Month: July 2006 Page 1 of 5

More Bishop Castle

Yours truly, intrepid stair climber, offered to take my folks and siblings to Bishop Castle this weekend.*

I tried to spot the castle from the road; even knowing when to expect it, I couldn’t see the castle for the trees.

I was able to talk to the builder, Jim Bishop, this time. He was working on the outer boundaries of the property on what I had supposed to be the castle gate. Not so, he said. The arches at the front of the property were the beginning of a dungeon that would run inside the castle wall and surrounding the entire property. Further, the castle wall would have three levels facing the road, with two levels around the rest of the property. The tower at the corner he was currently working on would be about 250 feet tall when completed, slightly taller than the tallest tower on the castle itself. “God willing,” he said, “I’ll live to finish the wall, but even if I don’t, the castle was my victory.”

(He also mentioned that Bishop Castle was mentioned in a neat-looking book called Roadside Americana, by Eric Peterson, that I’ll have to check out. On one page, Bishop Castle; on the other, “Can there be too many Stonehenges?” featuring Carhenge in the far, far backwaters of Nebraska.)

*Note: The other option was Boulder. Unforunately, I had not thought to research Boulder before bringing it up in front of my father, and so was unable to answer the questions “What team is UC-Boulder?” and “What colors are they?” I also missed “Where does I-25 come out” and “How far is it to Las Vegas?” (Answers: The Buffaloes; Black and Gold; North of El Paso, Texas; 790 miles (much further than I’d guessed; people who’d told me they’d made the trip in “six hours or so” must have been exaggerating).)

Christmas in July and Other Activities

All,

I will be most likely not posting this weekend, as it’s a) Christmas in July, and b) my folks will be in town.

Tomorrow’s menu:

Roast pork with spices and cherry sauce
Sweet potatoes with candied, spiced pecans
Sweet corn
Fresh pineapple
Rice

See You Later Alligator

See you later alligator
After ‘while crocodile
See you later alligator
After ‘while crocodile
Can’t you see you’re in my way now
Don’t you know you cramp my style

Written by Robert Guidry, most famously recorded by Bill Haley & the Comets in 1955. The voice at the beginning is not Elmo, but the lead guitarist.

(One of Ray’s favorite songs.)

Cake!

I got The Cake Book, by Tish Boyle, in the mail today. Now, I am not big on actually decorating cakes, but I like to make them. I mean, come on. “Cake” includes “cheesecake,” and there’s a whole chapter on cheesecakes.

“[Cheesecakes] first became popular in America in the late nineteenth century, after a couple of dairy farmers from upstate New York developed a rich, cream-based cheese inspired by French Neufchatel.”

There’s even “Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger-Pecan Crust.” “White Chocolate Peach Cheesecake.” Oooh, and “Chocolate Guiness Cake,” which appears to be fudge with pretensions toward cakedom.

“Lemon Lust Cake:

“Lemon lovers are a special breed. They are shamelessly devoted to their favorite flavor, and they like it to be assertive and bold…”

Hm…bet I could turn that into Lime Lust Cake without too much difficulty. My passion for lemons, eh, well.

I wonder if there’s a personality test for your favorite kind of dessert. Cake vs. Pie. On the one hand, we have cheesecake. On the other, pecan pie. Considering that I make at least five cheesecakes a year (and an uncounted number of cakes, both from scratch and from a mix), I’ll have to go with cake.

Merry Christmas in July!

We have to wait until Saturday, but that doesn’t mean I can’t run around in circles and say “Wheeeeeeeee!”

Actually, Ray’s not feeling well. I think the nap she took on the way home from Bishop Castle was due to coming down with (another) summertime cold.

Update:

I ended up staying home with Ray and trying to work from home. I bored her so much that she ended up taking a 2 1/2-hour nap 🙂

Grilling

I like eating grilled food, but I can’t help it. To me, grilling isn’t cooking. It’s just killing stuff.

Bishop Castle

Stan (Boulder Dude) and I drove out to Bishop Castle today. I think the closest thing (in spirit more so than in form) that I’ve seen to it is the House on the Rock. If you check out the difference in the places’ respective websites, you’ll get an idea of how different Bishop Castle is from a “tourist trap.” Not that the pictures will really give you an idea of what the place “feels” like.

The rocks used in construction are uncut and come in all kinds of sizes and have been built over iron frameworks. Precarious-looking iron balconies and staircases are decorated with hand-wrought spirals and loops. The main rooms are open and drafty, and panes of glass have been shattered (my guess would be by storms, since the trees come up almost to the castle walls themselves) over the dirty, worn hardwood floors. It’s the kind of castle that elves from The Lord of the Rings series would build, only heavier and rougher–fanciful and winningly lovely, but you wouldn’t dream of trying to knock it over with anything less than a mountain, and you can see rust and repairs and wiring…

I have to say that Bishop Castle has become part of my idea of the “true” Colorado. Like barbecue in Memphis, or the big steps next to the lake by the Observatory in Chicago. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the Stanley Hotel*, and this place.

*Which I haven’t even seen yet, but there you go.

Update:

Stan’s take on the castle.

Quote of the Day:

“Television is a medium because anything well done is rare.”
–Fred Allen

Statistically Speaking…

Odds of dying…

  • In a flood: 1 in 144,156
  • After being struck by lightning: 1 in 79,746
  • By legal execution: 1 in 62,468
  • By accidental electrocution: 1 in 9,968
  • In a fire/of smoke inhalation: 1 in 1,113
  • By drowning: 1 in 1,008
  • By suicide: 1 in 119
  • In a motor vehicle accident: 1 in 84
  • Of heart disease: 1 in 5
  • Of something or other: 1 in 1

According to this month’s National Geographic, anyway.

I want to see a statistical list of things your parents warned you about, like “Odds of jumping off a cliff” “Odds of being injured while running with scissors” “Odds of dying with previously dirtied underwear,” that kind of things. “Odds of death by karma” would be nice, too.

Restless.

I am both nervous and impatient to get on with the house-buying process. Things both are dreaded and cannot happen fast enough. I’m like that with anything new.

Anyway, since I started proceedings on Thursday, I’ve been restless. What needs to happen is for me to use up all my excess energy on a project, get it over with, and start something else. But no. Buying a house, at this stage, doesn’t consume all that much energy. It’s about waiting…to…find…out. And scrolling through listings to look at houses that may not be there when the financing goes through.

So what I’ve been doing with my excess energy is pace around like a recently-caged tiger, dither on other projects (because they’re not what I’m obsessing about), and annoy people. Sorry, guys.

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