Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cruising In St. Pete On A Nice Spring Day

We went downtown on Saturday and here were some examples of the wheels we saw. This is a 62 Lincoln Continental that looked to be in fully restored condition. Care to guess its worth? I think you'd be low if you said $50,000.
A more affordable means to get around is this Segway. First one I have ever seen and if you lived downtown would be a great way to get around. If you guessed its worth at $4000 I think you'd be real close.

Here was a bum holding his homeless sign sitting on a three-wheel bicycle. For someone who makes $40 grand a year he could afford better, but then he can mark this $25.00 bike as a business expense.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Burgess Bar & Convention Center

These are a couple of pictures of the new, improved convention center in Burgess. After a Christmas Eve fire that gutted the community landmark, the garage has risen again and was officially used this last weekend to host a Christmas get-together that was postponed after the fire. Congratulations to Marvin and Janine for creating a sparkling new bar that still retains the cozy warmth of the old place.

Marvin is thinking about patenting the "Dick Switch" which was created by the fire at the garage in December. If anyone would like to donate their garage to replicate this device, please notify Marvin.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Homeless In BFE

Christopher taking a cue from the many St. Pete beggars who make thousands standing on street corners. I doubt Chris will make too much in BFE.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Wings That Fly Me Home

This wing was one of two that brought me back to St.Pete after a 2 week visit. The baseball draft went well: I had a Whitey's, found the rental to be sparkling clean, had the privilege to visit Burgess and friends, had breakfast with the girls, and I was cold constantly. I'll head back when it warms up some.

Below is neighbor Tim huddled next to a heater at the NHCC. It was great to see the McCutcheon's, Carrie and Tim (and congratulations*), Christopher, Ole and others who are a part of BFE.

* Tim proposed marriage and, oddly enough, Carrie accepted. I'm very pleased and wish you both the very best.

Love one another and you will be happy. It's as simple and as difficult as that. ~Michael Leunig

Saturday, March 27, 2010

BFE Road Report

In my brief stay at BFE three people, including myself, had their vehicles damaged by the North Henderson blacktop. Diane had her wheel rims damaged, Jan had her tire punctured and my truck had its brake line sheared. Since the feature on WQAD Mercer county road crews have been out with some gravel and gneral grating. But it won't be enough to take care of the roads long-term. BFE might as well be called Forgottonia. So, until money is allocated, pray for those who drive the roads of Mercer County.

Sunday, March 21, 2010



1996 - 2009

Today at 8:45 am Missy Marie, beloved member of the Blythe family for almost 13 years, passed away quietly in the loving arms of her buddy, Mike. Brendan also accompanied her for her last visit to the vet's.
While not particularly graceful, pretty or adventurous, Missy made up for these shortcomings by being loyal, loving, great company and eager to please. She enjoyed our attentions, walks, naps, supper and snacks. She supervised the raising of two kids while providing comfort, protection and committed companionship to us all. Indeed, she will be very sorely missed. I will be forever grateful she and Mackenzie locked eyes and hearts at the Shelter.


"She has had a fantastic life, with a
friend who adores her. No dog could have
been luckier with fate."

Nancy March 18 (2009)
In honor of Missy we'll take a few days off.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sights From Mercer County

Stopped at Candor on Monday and saw this unique marker.

Interesting. If you had to choose something to put in a sealed glass container that symbolized what you cared for in life, what would it be?
This is the bridge at the "Rader Range" that Ed fell off when we were maneuvering a timber. His comment when he straggled back up, "They'll see my hat floating and say, "'There goes Rader walking in the creek again.'"

This was the ball diamond we played softball in Seaton.

Left field where I prowled. A place where homeruns went to die.

Herb's grain elevator where we boys worked in the summer. Good thing they didn't do annual evaluations. Pretty sorry place now, as it is slowly falling to the ravages of time and nature. The back door directly under the funnel on the roof is where we fired pop-bottle rockets at Louis Owens, or was it Leman McClellan? Notice the brick building to the far right across the street. That was where the Mole Man sat squatting everyday.

Friday, March 19, 2010

2010 Fantasy Baseball Draft Night

Our 2010 Baseball Fantasy Draft has ended. We met Sunday afternoon at Crappy's and through the beer, the calculating and the trashtalk, the Metros have been populated for our 10th season. There are only 4 charter owners left (Gully, Kaiser, Nyi and myself) but everyone is competetive and we have a good time with it.

