Thursday, July 31, 2014

How a bank ought to be

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Trailcam mystery

MOULTRIE DIGITAL GAME CAMERA

Something is triggering my side yard trail cam every afternoon a little before 5 p.m., but I can’t see anything out of place in any of the resulting photos.

Here’s the pattern of photos I found when I pulled the SD memory card yesterday:

Date

Time

Time

Time

Time

7/24

4:49 p.m.

5:06 p.m.

 

 

7/25

4:50 p.m.

4:51 p.m.

 

 

7/26

4:48 p.m.

4:50 p.m.

4:52 p.m.

4:54 p.m

7/28

4:46 p.m.

4:50 p.m.

4:51 p.m.

 

Whatever it is, it took Sunday off.

I took a seat on the front porch with a good view of the area covered by the camera about 4:40 p.m. yesterday and sat quietly until about 5:15 p.m. hoping to see or hear what has been passing through the camera’s field of view with such remarkable regularity, but saw and heard nothing.

Time permitting, I’ll resume my surveillance this afternoon.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Rally wrapup

rally canopy

I finished my post-rally chores this morning, consisting of repacking my tent and air mattress that I laid out to dry yesterday afternoon. I had to pack them wet when I left the Minnesota State Fairgrounds Sunday morning because the ground cloth of my tent captured some water from Friday morning’s rain.

I found my original air mattress inflator right where I left it on my dresser. Now I have two of them, having purchased a new, more powerful unit at the rally.

Here’s an evening photo I shot of some of our bikes parked and covered in front of the canopy that was the centerpiece of our club campsite on the north end of the fairground.

charlie r1201My Jonesboro friend Charlie Parsons entered his 1939 BMW R12 in the Vintage Bike competition and won first place in his division.

The bike is for sale for $23,500 if anyone is interested. You can email him at 143bmw@att.net. I’d buy it in a heartbeat if I could afford it and had room for it.

charlie r1202

I spent Monday night at the Hannibal, Mo., Motel 6, parking next to an R1200RT ridden by Jim Minton, an 80-year-old U.S. Air Force veteran from Cape Girardeau, Mo.

rally jim minton

We swapped travel stories over dinner at the restaurant next door to the motel. Jim did multiple tours in Viet Nam.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Home again, home again

2014 moa rally pin

This morning began with some hiccups in my riding routine, but everything ended well and I made it home from Hannibal, Mo. without serious mishap.

I awoke about 6 a.m., checked the distance to St. Louis from the Hannibal Motel 6 and realized that a departure before 7 a.m. would put me in the middle of the St. Louis morning rush hour.

So I went to breakfast at the restaurant next door and took my time about packing and loading the bike. I was all ready to ride when, seconds after closing the door to Room 110 and leaving my card key on the sink, I realized I’d left my helmet inside. No problem, said the clerk as she gave me another card key to recover my lid.

Moments after I got out onto U.S. 61, I discovered my Garmin Zumo 550 display was frozen and unresponsive to the buttons. I stopped to fuel up a couple of miles down the road and tinkered with it, removing it from its cradle and power source, but to no avail.

So what do you do when you’re trying to skirt the edges of one of the nation’s bigger cities without a GPS or a map? Out comes the iPhone to chart the way home – U.S. 61 to I-64 to I-270 to I-55 to U.S. 67 to Corning, Ark. which is a hop, skip and a jump from home. I repeated the sequence to myself for several minutes as I rode south without the benefit of Miss Garmin’s directions or SiriusXM entertainment.

I was suddenly back to old school touring with just my thoughts to entertain me and it was in this windy silence that I chewed on the problem of a frozen GPS display. And then it struck me: reboot it by removing and replacing the battery.

I stopped 63 miles down the road at Troy, Mo. to examine the GPS and found that none of my pocket knives or my BMW tool kit had a #8 torx screwdriver to remove the battery. Then I noticed an Auto Zone store a couple of blocks away from the gas station where I was parked.

I cruised over to Auto Zone, showed the GPS to the woman at the counter and eventually found the right torx tool to remove the battery. When I replaced it and pushed the on/off button, the GPS booted just like new and I was back in business. But just in case, I invested in a small set of torx drivers that will live in my saddlebag should Miss Garmin have another seizure.

