Friday, August 29, 2014


The Friday before the three-day Labor Day weekend tends to be something less than the most productive day of the Summer.  I really need to get a couple things done to lessen the worry on the trip to Harvest Path.  But ya gotta Live Like You Were Dyin'.  (LLYWD is a new official acronym for the blog.)

I was reminded this week of a small reality of our life on the farm in the old house.  We never had potable (drinkable) water in that house.  The running water was from a cistern near the house that was filled by either runoff water from the house, ground seepage or trucked-in water from a hauling service.  (Keeping in mind that a cistern is distinguished from a well that taps into groundwater or the aquifer.)

For all of our years in the old house (that I can remember), for drinking and cooking purposes, we had a 10-gallon milk can that we filled at the gas station in town 2-3 times a week.  There was a 2-3 gallon metal water bucket on the sink in the kitchen that was refilled as needed that had a community dipper for every one's use!  (That was obviously before my germaphobe stage!)  I don't think that is was until the "new" house was built in the mid '70's that there was drinkable water from a faucet on the farm.

(Speaking of water,  another example of our "country" living on the farm was the absence of hot water from the tap in the house.  We actually had hot water in the barn several years before a hot water heater was acquired for the house.  The milk inspectors required hot water for washing and rinsing the milking machines, so Daddy got a water heater for the barn to comply with Grade A milk rules.  It must have been an electric heater because I can't remember an LP gas tank near the barn.)

So we have football season off and running.  Even our local high school teams began play last night.  I struggle with mustering much enthusiasm for it.  (Yes, I am going to Iowa City to see the Hawkeyes tomorrow, but that is happening mostly because of the invitation from my pal Dr. Doug.)  Between the colleges playing games on Thursday nights as well as Friday and Saturday, and the NFL playing Sunday, Monday and now Thursday, there's way too many games for a person to track.  I now recognize the names of fewer and fewer players, I can't keep conference members straight, and which TV channel is broadcasting which game is a mystery.  Classic country radio on DirecTV channel 808 is my go-to option.  Bring on the crossword!

Just putting out here some of the older pics on my computer for a not-so-far-back TBF.

Hope it is a good weekend for all in the Peanut Gallery.

Maybe some from the road in Minny.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014


The new Home Page pic was taken with the Canon mini-digi through the window in the hotel room that 1 and 1.1 had in downtown SF for the marathon.  Un-altered except for some sizing-down.  Almost a post-card.

I'm giving 1.01 and 1.02 the honor of Grandkids of the Day for their Ice Bucket Challenge video last night.  This shot was taken at Fisherman's Wharf on the day before the marathon.  You guys are Stars!!

My pal Pete and I have met on the deck at Gov's a couple of times recently after he has gone out and done some evening hill work by Scott Community College.  I've taken to ordering Coors Light drafts after the waitress brought drafts rather than bottles that first night.  Pretty hard to beat an ice-cold beer on a warm Summer night.  Even for an emerging wine aficionado.

A check of the calendars in the basement reveals that today is the anniversary of the break-in at 2's that directly lead to The Winniferous coming into her life...and mine.  A spiritual person might suggest that things happen for a reason.  I'm not quite there with this set of facts, but I am glad that W found a home on Highland Avenue.

I still have an entry to do on Aunt Martha.  It will get done, sooner rather than later.  In the meantime, I will note that I made an effort last weekend to conform to one of her life-skills recommendations by "getting rid of some stuff".  I think GROSS is a worthy and fitting acronym.  I didn't make it a big deal, but I filled a large Kohl's bag with infrequently used clothes and shoes for the psych unit at the local hospital.  (Apparently they have a need for adult male clothing...but no belts!)  As Aunt Martha aged, she was always a distributor, not a collector.  Not a bad habit, I'd say.

All for today.  I'm going to try to do the early ride tomorrow.  I have this internal debate going on about when I call it a season for the bike.  Riding in the dark isn't much fun, but if you don't get it done in the morning, it doesn't get done. And I really hate blanks on the calendar.

Make it a good Hump Day!  (TGIF for 4!)


Sunday, August 24, 2014


This weekend certainly got away from me. 

Friday was a bit of a lost day as I had a case of, not bad shrimp, but bad clam chowder.  We had a Boy's Club luncheon at Crow Valley on Friday and I ordered a bowl of their "famous" clam chowder...which had been a fav of mine forever.  Not really sure what was in this batch of the soup, but I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening wishing I had gone for the chicken noodle option instead.