And what trip to Galesburg would be complete without an unexpected stop to let a crawling train move molasses-like across town. Also drove along Grove street to check out the old neighborhood and Marty was sitting on her porch. I had to stop and say "hi" and noticed she had painted her house an almost lime green. Got the whole story on that and many others. I was almost attacked by her dentures that slipped out at one point, too.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Trip to QC

With my Garmin in hand I went to Davenport on Saturday and the highlight of the morning was a spontaneous visit to Whitey's at Southpark Mall in Moline.

The above pictures need no further explanation. However the last one may be of interest as well. The Teriyaki Japan area at the Food Court at the Southpark Mall used to house Maid-Rite which will always be the best burger joint in the world. How could it have moved out? Even with the recession, don't we all need a Maid-Rite once in a while?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"Sweet Home" Indeed

I wasn't impressed with Alabama. The scenery was uninspiring, the poverty obvious and gas prices low.
This is Alabama. See what i mean? Not much in the way of beauty. Seemed like endless miles of scrub brush.
Great roads from St. Pete through Florida, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. However, once I reached Illinois, the roads became a mess of patches and potholes. Great weather too until cold and fog starting around Effingham.
Plans: Here till Tuesday the 23rd. Then I am flying back to warmth and sunshine. I then will return sometime around May 1st to do some work at the rental.

Monday, March 15, 2010

San Francisco in 1906

The traffic light wasn't going to be invented for another 10 years. Pedestrians, cars, and bicyclists just went where they wanted. You can see a few people dodge cars, and makes you think there must have been many injuries, thus the need to organize traffic.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bike Joke

A 10-year-old girl was walking home, alone, from school one day, when a big
man on a black motorcycle pulled up beside her. After following along for a
while, turned to her and asked, "Hey, do you want to go for a ride?" "NO!"
said the little girl as she kept on walking.

The motorcyclist again pulled up beside her and said, " I will give you $10
if you hop on the back."

"NO!" said the little girl as she hurried down the street.

The motorcyclist pulled up beside the little girl again and said, "I'm
feeling generous today! I'll give you 20 Bucks and a Big Bag of Candy if
you will just hop on the back of my bike and go for a ride with me."

Finally, the little girl stopped, turned toward him and Screamed Out...
"Look Dad, You're the one who bought the Harley instead of the Vulcan, so
ride it by yourself!"

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Another Odds and Ends Picture Day

I kid you not. This was a national Burger King campaign that somehow didn't last long just a few months ago. Subliminal or not so subliminal message here. Amazing the audacity and/or stupidity of ad gurus.

This guy was pulled over and ticketed for a helmet that doesn't conform to Florida safety standards. As long as he is able to see I'm not sure what the problem is/was. Personally I think he looks like an ass, but the ticket created quite stir down here.

"Mr. DeMille. I'm ready for my closeup."

Jesus and cats love you.

Underwater Atomic detonation at Bikin Atoll. Dark spot in rising water to the right is formed by a ship that was parked there.

Picture taken by BFE photographer and musician Shawn McCutcheon.

Bishop (the one on top) and Drew. A classic picture of my St. Pete posse.
Kudos to photographer Mackenzie.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Gun Control. Hell, Who Says We Need It?

Heck, let's pass them out free on the street corner. Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin say I can have one. This is exactly what they had in mind when we had no national army, national guard, state police, county or city cops.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Siskel and Ebert in happier times. Siskel died 15 years ago and Ebert has undergone many surgeries for thyroid cancer. He hasn't been able to drink, eat or talk in years. Of course, we all know it will not end well for any of us. Such is the iexcrable march of times. Like someone said, "old age isn't a battle, it's a massacre."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Inane Inanity

1. Yeah I watch American Idol. I'm not proud of it, and have tried to kick it, but I am powerless. Here are my thoughts so far this year:

a. Ellen critiques like a deer in the headlights. She's Paula without the drugs and drama. Oh, and she needs a thesaurus; her only adjective is "great". It's embarrassing to see her try to keep up with the others. And really, except for Simon how hard can that be? Simon is usually spot-on. He can be caustic but he's usually right. Watch Ellen use her non-existent comedic skills more often as a fall-back to her inability to critique.

b. Looks like a guy will win again this year, although many are lousy. The girls are equally lousy and more so.

c. Best comment so far: Simon telling a contestant that their performance was uninspired and limp "...much like our host (Ryan Secrest)."

d. Second best comment: Kera describing distractions in performing like people getting up and moving around to a contestant who sang spooked. Simon whispered in response to his performance, "...likely heading for the door."

