Monday, September 29, 2008

There is nothing I could say today...

that would be more eloquent-

Thank you, sir!


Thursday, September 25, 2008

She asked...

so when your eyes cross it's Zilla's fault!

33 years and just a month or so ago, I met my future wife. We were introduced by her cousin, a Navy Chief Petty Officer that I had known for a bit over two years at that point. He was the 4th person I met in California when I arrived (August, 1973) at the base I was sent to after jet mechanic's school. The 1st was a guy sitting on the curb in front of the barrack's scraping gasket material off the rocker covers of his 1965 Barracuda (he'll pop up again later); the 2nd was the barrack's Master-at-Arms who assigned me my room. When he took me to my room, one of my new roomates was "in" and saw the trumpet case in one hand, and recognizing it, said "I play too". This led to an impromptu "jam session", about 20 minutes into which there was a loud knocking at our door. Opening it, we found a Navy Chief in khakis and we both assumed we were in trouble for disturbing someone's Sunday afternoon.

Instead he told us that "that sounded really good", and that he ran the counseling center in the middle of the barracks quadrant, and that we should come down and play there sometime.

He turned out to be the counselor for the guys coming back from Vietnam with problems; the guys going through drug rehab; the guys dealing with the divorces that 9 month WestPac cruises tend to cause. By the time I left for my own WestPac we had gotten to be pretty good friends.

I also ran into the guy with the 'Cuda a few times as well. He was a harmonica player, very into "blues"...John Mayall, early J. Geils...

When I came back from my WestPac I was heading home on leave the next morning; that Navy Chief not only picked me up at North Island when the Kittyhawk came in, but took me home, let me spend the night and then took me to the airport the next morning to save me from cab fare.

A few weeks later, leave over, I returned to San Diego with a bike I had bought while I was in Memphis, a 1971 Yamaha 650. I took it by to show it off to Cas (the chief's name) and let him take it out for a ride.

When I ran across the guy with the 'Cuda he told me he was putting together a '56 Triumph 650 and that I should come by his barracks room and see it sometime. I did, and was told he was moving out to share a house with his girlfriend and I should come by there sometime.

I moved out as well, into an off base apartment with a couple of squadron mates. I'll just say it was the 70's, it was California, and it was "party central" and let it go at that. A guitar player I had met on the Kittyhawk was playing in a band that worked a club in Chula Vista and I spent a lot of nights sitting in with them. Wandering down to the beach in the evenings was always good for an impromptu jam session with someone who played guitar, and invitations to some parties I wish I could remember!

At some point one of my roomates blew the shifter forks out of the Yamaha transmission one night when we had traded vehicles and I was driving his 442 Olds. I sold the bike for what I had in it and bought a '64 Falcon. I ran into the guy with the 'Cuda again as he had rotated to nights in the same hangar I worked in. He was looking very dejected and when I asked what was up, he said he had walked to work because the 'Cuda was "down" and he didn't know why. I gave him a ride home, had him crank it a few turns and told him the timing chain was shot and it had "jumped time". We went and bought parts, and by late that evening the 'Cuda was running again. He was rather amazed that I could diagnose that so easily; all these years later I know how lucky I was that was really the problem...

I met his wife that night, the girl he had moved out to live with. Her name was Debbie and among other things she made the most amazing homeade doughnuts!

Rick and I hung out together more and more; I spent a lot of nights sleeping on their couch having been there working on something or helping put that still unfinished Triumph together.

I got out off "active duty" in June of 1975 and went for a ride in my Falcon, up the coast to San Francisco, stopping on my way back in Oxnard to hang out with my guitar playing friend, now stationed there.

While I was gone, Rick and Debbie were in a motorcycle accident; after lingering for a few days, she died of her injuries leaving behind a 6 week old daughter and Rick with a broken leg, arm and shattered wrist. The bike they were on was one he was tuning for someone.

I returned, his Mom and Dad took their grandaughter to Santa Cruz while Rick was still in the hospital, and I started putting the wrecked bike back together. I met the guy he had bought his '56 Triumph from, and ended up buying a '58 of my own.

While Rick was "gimped up" I rebuilt the Barracuda as well, engine, driveline and front suspension. I slept on the couch, he moved in two other guys to split the rent of their house, and I made my spending money by working out of the garage and donating plasma. One of them wrecked my Falcon and ended up buying it for what I had in it...I knew it wouldn't ever be "right" again.

