Thursday, October 30, 2008

For Neighbor Tim: The Exorcist Spiderwalk

This scene was not in the movie, as it was deemed a bit too scary. But it was in the book, and, supposedly, true. This is for neighbor Tim who has never seen the movie and probably never will. Happy Halloween

Peter and Sydney Getting Ready For Halloween

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

For Halloween, Timeless Gargoyles

Pena National Palace, Sintra Portugal

Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia

Neues Rathaus Building, Munich Germany

Unknown Building, New Orleans

Notre Dame, Paris France

Chrysler Building, New York

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Senseless Ramblings...

1. Remember: when other Dick Blick packers whisper about some idiot who didn't pack a box correctly, and you look around but see no other idiot, the idiot is you.

2. Tim McCarver grates on my last nerve. Of course I wouldn't be down to my last nerve if it wasn't for Ron Santo.

3. Baby is in storage in Burgess, and Brendan, I have your car. I will try to get it cleaned up for you if we get some warmer weather.

4. Speaking of weather, I drove through a squall of flurries on the way home tonight from work. It was fairly dark and those flakes, those flakes! were coming at me. Those flakes are here again!!

5. Last night was supposed to be the coldest night since April 9 - some 7 months ago.

6. Political question (SKIP IF YOU CAN'T OR DON'T WANT TO BE EXPOSED TO IT). Without getting into a debate, and not wanting to offend anyone, but just when did the word "liberal" equate to scum? Sorry, but I don't get it. This nation has a long distinguished history of conservative and liberal rule. Folks, that's the checks and balance that the writers of the Constitution purposely put in play. So, why is a liberal so defiled and hated by the conservatives. We both need each other to exist, we should celebrate each side as two parts of a Whole. So why do the Conservatives hate Liberals?

"…if by a liberal they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes that we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a liberal, then I’m proud to say that I’m a liberal."
John F. Kennedy September 14, 1960 speaking before the New York State Liberal Party

Sounds nice, huh? Nowadays I'm surprised Hannity and Colmes haven't agreed to a duel to the death on the banks of the Waxahachie River. Oh, well, just wondering.

Some of the accomplishments of liberalism:

A 40 hour work week
A minimum wage
Social Security
Safe food
Safe products
Civil rights for all
A balanced Federal budget
Regulation of financial markets
Clean air and water
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
The G.I. Bill Of Rights
Overtime pay
Child labor laws
Workers’ compensation
Unemployment insurance
Securities & Exchange Commission
Peace Corps
A woman’s right to vote
Student grant and loan programs
Employer paid medical insurance
Employer paid vacations
Employer funded pension plans
Americans With Disabilities Act
Open public national parks

Why the hate? just wondering.

7. My fantasy football teams both won this week. Not decimating, dominating victories, but wins, nonetheless, and I remain first in one and 3rd in the second.

8. By the way, I have voted Republican and Democrat in my time. Different times call for different platforms. I actually got excited and involved in a political campaign once, a long time ago. Shook hands with the candidate and, lying, told him Illinois was firmly in his corner. Barely able to vote myself I was enthralled with Mo Udall, a one-eyed Arizona Senator who ran for the presidency in the '70's. he may have also later been Secretary of the Interior, but not sure.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hunger Strike Is Over

I moved Missy's food/water bowls on Saturday in some rearranging of the kitchen. I moved it from the waste basket area on the left to the laundry room that is no more than a longish 3 feet. She proceeded to let me know what she thought of the move by going on a hunger strike and not eating or drinking for 2 1/2 days.
The food has been in the bowl and when i got home tonight the food was gone. The hunger strike is over and hopefully so is her snit. As a reward for her compliance I gave her some more food which she hungrily accepted, as evidenced by the picture. Lord, children can be so fussy.

For the Dog Lovers

This is a video taken by the wife of a soldier coming home after 14 months. Look how fast that one dog's tail wags. As the guy said, I wish we were the people our dogs think we are.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Quick Trip To Tanner's Orchard

This morning Pat and Becky and I went to Tanner's Orchard. Ever since our old car club tour last weekend didn't stop, I've had a craving for cider doughnuts. I asked my Breakfast Club members if they'd like to go and, like the loyal troopers they are, were only too happy to oblige. Besides the doughnuts I also got pumpkin cake, a Dutch Apple pie, onion mustard, apple butter and some cider. I'm all set now. We also went early to avoid the rush. Oh, and I also got something for Kenzie, but don't know yet how I will get it to her (you).

