We’ll sell no wine before it’s – oh, cash? No problem.

We attended the Fenn Valley Winery Pre-release Tasting yesterday. You get to sample all the wines coming out this year (2009 for most varieties, 2008 for the Merlot) and order them at a discount. It’s a good time, even for a guy who is more attuned to the day that Bell’s releases Oberon Ale in the Spring than when the new wines are due out. Inevitably, Cath likes all the dry wines and I like the sweeter ones. The good news is that we split cases of wine with friends, so everyone gets what they like.

I bring this up for two reasons. One, you don’t oft

It’s Read an RPG Book in Public Week

Well, actually, it’s one of 3 weeks this year designated as Read an RPG Book in Public Week, but this is the first. In honor of the event, my good friends at the Purple Pawn are running a contest for best photo of someone reading an RPG Book in a public place. There are great prizes, so get your entry in! In the meantime, enjoy these pics of my son, enjoying Harn in the children’s section of the Allegan Public Library. We’ll post more if we have time.

Fight at the Library

Just when I thought I knew some shit. Our neighbor was at the local library today when one guy attacked another guy in front of the Recent Periodicals. Hijinx ensued. Elderly librarians freak out. Seniors on field trip from nearby old folks home are horrified. Local police almost let wrong guy go. Wife on library board will soon have to deal with “policy issues” that arise. In a big city, I’d never have heard about it, unless it involved gun play, so there’s something to be said about a fight in a small town library. All I really want to know is, what Recent Periodical could incite such a ruckus?

Jump Around

Pack it up, pack it in. Let me begin!

It’s been a busy month. As usual I am stretched too thin. I am trying to launch a new web site that involves a staggering amount of data entry. I am trying to redo our 4th bedroom so it is no longer the “Room of Shame” and I’m trying to get some stuff done for work. Throw in the usual  farm things like filling the trough (the cattle knocked out the cord to the tank heater),  the hot tub (its leaking somewhere), and the wood furnace (its cold out), and fetching beef from the butcher (tasty meat!) and I am seriously jumping around. And yes, I know that filling the hot tub is not a traditional farm chore, but you’ve never had to keep the hose reel in the mud room so it won’t freeze because you need to add water to the hot tub (and/or the wood furnace) every two days.

I got more task than cops at a dunkin doughnuts! (as the song says)

The thing is, January is when they tell you – they being the folks who write books on living on farms – that January is for maintaining equipment and getting ready for cutting timber or collecting maple syrup or something. I added diesel to the tractor the other day, but that’s been about it.  At least, it smelled like diesel. Oh well. The tractor is still running, so it’s probably fine. In any case, people always assume that country life is at a slower pace than city life. No. That’s just the lack of a rush hour fooling you. We’re busy out here, too. Maybe busier. We’ve got PTA meetings  and soccer and most everything else, with the possible exception of avant garde art gallery openings, AND we’ve got livestock on top of that.

Think about that the next time you fantasize about moving to the country. Your hectic life could get MORE hectic. On the other hand, you could just decide to pay someone to rehab the 4th bedroom and save yourself a big hassle, but where’s the fun in that? Its so….city.


One of the nice things about living out in the schtix is the fact that even when you have neighbors, the tend to be far enough away that they don’t mind (read: can’t hear) when you play Digital Underground REALLY LOUD. Some of you are no doubt saying, “Ben, who is this Digital Underground that you speak of?” To those people, I say, click here. There are also some of you saying, “Ben, what kind of country squire are you that you are listening to Digital Underground?” To those people, I say, click here.

I’ve been doing a lot of mindless data entry lately – hey, it happens. Even here in Rural America. Deal with it. – so I’ve been playing lots of really loud music to keep me going. I have to say that as I type, I am playing music so loud that if I lived in an apartment, condo, or a thin walled close neighbored old Victorian in Chicago, I better invite the neighbors over for the party or wear headphones. That is one of the many cool things about the country. Sure, I’m not listening to Alan Jackson or whoever just won American Idol, but NO ONE CARES! Well, I mean, if I drove through town in my beat up old GMC pickup truck playing “Freaks of the Industry” or the New Orleans Klezmer All Stars loud enough to rattle the barber shop windows I’d get a few stares, but not at home. A man’s home is his castle. Especially when his castle is far away enough from your own that he can play House of Pain’s Jump Around so loud that the barn cats are running for cover.

So next time you think that country folk are intolerant or square, just remember, that you can’t be intolerant of stuff you can’t hear or see! :)