August of 1975 found me working out the final assembly of my '58 Triumph when Cas, the Navy Chief called. He had two cousins visiting, one just stationed in San Diego after two years in Hawaii, the other taking a semester off from college in Vermont.

He invited me to dinner; I cleaned up as best I did in those days, and walked to dinner as the Triumph wasn't "road ready" at that point. Through the course of dinner I found out that the older cousin was getting ready to leave for Indiana that weekend to marry a guy she had been stationed with in Hawaii.

Being the smartass I was, I offered to play "Taps" at her wedding. We all laughed...little did I know what would transpire!

I kept in touch with Jane, the sister taking time off from school, and worked the bugs out of my bike, as there wasn't a lot to do in San Diego with "no wheels". By November, when I had the bike where I trusted it, I called to ask Jane out, but found out she had gone home to Vermont to enroll in school.

The cousin that had gotten married that fall was at their apartment the 2nd week of December that year, 1975, preparing Christmas dinner for herself and Cas (the Navy Chief, if you've forgotten. Since he was doing "sea trials" at the time, this was the only time before the holiday they were both going to be "off".) when the phone rang. It was the guy in Indiana, the one she had married because she loved him and he wanted to split her BAQ money (the payment for living off-base) so he didn't have to work.

(I found out later that in Hawaii, when they were living together, when she told him she loved him, he had told her "he loved her as much as he did their coffee table". She of course, was certain that he would grow to love her as much as she did him...)

On the phone he told her that "his ex-girlfriend had just gotten a divorce, and she wouldn't go out with him until he got one, so he wanted a divorce".

When she hung up, for some reason the phone came right off the wall!

After she had a day or so to "cool down" Cas started telling her she should call me to see what I was up to. Finally, she did.

Dottie and I went out for the first time on my birthday, December 29, 1975. I went to the plasma bank that morning and had gotten enough to fill my Triumph, buy a pack of Marlboro's, and had $3 left over. We went out for a long ride through San Diego, over the Coronado Bridge, and back up the "Strand" to Imperial Beach. I stopped at "Jack in the Box" offering to buy her dinner; she knew by looking at me (5'8" and at the time about 126 pounds. She later joked about "taking me in because my ribs showed".) that I couldn't really afford that. I insisted on buying her something, so she settled on a chocolate shake. I only bought one, telling her I couldn't hang onto one and drive...

We talked that night until 3 or 4AM; the next day we just "hung out" and talked away the afternoon and evening again. The next few days we were either on the phone or together most of the time she wasn't working.

The first week of January, 1976, she asked her cousin would it be all right if I stayed over...we moved in together and have been together since.

Cas's Mom had lived with him for a while in 1974 and I had gotten to know her then. Aunt Ruth came back to live with him after Dottie and I moved into a house that March. The guy in Indiana had to get a job to pay for their divorce and paying the lawyer took him a while. I kept asking why she didn't point out to him he could get an annulment (she flew back to San Diego immediately after the ceremony) and she said "if he wanted a divorce he could pay for it"!

Aunt Ruth was already telling Dottie she should marry me...I already knew that married or not I wasn't going anywhere...

My grandparents came to visit during this time as well. Grandma and Grandpa Fritz (my mom's parents) had come to California to visit his brother in Long Beach and came to visit us on a side trip. Dottie planned to give them our room and one of us was going to sleep on the couch...Grandma was having none of it! She told us that it was our house, that was our bedroom, and we'd best be planning on sleeping in it. She said that living together and figuring out whether we got along was much better than all the divorces that people were going through, and that she just wanted to see BOTH of us happy!

That fall her divorce finally came through. She was more than a bit wary of getting married again, however, after her first experience. (My riding and partying didn't help matters any, most likely.) Finally, around Thanksgiving, she said that if I was really serious about it, that we could get a marriage license in December. I called her Dad and asked his permission to marry her...not that a "no" would have stopped us.

So we did get a license. When we worked out the duty schedule for her, for her cousin, and the Reserve time I was finally making up (I had skipped some drill time through the course of my "wild times"), December 14, 1976 worked out to be the magic day.

