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Showing posts from November, 2011

Island of Misfit Toys

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Recently, I changed my blogger moniker to Moonracer and that is not because of Moon Racer the transformer (who only appeared once in the animated series and then underwent a name change due to some trademark issues when she got to the toy stage).  Think small female warrior for that character.

No, the inspiration came from a book by Brad Thor (Full Black) where one of the characters (a spy who is also a dwarf) asked for Moonracer to be his code name because of King Moonracer on the Island of Misfit Toys.  Kudos to Brad Thor for a brilliant code name that suited the character (as an aside, the book is a good, fast read if you like spy novels).  The name resonated and when it come to blogging (since I am not building a brand here given that I've done just about everything wrong on that front), it seemed like a good choice -- at least for the time being.

I am currently home on a rainy night that follows a period of excessively warm weather for this time of year.  For once, I remembe…

Final Resting Spots

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I just spent the day on an expedition to put plants on the graves of my grandparents, aunt, and father.  They are buried in Washington, CT in a lovely cemetery just before you hit the Washington, Depot.  Their graves  look out over the rolling hills of Litchfield county and it's a quiet spot to lay one's weary head after a life well-lived.

It's always a little jarring to see my father's headstone.  For three reasons.  First, my mother -- ever the thrifty one -- had her name and birth date engraved on the headstone when it was carved for my father.  But there she was, sitting in the front seat of the big Dodge SUV that I had rented, alive and kicking.  The second reason is that on the back of the headstone she engraved the names of the kids that they had brought into this world.  There we are -- my sister Mary, my brothers JT and Peter, and me Nancy.  And then, at the very top of the list is Baby Boy -- my still born older brother.  I know she put us in birth order bu…

Short Burst: Golden Ginkgoes

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The ginkgoes of New York have turned to gold -- right on schedule despite the freak snow storm that painted the city white at the end of October.  

Ginkgoes have been around for 7 million years -- surviving the ice age and more recently the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.  Legend has it that Buddhist monks in China saved them from extinction and that ginkgoes were a favorite tree of Frank Lloyd Wright.   There are those who hate the smell of the female ginkgo (yes, there are male and female ginkgoes) -- it emanates from the seed shells and has caused some cities to eradicate  their ginkgo trees or spray the trees as Washington, DC did this past spring in order to reduce the odor.

It's sad to think that we've chopped down trees because we don't like the way they smell.  That stands in stark contrast to those monks who nourished and planted the species in their gardens.  Says something about our disposable culture.  
Fall is a magical time of year in New York -- a city th…

Short Burst: October Snow

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There was a rare snowstorm on October 29th -- a nor'easter with lots of wet snow.  Enough wet snow to take out 1,000 trees in New York's Central Park and leave swaths of the northeast without power for days.  In Farmington, CT -- where my Mom now lives -- the power is still out.  Her assisted living facility has two generators going and reports that all residents are doing OK.

I took a short stroll in Central Park during the height of the storm.  I could hear the crack of the trees as branches big and small snapped off.  It felt a bit like I was a storm chaser -- you know those people who chase tornadoes across the mid-West -- except there was no speeding car or fancy equipment.  Just me, other walkers, and some intrepid runners making our way through a quiet Central Park.  Good to know I wasn't the only idiot who thought a jaunt in the park as branches were falling was a good thing.
The storm didn't pile much snow on the Park (about 3 inches I think) but it was a wet…