Wild Mountain Squirrels to Manhattan

Brittany and I joined some friends at their house for dinner last week. Driving down the lane to their super sweet farmhouse, we were stopped in our tracks by a cat. Well, what we thought was a cat.

This animal refused to move out of the way. He sat regally in the middle of the road and watched as the car got closer. He wasn’t angry or scared. He was nonchalantly indifferent to us. He just wasn’t moving.

We had a showdown of sorts, he staring straight up into the headlights of my car and me assuming he would honor the established power hierarchy long ago negotiated between man and beast. He did not honor that pact. So I backed up and carefully drove around the ornery bastard.

We later learned this was a rare and unique species, known apparently only to this farm. What I assumed was a cat was actually a Wild Mountain Squirrel. So that explained the deviant behavior.

We went inside, had drinks and a nice dinner and caught only a few glimpses of this strange creature the rest of the night. 

Ron and Sylvia also have a beautiful dog named Rosie who has an abundance of enthusiasm for life and movement. We bonded, Rosie and I. Ron, Sylvia, and I caught up for drinks the other night, but Rosie could not make it. She’s a little high strung for the quiet, English pub atmosphere of Rathskeller.

Rugby commentators are the best. In yesterday’s match, after a particularly inspiring try, the commentator said ‘that wasn’t just a try, but a spiritual experience.’ Later in the same game, after a Wales flanker neatly stole the ball from England during a break-down in play, the commentator said ‘I reckon he could burgle your house through the mail slot’. 

While European rugby’s premier event is ongoing, Eastern Europe appears to be at war again. Evil, small-minded, insecure, and little-dicked Putin has invaded Ukraine after several months of military build up along the border. I am not going to write much on this. It’s depressing and nothing can be done from my position in this life. We say it’s human nature and that it’s always been this way–war and more war. We know of the heartbreak and pain and destruction of lives and yet after all these millions of years we still seem to find time from destroying the planet to kill one another.

Life is pretty damn busy at the moment. I am stressing a bit that rain and ice and cold winter weather has prevented much progress at Black Dog Ridge. Karl is getting a trench dug to put in the conduit for the electric, but Kenny has not been able to do much. So I see a June completion slipping away. But there is not much I can do without throwing a ton of money at it and so best to relax and let things go the way they do. 

Shannon and I are in the middle of planning for Java 13. It’s a lot, with both of us working full time jobs, but we are progressing. In an interesting coincidence, we will open Java 13, 30 years after I opened The College Market https://martinitime.net/2018/05/19/college-market-books-and-coffee-october-1992/

I’ve completed a very rough draft of an early site, using stock images. But will continue to refine it over time. https://java-13.com

I was a wet behind the years pup when College Market came to fruition. It was a bold and grand adventure and I made some lifelong friends on that journey. I had no money and no experience. Just a broke physics student and bartender with a passion for books and for coffee. Now I am staring at 60 and while I have learned a few things these past 3 decades, it does not guarantees us success here.

It is refreshing to see the College Market continues to be a going concern in Pocatello. I take some pride in that. 

And of course there is the paid work that funds my irreverent lifestyle and ramblings. And that also takes time. But these are all important things and so they need attention. In half-a-year or so, Black Dog Ridge should be mostly built and Java 13 up and running and hopefully finding some purchase in local economic activity. Then we can travel a bit more and enjoy the fruits of all this labor and investment. 

Other than these things, life has been pretty routine the past few weeks. I’ve managed a few good meals and some drinks with family and friends and relished some time at home. Watching 6 nations rugby is a nice weekend happy place.

I managed my first early spring bike ride and motorcycle ride on the one warm day we’ve had so far.

I’m enjoying several books and continuing to find time to increase my reading. I saw an amazing book at a store the other day while Brittany was browsing–it’s called ‘Epic Cycling Climbs‘. And that reminded me that I still need to spent a few summers in Europe exploring some of these historic rides. Perhaps I will toil up some on a bike, but mostly, probably, drive while listening to old broadcasts of the famous stages of the Tour or the Giro or Vuelta that included those famous climbs.

I received, out of the blue, a lovely care package from Carla that included a bottle of Jameson that apparently has some history. And some beautiful LP’s of a few of my favs. So that was super cool.

 I am off to Boston today for work. Passing over Manhattan as I write these words and was rewarded with a lovely photo opp. Brittany and I leave for Amsterdam on Thursday. So that will be a welcome trip to my spiritual home. Will be good to see Sjoerd and Onah and Bear.

“I was born lost and take no pleasure in being found.” 

John Steinbeck

No other news of note.

Humbly Submitted.

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