Friday, December 14, 2018

Afflicting the wrong people?

I've been a working journalist off and on since the autumn of 1966 and always strove to be objective and free of bias.

I took pride in the notion that our job is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.

But I heard that credo picked apart on the radio this afternoon and came to the disturbing realization that it implies a bias to always champion the underdog. It suggests that the underdog is always right and the successful/comfortable are always wrong. The more you think about it, the more glaringly liberal and intentionally subversive it becomes.

What if the little guy is a fledgling Hitler or Stalin or Mao? Are they automatically entitled to better treatment in the press than the Pope or a Franklin Roosevelt or a Harry Truman? Does success always equate to corruption? I think not.

The more I chew on it, the clearer it becomes to me that a lot of us have mistakenly believed our job is to disrupt the social order just for the sake of doing it.

How depressing.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Still at it


I just did a mental inventory of my contemporaries from the old Indianapolis News and came to the conclusion that I am the only one still writing for a newspaper on a regular basis.

It certainly wasn't by design. When I took early retirement from The Indianapolis Star in October of 2000, I figured I was done with newspapers.

But then I married a newspaperwoman 19 years my junior who dragged me out of retirement to write and shoot photos for the Crawfordsville Journal Review, the Jonesboro (Ark.) Sun and more recently the Lebanon Reporter.

I can't complain because I've been able to play newspaper and see my byline in print on a regular basis, but pretty much on my own terms.

Who knew that the callow youth shown here around 1967 would still be an active journalist 51 years later?

Here's my Thorntown Community Christmas Party package on the front page of today's Reporter.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Finally being occupied after 16 months


Sixteen months after we closed on our former home in Arkansas, it appears the buyers are finally moving in.

Former neighbors reported the new owners did some remodeling, including extending the master bedroom and bath about 10 feet into the back yard.

I was beginning to think they never planned to live in it, but just wanted to flip it.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

My day


I wrote three stories yesterday - two that made it onto the front page of today's paper and the other destined for tomorrow or beyond - so I decided to devote today to loose ends around the house.

One of the loose ends involved driving into Lebanon to buy an air filter at Menards for the Honeywell air purifier I got from the Vine Program a few months ago.

I stopped at the bank and the post office and about 3 miles east of town I was startled to see the sun roof on my Lexus opening. I struggled with the controls and found that I could get it closed, but only temporarily.
It kept re-opening at random intervals - not a good thing when it could snow or rain at any moment. I called Tom Wood Lexus in Carmel and they said they would be waiting for me.

I got there at 1:10 p.m. and was greeted and seated in the comfortable waiting room. I told service writer Brett Sullivan about my problem and also asked if it would be possible to replace the 2 burned out high beam headlight bulbs.

Two hours later, I was on my way home. They fed me coffee and a free turkey and cheese sandwich from their snack bar, and charged me $104.01 for bulbs and labor, but nothing for reprogramming the computer.

Considering that I didn't have an appointment, I am absolutely gob smacked at how well I was treated. I think I'll be back.

But I never did get to Menards.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Medicare Advantage coverage

I've been living without any enhancement to my basic Medicare insurance for the past eight years or so.

We've managed without too much financial stress until this year when I got hit with incidental surgery center expenses from the previous year's cataract lens replacement and an insanely expensive trip to the ER and an overnight hospital stay when we mistook faintness from dehydration for a heart attack.

Also, I've become keenly aware that I'm losing strength due to lack of exercise and, yes I admit it, aging. I want to join the local YMCA to exercise and regain strength and fitness, but the cost is more than I want to take on. They do, however, give free memberships to folks whose insurance includes the Silver Sneakers fitness coverage.

So, mindful that the enrollment period for Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage insurance is looming - Dec. 7 - I've been under self-inflicted pressure to sign up for whatever reasonably inexpensive program will get me Silver Sneakers coverage.

I called the county senior services office yesterday to see if they could help me choose a plan, but they're booked solid through the deadline date.

"How hard can this be?" I asked myself. Surely there's help online.

Yes, there is, and it led me to sign up for Humana Gold HMO Medicare Advantage coverage with will actually save me money because it will cover my medications that I've been paying $29 a month to cover with Cigna. And I get dental and optical insurance included. All at no cost. How they make money doing this is puzzling, but it gets me to the gym for free, so what the hell?