We met at a San Diego judge's house after his day in court was through. She wore bibs and a T-shirt, I wore jeans and a T-shirt with a Levi jacket with my Triumph wings on the back. Her cousin "gave her away"; he and the judge's mother were our witnesses.

Life has taken some twists and turns since then. It took me a "long time" to grow up, and through the years more than once I gave her cause to regret "being badgered into marrying me" by her Aunt Ruth, Cas and myself. That we are still together says much more for her stubborness than how easy I am to put up with...

Perhaps, if there is reincarnation, then next time she'll end up with the guy she deserves...

But for now, she's stuck with me for as long as she wants to put up with me. I can't imagine starting over; I can't imagine life without her!

So, as I said at the top, if you've made it this far, it's Zilla's fault, not mine!

Dottie's off tomorrow and I have both grandson's tomorrow night, Saturday and Sunday. We usually try not to do that when she has to work Saturday and Sunday, but John and Noel have plans, so we're going to hope this works out and she gets enough sleep to survive work!

My presence might be scarce in the meantime, so if I don't get to visit any of you 'til Monday I hope you understand!

May the rest of the week be kind and your weekends be lovely!


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sometimes you just get lucky!

We had our first rain last night since Ike's remnants rolled through. I don't know what the amount was, just that I got woken up by the thunder 3 or 4 times.

I've been trying to time my getting up so I'm not in Dottie's way in the mornings, so when she left I turned on the kettle then went downstairs to check the basement;

It was dry!

So I laid the last line of my mats back down, then came back upstairs to eat and bloghop a bit, along with paying some bills. In a few minutes I'm going back downstairs to try to ease back into my lifting routine again.

I didn't end up mowing on Monday, as Bill needed a birth certificate for his new job and when I tried to order them I found out I needed a notarized statement and to fax it to them before they would process the order. By the time I got those errands taken care of the mosquitoes were out, and I wasn't going to be eaten alive again this week.

So I finally mowed yesterday; 3 passes on the front lawn to make it look "decent" without the furrows of clumped up wet grass lying on top. Part of the "extra passes" as that I took it down shorter than usual so if the sewer line acts up again I can start digging. The plumber and I had discussed them putting a cleanout box in the line after it exits the house, and if I do the digging the price comes down quite a bit. Hopefully, if the misalignment in the sewer line is where we both thought it was the box can be used to correct that as well, and then we can hope my problems end. If not, then at least I'll know where I'm beginning to dig my way to the street!

Apparently the back corner of the house has shifted a bit since that last rain as well, as I have a crack in the sheetrock that wasn't there before...those are nothing new in this place, as it sits on a cinder block foundation.

I hope the week is being kind to each of you!


Monday, September 22, 2008

Hope floats...

though at a lower ebb some days than others!

Talia had a great time, though she didn't end up with the whole weekend as we thought she would because her Mom and Dad had something to do earlier on Sunday than they originally thought. Between the time she arrived on Friday and Caleb's party at 2 on Saturday we still managed to assemble Obiwan's Jedi fighter and a Corvette, along with watching the first two episodes of the original "Addams Family".

At 7, she's not too sure about them...I bought the first season last week thinking Dillon was the same age (9) I was when I first saw them and would love it. (Yes, I know I'm ancient!) We'll find out this next weekend...

We're still getting over our colds, so decided not to do a movie yesterday. We went to Costco and gassed Dottie's car and just decided to go for a ride; something we haven't really done all summer.

20 some years ago we attended an auction at a historic property I had heard of my whole life but never visited. Since then it had changed hands several times and gone through a battle in which the city tried to keep it from being allowed to crumble. Called "Sauer Castle" there are many legends about the place, most of which are just that.

Though the photos at the link above are about where things still stand, a better explanation of events is here.

It's truly sad to see something that could be so lovely allowed to fall window we could see from the front doesn't even have glass in it; this with all the rain we had last week.

We looked for "stickered houses" as we wandered the hill above Argentine, then rolled through it on our way home. There aren't nearly as many vacant "stickered" houses there as there are in my neighborhood. Rather odd considering the housing there is turn of the century through the 20's, and here it's newer (50's); perhaps explained by most of those being much larger than the ones here are...

Which brings us back to my title; though things look rather bleak at the moment, I have to try and keep a sliver of hope that somehow, it's all going to work out one more time...

