Today I mowed the back yard for the first time this spring. I am behind. The weather and other duties had kept me off task. The grass was high, and each square foot I tread into submission was like a territory reclaimed for civilization.

I asked myself when people started doing this whole thing. Exactly how old is the time honored American activity of mowing the lawn? And why is this mundane chore, as therapeutic and contemplative as it is, not shown more love by those in the Big Nostalgia set, so connected as it is to real childhood and adolescent memory? Where does it all come from?

And the Toby for Outstanding Building of the Year goes to… (Cut to rival building management teams dressed up in tuxedos, sitting on the edge of their seats.)

The Toby Awards?
The Toby Awards?, by Toby Marks on Flickr

Makes me wonder what a Toby looks like. Today, too sick to care.

Being sick on a trip is the worst. I’ve mostly been sleeping every spare moment I get. Managed to catch a pretty decent cheese ball of a movie, though. It was old school campy fun in the best way. Nicely captured the feel of old 80s schlock-horror movies like The Gate and Return of the Living Dead.

Beyond the Gates

The Year in Pictures — 2017 Edition

Some of my favorite pictures from the past year. See the full set on Flickr.

Pumpkin Latte Beer and Ace Pumpkin Cider

Coffee, Pumpkin Pie, and Pumpkin Latte Beer
Coffee, Pumpkin Pie, and Pumpkin Latte Beer, by Toby Marks on Flickr
This year while out shopping for turkey and wine, I discovered a couple of very fallish, and very Thanksgiving-appropriate beverages I thought I’d share with you all. One is a new seasonal coffee brew from my favorite DFW brewery Martin House, and the other is a special cider I haven’t seen in three years — Ace’s own extraordinary Pumpkin Cider. Read on!

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