Problem solved for $11 and change.

The rest of the ride was uneventful and the temperature never rose above the low 80s. I gassed a final time at the “Dirt Cheap” Phillips 66 in Deloge, Mo., had a quick McDonald’s lunch next door and rode on home, arriving at 2:16 p.m.

Total mileage for the trip: 1,554 miles.

FYI: this was my 21st BMW MOA National Rally.

Attendance was 5,866.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Saturday morning rally report

moa internet

Here I am at the Internet Cafe where the phone recharging, Wifi and bananas are free, although a donation is appreciated.

I made the mistake of eating too much too late last evening and paid the price with brutal indigestion about 2 a.m. That, plus the high humidity and lack of a breeze made for a long, uncomfortable night. I didn’t get to sleep properly until I peeled back the rain fly on my tent to let the heat and humidity escape.

I was up with the sun about 6 a.m., chatted with Charlie at the coffee stand he runs and had some interesting conversations with interesting riders from Dallas, Paducah, and British Columbia.

Yesterday was overcast, which kept my tank bag solar panel from properly charging the storage module that, in turn, charges my iPhone, so I grabbed my netbook and iPhone charging cord and headed for the MOA Building.

I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to do with the rest of the day, except to say that I have no plans to leave the Fairgrounds.

Charlie graciously agreed to haul my waterproof bag full of camping stuff home in his trailer, so I can made the ride back to Arkansas unencumbered.

gs giants

I spent a few minutes watching people struggle with rudimentary off-road maneuvers on the GS Giants course and concluded there are a lot of GS riders who should never leave the pavement.

I’d like to think I still have enough of my dirt skills from trail riding courses in the 1980s to show these kids how it’s done, at least on a 650 GS. Doing this stuff on a 1200 GS is like trying to get an elephant to climb a ladder.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday morning

clarion breakfast

I slept soundly last night and woke up at 4:30 a.m. feeling reasonably refreshed.

The Clarion Inn has a passable free breakfast built around scrambled eggs and hash browns.

The breakfast room was full of old (older than me) and infirm people, which struck me as odd until I heard the PA system announcing a shuttle bus to the Mayo Clinic. Oh, yeah. Rochester. Mayo’s.

I’m taking my time about packing and loading, since I want to avoid as much of the Minneapolis-St. Paul morning rush hour traffic as possible.

It’s only a 90-minute-or-so ride, so it should be a pleasant morning jaunt.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Arkansas to Minnesota in 12 hours

clarion rochester

I had hoped to make it all the way to the BMW MOA rally in St. Paul today, but a half-hour construction delay late in the day killed my enthusiasm and I bagged it at Rochester, Minn.

Still, 659.4 miles is the longest day I’ve done in a few years and that leaves me with only 87 miles to ride tomorrow morning to get to the rally.

Wayne Garrison has our club campsite set up and texted me the GPS coordinates while I wolfed down a BLT and a very tall beer in the Clarion Inn lounge a few minutes ago.

Now I think I’m going to watch a little TV and crash early, since I got up at 4:45 a.m.. today.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Another use for the iPhone

70242

I keep a log of every fuel stop, service, and tire change for my bikes, using a program called For Two Wheels Only.

Normally, I make a notation on the gas station receipt as to the odometer reading, then transcribe the mileage, location, volume of gas and amount paid into the software.

But there is the occasional poorly run station that doesn’t properly maintain their pumps and instead of a receipt I get a flashing message saying “clerk has receipt.”

I’m not about to hike into the station to get my receipt. That’s why I only buy gas where I can pay at the pump. So in those cases, I use my iPhone camera to snap a picture of the dollars and gallons on the pump and the odometer on the bike.

That’s what happened this morning when I topped off the tank on my ‘03 BMW K1200GT in anticipation of an early start tomorrow morning, bound for the BMW MOA rally in St. Paul, Minn. Now, with tire pressures adjusted and oil level checked, all I have to do is load the bike and I’ll be ready to roll at or a little before sunrise.

