Les UDs…
… get new trees.

La Kid, Halloween.
La Kid, looking a lot like her mother at that age, with two Irish friends in Chicago last night. (She’s in the middle.) She’s about to go Halloweening dressed as Moira from Schitts Creek.

Les UDs, who are nothing if not orderly in their habits…

… are off for their annual Halloween at the beach thing. Rehoboth, dog parade, costume parade, boardwalk up and back twice a day, dinners with old friends, gazing at container ships through binoculars. Of course UD will continue blogging.

Urban Cosmic Convergence:

Layers and layers of horrible in UD’s hometown, Baltimore, Maryland, where a woman driver being threatened by the city’s adorably named squeegee kids takes out her gun to make them go away.

Squeegee is a venerable Baltimore institution:

One police officer estimates squeegeeing has been a part of the city “as long as murder has.”

Four black spiders at the front door!
Here’s one of them. Yeah, I know it’s just a daddy long legs. Still, way creepy, to go with the season.

October: Early morning sunlight on UD’s pumpkins.

I have to buy a lot, because the squirrels are always disemboweling them.

Saturday, Chez UD.

Big trees, little house: After years of ignoring them, Les UDs are finally having three immense trees taken down. We’ve watched our neighbors get hammered in various storms; our jokes about our impending death-by-tree have become threadbare. Time to part with the big bucks and end this.

When you inhale out there, the air is very wood-chippy.

The thud of falling limbs repeats.

Tree guys are chain smokers. Big cigs hang out of their mouths while they work.

In the interest of full age disclosure…

UD has updated her old photo on her ABOUT page. Her sister, the Morrissey fanatic, took it two days ago at Summer House Santa Monica, North Bethesda. It reflects UD‘s true age as of this minute: 66.

She is wearing the scarf La Kid got her for her last birthday in Shenandoah National Park.

Wish she could say the photo shows her blogging. It shows her, lamely and very late in the game, trying to figure out how to take a selfie.

Autumn, Chez UD.

La Kid, Mr UD, Hayride.

On a spectacular autumn day.

UD‘s photogenic little family does the pumpkin farm thing this morning.

La Kid, Official 29th Birthday Photo.

BREAKING NEWS: As we speak, a WARNING: CHILDREN ON SEESAWS sign is being installed in front of UD’s house.


UPDATE: Well, bust my britches:

You don’t have to drive far in a typical American town before you see it: A pictographic image of a child (implied to be a boy), perhaps chasing a ball, perhaps poised in midstride, perhaps atop a seesaw, perhaps with a jaunty cap, perhaps with a companion or parent. And then, some variation on these words: “Slow: Children at Play.” … Despite the continued preponderance of “Children at Play” on streets across the land, it is no secret in the world of traffic engineering that “Children at Play” signs—termed, with subtle condescension, “advisory signs”—have been proven neither to change driver behavior nor to do anything to improve the safety of children in a traffic setting. The National Cooperative Highway Research Program, in its “Synthesis of Highway Practice No. 139,” sternly advises that “non-uniform signs such as “CAUTION—CHILDREN AT PLAY,” “SLOW—CHILDREN,” or similar legends should not be permitted on any roadway at any time.”

Now here I was, all excited cuz this cute sign certifying the innocent fun-filled nature of my little corner of the world just got put up, and here’s this article telling me it’s a baby killer!

…. But wait. Read on, UD

It’s also not uncommon to see “Children at Play” signs in the presence of 35 mph speed-limit signs, which is roughly akin to trying to put out fire with gasoline. It’s not simply that fatality risks begin to soar at impact speeds of more than 20 mph, but that, as a study by John Wann and colleagues at Royal Holloway University in London has suggested, children, until well into their teens, are unable to detect during a normal crossing of the street the approaching speed and distance of cars above a threshold—also 20 mph. This study adds legitimacy to the increasingly popular idea, as introduced in the U.K. in 1991, that residential areas be designated as 20 mph zones. (Research by the Transport Research Laboratory has found, among other things, a 60 percent crash reduction during the “after” period in 20 mph zones.)

And hold on! I’m going out there right now to take another picture!

La Kid’s Co-Workers…

… provide her with a birthday balloon during a case team pirate-themed murder mystery party. (La Kid figured out the murderer.)

WAY Corbusierian Building at …

… Glenstone (see this post for details of UD‘s recent visit).

UD doesn’t know quite what to make of it. It’s an absolute copy of his style. Homage? Glenstone’s focus throughout is indeed early and mid twentieth century; but what can it mean that they decided to hire someone to construct a Corbu, as you might hire someone to write a Mozart sonata?

Dead hummingbirds and broken card machines…

… were the only dystopian elements of the otherwise utopian Glenstone Museum and grounds in Potomac, Maryland – a short ride from Garrett Park. We reserved the visit months in advance cuz the place is madly popular and they keep the numbers low to make the visit meditative… Come to think of it, there was a third less than utopian aspect to the place, though Mr UD disagrees — an audio installation in the forest, which UD enjoyed but found a wee hokey (‘what a forest might “hear” over the course of hundreds of years.’). Twenty eight minutes of natural and unnatural sounds bouncing around your ears ended in Arvo Pärt’s Nunc Dimittis, which UD will admit was pretty cool, the high soprano at the end piercing the trees.

On the dead hummingbirds: The big windows surrounding this tranquil water garden in the main pavilion (which featured a whitewashed room full of Cy Twombly sculptures) are, one of the gray-outfitted art guides confided to me, fatal to them.

Mr UD gazes.

The Patio cafe, which does not take cash, had trouble today with its card reading machines; we gave up on it and went to the other cafe on the grounds. On the way, Mr UD gave me his lecture on why it’s appalling that some places refuse to take cash. “A lot of poor people can’t go to these places.”

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