Went to the Burton Pancake Breakfast Jamboree today. Paid good money to sit at long tables and drink frozen orange juice (which the gave out in little tubs, mine was mostly a slushy mix, but had one big orange-cicle in the middle), and eat 3 small links of sausage, a tub of apple sauce, and as many of buttermilk, blueberry, or apple sauce pancakes as you could handle. All of it drowned in real maple syrup. You could choose form the organizations proving pancakes breakfasts (seriously, Lions, Firemen, Library, commercial businesses, etc), so we choose The Geauga Historical Society. The picture on their site is from one of those rare bright sunny days here in NE Ohio. Imagine that scene with a ton of mud, lingering snow piles, and deep gray overcast skies. Also add a few hundred people. This is a serious event for all those concerned. Even at noon it was difficult to find a parking space.
Most of the people at the event we went to could be categorized at elderly, or young couples with children. They had a person in an Easter Bunny outfit that looked more like a white dog with buck teeth than a bunny. The atmosphere is cordial cafeteria style. After going through the line, servers wander the aisles with extra pancakes to restack your plate. By the time we got there they were out of plastic knives. The plastic forks weren't all that sturdy to slice through the pancakes, so I reverted to ripping them apart with my fingers. For the second and third helping I did this before adding the syrup which helped greatly.
Maple sugaring is in full swing. Every available sugar maple was being tapped. Most had buckets on them (one to four buckets per tree depending on size), although the new technologies were on display. Mostly that means mylar bags instead of buckets, but then there are whole swaths of maple groves with fluorescent blue tubing woven between the trees like a giant connect the dots illustration. All this sap is then collected and boiled down in stages to create Maple Syrup, amber ambrosia.
After eating our fill and getting a sugar rush we went to the West Woods to walk a bit. Bette and I used to go for regular walks in the park districts, but now they are a long drive to get to and except for walking around out block several times, there's not much opportunity for long walks out here. So this was a good change of pace. After coming out of the nature center (which, BTW, I would love to have a house exactly like it) we were met with a unique experience. A red squirrel with a dead bird in it's mouth. Ohio is home to several squirrels and we used to have a red squirrel in our yard. Before this I had never seen such behavior, but unlike what that linked page says, red squirrels will eat small animals, raid birds' nests for eggs, and swallow frogs. I've seen many carnivores carrying off prey, I just never expected to see a squirrel do that as well. You learn something new every day.
After we got back home, I found out that my power adapter for the laptop is on the fritz. There must be a loose wire in there. So this evening will see me performing electrical surgery on the wall wart. Wish me luck. Edit Got somewhat far in trying to open the wall wart, but found that unless I would be willing to shatter the plastic, I wouldn't be able to open it all the way. the line break, I think, is right where the wire comes out of the wall wart part. I was able to stabilize the wire, and then taped it down to minimize movement. A replacement from Apple would cost $80. Not sure I want to pay that (although I just paid however much for a new battery).