I must have been really worried about this because I have an immense feeling of relief at having dealt with it.

Look for me at the Y after Jan. 1.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Musta shrunk


Unpacking boxes from our move back to Indiana the other day, I found my old Delphi High School letter jacket.

And I got a rude surprise when I put it on. Once I threaded my arms through the tattered taffeta sleeve lining, I was shocked to see just how much it has shrunk in the 55 years since it was my go-to winter jacket.

So much for fantasies about wearing it to my 60th anniversary reunion in five years.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Hey! My brother-in-law is an author!


My brother-in-law Kerstan Bayless just published his first book. It's available on Amazon.com in paperback, but not Kindle. I ordered a copy yesterday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Mom's pumpkin pie!


My mother made the best pumpkin pie I ever tasted.

It was mellow, flavorful and not overly nutmeggy as lots of pumpkin pies turn out.

Happily, she left us the recipe and Maria has been able to replicate it perfectly on several occasions.

So here, as a Thanksgiving gift to everyone who checks in here from time to time, is Mom’s pumpkin pie recipe.

Enjoy!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Easiest crash ever


My computer crashed Friday, happily after I filed my last story of the week.

I noticed that it wasn't recognizing a USB thumb drive when I plugged it in, so I did a restart and ended up with this screen. I've seen it a couple of times before and it always recovered and launched Windows eventually.

Not this time. I let it go overnight and called Dell customer support on Saturday morning. I spent a couple of hours on the phone with a techie, trying various solutions and getting nowhere. He finally admitted defeat, declared my computer probably dead and said my best option was to let him send me packing materials and ship my computer to their repair facility in Texas where there was a high probability that they would wipe the 1TB hard drive.

That was somewhat distressing, but I realized I had backed up most of my photos to the Western Digital 2TB Cloud Drive I got earlier this year from the Amazon Vine Program.

I had never paid any attention to the Microsoft OneDrive until yesterday afternoon when I found that pretty much all of my photos and all of my documents were backed up there, meaning the only thing I could lose would be some programs (or apps, as we're supposed to call them now).

I moved over to Maria's desktop and created an identity for myself there this morning and installed Google Chrome. I was delighted to see all of my personalized Chrome features and bookmarks carried over as well, so it's almost like having my old computer again. We bought both desktop computers at the same time in September, 2017.

My biggest challenge at the moment is tracking down the installation CD for my most recent version of Photoshop so I can continue shooting and editing photos in Nikon RAW format.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Zooming


My son Steve gave me this H1 Zoom stereo digital recorder for Christmas several years ago.

I wanted it to record live music, but have yet to use it for that purpose. Instead, I use it to record interviews and other news events, which spares me the hassle of taking notes and then trying to decipher those notes. It pairs nicely with my Bang & Olufsen H6 (second version) corded headphones. Transcribing is a breeze with my Logitech mechanical keyboard.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Scanning, scanning, scanning...


I'm evaluating the Epson FastFoto speed scanner for the Amazon Vine Program.

It took me a little more than an hour to set it up, mostly struggling with establishing a Wifi connection.

You feed it your snapshots, 40 or more in a batch, and it scans them at 300 dpi with blazing speed. I timed it at one point yesterday and it scanned 53 pictures in 30 seconds. In all, I scanned more than 2,000 photos in an afternoon. And they look pretty good. Certainly good enough for online use.

It's not cheap - lists for $599, sells for $529 on Amazon - but it's a great tool if you want to digitize a lot of photos quickly.

Saturday, November 03, 2018


I received a medical/honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force 53 years ago today. Here I am with Flight 1499 of the 3703rd Basic Military Training Squadron at Lackland AFB a couple of weeks earlier. My career in the Air Force ended after 41 days with a medical discharge for allergies. But let the record show that I volunteered and was ready to serve.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Early voter

I made my contribution to what I hope will be a Red Tsunami yesterday.

I was in the Boone County Courthouse scrutinizing candidate finance reports and figured I might as well go down to the first floor and vote. Naturally, I voted straight ticket Republican.

This is the first time I've ever taken advantage of the new early voting opportunity. I think I'll miss going to the Thorntown Public Library to vote on election day.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Adios, treadmill


I just bade farewell to the treadmill we bought about 10 years ago in Arkansas.

