Friday, April 24, 2015

Police log cartoon


From my favorite California weekly.

Thursday, April 23, 2015


tucker cone

Morgan shot this cell phone portrait of Tucker wearing his cone when she went home to let him out at lunchtime.

Tucker got neutered Tuesday morning and, since he’s supposed to take it easy for a few days, we’re hosting his big girlfriend Samantha this week.

He was a little loopy Tuesday night and yesterday, but seems to be getting back to his old self today. He looks remarkably happy for a boy who just lost some important parts.

88 Times Hillary Clinton Said 'Mmm Hmm' in New Hampshire | SUPERcuts! #188

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Another club member down

Dallas Peak, BMW Motorcycle Club of Indianapolis.

Dallas Peak, a doctor at Indiana University Health -Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and a stalwart member of the Indianapolis BMW Motorcycle Club, is in the hospital as a patient today after getting hit by a car while riding his bike to work yesterday.dallas fracture

Here’s what he posted to Facebook last night:

I just want to say thank you to everyone who helped me today and to have me in their thoughts.

First of all, I'm fine. You can see the fracture. Fortunately, that is all. The gear really did its job so well. I was on my way to work.

It was the classic car turning right into my path of travel. It all happened so fast. I was on the ground is the next thing I remember. I knew my (left) arm was broken. But otherwise fine.

And wonderful first responders took great care of me. The ER staff was, horse, just absolutely awesome. Because it was compound, I went straight to the OR and had surgery. I am in my room now. I need to sleep! More to come later. Thank you to everyone here who took care of me,all of you rock!

He was up and on his feet by 8 a.m. today, walking laps around the fourth floor of the hospital where his room is.

His wife Pam is also an M.D., so he’s in good hands in and out of the hospital.

In the meantime, club member Andy Clark, who suffered serious brain injury a couple of weekends ago when he was hit in the head by a spare tire that fell from an oncoming horse trailer, is showing some progress.

Theresia Shearer wrote on the club’s message board:

It's been a rough two weeks for the Clark family but Andy is showing some improvement. They have moved him out of ICU.  He's no longer on a ventilator but does have a trach.  Friday he had surgery to place a more direct feeding tube.

The medical team is working towards getting him strong enough to move to a rehab center, though at this time he's not ready for an aggressive therapy facility like RHI.

So, a few more steps forward in a long recovery.

Your prayers are working so keep them coming.

It’s news like this that – as Hunter S. Thompson used to say – gives a man paws.

Insert tasteless play on words involving “sucks” here

samsungMaria wanted a vacuum cleaner – preferably bagless - that was light and could reach high out-of-the-way places.

So when the Amazon Vine Program offered me the Samsung VU10H3021PR/AA VU3000 Lift and Clean Bagless Vacuum Cleaner, Red to review a couple of days ago, I jumped on it.

The UPS guy delivered it a little after 2 p.m. yesterday.

I unboxed it, read the owner’s manual that is mostly pictures with little text, and turned it on.

Using suction only, with the beater bar turned off, I made quick work of the tile kitchen floor. It did a great job of sucking up dirt and the little fur tumbleweeds that come from having dogs that shed.

The canister wasn’t full, but I emptied it anyway, holding it over the kitchen waste basket and pushing the button that opens the door on the bottom. Nothing to it and way easier than the nasty, messy job of changing a bag on our Hoover.

When Maria got home from work, we removed the beater bar attachment and used the hose and canister to go after some long-neglected dust that had accumulated on the tops of the kitchen bay window frames and into crevices along the baseboards.

I plan to see how it works on carpets later this morning and then I’ll get busy on my review, which will likely include some of the observations recorded here.

Monday, April 20, 2015

From the archives

Leadville rock shop

Here’s a photo I shot at the Rock Hut in downtown Leadville, Colo. back in the 1990s.

It’s just down Harrison Street from the Golden Burro where John and Sally Mohringer and I had breakfast one fine summer morning. We strolled down to the Rock Hut and bought gold panning kits before setting out on a fun, but fruitless, afternoon of panning.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

29 years ago in November

r100rs hammond la

Sorting through my filing cabinet this weekend, I came across some photos including this shot.

It’s my 1981 BMW R100RS at a campsite at the Hammond, Louisiana KOA. I sewed the tent from a kit that came from Frostline, a Colorado company that catered to backpackers on a budget who wanted to make their own gear.

The date was Nov. 9, 1986 and I was embarking on a fool’s errand that I will not detail here. The best I can say about it is that I would not be who or where I am today if I had stayed home.

