Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Berries and My Articles

Lucky for you, it is raining today in da Harbor, so I can write.  Because of this, I did not get a chance to get out and pick berries.  Berries?!  Yes!  It is berry season, and I've been out three days in a row before work.  I am an addict, remember. 

Town is busy EVERYday.  I completely forgot how many kids come here.  I forgot what large numbers of people come up together.  What I did not forget, however, is how many questions they ask.  I'll leave that one alone.

I really don't have to much to say otherwise, besides I'm busy working six days a week and then having to go to town on my day off.  Oy.  But there are worse things in the world, and I am making some bank to put away for the slow times.  Only twelve more weeks until I can start working on my book again!!!

By the way, if you like my writing, I wrote a couple articles in the Copper UP -- the makers of the Porcupine Press.  You can check it out at this link.  Just click on the bagpipe guy to read it all!  I hope you enjoy.  One of my articles made the front page!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tourist in my own Town

This past weekend my family came to visit me: Mom, Dad, Aunt and Uncle.  This was the first time for latter two.  So what did I get to do?  Show them around, and play tourist!

Da Harbor is a wonderful place to be a tourist in.  We watched the sun set up on Brockway Mountain, got ice cream from the Berry Patch, found stones and peace on the shores of Hunter's Point, watched ducks swim around from the 3rd Street Dock, had a drink up at the historical Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, ate dinner at the Harbor Haus restaurant, stopped in all the shops and (the most unique experience for me) toured the Copper Harbor Lighthouse by boat.

You are well aware that I used to live on the private road to the lighthouse.  It used to be my stomping grounds.  I can't even tell you how many times I've jogged or snowshoed up those concrete steps.  But now I don't live out there, and the fam wanted to see the lighthouse.  "Let's take the boat tour then!"

The Harbor was calm and the air was humid, so it was nice to be on the water.  Nick was our captain, and he did a great job explaining things the whole time.  I learned so much!  Plus I actually got to go in the museum and lighthouse itself for my first time ever.  I was glad we did it.

I chose this adventure to elaborate on because it was such a different feeling for me to be a tourist in what used to be my back yard.  I had fun telling other visitors the things that I knew about the area.  They always seem excited to meet a local, and I always do my best to represent.

It seemed like everyone had a wonderful time while they were up, and I am grateful that my understanding boss and coworker gave me the two days off to visit with my family.  And now, back to the grind!

The weather has been a little eerie lately, but we just got a couple good storms, and the air is cooler today. 

I've been eating a few bilberries here and there.  I had one sugar plum today.  Buffaloberries are ready too, but the rest are still green.  I look forward to when they are ripe.  But for now, I'll keep on fulfilling all my other worldly duties.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Interview with Zik's Jukebox

I have heard it called “the best jukebox in the Keweenaw” before.  It is Zik’s jukebox.  If you’re not familiar, Zik’s Bar is a part of The Pines Resort here in the heart of da Harbor.  Zik’s is dubbed the local bar: the drinks are cheap, the bartenders are friendly and, well, it has the best jukebox in the Keweenaw.  Here he is in all his glory.

As you can see from this picture, he has quite the variety.  Just on these panels, you see everything from the latest hits to the oldies to Johnny Cash.  And don’t forget about the book!  It’s got tons more CD choices!  But I’ll let him tell you more.

Me: Good evening Mr. Jukebox.  Cranking out the tunes, I see.

Jukebox: What did you expect?  It’s summer time.  Whether there’s two or two hundred people here, they always gravitate my way in the evening.  I boost the mood and the energy, you know?

Me: I certainly do.  I always make sure I come here with a fist full of one dollar bills!

Jukebox: I know.  You’ve been pressed up against my glass before.  You like all those weird instrumental songs that nobody’s ever heard.

Me: Sure do, but I get people to dance sometimes.

Jukebox: It makes my night when people dance!  Even better are the hula hoops.  I love watching all you people hula hoop.  

Me: I’m glad.  I thought they’d be a good addition to the place.

Jukebox: Oh, I can’t tell you how great they are.  Some of you chicks can really make them spin.

Me: We’ve got to make our own excitement around here, you know.

Jukebox: That’s what I’m here for.

Me: Exactly.  So how has your summer been so far?  Getting lots of business?

Jukebox: It’s been fine.  We’ve had some big crowds all taking turns at my buttons.  It always cracks me up to watch someone play songs they like, and the next person plays completely different songs.  But that’s why I’m so diverse.  I’ve got something for everyone.

Me: I’ll say.  When I play songs, I like to feel out the crowd to see what will get them going.  People drink more when they hear good music.

Jukebox: Yeah, then the music gets louder!

Me: I know!  Sometimes I can hear you from my house!

