This Week’s Not So Nasty News

. . . . from John, awaiting Nancy’s draft of her week’s news.

Item #1: Give live plants
There is an estimate that in the United States, 100 million roses are grown, shipped and purchased for Valentine’s Day. I suggest giving a potted bush that might give joy for weeks or even years.
Here’s yours.

Item #2: Lake Erie

Lake Erie is nearly covered in ice. That is good news because open water on the lake can lead to much snow. Wind direction has been just right this season to send snow, measure in feet, to the town of Erie, PA. They might get more snow, but the snow job they have been getting – now over 12 feet – is over.
Even the very cold temperatures are relenting. By Valentine’s Day the region might be a balmy 45°F.

Item #3: The game is off

An Orcas Island WA basketball team forfeited a game and ended their season just as they were headed for the playoffs. This sounds like bad news, but read the rest of the story.

Item #4: Career ends

Another sounds bad story from football. This regards long-snapper Jon Dorenbos, who played for the Eagles for 11 seasons, was traded to the New Orleans Saints in August. The physical required for the trade revealed an aortic aneurysm that required immediate surgery and ended Dorenbos’ football career at age 37.
Eagles owner called John and asked that he come to the Super Bowl.
The rest is here:

Item #5: In the vinesCentral Washington’s February weather began with a relatively warm and dry period. The mid-day temperatures have been near 50. Next week’s weather looks to be the same sort.
Over at White Heron the grape vines need pruned.
Last year we started on the 16th – with snow on the ground.
This year we started on Tuesday, the 6th. No snow. One pruner has the flu, another is dog sitting. Thus we’ve only had 3 of us to start.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.


This Week’s Not So Nasty News
. . . . from John.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Item #1: Thrilled
Ginger, Sporty, Posh, Scary, and Baby (shown at right)
are/were The Spice Girls.
Apparently, 20 years on, they intend to get back together.

Must be running out of money.

If you must:
Wannabe, 1996

Item #2: Why is this man smiling?
Central Canada experienced flooding in 1997 – The flood of the century. This brought high water and nutrients to Lake Winnipeg, already a big lake. This was followed by a massive spawn of Walleye.
These fish are now maturing and have gotten quite large. A 4 pound fish has been considered a nice catch. This year 15 pounders are being caught, reaching (so far) just under 3 feet.
Story here: Link

Item #3: Harri takes a cruise
A Brisbane, Australia parrot named Harri went missing. Gone for 2 weeks, he was. Then, 4 days into a 2 week cruise from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, the staff of The Sea Princess found the Rose-breasted cockatoo.
The ship was on its way to New Zealand. But guess what? “New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said the only way for the cruise ship to enter the country was for Harri to either be euthanased, or secured and bonded to the vessel.
Communications back to Brisbane informed all that Harri was a pet with a microchip and quite healthy. He got his own room. The turn-around in New Zealand went ahead, and the return trip is underway.
Now the question is “What did Harri know?
Seems his folks had book a cruise on another of the Company’s ships called the Pacific Aria. Coincidence? I don’t think so. From their home to portside would be a 5 minute flight for this intelligent creature.
Did Harri plan to go along, and got the wrong ship?
Harri’s story

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

Further, I wrote last week that my brother had died. Here is a link to his story in the San Jose Mercury News: My brother Dick


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This Week’s Not So Nasty News

. . . . from John, awaiting Nancy’s draft of her week’s news.
Item #1: Take the next Exit… News from Canada

On the north edge of the Bay of Fundy, known for the large tidal range, is Saint John, New Brunswick. From the north comes the Saint John River and 40 miles up, the River is crossed by the Vanier Highway.
West is to the left, and 25 miles that-a-way, you will see the sign above.
Take the Wilsey Road ramp and follow for about a mile.
The good folks of Maybee Brewery will be happy to see you.

Item #2: Looks like fun …

Speaking of rivers, there is the great Mississippi that carries much bulk cargo, relatively low valued, toward the Gulf ports. Higher valued, and rare, things sometimes take the river route, also.

