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Showing posts from May, 2016

Tuesday Tidbits

It has been a long long time since I'd been to Sunnyfield in Kewanee.  Back in my G-Burg days we made the trip quite often as we were feeding our landscaping demons.  I wanted to try my hand at a little ornamental grass for the Cabin, mostly to keep the bears away.  Same place, same neat stuff, same high prices.


Neighbor Tim paid his Superbowl wager and then some.  Not only did I get a cool twenty but this beverage holder for the bike.  I'll probably have to use it for gas on the trip as the Beast is a thirsty bitch.  
I think it was Ben Franklin who opined, "A payment in the hand keeps a friend off your back."  Or was that Trump?  Or maybe I just made all that up.      


I'm keeping my Florida schedule, which means up at 4:00 am.  While inspecting the Cabin for wayward woodchucks and bleating beavers one early morning, I saw this guy clinging to the side.
I'm the last guy to judge on what someone does to make their days easier but...…

Flashback Friday

A couple days ago we were riding through main street Aledo and heard from somewhere behind someone yelling, "Two Blythes!"   Today's Flashback features Two Blythes! from the Iowa Wesleyan College Newspaper, featuring all nature's freaks attending school that year. I've got that article somewhere, but not here in Emerald City, or rather the Cabin in the Woods East of Emerald City. 
I should interject at this point that after the Wombie checks out the blog today it may be One Blythe! for awhile as he hates his photos. Admittedly this may not be his best picture ever taken, I can attest that he is a handsome lad, taking after his older (by 20 minutes) brother. 
The article in question featured three other sets of twins and also posed all of us on the steps of the Administration Building, a place where humorless people with long faces made life-changing decisions about fraternities, majors and who got to graduate.  The Wombie and I both did so I guess we slipped that b…

First Good Ride

Sunday, May 22.  I never thought it would ever get here.  The first  bike ride.  I had stopped by BFE earlier and our destination seemed to be Psycho Silo near Kewanee.  It's some biker hangout with bands and crap like that.  OK, so it wasn't my cup of tea but Carrie was going with Tim and we had another one of Tim's friends, Diane, to tag along.  I know when to shut up and just go along so even with a questionable destination, I was still excited to get back on the bike.  
As luck would have it, Carrie changed her mind about going so the day opened up as far as where we were going.   The Silo wouldn't have been all that bad but I tend to go the opposite direction where everyone else is going.  A place where there are a "ton of bikes" doesn't interest me at all.  Perhaps some other time we can go over to the Silo and check it out, but it won't happen today.  

We gassed up in Alexis and decided to go to Lock and Dam 17 down at Gladstone.  The morning coo…

The Old Gang Back Together

This is a picture from Shelley's graduation party I attended on May 14th.  That's her in the pink thing, or was it kind of reddish?  She was quite excited to get her degree from Western after having worked on it for a few years. 
Of no less equal in importance is the group I hung around with.  I think the above sentence has suspect structure (Shelley and Kenzie can correct me; perhaps something about a dangling participle), but I was so excited to be with my peeps again that my grammar radar (grammar, get it?) was malfunctioning.        

These are my old, as in old days and certainly not old in chronology, co-workers who survived the Wars and became friends in the best sense of the word.
Rebecca is on the far left and was hired about a year before me. I worked with her the most in the early years.  Smart, classy, tough, funny in that intelligent witty way; we were similar in our outlooks regarding politics, people, the world and entertainment.  She was the one whose respect and a…

Tuesday Tidbits

It has been cold up here in Northlandia.  Saturday was the first day I didn't feel compelled to wear a hoodie or sweatshirt.  The Cabin in the Woods must have good insulation because it seems I am always chilly in here.  The above scene was recorded by my phone when I ventured into Emerald City to sell some skins for firewood.   ++++++++++
I feel like I've been placed in a nursing home:  everyone keeps me so busy I haven't had a chance to get homesick.
I caused quite a stir when I went up to Beer Bellies to meet Mr. and Mrs. Wombie with my sandals and painted toes.  The other patrons were quite flummoxed and several given to the vapors.  My manhood was impugned, my reputation sullied, and best of all, I didn't give a shit.  Age is sometimes a wonderful thing.  I repost the picture of my Norah beautifying me for my journey North.

If it's good enough for Norah,  it's good enough for Beer Bellies.
This blog was begun this week EIGHT years ago this co…

I Am A Manny

I am a member of a club called "Grandparenthood".  I must admit it wasn't something I aspired to.  It just happened.  Membership comes with certain stipulations.  If you are within a 100 mile radius of said grandkids, you must attend all major birthdays and most holidays.  

If you are within 10 miles you must babysit on occasion to let the parents have some fun time.  All school activities and the weekend shopping trips are encouraged.

If you live with 1 mile, and especially the same apartment complex, then you get to babysit daily, all shopping ventures on weekends, and in my case, not only babysit the wee one daily but also turn around and entertain the other one after school for a couple hours.  Almost like a double shift.  

Today I present some small videos to let you know the conditions of "Papa's Daycare."  

I'm smothered in love.  I know it won't last so I savor the time -and the joyfulness of it.  I also know that some do not have the membership…

Flashback Friday

There are not too many action shots of me working at the Mary Davis Home but here is one.  This was when I was a Counselor and we had to do all the jobs to make the place work: cook, organize events, watch for errant behavior during rec time, counsel our specific kids, answer the phones,  open the doors for kitchen deliveries, talk to parents and write reports, and many others. 

