Berm, Baby, Berm

There's a reason that I tell the kids to stay out of the berm at the back of our property. As I understand it, the previous owners of this house used a Bobcat to clear what was then a completely overgrown back yard. This created a mound along the back of the property separating it from the church parking lot on the other side. I also believe that the owners before them used their overgrown yard as a massive trash can resulting in some interesting (and potentially dangerous) items eventually being plowed into this section at the back of the yard.

This weekend I decided to get a jump start on one of my summer projects -- cleaning out the berm.

After six hours of digging, cutting, mowing, hauling, and burning...

...I'm only half-finished.


You can see the fully-grown area I'm talking about at the back of this picture from last summer...


... and here's what I was facing yesterday. A little more manageable for now while the spring growth hasn't filled in.

 

So what amazing "treasures" awaited me in the berm?

Among the overgrowth, rotted stumps, and fallen limbs, there was broken glass, a pen, a few old fence posts, chunks of concrete...

 

...and about half a bucket of nails and screws (thankfully located in one spot that was once clearly used as a burn pile).


How about a wad of green yarn? I thought it was a mop head at first. Then I thought maybe it was a piece of carpet. Pulling it out of its dirt encasement, I realized it's just a big nasty wad of old yarn.

 

But my kids took the prize for coolest treasure discovered in the yard so far when they unearthed a 1978 Star Wars Hammerhead figure next to a tree.

 

Who knows what other "treasures" are out there waiting to be found? Maybe something of incalculable value...

...but probably just more trash.

. . .

On a side note, who can explain this to me? Throughout the spring, I find small twigs in the ground like this...


I can understand how a large stick or branch can fall from a tree and impale itself in the ground like this...but a tiny twig? I need somebody smart to explain to me how this happens.

The Proverbial Wagon

"I'll quit drinking for the reason that I started drinking. When it makes me feel better than I already do." - Hard Working Americans, 'Ascending Into Madness'

. . .

The good news?

My friend from college, Craig, hooked me up with some Sweep the Leg beer from the Texas-based Infamous Brewing Company. Craig is a Duke basketball fan but this act of awesome allows me to look past that unfortunate fact.


The bad news?

About six weeks ago I decided to cap the bottle and take a ride on the proverbial wagon. Not for good, I'm sure, and not for any reason in particular. No health concerns. Nothing religious. Just decided that I was tired of it -- wasting money, empty calories, blah blah blah.

Quite honestly, I feel better than I have in years.

But now I have this super cool Cobra Kai beer, one of which will definitely find itself shelved with my Yeastie Boys bottle. The rest I'll keep on hand. If there's any left the next time you're at my house, you're welcome to try a bottle of Sweep the Leg peanut butter stout.

And then I'll crane kick you in the face.

Hug First, Hug Hard, Show Mercy

I swear I write about more on this site than just The Karate Kid...but last week's episode of The Goldbergs was a tribute to the greatest movie ever made and, of course, I'm gonna break it down.


From the start, let me give a big thanks to those who made the extra effort to be sure I didn't miss The Goldbergs last week. My Karate Kid problem is clearly no secret.


Despite the fact that this episode was obviously made just for me, I didn't get to see it the night it aired thanks to a heavy storm that took out our cable the night before. But this is 2017. We have the internet. This was no problem that two bucks and a visit to YouTube couldn't remedy in a hurry!

Let's get the obvious stuff from the episode out of the way first -- the use of Peter Cetera's Glory of Love and Joe Esposito's You're the Best, the humorous play on manual labor used to teach karate technique, and the gis worn by Adam and Adam which were clearly modeled after the style of Daniel's and Johnny's.

Sure, the PE teacher wore a referee shirt just like the ones in the movie and the tournament board was a perfect replica of the original...


Of course, somebody was going to yell about getting a body bag...


...and, the episode obviously culminated with a crane kick. A double crane kick, actually...


But let's look closely and appreciate the finer details here. Those that likely went unnoticed by the untrained eye.

. . .

First is an easy one...the design on the tournament mat. The Goldbergs version in the shape of a fist...


...clearly modeled after the original All-Valley tournament logo.


. . .

When Barry is instructed by his mother to sweep the leg of his younger brother, he expresses his worry that he'll be disqualified from the tournament...


...just like Bobby did in the movie.


. . .

With his leg properly swept, Adam is taken to a classroom where his injury can be further evaluated. The scene opens with a high shot over the room...


...much like when Daniel's swept leg was being checked in the locker room.


. . .

Uncle Marvin rubs his hands together and Adam can hardly contain his excitement when he thinks that's his leg is about to be magically healed. Not so much, though.


He's no Miyagi.


. . .

As it turns out, Adam's leg injury isn't serious and he's able to fight in the next round. Beverly is happy to inform the tournament official...


...just like Ali. With an "i."


. . .

Much to everyone's surprise, "Adam Goldberg is gonna fight!"


This seems very familiar.


. . .

Adam takes a "punch" to the head but assures the referee that he's okay...


...just like Daniel after he took one to the melon in the movie.


. . .

Adam Goldberg drops a mean elbow on the injured leg of Adam F. Goldberg...


...perfectly mirroring Johnny Lawrence who nearly put Daniel LaRusso away with a similar move.


. . .

Ultimately winning...sort of....Adam is carried off the mat by his fans.


So was Daniel.


. . .

Approving of his hard work and victory, Uncle Marvin gives Adam a reassuring nod...


...wearing an outfit almost identical to Mr. Miyagi's when he did the same for Daniel.


. . .

But the real gem of this episode came during the closing credits when the Goldbergs visit a "real dojo" where they are greeted by a familiar face.


As you can see, Sensei Kreese seems to have softened with age.


No longer is he preaching no mercy and the absence of fear, pain, and defeat.


Show mercy.