Friday, October 24, 2008

Old Dogs Are Better

Nice article I found in the Washington Post. Now that Missy is getting up there I appreciate this even more. Hope you enjoy it; it's writing and observation at its best.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rays A Lot Like '69 Mets

The World Series starts tonight and I can't resist thinking the Rays are an awful lot like the 1969 Mets. The Mets at that time were known for futility and had only been around for 7 years. The Rays have been perennial last place losers for the last 10 years. I can't help but root for them, although their fans only showed up when they made the playoffs.

I also like their mohawks. Started by BJ Upton after a losing streak in September, the team and some fans have adopted the hair style.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Even a man who is pure at heart

And says his prayers by night

May become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms

And the autumn moon is bright.

Maleva in Wolfman (1941)

Monday, October 20, 2008

2008 Lumberry Tour

WIAAC club members in new cars and old lining up Sunday morning at Hardees in Knoxville. Baby, my '62 Plymouth is at the left.
Cruising on the back roads through Dahinda, Williamsfield, Wyoming, Toulon and up to Henry Illinois.

Stopping for lunch at the park in Henry. It was beautiful day and there was a little boat traffic on the river. We then crossed the bridge and headed down to Chillicothe and over to Princeville.
Baby ran great, especially after her flush last month. She turned over 19,000 original miles during this trip. We had 14 cars in the caravan and all made it home safe.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It's Official

I began filling their pockets with my money this morning at 7:15 am when the temperature in my house was 49 degrees. I read somewhere the rates were going up by 15% this winter. Gotta have it though. And I so wanted to make it to Thanksgiving.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thoughts On Various Things...

...and completely meaningless.

1. I'm glad the debates are over. These guys, after 16 months, are merely wind-up dolls spouting the same platitudes, talking points, and news bites. I have yet to see a genuine human deviation from those talking points. No unrehearsed personal comments or anything resembling a warm off-the-cuff detail on "who" they are as persons. This goes for both of them. Where is the humor, where is the spontaneous reflection. They are both "handled" to a degree that removes their ability to say anything that is not scripted. Blech!

2. Brendan mentioned the possibility of seeing my grandkids in December, and that's all I can think about. But how?

3. Speaking of grandkids, Matt, my buddy from KCA called a couple of weeks ago and wondered if I'd like to be a Reading Partner with one of his 6 year olds at Nielson. I quickly said yes, but then checked my schedule. I'd have to leave at 8:30 in the morning to be there at nine, and then kill time for Blick at 11:00 o'clock. The library was an option to kill the time, but I forgot that my dog would be inside for 8 hours before relief could arrive with Richard across the street when he gets home from school. Figured it was too long, so sorry Matt.

4. I haven't watched ONE baseball playoff game this Fall from start to finish. Was a time I wouldn't have missed any of them. Wonder why?

5. Attended Jane Simmons' funeral this morning. Nasty, gloomy day. She lived for 95 years (and I have been laid off from mowing her yard) and by all accounts it was a good life. I go into work and one of my favorites just returned from time off for her Dad's death of a brain tumor (same thing Ted Kennedy has). He was 57, and to hear her talk of various things made my eyes well up. Especially to hear about the relationship he had with his grandkids. Also the letter she wrote to him and read to him shortly before his death. Wow. Whoever you have around you give 'em a big hug and tell 'em you love them. Go on!! Do it, I'll wait till you get back.

OK, you back?

6. Went over to brother Phil's place on Saturday. Phil and Jeanne have a great place, and truly enjoyed the fire, hot dogs, and smores. Fires on a cool crisp Fall night are wonderful.

7. Wolf Blitzer is a piss poor host/moderator.

8. Heard this on the radio: people buying into the market right now are the next millionaires.

9. Next Sunday is the Lumberry Tour. Members of the Western Illinois Antique Auto Club take off in our old cars, usually to Henry Illinois to see the fall foliage and the large wind farms in that area, then end up at Tanner's Orchard. Great place but usually crowded as Hell. I usually take a pan of Rice Krispie treats: they have come to expect it, so may try to make some on Saturday.
Gonna buy those cider doughnuts, and maybe some jam, and maybe a gourd or two to spruce up the place.