Saturday was mostly a work day, sandwiched around two-a-days on the bike (getting in 30 miles for the day).  The MCSC was open Saturday night with BBQ chops, wine and good friends.  Really a perfect night on the driveway as the heat hadn't quite come in yet.

The DeWitt ride this AM with my pal Pete was a textbook entry.  Not bad wind, good breakfast at The Sunshine Cafe, and a great draft for LtPC to make the return route pretty easy.  Thanks, friend.  And while it was just plain hot on the course this afternoon with Ron, enough good things happened to nominalize my betting losses to $4.

I'll take advice from any of the Peanut Gallery who know the secret to limit the annoying Twitter entries that now come up whenever I open the app on my iPhone.  Ever since I did the software upgrade last week to fix the "do not disturb" problem on the phone, Twitter now sends me one of the random feeds that one of the seven people I "follow" on Twitter follows on their Twitter account.  With daughters who follow various social media hot spots, or news outlets, I'm getting dinged by 'em all.  Suite.

So I have this other problem at work with the speed (actually, lack of speed) of our Internet connection.  It came to the forefront for me last week when I was stymied on two separate occasions from participating in a webinar for my securities business.  There's some new software from one of my vendors, and they wanted to do a demo for me to get the program up and running.  The training session was designed for a Go To Meeting platform.  To try and load the connection on my desktop was the equivalent of a dial-up connection.  All that was missing was that screeching noise in the background.

Our out-source IT people came in the next day at my insistence and de-bugged, cleaned, and otherwise checked out my computer for slow moving innards.  The conclusion:  not their area.  The computer is fine.  You have an Internet problem.  Thanks for the advice.

In the "What is the Meaning of Life" area, I've spent some time this weekend trying to evaluate the meaning of my mind needing 3-5 hours to figure out the "trick" in Thursday NYT crosswords.  I absolutely plateau-out with Thursday puzzles.  Mostly.  I will usually solve them eventually, but it ain't easy.  And the "trick", in retrospect, isn't always that tricky.  But I have to surround the trick boxes several times before the hidden mind twister comes to the surface.

Then I have days like this weekend where I get all of a Friday puzzle done with less angst than the Thursday puzzle.  Crazy.
The three-week Tour of Spain is underway.   Last year's winner, Chris Horner from the USA, was pulled from the start-list the night before it kicked off due to a drug reading in his system.  Like that won't call his previous results into question.  Actually, his readings are below the legal limit, and the cortisone that he was taking for bronchitis was approved by the cycling federation.  But his team, and several others, impose a higher standard...which he couldn't make.  Too bad.

That's it for this evening.  Hope everyone has a good week.  I'll try to be more regular here.  As though I haven't said that before.


Friday, August 22, 2014


I'm making 2 Daughter of the Day.  She has officially transferred her residence to Iowa City.  Yesterday was moving day.


Here she was on Monday packing up on Highland Avenue in Davenport.


This is the new place in Iowa City.  Blogger is messing with me and I can't get rid of the underlining.  And I can't move the pics.

So I just wanted to get these up to recognize 2.  She did a great job in engineering the selling of her QC place and then in acquiring the IC home.

Your did great, Kiddo.

More later.


Monday, August 18, 2014


Its Tourmalet Day on the blog.  Three years ago today, 4 and I did the iconic climb in the Pyrenees.

It is also Moving Day on Highland Avenue.  Good luck, Kiddo!
And a tip 'o the hat to 3.  She was in airline torture until Oh-Dark-Hundred this AM getting to a meeting in San Antonio.
More here later.  Monday's are never easy.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Started this yesterday afternoon, but couldn't get it done...

Just a little checking-in for a Friday afternoon.  I'm pretty sure that this has been the least productive day I have had since the return from Tahoe.
My latest experience with the iPhone has been a discussion with a Verizon tech support person who walked me through some paces to discover a "Do Not Disturb" function that had been activated.  Hmmm.  I suppose that one of the drops could have jarred the system.  And she also advised to install the latest update which I had been avoiding.  OK.  So we'll see if the fix actually works.  Missing incoming calls had become aggravating.  (It seems to have been the fix.)

ND made some headlines today for another academic fraud situation involving at least four football players.  I have no sympathy for these idiots.  How difficult can it be?  Is the culture on college campuses so twisted that athletes think they are immune to simple rules?  My 25-year streak of not attending an Irish game is safe.

Now Saturday afternoon...

