Thursday, October 20, 2016


I was quite chagrined last night when Maria announced that our dishwasher had crapped out.

I checked my records and found we had identical symptoms - flashing green "clean" light and couldn't make it start - a year ago in May and paid serious money to replace the heating element.

I was all set to try to effect repairs myself when I came across a simple fix. By pressing a particular set of buttons, I made the green light go out and restored the full function of the dishwasher. Now I wonder if I really needed to pay for a new heating element and installation in May, 2015.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

No thanks

I can remember when it was a big deal when the new phone books came out.

Not so much now.

Here's a stack of them that were rejected by folks who found them in their post office boxes (me included). I haven't looked up a phone number in a telephone directory for years. We have an unlisted number, so we're not in it anyway.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Ruthie - five years gone

We lost our beloved Ruthie five years ago today. She was a rescue from Crawfordsville, Ind. and she was a funny, sweet dog. Here she is waiting for Austin Dunbar to come home from school in Thorntown.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

K bikes

BMW motorcycles come in lots of styles and engine types. I happen to favor the K series that was introduced around 1985. It was a radical departure from the horizontally opposed twin cylinder engine that was BMW's standard design since the Bavarian Motor Works began making motorcycles in 1923.

The horizontal twin - known as R bikes - continues to dominate BMW motorcycle sales, however, going through continual refinements. The GS series of R bikes (Gruenwald/Strasse, or Forest/Street) is widely recognized as the Swiss Army Knife of motorcycles - a go anywhere, do anything bike made for global adventuring.

The K bike niche is narrower, embracing sport, touring, and sport-touring with limited off-road appeal.

My first two BMWs were R bikes - a 1971 R50/5 and a 1981 R100RS. I was seduced by the powerful, responsive K bike engine in the spring of 1991 and bought a '91 K100RS that carried me more than 160,000 miles before it developed a terminally expensive engine problem and had to be parted out on Ebay.

I replaced it in 2003 with an '03 K1200GT - a 1,200cc luxury sport touring bike that is about to turn 79,000 miles. In autumn of 2000, I bought a 1994 K75S for Maria. Her enthusiasm for riding has waned so it has fallen to me to keep the battery up and ride it often on local errands.

Fellow K bike enthusiast Jack Riepe, who write humorous columns for the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America's monthly magazine, decided to champion the cause of the (we believe) underappreciated K bike by creating the Secret K Bike Rider's Club, complete with club t-shirts.

I ordered one from him and it came this week. He asked that I send him a photo of myself wearing the shirt next to my K bike(s), so here it is.

Saturday, October 15, 2016


Delphi (Ind.) High School had a swing choir in the early 1960s called the Top Twenty because it was composed of the top 20 choral voices in the school.

I and many of my friends were members. We thought we were pretty good and apparently contest judges thought so too, because we won a lot of awards at NISBOVA (Northern Indiana School Band and Vocal Association) contests.

Sometime in 1962, an audio engineer from nearby Logansport recorded us and created a six-track monaural phonograph album.

I've wanted to find and digitize my copy ever since I acquired a Numark TTusb turntable from a friend, with the aim of sharing the files with my fellow Top Twenty alumni and alumnae (yes, I took two years of Latin in high school).

I've been searching through hundreds of LPs in crates and boxes in the garage where they've languished for the nine years we've been in Arkansas. I got serious this morning and moved the lawn tractor and generator out of the way to give me an unobstructed view of a couple of hard-to-reach crates and, wonder of wonders, I found it!

The sound quality is slightly better than horrible, given today's recording and playback technology yielding extremely low noise-to-sound ratios. But even so, it takes me back to a different time and place where we had no idea how innocent we were. Considering the engineer's equipment and skills set, it's an acceptable artifact from more than a half-century ago.

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Great White Wonder

Here's Bob Dylan playing with The Band at the I.U. Assembly Hall on Feb. 3, 1974.

In honor of Dylan being the announced winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature this week, I dug out my copy of his 1969 bootleg album, The Great White Wonder, and digitized it.

It's a 2-LP collection of monaural tracks that, I'm surprised to note, is selling used for $167 on

I uploaded my digitized collection of mp3 tracks to my Amazon Music library and am seriously considering putting the vinyl up for sale.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Back at it

I dug this 1964 Kinks album out of the stacks in the garage and also rescued my 1970s Discwasher setup.

I found a YouTube video that refreshed my memory on how to use the Discwasher and was happy to find it still had an ample supply of D4+ fluid with it.

This process gets a little easier with each album.

That is until Audacity locks up while I'm labeling tracks on the Blues Brothers "Briefcase Full of Blues" album.