Written by Bob Woelk Tuesday, 13 September 2011 16:30I creep out my back door, holding a pair of 12-gauge, semi-automatic shotguns loaded for a goose hunt. My quarry is comfortably resting in the treetops above my head as I slip stealthily underneath.
In one quick motion, I place the weapons on my hips and fire into the branches. Load after angry load sends showers of leaves, feathers and bloody bird body parts. I laugh maniacally as I empty all the chambers on my aviary arch enemies.
When the gun smoke clears, the carnage is complete. What I assume are starlings have been eliminated from my backyard, never to return.
I am normally not a violent person, but those nasty, stinky, noisy little black birds are driving me crazy. The Christian Science Monitor calls them the most hated birds...
Written by Bob Woelk Tuesday, 09 August 2011 15:37Some random thoughts in the twilight of summer:
What would happen to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis if a strong tornado hit it?
I spotted a dead armadillo on the side of U.S. Highway 56 west of Lehigh earlier this summer. I read an article about how the critters are moving north and have been found in every Kansas county. How long will it be before their roadkill numbers match the standards set by possums and skunks?
I always use 1980 to compare the relative heat of any given summer. “You think this July is hot?” I have been heard to say. “You should have been around in ’80, the year I got married. Now, that was a hot summer.” From now on, will we discuss the heat wave of 2011 with the same awe as 1980 and 1936?
Written by Bob Woelk Tuesday, 12 July 2011 15:46Here’s what I learned working a Saturday morning shift at the Hillsboro recycling center.
Residents like and utilize their facility. After all, they are paying for it on their monthly utility bills. They started arriving right at 9 a.m., and the steady stream continued until noon with only a couple of five-minute breaks.
No. 1 plastic, which includes most clear bottles and containers, holds the top spot for donated items. People around here love their Gatorade, which in the company’s infancy was sold in glass bottles. Two-liter soda bottles, containing everything from Mountain Dew to root beer, are also packaged in No. 1 plastic.
To the uninitiated to the realm of recycling, the number representing the type of material used can...
Written by Bob Woelk Tuesday, 07 June 2011 13:34With our heads freshly buzzed and our shirts and shoes nowhere to be found, we would spend our summer days outside, our only parental edict to stay within the sound of my father’s whistle.
There were five of us Goessel neighborhood kids, all close enough to the same age that we hung around together. In addition, we were first cousins, separated for most of our school-age years by an alley and a couple of houses’ distance north and south.
Of course, we three older boys didn’t want to play with the two girls. My younger brother and his cousin/friend didn’t mind so much hanging out with my sister and her female first cousin. The girls were only one year apart in age, and they didn’t bother us much.
My little brother, four years...
Written by Bob Woelk Tuesday, 10 May 2011 15:45So, back in March, on my massive two-day spring break, my wife suggested round two of family geocaching. It would be a sequel to our first adventure back in September.
Not only did I say “OK,” I suggested we invite our 27-year-old son. Actually, I don’t remember who suggested it. Maybe even he did. At any rate, he had the day off, so he came along.
Wife Kathy begins each adventure by using our computer to do a virtual search for actual places to search. I had mentioned earlier (I think it was in 2003) that I would like to visit the Medicine Lodge area some day. We went there once to play a bluegrass concert at a church for cowboys. It was really windy and dark that evening, so we didn’t see much. But, I could tell there were...
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