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The autumn colors are at or past peak.

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The trees are loosing their leaves.

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Today, the sky claimed puffy gray and a foreboding, breathy gray fell off one’s lips.

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Although the golds and reds remained cheery, the cackling geese betrayed the coming of November.

We must use time as a tool, not as a couch. ~John F. Kennedy~

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Time slips away from these two potatoes.

They are not interested in tools, only soft cushions.

The couch awaits their foray into sleepiness.

And the meaning of Mr. Kennedy’s words go unheard,

until the tool of an incessant meow claims it’s time for food.

“This week, let’s play with light! Show us what refraction means to you.”

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Man, sub-creator, the refracted light through whom is splintered from a single white to many hues, and endlessly combined in living shapes that move from mind to mind.

~J.R.R. Tolkien~

The Cheeky Leek is a seldom published publication, devoted to the folly of the Daily Post in its desire to somehow answer a ridiculous challenge called “Genre Blender.” Today, the Leek foregoes a historically fictional poem in order to impart its satirical rant on events of a week past.


Mary J Melange has been arrested and charged with Felony Whining and Unprofessional Ranting. The charges stem from incidents last week with a public servant and the piling-on of multiple deadlines by Everyone In The World.

Ms. Melange, an ordinarily quiet and mild-mannered young lady, was caught in the act of whining to excess, on more than one occasion, by co-workers and a close friend. Ms. Melange did not hold back in spewing utterances of frustration toward the aforesaid public servant and a few others who were fated to cross her path. A charge of Conspiring to Think the Worst of Others was dropped due to lack of evidence.

The incidents began after Ms. Melange returned from a three-day, out-of-office absence. Her wrongful behavior was set off upon receipt of a lengthy spreadsheet by said public servant, who merely wanted to question every detail of Ms. Melange’s report. An “Oh craaaap!” was heard by a co-worker just outside Ms. Melange’s office door. (The “S” word was not used at this time.) Several sighs of whining disgust echoed from her office throughout the day and Ms. Melange’s cloud of negativity began to grow.

Within the next four days, Ms. Melange uttered rants of “Really?” and “You’ve got to be kidding!” and “This is crazy!” while receiving additional deadlines from EITW and additional questions from the public servant via email. Co-workers report Ms. Melange’s general whining was excessive. Her excuse to police later was that EITW had the same deadline date and it coincided with the public servant’s desire to utilize the same date to wrap things up. The police did not accept her minimization and moved forward with the noted charges. Ms. Melange’s behavior escalated when, upon returning home from work, she began to rant to her friend Natasha about the public servant and his unwitting desire to send her “over the edge” with his nitpickiness and lack of procedural understanding. Being a confident and “take charge” person, Natasha sympathized with Ms. Melange and offered her friend a few suggestions to resolve said issues with the public servant. (Natasha hesitantly shared this information with police later as a hostile witness.)


Co-workers report that they “think” they heard Ms. Melange utter the “F” word under her breath, but couldn’t be positive. The co-workers state Ms. Melange had her office door closed for much of the week, making it hard to discern inappropriate and unprofessional ranting on her part. The co-workers also reported that they felt Ms. Melange was thinking the worst of others, but could not substantiate that claim other than the outward “stressed-out crazy woman” appearance on her face. Police state that they may have mistaken that type of appearance for a simple case of gastric discomfort.

In the end, during questioning with police, Ms. Melange admitted to the charges of Felony Whining and Unprofessional Ranting. However, she continued to minimize her part in the incidents, stating that it was an extremely stressful week and that the whining and ranting took the place of public intoxication and “making a pig of myself” at the local pancake house. Ms. Melange denied uttering the “F” word. She stated her thoughts were her own and that God and her future psychiatrist would be the only deity and human (other than Natasha) who would ever know what she was thinking during the week of these incidents. Ms. Melange stated to police that she has since come to terms with her whining and ranting behavior and the shortcomings of the public servant and that she has put this in the past. Ms. Melange stated that her workload has lessened and she has been able to reflect on how to divert her stress into more positive behaviors and activities during the times when EITW wants everything all at the same time.

Police state that Ms. Melange, if convicted, could be given an alternative sentence of cognitive behavior therapy, twice-a-week meditation classes, and a case of Godiva chocolate due to her otherwise clean record and normally quiet demeanor.

Ms. Melange could not be reached for comment.

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Natasha, Red and I chose our costumes Sunday afternoon. We are thoroughly excited to play dress-up and prance and dance for All Hallows’ Eve.

