Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fall Days and Projects

Don't you love this time of year? The heart simply weeps at the sheer beauty all around us. Wildlife scurries everywhere, the trees bleed color into our every day life, breweries bring out delicious ales and retire those disgusting lemonade concoctions, and even our homes fill up with warmth generously supplied by the central heating furnaces bequeathed by our ancestors.

Just a few weeks keep us from the real great times of the year, when our friends and family gather 'round the dinner table and break bread with us. Feasting has always had a great importance, and harvest festivals in particular stand out among wintering societies.

So why not get excited?!

I took the picture above at a Corn Maze a few weeks ago. For whatever reason, myself and another young man led our party of 8 through the maze this year. Can't say we did a perfect job. We managed to turn ourselves around in the Northwest Corner and did not find our way for a good 15 minutes. We will not win any records.

We spent the night drinking beer and reading scary stories by the campfire. Unfortunately, the drive home took well over an hour: Chicago, a huge city, has moved its farms well out of the city limits, making it unusual in the MidWest in that you need to actually go an hour out of your way to find a farm. Can't quite have a farm in my neighborhood, where a quarter acre of undeveloped land will go for near $300,000.

Instead Chicago adds value-add through Futures Trading, which the Chicago Board of Trade brought to us in 1864, or, historically, yesterday. There's been some pretty nasty drawbacks to that approach: Sorry about that whole AIG thing.

Not that Futures Trading is irrelevant, mind you. You can see the effects of banned futures trading in the Onion Market. The prices have proven pretty volatile in the last decade. Well-developed financial markets still are necessary for growth, and the lack of them leads to chaos: this is why China is falling off so rapidly and has dropped hundreds of billions this year to support its currency.

Thankfully, our solid work ethic, education, and markets have delivered another wonderful bounty to us, which means the Wife and I spent the last month purchasing new furniture for our home, ahead of our November 14th Friendsgiving.

On the list:
-A sectional couch with pull-out bed
-A Lazy-Boy recliner (we need a rocking chair on the first floor)
-Dining Room Chairs
-Dining Room Table

The last, that blasted table, should've arrived last weekend. The furniture store shipped a coal black, dead as night table to us instead of the rustic brown we wanted. Now they tell us they may need to give us a loaner table until they procure the correct one!


We're also building up our recipe repertoire. To me, that means picking up a whole bunch of vinegar: sherry, aged red wine, cider, etc. Vinegar is a highly underrated flavoring, particularly those with significant hypertension like me that don't  need the extra salt. It doesn't have the nutrients of good oils, but the acid gives things one hell of a kick.

My Wife and her friends try out new recipes weekly. This is Jenna, cutting up some apples.

I hate fruit, but they stuffed these with chocolate and developed a tasty, semi-healthy desert. Better than cramming Twinkies down your throat anyways.

On a side note, Jenna finally found herself a boyfriend. You'll remember her as the notoriously picky utterly unremarkable American Girl.

Jenna found a great guy with a great personality. I haven't met him yet, obviously, but he rides a motorcycle, hangs out with lots of middling attractive, single girls, and plays guitar. His personality is simply remarkable.

Meanwhile my architect friend bailed on our Corn Maze adventure for a date, who flaked on him. Still no word on any long-term partners there, even though that's his explicit target.

Can't make these stories up.

Thankfully I can put that aside and focus on starting my family. No news on that front yet, either. At least I have a while to paint the nursery.

Happy Autumn to all.

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