Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Flaming Gerbils of Armageddon

Last Friday night the forces of the Flaming Gerbils of Armageddon were ready for Trivia Night out in Cumberland.

Oh, it's not that the Flaming Gerbils were the winning team or even MY team, but I thought they deserved a mention (or maybe even an extra point) for having the most awesome name.

MY team (cough, choke) was called The Little Wonders, but in my defense, I didn't have ANYTHING to do with that.

Anyway, the Trivia contest was part of a fund-raiser for the Cumberland Community Forest Society, and my friends Louise and Sherry invited me and Jeff along to join the team and duke it out (nerd-style) with DENSA, We're Right, Nerdgasms, THe Sunshine Girls and the rest.

Last week I mentioned to someone that I was going to go to the Trivia Night thing, and they were curious as to how one got ready for something like that. "What are you going to study up on?" they asked.

The answer, for me at least, is that I DON'T study up at all.

I know the trivia I know. I just have to dredge it all up from the primordial mud layers of my brain at the right time.

I know there are nine circles in Dante's Hell. I know that Hecate is the name of the witch goddess in Shakespeare's MacBeth. I know how to spell "sarsaparilla".

Somethings you just DON'T know. Like, who won the Stanley Cup last year? Sometimes I'm just not paying attention. (And apparently nobody else at our table was paying attention to the Pittsburgh Penguins either.)

Sometimes you have to GUESS that the only domestic animal not mentioned in the bible is the cat. Actually, I DID guess that. But my vote was over-ruled in favor of the llama, which was the wrong answer according to the people running the event, but is also technically correct I think, seeing as how the llama is a New World animal. Oh well. It's trivia.

What is the digit 1 called when it is followed by one hundred zeros? Answer: A googol. (We got this one.)

What is a pulicologist? Answer: Someone who studies fleas. (We didn't get this one.)

Anyway, it was a fun evening. There were bowls of free pretzels, the cheap wine flowed, and there was much healthy (loud) competition.

Or team tied for fourth/fifth place out of fifteen teams so all our total lack of studying paid off. :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tax Time and Greek Islands

Every year around this time it seems there is a fairly steady stream of relatives dropping by for tea...and to get their taxes done.

I visit and drink tea, Jeff gets to do the taxes. :)

Last night, as Jeff worked away on his lap-top with my friend Claudia's paperwork, Claudia and I had a nice long talk, something we haven't done in a long while.

One of the things we talked about is Greece as Jeff and I are travelling there soon and Claudia has lots of fond memories of that part of the world. Being from Germany, flying to Greece for a week or a weekend was as simple as Canadians jetting off to Mexico.

Claudia's ex owned property on a tiny little island near Naxos in the Cyclades and they returned again and again to the same village and beaches. They had a little house with no electricity or running water and enjoyed roughing it.

A local shepherd would sometimes bring them fresh goat cheese. So fresh it sometimes still had goat hair in it.

Tales of Greek ferries in rough sea, gypsies, hiking and beautiful beaches...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Geocaching and Woodpecker Love

Jeff and I spent Sunday afternoon doing some combined hiking/geocaching Cumberland. The trail head is really close to our friend Kim's house and she has hidden five caches in the woods there, most of them along the mossy path that is sign-posted Mama Bear's Trail of Tears.

Somewhere between A Cache for Miss Dickinson and Mama Bear's Second Cache we came across two pileated woodpeckers courting---circling round and round a tree, peeking around the trunk at each other and bobbing their red-crested heads. There was no pecking of wood involved.

(Finally remembered my new camera can take video and took the below clip of them.)

Forty-five minutes later, as we retraced our steps along the trail, we came across the same two birds--they were still at it. Round and round. Ah, wood-pecker love in the Spring-time!