Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Our old dishwasher, which sat in the garage since we replaced it, is at the curb awaiting collection by our trash service. It remains to be seen whether they will take it, but we are hopeful.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Bad news from Paradise

Today's Carmel (Calif.) weekly newspaper has bad news about my favorite road - Calif. 1 through Big Sur.

The photo above shows a rock slide just south of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park that blocked access to 30 miles of the Pacific Coast Highway.

Also, a Chinese couple on a bus tour with their son, died last week in high surf along 17-Mile Drive. The bus had stopped to let passengers get out and photograph the surf, authorities said, and the wife was swept away by a high wave that rolled over Bird Rock. Her husband dove in to save her and was also drowned.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Flora Building

We're making progress in getting the vacant side of our downtown commercial building ready to market to prospective tenants.

The 3,500 square-foot space was vacated earlier this month. At our Realtor's suggestion, we upgraded the lighting in the reception area and conference room. A cleaning crew wiped down the woodwork, vacuumed the carpet, scraped the Scotch tape off of the sliding glass windows and gave the place a good going-over on Monday.

I got bids from two carpet cleaning firms and scheduled one of them to get busy on the badly stained carpet on Saturday morning.

In the meantime, Maria and I need to touch up dings and scrapes in the paint.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

It happens

The only kid I ever knew who got his eye shot out with a BB gun died Sunday.

He was 70 years old and was from Delphi, Ind.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

VIDEO: WRETCHED LIBERAL HAG Removed From Plane After Harassing Trump Sup...

She went off on a guy who was flying to D.C. for the inauguration and ended up getting thrown off of the plane.

The other passengers applauded when airport police walked her off.

Obama Legacy Disposal Team

Friday, January 20, 2017

At last!

The last time I felt this inspired by a new president was 56 years ago when John Kennedy took the oath of office. That was when it was still respectable to be a Democrat.

And here's another of my favorite images from today.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

New lights!

We had eight sets of fluorescent lights installed in the waiting room and conference room of our recently-vacated office space today.

Those areas were grossly under-illuminated by ceiling mounted can lights and the new fixtures transformed the spaces.

Now it's time to arrange for cleanup, including a good carpet cleaning and paint touch-up before we can seriously start marketing the 3,500 square feet of office space.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

One more way to transmit disease

When I checked in at Clopton Clinic for a routine checkup with my doctor this morning, the receptionist handed me this pager.


It struck me as a silly waste of money and one more way to transmit germs. Who knows what kind of diseased hapless fuck held it before they gave it to me? I think a lot about the HIPAA privacy law is stupid anyway, and this is a really lame way to avoid having the nurse call your same out in the waiting room.

My doc thinks it's stupid, too, and wonders why they can't just give me a number like they do at the license bureau (state revenue office is what they call it in Arkansas). That would assure anonymity and avoid transmitting diseases.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Bad new about a Newsie

Just learned that a former Indianapolis News colleague is in intensive care with congestive heart disease and pneumonia, having to be restrained from pulling out his IV and thinking he is being held captive in a cell at his wife's request and facing possible amputation of a foot.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Our commercial property

The Justice Network, a Memphis-based firm that works with courts to arrange public service jobs for defendants, has been forced out of business here by a combination of malicious pseudo-journalism and short-sighted judges.

The owner of the Justice Network, met me and our Realtor at our downtown commercial property this week to turn over the keys to their suite of offices and to remove their server. We are sad to see him go, but are gratified by his pledge to honor the terms of the lease and continue rent and utilities payments through the end of June. It takes a real stand-up guy to do something like that and he has my eternal gratitude and admiration.

I wouldn't hesitate to trust him with my wallet. Not so much with the newspaper editor who helped chase him out of town on the malicious premises that the Justice Network was somehow taking unfair advantage of the people it served. The two new judges campaigned on this absurd idea and on the promise that the courts could somehow take over the work being done by the Justice Network at a reduced cost to the taxpayers.

