, not to mention that they are in all of the flower beds and gardens. And today I saw several that had sprouted. I will be pulling maple trees out of the ground the rest of the summer. It is enough to drive one mad.

So please, do yourself a favor and don't plant these messy, messy trees anywhere near your house.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Let's Go Pens!

Tonight we're cheering in my house. And with their win against the Detroit Red Wings, the Pittsburgh Penguins are cheering in their house - Mellon Arena. For anyone who had written the Pens off because they hadn't even scored a goal in the first two games, think again. This young team has a lot of passion and showed it tonight. I don't know if they will win it all, but if the rest of the games are like tonight, it will be a lot of fun to watch (just pass me the Tums).

The Pens being in the finals for the first time since 1992 really brought back a ton of memories for me. I was a new hockey fan back then. I was going to school at the University of Pittsburgh and staying in Pittsburgh for the summer to work. We were hockey crazy. Oh, how we wanted to go to a game but being cash strapped college students we had to settle for watching on TV. When they won it all, we did go down to Three Rivers Stadium for the rally though. Blew off work and everything. It's funny, I hadn't thought about that summer for years. Sid the Kid and Company has brought back those easy-living days of youth - to Pittsburgh hockey and to me, if only as a memory.

I hope they win, I really do. They're a special group. And I want them to win because it will bring 1992 back just a little more. Not that I want to be 19 again, but it's nice to remember when I was.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Transport Tycoon Deluxe

Transport Tycoon Deluxe is one of my most favorite games. It had been some time since I played it and I was reminded of it by a tv show - Modern Marvels. This episode was on freight trains and how their networks, which criss-cross the nation, operate. This in itself is quite fascinating and very interesting. But it was this that reminded me of the game where you build networks (primarily rail, although there are other modes available) between cities and industries. And you make money by hauling commodities - passengers, mail, coal, ore, lumber, goods.

When I first started playing, years ago, my husband and I would stay up all night - time just seemed to fly by. We had one scenario and we would take turns working on it. The map was so large you could easily jump to a new area when you were tired of your current scene. We would build super rail highways that connected all the different cities and raw materials to their industries very efficiently.

Of course now that we have a little baby I don't dare stay up all night. For sure when I want to go to sleep, she will want to get up. So I just play a little here and there, whenever I can. But it is fun trying to remember all the techniques I once used. And there are new features to discover all the time, which makes the game fresh again.

Well, I'm going to go play a little transport tycoon now, before I have to go to bed.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Good Morning World !

I can't believe I've been so in the dark about blogging. But now, watch out. It is nice to have a place to corral all my thoughts and happenings in one place. And if someone else can actually see and share it with me - all the better. I have so many diverse interests and I am sure they will all end up being talked about here eventually. Except for gardening that is. I have a separate garden blog: Walk Down the Garden Path. There are lots of garden pictures there for you to enjoy. So please check back often to see what I am up too. I promise you won't be disappointed.