This is where we sat yesterday morning having our coffee, on the deck of Dave's parents' house in Brownstown, near Detroit. They live in a planned senior community and the whole place looks like this. It's neat and tidy and very beige.
While we were sitting out there, we heard a CLUNK and then a lot of frantic squeaking. We'd seen a chipmunk earlier, and I realized that the lower part of a neighbor's downspout had fallen off and the squeaking was coming from inside. So I went over, thinking the chipmunk might be trapped, but it wasn't in the lower, disconnected part of the downspout. I thought maybe it was stuck up higher.
But then we saw it later -- at least I think it's the same one -- looking quizzically at the spout, which it could no longer reach because that brown part had fallen off.
It seemed concerned so I reattached the brown part, thinking it might have a nest in there. Or maybe it needed to rescue a pal. I'm not sure I did it any favors, and I'm sure the neighbors would rather not have chipmunks in their downspout, but I'll let them sort it out.
Anyway, aside from the chipmunk kerfuffle, it was a pretty quiet day. We did some minor gardening with Dave's dad, dividing and transplanting some decorative grass to a couple of different spots near the house. (Of course in this very beige community there are a lot of rules about what you can plant where.) Dave and I also had some errands to run, picking up a gift for his parents' 60th wedding anniversary in a few days, and mailing his ballot request for November to the local elections office.
In the evening we went to a very casual restaurant at a local golf club, known for its diverse menu of freshwater fish. This prompted a discussion about the difference between a perch and a bluegill. To me, they're basically the same thing -- along with bream and sunfish. When I was a kid everyone used all those names interchangeably for the fish in the lake behind our house in Florida, relatively round and flat stripey things.
According to Wikipedia, though -- and it's ALWAYS right (ha!) -- the bluegill is a specific species, whereas bream and sunfish are more general terms encompassing a range of fishes in different genuses. (A bluegill is in fact a type of sunfish and often called "bream.") And the perch, though somewhat similar in its stripey coloring, is really a whole 'nother type of fish, not even really the same shape.
So, yeah, glad I could iron that out for you.
I had bluegill at the restaurant. Of course it was fried, like everything else I've consumed over the past 48 hours.
When we got home I took a long walk around the very beige neighborhood just to get some exercise and work off some of those battered and breaded calories. And then I came back to the house and had cherry pie.
Today we're driving up north to Dave's parents' deer-hunting cabin, which is in the middle of nowhere in northern Michigan (but still in the Lower Peninsula). We're not sure we'll have Internet access there. Just in case, I've prepared a couple of short posts to publish automatically tomorrow and Thursday -- if I can write fresh ones of course I will, but if not, the automatic ones will appear and believe me, you'll be able to tell. (I must keep up my unbroken record of daily blogging!)
On another topic entirely, as a dedicated "Star Trek" fan, I was sad to read about the death of Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Uhura. She was always one of my favorite characters and "The Changeling," in which she features prominently because an interstellar probe called Nomad erases her memory, is one of my favorite episodes.
I saw Nichols in person in January 2011 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. She appeared on a panel called "Pioneer Women of Television" with Angie Dickinson, Stefanie Powers and Linda Evans. At the time I was in a very brief period of neither blogging nor keeping a journal, so I don't have much record of what I thought about the evening, except that I e-mailed a friend the next day and said: "Stefanie and Angie were awesome, Linda was too quiet, and Nichelle talked too much."
Which sounds a little harsh. Oh well -- I still loved seeing her. Here's a clip of the event, perhaps the part that left me with that impression!