I’d like to do the whole thing in one day – I’ve done 800-mile days before, but it’s been a few years and the weather is uncertain. The sun doesn’t set in St. Paul until 8:48 p.m., so I’m not likely to run out of daylight before I run out of stamina. With more than 300,000 BMW miles in my rear view mirrors, I don’t have much left to prove to myself or anyone else, and I’ll know when it’s time to get a motel.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Not-so-wildlife

MOULTRIE DIGITAL GAME CAMERA

I pulled the SD memory card from my new Moultrie trail cam just now to see what kind of wildlife it photographed since I last checked it Saturday morning.

Something triggered it at 9:52 a.m. yesterday but a thorough examination of the photo failed to show what set it off.

I had dumped a bunch of birdseed in front of the camera for bait, but I may have aimed it too high to catch squirrels or other critters feeding.

So this self-portrait is all I have to show so far.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Operator error

08_bmw_k1200gt_detail06Riding home from the post office this morning, I found I couldn’t get the cruise control to work on my 2003 BMW K1200GT.

Oh, shit, I thought. I don’t need this kind of problem on the eve of a 750-mile ride to the BMW MOA rally in St. Paul, Minn.

This is the third or fourth time the cruise control has crapped out since I bought the bike in early 2003. It always came back on its own after I stopped, shut off the engine and restarted it. So I rode on home and parked in the garage in the hope that all would be well when I rode again.

Fast forward to 1:20 p.m. when I set out for a free dark roast coffee at Starbucks, cashing in an empty coffee bag. I turned south on U.S. 49, got up to 60mph and flipped the SET button on the cruise control (it’s that gray thing on top of the left control cluster that looks kinda like a little tongue sticking out of a larger gray plastic piece). The gold cruise control indicator light stayed dark and cruise control failed to engage.

Crap!

I switched the cruise control off and on and off and on to no avail. It occurred to me that the problem might be a blown fuse, but the little red LED next to the gray tongue was glowing, signifying cruise was definitely getting electricity. WTF?

Then I noticed that the toe of my right boot was resting on the rear brake pedal. Application of the front or rear brake cancels cruise control.

I scooted my foot a couple of inches off of the pedal, thumbed the SET/RES tongue and… sonofabitch! The cruise control engaged and the gold indicator light came on.

Feeling like an imbecile, it dawned on me that the previous cruise control “failures” were also due to the same kind of operator error.

So now I don’t have to worry about a malfunctioning cruise control. But there is the matter of having to stab the starter button repeatedly to fire a cold engine. It took 7 pushes to start the bike this morning. The good news is that it eventually starts and almost always starts on the first push whenever I try it later in the day.

And there’s also the matter of managing our cash flow to accommodate the cost of the upcoming trip. I calculate it will cost about $140 for gas. I can eat cheaply – maybe cheaper than I could at home. The rally fee is already paid, so the only remaining expense is maybe $120 or so for lodging to and from the rally. It’s a 13-hour ride, so it’s theoretically possible for me to leave at dawn coming and going and ride the whole distance in daylight. That assumes no delays from traffic, fatigue or weather.

We shall see.

BTW, the Starbucks baristas and their noisy grab-ass behavior is very annoying this afternoon. The only time they shut up is when a customer orders.

St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church–Lebanon, Ind.

saintjosephromancatholicchurch

Click on the image to see it full size.

Another look at Automatic

bunker hill

Automatic is a module that plugs into a car’s data port and monitors driving behaviors and routes and sends the information to your smartphone.

I got mine from the Amazon.com Vine Program. You can get yours for $99.95 at automatic.com.

It logs each trip separately and gives you week-by-week tallies. I use it all the time in my 2004 Lexus RX330, including July 7-12 when we drove to Indiana to spend time with Maria’s family.

We drove to the rural Amboy home of Maria’s brother Kerstan on July 8 and the map above shows our route from his house back to her parents’ house in Thorntown.

The usual route involves taking two-lane Ind. 47 east from Thorntown to four-lane U.S. 31, then north to Kokomo where it’s two-lane state and county roads to Kerstan’s farm.

Wanting to minimize nighttime driving on two-lane roads, I chose a somewhat longer route back to Thorntown. I gassed at the intersection of Ind. 18 and U.S. 31 at Bunker Hill, then drove north to Peru where I picked up the new four-lane Ind. 24 southwest to Logansport where it connects with the even newer four-lane Ind. 25 continuing southwest to I-65 at Lafayette. From there it was a quick hop over to four-lane U.S. 52 down to Thorntown.