May the week be kind!


Friday, September 19, 2008

Falling tide...

Outside and inside at this point!

The water stopped trickling in from outside the basement two days ago. I had vacuumed up about 6 gallons (lesson learned, empty the shop-vac each day as it didn't smell too good).

The sewer line seems to be behaving as well, with nary a gurgle since I used the "drain kings" the other night.

Since I live halfway down a terraced hill, the water flowing down it finally quit crossing my driveway yesterday, so now there's just the mud left behind on it.

I shopped yesterday because the grass was still too wet to mow; after Dottie calls at noontime, I'm going to go out and knock it down so I can get through the shower before Talia comes to spend the night. She's spending tonight and tomorrow. Tomorrow morning we'll have her little brother as well as he turned 5 yesterday and in the morning they're going to decorate for his family party tomorrow afternoon.

My cold seems to be subsiding; I'm hoping Dottie's is as well. Tonight I'm supposed to take Talia to meet her at a hobby store when she gets off work so Talia can pick a model or something else to do while she's with us this weekend. Last time she made a purse...

Tomorrow is the monthly "hazardous waste" collection for my county, and I have Bill and John's oil changes to drop off. The collections end for the year either this month or next, and I'd rather not have them hanging around all winter. (My garage is small enough as it is!) Dottie's is due, but life hasn't exactly been cooperating of late. At least since I run it on Mobil 1, there's more leeway there!

Depending on how the rest of the weekend goes, perhaps I'll get my little gym put back together now that the floor is dry.

I'm watching the news, and it's hard not to let it "get to me". Tens of thousands of people losing their homes didn't matter, but when Wall Street implodes then we're going to save them...the exact pattern of the "Savings and Loan" crisis...

Thousands along the Texas coast without lights and water, yet we deliver them food that needs to be cooked! At least a jar of peanut butter doesn't need to be heated to eat and refrigerated to keep!

"America, how many times do you have to be hit over the head before you realize who's hitting you?"- Harry Truman

May the weekend be kind to each of you!


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

You just never know...

what turn things will take next!

Bill is settling in; he got lost for the first time this morning when he couldn't make an exit and had to drive 40 miles to get turned around and headed back the way he needed to go...after almost running out of gas...

Dad always told that it didn't cost anymore to keep it full than empty; also, with the junk I used to drive, you were a lot safer filling them when they were only down halfway so they didn't have that whole tank to condense water in. Not so much a problem in this day of "plastic" tanks, but when they were 26 gallons and metal you could "make" a lot of water in one certain times of the year.

35 years ago when we would "pull" fuel samples on the Navy helos I worked on you could get an inch of water in the bottom of a Mason jar from each of the 5 tanks on board...every day!

My cold is throat is still scratchy, but I'm gargling diluted peroxide alternately with salt water.

Which is a good thing because at 11:30 last night the sewer line backed up again and I was on the roof at midnight dropping a Drain King down the stack and then cleaning up the "mess" while I tried to get Dottie to go to bed because she had to work today. I was finally done around 1:30 and she was still talking to me as I went through headed for the shower. She's not sleeping so well as the arthritis in her back is getting worse and her "other" hip, the one that wasn't replaced, is starting to bother her. Since that's the one she sleeps on...since she can't have Celebrex because she only has one kidney...Aleve and aspirin aren't really getting the job done.

I don't know how she's going to sleep if they replace that other hip!

Anyway, off to run an errand then come back and try a load of laundry to figure out whether I'm digging up the sewer line this afternoon or mowing the hayfield that's popped up from all that rain we had!

May the rest of the week be kind to each of you!


Monday, September 15, 2008

Bill is safe...

and settled into his apartment. He called this morning for some information to fill out more of his paperwork for his new job, then was going shopping to buy a "real" bed instead of sleeping on the air mattress he took with him.

The basement is still trickling water, but not at nearly the rate it was; another day or two and it will subside. At least there isn't anymore rain in the forecast for this week!

My older two grandchildren have been back in school for a while now; when they came to dinner last Thursday to say goodbye to Bill, they had passed the first cold of the year to their Mom, and I seem to have been the next on the list...

I had to call my friend in Colorado to find out something for Bill earlier, and then called him back to find out how he was doing; we talked for about 2 hours. He is still trying to get his roof replaced from the last storms they had there, and it's cold enough now he has been using his new woodstove these last 2 nights.