It's been in one of our storage bins for about 18 months and there never was a hope of getting it through the narrow doorways of our Indiana house and we had no place to put it if we could get it into the house. So I advertised it in three or four Facebook yardsale sites and finally got it sold.

Naturally, the buyer showed up after a sunny day turned into spitting rain and blustery wind with a wind chill factor of 45 degrees. We brought it to my house to hook it up to AC power for a successful test, shrouded it in plastic sheeting and sent it off to Frankfort.

Now I really need to get off of my ass and do some serious walking.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Assignment: Anxiety



I am a very shy person when it comes to approaching strangers for a photo or a quote.
So you can imagine the anxiety I felt this week when I was assigned to roam Zionsville's Main Street and buttonhole strangers to ask them about their family's Christmas traditions and photograph them.
Knowing that a lot of people come from broken or dysfunctional families, I decided to add a second question about their all-time favorite Christmas present.
These seven people (and an eighth - a woman I forgot to photograph - graciously agreed to play along, easing my fear of rejection.
Thank God for that and thank God it's over.
They all gave me great smiles, too.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

October 1966


It was about this time in 1966 when I shot this photo at the Hobbs rest park along Ind. 28 about halfway between Tipton and Elwood.

I had just started my first newspaper job at the Tipton Tribune and was about to embark on a cold snowy winter in a rented mobile home that had no skirt to keep the wind from turning the floor to ice.

If I had only known then what I know now... But then we all say that, don't we?

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Hostage situation

I have phone calls out on four different stories for the Reporter and nobody is calling me back.
So I am held hostage.
This is what I hated when I did this for a living.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Third satellite dish headed for the ground


The roofing crew working next door removed the last of the three unsightly satellite TV receivers today and cast it to the ground.

Now we have the only ugly Dish TV satellite receiver in the neighborhood, installed at the direction of the savages who rented our home for nine years during our Arkansas exile.

We had satellite TV for a year when we first lived her in the early 2000s, but canceled it when the 12-month trial period ran out and the rates went up. We hated it because the signal crapped out whenever the weather got nasty, which, of course, is when you want access to local stations to warn you of tornados. Dish wanted their control box back, but not the dish hanging on the south side of the house. That went out with the trash and as soon as I can get a ladder with enough reach, that's the fate of the one left by the renters.

I know the neighbors who just sold the house getting re-roofed didn't use the satellite dishes because the man of the house is the one who turned me onto Metronet and its fiber optic internet and TV. Maybe they used one of the dishes before Metronet came to town...

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Roofers next door


The house next door, which recently sold, is getting a new roof.

I suspect the buyer's inspector noticed the hail damage from as long ago as 2006 - the year we got our roof replaced for hail damage - and made a new roof part of the deal.

I told the neighbor at the time that he should turn in an insurance claim for hail damage, but he never did and apparently neither did the folks who bought the place from him and lived there for seven years.

The most recent occupants moved out last weekend and we miss them already. Great people and excellent neighbors. We hope we can get lucky again with the new family.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

So much for retirement


Who knew when I took early retirement from The Indianapolis Star 18 years ago today that I'd be a regular on the front page of The Lebanon Reporter?

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Owning the front page


Once again, I own the front page of today's Lebanon Reporter.

So much for being retired.

Actually, it feels good to be busy again and to see my name in print once more.

Maria is short-handed this week, so it's up to me to step up with stories and photos.

On another topic, Duke Energy, the entity that supplies Thorntown Utilities with electricity, put the word out a few days ago that they would cut our power for about two hours starting at midnight last night to make repairs to the grid.

I took them at their word and made sure my desktop computer was shut down in time for the blackout. And promptly at midnight, the power went off. I didn't note the time when I heard the air purifier turn back on, but checking the blinking clocks on the range and microwave this morning I deduced that the power was off for an hour and 41 minutes.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Now I get it

I've been puzzled for years by the term "cafe racer" when applied to a certain style of motorcycle.
It was the word "cafe" that had me confused. Why would someone want to race from or to a coffee shop.
Then I watched a documentary on the history of motorcycling in England and now it's clear.
In the 1950s, a new generation of British motorcyclists developed a culture around racing on the highways from one cafe (what we would call truck stop) to another. They weren't cafes as we Americans understand the term.
Aha! Now I get it.