I was pleased to see the Lexus averaged 29 miles per gallon on this drive, compared with the EPA estimate for the RX330 of 26 mpg.

The Automatic device is touted as a fuel economy coach because it scolds you if you brake or accelerate hard or drive over 70 mph. I ignore the device’s preference for a 70 mph speed limit because it’s not practical for Interstate driving.

Friday, July 18, 2014

No Chinese chicken for my dogs!

waggin01

Dog food and dog treats from China have earned a bad reputation in recent years, sickening and killing hundreds of dogs.

Purina’s Waggin’ Train is among the brands cited and Purina claims to have tightened its quality controls on chicken jerky tenders from Chinese sources.

Even so, I was shocked to find the product in the pet food aisle of Sam’s Club today. No matter what their claims, I will never feed my dogs any pet product that comes from China.

Even if it is 100% real, whatever the hell that means.

waggin02

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The trump card was dealt 69 years ago yesterday

I subscribe to a few World War II-related Facebook groups and every now and then someone posits a scenario they think could have altered the outcome of the war in Europe and let the Germans win.

Sometimes it’s the failure of the D-Day invasion, or a German victory in the Battle of the Bulge or some other pivotal battle. More frequently it involves the earlier appearance of the Me 262 jet fighter in greater numbers, countering the Allied air offensive.

None of these would have prevented an Allied victory.

Want to know why?

It involves something that happened 69 years ago yesterday. The detonation of the world’s first atomic bomb in the New Mexico desert.

Depending on who you believe, the Germans failed to appreciate the potential of an atom bomb and devoted insufficient resources to it or – more improbably, reached the point of a couple of nuclear tests but were far behind us in developing an operational nuclear weapon.

Either way, as of July 16, 1945 the United States held the trump card that could defeat any enemy on earth almost instantly.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were designated as potential atomic bomb targets in advance, but I have never read of any such designation for German cities. Maybe that’s because British Bomber Command did such a thorough job of flattening German cities that by May, 1945, they were out of significant targets.

But my point is that, given the Manhattan Project and the absence of Axis nuclear weapons, Allied victory was assured no matter what the Germans and Japanese did.

New Trail Cam!

moultrie trailcam

I bought a Bushnell trail cam in the spring of 2011 and mounted it on a tree in our side yard.

It worked OK, but I thought the functions were needlessly complex and the on-off switch was wonky. So wonky that it only lasted a few months before I sent the camera back to Bushnell for a replacement.

The replacement only lasted a year or so too before its on-off switch quit working.

So I put this Moultrie MCG-12589 5 megapixel trail cam into my Amazon.com wish list.

And, thanks to my son Steve’s generosity, it showed up on my doorstep yesterday as a birthday gift.

Thanks, Steve!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

You can’t hit a home run every time at bat

“Weird Al” Yankovic is releasing eight new videos in eight days.

Yesterday’s release was the second in the series of videos from his new album Mandatory Fun and it was one of the funniest, smartest WAV videos ever.

I hung around the house this morning to see today’s release and it turns out I needn’t have bothered. “Foil” is vaguely amusing, but just vaguely.

So now I’m sipping coffee at Panera waiting to take Maria to a late lunch at 1 p.m. (Her office breaks for lunch from 1-2 p.m.)

The weather here is deliciously cool for mid-July. For the second day in a row we have temperatures in the 70s and sunny skies, thanks to a high pressure cell loaded with cool Canadian air.

Riding in to town, I met a guy on a BMW R1100RS loaded for touring and heading north, almost certainly bound for next week’s BMW Motorcycle Owners of America national rally in St. Paul, Minn. I can only hope the weather will be this nice when I leave for the rally next week.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Red Gold!

We love Red Gold tomato products because they are delicious and they’re from Indiana.

Here’s a link to their online merchandise: http://redgold.mpisecureordering.com/index.php?page=shop.browse&category_id=105&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=53

Absolutely hilarious and long overdue

Watch it full-screen and turn up the volume.

That’s loyalty

radtke

Longtime Indianapolis BMW Club friend Martin Radtke recently put out an email request for a copy of the original club logo, not mentioning why he wanted it.