2. I'm heading North soon. I have a fantasy baseball draft to attend, do some work on my rental house in BFE, do some riding with my friends, breakfast with the MDH Retired Club, and attend CC functions.

3. This is a picture of my animal sitting abilities last month at Mackenzie and Drew's house when they visited the Illinois tundra.

Sleeping contentedly is Bishop and the cat (I so love them) Cinnamon who couldn't resist my warm lap.

4. Hoping brother Mark and the Oakview Country Club guys are enjoying some of our great Florida weather down in Sarasota. By the way, I hear the robins in the morning and have gotten rid of the long pants and hoody. It's warm again.

5. Brendan went to see Shutter Island and liked it a lot. I generally think his views on movies are pretty good. He has stumbled a couple of times but he is still young and doesn't always aim high for quality.

6. Speaking of quality: I'm not a big TV watcher. Sitcoms bore me, and most dramas are formulaic and bland. Last year I caught Survivor again after discarding it and I like it again. This years' Heroes vs. Villains is pretty good so far.

7. Just about ready to end another viewing of The Wire, you know, that HBO series of a few years back that is considered by many to be the best ever show on TV. Hooked the family on it and we just have 3 more episodes left.

8. I'm going to go look at a dog fairly soon. It is a Catahoula Leopard and Border Collie mix. I don't know if I'm ready for another one but looking can't hurt, can it? Her name is Cami. Cute, isn't she?

9. Only about 30 percent of all books make money.

10. Wash. man electrocuted by urinating on power line:

MONTESANO, Wash. (AP) - Authorities believe a Washington man was killed by accidentally urinating on a downed power line after a car crash.
Grays Harbor County sheriff's Deputy Dave Pimentel (PIM'-en-tel) said Monday 50-year-old Roy Messenger was not seriously hurt after he collided with a power pole Friday and called a relative to pull his car from a ditch.

However, family members found Messenger electrocuted when they arrived.

Pimentel says Messenger apparently urinated into a roadside ditch but didn't see the live wire. The urine stream likely served as a conductor, allowing the electricity to reach his body.

Pimentel says there will be an autopsy but burn marks indicated the way the electricity traveled through Messenger's body.

11. I don't watch a lot of TV (I watch the shows I want on Hulu) and I watch even less commercials. I have already ranted on the progressive lady (creepy), and had the misfortune to see other vapid, stupid, dumbing and numbing marketing tactics that lower IQs. Therefore I have decided NOT to watch them. I keep a crossword puzzle, DS, or other activity to do while the emptiness of Madison Avenue plays in the room. I urge everyone to so the same and when someone at work asks you if you saw the commercial for _ _ _ _ _ _ _ (insert product) you can smile, and respond with a higher IQ, "No, I didn't."

12. Since I don't want to go through Atlanta again I am travelling up to Dothan Alabama then on to Birmingham. That will be new territory for me.

13. What is a single definition of a great movie? This from Roger Ebert's website:

One aspect? Just one? I always quote Derek Malcolm, the London film critic, who said, "a great film is a film you cannot bear the thought of never being able to see again."

14. A French Catholic church is, for Lent, establishing a Cord-For-The-Lord phone number for busy penitents to confess. What, can't Twitter your sins?

Monday, March 8, 2010

They Do Grow Up

This is the famous Nirvana album and the baby is grown up.

The Goo Goo Dolls album called A Boy Named Goo used lead singer John Rzeznik son as its cover. Some thought the kids face was smeared with blood and it had a dark element to it. The truth is, however, that this picture was taken while father and son were out in the yard picking grapes.

Remember this album cover by Blind Melon? The girl is now 23 and looks like this.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Remodeling Idea

Ran across this decor idea that I'll pass along. Here we have a mice image on the wall. One might think perhaps chalk, or drawing lines of some sort to create this wonderfully detailed picture.
Again, a nice detailed drawing?


And, there it is. Staples. next time you want to remodel forget the paint and brushes and go to Menard's, or Staples for a stapler.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Watch Out For Those Giant Concrete Beams

There is a neighborhood Publix (like Hy-Vee) which has parking underneath the store itself. You go up and down by elevators. There are big support beams in the parking area, and well, yeah. I sure did. I had a spell and forgot I parked next to one and as I was backing out...well. My poor truck. Besides the usual wear and tear in the bed area and general old age my old 96 still looks good. I've had the back shackles and shocks re-done as well as new in front. She only has 85,000 miles and should be good for a long time yet. But, jeeez, this looks awful.