Thursday, March 22 2012
Gretchen went to work today and, after work, continued southward to Maryland. She'd be spending the weekend at the Split This Rock Poetry Festival.
Meanwhile, I'd taken delivery of a cheap compound bow with two arrows. I intended to use this as a tool for gaining access to otherwise impossible tree branches. But I hadn't shot an arrow since I was a kid, and then it had been with a cheap toy. I knew I was going to need some practice. So I set up a cardboard box in the driveway and shot at it with arrows. I was little confused by my bow, which was operated right-handed but fired arrows from its left side (somehow I'd thought right-handed bows shot arrows from their right side). But once I got the hang of how to sight down the arrow and hold the bow without being bruised by the string, I managed to hit the box target an acceptable fraction of the time. While the bow itself seemed sturdy, the arrows seemed to disintegrate after being fired a few times. The fletching (the part that would have been made of feathers on a Native American arrow) started shearing off, making them fly around in crazy ways like the solid fuel boosters of the Space Shuttle Challenger immediately after it exploded. I found, though, that I could wrap the front of the vanes with electrical tape in a way that both fixed the problem and made them far more durable for future shots. It was all well and good until, on a lark, I fired an arrow at a steep ballistic trajector towards the woodshed (southward). Evidently the arrow got stuck high in a tree, because I couldn't find it anywhere on the ground (despite its electric coloration).
To help me booze it up during Gretchen's absence, I went out on a beer run to the Hurley Avenue Citgo with the dogs this afternoon (they have good IPAs but a surprisingly limited cheap beer selection).
While I was out, I also mined 35 gallons of Esopus Creek floodplain topsoil, most of which I used to beef up the soil in the lettuce patch (parallel to the asparagus patch and between the two tomato patches). After creating a fresh new hump of topsoil, I planted the lettuce and had a seemingly-successful conversation with Ramona the dog about not walking or digging in it. I filled the hole she'd dug in the yard with some of the soil, though it didn't take her long to completely re-excavate it.
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