Having edited the club newsletter for ten years, I still have lots of club-related graphics in my archives, so I sent him a high-res image of the emblem that represented our club for many years until BMW Motorrad decided to dictate logo style to BMW motorcycle clubs.

This is what Martin did with it. Martin was an early member of the club and has many fond memories of the men who founded it back in the 1960s.

I hope he and Darlyne don’t need this monument for a long, long time.

The ranks are thinning…

I just got word that a third member of my high school graduating class has died, all within less than a month:

Francis Edward (Frank) Merson died July 3. He was born in Crawfordsville, Indiana to Nola Litton Merson and James Edward Merson. He graduated from high school in Delphi, Indiana and attended Purdue University, where he met his wife, Mary Merson. They had two daughters, Anne Merson Stevens and Julie Merson Martinez. Retiring from the US Air Force as a MSGT after 20 years of service, he worked as a military contractor, then a handyman. He was his mother's caretaker and loved her very much. Another love was animals and he regularly rescued them. One of his greatest joys in life were his furry friends. The family wishes to thank Hospice of San Angelo for all of their help and loving care. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Concho Valley PAWS or Hospice of San Angelo, Texas. He is survived by his mother, Nola Merson; wife Mary Merson; Anne and Walter Stevens; Julie and Aramis Martinez; seven grandsons; one great-granddaughter; brother John Merson of San Antonio; and sister Linda Perkins of Olympia, Washington. No services are planned. Arrangements are by Johnson's Funeral Home.

Robert T. Moore of Delphi passed away on Sat., July 12, 2014 at IU Health Arnett in Lafayette. Robert was born on Dec. 19, 1944 in Lafayette to the late Morris T. and Roberta H. (Bowman) Moore. He was a 1963 graduate of Delphi High School.
Mr. Moore was a retired sheet metal fabricator.
He married Shirley K. Shaw on Aug. 11, 2001 in Delphi and she survives.
He enjoyed hunting mushrooms, camping and loved the outdoors.
He is survived by his wife and step-children: Michael Hines of Delphi and Ginni Ramsey (Marcus) of Noblesville; 5 grandchildren; sisters: Julie McMahan (Nigel) and Judy Glover (David) both of Texas. He was preceded by his parents and brother, Jim Moore.
Visitation will be from 1:00 p.m. until the 3:00 p.m. service on Thursday, July 17, 2014 at Davidson Funeral Home in Delphi. Pastor Jeff Kibler will officiate. Burial will be in I.O.O.F. Memorial Gardens in Pittsburg, Indiana.

Richard L. Bell of Colorado Springs, Colo., passed away on Tuesday, June 17, 2014. He graduated from Delphi High School in 1963. A U.S. Army veteran, Richard owned a glass company in Colorado Springs. He was passionate about restoring old automobiles, especially Hudsons.

Frank and Bob were pals in high school Dick was class president in our freshman year.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Trip stats

coatrackFor what it’s worth, we drove 1,219 miles during our Indiana adventure last week and the Lexus RX330 averaged about 27 mph – 29 and change during the drive up. The fuel cost was about $163.

Not bad for a vehicle that size.

And since we did an inspection of our Thorntown rental house, the trip is deductible.

We drove some new (to us) roads while there. The GPS route from Thorntown to my brother-in-law Kerstan’s house near Amboy, Ind., involves several miles of two-lane highway from Thorntown to U.S. 31 and more two-lane after exiting U.S. 31 near Kokomo.

Wanting to avoid nighttime two-lane driving as much as possible, I took an alternate route back to Thorntown, taking Ind. 18 to U.S. 31, north on U.S. 31 to four-lane divided Ind. 24 to Logansport where it connects with the brand new four-lane divided Ind. 25 that runs all the way to Lafayette. Ind. 24 and 25 are great, fast roads with little traffic which will almost certainly have a negative impact on the cities and towns (including my hometown of Delphi). From Lafayette, I took I-65 south a few miles before cutting over to U.S. 52 for the run down to Thorntown.

Kerstan and his wife Kim have seven kids, which explains the backdoor coat and shoe rack pictured above.