What will I be?

What about the other two babes?

Will we harmonize?

Here are a few clues…

  • Yes, we will be incognito.
  • I may wear very opaque black stockings under a somewhat short dress.
  • Natasha and Red won’t need very opaque black stockings. (They will sport their cleavage.)
  • There may be additional feathers. Fluffy, colorful feathers.
  • There may be spiked and/or colored hair. I’m thinking purple…
  • There may be glamour and scary sexiness.
  • Yes, scary sexiness.


Any guesses?


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A dreamy gaze falls upon my face.

It’s the 9th of October. The sky is the brightest baby blue and the sun’s rays send sparkles across the water.

I have landed in a dreamy place.

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The lunchtime walk across the highway to the trestle bridge was a fabulous idea.

There is one other person behind me. I have this place mostly to myself.

It is unlike summer, the quiet creates a calm that defies one’s stress.

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I want to sit, to stay, to soak up the warmth of a 55ish fall sun.

To toss aside a return to work for a meditative nap.

To partake of a dream inspired by a dreamy setting.

“This week, consider the unreliable narrator — a classic storytelling device — in your own work, no matter your genre.”


She is there. I see her. She was in my dreams and now we stand face to face.

And I think, “My love is not my love. She will serve me well.”


I win her over with a smile, with many compliments. Her co-dependency willingly accepts.

And I think, “My love is not my love. She will serve my physical desires.”


Her quiet, non-confrontational demeanor suits me. She is easy to be around.

And I think, “My love is not my love. She will serve my emotional inequities.”


She has a good job, one with a good paycheck. I admire her dedication and work ethic.

And I think, “My love is not my love. She will serve my desire to buy new things.”


She takes care of me, takes care of the house. She makes my food taste delicious.

And I think, “My love is not my love. She will serve my desire to sit on my ass.”


She is smart, witty, and talented in many ways. I tell her this on occasion.

And I think, “My love is not my love. She will serve my insecurities as I hide behind her.”


She stays for almost 30 years. Her upbringing tells her to keep going, to try harder, to make things right. She is a good woman most days.

And I think, “My love is not my love. She must continue to serve me. Forever.”


She wants better for us both. We argue, she seeks help. She tries.

And I think, “My love is not my love. When will they fix her? I don’t need to try, I need her to serve me.”


She smiles. I believe she loves me. She will stay forever.

And I think, “This is more like it. Serve me.”


But she does not. She plans and schemes and walks out on me.

And I think, “My love is not my love. She is not here to serve me.”


She was my love, once. She served me, once. She fell for my smile, once.

And I think, “I don’t understand. Why did you stop serving me?”


She is gone now. She doesn’t talk to me. She doesn’t accept my gifts. I name my cat after her. I send her a birthday card every September.

And I think, “What did I do wrong? I don’t know. I don’t get it.”


Her love is her own, she serves everyone but me.

Sometimes I stare boredly into space, thinking utterly of nothing. ~Clarice Bean~

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What does this being think of as he stares into space?

Does he wonder when he will get his next meal?

Does he wonder when the birds will return to his window?

Does he wonder why human doesn’t pay more attention to him?

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Or is the mind void, the stare of nothingness on his face?

Tell me Mr. Gibbs. What’s in that handsome head of yours?”

In response to this week’s photo challenge, I give you a week in review with signs…both tangible and intangible.

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 September 26th. From the FedEx man. The sign of a man with a sense of humor and good heart. And staples.

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September 29th. A mango/basil margarita. The sign of a gathering with peers, friends, and a few laughs.

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October 1st. A view from the fourth floor. A sign that being away from home for three days doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

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October 3rd. A carpet of fall leaves. The sign of a weather change and the wind that has sent golden leaves falling from the sky. A week ago, the temps were in the 70’s. Today, temps are falling with an expected high of 48 degrees on Saturday. Yes, 48 degrees. A sign not photographed, but felt with a chill on the skin and a thought of what is to come.


Today marks Octoberfest in downtown Appleton, WI. Yes there are ^this^ many peeps on College Avenue from about 10 am to 6 pm. There are several stages of live music, arts and crafts, an inordinate amount of food vendors and BEER. What is Octoberfest without BEER? The sky is blue today and highs are expected at 77 degrees. Perfect!

Natasha and I will be among the throngs of peeps. A report may or may not come later, depending on the amount of BEER consumed and whether or not we get lost in this crowd.