Winter is definitely on it's way!

As I watch Ike's aftermath on the screen to my left and fear for those I know in that direction along with everyone else displaced or awaiting rescue, I'm grateful I didn't take that transfer to the Gulf Coast all those years ago when we weren't sure that GM would build a new plant here.

And as I watch the rest of the news of the day, my memory goes back to the "Savings and Loan crisis" and the "Keating Five"...

"Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it." - Winston Churchill

I used that in a reply earlier to a friend in Britain in response to her post about the London branches of the firms collapsing today refusing to pay their staff. At the time my ancient memory couldn't remember who to attribute it to; I remember hearing Harry Truman quoted as saying it.

I was rather embarassed when it turned out to be Winston Churchill!

My eyes are burning, my head is throbbing, my nose is glued shut and it hurts to swallow...the drugs aren't helping...more drugs...more drugs...

May the week be kind to each of you!


Saturday, September 13, 2008


Bill, my oldest, left for his new job in D.C. this morning. He and Laura came to dinner Thursday night here to say goodbye to the grandkids and his brother and Noel. Bill was extremely tired and forgot some of the things from here he was going to take, so we gathered them to take to him last evening.

One of the worst driving experiences I've ever had...I knew heavy rain was coming and had Rain-X'd the windshield in preparation for it. 4 inches we were supposed to get on top of the inch or so the day before. As we were getting ready to leave tornado warnings went out for the county south of us, with one on the ground tracking into Missouri. When we got about 5 minutes west of our house on the interstate I could hear the sirens over the rain, over the radio, over everything at 70 mph.! The radio announced tornado warnings for us, but not their location.

John was on his way to our house to pick up the leftover lasagna from the family dinner Thursday night; Dottie called him to tell him he might want to wait a bit. He checked his TV and found out they were tracking a funnel that was coming out of Bonner Springs towards I-70 and K-7...I was a half mile east of there at that moment.

I was concentrating on staying on the road at that point, in the rush hour traffic with the rain pouring down. I saw a lowering off to my left at one point, but no rotation. Dottie thought she saw a funnel off to our north about the same time.

We got to Lawrence, stopping to buy 3 new maps to send with Bill along with the Yahoo maps directions he had asked me to print. We had dinner with them and helped them bag some of the things he was taking and get them in the car tonight so he had less to do this morning, then drove home through an even heavier downpour.

No phone calls this morning, and if he's driving I'm not going to bother him as he'll be running through the rain almost all day today.

So my fingers are crossed...

Hopefully he'll be running ahead of the remnants of Ike tomorrow, as they're predicting tornadoes all the way up through Ohio, which is where we're hoping he'll be when he stops for the night tonight. If he makes that then he should be ahead of it tomorrow!

I've been rotating through the channels this morning, watching the weather and seeing the reports from Texas...I hope everyone down there is OK!

May the weekend be kind to each of you!

4PM edit...

The good-

I've heard from Bill twice today, once just after noon when he called to ask if he should use his new (and first ever) cell phone to call in an SUV on it's roof in the median. He was just driving into the rain then and decided he really needed to concentrate. He called later when he was stopped for gas about 100 miles from St. Louis.

The bad-

I took the dog out earlier and walked the yard to check for damage, only finding one limb down. Brought her in and went downstairs; the leak in the stairwell had stopped (probably need to replace a piece of plastic I buried against that wall years ago). The sump was keeping up...

Went to turn on a light and get ready to spend some time working out, and my pretty checkerboard of mats felt wet...took another step and they went "squish". So I've spent my afternoon moving things, pulling them up and standing them on edge to dry and using my shop-vac to pick up the water. It's not coming in the upper part of the wall where it used to (plastic sheeting there several years ago, as well as in the bottom of the "flowerbox", and between it and the driveway). It didn't come in where the cap blocks are separated from the lower wall...

It's coming in one cinder block from the very bottom, right above the floor. Meaning the 8" or so of rain we've had in the last 36 hours has soaked down through the driveway and the lateral Dad buried behind that wall 49 years ago isn't picking it up...

It's not much, and I'll keep vacuuming it up every couple of hours 'til it stops. The dehumidifier and the fan I use for working out already have part of it starting to dry. I'm so much better off than I was when we first moved in (I'd have had 4" or so to squeegee into the sump) and I know those south of me are faring far worse!