Ride the River
I wonder whether or not they fly back up and find another chunk of ice to ride?
News media never provides enough information. I’ll guess they are not there just to have fun. Perhaps to look for fish?
Where is the
Rest of the Story

Item #3: To the next level in style …

There is good news of the stock market rising in value. I watch this and contemplate what to do with all the money our retirement funds are producing? {Just kidding.}
However, an article about caskets was in the newspaper. It seems some folks just won’t let their loved ones go to the next life in a simple pine box or shiny metal one. They need to provide something special.
More fancy caskets
Getting something special takes awhile, so either the body has to be put on ice for a time, or, one has to plan ahead.
I’m planning ahead.
The photo here is a somewhat altered image of the casket R&B singer Percy sledge was in when delivered to the Lord. I’m thinking of having one made with a small fiddle placed where the microphone is on Persy’s. Instead of black, maybe a nice dark wood, like the wood of a magnificent violin.
Of course I do not play any musical instruments, so . . .

Item #4: Breaking bread…
White sulphur-crested cockatoos sharing a quick snack and each other’s company in Black Hill, NSW.
What’s not to like?

Item #5: Another ice story…

Fall through ice, get a ride in a van under a pretty blue blanket.
Firefighters do an ice rescue
And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

This Week’s Not So Nasty News {TW’NSNN}

. . . . from John, awaiting Nancy’s draft of her week’s news.

Item #1: No injuries reported …
About 1.5 miles north of Lake Erie’s north shore, or about 60 miles north of Cleveland, Ohio — no one was hurt. That’s the good news.

The other aspect is good or bad depending on your view of wind towers. I suspect this one will be available cheaply — if you want one.
Canadian authorities are investigating.

Item #2: It will stink no more …
One of the biggest rubbish dumps in South America has closed in Brazil after almost 60 years.
The Estructural dump, about 18 miles from the country’s capital, Brasilia, had processed more than 1,000 tonnes of rubbish every day.
Good news, then, that it has been closed. But maybe not in the short term for the people of the nearby favela, Portuguese for slum. Folks have made a living for 67 years by sorting through the garbage. They have been offered new employment in a cleaner environment, a recycling job.
Some are not happy with the change, but this seems like good news to me. Maybe in a year or so, they will think so too.

Item #3: Mother and daughter …
Rose, an ER nurse, and daughter Morgan, just a regular nurse were flying from Charlotte, NC to Utah. A man needed medical help so the airline provided the equipment and the mother-daughter team provided the know-how.
The man was unresponsive, had vomited, and had blood pressure of 56/30. That’s not good! Very dehydrated.
They got an IV going and hand squeezed 4 liters of fluid into him.
A Pittsburgh area physician was linked-in and offered advice, the plane stayed on its flight path at a pedal to the metal velocity.
And the interesting part: For the first time ever, Morgan forgot about her fear of flying.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

This Week’s Not So Nasty News {TW’NSNN}

. . . . from John, awaiting Nancy’s draft of her week’s news.

Item #1: Shallotte River Swamp Park

Recent cold was sufficient to freeze the surface of lakes as far south as Charlotte, NC. One of the peculiar characteristics of water is that as the declining temperature nears freezing, the density increases. Thus, ice floats, acts as insulation, and the underlying water does not freeze.
For an air breathing animal this presents a problem, even for one that can stay underwater for an hour.
The alligator’s solution to this issue is to stick its snout out of the water, let the ice accumulate, while almost all of its body is in the water below. If you ever wanted to Grab an alligator by the snout, an ice-over such as this was is the time to do so .

When warmth returns and the ice melts the alligators are back in businees. Let go of that snout.
No one mentions how long this ice thing can go on.

Item #2: Trickle-down economics
Some economists have argued that reducing taxes on businesses and the wealthy in society stimulates business investment in the short term and benefits society and the poor in the long term. Might work.
Here is an example, from the rich music aficionados of Australia. At the “Lost Paradise Festival” 30 miles north of the Sydney Opera House a multi-day event enticed many well-heeled folks to buy new camping gear — tents, coolers, chairs, sleeping bags — for the occasion. After the music was over the revellers left, and left the stuff.