Later, gator…

What nocturnal photos do you like taking? Whether it’s a starry sky, a street lamp, or the shadows cast by your cat, share them with us. Your shot can be outdoors or indoors, blurry or crisp, overexposed or ominously dark. As every owl (and night owl) knows, nighttime is when the real action starts.

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During a July camping vacation, the camp fire was a must…whether it be for cooking tin-foiled, buttered potatoes and onions, sizzling a bratwurst, or for a relaxing respite while sipping on adult refreshment. Camping is not camping without the day glow and night flames of a fire. This photo was taken on the last evening, when every piece of fire wood had to be utilized or left for the next person. We tried our best to use every last piece.

To view additional night time photos, click here.

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Natasha and I had a blast! An absolute blast!

Monday and Tuesday of this week, we explored the Elroy, WI, area with an SUV and our bicycles. The trees were beginning to change colors and we saw glorious hints of red, yellow and gold. We breathed in the fall odor of crushed leaves and purchased chocolate from an Amish bakery. The tires of the two-wheeled vehicle met gravel and fallen twigs and discovered the dark, dank interior of former train tunnels. Natasha and I ate the best burger and fries in the area and pushed out a leisurely 45 miles or so in two days on the Omaha and Sparta/Elroy trails.

The sky was clear blue, the temps around 70, and life almost perfect.

Natasha and I stayed in an extremely small town called Kendall. There was one hotel here, the Sugar Maple Inn. It was the mom and pop variety. Mousing cats roamed the grounds and hotel keys were left in the outside freezer when the office was closed. Yes, in the freezer. Small town trust. While the accommodations were very basic, it was all that we needed for our stay – soft beds, hot shower, TV, coffee pot, fridge.

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We didn’t get a start on the trails until Monday afternoon…after a French toast breakfast and a ride to Fort McCoy to enjoy the scenery and allow the cool, 45-degree morning temps to warm up. Around 1:00 pm, we headed to Wilton, home of the annual Wood Turtle Days. Evidently, the wood turtle (a threatened species in Wisconsin) made an appearance during the straightening of a local road many years ago. Although a local believes it to be a myth, there is never a bad reason to celebrate anything in this state, especially when it involves adult refreshment and silly games. Another local community, Hustler, has a chicken pooping contest at it’s annual Hustler Days. Awesome.

Natasha and I finally hit the trail early afternoon, heading west, in the direction of Sparta. Before we left, a local Tomah couple told us about the Omaha Trail. They said it was their favorite and that we could connect with it in Elroy or Camp Douglas. We made note of this as a possibility for Tuesday and commenced to riding. It was not long before we encountered the color of nature’s beauty and the awestruck wonder of man-made tunnels.

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“Tunnel No. 3 is 3,810 feet long and was completed in 1873 after three years of digging.  It cost $247,272 to build or $65 per foot which was much more expensive than the other two tunnels on the trail.  This tunnel was so long that workers dug two long, deep shafts from above to help remove rock, in addition to digging from both ends.  These shafts were later sealed with bricks.  Workers struck an overhead spring which kept the tunnel wet and difficult to excavate.  Today the ceilings and wall still drip with water and provide cool relief on a hot day.”

Natasha and I can attest to the dripping water in Tunnel 3. I shot a video while standing at the entrance to the tunnel. The sound was similar to rain falling. An elderly gentleman who had just come through the tunnel told us to take a bar of soap with us as we would surely have a shower inside. We decided to stay dry and head back. Dinner and a good sleep awaited.

After another French toast start to Tuesday, we chose to spend the day on the Omaha Trail. We were not disappointed in this choice. For the serious bikers, one could start at Camp Douglas and end up over in Minnesota – utilizing four connecting trails. For Natasha and I, we would stay on the Omaha and complete the 26 mile round trip.

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Color, leaves, rock, bridge, tunnel. No bears…only squirrels, chipmunks and one antlered deer off in the distance. It was all there, plus an excellent stop in Hustler for a huge sub sandwich. Did I mention that life was almost perfect?

It was.

Sadly, the bicycle tires stopped turning around 5:30 pm as we had a two and a half hour ride home, plus a bit of unpacking. Natasha and I had wondered on the trail this day why we had not been serious about biking until this year…why we had not done this last year or the year before. I’ve always preferred nature over roller coasters and these two days absolutely cemented that preference. I am already itching for spring if for nothing else, to explore more of the state’s trails with the bike.

It does not get better, right Natasha?

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