19 September 2010

Good morning to you all on a gorgeous if somewhat chilly weekend. It’s bright and sunny, the sky is clear and shockingly blue but the temperature is suggesting that Autumn may not be too far away. No frost yet but there is that decidedly cool feeling which makes one take notice. The heating went on yesterday and there may be a fire in the lounge wood burner before too much longer. Hopefully, we’ll get a few more weeks of relatively moderate temperatures before it really starts to turn but I have to say, this seems ominously early for my liking.

It’s been a hectic and busy week, so busy that I’ve even had to work for a couple of days. Some mistake surely! When I say “busy” of course I mean that it’s been a struggle to get all the sports in. Not only do we have the baseball season to conclude (shame about the Dodgers and the Red Sox but just wait ‘til next year), but there’s also the start of the football season, both the NFL and college. I’m telling you, it’s a challenging task to get through it all (and, I don’t even record everything that’s on).

Speaking of baseball, we just heard the good news from our friend and neighbour Pete that the book of his adventures is to be published! You will all remember, I’m sure, how he set out to see a baseball game in every major league baseball stadium and at least one game in each of the fifty states; indeed, many of you hosted him on his travels. Yesterday morning he came over to share the news with us, clutching the contract which the publishers have asked him to sign and return to them. The title is still somewhat undecided and I’m not sure it will be out in time for the Christmas rush but when we have further details I’ll let you all know. Part of the condition of the contract is that the Diary of his journey has to be removed from the web so, if you want to have a brief reminder of what it’s all about go to Heaven or Iowa before the diary is replaced by a page advertising the availability of his book.

As if that wasn’t exciting enough, some of the more regular visitors to Stragnell.com will already have discovered that there are now some short video clips of some of the performances from the Royal Command Variety Performance in the Stragapalooza section. Many apologies in the first instance – the quality is not great (I shot these clips on a Flip camera I had which is of a similar quality to what you might shoot on your mobile phone) and, worst of all, several of the performances did not get recorded at all. I know that I missed the first few performances because (a) I forgot that I had brought the camera to the lake and then (b) when I went looking for it I had trouble finding it. So, my “toast” to absent members, Grandpa’s introductory remarks and Sallie, Rod, Amelie and Ash’s performance of the Incy Wincy Spider regrettably didn’t get recorded. Also, for some reason which I cannot remember, Sandy and Carol’s “Six Suckers on the Line” skit is missing as is the grand finale (although I’ve put the words and music online so you can perform it for yourself). So, after that caveat, knock yourselves out! You’ll find it on the Stragapalooza page.

Finally, I ran across this link in the Guardian the other day – it’s a series of photographs of a bear in a zoo in Finland doing some morning stretches. Many of you will know that I too do similar stretches every morning although I think I’ve still got a lot of work to do to get as good as this.

Love to you all,