The ugly-

It's raining again...the northernmost outer bands of Ike are visiting...



Tuesday, September 09, 2008

"To the Stars...

through difficulty"

These words I seem to have known forever; never have they seemed more appropriate than now!

The motto of my state, traceable through history back to the Romans.

So many seem to turn their back on history these days; that in doing so they doom us to repeat it seems not to bother them at all!

147 years ago this was agreed on and adopted as "The Great Seal of the State of Kansas". Centered on a field of blue, it also became her flag. The culmination of a long period of bloody intimidation and hatred, fueled by forces of "the status quo", or those who would stride forward into the light of day having tried to better themselves and the country they loved!

That of course, was not the end of the struggles, of the death, or the destruction.

It wasn't enough that two competing state constitutions had been written, one legitimizing slavery, the other freedom. It wasn't enough that not only homes, but whole cities were burnt; fathers were drug away and stabbed only to linger and die a year later from infections (William "Buffalo Bill" Cody's father) or people were drug from their cabins and murdered (John Brown at Pottawatomie Creek) in return for which others exacted revenge (the Marais des Cygnes massacre).

There are those who know of William Quantrill's burning of Lawrence in 1863. Most don't know that was the 2nd attack on Lawrence, Kansas. 7 years before "pro-slavery" forces had ransacked the town, destroying printing presses and burning what they could.

So much for freedom of speech...

You would think in a state where so many had died as a direct result of hatred, words would be tempered with thought! You would think that tolerance would be a watchword...that an effort would be made to promote peace, love and understanding among all her citizens...

Yet, of late, Kansas is known as much for one small group of hate-mongers as she is all of her other attributes and history. They have become known throughout the world for their particular brand of vehement intolerance. They know no shame in parading children as they spout their vitriol, and delight in causing pain to those who are seeking nothing more than to bury their loved ones.

I'm trying not to give them a single counter click by not mentioning their name or that of the "church" they belong to; though I try very hard not to deal in "negative energy", if I could trade my being for having all of theirs and their ilk beamed from the planet I would.

Our Governor has taken them on legally, though they still persist.

Sadly, not only do they believe that God hates fallen soldiers, or musicians, or accident victims, but he must hate high school students as well, because they protested at my nephew's high school graduation several years ago!

Of late, I almost fear admitting where I'm from! That 2,764,00 of us can be branded by 75 so is sad, but in this age of video clips and soundbytes it seems it is so...

It is very hard indeed not to wish that their "god" would inflict as much pain on them as they have in "his" name!


Monday, September 08, 2008

Stormy Monday...

Woken by the thunderstorms numerous times last night, about 5:30 I finally slipped in a pair of earplugs, only to be woken by them again at 7:30. As I wandered through the house (as long as I was awake I might as well use the bathroom) there was a loud "POP" and though I didn't actually realize the lights were off, I heard the battery backup for my desktop beeping.

I shut it off, then set my little cooking timer for a half hour to make sure Dottie woke up for work, went downstairs and checked the sump in the basement, then tried to doze back off...I think I just had when her alarm clock (battery backup) went off...then her other alarm clock...then the timer! I decided it was a message and put my kettle on (gas stove lit manually), deciding I was up for the day.

She showered and ate, I made a latte and oatmeal, then called in the power outage. I grabbed my radio from work and was sitting in our old platform rocker with the cat listening to NPR when I heard the rain start up again.

So I went and started rolling out the extension cords, preparing to drag our generator outside before the rain got "heavy" again. As I got the first one stretched all the way through the house and to the sump, I heard the dehumidifier come back on. For now, the lights are "holding" though it's usually 5 or 6 hours before I "trust" them. The cord is still lying there...

Saturday morning Dottie decided she wanted to sleep in more than she wanted to see "Death Race", so we put that off 'til Friday and she slept 'til 10:30. We picked up Dillon around noon and took him to a hobby store where he picked out a "screw together " Harley kit and his first "glue together" model, a 2007 Shelby Mustang. Those took up most of the afternoon and early evening.

He asked to go back to the Natural History Museum at KU; we had taken he and his sister there a year or so ago. He spent a lot more time looking at the fossils this time, but had told he grandma that why he really wanted to go was to see the snakes (live examples of all of the ones native to Kansas).

