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.