69 years ago today

71445e

On this date in 1945, the first atomic bomb – seen here with Los Alamos Director J. Robert Oppenheimer – was hoisted to the top of a 100-foot tower in the New Mexico desert.

It was a Saturday. At 5:29:21 (plus or minus 2 seconds) a.m. on Monday, July 16, 1945, the device exploded with an energy equivalent to around 20 kilotons of TNT. It left a crater of radioactive glass in the desert 10 feet deep and 1,100 feet wide.

But I digress. I drew my first breath on that Saturday the bomb was raised to the top of the tower.

Consequently, at the age of 69, I am two days older than the Atomic Age.

I am still puzzled to find myself at such an advanced age. I don’t feel like I’m pushing 70, but that’s how the numbers add up.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Birthday cherry pie!

cherrypie

Tomorrow is my birthday, but since Maria is working late tomorrow, she whipped up a delicious birthday cherry pie for me today.

At my request, she substituted Splenda for sugar. It was delicious with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Every bit as good as from the Cherry Hut in Beulah, Mich., which is the benchmark for cherry pie a la mode.

The maple leaf crust gives it a nice Canadian feel.

Easy reader

armyatdawn

This is what I’m reading right now. Well, not right now, but currently when I’m actually reading and not doing something else.

I’ve read all or part of 17 books since I got my Kindle Paperwhite ebook reader in April of 2013. It has completely transformed my reading habits.

There was a time, not long ago, when I barely averaged one book a year.

I chose the Paperwhite because it lets me read text in any lighting situation from direct sunlight to total darkness – something tablets and the Kindle Fire can’t do.

Yes, it doesn’t play video, its internet browser sucks and it doesn’t display images well, but it has no rival when it comes to being a reader for text.

And, it has exceptionally long battery life.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Another one gone

PLUM2G

I got word this afternoon that Delphi High School classmate Bob Moore has died. I assume someone will post his obit so we can learn more about his passing.

I got an email from Bob just eight days ago, so I’m guessing he didn’t see it coming.

I chatted with Bob last fall at our 50th anniversary reunion and noticed he was lugging around an oxygen tank, but I didn’t question him about his health.

One other classmate, Dick Bell, who was president of our freshman class, died last month of a stroke. Dick was also at the reunion, but I didn’t get a chance to catch up with him.

Looks like we’re not immortal after all.

Back from Indiana

frozencustard

This is the famous Frozen Custard next to Columbian Park in Lafayette, Ind.

It looms large in my childhood memories because my parents used to drive me from our Delphi home to Lafayette so I could swim in the big oval Columbian Park pool.

Afterward, we would repair to the Frozen Custard where I would usually have one of their insanely thick chocolate malts.

donpablosWe stopped by the Frozen Custard Thursday afternoon after meeting Maria’s parents and her brother Kerstan and his wife Kim for lunch at Don Pablo’s.

I had a Purdue-inspired Black and Gold (chocolate and caramel) sundae topped with a handful of peanuts. I shoulda got a malt.

We closed out our whirlwind visit to Indiana with breakfast this morning with Indianapolis BMW Club friends at Shapiro’s deli in downtown Indianapolis.

Other than BMW Club folks, we spent almost all of our time with Maria’s family, along with brief chats with a couple of our former neighbors.

The time flew by and we left wishing we’d had time to visit Skip and Gloria Hess and Jim and Lauri Shillings and a whole bunch of other people who are dear to us.

We drove more than 1,200 miles from Monday morning until we rolled into our driveway at 6:15 p.m. today.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Hee haw

My brother-in-law Kerstan's donkey Jessie.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Good boy, Indy

skipindy01 My Indianapolis News colleague Skip Hess and his wife Gloria are dog lovers who have adopted several strays to give them good loving homes.

skipindy02I got this text message on Monday from Skip:

I am going to send you a photo that I took while mourning my golden whom we had to euthanize a couple of weeks ago.

I was sitting, along,  drinking coffee at the kitchen bar and had just said a prayer for Indy. His hips couldn't hold up anymore.

Anyway, I was telling Indy how much I missed him and what a good companion he was for years and how much I missed reaching over and scratching his ears every morning and how I wished he was still at my side in the morning and I looked over on the refrig handle where I had quickly draped over a kitchen towel minutes earlier and what I saw was nothing short of a miracle, my friend.

