Tuesday, March 30, 2021

An Ant Birthday

Lil' Hank's first child wasn't born today but... decided to start.. walking around? I've seen videos of adults helping pupae out of their fetal position by pulling on their legs to get them to stretch out. 

You can see the new worker isn't quite as black as the queen yet. You can also see a couple of black eyes in the pile there watching their oldest sibling walking around.

It's nice to have a little indoor project while things are going so badly in the outside world.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Vaccination Finally Pays Off

We took a bit of a detour from today's excursion to claim a prize which is rightfully ours: doughnuts!

People like doughnuts in Fenton a whole lot it turns out. We tabled this plan as we had other things to attend to.

I can't drive past Bourbon, Missouri without imagining their water tower full of booze.

I love small town classic ice cream joints. I don't know what it is about ice cream and burger joints that makes them immune to the ravages of time.

There was a man collecting driftwood pretty ardently on the shore.

The mill at Dillard Mill State Historic Site was built in 1908 and is one of Missouri's best-preserved examples of a water-powered gristmill.

The trail was flooded so we milled around a bit and went home.

We hit Krispy Kreme again on the way back to St. Louis and free sugary victory was ours!

Never felt healthier!

Thursday, March 25, 2021

The Circle of Life

I prefer the term "vigorous truth bending".

We've had a friend or two get big sad about how early we got our vaccinations. Bummer.

Ex-Blues player Bobby Plager passed away yesterday. I had the pleasure of meeting him at one of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery Christmas light ceremonies a few years ago. There's also a few hockey bars around town, one used to be downtown, called Bobby's Place that he must have owned to some degree.

One of Lil' Hank's children is just about done cooking. You can see the pupa in the center of the pile is starting to darken to be the black ant color you would expect. It's kind of fun to watch it happen. The eyes turn black first while the rest of the body is still bright white, then the body starts to darken as well.

One of the sad parts of the covid period is watching beloved restaurants die. Nami Ramen was pretty decent ramen, especially so in St. Louis.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

First Post-Covid Restaurant

Well now that Lydia and I were fully vaccinated we thought it might be safe to start reintegrating ourselves into human life.

We headed to a fancy French sort of place called Vin De Set with our sort of fancy French friends Viry and Lolo.

We were primarily there because it was happy hour. We were excited to return to the land of the living, but not so excited that we were going to start paying full price for drinks! 

We went hardcore with our bunker mentality in order to avoid catching covid. We quarantined our mail for days before opening it, wiped our groceries down with alcohol, wiped our phones and watches with alcohol any time we came in from outside, and today is the first day I've eaten at a restaurant since Kenya. That was just over a year ago today. I remember the experience feeling sort of strange. I hadn't spoken to a server in a year. I had forgotten to some degree and was now a little uncomfortable when they would refill our water and come by and check on us. They were super slow which was incredibly apparent to me because we had eaten on our own schedule for a very long year. I'm proud of us for being so serious about the threat and in many ways coming out better people on the other end.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Last Time to Poplar Bluff

I somehow got roped into driving Lydia down to Poplar Bluff, MO for her second covid vaccine shot. Let the record show that I've driven to friggin' Poplar Bluff, MO four times in the past month.

One silver lining of going to that city again, which I swear to almighty Thor will be the last time I set foot in that place, is that there is a state park nearby that we didn't get to see any of due to rain.

Lake Wappapello State Park is apparently full of overgrown and abandoned cemeteries.

I like it when they put benches in perfect spots like this in parks.