Photo here is captured from the video linked to there. A strong wind was blowing the stuff around. Still, a positive ending, I think.
Item #3: Why does this woman smile?
Saudi Arabia has for the first time allowed women to go to a stadium and watch a football match.


Item #4: Just when you need it the most

The weekend brought 8 inches of snow to Cuyahoga County in northeast Ohio.
My dearest sister lives there.
She has determined that her snow blower works.

Item #5: Hay truck too high

Sarah Hancock was covering the Santos Tour Down Under cycling race when a well stacked hay truck came through the finish line. Oops!
Other than that …
Riders, out in front, were not hurt.
Adelaide makes news

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

This Week’s Not So Nasty News TW’NSNN}

. . . . from John, awaiting Nancy’s draft of her week’s news.

Item #1: Cat things …

Buying stuff on the web usually gets you a cardboard box. With a large shed, I just tape these boxes shut and store them. Waste not, want not. However, most folks don’t have that option, so what to do?
To diminish the glut of the things, there is help, namely the cardboard box cat castle. Apparently there is a YouTube bonanza of how-to videos, books, blogs and seminars. The Public Library in Spokane, gets boxes and so holds “Build Your Cat a Castle” events. Get busy.
Chris Poole’s cats, Cole and Marmalade, with their multiroom gingerbread house. Photo: Chris Poole. I think from Tampa. [in the WSJ ]

Item #2: Six inches …

Floridians in Tallahassee saw snow for the first time in 28 years. Resident Laura Donaven was able to build a 6-inch tall snowman.

Item #3: A twit tweets, or something…

I’ve been pumping gas since before I could legally drive. Years ago, we were passing through the Great State of Oregon and needed gasoline. I got out of the car, removed the filler from its holder, and was about to insert the snout into the car. Then an attendant rushed to me and informed me of my criminal ways.
No wonder I think the State is a strange place full of crazy people.
This year, in small population(<40,000) areas, Oregon is allowing "self-serve" pumps. People are going bonkers: "There is a reason we require gas attendants to have a pumping license. Many people don’t have the training to use gas pumping machinery, and it WILL end in many unnecessary deaths from explosions . . .”
I guess that was on Facebook. Is that a tweet, or a twit?

Item #4: It looks nasty, but … . . . . See the dog?

Sea foam forms when storms churn a mixture of seawater, dissolved salts, proteins and algae and any other dissolved organic matter that happens to be in the water.
It is not toxic, but it is dirty, sometimes brownish.
Watch, at this link.
Sea Foam

Item #5: Jokes for those getting old …
My birthday was Thursday, this week. “Old age” jokes are easy to find, so I give you two.

The first one I found funny because a certain male relative wet some flour in the middle of our kitchen floor. It was a long time ago, and I think he was 5.
After a medical exam, the doctor says to Fred “You are in great shape, how do you explain it?”
Fred says, “I don’t drink, or smoke, and the Lord takes care of me.”
Really, what do you mean?
So Fred continued “Among other things, when I get up at night to go to the bathroom, He turns the light on for me.”
The doctor, wondering about the man’s mental state, mentioned this to Fred’s wife.
She said: “Oh! He’s mostly fine, but that does explain who’s been peeing in the fridge.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Now, that same male relative has been looking into family ancestry and has complained about poor records and confusing names. There is also this: about a block from our childhood home, there was a cemetery. Neighborhood kids, including me, cut across there frequently. This story fits:
About dusk, a teen takes a path that goes through a cemetery. He hears a repeating sharp noise, and investigates. Slowly approaching the sound, he sees a pale old fellow chiseling on the front of a stone.
The kid says, “I thought some awful thing was going on when I heard you.”
The old fellow said, “Awful is right. The idiots that carved this misspelled by name.”

Item #6: Got ice? …

Hop on a plane heading NE from Boston. Soon you will pass over the Bay of Fundy (place with big tides), a short swath of land, and then the Northumberland Strait. Then you come to Cape Traverse on the SW shore of Prince Edward Island.This is the “land cradled in the waves” {Abegweit} in the language of the native Mi’kmaq.
The storm that we are now weary of hearing about brought waves to Abegweit and the waves brought ice. Some of the ice was little bitty pieces and some was big blocks of ice. It, the ice, piled up on the property of Philip Metcalfe. He took a photo.
Now, what was it that you complained about having to deal with this week?