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!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Pressure washing


My original plan today was to pull both bikes out of the shed so I could get the mower out. The grass inside the fence, i.e. dog country, needs a mow.

But the K1200GT's battery was too low to start. Happily, the K75S fired right up, so I backed it out of the shed, realizing this made it possible to access the pressure washer that was in the back corner of the shed.

Hayden and the neighbor kids marked up the sidewalk yesterday, so I figured it should be easy work to blast it clean.

I was gratified when the little Honda pressure washer engine fired on the third pull - the first time it's run in more than a year.

After cleaning the walks and also some chalk artistry on the front porch, I dragged the stuff to the back and attacked what is left of the deck. The areas furthest from the house have suffered the most from 10 years of weathering and hot sun. Several boards need to be replaced, but I wanted to see how much pressure washing would improve the overall appearance. Turns out, it makes a rather substantial improvement.

I flirted with heat stroke and dehydration before I came in and got rested and hydrated. Later, when about half of the east-facing deck was in shade, I hit it again. Again, gratifying results.

Having my own pressure washer is kinda cool. Maybe when we get the rotten boards replaced, I can put some kind of weather seal on the deck and coax a few more years out of it.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Pulling staples, pulling the cork


When we returned to our 1903 vintage house a year ago, we were horrified by what the renters had done to it.

I won't recite the whole list, but one of the more egregious insults to the house was their letting their dogs use the upstairs carpet for a toilet. Days after we moved back in, we ripped out the reeking carpet and dragged it out to the curb for the trash collection. Shortly after, Maria, her daughter and soon-to-be son-in-law realized their legs were covered with flea bites from working with the carpet. So we called in an exterminator to deal with the fleas.

The master bedroom was still unusable because of hundreds, maybe thousands, of staples left from the carpet. We left them there while we did other projects, but the time has come to free the hardwood floor from its burden of staples. Once that is done, we can move our bed upstairs, which will free up the dining room for dining room stuff and open up the living room. This will make it possible to consolidate our stored furniture and belongings into one storage unit instead of the two we've been renting for a year.

The stapes, then, are the cork in the bottle of progress.

I'm waiting for a call-back about a newspaper story I'm working on this afternoon, so I busied myself with pulling staples. I didn't count them but they represented a line across the center of the bedroom, length-wise. There is still much pulling to do, but it feels good to make a dent in the problem.

I gave up trying to work on all fours because it amounted to doing a prolonged one-arm push-up. So I got out my automotive creeper stool, used it to support my upper body and used a small flashlight to illuminate the staples from the side while I pried and yanked them out with a small screwdriver and needle-nose pliers. I'm surprised at how fast I can creep across the floor.

As I work, I can tell where the renters' dogs peed because the staples are rusted in those spots. Ack!

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

New gas bill

I remembered how costly it was to heat this 1903 Victorian barn of a house when we lived here 11 years ago, so I made a point of putting us on the gas company's budget plan.
That way we could spread the cost out over a whole year and avoid the ruinous winter gas bills.
Based on the previous year's consumption, the gas company fixed our monthly bill at $190.
So, imagine my surprise yesterday when I opened the gas bill and discovered it was for $85.10!
I guessed this would be a one-time adjustment and next month's bill would be maybe a tick lower.
No, this is the rate for the next 12 months!
Holy crap! That amounts to an annual savings of $1,270.80.
I can only suppose that replacing all of the windows last November is what made the difference. They're going to pay for themselves faster than I ever imagined.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Hard to put on, maybe hard to get off


I'm testing a pair of Adidas Men's Adizero Ubersonic 2 Tennis Shoes this week for the Amazon Vine Program.

When I first tried to put them on yesterday morning, I was wearing heavy socks and I finally gave up after several minutes of fruitless struggle. The reason is the ridiculously small opening and the absence of a heel loop to facilitate entry. If you look carefully at this photo with the Adidas on the left and my comfortable old Nike on the right, the difference is readily apparent. The absence of a tongue also hampers entry.

After reading what other reviewers wrote, I only found a couple who complained about this so I decided to try again this morning, with lighter weight socks. I finally succeeded with the aid of a clothes brush/long shoe horn I inherited from my dad. Once on, they feel fine on my size 11 feet.

