Is it a lawn mower? A trimmer? No Its an Apple Picker Upper!

I found myself at the hardware store yesterday, poking around. I did not expect to see anything exciting. Does one ever at the hardware store? But in the yard section, I bumped into a rather odd looking tool. It looked like a toy. A thing that scoops up apples from the ground by rolling over them.

“It will never work.” I said to myself. Still, it would be a conversation piece! So I bought it and took it home. By George it works! And this morning, I was chomping at the bit to get out into the yard to scoop up apples. And when you have 14 humongous apple trees, like I do, there is no shortage of pick up work.

It looks like this

Image result for gardenia tool apple pick up

So if you have fruit trees — especially big old apple trees, go for it!

I am going out to do some more!


Gardenia has a cool video that shows you how it works.


And What About the San Sebastian Film Festival?

My friend Eneko just reminded me! I have not posted on this year’s Zinemaldia! Oops!

From the Guggenheim Bilbao website

Once again this year, Donostia/San Sebastian is gathering top actors and filmmakers for its star-studded International Film Festival, unfolding from September 22 to 30. For about ten days, celebrities come to the city. In addition to the recipients of the Donostia Award (Agnès Varda, Monica Bellucci, and Ricardo Darín) and the newly-established Jaeger-LeCoultre Latin Cinema Award (Paz Vega), a long list of stars have already confirmed attendance.

Here is a fun image

Image result for zinemaldia

A Mysterious Sword

In the movies, Vikings are often seen carrying swords. In fact, few of them actually did. Swords were too expensive for most Vikings to get their hands on. Only a few had them. The rest made do with axes or other weapons that had far less precious metal. And for those lucky few who owned a sword, it was likely their prized possession.

For this reason, it is odd that a few Norwegian reindeer hunters, wandering up high in the mountains, found a three foot long Viking sword sticking out of a clump of rocks. Apparently, it had been there for a thousand years.

Image result for found viking sword

But what was it doing there?

The sword was brought there by someone and left there. Perhaps a dying Viking. But archeologists found no evidence of any gear in the area. Nothing. Just the sword.

Because a Viking’s sword was likely his most prized possession, it wouldn’t have just been abandoned or forgotten during a mountain-top jaunt. Not that the find site is ideally suited as a walking trail. The rocky terrain would have been treacherous and there was a well-established path nearby without any such obstacles. It’s possible the owner of the sword got lost in the white-out of a blizzard and died, but, as the glacier archaeologists point out, if that were the case, then where is the rest of his gear? You don’t climb a mile up a mountain carrying only a sword.

It is a bit of a mystery.


Washington: McCain is Right, for the most Part

The Graham- Cassidy Health Care Bill to repeal Obamacare is on a fast track, with a Senate vote scheduled for next week. No democrat will vote for it, and if more than 2 republicans say “nyet”, the bill is dead. So far, Rand Paul and John McCain have indicated that they will vote no. It is widely expected that Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski will do the same.  The bill is most likely going to fail.

McCain said “no” for a very good reason. This type of bill will affect millions of Americans. It should be considered carefully and in a bi-partisan fashion. And the Senate should educate the American people about the options under consideration. Instead, republicans have been playing political football with the health of the American people. McCain called them out for it, and they deserve it.

In fact, they deserve more. Graham and Cassidy have been playing fast and loose with the facts about the bill. And they deserve to be called out for that too.  Despite what these two are saying, the bill will not guarantee coverage for folks with pre-existing conditions.

Will McCain’s message have any legs? One would hope so. But I am doubtful.