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

This Week’s Not So Nasty News {TW’NSNN}

. . . . from John, awaiting Nancy’s draft of her week’s news.

Item #1: Why not be helpful? …
A cute Christmas Tree, on a thin bridge, 300 yards from the center of Longview, WA.For the squirrels: The ‘World’s Narrowest Bridge’

It is a busy street. With the bridge, they don’t get flattened. That’s good news.

Item #2: Wyoming police are helpful …
Not quite like building a bridge, but still good.Item #3: Can you spell …?
This one happened awhile back, but it is still funny.
In Australia, a TV reporter on a downtown corner was asking questions of passerbys.
He asked a lady, “First and last name, please?”
“Erica O’Donnell,” she replied.
To be sure the station reported her name properly, he next said
“And could you spell – first and last?”
Without missing a beat Erica gave her reply.
F – I – R – S – T, she spelled. Then L – A – S – T.
Not too shabby. In a split second, early in the morning, while on a jog and with a camera pointed in your face – – could you do better?

Item #4: Does snow make you happy?
Puget Sound region (Seattle etc.) has had a “white” Christmas.
The claim is this is only the 3rd White Christmas [1 inch on the ground] in 100 years. (1926, 2008, 2017)
News station KOMO TV posted photos sent in by viewers. Here are 3, with photographer’s name or location:
Sylvia B., Kirkland – – George P., Jr. – – Helena in S. SeattleLeft and right, we have two happy beings. The one in the middle seems unimpressed. What do you think?
I’d mention all the traffic accidents this snowfall caused but that would not fit with the nature of this post. Also, I don’t know.

Item #5: Another snow story
Much has been written about the Erie snow, so I’ll just add a bit.
I was raised just 75 miles south of Erie, PA. There was a little snow there early this week. I found the story Tuesday afternoon when they had just 4 ft. 8 1/2 inches. There is more!
Here’s my story.
When I was in high school, we went from 75 miles south of Erie to near the town center. That was in the A.M.
Mid afternoon we headed back. The City is near the level of Lake Erie, on an old shore. The first mile south includes a 100 ft. increase in elevation. There is a steep little rise south of downtown, and then a continual climb for about 10 miles. From the lake it goes up about 700 feet.
There was no snow in Erie as we left. After the first bench, we encountered snow. About 10 or 12 miles south we had a foot of snow. A few miles on the snow depth was less, but snow was falling, and did so for another 10 miles. Then it tapered off. The last 55 miles was easy.
That was my first encounter with the Lake Erie “snow machine.”

Item#6: Ailsa Craig: Island and Onion
A few times in the past I planted onions. They didn’t do much and seemed not worth the effort. Now I plant them, just to see what happens.
A few years ago I read something about growing onions, namely, that there are short/medium/long –day varieties, and there are bulbing onions. The later are said to ‘bulb’, meaning there is a rapid increase in size and the onion will push soil out of its way.
I found a source for onions and lots of information at a place in Texas called

Dixondale Farms. They are 100 miles southeast of San Antonio.
An informative newsletter is here:
Bulbing, Bolting, splits

Ailsa Craig (aka Kelsae Sweet Giant) seems to be the largest. The tiny island off the coast of Scotland provides the name.The photo is for this year, but Peter Glazebrook (pictured) has grown a larger one. That and other large things

Now, about that symbol I put on the photo — yes, this one #. It is also used as a symbol for ‘number’, as in my Item #n labels. I was thinking of using ‘ lb.’ and, so, I looked it up. It apparently began with the ancient Romans and Latin. See:
libra pondo
There it will tell you ‘libra’ can be shortened as ‘ l b ‘ and then accessorised with a line drawn across the letters to highlght the use of a contraction. Poor penmanship and further abbreviation took over. The Brits have called it a ‘hash’ and it is now known as a hashtag (think Twitter), and has been used because it was put on keyboards and didn’t get much attention.
Thus, it was available.