Now to put a few miles on them.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Oooops


I wonder how many other members of the BMW Riders Association noticed the stray type fragment on the cover of the July-August issue of the club magazine, OTL.

Friday, July 27, 2018

The way it was in 1968


This is how newspaper writing was done 50 years ago.

This is me in The Indianapolis News City Room, hammering out a story on my Royal typewriter while smoking a cheap cigar. Notice the Indianapolis phone book. When was the last time you used a phone book?

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

More work for the mechanics


This is one of the rare occasions when I'm on a motorcycle without a helmet.

In this case, I'm just putting my K1200GT into the storage shed and passed in front of the all-seeing eye of the trailcam.

I've spent every morning this week dealing with automobile maintenance. On Monday, I took the Subaru in to see why it was making a disturbing noise that began in April when I had a right front brake caliper replaced. It had gotten so bad that I forbade Maria to drive it to work and it sat parked for about three months before I had time to get it looked at. Turns out it was a defective caliper and was replaced at no charge under warranty.

Tuesday morning's work was an oil change and lube on the Lexus.

When Maria went to drive the Subaru to work this morning, the battery was dead. Probably a result of sitting for three months, even though it did start for me on Monday morning. We jump started it from the Lexus and I drove it to the auto repair place and left it for battery testing and possible replacement, along with an oil change and lube.

Keeping our vehicles in good operating condition is turning out to be a fulltime job.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Family portrait


I celebrated my 73rd birthday today with a nostalgic trip to Delphi, Ind., my hometown.

Naturally, I had to drop in on my parents.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Dodged a bullet on mower repair


Maria and I loaded the John Deere LA125 lawn tractor onto our trailer and hauled it down to the Renolds Equipment John Deere dealership in Lebanon on Saturday morning, fearing the worst.

They called Tuesday and reported the starting problem was just a horribly corroded battery cable. I asked them to replace it and give me an oil change and lube.

I drove down this afternoon and collected my mower for a paltry $164 and change - something just short of a miracle! And I saved more than $120 by using my own trailer instead of their pick up and delivery service.

That trailer turned out to be a smart purchase.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Jack thought he had been insulted


I'm evaluating this dog bowl for the Amazon Vine Program. It's designed to make a dog eat more slowly and the little projections are supposed to clean the dog's teeth.

Jack is the oldest and probably the most in need of a teeth cleaning, so I'm trying it out on him.

His first impression? He looked at us with a mix of disbelief and insult. How could we play such a mean-spirited trick on him?

I fully expected him to overturn the bowl to get at the contents, but after a time he started nibbling away at his IAMS kibble and after a few hours of off-and-on eating, had consumed it all.

That was yesterday. He seemed reconciled to the bowl this morning and immediately set to eating when I brought him and Dora in for breakfast.

I'll keep an eye on his teeth to see if there is any improvement, since he's overdue for a cleaning.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Panera men's room, Tippecanoe Mall in Lafayette, Ind.


So what do we do with the poop?

Feels like temperature vs heat index


I noticed the other day that my home weather station reports the "feels like" temperature and the heat index and the numbers are usually different.
A lot of TV weather people seem to have quit reporting the heat index and give the feels like temperature instead.
So what's the difference?
The heat index is calculated using the actual temperature and the humidity.
The feels like temperature adds wind velocity to the equation.
So now you know.

Monday, June 25, 2018

A chest pain-inducing bill


I got the bill for my 12-hour hospital stay last month when I thought I might be having a cardiac event. Turned out it was dehydration.

I shudder to think what it would have cost if I'd opted for an ambulance ride.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Happy 103rd birthday, Mom


My mother would have been 103 years old today. She made it to 85.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Battery wars


I bought this battery from Batteries Plus Bulbs in Lafayette eight or nine days ago.

I installed it in our John Deere LA125 and the engine started right up. But when I tried to start it a few days later, it appeared the battery was dead.

I put it on the charger for several hours yesterday. When I turned the key, the headlights came on, but when I tried to start it, the starter made a little err noise and then went dead.

I called the Lebanon John Deer dealership and the service manager said it sounds like I got a bad battery. He invited me to bring it in for testing, so that's where I'm going this morning. I also have the battery receipt in case my next step is to return it.

++++++++

Battery tested OK. Gotta take the mower in and it's going to be expensive.