Here I appear to be taking a pillow into the classroom.  I swear I wasn't going in to take a nap, really. More than likely I am doing a duo task of letting someone in to do some cleaning, and afterwards taking a pillow and bedding back to dorm for a new intake.  That's my story and I might as well sink or swim with it. 

What you cannot see behind that door is a one-way window.  On the other side was the superintendent's quarters who could look out into rec area and see what was going on but you couldn't see him doing it.  No one ever told me what that window was.  When I found out it brought a wh…

Holocaust Week

This is Holocaust Week.  In mankind's most brutal century yet, and there have been many bad ones, the world may or may not pause long to remember the millions of men, women,  children and babies slaughtered in a mass extermination of a race.  

Hitler's Thousand Year Reich lasted 12 years, but the senselessness of what happened in World War II set the bar far higher than we can even imagine in the future.  But I have complete confidence that eventually someone will come along with a message of hate and anger and the vilest evil that resides in us will, once again be unleashed on the most vulnerable among us - the children.

Last winter, the legacy of Anne Frank, who lives still as a beacon of goodness and innocence, was enhanced by the discovery of a picture of her boyfriend.  And thus, we learned all over again the remarkable story of Anne and her ill-fated attempt to escape detection.  

There have been those ignorant voices throughout the past 70 years that have denied the Holoca…

Got Nothin'

I've been up here almost a week and haven't been exploring yet, so today I've got nothing for you.  I have something interesting tomorrow and Flashback Friday is no problem, so perhaps by Monday I'll get back up to speed.  Maybe not.  Hate to leave you in the lurch, but dry spells happen.  My camera batteries are juiced so will try to warm up and head out this weekend.   That's the plan anyway.  

Thanks for your patience.

Tuesday Tidbits

Back in my cabin in the woods for a few weeks.  Nice to be back.
I refuse to build a fire in the woodstove.  OK, Northlandia, you win.  The heat is on.  I went out and grabbed some wood and warmed up the cabin.  I've been gone a while but isn't it supposed to be shorts weather in mid-May is it?  
Thanks Mr. and Mrs. Wombie for picking me up at the airport.

Quite an unusual sunset view while driving back from a visit to BFE last Friday.  A front went through with dark overcast skies.  In the West was a thin sliver of this pink/red sky.  Yeah, I know - lousy pic.  Why didn't I just pull over? 


Instruction on the seat ahead of me on the Allegiant Air flight from Paradise.  Who uses "whilst"?  Well, oddly enough, Brendan peppers his conversations with the word when appropriate, but generally speaking the word conversationally is not common in the US.  It is an archaic word but a cool one.  Glad, and a bit surprised, to see it.

You're Only 5 Once

I simply can't believe that Norah is 5.  She had been looking forward to her birthday for some time and when May 1st rolled around, she wasn't disappointed.  Lots of presents and a Disney Ariel cake.  Combine that with a little swimming and it was a perfect day.  

Alfred's new swim suit was a hit, too.

Flashback Friday

We swing the big ole Flashback Spotlight over to the non-Wombie bro this morning.  Back when he was a wee lad without any brothers his Father took him to knee and entertained him. 

Ha, for a while he was Master of the roost.  The only child. Coddled, shown off and enjoying the fruits of being The One.  But like I always say, Everything is Temporary.  Soon The One would be de-throned,  becoming one of Three.  If only he didn't have to compete with nature's freaks, The Twins. 

Such is the way of it.  One day you are on top, and the next, in the corner with the dog while the universe now spins around the Twins. But on this day, on Dad's lap, receiving the accolades of all; cute, and sibling-less.  You are the King.   

Happy Birthday, Phil.

No Post Today

Sorry, no post today.  Unforeseen difficulties relating to sloth and laziness prevent posting.  Hopefully something can be done about this tomorrow.  Stand by.

FDR's Car

One more part of Warm Springs that is quite nice is the museum area before you enter the Little White House compound.  In it reside a lot of FDR-related things such as his cape, hats, outdoor furniture that was on the patio, and well, lots of stuff.  Included is the car he drove around the town and the countryside, many times without his Secret Service detail.

This is a 1938 Ford convertible.  

Because of his polio, FDR was unable to use a car in the conventional way, so he helped design a system whereby he was able to drive by himself.  As you can see the lever on the right handled the clutch and and brake.  The accelerator was depressed by hand controls up in the steering area. 

He would drive all over the are by himself with guests, his dog Fala, or his secretary and often held news conferences while in the car. 
That just about does it for the trip.  Great museum and home to visit - kind of a hidden gem, really.

Tuesday Tidbits

Florida Engineering

My Cabin in the Woods awaits.

So the primary season is over.  Americans have voted and we have our candidates for the White House.  Two people whose "unfavorables" are off the charts.  If you thought it was fun up to now, get a load of the next six months.
As is always the case whenever I travel North, posts may be spotty in the next couple weeks.  

A few months ago I purchased A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.  It won the Kirkus Prize for Fiction in 2015 and was a Man Booker Prize shortlist finalist, a National book Award for Fiction shortlist, and Andrew Carnegie medal for Excellence in Fiction finalist. 
I put it in my queue on Kindle and savored having it but not reading - waiting like a kid in line for ice cream.  It is not a short book, at approximately 700 pages.  Great premise about 4 college buddies who start out their careers in New York City.  One of them has a secret - apparently an upbringing of abuse.  The…