Item #7: Remember William Shatner?
This should thrill everyone. Bill, or Captain Kirk as I remember him, is 86 years old. That great white and frozen neighbor to the north of the USA has awarded Shatner its 2nd highest honor.
And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.


This Week’s Not So Nasty News
. . . from John, awaiting Nancy’s draft of her week’s news.

Item #1: The Christmas Tree
Nestled between the intersections of two local roads in the Belhaven neighborhood of Jackson, Miss. is a Christmas tree. After growing tired of waiting for repairs to a street, an unknown resident placed the decorative tree inside a small pothole.
The festive holiday decoration had a sign that said: “Merry Christmas Belhaven. From our sinkhole to yours.” The sign was no longer there on Monday afternoon but the tree was lit up like, well a Christmas tree, to help drivers see the road hazard.

Item #2: U. S. Coast Guard duties
A turtle has been rescued after finding itself
tangled in drugs . . . literally.
The sailors found the loggerhead turtle in the Pacific Ocean last month, trapped in the middle of 26 bales of cocaine.
The bales, that contained over 800 kilograms of the drug, were strung together with rope which was tangled up with the turtle’s neck and limbs.

Cut the ropes, please

IMAGE SOURCE: Skyenimals for kids

Colored arrows in blue circles move to other pictures.
At the top, click on ‘BROWSE’ to search for other animals.
They also combine animals, such as a horse+giraffe.
The ‘Home page’ is upper-left as Skyenimals.

Item #3: Proof we don’t get out much
The image of the red faucet floating over a pool appeared on the internet this week. I thought ‘isn’t that clever’.
It seems half the people in the world have seen one of these and a whole bunch of people own one. You can too.

Pictures at this site

One for your yard?
They are even sold via Amazon – – – Who knew?

Item #4: Snow cancels Snow Day
Six Flags Great Adventures in Ocean County, NJ, planned a “Snow Day’ last Saturday. Then it snowed. The park closed instead.
This place is mid-way between NYC and Philly, 120 feet in elevation, and just 20 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.
Developers had to carve out a section of the very northern Pine Barrens.
The upside is that all the riff-raff go there to spend money, and leave the plants and animals alone.

Item #5: A right to be upset
When people build houses and otherwise intrude on wild things, one should not be surprised when some of them get belligerent.This appears to be from a small point of land between Lafayette Bay and Echo Bay, about 16.5 miles southwest of Minneapolis.
Coordinates are: 44.924694, -93.582278
Probably a really neat place before West Point Ave, houses, and boats arrived.

Item #6: Walk the dog, meet technical climbers
Just west of Seattle and Puget Sound is the Kitsap Peninsula(KP). It is almost an island, and would be, were it not for 3,500 yards of rock rubble left by melting glacial ice about 13,000 years ago. On the west side of KP is the Hood Canal, a melt-water discharge passage that carried water north into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Pacific Ocean. After the continental glaciers melted, Hood Canal became a flooded valley open to Ocean tides. And that’s important.
This past Tuesday, about 4:20 PM the tide was in (or high) at the time a young woman (Leilani) took her Great Pyrenees (Sage) for walk. Sage went down a steep embankment, couldn’t scramble back up, and Leilani went down to rescue her/him.
Had the tide been out, Leilani and Sage could have walked the beach to a spot about 500 yards northeast to an easy slope and up toward home. But Mother Nature, conspiring for the past 15,000 years had not cooperated, required that the lady and her dog needed rescued.
First, the firefighters from Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue arrived and they enlisted the Regional Technical Team to hoist the woman and her dog up the embankment.
Leilani was more cooperative than Sage, but they were eventually reunited at the top of the cliff. I note Sage seems better fed than the Lady.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

. . . . . . . TW’NSNN

This Week’s Not So Nasty News {TW’NSNN}

. . . . from John, awaiting Nancy’s draft of her week’s news.
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Item #1 Snowboarding 363
The State of Idaho is vaguely familiar to me so when the “dateline” was BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) – – I had to look.

