Saturday, September 22, 2018

Grandma Dietz and her chickens


This is my Grandma Emma Dietz with her chickens on her farm near Deer Creek, Ind. sometime around 1930.

The original image was a snapshot my mother had. I did a high-resolution scan and sized it proportionally for a 16x20-inch display and sent it off to canvaspeople.com. I had it done on a special offer and the cost was less than $40.

I've wanted a canvas blowup of this photo for years and it arrived on my front porch this morning. O, frabjous day! Calloo! Callay!

I posted this photo on Facebook, along with an offer of the original scan for free to any of Charles and Emma Dietz's Groninger descendants, including three cousins and their families. I was stunned when nobody took me up on the offer. I guess they don't care as much about their heritage as I do. Or else they're not tech savvy enough to understand what I offered them. Whatever.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Shut down barking in less than a day


Our dogs, especially Dora, bark incessantly when they're in the fenced portion of our back yard.

The barking has been a source of embarrassment because we know it annoys the neighbors. Now that the neighbors on the north side of our house have their home on the market, it's even more important not to have noisy dogs driving down property values.

But the barking has ceased, thanks to this ultrasonic anti-barking device that I got from Ebay for a mere $30.99. It runs on a 9 volt battery and has three intensity settings. I hung it on the back fence around noon yesterday and have heard only a few barks since. It has a microphone that listens for barks and responds with a high frequency tone that only dogs can hear. And it works.

I am amazed and relieved and wish I had bought this thing a long long time ago.

Here's the link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FPF511L/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Big and on canvas


I had the pleasure of giving Maria's parents a 16x20 wrapped canvas print of her mother's Italian-American family that I ordered online from Canvas People.

The original image was a snapshot that had blemishes and creases and not enough material around the edges to make a successful 16x20 warp. I initially told them it couldn't be done. Then I got the idea of cloning portions of the edges to extend them in all four directions so that the important parts of the image would remain front and center.

The Post Office delivered it to my house today and my in-laws were over the moon when they saw it. Now Maria wants one.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Breakfast at Denny's


I had breakfast at Denny's in Lebanon this morning - the first breakfast I've had there since Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007.

That was the day a UPS truck picked up the last of our moving pods and Pete and Ruthie and I drove to our new home in Arkansas.

I went to Denny's with some reluctance because I remember it as a place with poor service and lots of cigarette smoke. I decided to roll the dice again this morning because I have a hearty dislike for the other two Lebanon breakfast options - Flap Jack's and Bob Evans.

I ordered off of the senior citizens menu and was pleasantly surprised with the service, presentation and flavor of the food. I might even be persuaded to go back someday. Maybe.

This has been a miserable, cold and rainy three days. We're had nearly 4 inches of rain since Thursday evening and it has continued into this afternoon.

I can't seem to get motivated to do anything, although there is still plenty to do in the way of shifting boxes and preparing to move our bed upstairs and out of the dining room.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Correcting the date of construction


Our next-door-neighbors to the north have put their house on the market.

We've had the pleasure of living next to them and their five kids for a year now and will be very sad to see them leave. They have been excellent neighbors and have tolerated our barking dogs better than most people would have.

I looked up their online listing this afternoon and noticed that the Realtor asserts that their house was built in 1925. That's an error.

This photo was shot shortly after 1903 and shows our house in the foreground and their house next door to the north. It's the same house, although the upstairs balcony/porch is no longer there. If you look closely, you can see the rails and electric wires of the Indianapolis & Northwestern Traction Co. (interurban) like just to the south of our house, which dates the photo considerably earlier than 1925.

Our understanding is that these two houses and the next one north were built by the man who owned the local sawmill for his three sons and their families around 1903. He used premium wood throughout the three houses. Ours still has the original quarter-sawn oak flooring in the living room and oak and hemlock throughout the house.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Same plane, same reporter



I had the pleasure last Thursday of flying in a 90-year-old Ford Tri-Motor that inaugurated transcontinental air service back in 1929.

Interestingly, it was the very same plane I flew in back in 1974 when TWA was commemorating the 45th anniversary of that aviation milestone.

Both rides were on media flights - the first when I was a reporter for The Indianapolis News and the one last week as a "special correspondent" for The Lebanon Reporter.

I sat on the starboard side of the plane both times, watching the huge right radial engine throbbing along.

I think I wrote a better story this time than I did in '74.


It was named City of Reno back in 1974.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Nice shirt


My soon-to-be son-in-law Edgar is cleaning out his closets and other areas of his house to make room for Morgan. Maria went down to help over the weekend and came back with a bunch of beautiful high-end shirts and pullovers, including this Chaps shirt by Ralph Lauren, all fresh from the dry cleaner and on hangers.

Thanks, Edgar!