There was Indy, sure enough. I can't possible make this up. just can't.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Chicken on a Chain

chickenonachain

Chinese fireworks manufacturers come up with some pretty bizarre names for their products, including this gem that we found at Boomland in Carothersville, Mo. on Monday morning.

We finally figured out the new Wifi password for my father-in-law’s new router and can get online for proper communication. I hope to blog something more informative later today. Sorry about the blogosphere silence.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

If a school corporation is judged by the quality of its communications, Delphi fails miserably.

I went to grade school, junior high and high school in Delphi, Ind. and find it embarrassing and alarming to see the gaffes posted on the Delphi Community School Corp. Facebook page.

Here are some examples:

  • Mrs. Israel & Mrs. Theobald as Grand Marshall's for the Delphi Lion's Club Annual Independence Day Parade!
  • Mrs. Gasser is very proud of all the students that chose to participate in the summer math program at DCES!
  • ATTENTION: DCSC Parents, Students, Families and Friends please be very cautious when traveling near the school corporation. INDOT has removed the traffic light that was put in place to assist with the Hoosier Heartland construction. It has only been down for several hours and there has already been an accident. We wanted the light to remain in place for the safety of our community however INDOT felt that the criteria was not met and therefore it was removed earlier today. Please be advised that traffic north and south bound on 421 has the right of way and does not stop.
  • Our outing going 8th Grade DCMS students leaving a wreath at the Challenger Memorial during their trip to Washington D.C.
  • Congratulations to all the Seniors that are being honored this evening at Senior Awards Night!
  • Each of our Faculty & Staff Members that work throughout the school corporation were surprised with a treat from an anonymous tax payer! Thank you to the community member that recognized all of our staff members!
  • Our Camden Early Childhood Center Kindergartener's had a great time yesterday on their field trip to Columbia Park!

And the “anonymous tax payer” characterized himself/herself as being “greatful.”

This dovetails nicely with an earlier blogpost about some of my classmates who can’t write a simple declarative sentence on Facebook without a spelling, grammar or punctuation error.

Fourth of July fireworks at our house

sparkler72

Ben and Maya came over with a huge bag of fireworks last evening which made for a couple of hours of front yard fun.

Here’s Maria’s best shot of the evening – Maya with a sparkler. Flash with rear sync makes for a great painting-with-light photo.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Breakfast at IHOP

I'm having breakfast at IHOP this morning while the Lexus gets an oil change and lube across the street at Gateway tire.
The heat wave has broken for awhile and it's a sunny pleasant 70 degrees.
I registered for the BMWMOA rally this morning, so it's official - I'm going.
This will be a busy month with a car trip to Indiana and a bike ride to St. Paul, Minn.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Brats and banks

brats

Our neighbors on the other side of the woods are David and Cheryl Head who operate Nine Oaks Farm, a beef cattle ranch that specializes in raising antibiotic, hormone and steroid-free cows.

They sell some of their beef at the Arkansas State University Farmers Market on Saturday mornings and we bought a dozen of their bratwursts – six regular and six Italian – last weekend.

I pulled out a couple of the regular brats this evening and grilled them for dinner. Maria isn’t much for bratwurst or any kind of sausage, but she’s running late and I have to eat early, so there it is.

I was sitting on the K75S, waiting for the teller to process a check I was depositing in our bank account this morning when I glanced up and noticed a big poster advertising the bank’s iPhone app and its ability to make deposits by photographing the check to be deposited.

Maria gave me her paycheck when we met for lunch and, since I didn’t have anymore deposit slips with me, I brought it home and used the app to make the deposit. I’ve been coveting that capability ever since I saw a commercial for Wells Fargo Bank and its smartphone app.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Back online!

fusion techThe technician from Fusion Media showed up about 10:40 a.m. and by 11:20 we had our phone and Internet service restored.

Life without Internet connectivity is, well, different.

Now I have to decide what to do with the rest of the day. Should I saddle up and ride down to the fitness center in extreme heat and humidity, or should I wait for the cold front expected tonight and ride in relative comfort tomorrow?

How long can I procrastinate about working out?

I got there once last week and had hopes of making it two or three times this week.