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March 1, 2009 - Entertaining Junk

You know, nine times out of ten "spam" emails are just that, another waste of time to get rid of, hopefully without contracting something nasty.
Occasionally however, I get one that is so poorly written or mis-translated, or just plain whack, that I have to laugh (out loud) (lol).
Today I got two. This morning "Mr. Ming Yang" had this to say, in this exact format:

I am Mr. Ming Yang,I have an obscured business

suggestion for you.Yourservices will be 

That's all. You're right, it was very obscured there, Mr. Yang. Just send me the money, sounds good, he didn't even ask me to do anything. Unusual for this type of message. I like it.

Then tonight I got one with this subject line:

Could you spare one minute to help prevent another chimpanzee tragedy? test email

Somehow, the tiniest bit of insincerity sneaks through that one. Can't quite put my finger on it...

Okay, enough of that. 
I took a hike around the Springbrook Nature Center trails after my shift today with a friend from the LLCC Photo Retreat. There wasn't much stirring, not even a mouse (that we saw, anyway) just a few cardinal├ęs, woodpeckers, deer, yadda yadda. We were hoping for the owl, but he didn't show. C'est la vie. La vie.

We did however come across what seemed like one of the first Pussywillows of the season, the lower buds were all still in there cases, except for the very top one which had jettisoned the booster-stage and gone fluffy. Auspicious sign, I don't care what that wicked bad Pennsylvania groundhog says.

Then yesterday I had a full-on snow grooming, candlelit skiing, room-renting extravaganza at Wood Lake. We received between five and nine inches of new snow in the Metro overnight and Chuck the maintenance guy at Wood Lake sure picked the right week for vacation.
It was alright by me though, as I got to groom the ski-trails and pack the hiking trails using the King-hell (as Hunter Thompson would say) snowmobile and tow-behind groomer. 
Earlier in the year I had gotten a lesson from Chuck on it once, so it was sort of the "Okay, you're flying the plane" feeling. It went okay though, and was fun mostly. Hilarity ensued at a few points though. The first was after chipping about a half-inch of ice off the bottom of the garage door, prying it up with a shovel (and sweating buckets in a down jacket) so I could get the snowmobile out, I was trying to remember all the intricacies Chuck told me about getting the groomer hooked up and adjusted, everything looked good. I gunned her up and headed back to the Nature Center (NC) to get the weights to put into the track-maker. 
When you just pack the trails, you flip-up the attachment that cuts the double ski racks, and the carriage of the groomer then leaves a nice "combed" snow surface, known in the trade as "corduroy." I shut the shed doors and headed for the NC checking fervently that the groomer was still attached, and that my corduroy was looking okay. It wasn't great, but I wasn't sure what to expect with new fairly fluffy snow. So as I pulled up in front of the NC and got off the sled, I noticed two "rails" of snow crossing the shoveled off area by the front doors... Hunh. What the heck could that be from...? (Looks quizzically at the sled and groomer...) Busts out laughing...!  There was the little four wheeled caster cart that Chuck built to pull out the groomer and hook it up to the sled, still stuck under the groomer, I had just pulled it about a quarter-mile down the trail still stuck under the thing! Heh Woops. Must have been a little frozen on. After some kicking and lifting and gunning the sled I got it out and slunk back into the NC to get the weights. Good thing there was a lot of snow. Of course, if there wasn't, the thing probably would have come off like it was supposed to. heh.

So other than a couple embarrasing turns and slight demolishment of my nicely-lain track due to the monstrous turning-ratio of the rig, I had a pretty good time. I actually got a nice compliment from one of the skiers on my great grooming job. (!) Beginner's luck. The snow was perfect for it though, you really couldn't lose. I wish I could have skied it, but I had to set up the candles for the night ski. 
So after some carbo-laden lunch I got all the luminaries set up and pulled them out along the trail with the sled (the pulk-sled this time, human-powered) and got them all lit. 
It was a beautiful scene, and kind of a special feeling to have created the trail and done all the candles and seen the whole day progress.
HOWEVER, this morning I was definitely feeling yesterday's massive energy output. I was thinking it's probably a lot like being a farmer, the fun part is riding on the tractor and taking in all of your domain as you till, the hard part is wrestling with all the equipment, slogging a few miles in deep snow pulling the sled, and all the bending, stooping, and things you don't think about until you melt into bed.
I'd do it again though. Especially now that I know how to put the snowmachine into reverse.

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