On the bunny hill with Cash

Item 1-a: Also, there is a video of a little girl in a sheep costume (hard to tell) that takes the doll-baby Jesus from its swaddling cloth. She wants to play with it. The little girl playing Mary objects and thus a tussle:
Mary confronts Sheep

Item #2: Sheri is the Elf on the shelf
Follow the flow of water from the Great Lakes and you will find yourself on the St. Lawrence River and then the Gulf of St Lawrence. Laurentius was a Roman dude martyred in the year 258. This is not a good choice for naming a major N.A. river. The native Mohawks called the river Kaniatarowanenneh, meaning “Big Waterway”, so I would sign a petition for a renaming.Well, Sheri Gillam lives in Bonavista, a small place on the Island of Newfoundland, in the middle of the flow of the Kaniatarowanenneh on its way to the North Atlantic Ocean. Three miles east is Elliston, and then the Ocean.
There’s not a lot to do out that way.
Sheri provides a little Christmas cheer.
Link to story and photos

New Flavors – I can’t wait

Big news hit the internet this week: Oreo – the cookie folks – announced a May 2018 introduction of three new flavors:
Cherry Cola – –
with fizzy red & white filling;
Piña Colada – –
is to have pineapple-coconut crème; and
Kettle Corn – –
is to contain corn puff like wonders.

You will have to find the rest of this exciting news yourself.
I got so excited I had to run to the bathroom.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

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This Week’s Not So Nasty News {TW’NSNN}

. . . . from John, awaiting Nancy’s draft of her week’s news.

Item #1: A Drunk at a Cash’s Liquor store

Many years ago, nephew Rod was stationed at Naval Air Station Pensacola near the western end of Florida’s Emerald Coast. Thus, this location caught my attention.
The town of Fort Walton Beach is along that stretch and is home to 3 Cash Moore Liquor Stores. Another resident of the Emerald Coast is the Virginia Opossum. Opossums are skilled climbers.
Awesome the Possum got into the rafters of a Cash Liquor store and came down onto a shelf holding bottles of bourbon. Oops!
With a broken bottle on the floor and a thirsty Possum, and nothing better to do – Awesome got snockered. In the morning the police were called to take the tipsy marsupial into custody. She was taken to the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge, sobered up, and released.

Item #2: Detroit’s Silverdome

This is funny, except to the on-site folks that expected something different. A second day of explosions finally got the Pontiac Silverdome to collapse. Embarrassing, might be the word.

Item #3: The Sense of Smell

Hultquists and Brittanys go back a few years. In about 1959, give or take a year, John’s oldest brother Ken bought a liver&white Britt. Shortly after that, John saw his first “point.” The bird was an American Woodcock (some call it a Timberdoodle). These have a long bill, and are related to the Common Snipe. The eggs are buff-colored and mottled with brown. Very pretty.
But I digress.
Elephants and Silkmoths can detect certain things miles away but neither are useful when it comes time to putting the nose to use for the benefit of humans that are smell challenged.Our doggy friends have an ability to discriminate among smells. At Auburn University there is a Canine Performance Sciences center. (Yes, that’s the place with a football team.)
See: Dogs & Explosives
An Auburn trained dog has followed the path of an individual across the campus a day after the person passed, after thousands of people had crisscrossed the area.
The ability of dogs to discriminate among smells and be trained to alert handlers to some situations (drugs, explosives, people — alive or dead) makes them the go-to-choice when a nose is needed.
Why then does the USA mostly rely on imported dogs for these activities? There are several reasons – and we and our many friends in the Brittany world understand.
Read about this National Security issue here:
America needs more bomb-sniffing dogs

Item #4: Alcohol And Throwing Axes

I have several axes. We used to go to garage/farm sales. Such is the source of my small collection. The shape of the handles and the head vary. The photo below shows double bit axes. Some of these have one bit sharpened and honed as a felling edge and the other was ground to be slightly more blunt for use on knots and other difficult grain. Often called “cruiser” axes, the single tool serves multiple purposes. When designed for throwing, the two edges are similarly shaped, as these appear to be, and the handles will be straight. A reporter named David Hookstead writes – – –
I’m actually kind of an expert on this issue because I know a lot about weapons and I know a lot about beer. Generally speaking, combining the two isn’t exactly a genius idea.

He explains the activity at Axes and Ales

More than you want to know about axes

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.