They live on in Facebook

facebook dead

At least four of the people among my 400-some Facebook friends are deceased, yet they live on in Facebook.

They are (from left) Leslie Collins, Becky Harris, John Mohringer and Wendell Trogdon.

Leslie was one of my best correspondents when I was chief of The Indianapolis News Metro North Bureau.

Becky was a respected member of the Log Cabin Democrat staff in Conway, Ark. We met at an Associated Press Managing Editors conference and discovered we both knew Ted Simon, author of Jupiter’s Travels.

John was a member of the Indianapolis BMW Motorcycle Club and a Boone County neighbor when we lived in Thorntown. He would occasional fly over our house.

Wendell was managing editor of The Indianapolis News. He was the city editor in 1967 when he hired me and launched my Indianapolis newspaper career.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A new life for Tucker

morgan tucker vet

Tucker, the red Australian cattle dog, is officially a member of Morgan and Samantha’s pack.

Morgan has been looking for a companion dog for Sam for several months and wistfully wishing she could have Tucker, ever since he and Sam struck up a friendship at our house.

Tucker, who will be a year old in May, came to live with our neighbor Chris and his wife in their house down the hill from us in late January. He became a frequent visitor to the outside of Jack and Dora’s chain link enclosure and he and Dora spent hours chasing each other around the perimeter.

Tucker became a neighborhood favorite and got treats and pets at several of the houses around here.

But he didn’t back down from an unprovoked attack by a cranky Chihuahua-Dachshund mix – an encounter that prompted Chris to install buried electronic fence around his property.

The problem was that Tucker associated the electric shock with Chris rather than the fence. His response was either to run away from home for extended periods or to hide from Chris under their back deck.

Chris and his wife came to us last evening to say they were ready to give Tucker up. We had made it clear over the last few months that Morgan would love to have him if things didn’t work out for them.

So Morgan came up and took custody of Tucker, his igloo dog house, bag of food and some toys and took him home to play with Sam and have a well-needed bath.

We all accompanied Tucker to the vet’s office this morning where he got checked out and got his shots. He’s scheduled to be neutered on Tuesday – something I realize is probably a good idea but can’t feel happy about.

After the vet visit, we had lunch on the outdoor patio at Chik-fil-A and Tucker was the perfect gentleman, sitting attentively at Morgan’s feet.

Friday, April 17, 2015

It’s that time of year again


I mowed most of our 1.23 acres this afternoon. The only thing yet to do is the fenced dog zone and a patch of saturated ground on the downhill slope west of the house.

I was accustomed to wearing my in-ear monitors – the ones I use to listen to my GPS and SiriusXM radio on the K1200GT – but I do so at the risk of carelessly yanking the wires out of the earplugs. It’s happened 3 or 4 times since I got them in 2002.

Now that I have the Parrot Zik 2.5 bluetooth headphones, it’s a different story. The noise cancelling isn’t as effective as the earplugs, but it’s not bad and going wireless is supremely liberating.

The closest I ever got to meeting John Steinbeck


According to my Kindle Paperwhite, which tracks my progress through books, I’ve read about 70% of John Steinbeck’s “Travels With Charley.”

If you’re not familiar with it, the book chronicles a road trip Steinbeck made in 1960 in a pickup truck with camper shell with his standard poodle Charley, doing a lap of the U.S., starting from his home on Long Island. The point of the trip, he wrote, was to meet people and reacquaint himself with the soul of America.

His son Thom, however, said Steinbeck made the trip because he knew he was dying of heart disease and wanted to see the country one last time. As it turned out, he lived another eight years.

I remember 1960 quite clearly and the book arouses feelings of nostalgia for that time 55 years ago. So much has changed.

Early in his travels, Steinbeck discovers and is enchanted by the growing mobile home culture in the Northeast, marveling at how it was revolutionizing the way Americans thought about housing.

By the time he got to California, however, he realized the downside to a phenomenon that was growing population, but not the property tax base, putting an unexpected strain on government to maintain infrastructure and schools.

Steinbeck was from Salinas, Calif. and spent a lot of time in Monterey. Perhaps his most famous novel is “Cannery Row,” set in Monterey. Cannery Row is a real place, but the fish canneries have been replaced by a world class aquarium and several blocks of shops and boutiques. Maria and I visited there a couple of times and she photographed me with a bronze bust of Steinbeck at Wave Street and Drake Avenue. I let Steinbeck wear my BMW sunglasses for the shot.