The courts looked at this option a few years ago and decided it would be more expensive, but these guys seem to think they are smarter than that. We shall see.

The upshot is that they have fewer sentencing options.

Our Realtor is hard at work looking for a new tenant. The sooner we can install a new tenant, the sooner we can release the previous renter from his financial obligation to us. The building was designed and built as medical practice with about a dozen examination rooms and generous office and storage space.

Happy Birthday, K1200GT

My 2003 K1200GT was born 14 years ago today in the Bayersche Motoren Werke Spandau Plant in Berlin.

It has carried me more than 78,000 miles so far and I look forward to many, many more.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Hoosier stuff

Even if you're a Hoosier, there are almost certainly a few things here you didn't know:

Tomato juice was first served at a French Lick, Indiana, hotel in 1925.

The first tomato juice factory was also in French Lick.

The world's largest orchid species collection is found at Ball State University in Muncie.

The first regulated speed limit (20 - 25 mph!) was initiated on Indiana roads in 1921.

The steepest railroad grade in the world is in Madison.

An average of 400 funnel clouds are sighted each year in Indiana .

The city of Gary was built on fill brought from the bottom of Lake Michigan through suction pipes.

There are only two Adams fireplaces in the United States. One is in the White House and the other in the Diner Home in Indiana

Josie Orr, wife of former Indiana Gov. Robert Orr, flew bombers and cargo planes during World War II.

The Indianapolis Methodist Hospital is the largest Hospital in the Midwest.

One of the first complete bathrooms in Indianapolis was in the home of Hoosier poet, James Whitcomb Riley.

The career of Dorothy Lamour (famous for the Bing Crosby-Bob Hope
Road Movies) was launched in Indianapolis.

Aviatrix Amelia Earhart was once a Professor at Purdue University.

Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis is the largest cemetery in the U.S.

The Allen County Library in Fort Wayne houses one of the largest genealogy libraries in America.

Wabash was the first electrified city in the U.S.

Pendleton was the site of the first hanging of a white man for killing Indians.

The Courthouse roof in Greensburg has a tree growing from it.

The world's first transistor radio was made in Indianapolis.

Clark Gable and wife Carole Lombard (born in Fort Wayne) honeymooned at Lake Barbee near Warsaw , Indiana .

The American Beauty Rose was developed at Richmond.

Elkhart is the band instrument capitol of the World.

Frank Sinatra first sang with the Tommy Dorsey band at the Lyric Theater in Indianapolis .

Purdue Alumnus Earl Butz served as the Secretary of Agriculture.

U.S. 231 is the longest highway in Indiana (231 miles).

Johnny Appleseed is buried at Fort Wayne.

The singing McGuire Sisters spent their childhood summers at the Church of God Campground in Anderson.

The main station of the Underground Railroad was in Fountain County.

There are 154 acres of sculpture gardens and trails at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Nancy Hanks Lincoln is buried in Posey County.

Crawfordsville is the only site in the world where crinoids are found. A crinoid is a form of deep-water marine life that looks something like a starfish.

Pendleton was the site of the 'Fall Creek Massacre.' A museum housing 3,500 artifacts of pioneer heritage now exists on that

St. Meinrad Archabbey in Spencer County is one of only 2 archabbeys in the U.S. and seven in the world. (Abbey Press is an
operation of the archabbey.)

A German V-1 buzz bomb, believed to be the only one on public display in the nation, can be found on the Putnam County Courthouse
lawn in Greencastle.

Roberta Turpin Willett was born in Indiana.

James Dean was born and is buried in Indiana.

The world's tallest woman, Sandy Allen, lived in Indiana .

Red Skelton was born in Vincennes.

Mae West and Claude Akins were from Bedford.

The inventor of the television, Philo T. Farnsworth, lived in Fort Wayne.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Merry Christmas to me

Maria and I are doing our best to save money these days, even to the point of not exchanging Christmas gifts.

We saw to it that our children and grandchildren were taken care of, but austerity prevailed at this Flora house.

