Monday, October 11, 2010

I'll have the chipper chicken!

I have just completed a most awesome and lazy Monday off of work thanks to Columbus Day.  Tomorrow I must return, but hopefully I will hear some good news about my car and the day will go quickly.  I still have a bunch of reading and prep work to do for class this week, but I thrive on chaos.  Right?

As I sat here tonight checking Facebook and emails, I suddenly realized that the past few weeks have been full of exciting news for people in my life.  Engagements, pregnancies, anniversaries, etc.  One of my best friends even announced that she and her husband are relocating to Missouri because of his job promotion.  While I am super excited for this opportunity and what exciting things are in store for them, the selfish part of me is a little bummed to have them move away.  Thankfully, her hubby's job is with an airline, which means that it should be relatively easy (and cheap) for her to come home to visit somewhat often.

For me, this weekend was all about vegging out and catching up on my rest, which is great.  For my father, it meant going out to the family farm and checking the status of the roof on the farmhouse which was supposed to be completed over a week ago (they have yet to start).  During his brief visit, he spent time with my grandfather (of microwaved water fame) and as usual, hilarity ensued.

Before I get into the story itself, I should probably make a confession.  As you may or may not know, I have a tendency to recall random and sometimes useless facts.  By no means do I mean to say that I'm some sort of genius.  I simply mean that one of my personality "quirks" is to break off into tangential explanations when asked simple questions or conversing on a specific topic.

Until recently, I believed that this was unique to me, at least in my family.  However, one day while having one of these moments of tangential thought, it suddenly occurred to me that this habit was quite definitely inherited from my paternal grandfather.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that he is better at it than me.  After all, he has had 84 years of practice.

Now that I have made this connection, I shall make another.  My grandpa likes to read, and he makes good use of his local library.  He tends to prefer non-fiction, but I have no quarrel with that.  Recently, his obsession has been with bootleggers who operated during Prohibition in his MN county of residence.  My dad has strangely taken a bit of an interest as well, or maybe he has just had to listen to my grandpa too much and has been brainwashed.

Anyway, on this weekend's visit, my dad discovered that my grandpa had checked out a new book.  Brace yourselves, it's pretty amazing.  It is "Poultry of the World" by Loyl Stromberg.  At first I found this quite humorous.  To make the jump from rural MN bootleggers to international poultry seemed a bit far-fetched, even for me.  Then I did my research.

Not only did I locate this book on, but I discovered that it is not cheap to acquire.  To buy it NEW from Amazon would cost $144.24!!!  This kindled my interest further, so I Googled the author, Loyl Stromberg.

As a good library student, I will include a link for his mini-bio:

After reading this webpage, I discovered many more reasons why this book would appeal to my grandpa.  My initial assumption was that as a retired farmer who at one point had raised chickens himself, he had personal interest.  Also, my cousins (his grandsons) are raising chickens for egg production at the moment, so perhaps this triggered his curiosity while perusing the library.

Further investigation revealed that the author, Loyl Stromberg, lives (or lived) in Minnesota.  In a blog from 2007, it appeared that Loyl was in his 90's and still alive (  From the mini-bio, it sounds like Loyl may have been a Norwegian.  This fact alone was probably enough to interest my grandpa.  Heck, for all I know they are buddies from his Hallinglag club.  (I'm not going to explain the Hallinglag right now, but I'm sure I will later.)

Why am I sharing this story?  Is it because I am bored?  Am I afraid that the screaming Vikings fans in my neighbor's house will keep me from getting to sleep?  No to both.  I am sharing this because I would like to give you an idea of what kind of interests I expect to have when I am 84.  It's always good to have time to prepare.

My final piece of useful information from my father's visit came courtesy of my 10 year-old cousin.  Apparently, he somehow managed to put his father's truck in the ditch this weekend somewhere by their house (on their farm).  He was fine.  When asked what happened, he claimed that the truck had become possessed and driven of its own accord into the ditch and then into a tree.

Rather than question the plausibility of this statement or wonder why my 10 year-old cousin was behind the wheel in the first place, I am going to take this explanation and use it for the future if anyone else asks me how my car came to be in the repair shop for two weeks.  It was a case of demon possession, pure and simple.  Case closed.  I wonder if my insurance company would believe it?

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