I restocked the MCSC wine stores last night with a case from the 53rd Street Hy Vee.  I elected to go with a modest-priced selection...and the first couple of bottles were very so-so.  The first was a Spanish Rioja that I chose with an eye to some reasonable experiences that 4 and I had in Vitoria-Gastiez.  After one glass, I elected to send the remainder home with 2 who had stopped in for a Friday evening libation.  The second bottle was a Napa Cabernet (2010) that must have not sold elsewhere.  Meh.
My new wine inventory plan is to make it over to the local Total Wine store when I visit Harvest Path in two weeks.  They will definitely have more wine to choose from...and likely more from the older vintages.  Lots of 2012 on the shelves at Hy Vee these days.  And the same old names.  I got spoiled in SF and Tahoe.

Its been the Iowa State Fair this week in Des Moines.  Can't say that  they have anything to offer that would get me to attend.  The Buttered Cow?  Not so much.  Some political debates?  Right.  Florida Georgia Line on the grandstand?  Sure.  But I am absolutely ok with it being one of the annual big events for Iowans.  Lots of 4-H kids, FFA members and families see the fair as the feature time of the Summer.  We're a farm state.  Let the fair be the fair.

The Ice Bucket Challenge has to be on its last legs.  I hope all of the people who have made it a bigger deal than maybe it should be, write the check.  I did.
The 24 team continues to bring a fast car to the track.  A faulty battery took them out of the race last week, but he's on the pole for tomorrow's race at Michigan.  Different paint-scheme this week.  One of the sponsor's subsidiaries that makes automotive finishes.  Not a fav look.  (Jeff is the poster-boy on the August page of my current basement bathroom NASCAR calendar.  It notes that his birthday is August 4th.  I was disturbed to learn through MSM coverage of the White House last week that the POTHUS shares the same birth date.)

Party tonight at my pal Ron's house.

Hope it is a good weekend in your neighborhood.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014


The new Home Page pic was taken from the tower of the deYoung Museum of Fine Arts in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park on July 26th with the Canon mini-digi.  (This is an aerial shot of the museum that I pulled from the Internet.)  2 and I had taken the long way home back to Aunt Margaret's after the morning on Fisherman's Wharf with the Dornies and @srh4.  The building across the way in my pic is a science academy of some sort.  The area was pretty busy during our visit.  The art was, meh.

My iPhone has been on the fritz.  (Again, my apologies to the racist use of the term fritz.)  I'm guessing that the problem is the result of user abuse, mainly my fumblitis which has had the phone hitting the deck a few times in recent weeks.  Alert sounds don't sound unless I'm in that application at the time.  Which mean I miss all incoming calls.  No alerts for texts or incoming email.  I'm guessing that the fix will cost some dinero.  Shock.

I'm giving 4 the nod of Daughter of the Day in recognition of her being a member of the crowd today celebrating Left Hander's Day.  I'm not sure where I was on the Net today that brought this to my attention.  Every day is National Something Day.  Do they have one for Old Anglo-Saxon Christian Conservative Guys?

Banking 101.  Wells Fargo finally got wise and has started charging me for blank checks.  In the past, I always was able to have the basic, no frills checks for free (which I could order from the online WF site).  Being down to my last book of checks after vacation, I looked to repeat the ordering process that I had followed previously.  This time, there was no ordering capability on the Services menu, except to go to a different site.  Which was a supplier site...that had standard fees for the printing of new checks.  Not very surprising.

Banking 102.  I have set up my Medicare premiums for online banking.  After the first few months were sorted out with multiple-months billed together, June had been a single month's fee which I paid with a standard mail-in check.  For July, I used the online service, directing WF to send the payment...which they did...and Medicare cashed.  For August, the billing included the regular amount due...AND a request for the July payment that they said was past due.  Hmmm.

I sent in a paper check for the regular amount...and also sent along a copy of the online check paid by WF in July.  I'm really curious on how this will flush out.  And am equally curious as to why the WF payment didn't register (given that my ID number was clearly shown on the check).  I love the bureaucracy.

(I had to "publish" this entry before I was quite done.  We've been having serious Internet issues here this week that has the connection being lost mid-function and then having to start completely over with the task.  Annoying inadequately describes the problem.)

This business with the ice-bucket dumping has been the rage this week.  CNBC got in the act yesterday, and literally everybody who has been challenged has met the dare...and most have also contributed to the cause.  I'm okay with this.  It is a little like the Coaches for Cancer day/week when all the basketball coaches wear tennis/running shoes at games regardless of their suit/attire.  And much better than the teams wearing pink in October that has gotten way out of hand.

OK.  Now all for today.  Thanks for reading.