I've lost count of how many times I've been to this museum since my first trip when I was in the 5th grade, yet I'm always intrigued by it. Besides the donation at the door, we always try to pick up something out of their shop to help support it as well. Dillon picked up some geode and mineral samples, I bought a little rocket kit, powered by vinegar and baking soda. Next time he's over we'll go out to the park and launch I'm afraid of losing it in a tree or a neighbor's yard!

Last night after dinner and getting Dillon home for his bedtime, we watched "Lady in the Water", one we had both wanted to see in the theater and missed. Not at all what I expected, and a very good movie! I'm still not sure it's a bedtime story, though...

So that was our weekend...I hope each of you had a wonderful one!

Tonight "Sarah Connor" kicks off a new of the best of last year, I'm loooking forward to it!

May the week be kind!


Friday, September 05, 2008

A smile for the weekend...

I'm about to drop out of sight for a couple of days. Dottie is off this weekend; Bill and Laura are coming for dinner tonight for what may be his last Friday here, depending on when he starts driving to his new job back East. Tomorrow morning we're planning to try to catch a movie, then pick Dillon up on our way back to spend the night and Sunday.

I was a bit "precocious" growing up. I read early, and was lucky enough to not have my picking up of any book I had access to questioned.

The summer I was 6 my Dad took vacation and we drove to Texas to help his father rebuild an old house he had just bought for his retirement in Nocona, Texas. I-35 wasn't done yet, and Dad stopped in Claremore, Oklahoma overnight and we visited the Will Rogers Museum there. I became very enamored of the man, and as we were leaving used a bit of money I had saved to buy "The Autobiography of Will Rogers". I spent the rest of that vacation reading it, and have re-read it several times through the years, along with going back to find certain sections of it many times. At some point I need to replace it, or have it rebound...

Through the years I've quoted Will here, and once again he has come to mind as I know somewhere he's smiling at the video clip I'm going to use him to introduce:

"There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you."

I'll let Will close things for me as well...

"If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging."

May Friday be kind and your weekends all be lovely!


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The fast lane...

My oldest son, Bill, flew to D.C. this past summer to visit his wife Laura while she was doing an internship at the Small Business Administration. One of those airplane conversations started with the gentleman next to him; it has turned into a job offer with a contractor that puts his degrees in physics and astronomy to use calibrating weather satellites!

This has come up within the last 10 days; he has to be there by mid-month! We snuck in a family "going away party" for him on Monday and even managed to surprise him, thanks to Laura's help. She is finishing her last semester at KU and then will be joining him.

I spent last Saturday putting rear brakes on his car to make sure they were "good" before he left and he wouldn't have to pay someone else to do it when he's back there. He and Laura have spent their spare time house shopping on-line trying to figure out if they can pull off buying an house instead of paying rent when they move, and figuring out the logistics of supporting two households for 3 months and moving...

So these next few days are going to be a bit hectic for them and in a lesser way for us as we try to spend what time we can with him before he moves. I'm happy to see him working at something that puts his knowledge and grasp of physics and astronomy to use; Dottie would be happier if he were closer to "home".

I haven't pointed out to her that he will be no further from "home" that she was when she came here with me instead of going "home" to Vermont when Bill was born...

We kept Talia and Caleb overnight on Sunday as Monday was the "Labor Day" holiday, and took them to see "Fly Me to the Moon" on Monday. My sister had kept Dillon overnight and met us there; it was her first "modern" 3D movie and it was thumbs up all around from us. Usually we try to do a family movie the day after Thanksgiving, and she has decided if "Bolt" is out, that's going to be "the one" this year.

After the dinner celebration Monday evening we went back to my sister's house for cake. Dillon and Talia had school yesterday, but Caleb having missed the birthday deadline by a few weeks, hasn't gotten to start kindergarten yet. When his parents told him to get his shoes and socks on so they could leave, he told them he was going home with us.

Noel came to ask us about this, of which we were unaware, but since Dottie was off yesterday after having worked Saturday and Sunday, we said it was OK. Caleb was admonished for telling them before he was invited, then got his way...

I wonder why there are only quiet weeks in "Lake Wobegon"?

May the rest of the week be kind to each of you!