But God must have thought one of my wishes should be granted, so he caused Amazon.com to offer me a set of the new Bang & Olufsen H9 wireless headphones on Christmas Day.

Bang & Olufsen announced the latest headphones on Dec. 1 and they went on sale on the 8th for $499.

The Amazon Vine program has given me several B&O audio products in the past couple of years, starting with the H8 wireless headphones in February, 2015. They also offered me the H6 wired headphones and the lightweight Form 2i headphones last August, and an example of the Beoplay S3 wireless speaker.

Also, in March, 2015, they sent me a pair of Parrot ZIK 2.0 headphones to review.

So when I discovered the impending release of the H9 headphones in the early hours of Dec. 1, while sleeplessly surfing the web on my iPhone, I dared to hope the folks at the Vine Program would offer a set to me. And they did. On Christmas morning.

The UPS tracking site says they're on a truck for delivery today.


It snowed about an inch before dawn and caused a flurry of school closings. Those led to other closings that resulted in Maria and Morgan having the day off.

After 9 years in the south, I still find it amusing how ill-prepared these folks are for a little snow - an amount that would go practically unnoticed in Indiana.

Whatever. Jack and Dora don't seem to mind it.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Semper Fi

Eleven years ago today, we splashed a story about Crawfordsville native Phil Ward and his participation in the first flag-raising on Iwo Jima.

I had the amazing honor a couple of days earlier to speak with Raymond Jacobs, a member of the Marine recon patrol that raised the first flag on Iwo Jima.

Everyone has seen Associated Press photographer's iconic photo of the second flag-raising on Iwo. It's possibly the greatest photograph to come out of World War II and was the basis for the sculpture that is the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The first flag-raising involved a smaller flag. Moments after the Marines erected the makeshift flagpole that was actually a water pipe the Japanese defenders had used to supply their fighting positions on the summit of Mt. Suribachi, the Japanese came out of their holes in the volcanic crater and attacked the Marines. They beat the attack back, but Staff Sgt. Lou Lowrey, who photographed the first flag-raising, tumbled down the slope and smashed his camera. Fortunately, the film was saved and we have this photo of the guys, including radioman Jacobs on the far right of this picture.

Jacobs is one of two surviving men from this photo. The other is Charles Lindberg.

Jacobs has an account of the action on another website and I was struck by this passage from it:

Just moments after the flag was raised we heard a roar from down below on the island.
Marines on the ground, still engaged in combat, raised a spontaneous yell when they saw the flag. Screaming and cheering so loud and prolonged that we could hear it quite clearly on top of Suribachi.

The boats on the beach and the ships at sea joined in blowing horns and whistles.

The celebration went on for many minutes. It was a highly emotional, strongly patriotic moment for all of us.

Jacobs was sorry to hear that Ward died a week or so before I called him and he corroborated Ward's account of the incident. I also spoke with other Marine veterans who insisted that the official U.S. Marine version of who was there was flat-out wrong.

The story went viral and was instrumental in the Marines revisiting the history of that day and confirming that Ward was, indeed, one of the first flag-raisers on Iwo.

It was the most gratifying story I ever wrote.

Page designer Karen Taylor outdid herself with the front page layout. Maria got a call from a reader later that day who said she had never seen a Journal Review front page like that.

"There's never been a Journal Review front page like that," Maria replied.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

The laundry claims a victim

The garage door kept opening inexplicably yesterday and had me wondering if our new neighbors were making it happen. It didn't seem logical, since they almost certainly kept the garage door codes that came with the house when they bought it a couple of months ago.

Then, this morning I was taking clothes out of the dryer and found that I had sent my key fob remote garage door opener through the laundry. It is, of course, dead as a doornail.

I have a new one on order from Amazon.com for about $35. I noticed in the product description that the battery can be expected to last about five years, so mine was long overdue to fail.

I bought it to carry on motorcycles so I could easily operate the garage door, coming and going. It also comes in handy when I'm mowing the lawn and don't want to leave the garage door open because of the occasional snake or other varmint.