Jukebox: Then why don’t you come over?

Me: Because I’m trying to sleep.

Jukebox: Oh, you pansy.  It’s summer in the Harbor.  Who sleeps?

Me: Hey, I’ve had my summers mopping this floor at 3 am.  Don’t get lippy with me.

Jukebox: Hey, babe.  I’ve see you dance with that mop.  I’m just reminiscing.

Me: Careful.  Don’t make me have to edit this.  You were racy enough in my book.

Jukebox: Well excuse me for being a dude.

Me: Fine.  You’re excused.  So what else would you like to tell my readers about yourself.

Jukebox: What readers?

Me: Oh, sorry.  I’m interviewing you for my blog readers.  

Jukebox: You’re interviewing me?  I thought you were just being friendly.  No wonder you don’t have a drink.  You should have told me, I wouldn’t have been so fresh.

Me: I wanted you to be yourself.  You’re doing fine.  So what message would you like to send to your fans?

Jukebox: Fans?  Wow, I’m flattered.  Um, well, this is kind of an inside thing that I shouldn’t tell people, but I suppose I can.  Don’t put too many dollars in me at once.  I’ve been spilled on and ashed on so many times that I don’t always remember what songs people punched in, and I tend to miss some here and there.

Me: Yeah.  You skipped a couple of mine the other night.  

Jukebox: Well, how many did you play?

Me: Nine.  

Jukebox: That’s too many.  One dollar gets you four plays.  Stick with that.

Me: Yeah, but two dollars gets me nine plays.

Jukebox: Not always.  That’s what I’m trying to say.  Take it slow.  I’m getting old, you know.  But I still have my mojo.

Me: I can tell.  I’ve always said you were sort of like a slot machine.  Your customers take a chance when they drop their money in.

Jukebox: Hey, now who’s getting sassy?

Me: I deserve a turn.  Well anyway, thanks for the great tunes.  I’ll see you another night when I have time to dance.

Jukebox: I can’t wait.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Winner Number Two!

Wow, you always surprise me with the winner.  It was another close one, but Zik's Jukebox it is... good thing it's Saturday night!

Thanks for voting.  I'll post the interview as soon as I can.

By the way, all sorts of new wildflowers are springing up.  So beautiful.  Green little berries are also lining the bushes.  As you are well aware, I am so pumped for picking time!

Take care, my friend!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sky Wars

The exquisite firework display from Porter's Island is really the main reason most people come up to da Harbor for the Fourth of July.  The folks of the town go through grand efforts to raise money for these sky dazzlers, and the fire department and other fellas volunteer their whole night to shoot them off.

Last night, as the rain clouds traded places with the sunshine, people wondered what was going to happen. "Will they shoot of the fireworks in the rain?"  Trust me.  The volunteers listed above don't go through all that to get rained out.

I can only tell you of the spectacle from my point of view.  I was on the north side of the Harbor Haus facing Porter's Island.  As we waited for the show to begin, our attention was shifted to another part of the sky.  "Is that... it is!"  The northern lights opened the show with some green missile-like tricks.  Shooting heavenward from all different places in the sky.  People were oohing and ahhing before the first tube was lit.  How awesome is that?

When the fireworks started, the display was really quite impressive.  Lots of shells blew three or four times in one shot!  Huge and colorful.  Definitely some new ones I have never seen before.  One of them made me think of a bubble gum ball machine.  

And as another storm cloud rolled in, the rainbow bursts were matched with lightening bolts, and the exploding shells were echoed with thunder.  It was like they were trying to show each other up!

The rain started again, and the drops falling from the sky sparkled their own splendor when the lights flickered just right.  So what if we got a little wet?  That was one of the greatest displays of man and nature together.  It's almost like they planned it like that!

Well, cheers to all the folks who made it happen, and cheers to the FIFTH of July!  We made it through another one, Copper Harbor!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Kickoff to Summer and a Vote

Well, all the sudden it feels like summer up here.  Really hot and sticky.  Yesterday I took my first swim for the year in Lake Manganese.  It's probably the warmest of the lakes in the area, but I still needed to swim fast to keep from thinking about how cold it was!

But the heat broke today after last nights storms.  The wind knocked down so many trees and power lines that we were out of power for 18 hours.  Not the worst thing in the world, but what timing.

It's the Fourth of July Weekend.  The kickoff the the constant tourist season.  So far I am ready.  Bring it on.  

I had a wonderful time interviewing the bell buoy, and since the rest of the characters were neck and neck in the poll, I decided to have you vote again!  It keeps me excited about my book while publication is on hiatus for the summer.  I still have to have fun with it, you know?  Thanks for letting me.

Gosh, but I'm pretty beat for the day.  I hope you have a wonderful evening (or morning!).