10. The Wire, an HBO series, has been fun watching. I don't have HBO but have been getting it through Netflix. Watch an hour when I go to bed. Stopped reading for a couple of months.

11. Mark and Holly, don't forget that movie recommendation I gave you on Saturday, October Sky.

12. Both my fantasy football teams lost on Sunday/Monday.

13. Speaking of football, tough loss for the Bears.

14. Tomorrow I'm posting a YouTube video on ghosts and goblins. Spooky. Reminds me of what Nancy, Kenzie, someone-who-shall-be-nameless, and I did on Halloweeen a few years ago. We went to a couple of local graveyards at night with our cameras hoping to get a shot of a ghostie-ghost. We didn't. That we are aware of.

15. Its getting colder and darker riding the bike home after work. Don't like riding in the dark, too many deer around here, so I may be taking the truck more often now.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Halloween Is Coming

Came home from Port Byron on Saturday and noticed a house lit up like Christmas, but with a Halloween motif. In many respects Halloween has really gained ground on home lighting with creative and spooky decorating. I guess we all like a safe scare.

Missy used to get gussied up with an Elvis costume, but we lost it in the Flood. I don't think we'll get another costume, but she really liked this Darth Vader number she saw in a catalog.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Finally, A Good Use For Cats

A firefighter was working on the engine outside the station, when he noticed a little girl nearby in a little red wagon with little ladders hung off the sides, and a garden hose tightly coiled in the middle.The girl was wearing a firefighters helmet. The wagon was being pulled by her dog and her cat. The firefighter walked over to take a closer look."That sure is a nice fire truck," the firefighter said with admiration."Thanks," the girl replied.The firefighter looked a little closer. The fireman noticed the girl had tied the wagon to her dog's collar and to the cat's testicles."Little partner," the firefighter said, "I don't want to tell you how to run your rig, but if you were to tie that rope around the cat's collar, I think you could go faster."The little girl replied thoughtfully, "You're probably right, but then I wouldn't have a siren."

Friday, October 10, 2008


We have received word that Brendan's 101st Airborne Company, the 2/320 Artillary Group, Balls of the Eagle, will be returning to Fort Campbell on November 12. I will be going down and have asked for time off from Blick.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Heavy Traffic in the BFE Loop

Old Missy and I on our daily walk up to the post office noticed a hub of activity in the Loop. Three cars and trucks were travelling the road which was as much as I have seen since there was a quilting meeting at the Floral Hall in June.
BFE city fathers are so sure of its citizen's abilities to handle motorized vehicular traffic that most of the towns stop signs have been removed, either through vandalism, lack of funds, or the need for siding local habitats.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Friday, October 3, 2008

Where In The World Is That Biker From Galesburg?

This was a group picture from the 2004 Eureka Springs World Reunion. Can you find me? This is an annual reunion of Kawasaki Vulcan riders and people actually DO come from all over the world. New Zealand, Canada and Japan were represented this year.

Hint: See the short post between the 2nd and 3rd tent clear in the back. Now follow the base of that post down and, voila!, there is me in a black T-shirt looking a bit to the right. And, yeah, the hair isn't exactly the same sahde these days.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Amazing Change In Mores/Values in 100 Years

Bathing Machines

Photo: National Maritime Museum

Those curious tiny houses on wheels are bathing machines, a movable contraption popular in beach resorts in the 19th century:

… bathing machines allowed women to change their clothes in private, reach the waters without parading through open stretches of beach in their bathing suits, and then frolic about in relative privacy and without violating contemporary notions of modesty. Queen Victoria certainly had one, and like it, these caravans of propriety, of social mores too foreign for our contemporary eyes, were simple wooden structures. Lest they invite voyeurs, they were built without windows, otherwise there were little ones inaccessible to prying eyes. Some were made of canvas and still others were very luxurious affairs, but all of them were on wheels, pulled in and out of the surf by horses or brute human power.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bike Trip On Saturday

Neighborhood biker gang took to the road again last weekend. From left is Tim with his neat new Harley, Chris, Dave, and myself, represented by that photographic faux pas, the shadow.

You've seen the gun racks in pick-up trucks. Chris, our die-hard hunter keeps his rifle handy on his bike. Actually he had just picked it up at a gun shop in Alexis. The trip included a car show, the famous Vice tombstone, and a little mechanical trouble, but we all got home safe and sound. Still a great way to spend a day.